Getting kids to eat their vegetables can be a daily struggle for many families, with parents spending hours in the kitchen preparing healthy meals, only to have their kids refuse to try even one bite of any vegetable in sight. Instead of being a pleasant experience, mealtimes are spent trying to convince kids to open that clamped mouth and just eat their green beans. Does this sound familiar?
February is National Cherry Month. While it may not quite be cherry season, cherries are fabulous, so why not start the celebration early? We probably have George Washington to thank for that! Cherries are packed with nutrients and are delicious, so let's celebrate them. Plus, we always have frozen cherries in our freezer for snacks, dessert and smoothies.
The Environmental Working Group recently removed cherries from the Dirty Dozen list, meaning they no longer are one of the foods grown with the highest level of pesticides. For more on the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen, click here.
Cherries are loaded with nutrients, including calcium, iron, Vitamin C, potassium, fiber and melatonin. The melatonin in cherries promotes brain health and also helps regulate our body's internal clock. This means it helps determine just when we wake up and when we fall asleep. So, if you little one's body clock seems to be a tad off, a sweet cherry puree might help get things back on track. Cherries, like their relatives (apricots, peaches and plums) have a laxative effect, so if baby is constipated, cherries may help get things moving.
Babies may begin to eat Cherries at about 8 months of age or sooner with the ok of your pediatrician. Cherries are not highly allergenic, however, cherries do contain pits and a rather thick skin. Young babies may not be able to properly digest cherries earlier than 8 months of age and if you wish to add them to baby food earlier, do be sure to thoroughly blend them!
Here's some of our favorite cherry recipes:
Looking for a great Valentine idea? Look no further! Gift a Little Green Pouch with one of our adorable Valentine's Day Cards and a tasty LGP recipe.
All you need is a few items (all of which are available on Amazon Prime so you can get them ASAP).
-Baker's twine to attach the card to the pouch but any cute string would work: Red Baker's Twine
-Heavy cardstock (you can use any cardstock that will work with your printer - the heavier the weight the better): Neenah Premium Cardstock
Easy as 1, 2, 3 (4, 5, 6):
1. Print your cards using the free downloads below (both Valentine's cards as well as coordinating recipes). They're four per page so print as many as you need. Make sure you select the "scale to fit" option so that none of the cards gets cut off in printing. If you want to print double-sided, simply print the valentines first and then feed the printed page back into your printer so that the recipes will print on the back.
2. Trim your cards.
3. Fill out the to & from section (or have your little one do this if they are old enough).
4. Use a hole punch to make a hole in the upper left corner of the card.
5. Cut your baker's twine in approximate 5 inch lengths.
6. Place your card on top of a pouch. Push a piece of twine through the hole and wrap around the spout (just below the cap) and feed twine back through hole. Tie a knot and then a pretty bow.
The new year is all about making resolutions, cleaning up our diets and setting goals. If one of your goals is to go a little more green, here are 15 simple ways to #GoGreenIn2015.
1. Go meatless one day a week: Did you know it requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef Going meatless once a week can also help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious resources like fossil fuels and fresh water. The Meatless Monday website is a great resource with more benefits of going meatless for you and the environment.
2. Start meal planning: Planning your meals means less waste. Plus, you'll make fewer trips to the grocery store. Download our meal planner to help make planning a little easier.
3. The slow-cooker is your best friend. A crock-pot uses 75% less energy than an electric oven.
4. Toss your paper towels: Instead, stock up on cheap washcloths. Keep two bins under the sink—one for clean rags, one for dirty. When you need to wipe down your little one's face and hands after a meal, or clean a quick spill on the kitchen floor reach for a clean rag instead of a paper towel.
5. Use everything: And anything you can't use, compost.
6. Regrow your food scraps: Did you know that foods like green onions, celery, lettuce and more will regrow themselves? See a list here.
7. Unplug: Switch off appliances and electronics you aren't using. A powerstrip is a great way to make this easy. The blender, coffee pot, toaster all get plugged in to the power strip. With one flip of a switch you can save money and the environment.
9. Chill Out: Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot and turn the thermostat down a couple degrees. Every little bit helps.
10. Use a Shower Bucket: When you first turn on the shower, place a large bucket under the faucet while the water heats up. When the water is hot, remove the bucket and shower as usual. Use the collected water to water plants, wash the car, etc.
11. Recycle Your E-Waste: Electronic waste (or E-Waste) adds chemicals and heavy metals into the ground. Today it is so easy to recycle electronics, that this is an easy switch to make. Visit www.e-stewards.org for more information and to find a recycling center near you.
12. Recycle Ink Cartridges: Not only does this help the environment, it also helps your bottom line. Some office supply stores will even pay you to recycle your cartridges.
13. Shop local: whenever possible, buy from local farmers or farmers' markets, supporting your local economy and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas created when products are flown or trucked in.
14. Shop the perimiter: The center aisles are where all the packaged food is. Packaged food means more waste. Stick to the outer edges of the store for the best finds for you and the environment.
15. BYOB: Bring your own bags. Where we live, they are starting to require reusable bags, but regardless, bring your own. Not only are they better for the environment, they make it easier to carry your groceries into the house.
It's that time of year again—time for our annual Holiday Gift Guide where we share what items we are loving for the kiddos and ourselves. Maggie, Melissa and I have each put together a few of our favorites things for newborns, toddlers, school age kids, expectant moms and all moms. Below are link to all the items.
Gifts for newborns. Let's be honest—newborns don't need much. They won't remember this holiday season and can't open gifts. Plus, mom and dad have probably already been bombarded with so many gifts for little one. So keep the gifts small and go for more unique items that you can't find everywhere.
Gifts for toddlers. The challenge here is finding gifts the kids will like just as much as (hopefully more than) the box. Melissa's little ones love building things and then knocking them down and creating things from art to buldings.
Gifts for school age kids. Maggie's boys are loving anything they can ride or build. This is also a great age for kids to learn a new skill, like playing the guitar.
Gifts for expectant moms. These are things I am loving or covetting this holiday season. A pregnancy pillow is a must for any expectant mom. If she doesn't have one, buy her one now! This was my first pregnancy purchase and worth every penny. The other items are gift to spoil mom-to-be that she might not buy herself.
Gifts for all moms. Make mom's life easier with a robot vacuum. You can never go wrong with coffee, a cute new bag or sunglasses.
What are you and your kiddos wishing for this year?