Archive for the ‘organic foods’ Category

Organic Treats for Kids

December 1, 2011

Eating organic food is a boon to the environment and personal health, but it can be a chore to get kids to join in willingly. Don’t succumb to fast food and commercial snacks, just try out these easy, healthy, organic treats for kids:

1. Fruit pops
Freeze organic fruit juice for a quick, simple treat. They can be made in a special popsicle tray or plain ice cube trays, where you can add them to a glass of juice. It’s sugar-sweet and great for afterschool snacks, but contains a fraction of the calories and no artificial sweeteners.

2. Peanut butter and apples
It may not seem like a great treat, but organic peanut butter scooped up with a few slices of fresh apple makes a wonderful and filling lunch. It’s full of protein, fiber, and vitamins and you can pair it with graham crackers or a small chunk of semi-sweet dark chocolate.

3. Yogurt
Organic yogurt can be an excellent, easy-to-prepare treat for kids. You can eat it plain, add ice and milk to make a smoothie, or even use it as a dip for fruit. It can even be mixed with granola for a healthy alternative to breakfast cereal.

4. Homemade applesauce
It’s very simple to make applesauce at home from organic apples. Peel, core, and dice a pound of sweet baking apples, such as Honeycrisp, Gala, or Empire, and toss them into a slow cooker with a little bit of sugar and ground cinnamon. After a few hours on high heat, they’ll cook down into a sweet, healthy snack that keeps well in the fridge.

5. Ants on a log
This quick treat has been around for ages, and for good reason. Just slather peanut butter on a celery stick and dot it with raisins for a healthy handheld snack. Kids can get protein, plenty of vitamins from the celery, and lots of iron and antioxidants from the raisins.

6. Granola bars
You can buy or make your own granola bars, a fantastic healthy snack for kids. You can hand them out after school, tuck them into lunch boxes, or even use them to replace fatty breakfast foods. There are dozens of recipes online for baking granola bars, most of which consist of just baking a mix of dried fruit, nuts, and granola with milk and butter.

7. Pita chips and hummus
If your kids aren’t picky eaters, hummus and pita can be a great replacement for salty chips and dip. It can be bought easy or made at home, giving your children the energy they need without the preservatives, salt, and calories.

Guest Post.  Stacey Cavalari is a technology specialist writer for Phoenix kiosk, a Kiosk Manufacturer firm in Tempe, AZ. Phoenix Kiosk specializes in custom kiosks for small to large size organizations.

Why Buy Organics?

October 13, 2011

Guest post by Captain Cook’s Culinary Academy for Kids

In light of the recent findings of arsenic in apple juice in an independent study of Dr. Oz and his associates, I thought it would be a good idea to reiterate, once again, the importance of eating organic food, especially when it comes to feeding your children. In his study of 5 different brands of apple juice, he found that of the brands he tested, none of the organic juices contained unsafe levels of arsenic, while many of the other brands, 10 of the 36 samples, contained unsafe limits. (The “unsafe” limits were determined for our drinking water by the FDA to be over 10 parts per billion). The arsenic levels that were found to be unsafe were in popular brands in which the apple juice concentrates comes from other countries such as China, where arsenic levels are not always regulated and may still be used in pesticides, thus finding its way into the drinking water. There are several debates circulating in the media questioning Dr Oz’s testing methods, as well as the FDA’s response to this matter. Whatever you choose to believe, the moral of the story is…..dont stress about and just buy organic apple juice……

What is organic?  Simply stated, organic products are raised, grown and processed without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics or hormones.

Organics are Better for our Children

Studies show that children are exposed to four times the level of pesticides in food than adults. Pesticides affect children more profoundly due to their higher metabolisms and smaller body mass. According to the National Academy of Science, “neurological and behavioral effects may result from low-level exposure to pesticides.” Numerous studies show that pesticides can adversely affect the nervous system, increase the risk of cancer and decrease fertility. Buying organic foods and products promotes a less toxic environment for our children and all living things.

Organics are Better for our Community

Consumers should consider supporting our local organic farmers and make an effort to buy organic produce, dairy and meats as close to home as possible. The average U.S. grocery store’s produce travels 1500 miles before it reaches your refrigerator. Not only is this a tremendous waste of fossil fuels but also burns up energy because of the refrigeration required to keep foods from spoiling. When you buy local, food is fresher and there is less packaging involved. It also protects our beautiful California farmlands from becoming developed. Buying locally creates a stronger, more sustainable local economy for all of us to live in.

Are Food Labels Misleading?

October 5, 2011

kids

Every mommy wants her children to be healthy and happy, and this is accomplished in so many ways. We make happy kids by building their self-esteem and letting them know how much they are loved. We surround our children with books and games that develop their mind. We take them to the doctor for regular check-ups. But, how often do we think about the food that we are feeding our children every day?

One of my favorite websites, Green Smoothie Girl by Robyn Openshaw, recently exposed some myths about food labels. A couple of the points she shares are:

The “whole grain” label requires only that 51% of the grain be the whole grain. That means 49% of it can (and usually is) bleached, refined white flour. Purchase only food labelled “100% whole grain” instead.

No regulations exist for the term “natural,” so you could technically buy something labeled “natural” made entirely from refined sugar, salt, and lard!

I know that many of you look for food items that are whole grain and natural. Did you know you may not be getting what you thought?

I hope you will visit Green Smoothie Girl to learn more about the food label myths and how you can make sure that your kids are eating the best foods possible for their growing minds and bodies.

The Organic Nanny Action Kit

February 4, 2011
Action  1! SIGN-UP for the Organic Nanny , our monthly email newsletter that provides healthy living tips, solutions, options, and steps to protect your children’s health. 

*Forward these monthly newsletters to ten friends you love and learn together about raising healthy families in a toxic world. Urge each person to forward the information to people they know.

Action 2! TAKE a virtual stroll through the Organic Nanny  and visit each room in the house filled with everything you need to know about hidden toxins and their healthy alternatives.

 Action 3 ! REPLACE three toxic household cleaning and pest control products with safe alternatives (and throw in a few organic fruits and veggies from a green grocer) and consider switching permanently. You can find recommended products in the Mommies and Nannies section of our website.
 
Action 4  !SUPPORT Our dream by becoming a member and purchasing our book ”The Organic Nanny’s Guide to Raising Healthy Kids’‘. Your financial support will enable us to sustain our national campaign  to educate parents throughout the United States on the importance of taking health protective steps for children in their homes, schools, and communities and spread our organic mission.

Action 5 !  STIMULATE discussion in your child’s school or day care center, your community center, or parks and recreation department as to what precautions are being taken to ensure that kids are not being exposed to toxic substances in the air, food, water or food products in each of these places. Use articles from our site to focus the conversation and start Organic Nanny Whole Foods Workshops.

Action 6!  SEND a letter or an email to your member of Congress asking him/her to ensure funding for the U.S. EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection — the only government office charged with protecting the environmental health of the nation’s children. We hear that this office will be dismantled soon, so your voice needs to be heard.