10 Easy Snack Alternatives!!

 

healthy snack ideas

I get it… kids like to snack and we as moms like to have something healthy to give our kids to “tide them over” so they can make it to the next meal. And we live in a country where we are used to buying snacks at the grocery store and in a package. Makes life easier. If you are even reading this blog, you probably know the perils of processed snacky foods. Yes, a dream world would have us all living out in a wide open space and our children snacking and living off the land, BUT that is not where most of us are… So do you want some great snack ideas that can be purchased and used for those quick fixes, like lunch boxes, long trips, and even fun treats???  Here is a list of 10 easy snack alternatives to the norm that I’ve compiled of  treats my family has tried and passed the test.. Enjoy!!!

  1. way-betterWay Better Chips… who doesn’t love some CRUNCH!!! Most anything that you buy in a bag these days has  been so processed and laden with bad vegetable oils along with genetically modified foods that it is not worth the wasted calories. FINALLY someone has realized how to make a great chip that has thoughtful ingredients. If you have read any of my other information, you know that I am a fan of sprouting grains before eating them, see this podcast. Way Better chips are made from sprouted ingredients. Music to my ears. My kids like the Sunny Multi-Grain.. They taste a little like the original Sun Chips. I like the Simply Spicy Siracha. Those can stop a Dorito fix in a minute!!! Be sure to check out all their flavors and crackers as well.
  2. love-bean-fudgeLove Bean Fudge… who doesn’t love a little chocolate sweet fix in the afternoons? Love Bean Fudge is fun way to have a choco or caramel fix. I think one of the best ways for kids is the little single packets they have that can fit easily into a lunch box or for fun a take along snack. What I love about these is that they are made from coconut oil so hence a good fat filled snack. Fat helps maintain blood sugar and feeds the brain the nutrients it needs = much happier kids and moms! The sea salt caramel goes great on apples!
  3. popcorn-600x480Organic sprouted popcorn from HealthyFlour. This is one of our household favorites. I can pop this for an after school snack and even visitors to our house love it. ESPECIALLY with lots of Kerry Gold butter drizzled on it with some Real Salt to go with it. I get hero status when I serve it. Easy to make and put in zip lock bags for school lunch or car trips!
  4. jovial-crackersEinkorn Sourdough Crackers from Jovial Foods are another great way to get that crunch that most of us like. Made from super food Einkorn flour these tasty little crackers will go will with any cheese or spread. Remember Einkorn is such a great wheat to use in lieu of regular wheat- check out this podcast.
  5. seasnaxSeaSnax… Yes, seaweed! it sounds kind of gross, but it is a great snack. Many nutritionists believe sea vegetables are one of the healthiest foods on earth. Research indicates that seaweed is rich in minerals such as iodine, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper and selenium. SeaSnax brand are made with olive oil instead of canola and they have more than just seaweed, check out the Chomperz.
  6. merrubitesHail Merry Merry Bites Remember Cookie dough ice cream days? Well, here is a great little healthy replacement. Hail Merry makes some yummy Merry Bites to include cookie dough flavor. They are all made with coconut oil- a great fat snack!
  7. cheddar-cheese-strawsCheese Straws.. Do you ever enjoy going to wedding or showers and filling up your plate with the cheese straws? I used to try and save those for special occasions thinking it fit in junk food category… but not anymore. Be sure to enjoy these yummy, crunchy cheese straws made from sprouted flour. (remember sprouting it makes it easier to digest)
  8. french-onion-dip-product-180x180French Onion  Dip Naturally Free French Onion Dip is like the store-bought version but a million times better. Made with organic, non-irradiated spices and 100% real ingredients, you can be confident about the quality of food you’re serving to your family, friends, and when you’re treating yourself. It contains no MSG, no dextrose, no ‘what-in-the-world-is-that-ingredient?’ and of course, it’s made with extra love
  9. jerkyBeef Jerky  .. have you ever tried this? I’ll be honest , of my two kids, one really loves beef jerky, the other could take it or leave it, but it is a power packed protein snack. We have found a great recipe, make our own and use through out the week. See it here. But there are several fancy, healthy, grass fed jerkys being made these days. One good one is from  The New Primal.
  10. lmt-new-package-sliderLet’s get something to wash it all down. The Juice Box alternative… Little Me Tea  is super yummy and a great alternative to the juice box mania. Made with real tea, I feel great about sending this for a fun picnic snack or even occasionally for school. Check out this podcast to learn more.

Do you have a favorite snack that is healthier than your average bag of goldfish or packaged granola bar? Please do share in the comments so others can  know about it too!!!

 

Need a quick breakfast idea?

sourdough-waffles

True confession. It is easy to promote myself at a natural remedy gal and tout how important good nutrients are to get into kids, but I’ll be honest, planning meals and all the work it takes in the kitchen to make good food is not one of my favorite activities. BUT, when I find an idea and it is a homerun with my kids it is fun! We have about 6 breakfast ideas that we rotate through each week, and they seem to get old rather fast. A few weeks ago I was looking for something new and was so excited to find a waffle recipe that sounded yummy.

If you have been following my podcasts, you might have heard the one a while back on Einkorn Wheat. Check it out here. I am falling in love with this little kind of wheat. If you listen to the podcast you will hear that this special wheat has not been hybridized like most other wheat and it maintains a hearty nutritious profile and serves as a great source of protein. Read and learn more about Einkorn here. And most people who have a gluten intolerance (not allergy or Celiac Disease though) can handle this Einkorn wheat without difficulty. One method that can help with ease of digestion is soaking the Einkorn kernels before using them. Being the minimalist in the kitchen I was thrilled to find somewhere that had done this step for me and I could purchase ready to use in either the kernel form (if you own a mill) or in already made flour. Cha ching!!! Check out my favorite place to buy sprouted goods at Healthy Flour. We love the sprouted popcorn too!!!

