Back to School Lunchtime Ideas For The Kids

Written by lyricsmama on September 5, 2016 – 3:19 PM -

Summer is officially over, and it’s back to school for just about everyone now. Why pack boring old lunches for the kiddos? Get creative, have some fun, and keep it healthy with these fun ideas and recipes below…

PLAY WITH COOKIE CUTTERS

Cookie and fondant cutters are like the Swiss Army knife of lunch packing. They’re quick, easy to handle, and endlessly versatile. Use them to instantly upgrade fruits and veggies, or to add panache to an otherwise boring sandwich. With so many cute ones out there, it’s easy to go overboard, but with a little imagination, one cutter can produce multiple shapes without taking up much space in your kitchen. Three great ones to start with are a heart, a flower, and a snail cutter. Look what we could make with just a few of these basics!

Owl Sandwich

FLOWER-SHAPED CUTTER – Make the classic shape into these cheesy owl eyes, or slice each cutout in half and layer over Nutella to make clouds. Cut the “petals” like a pie to make raindrops.

snail cutter

SNAIL CUTTER – A snail makes a great cheese sandwich, or flip it the other way for a honeydew whale. Even cooler: Cut out the middle to create a cheese letter A.

heart shaped cutter

HEART-SHAPED CUTTER – This shape takes flight as wings for a dragonfly or birdie.

CONJURE A CHARACTER
If the idea of re-creating a movie or TV character is daunting, take a minimalist approach and make something symbolic that’s still recognizable. Here we used Mini Babybel cheese and grape fruit leather to make a Pokémon ball; a zigzagged slice of cheese on pumpernickel creates Charlie Brown’s shirt; and zucchini glasses with a red bell pepper lightning bolt reminds kids of Harry Potter.

Harry PotterSausage and sautéed zucchini show their whimsical side thanks to fun food picks. $3 for 8; bentology.net

STICK IT ON A SKEWER
Skewers are all the rage on Pinterest, but they can get cumbersome and pokey for pint-size palates. Use smaller, more kid-friendly alternatives, such as reusable food picks, or ice-pop or lollipop sticks, and pair them with some unexpected lunchtime fare!

SkewerStack tortellini on a bamboo pick, snip the tip, and send a side of marinara.

Skewer2Breakfast for lunch is always a yes! Add waffles and strawberries to a Popsicle stick.

BAKE IN A MOLD
It’s easy to craft butterflies, stars, flowers, and more from food—with the help of silicone bakeware. Buy a few different styles, and then whip up a bunch of freezer-friendly muffins, frittatas, and granola bites to have on hand when inspiration (or time!) is low. Here, three recipes to try.

mold

1. EASY FRITTATAS

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together 6 eggs, ¼ cup milk, ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, ¼ cup chopped veggies, and salt and pepper. Pour into muffin cups, filling about ¾ full. Bake 18 to 20 minutes.

2. PUMPKIN-SPICE MUFFINS
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease baking molds with coconut oil. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, 1 heaping Tbs. pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. baking powder, and ½ tsp. salt. In a separate bowl, mix together 1 can pumpkin puree, ½ cup honey, a 5.3-oz. container plain Greek yogurt, 2 large eggs, and 6 Tbs. melted coconut oil. Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture; stir to combine. Transfer batter to molds. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size; check using a toothpick.

3. NO-BAKE GRANOLA BITES
Melt ¼ cup coconut oil, ¼ cup raw honey, and ¼ tsp. salt in a saucepan over medium heat. When it bubbles and foams, turn heat to low. Add 1½ cups rolled oats, 1 cup chopped nuts, ¼ cup ground flaxseed, and cook on low for 2 minutes, stirring to coat. Pour granola into the mold; press in firmly. Cool at room temperature for an hour; remove and add toppings if desired. (We dipped them in melted dark chocolate and yogurt chips and then added coconut flakes and freeze-dried fruit pieces.) Store in an airtight container.

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Cute 4th of July treats from FamilyFun magazine!

Written by lyricsmama on June 19, 2014 – 10:51 AM -

Summer is upon us, and soon will be summertime holidays!! I love making holiday themed treats, I have a Pinterest board full of them!

