grandkids and kids
4 February 2013, by gj
The You Can Grow That! theme for February is love, an easy subject for a new grandmother.
From the very moment the upcoming birth announcement was made my life was forever changed, more than I could even imagine.
Stealing Grammie's heart.
“You are what you eat” is much more than just an expression, and I knew right away I wanted to help ‘Sprout’s’ food be as healthy as possible.
Organic baby food is incredibly expensive, yet so simple to make.
A jar of carrots should contain carrots, maybe a little water, and nothing else.
The only way to really know what is in a baby’s food is to make it yourself.
Here’s one Grammie’s tips for healthier baby food:
1. Grow or buy organic the vegetables most likely to have higher doses of pesticides. Here’s the list.
2. If space is limited, plan your garden based on what foods you expect the baby to be eating. Carrots, peas, beans and squash are much more likely to be in his diet than eggplant and peppers.
3. Learn to safely can foods and how to properly freeze, and which foods can be stored fresh the longest. Check some of the links to the right under ‘How to Store’ to learn more.
4. Follow your pediatrician’s recommendations for introducing new foods to the baby.
5. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Look at the grocery store shelves for fruit and veggie combo ideas. Trust me, a lot of research went into it already.
Aww, look at that face… I just may have to give over more of the garden.
Here’s a great resource for recipes and tips.
Categories: grandkids and kids, saving money & time, you are what you eat, you can grow that
30 December 2012, by gj
Of course much of what happens at holiday time centers around giving and receiving.
This is a wonderful opportunity to teach children.
our little tree
When ours were old enough to understand, we would take an afternoon and go through their toys.
“If you want good things to come to you” we would say, “you need to make room.”
It was a simple concept and the decisions were difficult, but they learned valuable lessons about sharing with others (some toys were chosen to be donated) and about not being materialistic.
You see, we didn’t have much money in those days, so it wasn’t like they had an abundance in the first place.
They never knew that; because they also learned that when you have enough to share, you have enough.
Here’s to a wonderful 2013 everyone!
Categories: grandkids and kids, keeping up with the joneses
29 December 2012, by gj
Christmas is the most exciting time of year for many kids.
“Mommy, when are we going to make the Christmas cookies?”
“Mommy, when are we going shopping?”
“Mommy, when are we going to get the tree?”
“Mommy, when are we going to watch Rudolph on TV?”
Multiply that by 2 and repeat throughout the day.
parental sanity saving device
In an effort to reduce the stress this was causing both to them, and especially to me , a Christmas Tradition was born.
Every year as Thanksgiving approached, I would draw a calender showing all the upcoming events and when they could expect them.
Each child would take turns crossing off the days, and both were happy they knew what to expect.
“Ahhh..” sighed Mom.
Not only did it alleviate the holiday stress, something unexpected happened.
Mom became more organized.
Categories: grandkids and kids, keeping up with the joneses
28 December 2012, by gj
The most wonderful thing happened this year- Mandolin and I became grandparents, just one week before Christmas.
With the holiday approaching, my daughter and her husband started considering what they will do when the time comes to talk to Sprout about Christmas.
You see, we didn’t tell her and our other kids about a jolly fat man in a red suit, we told them the story of St. Nicholas; and concluded it with
“And although he lived a long time ago, each year his giving spirit fills the house with happiness.”
If they thought that spirit came down a chimney and said Ho Ho Ho, well they didn’t get that story from us.
his eyes how they twinkle
Of course this leaves out that perceived parental advantage of
“Santa is watching, you better be good.”
But then, that was something we never really needed.
The Story of St. Nicholas
Categories: grandkids and kids, keeping up with the joneses
12 May 2012, by gj
In yesterday’s post we started looking at ways to get kids (and maybe even husbands) to eat more veggies.
Here’s a few more ideas:
not your everyday tater
7. Think outside the bag.
There are a lot of veggies that can be sliced and baked or dehydrated to make chips.
Shown above are Yuca Chips, you can also make chips from zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes and even kale.
There are two links below; you can also try different things or I’m sure find more recipes online.
8. Make it available.
If your kids have access to healthy choices rather than junk food, that’s what they will eat.
We used to keep a jar of cauliflower florets in Italian Dressing in the fridge for our kids to snack on.
Other times they would find containers of sliced celery, carrots, and fresh green beans in there.
They had fun ‘helping themselves’ and I knew they were eating something good.
It was rare for us to have anything unhealthy in the house, but when we did it was put away for special occasions only.
9. Go Veggie.
playing with food
Take one night each week and make it an all-veggie meal.
The picture above is of uncooked spring rolls- STW and I had fun choosing our fillings and dipping sauces to make our own combos.
Talk about nutritious!
You can also make a veggie pizza, vegetable lasagna, vegetable stew… you get the idea.
10. Let them help cook.
This is probably the best way to get a child to eat veggies, while at the same time teaching them life skills.
I remember my son standing on a step stool at the stove- the oven mitts he was wearing went all the way to his armpits.
He was making, with help, scrambled eggs and veggies- a simple recipe to us, a great sense of accomplishment to him.
Wouldn’t they be proud to serve their own Personal Crustless Quiches some night for dinner!
fun fun fun!
11. Let them grow it.
Anyone is more likely to eat veggies they grew themselves.
My FB friend Antoinette told me her daughter started eating eggplant, kale and turnips after helping in the garden.
Alright, so her daughter is 36- better late than never.
12. Teach them where their food REALLY comes from.
Food doesn’t come from a Fast-Food Drive-Through Window.
Not REAL food.
Food comes from a garden or a farm- show them that.
