Picture Books, Farmers Markets, and a Peach and Blueberry Crumble

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Until I became a parent, picture books were definitely not on my list of interesting reads. I think it’s because as a so-called grown-up, I assumed that books that depended largely on pictures to tell their stories were dull and simplistic, appealing solely to the youngest among us.

And then I had children, and like most of my prior assumptions about being a parent, my assumptions about the appeal of picture books flew right out the window. A picture book, I quickly learned, is a magical combination of words and art that can stir the imagination of any age.

One picture book that I especially loved to read to my daughters was Katie and the Sunflowers by James Mayhew. It features Katie, a little girl of about six, who decides to visit the art museum with her grandmother after rain washes out their plans to spend the day gardening. Upon entering the building, Katie is immediately drawn to the warmth and sunniness of paintings by the artists Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gaugin, and Paul Cezanne. In fact, Katie is so captivated by their works that she soon climbs inside several of them. The charm of Katie’s antics as she plays with, and runs from, the characters in the paintings is matched only by the beauty of the book’s illustrations. Its pages glow with the reds, yellows, blues and greens that were so beloved by the artists whose paintings Katie unabashedly explores.

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Breakfast Smoothie

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In my last post, I calculated the number of grams of sugar in a hypothetical day’s worth of food that a 5-year-old might eat.  The result was a shocking one cup of sugar.  There is no question that sugar is everywhere!

Fortunately, it’s possible to buck the trend of our flourishing collective sweet tooth.  One way is to read food labels regularly and leave those items with added sugars on the grocery store shelf.  You could start with breakfast foods, store-bought cookies, and fruit juices, which were the biggest offenders in my example.

Another way is to replace some store-bought foods with easily made replacements that are less sugary.  That’s where A Busy Mom’s Kitchen can help.  In the next few weeks, I’ll be posting a series of recipes for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner items that can be substituted for their more sugary counterparts.

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