via FarmFresh: Potatoes are full of stuff that’s good for kids. In fact, compared to rice and pasta, potatoes give you a bigger bang for your buck in terms of healthy nutrition:

  • Carbohydrates: A good thing that’s getting a bad rap lately, carbs fuel both brains and bodies and are the main source of energy for growth and sports.
  • B Vitamins: Helps your body put carbs to work, providing energy and staying healthy.
  • Vitamin C: Essential for healthy skin, bones and hair.
  • Fiber: Every body needs it. You know why.
  • Folate: Helps your body make red blood cells.

Potatoes are not fattening

  • Potatoes are naturally fat free; it’s what you put on top of them that may need to be enjoyed in moderation.
  • If you’re looking for lower-cal, lower-fat potatoes recipes, check our recipe section.

Potatoes are satiating

  • Kids get hungry fast, so they need quality foods that help them feel full longer and provide the energy they need to keep going. Potatoes can help!

Kids will eat them

  • Of course there are lots of healthy foods to choose from. But all the Brussels sprouts in the world won’t help, if they just get pushed around the plate. After all, it’s not really nutrition until your child chews and swallows it.

The Great Back-To-School Spud-Off

These next two weeks—from September 3 through the 16th— we’re celebrating back-to-school time with a Facebook contest that’s all about kids who love of potatoes. A great way to kick off the new school year, our contest highlights how potatoes give kids the healthy nutrition they need to do well in the classroom. Best of all, we’re giving you a chance to win fun Back-To-School prizes — all you have to do is share why your kids love potatoes so much!

Entering is Easy

Submit a fun photo of your kid eating spuds and tell us what he or she loves so much about munching on potatoes. Then, share your post with your friends and family, encourage them to vote for your submission and share it with others. The six entries with the most votes will win prizes — including a grand prize of a $1,000 Visa gift card for school supplies.

So what are you waiting for? Click below to go to the contest page and submit your photo now. Good luck — this will be fun!


via Cure Joy: Blueberry pie, blueberry cheesecake, blueberry smoothies… what’s not to love about this delectable berry that makes delicious desserts even better? Well, there’s a lot more to it. Blueberries are an antioxidant powerhouse and are among the foods with the highest antioxidant content. They are loaded with vitamins C, B2, B6, E and K, resveratrol, gallic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin, copper, manganese, and fiber.

They are also extremely rich in a variety of polyphenols, anthocyanins (which give them their beautiful color) and phytochemicals, especially flavonoids. Native to North America, blueberries, like cranberries, have a rich folklore history of medicinal use by the Native Americans. These uses, which were once only thought to be anecdotal, are now the subject of intensive scientific research.

It’s a low calorie and low glycemic index option to snack on for weight watchers and diabetics. Blueberries are also great for the skin, fight cancer, promote heart health, enhance digestion and slow down the aging process. You can reap the same benefits from raw or even frozen blueberries (freezing won’t ruin the antioxidants) and should prefer it over processed and sugary versions like jams, jellies, desserts, and drinks. Even baking alters their polyphenol content, as the American Chemical Society reported in a study.

Blueberry Nutrition Facts

These little berries aren’t known as a superfood for nothing.

Blueberries are packed with fiber, antioxidants, manganese, and vitamins B, C, and K.4
A one cup serving of blueberries contains only 84 calories but 4 gm of dietary fiber which keeps you feeling full longer.5
One cup of blueberries provides you with a whopping 25% of recommended daily vitamin C intake. This helps bolster your immune system, maintain strong gums, and promote collagen production in the body. The manganese content in blueberries helps develop healthy bones. The fiber keeps you regular and can help lower bad cholesterol levels.6
These little blue dynamos are also a fat-free, low-sodium fruit that makes for an excellent on-the-go snack.

How Blueberries Boost Brain Health

What has us most excited about blueberries though are the multiple benefits it has for the brain. Studies on animals have shown that the antioxidant properties of blueberries can even reduce brain damage in case of a stroke. Foods like blueberries have a free radical scavenging action and prevent neurodegeneration.7

Let’s find out some more perks of blueberries for brain health.

Maintains Brain Function
Blueberries are good for your brain in many ways. The polyphenols in blueberries have been associated with reduced risk of dementia, improved cognitive performance in normal aging and better cognitive evolution. High total polyphenol intake is also linked with better language and verbal memory along with learning in both animals and humans. Studies conclude that blueberry consumption also appears to have a noticeable impact on short-term memory and improve long-term reference memory after just eight weeks of supplementation.

The super fruit also helps prevent and fight Alzheimer’s Disease. In a study, 47 participants with mild cognitive impairment aged 68 and up were asked to supplement their diet with freeze-dried blueberry powder or a placebo powder. The 16-week study concluded that the blueberry group had improved memory, improved access to words and concepts along with better cognitive performance and brain function.
If there is an easier way to keep the years from showing on your brain, we don’t know about it!

Boosts Memory
We all know that memory often takes a beating with old age. But that can be fixed with blueberries. When wild blueberry juice was supplemented for 12 weeks to older adults, it improved their memory function immensely. Older adults with early memory decline and an increased risk for dementia were recruited for the study.
Blueberries have also shown to improve object recognition memory loss in rats. Even on a short-term consumption basis, the blueberry-enriched diet prevented and reversed object recognition memory loss in aging rats.
Make sure you add blueberries to your grocery list, especially when you’re nearing retirement age.

