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We’ve been on a frozen treat kick around here experimenting with frozen yogurt pops with fresh fruit. As we were enjoying our last creation, Frozen Yogurt Popsicles with Berries, Poppie suggested we try Peanut Butter Smoothie pops. Then she turned with excitement in her eyes and exclaimed, “I have a great idea!!! We could add chocolate chips to it!” That is truly a good idea and so I introduce to you the first recipe developed by one of my kids at the ripe old age of- 4. I couldn’t be more thrilled about her ideas! Pretty impressive. 

As they ate, I asked all three of them if they thought the popsicles were good, delicious or very delicious. We got 3 very delicious votes so there you go. Created and judged by 4 year olds. 

I love treats that include nutritious ingredients. It can be a challenge to get 5 to 9 fruits and vegetables in each day especially with picky kids. This is just one more way to get in some fruit. They still get something sweet but you get the bonus of nutrients from bananas, peanut butter and milk. Not to mention it’s a great balance between protein and sugar vs. a high sugar treat. It’s a win-win. 

Try this one out with your kids and see what you think…

Peanut Butter, Banana Smoothie Popsicle with Chocolate Chips
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups milk (can replace with soy, rice, coconut, or almond milk)
  2. 2 bananas
  3. 2 to 3 tablespoons Peanut Butter (depending on your taste)
  4. 2 to 3 teaspoons honey (depending on how sweet you want them)
  5. 1/3 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender except chocolate chips and blend until smooth. Taste the smoothie and adjust for Peanut Butter flavor and sweetness.
  2. Place 4 to 5 chocolate chips to the bottom of your popsicle mold. Pour half way with the smoothie.
  3. Place the remainder of your smoothie in the refrigerator. Freeze the molds for about 20 minutes or until the smoothie begins to harden.
  4. Take molds out of the freezer and add about 4 to 5 more chocolate chips to the center. Fill the remainder of the molds to the top with the smoothie mixture, place the handles on and freeze over night.
  5. If you have smoothie left over enjoy in a cup!
3 Tomatoes http://3tomatoes.net/

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Food Porn is Good for your Health

by Meri on July 17, 2014

Food blogging is quite a popular niche right now bringing us the most amazing images that make you want to pluck the tasty looking meals right off the pages and onto your plate. Food Porn (delicately put) is the term used to describe this striking food photography. I love combing food blogs and Pinterest to look at the amazing plates of food both healthy and not so healthy. The question is, are these photos helping us on our health journey or hurting us?

Research provides evidence that when a person looks at food images it increases ghrelin (hunger hormones). This may be problematic if people start munching mindlessly while looking at Pinterest and that’s where the next step of research should occur. Are people eating more while looking at photos? Time and research will give a better picture if this is leading to overconsumption, but I see a different side. 

Personally, I think food blogs are one of the best things around to inspire people to eat healthy. There are two camps of nutrition professionals: those who think cookbooks and recipes are a waste of time and act as a crutch (Yes…I’ve read this from several nutrition professionals) and those of us who think it helps people to find new ways of cooking and explore new foods. 

I’ve worked one-on-one with clients for the better part of 18 years. The vast majority didn’t like the idea of eating healthy foods as if it was a prison sentence. Many didn’t cook and most would describe themselves as “vegetable haters”. Healthy eating simply had a bad image. People conjured up an image of canned green beans, a drab piece of baked, dried out chicken breast with some plain white rice. You just had to mention the word “healthy” and people ran for the hills. I hated seeing those long faces and always tried to encourage food magazines and cookbooks for inspiration. 

Now we have food blogs and when you see recipes they’re full of life like this photo from Italicana Kitchen.com 

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These photographed plates of food show that you can make healthy food that is delicious, full of flavor and not at all dull (goodbye plate of canned green beans!) Who doesn’t want to dive into these recipes? And…they’re healthy! 

Loving this taco bowl from The Live-In Kitchen blog…yum!

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I fell in love with this Lemony Soup image from  The Cozy Apron and can’t wait to give it a try. 

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Yes…you can find all sorts of unhealthy food porn as well but the idea is that people are inspired to get in the kitchen and try new foods and new ways of cooking. Many recipes are quite simple as well. I’ve seen friends and family try foods or methods of cooking they would have never dreamed of if they hadn’t seen the picture first. The photos peek your curiosity to learn more. Sometimes the ingredient list is too long and you may quickly leave but other times it’s surprisingly easy. Sort of a, “hey…I can do that” moment. 

