LIVER: the perfect food for picky eaters (and tired parents)

LIVER: the perfect food for picky eaters (and tired parents)

  Geesh. Being a Nutritionist comes with some guilt. I know I should be feeding my family super nutrient-dense foods like bone broth, organ meats, fermented veggies, etc.  However, I seem to stumble back to my safe place with our favourite foods. Don’t get me wrong, we eat really well (lots of veg, quality proteins, and very few packaged foods) but if I were being judged by fellow Holistic Nutritionists I might get a B+. If I know what I should be offering, why am I not doing it?  For lots of bad reasons… Mainly I’m unwilling to venture to the unknown.  I’m aware of the risk that organ meats and fermented veggies may not get eaten. My girls are adventurous however, these nutrient dense foods come with powerful flavours. But hold on!  My girls love olives, pickles, kombucha, and spicy sushi, which aren’t exactly mild tasting foods.  I told you my reasons were poor.  Naomi proved me wrong - here she is eating another piece of liver meatloaf (see below) with salad.  Mackenzie looks intrigued. Then the universe spoke to me… Not only was beef liver on sale at our local butcher Rowe Farms.  But I also stumbled on an article about organ meats.  Both in the same day. Whoa universe…I get the message! It was time to walk the “picky eating expert” talk.  Just as I ask other parents, I had to ask myself: how can kids learn to like {insert new food} if they don’t see or try them? It was time to add a few more things to our list of nutrient-dense foods - starting with good...
4 Ingredient Protein Powder Cookies

4 Ingredient Protein Powder Cookies

There’s something about recipes with less than 5 ingredients that really excites me. We just returned from yet another weekend away (you know how much we love being out and about).  After I unloaded a van full of stuff, I do what I always do.  Open my fridge door to check out the food situation, and it’s never pretty.  In this case, I had a half container of organic cherry tomatoes, a bag of carrots, eggs, mostly eaten tub of hummus, and two lonely avocados. I had some frozen entrees in my freezer (thank goodness!) from Farm to Table Meals. So we were fine for dinner and lunch box leftovers. It was the snack situation I needed to figure out. Quickly. Sienna has karate every Tuesday and Thursday right after school, and it’s critical she has something to nibble before she puts on her gi. If not, I’m dealing with irrational meltdowns…either because I didn’t tie her karate belt at the right angle, or I took off her left sock before her right one.  She will find something to tear up about with that satiating snack. And as you know, those snacks have to be balanced with protein and/or fat and fibre.  [p.s. Check out the Balanced Lunch Box Cheatsheet for mix and match ideas]. Given that I had unpacking to do, three bedtimes to manage, and another nutrition presentation to finalize, my window of ‘snack prep’ time was limited last night. So I pulled out the colouring books and gave Mackenzie a teether to chew on while I went into creative mode. Thanks to my list of healthy...
7 healthy foods I ALWAYS have in my kitchen (and on my grocery list)

7 healthy foods I ALWAYS have in my kitchen (and on my grocery list)

Prepping meals can be a royal pain in the ‘you-know-what’ when you have a family.  So I try to simplify for my own sanity when hunger strikes.  One of my sanity saving strategies is to always have a few key healthy kitchen staples on my grocery list, and in my cupboard or fridge. I can easily throw these foods into some of my favourite recipes when our selection is running slim, and I can’t make it to the grocery store.  It helps that these healthy kitchen staples also have a long shelf-life, so there’s no food waste. A win win! When the food supply is running thin for families, that’s when they are more likely to get convenience foods, like a frozen pizza, french fries, or takeout.  But because these staples are also nutrient-rich, you can throw most of them together and have a healthy meal. Even as a last resort, we are still getting a dose of vitamins, minerals, etc… everything you need to ensure you have the energy to go grocery shopping tomorrow! Without further adieu, meet my must-have family foods… My 6 healthy kitchen staples:   Tahini and sunflower seed butter (other butters) Because we use ‘butters’ almost daily on our rice cakes/crackers, in smoothies as an alternative to protein powder, in energy balls (a perfect grab-and-go snack that can also be school-safe), baked goods (mmm….paleo pumpkin cookies), and even some of my favourite meals (like this noodle-free pad thai)…I try rotate my nuts/seeds to avoid intolerances/gut issues. There are 3 reasons I love sunflower and sesame seed butters (tahini) in particular: Great alternative as I...
5 Common Nutrient Deficiencies in Children

5 Common Nutrient Deficiencies in Children

Is my little guy getting enough iron? My daughter doesn’t like milk or cheese.  Should I be worried about calcium? I forget to give my child their Vitamin D half the time!  Is that a problem?  One of the biggest reasons parents reach out to me is because they are worried (maybe even freaking out) about their child’s eating. And ultimately, their nutrition. It can be difficult to get the whole spectrum of nutrients, especially if we have picky eaters!   So I tend to focus on common nutrient deficiencies in children instead of obsessing about a longer list. Why do we care? Vitamins and minerals are needed for optimal growth and play many functions in a growing body; from bone development to boosting the immune system. Some of these nutrients work together synergistically for maximum absorption. So when one is depleted it can affect the function of others. Making sure our littles ones are getting what they need is crucial…and also concerning for parents! But I know there’s always something to worry about.  And worrying is exhausting.  So I only want parents to focus on the nutrients that REALLY MATTER.  Starting with the 5 most common nutrient deficiencies in children along with dietary sources to help bridge the nutrient gaps.   5 Common Nutrient Deficiencies in Children Iron Iron is needed for many functions in the body and is a component of hemoglobin (which helps carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body where it is used and stored). It’s important in muscle function as it is found in the myoglobin, a muscle protein, and...