It’s nearly here. It’s really happening. The day many parents have been waiting for – the day the children return to school. Elementary school, or high school, it makes no difference, this time of year is fraught with mixed emotions. Children and parents everywhere are both excited and nervous.
So, as a mama who has six kids to get out the door, I thought I’d take what I’ve learned over the years and create a FREE e-book to help other parents out. Because let’s face it we all like to get free stuff and we could all use a little help this time of year! Yes there are many free books online but this one is chock full of great advice such as transitioning from summer mode to back to school, how to deal with social issues and of course, some of my favourite products for back to school shopping.
Make this the year that back to school goes smoothly with school organization tips! Download your free Ultimate Back to School Guide here!
More free stuff – a contest!
Another product that makes back to school easier of course, are our labels. But if you haven’t already bought your Ultimate Back to School Combo or are in need of another don’t panic! Since time is running out on this combo offered only until Sept 30th, I’ve decided to have a give-away.
Simply comment below and let us know how you’re feeling about sending the kids back to school and you’ll be entered to win your very own Ultimate Back to School Combo!
This contest is open from 8pm EST August 31 to 11:59pm EST September 1, 2014
When thinking about healthy eating one doesn’t necessarily think of pizza, though some are still convinced that it is the ultimate food offering something from all food groups. So does pizza have anything to offer nutritionally? Well unfortunately, any nutrients that you might get from the toppings are cancelled out by the high sodium, high sugar, high fat delivery system. No matter how much we try to count the tomato sauce as a vegetable, and the cheese as protein, most pizza recipes aren’t healthy recipes. Does that mean you have to avoid pizza forever? Naw…
Don’t avoid pizza – make it healthy!
It is all about the nutritional ratio. H=N/C or Health = nutrients over calories. If you can keep the nutrients high and the calories low, you will indeed have a quintessential kid food that doesn’t derail your efforts at healthy eating.
For pizza delivery try these tips:
- Thin crust beats thick or deep dish crust
- Whole grain is only better if it is thin crust, the amount of fibre isn’t worth the extra dough
- Chicken is the best meat, all other meats are too fatty
- One cheese is plenty but if you have to add some, add goat’s cheese, it is lower in fat
- Add as many vegetables as possible to a veggie pizza; olives, sundried tomatoes and capers count
- Ask for double the tomato sauce
- Order double the salad and half the pizza that you think you will need
- Skip all appetizers, they are never worth the calories
When opting for frozen pizza keep these things in mind:
- Choose whichever thin crust pizza has the lowest sodium count
- Avoid all meats other than chicken
- Spread extra tomato paste on frozen top before baking and sprinkle extra herbs, ground flax or chia seeds
- Add a shake of grated parmesan to keep your new toppings in place
- Top with arugula or spinach after you remove from the oven
- If you just can’t cope without a little meat, choose lean prosciutto into small pieces and add after baking
If you would like a crust dip, consider:
- Tomato or marinara sauce or another healthy pizza sauce
- Avoid all creamy or cheesy sauces
- Salsa is low fat and high flavour nutrient dense dip, it goes with everything
So if you want pizza go for it! By following some of these nutritional tips to enhance pizza recipes you can still make this Italian treat a part of healthy eating.
About the Author:
Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at www.myfriendinfood.com
They always love the food they plant!
People often ask what it is like to feed half dozen kids. Feeding families can be a “thing” and many parents report that dinner time can be the most stressful time of the day. I decided early on that I didn’t want meal time to create anxiety for me or my kids, so here are my few tips for relaxing and enjoying fun family meals.
- I don’t let myself get upset if the kids turn their noses up at what is being served for dinner. There’s enough variety that they’re going to like something on the menu. As long as they try one bite of what is being served up, they are welcome to fill their bellies with the raw carrots on the table. No one has starved yet.
- We keep meals simple and kid friendly. The Daddy-o works out of town during the week and I’m not a foodie, so this adult is happy to make easy dinner recipes and eat with the kiddos.
- For me, the only thing more annoying than cooking is coming up with fast recipes and meal ideas. I have a four week meal planner posted in the kitchen for everyone to see. It makes for effective shopping, creates less wasted food and saves me from hearing, “what’s for dinner?” six times a day.
Here is an example of my September meal plan filled with quick recipes. I use one of our quick dinner ideas on Wednesdays because the kids have hot lunches at school that day. I also try to have something they all like on a Monday, because let’s face it – Mondays can be tough. On the last Friday of the month, we order in. The menu is based on different children’s preferences and the evening activity schedule. Some meals are faster to prepare and clean up. Those are meals we have on nights where we have to be at music, dance, hockey and taekwondo right after dinner.
||Fish and Chips/raw veg
||Chicken drumsticks/mashed potato/corn
||Breakfast for dinner (eggs/bacon)
||Pasta: spaghetti and meatballs
||Home-made pizza/raw veg
||Chicken breast/ mashed spuds/corn
||Chicken and Cesar salad
||Butter chicken and rice
||Chicken snitzel/roast potatoes/tomato and avocado salsa
||Hotdogs and hamburgers/salad
||Ribs/noodles/corn on the cob
||Crepes and omelets
||Bangers and mash/ peas
Substitutes: curried sausage, chili, perogies, Swedish meatballs and rice, lasagna.
How does your family survive the dinner hour? Do you have any quick and easy dinner ideas or meal planner tips that make this time of day less stressful in your house?
About the Author:
Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six.