The Secret to Healthy Kids

The Secret to Healthy Kids

The Secret to Healthy Kids All Parents Should Know

+ How to empower kids to make healthy decisions printout

 

Imagine baking bread, but, you forget to add the flour?

It would be a bit of a flop.

Flour is the ingredient that is the crux of a tasty loaf of bread.

And there is a secret, no one talks about that is the crux of having a healthy, thriving kid. 

Do you want to know what it is?

The one thing above all else to concentrate on as a parent that would help your child be the healthiest they can be?

Take care of their Gut (and teach your child to take care of their Gut).

Your child’s gut is where 80% of their immune system lies (1). It is where hormones are made (2), it is where the outside world meets their inside world.

Without a healthy gut, you cannot have a healthy child.

 

In this blog, you will get an introduction to:

  1. Why Digestive Health Matters in Kids
  2. How your kid’s Microbiome affects their health
  3. How to empower your kids to make healthy choices 
  4. What foods Nourishes their gut and kid-friendly ways to get them into your child. 

AND a FREE HANDOUT is included… so keep reading. 

 

Why Digestive Health Matters in Kids

Gut. Aka, Microbiome, Microbiota, Digestive System or Colon. While all of these words have their own specific definition, for ease I will use these words to refer to the part of the large intestine where loads of bacteria are housed.

Your child’s microbiota is located at the end of their digestive system, in their large colon.

The microbiome refers to the millions of bacteria that live inside the digestive system.

We, as humans, have more bacteria cells in us than we do human cells.

Lots more.

Look at your hand… If your hand represented how many bacteria and human cells you have in your body combined, the area of your pinky is human, and the rest of your hand is bacteria.

If I compared you to me,  99.9% of our genetic material is exactly the same… but our microbiome is probably 99.9% different.

Our differences, the difference between a constantly sick child and a thriving child has more to do what is in ones microbiome than a genetic difference.

 

Ok, I know what your thinking…

Isn’t bacteria bad?

That’s why we sterilise all our baby toys, why we wash our hands with antibacterial soap and why we take antibiotics when we are sick…

It was once thought we were doing good by living in a bacteria-free world… but time for an upgrade in our thinking…

Not all bacteria are bad… you would be very sick if you didn’t have any bacteria.

Your child needs bacteria not only to thrive but to survive.

Learning to take care of these bacteria located in the Gut will help your child be the healthiest they can be.

I like to think of them as a pet that lives inside me. In our house, we call them ‘gutties’. I have taught my kids that they need to take care of their gutties if they want to stay healthy – below I’ll show you how to do the same for your kids.

 

How Micbotiotia an Affect Your Kids Health

Our understanding of how these little guys affect us is growing daily. What we know,  as of today is;

Gutties are involved in:

  • Gut maturation
  • Education of the immune system
  • Protection against harmful virus and bacteria
  • Influencing brain activity
  • Affecting metabolism
  • Absorption of vitamins and minerals

What this means for your growing child is that their microbiome (Gut) can influence:

  • Your child’s life-long health
  • Your child’s risk of food allergies and autoimmune disease
  • How often they get sick
  • Your child’s risk of developing obesity, heart disease & cancer later in life
  • Your child’s behaviour
  • Your child’s cognitive development (IQ)
  • Your child’s energy levels

This list will keep getting longer with more research.

So, if you want to have thriving, healthy kids…

Then the way to those healthy kids is through their Gut. Teaching your kids to take care of their gutties is a gift that keeps giving.

 

How to Empower Kids to Make Healthy Choices

To help kids understand something it is easier for them if they can ‘see’ it.

Below is how to explain microbiome (or ‘gutties’ as we call them in our house) to kids.

Explain the below to your kids, then, during dinner concentrate on how feeding gutties with food ‘tastes amazing.’  These two strategies are magical ingredients when empowering kids to make healthy choices for themselves.

(Please excuse my drawings, it’s a skill I am working on!)

Below is a printable version… Feel free to print it out and if you want to share it on your social media feel free… the more parents explaining this to kids, the more empowered generation we will have.

Note: The whole point of explaining this to kids is so that you put the idea in their heads that when they eat they are not only eating for themselves, but for their ‘pet’… their “gutties”. 

Get FREE Printouts of the list of foods that are good for gutties AND  kid-friendly ideas to serve it.

FYI 

The best way to look after ‘gutties’ is with diet.

It only takes 24 hours of eating a better diet for your child’s microbiome to change.

