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For Busy People: Simple Hidden Vegetable Recipes For Kids

For Busy People: Simple Hidden Vegetable Recipes For Kids

Everyone needs fruit and vegetables as part of an ongoing balanced diet, and kids are certainly no exception. The trouble is, children can be notoriously picky eaters and sometimes spurn the nutritious meals you set before them. You don’t want to fall back on junk food or cut out the veggies entirely, but at the same time it’s important to make sure that they enjoy their food. The solution? Sneak in more vegetables using the simple tips and tricks below!

1. Sneaky Spaghetti

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    Photo Credit: Joshued/Pixabay

    Most kids love pasta, so why not take the opportunity to squeeze a few vegetables into a basic sauce? Cook 2 onions and 4 cloves of garlic in olive oil until they are soft. Add in 1 can of whole tomatoes, a pinch of oregano and a few finely-chopped carrots, zucchini and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper, stirring in a couple of handfuls of spinach toward the end before serving with wholewheat spaghetti.

    Health benefits: Carrots and bell peppers are high in Vitamin A, which is essential for healthy vision.

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    2. Make A Kale Smoothie

    green-smoothie-681145_1280

      Photo Credit: NGi/Pixabay

      Kids will love the bright green colour of this super-healthy smoothie. It’s so simple that they can help in the making process too!
      Blend together 1/2 coconut milk, 1 ripe banana, 2 cups chopped pineapple, and 2 cups chopped kale in a blender until smooth. Additional water can be included to ensure a smooth consistency.

      Health benefits: Kale is high in iron, which is essential for healthy blood cell development.

      3. Potato Gratin With A Broccoli Twist

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      broccoli-498600_1280

        Photo Credit: ImageParty/Pixabay

        Spread 1 large broccoli and 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets, on a baking dish. Combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cream, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, 2 cups Gruyere cheese and 3/4 cup Emmentaler cheese and cook over a medium heat until the mixture reaches a smooth, thick texture. Pour this over the cauliflower and broccoli. Lightly sprinkle with Parmesan before baking at 350°C for 40-50 minutes.

        Health benefits: Broccoli contains Vitamin C, essential for a heathy immune system. Cauliflower is a healthy, low-fat, low-carbohydrate alternative to rice and potatoes.

        4. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

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          Photo Credit: catherineford/Pixabay

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          Butternut squash has a sweet flavour and soft texture, which often appeals to children. Make it the basis for a salad with this simple recipe. Slice 1 large butternut squash, a few red onions and a couple of peaches. Drizzle with olive oil, and roast at 350°C for 15-20 minutes. Arrange the squash on a plate before garnishing it with feta cheese and the remaining roasted components. Add a few fresh salad leaves for additional flavour.

          Health benefits: Butternut squash is high in fiber, essential for healthy bowel functioning.

          5. If In Doubt, Soup It!

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            Photo Credit: Catkin/Pixabay

            Soften 1/2 cup celery, 1/2 cup onions and 3 cloves of garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring. Stir in 1 can of tomatoes, 2 cups of vegetable broth, pepper, salt, and a pinch of sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes. Finally, take the pan off the stove and add 2 cups of cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon of butter, and 1/4 cup evaporated milk.

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            Health benefits: This soup contains high amounts of lycopene, an antioxidant which can improve the skin’s ability to handle UV rays. This may, in turn, reduce skin damage and the risk of premature ageing.

            6. Get Dipping

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              Photo Credit: bhuman34/Pixabay

              Take 1 cup of soft cream cheese and stir in a dash of salt, a pinch of red pepper, 1 teaspoon of garlic, 1 cup spinach, 2 cups artichoke hearts, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, and 1/4 cup sour cream. Serve on crackers or bread.

              Health benefits: Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamin K, which aids in maintaining healthy bones and blood. Artichoke is high in fiber.

              Featured photo credit: Chip Griffin/Flickr via flickr.com

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              Jay Hill

              Freelance Writer

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              Last Updated on January 17, 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, take this 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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