top kitchen tools for kids →
If you’re looking to add some fun or re-spark your little one’s desire to spend time with you in the kitchen, pick up an item or two from Babble’s well-compiled list of the best kitchen tools for kids. I especially like the learning tower (brilliant!) and guitar-shaped cutting board, and definitely plan to pick up the scrub gloves, PBJ bagel knife (perfect for neat freaks), and...
blueberry spelt oat bars →
Well I’m back and should probably explain my absence in the last 4 months (and perhaps a month or so prior) is directly attributable to my having a new baby boy (one, I hope, which won’t be so hard to please in the food department). The new little guy is pretty easy-going and surprisingly lets me do a bit of cooking and baking every now and again (I barely entered the kitchen for the...
candy sushi →
What a sweet little idea sure to get the creative juices flowing and that should keep your kids busy for a spell. The ideas can be endless … here’s what the folks over at Sugar Loco came up with!
pasta with kale and walnut pesto →
I’m a huge fan of kale. When my son was younger and less wily, he even enjoyed a bowl or two. However now that he’s a picky and opinionated 3-year-old, he defiantly resists it every time I offer it to him. That’s why I love this idea for pesto… He loves pesto! He loves pasta too! And he might not even notice if I swap out the basil for kale… but I think I’ll add...
heart-shaped brownies →
Ahh, Valentine’s Day. Love it or hate it, when you have a little one, you kind of have to participate. My son’s nursery school is already asking for contributions and I came across this lovely little idea from ingredients, inc. It looks super easy and I know my little guy would love to help decorate these. Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 25 minutes Yield: 10 servings Ingredients 1/2 cup...
daily nutritional requirements for kids →
The United States Department of Agriculture created a food pyramid of daily guidelines for kids. (It’s available online at mypyramid.gov, although the guidelines are only applicable for children age two and up.) Some nutritionists feel the government should have been more strict; for instance, requiring all, not just some, of the grains to be whole grains, insisting on reduced fat when...
tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons →
Serving Size: 4 - 6 Ingredients: Tomato soup • 1 tbsp canola oil • 1 large onion, chopped • 4 garlic cloves, chopped • 1 small fresh jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper • 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, drained • 1 quart store-bought low-sodium stock • 1/2 cup light sour cream, plus 2 tablespoons,...
spiced banana quinoa waffles →
I’ve been on the hunt for healthier breakfast options, ones that will fill the kiddo up and keep him warm for a spell too. He’s recently accepted pancakes and waffles (at long last - hallelujah!) so these are definitely coming up soon on the menu. These waffles can be made ahead of time and frozen - perfect for those necessitated, hurried mornings. Ingredients 1 stick butter 1...
spice mice →
I’ve been compiling my Christmas baking list and came across these adorable mice cookies, perfect for the little ones to help with and devour. Ingredients 3/4 cup (175 mL) unsalted butter 1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar 1 egg 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon 1/4 tsp...
blueberry-banana smoothie with dates
Dates add an incredibly luscious sweetness when added to smoothies. The sweetest of fruits, they taste sort of like toffee and are loaded with fibre. Be sure to blend well as it takes a slight bit more effort to properly puree/disguise them. Ingredients: 1 banana 1/2 cup blueberries 1/2 cup plain yogort 1/4 cup vanilla or regular soy milk 8-10 dates, halved Directions: Add ingredients to...
healthiest mac & cheese
This must be the healthiest Mac & Cheese I’ve ever made! Over the weekend I whipped up a batch of white beans with kale using a recipe from Epicurious. The bean dish did double-duty when I turned the leftovers into a delicious soup, which I then used to coat the pasta in this dish before disguising it with milk and cheese. The little guy didn’t know any better and gobbled it up! I...
sweet potato and coconut soup →
I’m simmering a pot of this heavenly-smelling soup right now. The munchkin helped me prepare it and is eagerly awaiting lunchtime! Bursting with flavour and vitamin C, this soup makes a lovely accompaniment or can be served as a main meal with whole grain bread. Ingredients: 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped ½ cup red lentils, rinsed well 1...