So read the list below and start making plans of how you can get foods good for gutties into your kid’s diet…

And remember, changing diet is not an overnight process… small sustained changes over time makes huge gains.

Is your Child in their first 1,000 days?

During your child first 1,000 days their gut is maturing. The more you can do to feed their gutties either through breastmilk or feeding their gutties when you introduce solids and beyond, the better they will be off when they grow up.

Sign up to my FIRST foods free email course if your in the introducing foods stage.

Also as a life-style hint, let you baby play in sand and dirt, adpot a dog. A little dirt is perfect for your child’s developing gut.

What Food Nourishes Gutties?

When it comes to encouraging people to change their diet, I am a big fan of ‘adding in’ rather than taking out.

So, concentrate on the three general food groups that nourish gutties. By eating more of these foods, you will crowd out the other foods that do not nourish gutties.

The three groups are Soluble fibre, Pre-biotics Foods and Probiotic foods.

Want a quick way to help gutties flourish?

If it gets too overwhelming of what specific foods to eat… then the quick way is to think unrefined plant base diversity (aka as many different plants as possible) – we often count how many unrefined plant-based foods we have eaten in a day. It has been a great way for my kids to ‘try’ the new food on their plates. 

Foods High in Soluble Fibre

Some of the top soluble fibre foods include raw oats, lentils, beans, avocados, kumara (sweet potato), broccoli, pears, pumpkin, spinach, carrots and apples, broccoli, pears, flaxseed and sunflower.

 

Soluble Fibre Foods for Kids?

To add more fibre to your family’s diet, try Bircher muesli made with kefir for breakfast. Or when you do you next Lasagne or Chili, swap ½ the mince for lentils — snack on carrots with hummus or fruit instead of crackers & muesli bars. Small changes can make a big difference.

You can also use smoothies to your advantage, make the base either kefir or coconut water and add in greenish banana and or berries to help make it palatable for your kids then put some spinach and ground flaxseeds. It’s a fun way to feed their gutties while feeding themselves while eating a diversity of plant-based foods.

 

Foods High in Prebiotics 

Prebiotic foods feed your microbiome.  It’s like putting fertilizer on a plant. These foods will help your microbiota to thrive.  Foods high in prebiotics include garlic, onions, leek, green banana’s, apple, seaweed,  sweet potato, asparagus, almonds, cinnamon and turmeric.

 

Pre-biotic foods for Kids?

To add more of these to your family’s diet try blending onions or leeks into your next meal – kids sometimes can take a bit to enjoy the texture of onions, so blend them up instead. The more they have meals with onion and garlic blended in, the more your kids will be exposed to this food and therefore the more likely they will willingly to accept onions not blended down the track.

For lunch, you can make some rice balls that they can wrap with the small packets of seaweed. The cooked and cooled rice and seaweed is a double whammy of goodness for your little one’s gutties.

 

Note: make sure the seaweed is made with olive oil and not canola or sunflower oil.

Foods High in Probiotics

Probiotic foods are foods that contain live bacteria. These bacteria will enhance your child’s microbiome. Foods that are fermented, cultured or Lacto-fermented all have live bacteria. Specific foods include fermented vegetables, cultured dairy and some Japanese favourites.

 

Probiotic Foods for Kids?

Cultured (fermented) vegetables:

Any vegetables… Sauerkraut, fermented kumara & kimchi are a few that can be made kid-friendly.

If I had a magic wand that granted every parent the ability to make one recipe, do you know what that recipe would be?

Sauerkraut.

This recipe is the kid-friendly version that after a bit of training their taste buds, your kids will love eating. Sauerkraut is the one constant in my kid’s lunch box; they love teaching their class-mates and teachers about sauerkraut.

For more ideas of how to introduce Fermented Foods to kids check out this guest blog.

Fermented Dairy:

Kefir and natural yoghurts. You can buy both of these at the supermarket – make sure they are not loaded with sugars or sweeteners – even better is if they have been cultured rather than yoghurt with live cultures added in at the end.

If in doubt, go for the natural, no added sugar/sweetener varieties.

Smoothies are great ways to get this probiotic into your kid’s diet – for a simple recipe blend 1 cup of kefir with ½ banana, add in a pinch of cinnamon or a dash of vanilla and you have an easy banana milkshake kids will love.  (if the bananas are green then this will add a good dose of prebiotics as well!)

 

Japanese Favourites:

Miso and natto, two popular foods.

