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Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups

My kids love, love, love fruit snacks, fruit roll-ups......anything fruity and sweet.  They would sit down and eat 5 packs of fruit snacks no problem!  I just don't feel good about them eating that as a snack.  I do feel good about them eating fruit in another form though!  My 5 year old has texture issues, especially with fruit and so sometimes eating a piece of fruit is diffi.... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Fruit Recipes, Snacks | Post Comment | 17

Super Crispy Baked Corn Chips and Scoops

Corn chips don't have to be deep fried, and homemade ones don't have to take very long either.  My kids enjoyed helping me make these, and they turned out terrific!  We love corn chips because they are a delicious vehicle for veggies and nutrient rich dips! We dip our chips into our favorite triple bean dip, guacamole, and even hummus. We followed the directions on the bag of corn flour.... read more

Posted in Blog, Corn, DIY, Gluten Free, Picky Eaters, Snacks, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 8

DIY Homemade Spice Blends

Introducing.......... When I am cooking, I usually have 1 or 2 kids at my feet talking to me, or needing something.  This makes for some slightly distracted cooking, which is why I really like to simplify the cooking process.  If I can cut back on the measuring, number of ingredients, steps then it makes my cooking experience so much better.  These spice blends are meant to do ex.... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Gluten Free, Herbs | Post Comment | 25

Making My Own Sandwich {Kids in the Kitchen}

It's sandwich week!  At first thought, you may wonder why we would bother.  But we love sandwiches!  It's the very first thing I taught my kids to make in the kitchen, on their own.  Teaching kids to prepare their own food is as important as teaching them life skills like keeping a budget and taking showers!  When kids learn to prepare food, it does so many things for thei.... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Kids in the Kitchen, Lunch, Toddlers | Post Comment | 5

Homemade Mixes- Blueberry Muffins

This week we are all about quick (and still healthy) meals!  You can follow us this week on social media (like facebook , pinterest, or instagram) by using the hashtag #healthyfastfood.   Our first quick meal idea is to have homemade mixes on hand, like blueberry muffin mix! Mixes are great because it means you have to have less ingredients in your cupboard to make your kids favori.... read more

Posted in Berries, Blog, Breakfast, DIY, Kids in the Kitchen, Nut Free, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 16

Homemade Strawberry Cereal Bars

It's not often that I buy Nutri-grain bars.  We actually really like them (the taste that is) but even though they say "Made with real fruit", there's a lot more in them than that- including food dyes!  Recently, we stopped purchasing foods with dyes because of my niece Maddie.  She's one of those that turns hyperactive when she eats them.  Now we check every label!   So,.... read more

Posted in Blog, Breakfast, DIY, Snacks, Strawberries | Post Comment | 78

Homemade Baby Food Basic Recipes

  Making your own baby food is not only easy, but really economical.  I always try to make my baby food from fruits and vegetables I already have and am serving the rest of my family.  The fun part about making your baby food in small cubes like this is that you can try lots of flavor combinations!  Just pop 1 cube of each flavor from your freezer and heat.  Some of our.... read more

Posted in Baby Food, Blog, DIY, Freezer Friendly | Post Comment | 7

From Real Food To Baby Food: Starting with Veggies

In full disclosure, my kids are teenagers! I had to borrow the adorable baby in this post to taste test our veggies today. I would totally keep her if her mother let me!  But maybe it's a good thing, because I can tell you how I fed my babies in retrospect :) Just about every food my babies ate were first a pureed version, then a softened version of what the rest of the family was eating. &n.... read more

Posted in Baby Food, Blog, DIY | Post Comment

Kids Favorite Nuggets with 3 Homemade Dips

I hope you had a great holiday weekend!  I think we did pretty good with eating well. Yes, we had some pumpkin pie, but I also witnessed my kids taking a heaping serving of green salad on Thanksgiving!  And yesterday, I had a bowl of raw broccoli out for snacking while I prepared dinner, and my 10 year old started eating it with me.  When the bowl was empty he said "Do you have any .... read more

