Watermelon Kebabs: A Juicy Choice for School Lunches

(NewsUSA) – As another school year rolls around with new wardrobes and flashy electronics, the war for healthy school lunches wages on."With childhood obesity on the rise and kids eating worse today than they did 20 years ago, it is so important for parents to take their children’s diets seriously," says Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian, nutritionist and author of "Eat Your Way to Happiness."But, as many busy moms and dads know firsthand, it’s not easy to pack a quality lunch at 6 a.m., especially if your kid is likely to opt for a slice of cafeteria pizza regardless.Don’t worry — the war is not lost. It’s entirely possible to get children to eat nutritious lunches, especially if you know your way around fruits and veggies. According to Somer, watermelon should be a kitchen staple."Watermelon contains lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant, and it is the pigment that gives watermelon its red color," says Somer. "Watermelon is free of cholesterol, fat and sodium. You can’t get much better than that."The juicy fruit, often dubbed a multi-vitamin unto itself, has vitamins A, B6 (6 percent), C, potassium (8 percent) and fiber (4 percent). It’s also great for staying hydrated, a way for picky kids to eat their water. Not to mention, watermelon is lip-smacking, finger-licking delicious.For all of you about to harp on how much natural sugar watermelon has, wait just a second. Somer says this is largely a myth, and that although watermelon may have a high glycemic index score, it has very few calories."Watermelon just fills you up without filling you out," Somer says. "The nice thing about watermelon is that it’s chin-dribbling juicy and so versatile. You can eat it straight from the melon, blend it into a beverage, make popsicles out of it, make sweet salsas, grill it, put it in sandwiches, etc."Watermelon is often mistaken for a summer treat, but it’s available all year round. It’s also surprisingly portable once chopped up and put in baggies or Tupperware.Check out this quick and easy watermelon recipe that’s perfect for school lunches:Watermelon Kebabs1 serving 1-inch cubes of seedless watermelon1 serving smoked turkey breast1 serving low-fat or fat-free cheddar cheese1 serving coffee stirrers or beverage strawsCut watermelon, turkey and cheese in cubes, and skewer on stirrers or straws.Somer also recommends watermelon cupcakes and smoothies. Find more watermelon recipes at www.watermelon.org.

For Healthy Babies, Yum-Factor Matters

(NewsUSA) – Taste matters when it comes to baby food.Erin Jarvis was getting desperate. Her 7-month-old daughter Autumn simply wasn’t eating any store-bought food. Like so many moms and dads, Jarvis was worried her baby wasn’t getting the nutrition needed for proper growth. Then she tried Baby Gourmet, a new arrival to the U.S. market and available at Walmart."As soon as we tried Baby Gourmet, Autumn made a sound like ‘Mmm’ and ate the whole pouch in one sitting," Jarvis says with a smile. "We’ve tried a lot of different brands, but this is the only one she now finishes every time."Baby Gourmet was created by a mom who, like so many others, was worried about her child’s well-being. "When Findlay wouldn’t eat, I was frantic that she wasn’t getting the nutrition she needed to be healthy," says Jennifer Broe.That duel concern over nutrition and taste is why she started making her own baby food and founded Baby Gourmet to help other mothers feed their children healthy, organic food.With flavors like Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp, Vanilla Banana Berry Risotto and Sweet Potato Pie with organic cinnamon, Baby Gourmet offers taste, variety and nutrition.Each package of Baby Gourmet passes strict nutritional and food safety guidelines and passes all USDA and organic requirements. But Baby Gourmet goes a step further — every recipe starts out in Broe’s own kitchen and ends with a personal taste test at the manufacturer.Now, relieved moms everywhere are starting to express their personal joy. "My daughter is just over 1 year old and has refused absolutely all food for seven months. She tried the sweet potato pie today and ate the entire thing in two sittings. I was so happy," Abby Ferris recently shared on Facebook.Another mother, Kristen Ellison, also posted "I have a 12 1/2-month-old who has refused all solids until we tried the pear and garden greens. It literally brought tears because we have tried everything!"Mothers interested in putting Baby Gourmet to the test can find nine choices at Walmart. Find stores near you, and learn more at www.babygourmet.com.

