Hello world!

Welcome to Recipes for a Healthy Family! We’re going to have a lot of fun here. We’re going to get creative here. We’re going to (hopefully!) inspire you to take simple yet profound steps to help you get the most out of your family life.

There are many blogs out there about healthy living. So why am I writing one? What makes me qualified to do this? Well, let’s start with question number one…..I’m writing this blog as a resource for busy parents, grandparents, caretakers, or others who are caring for children and want to have them grow up healthy, smart, curious about their world, creative, and well-adjusted in a world that continues to change at break-neck speed. I’ll share with you ideas that can help you eat well even when you are being pulled in so many directions, you feel like a zigsaw puzzle–with a few pieces missing. Meal and snack ideas that help the children, and you, eat healthier without a lot of complicated or expensive ingredients. Most of the recipes shared on this blog will be quick to make, but will not be full of boxed, canned or otherwise highly processed ingredients.mothers_day_crafts_for_kids

Healthy family life is about more than food, however. Kids need a well-balanced lifestyle. This blog will also contain tips, activities and ideas that can encourage kids to learn, have fun, and develop their creativity. I’m not anti-TV, tablets or video games–well not all video games anyway. However, studies show that there is and will continue to be a huge need for those who are creative problem solvers. Creativity comes naturally to kids, and this blog will share ideas that can help you stimulate their creativity in positive ways.

Another element of healthy children and families is moving those bodies! We all need to get up off of our chairs or couches more often and shake, rattle and rcircuitoll. It used to be taken for granted that children in particular would play outside on a daily basis and would run, climb, hop, ride bike, or play ball. Diabetes used to be uncommon among children, but the rates of juvenile diabetes now are skyrocketing. They need to play and be outdoors more. And frankly, we adults do as well. I’ll share ideas and tips for ways we can reintroduce our children or grandchildren to the joys of physical movement. Even if your children are in sports, it can be great to mix it up a bit sometimes. Better still, p
laying together as a family is a great way to bond and release some STRESS.

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This might sound like a whole lot of work. Overwhelmingly so. But I’ll include options for small changes that are manageable to improve or continue to make the most of your family life.

As for question number two…first let me say what I’m not. I’m not a foodie, a chef, an expert on child development or a PE teacher. I’m a mother of an adult daughter, a mental health counselor, but most of all, someone who is passionate about being healthy and having fun while doing so.It can be hard to find time or energy to wade through the tidal wave of information available. I hope to make it a bit easier by pulling a few do-able ideas together each week that can give you practical ideas or inspiration for getting the most out of your family life.

So let’s get things started off right, ok? That means breakfast. You’ve all heard how having breakfast is important. But is there any meal that can be more challenging for a family? Getting the kids up and ready for school and trying to keep your sanity while you get yourself ready, throw in a load of laundry, or help find your child’s lost bookbag. Who has time for a proper breakfast? Can’t work a miracle, but I can share a couple of ideas that make a real breakfast possible, even on the craziest of mornings.

Katie Workman berry crostini

Fresh strawberries, ricotta cheese and a baguette equals a yummy and nutritious start to the day. This recipe was created by Katie Workman, the “mom100” blogger and cookbook author. She creates recipes that are simple, tasty, and most are do-able even on super busy days. This recipe can be found at  icotta-berry-breakfast-crostini/

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Next up! Hy-Vee puts out this great magazine called Seasons. Its full of delicious recipes and tips for creating great family pleasing meals. These are Hy-Vee’s Egg Muffins. They can be made ahead the night before and popped into the morning. Easy! Yummy! Portable! For those of us who need to watch calories, I made a version with a mix of whole eggs and egg whites and nitrate-free sausage. My photography isn’t as pretty as Hy-Vee’s, but they were great. It can be a great way to use leftover vegetables as well.

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This has it all–protein, healthy carbohydrates, fruit, and kid-friendly favorite foods. A sprinkle of chia seeds add an extra boost of protein and fiber.

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You can find these and many other school day recipes at  https://www.hy-vee.com/webres/File/seasons_backtoschool_15.pdf

Cool weather is on its way and nothing beats a hot breakfast. This baked French toast recipe from Ellie Krieger makes that possible, even on a weekday morning. Make it the night before, let the flavors blend overnight and bake the next morning. It also is wonderful for a Sunday brunch or whenever you have guests for breakfast.

Ellie Kreiger

This recipe is aviailable at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/peach-french-toast-bake-recipe.html

Give these breakfast ideas a try, or let them inspire your own ideas to mix it up and enjoy the pleasures of breakfast.

Next time, I will share a few simple and fun ideas for help your children put their personal stamp on your Halloween celebration.

Caring for body, mind and relationships–these are key ingredients  in a recipe for a health family. And a great life. Hope you will join me here each week.I hope you will also share your ideas and tips that works for your family as well as feedback.

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