My kids are usually very good eaters when it comes to getting their fruits and vegetables, but occasionally they will boycott and go on a mono-diet of hidden-liver meatballs or Mickey Mouse pancakes. In those instances I make up a big batch of juice. On the days when they resist even drinking fruit and veggie juice I pull out my bag of tricks.
Here are a few of my favorite tricks:
- Change your language: Instead of “Do you want some juice?”, ask “What color would you like your juice to be today?”. Works like a charm and tricks them into thinking that they are running the show
- Take them shopping and let them pick out the fruits and vegetables. We used purple kale today because that is the current favorite color.
- Make it into a tea party and use fun glasses and tea pots. I can get my kids to drink an entire batch this way…even my son likes tea parties!
- Let them help put the fruits and veggies into the blender and then help strain the juice with a spatula and strainer (see photo below)
- Let them make up what “kind” of juice to make. Today we made “Green Witch Juice” (go figure, since witches are feared in our house lately!)
- When all else fails you drink it and tell them that they can’t have any….reverse psychology will have them begging for it!
Here is what we made today:
- 2 large green apples (lower sugar)
- 5 large leaves of purple kale
- 2 stalks celery
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (to give it a lemonade flavor)
- 1 cup water
- a small piece of fresh ginger
Core the apples. Cut the spine off of the kale. Cut the white part off the celery. Blend all ingredients until liquefied. Pour the blended mixture through the finest strainer you have, over a bowl to catch the juice. Do what you want with the pulp, I use it to make frozen baby food. Now put it into fun glasses and enjoy. The batch we made this morning lasted about 4.3 minutes, after they fought me about eating some fruit with their breakfast. Sneaky, sneaky.
P.S. This is superior to buying the V8 junk from the store, because about 30 minutes after you juice fruits and vegetables their nutritional value starts to diminish. Think about how long those V8 bottles have been on the shelves. Plus, many brands add high-fructose corn syrup to add that hyper-palatable sweet flavor.
It’s St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow and while the corned beef is cooking today we are whipping up a huge batch of green waffles! Paleo Parents came up with an amazing recipe and we tripled it and changed it up a bit. These waffles are green inside, due to a chemical reaction between the sun-butter and the baking soda….very cool! Here is the recipe:
- 3 medium banana
- 3 medium apples, peeled and cored
- 1 (16oz) container of sun-butter (or you can use smooth almond butter)
- 6 medium pastured eggs
- 3 TBSP arrowroot powder
- 3 TBSP vanilla extract
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- coconut oil for greasing waffle iron
- Puree apple and banana in a food processor.
- Use the whisk attachment on your electric mixer and whip sun-butter on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffed.
- Add puree and remaining ingredients to whipped sun-butter and continue to whip until combined.
- Grease your hot waffle maker with coconut oil (for each waffle you make).
- Use about 1 ladle of batter per 8-by-4-inch waffle onto hot waffle iron for 3-5 minutes until browned. Do not fill up entire waffle maker, leave about 40% unfilled so that the batter can spread. If your waffle is soft or floppy, it’s not ready yet – keep cooking for another minute or two!
- Eat immediately or store flat in freezer and make your own breakfast by reheating in toaster – the waffles will be firm enough
- Makes about 2.5 dozen!
I have been getting a lot of recipes for homemade gummies through the blogs that I follow and I have made a fair amount of gummies in the past for the kiddos. This week, I received a recipe for kombucha gummies. Brilliant! The gut healing gelatin combined with the probiotics in the kombucha make for one healthy snack! These would be especially helpful for someone who is suffering from a gastrointestinal illness. I am never one to follow recipes exactly though, so I made up my own version.
- 2 cups kombucha divided
- 1 banana, peeled and sliced
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 5 Tbsp gelatin powder
Blend 1 cup kombucha, the mango, and the banana until smooth. In a sauce pan heat 1 cup kombucha over low heat (too much heat will destroy the probiotic content). When the kombucha is warm to touch, whisk in the gelatin 1 Tbsp at a time whisking constantly. Slowly adding the gelatin is important to avoid clumps. When all the gelatin is incorporated, add to the fruit puree. Mix everything together and pour into fun shaped ice-cube molds. If you don’t have molds just pour into a shallow pan and when it’s set you can cut into squares.
My kids request Mickey Mouse pancakes EVERY.SINGLE.WEEKEND! So, I do as I’m told (after all, this is healthy food they are requesting!) and I usually make a triple batch so I have some on hand for the week ahead. I’m trying to mix it up a bit though and sneak in some added nutrition.
