Healthy Valentine’s Day Party Treats (& Games)

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Calling all red food!


Calling all naturally red food!


Calling all naturally red food not chock full of sugar and junk!

Healthy Valentine's Day treats are possible! Kids love these made-from-scratch desserts and snacks, from probiotic fruit pizza to heart-shaped graham crackers and pink pudding.

I am helping to plan a kids’ Valentine’s Day party at school, and I am determined to plan fun games and food that don’t include sugar, artificial food dyes, and trans fats. It has to be possible to have healthy Valentine’s Day food!

Other than strawberries, my initial midnight brainstorm session was coming up pretty blank. I asked the KS community on Facebook for ideas for pink or red foods or other Valentine’s food ideas. (You can see the whole list HERE; it’s awesome!)

Strawberry Hearts for Valentine's Day treats

As it turned out, once I was inspired by over 50 answers, I thought of a few of my own party food recipes that would be perfect. Every idea on this list is either healthy or healthiER – I never can truly call anything with sweetener “healthy” because although natural sweeteners are not as bad as white sugar, any sweetener is still mostly empty calories. There’s some redeeming nutritional value in there too, but fructose is fructose, you know?

Why are they Healthy Treats?

Valentine's Day Healthy Party Desserts

All the foods I demonstrate below have:

  • No grains or whole grains, soaked grains
  • Zero white sugar, low unrefined sweeteners
  • Healthy fats
  • Fruits, and even some vegetables
  • Probiotics! For real! (I’m kind of proud of that one because I feel like that’s rare among party food for kids…)

I thought of too many ideas, in fact, and my son and I couldn’t decide. We’re going to let the kids look at pictures and choose two that they want, like ordering from a menu.

The teacher, in a stroke of genius, is going to tie all of this in with their current Social Studies unit on economics by talking about choice and opportunity cost. Ah, some days, I miss teaching – the chance to make connections to real life like that and form young minds en masse…it’s pretty awesome.

Other days I’m just happy to sit on my duff at the computer while the children wreak havoc around me…but at least I’m at home with them.

See how helpful little Jonathan was for this post’s pictures?

Valentine's Day Healthy Raspberry Brownies Healthy Valentine's Day treats are possible! Kids love these made-from-scratch desserts and snacks, from probiotic fruit pizza to heart-shaped graham crackers and pink pudding.
Healthy Valentine's Day treats are possible! Kids love these made-from-scratch desserts and snacks, from probiotic fruit pizza to heart-shaped graham crackers and pink pudding. Healthy Valentine's Day treats are possible! Kids love these made-from-scratch desserts and snacks, from probiotic fruit pizza to heart-shaped graham crackers and pink pudding.
Healthy Valentine's Day treats are possible! Kids love these made-from-scratch desserts and snacks, from probiotic fruit pizza to heart-shaped graham crackers and pink pudding. Healthy Valentine's Day treats are possible! Kids love these made-from-scratch desserts and snacks, from probiotic fruit pizza to heart-shaped graham crackers and pink pudding.

He stole my strawberries, asked, “Where did all the berries go?” in baby signs, then decided to go for the whipped cream. It’s rather unfortunate that the best natural light is on the floor in front of the sliding door…

On to the food! Here’s what the kids will get to choose from for next week’s Valentine’s Day party:

Healthy Valentine’s Day Party Food Ideas

Healthy Valentine's Day treats are possible! Kids love these made-from-scratch desserts and snacks, from probiotic fruit pizza to heart-shaped graham crackers and pink pudding.

We’re calling these beauties “Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownie Sandwiches.” I used grain-free brownies with 60% dark chocolate chips on top (recipe in The Everything Beans Book, on sale now through 1/31/15). I sliced them lengthwise with a very sharp knife and filled the middle with thawed frozen raspberries + yogurt cheese with just a touch of maple syrup and raspberry juice for the pink color.

Yes, I did say the brownie recipe is in a beans book. There’s not a speck of flour in them…but you could use any sturdy, healthy brownie recipe you like. I have a whole grain brownie in Smart Sweets.

Healthy Valentine's Day treats are possible! Kids love these made-from-scratch desserts and snacks, from probiotic fruit pizza to heart-shaped graham crackers and pink pudding.

My healthy fruit pizza uses a shortbread-style crust with real butter, 100% whole wheat flour, and very little sweetener (1/4 cup for the whole thing). Add lightly sweetened yogurt cheese and fresh fruit on top, and you could get away with eating this for breakfast.

Healthy Valentine's Day treats are possible! Kids love these made-from-scratch desserts and snacks, from probiotic fruit pizza to heart-shaped graham crackers and pink pudding.

This Valentine’s Strawberry Pudding is actually from my new book, Better Than a Box, where it was originally the reverse engineered version of that famous “banana pudding” with Cool Whip, pudding, condensed milk or yogurt, bananas, and Nilla Wafers. None of those things are in this healthy treat!

Real homemade pudding is mixed with homemade yogurt, strawberries and raspberries; that whipped cream on top started out as cream, not 50 variations on corn (read the side of a Cool Whip tub); and the “wafers” are a homemade graham cracker crisped to perfection in the oven, and of course, cut in heart shapes. Strawberries are also really easy to cut in sort-of heart shapes by notching the top.

Healthy Valentine's Day treats are possible! Kids love these made-from-scratch desserts and snacks, from probiotic fruit pizza to heart-shaped graham crackers and pink pudding.

Everyone is getting heart-shaped white cheese, because it’s cute and fun, and I felt the need to provide something that wasn’t a dessert, even though all the desserts are healthiER.

Healthy Valentine's Day treats are possible! Kids love these made-from-scratch desserts and snacks, from probiotic fruit pizza to heart-shaped graham crackers and pink pudding.

Last but not least, for the kids who love dipping (or aren’t sure about all my other recipes and want something they recognize), we’re offering whole strawberries with 3 choices of dips. They’re billed as “chocolate pudding, strawberry cream cheese, and vanilla yogurt” but are really “chocomole” from Healthy Snacks to Go (a pudding made with avocado, raw honey, and cocoa powder), yogurt cheese colored with strawberry or raspberry juice (from frozen and thawed berries), and vanilla yogurt. If you wanted, you could go ga-ga with strawberries and dips…

Healthy Topping ideas for Strawberries

  • Chocomole
  • Yogurt cheese colored with frozen raspberry juice and and sweetened with honey or stevia. (also works with cream cheese)
  • Thick vanilla yogurt
  • Coconut cream frosting (made with coconut cream concentrate, vanilla or almond extract, maple syrup, and a bit of milk to thin if necessary) – I’ve used this coconut vanilla frosting recipe before; coconut cream concentrate is the same thing as coconut butter.
  • Melted dark chocolate (dip at home and allow to harden)
  • Yogurt (or yogurt cheese) mixed with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice
  • Yogurt (or cheese) with maple syrup and cinnamon
  • Pink colored shredded coconut for sprinkles
  • Grated or shaved dark chocolate for sprinkles

Healthy Valentine's Day treats are possible! Kids love these made-from-scratch desserts and snacks, from probiotic fruit pizza to heart-shaped graham crackers and pink pudding.

If this isn’t enough, School Bites had a great Valentine’s Day healthy food roundup too.

Valentine’s Day Games with no Sugar

I know, sugar isn’t always in games, but believe me – once you start checking out kids’ party activity ideas, you’ll see plenty with food and almost always sugary.

We’re having four stations and rotating groups through:

1. Decorating lunch bags for a local organization, Kids Food Basket, where theyValentine's Party Puzzle give sack suppers to food insecure kids in our community.

2. “Love goggles” made from pipe cleaners and stickers

3. Making Valentine’s Puzzles (at right)

4. “Love Potion Smoothies”

green smoothies

Guess which one my Blendtec and I are in charge of? (See my Blendtec review) At the smoothie station, the kids will have to come to fair consensus on what should go in the blender, and then they’ll have cute cups and straws for their smoothies. I’m bringing:

  • yogurt
  • kefir (Lifeway)
  • milk
  • ice
  • frozen strawberries, cherries, cranberries
  • frozen bananas
  • kelp powder
  • chia seeds
  • some greens of some sort
  • lemon wedges
  • diced red delicious apples
  • kiwi
  • coconut
  • maybe: pineapple, mango

We’re gonna have us some serious real food fun, aren’t we??? I’m pumped!

Kid’s Valentine’s Cards

In case you’re wondering what a real food household sticks to Valentine’s Day cards, in past years, it’s been…nothing. Just personally made cards.

This year, I was inspired by that Facebook thread to do these:

Healthy Valentine's Cards for Kids

Healthy Valentine's Cards for Kids)

Both kids chose this fruit squeeze pouch idea, approved by mom once I read that there wasn’t any added sweetener in the packages.

