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4th of July: Toddler Approved Meals

I always get excited when holidays approach! In many ways, I celebrate so much differently now than how I did before kids. I try a lot harder now to have fun food, drinks, crafts, games, and more to do with the girls. We usually have other kids over too, so it makes it more exciting to make a creative treat for more people!  Independence day is one of our favorite holidays because it’s not only great weather to be outside but also, it gives us a chance to show our girls how to be patriotic. It reminds me of my fun childhood by the lake, with family and friends, watching fireworks… it’s one of my favorite holidays!

As for snacks, it can be tricky with toddlers. With the red, white, and blue theme, there’s so many things you can try that even the pickiest of eaters with enjoy it!

4th of July Gummy Stars

Ingredients:

12 oz organic blueberries (frozen is fine)

12 oz organic strawberries (frozen is fine)

8 oz coconut milk

10 oz filtered water (divided)

11...

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Low Carb Spaghetti Squash Pizza Pie Recipe

Okay, okay, okay simmer down! I’m sharing the recipe! It wasn’t my own, I actually was inspired by this recipe to make it. I’ve made it at least a dozen times and it’s a big crowd pleaser and hit with the family!

I’ve experimented a few ways, so learn from my mistakes:

  • It does NOT make a good freezer meal
  • You can however make it the night before, leave in the fridge, come home and throw it in the oven the next night (I like to make this on Sunday and eat on Monday)
  • You cannot swap out pasta sauce instead, it is too watery
  • Cheese is optional, but definitely makes it more pizza like. The family will never know it’s missing though if you want to experiment
  • I’ve omitted the meat completely and it was a great vegetarian dish
  • I’ve used ground turkey and ground beef, it is delicious both times
  • The pepperoni on top this time was truly icing on the cake- like all meats, and especially pepperoni, look for a better quality one that is uncured...
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Food is Fuel, Not a Reward

Too often food is used as a reward.  “If you go put your shoes on right now, I’ll give you a cookie.”  Since we know our kiddos love a sweet treat (and who can blame them?!), we as parents often use it to our advantage, because let’s face it, it works.

So, what’s the problem?

What ends up happening is the treat becomes a reward and gets put on a pedestal.  When in reality it should be treated as food, not a trophy.  The goal here is not to avoid treats, but give our children the foundation for a healthy relationship with food, all food, even brownies.

Below is a chart of common ways food is used as a reward and maybe what to do instead. 

  

Instead make it about the experience not about the food.  Creating traditions around food is great because it naturally becomes more about the experience than the food itself.  Birthdays are a great example.  Just think about your child’s last birthday party...

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Homemade Frozen Yogurt Pops

My girls loved these super simple homemade frozen yogurt popsicles! I made them for a few reasons:

  1. There is too much sugar, artificial sugars and mysterious ingredients in the store bought kind.
  2. Teagain is teething, bad, and she loves anything cold and frozen!
  3. It's fun!

So you could buy these little Zipsicle containers and use them for almost anything and for a million recipes! I'll share my two simple recipes:

Strawberry Chia

  • 1 cup organic full fat yogurt
  • 1.5 cup fresh strawberries
  • 2 Tbs chia seeds

Blueberry Flax

  • 1 cup organic full fat yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 Tbs ground flax seeds

Put all ingredients in a blender, I use the Vitamix, and blend til smooth.

Use a funnel to pour ingredients into Zipsicles. 

My recipe made about 5 popsicles of each flavor. 

Freeze laying flat, then once frozen put in large zip lock container. 

Enjoy!

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Low Sugar Snacks for Kids

“Mom, I’m hungry! I want a snack!” Many of us have heard this all too often! If you struggle to keep your kiddos full and satisfied, you’re not alone.  

A child’s typical snack tends to look more like dessert.  Unfortunately, these sugary “snacks” are going to provide a quick burst of energy followed by a crash and hunger.  It’s a vicious cycle.

Snacking and better food choices for our kids is something we discuss heavily in my Mommy Feeding Family 2.0 program. 

You'll notice in the snacks listed below, healthy fruits and vegetables are usually paired with a source of fat and/or protein! This is important for our kids. 

The American Heart Association recommends children under 2 should have NO added sugar.  Note the difference between added sugar and naturally occurring sugar.  Added sugar is added to foods such as soda, candy, cookies, cakes, juice, ice cream etc.  While naturally occurring...

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