Improves Speed Of Decision Making
Blueberries are not only great for boosting memory, but also help in the decision-making process. According to a study, scientists observed that blueberry-fed aged rats took less time in decision making when presented with a choice. The rats that were fed with a two percent blueberry diet for three weeks didn’t mull over their decisions for long.
Enhances Your Spatial Memory

Can blueberries enhance your sense of navigation and direction? If research is to be believed, the phytochemicals and flavonoids in foods like blueberries help in reversing age-related deficits in motor function and spatial working memory. In an animal study, scientists demonstrated that aged rats fed with a two percent blueberry diet for three weeks exhibited a marked improvement in spatial working memory.13

With a serving of brain-friendly blueberries in your diet, you’re less likely to feel ‘lost’.

Improves Symptoms Of Depression
Another perk of consuming blueberries for brain health is that it keeps depression at bay. According to a study, blueberry definitely has a role to play in easing depression in older adults. When asked to supplement their diet with wild blueberry juice for 12 weeks, older adults showed diminished depressive symptoms.14
Another research highlights the antianxiety and antidepressant-like effects of polyphenol-rich foods like blueberries. They are mediated through several molecular and cellular pathways, which work together with one another.15

Selecting And Storing Blueberries
Blueberries are in season between July and September, so that’s your window for the freshest produce. When at the grocery store, steer clear of blueberries that look dull or too soft or squishy. Check the container for bluish stains or juices which could indicate bruised or damaged berries. Fresh blueberries will feel firm to the touch and have a plump appearance with a dark blue, velvety color. A silvery or waxy sheen on blueberries is normal.

You can store fresh blueberries in the container they are sold in. Fresh blueberries are perishable so stick them in the fridge as soon as you get home. Don’t wash them before refrigerating. Blueberries will keep best in the vegetable crisper drawer where they will last 3–5 days. When you’re ready to eat them, simply rinse them (gently) in cold water and drain. There is no need to soak berries in water to clean them. That’s it! You are ready to toss them into your favorite recipe or simply eat them as a healthy snack.

If you buy frozen blueberries, make sure to store them in the freezer either in their original packaging or in plastic freezer bags. Just in case you’re wondering, frozen blueberries are just as nutritious as fresh ones. Researchers at South Dakota State University found that freezing blueberries actually helps maintain its antioxidant properties by better preserving the anthocyanin content.

Getting More Blueberries Into Your Diet
Blueberries are versatile little fruits and there are dozens of ways to incorporate them into your daily diet. Toss fresh (washed) blueberries into salads and smoothies. You can add them to your bowl of cereal or your recipe for homemade granola. Fold them into pancake or waffle batter, or cook them down into a sauce and pour over pancakes or French toast. Slather blueberry jams and jellies onto your morning toast or pour yourself a glass of blueberry juice any time of the day. And, of course, blueberries taste delightful in muffins, pies, cobblers, coffee cakes, zucchini bread, scones, crumbles, and parfaits!


via SFGATE: Lasagna represents a delicious comfort food for many, containing hearty noodles, rich cheese, flavorful tomato sauce, as well as a range of vegetables or meats. While the specific nutrient content of lasagna depends on the ingredients you use, most lasagnas have a number of nutrients in common.

Carbohydrates
One of the nutrients found in lasagna is carbohydrate – sugar and starch. Carbohydrates provide energy to your cells, helping to fuel their day-to-day functions. Most of the carbohydrates in your lasagna probably come from the noodles – a 2-ounce serving of white lasagna noodles contains around 40 grams of carbohydrates. To determine the specific carbohydrate content of your brand of lasagna noodles, check the nutrition label. A small amount of carbohydrates comes from the tomato sauce in your recipe, as well as from any vegetables you include.

Protein and Fat
Lasagna – particularly meat lasagna – also provides a source of dietary protein and fat. Your body breaks down protein into amino acids, and then uses these amino acids to maintain healthy tissue throughout your body. While the amount of protein in your lasagna will vary depending on how much meat and cheese you use in your recipe, each ounce of meat and mozzarella cheese adds 7.3 grams and 6.8 grams of protein to your lasagna, respectively. However, both ground beef and mozzarella cheese also provide rich sources of saturated fat, so limit their use in your lasagna.

Vitamins and Minerals
The pasta, meat, cheese and tomato sauce in lasagna all contain B vitamins, a group of nutrients that help drive your body’s metabolism; while beef in lasagna provides a source of iron to promote healthy circulation. Adding vegetables to your lasagna can further boost your nutrient intake – adding zucchini and red pepper, for example, adds vitamins A and C to your meal.

