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Tag Archives: diet

Rosemary Garlic Oven Fries

After our trip to Great Country Farms earlier this month it has been potatoes, potatoes, potatoes on the menu.  One of the favorites for the Babe and AJ has been these oven “fries”.  This family is all about the oven fries.  They think they are getting away with eating junk for dinner.  I’ll admit, most of the time I cheat and buy the frozen version (LOVE the Alexia products).  But these fries are super easy to make and they are delicious.

Some potato fun facts:

Did you know that Americans get most of their vitamin C from potatoes?  Surprised?  Well we are a french fry nation.  One potato (5.3oz) has 45% of your daily value for vitamin C.

Potatoes are an excellent source of Potassium (620 mg in a 5.3 oz serving) to be exact.

They are fat-free.

Raw potatoes have the potential to last for months in storage.  Extend their life by storing them in a cool, dry place and do not wash them until you are ready to use them.

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Rosemary Garlic Oven Fries

Serves: 4  (2 Adults, 2 Kids)

4 to 10 potatoes**

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary, Chopped

3 Lg Garlic Cloves, Minced

1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Tsp Salt

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.

Slice potatoes (into the fry shape) then toss with the olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper.  Spread into a single layer onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes (longer if you like them really crispy, less if you prefer them very soft).

Share and enjoy!

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**We are getting towards the end of our potato stash so I had to use these smaller ones.  Normally 4-5 large yukons or russets would have done the job.

***On a side note:  I was in no way compensated by Alexia Foods for this post.  Also, be patient with my food photography.  I just received a new camera for my birthday and am so excited to use it for the blog.

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Digging for Gold

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There are so many food “rules” floating around out there that I try not to aggressively restrict the family in obeying many of them.  Instead, I like to make goals, better eating habits that are not necessarily limiting, but expanding on all of the healthful choices that are available.  One major goal that our family has is to consume as many locally or regionally sourced foods as our budget allows.  We are BIG fans of the farmers market.   Virginia has been very kind to us in this arena.  There are so many markets, bakeries and dairies to choose from and utilize.  I am in local food heaven.  This is a far cry from our home state of Florida in regards to variety and availability of truly local foods.  This past week we decided to pay a visit to one of the local farms for some down and dirty potato picking.  Great Country Farms in Bluemont, VA was hosting their annual Big Dig festival.  The kids had a blast foraging for Yukon Golds and (what appeared to be) Idaho Reds.  Tim was even able to pick some green beans in the neighboring field.  The picking part was short-lived though, we had to pace ourselves otherwise we would have ended up with 50 pounds of potatoes for our little family of four.  At the end of the day we had a great adventure, playing on the farm, visiting the animals and bringing home about 15 pounds of potatoes for our future dining pleasure.

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The kids on the hunt.  AJ was so excited, he brought his own shovel.

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Returning from the fields, hot, happy and covered in dirt.

Lunch Box Fun

The school year is upon us, today is AJ’s first day of school.  This year is a big one for us, the Babe is beginning to go to preschool and AJ is starting kindergarten.  Like every other parent who has gone through this and will go through it in the future, life is just happening too fast.  The kids are so excited to start at their respective schools, meet new friends and teachers, play and learn all day long.  But you know what I am most excited about, school lunch.  Yep, I have thoroughly enjoyed shopping for all of the fun food to pack in the kids lunches, letting AJ pick out what he would like to eat and planning on what to fill their little bellies so that they will be at their very best for the school day.  Hopefully the task will still be as appealing a couple of months into the school year, because we are at the beginning of this game.   It is a fun challenge to figure out that fine balance between what they will definitely eat and  what is yummy and good for them.  The plan is to utilize some prepackaged “kid” food along with fresher foods and beverages, cover most if not all of the food groups and make sure they are getting enough protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.  So today when I let AJ choose what he wanted in his very first kindergarten lunch, he more than eagerly started rattling off a list of his favorites to but in his brand new shiny lunch box (there is NO question whose child he is).   He selected whole wheat crackers, natural peanut butter to dip them in, two Baby Bell mozzarella cheese rounds, two clementines, water and a juice box.  There is just something so appealing to kids about miniature foods that seem to be just their size.  We talked about washing our hands before we eat, his ability to open any of the packages on his own (and in retrospect, we should of discussed not sharing- in case of allergies).  All in all, I think he is more than prepared for a successful first big kid lunch in a real school cafeteria.

Let’s just hope he eats it.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

National Breastfeeding Week was August 1-7 which was the inspiration for this post.  So I thought I’d show a little support to all the breastfeeding mammas out there (better a little late than never).  Having breastfed both AJ and the Babe, I understand firsthand all the joys and challenges that come along with this method of feeding our babies.   Wether or not you choose to breastfeed your child is a very personal decision and I am not in the business of judging those who do not.  It is not easy and all sunshine and roses for everyone, but there is no question that it has many, many benefits.   As a strong supporter of breastfeeding,  this post is nothing but positive and will share what I think are the top 5 (of a long list) of benefits.

1.  Breastfeeding helps boost the baby’s immune system.

Breast milk contains antibodies and the protein lactoferrin which broadly kills bacteria, viruses and fungi and has anti-inflammatory properties.

