Thursday, July 7, 2011

14 of our favorite foods!

Awhile back I took pictures of some of the foods that my kids eat on a daily basis or ingredients that I cook with regularly. And to be honest, outside of applesauce, five years ago I didn't know many of these items existed so I was definitely not eating them or cooking with them.

Here is a list of what you'll find in the pictures below (along with a few comments):
1. FAGE yogurt - highest levels of protein in any yogurt that I have found (I get mine at Costco but I am sure it's available in other stores as well). I cannot recommend enough looking at the sugar content in Yogurt. I do not buy regular yogurt for my children because one small container or small scoop can have 20-30 grams of sugar. I just looked online and one container of vanilla Yoplait has 28 grams of sugar and 7 g of protein. That is more than our kids need in an entire day! FAGE has 15g of protein and 7g of sugar. So instead I buy regular/plain yogurt and mix in fruit. Or if little eaters are used to the high sugar kind, mix it half and half with FAGE so they get more protein and less sugar. I'm just sayin'!

2.Sabra Hummus - Costco big container, but you can get small containers anywhere. This is made of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) and is a great source of fiber and iron. It is made with olive oil which is a great fat for the kids to eat. I even make sandwiches out of it - spread on a tortilla with bananas or cucumbers and Samuel eats it up. Lauren, not so much :) We really like it with pita chips or cold veggies! It's the healthiest dip I offer.

3.Kirklands Organic Peanut Butter - you can only get this at Costco. It has 2 grams of sugar and 9g protein. And only peanuts and salt for ingredients. Do you know what is in regular peanut butter? The second ingredient is sugar and third is hydrogenated oils. And it has almost double the sodium of natural PB or Almond Butter.

4.Trader Joes Almond Butter - this is a great alternative to PB when your kids are too young to eat PB. You don't have to worry about a peanut allergy (unless they are allergic to all nuts). This has 2 g sugar and 8 g protein. But what sold me is that there are only two ingredients: almonds and sea salt. Almonds are so good for us!
5.Kirklands Organic Strawberry spread - great for PB and Jelly sandwiches and low in sugar. Also good to mix into plain yogurt.

6.Mott's natural applesauce - no sugar added. I often add protein powder to applesauce.

7.Herbalife vanilla protein powder - I can add this to just about anything! Smoothies, cereal, applesauce, yogurt, etc. Great addition to boost protein.

8.Tillamook Cheese - Costco - soooo tasty! My favorite cheese and the kids love it. 7 grams of protein in 1 oz. It's high in fat so I have to watch how much I eat, but good for my kiddos.

9.Mountain High Yogurt - good amount of protein but kind of high in sugar. It's cheaper than FAGE though so I often mix the two. It has 11g of protein and 16 sugars.

10.Trader Joes Pineapple tidbits - kids love frozen fruit. I have found some cheaper frozen fruit at TJ and when I run out of fresh I pull a handful out of the freezer. Or I throw some in when I'm making smoothies.

11.Coconut Water - I keep this on hand rather than Pedialyte which is what the medical doctors recommend for dehydration. This has more electrolytes and is natural. It's one of the best drinks to rehydrate our bodies.

12.Flaxseed - must be ground for our bodies to digest but has great nutritional value including good fat and fiber. One serving has 2400 mg of Omega-3. I toss it into just about anything!

13.Whole wheat flour - We love our whole wheat waffles! I often switch out recipes that call for all white flour with half whole wheat. Whole wheat flour is high in fiber and protein.

14.Almond flour - I make banana almond pancakes with this and will share that recipe in another post. Almond flour can be added to muffins or other recipes to increase nutritional value. It's a good source of protein, fiber, magnesium and Vitamin E.

These are some of the staple items that we buy. I have made changes to what I purchase throughout the past couple years. I still have a hard time with peanut butter because I grew up on the sugar-laden kind, but it's one small step at a time... The good news is, if we start our kids on these kinds of natural foods, they won't know any different! 

Do you have questions or favorite foods to share? I'd love to hear them! Please share.


Kim said...

I am super impressed Stacy, you are doing a fabulous job!

So many people think Yogurt is healthy, I too fell victim to that
without reading the labels. I am a huge fan of Oikos Greek Yogurt. I use it in place of sour cream and make a nice veggie dip with it by adding a little salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper and cumin. I slice up cucumbers or bell peppers and dip in that! YUM!

I buy 99% organic, I know that's not always feasible or affordable, so just look out for the "dirty dozen" on EWG's website and take caution there.

One of my new favorite snacks are kale chips. I buy a head of kale, wash & dry. Rough chop, toss in EVOO -sprinkle with salt & lemon juice and bake at 300 until crispy.

"Like collard greens, Swiss chard and other leafy green vegetables, kale packs a lot of nutritional value. It's rich in vitamins A and C as well as calcium, but is low in calories and free of fat"


•Kale eases lung congestion and is beneficial to the stomach, liver and immune system
•It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from macular degeneration
•It also contains indole-3-carbinol, which may protect against colon cancer
•Kale is an excellent source of calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and chlorophyll

Since I have gone gluten free, I have experimented with many different flours, including almond, coconut, rice and tapioca. While I am currently avoiding all grains, I prefer these over any type of plan white flour.

cybil said...

Favourites around here are also fruits: strawberries, apples and bananas!
In USA I like the "mini fruits" from Gerber: "Banana strawberry - bite-size, freeze-dried fruit snack". Our son loves them!!
All the best from Switzerland,

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great info here, Stacy. Thanks for sharing. Dave and I are trying to feed the kids better, but we sure have to read the labels! Anywhere in particular that you buy the coconut water?

Stacy said...

I got it The Wedge in Minneapolis (food co-op), but I think you can get it at Wholefoods (Minneapolis) or Lakewinds (Mtka and Chanhassen). Any natural food store should carry it. It's not cheap but you don't use it that often! It's good to have a couple on hand....

Kim - I will try the Kale chips. Sound tasty! Thank you for the recipe.