Saturday, May 28, 2016

How to Make Healthy Strawberry Pineapple Paletas With No Added Sugar For Kids

I've decided to give it all up. I'm going to close up my clinic and start an infinitely more lucrative business. That's right, I'm going to open up a popsicle stand! The other day, we were out on a walk with our kids and we came across a cart selling Mexican popsicles called paletas. Oh, excuse me, not just any popsicle, GOURMET popsicles! Do you know what the difference is between regular popsicles and gourmet popsicles? About three dollars. These gourmet pops sold for four dollars a pop!

Another important distinction about paletas that does justify the four dollar price tag is they typically contain real fruit, rather than refined sugar water. You do have to be careful though, because often these fruit popsicles are made up of a combination of fruit and added sugar.

Recently, the efforts of multiple obesity organizations have paid off with the announcement that the FDA plans to update requirements for nutrition labels. One major breakthrough is they will be requiring food manufacturers to note how many added sugars their products contain. This is a tremendous development that will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the health and well-being of Americans. The additional line noting "added sugars" helps distinguish healthful natural sugars that are low in glycemic index like fruit and dairy sugars, from added refined sugars that are high in glycemic index like table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.

I scoured the internet for healthy recipes for paletas. Many recipes do add sugar, which is a shame. I found that you can easily make your own paletas with just two ingredients: whole fruit and lime juice. Pineapple works very well and is naturally sweet without added sugars. I made strawberry lime pineapple paletas and strawberry coconut lime paletas for the kids and they loved them. In order to sweeten the strawberries a little, I added a few figs. Now I just need to take my paletas on the road and charge an unconscionable markup. Palteas! Get your ice cold paletas!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

How to Make Healthy Baked Apple Oatmeal for Kids

Cassie took Colin on a dream trip to LEGOLAND this past week. That left Cailya with dear old dad. Every now and again, we split the kids up like this. It's an arrangement that works out for everybody. The kids have no one to argue with, plus they get the exclusive attention of one parent all to themselves. In fact, taking care of just one kid is so comparatively easy, I would even go so far as to say it is delightful.

So, while Colin was off meeting LEGO batman, I painted Cailya's nails, baked her apple oatmeal, and took her to the mall. As we walked through the mall, I noticed people looked at us with warmth and admiration. This is in stark contrast to the fear and disdain we usually receive as a family of four with two screaming toddlers. For some reason, people really seem to respond to the image of a father taking care of his daughter. I don't know if it's simply endearing to watch a grown man clumsily attempt to tie his daughter's hair into a ponytail, but there is something special about the relationship between a father and his daughter.

In many ways, raising a daughter is like a budding romance. There's the thrill when she reaches her hand out to grasp mine. There's the pride of taking her out and taking care of her. There's the inevitable emotional outbursts when I fail to meet her every expectation. I remember what friends said when they learned Cassie was pregnant with Cailya. "Oh you are going to adore having a little girl!" Daddy daughter weeks like these remind me that those friends were absolutely right.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

How to Make Healthy Low Carb Chicken Nachos for Kids

Sometimes I feel sorry for Colin because his primary role model of virility and masculinity is, well, me. I'm not exactly a macho, macho man. I prefer musicals to bars. I would rather talk about cuisine than about cars. And I have no interest in partaking in a pissing contest with other guys over cigars. 

Still, I'd like to think that Colin will appreciate having this male figure in his life. I'd like him to observe that the man of the house takes out the trash. I'd like him to appreciate the honest sweat that comes from mowing your own lawn. Hopefully he'll be observant when I make an effort to take care of his mom, and maybe that will translate into him taking care of his sister or significant other some day. 

So while I'm not so macho, I am the kind of male role model for Colin that I know how to be. I'm a not so macho nacho man who loves making and eating these low carb chicken nachos. And that's good enough for me. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

How to Make a Grain Free Gluten Free Bagel for Kids and Mommy on Mother's Day

'Twas the morning of Mother's Day, and all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
 Mama was nestled all snug in her bed,
while daddy arose with his sleep sleepy head.

He woke the kids up; their hairs he did brush,
Then quietly they went in a hush and a rush.

Down to the Kitchen, with a sneak and a creep
"Quiet!" dad said, "Mommy's trying to sleep!" 

When out from the kitchen arose such a clatter,
The mixer, the bowls, the batter, the splatter!

Now Crying, Now Yelling, Now Colin, now Cailya!

She pinched me, he hit me, Now what's the mattah?

 We made up our dough then formed into rings

Then sprinkled them with everything.

Into the oven we popped them one by one.

After 20 minutes our bagels were done!

We sliced them and then, cheese and lox we did spread,
then hurried mom's breakfast up to her bed.

Mom's favorite, lox and bagels, of course gluten free!
A mother's day breakfast fit for our favorite Mommy!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

How to Make Healthy Mexican Quinoa For Kids - The Power of Sour Cream

I've discovered sour cream. Yeah, I know I'm late to the party. I was also late to the cheese party. I used to go to Chipotle and turn my nose up at the sour cream and cheese. I've always had a relatively simple palate, perhaps because I grew up in a household with simple flavors. It never occurred to me that something like sour cream would add so much flavor to a dish. Now, I realize that sour cream adds fattiness, moisture, and flavor, bringing a seemingly disparate array of ingredients together into a cohesive dish.

As I discover new ingredients and new flavors, so do my children. On a whim, I decided to make this recipe for Mexican quinoa. This bowl has all the classic Mexican flavors without the carbs from taco shells or burritos. Whole corn kernels add sweetness without adding refined sugar. Beans are a good source of protein and fiber for fullness and satiety.

But the star that pulls all the flavors together is the sour cream. I let Colin add a dollop of sour cream and mix it in himself. Giving Colin control over healthy condiments is a great way to keep him interested in what he is eating and practice autonomy. He loved this dish so much, he didn't even mind the diced tomatoes interspersed throughout his bowl. Not only did Colin discover sour cream, but so did I. Adding a dollop of sour cream can go a long way towards increasing acceptance of foods for your kids as well. If you're late to the sour cream party, I recommend you give it a try too. Better late than never!

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