Creative Snacks For Nut Allergies

Many early childhood programs assign children days for taking turns sharing snacks for snack time by bringing them in from home. One February, we wanted to get really creative and send a snack in to commemorate American Dental Health month.

They are made by slicing red apples, spreading peanut butter on the slices and attaching mini marshmallows as teeth. But alas! We remembered that a note home earlier in the year warned that one child in the class had a peanut allergy. Darn. And it was such a cute idea. But wait! Why not substitute cream cheese for the peanut butter! Better yet we could use strawberry cream cheese to represent pink healthy gums!

The apple smiles snacks turned out great and were a big hit with students and teacher.We are sharing some ideas for good snack sharing in case your child has a classmate with peanut allergy. They are very easy to assemble and children can easily help. The only task the parent should do alone is slicing the apples.

Please read the background information on peanut allergies first.

Incidence of Nut Allergies on the Rise

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There appears to be no clear reason for a dramatic increase in peanut allergies in recent years. One theory is that the rise is due to more consumption of dry roasted peanuts rather than boiled. The drying process may alter the peanut protein in some way.

Other Nut Allergies:

Botanically speaking peanuts are actually legumes like beans, however, studies indicate that children who are allergic to peanuts are at increased risk for being allergic to at least one other tree nut (pecans, walnuts almonds, chestnuts, macadamias and more). Most doctors of children with peanut allergies advise parents to eliminate all tree nuts from the home if a child has a peanut allergy.Introducing tree nuts into the home should be managed by the individual’s allergy specialist.

Symptoms and Dangers of Nut Allergies

The medical condition caused by a peanut allergy, anaphylaxis, causes cells in the body to release a massive amount of histamines. Symptoms will include itching, hives, sneezing, coughing and wheezing. Gastronomical distress may also be present. Upon constriction of airways, an extreme drop in blood pressure may occur. Without a shot of adrenaline, death is likely. There have been cases reported where a child ate cookies or other foods with “hidden” peanut products and tragically did not survive.

Parents of peanut-allergic children have real and understandable fear. A study conducted by the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) found that food allergy families suffer greater emotional distress than even those with epilepsy or asthma. This is probably due to food sharing at school, children’s parties and play dates at other’s homes.

Replacing Peanut Butter When Cooking With Kids

 

Peanut butter is a popular food for cooking with kids. It can be a sort of natural food glue for all those cute creations we like to make. Kids love eating foods that resemble animals or other familiar objects. This is a great motivator to encourage young children to try new foods. Due to the extreme danger of anaphylaxis, we should refrain from using peanut butter or any nut product for food sharing with other children. Try substituting cream cheese for the “food glue” properties of peanut butter in snacks!

Edible Flowers and Ants on a Log

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Children can spread cream cheese on a round, whole wheat cracker and press in golden raisins for the “seeds” in the middle of the flower. Use a few thin slices of the apples to form the “petals.” Add a celery stalk “stem.” Be sure to talk about ways to use the apple scraps; eat them, make cooked apples or even use in composting.

Ants on a log are popular and healthy children’s snack. Substitute cream cheese for the usual peanut butter in ants on a log. For a really cool variation use dried cranberries for some of the ants (they can be fire ants) as well as raisins. Cranberries are an antioxidant-rich super food and they taste great with plain cream cheese.

Apple Smiles

Apple smile snacks will make everyone smile! Be sure to have an adult cut the slices. They should be about one-half to three-quarters of an inch thick. Blot the apple slices well with paper toweling. We found that if they are too moist the cream cheese doesn’t stick well. Add mini-marshmallows and enjoy!

Cute Food Crafts

Make healthy snacks that look like sailboats and other objects.

Easy Snacks Using Refrigerator Biscuits

Refrigerator Biscuit Donuts

Making biscuit donuts was always lots of fun for a Saturday morning with the kids. We just popped open a can of biscuits, cut out holes with a soda bottle top, and fried holes and rings in oil to a golden turn.

While they were hot, we flavored our biscuit donuts in ways only limited by our imagination. We made a traditional glaze made of powdered sugar and milk, or simply rolled then in powdered sugar or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Sometimes we got really fancy and frosted our donuts with different flavors and sprinkles.

