Mind, Body, Spirit
MAKING MEALTIME SPECIAL
Making mealtime special can involve doing something out of the ordinary, like dusting off and using that “look-but-don’t-touch” teapot and teacup combo for breakfast.
It can also include preparing meals as a family and eating them together around the table (or via FaceTime, if you’re unable to be with your family right now).
Eating together as a family has several benefits. It offers an opportunity to reconnect after a busy day, provides time to communicate with and listen to each other, share thoughts and ideas, problem solve and plan for the day or week ahead.
MY VEGAN OFFERING
I realize kids need to be offered new foods 10-20 times before they learn to enjoy it, so I wasn’t offended that my children gave my vegan dinner offering (whole grain pasta & lentils, sauteed kale, and oven-roasted butternut squash & carrot puree) suspicious, sidelong glances and wary expressions. I simply suggested they try it, and to their surprise… They liked it! I’ll have to “offer” the kale several more times before that’s a hit though. 🙂
SATISFYING YOUR SWEET TOOTH
Sometimes it’s better to know when you’ve met your match and learn to satisfy a sweet tooth in ways in which you’re less likely to overindulge.
Fresh fruit is a great choice. You’d be hard-pressed to eat an entire watermelon or a bunch of bananas in a single sitting! In addition to being low in fat, sodium and calories, fruit provides many different nutrients, including potassium (may help to maintain healthy blood pressure), vitamin C (important for growth and repair of all body tissues and keeps teeth and gums healthy), folate or folic acid (helps the body form red blood cells and reduces the risk of neural tube defects in women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in their third trimester of pregnancy) and dietary fiber (important for proper bowel function, and helps provide a feeling of fullness, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower the risk of heart disease).
TAKE A WALK ON THE DARK SIDE: THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF DARK CHOCOLATE
Dark chocolate has some benefits over milk chocolate or white chocolate. These benefits are thought to come from the flavonoids it contains. Flavonoids are naturally occurring antioxidants that can also be found in teas, red wine and some fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals formed in the body, and from environmental contaminants.
SCHOOL LUNCHES: DILEMMAS AND OPTIONS
It’s the last day of September and many children have been back in school for almost a month (or longer).
By now, we’ve established our new (and earlier) morning routines, which for my children includes having their backpacks ready and lunch bags packed.
On occasion, my children will have the school lunch rather than a bag lunch. And I always keep a copy of the lunch menu on hand, so I’ll know what’s being served. As you can imagine, there are some healthy options and some that aren’t so healthy.