Haylie Duff On Being Pregnant and Hungry

You might recognize Haylie Duff from her established acting career in both films and TV (and maybe from her famous younger sis, too)—but she’s pretty talented in the kitchen, as well. And now she’s cooking for two!

Haylie has amassed a following as the author of her popular blog The Real Girl’s Kitchen, and hosts a show of the same name on Cooking Channel (which will premiere a new season Saturday, April 25 at 1 p.m. ET!). Her Texas background melds with her California lifestyle to serve up a mix of cozy, homestyle meals and lighter, fresher fare. On her show, Haylie documents her adventures around New York and LA. Plus, she showcases her culinary chops with easy recipe tutorials.

In true millennial mom fashion, Haylie announced her pregnancy in early December via Instagram and a blog post. With the arrival of her little girl quickly approaching, we chatted with the mom-to-be about her pregnancy, her recent baby shower, and how she deals with unpredictable cravings.

P: How did you start cooking?

HD: I grew up in a Texas family that loved to cook. Then, as a young adult I decided it was time I learn to whip up a couple dishes, and I fell in love with my kitchen!

P: Do you find that it’s tougher to find motivation to cook during pregnancy?

HD: Motivation, no, because you are always hungry! But sometimes being on your feet too long in the kitchen is a bummer. I was very lucky to not get hit with morning sickness so I still got to enjoy my favorite meals while I was pregnant.

P: Are there certain foods you just can’t get enough of right now?

HD: Fruit! I have craved tangerines my whole pregnancy. And pizza…

P: Your recent blog about Green Enchiladas mentioned that you’ve been craving Mexican food lately. What are some of your favorite healthy dishes?

HD: I love to make quinoa salads and keep them in the fridge. Then you always have something healthy to snack on. I do the same with turkey chili!

P: Is season 2 of Real Girl’s Kitchen going to incorporate pregnancy wellness or preparing for baby? What can viewers expect for the new season?

HD: We didn’t really highlight my pregnancy because the episodes sometimes air out of order and I didn’t look pregnant in the beginning. I just finished shooting a summer special for Cooking Channel that is all about baby!

P: Have you been getting any pregnancy advice from your sister Hilary?

HD: Not really pregnancy advice as much as the world’s cutest wardrobe! She is so excited to be an aunt to a little girl. It was so cute, when I first found out I was pregnant I asked my nephew what he hoped the baby was and he said “a girl!” So everyone is pretty pumped.

P: You focus a lot on healthy, whole foods. How has that been a priority for you during pregnancy?

In the beginning of my pregnancy I just wanted lighter food. I craved green smoothies, fruit and salads. As I got more pregnant I wanted naughtier foods!

P: What is the weirdest thing you’ve craved during pregnancy?

I ate tacos for breakfast one day—that is a bit out of character for me!

Related: Celebrity Moms’ Top Pregnancy Cravings

P: How have you readers helped you through the pregnancy process? Do you find yourself asking them for any tips?

It has been really fun to go through pregnancy with the readers of Real Girls Kitchen. We commiserate, share tips or simply share excitement! It is nice to feel everyone’s love and support!

The Real Girl’s Kitchen will be premiering for season two on Saturday, April 25th at 1pm on Cooking Channel.

Photo by Yoni Goldberg.

Brooke Bunce is an editorial assistant at Parents and loves to binge-watch cooking shows when she has access to cable television. You can follow her on Twitter.

How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Snack
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Snack
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Snack

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An Easy Kids’ Snack: Homemade Strawberry Yogurt Drinks

My kids love strawberry yogurt drinks. The problem is that with three kids, this little snack can get expensive, especially considering my boys often drink two at a time.

Then, there’s the fact that the ingredient lists in some brands leave much to be desired. Some of these yogurt drinks are made with refined sugars, contain artificial colors and sweeteners, and no fruit! In fact, I often see the words Strawberry Flavored right on the packaging. That leaves me wondering, where are the strawberries? I don’t want flavoring from concentrate; I’d like my kids’ yogurt drinks to contain actual fruit.

I’m sure I’m not the only parent frustrated at the promise of good nutrition from packaged snacks. But with busy after-school activity schedules, it can be hard to find food that is kid-approved, nutritious, and portable.

This recipe for strawberry yogurt drinks is made with real fruit, milk and Greek yogurt for calcium and additional protein, and honey as the an optional sweetener. The ingredient list can’t get any better.

And, it’s portable. This homemade version can easily be made ahead of time and sipped on the go in a 3-4 ounce lidded container (available in many stores and online) that you can re-use it time and time again.

