How to Finish 2014 Healthy and Strong: Part 2

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Resolutions 2015 - SproutRight.com2014 has been an exciting year for many of us; as we achieved new health goals, watched our children grow and enjoyed career and business success. The last few weeks of the year are now here, and in the busy-ness of the holiday season, we are looking for ways to keep healthy and strong right into the final minutes of 2014. We’ve been helping all week long by posting health tips on our Facebook page. And last week, we posted Part 1 of this blog series, all about how you should get plenty of rest each night (including what good sleep hygiene includes) and steering clear of calories at the coffee shop.

Many of us are peering into 2015 with resolutions in the back of our minds; what will this new year bring and what do you hope to achieve? Charting your wellness course for the new year is not only a productive way to focus in on your goals, but it can be a fun activity for the whole family.

Starting around age 7, children can grasp the concept of self-improvement and are old enough to talk with you about what their goals for the new year might be. Children at this age are likely still very visual, so here is a fun activity to do together:

Resolution Collage

Tools

  • Stack of glossy magazines, full of pictures;

  • Scissors;

  • 1 Sheet of large bristol board per participating person;

  • Glue stick;

  • Pen or markers (optional).

Your child can create a title for their pictures, such as “Goals for 2015” or they can choose to not use markers on their piece. Each person goes through the stack of magazines and cuts out pictures that correspond with a particular goal, mood or idea they want to explore in the new year.

Have your child arrange the pictures on their bristol board. They can add drawings if they’d like. Glue the pieces down.

Proudly display your piece somewhere in the house for a continual visual reminder of 2015’s ambitions.

Children of all ages can celebrate the end of the year with you and here is a fun way to capture who they are in this moment. Here is an All About Me printable; fill this out with your little one to capture what she or he is thinking right now. This becomes a wonderful keepsake of their goals, ambitions and likes in 2014.

And continue to check out our Facebook page this week as we post more health tips, like this one:

Slow down! Take 5 minutes each day to just sit in stillness and quiet (up to 15 if you can). With so much happening at this time of year, a moment of rest will give you a chance to find the energy inside of you. Feeling overwhelmed? Try deep belly breathing, expanding your lungs and belly. See your breath reaching your belly button before you exhale.

 

Resolution Image Copyright: feverpitched / 123RF Stock Photo

Finish 2014 Strong with These Health Tips – Part 1

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Tired Around the Holidays? See Sprout Right's Sleep Tips!With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you may not be thinking about your health. But with so many holiday buffets in our present and near future, and the stress of too much to do, this is exactly the time you should be mindful of how to stay well. I have been talking to many of you lately; and you’ve been asking for healthy tips to end the year strong. Over the last few days we have been sharing these tips on our Facebook page. And we will continue to do so, as well as talking one-on-one with clients about how they can care for themselves and their family (did you know we offer one-on-one consultations and custom meal plans so you can stay on-track, or tackle a tough health problem)?

Stay tuned for more great health tips, and read below for info on the ones we’ve shared so far.

Sleep

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of hitting the sheets early each night so that you wake up feeling refreshed. You log your best shut-eye between the hours of 10pm and 2am. Are you getting that?! Plus, our bodies need at least 7 hours of sleep in order to work optimally. There are many consequences to not getting enough sleep: tired people eat more, crave sugar as a quick energy fix and retain more belly fat, a lack of sleep can contribute to feelings of stress when awake, and your body’s natural fighting ability is compromised, leaving you vulnerable to nasty cold and flu bugs. So get to bed!

Some good sleep hygiene principles you should always follow:

  • Shut-down all computers and devices – ahem, iPads included – several hours before bed. The blue light electronics emit mess with your body’s release of melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall and stay asleep;

  • Sleep in a completely dark room. If you are extra sensitive to light, turn alarm clocks away from you or face down;

  • Avoid heavy meals before bed; all that work your body needs to do to digest it can keep you awake.

  • Don’t consume caffeine past 3pm in the afternoon. Those extra sensitive may need to cut the habit at noon;

  • If you suffer from insomnia, either can’t fall asleep or wake in the night, you may be deficient in certain minerals. Reach out for suggestions.