Food comes from the heart and the hand- not wrapped in plastic and Styrofoam- show them that too.
We’ve become disassociated from our food in this country, and that’s sad.
There is no other basic human need that involves all of our senses and is something that is a shared experience- it should be celebrated, not just shoved in our mouths.
Make the time to take the time to make a meal together at least once a week, and make what we do eat that much more special.
Okay, I’ll get down off my soap box now.
Here are a few links with recipes or other good info:
A Child’s Veggie Garden
No Cook Spring Rolls
Easy Veggie Chips and Dips
Personal Crustless Veggie Quiches
Categories: grandkids and kids, you are what you eat
11 May 2012, by gj
Kids and veggies, they just don’t go together.
Or do they?
Back in the day when Mandolin and I were facing undesirables on our plates, the method of choice was to make kids sit at the table until they finished their veggies.
It just made me want broccoli even less.
As adults, we’ve discovered ways to get kids not only to want to eat their veggies, but to like them too.
1. Switch your thinking first.
Instead of wondering what to have with the ham, think about it the other way around.
“What’s for dinner Mom?”
“Well, we’re having Green Bean Casserole, what should we have with it?”
“Let’s make a really big salad. Would you like to put some cheese chunks and ham strips in it?”
When you think of the veggie first, it changes the way your kids think too.
which would you prefer?
2. Give them the good stuff.
If my first taste of asparagus had been from a can, I may never have tasted it again.
Whenever possible, try to use fresh veggies- they just taste better.
Frozen next, canned last.
Of course, if you grow your own- that’s the best by far.
3. Make choosing veggies a game.
Whether you’re at the market or in the garden, letting kids choose the veggies will increase the chances they will eat it, so Play!
“Let’s pick two green veggies, two yellow ones, and one red or orange.”
Even the littlest ones can get involved in a game like that.
For older kids “Find two veggies that start with the letter ‘S’” can be fun to do.
And the kids are going to want to eat what they ‘found’.
kids like to be in charge
4. Make a menu.
Adding a visual element will help improve your chances of getting those veggies in your kids.
I found cute clip-art on Microsoft Word. Even little kids can point to the pic they want, and you can place it on the menu day.
Getting Dad involved helps too- and the kids will probably want to copy his choice next week.
When kids feel like they are part of the decision making, then they are more likely to participants as well- isn’t that true for adults too?
pretty enough to eat
5. Sweeten the deal.
Steamed Carrots – Honey Glazed Carrots – Baby Carrots with Avocado-Lemon Pesto
Which would you choose?
Personally, the only way I’ll eat broccoli is with cheese sauce.
Sometimes you just need to bring it up a notch.
6. Search the Internet
This may sound simplistic, but there is a ton of info out there not only on this subject specifically-
but what I think is even better, info on eating vegetarian.
Now I’m not suggesting you get meat out of your diet (I’d like to suggest it, but I’m not) but who can come up with more great ways to eat veggies than vegetarians?
Find their sites, try their recipes.
You may just eat a few new veggies yourself.
And that’s okay too.
Here’s Part 2.
Categories: grandkids and kids
4 May 2012, by gj
Today is a busy day…
1. Garden Bloggers You Can Grow That Day (the 4th. of each month)
2. Backyard Edibles Day (May 4th.)
3. First Friday- which means a Giveaway!
So I mentally rolled all these together into a ball, threw it up in the air and caught it.
What did I get?
You Can Grow That- Healthier Kids!
Okay…so I had some added inspiration:
my first grandbaby
Since you are reading this blog ::waves:: that means you are already gardening or at least thinking about it.
And if you have kids in your life-
nieces and nephews
you’re a teacher (thank you!)
at your place of worship
in your community-
However they are there, you can help make them grow healthier… something that they will then pass on.
growing food is fun!
If you are thinking to yourself “I’m already working with kids and gardening.”
Congrats- that’s great!!!
Please share any tips or advice you have in the comments section below.
water + soil + sun + seed + child
If you are wondering how you can get involved, or more involved- that’s where this blog comes in.
Every Friday in March we’ll be looking at ways to help us grow healthier kids- not just gardening, but with an emphasis on good nutrition and ways to make it fun.
And that brings me to today’s giveaway.
Sought after Yoga Instructor Melissa Russo decided to make a series of videos on Yoga for Kids called Yoga Journeys.
Pretty amazing, right? -wait, there’s more.
what will we discover here?
Each video also has a Nutrition or Life Connection component- be it in the kitchen, in the garden, or in the community.
Her videos have so far aired on PBS in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Pa. area and in Binghamton N.Y.; and hopefully will soon find their way to a TV near you.
I was lucky to be in an episode with some wonderful kids; we talked and learned about gardening and seeds.
Mandolin is in it too- ‘noodling’ a jingle he wrote.
If you would like a chance to win a copy to share with the kids in your life, just leave a comment below.
If this is your first time, it will take a bit to get it approved- then it will show.
I would love to hear your thoughts on kids and nutrition- but that won’t help you win.
I always do a random drawing from all entries the following Monday.
In the mean time, here are a few links to help you get started gardening with kids, and to inspire you to think about food in a different way.
(In other words- Do Your Homework!)
Connecting with Food- Why a Good Story Makes Food More Sustainable
Children Blossom While Learning to Garden in San Antonio
About Yoga Journeys Here you can learn more about the series, and purchase DVD’s to help support this non-profit volunteer effort.
Not only are they wonderful to share with your own kids, they would make a great addition to any school’s Health and Wellness program.
Find more You Can Grow That! links each month here
April’s You Can Grow That!
Categories: grandkids and kids, you can grow that