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Tips on Raising Veggie Lovers

You are probably like most moms and go to great lengths to convince your kid to eat their vegetables. But if you start early maybe you won’t have this battle until they are 18. Once kids have tasted some of the good food there is out there like chicken fingers or macaroni and cheese they don’t want to go near the green stuff. I think the secret here is to prepare the green stuff in a simple way that the kids will enjoy. But don’t you think you want to know why it’s such a good idea to convince them? Here the top reasons why you should include and enjoy veggies in every meal.

  1. FIBER: Eating a diet heavy with fiber helps prevent constipation and irregular bowel movement. Vegetables are high in fiber. Fiber acts as a broom to sweep the toxins out of your body and keeps your digestive system running in tip top shape.
  2. VITAMINS: Your ABC vitamins make your skin glow, your eyes bright and keep your immunity working well. That means that your child will get sick less often.
  3. ANTIOXIDANTS: If you are looking for a way to stay younger longer, then vegetables and fruits are your answer. They are rich with antioxidants that will prevent premature aging caused by free radicals and also protect from cancer causing substances.
  4. WATER: Vegetables have a high water content and most are practically fat-free. Some you actually burn more calories eating then the veggie contained. So when you snack on a piece of fruit or vegetable you will be satiated longer and will crave carbs less.

Those reasons probably sold you on including more vegetables in your own diet. Kids also follow by example, if your eating your broccoli then they are more likely to eat theirs also.

Pediatricians recommend introducing veggies into baby’s diet as early as 6 months. Vegetables are rarely allergenic so they are a great first food for your little one. You could start with pureed peas, carrots and potatoes. My daughters first was sweet potatoes and she loved them and still loves them. Introducing New Food to Baby

If your child still protests the vegetables or you do yourself here are some sneaky ways to add them to your meal without anyone even knowing.

  • Boil carrots and then strain or puree finely and add to your spaghetti sauce.
  • Add pureed beats to your pizza sauce
  • Making mashed potatoes? Mash some squash or cauliflower in there.
  • When making hamburger patties add minced broccoli and strained peas.
  • Sneak green beans or spinach into salsa, dips or pickle relish.
  • When making your favorite smoothie add carrots to the blender.
  • Add spinach to any fruit smoothie, it’ll turn the drink green, but you won’t taste spinach.
  • Make bread using veggies: pumpkin bread, zucchini bread/muffins or carrot cupcakes. Top with cream cheese and some nuts.

Sneaking vegetables is great but you can’t always be there to do it, so here are some great techniques to get your kids to face their fear and crunch away.

  • Kids get so excited to help mom cook dinner. So involve them in the meal making. They will take pride in what they have created and who knows if there are some carrot sticks sitting on the counter they may munch or a few.
  • Give them choices, but don’t make the other choice to appealing, ie. vegetable lasagna or saltine crackers. Most kids will cave and sample the veggie lasagna and will not go hungry by nibbling a few crackers.
  • Do NOT use dessert as a bribe. This will create a bad habit and will not teach your kids to enjoy their veggies it teaches them to scarf them down to be rewarded. Their reward is feeling great and healthy by eating their vegetables.
  • Keep a Tupperware with washed and cut veggies at easy reach in the kitchen or in the fridge. If they come wandering in for a snack and see sliced carrots and celery next to some ranch, they may opt for that instead of digging around to find something unhealthy. Hide all the unhealthy snacks high in the pantry and only pull down when you want them to have some.
  • Let them grocery shop with you and pick out what healthy food they would like to eat that week. If they are choosing they will be more prone to eating it at home.

In recent studies it is estimated that nearly 70% of children do not like to eat their veggies. If all of us moms and dads make an effort to change this, our children can grow to be happy and healthy adults. And hey it isn’t to late for all us adults to enjoy our vegetables too.

