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Kali, Soryn, & Dave at the Las Flores Community Garden, Thousand Oaks

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for Healthy Kid Tips, Kid Chef Recipes, Kids Organic Gardening, Kids Cooking, Healthy Snacks

Healthy Kid Recipes

Kids Healthy Cooking Tips

Kids enjoy helping in the kitchen, and learning to cook at a young age is a boon for life. Kids can bring healthy eating to their families by growing a fruit and veggie garden in their backyard or community garden. Eating local organic in season produce is the secret for all around health. Healthy Kid Chefs can steam fresh organic veggies and add them to sauces, finely chop them raw into salads, and slice them raw with homemade dips to capture all the flavor and vitamins. Fresh organic veggies steamed lightly, leaving a little crunch and bright color, are filled with vitamins and minerals and can be added to any dish for extra nutrition. Kid Chefs can substitute healthy ingredients, lots of veggies, whole grains, and beans, to create the foods they love. Kids can learn to cook healthy meals by steaming and roasting food instead of frying, cooking from scratch instead of processed food, and drinking fresh water and organic fruit smoothies instead of sugary drinks. Kid Chefs can use healthy cookware like clad stainless steel, seasoned cast iron, ceramic titanium and glass Pyrex and wash their hands with soap and water often when cooking and eating. Fruits and veggies have many essential nutrients in their skins to eat and need to be washed thoroughly. Kid Chefs always leave the kitchen cleaner than when they found it. Three kitchen implements are good starters for kids beginning to cook: the wooden spoon, tongs, and the mortar and pestle. Kid chefs can read the recipe several times while gathering all the cooking tools and ingredients, taking each step of the recipe in order, and enjoying the culinary adventure. Kids can decide what to cook, choose which ingredients to use, and use the method of cooking they prefer. It’s amazing how much better food cooked from scratch tastes. Kids love to have their family and friends enjoy eating the food they have helped prepare.

Kids can benefit in many ways by learning to cook. Kids have a feeling of accomplishment, confidence, and self-esteem when they create a meal their family enjoys. Kids learn math skills, reading comprehension, logical thinking, science skills, and hand-eye coordination preparing the food and following the recipe. Cooking requires patience and responsibility to complete the tasks at the right time. Kids feel a surge of creativity, artfully arranging their dish to be even more appetizing. Kids expand their awareness of the world they live in using different ethnic cooking styles and new foods. When kids grow an organic backyard garden, they want to eat what they grow. Picky eaters that learn to cook discover for themselves a world of flavor, especially when cooking with their own home grown organic veggies which taste extra delicious. Kids benefit by eating a variety of healthy fresh picked foods they have fun preparing. Preparing a meal also takes team work and organization skills with family and friends. Time spent cooking together is a wonderful way to make cherished family memories with opportunities for deeper communication. Cooking fills the house with wonderful aromas and encourages families to eat their meals together around the table. Kids can become more self-sufficient when they learn to prepare healthy meals from food they have grown and earn the esteem of family and friends when they learn to cook delicious dishes that everyone enjoys.

Kid Chef Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

Homemade cookies make the whole house smell good. Kids can make these oat cookies, which are friend makers and happiness bringers, using all organic ingredients. Oats have the highest percentage of protein and fiber of any grain, giving kids brain power and energy. When kids use healthy organic ingredients, cookies can be yummy, fresh, and good for you treats. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream, using a fork, 1 stick of softened organic butter and 1/3 cup organic sugar and add 1/3 cup of maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix in ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour, ¾ cup organic old fashioned rolled oats,1 tsp arrowroot starch, 1 tbsp water, ½ tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp cinnamon and blend well. Stir in ¼ cup walnut pieces, ¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips. Spoon the dough onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets.   Bake for 10 minutes and cool 15 minutes.

Healthy Kid Snacks and Lunch Boxes

An organic backyard garden can be the snack vending machine for kids, while saving money for the family. Planting grapes and raspberries along a fence is a lovely landscaping technique producing yummy, healthy, and easy snacks for kids. Blueberry bushes and strawberry plants can be planted in containers on the deck as well as in the garden. Kids love to snack on berries and fruit while they are picking them. Kids can get an insulated lunch bag to keep food fresh and individual containers keep crispy items separate from moist. At the grocery store, kids can look for lunch box items that have the USDA Organic seal on packaged foods. Too much saturated fat foods impair the ability to pay attention in class, so kids can choose antioxidant rich foods for brain health, like blueberries, trail mix (like almonds, walnuts, raisins, dates, and seeds) or beans that can help with school work. Every nutrient the brain needs to flourish can be found in fresh organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega 3. Kids can check out the bulk section of their health food store to find organic nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Kids enjoy creating their own sandwiches. Using a cookie cutter, kids can create fun shapes on different kinds of organic whole grain bread, pita bread, tortillas, flat bread and even waffles. Hummus, cream cheese, almond butter, and herb pesto are tasty spreads to add flavor and interest to any sandwich. For a brain food lunch, kids can fill a stainless steel extra wide mouth thermos with lentil soup or chili beans and pack a whole grain bun. A whole grain sandwich with avocados can contribute to healthy blood flow and lower blood pressure. A black bean and cheese whole wheat burrito brings a stream of steady energy. Kids can easily choose healthy additions to their lunch when they plant fruit and nut trees in their backyard and grow a food garden.