We considered a few others:

  • fruit strips or cheese sticks here
  • pencils here
  • whole pieces of fruit with silly Valentine’s themed notes on them, like these free printables or the ones I gathered below…

Fruity Valentine’s Notes

Once you start thinking of corny, er, I mean fruity Valentine’s notes, you just can’t stop. (Don’t use corn, too many omega 6s and GMOs, not romantic at all – although may cause heart disease, so surely related…)

If you’re having trouble getting the juices flowing, just pour two glasses of wine and sit down for date night with your husband/wife. Better yet, go to the produce section on a date! Wouldn’t that be a scene?

  • Will you be my Clementine?
  • Hi there, Kiwi Pie!
  • Here’s a Cutie for the cutie (with a Clementine)
  • I’m blueberry without you
  • I’m bananas for you, Valentine
  • Orange you going to kiss me?
  • Slip into my arms, Valentine (with a banana)
  • Cantaloupe tonight, dear, let’s wait for Valentine’s Day.
  • You’re awfully a-peel-ing to me, Valentine (with a banana or string cheese or orange…)

Having fun yet?

What do you do to combat the sugar-fest that can happen at a school holiday party?

UPDATE on the comments section; don’t bother reading this if you want to avoid the random drama that highjacked this post in 2013:

I hate to even take a minute more to comment on the mess that has taken place in the comments on this post, but as the boss, I get to. And I need to, to make sure that visitors understand what’s going on and don’t get derailed by one lone commenter.

“Oliver” has shared many opinions in the comments at this post, and he’s done so quite rudely. I don’t appreciate the accusations he’s made about me being out for profit at the expense of my readers’ health (and the health of my own children, by proxy) nor about our general lack of research and ability to comprehend science here at Kitchen Stewardship.

I was about to exercise the almighty delete button on all of his comments, but I felt horribly that other readers had taken time from their families to respond to him, and I decided not to negate their efforts. Besides, I do value intelligent conversation, and although this one is verging on not fitting into that category, the search for knowledge is still something I want to foster here at KS.

Much of his information does not deserve a response, and I think we all notice and lament the fact that Oliver does not include sources for his ground-breaking research. This one, from Heather, is perfect:

I do want to respond to Oliver’s attack on my business here – I am a for-profit business, to be sure, but if I was only seeking profit over health, believe me, I would accept all the offers that come my way. This could include Farmhouse frozen mozzarella sticks or “almost healthy” foods that still don’t fit the high standards (no industrial oils or soy, for example) that I set. I reject many monetizing opportunities based on the knowledge I have as a mom, not a scientist, and the best I can do, both for my family and my readers. I always promote baby steps, so Oliver’s push to let go of all that we understand about food is too much, too fast, even if there are elements of truth in his diatribe.

Any “advertising” I accept here at Kitchen Stewardship must be related to what my readers are interested in and also provide authentic content and real information, if in a post. I have cut ads from my sidebar recently that showed too many processed foods and “took over” the site with annoying popups, and I’m in the process of testing various networks to see which is the best fit.

I strongly believe that posts all must have genuine value, and Donielle’s post on natural fertility, he admits, was heartfelt and a good story. Yes, she was promoting her book, and I was thrilled to share my platform with her – she’s a dear friend in real life, and I would be remiss not to shout from the rooftops how proud I am that she’s a published author!

If Oliver would like to share this platform at Kitchen Stewardship, I would be happy to accept a well-written, well-sourced guest post from him, once he and his group of scientists publish their new research. He needs only to email me in private with a proper proposal, and once I check that everything is peer-reviewed and also doesn’t feel completely inappropriate and dangerous, according to my maternal intuition, you’ll see him here again. Until that time, Oliver’s future comments will be marked as spam.

Ultimately, although I was going to delete everything for plain rudeness, the comment thread here will remain intact, although Oliver himself will not be able to add anything more to what has already taken over a light-hearted and fun post. I encourage readers to avoid adding fuel to the fire and just go hug your kids and feed them something nourishing while counting your blessings, both the smiling faces in front of you and the full refrigerator and pantry most of us enjoy.

Thanks, Katie (the boss)

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105 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. Oliver says

    It’s over a week away and you are thinking about food. That is the largest part of the food related health problem in america – we can’t stop thinking about what to eat next. It’s not like we have to plan a hunt or plant some seeds in advance – we can eat whatever we want whenever we want and with that luxury it appears that all we do is plan to eat everyday. We even hunt on full stomachs as chris rock once noted. And there’s that word again in the blog heading;”healthy” – there is little healthy about thinking about food all of the time (and eating food all of the time). We don’t need to eat everyday but tell that to the american public and the world of blogs and other marketing devices.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Oliver my dear, I see that you do not need to eat every day. Perhaps you do not have children. Believe me, they need to eat many times a day. Also, if I don’t plan what to eat, we’d have to rely on all that processed food you are hinting that blogs are marketing. I do not settle for that. Real food takes time, effort, and most certainly planning. Thank you for noticing,

      • Oliver says

        I eat everyday – but I don’t “need” to. I am only conditioned from years of marketing and “tradition” to eat everyday, 3 times a day, with snacks in between- and a night cap – oh and one for tha road… There are poor families in this country who miss plenty of days without a meal, and beyond the psychological ramifications, they are fine – they actually adjust – like people who are stranded without food on a life raft for days, or who fast for any number of reasons. Or the bums on the street on a cold wintery day – or hobos who traveled two days between train stops with know food. People in the military train to go without food for days. It is all in the mind – the american mind largely, that says eat eat eat. TV shows and magazines and now blogs etc that say eat eat eat. I bet you if you gave your kids a banana or apple or some fruit and a few nuts with water they would be fine – except that they won’t be fine cause their mind/body is conditioned to eat x amount at breakfast, x amount for lunch, X amount for dinner – with snacks in between and one for the road.
        As for “real food”, that takes no time; no time for an apple, or banana;no time for a glass of water and some nuts etc.;no time for a salad etc. Again, it is the american mind and most first world nations that allows for too much thought about food and eating and thus too much consumption of said food.

        • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

          I don’t think you are going to convince many people here, myself included, that we’d like our children to survive like a homeless person. All the time you save not eating will perhaps be spent having extensive dental work and medical interventions done in your middle years because of general malnourishment.

          I’m quite certain that people for centuries have been thinking about food, often, including your caveman friends – I guarantee much of their time and thoughts were spent wondering where their next meal would come from. Have you ever read Little House in the Big Woods? The simple, plant and animal based diet that those folks subsisted on, without any marketing at all, took much of their time, all summer long and into the fall.

          Now you are wasting my time being cordial to you while you are rude in my online home. I’m going to ask you to stop making claims here that encourage parents to malnourish their children. Perhaps you should not read food blogs; they don’t seem to be the right fit for you. You might find a minimalist blogger who chooses not to eat very much, or perhaps to spread your message of hope far and wide, you could start your own blog or Facebook page.

          As for your comments here, if the next one is not an apology for overstepping your bounds, I will exercise the almighty delete button on all your comments that have hijacked this post and any in the future.

          Thank you, Katie (the boss)

          • Oliver says

            katie, the other day I read one of your guest posts – something about fertility. It started out very nice and one felt for her pain, suffering and recovery etc. We were all drawn in until towards the ends she flips the sentiment and goes into marketing mode of some book – I was like wait what? I knew before, as I mentioned, but then i knew for sure that u people were simply all about selling stuff. So go ahead delete – because I am cramping your style and at the end of the day, messing with your money. You can delete but we are keeping a log of this and other blogs (it’s our right – no infringment here). So while you delete, what i am writing is still saved. You don’t really care about health and healing and it is evidenced in your unwillingnes to consider or explore anything we have put forth.
            I’m not saying you will be exposed on some shame on you type news program, but there will come a time when you personally will be asked to account for and tell us what you really know scientiffically, chemically, agriculturely, anthropologically etc. We aim to put an end to many bloggers who do quick studies (googles of this and that) and put forth the asumption of expert. And selling medical products, which is what a probiotic technically and litterally is. Your readers won’t know this now cause you have the luxury of delete (really convienent for you fast experts – so much for accountability) but they will know this in the near future. This is not a threat – I am just concerned with you making a profit at the expense of the gullible masses. We ask trained doctors and hospitals etc, and pilots and architects etc to be licensed and accountable – yet you bloggers can just have at it willy nilly.
            The only thing I am sorry abouti s that you don’t respect god enough to want to grow and really learn – and that you have put profit over proof of truth, profit over real dialogue and research and that you have decided to take his work and make a mockery of it. God should have told you, taught you, to reconize truth and not turn away from it cause it cramps your style and hampers your supplemental income. If you go out into the wild you will see god’s other creatures (all two million of the other species that inhabit his globe). The other species never veered from gods plan yet you and many humans have idolized money and profit. And more importantly,you forgot gods earliest teachings, that he told each species about how they should live on this earth, and what they should deem sacred and what should be regarded as folly. You can delete now katie kimball and keep conversating about how healthy the saturated fat laden sausage is…

            • angie says

              Wow, dude, I think you totally missed the point. I’m sorry you had to deal with this, Katie. Please continue to give us moms of little people some fantastic ideas about better eating than the standard american diet!