homemade peanut butter cups →
Yield: 4 Ingredients 8 ounces of 70% bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/2 cup cream cheese 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla 4 paper or foil muffin cup liners Directions Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a small pot of simmering water. Using a pastry brush or new paintbrush paint chocolate onto the inside of the muffin cups. Place them in a...
mummy hotdogs →
How cute are these mummy hotdogs (and easy too)! Head over to Picky Palates for the recipe and some other neat ideas.
spider web pizza →
(Makes 4 mini pizzas) 1 lb pizza dough (white or whole wheat) 1 cup olive tapenade 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated or shredded 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 2. If using prepared dough, leave the dough on the counter until at room temperature. 3. Cut the dough into four equal pieces and using your hands, shape into individual pizza circles. 4. Place on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking...
rice krispy pumpkins
The boy and I made these adorable Rice Krispy pumpkins for his class Halloween party tomorrow. Oddly enough, I’ve never made Rice Krispy squares before but I imagine the recipe is similar to that. The unique part is to dye the marshmallow mixture with orange jell-o (seems a tad better than food colouring, no? Although admittedly, I added a couple squirts of orange food colouring to enhance...
My son and I finished a double batch of these lollipops yesterday for him to hand out at his nursery school for Halloween, and for the neighbourhood kids. I must say, I’m very impressed with the results - although some mishaps did occur (burnt fingers, tummy aches from too much candy-sneaking, making 1/3 of the lollipops far too big to fit in the 2 oz bags). It was loads of fun though, and a...
3 food ingredients to avoid →
We’re always worried about what we’re feeding our kids. SweetMama asked nutritionist Lianne Phillipson-Webb what foods we should really be avoiding. The last thing you probably feel like hearing is what not to feed your kids (on top of what to feed your kids). It’s hard to manage it all, but below are some substitutes you really should consider. You may not be able to keep all of...
how to get your kids to eat
What a wicked, creative idea to get your kids to eat! Apparently it’s not just adorable, but designed rather well too - lightweight and durable with easy-to-grip handles. It’s gotten rave reviews from parents too. $14.95 for the plates, $17.49 for the utensils. To order, visit UncommonGoods.com.
chicken nuggets →
Ingredients: 4 chicken breasts cut into pieces 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup crushed cornflakes 1 cup panko crumbs 4 tbsp brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice Directions: Cut the chicken into small pieces. Cover the chicken with buttermilk. Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight. It helps tenderize the chicken. If you do not want to...
roasted pumpkin seeds →
Show your little ones that pumpkins aren’t just for pies and jack-o’-lanterns with this quick, easy and healthy snack. Pumpkin seeds saved from carving your pumpkin 4 tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter Various seasoning When carving your pumpkin separate the seeds from pumpkin flesh – a great job for those too small to carve their own pumpkin! Wash seeds in a sink or big bowl of water,...
banana pecan rice pudding
OK, so my kid won’t do anything but lick the spoon (again, the texture thing), but maybe your kids will like this homey, creamy vanilla-banana flavoured rice pudding. This recipe has been a long-standing favourite with me and my husband. It’s adapted from a recipe designed for IBS sufferers and I’ve probably been making it at least twice a year since 2003 or so (when hubs was...
red pepper walnut dip →
This healthy dip is great served alongside veggies or crackers (or sneak in a thin spread on grilled cheese). Famed pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene calls nuts anti-junk food; they are also widely considered a super food. This quick and easy dip is chock-full of good-for-you walnuts. Ingredients: 1 large clove garlic 2/3 c walnuts 1 12-oz jar roasted sweet peppers 1/2 tsp smoked paprika OR 1 tsp...
peanut butter cookies
I’ve gone through my share of traditional peanut butter cookie recipes. I can honestly declare that these are the best (my son does not disagree)! Soft, somewhat chewy, and chock full of peanuts -thanks to the 1.5 cups of chopped peanuts! I made it with smooth peanut butter, but next time, I think I’ll try crunchy. Ingredients 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking...
