How to involve children in the kitchen at any age. Plus, a grilled plums recipe perfect for Memorial Day Weekend!
Want your children to eat more fruits and veggies? “Bring them into the kitchen to cook with you,” says Jessica Fishman Levinson, owner of Nutritioulicious, a nutrition consulting practice in New Rochelle. “Studies have shown that children who help with cooking show a greater preference for fruit and vegetables and are more confident about the importance of making healthier food choices.” When kids help with mealtime tasks, they have an increased sense of responsibility and independence. Plus, kids who help make meals are more inclined to try new foods and eat the same meals you do!
Don’t think a 10 month old has a place in the kitchen? Think again. Jessica recommends letting her smell and taste the ingredients you’re using and watch everything you’re doing. Involve your children in making meals at all ages based on their abilities. “Some of these tasks can be done at any age and will strengthen wherever your children are in their development, whether they’re working on their coordination, use of utensils, or math and science skills,” she says. We asked Jessica to give us ideas about how to involve kids in cooking, and she surprised us with some of her ideas. (I never would have thought to ask my toddler to tear lettuce up for me, but he *loved* doing it!) [...]
Our favorite local eateries and recipes from the past year.
Although we’re technically no longer Manhattanites, we’re pretty lucky to have an abundance of culinary delights to choose from right in our backyard. Whether looking for a romantic bistro for a date night, a quick spot to grab a salad with the girls in between carpool, or a friendly place where your five year old’s temper tantrum won’t make you banned for life, this Best of Yum feature highlights some of our favorite local restaurants — and at home recipes — that made our mouths water.
Let’s raise a glass to our sponsors below…thank you for filling our bellies with your delicious eats and for making us city transplants feel like we never left the big apple.
Local Nutritonist, Jessica Fishman Levinson, gives us the scoop on what's fresh and available now
Tired of butternut squash, parsnips, and brussels sprouts? Don’t despair – spring produce is slowly popping up in local supermarkets. Although you may have seen some of these fruits and veggies in the supermarket over the winter, they haven’t been coming from local farms. They’re often picked before fully ripened and they’ve been in transit for a while.
Eating what’s in season is ideal – It’s when produce is the most nutritious and flavorful. Plus, when it arrives from local farms, you’re supporting hard-working farmers and helping the environment. Most Westchester farmers markets aren’t in full swing yet, but we can’t wait for them to open. In the meantime, look for some of these nutritious and delicious spring produce favorites in your supermarket and get cooking.
Top five quick picks from a Westchester nutritionist.
We travel a lot in the summertime making it tougher to have healthy snack options on hand for the kids. (This on top of the fact that ice cream is practically a fifth food group in my house this time of year!) I took my challenge to registered dietician, Jessica Fishman Levinson, founder of Nutritioulicious, a nutrition counseling practice, and the co-author of “We Can Cook: Introduce Your Child to the Joy of Cooking with 75 Simple Recipes and Activities,” a cookbook for children ages 3 to 6.
Here, Jessica shares her healthy snack recommendations for kids when you are spending time away from home. Some of them are perishable, but Jessica always recommend people (even adults without kids!) get a small cooler bag and ice pack that they can take in the car or on a plane.
1. Yogurt and fruit. A good source of calcium and protein, yogurt is a nutritious and satisfying snack. And most kids love it! Some brands like Chobani have yogurts specifically for kids. Their Champion yogurts are 3.5 oz and 100 calories — a perfect size for your toddler. Add fruit for additional fiber and a healthy sweet treat. [...]
Here's a mid-summer refresher that everyone can enjoy.
If you’re anywhere near Le Pain Quotidien (there’s a location in Rye), you HAVE to stop in for their refreshing Watermelon Cucumber Cooler. Imagine sweet summer watermelon mixed with garden-fresh cucumbers and invigorating mint, and you’ve got a drink that rejuvenates with every sip. Even my toddler loves it. (I’m not joking when I say that I look for reasons to go to Rye, just so I can order the watermelon juice to go.)
I wanted to try to make it at home, so I went online to see how other people mix up watermelon coolers. Some recipes use mint, some add agave nectar. But few take more than 10 minutes to throw together. Food blogger Laura Friendly‘s recipe is uber-easy and tastes so good, you can’t lose. Note: She lists two shots of vodka as an optional ingredient — obviously, if you’re making this for your wee ones, I’d leave that out.
A Kid-Friendly Breakfast that's also Perfect for Mother's Day
My husband’s go-to breakfast treat is sugar rolls. They’re simple enough to make any day of the week, but they’re also special enough for holidays…like Mother’s Day! Basically, they’re crepes, but “sugar rolls” sounds more fun to the kids. You can fill them with jam, Nutella, apple sauce (my kid’s like blueberry apple sauce) or sprinkle with sugar and devour.
My husband’s original recipe after the jump. [...]
There's a super fun surprise inside these treats.
Happy Cinco de Mayo, friends! I was popping around the web today to see what everyone was doing for Cinco de Mayo, and I found these adorable sugar piñata cookies on SheKnows. Just the sight of them puts me in a good mood. Plus, your little bakers in the making will love mixing the food coloring into the dough.
Plus, when your little one takes a bite, he’ll find a surprise inside. Yum!
To get the directions for these festive little treats, see the video after the jump… [...]