Making Time For Mommy

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As I sit here on an airplane bound for Salt Lake City, I feel naked. On

either side of me, are two grown women who can feed themselves, take

themselves to the bathroom and are fully independent human beings. Our

conversations are both meaningful and meaningless ranging from cars to

natural make up. Before I was a mom, travel was a stressful event. Now,

traveling alone is relaxing and enjoyable. It’s funny the way things change as

we dive into motherhood. As precious as the time is with our children, the time

without is equally as significant. It is essential to our survival….. “mommy-time.”

Over the past seven years, the most important thing I’ve learned about being a

present mom is taking care of myself.

1. Exercise is not just for your heart

In my twenties I viewed exercise as a way to burn calories and “look good.”

Now, I am focused on “feeling good”. A huge shift in my patience and ability to

cope with daily stressors is evident after I move. My mind is calm, my body

feels relaxed and I am ready to deal with whatever comes my way. I am

grateful to fit it in whenever I can. I don’t stress about miles logged or calories

burned. If I have even ten minutes, I go for a walk or practice deep breathing.

Always keep in mind that even a small amount is better then nothing and

research shows that as little as ten minutes helps your cardiovascular system.

2.It’s okay to make friends that are not moms

I remember feeling very alone the first year of my 7 year olds life. I went from

being a professional, talking to adults everyday to trying to understand and

communicate with a fussy baby. I struggled with meeting moms who had

something to talk about other then their kids sleeping habits. Not that there is

anything wrong with those conversations but day after day like that left me

feeling a bit lifeless. I didn’t realize that it was ok to make friends without kids. I

have learned to enjoy the play dates for my children but have sought out

woman with similar goals and interests. I believe everyone comes into your life

for a reason and to stay well-rounded with friendships is very important for self growth.

3. Play dates are a nice way to socialize with other moms but lets face it, it’s not the same as a “girls night out.”

This tip has been so vital to my survival as a parent. Day after day of caring for

children keeps your energy and focus on them. This can be extremely draining

to a mother’s spirit. There is nothing like a “girls night out” to bring some energy

into your soul. When I’m with my close mommy friends, we laugh,

commiserate, and am able to let my guard down and relax. I prescribe a

minimum of one per month but more is ALWAYS better!

4.Put on your mask first

I know, we’ve all heard the airplane cliché but it’s nothing short of the truth.

Until we can take care of ourselves mind, body, and spirit how are we to care

and love another? I remember feeling so guilty when I was without my baby. I

worried about how others would think of me, a new mother alone and shopping

at the mall. I now realize how much that alone time means. If my mind is not

calm and peaceful I am no good to my children. I understand now how

important it is to take care of my needs too. Whether it be yoga, shopping, a

manicure or reading a book in silence, I treasure my alone time. I know that it

makes me a more attentive and loving mom. I also know how important it is for

my girls to know that I respect myself enough to take time for me. My hope is

when they have children of their own, they will follow my example.

What are your struggles when it comes to taking care of yourself?

Written By: Karyn Hendricksen, MS M.A.T

Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.

Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found Restorative Wellness Center.

Avoid Back to School Stress with these 5 Tips

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“Bells are ringing, students singing, teachers teaching everyday…” Summer is officially over, and you are more then ready for the yellow school bus to make it’s appearance. The first day comes suddenly and almost without warning. With lists of all the “stuff” you need to prepare for the big day, it can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to make the first day exactly what it should be…FUN!

 

1.  Meet the Teacher Morning is a Must.

Put it in your calendar ahead of time to meet the teacher and see the classroom. For little ones this will help ease any anxiety about what the first day will look like. Typically on this day, they will see their assigned seat and meet friends in the same class. Usually this is a short and sweet morning for the parents and invaluable for the kiddos.

 2. Buy School Supplies in Advance………..FAR IN ADVANCE!

Any parent who has experienced the back to school supply buying frenzy knows how stressful it can be. Many schools give a list of very specific supplies that may not be purchased at one store. I remember thinking what a great opportunity for the kids with me and pick out what they needed. The following year, I went myself. The next year I was thrilled when the class teacher told us we had the option of giving cash. Best. Idea. Ever. I think you hear me. Beat the rush. Go alone. Always give money if that’s an option.