Posted in Blog, Dinner, DIY, Lunch | Post Comment

Homemade Top Ramen {Low Sodium}

One of the most embarrassing thing my kids like to do is to talk about their favorite junk food.  Embarrassing because everyone knows that I have a blog for healthy eating for kids! My 15 year used to tell people his favorite food group is candy! Ugh. But recently, he started declaring his love for commercial top ramen! They were turned onto it when we had a Japanese exchange student a few ye.... read more

Posted in Blog, Dinner, DIY, Lunch | Post Comment | 24

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

I used to think that oatmeal was an 'old people' breakfast.  I wonder if it is because the guy on the Quaker Oats can has white hair?  As a kid you have a lot of time to sit and stare at the cereal box, or oatmeal can in my case......Deep thoughts.  Anyway, my view on oatmeal quickly changed when I got married and had to make a quick breakfast for 2 people on a budget with a busy sc.... read more

Posted in Blog, Breakfast, DIY, Gluten Free | Post Comment | 24

Homemade Spaghettios- With Extra Veggies

Good morning!  The weather has been unseasonably warm for us here in Utah, and we are taking full advantage! In fact, I wrote just two weeks ago, "we're headed out for our last hike of the year", and then BAM! A 60 degree day (that felt like 70) in mid-November!  I just couldn't let it get away.  At first, my kids didn't want to go.  But I've been talking about this book Spark,.... read more

Posted in Blog, Dinner, DIY, Lunch, Picky Eaters, Toddlers | Post Comment | 38

Dried Apple Pie

On a recent trip river rafting, my husbands friend brought some dried apples that they added cinnamon to before they dried it!  He hasn't stopped talking about how much he loved these dried apples. I dare say, we actually bought a dehydrator from Cabelas, just to make these apples!  Crazy, right?  I have been over the moon since we bought it! I want to dry everything in site!&n.... read more

Posted in Apples, Blog, Drying Fruits and Veggies, Fruit Recipes, Gluten Free, Snacks | Post Comment | 10

How to Can Green Beans

I have been growing green beans in my garden for a few years now.  The first time I grew them I grew the bush variety.  We got a TON and they were super delicious.  But they took up a lot of space in my garden, and I felt like there were a ton of bugs in the plants.......grasshoppers.  Ew.  I dislike grasshoppers far more than any other insect.  So much so that if I s.... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Gardening, Green Beans | Post Comment | 1

Homemade Greek Yogurt

Our family goes through a lot of yogurt.  We always buy plain Greek yogurt because there are so many recipes I use it in besides just eating it.   We use it in smoothies, popsicles, as a sour cream replacement for Mexican dishes, on baked potatoes, instead of milk with granola, and a variety of other ways.  It gets to be kind of pricey when I am paying $6-7 for a container with 4 cu.... read more

Posted in Blog, Breakfast, DIY, Gluten Free, Snacks, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 60

How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown

Brown fruit is just not appealing.  Even though it might not taste any different, we eat with our eyes.  Children especially eat with their eyes. If they are on the edge about eating a piece of fruit, if it is brown then there is no way they will want to eat it! And how many times have you seen a really cute fruit dish that you would love to make for a party but then thought the fruit wo.... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Fruit Recipes | Post Comment | 20

Kids Activity- Home Dried Basil

Although the basil plant I purchased in the produce section of my grocery store looked initially like it was going to die, We totally saved it!  I posted the dying picture on Facebook, and it was suggested multiple times to re-pot it. So, we did and it lived!  I think the original pot wasn't big enough to hold all the water it needed to thrive!   So, with new pots, our three herb.... read more

Posted in Blog, Drying Fruits and Veggies, Gardening, Healthy Kids, Kids in the Kitchen | Post Comment | 6