              • Oliver says

                There is actually a “we”. I am part of a number of people, including chemists, biologists, members of the ACS et al who are trying to bring the real science of food and nutrition to the masses. I am not original but this effort is spearheaded by yours truly. There are efforts spearheaded by so many others on so many issues that relate to food and health. Dr oz spoke of one persons effort to eliminate a certain chemical element from Gatorade. Good for her. I do find it funny sometimes what people concern themselves with; we should be trying to remove gatorade from gatorade… or, ain’t it funny when people are demanding that macdonalds labels their nutrients and calories – really? Your in macdonalds? Just sayin. But each complaint goes towards the larger point so it’s all good to that end.
                So, sometimes I speak for my self and sometimes I represent the collective of chemists and others who know what they know scientiffically and are frustrated that food marketing and government lets the food industry get away with false data on food and nutrition. There is actually data available to the public regarding tests that the dept of agriculture took on the matter of how many common cereals lack the nutrients they list on their boxes – yet the FDA or your local news station does nothing to bring these results to the masses – cash is king and weilds a mighty hand to thwart those that might rail against it. We can’t compete with mega companies like nabiscos or kraft etc.
                It is my personal effort however to dumb down the science stuff for the lay person, the average mom and pop etc. It is my personal effort to help the parent who has only 75 dollars to feed 3 kids for the month – it is my effort to show that person how to best spend their money, how to get the best nutritional bang for their buck – by telling them where and what the real nutrients are, and how they can and do damage most of their nutrients in the “prepping ” stages (and of course I tell them that the body makes it’s own nutrients).In this way, they eliminate so many things they thought had “value” to them. They also cut down thus, on the time it takes to prepare – as in no time handing the kid and apple and a bottle of water. Outrageous to many, but we, will list these many poor parents who have been wowed by the amount of calories they didn’t “need” and how much time they have saved in their lives by no longer subscribing to conventional ways of food planning and prepping for their children. And the money they have saved…OMG!

                • KatieC says

                  So then, based on the above you pretty much agree with Katie’s stance. Why attack someone who seems to hold your same philosophy?

        • Rebecca says

          All I can say is, though I am a young and healthy woman, at 33 weeks pregnant and with a toddler to chase all day, going all day without eating would be a “recipe” for disaster– in other words, a mommy prostrate on the floor from lack of sustenance :-)

          So I choose the second best thing and eat, 7 or 8 times a day, small amounts of the healthiest, God-given food I can provide myself and my growing baby with.

          If you are ever pregnant (not sure whether you are male or female, pardon me), you might change your stance somewhat on the infrequency of food necessary for human consumption….

          • Oliver says

            Modern food science, coupled with marketing has led us to beleive that we need so many calories. We then grow up consuming x amount of calories or, in many cases, way more calories than the average bloke, which I contend still consumes way too many. I bet you that if you cut your caloric intake completely in half, in a week or two you will feel great. Of course, like cigs and booze – there is the natural withdrawal dynamic, whoose sensations lesson with time. The physiological reality of humans bodies is that it takes more ‘energy’ to process all of the calories we consume. This is what largely leaves us exhausted most of the time. It is an inefficient way of running the body. The body needs only a few calories and thus is not expending energy processing food. In two weeks time you will feel more energetic. The downside is that you will lose some pounds – but no system is perfect. We are meant to be like every other species in the wild – lean. All of that excess baggage, fat, calories is not natural and is taxing all all metabolic processes that are of the body. Today, i had some water and a banana. It is 5 oclock here in NY. This is not my regular diet – that usually consists of pasta rice beans burgers etc. But today i am at home and i don’t feel the need to eat much. I equally don’t feel at a loss for my lack of caloric intake. Again, my body is not expending energy processing anything other than that banana from 3 hrs ago – and water. My mind has no problem going a day or five with out the “usual” american standard amount of daily recommended (???) calories.
            And then, with all of the cooked food and other types of processed foods, the body really doesn’t recognise that stuff and that taxes it even further. The natural body does not know from coffee, baked apples (which I love), any kind of booze, steaks or any kind of cooked meats or fish, beans, rice, corn, or bread – all of these things had to be processed to be consumed. The other species walk right on by that stuff knowing that if it aint readily edible then move on. We on the other hand feel because we harnessed fire then we can have at it and eat pretty much everything in the garden – no other species does that and they don’t over eat as well. Ask your local lion if he over eats. Just enough for the family for the week or so. The other species know this and they stop running once one is caught – they all get it in the wild – we humans forgot.

            • Rebecca says

              I am actually not overweight–I am a perfectly normal weight. And I am so active I am having trouble gaining weight with this pregnancy. I hope my baby will be healthy and a good weight… so far he seems in excellent health and growing right on track. It’s been proven in countless studies that babies from pregnant mothers that starve themselves and who don’t eat enough protein or good fats are born prematurely, or severely underweight, along with a host of other problems. So I really can’t justify eating a banana and some water all day for the sake of my baby! Thank goodness, since I am really quite fond of some good old-fashioned fat once in a while 😉

            • Bri says

              I understand what you are saying about caloric intake not needing to be 2000 calories a day. I personally switched to a low carb diet that I find more satisfying and works well with my bodies chemistry and only eat around 1300 calories a day. I’m sure that will drop as my body adjusts and my weight drops. However, that does not mean that the body doesn’t need any calories. And where is your “scientific” proof of that? Besides “go look at a lion”.

              It has been scientifically proven that children need more nutrients during development. Science also gave us the food guide pyramid, pharmaceuticals, and GMO products. So a general comment about “science” isn’t very effective in your argument. You do understand that the burden of proof rests on your shoulders for making these statements…and that science is constantly changing and recognizing new things as truth (that includes ideas about nutrition), right?

              And if your beef is really with people misusing google searches to promote their own agenda/money making schemes I can think of a hundred blogs that are doing far more damage to nutritional perspective than this one. Why single out someone who is trying to make a difference and help shift people *closer* to what you think is correct than many bloggers/people who are following the SAD?

  2. Sarah says

    What great ideas!! I’m not able to help with my sons’ school parties this year, but I got some great ideas for sending Valentines (other than candy) to school that my 7 and 8 year old might actually go for! Thank you for thinking about food all of the time. Food, when done correctly, can be a wonderful hobby and a way to nourish and care for your family and others around you. Your site has blessed my family in many ways! :)

    • Oliver says

      I will take your comment a a slightly and poorly veiled response to mine. Like minds do enable eachother – in this case down the path of continued bad habits for most of our species. Working moms and stay at home mom both feel the need to over thing the food and eating thing – and as a result we have a host of health problems that can be related directly to eating;diabetes, gingivitis, obesity to name a few. All, or most of the blogs no very little about how to truly nourish this species – and most have to ask or refer to books and blogs etc – the blind leading the blind – we used to now instinctivly – thousands of years ago – we have lost all sense of what we used to do as early man. Early man who thrived and survived for millions of years – without a fraction of the medical maladies we are faced with today – 80 percent food related.
      Today’s humans don’t even know how to give birth or breastfeed (when to breast feed, for how long, formula Vs…)- we have to read books or blogs or take classes (lamaze). It’s really sad and pathetic how fear mongering for profit, and marketing has continued us to the near bottom of the proverbial slippery slope. But now we have the World health Organization who has given us “permission” to breast feed past 3 years. We are a sorry, overweight lot, us first worlders – Third worlders of course, never forgot the simplicities of breast feeding and they can have healthy babies right in the hut – for free, without a team of twenty – for twenty thousand dollar$….
      Are we really blessed?

