Tag Archives: feeding my child

Getting kids to eat their vegetables blissfully

We know that our children need a highly nutritive diet to fuel their rapid development and growth ensuring that they grow to their full genetic potential.
We also know that this can be a huge challenge when you have kids who won’t eat their vegetables.  As a mom with veggie loving kids, I can honestly tell you from experience that it is very possible to get your kid (s) to eat their vegetables, all you need is time along with a variety of vegetables, don’t give up after a few tries, it might take up to 90 attempts to get you child to accept or show liking to a particular taste. I am not a strong believer of the  ‘sneaking in’ concept because of 2 things,

1)    it gives the illusion that your kid (s) is actually eating their vegetables but they are honestly not getting enough.
2)    You end up not training your kid to eat their vegetables since the little veggies are usually buried in something sweet..

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That said here are some easy ways that you can incorporate veggies into your kids diet that they can’t resist.. There are enough vegetables in the market to find one that your kid (s) go gaga over. Possibilities are endless, just keep trying..

  • Popsicles (carrots, beets and apple) don’t limit your self
  • Smoothies
  • Pasta sauce
  • Soups
  • Homemade chips like bake kale etc
  • Pancakes (sweet potato pancakes or squash)
  • Breads like zucchini
  • Homemade carrot muffins sweeten with apple sauce (store bough comes with too much sugar and very little carrot)
  • Use butternut squash to replace  some of the cheese in mac N cheese
  • Cauliflower to replace some shredded cheese in pasta
  • Get a food dehydrator and make chips
  • Give them raw vegetables with fun homemade dips
  • Salads with

When all else fails then you lead by example, eat your veggies everyday and slowly the kid (s) will do the same, they all want to be like their parents.

As parents we face many issues, but diet and health remains a fundamental priority. After all, feeding our kids is the first, most basic thing we do to raise them right.

Chief  Yummy officer

11 vegetables for kids, our boys favorites.

Nutrition research shows that eating a diet rich in fresh vegetables reduces the risk of many chronic diseases.  Vegetables provide a wealth of nutrients that are very critical for optimal health. They contain the necessary essential fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and trace minerals our kids needs to build a strong immunity, which is the best defense against diseases.                                                bountiful-harvest

The way vegetables are prepared has everything to do with the nutrients your kids are getting; they should be very minimally processed. Try avoiding canned/jars/pouch if possible since the heating that is part of the canning process destroys many vital nutrients, frozen are a good option is fresh is not available. Do not overcook your veggies when you steam (never boil) it at home. When it comes to vegetable my philosophy is that if it grows in a clean soil we can eat it but below are our kids all time favorites..

Here are 11 top nutritious vegetables that our boys LOVE.

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Collards
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Chard
  • Winter squash
  • Brussels sprout
  • Dandelion greens
  • Sweet potato

All dark green leafy greens you can lay your hands on at your farmers market are also great. When we use lettuce at home I make sure it is romaine since they turn to be more nutritional then any other variety.

 Chief Yummy Officer

Why reading food labels is the first step to keeping kids healthy..

If you are not compulsively reading your food labels you should consider making it a priority.. Labels are an important way for producers like us to tell you about the characteristics of our products. Don’t let yourself be fooled by large words printed on labels that lead you to believe it’s a healthy choice. Sugar if any should NEVER be the 1st or 2nd ingredient on any food/drink you are feeding your kids.. If you look at your labels closely you will be able to catch little marketing tricks, take for example Organic Wild Blueberry jelly, here is what is disclosed on the label, which is the true attribute organic sugar, organic apple, organic blueberry, citric acid, fruit pectin etc. If you did not read the label you have just paid premium blueberry price for sugar apple jelly..

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Take time to learn what you are feeding your kids by reading your food labels (even those in fine print).  When it comes to helping our little ones grow healthy and happy, it’s worth taking the time to do it right.  After all… we only get one chance to get it right.

