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it's important to make sure you are using safe, natural health and beauty products. This is especially true when it comes to kids. Today I'm talking about the best natural bath products for kids, from infant to teen.

The Best Natural Bath Products for Kids

Considering your skin is your largest organ and that it absorbs whatever you put on it, it’s important to make sure you are using safe, natural health and beauty products. This is especially true when it comes to kids. Today I’m talking about the best natural bath products for kids, from infant to teen.

it's important to make sure you are using safe, natural health and beauty products. This is especially true when it comes to kids. Today I'm talking about the best natural bath products for kids, from infant to teen.

When my oldest daughter was five, she would come home from school every day with red, dry, cracked hands. The back of her hands were so itchy and painful.

We had just entered the world of food allergies. So at first I wondered if it was related to something she was eating. Then I learned that they had to use hand sanitizer at school…a chemical storm right on the skin.

I immediately asked her teacher if my daughter could simply wash her hands instead of using the sanitizer. That helped some. But she still needed relief from the damage that had been done.

As a newbie to natural health, I reached for coconut oil. Can’t that cure everything?

Turns out no, it can’t.

If your kids are struggling with skin issues, skip the coconut oil! It actually dries the skin out and makes the irritation worse. Lesson learned.

Thankfully I have some knowledgeable friends that steered me in the right direction. And seven years later we still use the same natural skin care products on our kids. Today I want to tell you about my friend Emilie of Toups & Co. Organics and how her products have changed our lives.it's important to make sure you are using safe, natural health and beauty products. This is especially true when it comes to kids. Today I'm talking about the best natural bath products for kids, from infant to teen.

Why Natural Skin Care is Important for Kids

Your skin is your largest organ! It must be pretty important. Turns out it is.

Skin is the first line of defense for your innate immune system. It is the barrier between your surroundings and your internal environment. Your skin protects you from all sorts of invaders.

But the skin is also very porous. It absorbs whatever you put on it, and gets it right to the bloodstream. Unlike ingesting something, which goes through the digestive system and is filtered before entering the bloodstream, the skin is a fast-track to the blood.

This means that whatever you put on your skin is immediately absorbed (which is why using magnesium lotion is such an effective way to increase magnesium levels!).

Kids are bombarded with toxins these days. Especially harsh chemicals in soaps, cleaners, and hand santizers. So, now more than ever, it’s important to use natural skin care products on your kids.

My motto is, “if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin.”

What is the Best Lotion for Kids?

While coconut oil has its place in natural health, when it comes to skincare, tallow reigns supreme. Tallow is beef fat.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Gross! I don’t want to rub stinky tallow all over my kids.

No worries – there are ways to make tallow lotion that doesn’t stink.

Our favorite is Toups & Co. tallow balm or baby balm. Kid-safe essential oils make it smell amazing. The tallow is soft and soothing. My kids reach for it any time they have itchy or dry legs.it's important to make sure you are using safe, natural health and beauty products. This is especially true when it comes to kids. Today I'm talking about the best natural bath products for kids, from infant to teen.

What is the Best Natural Baby Wash?

Once I started researching lotions, I began to question everything I was putting on my kids’ skin. We had a lotion figured out. But what about bath products?

By this time I had a new little one with a host of food reactions. Which also meant skin problems. I needed something gentle, safe, and effective. Did that exist?

Thankfully it did…and does!

Once we found Toups & Co. Baby Body Wash, we never looked for another.

It suds nicely and washes effectively. I love that I don’t have to worry about my little ones getting some of the water in their mouths or even about the soapy water running down their faces.

I use this whenever I give my kids a bath. Truth be told, I’ve used it for myeslf too! It’s that good.

What is the Best Shampoo for Kids?

I didn’t use any shampoo for my boys for a long time. A wet Norwex body cloth was good enough on a little bit of hair. But my girls have long hair. My youngest daughter was born with a full head of curly locks. I avoided the shampoo for a little  while. But at some point I had to do it.it's important to make sure you are using safe, natural health and beauty products. This is especially true when it comes to kids. Today I'm talking about the best natural bath products for kids, from infant to teen.

Thankfully the Toups & Co. Body Wash doubles as shampoo!

When I give my little ones a bath I literally pour a bit of the body wash on their heads, rub it in, and just work my way down the body. Then one big rinse and we’re done! I can have my toddler’s bath done in about three minutes if need be (like when dinner is cooking but I have to squeeze in bathtime).

What is the Best Chemical-Free Soap for Teens?

Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers don’t take much work to clean. They don’t get sweaty and stinky. Sadly, we can not say the same thing about our teens.

Around age eight or nine it’s time to start using some stronger soap. If you have kids in the eight to eighteen age range, you know what I mean.

This is also a time when hormones are kicking in, oil glands are on overdrive, and the skin can be very sensitive.

If this is the phase your child is in, you’ll want to try both the Toups & Co. Everything Bar and Charcoal Bar.

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical. Can a bar soap really replace our shampoo? Can charcoal really clean my daughter’s skin well? But it only took a few uses for my daughter and I to both be believers.

The Everything Bar literally replaces everything. We use it from head to toe as shampoo, soap, and shaving cream.

The Charcoal Bar is great for cleaning the face. It washes away all dirt, grime, and makeup. It leaves your skin feeling so clean and soft. And if you run out of the Everything Bar, you can use the Charcoal Bar for shampoo too (ask me how I know).

Giving teens safe, natural health and beauty products is so important at this critical phase in their development. Hormones are already going a bit whacky. Adding hormone-disrupting chemicals in traditional products to their skin just compounds the problems.

And while you’re at it, you might as well grab some safe and effective deodorant for your teens! This is what my 12 year-old daughter uses. It won’t be long before I’m buying it for my son! Thank goodness for some more “masculine” scents and even an extra strength version. We may need it.

Safe Chapstick for Kids

We’ve covered kid-safe products for hair and skin. But don’t forget about the lips! Many kids like to use chapstick both for dry, chapped lips and simply for feeling a bit grown up.

It is essential to use safe ingredients here as they will get in the mouth when a child eats or licks her lips. I’m thankful Toups & Co. offers several flavors of chapstick that are made from tallow. No dangerous ingredients.it's important to make sure you are using safe, natural health and beauty products. This is especially true when it comes to kids. Today I'm talking about the best natural bath products for kids, from infant to teen.

Natural Bath Products for Kids and Babies

If you are in the market for natural bath products for babies, kids, or teens (or even yourself!), I recommend Toups & Co. Organics. They are staples in our home. I hope they will be staples in your home too! My favorite and most-used products are the Baby Body Wash & Shampoo and Toups & Co. tallow balm.

