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Author: Mary | Just Take A Bite

There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

How to Find Joy in Nourishing Your Body

There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I’ve experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I’m so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

You Have to Be Healthy to Eat Healthy

It’s something I often say to people frustrated with trying to eat the “right way” but still not feeling great. There are so many diets that promote real food and healing. They all have merit, but that doesn’t mean they work for everyone.

I know this because I’ve tried them (read some of my thoughts HERE). And the only thing I got was severe obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, more food intolerances and infertility. But no healing.

The real problem is they all include rules. Specific diets place restrictions on what you can eat and categorize food as good or bad. When a food is deemed bad or forbidden guess what happens? You want it! You are left with this constant decision making between doing the right thing or the wrong thing. And feeling guilty if you choose wrong. Or worse food starts to cause anxiety.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

It took me the last twenty years to move past feeling like food is either good or bad. But I did it. And I love it! It is so freeing to finally enjoy food.

Help for Food Freedom

Are you hung up on trying to find the right diet for you? Are you wondering if low carb or grain free or high fat is right for you? Does it make you stressed just thinking about it? Here are some simple tips to get past the fear and back to joy.

  1. Start listening to your body.
    Take note of how you feel when you eat certain foods. Keep a food journal for a week or two if need be. If nuts bother your stomach, take a break from them. If you feel better eating more carbohydrates and less fat then go for it. Eat what makes YOU feel good, not what helps your neighbor or your favorite blogger. If you are dealing with an autoimmune disease or allergies that will impact what foods hurt or help.
  2. Get rid of the rules.
    Stop viewing food as good or bad. As long as it’s real food it’s ok. Enjoy a piece of homemade chocolate cake and ice cream. Make a big stack of pancakes with butter and real maple syrup for breakfast. When you restrict foods because you think you shouldn’t eat them (instead of restricting because they actually make you feel bad) they create more stress. Ditch the diet and rigid rules.
  3. Start focusing on nourishment.
    This is where the fun begins. When you let go of unnecessary rules and you’re not constantly debating between eating a salad and digging into a container of ice cream you can focus on really taking care of your body.

Finding Joy in Nourishment

I spent far too many years trying to eat the perfect diet. Only to feel stressed, anxious and deprived. Then I had to go the other direction of eating anything and everything to try to restore metabolic health (you can read about my journey HERE and HERE). All to find a place of balance. Now I find great joy in nourishing my body. Not because a diet tells me to. Because I want to.

I heard someone recently say that happiness is external and joy is internal. Being happy comes from your circumstances, but joy is a state of being that comes from within. And it’s true. Good food does make me happy. But it’s the joy and peace I have inside that motivates me to make healthy choices every day.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Balanced Nutrition is Key

Today eating is like an exciting adventure for me. I try to pack as many nutrients into my food as possible. I add desiccated liver and fermented kale to smoothies and salads. I eat sardines and anchovies a couple times a week. I eat pastured meats and eggs regularly. I aim for a rainbow of vegetables and plenty of healthy fats daily. I drink herbal teas for added minerals and to support my body and get my hormones back in balance. It’s almost like a fun game to see how many vitamins and minerals I can get each day. I feel good and the joy comes pouring out.

But I also enjoy a dish of ice cream when I want it. Sometimes I eat a bowl of mashed avocado and tortilla chips for breakfast (quick and delicious…and it’s easy to add liver to avocado!). I like to bake with my kids and make special sweet treats together (like gluten free Oreos® and salted honey chocolates). It’s even rare that I go a day without at least a little bit of chocolate.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

There is no more should or shouldn’t with food. There are no rules. There is no restriction. Which in turn eliminates cravings (imagine that!).

Now I love to fuel my body, and I love how it makes me feel. That does not mean my diet is perfect. Not every single bite of food has to be nutrient packed. And less healthy foods here and there don’t negate all the good stuff I put in my body every day.

Let go of Food Guilt

There is no guilt or feeling of reward for eating a certain way. I just truly love to eat nutrient dense food. No rules or special diets. I don’t eat GAPS or Paleo or AIP or low carb or any other specialized diet. I just eat real food that makes me feel good and that I know is helping me take care of my body. One day I might eat grain free while the next I might need some extra starch. And they are both just fine!

It’s very freeing to let go and find joy in nourishment. And it’s the healthiest I’ve ever been!

I am very blessed that I do not have an autoimmune condition or severe allergies. But I do have some sensitivities and health issues I’m still working through. But I try not to let them get me down. I nourish my body as best I can with my limitations and keep striving for full healing.

Eating real food is easy. There are limitless options. Eating real food that meets your needs can be hard. But once you figure out how to do it you’ll love how you feel.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Foods That Nourish

Some of my favorite nutrient dense foods are ferments. They are packed with natural probiotics. What I really love is how easy they are (take a big scoop and enjoy!) and how much my kids like them. My toddler can’t get enough sauerkraut. While we do make our own sometimes, I don’t always have time to pound cabbage.

I recently got the chance to try sauerkraut and fermented pickles from Cultured Guru.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Both the kraut and pickles have just a few simple ingredients and taste amazing! Using traditional fermentation these products are teaming with probiotics. They make great additions to a meal or are the perfect quick snack.

My oldest can’t get enough of the pickles. She has oral SPD and doesn’t tolerate any amount of spice. So even though she likes pickles it’s rare we can find any she’ll eat. But she loves the Cultured Guru pickles! She loves the sauerkraut too. Another rarity for her.

I’ll be stocking up too. My kids and I can’t get enough!! Such a blessing when working on healing allergies!There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Super Charged Food for Kids

Another super food that tops my list is a traditional staple – organ meats. I get mine by adding Perfect Supplements desiccated liver to just about everything. I even make caramel with it! I also love the fermented kale, collagen and aquatic greens from Perfect Supplements. I add them to most of our smoothies.

You can get 10% off any of these Perfect Supplements products with the coupon code TAKE10.

Some of my other favorite foods include sardines, salmon, eggs, raw milk, butter, lard, tallow, pastured meats and a rainbow of vegetables. They all make my body smile.

You have to be healthy to eat healthy.

I’m so excited to finally be healthy so I can enjoy eating well and nourishing my body every day.

Are you ready to let go of rules and enjoy eating again? Ditch the diets and find joy in nourishing your body.

Today is my birthday, and I’m starting it with pure joy. Joy that I’m taking care of myself and this beautiful body God gave me.

Want to see what I eat for my #nourishingbreakfast #nourishinglunch and #nourishingdinner? Follow me on Instagram! It may inspire you…or it might gross you out. In my husband’s words, “You eat that for breakfast?!”There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Disclaimer: I am working with Cultured Guru for this post. I have been compensated for my time but all opinions are my own.