Of course, you can use fresh or frozen fruit to make these homemade yogurt drinks. One of my kids’ favorite flavors is made with frozen peaches. When kiwis are in-season, I make sure to make a strawberry-kiwi batch for a natural boost of vitamin C.

Some of the best and most exciting flavor combinations submitted by my Momables community have been: strawberry + beets, banana + carrots, pineapple + spinach, and mango + kale. As you can see, the possibilities are endless and the consistency will be right as long as you keep the liquid and fruit ratio intact.

My hope is that your family will enjoy this homemade version as much as mine and that experimenting with new fruit combinations brings additional excitement to the recipe-making process.

Homemade Strawberry Yogurt Drinks
Recipe from The Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet
Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 cups (475 ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons (40 g) honey (optional)
  • 1 cup (145 g) strawberries

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on medium-low speed until everything is smooth and evenly combined.

Pour yogurt drinks in small 4 ounce (120 ml) drink containers and refrigerate for 1 hour. Give the yogurt drink a quick stir prior to serving.

Laura Fuentes is the founder of MOMables where she helps parents make fresh school lunches and meals their kids will love. She’s the author of The Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet and The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet. Download a free week of Laura’s Classic and Grain Free Meal Plans here.

Indy 500 Fruit Racers
Indy 500 Fruit Racers
Indy 500 Fruit Racers

Image courtesy of Laura Fuentes

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Why You Should Stop Buying Sports Drinks for Your Kids

There’s nothing that makes me cringe more than sports drinks on the sidelines of youth sports. Okay, maybe frosted cupcakes on the sidelines of youth sports make me cringe a little bit more. But sports drinks are a very close second. Because the fact of the matter is, most kids just don’t need them.

Sports drinks were originally created for competitive athletes who needed quick, convenient refueling. They were designed to replenish carbohydrates, plus sodium and potassium lost through sweat. They weren’t made for kids playing a 45-minute soccer game (yes, even if they’re sweating). They definitely weren’t made for my six year old pee-wee flag football player, who spends just as much time standing around fiddling with his mouth guard as he does running around the field.

“Most kids in recreational sports don’t need a sports drink, because they play for less than an hour, and many who have games that last longer than an hour aren’t running and active the whole time,” says Jill Castle, RD, author of the forthcoming book Eat Like A Champion. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agrees. In their 2011 clinical report, they state that water is “the appropriate first choice for hydration before, during, and after most exercise regimens”. For typical sports practices and games, electrolytes lost through sweat can be replaced with the next snack or meal. According to the AAP report, “For most children and adolescents, daily electrolyte requirements are met sufficiently by a healthy balanced diet; therefore, sports drinks offer little to no advantage over plain water.”

What these drinks DO offer: A whole lot of stuff children don’t need, like added sugar (as much as 8 teaspoons in a 20-ounce bottle), citric acid that can erode tooth enamel, artificial flavors, synthetic food dyes, and additives like thickeners and stabilizers. Yet the marketing must be working, because every weekend I see parents schlepping packs of neon yellow, blue, and red drinks to the sidelines and passing them around after games.

Yes, there are exceptions. “Middle school and high school athletes may need sports drinks if they’re exercising for longer than an hour, have back-to-back competitive events like an all-day soccer tournament, or are exercising in hot, humid weather that increases the risk for dehydration, such as a heat wave in May when kids aren’t used to the heat or football players in full dress for a game in August,” says Castle.

Otherwise, kids can stay hydrated by drinking water and replenish any lost electroylets through food. For instance, they can get potassium and sodium in a banana and a handful of crackers. Or they can simply come home after their game or practice and sit down for lunch or dinner.

If you’d like to see fewer sports drinks on the sidelines of your child’s team, consider talking to the coach or other team parents. Check out my Sports Snacktivism Handbook for sample emails and other resources for making change happen.

Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, educator, and mom of two who blogs at Real Mom Nutrition. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. She is the author ofCooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide, a cookbook for busy families. In her spare time, she loads and unloads the dishwasher. Then loads it again.

How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids

Image: Sports drinks via Shutterstock

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Could YOU Feed Yourself For $29 a Week?

Couple grocery shoppingEarlier this month, the Food Bank for New York City and Mario Batali launched #FoodBankNYCChallenge. Together, they’re asking that we put ourselves in the shoes of the 46.3 million Americans who are dependent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) by attempting to feed ourselves for an entire week on a budget of just $29.