Gourmet Almond Butter

We love snacking on almonds.  They are sweet and crunchy and packed full of nutrients and protein.   We usually combine them in some sort of trail mix with dried fruit.  I've made almond butter before, but I have always felt like it needed a little something more than just almonds.  Even though these recipes definitely are more gourmet than regular almond butter, they each only.... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Gluten Free, Snacks, Vegetarian | Post Comment

Homemade Nut Butter: Pure Peanuts

I recently received the Twister Jar from Blendtec and I was super excited to start making baby food recipes.  But then I decided that since I still have a few months before a new babe makes his way into our house, I would experiment with some other things.  Homemade peanut butter has got to be one of the yummiest things in the world.  It is so smooth, rich and creamy.  And when.... read more

Posted in Blog, Dessert, DIY, Gluten Free, Snacks, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 5

Spring Cleaning: Kitchen Organization and Storage

SPRING!  It's that time of year when I get the urge to clean and organize our house! We can finally crack open the windows to get fresh air, clean the carpets the get rid of the winter snow salt and mud, and best of all, de-clutter!  Having a clean and organized home is important for healthy kids.  When you have a clutter free home that is organized: You will save money- How many.... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY | Post Comment | 9

Banana Chips without a Dehydrator

Crispy Banana chips can be quite a treat!  We don't have a dehydrator, so I hadn't attempted to make or own dried bananas, until this weekend.  Not only was it super simple, they turned out perfectly crispy (rather than the chewy texture I was afraid we'd get).   Bananas are a great food to include in your families diet!  Bananas are a good source of: Fiber- for regularity .... read more

Posted in Bananas, Blog, Drying Fruits and Veggies, Snacks | Post Comment | 20

Christmas Potpourri

Every year starting in about late October I start racking my brain about what I am going to give for neighbor gifts.  Last year I had an overabundance of jalapenos in my garden and so I made a TON of jalapeno jelly.  It was great because my gifts were done in September!  This year the jalapeno jelly didn't happen in mass quantities.  Back to the drawing board.  What to giv.... read more

Posted in Blog, Christmas, DIY, Holiday | Post Comment | 3

Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas with Holiday Breakfast Burrito

The holiday performances are beginning!  I always let my kids choose one sport and one instrument to participate in (if they want.. I don't have the energy to get them to activities they aren't interested in).  I really think playing instruments makes them smarter! So, I always hope they'll want to play.  My boys are the only ones interested in music however. Erica has tried both pi.... read more

Posted in Blog, Bread, Breakfast, DIY, Kids in the Kitchen | Post Comment | 36

Flax Freezer Waffles- Homemade and Toaster Ready

One of the first things kids can learn to do themselves in the kitchen is to use the toaster!  I remember my kids being so proud of the morning they "made" waffles, when really, they just toasted some commercial waffles!  However, it's probably been at least 8 years since I purchased toaster waffles.  There is no need to!  Homemade toaster waffles are better than store bought b.... read more

Posted in Blog, Breakfast, DIY, Freezer Friendly, Kids in the Kitchen, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 24

Fresh Pumpkin Puree in 3 Simple Steps

While of course it's easier to get your pumpkin from a can, and generally cheaper, there are a few reasons you may consider pureeing your own pumpkin!   You puree will be organic if your pumpkins are! It actually is cheaper if you grow your own pumpkins. It's a skill that is good to learn. It's good to be independent and self reliant. Your kids can get the farm to table connection, and .... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Food Bites, Squash | Post Comment | 18

Fresh and Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

I love preserving the food I grow.  In fact, you make call it a hobby of mine.  Yes, it may be nerdy.  It may be old-person like.  But I love it.  And even though I love it, at the end of the growing season when I have another huge pile of produce staring at me waiting for me to do something with, I sometimes start to not love it so much.   And so it was with my.... read more