There is a huge difference between freshly made food vs 2 year old cooked food

How I wish freshly made food was accessible to every baby. The biggest disservice is the fact that somehow as a society we have been convinced there is no difference between feeding our babies freshly made food and that which has been cooked and sitting in a warehouse for years. The simple truth is 2yrs old cooked food will never equal freshly made when it comes to vitality, flavor, texture and not to mentioned the nutritive value. Just because it has been around forever doesn’t make it right it could actually just be the problem. If you can pls make the time to cook for your baby or buy freshly made food for them, we are what we eat..

Buying Organic Foods

Buying Organic Foods

Source

Does anyone know how to save money on organic foods? I am very health conscious and have recently decided it was best for my two young daughters and me to make a real effort to eat foods without preservatives and hormones. Unfortunately, recent trips to local markets show how expensive it is to do just that. I had hoped Dollar Stretcher readers might have some advice on how to save money on organic/natural foods.
Jean K. in Boca Raton, FL

Grow Your Own Organic Produce

Try your local farmers’ market, where you are likely to find organic items available for considerably less than what you pay in the grocery stores. Going to the farmers’ market is a great habit to get into anyway, since you’ll find wonderful fresh foods and you will help sustain local farmers.

In my area, the farmers’ market is open year-round, and features many seasonal festivals spotlighting everything from strawberries to mudbugs (crawfish). Even when I lived in an area that required me to drive 25 minutes to the farmers’ market, I found that the money I saved on the produce I bought to make my own salads (as opposed to spending $5.95 plus tax per salad per day at work) and the quality of the produce made the effort very cost-effective.

Farmers’ markets are also a great way to teach kids about farming and what goes into producing the food they eat. You might also consider growing your own organic produce this spring. I once lived in a condo that had a balcony roughly the size of a refrigerator, yet I managed to grow cucumbers in hanging baskets, leaf lettuce in an old dishpan, loads of herbs, and cherry tomatoes and peppers in pots. Check your local library for books on container gardening, and ask friends if they might want to join in and split seed packages. This, too, is a great project in which to involve kids. My niece and nephew helped me plant all the seeds for my balcony garden, and then cheerfully raided the tomato and cucumber plants in our “air farm” (thus named because of the balcony location) at every visit.
Alicia

Join (or Start) an Organic Produce Co-op

A friend and I run one out of her living room. We buy from a produce wholesaler (the same one that delivers to the local health food stores). Watch for the trucks and look them up online. We have semi-annual meetings to decide what kinds of produce to order and how often. We have about 15 members who give us a standing order for every two weeks. If we have enough membership interest, we order a case of that particular produce, and when the produce comes, we sort it out. We use last time’s produce boxes, and write everyone’s names on them and sort into them, using the standing order each member has placed. It helps to have your members’ standing orders be a range (i.e. 6-10 apples), because the cases aren’t always the same quantities from week to week.

I use Excel to fill in everyone’s bill (because we don’t know the exact price until the produce comes with an invoice). We mark each item up only 10% (as opposed to the store’s 40-50%), and the extra money gets split between those who sort that week, as a credit off of their bill. I require that every member put in a deposit, which I keep in a separate checking account, just for this co-op. Then, I’m able to write a check when the produce is delivered each produce day, and the members pay for their produce upon pickup, which replenishes the bank account.