      • Sarah says

        My comment was merely intended to encourage Katie. And yes, Oliver, I am blessed. I have five beautiful, healthy children, birthed at home and breastfed. I am very blessed. :)

        • Oliver says

          We are all blessed – to have breath of life, and many more beyond that first day on earth. It is our responsibility, one would think, that when given this greatest of gifts, by god or whomever one deems almighty, to understand how fragile life is and can be. We should understand that many illnesses don’t rear their ugly and many times fatal heads until later on in life – but they all start now. Your kids are fine and we wish them well til their natural end of days, but we should all know that these maladies, while again they don’t kick in yet, they start early in ones youth and or infancy – diabetes and heart disease are not sudden but gradual, along with a host of other medical maladies that are food related. It has long since been my effort, completely against the grain, to steer so many away from so much, and towards the simplest ways of being, ways of eating – which starts with simple carbs from plants and fruits, and fatty acids from nuts, fish etc – and water. Only water. After the infant stages of development breastmilk is to be replaced by water, just like every other mamalian species (with the exception of the kangaroo who can be breast fed well into the teens – although it is a different type of milk – the mom has separate teets for the two types).
          Instead of simplicity, we are constantly looking for other ways to nutrate our selves, better ways. There is no better way than water. No one on this site knows from a lab trained, chem studied, biology background perspective exactly how “probiotics” will work in each individuals system. The key word there was ‘exactly’. Molecules, which is what bacteria are are so complex and so ever interchanging at the slightest chance (air, light, heat, pH balance, interaction with other molecules etc) that unless one is a lab geek monitoring every stage of molecule synthesis, they have no clue as what is going on in their body – and every body is different. Yet we read articles and google stuff or take a quick course (mostly online) and we make sweeping assumptions and sweeping pitches about this or that product and what your kids should be taking, what they “need”. This is part of that slippery slope I spoke of. We refuse to keep things simple, the way they truly were thousand and millions of years ago, and we wonder why we have so many health issues.
          I would encourage those who want to branch out beyond water and fruit and nuts and veggies and fatty acids from animals etc that they really learn the true science of food, molecules, metabolic processes, as opposed to “food science” (gastronomic alchemy) which has it’s hand in all manner of marketing and profit.
          It was Jamie Oliver who said “This generation of kids will be the first not to out-live their parents”.

          • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

            We can certainly agree that Jamie Oliver is right, but I don’t think he’s talking about the children whose parents lovingly plan their meals, cook from scratch, and do their best to nourish their bodies based on the knowledge they have.

            We also agree that the “diseases of modernity” or “diseases of civilization” are awful and very much food-related…but again, I disagree that food takes zero time or effort.

            Please air your concerns with Mr. Oliver himself. He can be found here…

            Oh look…the blog winner for Dec 2012 is a meal planning blog. You and Mr. Oliver have much to discuss.


          • Erica says

            Why did you come to this blog to argue with people? Obviously, like minds read the same blogs and it seems like you’re really wasting your time with your oddball (and really long) comments.

              • JennB says

                Oliver: since you claim to be a scientist, would you please back up your statements with proof? Who is thiss “We” ? What is the name of the group you claim to represent so that I may do my own research on just how founded your claims are? I would especially be interested in learning about how exactly you can thrive (not just survive) on one banana and a glass of water for a whole slew of days? Thank you for supplying this information (from a college educated and licensed Veterinary Technician).

                • Oliver says

                  Jen B – there are plenty of species who “survive” and thrive on just one single food source – and water. There are species who can just eat bananas and water – I am talking about our primordial cousans of course – although they do enjoy other vegetations and the occaisional meat of a fellow chimp (cannabalism?). Remember, all we really need is a carb (glucose) source, and or a fatty acid source – along with water, sunlight and oxygen.
                  I have to run out now but I will return this evening and break this down at length and provide “proof” etc. Have a safe day if your on the north east coast.

                  • Tammy says

                    Stop this. You are not being helpful. Go. Create your own blog where you can put what you want to say and simply at a link to your website on this so people can go and look at your “research” to their heart’s content without rudely going on this lady’s website.
                    For the record, let me point out a few things to you:
                    1) This party is a week away. As busy moms, we plan our meals so we only have to make 1 trip to the grocery store to purchase food. It seems as though you have not ever planned a party. If you had, you would know that one needs to know how many will be there, and have an idea of what types of foods to prepare for the fun event. Even Jesus Christ went to parties. He was invited as a special guest into people’s homes. Do not tell anyone that God does not intend for us to enjoy one another’s fellowship. As a matter of fact, communion is a symbol of a fellowship meal with all saints – past and present. Pot-luck church dinners are a modern take on the fellowship meals people had when first becoming members of “The Way,” later known as Christians.
                    This is a children’s party and they want it to be fun and festive. Waiting until the last minute to see what you have around, including trying to come up with cute cards and saying is foolish. Printers break, computers fail, and all sorts of problems happen when one chooses to wait until the last minute to do creative things that technology helps with. If one wants to make handmade items, those take even longer, especially for 20-30 children in a class. Not prudent to wait until the night before to get that done.
                    You present false information about being able to create one’s own food. For starters, human beings are the only mammals that have lost the ability to create vitamin C. All other mammals can, we must get it from the food we eat. Even if one chooses to be vegan, one must choose his complex carbohydrates well so that he has the correct components for the body to make a complete protein. Our bodies do not make iodine. This is why it is added to salt to ensure that we get this vital micronutrient.
                    Children must have food on a regular basis. While, as an adult, I can go for days without eating, barring being pregnant which would be dangerous for me and the baby, children cannot and should not go for longer than 12 hours without eating. As an adult, my body has finished growing and has all the parts in place that I need. Children are still growing and developing – bones, muscles, teeth, brain, heart, and so forth. Do they “need” these treats, no. Parties are something fun that people enjoy. Food has always been a part of that. There is no reason to deride someone for planning healthy / healthier alternatives for a party.
                    You may be a vegan. That is your choice. Humans are omnivores. We can survive on a plant-based diet, but do we simply survive on a plant-based diet or do we thrive? What are the repurcussions globally of trying to live strictly on a plant-based diet? (Look into the effects of Americans’ growing consumption of quinoa on the diet and lifestyle of the poor people of Peru.) Can one live on a local-market plant-based diet effectively? Perhaps you can put that information in your blog. That is the appropriate source.
                    As for me, I am a member of the People Eating Tasty Animals group and happy about that. (Yes, with plenty of fruits and vegetables included.) I would not even make a good vegetarian.
                    Finally, referring to the local market, some places grow a variety of food quite well, others do not and must import them from elsewhere.
                    For your information, people require food. For those who live in areas that have limited sources of nutritive foods, they have very limited economies and struggle with day-to-day life far more than those of us who have access to a broad array of foods. Yes, we do take that for granted. I for one am looking into more sustainable solutions for providing for our family; however, without the help of our local market, I would not have access to apples, oranges, nor bananas because they do not grow in this climate.
                    Nonetheless, if it were not for these foods grown in bulk and shipped to our local markets and around the world:
                    1) People could not make a living doing much else but generating food because that would become their focus. See the Nova special regarding steel making, disease, and food production as it relates to economies and growth of societies.
                    2) People around the globe would face starvation but for the food America’s “bread basket” sends to countries in need due to famine, flood, civil war, etc.
                    Finally, there are links to resources on Katie’s website that allow us to purchase products we like based on her reviews of what she is able to do with the products she uses / tries. Great for her. I have the sense to purchase or not purchase what she suggests. She is not forcing a purchase. However, if I or anyone else purchase something, we know we are supporting someone who has similar values and concerns as we do. We are allowing her to remain a stay-at-home mom and provide great resources for those of us who are not nearly so creative in the kitchen as we would like to be. And she creates healthy meals to boot. Yea for Katie!
                    Now, Oliver, go spend the money it takes to write your own blog. (Because it does cost.) Write your thoughts down before you start. Then link to it where you think people might be interested in what you have to say.
                    Katie pays for this blog and has the right to her thoughts, opinions, and the ability to sell or recommend products as she sees fit. Yea for entrepreneurs! You go do likewise and good luck, but leave her alone with your diatribe.

                    • Tammy says

                      My apologies. In re-editing, I had some typo’s.
                      Also, the source for the information about Vitamin C was in the “Protein Power” book by Drs. Eades. You should be readily able to find confirmation for their source through other research done on the subject, including an understanding of scurvy. They also explain why protein based iron is the most digestible form of iron above iron in vegetables. Finally, I thought the PBS program was a Nova program. I was mistaken. It was a National Geographic program, entitled “Guns, Germs, and Steel.” It is available to be played on demand on Netflix.

              • Kelly says

                Creating and stirring up strife is not Christlike. I truly think everyone should simply stop replying to this foolishness. Proverbs 26:4-12

      • says

        Thank you for the hard work you do. Like it or not, feeding our children is our JOB…that’s why we as women nurse our babies — or at least are the ones who “obsess” over what to feed our families. It’s our role in reflecting the Lord. I, for one, am not satisfied with the bare minimum of anything. The health of my family has thrived since changing many of our eating habits to include more probiotics through raw cow milk and eggs from locally pastured chickens. We’re blessed to live near Shipshewana, Indiana and enjoy our local bulk food suppliers there. I’m not a blogger, but I do enjoy reading a variety of blogs…unless the author is obviously not someone who shares my core values. Keep up the good work!