 Enter Einkorn Waffles!!!!!

(and a few chocolate chips added in) and I have found something that makes it fun to be in the kitchen again because the girls really love the waffles! I found I could make extra and freeze for later and have a great quick breakfast meal ready to go!

Hope you get to make these soon, they are delicious with a little maple syrup and butter!

Please note: a waffle maker is required

Ingredients
  • 2 cups sifted einkorn flour (from Healthy Flour)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (i love REAL SALT)
  • 4 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder ( Bob’s Red Mill is good for this)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (Trader Joe’s now carries this!)
  • 2  eggs from a trusted farmer
  • 1½ cups  milk, warmed (we prefer raw milk, but next best is non homogenized, low pasteureized)
  • (or you can also use coconut milk if avoiding dairy)
  • ⅓ cup organic butter, melted (we like Kerry Gold brand) OR 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • optional : chocolate chips (we like Enjoy Life brand)
  1. Preheat waffle maker
  2. Add sifted einkorn flour, sea salt, baking powder, and coconut sugar in a bowl and mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add warmed milk, melted butter and vanilla. Mix well
  4. Add wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients — mix until there are no more clumps and batter is smooth
  5. Using enough to fill about 3/4 of waffle maker, drop batter onto waffle maker
  6. They are done when golden brown
  7. Enjoy with real maple syrup and organic butter!

This recipe was adapted with gratitude from www.naturallyloriel.com and www.einkorn.com

Make extra and freeze for another great breakfast day!!!

These are so worth trying,  I promise! I could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Feel free to share in comments if you have tried using einkorn or even if you try this recipe…

 

 

Does Your Child Bathe Everyday???

bathtubSo truth be told, my kids do not get baths everyday, we’re lucky to get one 1-2 times a week. Chalk it up to laziness, desiring to get to bed early and just not wanting to clean up the watery mess it makes!!! But the more naturally and holistically minded I become, I realize this less amount of bathing might  actually be  a GOOD thing!

Probably during your life time you have been instructed that bacteria were mostly bad and you should avoid  them at all costs with things like hand sanitizer, antibacterial soaps and frequent bathing. But did you know all sorts of interesting research is finding that there are friendly microbes in our environment and they play a key role in our health? The Human Mircobiome Project being one of the leaders in this new information.  Here is a great little video about how important the microbiome or having friendly bacteria around  is to your health.

 

So what does that have to do with your child taking a bath every day????

Lots, like trillions of things. There are trillions of bacteria or microbes that live on the skin with the majority of them being friendly. If one bathes too much, these friendly bacteria can dwindle in population and not be able to fight the bad microbes away. And did you know being covered in dirt can actually build a child’s immune system in a healthy way ?  My girls are rarely sick , can I make the correlation that because they don’t bathe very often they are not sick as much? Probably not because this is an “n” of 2, but I sure would love to do some investigation and research about  kids who bathe more than others and the rates of frequent illnesses!

So I hope you won’t judge me in knowing we are not frequent bathers, but I’m thankful for the little family of microbes that inhabit my kid’s  bodies helping keep them healthy. Probiotics  and fermented foods also play a big role in this and one of my favorite places to learn about fermented foods is the blog Cultured Food Life. Please do check out all of her recipes, cookbooks and helpful information. She’s made it easy for even a girl like me who doesn’t like being in the kitchen to serve some fermented foods to my family!!!

And on that note, a little plug for avoiding hand sanitizers. Yes, we need to have clean hands when we eat or after going to the bathroom, but if we use hand sanitizers repeatedly we are not only killing off the bad population of bacteria, but the friendly ones as well. Eventually if you kill off too many friendly ones, the unfriendly ones will take over, thus causing much more resistance and even more illness. I always encourage plain soap and water or just water and good friction to get the grime away!

A helpful little you tube video about the potential dangers of hand sanitizers  and antibacterial soaps:

So here’s to less bathing and more playing outside!!!

Natural Treatment for Pinworms

Schlafloses Mdchen

So my 5 year old couldn’t sleep a while back. She would drift off then wake up complaining of something hurting in her bottom. She was so upset she couldn’t decipher if it was inside or outside. Being the natural remedy guru I think I am:) I put creams, salves and essential oils all to no avail. She kept saying she had to go to the bathroom, but couldn’t go. My nurse instincts thought a possible UTI, but there wasn’t any burning. I was at my wits end, sleepless and at a loss. I finally took a closer look at her anal area (yes, anal is a weird word, but it is basically your butt hole- sorry to be so blunt) and much to my dismay there was a little white worm crawling around on her skin about the size of a torn pinky fingernail. DANG! I knew what this was, it was pinworms.

If you have never seen them before it is a little freaky to see a worm crawling out of your child’s bottom. No fun! Pinworms are  tiny little worms also known as E. vermicularis,  and although seem alarming, they rarely cause serious problems. Gross, yes, but don’t seem to make one sick or ill. Don’t be mad at the dog… they didn’t come from Fido, pinworms are only found in humans.

THE FREAKS COME OUT AT NIGHT!!!

untitled-design

The female comes out of the anus at night and lays her eggs and that is when your child may often feel the most uncomfortable and itchy. One female can lay about 10,000 eggs in her lifetime. The life cycle gets easily carried on because if someone scratches their perianal area and the eggs get under the fingernails, the eggs can get easily reingested orally or shared with friends.

