Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

I’m Digging Two Moms In The Raw

May 28, 2010

Here’s my latest discovery – Two Moms In The Raw. Nope, it’s not a video you can get fired for looking at on your work computer. It’s the name of an amazing brand of gluten-free, organic, 100% raw crackers and granola bars made from millet, buckwheat, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds. And they’re delish.

What started out as a quest for wellness resulted in a product line dedicated to creating these convenient, nutritious, raw products for the whole family.  Thanks to Two Moms In The Raw, you and your kids can enjoy dairy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, organic and raw treats that are not only super good for you, they are addicting!

Try their granola bars in goji berry, raisin, cranberry or blueberry or have their sea crackers made with flaxseed and kombu in garden herb, pesto or tomato basil. You won’t regret it.

But the real story here is how I discovered just how delicious these products are. I tried them right in the aisle at Whole Foods.

As I contemplated purchasing these products, I must admit I hesitated slightly because they are a little pricey.  So I did what I normally do and ask around if anyone has ever tried them before I spend my hard earned cash on them.  No one had so the Whole Foods guys told me I could just open the bag and try them.  Imagine that!  Of course I shared them and everyone loved them.

Next up, I try the same tactic at the Hermés store.


Looks like Japan has been reading my blog

May 24, 2010

Celebs, dignitaries and, of course, yours truly have all embraced Meatless Monday. Now we can add Japan to the mix.

Four of Japan’s top colleges are hosting monthly veggie Mondays  ( to encourage their country to follow more of a  plant-based diet.

In celebration of their Meatless Monday solidarity, here is an easy recipe for nori rolls that kids love.  Nori has the highest amount of protein of all seaweeds and is the easiest to digest.  Kind of like this blog.

Vegetable Nori Rolls

2 cups sushi rice *

3 cups water

pinch of sea salt

2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar

2 tablespoons brown rice syrup

10 sheets toasted nori

1 small cucumber, julienned

1 carrot, julienned

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into strips

Combine rice, water and salt in large pot and bring to boil.  Cover then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In small saucepan, heat vinegar and rice syrup until dissolved, pour over rice and mix until combined.  While rice is cooking, prepare vegetables.

* you can substitute short grain brown rice for sushi rice just use 4 cups of water

Assembling Nori Rolls

Place a sheet of nori, shiny side down, or work surface or bamboo rolling mat, with short edge facing you.  Press a layer of rice ¼- inch thick along the edge of the sheet closest to you.  Place vegetables in a long thin strip across the middle of the rice.  Carefully fold the end of nori over the rice and continue rolling away from you to form a log.  Moisten the edge with water to seal, and let sit briefly until nori is soft enough to cut easily.  Cut into ½-inch pieces and arrange on platter.  Serve with tamari, pickled ginger and wasabi.

Everything is better on a stick

April 29, 2010

The weather is getting warmer and you know what that means…well, yes, it means inappropriate belly shirts and sweaty subway rides, but more importantly, it means popsicles!

I have such great memories of summers at the Jersey Shore (before the Snookie and Situation invasion) on the beach, my face and hands stained blue from all of the color dyes and artificial flavorings crammed into my all time favorite Rocket Pops.

So now that we know how bad all those ingredients are for us, what to do? Simple, you make your own pops and you make them not only nutritious but fun to eat too. All you need are some BPA free molds and an imagination. I’m assuming you’ve got the latter. The molds can be found at You can choose from shooting stars, rocket pops, groovy pops, dual layer pops and even freezer gems. So cool.

Let your imagination soar as you put together nutritious and delicious combinations that your kids and all their friends will dig (yep, this will put you firmly in contention for coolest mom of the year).