  3. Stephanie says

    Thank you for the ideas! I like the idea of sending fruit instead of processed junk for the Valentine’s party at my son’s school. The candy will be there but I like to provide a better alternative. I will also be sending water instead of sugar filled juice boxes.

  4. Jacqueline says

    Hi Katie,
    You’ve got some neat ideas there. Hope it works out better than the last time you blogged about bringing food to school. Your samples do look appealing, so that should help.
    Oliver, I would agree that we’ve become too materialistic in many ways. But that doesn’t mean we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Real food is not only nourishing, the sharing of food has many social benefits to it as well.
    You’re right, we can learn from the way people prepared food in the past. That’s why blogs like Kitchen Stewardship are here – to help us figure out the hows and whys of the food God created for us to enjoy.

  5. says

    I had a guest poster today share how she makes healthy chocolate at home. I think I might have to swap out cocoa butter for coconut oil (that is, I’ll use the cocoa butter) and make healthy(ish) homemade chocolate…into which we will dip strawberries. The kids really like that. Daniel, when we did that a couple years ago (he was the same age as Jacob is now) yelled “MORE!” when he got some! He didn’t normally do that! So we might keep it low-key and enjoy our chocolate-covered strawberries. I’ll be nearly 37 weeks pregnant so that’s all I can do right now. :)

  6. Anonymous says

    Wow. From a grammatical point of view, this diatribe is appalling.
    Please acquaint yourself with the differences between “no,” “know,” and “now.” Also, I checked this out because I thought perhaps it was something I just didn’t KNOW:
    nutrate- no dictionary results
    Besides all that, I really can’t understand what your beef is. Pardon the pun.

    • Oliver says

      Yeah I get that a lot. In addition to being called pompous and arrogant, on blogs and other online forums people are mostly wont to point out my ghrammir, spelling and syntax etc issues. I was even scolded for not using paragraphs. Some one even said I shouldn’t make up words like wont (I hoped she googled it and found that it is a word and was used correctly…) Nutrate is my word, I made it up – u can use it. I use it all the time in my writings – some have got used to it and use it as well – like we use the now new word google – all is fair game in this new age and there are no laws against making up your own words and using them.
      Anyhoo, All that stuff is easy critiquing. I want to be challenged not on remedial skilz but on the actual subjects at hand – lets talk about the “poppycock I spew” regarding the molecular nature of food, probiotics, how the body nutrates itself etc.
      Is there someone who can engage in that discussion? – is there someone curious to my claims, which are scientiffically correct, that the body makes all of it’s own proteins and vitamins etc. That sounds like a wow subject never written in any nutrition book or blog – yet on every chemistry blog (and there are scores), that’s all they do is discuss proteomics. On real science blogs , not those that start out saying “aminos acids are the building blocks…” they discuss in great deal the true metabolic pathways that create all our nutrients – and you will find it has zero to do with fruits and vegetables – or lean protein meats etc.
      I, am trying to bridge the gap between what the real science of nutrition is and what the masses think they know. What I can tell you and others will save you so much time and money – and vastly increase your chances of better health – and I’m not trying to sell you anything – just the free conversation – all knowledge of health and healing should be free to the masses. PS like the beef pun:)

      • Christa says


        If I understand you correctly, you are on here because you want to educated us about health. I am sure most of us appreciate that desire. If you are concerned about us and our children, please point us to some resources that you believe to be more scientific and accurate. That way you can rest assured that you have provided the information that we need to educate ourselves and can move on to the next group knowing you have done your job and we are responsible for what we choose to do with that information.

        If you have issues with Katie and how she runs her blog, I am pretty sure there is a way you can contact her directly to share your concerns.

        I fear that the present way you are addressing her and the ideas that we purposefully come on this blog to learn about, will only serve to defeat the purpose of educating and helping us. Enlightening people is best done carefully to avoid complete rejection.


        • Oliver says

          Dear Christa – I thought you’d never ask. And thanx for asking.
          That is a link to a biology video – a random one of many that talks about how proteins, all proteins, are made inside the body and only inside the body. The language may be complicated but that is why I effort making it easy for the lay folk. So people like Rebecca, respectfully, aren’t misled into thinking they have to eat protein. You can’t eat protein – by the time the fragile molecule that is protein gets to your mouth it has be so radically altered – and then more so by your digestive system.
          It is my, continued effort to connect the dots between real chemistry/biology and what is fed to the masses as real; protein in your pasta and oatmeal and bread etc. – The body is the only thing (outside of a lab) that can produce these vital and “essential” nutrients. Where proteins are concerned, It is estimated that human body has the ability to generate 2 million different types of proteins, coded by only 20,000-25,000 of our genes.
          Proteins are made in the body only. Only. And while amino acids are omni present through-out the universe, our bodies can and does make, synthesize, those as well. And the body uses those amino acids to make proteins. This is done through genetic coding via DNA/RNA dynamics. BIO synthesis and only bio synthesis is the process by which the macromolecules (polysaccharides, lipids, nucleic acids and proteins) are made. Proteins can be made in the lab – another type of synthetic. What we have all been innocently (?) led to believe about getting our proteins from food and some drinks (milk) is completely false, wrong, and misleading. All of the multiples of dynamics that occur within the body regarding proteins can never take place in your stomach, on your plate, in the oven etc.: protein precursor, pro protein, inhibitory peptides, proteolysis, posttranslational modification, – all of these dynamics and goings on cannot and will not take place outside of a living organism – unless again performed in a carefully controlled lab setting and lab processes.
          All of this data is readily available in real science forums – as opposed to muscle building or protein bar selling sites etc. These truths of science can been found in real science books as well.
          All we need to do is to provide our bodies with glucose and or fatty acids – these are the fuels that allow for all other body processes, metabolic processes, to take place. We breast feed to provide these fats and sugars from the milk – not the proteins.

          • Oliver says

            In continuing…The body makes all of it’s nutrients, vitamins, proteins etc. All of the nutrients that are in fish, or fruit, chickens and cows etc exist only to serve that fish or cow or plant – while they are alive.
            The body, like all living organisms on earth is it’s own factory, making everything the body needs…

            Again, more connecting of the dots of chemistry and biology and logic, science research shows that the real fuels for making most if not all (they have it listed at 95 percent) are sugar and fat – oh the horror!!! Actually, more specifically and chemically, fatty acids (not fat from a chicken per say) and glucose, the end result of carbs – pretty much everything is converted to glucose. Even fat, when deprived of a carb gets converted by bio synthesis to glucose – the brain critically depends on glucose as it’s sole fuel.

            The other fuel sources obviously, are oxygen and water and sunlight, that oh so critical photo “synthesis” dynamic- there’s that critical word again, synthesis (and yes, without that sun providing earth it’s plants – no one eats – not herbivores, or carnivores or omnivores who eat herbivores – even deep sea microbes indeed depend on photosynthesis. Visible light is just one aspect of the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes radio waves, infrared “heat,” and X-rays. Instead of sunlight, the deep-sea microbes use geothermal radiation).

            The body, all organisms on earth, once provided all of these true essentials, now has the “energy” it needs and can go about it’s business of making everything it needs within it to survive and thrive – including energy to run a mile. All things, vitamins a through z, collagen for bones tendons and ligaments, insulin and testosterone (two types of proteins), keratin for hair, etc. are made in the body as needed and when needed.

            Your body makes all the things it needs and relegates them around the body to perform their specific functions – collagen, testosterone, insulin etc. You can’t eat a protein and it will go to make your hair do whatever, or your muscles grow, or your exercise will be better. The question to vegetarians as to how they get their protein without having any animal foods is ignorance based on decades of false marketing, and true chemists and biologists not stepping up and saying wait a minute…

            The medical world and Food science, speaks of “some patients as having a “protein deficiency. Define protein deficiency? And actually, they can’t. No one has any clue – ask ten professionals about the symptoms of protein deficiency and you might get ten different answers – or the same ones for the flu, scarlet fever, polio etc. You know, “nausea, weakness, exhaustion, loss of appetite, diarrhea, weight loss” – and on and on – just like every commercial that wants you to try their product “if you have any of these symptoms…”

            This backing of my facts and real science, and putting them in the face of money and science goes on to ask – How does protein deficiency work exactly? Which “protein might one be deficient in? There are over two million different kinds – which one(s)? And then, how do we remedy the problem? If you’re keratin deficient (balding?) do we eat cow hair for that protein?- what about collagen deficient, do we eat the rabbits bones? No one can show that protein from chicken say will go to your muscles or hair or any “specific” part of the body – and all proteins are specific with specific functions!

