Handstand Kids

Healthy One-Pot Dinner

Easy dinner ideas are hard to come by unless they come in a box, or so you thought. Here is a great idea for a quick, healthy alternative to those boxed mac and cheese recipes. You’ll be able to sneak in so many veggies your kids won’t even notice they’re eating healthy. The best thing about this meal is it is a one-pot wonder, which means it’s not only easy to make, but it’s just as easy to clean up!

Watch as Yvette shows you how fast and easy dinner preparing a healthy dinner can be in this week’s eHow video:

Check back in next week for another eHow video with Yvette.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Peanut butter is a great way to get kids to eat healthy food. Not only is it chocked full of protein but it is great to put on veggies and fruit. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, peanut butter is one of the best foods for a picky eater. Peanut butter is also a healthy choice for dipping snacks instead of many dressing which are based in mayo. These healthy pairings can your child get great nutrition without knowing it.

For something a little more fun than celery or bananas, making Peanut Butter & Jelly Whoopie Pies is a great. It also is something to get the kids involved in the kitchen.

Here is Yvette making Whoopie Pies on the first installment of our eHow series on become an expert at cooking with your kids!

 

Milk: The Perfect Food

We all know that milk does the body good, but are your kids getting as much as they should? With a slew of nutritious elements, such as Calcium, Protein, Riboflavin, Vitamins A, D and B12, along with a host of other good-for-you nutrients, milk is a great way to help your kids grow strong bones, maintain their immune systems and convert food to energy.

Despite all the great things it has proven to do for our bodies, many kids simply refuse to drink milk. To help out, we’ve come up with some fun and easy ways to encourage your kids to drink more milk!

  • Make flavored milk! Chocolate, strawberry or vanilla, make the healthy drink more fun.
  • Warm up some milk and add a little honey and cinnamon to make a toasty before-bedtime drink.
  •  Smoothies! Blend up some fresh fruit and milk to make a great tasting and, of course, great-for-you treat.
  • Freeze milk and your favorite fruit to make healthy popsicles. You can even use different variations of milk like soy and almond!

Click here for more information on the benefits on milk, and let us know about your successes with serving your kids more milk on our Facebook page.

 

Happy New Year from Handstand Kids

With the New Year quickly approaching, it’s time to look back at 2012, pick out and savor precious family memories and promise yourself to be better in the new year.  This is how we grow as people.

Instead of the old stand-by resolutions we often make, such as to lose weight or save money, we look at the travesty that happened earlier this month in Connecticut and challenge all of the parents out there to make this year’s resolutions about the thing that matters most – our families.

Here are some ideas for New Years resolutions that we promise will bring your family closer!

-        Resolve to have “dates” with the kids: Kids and adults crave one-on-one time, but the hustle and bustle of everyday life often gets in the way, plus kids usually have to share the spotlight with siblings. Set aside time for each child to have “dates with mommy” or “dates with daddy.” You can get manicures or even wake up before everyone else in the house for a secret, private breakfast on the porch; just spend time with each child individually and give them your undivided attention.

-        Resolve to have a regular family game night: Whether it’s once a week or once every other month, make the effort to turn off all the electronics and gadgets, and play Monopoly, Scrabble or your family’s favorite old-school board game. The friendly competition is a wonderful opportunity for bonding as a family.

-        Resolve to eat dinner as a family: Instead of grabbing something quick and rushing off to each child’s various activities, put the extra effort into gathering the entire family around the kitchen table for dinner for at least 30 minutes once a week with no TV. It is a great opportunity to hear about everyone’s day and have meaningful conversations with your kids.

-        Resolve to say “yes” more: We certainly don’t mean to imply that you should spoil your kids rotten, but there is something to be said for picking your battles and indulging your kids’ simple wishes occasionally. It’s tempting to say no when we’re busy, have had long days, or are ready to climb into bed. But promise yourself you’ll say yes to the little things more often, and the payoff will be huge. Say “yes” to making cookies on Saturday. Say “yes” to the third bedtime story even though it’s too late. The quality time with your kids and the genuine happiness the “yes” elicits will be well worth it.

Please share your families’ New Years resolutions with us via Facebook or Twitter. Happy New Year from our Handstand Kids family to yours! We hope 2013 fills your home with much love and laughter.

Spice it up with Mexican Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is a wintertime favorite among adults and children alike. And why wouldn’t it be? What’s not to love about a warm chocolate treat on a cold winter day? Even the Mayans used crushed cocoa beans to create and enjoy a similar tasty drink over 2,000 years ago!

Gather the kids in the kitchen and try their little chef hands out on this Handstand Kids Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe. With minimal ingredients and easy instructions, it’s the perfect wintertime recipe that your kids will love to make. Use our recipe as a base and then let the kids add their own creative touch. They can dress it up with mini marshmallows, top it with whipped cream, or serve it with a candy cane as a stirrer! The flavor possibilities are endless and the kids will have such fun coming up with their very own special hot chocolate concoction!

Festive Craft Ideas

The holiday season is finally in full swing! This time of year is special for so many reasons, but one of our very favorite things about the holidays is having the kids home from school for a while. To make the most of this quality family time, it’s important to keep the kids entertained and happy, otherwise they may start driving you nuts! Cooler temperatures can mean fewer outdoor adventures, which is why arts and crafts, such as these, are a perfect way to entertain and delight the kids.

COTTON BALL SNOWMAN (perfect for kids ages 2-6)

This cotton ball snowman is a fun-filled craft that children of all ages can enjoy. All you will need is blue construction paper, cotton balls, glue, scissors, pipe cleaner and felt.  Simply draw three circles on the blue construction paper to make the snowman’s body and fill with tons of cotton balls, then use the felt and pipe cleaner to add facial features and accessorize your snowman. Younger children will love gluing all of the cotton balls down, while older kids will delight in adding their own creative and elaborate touches – from scarves to mittens to hats and more, the possibilities are endless!

