Archive for December, 2012

10 iPhone Apps for Quick and Easy Meal Ideas

December 16th, 2012 by admin

Balancing the demands of a busy career and the needs of your growing family isn’t always easy and rarely leaves time for preparing elaborate meals at the end of the day. Parents that prefer to take their meals at the family table as a group rather than in a crowded restaurant are faced with the challenge of whipping up something wholesome that doesn’t take all evening to prepare. That’s where these 10 iPhone apps come to the rescue, allowing you to access a variety of quick and easy recipes that are collected at your fingertips.

  1. The Betty Crocker® Mobile Cookbook – This free app comes from one of the most trusted brands in cooking, providing more than 13,000 recipes with clear, step-by-step instructions that make preparing a tasty dinner easy for even beginner chefs. The app also allows you to access the nutritional information of the meals you prepare, as well as sync grocery lists for your favorites.
  2. Clean EatingClean eating not only puts food on your table in the most natural state possible, but also makes preparation much easier in most cases. Even those who aren’t so familiar with the inner workings of a kitchen can prepare health-conscious, satisfying meals quickly and easily with the help of this app. Clean Eating is a free app that facilitates in-app purchases for individual issues.
  3. EatingWell Healthy in a HurryHealthy in a Hurry is a free app that emphasizes the importance of healthful, nutritious fare while keeping preparation and cooking times low. Ideal for families that are watching what they eat, as well as how much time they spend preparing it, EatingWell’s Healthy in a Hurry app is definitely a great value.
  4. Martha’s Everyday Food: Fresh & Easy RecipesFew names are as trusted in the realm of homemaking and entertaining as Martha Stewart, and this $0.99 app only serves to cement that reputation. Dinner Tonight features allow you to find quick, simple meals that are both in season and kid-friendly each day with recipes straight from the editors, along with shopping list and favorites tools.
  5. Cozi Dinner DeciderNot only will this free app take the guesswork out of choosing a dinner recipe by suggesting one for you, it also learns your likes and dislikes over time in order to improve those suggestions. While the app is free, there are in-app subscription prices for the service that vary depending upon the package chosen. The app allows you to customize your preferences and access a menu plan each weekend with five weeknight suggestions for the following week, saving you time at the grocery store as well.
  6. Half Hour Meals – Quick & Easy RecipesOne of Apple’s “New & Noteworthy” apps in July of 2012, Half Hour Meals delivers just what it says: quick and easy meals that will satisfy the whole family and keep your time spent in the kitchen to a minimum. You can even store and share recipes of your own for the rest of the community to try!
  7. 20 Minute Meals – Jamie OliverCelebrity foodie Jamie Oliver’s $6.99 app is filled with recipes that can be prepared in or around 20 minutes, allowing you to provide wholesome and delicious meals for your family without spending the entire evening in the kitchen. In addition to the 60 easy recipes, 20 Minute Meals also includes step-by-step photographs for each recipe and 21 exclusive videos that offer advice, tips and kitchen skill enrichment.
  8. 15,000 FREE Easy Chef RecipesThis free app delivers 15,000 recipes to your iPhone, and allows you to brows by ingredients, recipe title or special occasion. You can even shake your phone to generate a random recipe when you’re having trouble settling on the best choice, and email the recipes in order to facilitate the creation of a grocery list.
  9. Best Recipe Finder – TasteBookCalled the “iTunes for Recipes” by Daily Candy, this free app allows you to find recipes from websites, magazines and cookbooks as well as your own personal collection. Filter by ingredient, cuisine type or dish in order to access a staggering array of recipes, right from your phone.
  10. Dinner Spinner Shake your phone to generate a random meal inspiration or search the database by ingredients in order to find the best, tastiest and quickest recipes to feed your brood each night. You can also enter your favorite ingredients in order to generate recipes that feature them prominently, filter by dietary restriction, and search recipes by cooking time to avoid more complicated dishes.

