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Protein-Rich Salted Chocolate Milk

Have a kid that won’t eat meat or isn’t getting enough protein? Chocolate milk to the rescue! This refined sugar-free protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect!

Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

When it comes to drinks in our house we basically have two options: milk or water.

It may seem boring. But really, we don’t need much else. Once in a while my kids get a little pure grape juice (if they are fighting a cold or if we are making our “smart water.”). And of course we do love our smoothies for added nourishment (check out my book full of recipes here!).

But if my kids are thirsty it’s generally water or milk.

Kid-Friendly Drink Without Refined Sugar

Then there are those days where we just want something a little extra. Or maybe my Intuitve Eater is in one of her “I don’t want to eat much” slumps. And I have to be sneaky.

That’s when I bust out the chocolate milk! Who doesn’t love chocolate milk? I know I sure do!Healthy Chocolate Milk for Kids with a protein boost!

Protein-Rich Drink for Kids

My version of chocolate milk is taken to a new level with extra protein from grassfed collagen (THIS is the brand we use – use TAKE10 to get 10% off). It blends right in with no added taste. Plus it’s loaded with a whole array of essential amino acids.

The kids and I have been studying human anatomy and physiology for science this year. Our unit on nutrition introduced us to amino acids and how they are the building blocks of protein. And they are so important! So when I showed the collagen container to my oldest she was fascinated to look at the amino acid profile. Science lesson built in to making chocolate milk!

The good stuff doesn’t stop there. We are big fans of adding salt to chocolate. When I say salt I mean real, unrefined sea salt (like this). Not only does it contain a broad spectrum of minerals, it is also hydrating/good for balancing electrolytes and delicious! We even use it to make salted dark chocolate ice cream, healing hot cocoa and salted honey chocolates . Salt and chocolate go so well together.

To really boost nutrition we like to add probiotics and raw egg yolks (from our own free-range chickens). So you are getting extra protein, essential minerals, probiotics, and vitamins! All in a glass of chocolate milk. It’s a mom win!

If you like your chocolate milk a bit thicker, like a shake, you can add a little banana and/or avocado.Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

Healthy Chocolate Milk

When I gave this protein-rich salted chocolate milk to my daughter she had two comments:

  1. Does this have salt?! Yum! When can we make salted chocolate ice cream?
  2. You have to make this every single day!

How to get Kids to Eat Enough Protein

My youngest can be really picky when it comes to meat. Veggies? She’ll out eat anyone. Meat? Turns up her nose. We have to bribe her to take bites of meat…then she can have thirds of veggies! For real. So I’m always glad when I can sneak in extra protein for her in something so delicious like chocolate milk. Collagen is a great way to do this. A scoops gives her the protein boost her little body needs. Added to the raw milk and egg yolks it makes a complete protein.

Her ideal meal is a huge pile of vegetables with a glass of salted chocolate milk. And I love to give it to her.

Quick & Easy Nutrition for Kids

It only takes about three minutes to make salted chocolate milk (mostly just the time required to gather ingredients). Older kids can make it themselves. My six and nine-year-olds know how to separate egg yolks thanks to the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. My three year-old loves to help with the blender. It’s a family event! And we all enjoy the reward at the end.

The next time you’re in a beverage rut or your kids need a little protein boost, make a batch of salted chocolate milk. Use your favorite milk and some grassfed collagen to blend a nourishing drink the whole family will love.Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

Protein-Rich Salted Chocolate Milk

A nourishing drink filled with extra protein and minerals.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 2
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw whole milk, full fat coconut milk, almond milk, or rice milk
  • 2 Tbsp. organic cocoa, carob, or cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. collagen
  • 1 capsule probiotics optional
  • 1/2 medium banana optional
  • 1/4 avocado optional
  • 1-3 egg yolks from free-range chickens

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender.

  2. Blend on high until well combined.

  3. Serve immediately.

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

Should You Force Feed a Picky Eater?

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

The strategy to force feed a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track! Here is my secret weapon to get any picky eater back to fully nourished status and enjoying lots of real food again.

