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Keeping it all in the family


September 27 is National Family Day, an event launched in 2001 to encourage families to eat dinner together. Spending quality time together around the table is important to your children’s futures; research shows that children who regularly eat dinner with their families are less likely to smoke, drink or use drugs.  

And what better way to encourage family meal time than getting the kids to help cook?  Most kids love to help in the kitchen, says Judie Byrd, founder of the Culinary School of Fort Worth, (judiebyrd.com). And when dinner is something they’ve helped make, most kids are more willing to try new foods and linger at the table, she says. Children of almost any age can help, as long as you follow these ground rules: 

Make sure there is always adult supervision. 

Stay relaxed; even the messiest kitchen mess can always get cleaned up. And start with age-appropriate tasks like these: 

Kids 5 and under can:

•  Crack eggs
•  Use their (well-washed) hands to mix green salads, fruit bowls, even dough.
•  Help make veggie or fruit kabobs: Kids this age love practicing patterns, and will enjoy putting strawberries, grapes and melons in sequence.
•  Use a sturdy plastic knife to slice soft fruits, such as strawberries and melons.
•  Make their own trail mix by picking handfuls from bowls of ingredients (nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, pretzels), then toss using their hands. 

Kids 6-8 can:

•  Stir using a spoon or whisk.
•  Use measuring spoons to measure and add liquid ingredients.
•  Use measuring cups to measure and add dry ingredients.
•  Fill celery with peanut butter, using a plastic knife.
•  Make a bread bowl for soup or salad: After an adult cuts off the top of a round loaf of bread, kids can use their hands to dig out the dough and create the bowl shape.
•  Toss a salad.

Kids 9-11 can:

•  Use a pastry bag to decorate a cake; tie the top with a twist tie to keep the frosting from coming out of both ends and control the mess.
•  Grate cheese.
•  Use a broiler.
• Mix and pour pancake batter and flip pancakes on the griddle. (Electric griddles are safer for this age than the stovetop.)
•  Follow simple recipes.
• Use a paring knife to cut veggies and fruits. 

Kids and teens 12 and up can:

•  Use a chef knife (after mastering use of a paring knife).
•  Choose recipes from cookbooks.
•  Follow more complicated recipes, including those for casseroles, cookies and soups.
•  Use the stove and oven with minimal supervision.
•  Learn and master the sequence of making an entire meal (i.e., what needs to go on the stove in what order, to get the meal to the table in time).
•  Use most kitchen appliances, such as blenders and mixers.

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Posted in: Cooking, Kids


Shop the Sale: Lunchables


When I was in grade school, I loved it when my mother would pack “really cool stuff” in my lunchbox! Now as a mom, I am more concerned about packing a healthier lunch for my daughter, than giving her all the “cool stuff” she would like.

While I’m not a fan of Lunchables, every now and then, I’ll sneak one into her lunch box to brighten her day…especially when I’m running short on time! Check out September’s issue of Celebrate Cooking Magazine for a 50¢ Off Oscar Mayer Lunchables (Fun Pack or Complete – Selected Varieties).



Brookshire’s Best


Getting the family up to share breakfast in the mornings isn’t always easy. But, put on a pot of Brookshire’s Best Coffee and slice up some Brookshire’s Best Pastries and watch your family come running. 

Who can stay in bed with tempting flavors like Banana Walnut, Cranberry Orange, Blueberry and Peach Praline? You’d have to be a tough cookie indeed to pass up a slice—especially served warm with a little real butter. So moist and fresh, each mouthwatering variety is loaded with plump berries, rich spices and other gourmet ingredients for a seriously tasty treat that’s sure to tempt the sleepiest heads from their beds. 

No matter what flavor you choose, Brookshire’s Best Breakfast Breads are the perfect complement to our Brookshire’s Best Coffee. Nurtured high in the mountains of Central and South America, our coffee trees are nourished by rich soil, proper sun and the perfect amount of rain. Then, four times a year, we hand-pick our coffee cherries and present them to our Roastmaster who unlocks the delicious, fresh flavor of every harvest so you get a perfect cup, every time. The coffee lovers in your family are sure to agree, there’s just no better way to start the day. So, it’s no wonder when you serve Brookshire’s Best Coffee and sweet breads together you get a breakfast that isn’t just good. You get a breakfast that’s seriously good. 