HEALTHY VEGETABLE RECIPES

Asparagus

Broccoli with Lemon

Butternut Squash Soup

Carrot Cupcakes

Carrots Roasted

Cilantro Pesto

Green Beans Tempura

Green Smoothie

Guacamole

Kale Chips

Pumpkin Pancakes

Smoothies

Sweet Potato Frittata

 

Your kids are never too young to start enjoying their veggies!

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Grocery Shopping and filling her cart with what she wants to eat that week. Trust me this is a big winner with us.

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Kid Hand Print Painting Project Perfect for Gift for Parents or Grandparents

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What better way to preserve your child’s art and tiny size? This craft gives you art to hang on the wall and gives a beautiful reminder of how tiny their hand was. My daughter made these for her 2 grandmas. They are going to love them. I wish I had made a 3rd so I could keep one :) I guess we will have to fix that and make another! It was so sunny yesterday so I figured lets take the table in the front yard and get to painting. To my surprise there was no paint on her, the ground….or anywhere but on the paper.?. I guess she is growing up :( but I know if we had done this inside it probably would have been a different story.

This is super easy for all ages and makes an excellent gift. I would love to see how yours turn out or hear how much fun you guys had, Enjoy!

Materials

  • Washable Paint (in case you have a little one who might get messy)
  • Paintbrushes, or fingers
  • White paper
  • Glue stick
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Frame
  • Tape

Directions

  1.  Set up a paint station for your kid.
  2. Let them go crazy and paint whatever they want :) let dry completely.
  3. Trace their hand on a piece of scrap paper. Then retrace on your scrapbook paper and cut out.
  4. Glue the hand on the painting.
  5. Frame and gift! Or hang on your own wall.
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Strawberry Handprint Kid Craft

Strawberry Kid Craft

My daughter made this fun craft at the library story time a few weeks ago. All the kids thought it was pretty fun and it’s a way to document their cute little hand size. Hope you and your kids have fun creating strawberries.

Materials
red & green construction paper
scissors
glue stick
black marker

Directions

  1. Cut a strawberry shape out of the red paper.
  2. Trace your child’s hand on the green paper and glue it to the top of your strawberry.
  3. Let them color with the black marker, your example can have little seed dots but your child will probably make a neat design like my daughter did :)
Strawberry Kid Craft

Supplies

Strawberry Kid Craft

My daughters strawberry!

Grandma was very excited when we visited her after the library and she got to hang this on her fridge.

Strawberry Kid Craft

Librarians Example

Candy Corn Child Craft

Candy Corn Tissue Craft

Happy Halloween Everyone! This is the time of year when everyone, including myself, looks forward to candy corn, fun size candy bars and seeing all the adorable trick or treaters costumes. What better way to spend the day of Halloween before getting all those goodies then doing a fun craft with the kids.

This is the time of year for candy corn so what better way to celebrate the holidays then with candy corn crafts. My 2 year old loved this craft she had so much fun, gluing and sticking the tissue. Hey even mom had fun, not embarrassed to say :). Next year we will probably make a few and put them on our mantel with other festive decorations.

Materials
1 wooden cone, or even a toilet paper roll, empty of course ;)
Elmer’s glue in bowl, with paintbrush
yellow, orange, white small squares of tissue

Directions

Have your little one dip their paintbrush in the glue and cover the cone. Apply the tissue in from bottom to top in yellow, orange, white pattern. Or whatever pattern your little one wants.

Candy Corn Tissue Craft
candy corn color sheet

More Candy Corn Coloring Sheets

Itsy Bitsy Spider Hat Kid Halloween Craft

Spider Hat

My almost 2 year old helped me with this craft but I basically put the thing together, so depending on your child’s age you will probably have to help assemble this adorable little spider hat. This craft is not only for Halloween time I just chose to make it around Halloween. Enjoy!