Whip up some pancakes and add any of the above ingredients (Clockwise from the photo above):
- Cocoa pancakes: add cocoa powder to the batter and dust with cocoa powder to serve. Top with grass-fed butter pat (I shaped it into a heart).
- Blueberry: add the berries to the batter. Done.
- Real fruit snacks: pour the batter into the pan, press fruit into the batter. Cook. Flip. (in the picture above, this was before I flipped the cakes).
The kids love to figure out what’s inside of their cakes. Yum!
Battling sugary snacks is an ongoing challenge with the constant exposure to candy advertisements and displays everywhere we go! My daughter finally agrees that “candy makes me sick”. Win! So, that being said, I also don’t want to be the Food-Nazi-Mom that doesn’t let my kids have anything sweet. This Valentine’s Day I decided to make some “candy” for them that has no artificial additives, and is full of vitamins and minerals. Here is what I came up with:
- Slice the star fruit into 1/4 inch slices (remove the seeds)
- Peel and slice the kiwi into 1/4 inch slices
- Dehydrate until leathery in a dehydrator or low over. I dried mine in my dehydrator at 135* for about 5 hours. The lower heat you use, the more nutrients that remain intact.
So my daughter recently developed a fear of Witches. Why not? I remember being intensely afraid of the Witch of the West when I was a kid! Every night at bedtime it’s a battle though. So, I came up with an idea: “Anti-Witch spray”.
Add water and a few drops of lavender essential oil to a spray bottle. Spray wherever the witches might be right before bed time. Use liberally as lavender promotes relaxation (it makes your little one fall asleep faster). We use it every night before bed and when she has the occasional nightmare. Works every time! Smells great too!!!
You can also make this to scare off monsters, ghosts, Swiper (the sneaky fox), or whatever the current fear is…
Choco-avocado fruit dip:
- 2 avocados
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup fair trade organic cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- Pinch of sea salt
Throw all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth and creamy, like a chocolate pudding. Serve with fruit. So addicting!!!
In the ongoing saga of teaching good behavior, I have come up with a new reward system that also teaches about money management and counting. Win win!
What you need:
1 piggy bank
Toys of a varying value, so you can “price” them accordingly (luckily the dollar section at Target has a plethora of Dora stuff right now!)
1 envelope to keep the money in
How it works:
We pay out $1.00 for each chore, task, or good behavior. If she picks up her toys, she gets paid. Gives her brother a hug and shares toys, she gets paid.
This system also works on the flip-side. She does not do what is asked, we take money out of the piggy bank. She does not share or is mean to her brother, we take money out.
At the end of the week we open her bank and count the money (she does the counting). Then we present the items for purchase. She matches the price with her dollar amount and chooses, or if she does not have enough for the toy she wants we put the money back in the piggy bank and continue to save.
This has worked wonders for behavior modification and with counting. Plus, it has introduced her to saving and spending.
I love to batch-cook quick and easy food that I can freeze and reheat in a pinch. Eggs happen to be one of my favorite foods to use for this purpose. To get my kids to eat I often lie to them, or just add some magical qualities. Owl eye muffins give these a very Harry Potter feel. Works like magic!
- 2 dozen pastured eggs
- 4 Tbsp coconut flour (for texture)
- 2 packages nitrate free applewood smoked bacon (from Trader Joe’s)
- 2 packages shredded brussel sprouts (Trader Joe’s)
- 1 package organic tomatoes
- 2 packages mushrooms
- 2 organic sweet onions.
- 1/2 pint raw yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
Chop and cook the bacon, divide the bacon grease in two.
Cook mushrooms in the first half of the bacon grease.
Cook the onions in the second half of the grease. Add the brussels to the onions and cook until wilted.
Throw all the ingredients (except the tomatoes) into a large bowl and add one container raw milk yogurt (or greek yogurt, full fat). Season with garlic, S&P. Pour into muffin tins and top with tomatoes that are sliced in half for the “eyes”. Bake at 400* until done, 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven.
So my daughter LOVES butterflies! I saw this craft online for Easter eggs and decided to modify it to be a beautiful marbleized butterfly. It was a huge hit!
- Card stock or heavy duty paper
- Shaving foam
- Non-toxic paint
- Cookie sheet
Spread shaving foam onto cookie sheet. Drip drops of paint all over the foam. Swirl the paint with the toothpick. Cut shapes out of the paper and lay them on top of the foam/paint. Press down and let sit for a few seconds.
Peel off and let dry for a few minutes. Then squeegee the foam off, the paint stays behind and leaves a beautiful marbleized design.