Posted by Jennifer Lee on October 07, 2011 1 Comment
I love the holidays. My children are giddy with the sounds, sights, and smells of the season. Like many parents, I enjoy spending time with my kids and sharing treasured holiday traditions through cooking, baking and eating! But a full calendar of holiday celebrations can quickly add up to a less than healthy holiday menu. A few tips for how to keep the holidays healthy and happy this year!
Pace yourself – Back to back parties can run parents and kids ragged. Space out parties! Plan for a rest day in-between big events to allow little bodies to recover.
Play each day – Schedule time each day to get out and play! On mild days, ride bikes to the park. On rainy days, a game of hoops at the gym can be a fun afternoon activity for the whole family. If time is working against you, crank up the tunes and have a dance party. Just get moving!
Include a healthy option with each meal – Offer a couple of healthy options at each holiday meal. Steamed veggies, like green beans or broccoli, are beautiful on their own and make a colorful compliment to a holiday table.
Lighten up – If you’re heading off to a big family dinner, plan for lighter fare earlier in the day. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on yogurt parfaits to infuse a little holiday flavor into your breakfast. Homemade, hearty chicken noodle soup can make for a veggie packed, lighter lunch option.
H2O is the way to go – Put out a pitcher of water on your kitchen table so kids can easily help themselves throughout the day. Remind kids (and yourself) to fill ‘er up.
Posted by Jennifer Lee on September 01, 2011 0 Comments
Posted by Jennifer Lee on September 01, 2011 2 Comments
I know this kid. When she was
a toddler she ate everything. Then she turned three and her expansive palette narrowed
like a construction zone on El Camino. If you declare one more time, “You must
eat your broccoli before you can have dessert!” you might explode. How do you
get back on track? Here are my tips for how to eat healthy with picky eaters!
1. Keep it fun!
yell, “Get your shoes on,
we’re going to be late!” -- nothing happens. My husband exclaims, “Kids team
against Daddy, race ya!” and my kids are ready before I can put my coffee cup
in the dishwasher. A game is engaging and kids want to have fun. At the table,
count colors, share jokes, play “kids team” against parents. Bonus points for
good manners and trying new foods! Crunch a Color is a great tool for keeping it fun.
2. Let the kids choose.
Young children do not get to control much, but they can control what they eat. Set them up for success by serving up a balanced, colorful meal and then, in a fun and playful way, let them choose. Think protein + 3 colors + healthy grains. This little formula gives kids an easy to understand goal, then puts them in the driver’s seat. Be a role model by making healthy choices for your own plate as well.
3. Be flexible.
What works for one child might not for the other. Always be aiming for a colorful, balanced meal, but be flexible in how you get there. Think about nutrition over the course of a week as opposed to just one meal. Take what they already like and find new ways to prepare it. If they like roast chicken, try a chicken with veggies stir fry. Mostly, be patient, positive, and flexible.
This article appears in the October 2011 issue of Jen's column, Healthy Eating, that is featured in the Burlingame Mothers' Club
newsletter each month. The BMC is a local mothers group in the Bay Area
with over 1,700 members in Burlingame, Hillsborough and San Mateo. Jen
is an active member and former President of the club.
Posted by Jennifer Lee on August 18, 2011 0 Comments
This is an easy and colorful lunch. Most of the food can be prepared with your kids the night before, including the rice and the Tamago, making morning time assembly a breeze.
One simple formula: Protein + 3 Colors + Healthy Grains
Protein: Tamago (see recipe)
3 Colors: Edamame (Green), Carrot Sticks (Yellow / Orange), Sliced Plums (Blue / Purple)
Healthy Grains: Veggie fried rice (see recipe)
Once you get the hang of it, making Tamago is pretty easy. I use a regular frying pan. You can also purchase Tamago premade at any local Japanese market, including Suruki Supermarket on 4th Ave in San Mateo.
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
Add ingredients into a mixing bowl. Beat well.
Lightly oil a frying pan, place over medium heat. Add a thin layer of the egg mixture.
As the mixture sets, roll it to one side of the pan.
Add a bit more oil, another thin layer of mixture (lifting the roll to make sure you cover the pan). Let it set. Roll to the other side.
Continue until you’ve used all of the mixture.
Remove from the pan. Squeeze (with a sushi rolling mat). Slice. Serve or store in fridge.
Veggie Fried Rice
The great thing about fried rice is you can add any number of veggies that your kids like and it’s easy to make in advance. Tastes better if you sauté the rice on the second day!
- 3 cups Jasmine or brown rice, cooked
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ c frozen peas
- ½ tablespoon soy sauce
Add 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil to a wok or large frying pan over high heat.
Add the rice and sauté until lightly browned.
Create a well in the center of the rice. Add 2 eggs, beaten. Stir lightly while the eggs cook in the well, then mix thoroughly with the rice.
Add frozen peas, mix well.
Add ½ Tbsp soy sauce. Mix. Serve or store in fridge.