 3. Outfit Your Child for the First Day.

Same rules apply for the clothes, kind of. My daughter attends a school where uniforms are required. Who knew all those smoothies over the summer would make her grow out of her old clothes. Thinking I was ahead of the game, I was shocked to find out her skirts were on backorder in July. If your school does not require uniforms I suggest using a special first day outfit shopping day. This will ease the guilt you feel about not taking them for supplies and help your child feel part of the first day experience. Not to mention, it will be one less day of fighting over clothes in the morning.

 4. Load up on lunch food.

Parents everywhere complain about making lunch. There is nothing more awful then making lunches at 9pm to notice you are out of deli meat. Use the weekends to buy lunch food for the week so you do have to utilize the 24-hour Wal-Mart down the street. This will also help to make sure kids have a healthy lunch instead of the processed foods in your pantry.

 

The one word which sums ups this article is, Preparation. It is vital to a parent and child’s success with school. Whether it’s pertaining to supplies, clothes or food; keeping things organized and ready allows for happy, stress-free school days.

 

What tips will you use to help with this school season?

 

 Written By: Karyn Hendricksen, MS M.A.T

Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.

Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found Restorative Wellness Center.

What Carrying Extra “Weight” Does to Your Body

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Before jumping to conclusions about what I’m going to say……slow down. I won’t ever judge or comment on a mother’s extra pounds. What I’m referring to, is extra weight from another living being in the form of a baby,toddler or maybe even a grown kid. My 3 year old says “uppy”. Some throw their hands up in the air as a form of sign language for the “pick me up”. Fortunately for me, my daughter is a petite 28 pounds. Even with her size, after time my body feels the effects of the frequent “uppy.” Just how does this new “weight” influence our mechanics and what can we do to alleviate some of it?

1. Change it up.

Just as you wouldn’t go to the gym and focus on strengthening one side, you shouldn’t carry your little one with the same arm all the time. Your baby is a weight, and constantly holding your baby on the same side will eventually lead to imbalance of the muscular system. Often, mom’s complain of back pain along with sciatic issues, (pain running from the hip all the way down the leg to the foot). When one side is taxed, other muscles will take over to compensate. Quite frequently, assister muscles of the back and hips end up strained. Switching sides each time you carry your baby will help balance out your alignment and help avoid pain patterns.

2. Exercise.

I know, we’ve all heard it and who has the time, right? With a new baby around we are normally getting more activity then we can handle and just want to sit down for a moment! Just ten minutes per day with some simple movements will strengthen and maintain balance in the body. Some of my favorites include; hip raises, modified push-ups and wall squats for an easy and quick overall workout.

Hip Raises: Lie down on the ground with your feet planted on the ground and your knees up. Squeeze your gluteal muscles and your abs in tightly and slowly lift hips off the floor. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds lower keeping everything tight the entire time. Repeat 6-10 times.

Modified Push-Ups: A push-up modified by keeping your knees on the ground. Remember to keep your back straight and shoulders down. Keep control when lowering with your elbows in. Repeat 6-10 times.

Wall Squats: Stand with your back against the wall and feet shoulder width apart. Lower down slowly to a seated position or wherever you feel comfortable and push back to standing keeping the weight on your heels. Use caution to keep your knees from going past a 90 degree angle.

3. Use caution when lifting.

Recently, a client came into my office doubled over in pain after picking her 16 month old out of the crib. Every time you pick up your baby, whether it be from the floor, crib or car seat, you are placing stress on your body. Next time, squeeze your belly muscles in (yes they are there!), stabilize your scapula by pushing your shoulders down, and carefully lift with intention. I realize at 3 am this is not the first thing that enters a mom’s mind, however, most injuries tend to occur with fatigue so this is an even more crucial time to concentrate. Muscles have memory as does the nervous system from our everyday movement. This means, repetition of proper movement leads to habit over time.

 

4. Invest in a baby carrier.

One of the best ways your can bond with your baby is holding them close with a baby carrier. My advice is to take your baby along to pick one out. With a plethora of styles, everyone has their own preference of what feels best. Just like shoes, try them on and carry your child around the store to make sure it’s comfortable. Most have adjustable straps that can be catered to your body. Make sure these straps are tightened, so your baby does not cause your shoulders to lean forward. You want the fit to be secure so that while walking around you can stand up straight and not feel top heavy.

