Superfoods for Toddlers

The determination to learn and grow seems to be hardcoded into the human genome. To observe a healthy, happy toddler is to witness this first hand. Around the time they reach their first birthday they are up on their little legs, wobbling and toddling about ever so eager to get proficiency over their new found form and keep up with their tribe around them. Such consistent efforts require a steady stream of high quality nutrients to support their growing bodies’ needs.

There’s nothing quite like a curious toddler to keep you young and on your toes. The question is how do we as parents and caregivers not only keep up with them, but stay 1-step ahead, making sure they are well nourished and cared for as they take those first enthusiastic steps into their new world?

Nature nurtures naturally and nothing beats breastmik as the ultimate superfood for your baby. Thanks to the World Health Organization breastfeeding is now encouraged for at least 2 years, and many children are enjoying the benefits of long term breastfeeding well into their toddling years. (For more information on superfoods to support breastfeeding and an abundant milk supply click…)

So, how do we ensure optimum nutrition as our babies start to progress onto solid foods?

First off beware of highly processed and sugary foods, which will have your delightful youngster pinging off the walls like a Tasmanian devil and avoid them as far as possible!

Favour instead plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Eat from the rainbow and expose them to as many colours and as much variety as possible.

Whilst most baby food options are geared towards providing basic macronutrients, a toddler should also have access to a wide array of micronutrients in order to provide the basic building blocks from which to build his or her growing body and thrive.

♥ These are my top 5 superfoods and quick superfood recipes that get the best quality nutrients into my young babes.

1. The Green Alkaliser

The Green Alkaliser provides a wide range of amino acids, the essential building blocks of protein provided by the blend of wheatgrass, barleygrass, moringa and hemp protein powders, as well as baobab providing good calcium and prebiotics.

★ How to use it?

Add a little green alkaliser into your child’s favourite juice. You can also freeze into ice lollies providing your toddler with a healthy and soothing distraction to those difficult teething days.

2. Berry Delight Super Shake

In my experience almost all children LOVE berries! What’s not to love – they are sweet and delicious, low in sugar and loaded with antioxidants. The simple way to understand antioxidants is to remember that they are pigments of colour which is why the saying ‘eat from the rainbow’ holds so much wisdom. Antioxidants prevent free radical damage, preserving youthfulness and supporting health and longevity.

★ How to use it?

This is one of our family’s favourite berry smoothie recipes:

or try out this Blissful Berry Nice-Cream

Ingredients:
400ml organic coconut milk
1C cashews
½ C coconut oil, melted
¼C Coconut Blossom Nectar
¼ C Berry Delight Super Shake

STEP 1: Blend all the ingredients together until smooth

STEP 2: Set in the freezer overnight

3. Chia Seeds with Hemp Milk

Chia seeds and hemp seeds with their omega-rich profile are the quintessential brain-fuel for your child’s growing mind. Toddlers are just beginning to explore different taste sensations, and sometimes too many flavours can be overwhelming to their senses, so remember to keep it simple.

Chia seeds with a little hemp milk may seem quite plain to your palate, but your toddler will likely love it. Add a little plain yoghurt or a teaspoon of Berry Delight Super Shake if you want to zoop it up.

4. Wheatgrass Guacamole

Avocado pear is top of the toddler’s favourite food list. It is so simple to hide a few extra minerals in the form of wheatgrass inside a simple guacamole. Click here for recipe.

5 .Super Oats Vanilla

If you are planning on taking your child out for the morning, whether it’s a quick outing to do the grocery shopping or a fun play-date, it’s good to be sure they have that extra boost to sustain their energy for a their adventurous day out (lest you end up being that mom with the tantruming toddler on the floor of the grocery aisle!) Super Oats Vanilla provides the nourishing goodness of 6 superfoods with gluten free oats for sustained energy.

♥ My top 3 tips for raising a toddler that has a healthy appreciation for healthy food.

Spend as much time playing outdoors as possible.

Even if you only have a small space, create a veggie garden, plant a few fruit trees and enlist their help in planting, weeding, growing, collecting and harvesting fresh fruit and vegetables. Kids love fresh food, and most of the time my children have had a healthy meal straight out the garden before we even get into the kitchen!

Enlist their help in the kitchen.

Bring the fruit and veg back into the kitchen and make smoothies, juices, ice lollies, dips etc together. Again you’ll most likely find that they have filled themselves up on delicious healthy fare well before they even reach the dining table. This way, not only are they eating healthy food, they are learning how to prepare healthy food, an essential life skill, and it’s been fun time spent together.

Slow down and enjoy seeing the world anew through their eyes.

By the time you are sitting down to eat chances are your toddler is off having fun exploring his or her world again, leaving you and your partner to enjoy a delicious, healthy meal together and catch a breather, knowing your youngster is super-fueled on great nutrition.

♥♥♥  And lastly, to watch a toddler in action is to witness the most energetic version of yourself running circles around yourself. You can’t beat ’em, so slow down and join them in their present moment and allow yourself to be entertained. Their gift to you is one of seeing the world anew through their eyes. ♥♥♥

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” Iben Sandhal

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Superfoods For Pregnant Mommies

Super-Moms need super-fuel!

From the moment of conception, your body is changing. It is a 9-month-long journey that doesn’t end there. Birth is akin to a marathon and breastfeeding, especially long term breastfeeding (and the World Health Organisation, WHO, recommends at least 2 years) is akin to being a super-athlete! It should come as no surprise then that super-mom’s need super fuel in order to shine.

