I've been reading a lot about cranberries of late including their Antioxidant effects, how they can be good for fighting off infections, are high in Vitamin C, they can help with skin ailments, blood flow, even cancer prevention, and keeping the Flu Bugs away. And of course all us girls know that drinking real cranberry juice can help with those pesky bladder and urinary infections.
But eating them plain is not something I enjoy. So last year (I think it was last year) I started putting them in my Smoothies. When added to a smoothie their flavor was much more enjoyable and I could consume more that way.
Now if I ponder too much on how they are harvested (flooded bogs and people walking in them), I'd likely avoid them all together. I don't focus on that so much! Nope, not one bit!! Really!!
Sooo The cranberries are BACK in our stores and that means they are back in our tummies.
Next try for the cranberries will be Mrs. Juicer... I watched this video where they make a drink at the end with Juiced Cranberries and Pears... Hmmmm, does that sound tasty or what??? I also like that she talks about eating bright colors and people are healthier that do so. And how blueberries help with sugar in our bodies, who knew?
When I went to the Herbal doc she said I should eat 3 servings of Berries a day. Now I know why! *smile*
"I am trying to go vegan but want to make sure my kids eat the good food and get enough nutrients. Any suggestions or advice? I have a 2 and 4 year old"
Which made me want to create this post out of oldies but goodies... It will be long so be warned!
My parenting style in general is to allow the kiddo to think for himself. Set safe boundaries and then allow him to make choices within them, with the thought that some day, I won't be around, and he will have to make choices anyway. I'd prefer he make the RIGHT ones whether I'm there or not!
Now I can't say this will work for every child, but I've seen it work at least 100 times with mine. Soccer Games, Parties, School, Camp... he CHOOSES the right foods because he wants to. And if he WANTS to, then he doesn't need to "sneak" or "rebel"...
Making them WANT to, is the trick!
Soooo, HOW did I make him want to? Well, I have the advantage that certain foods do make him physically ill, so he knows to stay away from those. But as for everything else... That took Trickery!
Here are my top 15 Tips to making Tricking kids in to eating well:
#1 - Keep things COLORFUL:
#2 - Don't ever make them feel left out. If its Pizza day at school/camp, send them with Pizza:
#4 - Take them to Sustainable Farms in your area, so they can interact with the Animals and see the Gardens first hand. They learn to appreciate the animals and the great food as well as to see natural vs. not so much.
#5 - Educate!! Explain your choices as early as possible and answer questions that come up. If they want to know what is in a burger.. Tell them the truth!
Or take them to classes at the local health stores. My son Still talks about a class where he learned about Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup. I think he took that class 3 or 4 years ago.
#6 - Make Eating Fun
Mashed Potato Turkey with Asparagus:
Food as science experiment (watching the fibers of a watermelon), doesn't get more fun than that for a curious Tot!
#7 - Let them help - it may not be perfect, but who cares. They can help meal plan, shop, pick recipes from books, prepare foods and cook. Even a one year old can point to a picture and help choose what goes on his/her plate.
Veg prepares his own lunches now. He knows what is going in his box and how much work it takes, so he rarely brings home any waste. Here is an example..
1/2 Avocado, Raw Macadamia nuts, Strawberries, Apples, Veg Sushi
#8 - Take a trip to a Farm Sanctuary, learn about the animals and their stories that brought them to the sanctuary.
I mean really, who could eat this sleeping beauty after meeting her and hearing her sweet little snores:
#9 - Compartments.. My kiddo LOVES food Compartments, even when I was making his lunches and variety. Always offer variety, allow them to choose what they will eat, and try new things. If they don't like one thing, there are stll 4 others that they do like.
Variety also provides a good mix of nutrients, protein, calories and healthy fats for their growing bodies.
Ha, just realized all the pictures I chose for this post have grapes... I promise he eats more than grapes *smile*:
#11 - Don't keep bad stuff in the house, makes it too easy to munch. If you decide to allow treats, or non veg foods when outside of the house, make them the occasional option.
Inside the home is like a Veg Safety Zone, variety and color. We don't even allow family to bring meat foods in to the house any longer. It is seriously a VEG Friendly Zone now that Hubby is on board. Of course that wasn't always the case. But it is all my Kiddo knows.
If they know no different, they act no different.
#12 - Themes, create fun themes, whether that is holidays, colors, or in this case we were learning about Mexico and had an entire day of Mexican Food.