Making Healthier Lasagna
Although lasagna is far from a typical health food, you can make healthy substitutions at home to increase the nutritional value of your meal. Instead of making lasagna using white noodles – which digest rapidly, causing blood sugar spikes after eating – select whole-wheat noodles to help stabilize your blood sugar. If you make your lasagna with meat, select 95-percent lean ground beef or chicken, and rinse the meat after cooking to wash away excess fat. Limit your use of cheese, sprinkling only a small amount on top, and choose low-fat mozzarella to reduce your fat intake. Finally, load your lasagna up with vegetables to boost the fiber, vitamin and mineral content of your meal. If you don’t like the texture of vegetable pieces in your lasagna, try pureeing the cooked vegetables right into the tomato sauce before assembling your lasagna to get the nutritional benefits of vegetables without significantly changing the lasagna’s texture.


via Berry HealthOxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC), Anthocyanin, and Ellagic Acid Values

Curative aspects of the red raspberry have been of botanical interest since somewhere around 4 A.D. The leaves were made into teas and various parts of the plant were used for throat gargles, morning sickness remedies, digestive cures and the like. Today, new research suggests that eating red raspberries may prevent cancer by inhibiting the abnormal division of cells and promoting the normal death of healthy cells. Tests conducted at the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina have revealed that the human body readily absorbs the ellagic acid from red raspberries. This ellagic acid has been clinically shown to cause apoptosis (cell death) in certain
cancer cells.

Among several significant phytochemicals, red raspberries contain ellagic acid, a phenolic compound that has exhibited anti-carcinogenic effects against a wide range of carcinogens in several tissues. Ellagic acid contributes to significant inhibition of colon, esophageal, liver, lung, tongue, and skin cancers in studies with rats and mice, both in vitro and in vivo. By the same token, quercetin, one of the flavanols found in raspberries, has been found to be an effective anticarcinogen against skin, colon, and mammary cancers in rodents. Anthocyanins are also prevalent in red raspberries, working as antioxidants that protect against heart disease and age-related mental decline. What is interesting to note is the superior efficacy of eating red raspberries as opposed to taking the individual phytochemicals in the form of dietary supplements. Though we do not yet fully comprehend why this is so, it is clear the nutraceutical whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Health Benefits
Red Raspberries contain strong antioxidants such as Vitamin C, quercetin and gallic acid that fight against cancer, heart and circulatory disease and age-related decline. They are high in ellagic acid, a known chemopreventative, and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Red raspberry ketones are currently being used in Japan as a weight loss supplement. Red raspberry seed oil is creating market interest in the cosmeceutical industry because it is rich in Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acid and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 24-50.

  • High in polyphenolic compounds known for their anti-cancer properties.
  • Contain strong antioxidants such as Vitamin C, quercetin and gallic acid.
  • Have a high ORAC level – ORAC is a measure of the antioxidant capacity of a substance. Red raspberries with an ORAC of 24 µmole/TE/g are similar to blueberries, well known for their antioxidant values.
  • Raspberries have been shown to inhibit the production of COX-I and COX-II enzymes. Anti inflammatory products like ibuprofen and aspirin, inhibit COX-I and COX-II resulting in the reduction of pain associated with arthritis, gout and other inflammatory conditions.
  • Eating whole berries has been shown in scientific studies to be more beneficial than taking the individual phytochemicals in the form of dietary supplements.
  • Red raspberry oil is creating interest in the cosmeceutical market (skin care products which provide health benefits). The oil from raspberry seeds is rich in Vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 25-50.
  • Red raspberry ketones are currently being used in Japan as a weight loss supplement in a pill form and as an external patch.


via Babykid CenterBlueberry not only is delicious but also contains a lot of nutrients. Though it ranks the second when compared to strawberries, blueberry is a common type. Thanks to having the antioxidants, blueberries are highly appreciated when mentioning to the fight against free-radicals.

It is noticed that mothers enjoy using it in the meals for kids. Consequently, the interesting problem is how to make blueberry baby food a quick and easy manner. Do you know this? Well, it’s here.

By What Means Can We Make Blueberry Baby Food?
In fact, we can combine it with a myriad of cuisines, your preferred dessert – blueberry cheesecakes, for example. Or even, cookies for breakfast or a piece to decorate the top your pizza is also a good idea. Obviously, there is incredible for meet everyone’s eating demands.

On the other hand, blueberry is the top choice of most parents, who have babies starting to eat the solids. In comparison with the baby cereals, this replacement is healthy.

Instead of purchasing it from the grocery, it believes that kids will prefer what you make yourself. By this way, you likely determine what the internal ingredients are and what objects are 100 percent of organic.

The Necessary Things

Fresh blueberry:

You can follow the majority of the people, who picks up the packaged items. However, it should know that you probably get the optimal nutrient and taste well if chosen to utilize the fresh blueberry.

Frequently, the canned fruits will have the high content of sugar. According to the nutrition experts, there are something parents should avoid using for babies, especially when they are under one-year-old.

Another worse one is to make babies become picky eaters when only eating the cuisines with sugar. Like that, it is not good for health.

Others Healthy Fruits & Ingredients:

It is necessary to balance the flavor. Instead of sugar, you are able to utilize pears, applesauce, or banana – the natural sweeteners. Once choosing to use these sweeteners, you do not need to find a lot of ingredients in order to make baby food have sweet.

In additional to that, it does not deny adding the nutritious ingredients as long as the kids can receive. Inevitably, the packaged fruits don’t have to be bad, but the best is to select the fresh kind.

Apart from the difference in the flavor, the shelf-life is also an issue, particularly, in case you plan to freeze, reheat, or enable the puree to thaw to serve in several days.

The Way to Make Blueberry Baby Puree
#1. It selects the precise kind and stores properly. It remembers to pick up organic when purchasing. If it sees bruises, you should not choose because they are easily squishy. The good blueberries are often deeply-colored – brilliant blue-shaded.

