Kids Feed

How 'bout a Breakfast Banana Split?

Breakfast banana split cover shot labeled

I partnered with Stonyfield and Woodstock Foods for this recipe.  All opinions are my own.

Hey! Long time, no see!

I've been doing a lot more work for the Fit Bottomed World of healthy-living blogs, which is great. It's a combination of graphics, copy editing, writing and back-end stuff, so that's been keeping me busy (and apparently away from the blog). 

I've also been hitting the gym more frequently and staying up far too late watching MSNBC. 

Another thing I've been doing is working with my teenager on cleaning up his eating -- totally HIS decision. I have a post scheduled soon at Fit Bottomed Mamas that goes into more detail about that, but even though he has zero weight issues, he doesn't want to end up with one, so he's making cleaner choices for his meals and snacks.

Lately he's rediscovered yogurt, something he hadn't eaten since he was a toddler. Grabbing a cup of Greek yogurt for a quick breakfast or an evening snack is a good protein-rich choice, and he can choose from a variety of flavors.

He hasn't gone hardcore, like I have.

I pretty much stick to plain yogurt -- be it Greek, regular, nonfat or whole milk. I've been cutting back on my sugar intake and I can honestly say I like plain yogurt now, maybe with just a tiny drizzle of honey or sprinkle of stevia, depending on what I'm eating.

Breakfast banana split watermark
Breakfast banana split ingredients watermarkedI came up with this idea for a fun breakfast or even a dessert. It's a healthy twist on the classic banana split, which uses Stonyfield Grassfed plain yogurt and Woodstock's almond butter and Hiker's Harvest Mix trail, which is a blend of organic pumpkin seeds, raisins, apples and almonds with no added oils, salt or sugar. I added a little drizzle of honey.

I had this for breakfast right after my photo shoot, but I think the kid will enjoy it, too.

Breakfast Banana Split

  • 1 medium banana, peeled and split lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup Stonyfield Grassfed plain yogurt (or any other favorite yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon natural almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons Woodstock Organic Hiker's Harvest Mix
  • Drizzle of honey

Top banana with yogurt, almond butter, trail mix and drizzle the whole thing with honey.

Makes 1 serving.


Giant salads and chocolate removal

As I write this, I am eating a post-workout salad the size of a small dump truck. It's got leftover chicken, a little cheddar, leftover cherry tomatoes from a deli tray, some quinoa I found in the back of the fridge, some elderly avocado, Trader Joe's sodium-free salsa (seriously, it's the BEST) and lettuce. Lots and lots and lots of lettuce.

Big salad

I ate it straight out of the plastic clamshell. And that wasn't a normal-sized clamshell, that was a family-size plastic trough.

I hate to throw out food, and that salad was on its last legs. Plus, I have two more bags of leafy greens -- green leaf lettuce from a deli tray and kale, extracted from an Edible Arrangement.

Nothin' goes to waste.

OK -- a couple things did get tossed. Last night I (brace yourselves, chocolate lovers) dumped a bunch of See's candies into the garbage disposal. The sound of nuts 'n' chews being destroyed was loud, violent and just a little bit satisfying. Today, I was rummaging in the yogurt bin (what others would call a produce bin we turned into a home for yogurts) and found a container of leftover pumpkin cheesecake. 

That went down the drain as well.

I have a freezer full of fruit from two Edible Arrangements and have been making smoothies with those all week. The leafy greens will get turned into dinners this weekend.

But the chocolate and the cheesecake? Buh-bye.


There's still half a banana cream pie in the fridge but luckily I find banana cream pie to be one of the MOST VILE FOODS ON EARTH so there's zero temptation.

I gave out bags and containers of cheesecake, cake, cookies, rugelach and other goodies to anyone within my reach the past week. My teenager has greatly cut down on foods like that since he realized he feels better with less of it. Also, he doesn't have any weight issues (and probably never will) so he can't hear the siren's song.

It's just something I have to do to jump back on the horse. 

All that and NOT a bag of chips

Blue diamond honey almonds
This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

I have a teenaged boy who is blessed with the metabolism of a cheetah. Seriously, the guy eats pretty much whatever he wants and his 30-inch waist stays intact.