Natural Skin Care for Mom

I love to talk about kids’ health. But I couldn’t write about Emilie’s products without mentioning her makeup line. I searched for YEARS for a natural makeup that actually works and doesn’t completely break the bank. I tried all sorts of powder mineral makeups. They were OK, but not great.

I finally tried the Toups & Co. liquid foundation and immediately fell in love. This is the makeup I’ve been searching for. It goes on so smoothly and blends right in. I can hardly tell I have makeup on. It lasts all day too. At the end of the day I’m almost sad to wash my face because it still looks so nice.

When it comes to makeup, I’m about as minimal as you can get. Partly because that’s just me. I like to keep things simple. But partly because of past experience. I used to try to wear eye makeup…and would wake up the next day with painful, swollen eyelids. I swore off eye makeup about seven years ago after a really bad reaction where I could barely open my eye. It was so painful.

So I was hesitant to give it another go. But I finally tried the Toups & Co. mascara. To my amazement I had NO reaction. I wore it all day without any problems. Then I tried it again the next day…and the next. No problem!

I’m so happy that for the first time in years I can wear eye makeup. Since I was having so much fun with makeup I also decided to try some lipstick in bright red. And I love it! I’ve avoided any makeup but the bare minimum for so long. I’m thankful I can enjoy putting my face on a bit again. It’s fun to feel really good about how I look when I want to get dressed up.

If you’ve been on the hunt for natural makeup, give Toups & Co. a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Toups & Co. Organic Tallow Balm for Kids

After the hand sanitizer and cocnout oil, my daughter needed relief. Thankfully we tried Emilie’s tallow balm. It was like magic. My daughter’s hands returned to normal, and we have a quick solution if the dry skin ever flares.

Now with four kids I have a bit more experience under my belt. If one of them has dry skin or eczema I immediately reach for the tallow balm. In fact, we only keep two kinds of lotion on hand – tallow balm for dry or irritated skin and magnesium lotion for restless legs, trouble sleeping, growing pains, bed-wetting, and anxiety. There is no need for anything else!

Are you ready to do the “ditch and switch” with your health and beauty products? Check out Toups & Co. Organics as a one-stop shop for all of your family’s needs HERE!

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.

Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I'll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute. Convert your favorite baked good recipes into egg-free versions with a couple little tweaks.

How to Bake Without Eggs | A Simple Gelatin Egg Substitute

Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute. Convert your favorite baked good recipes into egg-free versions with a couple little tweaks. Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I'll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute.

Gluten-free baking can be tricky. You have to learn what flours go well together. You need to learn the correct ratios of starch to fiber. But once you get the hang of it, you can make some pretty amazing baked goods.

Until you have to eliminate eggs.

Eggs can make or break allergen-free baked goods.

Have you ever seen a recipe that uses coconut flour? It’s usually loaded with eggs.

Many wheat alternatives simply don’t have the ability to bind. And that is where eggs come in. They are the glue that holds gluten and grain-free baked goods together.

What Can Be Used Instead of Eggs in Baking

As a mom of kids with allergies, I’m thankful there are quite a few options for egg replacements in baking. These include:

  • chia seeds
  • flax seeds
  • JUST egg
  • applesauce
  • banana
  • yogurt
  • nut or seed butter
  • psyllium husk
  • gelatin

They all have their place in certain recipes. But commercial egg replacers are usually loaded with unhealthy processed vegetable oils. And sometimes you either don’t have another substitute on hand or your kids are allergic to those as well!

That’s why my go-to egg substitute is gelatin.Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I'll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute. Convert your favorite baked good recipes into egg-free versions with a couple little tweaks.

How to Replace Eggs with Gelatin

Gelatin is protein. So it is very similar to real eggs in that sense. Gelatin is also easy to have on hand at all times as it doesn’t go bad. No refrigeration needed. No fear of it going rancid.

My general rule of thumb is one to two teaspoons of gelatin replaces one egg.

Simply mix the gelatin with a small amount of cold liquid (water, milk, etc.). Then dissolve it completely with hot water and add to your batter.

It’s really that simple!Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I'll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute.

Gelatin Egg Substitute

Gelatin isn’t a straight substitute for eggs since eggs contain more than just protein. So I always compensate by adding a little extra fat (oil, butter, etc.) to my recipe when baking egg-free.

That combination of protein and fat works really well in most baked goods.

Sometimes I also add a little psyllium husk for binding. Gelatin, fat, and psyllium husk mimic the properties of an egg very well.

Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I'll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute. Convert your favorite baked good recipes into egg-free versions with a couple little tweaks.Egg-Free Baked Goods

Most baked goods require you to add the eggs at the beginning of the recipe.

The opposite is true when using a gelatin egg substitute. Adding the gelatin mixture at the end is preferred. This keeps the gelatin from gelling before baking.

Since it can be tricky to get the hang of egg-free baking, it’s best to start with a tested recipe that you can follow. Over time you’ll be able to confidently replace eggs in any of your favorite baked goods.

How to Bake Without Eggs

Here is the breakdown of baking with a gelatin egg substitute.

Gelatin Egg Substitute

Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings 1 egg

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp. grass-fed gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold liquid (water, milk, juice, applesauce)
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp. psyllium husk optional
  • 2 tsp. avocado oil, olive oil, butter, or coconut oil optional

Instructions

  1. Add the psyllium husk and oil into the batter of whatever you're making.

  2. After all other ingredients have been combined, mix the gelatin and cold water/milk/juice.

  3. Let sit 1 minute.

  4. Add the hot water to the gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve.

  5. Immediately add the gelatin mixture to the batter and mix well.

  6. Proceed with the baking instructions of your recipe.

Recipe Notes

The cold water/milk/juice should be some of the liquid already called for in the recipe to avoid too much liquid.

This replaces 1 egg.

Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I'll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute.How to Bake Egg-Free Cake

One of the most common needs for egg-free baking is cake. Yes, even kids with egg allergies want cake for their birthdays!

Thankfully gelatin eggs work really well in egg-free cake.

Some of my favorite egg-free cake and muffin recipes include:

And many others are easily adaptable using this gelatin egg substitute!

What Desserts Do Not Contain Eggs?

If you are intimidated by any kind of egg substitute, rest assured there are plenty of delicious desserts that are naturally egg-free.

What is the Best Gelatin?

When it comes to gelatin, there is really only one option in my mind. We always use Perfect Supplements gelatin.

This is the only gelatin in the world that is certified glyphosate free! That is pretty amazing.

Want to know what else is amazing? You can get 10% off Perfect Supplements gelatin or any of their other great products using the code TAKE10.

Stock up on gelatin for egg-free baking HERE.

Ready to start some delicious egg-free baking? Stay tuned! Tomorrow I have an amazing egg-free orange muffin recipe for you. My kids (and I!) devoured them.