It must wash them before placing in your fridge. Then, it uses a bowl with a lid to place your blueberries. A bag/ case is also okay. If preferred, you likely put them in a freezer bag. Don’t forget to remove the excessive air before laying in your freezer.

Although the stored blueberries in the refrigerator have the shelf-life ~ two weeks and more, it recommends that you ought to utilize them as soon as possible.

#2. In fact, it probably utilizes blueberry in some of the manners. One of them is to make a natural yogurt. Simply, it only needs to mash them up. It is great when we do not have to add anything to it.

Do you plan to do this? Well, it requires your blueberries that are fresh from your freezer.

#3. If you want to make blueberry baby puree, you need to prepare a ½ cup of water and a cup of blueberries. It boils the water and remember to decrease the heat when adding the blueberry to here.

It takes about 15 minutes so that the blueberries are softer. If they are frozen before, the time will be more. Hence, it adds some nutrient fruits to your blender. It starts blending it and adds water as long as you recognize that your puree gets consistency.

#4. You can also add the baby oatmeal to your puree recipe. In case you want a variety of ingredients. It doesn’t know that you have recognized when making yourself, the recipe and ingredients are to spend on your need and your baby’s preference. You likely add any nutrient ingredients as long as they are healthy and serve right away when completing.

#5. If you want to use the puree for a long period of time, you should put them in the containers and place in the fridge. These containers must be BPA-free. It avoids using the normal plastic, which is not good for health.

Once storing in the fridge, the shelf-life will likely go for 3 days while it will be able to last up 3 months if put in the freezer. You just need to thaw it when you want to serve.

Final Thoughts
Aside from that, there are also other preferred recipes that you likely try, blueberry pancakes, custard, for example. In general, all they are the flexible ingredients, which are commonly utilized. It makes sure that the little kids will like your preparation.

Let’s experience fun in your own kitchen when making yourself the dish for your love baby. This is very convenient because not only you know the internal ingredients (it ensures the health) but also he/she can be changed the appetite regularly.

It hopes that this article is useful for those parents want to know how to make blueberry baby food at home. Happy take care for children enjoy!

Source: Babykid Center | How To Make Blueberry Baby Food Quickly And Easily


via The Telegraph: Children should eat blueberries before taking exams to benefit from a short-term boost to brain function, new research shows.

A study revealed that primary school-age children performed tasks with 10 per cent greater speed and accuracy after taking wild blueberry drinks.

The fruit, which contains flavanoids, has been associated with a range of health benefits including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

But the new findings also indicate an enhanced cognitive benefits.

Children were asked to pay attention to an array of arrows shown on a PC screen and press a key corresponding to the direction that the central arrow was facing.

The task was repeated over a number of trials, where cognitive demand was manipulated by varying how quickly the arrows appeared.

The cohort who had drunk the blueberry juice performed comparatively better the harder the tasks became.

Professor Claire Williams, a neuroscience professor at the University of Reading said: “This is the first time that we have seen the positive impact that flavonoids can have on the executive function of children.

“We designed this double blind trial especially to test how flavonoids would impact on attention in young people as it’s an area of cognitive performance that hasn’t been measured before.”


As Eid al-Fitr (the festival of breaking fast) for all Muslims starts tomorrow, let us look at some useful tips to celebrate Eid for kids healthily.

Eid for kids is an extremely exciting time as it is celebrated with the abundance of kids’ favorite sweet dishes such as halva and baklava.

During Eid al-Fitr, kids are usually the ones who indulge in the sweet treats the most as chocolate and candies are some of the popular gifts to be given to kids during Eid al-Fitr.

It is important for parents to be more concern about their kids’ unhealthy diet during this period and to fight the risk of their kids from getting childhood obesity.

Check out this article now for what you need to know about fighting obesity in kids during Eid.

Via About Islam: This Eid, Begin Fighting Childhood Obesity

After a month of abstinence and self-restraint, `Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated with festivities of food.

Sweet dishes frequently play a central role in these feasts with hours of preparation going into the making of creamy halva, crispy baklava drizzled with honey syrup, and other delectable pastries.

Adults are not the only ones who enjoy such treats, and it is often the children who indulge in them the most. Popular gifts for children are chocolates, candy, and other sweets.

Therefore, it is not surprising that many youngsters gain excess weight during this blessed holiday in particular.

Worldwide Epidemic

According to the reports of the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, childhood obesity is on the rise worldwide. The percentage of overweight children is due to increase dramatically in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

A child is considered obese when he or she is well-above the recommended weight for his or her height and age (USA Today).

Overweight children are at risk for and susceptible to diseases that were once only limited to adults (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and other ailments). They are also more likely to be overweight through their adult years.

Obesity Contributors

Although genetics may play a part in contributing to childhood obesity, most children are overweight because they eat in excess and exercise too little (Mayo Clinic).

Growing up in the midst of a fast-food culture, where one-third of children in the US on any given day eat fast food, has contributed to this phenomenon. The high fat, salt, and sugar content in fast food add on unnecessary and mainly empty calories.

With the advent of unlimited refills of soft drinks, which fast-food chains promote, children are consuming a huge excess of sugary liquids, which are detrimental to their health.

Children who are regular consumers of fast foods fail to make healthy food choices and end up eating far less fruits, grains, vegetables, and milk than they ought to (Davis).

