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Picky Eater Solutions

For picky eating toddlers, mealtime can be a struggle. This simple toddler lunch solution is an fun and easy way to get your eating well. Mom win!

Tasting trays…baby bento boxes…nibble trays. Whatever you want to call them, they are simply awesome. And easy.

Here’s what you do: take an ice cube tray and fill it with a bunch of different finger foods. Watch as your child eats more that you’ve seen in weeks. Seriously. Kids pretty much empty their trays almost every time.

I love that it’s a great way to make sure we get all the food groups, use up leftovers in the fridge, and introduce the boys to new foods in small (less scary) portions. Here are the foods I put in one of our trays last week:

 

 

My favorite toddler lunch solution

Nutrition for Mental Health

Have you ever wondered how your physical well-being is connected and impacted by your mental well-being, and vice versa? This blog post will explore this undeniable interconnection and outline 7 distinct ways that your physical health is connected to your mental health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Let’s explore this concept by identifying 7 ways that physical health is connected to mental health. As you read through each category, think of how your own mind-body connection either negatively impacts on your life or enhances your well-being.
7 Foods that Relieve Anxiety and Depression Your diet – what you eat, when and how much – can definitely affect both how you look and FEEL! The right foods, herbs and vitamins can cause you to feel energized, confident, happy and help you think clearly. Or… They can cause you to feel #anxiety, #panicattacks, “moodiness”, decreased energy levels and even cause #depression.
Super foods to help manage your mood! Incorporating more of the these foods to your diet increases your serotonin levels and boosts your wellness.
The mind-body connection is shown to be true through research evidence and this article outlines 7 areas that your physical health is connected to your mental health.
7 Ways Your Physical Health is Connected to Your Mental Health including: nutrition, hydration, exercise, sleep, substance use, illness, and social well-being.
http://organicdigest.net/good-nutrition-for-kids-to-keep-them-strong-and-healthy/
https://www.heatherleguilloux.ca/blog/7-ways-your-physical-health-is-connected-to-your-mental-health

3 Tips for All Ages on Getting Better Sleep

Written & Submitted by: Julia Merrill

3 Tips for All Ages on Getting Better Sleep

 

According to Neil Howe at Forbes.com, we are a sleep-deprived nation, spending too much time at night gazing at computer or tablet or smartphone screens, over-caffeinating ourselves and our kids, staying up too late to catch who’s on our favorite TV shows, then getting jolted awake five hours later to start the next day. Not only does lack of sleep cause us to feel grumpy and tired much of the time, it affects us in so many other ways, including increased blood pressure and a weakened immune system. In addition, it also affects our release of insulin as well as our balance and coordination.

 

Adults aren’t the only ones affected by sleep deprivation. It affects our children too. They can be harder to wake up in the mornings (more so than usual), become more accident prone, and can have difficulty focusing and applying themselves at school. Clearly, lack of sleep affects everybody, not only the ones who are sleep-deprived but also employers (from a lack of worker productivity or accidents on the job) and educators (students falling asleep in class or getting behind in their schoolwork), just to name a few. With so many sleep-deprived people, it’s no wonder there seem to be coffee shops on every street corner.

 

Clearly, lack of sleep is a problem for everyone. Here are some ways you can make sure everyone in your family gets plenty of quality sleep, which can give children a boost of energy to do well in school and adults plenty of energy to make it through the workday.

 

  1. Improve Your Mattress and Pillows

According to The Huffington Post, new beds can result in a significant decrease in stress levels. If you’re still sleeping on the same mattress you had when you moved into your first apartment, it’s time to change. Invest in a quality mattress and box spring set. You can save money in the long run by purchasing a platform bed so that you only need to purchase a mattress. When you test drive a mattress at the store, check its firmness and notice how it supports pressure points on your hips and your back. Pillows are a matter of personal choice and comfort, but if yours is as flat as a table, it’s time to replace it. The Sleep Doctor states that the best type of pillow supports your head, neck, and shoulders, and matches the feel of your mattress.

 

  1. Darken the Bedrooms

 

Having lots of windows to let in the light is a great thing for a house – during the day. At night, you don’t want glow from streetlights or headlights of cars, or from your neighbors’ houses coming into your bedrooms. To prevent that, invest in a set of blackout curtains or heavier blinds. Be careful, though. Blackout curtains can prevent natural sunlight from coming in as well, and that can upset your body’s natural circadian rhythm. So be sure to separate them enough to let in daylight

 

  1. Minimize the Distractions (and the Caffeine)

Make a household rule that all phones, tablets, laptops and TVs  must be turned off two hours before bed. If the adults are taking online classes or have important work deadlines, consider extending that by an hour. All of these devices emit what’s called “blue light,” which our brain interprets as daylight. If you need to, keep all household cell phones in one location during “device curfew.” Keep one available for emergency only. If you use your phone as your alarm clock, keep it away from your nightstand but loud enough so you can hear the alarm. Also, try to avoid caffeinated beverages approximately six hours before you go to bed. That might put a crimp in your normal caffeine intake, but it also might help you sleep better.

