Meals with a Message

Monday, April 24, 2006

Family Meal time with Children

Children and Foods

Preschoolers and children should be taught about proper nutrition at an early age. They love to use their sensorimotor skills to taste and smell of foods. They can learn about nutritious foods through games, tasting, smelling foods and measuring and pouring ingredients. Talk about how good the food will taste as it is prepared and how good it is for strong bones, teeth, etc. They also learn by sharing their food as gifts to others.


I. They can learn the names of foods by placing 3 fruits or vegetables in a bag. Let the child see the food object and tell the child the name of the objects before starting the game. Allow child to feel of the food object in the bag. Let them guess what it is and pull it out. Talk about the name and repeat the process.

II. Serve seedless grapes to the child and talk about the color.

III. Go to an apple orchard and pick apples.

IV. Use pre-cut apples and cook apples into applesauce so children can see and taste when cooled.
(Dip apples into a fruit wash to reduce oxidation.)

V. Place banana slices on toothpick and allow child to dip in chocolate and taste.

VI. Allow child to glue spices like cinnamon on paper and smell.

VII. Make pancakes with child: child can help add ingredients, mix the batter and watch from a safe distance as the pancake cooks. Allow child to help pour syrup or add fruit and cream to the pancake.

VIII. Allow child to taste a lemon and an orange slice. Talk about sour and sweet tastes.

IX. Allow child to help juice a lemon or orange. Allow child to drink orange juice or make lemonade.

X. Serve for a snack foods like olives, figs, honey and grape juice. Talk about foods that people in Bible times ate.

Food for Thought:
Bible Stories with foods:

January: May make snow people out of marshmallows and raisins for eyes. In the beginning: Use cookie cutters to make toast and cheese in shapes of suns, moons, stars or trees. Make pig in a blanket with crescent roll and hot dog or bug in a rug with a tortilla and hamburger sloppy joe mixture rolled up. Add lettuce and chopped tomato.
Noah and Ark: Use potatoes for fish or boats. Hollow baked potato and mash and refill. Attach olives with toothpicks for eyes and pimento slivers for fins. Use cheese on toothpick for sailboats. Make blue beverage with blue food coloring in water or coolade.
Jonah and whale: Hollow a watermelon and make melon balls; mix with other fruit and refill. Make eyes and mouth from fruit and attached with toothpicks. Use left over watermelon rind to make a tail and fins. Score with a fork to make more like fins.
February: Valentine’s Day: Talk about God’s Love and make heart-shaped biscuits or pancakes or make a heart shaped meatloaf with tomato sauce on top.
March: Talk about missionaries like St. Patrick and make green jello. Talk about color green. May talk about Lottie Moon and make her favorite sugar cookies or Annie Armstrong and make ginger cookies.
April: Easter: Talk about Jesus’ love; make Tomb egg-white cookies out of egg whites or a cross with braided bread.
May: Talk about a mother like Ruth and make pancakes.
June: Talk about a father like David. Use cheese spread and pipe sheep, instruments or musical notes on top mashed potatoes.
July: Talk about how God blesses America and bake flag sheet cake or cookie dough and use fruit for the colors on top: blueberries and pipe stars of whipped cream for states, use strawberries or cherries for red and applesauce for white strips.
August: 2 Peter 3:18: Talk about how God wants boys and girls to learn. May make cake school bus or car shaped cake. Allow child to place Oreos for wheels and wafers for windows or gumdrops for rocks on the road. May make the bus out of meat loaf and decorate with carrot, cucumber, tomato and cheese slices. Talk about some boys and girls ride buses to school or child may ride in car to preschool or church. May make books with sandwich bread. Make a tuna-rice loaf and decorate like a ladder of success with cheese spread.
September: Tell story of talents. Talk about how people jobs people have to use their talents and skills for the Lord. Make tools out of candy or decorate a house cake made from ginger bread or make butter by shaking cream in a jar until it turns to butter. Make a barn with animals out of gingerbread. Make a tractor with a meatloaf and decorate with vegetables.
October: Tell about Daniel and his healthy choice of vegetables (and fruits) and water (juices).
Talk about harvest and decorate with corn stalks, pumpkins and gourds.
Make pumpkin cookies or pies with inside of pumpkins; allow child to help cut open. May place a candle inside and talk about Jesus is the Light of the world and shines in us.
November: Psalm 23. Talk about God’s blessings and allow child to tell things he/she is thankful for. May make turkey out of apple for body and gumdrops on toothpicks for legs and feathers.
December: Talk about Jesus born and make stars with cutters or make tree jello or fruitcake tree and allow child to decorate.

