It’s a challenge for every parent to get veggies into our kids one way or another. This is a quick and simple breakfast recipe that we’ve come up with in an effort to use all the tomatoes and zucchini that our garden provides. It’s an ongoing effort to try’n use all these veggies as much as possible (check out how I cope with this in The Veggie War — Why & How to Get Your Kids to Love Vegetables). This breakfast provides lots of healthy value to a busy toddler who needs all the energy they can get. [Read more…]
Veggies are Building Blocks for Your Growing Kiddo
It’s every parents living nightmare — get some nutritious and delicious veggies into your growing kids. The turned up noses and the stiff arm are all too familiar to those of us who have ever tried to get our little ones to eat healthy. I strongly believe that this is the goal of candy manufacturers who have cultivated a world where kids don’t even know the names of fruit or vegetables. It’s scary and sobering. But we can get past this and get our children to love their veggies.
As part of Jamie Oliver’s mission to change the way we think about food consumption, he shares his experience with a classroom of first graders who could not identify simple fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, and cauliflower. In addition to campaigning against vending machine junk food in schools, Oliver has been vocal about eating habits at the most recent TED conference and in the video below:
This post will cover 12 creative ways to get your kids to think differently about food, consumption, and health. [Read more…]
It’s Snack Time for Your Toddler
Got something good to much on? We do!Lately I’ve been asked by my fellow mamas what we’re snacking on. Mamas in my circle inquired about yummy toddler snacks for their little ones that are honest to goodness healthy all around. From packaging to the contents these are the snacks you and your baby will love!
Listed below are my toddlers top picks of here favorite toddler snacks that she’s loving at the moment. She’s almost 14 months old and loves to eat. Yes, I’ve been blessed with a baby girl that will try just about anything which works out perfect for posts like these. I am happy to share with you girls and pals what we’re obsessed with.
So, if you’re looking for some amazingly delicious and organically produced baby snacks, this post was written by me especially for you! [Read more…]
What is Independence in Children
Independence is defined as possessing freedom from outside control and instead having the ability rely on oneself.
As our children grow up, it is our job as parents to make certain that they are equipped with the necessary tools to lead a happy and satisfactory life. Independence is a huge part of that. Those of us who bear the unmistakable cloak of independence display undeniable courage, sheer strength, and deep intelligence.
Independence teaches hard lessons and hands out a dose of satisfying accomplishments.
Through independence, we are able to learn, grow, and deepen our souls. We are able to teach and provide for the future. We are able to truly be ourselves, through and through. Teaching it, will ensure that our kids will go forth knowing their worth, their strength, and not be swayed by pressures of todays society.
All that said, a little voice inside me whispers, “Nooooo, never let her go!!!” You too? Welcome to the boat. 🙂 Okay, where were we? Oh right — independence. Here we go… [Read more…]
Green & Clean BottomsIn a blog written a while back, I told parents how I make my own organic and natural baby wipes for my little one. There was one main reason for my doing so – keeping it green and healthy. I also am a stickler for knowing what is in my products (and food).
Like most moms, baby wipes were a definite item on my shopping list. But after a while, I was not happy with them (and neither was my sweets red, irritated behind). Right then, I did some research and decided to make our own baby wipes with all natural and healthy ingredients that put a parents mind at ease. [Read more…]
My Past Walking Routine and Weight Story
My Weight Story
I’ve always been a ‘twig’. That is until…
A few years ago, on my birthday, my mother, took pictures of me with bouquets of flowers spilling over the edge of the kitchen table where they had been collected as delivered early that morning from friends and family for the special occasion. But happiness that day was short lived Upon review of the photos taken DUN DUN DUUUUUN… I had to do a double take and, unfortunately so, with disgust! There went my day …
That’s not me, is it?!
-Bee, a mom, a few years ago
I was 15 lbs over my life average weight and 10 by the health ‘standards’. I literally didn’t recognize the person in the image looking back at me. I held it together (barely) but on the inside? I wanted to CRY. I wanted to go back upstairs, change into something comfy and hide. It’s those sneaky pounds that were somehow absent from your life right up until that moment… that terrible, terrible moment where POOF – here they all are – all at once!
Oh, I got angry! Then, sad. But thankfully sadness followed by a rush of drive to lose this weight and get myself into shape!
So, I got to work and by work I mean walk. Within 4 months, I was back… no, I was in better shape than before I gained the first place. And now? I need to do it again! [Read more…]
Ah yes, the late night craving
We all have those nights where your hunger takes over and overrides the “I just ate” feeling and nags, and nags, and nags until you have something salty, sweet, or spicy in your face.
Well I am here to tell you about my favorite (almost) guilt-free snack that I rely on quite often. It’s easy, it’s healthy, it’s popcorn!
Popcorn is a whole grain with 1 gram of fiber per cup. Air-popped popcorn also contains a small amount of some B vitamins, which help with energy production. Popcorn provides a number of minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and manganese.