5. Learn to say “no”!

Oh boy, this is one of the most difficult things to do as a mother. Trust me, the sooner you learn to let your child develop their independence the happier you all will be. As my daughter approaches 4, my feelings are torn. She’s my baby and my last child. As much as I don’t want her to “grow up”, I keep thinking 4 is the age I will start to feel “normal” again, emotionally and physically. My left side is chronically stiff as is my shoulder from years of holding her. The other day when she said “uppy” I told her to walk, and surprisingly she did without a fuss. Deep down I wasn’t so sure if this made me happy or sad. I know this is the end of her toddlerhood and beginning of a new era. As time goes on, my body will thank me for putting this “weight” down. As we both let go of her dependence for being carried, we will just have to increase our cuddle time on the couch!

 

Written by: Karyn Hendricksen

Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.

Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found at: www.restorativewellnesscenteraz.com

Something to Chew On: 3 Ways to Ease the Teething Trauma

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You are finally getting it. The nap schedule is
consistent. The crankiness from the fourth trimester has subsided. You are
fitting into your jeans and beginning to feel “normal” again. And then…………”BAM”,
right out of the blue your little one turns from somewhat predictable, to not
at all. Her usual sweet face is now fussy and full of drool. She is always
shoving something including her fist, inside that tiny mouth. Your baby is
teething, and your schedule and calmness just got turned upside down. According
to the website babycenter.com, teething can start as young as 4 months and
continues until 2 years old. During this time, babies can experience symptoms
similar to being ill including: diarrhea, rash, low-grade fever, fussiness, and
low appetite.

 All babies are not created equal. Some moms will notice the pearly whites without a sign from the baby that they are coming in. While others, will experience what I did, and feel helpless and sad for their uncomfortable little one. Rest assured, there are ways to make this time much less traumatizing for you both. Here are three tips to keep everyone happy.

 1. Use Natural Products to Ease the Pain

I remember when my daughter was teething; the products on the market were controversial. Today we are lucky to have an amazing product from Wellements Baby, called “Teeth Relief”. This product is made from 100% natural ingredients so moms don’t need to worry about adverse reactions. These ingredients include: Olive Oil, White Willow Bark Oil, Clove Oil, and Natural Vitamin E. The composition of this product will help soothe your baby’s gums and may help with inflammation. Because it is safe, you can reapply as often as needed.

2. Go with the Flow

It is great for everyone to have baby on a schedule. However, don’t let small changes stress you out. In the first two years of a baby’s life there are so many physiological occurrences that it is nearly impossible to maintain 100% consistency. During teething time, your little one may want to be held more or may take shorter naps. Know that this time will quickly pass and getting back to a normal routine is the important part.

3. Give her Something to Chew on

Everything will find their way into baby’s mouth during this time because it just feels better to have something rubbing against their sore gums. It’s good to have a few eco-friendly “chewables” on hand so your baby won’t take your keys. Some awesome products include, Sophie the Giraffe and Green Sprouts Cornstarch Teether. Another simple solution is a cold, wet washcloth. Store it in the refrigerator for an hour and it will feel great on baby’s gums.

We are always looking for more tools for teething. Do you have a natural remedy to share?

 

 

Essential Oils To The Rescue

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As a parent who does my best to feed my kids mostly organic and minimally processed food, I often look to natural alternatives to over the counter medicine. For the past year I have been experimenting with essential oils on my family. Essential oils are liquids distilled from various parts of specific plants (Modern Essentials, 2014). One of the benefits of using essential oils is that they can penetrate the cell wall and are absorbed directly into the skin (Modern Essentials, 2014). Here are the top five Essential Oils I use on a daily basis:

1. Lavender

Lavender is wonderful for scrapes, bruises, and cuts. It’s also a natural sleep aid and stress reducer. You can apply a couple drops of lavender directly on the skin for relief fast healing or on the back of the neck for stress relief.

2. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is oil derived from the dried leaves of a Eucalyptus Tree. The most common use for this oil in my family is in place of “Vicks.” I put a drop underneath the nose to help with stuffy and congested coughing and breathing. If the symptoms are caused by a respiratory infection, this oil can also act as a natural antibiotic. I would recommend rubbing it into the chest and neck area to relieve bacteria in the respiratory tract.

3. Melaleuca

A more common name for Melaleuca is Tea Tree Oil. This oil has many awesome benefits, my favorite being a cleaning agent.  Since it is antibacterial, it can be used in cleaning products to stop the spread of germs. It can also be applied to cuts, bruises, and wounds to prevent infection.

