The Jenny Evolution

Because We Never Stop Evolving As Parents or As People

February 26, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
0 comments

Favorite Caldecott Award Winners 1990-1999

Our personal favorite Caldecott Award Winners and Children’s Book Honor Recipients of 1990-1999: Find these books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience. All recommendations are mine.

Caldecott

All week long, I’m going to offer you a listing of The Caldecott Medal Winners and Honor Recipients through the years. While the list is jam-packed with goodies, I’m going to let you know my family’s personal favorites, from books they’ve worn thin to ones we just can’t pass up when we’re at the library. My goal? To introduce you to some new children’s books that your own kiddos will fall in love with and treasure for years to come.

To see which ones we love from the past decades, please visit tomorrow. I’ll be posting a new one each day this week!

Favorite Caldecott Award Winners 1990-1999 | The Jenny Evolution

OUR FAVORITES

Tuesday

Tuesday: What’s crazier than a book with flying frogs? A book with absolutely no words. My boys absolutely love the sci-fi plot as well as the chance to tell the story their way.

Description: The whimsical account of a Tuesday when frogs were airborne on their lily pads will continue to enchant readers of all ages.

Seven Blind Mice

Seven Blind Mice: From learning their colors along with this book to actually understanding the meaning of this book, my boys have had an ongoing fascination with Ed Young’s version. They’ve also produced a terrific audio CD to go with it, so I often catch my kids reading the story on their own.

Description: “It’s a pillar,” says one. “It’s a fan,” says another. One by one, the seven blind mice investigate the strange Something by the pond. And one by one, they come back with a different theory. It’s only when the seventh mouse goes out-and explores the whole Something-that the mice see the whole truth.

No, David!

No, David!: Boy does this boy get into trouble. And boy do my boys love all the shenanigans David gets into.

Description: When David Shannon was five years old, he wrote and illustrated his first book. On every page were these words: NO, DAVID! . . . and a picture of David doing things he was not supposed to do. Now David is all grown up. But some things never change….

Rapunzel

Rapunzel: There are many versions of the Rapunzel story out there; however, the deeply rich paintings in this book captured the imagination and attention of my boys.

Description: Trapped in a tower with no door, Rapunzel is allowed to see no one but the sorceress who has imprisoned her-until the day a young prince hears her singing to the forest birds. . . . The timeless tale of Rapunzel is vividly and magnificently brought to life through Paul O. Zelinsky’s powerful sense of narrative and his stunning oil painting.

Snow

Snow: I can’t say enough about this book. It’s such a delightful, fanciful book about a boy’s wish for snow. We read it all winter long. And don’t miss the audio CD — it’s awesome to listen to in the car.

Description: No one thinks one or two snowflakes will amount to anything. Not the man with the hat or the lady with the umbrella. Not even the television or the radio forecasters. But one boy and his dog have faith that the snow will amount to something spectacular, and when flakes start to swirl down on the city, they are also the only ones who know how to truly enjoy it.

Children's Book Week Champion

For the full Caldecott award winners and honor recipients, click the following:

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 2010-2015

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 2000-2009

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1990-1999

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1980-1989

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1970-1979

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1960-1969

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1950-1959

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1938-1949

 

TELL ME WHICH ONES ARE YOUR FAVORITES?

February 26, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
0 comments

7 Creative Fun Food Ideas for Kids

Mother always taught us not to play with our food, but in this case, I think she’d approve. Whether you’re looking for fun ways to get your picky toddler to try new healthy foods or you just want to explore your creative side, I have some fun ideas for turning healthy food into art.

Here are seven projects that you can make or simply use them as inspiration to create something all your own. The ingredients are simple…just fruits, vegetables, yogurt cheese, eggs and bread. If you’re gluten free, choose gluten-free breads, crackers or get creative with your shapes.

PB and Banana Bear Sandwich

Here’s a cute little guy, sure to make any kid (young or old) smile. This great idea is so easy, even kids can put it together.
You can vary the ingredients how you’d like, but here’s what you can see the in the photo below.

