Play All Day With Healthy Summer Snacks

30+ Snack Ideas For A Real Fresh, Real Delicious Summer

 
Summer has a certain type of informality to it—lazy days, swimming pools, vacations, and more flexible schedules. However, all the fun and adventure can leave you feeling a bit hungry if you forget to plan ahead. Snacks are to summer like soup is to winter. You need snacks to keep you going through all those long summer days. Let’s run through some of my favorite snack ideas that will keep you refreshed all summer long.
 

A fridge packed full of fruit.Feelin' Fruity?

 
Summer has its very own kind of special bounty for us all to enjoy. In summer, fresh seasonal fruit is some of the most varied and abundant of the entire year. A favorite local option is the Texas blueberry. They are fresh, plump, and out-of-this-world delicious. If I’m in need of a more filling snack, I throw some blueberries in a bowl of delicious plain Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey. Don’t let blueberries steal all of the berry spotlight though; blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries are awesome and nutritious treats too.
 
There’s more to this season than just berries though! This is the time for cherries, peaches, and—the true summer classic—watermelon. Start searching through the watermelon display at your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers in search of the perfect selection! Whether you thump, spank, or sing to the watermelon to help you choose just the right one, one thing’s for sure—you’ll definitely enjoy that first bite of sweet and juicy watermelon on a hot day. Tropical fruits like sweet golden mangos, fresh pineapple, and kiwi are another fantastic option to shake up your fruit routine or to add into a colorful fruit salad.
 
Did you know strawberries are a good source for vitamin C and blackberries are full of folate? Read more about the nutrition in summer fruit here!
 

A halfway peeled banana with a spoonful of peanut butterSomething a Little More Savory

 
Need a quick and simple snack that’s more filling than just fruit? Try adding nut butter to your fruit for some rib-sticking power in your snack. Bananas and apples are tried-and-true favorites that pair up beautifully with nut butters. The most popular nut butter is peanut butter, but almond and cashew butter products are a delicious—and nutritious—way to change things up. 
 
Popcorn is another classic snacking choice for a crunchy and salty treat. There are plenty of ready-to-eat options available in a variety of flavors, or you can do it the old-fashioned way and make plain popcorn at home with a drizzle of melted butter and a sprinkle of salt.
 
Dips like hummus, guacamole, or salsa are also excellent snacking options, especially for summer gatherings. Just grab chips, crackers, pita or fresh veggies for dipping. Whether you choose homemade or pre-made, everything you need to make it happen is waiting for you at your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers.
 
For a less traditional snacking option, why not give homemade kale chips a shot?  It’s as easy as washing a bunch of kale, tossing them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and putting them in the oven on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes until crispy but not browned.
 

Lower-Carb & Protein Packed

 
Nuts and seeds are a quick and easy, low-carb option for snacking that also gives a shot of protein and healthy fat. The more variety, the better since all the different nuts and seeds have different special nutritional qualities. Try walnuts for omega-3, almonds for vitamin E, brazil nuts for selenium, and pumpkin seeds for iron and magnesium.
 
Looking for a high protein snack to stay full longer? Try cottage cheese! Did you know that cottage cheese is even higher in protein per serving than Greek yogurt?  Try it plain, with fruit, or even savory-style with salt and pepper. Kefir smoothies are another favorite dairy-based snack option in my house. Similar to yogurt-based smoothies, kefire smoothies are packed with healthy live probiotic cultures. Lastly, don't forget beef jerky! This perfectly portable, high-proteins nack is available at your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers in plenty of flavors to keep you satisfied.
 
Need some snacking inspiration?  Try this family favorite homemade salsa recipe, made with summer’s freshest ripe tomatoes.
 
