Avocado Carob (Chocolate) Pudding

Avocado Carob (Chocolate) Pudding

I’m on the pudding train and I don’t expect to come off it for a while.  Last week I shared on of my favourite ways to eat chia with a Chocolate Chia Pudding.  And a few days ago, I dusted off my recipe binder and found my trusty Avocado Carob Chocolate Pudding (it should actually be called Avocado Banana Chocolate Pudding or “ABC Pudding” for short). Side note:  Speaking of ABC foods, my super soft Avocado Banana Chocolate Cookies are another winning recipe with families (with or without picky eaters).   … So, why is this nutritionist pudding obsessed?  The better question to ask is, why wouldn’t I be! My kids (and virtually every kid and even the picky eaters) love pudding.  So it’s a dessert I’m happy to have them enjoy. It’s creamy and delicious. It takes minutes to make.  No baking, freezing, or waiting required. It’s chock full of the good stuff. Avocado.  Enough said.  But I’ll say more.  It’s not only a source of fabulous fats (which we all need, especially our little ones), it also contains protein. Bananas.  Adds all the sweetness you need, naturally.  Plus the nutritional bonuses of potassium, fiber, etc. Carob.  This one requires a bit more explaining, since the chances are many of you don’t have this tucked away in your cupboard. Carob powder is an alternative to cacao powder (traditional chocolate) primarily because of the similarity in colour.  Like cacao, carob is a tropical pod that contains a sweet, edible pulp. However, they are different plants and have different flavors (carob being naturally sweeter).  Nutritionally they are unique as well.  For instance, carob power contains 3x more calcium than chocolate but lacks the nutrient punch from other...

One clever way to help a picky eater try new foods

So much of our energy at mealtimes is focused on WHAT we feed our little ones.  Especially if we’re trying to help a picky eater try new foods and expand mealtime variety. We analyze which foods they eat and take mental note of whether they are getting ‘enough’ - be it vitamins and minerals for nutrition, or calories for energy and growth. There’s no shortage of reasons to think about WHAT foods go on the table. Yet, if we want our little ones to try new foods, the HOW is just as important as the WHAT. How food is prepared (steamed, roasted, boiled, in sauce, no sauce, pureed, etc) How food is presented (chopped, strips, cubes, on toothpicks, balls, happy faces, etc) How much food we offer (portion sizes) For today, let’s dive into the latter - how much. Offering our little ones a new food seems like no big deal.  To us at least.  However for kids, new foods are a really BIG DEAL.  They don’t quite know how it’s going feel in their mouth, what it’s going to taste like, how they will feel after they eat it, whether they can chew it or swallow it.  It’s all new and completely foreign. If you’re finding this valuable so far, take a peek at this “Picky Eating 101” Webinar. It’s free, so nothing to lose, yet SO MUCH to gain).   You will walk away with the most effective ways to improve your child’s willingness to try new food.  All are research-based strategies that do work - and you can start using right away. The unknowns can be pretty scary for some kiddos.  So we want to go slow and steady, and start small.  Really small. Let me explain. I remember one of the first times I offered my...
Instant Chocolate Chia Pudding

Instant Chocolate Chia Pudding

Admittedly, I grew up in household with all the sweet treats readily available.  That includes everything from Twinkies to Instant Jell-O Pudding.   If only I knew that a simple Chocolate Chia Pudding would make me just as happy. My sweet tooth lives on today but thankfully, I’ve found other much healthier alternatives. My husband might not agree that all my desserts are worthy of being called “dessert” (because you can only reduce the sugar so much until it tastes like cardboard).  Luckily for everyone here, this is a recipe that he would approve of.  It’s creamy, chocolatey AND nutrient-dense.   Plus it takes minutes to make.  Truly an instant pudding without all the fillers. I am constantly singing the praises of chia seeds for adults and kids alike.  It is a nutritional powerhouse for so many reasons: Ounce for ounce, chia contains 500% more calcium than 2% milk.  Whoa! 2 Tablespoons serve up more omega 3 fatty acids than one 4 ounce serving of salmon. A one ounce serving provides 11 grams of fiber (more than half of your child’s daily requirement and 1/3 of an adult’s). This may surprise you but Cacao doesn’t fall short from a nutrition perspective.  That is if it’s organic raw cacao which is different from your traditional cocoa powder and chocolate.  Raw and unprocessed, untreated cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron known to man with 7.3mg per 100g.  With 1 in 8 toddlers reported as anemic by the age of two, this is fabulous news for parents with young children.  Just make sure you choose raw organic cacao from companies like this. A few other important benefits of cacao can...

An important question to ask yourself tomorrow morning

Another birthday has come and gone.  I would LOVE to tell you that it was the best birthday yet, but I would be lying.    Let me sum up my day here: Keith took the day off to spend time with me (how sweet!) but instead spent the day feeling ill and in bed.   The girls weren’t the best behaved & my birthday dinner at Tabule was a bust (we actually packed it up to eat at home).   I spent the day thinking “I should be in Mexico right now, eating Spanish Rice“.  Everyone was in bed by 9pm so I hung out solo and ate cupcakes.  I know I totally sound like Debbie Downer right now, but I’m just setting the stage for the rest of this post (which is all POSITIVE I promise!) Yes, the day was crappy (and cold) but the gifts made up for it.  Now this is funny because I am *NOT* a gift person.  I would MUCH MUCH rather enjoy a good meal with friends and family, then open any gift.  But this was a gift I really and truly appreciated, including a day at the Ritz Spa (I’ll be booking that faster than you can say “no kids for 8 hours”!).   Every mom needs a ‘day off’ guilt free.   The better part of the gift (yes it gets better!) was this thoughtful journal - Five Minute Journal.     The Five-Minute Journal asks you to spend a few minutes every morning / night reflecting on the day. Part of the reflection involves a gratitude exercise (in the evening) but even more interesting was the morning routine.  It requires you to answer this simple question before you get...