You are what you drink

And speaking of caffeine … are you drinking too much of it? Now, we don’t want to suggest you give up your cup of joe around the holidays – maybe that’s best left for the New Year – but we do want to make sure you aren’t drinking too much of the stuff. Try to limit your intake to 1-2 cups a day and remember that coffee can be very dehydrating so drink plenty of water to balance. If you need the fix, but want more nutritional bang for your cup, consider a matcha latte instead! Matcha is a whole ground green tea powder, which you mix with hot water. It is rich in antioxidants and has 10x the nutrients of already nutrient-rich bagged green tea. Steam some almond milk to go with your matcha powder and hot water for a tasty treat. You’ll get the same kick you get out of your morning cup of coffee.

And if you’ve succumbed to too many treats or alcoholic beverages the night before, be sure to give your liver a little break the next day: start your morning with warm water and lemon first thing upon rising. A little Vitamin C (try Ascorbate C) – 1000 – 2000 mg – before bed will also help make up for past sins.

The holidays is a time to celebrate! So take care of yourself and your holiday cheer. Follow our tips for a little extra healthy karma to end the year strong. Stay tuned for more tips on our Facebook page.

Copyright: racorn / 123RF Stock Photo

Herbs that Heal and Herbs that Harm During Pregnancy

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Herbs That Are Safe for Pregnancy on SproutRight.comBy Kate McMurray, CNP

Pregnancy can come with a host of symptoms – excitement, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, gas, bloating, insomnia, and information overload! You can feel challenged by knowing what to eat, and drink, in pregnancy. Before you throw out everything in your kitchen out of fear that it will harm your baby, check out the information below. Some of the teas in your cupboard may be just what you need to support your body through this amazing and demanding time. As always, you know your body best. Trust your instincts and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Peppermint – a classic helper, this carminative herb (herb for digestive troubles) alleviates gas and bloating discomfort. It’s also a great refresher, giving you a lift when you are low on energy, and helping with headaches. Brew a pot of peppermint tea and enjoy hot or cold.

Ginger – known particularly for providing nausea relief, ginger is also a great immune tonic. If you’re feeling under the weather, try boiling some slices of fresh ginger root. Add a cinnamon stick for a little sweetness.

Nettle – a less known herb, nettle is considered a full body tonic. High in vitamin C, iron, calcium and potassium, nettle is a wonderful herb to support the body during pregnancy. If you aren’t fond of its slightly ‘earthy’ taste combine it with peppermint or rooibos tea.

Chamomile – another carminative herb, chamomile is useful for indigestion and gastrointestinal discomfort. It is also anti-inflammatory and can help with sore throats and nasal congestion. While peppermint can be stimulating, chamomile has a calming effect on the nervous system. If you are feeling anxious or are having trouble sleeping, this may be your tea of choice.

Raspberry – a superstar herb when it comes to pregnancy, raspberry leaves help to tone and strengthen the tissue of the uterus, assisting contractions and helping to prevent hemorrhaging. A cup a day during the last trimester of pregnancy is recommended.

Herbs to Avoid in Pregnancy

Some herbs, known as emmenagogues, can stimulate the uterus and are therefore not recommended during pregnancy. These include Autumn Crocus, Barberry, Golden Seal (I think it’s Goldenseal), Juniper, Male Fern, Mandrake, Pennyroyal, Poke Root, Sage, Southernwood, Tansy, Thuja and Wormwood.  These herbs are unlikely to be in your tea cupboard but may be present in herbal tinctures.

Brew yourself a warm and comforting cup of tea; it is a great remedy for a tired body, and to calm the nerves of providing for a growing, little body. What is in your cup?

*Note this is not a comprehensive list of herbs.

Kate McMurray, CNP works as a holistic nutritionist at The Big Carrot Natural Food Market in Toronto and offers workshops, consultations, lectures and cooking classes throughout the city. Find her at www.katemcmurraynutrition.com

photo credit: Nomadic Lass via photopin cc

Probiotics to Beat the Cold and Flu Season

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Probiotics and Cold and Flu Sprout RightIf your throat is tickled and your nose a little stuffed, you are well aware that we are at the beginning of cold and flu season. I am often asked about cold and flu treatment and prevention because the best nutrition and supplement support can really help you get through the winter feeling great. So do you want to know my secret for staying well while everyone coughs and sneezes around me? I’ll give you a hint, it starts in my gut.

