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Family Matters: Feeding Baby Safely

It’s a big step in the care and feeding of your baby: The day you begin feeding solid foods.

While you may receive lots of well-meaning advice from grandparents, friends, and even the occasional stranger, you should recognize that recommendations may well have changed since the advice-giver was feeding their baby.

Always consult your pediatrician before starting your infant on solid foods. And brush up on some of the current prevailing wisdom on safely feeding solids.

When to start: Most babies can start eating solid food when they are between four and six months of age. That’s when they are able to swallow foods, as opposed to pushing back with their tongue against a feeding spoon. Yes, Grandma may say that she started feeding cereal when her baby was just six weeks old and it helped the baby sleep through the night, but today, pediatricians recognize infants can’t properly digest or swallow solids that young, and cereal served from a bottle can be a choking hazard.

Veggies first? You may have heard you should offer vegetables before trying fruit, so a baby used to applesauce doesn’t turn up her nose at the stronger tastes of things like pureed cauliflower or peas. Guess what? Researchers say it doesn’t really matter.  Babies are born with an innate taste for sweet foods, and that preference doesn’t change whether they’re fed peas or peaches first.  

Don’t hold the spice: The preference for bland, un-spiced baby food is largely a cultural issue. In other parts of the world, babies are served food that’s spiced the same way as adult food, and there’s little research that spicy foods harm children. Use common sense and stay away from really spicy things that may harm babies’ sensitive mouths and noses – no wasabi or habaneros – but a little cinnamon, ginger, cumin or even mild chiles like poblanos may tickle your baby’s palate and help them learn to eat a wider variety of foods while young.

Safety first: Baby-food recalls are often a parent’s big worry, but they’re actually quite rare. A much bigger safety issue is just following safety rules for proper feeding and food-handling.   

• Do not feed baby directly from the jar of food, unless you plan to use the entire jar at one meal. Saliva from your baby’s mouth can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria in the food. If you must serve from the jar, throw away any uneaten portion.
• Never microwave baby food. Uneven heating can cause hot spots that can burn baby’s mouth.
• Never leave a baby alone with food _ not even for a minute, while running to answer the phone.
• Don’t feed honey to a baby under 12 months; some pediatricians, in fact, now recommend 18 months as the cutoff.
• Slowly introduce potentially allergenic foods like peanut butter, eggs and wheat. A few years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that research does not support holding off on allergenic foods until after age 1, clearing the way to offer them to babies sooner. However, many pediatricians still suggest going slowly, especially if your baby has eczema or there’s a family history of food allergies or asthma.

Healthy Living: Healthy Lunches

It’s that time of year again, summer is ending and school is just around the corner. Parents prepare their children for the start of the school year by purchasing new school uniforms, new school supplies, and helping to finish all the school summer projects. What parents may fail to adequately prepare is healthy school lunches. As you prepare your child for the school year, do not neglect their nutrition. A healthy mind stems from a healthy body and a healthy diet.

A healthy diet includes all three nutrient classes: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. All three nutrients make the body healthy and strong. A proper diet is essential in children, as they need these nutrients in order to grow strong, both physically and mentally. A carbohydrate is the body’s energy source. Good carbohydrates to include in your child’s lunch are: fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread products, and low-fat dairy products. Try to avoid empty, unhealthy carbohydrates, such as: chips, cookies, crackers, and sweets. Protein is important in normal growth and development. It helps children develop strong muscles. Good protein sources include: beans, nuts, turkey, ham, and peanut butter. Lastly, healthy fats are important in your child’s development. Healthy fats include: salad dressings, such as Italian dressing and low-fat Ranch dressing as a nice side to dip their carrots or celery in.

