How To Eat Well For Less

Posted by

How to Eat Well For LessIs it cheaper to buy processed foods, than to stock your fridge with healthy, nourishing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins and good fats? Many people think so. There are lots of reasons for you and your family to eat nutritious foods: you will enjoy better health, which will end up costing you less in the long run. Think of all that tissue you won’t need to buy when you skip out of cold & flu season, not to mention the financial drain of fighting heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even cancer all found to have a connection to a diet rich in white sugar, white flour and preservatives found in processed foods. Still, we know it can be difficult for young families to afford pricier organic fruits and veggies, and whole foods. So we thought we would offer you our best tips for cutting your family’s grocery bill.

Shop the Sales

Of course things are better when they are on sale! Try to structure your week’s meal plan around your favourite store’s flyer of weekly deals. If chicken is on sale, make sure to include a chicken meal in your meal plan.

Many stores offer price matching. You can bring in a competitor’s flyer and they will match the price. This is a great way to save on organic produce, which when on sale can often be just as inexpensive as conventional produce.

Buy in Bulk

Sometimes doing away with the packaging and buying bulk (great for the environment – bonus!) means enjoying some deals. As does buying in larger quantities to enjoy savings per pound or unit.  In Ontario, visit the Bulk Barn and across Canada many grocery stores and health food stores have bulk foods on offer. This is a great way to buy your nuts and seeds. Store them at home in an airtight container, in the freezer for maximum freshness.

Try Deals Online

Companies that don’t have to pay for the pricey overhead of a physical storefront and large staffs can often pass along the savings to the consumer. Don’t be afraid to shop online. Check out Canadian online retailers like Well.ca and healthyplanetcanada.com. Look for free shipping on minimum orders.

Invest in a CSA Program

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Here is how the program works: you invest in a local farm by providing the farmer with money at the start of the season. This is literally seed money! Each week, all season long, you take home a basket full of fresh fruits and veggies, or your share in the farm’s bounty! This is a really great program for young kids. Bring them to the farm for your weekly pick-ups and show them where their food comes from! You often get fruits and veggies that you wouldn’t normally buy, allowing you to expand your repertoire and learn new recipes. Plus, because you cut out the middle men of the traditional food system (grocery stores, distributors) you save money.

Sometimes saving money also means making do with less; while we don’t want you to make do with less food, we can suggest that you shop for gently used children’s clothing, rather than hitting far pricier chain stores, that you cut your monthly entertainment bill by finding free fun around your community – like a trip to the library (free books!), a hike in the woods or a bike ride around the block. As the warm weather hits, consider putting your gym membership on hold and staying in shape through walking, running, biking, or hiking. Saving in other areas of your budget will allow you to devote more cash to eating healthy.

How do you and your family save money on your grocery bills? Share your tips with our readers by commenting below!

Finish Power & Free Testimonial

Posted by

Lianne recently completed a testimonial for Finish Power & Free. In this video – check it out below! – she shares her secret weapon in the kitchen, for cleaning those stubborn bits off her smoothie glass. What is your kitchen clean secret?

Through the Ages: Pre-Conception Care

Posted by

Pre-Conception Care from Sprout RightWe get a lot of questions at Sprout Right about children at various stages in their development – from a thought in your mind, to in-utero, to toddler-hood, school-age and beyond. We thought we’d pull together a series of blogs that addresses your truly tough questions, or what seems to be on your mind the most often. We call this series, “Through the Ages.” If you have a question you want us to tackle, comment below!

We begin with the tender stage of pre-conception, when a woman is readying her body, and her partner’s body, for the creation of life. This is an exciting time, as you look forward with extreme anticipation to what lays ahead. It is a time to celebrate with love, not only for your partner and your future family, but for yourself. This is the first lesson in creating, growing and raising a healthy child: it all starts with YOU. How you prepare and care for your body now is just as important as what you feed your child in the years ahead. Here is our best advice for building toward that amazing moment of conception.

Eat Clean
Here is a little secret: if you learn principles of clean eating now, not only will you strengthen your body and prepare it for the nourishing task of pregnancy and then labour, but you will be creating habits that you can stick with in the postpartum period. This will help you effectively lose the baby weight and it will also mean your future baby will be exposed to good nutrition right from day one. So, eat your fruits and veggies, drink your water, reach for lean proteins and good fats and limit processed foods, added sugar and salt. This is something I can really help with, so if you’re ready to take a hard look at your diet, do get in touch.

