Home/urban gardening has sprung up as a pretty popular trend in recent years. Heartier plant breeds, easier DIY solutions and increased support from organizations as large as the USDA all feed into a trend that promotes healthy eating, decreased food waste and community. My area (Charleston, SC) even boasts resources like Rita's Roots, which provides garden education, design, install and maintenance.
When involved in gardening, Kids:
If you've ever thought about starting an at-home garden, know that there are many options - from services as complete as Rita's Roots to these fabric pots I found on Amazon (they're amazing by the way).
Some beginner ideas:
If you're near Charleston, visit Rita this Spring!
Guest Blogger: Kari Johnson
If you're finding yourself at a crossroads to buy or make your own baby food, here are a few helpful tips to help you decide!
Benefits of homemade baby food:
What about the time it takes to make baby food?
The time is takes to make baby food is both a pro and a con. If you have a blender and a peach that is just a little too soft, you could have fresh food in a matter of seconds. On the other hand, if you don't have a few staples ready to go or if your baby's needs are a bit more specific, then you may be spending a bit more time in the kitchen.
So...exactly what do you need to make baby food?
A steamer or a stove top steaming insert for your pot, a blender, and containers with a tight seal for refrigerator and freezer storage.
Recommended starting age is at 6 months for a variety of pureed and mashed foods to be introduced.
Meatless Monday is a global campaign with the goal of reducing meat consumption by 15% to decrease stress on our bodies and the planet.
I like Meatless Mondays for a variety of reasons. For one, I am reminded to include beans and other legumes into my weekly menu. I especially like leveraging organic canned beans on Mondays because it's a stress-free way of easing back into the work week. If you are not regularly including legumes in your meal planning, you are missing out!
Plant-based sources of protein, like beans, have my family eating more fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium. In addition, when we're consuming plant-based sources of protein we are NOT consuming proteins high in trans and/or saturated fats (e.g., steaks).
One other huge benefit of Meatless Monday is that my family learns to "deal" with not having their favorite meals every night. We all try new things together. This doesn't mean that we all like the new things we try. In fact, my husband is on the same learning trajectory as my toddler in terms of green vegetables. They are learning to broaden their tastes together...how sweet.
Here are a few of my favorite Meatless Monday recipes:
1. Meatless Monday. "Why Meatless?" Retrieved from http://www.meatlessmonday.com/about-us/why-meatless
2. Meatless Monday. "About Us". Retrievefd from http://www.meatlessmonday.com/about-us/
I've read many stories about "Pinterest stress" including a 7,000 person survey done by TODAY.com highlighting how 42% of U.S. mothers worry they're not crafty or creative enough.
I sometimes feel a similar stress as it pertains to my kitchen skills. I follow many food blogs that showcase beautiful cuisine, and I oftentimes hear myself muttering "as if" under my breath. As a dietitian, though, it is my duty to try some of these (seemingly) more complex things out for you.
Below is a look at my "healthy curly fry" attempt using a spiral vegetable slicer that I received as a gift.
Total prep time: 15 minutes (including unpacking, set up and clean up)
Watch out! This kitchen gadget is sharp!
Two things to note:
Overall, I thought the benefits outweighed the cons. And...the more I've used this particular gadget, the easier it has become. This is a tool that has become something I can realistically use. This is a great way to use any extra veggies you might have (e.g., potatoes, carrots, zucchini).
The entire tasty bakes curly fry recipe can be found at: http://www.thehealthymaven.com/2014/08/crispy-baked-curly-fries.html www.thehealthymaven.com/2014/08/crispy-baked-curly-fries.html
Registered Dietitian, Austinite, Mom with a 2-yr old, Dog lover