The Early Years: A Cookbook

By: MaKenzie Walck

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Look above, see the difference?

One of our biggest problems with the American Obesity Epidemic is that it starts young and never stops. By just changing our eating habits as a family just a bit, we can change that. This online book offers quick easy access to recipes that will not only last a lifetime, but make your children's lifetime even better.
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Fruit-Topped Whole Grain Waffles



1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed. 1 cup fresh or frozen sliced strawberries, thawed. 1/4 cup maple-flavored syrup.


1/2 cup all-purpose flour. 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour. 1/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats. 2 teaspoons sugar. 1 teaspoon baking powder. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. 1 1/4 cups buttermilk. 1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen fat-free egg product, thawed, or 1 egg 2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted.

  • Lightly spray waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray; heat until hot. In medium bowl, combine all topping ingredients; mix well. Let stand while preparing waffles.

  • In large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and baking soda; mix well. Add buttermilk, egg product and butter; beat well with wire whisk.

  • For each waffle, spoon about 1/2 cup batter into waffle iron, spreading batter to edges. Bake about 3 minutes or until waffle is golden brown. Serve immediately with topping.

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Berry Bursting Banana Smoothie


2 (6-oz.) containers Yoplait Original 99% Fat-Free Strawberry, Mixed Berry or Red Raspberry Yogurt 1 1/2 cups Berry Burst Cheerios™ triple berry cereal. 1 cup fresh strawberry halves or raspberries, or Cascadian Farm® frozen organic strawberries. 1 cup milk. 1 banana, sliced Berry Burst Cheerios™ triple berry cereal

  • In blender container, combine all ingredients. Cover; blend at high speed for 10 seconds.

  • Stop blender and uncover; scrape down sides of container. Cover; blend an additional 20 seconds or until smooth.

  • Pour yogurt mixture into 2 glasses. Serve immediately.

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(pineapple) Chicken Tenders!

1 cup of pineapple juice. 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar (fat free). 1/3 cup of light soy sauce. 2 pounds of chicken tenderloins or strips. (how ever many you may need) skewers.

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Remove from heat just before the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Place chicken tenders in a medium bowl. Cover with the pineapple marinade, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread chicken lengthwise onto wooden skewers.
  • Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken tenders 5 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. They cook quickly, so watch them closely.
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"Ants on a log"

5 stalks of celery. 1/2 cup of peanut butter. 1/4 cup of raisins.

  • Cut the celery stalks in half. Spread with peanut butter. Sprinkle with raisins.
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Creamy Fruit Salad


2 granny smith green apples, cut and cored into 1/2 inch chunks. 1 medium honeydew melon cut into 1/2 inch chunks (about 2 cups). 1 20 ounce can pineapple rings in syrup, drained and cut into chunks. 1/2 cup dried cherries. 1/2 cup of plain yogurt. 1/2 cup cream of coconut. Pinch of salt.

Put the apples, melon, pineapple, dried cherries, yogurt, cream of coconut and salt in a large bowl and stir.

Healthy Back to School Lunches + After School snack ideas!

It's time for school!

The school year can be stressful, for the child as well as the parents, but that doesn't mean we just forget about being healthy! Here are some quick ways to keep eating right during the school time!
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Lightened-Up Mac and Cheese


Kosher salt. 12 ounces fusilli or other corkscrew pasta. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. 1 medium shallot, finely chopped. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. 1 teaspoon mustard powder. 1/2 cup skim milk. 1/3 cup low-fat sour cream. 2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese. 2/3 cup shredded low-fat Swiss cheese. 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese. Freshly ground pepper. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, basil and/or chives

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Add the butter to the empty pot and melt over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and mustard powder and cook, stirring, until the flour begins to toast, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and the reserved cooking water; cook, whisking, until thick, about 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium. Whisk in the sour cream, mozzarella, Swiss cheese and 1 tablespoon parmesan; continue whisking until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the pasta, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; transfer to a 2-quart baking dish. Preheat the broiler.

Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons parmesan, the herbs, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the pasta. Broil until golden and bubbly, about 2 minutes.

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Granola Bars


8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats. 1 1/2 ounces of raw sunflower seeds. 3 ounces of sliced almonds. 1 1/2 ounces of wheat germ. 6 ounces of honey. 1 3/4 ounces of dark brown sugar. 1 ounce unsalted butter. 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. 6 1/2 ounces of dried fruit.

Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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Taco Salad

1/2 pound lean ground Beef . 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided . 1/2 cup Salsa, divided. 8 cups Salad greens . 1 cup chopped Tomato . 1 1/2 cup Black beans

  • 1. Brown beef in large non-stick skillet; remove from heat.
  • 2. Stir in 1 cup shredded cheese and 1/4 cup salsa; mix until blended.
  • 3. Spoon onto serving platter.
  • 4. In a large bowl, toss together salad greens, tomatoes, black beans and remaining cheese and salsa.
  • 5. Spoon salad over meat mixture and serve.

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Squash Casserol

6 yellow Squash (crooked neck), sliced thin. 1 medium Onion, chopped fine. 2 tablespoons Butter. 1 tablespoon Water. 1 cup extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded . Salt and pepper.

  • 1. Spray non-stick cooking spray on sides and bottom of a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish and set aside.
  • 2. Place 2 thinly sliced yellow squash on bottom of casserole dish.
  • 3. Next cover squash with a layer of chopped onion.
  • 4. Add pieces of butter on top of the onion and salt and pepper to taste.
  • 5. Repeat layering until all of the ingredients are used.
  • 6. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over the casserole.
  • 7. Cover casserole dish with a piece of foil. Bake at 350°F for 90 minutes.
  • 8. Then place 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top of the casserole and put back in the oven.
  • 9. Broil until the cheese is crusted and lightly browned.

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Red, White, and Green Grilled Cheese

1 teaspoon Garlic, minced (about one-half clove).1 small Onion, minced (about one-half cup).2 cups frozen cut Spinach, thawed and drained (or substitute 2 bags, 10 ounces each, fresh leaf Spinach, rinsed).1/4 teaspoon ground black Pepper.8 slices whole-wheat Bread.1 medium Tomato, rinsed, cut into 4 slices.1 cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella .Nonstick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400 'F. Place a large baking sheet in the oven to preheat for about 10 minutes.

2. Heat garlic with cooking spray in a medium heat. Cook until soft, but not browned. Add onions, and continue to cook until onions are soft, but not browned.

3. Add spinach, and toss gently. Cook until spinach is heated throughout. Season with pepper, and set aside to cool.

4. When the spinach and onions are cool, assemble each sandwich with one slice of bread on the bottom, one tomato slice, 1/2 cup of spinach mixture, 1/4 cup of cheese, and a second slice of bread on top. (For picky eaters, see Cook's Notes below.)

5. Spray the preheated nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the sandwiches on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the bottom of each sandwich is browned.

6. Carefully flip sandwiches, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until both sides are browned. Serve immediately.

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