Kid Approved & Diabetic Friendly

Friday Featured Lunch 10.7.16

I pack my son a fresh school lunch every day. Each Friday, I pick one lunch from the week to share with you- the Friday Featured Lunch. These featured lunches are meant to give you inspiration of new things to make and try with your kids. Plus, all featured lunches include the carbohydrate breakdown of each food item, so that you can easily add/remove items to accommodate your child’s likes/dislikes.

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Here’s this week’s featured lunch, assembled inside a LunchBots container:

Taco Soup (recipe below)= 24 carbs
Fresh Fruit (grapes, strawberries & pineapple)= 15 carbs
Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Tortilla Chips= 11 carbs
Leaf & Love Organic Lemonade Juice Box= 2 carbs
Lifeway Organic ProBug= 10 carbs

Lunch Total= 62  carbohydrates

For more lunchbox ideas, complete with carb counts, visit my Pinterest board: FPG Featured Lunches.

Taco Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 16-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef with onion, garlic, and salt & pepper. Drain fat.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients (except optional toppings) and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Ladle soup into bowls and top with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, and tortilla chips, if desired.
http://fingerprickingood.com/2016/10/07/friday-featured-lunch-10-7-16/

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Kid Approved & Diabetic Friendly Pre-Trick-or-Treat Meal

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Halloween is almost upon us once again. For many (especially those of you with freshly diagnosed kiddos), I’m sure the mere thought of Halloween and it’s candy-filled traditions is now the scariest part of this holiday for you. I know because I’ve been there and I admit that those first couple of Halloween’s after C was diagnosed with diabetes were pretty challenging and stressful.

After C was diagnosed with diabetes, we maintained that we never wanted to rob him of staple childhood experiences (like trick-or-treating) just because of diabetes. However, as we are all very aware, diabetes doesn’t ever decide to just take the night off either, so these holidays do unfortunately take some extra planning.

It’s taken several years, but I’ve finally learned that I need not dread the candy-filled holidays. With a good plan in place, that both you and your child have agreed on, holidays like Halloween can still be super fun and enjoyable for your type 1 kiddo.

With that in mind, this year I wanted to create a whole pre-trick-or-treating Halloween themed meal. I’ve seen so many cute ideas floating around, and I compiled the ones I thought would make the most kid and carb-friendly, balanced meal, and served it in a muffin tin. Here’s what’s inside:

Mummy Dogs (1 hot dog cut in 1/2 and wrapped in a strip of crescent roll dough and baked at 375F for 10-13 minutes)= 12 carbs
“Candy Corn” Veggies (yellow bell peppers, carrots, and cauliflower layered to resemble candy corn)= 4 carbs
Witches Broomsticks (cut 1 cheese stick into thirds, wrap one end with chives and insert a pretzel stick through the top)= 2 carbs
Clementine “Pumpkin” (1 peeled clementine with a small piece of celery inserted in the top)= 9 carbs
Dirt & Worms (sugar-free chocolate pudding cup topped with 1/2 crushed Oreo and 2 gummy worms)= 30 carbs
Silly Apple Monster (1/4 apple, strawberry slice, sunflower seeds and 2 googly eyes secured with peanut butter)= 8 carbs

Meal Total= 65 carbohydrates

Of course you can cater this to your own child’s appetite and likes/dislikes. If you’re wanting to cut back on carbs in anticipation of allowing your child to indulge in some trick-or-treating candy, just omit the dirt & worms and it will nearly cut the meal carb total in half.

Here are 3 more ideas of what you could fill your muffin tin with, that I have shared on t1everydaymagic.com:

I’d love to know…how do you navigate holidays like Halloween with diabetes? Feel free to share your tips/tricks in the comments!

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Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti

This past Saturday we got back from our annual week long summer vacation. I look forward to this one week all year long as it is truly the one week the entire year where we get away and completely unplug from all activities, responsibilities, etc. It’s like we get to hit a reset button and connect with every family member in a way that you just don’t always get to in the day-to-day grind of every day life. Thankfully, this year was no different and we had an absolute blast!

However, each year I find myself thinking, the only thing that could make this better is if we didn’t have to worry about diabetes. If only we could just let the kid’s completely indulge and let them eat what they want for a week. Wouldn’t that be nice? Something so many people just take for granted, is the one thing I long for my child to experience.

For full disclosure we do always let C indulge more than usual when on vacation, but it’s not without stress, blood sugar spikes, and often times followed by blood sugar crashes.

Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti- 1

And what does all of this have to do with Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti, you ask? Well, as I mentioned we did let C indulge a bit during the week and despite our best efforts, between lots of idle car time, being on the go and completely off our normal schedule, not having access to all the food we normally eat, swimming, etc., his blood sugar graph looked like the path of a roller coaster ride. So as soon as we got home I knew we had to get back on track.

One of C’s favorite foods is spaghetti. I knew regular pasta was not the route we wanted to travel to get “back on track”, so I made spaghetti served over cooked broccoli slaw instead. I couldn’t believe what a huge hit it was! C ate two giant plates and my middle child gobbled it up. My husband and I both loved  it too! We honestly couldn’t believe broccoli slaw gave us such a “noodle” fix.

Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti- 2

If you have pasta lovers in your house, you seriously need to try this recipe! I really think your kiddos could surprise you and love it like my kids did!

As I’m typing this, C walked by and said, “I love that stuff!” while pretending to lick the computer screen. This is powerful stuff, people!

Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti- 3

Looking ahead to the start of a new school year, I’m thinking it would pack really well for lunches too.

I LOVE finding recipes that are easy, healthy, and kid/blood sugar friendly- absolute recipe GOLD! :)

Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti

Yield: 8 servings

Serving Size: Approximately 1 cup

Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 2 12-ounce bags broccoli slaw
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, brown ground beef. Drain fat, and add pasta sauce to the ground beef, mix, and let simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and add broccoli slaw. Boil for 5-10 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Top each serving with sauce and parmesan cheese (optional). Alternatively, you can mix the sauce and cooked broccoli slaw all together and then serve.

Notes

Each 1 cup serving has approximately: 168.5 Calories, 6.6g Total Fat, 14.5g Protein, 13.1g Carbohydrates, 3.9g Dietary Fiber, 7.6g Sugar, 36.9mg Cholesterol, 362.4 Sodium.

http://fingerprickingood.com/2015/07/16/broccoli-slaw-spaghetti/

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Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

For me, breakfast, lunches & snacks are the easiest meals to prepare & make diabetic friendly. My husband eats at work, so I don’t have to worry about making him anything for breakfast or lunch, and with my little guy still at home I just make both of our lunches at the same time. So for C’s lunches and breakfast’s I am somewhat of a short order cook, which works out fine for the time being. Although, I do admit that some days all I feel like I have done is prepare food around the clock.

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Dinners around here, though, can be a bit more challenging. That is one meal in which I do not want to be a short order cook. I want to make one thing that the entire family can eat. So after being super carb conscious for C’s breakfast, lunch & snacks; dinner is the the meal that we typically let him indulge in some higher carb foods. However, it seems to never fail that the day I plan a pasta dish (or any higher carb meal), that is when we have blood sugar issues going in to the meal. Then I have to ditch the “plan” and make a “hodge podge” meal (the name we have given to having to quickly throw together random low carb foods to make a meal, even if the ingredients don’t necessarily “go together”, etc).

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In an attempt to avoid hodge podge meals I try to always plan lower carb dinners for the week and have them on hand. This Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf is the perfect example of that. It is a low carb meal that can be prepared quickly, with ingredients you can keep on hand, and it’s a meal the entire family can enjoy. It is absolutely delicious too! Both of my kids devour their helpings every time I make it.

What go-to low carb meals do you like to keep on hand?

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 slice meatloaf

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

Recipe source: whatscookinglove.com.

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Mix the mixture with your hands. Place into a greased loaf pan and form the chicken mixture into a loaf shape. Top the meatloaf with the marinara sauce.
  3. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until chicken is cooked. When done remove and add the mozzarella cheese on top. Return the meatloaf to the oven until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and let the meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Each serving (1 slice of meatloaf) has approximately 10g of carbs and 0.8g of dietary fiber. Total NET CARBS= 9.2g.

258.2 Calories; 12.7g Total Fat; 23.7g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 0.8g Dietary Fiber; 2g Sugar.

http://fingerprickingood.com/2014/01/27/chicken-parmesan-meatloaf/

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PB&J Wafflewich

Long ago, when I was completely at my wit’s end with my picky eater son, I had a realization. Some kids are just pickier than others, I get that, but I felt (in our case) we were fueling the pickiness. Desperate to have him eat a nutritious and complete meal, I always made him his favorites and stuff I knew he would eat. He was picky, because we allowed him to be. We never put our foot down and said it’s this or you don’t eat. Which as you all know, with a diabetic, is almost impossible, because the minute you do that, that’s when a low hits and you have to give them something. I’m confident as a toddler my son had this figured out. So we couldn’t ever really do a “you eat this or you’re going to have to go to bed hungry” approach.