But that doesn’t mean I let him eat garbage.

Amid the occasional chips and cookies, I try and keep the snack stash pretty healthy. So when Blue Diamond sent me its Honey Dijon and Honey Roasted Cinnamon almonds, I knew it would only be a matter of time before …

Hey, where’d they go?

I’d love to show you the lovely snack combinations I came up with (the Honey Roasted Cinnamon go great with apple slices), but, alas, the almonds disappeared in a flash. This, friends, is life with a teenaged boy.

But, hey, I’m not mad – the kid got protein, healthy fats, fiber and other great nutrients. You don’t get that in a bag of chips.

If you’re concerned about portion control, buy those little Ziploc snack bags and portion out an ounce at a time – I find that when snacks are in separate portioned packages, I’m much less likely to overeat them.

Sure, there’s a little added sugar, but overall they’re not much more calories than a regular ounce of almonds, and a much better choice than other sweets.

My lean preteen: A work in progress

Mom and kid

My son is 12, and so far he's winning the battle of the bulge.

But then again, the kid's been brainwashed since birth on healthy food and exercise. When he was a toddler, he would eat the smelliest, greenest baby food -- stuff that would make me gag from the smell. That was the chicken and broccoli baby food. Chicken and broccoli makes a fine meal but somehow when you puree it, eh, not so much.

He grew up loving tofu, broccoli, yogurt, cucumbers and exotic stuff like pickled ginger and calamari.

As I wheeled him through the grocery store, I pointed out the different fruits and veggies, told him the kids' yogurt had "paint" in it and made plain Cheerios sound like the coolest cereal in the store.

He's totally not a picky eater, save for the bitter broccoli rabe encounter where he pronounced that there was "something awful" in his pasta dish.

All that brainwashing? He completely bought into it.

He still eats healthfully, and if he wants ice cream or chips, he'll measure out a serving on the food scale.

Compared with some of his schoolmates, he's taller and leaner than a lot of them. But compared with the guys on his baseball team he's right in line, which seems to show that kids who have some sort of sports in their life have fewer weight issues.

There's no "bad food" or "good food" in our house (for the most part). There are only bad and good choices.

In "decriminalizing" food, I'm trying to not send him down the road that I've been traveling lo these many decades.


Looking at the gym from a kid's perspective

Hey -- I've been away from the blog a bit but that doesn't mean I was on my duff with the bonbons.

Oh no, fitness pals -- I've been chugging away at my Cleveland Clinic Non-Surgical Weight Loss Program and doing smashingly well. I haven't weighed in this week but in the first few weeks I'm down around 6 pounds, averaging an astounding (for me) 2 pounds a week. Just with diet and exercise -- no medical interventions needed.

I've been trying really hard to stick to the 1,200-calorie 30ish-30ish-30ish meal plan but I'm probably averaging closer to 1,300-1,400 calories.

I've been stepping up the exercise and am at at least three days a week of intense (sweaty) exercise but that needs to improve, too. As does my nighttime fridge foraging. Carrot and celery sticks are OK but not when they're enrobed in too much hummus.

Legs and feet of women riding stationary bicycles

But I have a new workout partner -- my 12-year-old son. He's finally old enough to join the gym so last week he had his first training session. I signed him up for three sessions because he might as well start things off on the right foot. I also signed up for three sessions with a trainer so we could work out side by side.

Here's the interesting thing I noticed about his gym experience: While many adults look at exercise as a necessary evil, he still looks at it as a fun activity. After our training session, we cooled down on the recumbent bikes. I set my bike on manual and pedaled along at a comfortable clip. He started that way but said to me "Hey, what's this hill climbing program?" and proceeded to push that button and push his limits.

Different mindset.

While I'm happy to cycle down to 100 bpm, he's cranking away at 135 bpm, bless his fit little heart. And the training room was no different. While he dutifully did his lunges and bicep curls on the resistance ball without a peep or grimace, I was on the other side of the room freaking out my trainer. "Are you OK?" she asked with concern in her voice.

"Yeah, I just make funny faces and squeal when I work out."