4. Frankincense

Frankincense oil is extracted from the bark of a tree. It is most commonly used for matters of the brain including anxiety, memory-loss and depression. It is also great for the skin to reduce redness and inflammation. I have used it for years on my daughters eczema combined with fractionated coconut oil. It literally clears her skin up overnight. Personally I enjoy placing a couple drops on my hands, rubbing them together and taking a giant inhalation. It calms my nervous system and heart rate down almost instantly.

5. Lemon

Lemon oil is from the peel of the lemon fruit. It has many uses including; detoxifying, cleaning, and enhancing mood. I use it every morning in a shot glass with warm water and four drops of oil to detoxify my body and energize me for the day. I also keep it by my sink to wash fruits and vegetables.

As with any health product, make sure to research any oils you choose to use. I would also recommend trying a little at first on small kids in case any reaction occurs. My personal favorite is a company called DoTERRA Essential Oils.

 

Out of my top five favorite essential oils, which would you use most and why?

 

Written By: Karyn Hendricksen, MS M.A.T

Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.

Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found Restorative Wellness Center

Is Screen Time a Good Thing for Babies?

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In this digital age, there is an increasing conversation about whether or not screens and tablets are good for babies & toddlers.

Let’s take a look at babies’ anatomy:  babies’ brains grow exponentially in the first 3 years and the brain triples in mass in just the first 12 months! The stimuli babies and toddlers experience during this period profoundly influence brain development. Researchers say that it is best to leverage this early physical brain growth by offering babies and toddlers opportunities to cognitively exercise their brain with active learning, beyond passive observation, such as TV watching.

The imagination needs to be exercised like a muscle in order for creativity to be developed.  And over time, children’s play became more elaborate and three-dimensional.  So, the more interactive a screen, such as an interactive app or game, the better.  However, without the draw of screens, researchers do observe that toddlers are more verbal, more social, more creative creatures versions of themselves.  At Little Spark, we encourage you and your little one to actively participate in play that is both interactive and stimulating.Little Spark Logo

Guest Blog Post by:
Susan Kim
Co-Founder of Little Sparks
www.littlespark.com

Wellements Baby Contest Winner!!!

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We wish we could have picked more than one winner because we are so honored and appreciative to have such amazing fans, but we know we couldn’t have picked a better one!! Thank you Amanda Pennington for supporting Wellements Baby!

Our Winner

Amanda who is a mother of 3 boys and has one on the way was so excited to win that she couldn’t stop crying when she found out the news. It couldn’t have been better timing for her to win since baby #4 is due in a few weeks. She first heard about our contest when a friend sent her the link. She was already a fan of our page and new all about our products. Amanda was so overwhelmed from winning that she couldn’t put into words how much this prize will help her family!  She loves that she won’t have to worry about buying diapers for an entire year! Amanda loves being a mom and enjoys watching her children grow. This holiday season Amanda and her family will be expecting the arrival of their new baby. They will also be celebrating with family and enjoying time together.

Thank You

We just wanted to take a minute to thank all of our Wellements Fans. We know that without your support we wouldn’t be able to have such amazing giveaways. Please stay connected to our page because we will be having more contests in the future.

 

Here is our Scoop on Poop!

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It starts out thick and sticky and then gives way to soft and yellow. By the first week of your babies’ life you are up too your ears in it!!!!  You got it….POOP!   If you are breastfeeding your baby will be pooping yellow mustard seeds 8-10 times a day. If your baby is formula fed his/her stools will be a little firmer and tanner. Either way, poop is its name and examining it will be your game!!

Shh…Now I have a very secret mommy confession, please don’t tell anyone! I was obsessed with both of my infants poop! I know disgusting, but true!! Both my children were breast feed and nothing made me prouder then a good mustard seed poop!! I felt like it was my way of making sure they were getting enough nutrients.  Then it hit…CONSTIPATION!!!

What Is Constipation?

Dr. Sears says that constipation refers to the compactness of the stools and the difficulty passing them, not the frequency of bowel movements. The consistency and number of stools varies according to age and from baby to baby.  Here are some signs that your baby may be constipated.

  • In a newborn, firm stools less than once a day with straining and difficulty passing them
  • Dry, hard stools and pain on passing them
  • Hard, pebble-like stools passed by a baby who strains during a bowel movement, drawing her legs up on her abdoment, grunting, and getting red faced
  • Streaks of blood along the outside of the stool
  • Abdominal discomfort along with hard, infrequent stools

Please watch the following video to hear more about how to handle constipation

 What could be causing your Child’s Constipation?