But don’t fear, there is hope and a natural way to treat them and get them under control. I reached for my homeopathic remedy called CINA, gave a dose, and thankfully she was able to sleep through the rest of the night. More treatment began the following day.
First of all we continued the CINA at 30C twice daily for 15 days. (if you are not familiar with homeopathy, see this blog post, or sign up for my free natural remedies E course for moms)
Second we added Diatomaceous Earth (FOOD GRADE ONLY) one teaspoon mixed in applesauce at least once a day. DE as it is called actually kills the adult pinworms and not the eggs, so it is important to keep the treatment up. I would suggest atleast 90 days or so, and some people just take it every day. One easy place to find it is here.
Next we added an herbal remedy for worms. I am not a DIY kind of girl, so I didn’t make my herbal remedy at home, I simply bought from a company that I love. A product called HAPPY from Bioray Kids is specificially formulated to get any kind of unwanted worm/organism out of a child’s body. (Honestly, I would recommend that everyone do a bottle of this once a year, just as a preventative)
We did all of the above for 15 days just to clear them all out, but I would suggest keeping up with the DE indefinitely.  Bummer is you need to treat the WHOLE family as the eggs are tiny and are easily passed from person to person without notice.
They can be easily passed among small children in close quarters, hence the need to teach them to wash hands not necessarily with antibacterial soap,but with just plain soap, water and FRICTION.
It would be wise as well to wash all sheets, towels and clothes before using twice during this time . change underwear daily and no bath sharing. Do not scratch the infected area or place your fingers in your mouth.

There is an over the counter medicine out there that can work and I have heard and seen success with. It basically paralyzes the nervous system of the pinworms and they eventually come out with the poop. The most common brand is called Reese’s and the main ingredient is Pyrantel Pamoate. Other brands include “Pin-X”, “Pin-Rid”,”PYRANTRIN” formally called “COMBANTRIN”, “Anthel”, “Helmintox”, “Helmex”. The side effects include: ” abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache or dizziness sometimes occur after taking this drug”.

There doesn’t seem to be much fanfare about pyrantel pamoate and it’s potential toxicity to the body, but here is what I do know. It does recommend that children under 2 not use it, not sure why, but if children under 2 can’t use it, makes me wonder why 3 and 4 year olds would be ok to use it. Also, typically with these kind of OTC drugs to rid the body of parasites or worms you see a trend in the parasites developing resistance to them. Knowing that, I chose to go what seemed the safest and most natural route for our family. Thankfully no one else seemed to be infected. We did however, repeat the whole treatment a month later just to be safe as the life cycle can be about 21 days and wanted to make sure we didn’t miss any.
So the next time your child wakes up screaming in the middle of the night complaining of itching or burning in their rectal area, be sure to get a flashlight out to check for pinworms.  If you don’t see them on first look, another way is to use some scotch tape to the affected area and they will come off on the tape. So now that we’ve gone to TMI, best of luck if your child shows up with them!

To learn more about natural remedies join my free natural remedies class right here.

10 power foods you can get your kid to eat! (part two)

10-superfoods

Salmon

Salmon can be one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids, and if you are familiar with fatty acids, you know the brain, and especially kid’s brains need lots of omega 3’s to function optimally. Hands down, salmon is one of the best sources of fatty acids. It  is also a great source of Vitamin A and D- and some B vitamins  are in there as well.

We have found that putting  a little lemon, garlic and REAL SALT works well and our girls will eat it.   You might could try maple syrup if you need a little sweeter taste.We did call it “chicken for a while, but now that our girls have approved, we let them know it was salmon. Right approach? I don’t know, but it worked!!

Finding good sources of salmon can get a little tricky. There is the great debate on farm raised vs. fresh. I’m partial to NOT eating the farm raised. Then we have the genetically modified salmon that recently slipped into the market. Feel free to make your own decisions here, but for my family we are choosing to steer clear of anything GMO if we can help it! Some great sources of salmon include Vital Choice or some good Alaskan Salmon from Tropical Traditions. 

Sauerkraut

Hoping you have learned about fermented foods and their amazing benefits for our bodies. If you haven’t please check out Donna Schenk at Cultured Food Life to be in the know. Sauerkraut it is one of those foods that  really has some amazing properties when it comes to gut function and I’m not talking about the simple store bought kind…Aim to find it made locally or make it on your own.

I have finally figured out a way to get my family to eat this without them really knowing. Ok, so maybe that is not the best approach, but I’m undoing a lot of habits I created before I realized the importance of fermented foods, so have to bring the palate around in  my kids’ world. Sauerkraut can be easily put in the blender with a liquid substance, I prefer broth or yogurt. I also am thankful I have a Vitamix because it can liquefy pretty much anything. Sauerkraut and broth make an excellent macaroni and cheese sauce addition.

PS. TRADER JOES has a new 100% grass fed yogurt!!!

organic-plain-yogurt

(yes I do let my girls occasionally have the Trader Joe’s Macaroni and cheese- especially when a babysitter is coming, and I don’t have the time to make them dinner. ) But when I started adding the sauerkraut in with a little broth or yogurt to the sauce is when they started telling me it was the best mac and cheese they had ever had!!! I also have blended sauerkraut and yogurt  in the Vitamix and added it to this beef stroganoff from (Stir it Up) sauce recipe  at the end as to not bring heat to the microbes in the sauerkraut which will kill the healthy bacteria.

