Bananas On the Beach Or On Your Kids Plate!

healthy breakfast snack banana Our kitchen is spotlighting healthy foods in an effort to make a Nutritional “FARM”acy we can use when meal planning.  Good things are in the foods we eat, and we want to know what they are. We want to know how to cook them up tasty, and as an added bonus were asking kids why they love them! So get your cutting board ready, whether you have a picky eater or athlete to feed; this week we are focusing on Bananas!

What’s in Bananas?:  This fruit has B3 (Niacin) for good overall health; B6 which is good for clearing away waste; Vitamin C for immunity enhancement; and manganese which works with the vitamin C to create virus fighting substances.  This fruit can give the whole body a boost! Bananas have fiber and potassium which regulate body fluids. They also contain magnesium, which is good for relaxing muscles and plays a huge role in the metabolism of food!

How To Eat Bananas: You can sautée a banana in a bit of butter with brown sugar, make frozen banana chocolate covered popsicles, and make smoothies. You can also cover them in peanut butter and roll them in chocolate for a sweet treat or roll them in Rice Krispies for breakfast sushi! Lastly, you can dip bananas in chocolate fondue.

Why Do Kids Like Bananas? “Bananas are sweet and they look delicious!”  “You can make “Banana Splits!” and “You can make fruit salads with them!” Did we mention they are really easy to carry and work great for toddlers on the go?

Make sure to check out Swami Mommi on Pinterest! The “Great Desserts” board has several banana recipes to kick start the fun!

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Warming Up Winter: Acorn Squash Sundaes Toddlers Love and Kids Can Help Make!

Warm Acorn Squash

It’s cold. Kids are inside. Tummies are growling. Time to have some quick and yummy fun! Squash Sundaes are the answer.

This recipe is super easy and can be tailored to any eaters needs. Toddlers can eat it pureed, and older kids can help make it. It’s warm, comforting, and fills the corners of hungry bellies. I used it as a dessert, but it can fit easily as a snack or even better, a warm healthy breakfast. Plus, did I mention it is jammed with nutrients and other good stuff to keep families healthy when it’s cold outside? Oh…it is!

Ingredients:

Acorn Sqush

Olive Oil

Blender or food processor (to puree for early eaters and toddlers)

Cranberries, pecans, butter (Earth Balance), maple sugar to taste

Any other additions or substitutions that you think might work, such as walnuts, raisins, maple syrup or cinnamon

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut Acorn squash in half, scoop and discard the seeds, and with about 1 tablespoon olive, coconut or grape seed oil coat the inside of the squash. This helps it stay soft and not burn while cooking. Depending on the size of your squash, cooking times may vary, however with a medium squash it took about 40 minutes to roast on the middle oven rack.

After the squash is roasted, let it sit a few minutes until you can easily scrape out the flesh. It makes a great mash as it is being scraped out of the rind, but if you need it to be pureed for your early eater or toddler, use a food processor or blender. If you don’t you may encounter a few strings or textured parts that are not safe. Additionally, kids can’t really help with this part of the recipe, as using the stove and scooping out warm squash is not safe either. However, kids do love to push the buttons on a blender, as long as they are well supervised.

Once the squash is in a bowl it is easy to get kids involved. I recommend setting out a couple small bowls with the cranberries, pecans, butter, walnuts, raisins, etc. so they can add in their favorites. If it is for the whole family they can add in what most of the family would like, or each child can get a bowl and make an individual “Squash Sundae”. Add more or less as each person desires, use them as toppings or mix throughout.

That’s it. Simple, easy and very little clean up! Tomorrow morning I’ll be trying this for a healthy breakfast, and I hope you too get to try it during these cold days of winter!