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The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

Should You Force Feed a Picky Eater?

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

I am a big fan of gentle parenting. I like to let my kids make decisions, learn from their mistakes, listen to their bodies and follow their passions.

Really it is a great way to parent.

I want my kids to mature and be independent thinkers, not control their every move.

But that went out the window with my youngest when she was struggling to eat anything. She couldn’t listen to her body anymore because all she heard was fear.

Food meant pain. Food meant allergic reaction after allergic reaction. And she was too little to communicate how she felt. So she simply stopped eating.

What did I do?

I forced her to eat.

Now, before you become alarmed let me explain.

When my daughter was at the point of being afraid to eat I had to convince her brain and her belly that food could be safe. Which meant getting a few bites down.

Sometimes that meant giving her a few tortilla chips. Sometimes that meant offering her a cookie. The actual food didn’t matter. Just getting something in her empty stomach was the key.

But sometimes there was no food that would entice her enough to take a bite. And yes, sometimes I did have to try physically pushing a little bit of food into her mouth to get past the initial fear. But she sure is good at dodging that!

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

Enter my Secret Weapon – Nourishing drinks!

Often with picky eaters or children having allergic reactions half of the battle is the chewing process. So I skipped that and started offering delicious drinks. To my great joy my daughter started drinking them!

Want to know what happened next?

She started eating solid food again! Simply getting some safe, nourishing food in her system was enough to replenish nutrients and stimulate her appetite. And that is such a critical point.

To be clear, this did NOT happen over night. This was a long process with many setbacks like new reactions and illness. Then it was back to square one of living on nutrient-dense drinks until she was refueled enough to eat again. This has been a two year journey!

he idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

Variety is Key.

One key to using drinks for nourishment is variety. We all need an assortment of vitamins and minerals every day and every week. This is especially true for kids with allergies that need to rotate food.

Picky eaters are at risk for nutritional deficiencies. In fact, these deficiencies often cause picky eating in the first place! 

So I set out to create an assortment of delicious drinks that covered a broad spectrum of nutrients to alleviate the picky eating. And I want to share it with you!

If you struggle with any of the following in your child, this book is for you!

  • picky eating
  • oral sensory processing disorder
  • allergies
  • refusal to eat certain textures
  • slow weight gain/underweight
  • won’t eat many fruits and vegetables
  • won’t eat meat
  • craves starch/carbs
  • holds food in mouth/struggles with chewing

Want to know who else it’s for? Any parents that want to boost their child’s nutrition! Yes, this book really is for everyone.

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

What’s in it?

I offer simple, nourishing drinks to help get any picky eater back on track to full health and appetite. Kids and adults alike will love these drinks that include fun flavors like apple pie a la mode and peach cobbler. The recipes in Easy Nourishment For Picky Eaters work for those with allergies. They are even safe for children as young as 6 months. Don’t let picky eating get in the way of good health. Drink your way to a well-nourished body.

Yes, there are some days that I still have to “force” my daughter to eat…just get her to take one bite and remind her that food is not scary. Her favorite way is with a “chocolate shake” loaded with healthy fats and gut-healing collagen. That is my kind of force feeding!

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

It can be hard to feed an undernourished child. But take heart! He can be nourished with simple, nutrient-dense drinks. The best part is he won’t even know.

Do you have a picky eater? Did you know there could be a root cause?

Boost those nutrients and watch that picky eating turn around!

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

Looking for more than nourishing drinks? Check out my other book Why Won’t My Child Eat?! that has in-depth information about how to assess and deal with a picky eater.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie: Jam Packed With Nutrients!

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

School is under way. That means two things.

  1. Mornings are busy.
  2. The germs are spreading.

That doesn’t mean throw in the towel, buy boxes of cereal and say a prayer your child stays healthy.

No way! Now is the perfect time to get smart and start the day with a nutrient boost that supports the immune system. It also provides critical vitamins and minerals for focus and energy.

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

The Ultimate Energy Drink

Kids need fuel for both their minds and bodies. Get it all in this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie. Fruits, vegetables and loads of vitamins and minerals.

I serve smoothies for breakfast several times a week. They are easy. And you’d be amazed how much good stuff I pack in there. This blueberry spinach smoothie is no exception.

