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Kids Eat Right Month: Make Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter & Oat Bites!

August 5, 2018

Children aren’t born with healthy eating habits – they learn from their parents. With repetition and practice, healthy eating habits can become a way of life for the entire family.

August is Kids Eat Right Month™, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its Foundation focus on the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles for children and their families.

“Parents raise healthy eaters, bite by bite, meal by meal, as children transition from infants to teens and then to young adults,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy Spokesperson Isabel Maples.

“Raising a competent eater takes years. Start by keeping mealtimes pleasant. Sit down regularly as a family to share meals, because positive attitudes about food grow from that. When there’s joy in eating, good nutrition can follow,” Maples said.

“As children grow, involve them more and more in the responsibility and decision making of meals and snacks. That might mean initiating teachable moments in the grocery store, enlisting your child’s help in planning meals or showing your teen how to prepare afterschool snacks,” Maples said. “Involving kids from the ground up gives them a sense of accomplishment and allows them to gradually develop key life skills about healthful food and good nutrition.”

Maples offers additional healthful eating habits that all families can begin today:

  • Allow children to use their internal signals to decide how much to eat.
  • Explore a variety of flavors and foods from different cultures and cuisines.
  • Make food safety, such as washing hands, a simple part of every eating occasion.
  • Teach basic skills for making positive food choices away from home.

“The more involved kids are, the more they will enjoy the fruits of their labors,” Maples said.

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter & Oat Bites

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter (or any nut butter you like, such as Almond Butter)
3/4 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 Tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup
1/2 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Natural, Unsweetened Coconut Flakes (optional)
Chopped Roasted Nuts (optional)

Mix oats, peanut butter and maple syrup. Roll into about 12 balls (the smaller the balls, the more chocolate on each one!) and place them on a baking sheet which is covered with parchment paper. Freeze about 15 minutes or until set.

Roll the bites in the melted chocolate and, if you wish, sprinkle with chopped nuts and/or coconut.

Refrigerate until the bites are set, at least 15 minutes.

NOTE: Melt the chocolate carefully to prevent it from burning. Use a double boiler and stir until melted, or use a microwave stirring every 30 seconds until melted.

Adapted from Eating Well Magazine


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Caprese Salad: A Simple Summer Dish in 5 Minutes

July 24, 2018

Summertime, when the livin' is easy... preparin' meals should be easy too. With an abundance of fresh, natural and locally grown ingredients, there is no need to cook or spend more than five minutes in the kitchen preparing something delectable, mouth-watering, and perfectly balanced nutritionally. 

Simply slice some vine-ripe tomatoes on a plate, spread about three ounces mozzarella (and a touch of goat cheese, if you wish) on top, add a sprig of fresh basil - all from the Farmers Market. Sprinkle fresh extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper on everything.

Effortless! Only a plate and knife to rinse, and a fork to clean.

Nutritionally, this is a perfectly balanced meal, because it comprises the following four/five elements:

  • At least half the plate is a fruit or vegetable,
  • It contains three ounces of protein,
  • The protein source is dairy,
  • It's topped with a heart-healthy fat, the freshest extra virgin olive oil you can find.

The only element potentially missing is a whole grain. So add a hardy, toasted slice of whole rye or whole wheat bread with a shmear of olive oil and garlic. Or, smother a one cup serving of whole grain pasta with the salad.

Perfetto!


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Enjoy a Repast Al Fresco with Nauti Foods While Exercising on the Water

July 15, 2018

Katherine Stand-Up-Paddle-Boarding (Photo by: Robert Arnold) Katherine Stand-Up-Paddle-Boarding

Running into (literally!) the Nauti Foods floating food truck is something I look forward to when I'm kayaking or stand-up-paddle boarding on the Potomac. The experience is as surreal as it is imaginative. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first encountered Ari selling his array of high quality, and often locally sourced delicacies - on the water!

Some selections are quite healthy such as drinkable gazpacho in a bottle from Soup-R-Girl, or extravagant, like the ice cream sundae on top of a freshly baked bun-shaped sugar doughnut! The "Nauti Monkey" is a frozen chocolate-dipped banana. You'll also find Dolcezza Gelato, and traditional breakfasts like bagles and cream cheese. I always get the iced coffee with half and half (yes, the real thing).

It's the ultimate repast al fresco! Bon Appetit!

 


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