Baby Center gives some reasons why your baby may be constipated

  • Formula. Babies who breastfeed exclusively are rarely constipated. Breast milk has the perfect balance of fat and protein, so it produces stools that are almost always soft — even if your baby hasn’t had one for several days. If your baby is on formula, it’s possible that something in her formula is making her constipated. Ask your baby’s doctor about switching brands. (Despite what you may have heard, the amount of iron in formula doesn’t have any bearing on constipation.)
  • The introduction of solids. Don’t be surprised if your baby becomes mildly constipated as she steps up to solid food. That’s often because rice cereal, usually the first food given during this transition period, is low in fiber.
  • Dehydration. If your baby isn’t getting enough fluid, she’ll become dehydrated and her system will respond by absorbing more fluid from whatever she eats or drinks — and from the waste in her bowels, as well. The result is hard, dry bowel movements that are difficult to pass.
  • A medical condition or illness. Though it’s uncommon, constipation can be caused by an underlying medical condition such as hypothyroidism, some metabolic disorders, some food allergies and botulism. If your baby passes hard, painful stools, you’ll want her doctor to check her out, just to make sure.

Rarely, constipation is caused by a condition called Hirschsprung’s disease, which is typically diagnosed within the first few weeks of life. A baby with this disease suffers from a birth defect that prevents her gut from functioning properly.

What can we do to Stop Constipation?

Alright, we know what it looks like and what causes our little ones to suffer from it. Now, what can we do to prevent or help our little ones with their tummy troubles?  The Mayo Clinic suggests the following things.

To help prevent constipation in children:

  • Offer your child high-fiber foods. Include in your child’s diet foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, whole-grain cereals and breads. If your child isn’t use to a high-fiber diet, start by adding just several grams of fiber a day to prevent gas and bloating.
  • Our Very Own Solution: Wellements Baby Move is a natural formula designed to help infants and toddlers with occasional constipation. Our blend of organic prune concentrate and prebiotics is specifically formulated to be gentle and safe for infants 6 months and up.
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids. Water is often the best bet.
  • Promote physical activity. Regular physical activity helps stimulate normal bowel function.
  • Create a toilet routine. Regularly set aside time after meals for your child to use the toilet. If necessary, provide a footstool so that your child is comfortable sitting on the toilet and has enough leverage to release a stool.
  • Remind your child to heed nature’s call. Some children get so wrapped up in the activity at hand that they ignore the urge to have a bowel movement. Postponing the event can lead to problems in the long run, however.
  • Review medications. If your child is taking a medication that causes constipation, ask his or her doctor about other options.

Now that I have given you my secret scoop on poop, I would love to hear yours? It would only be fair to share any embarrassing stories you have about you and your child’s poop. Please tell us any funny stories you have about this topic.

 

5 Tips for Starting the School Year Off GREEN

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Just when you have your summer schedule down … BAM!!  The school year sneaks up on you. Summer is over and that means back to school shopping is here.  With all that shopping and consuming means a lot of waste and or wear and tear on the environment.  Follow the five tips below so you can start the school year off right and help the environment at the same time.

 

1. The Lunch Box

We all remember the brown sack lunch filled with little zip lock baggies our moms use to send with us to school everyday. Well, times have changed and we now have reusable lunch boxes and lunchskins that are not only eco friendly, but free of toxins.  The newest trend is the Bento lunch box. Check out LunchBots and Planetbox and see why we are crazy about them.  If you are still into the old traditional sack lunch you can find brands like Mimi the Sardine, which are made from organic cotton. These lunch boxes and reusable lunchskins are all great alternatives and will help reduce the amount of paper and plastic waste a school lunch can produce.

 

2. How to send a Healthy Green Lunch

Alright, we figured out what to carry our lunch in, and now we need to put some healthy locally grown organic food in it. I know organic food can be pricy, so what I do to help cut the cost is make sure that any foods that are part of the Dirty Dozen or Clean 15 are the ones I buy organic. These two lists name the foods that have the highest levels of pesticides in them. Another great way to buy organic and save money is to shop at a local farmer’s markets. The Local Harvest is a website that allows you to put in your zip code and find a farmer’s market in your area. I have also found some great recipes for packing lunches in The Lunch Box, Healthy Meals that Keep them Smiling.

