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If your child suffers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, he likely has difficulty paying attention or controlling impulsive behavior. For some children, symptoms can be managed through dietary restrictions, although there are no definitive links between specific foods and lessening the effects of ADHD. Experiment with menus, in collaboration with your health-care provider, to see whether diet changes make a difference for your child.
If you have a can of unsweetened cocoa, you have cacao. Cacao -- the beans of the Theobroma cacao tree -- and dried or canned black beans combine in minutes to make delicious brunch foods, main dishes, soups, sauces and desserts with just a few added ingredients. Cacao gives pumpernickel bread, mole sauce and Mexican atole their rich brown color, while black bean flour allows people with wheat allergies and celiac disease to enjoy pancakes and brownies.
Foods that are high in dietary fiber are often recommended to people who have issues with their digestive health, but high-fiber foods have a variety of other health benefits, including helping to control diabetes, lowering cholesterol, and promoting heart health. Fiber-rich foods are also an effective option when you're trying to lose weight because they usually make you feel full longer than other types of foods, so you aren't hungry as often. If you want to add more fiber to your family's diet, there are a variety of ways to incorporate high-fiber foods into a typical weekday menu that even your kids will enjoy.
Even fish-haters may enjoy swordfish for its rich, meaty flavor. Cuts of swordfish are often called steaks, and rightly so. This fish has a strong, very distinct taste that only intensifies when grilled. Unlike subtler-tasting fishes, swordfish stands up to grilling without falling apart or losing its flavor under the grill's smoky overtones. This means you can pair it with some pretty big flavors without losing the swordfish in the dish.
Coconut shrimp is shrimp that is battered or breaded with coconut and deep fried or baked in the oven. The coconut in the coating gives the shrimp a slightly sweet flavor that might entice family members who normally turn their noses up at shrimp to try the dish. Pair the coconut shrimp with dip, side dishes and an island dessert to round out the menu.
A calzone is similar to a pizza, except you stuff the toppings inside rolled dough, fold and seal the edges and bake until the crust is golden brown. You can make calzones as the centerpiece of a meal that includes a side dish such as a healthy green salad topped with a light creamy dressing. Though traditional calzones are loaded with carbohydrates, using whole wheat dough and choosing meatless ingredients provides healthier alternatives for your family meals.
Pasta dishes stretch your family's food dollars and save preparation time. Mushroom stroganoff makes it to the table in just 10 minutes when made with ready-to-eat, store-bought pasta, making it ideal for nights when you need to squeeze a meal in between school and ball games or other evening activities. Make it in 20 minutes if you use dried pasta and a mere 40 minutes if you make your own egg noodles from scratch. Picky eaters often accept foods more readily when they help prepare the meal, advises Dr. William Sears on his website. Toddlers to teens can easily help prepare mushroom stroganoff.
Consumers seldom think about their potassium levels until their numbers spike or plummet. This electrolyte works in conjunction with magnesium and sodium to keep our hearts, digestive systems and kidneys functioning. Potassium overload is called hyperkalemia, which left untreated can lead to irregular heart rhythm. A diet menu to lower potassium requires foods with smaller amounts of this vital mineral. Making wise choices can be daunting because some healthy foods like bananas contain lots of potassium. Always work closely with your pediatrician before modifying your child's diet.
When your time is short and your motivation is missing, you might find yourself serving traditional peanut butter sandwiches and convenient frozen pizzas for lunch. Although these foods can be a tasty treat every once in a while, they can become boring and unhealthy when eaten every day. With a bit of culinary creativity, you can create a fun and nutritious luncheon menu with soup as your main course.
Making good food choices in the correct portions is the key to planning menus with nutritious foods. Healthful eating gives kids energy and fuels their growth and development. When planning menus for children based on nutritious foods, keep meals balanced and provide the right amounts of food at each meal. Fill half of the plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with grains and one quarter with protein. Add a glass of milk or a serving of cheese or yogurt.
Moms know a few things about spaghetti and meatballs. First, they know kids love this classic comfort dish. Second, mothers understand the extra efforts that go into making meatballs and perfecting tomato sauces. There are some steps you can take, though, to simplify preparing this favorite meal without sacrificing nutrition or taste. Your spaghetti and meatballs menu can become a household mainstay, even when your family is pressed for time and eating on the run.
It's easy to plan an entire menu around salads when the possibilities are nearly endless, particularly when you think outside the greens. Use a variety of fresh produce with meats, cheeses and nuts for complete nutrition. Salads are a creative and fun way to get lots of fruits and vegetables into kids, and busy moms will appreciate how fast most of them are to make. Serve your luncheon as a buffet; adults will appreciate the presentation while kids will enjoy serving themselves.
When it comes to moms on the go, keeping enough ingredients on hand to make a complete meal can be a challenge. Fortunately, there's no rule that says different kinds of foods and meals need to be eaten separately. Make delicious meals for your kids that will keep them happy and healthy by combining foods and meal ideas that use what you have in your kitchen. Combining food menus is a great way to come up with new recipes by accident, and to get picky eaters to try new foods.
