Adventures in Healthier Eating with 2 Kids and a Picky Husband

About

Posted by 7 years ago 91 Comments

Roni NooneGreenLiteBites is all about my adventures in cooking healthier for my family (and sometimes just me). I strive to limit sugar and avoid processed flours while including as many fruits and veggies as possible.

I started out posting food ideas on my weight-loss blog. They started out very vague — I’d just share a list of ingredients and such. Slowly I became more detailed (and obsessed) about measuring ingredients, calculating nutritional information and taking photographs. Food was taking over my blog!

Soon I decided to expand. GreenLiteBites is a complete creative outlet for me. I post what I’m eating and feeding my family. I photograph every recipe and calculate the nutritional information for most. Sometimes I will know what I’m talking about and sometimes I’ll be asking the questions. Overall this blog shares my experiences with food and cooking! I’m a work in progress.

How do you come up with your ideas?

I’m not sure. It’s a combination of family tradition, what I see on the Foodnetwork and read in cookbooks. I’m an experimenter. I try to stock my pantry with lots of good, healthy stuff and then just see what I can come up with. It is really a creative outlet for me (as is the site and photos).

Who are ‘the 9-Year-Old’ and ‘the Husband’ and ‘Little Bean’ and all the other people you reference in your posts?

When I first started blogging I called my son “The Baby.” He soon became “The Toddler” then “The Little Guy” and most recently “The 9-Year-Old.” I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just not a big deal to use our real names as we always introduced ourselves in videos anyway. So now I will refer to boys by their names. The Husband? Well, he’s still “The Husband” as I find it funny. He’s real name is Bill, in case you’re wondering.

The Husband: I am married to the world’s pickiest eater. For years, the only vegetables he would eat were corn and broccoli. If it were up to him, macaroni & cheese, burgers and chips would be his staples. Sometimes he likes what I make, sometimes he doesn’t and sometimes I don’t even bother.

Ryan: I had “the Little Guy” in 2005. Well, he was “the Baby” and then “the Toddler” back when I launched the site. He was my ultimate inspiration and motivation to change my life and eating habits. Ryan tries just about everything I make even though he may not like it. He’s now hesitantly embarking on his own cooking adventures!

Little BeanEvan: My baby. He’s not as adventurous as his brother even though I exposed him to everything I possible could when he was a baby. We’re working on it. He turns 4 this year and is coming to terms with the our one-bite rule. Oh! And He’s my official egg cracker!

How do you calculate the nutritional information for your recipes?

I use a combination of websites, nutritiondata.com, fitday.com, and sometimes sparkpeople.com. I measure everything on my handy dandy electronic scale and tally up the totals. It’s really not that hard, just time consuming.

I have a question, how can I contact you?

Click here, fill out this form and it will be emailed to me.

Why don’t you just write a cookbook?

I DID! Click here for GreenLiteBites: Favorites From the First 3 Years. We’re on year 8 so lots of stuff has changed!



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Discussion

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    Allison

    November 16, 2009

    Hi Roni!- Just wanted to let you know finding your website really just changed my life! I am a huge heath freak but also a sophomore in college... and I am constantly surrounded by pizza, calories, and saturated fats! Thanks so much for creating this (btw tried your pumpkin spice bread tonight... amazing!!) Thank you! Kiley :) Reply

    Mom

    November 27, 2009

    I love your recipes. I made this today because I was already tired of Thanksgiving leftovers. I used Red and White quinoa to get ready for the holiday season. Citrus Quinoa, Mixed Bean, and Blueberry Salad 1/4 cup white quinoa 1/4 cup red quinoa 1/4 cup mixed dry beans 1/4 cup grape tomatoes 1/2 cup blueberries 1/2 tsp yellow curry powder 1/2 tsp chili powder 1 cup chicken broth juice of 1/2 orange juice of 1 lime Water Re-hydrate beans by soaking beans for 12 hours. Rinse re-hydrated beans, put in sauce pan, add water to 2 inches above beans. Heat to boiling and cook for three minutes. Remove from head to finish cooking (approx. 30 minutes). When finished, drain and set aside. Rinse quinoa well, put in sauce pan, add 1 cup chicken broth, and heat to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes to absorb broth. Cut orange into quarters and lime in half. Microwave 2 orange quarters and both lime halves for 30 to 60 seconds. (Will be able to squeeze out more juice after microwaving.) Cut grape tomatoes in quarters. Rinse blueberries. In sealable container, add quinoa, beans, curry powder, chili powder, tomatoes, and blueberries. Hand squeeze citrus pieces into mixture. Seal container and gently tumble ingredients to mix curry, chili, and juices throughout. Chill and serve. Serves 8. Note: Could add diced green, red, and yellow sweet pepper for added color and more crunch. Reply

      Ashleigh

      October 29, 2014

      Brillant recipe!