I found members using my son’s school newsletter and bulletin boards in schools and public buildings. Fifteen to twenty members is a good sized group, as everyone’s boxes fit in my friend’s living room for sorting, and it seems to be enough people to get full cases of most items we want. It does take a good bit of time organizing, but I think it’s well worth it. Every once in a while, I check at the grocery store to compare to their organic prices, and I’ve saved about 30%. I’m getting organic produce and paying conventional prices, though I admit that for a sale-watcher, conventional produce would likely be cheaper. But the long-term benefits to my family’s health make organics worth it to me. And we eat more fruits and veggies this way, because they are delivered on a regular basis, and I can do my meal planning around what’s coming on produce day. And, I’ve gotten to meet some wonderful people that I otherwise wouldn’t know.
Abbie in Michigan

Talk to the Farmers

If you go to green markets where you can actually discuss with farmers, try to find small farmers whose agricultural practices you agree with, but who may not have an organic certification and the price premium that goes with it. Certification is long and expensive, and many small producers won’t take the trouble of getting certified, even if they use ecological farming practices.
Catherine in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Stick to Whole Foods

My husband and I eat only organic food and these are the tips that help us save money:

· Stick primarily to unprocessed foods. The price of prepared organic food (dry cereals, frozen meals, crackers, etc.) is steep, but if you eat mostly whole foods (veggies, fruits, grains, beans, meats, etc.), you will save money. You may invest a little more in prep and cooking, but you will save money and be serving healthy foods to your family. And cook simply. If you are serving the best and freshest foods, they often don’t need much adornment.

· Shop for fruits and veggies at you local farmers’ market and strive to eat only in-season produce. You will get superior produce, support your local farmers and save money. You could also look into buying a share from a local farm. How this works is for a small fee per week you receive a box of fresh produce and, depending on the farm, fruit. You must usually commit to a season (typically March through October here) and pick up your box each week from a pick up location. You don’t get to choose what you get though so you must learn how to be adventurous in the kitchen. For more information, Google “CSA farms.” Some farms are organic and some are not, so make sure you know what you are getting.

· Check out your local natural food store. In the past, I have avoided shopping at mine because I figured that it would be more expensive than buying from the big supermarket down the street (economies of scale and all), but I was wrong. Their prices are cheaper and they carry a much larger selection of organic and natural foods than the big supermarkets.

· Try the bulk bins. Many regular supermarkets have started carrying bulk organic items and your natural food store will probably have an even better selection. Rice, pasta, oatmeal, nuts, etc. are all there and at rock bottom prices.

· Check out Trader Joes. If you can find what you are looking for, you will almost always get the best price here. Go with a list and stick to it. Trader Joes is temptation city and it is easy to pick a few extra items that look good and end up spending more than you budgeted for.

· Another place to get rock bottom prices is your local Costco or Sams Club. The big warehouse stores are carrying more and more organic products and you can often get a great deal. In our area, eggs, canned tomatoes, milk, dog food (yes, our dog even eats organic food!) and environmentally friendly laundry soap are cheaper here than anywhere else.

· If you have the time, space, and desire, grow your own. Even a row of green beans or a couple of cherry tomato plants on your balcony can provide a lot of food for just a few dollar investment in a packet of seeds. If you can’t find organic seed in your area, just look on the Internet and you will find plenty of companies who sell at least some organic seed. You can also check out many great organic gardening books at your local library or check the Internet of organic growing tips.

· Look into joining a natural food co-op in your area. Members take advantage of the idea of bulk buying to get better prices on items. Google “food co-ops” for more information.

Chris

Go Direct

Try to link up with local farmers who grow organic food and buy directly from them. They are often families who are trying to get by just like you are and would be happy to help out like-minded folks, maybe even bartering for your purchases. The organic items you buy in the store cost more because of the packaging, shipping and so on. If you can buy local, you avoid all that unnecessary cost.
A

Find a Local CSA

Try to join a food co-operative or buy a “share” of a farm through community supported agriculture (CSA). You get delicious, healthy, organic food at a reasonable cost and help local farmers as well! Find a local CSA at www.localharvest.org/csa/
Denise

Shop Online

eBay has many sellers who offer organic. http://www.netrition.com/ is another invaluable source. I suggest Googling whatever product you’re searching for (no dairy or perishable products of course) to find your best price.

The Dirty Dozen- FDA and USDA list of the most highly contaminated foods.