Healthy Snacks for Kids

With a focus on better nutrition for children, I started experimenting with other creative ways for using refrigerator biscuits. I wanted to invent tasty, nutritious snacks that would be as fun and easy as our traditional biscuit donuts. Kids get a lot of their daily calories through snacking. We need to make sure that those calories aren’t just “empty calories” like cookies and potato chips but instead contain important nutrients.

Our new refrigerator biscuit treats are:

  • mini biscuit quiches
  • double crust mini pizzas
  • spinach-cream cheese puffs
  • ham and cheese sunrise surprises
  • mini cinnamon buns

Healthy Snacks Using Spinach

Mini-quiches and spinach-cream cheese puffs are good ways to create snacks that kids will eat using the superfood spinach. Spinach is rich in lots of vitamins and minerals like vitamins K, A, manganese, folate and much more. In fact, it is said to be the world’s healthiest vegetable.

The biscuits are rolled out flat and filled with the ingredients.

Mini Spinach Quiches with Refrigerator Biscuits

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Mini spinach quiches with refrigerator dough
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
Instructions
  1. Beat eggs and milk.
  2. Fold in spinach, cheese, salt and pepper
  3. Roll biscuits out flat. Sprinkle on a little flour if sticky.
  4. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
  5. Press rolled-out biscuits into the muffin tin
  6. Fill biscuits with spinach-egg mixture
  7. Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven
Beat eggs and milk. Fold in other ingredients

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Roll biscuits out flat

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Spinach-Cream Cheese Puffs

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Spinach Cream Cheese Puffs with Refrigerator Biscuits

Again, biscuits are rolled out flat for spinach-cream cheese puffs. Then they are filled with the cream cheese mixture,pinched closed and baked.

Ingredients
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 TBS. milk
Directions
  1. Roll biscuits out flat
  2. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray
  3.  Add biscuits, fill with cream cheese mixture
  4.  Pinch flat and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes
Beat softened cream cheese with spinach and a little milk.

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Fill biscuits with mixture; pinch closed and bake.

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Ham and Cheese Sunrises

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Ham and Cheese Sunrises with Refrigerator Biscuits

Great for a quick and healthy breakfast! Flattened biscuits are filled with ham and cheese. Fold over and pinch with a fork around the edges to make “sunrises.”

Double Crust Stuffed Pizzas

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Stuffed Mini Pizzas with Refrigerator Biscuits

Double-crust stuffed pizzas can replace milk and cookies or a bowl of sugary cereal for an after-school snack.

Flattened biscuits are spread with tomato sauce, filled with healthy ingredients and topped with another flattened biscuit. We used chopped ham, cheddar cheese and diced Roma tomatoes.

Just as pizza toppings can be quite diverse, so can the stuffings for double-crust pizzas. Make gourmet ones with things like spinach and feta cheese or Canadian bacon and pineapple.

Healthy ingredients can be stuffed into double-crust pizzas

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Place ingredients between two flattened biscuits and bake

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Fun and Easy Cinnamon Bun Project

 

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Cinnamon puffs are mini-cinnamon buns. They are fun for little hands to make. Brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with a little sugar and cinnamon, they make a sweet treat with a minimal amount of sugar. Cinnamon is good for controlling blood sugar levels.

Making aluminum foil cupcake wrappers is a fun “rainy day ” project. Use them to bake the cinnamon puffs in.

Kids can cut the biscuits into sections with a plastic or butter knife.

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Help kids make foil cupcake wrappers

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Don’t Forget About the Biscuit Donuts

We love our new, healthier refrigerator biscuit treats. But we will still have our biscuit donuts from time to time because everybody needs a little sweetness in their life.

Glazed  Refrigerator Biscuit”Donuts” and Holes

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Healthy Smoothie Recipes For Kids: The Funny Face Gang

 

Food Research and Healthy Eating

Do you remember Rootin’ Tootin’ Raspberry, Goofy Grape, Lefty Lemon and the rest of the Funny Face Drink mix gang? They were powdered drink mixes introduced by the Pillsbury company in 1964. Promoted as a sugar-free, artificially sweetened beverage, they were designed to be highly appealing to children.