            If we traced and tracked a protein’s journey/path (like we do a tagged shark say) from the chicken to your muscle perhaps (?????) Well first of all that can’t be done. But if we were capable of such science technology we would see the protein being challenged right from the very start – the moment we killed the chicken. From that point on, as I mentioned in the manuscript, the change in that or any particular protein will start. From decay dynamics, exposure to light, oxygen, the food prepping and cooking process, the state of that protein, it’s original composition will be so radically altered it won’t be able to do what that particular protein was specifically supposed to do. Again, that protein in the chicken was made by the chicken for the chicken.
            And what exactly are chicken proteins supposed to do? Which one of the chickens “proteins” is for our hair or teeth? Which one gives us big muscles or gives us testosterone? Which one of those proteins in chickens, or cows or fish or plants etc is insulin? Dear food protein proponent, tell the diabetic which protein based food she/he can eat that will provide him the protein that is insulin (so they can do away with the needle). Does it come from eggs? Is it in the box of special K that list as having proteins? What kinds of proteins do you have Special K? Marketing and food labeling cannot be generic about proteins. How about milk, is the insulin in that? What if a diabetic ate some animals’ pancreas, would that do it? It can easily be diabetics who will vouch for me as I make a point to those who don’t know that insulin is very fragile, as are all proteins regardless of how “stable” they are labeled and spoke of in chemistry lingo.

            Like all proteins, the protein “insulin” would never survive the journey from it’s supposed organic source, cow, fish, plant etc, through the trials of death and decay, exposure to light and oxygen, hot sauce and the frying pan and your digestive system. They tried to make an edible insulin product but realised that the protein will never make it through the digestive process in one piece (the specific sequence of amino acids that make the specific protein insulin). They tried to create an inhalant but here too the protein would not survive well enough to get where it needed to go. It must be injected directly into the bloodstream.
            Yes, ask your friend or family member (we all have one, or ten) who is diabetic and needs regular amounts of insulin. Ask them how “durable their stash is”. Ask them if they can keep it out in the sunlight with a cool or hot breeze blowing over it. Ask them if they can eat it or snort it or mix the protein insulin in a power protein shake. Ask them how long the protein that is insulin, that they have to keep in a cool dry place, sealed always, lasts. Will it last as long as the fake protein that sits on the shelves in many GNC stores? Or at the healthy juice bar at your local gym? No,no, no, no,no, and no. And to that last question, real proteins, any real proteins, the ones the body makes on it’s own and lab designed ones, last on average a few days.
            Food science’s analysis is incomplete. Science also cannot create or trigger protein synthesis in the body for a particular protein that has a specific role or duty (not yet anyway). Insulin again shows us this. This is true of all vitamins as well.

            • says

              Oliver, I know of several professionals who could talk w/ you about your stance that all we need are vegetables and fruits and water. I was a vegan for quite awhile and I ended up very ill. There is more than just diet involved here. There is adrenal health, toxins, and heavy metals. Sadly, food isn’t able to meet the needs of many and from what I have been learning, veganism can even be a sign of the body becoming ill as it “gives up” using energy to digest protein foods.

              Think of how folks at the end of their life stop eating proteins and eventually end up eating just simple carbs. It is evidence of the body conserving the small amount of energy that it has left.

              I don’t have time to engage in a long conversation with you over this issue but I could possibly point you to more information.

              I will say that my eating ground beef for breakfast was part of what got me on the road to healing.

              Your information is interesting but I think simplistic in a modern world with depleted nutrients in our soil, toxins everywhere and so many with dysbiosis.

              Finally, I would add that just because you state that one can live without food doesn’t mean it is the optimal situation. The body will go into starvation mode thinking that it is being deprived.

              Yes, world wide we are too focused on food. We are also too focused on money, success, and not being open to the possibility that we might be wrong. I hope you get my point. You have some interesting thoughts but I do think that they are too simplistic and don’t fit all people in all situations.

      • Heather says

        Sorry, actually coming to this craziness late, but here is some information from the University of Arizona –
        Essential amino acids
        Humans can produce 10 of the 20 amino acids. The others must be supplied in the food. Failure to obtain enough of even 1 of the 10 essential amino acids, those that we cannot make, results in degradation of the body’s proteins—muscle and so forth—to obtain the one amino acid that is needed. Unlike fat and starch, the human body does not store excess amino acids for later use—the amino acids must be in the food every day.

        The 10 amino acids that we can produce are alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine. Tyrosine is produced from phenylalanine, so if the diet is deficient in phenylalanine, tyrosine will be required as well. The essential amino acids are arginine (required for the young, but not for adults), histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. These amino acids are required in the diet. Plants, of course, must be able to make all the amino acids. Humans, on the other hand, do not have all the the enzymes required for the biosynthesis of all of the amino acids.

        • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

          Thank you, Heather, for a genuine source and for spelling it out for those of us who, although quite of sound mind enough to understand scientific research, do not have the time to read it all thoroughly.

          I’m so glad to know I don’t have to ditch the meal plan and serve bananas and water for dinner tonight. 😉

          :) Katie

  7. Rebecca says

    Cool ideas, Katie! We typically don’t have parties for Valentine’s day, but those snacks look like something I would eat ANY day of the week! :-)

  8. Julia says

    Katie, These are wonderful ideas and I may try some of them with my children at home, but we are not allowed to bring to school anything homemade for parties. Everything has to be prepackaged with store bought labels attached. That knocks out all the dipping ideas, because store-bought pudding and sweetened yogurt is definitely not going to qualify as real food. We can’t even open the cheese and cut it into hearts (an idea that I LOVE!) or the strawberries. The strawberries would even have to be washed at school. Any suggestions?

    • Sandi in MN says

      That’s how are school is too, it’s really hard to bring healthy things to parties when you can’t do anything yourself.

    • Stephanie says

      How about the applesauce pouches, organic fruit leathers from the other page or whole fruit? They used messages like Have a berry happy Valentines Day, You’re the apple of my eye Valentine, and Orange ya glad it’s Valentine’s Day?

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I’ve heard many people say the “only packaged foods” rule in their schools, and it’s such a bummer. I get it, intellectually, that for food allergy purposes it is necessary, but it makes real food so very much harder.

      I think whole fruits, cheese sticks, etc. like the gal above says are the way to go. Maybe the cheese could be an activity for the kids, with cookie cutters, and they can do it themselves? Organic corn chips and salsa would be red…

      Good luck!
      :) Katie

    • RAchel says

      Our school is the same, no homemade food. I get it, but really- how often do you hear about food recalls?! So frustrating.

      I think kids would go for plain yogurt as a dip. Since fruit is usually pretty sweet anyway. You could even mix a little natural jam with it (at school after opening of course ;)) to make it a little sweeter.

  9. Sandi in MN says

    Wow…all I can say. Katie, Thanks for your blog and all your work…I love menu planning for my family and we eat WAY healthier than we did before I started this way of life. We are not obese, nor food obsessed. But we do live in the country and can’t run to the “corner store” to pick up food. I have to plan ahead for our groceries and it really takes the stress out of dinner time and hungry kids asking me what we’re having. We are blessed, very, very blessed.

  10. Kelley says

    Thanks for these great ideas! Two of my children’s birthdays are the same week as valentines…so the healthier the better…and the brownies look delicious! Thank you for all you do!

  11. Concia says

    Thanks for the ideas Katie! Please do delete the comments from “Oliver.” They are distracting and annoying and do not provide a positive contribution.

