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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?

Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Dairy-Free Zucchini Cheese

Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Within one week of my youngest being born I was 100% dairy-free.

I had been through this with my previous two babies. So I knew the signs of a dairy reaction right away. There was no easing into it. I went from eating ice cream pretty much every evening while pregnant to strict no speck of dairy almost overnight.

It’s not fun to have to cut out dairy. But I knew how to do it. I have another son that is still dairy-free, so I just added two more family members to the mix.

Unfortunately our food reactions did not end there.

I cut out so many foods, trying to help my son’s silent reflux. We had his tongue and lip tie clipped.

What finally made a significant difference in his ability to nurse and eat was learning about histamine intolerance. I switched to a low-histamine diet and it was like magic.

What wasn’t magical was the amount of effort it took to keep the two of us nourished, and our lack of food options.

During the summer we basically lived on zucchini and ground beef as I tried to calm our bodies. Our garden was overflowing with zucchini, so I sliced and roasted some pretty much every day.

The ground beef was nourishment that I could actually digest. Plus I could cook up some burgers for us and freeze extras for another meal (an essential part of a low-histamine diet – not letting meat sit in the fridge).

I’m thankful I am an Analytical Eater that truly does not mind eating the same foods over and over. In fact, that is what I love. But I was really lacking in texture with all that soggy zucchini. My mouth needed more!

My solution? Zucchini cheese!

What are the Health Benefits of Zucchini?

Although often overlooked, zucchini really does pack a punch in terms of nutrition. This fruit, used as a vegetable, contains:

  • potassium
  • phosphorus
  • magnesium
  • calcium
  • fiber
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

Zucchini also has a really high water content in addition to its minerals so it is great for hydration!Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

What Can I Do With Too Much Zucchini?

I often joke with my husband that there is no such thing as too much zucchini.

Every summer we grow an absurd amount of zucchini. And every summer I use it all up! Sure, we give away a few here and there. But I truly do my best to not let any go to waste (though the chickens get the baseball bat zucchinis that we inevitably miss).

It’s easy to use up quite a bit of zucchini by roasting it for a family dinner. My kids will devour roasted zucchini covered in herbs and garlic.

Some other fun ways to use zucchini include:

Of course we can’t eat all of our zucchini fresh. Somtimes we pick 20 in one day! So I love to freeze all of my extra zucchini.

Simply slice into rounds and place on a baking sheet. Freeze and bag. Peeling is optional. You can also freeze grated zucchini to use in bread and muffins.

Last year I froze at least five gallons of zucchini. I lost count. It’s been such a blessing to be able to enjoy it all year.

What Can Be Made With Frozen Zucchini?

Frozen zucchini works well in soups, stews, and stir fry. Frozen grated zucchini is great for zucchini bread, muffins, or scones.

But mostly I use my frozen zucchini to make zucchini cheese. I have some in the fridge at all times.

I love that I don’t have to do any peeling or slicing when I use frozen zucchini. Just put a big pile in a saucepan to cook for a few minutes and it’s ready to go!

Though you can make zucchini cheese with fresh zucchini too. That is how I do it all summer.Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Dairy-Free Zucchini Cheese

Back to our low-histamine diet. I was really getting bored with roasted or sauteed zucchini. I had heard you could make “cheese” with zucchini. So I found some recipes and started experimenting.

The first one I tried used lemon juice. That was a big disaster. I think it all went in the trash. Even the kids couldn’t stomach the flavor.

Over time I figured out my own version of zucchini cheese that has been a staple in my diet ever since.

Zucchini cheese gets it’s texture from a combination of healthy fat (like butter or coonut oil) and grassfed gelatin. Now that my son tolerates butter I tend to use it for zucchini cheese. But coconut oil works just as well!

I use a small loaf pan to create a taller block of cheese that I can slice.

We use zucchini cheese on salads and sandwiches. It’s delicoius on crackers. Or I often just eat it plain.

 

Dairy-Free Zucchini Cheese

Servings 10
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups zucchini sliced, peeled or unpeeled, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or butter
  • 4-5 Tbsp. gelatin
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder optional
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder optional
  • 1/4 tsp. tumeric optional
  • 2 Tbsp. non-fortified nutritional yeast optional

Instructions

  1. Place sliced zucchini and a small amount of water (enough to cover the bottom) in a small saucepan. Turn heat to high until water comes to a boil.