Are you getting sushi for lunch? Order a miso soup to go with it. Natto is more of an acquired taste, but with some taste, training is an excellent way to start the day.

Get FREE Printouts of the list of foods that are good for gutties AND  kid-friendly ideas to serve it.

Taking care of gutties and feeding you kids foods that nourish their gutties will be of massive benefit for your kids, both for now but also their life-long health.

So get on it today… I love the saying 

Either easy now, hard later on or a challenge now and easier later on.

 

Overview of The Secret to Healthy Kids

Gut health is the crux of health, like flour, is the crux of bread.

If you want to have a healthy child but it seems like there are 101 things you could be doing… Stop.

Just do one thing…

Concentrate on feeding your kids gutties with soluble fibre rich foods as well as pre and probiotic-rich foods. If you teach them that they have a pet inside them called gutties that will help them flourish, even better.

Feeling overwhelmed?

Pick on thing to do, get ingredients to have a smoothie as a snack this week, try Bircher muesli, throw away the cracker and chips as snacks and replace it with fruit or even start experimenting with your family “vegetable sides” at dinner times.

Just do one thing until that is your family’s new normal and build from there.

If you’re overwhelmed because you cannot remember what specific foods are good for gutties… Just think plant-based foods that are unrefined: vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains AND think as many varieties as possible… so start again with one meal or one food which you d0n’t normally cook and go from there. 

 

So, if you want healthy kids?

Think

Feed yourself, Feed your Gutties.  And teach them to feed their gutties while you’re at it.

What food or recipe will you introduce to your kids today or tomorrow?

Wal

 

The Secret to Healthy Kids

+ How to empower kids to make healthy decisions printout

 

Baby Health Tips

Baby Health Tips

Baby Health Tips

 

How to Raise A Healthy Child: from New-born to Toddler

Imagine raising a baby with eczema-free skin, no food allergies and little or no ear infections.

Imagine that baby being a toddler who stays healthy even after starting pre-school.

Imagine a child that is fit, active and doesn’t get the snuffles their classmates get.

Good health and a strong immune system are not for the lucky few. Good health is within every baby and child’s grasp.

And, to make it easier for you as a parent… there is a secret.  Focus on one key aspect and health will follow..

What is that one key focus?

Gut Health for Kids.

The Best Baby Health Tip you will Get

Imagine a thriving garden. Lots of beautifully scented flowers – roses, tulips and sunflowers; flourishing vegetables – cauliflower, broccoli and tomatoes.

What is the foundation of that thriving garden?

The soil.

And, without the right soil, you could plant a 1000 flowers or 2000 vegetables, but none of them would grow.

It’s the work a gardener puts into the soil that enables the garden to flourish and thrive.

So, like the soil is the foundation of a thriving garden – Gut health is the foundation of a baby’s health, both now and in their future.

 

NOTE: if you are wondering what this means for you if you have health issues… I think health similar to being dealt a hand of cards.  You have got your cards, nothing you can do to change that… BUT, you want to play one heck of a hand. Eating well, sleeping and moving the pillars to play that hand of cards well.

 

A Baby’s Gut Development –
the secret to long-term health

In your baby’s first 1,000 days their gut is still maturing.

Think of this time as the time a gardener puts into the soil. If a gardener puts effort into making that soil the healthiest it can be, when they eventually plant a seedling – that seedling will thrive with a little sun and rain. If a gardener doesn’t spend any time nurturing that soil, after planting their seedlings they will have to put sprays and insect controls to help keep that plant growing.
When you nurture your baby’s gut development in their 1st 1,000 days they will thrive and flourish – they will be ‘those kids who never get sick’.


Why are your baby’s 1st 1,000 days important?

This is the window when your baby’s gut lining and gut bacteria balance is developing.  Reaching maturity around their 3rd birthday.

After age three, your little one’s gut bacteria becomes stable. 

Their quality of life will be affected by what bacteria they are exposed to, or,  not exposed to in their first 1,000 days.

Gut bacteria balance is one piece of the puzzle linked to childhood and adult diseases.

Early good bacteria exposure playing a role in three main areas of development. Digestive, Immune and Brain development.

 

1. Digestion and metabolism

Gut bacteria play a key role in normal bone, growth and body development.

Meaning, what happens now in their gut will play a role in your baby’s

  • body shape – their risk of developing obesity in childhood or later.
  • development of strong bones… or not.
  • ability to absorb nutrients from foods, or not.
  • growth, or lack of growth

 

2. Immune System

Gut bacteria play a key role in training your little one’s immune system. This will then affect their short term and long-term health.

