Tag Archives: vegetables

Veggie and Peanut Butter Art Snacks – Day 24 of 30 Days of Healthy Homemade Summer Treats

30 Days of Healthy Homemade Summer Treats

Who says your kids can’t play with their food? Give them some sliced veggies and encourage them to make fun designs. Peanut butter or another dip can be used to help things stick together. Toothpicks can also be used if they want their art to stand up.

Not all veggies have to be sliced for this, of course. Cherry tomatoes are generally best left whole, as are snap peas.

Think about different ways to slice up the veggies. They don’t all need to be sticks. Offer carrot sticks as well as slices, for example.

Veggie and Peanut Butter Art Snacks - Day 24 of 30 Days of Healthy Homemade Summer Treats

Vegetables With Hummus – Day 10 of 30 Days of Healthy Homemade Summer Treats

30 Days of Healthy Homemade Summer Treats

Kids either love hummus or hate it, I think. If they love it, hummus is a wonderful way to encourage kids to eat more vegetables when they’re home. I have a simple hummus without tahini recipe I like to use – tahini is impossible to come by in my area so far.

Slice up a selection of your kids’ favorite vegetables. My youngest goes wild for orange, red or yellow bell pepper, almost to tears if we run out of them. Celery is another great choice – she did have a screaming, on the floor tantrum a couple years ago when I told her we were out of celery. I choked back my laughter (very difficult!) and offered her some cucumber, that being what I had at the time. She accepted and calmed down. Yes folks, veggies can be a bribe if you’re that lucky!

I just put a selection out and let my kids go at it. Sometimes I keep a supply of sliced vegetables in the fridge so that they’re easy to grab as snacks. Hummus or another dip can add to the appeal.

Vegetables With Hummus - Day 10 of 30 Days of Healthy Homemade Summer Treats

Checked Out the Local Produce Stand

Since we now lack a garden, finding a good source of fresh produce has been pretty important to me. The Stater Bros here is adequate (the company started here in Yucaipa!), but I like having smaller and hopefully more local sources for my fruits and vegetables when I can.

There’s a fruit stand… small store, really, just down Yucaipa Blvd a ways. Their prices on their signs always looked promising, so I took a look the other day.

Not bad at all. A smallish selection but definitely cheaper than the grocery store. And the selection was far from inadequate.

I’m not certain as to where the farms they buy from are located, but there are quite a number of local farms, so I have my hopes on that score.

Time to Get My Garden Growing!

I love this time of year. Time to get out to the garden center and figure out what we are growing this year.

We buy a combination of seeds and already started plants. Seeds are of course cheaper, but it’s nice to have some things growing already. Some plants we just never seem to have any luck with if we start from seed.

Hopefully things will go better this year than last year. For some reason last year’s garden was not terribly productive. Just one of those things, I guess.

We bought some tomato plants, two kinds of lettuce, broccoli and basil already started. The basil is for the herb garden we’ll be planting out front. I suggested to my husband that we get a cherry tomato or other small variety for out there, since basil and tomatoes grow well together. The kids play out front pretty regularly with friends, and a small tomato is something I think they would enjoy being allowed to snack on. My kids like to eat fresh basil too.

We also have lots of seeds. Green beans, sugar snap peas, corn, cucumbers, zucchini and more. We really have to get those into the seed pots.

We let the kids pick out some plants to grow too. My daughter wanted snap dragons. My son picked out nasturtiums. I saved some egg cartons for them to start their seeds in. We’ll see what grows.

The kids are always much involved in the garden. They love it.

As the plants grow, we teach them what they may and may not pick freely. Most things they have to ask for, but some things are grown more for their enjoyment. The trick is teaching them to not overeat the herbs. Somehow they start forgetting to ask on those. Our poor fennel last year hardly made any progress due to hungry children. It attracts butterflies, so we really want it to get big.

This is the time when the compost pile can really pay off. We think my husband got the mix wrong last year (too much compost) and that might be why things didn’t work out then, so this year he’s going to try changing the mix a little. And of course last year’s mix is probably in much better shape this year for growing, as things should have broken down still further.

Our focus is very much on growing things that can reduce our food bills. A good garden can save a lot of money despite the initial investment, and we want that to be the case this year.

My one concern is the potential for water restrictions. I’ll gladly let the lawn go in exchange for a good garden. Frankly, I think the front one in particular should be switched out for some xeriscaping. Done right it would save a lot of water and look really nice. I’ve seen some good examples around the neighborhood.

Now if I could just convince the landlord to do it, and their yard guys to leave it alone! The yard guys are kind of random about removing plants they think don’t belong. We’ve had things we’ve put in stay put for months, then suddenly get pulled. That’s why I don’t want to do it myself. I’m too concerned that the money we put in might be wasted if I don’t catch these guys in time to warn them off. If only they’d pull the weeds in the front lawn with so much enthusiasm!