Fresh Homemade Salsa  w/ chips
 

Fresh Homemade Salsa

 *Adapted from Cook’s Country
 
Ingredients:
      • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped medium
      • 2 teaspoons salt
      • ½ small red onion, chopped fine
      • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
      • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
      • ¾ teaspoon cumin powder
      • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Instructions:

      • Combine tomatoes with salt. 
      • Place tomatoes in strainer set over bowl and let drain 30 minutes.Discard liquid.
      • Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in medium bowl.
      • Combine drained tomatoes with remaining ingredients.
      • Allow to sit at room temperature for one hour for flavors to combine (if you can wait that long!)
      • Serve with chips for dipping.  
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!
 

 

Angela Larson

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods.  Delicious food is her passion, so she loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of health and nutrition.  When Angela isn't working with Brookshire Brothers, she's a mostly stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors with her husband, Austin, and their two daughters.
 
 
 
Real Fresh, Real Delicious: Crawfish Boil

17 Pro Tips, Creative Fixins, Nutritional Fun Facts & More

 
Crawfish season is here! I love that a crawfish boil brings people together in an old-fashioned "food ritual” where everyone participates in the cooking before joining together to eat. The community part of it is almost as much fun as the eating!
 
My husband is from south Louisiana, and he can work through a pile of crawfish in short order. PRO TIP: For veteran crawfish eaters, plan for 4-5 pounds of live crawfish per person. For crawfish-eating amateurs, estimated 2-3 pounds and have plenty of fixins for filling tummies. 
 
A graphic feature with a blue-brick background as well as crawfish and fixins pictured in the corners. The text reads "Live Louisiana Crawfish. Bring on the boil!"
See your local Brookshire Brothers about ordering live Louisiana crawfish!
 
While eating crawfish is mostly about having fun, they're pretty nutritious too! DID YOU KNOW these little critters are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals? Specifically, mudbugs provide B vitamins, folate, vitamin E, and other minerals such as selenium (an antioxidant mineral).
 
Getting creative with the “fixins” can be a wonderful way to make the meal more filling, delicious, colorful, and nutritious. The boiling liquid makes a tasty “stock” that can be used to flavorfully cook a variety of sides. Mesh bags are available for keeping veggies and other sides separated from the crawfish in the boil. Some pros use frozen corn to help cool the water down and allow the crawfish to cook gently.
 
Need some inspiration for the fixins? Try some of these options for a fun and festive crawfish feast. Just remember to add sturdier sides with potatoes at the beginning of the boil and add more delicate veggies later in the cooking process.
 A southern crawfish boil with potatoes, sausage, corn, and other fixins in a large pot.
    • Sausage, especially smoked or andouille varieties
    • Potatoes
    • Garlic bulbs, cut in half
    • Corn on the cob
    • Onions, sliced in half
    • Celery
    • Lemons, cut in half
    • Asparagus
    • Mushrooms
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cauliflower
    • Broccoli
    • Fresh green beans
    • Carrots
Don't forget to check your weekly ad or the latest digital coupons for extra savings on ingredients & more!
 
Let the good times roll! Or, as the Louisiana French migh say "Laissez les bons temps rouler!"
 

First crawfish boil? Here is everything you need to know!

 
Cooking crawfish is an art with many questions: How long do you boil crawfish? How much water do you need? How many pounds of crawfish do you need per person? We're here to help with this guide featuring the Nothing to Mix – Just Pour and Boil recipe from our vendor partner Louisiana Fish FryWith just the right amount of the finest garlic, onion, paprika, and lemon, this powdered boil guarantees a perfect result every time.
 
Before you begin, keep your crawfish fresh in a cooler full of ice. When you're ready to start cooking, rinse them with fresh water.
 
A 16oz packet of Louisiana Fish Fry Crawfish, Shrimp, & Crab Boil SeasoningDIRECTIONS
  • Fill a large pot with enough water to cover seafood. We recommend cooking (and eating) outside using a 19-quart stockpot with an interior basket; alternatively, you can cook smaller batches on the stovetop instead.
  • Add LA Fish Fry Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil and any other fixins. Stir well and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Add crawfish. Return to a rolling boil, and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Turn fire or stove off and let the crawfish soak for 15-25 minutes. NOTE: The longer seafood soaks, the spicier it will be.
  • Serve drained crawfish & fixins over a large table covered in newspapers. Keep paper towels handy and use an extra plate or bucket to dispose of the shells.
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers to get cookin' today! 
 

