Food Glorious Old Fashioned Food Cures and Subs by Randi L. Levin

Posted By Randi on October 21, 2015

Food Glorious Old Fashioned Food Cures and Subs ,by Randi L. Levin
Today’s wonderful world of modern food comes in diverse colors spices herbs diets and flavors. Many in the nutritional dietitian and culinary world are subtly teaching the public how to accentuate flavors exotically while sharing with you recipes that were once only found in restaurants.
Yet I find something missing in the many food and recipe articles that seem to be all over the place these days. And what actually is missing is: A. How to adjust public recipes for Special Dietary needs at home and B. The importance of Old Fashioned Food Cures! For instance just a little bit of Honey added to Tea can help temper a cold’s cough and/or sore throat. Although this combination is only a temporary cure, the 2 others below are worthy old fashioned food cures.
So, as the Culinary world experiences and promotes more modern foods, sometimes old fashioned food helps to heal minor illnesses while the old fashioned substitutions for this and that ingredients never seem to change. So without further ado here are the basic Food Substitutions for Special Dietary Needs. After all just because a loved ones’ body is special doesn’t mean that they should have to forfeit some of the good stuff in life!
Food Substitutions:
Heart Friendly: Use Organic Canola Sunflower or Safflower Oil When Baking, or Virgin Olive Oil instead of Butter when cooking. Also, if a baked recipe calls for melted butter or margarine anyone of these but Olive can be used instead. (I do not like the texture when baking with Olive Oil.)
Sugar Free: Use Xylitol or Stevia For best results, I prefer Xylitol.
Gluten Free: Per each cup of flour required Substitute with ¾ cup plus 2 rounded Tablespoons of Buckwheat Flour plus 2 rounded Tablespoons of Quinoa Flour and 1 teaspoon of Xanthium Gum per cup. (I have been using this combo successfully since the early 80’s when I was a Special Ed Teacher.)
Dairy Free or Lactose Intolerant: Per each cup of milk (less/more) use Organic Soy Milk or Almond Milk or Lactose Free Milk.

Old Fashioned Food Cures: My Mom used to make these for me my dad, or any other family member who was sick hurt or had a sore throat and high fever. They always seemed to make us feel better if only for a while, and they did help get some food into our bodies to help us gain back our strength.
For High Fever and/or Sore Throat simply mix about 1/2 cup or more of Sour Cream with a teaspoon or 2 of sugar or honey and ½ of a banana sliced. Mix it together and serve. It is easy to slightly chew and swallow and cool the sore throat while tempering the fever slightly.

The Following Recipe my mom used whether we were sick had surgery, or broken bones. It Always seemed to help too. Plus it makes great quick sandwiches or even as an appetizer on mini breads! (FYI: When Moms/dads cook from scratch they often unconsciously pass the recipe onto their children to reproduce for generations to come! Prepackaged food does not allow such healthful pleasures.)

Egg Salad for 2 (Doubling or tripling this recipe is easy.)
4 hard-boiled eggs
1/3 diced celery
1/3 cup diced Onion
½ teaspoon dill
¼ teaspoon Celery Seed
1 rounded tablespoons Mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Place the diced veggies into a bowl, and thn mix with the spices.
2. Peel the Hard-boiled eggs and then holding one egg in your hand use a knife and cut it into fours and then slice them into the bowl of Veggies and Spice.
3. Add the Mayonnaise and mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are incorporated! Refrigerate or serve a small amount immediately!

Baby and Children Foods; What Not to Serve Your Kids

Posted By Randi on April 8, 2015

Baby and Children Foods; What Not to Serve Your Kids

The following information has been received from GMOFREEUSA.ORG. Both articles have been highly researched and are credible!
I believe that they are both very important for Parents to be aware of for each concerns the developmental health of your babies and children! Think of it this way do you want your children to grow up on foods filled with Pesticides and excess Human Growth Hormones; or do You want them to grow up on clean and healthy food?

Why We are Boycotting Nestlé’s Gerber:
We began our boycott of The Gerber Company, an American icon since 1928, in May 2013. Gerber claims that they were “committed to healthy babies from the beginning.” They state: “At Gerber, we work hard to become a parent’s trusted partner in fostering healthy growth and development and helping establish healthy eating habits from Birth+ to Toddler 2+.” Yet Gerber sources Roundup laced GMO corn and soy in many of their baby foods and formulas. That’s not a trusted partner!
In the United States, all of the mainstream baby formulas that are not organic are made with GMOs. Families that are unable to afford organic baby formula have no choice but to feed their babies GMOs. Forcing toxic Roundup laced GMOs on infants is unacceptable.
Infants are growing rapidly and in order to sustain that growth, they eat more food per pound of body weight than the average adult. As a result, pound for pound, they have substantially heavier exposures than adults to any toxins that are present in food. Babies are undergoing rapid growth and development and their delicate developmental processes are easily disrupted by toxins. “At this point, we simply do not have the scientific evidence to know whether the difference in pesticide levels will impact a person’s health over a lifetime, though we do know that children – especially young children whose brains are developing – are uniquely vulnerable to chemical exposures,” said Joel Forman, MD, FAAP, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health.
In 2013, Nestlé International, parent company of Nestlé USA and Gerber, announced that they would stop sourcing genetically engineered ingredients for the baby food products they manufacture and sell in South Africa. Nestlé does not use GMOs in Europe or other countries that require the labeling of GMOs. Meanwhile, Gerber baby foods sold in the USA/North America still contain genetically engineered ingredients such as Roundup Ready GMO corn & soy.
GMOs are being increasingly linked to health problems. GMO Bt corn is an EPA registered pesticide. If found on the shelf at Home Depot, the corn would be required to bear a label with the EPA Pesticide Registration Number. Every cell of the corn manufactures Bt toxins which kill insects when they bite into it. Bt toxins have been found to cause cell membrane death in human beings (1) as well as other alarming health effects (2). GMO soy has been linked to infertility. GMOs are sprayed with the herbicide Roundup, which is systemically absorbed and has been found to be genotoxic, neurotoxic, carcinogenic and an endocrine disruptor (3) (4). Roundup has also been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (5). American babies & babies worldwide deserve the same safe, GMO free foods that Nestlé sells in other countries.
Gerber’s competitor, Beech-Nut, has been listening to the call for Non-GMO baby foods. In July, 2014, Beech-Nut announced that all of its products were Non-GMO and ALL were enrolled in the Non-GMO Project for verification. Sadly, Beechnut does not make baby formula. Gerber needs to follow the leader and do the right thing. For these reasons, we will continue the boycott until Gerber removes GMOs and enrolls all their products in the Non-GMO Project for verification.
Part of GMO Free USA’s mission is to foster consumer rejection of GMOs until they are proven safe. Because it is difficult to rally the nation to boycott ALL GMO foods, we’ve chosen to use strategically targeted boycotts to change our broken food system. As it has happened in other countries, when one Big Food company is forced to remove GMOs, their competitors are at a disadvantage and soon follow.
Kellogg’s was chosen as our first boycott for many reasons:
As an American icon since 1906, Kellogg’s must step up and be a leader among Big Food companies.
Kellogg’s heavily markets to children and presents the company with a wholesome family image. According to the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, marketing of cereals to children has increased significantly over the years. RCFPO’s first study found that the least healthy breakfast cereals are those most frequently and aggressively marketed directly to children as young as age two. Kellogg’s is one of two companies that led in child-targeted marketing, in spite of their participation in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), the food industry’s self-regulatory program. While all people – children, teens, and adults – should be concerned with their health, children are most vulnerable because their bodies are still developing. Increasing evidence suggests that long term consumption of GMOs is harmful and that the escalated use of toxic synthetic pesticides in GMO agriculture is compounding the problem. These pesticides end up in Kellogg’s products.
The Kellogg Company states, “At Kellogg we believe that when you start with a great breakfast, great things can happen. That’s why we make foods that you and your family know, trust and enjoy.” After repeated attempts to get them to be transparent and cooperative on the issue of GMOs, we only got the cold shoulder. Meanwhile, Kellogg’s actively fights against transparency and has contributed nearly $2 million to propaganda campaigns to defeat citizens’ ballot initiatives to label GMOs in California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. Their participation in Washington state was particularly appalling, having channeled money through a money laundering scheme concocted by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) which was determined to be illegal by Washington’s Attorney General.
Kellogg’s was also chosen because they sell the same products abroad, in countries that require the labeling of genetically engineered foods, but without using genetically engineered ingredients. Americans deserve the same Non-GMO products.
In the United States, where there is no legal requirement to label genetically engineered foods and no definition of an allowable tolerance level of contamination, independent verification is of the utmost importance. For this reason, we demand that Kellogg’s not only remove GMOs but they must also obtain independent verification. We will not back down and we will not lift the boycott until Kellogg’s enrolls each and every product they make into the Non-GMO Project for verification. The Non-GMO Project uses the same contamination tolerance level of less than .9% (nine tenths of one percent) followed by the European Union.
To further clarify why independent verification is critical, the GMA, of which Kellogg’s is a member, is lobbying for federally mandated voluntary labeling. One of the many problems with the proposed standard is that it would allow for GMOs, which are processed to the point where the DNA may no longer be analyzable, to be labeled Non-GMO. This would allow oils which are produced from GMO crops such as canola and cotton, as well as refined sugar, processed starches, etc. to be labeled Non-GMO. While there may be no analyzable DNA, the fact remains that these ingredients are derived from crops which are herbicide tolerant and in many cases, pesticide producing. The increasing levels of chemicals associated with the failing GMO agricultural model will still be present in the final product. We believe that it is not only misleading and incorrect to label a food Non-GMO when it is made from a genetically engineered crop, but it is unethical.

