Sneaky Spinach Muffins (without being sneaky at all)

Sneaky Spinach Muffins (without being sneaky at all)

If only our kids ate more green vegetables we wouldn’t have to go to crazy lengths, like making gluten-free “Spinach Muffins”. If you’ve seen my Picky Eating 101 Webinar you know my stance on getting sneaky in the kitchen.  It can totally work if the goal is to get our little ones to EAT something green.  On the other hand, it’s not an ideal strategy if we want our little ones to LEARN to like green stuff (or what it is). My girls have a well-rounded list of preferred foods, but spinach isn’t one of them.  No surprise there.  Geesh, I don’t even know a lot of adults who gush over raw greens of any variety (excluding my social circle of kale-obsessed nutritionist friends). If a child isn’t big on veggies, we start with the basics like these 5 great veggies for kids (and picky eaters).   And with these Spinach Muffins.   Admittedly I was nervous when I slid Sienna up to the counter to see my latest experiment.  Green Muffins. I worried that she would run away when she saw 4 cups of blended spinach going into the muffin batter, but instead she was intrigued by the bright green concoction. Even better, when they came out of the oven she willingly tasted these green muffins and happily ate one (although her expression below would suggest otherwise?). Spinach (like other raw greens) has a distinct texture making it difficult to chew for kids.  So finely chopping or blending spinach leaves into foods is a-ok…..if we Show our little ones we are putting green stuff in the blender Let our little ones help add greens to the blender (and...
Made Good Granola Minis Recipe

Made Good Granola Minis Recipe

I’m going to take a wild guess that you’re one of the hundreds (ok, thousands) of moms who love Made Good Granola Minis and Made Good Granola Bars.  What’s there not to love? Made Good has done a good great job solving snack problems for parents - it’s free of allergens (dairy, nut, peanut, egg, sesame-free, etc.), school-friendly, and healthier than most packaged snacks.  The hidden serving of vegetables is a bonus, especially for parents with “picky eaters”. That’s why I’m a little giddy about this homemade alternative - my successful attempt at a Made Good Granola Minis Recipe (Chocolate Banana flavour).  Otherwise known as the “Poor Mom’s” version or “wannabes”. I don’t keep many packaged treats around because 90% of the time we keep things simple with snacks: essentially mini meals with lots of whole foods. The other 10% of the time we will keep things even simpler and I’ll invest in pre-packaged snacks.   That’s when Made Good Granola Minis make it into my cart and my girls start gushing over those bite-sized granola balls. I’ve always been a big saver, \except when it comes to food.  With all the organic, local, grass-fed, farmer’s market products on my list, grocery bills get expensive.  So, I’m trying to streamline spending a bit and cut back on the non-necessities. At about $5 a box, Made Good Granola Bars and Minis had to go. As they came off my shopping list, I started to envision a homemade replacement and the recipe experimentation started this weekend. My girls were the guinea pigs and I recorded their reaction live after their first bite of my “Poor Moms” Made Good Granola Minis recipe.  Thankfully my eldest uttered the words “I like it mommy” (completely...
8 Healthier Halloween “Treats”

8 Healthier Halloween “Treats”

Halloween is around the corner and parents are cringing at the thought of our kids coming home with all that candy! It’s rare that my girls get their hands on packaged nutrient-lacking treats at home, but they aren’t completely avoidable.  Firstly, I have the grandparents to count on for keeping non-Nutritionist approved snacks within arms reach of my kids (gotta love ’em).  I also have those one-off occasions during the year where treats are easily accessible and unavoidable, like Halloween.   I would love to put a healthier spin on Halloween For two reasons: Firstly, the excitement around Halloween is high.  Since sugar-laded treats are historically thrown into the Halloween mix, they become associated with “fun”.  In our family we try not to make unhealthy foods (like cookies, ice cream, candy) seem “special”, because special foods become more desired foods.  Brownies deserve no more attention and excitement than broccoli does!   However, the Halloween fun and sugar-frenzy seem to go hand-in-hand. Secondly, who says treats have to contain unhealthy ingredients to taste good?  As soon as Halloween season approaches store shelves are packed high with assorted candy and chocolate.  I do salivate a little as I walk past them, often because I shop while hungry (bad idea), but I would prefer not to walk home with a box because I have no other choices. I know, I know.  There is a time and place for sweets.  I can’t lie.  I love my brownies and cookies too, so it wouldn’t be fair to withhold less healthy foods from my kids, especially on Halloween.  Thankfully, there are healthier alternatives to your standard Halloween treats.   Here are a few for...
Should we make separate meals for picky eaters?

Should we make separate meals for picky eaters?

Yes, our little ones are special.   Every single one of them!  But should we make special and separate meals for picky eaters? However, it doesn’t mean that moms and dads should go out of their way to make alternate meals just for them…and then have to whip up another meal to suit the rest of the family.  Let’s talk about how to handle separate meals for picky eaters. The survey says… 1 in 4 children who are “picky eaters” continue to be picky as adults.  In other words, 25% do not outgrow their reluctance to try new foods unless the right mealtime strategies are used. (Source).  And unfortunately, preparing the same few favourite foods and separate meals is one sure way to limit their exposure and ability to grow out of picky eating. So, from one mom (with a former picky eater) to another….I have to tell you that it’s super important we set our kids up for healthier eating habits sooner than later.  That’s exactly why I show parents exactly how to do this (step-by-step) in the 6-week online program - The Picky Eater Protocol. Alternate meals can backfire Pressure is one of the biggest reasons why our kids don’t eat well.  Often parents are surprised when I pinpoint things they innocently say or do.   Things that I did at most meals, unaware they were making things worse. Preparing separate meals for our picky eaters can actually put pressure on them to eat it.   Even more so if we say “Look what mom made JUST for you“.   The interpretation for most kids will be this:  “Gosh, mommy made this just for me.  That means I have to eat...

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