Have you been watching the news? I haven’t...until yesterday afternoon. I caught 20 minutes of the National News and it made me so sad I suddenly had no desire to cook and a strong desire to drink. The first one was okay because I had meal-prepped earlier in the week and I knew we had food to warm up. The second desire was no bueno. Drinking to escape reality is never good and last night, I served up a tiny bit of wine and made a choice to stop there.
I’m thankful for choices. I know--right now it may feel like we have been robbed of SO MANY choices but in reality, we’ve been presented with different ones. Choices that we normally are too busy to consider and choices that maybe we’ve been purposely avoiding.
Suddenly we are having to choose the course of our days that for you--may look like cleaning up spilled cheerios, answering calls while signaling violent signs to your children, setting them up for online classes, sifting through teacher emails, thinking what you’re serving up for lunch, cleaning up more spilled cheerios, worried that you aren’t sanitizing enough, feeling the financial pinch, taking in precious moments that can only occur in the slowness of time...
Does any of this sound familiar?
Repeat this with me: We get to CHOOSE how we respond to this crisis.
I am CHOOSING to make the best choices I can, which includes what I choose to feed my family.
I want to use this time to steer my children's appetites back to whole foods that nourish them. Partly, because I want to educate them on healthy, intuitive eating but also because I want to ensure that their immune systems are strong--heaven forbid, the C-word should make its way into our home.
I had the privilege of interviewing Melissa Hammons, nutritional counselor and personal trainer, yesterday about simple ways to boost your kids’ immunity.
I loved her suggestions so much because they are easy to implement. Sometimes you hear of these radical ways to feed your family healthy foods and they just aren’t sustainable. I was grateful her advice didn’t include driving to 3 different farms or hunting down obscure ingredients that I will only use once.
Here are 3 Takeaways from our Instagram Live:
1. Appeal to All their Senses.
If you have a picky eater, try tapping into their other senses by presenting colorful foods and marketing them in ways that take the emphasis off the food and onto things that interest them. For example, Melissa showed us how to make a kid-friendly smoothie that she calls...
The Hulk "Milkshake"
by Melissa Hammons
- 1/2 cup spinach
- 1/2 cup kale
- 1/2 medium banana
- 3/4 frozen pineapple chunks
- 5 oz unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
DIRECTIONS: Add all the ingredients to a blender and serve.
**A few things to note: -For adults you can double all the ingredients (if doing as a meal). -If you are on a lower carb diet you can substitute avocado for the banana (1/2 avocado for 1 whole banana). -Picking the right protein powder can make a difference in taste and nutritional value. I recommend reading the labels and checking the ingredients. I prefer clean whey blends (Rule 1 or Naked Whey in Vanilla). If you have a whey/lactose intolerance I recommend doing a plant based blend (try Vega, Aloha, or Organify).
2. Grocery Store Tips
I loved hearing that I don’t have to avoid things like breads and natural sweeteners like honey and pure maple syrup. What we must learn to do is scan labels on the new ingredients we choose to buy. Melissa recommends buying 1 or 2 NEW grocery items on each major trip, which let’s face it, all of us have had to stretch our wings a little and purchase all sorts of substitutes these days. Use this time to discover new favorites.
For example, sprouted grain, whole grain breads are good when smartly paired with proteins like peanut butter. Greek yogurt is good for you when you buy an unsweetened brand and mix it with nutrient-packed berries.
I am sometimes intimidated by reading labels and Melissa suggested that I fearlessly whip out Google and do a search on ingredients that I may not recognize. Totally doable if I’m choosing only two new items each grocery trip, right!?
Berry Yogurt Pops
by Melissa Hammons
- 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
- 1 cup fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 3 tbsps of honey
- Mix the yogurt and the honey together and blend well. Put the cleanedfruit into a bowl and mash with a fork. It's ok if you have some chunksleft.
- Put the fruit mix into the yogurt and just stir a few times.
- Scoop the mix into your forms of your choice and stick the wooden stickinto the center of the pop.
- Put the cups into the freezer for at least another three hours before eating.
Kid-friendly foods that Melissa mentioned are packed with Antioxidants and Vitamin C are berries, greens like Spinach and Kale, sweet potatoes, nuts and yogurt. However, she pulled out the big guns with this homemade Elderberry Syrup. If you haven’t heard about the proven-effects of Elderberries, read about it here.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
- 3/4 cup dried elderberries
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 tsp dried cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp dried cloves or 4 whole cloves
- 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger or 1 tsp dried ginger
- 1 cup raw honey
- In a large pot, bring the elderberries, water, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 40-45 minutes.
- Allow the liquid to cool, and then drain the liquid using a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth.
- Press all liquid out of the berries using the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add the raw honey and mix well.
- Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Or you can freeze up to 6 months. Take 10-15ml/day for adults and 5ml for children. If you get a severe cold or the flu, you can take 2-3 times/day until symptoms resolve.
Thank you Melissa for making it easy for busy mommas like me to CHOOSE health and wellness for our kids during this #quarantinelifestyle that we’ve all taken up.
If you want to read more blogs like this, send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to learn more about Melissa’s story and see how she can help you make FRESH new choices-- Find her here:
Podcast: Beyond Fitness with Mel n Bre