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Snack Attack!

Posted on October 19, 2015 08:38 am

Each year the average American eats 405 savory snacks, 366 sweet snacks and 357 healthier snacks. Since 2006, healthier snacks like fruit, nuts and protein bars are up 14% while sweet snacks are down 6%.

When kids are ravenous after school or soccer practice they should have a choice of healthy snacks. Instead of filling them with empty calories they can choose fun and kid friendly fruit and veggie alternatives such as:

Frozen berries and yogurt

Crisp apple wedges

Frozen green and red grapes

Veggie sticks

Sliced peaches or nectarines

Celery sticks with peanut or almond butter

Kiwi cups

Fresh fruit and cheese cubes

Other crunchy choices include radishes, broccoli spears, cauliflower, zucchini slices and unsalted rice cakes.

Munchy choices include unsalted sunflower seeds, whole grain breads or toast, cherry or grape tomatoes, unsalted almonds or walnuts.

Sweet choices can be baked apples, raisins, dried fruit gelatin, thin slices of angel food cake and unsweetened canned fruit, frozen bananas and grapes.

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Veggie Appeal

Posted on October 19, 2015 08:37 am

One way to make vegetables more appealing is to serve them with a dip or dressing. Try a low fast salad dressing with raw broccoli, red, orange and green bell peppers, celery sticks or cauliflower.

Grill vegetables as part of a barbecue meal. Try tomatoes, peppers, onion and eggplant.

Add color to salads by adding baby carrots, shredded red cabbage, spinach, cucumber, red bell pepper strips and broccoli florets.

Children are more interested in their food if they get to help shop, clean, peel and cut up vegetables. A strong plastic knife is usually all a child needs to get chopping.

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Lunch Box Stats

Posted on August 15, 2015 07:56 am

School is fast approaching and a government study has now shown the following as what is packed in lunch boxes of kids between the ages of 6 through 12.

Sandwiches 66%

Salty snacks 33%

Fruit drinks 28%

Yogurt 11%

Fresh fruit 48%

Crackers 12%

Snack bars 10%

Vegetables 9%

Fruit snacks 8%

These days we are eating more yogurt, hummus, Mexican food, frozen sandwiches, fresh fruit and snack bars.

We are eating less soft drinks, cake, steak, turkey, corn and toast.

 

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Kids in the Kitchen Summer 2015

Posted on May 4, 2015 08:24 am

Cooking classes and summer cooking camps for kids are popular programs that all can enjoy. In most school districts there are no longer home ec or culinary programs, so 4littleCOOKS is picking up the slack and offering five weeks of cooking camps in the San Diego area. The classes are very popular and often have a waiting list after filling up. This summer cooking camps are being offered on the following dates in the following cities:

4littleCOOKS hopes to see you cooking this summer! 

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Eating your way to Good Health

Posted on October 21, 2014 09:27 am

Highly functional foods have health promoting phytochemicals in them naturally. They have a positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. There is recent evidence to support the view that these naturally occurring compounds in fruits, vegetables and whole grains help the body ward off disease and heal itself. There are tens of thousands of phytochemicals in the different foods we consume. There are more to be discovered and only a small amount of the phytochemicals have been studied by scientists.

 

Examples of these functional foods include some terms you may be familiar with:

Antioxidents- found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Capsaicin- found in hot peppers.

Carotenoids- over 600 forms found in plants.

Flavonoids- found in fruits, nuts, vegetables and tea.

Omega-3 fatty acids- found in krill, tuna and salmon, walnuts, canola oil.

Probiotics- live bacteria cultures added to food, such as yogurt.

Whole foods- food in their least altered state are a rich source of nutrients.

Examples of nutritious foods that should be in your diet include:

Carrots, kale, peaches, spinach, beets, cherries, watermelon and tomatoes.

An easy way to remember some of these foods is to think COLOR. Improve your health by arranging a colorful plate of food. Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits will give you the best protection against disease. Buy and eat fresh vegetables in season when they are at their peak flavor and cost less.

 

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Let's get Cooking!

Posted on September 13, 2013 07:31 am

Children like to cook and they like to eat even more. A successful cooking adventure takes some planning. Children can get bored easily and sometimes it’s a challenge keeping them engaged. Keep the main focus of the class on having fun. Children have fun learning to read through the recipe, measuring, scooping, and mixing to make healthy snacks and meals. Math, science and food history can be incorporated into lessons. I love to tell food history stories about foods such as Queen Margherita pizza and fortune cookies. Lessons on eating well will carry children through a lifetime of making smart choices about food and nutrition. Children, parents and educators alike should visit www.choosemyplate.gov for a great example of a balanced meal.

