My goal is to try new and creative recipes this winter to reconnect with my love for salad, starting with this amazing Kale and Hazelnut Winter Salad recipe featuring kale, carrots, dates, hazelnuts and a warm dressing drizzled on top.
It’s a magic machine. Once I learned how to make Vitamix bolognaise sauce, pastas were healthier and meal prep twice as fast.
We try to make the best decisions we can for our kids, we limit their screen time, we make them eat their vegetables, we teach them how to read and write and be good citizens. Halloween is definitely a time when most parents (myself included) let their kids splurge. I’m not opposed to letting kids have a candy bar every once in awhile, but with the vast amounts of candy that most kids collect on Halloween, it seems like a good time to investigate some healthier Halloween options for trick or treaters. We’ve collected a handful of our favourites. We’d love to hear your healthier halloween ideas too.
I first discovered these parent-guilt savers at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. The boys were with me and devoured about 6 in one sitting. I try to provide healthy snacks for the kids but it doesn’t always work. These pouches are great for busy families on the go! Plus they are a Canadian company that harvests the fruit from their own orchard. How cool is that?
With flavours like Crispy Apple, Asian Pear, Mango, Pineapple, Banana, Cantaloupe and Tangerine these freeze-dried fruit snacks are 100% pure, have no additives, are non-GMO Project Verified and are allergy-free! Even better, they are delicious and kiddos love them! .
If dentists gave out candy for Halloween, they would give out Xylitol Lollipops. Made from Canadian hardwood, Xylitol is a natural sweetener that stabilizes insulin and is good for your teeth. Many dentist give out Xylitol Lollipops with a toothbrush to their patients because of the positive impact that the sweetener has on teeth. Available in lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit flavours.
Salty, crunchy and absolutely irresistible. SnapPea Crisps are a favourite in our house and the snack pack bags often go in our school lunches instead of a bag of chips. Available in a variety of delicious flavours kids will think they are eating chips but little do they know they are eating baked snap peas! Forgo the snack pack bags of regular chips and go for this low sodium, baked alternative.
It’s always fun to make homemade treats for friends of the family, close neighbours and school friends. Made with graham, Kellogs Multigrain Shapers would be delicious made into marshmallow treats, similar to what you would do with rice crispies. Drizzle with a bit of chocolate and the graham, chocolate, marshmallow combo would give them a smores flavor! Yummy.
Help fight off cold and flu season while giving trick or treaters something yummy with Yum Earth Organics Vitamin C Pops. Each pop has 100% of a child’s Daily Vitamin C requirements, plus they are super yummy! My personal favourite is the Pomegranate Pucker, but my kids always fight over the Googly Grape.
Available in cheese, chocolate, chocolate chip and honey graham flavors, Annie’s Bunny Snack Packs are another nice alternative to traditional Halloween candy. You can pick up a big assorted box of these at an Costco. My kids have almost as much fun playing with these little bunnies as they do eating them.
Have you tried Pirate’s Booty before? It’s impossible to stop at just one of these baked corn and rice puffs. They are SO YUMMY! Thank goodness you don’t need to stop at just one, because these delicious snacks are gluten free, trans fat free and have no yucky artificial colours or preservatives. They also have snack pack bags that are perfect to give out for Halloween.
And now it’s your turn… What do you give out to Trick Or Treaters on Halloween?
This year we have illustrious plans. Lunches will be made the night before, they will include fun, healthy options, and ‘litterless‘ will be a huge goal. Ok, even if we only bat one for three, here are a few tips that may make coming up with healthy school lunch ideas a bit easier.
1. Substitute avocado or hummus for mayo – avocado serves as a healthy fat source plus provides a creamy spread for sandwiches.
2. Use your slow cooker overnight to have healthy hot thermos food ready and waiting in the morning. Hot lunches are a treat in the winter. (Or you could just reheat leftovers). Our Slow Cooker Pinterest Board is a great source for recipes.
3. Pep up your plain old PB&J with almond butter and fresh fruit slices –fresh fruit means natural sugars. Check with the school if ‘peanut-free’ also means ‘almond-free’. Stores like Whole Foods have great peanut butter alternatives.
4. Margaret Ng, Health and Wellness Manager, at Pacific Blue Cross recommends always using whole grain breads or tortillas – wraps are a fun change of pace especially when they are packed with veggies. And when you’re not around to hear the kids complain, we bet they’ll forgo the white bread – especially after a busy morning of school.