The Funny Face gang gave Kool-Aid man some stiff competition until the drink mixes were pulled off the shelf in 1968 by the FDA. Due to advancing food science and research they were declared unsafe for being sweetened with cyclamates. The company turned to saccharin with no luck. Finally, in 1972 they added vitamin C to a “just add sugar” beverage mix but Kool-Aid won in the end and the Funny Face gang is no longer available.

Health Benefits of Antioxidants 

Advances in food science and research exploded into the latter part of the 20th century and continues to grow in producing valid and reliable results from research. For some time now, health organizations have recognized and promoted eating lots of fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant-rich properties.

Thanks to research we know that anti-oxidants, as the term implies, attacks damaging oxidation in animal tissue. They contain vitamins, minerals and enzymes (proteins that assist in chemical reactions) thought to prevent the development of several chronic diseases including the dreaded “c word,cancer.

In response to modern food research findings, we would like to introduce the Super Foods Smoothies For Kids gang: meet Strawberry Kiwi Karl, Pineapple Mango Maggie, Coconut Chocolate Chip Charlie, Banana Blueberry Buster and Cherry Vanilla Vanessa.

Smoothies are very healthy and kids can make them easily. Provide the ingredients and they can make them with minimal help from adults. The only kitchen equipment needed is a blender. For safety, make sure the children understand never to stick hands or utensils into the blender while it is churning. It is best that the adult cuts up the fruit for the smoothies

Best Yogurt to use in Smoothies

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All Super Food Smoothies For Kids are made with Greek yogurt. Because Greek yogurt has been strained to remove liquid whey, which contains lactose and sugar, it is an excellent smoothie choice for the lactose intolerant. It’s significantly higher protein content keeps kids full longer helping them avoid later snacking on high fat and sugar foods. It gives smoothies a creamier texture than regular yogurt that children will prefer.

All yogurt contains a higher amount of carbs when sweetened with sugar. Super Foods Smoothies For Kids are sweetened with honey. Although honey is sugar in another form, it contains some trace minerals that sugar doesn’t. Since it has a higher sweet taste concentration it will take less honey than sugar to sweeten, making them more palpable to kids.

Comparison Of Regular And Greek Nonfat Yogurt
Nutritional Unit
Regular Yogurt
Greek Yogurt
protein
9 grams
15 to 20 grams
carbohydratres
13 to 17 grams
5 to 8 grams
calcium
30 percent of recommended daily intake
20 percent of recommended daily intake
fat
0 grams
0 grams
sugars
12 grams or more
2.5 to 3 grams
Based on 6-ounce servings

Best Recipe for Greek Yogurt Smoothies

The best basic recipe for smoothies using Greek yogurt calls for 3/4 cup of yogurt, 1 and 1/2 cups of fruit, 1/4 cup of water and 3 to 4 ice cubes. Sweeten with one tablespoon of honey, Use less with blueberries thanks to their natural sweetness. Blend all ingredients in a blender.

Fruit combinations for each Super Food Smoothies For Kids are listed below with some of the nutritional benefits especially relevant to kids.

Super Smoothies for Kids Characters

For added fun and involvement try having the kids make hats for the smoothie characters. Color and cut out the hats below. Punch two holes with a hole punch. Thread a colorful straw through the hats. Draw faces with Sharpie markers(it washes off of glass easily) for the smoothie characters.Kids will enjoy helping to make garnishes for the smoothies using fruit and skewers.

Use one or more of the fruits listed below, or come up with your own favorite fruit combo and give your Super Food Smoothie a name!

Kiwi Karl

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Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C. They help boost immunity and reduce inflammation.Strawberries are associated with better eye health and help fight cancer causing free radicals.

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Kiwi fruit is thought to help reduce wheezing and coughing at night especially benefiting children with asthma.

Pineapple Mango Maggie

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Pineapples contain Bromeliads that help with digestion, speed recovery of injury and reduce swelling.

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Mango fruit is a source of Glutamine acid which has been shown to be of use to boost memory and improve concentration in children.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Charlie

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Dark Chocolate dark is very rich in poly phenols which are good news for chocolate lovers. Poly phenols are known to be inhibitors of the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

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In addition to fiber, vitamins and minerals scientist are discovering certain medicinal benefits for coconut. Some of the research indicates enzymes in coconut may kill the flu virus, attack herpes, measles and hepatitis-c among other benefits. Turns out, coconut is a highly nutritious food.

