If all else fails science will help my 2 year old eat veggies?!?

Part 2 of a 3 part series on Paleo and Kids

In my last post I discussed the challenges of getting my two-year old to eat veggies, in this post I am going to discuss how we used Kombucha to rid the evil apple juice addiction.

So why did I give him apple juice to begin with? My husband and I do not drink juice, we do not drink soft drinks.  Our fridge consists of water, sparkling water, milk and the occasional beer or wine.  I never really had juice as a child. I never really thought it was good for him but I guess it was like a treat much the same way you give them a sweet biscuit or a chocolate thinking it can’t hurt them.  Then the quantity increases as they want more.  The once off glass of half apple juice, half water turned into a regular glass each afternoon after kindy and he was soon asking for more.  I realised this was turning into a bit of a sugar habit, with the increase of asking for juice and then lollies, chocolate and party cake (as he calls it).  A regular afternoon snack of juice and tiny teddies.  He is only 2!  But I can see how easily this can get out of hand once the (sugar) tantrums kick in and after all we had this food as kids didn’t we?   As a kid I was lucky to have these “treats” once a month and maybe just at a party but I feel now because we have easy access to these foods we seem to be giving them to our kids more often.  What are you thoughts on this?

I tried taking the apple juice off him cold turkey but instead, he would stand in front of the fridge screaming, and if I offered water he would tip out the water all over the floor when he realised it was not juice. The tantrum would often lead into dinner time and then bath time and ………… you get the picture.

Enter Kombucha

I had been reading a bit about Kombucha and the benefits of probiotics on other Paleo blogs I follow and I was pleased to read it was a good way to help reduce sugar and even alcohol intake.  Kombucha is a fermented tea.  Here are some sites I like if you are interested in knowing more:

  • Cultured Food Life  – Lots of stuff on Kombucha and Fermented Foods
  • Ray of Sunshine Wellness  – A lovely little post on how it is great for your guts
  • Paleo in Melbourne – Kombucha tips and tricks
  • Buchi Kombucha – The most awesome Kombucha to try and where I brought my kit from.  They are also fantastic about answering all your kombucha questions especially if you are worried about the sugar, the caffeine and the alcohol content (of which my mind is at ease otherwise I would not be giving it to the 2-year-old!!!)

So where would I find this mysterious drink?   Luckily a friend told me there was a stall at the Northey Street Markets.  We went there and met the wonderful family from Buchi Kombucha.  The lady told me how her children just loved to drink it and even helped with the brewing process.  I brought a bottle of the natural flavour straight away, excitedly took it home and gave Mr 2 -year- old some with some water and told him it was juice.

His first response was to spit it out everywhere! 

It does have a strange taste (certainly to juice) but it is not an offensive taste. This time I decided not to give in and did as Mrs Buchi suggested giving it a few goes, so I tried again and again with no luck.  Then I gave him some without the water and guess what – he took it and asked for more! Finally!  I went back the next week and tried another flavour – Hibiscus Pine Lime.  Now this one did not look like juice but the flavouring gave it a more sweeter taste – this one was a huge hit!  Then the hubby tried it and suddenly we were going through at least 2 bottles a week – uh oh what have I done now!!??

I went back to Buchi and I brought one of their starter kits.  It contains the scoby (mushroom) with some starter tea, tea bags, sugar, vessel – everything you need to get started.  All I needed to do was follow their very simple instructions and our first batch was brewing.  At around the 10 day mark we tasted the brew to see how it was going.  I felt it was still a bit too sweet but hubby thought it was ready so we bottled it and started the process again.  Now we are up to brewing 10L a fortnight to hopefully give to family and friends (if we don’t drink it all)!

bucha

Our Kombucha starter kit from Buchi

It is very inexpensive to buy the kit and very inexpensive to make new batches with only the cost of tea and sugar.  I usually buy the Aldi brand organic black and green boxes of tea.

Now Mr 2-year-old no longer asks for juice but asks for boocha and I am no longer keeping apple juice in the house!   I have noticed for myself that I only need a small amount of kombucha to feel refreshed and energised and that half a glass every few days seems to be enough.

Stay tuned: In my third blog post about Kids and Paleo I will discuss lunch boxes and how I overhauled a lunchbox of sugar and share some recipe ideas.

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If all else fails science will help my 2 year old eat veggies?!?

Part 1 of a 3 part series on Paleo and Kids

I think it is safe to say I do obsess a bit over food, I think about what the family is going to eat a fair bit of the time, I menu plan (blog post to follow soon on how I do this), I research recipes, I research places to source food and because we are on a budget I check the latest specials and all of that before even cooking the food!

So I do spend a fair bit of time thinking about what to feed my 2 year old son (I am sure I am not the only one).  Is it ok to feed him ‘typical” children’s food like vegemite sandwiches that I ate everyday as a child?  If this food caused me issues later in life why should I subject him to eating non paleo foods and running the risk of future health issues?  My philosophy on meal time is that I have always refused to cook a different meal for my son and a different meal for us.  At times I have struggled with this but long term it has been better for the family eating the same foods together at the same time.  This is our family ritual.

But like a typical 2 year old he is fussy and it’s hard to get him to eat at the best of times especially when he has discovered his sweet tooth and asks for party cake and lollies!

So apart from the approach of us all eating together I got him involved in cooking with me.  We have Mondays at home together and we often make some lunch box snacks for the week.  This has worked well with him trying different things as we are cooking (licking the bowl, eating what we have baked while it is still warm). We have the cookbook “Eat like a Dinosaur” which has great ideas for kids Paleo meals with easy instructions and how kids can help you in the kitchen – as an extra bonus my son just loves Dinosaurs!  I find some of the recipes are a little unusual to our tastes and I sometimes modify them to suit us but the ideas are absolutely fantastic.

