A sage neighbor of mine just told me this morning that when my kids get a little older and are having a tough time for whatever reason to go and make some cookies together. She said it’s the ritual more than anything that really helps lift everyone’s spirits.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been told this since I’ve moved to the burbs. While it’s not the Midwest, people take their child-rearing pretty seriously here in central Connecticut and they seem to be doing a fantastic job of it. I’m thinking I’m going to take it to heart and try to remember this advice once my girls start to turn into tweens. If you find yourself with a need for some cookie makin’, I’d recommend Simply Recipes’ Heath Bar Cookies or if it’s been an extremely bad week go for The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies from food, je t’aime.
Why Peanut Butter and Crackers are a Beautiful Thing from Serious Eats
The Theme Is…Homemade Ingredients from Tasty Kitchen via Food News Journal. This post contains recipes for everything from homemade won tons to baking powder!
Sugar Shockers: For the first time the American Heart Association has set a sugar benchmark for daily intake from The Hartford Courant. Lists common foods with “hidden” sugars such as deli meat and yogurt.
A guide to BPA-free canned goods from re-nest via The Kitchen.
U.S. Children: Generation Snack from NYTimes. A huge study was just released that found “Parents are raising a generation of snackers — kids who eat almost constantly throughout the day as they graze on cookies, salty snacks and fruit drinks.”
A friend of mine emailed yesterday asking what I knew about soy. She had read that it might inhibit nutritent absorbtion and contain harmful levels of isoflavones (a.k.a. phytoestrogens). I tried to find some answers to this question a while back and came up with nothing conclusive.
Should I be recoiling in fear when I pull this container of tofu out of my refrigerator? I did another quick search today and here’s what I came up with:
From the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Soy fact sheet (updated Mar 2008) including Side Effects and Cautions. Sounds like soy supplements might be a bad idea, but otherwise generally okay.
From Nutrition Data Blog (which I find to be a seemingly grounded and balanced source of nutrition information) I found two articles cautioning against labeling soy as an evil food: Phytoestrogens: Helpful or harmful? and Soy isn’t affecting men’s hormone levels…but something is.
For those of you who need even more (!)…from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is a summary report on the Effects of Soy on Health Outcomes (Aug 2005). I gave it a skim and it seems to sing the same tune: not enough conclusive evidence at this time.
Now if you enjoy freaking yourself out with non-mainstream approaches to medicine and nutrition, you’ll probably have other sources of information saying radically different things. But it looks to me like soy is basically okay as far as my family goes. Next year I’ll probably have an entirely different approach or hopefully none at all.
There has been very little love in the air for snacking this past week. The New York Times’ Snack Time Never Ends chronicles the out-of-hand snack habits of busy families in Beverly Hills and calls for an end to the madness.
NutritionDataBlog is kind enough to point out that Snacks now account for a quarter of daily calories [in adults. But I imagine kids aren’t far behind.]
To top it all off, there’s some buzz going on that agave nectar might not be all it’s cracked up to be: Agave Nectar – Healthful or Harmful? from The Kitchn.
So, now that we’ve had our daily dose of sobering news about how we’re feeding our ourselves and our children incorrectly and have made a solemn vow to eat in moderation, here are more links about happy and healthy snacks:
A list to end all lists of non-persiable healthy snacks from Enlightened Cooking. If you’re looking for inspiration for what to eat and serve on the go, here it is. Enlightened Cooking also has a good-looking recipe for homemade lara bars.
Tip: Revive dry peanut butter with a drop of peanut oil from Parent Hacks.
Homemade Fruit roll up recipe along with dazzling pictures from Green Kitchen Stories via Edible Crafts.
Snack hack: Create single servings to teach portion control and increase independence from Parent Hacks. Genius!
Tips for Substituting Agave in Baked Goods from The Kitchn.
A teacher somewhere in the USA is eating the lunch served at her school everyday in 2010: Fed Up With School Lunch.
Sit-down Snacks from Ellen Satter. Well-managed meal and snack-times can be a helpful tool in the beleaguered parent’s arsenal.
I wish I put my children off until a pre-designated snack or meal time. More often than not, they snack on-demand or when I realize it has been a few hours since they’ve eaten. How do you handle it?
Afternoon Snack: Yogurt Swirled with Peanut Butter, Honey, and Graham Crackers from The Kitchn. I haven’t tested this one, but how could it not be yummy? This morning I made myself some oatmeal with almond butter, nutella, raisins and slivered almonds. Also yum.
Pickled Red Beet Eggs recipe from ChowMama. I think my kids would flip inside out over these. I am also intrigued by these Tea Eggs from Cook Play Explore.
2 New Year’s Resolutions to Create Kids who Eat Right from It’s Not About Nutrition.
Good idea: Snacking Table from Apartment Therapy’s Ohdeedoh. The stylish kid-sized chairs are a bonus, but the real genius is finding a nook in the kitchen for a small coffee table where the little ones can pull up a chair and graze.
Shaking off a Sweet Addiction from Little Stomaks.
Watch out Teddy Bear Pancake, your days are numbered. Make way for The Pancake Project.
The 6 Weirdest, Scariest Processed Foods from Alternet. “Once upon a time, some brave scientists had a noble dream of ridding our food of the plague of nutrients.”
Fast-food standards for meat top those for school lunches from USA Today via Food News Journal. Sigh.
I’d like to send a shout out to some folks who have been kind enough to write some very nice things about Fix Me A Snack.
- Most recently, Darienne of Cook Play Explore made my day by posting Healthy, Tasty and Inspiring: Fix Me A Snack. Check out the photo!
- Also, Cathy of A Life Less Sweet wrote that Fix Me A Snack “is like a dream to me!”. (Somebody pinch me!)
- Lastly, Asha of Parent Hacks mentioned Fix Me A Sanck and the traffic influx was HUGE. Parent Hacks is probably the one and only blog I’ve followed continuously for years. I love it so.
Most importantly, all of these blogs are ones I read and admire. As I am still wet behind the ears, it all means a ton. Thank you kindly one and all!