Go long- maybe your kid will eat it straight up, but if not get creative and put it in the Vitamix to make a sauce so they will never know.

Kefir

Kefir is another food that falls in the fermented family that is full of friendly microbes that will make your kids gut happy, therefore make him or her happy and therefore keep you happy:) It  comes in several different types, water, dairy and even coconut. There is probably a lot more ways it can be used, but these are the ones I know and love.  If you are new to the kefir world, you might want to start with buying some first to try it all out and see what your family likes. Then you can go crazy and maybe even make it yourself. My girls are partial to the water kefir because it can be made with all different flavors. In Atlanta, there are several local families making this and bottling it up and it is flying off the shelves. If you are not in Atlanta, do check your local farmer’s market as many businesses are springing up that sell kefir and fermented products. Trader Joe’s makes a dairy kefir in several different flavors which has a much higher sugar content than I would like, so maybe sticking with the plain flavor is best, and I prefer full fat rather than low fat, but it is a good place to start.  Lifeway kefir  can also be found at most grocery stores. The diary or coconut kefir can be a great base for smoothies. Some, but not all people who can’t tolerate dairy in milk can tolerate dairy kefir because the fermentation process predigests the dairy proteins, thus making it easier on the body!

Butter

Do you remember the days when we were told fat was bad, therefore butter was bad and margarine was better for you? Margarine is actually taking oils and putting them in a spread- a process called hydrogenation, and thus a created or processed food. Butter on the other hand when made from organic good quality grass fed cow cream (I prefer raw) is an amazing food full of various nutrients. The fat soluble nutrients, vitamin A, D, E, and K are critical for a child’s neuro and overall development. Butter has all four fat soluble nutrients. It is also a great source of the minerals selenium and iodine, as well as antioxidants that protect against free radical damage. Butter can also help with digestive issues as it contains something called glycosphingolipids which help support friendly gut bacteria therefore aiding in digestion.

Some brands that are easily found at most grocery stores are Kerry Gold and Organic Valley. Some of our favorite ways to use it is to lather it up on a good piece of sourdough toast, we always put it on warm vegetables with some REAL SALT, and let it mix in some oatmeal with a little maple syrup…  yummmm! A favorite snack is organic air popped popcorn loaded with melted butter, and again, REAL SALT. Beats microwaved popcorn hands down!!!

Coconut oil

OK, admittedly, this might be the hardest sell to get your child to eat but it is truly one of the best health foods around. I myself try and take tablespoons of it at a time, but I do gag on its way down! However, there are ways to use it that can cover the taste and texture if that is a problem for your child.

Let’s talk about its goodness though and then some ways to get it in….Fats in recent decades got all sorts of bad  press, in particular saturated fats. In my own research I have come to the conclusion that we need saturated fats and they are not BAD for us as concluded in recent years. You can do your own research-here is a great article about enjoying saturated fats and why they can be helpful in so many ways. By eating coconut oil the feeling full mechanism kicks in much quicker and stays longer. Can help with that constant, “Mom, I’m hungry!!!” Your metabolism rate can be slowed by eating coconut  oil- great for moms AND kids! It can give sustaining energy in a snack instead of quick goldfish or Cheerios that will last you maybe 30 minutes! Coconut oil can help control yeast overgrowth. If you have ever had an antibiotic in your life, the yeast population loved it because the friendly bacteria got killed off and allowed the yeast to over grow  (hence why you might get a yeast infection with an antibiotic) . Coconut oil is great at helping combat this yeast overgrowth. It can also help directly applied to skin (i.e. dry skin, eczema) and be very helpful for dry hair.

Here is a great website that has tons of coconut recipes. Tropical Traditions is probably one of the best resources for the finest coconut oil around. There are a few different types of oil to learn about and a few different products like coconut milk or cream if you just can’t do the oil. I have found cooking Einkorn muffins using coconut oil has been a great lunch addition each day as well as a great snack!There are lots of great smoothies to hide it in, or it can even be used  as on oil when cooking an egg or drizzling over popcorn.The possibilities are endless.

 

I hope you will take the time to learn about a few of these power foods and find ways to incorporate them into your child’s diet. You will be glad you did!

 

Please share below if you have had success (or not) in using any of these power foods!

10 POWER foods you can get your kid to eat! (part one)

10-superfoodsHow to get your kids to eat some power foods without much of a fight!

True confession: I grew up on substandard and processed food. I remember in my college dorm room choosing to make Ramen noodles, and instant macaroni and cheese in the microwave instead of heading to the dining hall. I’m paying the price for all of it now as I am in my forties and having to play catch up with my health and my children’s health. But it was my children’s health that got me started really thinking about my diet and what I was feeding my children and why that was so important. It took me a few years to catch on for my two girls, so I missed that early window of introducing what some might call power or super foods early on so they would have just assumed it was normal. I had to play around and get them to join in on eating some things that might be different to their palates. I started this blog entry to write some thoughts about 10 foods that moms could easily learn about and incorporate into their kid’s diets. I didn’t realize I had so much to say about each of them, and in their own right each probably deserve their own blog entry, but I decided to send it to you in two parts. I am doing that because I know how overwhelming new information can be and I want you to take it in small steps.  That way there is a better chance of success with actually having your child eat it. So my advice is to pick one of these super foods, learn about it and see if you can incorporate it into your family’s diet, then move on to the next one after a few weeks! Keep it simple…

Here are 10 foods  full of nutrition that you can get your child to eat!!!(1st 5, now, 2nd 5 next week!)