Leading a sedentary lifestyle is another factor that contributes to childhood obesity. As watching TV shows and playing video games increasingly replace outdoor play, children are becoming less and less active and thus are not able to burn off all the extra calories they consume.

Lack of direction and interest from parents is another important factor that causes unhealthy eating patterns in children.

Treatment and Prevention

Instilling healthy eating habits and encouraging exercise is the best way to combat obesity in children and adults alike.

It is up to the parents to regulate what their children consume, and it is their responsibility to promote healthy food choices from a tender age for their young ones.

Children should be taught that their body is a very valuable thing that has been entrusted to their care and that it is their obligation to look after and care for it.

Making a trip to the grocery store together is an effective way to teach children how to choose and recognize healthier food options.

Remind them that Almighty Allah mentions in the Qur’an, “Eat of the good things We have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein.” (Suart Taha: 20:81).

Encourage them to read the nutrition label and to look out for ingredients they should avoid such as high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and artificial colorings.

Talk to them about the importance of eating raw fruits and vegetables, and select healthier snack alternatives (such as nuts and whole-grain crackers) to chips and candy.

Limit your trips to fast-food restaurants and make an effort to eat home-cooked, nutritious meals instead. Teach your children the hadith in which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) explained that if one is to fill his stomach, then only a third should be filled with food, a third for drink, and a third should be left empty (At-Tirmidhi).

Do not encourage your children to eat till they are full, which many parents forget to do. Children should be encouraged to stop eating when they are satisfied, not satiated.

Eat together as a family, and make mealtimes enjoyable. Do not waste this special bonding opportunity by eating in front of the TV or individually.

Encourage your children to play outside and engage in physical activity instead of sitting at home and watching TV or playing video games.

Go on nature walks together, and make it an opportunity to both get some exercise and talk about Allah’s creation and His signs.

Enroll them for extracurricular activities such as sports and crafts. Make these endeavors fun, and your children will not only thoroughly enjoy themselves but will also get some much-needed exercise.

New Beginning

Make this `Eid the start of a new healthy lifestyle for you and your children. Instead of gifting your children chocolates and video games, gift them with your time instead and go out and do fun family-oriented activities together.

Other good gift choices are sports equipment such as tennis rackets, basketballs, footballs, and roller blades, which will encourage them to engage in physical activity. A membership to a local fitness center is a good idea, and many offer classes specifically for children.

After a long Ramadan, we deserve to treat ourselves. Every `Eid celebration calls for sweets and desserts. However, you can limit their fatty content by cutting down on sugar and butter, and by using low-fat versions of milk and cheese while preparing them.

Reducing the serving sizes and limiting the quantity you make will also prevent overindulgence. Adding fresh fruits to your desserts and as a garnishing will provide nutritional benefit.

Low-Fat Recipes

A healthier alternative to commonly prepared `Eid desserts that allows you to use all the leftover dates you may have from Ramadan is the following:

Date Treats

Ingredients

  • 20 dates (pitted)
  • 2 tbsp. of butter
  • ¼ cup of milk (reduced fat-condensed)
  • ¼ cup of milk (low fat)
  • 10 tea biscuits (crushed)
  • ½ cup of nuts (chopped)
  • ¼ cup of coconut (desiccated)
  • 2 tsp. of sesame seeds (optional)
  • Coconut powder (for garnishing

Method

In saucepan, melt butter. Add dates, and soften. Add condensed milk and low-fat milk, and continue to soften dates on low flame. Turn off flame, and add crushed tea biscuits, coconut, nuts, and the (optional) sesame seeds.

Mix into a dough. Spread mixture onto a tray to cool. Roll into 1-inch-diameter balls. Coat with coconut powder. Refrigerate immediately.

Baklava

Baklava is a staple at every `Eid dinner and the following is a low-calorie, yet just as delicious, version of this rich dessert:

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. of pistachio nuts (ground)
  • 3 tbsp. of sugar
  • ¾ tsp. of cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. of rose water
  • ½ lb. of phyllo dough
  • ½ cup of margarine (low-calorie, melted)
  • Rose water syrup

Method

Combine pistachio nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and rose water in a small bowl. Using half of phyllo sheets, place three sheets in bottom of lightly greased 13×9-inch baking sheet. Brush with some of the margarine.

Sprinkle evenly with nut mixture. Place remaining sheets over nut filling, brushing after every third sheet and top sheet.

Cut baklava at 1-1/2-inch intervals diagonally to form pattern of about 35 diamond shapes. Bake at 400°F/200°C for 25 minutes or until golden. Place on wire rack to cool. Drizzle rose water syrup evenly over top, and allow to soak several hours.

Each piece of baklava contains 85 calories and 5 grams fat. (Orchekowski)

During Ramadan, we were given the opportunity to cleanse and renew ourselves, both spiritually and physically, thus there is no better time than now to embark upon a healthier future for you and your family.


Do you have picky eater kids at home who do not eat vegetables?

If you are keen to figure out on how to make kids eat vegetables, the following article is extremely helpful to you.

Continue reading and you shall find the reasons why some kids refuse to eat vegetables so that you can help your picky eater kids by seeking for solution to the reason.

You will also learn about the consequences of kids who do not eat vegetables and a few smart solutions that have proven to work in helping some kids eat their vegetables.