So I’d like to send a great big thanks to all those amazing food bloggers out there for inspiring people to try new foods, get into the kitchen and eat their veggies!

For a great place to start, follow the food bloggers above and check out Healthy Aperture for some amazing healthy food porn bloggers.

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Frozen Yogurt & Berry Pops and Frozen Yogurt Bark

by Meri July 13, 2014

                  90 degrees all month…it’s hot here and I’m not a big fan of hot anymore. When I was young I thrived in hot weather and could play outside all day with just a quick run through the sprinklers to cool me off. Now…I. just. don’t. like. […]

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Grilled Chicken Tacos- Great way to use leftovers

by Meri July 9, 2014

                  Do you ever get in a lunch rut? Or have a night where you just don’t feel like cooking? Me too. This is why I’m a huge fan of making leftovers work in unique (you may think strange) ways. For example when we grill chicken I […]

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Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomatoes

by Meri June 30, 2014

                  Me: Grilling that lovely rustic portobello mushroom oozing with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. Grant: WHAT is THAT?! Me: a Portobello Mushroom Grant: Are you going to eat it???!!! Me: In Deed I get it…not everything is kid friendly but exposing them to all types of […]

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When Life Hands you Tomatoes, Make Salsa!

by Meri June 22, 2014

                  Ok…I know you’d think in my American-Italian ways I’d say sauce instead of salsa but it’s hot outside and the men of this household, well…one man and one small boy, are eating a jar of salsa every couple of days. So salsa it is! My father […]

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Herb Infused Grilled Corn

by Meri June 8, 2014

                  My kids are officially big kids now. They graduated from preschool and will be headed to Transitional Kindergarten in the Fall, which is somewhat hard to believe. I enjoyed all of the parties and very official ceremonies complete with graduation caps and the graduation walking march […]

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Using Microgreens in your Meals

by Meri May 22, 2014

    We’ve been experimenting with planting our own microgreens using a hydroponic kit I found online and now we are using them up in our meals! The kids and I planted 3 varieties. Wish I could tell you more about which one they actually are in the picture above but my kids took the […]

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Growing Micro Greens Inside Your House

by Meri May 15, 2014

                  I’ve been using more and more microgreens lately. I love the flavor and love how simple they are to add nutritional value to a meal but hate the price! These little buggers can get expensive in the stores so I decided to grow our own. Or […]

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Everything Under the Kitchen Sink Egg Scramble

by Meri May 8, 2014

                  One of my greatest pet peeves is wasting produce! I’m not sure about your household but we always seem to have a small amount of veggies here and there that didn’t get cooked or got cooked, but not eaten. Lately my answer to this problem is […]

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Simply Roasted Vegetables

by Meri April 14, 2014

                   I’m finding more and more that my friends and family are under-utilizing their roasting pans. Roasting is one of my all time favorite go-to cooking methods, especially for vegetables, because it’s easy and I don’t have to put a lot of thought into it. And it […]

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Pirate and Pixie Birthday and My Sugar Rant

by Meri September 28, 2013

                        This last week we had our 4th birthday celebration which is somewhat hard to believe. I now have little kids…not toddlers. Thank goodness they all agreed on a Pirate and Pixie party seeing that they are obsessed with Peter Pan and everything pirate. […]

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The 10th (or 30th) Carrot- Getting Kids to try New Foods

by Meri August 1, 2013

I’ve learned over the years as a dietitian and now as a mom that it’s important to continuously introduce the same food over and over to small children. Eventually they’ll try it. This worked quite well when my kids first started exploring foods as 6 month olds. After a few introductions they would play with […]

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Roasted Pork Loin with Apricots

by Meri July 6, 2013

As I mentioned in my previous post, apricots have been on our menu lately to assure we use them all up! This recipe was a no brainer to prepare since it’s one I had handy from my Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies. This recipe is great to serve to guests since it makes a beautiful […]

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Apricot Smoothie

by Meri July 2, 2013

                  I definitely have a little learning curve with my apricot tree. While it’s a wonderful tree to have in your back yard the fruit is extremely delicate and only lasts for a couple days. It also starts rotting on the tree if you wait one second […]

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Harvest Time- Getting Kids to Try New Foods

by Meri June 25, 2013

                        We bought a house last summer that includes several fruit trees on the property. Lucky for us! One tree is a beautiful grafted plum and apricot tree which is ripe and ready to harvest. I love growing our own food and have plans […]