Don’t worry – even with all that good stuff it still tastes great! All of my kids approve.

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

What makes it so nutritious?

I’m over at Kitchen Stewardship sharing this fool-proof way to get your child’s day started right. Bonus – it’s great mama fuel too! I make a blenderful in the morning and have some for my breakfast. Then when the kids get up I just puree for a few seconds again and their breakfast is ready. It really doesn’t get any easier.

Check out the full recipe here!

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

Squash Cherry Smoothie

Winter, spring, summer or fall this squash cherry smoothie packs a nutritional punch and is bursting with flavor. Plus it’s safe for those with allergies.

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

Smoothies are pretty popular these days. For good reason. You can add a lot of healthy stuff to them without kids complaining.

Smoothies are tough with allergies.

But when you have a lot of allergies the list of typical smoothie ingredients dwindles quickly.

I had to get creative to make smoothies for my youngest two. No dairy or dairy substitutes. No avacodo, banana, nuts or seeds. No eggs. Not too many options.

Instead of writing off smoothies I used what foods we can eat to create a delicious breakfast beverage that is full of nourishing ingredients.

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

Secret ingredients.

This squash cherry smoothie contains fruit, vegetables, grassfed collagen (I love this brand) and probiotics (I use Megaspore). I also sometimes add desiccated liver (this is what I use) and broth!

One of the best parts about this smoothie is that you prepare it the night before. In the morning just blend and pour! So simple.

This is a great way to use some of the cherries that we freeze in the summer.

Great for kids and adults.

My four year old LOVES this squash cherry smoothie. And he can be picky! You don’t taste all of the “extra” ingredients. You just taste cherries.

I serve squash cherry smoothie in a cup with a straw for my big kids. For my youngest I put it in a straw sippy cup. Then I can take it with us when we are running errands or driving to and from school. It is a great way to add calories and nutrients for her.

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

But don’t think this is just for kids. I love squash cherry smoothies for breakfast too! It is so refreshing. Plus it’s great for busy mornings. I always pair it with some kind of starch for balance and to keep my metabolism going. But the smoothie is where I pack the nutrients.

Have you ever put squash in your smoothie?

It adds a natural sweetness and is great for thickness.

Cherry season will be here again before we know it. I’ll be using up last year’s freezer stash by making lots of squash cherry smoothies!

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

Squash Cherry Smoothie
Serves 1
A refreshing and allergy friendly smoothie packed with nutrients.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups frozen cherries
  2. 3/4 cups frozen or cooked squash
  3. 2 Tbsp. grassfed collagen
  4. 1 - 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  5. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/2 cup water or mild broth
Optional
  1. up to 1 capsule powdered probiotic
  2. 1/2 capsule desiccated liver
  3. 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Instructions
  1. Place the water, squash, cherries, syrup and salt in a blender.
  2. Add the collagen and any optional ingredients.
  3. Store the blender in the refrigerator over night.
  4. Blend until smooth. Adjust sweetness if necessary.
  5. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. This makes enough for one adult or two children.
  2. Activated charcoal can be added to the smoothie to settle an allergy flair.
  3. The ingredients can separate if the smoothie sits for too long. Drink immediately after blending or keep in a cup with a lid and shake before serving.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

How I Got My One Year Old To Eat Again | Just Take A Bite

How I Got My One Year Old To Eat Again

By my third child I thought I knew plenty about feeding challenges. I was wrong. The hardest was yet to come. I’m excited to share our story and how I got my one year old to eat again and a special recipe that literally saved her life.

How I Got My One Year Old To Eat Again | Just Take A Bite

Every parent wants their kids to be good eaters, right?

No complaining. No throwing food. No refusing to eat vegetables. It’s a reasonable desire.

Of course most kids do go through phases of eating more or less, phases of liking and refusing certain foods, phases of wanting to make their own food choices and willingly eating whatever you serve. Love it or hate it, that’s life.

I’m thankful that it seems to get easier to handle with each child…at least a little.

But what if your child just won’t eat?

At all?

Every. Single. Day?

Emotions turn from annoyance to anxiety. I’ve been there. And I know I’m not alone.

Why Won't My Child Eat 300x250

It’s not getting any better.