Come celebrate the 4th of July with me this year with some fun and tasty red, white, and blue treats created by FamilyFun Magazine.  Try some festive Pretzel Sparklers, or add some color to your favorite beverage and make some USA ice cubes! There’s so much fun to be had with food, check out some of these ideas below.

ffm

Sweet & salty sparklers
Layered with white chocolate and studded with sprinkles and M&M’s, our pretzel treats add flare to any party spread. Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper. Melt 1 cup of white chocolate chips in a medium, heat-safe bowl according to the package directions. Use a spoon to drizzle 1 pretzel rod at a time with chocolate (you’ll have enough chocolate to make a dozen), then lay the rod on the prepared sheet and scatter it with red and blue sprinkles and M&M’s. Chill the pretzels in the refrigerator until the chocolate sets, about 15 minutes.

Red, white, and cool cubes
Tricolored spritzers offer a refreshing way to celebrate the Fourth. Make several trays of ice cubes with beverages colored red, white, and blue (we used cranberry juice, water, and Powerade Mountain Berry Blast). To serve, place the cubes in separate buckets and let guests make their own drinks with plain seltzer.

Freeze Pop Sabers:
Feel the force of ice-cold refreshment—and keep hands unfrozen—with these felt cozies. For each, cut a 3- by 4-inch rectangle from gray felt. Fold it over a freeze pop and use fabric glue to seal the side and bottom edges. Clamp the fabric closed with binder clips or clothespins, if needed. Slip the felt off the pop. Glue on stripes and dots of black and colored felt. When your pop is frozen and the glue is dry, you’re ready to battle the heat!

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Posted in holiday entertaining, holiday meals, recipes, recipes for kids | 1 Comment »

Recipes Kids Will Love In Honor Of #NationalGarlicDay

Written by lyricsmama on April 19, 2013 – 8:18 AM -

Today, Friday, April 19th is National Garlic Day!

If you’re like me, you’re always searching for fun, yummy recipes to cook with the family, it can be hard to get the kids to try new foods – but sometimes just using the right ingredients can REALLY make a meal much healthier (and more delicious)!

National Garlic Day marks a day devoted to an ingredient that really packs a punch of flavor, helps the kids keep the vampires away and is scientifically proven to be a heart-healthy superfood. Just one clove can keep the family heart-healthy.

Below, you’ll find some tasty, delicious and completely kid-and-heart-friendly recipes from Chef Anthony Stewart at the Pritikin Longevity Center that include a little of this flavorful “super ingredient” to make dishes amazing! Using favorite staples like chicken, hummus and pasta, adding some garlic (with some healthy guidelines from Chef A and Pritikin) these dishes pack a lot of flavor that everyone in the family will love.

Creamed Spinach Hummus Dip

Creamed Spinach Hummus Dip

A rich and creamy variation of a classic hummus dip, this dish combines the spinach the kids “hate” to eat and adds a mix of delicious spices to serve up a fun treat! Snack on this with veggies or whole wheat pita chips or serve with dinner.

Ingredients

· 15 oz. garbanzo beans, cooked and drained
· ¼ cup lemon juice (adjust according to taste)
· 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
· 1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
· ½ cup fresh dill, chopped
· 1 cup Creamed Spinach
· 1 dash Tabasco
· 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
· ½ cup chopped celery

Methods/steps

· Puree all ingredients in food processor.
· If mixture is too thick, add 1 tablespoon water.
· Serve with raw vegetables or whole wheat pita chips.

Pasta Primavera in Roasted Garlic & Caramelized Onion Sauce

Pasta Primavera in Roasted Garlic & Caramelized Onion Sauce

Who doesn’t love pasta? Using spring’s freshest ingredients, try this recipe to add a punch of flavor to a regular dish of pasta during a family dinner night or when cooking for friends.

