Healthy Snacks for Children with Rebecca Marder

By Rebecca Marder
WebMD Live Events Transcript

Restaurant owner Rebecca Marder will discuss and prepare a number of healthy snacks for children in this special SLIDE SHOW and AUDIOCAST event

The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

Moderator: Welcome to WebMD Live's Pregnancy and Parenting Auditorium. Today we are presenting a live cooking audiocast and slideshow, Healthy Snacks for Children, with Rebecca Marder.

Rebecca Marder and her husband Bruce own three of the top restaurants in Los Angeles. They are all located in the Santa Monica area and feature a variety of excellent foods. The Capo Restaurant is one of the most visually beautiful, alluring and grown-up restaurants to open in Santa Monica. Designed by chef-owner Bruce Marder, it's full of warm, rough wood, and furnished with classy, comfortable chairs and lots of good art by mostly local artists. Capo seems invented for the pleasure of civilized adults. The showstopper is their aged New York steak that Marder mastered years ago at the West Beach. Many ingredients are straight from the Marders' own organic vegetable garden.

Rebecca, welcome back to WebMD Live. Why did you choose to make a pumpkin soup?

Marder: Because that was actually truthfully what was fresh at the market that day, and I've been excited about these Moroccan pumpkins. Yes, fresh vegetables, organically grown and what's in season. I do the seasonal soups.

Moderator: What would you pack for your children?

Marder: I've been partially steaming broccoli, carrots, or asparagus... and sometimes I put a little salad dressing dip, and the kids dip that. I like to give the kids almonds or nuts with that, peanut butter sandwiches, since I'm big on protein. My daughters are picky like most children, so sometimes we have leftover chicken. I put that in a little container.

Moderator: That's a great idea...

Moderator: Are string cheese snacks healthy for my kids?

Marder: I've heard that the harder the cheese, the easier it is to digest. I give the kids parmesan cheese, because I also do give string cheese because it's so convenient. I think it's dependent on the child's tolerance for lactose, but I think it's a good, nice healthy snack.

Moderator: My husband and I try very hard to maintain a healthy diet for our kids. How can I monitor what they eat when I'm not around, like at a birthday party or after school?

Marder: I think that it's real important to educate them, and tell them that we know that they'll make good choices when we're not around, but to always remember that they need to give their bodies healthy food. I think it's okay, particularly in society today with all the fast food junk available, but I think it's okay that they have junk food in moderation, meaning, birthday cakes, or snickers bars, cheetos, whatever they're having in a group situation. I think it's less neurotic to teach them that they can eat those foods that taste delicious and are popular, and less neurotic to teach them moderation instead of abstinence.

Moderator: What do you recommend for people who don't have time to cook? How can they stay healthy?

Marder: They can get food at the market. There are salad bars, prepared chicken, fish, a tremendous array of food that's healthy, and geared towards the non-cooking family.

Moderator: You spoke earlier of peanut butter. Do you recommend people making their own out of raw peanuts?

Marder: Absolutely, if they can.

Moderator: How important are vegetables to optimum health?

Marder: They're vital. They have all the nutrients, and people are finding many properties in vegetables that are missing in all the processed foods. They have the natural antibiotics and blood builders, and there's just tremendous benefit from eating live greens, like antioxidants, and the whole movement today with vitamins, it's all in the vegetables.

Moderator: Many users are unable to go to a market every day to choose fresh vegetables. For those who only get there on the weekend, how should they choose their vegetables and store them for optimum freshness and nutritional value?

Marder: The first choice would be to go to a local farmer's market if they have one near them, once a week. Keep your vegetables in the vegetable bin drawer in the refrigerator, to keep them in a dark place that doesn't get too much air coming in. Most of the vegetables, you can tell which are the most resilient, like broccoli and asparagus and carrots, cucumbers. My kids love cucumbers. They eat a lot of celery, but I think its pretty evident which vegetables are the most resilient and will last until the following farmer's market. The grocery store also has organic food.

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