Veg's favorite of course was this Mexican inspired Vegan Dessert:
#13 - Bulk Section - I don't have much counter space, but I did dedicate a portion to my "Bulk Section". There are always nuts, seeds, or grains and dried organic fruit of some sort. This provides go-to powerhouse snacks for all of us, and quick grab options when making lunches.
This has transformed over time, for age appropriate Veg as I allow him to grab his own snacks at will. Obviously as a toddler, I wouldn't keep choking hazards within reach. But as he grew, and could reach the countertop this became a wonderful solution.
Also by empowering him to grab all his own snacks, I never have to hear "I'm Huuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnggggrryyyyy" I eliminated so much whining by giving up a section of my counter.
He also has a drawer and all other dried goods are in there for his choosing.
#14 - Go Fruit Picking - You know where the food came from, they get to see where it came from, you can talk to local farmers, and just have a very fun outing with a delicious bounty:
#15 - LOVE - the most important item of all. Model love to yourself, your family, the planet and the animals. Be a good example for your children so they can follow. Put love in everything you do, including the food you provide..
And if nothing else works, make green juice or green smoothie with a heart on top.... Who wouldn't consume that??:
Most Sundays, I prep salads for the week, this Sunday was no different.
But most weeks those salads become mine for lunches because Hubby says the guys will Tease him if he shows up with salads.
WELL, this week he grabbed a salad.. WHY? You ask? Because everything else he takes already has them calling him a health nut, and apparently as of this week he is officially the Site Health Nut!
Thinking I have done my job, when the Hubs is labeled a health nut! <she says with a humble grin>
So now he takes salads. Stranger things have happened!
Tomorrow the Vegkid has a presentation at school and he needs an outfit that represents Ben Franklin...
In his picture, Ben Franklin has a Ruffle thing under his coat on his chest. I'm not going to purchase a ruffle shirt just for one presentation.. and the Kid was NOT happy with me about that! Call me a Bad Mom! Ok, not just yet!!
I decided to grab an old T-Shirt, cut around the collar, so the collar will fit over the character's head. Then use the rest of the T-Shirt to bunch up all ruffled and put the jacket over to cover up the sides of the T-Shirt.
It worked..(look for picture soon) Took Only Scissors, an Old rag and 3 minutes, to make the perfect Ruffle thing for our Fake Ben Franklin. Not so bad if I do say so myself!
Vegkid says "Wow, you are a Crafty Lady, aren't you?"
Hey Mikey, He likes it!!
I hear all the time in Blog Land about Chia seeds and how great they are for us. Antioxidants, Protein, Fiber, Omegas, etc. Full of goodness, and filling and versatile. Even my Friend got them after reading about their goodness in a book.
So finally I purchased some... YUCK! I mean, the texture alone was enough to make me gag. When wet they get all slimy, and the taste... Ewww... I tried. I really tried. I really wanted to like them. But just couldn't. So they went on a shelf and sat there all by their lonesome.
I saw this post from Pure2Raw and realized I like Tahini... Hmm.. I have Chia Seeds, and I like Tahini.. why not? I gave the Chia seeds one more try at life in my kitchen.
But made a single serving quick snack try from their recipe. I only used 2 TBS of filtered water, 2 TBS of Chia Seed Mix, 1 tsp of Tahini, a Dash of maple syrup and a dash of Cinnamon. Mix Mix Mix and sit for 10 minutes like they suggested! Voila!
Chia Pudding, that I really really liked!!!
Who would have thunk it? This may now be the perfect go to snack or breakfast for this busy Mom. I can even take it traveling and just add cold water plus toppings no matter where I am.. Sooo Excited!
Came on to post this and saw all the Forks over Knives Facebook visitors.. Was awesome to read the comments and see how many people also let their children watch Forks Over Knives. Welcome to Vegmom Moments if this is your first time here, feel free to say Hi in the comments or add to discussion.
So here is what he took with him today for snacks (all organic of course):
Green Juice= Apple+Parsley+Celery
1/2 Avocado, Whole Peach, Strawberries & Grapes
And for his main lunch, Left over Brown Rice (gluten free) Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Veggies:
Don't worry he doesn't combine all the fruit with the pasta *I hear gasps from those that food combine* but he munches his raw stash threw the day for breakfast and after lunch if snacks are needed. Then chows the left overs or a sandwich at the lunch hour.