Meaning, what happens now in their gut will play a role in

  • How sick they are as a baby and child. From food allergies, skin rashes such as eczema, to ear infections and ‘acute sickness’.
  • How sick they will be as an adult. With gut bacteria being a piece of a puzzle in the formation of adult diseases such as autoimmune, diabetes, obesity, cancer, even heart disease

 

3. Brain and Neurological development

Gut bacteria play a key role in not only their mood but how they react to life situations.

Meaning, what happens now in their gut will play a role in

  • Your baby’s temperament.
  • Your child’s behaviour and ability to throw tantrums.
  • Your precious one’s moods, from depression to anxiety (now and later on)
  • Your little one’s ability to concentrate, learning now and later when in school.

 

Take a pause for all of that to sink in.

Overwhelmed? I was when this was brought to my attention.

But…  there are some simple things that can be done.

7 Baby Health Tips

 

  1. Your health during pregnancy
  2. Mode of delivery
  3. Breastfeeding
  4. Antibiotic exposure
  5. Diet
  6. Lifestyle

These topics will be covered more in part II of this blog…

So make sure you check out part II where you will learn more specifics in how you as a parent or parent to be can maximise this window.

1. HealthIER at Conception

The best gift you can give your future children is to be in the best health possible your-self before being pregnant or during pregnancy.

Fathers-to-be take note as well. A dad’s health at conception plays a role in how healthy that child will be.

So,

If you’re wanting to be pregnant soon or you are pregnant now – Be the best health you can be.

This will be different for everyone as your microbiome was laid down years ago.

But, all is not lost.

Health is not all or nothing. There are varying levels of ‘fitness’.  I can be fitter than I am, just like I can eat healthier than I do right now… doesn’t make me not fit or not healthy.

Become a healthier, (emphasis on health-IER) version of yourself.

Start today by looking at your diet, or maybe it’s more fresh air and movement you need?

Small steps count, when becoming healthIER.

If you’re having five coffee’s a day – try for one less a day.

Is it easy to add in a vegetable or two for breakfast?

Snack on fruit rather than the bakery twice a week.

Invest in a fun drink bottle and leave that in your car or at your desk, to help your drink more water

Find one small thing you can do today or this week and start there. Once that is down as your new habit… choose another

If you’re relatively healthy, do yourself a favour and introduce foods that will be good for your gut…

Pre-biotic and Pro-biotic foods

Download mazing-microbiome-foods list and eat foods which will help you to get your gut in a better shape… This will be helping your baby or baby-to-be.

 

Also, make sure you are eating plenty of insoluble-fibre rich foods:

The easiest way is to base your meals around vegetables… all meals, even breakfast.

Don’t go past making small changes. They add up.

Again, to let it sink in…

What is one step can you do today to become healthier?

2. HealthIER During Pregnancy

“You can eat what you want your pregnant”.

Over four pregnancies this has been said to me too many times to count

If you concentrate just on weight, I can see how one could think this.

But, health is more than weight.. Especially when pregnant.

If you are pregnant or will be in the future, think of pregnancy as the one time when what you eat will play a HUGE role in your little-one-to-be health at birth and health when they are an adult.

So, if you are pregnant right now become a healthIER version of yourself day by day.  Even if it is getting more fresh air. Your baby’s health will benefit enormously.

 

3. Mode of Delivery

Nature didn’t get it wrong.

When a baby comes down the birth canal they get a huge dose of beneficial bacteria. From both the birth canal and the door next to the birth canal.

The differences in the microbiome of infants born via C-section v’s birth canals is huge.

So, if you are going to choose, the best start is coming down the tunnel nature intended.

However.

Sometimes you don’t get to choose.

Or, sometimes a previous birth has left you in a state of shock when thinking about labour and a C-section feels like the safest option.

If you are planning a C-Section or have to have one after being in labour… this happens, the best thing you can do is ‘Seed’ your baby.  This requires taking swabs from your vagina and rubbing in on your baby’s skin.

Sounds gross.

But, get your head around it.

It will help your baby and their future health.

As part of your birth plan make sure your midwife, partner and or doctor knows that you want this done.

A heads-up.  This is relatively new, so don’t expect your doctor or midwife to know about Seeding. It may be your job to help teach them how ‘beneficial’ it is.