Twenty-nine dollars a week? That’s $4.14 per DAY and just $1.38 per MEAL. This morning, I bought a coffee and muffin on my way to work for $3.62, which I thought was pretty cheap—but if I was adhering to a SNAP budget I would be left with just 52 cents to spend for the rest of the day. Meaning no lunch or dinner, but I might be able to pick up a banana from a street vendor.

Since 2013, the government has cut the SNAP budget twice making it significantly harder for individuals to make ends meet. And this isn’t just affecting single person households; approximately 70 percent of those who participate in the SNAP program are in families with children. In 2014, the average monthly benefit for a family of four was $464. These families are also struggling to put healthy food, which is typically more expensive, on the table.

If you’ve heard about this challenge, it’s likely because of all the buzz surrounding Gwyneth Paltrow’s participation. Late last week, she posted a photo on Twitter that displayed $29 worth of (lots of green!) groceries. Uproar began as people critiqued the calorie content of her purchases, explaining that someone on SNAP would need to consume far more calories in order to survive due to lifestyle differences. It’s likely that SNAP participants work manual labor jobs or don’t have the luxury of owning a car, and instead rely on walking. Rather than critiquing Gwyneth, let’s appreciate the fact that she is drawing added attention to such a serious issue. She does have more outreach and ability to influence change than most of us.

Living on a SNAP budget for one week is only a brief experience—you’ll probably daydream about devouring a $15 sushi roll next week, and then actually do so. But millions of low-income families don’t get to choose when they will or won’t be on a tight budget, so let’s keep this conversation going.

So what do you say…Are you going to accept the #FoodBankNYCChallenge? And be sure to join the social media conversation by sharing your photos and experiences on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Looking for tips on how to complete this challenge? Read this mom’s menu plan who feeds her family of four on $200 per month.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

How to Buy Baby Food on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Food on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Food on a Budget

Image: Couple grocery shopping via Shutterstock

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Tags: | Categories: Health, Meals, Nutrition, The Scoop on Food

Got Dessert-Obsessed Kids? This Solution Sounds Crazy–But It Works!

Are your kids fixated on dessert? Do they rush through dinner to get it? Does it drive you bonkers? If so, what I’m about to suggest may change your life—but it may also sound a little nuts at first: Start serving dessert with dinner. Put it on the table, alongside the peas and the chicken and the rice. Don’t make a big deal about it. Let your kids eat it whenever they want. (Will they eat it first? Probably. And that’s okay.)

Serving dessert with dinner comes from the playbook of dietitian Ellyn Satter, an expert on feeding kids and author of Child Of Mine: Feeding With Love and Good Sense, among many other books about feeding. The idea is this: When dessert is taken down from its end-all-be-all pedestal—the grand finale of dinner, the good stuff you get after eating the yucky stuff—it becomes just another part of the meal. It loses its power, including as a bargaining tool (in other words, no more “two more bites of broccoli and you can have a cookie” negotiations!).

I’ll admit, I was a little nervous the first time I tried this several years ago. A neighbor had brought over frosted cupcakes, and as we sat down for dinner, those cupcakes were all my kids could talk about. So I decided to let everyone take a cupcake and put it on their dinner plates. What happened? My older son ate his first and continued on with dinner. My younger son took a bite, decided he didn’t like it, and ate his dinner.

This strategy also works well at parties and buffets, when sweets are often presented on the table along with the other foods. At a birthday party we attended, mini cupcakes were set on the buffet with the dinner foods. My kids each put a cupcake on their plates, ate it, then ate the rest of their food. Other parents spent a lot of time bargaining with their kids and insisting they had a certain number of bites of the dinner food before they could get a cupcake. Their kids were whining, the parents were aggravated (and I’m sure a few people were giving me the hairy eyeball for setting a bad example of eating cupcakes first). But ultimately, it was a much saner solution. My boys each had a cupcake, just like everyone else, but also ate other food too (and I wasn’t stuck at the kids’ table bickering with my children).

One caution with this approach: Make sure the portion of dessert isn’t so big that it wrecks their appetites. Give only one serving. For little kids, that might be one small cookie or a small scoop of ice cream. With my kids’ fresh haul of Easter candy, we’ve decided on two small pieces as a reasonable dessert, which they can have with their meal or after. It’s up to them.

Have you ever tried this approach? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, educator, and mom of two who blogs at Real Mom Nutrition. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. She is the author of Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide, a cookbook for busy families. In her spare time, she loads and unloads the dishwasher. Then loads it again.

Snow Cone Cupcakes
Snow Cone Cupcakes
Snow Cone Cupcakes

Image: Kid focused on cupcake via Shutterstock

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