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

Really it is a great way to parent.

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

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

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

How to Feed an Under-Eater

What did I do?

I forced her to eat.

Now, before you become alarmed, let me explain what I mean by force feed.

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

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

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

The strategy to force feed a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track! Here is my secret weapon to get any picky eater back to fully nourished status and enjoying lots of real food again.

Nourishing Drinks for Picky Eaters

Enter my secret weapon – nourishing drinks!

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

Want to know what happened next?

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

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

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

Variety for Picky Eaters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grab your copy HERE!

Easy Nourishment for Picky Eaters

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

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

The strategy to force feed a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track! Here is my secret weapon to get any picky eater back to fully nourished status and enjoying lots of real food again.

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

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

Boost those nutrients and watch that picky eating turn around!

The strategy to force feed a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track! Here is my secret weapon to get any picky eater back to fully nourished status and enjoying lots of real food again.

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

How to make REAL "Kool-Aid"

How To Make REAL “Kool-Aid” | Dye-Free & Allergen-Free

Not a fan of adding dyes and artificial flavors to your kids’ diet? This real food version of “Kool-Aid” is easy to make and fun for kids. No chemicals required.

How to make REAL "Kool-Aid"Lately I see a lot of commercials for convenience foods that just seem plain silly.  Like to-go containers of peanut butter? Because you don’t have enough time to scoop a little peanut butter into a container at home?

Then there are the “foods” that are just plain junk. Like “Kool-Aid” squeeze packs. Because it’s such a great idea to fill your child with high fructose corn syrup and food coloring that they had to make it even easier for you to do. And you can even do it on the go. Give your child a bottle of water…and then fill it with nasty stuff that contributes to ADHD and other health issues.

I say just give them the water and be done. There really is no need for anything extra.How to make REAL "Kool-Aid" - A simple, dye-free drink for kids.

How to Make “Kool-Aid” Without Food Coloring

Sometimes it is nice to have a treat. And there are also times when your child needs a beverage that is a bit more hydrating than plain water, like this Smart Water.

So I created a real food version of “Kool-Aid” syrup to add to water. It’s made with quality ingredients. Plus it has unrefined sea salt with minerals for hydration.

 I send my daughter to school with a water bottle every day. But once in a while I add a couple tablespoons of our homemade fruit syrup. She gets a treat. And she’s more likely to drink more that way and stay hydrated. A little flavor goes a long way.

How to Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup

You don’t need the corn syrup and food dyes to make water fun. Simply make your own syrup (it only takes 10 minutes!). Then your child can still focus at school while having a delicious treat. And if your child is like mine, they’ll tell their friends all about it and start teaching others about good health at a young age. Everyone wins.

What do your kids like to drink?

How about some “Kool-Aid” real food style? The pictures show cherry “Kool-Aid.” You can also make blueberry or lemon lime or any combination. There is something delicious for everyone.How to make REAL "Kool-Aid" - A simple, dye-free drink for kids.How to make REAL "Kool-Aid" - A simple, dye-free drink for kids.

{REAL} "Kool-Aid"
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup pure juice (cherry, blueberry, lemon, lime)
  2. 1 cup organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 5-10 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved, whisking frequently.
  3. Remove from heat. Pour the syrup into a glass container, cover and refrigerate until cool.
  4. When ready to serve add 1 Tbsp. syrup to every 1/2 cup water. Stir or shake to mix.
Notes
  1. This can be made with one flavor of juice or a combination.
  2. You can add more or less syrup depending on how sweet you like it.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
This healing hot cocoa will warm you up, keep you hydrated and nourish your body. Plus it tastes great! The perfect cold weather drink.

How to Make Homemade Hot Cocoa That Heals

This healing hot cocoa will warm you up, keep you hydrated and nourish your body. Plus it tastes great! The perfect cold weather drink.This healing hot cocoa will warm you up, keep you hydrated and nourish your body. Plus it tastes great! The perfect cold weather drink. #realfood #glutenfree #homemade

Ever since I got pregnant with baby number two (in 2010) I have been hooked on hot chocolate. While I had morning sickness, it was about the only way I could get fluids down. For some reason even when I’m sick chocolate still sounds good.