  • Peanut butter spread on one slice of bread
  • Banana slices to the ears and snout
  • Grape slices for outline of the eyes
  • Currants or grapes to make the nose and finish the eyes

PB and Banana Bear Sandwich - Fun Foods for Kids! | The Jenny Evolution

Layered Cheese Heart-Shaped Sandwiches

Here is another simple idea, perfect for a kid’s party or even for an appetizer platter at an adult get-together. Use cookie cutters do a heart shape, flower or whatever you’d like. Try a variety of cheese in different colors and a variety of breads too in layers to add color and texture. Cut out fruit shapes with a variety of cookie cutters for garnish.

Layered Cheese Heart-Shaped Sandwiches: Fun Food for Kids! | The Jenny Evolution

Kiwi Turtles

Turn your kiwi fruit and grapes into something absolutely adorable. All you need is

  • Green grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Black food coloring and a toothpick

To put these together, peel the kiwi and slice it into ½ inch thick slices. Place them on a plate. Then, cut the grapes to form the legs and tails. Do the same for the head and draw on a face, using a food coloring covered toothpick.

These make a cute surprise for a lunch box or snacks for a school party.

Kiwi Turtles: Fun Food for Kids | The Jenny Evolution

Grape Caterpillars

These cute guys are made with a bamboo skewer, grapes and a cherry tomato. We’ve attached candy eyes with a little bit of peanut butter, but you can choose more healthy choices like cloves, olives or anything else you might have on hand. You could also apply food coloring with a toothpick to draw on a face.

All you do is string the grapes on the skewer. Turn each one slightly as you string them, so it looks like the caterpillar is crawling. Finish it off with the cherry tomato head and eyes. If you don’t have cherry tomatoes, just use another grape for the head.

Grape Caterpillars: Fun Food for Kids! | The Jenny Evolution

Watermelon Lobster

Let’s go under the sea with this lobster and ocean scene. The lobster body is made from a variety of cuts of watermelon with cloves for eyes. The ocean scene is made up of the following:

  • Gorilla Munch Cereal for the “rocks” on the bottom
  • Celery cut in thin slices to look like aquatic plants
  • Olive slices to look like bubbles in the water

Watermelon Lobster: Fun Food for Kids! | The Jenny Evolution

Funny Tortilla Faces

Get the kids involved and trying new foods. All you do is get some small tortillas and give the kids a variety of foods to work with. Some ideas include:

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Parsley
  • Cheese slices
  • Carrot slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Olive slices
  • Snap peas
  • Celery slices
  • Grapes
  • Beans
  • Corn kernels

And anything else you have on hand. There is no right or wrong. Just present the ingredients to the kids and they’ll do the rest.

Tortilla Faces: Fun Food for Kids | The Jenny Evolution

Flower Pepper Eggs

Not only do these flowers made from colored peppers and eggs look pretty, they’re delicious too. They’re a perfect way to dress up a brunch or weekend breakfast.

To make these, slice a colored pepper in ½ inch thick rings. Place the rings on a preheated frying pan over medium heat. Unless your peppers are very large, one egg will probably be too large for the pepper, so you can drain off a bit of egg white before placing it inside the pepper ring. If the egg overflows, not to worry, it’s easy to cut the excess off when you remove the eggs from the pan.

Cook over medium heat and cover your pan until the yolk is at desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper. Remove with a spatula and place on a plate. Use parsley leaves and stems to form your flower stems.

Flower Pepper Eggs: Fun Food with Kids | The Jenny Evolution

February 24, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
2 Comments

Kangu – Creating Safe Births One Mother and Child At a Time

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Kangu. All opinions are mine.

Getting pregnant can be the most dangerous thing a woman does in some countries. Each day, 800 women and 8,000 newborns die because they lack access to basic healthcare services, such as trained professionals and clean facilities. That’s nearly 300,000 every year! But it doesn’t have to be like this, and it’s so simple for you to help.

logo-horizontal

Kangu, a non-profit organization, is taking a different approach to a pregnant woman’s healthcare by creating a crowdfunding platform to support live-saving health services. Kangu recognizes that 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries where they don’t have the necessary resources to have safe births.