Managing your time and planning meals on the go is a great perk of having one of Apple’s powerful iPhone mobile devices at your disposal. It’s important to keep safety first, however. Planning the menu during your evening commute might save time in the long run, but it also presents a very real distraction risk that could put both you and the drivers around you at risk. If you’ll need to plan a grocery list for your evening meal in order to stop on your way home, do it in the parking lot or before you leave the office instead; speeding down the highway while using your iPhone is both reckless and dangerous, and could cause significant injuries to yourself or to those around you.

10 Snack Ideas for Kids with Allergies

December 6th, 2012 by admin

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of children with food allergies increased 18% between 1997 and 2007; while there are a plethora of theories about why food sensitivities are on the rise, there’s no definitive data to back up any one claim. Parents are left to manage their kids’ allergies to the best of their abilities, cautiously introducing new foods and scrupulously checking labels before letting their little ones eat anything. Because some foods are more likely to cause an allergic reaction in kids than others, here are 10 simple snacks that score low on the allergen likelihood list.

  1. Sunbutter with Gluten-Free Crackers – Sunbutter is an alternative to peanut butter that contains no tree nuts, gluten, dairy or eggs. It is processed in a facility that shares roasting equipment with soy, but implements a cleanout process between batches to reduce the risk of contamination. Because of this, it is very unlikely to cause any sort of allergic reaction in kids. Served with gluten-free crackers to prevent any reactions associated with grain, this low-risk snack is sure to be a hit.
  2. Dried Fruit – While springing for a food dehydrator and drying your own fruit is the ultimate way of knowing the exact contents of a dried fruit mix, there are several commercially-available options that boast a low allergen risk and exclusive processing equipment. This naturally sweet and healthy snack is great for kids with or without food allergies; just be sure to double-check the label.
  3. Fruit Kabobs – It doesn’t get much simpler than skewered fruit, but there’s something about these bite-sized morsels of delectable seasonal produce that makes them a sure-fire, no-fail hit with kids of all ages.
  4. Frozen Bananas – Depending on how it’s processed and what sort of additives it contains, chocolate can be a risky proposition for kids with food allergies. Chocolate-covered frozen bananas are a summertime classic, but omitting the chocolate altogether still makes for a tasty warm-weather treat.
  5. No-Creamsicles – Kids that are tolerant of citrus are sure to flip for this dairy-free take on a summertime classic. Mix equal parts soy or rice milk with orange juice in Popsicle molds and freeze for a cool treat on a hot day.
  6. Trail Mix – Commercially-prepared trail mix can be a bit iffy for kids with allergies; if you’re less than absolutely certain that a specific brand is safe for your little one, making a batch of allergen-free trail mix at home is a quick and simple fix. Toss sunflower seeds, dried fruit, raisins and other tolerated items together and pour into baggies for a safe on-the-go snack.
  7. Veggie Sticks and Sesame-Free Hummus – Eliminating the tahini from hummus renders it sesame-free; served with carrot and bell pepper sticks, cucumber slices and other vegetables, it’s a safe and healthy snack for most children.
  8. Gluten-Free Muffins – Gluten-free cake, cookie and muffin mixes are making their way to grocer’s shelves, making them easier than ever to find. One boxed mix will make dozens of cute mini-muffins, which are perfect bite-sized snacks for kids.
  9. Fruit Leather – The all-natural brethren of processed fruit snacks in sheet form, fruit leather can be purchased in specialty stores or made fairly easily at home. Also, making homemade fruit leather allows you to have ultimate control over the ingredients.
  10. Peanut-Free Ants on a Log – Kids that don’t have trouble with soy can enjoy this time-tested kid favorite with soy-nut butter; if your little one is intolerant of soy, however, Sunbutter is another great alternative to the traditional peanut butter.

Even if your child doesn’t have food allergies himself, it might be a good idea to keep packed snacks as allergen-free as possible; kids love to share snacks and trade lunches on the playground or at school, which could present a significant risk for any child that may suffer from allergies. Young children may not have the self-control or a proper understanding of the seriousness of their condition, and may be tempted to eat foods that they know are forbidden to them in the absence of supervision. For group gatherings, like birthday parties or when it’s your turn to provide the team snack at soccer practice, it’s best to opt for low-risk snacks whenever possible to avoid triggering a potentially life-threatening reaction.

  • Posted in Treats
  • Comments Off