As allergies are on the rise so are eating struggles. Especially for young children.

Think about it for a minute. If you eat something that upsets your stomach do you feel like eating? Are you a little hesitant to eat that food again?

Now imagine if you are so young you can’t even verbalize how you feel. And your mom tries to feed you the same food over and over (because we’re told to keep trying, eventually they’ll like it) that you know will give you a stomach ache or reflux or even swelling.

What is your solution? Refusal to eat. Period.

Feeding a young child that is developing allergies is an important and sometimes stressful task. As a parent your only feedback is watching for reactions, assuming you even know to look for them! Along the way your child may just stop eating out of fear or because she simply does not feel good.

How I Got My One Year Old To Eat Again | Just Take A Bite

Our Journey.

I have lived this struggle over the past year and a half as my daughter slowly developed more and more allergies.

When we first introduced solids she seemed to enjoy most things she tried. But gradually she started eating less and less until she stopped eating.

We managed to get by for a while because she was nursing full time. But as we approached her first birthday I knew something had to change. A one year old should be eating more than three bites of solid food a day.

This is my third child. I know all the tricks. I tried different flavors and textures. I tried distracting her. I fed her in a chair or while we were playing. Really. I had tried it all.

But she still wouldn’t eat. We hit a low point.

She wasn’t gaining weight. She wasn’t getting enough nourishment.

At thirteen months old I knew I had to change our situation or take her to the doctor.

There’s hope!

There is hope even for kids that refuse to eat anything! Want to hear more about how we turned it around?

—->>>> Head over to Kitchen Stewardship!

I’m sharing how I got my one year old to finally eat again. Plus I’ve got a fun recipe for squash “milk” that is perfect for kids with allergies. Even I drink it!

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

Looking for more? Check out my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?! where I share all of the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the last eight years with three kids each with different feeding challenges. It is possible to turn any child into a good eater and to do it with real, nourishing food.

>> Order your copy of Why Won’t My Child Eat?! <<

And don’t forget to download your FREE guide to meal planning and picky eating with two weeks of rotated meals laid out for you! It’s a great way to get started.

>>>>  Get your free guide here.  <<<<

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Black Forest Smoothie | Just Take A Bite

Black Forest Smoothie

Want to say “I Love You” in a healthy way? Show your kids some extra TLC with a black forest smoothie. It  combines the delicious flavors of chocolate and cherry and is packed with nutrition!

Black Forest Smoothie | Just Take A Bite

 

January was great, wasn’t it? Full of motivation and enthusiasm about your goals. Everyone is eating well, getting good rest and moving their body each day.

Then February arrives. So do the sweet treats!

Don’t panic. This year take a new approach to Valentine’s Day or any holiday. Instead of showing your love with boxed chocolates and candy, promote health and wellness to show you care. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

You can show some love this February by creating nutrient dense food that still tastes great. This black forest smoothie is a great place to start. Whether you serve it for breakfast, a snack or even dessert you’ll be doing your kids a favor.

Black Forest Smoothie | Just Take A Bite

 

They taste chocolate and cherries. You see them filling up on healthy fats, protein, probiotics and vitamin-rich fruit. If you really want to bump up the nutrition factor you can add avocado, chia seeds, flax seeds and collagen. That sounds like a delicious and nutritious breakfast! The perfect way to show your kids some love.

Want the full recipe?

Click here to head over to Super Healthy Kids where I’m sharing this delicious black forest smoothie! The perfect breakfast for Valentine’s Day or any day.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa | Just Take A Bite

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa

Are you looking for the perfect teacher gift? I’ve got you covered! My daughter created Rebecca’s light and dark hot cocoa to give as gifts. Everyone that tries it is blown away by the flavor. You will be too!

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa | Just Take A Bite

I remember the first year my oldest was in Kindermusik. She wasn’t even two yet.

We were finally at the point of venturing out of the house without having to worry about nursing schedules. And I wanted the chance to talk to another human being with a little more to talk about than dolls and dancing.

Class started in the fall and ended just before Christmas. That was fun, I thought. Then the last day rolled around…and everyone started handing gifts to the teacher.

Learning how to give.

Wait a minute.

We’re supposed to give a Christmas gift to every teacher/leader our children have? I guess I missed that part in the parenting handbook.

