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Published on August 17, 2018

15 Easy Recipes for Kids That Don’t Require an Oven

15 Easy Recipes for Kids That Don’t Require an Oven

When summer’s in full swing, you definitely don’t want to turn on the oven. And with kids out of school, you need to keep them busy. What better way to do that than involve them in the kitchen making some fun and easy treats together?

These treats are a healthier alternative to candy and slushies and ice cream bars. And they’re so easy to make!

It’s a great way to spend some time together, start building healthy habits, and get kids involved in the process of their food. Perfect for a rainy day, or when you all need a break from the sun.

Here are 15 easy recipes for kids to try this summer

1. Sugar-Free Watermelon Raspberry Popsicles

    All you need to make these beauties is fruit, a blender and popsicle molds. Getting some popsicle molds will be well worth the investment, since pure fruit based popsicles are getting so expensive.

    You can use these molds over and over again every year, trying different flavors and combinations.

    Get the recipe by Dreena Burton

    2. 5-Ingredient No Bake Brownies

      With just 5 ingredients (plus an optional chocolate drizzle), you can get these super fudgy brownies going any day of the week. And with no added sugar, you can rest assured these are adding nutrition to growing bodies with every bite.

      Chances are you’re going to get requests to make these again and again, so keep the date supply stocked at all times…

      Get the recipe by Brittany Mullins of Eating Bird Food

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      3. Refreshing Creamsicle Smoothie

        Get that creamsicle flavor at home, with fresh oranges and all healthy ingredients. No driving, no lines, no disposable cups.

        These are a perfect mid-afternoon refresher when things have been hot and wild in the summer sun. Make your own, to sip while the kiddos are slurping.

        Get the recipe by Kathy Patalsky of Healthy Happy Life

        4. Almond Butter Rice Crisp Treats

          A vegan twist on rice crispie squares, made with natural almond butter and brown rice syrup, is easy to put together and not quite as goopy as the marshmallow version.

          Kids will feel super pleased with themselves, and because rice crips are so chewy, these might just slow them down long enough to sit.

          Get the recipe by Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows

          5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

            Game to try something different? These cookie dough bites are made with a base of chickpeas for a low-glycemic treat. And with no raw eggs, there’s nothing to worry about – go fancy and make the truffles with the coating, or just eat the cookie dough right from the bowl.

            Get the recipe by Ricki Heller, on veganook

            6. Chocolate Hummus

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              If you want to try another interesting sweet treat with chickpeas, this chocolate hummus looks perfect to pair with fresh fruit for a sneaky high-protein snack. This will fuel lasting energy through the afternoon, and fill small bodies with important nutrients, like calcium and iron, as well as those powerful antioxidants in cocoa.

              Get the recipe by Terita Heath-Wlaz on Super Healthy Kids

              7. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

                Although chocolate chips and coconut are hard to top, the base of these energy bites could lead you in all kinds of different directions.

                Get creative in making different flavor combos, based on what’s in your cupboards. With a bit of flaxseed in there, you’ll boost the omega-3 content which is important for kids.

                Get the recipe by Marly of Namely Marly

                8. Raw Vegan Candy Apples

                  This could make a fun choose-your-topping adventure. The vegan caramel is so easy to whip up. Then set out small plates with different toppings, and kids can create their own masterpieces. These are just as much fun to eat as they are to create!

                  Get the recipe by Vanessa Croessmann of Vegan Family Recipes

                  9. Banana French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

                    This recipe is best for slightly older kids, or younger kids could be your sous-chef to dip the bread and pass to you for frying. But no matter what, get the whole family ready to enjoy a Sunday brunch feast with this delicious french toast.

                    The caramelized bananas are a cut above your average french toast topping, and you might want to add some berries or sliced melon.

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                    Get the recipe by Richa Hingle of Vegan Richa

                    10. Chunky Monkey Overnight Oats

                      This is a perfect post-dinner project and can set everyone up for a healthy and delicious breakfast to grab and go in the morning. Who knows, if they get hooked on it you could try to keep it going through the school year!

                      Get the recipe by Mel of A Virtual Vegan

                      11. Chocolate Cherry Nice Cream

                        With just four ingredients, this is the epitome of easy recipes for kids – and is so incredibly delicious! Cherries have such a rich flavor, and this will make for a supremely decadent dessert. Homemade ice cream without all the sugar and dairy is a totally healthy way to wind up the evening.

                        Get the recipe by Dianne Wenz of Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen

                        12. Watermelon Blueberry Salad

                          It’s not possible to get too much watermelon in the summer, and this easy fruit salad is so irresistible you may have to make this daily while it’s in season. With a zesty pop of flavor from mint and lime, this is a sure-fire winner.