Favors and presents:
Allow child to help:
Make chocolate-coated peanuts and place in attractive containers to give as a birthday gift.
Make individual pecan pies and give to a shut-in.
Make fruit baskets and give to a senior citizen.
Make musical note cookies and give to the choir or music teacher.
Make sparkle cup cakes and give at a Fourth of July party.
Make kite cookies and give at a birthday party.
Make a dirt cake or peanut butter pie and place in a toy dump truck lined with plastic wrap for Earth Day. Make potato salad and serve in dumb truck for rocks. Serve with a toy shovel or spade.
May help take cans of food to a Food Pantry.
Make a cake and decorate in flag colors of another country and take it to a newcomer from that country.

From Nutritionist: The meal planner should always be concerned about keeping children healthy. Provide meals and snacks with adequate calories and nutrients. Children do not eat as much as an adult and may not be able to eat all on his plate. Serve nutritious snacks to make up for food or nutrients not eaten at mealtime. Children love to eat fast food; family meal planners should balance take out meals with fruits and milk. Remember that growing, well-adjusted children need some fat as well as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals every day. Also provide a pleasant mealtime atmosphere and calmness while eating. Prayer has much value at mealtime. Meals can be story times where each food can have a meaning such as at Easter. Snacks can be fun story times where you read a book to a child. Family meal planners should be creative, so children will learn to enjoy various foods, yet obtain a balanced diet. Parents should also help the child to exercise properly by playing active games with them, if possible. Don’t forget to encourage deep breathing as part of the fun time.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Balancing pH acid and Alkaline foods

Acid/Alkaline Foods
pH Balance of Food

Baked Chicken
Sweet Potatoes
Carrot/Raisin Salad
Corn Bread
Fig Bars

Tip: Sweet potatoes will not turn dark if placed in 5 t. salt to 1 qt. water as peeled.

Food for Thought: Thus says the Lord God…Like these good figs…I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord. Jeremiah 24: 5-7 NIV

Eating Well for Wellness

To eat well for wellness, the family meal planner should balance meals with proper food ratio. As foods are metabolized, the nutrients go into the blood stream and are absorbed into the cells for future use. Enzymes break down the nutrients. Nutrients leave an acid or alkaline residue in the body. When nutrients are balanced, people have more energy and a wholesome outlook on life.

Diabetics are especially affected by unbalanced nutrients. When diabetes is uncontrolled, acetone appears in the urine that causes ketosis, a condition that can lead to unconsciousness. Foods that are alkaline-based include fruit and vegetables. Acid-based foods include meats, eggs, and dairy products, whole grains, and beans. An imbalance or lack of Vitamin A may cause night blindness.

The lack of Vitamin C can cause scurvy. Too much iron may cause heart problems, while lack of iron causes anemia. Too much salt or the minerals like sodium chloride may cause high blood pressure. Lack of iodine that is usually added to common table salt causes goiter. Lack of protein may cause kwashiorkor.

Lack of protein, carbohydrates and fats cause fatigue, yet too much sugar or carbohydrates may interfere with the production of insulin. An imbalance of calcium and Vitamin D may cause rickets and bowed legs. Without a balance of fats, a body may become obese or have insufficient padding to protect the vital organs.

Some natural health authorities suggest that people should eat about 80% alkaline foods and about 20 % acid forming foods each day. Most vegetables and fruits are alkaline foods while meats often are considered more acidic. When vegetable seeds are sprouting, they are higher in alkaline.