Do you struggle with egg-free baking? What is your go-to egg replacement?

Magnesium for kids - why they need it!

Why Kids Need Magnesium – And How to Get It!

In our world of degraded soil, processed foods, and toxic pesticides, almost every child is magnesium deficient. Today I’m going to tell you why that matters – why kids need magnesium and the best ways for them to get it.Magnesium for kids - why they need it!

Call my kids weird, but they were so excited to get their own jars of magnesium lotion as stocking-stuffers for Christmas. It might seem like an odd thing for a five-year-old to smile about. But she knows just how amazing magnesium is for her health.

I’m not even exaggerating that she put it on about ten times the first day she had it! And she wouldn’t let anyone else touch it. Around here, magnesium lotion is a prized possession.

Let’s find out why magnesium is so magnificent!

What Does Magnesium Do?

A better question might be, “What Doesn’t Magnesium Do?” Magnesium is an essential macromineral that is involved in several hundred enzymatic reactions in the body.

Considered the “anti-stress” mineral, magnesium is a natural tranquilizer. This can help with relaxing muscles, including both skeletal muscles and smooth muscles as in blood vessels and the digestive tract. Which is why sufficient magnesium intake helps with slow digestion.

Magnesium also plays a significant role in heart health, again relaxing muscles and preventing coronary artery spasms. It can also lower blood pressure and is sometimes used to treat pre-eclampsia in pregnancy.

If you struggle with recurring kidney stones, it is likely due to a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium helps prevent the calcification of tissues and blood vessels (including kidney stones, atherosclerosis, and even cavities!).

Magnesium plays a role in energy levels as well. Because it helps nutrients pass back and forth across cell membranes, magnesium helps in the release of energy. This may also lead to aiding with nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and muscle cramps.

Magnesium has been shown to impact blood sugar regulation, type 2 diabetes, ADHD, migraines, and Alzheimer’s too.

These are just a few of the many roles of magnesium in the body. As you can see, it is a very important mineral!Magnesium for kids - why they need it

What are the Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency?

So how do you know if you or your kids are magnesium deficient? These days if you don’t supplement you are likely deficient. It’s sad, but true. Here are some of the common symptoms of magnesium deficiency:

  • fatigue
  • anorexia
  • irritability (tendency towards blood sugar dysregulation and acting “hangry”)
  • insomnia (anybody have kids that struggle with sleep?)
  • muscle twitching and cramping (restless legs and growing pains)
  • decreased learning ability and lack of focus (ADD, ADHD)
  • confusion
  • poor memory
  • rapid heartbeat
  • numbness and tingling of hands and feet
  • recurring kidney stones
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • constipation

Low levels of magnesium can impact all parts of the body. So if you are struggling with any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it might be time to change your diet or add a magnesium supplement.

Why are Kids Magnesium Deficient?

There are many factors that contribute magnesium deficiency. These include:

  • a diet low in magnesium (see the food list below)
  • soft water
  • produce grown in magnesium-deficient soil (most magnesium comes from plants)
  • processed foods in the diet (with lack of magnesium but an abundance of synthetic counteractive nutrients)
  • poor liver function
  • malabsorption (digestive dysfunction)
  • excess sugar intake (depletes magnesium)
  • high stress levels (depletes magnesium)
  • too much Vitamin D, phosphorus, and calcium in the diet (no, Vitamin D supplements are NOT a good idea) that cause an imbalance

It seems like this should only pertain to adults. But sadly, kids are born into a magnesium-deficient world. Moms are magnesium deficient while pregnant. So baby starts off without sufficient levels. Then kids are fed processed foods with high amounts of synthetic vitamins and minerals but lacking in magnesium. Vegetables are grown in nutrient-depleted soil, so even if you eat your greens you’re not getting the amount of nutrients you need.

Plus so many kids struggle with digestive problems and even autoimmune conditions that inhibit them from absorbing the magnesium they do ingest.

Kids have to deal with a lot more stress these days – from more intense school work to less time outside to EMFs to technology to pharmaceuticals to toxins to lack of sleep to poor posture…it all adds up. And stress rapidly depletes magnesium stores.

Then there is the big push for Vitamin D supplements. I’ve talked about it before –  it’s just not a good idea. It will lead to imbalances in the body, including lowered magnesium levels.

As you can see, it is very easy for kids to be magnesium deficient these days. In fact, it’s probably rare to have kids that aren’t deficient. Thankfully there are solutions!Magnesium for kids - why they need it

Best Sources of Magnesium for Kids

It is essential to get sufficient magnesium in your diet – whether from food or supplements. Some of the best food sources of magnesium include:

  • dark, leafy greens
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • beans
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • buckwheat
  • cocoa
  • molasses
  • whole grains
  • fish

Although I am a huge fan of a food-first approach, it’s not always possible to eat enough magnesium-rich food. Especially these days when most “healing diets” exclude almost everything on that list! A lot of the magnesium-rich foods are hard to digest and include problematic components like oxalates, allergens, and gluten. If your diet is lacking magnesium, you can also supplement. Some good supplement options include:

  • magnesium lotion
  • magnesium oil spray
  • epsom salt bath or foot soak
  • magnesium malate
  • magnesium lysinate, glycinate, chelate (I use THIS brand)

Topical magnesium is more easily absorbed and utilized by the body. So if you don’t need the laxative effect of a magnesium supplement, opt for lotion, spray, or bath.

Also note that magnesium is an alkaline mineral. Which means it can reduce stomach acid. So if you are going to supplement, it’s best to do it away from meals, before bed, or in combination with Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

Can you Get Too Much Magnesium?

Although very rare, it is possible to have magnesium toxicity. Most excess magnesium is eliminated in the urine or feces.

If calcium intake is very low and magnesium intake is high (via supplementation), you can have an imbalance.

Symptoms of magnesium toxicity include:

  • muscle weakness
  • fatigue
  • sleepiness
  • hyper-excitability

Unless you are supplementing with doses of 1,000 mg or more a day, this is likely not an issue. But always strive for balance, no extremes.Magnesium for Kids - why they need it

Does Magnesium Help Kids Sleep?

As mentioned earlier, magnesium has a tranquilizing and calming effect. It helps you relax. It helps your muscles relax.

This is so important for kids. In my mind, kids should be running around all day, getting exhausted, and crashing hard when they hit the pillow at bedtime.

But that is not the reality for most kids. Even my own kids struggle with sleep sometimes. Especially my oldest. Some nights she lays in bed awake for hours. It pains me because I know it makes her worry. Then the lack of sleep on top of that worry is more stress.