 

Angela Larson

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 

 
Buffalo Chicken & Blue Cheese BBQ Flatbread Pizza

Real Fresh, Real Delicious Game Day Food

 
Looking for the perfect crowd-pleaser that looks fancy, tastes delicious, and comes together in a snap? These flavorful little flatbreads are the answer to your watch party prayers! They're also a great, kid-friendly option for a quick dinner on busy nights, and they can be customized to your heart's delight.
 
For the flatbread, check out the bakery section of your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers. I use Stonefire Tandoori Naan flatbreads for the pizza crust, but any kind of pita flatbread would work. For little pizzas, look for the smaller-sized flatbread or just cut the regular-sized bread into bite-sized pieces. Kick up the nutritional value another notch by using naan that's whole wheat!
 
Read more: No time? No problem. Check out the party trays from our deli.
 

Buffalo Chicken & Blue Cheese BBQ Flatbread Pizza 

A prepared shot of the Buffalo Chicken & Blue Cheese BBQ Flatbread Pizza before it goes into the oven.

 
INGREDIENTS
Naan, Pita, or any other flatbread in desired size
Barbecue Sauce
Shredded cheese (I use cheddar)
Celery, chopped fine
Chicken, cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces (rotisserie chicken works well or some chicken breasts that have been fully cooked)
Frank's Original Hot Sauce (or other favorite wing sauce)
Blue Cheese Crumbles
 
Don't forget to check your weekly ad or the latest digital coupons for extra savings on the ingredients!
 
DIRECTIONS 
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Toss cooked chicken in Frank's hot sauce until coated.  
  • Assemble pizzas by spreading barbecue sauce on the flatbread, sprinkling evenly with shredded cheese and celery, and topping with chicken and blue cheese. 
  • Place pizzas on baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes until warmed through and cheese is melted.  Serve warm, drizzling with additional hot sauce as desired.
 More easy & epic crowd pleasers:
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all big game needs! 
  

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
 
Real Fresh, Real Delicious: Harvest Muffins
Looking for the perfect homemade gift that is sure to make the season merry, bright, AND delicious? Try gifting scrumptious and moist muffins that are freezer friendly for a quick breakfast or a perfect pairing with a cup of coffee for chilly mornings. Muffins are the perfectly portable crowd-pleasing present.
 
Banana nut muffins are one of my favorite varieties, but for something a little extra special, try this recipe for Harvest Muffins that have a delicious and nutritious secret—they are sweetened with sweet potato instead of any added sugars! Sweet potato adds natural sweetness and extra nutrition in every bite. I hope you make a double batch for you and as a gift to a loved one this holiday season! Merry Christmas!!
 
Need more ideas? Give the gift of food with these five fun and easy suggestions featured last Christmas! 
 

Harvest Muffins

(Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)

Several delicious looking muffins cooling on a rack
Bringing Baking Back: Make memories in the kitchen this holiday season with recipes, savings, and more! 
 
INGREDIENTS
    • 1¼ cups dried cranberries or cherries
    • ¾ cup pecans, toasted and chopped fine
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • ¾ cup apple cider
    • 2/3 cup buttermilk
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • ¼ teaspoon grated orange zest
    • 2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
    • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
    • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
    • ½ teaspoon table salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 ¼ cups peeled and shredded sweet potato (about 1 small potato)
Don't forget to check your weekly ad or the latest digital coupons for extra savings on the ingredients!
 
