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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Kid Foods

TIP OF THE DAY: Cook As A Family

The family that prays together stays together, according to a post-World War II prayer movement called Family Rosary Crusade.

But the family that cooks together eats better, and trains the kids to be self-reliant in the kitchen.

As we enter the season of nonstop holiday treats, teaching balance and good eating practices can offset bad habits. So, at least for one meal a week—more if you can manage it—gather the entire family in the kitchen.

If kids learn to cook from a young age, it gives them confidence and skills essential for leading a healthy life—not to mention, it saves a fortune in take out and restaurant meals.

Even if there are no kids in the house, the odds are that there’s an adult who could stand to eat better.

Ditch the fast food and store-prepared take-out (laden with fat, salt and hidden sugar). Start with this list of tips:

  • Cook together. So many families find cooking to be a chore at the end of the day. Make it an enjoyable teaching experience, and use meal preparation time to connect with your children and partner.
  •    

    chefs-oven-risotto-WS-230

    The family that cooks together eats better. Photo courtesy Le Creuset.

     

    • Show kids that spending time preparing fresh foods is fun. Tie into the notion of being attractive, which [alas] is pervading the consciousness of children increasingly younger ages. Explain how actors and models are very careful about their food choices, and often employ health-focused cooks, nutritionists and trainers to keep them looking good.

     

    new-junior-cookbook-betterhomesgardens-230

    It’s easy to start with a cookbook targeted to kids. Photo courtesy Better Homes & Gardens.

     
    • Bring kids to the grocery store and explain how you choose better ingredients and products. If they’re old enough, teach them to read the ingredients labels. They might evolve into the “ingredients checker” for the family, gaining awareness and knowledge on nutrition in the process.
    • Find ways for them to participate. At any age, they can do some prep, be it rinsing and drying produce, measuring ingredients, stirring or tearing lettuce leaves.
    • Show them how to make their favorite recipes: burgers, fruit skewers, pasta, pizza, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, etc.
    • Make soup from scratch. Kids can see how easy it is, how delicious it is, and that soup does not naturally come from a can.
    • Bake together. What better way to get kids interested in cooking than the promise of a cookie or piece of cake as the payoff!
     

    When they get proficient, they can invite friends over for a home cooked meal and impress them. (Our mom was throwing elaborate dinner parties at age 12. Alas, we didn’t get to that level until after college.)

    TRENDING?

    Dr. Nimali Fernando is a pediatrician who founded The Doctor Yum Project. Here’s her medical perspective:

    “Childhood obesity is just the tip of the iceberg,” she says. “Under the surface lies the other 70 percent of children, many who may be of normal body weight but suffer from diet-related illnesses. In my practice I see these illnesses like chronic constipation, gastroesophageal reflux, anxiety, and difficulties with attention and concentration. So many of these symptoms are directly related to the diet.”

    Her innovative practice, Yum Pediatrics, also houses a 1000 square foot teaching kitchen, designed to inspire the most reluctant eater. In the kitchen she teaches her patients how to cook and offers classes to the community at large through the Doctor Yum Project.

    Behind the office is a teaching garden meant to be an outdoor waiting space for her patients and a place for her cooking students to learn how food grows and to inspire a love of locally grown produce.

    Can this be turned into a trend among pediatricians nationwide? We hope so!

    COOKBOOKS FOR KIDS

    If you need a nudge, check out these cookbooks, developed for kids:

    • Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cook Book (details)
    • Betty Crocker Kids Cook! (details)
    • ChopChop: The Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family (details)
    • Kids’ Fun and Healthy Cookbook (details)
    • Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up (details)

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Ocean Water

    We love this idea from Spoonful Of Comfort: a soft drink turned into “ocean water.”

    It’s not just for kids! Even adults like the Swedish Fish garnish; and they’ll especially appreciate it with a hit of vodka or other clear spirit.

    RECIPE: OCEAN WATER

    Ingredients

  • 7 Up or Sprite
  • Optional spirit: gin, tequila or vodka
  • Blue food coloring
  • Swedish fish
  • Straw (preferably red or red and white stripes)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FILL a glass or mason jar with soda. Add spirit to taste.