 

Blueberry Banana Buster

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Blueberries  contain  fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6,and phytonutrients. The fiber in blueberries helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease

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Bananas  help maintain healthy blood pressure by decreasing sodium and increasing potassium. Researchers found that children who ate a banana a day had a lower risk of developing asthma.

Cherry Vanilla Vanessa 

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Red cherries are packed with anti-oxidants that have anti-inflammatory.Heart health benefits are also linked to cherries.

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Vanilla extract can help children’s nausea, help heal wounds and may reduce anxiety.

Use fresh or frozen cherries for the same health benefits

Super Smoothie Gang Templates

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Healthy Homemade Popsicles: Blueberry Banana Swirl Pops

 

There is no reason to give the kids Popsicles made of Kool-Aide or even sugary fruit juice. These blueberry-banana swirl pops are sweet and tasty without the sugar.

Blueberries and bananas, especially over-ripe bananas are naturally very sweet-tasting .Popsicles made with fruits like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries need sugar to sweeten them because of their tartness. But blueberries and bananas can be sweetened with honey, and no sugar at all needs to be added.

No sugar makes these pops good for diabetic and overweight kids. Adults too. Additionally, blueberries are packed with antioxidants that fight disease.

These blueberry-banana Popsicles are rich, creamy and really delicious. Try them! I show you how step-by-step in a photo tutorial. This recipe makes four full-size pops. Double the recipe for more!

Puree two very ripe bananas

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Add a six-ounce container of vanilla low-fat yogurt

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Add two tablespoons honey and one tablespoon fresh lemon juice

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Blend well

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Pour out half of the banana-yogurt mixture and set aside

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Add fresh blueberries and blend slightly

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Layer the two mixtures into Popsicle molds . Swirl with a Popsicle stick and then place the stick in the middle

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Place in the freezer for at least 8 hours. Place mold in warm water for a few seconds and release the Popsicles.

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Ingredients for Blueberry-Banana Swirl Pops

  • 2 small to medium bananas, very ripe
  • 1/1/2 cups blueberries, fresh
  • 1 6-ounce container vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh

Instructions

  1. Puree 2 ripe bananas
  2. Add yogurt, honey and lemon juice. Blend
  3. Set aside half of this mixture.
  4. Add blueberries in blender and blend slightly.
  5. Alternate layers of the two mixtures into Popsicle molds. Twirl with a Popsicle stick.
  6. Leave in the Popsicle sticks. Freeze for at least 8 hours.
  7. Dip mold into a bowl of very hot water for just a few seconds to release pops.

 

 

Sand Cups: Beach Or Pool Party Treat

sand cups

 

Summer Birthday Parties for Kids

Lucky is the kid with a summer birthday!  I was born on a dreary January day. When I was growing up,  I longed for a summer birthday. Even December is a better birthday month than January. At least Christmas food and decoration themes can be used to spice up a December birthday party.

Why are Summer birthday parties best?

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They can be held outdoors, and any kid (and parent) likes that best. A shady lawn, cool park, pool and beach side are great places for birthday parties. So lucky the adults who have a kid with a summer birthday!

Sand cups will be a big hit at a pool or beach birthday party or any Summer party. Are you having a Fourth of July party for families? Sand cups will be the perfect dessert for the kids.

Kids will enjoy helping to make sand cups. My version of sand cups uses Berry Blue Jello and gummy fish, gummy sharks or other gummy ocean animals. Keep your eyes open for the gummy sea animals. The bears and worms tend to out-number the gummy ocean animals. But they can be found! This year we actually found gummy octopuses sold at a gas station!

Berry Blue Jello is the ocean, cool whip is the sea foam and a mixture of vanilla pudding, a little cool whip, and finely crushed vanilla wafers crumbs form the beach and sand. Top the beach off with a Fruit Stripe gum beach towel, a cocktail umbrella, a round, peppermint “beach ball” and a Golden Teddy Grahams teddy bear with a tan!