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa | Just Take A Bite

Now with three kids I know that it is totally a personal choice who you give to and how much. Some years we go shopping and let the kids pick out gifts for teachers. But that gets to be just one more thing to do.

So two years ago I simplified our gift giving. We give gifts to the teachers we see on a regular basis (maybe I’m Scrooge, but I don’t give something to every bus driver and mail carrier. You have to draw the line somewhere).

And I don’t shop for gifts either. We have two gifts we make every year. One is homemade granola. This year teachers get a special treat with kettle corn granola!

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa | Just Take A Bite

The other is my daughter’s “famous” light and dark hot cocoa. She came up with the idea of a layered cocoa mix.

It’s that good.

It is always fun to see the reaction of the people that try it. They assume when a five year old gives them homemade hot cocoa it will be fine. Then they taste it.

Some have even said it’s the best hot cocoa they’ve ever tried.

I love how simple it is to make. And that it doesn’t contain any powdered milk, flavorings, thickeners, etc. Just a few simple ingredients create the most delicious hot cocoa you’ve ever had.

I also love that it is super allergen friendly. Even I can drink it! And if I can drink it anyone can (I haven’t met many people with as many food restrictions as I have). If you can’t have cocoa you can replace all of it with carob. It won’t be light and dark hot cocoa anymore, but it will still taste great.

I even have a couple secret ingredients – unrefined sea salt and grass-fed collagen! Just because you’re drinking hot chocolate doesn’t mean you need to leave the nutrition out.

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa | Just Take A Bite

Let the kids help.

This is a great project for kids of just about any age. My oldest (age seven) can make it on her own. My four year old can make it with a little help from me. Even with kids helping it only takes about five minutes to make.

Let the kids create a pretty label and teacher gifts are done! And I have yet to find a teacher that doesn’t like hot cocoa.

Make a big batch. Give some away as gifts. Keep some for the family and enjoy a mug while you open presents or after playing in the snow (if it will ever snow this year!)

I’ve even got a cute gift tag to attach to the jar for you! Just click the link below, print and cut.

Light And Dark Hot Cocoa Gift Tag

Are you looking for a simple, heart-felt gift this year?

Light and dark hot cocoa makes the perfect teacher gift or special treat.

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa | Just Take A Bite

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa
Yields 2
A rich, homemade hot cocoa with light and dark layers.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups organic cane sugar
  2. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  3. 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  5. 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  6. optional: 2 Tbsp. grass-fed collagen
Instructions
  1. In a medium size bowl combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. collagen.
  2. In another bowl combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, dark cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. collagen.
  3. In two pint size jars layer 3 Tbsp. cocoa mixture, 3 Tbsp. dark cocoa mixture and a few chocolate chips (about 2 tsp.).
  4. Repeat four times, until the mixture is used.
To use
  1. Mix 1 - 2 Tbsp. of the cocoa mixture into 1 cup of hot water or milk.
Notes
  1. This is enough to fill two pint jars.
  2. Light and dark hot cocoa makes a great gift.
  3. I use Enjoy Life chocolate chips since they are allergen friendly.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

Molasses Tonic

In need of a warm drink that not only tastes good but is packed with essential minerals? Molasses tonic is the perfect warm up and pick-me-up drink for cold weather.

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

I like warm drinks. Do you?

Even on the hottest summer days I still start the day with a warm drink. It has a calming effect on my mind and body. In fact I’m sipping on one right now while I write this post!

I’ve never been a coffee drinker. I usually go for tea.

But these days I pretty much drink one of two things. Either healing hot chocolate or molasses tonic. Both provide minerals in a great tasting, soothing beverage.

You may be wondering, what’s so great about molasses? Isn’t that just sugar?

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

Molasses is actually packed with vitamins and minerals.

It contains:

  • potassium
  • magnesium
  • calcium
  • iron
  • vitamin B6
  • niacin
  • pantothenic acid
  • choline
  • phosphorus
  • zinc
  • copper
  • selenium
  • chromium
  • cobalt
  • sodium

It has also been shown to be helpful with a variety of health issues from PMS, headaches and acne to bone health and constipation.

What’s not to love?

Well, maybe the flavor.

