Skin Care Through the Ages: How to Get That Glow

Posted by

Sprout Right's Lianne Phillipson Webb shares tips for getting that glow from food, at any ageThis spring, I’ve partnered with the Canadian Health Food Association to develop a natural skin-care routine for each decade. From your 20s to your 50s, your skin-care routine needs to change right along with you, to ensure you continue to glow from the inside out.

Let’s start with the 20s

Acne can often be a concern and rather than use harsh products, I recommend raw or unpasteurized honey. It is packed with nutrients and antibacterial enzymes. You can use it as a mask – find a recipe here. Look for a good quality honey at your local health food store.Use the “Find a Retailer” tool on to find one near you!

You may be on a budget during this decade and not eating as much of a variety as your body needs, so be sure to add in a multi-vitamin and mineral so your body is getting everything that it needs.

Here’s another helpful tip for your 20s, when you might be wearing party makeup frequently: coconut oil is a fantastic make-up remover!

Into your 30s

Big changes can happen in your 30s. Family and a new busy life means that eating a great diet each day doesn’t always happen. Try to focus on a diversity of fruits and vegetables, and where possible reach for these foods rich in Vitamin C, which is essential for collagen production (what gives your skin its suppleness). Vitamin C – rich foods include oranges and other citrus fruits, bell peppers, dark leafy greens and berries.

Protect your digestive system and boost your immune system for healthy glowing skin. Take a probiotic daily. It will make your tummy feel good, keep your body strong and healthy and calm irritated skin because it helps to reduce inflammation in the body.

In our 40s we are facing fine lines

We shouldn’t fear our forties, but embrace this time for the vitality and confidence it can give us. It is a time to really go natural with skin care, and to choose products that care for our skin gently.

Start from within: focus on a diet full of antioxidants to fend off free radicals that are associated with aging. Greens, beta-carotene, selenium and fibre-rich vegetables are essential. Eat a rainbow every day to ensure a good balance.

Drink plenty of water to keep the skin moisturized from within.

Into our 50s 

This can be a time of change, as menopause hits. Shifting hormones can often mean dry skin so it is especially important to moisturize. I can remember my mom commenting as she went through menopause that she felt like a shrivelled up prune. I recommend Argan oil from Morocco. You may have seen it in hair products, but research shows that it helps improve elasticity in the skin of post-menopausal women.

CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that you can take as a supplement, and has the added benefit of being great for heart health and memory.

Supplementing with Vitamin D is also important, as the skin’s capacity to produce vitamin D from sun exposure is reduced as you age.

Natural beauty products (including those you make yourself), a strong diet and the right supplements can go a long way towards giving you healthy, vibrant skin at any age. And so can the natural glow of a life full of joy. This is a great time to remind you to manage your stress levels, get plenty of sleep and embrace every part of your journey.

For more information on healthy skin, from within, visit

Watch Lianne’s segment on CTV’s Canada AM.

You might also like to read:

6 Foods to Add to Your Diet to Prevent Heart Attack, Cancer and Stroke

The Truth Behind Probiotic Yogurt

Posted by

The Truth Behind Probiotic Yogurt What's In that Stuff? on the Sprout Right blog. SproutRight.comAre you going to take the Activia challenge? The makers of this probiotic yogurt want you to eat 2 cartons of the stuff each day for 4 weeks. The claim: it will improve your digestive system and combat minor upsets. The advertising message: you can happily belly dance or hula hoop your way through the day while eating yogurt.

Do you believe it? Will you give it a try? Here is why I am going to ask you to re-consider.

(This isn’t an attack on this particular product, though I do use it as an example. My concern is with products like this that claim health benefits from consuming what is a pretty unhealthy product. I want to show you a better way, in hopes that you grow more mindful of big business advertising messages and how they can be misleading).

What a Probiotic Yogurt Promises

It’s 3pm and your healthy lunch is grumbling it’s way through your digestive tract. You are experiencing bloating, gas and bowel disruption (possibly diarrhea, or maybe constipation). Is this a normal occurrence for you? You may have been stuck with the label “Irritable Bowel Syndrome” in the past, or maybe you just know you are always a little bit more flatulent than the general population. Do you live with it? Or are you lured by the happy, bright better way offered by advertising campaigns that promise big results with a simple menu addition.