Almonds

Almonds contain some of the best nutrients around. For little guys, they can carry a big punch for kids! They have incredible mineral content with the likes of magnesium, manganese, potassium phosphorous and molybdenum (say that 5 times fast!!)  AND they are high in protein and fiber.

Almonds Soaked and or sprouted are best as this allows the nutrients of the almonds to come to life.  If you are not familiar with this concept, please read here to understand why this is an important part of the process. You can save a few dimes by doing it yourself with a dehydrator and starting with good organic almonds. However, if you are busy mom and do have a few extra dimes to spare, buy them already sprouted here at Healthy flour . They actually have a multitude of sprouted flours and snacks.  ( I love their Einkorn sprouted flour and popcorn!)

 

Almonds make for a great simple snack to put in lunches or for right after school, but if that is not appealing to your child, crush them up and put in yogurt/granola combo, or even a muffin mix. My girls like to make a trail mix out of organic cranberries, seeds, almonds and Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips. Using almond butter is ideal- remember ANTS ON a LOG with celery and raisins? Great for a snack. Eating almonds with a meal is a great way to keep blood sugar stabilized during the day as well. Almonds are a home run!

Avocado

Avocados got a bad rap for a while when fat was considered taboo! Many might not realize they are classified as a fruit! In my book, it really doesn’t matter what they are classified as because plain and simple avocados have a complete package- fats, protein , lots and lots of potassium! Here is a great article in the Huffington Post about benefits of avocados.

This is a great baby food!!!! Easy to mash up and easy for baby to eat!!! We did lots of these when my girls were little. So now you might have an older kid who doesn’t like guacamole, but there are still plenty of ways to get this power packed food in!!! It makes a great pudding consistency for strawberry, chocolate or banana pudding, it can be easily mixed in smoothies, it can even be substituted for butter in various recipes. My girls like it mashed up with REAL SALT added with some organic blue corn chips. Great after school snack!!!

Real Salt

Believe it or not and contrary to the last 30 years of salt bashing, proper salt really can be good for you and a much needed element  for our bodies. Unrefined salt can provide the minerals that our bodies desperately need. Minerals are the catalysts for a lot of enzymatic functions in the body, so without the minerals we can not function properly.  Most of the grocery store salts have been processed and the good extra minerals removed leaving only sodium and chloride and the pretty white color. But real salt should have some color (minerals) to it. I am partial to the Real Salt brand from Redmond Clay in Redmond, Utah where they get it from underground salt mines. Listen to this podcast where I chat with Darryl Bosshardt of Redmond Clay about the health benefits of using Real Salt.  You can find this at some health food stores or on line. Most kids like the taste of it, but super easy to use in cooking! Use it liberally and salt your way to health!!!

 

Chia seeds

Who remembers the commercials for the chia pets? Ch..ch… chia!!! I had no idea back then they the little chia seeds could provide such packed nutrition. Wish I still had mine! These seeds have made a come back in the last several years as one of the most nutrient dense foods that provide a lot of sustained energy!!!

It’s label would read something like this for a one ounce serving

  • Fiber: 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.

Not to leave out also is they are a great source of B vitamins, zinc and potassium!

Kids’ bodies need lots of proteins and fats, and the little chia seed won’t disappoint to help stabilize blood sugar, and keep them fuller longer…=happier kids and moms!

I’m sure you are thinking, “how will I get my child to eat a chia seed?” I used to think the same thing, but many thanks to the blender or Vitamix, they have eaten lots of them!! First step is to hydrate them, and the way to do that is put them in a glass jar with some water using a nine parts water to one part chia seed ratio. Allow this to sit at least over night and it will make a gel consistency. This gel consistency makes for better absorption with chia seeds, especially with children who aren’t the greatest at drinking water.  I just keep a jar of the hydrated gel in my fridge most of the time. So when I am making smoothies, I can pull out a couple of spoonfuls and put them in the blender. Or put in a soup or sauce, sometimes I even put them in our weekly Einkorn muffins! Some recipes call for an overnight soak to make a yummy  morning pudding. The possibilities are endless. These are pretty economical as well, and easily found online! To the chia!

Blueberries

What a great gift to mankind these delicious berries are! Loaded with nutrition: potassium, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. They can be a sweet treat come late May and June. But for year round goodness, you can purchase frozen or freeze dried.  There have been lots of exciting studies on the benefits of blueberries.  Several at Tufts University have found they are beneficial to brain health as well as eye health. One study found a  link to lowered blood pressure and higher rates of metabolism. I would suggest buying organic if possible with blueberries. Easy to eat as they come, or put in smoothies, yogurt, pancakes, muffins and especially lunches!!! Much better choice than chips!!!

Please share in the comments if you have been able to get your kids to eat any of these power foods and how so!

5 Best Homeopathic Remedies for Kids to have on hand at all times!

untitled-design-1If you are new to natural remedies , the one class of remedies you will want to learn about is homeopathy! It is a game changer when it comes to kids. I have seen it work over and over in my kids so quickly and effectively. I had been a pediatric nurse for over 15 years before I ever heard about it or even understood how it worked. I was a little hesitant myself at first, but after I started using it in my own kids regularly, I became a little addicted to its benefits because there have been plenty of minor illnesses taken care of quickly and easily without having to resort to toxic prescription or over the counter drugs. We even used it for regressive bedwetting with much success!!! If you have never heard of it, do start with reading this former blog post on homeopathy to understand a little more about how it works, and if you have been dabbling in it at all and just aren’t sure where to start here are my 5 top remedies to have on hand for kids and the common ailments they face! I get a lot of people ask me where to start and what to buy with homeopathic remedies. I would love for everyone to have a complete 100 remedy kit, but if that is not in the budget, I would suggest starting with the 5 listed here.