He also took a Vegan Choco Chip Cookie for his dessert which I didn't get a picture of. I haven't talked him away from the cookies yet! *smile*
Yes - He has a long day, hense all the food for one guy, and eats a little at each break.!
But this is NOT the type of lunch you would have found him eating several years ago. And that's what makes this post truly awesome. Actually, I wouldn't have even mentioned on this blog the lunches he ate a few years ago.
There was a time when the Hubs was eating a S.A.D diet, and very SAD it was.
A couple Kidney stones, some Gout Attacks, Chronic Sinus infections, Constant Bloody Noses, Stomach problems, a cough that wouldn't go away and one Xbox later... I now have a Veg Hubby! (PS. the Xbox is another story)
Curious? How many warning signs do we have to get from our bodies before we say "Wait a Minute, Maybe I should make a change?"
For my Husband, it was quite a few. But now I get to call him a VegDad, and that makes me a very happy Vegmom!
Some thing I ate didn't agree with me... likely the salad even though I tried to remove all the cheese that was put on top (when I wanted no cheese) or the veg wrap that I found chicken in (AFTER I took a bite).. UGH!
But when I was feeling better tonight, I needed some more green goodness and a swig of aloe juice.
I was also feeling like Juice Juice.. the good kind, and eating something cooked, grainy, vegan and hearty to fill up my belly, so the fruit in my hotel fridge wasn't going to cut it for this one.
My Friend shared with me a hidden gem near by that not only has Vegan foods in the Deli but also A Juice and Smoothie Bar! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.. My day is complete...
Carrot, Celery, Parsley, Spinach, Apple fresh raw Juice - CHECK!
A Green Smoothie of which I don't even remember what was in it.. but something green, some berries, and some fresh Apple Juice comes to mind.
The Sandwich was a GIANT Veggie Patty with Avocado and veggies on top... Grains- CHECK!
Along with A chickpea Salad for the side. Legumes - Check!
A perfect Mini - Picnic Dinner...Now for the record, I was supposed to save the smoothie for morning, but Ummmm... It was soooo tasty!
Shhh, don't tell!
Now I'm going to indulge in a spoonful of Minty Coconut Ice "cream"... Yeah they had that too...
I Love a hotel with a fridge.. especially when I can fill it with these:
But even more fun when your Inlaws take you to a Restaurant that has THIS delicious Raw Fresh Juice:
Yeah that restaurant also has dead animals including Lamb of which my Son wondered how that could be eatin by his grandfather AND the chicken that ended up on my sandwich of which I had to get a new one made... But the Juice, yes the Juice was Delicious!
We started out with only giving the Vegman Apple Juice from the juicer. I was afraid if I gave him anything "green" that he would turn up his nose and tarnish my efforts for ever. (even though he eats green foods and drinks green smoothies, for some reason he frowned up on green juice)
So we started with just Apple for him.
But recently I added a little Kale to his, Gulp Gulp Gulp... he said he couldn't taste the kale. So I added a little more.. and he drank it.. All that amazing green goodness going straight to his body.
Then we added Carrots to his... and he LOVED it! So the moral of the story, is anything mixed with apples in the juicer, will likely get gulped down. And you bet, I'm taking advantage of that!
It's a good thing there are always apples around here!
The Avocado concoction is the consistency of what I remember egg salad being like. It is Sooo Good and so easy.
My first try of this was last night. I made one.. then another quarter, and another... Hubby came and took them, as fast as I made them. He gobbled up my boats...
So today when I came home from a run, I snuck in the kitchen while they were resting and made 2 little boats JUST FOR ME!
Such a refreshing and nutritious and cool summer snack. I almost think these will become an often occurrence in our house. AND, something that I could easily pack ingredients for on family car vacations.
I've made LOTS of Juice this week.. Lately adding a little more green as the yummy stuff is finding its way to the stores for Summer.
This plate filled with Kale, Romaine, Celery, Carrots, Cucumber and an apple
All made me some very Delicious Green Juice! (sorry for the fuzzy pic)
And the pulp made me some very yummy cracker (or lettuce wrap) spread.
The chunks that couldn't go in this bowl, made it in to the compost bin. So everything got used.
My favorite mixture so far:
Take all the pulp that the juicer made from that plate, mixed with veg (or raw macadamia) mayo, chopped celery, garlic salt, and sweet relish. (its not raw because of the relish) but sooooo good.