  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer until zucchini is cooked, about 5-10 minutes.

  3. Drain the zucchini and place it in a blender with the coconut oil and salt.

  4. Blend on high until smooth.

  5. Add the gelatin and blend on high until smooth.

  6. Taste and add seasoning/yeast as desired. Blend.

  7. Pour into a glass or ceramic small bread pan. Chill in the refrigerator until firm.

  8. Slice or cut into sticks to serve. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Recipe Notes

  • The flavor will become milder as the cheese firms, so add a little more salt/seasoning than you think you need.

Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Healthy Veggie Cheese

While zucchini works very well for making a faux cheese because of its neutral flavor, you can defnitely change up the flavor with other vegetables!

This is really important for the Adventurous Eaters that need variety. Plus you get a different array of nutrients.

One of our favorites is squash cheese. It has such a beautiful orange color! Not to mention it has a bit of sweetness to it. So kids really love it. It has a taste reminiscent of American cheese, so it’s often a great transition for kids that are used to a Standard American Diet (SAD).

Cauliflower is another great option if you want a white cheese with a kid-friendly flavor.

You can go a little more bold with peas and create green cheese!

What to Feed a Child Who Doesn’t Like Meat

One of my favorite things about zucchini cheese is the nutrition factor. It has a combination of protein (gelatin), healthy fat, and carbohydrates with fiber (zucchini). Lots of Real Salt adds essential trace minerals.

Sometimes I really boost the nutrient content by adding non-fortified nutritional yeast and turmeric.

So many selective eater kids struggle with eating meat. Whether it’s the texture, the chewing, or the inability to digest it, getting adequate protein is a struggle for many.

Gelatin is a great solution! And zucchini cheese is an easy way to get a big dose of easy-to-digest gelatin down.


Perfect Supplements is the only brand of gelatin I trust. It is grassfed and certified 100% glyphosate free!

Stock up now. Take 10% off with the code TAKE10 HERE!


Zucchini cheese is also great for the kids that only want to eat cheese and starch all day. You can get a great dose of both macro and micronutrients in while they still enjoy their favorite food.Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Easy Toddler Snack

When I first started making zucchini cheese it was really for myeslf. Did I let my kids try it? Of course! But I was the one needing something creamy and salty.

But soon it turned into one of my favorite toddler snacks. My almost-three-year-old has been enjoying zucchini cheese with me since he could eat solid food!

I cut it into thick slices and then into sticks. Easy to hold. Easy to chew. Easy nourishment. That equals an easy toddler snack! And a great way to get little kids interested in veggies.

Is your toddler like mine and only wants to snack all day? Zucchini cheese is the way to go. Snack away!

What is the Best Diet for Picky Eaters?

Each child has unique, bio-individual needs. Which is why I am so passionate about Nutrional Therapy for Kids! That being said, all kids need a balanced diet. This is especially important for those “picky” or “selective” eaters.

A balanced diet includes whole food sources of protein, fat, and carbohydrates with fiber. An easy way to think of this is meat, oil, fruits, and veggies.

Zucchini cheese meets all of the criteria! So it is a great addition to a picky eater’s diet. And getting that balance will help alleviate those picky eating symptoms.

It is also great for those “hangry” kids that crash when they haven’t eaten in a while. Zucchini cheese is a ready-to-go snack when they need something quickly!


Need more dairy-free substitutes? Grab your copy of 10 Simple Dairy Substitutes with recipes for everything from milk to yogurt to ice cream!


Allergen-Free Food on a Budget

One of the hardest aspects of having a child with dietary restrictions is the cost of the food. Have you ever compared the price of regular cheese to dairy-free cheese? Or the cost of wheat bread to gluten-free bread?

If you have, you know that allergen-free food can add up very quickly!

Which is why I love making zucchini cheese. Zucchini is a very affordable vegetable that you can buy in bulk in the summer and store enough for the whole winter. Visit any farmer’s market in the summer and you’ll see piles of zucchini. Or just ask a neighbor with a garden. They probably have extra.

Stock up on gelatin with a bulk discount or when it’s on sale HERE.

You can also watch for good deals on coconut oil.

Now you have all of the ingredients for healthy, dairy-free cheese on a budget!Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Is Dairy-Free Cheese Healthy?

I’ll be the first to admit that we do buy some dairy-free cheese. It’s nice to have something that melts like real cheese when making a pizza or grilled cheese.