One cup of air-popped popcorn has just 31 calories and 0 grams of fat. Oil-popped popcorn has more fat and calories per cup, at 3 grams and 55 calories. Traditional butter-flavored microwave popcorn contains about 42 calories and 2 grams of fat per cup. If you are watching your calorie intake, air-popped popcorn is the best option as you get the nutrients and fiber in popcorn, with added fat and salt.
Lets get Started
First off, let me just say, I never, ever buy the microwave, prepackaged popcorn. Check out the Food Babe on why microwave popcorn is an absolute health nightmare (and check out the rest of the site – it’s pretty incredible and worth a bookmark (I’ll be adding the site to the “BAMs favorite sites”)). Instead, start with a cup of air-popped popcorn and season to taste.
Second, you don’t need a popcorn machine to get the job done. In fact, it’s much easier to use a pot with a lid instead of having to clean a complicated machine all you do is rinse the pot and you’re done n ready for snackin’.
Seasoning Ideas (mix and match these as you see fit):
- sea salt
- butter or olive oil
- melted butter with marshmallows (melt together then add to popped popcorn)
- chilly powder
- herbs (think rosemary, thyme, and other favorites)
- parmesan cheese (especially yum with olive oil)
- brown sugar and cinnamon
- dark chocolate chips (toss in after it’s popped but still hot)
- caramel chips (OMG I am salivating already)
- a spritz of lime juice
How to prep your popcorn snack:
- on medium high heat a large pot with butter/oil (if you’re using any)
- add 1 cup of unpopped popcorn (serves about 6)
- cover with a lid
- wait until there is 2-3 seconds between pops and remove
- add your desired ingredients
Make it your own
There are countless of ways to make popcorn more fun and interesting without all the chemicals. So, have you tried it yet? C’mon stop holding out on me… post in the comments your success story, your thoughts on taste, and your own popcorn flavor inventions!
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A site for all things organics
I’ll keep this one short since it’s pretty much self explanatory. Organicfacts.com brings you an all in one site where the creators cover everything organic (duh!) and our world. I use it to find how the products I love interact with my life. I use it to check out whether a product is worth it’s hype. I use it, period. It’s one of those sites that are in my bookmarks so that accessing it often is easy. And I DO access it often.
A huge thank you to Dr. Madhukar Patil, PhD and Mr. Kiran Patil, B.Tech, M.Tech. for their contribution and time to the site!
A quick intro:
Consumers regularly search for detailed unbiased information on organic food (and food in general) so that they can make educated decisions while shopping. Farmers, producers and suppliers, on the other hand, constantly seek best practices prevalent in different parts of the world so that they can improve the quality of their products and efficiency of their production methods. Organic Facts aims at meeting these demands from the buyers and sellers by providing information on different aspects of organic living, including organic food, organic cosmetics, organic gardening and organic stores.
If you are health conscious like me, this is a great site to keep in your bookmarks. Trust me, you’ll love it. CLICK OrganicFacts.com
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I make baby food. Do you?
My mother inspires me in many ways. This is just one of them. As I grow older more and more reasons to look up to her rule my world.
Making baby food in your own kitchen brings back memories of my wonderful mama telling me how she loved to make me food and all the different yummies she’d put together into a delicious concoction. Well the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I couldn’t bring myself to buy the jars.
I’ve been making homemade baby food for a few months now and I really am perplexed as to why anyone would ever buy jars of baby food from the store.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to step into anyones shoes or tell them how to feed their baby. I am not at all judging those that don’t have the time or energy. All I am sharing my so very easy method to make wholesome, homemade food. Food which you personally have control over in terms of what goes in and how much of it makes it there.
Further, The Center for Science and Public Interest released a report entitled Cheating Babies: Nutritional Quality and Cost of Commercial Baby Food. They find that commercial baby food companies routinely dilute the nutritional content (and value) of baby foods with fillers such as starches, known allergens and water. And I am sure that it’s no surprise that the report finds “parents often pay more than double for baby food fruit juices and applesauce. Gerber Graduates diced fruits and vegetables are also more than twice the price of comparable products available in the canned goods aisle.” This is a finding that Consumer Reports echoes as well.
How this post came to be
Bean is 8 months old (I know, I can’t believe it either) now and has been eating solids for a good 2 or two and a half months (my calendar of every minuscule detail isn’t near, lol) and she’s been loving trying new things and textures.
As a friend and I were hanging out while I was preparing food for the next few days, she noted how fast I went from A to Z in the whole entire process. “I can’t believe you’re done,” she exclaimed as I put a lid on the last of the storage containers labeled lunch, “I really thought it was a much more in depth process.”
I was glad she was there to see that there really isn’t much to this baby food process. She isn’t the only one to have commented on the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of my system so I wanted to share the light. With that, I decided to share with you gals and pals the process of my baby food makin’.
I will make it a point to share with you as many meals and recipes as I can fit into my crazy days. But in general, it takes me 30 minutes to make breakfast and lunch for 3-4 days. Most of those 30 minutes is spent watching the water boil and making myself something to eat as I prepare her food after she is down for the night.
