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Encouraging Kids to Make the Most Nutritious Food Choices

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyMilkMyWay #CollectiveBias. I am working with The National Milk Life Campaign.

“Do you want to grow up big and strong? Finish your milk!” I can say with honesty that I didn’t have the best nutrition growing up. Too much of the not-so-great stuff and definitely not enough of what was nutritious. I knew right away when I became a mom that I wanted things to be different for my kids. I wanted them to crave the good stuff. To choose the good stuff even when the not-so-great stuff was an option too. I didn’t want them to have the same bad eating habits I had – choosing poorly, picky eating and refusing to try new foods. My kids are choosing well, and drinking milk daily is one of the best choices they make.

How can we encourage kids to make the most nutritious food choices? These tips help incorporate complete proteins, vitamins and essential nutrients. #ad

As a family of six, we purchase a lot of food. Over the past few years my husband and I been focused on purchasing more of what’s nutritious. More of what’s wholesome and satisfying. More good sources of protein. Naturally milk plays a big part in our family’s diet. With four kids (ages 17 months to 13 years old) we go through a gallon of milk every two days. Drinking milk and using it in my daily cooking is a great way to fill our bodies with natural, high-quality protein plus other nutrients we need.

How can we encourage kids to make the most nutritious food choices? These tips help incorporate complete proteins, vitamins and essential nutrients. #ad

Why Do Kids Need Milk?

I’m fortunate in that all my kids are huge milk drinkers. We purchase whole milk for the baby, who needs it for proper brain development. The rest of the family drinks low-fat milk.

One 8-ounce glass of milk provides eight grams of natural, high-quality protein. Protein helps to build lean muscle and keep bones strong. So when we’re telling our kids to finish their glass of milk because it will make them stronger, it’s speaking truth!

Unfortunately many kids overall are drinking less milk. That means some kids aren’t getting enough of milk’s 9 essential nutrients, like high-quality protein calcium, potassium and vitamin D. Kids desperately need these to grow. Dairy milk is the top food source for these three nutrients, calcium, potassium and vitamin D.

How can we encourage kids to make the most nutritious food choices? These tips help incorporate complete proteins, vitamins and essential nutrients. #ad

Ways to Encourage Kids to Drink More Milk

My kids start off each day with a well-rounded breakfast. I’m always shocked to hear how many of their peers don’t eat breakfast at all before school. Even if breakfast is grab-and-go, a glass of milk is a simple and wholesome way to help kids get natural protein and balanced nutrition. I serve my kids an 8 ounce glass of milk at breakfast and again at dinner. Each cup of milk has 8 grams natural, high-quality protein.

Low Pressure and Balance

As a formerly picky eater I can attest to pressure from my parents as a big reason why I would not try new foods. I was stubborn and it was definitely a control thing for me, being able to say “No, I’m NOT going to eat that!”. I’ve found that encouraging the “just one bite” or “just one sip” method brings fewer struggles with my kids.

We actually just went through it this morning, when my son didn’t want to try his blueberry smoothie. I told him he didn’t have to like it, he just needed to try it.

Offer a good balance and don’t flat-out banning treats (especially if your child has become accustomed to eating them). Yes, we still eat dessert. Just not after every meal and not even every day.

What If Your Child Says They Don’t Like Milk?

What if kids aren’t crazy about the taste of white milk? No worries because flavored milk also counts as a serving of dairy and provides the same nine essential nutrients. Or choose to create recipes that incorporate the recommended daily serving of milk in another way.

How can we encourage kids to make the most nutritious food choices? These tips help incorporate complete proteins, vitamins and essential nutrients. #ad

Do Adults Need Milk?

Many adults simply do not get the necessary amount of protein each day. I used to be one of them. And naturally, without the natural, high-quality protein in my system, I’d be hungry again within an hour after eating. I personally find myself craving milk so I know my body needs the extra protein and calcium.

How can we encourage kids to make the most nutritious food choices? These tips help incorporate complete proteins, vitamins and essential nutrients. #ad

Did you know dairy milk protein is a complete protein? Most plant proteins are incomplete. This means they’re missing some of the amino acids your body needs. Milk is also a top source of calcium in the diet — with one cup offering about a third of the recommended amount for one day. An 8-ounce glass of milk gives you about 30 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin D. The vitamin D and calcium work together to build and maintain strong bones, helping to protect older adults from osteoporosis.

And as someone trying to shed the last 15 lbs of “baby weight” I’m incorporating milk consumption in my diet as a way to increase muscle mass. A study in women found that including fat free milk in a recovery routine during a 12 week training program resulted in greater muscle mass, strength gains, and fat loss (compared to a carb-only sports drink with the same calories).

How can we encourage kids to make the most nutritious food choices? These tips help incorporate complete proteins, vitamins and essential nutrients. #ad

Other Ways to Get the Benefits of Milk

There are some easy ways to incorporate milk naturally into the day. Of course, drinking a glass of milk is the easiest way to take advantage of the nutritious benefits! Here are some ways that I add milk into our recipes:

  • Serve milk with cereal or grains at breakfast.
  • Use milk when making scrambled eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles or French toast.
  • Make a low-fat or skim milk smoothie. I freeze fruit and greens (like kale or spinach) just before they’re overripe. Then toss them into the blender with 8-oz of milk and a few ice cubes.
  • Make milk-rich recipes for dinner like quiche, macaroni and cheese, creamy broccoli soup, Alfredo sauce or frittata.
  • For dessert, make pudding, frozen smoothie pops or custard.
  • Add chocolate to milk to make cocoa.