Onion casserole is a traditional southern side dish, especially for holiday meals. Often created with the sweeter varieties of onion, the dish comes in almost as many varieties as there are southern cooks. Some home cooks favor egg-based dishes, while others prefer gooey, cheesy concoctions. The casserole is versatile, acting as a flavorful accompaniment to nearly any type of protein entree your family enjoys.
A Mexican casserole, which usually includes beef, enchilada sauce, cheese and corn tortillas, pairs perfectly with side dishes that take some of the heat out of spicy sauces. Rice, beans, lettuce and fruit are all great at cooling down spicy foods. Although these side dishes are standard Mexican food fare, spice up or change them to create an unexpected menu.
Lunch seems to be the forgotten meal, often eaten on the run with a grab-and-go sandwich or fast food meal. But like breakfast and dinner, eating a good lunch arms you and your kids with nutrients necessary to get through the rest of the day. Lunch doesn't have to be complicated. A good luncheon menu should include a variety of healthy foods you can put together in a jiffy.
Include salmon in the rotation when planning your family's meals. The omega-3 fatty acids contained in salmon are heart health boosters that also support brain and nerve development in babies. While these are certainly good reasons to serve salmon, they may not be reason enough for kids to actually eat it. Help change their minds with a few tricks to create a kid-friendly baked salmon meal.
Savory and nutritious, quiche qualifies for a feature role in menus ranging from breakfast to party time. Baked in a pastry crust and cut in wedges like pie, the cheese and egg filling offers protein and flavor to keep the entire family satisfied. Quiche is a versatile meal selection for any season or time of day: dress up the basic filling with veggies, meats and dry seasoning mixes. It's served fresh-baked and hot from the oven, cool from being chilled in the refrigerator, or warmed in the microwave to match the menu and suit individual taste preferences.
Whether you have several kids to feed or are planning a party for a group of 10 or more, plan a menu that is healthy, tasty and that won't break the bank. If you choose the right ingredients, you can plan a menu for a large group without spending too much money. Think of simple ingredients you can get on sale or that usually don't cost much money, such as pasta, inexpensive cuts of meat and canned goods.
Buying farm-fresh meats, produce, dairy and eggs assures you fresh foods from a producer whose hand you can shake every week, and it lets you support local farmers and businesses. Trips to a farm or farmer's market can become a fun weekly outing that helps your kids understand where food comes from and develops their understanding of healthy eating. Deciding to source all or some of your food from local producers may require new skills in menu planning.
Spinach has gotten a reputation as a bad-tasting vegetable, but in reality, the flavor depends entirely on how it is prepared and the other ingredients in the recipe. Fresh spinach, for example, tastes very different than spinach that is cooked with caramelized onions. It's so packed with nutrients that it's worth exploring the different ways spinach can be incorporated into a menu.
Nutritious menus provide all the vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, unsaturated fats and other nutrients the body requires for optimal functioning. They do so without an excessive number of calories or too much saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and other compounds that are unhealthy. By feeding your family nutritionally superior meals comprised mostly of fresh, whole foods, you help keep them happy and healthy.
If your child is diabetic or pre-diabetic, developing a menu that focuses on minimizing symptoms is essential. Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes a variety of symptoms, the most common of which include frequent urination and excessive thirst. Because diabetes is linked directly to the types and amounts of food your child eats, diet has a profound effect on the disease.
There are few things more luscious, easy or crowd-pleasing than a glazed, baked ham, yet in most households it only makes an appearance during the holidays. With the right menu planning, you can easily move beyond Easter and serve this versatile basic anytime you please. Glazed, baked ham can feed a crowd on a budget, or serve a small family with easy leftovers for sandwiches, soups and casseroles, a time-saving bonus.
Cabbage has an undeserved reputation for creating unpleasant odors when it's cooked. Overcooking and the use of aluminum pans are the culprits. When cooked correctly, this vegetable -- high in fiber and vitamin C -- pairs naturally with sausage. Variations on this economical, easy-to-fix combination create tasty dinners, potluck meals and picnic dishes.
Shrimp kabobs are a fun, fast way to create a meal. Preparation time depends on what vegetables you choose to slide onto the skewer between the shrimp. Take a minimalist approach and leave the vegetables off to cut down prep time even further. Paired with a simple salad and rice, shrimp kabobs become a complete meal.
Instilling a love of shellfish in your kids early in their lives introduces a healthy alternative to beef and pork. Less than 15 percent of the calories in shrimp, clams, scallops and crabs comes from fat, compared to 40 percent in meat. While preparing a shrimp boil may sound complicated, bringing the water to a boil is actually the most time-consuming part of the process.
If your family likes lobster, they'll like crayfish. Economical if you can get them close to the source, crayfish add calcium, B vitamins, phosphorous and iron to your menu. They're a low calorie addition to any recipe that calls for shellfish, but preparing a crayfish boil adds an element of fun to your meal.
Hosting a party or special event can be stressful and expensive. A coffee and dessert reception is an enjoyable, budget-friendly solution. These receptions are appropriate for a wide range of events including casual open houses, civic functions, business functions, charity events or weddings. Menu possibilities include elegant, elaborate stations and passed trays, a casual buffet of hand-held sweets or something in between. Plan the reception between meal times, such as late afternoon or evening hours. Indicate on the invitation that only desserts will be served.
