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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 25, 2014

Stuff stockings with good taste

By DEE SANDQUIST, Hy-Vee Dietitian | Dec 19, 2013

A Christmas stocking is big enough for a themed gift but small enough to make filling it quick, easy and fun. Everyone loves the gift of delicious food. 
Breakfast in a stocking:
Holiday excitement can disrupt little ones’ meal schedules. When the excitement of long-awaited gifts is more interesting than coming to the table for a meal, why not stuff breakfast into their stockings?
Some ideas: Horizon shelf-stable organic milk box, Erin Baker’s breakfast cookie or KIND nut and fruit bar, Just Fruit Munchies single-serve packs and fresh fruit, such as a Honeycrisp apple or an easy-to-peel clementine. Don’t forget a new toothbrush & toothpaste tied together with a bow.
Treat your teacher:
Go to the head of the class with a stocking stuffed with unique items any teacher is sure to love, such as Stash brand teas paired with Madhava flavored agave nectar for sweetness, Burt’s Bees lotion and lip balm, Zum’s popular Frankincense and Myrrh-scented soap wrapped in a cellophane gift bag and, of course, a fresh apple.
Love your neighbor:
Simply tie together a package of beautiful gourmet pasta, olive oil and a jar of Tomato Basil pasta sauce as a way to remember your neighbor at the holiday season. Add an invitation to bring the items over to your house for dinner in the New Year - and this simple, thoughtful gift encourages both good health and friendship.
For the gourmet foodie:
Pair with your choice of wine, a package of walnuts in their shells, a nutcracker and fresh fruit such as Holiday seedless grapes and fresh apples along with the following recipe on a card.
Encouragement and inspiration for the young cook:
Right-sized, fun tools inspire young cooks to develop life-long cooking skills. A variety of clever, kid-sized kitchen tools are available. Items such as their own measuring cups and spoons, Eco Smart prep cups and pinch bowls and a small whisk stimulate kitchen creativity and ownership of their creations. Start by preparing Santa’s Favorite Pancakes together and begin a new Christmas morning breakfast tradition:
Santa’s Favorite Pancakes
Inspire creativity in the kitchen by giving kids right-sized kitchen tools as a stocking-stuffer then welcome them into the kitchen to help prepare these whole-grain pancakes.

All you need:
For the pancakes:
1 cup buckwheat pancake mix
3/4 cup skim milk
1 egg
1 ½ tbsp cooking oil
non-stick cooking spray

To assemble Santa’s Favorite Pancakes, you’ll also need:
2 slices cooked bacon, per pancake
2 chocolate chips, per pancake
1 fresh raspberry, per pancake
Whipped cream

All you do:
1. Prepare pancakes by placing pancake mix into mixing bowl; add milk and egg. Stir in vegetable oil. Mix until just blended. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Preheat griddle or large skillet to 360 degrees. Grease lightly with cooking spray. Griddle is ready when small drops of water sizzle and disappear almost immediately.
3. Pour ¼ cup batter for each pancake onto the hot griddle, adding 2 separate spoonfuls additional batter to form “reindeer ears.” Cook 1 to 1-½ minutes and flip when edges appear cooked and bubbles form throughout the pancake. Cook additional 1 to 1-½ minutes on opposite side.
4. Pour 1/8 cup onto griddle to form smaller pancake for reindeer face. Repeat cooking instructions of step 3.

To assemble “Santa’s Favorite” reindeer face-shaped pancake:
1. Place 1 smaller pancake on top of larger pancake
2. Arrange bacon to look like antlers, raspberry for a red nose and two small dollops of whipped cream, each topped with a chocolate chip, for eyes.
Makes approx. six pancakes.  Source: www.familyfun.com; modified by your Hy-Vee dietitian
The information is not intended as medical advice.   Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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