But I can’t say I’m thrilled about the ingredients. While not horrible, it is still a processed food with some gums and fillers.

That is why I love making zucchini cheese. I control the ingredients. And they are all whole foods that I serve my family regularly.

Is dairy-free cheese healthy? It is if it’s homemade zucchini cheese!

Is your family dairy-free? Do you miss chees? Give zucchini cheese a try!

What is HTMA for Kids?

What is HTMA for Kids?

HTMA for kids is a non-invasive test that uses a small hair sample for Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. The goal of HTMA for kids is to rebuild and balance minerals while removing toxic metals in a safe and gentle way so your child can feel his or her best!What is HTMA for Kids?

I recently talked about the health struggles we faced with our oldest. But through it all I was never concerned about her not getting enough to eat or her overall physical health.

Unfortunately we entered the world of stress, anxiety, and severe feeding challenges when my youngest daughter was born.

Being my third child, I felt pretty confident. I knew how to handle breastfeeding, sick babies, diaper blow-outs, etc.

But I was not prepared for the journey to come.

From day one my daughter could not breastfeed well. Three minutes was a “good” feed for her. She was often uncomfortable. And she slept a lot more than my other kids did as infants.

Although she was my biggest baby at birth (nine pounds!), her chubby baby status didn’t last long.

During her first year of life we learned about the profound impact of tongue and lip ties. We had them clipped twice.

I also had to restrict my diet to such a severe degree that I feared we would run out of safe food. But it was the only way she could breastfeed without screaming. And no formula was safe, so that was not an option.

She developed an allergy to coconut and all things from palm trees. Even if I took a vitamin that contained Vitamin A Palmitate she would not nurse. She would scream in pain. I could not get one speck of coconut, dairy, and many other foods in my mouth or she would react. I even stopped eating gluten-free because most gluten-free grains were off the list and we both needed to eat.

Sadly, I learned the hard way the dangers of Big Pharma’s favorite way to introduce toxic substances and heavy metals into children (I won’t use the word here). Had I not made the connection when she turned one, our outcome would have beeen much different. As it was she was convulsing in my arms, her tongue was swelling, and she could not eat.

At 18 months old my daughter was nursing every 45 minutes just to try to keep her alive. And those feedings were each just a few minutes. She rarely had a wet diaper. She hadn’t gained weight in months. I fed her a lot by syringe. But the pediatrician would not help us. He simply looked at her and said, “She looks fine to me.”

That was when I learned I had to be my duaghter’s doctor. Nobody wanted to help us.What is HTMA for Kids?

Feeding Challenges in Infants

My daughter’s story is sad, but what is even worse is that I’m not alone in my experience. I know so many other moms have been through extreme health and feeding challenges in their infants but have not gotten the support and help they need.

What do feeding challenges in infants look like?

  • colic
  • reflux/GERD
  • silent reflux
  • tongue and lip ties
  • resist solid food
  • inability or difficulty breastfeeding
  • failure to thrive
  • dehydration
  • delayed development

Most pediatricians do not know how to properly diagnose or treat these symptoms.

Some may prescribe antacids, which do more harm than good in the long run. Some may suggest ways to supplement. But that is about it.

For the most part, Mom is left to struggle through on her own.What is HTMA for kids?

Feeding Challenges in Childhood

As your child gets a little older, things may get easier. But the feeding troubles may persist or even get worse.

What do feeding challenges in childhood look like?

  • refusal to eat
  • refusal to try new foods
  • can’t handle certain textures
  • will only eat a handful of foods
  • food allergies or sensitivities
  • oral sensory processing disorder

If you have a child that is labled as a “picky eater,” “problem feeder,” or “selective eater” you know what it’s like. You know the day-to-day struggles and stress.What is HTMA for Kids?

Common Childhood Disorders

What many doctors and parents don’t realize is that the picky eating is actually just the tip of the iceberg. It is a symptom of something much deeper.

It’s very rare that I have a client that struggles with feeding that does not also have one or more of the following common childhood disorders and symptoms:

  • speech difficulties or delays
  • developmental delays
  • low weight
  • rings under eyes
  • sick often
  • ADHD
  • food allergies
  • anxiety
  • neurological disorder
  • weak bones and/or teeth
  • learning difficulties
  • slow/stunted growth
  • overweight

Though these may seem like separate issues on the surface, they are all connected.

