Tag Archives: Cooking

Healthy and Fun Birthday Party Ideas

One of the toughest things I’ve encountered as a parent is planning my kids’ birthday parties. Should I hire an entertainer? What should I serve? How do I keep the party healthy? Etc… With a backyard pool it doesn’t make sense for us to go anywhere for a party, so I host cooking/pool parties! Here are some of the things we make:

1. Fruit kebobs – cut up some fruit (pineapple, grapes, strawberries, bananas etc) and give each kid a stick to slide the fruit on.

fruitkebobs 160x120 Healthy and Fun Birthday Party Ideas

Make-your-own-fruit-kebobs

2. Veggie kebobs – cut up some veggies (onion, green, red & yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes etc) and give each kid a stick to slide the fruit on. Brush each stick with oil and grill on the BBQ.

3. Make your own mini pizza – pizza sauce, shredded cheese, various veggies, pepperoni, ham etc.. Give each kid a whole wheat greek style pita and let them create! Then pop the pizza’s in the oven long enough to melt the cheese.

Make-your-own-pizza

Make-your-own-pizza

4. Make your own smoothies – yogourt, ice, fruit – let each kid decide what fruit they want and blend. If the kids are older, let them press the blender button.

5. Make your own frozen yogourt sundae (this is a great alternative to a cake). Vanilla frozen yogourt topped with strawberries, bananas, and chocolate – yum!

6. Chocolate fondue – dip fruit in melted chocolate, I find that the good Belgian chocolate from Bulk Barn w
works well. (This isn’t the healthiest option on my list, but it at least gets them to eat some fruit).

My daughters are 5 and 3 and they love these! Not only have these activities kept them and their friends entertained, but they also encouraged them to eat healthier foods. Two birthday problems solved at once!

Make-your-own-pizza
Make-your-own-fruit-kebobs

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Fitness Tip of The Day: When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work-up a big appetite, you won’t be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way home. Exercise is not enough. You must also include healthy eating habits.

Related posts:

  1. Motivation Monday: June 28, 2010
  2. Tips For Preventing Holiday Weight Gain

This post is from Fitness Cheerleader. Please visit the original post if you would like to join the discussion.

© Janice Smith for Fitness Cheerleader, 2010. |
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Are You Comforting Yourself With Food?

emotionaleating 180x120 Are You Comforting Yourself With Food?

Are you an emotional eater?

Think back to the last time you were stressed out, upset or over-tired. What did you eat? Did you follow the Food Pyramid and eat all that healthy stuff? Or did you reach for donuts, muffins, chips etc? Don’t worry, I’m the same way. Trust me – it’s not uncommon for us to reach for familiar foods when we feel stressed or upset. The good news is you can still have your comfort food – and eat it too, as long as it’s with lighter alternatives.

Here are some examples:

  • Instead of a slice of apple pie (350 cal/14g fat), try having a baked apple (100 cal/0g fat)
  • Instead of a brownie (227 cal/9g fat) try having ½ a cup of fat-free chocolate pudding (130 cal/ 0g fat)
  • Instead of a donut (310 cal/19g fat) try a low fat muffin (160 cal/2g fat)

MORE TIPS:

  • Think before you eat. Give yourself 15 minutes before you reach for the home made chocolate chip cookies or your favourite potato chips.
  • Write it down. Keeping a journal of your negative feelings and noting the circumstances when you reach for food (other than hunger) can help you identify your triggers. Writing allows you to express your emotions privately.
  • Avoid temptation. Don’t carry change for the vending machine, and ignore those office donuts and treats.
  • Understand how food comforts you. Some treats, such as chocolate, cause your body to release small amounts of mood-boosting hormones. Over time, you may come to associate a particular food with feeling better.
  • Exercise. Staying fit will help you handle stressful situations better. And unlike comfort foods, exercise BURNS rather than adds calories.

Remember folks, changing habits takes time, so be patient with yourself. Have a great day!

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Fitness Tip of The Day: When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work-up a big appetite, you won’t be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way home. Exercise is not enough. You must also include healthy eating habits.

Related posts:

  1. How Much do You Need to Eat to Lose Weight?
  2. Tips For Preventing Holiday Weight Gain

This post is from Fitness Cheerleader. Please visit the original post if you would like to join the discussion.

© Janice Smith for Fitness Cheerleader, 2010. |
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Adventures In Nutrition

As you’re all well aware, I’ve been trying to eat healthier and to influence my family into making healthier food choices.  It hasn’t been an easy road because my husband just doesn’t naturally gravitate towards fruit, veggies, dairy etc… The more processed it is, the more likely he’ll crave it, buy it and bring it into our house to tempt me.  Burgers, hot dogs, fries, pizza… He doesn’t go out of his way to sabotage my efforts, in fact he’s being as supportive as he can given my lack of cooking skills.  He’s put on a brave face and tried everything – though I have caught him making a burger at 9 pm to fill himself up.
I have tried lots of things these past six weeks – some things were a big hit (ie: green beans sauteed in bacon fat) and some things were a big miss (ie: Tofu and veggie stirfry in a peanut sauce..).  This has lead to my new nick name:  “Captain Janice, guardian of good eating” and all of my cooking efforts have been nick named: “Adventures in nutirition”… (This may sound familiar to you because of the Playhouse Disney mini-show Captain Carlos).
My adventures have been fun and frustrating.  I’ve been trying some exotic meals but have found that all in all my kids actually like nutritious food and will eat it if presented as an option.  Sometimes they have even chosen it over junk!  When I really started paying attention I realized that they do eat pretty healthy – as long as it’s fruit or dairy abnd they prefer raw stuff over cooked veggies, so maybe I should just stop trying so hard?

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