A dark room and a calm bedtime routine are both helpful. But our go-to solution is magnesium lotion. My daughter can actually feel the difference. She rubs it on her legs and belly before bed and usually falls right to sleep. It’s like magic.Magnesium for Kids - why they need it

Magnesium Lotion for Growing Pains

My youngest daughter is a good sleeper…unless she has leg pains. Some nights she wakes up just sobbing in pain. We’ve taken her to the doctor and done x-rays. No physical problems.

It’s what doctors call “growing pains.” It’s sort of a bogus term because it really just means they don’t know what causes it. I say it’s magnesium deficiency!

If we are faithful about using magnesium lotion every night, my daughter is pain free. But if we start to slack, it comes back. She calls it her magic lotion. I do too. I hate seeing her in pain. The other night it was so bad I had to resort to OTC pain medicine. None of my natural remedies would help. That was my wake-up call. We need to be diligent about using magnesium lotion every single day.

In adults these same pains are often termed restless legs. It’s a big red flag for magnesium deficiency. If you or a loved one suffers from restless legs, work on magnesium levels. Sufficient magnesium will reduce or eliminate muscle cramps and spasms. Topical magnesium lotion right on the legs is great for this!

How to Make Magnesium Lotion

After reading all of that you want an easy solution, right? Well, I’ve got one. Sort of.

The first step in treating magnesium deficiency is always to work on diet. Increase food sources of magnesium when possible.

After that my favorite solution is magnesium lotion. Oils are good, but they are sticky and itchy (not great for kids). Epsom baths can work, but you don’t always have time for it. Plus it’s not an ideal solution for young kids as you can’t really regulate the magnesium levels.

That’s why I love magnesium lotion. I did a whole tutorial on how to make DIY magnesium lotion with just TWO ingredients. You can read that HERE.

For stocking stuffers I also went a step further and made a really nice lotion for my girls. I used this magnesium lotion recipe and then added some essential oils to fit their personality and needs. It was a bit more work, but totally doable. And the end product is awesome. My girls are raving about how soft it is.
Blog Photo 5

The Best Magnesium Lotion for Kids

But let’s be honest – how often do we have time to make lotion? And who has shea butter and bees wax sitting around all the time?

The easiest way to get quality magnesium lotion is to buy it. There are quite a few brands of magnesium lotion. I’ll be honest – I don’t trust most of them. They have questionable ingredients. And frankly they smell strange and still make you itch.

Except for one. The only magnesium lotion that I trust and buy is from The Magnesium Lotion Shop.

This lotion is made with only four pure ingredients. It goes on easily and smells nice. Plus I always love to support small, family-owned businesses versus big corporations. Check it out HERE.

All of our products are made by hand in small batches. Our primary goal is quality, and we encourage customers to contact us directly if they ever have any issues. Our product has passed both micro bacterial testing and the USP 51 preservative challenge test (for consumer safety), results can be seen here. We use only natural ingredients: Magnesium Oil, Apricot Oil, Mango Butter and Beeswax – no funny, artificial, hard to pronounce substances are in our product. Out lotion is preservative free. – Mike Crumbs

Sufficient magnesium is such an important factor for good health. I’m thankful there are numerous ways to increase magnesium levels, including transdermally through magnesium lotion. It’s the perfect solution for both kids and adults!

Do you struggle with magnesium deficiency? What is your favorite way to supplement? Have you seen any health improvements when using magnesium supplements?

Having trouble navigating all the different types of magnesium? This guide will help you!

EMF Protection During Pregnancy and Childhood

EMFs are all around us, yet we don’t know their full impact. I’m sharing my EMF protection tips for pregnancy and as kids grow. A few simple changes could have a big impact!EMFs are all around us, yet we don't know their full impact yet. I'm sharing my EMF protection tips for pregnancy and as kids grow. A few simple changes could have a big impact!

In the digital age we live in you’ve probably heard the term EMF – electromagnetic frequency. It is something that is all around us both from natural and man-made sources.

Why Worry About EMFs?

It’s hard to say. The data is still inconclusive. Though I tend to err on the side of caution. I’d rather be proactive and find out I was overcautious than to do nothing and find out I could have prevented some harm.

Some EMFs are low frequency, such was microwaves and WiFi. Others are higher frequency and are known to potentially cause problems, like X-rays (i.e. no x-rays while pregnant!).

Wellness Mama has a great post with more info on EMF exposure and the potential impacts to our bodies…that are actually electromagnetic systems themselves! I strongly encourage you to do more research on this topic.

Especially with the recent development of 5G networks that could have some profound health consequences, EMF protection is more important than ever!
EMFs are all around us, yet we don't know their full impact. I'm sharing my EMF protection tips for pregnancy and as kids grow. A few simple changes could have a big impact!

Protecting Babies From EMF Exposure

What I want to talk to you about today is how to protect your baby before and after birth from too much EMF exposure. Little ones are going to be impacted the most by EMFs simply due to their size. So it is important to take precautionary measures when they are young.

There are some simple ways to reduce EMFs in your day-to-day life:

  • Turn off WiFi at night or any time it’s not in use.
  • Keep your cell phone on airplane mode.
  • Keep electronics out of the bedrooms.
  • Replace your smart meter with an analog meter.
  • Hard wire electronics instead of using wireless.
  • Use EMF-blocking cases and pads for cell phones, tablets and laptops.
  • Keep wireless devices off of your body (laps, pockets, etc.). This is especially true for children!

One of the biggest step I took in my last pregnancy was to use a Belly Armor blanket.

RadiaShield® Fabric make this blanket a convenient and unobtrusive way to protect your child within against the risks of everyday radiation. Easily portable in your handbag, this maternity blanket is ideal for both the home and the office. You’ll forget this breathable protector is even there while having the peace of mind of RadiaShield® protection.

Safe to use for mom and baby – products are free of heavy metals, toxic chemicals and common allergens.

During pregnancy, simply drape over your midsection while sitting or lying down to create a soft, protective barrier from wireless radiation.

EMFs are all around us, yet we don't know their full impact yet. I'm sharing my tips to help protect baby before and after birth from EMF exposure.Working with Wireless While Pregnant

The Belly Armor blanket has 99.9% shielding effectiveness. As a blogger I spend a lot of time at the computer. I feel so much better knowing that baby is protected while I work. I love that I’m getting more protection too!! I just lay the blanket over my belly and legs. So simple.

Since my son was born I have continued to use my Belly Armor blanket on a daily basis. I drape it over him while he’s nursing or sleeping on me and I’m at the computer or using my cell phone. It basically travels around the house with us!

I already do my best to keep cell phones and tablets away from my kids. But now I can go one step further for protection.

If you are expecting a baby or have a new little one I highly recommend Belly Armor. I wish I had found it sooner! I would have worn the belly band the whole pregnancy. Their baby monitor looks amazing as well. Yes, baby monitors generate EMFs too! I know some people go without for this very reason. I’d never hear baby without one. So I do my best to keep it at a distance in both my bedroom and the nursery so I can still hear baby without too much exposure.EMFs are all around us, yet we don't know their full impact yet. I'm sharing my EMF protection tips for pregnancy and as kids grow. A few simple changes could have a big impact!