Nutritional Balancing for Kids

Sadly, we have a generation of very sick kids. Although children grow up in different homes, different environments, and different cultures, the root cause of their health problems are the same.

Two of the biggest culprits of childhood disorders, including feeding challenges, is mineral imbalance and heavy metal toxicity.

This also includes overall mineral deficiency.

While I am not a fan of oversupplementing our lives, most kids these days are getting very few nutrients in their diets.

Typical kid food is void of nutrition. Then we add stress and sugar on top to deplete any minerals that were available. Even most vegetables are lacking in vitamins and minerals because our soil is so depleted of its mineral content. It’s a downward spiral into poor health that is happening at younger and younger ages.What is HTMA for Kids?

What is HTMA for Kids?

HTMA stands for Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. And it can be a life-saver for kids.

When digging for answers, most doctors run blood tests. And that can be helpful.

But when it comes to certain minerals and heavy metals, a blood test is not accurate enough. It only gives you a snapshot of that one moment in time when the blood was drawn. And some levels fluctuate throughout the day. So you could get signficantly different results depending on when the blood was drawn.

HTMA, however, shows mineral and heavy metal patterns for a three-month window. It’s like getting an in-depth look at your child’s health.

In addition, the body will do whatever it can to keep blood levels in a very narrow range. This is a survival mechanism. If blood levels are low, the situation is serious.

But looking at tissue levels (hair), you can see if the body is actually putting the minerals where they belong or if the body is storing heavy metals.

For example, a child may have a normal blood calcium level. However, an HTMA for kids may show a very high tissue calcium level. This means that although the child’s body is maintaining a sufficient level of calcium in the blood, his or her body is also dumping calcium instead of putting it into the bones.

HTMA for kids uses a small hair sample to assess mineral and heavy metal status. It is a non-invasive procedure that is ideal for kids.What is HTMA for Kids?

What is HTMA Used For?

Many kids these days are deficient in key minerals, have minerals that are out of balance with each other, or have heavy metals stored in their tissues at toxic levels.

Unfortunately, when minerals are not present, heavy metals take their place, making it harder for the body to remove the metals.

The goal of HTMA for kids is to restore the balance of key minerals and support the body in removing heavy metals.

This is not a detox program.

This is simply giving the body what it needs in order for it to function properly and remove what it does not need. In other words, the goal is to balance and restore.

Heavy metals and mineral imbalance can both contribute to a host of symptoms, such as those mentioned above. They can also be the cause of food reactions. Rebalancing a child’s minerals allows him or her to think better, feel more energetic, and act like a kid.

Child Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

When my daughter was one, I was searching and searching for answers and help. I came across HTMA.

At the time I was really struggling with my own health as well. I could hardly eat anything due to my daughter’s restrictions, and I was so stressed that I had daily heart palpitations. I knew I was so out of balance.

I started by doing HTMA for myself in order to get both my daughter and I back in balance. We made slow progress because there were very few safe supplements and such a limited diet.

But I did learn some key information about how Vitamin D suppelements were harming us. I was able to add desiccated liver (use the code TAKE10 for 10% off) to our diets, and it was truly a life-saver for my daughter.

By doing HTMA I was able to make some simple changes that had a profound impact. My daughter got some key nutrients while allowing her body to remove some heavy metals.

As we turned the corner we were able to gradually add more foods to our diet and continued to make progress.

A couple years later I did HTMA for my daughter herself. Once again we were able to keep balancing her minerals and watch her health steadily improve.What is HTMA for Kids?

She is now six years old and a very active and energetic little girl. She has almost completely eliminated her food restrictions.

What could have turned into a tragic story instead became one of hope and healing.

Mineral Balncing for Kids

Even though we have come so far from that little infant struggling to survive, we still have work to do. My daughter is my only child that battles severe leg pains at times and has some cavities (likely due to Vitamin D supplements). We will continue to use HTMA to get her minerals in balance and remove toxins. But I know that she has a bright future thanks to HTMA for kids!

Does HTMA sound like a good fit for you and your kids? Are you ready to end the constant worry and struggle when it comes to nourishing your kids? I’d love to help!

Learn more about my HTMA programs HERE!

You can also email me or schecule a 15-minute Clarity Call to learn more.

