As parents, we agonize over what’s good for our children and what isn’t. Some decisions seem easy, like ensuring your child eats breakfast every morning. Other decisions can get a little more complicated, like what they’ll eat for breakfast. As we all know, what children what and what’s good for them aren’t always the same thing.
Indulging is totally fine from time to time. But every day? Put these 10 foods on the back burner when it comes to your child’s regular diet.
1. Processed Lunch Meats
Nitrates and hormones and antibiotics? Oh my! These meats seem so easy to buy—they’re not too expensive and make sandwich making a snap. Honestly though, you’ll want to avoid giving your kids processed lunch meats on a regular basis. Yes, processed meats also include hot dogs, sausages, and other weird meats like bologna. Just don’t do it. Processed lunch meats contain high levels of sodium and bad fats in addition to preservatives. There have been studies done linking high consumption of these meats to various types of cancer. Not to mention the animals they came from were tortured and sick. So, they’re best avoided.
2. Snack Cakes
These too are cheap and easy to buy. Reading the ingredient list can put some bad thoughts into your head, though—partially hydrogenated oils, sugar (of course), high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and food dyes? Ouch! Your kids may beg you for these at the store, but make snack time more fun by making healthy versions at home and teaching your kids how to read the ingredient list.
3. French Fries and Potato Chips
The header for this one should have said “anything fried”, but fried eggs and such are ok compared to French fries and potato chips, both of which have one of the highest free radical contents of all food. The way they’re made (at high temps with oil and fat) make them some of the worst foods you can eat. Steer your kids towards healthier options. And remember, McDonald’s French fries are not gluten-free or vegetarian. (Don’t believe me? Google the ingredient list, please).
4. Frozen Pizza
Nearly every kid adores pizza. However, making pizza at home can be a lot of fun and much healthier than the frozen stuff you buy at the store. A typical frozen pizza is likely to contain BHA and BHT, two preservatives that’ve been shown to cause cancer in high levels. They also contain tons of fat, sodium, trans fats (the worst fats ever!) and words that you’ve no idea what they mean, such as “flavoring”. Get creative with custom pizza creations and teach your kids how to make their own food—avoid frozen pizza.
Juice in itself might not seem so bad, especially if you’re buying organic juice that doesn’t have any added sugar. However, there’s a reason that apples are apples and not apple juice: fiber. Taking the juice out of the fruit without the fiber means your body is going to suck up that sugar and have a sugar spike because there’s no fiber to help the body process it. Limit juices.
You knew this one was bad. High fructose corn syrup, enough sugar to inspire scary type-2 diabetes statistics, and artificial flavors? Your kids shouldn’t be drinking these. You can create your own sodas with carbonated water, herbs, and fruit juices. Or, you know, just pick up some kombucha at Whole Foods. That too.
Even organic candy still has sugar in it. Conventional candies contain sugars, artificial flavors and dyes, and other scary ingredients like preservatives. As many kids really enjoy candy, try to limit their consumption of it or again, make a fun project of making your own at home with raw sugar or sugar replacements like honey or dates.
8. Fast Food
Nothing terrifies me quite like the ingredient list of a fast food restaurant. Even the ones you might think are “better” (think Chik-fil-A and Subway) have really scary ingredients in there. Eating out all the time isn’t healthy to begin with, but if you’re going to eat fast food, go for something that’s a little healthier like Chipotle, which banned GMOs and has very minimal, healthy ingredients.
9. Cereal with a Cartoon Face on It
Many cereals and other brands that kids love are specifically marketed to them. This means putting ponies, pirates, or cute little animals on your kids’ cereal. Keep your kids away from breakfast cereals that have cartoon faces on them. I promise they’re not any better than eating a candy bar. Think fresh fruit for breakfast with home-prepared oatmeal. Really, you’ve got a lot of options besides Lucky Charms.
Dr. Jakob Taylor of True Weightloss Solutions understands the challenges that parents face. “Balancing what we should be feeding our children and ourselves with what we see on TV, read in the paper, or find in the grocery store can seem overwhelming. We are bombarded with messages from celebrities or colorful catch phrases pitching us products everyday. One easy way to help stay on course and filter the noise is to follow a simple guide:
F – fruits and vegetables
O – organic lean protein
O – omega-3 fatty acids
D – drink more water!”
10. White Bread
White bread (and white flour) is not doing anything for your kid’s body. It’s been stripped of its nutrients and left to give your body blood sugar spikes after PB & J time. Stick to whole wheat and make sure your child doesn’t have a gluten intolerance before packing on the bread. Eliminating white bread is best, no matter how “good” it tastes.
