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Archive for the 'organic' Category

Seinfeld v. Sneaky Chef


I wrote about Missy Chase Lapine not too long ago here and in the pages of The Journal News. She’s the Irvington mother of two who wrote the well-received cookbook called “The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids Favorite Meals.” It offers healthy menu ideas for frustrated moms and dads of picky eaters by sneaking vegetables and other healthy foods into dishes kids love to eat. Think spinach puree in brownies (way better than it sounds) or sweet potatoes in mac-and-cheese.

Now Jessica Seinfeld, wife of Jerry, has come out with a book in a similar vein called, “Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food,” and, as Motoko Rich writes in today’s New York Times, readers are raising the question if the two books are too close for comfort. Seinfield also relies on recipes that sneak, like mixing kale in spaghetti and meatballs.

Lapine, quoted in the Times article, says: “Honestly I can’t speculate, and I’m not going to accuse anyone of anything,â€? she said. “I suppose it’s possible it’s a coincidence.â€?

I haven’t read Seinfeld’s book yet, so I can’t compare.

What do you think? Anyone have either book? Both?

Of course you have to love the brain of the Amazon.com computer. Here’s what it put under the listing for Lapine’s book: 

Better Together: Buy this book with Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food by Jessica Seinfeld today!”

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Friday, October 19th, 2007 at 12:20 pm |

The picky-unpicky nexus


We’ve all heard stories about picky kids who will only eat white foods or kids who refuse to eat anything but peanut butter and fluff sandwiches, morning, noon and night. Picky, picky, picky.

As Mom to a picky eater myself, I can relate. But I’ve always been curious why my picky eater is demonstrably UN-picky in most other aspects of his life. In fact, he’s only really picky about food and socks. He hates vegetables, unfamiliar foods and socks that “bug” him (like the socks in this AP photo.)apsocks.jpg

I can bend on the socks, but not the veggies. Not forever, anyway. But as we try to find any brief, shining window of acceptance (aka carrot-zucchini muffins), I’ve been wondering why he’s so picky about this, and not much else? And why is it that our middle girl, almost 4, will eat almost anything but can’t leave the house if the shade of pink in her (wildly temperature-inappropriate) outfit isn’t just perfect? Here’s how it usually goes in my house:


So what do you want to wear to school today?

Shrug. “Whatever you want me to.”


OK, time to get going. Let’s get you in your car seat.

“Mmm. I’ve changed my mind. These pants don’t fit right. I have to change them. No really, I HAVE to.”

What do you think? What makes a kid so picky about one thing, and not another?

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 at 12:56 pm |
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Back on track


We’re back on track after some technical glitches with the blogs.

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 at 11:16 am |
| | 1 Comment »


Swimming in apples?


Here’s a great post by our friends over at Parents’ Place with all sorts of things to do with that big pile of apples on your counter — with recipes!

Now if only we can make the weather cooperate. I’m in D.C. today and it feels more like mid-July here — highs in the 80s, humid. Yuck. Where’s the sweater weather?!

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Saturday, October 6th, 2007 at 7:51 am |
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A reversal on fish for pregnant, nursing women


In case you missed it earlier this week, there was a major reversal in health advice for pregnant and breast-feeding women.

After fears over mercury toxicity drove fish and seafood off the plates of many pregnant women, a coalition that includes top scientists is now recommending pregnant and breastfeeding women eat at least 12 ounces of fish and seafood per week. The idea is seafood remains a key source of omega-3 fatty acids, critical to babies’ brain development, and the known downside of a diet lacking in omega 3s outweighs a theoretical risk of mercury contamination.

Read the Washington Post article via MSNBC here.

What do you think? Did you limit fish or seafood when you were pregnant or breastfeeding? If you are pregnant or breastfeeding now, will this change how you eat?

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Friday, October 5th, 2007 at 9:47 am |
| | 1 Comment »

What kind of candy parent are you?



Halloween is right around the corner. In my house, that usually means a one-night-only candy free-for-all and then just a trickle of goodies here and there until about Christmas, when I decide to throw the rest of it out. (Usually just the bad stuff is left anyway. NECCO wafers are fun to play with — we’d pretend to be priests giving them out for communion as kids — but to me the taste is more cardboard than candy.)

It seems to work OK for us so far, but there are more ways to handle the issue than peanuts in a Payday.

What’s your Halloween candy strategy this year?

Anyone want to cop to being the parent who gives out toothbrushes and floss picks?

Whatever your rules, chances are very good you’ll have a ton of candy to deal with. In a recent survey by kidshealth.org of 1,200 boys and girls, most kids said they get at least 50 pieces of candy, with over 44 percent saying they get more than 100 pieces.

And most said their parents do set limits.

My favorite was the mom who limited her kids’ candy haul by giving it back out that same night to other trick-or-treaters. Brilliant!