The quick and delicious fix a probiotic yogurt like Activia promises is very appealing to the many people who suffer from digestive concerns.

All yogurt, a fermented food, contains probiotics or bacterial cultures that populate the gut with the good guys to fight the bad, including parasites and yeast. Learn more about yogurt, fermented foods and probiotics by reading one of our past blog posts.

Activia, the manufacturer’s website states, contains a third strain of bacterial culture: bifidobacterium lactis. According to clinical nutritionist Josh Gitalis, this strain cannot be produced by the human body. It is, in fact, found and derived from the feces of animals like rats and chickens. Yuck. What’s more, because the bacteria does not naturally grow in the human body, it only sticks around for a short period of time. The bottom line, you might experience digestive relief while consuming the probiotic yogurt, but it won’t be there once you stop eating it.

Are probiotic Yogurt’s Bandaids for a Real Problem?

Not only will your relief be short-lived, a result that suggests it is more of a band-aid than a permanent solution, but often what the solution is masking is the root of a deeper problem. We should all eat a diet rich in probiotics for optimal health, gut health included. But if you are continually experiencing bowel upset, including feeling “irregular,” there are likely some deeper issues at play: do you have enough fibre in your diet? are you consuming too much sugar and other processed food?, do you have undiagnosed food sensitivities?, is stress to blame? When we reach for a ready-made, packaged solution we place a cover over the real issues so that we don’t really have to face up to what is happening deep down. A better strategy – for a feel-good that lasts and lasts – is to find out why you are experiencing digestive troubles. Sound simple? It is, really.

And why else shouldn’t I eat this?

Yogurts like Activia are marketed to us as healthy products. I would argue they aren’t a healthy choice. One container (100g) of Activia contains between 10 and 22g of sugar, depending on the flavor. That is equal to between 2 and 5 teaspoons of sugar! As a point of comparison, women should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar in a day. If you have two containers of Activia, like the manufacturer wants you to, that’s your sugar intake maxed out on two small snacks that likely won’t fill you up. That’s healthy?! Your body does not need this extra sugar. And wouldn’t you rather have it in a more indulgent way?

If you are having digestive concerns, you probably can benefit from a probiotic. I recommend a supplement, which will allow you to get the levels that are actually beneficial. I also recommend enriching your diet with fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut and your own homemade yogurt. Trust me, it tastes better, even without the rat poop!

What’s In Your Coffee? Should You Try Bulletproof Coffee?

Posted by

What's in Your Coffee? Is Bulletproof Coffee Right for You? Lianne of Sprout Right takes a look at this trend.

Full disclosure: I have tried to drink coffee. It makes me go shaky and funny, so I don’t. There are times that I wish I did–to give me a boost or just the taste, but I refrain. I have many, many clients who are addicted to coffee. The mere thought of coming off it makes them skaky and funny. I do think that most people are better off without it. I see that it makes people crabby, post coffee high, it dehydrates, lacks enough nutrients to make up for it’s over consumption and can be a big negative for people suffering from adrenal fatigue or a cortisol (stress-hormone) imbalance. I do often have to suggest many of my clients steer clear of coffee, or limit their intake for a healthier start to the day. They avoid the highs and lows of energy and mood that exacerbates cravings and the grab-and-go busy lifestyle.

Now there is a new trend that’s been around town for a bit and it’s called Bulletproof Coffee: have your morning cup of joe and blend it with some (grass-fed) butter and a substance called MCT oil. This recommendation is part of a greater diet prescription “discovered” and championed by Dave Asprey, a formerly overweight Silicon Valley entrepreneur.

Asprey’s book, The Bulletproof Diet, suggests you drink this special java blend in place of breakfast for a fat-busting, energy-providing start to your day. And of course, according to Aspery, this is a secret to fast weight loss. His book contains some other “secrets” but outlines essentially a high-fat paleo diet that warns against certain (he claims) problematic substances found on produce, such as mycotoxins on most coffee beans (so he recommends you purchase his mycotoxin-free coffee beans).