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin tin with parchment liners or grease well. Finely chop ¼ cup cranberries and combine with ¼ cup toasted pecans. Set aside for topping.
  2. Melt butter in a 10-inch stainless skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes.Cook, stirring pan constantly until has a nutty aroma and is dark golden brown, another 1 minute or so.Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk apple cider, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and orange zest into the browned butter until smooth. In a separate large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and cloves together. Using rubber spatula, stir the butter mixture until combined.Fold in sweet potato and remaining 1 cup cranberries and remaining ½ cup pecans.
  4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups and sprinkle with reserved topping mixture.Bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out with a few moist crumbs attached but no wet batter.Rotate muffin tin halfway through baking.
  5. Let muffins cool for 10 minutes before turning them out of muffin tin and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.Serve.
 
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all holiday needs! 
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
 
 
Real Fresh, Real Delicious: Spice It Up
As seen in Charm East Texas
 
Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, and it's time to commemorate the occasion this Columbus Day! When Columbus set sail, one of his primary aims was to locate the "spice islands" along the Asian coast; exotic spices were rare and valuable commodities in those days. Columbus may have missed the mark in his search for the spice islands (landing on Cuba instead!), but in its place he discovered a whole new world where culinary inspiration awaited.
 
Spices are a quintessential component in the diversity of food and culture all around the world. In honor of Columbus Day this year, let's do a little of our own exploring and celebrate the diverse world of spices with all their delicious culinary magic.  They were magical enough to make Columbus sail across the ocean to find them, but luckily they are as easy to find as a quick trip to your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers.  
 
Cinnamon sticks with cinnamon powder on wooden background
 

15 Flavorful Facts On Spices 

  • All spices are rich in various types of antioxidants, making them a tasty way to bolster the body’s defenses against different diseases and illnesses.  
  • Those living in hot climates tend to cook with more spices because the spices inhibit spoilage.  Taste preferences are passed on genetically, and those who eat the most seasoned food tend to be healthiest, live longer, and have more offspring. 
  • Herbs come from the leaves of plants while spices are produced from other parts (bark, buds, roots, seeds, etc).  Some herbs and spices with very different flavors can come from the same plant, such as cilantro leaves and coriander seeds.
Charred Chile & Corn Salsa Recipe: Who doesn’t love cilantro?
 
  • The best all-around anti-microbial spices are thyme, cinnamon, tarragon, and cumin.  Spicy chilies and hot peppers kill up to 75% of bacteria, while black pepper, ginger, celery seed, and lemon juice kill about 25% of bacteria.  
  • Some spices—especially cinnamon and garlic—appear to have a pronounced beneficial effect on blood lipids, making them a good choice for heart health.  
  • Nutmeg and mace come from the same seed, but nutmeg is the seed while mace is the lacy reddish covering on the seed. Mace has a similar flavor to nutmeg but is slightly more pungent.
Get cooking: Fall in love with this winter squash recipe—featuring nutmeg and other herbs!
 
  • Fenugreek can safely help increase milk supply in nursing mothers.  
  • Saffron threads are stigmas from flowers cultivated in the Middle East. The flowers bloom for only one week of the year, and each flower produces only three threads that must be hand-harvested; it’s no wonder that saffron is expensive!  Saffron has a unique flavor that adds a distinctive and sophisticated touch to dishes. 
  • Oregano has strong anti-microbial properties, improves blood sugar, kills cancer cells, and can even function as a powerful antiseptic used in food packaging and the medical industry.
Wooden Spoon with shredded Oregano
Feelin’ chili: Oregano puts the comfort in this cold-weather recipe
 
  • Researchers in Brazil found an antioxidant in parsley, thyme, chamomile, and red pepper that improves neuron formation and strengthens the connections between brain cells.
  • Historically, spices were a valuable currency for trade. They were prized for not just food seasoning, but also medical purposes.  Many modern pharmaceuticals are based on compounds originally found in spices and plants.
  • Cinnamon has many benefits including blood sugar management, anti-microbial properties, heart benefits, cancer prevention, and even brain-boosting properties.
Think cinnamon: ‘Tis the season for apple butter!
 