iPhone App Helps Parents Stay One Step Ahead of Lice

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Taste matters when it comes to baby food.
Erin Jarvis was getting desperate. Her 7-month-old daughter Autumn simply wasn’t eating any store-bought food. Like so many moms and dads, Jarvis was worried her baby wasn’t getting the nutrition needed for proper growth. Then she tried Baby Gourmet, a new arrival to the U.S. market and available at Walmart.
“As soon as we tried Baby Gourmet, Autumn made a sound like ‘Mmm’ and ate the whole pouch in one sitting,” Jarvis says with a smile. “We’ve tried a lot of different brands, but this is the only one she now finishes every time.”
Baby Gourmet was created by a mom who, like so many others, was worried about her child’s well-being. “When Findlay wouldn’t eat, I was frantic that she wasn’t getting the nutrition she needed to be healthy,” says Jennifer Broe.
That duel concern over nutrition and taste is why she started making her own baby food and founded Baby Gourmet to help other mothers feed their children healthy, organic food.
With flavors like Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp, Vanilla Banana Berry Risotto and Sweet Potato Pie with organic cinnamon, Baby Gourmet offers taste, variety and nutrition.
Each package of Baby Gourmet passes strict nutritional and food safety guidelines and passes all USDA and organic requirements. But Baby Gourmet goes a step further — every recipe starts out in Broe’s own kitchen and ends with a personal taste test at the manufacturer.
Now, relieved moms everywhere are starting to express their personal joy. “My daughter is just over 1 year old and has refused absolutely all food for seven months. She tried the sweet potato pie today and ate the entire thing in two sittings. I was so happy,” Abby Ferris recently shared on Facebook.
Another mother, Kristen Ellison, also posted “I have a 12 1/2-month-old who has refused all solids until we tried the pear and garden greens. It literally brought tears because we have tried everything!”
Mothers interested in putting Baby Gourmet to the test can find nine choices at Walmart. Find stores near you, and learn more at www.babygourmet.com.

Plan Family Activities On a Budget

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Families are tightening their budgets. For many, this means fewer activities outside of the home. With less dining out, movie outings, sports games or other extracurriculars, there’s no better time for budget-conscious moms and dads to really connect and spend quality time with their kids throughout the year.

Start at home

One of your biggest monthly investments is your family home, so why not get your money’s worth? If your kids don’t think staying home is cool, here’s your opportunity to get creative.

* Establish a weekly game night. There’s no need to buy new games, just ask other parents if they have games that you can borrow.

* Subscribe to a home movie-rental service. Let the kids add their favorite movie to the queue as rewards for accomplishments.

* Dining in style. Try to eat more meals at home. Keep the meal simple, so the family can prepare it together. I like to use affordable canned vegetables, like Libby’s, in recipes and as side dishes because they are delicious and easy to prepare.

Get Out of Town

No matter the season, families benefit from fun trips and activities. With a little creativity, families can plan little escapes that don’t jeopardize the mortgage.

* Plan trips close to home. Look for locations three to four hours away to make it a road trip and save on airfare.

* Try camping. Once a popular option, many young families are getting back into the adventurous spirit of camping. During cooler months, rent a cabin at a discounted rate.

For more tips from Hannah Keeley on how to connect with your family, visit the Libby’s Vegetables Web site at www.GetBacktotheTable.com.

Hannah Keeley is a mother of seven, the host of “Hannah Help Me!” on PBS and author of “Hannah Keeley’s Total Mom Makeover: The Six-Week Plan to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family, and Life.”

Quality Family Time On a Budget

<b>Quality Family Time On a Budget</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Families are tightening their budgets, and for many this means fewer activities outside of the home. With less dining out, movie outings, sports games or even summer camp, there’s no better time for budget-conscious moms and dads to really connect and spend quality time with their kids throughout the summer.

Start at home

One of your biggest monthly investments is your family home, so why not get your money’s worth? If your kids don’t think staying home is cool, here’s your opportunity to get creative.

* Establish a weekly game night. There’s no need to buy new games. Simply ask other parents if they have games that you can borrow.

* Subscribe to a home movie rental service. Let the kids add their favorite movie to the queue as a reward for an accomplishment.

Dining in Style

With the kids out of school and longer days, there is no better time for the family to be together than at dinnertime.

* Keep the meal simple so the family can prepare it together. I like to use affordable canned vegetables, like Libby’s, in recipes and as side dishes because they are delicious and easy to prepare.

* Dine outside at least once a week. It doesn’t matter if you have a patio or you do it picnic style.

Get Out of Town

You don’t have to give up the precious memories created during annual summer vacations. While theme parks and tropical escapes may be the gold standard of summer retreats, there are a lot of great locales closer to home.

* Look for locations three to four hours away to save on airfare, and make it a road trip.

* Try camping. Once a popular option, many young families are getting back into the adventurous spirit of camping.

For more tips from Hannah Keeley on how to connect with your family this summer, visit the Libby’s Vegetables Web site at www.GetBacktotheTable.com.

Hannah Keeley is a mother of seven, the host of “Hannah Help Me!” on PBS and author of “Hannah Keeley’s Total Mom Makeover: The Six-Week Plan to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family, and Life.”