Gut health is absolutely paramount in living well and that brain-stomach connection so very important (and fascinating): we manifest emotion in our gut, feel stress with digestive disturbance. Overall imbalance in there can cause a whole bunch of different ailments. So why are we talking about gut health and not cold and flu prevention? Because a healthy gut full of beneficial bacteria is the key to a strong immune system. A recent study showed these incredible results in children who took 12.5 billion (as in HMF Powder)  CFU probiotics plus 50mg vitamin C (like Ascorbate C) a day:

• 50% reduced duration of cough and cold symptoms;

• 30% reduced incidence of coughs and colds through the year;

• 30% reduced absenteeism from school;

• 50% reduction in coughs and cold medications;

• 40% minimum reduction in visits to the doctor and use of antibiotics.

This now proves my secret for staying well: probiotics.

This isn’t a blog post about cold and flu remedies, though there are a lot of supplements that can really help. This is a round-up of everything probiotic so that you don’t have to get to the treatment phase!

So what are probiotics? And what do I mean by beneficial bacteria? Click here to read all about it.

Not convinced that you need probiotics? Here I am on SunTV talking about why probiotics are so important.

Want to boost your immune system with probiotic-rich foods? Here I talk about the benefits of fermented foods, rich in those good guy bacteria. And here you can learn how to make your own yogurt. I make my own all the time! And it is fun and easy to do (get your kids involved).

Convinced you? Click here to purchase probiotics from our store. I will connect with you after purchase to help you with dosage or see me for a one-on-one session to learn which one is right for you!

I am off to have my probiotic powder, and eat my freshly made yogurt. Have you stocked your gut with bacteria today?!

photo credit: Akane86 via photopin cc

Five Ways to Get your Kids to Eat Fruits and Vegetables

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How to Get Your Kids to Eat Fruits & Veggies- SproutRight.com

Hands up, who struggles with getting their kids to eat fruits and vegetables? Without being able to really see your hand up, I know it’s a large portion of the parent population.

Many of my clients come sit in my office asking how to get their child to eat fruit, veggies or both. While some kids gravitate one way or the other, that doesn’t mean you give up on either food group. The diversity of nutrients from various foods offer a plethora of antioxidants, phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins and components that haven’t been given a name yet.

Here are my top 5 ways to help fruits and vegetables get into your kid(s):

1. Lay the groundwork.

Does your child know why they need to eat fruits and vegetables? Often the missing link is that they really don’t know why they are important to consume every day. Teaching them about the different food groups is essential and the earlier the better. For instance; broccoli is high in calcium and so strengthens bones and teeth. Show a full body x-ray, from a book or online, of a child and adult. Explain how their bones will grow just like in the pictures and the good stuff that’s in broccoli (and many other leafy greens) is what makes them strong for faster running, better climbing, speedier skating and award-winning tumbling and gymnastics.

2. Take them to the market or supermarket with you.

I know it’s faster to get it done on your own, but make a date with your child to do some shopping without a particular time frame. Spend some time in the produce section looking at the colours, textures, shapes and sizes and how each fruit and veggie smells and feels. Base your exploration on your child’s age and for some, they can tell you the colours of the food, count how many oranges or pears are going into your cart, or ask what’s next on the shopping list.

3. Make a plan.

Meal planning makes your life easier! If your child is old enough to help with planning, have them suggest fruits or vegetables to include with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Make up a chart for the fridge or bulletin board. Have homemade or printed photos of fruits and vegetables on magnets or double-sided tape. Have a meal plan chart and ask your child to put the pictures where they want to eat that veggie or fruit. Be sure to include any they don’t like so much and talk about how these can be tried again. Tell them, sometimes foods tastes better than they remember and share any stories of foods that you once chose not to eat, but now love.

4. Get them in the kitchen prepping with you.

If you haven’t noticed, they love to copy what you do. When you spend time in the kitchen mixing and stirring, they want to do the same. I used to keep a chair in the kitchen that could be pulled up to the counter at almost every meal. My kids could see what was going on, and nibble away on what I was prepping. You may find your child will eat what’s on the chopping board more often than when it is served on their plate! Teach your child how to chop with a paring knife first with a soft veggie like mushrooms. Then make a big deal about how he chopped it as you serve dinner to the family. The more they contribute, the more likely they are to eat it.

5. Stop the vicious circle.

When kids are low in nutrients, their appetite can be low they don’t crave or have a taste for healthy foods. I’ve used both tissue salts of 12 different minerals and Juice Plus+ chewable or capsule fruit and veggie powder. A Children’s Heath study from Juice Plus+ has collected data that shows that there’s a 61% increase of kids eating more fruits and veggies, 60% were missing less days at school, 71% were drinking less water and consuming less fast food and soft drinks and 56% were taking less over the counter and prescription medicines. I’ve seen kids in my practice who, after three or four months of taking Juice Plus+ actually wanting to eat fruits and vegetables. Parents report they ask for them instead of sweets or junk food. The feedback I’ve had has been tremendous. Contact us to learn more about JuicePlus+.