This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

Metabolism Boosting Salted Caramel {With A Secret Ingredient!}

Looking for an easy way to get some liver down the hatch? This metabolism boosting salted caramel is easy to make, tastes great and is loaded with Vitamin A!

This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

This recipe was an accident.

For about a year now I’ve had so many things I can’t eat while breastfeeding that I stopped making salad dressing. I can’t do tomatoes, dairy, nuts, peas, coconut, mustard, garlic, eggs, vinegar. Seriously.

Getting creative.

But I LOVE salad. And I was not about to eat plain lettuce. So I would just put some olive oil, honey and salt on my salad and call it good.

After a while I decided to experiment a bit and added desiccated liver (this is the brand I use). Who knew I’d actually love the taste?! And it’s so healthy for a slow oxidizer like me with high tissue calcium levels. I need all the Vitamin A I can get.

I’m not one to mix up a bottle of dressing. I always just add the ingredients directly to my lettuce and mix it all together. But one day I tried mixing up the dressing first to see if it was easier.This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

Accidental Caramel

Imagine my surprise when instead of a dressing I ended up with a thick, gooey salted caramel! And my kids gathered around like baby birds begging for bites.

That is how my nutrient dense salted caramel came about.

It tastes great, is easy to make and my kids love it. Want to know something else? It’s great for boosting your metabolism too!

Metabolism Boosting Combination

If I am low on energy or haven’t gotten enough sleep this is the perfect pick-me-up. A little salt, a little sugar, a little fat and some vitamins.

This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

My girls and I all have slow metabolisms and are in need of some serious rest and recovery. So this salted caramel makes a great snack for all of us.

Easy Toddler Treat

In fact, my toddler eats half of the lettuce and cucumbers out of my salad just because of this dressing. She’ll suck it off and then eat the vegetables. It’s that good!

You can eat the salted caramel with a spoon. I like to dip banana in it. Then you even get some starch with your sugar, salt and fat. It’s the perfect combination for a metabolic boost. Any fruit you like will work.

Metabolic Recovery

My journey with healing my metabolism has been a long one. You can read about what happened to me in 2013 and all of the things I learned in the process.

One thing that was pivotal for healing was The Nourished Metabolism by Elizabeth Walling of The Nourished Life. I have recommended this book to more people than any other book or real food resource.

I’ve probably read it five or six times myself. And I learn something new every time. I’m so glad I have a hard copy now! It’s a great reference.

I think just about everyone could benefit from Elizabeth’s advice. Especially all of my sleep-deprived mama friends. Even children and teens these days that are over scheduled, over stressed and under nourished need some help with their metabolism (have you checked your child’s body temperature lately? You might be surprised how low it is…it’s supposed to be 98.6!).

Whip up a batch of salted caramel (with liver!). Grab a spoon, your favorite fruit or even a homemade graham cracker for dipping. Then dive into The Nourished Metabolism. Trust me, you won’t be able to put it down. I read it almost cover-to-cover the first time through.

Have you assessed your metabolism lately? What are you doing to keep it running at full speed?

Try some salted caramel and all of Elizabeth’s tips in The Nourished Metabolism. You’ll be amazed at how great you feel.

This post is linked to Allergy Free Thursdays.

This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

Metabolism Boosting Salted Caramel (With A Secret Ingredient!)
Serves 1
A simple gooey caramel that will boost your metabolism and your nutrients with liver!
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 Tbsp. honey
  3. 1/8 tsp. unrefined sea salt (adjust to taste)
  4. 1 capsule Perfect Supplements desiccated liver
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until well mixed. The mixture will thicken in about a minute.
  2. Eat with a spoon, with fruit for dipping or with graham crackers.
Notes
  1. This can be used as a salad dressing if you increase the oil to make it thinner.
  2. You can add one capsule of Organic India moringa to the mixture when using it as a salad dressing for extra nutrients.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/

Kid-Friendly Rutabaga Fries Recipe

Wondering how to get your kids to eat vegetables? Or just looking to add something new to your menu? These rutabaga fries are easy to make and kid approved!Wondering what vegetables to feed your child on the VAD Diet? Or just looking to add something new to your menu? These rutabaga fries are easy to make and kid approved!

One of the most common struggles amongst my clients is getting kids to eat vegetables. For some they only have a few they are willing to eat. For others they are even to scared to touch a vegetable. Feeding kids is simple…but not easy!

Vegetables Kids Love

While some situations require deep healing, sometimes a little creativity is all it takes to get kids on board with veggies.

Don’t be afriaid to experiment! Over the years, even I have had to try lots of new veggies. Some were hits (who knew parsnips and parsley root are so delicious?!). Some were big misses (none of us is a fan of turnips). And we still enjoy some of our old staples like cauliflower and cabbage.

One of our new favorites is rutabaga. I’m not sure why I had never tried them before. Maybe because they are so big and ugly. If you buy one at the store it comes with a waxy coating to keep it from drying out.

But once you peel it you see a pretty pale orange flesh (don’t worry, it’s not high in Vitamin A!). Rutabagas are a bit tough to cut. But not too bad.


As a little side note here, I’m coming to realize that we’ve way over-complicated our food these days. With the ability to get any kind of food all year long we have seriously strayed far away from the way people used to eat. A simple diet of meat, potatoes, grains, beans and a few basic fruits and veggies is probably more accurate. And totally healthy.

Our vegetable selection alone has gotten very extensive, unlike the choices of our ancestors.


Wondering what vegetables to feed your child on the VAD Diet? Or just looking to add something new to your menu? These rutabaga fries are easy to make and kid approved!

Rutabaga Fries

I’ve tried cooking rutabaga a few ways and eating it raw. The raw is a bit strong for my taste buds. Hands down our favorite way to prepare rutabaga is by making rutabaga fries!

Rutabaga fries are the closest to regular french fries (potatoes) that I’ve tried. They hold their shape well, but are tender on the inside.

My kids love to use the new crinkle cutters they got for Christmas to make crinkle cut rutabaga fries. And anything in a fun shape is going to be a bonus for introducing a new food to kids. Getting them in the kitchen to help make the food will too! We use Kids Cook Real Food to teach knife skills.Wondering what vegetables to feed your child on the VAD Diet? Or just looking to add something new to your menu? These rutabaga fries are easy to make and kid approved!

I’d be lying if I said they were an instant hit for the whole family. My girls can’t get enough. My oldest son…he can tolerate them right now, but isn’t crazy about them. And that’s ok. I told him we’ll keep trying. Sometimes it takes a while to adjust to a new flavor. Hey, I forced myself to like liver by eating it over and over. So a child can learn to like rutabaga fries too, right? My husband doesn’t mind them. But he’s not big on trying new foods either.