    Kevin

    November 28, 2009

    Stumbled across your blog while looking for a tilapia recipe. I'm also a blogger with a kid born in 2005 and a super picky eater for a husband. He was the youngest of nine children and his next oldest sibling was 4 years older, so he was catered to. I love your description on your about me page of cooking for you husband - exactly the same way here - sometimes I just cook for myself and my two girls and if he doesn't like it, then too darn bad !!! Looking forward to reading more ! Reply

    Kristy

    January 21, 2010

    Hi Roni, I found you on youtube while looking for crock pot recipes. I have to say you are absolutely cute and delightful. Your philosophy on life in general is inspiring. Good luck to you. I think you should be on tv. Until then, I have your site bookmarked for future reference. Thanks again for the good ideas and tips. The husband is a lucky guy. Reply

    Denica

    February 5, 2010

    Hey Roni! I want to THANK YOU for your website. I have used a few of your recipes, but that's not why I'm so thankful. By reading your recipes, and seeing your ingredients, I have realized that you come up with food/meals (usually) by what's around. You've really inspired me and I have been able to make multiple dishes by cleaning out the cupboard/refrigerator. In fact, I have mexican-stlye-something-or-other on the stove now! Oh! and your weight loss is an inspiration too! I think I'm going to be at my first goal weight next Monday :] Anyways, thank you. Keep up the good work and the pictures of your wee-one. He's a cutie. Reply

    Karen

    April 5, 2010

    Hey Roni, LOve the site. Just letting you know that you inspired me to make kale chips so I'll be giving you a shout out on my blog within the next few days (making them tomorrow)! Take care! Reply

    Holly Ito

    April 29, 2010

    This is such a good idea! I'm a huge believer that cooking for your family is one of the keys to health. Check out www.foodonthetable.com for kid-friendly recipes that can be made in less than 45 minutes with all fresh ingredients. Reply

    kja7522

    May 17, 2010

    Hi I came across your food blog and thought you might be interested in appearing on our site, www.foodierama.com . Have a look and drop me a line of you are interested. Reply

    roni

    June 24, 2010

    Hey Ronni, I just came across your blog and I love it! I saw that you had not had time for a cookbook, but I just had a cookbook made for my mom for mother's day at www.tastebook.com. You should upload your recipes there, it's simple way to create a cookbook & then I want to order one! lol. Cheers, Leah Reply

    Ann

    July 2, 2010

    Hi, I was wondering how much you would charge to advertise on your HEALTH related site. I am looking to place a small text based ad. If the price is affordable I may buy more than one over time. I usually ask for one line with just a few words. I prefer them at the top, middle, or bottom of the main content area of the site. However, I am sure we can work out placement. Please let me know what you would charge me to place a link ad on your site. If you are interested let me know the price and if you prefer PayPal or a check? Thanks Paul White Inventory Manager Inventory.authority@gmail.com (913)837-3055 Reply

    Malissa

    September 26, 2010

    I just came across your site this morning. While I am not a cook or a baker I do enjoy eating a good bread. I do not know how much you have dabbled with fruit breads but if your son likes fruits (what child does not?) you might want to consider trying breads that contain fruits that you do not normally associate with bread (well, at least most people probably would not). Apricot Bread Plum Bread Pluot Bread (pluots come in about 20 different varieties; they are 75% plum and 25% apricot) Raspberry Bread Durian Bread (you are a very brave soul if you try this one!; this does come with a warning: be prepared for a divorce if your husband discovers this [if you are not familiar with durian, check it out on wikipedia]) Mango Bread Blackberry Bread Roy Reply

