Sweet Potato Fries

In honor of National Nutrition Month, we are sharing simple, healthy, delicious, and fun recipes for you to try all week!

Sweet Potato Fries [full recipe here]
Serves 8

Ingredients
6 whole Sweet Potatoes, Peeled And Cut Into Thin Sticks
1 stick Salted Butter
2 cloves Garlic, Pressed (optional)
1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt (optional)
1 teaspoon Chili Powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper (optional)
Salt For Sprinkling

Preparation Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Melt the butter. If you want to season the butter, add garlic, seasoned salt, chili powder, and black pepper. Stir with a fork.
3. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes in the butter/seasoning mixture. Arrange on two baking sheets and bake in the oven for 15 to 17 minutes, shaking the pans halfway through, until the fries are sizzling (watch so that the edges don’t burn). Remove from the oven and allow to sit on the pan for 5 minutes. Sprinkle generously with salt.

Note: Sweet potatoes will not be overly crisp, but they should be firm…and, of course, scrumptious!

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Oven-Baked Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

In honor of National Nutrition Month, we are sharing simple, healthy, delicious, and fun recipes for you to try all week!
Oven-Baked Zucchini Parmesan Crisps [from The Kitchn]
Serves 4
2 medium zucchini (yellow or green, or both!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg white
1/2 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450°F and lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

Using a mandolin slicer (or a handheld knife), slice the zucchinis into 1/4 inch rounds. Transfer the zucchini coins to a bowl and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Drizzle the olive oil and the egg white over top and toss to coat evenly.

Mix the panko crumbs and parmesan together in a shallow tray. Working with a few coins a time, dredge the zucchini in the panko-parmesan mixture and transfer to the greased baking sheet.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the zucchini are golden brown and crispy. Allow them to cool slightly (about 5 minutes) on the baking sheet before transferring them to a serving tray with a spatula. Serve warm or room temp with your favorite salsa or dip.

Did you try this recipe? Let us know how you like it!

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Alice Waters’ Greek Salad

In honor of National Nutrition Month, we are sharing simple, healthy, delicious, and fun recipes for you to try all week!

Greek Salad [from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food]
4 servings

Cut out the stem end and cut into wedges: 2 small ripe tomatoes
Season with: Salt
Peel, cut in half lengthwise, and thickly slice: 1 medium cucumber
(If the seeds are large, remove them by scraping a spoon down the center of the halved cucumber.)
Peel and thinly slice: 1/2 small red onion or 5 green onions
Cut in half, core and seed, and slice thin: 1 small sweet red pepper
Rinse (and if you prefer, pit): About 1/4 cup black olives (2-3 olives per person)
Break up or cut into small pieces: 4 ounces feta cheese
Make a vinaigrette. Mix:
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
Whisk in: 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Season the cucumbers and onions with salt. Taste the tomatoes and season again if they need it. Gently toss the vegetables with about three quarters of the vinaigrette. Taste and add more salt or vinegar as needed. The salad can sit for a few minutes to let the flavors blend together. Just before serving, gently toss the salad again and garnish with the cheese and olives. Spoon over the remaining vinaigrette.

Variations:
-Serve the salad over a few leaves of romaine or other lettuce.
-Dried oregano may be substituted for fresh, but use only 1 teaspoon
-A Greek salad is a hearty dish; wish some crusty bread, it could be the main event of a dinner

Enjoy! Let us know if you try this recipe!

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Choose to Eat Healthy

With so much information and so little time to plan and prepare meals, it can seem that eating healthy is nearly an impossible task in today’s world. There are small steps that even the busiest families can take in order to improve your family’s health each day. Here are some simple steps you can take to improve your daily approach to healthy eating:

Aim for Five Every Day

Be intentional about making the delicious crunch of fruits and veggies a significant part of every meal and snack your family enjoys throughout the day.

Choose Your Drinks with Care

A simple way to improve the overall health of your family is to adjust your approach to beverages. Try cutting out drinks with sugar added and focus on drinking more water, 100% fruit juice and milk.

Check the Label

Look at ingredient lists; if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it. By learning to make sense of the information that all food packages are required to provide, you can begin to make choosing healthier foods a little easier.

Control Your Portions

Sure, we all over do it from time to time, but by being careful to consume food portions that are in line with energy output from physical activity, everyone can eat healthier. A good trick is to take 5 deep breaths between bites. This gives your stomach time to tell your brain that you are full, helping to avoid overeating.

For additional tips and strategies for building these and more healthy habits, visit the YMCA’s Healthy Family Home.

To help you celebrate National Nutrition Month, we will post simple, healthy, delicious and fun recipes here all week!

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The Right To Play

At the YMCA, we believe the pillars of a healthy family home are eat healthy, play every day, get together, go outside, and sleep well.

Now that school is back in session and kids will spend much of their day indoors, we encourage parents to help their children spend time outside. Protect your children’s right to play! Parks and playgrounds are wonderful environments for unstructured outdoor play. They provide opportunities for children to test out their abilities as they climb, slide, swing and hang. Parks are also good environments for parents to watch but not hover as children interact with one another in a safe setting. Having the opportunity to explore, problem solve and resolve the occasional conflict will help your child develop a healthy sense of independence. Balance independent exploratory time with your own efforts to be active with your child.

There are incredible resources for families looking for information and ideas to support their healthy family home. The YMCA website is a great place to start!

Download this quick start kit to help your family accomplish Healthy Family Home goals to play every day!

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