Posted in Blog, Dinner, DIY, Tomatoes | Post Comment | 3

How to Can Your Own Spaghetti Sauce

  Wash tomatoes and place in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split. Place in cold water and slip off skins. Remove stems, cores and quarter tomatoes Cut the top of the green peppers and remove core and seeds. In a food processor, cover and process green peppers and onions in batches until finely chopped. Combine the tomatoes, chopped green peppers and onions, t.... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Gardening, Tomatoes | Post Comment | 9

Canning Salsa

  We eat a lot of salsa around our house.  In fact, it is a good thing that I can my own or a large portion of our grocery budget would be dedicated to salsa.  I remember when I first got married and salsa went on sale, I spent almost our entire grocery budget on salsa that month!  No one complained.   If you are new to canning, or a professional, salsa is a food that i.... read more

Posted in Blog, Canning, DIY, Tomatoes | Post Comment | 20

How to Grow Berries

Of all of the things that I grow in my garden, berries are definitely on the top of the list as a favorite.  They are so packed full of flavor when you grow them yourself because you get to pick them when they are perfectly ripe and juicy.   Not only are they my favorite thing to grow, but they are my kids favorite thing that I grow!  Everyday they head out to the garden to see.... read more

Posted in Berries, Blog, DIY, Gardening | Post Comment | 9

How to Can Jalapenos

We love Jalapenos because they add so much flavor to food.  Jalapenos can be very spicy, but by canning your own, you can control how spicy they are!  Then you can get the good flavor of the pepper without burning your tongue off........   You will need: 2 pound jalapenos 7 cups vinegar 5% (you can use cider vinegar if you want it to be a bit sweeter) 1 3/4 cups water 2 1/2 Tb.... read more

Posted in Blog, Canning, DIY | Post Comment | 48

Garden Zucchini: 3 Different Ways to Use it All

Every year I say to myself 'You must write down to grow LESS zucchini for next year'.  And somehow the next spring I always bypass that note to myself and grow the exact same amount: too much!  This year I was determined to not let it go to waste.  We came up with our 3 favorite ways to use up our zucchini:   #1:  Shred and Freeze I like this way because it is super fas.... read more

Posted in Blog, Drying Fruits and Veggies, Snacks, Zucchini | Post Comment | 6

How to Make Your Own Garden Boxes

  There aren't many things that I love more than gardening.  When February comes I start getting all excited making big plans for my garden.  This year we decided to do garden boxes for the first time.  These are the advantages that swayed me over to the garden box world. WAY less weeding.  When we built ours, we put newspaper down on the bottom, and then put our soil .... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Gardening | Post Comment | 23

Dried Kiwi, Pineapple and Bananas

The other day a friend came over and wanted to dry some fruit.  She brought with her a few kiwis to try.  Neither of us had ever tried drying kiwi at home.  The verdict:  Delicious!  Seriously one of the best dried fruits I have ever tried.  So I decided, if home-dried kiwi was that good, I bet drying pineapple at home without all of that added sugar would be good too.... read more

Posted in Bananas, Blog, Drying Fruits and Veggies, Fruits and Vegetables, Gluten Free, Kiwi, Pineapple, Snacks, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 4

Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns Homemade

In full disclosure, TJ, my son who is now 9 years old, used to eat hot dogs daily! Even without a bun. He loved them! Then I started this blog (he was about 4 years old), and decided to "practice what I preach". I stopped buying hot dogs for him cold turkey. I didn't look back, but he did.  He would ask me every single day if he could have a hot dog.  I would have the same reply, "we don.... read more

Posted in Bread, DIY, Lunch | Post Comment | 6

DIY: Tetherball!

