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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 January 11, 2021

                  11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

                  11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

                  Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

                  Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

                  1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

                  Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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                  2. Stress Relief

                  Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

                  3. Improved Sleep

                  Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

                  4. Appetite Control

                  Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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                  5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

                  When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

                  6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

                  Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

                  7. Mosquito Repellant

                  Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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                  8. Pain Relief

                  While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

                  9. The New Anti-Viral

                  Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

                  10. Improved Cognitive Function

                  Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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                  11. Money Saving

                  With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

                  Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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