Things you need to start making baby food now!
Here is what you’ll need to make baby food like a pro:
- Organic fruit and veggies
- Organic grains (think oatmeal, buckwheat (not a grain but just let it be, lol) and the like)
- Wild caught fish (I give the fish separately and prepared right before serving)
- Filtered water
- Ninja Pro (or any other food processor… they really are all very similar in what they do despite the claims)
- Storage containers (glass or BPA free plastic)… we use Baby Brezza octo containers … the serving size per container perfect and I love the tray that everything fits so neatly into. But you can use any old tupperware containers that you have on hand.
The recipes will follow as I make’em through the week. Please feel free to share your own in the comments area. I am always up for something new.
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The Line Up – First Vegetables for Baby
You found it – the best first vegetable for baby list. The following list is a researched, tried and tested list. The vegetables you’ll find here were a fantastic start to my little ones healthy eating journey. Now, almost 2 years old, she is happily eating broccoli, zucchini, and tomatoes like a champ. Veggies are a hit in our home!
These are the first vegetables for baby as we had them…
Pick and choose these yummy vegetables for your baby and get cooking today!
Sweet Potatoes (8+ months). Sweet potatoes are, hands down, one of the best vegetables for baby.A high calorie food (which is good for a baby’s rapid growth rate), sweet potatoes are a great source of iron which helps prevent anemia and boosts the tiny immune system and vitamin D for strong bones and heart. You’ll also find a great deal of vitamin C in a sweet potato which is a powerful antioxidant. They are also packed with fiber, which promotes a healthy digestive system. True to their name, sweet potatoes are a sweeter vegetable and so will likely be approved by your baby’s taste buds.
- Great accompanying fruit: apples, pears, avocado
- Great accompanying veggies: zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli
- Great add ons: cheese, brown rice, pasta
Eggplant (8+ months). Not as high on the benefits list as some of the others but is a fantastic add-on for veggies in your other recipes and my little one loved it so much I had to add it to the list. Containing a good amount of folate, vitamin A, fiber, and even some vitamin K, it’s a soft and pleasant consistency with a taste that babies tend to like.
- Great accompanying fruit: apples
- Great accompanying veggies: green beans, broccoli, carrots
- Great add ons: cheese, brown rice, pasta
Pumpkin (6+ months).Pumpkins pack quite a health punch and a wonderful supporter of the immune system. They also have a healthy dose of antioxidants. Antioxidants are those biochemicals which reduce oxidative stresses on various organs and help in protecting them. As if that’s not enough, pumpkins possess a power to ward off a microbe attack which little ones are sometimes prone to. When it comes to first vegetables for baby, pumpkin is at the top of it’s game.
- Great accompanying fruit: apples, pears, avocado, bananas,
- Great accompanying veggies: sweet potatoes, squash
- Great add ons: yogurt, beans
Carrots (6+ months). A carrot a day will also keep the doctor away. Calcium, potassium, vitamins A, B, C are all part of a team that fights illnesses and boosts the immune system, strengthens bones, and promotes good vision. This was one of our first vegetables for baby ever and she adored carrots. As she ages, she likes them less but it’s a great start to your baby’s diet.
- Great accompanying fruit: apples, pears, avocado, bananas,
- Great accompanying veggies: peas, squash, cauliflower
- Great add ons: yogurt, beans, brown rice
Broccoli (8+ months). Vitamin C and fiber are the main benefits of broccoli. Vitamin C helps aid in healthy skin and promote a healthy immune system while the fiber allows for a smooth elimination by loosening the bowels.
- Great accompanying fruit: avocado
- Great accompanying veggies: sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots
- Great add ons: beans, brown rice, pasta, cheese
Winter Squash (6+ months). Winter squash is the perfect consistency for the baby and it’s a powerhouse of goodness for her too. Vitamin A, calcium, folate, iron, and even protein are all present in this yummy veggie. It also contains more vitamins and minerals than the summer squash or zucchini. When you’re thinking about your first vegetables for baby, make sure winter squash is on the list.
- Great accompanying fruit: peaches, pears, apples
- Great accompanying veggies: carrots, broccoli, pumpkin
- Great add ons: beans, brown rice
Asparagus (10+ months): Just five spears of asparagus contain 2 grams of protein. Now that’s amazing! Additionally, asparagus will provide our little ones with vitamin C, fiber, and even some B vitamins!
- Great accompanying fruit: avocado
- Great accompanying veggies: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin
- Great add ons: cheese, brown rice, pasta
- Go for fresh vegetables and make them at home. Making your own baby food is easy! Get started now…
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. Mix and match according to your baby’s needs and tastes.
- When you can’t go for fresh, choose frozen.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Babies : Parenting Healthy Babies. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.parentinghealthybabies.com/health-benefits-of-pumpkin-for-babies/
Wholesome Homemade Baby Food Recipes. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/