The big weekend project was erecting this portable tether ball pole and game!  I really wanted to take more pictures of the kids playing with it, but the cement is still drying (it's been drying forever!!)  We have 3 kids and about 50 neighbor kids waiting impatiently, begging every day if they can try it out!  Unfortunately, Wade things because of the cool weather, the cement is ta.... read more

Posted in DIY, Kid Fitness | Post Comment | 6

Drying Your Own Fruits and Veggies: How To

When most of us think about drying food, we first think of fruit.  But there are actually many veggies (and herbs!) that can be dried and used in lots of different ways! Dried fruits and veggies can be a healthy and tasty snack by themselves, but are also delicious when added to a variety of dishes. Most stores carry dried fruit, but there are many benefits of drying your own fruit.... read more

Posted in Blog, Drying Fruits and Veggies, Fruit Recipes, Snacks, Vegetable Recipes | Post Comment | 9

Canning Applesauce with Kids in 4 Easy Steps

After getting a huge box of apples this weekend, I was anxious to preserve them!  After doing some investigating, I found out my mom had an attachment for my Kitchen Aid that makes applesauce (The fruit/vegetable Strainer).  You do not need this to make applesauce, but it was very helpful!  Here is how it worked: Step 1: Steam Apples (with an inch of water at the bottom of a .... read more

Posted in Apples, Blog, Canning, Fruits and Vegetables, Snacks | Post Comment | 10

Homemade Fruit By The Foot

Recently, I got this email from Shelly: Hi Amy, My son loves fruit snacks, but I'm trying to find a healthy alternative. Do you have any suggestions? Everything I have found is sticky and messy. Thanks, Shelly :)= Kids love their fruit snacks, don't they?  The best thing I did with my kids was to replace the fruit snacks with raisins. It wasn't an easy transition, but once they realized .... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Fruits and Vegetables, Gluten Free, Pineapple, Snacks, Strawberries, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 41

DIY: Homemade Mayonnaise

There are so many commercially produced products of which you could make at home, healthier and better.  That doesn't mean we always should. In the case of mayonnaise, I think it's better to just leave it out of our diet altogether.  I do however think it's great to be self-sufficient and try to make things we may have thought we could only buy.  Also, sometimes there is that delici.... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Gluten Free, Lunch, Nut Free, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 14

Homemade Jam- Super Easy

We had our super-easy- poor-man's homemade jam, and now we have our real berry, thick, no sugar added homemade jam.  This jam isn't exactly cheap to make.  I bought a package of pectin that was $3, and I got this jar plus another 1 cup of jam.  Plus the cost of the berries, and jam made with high fructose corn syrup somehow becomes the cheaper alternative.  When compared with c.... read more

Posted in Berries, Blog, DIY, Lunch | Post Comment | 16

Beginning Herb Garden, Kids Only

Spring starts this week, and so begins our attempt at gardening.  This year I decided to let the kids have complete ownership over one herb plant (in honor of the letter H).  They are responsible to: Choose the herb Plant it Water it Teach us how to use it Make a meal with it! Nate chose Basil, Erica chose Oregano, and TJ chose Cilantro.  After they planted, they got on th.... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Gardening, Herbs, Kids in the Kitchen | Post Comment | 10

All-Fruit Jam: Easy and Inexpensive!

I call this my ghettho jam, (ghetto as defined by the poor, or living the poor life) because it's my alternative to those expensive "All Fruit" jams you can purchase in the store.  Jam companies will charge $4.99 for a small jar of something that is literally, all fruit. Here is what I do: Take a handful of frozen fruit (I used 5-6 very large frozen strawberries for this one). Put frui.... read more

Posted in Breakfast, DIY, Fruits and Vegetables, Snacks | Post Comment | 23

DIY: Homemade Yogurt

This recipe came from my friend Mary, who has raised some amazing, brilliant, and talented children.  I take advice from Mary whenever I can get it! Mary had been making homemade yogurt for awhile, but was concerned after the food dye post because she was using flavored gelatin to flavor up her yogurt and the gelatin contained dyes.  That's when reader Karen suggested she use fruit juic.... read more