If your child needs a little convincing he can dip them in honey, honey mustard, ketchup, or hummus. My girls and I devour them plain.

Rutabaga for the Whole Family

Even my 8 month old enjoys well-cooked rutabaga chunks. He’ll grow up with a unique palate, having an NTP for a mom!

Rutabaga fries are so easy to make. Just peel, slice and roast with avocado oil, olive oil, or your favorite healthy fat. And lots of unrefined sea salt, of course. Don’t forget the mandatory “assistant” to pull open drawers and untie your slippers while you use a sharp knife!Wondering what vegetables to feed your child on the VAD Diet? Or just looking to add something new to your menu? These rutabaga fries are easy to make and kid approved!

We are actually going to try growing rutabagas in our garden this year! Another fun experiment. I hope they turn out. It’ll be interesting to see if the flavor is any different when they are home-grown. Maybe that alone will encourage the boys to eat them.

Have you ever tried rutabaga? What is your favorite way to eat them?

Rutabaga Fries

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 5
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 2 rutabagas
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Peel rutabaga. Cut into thin strips.

  3. Mix rutabaga, oil and salt on baking sheet.

  4. Bake for one hour, until browning and cooked through.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake | Just Take A Bite

Dairy-Free Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake | Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Egg-Free

Ice cream isn’t just for summer. Enjoy this allergen friendly treat all winter long. Neapolitan ice cream cake is perfect for any holiday or birthday.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake | Just Take A Bite

When I think of ice cream in the winter the first thing that comes to mind is Neapolitan.  I’m not really sure why. Maybe my family always ate it in the winter. Or maybe that’s when it’s available in the store. I’ve never really paid that much attention.

So while brainstorming ice cream flavors recently Neapolitan came to mind. But it’s not that easy to make a three flavored ice cream at home…unless you have three ice cream mixers! Which I do not (though with as much as I make ice cream it’s not a bad idea…).Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake grain free dairy free nut free | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

After some thinking I decided to do the ice cream in bottom to top layers instead of side by side.

The end result is an amazingly delicious dessert that is totally dairy-free and fancy enough for guests.

Homemade Neapolitan Ice Cream

Neapolitan ice cream cake is not something you can whip up in a few minutes. Although it does not take a lot of work it does take several days. So you need to plan ahead.

You can make the dessert layers in any order you like. I did strawberry first so it was the smallest layer. We like vanilla and chocolate best (anyone else remember just eating the chocolate ice cream and leaving the strawberry and vanilla for your parents?).

Dairy-Free Dessert

This is a fun treat for Valentine’s Day or Christmas. I love that it’s so satisfying you don’t need a big piece.  Just a little slice is plenty. Drizzle some dairy-free chocolate sauce on top for something really special.

If you don’t like or don’t tolerate strawberries you can replace them with blueberries, cherries or raspberries. Not a fan of fruity ice cream? Just add an extra layer of vanilla or chocolate!

If you don’t want to serve the dessert as a whole you can simply layer the ice cream in a freezer container without the plastic wrap and just scoop it out with an ice cream scooper. You’ll just have to be sure to scoop down deep to get all three flavors.

Treat your whole family to a special ice cream dessert or wow your guests. This “cake” is delicious and allergy-friendly. If you are not dairy-free you can replace the coconut milk with cream. Either way you’ll love it.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake | Just Take A Bite

Neapolitan Ice Cream "Cake" {dairy free, nut free, grain free, egg free}
Serves 10
A three layer ice cream cake that is free of most allergens.
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Strawberry Layer
  1. 1/2 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen, thawed)
  2. 1 cup coconut milk or cream
  3. 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  4. 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  5. 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour or arrowroot
  6. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
Vanilla Layer
  1. 1 1/2 cups coconut milk or cream
  2. 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  3. 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  4. 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour or arrowroot
  5. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  6. 1 egg yolk (optional)
Chocolate Layer
  1. 1 1/2 cups coconut milk or cream
  2. 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder or carob powder
  3. 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  4. 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  5. 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour or arrowroot
  6. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  7. 1 egg yolk (optional)
Instructions
  1. Line a large loaf pan with plastic wrap in both directions/make sure it is fully covered.
Strawberry Layer
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until well combined.
  2. Process in an ice cream maker (this is a small batch so it doesn't take too long. It took about 10 minutes in a Kitchen Aid attachment.)
  3. Spread the strawberry ice cream in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan.
  4. Fold the plastic wrap over the ice cream and place it in the freezer.
Vanilla Layer
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until well combined.
  2. Process in an ice cream maker (It took about 15 minutes in a Kitchen Aid attachment.)
  3. Spread the vanilla ice cream on top of the strawberry ice cream.
  4. Fold the plastic wrap over the ice cream and place it in the freezer.
Chocolate Layer
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until well combined.
  2. Process in an ice cream maker (It took about 15 minutes in a Kitchen Aid attachment.)
  3. Spread the chocolate ice cream over the vanilla ice cream.
  4. Fold the plastic wrap over the ice cream and place it in the freezer.
  5. Freeze until firm.
To serve
  1. Invert the ice cream cake on to a plate.
  2. Cut slices.
  3. Top with chocolate sauce if desired.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Breakfast Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Simple, Whole Foods!

Looking for a way to get your winter dessert fix without reaching for ice cream? Turn breakfast into a special treat with these Neapolitan and spumoni parfaits!

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

I have fond memories of eating lots of Neapolitan ice cream and spumoni ice cream growing up.

Of course I was like most kids and really just wanted the chocolate! Who doesn’t want chocolate?

Updated Neapolitan and Spumoni

I have recreated these classic flavor combinations in a healthy breakfast treat. Did I mention they are super easy to make too?

Neapolitan and spumoni parfaits use plain, whole milk yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit, organic cocoa powder and pistachio nuts. You get the flavors you love without any high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or food dyes.

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Unique, Kid-Friendly Breakfast

My kids went crazy over these parfaits! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them eat  yogurt that quickly. I can’t blame them. What’s not to love about vanilla and chocolate yogurt combined with sweet strawberries?

Kids can help prepare Neapolitan and spumoni parfaits. It only requires pouring and mixing. They love the assembly part too.

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Holiday Breakfast Parfait

I love how festive these parfaits look. Hosting guests for the holidays? Prepare the parfaits the night before. Then wow your guests with a special treat in the morning. Wine glasses make fancy serving dishes.

You could even use these as a special Valentine’s Day dessert.

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

This winter spruce up Saturday morning breakfast with a classic dessert flavor. Try both parfaits and see which one you like best. Or combine them to make a four layer parfait that includes chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and pistachio.