By crowdfunding, every small donation a person makes gets bundled with other small donations to fund a pregnant woman in need. By jointly raising money, Kangu can offer “safe birth” services before, during and after delivery that have been proven to save the lives of mothers and their newborn babies.

Ongoing LAC Campaign graphic_english

Here’s how simple it is!

  1. Meet actual pregnant women from around the world on Kangu’s website.
  2. Donate $10 or more to a specific pregnant woman to support a safe birth for both the mother and child.
  3. Receive an update from on-the-ground medical partners after the birth. What a wonderful way to know you’ve made a difference!

What I find amazing about this organization is that as a patron, you actually get to see the specific person or people you are helping. Your donation doesn’t go into the void but rather to a woman with a story, who wants adequate healthcare to ensure she and her baby have a safe birth.

Since Kangu’s inception in Spring 2013, the organization has funded over 250 safe births from nearly 1,000 donations. Kangu has also amassed a community of 2,000 users, 55% of which are repeat donors. The services Kangu was able to provide by vetted local medical partners are proven to reduce maternal and newborn deaths by up to 80%.

Simple Step to Support Kangu

Help support Kangu’s big dream that every woman in the world has a safe birth. Share their mission with others and you’ll be entered to win one of five $100 donations that Kangu will make to a Kangu Mom on your behalf!!!

Kangu – One Mama at a Time

  • Since Kangu’s inception in Spring 2013, the organization has funded over 250 safe births from nearly 1,000 donations. Kangu has also amassed a community of 2,000 users, 55% of which are repeat donors.

February 24, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
1 Comment

Favorite Caldecott Award Winners 2000-2009

Our personal favorites from Caldecott Award Winners and Children’s Book Honor Recipients of 2000-2009: Find these books at your local library or purchase through affiliate links provided for your convenience. All recommendations are mine.

Caldecott

All week long, I’m going to offer you a listing of The Caldecott Medal Winners and Honor Recipients through the years. While the list is jam-packed with goodies, I’m going to let you know my family’s personal favorites, from books they’ve worn thin to ones we just can’t pass up when we’re at the library. My goal? To introduce you to some new children’s books that your own kiddos will fall in love with and treasure for years to come.

To see which ones we love from the past decades, please visit tomorrow. I’ll be posting a new one each day this week!

Favorite Caldecott Award Winners 2000-2009 | The Jenny Evolution

OUR FAVORITES

The Stray Dog

The Stray Dog: This book has to be in our top 20 most read books of all time. We have the audio CD that goes with The Stray Dog and I will hear my boys listening to it even after lights out to fall asleep to it.

Description: When a little dog appears at a family picnic, the girl and boy play with him all afternoon, and they name him Willy. At day’s end they say good-bye. But the dog has won their hearts and stays on their minds. The following Saturday the family returns to the picnic grounds to look for Willy, but they are not alone — the dogcatcher is looking for him, too…

Knuffle Bunny

Knuffle Bunny: If you haven’t come across Mo Willems series about his daughter Trixie and her stuffed bunny, then what on earth are you waiting for? All three books in this series are some of my boys’ all-time favorites.

Description: Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes somebunny has been left behind….

Flotsam

Flotsam: This unbelievably creative book has absolutely no words. It relies on the pictures and your own child to tell the story. My kids love telling me the tale.

Description: A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam – anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share …and to keep.

Click, Clack, Moo - Cows That Type

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type: This was one of the first truly silly books we came across and just fell in love with Farmer Brown and his lot. Randy Travis reads this quality audio CD, which we keep in the car at all times.

Description: Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. But Farmer Brown’s problems REALLY begin when his cows start leaving him notes…Come join the fun as a bunch of literate cows turn Farmer Brown’s farm upside-down!

Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!: Mo Willems makes our favorite list twice because he is such an awesome author. If you have toddlers, you must own this book. They will die laughing as you read it and they keep the pigeon from driving that darn bus.