Kid Chef Quinoa Peppers

Kids are attracted to eating this colorful artistic dish, especially if they have grown some of the herbs and veggies themselves. Red bell peppers are one of the highest sources of Vitamin C, rich in antioxidants and contain twice as many vitamins as green bell peppers. All the essential amino acids are found in the super food quinoa, a complete protein, with iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Using all organic ingredients, Kid Chefs can wash, cut off the stem, remove the seeds, and cut out the white membrane from 2 red peppers. Steam the peppers together with 2 cups of washed spinach, 1 large slice of red onion, 1 cloves of garlic, 5 small sliced mushrooms, and 1 tbsp of minced sun dried tomatoes. In a separate pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add ½ cup organic quinoa. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a pair of tongs, remove the peppers and drain them upside down. Add 1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil, the rest of the steamed veggies, finely cut a sprig each of fresh parsley, rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme from the garden,½ cup feta cheese, and ¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives to the cooked quinoa and fluff together with a fork. Kids can place the red peppers in a baking dish whole or cut length wise in half, stuff to overflowing with the quinoa mixture, sprinkle with shredded organic pepper jack cheese and bake 15 minutes.

Kid Chef Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Kid Chefs can make this yummy Broccoli Mac and Cheese. High in vitamin C and fiber, broccoli was a favorite vegetable of the ancient Romans. It is anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-bacteria when eaten steamed, stir fried, or raw. California grows ninety percent of broccoli produced in the United States. Thomas Jefferson planted it at Monticello. Kid Chefs can make Broccoli Mac and Cheese by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Steam 2 cups chopped organic broccoli lightly, leaving a little crunch. Add 2 cups organic whole wheat penne pasta and sea salt to boiling water and cook until al dente. Put 2 tablespoons organic wheat pastry flour, ¼ tsp sea salt, and 2 tablespoons organic butter in a sauce pan to make a roux. Add 1 cup organic milk and stir constantly with a whisk until smooth and bubbling. Mix into the sauce pan ½ cup of shredded organic sharp cheddar cheese, ¼ cup grated organic Romano cheese, and 2 tsp minced fresh garden herbs. Pour the pasta, cheese, and broccoli into a baking dish. Melt 1 tbsp organic butter in a sauce pan, mix 1/3 cup organic whole wheat bread crumbs, and sprinkle on top of the pasta and bake 15 minutes. Kid Chefs can make a happy dinner party when they make this favorite comfort food for their family.

Kid Chef Strawberry Biscuits

Kids love these biscuits at tea time, snack time, or with breakfast. Kid Chefs can make Strawberry Biscuits using organic ingredients, by first tossing 1 cup diced fresh strawberries with 2 tbsp sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sift together 2 cups of organic whole wheat pastry flour, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp baking powder, ¼ tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp sea salt. Cut in 8 tbsp cold butter, mix and crumble with your fingers, a few chunks are fine. Mix in the strawberries and coat with flour. Stir in 2/3 cup organic buttermilk slowly until moist and gently knead the dough. Pat to ¾“ thick on a floured breadboard, cut 12 biscuits using a 3” round cutter. Place biscuits on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until light brown. Kids can freeze half of the Strawberry Biscuits for later or share with friends.

Kids Making Soup

Kids feel comforted, warm and nourished eating a nice bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day. Ancient Romans made a thick porridge that was some of the earliest soups. Then it was discovered that broth poured over bread make a hearty meal and was called soup, in ancient Teutonic. Soon cooks started pouring broth over different grains, beans, noodles, and vegetables. There are three kinds of bowls used for soup: the smaller portion cup, the deep bowl, or the dramatic shallow bowl. Kids can start with pure filtered water. Split peas and lentils are thin-skinned so they cook quickly without soaking. Legumes are high in protein and fiber, lowering cholesterol, reducing heart disease, diabetes, and overweight issues. To make them easy to digest, kids can bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup of organic lentils or split peas to a boil at high heat for a minute or two. Then skim the white impurities off the top and rinse the legumes in a strainer. Kid Chefs can make organic split pea soup using all organic ingredients. Bring 4 cups of water and 1 cup of split peas to a boil and cook 10 minutes. Skim any impurities off the top of the water and add sprigs of fresh cut garden parsley, rosemary, oregano, and sage. Simmer another 10 minutes and add two cubed organic red potatoes, two carrots, ¼ red onion, 1 clove of garlic, and simmer for 40 more minutes. Add 1 tbsp organic butter, ¼ tsp curry powder, ¼ tsp sea salt, dash of cumin and cayenne pepper. Freshly made soup is a hearty, delicious, healthy meal.

Healthy Kid Nachos

Kid Chefs can make a fun meal for the next Taco Night. Kids can cook organic black beans from scratch and fill the house with delicious smells by soaking ½ cup beans overnight, rinse well the next morning, return to the pot with new water, and bring to a boil. Strain and rinse the beans again to make them easy to digest. Add 1½ cup water, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Using all organic ingredients, add ½ chopped red pepper, 2 chopped slices of red onion, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1 minced red chili and simmer 30 more minutes. Season the beans with ½ tsp sea salt and ¼ tsp cumin. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Kids can make a dip by mashing a ripe organic avocado. Using all organic ingredients, add ½ cup sour cream, 1 chopped medium tomato, 1 thinly sliced green onion, ¼ tsp sea salt, and ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves. Cover a baking sheet with layer of organic corn tortilla chips. Kids can cover the chips with black beans, top with grated organic pepper jack cheese, and bake for 10 minutes. Top with the avocado dip and garnish with cilantro to serve four.