 

4. Breastfeeding

Imagine…

Stumbling on an elixir that would guarantee better life-long health. You would drink it, right? You would possibly cross over the mountains to get it?

Exclusively breastfeeding for 6months is that elixir for babies.

Breastmilk is teaming with HMO; Human Milk Oligosaccharides. These little gems cannot be replicated by science and are essential to providing your little one with a healthy start to their beneficial bacteria and gut health.

HMO are not digested by your baby, they are digested by your little one’s bacteria.  HMO feed their beneficial bacteria.

Breastmilk is the only food specifically designed for your baby’s growth and development.

 

5. Antibiotics

Imagine,

A luscious, dense Amazon Rain-Forrest – teaming with life.

Now, image

That same Rain-Forrest just destroyed by a fire.

This is what antibiotics do.

Antibiotics, the microbiome destroyer. Antibiotics mean against life and it’s not just the bad bacteria they kill.

In this time right now – if your pregnant, just had a baby or have a toddler, taking or giving your little one antibiotics will change the landscape of their gut. The effects last for years. Like the re-generation after a fire in the Amazon.

Even longer, if you are in the time when their gut or ecosystem is developing.

It seems senseless to me to destroy this crucial balance when your little one has an ear infection that ‘may’ be caused by bacteria.

Always question your doctor about giving antibiotics.  Yes, they are life-saving.. but quite often they are given when a baby’s life is not on the brink.

As of writing this, I have not had antibiotics in 15 years and 10 into parenting – none of my children have ever had any antibiotics.

Antibiotics are overprescribed and unfortunately their effects last years – maybe even a lifetime.

 

6. Diet

Are you pregnant, or breastfeeding or is your little one under 3?  The food you and your little one is eating is seeding their gut right now.

What can you do?

If your Pregnant or breastfeeding…

Increase your prebiotic & probiotic foods as well as fibre from vegetables.   Download mazing-microbiome-foods list if you have not already and incorporate more of these foods into your diet.

 

Is your Baby is 9 months or younger?

If you have just started your little one on solids or will do soon? Sign up for F.I.R.S.T foods email course. F in F.I.R.S.T foods is Feeding Beneficial bacteria.

 

Is you Baby is 1-3 years old?

If you have a young one right now, diet is important and there are two key areas in good beneficial bacteria boosting foods:

  • Probiotics: teaching your kids to love fermented foods such as sauerkraut is huge. To help my kids accept this food as a ‘normal’ food, we played the ‘who can keep a straight face’ (no screwed up sour faces) when eating sauerkraut. If you are new to fermented foods, you train your taste buds for it too.
  • Prebiotics and Fibre: Meaning vegetables, vegetable and more vegetables.

 

If you’re struggling with getting your kids to eat any sort of vegetables you may have to read Healthy Little Eaters first. Start with their relationship to food first, so they love eating healthy food.

 

This will not only seed their beneficial bacteria, maximizing this window…

But, will keep them healthy.

 

7. Lifestyle

I can still feel the angst in my heart when I think about going to that playgroup

I was living in Canada.

Once a week I would take Rocket and Eckhart who were 2 ½ years old and 8 months at that time to a playgroup.

Walking in we were directed to the line where all kids, parents and babies had to wash their hand with antibacterial soap.

If your child popped outside to play when they came back inside.

Back in line. Washing hands.

Before snack.

Bank in line. Washing hands.

After a snack.

Back in line. Washing hands.

Oh, and if Eckhart, put a toy remotely close to her mouth, it would go into a big bucket to be sterilised.

Yes, then I would be…

You guessed it.

Back in line. Washing hands.

Becoming so preoccupied with bad bacteria aka germs, we have lost the perspective of why we are keeping clean for.

For health.

Why a dirty baby, maybe a Healthier baby.?

Dirt may be a good thing when it comes to life-long health.

Babies who have a pet at home or were raised on a farm and able to dig in the dirt, possible eating a spoon or two have a different bacteria than those who were raised with everything that was spick-n-span with no germs allowed.

And, they are healthier.

Stop waging war on bacteria

Yes, they can make your child sick,

But, bacteria can also make your child healthy.

It’s all a balance

Let your little ones play in the garden dirt or sand at a beach, if they get some in their mouths… no worries.

Teach them to wash their hands after using the toilet.

If your baby has a pacifier, instead of ‘sterilizing’ it, suck it.  This helps seed their gut.