Book a clarity call!Contact me

So far we have talked about the foundations of good health, Nutritional Therapy for kids, and HTMA for kids – the physical aspects of health. But there is still more! Next up I’ll be discussing more of the mental aspect of eating. Even as an infant, a child can develop psychological blocks to eating well. Stay tuned!

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

Divine Chocolate Cake

When it comes to Valentine’s Day nothing beats chocolate. Get your fix with this divine chocolate cake that can be mixed by hand and made gluten free!

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

I am working with Stonyfield and Divine Chocolate for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. But the opinions and ideas are my own. I have not been paid to post positive reviews.

Stop what you’re doing and run to the kitchen.

Wait, read this post first. Then run to the kitchen to make this divine chocolate cake. Trust me, your family will be singing your praises.

Chocolate is the Best!

When it comes to sweets I always pick chocolate anything. Especially for Valentine’s Day. So naturally I like to make chocolate treats for my family.

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

When challenged to create something with Stonyfield yogurt and Divine Chocolate, my first thought was to simply eat a dish of yogurt with big chunks of chocolate in it. That’s my idea of great treat!!

But that isn’t much of a recipe.

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

Divine Chocolate Cake

Instead I created a chocolate cake that uses melted chocolate for flavor and whole milk yogurt for moisture. I don’t go overboard with sugar either. The end result is a light chocolate cake that you’ll go crazy for.

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

I made two versions. One gluten-free for my kids and one with wheat for my husband. Both cakes were so delicious! If my husband approves of a gluten-free cake you know it has to be good.

My daughter even shared some with a friend at school (who is not gluten-free) who raved about it.

For the gluten-free divine chocolate cake I used my favorite gluten-free flour mix. It worked perfectly! No gums or binders required.

If you are dairy-free, you can use coconut milk yogurt in place of the dairy yogurt.

Reduced Sugar Chocolate Cake

But you can’t have cake without frosting! So I added a light chocolate buttercream and shavings of dark chocolate. Yep, I had some pretty happy kids.

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

The great thing about Divine Chocolates is that there are quite a few flavors. So you could change up the flavor of the cake. Simply shave flavored chocolate on top or add it right to the cake batter. The mint or raspberry would be amazing!

Are you looking for an easy and delicious dessert for your family?

This Valentine’s Day give your loved ones a special treat by creating your own divine chocolate cake using Stonyfield yogurt and Divine Chocolate. Everyone will feel the love!

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

Divine Chocolate Cake
Serves 12
A light, moist chocolate cake made with dark chocolate and yogurt.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup chocolate of choice (see notes)
  2. 1/4 cup butter
  3. 1 Tbsp. carob powder (optional)
  4. 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder (optional)
  5. 1 cup organic cane sugar
  6. 2 cups AP flour or gluten free flour mix (see post for link)
  7. 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp. salt
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 tsp. vanilla
  11. 1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350*F. Grease and line with parchment paper two 8" or 9" round cake pans.
  2. Melt the chocolate, butter, carob powder and cocoa powder in double boiler. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla and yogurt. Stir until combined.
  5. Add the melted chocolate. Stir until well mixed. The batter will be thick.
  6. Divide the batter into the prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Allow cake to cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
  9. Frost and serve.
Notes
  1. For chocolate you can use any flavor of Divine chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
 Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

Light Chocolate Buttercream
A simple, light chocolate buttercream.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup butter at room temperature
  2. 1/3 cup organic palm shortening (or more butter)
  3. 1 cup organic powdered cane sugar
  4. 1 -2 Tbsp. organic cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Beat all ingredients together in a large bowl until well mixed and fluffy.
Notes
  1. To make powdered sugar simply blend organic cane sugar in a high powered blender until powdered.
  2. This makes enough to fill and top a two layer cake. Double the recipe if you also want to frost the sides.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
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.

Nutritional Therapy for Kids

What is Nutritional Therapy for Kids?

Nutritional Therapy for Kids

When my first child was born, I pretty much knew nothing about parenting, including how to feed kids. I had never heard the term “Real Food.” I thought low-fat meant healthy.

I followed the typical advice for introducing solids, starting with infant cereal and a few purees. Graduating to American cheese and sweetened yogurt.

But it didn’t go as well as I had expected.

My daughter was not very receptive to food. She gagged. She spit it out. She almost seemed over-stimulated by it, her whole body moving at meal times.

