Tips and Recipes

Homemade Granola Bars (52 New Foods, Week 34) August 31 2012, 3 Comments

homemade granola bars 

Homemade granola bars are an easy and tasty lunchbox treat. This nut free granola bar recipe is made with lots of love and no refined sugar, because your little ones are sweet enough as they are!

This nut free, homemade granola bar recipe is fun and easy for kids to make. Although it’s a sweet treat, it is free of refined sugars. It can easily be modified to feature your favorite fixings. My kids added dried cranberries. Raisins or dates could easily be used as well. Have fun mixing it up! 

Easy Spanish Rice (52 New Foods, Week 33) August 24 2012, 0 Comments

Easy Spanish Rice: Transform a few simple ingredients found at a convenience store into a tasty side dish.

easy spanish riceLast week we took our healthy eating challenge to the convenience store. Our goal was to prove that with a little effort (and creative thinking) you can eat healthy on the road even when healthy choices are few and far between. Along with black beans we served up a side of easy Spanish rice and mixed veggies.

A Convenient Meal: How to Cook Black Beans (52 New Foods, Week 32) August 17 2012, 4 Comments

How to cook black beans 

Stopping at a convenience store on our road trip, the healthy food choices were scarce. But nestled between the canned spaghetti and corn chowder we found a healthy friend: black beans.

Road Tripping: Eating Healthy On the Road August 06 2012, 9 Comments

healthy eating on the road 

Our family may be taking a vacation, but our healthy eating habits are not. How we plan to keep eating healthy on the road.

Reduce Reuse Recycle: Green Your Lunchbox May 29 2012, 0 Comments

Kids lunch boxes can be the worst offenders when it comes to waste. But a few simple changes can help you green your lunchbox. Swap disposable plastic baggies for BPA-free, reuseable lunch containers. Use cloth napkins instead of paper. Only pack what you really think your kids will eat to minimize food waste. 

A Few Reasons Why We Need to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Did you know...

On average, Americans use 20 million plastic baggies a day.

100,000 sea turtles (and other marine life) die each year by ingesting plastic bags.

According to the EPA, each child generates 67 pounds of waste each year.

Packing a bag free lunch saves over $2000 per year.

You and your kids can make a difference with a few easy changes and by keeping the 3 Rs in mind: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

good reasons to reduce plastic bag usage

A Colorful, Asian-Inspired Lunch Menu! 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.

Power Lunch August 09 2011, 0 Comments

Back to school means a whole new schedule in our house and a well-planned strategy for making easy and nutritious lunches that the kids will eat. Here are a few of my tips for a successful lunch box!

1)     Follow a simple formula:  protein + 3 colors + healthy grains.

A colorful, well-balanced meal is a healthy meal. When you pack lunches, follow my simple formula:  protein + 3 colors + healthy grains. Keep a list of favorite foods by color for inspiration. Aim for two of the colors to be veggies. Steer clear of dried fruits to avoid cavities and the sugar high.

2)     Get your kids involved!

Brainstorm foods that the kids would like to eat and let them choose the menu. Take them shopping with you to pick their foods and when you can, let the kids prepare their lunches. Anything on a stick is usually a winner (consider using straws for little ones) and cookie or sandwich cutters (like the Lunch Punch) make sandwich-building fun for everyone.

3)     Gear up.

The right gear can make all of the difference. Here are my faves:

Built Neoprene Lunch Tote – washes easily which means no fear when fruit gets mushed in the bag. 

LunchBots – compact, easy to wash, and separates food nicely.

Camelbak Kids – they don’t spill, enough said.

Thermos Lava Food Jar – to keep the hot things hot.

Wax Paper Bags – to save the sea turtles. (at Mollie Stone’s and Whole Foods)

Lunch Lines – for a giggle.

This article appears in the September 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.

It's a Wrap! August 06 2011, 0 Comments

Wraps are a huge hit in our house. PB&J wraps, chicken with avocado, eggs and cheese. The possibilities are endless. Let the kids choose the ingredients and make the rolls themselves -- it's fun and super easy. Choose whole wheat tortillas if you can.