Use your ‘gut instinct’ when allowing them to get dirty.

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Maximise this ‘window’ your baby or young one is going through.

The time when you are pregnant plus their first 1,000 days is when your little one’s microbiome is developing reaching maturity around 3years of age.

 

Overview of Baby Health Tips

  • You and your partner be the healthiest version of yourself, before trying for a baby.
  • Aim to be HealthIER one day at a time when pregnant & or breastfeeding,
  • Have a back-up of ‘Seeding’ if you end up having a C-Section
  • Make breastfeeding a priority
  • Feed beneficial bacteria in your baby’s first foods
  • Teach your toddler to love fermented foods and pre-biotic foods
  • Take antibiotics only when absolutely needed
  • Let your baby get dirty

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HEALTH TIPS FOR BABY

Fermented Carrots

Fermented Carrots

Fermented Carrots

About Fermented Carrots Recipe

Carrots are great by themselves but fermenting carrots adds an extra kick.

There are three things you need to know about carrots.

1) High in Vitamin A which is key for keeping your kid’s immunity up and them well and at school/day-care.

2) High in magnesium, key for their sleep  AND building strong bones

3) High in fibre. A great way to feed gutties.

Fermenting carrots gives them extra nutrients with probiotics – a game-changer to your and your kid’s immunity.

Instead of an apple a day, it will be a fermented carrot a day, keeps the doctor away.

“Try it” Tip?

Simply cutting veggies in different shapes or serving them in different sizes can make a big difference in kids motivation to ‘try’. What shape would your kids like?  any shape will ferment well in thir recipe, even grated (just use salt to bring the water out of grated carrots, no ‘brine’ necessary)

Ingredients

  • 3 Large Carrots, peeled in not organic and cut into any shape

  • 3 tsp of freshly cut dill. (you can use any herb or spice here – coriander and ginger are also favourite in our house)

  • Culture starter or Whey

  • 2 tsp Himalayan salt

  • Filtered water (enough to submerge carrots)

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Peel the Carrots if not organic and cut into sticks or chunks.

Step 2

Place in Sterilized mason jar.

Step 3

Combine salt, dill, 1/2 cup of water and culture starter or whey in a blender and blend for 20sec.

Step 4

Pour over the brine (dill/salt water) over the carrots. Add more water to make sure all carrots can be submerged under water. 

Step 5

Weigh down carrots with either a stone weight, 1/2 an apple cut along its mid-section or a cabbage core. 

Step 6

Put the lid on jar. Make sure the weight is working by submerging all the vegetables. If not you will need to jig it so no carrots are exposed to the air. 

Step 7

Leave in dark place for 3-7 days.

Step 8

Try in a few days. The carrots should still be crisp yet they will have a slight zingy taste. 

Step 9

Store in the fridge. Because it is fermented, it can last for months in your fridge.

Fermented Carrots Benefits

Fermented carrots are a great way to get some natural probiotic foods into your kids after antibiotics… They will give their gut bacteria a huge kick and help to keep their immunity going strong and support their digestive system.

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    Fermented Foods Kids Love

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      Fermented Sweet Potato

      Fermented Sweet Potato

      Fermented Sweet Potato

      About Fermented Sweet Potato Recipe

      This is going to rock your world. It did mine.

      I started making fermented food for babies when I had my fourth child. I wanted to give my baby the best start and built on what I had done for my older three creating FIRST foods. F is for fermented foods as this helps a babies gut develop adding in loads of probiotic-rich foods. But I continue to make it to this day. Fermented Kumara as well call sweet potato in New Zealand has become a regular spread in wraps, sandwiches and on top of dosas for both myself and my now toddler. 

      This fermented sweet Potato recipe will not only give you and your baby a good probiotic kick but will also give a load of prebiotics.

      This is the double whammy for gut health.

      What to do when Baby refuses?

      Keep giving it to them. It can take 10-15 “trys” before they develop a taste for it. Try with food they already like. Have the expectation that at some point your child will train their taste buds to Fermented Sweet Potato and  eventually they will be happily devouring jam-packed nutrient spread/puree. 

      Ingredients

      • 3 Sweet Potato (golden, purple or red all work well)

      • 2 garlic cloves

      • Culture starter or Whey

      • 2 tsp Himalayan salt

      Step by Step Instructions

      Step 1

      Peel the Sweet potatoes and cut into chunks.

      Step 2

      Steam the sweet potato until cooked through. 

