Hats Off to Mom

Are you struggling to find your mother the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Here are a few simple healthy ideas to add a little spring to her step.

BY ASHLYN CAPPS & NEVA COCHRAN, MS, RD, LD

Taxi driver, chef, personal shopper, nurse, housecleaner, therapist; in other words, mom. Mothers wear a variety of hats to fit the family’s many needs, yet rarely ask for any of their own needs to be met in return. Finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift is often a challenge. So this year, instead of the flowers, a card and a meal of high calorie foods, how about giving mom the gift of health?

Here are a few simple healthy ideas to add a little spring to her step.

  • A gift basket full of healthy goodies including dumbbells, a pedometer, a resistance band and healthy snacks such as fresh fruit
  • A new pair of walking shoes to help motivate mom to keep moving
  • An exercise class membership
  • A new workout DVD or exercise video game to keep mom motivated
  • A healthy cookbook or subscription to a healthy cooking magazine

In addition to a gift, consider a tasty and healthy breakfast in bed. This pancake recipe provides 3 grams of fiber, heart-healthy fat from pecans as well as vitamins A and C from the sweet potatoes. Serve it with fresh fruit and turkey sausage for added vitamin C, antioxidants and protein.

Remember, above all, that Mother’s Day is a special day for all mothers, and showing your appreciation even in the smallest way, makes a difference. Mothers are truly a gift in themselves and, on this day, it is important that they know just how truly special they are.

SWEET POTATO & PECAN FLAPJACK

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 Tbs. yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato (can use canned)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tbs. canola oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Directions
Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine milk, sweet potato, sugar, oil, vanilla, and egg yolks, stirring until smooth; add to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form; fold egg whites into batter. Let batter stand 10 minutes. Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat griddle or pan with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle or pan. Cook 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over, and cook 2 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.6 servings (serving size: 2 pancakes)

Source: Cooking Light, http://www.cookinglight.com

Ashlyn Capps is a June 2010 graduate of the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas dietetic internship who completed a community nutrition rotation with Neva Cochran while an intern.

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