Description: When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! But you’ve never met one like this before. As he pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the book, children will love being able to answer back and decide his fate. In his hilarious picture book debut, popular cartoonist Mo Willems perfectly captures a preschooler’s temper tantrum.

CBW-champion-FINAL

For the full Caldecott award winners and honor recipients, click the following:

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 2010-2015

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 2000-2009

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1990-1999

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1980-1989

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1970-1979

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1960-1969

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1950-1959

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1938-1949

 

TELL ME WHICH ONES ARE YOUR FAVORITES?

February 23, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
2 Comments

Favorite Caldecott Award Winners 2010-Present

Our personal favorite Caldecott Award Winners and Children’s Book Honor Recipients of 2010-2015: Find these books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience. All recommendations are mine.

Caldecott

All week long, I’m offering you a listing of The Caldecott Medal Winners and Honor Recipients through the years. While the list is jam-packed with goodies, I’m going to let you know my family’s personal favorites, from books they’ve worn thin to ones we just can’t pass up when we’re at the library. My goal? To introduce you to some new children’s books that your own kiddos will fall in love with and treasure for years to come.

To see which ones we love from the past decades, please visit tomorrow. I’ll be posting a new one each day this week!

2010

OUR FAVORITES

I feel like kicking myself in the pants for saying I would highlight just our favorites. There are too many! But I’m forcing myself to give you our personal highlights from the list.

Interrupting Chicken - Click for more Caldecott Award Winners and Honor Recipients

Interrupting Chicken: From the moment we read Interrupting Chicken, this book has been an absolute favorite in our house. We get the giggles every time we read it, and even have the audio CD for the car.

Description: It’s time for the little red chicken’s bedtime story—and a reminder from Papa to try not to interrupt. But the chicken can’t help herself! Whether the tale is Hansel and Grettel or Little Red Riding Hood or even Chicken Little, she jumps into the story to save its hapless characters from doing some dangerous or silly thing. Now it’s the little red chicken’s turn to tell a story, but will her yawning papa make it to the end without his own kind of interrupting?

Creepy Carrots! - Click for more Caldecott Award Winners and Honor Recipients

Creepy Carrots!: Who says you can’t read “scary” books other than at Halloween? Creepy Carrots! has a fun twist ending. And despite countless readings, this book never gets old for my kiddos.

Description: The Twilight Zone comes to the carrot patch as a rabbit fears his favorite treats are out to get him. Celebrated artist Peter Brown’s stylish illustrations pair perfectly with Aaron Reynold’s text in this hilarious picture book that shows it’s all fun and games…until you get too greedy.

Blackout: We received this book as a gift, and it’s been a wonderful addition to our library! My kids may love all of their electronics, but there’s nothing like turning off the technology and cuddling up with this wonderful book where no one’s getting any screen time.

Blackout - Click for more Caldecott Award Winners and Honor Recipients

Description: One hot summer night in the city, all the power goes out. What’s a family to do? When they go up to the roof to escape the heat, they find the lights–in stars that can be seen for a change–and so many neighbors it’s like a block party in the sky! On the street below, people are having just as much fun–talking, rollerblading, and eating ice cream before it melts. The boy and his family enjoy being not so busy for once.

This is Not My Hat - Click for more Caldecott Award Winners and Honor Recipients

This is Not My Hat: My son brought this book home from his school’s library one day, and we all instantly fell in love with author Jon Klassen. His dry sense of humor certainly isn’t lost on my boys.

Description: When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not like he’ll ever know what happened.

One Cool Friend - Click for more Caldecott Award Winners and Honor Recipients

One Cool Friend: If your kids like penguins at all, they’ll love the boy who decides to take one home with him in his backpack. My boys get a kick out of the kid hiding the penguin from his dad… and the twist ending.

Description: When well-mannered Elliot reluctantly visits the aquarium with his distractible father, he politely asks whether he can have a penguin–and then removes one from the penguin pool to his backpack. The fun of caring for a penguin in a New England Victorian house is followed by a surprise revelation by Elliot’s father.
Journey - Click for more Caldecott Award Winners and Honor Recipients

Journey: If you’re looking for a book to spark your imagination (and your storytelling abilities), you’re going to fall in love with Journey, a wordless picture book that allows your children to tell the story.