back to school snack packs
Here’s a guide to help you prepare a balanced ‘Back to School Snack Pack’. Choose a few items from the no-cook snacks list below, or add an item or two to a homemade snack (I’ve scoured the web for some of the best recipes, available throughout this blog). Although not essential, a popular idea these days is packing your kid’s foods in bento boxes (aibento.net or laptoplunches.com). It’s an...
sneaky tips to get your kids to eat well
These days it’s a major chore trying to get my 3-year-old son to eat a healthy, balanced diet, and he’s not even that bad from what I hear. He’ll eat most vegetables (he prefers them raw) and fruits, meats and dairy products. And with a little inventiveness (i.e. sneak in some hummus or blended tuna into a pasta dish), he’s unknowingly and quite happily eating a decent meal that I can feel...
disney hallowe'en treats →
No one does it better than Disney, and Hallowe’en is no exception. Disney pastry chefs have a super-fun job of coming up with boo-ti-ful treats for guests at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom (on select dates through Nov. 1) at Walt Disney World Resort and Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Park (on select dates through Oct. 31). Take a look at some of the...
homemade play dough →
Ingredients 2 cups of flour 1 cup of salt 1 heaping tbsp cream of tartar 2 cups water 1 heaping tbsp of vegetable oil Food colouring Directions Place all ingredients into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until they begin to come together and become very hard to stir. Divide into 4 pieces and colour each piece differently with food colouring. Knead colour into dough until thoroughly mixed and...
krispy apple treats →
I’ve bookmarked this recipe to make the next time my little one has a special event at his nursery school. Super adorable and full of kid appeal, this should be a hit at any gathering. For full directions and recipe, head over to Gourmet Mom on-the-Go
10 picky-eater mind games: strategies for getting... →
by Larissa Kosmos | (reprinted from babble.com) I wouldn’t have thought to describe my kids as good eaters, but I hear this comment repeatedly. The thing is, while they would prefer chicken nuggets, my kids do eat asparagus and — with varying levels of enthusiasm, complaint, or plain indifference — avocado, edamame, sweet potato, spinach, cauliflower, black bean soup, and all kinds of fish and...
sweet-potato fries →
My son refuses to eat any kid of potatoes except fries (I’m not a big potato fan myself). These sweet-potato fries are his favourite - way healthier than regular potatoes, plus they’re baked, not fried. Amazing for the grown-ups too with a lil wasabi mayo. PREP: 10 minutes BAKE: 45 minutes YIELD: 6 servings Cooking spray 6 sweet potatoes 3 tbsp canola oil 1 tsp salt Pinch cayenne...
glow in the dark food →
This is guaranteed to blow your kids mind! The secret to glowing food is tonic water apparently. When exposed to black light, quinine, which is tonic water’s main ingredient, will make food that’s mixed with it glow in the dark! You can make juice but I think the most fun is making jello - mix it 50-50 tonic water/plain water and your clan will soon be eating this fun treat in...
construction cones →
Here’s a great little idea for a boy’s birthday party or a cute snack, although the sugar quotient might be a bit over the top… bugles as an alternative, perhaps? Ingredients: Cheese Crackers Candy Corn Peanut Butter To make Construction Cones: Take a candy corn and put a dab of peanut butter on the bottom. Glue the candy corn in the middle of a cheese cracker. Repeat...
semi-homemade pretzels →
Who can resist freshly baked pretzels? These are easy to make using a shortcut - store-bought frozen bread dough. The flavour variations are endless: garlic powder, parmesan cheese, pickled jalapenos (press into the dough after boiling but before baking), sesame seeds, melted butter, cinnamon and sugar (after baking), and - my fave - plain old kosher salt. Ingredients: 1 lb. loaf frozen...
chewy granola balls →
Here’s a unique twist on everyone’s favourite, kids and adults alike! This no-bake treat is perfect for small mouths and hands, and nutritionally sound too - it’s loaded with whole grains, protein and fruit, and has a perfect amount of sweetness too. (Makes about 30 balls) Ingredients: 1/2 cup almond butter 1/2 cup rice syrup 1 cup rice krispies 1 1/2 cups...