    • Oliver says

      That’s how you feel Concia – and perhaps 20 or 80 others on this blog. But you cannot guarantee Concia that everyone feels the way you do. You can’t convince me that every single person reading her blog and this thread feels the way you do do. That is a mistake in thinking.
      I realise my thoughts aren’t popular, much heard of, or beleiveable to many, but you can’t bet your bottom dollar that there are those reading this thread who are like hmmm. And those people are intrigued and perhaps want to know more. This is not my first blog rodeo and the patterns are all the same; the bulk of the posters are in lock step that I am an angry idiot spewing nonsense – to that, those who are genuinly considering what I am saying are laying quiet in the cut so to speak. They don’t want to make waves or go against the grain of the cyber family they have known for some time. I was on one site last fall and this was the case. Slowly a few got the nerve and started to chime in and ask me things. They wanted me to tell them more about why a cooked egg has it’s proteins destroyed or why white foods are no better than brown foods – or that they researched for themselves the fact that there are still humans on earth who can synthesize their own vitamin C. As it turns out, the host blogger took this personally, as if I was the center of attention, like I was the voice of all things smart and correct. I tried to tell her that we all have something to contribute to the narrative that involves our health – I have learned so much from other bloggers and posters becuase we all know what we know and then we share it – and we are all smarter for it – all of us, each one, has a beautiful mind for something. Kudos to katie for having the courage to allow all comments. And you should give her props for that! There was one post i wrote to her that was over the top and uncalled for – the religion one – but that was because i was sure it would have been deleted and I was telling her how I really felt…
      So while it is your right and opinion that my post’s are distracting and annoying, and you may have scores of others who agree, it is selfish on your part to assume for everyone that my posts have no merit and should be deleted.
      It is also your right if you feel that a “positive contribution” is more of the same – sugary recipies (starch laden brownies etc), fear not, there will be plenty more of that stuff. I am just a spec in the overall food dialogue. I am not stupid nor naive to think i can march into Mcdonalds, get on my soap box, spew some health stuff, and everyone will put down thier food and walk out.
      BTW, if your interested, I can show you, chemically, how your home made food is no worse than school food or fast food.It’s too late for me to change my personality but if one can get past that they can learn some real science that will make practical sense in their homes and their lives. But alas, as this is not my first rodeo, I have come to learn that even if mother Theresa was talking to many the same things I am saying, most people are still just reluctant to change or to learn and grow – or at least consider new stuff. There are those who know all the dangers of cigs and booze yet they just don’t care or can’t physiologically/physchologically turn the corner – it happens. But if i can get one person out of a thousand in macdonalds to back away from the table, that’s a good day.

      • Jacqueline says

        Oliver, for somebody who doesn’t want to be preaching to the choir, it’s a little odd that you want to talk the readers of this blog out of Mc Donalds. Most of us are here to learn and grow in our quest for eating real food in the way God meant it to be eaten when He created it for the nourishment of our bodies.

        Katie, thank you for all the time and effort you put into letting us join you on your journey of practicing good stewardship in the kitchen.

      • says

        Oliver, I’m confused. This blog focuses on real foods, natural foods, so it kinda sounds like you didn’t really research the site before jumping on board. McDonalds–you really are preaching to the choir! Or maybe I missed something somewhere along the way. I admit, I started skimming your stuff somewhere after the fifth or sixth “Oliver reply.”

        Anyway, I wanted to encourage you to start your own blog. Seriously, you could take each of your comments on here, edit, and make each into a post. Then, instead of the blog rodeos which come across as combative, you could build an audience of people interested in learning your point of view, and you would come across as instructive…if you documented properly. That would be far more effective than this approach, I would think. You could call it “Oliver’s (Lack Of) Eats.” That was a joke. Come on, laugh! I’m serious about your starting a blog, though. Of course, if you made money off of it, you’d be no better than those of us who make money money off our blogs because we need to make a living…so we can eat…too much, apparently.

        Off to feed my kids…again.

  12. Kayla says

    I’m now a SAHM, but prior to that, when my kids were in daycare, I was so appalled as to the food provided by the center, and the “treats” that were brought for events such as birthdays, Valentine’s Day, etc. Those parties ended with the children having a huge bag of absolute junk to bring home. I began packing lunches/snacks as soon as my baby began eating food. After speaking to some of the teachers, some of them began packing their own childs’ lunches and asking my advice. I’m so glad to see others taking charge and making a change. It’s awesome that you’ve sparked a change in your children’s classes and taken that time to share your adventures. One of my kids will be going to kindergarten in the fall (oh, goodness!) and I hope that I’m able to stand up and help do as you’ve done. Often other parents scoff or “make fun of” my efforts to make sure my family’s bodies are nourished. Kudos to you, and thanks for giving ideas on how to make a change. I plan on stopping back here to check what you’re up to!

    I’m sorry that certain folk feel the need to come harrass…maybe instead of doing that with his/her time, they should start their own blog or youtube channel to start an audience of their own.

    It’s great that we each have the freedom to express ourselves, and if someone doesn’t agree with our views, they have that right to do so as well. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree, I guess. Shrug it off, girl, and keep up the great work!

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      That grown adults pick on you for striving for good health for your kids is a tragedy. Shame on them. You’re doing GREAT work and will certainly find others in your child’s KG class who will agree and be eager to stand with you in the search for real food! Way to go! :) Katie

  13. Melody says

    Yes, thank you, Katie, for sharing all of your thoughts and ideas with us. I so appreciate your time and the effort it takes for you to do so and I would not be a regular reader if I did not find value and encouragement in what you share.

    I know that I, for one, am actually glad that Oliver stopped by to share his soap-box with us (despite the atrocious basic grammatical flaws and overall rudeness). He has made me carefully reconsider all of the decisions I choose to make every single day in planning and carefully preparing whole, real, nutritious and delicious food for myself and my family and to re-evaluate the research I’ve read myself that brought me to believe what I do. Thank you to Oliver for reinforcing my faith in what I’ve read with my own eyes. I would certainly have considered any actual references to all of the research being referred to if it had been presented in a way that was FAR less condescending in reference to my ability to be a stay-at-home mother who actually has a wonderfully intelligent brain in my head that I choose to employ on a quite regular basis. (For example, I would love to read the information that supports his statement that “Working moms and stay at home mom both feel the need to over thing (I’m guessing he meant ‘think’) the food and eating thing – and as a result we have a host of health problems that can be related directly to eating;diabetes, gingivitis, obesity to name a few.” I was not aware that those particular diseases were the result of mothers over thinking the food thing.)

    It sounds to me like there is quite a lot of bitterness laced into the remarks posted here. The old saying is quite true that you will catch a lot more flies with honey than you will with vinegar. It is not tempting for anyone to drink from a pungent well, my friend. Why would you expect that snarling responses and judgmental attitudes would cause us to change our minds?

    I suggest Oliver creates his own blog where he can post as many angry diatribes as he wishes. I’m sure he will find a supporting audience there.
    Best of luck to him.

    • Karen says

      I kinda have to agree. I understand his statement that all entities create their own protein, and that the protein we consume cannot be directly transferred because it degrades immediately, although it took an enormous effort to get past the abysmal writing style and most profound (and unwarranted) arrogance.

      As far as the statement about not wanting to preach to the choir, I have to wonder exactly where he thinks he is in relation to this blog. Everyone here already knows that the information on packaged food is meaningless, that the FDA has little to no interest in the well being of individuals and that the WHO spews out all sorts of useless information. Yet Oliver is wont (yeah, I know its a word) to lambaste those who would otherwise be most likely to support much of what he says he would like see change in the food industry.

      Oliver has apparently not noticed the recurrent “baby steps” theme of moving away from what is conventionally regarded as healthy and towards a more authentic way of life, presumably being so busy “dumbing down” the science for us. Science is also constantly refuting itself and is funded by many of the organizations that give us false, harmful or incomplete information.

      As for a banana in New York in February, that took an immense amount of planning, just not on Oliver’s part.

      • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

        Love you girls!

        Karen, this just about brought tears to my eyes, it is so pointed:
        “As for a banana in New York in February, that took an immense amount of planning, just not on Oliver’s part.”

        Thank you, thank you.
        :) Katie

    • says

      Thank you, Melody, for stating this MUCH more politely than I could. I don’t currently have the grace to address this troll in a considerate manner.

      Katie, Thank You as well for rising above this garbage. As a fellow overachiever, I’m sure the temptation to delete is great. However, poison exists in this world (human or food-based) and you are a shining example of how to avoid it. Keep up the good work!

  14. Tammy says

    I really like the ideas with the Clementines. Those will be such perfect Valentine cards to make for my two daughters when they wake up Valentine’s morning. I just bought some yesterday, so that will be great. I can give my hubby an apple that says, “You are the apple of my eye, Valentine!”
    I really like the healthy treat ideas you shared.
    One of the moms in my troop wants to bring snacks for the girls to the meetings. (I used to, but as nobody else would and I wound up having to do all the set up and clean up for the whole meeting – every meeting, I stopped.) She would like to bring cupcakes and such. I would rather the moms just bring their own child’s favorite healthy snack (apples, clementines, carrots, etc.) because I would prefer my children not to eat a sugary snack right before supper. Your post is encouraging for me and has given me some ideas that will allow the girls to earn their “Snacks” merit badge, but will also help keep them healthy, will be fun, and without me coming across like an ogre.

  15. Sarah says

    Wow, I am not one to usually read through all the comments on a blog or to comment myself, but this has been somewhat amusing. For all the talk Mr. Oliver has about our country being food obsessed, I do find it ironic then that he keeps talking about food, researches food and its scientific base and is reading a food related blog post…..
    I love food….I love cooking for my family – it is a hobby for me! I strive to keep things healthier and it is a goal of mine to become more educated about food in general. Thanks Katie for the ideas presented on your blog.