How can we encourage kids to make the most nutritious food choices? These tips help incorporate complete proteins, vitamins and essential nutrients. #ad

Confession Time

I’ll be totally honest. I don’t like the taste of plain white milk! I never have, even as a child. But I do still drink my milk by including it daily inside a smoothie at breakfast. Toss in lots of frozen berries and even a handful of greens and I’m good for the day.

There are lots of other ways to include milk into your daily diet – Looking for more ideas on how to incorporate more milk into your everyday? Visit MilkLife.com for more information and recipes.

What if you could give your kids a nutrient-rich, delicious, farm fresh beverage with natural protein and no sugar added – all for about a quarter per serving? Surprise – it’s something that’s likely already in your fridge – white milk!

How can we encourage kids to make the most nutritious food choices? These tips help incorporate complete proteins, vitamins and essential nutrients. #MyMilkMyWay #ad

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

 Guilt-free Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

Guilt-Free Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

Last week we had our first hint of fall here in Southern California. Temperatures dropped from the high 90s and we were blessed with several cool days. I struggle to cook in the summer months because it’s just so darned hot in my little house without air conditioning. And I sure do get bored eating salad at every meal! As soon as I felt a cool in the air, I delighted in baking chocolate chip cookies and made a delicious pot roast in the Dutch oven. I also made a family favorite, my roasted garlic and rosemary potato soup recipe.

Guilt-free Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

I’ve been making this soup for years, much to the delight of my family. I like that I can prepare the potatoes ahead of time and then put together the soup quickly for dinner.This soup is appropriately creamy and flavorful with a wholesome thickness but without the guilt that creamy soups usually have. You know, like tons of butter and cream? Not here!

Recipe for easy Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup

Half of the potatoes are peeled, then sprinkled with chopped onion and rosemary and drizzled with olive oil

Recipe for easy Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup

Check out that beautiful garlic clove, pure heaven!

No butter or heavy cream in this one, just a little bit of half and half. The thickness comes from the potatoes themselves, pureed into the base inside your blender. Couldn’t be easier! And if you wanted to make it even more of a healthy dish, you could replace the half and half with milk instead.

Recipe for easy Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup

Guilt-free Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

This soup is wonderful served as a meal of its own or alongside a fresh green salad, turkey sandwich or just a piece of buttered bread (that’s how I had it!) We had a small amount left over for lunch the next day so I warmed it back up in a pot with a drizzle of milk to thin it and it reheated back up nicely. Mmmm, such a warm and cozy fall meal, I think you’ll love my Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe!

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 large bulb garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz chicken broth (or one bouillon cube dissolved in 2 cups of water)
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup of half and half

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel and cube three of the potatoes and place on one side of a 9" x 2" pan.
  3. Cube the remaining three potatoes with the skin on and place those on the other side of the pan (peeled potatoes on one side, unpeeled on the other).
  4. Sprinkle chopped onion and snipped rosemary across the top of the potatoes.
  5. Peel off the dry outsides on the garlic bulb. Cut across the top, leaving the bulb intact but exposing the cloves. Place upright in the center of the pan.
  6. Drizzle oil across the top of garlic and potatoes.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes. Set aside to fully cool.
  8. Squeeze the garlic paste from the bulbs into a high-powered blender.
  9. Add peeled potatoes, half the onion, half the broth and all of the flour and pepper into the blender.
  10. Blend until nearly smooth.
  11. Pour into a medium saucepan and add in unpeeled potatoes, rest of onion and broth. Add half and half.
  12. Cook until bubbly and warm.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://momrewritten.com/roasted-garlic-rosemary-potato-soup-recipe/

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13 Disney-inspired Christmas Delights and Desserts You Can Make at Home

I love holiday baking and a Disney-themed recipe is the icing on the cake! These ideas and recipes are perfect for adding a little Disney magic to your festivities. I’ve included edible decor, cookies & cakes, gift giving treats as well as special recipes to serve on Christmas morning.


IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

These Frozen trees make great decorations or cake toppers (and are made simply with a frosted sugar ice cream cone, flaked coconut and a spice drop).

Image from Parents.com

Warm up with a cup of what is called the World’s Best Hot Chocolate, served at Napa Rose at the Disneyland Resort. Recipe to make it yourself, from The Disney Diner.

Image from Indulgy.com

If you can’t make an enormous gingerbread house like they do at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa, you could still make a mini version at home! I love this gingerbread recipe from Sweet Sugar Belle.

Image from Disney Parks.com


COOKIES & CAKE

Using Sweet Sugar Belle’s gingerbread recipe & paired with her royal icing recipe, this is a sweet treat that is sure to delight! You can even cut your gingerbread boys & girls into Mouseketeer versions like they do at Disneyland.