But we pressed on. In the toddler years she would hold one piece of food in her mouth for over 30 minutes. Eggs would go in and come right back out. And forget about raw fruits and veggies! She was still eating purees well past two.

As she got a little older it wasn’t just the feeding challenges that stood out. I started to notice other symptoms that just didn’t seem quite right.

She didn’t play with other kids, just observed. She was (and is!) insanely smart and could read for hours. Yet something as simple as getting dressed or brushing her teeth could end in tears.

As the symptoms started to pile up, so did my concerns. And I know this is not unique to me. So many parents live the same struggles day after day.Nutritional Therapy for Kids

Why are Kids Unhealthy?

Our culture does not prioritize a child’s health. From day one they are bombarded with fillers, gums, sugar, heavy metals, synthetic vitamins, pesticides, herbicides, and an assortment of chemicals to sanitize their environment.

In turn we have kids struggling with:

  • ADHD,
  • diabetes,
  • sensory processing disorder,
  • autism,
  • feeding challenges,
  • food allergies,
  • asthma,
  • obesity,
  • and even cancer…

at younger and younger ages.

This is not how a child should have to live.

I recently shared my Foundations of Good Health. These apply to everyone, kids included. And at the top of the list is Nutrition!Nutritional Therapy for Kids

What is Good Nutrition for a Child?

Sadly most doctors will tell you all of this is normal. It’s just how your child was born, and there is nothing you can do about it.

No, it is not normal!

But it is common in our modern, diseased world.

My goal is to turn this around. It is my mission to allow kids to feel like kids again.

What we really need to do is get at the root of the issue…which is poor nutrition.

Typical “kid food” is keeping our children sick and diseased. This includes:

  • cereal
  • candy
  • processed meats
  • fast food
  • Lunchables®
  • frozen pizza
  • chicken nuggets
  • toaster pastries
  • food dyes
  • refined sugar
  • genetically modified foods

The list could go on and on. These “foods” are a stark contrast to nutrition. They are actually void of nutrients.Nutritional Therapy for Kids

What is Nutritional Therapy for Kids?

So what is the solution? What can parents do to turn this around?

This is where Nutritional Therapy for kids comes in!

Food is medicine. What a child eats directly impacts how he or she thinks, feels, and behaves.

This includes:

  • how your child interacts with family and friends
  • how your child performs in school
  • what food choices your child makes
  • your child’s mood
  • how your child handles stress
  • your child’s weight and activity level

If you give a child proper nourishment, he or she can thrive!

Nutritional Therapy centers on the idea that real health can be achieved through a holistic and bio-individual approach to nutrition and lifestyle.Nutritional Therapy for Kids

What are the Goals of Nutritional Therapy for Kids?

As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I take the whole child into account. I do not focus on one symptom, but instead look deeper and support the whole body.

I take a holistic approach to wellness that focuses on the importance of a properly-prepared, nutrient-dense diet paired with a well-balanced lifestyle.

I understand the importance of honoring the body’s own feedback system and its incredible capacity to restore, regenerate, and correct itself when given the tools and nutrients to do so.

In other words, I focus on removing barriers and building up the body. The goal of Nutritional Therapy for Kids is to give them the proper nutrition and support to get back in balance.

Nutritional Therapy is ideal for parents and kids that want to avoid prescription medications and illness, but instead use diet and lifestyle to support the body and allow it to function optimally.Nutritional Therapy for Kids

How Can Kids Improve Nutrition?

One unique aspect of Nutritional Therapy for kids at Just Take A Bite LLC is my use of Eating Styles. This is like understanding your child’s “food language.”

This takes bio-individuality to a whole new level.

I do not just look at the physical dietary needs. I also take into account the emotional and mental aspect of how your child views the world and his or her food.

Two children may be lacking in quality protein. But an Intuitive Eater will need easy-to-chew, comforting options while an Active Eater will prefer tougher cuts.

Using the Eating Styles, I can help you go that extra step to knowing which foods and recipes will be ideal for your child.

Understanding your child’s Eating Style will even help you create an ideal eating environment. An Analytical Eater will prefer quiet and maybe even eating alone sometimes. While an Adventurous Eater will enjoy trying new foods and changing the seating arrangement every night!

Adding in this extra level of bio-individuality means less frustration for Mom and more success in improving your child’s diet and health!

Food Language Quiz

What is a Healthy Diet for Kids?

My daughter is now almost a teenager (gasp!). I’m so proud to say she is an amazingly talented young lady with a big heart.