It may seem like an endless uphill battle, getting your kids to try new foods and eat more of the good stuff, but it really is an investment of time and energy. While some days may be less than perfect, look for the little improvements and celebrate those!

Image Copyright: ximagination / 123RF Stock Photo

Nutrition for a Strong Immune System: Fight the Cold with Food

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Foods to Fight the Cold & Flu SproutRight.com

Cold and flu season is here and you may already be feeling a little under the weather. Sometimes it is impossible to avoid the flu-bug, no matter how well you eat, and how kindly you take care of your body through sleep, exercise and stress-relief. (Because you are doing all of those things right?!).

When that tickle starts in your nose or throat, there are a few foods that you can consume that will kick-start your immune system, giving your body a fighting chance at fighting off that nasty virus. Here are four tried, tested and true foods that may just be from your grandmother’s kitchen.

Holy Basil

Holy basil, or tulsi, has a rich history in ayurvedic medicine. It brews up into a soothing tea that many people believe aids in stress and anxiety reduction.

Holy Basil may be effective in supporting the immune system because of its interaction with cortisol, the stress hormone. Some studies suggest that holy basil can regulate cortisol levels, where high cortisol levels are associated with adrenal fatigue and reduced immune functioning.

Holy Basil is also an antioxidant and it has been found to have anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties – all meaning it can also be effectively used to soothe the body during illness.

You can take Holy Basil as a supplement but it is wonderful as a tea. Drink one cup of tea a day for prevention, and up to three cups a day during a cold. It is not known how Holy Basil effects pregnant and nursing women so it is best to avoid it then.

Garlic

Feel a cold coming on?! Stock up on the garlic and warn those around you! Garlic has amazing antibacterial properties and it is a delicious way to eat your way to a stronger immune system. Garlic’s power may reside mainly in its rich make-up of sulfuric compounds: one clove contains more than 100 sulfuric compounds. While roasting garlic may make it more palatable, the heat does kill off some of the sulfuric compounds. It is best to enjoy your hit of garlic raw. Infuse it into an oil and enjoy it over salad or steamed veggies. Click here to read about our Garlic Bomb cure.

Wild Oil of Oregano

It may be a hated taste amongst those of us lucky enough to have tried it, but there is no doubt, Oil of Oregano stops cold bugs dead in their tracks! Oil of oregano is distilled from leaves of the oregano plant, yes the same plant that is dried and served in your pasta sauce.

Studies have shown that Oil of Oregano is effective at killing bacteria and it can also support your immune system in staying healthy. Take a few drops under the tongue when you feel a cold coming on. It is also effective at treating coughs and sinus pain.

Turmeric Root

A staple in East Indian cooking and medicine, turmeric root is that spice with the vibrant orange colour. Ground up into a spice it offers curry a down-to-earth taste, shaved from the root and brewed with cow’s milk or coconut milk it makes a drink that your grandmother may have tried to get you to drink: turmeric milk for fighting colds. Turmeric has many healthy benefits, most that come from the root’s high concentration of curcumin. Studies have shown that the curcumin in turmeric root is an effective anti-inflammatory agent, and that when taken regularly it can inhibit cancer cell growth. Something about curcumin makes it hard for the cancer cells to form, and aids in the death of the diseased cells. This support to healthy cells and resistance to invaders could be why turmeric milk has been a popular cold aid for centuries. You can enjoy turmeric powder in curries or brew the root in coconut milk with ginger and a sweetener for a powerful drink.

What are some of your favourite remedies from childhood? Have you tried any of these or will you give them a shot?

Image Copyright: ximagination / 123RF Stock Photo

Transform 30 Challenge: How to Lose Weight This Month

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Transform 30 Challenge - Lose Weight with Sprout RightIt is a challenge to put self-care on the top of your priority list for 30 days. As busy as we all are in today’s fast-paced life, there are plenty of distractions to, well, distract.

Can it be done? Anything can be done when you put your mind to it. Even as the weather is turning cooler and the temptation to sit on the couch with the remote and your fave snack each evening is high.

If you have a few pounds or many pounds to shed, making a start can be tough. Resistance to change seems to be a part of human nature. We get entrenched in what we do, and to change or alter habits takes brain bandwidth that’s not always there for the taking.