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So what I started to do instead was quite simple but also quite affective. I would take his favorite foods but prepare them in a slightly different way. Same core ingredients but switching it up just a little, by either adding one ingredient or just preparing them differently.

Take this PB&J Wafflewich for example. He loved just a standard PB&J sandwich. I personally love a toasted PB&J. So one day I decided to make him a toasted PB&J. He LOVED it. Same sandwich, but prepared differently, and exposing him to a different texture in bread. Since then I have made sandwiches with peanut butter and just about every fruit (strawberries, bananas, apples, etc.) and he has loved them all. It exposed him to new flavors and textures without him even really knowing it, because it was mixed with the foods that he had already given the stamp of approval to. I used this approach of adding different ingredients/preparing in a new way, with several different foods items as well (mac n’ cheese, pizza, etc.) and before long he was trying stuff he previously wouldn’t have looked twice at.

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Today we have overcome a lot of that pickiness. But even so, I still am always looking for ways to switch up my boys’ favorite foods. I just recently came across the idea to make a PB&J in a waffle maker and it was one of those moments where I was like, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” I tried it and it was absolutely delicious! If you like a toasted PB&J, you will LOVE this. Instead of just toasting the bread, this method of preparation warms everything together: the peanut butter, the jelly and the bread. I’m telling you, it’s heavenly! And one more variation to PB&J for this mama. You must try it for yourself!

See this PB&J Wafflwich packed in today’s Friday Featured Lunch.

PB&J Wafflewich

PB&J Wafflewich

Ingredients

  • 2 slices bread (for this I used Sara Lee Delightful Healthy Multi-grain from the 45 Calories & Delightful line)
  • 1 Tablespoon jelly (I use Smucker's Sugar-Free Strawberry Preserves, sweetened with Truvia)
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread, and jelly on the other. Close sandwich.
  3. Lightly grease waffle maker, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until bread is toasted and golden brown.

Notes

*Carbohydrate calculations will vary, depending on what kind of bread, peanut butter and jelly you use. Look at your specific nutrition labels for most accurate calculations.

Two slices of the Sara Lee Delightful Healthy Multi-grain bread (mentioned above) has 18 g of carbs and 5 grams of fiber.

1 Tablespoon of Smucker's Sugar-Free Strawberry Preserves, sweetened with Truvia, has 5 g of carbs.

1 Tablespoon of Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter has 4 g of carbs.

http://fingerprickingood.com/2014/01/17/pbj-wafflewich/

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Top 10 Posts of 2013

Happy New Year! I hope your new year is off to a great start!

Top 10 Posts of 2013

In case you missed the best of the best, here’s a list of 2013’s Top 10 Posts:

1) Baked Apple Pie Egg Rolls

2) Breakfast Casserole

3) 10 Kid Approved & Diabetic Friendly Snacks

4) Mini Mexican Pizzas

5) Mini Corn Dog Muffins

6) Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

7) Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

8) Crock-Pot Applesauce

9) POWER Muffins: Blueberry+Oatmeal+Yogurt

10) Breakfast Egg Cups

I’m positive 2014 will hold even more deliciousness!

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Slow Cooker Mexican Meatball Soup

Here in the Midwest cold weather is officially setting in. For a while we had “warning” days that winter is on it’s way, but now we’re getting to that point where the forecast holds far more cold days than remotely warm. I don’t dislike winter weather until about February and then I am completely over it. Thankfully there are things I can do to make the cold more enjoyable.

During this time of year, I rely heavily on my crock-pot to cook my family’s meals. I love the smells that fill my house after a meal has cooked in it all day. I also like to prepare dinner during the day, because something about the time change and cooking dinner in the dark just isn’t nearly as appealing. Not to mention it’s nice to make dinner early on in the day so come evening all I have to do is dish it up and serve it. I’m still trying to think of a solution to cut out the whole post-meal-cleaning-up-the-kitchen process and then I will really have struck gold! Suggestions, anyone??

SONY DSCNow that I’ve had a chance to make many of our favorite crock-pot meals, I’ve been experimenting with new recipes. I made this Mexican Meatball Soup last week and the entire family loved it! It was so simple to prepare and SO yummy! It was full of delicious flavors, but not spicy…perfectly kid-friendly. We served it with some breaDr. bread and it was the perfect low carb meal for a cold day! This would also make a great soup to pack in a thermos for your child’s school lunch.

