What to eat? What to wear? Now that school is starting up it is time to look in the closet and the pantry to see if you are truly prepared. Fashion and food trends this fall will make it easy for you to make those preparations, keep the family looking good outside (fashion) and inside (with healthy , easy-to-prepare meals.
Keeping up with fashion is not as hard as it seems. This year’s trends pick up on many classic colors and tops, such as graphic tees, and shirts in the new hues will help update the wardrobe for even the most budget conscious. Sara Wise, Myrtle beach-based freelance fashion writer and blogger (http://www.stylishasamother.com) has several suggestions for families looking to boost their fall fashion quotient. “Styles for adults and for teens and kids are following the same trends. Key colors for fall are olive green, ballet pink, burgundy, navy, and maple.” A top in one of these colors can bring an older pair of denims or skirt into up-to-date fashion. Wise says that graphic tees (of course check with your school on these) are in style and camouflage and plaid are still staples for boys wear. For girls, floral and colorful patches on denim are trending this autumn. Wise also notes, “puffer vests” are becoming a staple for fall, especially for girls.”
Food that will be easy-to-fix, healthy, and kid-friendly is an ongoing need. Breakfast, lunch and dinner all demand daily solutions. Breakfast can be difficult with various schedules. Lunch is a meal you cannot control—even if you pack a nourishing lunch there is no guarantee they will not toss it or trade it! Focusing on supper to pack in nutrients, stocking up on healthy foods for after-school snacking—these are the areas where you can shine. As always, back to school means, suppers need to be quick and easy to make as well as nutritious.
For good ideas, I contacted two of my favorite food bloggers, Myrtle Beach’s own (and Dole Sunshine Brand Ambassador), Ally Phillips, (allyskitchen.com,) and Mary Marshall of nearby Wedgefield, SC (www.cookingwithmaryandfriends.com)
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Marshall reminded me that the local farm markets are still good sources long into fall. “Autumn is root vegetable season,” Marshall says. “One pot, or one pan meals are good time savers—quick easy, makes a lot, and feed a crowd. Make two at a time, one for now, and one for the freezer.” Marshall’s advice on breakfast is to keep it easy to “grab and go.” She advocates making quick breads and spreading them with a veggie cream cheese to boost the nutrient value. For the truly reluctant morning eater, Marshall’s oatmeal pecan bars are an alternative to the cookie-like breakfast bars on the grocer’s shelf. Yes, there is sugar in them, but the pecans and oatmeal are good for you and provide a bit of energy to start the day---energy that can be eaten on the bus, on the walk to school and also make a good after-school snack. Pumpkins will be coming into season later this fall. Pumpkin is full of good nutrients and Marshall’s pumpkin cake is another dessert-like option to lure reluctant eaters into trying something on a busy morning.
One of her top choices, Roasted Root Vegetables with Smokes Sausage is printed below, with permission, from her blog. All of the other recipes, a wonderful Farmer’s Market Vegetable Soup, Pizza and Pasta Bake, Veggie Cream Cheese, Oatmeal Pecan Bars, and her yummy pumpkin cake can all be found on her blog.
Ally Phillips weighed in on tackling lunch, fixing something that will be eaten and not traded. She notes that the current trend to use hummus as a sandwich spread will appeal to kids and that it hummus and cream cheese provides a good base for putting sliced fresh veggies onto wrap. (see photo).
Thinking out of the box on spreads to go with basic ham and cheeses led me to think of using honey on sandwiches! Kids like sweet—even if you don’t have time to make up a honey-butter for sandwiches, drip a few drops and spread local honey on one of the two slices of bread that make up that lunchbox sandwich. The combination of sweet and savory will jazz up an ordinary sandwich.
One of the big food trends in the quick supper mode today is the charcuterie board. No recipe required! Phillips says “Charcuterie as meals is great for busy parents, millennials. I like serving ‘mezze’ style for dinner. Such meals, can be set out early, let the items reach room temperature and then the family can sit around the table taking slices of their favorite items, pickup up little things to eat, spending the time on talking about the day instead of on cooking and clean up. You can set out a salad too and put out raw veggies and hummus (chickpea) dip to use with them. While this is not an every-night sort of thing to do, the charcuterie board is a great way to make a weekday feel festive and to encourage conversation. Phillips does hers “boho style” and the attractive appearance of the board makes the food items even more appealing.
When it comes to shopping for clothes and meals, make a list to help reduce the time you spend in the store. Sticking to the list will help your budget as well by reducing the number of unplanned items you purchase. So, what will you wear? What will you eat? Now you have some good answers!
Roasted Root Vegetables with Smoked Sausage—4 Servings
Reprinted with permission from Cookingwithfriends.com, Mary Marshall's blog
1 lb. smoked sausage or kielbasa
4 med-large Yukon gold, red or Kennebec potatoes, cut in 1- to 2-inch chunks
3 to 4 large carrots, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1-2 tsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning (I used Cajun)
1 large clove garlic, crushed and finely minced (or 1-2 tsp. jarred minced garlic)
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
2-3 tablespoons. olive oil
Optional - add 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
Heat oven to 425. Grease a 3-quart baking dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the sausage pieces, potatoes, carrots, and onions in a large food storage bag or bowl; toss with the pepper, salt, Creole or Cajun seasoning, garlic, thyme, and olive oil. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until vegetables are fork-tender, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.