 

NEW YEARS EVE DISCO BALL (perfect for kids ages 6-12)

Since the kids may already be tucked into bed when the ball is dropped in Times Square, let them create their own sparkly and festive ball drop! Simply use straight pins to pin sparkly sequins to a Styrofoam craft ball, letting the kids pick the color and patterns of their sequins. Glue a ribbon to the ball so that you can hang their piece of art from the ceiling and have your own New Year’s celebration, any time!

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Parties

Whether you’re hosting your own Christmas party this year or you’re in charge of bringing a crowd-pleasing snack to a neighbor’s party, it’s usually a good idea to have a few kid-friendly options if you know there will be kids in attendance. Not only will these snacks and treats be devoured by all of the kids as soon as you place them on the table, but your own children will have a blast in the kitchen helping you to make them!

These adorable Santa Clause appetizers are fun to assemble and are a delicious starter for adults and children alike. Use a clean pair of kitchen scissors to cut pepperoni hats, which you can “glue” to Ritz crackers with ricotta cheese. Make a beard out of ricotta and a moustache out of celery slices, use capers for the eyes and nose, and voila – Santa Clause!

But don’t forget desert! These Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cookies will surely satisfy the kids’ sweet tooth and couldn’t be easier to make. Simply use refrigerated sugar cookie dough, cut the dough with a circle cookie cutter and then pinch opposite sides to shape the reindeer’s face. Break curved pieces off of pretzel twists so that you’re left with the center of the pretzels, which is a perfect antler shape. Press the antlers in and then cook according to your cookie’s package directions. When you take them out of the oven, press in chocolate mini morsels for the eyes and a cinnamon candy for the nose!

Have fun in the kitchen and please share your kid-friendly creations with Handstand Kids via Facebook or Twitter!

Help Us Give the Gift That Keeps Kids Growing: Good Nutrition!

The Handstand Kids family is proud to be championing a very worth cause this holiday season! We’re thrilled to partner with Future Fortified, a global nutrition campaign, to help provide valuable nutrition to children and families in Bangladesh. From December 4th to December 31st, 20% of all proceeds from our online store will be donated to Future Fortified. So explore the great holiday gifts available on our site, from cookbook kits to chef hats and more, then enter the code “GivingFortified” upon checkout to help children in Bangladesh grow and thrive!

Did you know malnutrition rates in Bangladesh are among the highest in the world? Millions of parents are unable to provide their children with the essential vitamins and minerals they need and this poor nutrition causes irreversible physical damage, lower IQs, and deadly disease. Future Fortified helps women and children by providing easy access to these essential nutrients through simple home nutrition packets. With these packets, moms worldwide can sprinkle vitamins onto children’s meals for pennies a day, helping them grow into strong, healthy and happy kids.

Handstand Kids strives to educate children and families about the culture and cuisines of other countries through cooking. We’re passionate about all things related to kids, food, and health, so our partnership with Future Fortified is only natural. We hope you’re as excited as we are that your holiday shopping at Handstand Kids can help fortify the future for children in Bangladesh!

Get Crafty This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and what better time than now to teach our kids what the holiday is truly about? Even as adults, it can be easy to lose sight of the reason behind the season and to think that it’s all about a perfectly done turkey, scrumptious stuffing and pumpkin pie. There is no denying that it is a favorite holiday for our taste buds, but there is of course much more to it, and why not remember this lesson with our kids in a fun-filled, crafty way that they can enjoy?

Gather your kids, some colorful paper, string, scissors and tape. While cutting out different colors and shapes of leaves, talk to your kids about having an attitude of gratitude! Ask them to think about all of the things that they are so lucky to have. Depending on their ages, it may be helpful to give examples that they can relate to easily. Tell them some things you’re thankful for – daddy, the playground, ice cream – and they will get excited to list all of the things that they love!

Once you’ve cut enough leaves, have children write something they’re thankful for on each leaf. Tape the leaves to your string (fishing line is a good option as well since it is clear and strong) and hang them from the ceiling. Having one long string for each family member is a great way to get the whole family involved. It also makes a powerful visual statement about all your family has to be thankful for!

Your kids will be proud to show their friends and family what they have created. The best part of this simple craft project is that every time your kids walk by their artwork, they’ll get a reminder of what Thanksgiving is truly about and how much they have to be thankful for.

Here at Handstand Kids, our thankful leaves are filled with your names! Thank you for being a fan and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Stay Healthy During the Holidays

With temperatures dropping it is important to make sure you’re prepared to keep your kids healthy this winter! Besides making sure your kids are all bundled up on the outside, here are some tips for keeping them healthy on the inside!

Serve each meal with vegetables that are high in vitamins and minerals.  Vitamin C is known for having immune system strengthening powers, so serving fruits and vegetables that are high in Vitamin C will help ward off those winter time sniffles. Great examples Vitamin C rich vegetables are bell peppers, dark leafy greens like kale and mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. If you have a tough time getting your kids to eat the green stuff keep in mind, several fruits are also high in vitamin C like oranges, clementines, strawberries, kiwi and guava.

It is also important that kids remain active! As easy as it maybe stay curled up in front of the fire, it is important that children continue to get in at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. Encourage your children to build a fort, or put on fun music and have a dance contest. Even simple toys like hula hoops and jump ropes can be handy in keeping kids active while indoors (as long as space allows of course). Or you can do one of our personal favorites and COOK!