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Feeding kids healthy foods is important, but sometimes quite challenging, especially when it involves picky eaters!

We tested three fabulous recipes that kids love, for breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack. Check them out!


1) Plain Oatmeal transformed into Oatmeal Pancakes

Oatmeal is loaded with vitamin B and other minerals. If your kids doesn't like oatmeal, we think he/she will love oatmeal pancakes.

- 2 cups milk

- 1 cup oatmeal

- 1 cup whole wheat flour

- 1 cups white flour

- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

- 1 tsp. salt

- 2 eggs, beaten

- 1 tbsp. honey

- 1/3 cup oil

Pour milk over oatmeal and let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix in a separate bowl, both flours, baking powder and salt. Add to oatmeal mixture. Beat in eggs, honey and oil until well mixed, but not necessarily smooth. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto greased griddle heated to 325 degrees. Bake until bubbles begin to pop at edges. Turn and bake until other side is browned. Serve hot with butter and honey or syrup.

2) Green Veggies into Veggie Pesto:

Pesto pasta or chicken is always a win-win,

- 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves (about 2 ounces). Try adding some broccoli to the mix.

- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

- 1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

- 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

- Salt and freshly ground black pepper

- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Combine the spinach, pine nuts, lemon juice, and lemon peel in a processor. Lightly pulse. With the machine running, gradually add 1/3 cup of the oil, blending until the mixture is creamy. Add salt and pulse. Put half of the pesto into ice cube trays and store in the freezer for future use.

Transfer the rest of the spinach mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the Parmesan. Season the pesto with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread the pesto over your favorite pasta, chicken or fish and serve.

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3) Good Ol' Fruit Smoothies

The sky is the limit for fruit combination. Tip: use your kids' favorite fruits!


 - 6 organic strawberries (can be frozen)
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt 

- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup orange juice (milk works just as well)
- 2 tablespoons of oatmeal cereal (optional)


Mix all ingredients in the blender and serve immediately.

For more information on healthy living and eco-friendly parenting, please logon to www.EcoLogicalMom.com

 

We all know that Green Tea is a very healthy beverage, but somehow western cultures don't seem to adopt it! Green tea can be very tasty and refreshing during the Summer, and a great digestive all seasons of the year. It is also an antioxidant powerhouse!!

Michelle Schoffro, a natural medicine specialist, composed a list of 9 reasons to drink green tea daily:

1. Green tea is a superb fat fighter. Its active ingredient, EGCG, increases the rate at which fat is burned in your body.

2. It targets belly fat. Research at Tufts University indicates that EGCG in green tea, like other catechins, activate fat-burning genes in the abdomen to speed weight loss by 77 percent.

3. Green tea keeps energy stable by balancing blood sugar levels. EGCG improves insulin use in the body to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes that can result in fatigue, irritability, and cravings for unhealthy foods.

4. Research shows it may be helpful against lung cancer. In an April 2010 study published in Cancer Prevention Research, EGCG was found to suppress lung cancer cell growth.

5. Green tea may halt colorectal cancer. In numerous other studies, EGCG appears to inhibit colorectal cancers.

6. In research, it appears to cause prostate cancer cells to commit suicide. A March 2010 study in Cancer Science indicated that EGCG aids the body by causing prostate cancer cells to commit suicide.

7. Green tea may prevent skin damage and wrinkling. EGCG appears to be 200 times more powerful than vitamin E at destroying skin-damaging free radicals. Free radicals react with healthy cells in the body, causing damage, so lessening their numbers may help reduce wrinkling and other signs of aging.

8. It contains a potent antioxidant that kills free radicals. Because it is a potent antioxidant green tea can positively impact a lot more than skin cells. Free radicals are increasingly linked to many serious chronic illnesses like arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.

9. Green tea tastes good. If you’re not wild about the flavor, try a few different kinds. Try it iced or hot. Add some of the natural herb stevia to sweeten it if you want a sweeter drink. I wasn’t crazy about green tea the first few times I tried it, but now I love it with a fresh squeeze of lemon and a few drops of stevia over ice -- et voila! Green tea lemonade.

Reap the rewards

Add one or two teaspoons of green tea leaves to a cup of boiling water, preferably in a tea strainer. Let steep for five minutes. Pour over ice if you prefer a cold beverage. Green tea contains a lot less caffeine than coffee or black tea.

For more information on healthy living and eco-friendly parenting, please logon to www.EcoLogicalMom.com

Source: Michelle Schoffro Cook. Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet. Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine.

Parents play a key role in developing kids' healthy eating habits. Check out some good tips for raising healthy eaters from Michelle May, MD, a family physician and author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat.

"Don't Bribe or Threaten Your Child When It Comes to FoodOnce they're old enough to sit at the table, resist the temptation to bribe or threaten them to eat more than they're hungry for. Instead, allow them to use their hunger cues to determine how much they need, while providing a balance of nutritious, delicious foods. When we teach them about moderation and set a great example by living an active, healthy lifestyle, they'll be less likely to develop weight problems later in life. Think of your slim friend who eats whatever she wants -- but will turn down ice cream if she's had enough to eat!


Don't Make Your Child Lick His Plate Clean

It’s a big mistake to force children to clean their plate in our current abundant food environment. When you make a child clean the plate that you filled, you're teaching them to ignore their innate ability to know how much their bodies need. Additionally, when you bribe them with dessert, kids figure out that the dinner must be the “yucky stuff” and sweets are the reward for eating more than they were hungry for. They also learn to hold out until the reward is offered. The result may be a lifetime membership in the Clean Plate Club.


Do
Keep Offering Him Food He "Hates"

Some children are naturally picky and most children will dislike certain foods based on their textures or strong flavors. It may take up to 10 exposures of a new food before a child will accept it. A child who resists being forced to eat steamed broccoli and cauliflower will have fun dipping fresh "trees and clouds" into a little ranch dressing. When my kids were small, we played "Guess the Color." They closed their eyes and tried to guess the color of the food I put in their mouth. They were having too much fun to realize that the most colorful foods happened to be vegetables.


Do Give Your Toddler Frequent Snacks

Toddlers are naturally hungry every few hours and eat frequent small meals, so providing meals and snacks on a regular basis helps establish and support consistent patterns. If a toddler doesn’t verbalize that they're hungry even though it has been several hours since their last meal, watch for other signs like irritability and ask, “Are you hungry?” to help them make the connection.


Do Let Your Toddler Play With His Food

Most kids love to examine, smell, and touch their food. Since eating is a total sensory experience, they get the most from every morsel. This childlike approach is called "mindful eating" and is a wonderful way to appreciate the aroma, appearance, and flavors without distraction.


Do Indulge Your Child in Less Nutritious Foods

Avoid labeling some foods as “good” and others as “bad.” Instead, teach your children how to balance eating for nourishment with eating for enjoyment. Studies have shown that stringent food rules can lead to rebellious eating when your children are out of your control.


Do Be a Good Role Model

When your children see you enjoying healthful foods and physical activity, they're more likely to do the same. Kids will always be exposed to bad eating influences so it's best to help them develop an internalized mechanism for making decisions about what they'll eat.

"In short, it's not our job as parents to know how much food a child should eat at any given time, or to make them eat something because it is 'good' for them," says Dr. May. "Instead, it's our responsibility to teach our children about healthy eating, to provide them with a variety of tasty, nutritious choices, to set a good example by our own eating habits, and most importantly, to make meals a pleasant time to bond as a family."

To read more about healthy living and eco-friendly parenting, please logon to www.EcoLogicalMom.com.


Sources: Written by Suzanne Murray, The Stir., and Shine