Childhood Obesity: Healthy Holidays Tips and Recipes

Posted By Randi on December 15, 2014

Childhood Obesity: Healthy Holiday Tips and Recipes

WOW I cannot believe that Thanksgiving and The Winter Holidays have begun. And as anyone knows many of us tend to over eat sweets treats and purely delicious but fattening delights throughout the Holiday season.

And Why shouldn’t we indulge a little bit enjoying the scrumptious edible gifts from family and friends! I mean it is common during the Holiday Season for grandparents’ parents’ aunts uncles friends, and associates to prepare with finesse their finest meals treats and sweets only to share them with others. The Holidays are afterall a time to share to show you care. But does it have to be so darn fattening? No it does not!

Therefore to avoid some of the excess weight during this year next year and for a lifetime to come, especially if Obesity runs in your family or if you have a child who is overweight here are a few tips to help you develop a Healthier Holiday than those in the past!

The Healthful Ingredients

>Do not purchase Low Fat or Non Fat products as they commonly contain more sugar and salt than their whole varieties!

>Use Whole Yogurt instead of sour cream in sour cream based cakes cookies muffins and brownies.

>Know that when you make your own Dips and Salad Dressings that Whole Yogurt can be used to replacedalmost all of that sour cream or at least ½ of it. Yes you can use half whole yogurt and half whole sour cream.

>When a recipes requires OIL, do not use corn canola vegetable or soy oil Unless Organically Labeled—use safflower sunflower or olive oil instead! The other oils are not just more fattening but also contaminated with too much pesticides for health! This is especially so if someone in your family has a heart condition.

> If diabetes is in your family—you can always bake and cook with Xylitol instead of sugar. And If a recipe requires brown sugar, add 2-3 tablespoons of black strap molasses to each ½ cup of Xylitol required mix it in and allow it to dry and then break it up with your fingers or a fork. (if you can afford stevia then use that.)

>Use fresh fruits and veggies as much as you can over non organic canned.  Canned fruits and veggies are loaded with salts and/or sugars!

>If Gluten Free there are various All Purpose GF flours for you to easily use—and yes measurements are the same!

The Healthful Way to Eat Through the Holidays

>When going to a party or another’s home for the holidays do not be a glutton and pile your plate up too high. Tiny 2-3 tablespoon servings of each dish are more than enough to taste and satisfy. And if you or your kids like one dish more than the other, then have them take a little taste for respect and then serve them their favorite one—using the palm of their hand serving size to determine how much they get.

> Serve  or have a glass of water/milk and a small leafy green salad before the main course! And remember 2 tablespoons of Salad Dressing is enough more is to much.

> Do Not bring all the food to be served to the table. The turkey is great as a center piece but the rest can be dished out from the pans on the counter! Plus such makes for more room for dishes glasses and the occasional elbow!

>Remember that serving sizes resemble the size of an individual’s palm of the hand. And when family members want seconds—remind them of the desert and to save room for such!

>A big one: If you have served breads during a large Holiday Breakfast and if sweet bread is available to snack on THEN THERE IS NO REASON TO SERVE BREAD AT DINNER! Keep in mind that too much can pack on the excess pounds. Plus that turkey or ham can soak up the rest of those potatoes and gravy.

> TO prepare a healthier turkey—-instead of using all those breaded dried out cubes to stuff your turkey with why not just stiff it with a few apples celery and onions mixed with the spices you use on the turkey. Rather than use those salty canned broths to baste your turkey with, how about using 100% apple juice or cider instead.  The flavor is magnificent!

> Remember that fruits and veggies do not just have to be side dishes they can add a succulent marvelous flavor to various dishes as well as desserts! And adding some chopped nuts to various treats and dishes adds a bit of health plus flavor to it!

(Think of mashed sweet potatoes with chopped pecans or a rice pudding topped with roasted sliced almonds—YUM!)

> The more difficult healthful challenge is limiting the amount of treats and sweets you and your family consumes over the holidays. First limit the amount they can have daily; such as 2-3 cookies per day not 5-8. If cake and/or pie is available then they must make a choice—cake or cookies. Both are not Ok when your child is overweight! And Please don’t even purchase Ice Cream to go with it and if you must then purchase Frozen Yogurt to pair with that apple pie. Also WHIPPED CREAM, especially those in the tubs is not a healthful choice! Sure it tastes good but is not necessary; especially when obesity is in your family. Simply do not waste your money on it by not buying it. It is not necessary to enhance the flavor of a dessert!

Enough words of wisdom; here are a few recipes to help you make this holiday season a happy flavorful and healthy one.

Healthful Treats That Take Minimal Time!

 Favorite Quick Apple Cranberry Crisp:

 Preheat oven to 350? Fahrenheit  Serves 6

5 cups peeled cored and thinly sliced Gala Apples

2 cups Cranberries (fresh)

1-2 teaspoons Lemon Juice

2 teaspoons white sugar

2 Tablespoons Flour

1 Tablespoon Butter                                            


3 Tablespoons Flour

3 tablespoons Oats

3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed firmly or brown sugar substitute

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon Nutmeg (optional)

1 Tablespoon of butter

 1. Thoroughly grease a 9×9-inch pan with pan spray, butter or margarine.

2.  Mix the sliced apple cranberries lemon juice and sugar together in the greased pan. Dot the top with 1 Tablespoon of butter.

4. Mix the dry ingredients cinnamon nutmeg if using and the Butter together until crumbly.

5. Sprinkle the oat mixture all over the top of the fruit and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the crumbs begin to brown and the juices are bubbly. Serve hot or cold.


Serving size: 3-4 per person, depending on age

 1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1-2 teaspoons butter

½ cup dark or golden raisins or a variety of chopped dried fruits (personal favorites are chopped pineapple and dried cherries work great)
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

2 cups chow mein noodles (amount can be adjusted per personal preference)

2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

1. Using a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and butter for about a minute in the microwave. Remove the bowl and then stir the chocolate chips until thoroughly melted and smooth. Depending on the strength of your microwave oven, the chips may need a few more seconds in the microwave to melt completely.