Description: A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

Children's Book Week Logo

For the full Caldecott award winners and honor recipients, click the following:

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 2010-2015

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 2000-2009

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1990-1999

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1980-1989

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1970-1979

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1960-1969

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1950-1959

Caldecott Award and Honor Books, 1938-1949

 

TELL ME WHICH ONES ARE YOUR FAVORITES?

February 23, 2015
by Jennifer
1 Comment

10 Picture Books About Rainbows

10 Picture Books About Rainbows for Children for Toddlers, Preschoolers and Elementary Kids: Find these books at your local library or use the affiliate links provided for your convenience. All recommendations are mine.

Perhaps it’s the feet upon feet of snow lying on the ground or the fact that St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner. But I have been dreaming of the signs of Spring lately, which includes rainbows!

Of course, picture books about rainbows are a terrific way to teach children all of the colors as well as the emotions they emote.

I write so often about books, I’ve put them in one central location and created a collection of all of my book lists! Find more great reading book lists here.

10 Picture Books About Rainbows

10 Picture Books About Rainbows for Children

What Makes a Rainbow?: A Magic Ribbon Book. Click for more picture books about #rainbows #kidlit

What Makes a Rainbow?: A Magic Ribbon Book: A rainbow of ribbons magically appear when you open the pages of this innovative book! Toddlers will love listening to the charming story and seeing a different colored ribbon with the turn of each page. The last page is sure to delight with all the colors of the rainbow. What a fun way to learn colors!

Rainbow Rob. Click for more picture books about #rainbows #kidlit

Rainbow Rob: A heart-warming tale of a penguin who learns to love being himself. Includes: fun, whimsical story and characters; fun text to read and listen to; cartoon-like artwork; and touch and feel fabrics integrated into artwork on each page.

The Rainbow Book. Click for more picture books about #rainbows #kidlit

The Rainbow Book: Emotions are as bright and unique as rainbows. The Rainbow Book explores the relationship between colors and sentiments they might inspire. Does yellow suggest happiness? Is blue peaceful? Set against a deep black background, each page reveals an intricate paper-cutting in a single color and the emotion it suggests. Each turn of the page reveals another color, leading to a bright rainbow of feelings. The Rainbow Book culminates with a bright, fold-out rainbow that lets all its colors show.

Chasing Rainbows (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat). Click for more picture books about #rainbows #kidlit

Chasing Rainbows (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat): Sally and Nick want to paint rainbows, but they don’t know what colors to use, or what order to put the colors. And where do rainbows come from, anyway? The Cat in the Hat is not quite sure himself, but he knows someone who will know—King Kaleidoscope, ruler of Colorgalore! Features 3-D artwork on every page—and a pair of 3-D glasses!

The Rainbow Goblins. Click for more picture books about #rainbows #kidlit

The Rainbow Goblins: Since its original publication in 1978, the fantastic colors, amazing detail, and sweeping scope of The Rainbow Goblins have irresistibly invited tens of thousands of children to plunge their imaginations into its vivid world.

The Magic School Bus Makes A Rainbow: A Book About Color. Click for more picture books about #rainbows #kidlit

The Magic School Bus Makes A Rainbow: A Book About Color: The class rides into a whitelight pinball machine to learn about the dazzling wonders of color and light.

A Rainbow of My Own. Click for more picture books about #rainbows #kidlit

A Rainbow of My Own: A small boy imagines what it would be like to have his own rainbow to play with.

Elmer and the Rainbow. Click for more picture books about #rainbows #kidlit

Elmer and the Rainbow: Elmer is sad when he discovers that the rainbow has lost its colors. He wants to help, but what will happen if he gives the rainbow his own colors? Will he lose them forever?

Planting a Rainbow. Click for more picture books about #rainbows #kidlit

Planting a Rainbow: This educational and enjoyable book helps children understand how to plant bulbs, seeds, and seedlings, and nurture their growth. Lois Ehlert’s bold collage illustrations include six pages of staggered width, presenting all the flowers of each color of the rainbow.