 

If we minimize distractions, cut back on our caffeine intake, and improve our bedding and bedrooms, we can become more restful, healthy, and energetic people.

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

Julia Merrill Bio:

Julia Merrill has many years of experience in the medical field and runs the site BefriendYourDoc.org.
Julia’s mission is to close the gap between medical providers and their patients, and aims to provide tips on finding the right medical care, health insurance, etc.

 

Struggle with anxiety?

Learn how to re-balance your hormones, address nutritional deficiencies, and fix the issue long-term. Bonus: Free printable that simplifies natural remedies for anxiety — including a supplement routine, what you should and shouldn’t eat, and more.

There are no quick fixes here.  The goal of all of this is to adjust your brain chemistry so you legitimately no longer have a problem, not just mask brain chemistry so you no longer realize that you do.  There are usually several steps…and I don’t even have it all figured out yet.  It’s a complex change.

Anxiety has to do with the fight-or-flight reaction, but is also a complex mix of dopamine, adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol, serotonin and more.  Fixing the hormonal cocktail is no easy task.  Plus, some of it is happening because of vitamin or mineral deficiencies, or bad bacteria in the gut.  Like I said — complex.

http://modernalternativehealth.com/2015/11/11/natural-remedies-for-anxiety/

 

The benefits of drinking more water

Feeling thirsty? Then it’s already too late. Your body is already in the early stages of dehydrated.

The Benefits of Drinking more Water

So, what does this mean? Why should we drink more water?

  1. Lose Weight. Water plays an important role in weight loss and weight maintenance in a number of ways. Keeping hydrated decreases food cravings. Often we think we are hungry, when actually all we need is a big drink of water. Along with containing zero calories, drinking water also increases our energy levels and metabolism. Don’t just take my word for it, though, here’s the research done on over 18,000 adults.   It’s Nature’s ready mixed diet drink.
  2. Reduced Allergies. Your lungs are moistened by water. Water helps you breathe. When dehydrated, your body will restrict the width of your airways to conserve water loss.  When you don’t drink enough water, your histamine levels increase as the body loses water. This can lead to increased allergy reactions and asthma.
  3. Prevent cancer. Research suggests that staying hydrated can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45%5, bladder cancer by 50%6, and possibly reduce breast cancer risk as well.7  Keeping our cells hydrated means that they can effectively transport nutrients in and toxic waste out of our body.
  4. Be less grumpy. Your brain tissue is 75% water. When you’re not properly hydrated, your brain operates on less fuel and efficiency. You can feel drained, or experience fatigue or mood fluctuations. Research says dehydration can affect your mood and make you cranky and confused. Hmm. I think  I may know a few people who  live their life in a permanent state of thirst.
  5. Perform better. Dehydration can lead to weakness, muscle fatigue, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalance. Keeping our body hydrated means an increase in energy and plays an important part in maintaining muscle tone and increasing the production of new blood and muscle cells.
  6. Get Smarter. Drinking 8 – 10 cups of water a day can increase your cognitive abilities by as much as 30%. The reason for this is that the more water your brain has, the more oxygen it can receive – which is what keeps it functioning at its best.
  7. Save Money. Save money by not having to buy soda and other sugary drinks.
  8. No more Cavities. It’s better for your teeth and that means fewer fillings and fewer dentist bills. All of my children are cavity free. As in NO CAVITIES at all. The only thing I put it down to is the fact that we don’t drink soda, but we all drink water every day.
  9. Pain free Joints. Drinking water can reduce pain in your joints by keeping the cartilage soft and hydrated. The leading supplement taken for joint pain is glucosamine. This works by aiding in cartilage’s absorption of water.
  10. Detox Our digestive system needs water to function properly. Our body flushes out waste by urinating and sweat. Both of these processes only work with hydration. If we don’t flush out waste and bacteria, these toxins collect in our our body.
  11. Youthful looking skin. Forget expensive face creams.  Regular and plentiful water consumption can improve the color and texture of your skin by getting rid of toxins and improving the flow of blood to the skin. Our skin cells have a 2 – 3 weeks lifespan. We are constantly making new cells to replace the dead ones. Keeping our body hydrated means that the new cells can be built properly. Water plays an important role in keeping cells firm, allowing for firmer, tauter youthful looking skin.
  12. Pimple free face. If your teenager has a problem skin with breakouts and redness, you will be amazed at the difference this little change will make. Watch this video on what 30 days of drinking water does to this woman’s skin. 

 

http://www.cleaneatingwithkids.com/dehydration-making-sick-fat/