Start on a Prenatal Vitamin
A good quality and bio-available multivitamin will deliver additional vitamins and minerals that your body will need in creating and sustaining new life. Your growing baby will take from you what she needs, and you need to ensure you don’t become deficient in certain nutrients. A multivitamin, and extra specific nutrients depending on your health, safe-guards against this. Of particular importance, is folic acid, which is thought to prevent birth defects. When choosing a prenatal vitamin, go with a high quality one that offers the most bio-available nutrients (that is, those that are most readily absorbed by your body). Visit your local health food store, or take a look at Pregna Vite by Genestra, which we sell online.

Don’t Stress!
For some couples, conceiving a baby becomes a challenging and stressful time. It can take as long as one year for a couple to conceive a child, and some struggle with infertility for longer. This uncertainty and frustration can have a profound effect on your mood, and your relationship. It is important to do what you can to remain relaxed and as stress-free as possible. Stress has been linked to decreased fertility. Try to incorporate deep breathing or meditation into your daily routine (yoga is great), be sure to take lots of time for yourself, and time to nourish your relationship with your partner. Put the spark back into your sex life by trying new positions, approaches and by seeking the pleasure from it again (not just the result you hope to achieve). Try a pre-baby getaway, couples massage or regularly hit the gym together to raise your endorphins naturally. We’ve been incorporating Sound Therapy with tuning forks into our consultations with huge success. If conception isn’t happening, this could be a non-invasive and very balancing option to try.

This is such an exciting time for you and your partner, as you begin to build your family. Enjoy each moment, reach for healthy food, a multi-vitamin and ample opportunity to remain stress-free! Share your stories of pre-conception below.

Battling the Baby Weight: Simple Secrets to Post-partum Weight Loss

Posted by

Post-Partum Weight Loss SecretsHow is this for a scary headline: “Women who fail to lose ‘baby weight’ after giving birth raise their risk of diabetes, heart disease: Toronto Study.” Wow. When we saw this we thought, what a scary statement for many women to read, many women who are right now battling the baby weight, feeling down about their altered bodies, lacking self-confidence, motivation, maybe will-power (mostly sleep). We felt we needed to weigh (excuse the pun) in.

The study comes out of Toronto and involved the monitoring of 305 women in pregnancy and post-partum. The study concluded from the health profiles of all these women, that those who did not shed at least some of their baby weight between three and 12 months post-partum placed themselves at an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease later in life. It appears that this nine month window of weight loss is a crucial one for beginning to trim down to your pre-pregnancy size. But let’s be honest and realistic.

Gaining weight in your pregnancy is a natural and healthy thing; a weight gain of around 25-30lbs is ideal. Some of that is the baby, the placenta, increased weight of the uterus, amniotic fluid, fat stores to fuel breastfeeding, your breasts themselves – it all adds up. Some women do gain more than this; let’s stop beating ourselves up for that! You grew a healthy little life; he’s here and there is plenty of time now to work on getting back to your former self. (Plenty of time – that’s an important point.) Here are some simple solutions for retraining your brain and your body to lose the extra pounds. Simple. We promise.

DON’T Diet

Throw out the calorie counters and scales; that’s right – don’t count calories. Too many women make the mistake of drastically cutting back on food intake only to find that their bodies stubbornly hang on to the weight. When your body is deprived of calories, it goes into starvation mode where it clings to fat. Plus calorie counting puts the emphasis on reaching, but not exceeding, a certain number each day instead of just eating good food. (Not all calories are created equal). Instead, effectively shed the pounds by reaching for whole foods and good fats. A rule of thumb: if it occurs in nature, you should eat it. Aim for 3 meals and 2 snacks a day and remember that if you are breastfeeding, you need more calories to fuel what your body is doing to make that good stuff.

Re-Set Your Expectations

It took you nine months to grow that beautiful baby. That’s because healthy children don’t grow overnight! Weight loss is kind-a like that. It is a slow process that takes a lot of hardwork and commitment. If someone tells you otherwise, they aren’t telling you the whole truth (or they are trying to sell you on a dieting gimmick!) This study concluded that the risk applied to women who did not start to lose weight in the first year. Expect that it will take a year or more to get back to your former weight. Half a pound to one full pound a week is a good goal. If you are tempted to lose weight more quickly, remember this: slow weight loss is lasting weight loss. Many people lose weight quickly, only to have it come right back on again. This yo-yo’ing wrecks havoc on your metabolism.