Duckie's Rainbow. Click for more picture books about #rainbows #kidlit

Duckie’s Rainbow: Duckie’s in a hurry to get home because it looks like rain. Join her on her journey home through the red poppy field, under the orange bridge and past the big green tree. With each turn of the page the landscape changes colour – leading to a wonderful surprise at the end!

February 20, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
7 Comments

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe

My husband worked at Olive Garden when he was younger. And one of the dishes people always loved was the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup. Basically, it’s Italian Sausage Soup with Kale. And while you might not think of having kale in a soup, you’re going to love it.

Kale is considered a superfood by many, and this is a super delicious way to prepare it. Eating kale has shown to reduce cholesterol, reduce cancer risks and help detoxify the body. Due to the importance of kale you’re going to start seeing it everywhere. Yes, it’s that important. This is a good foray into the world of kale. The fat in the soup will actually help your body absorb the important nutrients found in this green. So go ahead! Eat your greens. Eat your soup.

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe - Italian Sausage Soup with Kale | The Jenny Evolution

5.0 from 1 reviews
Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup Copycat Recipe
 
Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup is Italian Sausage Soup with Kale. And while you might not think of having kale in a soup, you're going to love it.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 5 to 7 bacon slices
  • 5 medium potatoes, russet
  • 2 cups chopped kale, bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 -14 ounce cans of chicken broth
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Using a baking sheet, crumble the sausage.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until no longer pink, bout 30 minutes.
  3. Drain fat and grease off using paper towels.
  4. Fry or bake the bacon and crumble into small pieces.
  5. Slice the potatoes between ⅛ inch and ¼ inch, making the slices about the same size so they cook evenly.
  6. Using a large pot, toss the potatoes, onion, garlic, chicken broth, and water in together and cook on medium heat until the potatoes are cooked through.
  7. Add the sausage, bacon, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes.
  9. When the potatoes start breaking apart into smaller bite sized pieces because they are so tender, turn the heat to low and add in the kale and heavy cream.
  10. Let the soup heat through and serve.

Adapted from: Mom on Time Out

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup Copycat Recipe | The Jenny Evolution

February 19, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
21 Comments

Friday Flash Blog No. 106 {Plus Features}

Friday Flash Blog is a flash mob of blogs, highlighting the best of bloggers from the week. Be sure to check them out (and the ones I’ve featured) as well as link up your own.

Weekly Thought: Are the kids home for yet another snow day? I know people are complaining about the school days off (it drives me a bit crazy, too) but it’s just so darn pretty. I can’t help myself but love the snow!

25 Healthy Soup, Stew and Chili Recipes Compiled by From This Kitchen Table

25 Healthy Soup, Stew and Chili Recipes Compiled by From This Kitchen Table

Recycled Art Projects Compiled by The Mad House

Recycled Art Projects Compiled by The Mad House

Easy Orange Microwave Fudge Recipe from Diana Rambles

Easy Orange Microwave Fudge Recipe from Diana Rambles

Raspberry Cherry Yogurt Parfait Recipe from Upstate Ramblings

Raspberry Cherry Yogurt Parfait Recipe from Upstate Ramblings

Frayed Heart Pillow - Perfect anytime of the year! Tutorial from Elizabeth Joan Designs

Frayed Heart Pillow – Perfect anytime of the year! Tutorial from Elizabeth Joan Designs

30 Ways to Get Ready for Gardening with Kids. Compiled by Edventures with Kids

30 Ways to Get Ready for Gardening with Kids. Compiled by Edventures with Kids

DIY Body Butter Recipe Tutorial from The Classy Chapter

DIY Body Butter Recipe Tutorial from The Classy Chapter

bookmark9DIY Paint Chip Bookmarks. Tutorial from The Jenny Evolution

 

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February 19, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
11 Comments

Stop the Food Fights: Tips for Picky Eaters

Some days I feel like dinnertime can be a real fight. When you have a picky eater, it can be tough to get through a meal without whining, complaining or refusing to eat what is served. It’s time to stop the food fight. Here are some tips for picky eaters you can implement tonight and begin to shift your child’s eating habits.