I have heard that this special buttered coffee is mighty tasty and I have no doubt. Butter, after all, does have a way of making most things taste good! I won’t be on this bandwagon, although it’s trendy amongst some “healthier” types.

Here are some things that concern me about this bulletproof trend:

  • Some of the recommendations in The Bulletproof Diet do appear to be made with ulterior motives–and bottom line–in mind. Aspery claims most coffee beans contain a mold called mycotoxin that can diminish your mental and physical performance. Conveniently, of course, his company sells a mycotoxin-free coffee and it is quite expensive. There is little evidence that your regular store-bought coffee contains any of this mold, as the coffee industry has known about it for years and takes extra measures to manage its growth;

  • A shot of butter first thing in the morning gives your body a dose of saturated fat (not the best kind of fat) minus any nutrients. Breakfast is an opportunity for a big meal of carbs for energy, protein to sustain you and yes, some fat. My concern with adding butter to your coffee is that you’ve just used up your quota for the day. Then what? No more fat for the day–unlikely.

  • Nothing but coffee for breakfast! You better believe I don’t think this is a good idea. Your body has been fasting all night long and needs substance to kickstart your day. You need to stoke the fire for long-lasting energy. You might save calories at the beginning of the day (leading you to lose weight in the short-term) but the reality is that many of us will find that skipping breakfast leads to disordered eating later in the day (enter the 8pm snack-a-thon);

  • MCT oil is part of the prescription and so it is worth spending a moment understanding what this is. MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides. Most of the fat we eat is actually of the long-chain variety. It takes longer for this fat to be burned as fuel and is easily stored. But medium chain (coconut oil is an example) can be processed and used by the body more quickly. Some people claim that MCT oil helps burn fat. I like coconut oil and think it is a healthy addition to your diet, in modest quantities as it is high in calories. I am just not sure I believe it is the miracle cure to weight loss.

If weight loss has you turning to a Bulletproof Coffee, or the thought that it’s going to give you a buzz that lasts longer, I think there is a better way. There really isn’t a secret to weight loss or sustained energy: it’s about balance. Burning fat happens when you have a good muscle mass and watch your eating. MCT oil may help to sustain that, but it’s not the magic bullet that so many are looking for. Quick fixes are usually just that… quick fixes. And fads …. well they fade in time and leave many of us feeling betrayed.

The best way, we’ve found, is to make one simple change, regularly. If you can’t do this on your own, then get the counsel of a good health team. Accountability and sustaining change is more than half the battle.

The bottom line … I’d skip the buttered coffee. If you really want to try it, make allowances in the rest of your day for the added saturated fat, don’t look to it as a cure for any weight troubles and make sure you are also consuming some slow-burning healthy food in the morning so as to avoid a roller coaster day of energy, mood and cravings. And the evening snack attack!

If you want to give it a go, here’s the original recipe from the source:

At least 1-2 tbsp unsalted grass fed butter (organic works too).

1-2 tbsp of MCT oil (Asprey has his own blends that are stronger than coconut oil) Use coconut if it’s all you have.

1-2 cups (250-500ml) of hot coffee brewed with low-toxin beans using a metal filter (like french press or gold filter drip).

Make your coffee as usual. Pre-heat blender or hand blender with hot water to get it warm. Tip it all out and pour pre-made coffee in and add butter and oil and whizz until frothy.

Want to read more about Bulletproof Coffee? I found these resources helpful:

Photo Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

Newsworthy Headline: 6 Foods to Add to Your Diet to Prevent Heart Attack, Cancer and Stroke

Posted by

In a Daily Mail Article written by Dr Sally Norton, she shared six foods that you should add to your diet to help prevent heart attack, cancer and stroke.

I love a headline that grabs you! Below I’ve expanded on what Dr Norton wrote to inspire you to add any of these to your diet as you find them.

Including a powerhouse of nutrition into your diet every day isn’t always easy. We are busy and until take-out places start adding these foods (and more) into their menus, it’s on you to make it happen.


Tart or sour cherries rank high on the antioxidant scale. The anthocyanins and other compounds have an anti-inflammatory effect on your body. Think post-sports, sore knees, arthritic fingers and toes. I read that the anti-inflammatory effect rivals ibuprofen.