— Eating organically grown food is a clear, intelligent, delicious choice. Finding and affording only organic food could be a challenge  but certain foods are worth the extra effort, or worth simply avoiding when organic is not available. The “dirty dozen” are the most commonly and highly contaminated foods with pesticides and chemicals, even after washing and peeling.

The research used to compile this list is from extensive independent tests run by the FDA and the USDA from more than 100,000 samples of food. The chemical pesticides detected in these studies are known to cause cancer, birth defects, nervous system and brain damage, and developmental problems in children. In other words, panic if it isn’t organic.

12 Contaminated Foods

1. Beef, Pork and Poultry The EPA reports that meat is contaminated with higher levels of pesticides than any plant food. Many chemical pesticides are fat-soluble and accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals. Animal feed that contains animal products compounds the accumulation, which is directly passed to the human consumer.

Antibiotics, drugs, and hormones are a standard in animal husbandry, all of which accumulate and are passed on to consumers as well. Ocean fish carry a higher risk for heavy metals than pesticides, though many freshwater fish are exposed to high levels of pesticides from contaminated water.

2. Milk, Cheese and Butter For reasons similar to those for meat, the fat in dairy products poses a high risk for contamination by pesticides. Animals concentrate pesticides and chemicals in their milk and meat. Growth hormones and antibiotics are also serious concerns and are invariably found in commercial milk, cheese, and butter.

3. Strawberries, Raspberries and Cherries Strawberries are the crop that is most heavily dosed with pesticides in America. On average, 300 pounds of pesticides are applied to every acre of strawberries (compared to an average of 25 pounds per acre for other foods). Thirty-six different pesticides are commonly used on strawberries, and 90% of strawberries tested register pesticide contamination above safe levels.

Raspberries trump strawberries with the application of 39 chemicals: 58% of the raspberries tested registered positive for contamination.

Cherries are almost as dodgy with 25 pesticides and 91% contamination.

4. Apples and Pears With 36 different chemicals detected in FDA testing, half of which are neurotoxins (meaning they cause brain damage), apples are almost as contaminated as strawberries.

Ninety-one percent of apples tested positive for pesticide residue. Peeling nonorganic apples reduces but does not eliminate the danger of ingesting these chemicals. Pears rank hazardously near apples with 35 pesticides and 94% contamination.

5. Tomatoes It’s standard practice for more than 30 pesticides to be sprayed on conventionally grown tomatoes. The thin skin does not stop chemicals from infiltrating the whole tomato, so peeling won’t help you here.

6. Potatoes Potatoes are one of the most popular vegetables, but they also rank among the most contaminated with pesticides and fungicides. Twenty-nine pesticides are commonly used, and 79% of potatoes tested exceed safe levels of multiple pesticides.

7. Spinach and Other Greens The FDA found spinach to be the vegetable most frequently contaminated with the most potent pesticides used on food. Eighty-three percent of the conventionally grown spinach tested was found to be contaminated with dangerous levels of at least some of the 36 chemical pesticides commonly used to grow it.

8. Coffee Most coffee is grown in countries where there are little to no standards regulating the use of chemicals and pesticides on food. The United States produces and exports millions of tons of pesticides, some of which are so dangerous that they are illegal to use on American farmland.

Foreign countries import these chemicals to cultivate food, which is sold back to the United States. Coffee is an unfortunate culprit in this vicious cycle of malevolent agriculture. Purchasing “Fair Trade” coffee provides insurance that the premium price paid for this treasured beverage supports farms and workers with more equanimity and reward.

9. Peaches and Nectarines Forty-five different pesticides are regularly applied to succulent, delicious peaches and nectarines in conventional orchards. The thin skin does not protect the fruit from the dangers of these poisons. Ninety-seven percent of nectarines and 95% of peaches tested for pesticide residue show contamination from multiple chemicals.