    2. Using an eye dropper, add one drop of blue food color. Stir. Add more color as desired.

    3. Drop in a Swedish Fish. Serve with a straw.

     

    ocean-water-spoonfulofcomfort

    Turn a soft drink or cocktail into “Ocean Water.” Photo courtesy Spoonful Of Comfort |
    FB.

     

    We’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend Spoonful Of Comfort’s chicken soup. Send it to friends and family: new parents, new homeowners, under the weather, or lovers of chicken soup.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Ladybugs On A Stick

    Lady-Bugs-on-a-Stick-calavocomm-230L

    Crunchy, fun and good for you. Photo
    courtesy California Avocado Commission.

     

    Move over, Ants On A Log, the childhood classic made from celery-stuffed cream cheese topped with raisins.

    Ladybugs On A Stick have no cholesterol, the fat from avocado oil is super-healthy, and the tomatoes are lower in calories and more nutritious than raisins.

    You can make or buy guacamole, or combine the mashed avocado and salsa as shown below. Thanks to the California Avocado Commission for the nifty idea.

    RECIPE: LADYBUGS ON A STICK

    Ingredients For 8 Sticks

  • 1 ripe avocado*, seeded, peeled and mashed
  • ¼ cup prepared salsa, or to taste
  • 8 celery stalks, washed and trimmed
  • 12 small grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  •  
    *Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the salsa and the mashed avocado.

    2. FILL the hollow in each celery stalk with the guacamole, taking care to keep it in the groove and not on the rims. For precision, you can use a piping bag or a plastic food storage bag with a corner cut off.

    3. NESTLE 3 grape tomato halves atop the guacamole on each celery stalk.

      

    Comments

    EVENT: Our Favorite Family Food Event, March 1 & 2

    Got kids who could learn better eating choices?

    Head to the Kids Food Festival in Bryant Park, New York City on March 1st and 2nd, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Families will cook, dance, laugh, and taste their way to making balanced food choices. When kids are immersed in enjoyable activities, they absorb and retain information more effectively.

    The Kids Food Festival embodies this philosophy of learning through fun with its weekend full of family-friendly events. Kids engage all five senses through hands-on, food-related activities. The magic of the festival is rooted in the fact that kids are having so much fun participating in flavorful activities, that they don’t even realize how much they are learning!

    WHAT YOU’LL DO

    Enthusiastic eaters and little epicures alike can attend hands-on cooking classes at the James Beard Foundation Future Foodies Pavilion, where renowned chefs pass on their recipes, skills and love for all things culinary to a new generation of learners.

    The Balanced Plate Scavenger Hunt sends kids to exhibitors and activities to sample tasty, wholesome snacks while learning the importance of achieving balance in their food choices.

     

    kids-food-festival-230

    Bring the kids, have a blast. Image courtesy Kids Food Festival.

     
    Families will enjoy live musical performances, a disco dance party, fitness workshops and more, with each of the activities relaying special messages about healthful eating!

    Find the complete calendar events at KidsFoodFestival.com.

    ABOUT KIDS FOOD FESTIVAL

    We love the Kids Food Festival, now in its fourth season. It was developed by children’s author, teacher and food expert Cricket Azima, founder of The Creative Kitchen in New York City. She created it to combat the very serious issue of childhood obesity in a fun and effective way.

    “We are able to promote and support companies that make healthful living delicious, and kids go home from the events excited about the new, better-for-you foods that they embraced,” Cricket explains. “Through the Festival, we get to reach thousands of families in one weekend, and that in itself is incredible.”

    The Kids Food Festival supports the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

    FREE GENERAL ADMISSION

    General admission to the event is free, and includes activities and sampling. Tickets to the hands-on cooking classes in the James Beard Foundation Future Foodies Pavilion, $25, can be purchased online.

    Hope to see you there!

    STAY IN TOUCH

    Website: Kids Food Festival
    Twitter: at @KidsFoodFestFun
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KidsFoodFestival

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Bear In A Blanket

    Who can resist this edible bear? Photo
    courtesy LittleInspiration.com.

