HEALTHY SNACKS iN THE MARKET

 

GoldFish Crackers has been recalled, now what?

The last months we have seen recalls on: Lettuce mixes, Almond milk, cereals and crackers. We are getting exhausted of this. Actually there is a term for this: Food recall Fatigue, which happens when people are just tuning out or ignoring recall information because we have had too many. We don’t know who to trust.

Now, this arise questions like what are my kids going to eat as after school snacks or what are they having for breakfast now? If you have been following for some time you know my answer, if not, the answer is real whole foods, for example oats, eggs or homemade pancakes (Check easy and yummy recipes here) and for snacks, they can eat greek yogurt, fruits or nuts

 

“Done right, snacks will help children meet their nutritional needs and have the patience to wait for main meals with the family. Done wrong, they may ruin the mealtime experience for everyone and affect nutrition.”

– Natalie Stasenko

 

She summarizes exactly what I want to tell you. We love snacking but I have seen that now snacking is being used to keep our kids quiet, to entertain them while in the stroller, to replace real food. We are buying lot of packaged foods instead of real food. I’m all about convenience but I think this is getting out of control. Plus I think is expensive.

Did you know that your sugar added daily limit is 24 grams and for your kids is 12 grams of sugar?, it includes all the snacks and beverages we eat and drink during the day (you can check my post about the 7 worst beverages you can give your kids here),  that is why it’s so important to check the food labels at the store before buying the snacks.

I know that we (moms) are almost all the time in a hurry when we go shopping, even more if we go with our little ones, and we don’t always have the time to check the labels of each product. As a result, dozen of moms keep asking me what are the best snacks in the market. I have done an exhaustive research and so far I have found really good quality and yummy products that are approved by me (hopefully they don’t have any recall soon 😊).

Again, if you want to lose weight and feel energized go for fruits, seeds, smoothies or yogurt as your snack. Same snacks go to your kid.

This guide is for you to go to the market and get them without wasting so much time in the aisle. Buy them for playdates, parties or for occasional snacks. I put snacks like this in the lunchbox only on fridays and we, parents, consume them on the weekends while watching nextflix, when I’m running around with no time to get a decent meal, also good to take on a road trip.

Just fill the form and you’ll receive the guide in your inbox!

Let me know what you think, What other snacks do you like?

Do you have any question? Leave your comment here, at Facebook or IG or send me an email.

 

 

NO MORE LUNCH BATTLES!!

 

I have been getting ready to prepare around 170 lunch boxes! That is right! This year I’m changing things around a little bit. There is always a learning after each year and of course kids are changing as well.

This year I’m having a calendar that I’m trying to respect as much as possible. This has been working really well in her summer camp and I hope this continue this new school year.

I came up with the Calendar idea as a way to calm the controlling side of my personality. I was always so worried about her lunches and I ended up frustrated. When I started meal prepping years back I started with something similar and it worked. So I give it a try one more time and it is working.

I rotate the snacks. You know what my snacks are: Veggies, seeds and fruits.

I hated my lunch boxes when I was a kid so for me it is very exciting to prepare her lunchbox and make them somehow attractive. It is a way to send her my love in that little box.

Steps to make your own calendar

1.- Pick 5 meals you know that your kid loves: For example: Meatballs, Chicken Nuggets, Sandwich, Pasta etc.

2.- Make a list with their favorite fruits and vegetables

3.- Write Down and plan how you can pair the main meal with one fruit and one veggie.

4.- Add on: After this you can add cheese sticks or a dry snack if necesary. Always, Always add something green, it could be 2 leaves of spinach. Eventually they will eat it.

5.- Repeat: Every Week repeat the main meal but make versions of them. For example if they like burger for fridays, make chicken burger one friday and a veggie burger next friday.

You have been asking about what are my essentials to get Camila’s lunch box ready so I decided to give you a little guide and get you some new ideas.

Together we can conquer the lunch box battles!!!

1.- Silicone Baking cups

These have been a lifesaver. Of course I use them to bake nut mainly to separate her foods in the lunch box. I got mine 4 years ago but now they are even more fun shapes and colors. You can find them here.

2.- Food Picks

I recently bought this, they very inexpensive but the lunch box face changes completely. They are perfect for the little foods. I use them for her to pick grapes, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, cucumber etc. Get yours here.

3.- Fruit cutters

For many years I stayed away of shaping vegetables and fruits because I wanted her to love the real deal. She has been a good eater always so I didn’t have to decorate much. Now, I just want her lunch box to be more fun and to motivate her classmates to eat more vegetables and fruits because I know they are always checking her lunch box out. These are very good quality and the shapes are adorable. Get yours here.

 

4.- Food Storage Set

This is my 3rd year using this food storage and It looks like new. I wash it everyday at the dishwasher machine and it is just perfect. It doesn’t leak at all. Get yours here.

