10-Second Recipes: Pair Flu Shots with Fun Nutrition Lessons
October 8, 2012
10-Second Recipes: Pair Flu Shots with Fun Nutrition Lessons

(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)

By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate

It's flu shot season. If and when you take your kidlets to get flu shots (or along with you when you get one), consider a quick lesson that day either at home or at a restaurant about how good nutrition can help keep immunity up. The first thing to think about is eating regularly.  Always make it a variety and don't eat too much or too little. Just as important, too, is what you eat.  Vegetables and fruits (especially deep red and orange varieties of both, as well as leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower) are filled with phytonutrients and antioxidants, as are certain products like honey and tea, and many spices like cinnamon and turmeric. The 10-second options that follow are delicious examples.

Fun fare like this also proves cooking can be easy, nutritious, economical, entertaining - and fast. They take just 10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare. The creative combinations are delicious proof that everyone has time for tasty home cooking and, more importantly, the healthy family togetherness that goes along with it! Another benefit: You - and your kidlets - effortlessly become better cooks, since there are no right or wrong amounts. These are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations, so whatever you choose to use can't help but draw "wows."

A Smoothie to Smooth the Way
In a blender container, blend small amounts of almond milk, almond extract, natural sugar-free sweetener like stevia, decaffeinated instant coffee crystals, unsweetened cocoa powder (like coffee, this particular choice when it comes to chocolate products is very high in antioxidants), a few seedless red grapes (one of the foods highest of all in antioxidants) and ice cubes until thick and creamy.

An Apple a Day Is No Myth
Thinly slice an unpeeled apple and sprinkle with lemon juice and ground cinnamon. Atop lightly toasted multigrain bread, place low-fat cheddar cheese, top with seasoned apples and broil until cheese is bubbling but apples are not too brown or well done.

Pick a Pepper, Stuff a Pepper
Wash a red bell pepper, cut its top off, and remove and discard seeds. Stuff with canned light tuna that you've mixed with turmeric, curry powder, a small amount of olive oil, minced carrots and celery. Top with a dollop of nonfat sour cream that you have gently mixed with paprika and finely chopped cilantro.

Honey of a Dessert
Place honey in a saucepan and heat on low, stirring in dashes of fresh lemon, lime and orange juices, unsweetened coconut flakes, dried cherries and finely chopped walnuts. Shape thawed puff pastry into shape of a cup and bake according to package directions. Fill with sugar-free vanilla frozen yogurt and top with warm (not hot) honey-citrus sauce.

QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK: Don't deprive yourself or your family when you go to a live sporting event or watch one on TV. Consider skipping a snack earlier in the day and eating it at the game. Since a few nutritious options are usually part of the mix, think about allowing your kidlets to choose among them. They'll be glad for the selection and probably won't notice that you've kept it to the more healthful choices, like peanuts (usually sold roasted in the shells, which many kids love crumbling), unbuttered popcorn (which is a whole grain), fruit juice, and frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit (a number of stadiums now have yogurt stands since it is so popular).

Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes (Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet (Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. 

Posted by Staff at 7:03 AM