Your child’s health is one of the most important things to you. Take this opportunity to teach your child about healthy eating habits, reading labels, and learning about ingredients. Limit or avoid these 10 foods when it comes to your children’s diets. Make fun activities out of learning about new foods and making creations at home!
Guest post by Jenn Ryan
When the warm weather fades and the cool, crisp air of autumn arrives me may forget that the local farmer’s market is still going strong. As supporters of local food we need to remember that they still need our support and that fresh local food is still the best. So put down that baking pan, bundle up, and visit the market.
Stock Up On Fall Favorites – There are plenty of crops that thrive in the cool weather and bonus…they are perfect for our fave fall comfort food recipes. Try some of these fall foods that your farmer’s market is likely to have:
Get Creative With Your Recipes – Okay you love potatoes but did you know that parsnips and Kholrabi can replace them in your beef stew? Yep, you can barely tell! If you cannot stomach salads in this cool weather than make a warm spinach salad. Try some new recipes and give those mystery veggies a try.
Preserve Your Bounty – You can dehydrate, pickle, can, ferment, and freeze all the bounty of fall so that it will last through the cold winter months. That way you can enjoy those last tomatoes, cukes, and apples long after the snow has driven them into the deep recesses of your memory. All it takes is a little planning and some storage space. Then you have healthy winter foods stocked up and ready to go.
When the the weather starts to turn cold we inevitably gather up the last of our warmer weather garden crops and this often includes bunches of fresh herbs…basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, cilantro, dill, raspberry leaf, lemon verbena, peppermint, oregano, etc. Farmer’s markets might also be selling these herbs in large quantities for the same reason. What do you do with this wondrous bounty so it won’t go to waste?? Preserve it!
Herbs can easily be preserved so you can enjoy their distinct and aromatic flavors during the cold weather months to come. The two best ways to preserve herbs is dehydrating and freezing.
Dehydrating Fresh Herbs
Lay your fresh herbs out on your dehydrator trays and process on the lowest temperature setting to preserve the flavor. Most herbs are dry and ready to be stored after only a couple hours. They are ready when they easily crumble and the stems snap.
After dehydrating you can store in sterile mason jars, in cool dry places.
Freezing Fresh Herbs
Just sticking a bunch of herbs in the freezer directly will usually result in discolored herbs. Blanching for a short period can help with color retention if that is important to you.
A much easier way to freeze herbs is to puree them in a food processor or Vita-Mix first. After you have made your puree put it in a silicone cube tray and freeze. Once frozen pop them out and transfer to a freezer safe storage dish. Now you can easily add them to soups, stews, and crockpot meals.
You can also chop up your herbs and freeze them in water, butter, olive or avocado oil, and even broth. Use the same method to freeze and store. Herbs and oil are great for stir frys and sauteed dishes. Herbs and water are good for soups and cocktails. Herbs and broth are great for soups, stews, and sauces. Herbs and butter equal herb butter for crusty bread or potatoes. Yum!
Don’t let those fresh herbs go to waste. Preserve them!
Hello all and happy Wednesday! Today marks the opening day of the Week of Wellness!!! I am sharing because I know you will want to be be a part of it. Why? Free samples of natural, healthy products!
#WeekOfWellness runs from September 16th-23rd. Some amazing brands have joined up to offer some great products during this week long event hosted by Sampler.
If you are not sure what Sampler is, let me give you a brief run down. Sampler allows you to send product samples to your friends. Your friends will all love you for sending them great new products to try and if you get creative and form a buddy system then you can send each other free samples (wink, wink). Then YOU get product samples as well!
When you register for the event, you will have access to a calendar that will tell you the exact times (EST), day, & which company is launching samples. You also get the times for special flash giveaways. It’s adds a little fun to your week and gives you the chance to win some great prizes. Then you go to their Facebook page and follow the link to send the samples. Oh and share the event with all your friends so that they can give and receive samples as well.
It’s THAT easy.
If you want to be eligible to win the BIG prize basket that will be filled with goodies from the sponsored sampling brands, make sure you RSVP to win on my Facebook page right now. Just look for the tab.
– to claim your entry into a drawing for the Grand Prize Basket!
– to unlock the calendar of events for The Week Of Wellness!
Also don’t forget to “Wish for it”. After “RSVP’ing”, users will receive exclusive access to the calendar and will have a chance to go and “Wish For” the product samples they would like to receive. It’s a helpful way of letting your friends know what you are wishing for!
