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Quick And Easy: Top Fun Foods For Kids That Can Replace Junk Food

Quick And Easy: Top Fun Foods For Kids That Can Replace Junk Food

Quick and Easy: Top Fun Foods for Kids that Can Replace Junk Food
Monoprixturtles

    We’ve all seen at least a couple of cute ideas on Pintrest for fun food for kids, but who has the time? With work, social and family commitments, we’re all a little prone to getting busy, feeling tired and being tempted to forsake our desire for a healthy lifestyle for the convenience of junk food, but you’d be surprised by what you can whip up with minimal time and effort that will not only look great, but will actually be eaten! Like these cute little Monoprixturtles by Kristen Reece at www.meetthedubiens.com

    There are multiple factors that can make food fun for kids, whether they like the way it looks or tastes, it’s easy to eat or if they can be involved in the preparation. And of course as parents we need to ensure that we are getting a good balance of nutrients into the foods we are providing for our children. Here is my top list of quick and easy fun foods for kids that can replace junk food.

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    Zucchini pizza bites

    A great alternative to pizza that is quick, easy, healthy and due to their small portion size, they’re easy to eat, encouraging you (and the kids) to go back for more! Popular as a snack, party food, appetizers or even suitable as a hassle free dinner on its own or served with a side salad.

    Zucchini pizza bites

      Ingredients:

      • 1 Large Zucchini, sliced into rounds
      • 2 Tbs tomato paste (salt reduced – to cut back on excess salt)
      • 2 leaves fresh basil, sliced
      • ¼ tsp oregano, dried and any other herbs or spices you desire
      • 1 ½ oz full fat Cheese (mozzarella or cheddar) – grated or small slices
      • Optional extra toppings – cherry tomatoes (6 sliced into quarters); traditional pepperoni & mozzarella; cheddar, ham & pineapple chunks; or finely diced or grated veggies.

      Instructions:

      1. Pre heat the grill to medium heat.
      2. Slice the zucchini about 1/4″ thick, discarding the ends, and pop on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil or coated with olive oil cooking spray.
      3. Smear on some tomato paste with the back of a spoon, add herbs, sprinkle with grated or sliced cheese and add any additional toppings. Pop under the grill for a few minutes (no more that 5) until cheese is melted. Yum!
      Here is the nutritional breakdown of these ones from Jennifer at Peanut Butter and Peppers with sliced cherry tomatoes: Calories per 3 slices: 71.2, Fat: 2.3, Cholesterol: 7.4, Sodium: 239, Potassium: 405, Carbs: 8.3, Fibre: 2.7, Sugar: 3.9, Protein: 5.3

      Apple Cookies

      Along the same lines as the zucchini pizza bites, these Apple Cookies from Rachel Schultz at rachelschultz.com pack a nutritional punch, with lots of healthy fats (the good kind that help our brains grow), high in protein and couldn’t be quicker or easier!

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      Apple cookies

        Ingredients

        • 1 apple
        • ¼ cup natural peanut butter or other nut butter
        • ¼ cup almonds, sliced
        • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
        • ¼ cup coconut (shredded or flakes)
        • ¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)

        Instructions

        1. Slice apple into thin rings and remove core.
        2. Spread nut butter over one side of ring.
        3. Top with almonds, walnuts, coconut, and chocolate chips. Enjoy!

        Berry Yoghurt Ice-creams

        A healthy alternative to store bought ice-creams, which are usually packed full of refined sugar and other additives the health conscious parent would rather avoid.

        This recipe is fairly forgiving, you can adjust the ratios until you find a flavour and texture combination you are happy with – some can be so thick you can eat with a spoon, or as thin as a milkshake. These can be blended up quickly as a morning smoothie, adding in all sorts of other healthy extras, like chia seeds for those healthy omega 3’s, a raw free range egg if your game, or anything else you might like to sneak in that doesn’t have too strong of a flavour that will overpower the chosen fruit. Then simply freeze the leftovers to enjoy as a guilt free instant breakfast, desert or snack! You can even substitute the yoghurt for milk kefir to sneak in some extra probiotics if you have it.

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        Image from itsybitsyfoodies.co

        Berry Yoghurt Icecreams

          Ingredients:

          • 2 cups natural Greek or coconut yoghurt (or milk kefir)
          • 1 ½ cups berries (Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or any combination)
          • 1 banana (ripe or frozen)
          • 2 Tbs Chia seeds
          • 1 tsp almond meal
          • ½ tsp flaxseed
          • ½ tsp vanilla powder
          • ¾ cup coconut water or 100% orange juice

          Instructions:

          1. Simply bend all ingredients for 30-60 seconds on high.
          2. Drink as a smoothie, divide the rest into icy-pole molds or ice cube trays with wooden stick inserted and freeze until firm, 4-6 hours.

          Watermelon Cake

          A Great healthy alternative to the traditional birthday cake. You can go as elaborate or as simple as you like, adding layers of various fruits and tooth picks for decoration, like this one from beautifulpicturesofhealthyfood or simply chop up a whole watermelon and throw on some berries and maybe a candle, something like this one from thecarousel.com. Or you can even ice with coconut whipped cream and decorate with toasted sliced almonds like this one from www.jensjustdesserts.co.uk the options are endless.  

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          Melon
            Watermelon Cake 2
              Watermelon Cake 3

                Teddy Bear Toast
                Toast

                  You can’t go wrong with a staple like nut butter (or their favourite spread) on toast. The effort to cutesy it up into cute teddy bears like they have over at www.craftymorning.com with a few slices of banana and a couple of sultans is very low input for a pretty great return, plus adding in a few extra nutrients in a fun way to get them to meet their daily fruit recommendation. You could also try cucumber slices with cream cheese or sliced cheese and a few bits of diced capsicum or cherry tomatoes for a vegie alternative. You can sub the white bread for sourdough for the healthiest option (and more great probiotics) or some Saladas or other dry crackers if they’re not a fan of bread.

                  So there you have it, a nice collection of fun healthy options for kids to keep them full and happy, that don’t require too much more time or effort than grabbing a bowl of sugary or salty junk food.

                  Featured photo credit: By Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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                  Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                  How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                  How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                  Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                  If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                  1. Breathe

                  The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                  Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                  2. Loosen up

                  After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                  Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                  3. Chew slowly

                  Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                  Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                  Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                  4. Let go

                  Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                  The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                  It’s not. Promise.

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                  Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                  Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                  21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                  5. Enjoy the journey

                  Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                  Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                  6. Look at the big picture

                  The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                  Will this matter to me…

                  • Next week?
                  • Next month?
                  • Next year?
                  • In 10 years?

                  Hint: No, it won’t.

                  I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                  Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                  7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                  You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                  Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                  8. Practice patience every day

                  Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                  Final thoughts

                  Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                  Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                  Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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