That is why alternative health experts often advice people to add bean sprouts to their diets. The proper balance of nutrients is very important to the body’s chemistry. To ensure optimum health of the family, the family meal planner should always encourage proper nutrition, plenty of exercise and deep breathing.

From the Nutritionist: The baked chicken has protein that is needed for growing children as well as forming new cells in the body. The greens, sweet potatoes, carrots and raisins are high in Vitamins A and C and minerals. The corn meal for the bread is often fortified with Vitamin B that is helpful for mental stability. Chicken also provides peaceful feelings. The fig bars are high in vitamins and minerals and are considered excellent alkaline foods.

Below is a fig bar recipe:

Fig Bar recipe:
½ c. butter
½ c. honey
¼ c. molasses
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla flavoring
2-¼ c. whole-wheat flour
¼ t. soda
Butter should be at room temperature. Cream butter with honey and molasses. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix flour and soda. Mix butter mixture, egg mixture with flour mixture and make pliable dough. Chill while cooking fig filling.

Fig filling:
4 c. figs
2-½ c. water
3 T. lemon juice
¼ c. molasses

Combine figs, waters, lemon juice and molasses. Cook over low heat until thick.
Roll out dough between two pieces of wax paper. Place ½ of dough in 8"x8" glass dish. Spread fig mixture over top and layer another piece of dough on top. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

Recipes are available upon request.
Comments and questions are welcomed.
Please share this web site with a friend.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Easter Brunch

Easter Brunch

Suggested Menu:
Remembrance Grape Juice
Heavenly Golden Quiche’
With broccoli
Star of Wonder Cheese Toast
Fisherman Mold
Disciples/Followers Fruit Bowl
Cross Shaped Red Velvet Cake
With White Frosting
Empty Tomb Cookies