This is a low-cook (vanilla pudding and Jell-o) no-knife no-knife recipe and safe for kids to assist with.

Ingredients for Sand Cups

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  • 3 packages Jell-O brand gelatin, Berry Blue, large 6 oz. size
  • 1 package Jell-o brand instant pudding, French vanilla
  • 1 cup milk, for pudding
  • 1 box Vanilla Wafers, finely crushed
  • gummy sea animals, fish, sharks, etc.
  • peppermint candies, round
  • 1 container Cool Whip

Instructions For Sand Cups

  1. Prepare three packages of Berry Blue Jell-O according to directions.
  2. Pour plastic dessert cups 2/3 full and refrigerate to set.
  3. Half-way until set insert the gummy sea animals into the Jell-o.
  4. Prepare the instant pudding with the milk according to directions on package.
  5. Place 3/4 box vanilla wafers in a large Zip-lock bag and finely crush with a rolling pin.
  6. Mix 3/4 box of crumbs into the pudding along with half of the container of Cool Whip.
  7. When the Jell-o has firmly set (about 4 hours) remove from the fridge.
  8. Spread a thin layer of Cool Whip on the “ocean” to be the sea foam
  9. Carefully spread the pudding and wafer crumb mixture on top using a rubber spatula.
  10. Finely crush the remaining 1/4 box of vanilla wafers and sprinkle on top. Then add a stick of Fruit Stripe gum for a “beach towel”, round peppermint for a “beach ball”, a few Teddy Grahams on top and a “beach umbrella.
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Fill clear plastic cups 2/3 full with Berry Blue Jello

 

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Before Jell-O sets, add gummy fish, sharks or ocean animals.

 

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A layer of Cool Whip is the ocean foam

 

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Crush vanilla wafers in a large Zip-lock bag with a rolling pin.

 

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Make vanilla pudding according to package directions

 

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Stir in Vanilla Wafer crumbs

Cutest Polar Bear Cupcakes Inspire Learning Cool Polar Bear Facts

Polar Bear Cupcakes~made with white-frosted cupcakes with coconut fur. marshmallow muzzles, raisin noses and lemon cooler cookies for ears.

 

It is well after Christmas, and the new toys are no longer the ‘flavor of the day.’ Spice up the cold season for the kids by making the cutest polar bears cupcakes.

Making these cute cupcakes that look like polar bears will leave them wanting to learn some fun facts about polar bears and their fight to survive.

Cupcakes can make any day better. Stuck at home on a snowy day, a white, frozen world presents a teachable moment to learn facts about polar bears, who thrive in what we shiver in.

Polar Bear Cupcakes

We love to invent cute cupcakes for kids. Those cute little polar bear cubs inspired us to create polar bear cupcakes. These are entirely original and come from somewhere inside our creative little heads.

Here we share how to make our polar bear cupcakes as well as a cool list of polar bear resources to learn about them with. Watch a video here and check out the Polar Bears Resource section while snacking on polar bear cupcakes.

 

 

What We Used to Make Polar Bear Cupcakes

  • White cake mix, use yellow if preferred
  • Egg whites, oil, and water
  • Fresh frozen or grated fresh Coconut, can use dry flakes, but not as good
  • Marshmallows, regular size
  • Mini M&Ms, chocolate
  • Golden raisins
  • Lemon coolers, cookies
  • Chocolate icing

 

  1. Bake cupcakes according to package directions. Cool
  2. Ice with vanilla frosting.
  3. Sprinkle on fresh coconut.
  4. Slice a marshmallow in half horizontally.
  5. Add two lemon cooler cookies for ears.
  6. Add the marshmallow half for the bear’s muzzle
  7. Use a tad of frosting to attach a golden raisin for the nose.
  8. Add mini M&Ms for eyes.
  9. Pipe on a chocolate frosting mouth. (We just put the frosting in a sandwich bag with a small tip cut out of the corner).

 

Polar Bear Facts

Polar bears live in a frozen arctic world. They eat seals and some other arctic sea life, and do so by going from ice floe to ice floe. Polar bears are now considered a threatened species, meaning that they are likely to become endangered. We know what that means. Those beautiful amazing animals could become extinct if action is not taken.