Read the interesting article below now and drop a comment to let us know should you have any extra tips to share with us!

Via Black Paint: My Children Don’t Eat Vegetables: Why? Consequences & Smart Solutions

Most parents struggle to get their children to eat their vegetables.

Well, you are not alone, and this is an issue not just here in Singapore but internationally as well. Here are some statistics to put the picture into perspective:

  • Singapore: In an online statement released by Health Promotion Board about the quality of food served in school canteens, they found “…. only 25% of children aged 7 to 12 years, are served the recommended servings of vegetables and fruit daily. Additionally, among those aged 13-16 years, less than half are consuming the recommended servings of vegetables and fruit per day”.
  • Australia: Almost 99% of all children and adolescents (2 to 18 years) in Australia are not meeting their daily recommended vegetable intake.
  • UK: Only 1 in 5 children eats vegetables daily.

So why is it hard to get kids to eat their vegetables?

Here are some possible explanations:

Food neophobia

Fear of new or unknown foods, also known as food neophobia, is a natural behaviour seen in toddlers, and this behaviour peaks when the child is between 2 to 6 six years old. In addition, this is the period when the child starts to develop independence in his food choices and taste. Hence the combination of these two factors often end up in dinnertime war between parent and child, and sometimes with the other half.

Unpalatable taste

Ask around about the main reason why people (kids and adults alike) don’t eat vegetables, and the answer that you’ll most likely get is that vegetables are bitter. This bitter taste is due to the presence of naturally-occurring calcium and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients is an umbrella term for plant-based phenols and polyphenols, flavonoids, isoflavones, terpenes, and glucosinolates, and serve as the plant’s natural self-defense system.

Plants protect themselves from predators by making these bitter-tasting compounds (i.e. phytonutrients). However, these phytonutrients do good things for us! Apparently, reports have shown that they have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, as well as tumour-blocking activities. Therefore, diets high in vegetables and fruits are often associated with lower rates of cancer and heart disease.

Sweet- over bitter-tasting foods

Unfortunately, humans have evolved to reject bitter-tasting foods as back in the prehistoric days, ancestors who ate bitter or sour-tasting foods were more likely to die or become very ill. It is also this very reason why food manufacturers are constantly developing ways to reduce or remove these bitter-tasting components from food – the main aim is consumer acceptance.

However, when our ancestors ate sweet-tasting foods, nothing happened to them. One can say that this is very much like a survival mechanism. Hence, humans have become “tuned” to readily accept sweet-tasting foods.

Except when dealing with the stressors of today’s living (e.g. school stress, work stress, you name it), the preference for sweet-tasting foods has worked against us. Many healthcare professionals have singled out sweet-tasting foods (chocolates, lollies, soft drinks) as one of the causes of the obesity epidemic we are facing today.

Exposure

As mentioned earlier, humans have an innate aversion to bitter- and sour-tasting foods, so why is it that as we grow older, we suddenly have a liking for broccoli, brussel sprouts, lemons, and the like? Did our taste buds change, you ask? The answer is no.

It is because we have grown to like these bitter- and sour-tasting foods as time goes by. Think about it – we do not expect ourselves to like something that is fed to us for the first time, especially if it is not pleasant-tasting. Often we become sensitized to that unpleasant taste when there is repeated exposure (to that food). The same can be said about children. The child would need at least 10 to 15 (repeated) exposures to a new food before accepting it.

Health consequences of not eating vegetables

Vegetables contain important nutrients needed for a child’s proper growth and development, such as folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, and dietary fibre. Found mostly in dark green leafy vegetables, a child can have other choices too – such as orange-yellow coloured vegetables like carrots and yellow capsicums.

Hence, the following health problems are possible if a child has no or low daily vegetable intake:

  • Obesity
  • Constipation
  • Infections
  • Poor growth and development

That said, it is also important to ensure the child eats a wide variety of vegetables as the vitamins and minerals profile of all vegetables are different.

My child does not eat vegetables at all!


Supplements

“Isn’t it ok for my child to just eat fruits? Or can I just give my child a vegetable supplement?”

Fruits and vegetables of different colour groups provide us with different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, therefore it is important that the child consumes a wide variety of both fruits and vegetables to get the maximum nutrients they provide. Furthermore, some fruits are higher in calories, and excessive consumption can lead to weight gain. This can be problematic if the child is initially overweight and is replacing his vegetable intake with fruits.

Some parents might also think of buying a kid-formulated vegetable supplement for their child as a replacement for not eating vegetables, but it is not advisable to do so. This is because vegetables provide us with a whole lot of other components which are hard to mimic in a supplement. Hence it is still advisable to encourage the child to consume his vegetables wherever possible.

How do I make my child like vegetables?

Remember that each child has different tastes.

As mentioned earlier in this article, children would usually avoid trying anything new, especially more so if the food is not palatable in the first place. As such, it is not advisable to force-feed your child a vegetable. Put yourself in his/her shoe – you’d reject that food, and chances are you won’t want to touch that food again. The same goes for your child. Furthermore, we need to bear in mind that each child has different taste preferences, and their likes and dislikes change from day to day.

Be patient – go slow and steady.