Consume: Fresh in season or drink Tart Cherry Juice.


Avocado has always been on the list of healthy foods, but it’s made it’s way into the spotlight of late. Full of monounsaturated fats–a neutral fat- it’s known to help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce plaque build up in arteries, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Consume: with eggs, salads, as a dip like guacamole or use its oil for making salad dressings,  or to spray in your frying pan. A new product that blends both taste with this great fat is Buddha Bowl avocado-licious popcorn.


More than an accompaniment to you Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, cranberries are known to help alleviate urinary tract infections.
As many of you will know, cranberries have been used for years as an aid against urinary tract infections. Chock full of antioxidants, they help protect every cell in your body from heart to skin, internal and external. Polyphenols found in cranberries are anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and powerful antioxidant.

Consume: Just Juice Cranberry, dried cranberries but with no sugar like in Mike and Mikes Organic Sport Mix. *Avoid cranberry juice with sugar in it.


If you didn’t know that blueberries are a super food, where have you been? They are packed, yes packed, with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fibre. These little babies are your answer to beating signs of ageing, improving eyesight, preventing cancer, enhancing brain function and more. Blueberries should be consumed daily. Without fail!

Consume: Fresh or frozen, 100% Blueberry Juice, Organic Traditions Blueberry Powder


Not just the ones that come out of your jack-o-lantern, these little green seeds provide protein, fibre, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous, and are a rich source of zinc - important for immunity, cell growth and division, as well as sleep, mood, and eye and skin health. The use for them are endless, but the simplest is have them on your desk and snack at will.

Consume: Raw, Pumpkin seed oil, Zen Bev Pumpkin Seed Powder, Nuts to You Pumpkin Seed Butter, Omega Nutrition Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder.


Yes they are the same seeds that became popular with the Chia-Pet. These little seeds are rocking the superfood charts. High, high levels of nutrients including iron, calcium and magnesium they are also low-cal for those still fat-phobic. Packed with omega 3 oils (excellent but still eat your fish) but beats any glass of milk to the calcium punch.

Consume: Nature’s Emporium chia pudding, Organic traditions chia seeds, Synergy Kombucha with chia seeds, Weeds and Seeds cereal.

Every time you eat or put food into your mouth, it’s an opportunity to nourish your body or not. That may sound heavy but it’s true. If you choose to eat a donut, you likely know by now that it’s not good for you. So if you do eat the donut, you’d better make up for it later. Those clients that I see in a rut where they are in denial about the bad choices that they are making are on that slippery slope to increased risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity or being overweight, stroke, diabetes or the new one dia-besity.

Add these to your diet and you’ve just decreased that slope and turned it on it’s head.

Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are a powerhouse of protein, fibre, calcium, iron, vitamins and essential fats. It might seem like an odd thing to eat seeds and milk, but this is a meal or snack that will appeal to the whole family.

1/3 cup white chia seeds

1 1/2 cups milk

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

Put all the ingredients in a medium jar. Cover with a lid and shake it all up.

Put in the fridge. Go back in an hour or so and shake it up again. Leave it overnight.

In the morning, pour about a cup into a bowl, add blueberries or other fruit, nuts or seeds.

Be sure to drink lots today as these seeds are fantastic fibre.

Is Grass-Fed Better For You?

Posted by

Is Grass-Fed Beef Better For You? Sprout Right Answers This on the BlogLike “organic” before it, grass-fed is the new nutritional buzz word. Companies are popping up here and there that offer products made from grass-fed animals – like grass-fed butter, grass-fed yogurt and cuts of meat from grass-fed cows. Should you care about going grass-fed or is this another fad?

What is Grass-Fed?

Cows are ruminants, meaning they evolved to eat grass, shrubs and other plant product. And yet, most methods of conventional farming have been created to place cows in economically-fortuitous feedlots where they are fed a diet of grains, usually soy, corn and corn by-products. Grass-fed cows, instead, are left to graze in fields where they obtain food from the ground, in the most natural way.

Why should you care what cows eat?

When we think of cows grazing in a field, we think of happy cows. When we think of cows sandwiched in feedlots and sometimes subjected to unsanitary conditions we of course think the opposite. There is this side to the argument. But there is also another reason why grass-fed beef is better… it is better for you.