Just because your child needs a healthy lunch, does not mean it needs to be boring. A few tips to encourage your child to eat their healthy lunch include:

  1. Include a low-fat dip, such as peanut butter or low-fat ranch with the vegetables (carrots, celery) so that your kids enjoy the taste more.
  2. Instead of a sweet dessert, include a low-fat yogurt, Jell-O, or fruit choice, as these are sweet and healthy substitutes.
  3. Instead of including regular potato chips, use baked chips or pretzels as a healthier alternative.
  4. When preparing sandwiches, use whole-grain bread instead of white bread. Go easy on the mayonnaise.
  5. As for drinks, include low-fat milk or water frequently. Use juice or soda sparingly. These are full of sugar and empty calories.

Product Talk: Yogurt the Greek way

Greek-style yogurt has really exploded in popularity over the last couple of years, as more brands have hit the market and popular U.S. yogurt makers like Dannon and Yoplait have started making it, too. So what’s the big deal? It’s just yogurt, right?

Well, yes and no. Like the standard American-style yogurt you probably already eat,  Greek yogurt is a fermented milk-based product. Both types are good sources of probiotics, healthy bacteria which is thought to help the digestive system.

But Greek yogurt is thicker, creamier, and richer-tasting than most other forms of yogurt, and it can be healthier for you too.

Greek yogurt is traditionally made by straining regular yogurt. This allows whey and liquid to filter out of the yogurt. So, Greek-style yogurt is not just creamier, it’s also more concentrated than traditional yogurts you may be used to eating.

Partially because it’s more concentrated, Greek-style yogurts have about two times as much protein as regular yogurt. Some varieties have as much as 20 grams of protein per serving – that’s almost half the recommended daily allowance for an adult woman. It’s also lower in carbohydrates and lactose than other types of yogurt. So, if you’re diabetic, watching your weight, or lactose-sensitive, Greek yogurt may be a better choice for you.

Many fans, however, like it just for the flavor. You can buy it sweetened with fruit or flavorings, or plain. Some varieties have fat; others don’t. But even if you buy low-fat or no-fat versions, Greek yogurt tastes as rich as sour cream. You can serve it the same way you use regular yogurt – plain or with fruit or granola, blended into a smoothie, or as a dressing for fruit salad.

But this yogurt’s creaminess also makes it great for baking and cooking, because it doesn’t separate. (Just substitute it for buttermilk or sour cream in recipes.) Or, basically, you can substitute plain Greek-style yogurt for anything you might normally use sour cream for. Use it to top baked potatoes or try it in your favorite dip and salad recipes. Finally, you can even use it as a substitute for mayonnaise; try it instead of mayo in your favorite tuna, chicken or potato salad recipe.

Look for Greek yogurt, by popular makers Dannon, Yoplait and Athenos, all in the dairy section of your neighborhood Brookshire’s, right next to the traditional yogurt.

Product Talk: Catfish-Beyond the fryer

If, like most of us, you’re trying to eat more healthily, you probably know you should be eating more fish.

Personally, I love just about every kind of seafood, cooked almost any way. But I know  many people who think they only like fried fish, or that they don’t really like fish at all.  So I always like to recommend a widely available fish that almost everybody knows and likes: Catfish.

Sure, you probably grew up thinking the only way to eat it was fried, preferably with hush puppies on the side. But today’s farm-raised catfish is so mild and meaty, it tastes great prepared many ways – grilled, baked, sautéed, poached or just popped under the broiler for a few minutes. And because catfish is so mild, it pairs well with a strongly flavored sauce or lots of herbs, especially dried or fresh dill or spicy, Cajun-style seasonings.

And, if you don’t fry it, catfish is a really good choice for a low-fat, heart-healthy diet. It’s sometimes overlooked because, compared to fattier fish like salmon and mackerel, catfish does not contain as much of the omega-3 fatty acids that are associated with good heart health. However, catfish is relatively low in total fat and saturated fat, and high in protein. And it also has more omega-3s than a comparable serving of hamburger, steak, or chicken.