Are you ready to try something new for breakfast (or dessert!)?

Neapolitan and spumoni parfaits are simple and nutritious. Plus they are packed with flavor.

Looking for an actual dessert that captures the Neapolitan flavor? Try my grain and dairy free Neapolitan ice cream cake.

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Neapolitan Parfait
Serves 1
A yogurt parfait with the classic Neapolitan flavor of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
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Vanilla layer
  1. 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  2. 1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
  3. optional: 1/2 tsp. organic vanilla extract
Chocolate layer
  1. 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  2. 2 tsp. organic cocoa powder
  3. 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  4. optional: 2 tsp. mini chocolate chips
Strawberry layer
  1. 1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the vanilla layer ingredients. Let sit 1 minute.
  2. In a small bowl combine the chocolate layer ingredients. Let sit 1 minute.
  3. Layer the vanilla yogurt, chocolate yogurt, chocolate chips and strawberries in a serving dish.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Notes
  1. The cocoa powder and maple syrup can be replaced with 1 Tbsp. homemade chocolate sauce.
  2. If using frozen strawberries allow them to thaw for a few minutes before serving.
  3. The cocoa powder can be replaced with carob powder.
  4. Coconut yogurt can be used in place of the whole milk yogurt.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
 Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Spumoni Parfait
Serves 1
A breakfast parfait with the classic spumoni flavor of chocolate, strawberry and pistachio.
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Chocolate layer
  1. 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  2. 4 tsp. organic cocoa powder
  3. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  4. optional: 3 tsp. mini chocolate chips
Strawberry layer
  1. 1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Pistachio layer
  1. 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the chocolate layer ingredients. Let sit 1 minute.
  2. Layer the chocolate yogurt, chocolate chips, strawberries and pistachios in a serving dish.
  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Notes
  1. The cocoa powder and maple syrup can be replaced with 1 Tbsp. homemade chocolate sauce.
  2. If using frozen strawberries allow them to thaw for a few minutes before serving.
  3. The cocoa powder can be replaced with carob powder.
  4. Coconut yogurt can be used in place of the whole milk yogurt.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Crockpot Candy Corn Potatoes and Carrots

Holidays aren’t just about the sweets. Candy corn potatoes and carrots is festive and healthy! You won’t have any problem getting your kids to eat vegetables when they look like dessert.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

I love fall.

I wish it could last longer. Mild temperatures. Beautiful colors. All things pumpkin.

Fun, Fall Food

I recently shared my candy corn finger jello recipe as a nod to fall and a tribute to my grandparents. In that same spirit I have another fun play on candy corn today. But this time it is savory!

Candy corn potatoes and carrots is a fun and healthy side dish. You can modify it to meet your dietary needs too.

Fall Vegetables

The base recipe uses white potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots. But if you don’t want to use roots or don’t like quite that much starch (or have a crazy sensitivity/allergy to them like my daughter) then you can use pumpkin or squash (yellow/orange) and cauliflower (white)!

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Quick Crockpot Side Dish

The preparation for candy corn potatoes and carrots is so simple because the crockpot does most of the work for you. Toss all of the veggies in the crockpot. Once they are cooked you simply puree and layer them.

The entire dish can be prepared in advance and just warmed before you eat. The warming can even be done in the crockpot!

Naturally Sweetened Sweets - A Community Cookbook

Sweet and Savory Fall Vegetables

I love how versatile candy corn potatoes are. You can add any seasoning, spices or even sweeteners you like.

My kids love a little sweetnes on their carrots and sweet potatoes. So I add just a touch of maple syrup or honey to the bottom layersy . But if you like things really savory adding salt, pepper and herbs would be just as delicious. Or you can find a happy medium by adding a pinch of cinnamon.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Go ahead and choose which color to put in which layer. I like the dark to light effect. But you can go with the traditional candy corn yellow, orange, and white scheme too.

Kid-Friendly Holiday Side Dish

Are you wondering what to serve for a holiday dinner that kids will actually eat? How about roast beef paired with candy corn vegetables and candy corn finger jello?! Your kids will love it. Plus they’ll fill up on nourishing foods and won’t crave a bunch of sweets later (can I get an Amen?!).

You could even turn this into a one pot meal by adding seasoned ground beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey between each layer. Candy corn casserole!

Surprise the kids with this delicious treat. Candy corn potatoes and carrots (or squash and cauliflower) is a healthy way to enjoy the holiday.

Do you have any creative holiday traditions or treats?

If not, start one with a festive dinner your kids will request year after year that includes candy corn potatoes and carrots.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Crockpot Candy Corn Potatoes and Carrots
Serves 6
A fun, fall side dish filled with vegetables.
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Ingredients
  1. Orange layer: 3-5 sweet potatoes OR 1 orange flesh squash (pumpkin, butternut, kabocha)
  2. Yellow layer: 6-8 large yellow carrots OR 1 yellow flesh squash (acorn, spaghetti)
  3. White layer: 3-4 white potatoes OR 1 head cauliflower
  4. unrefined sea salt to taste
  5. water, broth or milk (enough to puree)
  6. optional: brown cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, herbs, cinnamon, spices
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut vegetables into large chunks.
  2. Place the vegetables in glass containers with a small amount of water or broth. Place the containers directly into the crockpot.
  3. Add about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the crockpot.
  4. Cook on high about 3 hours, until vegetables are tender.
  5. Remove containers from the crockpot.
  6. Add salt and any sweetener, herbs or spices and puree with an immersion blender (or in a blender). Add water, broth or milk if needed.
  7. Layer the vegetables in desired order in a see-through oven safe dish.
  8. Serve immediately or place in the crockpot on warm or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to heat (in a 350*F oven for about 20 minutes).
Notes
  1. If using squash it can be roasted whole in the crockpot or oven, then cut open and the flesh scooped out. You can keep it as is or puree it at this point.
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This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

Natural Health Gift Guide for Mom

The older I get the more I know exactly what I want…and what I don’t want (that’s the Analytical Eater in me!).

When holidays or birthdays roll around, I make a list with very specific items. I have spent so many years collecting gifts I don’t really care about and using them anyway. Which has resulted in a house full of clutter.

But now that I know who I am and what I like, I’m ready to have things I love and will enjoy using. In fact, one of the words that best describes me is simple. And I’d love to simplify my house and life by getting rid of about 70% of what I own. Most of it is just stuff that I have to shuffle around.

Any other moms that can relate?!

Gifts Mom Will Actually Use

While it won’t happen overnight. I want to get rid of things that I don’t use/don’t like and gradually replace them with the things I love.