Molasses is an acquired taste.

At least for me. If you are not a fan just start with a small amount and work your way up to a full tablespoon.

You can even do half molasses and half maple syrup to start. Maple syrup has minerals too!

As you can see molasses is very nutritious. You could just take a big spoonful once or twice a day.

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

I like to combine it with some other nutrients in a hot drink to really give my body a boost.

So you can add any or all of the following to create a molasses tonic:

  • stinging nettle (allergy relief, reduce inflammation)
  • grass-fed collagen (easy-to-digest protein, gut healing)
  • unrefined sea salt (trace minerals, hydration/electrolyte balance)
  • cocoa powder (magnesium, iron, fiber, manganese, zinc, flavonoids)
  • carob powder (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium)
  • maple syrup (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium, zinc)
  • butter and/or coconut oil (healthy saturated fat, helps balance the protein and carbohydrates)

When you put all of these together molasses tonic can practically be a meal replacement! And if you have a super busy morning here and there it could be. I drink it after a meal. Though it is best to wait an hour after eating to let your food settle/start digesting first.

If you don’t have time or all of the ingredients to make the full molasses tonic you can simply add molasses and sea salt to hot water. You’ll still get a big nutritional boost and feel hydrated.

The next time you need a hot beverage skip the coffee. Instead whip up a power packed molasses tonic.

This is great for kids too. Add some whole milk or coconut milk to their molasses tonic for a creamy drink.

Do you consume molasses regularly? What is your favorite way to use it? 
Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

Molasses Tonic
Serves 1
A warm drink packed with vitamins and minerals
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 - 2 cups boiling water
  2. 1/2 - 1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses
  3. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
optional
  1. 1 tsp. nettle leaf
  2. 1 Tbsp. grass-fed collagen
  3. 1 tsp. organic cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 tsp. organic carob powder
  5. 2 tsp. grade B maple syrup
  6. 1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
  7. 2-4 Tbsp. whole milk or coconut milk
Instructions
  1. If using nettle leaf, use a tea strainer or cheesecloth to steep nettle leaves in 1/2 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove the leaves.
  2. Add the remaining boiling water and ingredients.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Allow to cool enough to drink or add ice cubes or milk.
Notes
  1. This can be served warm or cold (iced molasses tonic).
  2. This can be placed in a water bottle and packed for school lunch.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Homemade Grape Juice: From The Vine to Your Cup

When it comes to juice fresh is always best. Learn how to make  your own homemade grape juice starting with picking grapes and ending with sweet juice.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

 

Confession. I love grape juice. Love it.

I don’t drink it very often these days because I know most juice is just empty calories with no nutrition. Otherwise I would.

Once in a while I buy pure organic concord grape juice for making jello or gummies. But I can’t afford to buy that just to drink plain.

Homemade Grape Juice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Free grapes.

A few weeks ago my mom called to tell me my grandpa said I could have his grapes. My grandma passed away earlier this year and my grandpa is now in hospice. So the grapes on their farm are just sitting there.

He thought I might be able to put them to good use.

He knows me well.

Homemade Grape Juice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

I made a trip to the farm with my two youngest, hoping to pick a bunch of grapes. Then I realized that picking grapes when everything is soaking wet and you have a toddler with grabby hands strapped to your chest is next to impossible.

At least I had a great helper! We did pick a few to get us started. But I had to send my husband and big kids back a few days later to finish the job.

My suggestions for picking grapes:

  1. Have two free hands.
  2. Use clippers.
  3. Be prepared to get messy.

Making juice.

Once we had the grapes at home I had to figure out what to do with them.

It turns out that making homemade grape juice is quite simple. You basically just wash, cook and strain. You may need to add sweetener if you want to drink the juice plain. It just depends how tart the grapes are.

Homemade Grape Juice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

It also turns out that the “hardest” part is just separating the good grapes from the bad ones.

It was fun to make my own grape juice for the first time. As I did it I couldn’t help but smile and think of my grandparents standing in the kitchen on their farm making juice together every year for decades.

I felt honored to carry on the tradition, and I think of them every time I drink our homemade grape juice. They are some of the most amazing people I know. And their farm has always been one of my favorite places.