Remember What Is Most Important

It is your health and the health of your child that you need to preserve in this delicate time. Don’t start your weight loss journey too soon. Concentrate in the first few months post-partum on just being calm, restful, and elated with your baby. See your doctor at 6-weeks; start slow, gentle exercise. Begin to make healthy choices: increase your intake of veggies and drink lots of water. Starting your weight loss too soon will overwhelm you and may set you up for failure. The study concluded that the critical period for weight loss was between three and 12 months.

Get Support

You don’t have to go it alone and working with someone who is trained in nutritional guidance will not only put you in touch with the best way to eat healthy, it will provide the motivation and emotional guidance that you need. We offer one-on-one consultations and can follow you in your weight loss journey. We offer the Nourish Yourself Vibrant program (a session starts in May), that gives you group support and a lot of resources for making healthier choices. Think of this as an investment of time, money and energy put into YOU. You deserve it. Feeling good starts with nourishing your body with the right fuel that will make reaching your body’s ideal weight a breeze. You will gain confidence and happiness that will allow you to be the best Mom, partner, friend, daughter and human being possible. Simple.

Help! My Toddler Won’t Eat

Posted by

Help! My Toddler Won't Eat

Photograph by David R. Tribble. Accessed on Wikimedia Commons.


Toddlerhood is a fascinating time in the development of a child. No longer babies that turn to you for continual guidance, they are starting to explore their own independance. And this includes at the dinner table. While they once may have delighted in pureed peas with mint, and wild blueberries, they are now turning their nose up at new tastes and textures. This is normal, and is part of your child’s natural development toward being an independent thinker. Your job is to facilitate this exploration, while putting good food in front of them so they have the best opportunity to nourish their bodies the right way. Remember though, your job is not to make them eat. Just to set up the right environment for eating. Here’s how.

Don’t Give Up!

What your toddler will and won’t eat will change daily! This is part of his natural pattern of finding his way. If it is not on the menu, you will never know if broccoli is his next favourite food. And studies suggest you should offer a child a food 12 times before giving up. What he rejects initially, may be what he eats eventually.

Don’t Force It!

Parents are always coming to us because they are frustrated at mealtimes. They put food in front of their child, but he or she does not eat it. Take yourself out of the food war and establish meals as a positive place for rich development. Development takes place through nurturing encouragement, and unfortunately bad food relationships start from anything less. Offer your child a food. If he chooses not to eat it, don’t force it.

Take a Look at the Big Picture

Toddlers require constant nutrients throughout the day, as their milk intake decreases, and their mobility increases. Fuel those busy, growing bodies with regular meals and snacks. When assessing your child’s food intake, and before exclaiming “He doesn’t eat!” take a look at the whole picture. What did he eat all day, or all week, rather than what was consumed at one meal. Also pay attention to when you are offering food. If your little one is filling up on 2 bananas before sitting down to supper, you can’t expect him to eat very much of that balanced roast chicken, brown rice and carrot dinner! Try to stick to a regular pattern of eating.

If you are concerned about what your toddler is eating, or how to make the transition from baby-hood to the wonderous time of toddler-hood, please be in touch! Through our meal plans, recipes, book and consultations, we can help. More tips for feeding toddlers.

A New Way to Feed Mum

Posted by

Now For MothersThe amount of times I speak to a group of new mums and watch them glaze over as I recommend eating three meals and two snacks a day, is ever increasing. For most new mums, eating becomes survival, not enjoyable as it once was. Now a notch or two down on the importance totem pole, mum taking time for herself is a thing of the past. Baby comes first.

Making another human and then breastfeeding him after can be to the detriment to a woman’s nutrient status and their reserves if her diet isn’t bang on. Pregnancy into becoming a mom is such a time of change for her mind and body. Being the main nourishment for a growing baby by making good breast milk takes good food and nutrients. Two things that don’t always make the grade. The needs and demands on a woman’s body while breastfeeding is higher than during pregnancy, for some nutrients. Unbalanced blood sugar levels are commonplace amongst most people, but especially for new mothers. Stabilized energy, mood and concentration come from constant nourishment, but it’s not always possible to pull off.

A couple of weeks ago, my interest peaked when I received an email about a new all organic and natural product that provides a natural energy boost, aids breast milk production and keeps energy levels on an even keel. So I asked if I could check it out.

