Summer Snack Strikes Again!

Summer Snack strikes againSnack time has become a fun, interactive learning experience in our classroom. Each week we create a fun snack based on our theme of the month. For example, this week we are making monster faces using sliced bread, bananas, raisins, apples, pretzels, carrots and grapes. (Note: Food choices that would get the SFMandy stamp of approval!) My students learn to follow multiple step directions as well as the ingredients and the use of different cooking utensils.


Another bonus? They love the end product! It’s fun and creates a wonderful social atmosphere. By the end of the week most of the students are able to independently make the snack on their own. Another discovery is that they often end up trying and liking new foods. With their sometimes very limited food repertoire this is another great snack time bonus.

Eat Breakfast Like a King

Eat Breakfast Like a KingGetting back into a school routine isn’t easy for anyone. There’s never enough time, but don’t cut corners at breakfast. Picky eater? Gluten-free and casein- free (GF-CF)? It’s time to be creative in starting the day with smart fuels to sustain an active day of learning. Who knows what kids truly eat when at school? Make this meal count. Best advice: Read the label of EVERYTHING you place in your loved one’s body. If you can’t read it- don’t feed it. Just because the box says natural, sugar-free, or GF-CF does not make it a healthy choice. Go back to whole foods. Begin each day with lean protein, fiber, and a healthy fat.


Here are three of my many kid friendly breakfast ideas:

Breakfast Ole: Add black beans and a slice of avocado to scrambled eggs. Top with salsa and goat cheese. Roll in organic corn or whole grain tortilla.

Shake it up: Add together a small amount of frozen berries, ½ banana, and PLAIN yogurt in a blender. Sneak in ground flax seed and cinnamon; blend.  Serve in a special glass for fun.

Toasted peanut butter sandwich: Toast whole grain bread, spread with natural peanut butter or nut spread, spread with smashed or sliced bananas. Use brown-rice cakes for a change.


I will share some more breakfast ideas in comments or a future post. Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper!

Give Thanks

Give ThanksGrowing up my sister started a Thanksgiving tradition (one not involving food)! She would cut out paper in the shape of leaves or hands. Every guest would write down what she or he was most thankful for.


We would then put them in the middle of the table. Everyone would take turns reading the items of someone else and guess from whom it was. This would continue until all the leaves or hands were read aloud.


This is a great way to remind us why we gather to celebrate and momentarily shift the focus away from the food!

Sugar… Not as sweet as it seems!

No sugar, or at least less sugarSugar is everywhere nowadays.It comes in many names and forms:
beet sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, confectioner’s sugar, corn sweetener,
corn syrup, crystalline fructose, dextrin, dextrose, evaporated cane juice,
fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey,
invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, raw sugar,
sucrose, sugar, syrup, turbinado sugar, white sugar, sucrose, molasses, and the list goes on…


Once in the body, all sugars act virtually the same. No matter what sugar
you choose to eat, it is best to limit it!


With Halloween on the horizon, here are some non-candy sweet treats to try:


*Plain yogurt swirled with ground cinnamon, fresh berries, and a dollop of
*Core an apple and stuff the hallow center with natural peanut butter, some
raisins, and a few dark chocolate chips.
*Sweet veggies (jicama, bell peppers, carrots) served with hummus or
*Homemade granola made from rolled oats, honey, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds
baked in the oven.
*Core a pear or apple and sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon on the hollowed
inside. Place fruit in baking dish and bake in oven at 325 for 45-60
*Baked sweet potato fries. Slice sweet potatoes and/or yams, sprinkle with
olive oil and any favorites spices (rosemary is a favorite). Baked at 425
until golden brown (about 30 minutes). Enjoy on their own or with organic