Here are some tips to get children involved with cooking:

  • Talk about Super Foods; beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, wild salmon, soy, spinach, tea, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts, yogurt and what they are and how to incorporate them in cooking.
  • Before cooking, kids should wash their hands with soap and water. Sing happy birthday for several verses to make sure hands are clean. Remind them if they touch their hair, face or floor to wash again.
  • Wear an apron to keep clothes clean. Don’t wear shirts with long, loose sleeves. Pull back long hair into a ponytail. Wear close-toed shoes.
  • Always use hot mitts to handle hot items from the stove, oven or microwave.
  • When cooking at the stove, turn handles of the pans and skillets toward the middle or back of the stove in case they get bumped.
  • Know where your first aid kit and fire extinguisher is located and how to use it.
  • Always pick up a knife or kitchen scissors by the handle. Leave sharp on the counter until you are ready to wash them. Don’t put them in soapy water; wash one at a time.
  • Talk about obesity in the United States and the problems now and in the future for overweight children.
  • Stress the importance of exercise everyday.

Happy cooking and remember to have fun!

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From Cop to Cook

Posted on April 24, 2013 02:05 pm

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IN REINVENTING HERSELF, Janet Burgess has traded one vice
for another.
Passionate about healthy eating and teaching others how
to cook, she leads "4 Little Cooks" classes for children in the
kitchen of her San Carlos home. Her new cookbook, Chop, Cook,
Munch; Fun, Fast & Fresh Recipes for Young Chefs, features 64
child-tested recipes. "Yucky" ingredients such as broccoli, carrots
and zucchini become snack or dinner favorites.
That's a far cry from when Burgess was one of the San Diego
Police Department's first woman officers. She was assigned to
the vice squad and played the role of a hooker, arresting any
number of Johns who propositioned her.
"Fourth and F was my corner," she recalls. After leaving the
department, Burgess joined the city attorney's office as a consumer
fraud investigator.
Today, she stands in front of a Dacor range showing kids
from 5 to 13 how to prepare snacks and entrees. The lessons
are $25 for each two-hour session; new classes begin in January.
Before diving into recipes such as "Pizza Party with Everything"
or "Doey Gooey Berry Bars," Burgess immerses the new
chefs in a lesson on sanitation and kitchen safety tips.
"Kids are fearless," Burgess says. "There's no sense of embarrassment
in the kitchen." And those "yucky" ingredients?
When they're transformed to dishes such as "Healthy Nachos,"
"it's all hands on deck," she says.

IN REINVENTING HERSELF, Janet Burgess has traded one vicefor another.

Passionate about healthy eating and teaching others howto cook, she leads "4 Little Cooks" classes for children in thekitchen of her San Carlos home. Her new cookbook, Chop, Cook,Munch; Fun, Fast & Fresh Recipes for Young Chefs, features 64child-tested recipes. "Yucky" ingredients such as broccoli, carrotsand zucchini become snack or dinner favorites.

That's a far cry from when Burgess was one of the San DiegoPolice Department's first woman officers. She was assigned tothe vice squad and played the role of a hooker, arresting anynumber of Johns who propositioned her.

"Fourth and F was my corner," she recalls. After leaving thedepartment, Burgess joined the city attorney's office as a consumerfraud investigator.

Today, she stands in front of a Dacor range showing kidsfrom 5 to 13 how to prepare snacks and entrees. The lessonsare $25 for each two-hour session; new classes begin in January.

Before diving into recipes such as "Pizza Party with Everything"or "Doey Gooey Berry Bars," Burgess immerses the newchefs in a lesson on sanitation and kitchen safety tips.

"Kids are fearless," Burgess says. "There's no sense of embarrassmentin the kitchen." And those "yucky" ingredients?When they're transformed to dishes such as "Healthy Nachos,""it's all hands on deck," she says.

--Carl Larsen

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Eating Local

Posted on August 30, 2012 02:43 am

One thing many people are trying to do nowadays is to eat local.Vegetables, fruits, herbs and nuts sold at your local farmer's market are foods that are local. When shopping in a grocery store ask the produce manager where the food is grown. Planting your now garden is a wonderful experience to have with your children. Kids are more likely to eat foods they've grown themselves. You can also help start a community garden or a garden at your local school.

Tomatoes are one of the easiest plants to grow. They contain the antioxidant lycopene. It is technically a fruit, but usually used as a vegetable. The lycopene gives tomatoes their red color. All vegetables and fruits that are brightly colored are very healthy and good for you, so try to incorporate more in your daily diet.

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Famous Fourteen Foods

Posted on May 11, 2012 12:42 am

Everyone should eat some of the foods from this list everyday to stay healthy and have lots of energy: Beans, Berries, Broccoli, Oats, Oranges, Pumpkin, Wild Salmon, Soy, Spinach, Tea, Tomatoes, Turkey, Walnuts, Yogurt.

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