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15 Fun And Healthy Recipes For Parents To Cook With Their Kids

15 Fun And Healthy Recipes For Parents To Cook With Their Kids

As summer approaches, the days get longer; so your child will be playing outside more and more often! We have found some great recipies to give your child more energy to run around while keeping it healthy!

1. Raw Sesame Seed Bars
raw-sesame-seed-bar-recipe-image-1

    These natural bars are simple and easy to make while also great fun for your little one to help make with you! We all know how much kids like cooking! These bars use ingredients which are easy to source, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen. The recipe doesn’t require any equipment, which means it’s easy to make in big bunches—so you can invite all your kids’ friends over and make lots of bars! This is not only a healthy and fun thing for all the kids to do, but also gives them more confidence in the kitchen. It’s a nice thing to do for the holidays or over the weekend!

    http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-sesame-seed-bar-recipe

    2. Raw Chocolate Shake
    raw-chocolate-shake-recipe-image-1

      Who doesn’t like chocolate? It’s the secret indulgence that no one admits out loud they have too much of. But deep down, we know we could cut back!

      Well guess what? Kids also love chocolate! So why not incorporate some hidden fruit in there too? The Raw Chocolate Shake is your answer!

      This shake is super easy to make. The recipe says to add banana, but you can experiment with different ingredients. Just throw everything into the blender and you’re done! What’s not to like? Even better, it can be chilled to cool you down in the summer heat.

      http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-chocolate-shake-recipe

      3. Raw Chocolate Avocado Pudding
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        Yes. Another chocolate recipe. Don’t get too excited! It has hidden avocado in it—but shhh! Don’t tell the kids!

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        This is another throw-it-in-the blender recipe which is great to do with the kids (watch out for fingers).

        http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-chocolate-avocado-pudding-recipe

        4. Spicy Mixed-Potato Wedges
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          Who said chips weren’t healthy? This recipe is a bit more technical, but it can be done! These wedges open up the door to new spices and tastes for your little one, as well as showing them that there are healthier alternatives to the bad, but good-tasting foods in life.

          http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/smoky-mixed-potato-wedges/#VLiOw17yLpLUvtmP.97

          5. One-cup Pancakes with Blueberries
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            Pancakes? Who said that?

            Pancakes. I mean, who doesn’t like pancakes? Throw in some blueberries and you’ve even got fruit in there! Share your love for pancakes with this easy-to-follow recipe that your child can help out with!

            These pancakes aren’t the healthiest on the list, but after all your hard work throughout the rest of the week making these tasteful treats, they aren’t too bad!

            http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/one-cup-pancakes-with-blueberries/

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            6. Mint and Fruit Smoothie
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              Just imagine—you’re sat in the garden as the sun beats down on you, your kid is playing in the pool and you reach to your right; not to pick up your phone, but your cold smoothie! This Mint and Fruit Smoothie is a fun thing to make with your kids! It’s a healthy alternative to a coke in the fridge and is packed with vitamins and other good stuff. The mint is sure to keep you feeling fresh and ready to play football once your kid has had enough of the water! Your child will also enjoy the refreshing taste of this blended drink!

              http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Mint-and-Fruit-Smoothie/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=15096

              7. BLT Salad
              450720

                Ah, the classical BLT, something which is in some people’s everyday routine! Well, now you and your kid can make a more summer-oriented salad! This salad is easy to make, not needing a lot of ingredients to make a healthy and tasteful lunch. It doesn’t need much preparation, and your child will feel involved when they can cut the tomatoes (with supervision) or even just wash the salad! There are many ways for them to get involved in making this lunch for themselves or for all the guests when they come around!

                http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/BLT-Salad/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=15096

                8. Broccoli, Rice, Cheese, and Chicken Casserole
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                  Greens. The one thing your child turns their nose up at. But with this recipe, you can prove that not all green things have to taste bad!

                  No, I’m not talking about adding green food dye to a cake.

                  I’m talking about this healthy casserole which your kid can help you prepare! This recipe is a bit more complex and boosts your kids’ confidence in the kitchen dramatically! Help show them that being healthy can also be tasty with this recipe!

                  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Broccoli-Rice-Cheese-and-Chicken-Casserole/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=15096

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                  9. Extra Easy Hummus
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                    Well, it’s in the name isn’t it? Why not introduce your kid to new flavors and textures with this easy-to-make hummus! The simplicity might just shock them, while they might shock you by dipping some carrot sticks into it! It’s a perfect side with any of the other recipes listed or as a small snack.

                    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Extra-Easy-Hummus/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=15096

                    10. Smoothie Ice Lollies
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                      Perhaps you loved a smoothie already listed? Or you just want to try a different one? You can say no to the ice cream van and make your own ice lollies with your kid! These lollies are super easy to make and the result can be very tasty but also very door-opening! You can try new fruits in these lollies and experiment, meaning you’re also experimenting with your kids’ food pallet and exposing them to new things that they may not have tried on their own!

                      http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/smoothie-ice-lollies/#lxAMwDy40tzlezXq.97

                      11. Mango Cooler
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                        This mango cooler is easy to make and has many purposes, whether you and your kid want to sit out in the garden and enjoy this drink or want to cool your mouth from that spicy meal you just had. It’s a great and easy thing to make during the summer. Your child can help out in numerous ways and enjoy the sweet product at the end!

                        http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/mango-cooler/#dURdWQvlH6Closcs.97

                        12. Root Vegetable Salad
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                          Who said eating vegetables were boring? With this tasty salad you can impress your little one by peeling vegetables into thin strips. These strips can be made into a variety of different sizes and even shapes! If your kid can’t fully see what he’s eating..what is there to say no to? This salad is a different approach to introducing your little one to more vegetables, and it’s super easy to make! Perhaps mix this salad with that Extra Easy Hummus? That would make for a tasty summery lunch!

                          http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/root-vegetable-salad/#xfwDt5esO4MeosIJ.97

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                          13. Banana Bread
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                            Banana bread—perhaps not one of the healthiest ways to get fruit into you and your child, but it’s certainly a nice way to do it! This is something a bit different that you could try with your kid! Walking down by the river and feeding the ducks some normal bread while basking in the sun and eating your banana bread you just baked that morning? How nice would that be? This recipe isn’t too tricky, but it will amaze your little one! Baking still amazes me sometimes!

                            http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/banana-bread/#GF8PPKOxsv98BvZH.97

                            14. Super Smoothies
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                              Full of different fruits, these smoothies are a great way to start your day or to impress guests who come over for a barbecue! The recipe is flexible for other fruits too, so you can experiment and make some great and refreshing drinks! All of the smoothies listed are an easy thing to make with your little one, but also a great way to get more fruit in them than they realize!

                              http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/super-smoothies/#bVtj07xHR0jz3yXG.97

                              15. Crunchy Chicken Pieces with Yogurt Dip
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                                Just chicken nuggets, right? That’s what you can show your kid as they breadcrumb the chicken! It’s easy to get your kid involved in this recipe, since there are several things you can let them do to help you out. It comes with a side of herby yogurt and some fresh tomatoes.

                                http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/crunchy-chicken-pieces-with-a-herby-yoghurt-dip/#2JZhyryefqRoZXpl.97

                                I hope you have found some nice things you can make with your kids! Enjoy the time you spend with them and enjoy the food you make!

                                Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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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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