It’s hard to believe the school year is just around the corner! I’d better gear up for packing lunches and backpacks. This summer, I’ve made a concerted effort to pack food for us when around town and while traveling. I hope to do the same this fall and keep my daughter eating healthy while reducing the amount of waste involved. Here are some goodies to help you keep lunch-time green:
Wrap-N-Mat: Try this instead of wasting numerous baggies per week. My hubby and I both have one and they’re great for sandwiches on the go! These start at $6.99 and they are BPA, lead and phthalate free.
ReSnackIt: I recently found this mom-preneur owned company, but haven’t tried out their products yet. They have lots of hip and stylish bags in two sizes: sandwich and snack size. Starting at $7.99, these are trendy and free from BPA, lead, phthalates and PVC.
All about carrots, but seriously keep reading, they’re not just a diet punch line. I eat ‘em and I love ‘em.
I was already thinking about a short post on carrots before I saw this AOL article teasing “something surprising in your bag of baby carrots”. I thought it would be poop. Turns out the surprise is bleach. But to be fair just a tiny amount.
From snopes.com:As an antimicrobial treatment to minimize or reduce the contamination of the finished product, cocktail carrots can be treated with chlorine. Those that are will be subsequently rinsed with potable water to remove the excess chlorine before being packaged.According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the use of chlorine as a antimicrobial treatment is a current accepted practice in the processing for all fresh-cut ready-to-eat vegetables (see Section 4.4).
Probably no surprise here, but I would prefer no amounts of bleach in my food or on my food at any time.
Lately I’ve been buying bags of organic whole carrots and they are delicious. I’ve had the
organic baby cut carrots when they were on sale and they’re fine, but no where near the taste and crispness of whole, freshly peeled carrots. Trust me I’m very lazy – I wouldn’t even spend the extra 20 seconds it takes to rinse and peel one unless it was worth it. Read more
I have fond memories of eating Blueberry Delight as a child. It’s a family recipe I hope to continue for years to come! In gearing up for July 4th celebrations this weekend, I have tweaked the recipe to make it healthier. Read on to find out if I’ve sacrificed the taste. Changes I’ve made consist of: using a combo of fresh and canned blueberries in lieu of blueberry pie filling, switching to 1/3 less fat cream cheese and using truwhip (find it at Earth Fare) instead of cool whip.
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 stick butter, room temp.
1.5 containers of truwhip
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 can blueberries in water
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
Mix flour, butter and pecans then press on bottom of pan. Cook 20 mins at 350. Cool. Mix sugar, cream cheese and put on crust. Then add a layer of blueberries and last a layer of truwhip. Sprinkle the top with chopped pecans. Refrigerate.
The Verdict: Hubby says it’s “light and delicious” but he has to say that! I say it’s not quite as good as the original. Next time, I will look for some blueberry pie filling to mix with the fresh blueberries. I do love the truwhip! While it’s not fat free, it is free from high fructose corn syrup.
A simple and tasty treat! As always, we’d love to hear about your favorite recipes.
Last week I was at the University Target in Huntsville, AL stocking up on natural and organic brands since our pantry was looking a little bare. I happened across something new from Annie’s; they now make pasta salad mixes! So new, it’s not even listed on their website yet. Sure, it’s probably better to make it from scratch, but sometimes you need a quick, healthy fix! We tried the Tuscan Italian and Roasted Red Pepper.
I used to buy Suddenly Salad in college. It was a great side dish to take to a cook-out or a main meal if I added grilled chicken. Since reading food labels a little closer, I learned there is monsodium glutamate and partially hydrogenated oil (aka- trans fat) in this mix. While it’s only .5 grams or less of trans fat, that’s too much for me. I reluctantly quit buying it; I must admit it was my old stand-by and I hated to see it go!
So, I was ecstatic to find a new, healthier replacement! Both flavors were tasty, Roasted Red Pepper being my fav. I prepared them with olive oil instead of mayo. To up the healthy quotient, I added fresh bell pepper and tomato from our Doe Run Farm CSA box. I then finished it off by throwing in some black olives and a mixture of parmesan and asiago cheese.
Verdict: I will purchase both again; they’re great for summer picnics and BBQs!
We drink it…sometimes
To juice or not to juice? 10 years ago it wasn’t even a question: Kids drank juice, it was good for them (it seemed). They drank lots and lots of juice. Too much according to American Academy of Pediatrics, who issued a report in 2007 titled, “The Use and Misuse of Fruit Juice in Pediatrics“.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, drinking too much juice can contribute to obesity, the development of cavities (dental caries), diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems, such as excessive gas, bloating and abdominal pain.
Consider this: An 8 oz glass of apple juice has about 26 grams of sugar. Sugar is a problem for many reasons including cavities and tooth decay, diarrhea, and possibly the onset of obesity. But if the choice is ever juice or soda, choose juice every time! Between the two, juice offers many vitamins and even calcium. Meanwhile soft drinks contain this.
My own pediatrician recommends no more than 4 ounces of juice a day – that’s 1/2 a cup. However, they don’t even make 4 oz juice boxes, the absolute smallest one I have been able to track down has 4.23 oz. Most come in over 6 oz. Read more