Fall in Love with Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes come in many varieties. Visit your local farmers’ market, farm stand, or grocery store to find a tasty sweet potato variety that grows near you!

Recipe ideas:

Healthy Substitutions (Chickpeas, Lentils, and Beans, Oh My!)


Adapted from Today Food

If you’re looking for better-for-you baked goods for your children that they’re still willing to eat, try substituting up to half (1:1 ratio) of your regular, wheat-based flour with chickpea flour in any baked good recipe. You’ll be upping their iron, folate (chickpeas have three times more folate per serving than kale) and protein intake with this simple switch that’s also cost-effective.

Smoothie boost

Try the protein-rich pea power in your child’s smoothies. The bonus, apart from the fact that there’s no dairy here if your child is lactose intolerant, is that the powder has been shown to suppress the appetite for longer (perfect for those long study sessions). Another option is to add cooked white beans to your child’s smoothie for a nutrient-packed fiber boost!

Better brownies

Fiber-rich, and delicious, try subbing out 1 cup of flour for 1 cup of black bean puree in your next brownie or chocolate cake recipe. Or replace the flour altogether with the black bean puree if you’d rather a gluten free cake. You’ll get a rich, moist, fudgy texture, along with a healthy hit of protein and fiber for good, commonsense eating when you feel like a treat (and we promise your kids won’t know the difference).

Butter substitute

If you have someone on a lactose-free diet in your home, here’s a handy baker’s tip: you can replace half of the oil or butter in your recipes with white bean puree. Easy and economical, it will help maintain the moisture in your cookies, cakes and squares!

Tips to Get Calcium Beyond Milk

Food Festival 3x

Mom always told you to drink your milk, but did you listen? Although it’s one of the easiest ways to get your daily dose of calcium, not everyone can stomach dairy. Still, we all need calcium for strong, healthy bones, teeth and muscles. If milk isn’t your child’s thing, but you don’t want them to come up short, consider these additional sources of calcium:

Canned seafood

One 3-ounce can of pink, canned salmon solids with bone gives your child 181 mg of calcium. Sardines are another great source of calcium; one can delivers 351 mg. Try mixing them into a salad if your child is worried worried about the taste.

Fortified drinks

Consider calcium-fortified soy milk, almond milk, rice milk or orange or cranberry juice. Check for labels on canned frozen juices to ensure they’re “calcium-fortified.” Just 6 ounces of calcium-fortified orange juice provides 261 mg of calcium, according to the National Institutes of Health. One 8-ounce glass of fortified soy milk yields 299 mg of calcium. (Budget-conscious shoppers: Pass on the organic or freshly squeezed juices, which don’t always provide extra calcium.)


Black-eyed peas pack a particularly hefty dose of calcium; just 1 cup weighs in at 183 mg. Baked beans are also high in calcium.  Soak beans in water for several hours and cook them in fresh water to reduce a naturally occurring substance known as phytate, which can interfere with the body’s absorption of calcium, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.


Collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens and broccoli are all excellent sources of calcium. For example, a half cup of fresh, boiled turnip greens delivers 99 mg of calcium, and 1 cup of raw, chopped kale packs 100 mg.

Nuts and seeds

A single cup of plain almonds delivers 243 mg of calcium, 1 cup of walnuts provides 78 mg. Hazelnuts are even better, with 1 cup packing 154 mg of calcium. Brazil nuts, found in most grocery stores, provide 213 mg per cup. Add flaxseeds or sunflower seeds to a green leafy salad for even more calcium. If your child is a peanut butter person, consider alternatives such as almond butter, cashew butter or pumpkin seed butter for a boost in calcium with less sodium.

Oatmeal and cereal

Breakfast cereals and hot instant oatmeal offer an easy way to stuff calcium into your child’s diet. Just be sure to grab a low-sugar brand or the old-fashioned rolled oats, which typically have less sugar than some instant packets. One cup of ready-to-eat cereal, meanwhile, can provide anywhere from 100 to 1,000 mg of calcium depending on the brand.