Check out for some more inspiration and grab a copy of Pops! Icy Treats For Everyone by Krystina Castella, a great selection of healthy pop recipes at

To get you started, here’s her recipe for Honeydew Melon Pops:

4 cups diced ripe honeydew melon

1/3 cup plain yogurt(organic please)

Juice of 3 limes

Grated zest of 1 lime

3 tsp of honey

1. Put 2 cups of melon, the yogurt and lime juice and zest in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

2. Add the honey and blend again.

3. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of melon

4. Fill the pop molds with the mixture and freeze for at least 6 hours

5. Remove from the freezer. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing the pops from the mold.

Serve and enjoy!

The Petit Appetit is a big hit

April 27, 2010

So, I have a new favorite cookbook, The Petit Appetit cookbook – easy Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler by Lisa Barnes.  The book concentrates on kids 4 months to 4 years, and is full of delicious, nutritious recipes for kids of all ages.

What I really like about The Petit Appetit is her emphasis on fresh, organic food and making mealtimes and cooking not only fun but educational.  There is also valuable information on food storage, food safety and pantry must-have items. And you’ll find egg-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, vegetarian and vegan recipes that will not disappoint.

Lisa splits up the sections by age starting with “The Beginners” (4-6 months) and then moves on the “The Explorers” (6-9 months) and ends with “The Connoisseurs” (3-4 years).  I just made her Cereal Batons and my husband ate them like “The Animals.”

Get your copy here…

Help speed up the slow food movement

March 17, 2010

Slow Food USA (a grassroots movement dedicated to promoting, protecting and promulgating real, whole, sustainable and local, food for everyone) has a campaign called Time for Lunch in which concerned parents tell Congress that it is time to provide our kids with REAL WHOLE FOODS at lunch.

You should join.

The Childhood Nutrition Act is a federal law that comes up for reauthorization in Congress every five years.  It governs the school meal programs which feed more than 31 million children every school day.

Right now school lunch programs only have $2.68 per meal and about $1 of which goes towards buying ingredients. As a result schools have to rely on cheap processed foods which do not give our kids the nourishment they need to do well in school and to be healthy.

Congress is expected to address school lunch around Easter time, so there is still time to show Congress that kids and parents are hungry for change. See what I did there? We’re talking about food and I used the word hunger to mean… (ahem).

The good folks at Slow Foods USA have provided a comprehensive set of tools for parents like you and I to get involved very easily – a forward ready email, a downloadable handout, ideas for local outreach, talking points and a solar powered time machine. No, wait. Everything but the time machine.

Sign up here…

The Silver Spoon

February 19, 2010

Buongiorno!  I just enjoyed a delicious authentic Italian dinner.  Did I slave over a hot stove?  No.  Did I have to rush home from work to make it?  No again.  I sat with my footsies on the couch while my eight-year-old daughter made me a fabulous bruschetta and a tuna and bean salad.  This is all because of my new favorite book, The Silver Spoon for Children.

Adapted from the Italian cooking-bible, The Silver Spoon, all of the recipes are not only delicious but kid-approved. Each step is described simply and clearly with adorable illustrations and photographs to make the recipes easy to follow.

Your kids will learn about kitchen safety, equipment and utensils, and techniques such as how to squeeze juice from lemons and oranges, how to crack eggs and how to use a grater.  They can learn how to make their own pasta, roast a leg of lamb in an herb crust with stuffed tomatoes, and even bake their own Focaccia.

Get it here…

Now, where’s that book that shows my daughter how simple and easy it is to do laundry and clean her room?


February 11, 2010

A quick word about some people who are doing amazing work. The Pesticide Action Network is an organization that works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives.

I feel like this is one of those ideas that when you hear it, you can’t help but think “Well, duh.” Of course we shouldn’t be using hazardous pesticides.

But we are.

Enter Pesticide Action Network. They’re working hard but they need your help in getting the word to President Obama that we need his leadership today in building a safe, fair and green food system for our country. Let him know by signing the petition they’ve set up at

While you’re at it, download’s free iphone app that helps you find out what pesticides are on what and what chemicals are the most dangerous.  It’s at You can also compare organic to conventional foods in ways that go far beyond the dirty dozen.