Cell Phone EMF Protection

I love my Belly Armour blanket. But I can’t keep it draped over a busy toddler all day. So I have also taken another step to protect my kids from EMF exposure.

I use an Aires shield on my cell phone. It drastically reduces EMFs. Let’s be real – there is no way around using a smart phone around kids sometimes. We use it to look up information or watch videos while homeschooling. And I often use my phone while nursing my son to sleep.

I feel so much better knowing I have added protection.

The best part is how easy it is to use!. Seriously. Just peel it off the card and stick it on your phone. Done.

I’m planning to use more of them on our other wireless devices, like our laptop. The things my kids use. It gives me peace of mind.EMFs are all around us, yet we don't know their full impact yet. I'm sharing my EMF protection tips for pregnancy and as kids grow. A few simple changes could have a big impact!

Are you worried about how to protect your kids – whether in utero or after birth – from EMF exposure?

Check out all of the cool Belly Armor products. If you’re like me you’ll have a hard time choosing just one! The little bunny hat is so adorable!

And consider getting an Aires shield for your devices. I’m actually really intrigued by their other products that can be worn by individuals or used for entire rooms. I’d love to get something like that for my kids and their bedroom. EMFs can really impact sleep!


Interested in ordering some EMF protection devices for your family? Use the code justtakeabite10 to get 10% off AiresTech products HERE!!


Taking a few simple steps can help you rest easier knowing you are doing your part to reduce EMF exposure for both you and your growing little ones.EMFs are all around us, yet we don't know their full impact yet. I'm sharing my tips to help protect baby before and after birth from EMF exposure.

I am working with Belly Armor and Aires Tech and have been compensated for my time commitment. All opinions are my own. I have not been paid to post positive reviews.

How Raising Animals Helps Picky Eaters

Can raising animals help picky eaters? You bet it can! By teaching the new generation about where their food comes from we will raise adventurous eaters and healthy individuals.Can raising animals help picky eaters? You bet it can! By teaching the new generation about where their food comes from we will raise adventurous eaters and healthy individuals.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard someone ask if you can’t have eggs because you are dairy free. Let that sink in a minute. Eggs…from chickens. That has nothing to do with dairy. It’s a completely different animal! Unless they know a secret I don’t and can milk a chicken!

What’s really sad is that it is adults asking this. Adults. That don’t know eggs are not dairy. Just because they are close together in a grocery store (as if that means anything about where they come from!). That doesn’t bode well for the future of our children. Food knowledge is not being passed down.

Kids have no idea where their food comes from or why it even matters.

This needs to change. I think food education (about REAL food) should be taught in schools and should be fundamental knowledge. It’s hard to make good choices about how and what you eat when you don’t even know there is a choice to make.Can raising animals help picky eaters? You bet it can! By teaching the new generation about where their food comes from we will raise adventurous eaters and healthy individuals.

Parents are Responsible for Food Knowledge

It is up to parents to turn this around. Because let’s face it – kids are bombarded with neon-colored packaged junk everywhere they turn. From a very young age my kids help in the garden, planting, weeding, harvesting. They also help in the kitchen (with their skills from Kids Cook Real Food) preparing food from scratch. And they help raise animals.

Right now we just have chickens. We hope to expand to other animals in the future. But for now we are enjoying our little flock.

My seven year old feeds the chickens and collects the eggs every day. All of the kids like to help care for our hens. They are learning by first-hand experience.Can raising animals help picky eaters? You bet it can! By teaching the new generation about where their food comes from we will raise adventurous eaters and healthy individuals.

Raising Healthy Chickens

But I am adding a new tool for learning. I recently received the book Proven Techniques for Keeping Healthy Chickens by Carissa Bonham.

It is a great resource for all of your chicken questions. And I love how easy it is to read! Every subject has one page (kind of like a daily devotional). So you can quickly browse the whole book or go right to the topic you want and easily find the answer you need.

Since my oldest two can read they will be reading this book to give them a better understanding of chicken care. We have some chickens that are molting. So I’m going to let my kids use this book to figure out how we can help the hens through it.

Prevent Picky Eaters

Not only does this give them knowledge and a better understanding of how to care for God’s creation, it helps them not be picky eaters.

My kids know all the work that goes into raising healthy eggs. They appreciate the nutritional value. And they know not to be wasteful. For them it’s not just about food on the plate. It’s everything that goes into getting the food there.

The same holds true for our garden produce and our apples. A jar of home-canned applesauce isn’t just applesauce. It’s pruning trees, picking apples, making and canning the sauce.

I hope to instill an appreciation and love for well-raised food in my children. They can turn up their noses at processed pseudo-foods. But when it comes to real, nourishing food they will be the farthest thing from picky eaters.Can raising animals help picky eaters? You bet it can! By teaching the new generation about where their food comes from we will raise adventurous eaters and healthy individuals.

How You Can Raise Adventurous Eaters

Whether or not you raise your own food or animals, it’s important that your kids know where their food comes from. You can visit a local farm or even just try growing a tomato plant in a pot.

And grab some good books about raising animals like Carissa’s Proven Techniques for Keeping Healthy Chickens. Your kids will learn a lot. And the pictures are so cute. Who doesn’t love page after page of adorable chickens and eggs?!

I did not grow up farming, so I’ve been learning a lot about chickens myself from this book. Even as the one that mostly only deals with the food once it’s in the house. Carissa’s book taught me about  how to properly clean eggs to prevent spreading bacteria. I had no idea you shouldn’t run them under water!

Food knowledge is so important for this new generation. And feeding kids real, nourishing food will improve health and help prevent picky eating.

Whether you’re raising your own chickens or you just want to learn more, check out Carissa’s book here.

How much do your kids know about where their food comes from? One simple step you can take today is to provide quality books about real food for your kids to read.

Picky Eater Approved Grain-Free Meatloaf Sliders

Make meal time or snack time fun for kids with these picky eater approved grain-free meatloaf sliders.Make meal time or snack time fun for kids with these picky eater approved grain-free meatloaf sliders.

I’m a big fan of meatloaf. It’s so easy to make. And all of my kids will eat it. That’s pretty much the equivalent of a gold medal meal.

I usually cook mine in the crockpot (I like this style). I put it in before we leave for church on Sunday and it’s ready when we get home.

A New Way to Make Meatloaf

Recently I got to review the Paleo Cooking with your Air Fryer cookbook by Karen S. Lee (grab your copy here). When I saw her little meatloaf sliders I knew I had to try them! A family staple in a mini size for little hands? Perfect!