10. Grapes Because grapes are a delicate fruit, they are sprayed multiple times during different stages of growth. The thin skin does not offer much protection from the 35 different pesticides used as a standard in conventional vineyards.

Imported grapes are even more heavily treated than grapes grown in the United States. Several of the most poisonous pesticides banned in the United States are still used on grapes grown abroad. Eighty-six percent of grapes test positive for pesticide contamination; samples from Chile showed the highest concentration of the most poisonous chemicals.

11. Celery Conventionally grown celery is subjected to at least 29 different chemicals, which cannot be washed off because, of course, celery does not have any protective skin. Ninety-four percent of celery tested was found to have pesticide residues in violation of safe levels.

12. Red and Green Bell Peppers Bell peppers are one of the most heavily sprayed foods, with standard use of 39 pesticides. Sixty-eight percent of bell peppers tested had high levels of chemical pesticide residues. The thin skin of peppers does not offer much protection from spraying and is often waxed with harmful substances.

Copyright (c) Rodale, Inc.

Healthy Babies Are Happy Babies™

Starting your kid on a lifetime of good eating habit in today’s society can be very challenging with both parents working to make ends meet or a single parent having to pick-up a second job along with endless after school activities. With such hectic lifestyles trying to balance work and parenthood, it is difficult for parents to watch their own diet let alone that of their children. It is thus not surprising that parents are easily lured by ‘fast foods’

 

 

With childhood obesity and diabetes on a persistent rise it is important now more than ever for parents to introduce a healthy eating habit

 

Some few recommendations to help you stay on track

 

Be a great role model: it is very important not only to make healthy foods readily available but also to set a good example. Don’t eat junk food and expect your kids to eat healthy wholesome meals – kids mirror their parents.

 

Meal planning:  get back to the basics, take your kids to your local farmers’ market, have fun planning and buying fresh produce for diner and have everyone help in the kitchen. Kids will likely eat what they help to make.

 

Idolize wholesome treats: Don’t make the wrong foods a special treat for your kids. Dessert, if needed should be fresh fruits like juicy organic mango, organic apricot, organic papaya, organic pineapple etc.

 

No “clean plate club”: As parents, there is the tendency that you know what is good for your kids but remember that babies have an innate feeling of when they are full and forcing them to eat makes them to lose that sense. Kids will eat when they are hungry.

 

Did you say juice?: Offer your kids fresh clean water, statistics shows kids who consume more than 16ozs of juice are at an increased risk of obesity and poor bone density

 

Family outdoor fun: keep your kids active and away from the TV

 

Healthy snacks: Your kid will eat what you bring home from the store so make it a point of buying only healthy wholesome snacks for your kids. Instead of regular jelly you can buy the 100% juice sweetened jelly, subtle changes like these go a long way and keep your kids away from harm’s way

Yummy Spoonfuls Rated # 1 Baby Food 

Above all 12 Leading competitors:

BEST TASTE, BEST OVERALL,FIVE STARS!

–Cookie magazine readers’ panel, January 2009

http://www.yummyspoonfuls.com/media/cookie-mag-jan2008.htm

 

 

Your Wealth & Your Health

 

Your Wealth & Your Health
Is your baby getting a healthy start in life?
What is on your table?

The global scientific community has constantly acknowledged the negative and at times long lasting effects of small doses of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals on people, especially during the early stages of development as a fetus and during infancy. These pesticides and other agricultural chemicals release toxins into our systems whose effects are still being studied and about which the scientific community finds little consensus due to the lobbying activities of some of the great multinational corporations, whose businesses might be negatively affected in case all the scientific evidence comes to light. So with all this evidence that is constantly being released why is organic food not on every table?