2. Mix the remaining choice of ingredients into the melted chocolate until all ingredients are thoroughly coated.

3. Using a medium-sized spoon, drop individual mounds of the mixture onto a piece of waxed paper.

4. Refrigerate the candies for about an hour or until firm.

5. Store leftovers in a cool spot or in the refrigerator in a lined can with a lid, a plastic container with a light fitting lid or wrapped in plastic wrap.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels and/or Fruits

 Simply dip fresh or dried fruit, or Pretzel sticks into 1 cup of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed with 1 teaspoon of butter and then set to cool on a piece of waxed paper until firm.. You may want to use toothpicks to dip small berries or cherry halves into the chocolate with; and for strawberries, simply hold a few of the leaves gently with your fingers and dip. It is best to store chocolate covered fruit in the refrigerator, until about 10-15 minutes prior to serving to prevent melting and messy fingers! And You can always sprinkle some Christmas toned sprinkles onto the top for the Holiday Appeal.

TIP:  For a richer flavor add a 1 ounce square of Unsweetened Chocolate to the chocolate chips before melting it with the butter!

HINT: These als make great gifts when placed in a waxed paper lined can with a tight fitting lid!



Winter Weight Be Gone, plus Recipes, by Randi Levin

Posted By Randi on April 7, 2014

Winter Weight Gains Be Gone, Plus Recipes, by Randi Levin

    Yes this past winter has been a cold one for many! And it is a fact of life that many children and adults tend to put on 5-10 extra pounds during the cold winter months. Why> because as humans we have a tendency to eat heartier thicker foods when the weather is cold and stormy. Plus we don’t get outside quite as much to walk, run go for bike rides etc.

     Springtime has finally arrived and with it comes the time of year to shed those extra pounds; especially when there are overweight or obese members of your family. What is topping you from getting outside to play with your kids, go for walks play catch, learn to swim at the YMCA or simply jump rope for the fun of it. Failure to do something physical pouts ide is just another excuse you tell yourself and teach overweight kids to tell themselves.

    Granted, there are some children who don’t like to play games and taking walks so why not teach them how to start a garden of edible and pretty delights.  Just the act of pulling weeds digging holes filling pots with dirt, and planting seeds can be physically exerting.  How tto plant one must stretch lift, and bends various body parts; yet the best part is the results! BTW: If they don’t want too and prefer sitting around—tough for them for you can always turn off the TV and unplug those video games until they do. You as the parents can let them know that sitting around during one of the best seasons of the year is not an option. Besides once tiny green sprouts begin to pop up from the soil, kids commonly get more excited about watering them while continuing to pull the weeds out and away from them.

    Also, know that no matter where you reside, including inner cities or apartment buildings, there is always a little backyard or balcony  to grow foods and flowers on or use some grass and weeds out front that could be transformed into a small garden. Even a front stoop or semi shady small balcony can hold various pots for food herbs and flowers. For instance various Leafy greens (lettuce, spinach arugula) as well as radishes beets (beet leaves are edible and taste great) peas beans broccoli and carrots grow well in semi shady locations. Hence, you cannot use lack of sunshine as an excuse not to grow some of your own foods. (Keep in mind that a packet of seeds is only $1-$2 at most)

    And if you grow some of your own it cost less than buying flowers and some every day veggies. And if you can plant a fruit tree or bush—just wait and you’ll see the excitement in your kids when they see the first buds of fruit begin to grow. Ultimately growing your own apples, cherries berries saves money. And if tended to by watering pruning and weeding the majority will come back the following year.

    Springtime is a great time to start new habits for life. Sure you may be overweight or obese as may be your children but what is stopping YOU the parent from getting a bit healthier, being a good role model and raising healthier kids? You cannot use the excuse that its winter anymore! And although where you live may still be chilly outside it’s only an excuse used for years on end! Springtime does not just provide warmer air but a time to make some positive changes in habits, choices and routines.

    Actively playing and digging are not the only means for shedding those excess winter pounds. Good healthful food choices and “Homemade” foods also provide for healthful alternatives toward weight loss or just for eating healthier. Know that forfeiting the chemically induced fat inducing prepackaged crap and canned foods in favor of homemade meals and snacks while also eliminating large servings honestly does help with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. Besides as previously stated, when your purchase these products you aren’t using your hard earned funds paying for the food within; in fact you are paying for the nicely designed packaging image and the packaging. So walk on by those frozen aisles and prepackaged food items at the grocery store and stick to the fresh food aisles.  

    Sure, there is no doubt that financially times are hard! Food Stamps have been cut, the cost of healthful food gas bills, and postal stamps are ever rising and salaries have not caught up with these rising costs. Yet to use these rising costs as an excuse to avoid making healthful choices is just that an excuse that you tell yourself. This is especially so when you continue to pay for the prepackaged crap cans of food tech toys, and cell phones; plus soda chips possibly beer cigarettes and weed! Hence, using the cost of healthful food to avoid making healthier choices for you and your children is just another lousy excuse that no longer passes the mustard.   

    Ok so you know you must get outside and play with the kids or just for yourself. But how do you start cooking and baking again when you have relied on the cans or prepackaged crap for so long. First you start with a good recipe. Yet before you hesitate and tell yourself:  “I can’t”, “I don’t have time”, “The kids won’t like it” “I don’t know how”  or “I don’t Cook” why not try for the sake of your kids and family. It won’t hurt anything and you’ll find that they really do like your homemade foods. And the best part is that homemade meals and snacks/treats have a tendency to gather your family around the table; wow what a concept huh! In fact  just the other day I dear friend called me asking for one the following recipes. She said that the little ones loved it when I brought them over and she wanted to make it too!

So now that Spring has sprung the time has come to start anew by making positive changes for the health of yourself and your children.


Bean Soup: (Canned soups do not provide enough for another meal and freeze poorly)

 1, 2-3 gallon pot or Crock Pot

1 large meaty ham shank

1 1/2 cups dry pinto beans

1 1/2 cups dry small red kidney/red beans

1 1/2 cups dry navy beans

1 1/2 cups dry black eyed beans

1 drained can organic garbanzo beans, (optional)

1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 Cloves garlic finely diced or 1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 Small bunch celery, chopped or left whole, bottoms trimmed off (personal preference to slice or not)

1/4 Cup parsley, chopped

1. The night before serving place the beans into the Pot or Crock Pot, and cover them with warm water. Let the beans soak overnight.

2. The next morning using the same pot or large crock pot either tie the parsley and celery together or place them into the foot of an old nylon stocking and tie it together with a string or clean twisty and place it in the pot of beans. Add all ingredients, except the garlic, to the pot, and fill the pot with warm water to just below the rim.

2. Bring all to a boil over medium heat, skim the scum from the top of the water if using a pot, then add the garlic. Cover the pot and lower the heat to low.              IF using a crock pot just add all the ingredients to the pot, cover with water to the top, set the temp to simmer and put the lid tightly on. Allow all to simmer for 5-7 hours or more until the meat pulls away from the bones and the beans are tender. Serve hot and store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer in a freezer safe container.

 Mellow Melon Slushie (much healthier than a Popsicle made with sugar and artificial flavors on those warmer days of spring)

Serves 2-3

½ seedless watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, papaya or mango chopped into 1-inch pieces

8 strawberries, stemmed and preferably hulled

2-3 cups Fruity Cubes (see under Recipes).

1. Place fruits and Fruity Cubes into a blender and blend for about 20-30 seconds until all ingredients are crushed and slushy.