Since my kids have done the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse I actually let them help me make these fun meatloaf sliders. Everything goes in one bowl. My kind of prep work!

Make meal time or snack time fun for kids with these picky eater approved grain-free meatloaf sliders.

My kids are used to eating their burgers without a bun. So that’s what we did. But it would also be fun to make some mini buns or use a lettuce wrap. Or if your kids are like mine they love anything served on a stick. I like mine on a big salad! Top it with some avocado. YUM.

I love that these meatloaf sliders are free of grains/gluten and dairy. If you can’t have eggs I bet they would work fine without. We are nut free, so I swapped a little more coconut flour for the almond flour.

I served our meatloaf sliders with cauli-bites, also from Karen’s book. I skipped the buffalo seasoning since my kids are not big on spice. But I bet it would be delicious!

Do You Need an Air Fryer?

Now you may be thinking, “These look good…but I don’t have an air fryer.” Well, I don’t either! Though I may have to put one on my Christmas list now. All of the recipes can be adapted for the oven by using a wire rack on a baking sheet. Simple.

If you do have an air fryer I’d love to hear what you think of it!Make meal time or snack time fun for kids with these picky eater approved grain-free meatloaf sliders.

Even if you don’t have an air fryer I highly recommend Karen’s book. The pictures are gorgeous (my favorite thing about any cookbook). And the recipes all sound delicious. PLUS they are all paleo recipes and easy to adapt to your dietary needs.

I had to steal the cookbook back from my ten year old. She was drooling over every page.

Divided into eleven chapters, Paleo Cooking with your Air Fryer includes crispy and flavorful dishes for every meal and snack,  including desserts. Karen’s nutritious and delicious air fryer recipes will turn her family favorites into your family’s favorites, including Healthy Korean Chicken Wings, Filet Mignon with Herbs and Roasted Garlic, Not Your Gramma’s Fried Chicken, Fish Tostadas, Fancy Pants French Fries, Simple Chocolate Mud Cake and Pumpkin Coconut Crème Brûlée.

Dr. Karen S. Lee is a retired Doctor of Chiropractic and Acupuncture Fellow, who helped thousands of patients with emphasis on holistic therapy, ergonomics, nutrition therapy, and mind-body medicine. She is the founder of www.drkarenslee.com, a blog dedicated to holistic health, real food recipes, and lives in Westchester County, New York with her family.Make meal time or snack time fun for kids with these picky eater approved grain-free meatloaf sliders.

Grain Free Meatloaf Sliders

Karen has graciously allowed me to share the meatloaf slider recipe with my readers! It’s great for little hands. And it’s definitely picky eater approved! Especially if you let them help cook. Something about helping prepare the food makes it so much more appealing.

Enjoy this super fast, super delicious, super kid friendly recipe. We eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!Make meal time or snack time fun for kids with these picky eater approved grain-free meatloaf sliders.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Paleo Cooking With Your Air Fryer by Dr. Karen S. Lee, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018. Photo Credit: Donna Crous.

Grain Free Meatloaf Sliders

Grain and dairy free mini meatloaves.

Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 8
Author Karen S. Lee

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 eggs large
  • 1/4 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup almond flour extra fine blanched
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.

  2. Make patties that are about 2 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. If you want to make thicker or thinner patties, make sure all of them are similar size, so they cook properly at the same time.

  3. Place the patties on a platter and refrigerate for 10 minutes for the flour to absorb the wet ingredients and the patties to become firm.

  4. Preheat the air fryer to 360*F or the oven to 400*F.

  5. Place as many patties as you can fit in the basket and close. Set the timer for 10 minutes. Check the patties halfway through. When the timer goes off, take them out, place on a serving platter and cover until all the patties are cooked.

  6. If using the oven, place patties on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until cooked through.

Healthy Gluten Free Instant Porridge with MCT Oil

Looking for a simple, yet nourishing breakfast that you can get on the table quickly? This picky eater approved gluten free instant porridge with MCT oil will be a new family favorite. No cooking. No allergens. And best of all the kids can make it!Looking for a simple, yet nourishing breakfast that you can get on the table quickly? This picky eater approved gluten free instant porridge with MCT oil will be a new family favorite. No cooking. No allergens. And best of all the kids can make it!

I’m definitely a creature of habit. When it comes to breakfast I tend to serve the same things to my family every week (one less thing to think about when meal planning!). Monday is yogurt. Tuesday is a smoothie. Wednesday is eggs. And Thursday is usually oatmeal.

There’s just one problem. My oldest son is allergic to oats!

An Oat Free Solution to Breakfast

So I always have to come up with an alternative for him. Sometimes I make a different hot cereal, like teff porridge. But I’ll be honest…I usually do not feel like cooking a second breakfast. Especially now with a new baby. I just don’t have time for that.

Looking for a simple, yet nourishing breakfast that you can get on the table quickly? This picky eater approved gluten free instant porridge with MCT oil will be a new family favorite. No cooking. No allergens. And best of all the kids can make it!One day I just started tossing some miscellaneous food in a bowl for him. His own instant porridge. And he loved it!

In fact, it looked so good my daughters were jealous that he got instant porridge when they had oatmeal. So now I make it for all of them! Or better yet, they can make it for themselves since they know how to cook. It’s that easy.


Want to teach your kids to cook? Check out the Kids Cook Real Food ecourse HERE! You can get a set of FREE kids make breakfast videos when you sign up by August 8!


Not to mention it’s very versatile. You can partially prep it the night before, 30 minutes before or just before breakfast. It can be gluten free or grain free and dairy free.

Instant Porridge Packed with Nutrition

The key ingredient is chia seeds. They pack a nutritional punch with omega-3’s, vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.

There is another super star ingredient that we add – MCT oil. If you’ve never tried it, you should. It comes from coconuts. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Increase Energy Levels
  • Improve Mental Clarity, Reduce Brain Fog
  • Improve Mood
  • Improve Gut Function and Digestion
  • Support a Healthy Metabolism
  • Aid In The Process of Reducing Stored Body Fat
  • Promote Healthy Brain Function
  • Keep Excess Inflammation in Check
  • Promote Healthy Heart Function
  • Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
  • Variety of antimicrobial and anti-fungal effects

Anything that improves brain function and blood sugar regulation is wonderful for kids! Not to mention it boosts nutrition, which is a key factor in dealing with picky eaters. It’s great for Mom and Dad too!

Looking for a simple, yet nourishing breakfast that you can get on the table quickly? This picky eater approved gluten free instant porridge with MCT oil will be a new family favorite. No cooking. No allergens. And best of all the kids can make it!The best source for MCT oil is Perfect Supplements (I trust them for all of my favorite supplements like desiccated liver and collagen). It is 100% pure (read more about it here)!