5. Swap processed chips and snacks for healthier homemade options like trail mix with dried fruits and nuts, homemade fruit roll-ups or granola balls.
6. Keep it petite: Little people enjoy little portions so they can snack through the day. Out: the double-decker hero sandwich. In: A stylish Bento box filled with flavours and colours.
7. Play with their food. It needn’t take a ton of extra time to cut their sandwiches with cookie cutters or insert raisin eyes into a celery/cream cheese caterpillar. If you want more fun ideas we are always updating our school lunch Pinterest board.
8. Add fun with finger foods: Experiment with nutritious dips and spreads for veggies and crackers. Alternatively, boil an egg they can peel themselves.
9. Consult your kid: There is no better way to ensure they eat their lunch than by getting their buy-in. Find out what their favourite snacks are and shop accordingly. If they are older, give them an assignment at the grocery store to find 5 healthy options they will want to take in their lunch and send them down the aisles. (Make sure you get veto-power though).
Good Luck and Happy Lunch-making!
Granola is, in our popular consciousness, the ultimate health food–and it’s hard to deny that this compact, easy-to-eat food is chock-full of good stuff. Sure you can buy it in the stores, but if you have a little time, you can make it at home, without all the preservatives and additives found in the commercial offerings. Here is our basic homemade granola bars recipe, feel free to elaborate!
As a parent there are so many things to consider – but what good is all of the hard work on attachment parenting if we have no planet by the time the kids reach 21? We need to stop hurting our planet – and fast. With all of the things to remember as a parent or through pregnancy, you don’t need more to think about (and feel guilty for), so we’ve come up with a few easy tips that could easily become habits. Remember that kids learn what they are shown.
Here’s our Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe. Yum! It’s great for Hallowe’en night or any time to give an energy boost to your little goblins.
* 1/2 c. pumpkin
* 3/4 c. almond milk
* 2 dates, pitted
* 1/2 banana, frozen
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
* 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
* 1/2 cup ice
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* optional: candied pecans
Add all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Article by Alyssa Schottland-Bauman, Nourished.ca
Nutrition is something we as parents have to take more seriously than we used to. Obesity and its wicked cousin, diabetes, are on the rise everywhere, and kids are the targets of all kinds of fast-food and convenience-foods marketing that tempts them with things that they don’t need. Snacks should be healthy, meaning low in fat and calories, filling, and have good nutrition. Sounds impossible, when you want them to taste good, too? Nay, my friend. There are tons of options out there! Here are just a few items you should always have on hand, because with them you can construct a legion of fun, flavorful and fully good-for-you treats!
Basic Ingredients (try to have on hand):
- Whole wheat tortillas, bread, English muffins, bagels (as bases)
- Low-fat cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, edam, cream cheese)
- Cut-up and cleaned veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, etc.)
- Dry cereal
- Chocolate chips
- Raisins, Craisins, other dried fruit
- Nuts (unsalted and unsweetened, preferably)
- Tomato sauce
- Peanut butter
- Low-sodium/fat lunch meats, like turkey and chicken breast
With these basic ingredients, you can assemble an amazing legion of simple, yummy and fun snacks, such as:
- Mini-Pizzas: Season tomato sauce with some Italian spices, drizzle on an English muffin, top with mozzarella. For fun, add veggies; toast. Very crunchy, tasty and filling!
- Mexi-Pizzas: Drizzle a tortilla with salsa, mozzarella, and chopped veggies; toast. Ole!
- Fruity K-bobs: Cut fruit chunks and space them on a skewer with small pieces of cheese. Pear and apple with cheddar is awesome, and a great source of vitamins and calcium.
- Banana Bombs: Dip a banana in yogurt, roll it in crushed cereal or granola; freeze for 30 minutes to an hour. A chilly treat.
- Home-Made Lunchables: Cut up lunch meat and thinly-sliced cheese and serve with crackers, Lunchables-style.
- Ants on a log: Fill celery with peanut butter or cream cheese, then stud it with raisins or craisins. Kids love it.
- Faux Banana Split: Serve a banana with strawberry and vanilla yogurt, sprinkle with chocolate chips, in a “boat” like a banana split.