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50 + Ingredient Milkshakes. Sigh…

by Meri June 20, 2013

Yesterday was one of those days. It was late afternoon and HOT. The kids were getting that weird agitated heat thing complete with fighting, whining and what I call “scream play”. You know where they all think it’s hilarious to scream at the top of their lungs while playing. I needed to do something to […]

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Grilling Veggies with Simple Flavor Combinations

by Meri June 11, 2013

                        Me: getting veggies on the grill Poppie: “Oh…are you cooking salad for dinner? ” Me: “sort of…I’m cooking some veggies” Poppie: a few seconds later…”here you go” as she hands me rose petals and leaves to cook. ————————————————————————————————————— The blow up pool is […]

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Broken Computers and Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce

by Meri May 29, 2013

                        I haven’t written a blog post in awhile and the above photo is my excuse. Birdie has taken a liking to plucking the keys off the computer as she learns her ABC’s. She quietly takes the keys upstairs and exclaims, “p p p […]

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Cooking Light- The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook

by Meri April 12, 2013

              Do you ever read Cooking Light magazine? It’s one of my favorites. I’ve always loved the articles and tips, and the recipes are exactly my speed. One of my colleagues, Janet Helm, recently wrote a new cookbook called Cooking Light The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook and I was […]

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Date and Walnut Drops

by Meri April 1, 2013

                I love sweets. So much that I need to find ways to incorporate healthy ingredients and less sugar and fats so I feel satisfied and not deprived. I also like that my kids are exposed to different types of sweets. While there’s a time and place for […]

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Orange and Fennel Salad and One of my Favorite Nutrition Apps (Fooducate)

by Meri March 25, 2013

                The last few weeks I’ve had some great opportunities to write a few guest blog posts for some outstanding companies. I love collaborating with others and sharing products and recipes that can really help facilitate healthy choices. One of those companies is Fooducate. I am a huge […]

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A Tale of an Orange

by Meri March 6, 2013

                        I was reading a colleague’s post about the recent Mediterranean diet craze in the media. His opinion is we are focusing too much on regions or specific foods instead of focusing on the point that other cultures simply eat more real food and […]

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Mediterranean Diet in the News…Cheers to Decreasing Heart Disease!

by Meri March 1, 2013

Well…if you haven’t heard the news yet, some pretty significant research on the Mediterranean diet was released this week. While there is a good body of research supporting the Mediterranean diet this particular study published in the New England Journal of Medicine is the first of it’s kind significantly linking diet with a decrease in […]

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Crazy Meal Times

by Meri February 22, 2013

I love reading tips on new kid friendly recipes and getting them more involved with meals. Heck, I’ve even posted my own successful tips here on this blog. Recently I was reading a blog post about meal time and I noticed in my mind it conjured up this image of delightful kids sitting at the […]

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Slow Cooker Spicy Black Bean Soup

by Meri February 13, 2013

                When my kids started part time preschool last January everyone warned me we’d be sick all the time. Holy cow! No kidding. We’ve been sick with a cold or a flu bug since mid-December. We ended this last one with an ear infection (our first one…ouch!)  for […]

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Sick Days

by Meri January 16, 2013

Well…it’s that time of year again. Poppie and Mr. informed me yesterday, “I’m sick”, “me too” and then the fevers and overnight coughing party began. We’re on our third cold of the season with no break. These poor kids pick up everything especially now that they’re all in preschool. Parenting is a strange 24 hour […]

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Making Time for Resolutions

by Meri January 5, 2013

It’s that time of year again where everyone is fired up about their goals for the new year. Health and career seem to always be at the top of the list, which I can tell from my facebook and twitter feeds buzzing like crazy. I actually enjoy the energy in the air this time of […]

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Orange Ricotta Pancakes

by Meri December 28, 2012

                Growing up my parents threw a big, swanky adult New Year’s Eve party every year. The adults would dress in formal wear and they’d feast on salami and cheeses, olives and fettucini. We were allowed to hang out for the early hours but usually had to go […]

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Holiday Food Traditions

by Meri December 23, 2012

If you’ve read this blog or any of my books you’ll know that I love family food traditions. I think their a unique part of your family history that you can continue to pass down over the generations. Some may be new traditions and others may be passed down through your families’ culture. Lots of […]