Even after giving birth I still enjoyed hot chocolate, but didn’t need it daily any more. I should say I’d try not to drink it daily…I was trying to be “good.”

Being good didn’t work.

Why Water Doesn’t Hydrate

I’d go for stretches where I only drank lots of plain water or water with a little lemon juice (that’s supposed to be healthy, right?). But I started to notice that I always felt so full after drinking plain water. It felt like I never absorbed it unless I just took tiny sips at a time. And I would always have to go to the bathroom frequently. Plus I would get very cold.
 
But give me a big mug of hot chocolate – completely different! I can go through the whole thing in a few minutes and not feel like I have a belly full of liquid. I feel like my body absorbs it and uses it. It helps me get warm and stay warm.

So whenever I’m feeling dehydrated, like I’m not absorbing fluids, or like I need something to help warm up I reach for a big mug of homemade hot cocoa.

This healing hot cocoa will warm you up, keep you hydrated and nourish your body. Plus it tastes great! The perfect cold weather drink. #realfood #glutenfree #homemade

Why Hot Cocoa Heals

I’ve tried other drinks, but they never do the same thing. Why would this be?

Turns out my body really does know what it needs.

First, cocoa is actually quite high in magnesium. And that’s something I am lacking.


You can also increase your magnesium levels with this two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion OR buy a high quality magnesium lotion HERE. We love both!


Cocoa is also high in iron. And I just found out this week that I’m anemic. So I better keep drinking my hot chocolate!

Finally, as a tired mom with adrenal fatigue, plain water just makes me sluggish. This healthy hot cocoa gives my adrenals the boost they need to get through the day.

Healthy Hot Cocoa

After reading Eat For Heat I know that some fluids like plain water, tea, coffee and soda just flush the minerals out of your body. But cocoa is is a very warming food. And so is salt…which I add to my hot chocolate to make it even more warming!

Finally I saw this article recently about the health benefits of honey and cinnamon.

I combine all of these benefits into a cup of delicious, healing, hydrating, warming hot cocoa. It only takes a few seconds to make (once you have hot water). And it is very allergy-friendly (dairy, eggs, wheat, gluten, soy, etc.). If you can handle cocoa powder it is even GAPS legal.

You can also use cacao or carob in place of the cocoa. Whichever you choose make sure it’s organic.

With the salt/sweet/mineral content this could even replace your sports drink.

Make Your Homemade Hot Cocoa Even Better

If you really want a nutrient boost you can add collagen, butter and/or coconut oil!

Want to take a step towards good health? Instead of drowning in ounce after ounce of plain water try a delicious mug of healing hot cocoa. Your body and your taste buds will thank you.

A little disclaimer – I’m not a doctor. I don’t have scientific data to back this up. I just know how my body responds. I always feel warm and hydrated when I drink my homemade hot cocoa. But I feel full and cold when I drink most other fluids.

How about you? Does your body respond well to hot cocoa?

Want to learn more about hydration, thyroid, and adrenals? Read why I cut way down on drinking plain water.

This healing hot cocoa will warm you up, keep you hydrated and nourish your body. Plus it tastes great! The perfect cold weather drink. #realfood #glutenfree #homemade

5 from 2 votes
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Homemade Hot Cocoa That Heals

Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 - 2 tsp. organic cocoa powder it is important to use organic to avoid GMOs (you can also use carob powder if you can't tolerate cocoa)
  • 2 tsp. raw honey, organic cane sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon optional
  • 1/8 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  • 1/4 cup milk or milk substitute optional
  • 2 tsp. collagen  optional
  • 2 tsp. butter optional
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil optional
  • hot water

Instructions

  1. Place cocoa powder, honey, cinnamon, collagen and salt in a mug.

  2.  Fill the mug with hot water and stir to dissolve.

  3. Add a splash of milk if desired for creaminess/to cool the hot chocolate.

Easy and Delicious Homemade Rice Milk

Are you looking for a milk alternative that is budget-friendly, easy to make, doesn’t contain gums, fillers or allergens and actually tastes good? This homemade rice milk is the perfect solution!Are you looking for a milk alternative that is budget-friendly, easy to make, doesn't contain gums, fillers or allergens and actually tastes good? This homemade rice milk is the perfect solution!

