All too soon, it is back to school and time to get back to the routine planning lunches and after school snacks. Kids mark fruit as their number one snack and California Raisins are a fruit. They are really good to eat right out of the box or carry along for lunch or quick pick ups before that afternoon soccer game.
But, there must be at least 1,000 other ways to get these tasty little nuggets of goodness into snacks and lunches for kids or dads or even busy moms. For instance, there is that easy, easy Sunshine Snack Mix – kids can do it by themselves, or a gluten-free Savory California Raisin Trail Mix, the Recipe of the Month, that mom can fix in a hurry. A few minutes in the oven yields a number of extra good granolas that are good for breakfast as well as snacking. Check out Granola Crunch Mix, Glazed Raisinola, and Raisin Crouton Gorp for starters.
While we are talking about breakfast, one of the ways to insure a good day at school or work is with a good breakfast. Authorities recommend 7 to 10 grams of fiber at this meal to slow the absorption of sugar and help maintain energy levels until lunch. Dried Fruit and Nut Scones or Raisin-Apple-Nut Muffins fill this bill.
Finally, with the first day of school fast approaching, it is time to listen to Valerie Waters and “Make a plan. Summer is fun and carefree, but with the first day of the new school year, structure returns. Your child’s day quickly fills up with school, homework and after school activities. Now more than ever, it is important that exercise and meals are planned. Schedule meals so that your family eats together at the table at least once per day. This is a good opportunity to slow down and eat mindfully, and sitting together allows you to stay involved in your child’s life.”
Even more than that, research shows that families that sit down together for at least one meal every day are less likely to have members, especially children, who are overweight or obese. If you are one of those moms who never has enough time for all of this, check out Valerie’s Time Crunch Workout video. It could be the answer to a number of problems.
One way to make the most of this virtual trip to Beijing is to explore the foodie’s dream that is to be found there. Did you know that China is the fourth leading raisin producing country in the world and that, just like the United States, Natural Seedless grapes (they call them Wuhebai) account for at least 90% of their raisin production? Most of these grapes are dried in the shade in a brick building where every other brick has been left out to provide ventilation. It takes 4 to 6 weeks to make the green-colored raisins preferred by the Chinese market. Often compared to California Golden Raisins, these Chinese raisins dried in the shade do not caramelize so there is no need for the sulfur antioxidant that is used in the mechanical drying of California Golden Raisins.