What are some of your favorite diabetic friendly crock-pot concoctions?

Slow Cooker Mexican Meatball Soup

Yield: Makes 6 servings

Slow Cooker Mexican Meatball Soup

Recipe source: 365daysofcrockpot.com.

Ingredients

  • 30 frozen Italian meatballs
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (14 oz) can black beans
  • 1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional Toppings:
  • Grated cheese
  • Cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Combine the meatballs, broth, garlic powder, beans, tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, basil and oregano in the slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Divide soup between 6 bowls and add about 5 meatballs into each serving bowl. Top with grated cheese and cilantro, if desired.

Notes

Recipe yields 6 servings. 1 serving has approximately 31.7g of carbs and 5.7g of dietary fiber. Total NET CARBS= 26g.

361.4 Calories; 17.2g Total Fat; 20.8g Protein; 31.7g Carbohydrate; 5.7g Dietary Fiber; 6.4g Sugar; 37.5mg Cholesterol.

*Calculations do not include optional toppings.

http://fingerprickingood.com/2013/11/11/slow-cooker-mexican-meatball-soup/

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Mini Mexican Pizzas

This recipe is from www.dashingdish.com.

Don’t you just love meals that make nice and neat little individual portions that you can pick up and eat with one hand? If so, you’ll love these Mini Mexican Pizzas!

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On busy school nights, simplicity is what I’m after when I plan meals. It needs to be something quick and easy for me to prepare, full of quality and filling ingredients, and preferably something I can just easily scoop onto plates and quickly get to hungry mouths. This recipe is the epitome of that. Perfect individual portions for each family member, and great for little hands to just pick up and bite into. Not to mention the individual portions make it much easier to accurately calculate carbohydrates.

Mini Mexican Pizzas-2

To assemble the pizzas, start by laying each tortilla out on a flat surface, and using a glass cup, empty can, cookie cutter, etc., cut 3-4 medium circles out of each tortilla. Press each circle into the muffin tin (it doesn’t have to cover the entire side of the tin). In a small bowl, mix together the ground meat, salsa, taco seasoning, refried beans, and corn; stir until well combined. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of meat mixture into each muffin cup. Top with shredded cheese, and olives if desired. Bake in pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

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Remove the muffin tin from the oven and let pizzas cool in tin for 5-10 minutes. Remove the pizzas from the muffin tin using a fork or knife. Add additional toppings, if desired.

I haven’t yet tried this for C, but I am confident these would also pack well in a school lunch. Just heat up leftovers in the morning, pack, and they should be room temperature by lunchtime.

Mini Mexican Pizzas

Yield: 12 Mini Mexican Pizzas

Mini Mexican Pizzas

Recipe source: dashingdish.com.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 large whole wheat tortillas, or enough to cut out 12 medium circles (I used the Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Tortillas)
  • 1 cup ground beef
  • 1/2 cup salsa of choice
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup refried beans
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Optional Toppings:
  • Sliced black olives
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sour cream
  • Tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Spray a 12 count muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Lay each tortilla out on a flat surface, and using a glass cup, empty can, cookie cutter, etc., cut 3-4 medium circles out of each tortilla.
  3. Press each circle into muffin tin. It doesn't have to cover the entire side of the tin.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the ground meat, salsa, taco seasoning, refried beans, and corn. Stir until well combined.
  5. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of meat mixture into each muffin cup.
  6. Top with shredded cheese, and olives, if desired.
  7. Bake in pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  8. Remove from oven and let pizzas cool in tin for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Remove pizzas from muffin tin using a fork or knife. Add additional toppings, if desired.

Notes

Each Mini Mexican Pizza has approximately: 94.8 Calories, 3.8g Total Fat, 6g Protein, 9.3g Carbohydrates, 4.3g Dietary Fiber, 0.5g Sugar, 11.5mg Cholesterol, 267.7 Sodium.

*I used a low carbohydrate tortilla, so totals will vary depending on what tortillas you use, and the size of your tortilla circle cutouts.

http://fingerprickingood.com/2013/09/09/mini-mexican-pizzas/

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Mini Mexican Pizza
Servings Per Container 12

Amount Per Serving
Calories 94.8 Calories from Fat 34.2
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.8g 6%
Saturated Fat 1.8g 9%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol 11.5mg 4%
Sodium 267.7mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 9.3g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4.3g 17%
Sugars 0.5g
Protein 6.0g 12%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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