As the earth has begun to warm, these large chunks of ice that they climb aboard to do their fishing for food on are floating around faster and further apart. The poor creatures are wearing themselves out like we would if we had to wander around in circles for days looking for our food source. Some say that greenhouse gas emissions are to blame, others argue that the warming of the planet is a natural occurrence. We believe it is a little of both.

We found some fantastic resources online to explore. There are great interactive websites like National Geographic for Kids. Videos show the polar bears in their frozen world.

Polar Bear Learning Resources

  1. Read facts, see photos and videos, make and send an e-card and more at National Geographic for Kids.
  2. An experiment with ice cubes demonstrates how these animals are threatened.
  3. Kids can adopt a polar bear by donating to Oceana, an organization dedicated to research on how to save the polar bear. Kids receive adoption papers and a plush polar bear.

 


Healthy Blackberry Yogurt Popsicles For Kids Adults Love Too

 

Summertime is Popsicle time for kids. Thanks to the great recipes from People’s Pops they can be a lot healthier than frozen blue Kool-Aid in a pouch. People’s Pops Shoppes in Brooklyn concocts delicious all-natural handmade treats that are quite the rage all around New York City. They use fresh locally sourced fruits and herbs in their fat-free frozen pops. Now you can have one without a trip to the Big Apple with their new popsicle recipe book.

The strawberry with Balsamic vinegar sounds divine, but we went with the blackberry and yogurt version. Wild blackberries are abundant in many areas early to mid-summer. They grow along the edges of forests and in the fields. Going blackberry picking is a fun family event. Put on some long sleeves and long pants, a hat and sun block on all the noses and head out.

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Yeah, it’s hot but so worth it! Not only will your popsicles be fat-free they will practically be free in cost. Plain yogurt, sugar, water and a little honey and lemon juice will complete the ingredients for these fresh blackberry Popsicles. The kids will love having all their hard work picking blackberries rewarded with these tasty and nutritious pops.

Equipment required for making healthy popsicles

  1. food processor or blender
  2. a good strainer (for removing berries from fruit)
  3. a funnel (for pouring liquid into the molds)
  4. popsicle molds

Blackberries and Nutrition

Blackberries are very high in the following nutrients:

  • polyphenol antioxidants
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K
  • folic acid
  • dietary fiber
  • manganese, an essential mineral

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 4 hours
Ready in: 4 hours 20 min
Yields: in the freezer, makes 10 Popsicles

Blackberry Yogurt Popsicles Recipe

  • About 3 and 1/2 cups blackberries, wild or from a produce market
  • 2/3 cup cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, plain, non-fat
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey

How To Make Blackberry Yogurt Popsicles

  1. Use the sugar and water to make simple syrup. Add sugar to water in sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool
  3. Puree the blackberries 1/3 at a time in a food processor or blender. Strain out seeds with strainer.
  4. Return pureed blackberries to blender or food processor. Blend in the yogurt and simple sugar.
  5. Add the lemon juice and honey. Blend well.
  6. Funnel the mixture into Popsicle molds
  7. Freeze for 4-5 hours in freezer. Remove and unmold. Enjoy!

Other Fruits To Use In This Recipe

Fresh peaches and nectarines in season can be used as the fruit in this same recipe. Just puree them and skip the step for straining the seeds. Raspberries and strawberries should make tasty pops as well. Like blackberries, the seeds will need to be strained out. If using blueberries use a little less of the simple syrup. Blueberries are naturally sweeter than most fruits.

Blackberry Facts For Kids

  1. Blackberries are red before they are ripe.
  2. Blackberries ripen in stages all through the Summer.
  3. Some species grow as tall as an adult.
  4. Other species grow along the ground.
  5. Some people call them dew berries.
  6. Each tiny berry in the cluster has its own seed.
  7. Native Americans ate blackberries for thousands of years.
  8. Deer love to eat the leaves on the blackberry bush.
  9. Oregon, USA is the world leader in producing blackberries.
  10. Blackberry bushes have lots of thorns to protect the fruit from some animals.