- Clear, low-sodium broth-based or tomato soup served with whole-wheat toast or crackers
- Half a turkey and veggie sandwich
- A bowl of mixed granola and dried cereal, with a few chocolate chips thrown in every now and then
- Peanut butter and jelly—try it as a sandwich or even as a yogurt smoothie!
- Veggies served with hummus or low-fat ranch or Italian dressing for dipping. Most vegetables are fat-soluble, so it’s best to accompany them with a little bit of fat for better nutrient absorption.
- Instant oatmeal
- Unsalted, unbuttered popcorn tossed with a little salt and parmesan cheese
- Peanut butter on crackers
If feeding your children healthy snacks is high on your priority list, it’s time to start reading those labels – and if you haven’t been introduced to glucose, fructose, and the mixture of the two, you’ll definitely want to familiarize yourself. Glucose and fructose are both carbohydrates and simple sugars, AKA monosaccharides, which are found in most foods. They also happen to be the chief source of energy for the human body.
It’s harvest time. So take advantage of fall’s bounty and fill your plate with the season’s freshest flavours and you’ll actually be doing yourself a favour. You needn’t compromise taste or tradition to stay on track this Thanksgiving season.
Some of the season’s most traditional foods are packed with health. Here’s a taste:
Brussel Sprouts: Are a huge source of fiber, containing four grams of equal parts soluble and insoluble fiber. And they are touted for their cancer-fighting properties.
Zucchini: Perhaps best known for its vitamin C content, is also a good source of vitamin A and lutein, which is important for eye health, as well as folate and potassium.
Pumpkin: It’s an antioxidant powerhouse, filled with beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, potassium, and a hefty dose of veggie fiber. The seeds offer a wallop of protein, fiber, iron and potassium. Canned purree is good too, just watch for sugar.
Sweet potato: Coined as a superfood, it is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a very good source of vitamin C, B6, manganese, and a good source of copper, dietary fiber, potassium and iron. It is an antioxidant food that works in the body to eliminate free radicals and is also a natural anti-inflammatory.
Turkey: It’s a very good source of zinc, vitamins B6, B12, protein, selenium, niacin, and the amino acid tryptothan. Roasted skinless, white meat has less total fat, and less saturated fat and cholesterol than chicken, pork or beef. So make sure to go skinless.
- Don’t go hungry. Just because it’s Thanksgiving, make sure to eat a whole grain filled breakfast and lunch. Don’t look at the meal as an endless buffet you are saving up for. Stop the madness of piling the plate. Remember you are celebrating Thanksgiving. So give thanks to your body by not over eating.
- Watch portion size: Go for smaller portions. This way you can sample all the different foods. Moderation is always the key.
- Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items: Remember try to eat vegetables as close to their whole, natural state as possible. Traditional dishes—like fried and creamy dishes as well as cheese or sugar-filled casseroles—are where the high fat lurks. If you cannot control the ingredients that go into a dish, simply limit yourself to a smaller helping size. Again moderation is the key.
- Skip the gravy boat: The gravy is where all the saturated fat lurks. Instead, opt for the cranberry sauce. Cranberries are huge source of antioxidants and promote gastrointestinal and oral health. So skip the boat.
- Keep to the special stuff: No need to graze on the chips, cheese, and other assorted treats scattered around. Wait for the main event.
- Don’t give in to the tryptophan: Go for a walk instead with family or friends and walk some of the calories.
- Don’t cut your favorites out completely: If you indulge occasional, you will be less likely to binge. So go for it, but again, moderation is key.
- Be Mindful how good that first bite is: No other bite will taste as good. You’ll be getting more calories but not necessarily more pleasure. For dessert, leave behind the pie crusts. Ever notice how seconds are nearly as pleasurable?
- Help clear the table: Rather than sitting and picking at leftovers.
The Season’s Best Bets: Skinless white turkey, roasted sweet potatoes, plain vegetables, defatted gravy or cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, wine spritzers.
We work with busy women who are starved for time, hungry for balance and crave more energy. We help them develop and instill individual lifestyle solutions so they feel fabulous while they maximize their time doing what they love. The modern woman can do it all. Nourished will show you how. Alyssa-Schottland Bauman received her training to practice Health Counseling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the only nutrition school integrating all the different dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods. www.nourished.ca