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Easy way to get children to eat fruits and veggies.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Gone for a minute now I’m back...ok, alright, let’s talk kids, food, and kids eating whole foods. Now I think we’re all aware now of the whole paycheck health grocery store, but I’m referring to whole foods as in foods with no processing or refinement; think farm, to store, to table. 
I’ve mentioned the elimination diet for Nori in the past, but from 2 years of age, we have gotten her to eat a very wide variety of fruits, grains and veggies. Though she may not like every single veggie (asparagus and mushroom are a def “eww”), our rule is try it before you knock it. 
As for Nate, I made everything I could steam, roast and purée for him and once it was time to chew everything he had an aversion with texture. From 1-2 he had a smoothie for breakfast 90% of the time because he wanted NO oats, pancakes/French toast/waffles, eggs, toast...anything textured. I felt like I was lost and he was going to starve (mom guilt), but I didn’t give up on him. 
**Even if you can only get them to eat fruits, there’s tons of vitamins and minerals they can get just as they would in veggies. 


For Nori to still love her healthy foods at school with onlookers and probably unfiltered words, I started to invest in cookie cutters, food pics, fun lunch notes by @lunchbox_love and silicone muffin cups. I wanted her to know and show her class mates, she enjoys eating those/these foods and healthy food can be fun and delicious! The same lunch tools and approach has helped get Nate to eat cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, kale, hummus and on. 


Noah is starting to eat some finger foods (he does not like anything wet so we have to feed him most fruits), but he loves to try everything (greedy butt) and ya starting to want to feed himself; cute but messy! 
I truly believe adding colors, different shape and textures and tools perfect for little hands, has made a world of a difference. And again, I don’t send Nori to school with almonds, avocado wraps, fruits galore and crinkle cut veggies to be made fun of (parents on a Food Network post made those claims and more). I want her to feel confident in her food choices when there’s colorful wrapped foods around her too: Gogurts, pouches and cookies (obviously these companies know shapes and colors have a psychological effect on the foods children eat too). 


But beware, I have mentioned Nate having  food aversions, but older children can develop them as well! Some of the foods Nori use to love and want are now resorted to, “no thank you’s”, and a screwed up face. She literally just wants rice and beans with avocado or pizza. I made roasted chickpea wraps for dinner and she hated it and Nate told me four times he loved it and I was the best mommy for making that for him! You win some, you lose some. But I won’t give up on her, never have, and you shouldn’t give up on your little one! Be mindful that some children can have sensory  sensitivity to foods and moderate to severe 
picky eating can be linked to anxiety or even depression. 
I share my lunch packing meals on my lunch account my  @packedandloaded and @kids.eat.in.color, @mylittleeater, and @babyfoodideas  (don’t let the name fool you, ideas are ideas). Even my friends over at @planterbox have tons of meal ideas. 


Remember, do your best, try to get them to help plan, wash and prep and even pack their meals, use colors and shapes, dips and spreads, and encourage them to try and don’t try to force it down their throat (pun intended).
Make healthy strides for you and your little one and if you try any of these tips with your little one or want to share your uphill little eater’s battle, I’m all ears! 


-XO Natasha 

6 Free and Fun Family Activities for the Weekend

Friday, February 22, 2019

I know I love doing things with my family 
and most of the time, if I’m not eating I’m spending moments with them! The mister will tell you I’m always looking for ways to have the most fun with the least amount of dollars, but I know some experiences come with a price tag!
 With so many ideas and places out there, it can get overwhelming and even with budgets, it can sometimes seem unattainable. Fun can happen with lots of laughs, creativity and genuine devotion to one another. 
Today I’m sharing some free, fun and family/oriented activities you can do with your tribe. 





Arts and Crafts
Make fun masks or crafts.  
Nate’s school project turned out to be a great moment for quality time with him and just daddy. We’ve made paper plate masks with the kids before and they loved it. The only downside was when we had to put them up. You can use empty cereal boxes, straws, construction paper, crayons and markers, craft supplies (I always get ours from the dolor store and sales at Micheal's or Hobby Lobby). You can even have some fun with food coloring and shaving cream!



Bored? Grab a board game 
We have acquired a stock thanks to sales during Black Friday or with miscellaneous money. We always try to get a new one during hurricane season if we’re expecting a direct hit because we don’t want to be stuck playing an old game by force. 


Singing Games
Finishing song lyrics (this is great idea for Family Worship nights with kingdom songs) or just shout words that come to mind after you stated another one. It’s a great way to be social, hear the creative things you or your child can come up with and laugh away at any silly melodies that come about. 