2. Divide the Slushie between 2-3 glasses and serve with a straw and smile.

 Berry Gobbler (Easy low in sugar and a great snack; plus leftovers can be warmed the next morning and served with milk or yogurt before work or school)

Preheat oven to 350? Fahrenheit 

Serves 3-4

4 cups blueberries or a combo or blueberries raspberries and blackberries (preferably previously frozen, so that the natural sugars secrete into the juice once thawed. If using fresh fruit, no worries, it will taste just as wonderful)

1 ¼ Tablespoons Minute Tapioca

¼ cup oats (quick or old fashioned)

 3 Tablespoon flour

2 Tablespoons brown sugar, packed firmly

½-teaspoon cinnamon

2 Tablespoons melted butter or canola safflower or sunflower oil

 1. Thoroughly grease a 2-quart casserole dish, or 8×8 inch pan with pan spray.

2. Thaw the frozen berries on high in the microwave for 4-6 minutes or until juicy (SKIP this step if using Fresh Fruit).

3. Pour the fruit and juices into the prepared dish, add the tapioca, and mix thoroughly. Cover the dish with a cloth or paper towel and allow ingredients to sit for 10 minutes.

4. Mix the dry ingredients and cinnamon into another bowl, add the canola oil, and then mix with a fork until crumbly.

5. Remove the paper towel or cloth from the fruit after 10 minutes and then sprinkle the oat mixture all over the top of the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crumbs begin to brown and the juices are bubbly. Serve hot or cold.

 HINT: this recipe can be easily doubled!

PS: Enjoy the Goodness of Homemade Love!

Dear Parents, are you serving GMOs to your Loved Ones

Posted By Randi on January 5, 2014

Dear Parents’ are you serving GMOs to your loved ones? By Randi L. Levin JR

A scary question as most likely many of you are serving Genetically Modified Organisms/Foods. So be aware that to date genetically altered foods have yet to be professionally labeled by our USDA and can most likely be found in your home kitchen, refrigerator and freezer.
(There is a Non-Organic exception as General Mills has heard the message from many fighting GMOs and has just agreed to eliminate GMOs from its Cheerios Formula! Although to date, they are Only removing GMO ingredients from their Cheerio Formula, not the others!)
Thus, as the New Year is now upon us I believe that it is important for all parents to know about GMOs Foods, which foods are genetically altered and how they can disrupt the natural healthful development and growth of your children and possibly you as well.
So have a seat as I have much to share and such is important to you and your family’s Health.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Genetically Engineered (GE) Seeds, Technically Engineered (TE) Seeds are all the same and manufactured in labs rather in nature. These same foods are hybrid with Poisons unfit for human consumption (DDT, Agent Orange/Napalm, and Roundup etc.) as well as Human Growth Hormones (HGH) to make these foods grow “Bigger Plumper and Juicier” (stated by young Bio-engineer, who shall remain unnamed).
I cannot say why our Government refuses to label these foods yet I can share that since their initial inception about 15-20 years the side effects of such can be seen commonly by the rise in Childhood Obesity, Allergies Autism and Asperger’s as well as in an increase of Hormonal Dysfunctions in Children.
As a former Special Ed Teacher I do think that the poisons hybrid into these foods in addition to the mass of pesticides sprayed upon them do contribute to the significant rise in Autism and Asperger’s in children as well as a rise in children and adults developing various Cancers. Know that is statement is not based on facts only my experiential Opinion.
IF you read the label on RoundUp it does state “Hazards to Humans and Domestic Animals. Keep Out OF Reach of Children” And Roundup’s website does state that It kills: “Weeds and Grass, Prevents Weeds and Grass, Kills Poison Ivy and Tough Brush and Kills Tree Stumps”; so just begin to image what it can do to a human or animal body when consumed regularly. Additionally Scientists have found that GMO’s hybrid with Roundup tend to kill the nutrients in surrounding soils.
DDT is an Insecticide, a poison. And anyone who remembers the Viet Nam War is aware of the cancerous effects of Napalm/Agent Orange! And Yes these Poisons are now hybrid into too many of our foods. A list of which will follow shortly.
Yet, the GMO formula is not limited to poisons for Bioengineers also hybrid The Human Growth Hormone, HGH into many everyday foods. Granted our bodies do produce a natural supply of HGH as it is what makes all of us grow from birth through adulthood. But once we reach adulthood the natural development of HGH decreases. However when an infant, toddler and young child is regularly fed Genetically Altered GMO food, I do believe that they are at risk of developing thicker bones skin, and bodies which do contribute to a higher BMI rating and possibly Childhood Obesity.
How do I know? Well, Child Obesity has by far risen significantly since the inception of GMO crops and food 15-20 years ago. And there must be a cause other than Fast Food, Junk food Processed foods, and Soda for these foods/beverages have been around for decades; although the production of diverse brands has increased.
Thus It IS My Opinion, that when children are fed a regular supply of GMO foods such could induce larger thicker more dense bodies in your children resulting in higher BMI (body mass index) ratings. OF course, a parent’s food choices also have a role in such especially if you tend to feed your families primarily prepackaged salty sugary and processed foods, the majority of which are commonly made with GMOs ingredients. OK lack of exercise or just sitting around can contribute to Childhood Obesity too.
Ahh, but GMOs are not limited in their negative effects either for I do believe that they are contributing to Hormonal Dysfunction in children as well. Before they were developed and put onto grocery shelves, rarely did you ever hear or read about a little girl or boy being born one sex yet wishing to be the other as a toddler or older. Additionally you rarely ever heard of young girls developing breasts and their period at the age of 8-10 or little boys of the same age developing Pubic Hair and having wet dreams. Yet today this hormonal dysfunctions occur more than ever before in history. And Yes I do believe that GMO foods hybrid with poisons and HGH are contributing to a rise in hormonal dysfunctions. After all a natural supply of bodily developed hormones are complicated at best and now they add such into our food. Of course there will be repercussions especially since it’s not nice to screw with Mother Nature!
Since several common ingredients like corn starch and soy protein are predominantly derived from genetically modified crops, it’s pretty hard to avoid GMO foods altogether. In fact, “GMOs are present in 60 to 70 percent of foods on US supermarket shelves”, according to Bill Freese at the Center for Food Safety. Sure the majority of fresh fruits and veggies are still real and natural; yet be aware that much of the feed to livestock and stocked fish is primarily made of GMO corn, alfalfa, and other biotech grains. Know that only Wild, Grass-Fed or Organic varieties of these products are guaranteed GMO-free feed.
Why won’t our Government label these GMO foods when 64 foreign countries have?
The answer, MONEY? Yes the Biotech Corporations as well as the Food Corporations don’t want to deal with the excess cost of labeling their products, especially since they do believe that Genetically Engineered Foods are safe for human and animal consumption. Yet remember that only the Corporations that manufacture GMO seeds claim that their lab manufactured seeds are healthful. Our FDA or USDA has yet to conduct any scientific tests to determine such healthful components. Yet, Lab rats primarily fed a GMO diet did develop massively large tumors!
Also be aware that although you may hear Monsanto’s name associated with GMO foods they are not alone. Corporations such as DuPont (under the name of Pioneer), Syngenta, Dow Agro Sciences, BASF, and Bayer also manufacturer GMO seeds in their Labs and sell them to farmers; while also restraining what a Farmer may or may not grow. Fortunately I recently found that out that Our Endocrinologists/Internal Medicine Doctors are helping to battle GMO food! They too know of the negative side effects to our health and that of our children and are aware of the correlation between the rise in diseases and the consumption GMO food.
AS promised below is a list of USA GMO Crops and USA Non GMO Crops to date.

