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This week’s new recipe is part of the From Scratch cookbook developed by my fellow CNE alums, and this Tie-Dye Tropical Turmeric Chia Parfait will knock your socks off!

 

Preschool Math Activities

Do you remember thinking math was fun when you were a kid? Is it a struggle for you now? Math was never one of my favorite subjects, even though I generally did well in school. I want my kids, especially my daughter, to learn from a young age that math can be fun.  With the help of educational sites like PBSKids and Pinterest, I keep finding easy ways to integrate math into our daily life. Baking together lets me talk about fractions, restaurant play offers an opportunity to talk about money and snack time can become a counting activity.

In celebration of PEG + CAT, PBS KIDS’ newest series, Whole Foods partnered with PBS to create some fun ways to build math skills and encourage healthy eating habits. You can find activity sheets, grocery store bingo cards, recipes and more inspiration to get kids excited to make healthy choices. PEG + CAT focuses on preschool math and problem-solving skills and starts October 7. My kids got a sneak peek and keep asking to watch it again which is always a good sign!

Use a muffin tin to serve a variety of food

The red pears were the top choice in the muffin tin of fruit.

We created our own activity using a mini muffin tin and fresh fruits from Whole Foods. Using a muffin tin to serve food is a great way to ensure you are offering variety, both in options and in color. We cut up the fruit and then sorted it by 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, and so on. For early learners, you could also do this activity and have kids count how many pieces of fruit are in each cup. There is a fun pirate craft you can print out and make with your kids that encourages counting, plus you can work on learning colors too with a variety of fruits.

Peg + Cat Treasure Chest

 

How else do you incorporate math and problem-solving skills into your daily life?

For more ideas, visit the PBSKids.org/healthykids website. Check your local listings for the time of PEG + CAT starting on October 7th on your local PBS station! Thank you to Whole Foods who partnered with PBS Kids Ambassadors to bring you these tips and activities! All ideas and opinions shared here are my own.

I am always looking for new ideas for healthy snacks.  There are just some days when we all need something to bridge the afternoon gap from lunch to dinner.  In our house, we often do a late dinner so we can sit down as a family. I need to give my kids something substantial on these days, but I don’t want it to be processed. As kids get older, I see the need for easy options in between sports practices and homework sessions.

I met Amie Valpone during my trip to New York last month.  She writes the blog The Healthy Apple and is a Manhattan based culinary nutritionist, personal chef and food writer.  Amie shares her struggle and triumph in going gluten free.  So many of us have family and friends dealing with food allergy issues. Amie’s story sounds like so many of my friends and I love her positive attitude towards dealing with this challenge.

I’m happy to share Amie’s list of Healthy Snacks to get you through the mid-afternoon snack slump! Baked Pear is first on my list to try.

  • Hard boiled eggs with Hummus (Remove yolk)
  • 1 piece of  whole grain or gluten-free toast with melted SoyaKaas cheese and a slice of tomato
  • 1 sliced fresh pear with a slice of SoyaKaas Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 piece of good quality dark chocolate with a few nuts
  • Dried pineapple and dried papaya dipped into Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 avocado (pitted) filled with salmon salad (canned salmon + Greek yogurt)
  • 3/4 cup red grapes with 2 crackers and hummus
  • Sprouted English muffin toasted and topped with apple butter and sesame seeds
  • Organic apple sauce mixed with Greek yogurt and peanuts
  • Bowl of puffed kamut with honey and pistachios
  • 2 Spelt rice cakes spread with mashed avocado and organic peanut butter
  • Ground flax seeds and chia seeds added to a banana and mango smoothie
  • Pineapple chunks drizzled with with lime juice, fresh mint leaves and warm almond butter
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas with tomato sauce and Galaxy Vegan Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats with spinach, rice milk and 1 egg
  • 1/2 hemp bagel toasted and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Wasa crackers topped with grated carrots (use blender/food processor) and pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free pasta (cooked al dente) with Greek yogurt, low-sodium tamari sauce and sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup brown rice with snow peas, dried cranberries, rice vinegar and avocado
  • Steamed broccoli and carrots drizzled with honey, stevia and chili powder
  • Asparagus sp
    ears topped with slices of SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free cheese (bake in toaster oven until cheese is melted)
  • Fresh grapefruit, sliced in half drizzled with agave nectar and crushed almonds
  • Zucchini and squash, thinly sliced, spritzed with sesame oil and sesame seeds and baked for 20 minutes in oven
  • Make your own frozen yogurt–(Rice, Almond, Hemp, Soy, etc. milk mixed in a blender with ice cubes, banana, raspberries and strawberries.  Pour into cups and freeze until desired consistency.
  • Sardine Salad (1 can sardines mixed with with 2 chopped celery stalks, Nu-Salt and pepper and Greek yogurt) and wrapped in kale leaves
  • Collard Green Wrap (Spread hummus and salsa with crushed peanuts atop large collard green leaves; wrap up like a burrito
  • Jicama and carrot stalks dipped into macadamia nut butter
  • Star Fruit and red cabbage mixed with honey and almonds
  • Sweet Potato Disks (slice 1 sweet potato into disk-like shapes (microwave or toast and sprinkle with paprika, Nu-Salt and pepper and dip into organic ketchup)
  • 1 cup fresh cherries with Greek yogurt
  • Raw red, yellow and orange bell peppers with a hard boiled egg
  • 3 dates and 3 dried figs with 1 Tbsp. nut butter
  • 1 kiwi  with 10 almonds
  • Whole grain crackers with 5 shrimp with Greek yogurt, dill, Nu-Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans with Greek yogurt and melted SoyaKass Gluten Free/Dairy Free Cheese
  • Baked Apple (bake halved apple for 1 hour at 350 degrees, top with cinnamon and agave nectar)
  • Baked Pear (bake halved pear at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, top with raisins and honey)
  • 1 hard boiled egg with 1 Wasa Cracker and hummus
  • Watermelon sliced/cubed dipped into a mixture of Greek yogurt, balsamic vinegar and lime juice
  • 1/2 cup high fiber cereal with soy milk and a handful of peanuts
  • Tofu Bites (Extra firm tofu, drained and cubed set into the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees; dip cooked tofu bites into hummus and sprinkle with Galaxy Parmesan Cheese)
  • Dried Banana Chips with pecans
  • 1/2 cup black beans, salsa, olives and whole wheat crackers

What’s your favorite afternoon snack?
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Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP, Editor-in-Chief of TheHealthyApple.com is a Manhattan based Culinary Nutritionist, Personal Chef, Professional Recipe Developer and Food Writer specializing in simple Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook. Visit Amie on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.


photo credit: javajoba via photo pin cc