  • Cayenne and other spicy peppers have been shown to increase metabolic rate and aid weight loss. Spicy peppers also aid digestion and have been shown to cut cancer risk.   
  • Turmeric contains powerful antioxidants that work well as an anti-inflammatory and can even act as an alternative to traditional over-the-counter pain relievers. With a slightly pungent and sweet flavor, Tumeric is very popular in Indian cuisine.  Its vibrant golden hue works well as a natural alternative to food coloring—you might just see it in organic macaroni and cheese! 
  • Foods that are well-seasoned can be more palatable with less salt.  Before reaching for the saltshaker, see first that your food is seasoned well with herbs, spices, and something sour such as vinegar or lemon juice. These alternatives can enhance a salty flavor without adding more salt.  
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers to find your spice!
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
Real Fresh, Real Delicious Charred Chile and Corn Salsa
In the mood for something sweet, salty, and a little spicy?  I have just the thing to satisfy cravings for all things fresh, simple, and delicious—Charred Chile and Corn Salsa! Whether you’re tailgating with friends or enjoying #TacoTuesday with family, this corn salsa is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Plus, it’s easy and quick to prepare, and it’s a great way to enjoy seasonal produce!
 

Charred Chile and Corn Salsa

A hand reaching into a clear bowl of salsa
 
Ingredients
2 ears fresh corn, husked
1 poblano or hatch chile - Catch more hatch chile recipes on the blog!
2 large tomatoes or 3 medium, cored and chopped
1 fresh jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, chopped fine (optional)
½ red onion, chopped fine
½ teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tbs fresh lime juice
Pepper to taste
Tortilla chips for serving
 
Salsa ingredients on a wooden background (corn, hatch chile, cilantro, tomatoes, onion, and lime)
Don't forget to check your weekly ad or the latest digital coupons for extra savings on the ingredients!
 
Directions
  • Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt over chopped tomatoes and place in a fine mesh strainer to drain excess juice while preparing the rest of the recipe.
  • Place the fresh ears of corn and whole chile in a large cast iron or stainless skillet over high heat, turning occasionally until corn is charred in places and chile is blistered all over, about 10-14 minutes.  Reduce heat as needed to prevent scorching.  
  • Allow corn and chile to cool for a few minutes, then slice corn kernels off the cob with a sharp knife.  Remove the stem, core, and seeds from the chile, and roughly chop.  
  • Discard tomato juice.  In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, corn, chile, and all remaining ingredients (except chips) and stir gently to mix.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
 
 
Creating a Family Food Culture
As seen in Charm East Texas.
 
Nothing brings people together quite like a great meal.  Whether there’s an occasion to celebrate or the meal itself is the occasion, eating is a universally human activity that builds bonds in the company of others. A special occasion without the food wouldn’t feel as special. Within a family, the dinner table can be a powerful tool to help children learn about life, community, and eating well.
 
Shared family meals can help children of all ages learn what and how they should eat.  The right family food culture can create a safe and familiar place where kids may (eventually) be willing to try unfamiliar foods.  It takes time and persistence to craft a family food culture, but it is well worth the effort.  Every household can create their own unique food culture, complete with their own expectations, traditions, and special memories.  There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it—only a way that works for each family.
 
Happy family enjoying lunch while kids playing.
 

SHARE A MEAL TOGETHER

A great place to start is simply to make an effort to eat together (without electronic distractions). Joining together for a meal builds respect and shows each person how they are a valued member of the family.  Not every meal needs to be shared, of course, since this is neither practical nor necessary, but intentionally sharing at least some meals together lays the groundwork for breaking through barriers of picky eating, communication issues, and behavioral expectations.  
In my family, we choose to eat dinner together almost every night of the week.  Even when we occasionally bring home takeout, we still maintain the ritual of sitting down together and having a meal.  The television is off, phones aren’t allowed, and there’s often pleasant music playing in the background to help everyone feel calm and content.
 
Let's do family pizza night! Pick up a frozen pizza and customize it with your own combinations.
 
