Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to school!

As we head into another school year, figuring out what to make for lunches seems to be a great idea at the beginning of the year, only to turn into a daunting part after a few weeks once the kids get bored of the same old things. Here are some tips to keep them eating their lunches instead of going in the garbage! As the year goes on, hopefully the kids can help me to find new and exciting lunch ideas. 

Keep them involved in some choices. What types of veggies or fruit do they want this week? Do they want cheese, deli meats, or tuna sandwiches? Give them choices, we, as adults get bored with the same old cheese sandwich day in and day out. Try different veggies in their sandwiches, cheeses, sandwich meats and dressings. And of course a treat is nice sometimes! We make a lot at home so that we can control the amount of sugar and which ingredients are in their food. Obviously this isn’t for everyone, so read labels.

Send mini trays of different things, a few grapes, watermelon, orange slices, broccoli and cucumbers with dip. The ideas are endless. You can find dishes for lunches that have separate sections and they can be quite handy. 

Try different breads, crackers, pita pockets, bagels or wraps. The flavours are pretty much endless these days from spinach, to cinnamon, or even cheese.  

Sometimes making a meal plan over the weekend works well for some families as the kids can be involved in the choosing process of what they like. This works well for our kids, one of them likes the same things most of the time, the other wants different things all the time. One week he’ll choose fruit salad, the next green salad with dressing.

Pre making veggie trays might help with picky kids, as you can say “You choose which you want to have” and they are more likely to eat the item they pick. This won’t work with all kids, but I’ve seen it work on a few ;)

If you send juice boxes, you can freeze them in advance and use them as mini ice packs. The kids love eating them frozen at lunch.

Remember to read labels, some of the pre packaged lunches look great to kids but don’t hold a lot of nutritional value. They need vitamins, and good whole foods with energy to keep their little brains going. 

Some schools have a "No Peanuts" rule. They will usually send a note home with your student if that is the case, but in case you are worried, you should contact your school or district to find out for sure. 

If you have any awesome lunch ideas, please post in the comment section! We will be sure to try new recipes out! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Organic Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus tea is full of antioxidants which will rid your body of free radicals (oxy moron? YES) It can help lower the risk of getting heart disease, some cancers, and lower LDL cholesterol. Especially with people who have high blood pressure due to stress.
It aids in the process of weight loss, bladder function, and constipation. Helps digestion of starches and sugar from meals, and is a diuretic so will help eliminate excess water from your body. It may help in aid of type 2 diabetes, liver problems (especially in Eastern medicine) The tea is packed with vitamin C and can help to fight the symptoms of colds and flu and strengthens the immune system. It has powerful antioxidant properties and can help to remove bacteria from the system. It is useful for preventing and fighting infections.
People suffering from depression may also benefit from Hibiscus tea as it has a positive effect on the central nervous system.

Fresh Flower Tea
Pour 8oz of boiling water onto a hibiscus Calyx in a cup or teapot. (The calyx if the part of the flower that protects the bud, it is the green leaf shaped foliage which supports the petals, you can clip it at the base and add the whole flower)
Let tea steep for five to ten minutes, depending how strong you can stand. Remove flower with a spoon or pour over a tea strainer and throw out all parts of the flower before drinking (easily composted)
Dried Flower Tea
Spoon 2 tsp of dried hibiscus flowers into a teapot or tea ball, pour boiling water over. Steep tea for five to ten minutes, strain and pour into mug.
You can add stevia, agave, or honey if it is too bitter for you.

To purchase organic Hibiscus tea, please copy and paste the link below and amazon will direct you to where you can purchase. YUM!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumbercontains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid,Vitamin C, CalciumIron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up acucumberCucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumberslice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in thecucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
5 Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!
6.. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!
7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take aslice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take aslice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!


Solutions to clean veggies