Power up by adding an array of green drinks to your daily diet. Winter months can be hard on the body. An increased focus on health through nutrition is a good way to help combat the effects. Why Green? The base of most green drinks should be a leafy green such as kale, chard, and spinach. Leafy greens are fiber rich and packed with vitamins and minerals. Regular use can also help reduce risk of heart disease and high blood pressure and can be a great addition to an anti-inflamatant diet. The combinations are endless...but, I implore you, keep your green drinks green. Color is important because a good part of enjoying healthy food is also being pleased by the way it looks. Odd combinations like spinach and berries can produce a brown shaded drink which may not seem appetizing to the eye. Bright even toned drinks are attractive--even to the little people.
Here's a list of a few of our fave combos:
You can blend with spring water, nut milk, coconut water, or juice depending on taste. You can add cool beneficial toppers like chia seeds (or chia pudding), flax seeds, hemp seeds, or bee pollen. No matter how you spin it, the road ahead is bright and sunny.
It may sound kind of weird, but a salad for breakfast instead of your old stand by of sausage and pancakes is the better way to go. The average American breakfast is packed with calories (most empty), sugars (of varying random types), dyes, and fat. Don't get me wrong. I love a nice plate of fluffy pancakes and a side of gently cooked eggs and maybe some thick cut properly cured bacon and some good old table syrup (not that maple stuff that comes from trees...lol). I love it. But one day, I arrived to work famished with little time to spare. I had skipped breakfast that day and my brain was starting to pay the price. I keep a box of random lunch supplies in the office fridge which consist of various items to make a salad...most derived of leftover fragments of things too small to feed the brood. Getting hangrier by the minute, I made a salad. After killing it, I felt amazing, restored, and powered. I felt satisfied but not full and bloated. At that moment, I felt like I understood what the Buddhist mean by "just enough." I was connected and in tune. I started thinking about what I, and many others, generally eat for breakfast. The number of calories alone should be enough to get you to rethink it. While you do need calories for energy, there's a better way to get it besides blueberry toaster waffles or a double bacon and egg on Texas Toast. Even if you fancy yourself of good breakfast person and say, you prep your overnight oats religiously every night...put some greens on it.
A great way to widen your little one's palate is to introduce spice early and often. Spices add great depth of flavor to foods and compliment many of the first foods introduced to little ones. Think cinnamon, curry, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom...you get it.
It is no secret that roasting vegetables amps up their flavor profile in a big way. Many of the most common "first foods" all benefit in the same way from the roasting process. Put it in the oven and let it go. Even the charred parts go into the blender increasing its desirability.
Mashing a bit of avocado for baby? Well, go ahead and mash some for yourself too. Add some pink salt, chili flakes, and lemon and spread it on a slice of seeded bread or pair with smoked salmon and cucumber. Everyone wins in this meal.
When it comes to young children and feeding, color matters. They love bright and inviting colors that excite their eyes more than their bellies. The best way to introduce them to new foods, is to ensure that they are fresh and have an alluring color. Many parents prepare tasty foods that are pale or brown in color which little ones tend to shy away from.
Fresh not only refers to ensuring that the foods offered are as fresh as possible but also that the rotation of foods remains "fresh" and does not get stale. It is tempting to offer that thing the children seem to always love as a quick win to meal time. But, rotating what they are exposed to early lends to healthier eating habits down the line.
The price tag of decent kitchen gear often shies people away from making the investment. But, none of this conversation matters if you don't have the right gear to produce the food. A great blender, immersion tool, and food processor are gear steps in the right direction to making it happen.