“Grapefruit sweetenes under the broiler, creating the perfect healthy dessert. Topped with some honey and cinnamon, you can’t go wrong!” – Sarah Scheutz, RD
Creating party foods for kids that taste great and have nutritional benefit can sometimes be pretty darn tricky (I should tell you about my Parmesan cheese popcorn FAIL sometime!), but adding fruit to a classic dessert is usually one way to ensure success while still infusing some nutritional benefit onto their plate too. That’s why I love these individual fruit pizzas! Super easy to make, super tasty, and overflowing with fruit!” – Kati Mora, MS, RD
Cookies are easy and portable; however, this fruit dip would also be delicious on a whole grain waffle in the morning! Use in place of cookie and you have an even more nutrient-rich fruit pizza option.
When it comes to Halloween, its often hard to think of it from a health perspective. It almost seems cruel. After all, its only one night, right? True. But why settle just for candy when you and your kids can enjoy, yes ENJOY, healthy Halloween treats that you make or eat together?
From simple to complex, creating healthy treats for Halloween should add to the overall holiday experience, not take away from it. Since trick-or-treating and candy add so much fun to the holiday, its easy to think that by supplementing or replacing them with healthier fare will result in less fun. This isn’t the case; well, unless you let it be.
So get ready for a little healthy treat fun! And if you need some inspiration, a few of members of thePlate Community already have a few great ideas to get you started.
Want more healthy Halloween treat ideas? Check out our Pinterest board for some more great ideas!
Although pumpkins are a big part of the fall season, we’ve sort of become pumpkin obsessed over the last few years. For good reason too. Pumpkins are tasty, versatile, and nutrient rich. You can add them to just about any sort of dish and with each bite you can maximize your health. Of course, you have to get creative with your pumpkin and figure out ways to incorporate both the flesh and the seeds of this fall time treat.
Due to its versatility, making good use of your pumpkin goes far beyond the pie. We asked our community members and our Facebook friends to share a few of their favorite healthy ways to add pumpkin to their day. Here are 5 creative ways to do just that:
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. Whether you’ve just carved yourself a Jack-o-Lantern or are purchasing a pumpkin just to get to the seeds, our Facebook friend Tina R knows that these little crunchy morsels are a great way to enjoy some of the health benefits associated with pumpkin. Plus, they are a seasonal, crunchy treat you can munch on in between meals. Get creative with your seasonings too for a little extra fun or consider sprinkling them on top of your yogurt or mixing them into your homemade trail mix.
Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer. If you’re a fan of Pumpkin-flavored beverages, then you’ll love this homemade dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan pumpkin spice coffee creamer from our Healthy Eating Champion, Lisa Lately. Its a cheaper alternative than some similar drinks out on the market and its sure to be a taste bud pleaser. Plus, you’ll still be getting some of the health benefits associated with our beloved pumpkin.
Pumpkin Protein Balls. Lisa also has a fabulous recipe for pumpkin protein balls and we love this recipe because its unique, quick, and easy! Those are really the best kind, right? In her post, 10 Words or Less, you’ll learn a little more about Lisa and discover that pumpkin can be a versatile everyday ingredient. That’s right, you don’t need to break it out only on special fall-inspired occasions.
Roasted Pumpkin and Sage Risotto Cakes with Truffle and Honey Fresh Cream. If you have a more developed palate and are looking for a pumpkin-inspired meal that might be worthy of a special occasion, this recipe from Recipe Guru Lynda Benson of Fitnessmomwinecountry may fit the bill. Its still a relatively uncomplicated dish, but one that is sure to make a memorable impression.
Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal. Breakfast is another great place to fit in a little extra pumpkin. In fact, pumpkin can really take your oatmeal from “blah” to “ah-mazing” with very minimal extra work. Earlier this month Ashley Galloway, MS, RD, from the Fresh Beet shared one such oatmeal creation with us. We know you’ll love the amazing flavor blend.
Do you have a favorite pumpkin-inspired dish? Share it with us in the comments!
by Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD, CDN
If you still choose to ignore these funny looking vegetables on the supermarket shelf or at the farmer’s market, time to shake things up! Although it looks a little intimidating, fennel is incredibly easy to prepare.
If you need a little inspiration in order to give fennel a try, just imagine that fennel dates back to ancient Greek times – 1500 BC! It is even reflected in mythological traditions. Greek myths state that fennel was not only closely associated with Dionysus, the Greek god of food and wine, but that a fennel stalk carried the coal that passed down knowledge from the gods to men. This sounds pretty inspirational, doesn’t it?
The best way to slice fennel is to do so vertically through the bulb. If your recipe requires chunked, diced, or julienned fennel, it is best to first remove the harder core that resides in the center before cutting it. The stalks of the fennel can be used for soups, stocks and stews, while the leaves can be used as an herb seasoning.
Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium, manganese and folate. Fennel also contains a unique phytonutrient compound, anethole, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent the occurence of cancer. And all this amazing nutrition is packed into only 27 calories per 3 oz serving!
Some easy ways to enjoy fennel include:
This recipe for fennel, grape, and celery salad is a hit with my family, including kids and may be another great way for you to incorporate fennel into your day. I find that many children prefer raw, crunchy vegetables over their cooked version. The sweet grapes and toasted almonds add to the appeal, too!
Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD, CDN is the owner and lead dietitian of Tribeca Nutrition. Specializing in both child and family nutrition, Natalia is a great resource for any parent looking to incorporate healthier eating habits and new ingredients into their daily meal plans. For more information on Natalia and her services, be sure to check out her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.