Posted in Breakfast, Crockpot, DIY | Post Comment | 37

No Sugar Apricot Jam

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Or should I say, no added sugar, considering the fruit sugar.  Either way, this jam was so easy, I don't know why I haven't been doing it for years. This recipe actually came from my mom.  She first gave us a box of apricots the other day, that needed to be used ASAP!  Then she told me about some new pectin in the stores that do not require adding sugar to your fruit.  It sp.... read more

Posted in Apricots, Blog, DIY | Post Comment | 14

Rice Milk for Pennies

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While we love health food over here, it is rare that I shop at a a health food store.  We opt for 'made from scratch' version of healthy foods, or just buying whole foods at our neighborhood grocery store.  And we ESPECIALLY don't spend extra money on specialty food.  That is why I love the idea of making your own rice milk! I don't even know how much they charge for a container of .... read more

Posted in Dairy Free, DIY | Post Comment | 9

Dried Pears

My beautiful and talented Sister in Law Tia sent me this idea a few months ago for dried pears. I was sure you all would agree they sound great. However, I kept putting off writing a post, hoping I would get around to trying them myself, but I still don't have a dehydrator.  The plan was, by Christmas I would be so rich (you know from all the plates of course) I would buy a dehydrator, a.... read more

Posted in Blog, Drying Fruits and Veggies, Fruits and Vegetables, Gluten Free, Pears, Snacks, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 8

Homemade Applesauce

Growing up, we never ate applesauce from the grocery store. Did they even have it back then?  All I know is, we'd get boxes of apples every fall, run them through some sort of Oster applesauce maker thingy, and seal the finished applesauce in mason jars.  When I left for college and started having store bought, or cafeteria applesauce, I couldn't believe how runny it was!  I thought.... read more

Posted in Apples, Blog, DIY, Fruits and Vegetables, Gluten Free, Snacks, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 10

Apple Chips

I am ready to plug back in!  Not only to the computer, but to more mindful eating!  It has been a crazy 2 weeks.  Full of distractions, parties, feasting, playing, socializing, working, and eating.  As fun as it all is, isn't it nice to be back into a routine again. Today's idea is apple chips!  For some kids (and parents) with fruit texture issues... this one is for.... read more

Posted in Apples, Drying Fruits and Veggies, Fruits and Vegetables, Snacks | Post Comment | 25

DIY: Microwave Popcorn

The USDA recommends half of the grains you eat be whole grains.  And popcorn totally counts!  Previously I posted how you can make popcorn in the microwave simply using a brown paper bag.  This idea prompted Beth to start making popcorn everyday and she's just about lost all of her baby weight eating this low fat yummy snack.  Well, here's another one for you, WITHOUT th.... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Gluten Free, Snacks, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 24

Tortillas

If you tried the refried beans yesterday, your going to need some tortillas. This isn't one of my "super quick" ideas however. Your going to need some extra time.  With that said, these taste so much better to me than the whole wheat tortilla's in the grocery store.  The grocery version seems really gritty to me, whereas my recipe seems much smoother and closer to a white .... read more

Posted in Bread, DIY | Post Comment | 10

DIY- Refry

I'll have to dub this week, "do it yourself, cause you don't need no grocery store to feed your family! Your a pioneer.  You can make it better, healthier, cheaper, and faster!" So what else besides bread crumbs can you stop buying from THE MAN? Refried Beans! The Man will sell it to you for generally $1.00 or more for maybe 12 oz of cooked beans, and the other 3 ounces some oils, salts, and.... read more

Posted in Blog, Crockpot, Dinner, DIY, Side Dishes, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 13

Food Saver to the Rescue

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In a world where grocery prices are rising, it's vital to make what you have last longer, right?!?!  How much food do you throw away anyway. Every shopping day, I go through my fridge, and toss all the wilted lettuce or the moldy zucchini.  However, when I use my Food Saver,  my food lasts twice, even three times longer.  I vacuum sealed my strawberries for two reasons.&nb.... read more

Posted in DIY | Post Comment | 3

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