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A Walking Sort of Family

by Meri December 19, 2012

We are lucky in Southern California that the weather never gets too cold even in the evening so we can get out to see the Christmas lights on hoof instead of the car. I do miss a white Christmas but it’s been quite enjoyable going out for an evening walk especially during the witching hours […]

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Orange, Chocolate and Pistachio Biscotti

by Meri December 14, 2012

                  I really wanted to attempt to make my grandma’s Christmas Scaleda recipe this year, but chickened out. It’s an enormous project that includes making dough, braiding it, deep frying it like a doughnut and dipping in hot honey. I was crazy motivated and wanted to charge […]

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Roasted Turkey Breast

by Meri December 7, 2012

                I’m a big fan of roasted turkey and will admit that one of my top 10 favorite foods is a very simple turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with a small slab of mayo and a slice of cheddar cheese. Not very fancy I know but I […]

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Window Sill Herb Garden

by Meri November 28, 2012

                  I planted some fresh herbs in pots to grow on my front porch but…as expected, I didn’t remember to water them. I thought by the time my kids hit 3 years old I’d be able to tackle more of my yard and keeping things alive. Apparently […]

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Being Grateful is Good for your Health

by Meri November 21, 2012

As my kids’ language is budding I’ve been really surprised (and impressed) how nice manners are also coming into play. While they form their new sentences I hear a lot of “thank you”, “please” and Poppie’s favorite line, “no thank you”. She uses this phrase quite often. For instance: me: “Poppie, why don’t you try […]

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Cocoa Roasted Almonds

by Meri November 14, 2012

                I’ve been on a snack kick this week and these cocoa roasted almonds were calling my name. I’m blessed that we have no nut allergies in this house and everyone, including Poppie (the pickiest eater) loves nuts and of course anything to do with chocolate. However, I think […]

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Chili (or Curry) Roasted Chickpeas

by Meri November 12, 2012

                      I’ve been searching for new snack ideas that don’t include “wheat”. I don’t have an issue with wheat but I do believe strongly in getting a variety of grains and with small kids it seems like we’re stuck in a rut. Of course they […]

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Music is good for the soul

by Meri November 9, 2012

                It’s interesting to see the traits your kids pick up from you. Of course you can see the family resemblences and certain mannerisms but sometimes it’s surprising to see things emerge you wouldn’t expect. Birdie loves music. Ever since she could sit up she’s been playing preprogrammed […]

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Auntie Faye’s Roasted Potatoes

by Meri November 2, 2012

                Growing up one of my favorite dishes was from my Auntie Faye. She wasn’t my real aunt, she was a close family friend of my parents. She was the one who always had fun games to play and would sneak food into our rooms at midnight during my parent’s […]

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Dogs on the Bus- Finding small ways to relax your nerves

by Meri October 31, 2012

                  So, this morning was one of those mornings. You know the kind, when events occur that you couldn’t possibly imagine, sending you into a tail spin. I had one of those mornings with that cute fellow in the picture being the instigator. Birdie qualifies for a special […]

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Crustless Pumpkin Pie with Oatmeal Crumble Topping

by Meri October 24, 2012

                Ahhh toddlers. I took Poppie and Mr. to a “gym” class today while Birdie was at her preschool program and it was, how do I put this…complete mayham. While all the other toddlers sat in circle time Poppie ran around the room screaming  “NO HONEY, I want […]

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Pumpkin Dip

by Meri October 19, 2012

                Fall is my favorite time of year and for some reason it makes me want to cook like a mad woman. It’s as if during the summer I have little interest in doing a lot of kitchen time but once October hits I can’t seem to stop […]

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Pumpkin Patch, Making Fun a Priority for Health

by Meri October 17, 2012

                  Last weekend we visited the pumpkin patch with our close friends complete with pony rides, corn maze, train rides and petting zoo.  As you can see above, a little chicken chasing did occur but I assure you, no chickens were harmed during this outing and in the end Birdie […]

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Pesto Chicken Nuggets

by Meri October 12, 2012

                This last weekend I experienced one of those significant parent milestones…leaving my kids on an overnight trip. I went to Philladelphia for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo helping my friends over at FoodCalc promote their new App, EveryoneEat! I had loads of […]

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Strawberry, Banana and Kale Smoothie

by Meri September 28, 2012

                        One of the dreadful things that goes along with a picky eater is the risk of iron-deficiency anemia. I’m pretty sure Poppie (new nickname for Tiny) and her picky ways is now facing anemia. All she wants to eat these days is cheese, […]

