Healthy for the Holidays

Have you ever noticed how most of our holidays revolve around food?  That’s because the food we eat can often be a holiday tradition itself. Sometimes our favorite holiday foods are unfortunately not the healthiest.  When you’re trying to set an example for your kids by eating right, this time of year can be the hardest (which is probably why everyone starts new diets on January 1)!   Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes with a healthy, Florida twist:

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Fresh from Florida Veg-a-Bird

Looking for ways to make Thanksgiving a little more fun for the kids?  Try creating your own Florida “Veg-a-Bird” with a melon, bamboo skewers, toothpicks, and your favorite fruits, veggies and cheese.  This would make a great appetizer for your Thanksgiving meal!

Fresh from Florida Veg-a-Bird

Ingredients

  • 1 large honeydew melon or Florida cantaloupe
  • 1 small Florida yellow squash
  • 1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium Florida yellow pepper
  • 1 medium Florida red pepper
  • 1 medium Florida green pepper, cut into squares
  • 1 cup Florida cucumber, peeled and cubed
  • 1 pint Florida grape tomatoes
  • 8 pieces Florida carrots, cubed and slit 3 times at one end (This step should be completed by an adult or left out entirely)
  • 2 whole cranberries
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Toothpicks

Preparation

  • To keep the melon from rolling, cut a shallow slice off the rind to form a flat base.
  • Attach the squash, large portion pointing up, to the melon with part of a bamboo skewer.
  • Cut a square of green pepper in diagonally in half, forming two triangles. Cut a thin slice of red pepper for the wattle. Attach both using a toothpick to the squash.
  • Attach two cranberries, one for each eye, using toothpicks.
  • Cut red pepper into six strips for the feet and set into place.
  • Alternate tomatoes, cheese, green pepper and cucumber on skewers to use as tail feathers. Top 8 pieces with slit carrots cubes. Insert skewers into the back of the melon.
  • Slice 4 red pepper pieces and 5 yellow pepper pieces into ½-inch slices to use as side feathers. Stick the pepper slices in place with toothpicks.

New Blog!

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new blog, where we hope to share valuable information and yummy recipes with you.  If you’re not familiar with our program, here’s a quick run down:

In 2008, the “Fresh from Florida Kids” program was created to help parents instill healthy eating habits. Based on scientific research that proves lifelong taste preferences and eating habits are directly linked to what and how we eat in the first three years, our program encourages the early introduction of a variety of fruits and vegetables in children’s diets to promote lifelong healthy nutrition eating habits. Children’s palates and preferences for certain foods are mostly learned, so the program’s objective is to teach and give parents the necessary tools to provide healthy foods for their families.

Our plan is to provide you with current news related to childhood obesity, tips for having healthy eaters, recipes using fresh produce and fun activities that you can complete with your child or with your whole family. We hope that you will find our posts useful and relevant and encourage you to leave us comments!

If you’re on Facebook, you can find us here.  To see our parent blog, click here. You can also find us on Twitter @freshfromfl!