Our children have joined us consistently at the dinner table before they were old enough to understand why, and this in turn has created an environment of expectation.  Every night it’s the same: sit down together and share a meal where we all eat the same food. There is no short order cooking for dinner; the question “What do you want to eat?” is nonexistent. We all eat together, which means we all eat some form of the same foods. 
This has worked well for coaxing our sometimes-ornery three-year-old to eat most everything we eat. If we eat something she doesn’t particularly care for, she can choose to eat it anyway or go to bed a little hungry and eat more for breakfast the next day. Ninety-seven percent of the time she decides just to eat whatever it is that we are having.
 
Shot of an adorable little girl having breakfast with her mother at home
 

MODIFY THE FOOD TALK

Our family food culture also pays close attention to the way we talk about food. It’s easy to entertain criticisms that can be very damaging to the way children think about food.  In my family, we focus on never talking negatively about real food, even in a joking manner. We avoid using words like yucky or gross, and instead we choose to focus on framing foods as delicious and yummy before drilling down about the specific attributes that we like.
  
We stay away from categorizing food as healthy or unhealthy; rather, we focus on how some things are special treats should only be eaten occasionally (or we might get a tummy ache).  We use the same descriptive words for broccoli as we do for cupcakes—yummy and delicious!  Kids don’t usually get excited to eat broccoli when you tell them it’s healthy, but they might eat it when you tell them it’s delicious, buttery, and cheesy.
 
Mother and son doing the dishes together. They are talking and laughing as the boy washes and the mother dries dishes.
  

LET EVERYONE HELP

Another important piece of my family’s food culture is the cooking process.  My three-year-old often “helps” me cook, a source of wonderful encouragement for her to be a more adventurous and eager eater (even when it exercises all my patience). Allowing your kids to participate in the cooking process, even if they make a mess, will help develop competence and confidence in cooking and eating. My daughter started out just watching me cook, and I’d explain things to her before she’d run off after a minute or two.  Now, I always ask her if she’d like to help me, and we try to make her feel like an important part of cooking, setting the table, or cleaning up after dinner.
 
Essentially, we are trying to create an environment where eating all different kinds of foods, mostly homemade and from scratch, is normal everyday behavior.  Conversely, eating processed foods and “junk” food is not normal and it is only an occasional occurrence; however, we don’t forbid all treats because that seems to make them more desirable.  Even if we don’t categorize foods as being “junk” versus “wholesome” that often, it is more about creating an environment of balanced normality.
  

BE PATIENT

While my family most certainly doesn’t do everything “right”—and we definitely have our fair share of mealtime battles—our three year old is a great eater who only knows that all food is yummy and tastes delicious.  She’s never heard anything else from us.  Even if we don’t love a food, we try not to let on.  We may even cook things we don’t love periodically because we want all foods to be tried and accepted.
  
At first, it can be difficult to create a better family food culture, especially if older kids are complaining about certain things, so start small.  Maybe start by banning the words yucky or gross.  Remind them often that we don’t use those words when we talk about food; remind them instead that all food is yummy.  Even if it doesn’t sink in right at first, don’t worry, the seeds sown often take time to root and fully develop.
 
So, eat something yummy with someone you love and make it a habit you won’t regret.
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
Real Fresh, Real Brilliant Breakfast Ideas

• 11 Kid-Friendly Healthy Options for the Morning Menu • 

 
As summer winds down and schedules start filling up again, a fresh rotation of healthy breakfast ideas can make a great start to everybody’s day. Here are some of my favorite choices for keeping energy levels up and spirits high with the early mornings and busy days ahead.
 
Back to school items laid out flat in a ring around a banana.
 

Cereal

If you’re a fan of breakfast cereal, look for options that are low in sugar. You can always sweeten it with healthier alternatives, such as honey and fresh fruit mixed with plain Cheerios. Granola-style cereals are another filling and nutritious option with plenty of flavor combinations to mix it up.  
 

Bacon, Sausage, and Biscuits

Need a little down-home southern style breakfast to lift your spirits?  There’s a great selection of bacon, sausage, and biscuits at your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers to help you create a breakfast feast that is sure to please. I like to make little breakfast sandwiches with bacon, egg, cheese, and a biscuit; they're portable and delicious!
 