The FAB FIVE Homeopathic Remedies for kids!

Arnica

This is the ultimate trauma remedy. Child falls off the swing and takes a hard hit? Arnica is very helpful at the first sign of injury to help mitigate symptoms of swelling and pain. ( of course, take your child to the ER if it is a serious injury!) but Arnica can defintely help the minor ones and allow your child to keep playing! I think every mom should have a little arnica on hand at all times!

Belladonna

Think to use homeopathic belladonna when there is a sudden onset of fever, red cheeks, hot and dry, sore throat, ear ache, heat stroke and inflammation. This is the go to remedy for fever in our house, and am happy to say we have not had to use any Motrin or Tylenol to help with fevers. (Fever is your friend and I would suggest avoiding Tylenol like the plague,by the way, read a little more here)

Chamomilla

This is my number one choice for teething remedy. When you have a baby that is in screaming pain, irritable and sleepless chomomilla can save the day. The green slimy watery diarrhea that often accompanies teething can also be mitigated by this lovely remedy. You can find in combination homeopathic remedies or on it’s own. However you use it, don’t be afraid to repeat it as needed until you see some relief. It can be helpful for colicky babies too!

Hepar Sulph

Hepar Sulph is a great go-to remedy to combat infections- particularly ones that have an odor (but doesn’t have to have odor necessarily). It serves people well with sore throats, coughs, ear aches, boils and dental abscesses, acne and even mastitis. It’s funny little notion is that it is most helpful for people who are affected by cold wind or drafts.

Pulsatilla

You know those whiny kids, that cry easily and are super clingy? Then they catch some kind of cold, cough or each ache.. then doubly whiny! Pulsatilla can save the day here! I have used it several times with ear infections and with in a few hours, my daughter was back to sleep with no complaints and back to school the next day. It can be very helpful in colds with profuse runny nose!

Don’t just take my word for it!

Be sure to check out Joette Calabrese, certified homeopath and her wealth of information about homeopathy and how moms can use it safely and effectively in kids. Here is a great podcast we did together, you will want to download this one!

If you need help getting started using homeopathy, be sure to check out our Parent’s Guide to Natural Remedies online class where you can learn how to use several different types of natural remedies including homeopathy to treat most common illnesses at home. And if you are like me, I needed to read up on it to understand it a little more. Several Great books include:

Homeopathic Medicine for Children and Infants
Homeopathic Remedies for Children

or here is a quick download reference guide to remember the FAB FIVE send me the download

Stock your own Home Remedy Kit!

And if you want to stock your remedy cabinet now, be sure to check out Jubilee’s Ultimate Home Remedy Kit that includes the 5 Best remedies for Kids plus more amazing remedies that can be used to soothe most common ailments at home!
And if you want to stock your remedy cabinet now, be sure to check out Jubilee’s Ultimate Home Remedy Kit that includes the 5 Best remedies for Kids plus more amazing remedies that can be used to soothe most common ailments at home!
Do share in the comments if you have ever used homeopathy in your child and how it worked!

Lice… they are headed your way!!! Are you ready?

liceLast year I wrote a blog post about our first experience with lice in our house. This is serving as an update to that blog- you can  go here to read the first one…

Since that entry we experienced lice in a whole new level! I felt so smug because I thought we had conquered it with that first round. Then my younger daughter got it, THEN they came to me!(Then they came back again, TWICE!) When I found one on my head is when I drew the line and said I will do whatever it takes to get rid of these things. But what is one crunchy mama to do? I knew I wanted to stay away from the toxic stuff, and I wanted them gone. If you haven’t heard about the toxic chemicals and the trouble with them, here is the 411 on that. A chemical called permethrin is an insecticide and what is commonly used to eradicate lice. You have your average pediatrician and pharmacist saying these chemicals are NOT toxic, but  upon further research I chose to see it from a different perspective. Some sources say it is extremely toxic to dogs and cats, and less so to human. I find that hard to believe that animals can have a hard time with it, but we humans don’t.  The EPA is calling it a possible carcinogen. It really is just very confusing to know what is ok to use and not to use.

But then the inevitable happened. Everyone started using permethrin and all the lice got smart and grew resistant to that treatment. There was a study done recently by Kyong Yoon, PhD from  Southern Illinois University. What he discovered is that the lice are mutating to the chemical and the chemical treatment is no longer effective.“We are the first group to collect lice samples from a large number of populations across the U.S.,” says Kyong Yoon, Ph.D. “What we found was that 104 out of the 109 lice populations we tested had high levels of gene mutations, which have been linked to resistance to pyrethroids.” Look at this map, the red ones are the ones with the mutating lice… is your state on the map where the resistant lice are? Mine is! Dr. Yoon’s suggestion is to rotate what is used to keep the mutation to a minimum. Sounds a little like the resistant antibiotic problem happening amongst us. This honestly made it easier to not want to use the toxic chemical stuff.

Map.eps

Thankfully we found the natural alternative without the worry of the toxic ingredieints!!! And you are going to want to know about this to either have on hand or know where to go when these little sneaks come your way. I have a friend who has three kids and they all made it out of elementary school unscathed without lice and now her 7th grade middle schooler (how awful would that be) got it for the first time, so be on the look out!

