Author Archive

The Ultimate Soccer Mom

Friday, September 14th, 2012

I recently got to have breakfast with U.S. Olympic soccer team captain Christie Rampone (I even got to try on her gold medal from London! That’s me holding it in the photo). Rampone is a super down-to-earth mom of two who is working on keeping her kids healthy just like all of you.

Rampone recently returned from the London Olympics where she led her team to its third straight gold medal. Her world-traveling daughters Rylie, 7, and Reece, 2, got to see their mom play in London and loved every minute of it.

The Rampone family doesn’t travel with a nanny, but instead Rampone and her husband balance responsibilities. “Traveling can be a struggle at times because it’s hard to keep my girls on a routine with all of the time changes and jet lag,” she said. “But the benefits far outweigh the costs. It’s taught my daughters to be more self-sufficient. They love meeting kids of all nationalities. When they’re playing together it doesn’t matter if they don’t speak the same language.”

Rampone, a spokesperson for FRS Healthy Performance natural energy supplements, gave us some tips on how she keeps herself and her kids healthy.

Find time to rest.
Rampone makes a point of relaxing despite her hectic schedule.  “This summer I was hooked on ‘Friday Nights Lights’ so I would sit down and watch that after a long day of games and practice. I also like to go on quiet walks with no music, just my thoughts,” she said.

Lead by example.
“I’ve noticed that Rylie will be more hesitant to try a new food if she sees that I don’t like it,” Rampone said. “She used to not eat seafood because I didn’t like it, but after she saw me try a bite she realized it wasn’t bad.”

Teach your kids how to plan healthy meals for themselves.
Rampone teaches her 7-year-old how to pick nutritious foods by giving her healthy options and allowing her to pack her own school lunches. Beyond healthy options, she always lets her indulge in one treat.

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An Easy Way to Fight Child Hunger

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

No Kid HungryWe’ve all seen the heartbreaking images of children in third world countries who are barely surviving due to a lack of food. We all know that this tragic reality exists, but did you know that there are 16 million children living here in America who are battling hunger?

We at Parents take this issue very seriously. We recently ran a report on what hunger looks like in America and interviewed a mom who experienced it firsthand.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill is teaming up with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to bring 1 million meals to children in need. They invited us and other bloggers to write about their favorite Italian recipe and for every post they will donate $50 to No Kid Hungry, which will provide up to 500 meals for children in need.

Here’s what you can do to help.

Give
Throughout the entire month of September, Macaroni Grill diners can donate $2 to No Kid Hungry and receive $5 off their next visit. A $2 donation could provide up to 20 meals.

Share
Every time a fan shares a photo from the Mac Grill Facebook Gallery, Macaroni Grill will help No Kid Hungry provide a child with a meal.

Tag
Tweet or Instagram a photo of your Macaroni Grill experience with the tag #macgrillgive and Macaroni Grill will provide a child with a meal.

Here’s one of our favorite Italian dishes, the mega-simple Crockpot Lasagna:

Ingredients:           

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 26 ounce jar pasta sauce
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 15 ounce carton light ricotta cheese
  • 6 lasagna noodles
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6oz.)

Make It
1. Coat a 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In a large microwave-safe bowl stir together pasta sauce and water. Cover bowl with waxed paper and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together ricotta cheese and carrot; set aside.

2. Spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce mixture in the bottom of prepared slow cooker. Break half of the noodles to fit the bottom of the slow cooker and arrange over the sauce in the slow cooker. Spoon mounds of half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the layers. Top with remaining noodles, breaking to fit, remaining ricotta mixture, and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Spoon remaining sauce over and top with remaining mozzarella.

3. Cover; cook on low heat setting for 3 hours (noodles should be tender). Remove crockpot from liner and let stand covered for 20 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Tip
Stovetop Method:  Prepare as above, except increase noodles to 8 and layer ingredients in a large deep skillet. Bring to boiling over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes.

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