5.- Sandwich Bag and snack bag

Free from BPA, Pthalate, and lead, they’re also safe to pop in the dishwasher, microwave or freezer.  I use them for dry snacks, english muffins and sandwiches. Find it here.

6.- Utensils & Carrying Case Set

In 3 years I have bought two of this sets. I bought the second one mainly because camila broken the cap. I saw her playing with it many times. They are so cute and durable. 

7.- Lunch bag

This is its 3rd year as well. It looks like new! Plus you can ask to personalize it which of course I did :). Find it here.

8.- Hot food container

I use this to save her soups, nuggets, rice and beans, pastas, you get the idea. It keeps it warm and doesn’t leak. Get yours here.

9.- Ice packs

I couldn’t find the one I bought but this look similar only cuter. 

Cooking fast gadgets

1.- Griddler

I CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT THIS. I make pancakes, patties, crepes, arepas, sandwiches and I heat everything up here. Quick and easy! 

2.- Nutribullet

I don’t own a blender. I use this for everything. I make smoothies, mix for the pancakes, mix for the protein balls, hummus, dressings. One of my best kitchen gadgets. 

3.- Potato Express

Of course I prefer the flavor of Baked Sweet potatoes but sometimes, we are short on time. When I didn’t batch cooked them I use this bag. Sweet potatoes ready in 4 minutes. I make sweet potatoes pancakes or I pack pieces of sweet potato on her lunch.

 

PHYSiCAL ACTiViTY

 

Did you know that Kids are spending an average of 7.5 hours a day in front of a screen, inlcuding TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies, and only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of Physical Activity?

In order to grow up to a HealthyWeight, children need (at least) 60 minutes of play everyday.

Childhood Obesity is a real issue and we, as parents, can make a huge different involving our kids into healthier habits by making little changes in our daily basis routine.

These are some of the tips we can implement right away

  • Walk to school, it isn’t only an excellent way to have physical activity for both parents and kids but also helps kids to get more active to morning classes.
  • By letting your Kid choose an activity that interests her/him, you allow them to be part of the decision and they will stay more interested on it through time.
  • Involve the whole Family. Why not go and take an after dinner walk together?
  • Encourage your Kids to go out and play with your family #Pet if you have one, instead of staying home playing video games.
  • Children are good imitators so if you are active, there is a good chance they are going to be too. Teaching by the example is the best way to involve them in healthier habits, so you should be active as well!

 

 

7 WORST BEVERAGES YOU CAN GiVE YOU KiD

One of the leading causes of obesity is the sugary and processed foods making up many children’s diets.

Research shows that children today are eating more high-calorie, nutrient deficient foods and they are not consuming foods with vitamins, minerals and other healthy micronutrients

According to a 2011 study published in Pediatric Clinics, “14.6 percent of the total energy consumed by Americans aged 2 years and older comes from added sugars.”

Researchers agree that most of these AddedSugars are coming from sweetened beverages like soda and juices.

As parents we can teach with the example, instead of choosing these beverages you can read labels and prefer those ones that have less than 5 grams of Sugar and you can give your kid plenty of water and fresh fruit.

THEY ARE SWEET ENOUGH

At A Green Unicorn we are launching an awareness campaign called TheyAreSweetEnough to promote awareness and help parents to display healthy behaviors to their children at home.

Experts at the World Health Organization estimate that there are over 41 million overweight children who are under the age of 5. Research shows that overweight and obese children are more likely to stay obese into adulthood.

According to research published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, “Childhood Obesity can profoundly affect children’s physical health, social and emotional well-being, and self esteem. It is also associated with poor academic performance and a lower quality of life experienced by the child.”

Did you know that obese children often consume larger food portions but eat fewer fruits and vegetables from an early age?

Research shows that the obesity rates have increased in parallel with increasing portion sizes. When you “supersize” your meal at a fast food joint, you are told that you’re saving money — basically, getting more for your buck. But you’re also consuming a lot more calories than your body needs, or can use, for energy.

Childhood Obesity stems from the consumption of empty calories, which supply little or no nutritional value. So, children are overfed and under-nourished.

With the increasing of portion sizes, young adults are unaware of what appropriate portions look like anymore.

Skipping breakfast can actually lead to weight gain. Studies indicate that regular breakfast consumption will reduce the risk of childhood obesity and improve a child’s physical activity behaviors. Without a proper breakfast, children and adolescents will feel fatigued. They will be less likely to engage in physical activity that burns calories.

A Healthy Breakfast contains protein, fiber, healthy fats and antioxidants. Avoid serving children foods that are processed and contain added sugars, like cereals marketed to children.

I know that sometimes we just ran out of ideas and get bored of having the same plain breakfast. Well, it doesn’t have to be like that anymore, go to my Freebies and donwload some of my breakfast recipes for your kids.

Sources: World Health Organization; J Family Med Prim Care: “Childhood obesity: causes and consequences”; www.draxe.com