Tips & Recommendations

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A Spring Picnic

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How about a spring picnic in the park? If it is far to the park, have the picnic on a roof. Can’t go to the beach? Bring the beach to your patio. Fill a tub with water and beach toys. Stick an umbrella in a bucket of sand, and put on your best beach hat. Or, if it rains, bring the picnic inside. No matter where you have the picnic, it will be memorable because you are on a new adventure together. Here’s how to assemble the picnic…

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Involve Kids in the Cooking

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Want to get your children more involved in the cooking? Here’s a tip from our friends at The Kids Cook Monday:

“Kids are much more likely to try new foods if they understand more about them, so get your kids invested right away! Let them help you pick a Kids Cook Monday recipe by asking them to suggest a favorite ingredient, or let them decide between two or three pre-selected dishes. Then, bring your child to the grocery store or farmers market with you so they can see all the fresh ingredients. You can even get a helping hand at home by having kids put away groceries with you!”

For more tips on getting your kids involved in cooking family dinner, visit TheKidsCookMonday.org.

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Quick Breakfast Tip: A Cereal Bar

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Store several kinds of healthy cereals in glass canisters or cookie jars. In the morning set them out with sliced fruit, milk and yogurt, so your kids can mix their own breakfast bowl creations, perfect for weekend sleepover breakfasts as well.

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Our Favorite Cooking Tools: Dutch Oven

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A Dutch oven is a heavy cooking pot, usually made of cast iron. Some people call them casserole dishes (“casserole” means “pot” or “pan” in French). Whatever you choose to call it, make sure one of them calls your kitchen home.

Dutch ovens are great for long, slow cooking, like for roasts, stews, soups and casseroles, as they retain their heat so well. Virtually any recipe you can cook in a conventional oven can be cooked in a Dutch Oven.

If you feel like splurging, we recommend the Le Creuset Signature Enameled version. An excellent, more economical choice is the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven.

Want a recipe suggestion to get you started? Try our Arroz con Pollo.

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Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids’ State Dinner

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Do you have a young chef in the house between the ages of 8-12? Can you imagine his or her recipe being featured in a cookbook? Or the two of you representing your home state at a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House this summer?

If so, First Lady Michelle Obama, WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture invite you and your child to enter the 4th annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner.”

Learn more and enter at the PBS Healthy Lunchtime Challenge site. Hurry, contest ends April 30th.

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