Grab your MCT oil HERE. Use the code TAKE10 to get an extra 10% off!

If you’ve never used MCT oil, make sure you start with a small dose (about 1 tsp.) and work your way up to 1 – 2 Tbsp. It can upset your digestive system if you eat too much too quickly.

To your chia seeds and MCT oil add your favorite type of milk (we us raw milk, coconut milk, almond milk or rice milk), seeds and fruit. Then my personal favorite topping of coconut chips (advanced warning…they are so addictive!).

Looking for a simple, yet nourishing breakfast that you can get on the table quickly? This picky eater approved gluten free instant porridge with MCT oil will be a new family favorite. No cooking. No allergens. And best of all the kids can make it!Prepare Breakfast Now or Later

You can prepare and eat it immediately. Or you can let the chia seeds soak in the milk for a few minutes or even over night to thicken. Sometimes we add brown rice puffs or rolled oats (depending on who’s eating it) to thicken it as well.

My three-year old has been measuring ingredients and slicing bananas since you was two. She loves to make instant porridge herself. Plus each child gets to choose their toppings when they make it. And they learn how to serve themselves proper portions.

If your mornings are really hectic mix the chia seeds and milk the night before. In the morning set out bowls of toppings for the family.

Instant porridge. Instant breakfast. Instant nutrition.

That is my kind of breakfast!Looking for a simple, yet nourishing breakfast that you can get on the table quickly? This picky eater approved gluten free instant porridge with MCT oil will be a new family favorite. No cooking. No allergens. And best of all the kids can make it!

5 from 1 vote
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Healthy Gluten Free Instant Porridge with MCT Oil

A simple, no-cook breakfast porridge that is allergy friendly and loaded with nutrition.

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

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk or yogurt of choice
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. MCT oil (start with 1 tsp. if you've never used it before and work up to 1 Tbsp.)
  • 2 Tbsp. brown rice puffs or rolled oats (optional)
  • 1 banana sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut chips
  • dried or fresh fruit of choice (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine the milk/yogurt, chia seeds, hemp seeds, MCT oil and puffs/oats.

  2. Allow to sit for 5 - 10 minutes or overnight (in refrigerator).

  3. Add banana, coconut chips and fruit.

  4. Serve.

Recipe Notes

Any form of dairy works - coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, etc.

This serves 1. Multiply for as many servings as you need.

What is your go-to quick and healthy breakfast?

Don’t forget to grab your MCT oil and all your other favorite Perfect Supplements products like desiccated liver and collagen HERE! Use the code TAKE10 to get an extra 10% off.

How to Prevent Picky Eaters from the Start

In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It’s no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I’m going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Picky Eaters.

It’s something all parents struggle with at some point. But did you know that shouldn’t be the norm? Really. Picky eating is a symptom. Not a condition. It’s the whole purpose of my blog – to help deal with picky eaters and get kids to just take a bite!

How to Handle Picky Eaters

Trust me. I’ve dealt with every kind of eating struggle you can imagine…and come out on the other side. I dealt with the root cause. Which got rid of the picky eating symptom. But it wasn’t easy!

I have ways of dealing with picky eaters in my book “Why Won’t My Child Eat?!” But today I’m sharing a little secret with you. The best way to prevent picky eaters is right from the start. From the first taste of solid food. Actually even from the time baby is in your womb and breastfeeding!

If you are pregnant, make sure you eat a wide variety of nutrient dense whole foods. Baby does taste what you’re eating! Then when baby is breastfeeding continue a nutritious diet. Your milk will change flavor based on what you eat and give your little one a taste for real food.In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Prevent Picky Eaters from the First Bite

Then comes the really important step – introducing solids. You can’t wait for it with your first child. You kind of get annoyed with it by your second child. But eventually you get to or you have to (however you look at it). And what you feed your baby can create or prevent picky eaters.

I’m a huge fan of letting baby lead when it comes to solids. But that doesn’t mean a food free-for-all. It just means I offer a variety of nutrient dense food and let baby decide what and how much to eat. In general I offer baby what the rest of the family is eating. Here are my basic guidelines.

  • No added sweeteners
  • No food coloring or artificial ingredients
  • Lots of healthy fats
  • Let baby chew
  • Offer variety – a mix of fruits, veggies, proteins and fats
  • Stick to a gluten free or grain free diet for at least the first year

In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Some of my favorite first foods include:

  • avocado chunks or lightly mashed
  • banana chunks or lightly mashed
  • ripe pear chunks
  • egg  yolk lightly fried in butter, coconut oil, tallow or lard or hard boiled egg yolk
  • whole milk yogurt
  • ripe mango chunks
  • beef or chicken liver
  • peas
  • sardines
  • roasted chicken
  • ground beef

Keep in mind baby is not born with an affinity towards sugar and brightly colored foods. If you skip those baby will not feel dissatisfied. On the contrary, you will be giving baby one of the best gifts ever! The gift of a taste for real, whole foods.

If you do need a few tricks to get the healthy habits going check out Think Baby.

In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Help With Feeding Baby Made Simple

I’m thankful there are good companies like Stonyfield Yogurt and Once Upon a Farm that have the same philosophy on feeding little ones. Companies that combine the need for simple, yet nourishing foods.

Stonyfield’s YoBaby banana mango yogurt is made with whole milk and has NO added sweeteners! As a mom of soon-to-be four kids (in less than two weeks!!) I’ve been waiting a while for this. An infant does not need sugar added to their yogurt. Honestly. They will eat it plain. Or you can mix in some fruit if you like.In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

We recently tried the banana mango YoBaby yogurt. Even my 10 year old loved it! I’ve even been eating it. Here is some other cool info straight from Stonyfield.

  1. Yobaby is the #1 pediatrician recommended yogurt for babies and kids 6 months to 2 years.
  2. Stonyfield YoBaby was the first yogurt made especially for babies.
  3. Yobaby now contains the probiotic culture BB12. In addition to live active cultures, Stretococcus Thermophilus, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidus, Lactobacillus Casei, and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, YoBaby® yogurt now contains the probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis lactis BB-12® that has been shown to have a digestive health benefit when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. BB-12® is a registered trademark of Chr. Hansen.
  4. Our texture is thick and creamy. It is thicker and isn’t as runny as other organic baby yogurts. This helps with less mess for moms while feeding AND especially for babies/toddlers that are starting to self-feed.
  5. We use PLA cups (meaning, made from plants!) because we heard from moms that they were concerned with polystyrene packaging – PLUS plant-based packaging has a lower carbon footprint.

In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Don’t Forget the Fat!

We have been eating Stonyfield yogurt for many years. But Once Upon a Farm is new to us. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and flavor of the ingredients!