One more thing – catfish is a relatively sustainable fish. That means, unlike some species that are being overfished in the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers, catfish are responsibly raised by farmers in fresh-water ponds. U.S.-raised catfish, like you’ll find at Brookshire’s, are fed high-quality grain that contribute to their mild flavor. Catfish sold at Brookshire’s come from a plant in Hughes Springs, Texas, which has attained Best Aquaculture Practices certification.

Because they are farmed, not wild-caught, catfish filets have always tended to be more reasonably priced than many other forms of seafood. However, over the past several months, you may have noticed higher prices for catfish. That’s because as more corn has gone into ethanol production, catfish feed prices have risen sharply, causing some catfish farmers to turn to other ventures. That’s created a catfish shortage. However, I’m happy to report that the shortage is easing up; you may already be seeing lower prices.

If you’d like to move beyond the deep-fryer, this easy grilled catfish dish is a great one to start with. The dill sauce adds lots of flavor, but because it calls for low-fat dressing, not a ton of fat. The filets will cook in only about ten minutes.  If you’re uncomfortable putting fish on the grill, you can prepare this recipe according to instructions but then bake it in a 350-degree oven for about 7-10 minutes, or until fish is just starting to flake. (Thinner filets will need slightly less time; thicker pieces will need the maximum.)

What food represents your state?

Berry Rice Pudding
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6

2 cups water
1 cup Full Circle Basmati Brown Rice
1/2 cup Full Circle Fat Free Milk
1/4 cup Food Club Sugar
1 tsp Food Club Ground Cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rice to boiling water, reduce heat, cover, and let rice simmer 25 to 30 minutes. Add milk, sugar, cinnamon and egg to rice; mix well. Let rice cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in berries and almonds; cook for 5 minutes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 203, Fat: 4 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 23 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 5 g

What food represents your state?

Alabama – cornbread
Alaska – king crab
Arizona – fly bread
Arkansas – jelly pie
California – grapes
Colorado – Denver omelette
Connecticut – hamburger
Delaware – crab puff
Florida – oranges
Georgia – peaches
Hawaii – pineapple
Idaho – potatoes
Illinois – hot dog
Indiana – popcorn
Iowa – loose meat sandwiches
Kansas – wet barbecue
Kentucky – fried chicken
Louisiana – crawfish
Maine – lobster
Maryland – blue crabs
Massachusetts – clam chowder
Michigan – pastries
Minnesota – fried food on a stick
Mississippi – mud pie
Missouri – toasted ravioli
Montana – Rocky Mountain oysters
Nebraska – corn
Nevada – buffets
New Hampshire – maple syrup
New Jersey – Italian sub
New Mexico – chiles
New York – pizza
North Carolina – dry barbecue
North Dakota – knoephla
Ohio – Cincinatti chili
Oklahoma – fried okra
Oregon – hazelnuts
Pennsylvania – cheesesteaks
Rhode Island – coffee milk
South Carolina – benne wafers
South Dakota – chislic
Tennessee – tomatoes
Texas – barbecue
Utah – green Jell-O
Vermont – Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
Virginia – ham
Washington – apples
West Virginia – ramps
Wisconsin – cheese
Wyoming – buffalo burger


A Slice of Summer

Watermelon and Jícama Salsa
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 12

1 cup watermelon, seeded and diced
1 cup honeydew melon, seeded and diced
1/2 cup jícama, peeled and diced
2 Tbs green onions, sliced thin
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
Food Club Salt, to taste

In medium bowl combine all ingredients except salt.
Add salt to taste and adjust with more lime juice if needed.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 24, Fat: 0 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 6 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 1 g

Watermelon and Feta Salad
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 3

2 pints cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 tsp Food Club Salt
1/2 tsp Food Club Sugar
1 Tbs Food Club White Vinegar
2 Tbs Food Club Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Food Club Ground Black Pepper, to taste
3 Tbs fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 green onion, sliced