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Birthday Celebrations

by Meri September 26, 2012

                  I was recently interviewed for a magazine article about celebrations. Should you plunge in and eat sweets and fatty foods or try to stick to your guns and restrict yourself? I’m a big believer in moderation and enjoying the foods that come along with celebrations (keeping […]

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Eating Mediterranean Style with Convenience Foods

by Meri September 12, 2012

Some how life just picked up the pace right after we moved (still don’t have pictures hung yet…sigh). Mark and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and the little one’s 3 year birthday is right around the corner. Birdie and Mr. are being evaluated to see if they qualify for various programs through the school […]

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A Non-Recipe Kind of Cook

by Meri August 29, 2012

My sister-in-law found a meal planning site that she really likes called, www.thescramble.com. As a dietitian I’ve seen lots of meal planning sites and I agree with her (she’s also a dietitian), this one looks great! However, I immediately thought it wasn’t for me. The funny thing is I couldn’t figure out why. I do meal plan every […]

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Simple Turkey Burgers

by Meri August 17, 2012

                Moving is wearing me down. I truly can’t believe how hard it is to move into a new home with toddlers running around. Every time I think I have time to unpack a box or hang a picture someone is in need. A diaper change, fight, arm […]

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Frozen Fruit Smoothie Pops

by Meri August 1, 2012

                Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? I say make it into a frozen treat.  I find it’s a simple way to provide a great healthy snack for my kids and provides a fun frozen popsicle. Bottom line…they’re really excited to eat them! You can do this with any smoothie recipe you have, which means you […]

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Stressing Out

by Meri July 19, 2012

Stress is a topic that has been on my mind recently. I’m feeling a lot of it having three 2-year-olds running around while moving into a new house. My cortisol levels are on over-drive and it affects my mood and sleep. In my opinion, dealing with toddlers all day isn’t the same type of stress […]

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Grilled Zucchini- Simplicity at it’s Best

by Meri July 5, 2012

                Over the last 18 years of being a dietitian one of the biggest hurdles I’ve seen my clients face is finding ways to get more fruits and vegetables in each day. I find myself struggling with it as well. I have no problem getting in a few fruits […]

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Grilled Fennel

by Meri June 26, 2012

                  I talk a lot about my picky eaters, but today I want to salute my little adventurous eater, Birdie. I love watching her eat. She’s always so excited with new foods and explores them thoroughly. She reminds me of myself when I was little. I loved […]

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Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad

by Meri June 22, 2012

                  I love taking a few moments here and there to look through all the great recipes that come through Pinterest. A few weeks ago this Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad caught my eye. I actually had corn in the house and was ready to go until […]

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Keeping Active- Lessons I Learned from my Italian Grandma

by Meri June 14, 2012

                  My grandmother was a big influence on my life in many ways and continues to be even after her passing. That’s a photo of us circa 1985, don’t judge…it was the 80′s afterall.   One thing that has resonated with me recently is the great role model she was for […]

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Teriyaki Salmon Kabobs

by Meri June 8, 2012

                I love grilling. I really love grilling fish, but if you know me by now you’ll remember I’m a bit of a fish snob. Ok…I’m a huge fish snob. Growing up my father went fishing for fun so we always had fresh fish in our house. Whether it was […]

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Blueberry Picking

by Meri June 4, 2012

                  We had a fun weekend adventure to the blueberry farm near our home. Five minutes away for a perfect afternoon getaway with 2-year-olds. I have to thank my friend Monica for letting me know about this little farm as it’s just the type of thing I […]

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Oil and Vinegar

by Meri May 31, 2012

                I grew up having a side salad for dinner every night no matter what else was served and my grandmother and mother always made their own dressing. As an adult I started buying store-bought dressings, but was never really satisfied. Most of the time I find them […]

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Potty Training

by Meri May 19, 2012

We started potty training and I’m very much regretting my decision to try to train all 3 kids at the same time. Although to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if it’s potty training all three of them or simply that I may not have the right personality for this whole thing. You see, when I’m […]

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Real men drink tea

by Meri May 15, 2012

                  It’s been interesting having one boy in my triplet mix. When you’re pregnant you don’t think too much about toddler gender equality. You paint their room neutral colors like green and yellow and decorate with zoo animals. People buy your boy blue clothes and the girls pink […]

