Wednesday, October 14, 2015

White Chicken Chilli

I love soup weather! It's finally starting to feel like Fall here! (sort of) I live in the sometimes we get a little tease of chill in the air and the next day it's hot! I'm hoping for a "real" Fall real soon! :)

This soup is so easy and so good!

White Chicken Chili

1 lb chicken, shredded (Sometimes I'll use Kroger premium canned chicken, 16 oz which is 1 1/3 can, sometimes we need easy! OR you can crockpot some chicken with garlic powder, salt/pepper, a little bit of chicken broth, let it cook all day until it's easy to shred, so yummy and easy, throw extra in the freezer or keep for fast meals in the fridge)
1 TBS olive oil
Add 1 chopped medium onion and cook in oil until transparent (or 1 cup frozen already chopped onion-my fave way!)
Add 2 tsp garlic powder and mix together

Then add:
2, 15 oz cans organic great northern beans
14 oz organic chicken broth
1, 4 oz can diced chillies (if you like a little spice, I never add these, I'm a wimp when it comes to spice)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano (I'm allergic so I don't add this either...bummer!)
½ tsp pepper

Cook and simmer for about 30 minutes then eat (or you can throw everything in a crockpot and cook for a few hours)

After it has simmered:
If you like it a little creamy, add ½-1 cup Coconut Milk (or regular milk).

Can add tortillas chips, avacado, cheese...etc, to garnish.

Yummy!  Yummy! Happy Fall!

Macros per 1 cup servings w/ out toppings. Makes about 6, 1 cup servings.
1 cup =
243 calories
Total Fat= 8 g
Total Carbs=25 g
Total Protein=17 g
Total fiber= 9 g

Teaching kids to Eat Healthy

Image result for family dinner with kids
It's hard to get kids to eat healthy if you don't start out that way when they are young. Changing habits is difficult, you may know ;) Here are a few ideas. Please share if you have some tips too. My kids use to be really good and lately they are not! Ugh! I had to be overly strict for a while for health reasons and I think that's what happened. It became such a big deal with food.  I don't want food to be so boring or a big deal that they never want to eat healthy. So overly strict really is hard in the long run! Which can be hard when it's for health reasons. So its been good for us to now create more of a balance and hopefully when they are older they will also make better choices too. Here are a few thoughts and ideas. Please share if you have some tips too!

*if you cheerfully let them know that that's what's available for a meal, then they will learn to enjoy it. It doesn't work if you have crackers and cookies and fruit snacks in your pantry and they know that if their cranky enough they can have it as a snack in an hour. Keep only healthier snacks, treats, foods in the house. If once in a while you want a treat, you go out of the house for the treat. Don't bring bad foods in!

*Sometimes having them involved in the process helps, making cute little sandwiches or salads. Having them help you pick things out at the store. Writing down a list of options and they get to choose the options. Trying to have a few options at a meal so that if they don't like one type of vegetable, they can focus on the fruit.

*Toddlers (and probably most kid) need to be exposed to a food 13 times before they accept it. So if they are expected to stay at the table until you dismiss them, and they see you relaxed and happy and enjoying healthy food and pleasant conversation, and often it is just a matter of time before they settle in. I know meals aren't always this way, but if it's a goal that you're working towards then you'll get there. Even if they don't want to eat, have them stay at the table until they are dismissed. It's family time!

*Your job is to provide the healthy food options in a reasonably appealing way, but you don't have to make them eat it. In fact, you shouldn't. Kids will eat minimal amounts at some meals and larger amouints at others. They are better at listening to their bodies than most adults are. They don't just eat to eat, they stop when they are full. If you help them to understand that even if they don't choose to eat that's fine (remove the power struggle) but they are supposed to stay at the table until they are excused. If your child isn't used to it, you may want to start with a minimum of five minutes but work up to 20 minutes over time. They can sit and be part of the conversation and connection. The benefits of family meals are well documented. Once the food is cleaned up, you can decide how you want to handle it but be consistent: either allow them to have their lunch later if they are hungry or specific snacks (nuts, fruit, etc) but usually say no snacks or juice until dinner when their natural hunger will make healthy eating taste better.

*You have to be cheerfully consistent and they will adapt. There may be plenty of meltdowns if you are working on changing your ways. If they are getting so many treats at school and friends houses etc, you can have them give them to you and at the end of the day, they could pick a better "treat" from the treat box.

*Most kids love dipping things So you can make a fondue type sauce, they can dip veggies or things in it to get them use to eating more veggies. Tacos or things that they can put their own fillings in/make themsevles is always good. You can also make things a little more fun once in a while, make Costco type samples...use toothpicks. My kids love that for some reason!

*I write the meals we make for dinner on large popcicles sticks and let my kids take turns choosing the menu for the week. I have a cute Weekly holder that they can put the sticks in for each day.

*Grow a garden!! Having your children help in the process will help them learn to love healthy foods!!

A few other good points & benenfits to family meal time HERE

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

NON Candy Halloween Ideas!

Halloween can still be so fun without all the junk! Make a fun tradition with your kids to trade in their candy Halloween Night, Leave it on the porch for the "Switch Witch" and she will leave a fun gift or sack of other goodies instead. Here are some fun ideas that you can give to your kids or hand out on Halloween. Some Dentists even let kids trade in candy for money or you can send Candy to the troops. So many great ideas! 

DIY Halloween Treats

How cute and easy our these oranges!!? I'm going to make some for my kids after school today. Anything to make a healthy snack fun! :)

This would be fun - more affordable alternative to pumpkins for them! Or just have them everywhere!!:

or these 
(use dark chocolate chips for the banana ghost face and celery for the pumpkin stems)

Displaying 2015-10-13 10.04.55.png

We love Dole 100% juice Mandarin oranges
this wolud work too!


Trade in that Candy for something better!!

How to stop your kids from eating TOO MUCH CANDY!:
PLAY DOUGH!! Genius idea! Find a pack of mini ones at Target or Walmart.  
ashley trick no treat 2013 (15)

non-candy halloween treats 16

Vampire Teeth: Dentist's everywhere would be proud :)

Non-Candy Halloween Treats to make - at Non Toy Gifts

Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Protein prep ideas + my favorite seasoning mixture

I make this seasoning in bulk: 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder....I make extra to keep in a little container. Here are a few different protein ideas that I use to make it with.
*Broiled Seasoned chicken- Cut your chicken smaller pieces, line a baking sheet with foil, season the chicken liberally with your spice mixture, Sometimes I add about 1 TBS Olive oil as well and mix the spices an chicken all together and broiled in the oven on HI for about 15 minutes, watch it close though, you don't want it undercooked and defintely not overcooked. Have it with rice (brown, basmati or jasmine)/veggies or on top of a salad.
*Lean Ground Turkey- brown the turkey and add the seasonings. Use for taco salads, on top of sweet potato or mixed with quinoa or rice.
*Crockpot chicken (also great with pork loin, but pork is a fattier meat and not as healthy) 6-8 chicken breasts, 1/2 cup 100% white grape juice, liberally season with spice mixture, add any other spices...pepper, etc. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Yummy on salad, in a wrap, with veggies, w/ rice, etc.
How do you like to prepare your meat?


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