    Mildred

    October 1, 2010

    Hi Roni, A friend of mine sent this url to me and I thought that you might find it interesting. Maybe you have already seen this, indeed, maybe you may already know how to do this. If not, and if you watch it (it is a brief video), I think that you will enjoy it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN2gYHJNT3Y As I think I have mentioned to you before I enjoy fresh fruits. I recently found this url and thought that you would find it interesting. I think that this is about 3 minutes long (the above posted url is about 1 minute long, I think). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djJqQIvWLdU This next (and last) url is not a video, just a recipe. Numerous people that commented on the recipe said that they skipped the baby food and went for the fresh fruit (I'm with them). Sometime in the future when this fresh fruit is in season and you feel adventurous you might want to consider playing around with the recipe unless you are completely adverse to plums or pluots. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Plum-Bread-2/Detail.aspx VN: Why do I get the impression, Roy, that you are a pimp for pluots? Reply

    kate

    February 11, 2011

    Roni, I just found your site!! I think I love you!! haha no I am not a freak, but I love all of your recipes--I was just searching for a good whole wheat thin crust pizza recipe. I also noticed you did weight watchers!! I am doing weight watchers too. I am only looking to lose 10 lbs, but I am learning a lot about what should and shouldn't go into my mouth! I think your blog will definitely help me do that!! Thanks so much!! Reply

    roni

    March 30, 2011

    I just came upon your site and I'm in love with it. Your recipes look amazing! I'm going to run to the store tonight, so I can get stuff to start trying your recipes. I love the pictures you posted with each recipe!! Reply

    Mary

    October 14, 2011

    Hi Roni, I just found your site and it is wonderful. You have great variety and most seem quick and easy. My daughter has the same issues with the picky eaters at her house. You sound so much alike. We are both doing weight watchers and are almost at goal. I need to lose another 1.4lbs for a total of 68lbs. Reply

    DaMora

    December 7, 2011

    Great site, excellent recipes and converstaion! I did notice one typo, which I though you might want to know about to correct... The original text is: "The Little Bean: Our latest addition. He doesn’t eat much more than breast milk at the moment but I’ve started pureering veggies and will be sharing my adventures in feeding a baby and toddler all over again." I think you were shooting for "pureeing", without the second "r"? (wink, smile) As a 45 year old single dad, who has raised 4 sons and is now helping with the 6 grandchildren, I appreciate coming across your blog and reading the articles as you share them with your readers! Reply

    DaleJ

    December 7, 2011

    Oops...speaking of typos! I meant to say "thought"! LOL! Reply

    roni

    December 11, 2011

    Thanks Rob! I'm off to fix. :) Reply

    Holly

    December 18, 2011

    Hi Roni, I've featured your blog on my Healthy Cooks Club page at Mother Rimmy's Cooking Light Done Right. You and I have a very similar story, and I was inspired by your Warm White Bean and Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Cashews. I hope you have a good holiday. Kristi Reply

    Liz

    February 20, 2012

    I have been ill the last few days and stuck in the bedroom trying not to get anyone else sick, and decided to start doing a search for healthy food with weight watcher points (I think this is my ticket to lose the 5 pounds left on per each baby...), but also kid approved. Your site appeared, and I swear you and I could be twins....except you are way craftier and cooler! :) I have four daughters, 7, 5, 3, and 18 months. I always tried to feed us healthy, especially myself while pregnant and breastfeeding. The husband and your hubby could also be twins. Let's eat out is his answer. He loves Taco Bell, Applebees, and BW3s. If we just rotated those every night he'd be in Heaven. I love to invent recipes, but the response isn't always what I'd like. I'm a part time ER nurse, and a human taxi for the girls' and their activities, so time crunches are a biggie too. I need healthy, fun, not too time consuming, and kid approved meals, and sister I think I have hit the jackpot with you!!!! I am making my shopping lists, and am so excited to cook your recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I am sharing with everyone I know. Thank you!!!! Reply

    Diane

    March 4, 2012

    Hello We are interested in syndicating content from greenlitebites.com into our network. There’s no cost for this, we ask you to place a module on your site that reads your content and syndicates it into our network of millions of users. You only need to place a simple html code on your site. I would like to speak or email with you first. As background, Nsphere’ syndicated content and data is being used by over 2,700 websites world-wide (ranging from Car and Driver, Kiplinger, JD Power, Golf Week, Dogster...) and is responsible generating about 13 million unique visitors per month. We've recently opened up our platform to a wide range of blog and website content which is where we see a fit for your site. This module acts as search tool for your users as well. Can you email me, call me, or send me your number and a good day/time to connect please? Thank you in advance. Matthew Mantyla | nSphere Director of Media Integration T: 617 933 7530 mmantyla@nsphere.net Reply