After over a decade in the natural health world, I have settled on some amazing products and brands that I trust.

So I’m sharing some of my favorite items that I actually use and love (and some that are on my own gift list!) with you! Feel free to send this to loved ones wondering what to buy for you!

The Best Supplements for Mom

I know what you’re thinking…supplements are at the top of your gift list?? Yes! Because good health is at the top of my list. These are some of my favorite supplements for keeping Mom feeling her best. Which in turn helps everyone. Trust me, I work with a lot of moms!

Perfect Supplements

Perfect Supplements is one of my absolute favorite supplement brands. Not only for the particular products they carry, but also for the quality. Everything is thoroughly tested, and they are completely transparent. That is one of the most important aspects of a supplement company. I use quite a few PS products regularly. Here are my top picks (yes, there are quite a few):

Order Perfect Supplements products HERE with code TAKE10.

Jigsaw MagSoothe

This is my favorite magnesium supplement. It helps relax the whole body and is great for those that have trouble winding down or falling asleep. I have been using it every night for over five years now! Use code Mary10 for 10% off your order!

Order MagSoothe HERE with code Mary10.

Microbiome Labs Megaspore Probiotics

These spore-based probiotics are both gentle and effective. Plus they are safe for just about everyone. My whole family uses these probiotics to help diversify our gut microbiome. Everyone, including Mom, could use some tummy love!

Order Megaspore Probiotics HERE.

Beekeepers Naturals Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is great for your immune system and for supplying some key B Vitmains. Plus it is a good food source of copper, one of the most important minerals in your body. Just a small dose each day can give you a big boost!

Order Beekeepers Naturals Bee Pollen HERE.

Natural Health and Beauty for Mom

True beauty is on the inside. But it’s also nice for Mom to feel good about how she looks on the outside! These are my favorite health and beauty products.

The Magnesium Lotion Shop

One of the highest priorities for almost every client is improving magnesium stores. And the best way to do so is transdermally (i.e. through the skin). We’ve tried various oils and lotions, but The Magenisum Lotion Shop has the best around! No itching. No stinging. No strange smell. And no toxic ingredients. It’s great for the whole family. It even helped my daughter with growing pains and sleep. We all put it on every night before bed.

Order Magnesium Lotion Shop lotion HERE.

Toups & Co. Organics

I love pretty much everything Emilie makes! This is my go-to for makeup, lotion, and bath products for my kids. A few of my top picks are:

  • Natural face primer – this feels like silk on your skin! I put it on every morning.
  • Liquid foundation – the only makeup I’ve ever truly loved.
  • Mascara – the only mascara I have ever worn that doesn’t make my eyes itch and swell.
  • Everything bar – this will replace every other soap/shampoo you own. It literally works for everything!
  • Baby body wash & shampoo – yes, this works for Mom too! It’s so gentle yet effective.

Order Toups & Co. products HERE.

Earthly

Ever wish you could find natural replacements for OTC medicines without having to search high and low? Welcome to your one-stop-shop! Earthly has just about every natural remedy you could want. Here are some of my top picks:

  • Arnica salve stick – for bumps and bruises
  • Digestive bitters – for reflux and improving upper GI function
  • Feel better fast tincture – helps coughs, fevers, and upset tummies quickly
  • Master tonic – adrenal and immune support
  • Pain potion – headache relief

Order Earthly products HERE.

Healthy Fashion for Mom

I know what you’re thinking. How are fashion and health related? Let me show you! These healthy AND fashionablel products are my favorites! And they are on my gift list.

Magenetude Jewelry

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ve probably heard me talk about Magnetude Jewelry. It is bio-magnetic, interchangeable jewelry that can help:

  • improve blood circulation
  • improve sleep quality
  • increase energy
  • mitigate the harmful effects of EMFs and 5G

My personal experience using Magnetude has been sort of miraculous. After wearing it for just a few weeks I told my kids that I felt like the Energizer Bunny! It has increased my energy tremendously. I am also sleeping more soundly. An added bonus – my toddler is finally sleeping through the night consistently when he wears his Magnetude slider regularly.

This is the one of the easiest and most fun things you can do to improve your health! For the month of November all orders over $75 get a free holiday “tude.”

Order Magnetude Jewelry HERE.

My son and I made a video to show just how powerful the magnets really are! Check it out.

Xero shoes

Barefoot shoes are another one of my must-haves. I started wearing Xero Shoes about three years ago, and I have never looked back. Barefoot shoes help with spinal alignment and removing stress on the spine. I wear them every day, year-round. So much so that I have worn a hole in the toe! So a new pair of Xero Shoes is definitely on my wish list this year.

So far I have tried the Prios and the Mikas. I love them both! And I’m excited to try some of the other styles.

Order Xero Shoes HERE.

Kitchen Gifts Mom Will Actually Use

Is it possible to have too many kitchen gadgets? Probably. Maybe not. I’m not sure. I love fun, unique kitchen gifts. But then again I’m trying to simplify. Here are my must-haves in the kitchen that I use all the time.

Tea Strainer + Quality Tea

In the debate of coffee vs tea, there is no question for me. I love tea. I can’t stand coffee. I love using herbal teas to promote health. So a tea strainer and quality loose-leaf teas are always in my cupboard.

THIS is the tea strainer I love.

Some of my favorite herbal teas are:

Kitchen Appliances

We all have those appliances that sit in the cupboard, possibly still in the box, that we don’t know what to do with. But then there are the workhorses that we use almsot daily. Here are my favorite appliances and gadgets that I use frequently or that are on my wish list.

  • Crockpot – it’s always on my counter and gets used multiple times a week.
  • Immersion blender – perfect for making mayonnaise, pureeing fruits and veggies, or even making magnesium lotion!
  • Vitamix – hands down my most used appliance. I use it for smoothies, dips, nut butters, sauces, and even grinding flour! I have the large container, small container, and dry container to do everything.
  • Berkey water filter – it’s hard to find a water filter that removes all the bad stuff while leaving the essential minerals. Berkey is at the top of the list for doing just that!
  • Tongs – I have three pairs…and I still run out some days.
  • Spatula – I have lots of spatulas, but only two that I really use.

Water Bottle

If you want to feel your best, you have to be hydrated. This is one of the first foundations I address with every client. I don’t just mean drink eight glasses of water a day. That’s a good way to flush all of your minerals out! I love sharing a variety of hydrating drinks to boost your minerals and help your body absorb the water. But sometimes even if you know how to properly hydrate it’s a struggle. I find that having a water bottle that you love can go a long way in getting hydrated. Here are my favorites:

Dark Chocolate

I couldn’t make a gift list for Mom without adding chocolate! Here are my favorites:

Natural Health and Wellness for Mom

Staying healthy isn’t just about what you eat and drink (though those are important!). There are other aspects to your foundations of good health. This includes physical, mental, and emotional health! Some of my favorite tools and techniques for keeping Mom healthy on all levels include:

Energy Work

Our bodies are made of energy! And sometimes (well, a lot of times) we get out of balance. It’s important to restore the flow of energy. You can do this through:

Not only do these therapies help long-term, it also feels really good to have time for self-care and having someone else pamper you a bit! Find a local practitioner and calm your nervous system!