I have a love-hate relationship with milk alternatives.

I love that they are readily available since so many people have problems with dairy.

But I hate how expensive they are and all of the unhealthy ingredients added. Especially the Vitamin A and D supplements!! You can read about why I think that is such a BAD idea here.

Why You Should Make Your Own Milk Alternative

To avoid the cost and undesirable ingredients you really have to make your own milk alternative.

There are some really good ones. I love this coconut milk. But when you are working around a lot of allergies, many of the easiest and most delicious milk alternatives are out. We’ve had both almond and coconut allergies. Plus coconut milk is not allowed on the VAD Diet. So those aren’t options.

When you eliminate nuts and coconut, you move to grains. My son has been drinking rice milk for a few years now. We tried a few different milks. But he would only drink rice milk. It’s my favorite too.Are you looking for a milk alternative that is budget-friendly, easy to make, doesn't contain gums, fillers or allergens and actually tastes good? This homemade rice milk is the perfect solution!

So we bought rice milk.

He drinks water most of the time. So it’s not a daily staple. But it’s still often enough that I was starting to investigate the ingredients and worry about it impacting his health.

We’ve used Organic Enriched Rice Dream for quite a while. Until I learned that it had Vitamin A and D added. We switched to the original variety to eliminate the vitamins, but there are still vegetable oils and gums. And Rice Dream it is made with fluoridated water! Yikes. (Learn more about the trouble with fluoride here and here.) Double strike.

The final straw was learning that most brown rice is high in arsenic. Three strikes. You’re out!Are you looking for a milk alternative that is budget-friendly, easy to make, doesn't contain gums, fillers or allergens and actually tastes good? This homemade rice milk is the perfect solution!

How to Make Homemade Rice Milk

I’m not one to shy away from making food from scratch. I make everything from graham crackers to cereal to ice cream to pretzels.

So I started by searching for homemade rice milk recipes.

They were all pretty much the same. Cook rice. Blend it with water. Drink.

I tried it. Yuck! It tasted just like you’d imagine. Thick rice-flavored water. And nothing like the rice milk my son was used to drinking. He wouldn’t touch it.

There had to be a better way.

There is a better way. I did my own experimenting and came up with an easy and delicious homemade rice milk that my kids (and I!!) will actually drink. Honestly, I think it tastes better than the store-bought version. Even my 8 month old enjoys it.

Rice Milk with Nutrition

In addition to the great taste, my homemade rice milk includes healthy protein and fat. But no gums or fillers.

The protein comes from grassfed collagen. I choose Perfect Supplements brand collagen. It comes from well-raised cows.

Perfect Supplements offers a whole assortment of dietary supplements. One of my other favorites is MCT oil. Which you can also use in this homemade rice milk if you don’t have a coconut allergy.


Take advantage of Perfect Supplement’s year-round discount of 25% off when you purchase three of any product. Or if you really want to stock up and save you can get 30% off six or more of a product. You could split an order with a friend.

Then to sweeten the deal even more you can take an extra 10% off with the code TAKE10.

Now that I’m making homemade rice milk weekly I am using a lot of collagen. I also add it to my oatmeal for extra protein. I need to take advantage of the bulk discount and stock up!! My MCT oil that I add to my oatmeal every day is almost gone too.


Are you looking for a milk alternative that is budget-friendly, easy to make, doesn't contain gums, fillers or allergens and actually tastes good? This homemade rice milk is the perfect solution!Rice Milk That Actually Tastes Good

This homemade rice milk is so easy to make. It takes about ten minutes from start to finish.

You can choose your preferred sweetener and adjust it to your liking. Dates and maple syrup are very natural options. But they also change the color. Organic cane sugar is a very neutral flavor and keeps the milk white. This may be important for a child switching over from dairy milk. Looks can be everything. My kids actually really like the flavor of the dates.