Tacos are affordable, easy and incredibly versatile, so busy moms love serving them almost as much as kids enjoy eating them. Plan a full taco menu to make your next party a hit or to turn a casual family dinner into a Mexican fiesta. Add your own flair to this classic Mexican food by serving tacos with your choice of fillings, toppings and sides, and finish the meal with a delicious dessert.
When someone in your family suffers from acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease -- GERD), making several lifestyle changes may be in order. Often a diet change, along with medications that a doctor may prescribe, can help improve heartburn symptoms. Make a menu for acid reflux that will appeal to everyone, including the kids.
A diet of just 1,200 calories helps most women lose weight, but can still provide adequate nutrition when properly planned. Instead of following a set plan designed by someone else, create your own 1,200-calorie meal plan so you can incorporate some of your favorite foods in a way that fits into your schedule. Having a meal plan also helps make shopping easier and allows you to plan for potential dieting pitfalls such as meals out and social occasions. Before starting a 1,200-calorie diet, check with your physician to make sure it is a healthy choice for you.
Butternut squash has been a mainstay in North American meals since 3000 B.C., when Native Americans feasted on what they named the apple of the gods. Today, this versatile vegetable finds a place in many seasonal autumn foods, including soups. Depending on the spices and seasonings you use, butternut squash soup can provide a sophisticated and savory or a sweet and almost dessert-like accompaniment to a family meal.
Whether they spring from an Italian, Scandinavian, Eastern European or German heritage, potato dumplings make a flavorful side dish or a novel basis for sauces. They have dozens of names -- gnocchi, kopytka, kartoffelkloesse and kroppkakor are just a few -- but every cuisine's version of the fluffy potato-filled bites relies on their mellow, creamy flavor to support a spicier or richer main dish.
Head south of the border with the kids in tow and try a Mexican dish that's both healthy and satisfying. By wrapping frozen spinach up in tortillas, these spinach enchiladas can successfully camouflage the greens to get them past even picky eaters. Make a menu with spinach enchiladas for a fast and delicious main meal.
Flounder and other flatfish are convenient for cooks to work with, yielding four compact fillets rather than the two large fillets of conventionally shaped fish. Flounder is a fine-textured fish and prone to break into pieces when cooked, which makes it tricky for pan-frying. A better technique is to bake the flounder, which eliminates the need to turn it.
A 2,500-calorie diet provides enough energy for most very active women, teens, and less active men. Although a 2,500-calorie diet provides ample calories so you can enjoy an occasional treat, you still want to focus on healthy foods at the majority of your meals. Making the best choices for you and your family's 2,500-calorie diet ensures proper nutrition and a healthy weight.
Orzo's rice-shaped pasta composition makes it a versatile ingredient for side dishes and entrees alike. Mushroom orzo is a classic version with light flavors that highlight the pasta and the natural flavor of the mushrooms. Rounding out the perfect meal can be a daunting task, but with an understanding of flavor profiles, you can create a meal that flows well from sides to proteins to vegetables, and that will make even the youngest family members at the dinner table clamor for more.
When your blood cholesterol levels rise, your blood vessels become coated with cholesterol --- a thick, waxy substance that hardens over time --- and your blood cannot flow freely. This increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes. Reducing your intake of cholesterol is one way to get your cholesterol levels under control. While reading food labels is an easy way to calculate your cholesterol intake, be advised that according to the Food and Drug Administration labelling guidelines, a food can be labelled as "cholesterol free" even if it has up to 2 mg of cholesterol per serving. The most accurate way to ensure a cholesterol-free menu is to avoid animal products. All plant products, including fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts, are naturally cholesterol free.
Planning meals for children can be a daunting task. Add a special dietary requirement like diabetes, and it is understandable to feel overwhelmed. Diabetes affects every food choice that your child makes, and you must make sure you have safe options available for him. Understanding the basics of menu planning for diabetes is essential to creating a kid-friendly menu that will not send his blood sugar skyrocketing. Armed with the recommended carbohydrate grams that he should eat per meal from your child's nutritionist or physician, help him make the right selections.
Introduce your kids to the wonders of eggplant by preparing eggplant Parmesan, a vegetarian Italian casserole that is layered like lasagna but with eggplant in place of the lasagna noodles. Because it is almost entirely vegetables and cheese, eggplant Parmesan is not a stand-alone meal. Choose complementary side dishes to serve alongside the casserole and create a more balanced plate.
There's no need wait for Easter or Christmas to come around to serve a ham supper. A baked or smoked ham is perfect any time of the year by choosing a recipe that suits the season. Paired with two or three side dishes, a ham supper can feel festive without being expensive or time-consuming.
If you need to provide a low-fiber diet for someone in your family, because of surgery or illness, you don't have to serve bland, flavorless mush at every meal. And you don't have to make a separate meal for everyone else in the house. Preparing tasty food that is also low in fiber doesn't have to be extra work. Make things easier on yourself by making a few minor changes in your meals.