Tag Archives: food

Ghiaccioli: Ice Pops


It is getting warmer again and that just calls to me Ice Pops I love them because they can be made healthy and so versatile.  For starters you need to get the molds and Amazon.it has a huge selection and many different sizes ranging from infant small ones to adult large ones.  Check them out here: Stampi per Ghiaccioli

Here are some really good recipes for Ice pops:

Swirled stawberries, blueberries, and yogurt bring the red, white, and blue to these ice pops – Martha Stewart






Vegan Chocolate Popsicles with Roasted Almonds  – ziziadventures.com  





Limeade Ice Pops with Strawberry and Kiwi crunchycreamysweet.com




A lot more Here : Ice pops

Comment with your favorite Ice Pop Recipe. 

Top 5 food stops in Florence

Top 5 food stops in Florence

How does a foodie view a trip to a new city? He or she will create an itinerary where before or after the museum, around the corner from his or her hotel, near every single mandatory stop there will be a chance to run off and take a bite of the city! So here are 5 food stops you can’t miss in Florence! You will need at least one day to get to them all! The order has been split up from morning (snack- lunch-snack-dinner-after dinner) to late at night.

via Top 5 food stops in Florence – Tuscan Recipes Food and Tradition – Tuscanycious.

Look at your food packaging: consumo moderato


Consumo moderato or in English for moderate consumption. 

This is the label that COOP has been putting on foods to alert you that it is unhealthy if your child is to eat many of them.  I like this and though I know COOP grocery stores do it I hope the other do this as well. It is  a great indicator to look for when buy product that your child will say I want that and know that it is a treat and should be eating very sparingly.

“For moderate consumption of food it is defined to the consumer as the amount and / or frequency which does not adversely affect the whole, creating a healthy and balanced diet and the proper growth of children.”

Translated from the website http://alimentazionebambini.e-coop.it/piramide-alimentare/ where you can find a whole article in Italian about this label.

The site also goes into showing a pyramid and and the amount of portions needed for the child.  This brings me back to what the correct size of a portion for children at different ages.

You can read more about portion control if you have not already in my earlier posts here:

Kids Eat Right – Portion Distortion

Picky Eaters: Why do my children not want to eat?

Kids’ Diet: Two Cup Limit for Milk

I like to shop at Coop and the other supermarkets might do this as well and let me know of they do.

Picky Eaters: Why do my children not want to eat?

I have been seeing a lot of posts about picky eaters.  It seems that when the child hits the age of being able to say “No” and learn that they can control things especially food, they do.

picky eater

“Fussiness and the aversion to try new foods tends to peak between the age of 2–6 years. And even children previously thought of as “good eaters” can start rejecting any new food and even refuse familiar foods they once enjoyed.” Dealing with fussy eaters:  www.netmums.com

My child was not immune to this behavior as well.  He went from eating lots and everything, then at the age of 2 only white pasta or plain meats etc. It was like all of sudden a switch went off and all the flavor was sucked from the food.  Why did he go from eating everything, (Mexican, Asian, cheese, tomato sauce and more) to just plain food? Was this control issues?  I know I was going crazy trying to figure out what to do.  How to get him to eat at the same time not be a short order chef making many different meals.  I for one was not going to do it, but when you see your child refuse to put the food in their mouth you panic.  You think he is going to starve, he is not listening to you when you say eat your food, he is just doing a power trip, will he be getting enough nutrition eating only plain pasta?  The questions go on and the frustration with it.  I see this with the posts by the moms.

pressure eating

You can not force a child to eat if they do not want too, but you can control the environment around them to help them back to eating again.

food helpingLet them Help out:

I have found that with my child doing things like having him help me cook was a great start.  I would let him stir batters, add ingredients to the bowl, even make small lunches with sandwiches that he felt proud to be helping.    He also loved it when I gave him two options of veggies and said which one do you want.  Give selections is great for getting them involved and lessen the power trip they have on the food.  They feel they picked it, so they have a sense of pride, and will eat it.  We give the selections and they choose, that is how we can help them select healthy foods in the future.    There are a few more pointers in the article below.

Help Them Know When They’ve Had Enough: choosemyplate.gov

Give finger foods as well:

kids eatingChildren sometimes just need to eat with their hands.  So sometimes throw the fork and spoon out and let them have fun with finger foods.  Sandwiches, cut carrots and cucumbers, corn, anything that can be picked up and eat with fingers.  They will get older and have plenty of meals with using a fork, knife and spoon. Annabel Karmel posted a few in the link below, I just love her cook books of kids foods.

10 Healthy, Kid-Friendly Finger Foods : These bite-sized snacks and meals are perfect for picky eaters. From Annabel Karmel’s Top 100 Finger Foods

mushrooms1Have fun with it:

Create a theme night and have them even dress up, create foods that go with that theme.  Use cookie cutters and make the food in different shapes,  Use brightly colored foods and even swap meals (lunch for breakfast or breakfast for dinner) There are many options below in Melissa Stavarski’s Pinterest Fun Food for Kids check it out.

Fun Food for Kids: forkly.com

Encourage new foods:

funny food

This will carry on  into their teens and possibly young adult life.  You will need to introduce, and keep introducing the foods.  My son would do this to many times.  He really thought he hated cheese (all cheeses) but basically it was the word he hated.  He loved mozzarella (not a cheese to him) and he found out he liked ricotta, cream cheese.  I had to introduce and keep doing it getting him to at least try it.  He is 11 now and finally realize that it doesn’t hurt to try and that he might actually like it.  We just added Burrata to his list of likes a month ago.