While I’m not a new mom, nor am I breastfeeding, I’m always on the look out for anything that’s going help my clients be healthier. Now for Mothers Healing Mix is made up of ground nuts and seeds (almond, walnuts, pistachio, pine nuts, melon and flax seeds), grains of oats and wheat flour, sweetness from brown sugar, raisins and honey, and a dash of warming and blood sugar balancing cinnamon. I’m not usually one to advocate consuming sugar, but I have seen enough food diaries in my career to know that keeping sugar from the diet of a new mom can verge on cruel deprivation. These sweet tasting ingredients are far enough down the ingredient list and combined with some serious fibre, it’s not going to upset the energy roller coaster. In fact, it’s more likely to balance it out so she feels nourished and even full for longer than grabbing a two bite brownie (you know who you are).

I tried the healing mix out in a few ways -

Now For MothersFirst I mixed it with warm milk. The instructions on the back of the package suggests consuming the healing mix this way. I haven’t made warm milk since I was a kid, but I found it very warm and comforting. I used almond and coconut milk, so stirred in 1 scoop of the healing mix, whole seeds and all. I was surprised by how pleasant it tasted. Just sweet enough, the chewy seeds didn’t pose a problem being mixed with milk and with a quick stir before another swig, it meant all the goodness didn’t sink to the bottom. I chewed the seeds and knew that my intestines were grateful for all the extra fibre.

Next, I added the mix it to my smoothie. I always suggest smoothies for new mums. Do you know how much can get blended and then poured in a glass? Three to five different fruits, spinach, sprouts, fish oils and an alternative milk to ease off dairy (in case baby has a problem with it). My high-powered blender took what was a coarse-ish mix and made it to nothing. I felt fuller faster, so could have made less of my normal amount.

Now for MothersLastly, I made up a snack of homemade greek yogurt, granola, frozen blueberries and a scoop of healing mix. Again, very pleasant tasting and it added some nice flavour to my afternoon snack. It certainly helped my afternoon crash and I wasn’t hungry until dinner.

All in all, my experiment turned out really well. The recommendation to mix and consume three times a day may become too much for some, but in the case of a client not eating enough during the day, I’d suggest she follow the suggestion on the back of the healing mix. I’d also suggest it for anyone with breast milk production concerns. The nutrients, fibre, good fats and the fact that it’s super fast to consume makes it a great new product in my books.

Check it out, ingredients and all here. Don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself. www.nowformothers.com

 

This post was generously sponsored by Now for Mothers Food Corp., but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit http://www.nowformothers.com/.

Super-Powered Breastmilk

Posted by

Super-Powered Breastmilk on SproutRight.comMoms are superheroes, no question, and breastfeeding is one of our super powers. After hours of labour, you cuddle up with your little one and nurturing from the breast is the top priority. In spite of this being a totally natural thing, producing a lot of the good stuff isn’t easy and intuitive, for every body. And there are changes you can make with your own diet to make sure the white stuff you are passing to your baby as his primary nutrition, is all around amazing. Breastmilk is best for baby; it is a highly absorbable way to offer baby the vital nutrients she needs at such a tender time of growth.

So how to best produce the good stuff? It starts with your diet and these and other helpful suggestions.

LOTS of H2O

Your baby will take between 0.5L and 1L of water from you each and every day. You need to replace that water, and then some, in order to stay properly hydrated. Drink 3L of water a day (herb tea counts as water here) to avoid the downsides of dehydration like fatigue. You don’t need another reason to feel tired, so get your water bottle out and keep it full, and with you, all day long.

Pump Up the Iron

Labour takes its toll on your iron stores and this is a vital mineral to pass on to your baby through your milk. Iron is important for newborns as it supports brain development. Although taking iron won’t increase the amount in your breastmilk, you need to pump up your iron intake post-partum. Good sources of iron include red meat, eggs, brown rice, mushrooms, broccoli, kale, green peas, blackstrap molasses, apricots and raisins.

Essential Fatty Acids Are, Well, Essential

Brain development relies on a good dose of healthy fats. The brain is 60% fat and providing essential fatty acids through your breastmilk will help provide these building blocks. It’s also to your benefit as higher stores of DHA (a specific brain boosting Omega 3 fat) is linked with lower postpartum depression, increased IQ in both mom and baby and it helps improve memory, mood and concentration. You want to include in your diet foods like salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, flax, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

Watch for Allergies

Some babies can be colicky, or suffer from a lot of uncomfortable gas. Monitor your own diet to investigate what in the breastmilk might be causing this discomfort. Common offenders include dairy, chocolate, spicy foods, the nightshade vegetables (eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes), citrus fruits and cucumbers. Eliminate these foods and then slowly add them back in, one food at a time, and judge by baby’s reaction.