So what can you do? Flip a switch that goes from “No way” to “Yes way”? Sure, why not. Losing weight is a mental game: facing that changes need to be made, and then doing it.

But. But. But.

How do you do it? Can you do it?

Yes you can. I know you can and deep (sometimes really deep) down you know you can too.  You’ve got what it takes.

Make that commitment to yourself. To friends or family. Enlist support and do it with others. However you get s**t done, do it.

Sure you can put it off until you feel the time is right. But what if that’s right now? Here and now is the right time and it’s fear that’s stopping you. Can you see and feel it; the doubt, worry, objections, and million reasons “why not” and not being able to get past the how?

What if the how was taken care of? You could feel amazing. The best you ever have or can remember. As you make changes, your clothes get more comfortable, the muffin top slims and then people start commenting: “You look amazing. Have you lost weight?” That inner smile starts to creep into a massive grin, eventually busting out into a “Yes I have, and I feel fantastic!” You can own that. Be proud and stand that much taller in your clothes a size smaller.

The Transform30 program gets you off to a kick-start that’ll have you glowing in no time. Most who start, don’t stop at 30 days. They keep going to 60 days; or even three or four months. When you reach your goal weight, look and feel the best you have in years, why stop?

You aren’t going to have to starve yourself. Or eat kale and quinoa every day. But you are going to make some changes. Get rid of those foods that could be making you feel bloated or that might be responsible for those undereye dark circles. Or what if your aches and pains went away because you’ve started eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day? Do I have your attention?

Here’s what you can say YES to, right now:

Transform30 Details

Where’s your resistance? Come on. I know you got stuck on one or two. Can’t live without your bread or cheese? Remember that this isn’t forever. It’s a challenge and one that is totally do-able with the right support.

- A meal plan and recipes so you know what to eat instead of your cereal and milk for breakfast, or cheese sandwich or pizza for lunch? You’ll get that.

- How about accountability to people who are in this with you? You’ll get that too.

This program is designed for success. Not half-baked or half-way to the finish line. All the way to your goal, dress or pair of jeans that are still hanging in your closet for that day when the scale tips in your favour.

You’ll find more information here and then you can reach out (info@sproutright.com) to get what you need to kick-start your transformation.

We can’t wait to see the newer, slimmer and greater feeling YOU!

Challenge starts on November 3rd right after the Halloween binge. Stop it before it gains momentum, or before you know it, it’s Christmas and nothing fits!

 

Top 5 Tips for Meal-Planning

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5 Meal Planning Tips on SproutRight.comI love to help men and women achieve their nutritional goals and when we first meet I always ask, “Do you meal plan?” This has many people asking me, “What do you mean!?”

Meal-planning is my little secret for how I make sure my family eats well, that there is always something on-hand for even the busiest weeknight and that I stay on-budget when at the grocery store. Meal-planning is actually quite easy, once you get into the routine, and it can be a real sanity-saver. Grab a notebook and a pen, the kids and other family members, and get started. Here are my 5 top tips for meal planning.

Every family member gets a say.

Studies show that kids are much more likely to eat the food they were involved in creating; whether helping hands-on in the kitchen or deciding what foods they like to eat. Your criteria can be that it be healthy and balanced, but let them come up with some of their favourite meal ideas. You can even make a game out of it! During a family meeting, brainstorm as many meal ideas as you can. Write one meal on each recipe card and shuffle into a deck. When it is time to set your weekly menu, ask one member to choose a card from the pile. Now it is even easier to decide what to have on Wednesday night!

Turn to cookbooks and blogs for inspiration.

There are so many yummy cookbooks and blogs out there, with wholesome and healthy meal ideas. Take a trip to your library or favourite bookstore and see what grabs you. Trying new foods and being adventurous in the kitchen builds up your repertoire, and it also teaches your kids that trying new flavours is fun, and all a part of healthy living. How many new recipes can you try this week? Maybe each time you sit down to meal plan you crack open a new cookbook. Ask a family member to choose one recipe and commit to trying it out! You can also turn to our meal plans, cookbook and recipe cards for inspiration.

Choose a prep day.

With all this adventurous food planning it can feel overwhelming quite quickly. The key to successful meal-planning is designating time to prep meals in advance.  Maybe you can spare a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. You can either make meals in advance and freeze them for a week, or prepare some of the ingredients ahead of time (like cutting vegetables, shredding cheese, cooking broth, cooking pasta). I have even heard of friends getting together to have meal planning parties; they cook up freezer meals in big batches to share.