  • Enter Fairy Tales Hair Care. This is a GAME CHANGER!!! Once we found this, they weren’t so hard to treat and I finally was able to keep them at bay.. (knock on wood:) The Lice Good-Bye mousse is nontoxic, easy to use AND it gets rid of the eggs like the toxic stuff can’t! The enzyme formulation allows the eggs to slip off the hair shaft by loosening the “glue” that the nits have  allowing you to  comb them out. It doesn’t kill the live bugs, but sure does make it easy to comb them out. There is still the tedious comb through process and sectioning the hair out. Honestly we limit TV time, but it was my friend last year during all the comb through as the girls got to watch an episode of Saddle club while I combed their hair. (if you have a tween daughter, Saddle Club ‘s old DVDs  might be worth the small investment:!) What was once a dreaded lice comb through became “sure mom, we can do another one if we can watch an episode of Saddle Club”
  • The comb they sell called the Terminator Nit Free comb is a must. Even if you don’t have lice, you might want to get their comb to use as a preventative or something you can use to check to see if your child has lice. This is the mac daddy of combs.Your best bet is to go with the Lice Good bye Survival Kit. where the comb and mousse come together.
  • While the lice continued to be a problem in our school, we would do weekly or at least twice a month comb through to check for any and treat preventatively.

Thankfully, we have avoided the infestation this year, but I reach to scratch my head as I type that! At least I know how to be prepared and it doesn’t seem so overwhelming now that I know about Fairy Tales Hair Care Products! We did combine our homeopathic psorinum in the mix, so together I think that did the trick!

Here is a great check list from Fairy Tales Hair Care to be prepared for THE REMOVAL of lice in your child’s hair and home.

And here are some tips from Fairy Tales about what to do once you are lice free:

Re-checking your child regularly and using prevention products daily are the most important things you can do

  • Check the “hot spots” nightly with the Fairy Tales Terminator Comb using Lice Good-Bye to spot check. Repeat for 7-10 days after an infestation. You can check every 2-3 days for lighter cases.
  • Rosemary Repel® products are proven to help prevent head lice. You can use them as your daily shampoo, conditioner and styling aid. Our ingredients cleanse, soften, detangle AND the natural oils of rosemary, citronella, tea tree, lavender and peppermint are proven safe, gentle and effective to help keep the bugs away.
  • Rosemary Repel® Conditioning Spray is the must-have to use EACH morning before school, preschool or day camp. Spray the entire head generously, as well as shoulders, neck, backpacks and insides of collars, hats, hoodies and hoods.
  • Keep long hair up in a ponytail or braid. Using Rosemary Repel® Hair Spray will coat the hair to secure the style and make it difficult for lice to attach. For shorter hair, try Rosemary Repel® Styling Gel. Great to spike it up, slick it back and help keep the bugs away.

Please be sure to share any comments below if you have found something that worked for your family to combat lice!

Source articles and links:

Toxipedia

Pyrethoids: Not as Safe as You Think

Fluoride…Friend or Foe?

In an effort to protect children…

The lead in paint was deemed dangerous by the US  Government back in the 1970’s.  So they banned it from paint, and now it is required by law to say whether or not you think lead could be in your house if you are selling it in an effort to protect children. What they discovered was that lead is a neurotoxin and not safe, especially for children’s developing brains and bodies. Some pediatricians even check lead levels now as part of regular care to make sure toxicity is not an issue.

YIKES!!!

How did the lead get there in the first place and why did someone think it was OK to have lead in paint? It obviously made a better paint, but it was something that was once thought of as safe, but turned out to not be… and there are now repercussions as a result.

AND WHAT ABOUT FLUORIDE?

 

fluorideFluoride was the golden child of the 20th century. Look how modern we are that we can put something in our water to prevent tooth decay. But did anyone take a closer look at what fluoride was really doing to our bodies? Especially our children’s bodies. New studies are coming out everyday demonstrating its harmful effects to babies and children. Even some members of the  EPA are calling for no fluoridation in our waters. Most of our friends in European countries have chosen NOT to fluoridate their municipal water systems. There have been links to the increased incidences of ADHD and thyroid problems. ( I lose track of the people I know who are on thyroid medication!)  Yet, the people who have taken a closer look in the US at the potential dangers of fluoride get automatically labeled as anti-science, but the people who aren’t taking a closer look are adamant they are right and not open to discussion. I think in life we often discover things aren’t as great as they might seem and we have to shift our thinking. Education is experiencing a shift in thinking, as Obama recently announced the end of the  NO Child Left Behind era. It is even true in medicine… remember the horror stories of bloodletting, or even more modern day is Vioxx and it’s downward spiral. Maybe we are better off taking a closer look and examining an issue to see if there is a better way.

Last week, film maker Jeremy Seifert,  released a thought provoking documentary: Our Daily Dose on fluoride and its potential dangers to our kids.  It is only 20 minutes long, and it will be worth your time, I promise!

I myself have become convinced of the dangers and am doing everything in my power to keep fluoride out of our home. But if you are still unsure, do your own research. Some helpful places to start are here:

Fluoride Action Network

Moms Against Fluoride

NOT SURE WHAT TO DO NOW???

So then what is one to do? First of all , educate yourself and make an informed decision about whether your family should consume fluoride or not. If you decide to consume fluoride, then you don’t need to do anything because there is plenty in our water, our toothpaste and most dentists advocate for its use. But if after educating yourself you find you want to avoid fluoride then here are a few tips!