Chinese cabbage
Canola, including canola based butter spreads, Mayo and salad dressings (approx. 90%)
Corn, corn oils HFCS, and corn starch (approx. 88%)
Cotton and cottonseed oil (approx. 90%)
Dairy Products, including non-organic milk. When livestock are fed GMO feed then the Dairy Product contains GMOs.
Golden Rice and some varieties
Papaya (Majority of the Hawaiian crop)
Rutabaga and Siberian Kale
Soy (approx. 94%)
Sugar and Table Beets (approx. 95%)
Tomatoes (remember those Flavr Savr varieties, yes they were the first GMO to hit the grocery store in 1994)
Zucchini and Crookneck Yellow Squash

Bioengineers are currently working on GMO Potatoes as well as Apples.
NON GMO grains vegetables and fruits which are also grown without doubling or tripling the use of pesticides are:

Cabbage, including Brussels Sprouts
Herbs and Spices
Kiwi (filled with much Vitamin C)
Sweet peas, including frozen
Sweet Potatoes

For a detailed list of all Prepackaged and Processed US Foods containing GMOs please see:
“Comprehensive List Of GMO Products | Shift Frequency”
And In this New Year, do what is best for your family’s health and try to avoid these GMO containing prepackaged products in favor of Homemade Love! In the long run your family will be thankful for such as will their overall health.

Healthy Choices for the New School Year, by Randi Levin

Posted By Randi on August 20, 2013

Healthy Choices for the New School Year

As many parents begin to purchase this and that for the new school year, know that there are wise choices and poor choices to spend your hard earned funds on. School supplies are a given; they are necessary tools for learning. Do not expect the school to supply them, purchase them yourself and help prepare your child/children for learning without the stress of not having any supplies or of potentially being bullied for not having the supplies. Keep in mind that Bullies will any excuse to Bully another!
The sales on school supplies are great right now and the only time of the year when such supplies are pretty cheap. However, while meandering around this store or that, DO NOT fall into the trap offered on sales of cheap foods found in pretty packages or even some generic packaging.
Yes there are massive varieties of prepackaged Foods for breakfast, lunches and quick dinners currently are on sale tempting you to place them into your shopping cart! Yet the majority of these foods are not healthful choices and do not help your child maintain attention and learn. And although too many of these packages look super and your kids like them, know that the food within does cost more than the same variety made at home in only a few minutes of time.
For example when buying yogurt promoted for children, keep in mind that you are paying for that packing not the yogurt per se’. You are paying for the chemicals, sugars and artificial flavorings and artificial colors; these ingredients can and often do contribute to ADD or ADHD like behaviors! In fact some artificial food colorings have been linked to various learning disabilities, including Autism. Thus a wiser choice is to spend your funds on purchasing an all-natural quart of Plain Yogurt Full Fat; (low fat versions commonly contain more sugar and salt) and mix your own fruit into individual servings. For a smidgen of sweetness add a ½ or full teaspoon of honey and mix it into the yogurt and fruit. (Check out the Stocking up for Health article for purchasing fresh fruits on sales and storing them for future use.)
And if you have frozen fruits, then thaw a small amount in the microwave and then add the juice and the fruit to the yogurt and mix. This same goes for Pudding and Jello. Why would you spend $2-$3 dollars on container of prepackaged Jello when you make your own for about a $1?
(Remember little plastic containers (sour cream, yogurt, whipped cream cheese, etc.) with lids can be washed and reused many times and helps to save money on containers; especially if your kids neglect to bring them home. And many large grocers currently have storage container on sale—I just got a package of them and Yes there are several small individual containers w/lids in the box.)
Honestly Mom and Dad it blows me away how many people and parents waste their funds on prepackaged when making your own costs pennies in comparison. Sure they are easy but not very economical or healthful, for they are loaded with sugars salts chemicals to increase shelf-life, and artificial flavorings and colors. Besides they can contribute to off task behaviors. The same on those Toaster Bars eaten early in the morning; they’re not very nutritious but can induce off-task behaviors once the sugar rush crashes an hour or 2 after arriving at school! IF your kids prefer them, then they can enjoy these toaster bars over the weekend when have lots of time to run/play off the excess sugar. But on school days such may hamper their ability to maintain focus and learn!
Also right now, various sugary cereals are on sale at great prices! But just walk on by them for they won’t help your child/children maintain focus and learn; primarily because they are loaded with sugar. Purchase more whole grain products which have been found through research and my prior observations as a Teacher, to help children/students maintain focus. Add fruit to each serving and enhance the flavor as well!
Personally I am shocked that the majority of grocery stores try to lure you in with their sales on prepackaged crap, for that is what it is. And Most of these foods do contain GMO food products, or genetically engineered seeds made in labs not in nature. Thus anything that has corn, corn syrup High Fructose Corn Syrup or Soy in it should be avoided for you would be feeding your babies chemicals unfit for human consumption.
Additionally One food source that really bugs me are those prepackaged meat and cracker packages. They cost you what, $2-$3 bucks a package. Sure they are easy, but come on Mom and Dad, why on earth would you spend so much for a package of a few crackers and a couple slices of meat and cheese when you could prepare your own for a half of that price! Granted there are a few healthful prepackaged choices, such as some Tuna Fish and crackers. Again read those labels and pick the one with the least amount of sodium and carbs!
Seriously other than some tuna varieties, why would you spend your hard earned funds on prepackaged products when you can make your own in minutes with real meats fruits/veggies and cheese over that of processed. Look at the labels of these products for they are loaded with fats, Sodium (salt) carbohydrate and sugars. Thus shop and eat healthfully but don’t waste your money, energy and health on these Easy Fixes as that is all they are. They are on sale to lure you to buy them! Yet don’t fall into their lure, instead just walk on by and remember the line about making changes out of Love for your children and family.
“I love you and I know that you like it but it doesn’t provide with you energy to lean and play with. And were not buying that anymore because I DO Love You and want you to have more energy to learn play and enjoy life with.”
If your child/children wish to throw a tantrum, simply leave the store until they calm down. Your Shopping cart will remain safe for the few minutes it will take for them to calm down!
Mom and Dad, it is up to you make good or better choices for your growing and developing children. Whether they are overweight obese or not, it is your responsibility to raise them healthfully and prepared for the long days of school ahead. For the sake and well-being of your children and family, don’t fall into the trap of prepackaged foods or beverages. Some are so loaded with sugars and artificial ingredients that they have minimal if any nutritional value at all! Sure prepackaged foods are cheap and easy, and your kids like them. But, know that the more you buy this stuff to make your life potentially easier, you are ultimately making a choice that negatively effects your children’s health, learning ability and skills, and their quality of life.
Raising children on prepackaged food is not a good choice, but a cheap one—especially when homemade versions cost less and are more nutritious! The choice is yours and yours alone to make! For the sake of your children, I hope that during these school sales you shop wisely and for the overall well-being of your children over that of the cheapness of a quick fix.
Many Good wishes for a healthy and successful school year ahead!

Parents Beware Of the Sugar Rush Crash, by Randi L. Levin

Posted By Randi on July 15, 2013

Parents Beware Of The CRASH!

No, I am not referring to your teenager crashing the car! Rather I am referring to the Sugar Crash that happens more often than not to adults but especially to children. And when this crash happens you’ll see it for it seems to come out of nowhere; and into crankiness, rudeness, potentially nasty attitudes sometimes tears and sometimes a bit too much yelling screaming and occasionally hitting.

The Sugar crash is far from fun and can turn a nice sunny day cloudy, a lovely event miserable and your home tumultuous. The other thing about a Sugar Crash is that it is likely to reflect on school work and the ability to maintain focus just as it can interrupt fun activities and events. And you know what; sometimes it is the food you have available early in the mornings that can induce ADD or ADHD like symptoms, when actually your child is suffering from a Sugar Crash (but not always)!

Just this past weekend while I was at a local Farmer’s Market peddling my cookbooks a young lady of about 9-10 approached my booth. She was a bit overweight yet wanted to taste a cookie, and with the “Magic Word” she got a small cookie sample. Her mom came over in the interim to look through one of my cookbooks about the same time that I asked this little girl what her favorite food was. Yet, before she answered she asked if she could have another cookie and before I could answer, her mom said “sure”. As I handed the little girl another cookie, she told me that her favorite food is Pop Tarts.