In a medium bowl toss together tomatoes, salt and sugar. Let tomatoes stand for 30 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to colander and stir until seeds and excess liquid have been removed. Return tomatoes to bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl mix together vinegar, olive oil, cheese, pepper and mint. Add watermelon, onions and tomatoes; toss gently. Season with salt if needed and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 238, Fat: 18 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 34 mg, Sodium: 679 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 8 g

Dine-In: Curry Chicken and Mango

Curry Chicken and Mango
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus marinating
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4


3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup sliced green onion
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
2 Tbs curry powder
1 Tbs less sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs Food Club Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbs Food Club Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Food Club Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Food Club Salt


1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium mangos, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes

In a large bowl combine marinade ingredients; mix well. Add cubed chicken and mangos to bowl with marinade. Toss chicken and mangos until evenly coated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Thread chicken, mangos and bell pepper onto skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak skewers for at least an hour before using.

Heat grill to medium heat. Put skewers on grill and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Remove chicken and mangos from skewers and serve over warm rice. 

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 324, Fat: 8 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 96 mg, Sodium: 527 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 37 g

© 2011, Brookshire Grocery Co.  Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number.  All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.

Shop the Sale: Blueberries

Blueberries are delicious in pies, tarts, smoothies and even by themselves. Adding blueberries to muffins and cakes can boost the nutrition of your meal!

Blueberries are a good source of fiber and are high in vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. They have an excellent NuVal score of 100, which you can not beat! Pick up some blueberries on sale at Brookshire’s! Need recipe ideas?

Pick up a June issue of Celebrate Cooking, which features blueberries!

Product Talk: Applesauce

Today is National Applesauce Cake Day! Any cake can become an applesauce cake by simply replacing the oil in a cake with applesauce. This simple substitution will lower the amount of fat in your cake resulting in a lower calorie slice of cake.

When picking an applesauce to replace your oil, pick an unsweetened applesauce. Full Circle Natural Organic No Sugar Added Applesauce that has a NuVal score of 21 and Mott’s Natural No Sugar Added Applesauce that has a NuVal score of 26 are two good examples of applesauce to use in your favorite cake recipe.

Applesauce Coffee Cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

1 1/2 cups Food Club All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Food Club Light Brown Sugar
2 tsp Food Club Ground Cinnamon
2 Tbs butter, softened
1 cup Food Club Chopped Walnuts
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Food Club Salt
1/4 tsp Food Club Ground Nutmeg
1 cup Full Circle Natural Organic Applesauce
3/4 cup Food Club Sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup Full Circle Fat Free Milk

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup flour, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons butter; mix until mixture is crumbly. Set aside for topping.

In a medium bowl combine walnuts, 1 1/4 cup flour, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a large bowl mix together 1/4 cup applesauce, sugar and an egg; mix until fluffy. Slowly add dry mixture alternating with milk. Stir in 3/4 cup applesauce. Spread batter over baking pan and sprinkle cinnamon topping over cake. Bake cake for 35 minute or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 219, Fat: 9 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 21 mg, Sodium: 123 mg, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 5 g

© 2011, Brookshire Grocery Co.  Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number.  All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.

Healthy Living: What to Look For In a Pasta Sauce?

What is the most important part of your plate of spaghetti? Is it the pasta that has been cooked to perfection, the meatballs or the fresh tasting tomato sauce? Finding a nutritious, delicious tomato sauce may be the key in a successful spaghetti dinner.

The average NuVal score for pasta sauce is a 39, with scores ranging from 1 to 91. The higher scoring tomato sauces have a better quality of lycopene, more fiber and lower amounts of sugar and sodium. One nutrient to really keep your eye on when buying pasta sauce is sugar; some sauces can have up to 3 teaspoons of sugar per a serving! The NuVal scoring system will help you pick a nutritious pasta sauce for your family!


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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.

Product Talk

Each Monday we feature a new or interesting product.

Healthy Living

Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.

Shop the Sale

On Wednesdays, get a tip or idea on using an item in the circular.

Family Matters

Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

Dine In

Stop fighting the crowds, save money and dine in, every Friday.

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