Mineral Balancing

When it comes to nutrition my favorite tool for meeting bio-individual needs is Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis! It is at the heart of my practice. HTMA shows where your body is out of balance and how to meet your bio-individual needs.

Learn more about HTMA and set up a Clarity Call HERE.

Nourishing Movement

Maybe I’m just odd, but I love getting exercise/fitness equipment as a gift. It gives me variety and motivation to keep myself moving. A couple of my favorite simple and budget-friendly methods for getting nourishing movement are:

  • Rebounder – get your lymphatic system flowing and help your body with gentle detox.
  • T-Tapp – this is another lymphatic-stimulating exercise that is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. No special equipment needed! Just some space to move. My kids and I love to do T-Tapp moves throughout the day to keep things flowing!

Best Books for Mom

Last, but definitely not least, on Mom’s gift list are books. Depending on your season of life you may or may not have much time to read. But I have recommendations for everyone. From cookbooks to homeschooling to homesteading to health.

Cookbooks

If you are short on time AND needing some healthy meal inspiration, cookbooks will be your guide. I have quite an array of cookbooks – some in my kitchen and some stashed in a closet. The ones I keep in my kitchen I use time and again. Plus they have great stories and drool-worthy photos. These are the cookbooks that make the grade in my house.

Homeschool Books

  • The Call of the Wild + Free – I read this at the start of each school year to get in the right mindset.
  • Tuttle Twins – These are amazing read-alouds for the whole family about how our government, free market, and more is supposed to work. I’ll be honest – I learned just as much as my kids did. I wish every child was able to hear these books.

Self-Care Books for Mom

Health and Wellness Books for Mom

If you enjoy digging deeper and learning how the body functions like I do, these books will keep your brain stimulated and help you learn more about your own health.

Gifts Mom Will Feel Good About Giving

Yes, this post is all about what to give TO Mom. But I’m a mom…and I just couldn’t help myself. Moms love to give gifts to their kids as well. So here is a short list of some of my favorite natural health gifts for your family.

That was quite a list! Did you find anything you want to add to your Christmas list? Or maybe something you want to get for your mom or wife?

I’d love to hear what sparked your interest! Comment with your favorite natural health gift for Mom from this list or something you’ve got on your wish list this year.

How should you feed a child?

What is A Child’s Eating Style?

A nourishing diet and healthy lifestyle play a huge role in your child’s health. But understanding his or her emotional health is just as important! Let’s learn about Eating Styles and how they factor into good health.How should you feed a child?

One of the most common questions I get from parents is how their parenting and food philosophies will impact their child’s mental well-being.

  • If I make my son eat all of his broccoli before he gets dessert will that teach him that food is either good or bad and that some should be treated as a reward?
  • If I teach my kids about healthy food will that make them obsessive about it?
  • If my daughter can’t eat the same foods as her friends will she feel isolated?
  • How do I avoid forcing my kids to eat?

You get the idea.

Here’s the thing. All of those scenarios could prove true. But then again they might not. And you’ll find experts in both camps. And, yes, I have use the force feed method myself…for a very particular case.

But what it really boils down to is your child and how he or she views the world.

Tom may become obsessive about healthy food if you tell him how bad sugar is. While Lucy might not put much thought into it.

Anna might focus on friendships and spending time together, regardless of what everyone is eating. Whereas Steve might be hypervigilant about feeling different.How to feed a picky eater

How Children Respond Differently to Feeding Stress

I’ve seen it firsthand in my own kids.

When my youngest daughter was little she had some severe feeding issues. Her response was to become a thumb sucker, struggle with breastfeeding, and shy away from food.

On the other hand, my youngest son, who also had feeding issues, turned to me for comfort and started nursing more. He also started viewing food as good and helpful from a young age, often declaring, “I’m a good eater! This will help me grow big.”

So what was different?

It certainly wasn’t me!!

My response to both of them during the struggle was the same. I was anxious and stressed. Not ideal. But that is how I reacted (wish I knew then what I know now – hindsight).

What was different was how my kids view the world. They each have very different Eating Styles!How to feed a picky eater

What is an Eating Style?

My daughter is an Intuitive Eater. When it comes to food and eating she needs comfort. I did not help create a comfortable environment for her, instead focusing on the stress and her limitations.  In turn she shied away from eating. Food had a negative connotation.

My son, however, is an Adventurous Eater. When it comes to food and eating he likes anything new and exciting. Simply looking at books or talking to him while he ate was enough to create a fun environment for him. And he gravitated towards the food. Food had a positive connotation!

A child’s Eating Style helps you understand:

  • the essence of your child’s true nature
  • how they relate to the world, to people, and to their environment
  • what makes them feel loved, supported, and confident
  • how they uniquely view food.

I like to call it a child’s food language!

Once you understand how to speak it, feeding becomes so much simpler!! Knowing your child’s Eating Style will help answer many of your feeding questions.

  • Does my child need comforting food or quick food?
  • Does my child like meals to be a surprise or to know exactly what’s on the menu?
  • Does my child like soft, easy-to-chew food or really crunchy and chewy food?

The Eating Styles will help you identify the answers to all of these and so much more!Eating Styles Membership

What are the Eating Styles?

There are four Eating Styles:

  • Intuitive Eater: slow, emotional, connected
  • Analytical Eater: still, structured, bold
  • Adventurous Eater: happy, animated, curious
  • Active Eater: fast, loud, intense

Every child has a primary Eating Style and then overlaps a bit with a second style. It’s fascinating to figure out what describes your child(ren) best. Eating Styles is a powerful tool to help your child eat better without feeling like he or she has to change his or her personality. It also helps aleviate any feeding challenges without power struggles with you!

For example, the term “picky eater” is used a lot when it comes to feeding kids. I really don’t like that label.

I think all kids are great eaters! We just have to understand how they eat to be able to bring the world of food alive to them.

All four types of eaters have their own challenges and strengths. Which means they each require different feeding strategies…and it might not align with the way you like to eat, Mom and Dad!

Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of an Intuitive Eater and strategies to help feed this child.Intuitive Eater

How an Intuitive Eater Eats

An Intuitive Eater is the true “picky eater.” This is the child that will have a very strong opinion about what they will and won’t eat…and there is no convincing them otherwise (for good reason!).