I looked to her mother who was nodding, agreeing that yes her daughter’s favorite food was Pop Tarts. As the child was happily munching on the last bits of that cookie I asked her Mom if she had been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD at school. Her Mom then asked me how I knew this. I answered by informing her that I was a former Special Ed teacher and have observed and learned that children who are eat toaster bars sugary cereals white breads pastries, and/or syrupy delights (pancakes, waffles etc.) before school get a sugar rush from their chosen delights. I also informed her that the Sugar Rush normally comes crashing down about an hour and half to 2 hours later. Hence, the Sugar Crash can cause a child/student to get off task fidgety talkative attitudinal, or cranky and off task. Too often these behaviors and mind frames are misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD.

Evidently this mom was accustomed to giving her little girl whatever she wanted within means. Yet I think she may have heard the unspoken message for when this child asked for “one more cookie please” her mom looked to me while saying “no you have had enough, she needs those cookies for other people too”; and then grabbed her child’s hand and guided her away from my table while she turned her head and shared a smile with me.

Although she didn’t buy a cookbook, I believe that this little girl’s mom got something a bit more valuable at the market this past weekend.

When your child is diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, the real question to ask is if your child actually has a true Attention Deficit or are they really suffering from a Sugar Crash. Sometimes it is the available foods in the home, especially for breakfast that can cause Attention Deficit like symptoms when in reality the child is suffering from a Sugar Crash. Thus, if you take the sugar out of breakfast your child is much more likely to maintain focus until lunchtime.

Although this day may have ended well for this mom, there was another family whose day did not end so well. Mom dad and 3 kids got to the market around 11 in the morning. Mom was pulling the kids around in an old fashioned wagon with Dad walking by their side. Everyone in this family was smiling and happy to be there for the day. A couple minutes after arriving I saw their 2 oldest boys, probably around 10 and 8 years of age jump out of the wagon and run over to a baker’s booth. Soon they were salivating over the giant cookies and ran back to their parents for money. Of course they were immediately obliged, bought their treats and devoured them rapidly. Shortly thereafter, I saw this family again, only this time they were each carrying sodas and mom was pouring some soda into the little girl’s Sippy cup. Everyone in that family was still smiling and having fun. Yet I did notice that no one in the family of mention had yet to taste the cornucopia of fresh fruits and veggies samples offered by the various farmers at this market.  But they did go and have lunch, corndogs and large pulled pork sandwiches about 45 minutes after arriving.

While eating, the boys spotted the mechanical bull ride at the end of the block and were up and running towards it leaving their uneaten lunch behind on the paper plates. Mom didn’t finish her lunch either, for she was up and running after them, leaving dad and the little girl behind to finish eating. Dad laughed while watching his boys hoot and holler as each took a turn on the mechanical bull and the little one happily giggled as her dad laughed.

I didn’t see them for another 45 minutes or so, but when I did I noticed that the boys were back in the wagon and that the little one was sniffling on the verge of tears. Mom and dad were still smiling but not as large as before; and the boys appeared to be a bit fidgety in that wagon. As I saw them go by the fresh fruit stand, bursting with freshly picked peaches berries and cherries they didn’t taste any samples but mom did purchase some fresh berries. And then they disappeared from view again. They were having fun and that’s how a day out should be spent, having fun.

It must have been another 30 minutes or later when I saw the boys go screaming by and over to the Snow Cone booth. Eagerly they pleaded for the lusciously cool rainbow of wanna-be juice and of course their parents again fulfilled their want. Shucks they don’t know that the colorful rainbow saturating and seeping into the crushed ice is really made of artificial colors, artificial flavors and sugar, and they don’t care——but you as the parent should.

While devouring their snow cones the boys continued to tow their sister and parents to and fro around the event. Mom shopped a little while dad took them and the wagon over to a guy drawing caricatures. Soon the 3 kids were sat down for a drawing, yet it was hard for them to sit still and the little one began to cry just as Mom walked over. Fortunately the artist was almost done with the caricature and the boys were instructed to sit still as the little one stifled her tears. It was rough but they did as they were told by the artist. Once finished the artist looked grateful to get these boys out of his booth, for they were getting unruly and were unable to sit still any longer.  Soon this family was back up with the boys running around here and there with their parents and sister in tow. I began to notice that your eldest boy was getting pushy his brother; but his parents ignored it. Ignoring poor behavior is easier than dealing with it and causing an argument, right!

This family had been at this event for a couple hours already, yet from what I could see, still hadn’t sampled the bounty of fresh fulfilling samples, rather they preferred the sweet treats and foods available. And yes, this market was pretty open, whereby you could see all of it on the line of 4 large neighborhood blocks. The next time this family passed by my booth I noticed dad looked frustrated, mom cranky and the kids were getting tired and cranky rapidly. And the next time I saw them they were all carrying sodas again, not fresh juice or water but more soda. I remember my booth neighbor walking over and whispering to me “that family over there is going to melt down at any moment”. Occasionally vendors do get bored and people watch; evidently she too had been watching them too.

Shortly after we saw the older brother towing around the wagon, the little girl was hitting the other brother who was teasing and tickling her as their parents tried to catch up. Dad got there first and took the metal reigns away from his oldest, threatened the other son with an early bedtime to stop teasing his sister and when mom caught up, she just told them all to behave themself. The young brother began to hit his sister again when she pinched him, and the older one tried to pull the metal reign out of his dad’s hands while mom walked along seemingly content sipping on her soda.

My neighboring vendor laughed and winked at me a few minutes later; 2 of the kids were crying, mom and dad were arguing and the oldest kid was running down the block back toward the mechanical bull. He gave the begging a pleading a good try, begging his parents for money for another ride, as did his younger brother. Neither realized how much money those rides cost and so got mad when the parents said “no” and that it was time to go home.

Soon they began arguing and pouting. The little girl started crying simply because of her brothers and parents were fighting. Yet it gets worse, for once they begin to settle down,

The kids all ask for ice cream and are told “No” and that’s when the meltdown or Sugar Crash hits and it hits hard. You could hear this family’s cries yells and threats from a block away as they try to cross the street to the parking lot. That family of angels had disappeared in only a matter of a couple hours.

What caused this meltdown? Too much sugar came crashing down! Yet ultimately it was the parent’s choice to allow them to eat giant cookies, a cheap lunch with soda and then the sugary snow cone and then another soda topped it all off. In the same respect if the parents had geared their kids toward sampling the fresh fruits and veggies, bought some of them to munch on as well as some water or fresh lemon juice over that soda and only allowed 1 sweet treat their entire day could have been much more pleasant; instead it ended miserably!

And now we have come to the endless summer days. School is out the kids have lots of free time and whether you work or not sometimes the kids consume too much sugar throughout the day and eventually it does come crashing down. Sugary cereals or quick toaster bar and they are out the door and running and playing enjoying the summer’s sunshine. Yet it is hot out and soon they want a Popsicle. Some time goes by and they want a cool soda or slushy to quench their thirst. They fix a PB and J or just grab a handful of prepackaged cookies or health bars for lunch and are soon back outside running around and playing being kids. But it hot out and soon they want a snack to cool off with. Another Popsicle comes out of the freezer and back outside they go.