How Grass-Fed is Better for You

What a cow eats affects the nutritional make-up of her body, which you then consume, whether as meat or in animal by-products like milk and yogurt.

Here are some key differences between grass-fed and grain-fed beef:

  • Grain-fed beef tends to be fattier. Less total fat means there might be as much as a 100 calorie difference in one six ounce steak;

  • Grass-fed beef contains more Vitamin E than grain-fed meat. Vitamin E is a vital nutrient that protects your cells from damage;

  • Grass-fed beef also contains more potassium, iron and zinc;

  • Grass-fed beef contains up to 5 times more Omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind of fat), compared to grain-feed beef. Both grass-fed and grain-fed beef contain around the same amount of Omega-6 fatty acids, but the ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s in grass-fed meat makes it a much healthier option.
    It also contains vitamin K2 that reduces calcification of the arteries and, therefore, heart disease;

  • K2 protects us from heart disease, ensuring healthy skin, forming strong bones, promoting brain function, supporting growth and development and helping to prevent cancer.

Grass-fed is clearly healthier for you, providing more nutrients and fewer fat and calories. For many people, the higher cost of grass-fed beef can make it difficult to make the switch. My advice: shop sales, get cozy with a farmer who raises grass-fed cattle (it is cheaper to buy directly from a farm), and do what you can.

Will you be switching to grass-fed?



Photo Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

You Put a Nutrition Seal on What?

Posted by

You Put a Nutrition Seal on What on SproutRight.comThe grocery store shelves and cold cases are full of choices today. If you want to select a pasta for your dinner, for example, you can choose from a dozen different brands and varieties each offering some variation of taste, ingredient or feature. It can be hard, as parents, to know which products to choose for our kids, and how to make the healthiest choices that do balance out the other factors, like kid-appeal, budget and convenience.

I am not a big fan of “convenience foods.” And studies have shown, these processed products contain too much salt and sugar for young bellies. Recently, I talked about this on CBC News.

I prefer to suggest that parents eat as close to the earth as possible, opting for whole foods over processed foods, always fresh and organic where it is budget-friendly and available. As a nutrition expert invested in the health of families, I think it is my job to help guide parents towards these healthier options, while giving them solutions for how to make that work with their busy lifestyles.

I was surprised, to say the least, when I learned that Kraft Singles, a processed cheese product I like to call “plastic cheese”, has been given a seal by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It is the first product to announce they are a proud supporter of the “Kids Eat Right” program. The Academy contends the seal does not “endorse” the product but it sure looks that way to the consumer (and to Kraft who was quoted as saying it is an endorsement)! This seal makes parents believe that Kraft Singles is a healthy product and source of calcium and Vitamin D for their product. Dietitians have supported this, after all. It just isn’t true.

Marketing like this is trying very hard to make you believe a product is good for you. We need to be weary consumers, always.

Here are a few alternatives to Kraft Singles, which contain additives and products that are not good for growing bodies, and that supply Vitamin D and calcium that is not easily absorbed by the body.

  • Try real cheese. Made of cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk. There are many different varieties and, in moderation, cheese can be a very healthy food;

  • Replace cheese with a dairy-free option that has the taste or texture of cheese. You can make a cheese sauce with nutritional yeast, for example.

  • Reach for green leafy vegetables to make sure you and your kids are getting a good supply of calcium. This is a much more absorbable form of the mineral.

Be weary of marketing claims on processed products. If it’s in a package, wrapped in plastic, it’s less likely to be healthy. Make what you can in your own home, that way you know that it has the building blocks of good whole foods.

You can listen to my talk with Jerry Agar about the “Kids Eat Right” seal on Kraft Singles.

Photo Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

What’s your craving trying to tell you?

Posted by

What Your Craving is Telling You on Sprout RightCravings can happen throughout the day. Some wake up craving sweets or salty foods. Then the rest of the day unfolds with a roller coaster of binge eating with what you fancy.

Do your cravings mean something though? Or is all down to willpower?