In addition to focusing on eating whole, wholesome and healthy foods, and lots of water to keep hydrated (snack often to keep hunger at bay and blood sugars stable), try to rest as much as possible. This means lying down when baby does – the dishes can wait. This also means asking for help so you can take moments to yourself. Keeping yourself healthy is the best way to keep your baby healthy.

Childhood Obesity: What We All Need to Do to Make a Change

Posted by

Childhood ObesityAccording to Statistics Canada, almost one third of Canadians aged 5 to 17 years are overweight. In fact, a recent study finds that obesity rates for all ages in Canada has tripled. That’s a staggering number and makes me wonder if it could all be a result of diets rich in fast and processed foods, combined with too little exercise, that’s making our kids fat. This alarming number left me open to other ideas. In a Facebook comment, professor at the University of Western Ontario, Anita Kothari PhD commented

“differences in socioeconomic opportunities and constraints that people face are many times the root causes of obesity. For example, neighbourhoods with no grocery stores in walkable distance. There are social and political structures that are often more important than healthy behaviours that place blame on individuals for their circumstances.”

Are we blaming parents too much? I think there’s education out there about what foods are good and what aren’t but as I sometimes walk around big box stores and see the price of the most unhealthy foods with a great big “Roll back” or similar,  it’s not hard to understand why going cheap for some families is a way of life. Is making the better choice of food just too expensive? Processed food is cheap, fast and easy. No one has enough hours in the day anymore to get done what needs to, and if a family doesn’t hold healthy food as a priority, maybe that’s part of why these numbers are what they are.

What’s the norm?

Every mouthful of food is an opportunity to make a better choice. But why bother when everyone in your family seems healthy. A few aches, pains, the usual sickness and infections, but isn’t that how everyone is? Some antibiotics, blood pressure pills, pills for pain and all that. It’s the norm. Maybe people don’t realize that it’s actually possible to feel better. Look better. Sleep better.

Reality check

Carrying excess weight puts a person at greater risk of having health concerns, from Type 2 Diabetes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Those who are living an overweight or obese life are shortening their life span. It is as simple, complex and scary as that. Overweight children, it is feared, grow into overweight or obese adults as the patterns of eating and leading a sedentary lifestyle thought to contribute to their weight problem are likely to continue.

Education is key

I truly believe what we need to do as Canadians, is educate ourselves and each other, about what healthy eating really means. Processed and fast foods are convenient and I understand their lure. They offer empty calories and fill our bellies with foods that don’t give the vital nutrients needed to function optimally. Too much fat, sugar and not enough natural-ness, whole-ness and real-ness translates to extra pounds on your waistline and a body that doesn’t work the way it could.

What can you do?

Reach for whole foods: fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats like nuts, seeds and healthier fats like coconut oil. We need to get our kids excited about eating these kinds of foods, but it has to start with you.

Kids will grow up thinking a healthy, colourful meal with nutritious snacks is the norm given the opportunity. It starts young (very young) by offering babies simple, natural and homemade foods. As they grow, talk to kids about making the right choices, and why it is important to fuel our bodies with the right nourishment. They understand far more than we may think! And get them involved in meal prep. In the kitchen alongside you and make one meal a week all homemade, for instance. If you don’t know what you are doing, learn together. Growing your own food or herbs in small pots on the window sill. Take them to the local farmers market or give them the list of healthy foods to grab at the grocery store. This gets them interested, engaged and excited to try new things.

Physical activity is also important and children should be encouraged to sign up and try different sports, and to find ways of amusing themselves that don’t include sitting still and watching, or playing with remotes.

Be a role model

Set a good example! Reach for your own nutrition goals and get active yourself. In investing in your own health, you are teaching your children the most valuable lesson: take care, and the possibilities of life are limitless. We have a new webinar series starting, which focuses on moms giving back to themselves. You can also reach out to us for a one-on-one consultation.

Nourish Yourself Slim Webinar Series

Posted by

Register for the Nourish Yourself Slim Webinar SeriesNourish Yourself Vibrant
A 4-Part Webinar Series from Sprout Right!