Breakfast Tacos 

Everybody loves breakfast tacos. With so many different options for fillings, you’re sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Refried beans, cooked potatoes, shredded cheese, tomatoes, salsa, chorizo, sausage, or bacon—there’s no shortage of fillings (or happy feelings).
 
Banana muffins on a cooling rack
 

Eggs

Eggs are the quintessential breakfast superstar—and for good reason! Whether scrambled, fried, poached, boiled, or even baked, they are packed with protein, heaps of vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats to keep your energy levels steady throughout the day. Not to mention, they’re carb-free! Even better, eating eggs provides a great opportunity to get some greens into your morning routine; eggs pair well with a wide range of veggies including chiles, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, avocados, and more. In particular, one of the easiest way to add veggies to your eggs is to keep some salsa hand for a flavorful combination on the ready! Lastly, if there's only time for a grab-and-go breakfast, boiled eggs are a great option.
 

Easy Oatmeal

Oatmeal is another filling and nutritious breakfast option! I cook mine with milk for more rib-sticking power. Try this basic recipe:
 
Use twice the amount of milk as oatmeal (for example, ½ cup oatmeal and 1 cup milk), a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a handful of raisins, and a a drizzle of real maple syrup to sweeten. Put on the stove over medium heat until it simmers, turn it off for a minute or two, and eat!  For a decadent finish, try a splash of heavy cream for some healthy fat to help fill tummies for long busy days.  
 

Grits

For a savory hot breakfast cereal, try some delicious cooked grits with a pat of butter, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. That’s as real fresh, real simple, and real delicious as it gets! 
 

Muffins

If you’re in need of more portable breakfast options, a big batch of muffins can be just the ticket. Muffins freeze well too, so make extra and keep a stash in the freezer for busy days ahead. Try my favorite banana nut muffin recipe for the ultimate portable breakfast.
 

A green smoothie in a mason jarSmoothies

Smoothies are one of the most versatile breakfast options since so many different things can work in a smoothie. Keep a variety of frozen and fresh fruit on hand. Freeze overripe bananas for an ever-ready smoothie ingredient. For the liquid component, I like options with protein such as milk, nut milk, yogurt, and even kefir (a dairy-based probiotic drink). Extra flourishes can be added like coconut oil, coconut flakes, chia or flax seeds. For more veggie power, check out this green smoothie recipe
 

Toast

If you enjoy toast, focus on fun combinations like peanut butter with banana, butter with cinnamon, or avocado with egg.
 

Waffles

I always keep a stock of frozen waffles on hand as a quick option that can be popped in the toaster and ready in minutes. My neighborhood Brookshire Brothers has a great selection of frozen waffles to make shopping easy. Some of my family’s favorites are Nature’s Path Organic and Van’s gluten-free waffles. You can also prepare an extra batch of homemade waffles (and pancakes!) to freeze and reheat another morning. Keep real maple syrup and butter on hand for wholesome and delicious finishing touches!
 

Yogurt

Yogurt is a fantastic all-in-one food that has a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat to keep energy levels stable, not to mention the healthy probiotic bacteria that's wonderful for digestion as well! Keep big tubs of plain yogurt and toppings on hand such as fresh or dried fruit, nuts and seeds (like pumpkin or sunflower seeds), dried coconut, granola, muesli, chia or flax seeds for healthy omega-3 fats, and honey to sweeten it up.  
 
And to celebrate both breakfast and the arrival of Hatch Chile season, try this family favorite recipe for ooey-gooey cheesy baked egg goodness with a little Hatch Chile flair.
 

Hatch Chile Baked EggsA serving of breakfast casserole on a plate

 
Ingredients
6 eggs
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons powdered mustard
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cottage cheese
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 Hatch or poblano chile, peeled, stemmed, seeded, and diced
 
Toppings as desired: salsa, avocado, sour cream
 
 
Don't forget to check your weekly ad or the latest digital coupons for extra savings on the ingredients!
 