(Photo by The Associated Press)

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007 at 10:30 am |


‘Perfect storm’ contributes to childhood obesity


Just reading a Reuters story about how environmental factors — soda in school, junk food ads on TV, fast-food chains on every corner, less formal physical education — are contributing to the childhood obesity crisis in the U.S.

Sure, we had all these temptations when I was growing up, but at a fraction of what kids are exposed to today.

What do you think?

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Saturday, September 29th, 2007 at 11:39 am |

Low-G.I. breakfasts for kids


I’m probably the worst offender when it come to allowing kids sugary breakfasts, usually in the form of a lake of maple syrup covering pancakes or waffles.

But a new study confirms that a breakfast higher in fiber and so-called good carbs (whole grains) helps you stay fuller longer. In fact, the study found kids who ate a low-glycemic index breakfast consumed 60 fewer calories during the day.

If you are trying to help a child lose weight, that would definitely add up over time.

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 at 10:17 am |

When toddlers go vegetarian


A friend of  mine with toddler twins recently posed a unique parenting dilemma: What to do when your kids will eat their vegetables, but no meat?

She reports they’ll eat eggs, even edamame and tofu, but just don’t like meat. And no one in the home is trying to be a vegetarian.

I suggested smooshing some teeny bits of roast chicken into a vegetable they do eat, maybe they won’t notice. Maybe it’s a texture/chewing thing that will just resolve itself in time?

Anyone ever have this problem? What did you do?

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Monday, September 24th, 2007 at 4:33 pm |
| | 1 Comment »


Unstoppable McDonald’s


Here’s an interesting piece recently featured by our biz desk on the McDonald’s juggernaut.

Once thought of as an aging repository of little more than trans fats and McJobs, Mickey D’s revenues are surging, largely by listening to customer demands for healthier food.

What do you think?

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Saturday, September 22nd, 2007 at 1:30 pm |


About this blog
You make it, they eat it, right?

As most parents soon discover, feeding a family is rarely that easy, whether its nursing a fussy newborn or trying to get a hot meal into a squirming toddler (or attempting both at the same time.) And that's not even the days when work runs late, the main course burns, or your adventurous little sushi eater announces from now on she will only eat food that is pink.

As parents ourselves, we've been there, done that, even learned a few tricks along the way. And we're pretty sure so have you. Maybe together we can make eating together as a family -- gulp! -- fun again.

My site was nominated for Best Parenting Blog!


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About the authors
Hema Easley Hema Easley has been a reporter for The Journal News since July 2002, first covering municipal government and then nonprofit agencies, women's issues and the South Asian and Muslim community in the Lower Hudson Valley. In her previous job, Hema was a correspondent for the Associated Press in South Asia. She lives with her husband and two sons in Orange County.
KatieKatie Ryan O'Connor, a Journal News editor and 35-year-old mother of three, never quite appreciated the work that went into feeding kids until she had to do it herself as a mother. If she had a food-and-kids philosophy it would be something like this: try your best to offer as much healthy food as possible, but sometimes fruits just have to be counted as vegetables and there are far worse things than chicken and spaghetti. Again.
TraceyTracey Princiotta, a 37-year-old mother of one, loves to cook, bake and eat, and is relieved that her son appears to be equally willing to chow down -- even if it's baby food and formula right now. Despite her husband's intense aversion to vegetables, she has high hopes of nurturing a true chowhound who will try everything at least once. And if all else fails, she's not above sneaking veggies into other foods.
Marcela Rojas Marcela Rojas has been a municipal reporter with The Journal News since January 2003. She is a native of Putnam County and grew up eating Peruvian food. She didn't realize until she was 13 that rice did not come with everyone's meal. After several years of living in Los Angeles -- where she grew a fondness for Thai food -- she returned to Putnam County where she now lives with her husband and daughter. Zyla (rhymes with Lilah) just turned 1 in March and, so far (her mother is pleased to note), loves to eat everything.
Swapna Venugopal Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy, a Journal News reporter, started her career as a journalist in 1999 after graduating with a master's degree from New York University. Before joining the paper in 2006, Swapna worked as a municipal reporter for the Home News Tribune in New Jersey, and took a baby sabbatical to care for her two children, now ages 7 and 5. She has currently outsourced feeding her children and husband to her mother, who is visiting from India. Her friend and colleague Katie O'Connor, informs Swapna that she wouldn't mind being fed Indian food by her mother, too.
Randi Weiner Randi Weiner has been a reporter with The Journal News since 1989, having covered police, government and schools in Westchester and in Rockland. An Ohio native and 1976 graduate of Bowling Green State University, she worked for daily newspapers in Ohio and Michigan before moving east. She has tended bar and danced in a beledi troup and sat on the boards of two community theaters. She plays mandolin with the Shamrogues, Connecticuts largest Irish band. Randi lives in Connecticut with her husband and has three children.

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