Later in the day once home from work errands or whatever, what to have for dinner is the question on your mind. You could pack them up and go out for fast food, toss together a healthful cooling salad or, oh yeah there’s nuggets in the freezer the kids will love them. When the kids come in for dinner, you ask them to set the table but they ignore you. As you’re heating up those easy and cheap prepackaged chicken nuggets you can hear some yelling between your kids, yet choose to blow it off. The ring a ding of the heating device indicates that dinner is cooked so you toss some plates and forks onto the kitchen table and holler for the kids to come in for dinner. Rapidly you empty a can of veggies into a bowl and heat them too. Once all is set on the table you again holler to the kids that dinner is ready.  Most of your family may arrive at the table, grab a soda from the fridge to quench their thirst; but you notice that their smiles are gone and replaced with crankiness and some arguments may erupt at the table. Sure they may be hot and tired from playing all day, but have you ever considered that they are actually crashing from all those popsicles combined with sugary sodas. Soda doesn’t quench ones thirst and Popsicles only cool one for a short period. Imagine if you had chosen to eliminate the sodas from home and instead taught them how to make more fulfilling homemade version with fresh fruits? How about serving a cooling salad over that of Hot Nuggets? Your household and family though tired may have been more welcoming after a hot day outside while you were at work. Instead the choices available at home may have induced Sugar Crashes when more healthful choices could have prevented headaches and cranky a household.

So why did I share these 3 instances with you? Because although we humans need some sugar to maintain a healthy body, too much sugar and sugary treats do more harm in the long run than good. And yes too much sugar can pack on excess weight if one is not very active.

Early in the morning sugary breakfasts tend to take a student off task; and this type of behavior often results in a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD, although your child may be suffering from is a SUGAR CRASH!

And when you take your family to an event—whether such is a Fair Carnival Theme Park, or Farmer’s Market, be aware of what you choose for yourself and your children from the variety of delectable treats. And know that if you indulge in too many sweets and sweet beverages, a nice family outing may turn into a miserable day filled with crankiness frustration and unruly behavior!

Therefore Mom and Dad make wise choices for you and your family. Your kids depend on and role model after you, thus if you make better choices now so will they. And they will grow up and do the same with their own children!

Cream Puffs of Healthful Joy, by randi levin

Posted By Randi on April 20, 2013

Cream Cheese Puffs to help Bring the Springtime, by Randi

Cream Cheese Puffs

the Springtime
For the breathe in me I can never understand why around this time of the year
days seem to get longer and the chores and school assignments tend to intensify
with panic. The routine chores, office work, daily employment, school
assignments and activities all seem to grow in amount and intensify in
priority. I was also thinking of some very quick, scrumptious and colorful
treats to prepare for the coming Easter Holiday. This is the time of year that
many celebrate the warming season, Spring, the cherished time of fertility and
new life.

So why not try to bring some new
life into your own home. Forfeit the old prepackaged crap and start anew with
homemade goodness. With Springtime comes the want to get outside more, to
replace the sweater heavy coats and long johns with shorts leggings tees and
tanks. Sure the heavy winter clothes helped hide the extra pound(s) that many
of us put on through the winter. Ahh, but Spring is here presenting itself as a
time for new life! And it happens to be one of the best times of the year to
introduce some new habits at home to ensure happiness health with some of the
best stuff that life has to offer! Budding trees flowers fields bursting with
fresh food while homemade love and health burst with the season’s warm inviting

So why not turn the tube off and get
yourself and family outside. It doesn’t take much to toss a ball play catch
hoops, or even jump rope with your family. Or how about just going for a walk
enjoying the splendor of Springtime. Children do not have to athletes to be
active! Yet getting out for them will provide them with some fresh air, and fun
warming memories for decades to come. Yes I can still remember taking walks
with my dad and dog down to a little creek he used to walk to as a child. 5 decades
later, although he is gone I cherish the times we spent together at that park!

Thus you as parents have choices to
make and they are right in front of you; especially with Easter a couple days
away. You can take the easy route and pay excess for masses of candy and treats
to keep your kids happy and occupied. OR instead of placing tiny candies into
those plastic eggs you can put a little Puff of palatable joy. The Choice is
yours, just remember that too many sweets may taste great and offer some temporary
energy. BUT, 1 and a half —2 hours later the energy crashes into the want for
more, crankiness, and nasty attitudes. So think before grabbing another bag of
chocolate eggs if this is how you wish to spend days and holidays; or would you
prefer a more pleasant entry into Springtime, Easter and the months ahead. The
choice is yours, not that of your children.

When I began to think of what to
recipe to share my imagination twirled various delights, out of nowhere. Then
for some reason I looked up to the sky above I looked up to saw a huge rainbow
reaching across the sky, stretching it’s colorful arch as far as it could. Just
as suddenly I remembered this recipe, admired and requested by many, and one
that is so very simple to prepare. Your family will think you spent hours in
the kitchen instead of only a few minutes of prep time. Yet the best part about
this recipe is that it is low in sugar per serving and instead of adding and
does not need artificial coloring to increase its appeal.

Cream Cheese Puffs:

Makes 24, serving size 5-6 puffs

(Yes, this recipe can be easily
doubled or tripled)

Preheat oven to 375* F

1 package of Puff Pastry Sheets
8 ounces, (1 package) Cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, Kiwi or pitted Bing or
Rainier Cherries

1. Thaw only 1 of the Puff Pastry
Sheets until soft but still firm.

2. Grease approximately 24 mini
muffin sections in a pan.

3. Once partially thawed, cut each
pastry sheet into 24 little squares, then stretch and press each section into
the prepared muffin pan.

4. Beat the cream cheese, sugar,
eggs and vanilla until smooth and creamy. IF you want you can add the juice
from the frozen and thawed fruit OR you can add a piece of fruit onto t \he top
of each puff right after it is baked!

5. Fill each prepared muffin section
with cream cheese mixture.

6. Bake until the filling is set or
about 15-20 minutes. (10-15 minutes at sea level)

7. Working rapidly, sprinkle some
colored sugars on top and place a berry or 2 gently on top of the sugar, press
the fruit down ever so lightly.

8. Refrigerate until 30 minutes
before serving, for this recipe is best served slightly cool but not cold.

Childhood Obesity: Tasty Healthy Holiday Recipes, by Randi Levin

Posted By Randi on December 21, 2012

Childhood Obesity: Tasty Healthy Holiday Recipes:

This grand time of year is one where the gluttons come out. Grandmas, Mom’s and even some Dads are preparing their best for the Holiday Feast. Many can be seen meandering around the newspapers and grocery looking for the best deals on ingredients and foods. While all are filled with excitement and anticipation for Santa’s arrival; the aroma of holiday treats are filling homes with the scent of love.

While the Holidays are times of joy wonder and sweets, many tend to gain extra weight during this glorious time of year. Who can resist another slice of your Aunt’s pie and of course another cookie of palatable pleasure? Not Many! So why not be a glutton for health this holiday and start some new healthy traditions within your family to be carried into the years ahead.

Please know that just because something is healthy does not mean that you will be sacrificing flavor. Flavor is what entices the palate; thus the following recipes although healthful are bursting with flavors that will enjoyed for many years to come.

To begin don’t forget to stuff that turkey with fruits and veggies over that of massive bread cubes. And if making a Ham, top it with pineapple slices for an awesome flavor. Know that both fruits and vegetables can be added to increase the succulent flavor of many foods. Pineapples baked on top of a Ham is indeed scrumptiously delish. Ahh, but what are you going to serve with the main dish—mashed potatoes of course. But before I share this fabulous recipe for “Light” Mashed Potatoes, know that if making a sweet potato/yam mash covered with Marshmallows, a tip for health is to only spread those marshmallows around the sides over that of all over the top. Such excess is not necessary and only adds more calories to the meal!