Brewing the Ultimate Cup

1. Start with cold water.
2. Use two tablespoons per six ounces of water and adjust to taste.

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Posted in: Kids


Shop the Sale: Chicken of the Sea


When planning your shopping trips to Brookshire’s this week, be sure to add canned tuna to your list.  Chicken of the Sea tuna is on sale this week and is featured on the front page of the ad. Pick up a few extra cans to have on hand.  

This time of year most families are busier than ever now that school is back in session.  Canned tuna can be a real time saver.  First, tuna sandwiches are always a big hit for busy family members on the go.  And if you’re in a time crunch but still want a delicious, hot meal, a can of tuna added to Tuna Helper makes a great main dish.

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Posted in: Kids, Shop the Sale


Family Matters: Family Movie Nights


If you have kids, you know how expensive it is to go out to the movies and get popcorn and drinks.  Our family has special “movie nights” at home with everyone taking turns picking out the movies.  We have a family dinner and then we lounge in the comfort of our own home and watch one or more movies and eat popcorn.  This makes for great quality time with your kids and normally brings lots of laughter and joy in the house. 

Below is an easy recipe for White Chocolate Covered Popcorn that our family enjoys during our “movie nights”. 

White Chocolate Covered Popcorn

Ingredients:
4  (3.3 oz) bags of Food Club Butter Popcorn
1 (24 oz) pkg of Food Club Quick ‘n Easy White Bark
Wax Paper

Directions:

Cut recipe down – 1 bag of popcorn and 3 squares of white bark.  

Cook popcorn as directed and pour in large bowl.  Place white bark in microwave and melt as directed.  Take the melted bark and drizzle over the bowl of popcorn.  Stir occasionally to make sure it is mixed up good.  Pour contents of bowl on wax paper and let it sit for a few minutes.  Put the popcorn in several small bowls for your family and begin enjoying the sweet taste of perfection!  Suggestions:  Add chopped pecans or colored sugar sprinkles for the kids to make it more fun.

Set aside time this week for your family and enjoy a family “movie night”.  Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you share with your family.



Shop the Sale: Keeping Hydrated


It is important to stay hydrated especially in this hot weather! If your son is heading out to football practice then make sure he has a drink to keep him hydrated. Dasani water, Gatorade Thirst Quenchers, and Propel Fitness Waters are all on sale at Brookshire’s. Pick up your child’s favorite drink to keep them hydrated in the hot sun.



Summer Lunch Fun is in the Bag!


 

Your children will have a ball learning how to make their own lunches, but even more, they’ll love sharing time with you.

 

Do you like eating the same thing for lunch every day?
Odds are, you don’t. And you know what? Neither do most kids. Sack lunches can get boring, but there’s no reason they need to be. With a little fun and imagination, you can get your children excited about what’s in their lunches, and you can get them fired up about helping you make them.

 

First up, sit down and talk to your kids about the kinds of foods they might like to eat for lunch. And not just what they already know and like. Give them some new things to think about. Even better, have the conversation in the grocery store where they can see what you’re talking about. Help them understand all the different options they have to choose from. Tired of wheat bread? Let’s try a tortilla. Or a pita. Or a hoagie roll. I know you love American cheese, but how about trying cheddar, pepper jack or mozzarella instead?

 

From breads and proteins, to cheeses, toppings and condiments, let your children pick out some fun, new lunch choices. Then, go home and, together, set your kitchen up like a deli so THEY can learn how to make the world’s best sandwich. How fun is that?

 

YOU CAN CREATE A FUN MENU TOO

First, lay out all your main course ingredients in four different columns. In the first column, set aside all your different bread and wrap options. In the second column, have the kids choose what’s going in the sandwich or wrap, like different meats or peanut butter and jelly. The third column is for all the different cheeses they may want to add. Finally, column 4 is for toppings like condiments and vegetables. Let your kids fill out the order the night before by checking one item from each column. That way you can easily prepare their sandwich and not have to make those “morning rush” decisions.

 

Once their sandwich is made, have them go to the fridge and pick out what else they want to add to their lunch. To make it easy for them, have two containers in the fridge—one for fresh vegetables and the other for fresh, cut-up fruit, like watermelon, pineapple and grapes. You could also put out a chip/cracker basket they could choose from and every so often offer a cookie or brownie as a special treat.