     

    We love this brown rice bear in an omelet blanket. What a fun dinner idea for this quiet week, along with a colorful side salad. Have the kids help make it!

    Bear in a Blanket was created by Angie Ramirez of LittleInspiration.com, who shares yummy food, easy DIY crafts, adventures of motherhood and everything in between on her blog.

    The recipe takes only 20 minutes of prep time, 50 minutes of cook time.

    RECIPE: BEAR IN A BLANKET

    Ingredients For One Bear & Blanket

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 scrambled eggs (for the blanket)
  • Small, thin slices of cheese (for the ears and nose)
  • Small, thin slices of black olive (for the eyes and nose)
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COOK brown rice on stove top as directed on package, or about 45-50 minutes.

    2. SCRAMBLE eggs with a pinch of salt over medium/high temperature in a lightly buttered skillet pan.

    3. ASSEMBLE the bear in a blanket: Place about 1/2 cup of rice in the middle of the plate to form the bear’s body. Then scoop a medium size ball of rice to form the head. To form the bear’s ears, use a small amount of rice by shaping it like a half circle. Place the omelet on top of the bear’s body to form the blanket. Attach the olive and cheese slivers to form his ears, nose and eyes.

    Serve to happy diners!

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Cheeky Monkey Peanut Butter Puffs

    A tasty, gluten-free snack—organic and
    kosher, too. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE
    NIBBLE.

     

    Imagine if cheese puffs tasted like peanut butter instead of cheese, and you’ve got Cheeky Monkey Peanut Butter Puffs.

    They’re airy, peanutty, kosher, gluten free and organic.

    The ingredients are simple: organic corn, organic palm oil, organic peanut butter and salt. Produced by Hasadeh Organic, the melt-in-your-mouth snack is good for everyone from toddlers to grown-ups.

    The bags, graced with a humorous monkey juggling peanuts, make fun stocking stuffers and party favors.

    The snacks are gluten free certified by Gluten Free Certification Organization, and certified kosher (parve) by OU.

  • A 2.12-ounce bag is $2.49 on Amazon.com.
  • A case of 12 bags is $31.55.
  • For those who like a spicy kick, there are Peanut Butter Chili Pepper Puffs.
  •  
    Learn more at CheekyMonkeyOrganic.com.

     

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: What Does The Fox Say?

    What does the fox say? Ring-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding, for starters (here’s the official video on YouTube.

    Sing the song as you enjoy these foxy pancakes, designed by Angie Ramirez for NatureBox, an e-tailer of healthy snacks. Angie shares yummy food, easy DIY crafts, adventures of motherhood, and everything in between on her blog, Little Inspiration. She intended this pancake to be a bear. Bear, fox: take your pick.

    Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time 5 minutes per pancake.

    RECIPE: FOXY PANCAKES

    Ingredients For 8 Pancakes

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 16 strawberries
  • 24 blueberries
  • 16 saspberries
  •  

    The fox says: “Make these pancakes!” Photo courtesy NatureBox.com.

     

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk in milk, egg and melted butter.

    2. PREHEAT griddle or non-stick pan. Scoop a small amount of pancake mix (about 3 tablespoons) in the middle of the griddle to form a circle. Cook until bubbles start to form, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully, flip pancake to the other side and cook until lightly brown, about 2 minutes.

    3. ASSEMBLE.

  • For the head: use a round pancake.
  • For the ears and body: slice the strawberries into thirds, and use the middle section for the ears and body.
  • For the tail: slice a sliver of a rounded edge of strawberry.
  • For the eyes: use blueberries, sliced in half.
  • For the legs: use raspberries, sliced in half.
  • For the arms: cut a small piece of pancake to create an arm shape.
  •   

    Get more healthy ideas and delicious snacks by joining NatureBox. Enter coupon code NATURE for 25% off your first month subscription!

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Wrapped Hot Dogs


    Wrapped hot dog, a.k.a. a roll-up. Photo
    courtesy The Bison Council.

     

    Dress up your dogs in a fancy coat! To nourish the young’uns prior to trick-or-treating, or for an everyday family meal, a roll-up makes a hot dog look elegant.