Tip: Decorate the table with Easter items. The Story of the Meal tells the story of Jesus and Easter. Begin the brunch by serving grape juice. Explain that God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to teach people how to "abide in Him"-based on John 3:16. For those who believe in Jesus and ask Him into their lives, they will have everlasting life in Heaven as signified by the Heavenly Golden Quiche’. The green broccoli represents everlasting life. Jesus was born on a night when a special star shown brightly. The cheese toast in the shape of a star represents this wonderful event. Jesus grew from a baby to an adult who became a fisherman for the souls of mankind. This is signified by the salmon mold. Jesus had 12 special helpers and many followers who were all very different. The mixed bowl of fruit represents these. However, not everyone appreciated Christ’s message of God’s love. Even though He had never sinned, He was crucified on a cross where He bled and died. His love for mankind is represented by the red cake batter baked and cut into a cross shape. The white frosting represents His sinless life. Although He was buried in a cave-tomb, He did not remain dead-He arose! The egg white cookies indicate the empty tomb of Easter. The coffee represents the sin of the world while milk or whipped cream represents the addition of God’s love through Christ. You may make cross-shaped cookies or extra tomb cookies; place the cookies in tiny Easter food gift baskets as favors for guests. Christians often use eggs at Easter as a symbol for new life and fresh beginnings. Eggs may be removed from shells and shells may be colored and decorated. Punch a hole in each end of egg. Break the yolk with a toothpick and blow or empty the egg contents out. May use the eggs in scrambled eggs or quiche’. Dip shell in ¾ c. hot water, food coloring and 1 T. vinegar to color.
Food for Thought:
Just at sunrise…the angel said, "Are you looking for Jesus…He isn’t here…He has come back to life!" Mark 16: 2&6 LB
Family Meal Planning
Cholesterol is waxy fat found in animal proteins and manufactured in the body. There are two kinds of cholesterol-HDL and LDL. For healthy function of organs the body needs HDL. The higher the HDL the better the heart will function. When LDL is in excess it builds in the arteries and may lead to heart disease. The higher the level of LDL, the risk for coronary problems is greater. The way the cholesterol is utilized in the body may be inherited. Cholesterol is also obtained by the foods that are taken into the body. Diet and exercise help to maintain proper levels of both kinds. Read labels for cholesterol content.
Eggs are high in protein, Vitamins A and B and iron. Eggs should be refrigerated. Store eggs with large ends up. Cook eggs at low temperature to keep from losing nutrients. Avoid eating or tasting dishes with raw eggs that have not been coagulated with an acid like lemon juice or vinegar. Add vinegar to water when hard cooking eggs to prevent running out if shell is cracked. Avoid keeping hard cooked eggs out of refrigerator more that two or three hours. To crack eggs evenly, use the back of a table knife. Use egg separator to avoid breaking the yolk into the white. Whites do not whip with yolk. To hard cook eggs, bring water and eggs to boiling stage in glass or stainless steel pan, reduce heat and gently simmer eggs for 15-20 minutes. Remove and cool immediately under running water. This prevents the dark ring around the yolk. Decorate, if desire. Eggs are graded according to size. When buying eggs, if the difference in price is $.07 or more, purchase the larger grade. Color of shell makes no difference in nutritional value. Diabetics and other dieters may wish to use egg whites instead of whole eggs. Egg substitutes and powdered egg whites should be used with caution, since the sodium may be high in the product. Read labels carefully. Mixing 3 egg whites with ¼ c. skim milk, 1 T. dried milk, 1 T. olive or corn oil makes a heart healthy substitute. Use this mixture in diabetic recipes and for controlling cholesterol. Diabetics and other people with special food diets may wish to limit their egg intake to two per week.
From the Nutritionist: Christians enjoy sunrise worship services. An Easter brunch is an excellent opportunity to invite relatives and friends. Meal planners will find this menu quickly served after an early morning outing. Decorate grape juice glasses or punch cups with frosted sugar or sugar substitute. Ahead of time, moisten the rim of the glass or cup, dip in sugar or sugar substitute and place in freezer. Chill juice. Guests will enjoy sipping juice while the quiche’ is baking/warming. Make the salmon mold ahead of time. Cut the bread and cheese in star shapes ahead of time and toast just as you wait for quiche’. Serve the fruit with the cake and cookies. Diabetics will find fruit salad wholesome. Cooking Empty Tomb cookies is easy; heat oven to 400 degrees and turn off heat; whipped egg whites are mounded by teaspoons onto cookie sheet and placed in the previously heated oven overnight. The cross-shaped cake can be made ahead of time. The recipe may be converted to a diabetic recipe by omitting sugar or substituting the sugar with sugar free alternate. One serving of coffee cake is one bread exchange. Have plenty of hot milk and coffee for espresso. The meal contains vitamins and minerals in the juice, broccoli and fruit. Protein is in the, fish, cheese and eggs. Carbohydrates are found in the cake and bread. Each piece is 1 bread exchange. Happy Easter brunch!!!!
Recipes are available upon request.

Comments and questions are welcomed.

Please share this web site with a friend.

Red velvet cake recipe

Red Velvet Cake Recipe
1/2 c. shortening
1 ½ c. sugar
2 c. plain flour
½ t. salt
1 T. cocoa
1 t. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk
2 oz. red food coloring
1 t. soda
1 T. vinegar

Frosting recipe

Cream shortening at room temperature. Cream with sugar and eggs. Mix flour, salt and cocoa. Make a hole in the flour mixture and add the egg mixture. Mix buttermilk, vanilla and food coloring. Dissolve soda with vinegar. Mix liquids. Gradually beat the flour mixture with the vinegar-milk mixture. Beat well. Pour into 2 flour sprayed cake plans and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Cool at least 20 minutes on cake racks. When cool, slice layers into halves, making 4 layers. Spread frosting alternately over layers and frost top.

Red Velvet Cake Frosting
1 c. milk
2 T. cornstarch
¼ t. salt
½ c. shortening
1 stick margarine
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
Combine milk, cornstarch and salt. Cook on low heat until thick pudding stage. Remove from heat and cool. Meanwhile, cream shortening, margarine, sugar and vanilla. When cool add cornstarch mixture. Beat until smooth frosting. Frost layers.