Ingredients

· 1 cup carrots, julienned (cut into long thin strips)
· 1 cup zucchini, julienned
· 1 cup yellow squash, julienned
· 1 cup sliced domestic mushrooms
· 1 red onion, julienned
· ¼ cup chopped fresh garlic
· 1 cup sliced asparagus
· 1 cup arugula leaves, chiffonade (stack leaves and roll tightly, then cut across with a sharp knife to produce fine ribbons)
· 1/8 cup basil leaves, chiffonaide
· 1/8 cup Italian parsley, chopped
· 2 cups Roasted Garlic & Caramelized Onion Sauce
· Salt-free Italian seasoning, to taste
· Black pepper to taste
· 2 pounds cooked whole-wheat pasta

Methods/steps

· In large hot nonstick skillet, sauté carrots, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions till slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add garlic. Sauté 30 seconds.
· Add asparagus. Continue sautéing till asparagus is tender. (Time depends on thickness of asparagus.)
· Add arugula, basil, parsley, roasted garlic/onion sauce, salt-free Italian seasoning, and black pepper. Heat.
· When heated, add just-cooked pasta. Toss and serve.

Roasted Garlic & Caramelized Onion Sauce

Ingredients

· 2 large yellow onions, sliced
· 2 cups whole peeled garlic cloves, roasted*
· 1 tablespoon thyme, leaves picked and chopped
· 1 tablespoon rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
· ¼ cup white wine
· 2 lemons, juiced
· 1 chipotle pepper (left whole)
· 1 pint low-sodium vegetable stock

Methods/steps

· Place garlic cloves on a nonstick sheet in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes on one side, then 5 minutes on the other, till brown.
· Heat a large nonstick skillet to smoking hot. Add onions, and lower heat to medium.
· Cook onions until brown and sweet. Add roasted garlic, thyme, and rosemary.
· Cook over low heat for 4 minutes. Add wine and lemon juice.
· Continue cooking till mixture is reduced about two-thirds.
· Add chipotle pepper and stock. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
· Remove chipotle pepper. Puree.

Blackened Chicken

blackened chicken

A favorite at the Pritikin Longevity Center with both parents AND kids, this extra-crunchy-extra-flavorful chicken can be great on the grill or in the oven and served with veggies or other tasty sides!

Ingredients

· 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
· ¼ teaspoon cayenne
· ¼ teaspoon granulated onion
· ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
· ¼ teaspoon chili powder
· ¼ teaspoon cumin, ground
· ¼ teaspoon coriander, ground
· ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns, ground
· 1 tablespoon paprika
· ½ teaspoon thyme

Methods/steps

· Coat chicken in spice.
· In a hot skillet brown chicken with no oil or water.
· When edges brown, flip and cover cook until cooked though.
· Time depends on the thickness of the chicken.

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Posted in healthy cooking, healthy ideas, healthy meals for kids, recipes, recipes for kids | No Comments »

Aspiring Little Chef’s

Written by lyricsmama on September 29, 2008 – 12:32 PM -

The girls love to cook. They love being in the kitchen and watching me, or trying to help themselves. When I’m working with a new recipe, sometimes it’s hard to give them a chance to help out, as it could be difficult not only for them; but for me as well.

When I found a cookbook for kids, I was thrilled and had to try it out. Handstand Kids provides cookbooks that have easy recipes for kids to learn how to cook and have fun while doing it. It also helps introduce them to a different language at the same time. It’s great to give kids a hands-on learning experience and get them excited about the world around them.

We got the Italian cookbook and being Italian myself, it was nice to be able to teach my kids some words that they can familiarize themselves with when cooking. You’ll journey into Italy once you open your pizza box and find the cookbook inside along with your very own chef’s hat. Inside the book, you’ll find pages that illustrate items and then give you the Italian word underneath. The recipes were fun and easy that we could all do it together; the girls especially loved the chef’s hat that came inside the box along with the cookbook.

Not only does the book offer fun and flavorful recipes, but the Handstand Kids are also a diverse group of characters (the vegetarian, the picky eater etc.) so there’s sure to be a character that you or your child can be familiar with. The recipes are also nutritious recipes but something kids will find delicious at the same time.

Handstand Kids cookbooks are a great item for kids who are interested in the art of cooking. It’s also a great help to parents when they want to find something easy enough to cook with their children. Right now you can get the Italian Cookbook and the Mexican Cookbook from Handstand Kids. Handstand Kids was just named one of the 2008 winners of the Top Toy of the Year from TDMontly.

You can purchase a Handstand Kids Cookbook for $28 by visiting their website: www.handstandkids.com

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Posted in childrens product reviews, handstand kids, italian cookbook, kids cookbooks, mexican cookbook, recipes for kids | 1 Comment »
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