    A hot dog in a a standard bun may be delicious, but The Bison Council showed us true hot dog glamor, by wrapping the dog (here, a lower fat but equally delicious bison hot dog) in a refrigerated crescent roll. The result: fun food.

    This bison dog is snuggled in cheesy honey-mustard blanket under its wrap. But you can fill the wrap with anything you like—corn kernels, pickles, relish, sauerkraut, whatever. Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time 12 minutes.

    Find more delicious recipes at TheBisonCouncil.com.

     
    RECIPE: HOT DOG ROLL UPS

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 beef, bison or other hot dogs
  • 3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1 package (4 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1/4 cup honey mustard*
  • 2 slices of your favorite cheese, halved diagonally
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  •  
    *You can make honey mustard by mixing honey into Dijon or other mustard, to taste (try 1 tablespoon honey to 2 tablespoons mustard). You can also make a low-glycemic version with agave or artificial sweetener.
     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of cornmeal on a baking sheet. Unroll crescent rolls and place on top of cornmeal. Spread each crescent with 1 teaspoon of the honey mustard and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the cornmeal.

    2. TOP each crescent with 1/2 slice of cheese and place a bison dog at the wide end. Roll up the crescents around the bison dogs.

    3. PLACE roll-ups, seam sides down, on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle rolls with remaining cornmeal. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until crescents are golden.

    4. COMBINE remaining honey mustard and mayonnaise in a small bowl; serve with roll-ups. Instead of the mustard-mayonnaise dip, you can dip into ketchup, salsa or other favorite condiment.
     
    MORE ABOUT BISON, THE BEST RED MEAT ON EARTH.

      

    Comments

    EVENT: Kids Food Festival, Washington, D.C.

    Near D.C.? Got kids? Head to the Kids Food
    Festival.

     

    Three years ago, Kids Food Festival was launched to help fight childhood obesity. The concept: fun and flavorful family activities that help kids learn about balanced food choices.

    The next Kids Food Festival will be held at Union Market in Washington, D.C. on Saturday and Sunday November, 2nd and 3rd, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    That’s right after the kids have gorged themselves on Halloween candy. It’s a teaching moment.

    If you’re in the greater D.C. area, take the kids to this fun, delicious and unique event.

    Activities include:

  • Kids cooking classes curated by the James Beard Foundation
  • Food samplings and product demonstrations
  • Balanced Plate Scavenger Hunt
  • Live music
  • Giveaways and more
  •  
    A portion of the proceeds from the event will support its charity partner, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (@HealthierGeneration).

    General admission is free. You do need to purchase tickets for hands-on cooking classes programmed by the James Beard Foundation ($25 plus $2.37 Eventbrite service charge).

    For more information, and to inquire about bringing Kids Food Festival to your area, visit KidsFoodFestival.com.

    Join the conversation on Twitter @KidsFoodFestFun and at @UnionMarketDC hashtag #KFF

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: FunBites Cuts Food Into Mini Squares

    Have fun with it! Photo courtesy
    OpenSky.com.

     

    Typically we avoid gadgets that clutter up drawers and have limited use (mango slicer, anyone?).

    But FunBites is a new kitchen tool that cuts food into 12 perfect bite-sized squares that make food fun for kids and adults alike.

    The curved blade cutter and matching popper top pop out mini-squares of brownies and pound cake, cheese, fruit and vegetables, pancakes, sandwiches, and more.

    This little gadget makes food so much fun that even the pickiest eaters will dig in. The little squares tempt the wary to try new things.

    For kids’ recreation, you can have “make your own snack” art contests at the table.

     

    The BPA-free plastic is dishwasher safe. At $12.99, it’s a gift idea for kids and adults alike.

    Get yours at OpenSky.com.

    Then, have fun making bite-size:

  • Burgers
  • Cheese
  • Grilled Cheese, peanut butter and other
    sandwiches
  • Melon
  • Omelets
  • Pancakes, waffles, French toast
  • Pizza
  • Tofu
  •  

    What are you going to “square” first?

     

    We’re not lion: This is fun! Photo courtesy Fun Bites | Open Sky.

     

      

    Comments

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