Here are a few key interactions that are good to know:

  • Chocolate cravings could have something to do with a deficiency of magnesium – raw cacao/nibs/beans or powder are excellent sources of magnesium as are whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, greens, fruit.
  • Salty cravings for chips or salted nuts could be telling you that your little stress glands–the adrenals are fatigued and crying out for help. Seeing a nutritionist or naturopath to get you on some balancing supplements like B complex and in particular B5 is a good start. More sleep, yoga, and mediation are also on the prescription for adrenal fatigue. Less of the intense workouts as that’s also seen as a stress in overworked adrenals.
  • Need that coffee every morning? Most of the population do. You could do with more sulphur cruciferous vegetables like kale, cabbage, broccoli and also cranberries, horseradish, asparagus, carob powder, garlic and onion.
  • Craving that burger or steak? That could be a lack of iron. Have your blood checked and see if symptoms of iron deficiency match how you are feeling.
  • Hungry in the evening? That’s because you didn’t eat enough during the day. Typical of those who skip breakfast or have a carb rich start to their day. Incorporate protein from eggs, cottage cheese, or low glycemic index foods like steel cut oats or quinoa flakes or something like chia seed pudding.
  • PMS cravings? The need for more food, and of course chocolate, can be because her body is preparing for pregnancy whether she is planning it or not. Hormones become more out of balance and mineral needs increase. Eat more fruits and vegetables throughout the month and less of the sugary sweet stuff and see what impact that has.

Cravings can sometimes be from a lack of willpower or emotional triggers, but with the above, it shows there’s more to it in some cases.

What are you craving right now?

Cashew Milk – A New Ingredient for My Smoothie

Posted by

Milk and I don’t get along. Haven’t for years. I’ve tried all animal milks; cow, goat and sheep, raw and pasteurized, and I get instantly mucus-y and my belly becomes distended and uncomfortable within a few hours. By the end of the day I wish I could put a pin in my belly button to let all the air or release the gremlin that seems to have inhabited my intestines. It’s not pretty and I end up feeling crappy.

I’ve tried, and made, just about every milk out there–even filmed a video with Jack LaLane years ago of how to make soy milk in his fancy juicer—I now stick with Almond and Coconut Milk as my go-to. I shouldn’t say I’ve tried them all actually, that would be a lie. A friend who is a Naturopath warned me off of Hemp Milk so I haven’t tried that yet. Took her word for it that there are better tastes out there.

A couple of weeks ago, I learned there’s a new kid on the block and have been asked to try it out to see what I think. It’s Cashew Milk. Silk® Original Creamy Cashew beverage is the first of its kind to hit shelves. I’m always game to try out a new product, so I said yes.

Enjoy Silk's New Cashew Milk by Sprout Right Smoothie Recipe - Image 1


I’ve gone through phases of eating and making recipes from some of my raw food recipe books and cashews are the main ingredient in many salad dressings, raw ‘cheese’ and more. Cashews are so versatile as well as high in calcium and vitamin D and make everything that much more creamy.

Back to this new milk. I use alternative milks in all my recipes. Quiche, soup, smoothies, pancakes and any other baking that asks for milk. I thought I’d try out the Silk® Original Creamy Cashew milk in my morning smoothie as it’s a daily staple and my kids are my guinea pigs with most new things.

The product is rich and creamy and in a smoothie it adds a bit of sweetness, without an overpowering taste. I don’t always use milk in my smoothie, my other option is coconut water, but this didn’t have an overpowering flavour and was a welcome change and addition.

Enjoy Silk's New Cashew Milk by Sprout Right with Smoothie Recipe - Image 2


Here’s my recipe. Try this, or create your own! 

About a cup of Silk® Original Creamy Cashew

1 cup frozen cherries, raspberries, blueberries and a bit of mango

handful spinach and sunflower seed sprouts

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 scoop Complete Protein powder

1 tbsp flax oil

Blend everything and serve straight away.

Will you add this great new milk to your shopping list? Find out more about it.


Visit for recipe ideas.


This post was generously sponsored by Silk® but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, please visit

5 Food Gifts to Bring to a New Mom

Posted by

5 Food Gifts to Bring to a New Mom on SproutRight.comWhen I first visit a friend or relative who has just had a baby, I usually have a gift for the new baby, something for a sibling (they need some loving and recognition as big bro or sis), and I always take food.