Serves 4—5

3-4 medium sized potatoes
Enough warm water to cover the potatoes, plus a little more
1 cup or more of freshly chopped cauliflower florets
¼-1/3 cup milk
¼ cup (4 tablespoons or ½ stick) butter, margarine or canola based spread
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash the potatoes completely under warm water. (I normally leave the skin on, but to peel or not, is of personal preference.) Slice potatoes into ¼-inch slices and place into a large pot. Cover with water and boil until tender and soft or about 15-25 minutes.
2. Place the cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with water and microwave on high for 6-10 minutes or until soft and mushy. Thoroughly drain all the water from the vegetable and set aside.
3. Drain and rinse the potatoes under hot water, then pour them into a large bowl.
4. Add the cauliflower, milk, butter/margarine and seasonings and mash with an old-fashioned potato masher or an electric hand mixer until smooth and fluffy and serve.

• Do not use a food processor or over beat the potatoes, as they will get much too starchy to enjoy.
• Potatoes and cauliflower have a different texture when you bite into them; therefore, mash the ingredients thoroughly, crushing any lumps. But do not over beat them to the point where they appear gooey and starchy.
• Adjust serving sizes according to the size of the fist/palm for each individual being served and refrain from bringing the entire dish to the table. Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for use in another meal.

A slice of this fruit-filled low sugar bread is a splendid, tasty alternative for pretzels, chips or cookies after school or throughout the Holiday Season. .

Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit
7-8 servings per loaf

5 large, ripe bananas or 6 small bananas
½ cup (1 stick) of butter or margarine
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¾ cup raisins, chopped walnuts,
blueberries pomegranates craisins

1. Mash the bananas in the mixing bowl.
2. Add the butter, sugar and eggs to the bananas, and then cream these ingredients thoroughly together.
3. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the egg mixture and then at slow speed, mix the batter until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. (Do not over mix the batter!)
4. Thoroughly grease a 9×5-inch bread pan with pan spray or butter.
5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
6. Bake 55-65 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean.

COPPER PENNIES (Mini Apple Muffins):
These divine little treats are filled with fiber, antioxidants and lots of comforting, sweet flavor that taste just like candy.

Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit
6-8 per serving

½ cup sugar
½ cup canola (or sunflower) oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon peel
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons grated Granny Smith apples
1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon each of nutmeg and cloves
¾ cup of chopped pecans or raisins (optional)

1. Thoroughly mix the sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon peel.
2. Add the flour, baking soda, raisins and/or pecans, alternately, with the grated apples to the sugar mixture. Thoroughly mix the batter.
3. Thoroughly grease 2 dozen mini muffin pan sections with pan spray or butter.
4. Fill each muffin section to the top with the batter, and if using pecans sprinkle some chopped nuts on top of each muffin.
5. Bake 14-35 minutes (depending on size of the muffin section) or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
6. Remove the muffins from the pan within a minute after removing from the oven. These can be wrapped in clear plastic film or stored in a plastic baggie once cool.

And last but not least a Christmas Cookie Recipe to enjoy this Holiday and throughout the New Year.

Fabulous little treats of love and health! No one will ever know that these “snappers” are low in fat! Enjoy!

Preheat oven to 325º Fahrenheit
Makes approximately 36-40 cookies depending on size.

Cinnamon Sugar Mixture:

¾ cup sugar
1½-2 tablespoons cinnamon
Mix together and set aside in a small bowl.

1 cup canola, safflower or sunflower oil
1 cup sugar
½ cup plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup molasses
2½ cups flour
2 teaspoons ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
Additions: raisins, craisins or chopped nuts etc.

1. Mix together the margarine, oil and sugars. Add the eggs and the molasses to the sugar mixture, and mix thoroughly.

2. Add the flour, baking soda, spices and choice of an addition to the mixture. Mix all ingredients together at slow speed until thoroughly incorporated. (Do not over beat the dough) This batter will be very moist.
3. Grease 2-3 cookie sheets
4. Lightly flour the palms of your hands. (Optional)
5. Use a tablespoon full of batter or simply scoop up a small amount of the dough with a finger, and then roll the dough into a ball with the palms of your hands.
6. Thoroughly coat each cookie in the cinnamon sugar by rolling it in the mixture, and then place each onto the prepared cookie sheets. Lightly flatten the top of each cookie with the palm of your hand.
7. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown.


Childhood Obesity: Healthy Stuffing Recipe for Good Life, by Randi Levin

Posted By Randi on November 19, 2012

Childhood Obesity: Holiday Stuffing Recipe for Good Life:

As the Holiday Season rapidly approaches; why not make some new Holiday Traditions. Sure the old ones are grand and joyously filled with memories of times past. The antique decorations are mixed with the new ones and common trees become magical lights of grace. And the foods they sure are a plenty, colorful fresh sweet, and savory. Yes, the Holidays are a glorious time of year indeed.
During the enjoyment of this miraculous time of year many of us revel in love friendships food, activities, and celebrations of joy! As you celebrate these Holidays of Joy, know that this time of year also presents you with an opportunity to make some new traditions to be relished and shared for many years yet to come!
Thus, for those of you who have overweight or obese people (adults and children) at your table this season one of the best choices you can make is to make this holiday season not one of gluttonous delights, but one of healthful delights. Keep in mind that when you start a new tradition it will unconsciously become a treasure to enjoy for many years to come. And by doing so, you will help your family develop healthful flavors and choices for life. After all, a good and healthy life is what all parents want for their children and family.
Thanksgiving is only a few days away. If you haven’t bought your turkey yet do so while on sale, in fact buy two and stash one in the freezer for another time. However, before you reach for that bag or box of dried up bread cubes for the stuffing think of all the good foods that will be shared that day and of all those fragrances magnificently laid out upon the dining table when the seasonal meal is served. Remember that this special time of year Mother Nature does provide some fresh and wholesome delicacies that only help to accentuate the essence of holiday flavors!
This year and in the years to come why not try some new traditions, for instance forfeiting the bread filled turkey for a fruit filled turkey. Breads, both sweet and savory, can be overeaten during this fabulous time of year as the family bakers bake their finest to share.
So, before you begin to make you stuffing for the bird, why not forfeit all that bread and stuff your turkey with fresh fruits and veggies instead. The juices will help keep your turkey moist while adding a subtle yet wonderful flavor while the fruits can be served or used in healthful casseroles later in the week.
Additionally, when those you love are obese or at risk of such one of the best choices you can make is substituting that salty packaged broth and using plain old unsweetened apple juice or cider to moisten your turkey and stuffing with. The flavor is amazingly awesome and your family will love it.
So why not try the following recipe and offer some health with good wishes this year and for years to come.

Holiday Stuffing for Health:
(you will need 4 cups of unsweetened Apple Juice for the turkey and for basting it.)
Per 18-24 lbs. turkey, if larger/smaller add more or less

2 tablespoons melted butter, margarine or canola spread
1 1/4 unsweetened apple juice
1 ½-2 cups, dry whole grain bread cubes (for stuffing/dressing)
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 1/2 cups diced sweet yellow onions or pearl onions, sliced in half
1-1 1/2 cups raisins, dark and golden, craisins and/or dried cherries
4-5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
½ cup Pomegranate Seeds, (Optional)
1/4 teaspoon paprika, (optional)
1/4 teaspoon each poultry seasoning, dill, celery seed, parsley and minced garlic
Sea salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl, mix all dressing ingredients together and set aside to soak for a few minutes.
2. Prepare the bird by removing the bag, or neck and giblets from the cavity and wash the inside and outside of the bird thoroughly with cool water. If you need to loosen the legs from the clamp, gently push down on the legs and they will slip right out of the clamp. Once washed, place the turkey on the roasting rack inside of the pan and then fill the cavity with the prepared dressing and reset the legs in the clamp.
3. When the roasting has completed and the little thermometer pops out thoroughly as the juice run clear; remove the turkey from the oven. Allow the bird to cool for a few minutes before removing it from the rack and placing it onto a plate to be carved. Spoon the dressing into a bowl before carving or place the dressing in a pan and place it in a bowl prior to drizzling it with 2-3 tablespoons of the drippings and placing it into the oven to keep warm until served.