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Favorite Tools Series – Sheet Pans!

Today begins a fun series with all of our Spend Smart. Eat Smart. bloggers. We are going to share our favorite kitchen tools and how we like to use them. It is easy to fall into a trap of thinking you need a lot of tools and gadgets to cook well and enjoy your time in the kitchen. That is really not true. A few good tools that do a lot of different jobs go a long way.

What do I really need?

Recently my son has been asking if we can get an air fryer. He sees and hears people talk about all the things they make in their air fryers and wants to join the party! And for the past year, I’ve been debating if I should get an Instant Pot. However, when I look around my kitchen, I realize I don’t really have any place to put those items. And when I think about it, do I really need those items to make food for my family? Do I want to spend my money on them? I know some people love their Instant Pots and air fryers while others don’t see a need for them. It doesn’t mean one way is right or wrong. Everyone has different things that are useful to them.

Check Out Science of Parenting

As many of you know, I am the parent to three children. This year they are in kindergarten, 3rd grade, and 5th grade. The start to a new school year is always a challenge with new routines, new teachers, and meeting new friends. With my youngest heading to kindergarten this year, I have been reminded of all the challenges my older two children faced when they started school. One child refused to participate in reading at school and the other would not go to the bathroom at school. All three of my children were absolutely exhausted at the end of each day of kindergarten. Exhaustion leads to tough situations at home. When I have moments where I do not know how to handle a situation, I either turn to my family or to the internet for help.

Switching out Protein Sources in Recipes

In August, I wrote a blog on ‘Meal Planning Tips for Easy and Healthy Meals’. In the blog I mentioned that the ‘themes’ I use when meal planning are to include a different protein food each night. I use beef, pork, chicken, fish and then have one night that is vegetarian. By doing this I am helping my family vary the kinds of protein foods we eat.

Meat Alternatives: How Do They Stack Up?

Last week I wrote about milk alternatives and how they compare to cow’s milk. This week, we will look at meat alternatives. There are lots of meat alternatives available but how do these meat alternatives stack up nutritionally? And what about cost? Let’s take a look. We have chosen ground beef as a comparison since it is a very commonly chosen animal protein.

Got Milk (Alternatives)?

If you’ve taken a walk through the dairy aisle during the past couple of years, you’ve probably noticed a lot of new products popping up on the shelves, like oat milk or almond milk. As a lactose intolerant person, I have been enjoying this new variety of food options, but as a nutrition student, I wonder about the nutritional value of these products compared to cow’s milk.