Now we have some grape juice in the freezer for later (that I will try really hard to share with my family). Plus I used some to make grape jelly! I’ll be sharing that recipe tomorrow.

Have you ever tried making homemade grape juice? If you have access to fresh, concord grapes start picking! There is nothing quite like it.

Homemade Grape Juice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

 

 

Homemade Grape Juice: From the Vine to Your Cup
Fresh, homemade grape juice from concord grapes.
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Ingredients
  1. Freshly picked concord grapes
  2. Organic cane sugar or honey
Tools
  1. Large stockpot
  2. Large fine mesh strainer
  3. Cheesecloth
Instructions
  1. Wash the grapes. Get rid of any bad or unripe grapes.
  2. Place the grapes in a large stockpot.
  3. Mash the grapes with a potato masher to get the juices flowing.
  4. Turn the heat on to high. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer the grapes for 10 - 15 minutes, mashing periodically while they cook.
  6. Turn off the heat.
  7. Strain the grapes/juice through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl.
  8. Allow the grapes to strain for a few hours or over night.
  9. Discard the grapes/skin/seeds.
  10. Strain the juice a second time through clean cheesecloth.
  11. If using the juice for drinking add sugar if the grapes are too sour. Stir and let the sugar dissolve.
  12. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to a year.
Notes
  1. I used about 1/4 cup cane sugar per quart of juice for drinking.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Brain Booster Milkshake | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Brain Booster Milkshake

Get the school morning started right with a brain booster milkshake.  Full of protein, vitamins and minerals it will keep your kids going all day.

Brain Booster Milkshake | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

School mornings can be hard. Get breakfast on the table. Feed the baby. Brush everyone’s teeth. Find shoes and backpacks.

You do your best to prepare and have things go smoothly. But even with good planning it is tough to always give your kids the nourishment they need before heading out the door.

Especially if you have a child like mine that eats very slowly and ends up often only managing a few bites of breakfast.

To make sure she starts her day the right way I created my brain booster milkshake.

Brain Booster Milkshake | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Add some nourishment.

This milkshake is packed with some nutritional powerhouses.

  • raw milk – easy to digest protein, calcium and vitamins
  • raw pastured egg yolks – B vitamins that are critical for brain function and concentration
  • probiotics – for gut health and boosting the immune system
  • grass-fed collagen – easy to digest protein and important amino acids
  • maple syrup – carbohydrates for energy and trace minerals
  • unrefined sea salt – trace minerals

I usually serve the milkshake with something else like a homemade granola bar or even dinner leftovers! But even if she doesn’t take a single bite of her breakfast I know she’s going to be fueled for the morning as long as she drinks her brain booster milkshake.

This is a really good option for kids with oral SPD and chewing problems. A milkshake goes down pretty quickly. It is also easy on the digestive system. The nutrients are very easy to absorb and utilize.

Brain Booster Milkshake | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

One of the key components is the raw, pastured egg yolk. Have you ever read about them? Though often deemed as unhealthy or bad for your heart the opposite is actually true. And eaten raw (as long as they are pastured) the nutrients are not damaged and are easy to absorb.

Egg yolks are amazing little packages of nutrients, specifically B vitamins that are essential for your child’s brain development and ability to focus. They contain other nutrients such as choline (necessary for methylation), selenium (great for the thyroid) and biotin (helps with blood sugar regulation – perfect for breakfast!).

Not just for breakfast.

I sometimes put milkshakes in my daughter’s lunch too. She struggles to eat much lunch at school. There just isn’t enough time for her, and she’s busy talking. But she usually comes home with an empty cup!

This is also great for kids going through orthodontic work. The day after adjustments their mouth can be very sore and chewing can be a challenge. A milkshake is always in my daughter’s lunch the day after her expander gets adjusted. I tell her that even if she can’t eat anything she should be sure to drink her brain booster milkshake.

Brain Booster Milkshake | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Choose your flavor.

The base milkshake recipe is vanilla. But you can create other flavors too. My kids love when I add a bit of cocoa powder or carob powder for a chocolate shake.

Add some strawberries from your freezer stash for a strawberry shake. Any berry or even cherries will work.

Sometimes we really get creative and add mint extract.  It tastes like mint ice cream (my kids’ favorite!).