Most parents looking for help with extreme pickiness are dealing with Intuitive Eaters.

Some characteristics of an Intuitive Eater include:

  • Slow eater, can’t be rushed through a meal
  • Needs someone close by (especially 2-5 year olds)
  • Doesn’t like food mixed
  • Eating impacted by emotions (can lead to under or over eating)
  • Struggles with breakfast – slow to start the day
  • Eat by a process (i.e. finish all of one food before moving to the next)
  • Struggles with eating meat
  • Unwilling to try new foods

Some feeding strategies for an Intuitive Eater include:

  • Let them start a meal early to have enough time to finish
  • Sit with them for the whole meal/until they are done – they need to feel connected
  • Seat them next to mom or dad
  • Let them help plan and prepare the meal
  • Give them options/let them decide what to eat (teach them to listen to their bodies)
  • Don’t tie emotions to food. How much/what you eat does not equate to good/bad – remove parent emotions from meals even if undereating
  • Let them take breaks/come back to a meal
  • Serve foods separately and let them combine if desired (tacos, casseroles, stir fry, etc.)

As you can see, my stress reaction to my Intuitive Eater’s struggles was the complete opposite of what she needed. Now that she is older we focus on being positive about food and connecting at the table. In turn she is a great eater that loves a wide variety of nutrient-dense food.

We are now digging even deeper to remove her limiting belief that she is small and weak, instead helping her believe that she is healthy, nourished, and strong! Because she is.

She is still my child with the strongest opinions about her food. But that’s OK! I am honoring her Intuitive nature when it comes to eating.How to feed a picky eater

How to Figure Out Your Child’s Eating Style

That was a small taste of one of the four Eating Styles. Maybe it resonated with you, and you think your child is an Intuitive Eater. Or maybe it doesn’t sound like your child at all! You could have an Analytical, Adventurous, or Active Eater.

To quickly figure out which type of eater(s) you have, use this short quiz! It’s fun and fascinating to understand how the whole family eats!

 

If you are ready to dig deeper and use the Eating Styles as a tool to eliminate picky eating, it’s time to become an Eating Styles member.

Eating Styles Premium Membership
Eating Styles Premium Membership
Learn exactly HOW to feed your child before you even consider what to feed them. You'll learn to work with your child's strengths and natural tendencies to make meal times pleasant for everyone.
Price: $39.97

Become an Eating Styles Member Today!

With a membership you get access to a quick-start guide to help you pinpoint your child’s primary eating style (that goes much more in-depth than the quiz). Then you can learn all about that style to understand the ins and outs of feeding.

You might even find the information helpful in other areas of life. I now understand why my Active Eater stuffs his mouth at every meal AND why he’s so intense about everything he does. Which allows me to be more patient with him.How to feed a picky eater

Picky Eating is NOT About the Food!

Feeding your kids well is more about the HOW than the WHAT.

It all boils down to mindful observation and understanding your child’s nature. Using the strategies in the Eating Styles you’ll become the expert on how to feed YOUR child. Then the food will easily follow.

Eating Styles is part of the Mindset component of my Mouth-Mind-Movement-Minerals Method to get your kids to say, “MMMM” to nourishing food without a battle. It’s a simple step you can take at home with huge rewards!

Are you ready to end the mealtime drama and keep your kids nourished? 

Become an Eating Styles Member Today!

Eating Styles Premium Membership
Eating Styles Premium Membership
Learn exactly HOW to feed your child before you even consider what to feed them. You'll learn to work with your child's strengths and natural tendencies to make meal times pleasant for everyone.
Price: $39.97

So far we have talked about the foundations of good healthNutritional Therapy for kids, and HTMA for kids – the physical aspects of health. Today we introduced how mindset impacts feeding your kids and how the Eating Styles can help. But there is still more! Next up I’ll be discussing more tactics for handling the emotional aspect of feeding. Stay tuned!

How I Gave My Daughter A New Start: Natural Remedies to Help Mouth Breathing

Does your child seem to sleep poorly or wake up grumpy? There are many causes, one of them being how your child breathes. There is natural help for mouth breathing to get a well-rested child.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

Every parent does it. Every night.

Before you get in bed, you check on your sleeping child.

You stand there for a minute watching them lay there so peacefully.

Unless your child is a mouth breather.

Then you see covers strewn about and a child tossing and turning. You hear snoring and snuffling.

Sleeping While Mouth Breathing Looks Anything but Peaceful

Not only does it look bad, it is bad. Mouth breathing has a big impact on health and behavior. Here are some of the effects of mouth breathing.

  • Restless sleep/change positions constantly.
  • Lack of clean oxygen to the body (that comes through the nose).
  • Bad breath and body odor.
  • Sensitive teeth/chewing problems/dental problems.
  • Adrenal fatigue/lack of sleep.
  • Sleeping problems/hard to settle down/inability to nap.
  • Lack of focus/symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Mood swings/tantrums/meltdowns.
  • Oral sensory processing disorder.
  • Narrow mouth/palette.

This list of symptoms should not describe any child. But it does. My daughter included. She had displayed every single symptom on this list at only seven years old.How do I stop mouth breathing in my kids? We are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion. #mouthbreathing #oralspd #kidshealth

Why do Kids Mouth Breathe?

Mouth breathing happens during the day and night and can have a variety of causes. For my daughter the root issue is environmental allergies.

Her first symptoms started at a very young age with chewing problems and sensitive teeth. She needed pureed foods until age two. But things really started to get worse around age three when she stopped napping and could no longer settle down during the day.

We played around with diet and removed gluten and anything artificial. We saw some improvement, but not enough.

How Allergies Impact Mouth Breathing

At five years old we had her tested for allergies and discovered severe dust mite and mold allergies. The allergist put her on a steroid nasal spray. Although hesitant we tried it for a while with no improvement. So we turned to more natural remedies.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

Natural Treatment Options for Mouth Breathing

My daughter is now 13 and breathing through her nose most of the time. It is quite amazing to see the difference in her health, mood, and behavior. She has been given a new start after years of mouth breathing.

Every child is different and responds differently to treatments. But if your child is a mouth breather it is important to figure out what works for him or her and find a way for him or her to get quality oxygen and sleep. Here are the treatments we have used.