Come on people, keep it clean.

The not so sweet surprise

February 5, 2010

I just can’t watch this commercial enough. It’s for High Fructose Corn Syrup, from the Corn Growers Association. It’s brilliant. Insidious and misleading, but brilliant. It’s not necessarily promoting HFCS, but rather, defending it. And the brilliant part is it defends it simply by calling out Americans on their own lack of knowledge about HFCS. So just in case you get stuck talking to a birthday party host in a questionably fashionable top, let me arm you with the facts.

Chances are you eat foods that contain high fructose corn syrup on a regular basis. It makes up nearly half of the sweeteners used in processed foods and is found in everything from sodas, fruit juice, crackers, cereal and even ketchup. Ketchup!

Big food companies LOVE HFCS not only because it is 6 times as sweet as cane sugar, but also, you guessed it, it is cheap! (genetically modified corn crops are heavily subsidized by our government as opposed to something that’s actually good for us. Don’t get me started.)

For the record, in 1983, the FDA granted high-fructose corn syrup as “generally recognized as safe” for foods and beverages.

Hmmmm… didn’t they say they same thing about cigarettes?

Here’s the trouble: According to many experts, our bodies process high-fructose differently from other sugars and when processed in our liver, HCS triggers our triglycerides putting us at risk for stroke or heart disease. That doesn’t strike me as “safe,” general or otherwise. Further, I believe that HFCS plays a major role in our obesity crisis today. Scientists have shown that the sweetener doesn’t send the same “I’m full” signal to the brain as when we consume sugar. So you can eat, and eat, and eat and never really feel satiated. This continues the cycle of our nation, and especially our kids, being over-fed and undernourished.

Try this experiment – next time you go to the market try to find something that does NOT contain HFCS. If you’re buying anything that’s processed, it’s next to impossible. That’s the real not so sweet surprise.

I’ve always preached “everything in moderation” but with the ubiquitous presence of HFCS (it’s in nearly ¾ of all processed foods) moderation is kind of tough. You’re better off sticking with the fresh, local, organic and whole foods.

And good luck at those birthday parties.

Have you ever…?

February 2, 2010

Really? Processed chocolate, sugar-loaded cereal is going to support my child’s immunity? If you believe that, I want to talk to you about a great investment opportunity.

The expression Don’t believe everything you read has never been more true than today, especially in your typical grocery store.

Here is a list of meaningless terms that can be found on labels and packages:

Doctor-recommended, Free-range, Green, Immunity formula, Kid-approved, Made with whole grains, May lower cholesterol, Natural (for non-meat or non-poultry products), Natural goodness, No trans fat, Non-toxic, Parent-tested, Strengthens your immune system, Lightly sweetened, A good source of fiber, Made with real fruit.

Remember, labels lie. Stick with fresh, local, organic food that you cook yourself. And don’t bother with all the fancy labels. Unless you feel like reading fiction.

Octopus anyone?

January 28, 2010

Have you ever read something that just reinforces how smart you really are?  Let’s put it this way, Nancy Tringali Piho and I agree on a lot of things, such as don’t be a short-order cook, there should be no such thing as a kid’s menu, make your own baby food from the family dinner, try to stay away from processed foods especially with Dora’s mug on the front- you get the picture.

Her book, My Two-Year-Old Eats Octopus-Raising Children Who Love to Eat EVERYTHING, is a great, no-nonsense guide for all parents who want to introduce their kids to nutritious, delicious foods and ultimately create life-long healthy eaters.

The book covers everything from what to eat when you are pregnant to the important of nursing your kids so they get a variety of tastes and flavors from their very beginning moments of life to how to expand your toddler’s palate and prevent picky eaters. She even includes the dos and don’ts of restaurant dining.

It’s exactly the book I would have written. So, thanks Nancy, for saving me the trouble.

You can get it here…