Encouraging children to try new foods – Netmums

family mealsStick to routine:

You can not expect your child to eat if dinner fell on when he is supposed to go to bed.  He is tired.  There were times when we would go to friends house to have dinner and they followed the Italian time scale for eating (late around 8 or even 9).  I followed the American still eat at 6:30 7:00 the most.  So my young child would sometimes fall asleep at the table and needless to say did not eat a thing.  Also, do not allow juice or milk outside of meals.  I personally only allowed milk for breakfast and water the rest of the time they only got juice or soda on special occasions.  Juice and Milk will fill up your child and then you can forget them eating.  Some more good eating advice can be found at this link.

Healthy Eatingkidshealth.org

portion controlPortion Size:

Believe it or not little children do not need large amounts.  Most likely you are feeding too much.  Our minds have been set nowadays to larger portions even for ourselves so we mentally believe that our kids are not eating enough.  You can find more on portion control in a previous post.

Kids Eat Right – Portion Distortion – firenzemoms4moms.wordpress.com

Table Time- Making It Right:

Seating seeingit at the table with your children and eat with them and chat with them.  No tv, radio, cell phones or internet distracting you and your child from eating.   Give the time with them and enjoy listening to them.  They will feel more at ease if you are sitting with them and chatting with them.

This is something I have always done.  Even if my husband could not make it, I would always have my dinner with my children.  I use it now to catch up on school events.  They also see me eat the foods and not anything different, and important factor for them to see only one meal is served and that is it. They were also told to sit at the table the time that we are having the meal no to get up until all were done.

food dessertDo not use dessert as a reward and do not pressure them to eat.  Both cause for a stressful environment.  It teaches them to  expect dessert all the time and  that it is the best part of the meal which could cause them to really like the sweets and down the line could lead to obesity.  Pressuring them to eat cause them to not eat even more, especially if they are doing it as a control.  This has been noted to cause eating disorders during their preadolescence and adolescent years.  A good article about pressuring to eat in the years 2-4 and what can happen is below.

Pressuring Children To Eat Increases Risk Of Obesity – medicalnewstoday.com

Short Story: I stayed because I fell in love with: The Melanzane

I stayed because I fell in love with: The Melanzane


I don’t have a single answer to the question ‘how did you end up in Italy?’  Depending on who asks, it could be ‘There wasn’t any place else I wanted to be at the time.’ ‘I found a job I liked.’ ‘It was May, would you leave Italy in May?’ ‘I fell in love.’ ‘The melanzane.’

Ahh yes, the melanzane, it’s true.  I stayed for the melanzane.  And the peperoni.  And the pomodori. And the bunches of basil, rosemary, and sage that they give you at the market.

I’ll never forget the explosion of flavor when I tasted my first, real fresh Italian tomato.  It was June of 1998, and I was shopping in an outdoor market in Rome.  While I had the paranoid suspicion that all the fruit sellers were cheating me somehow—a condition natural to anyone with fumbling Italian who has only ever otherwise shopped in traditional American supermarkets—the grin on the old vendors’ face as she thrust the tomato into my hand —assaggia, assaggia—was sincere.   And so was the tomato.  It was red, firm but not hard, and juicy. The taste of it filled my mouth, my nose, my head, my summer.

Other summer fruits evoke equal rhapsodizing.  In peak season, the only really suitable place to eat perfectly ripe peaches and plums is while standing in the sea.  Bite, slurp, drip, swim.  When I was 21 and back in Kansas after my first study abroad experience in Italy, those ripe peaches became my metaphor for life itself…ready, juicy, full of sweetness, all within reach, waiting to be devoured.

September. Grapes.  Every September when the grapes start coming in I send a William Carlos Williamesque text message to a German friend who I met here in Florence during my first years here, hoping it will drive her to come visit: ‘they are delicious so sweet…’   I remember skeptically buying them for the first time…they didn’t seem as large as they should be, and they weren’t very uniform, and the color…well, sort of yellowy green, with a little bit of brown…(there’s that cheating suspicion again) but they tasted like…wait, try one: flowers. The most subtle perfume of…flowers. The same with apples. There are apples in Europe that taste like flowers. An eye-opener for someone who grew up with red delicious or golden delicious, both equally non-delicious.

Back to the US, let’s go shopping.  It’s August.  Green beans.  There’s a discount…if you buy 10 pounds.  10 pounds of green beans.  Two brown paper bags full of beans.  That’s a lot of work. That’s a lot of beans. But then, if you think about it, they’ll be good in the fridge for the duration of our visit.  When you first come to Italy, you get mad because the produce rots in your fridge before you have time to cook it (you see, they did cheat me).  A good American head of broccoli lasts at least 3 weeks before yellowing; an Italian broccoli goes limp after three days, yellow after four and rotten after not much more than that. There is compensation, though.  Italian broccoli tastes good.  And so does the zucchini.  And so does all the rest.

So why did I stay in Italy?  Well, I fell in love. But don’t tell my husband that…he thinks it was for the melanzane.  -Jackie Gordon (FMs4Ms Member)


I am looking for stories to share with the moms.  Short stories about an incident you found interesting, funny, sad etc.  Something that is about the cultural differences you experience here while going about your daily lives. Submit them at infotiscali@firenzemoms4moms.net
The opinions expressed in this article are of the author and the author alone. They do not reflect the opinions of FMs4Ms Network as a whole.