April 21, 2014

Family Food Ideas


Happy Passover and Happy Easter to you all!  I certainly might have to borrow this idea for an egg hunt to minimize the candy eggstravaganza that usually takes place around the Easter holiday.  So, given that Passover and Easter both include food traditions, I thought this would be a good time to expand on the blog I wrote two weeks ago venting about how much junk our kids are fed.  And no, I am not insinuating that you or your kids are fed junk during your Easter brunches or Seder dinners, it’s the candy in the Easter baskets and egg hunts that is the real problem.

I really am not that strict when it comes to my kids’ diets, or at least that is what I think!  What I do not like, is the amount of really yucky processed food that they are bombarded with.  I try to discourage them from drinking and eating chemicals and sugar as much as possible.  The research on the increase in the rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer in our children’s generation is astounding.  It can be reduced drastically by being mindful of what you are eating and where it was sourced.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to your health and the health of our environment to either grow your own food, shop at your local Farmer’s Market, or purchase from local sources like Good Eggs (www.goodeggs.com).  Our kids need to see that real food does not come in a bag or a box, that it comes from carefully grown plants and humanely treated animals!
Your plate (yes, this includes your kids, too) should be at least half full of vegetables, with a small amount of protein and a small amount of fibrous grain (you want to have protein, fat and fiber with every meal and snack).  A good example is roasted chicken with salad, roasted vegetables, and roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes.  You should primarily be cooking with olive oil (preferably from California as it has been shown that other countries have been mixing their olive oil with cheaper oils), coconut oil and small amounts of butter.  You can substitute coconut oil for butter in many of your baking recipes.  I do this when I make pancakes, pumpkin muffins and waffles for my kids.  Another great option for kids is soups!  My kids really like lentil soup, tomato soup, and chicken noodle.  I do occasionally try other soups, but these are staples in our house.
So here are some ideas for breakfast, lunch, and family meals that are part of our regular mealtime routine:
Smoothies with frozen mango, pineapple, banana, and sometimes strawberries, light coconut milk, almond milk to thin it out.  Whole grain toast (Dave’s or Ezekiel bread are good choices) with almond butter or peanut butter.
Scrambled eggs (with sautéed spinach if your kids are game) with toast  and strawberries.
Egg sandwich with Ezekiel english muffin with a little melted cheese, fried egg, and a little sautéed spinach (ok, I have to admit that my kids are not game on the spinach, but you should try) and fresh fruit.
Green smoothies, my kids do like this one – fill Vitamix or other super charged blender with a mix of power greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc), add 20 oz of cold water, 2 large organic apples, 1 banana, 1 lemon, 1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger, and 3-4 cups of ice.  Blend until smooth.
(Green smoothie should be served with eggs or other protein).
Oatmeal is a good choice with chopped walnuts, almonds, bananas and a little drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
Homemade waffles with peanut butter or almond butter and fresh fruit.  I freeze my leftover waffles and toast them after school for a snack with peanut butter and banana.  Here is the recipe I use – this make 4 Belgian style waffles.  Sift together – 1 cup whole wheat flout, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Mix together – 1 cup buttermilk (I use Clover) and 1 egg.  Melt 4 Tablespoons of coconut oil and add the wet ingredients to the dry, then add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup – whisk all together and pour over hot waffle iron.
I am not against sausage and bacon on occasion as long as they are organic and free of nitrates and other chemicals!!  We have bacon on Saturday mornings.
My kids prefer hot food, so lunches often include leftover soup, pasta or risotto from dinner the night before.  They also have potstickers (I prefer the ones from Trader Joes, but also buy Ling Ling), whole wheat pasta with sauce – either marinara or pesto.  I generally make lots of pesto and marinara and freeze it in small jars.  The marinara that I will buy from the store is Rao’s and it is very good.  Along with something in their thermoses, I include snap peas or english peas, cut up cucumbers, carrots, or peppers, and a container of fruit in season.
Dinners are usually grilled or  roasted meats, salad, roasted vegetables, or risotto with salad, whole wheat pasta with all my leftover roasted vegetables and some parmesan cheese, and soups and panini sandwiches.  I do make lots of other things, but these are the staples that generally are received with a pleasant response from my kids and not a big YUCK!
Here are a couple of my favorite soup recipes:
Here is the pesto recipe I use:
Here is a great article on healthy condiments:
And here is my favorite source for food inspiration along with Epicurious:
I hope this is helpful!  I welcome your own favorite healthy recipes and am happy to include then in another blog or on my website!  So please, SHARE YOUR IDEAS!!!!!!
Here is the schedule for the week, please let me know if you will be joining us for class.
Monday –  9:00 am at Stanford Hills Park.  
Tuesday – 6 am at Woodland School in Ladera and 9:00 am at the home of Darcy Leschly – 269 Oak Grove, Atherton.  Please park on Encino and come in the side gate.
Wednesday –  6 am at the top of Valparaiso and Hallmark Circle in Menlo Park and 9:00 am at Stanford Hills Park.
Thursday – 6 am at Woodland School in Ladera and 9:00 am at the home of Darcy Leschly, – 269 Oak Grove, Atherton.  Please park on Encino and come in the side gate.
Friday –  6 am at the top of Valparaiso and Hallmark Circle in Menlo Park and 9:00 am at Stanford Hills Park.
If you cannot make it to class, check outwww.stellafit.com for the workout of the week that you can do at home.