      Step 3

      Blend or mash the Sweet Potato with the salt into a smooth paste while hot. Use a little liquid if necessary. 

      The mixture should become like a smooth paste. 

      (Doing this step while hot makes the paste go smoother without as much liquid)

      Step 4

      Leave the Sweet Potato to cool. While you are doing that don’t forget to sterilize your jar. 

      Step 5

      Once cool, add in culture starter or whey and minced garlic cloves. 

      Step 6

      Spoon mixture into cooled sterilized jar. Pushing down with the back of a spoon so that no air holes are present. 

      Step 7

      Cut out a circle of baking paper and lay on top of your Sweet POtato mixture to seal it off from any air. Seal with Lid and leave in dark place for 3-7 days. 

      Step 8

      You will start to see air bubbles form in the sweet potato mixture. This is a sign that fermentation has started. After three days taste a little. The mixture will be a little sour and possibly fizzy. Leave out if you think it needs more fermenting time. 

      Step 9

      Store in the fridge. Because it is fermented, it can last for months in your fridge, but I am sure you will have eaten it before then. 🙂  

       Want a Road Map to Starting Solids?

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        Fermented Foods Kids Love

        Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

        Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

        Healthy Chocolate-chip Cookies

        About this Recipe

        How can you make baking healthy?

        Use resistant starch to feed the good-gut bacteria, add in Sweet potato (Kumara for New Zealanders) for a prebiotic kick, use a sweetener that won’t leave your microbiome starving, flavour it with Pumpkin-spice for a tantalizing lift and top off with dark chocolate for an antioxidant boost.

         

        This healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe that won’t stick around for long.

        Ingredients

        • 1 cup of cooked sweet potato (you can also use cooked pumpkin)

        • Healthy Sweetener (see below)

        • 1/2 cup butter, softened

        • 1 egg

        • 2 tsp cinnamon

        • 1/2 tsp ginger

        • 1/2 tsp clove

        • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

        • 1/2 tsp salt

        • 2 tsp baking soda

        • 2 cups flour mixture (see notes)

        • 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips

        Flour Mixture 

        Any flour will do. To add extra nutritious benefits I use 3/4 cup of resistant starch as a mixture of potato flour, green banana flour or tree nut flour with 1 1/4 cup of spelt flour, normal flour, gluten-free flour or buckwheat flour  – depending on my mood and what I have in my cupboards. 

        Sweetness

        Making cookies sweet and healthy can be an art. All the sweeteners I use are from a natural source (not made by a scientist in the lab) and ideally are packed full of other micro-nutrients. Here are a few of my favourite combinations to use in the healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe.

        Option 1: 1tsp monk fruit + 2 Tbsp maple syrup

        Option 2: 1/4 cup apple puree

        Option 3: 4 Tbps of honey

        (I am sure there are other combinations out there, contact me to share, I would love to hear what is working for you)

         

        Step by Step Instructions

        Step 1

        Heat oven to 180 degrees C

        Step 2

        Put the sweet potato, monk fruit, butter and egg in a blender and blend until smooth.

        Step 3

        Put the rest of the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together. 

        Step 4

        Pour the sweet potato blended the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until well combines and one gloopy mess. 

        Step 5

        Mix in the chocolate chips.

        Step 6

        Roughly spoon about a heaped tablespoon of the mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper. (it doesn’t have to look perfect, a cookie blob is perfect)

        Step 7

        Put in oven and cook until slightly browned on the bottom. Roughly 20-30 minutes.

        Step 8

        Take out of the oven and once cool, store in snap lock container – if you’re going to keep for more than 3 days then store in the fridge.

        TIP: 

        Make a double lot of the cooked sweet potato and store the rest in the freezer for you’re next batch. 

        Healthy Chocolate-chip Cookies – YUM

        Child-friendly Winter-wellness Drinks

        Child-friendly Winter-wellness Drinks

        3 Child-friendly Winter-wellness Drinks

        Are your kids sick?

        Or, do you want to boost their immune system… so they don’t get those nasty bugs going around?

        These three Winter-wellness drinks are my go-to during the winter months.

        Boosting Vitamin C, giving their gut a kick or helping to keep hydrated – all needed during the winter months.

         

        Child-friendly wellness Orange Booster

        I grew up with my parents giving me lemonade when I was sick.

        A lasting tradition from when my great-great-grandmother would make her own.

        While lemonade now is low in nutritional value, we can expand our great-grandmother’s wisdom. Give your child’s vitamin C a boost with this Orange Booster in times of sickness.]