Just real, whole foods. A variety of fruits, veggies, seeds and healthy fats. Exactly what little brains and bodies need. And as a mom of kids with a variety of allergies I was happy to see there are flavors each of my kids can enjoy.

According to Once Upon a Farm, “We use High Pressure Processing (HPP) to keep our food as close to the farm as it gets. HPP is a revolutionary technology in food, the kind that those unrefrigerated brands don’t use. It allows us to keep the flavors, aromas, colors, textures and nutrients of the food intact, leading to optimal taste and palate development in infants.”In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

One of my favorite qualities of Once Upon a Farm pouches is how the ingredients are combined.

“We synergistically combine ingredients to create optimal absorption and bioavailability of nutrients. Most baby foods are devoid of fats, especially high quality ones. At Once Upon a Farm, each recipe contains a healthy fat for stable energy levels, nutrient absorption and optimal brain development.”

That is so important to me! Kids need plenty of healthy fats for absorption and brain development!!

I know these are for little ones, but I’d happily serve them to kids of any age…or eat them myself! My kids wanted to eat them all in one day.

Skip the Sugar!

If you skip the sugar from the start your kids will not crave it and be dependent on it as they get older. They will enjoy foods in their natural state. My kids describe their vegetables as sweet! Yes, with a palate free of sugar they can enjoy sugar snap peas and carrots fresh from the garden and consider them a treat.

We do have the occasional sweet here, like homemade graham crackers or homemade ice cream. But those are not part of our daily diet. And they are not given to the little ones. Plus when I make them at home I can keep the sugar content down even in my baked goods!In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

You can start this process at any age. You are never too old to learn to enjoy real food.

But the best strategy is to teach your kids about whole foods from birth. Skip the sugar in first foods to teach kids how to enjoy foods in their natural state and prevent picky eaters.

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and Once Upon a Farm for this post. All opinions are my own.I have not been paid to post a positive review.

Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Candy Cane Mason Jar Fruit Salad

Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. All opinions expressed are my own. I have not been paid to post positive reviews.

When it comes to holiday entertaining (for a crowd or just for my own family) I have two requirements:

  1. Nutritious
  2. Simple

I’ve learned how to host a crowd without stress and still serve real food. The big stuff is easy – meat, potatoes, veggies, etc. But I tend to neglect the little things like breakfast, dessert and fruit sides.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Three-in-One Recipe

Today I’m sharing my solution for all three!

Candy cane mason jar fruit salads work for breakfast, dessert or a simple side dish.

Start with whole milk Stonyfield yogurt that you strain to make it really thick. We like to use the vanilla, but you could use plain to make it without any added sugar. The strained vanilla yogurt is a simple alternative to whipped cream that has probiotics! My kids could not get enough of it! And I always have quarts of Stonyfield yogurt on hand. Actually I usually have about four or five in my fridge because we eat it so often.

I add our own fruit, sweeteners and other add-ins (like kettle corn granola and chia seeds) to the plain, whole milk organic yogurt for an easy breakfasts a couple times a week. That way I know we’re eating good quality food! I love that Stonyfield is all organic and is committed to using quality ingredients.

And if you’re concerned about sugar content, Stonyfield has less sugar than other brands.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

If you like your yogurt/cream really thick (like I do!) you can even use strained Greek yogurt for the fruit salads. But it would be a bit on the tart side. The strained yogurt works perfectly for these fruit salads so the fruit does not sink into the yogurt. You can really see those layers!Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Fruit Stripes

Once strained, simply layer the yogurt with your favorite festive fruits. We use pomegranate seeds, kiwi, raspberries and grapes. Taylor it to your tastes and the look you like. Little kids might not be keen on pomegranate seeds. While adults might like a mix with everything. My toddler enjoyed a combination of raspberries and green grapes. But my big kids loved the pomegranate seeds and kiwi.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

I make a variety and let everyone choose what they like. I keep some all green and some all red and some I mix. They look so festive! Like a candy cane in a jar.

How to Save Time

Best of all? You can make them ahead of time for a super easy breakfast or dessert. Don’t want to interrupt opening Christmas presents to make breakfast? Make these fruit salads the night before and munch while you unwrap. Or prep them before your guests arrive for a super easy dessert.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

If you’re really busy you can skip the last step and simply turn breakfast into a candy cane parfait buffet. Set out all the ingredients and let everyone assemble their own! Add granola, chia seeds and nuts for a complete meal. This works very well for a big crowd.

Kids Can Cook Too!

I really love that my kids can actually make these on their own. They’ve been learning to cook for two years now through the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. So they are proficient with knives and many other kitchen tools. I could give them all the supplies and let them prepare the fruit salads as a fun project. Then I’m free to work on the main meals.

Interested in teaching your kids how to cook? Check out the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse HERE!

Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Coffee with Dessert?

Whether serving mason jar fruit salads for breakfast or dessert, a cup of coffee is an excellent accompaniment for the adults. If you like coffee that is. Me? I’ve never been a coffee drinker. But my husband and in-laws are! Whenever my in-laws come visit I have no drink to offer them with dessert. My brother and sister-in-law actually bring their own! They know I never serve any.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Thanks to Krups I now have a great coffee maker! And I can finally learn how to make some decent coffee. No more embarrassed hostess here.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Cutest Candy Canes

Now let’s be honest, the real reason we all want to make these mason jar fruit salads is simply because they are so stinkin’ cute! Seriously. Who wouldn’t want one? My kids were sad I hadn’t made two for each of them. I guess next time I know to make a huge batch. They could be easy grab ‘n’ go snacks or great additions to school lunches. Use seasonal fruit to change it up throughout the year.

Festive and nutritious holiday dishes don’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple and fun with these fresh, fruity candy cane mason jar fruit salads. They are sure to be a family favorite.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Candy Cane Mason Jar Fruit Salad
Yields 6
A simple, holiday fruit salad that works for breakfast, dessert or a side dish.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups Stonyfield whole milk vanilla yogurt (or plain or Greek)
  2. Seeds of 1 pomegranate
  3. 2 kiwis
  4. Medium bunch of red and/or green grapes
  5. 2 cups raspberries or strawberries
  6. (Optional) 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Strain the yogurt in cheesecloth for one hour. Hang it over a bowl to get as much whey out as you can.
  2. While the yogurt is straining chop/seed the fruit into bite-size pieces.
  3. Layer the fruit and yogurt in 1/2-pint mason jars, small glass bowls or festive dishes.
  4. Top with chia seeds or more fruit.
Notes
  1. The fruit salads can be made with all red fruit, all green fruit or a combination.
  2. Older kids can help prepare the fruit and layer the salads.
  3. This makes 6 - 8 1/2-pint mason jars, depending on the ratio of fruit to yogurt you like.
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