 

5 Healthy Food Craft Recipes for Kids

Cute and Healthy Kid Food Crafts

These five cute food crafts for kids will encourage the pickiest of eaters to try new foods. This will make the job of getting kids to have a well-balanced diet easier. It is also really helpful to involve kids in preparing food. They will feel an “investment” in the projects and are much more likely to eat them.

Chicken Salad Sail Boats  

Chicken salad sailboats are scooped out bell peppers that are filled with a healthy chicken salad. Chicken, walnuts, raisins, chopped apples, diced celery and the chopped tops of the peppers are tossed in plain Greek yogurt. Season with salt, pepper and celery seed. Attach slices of Swiss cheese with straws that bend for the sails.

Waffle Cone Fruit Bowls

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    Waffle cone fruit bowls will definitely get the attention of a picky eater. Use ice cream cones or these neat bowl-shaped ones. The edges are dipped in chocolate with colorful sprinkles added. Fill  them with fruit and yogurt.

Banana Limos

It is easy to reach the recommended daily amount of fruit servings each day with banana limos. A long banana is a limo with kiwi slices for wheels, and grape and strawberry passengers with mini-marshmallow heads. Paint on faces with a toothpick dipped in melted chocolate or chocolate icing. Parts are attached with toothpicks.

I

 ban limo

Mice Pears

One mice pear will have kids begging for another one. A canned pear half is the mouse’s body. Dried apricot ears are are attached with toothpicks. Eyes are raisins and the tail is a thin slice of apple.

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Marbled Eggs

Ever noticed how kids that won’t  normally touch a boiled egg love to eat their Easter eggs? This same principle can be applied to marbled eggs. But instead of food dye, these healthy marble eggs are dyed with beet juice. Follow these directions:

  1. Boil 5-6 eggs and let them cool.  
  2. Crack them gently with a spoon
  3. In a medium to large saucepan, bring the juice of a 15-ounce can of beet juice to a boil.
  4. Add 2 TBSP vinegar.
  5. Cover the eggs with the liquid. Cool and place in the fridge for a few hours.

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Get Creative and Healthy with Food Crafts!  Recommended by My Creative Palette.

 

 Eating a Balanced Diet

Children and adults for that matter need to eat a balanced diet for optimal health.  Presenting fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods in fun ways like cute food crafts can encourage picky eaters to give a variety of foods from all the food groups a try. This will set the stage for a lifetime of good eating habits, and consequently, good health in adulthood.

Different foods benefit the body in different ways. That is why a balanced diet is so important.

Here is a graphic guide to help ensure kids get the right amount of foods from each of the food groups.

Loma_Linda_University_Vegetarian_Food_Pyramid

Grains and Potatoes

Whole wheat bread and pasta, oats, sweet potatoes and noodles are sources of iron, fiber and B-vitamins will provide children with plenty of energy to be physically active.

Fruits and Vegetables

A variety of fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, iron, fiber and pytonutrients.  Natural sugars from fresh and dried fruits should replace the sugars in candy and cookies as often as possible. Notice that the food pyramid graphic calls for lots of fruit and veggie servings. One serving only needs to be as large as what the child can hold in her hand. This makes meeting the daily requirements easier.

Protein

Protein builds muscle and  provides the building blocks for growth.  Find plenty of it in chicken, beef, eggs, fish, turkey, beans, and nuts.

Fats and Oils

Everyone needs a balance of omega fats. Omega 6’s help blood coagulate. Omega 3’s balance out cholesterol levels. Omega 3’s can be gotten from things like olive oil and walnuts. A cookie here or there or butter can provide the omega 6’s.

Calcium-rich Foods

Calcium is very important for children. It is essential for strong bones and teeth. Milk, cheese, yogurt, leafy green veggies, nuts, and seeds are great sources of calcium.

 

Saint Patrick Day Cakes: Make a Lucky Leprechaun Fruity Rainbow Cake



Saint Patrick’s Day Desserts

All of the Irish and those who are only Irish for one day love to celebrate with great Saint Patrick’s day desserts. Shamrock shakes and floats are popular all over town for the whole month of March. 

Rather than just something green like green iced cupcakes or lime sherbet, why not make something really cute that honors the luck of the Irish and packs a little nutrition too.

This adorable Saint Patrick Day cake is topped with kiwi, blueberries, diced peaches and raspberries.