If you can’t have dairy, coconut milk is a great substitute! Any milk alternative will work.

Serve it in a fun cup with a straw or in a sealed cup to pack in a lunch box.

Whether you serve it for breakfast, lunch or both you’ll know your child is getting essential nutrients with a brain booster milkshake. All they have to know is they get something delicious to drink!

Get your kids excited about breakfast. What flavor do you think they’ll like best?

Brain Booster Milkshake | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Brain Booster Milkshake
Serves 1
A delicious shake perfect for breakfast or lunch that will give your kids the nutrients they need to perform their best.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup raw milk or coconut milk
  2. 1 - 2 raw pastured egg yolks
  3. 1 Tbsp. grade B maple syrup
  4. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  5. 2 tsp. grass-fed collagen
  6. 1/2 capsule preferred probiotics
  7. 1/2 capsule preferred multi-vitamin
  8. optional: 2 tsp. carob powder or cocoa powder OR 1/4 cup berries or cherries
  9. optional: 1/2 tsp. organic vanilla OR 1/4 tsp. organic mint extract
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or a cup with a lid.
  2. Blend or shake until well combined.
  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Bedtime Beverage

Bedtime Beverage | Homemade Dutch Apple PieDo you have trouble falling asleep at night?  Or maybe your kids have a hard time winding down at the end of the day?  Mine sure do!

Except for one…the baby.  How does she go to sleep?  She nurses and falls fast asleep.  Mother’s milk is warm and has the perfect balance of nutrients to help a little one nod off to sleep.  It is comforting and nourishing.

So how does that translate to everyone else?  Surprisingly ice cream (the kind made with real, whole ingredients) is about the closest thing we have to breast milk in terms of its nutrient profile.  It has a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat.

You could definitely indulge in a dish of ice cream to see if it helps you get sleepy.  But I have a drink that might work better.  It’s like warm ice cream!

Raw cream or whole milk is the ideal base for this drink.  If you can’t have dairy you can use full fat coconut milk and add a little extra gelatin for the protein balance.Bedtime Beverage | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Egg yolks are added because they are packed with vitamins (especially B) and a little bit of protein.  The cream or milk has lots of healthy fat.  Gelatin gives more amino acids and protein.  Plus the gelatin makes it all easier to digest.  The sea salt helps you absorb everything and adds trace minerals.  The syrup also helps digestion (sugar is easily absorbed) and gives balance to the drink by adding carbohydrates.

At bedtime you need your adrenals to settle down for the night.  Having a balance of sugar, salt and fat will help your body accomplish that.   You can also add a small starchy snack along side the bedtime beverage to really balance out the components.  A couple soaked graham crackers or even a slice of sourdough bread are perfect.

This bedtime beverage is like a nutritionally boosted version of the warm milk you grew up drinking at bedtime (yes, there was some truth behind that).  It’s almost as comforting and calming as mother’s milk.  It tastes great too!

This drink can also be very helpful during the first trimester of pregnancy.  Even if you can’t get much else down this will give you a nutrient boost and may be soothing to an unsettled stomach.

There is no fancy equipment required for this drink.  Just a small pan and a whisk.  It only takes a few minutes to make.  Don’t forget to save your egg whites for baking.  They store well in the refrigerator or freezer for a long time.  I like to use them for making gluten free bread!

You won’t have to convince your kids to drink this before bed.  Offer a soothing bedtime beverage that tastes like ice cream and I’m sure they will gladly oblige.  Then watch them settle down and drift off to sleep.  Mother’s milk is wonderful for helping little ones get to sleep.  Now everyone else can do the same.Bedtime Beverage | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Bedtime Beverage
Serves 1
A warm drink to help you sleep at night.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup heavy cream, coconut milk or whole milk
  2. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
  3. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 1 - 2 tsp. collagen or gelatin
  5. 1 - 2 egg yolks
  6. optional: 1 - 2 tsp. cocoa or carob powder
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3. If using gelatin let the mixture set for 1 minute.
  4. Gently warm the mixture over low heat. Do not let it boil or you could curdle the milk or cook the egg yolks.
  5. Pour into a mug and enjoy before bed.
Notes
  1. This can be made with just the cream, syrup and salt.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.