Today, we went to dinner after a mostly raw food day, and I ate a pasta dish... Yeah, it was vegan, but still pasta and I wasn't feeling satisfied after. Like I was missing something.. Maybe it is the summer time, but my body is asking for more raw foods.
So when I got home, I made this very cold, very delicious mashed Cauliflower. (thank you Mr. Vita-mix) And ate some raw goodness until my tummy was full.
Sunday, I had both carrot pulp and apple pulp... I thought combining the two and making cookies would be YUM!
So I went hunting webland for recipes... Most had flax seed, which for some reason gives me a stomach ache. Some had spices that I wouldn't want in a sweet tasting cookie. And in general, I couldn't find anything that sounded just right.
Which mean, I made my own concoction... It wasn't totally raw, because I added oats, thinking I needed something grainy. But next time, I could probably do without the oats.
They came out tasting more like granola then I had hoped...
I went with Carrot/Apple Pulp, Cinnamon, all spice, cocao powder, hemp seeds (which don't give me a tummy ache), and oats.. There was enough moisture from the pulp to hold everything together. But not too much that would require a different tray.
So I made cookie shapes and turned on the dehydrator. I thought they would take forever with my little dehydrator. I was thinking for certain 12-24 hrs.
But wowsers... they were done in just a few hours with one time of flipping in the middle.
Again, they sort of tasted like granola, so I will adjust for a more chewy cookie texture next time. I'll need to add some kind of sweetener too. As they are a little too plain for my sweet tooth... But otherwise quite good.
Considering they are made from pulp, and no oven used in their "baking"....
Can you tell, I'm having fun in the kitchen again?? *smile*
And the rest is history... I've made Carrot Pulp pasta sauce, Carrot Pulp avocado dip, Carrot Pulp Cracker Spread, Carrot Pulp Smoothies... I can't stop!!!
Today, I made two varieties of Carrot Pulp dips and I liked BOTH of them.... I'm sorry Compost bin, but I won't be sharing my Carrot Pulp with you this year.. Or next year... or the year after that....
OH MY YUM!!!!
PS.. apple pulp in pancakes... eek, nevermind, that needs its own post...Ooh La La!!!
This morning while making my Carrot/Celery Drink, I had lots of pulp:
So at Lunch time, when taking a work break,I thought about dehydrating for crackers. But knew there were probably more ingredients. So I did a Google search for Carrot Pulp Crackers... some how I ended up here:
Why get a Juicer when I have Mr. Vita-Mix? Welll... I'll tell you why!!!
It all started a couple years ago when I was learning about raw foods. I wanted a juicer, but realized the Vita-Mix was more practical at the time. And I have NO regrets. Thinking I can't go a day without that thing...
Then months ago when my Hubs went to see a Reflexologist and Herbal Doc... They told him he needed to juice the following things to help his Gout (arthritis).. Apples, Celery and Parsley...
When he told them we made smoothies they said "That is super great, but you also want to Juice"
I found out later that when you separate the fiber, the other nutrients absorb faster and for people like hubby, that is a good thing. Because he has absorption problems, that is why they want him juicing first then smoothie to get the fiber.
Well we didn't have a juicer, so we made smoothies..
But one day I was out of ingredients, stopped at our local health food store and I ordered a Juice with those three things... OH MY YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't get enough of the stuff or drink it fast enough. Yes, I know hubby is supposed to be drinking it, but I liked it more..
So I came home, and ran some experiments with Mr. Vita-Mix. I tried straining the pulp out, I tried adding ice, adding water, not adding those things, and I could NOT get it to taste anything like the juice from the health food store.
THEN, I got a recipe for Raw Carrot cake, but it requires the pulp from juicer.. I didn't have a juicer...and then I went to California and tried Carrot/Celery juice, which knocked my taste buds for a good whirl.
And most recently tried a Super green juice drink which I slurped in two gulps and was convinced!
YES, I still love everything in Mr. Vita-mix. In fact I even perfected the frozen coffee drink. But I had to betray my beloved Black Machine of goodness, and order this Silver Beauty:
I found her on sale and free shipping. For under $90
I finally did it!!! And now I wait.... Hurry little Juicer friend... I know my counter will make room for you!!! The fact is, I will still use Mr. Vita-Mix every day. I think the two contraptions will work well together and my belly will be very happy!