Handstand Kids

Tag Archive for back to school

Back To School Snacks

With the school year starting back up, it is always hard to come up with new ways to get your kids to not fill themselves up on junk food. Here are a few healthy snacking ideas that you can make for your kids. Say goodbye to potato chips and hello to fruit and veggie chips!

Squash Chips

Directions: slice thin, add salt, lay on baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 2-3 hours. Then enjoy!

Sweet Potato Chips

Zucchini Chips

Kale Chips

Let us know what healthy chips you decide to make for your kids on Facebook and Twitter!

Great Gifts for Top Teachers!

School’s starting soon and we know that Handstand Kids can’t wait to get back to learning. Why not send them off with a nice present for their teacher – it’s always a good idea to start the year on the right foot and these cute gifts will put a smile on any teacher’s face! Scroll down to see our top picks!

The Deckthehalls blog pinned this pretty pencil vase on Pinterest!

Saucy Sprinkles has a way for you to jazz up handing an ordinary starbucks giftcard!

This beautiful school supply cake will definitely let your teacher know that you are ready for the year!

If you’re giving your teachers gifts, let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Cooking With Kids: An Added Benefit

Let’s talk about the educational benefits of cooking with kids!

Cooking as a reading tool:

  • Have your children read the steps and ingredients to you.
  • Cooking helps your children follow and understand an order of events within a story or recipe.
  • In our Handstand Kids Cookbook Kits, kids can learn to read and speak in a different language.

Cooking as a science tool:

  • Teach your children the difference between raw versus cooked ingredients.
  • Treat cooking as a science experiment and ask your children to make predictions, or a hypothesis, make observations and find results.
  • Discuss where the ingredients you use actually came from.  For example, when using vegetables, ask your children how they grow, in what environment, and in what location.

Cooking as a math tool:

  • Cooking is all about measuring and counting ingredients!
  • Make sure your children are counting ingredients as they use or collect them.
  • Teach or practice measurements (cups, quarts, etc.) with your children

For more information, visit the Scholastic Parents website!

Have you had successes using cooking as an educational tool? Share with us on our facebook wall!

Keeping Your Kiddos Busy

Are your little ones out for the holidays yet?  Need some ideas for how to keep them active and busy this holiday season?  Look no further, we’ve got plenty of suggestions for you right here!

1. Our favorite idea (of course) is to get your kids cooking in the kitchen with you.  Are you preparing a large holiday meal for your friends and family?  Why not get your little ones to help?  They can name the dishes, create place cards, and of course, assist with the cooking!

2. We can’t stop thinking about all of the winter fun we have going ice skating!  Does your city have an outdoor ice skating rink?

3. If you’ll be working over the holidays, set up a play date schedule with other parents.  Each day, one parent can take all of the kids to the park, zoo, museum, etc.  You’ll get the relief you need, but also some quality time with your little one and his or her friends when it’s your turn!

Do you have other ideas for us?  Share them on our facebook page!

What’s The Story With Potatoes?

Potatoes are making waves, again. This time, the US Department of Agriculture, the administer of the National School Lunch Program, proposed changes to nutritional standards including limiting the amount of starchy vegetables (including potatoes) to no more than 1 cup a week. These changes will go into effect this February.

It turns out that 75% of the vegetables kids are eating as part of their school lunches are starchy vegetables, and in most cases, french fries. Potatoes do provide some nutritional value as they are high in potassium, the USDA is hoping that children will learn to make room for other vegetables in their diets as well.

For more information on how to cook potatoes in a the most healthy way and what the USDA is up to, click here.

Our Latest Craving

This weekend at the San Diego Gourmet Expo, we were surrounded by cupcake and cookie samples galore. This was heavenly, until we realized we had not eaten lunch at 3 pm. Hungry and short on time, we stumbled on the RISE BAR booth. They were nice enough to give us our own bar to try even though we were skeptical of energy bars that are often loaded with sugar and sometimes taste a little odd.

With RISE BAR, this was not the case. We LOVED these bars and got the protein boost we needed to finish the day. Sweetened with honey, agave, and fruit, and packed with nuts and seeds for protein and energy, RISE BARs are a great snack for moms to keep in their cars for hungry kids, keeping blood sugar levels in check between meals. And guess what, at the expo, a kid who was following us around tried one and loved it!

Check out RISE BAR’s website for ingredients, nutrition info, and more.

Best and Worst School Lunches

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is using a new angle to highlight the good and bad of school lunches: photographs of the food.  Jamie is asking people to upload photos of school lunches, and then visitors to the site have the opportunity to rate the photos from one to five stars based on how fresh and nutritionally balanced, or processed and unhealthy the lunches look.

Many people are not aware of the wide range of quality offered in school lunches.   The Food Revolution Team recognizes that schools have varying resources and points out that their goal is not to criticize school cafeteria staff about the food they serve, but rather to start a conversation about the differences in quality of school lunches.

Interested in learning more? Click here.

 

Healthy Snacking: Vending Machines Wise Up

If you’ve been following the blog, then you’ve probably noticed that we take healthy eating and cooking pretty seriously. We fully believe that it’s nearly impossible to raise children who love healthy food if they aren’t given the option. When we saw this, we just had to share it with all of you.

That’s right, there’s a new vending machine sheriff in town, Fresh Healthy Vending. The company is trying to outfit office buildings and schools with vending machines that contain nothing but healthy, 100% natural snacks. They’re trying to include organic, preservative free, choices wherever they can as well.

We just love knowing that there are convenient and healthy options for parents and their children, alike. Read more here.

Los Angeles School District Is Making Changes

It started with banning flavored milk. Now, the nation’s second largest school system is revamping its entire school lunch menu.

Los Angeles Unified School District is is replacing canned fruit and vegetables and with more locally grown produce, and chicken nuggets with restaurant-quality chicken on the bone. The district is negotiating with food suppliers for less processed ingredients, and is trying to be as cost-effective as possible with the changes.

To make sure none of the new meals go to waste, they’re bringing students into their main kitchen near downtown LA to taste-test meals like hummus on whole-wheat pita, Greek salad, and vegetable tamales. Of course, kids will still have access to junk food through school vending machines and an “underground market” of students selling candy bars, but the lunch line is a good place to start.

According to the LA Times, 80% of school lunches are served to students who qualify for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch. Since these students rely on school meals for much of their nutrition, without improving school food they are more at risk for obesity and other diseases.

To learn more, read the Los Angeles Times article here.

Back to School: Cafeteria Lunches

We’ve been following a trend that we hope will become a national food revolution. Improving the quality of food is only part of the equation. A new national study by the School Nutrition Association finds that most students don’t have enough time in their lunch period to actually eat their lunches. Nanci Hellmich of USA Today reports that once students wash their hands, go to the restroom, wait in line for food, and find a seat, many have only 10 or 15 minutes left to eat.

As school lunches become healthier, we must take into consideration that healthy food simply takes longer to eat than junk food. Think about it: you’re unlikely to scarf down a salad as fast as you can inhale a bag of chips. Plus, eating slowly is better for the digestive system and may mean eating less, since it takes time to digest food and realize you’ve become full. Time is another dimension of the school lunch food revolution that shouldn’t be ignored.

Read more about the time crunch here.