  16. Donna says

    Whats interesting to me about this hijacked thread ( and no, I couldn’t read ALLL that Oliver had to say. Who has time for that??) anyway, whats interesting to me is his basis in Scientific “facts” of starving people, not thriving people. Thats when he’s even talking about people, and not the animal species that have nothing to do with our genes or digestive process. I feel really sad for the children who’s parents took his advice and are starving the children that could be nourished. (even on a tight budget) Ive had kids in my home who aren’t fed properly, and I can tell you they don’t look “fine.”

    We are in the fight of our lives for our freedoms. I am insulted by the attack on Katie for her helpful suggestions and ultimately, the free market. If we had relied on “science” to tell us how to nourish our children, we would all be very sick (and confused) Instead, parents like the ones who follow Katie are looking back to our roots, the wisdom of our elders who we traded decades ago for this “science” that has nearly destroyed our health.

    Thank you for the colorful and fun party ideas. We will have a family over that has severe allergies, and cannot attend parties where there is the typical food without being in danger.

    I think you can see by your following on here that more of us appreciate your help and efforts, and do not in the least believe you are trying to sell us anything. Press On!

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Thanks, Donna! I’m sure your visiting family will be so honored with whatever you serve them because you took the time to learn about their allergies and make it safe for them to visit. Way to go! :) Katie

  17. says

    Wow, he’s asked for sources and all this Oliver character supplies is a YOUTUBE link? Yeah, when I want real science that’s where I turn, youtube.

    Quack job. Get a life.

    • says

      Seriously, it makes me insane and very very sad that there are people out there who have nothing better to do than to anonymously stir up drama. Call a shrink, deal with your attention issues, and leave the rest of us alone.

  18. Amy D. says

    Steering the conversation back to the original point of the post…(^_^)

    I like to make homemade less-processed chocolate cookies (think brownie, but in cookie form) and would like to incorporate the heart strawberries into them, just setting them on top so that they bake slightly into the cookie. Has anyone tried baking a fresh strawberry slice on a cookie? Does it dry out too much? Thanks!

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Fun idea! I have put fresh blueberries on top of muffins before, so based on that experience, I think the strawberries would shrivel a good deal – they would still taste juicy and fresh, I would guess, but might lose the heart shape (think baked apples vs. sliced raw apples). You might just press them gently in as soon as you take the cookies out of the oven or use just a dab of something- coconut cream, yogurt cheese – to affix the fresh strawberry heart on top after baking.
      :) Katie

      • Amy D. says

        Ok. I will try that. I also make homemade chocolate sauce (1 part cocoa powder and 1-2 parts maple syrup, depending on how “dark” I want it) that might work to afix the strawberry if it pressing into the cookie right after baking doesn’t work. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  19. says

    Thanks for your post and your hard work Katie.

    As a full time working mama I need to plan ahead. So your ideas this week are timely as I can shop this weekend.

  20. Mary Katherine says

    Katie, I really love this blog – thank you for keeping it real, and for setting a positive example.

    I encourage you to use the “delete” button for some of the divisive comments in this post. I’m sure the rest of the KS community would agree with me.

  21. Kathryn says

    I love the applesauce idea! Thanks for sharing these I was just thinking about what to send my 1st grader. He will love this.

  22. Amy S says

    Awesome ideas Katie! I want to try every single one. I want to tell you I love your blog and have referred to it almost daily since 2009 when I first discovered it because I wanted a homemade granola bar recipe. Little did I know that day would change my families eating habits for the better. I am grateful to you and your hard work for putting this information out there for all us to help us better feed ourselves and our families. You are amazing, I love your blog!

    • Casey says

      Me too! I wasn’t looking for a granola bar per se, but for any healthy homemade snacks I could make for my hollow-legged husband.
      And before that day I had never heard of FCLO or WAPF, didn’t know much about raw milk, I had NO idea how truly healthy butter was (although we did eat it all the time) and I certainly didn’t know the first thing about cloth diapering, alternative cleaning solutions, and sooo many other things that the seeds of this blog have planted in my head…and my heart.
      And on top of ALL that, the peaceful and sweet Spirit of God is evident all over every post (VERY unlike many other blogs that are also full of good info).
      THANK YOU Katie for all the time and energy you have sowed into this blog and its readers. I hope you reap a GREAT harvest for all the blessings you’re little self has helped us receive.

  23. Jill says

    When making yogurt cheese, do you strain it at room temp for many hours? Is that safe, since yogurt should be refrigerated?? I have always wondered about that, and have never tried it because I wasn’t sure where to strain it, and if it was safe to strain it at room temp. I don’t want my yogurt to go bad.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Some folks rig it up in the fridge, but I do it at room temp. About 4 hours, sometimes less. As a cultured food, yogurt is super stable. Nothing should happen to it in 4 hours at room temp (disclaimer – not my fault if you take my advice!) 😉

      Enjoy! :) Katie

  24. Rene Christensen says

    I love all of these ideas. I am glad that this post was now so that I have plenty time to get to the store. I can’t wait to make some of these with my kids! Thanks, Katie!! Love your blog & you!! (-:

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      It’s been so long since I’ve “seen” you! Hope you are well!!! {hugs} Katie

  25. says

    Mmm, I love all the options for healthy sweet treats! I love what you’ve come up with here to make Valentine’s Day fun for kids without sacrificing nutrition.

  26. Anne says

    Katie, I am so glad you didn’t delete Oliver’s comments — just had to read what everyone was talking about. I must admit I got a bit bored after awhile and couldn’t force myself to finish reading them. Also glad you’ve marked his future comments as Spam. I’m not sure I would classify his comments as rude; I don’t want to be mean, but I think Oliver needs help, if he’s not already under some kind of care. Don’t feel like you need to respond to this; I just felt that I had to offer my opinion.

  27. Dianne says

    Thank you Katie for your wonderful blog…you have helped my family eat a healthier, whole foods diet. I’m very excited to use some of your valentine’s ideas…my “baby” is 13 years old, but will enjoy a little extra “love” tucked into her lunch box on Valentine’s Day!

  28. Sarah says

    I am a preschool teacher and I love this post (and your whole blog for that matter). I can only hope I get a class mom like you for my classroom someday.

  29. Julie says

    Thanks for these great ideas, Katie!

    I teach nutrition-based cooking classes for low income audiences and I have been researching some creative, healthy, and tasty Valentine’s themed recipes for an upcoming kids’ class I have scheduled for Valentine’s Day. Your ideas are simply fantastic!

    As a Registered Dietitian working to better my community, I applaud your efforts and want you to know that I will most certainly be frequenting your blog from now on. :)

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Thank you so much! I hope to be able to reach out to the community in similar ways as well – kids especially need to be taught a love of real food. I anticipate hearing more thoughts from you in the future; welcome aboard! :) Katie

  30. says

    My GOODNESS, Katie! I’ve been living in a hole all weekend and had no idea of the comment attacks until another blogger alerted me to them a few minutes ago!

    All I have to say is: You have a RIGHT to earn money on your site! And how COOL that you can do it by sharing your passion and educating people in the process! None of your readers has to ever pay a penny for this information. And I dare say you probably get paid less per hour than most people when you consider the extreme amount of research you have poured into this site over the course of several years.

    Do your children and hubby not deserve a little money back from the time Mommy has spent away helping others–as is her God-given call?

    Keep up the good work, Katie, and know there are thousands are KS supporters for every 1 “Oliver” out there!

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Thanks! It’s blown over, and this post will be obsolete (until next year) in just a few days, so the hype won’t be perpetuated. Money aside, I never claim to be a doctor or a scientist, and he is, so I’m interested to see where that goes…just not here on my blog. :) Katie

  31. Jessica says

    Thank you for the helpful post! Very excited about Valentine’s day. And as far as Oliver is concerned, I have a hard time believing anyone is a professional when they cannot even use proper grammar. Have a great Valentine’s day and thank you for the great blog!

  32. Jacqueline says

    Oliver, for what it’s worth: I believe that the God of the Bible is the Creator of the universe and everything that is in it. Including your and my ability to think and express our thoughts, though we have the responsibility to use those abilities wisely, kindly and rightly.
    In answer to your question (and erroneous conclusion), yes, I do base my choices in life on God’s Word and my beliefs derived therefrom.
    Yes, that does include my choice to eat a great deal of raw produce and to drink mostly water. Incidentally, I also make other choices, based on those same beliefs, such as drinking raw, pastured, organic milk and various and sundry other things promoted on this very valuable blog.
    One more point: assuming your stance of a extremely minimalistic diet were accurate, you would still be overlooking the immense social and creative benefits of food, as well as the ability to enjoy the vast array of tastes found in creation. As one other commenter already noted -we really are blessed!

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