        Vitamin C is a key player in immune function

        Ingredients
        • Juice of 1 lemon
        • Juice of 2 Oranges
        • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
        • 1 tsp freshly grated turmeric (optional)
        • 1 Tbsp honey (omit the honey if your child is under one)
        Method

        Mix all ingredients and use as a concentrate.

        To dissolve the honey, either give a blast in the blender with all the other ingredients (this also helps the little bits of ginger and turmeric mix in better for younger kids) – or melt the honey in Luke warm water and add to other juices.

        To serve

        To serve this concentrate add to water, fizzy water or serve as a hot toddy.

        I use ¼ of Orange tonic to ¾ water, you may want a little more or a little less…

        Gut Lovin’ Smoothie

        Food for Toddlers during a cold

        Kids can be ‘off’ food during a cold. THis is not a bad thing. But, the first food back should be easy to digest and full of nourishment for their immune system.

        Your gut is where 80% of your immunity is. Look after your child’s gut with this smoothie and their immunity will get a boost to help tip the balance of their bacteria to the good guys and they will be back on their feet in no time.

        Ingredients
        • 1 cup unsweetened Kefir (use coconut water instead of Kefir during the snotty nose, lots of mucus colds)
        • ½ Banana
        • 1 handful of frozen blueberries
        • Few leaves of spinach
        • ½  tsp freshly grated ginger
        • 1 tsp Beet kaavas (optional) 
        • 1 sachet Liposphere Vitamin C (optional)

           

        Method

        Put all ingredient is the blender and blend until well combined. Serve.

         

         

        Kefir – While you can your own either using diary grains or water grains, you can also get unsweetened dairy kefir at your local supermarket)

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        Coconut Water

        The Perfect Hydration for as Sick Toddler

        Ever wonder how to keep a toddler hydrated when sick?

        Coconut water is super easy to have on hand and ticks all the boxes when a child doesn’t feel like eating. This drink is great for staying hydrated and it tastes good, so your toddler will want to drink this one. 

        Coconut water is a:
        • Good source of lauric acid, which helps to boost immunity
        • Good source of electrolytes, helping your child to stay hydrated
        • Can help fight the bugs causing mild gastroenteritis.
        • Good carbohydrate source to help keep your little one’s energy up when food is off the menu
        Where to find coconut water?

        Either in supermarket, normally with the water (make sure the ingredients list says 100% coconut water).

        Or, use the water out of a young coconut.  Most supermarkets stock this in the fresh produce isle – check out this youtube video for the easy way to open young coconuts.

        Tip

        If your baby or toddler is refusing everything to drink, first make sure you see you doctor. In the meantime give them some frozen ice-cube coconut water. The cold sensation can be enough to get them through. 

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        Get 10 bite-sized emails that takes you through the fundamentals of raising an adventurous eater. Practical tips you can start using today.

         

        Child-friendly Winter-wellness Overview

        Having a sick child can be frightening.  Make sure you know the signs of anything serious. But if they are just a little off and refusing to eat then make sure you keep them hydrated. Coconut water is perfect hydration for a sick toddler.

        When they do show more interest in eating, make a Gut Lovin’ Smoothie – its a perfect come back food for a toddler during a cold.

        To help keep the winter blues away, get some Vitamin C into them with the Child-friendly wellness orange booster. 

        But, a load of hugs will help and they will be back on their feet in no time. 🙂 

        Other Gut Lovin’ Recipes You May Like

        Kid Favourite Kraut

        This is my go-to for our families fermented goodness.  With a range of vegetables and the addition of orange, your kids will go crazy over this. 

        This is amazing for keeping kids healthy.

        Is Baby Health Luck of the

        I started making this for my 4th when I introduce solids.  But it has become the family favourite breakfast spread.  The addition of garlic boosts this already immunity-boosting spread.  

        7 Reasons Your Child Refuses Vegetables

        Children typically go through a phase where they look at vegetables (or new food) with the same disgust as a pregnant person feels when someone drops a stinky one.

        But, just like my babies who didn’t sleep through the night –  it can last longer than it needs to…

        Find out if you’re making the same mistakes I made first time around. 

        Want to Raise an Adventurous Eater?

        Get 10 bite-sized emails that takes you through the fundamentals of raising an adventurous eater. Practical tips you can start using today.

         

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        3 Child-friendly Winter-wellness Drinks

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