Image from Disney Food Blog.com

Sweet Sugar Belle’s sugar cookie recipe is also my favorite. Paired with the royal icing recipe and some candies, it’s a treat to make these adorable Mickey snowmen.

These pretty green holly leaf cookies have a Hidden Mickey surprise! Fan them out on a platter to create a delicious wreath.

Image from Family Disney.com

Bakerella has the original cake pop recipe (she invented them). These silhouette Mickey cake pops are precious!

Image from Bakerella.com


GIFT GIVING

A treat bag filled with Cinnamon Glazed Almonds would be a delight. These are sold throughout Walt Disney World.

Image from The Disney Chef.com

I love seeing these holiday themed caramel apples throughout the Disney Parks. Oh My Disney! has the instructions on how you can make a Disney-style caramel apple at home!

Disney Holiday Desserts & Delights!

Wrap up a Frozen-inspired popcorn ball studded with candy & snowflakes for a sweet treat to give to friends.

Image from Life Made Simple Bakes.com


CHRISTMAS MORNING

Greet the family on Christmas morning with these adorably delicious Mickey shaped cinnamon rolls!

Image from Family.Disney.com

I have a penchant for banana bread and this one doesn’t disappoint; it’s also the same recipe they serve in the Disney Parks!

I just bought my first doughnut pan and think I’ll have to try this one out…isn’t it cute!! These are Mickey’s Apple Cider doughnuts with a chocolate glaze.

Image from Family.Disney.com

I have pinned more ideas on my Very Merry Christmas Pinterest board.


What is your favorite dessert or delight during the holidays? Share in the comments below and please consider signing up for my newsletter to receive indication of future posts.

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Eat at Home and Save – Disney Resort Banana Bread

Disney Banana Bread Recipe - this is absolute heaven!

Banana bread is simply magic: Take overripe and mushy brown bananas that nobody wants and voila, you have an amazing treat! Banana bread is a very price-savvy recipe and makes use out of produce that would otherwise go to waste.

I have been making banana bread since I was a kid and this is my new favorite recipe! There is so much yummy flavor here; it’s not overly sweet, not too oily and the bread is moist and delicious. You’ll get two loaves from this recipe so you can freeze one and save it for later.

Or do like we did and gobble up both loaves within three days! Look at that beautiful browned top…now I wished we’d frozen one loaf so I could be eating a slice of this right now!

Disney Banana Bread Recipe - this is absolute heaven!

This banana bread was lovely as a treat after dinner and I also served it alongside sausage, eggs and fruit for the kids at breakfast. The recipe is the one used at the Disney Resorts. Recreate the magic at home with this delicious and easy recipe (my favorite kind!)

I tweaked my recipe a bit to include ground flax seed. You can also substitute up to half of the butter with equal parts applesauce to cut the fat.

Disney Banana Bread Recipe - this is absolute heaven!


Disney Banana Bread

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups banana, mashed (about 3 medium-large bananas)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix melted butter and sugar in large bowl until very well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, then add bananas and vanilla.  Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda and fold into the banana mixture, making sure all flour is moistened but the mixture is not over-mixed (to prevent air bubbles).  Fold in walnuts, if you like.  The batter will be very thick.
Grease and flour two bread pans and divide batter equally between them.  Bake for 1 hour or until center of loaf is firm with a somewhat crunchy top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pans for 1 minute before removing the bread from a pan and transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Serve warm or cold, it’s heavenly both ways!
Makes 2 loaves.
Disney Banana Bread Recipe - this is absolute heaven!
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DIY Recipe for Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing

I adore The Old Spaghetti Factory, it’s my favorite restaurant! Unfortunately there isn’t a restaurant very close to me so it’s been relegated as one of those places we only visit every few years. What do I do when I need a big plate of spaghetti mizithra or a salad with their delicious creamy pesto dressing? Well, I do the next best thing to going out to eat…I make it myself at home! The Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing will make you crave a big plate of greens.

DIY Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing (Old Spaghetti Factory recipe)  - My favorite dressing, and so easy to make at home!!

I made several jars of this dressing for my birthday party last weekend. I created a salad bar with lots of different toppings. This dressing was by far the hit of the evening and we were scraping the bottom of the jar by the end of the night! Fortunately the container of buttermilk I bought was enough for me to make this recipe three times.

DIY Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing (Old Spaghetti Factory recipe)  - My favorite dressing, and so easy to make at home!!

Everyone at my party was requesting the recipe, so here it is for your dining pleasure!


Gather your ingredients!

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DIY Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dried basil (I rub it between my palms to break up and release the aroma)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or one 1/2 tsp of chopped garlic for a stronger garlic flavor)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth and creamy. I put mine into a shaker cup with a wire ball to mix and it was perfect (it even has a pouring spout in the lid!). For making multiple batches try mixing the ingredients in your blender.

Refrigerate for one hour to help the flavors blend. Dressing thickens overnight. Serve over salad or as a dip. The recipe made slightly more than what fit in this mason jar.

DIY Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing (Old Spaghetti Factory recipe)  - My favorite dressing, and so easy to make at home!!


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