 I grew-up on a predominantly organic lifestyle and I can still vividly remember the reaction I got from my very first chemical grown apple. I got a swollen tongue; there was fluid in my ear drums that caused me to lose my balance thus couldn’t drive and flu like symptoms. After numerous visits to my doctor’s office, to a cardiologist I was finally sent to see an allergist who then figured out I was allergic to pesticides.  I was stumped to say the least; I knew pesticide was used to kill inserts etc. I innocently asked the doctor if someone could have sneaked it into my food. The Dr simple asked me to list all what I had eaten the past couple of weeks, it was easy since at that point I had only bought apples and rice from the super market (still had my food from home my mami made) and she said it is the apples…..little did I know that pesticide was also used in the preservation of food…. That was almost 18 years ago.

We all know organic costs a bit more but I personally believe the benefits outweigh the difference in cost. My experience with the “pesticide-sprayed” apple resulted in about 3 weeks of school and work absence, and about 6 different doctors’ offices co-pays.  I could have saved time, anxiety, and tons of money in co-pays alone!

 You would be surprised to find out how affordable eating organic can be. The key is to try and eat seasonal as much as possible because produce is always cheaper when in season. Other ways of cutting costs include: buying from your local farmers market, joining a local CSA* or a local co-op,  and MOST IMPORTANTLY  avoid  shopping the big name grocery stores for organic foods, that is where you truly throw your $$$$ out the window.

 Also, buying organic helps you prioritize a whole lot better. You don’t buy as much nonsense and junk food and you don’t waste so much. Believe me, when you pay more for your food, you will make use of EVERY item you buy. Society has   trained us to always overindulge, people don’t usually eat because they are hungry they eat because they can afford to buy it. When you buy a $1 bag of chips, you feel free to ingest the whole bag in one sitting because it’s cheap. But when you spend $3-4 on a bag of chips, trust me you will make it last the WHOLE week. Changing your diet and household products to organic can seriously reduce allergies and eczemas and thus reduce the number of doctor’s visits. Therefore at the end of the day, organic is good for your wallet, good for the environment and most importantly good for the health of your family.

Here is the list of the top 10 foods containing the most pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research group based in Washington, DC.

If you cannot buy organic versions of these foods, you can still evade harm by looking for an alternative that contains the same valuable vitamins and minerals.

The List:

  • Strawberries

  • Bell peppers

  • Spinach

  • Cherries

  • Peaches

  • Mexican cantaloupe

  • Celery

  • Apples

  • Apricot

  • Imported grapes

If you need more scientific facts on why organic produce is better than pesticide-sprayed goods, please click on the link below:
http://www.yummyspoonfuls.com/why_organic.htm

 

Moving forward into the twenty-first century, humanity must make strides to live better, not only in a technological sense, but more importantly in a culinary sense – making wise food choices.  The smartest savings account you can set up for yourself and/or your family exists in your refrigerator, not your local bank, contrary to popular belief.  When you eat right, you are on the way to saving right, because what ever savings you amass over the years will not be used to combat diseases caused by a lifetime of poor food choices.  To achieve this goal, things just cannot be business as usual – we have to be drastic in our resolve to eat right, and save right.  Your health is really your wealth.

 *CSA =Community Supported Agriculture where you buy a farm share and get a box of produce every week.

 “A Nation is only as healthy as its children.”
 – Harry Truman

Feeding Your Child With Intention

 

Feeding Your Child With Intention.

As I sit and reminisce about growing up I can still vividly hear my mother telling us what to eat and what not to eat. “Drink your milk. Eat your vegetables. Drink more water. No, you can’t have sugar in your tea because no child of mine is going to develop diabetes.”   

 I now realize what she was doing all along and I find myself doing the same thing in my own home. Yes, I am my mother’s daughter. I am FEEDING MY CHILD WITH INTENTION.

We all know that feeding our children overly processed foods may lead to obesity and a host of other health concerns. When we talk of overly processed foods it is not just about all the wonderful nutrients that are lost during processing like vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and fiber. These losses pose a major threat to our growing babies. Also of major concern are all the added junk gained during the process like added salt, sugar, chemical additives, and fillers. Cheers!  Agath

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