Wednesday, December 11, 2013



“Flavor counts far more than elaborate techniques and presentations, and flavor begins with the best ingredients.  Each separate ingredient should be the finest you can afford, but if you can't afford it or you've run out of it, don worry.  Mediterranean cooks are notable for making do with what's at hand.  That's an attitude I try to cultivate in my own kitchen."  
                            --Nancy Harmon Jenkins, The New
                               Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

What’s your favorite dish to make together at home this time of year?  Holidays are filled with family traditions and foods are a central part of many traditions.  Making your children a part of your family’s rich holiday traditions is a great way to ensure they know the kitchen is a safe place to learn that when people respect good foods and each other, they are learning the recipe for a great life.  
Teaching a young boy how to use local fruits at a Growing Healthy Kids event with one of our partners (Youth Guidance Mentoring and Activities Program)

One of my favorite sections in the middle of the store - dried beans and lentils!

"Yellow squash on purple rocker"

The original Growing Healthy Kid, my son, Edward

Great recipes start when you have all the ingredients on hand.  Having good foods in your fridge, pantry and on the table begins with shopping together.  Teach your kids where to look in the store and what to look for on food labels.   Did you ever hear to shop on the four walls first?  Around the perimeter of a grocery store is where you find the fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurts and cheeses, fresh fish and meats.  Start by shopping the perimeter, then move to the inside aisles.   The less processed your food choices, the better.  Fresh is best.  When you use the approach of “eat fresh, eat local”, you support your local farmers.  To learn about farmers in your community, go to click here.

While you and your kids make a list of your favorite holiday foods to make this month, here is a list of our family’s top 25 foods:
  1. Almonds
  2. Avocados
  3. Bananas
  4. Blueberries
  5. Extra virgin olive oil
  6. Eggplant* (see eggplant parm recipe link below)
  7. Garlic
  8. Kale
  9. Lemons
  10. Limes
  11. Lentils
  12. Onions
  13. Oranges
  14. Parsley
  15. Pears
  16. Quinoa
  17. Pesto
  18. Spinach
  19. Squash (any kind – they are all high in dietary fiber!)
  20. Strawberries
  21. Tomatoes
  22. Walnuts
  23. Wild rice
  24. Wild salmon
  25. Zucchini

From A to Z, from Apples to Zucchini, family traditions revolve around foods.  Make your family’s favorite foods fresh and delicious!  *For a link to a delicious, easy, and healthy eggplant parmesan recipe to make this holiday season, click here.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.