My rice milk is also VAD Diet approved! It has been a huge blessing for me to have safe milk to drink again! And I can feel good about giving it to my kids or using it in our cooking and baking. I love to use it on my kettle corn granola or on a big bowl of steel cut oatmeal.

If you are looking for a milk alternative that is easy on your budget, doesn’t take long to make, is free of common allergens and tastes great this is it! Homemade rice milk that actually tastes good.

I make a half gallon at a time. But you could make more or less depending on how much you use milk. I store it in quart mason jars with these really cool reCAP lids for easy pouring.Are you looking for a milk alternative that is budget-friendly, easy to make, doesn't contain gums, fillers or allergens and actually tastes good? This homemade rice milk is the perfect solution!

Have you ever tried making rice milk? What is your favorite milk alternative?

5 from 2 votes
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Homemade Rice Milk

A simple and delicious milk alternative that is free of allergens and fillers.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. organic/non-gmo white rice flour
  • 4 Tbsp. grassfed collagen
  • 4 Tbsp. avocado oil or MCT oil
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 pitted organic dates OR 2-4 Tbsp. maple syrup or organic cane sugar
  • 2-3 cups filtered water

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan combine the rice flour, collagen, oil, 3 cups water, salt and sweetener.

  2. Whisk well to combine.

  3. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture is hot and the flour starts to thicken, about 8 minutes. You will see steam rising. Keep cooking with it steaming for about 2 minutes.

  4. Pour the mixture into a high-powered blender. Add 2-3 cups water and blend on high for 1-2 minutes, until smooth/all of the dates have been blended.

  5. Pour into a glass jar, cover and refrigerate for up to one week.

  6. Shake gently before serving.

Recipe Notes

You can adjust the water to make it as thin or thick as you like.

You can adjust the sweetener to your taste.

You can increase the collagen and oil if you want more protein and fat.

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

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie: Jam Packed With Nutrients!

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

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

School is under way. That means two things.

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

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

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

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

The Ultimate Energy Drink

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

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

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

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

What makes it so nutritious?

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

Check out the full recipe here!

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

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

Squash Cherry Smoothie

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

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

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

Smoothies are tough with allergies.

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

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

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

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

Secret ingredients.

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

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

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

Great for kids and adults.

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

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

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

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

Have you ever put squash in your smoothie?

It adds a natural sweetness and is great for thickness.

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

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

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

How to Get an Undereater to Enjoy Food!

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

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

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

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

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

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

But what if your child just won’t eat?

At all? Every. Single. Day?

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

Why Won't My Child Eat 300x250

How Allergies Impact Feeding Challenges

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

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

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

What is your solution? Refusal to eat. Period.

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

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

Having a Child that Refuses to Eat

I lived this struggle for over two years as my daughter slowly developed more and more allergies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope for Reluctant Eaters!

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

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

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

Looking for more? Check out my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?! where I share all of the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the last twelve years with foiur kids, each with different feeding challenges. It is possible to turn any child into a good eater and to do it with real, nourishing food. The new, revised 2nd edition will walk you through the process of spotting food reactions, calming the body, and restoring the joy of nourishing food. You’ll go from reluctant eater to thriving little foodie!

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

Black Forest Smoothie | Just Take A Bite

Black Forest Smoothie

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

Black Forest Smoothie | Just Take A Bite

 

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

Then February arrives. So do the sweet treats!

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

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

Black Forest Smoothie | Just Take A Bite

 

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

Want the full recipe?

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

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa | Just Take A Bite

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa

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

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa | Just Take A Bite

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

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

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

Learning how to give.

Wait a minute.

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

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa | Just Take A Bite

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

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

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

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa | Just Take A Bite

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

It’s that good.

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

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

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

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

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

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa | Just Take A Bite

Let the kids help.

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

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

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

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

Light And Dark Hot Cocoa Gift Tag

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

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

Light and Dark Hot Cocoa | Just Take A Bite

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