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Mediterranean Diet Month- Setting the Path

by Meri May 8, 2012

May is National Mediterranean Diet Month, which is right up my alley! This month long campaign was established by Oldways and the Mediterranean Food Alliance, resources that provide education and awareness about the Mediterranean diet and foods from the region. Personally, I am passionate about this way of  life and recently coauthored the book, The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies, a […]

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My personal story with preeclampsia

by Meri May 4, 2012

May is an important month. It’s not only time to celebrate Mother’s Day, but it’s also time for the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. I am a survivor of Preeclampsia. It sounds sort of dramatic I know, but I guess that’s what you officially call someone like me. Preeclampsia is a life threatening disorder that occurs during […]

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Cheesy Quinoa with Spinach and Pine Nuts

by Meri April 27, 2012

Ahhh…I love the flavor of quinoa and I have a real love affair with goat cheese, put them together and you have a winning combination! This is a very quick and easy side dish that goes great with any meal. Quinoa is actually a small seed and a member of the spinach family although most […]

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Pantry stocking

by Meri April 24, 2012

I’ve always prided myself on a well stocked pantry and freezer even prior to kids. I feel strongly that the way to stay on track with eating healthy foods is to assure you have a back up plan for when your day goes crazy and cooking that Lemony Chicken Stir Fry is no longer a reality. Every […]

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Mediterranean lunches to the rescue

by Meri April 17, 2012

                  After two years, I finally feel like my eating is back on track. During year one of triplets I felt like I didn’t focus much on my food choices and ate sporadically. I was still eating somewhat healthy foods, but I wasn’t thinking much about the […]

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Living in the moment with Sesame Street

by Meri April 13, 2012

The moment you have kids the one message you hear the most from other parents is “enjoy the moments, it goes quickly.” Since so many people have uttered these words to me I’ve tried to take them to heart. It’s just been recently that I’ve truly understood what they’ve been saying. As my sister in law […]

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Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

by Meri April 10, 2012

                It’s not quite tomato season yet, but I wanted to make these for my parents while they are still in town. It is one of my favorites! While this recipe isn’t as simple as steaming some veggies or throwing together a salad, it does offer both a […]

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Baking grandma’s easter bread

by Meri April 6, 2012

                  “No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.” Laurie Colwin Today was Easter Bread day, one of my Grandma […]

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Kale Smoothie for Kids

by Meri April 4, 2012

Ok…I know I’ve been on a bit of a smoothie kick lately, but I’m determined to get more nutrients into these three picky 2-year olds I have. So far every smoothie is working beautifully! I found this one yesterday and as I read the author’s post about getting 50 children to drink and enjoy this […]

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Getting out of my shell

by Meri April 3, 2012

Spending time with friends has been high on my list of health goals this year and I’m happy to say last weekend we spent both Friday and Saturday evening catching up with great friends. I know this may sound like a strange health goal, but I can honestly say I’ve seen the effects of experiencing […]

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Peanut Butter Breakfast Shake

by Meri March 30, 2012

As I was perusing pinterest the other day I found this recipe from some of my favorite colleagues, The Meal Makeover Moms. It jumped out at me because of an ingredient I’ve come to love… peanut butter. Having three toddlers the same age I’ve gotten a chance to see how very different children can be with their eating […]

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Beware of the ducks

by Meri March 27, 2012

                  My parents are in town, renting a house across from a lovely lake. Ok, it’s Southern California…it’s a man-made pond, but it’s a big one. I thought, it would be a lovely idea to take the kids to feed the ducks. One of my health goals is to […]

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Chicken wrapped in phyllo

by Meri March 23, 2012

                 It’s so nice having my parents here. I have to say the temper tantrums have decreased significantly and it’s nice to have some extra hands and company during the day. You forget how much you miss adult interaction when you are surrounded by 2-year olds most of […]

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Parental guidance

by Meri March 20, 2012

My parents are here! My parents are here! Just when I thought I couldn’t take the terrible twos one more day the calvary arrived! Each year my parents and their trusty dog Lindy (my lab Finn’s significant other) drive down and rent a house for a month. It is such a nice time for me […]

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No-bake Peanut butter lentil granola bars

by Meri March 17, 2012

                      Happy St. Patrick’s day to you! On my agenda today is to make shamrock sugar cookies with the kids. While I’m not Irish, my kids are so we need to represent! Sure…I might just have a beer later on as well! Cooked cabbage? Yes, I can do that. […]