2.  Breastfeeding can help prevent overweight and obesity in children.

Studies have found greater occurrences of overweight and obesity at different stages of childhood/adolescence than babies that were breastfed at least 6 months.

3.  Helps the mama lose weight too.

Breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day!!!!

4.  Its green.

There is no packaging, no waste, no fuel or energy used in processing.

5.  Its free.

A breastfed baby can save a family $60-$100 a month in formula costs.

 

There are many great resources out there for breastfeeding families.  La Leche League International ( llli.org ) is a fantastic one and so is kellymom.com.

Keeping Your Kool

In every relationship there are disagreements on how to manage your household.  As the person who does the shopping, prepares the meals, and oh gee, has the most knowledge of food in the house, I like to have control of the kitchen and what foods enter our home.  But there is one item I cannot shake.  The tropical punch Kool-Aid.  My husband has this deep-seeded need to have the occasional glass of the red-dyed, sugar-filled beverage.  I was cool with the idea when AJ was little, but now both of the kids want to join in on the artificial fun.  The list of forbidden foods for our home is pretty short and artificial food coloring tops it.  We have even weeded it out of medicines, vitamins and toothpaste.  There is definitely a difference in AJ’s behavior when he eats foods that contain the dye.  When we are visiting friends and family, I am not so strict and allow them to partake in what their peers do, but I have done very good job of keeping it out of our home.  Except for that Kool-Aid.

So the dilemma is the different viewpoints of my husband and I.  He perceives it in a manner similar to the beer and wine we have in the house.  That it is off limits to the kids.  While I think that since they are growing older, we need to set a good example and not drink it ourselves.  The problem with his viewpoint is that it is not really off-limits because whenever he has a glass and they are around, they seem to always partake in the sweet-red potion.  To be fair, my methodology prevents the kids from participating in a lesson in moderation and self-control.   So who is right?  Clearly at this present time, it is not a disagreement that I am winning.  I am not giving up though, the debate will continue every time the container of the fake juice runs out.

Celebrate National Nutrition Month®

Every month of the year, our nation decides to devote much marketing and education about various topics.  Well, March is National Nutrition Month and the theme this year is, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day”.

As parents we tend to put so much pressure on ourselves trying to do what is best for our families.  We read books, research online, talk to our friends and consult professionals like registered dietitians and doctors, all in hopes of finding the ideal methods of taking care of our children, in this case, what we feed them.  How great is it that we live in a society where a world (literally) of information is available at our fingertips?  The downside is that all of those opinions and knowledge can leave a parent feeling very inadequate or even guilty regarding the choices they make for their family.  It seems these days that if you aren’t buying  totally local, organic, farm-raised foods or if you feed your child something with even a hint of preservatives, dye, refined sugar, hormones, antibiotics, trans-fats (you the general idea), you are guilty of slowly killing your family.  Yes, some of those foods are genuinely bad for your body but there is much grey area on the effect they may have especially depending on how much and how often you consume.  There must be some balance because setting unreasonably high expectations can lead to frustration and disappointment for all parties involved.  Knowledge is power but only if you can decide what is “right” for your family.  Have confidence in the decisions you make, especially the ones that you take the time to research and educate your selves with.  Do not let anyone food-shame you, because only you know what is best for your family.

“Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” sends a message of empowerment.  Seek out the knowledge for eating healthful and well, but also decide for yourself and your family the best way to utilize what you learn and apply it to your daily life in a way that is manageable and realistic for everyone.

All in the Family

Family influence, where do you draw the line? Let’s face it, just because you are in the same gene pool does not mean you share the same beliefs about food and feeding your children.
This topic has been very much on my mind lately as we have been visiting various family members over the past week. (As I write this I am sitting at my parents’ dining room table). How our parents/families have influenced our eating behaviors is a whole other topic for another day. Lets just focus on the present situation, or should I say temptations. To be fair, the purpose of this visit was to attend our annual “family renunion” at Mardi Gras (Mobile, AL not New Orleans). So by definition it is a time of gluttony. I tried to do my best to bring some of our staples that would not be easily available such as milk, fruit, breakfast food where the first ingredient was not sugar. Would you believe I devoted half a suitcase to this?
Basically, my strategy is to at least provide some balance to what the kids are getting every day. I am not the type of parent to tell the well-meaning in-laws they can’t share their treats with the kids. The situation is temporary and no one wins if I say no. My hope is that this is a lesson in moderation for the Babe and AJ. What better example than to see all the excesses available, be allowed to choose some all while still having healthful foods at the same time. It usually went something like this, “Sure you can have some chips, but you need to have a cheese stick and some fruit too.” Or, “Ok, you can eat that cookie with some milk (low fat and plain)”.
Now when it is your own parents, it can be much easier to be more outspoken about your desires. (This is possibly due to your argumentative skills you have been perfecting since middle school, or that may be just me). Ironically, my mother falls at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. She should be the spokeswoman for fruits and vegetables. I have to to be very diligent in reminding her that it was necessary to offer the higher calorie foods first to her petite granddaughter. While she did not necessarily agree that it was okay if the Babe did not have fruit with her lunch, she did comply.
The point is, know your limits and pick your battles. Short of food allergies and intolerances, I believe it is much easier and beneficial to relax a little on the food “rules”. Try to remember that all parties involved love your kids and just want them to be healthy and happy.