3 reasons nutritional yeast is awesome for families

3 reasons nutritional yeast is awesome for families

Nutritional what?! I first heard about nutritional yeast a few years ago from one of my vegan friends.  She was talking about the cheesiest, most delicious mac and cheese that she had just eaten. I was totally confused: cheesy vegan mac and cheese? Neither the word “nutritional” nor “yeast” made my mouth water.  I started probing her with a laundry list of questions and I have to say, I’m glad that I did.  Today, nutritional yeast is a staple in our cupboards and one that I don’t often run out of. There are so many reasons nutritional yeast is awesome for families, especially those with a dairy or lactose intolerance - you’ll get the benefits of the cheesy flavour without the discomfort afterwards. What is nutritional yeast? A deactivated yeast and fungus (it tastes better than it sounds, I promise!) Produced by culturing the yeast with a mixture of sugar cane and/or beet molasses.  After 7 days, it is harvested, deactivated by pasteurization, dried and packaged. Bakers yeast and nutritional yeast are not created equally!  Nutritional yeast is rich in vitamins and minerals, whereas bakers yeast can deplete the body of B vitamins and other nutrients. And nutritional yeast won’t leaven a loaf of bread like bakers yeast does. 3 reasons nutritional yeast is awesome for families (and kids) Don’t let the fact that it resembles fish food deter you from enjoying this nutrient dense food. Rich in Folate (vitamin B9) - 530 micrograms of folate per 1/2 tablespoon Pregnant and breast feeding mamas have a higher risk of experiencing folate deficiency and should be particularly careful to get enough in their diets. ...
6 Healthy Breakfasts for Picky Eaters

6 Healthy Breakfasts for Picky Eaters

Full disclosure.  Mornings are usually a little messy over here as everyone rolls themselves out of beds and cribs (often feeling hangry).  We’ve all been fasting through the night and are more than ready to refuel our bodies and refill our bellies.  Patience is a virtue although it’s not something our kids have much of. The want breakfast. NOW. And we have to come up with an edible solution. FAST. Especially when Sienna was her pickier-self.  She had no appetite in the morning (not the case anymore!) and breakfast options were limited.  I was desperate for healthy breakfast ideas for picky eaters but I was too darn exhausted to search.  So I stuck to the staples. Now, my kids want breakfast ASAP and often aren’t willing to wait and get some clothes.  So naked breakfasts are typical. To avoid the potential of early morning tantrums, I have a tendency to reach into the cupboards and grab Mary’s crackers to accompany some hummus, or pull out the ol’ Yoso Coconut yogurt from the fridge with some fruit.  It gets repetitive. But I get it!  When you have a picky eater, options aren’t that vast.  At least not the healthy ones. In the morning it’s important to get our family off the right foot with the food they eat.  A sugar-based cereal is going to send their blood sugar way up there and won’t keep them satiated for a good period of time. Even with picky eaters, we can still spice things up in the mornings and do so with a nutrient-punch.  All of the breakfast ideas below include some healthy fats (our little...
Homemade Healthy Raspberry Gummies

Homemade Healthy Raspberry Gummies

It never fails! Every time my 4 year old and I walk into the bulk food store, Sienna makes a beeline for the section with rainbow-filled bins of glowing gummy worms and gummy bears.  Even the healthiest of bulk food stores has candy.  And while it may be “sugar-free” and “organic”, it is still candy. Sienna’s favourite: the gummies.  Ugh. The odd time I’ll begrudgingly toss some in a baggie, and cringe as she eats them.  My sanity saver is that picky eating is in our past - I know she’s a much better eater and gets her nutrition at home. Well, instead of cringing, I decided to make my own homemade healthy gummies that actually had some nutrition to offer. For those parents with fussier eaters who love their sweets, this recipe is going to be a favourite - for you and them! Your ‘picky eaters’ can get their sweet fix while we improve their eating.   Click here to join the webinar These Homemade Healthy Gummies are SOOOO much better than the store bought ones, because: They are made with organic, nutrient-dense and vitamin-packed berries (versus just fruit juice) They only have a bit of sweetener from quality honey (versus simple processed sugar) They are also a source of important amino acids (versus just a sugar hit) Protein in gummies?  That’s right!  The amino acids come from something called Gelatin. What is Gelatin? Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, and flavorless food (thank goodness!) derived from collagen, which we find in animal parts.  The parts that we no longer consume such as skin, tendons, and other gelatinous cuts of meat.   It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food and other products and give gummies their...
9 Healthy All-in-One Snacks

9 Healthy All-in-One Snacks

In one of my last posts I shared some snack inspiration.  I simplified snack prep with a mix & match list of foods to combine - foods that included a protein + carb + fat. Being a nutritionist, I love that list of simple ideas that I (and you) consisting mainly whole foods. Being a foodie, I love THIS list with fun combinations of whole foods with healthy all-in-one snacks.  No need to pack 2-3 separate foods because these snacks contain carbohydrate, protein and fat - in every bite. It’s so easy to fall into a rhythm of offering similar foods over and over. I recently noticed I was getting a little lazy and uninspired when it came to packing snacks.  Clementines, avocado, roasted chickpeas, pear, hardboiled eggs were the staples being rotated around throughout the week.  That gets boring for everyone - and doesn’t help my little ones expand their palate. So I had to give myself a kick in the butt and start thinking outside the snack box.  Starting with these yummy all-in-one snacks. Healthy All-in-One Snacks No-bake energy balls (Raspberry Coconut Balls) Granola balls (Made Good Granola Minis) Smoothies (Blueberry Hemp Smoothie - you can omit maca powder) Egg muffins (Zucchini Frittata Cups) Cookies (Pumpkin Cookies) Dip (Roasted Red Beet Hummus) Pudding (Avocado Carob (Chocolate) Pudding) Granola bars (No-Bake Hemp and Chia Protein Bars) Brownies (Black Bean Brownies) Do you have any quick, healthy and complete snack favourites for your family?  Please share them below! If you’re feeling stuck on what to pack for lunch grab this FREE Cheatsheet.  You will learn which 5 things are needed to create a balanced lunch (and meal) for your...
How to make quick and healthy snacks for kids

How to make quick and healthy snacks for kids

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with loads of awesome moms lately at local workshops with Mommy Connections, MumNet, and other “mommy groups”.  At every single one of those workshops, I can bet my bottom dollar that I will be asked this ONE QUESTION: What quick and healthy snacks can I give my kids [before bed, on the go, for school]? I’ll rhyme off a list of my favourite quick and healthy snacks for kids, often forgetting most of them.  So I thought it would be wise to get this list of snacks for kids down on ‘paper’ as a reminder for me and a reference for parents. Before I dive, let me step back and give you a few pointers: Food for Thought: Every snack should have some protein (or fat) to keep kids satiated longer, and those blood sugar levels stabilized.  In other words, a banana or a biscuit on its own isn’t sufficient.  You’ll feel satiated briefly and then the sugar cravings (and tantrums) will rush in. Include a veggie or fruit in all snacks for nutrient-density.  Crackers, bread, and cookies have their place but don’t offer the same nutrition bang for every bite. Quick and Healthy Snacks for Kids This mix & match list will help you crete quick & dirty clean healthy snacks for your kids (most with no cooking required)! Pick one of these 10 foods These foods contain mostly carbohydrates. Fresh fruit (berries, banana, melon, plum, pear, etc) Fresh cut veggies (peppers, cucumbers, carrots, snap peas, etc) Dried fruit (apple chips, banana chips, prunes, unsulfured apricots, mango, etc) Roasted nori sheets Crackers (TIP: choose a brand like Mary’s Crackers for more nutrition)...
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...