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All red meat is bad…have you heard the news? At least that’s what the media is saying…

by Meri March 16, 2012

A recent long term study by the Harvard School of Public Health has my facebook and twitter pages buzzing all week long. The main outcome of the study was that consuming any amount or type of red meat can significantly increase your risk of premature death. I’ve heard opinions from both sides of the fence all […]

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Beer time with friends- a boost for health

by Meri March 13, 2012

                How could you have a mom blog and not talk about beer? I spent some valuable “beer time” with my friends who just opened up Rough Draft Brewery in San Diego. While alcohol certainly has some health benefits, spending time with friends can also be important for […]

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Curry chicken salad

by Meri March 9, 2012

                I enjoy my lunch time…A LOT! It is the one time of day that I have all to myself and it’s become important for me to shut everything off- phones, internet, etc and just enjoy what I’m eating and take a real break. With that being said, I […]

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Finding ways to exercise with kids

by Meri March 7, 2012

I’m always looking for ways to sneak in exercise during the day by focusing on activities I can do with the kids. Thanks to Birdie’s physical therapist her balance exercise can double as core exercise for me. She has me get on my back, load Birdie into sitting position on my stomach facing me and then […]

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Chicken Stew with Chickpeas and Plum Tomatoes

by Meri March 5, 2012

                Can it really be March already? I feel like my time to make one pot chili and stew recipes is coming to an end. For some reason I have this weird mindset that these dishes are strictly for winter months. Of course you can make them throughout […]

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Enjoying the chaos of family style meals

by Meri March 2, 2012

My triplets started eating solid foods around 6 months old and soon were picking up finger foods with confidence and excitement. I would say things went fairly smoothly until they hit their first birthday. Suddenly, Tiny stopped eating a large variety of foods and Mr. began being more particular with how things looked on his […]

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Finding time to meditate

by Meri February 29, 2012

I am a big fan of meditation for stress management and keeping your body healthy. Research supports that it can help reduce your risk of  heart disease, decrease chronic pain and boost your immune system. More and more I feel I need to make time for some sort of deep breathing or meditation because I have one of […]

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Blackberry and peach smoothie with a surprise vegetable

by Meri February 28, 2012

I love smoothies and they are such a great way to get a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables into toddlers. We use them as part of breakfast or as a mid-day treat. My kids are pretty good when it comes to eating fruit, but Tiny and Mr. aren’t so great with their vegetables so I’m always […]

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Blueberry Crisp

by Meri February 23, 2012

                My friend and I were speaking recently about the topic of sugar. Let’s face it…we all love sweet tasting foods and our kids learn about sweet tasting foods quickly. The question is, how do you give them sugar and feel good about their health? I believe there’s quite a […]

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One of those days…

by Meri February 21, 2012

This has been one of those days…oh you know the one. Somehow I had fooled myself into thinking we were growing out of the terrible twos. For weeks everyone’s been listening, they’re excited to be “helpful” and…gasp…they’re sharing. It’s been down right fun! Then today happened. I got blindsided. It started out with Tiny having […]

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Kale Chips

by Meri February 20, 2012

We all know that dark leafy greens are good for us, but for many the flavor is just too strong. While I love all veggies I live in a household with a whole lot of picky eaters so creativity is key. Kale chips are sort of a trend right now and for good reason. You can make […]

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Tiny packages of freeze-dried fruit

by Meri February 17, 2012

I’ve been on a mission to add more fruits and veggies to our day and one thing everyone in my family loves is freeze-dried fruit. They are tasty and so simple to give the kids as a snack or add as a side to their meal, especially when you are crunched for time (or energy). I […]

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Cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, my new best friends

by Meri February 16, 2012

One of my challenges with the kids is getting in a good amount of fruits and vegetables in each day. On the Mediterranean coast 5 to 9 fruits and vegetables are served a day in a variety of ways including both cooked and raw. It seems like my average for all of us is around […]

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Polenta Lasagna

by Meri February 3, 2012

I love polenta. I don’t know if it’s my Italian genes or that I just enjoy sweet flavors, but I can eat this creamy Italian mush anyway you prepare it. So, polenta lasagna it is for dinner tonight.  This recipe comes from one of my cookbooks, Glycemic Index Cookbook for Dummies and offers a lower calorie […]

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