Hence the best advice for parents would be to start off by offering the child different vegetables every day, not just the ones your child likes. It is alright if the child rejects or only eats a small amount of the new food at the first instance; the key is to not give up. Remember, it generally takes 10 to 15 (or even sometimes up to 20) repeated exposures before a child accepts the new food. It is also helpful to let your child decide what foods he wants to eat from the plate that is being served, as toddler age is the time when the child starts wanting to take control over his/her food choices. Lastly, parents should aim to make mealtime an enjoyable dining experience. Getting frustrated will not solve problems; instead, it leads to more anxiety and frustration, and might lead to fussy eating behaviours in the child.

Role modelling

Children are great imitators, hence if your child sees you eating and enjoying a wide variety of nutritious food, the higher the chances of your child enjoying his food. This highlights the importance of having meals together as a family, especially since dietary habits usally form during the early childhood years. Time and time again, studies have found that families that eat together tend to have a better-quality diet. Children are more likely to meet their daily recommended fruit and vegetable intakes if they sat down at the table to eat with their family.

Involve the child

Your child doesn’t like to eat his veggies? Well, getting him involved in the grocery shopping or food preparation might just solve your problem. You can ask him to pick out his favourite fruit and vegetable during grocery shopping, or help with simple food preparation tasks, such as washing the fruits and vegetables. This can spark his/her interest in these foods. Engaging your child in such activities is also a good opportunity for your child to learn more about the foods.

Avoid using food as a reward or bribe

Another mistake that some parents make is telling their child they will give a reward if the child eats a vegetable or fruit. This is not a healthy way, and instead the child will learn ways to manipulate their parents. For example, they will learn that for them to eat their favourite foods, all they need to do is to refuse to eat a particular food. Doing so not only sets the child up for unhealthy eating habits, but also predisposes him to health problems later on in life.

Try serving vegetables and in different cooking styles

It is important for parents to recognize that each child has different tastes and texture preferences. A child who prefers soft-textured foods might prefer vegetables which are more well-cooked, and vice versa. It might also be useful to serve sweeter vegetables such as pumpkin, sweetcorn or cauliflower alongside other (new) vegetables. In addition, serving different colours of vegetables together can be visually appealing. If possible, avoid serving your child blended vegetables. Doing so is not only visually unappealing, it also does not expose your child to the different (food) textures. Try offering your child small portions of the new vegetable and/or experiment with different cooking styles or recipes instead.

At the end of the day, the most important thing for parents to remember is to be patient and to keep trying!

Serving Recommendations

Food Groups Recommended Serving for Children

  • 6 – 12 months
    Fruits: ½ serving; Vegetables: ½ serving
  • 1 – 2 years
    Fruits ½- 1 serving; Vegetables 1 serving
  • 3 – 6 years
    Fruit 1 serving; Vegetables 1 serving
  • 7 – 12 years
    Fruit 2 serving; Vegetables 2 serving

What counts as a serving?

Vegetables

  • ¾ mug** cooked leafy vegetables (100g)
  • ¾ mug** cooked non-leafy vegetables (100g)
  • 150g raw leafy vegetables
  • 100g raw non-leafy vegetables
  • ¼ round plate+

Fruit

  • 1 small apple, orange, pear or mango (130g)
  • 1 wedge pineapple, papaya or watermelon (130g)
  • 10 grapes or longans (50g)
  • 1 medium banana
  • ¼ cup*** dried fruit (40g)
  • 1 glass pure fruit juice (250ml)

**mug: 250ml mug; ***cup: 250ml cup; +: 10 inch plate (source Health Promotion Board, Singapore)

 


Diaries such as cheese for kids are amazing sources of protein, calcium and energy for growing kids. They are needed to

As the quote by Ray Bradbury goes “Too much of anything isn’t good for anyone”, it is important for parents to learn about the right amount of cheese for kids per day and to not exceed the limits.

In order for your kids to enjoy the maximum benefits of cheese, check out the following article now for the ultimate guide to feed your kids with cheese.

Do you agree with the following article? Comment below to share you point of view with us today!

Via Childrensfood: How much cheese should children have

A new survey out this week highlighted that cheese can often contain more salt than you might think. Read a good summary of the response in the Guardian. Most kids love cheese, so what’s the best way to use it in a healthy diet for them?

Here are my top facts and tips:

For 1-5 year olds:

  • Cheese and other dairy foods are a good source of energy, protein, calcium and Vitamin A. A portion of cheese can be one of the three portions of milk and other dairy foods that children of this age should have every day
  • You’ll find pictures of healthy cheese portion sizes for under-fives on P23 of our guidelines for nurseries, children’s centres and childminders here. It’s easiest to see with the pictures but as a guide, a good portion size for hard cheese is about 15-20g grated (that’s about 1-2 tablespoons of grated cheese). For soft cheese, it’s about 20-25g
  • Don’t forget – cheese can be high in saturated fat, which is why you need to watch portion sizes carefully
  • For under-fives, it’s best not to give them unpasturised cheese, mould-ripened cheeses like brie or camembert and soft blue-veined cheeses like Danish blue or gorgonzola – they can cause food poisoning in very little ones
  • It’s recommended that 1-3 year olds don’t have more than 2g of salt a day. This rises to 3g for 4-6 year olds.

