Hilltown Families


For as long as human history has been recorded, the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has been used as food and medicine across the globe. While not native to this continent, this nutritious golden flowering plant arrived with the European colonization of the 1600’s and is now commonplace in lawns and meadows across North America. In the spring, the dandelion is one of several common wild edibles foragers look for to supplement their dinner plates. Here’s a helpful list, which includes, of course, DANDELIONS!

Looking through the lens of dandelions, interests in culinary arts, pastry arts, baking, and even home brewing can be supported. Within these interests, lessons in chemistry and math are implicit, while the art of taste and texture is an explicit driving force…

Ideas for school lunches…

This month in “Soup’s On: Stirring Up Connections in the Kitchen,” Dane continues the spotlight on picky eaters. The conversation continues by taking a look at youth and young adults, and how NOT to turn dinnertime into a battlefield of exasperation.

Last month, Dane tackled some of the reasons behind picky eating in her debut post to our newest column, “Soup’s On: Stirring Up Connections in the Kitchen.” This month, she’s looking at strategies for the young picky eater – and how you can help broaden their horizons AND maintain your sanity!

Where does picky eating come from? Dealing with picky eaters can be a challenge for the omnivorous or adventurous cook. This month in the debut of “Soup’s On: Stirring Up Connections in the Kitchen,” Dane Kuttler explores some of the reasons some folks keep a limited diet – and how we can address those needs and help them expand their tastes! Dane is Hilltown Families newest Contributing Writer and Director of the Julia Poppins School of Cooking. Be sure to check out her monthly column on the last Wednesday of every month!

During the summer months many families In Western MA are lucky to have an abundance of basil and peas practically at their fingertips, either growing in their own gardens are available at a local farmers’ market. In “Oak & Acorn,” there is great advice on how to make something uniquely tasty from a plentiful bounty. A recipe for basil pesto with shelled peas is featured, along with a nice basil seltzer water with simple syrup and sour cherries… Give it a go for a unique basil-icious treat!

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts writes: This Thursday, the State House will consider legislation that seeks to increase healthy and locally grown foods in schools across the Commonwealth. We need your voice now to encourage our Western Massachusetts representatives to support this bill. Children deserve healthy food choices at school! Click HERE to learn more and act now.

Organic vs. Natural: Don’t Let Your Family Be Fooled Organic Consumers Association writes: The “natural” food phenomenon worries many in the organic industry. So-called “natural” products aren’t regulated and don’t have to meet any special standards, so they can be marketed more cheaply than genuine certified organic food. Many formerly organic brands are trying to fool consumers into thinking natural and organic are the same. Early this year, for instance, WhiteWave Foods… Read More

Obama’s New Chef Skewers School Lunches Before he agreed to cook for the Obama family in the White House, Chicago chef Sam Kass was already talking about changing the way American children eat. During weekly Tuesday gatherings at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Chicago, Mr. Kass hosted “Rethinking Soup,” which he described as “a communal event where we will eat delicious, healthy soup and have fresh, organic conversation about many of… Read More

Amy Kalafa of Two Angry Moms writes: Recently, Oprah did a couple of shows focusing on the emotional toll of childhood obesity. The shows were touching, powerful, and an important step in rethinking how we nourish our kids. We want Oprah to broaden this discussion to address the need to fundamentally change how we feed kids in America both in school and at home. We want to extend the conversation beyond obesity… Read More

The time to prevent obesity is in childhood and schools are an excellent place to start. Children learn the habits of a lifetime in school – one of those habits should be healthy eating.

LISTEN NOW HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW Nutrition Episode WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA Tuesday evening @ 7pm   04/01/08 PLAYLIST listen now | subscribe to free podcast | archived shows | contests   Mr. Ray – “Good To Eat” [Family Ride] Imagination Movers – “I’d Eat It Anyway” [Good Ideas] Kevin Kammeraad – “Dinner” [The Tomato Collection] Jamie Broza – “Snacks” [My Daddy is Scratchy] Scott… Read More

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