About this time of year, snow has stopped being charming. You and the kids just want to get outside and walk somewhere without bundling up and trudging through slush. As creativity for indoor activities and winter meals runs low, TV and take out begin looking like sensible, healthy options. But wait—there are other options!
For some variety in your indoor activities, call or look online for discounted or free admission days at local museums. Your local library may also have free passes for museums and other attractions. To stay active, try at-home bowling with balled-up socks and toilet paper tubes, children’s workout videos, hide-and-seek, or acting out favorite storybooks. No matter your age, a dance party is always a fun way to get moving!
On a day that you are stuck indoors, cook large quantities of meal components to freeze for later. You can have the kids help with tasks like measuring ingredients to shredding cheese, depending on their age. This saves you time and teaches them a number of important skills.
On a less-slushy day, visit one of Massachusetts’ 40 winter farmers’ markets. Look for local ingredients that naturally grow in wintertime to add some variety and color into a gloomy winter day. Delicious wintertime crops include beets, carrots, onions, parsnips, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, turnips, and kale. If any of these crops sound unusual, try roasting them. Toss cut-up pieces of the vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any herbs and spices you like, and roast them in the oven at 425 F until they are soft and lightly browned.
To use the roasted vegetables in a new way, make a batch of Roasted Vegetable Soup (adapted from Barefoot Contessa):
Ingredients (3-4 servings):
- 3 to 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 quart roasted winter vegetables
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat 3 cups of chicken stock. Mash or puree the Roasted Winter Vegetables and the chicken stock using a masher, food processor, or handheld blender. Pour the soup back into the pot and season to taste. Thin with more chicken stock and reheat. The soup should be thick but not like a vegetable puree, so add more chicken stock and/or water until it’s the consistency you like.
Serve with whole wheat bread or tortillas for a great lunch or snack to warm you up when you come in from the cold!
Do you have good ideas for keeping the kids entertained and active in the winter? Share them with us!
Weekly Flu Report, May 27, 2016 posted on May 27
Flu rates in Massachusetts continued to decline over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. This week’s report is the last to be published for the 2015-2016 flu season. Weekly Flu Reports will resume at the outset of the 2016-2017 flu season. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, May 27, 2016
Preparing and Packing for Your Next Picnic! posted on May 26
It’s finally that time of year where you can bring your family outdoors to enjoy the warm and sunny weather! Having a picnic with your family and friends is a great way to enjoy a meal, try new foods, and be outdoors. Plus, packing …Continue Reading Preparing and Packing for Your Next Picnic!
Weekly Flu Report, May 20, 2016 posted on May 20
Rates of flu-like illness continued to decline over the past seven days, according the latest weekly flu report. The report can be viewed here.