For school-aged children:

  • Cheese is still a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin A, and school cooks meeting the national school food standards use it carefully to help children get enough of these nutrients
  • Children of this age start to need less of their energy from fat (it’s the same for us as adults). So it’s really important to keep an eye on portion sizes, use lower fat versions of dairy products where you can, and to look at how much salt they contain by reading the nutrition information on the food label
  • It’s recommended that children from 7-10 years old don’t have more than 5g of salt a day. This rises to 6g for 11 year olds and over. There are good tips on reading salt information on food labels here
  • Cheese sandwiches are often a bit of a staple in children’s lunchboxes. But variety’s the trick for making sure kids are getting a healthy diet with all of the nutrients they need – so you might want to try some of our packed lunch menu ideas or these ones from Change4Life.

Do you have a picky eater toddler?

A picky or fussy eater toddler is a child who frequently refuses to eat a particular type of foods.

Picky eating usually surfaces when kids are starting to feed themselves. Now that they can choose what to eat and how much to eat, they tend to munch on foods that they like more and avoid the foods that they dislike.

If are concerned about how to feed a picky eater, this article is what you need to bookmark.

Check out the following article and take note of the key to feeding a picky eater toddler now!

Via Caring for Kids: When your child is a picky eater

Meals are important social times in a child’s day. They help children learn about food while connecting with family and friends.

Eating in a positive atmosphere helps children develop healthy attitudes about food and themselves. Parents and caregivers play an important role in keeping mealtimes relaxed and enjoyable.

How much food should my child eat?

If your child is healthy and growing well, you don’t need to worry. Most children’s appetites are right for their age and growth rate. At around 2 years, most children start eating less. This is because growth starts to slow down.

As a parent or caregiver, your job is to provide your child with healthy choices at meal and snack times. It’s then up to your child to decide what, how much and (sometimes) whether they will eat. Listening to their bodies—eating when they are hungry and stopping when they are full—will help children develop healthy eating habits for life.

Every child needs a balanced diet with foods from all 4 food groups—vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives. Canada’s Food Guide gives information about the amount and type of food recommended for your child.

It’s unlikely that your child will eat something from every food group at each meal, but try to get all the servings your child needs over several meals and snacks throughout the day. Because little children eat small portions, you might also want to consider dividing one Food Guide serving into smaller amounts.

What if my child is a picky eater?

Young children often go through stages where they refuse to eat certain foods, only want to eat a small number of specific foods, or are easily distracted at mealtimes. Toddlers are learning to become their own person. One way that they show their independence is by self-feeding and choosing their own foods.

Just like you, your child will have days when he feels like eating certain foods and days when he doesn’t. He might not even be interested in eating at every meal or snack time. Don’t worry too much about what your child eats in any given day, but make sure that he eats a variety of healthy foods over several days.

It is common for young children to react negatively to certain foods. Some children are slow to accept new tastes and textures. Keep offering them to your child, and she will probably start to accept and enjoy them with time. Creating mealtime pressure or forcing your child to eat can actually cause him to resist eating.

Here are some tips to help:

  • Children enjoy deciding what to make for dinner. Talk to your child about making choices and planning a balanced meal. Include her on grocery trips.
  • Let your child know about 10 or 15 minutes before dinner starts. This helps her shift her focus and settle down when it’s time to have a meal.
  • Involve your child in meal preparation, for example, washing vegetables, pouring, stirring, and so on. It might help her be open to trying foods if she helps to prepare them. She’ll probably also enjoy helping you set the table.
  • Eat together at the table and try to make mealtime social and fun. Most young children have short attention spans, so be realistic about how long you expect your child to sit at the table. When the meal is done, take away the food.
  • Avoid distractions like cell phones, toys, books, TV or other screens during mealtimes.
  • Offer a variety of healthy foods for meals and snacks. Most children will eat what they need, even if their appetite changes from day to day.
  • Most young children like to copy the things that others do. Set an example by eating healthy foods.
  • Offer at least one food at every meal that you know your child likes.
  • Give small portions of each food item at every meal. You can always offer more if she finishes everything on her plate.
  • Give her the opportunity to make choices where appropriate. For example, let her choose between two different vegetables.
  • Encourage your child to try at least a few bites of different foods at each meal.
  • Serve drinks only after the main course. Too much milk or juice can affect your child’s appetite.
  • If she refuses certain foods or whole meals, let her make that choice.
  • Stick to a rule that the kitchen doesn’t reopen until the next planned snack or meal.
  • Offer snacks and desserts from the Canada Food Guide. However, don’t offer a snack too close to a regular meal time.
  • Don’t use food as a reward.
  • Threatening, prodding, scolding, bribing and punishing can cause your child to resist eating even more. Praise and encouragement will help her develop food likes and dislikes.
  • Try offering new foods at breakfast. This is usually the time that your child is hungriest and most likely to try something new. Once they have tried a food a number of times, it can be moved to later in the day and another new food can be introduced.
  • Eliminate milk in the middle of the night because it interferes with eating breakfast.

How can I teach my child the importance of healthy foods?

Don’t label food by telling your child that chocolate bars are “bad” and apples are “good.” It’s more important to talk about “everyday foods” like vegetables and fruit, whole grain cereals and breads, and “sometimes” foods—like chips and candy—that are eaten as special treats once in a while.

Should I give my child vitamin supplements?

Vitamins are important for your body to work well. If your child is eating a healthy diet based on Canada’s Food Guide, he won’t need a supplement.