                          Get the recipe by Amy Katz of Veggies Save the Day

                          13. No-Bake Chocolate Cereal Layer Cake

                            With just seven ingredients, this cake is easy enough for anyone to make. Adults will probably want to handle the frosting, but the cake itself is so simple.

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                            It looks so impressive that anyone would feel proud to have made it, and the kids will surely revel in presenting their creation to the table for a decadent dessert.

                            Get the recipe by Nicole Axworthy, for Nature’s Path

                            14. Almond Date No-Bake Cookies

                              These little guys are over-the-top cute, and Audrey gives so many images of ideas to try with this easy no-bake cookie base. From hedgehogs to stars to hearts to fish and beyond… Let your creative sides go wild, and see what you come up with!

                              Get the recipe by Audrey of Unconventional Baker

                              15. Healthy Snickers Ice Cream Bites

                                These look – and taste – so decadent that you wouldn’t believe how healthy these little bites are! With only four ingredients, they are incredibly easy to make.

                                Warning: they will likely become addictive to anyone who bites into one. Tempting thought it may be to make a giant batch, you may want to keep a limited supply on hand.

                                Get the recipe by Rhian of Rhian’s Recipes

                                Kitchen Tips for Kids

                                Obviously be careful with anything sharp, like knives and food processor blades, and anything hot, like a frying pan.

                                Kids might like wearing an apron to feel like a chef, and it will help keep clothes at least somewhat clean. They might even want to have an afternoon session to decorate their own special apron.

                                Even if they can’t yet do all the steps of a recipe themselves yet, involving them in the process shows them how their favorite treats come together. Giving them a taste for the abundant flavors of wholesome healthful foods early on helps to set kids up for healthy habits in the long term.

                                Making a mess in the kitchen is a rite of passage for any budding chef. But my dad always used to ask me when we finished any project what the most important part was. Cleaning up!

                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                More by this author

                                Heather Nicholds

                                A vegan, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and a food lover.

                                15 Easy Recipes for Kids That Don’t Require an Oven 15 Tasty Probiotic Drinks That Are Worth Trying for Better Digestive Health 17 Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for the Meat Lovers in Your Life 15 Benefits of Probiotics (And How to Find One That Actually Suits You)

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                                1 Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It 2 How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World After 40 3 What Causes Brain Fog? (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It) 4 How to Work Under Pressure so You Won’t Burn Yourself Out 5 Am I Burnt Out? 7 Signs That You Are and How to Bounce Back

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                                Published on November 14, 2018

                                Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                                For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                                In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                                Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                                Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                                It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                                For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                                Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                                Symptoms of Fatigue

                                Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                                • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                                • mental blocks
                                • lack of motivation
                                • headache
                                • dizziness
                                • muscle weakness
                                • slowed reflexes and responses
                                • impaired decision-making and judgement
                                • moodiness, such as irritability
                                • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                                • reduced immune system function
                                • blurry vision
                                • short-term memory problems
                                • poor concentration
                                • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                                Causes of Fatigue

                                The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                                • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                                • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                                • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                                • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                                Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                                Medical Causes of Fatigue

                                If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                                Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                                Anemia

                                Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                                Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                                There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                                Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                                Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                                This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                                Diabetes

                                Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                                Sleep Apnea

                                Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                                Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                                Thyroid disease

                                An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                                Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                                • Lack of sleep
                                • Too much sleep 
                                • Alcohol and drugs 
                                • Sleep disturbances 
                                • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                                • Poor diet 

                                Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                                • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                                • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                                • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                                • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                                Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                                Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                                • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                                • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                                • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                                How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                                Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                                1. Tell The Truth

                                Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                                To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                                Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                                The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                                One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                                • How you feel
                                • What time of day it is
                                • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                                • How your mind and body reacts

                                This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                                2. Reduce Your Commitments

                                When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                                If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                                When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                                Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                                3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                                If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                                Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                                If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                                Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                                Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                                4. Express More Gratitude

                                Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                                It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                                Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                                5. Focus On Yourself

                                Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                                There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                                But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                                We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                                6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                                Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                                Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                                The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                                Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                                7. Take a Power Nap

                                When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                                Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                                This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                                8. Take More Exercise

                                The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                                Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                                The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                                You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                                9. Get More Quality Sleep

                                To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                                Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                                My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                                10. Improve Your Diet

                                Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                                Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                                On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                                To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                                Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                                Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                                11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                                Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                                When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                                Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                                My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                                12. Get Hydrated

                                Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                                Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                                If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                                The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                                The Bottom Line

                                These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                                If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                                Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                                [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                                [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                                [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                                [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                                [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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