Family Traditions: Create a Signature Family Recipe (plus our secret Purple Flurple Smoothie recipe)

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

In 2012 one of the things I want to do with this space is to share more of my family’s traditions with you.  I thought I would start with a very simple, but fun tradition:  creating signature family recipes.

My whole family loves to play with our food! We spend quite a bit of time together in the kitchen, creating recipes, cooking together, and enjoying eating our experiments. From a young age, we involve our kids in the food preparation for the family, and we do our best to made it a fun experience.

We’ve developed a family tradition over the years of putting a signature spin on certain dishes, really making them our own according to our personal tastes and preferences.

Because you are so special to me, dear readers, and I’ve come to think of you like family, I am going to share with you our family’s top secret Purple Flurple recipeWhat in the world is a Purple Flurple, you ask?  A taste sensation!

Read on and see …

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Kid Friendly Meal Using Pumpkin 3-Ways

The following is by contributor Christen Babb.

 

Pumpkins inspire me. They are truly one of nature’s blank canvasses.

Pumpkins are best known for their ability to be carved into a myriad of artistic masterpieces, decorating the doorsteps of homes across America. However, this ever-versatile gourd can also play the starring role in both savory and sweet foods – from soups and raviolis to pies and even ice-cream!

Since I grew up not celebrating Halloween, I tend to associate pumpkins with the latter: food.  Not only are they extremely versatile in recipes, their nutritional value is often underestimated. Known as a “superfood“, pumpkins pack a punch of  B-vitamins alongside their  mellow,  inviting,  and quintessentially American  flavor.

Using pumpkin as my inspiration , I’m bringing you a nutritious and delicious pumpkin-packed meal:  Healthy Chicken Bites (with Pumpkin!) + Cheesy Pumpkin Polenta Fries + Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars

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Let’s Talk: What’s for Lunch?

We’re all feeling a little under the weather at the Fleck house, so I thought I would give myself a blogging break and open up the comments for discussion today. – Kara

Last week, I mentioned my family’s goals for the new year, including our goal of breaking out of our food rut and trying new ingredients and recipes.

Lunchtime Blues

In the comments to that post, a few readers admitted that they seem to have fallen into a food rut as well, singling out lunchtime specifically as a meal that can be difficult to bring new inspirations and fresh tastes to the table.

Peanut butter and jelly, anyone?

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Tactics for Limiting Sugar Without Feeling Like the Halloween Grinch

I’m guest posting over at Simple Organic today.

As the end of October approaches, so does the annual dilemma for families who choose to celebrate Halloween: how to find that happy medium that allows your kids to have fun and enjoy the day without an overindulgence in candy and sweets.

Here are a few ideas that I hope can help keep parents, kids, and dentists happy this Halloween.

[Read the rest at Simple Organic ...]

Head of the Class: Eco-Friendly Lunch Containers for a Smarter Planet

With back-to-school time just around the corner, I thought it might be helpful to Simple Kids readers to re-run this post by contributor Mariah Bruehl, founder of Playful Learning, about eco-friendly lunch containers.  Enjoy! ~ Kara

Every winter tends to lead to the infamous lunch-packing rut. To break the cycle this year we made a resolution to reduce our lunchtime waste. We decided to shed our plastic baggies and set out to investigate eco-friendly lunch containers. As a family, we learned a lot along the way and feel great about the choices we made for both the planet and our bodies.

Here are some tips that might be helpful as you start to navigate your green minded lunch-packing options.

The Food

When deciding which food-storage products are right for your family, the first thing to consider is the types of food you will be putting into your new reusable containers. When making choices about what to include in your child’s lunch, it is helpful to have a formula in the back of your mind. [Read more...]