 
Directions
    • Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly grease an 8-inch square casserole dish.  
    • In a large bowl, beat the eggs.  Stir in the flour, mustard, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in all the cheese, butter, and diced chile and mix until incorporated.  
    • Pour the egg mixture into the casserole dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and the center is firm.  Serve warm with toppings as desired.
Find a nearby Brookshire Brothers to get started today!
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
Snacks for Summer Adventures: Healthy, Portable, and Kid-Approved

5 Easy Picks For a Real Fresh, Real Delicious Summer

 
I’m always on the lookout for grab-n-go snacks that are nutritious, kid-approved, and perfect for all the summer adventures—pool days, ballgames, going to the park, and more. Here are some of my favorite selections from my neighborhood Brookshire Brothers store that are as delicious as they are nutritious! 
 
Summer Snacks
 

Quinoa Puffs

Kids (and kids at heart) love these little cheezy orbs of crunchy puffy goodness.  They would never suspect that the secret ingredient is quinoa flour, a healthy protein powerhouse!
 
FYI: This weekend's text offer will be FREE Simply Done foam plates (50 ct) when you spend $20 (some exclusions apply).
Not signed up for our text offers? Text JOIN [insert your store #] to 59652.
Don't know your store number? Shoot us an email at customerexperience@brookshirebros.com and we'll help you out!
 

Pea Snacks

Pea snacks are a crunchy snack that travels well and has a super simple ingredient list: pea and brown rice flour (aka LOADS of fiber and protein). Better yet, all the different flavors (from plain to spicy) will keep everyone in the family happy.  
 
 

Chickpea Snacks

If you’re looking for something with a little more bite, check out dried chickpea snacks. With a nice balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fat, they’ll keep the kids fueled up for all their summer activities. These also come in a variety of yummy flavors, plus they can make a tasty topping for salads and soups!
 

Coconut Strips

If you’re looking for a something on the sweeter side to nosh on, try some delicious “Dang” brand coconut chips.  These lightly sweetened crunchy strips of coconut taste great on their own, or you might combine them with nuts and dried fruit for a healthy, homemade trail mix. Coconut is full of healthy fat and fiber, which makes these an extra satisfying snack with staying power.  
 
Read more: There are many great reasons to go Cuckoo for Coconuts
 
Coconut Chips
 

Clementine Oranges

Everyone’s favorite. Little clementine oranges are hydrating, sweet, and tangy with a punch of vitamin C and potassium.  If you need a quick pick-me-up for the summer heat, grab one of these juicy “Little Cuties” and peel away!
 
Learn more: Did you know the best strategy for selecting a clementine orange in store?
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
Spring Showers Bring May (Flower) Salads
Did you know that pansies and violas are edible and taste just like lettuce? Pick up the ingredients for this real fresh, real delicious salad at your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers—flowers optional! The best part? Berries are in season now!
 

A Berry Pretty Salad

Spring Showers Bring May (Flower) Salads
 With Goat Cheese, Honey Toasted Pecans, and Balsamic Vinaigrette
 
Ingredients
5 oz salad greens
½ c. pecans
2 Tbs honey
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar (I used a well-aged variety for more sweetness)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
1 c. berries (I used blackberries and blueberries), rinsed and drained
1/3 c. crumbled goat cheese
Pepper, to taste
Optional garnish: pansies or viola flowers
 
Don't forget to check your weekly ad or the latest digital coupons for extra savings on these ingredients!
 
Directions
  • Toast pecans lightly in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes or until fragrant. While still warm, add honey to pecans and toss to coat.  
  • Mix extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon, and salt in jar or container. Shake vigorously until emulsified.  
  • Divide lettuce between two bowls for two large dinner salads or four bowls for smaller side salads.  Top with toasted pecans, crumbled goat cheese, berries, and salad dressing. Add cracked pepper to salad, to taste. Garnish with pansies or violas for an extra special and beautiful salad.

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 

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