Maybe it's because my son still has to answer to baseball coaches and P.E. teachers that he silently and dutifully worked out while I looked and sounded like Biggest Loser week one.

We're heading to the gym this afternoon, and my goal is to be as good an exerciser as my kid.

Burger King and 'Food Inc.' in the same day? Bad mommy!

My son had his first Little League game of the season, and while his team didn't win, they looked solid. My husband was umpiring another game so I told Little Slugger that we'd go to lunch after the game and that it was his choice.

He's 11 -- he chose Burger King.

FoodincDVD Fine, whatever. We don't do fast food very often -- perhaps half a dozen times a year. So after our Whopper Jrs and fries (small), we got home and fired up iTunes because I wanted to rent the documentary Food, Inc. After 20 minutes my son was on the floor sobbing.

"I don't like animal cruelty!" he cried. Then he left the room.

I admit, the juxtaposition of a meaty burger and crispy fries with scenes of potato factories and "downer cows" was pretty jarring. It's certainly not the humorous activism of Super Size Me. But kids need to know how the sausage is made, literally and figuratively. He needs to know why I cringe and say no to cheap fast food (at least most of the time).

But will we never idle through a drive-through window again? Nope.

That's what got me into my big-butt predicament. There was a lot of finger pointing and "should you be eating that?" going on during my childhood, making the verboten seem all the sweeter and crispier and meatier. 

True story: I once came home to an after-school snack of thawed frozen rhubarb doused in Sweet 'n' Low.

(Try not to gag -- I did.)

My mom meant well -- she was only following doctor's orders. Those horrible, doctor-prescribed "reducing diets" would make anyone hate and resent food. And some of those genius snacks came from early copies of Weight Watchers magazine. Oven-baked canned mushrooms were "peanuts." White bread spread with boiled-down tomato juice and rubbery cheese was "pizza." Pureed green beans was "guacamole."

That wasn't food -- it was performance art. But it was the opposite end of the spectrum from the factory-farmed and produced garbage that we bought through the car window today.

Don't get me wrong, my son is not a slave to Madison Avenue. I've had healthy eating drilled into his brain since he was a Stonyfield Farm YoBaby-slurping tot. I told him the other yogurts had "paint" in them. He regularly reaches for fresh fruit and other whole, healthy foods.

I don't want him to ever eat a bowl of artificially sweetened rhubarb as long as he lives.

If wiper fluid looks like Kool-Aid, kids shouldn't be drinking either one

Just read an awful story about a daycare operator in Arkansas who surrendered her state license after 10 children in her care mistakenly drank windshield wiper fluid, thinking it was Kool-Aid.

According to The Associated Press story, only one child remained hospitalized Friday morning, after blood samples showed "measurable levels" of methanol, a highly toxic alcohol that can induce comas and cause blindness, officials said. The day care also provided the fluid for testing.

The wiper fluid was purchased at the same time as other supplies for the daycare center. The worker thought the brightly colored liquid was Kool-Aid and put the container in the refrigerator.

Bottom line: Serving a bunch of little kids bright blue or blue-green liquid, whether it be Kool-Aid or wiper fluid, is bad news. What's wrong with 100 percent juice or plain old water? Yes, Juicy Juice probably costs more than "blue drink" but you can water it down, which is what most pediatricians advise anyway. There's no reason to serve that sugary junk to our kids.

Fun & Fit as a Family is coming to Miami


South Beach Wine & Food Festival photo

If you live in South Florida, or plan to be in February, Fun & Fit as a Family at Jungle Island looks like it'll be a fun and educational healthy-living event for the whole gang.

The event, Feb. 21 and 22 at Jungle Island in Miami, is a mini-festival within the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The kiddie fest is designed to show parents and children on how to adopt healthy eating habits and combat childhood obesity.

Among the big foodie names at the festival: Rachael Ray, Tyler Florence, Paula Deen and Guy Fieri, who will be working with kids and showing them how to make healthier food fun. Also on hand -- educational exhibits, healthy snacks, obstacle courses with prizes and exercise classes for parents and kids.

The cost is $20 per person per day. If you're interested, click HERE for more info.