  1. Speech therapy – We saw a speech therapist for three years. It is great for calming the body, integrating reflexes, and training the mouth. Being able to do exercises at home that open the nasal passage is also wonderful.
  2. Remove food allergies – Allergies to food can cause inflammation anywhere in the body, including the nose/airway. You can figure out allergies through formal testing, an elimination diet, muscle testing, or trial and error. Cut the offending foods out completely while you work on healing.
  3. Craniosacral therapy – Sometimes breathing problems are due to a restriction in the body. CST releases tension and alows the airways to open naturally (learn more about CST here).
  4. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis – When a child is lacking in minerals, is out of balance, or struggles to detox heavy metals, he or she can have numerous symptoms, including inflammation, allergies, and breathing difficulties. HTMA helps get to the root of the problem and get the body back in balance (learn more about HTMA here).
  5. Clean the whole house and clear out the bedroom – Dust and mold allergies are some of the biggest offenders. Dust mites live in mattresses, pillow cases, couches and stuffed animals. Dust collects quickly on dressers, toy boxes and bookshelves. There are some simple solutions.
  • Use dust mite covers on the mattress and pillow case.
  • Change bedding weekly and wash it in hot water.
  • Remove stuffed animals from the bed.
  • Clean the floor regularly. Wood floors are ideal. If possible remove carpet.
  • Remove as much clutter from the bedroom as possible.
  • Dust regularly in the bedroom and the whole house.
  • Keep windows free of mold.
  • Diffuse essential oils – Essential oils can provide a tremendous improvement in breathing. A blend of lemon, lavender and peppermint diffused through the night is effective for clearing airways. Purification is great too.
  • Palette expansion.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

Palate Expansion for Mouth Breathing

Palate expansion has had the biggest impact on my daughter’s health. Her mouth breathing has caused her palate to gradually become narrower and narrower. We found a naturally-minded dentist that focuses on expansion plus reshaping the jaw. It is not just the typical expander for a few months and then move on to braces.

There are a few different methods of expansion. We are using Biobloc Orthotropics. It is a three-year process with several phases. First the mouth is widened to allow room for all of the teeth and to open the nasal passage. Then the jaw is reshaped.

My daughter is breathing through her nose more in the night and getting better quality sleep. She is using mouth exercises to practice keeping her mouth closed during the day to retrain her jaw. No more sitting with her mouth wide open!

We also use tape over her mouth at night. I know it sounds strange, but our orthodontist suggested it…and it really works! You can buy special tape already cut in strips or use a hypoallergenic medical tape. Just avoid it if your child has a cold or is really stuffy. You can read more about mouth taping here!

No more bad breath! She is also much more efficient at eating. Instead of a meal taking an hour she can finish in about ten minutes.

Mouth breathing is just one challenge that originates in the mouth. There are many conditions that start with the mouth! So how do you know what it is? Use this quick and easy Mouth Assessment Guide!

How do I stop mouth breathing in my kids? We are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.Can you Eliminate Mouth Breathing?

We have many days now of greatly improved focus and attention and with less hyperactivity. She is able to quickly get herself ready for school in the morning and stay on task at school.

Her adrenal health is gradually improving as she gets more sleep and we continue with a nutrient dense, allergen-free diet. Her hair and nails are stronger. She has not had severe skin problems this winter for the first time in years.

The mouth breathing is not 100% gone, but it is drastically decreased. We are still using tape at night and doing mouth exercises during the day.

Is Your Child a Mouth Breather?

Don’t let it go untreated. It will change the shape of the face and impact overall health. Find the root problem (i.e. allergies). Then seek appropriate treatment to eliminate it.

Finally, consider palate expansion to undo the structural damage, keep the nasal passage open, and create a beautiful smile with enough room for all of your child’s teeth. I’m so thankful we stopped the mouth breathing in its tracks, and my daughter has been given a new start. Her smile says it all.

Help for Mouth Breathing

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

I Let My Toddler Use Knives

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it’s worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That’s why I let my toddler use knives!

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Getting my kids in the kitchen is nothing new to me.

All three of my kids have been in the kitchen with me since birth…makes sense seeing as I spend half my day there!

I let my kids get involved as soon as they are able. My oldest was baking cookies with me at nine months.

Teaching Kids Life Skills

But I never really taught my kids a set of skills. I never really let them take control.

Until I started doing the Kids Cook Real Food ecourse from Kitchen Stewardship!

I started with my older kids (ages 7 and 4 at the time). They love it! And I love watching them gain confidence and asking to help in the kitchen.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Toddlers Can Use Knives!

Little sister has been sitting on the sidelines observing until recently. She turned two in August. And she was more than ready to join in the fun!

We started with knife skills. That may sound strange, but it really is an important skill and one that even a toddler can do. She loves to slice bananas any chance she gets. Every time we walk by them sitting on the counter she puts in her request.

I can teach her proper techniques while keeping her safe (cutting bananas with a butter knife is fairly harmless). And all of those banana slices she makes either go in her mouth or in the freezer for a delicious dessert or to add to smoothies later.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Kitchen Skills for Kids

We are now moving on to other skills like measuring and pouring. She LOVES pouring beans or water back and forth in containers. Big brother does it right along with her to sharpen his skills. Then they make homemade fruit snacks on their own! Sometimes we use molds. Sometimes we make them in a pan so they can practice knife skills again by cutting them into cubes.

What five-year old do you know that can make his own healthy fruit snacks instead of eating the artificially colored and flavored waxy things out of a bag?

It really is possible.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Kids in the Kitchen

My older kids (now 8 and 5) are always willing to lend a helping hand with dinner preparation. Which is such a blessing to me! And I get the pleasure of giving them praise and boosting their confidence.

My eight-year old has a goal this year of being able to make a whole meal on her own. Right now our goal is confidence and safety cooking at the stove. And now that we are homeschooling we are adding it right into our curriculum. It’s so much fun.

She is even starting to create her own recipes and keeps begging to start her own blog. Did I mention she’s only eight?!

You really will be amazed at just how much kids can do in the kitchen when you give them a chance.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Kids Can Cook

Yes, even a two-year old can be helpful in the kitchen and start learning life skills. By the time my kids are teenagers I’m afraid I may be out of a job!

Are you ready to have some help in the kitchen?Kids Cook Real Food

 

Try the knife skills lessons for FREE!

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

More Cooks in the Kitchen

It’s hard to believe I wrote this post over five years ago! I have now added another budding chef to the mix. My current toddler also loves getting messy in the kitchen with me. He is a big fan of washing dishes. That is another important skill!

My other chefs are 13, 10, and almost 7. They love to help plan meals every week and participate in dinner prep often.

I love that they are empowered to make healthy food choices and gain essential life skills. I have no worries about them taking ownership of their health as they get older.

But even after all these years we still go back to the Kids Cook Real Food ecourse for a refresher periodically. It’s great practice and motivation!

Adventurous Eater

Do you let your kids help (or take over) in the kitchen often? Has your toddler learned to properly use a knife yet?