5 Easy Weeknight Meals: Your 7 Day Family Jump Start!

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Put down the Packet! Quick Healthy Hot Chocolate is Here!

Psst…For my local friends: Save the Date! Feb 28, 7pm in Potomac
Three 15 Minute Meals Workshop
For my not-locals: I can do this where you live too! See my workshop page


Now that most of you have been freed from the trappings of 2 feet of snow…Don’t be afraid to go to the health food store (although these ingredients are often available at my local Giant) to pick up a couple new pantry items.

Just like oatmeal, I’m going to ask you to put down the store-bought hot chocolate packet (or box mix) full of high fructose corn syrup, “milk solids,” and who knows what else.

Here’s a healthier hot chocolate choice.

Smiling Mug

Healthy Hot Chocolate

Cacao powder is a less-processed powder from the cacao bean. Unlike alkali (“dutch”) processed cocoa powder, its many antioxidants are intact. That’s what news reports are talking about when they say “chocolate is healthy.” They’re not talking about the usual hot chocolate packets containing high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated milk solids and dutch processed cocoa.

2 teaspoons cacao powder (such as Navitas Naturals)
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup almond milk (other non-dairy milk is also fine – or water in a pinch)

Optional, but so delicious!: Splash of vegan vanilla creamer, vegan marshmallows
Mexican hot chocolate option: Add a dash of cinnamon and vanilla or vanilla creamer

Place the cacao powder and maple syrup in your mug. Stir (ideally with a small whisk, but a spoon will work too) well until the powder is completely mixed into the syrup. It should be smooth like chocolate syrup. Heat the milk and pour into your mug. Stir. Add splash of creamer and stir again. Add marshmallows if using.

Drink, enjoy, and stay warm!

No goats were harmed in the writing of this blog post…

What a great way to start off to a healthy new year! I’ve just returned from the Hazon Food Conference, an event I’ve had the pleasure of covering for various Jewish publications 4 times. This year, I presented my new signature workshop, “Three Secrets to a Healthy Family, and a Healthy You,” and participated in the author book signing and sale.

book signing hazon food conference 2 Book signing hazon food conference 1
Photos by Alexander Rapaport

(For more workshop info, go here). Here’s a link to past conference blogs and coverage, including the famous LA Jewish Journal goat cover! jewishjournal2007_larger

We had so many great discussions that I didn’t even get through all of my material. I know I prepared correctly though because I was able to answer most of the questions with information I’d planned to present anyway. People have so many questions in the areas of nutrition, healthy recipes and feeding kids well, I had questions before we even started. They were great ones too, like what to give kids for breakfast, traveling (not necessarily with kids). quick and healthy meals, and how to give an underweight kid more calories without resorting to ice cream.

Here are the answers in case you were wondering…

Good breakfasts for kids (These are all in my books, but I’ll also link to original versions that I’ve published on my website):

Green Smoothie with nut butters or seeds like chia or hemp.  You can even sprinkle the hemp seeds on top and eat them off with a spoon or using your straw.
Tofu scramble and Overnight Mueslix
Chia seed pudding
Easy Granola Bars/Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Travel tips

Chia seed pudding is also an easy meal or snack to make on the road.

How to “Fatten up” kids without resorting to ice cream!

Healthy but higher in fat and calorie foods (for underweight kids)

  • Fruit salad topped with cashew cream.
  • Avocado boats! Split 1 avocado in half. Detach the avocado flesh from the skin of one half of the avocado. Mash it inside the half. Mix with lemon juice or salsa, depending on your child’s tastes. If you’re packing a lunch, know that the flesh could turn dark on top if an acid, like lemon or lime juice, is not mixed in. Place a toothpick in the narrow side of the half for your flagpole. Then use fun kid’s tape to make a little flag.
  • Energy bites made with nuts, cacao powder and dates.

There may have also been a question about quick and healthy meals. My Healthy Mama’s Guide has the Magic 8 Authorized Fast Food List. That and The Healthy Family, Healthy You Cookbook both have numerous super quick meal ideas. In that vein, I must insist you believe me that the information, strategies and recipes in my books apply to everyone, single, living alone, or with 10 kids!

Look for upcoming blogs that came out of the Food Conference, including “Greening your Kiddushim” and “Reducing Food Waste with Delicious Recipes!”

HFHY is in the Joy of Kosher Cookbook Spotlight Today!

I’m thrilled to announce that The Healthy Family, Healthy You Cookbook is today’s Cookbook Spotlight on The Joy of Kosher website!

Get over to Joy of Kosher now and enter to win a free cookbook! Plan a healthy, plant-based, family meal using the three featured recipes from The Healthy Family, Healthy You Cookbook!


joy of kosher

Joy of Kosher Cookbook Contest Cover Story



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Happy, healthy holidays, everyone!