Walk in the Park
Take a stroll together. 
Our family picked Sunday to be active together for at least 20-30 minutes. We usually walk and the kids ride their scooters or run to and fro. 




Goods, Baked Goods
Make a dessert together. Life is sweeter when you bake together. 
It can be a quick açaí or smoothie bowl, quick half chocolate dipped banana or fruit bites, cookies or even a cake. Give everyone a task to help get the job done; someone can be in charge of reading (hey literacy skills), preparing the ingredients “mise en place” meets fine motor skills) and everybody is in charge of eating as enjoying a sweet treat. 



Library
A trip to your local library
The library always has tons of educational and free resources. 
There’s writing workshops, story time, hobby/craft classes, and I don’t have to mention books right? We easily spend at least and hour here and you and your family can together too! 


**Other activities can include: local free festivals, sprinklers in the back yard, pool or beach day, and even playing dress up. 
Inculcating a giving spirit from a young age is a great way to teach giving can be fun as well (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Gather up clothes and/or toys together to give to your local shelter and make sure the whole family is involved. Evening writing thank you cards or drawing appreciation cards for close and far loved ones, who could use encouragement or a sweet reminder they are loved.

The key is to use what you have on hand and improvise, and remember, have fun!
I hope you guys have a productive and eventful filled weekend. 
What do you and the family have planned? 


-xo Natasha 

8 children’s books with black main characters

Friday, February 1, 2019

All book covers were found on Amazon

From a young age, I loved to read! My mom said 
she would read to me while I was still a bun in the oven, and would show me pictures. For one, she knew I could NOT see them, but I’m down for the effort my teenage mom made to make me appreciate a good read.  

Now as a mother, I’ve done my best to plant the avid reader seed and hope they continue to love indulging in written texts and travel into adventure right from the palms of their hands! 

It’s important that children, and adults, see themselves in places we all belong. Whether it’s in science, two parent homes, and lands far, far, away. 


Here are 8 black and brown-kid friendly books we love. Beautifully illustrated and captivating for the young to old; we hope one of these find a way into your home library. Every child should own a book that looks like them and/or the people around them.  

Ada Twist, Scientist
By Andrea Beaty 


Who’s more curious and inquisitive than your child? I’m pretty sure you’ll be bias and say no one. For those STEM girls or little person who never gives up no matter the trial
and countless errors, they can embark on Ada’s scientific journey with her in the playful and supportive read.


Last Stop on Market Street 
By Matt De La Peña

Our son is all about transpiration vehicles, adventure and family time, so just by the cover, he wanted to read along. Community, family, and values, is always something worth reading about. 



Mae Among the Stars 
By Roda Ahmed 

It’s not rocket science, but this book is perfect for little ones with a big heart and big dreams. Mae Jemison, was the first African American woman to travel in space, but not the only one to believe in herself and shoot for the stars. Even if your little one doesn’t want to be an astronaut, but is one of many who is marveled by space, this could be your next bedtime story. 

Mary Had a Little Glam 
By Tami Sauer 

This little girl reminded me of my daughter. Full of life, outgoing, upbeat, bold style and cheerful. 
This is definitely the read to help encourage your little
reader to be who they are have fun while doing it. 

Full, Full, Full of Love 
By Trish Cooke 

Think Grandma’s love and her Sunday home cooking! The young boy goes over to his grandma’s house for Sunday supper and can’t help but ask over and over when dinner will be ready. Immediate and extended family gather together to eat soul food until they are full, full, full. 
Everyone loves nostalgic comfort food, their grandma, and 
a heartwarming read. 



Chocolate Me! 
By Taye Diggs 

Looking  different than the other kids and then being made in front of for it, is not easy feat for a young one. If your little is having a rough time “fitting in” at school, or needs to be remind how wonderfully made and beautiful they are, this book can help! 


Please, Baby, Please
By Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis

Cute little book that will have your baby, saying “Baby, Baby” as you rad along. A reminder of the upside moments of an expressive and energetic toddler and easy for new readers to follow along with. 


I Like Myself 
By Karen Beaumont 

Children’s need all the encouragement they can get and loving themselves from an early age is very important. Whether their hair is way down there or high in the air. Silly, carefree, who cares if they stare! 
The main character is sure to give the reader a confidence boost too all while being her child-like self.  




Encourage your young one(s) to read, dream and keep learning! 

                                  Libraries...house our dreams.                                 
-Nikki Giovanni



-xo Natasha 
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