healthy snacks

In the Spotlight: Carolyn Connor



I met Carolyn Connor at a Nutrition First “Healthy Habits” conference in Seattle when she invited me to sell my veggie-related picture books in the conference hall. I didn’t get to attend the sessions, but I loved meeting the many amazing people who dropped by my booth–smart, savvy men and women who are committed to children’s health and nutrition.

Nutrition First is the WIC (Women, Infants and Children Food and Nutrition Service) Association for Washington State. Their mission is to ensure that young children of families with limited resources have opportunities for better nutrition to improve overall health.

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Parsnip Recipes, Kid Approved




Parsnips are not a vegetable I grew up with–and apparently I’m not alone. In one school in Southern California where I was presenting young author assemblies, not a single student or staff member had ever eaten a parsnip. Most of them had never even heard of a parsnip!

In fact, I’d never eaten a parsnip till after I’d already written a picture book called Once Upon a Parsnip. Serendipitously, a friend served apple-parsnip soup for a luncheon I was invited to just a month before Parsnip went into production. Suzanne is an excellent cook who worked as a professional chef for much of her adult life, and her delicious soup inspired me to include an adaptation of the recipe as back matter in my book. You’ll find the recipe below.

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Pumpkin Seeds: Spicy or Sweet



PepitasLet’s face it: Kids like to snack. We all like to snack! And it’s so easy to toss a bag of tortilla chips or potato chips in your grocery cart….

And they are OH-so-lacking in nutritional value!

A serving of tortilla chips, for example, has 2 grams of protein–compared to the 21 grams in a serving of Spicy Jamaican Jerk Pepitas.

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Eating While Reading? Check.



hungry caterpillarIt’s hard to find a kid, a mom and dad or even a grandma and grandpa who don’t know Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

In fact, 2019 will mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of this beloved picture book, in which a little egg hatches into a tiny (and very hungry!) caterpillar.

After eating his way through five days of delicious fruits, our intrepid caterpillar eats so many things on the sixth day—most of them decidedly not healthy—that he develops a stomachache. He is no longer a little caterpillar, either. He is a big, fat caterpillar. And he won’t be that for long….

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