  • Get a water filter for your drinking water. NOW , this can be tricky and confusing in and of itself too because how do you know which one is best? I have done a lot of research on this and have come to the simple conclusion you just have to trust your gut on this one. Do a little research to know what resonates with you in a filter that removes fluoride. Please note that simple filters like the Brita filter and even refrigerator filters don’t take out fluoride. Two on my list that do are Berkey Water Filters and Cuzn.
  • Buy fluoride free toothpaste. This is a little hard to find too, but with our beloved internet you can find almost anything. Tom’s of Maine carries a child friendly one. We like EarthPaste Lemon Flavor for our girls, but I think our favorite is Purely Heaven Essentials’ orange kid’s toothpaste. My 5 year old eats it when I am not looking!
  • Decide what you are going to do at the dentist ahead of time. We just found a dentist that doesn’t use fluoride, but before that we would bring our own toothpaste with us. And be careful with sealants that are recommended way too often these days, most of them have fluoride in them (and not to mention, BPA:(!!!)

Please feel free to leave comments about what filter you use or even what toothpaste you have used in your family that is fluoride free!

And do check out this podcast with Dr. Bob Johnson, DMD and his experience of coming to understand fluoride and its effects.

MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION!!!

A few things "lagging"- jet lag and some reflections on our recent trip to England…

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I recently visited England with my husband, Tom, where he was leading a retreat for some pretty cool folks who work with American teenagers in military families who live on military bases. I was the privileged one who got to tag along which allowed us a day visit to London, a quick trip to Oxford University and the home of CS Lewis (author of the Chronicles of Narnia series), and capped off with a delightful stay in an old country estate called Cloverly Hall. I loved pretending we were really staying at Downton Abbey.

I can easily admit I found myself in love with the English countryside and quaint villages with a town pub. I kept trying to envision what it was we could do to allow a family move across the pond.

A few things I observed about the English in my one week stay:

I loved stroking my new afternoon tea habit.

The word “squash” translates into juice or fruit juice (rather clever, I think).

The food is much higher quality in my humble opinion than in the US. Even the retreat center where we stayed put up this picture.

no-gm-foods-served-here

Insinuating that they are proactive in the GMO movement instead of  letting the government dictate how patrons get to know what is really in their food.

The Heinz Ketchup in the UK contains sugar as opposed to high fructose corn syrup.  You might have to pick your poison here, but I would prefer the sugar over the genetically modified mercury laden corn syrup.

Heck, even the yogurt I found at the grocery store was labeled” proper organic yogurt” from Yeo Valley Organic Farm. I kind of dig how they like to use the word “proper”.

The friends whom we visited told us of the compost pick up service that was just like garbage/recycle pick up. HOW COOL would that be- sure would cut down on the rats we invited when we had our own compost container in the back yard!

I was impressed with the better food choice overall, but sad to say many Englanders are heavy smokers which was rather unappealing!!!

The trade off, of course, with the good food and higher standards is the higher cost of living and cost of food in the UK. Might be hard for a family to eat well over there on lower living standards. Not sure how to reconcile all of that in my little brain, but thankful for the yummy food while we were there.

Ever feel JET LAG????

We really had an enjoyable time , even with the quick 6 day trip and 5 hour time difference. If you have ever flown to a different time zone, especially overseas, you know how sometimes jet lag or when the body’s circadian rhythm gets out of sync, can get the best of you. And particularly  if you are traveling with children, you will want to be prepared! I like to avoid the prescription and over the counter medicines simply because there are some great natural remedies that can help you combat jet lag and get the circadian rhythm back on track.  Here are some tips to get you ready to avoid jet lag!

  • Hydration is KEY! If traveling with small children especially. Take a pass on the sodas and high sugar juices and reach for the water instead. Even the days leading up to your trip, drink lots of water. There is a great remedy that I love called Quinton Isotonic that is really marine plasma. It is a game changer for me and my family. It might be hard to carry on a plane due to it’s glass vial, but it is excellent leading up to and in a checked bag for landing if you can make it happen. Drink, Drink and Drink water on the plane!
  • Most trips from US to Europe fly at night, be sure to sleep when it should be night.
  • Go ahead and change your watch to the new time zone upon entering the plane- lets your mind move forward.
  • Some magnesium spray can be helpful as well. I like the EASE magnesium spray by Activation Products. Magnesium helps one relax easier.  Just spray on abdomen, arms and legs. This can be safely used in children.
  • Allow your infant to either nurse or take a bottle on landing/take off.
  • Some folks have found essential oil use particularly helpful.
  • Homeopathy can make a dramatic difference in that stupor feeling. Helps reset the body’s rhythm. Some helpful homeopathic remedies include:
  • Arnica Montana 30C taken every couple of hours on the plane and on arrival
  • Nux vomica 30C – for when there is constipation and GI disturbance
  • Chamomilla 30C- can help alleviate stress, sleeplessness, anxiety, and disorientation
  • A cell salt called Nat Mur in the 6x potency. You can dissolve this in water and drink it that way OR let them melt under tongue. Nat Mur helps with water balance in the body.
  • A Great combination homeopathic remedy by KingsBio called Jet Lag and Shift Change (wishing I had had this when I did my night shift work as a young nurse). It is simply a spray that you can spray in your or your child’s mouth every so often to help combat the jet lag feeling.

If you want to learn more about homeopathy, be sure to check out my education page with a short video about homeopathy and cell salts,  or podcast interview with Joette Callabrese, and if you want to know how to use it in kids for common ailments, check out our online class: A Parent’s Guide to Natural Remedies: Everything you need to know to treat your child’s illnesses at home.

I would love for you to share tips on jet lag that you have found helpful in traveling with kids! Please share below what has worked for you and your family!

Until next time… safe travels!