Solutions For Parents


Eating & Exercise

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Eating and Exercise


What better way to kick start the summer than whipping up a tasty treat in

the kitchen together with your children.


Cooking with preschoolers and school aged children is not only a great way

to spend time together, it's also a rich educational experience that encourages

critical thinking, teaches concepts essential for math and reading, and lets kids

practice their motor skills.


Teaching Vocabulary Words in the Kitchen

When parents cook with a child, kids are exposed to an entirely new set of

vocabulary words. Using words like skillet, preheat, teaspoon, defrost, whip, fold,

and grate expand a child's mind. Parents should use the correct words for kitchen

utensils and cooking terms whenever possible – it will surprise them how fast

preschoolers pick up these unfamiliar terms.


Questioning "why" unleashes the budding scientist in a preschooler.


For older children, cooking together with a recipe has more benefits. Beginning

readers might enjoy finding words or letters they recognize in the recipe. Older

children can read the ingredients list and gather the items, or read the directions

and explain to the parent what to do next.


Cooking together with a preschoolers is one of the best educational activities a

parent can do. Aside from spending quality time together and giving a child the

opportunity to feel proud of themselves for creating something, it teaches math,

science, reading, and comprehension skills – all while they're just having fun.


Here’s a recipe you can get started with that is yummy as well as healthy.



                                                               HEALTHY BROWNIES



Olive oil cooking spray


3oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

½ c carrot puree

½ c spinach puree

½ c firmly packed light brown sugar

¼ c unsweetened cocoa powder

2 TBL coconut oil

2 tsp wheat-free pure vanilla extract


2 TBL ground flax seed meal + 4 TBL warm water, whisked together

¾ c garbanzo bean & fava bean flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp sea salt (optional)

½ tsp xanthan gum



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat an 8” x 8” baking pan with olive oil.


*Make carrot puree

      Peel carrots, trim ends, cut into 3 in. chunks.  Steam for 10-12 minutes.  Puree in a

      blender or food processor for about 2 minutes, adding a few teaspoons of water as

      needed for a smooth texture.

*Make Spinach puree

      For ease, use bagged baby spinach or purchase loose spinach.  Steam 30-40 seconds,

      or cook in skillet with 1 TBL spoon of water for 90 seconds, until wilted. Puree in a

      food processor or blender for about 2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or over a low flame.


Combine Ingredients

 In a large bowl, combine melted chocolate, vegetable purees, sugar, cocoa powder,

 coconut oil and vanilla, whisk for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy.


Add dry ingredients

  Whisk in flax seed meal.  Stir in flour, baking powder, salt (optional) and xanthan gum

  with a wooden spoon.


  Pour the batter into the pan and bake 35-40 minutes.  Cool completely in the pan

  before cutting into 12 bars.



                                                               Macaroni and Cheese

                                                                 Gluten& Dairy Free



   10 oz. rice macaroni pasta, cooked al dente`

   8 oz. cheddar rice shreds (more if you prefer)

   3 TBL buttery spread, soy free (divided for three layers)

   1 ¼ c rice milk

   1 c gluten free bread crumbs

   2 TBL  olive oil


Serves 4-6 as a main dish or 6-10 as a side dish.



   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook macaroni making sure to not overcook.  Rinse and



   Spray a 1 ½ qt. casserole with olive oil.  Place 1/3 of the rice pasta in the bottom of

   the casserole and dot with 1 TBL of buttery spread.  Place 1/3 of the rice cheddar

   shreds on top of the pasta.  Continue with two more layers.  Pour the rice milk over

   the pasta layers.


   Combine the breadcrumbs with 2 TBL of olive oil.  Spread the bread crumbs over the

   pasta and cheese.


   Bake uncovered 1 hour or until the milk has been absorbed into the pasta and 

   “cheese” mixture and the bread crumbs are browned.



Tastes Great Cookbook . . . and Healthy Too!   by Carole Richards Author, Educator and Cook

Ask Dr. Susan