 

Brookshire’s makes it easy and fun to pack lunches. Keeping a vegetable tray on hand makes choosing a variety of healthy snacks easy. Don’t forget the fruit. The USDA recommends 2 – 4 servings daily. Pineapple is a great source of vitamins and Brookshire’s does all the work for you with fresh cored pineapple in the produce department.  Brookshire’s brownies make an excellent sweet snack to pack in your kids lunches. You can find our 8×8 pans in the bakery department.

 

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Posted in: Cooking, Kids, Nutrition


Healthy Living: Trends and Workout Regimens


Even with the summer heat in full swing, it is important to continue our healthy living trends and good workout regimens.  Staying hydrated is one of the most important things that you can do to not only help in your weight loss goals, but keep your body healthy.

As a volunteer fire fighter, I visit Texas A&M once a year to attend Fire fighting school. This last summer of classes, my class in particular, lost 25% of its students in the first 4 hours due to poor hydration.  Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can affect you even if you are not working out and are potentially life threatening conditions.

Drink plenty of water especially if you know that you will be working outside in the hot sun and especially if you are planning on doing intense cardio. Even coming out of the gym, the heat can still cause you to fall ill. A good investment for the summer might even be a small portable cooler that you can carry around in your car. This will allow you to carry water and your favorite sports drinks, to help maintain electrolyte balance, wherever you go. You should also avoid working out during the peak heat hours of the day. Try to get your workout in either first thing in the morning, or later in the evening.

Following the simple tips above you should be able to avoid dehydration. Here are some basic symptoms of dehydration in children and adults, if you start to experience these symptoms; treatment is usually as simple as rehydration. In children however treatment will vary based on the cause of dehydration, so it is important to always consult your pediatrician:

• thirst
• less-frequent urination
• dry skin
• fatigue
• light-headedness
• dizziness
• confusion
• dry mouth and mucous membranes
• increased heart rate and breathing

In children, additional symptoms may include:

• dry mouth and tongue
• no tears when crying
• no wet diapers for more than 3 hours
• sunken abdomen, eyes or cheeks
• high fever
• listlessness
• irritability
• skin that does not flatten when pinched and released

Remember these simple tips to prevent dehydration:

• Drink plenty of fluids, especially when working or playing in the sun.
• Make sure you are taking in more fluid than you are losing.
• Try to schedule physical outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day.
• Drink appropriate sports drinks to help maintain electrolyte balance.
• For infants and young children, solutions like Pedialyte will help maintain electrolyte balance during illness or heat exposure. Do not try to make fluid and salt solutions at home for children

Be safe in the summer heat and remember hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! 



Healthy Living: Sports Safety Blog


As a new year is quickly approaching, not only are kids getting ready to head back to school and get back into their daily routines. The new school year means the beginning of sports season. The sport that everyone looks forward to is football season, every Friday night under the roar of cheering fans and bright stadium lights two teams go head to head to battle it out on the field.

Through the hard hits, tackles and the yards of running to cross the end zone line to have the ref throw both arms up in the air saying touchdown, comes the risk of injuries. 

No one wants to be watching from the sidelines, so here are some quick tips to keep your All Star on the field.

1. Have each child a physical for any possible risk factors

2. Be sure each play has properly fitted safety equipment

3. Make sure all athletes have proper nutrition and hydration

4. But the most important thing is to have fun

With these quick tips you won’t have to miss out on Friday night lights. So go out and support your hometown team.



Family Matters: Modified Ice Cream Bar Pie


Some of you have been asking me how my son’s ice cream birthday cake turned out…let me tell you, my new teenager was thrilled with his ice cream bar pie!

I had to adjust the original recipe from the Celebrate Cooking magazine because my son does not eat chocolate. Yes, you read that right he does not like chocolate! Apparently he did not inherit my taste buds. 

The dessert was easy and took only minutes to make, leaving me with lots of time to enjoy his party!
Here are my modifications to the Ice Cream Bar Pie:
Ice Cream Bar Pie
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus chill time
Serves 18
Ingredients:
1 (12 Ct) box Blue Bunny Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches (it uses vanilla wafers)
1 (12 oz) tub fat-free frozen whipped topping
1 (16 oz) pkg frozen sweetened strawberries or fresh strawberries
Directions:
In a 13×9 dish, line the bottom of dish with ice cream sandwiches. Spread the thawed frozen strawberries over sandwiches. Spread whipped topping over frozen strawberries. Freeze pie for 30 minutes. Top with fresh strawberries before serving.


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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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