Sharing food is an investment in this baby’s future. Sounds a bit heavy for a pot of stew or soup, but it really helps out any new mom, even if she says she can do it all and doesn’t need anything. Not having to worry for one meal is like a week’s vacation in the early days.

Taking along a food that will help build her up after the marathon of labour, is loving, comforting and most importantly nutritious.

Freezer meals, snacks and soups make perfect fast food. Here are some ideas.

5 Food Gifts to Bring to a New Mom


- Breakfast or sinless desert like apple crumble (recipe below)

- Mix up a homemade trail mix with almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried mulberries and goji berries. All nuts and seeds give brain boosting essential fats, give much needed protein and fibre. The dried fruit gives energy, iron and antioxidants.  Cleverly place it next to the chair she feeds in so she always has a snack when stuck for at least 10 minutes.

- Muffins to quickly grab and go with – like our Sneaky Little Muffins.

- Granola bars that aren’t laden with yeast-feeding sugar. If she or baby had antibiotics throughout the birth or just after, avoiding sugar is a bonus as some babies can develop yeast. This recipe doesn’t contain sugar so it’s perfect for her right now.

- Hearty soup made with lentils or beans for fibre, dark meat poultry for iron and protein, and homemade chicken stock that helps boost breast milk production and boost her immune system to keep everyone healthy. Add in veggies like carrots, onion, garlic, celery, leeks, sweet potato or squash and some greens for extra bone building nutrients.

If she shares with you that her baby is colicy or gassy, leave dairy and sugar out of whatever you choose to take. It could make the problem worse. The recipes here all are sugar free, so you’ll have a winner no matter what you choose.

Apple Crumble


This is a recipe based on my mom’s apple crumble. I’ve made it healthier while keeping it scrumptious.

3 cups sliced fruit: apples, peaches, pears, or a combo 750 mL

1 cup blueberries or other berries 250 mL

¼ cup 100% fruit juice 50 mL

1 tsp cinnamon 5 mL

Crumble Topping:

1½ cups rolled oats 375 mL

¼ cup maple syrup (or agave) 50 mL

¼ cup sunflower seeds, chopped 50 mL

¼ cup walnuts, chopped 50 mL

¼ cup unsalted butter 50 mL

1 tsp cinnamon 5 mL

1. In a bowl, toss the sliced fruit, blueberries, fruit juice, and cinnamon.

2. In another bowl, mix the oats, syrup, sunflower seeds, walnuts, butter, and cinnamon. Rub between your fingers to create a soft, coarse crumble.

3. Spoon the fruit mixture and its liquid into a pie plate. Top with the crumble mixture and bake in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the fruit is fork tender and the filling is bubbling and thickened (can also be frozen before cooked). The top should be golden brown. Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Nutritional Information

Rich in vitamin C, fibre, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, and complex carbohydrates.


Did anyone ever bring you a post-baby meal? What was your favourite?

Sneaky Little Muffins

Posted by

Sneaky Little Muffins Recipe - Sprout Right

These muffins make tasty snacks. I like to make and freeze a batch to defrost for an accompaniment to lunch or a snack on car rides.

2 overripe bananas

2 eggs

1 cup grated carrots (250 mL)

½ cup agave syrup (125 mL)

½ cup rice milk (125 mL)

6 tbsp melted butter (90 mL)

¼ cup grated zucchini (50 mL)

1/3 cup ground chia (Salba) (75 mL)

1¾ cup brown rice flour (425 mL)

¼ cup tapioca starch (50 mL)

2 tsp baking powder (10 mL)

1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)

1 tsp cinnamon (5 mL)

1. Beat the bananas in a mixer. Beat in eggs. Add carrots, agave syrup, rice milk, butter, zucchini, and chia; mix well and let sit for 5 minutes.

2. In another bowl, stir together rice flour, tapioca, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.

3. Spoon into 36 greased or paper-lined mini muffin cups and bake in 325ºF (160ºC) oven for about 25 minutes or until muffins are golden and lightly spring back when touched. Makes about 36 mini muffins.

Nutritional Information:

A healthy gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free snack containing beta carotene, potassium, fibre, protein, and trace minerals.