Lucky Leprechauns and Rainbows

The little leprechauns are tiny little elfin shoemakers who have a pot of gold hidden at the end of rainbows.  Legend has it that if you can spot a rainbow and catch a leprechaun at the same time, you will win the pots of gold. But leprechauns are hard to catch. They live deep in the forest and are very sly and very fast.

How to Make a Lucky Leprechaun  Fruity Rainbow Saint Patrick’s Day Cake

Step 1. Follow directions for making a cake from a confetti cake mix. Or make your own favorite yellow cake from scratch and add rainbow sprinkles to the mix.

Step 2. Cool the cake.

Step 3. While the cake cools, prepare the rainbow fruit topping. Slice and dice kiwis. Use diced canned peaches, blueberries, raspberries, and pink and green mini marshmallows. 

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Step 4: Ice the cake. I like using Duncan Hines starter icing in blue cotton candy. The flavor compliments the confetti cake.

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Step 5. Starting from each end and working to the top, begin the fruity rainbow starting halfway up the cake.

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Step 6. Attach 3 regular-sized marshmallows to toothpicks to form “clouds”.

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Attach 3 marshmallow “clouds” with toothpicks

Step 7. Add gold foil-covered chocolate coins at the end of each rainbow.

LAST STEP: ENJOY THE SAINT PATRICKS DAY LUCKY LEPRECHAUN FRUITY RAINBOW CAKE!

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Valentine Cupcakes: Make Sweetheart Teddy Bear Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day Celebrations

 

Make Sweetheart Teddy Bear Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day Celebrations.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for sweethearts, engagements, and marriages. The whole family can have fun getting involved in honoring the Saint of Love. There are cards designed for all family members from grandmothers to aunts. School kids have either made or bought and traded valentines for generations. Remember that tissue covered and decorated shoe box in grade school? And who doesn’t just love a heart-shaped box of chocolates?

Cupcakes are popular Valentine’s Day treats. Pretty red, white and pink decorated cupcakes make any Valentine’s Day celebration better. They can also make a great homemade gift.

There are lots of fun ways to decorate Valentine’s Day cupcakes: red, white and pink sprinkles, candy hearts, white or pink frosting. Don’t ignore chocolate frosting and decor either. After all, chocolate is the elixir of love.

Teddy Bear Sweetheart Cupcakes

Best Valentine Cupcakes

This year, out do all the other Valentine cupcakes with sweetheart teddy bear cupcakes. Almost too cute to eat, they are sure to be a hit with everyone. They aren’t just adorable, they taste divine. These sweetheart teddy bear cupcakes are made with a moist red velvet cake mix.

A moist red velvet cake mix is perfect for sweetheart teddy bear cupcakes.

Romantic Idea: Make Homemade Valentines

 Baking Teddy Bear Cupcakes

Fill the cupcake liners a just little bit fuller than normal. This gives the cupcakes a nice round shape that will be cuter for the teddy bear sweetheart cupcakes. Don’t overfill though, or you will end up with something that resembles a nuclear explosion mushroom cloud!

Fill cupcake liners just a little fuller than normal for nice round faces to decorate.

Decorating Sweetheart Teddy Bear Cupcakes

The cream cheese frosting for these cute valentine cupcakes is lightly tinted pink. The cupcakes are then sprinkled with finely shredded coconut. This gives the teddy bear cupcakes a fuzzy, cuddly look.

Sweetheart Teddy Bear Cupcakes

Sweetheart Teddy Bears Muzzle and Nose

Kraft now markets Strawberry-mallows. These pale pink strawberry flavored marshmallows are available in a regular marshmallow shape and in valentine shapes. They are perfect for creating the sweetheart teddy bear’s muzzle and ears.

Sweetheart Teddy Bear Creation Station

Sweetheart Teddy Bear Cupcake’s Flavors

Add the flavor of a Maraschino cherry nose and semi-sweet chocolate chip eyes for a sensational tasting cupcake. The tastes of coconut and cream cheese frosting  complete this delectable treat.  Yum!

For  delectable, delicious and really cute Valentine cupcakes give sweetheart teddy bear cupcakes a try!

 

Get set to make sweetheart teddy bear cupcakes!