Over the years we worked with a speech therapist, occupational therapist, functional neurologist, psychologist, chiropractor, and orthodontist. Each of these contributed to our success.

But it was Nutritional Therapy that had the biggest impact on my daughter’s health and overall life!

At five years old we removed gluten and food dyes.

Almost overnight it was like somebody turned on a light switch in her brain. The sparkle appeared in her eyes and she could feel the difference.

Since that day we have made adjustments here and there to meet her needs. She is an Adventurous Eater that has very different tastes in food than I do. And I honor that and let her help plan meals and make food decisions. Almost every afternoon I find her in the kitchen creating a unique snack!

We periodically assess her body and how each system is functioning to tailor diet and lifestyle accordingly.Nutritional Therapy for Kids

As we enter the teen years this will be of the utmost importance with shifting hormones and different sleep and nutritional needs.

Just the other day she mentioned how she has been thinking better after we put a focus on some key B vitamins.

Gluten-free and dye-free in addition to whole foods is what works for my daughter. But every child has a unique set of challenges and a unique environment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to health. That is why Nutritional Therapy is so amazing!Nutritional Therapy for Kids

Is Nutritional Therapy Necessary?

I truly believe that all children can benefit from Nutritional Therapy. It is a great way to support the whole child in a non-invasive manner.

Even seemingly healthy kids can benefit by targeting specific body systems and supporting them with key nutrients.

I’d love to support you and your children on your journey to better health with Nutritional Therapy! If you want to learn more, let’s talk!

Book a clarity call!

Beyond Nutritional Therapy for Kids

There are times when even Nutritional Therapy is not enough. Or times when a feeding problem has gone beyond a simple dietary adjustment.

If you’ve been hesitant to take action and take charge of your child’s health, it could get worse.

This is where Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) for kids comes in. Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll share my youngest daughter’s journey when she went from eating nothing to a healthy, active child. HTMA was a life-saver!

How have you seen diet impact your child’s life?

Kid-Friendly, Healthy Avocado Fries

Simple, healthy avocado fries

 

I once heard a chef on tv (I won’t mention names) say you should NEVER cook avocado. Boy was she wrong!!! I cook avocados all the time. They are delicious!

Years ago while doing the GAPS diet I got very creative with avocados. I put them in soups, on salads, blended them in smoothies, added them to eggs, used them for “bird’s nests,” all kinds of stuff.

The Best Way to Serve Avocado

Although smashed avocado with a generous helping of Real Salt scooped with organic corn chips or raw veggies is pretty amazing, there is another version of avocado that tops my list.

My favorite way to serve avocado is to fry it in a pan to create avocado fries!

I use either butter or coconut oil and plenty of unrefined sea salt.

The result? Golden, crispy, salty outsides with rich, creamy insides. This is like heaven for an Analytical Eater (find out if that’s you HERE).

Avocado Fries

Avocado fries are like french fries…but much healthier.

They contain tons of good fat, vitamins, and minerals (did you know avocado is high in potassium?). You can eat the avocado fries plain or dip them in ketchup, pesto, hummus, or honey mustard. Really they are good dipped in pretty much anything.

Eat them like fries or use them to top a salad (like croutons).

How to Increase Healthy Fat in Your Child’s Diet

I like avocado fries as part of an easy to prep lunch. I just toss them in the pan and let them cook while I get the other food prep done.

Avocado fries make great finger food for toddlers. And they are a fun way to get healthy fat into any child’s diet.

There isn’t much to cooking avocado. Simple, delicious, nutritious. My favorite food trifecta!

Give avocado fries a try. You’ll be glad you did. If someone ever tells you not to cook avocados…ask them if they’ve tried avocado fries.

Simple, healthy avocado fries

 

Quick Avocado Fries

Cook Time 14 minutes
Servings 2 kids
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado sliced lengthwise
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
  • Pinch unrefined sea salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. When hot add the butter/coconut oil.

  2. Add sliced avocado (the thickness just depends on your taste). Sprinkle with salt. Let cook on the first side until golden and crispy, about 5-7 minutes.

  3. Flip and repeat with the other side. Add extra salt if necessary.

Recipe Notes

Don't waste the salty butter in the pan. Use it on bread or to cook some greens.

This post is linked to Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday and Fresh Bites Friday and Fight Back Friday.