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Happy Healthy Holidays Are Here


By Lucy Marinelli.

November is the start of the silly season. End-of-year parties start getting under way and time, energy and resources are stretched to the limit. Children, in particular, can find this time of year exhausting: with the end of the school year on the horizon, Christmas just over it and extra activities and functions. The best way to ensure they have the energy to keep up and bounce through each day is to make sure that, despite the extra busyness and the constant break in routine, their diet and lifestyle are on the healthy end of the scale.

Easier said than done of course, what with sweet sickly temptations at every turn. Any parent who has sent their children to a party filled with processed foods, drinks, sugars, colours and who knows what else, will know of the tell-tale spikes in energy. It’s best not to stress about the inevitable occasions that can’t be avoided and do what you can to make those occasions you have a little more control over a more satisfying affair all around.

Finger food is an easy way to make quick and healthy food for any gathering, be it the bring-a-plate-of-food party, open-house, picnic or barbecue. Vegetable sticks with homemade dip is an obvious but good choice and can be prepared a little ahead of time and kept in the fridge until needed. Fresh fruit platters make a colourful addition and give a sweet juicy pick up. Most kids love fruit, especially in an abundance of different colours and flavours and when cut up into bite-size chunks ready for little fingers, they’re more likely to grab some on the run. For something a little more fancy, though still relatively quick and easy, try blending up some cool fruit mocktails or some dried fruit balls. Spend an afternoon with the kids making a variety of flavours – banana, apricot, date, coconut and you’ll have a ready supply on hand when friends drop by for a Christmas drink or they can even work as a gift arranged on a Christmas plate and wrapped in cellophane. They can make a great gift for teachers too.

Kids love to get in and help, especially when they can get their hands in there or lick the bowl. Give Apricot Almond Balls a try. Soak a cup of almonds overnight along with a cup of apricots until they’re plump and drain any excess water. Blend the almonds and the apricots until smooth and add desiccated coconut until it reaches a pliable consistency. Now it’s time for the kids to get dirty. Get them to roll the mixture into small balls and have an extra bowl of desiccated coconut ready for coating. Refrigerate the balls to harden them and they’re ready to serve. Variations will depend on what dried fruit is around and you can change the amount of nuts and coconut to taste and consistency. Have fun experimenting with flavours and ask the kids for suggestions. You never know what might just taste great.

This article was written by Lucy Marinelli and kindly submitted by our friends at Alfalfa House. Alfalfa House is a Sydney organic food co-op located in Newtown. To find out more about Alfalfa House and their delicious range of fresh organic produce and other minimally packaged and processed food visit www.alfalfahouse.org



Oct 23, 2010 | Category: Food and Nutrition, Health and Beauty, Raising a Green Baby | Comments: none | Tags: , , ,

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