A little sneakiness when you need it.

As I often say, I like my vegetables, fruits and other healthful foods to be up front, not snuck into things.  But I’ve also mentioned that my youngest has become very picky of late.  So, I’m making sure he gets some of his favorite vegetables daily (and out in the open, so to say) but every once in a while I also add some that he’s not too fond of through a different method.  Since he won’t eat soup besides our family recipe “eintopf” and potato leek right now, that delivery means is mostly out.  But smoothies and baking are two ways that are in. 

I tend to give the kids smoothies a couple of times a week.  But he wasn’t in the mood for one in the past few days.  No soups.  Unbelievably I got him to eat a “salad” of raw cabbage.  He tries to avoid it cooked and won’t eat cole slaw, so I was very pleased with that.  But I was in the mood to bake and wanted to try a pumpkin bread.  He loves the Trader Joe’s mix, but it has so much sugar in it and I wanted to add more vegetables. 

So I came up with this recipe:

Pumpkin Zucchini Carrot Bread (or Muffins)
2 cups AP flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
1½ tsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 medium zucchini, grated
1-2 carrots, grated
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup neutral oil (sunflower, canola, grapeseed)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.  In a blender, puree the grated zucchini and carrots together with milk and eggs.  Add pumpkin and oil to wet mixture and blend until well mixed.  Add vanilla then add wet ingredients to flour mixture and fold in until mixed but don’t overwork.

Pour into greased bread tin (I put parchment paper on bottom too).  Sprinkle a little sugar on top. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from center.  For muffins they’ll take about 15-20 minutes. 

I made one bread and 6 muffins (also made 1½ doz banana muffins).

The bread was very moist and delicious, though I think it can be better somehow.  The kids liked the muffins and bread. Best of all: my youngest son ate it. 

Soda/sugary drinks: size matters in fight against obesity


Soda/sugary drinks: size matters in fight against obesity

Class Moms Asked for Green Juice… Don’t Think They Expect This

My seven year old’s class is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in school today with a potato bar.  The class moms sent out a list of things they’d like parents to volunteer making/bringing in.  One of those was “green juice”.  When I saw that I jumped all over it!

Green juice… I know from past experiences with blue punch and other frightful (to me) concoctions that that meant my most dreaded food dyes.  Yes, I’ve used them, but I try not to, so if there’s a good alternative, I will choose it.  

The other day while making the kids smoothies with kale I noticed how green it was before I added the blueberries and other dark berries.  So, I figured I would make green juice with yummy veggies and fruits.  I made one batch before the kids left for school and it was vibrant in its verdant glory and really yummy.  I gave them all a taste and they asked for more.  I didn’t tell them the full ingredient list this time around, figured it might spoil their enthusiasm.  After my eldest missed the bus by about 2 seconds and was so upset I soothed him with a glass of the juice.  My youngest, who’s been home sick all week, also gratefully received a glass of the nectar.

They loved it! Now to make some more for the 2nd grade class!

Green Juice
3 oz fresh baby spinach
1 banana
3 cups water
1 cup apple juice
2 packets Yuzu Tisane drink mix (from Trader Joe’s)

Blend it all together until spinach is completely pulverized. (I prefer using blender over juicer as all the fiber is still there.)  Serve chilled. 

Next batch was also with kale.

FYI- No disrespect to the class moms.  They’re wonderful people— it’s the over use of artificial colors that I’m against.

Sneaky Smoothies


Sneaky Smoothies


My kids and I love smoothies and I make them all the time.  They are so good— as in, for you and taste!  I use frozen fruit so there’s no need to add ice and the berries are always organic.  I often put in a fresh ripe (or even over-ripe) banana or two, yogurt and juice, but I make them all different ways/combinations (endless combinations, really).  Sometimes I use coconut water or milk, sometimes vanilla yogurt or a berry kafir milk but whatever combination I use they’re easy and delicious. 

  Today’s Smoothie

In a blender mix:

  • half pack (about 1 cup) frozen mango pieces
  • half a pack (about 1 cup) mixed frozen berries (blue, black, rasp) and cherries
  • 1-2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla drinkable organic yogurt
  • 3/4 cup of coconut water
  • 1 cup of all natural 100% pomegranate juice blend (pom, apple, grape, aronia berry)

Looking at the side of the blender you will want to have the liquids be about 1/2 way up the frozen fruit (anything less will be hard to blend and too frozen).  If you put the largest frozen pieces on the bottom and the banana on top, it helps the process. 

Blend on high until the top of the mixture is pulled underneath and all is smooth.   Serve.  Enjoy.


(Honey makes a nice additional ingredient and if local can help manage seasonal allergies.)

Some fruit/juice combinations:

Strawberries, blueberries and banana with orange juice and fruit punch

Mango, blueberries and banana with pineapple juice and coconut milk/water (Mango-Blueberry Colada)

Cherry and blackberry with cranberry juice

Snack time

Recently while in Whole Foods, my three year old exclaimed “Ola!” and my five year old wheeled the cart over to where they could select their favorite, Ola! Vanilla Almond, granola. There are so many awful snack foods out there; this isn’t one of them.  Actually it’s more of a cereal but it hardly ever makes it home to meet the milk.   Ola! is one of those snacks I prefer to give the kids.  It’s made with real stuff— oats, maple syrup, vanilla, almonds or pecans, cranberries, sea salt.  Simple, tasty, good for you.  I also love it because it’s not too sweet (I’ve found so many cereals and snacks are sickly sweet). A friend makes it and it’s found in the Northeast in places like Whole Foods and Stew Leonard’s.  You can also buy it online here.  When it does make it home it’s perfect with yogurt!

We’ve been packing their lunch/snack bags for camp but they can’t have nuts.  So, what other snacks to give them that aren’t too bad for them?  Lately I’ve really been trying to get away from the package processed snacks.  Especially those conveniently packaged ones that just helppollute the environment.  My youngest loves the fresh sugar snap peas that come in our CSA bin.  He eats them as though they were candy. 

Some other snacks I give my kids:

organic baby carrots

celery sticks

chunks of fresh watermelon

slices of bell peppers (cut up several different colors for a great vibrant plate)

apple slices (soaked in lemon juice and water if they’re eating them later)

Stonyfield yogurt tubes (frozen) or smoothies

Lundberg brown rice cakes with nori and wasabi

hummus with pita chips

slices of cheddar cheese with crackers

sliced pears


a whole banana

organic grapes

organic strawberries

seaweed salad (most grocery sushi bars sell it)

One that needs to be eaten right away- fresh bread with smashed avocado, salt and pepper.  Yum!

And their favorite snack at home— smoothies.  Any combination of frozen organic blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, mangos, cherries, and/or blackberries.  (Trader Joe’s has a great selection at great prices)  In a blender mix about 1/2 pound frozen fruit with 2 ripe bananas, 1/2 cup juice of choice, 1/2-3/4 cup yogurt, spoonful of local honey.  Blend until smooth.  If it’s too thick add more juice as needed.   

I dont believe kids need to snack continuously, especially if they’re eating enough at mealtimes, but a small healthy snack to tide them over should be fine. 

© 2010 mykidsreallyeatthis.com