Want to learn a little bit more about the awesome companies that will be participating? Here is a tasting…
Numi Organic Tea
Who doesn’t love tea? Especially when the weather turns chilly. This turmeric tea collection is amazing. Turmeric has so many health benefits so I love the idea of blending this spice of life with an herbal tea. The Three Roots tea has ginger, licorice, and rose. Fields of Gold has chamomile and lemon myrtle. Golden Tonic has lemon, verbena, and lime. Amber Sun has rooibos, cinnamon, and vanilla. They are outstanding!
The company makes a great selection of raw, sprouted snacks that are organic, gmo free, vegan, nut free, and gluten free. Its junk free food!
I was sent a variety of yummy treats including sprouted watermelon seeds with celtic sea salt. They are REALLY good! Also, Zesty Pizza sprouted flax snax, Sweet Spirulina sprouted bites, Choco Chunk Coconut Crisps, and a pumpkin seed sprouted bar. Sprouting makes everything more easily digestible. Raw foods are healthier and contain more intact nutrients. These are powerhouse snacks that taste good to kiddos and adults alike.
I am a big fan of fish oils and Barleans makes some good ones. These two are flavored…mango peach and lemon zest. They have EPA/DHA 720 mg and Vitamin D3 400 IU per serving. It is recommended you have two teaspoons a day. There are no artificial flavors or colors and it has xylitol instead of sugar. The flavors help make it more palatable for everyone and they are third party tested to make sure they are free of environmental contaminants.
These oils are specially important for my family during long, cold Ohio winters when the sunshine vitamin is in short supply. Fish oils help us stay balanced and energized.
These alternative pastas are gluten free, organic, vegan, and kosher. If you are trying to avoid the carb overload and unhealthy ingredients in conventional bread based pasta then these might be for you. Shown in the picture are Edamame Spaghetti, Edamame & Mung Bean Fettucini, Thai Brown Rice Noodles, Black Bean Spaghetti, and Soybean Spaghetti. Their pastas are rich in protein and dietary fiber. Now you can have your spaghetti and eat it too.
These probably excited me the most as a paleo lover. They are gluten free, grain free, nut free, and soy free. The meat is also grassfed, free ranged ranged, or otherwise grown as naturally as possible. The meat and veggie bars I got were Turkey Masala Spinach, Lamb Rosemary Spinach, Parmesan Tomato Basil Beef, Chili Cayenne Apricot Beef, and BBQ Hickory Tomato Beef. The ingredients list reads like most of my recipes. All the ingredients and spices are recognizable and pronounceable!
Moms who also work inside or outside of the home have even more responsibilities that can hinder the meal planning process, leaving us with substandard meals on the table or, as is often the case, a meal that consists of unhealthy fast food. Moms today have too much to do with household responsibilities, work, children’s activities such as soccer and cheerleading practice, and all the other jobs that moms must inevitably do.
Fortunately for moms who find themselves in this situation, there is a creative and affordable solution available. Hire a professional meal planner!
No, it is not as extravagant and expensive as it sounds. In fact, just the opposite is true. There are services available on the web that provide busy moms with weekly menus that include complete recipes, quick breakfast ideas, tips on preparing easy lunch recipes, grocery lists for easy shopping, and nutritional information. Every week moms can literally forget about meal planning and let a professional planner do the busy work for them, ensuring that meals are always well planned, delicious, and best of all, healthy.
If you find yourself struggling to find the time to plan and prepare meals for your family then you MUST give one of these super affordable services a try, which often times charge only a couple dollars a week. Imagine that, a personal meal planner at your disposable for just a few dollars a month. Your time is definitely worth
One company offering this ingenious planning service is Emeals. This company caters to moms who want meals that are healthy. Each week you benefit from a menu plan with recipes for 7 days, a grocery list, and access to a private forum with meals plans for breakfast, lunch, dessert, and snacks. They also provide encouragement in helping you attain your healthy eating goals. Join and start enjoying healthy home-cooked meals every day of the week.
No More To-Go is based upon the idea that when we plan poorly we end up getting food to-go. I can attest to the truth in this. I am sure you can too! With this weekly meal plan you get five weekly meals with simple recipes, seasonal and budget ingredients, and an organized shopping list. You can cover Monday thru Friday in a snap.
Real Plans – This menu planning service is like a dating service, you pick all your preferences…real food traditional, paleo/primal, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian. then specify foods you want to avoid and/or have allergies too. All of your answers result in an instant personalized plan with a dynamic timeline and shopping list.
One of these services is sure to meet your needs and help you free up your time to take care of more important things….like spending time your family. So do yourself a much needed favor and hire a professional meal planner…it is one luxury that busy moms can’t live without!