Do you monitor your children’s diet?

I am sure most of you can relate to what I am going to tell you now, that we have grown and years have passed. Going to the grocery stores back years before, one did not find all the tempting sweets, junk foods and variety of sugary drinks and novelty items. It may be advisable not to take your younger children with you grocery shopping where they are exposed to many items that look very tempting and appealing to them. If you are not careful, you will find your cart filled with items that you really do not want that your child has placed in your cart, plus running up your bill to probably double what you had intended to spend. This is one reason you see many mothers at the grocery store alone — they drop off their child at school and then go out shopping alone. First of all, as parents we must monitor our children’s intake and put a limit on sweets, and all this must be started while they are at a young age. There is a lot more foods besides chips, pop and candy, and it is up to us adults to discipline them and teach them the correct foods to eat. We need to concentrate on teaching and developing healthy eating habits and examples, but eating more fruits and veggies. There are so many thousands of recipes out there that contain veggies and your little ones will not even know they are eating veggies.

You can include veggies in meatloafs, meatballs casseroles, pastas and even sauces. Children are our future and we must teach them to grow up strong and healthy.

I personally take great care and pay careful attention to the ingredients I use when preparing dishes for the family. We live in the country of plenty and we thank God for that, but at the same time we waste so much food.

If you have ever been to a buffet restaurant where you pay one price and able to eat everything and as much as you can eat, just notice how their plates are usually stacked with foods as high as they can get them, then soon they go back and get another plate and go through the food line again and much of the food goes to waste. I call that waste, and think about it: If all the food they waste which could be given to the hungry and poor, it would really help and aid the people that are less fortunate.

I do really appreciate all the churches, organizations and people that provide free breakfasts, lunches and meals for the closed in people, plus the daily meals at all the schools. I do know that at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels we provide weekly free pretzels to various organizations and churches in our community.

We are on a countdown now to the 10th Annual Easter Parade at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13 in downtown Parkersburg. There is still time to sign up and participate and remember this year there is NO ENTRY fee.

A special thanks to our parade sponsors that make this Easter Parade possible: WVU Medicine-Camden Clark, West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Obermeyers Florist, Tall Oaks Event Center, Texas Roadhouse, TR Hathaway Toyota, Vinyl Werx, Bob Marshall, Big Sandy Superstore, Parkersburg News and Sentinel, WTAP TV, Emily Allman – State Farm Insurance, Endorphin Brand Grafix, Grand Central Mall, The Pottery Place, Parkersburg Art Center, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Chick fil A.

In conjunction with the annual Easter Parade, the Easter Bonnet Contest will be held this year April 2-4 at the Grand Central Mall. Call 304-615-0895 for information and details and this year the overall “favorite choice” grand prize winner will receive a 50″ Ultra HD TV compliments of Big Sandy Superstore.

We have a wonderful hard working Easter Parade committee that has been working hard to make this Easter Parade the biggest and best ever. Jeremiah Runyon, Carole Hanlon, Jennifer Perkins and Tina Perkins are the four Easter Parade committee members in charge of decorations of the elaborate and elegant float for the Easter Bunny to ride.

As usual the free standing Chick fil A will provide a free breakfast the day of the parade from 9-10 a.m. and free for all children attending with a parent or guardian. The Easter Bunny and Chick fil A cow will also be present for pictures.

Don’t forget to send in your favorite Easter stories to the Parkersburg News and Sentinel who are also sponsors of this event also in conjunction with the Easter Parade, with the winner receiving a prize and a choice to ride in the parade.

Last but not least, remember the Annual Spring Easter Celebration at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 11, in front of PHS campus, with a welcome by Dr. Christopher Gilmer, president of WVU at Parkersburg. Entertainment will be provided by the PHS Brass Ensemble directed by Dan White band director, PHS A cappella choir directed by Joshua Dubs, Jackson Select Choir directed by Kristen M. Allodi, Vandevender Middle School Choir directed by Cody Ratliff, and Hamilton Middle School Choir directed by Marsha Lindenmuth.

Following the program will be the Egg Hunt sponsored by the Parkersburg Elks Lodge #198 providing 4000 eggs and two free bikes will be given to two lucky children. There will be different categories with a golden egg in each and the winners of the golden eggs will receive a beautiful Easter basket provided by the Elks Club.

Until next week!

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Seafood Lasagna

12 lasagna noodles

1 cup chopped onions

2 tablespoons butter

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons crushed basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups medium white sauce

2/3 cup dry white wine

1 pound cooked shrimp

7 1/2 ounces crab meat

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded sharp processed Cheddar

fresh parsley

White Sauce

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup butter

2 cups milk

Cook and drain noodles. Place 2 layers of noodles each on bottom of greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Saute onions in melted butter until tender. Blend in cream cheese, then add bail, salt, pepper, cottage cheese and egg. Mix and spread 1/2 of mixture on top of noodles. Make white sauce. Blend flour into butter. Add milk and cook until thickened. Combine white sauce and wine. Stir in shrimp and crab. Spread 1/2 over cottage cheese layers. Repeat layers: noodles, cottage cheese and seafood. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes at 350 or until bubbly. Top with sharp Cheddar and bake 2-3 minutes, until cheese melts. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting. Garnish with fresh parsley.

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Ham Casserole

2 10-ounce packages chopped broccoli

2 cups ham

1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese

1 cup Bisquick

3 cups milk

4 eggs

Heat oven to 350. Precook broccoli. Grease 13×9 pan. Layer ham and cheese. Pour other ingredients over ham and cheese. Bake, covered, 1 hour. Take foil off last 10 minutes.

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Glazed Ham Loaves

3 pounds ham loaf mix

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup cracker crumbs

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Mix ham loaf ingredients in order given. Shape into 8 small loaves. Place in deep pan. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 30 minutes, basting often with the following sauce.

Sauce:

1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons mustard

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

3 cloves or ground cloves

Combine.

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Crab Crepes Supreme

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 1/2 cups flakes, cooked crab meat

1 10-ounce package frozen asparagus cuts, cooked and drained

1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons dry white wine

1/8 teaspoon dried chives, crushed

8 crepes

In saucepan, combine 1/4 cup soup, crab meat, asparagus and almonds. Heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine remaining soup, milk, wine and chives. Heat. Stir occasionally. Place about 1/4 cup filling on each crepe. Roll up. Pour sauce over and serve.

Crepe Batter

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 1/2 cups milk

Combine flour and salt into bowl; form a well and put slightly beaten eggs and melted butter into it. Beat with wire whip or blender to form a smooth paste; gradually add milk and beat until large bubbles form. Let batter rest one hour so that flour is absorbed. Fry crepes very quickly in hot nonstick frying pan.

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Crabmeat and Artichoke Quiche

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons flour

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup milk

1 7 1/2-ounce can crabmeat, drained and flaked

8 ounces Swiss cheese, grated

1/3 cup sliced green olives

1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, diced

Combine mayonnaise, flour, eggs and milk. Mix until blended. Stir in crabmeat, cheese, green olives and artichokes. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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