The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Archive for the tag “halloween”

The Official Drink of Halloween

official_drink_of_halloween

Recipe of the Week

Tis’ the season for jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, and goblins! I still remember dressing up as Cinderella in a big white princess dress and going door to door saying ‘trick-or-treat’ hoping to end up with a bucket full of goodies at the end of the night. Now, I love opening up my door to trick-or-treaters and filling their bags with delicious treats. However, treats don’t have to be sticky, gooey candy. The words “healthy” and “Halloween” don’t appear to fit together in the same sentence but can!

Official Drink of HalloweenIn fact, the official drink of Halloween is chocolate milk. Both nutritious and delicious, chocolate milk is nutrition in disguise with nine essential nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Research has shown that children who drink flavored milk are more likely to meet daily calcium recommendations compared to their peers who do not drink flavored milk. No need to worry about the sugar in chocolate milk either. Flavored milk contributes less than 2% of the total added sugar to the average teen’s diet. Sodas and fruit drinks, on the other hand, account of for 50% or more, delivering much less nutrition in the process. Kids who drink flavored milk increase their nutrient intake without higher intakes of added sugars and total fat.

Be sure to include chocolate milk in your Halloween festivities this year with these fun tips:

  • Fuel up your kiddos for a night of trick-or-treating by providing them with a healthy and nutritious glass of chocolate milk at the family table before heading out the door.
  • Hand out samples of chocolate milk to trick-or-treaters that come to your house.
  • Serve chocolate milk during school Halloween celebrations.
  • Warm-up chocolate milk for a delicious snack on Halloween night.

Danielle Sovinski

Danielle Sovinski is the Health and Wellness Coordinator for the American Dairy Association Indiana. She enjoys cooking and taking long walks with her husband and dog, Elly. Check out WinnersDrinkMilk.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @INDairy.

S.O.S. – Selecting an Orange Squash!

pumpkin_v_pumpkin

Recipe of the Week

The days are getting shorter. The leaves are falling. And, there is a crisp chill in the air. All this can mean only one thing…

Time to pick the perfect pumpkin!

Whether your family is getting yours at the grocery, heading to a local farmers market, or you have found the “most sincere pumpkin patch”, here are a few tips on selecting a supreme orange squash for your fall festivities.

For Carving the Perfect Jack-o-lantern:

  1. Pick a pumpkin with a firm skin. Tap it with your knuckle and listen for a hollow sound.
  2. The heavier the pumpkin, the thicker the wall, and the more you have to carve through.
  3. The taller your pumpkin the stringier the flesh. This can also make it harder to carve.
  4. Make sure it has a flat solid base. Nothing is worse than a rolly-polly pumpkin with a candle inside!
  5. Smaller pumpkins are great for younger kids. They can even paint their pumpkin instead of carving.

For Your Culinary Delights:

  1. Smaller varieties, about 2 to 6 pounds, are preferred for cooking.
  2. Unlike above you want a dense, fleshy, thick walled pumpkin to cook with.
  3. Look for a smooth surface with a dense flesh indicating higher sugar content.
  4. Like with any fruit or vegetable, watch out for bruises and blemishes on the surface.
  5. Figure on getting about one cup of puree for each pound of pumpkin.

After you have carved your jack-o-lanterns and baked your pies, don’t forget about the seeds! Roasted pumpkins seeds make a great fall snack for everyone in your family!

Scott Nitza

Scott Nitza
Graphic Designer & Marketing Associate and Father of Three

Tip of the Week – Halloween Treats

Photo Oct 11, 10 50 17 PM

This week’s recipe

This Halloween nearly 60 million kids will go trick or treating (I think half of them come to my front door). The average child hauls in 91 pieces of candy, one-third of which will be pilfered by their parents. Over the years I have tried different ways to deal with all the candy in the house – now I let my children eat quite a bit on Halloween night (I admit, I help a lot) and then I dole out one piece a night until it’s gone. Well, really until it gets down to the gross candy no one wants, which is then thrown away. One memorable year my second oldest begged me to let him eat all his candy on Halloween night. The next day he called from school, where he was in the nurses office, and said, “Guess what, Mom? You were right – I did get sick from eating all the candy at once!”

In our house, pumpkin carving the week before Halloween is an exciting time. I usually make a crockpot chili or beef stew for dinner and we carve our pumpkins. I save the pumpkin seeds and toast them in the oven (you can also use a skillet). I wash the seeds with water, and then toss them in a little olive oil, spread on a cookie sheet, put some salt on them and bake them in a 450°F oven until they are brown and toasted. They are delicious when they are eaten warm from the oven. As we eat dinner and carve our pumpkins, we relive memories of past costumes and ideas for future costumes. My husband and I talk about our childhood Halloween memories and we tell our children about the costumes they wore as babies. It’s a night for family memories and for our children to learn about those family stories that happened before they were born.

How do you deal with all of the candy at Halloween? Visit our Facebook page and give us your ideas!

Holli-Seabury-2012

Holli Seabury

CEO

Tip of the Week: Safe Halloween

This Week’s Featured Recipe

They’re dressed up, bundled up and have been told to not cross the street without looking. They’ve assured you that they want to walk the neighborhood by themselves – but your gut (that instinctive-parent savior) screams, “Not this year.”

So, how do you decide when your child(ren) or grandchildren, or nieces and nephews, are old enough to travel with their friends or siblings and collect the candy that will be rampantly available tonight?

If your kids are trick or treating, I found a great resource for family safety – SAFE HALLOWEEN – on the Center for Disease Control and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states that children should only visit homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome. Worried that your kids will pick up too much candy tonight? Some local dentists are participating in a program to send candy to our troops. Find our more here.

In response to my question above – I wish I knew. My kids are in elementary, and “all their friends” are doing it. My response this year, “Maybe next year, girls!” If you have a great tip – please share it on our Facebook page – my thought this go-’round – when I feel comfortable leaving you at home by yourself, then I will feel comfortable having you walk the neighborhood after dinner by yourself. Let’s hope that is before they graduate!

-Frances

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