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Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

Creamy guacamole

(Creamy Guacamole, Wikipedia: Public Domain)

What is harder than thinking up delicious (and nutritious) meals for Host Children—and doing it every day?

There is hope. Au Pair Sis has gathered an awesome collection of easy and fresh meals on her Pinterest page.

Southwestern soils grow good vegetables: kale, asparagus, avocado, and others. Avocadoes caught my eye, as they are favored in New Mexico cuisine. The featured link to yummly.com offers  awesome alternatives for avocadoes in guacamole. Is anything missing here? Only a local emphasis on green chile added to the guacamole. Yum!

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Ambersweet oranges, a new cold-resistant orang...

Ambersweet oranges (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

As part of the general movement toward a healthy and green lifestyle, there is an explosion in children’s nutrition.Cultural au pairs and host families may enjoy the process of learning about supplements for the youngest members of the family.

The following products, chosen from among many similar ones, are found in major health food stores. Be sure to consult the child’s pediatrician for any questions regarding suitability.

  • Rhino Gummy Calci-Bears by Nutrition Now are chewy bear-shaped “jelly candies” that contain extra calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. This product won the Chef’s Award for “Best Taste” in 2011 and is gluten-free. The suggested serving size is 2 bears. Each serving provides 20-25% of the Daily Value of calcium, and 50% of the Daily Value of vitamin D for children 2-4 years/4+ years respectively. Grams of sugar per serving are 3, and calories are 15.
  • Animal Parade Kid Greenz by Nature’s Plus contain “broccoli, spinach, and other green foods” as a chewable vitamin. African animal shapes intrigue kids, and this product is gluten free and hypo-allergenic. Daily values of greens are not established for children under or over 4 years of age, and are therefore not reported. Each one animal serving contains 1 gram of sugar and 5 calories.
  • Kids Liquid Dolphin Pals by Country Life provide complete multivitamins and minerals, plus B vitamins, in a gentle liquid with a berry splash flavor. This product is not recommended for children under 2 years of age. 1 teaspoon provides about 50% of many nutritional guidelines for children under 4 years of age, or 25%-30% for children over 4 years of age. Each serving contains 2 grams of sugar and 15 calories.

As part of the research for this article, I felt compelled to taste-test the citrus fruit-flavored Rhino Gummy Calci-Bears and the tropical fruit-flavored Animal Parade Kid Greenz. I confess to an extra serving of each.

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Svenska: En smoothie år 2009

(Bluebery smoothie, Wikipedia, Public Domain)

It can be a challenge to make fresh fruits and vegetables a regular and well-loved part of a young child’s diet, but fruit smoothies are a favorite for children of all ages. Below is a “generic” smoothie recipe that allows a cultural au pair to make quick and flexible smoothies for home lunches and snacks. Be sure to supervise young children carefully, if they help make their own smoothies.

First you need a blender.

  • For each smoothie serving, peel and slice one banana and place it in the blender. (Tip: If the banana has been frozen, it will chill and thicken the smoothie).
  • To the banana add a handful of seasonal or frozen berries (e.g., blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries, singly or as a mixture).
  • Add liquid to cover the fruit. Fruit juices of various kinds (e.g., apple, orange, grape) work well. Soy, almond, or rice milks are another possibility. Experiment with less liquid to make a thick smoothie, or more liquid to make a thin smoothie.

Extra nutritional supplements may be added as desired, to personalize a smoothie. Young children may prefer the plain ingredients above. Older children, who need extra energy for school athletics or other activities, may develop a taste for added ingredients below.

  • Wheat germ increases available B vitamins
  • Bee pollen (watch carefully for allergies with young children) is favored by some to increase general nutritional content
  • Protein powder (e.g., soy, rice, or whey protein depending on desire or sensitivity) adds amino acids that support protein synthesis
  • Spirulina or other greens powders add minerals
  • Juice blends (e.g. ginger and Echinacea) provide gentle levels of herbal ingredients

Blend all ingredients until well mixed. For further information and ideas, you may also enjoy visiting Smoothieweb.

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