…t allows you to control ingredient quality, quantity, and nutrient balance. That said, there are better quality cooking methods, such as vapor cooking, which should be on your radar to get optimal health and taste results at home. Vapor cooking is a cooking method that uses a small amount of water in appropriate cookware (designed so vapor creates a complete seal between the lid and the pan base) to deliver optimal taste and texture results for d…

…emember birthdays or anniversaries. He’s not a giver of flowers or fancy chocolate. He does however, fill the gas in my car when it’s running low because he knows that I don’t have time to do that. He goes out of his way to get me my favorite brand of ice cream. He looks after our boys on weekends so I can have some ‘me’ time. He works very hard to ensure that we live a comfortable life. That is my husband’s lo…

…pans were light and easy to maneuver, but I had to use plastic spatulas, stack them with dish towels to protect the cooking surface, and worry about what chemicals they might release at high heat or when they got scratched. I decided to give cast iron another try…and soon I was in love! Now hardly a day goes by that I don’t use one of my favorite cast-iron pans. I’ve found that a new, pre-seasoned cast-iron pan still needs about six uses fo…

…s are “Beluga Grads“. But he should know that those grads come with Beluga Moms and Dads–many of us can still sing along. Raffi’s passion now is expressed in his organization called Child Honoring. We’ve been having some fascinating conversations — inspiring me to put some fundamental thoughts into writing. Our work at Moms Clean Air Force is driven by mother love–but what does that mean, exactly? First,…

Ok, I will admit that cooking with my kids can be a lot harder at times (most of the time) than cooking by myself. I like to cook.  I find cooking therapeutic. Cooking with kids is not always therapeutic. Really! Sometimes the thought of managing my kids and their inevitable mess is almost enough for me to ban them from the kitchen. But, I remind myself of all the reasons these little chefs should be allowed to help. What are some of the reason…

…imum nutrition. But could I really get by on a dollar a meal? Could I enjoy it? One night at dinner, I broached the idea to my husband. Bruce looked only mildly horrified. “You can eat extra if you want,” I said. “I’ll just cook for both of us to that budget.” “No, I’ll do it with you. Might as well see just how hungry we get.” (You can see why I love him.) “Well, at least we’ll lose some weight.” The Results: Saving Money Leads to other Savings…

…shaped by every interaction he or she has, but is shaped most powerfully by how they are loved and parented in their home.  How a child sees themselves will influence every aspect of their life from their education, relationships and over-all well-being. Life is about feeling good enough, competent, loved, successful and happy and the outer world doesn’t always reflect this, so the unconditional love and acceptance at home is the catalyst for th…

…at can feel onerous as a busy parent. But what if I told you that all it takes is 30 minutes each week? That in the time you’d spend watching an episode of Modern Family, you’ll help your child build skills that are just as important as math and reading? The key is to cook with your kids, not for your kids. And to get past the mental barrier of cooking with kids, you need to reframe it. Instead of thinking of cooking as a chore, think of cooking

…o much money and is convenient because we always have some on hand. I typically flavor it with strawberries or other berries and the girls drink it down. My younger daughter even has her own kombucha dance because she loves it so much! Milk or Water Kefir If your family drinks a lot of soda, then water kefir may be a good option for you. Water kefir is made by fermenting sugar water with water kefir grains (letting it sit on your counter), and yo…

And in my almost last cacao post, I must say – cacao is for lovers.  And I am truly not kidding.  Cacao releases the same feeling you feel when you are in love.  The centuries of history of relating cacao to romance are actually based in practicality.  When a couple breaks up, a woman reaches for chocolate.  When a man wants to shower his woman with love (or vice versa), he reaches for chocolate.  These traditions are all rooted in the fa…

…Boo Bear!” I’ve been to many parenting conferences, but this time, I was floored. I participated in the 2000 For the Love of Kids, put on in the Cincinnati, Ohio area by a wonderful non-profit organization called Beech Acres. From the moment we walked in, we could tell that this conference was different. The conference agenda was set “by parents for parents”. Everything was first class. Parenting was treated with the sign…

Make a practice of cooking with the seasons. When you shop at your farmers’ market, you won’t have to do any research first to see what’s in season. If your local farmers have it, it is in season! You’ll be getting great prices and peak taste. You’ll also be saving energy by reducing or eliminating the refrigeration, freezing, and transportation needed to get food from the farm to your plate. Do it for the sheer pleasure…

…nterests of both our nation’s food producers and our children. Today, as the director of nutrition services for the Berkeley Unified School District, I coordinate 90 employees in 17 locations, who serve over 8,000 meals per day and touch the lives of all of the 9,000 students in the district. We are responsible for producing and serving delicious, nutritious food in the cafeterias, as well as for the implementation of the district’s hands-on cook…

Parents of food-allergic youngsters know that the most surefire way to safeguard their kids from trigger foods is to prepare all meals and snacks at home in a controlled environment. For this week’s series, I asked three top voices in the Twitter food allergy community, Kim Maes, Cybele Pascal and Robyn O’Brien — all parents of children with food allergies — for their favorite cooking tips, essential tools and strategies…

…hey wanted to serve for dinner and help make it. I have continued this and have my kids choose meals each week. They each get a night to help me make the dinner. They really love it. Once again, I need to remind you that it won’t go beautifully or smoothly. It will be less efficient, messier (way messier) and maybe won’t come out quite as you planned. But your children are learning the effort that goes in to cooking and hopefully the joy of shari…

…iliar] broccoli!” Reading about food also sends an important message about food’s place in your family life: we love healthy food and it’s an important part of how we live and relate to our world. This message is critical to raising healthy eaters. There are tons of wonderful books about food and healthy eating for children of all ages. Here are a few of my favorites. First Books Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert…

I buy almost all of my produce at the farmers market. It’s the only place I shop on a weekly basis. There are so many benefits that come from this direct producer-to-consumer arrangement.  Here are some of the things I love most about the farmers market. Price. The organic produce I buy at my farmers market is the cheapest organic produce I can buy.   If you are trying to figure out how to make eating organic more affordable, this is one of my…

…oing on. If the node remains enlarged (greater than 1cm) for 2 to 3 months, or continues to grow after 2 weeks, then a biopsy of the lymph node may be indicated, unless the physical exam and lab tests are convincingly reassuring. At least half of the time, a biopsy does not reveal a definite cause for the enlargement, but the biopsy can rule out cancer and other serious problems. Shelley, you bring to this situation your love as a mother, your di…

…oating, and both the cooking pot and steaming tray are 100% recyclable. With the steamer you can make all sorts of tortillas, dumplings, and spring rolls and even shellfish as well as veggies. Cooking with a steamer is a great way to retain nutrients and reduce the temptation to cook with butter and oil. I personally love to make risotto and usually do not mind standing over the stove stirring the rice over medium high heat and adding broth for a…