    French

    May 15, 2012

    You should make a kindle edition of your cookbook!!! :D Reply

    French

    May 15, 2012

    It's on my radar!! I just have to solve a few problems in the layout. Reply

    roni

    June 9, 2012

    I've just discovered your blog and am so excited about it! All your recipes look so delicious and easy to make to boot! My challenge, like yours, is to try to get the hubby to try new foods, and healthier versions of the classics. Can't wait to try some (all) of you recipe ideas! Reply

    Katie

    June 25, 2012

    Hey, just wanted to say how much i love your site.and i invite you to read my site im currently in the process of making, thsnks, Dave Reply

    Terry

    August 9, 2012

    Roni, Thanks for being such an real inspiration to me for the past 6 years. I say real because I have read some sites where what they reccomend is not practical (time wise and budget wise) for a mom with three kids. I have two questions that I thought you might be able to help me with: 1) What is the difference between eating a big bowl of raw fressh spinach versue taking that same bowl and microwaving it for a minute or so and eating the wilted version? I can get more greens in me the second way but I am wondering if it is the same nutrionally. The first way of courese fills me up more. 2) As I said I have three kids: a 7 year old, 4 1/2 year old and a 10 month old. As of late, all can eat crackers/ baked snackes. I stil don't have one I like. I like to limit them but now with the baby eating them I find myslef giving them to the older two more. What is the best option? I know baked cheddar Gold Fish are not so good but even worse is Pirate Booty right? I do like the Kashi traditional crackers but the kids are not that into them. Then what about Whole grain Cherrios versus the traditional? I think the traditional is "better", only because of their sugar coating, but I have 2 big boxes from Costco because they were on sale and now I wishI had not bought them. Am I over analyzing this? Thanks so much for any insights you may have. All the best, Kathleen Reply

    Cindy

    August 10, 2012

    Hi Kathleen! Let me try to answer as much as I can... What is the difference between eating a big bowl of raw fressh spinach versue taking that same bowl and microwaving it for a minute or so and eating the wilted version? Not much if you are eating the same amount cooked as you would have raw but cooked you can eat so much more so it is more nutritionally dense. This post may help.. http://www.livestrong.com/article/497467-nutritional-value-of-fresh-vs-cooked-spinach/ I use both raw and cooked depending on the meal. It's spinach! You can't go wring in my opinion. :) What is the best option [cracker]? This is my opinion of course but my first choice are thin crisp triscuits. The ingredient list is tiny (wheat and salt I think) and they are yummy! Both my kids love them. I also buy whole grain ritz as a treat but they aren't that great. I mean they are yummy but just partially whole grain so I prefer the triscuits. I know baked cheddar Gold Fish are not so good but even worse is Pirate Booty right? We love both fish and pirate booty! I don't either are "bad" just a treat to be had in moderation. Then what about Whole grain Cherrios versus the traditional? We go traditional and then for a treat every few months I'll buy a flavor like chocolate or fruity. Am I over analyzing this? Yes.. but I do the same thing. At least we care! :) Hope that helps! -Roni Reply

    Judy

    August 10, 2012

    Thanks Roni! Kathleen Reply

    Suzy

    February 5, 2013

    Hey roni! I submitted a comment awhile back saying how much you remind me of my friend Jill! Anyway- I've been HOOKED on your site ever since! It's just AMAZING! I have a lil guy too who's (unknowingly) making me question every food we buy, put it his mouth, and our mouths. Seems like your lil one did the same thing!? I also feel like I could stand to lose 70lbs after pregnancy and a devastating year of unemployment. Just wanted you to know that you've inspired and continue to do so!!! THANK YOU! Your recipes are SO good and this is the first place I come when needing inspiration about lil mans food!!!! Thank you so much!!! Reply

    Sue

    February 5, 2013

    You are SO welcome! Thanks for making my day! :) -Roni Reply

    Linda

    February 7, 2014

    trying to lose weight alot 80 lbs love your web site found you on pinterest.so what can you tell me thanks Reply

    Dee

    September 16, 2014

    I have just found your website and was very impressed with it. I have been on WW for 6 months and needed some variety in my meals to keep me motivated. So thank you for what you have done. I hope that you will continue. The few recipes which I have tried were great. I love your added humor. Reply

    roni

    January 1, 2015

    I love your vegetable adventures! Just tried the cabbage soup, the neighbors, (and us) loved it. Reply