Super-Mom’s have Super-Powers

Oxytocin is the hormone released when you reach orgasm. It is known as the love or bliss hormone. It is also present during childbirth, as well as every time you breastfeed. Consider yourself in a perpetual state of after-glow when you are breastfeeding. It’s the hormonal super-power we are gifted as mom’s to counterbalance the sleepless nights and consistent energy demands of motherhood. It is no wonder mom’s (even tired ones) have an unmistakable radiant glow about them.

The demands of growing your baby and then the continued demands of nourishing your baby from your breast are all-too-often overlooked. You’re burning hundreds of calories and you’re doing it multiple times a day.

Super-mama’s ARE super-athletes and as all good super-athletes know: you have to take in top quality nutrients if you want to perform at your best!

♥ TOP 5 Superfoods to super-fuel your Super-Mama ♥

My baby is just over a year and these have been my TOP 5 go-to superfoods to keep me feeling strong, energized and happy throughout pregnancy, birth, post partum and the first year.

Spirulina

I start my day off with 500ml of water and 10-15 spirulina tablets. 
The importance of hydration and protein requirements throughout the pregnancy, post partum and breastfeeding years cannot be overemphasized. 
I like to make sure I get off to a great start so I’ve made it a habit to get at least 500ml of water in straight away along with my spirulina protein boost.

If you start your day off with high quality, easily absorbable protein such as spirulina, it helps to curb sugar cravings. Whilst you need to keep your calorie intake high for good milk production, if you want to protect your waistline it’s best to avoid the sugary-treats. Whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding you are growing a baby, so you need good quality protein.

The Green Alkaliser

The Green Alkaliser is a combination of wheatgrass, barleygrass, moringa, baobab and hemp protein powders. I love the Soaring Free Superfoods (SFS) Green Alkaliser and chase my spirulina intake with a glass of this energising super-fuel. I take 1-2 T either plain in water or juice. The green powders are excellent for alkalising and energising the body, providing the body with a broad spectrum mineral base from which to draw upon, as well as baobab for good calcium and prebiotics, plus more readily absorbable protein in the form of hemp protein powder.

Super Chia

For breakfast I have Super Chia with hemp milk.
 Not only is Super Chia loaded with 8 different superfoods giving you a wide range of vitamins and minerals essential to growing a healthy baby, including protein, calcium and those important omega 3’s; but it has one extra special feature that tops all the rest and is essential for busy super-moms: it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare! All you do is add water or your favourite nut/seed milk to your Super Chia. Stir until well mixed and wait 5 minutes to thicken.

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are probably the most versatile of all the superfoods I eat and I use them daily. Why do I eat them? 
Growing a baby and breastfeeding a baby requires a LOT of good fats – i.e. essential fatty acids or EFAs. Hemp seeds provide omega 3 and 6 EFAs in a unique, near perfect ratio for human nutritional needs. They contain all 20 known amino acids and contain 30% pure digestible protein as well as being a good source of lecithin which supports hormone balancing and building baby’s brain, as well as being the essential antidote to Mom’s ‘baby brain’ fuzz. I usually make a hemp milk and pour it over my Super Chia or use it as a base for smoothies. I often make a savoury hemp sauce and pour it over veggies or as a salad dressing.

Super Berries

Berries are low in sugar and high in antioxidants providing the perfect energy boost when you need it. Antioxidants help keep you looking and feeling young so you can keep up with your lively little ones. My favourites are SFS Goji Berries, Golden Berries and the new Berry Delight Super Shake. I generally snack on gojis and golden berries whenever I need a pick-me-up during the day, and I love making a Berry Delight smoothie to enjoy with my family in the mid afternoon, to keep us going until dinner. The pure, delicious zing of strawberries, raspberries and acai powders awaken the senses just when you need it most.

♥ Baby’s first superfoods ♥

Babies learn what foods to eat based on what they taste in utero, then via what they taste in mom’s breastmilk, as well as watching what mom and the family eats. It follows then that most of the list above, which I ate during pregnancy and continue to do so now while breastfeeding is also what our baby has been introduced to in her first year.

♥ Top tips (other than superfoods) to recharge the fuel tanks ♥

Meditation

Your baby and any older children need your love, energy and attention throughout the day and along with all the other life commitments, it’s very easy to feel like there is ‘no time for you’ once the demands of motherhood really set in. 
One of my number 1 tips for not only keeping your sanity, but to actually thrive, is to set aside 10 minutes a day for some sort of mindfulness practice. 10-minutes of sitting quietly in the garden is super-fuel for the soul.

Mother Nature

There is no place like nature to bring a sense of peace and calm to a tired mama who is feeling stretched too thin. Everyone needs fresh air and exercise, so although it may seem like an effort to get everyone dressed and ready for a walk, when in doubt get out. Take baby and yourself for a walk and allow mother nature to nurture you as you nurture your baby.

Moms need people too!

Just because you are a mom, doesn’t mean you are only a mom, nor that you are in this alone! Moms and babies alike need community. It takes a village to raise a child and children thrive on being surrounded by people who love them. It’s all too easy to become isolated in our modern parenting realities, believing we are being social by posting some pictures of our baby on social media! Whilst we all need quiet time to recharge, we also need each other. Nothing beats quality time spent with people you love and people who love you.

Every day in every way you are making a difference ☺
To all Super-moms out there whether you are digging deep or flying high it serves us to remember that every day in every way it is our presence, love and caring that is making the difference.

“It will only take one generation choosing gentle, compassionate, respectful parenting, to change the world for all future generations. This is OUR time. Let’s do our part to change the world, one little heart at a time.” – L.R.Knost

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