Protein-Rich Foods (and Recipes) for Vegetarian Children

Protein Options for Vegetarian Children |

Recently my nine-year-old has mentioned a desire to eat less meat. We are not a vegetarian family, but Sofie has several vegetarian friends and a soft spot for animals. As much as she loves the taste of most meats, I think she’s grappling with the realization that animals are being killed for her food. I’m all for supporting this change. A semi-vegetarian lifestyle is healthier and eco-friendly (learn why). My role now is to determine good sources of protein to replace the meat in Sofie’s meals. As the main building blocks of the body, proteins are necessary for building and maintaining our muscles, tissues and organs; fueling our brains; and aiding in specialized functions. A “complete” protein includes all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. Vegetarians often get all those amino acids through eating a varied diet. After some research, and knowing my daughter’s … Continue reading

What Kids Can Learn at the Farmers Market

What Kids Can Learn from the Farmers Market |

With June comes farmers market season in Rhode Island. The last few years, we’ve grown some of our own vegetables, but nothing beats the local farmers market for additional produce and atmosphere. Farmers markets are made for families. Here are a few things kids can learn from being there. Food Comes From the Earth You’d never know it from the cold, sterile environment of a supermarket where tomatoes are packaged in plastic and carrots come dirt-free. At the farmers market, we see veggies with their leaves and roots hanging out. They’re fresh and earthy—rather like kids themselves. Here, little ones discover that tomatoes come in many colors, that there is such a thing as purple cauliflower, that local peaches are smaller (and sweeter) than the commercially grown variety. With no layers between you and the food, you can smell or taste something right there. And famers love to offer samples, … Continue reading

Top 5 Healthy Snacks Kids Love

Healthy Kids' Snacks |

Pears Pecorino This Tuscan treat was introduced to us years ago by friends. It is quite delicious, if a bit messy, and is always well received at potlucks. (Make it right before eating.) The ingredients: ripe pears, Pecorino Romano cheese, honey and walnuts. Slice the pears and arrange on a plate. Add a hunk of cheese (or a delicate sliver) to each slice. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle walnuts on top. Buon appetito! Be sure to keep the cloth napkins handy. Fruit and Yogurt Muesli Another Italian inspiration, this was part of our daily breakfast buffet in Lake Como last spring. We reinvent it at home on weekends. There are many versions of muesli (a cereal introduced in 1900 by a Swiss physician), but this is how we like it. We use Chobani yogurt, which is nice and creamy, usually whatever flavor we have on hand. Add chopped apples and bananas. … Continue reading