Always ask yourself, “How can I make two meals out of this.”

Leftovers are a gift to busy families. If you could cook two meals at once, why wouldn’t you? Always make sure you cook up extra portions when making a meal and think about how you might re-purpose some of the ingredients. If you are having BBQ chicken one night, cook up an extra breast and shred for tacos the next night. Make an extra batch of chili and freeze it for another week and extra rice can be thrown into chicken soup, or added to a casserole. Always think ahead.

Have a good meal-planning template.

There are a lot of meal-planning templates out there (just google “meal planning template” and you’ll see just how many there are). Choose one that provides you with lots of room to write, with space to jot down the preparation you need to do the night before and choose one that makes sense for you. Or create your own! It takes just a few minutes and you can always have it on-hand for weeks and weeks of meal-planning fun.

What are your tips for healthy meal planning?

 

Homemade Baby Food: Fall Purées

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Fall Tastes for Baby SproutRight.comThe fall harvest provides many exciting foods for your baby to try including apples, pumpkin, squash, beets and turnip. Buying in-season has several important benefits:

  • It keeps your costs down: In-season fruit is more cost effective than out-of-season imports. Shorter travel distances, sales at your local grocer and top picks at your favourite farmer’s market all mean savings passed on to you;

  • It keeps it local and fresh: Because your produce travels less distance, it is closer to the source. Try farmer’s markets where you can buy directly from the farmer and ask questions like has it been sprayed, or when was it picked? The freshest fruits and vegetables taste better, and are more nutritious.

  • It supports local farming and your community’s economy.

  • It just tastes better!

Butternut squash and pumpkin are great first flavours for young babies. In my book, Sprout Right Nutrition from Tummy to Toddler, I recommend starting your baby’s food adventure with vegetables. As your baby’s repertoire builds, you can begin to mix different flavours, and add in spices and seasonings (just avoid salt, your baby’s kidneys can’t handle it yet). Try some of these fall-inspired recipes and check out our new meal plan for your little one: Baby’s Easy 7-Day Food Adventure.

Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Fall

Basic Baby Food Apple Purée

This is a great first food for baby. As your baby’s repertoire expands, mix this basic purée with other foods like carrot, squash, pork or chicken.

8 Apples (Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady)

  1. Peel core, and chop apples into medium-sized cubes.

  2. Steam until tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.

  3. Puree until smooth (add a bit of water). Makes about 3 cups.

Roasted Vegetables for the Whole Family (with a puree option for baby)

This is a side dish the whole family can enjoy, making it easy to present a meal of whole food plus a purée. Simply reserve a portion to purée for baby (or offer as a finger food to older babies).

Your favourite assortment of root vegetables. Try beets, turnip, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots and squash. I like to add whole garlic cloves; when roasted they are mild enough to enjoy in one bite.

  1. Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces.

  2. Drizzle with olive oil and season with fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano.

  3. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-45 minutes, until all vegetables are fork-tender.

  4. Purée a portion for baby.

Pumpkin Purée

Avoid canned pumpkin purée and make your own for the most nourishing food for baby. This is a great first food.

1-2lb pumpkin

  1. Remove the seeds and pulp from the inside of the pumpkin. Reserve the seeds to roast for the rest of the family.

  2. Cut the pumpkin into chunks.

  3. Roast in a 375 degree oven until tender. Let cool.

  4. Peel the skin from the pumpkin (or cut easily with a knife). Place the flesh into a blender and purée until it reaches the texture of a smooth, thick soup. Add water to thin to desired consistency.

Make puree slightly thicker if you intend on freezing it, as it can be a little watery when defrosting.

How can you bring the flavours of fall to baby?

Clean up the Mess

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I’ve got two kids and a dog so there is no end to the mess in my house. I’m usually asking for my daughters to clean up this or that, wipe the dog’s paws after a digging session in the back yard. But when it’s me that makes the mess, it brings another level of frustration. Why didn’t I just… you know. Have to stop and clean it up right in the middle of getting stuff done.

I was asked by a new paper towel company, Viva Towels, to check out their towels that stretch (and they do), so I said sure. I have lots to use it on, so here’s my verdict. But don’t take my word for it. Check out Viva Towels online or grab a coupon here.

This post was brought to you by Viva® Vantage*, however the images and opinions are my own. For more information please visit www.vivatowels.ca.