Increase Good Food, While You Mindfully Ditch the Crap

Do you finish off your kids’ leftovers, either as your dinner or in addition to it?
Maybe you prefer to eat in peace, once the kids are in bed or once the school bell rings. Eating a meal that was once enjoyable, may now mean inhaling what’s not nailed down to fill the hole.

Raise your hand if since the birth of your baby (no matter how long ago), you and your eating have come second, even third, to everyone and everything else.

I knew it.

I’m with you.

It’s time to make YOU the priority. Everything starts with Mom, and when you allow yourself time and attention for YOU, the whole family benefits. Give yourself this time to re-focus, re-fuel and re-energize yourself, while shedding those last pounds that keep you from feeling your best.

Remember feeling good about your body, being vibrant, energetic and sexy? It’s time to take it back.

The Nourish Yourself Slim Program is for you if you can identify with any of the below:

You experience tiredness, crabbiness and a roller coaster of emotions each day.
You live by eating for your emotions.
You fix your cravings with more sugar.
You want easy ways to feed yourself.
Most of your day includes grab-and-go meals or snacks.
You want to shed the post-baby weight.
You want to shed the post child(ren) weight (as in, you can’t call it baby weight anymore).
You want to shed the “don’t-know-where-it-came-from” weight.
Your doctor, blood pressure and pancreas wants you to lose weight.
You exercise, but your jeans are still tight. No matter how often you run, bootcamp or triathlon.
At the end of your mom’s group exercise class, you fill up on the cookies and brownies on offer. And you no longer want to.
You don’t have kids, but still identify with the above.

In this four-week series, you will get back on track and learn to put mom back on the menu. Guilt-free and with massive support.

Here’s how:

Learn how to feed yourself with ease. Pull off three meals and two snacks for you, not just your children.
Eat food that will nourish you and meet your own unique needs. Make every bite count.
Cook without spending the whole day or week in the kitchen. Learn to streamline your grocery shopping for convenience and ease.
Set a great example for your kids by eating well.
Tap into increased energy, improved mood and stamina.
Rid your look of dark circles, dry, dull skin and put the twinkle back in your eye.

Keeping balanced emotionally, and eating the right way, is possible. You can achieve the energy levels you desire, and the waist-line you’ve been hoping for. This four-week program can help.

Here’s what’s in store for you:

Meal plan assessment – Think you eat healthily? Not sure why the pounds aren’t falling off? Keep a food diary for five days, include everything that passes your lips, rough quantities and drinks. If you’ve exercised, note how long and the intensity. We will take a look and give you suggestions and tips on how to improve. No judgement. Promise.

Weekly speedy webinars – Call in on the phone or log in on your computer. Week one and three will be 30 minute get-you-going calls and week two and four 15 minute kick-your-butt (in a loving way) check in’s.

Weekly open chats on our Facebook group – Ask questions of us and see what others have to say and how they are doing. Connection, accountability and support all in one place.

Daily inspirational emails – Thoughts for the day, a challenge or recipe for you to try.

There’s no hiding from our support! You are going to get it whether you like or not, because you are worth it and deserve all that’s about to come your way.

Early bird cost for this program is $99 plus HST.

Start date: May
All details will be emailed to you upon sign up.

Baby Superfood: Wild Blueberries

Posted by

Baby Superfood: Wild BlueberriesThe sweet taste of wild blueberries makes them a favourite treat among many little ones. While also a great finger food for older babies and toddlers, wild blueberries can be made into a delicious purée. It does have a little texture from the skins, so it might be best to wait to introduce wild blueberries as a fourth (or later) food. The nutritional profile of wild blueberries makes them a super food!

Blueberries are rich in dietary fibre. Dietary fibre that occurs naturally in foods helps keep the heart strong and blood sugars stable. Wild blueberries have more total antioxidant capacity than most fruits and vegetables. This means it helps neutralize free radicals in the body that can cause cell damage. Rich in manganese, a trace mineral that plays an important role in bone development, as well as Vitamin C, E and A, wild blueberries help keep a growing body strong.

Here is a recipe for Wild Blueberry Purée, which can be made from fresh or frozen wild blueberries.

Blueberry Purée

2 ½ cups Frozen or fresh wild blueberries

1. Steam blueberries until just heated through, about 5-7 minutes.

2. Purée until smooth, about 5 minutes adding ½ to 1 cup water, depending on how much has come out of the blueberries while steaming.

Makes about 2 ½ cups.

This recipe originally appeared in Sprout Right: Nutrition from Tummy to Toddler.