Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fun with the Food Pyramid

This is the second full week in a row that our county's schools have been closed because of bad weather. My daughter's teacher sent home work to be completed on snow days. To supplement that, she reads and has Play-Doh and crafts and she loves to write stories and letters. She gets a little bit of screen-time to go on PBSkids.org/go and to watch the occasional PBS cartoon.

One morning this week she watched a "Sid the Science Kid" episode about nutrition. That, and the Olympics, spurred a full day of discussion about eating right and exercising to be strong and healthy. She worked out to her Denise Austin "Fit Kids" DVD and afterward said, "My heart is happy." Our "unit" included printables from the USDA and a story book about sneaky rabbits published right here in Terra Alta by Headline Books -- for which I am the new publicist.

Every children's book Headline Books publishes has an educational component. "Grandfather's Garden" by West Virginia author Mary Jane Romig includes a simple representation of the Food Pyramid to help very young children begin to understand it. It also has recipes. With every turn of the page, readers search for the adorable bunnies among Karen Riley's vibrant illustrations of veggies.

Several of Headline's titles are about gardening, farming and/or farm life. Headline Books will have a booth at the Winter Blues Farmers Market from 4-7 p.m. March 1 at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown.

Here are links to the USDA printables:
Kids Food Pyramid
A Pyramid to color
A worksheet to track what you eat in a day and where the servings fit in the pyramid

Friday, February 5, 2010

Celebrating World Nutella Day

Today marks the 4th annual celebration of World Nutella Day.

These scrumptious rolls are easy and inexpensive to make for any occasion -- especially if you make one up. I sometimes celebrate a Friday morning alone in my house with these. The simple pleasures of working from home.

3 tubes of crescent rolls dough (If it's the traditional triangle cut, you'll have to push the perforations together. For this recipe, try to get the new variation where the dough is in strips or one big sheet.)
Jar of Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread (look for it near the peanut butter and jams)
chopped toasted hazelnuts or walnuts if you wish

Preheat oven to 375. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray.
Place one tube of the crescent roll dough out flat. Spread evenly with Nutella. Sprinkle with nuts. Cover with the other whole piece of crescent roll dough from the second can. Cut it into eight long strips. Pick up one and gently twist it a few times before twirling it into a roll. Place one roll in each muffin tin.
Place the dough from the third can flat on the work surface. Spread one half (lengthwise) with Nutella and sprinkle with nuts. Fold the other half over. Cut into four pieces and repeat the twisting and twirling procedure from above. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or
Makes 12.
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