In today's day and age you can make "noodles" out of anything...zucchini, sweet potato, carrots...anything, people! I found a recipe for Carrot "Noodle" Salad in a kid's cookbook I was given for Christmas, and thought it would be a really fun dish to try. I'm always looking for ways to encourage my kids to try vegetables, especially raw ones. Somehow making food into fun shapes just makes it WAY more appealing. So...carrot "noodles". I'm also a sucker for a good non-lettuce salad. It's nice to change it up sometimes. We saw, we made, we ate...raw carrots!
4 large carrots (multi-colored carrots are even more fun!)
2 scallions, chopped
⅓ cup dried berries or raisins
½ cup chopped pecans
2 Tbsp olive oil
Juice from half of a lemon
½ tsp local honey
Salt to taste
*This is delicious even made a few hours ahead of time. Store any remaining leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
We decided to make chocolate covered strawberries this week. I can’t think of anything much yummier and it’s festive for Valentine’s day. It’s important to include some decadence in your diet with no guilt and no shame. I like to enjoy dessert with friends, and in moderation regularly! This helps me stay motivated to maintain a healthy way of life day in and day out.
This recipe will work well with whatever chocolate chips you have on hand, but I will be using Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips which are free of the 8 main allergens. These chocolate chips are so good and I can really tell no difference in the flavor and texture from conventional chocolate chips!* Hooray. Chocolate covered strawberries for everyone!
This is so easy and so decadent! First, we wash *and dry* our strawberries. Having dry berries will help the chocolate stick. And we WANT the chocolate to stick. This is making me really ready for strawberry season. These berries are so much better during the Spring months when you can get them fresh and locally grown. But...this will do for today!
Next, we make a double boiler by simply pouring an inch or two of water into a medium sauce pan and placing a heat-resistant, glass bowl over top. We pour the chocolate chips into the glass bowl and heat over a medium-high stove, stirring continually until the chips are melted. I had some help...
Working quickly, dip the clean, dry strawberries into the chocolate and place on a baking sheet to cool. You can place these in the refrigerator to help them set more quickly. I put a little waxed paper down on my baking sheet to make it easier to get the strawberries off when they've set. It's also easier to clean, which this mama is ALWAYS in favor of!
Once the chocolate has hardened around your berries, share and enjoy! Happy Valentine's Day!!
*I am not affiliated with Enjoy Life brand at all...I just use them often. :) I pass on brands that work for my family in the hope that they will work for you!
Valentine’s Day can be such a fun holiday for kids to celebrate with friends and classmates. Let’s help keep it fun and safe for those children who have food allergies. Here are 5 tips for keeping Valentine’s day safe and inclusive for our kids!
1. Communicate. Talk with your child’s teachers and/or room mom(s) about your child’s specific allergy needs. Have them send out a note to other parents alerting them of the allergens to avoid when sending Valentine’s treats. Because my son is allergic to milk, we’ve asked that his classmates send only non-chocolate treats for his class Valentine’s party. With his type of allergy, we feel fairly confident that avoiding chocolate treats alone will allow him to stay safe.
2. Use non-food treats. There are loads of fun little toys, arts and craft supplies, tattoos or other non-food items that kids will love in place of candy. This would be an especially helpful way to handle the holiday if your child has multiple food allergies.
3. Read labels. Be sure to check the label of any food or candy your child receives for his or her allergens. If your child can read, encourage them to do this before they eat any food-based treat.
4. Look out for homemade goodies. While homemade treats are a kind and generous contribution, items sent from someone’s home kitchen do pose a risk to kids with food allergies. Teachers and students may not know exactly what ingredients homemade foods have in them, and there is the risk of cross contamination with foods not made in an allergy-friendly environment. Some schools have started putting limits on homemade items allowed in the classroom. If your child’s school still allows homemade treats to be sent in, offer to send something yourself that you know will be appropriate for your child to eat. You could also ask that parents label foods really well or include a recipe or ingredient list.
5. Practice the language. Give your child phrases to use when asking about the ingredients of a food and politely but firmly refusing items that could cause a reaction. This empowers the child and also helps keep them safe.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Enjoy the ones you love!
Mealtime with little ones…oh the joy…oh the mess…oh the frustration. Amen? You’re trying to eat together, so great job. Your presence at the table is SO crucial to a child’s life and development. I’m so happy that you’re having a meal together as a family.
But you sit down, and then it’s messy. And it’s awkward. And what do you say? And everyone is looking at a screen…and then it’s over.
How do you make meal time pleasant? A time that is enjoyable and valuable to everyone? Here are some tips.
You’re rocking this parenting thing. It won’t be perfect, but keep up the good work.
I love trying to eat locally sourced foods as much as possible. Eating locally grown and sourced foods not only helps bolster the economy of your town, but it puts you in tune with what naturally grows in your area seasonally. It also encourages you to try foods you wouldn’t necessarily have access to or choose otherwise. And there are some real, yummy nutritional gems out there waiting to be discovered, folks!
I recently started volunteering with an amazing local business called Lowcountry Street Grocery (LSG). LSG is a mobile farmers market which offers not only amazing local foods and produce, but they bring it to your area! They are part fun, hip farmers’ market and part mission. By converting an old school bus into their mobile market, they are able to take fresh, nutritious, well-sourced food into areas where people may not otherwise have access to fresh food. We call these areas “food deserts” because often the only place community members have to purchase food is the local convenience store. So LSG rolls in with a bus full of beautiful, nourishing food for our neighbors to purchase. It’s amazing. I’ll probably be talking a good bit more about them and their impact in coming months, but today…a recipe!
So I was putting together a nutrition education newsletter for the guys at LSG and one of the items of produce they currently offer is Kabocha Squash. Maybe you have heard of it, and I’m just behind on my squash varieties, but I never had. So I started looking into it. Kabocha squash is much like the other varieties of winter squashes (like butternut squash, acorn squash, and pumpkin), but a little sweeter. It’s loaded with beta carotene, potassium, magnesium, and fiber, which makes it great for digestive health, heart health, and great for protecting your body from inflammation and cellular damage. I'm a sucker for winter squash. Check it out and give it a try!
Roasted Kabocha Squash
My name is Emily Funcik, and I am a registered and licensed dietitian in Charleston, SC. I am also a stay-at-home mama, a wife, a foodie, and a dancer. I have a passion for healthy living, entertaining, and a deep-rooted loved of all things delicious.