3.Transportation

Look for alternative forms of transportation. Use getting to school as a time to get some exercise and spend some quality time with your children, by riding a bike or walking them to school. If you live to far to walk or ride have your child take a bus or carpool with a family that lives in your neighborhood.

 

4. School Supplies

This year as I was standing in the school supply isle with my kindergartener I was overwhelmed by the amount of waste I saw.  The number one offender had to be the school notebook. That is why when taking  a closer look I couldn’t believe what I saw…you guessed it…100% recycled paper.  Tons of stores carry it and all you have to do is check the package for the label before you buy it. I also wanted to point out that by filling a notebook from cover to cover before buying a new one is a very easy and effective way to cut down on waste. Not only can you buy recycled paper, but TreeSmart makes recycled pencils that are great.

 

5.Clothes

Almost half of the money spent on back to school shopping goes towards buying clothes. This can get very expensive very quickly. Hand me downs are always a great way to save money and help the environment.  There are many specialty children stores that have gently used second hand clothes, like Kid to Kid. Another great resource can be friends or families that have older children. If you’ve exhausted all your options and still have things you need, try to buy well made, high quality clothing. Sustainable fabrics like organic cotton are the way to go.

 

The typical American school kid generates 67 pounds of discarded school lunch packaging waste per school year according to About.com.  That is more than 18,000 pounds yearly for the averaged sized elementary school.  If we all take responsibility for our environment and follow the 5 easy tips above we can make a difference in the size of the carbon foot print we are leaving behind for future generations.

 

What are some ways you can help make your child’s school year GREEN?

 

The Healthy Snack Trap

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All Natural Junk Food

I read somewhere that close to 20,000 new packaged foods make it to the grocery shelves each year.

Companies are getting smarter (or sneakier) at drawing us into their health food trap with words like fortified, all natural, no added sugar, and gluten free.  Real food is being replaced by chemicals and packaged with fun shinny bright advertising claiming how healthy it is.

Often times “healthy snacks” are laden with extra sugar and sodium to compensate for the taste of the artificial or chemical ingredients used in most processed foods.  It’s no accident once you open the bag of goldfish you can’t stop eating them.

According to an article in the Huffington Post

 “Food made of sugar, fat, and salt can be addictive. Especially when combined in secret ways that the food industry will not share or make public.”

 Do you know why your child won’t eat healthy snacks, because inadvertently, you’ve taught them not to!  ME…never.  Yes you.  Let’s be honest.  There is no guarantee they will eat the veggies or fruit you put in front of them.  Chances are high they will eat the Cheerios and food manufacturers are counting on you to do exactly that.

“If you give your children a lot of sweet, salty, and high fat foods throughout the day then these are the flavors their taste buds will come to expect.” Dr. Rose explains.

We may actually be hard wiring our kids to crave these kinds of unhealthy foods.

Here are some fun facts to drive my point home.

  • Did you know that sugar triggers the brains feel good chemical dopamine almost exactly the same way as other addictive drugs.
  •  We are one of the only countries that allows companies to market junk food to children.  In an article titled Sugar Babies Dr. Mark Hyman reports “Studies show that the worse the food, the more the marketing.  The average 2 year old can recognize and name junk food from their baby carriage in the supermarket.”
  • Dr. Rose from It’s Not About Nutrition say: “Compared to cereals advertised to adults, the cereals aimed at kids contain: 56% more sugar, 52% less fiber and 50% more sodium.”
  • According to a study published in Appetite, a research journal specializing in behavioral nutrition, when preschoolers drank water instead of a sweetened drink, they ate more raw vegetables.

5 Tips to help avoid the healthy snack trap

  1. Stay on the outer edge of the grocery store.  This is where most of the produce and non-processed food lives.  The rest is pretty much unnecessary!
  2.  READ LABELS. Do you recognize all the ingredients?  If not put it down!
  3.  Just eat real foods.  This is the easiest motto to follow.  Did it come from the earth?  Note: apples, vegetables and other real foods requireno label reading.
  4. Plan ahead.  We haven’t totally lost our minds and we know a lot of this is easier said than done especially while totting screaming kids through the grocery store.  BUT does it really take that much more time to cut up an apple then to grab the bag of animal crackers?
  5. Use “kid friendly” snacks as occasional treats and not everyday snacks. This is your change to teach kids about healthy eating.  Remember you are actually shaping your kids taste buds and setting them up for a healthy palate in the future.

What do you do to get your child to eat healthier options?