Stop the Food Fight! Tips for Picky Eaters | The Jenny Evolution

1. Have a Strategy

Approaching snacks and mealtimes with a strategy can help a great deal. It arms you to better manage your child’s begging, not finishing food and a refusal to eat certain foods. Read on for some specifics on strategy.

2. Loosen the Control Grip

Unfortunately, parents often grab for more control when there’s a situation that needs “correcting” – whether it’s an overweight child or a picky eater. The problem with this, though, is that it may create an obsession with “forbidden” foods,or set your child up to make excuses to reward him or herself by eating comfort foods.

In an era when more than half of Americans are overweight, we need to take special care not to set our kids up for a weight struggle later in life. So relax, and focus on teaching your child to listen to his or her body and focus on healthy eating.

3. Plan Meals and Snacks

Having meals planned may help a lot with picky eating. Display the menu on the fridge. And if your child can’t read yet, consider using a visual meal calendar. Also think about planning your snacks. This will help curb your child from begging for a particular snack every day, leading you to give in and let him/her eat junk food. It may take a while to get your child on board, but in the end, kids tend to respond positively to routine.

4. Keep Foods Simple

Casseroles are tempting because they are easy and inexpensive, but kids tend to shun “mixtures.” I know mine do! Besides, you may find that simple, plain foods are actually easier to prepare in the end. Finger foods tend to be a big hit, like sandwiches, vegetables and dip, sliced fruit, and simple pastas are often popular.

5. Hide the Veggies and Fruits

Fresh veggies and fruits can be whizzed in a blender with jarred spaghetti sauce, cheese dip and pizza sauce. Speaking of pizza, mince up spinach or zucchini and sprinkle over pizza. Cover with veggie pepperoni and a moderate amount of cheese.

6. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Give your child choices of what to eat – just make sure that each option is something healthy and acceptable. This helps the child feel like he or she has a voice in what is eaten and also introduces them to variety that is a key to healthy eating.

7. Create Funny Food

Check Pinterest for fun ways to prepare food. You can make landscapes with rice or mashed potatoes as a background; cut fruit and cheese into shapes; and cut bread into shapes as well. There are so many things you can do to make food fun and beautiful to look at – and somehow, kids tend to like eating these fun landscapes!

8. Ask If Something More is Going On

If your child really has a hard time with eating or consistently refuses to eat and/or gags while eating, it’s time to consider if something bigger is going on. Some kids have serious sensory food aversions which affect their ability to eat. The idea that these children will outgrow these feeding issues (or eat if they’re hungry enough) is false and requires intervention.

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February 18, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
6 Comments

St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Foods Platter: Fun Food for Kids!

There’s always gold at the end of this rainbow fruit and vegetable platter, perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. Kids absolutely love love love this rainbow foods platter. All you have to do is arrange colorful fruits and/or vegetables into a rainbow shape, and you’re good to go.

St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Platter: Fun Food for Kids! | The Jenny Evolution

If you don’t have the fruits and veggies I’ve used, don’t worry. Here are some variation ideas to inspire you:

  • Red: strawberries, cherry tomatoes, sliced tomatoes, red peppers, watermelon
  • Orange: orange peppers, orange slices, orange cherry tomatoes, cantaloupe, carrots
  • Yellow: pineapple, yellow peppers, banana slices, yellow beets, lemon slices
  • Green: cucumber, green peppers, broccoli, celery, honeydew
  • Blue, Indigo and Violet: blueberries, red grapes, concord grapes, red cabbage, blackberries, purple broccoli, eggplant
  • Clouds: sliced egg whites, veggie or fruit dip cups, cauliflower, mushrooms, mini marshmallows, sliced bananas, bocconcini cheese

If you want to add an additional layer of fun to this food rainbow, why not give the gives the prepared food and let them build their own rainbows! I’ll bet they sneak in a taste or two along the way :D