banana dogs →
Please, forgive me for this one. But it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your child’s face (and (s)he’ll definitely have the most unique lunch or snack at school)! You could definitely start a trend with these! If peanut butter is off limits at your child’s school, use cream cheese as a spread instead. Ingredients: • 1 hot dog bun (whole wheat is preferable) • ...
pb&j (or cream cheese) pinwheels →
One hardly needs a recipe for such a simple concept as this - but take a look anyway. This very well could be your child’s next favourite snack food. This is simple enough for kids to help you prepare, and fun too. In case of peanut allergies or if your child can’t take peanut butter to school, omit it - the cream cheese-jam mixture is also a delight! (Serves 4) 1/4 cup regular or...
vanilla bean applesauce →
There are few things more satisfying (and tasty!) than making homemade versions of bland supermarket staples. Applesauce is one of them - I’ve been making it since the little guy started eating solids, and this recipe is one of our faves. Ingredients: • 2 pounds apples • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract • Juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp)...
tex-mex rice cakes →
What a healthful, filling and delicious snack or dinner. It’s also a great way to use up leftover brown rice, something I always make too much of, and typical pantry staples. My little one gobbles these up every time. (Makes 14-16 cakes) Ingredients: 1 cup cooked brown rice 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated 3/4 cup frozen corn, defrosted 2 tbsp...
banana bites →
These might be the coolest snacks around! They’re also easy to transport to school for a mid-day snack - just remove the straw once the chocolate has hardened and wrap or store in a re-usable container. Ingredients: • 1-2 bananas • 4 oz (110 g) chocolate – milk or plain • dried coconut • sprinkles Directions: 1. Peel the banana and trim off the ends. Chop...
flavoured popcorn →
For a variation on this savoury popcorn: Toss popcorn with melted butter, 1 tsp. of ground sumac and 3 tbsp of Parmesan cheese. If you are feeling like a sweet snack: Toss popcorn with melted butter and sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar (3 tbsp. granulated sugar and ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon). Ingredients: 1/3 cup popcorn kernels (or about 8 cups/2 litres popped popcorn) 2 tbsp butter 1/2...
strawberry fruit leather →
(Makes 8 long strips) Ingredients: 3 cups strawberries 1 tbsp honey Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. 2. Remove the stems from the strawberries and rinse. 3. Place the strawberries and honey in a blender and puree until smooth. 4. Pour the mixture on to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and spread with the back of a spoon or spatula in a large rectangle (11 x 15 inches or so),...
free lunchbox notes
Aww - how sweet are these lunchbox notes, available via free download from Just Living the Wee Life, with sayings like ‘Miss you’ and ‘Super star’. While your big kid might cringe, the little ones always seem to appreciate it. There’s also a page where you can fill in the blank spots with your own cutesy sayings.
tangy cheese spread →
Just spread some of this yummy goodness on celery, crackers, or whole wheat bread and you have a satisfying, easy and great-tasting back-to-school snack. Ingredients: 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened (regular or low-fat) 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese 1/4 cup plain yogurt (regular or low-fat) 1 tsp runny honey 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon chili powder ...
red pepper hummus →
A nutritious and tasty accompaniment to veggies, pita chips, or scrambled eggs, as my son discovered this evening. Ingredients: 2 large garlic cloves, chopped 1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans (chick-peas), drained 1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste) 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar Directions: With processor running, drop garlic through feed...
salmon baby food provides omega-3 →
If the idea of salmon baby food sounds unappealing, consider this: salmon and similar fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical for brain, eye, and nerve development. What if you could give your child this essential nutrient in a convenient baby food form? Both breast milk and formula are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, but when children begin to eat solid foods, they...
welsh rabbits →
Ingredients: 1/3 cup grated Cheddar 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon cream or milk 2-3 drops Worcestershire sauce (or to taste) Pepper, to season 1 English muffin, split and lightly toasted Peas, thin slices of carrot or snow peas, 1 black olive (pitted and halved), a few fresh chives, and scallion, to garnish Preheat the broiler to high. Put the cheese, egg yolk, cream, and Worcestershire sauce...