Healthy Kids Snacks – Kale Chips | Cute Beltz

Do you eat Kale?  I am a huge fan.  I usually saute kale in a pan with olive oil and green, red and yellow peppers, minced garlic and garlic salt and eat.  But, I have not been able to get my children to eat kale, so I am thinking about trying kale chips, has anyone had success?  Here’s a recipe I found from food network, seems pretty easy.  Giving it a try tomorrow, hoping for success on the first try.

Ingredients
1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Directions
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.

Have any tips on making kale chips?  Love to hear them before I give it a whirl! 🙂

Hoping kids love them! –Cute Beltz

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Perfect Summer Cocktail: Strawberry Ginger Mojito | Cute Beltz

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When the days start getting longer, and the weather gets a little warmer, I start dreaming of one thing: strawberry mojitos. It’s my favorite drink during the summer months and I’ll take any excuse I can to make ‘em. They’re sweet with fresh strawberries and mint and the perfect light drink for any summer meal. But my twist on the strawberry mojito is to add a little bit of ginger liqueur. It adds a slightly spicy kick that’s perfect for an afternoon barbecue.

Strawberry & Ginger Mojito
Total time: 5 minutes Serves: 1

 Ingredients

  • 6 mint leaves
  • 2 ripe strawberries, quartered
  • 1.5 oz light rum
  • 0.5 oz ginger liqueur (or ginger syrup)*
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup or agave Ice Soda water or sparkling water

* Ginger liqueur or syrup can be difficult to find at the grocery store, but there are many recipes online for making your own in only 15-20 minutes. Otherwise your local specialty beverage store should carry it!

Directions

Muddle mint leaves and strawberries together in cocktail shaker. Add lime juice, rum, simple syrup, and ginger liqueur. Fill the shaker a little over half way with ice and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds.

Pour into a tall glass and top with soda water. Garnish with a strawberry or mint leaf.

What’s your favorite summer cocktail?Cute Beltz

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DIY Glitter Playdough Recipe | Cute Beltz

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Add some sparkle to your homemade playdough with this glitter playdough recipe! This is a kids’ favorite and one of the best playdough recipes to make for kids birthdays or other special occasions. This playdough recipe is not edible, but it does not need to be refrigerated so it is easy to store and keep. Use multiple colors and glitters to make all kinds of playdough that can be used to create every kind of shape and object, making this playdough recipe for kids a great choice, especially for crafts with young children.

Ingredients:

  • flour – 1 cups
  • salt – 0.5 cups
  • cream of tartar – 2 tbsp
  • cooking oil – 1 tbsp
  • water – 1 cup
  • food coloring
  • glitter

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients except glitter into a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix ingredients until consistent.
  • Add to a pan at medium heat.
  • Cook until mixture is a doughy ball.
  • Put on wax paper and add glitter.
  • Knead until dough is smooth and consistent.
  • Store in a sealed container but do not refrigerate.

If you want to add even more sparkle to your playdough sprinkle some glitter on after you’ve finish kneading everything together. This recipe is very kid friendly and easy to make! It is particularly fun to make after you have made some simpler playdough recipes with your kids and they can make something a little bit more difficult with your help.

What are some things your kids would add to their playdough  to make it fun to play with? – Cute Beltz

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Fun 4th of July Treats | Cute Beltz

Somehow June has flown by and the 4th of July is right around the corner.   I’ve been looking for fun and festive 4th of July treats and desserts, and thought I would share some of the fabulous sweets I’ve found around the web.

Here are some 4th of July treat ideas that include just a few simple ingredients. No real cooking is involved- just some very easy assembly is required.

Red, White and Blue Strawberries

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Strawberries taste best in the summer but these juicy fruits might be too pretty to eat! Take a strawberry and dip it in melted white chocolate (I used the Baker’s brand) and then sprinkle blue sugar on the bottom tip of the berry. Keep the strawberries in the refrigerator on waxed paper until you’re ready to serve.

Ice Cream Sandwich Pops

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These treats are a kid-tested favorite and so easy to make it should be a crime. Cut an ice cream sandwich in half or use the mini sandwiches (I know Meijer has the mini ones.) Insert a wooden craft stick into the sandwich and then allow the ice cream to soften just a bit. Roll the ice cream in red, white and blue sprinkles and re-freeze on wax paper. Take out and serve when you’re ready.

Patriotic Cones

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These ice cream cones are just too fun and couldn’t be any simpler to make. Take a sugar cone and roll the top round part in melted white chocolate and then add red, white and blue sprinkles or colored sugar. Line them up on a wax-paper covered platter to harden and then bask in the admiration you will surely receive for your talent and creativity.

Red White and Blue Layered Popsicles

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Ingredients:

  • Blue Kool Aid (and sugar) or blue Gatorade
  •  Red Kool Aid (and sugar) or red Gatorade
  •  Vanilla yogurt
  • Cool whip
  •  Plastic cups or popsicle molds
  • Craft sticks

Directions:

1. Mix the blue kool aid as directed and pour into cups or popsicle molds for bottom layer. Freeze for 1 hour, or until mixture is beginning to freeze, but not yet hard.

2. In separate bowl mix 2 cups vanilla yogurt with 2 cups Cool whip. Spoon white mixture into popsicle molds. Insert craft sticks in an upright position into popsicle molds. Stick back in the freezer until solid (white mixture won’t get completely hard, but pretty firm).

3. Mix the red Kool Aid as directed and pour into cups for final layer. Freeze overnight or for at least 5 hours

If you feel like channeling your inner Martha Stewart, give any of these recipes a try and let us know how they turned out! Happy 4th of July everyone! – Cute Beltz

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Simple Solutions to Help Transform Your Picky Eater

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Has your preschooler refused to eat anything other than chicken nuggets for the past two days? Or would your toddler rather play than eat anything at all?  There are so many possible reasons for picky eating, but whatever the reason; finding ways to deal with it is a good place to focus your energy and attention. Remember…celebrate every little accomplishment…one bite leads to more!  Check out our simple solutions to help transform your picky eater!

Get Them Involved

Although your first instinct may be to shoo your toddler from the kitchen, studies show that kids who do some mealtime prep are more enthusiastic about trying the fruits (and veggies) of their labor. So let your toddler sprinkle cheese onto the pasta, toss the blueberries into the oatmeal, or spin the salad spinner.  Chances are they will be more willing to try something they helped make.

Be Patient With New Foods

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Young children often touch or smell new foods, and may even put tiny bits in their mouths and then take them back out again. Your child might need repeated exposure to a new food before he or she takes the first bite. Encourage your child by talking about a food’s color, shape, aroma and texture — not whether it tastes good. Serve new foods along with your child’s favorite foods.

Eat Together When You Can

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Sure, it’s hard to get everyone to the table, but try to eat together a few times a week. After all, toddler see, toddler do: Your child’s more likely to want a bite of something if he sees the rest of the family enjoying it.

Be Creative and Make it Fun

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Little tricks can sometimes encourage better eating. For instance, you could cut foods into fun shapes using cookie cutters. Turn mealtime into a game to see who can “eat all their colors.” Or try an at-home picnic for a change of scenery.

Get creative with presentation too! Your child’s plate doesn’t always have to look the same.  You can string beans or noodles around the edge of the plate. Try alternating veggies, meat and grain in mini-piles or stripes all over the plate, or combine them to make a design.  Use anything other than a kitchen plate to serve up food. It’s so easy to use colorful containers, toy dishes, an ice cube tray, or a muffin tin as dishes. These platters often make a meal or snack more interesting to a child.

How do you make mealtime fun for your child? – Cute Beltz

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