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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 15, 2019

                  8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                  8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                  In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                  Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                  Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                  Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                  Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                  The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                  There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                  How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                  According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                  Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                  Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                  The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                  Listen carefully:

                  We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                  The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                  Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                  8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                  There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                  Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                  1. Pray Daily

                  You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                  When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                  Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                  Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                  2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                  A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                  By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                  Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                  If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                  This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                  How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                  3. Smile Often

                  Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                  Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                  Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                  The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                  4. Organize Your Working Desk

                  A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                  When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                  Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                  Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                  5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                  I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                  Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                  What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                  6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                  God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                  I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                  I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                  7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                  You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                  How do you do that? This is my formula:

                  First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                  If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                  If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                  If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                  Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                  8. Go Exercise

                  Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                  The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                  You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                  12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                  The Bottom Line

                  It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                  It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                  Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                  More Resources About Mindfulness

                  Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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