Monday, January 4, 2010

Book Review: The Eat Clean Diet for Family & Kids

This is by far my favorite book for family nutrition. The nutrition information is grounded in clean eating principles. So you aren't going to find a lot of processed ingredients. What you will find is a full-color complete guide to transitioning your family to clean eating and some great meals to get you going. The book has a lot of information and success stories that is also very motivating.
Going against the grain and limiting what we feed our kids can be frustrating and a lot of work at times. We may even run into negativity from friends and family. So it is nice to have the validation that eating clean and helping our families to live healthier lives is a worthy goal.

I've seen the other hide-the-veggies-in-your-kid's-dessert books. I own Sneaky Chef and strongly prefer the Eat Clean Diet for Family and Kids. I want my kids to learn that vegetables are a good thing. Those other books are probably best for kids who are very stubborn or moms who are really concerned with getting more nutrients into their picky eater. But I think most kids like blueberries, carrots, and the like as long as their options are limited. If my kids are choosing between Captain Crunch and blueberries, the Captain Crunch will win every time. So it makes sense that my kids always eat better and are less picky when they don't have the choice of eating the junk. Eat Clean Diet for Family and Kids also has some great tips to hep avoid food power struggles as well and the recipes are not complicated or too strange.
I am excited to try the egg salad sandwich. I'll make it tomorrow and report back.

Portobello Mexican Pizzas

I think this has to be my favorite new thing because it is so easy, and seriously has to be only about 200 calories or so depending on your salsa and cheese. I love portobello mushrooms, but topped with salsa, green onions, mozzarella and sprinkled with garlic salt--yum!

Preheat oven to 400. Remove the stem AND the gills from the Portobello mushroom. I just peeled back the stem and removed the gills with a paring knife. Place mushrooms, upside down, on a baking tray and top each one with salsa, green onions and cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Frosty (Dairy Free!)

This is such a delicious shake, you’ll never guess that it doesn’t have any dairy in it. When our family did 100 days of no sugar, it was a good substitute for a Frosty. These days, my husband mixes a coconut with his chocolate mint protein powder to make a really tasty treat for the kids.

Years ago I was taught in a nutrition class to avoid tropical oils because of the high saturated fat. These days, coconut is the newest health food. Because the short-and medium-chain fatty acids of extra virgin coconut oil and coconut milk are easily and quickly assimilated by the body, they are not stored as fat in the body like the long chain triglycerides of animal products. Coconut oil is 50% lauric acid, which is also found in breastmilk. Lauric acid helps the immune system to fight off viral and bacterial infection. Also, young coconuts have far fewer calories than mature ones. I think they are about the same calorie wise as an avocado.

Young coconuts are different than regular coconuts. They are found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Most health food stores and Asian markets carry them. They have the thick white husk on the outside, instead of being brown. Brown coconuts will not work for this recipe.

The fun part is hacking it open! I just use a big knife, or a serrated bread knife. Either one works.

Turn the coconut on it’s side and cut it a few inches from the pointed top. A few good swings and it should come open. It might be kinda tricky the first few times you do this, but it gets easier! And it is kinda fun to weild that knife and hack it open. Just watch your fingers. LOL. Jared uses a really sharp serrated bread knife and just slices off the top. As soon as it is slightly open, I pour the coconut water into the blender cup, then remove the rest of the top of the coconut. The water can be clear, yellow, pink, purple etc. The meat is white and soft instead of hard like in a mature coconut. Take a big spoon and scoop the meat into the blender cup. My kids love to eat the coconut meat. It is slippery and really yummy.

Add two heaping tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 tray ice, and some agave to taste. Usually a couple of tablespoons. Honey, sugar, or stevia work too. Or you can mix with a scoop of protein powder.

Blend well and enjoy!
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