Spider Hat

Materials

Black Construction paper

  • 2 strips that are 11″ x 3″ for headband
  • 6-8 strips that are 1″ x 11″ for the legs
  • 2 small circles for the eyes

White Construction Paper

  • 2 circles for eyes

Glue stick
Tape
Scissors

Directions

  1. Cut your black construction paper into strips. You will need 2 strips that are 11″ x 3″ to make the headband and 6-8 strips that are 1″ x 11″ for the legs.
  2. Glue the small black circle onto the white circles to create the eyes.
  3. Measure your child’s head to figure out how big to the headband part, tape together.
  4. Glue or tape the eyes onto the headband.
  5. Fold your legs accordion style and tape the ends on the inside of your headband.
  6. Voila you now have a pretty cool spider hat and I suggest singing Itsy Bitsy Spider :) lyrics below!
Spider Hat

Unfortunately my daughter would not keep the hat on for longer then 3 seconds so she thought it was fun to have her friends try it on. Hopefully your kid enjoys wearing it.

Spider Hat

Itsy-Bitsy Spider

The itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out
Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
And the itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again

How to Make Homemade Play-Dough

Homemade Play-Dough

I have introduced my daughter to play-dough a few times, and every time it has gone straight to her mouth. But to my surprise last week she actually played with it, pounded it, cut with cookie cutters and made fun shapes. So I knew that meant we were going home and making some. It was so easy and she really enjoyed helping me pour the ingredients into the pan.

This recipe seems to be fail proof, stays together great and isn’t too dry. This recipe will last for 6 months in an airtight container. The two secret ingredients that give it it’s great texture are cream of tarter, helps the dough stay together and next is the salt, not too much because that is what drys it out. So here you go, get to making, your kids will enjoy hours of entertainment and you will enjoy hours of a very happy little one.

Homemade Play-Dough

Little Hands

Ingredients

1 C flour
1 C water
1/4 C salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp cream of tarter
food coloring, a few drops to reach desired color, kool-aid pack works also
sparkles, optional
pan and wooden spoon
And of course little helpers!
cookie cutters, rolling pins, plastic scissors etc… your toddler will think up all kinds of things to do.

Directions

  1. Pour all ingredients into pan and stir until everything is mixed.
  2. Once the mixture is almost clump free, heat over medium heat and keep stirring for a few minutes. It will start to clump.
  3. Don’t stop stirring, keep going until it forms one big clump.
  4. Remove from heat and knead by hand.
  5. Once cooled it’s ready to be played with. Store in airtight containers when not being used to prolong the life.

This is a great idea for a stocking stuffer or little party favors. I’m definitely doing this at my daughters next birthday.

Once you make homemade play-dough you will never buy store bought again because you will realize how easy it is and you will save lots of money.

Dough in Pan
Purple Dough

Don’t forget all the fun you can have with cookie cutters!

Cookie Cutter

Introducing New Food to Baby

Being a stay at home mom I knew that I had plenty of time to make my own baby food. I was pleasantly surprised with how simple it was. Simple enough that anyone can do it. It’s quick and easy and then you know that your little one is enjoying quality food that you know the exact ingredients, no preservatives. I was always excited to introduce new food and to learn her preferences.

Baby Food

Introducing new food to your little one can be hard or it can be easy. If you use these tips you can have a good experience.

  • The ideal time to feed your baby is when they are well rested and happy. Morning or after a nap, because they will be hungry and happy.
  • Only offer one new food at a time, every couple days, this will help you pinpoint the problem if they have a reaction to something.
  • Baby’s taste buds can be more sensitive then adults so avoid overly spicy food.
  • Food is best room temperature, or slightly warm, not hot.
  • Even if your baby only takes one or two bites of new food, that is fine, they are at least tasting it and expanding their tastes.
  • Introduce a new food with familiar favorites so your baby is comfortable.
  • Baby’s tastes will change, so one day they may dislike something and a month later it could be their favorite, don’t be surprised, we sometimes prefer something and others time not.

 

Watch the ques from your baby to know when to call it quits. They could show you signs such as turning away, lean backwards, refusing to open mouth or playing with food. Your baby knows best, do not force anything on them. You can always re-introduce that food at another time.

Tired after Eating