After all this I still had a problem with dinner time and in particular vegetables!

Enter a couple of interesting articles I read from the whole 9 a few weeks back (just in the nick of time):

http://whole9life.com/2012/08/kids-and-vegetables/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/250365.php

The first article was interesting in that it gives 5 tips (based on scientific research) such as making the food visually appealing with lots of colour, how kids like to imitate (so making sure you are eating what’s on your plate) and repeated exposure to foods to name a few.  This made sense but the second article they referenced really sounded like fun and we thought why not give it a go!

It talks about renaming normal food with catchy names that kids will like.  I read it, I got excited I was about to serve dinner and oh no I needed a catchy name quick so salad became “Lion Salad” and chicken kebabs became “chicken on a stick”.  I know great first effort Mum – not!!  But guess what – to my surprise he thought Lion salad was so cool he ate it and roared like a lion after every bite.  This was the first time I had seen him eat salad willingly!  And well we all know kids love anything on stick so the chicken was eaten too.

Wow relief, an easy dinner.

I am not one to be lulled into a false sense of security so the next meal was carrots, cauliflower with cream and some marinated chicken.  I had a little more time and we called this one “Cars Kapow Carrots and Cool Creamy Cauliflower + chicken on a stick”, It was colourful, it was repetitive (this time I cut up the chicken and put toothpicks in each piece) and it had a cool name.  Again it worked!  The next night we had been watching the movie “The Gruffalo” and steak and sweet potato bake became “Gruffalo Steak and scrambled snake potato bake”

kapow cars carot and creamy cauli

“Cars Kapow Carrots and Cool Creamy Cauliflower + chicken on a stick”

Again it worked – was it really this easy all along?  Since then meal time has been a lot easier with him trying the foods with the funny names.  We do have the occasional set back – after all he is only 2 but on the whole a few simple tweaks at dinner and we are all enjoying meal time a lot more.

What successful strategies have you used in the past to get your kids to eat food?  I would love to hear them.

Stay tuned: In my next blog post I will discuss my son’s absolute love of apple juice and how we used Kombucha to ease this sugar addiction before it got too out of control.

A couple of ideas for your leftover Christmas Ham

Primal “Pea and Ham” Soup

When I think of what to do with a ham bone I always think of Pea and Ham soup however green split peas are on my “no” list and most likely yours if you are following Paleo.  I did a bit of a google search on “Paleo pea and ham soup” to see what the alternatives were and I found a recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple Forum.  I modified it slightly so here is what I did:

I brought the ham bone with two cloves of garlic, a bay leaf and about 4L of water to boil, then let it simmer for about 1-2 hours.

Once the ham was falling off the bone, I added 3/4 of a whole cauliflower stalk and all, 1 cup of green beans and 1 carrot.  I then let this simmer for another couple of hours.

I then let the soup cool, pulled out the ham bone and bay leaf and used my hand-held stick blender to whiz it to a thick soup.  Because I am pregnant I am eating dairy at the moment so I added a lovely dollop of full fat sour cream but it also tasted fine without if you are not doing dairy.

pea and ham soup

Quiche with Almond meal base

I wanted to make a quiche with a base as I did not think frittata would be filling enough for a whole day at Dreamworld.  In the past I had used an almond meal base to make meat pies, however the recipe I had used had eggs and I only had enough eggs for the filling so I decided use macadamia nut oil instead.

For the base:

2 cups Almond Meal

1/4 cup Macadamia nut oil

1 1/2 tsp Allergy Free baking soda (picked up local Wray’s Organics)

I mixed everything together, spooned base into a quiche pan and baked until golden (around 15 mins in my fan forced oven)

I pulled it out to cool and then IT CRACKED!!! I was worried but don’t be as when I put the filling in and it all back into the oven it went back to normal (phew!).

For filling I used 6 eggs and whatever was in the fridge. Leftover ham, leftover roast sweet potato, shallots, full fat cheese and a bit of full fat cream (leave out the cheese and cream if you are dairy free!).

I baked this for around 20 mins and it was great served cold with salad in our lunch boxes.

Please note: If you are not used to the texture of almond meal it is a little more crumbly to a normal pastry.

quiche

I’ve got Number 11 on “How to prepare for a successful 2013” sorted for you!

Hopefully you love Paleo enough to subscribe to Mark’s Daily Apple? Great!  Then if you read his post “21 Simple things to do to Prepare for a successful 2013” you would have seen: “11. Browse Meetup.com for relevant local groups”. Well I can totally help you with that one!

If you live in Brisbane and you are interested in meeting like-minded Paleo people then head over to http://www.meetup.com/Paleo-Brisbane/.  Our very first get together is coming up on Sunday January 20 at 3:00pm at the Botanical Cafe, Mt Cootha.  You can find more details here: http://www.meetup.com/Paleo-Brisbane/events/94502462/

I am super excited!  I have never been to a “Meetup” before but I jumped at the opportunity to help get this group up and running! I hope we can follow in the footsteps of our interstate counterparts and make this a successful group for all things Paleo in Brisbane.  If you are interested then please go and check it out! Even if you have a slight interest in Paleo and are looking for more information then I say come along and talk to some people who have been following the lifestyle.  Everyone attending will be at all stages of their journey and I can’t wait to hear their stories.

Hopefully I will see you there too!

It starts with…….. Lady Homemade!

Today I won a book!  Not just any book but a Paleo book I have had on my list for a while “It starts with Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig from http://whole9life.com/.

I was super surprised and excited as I won it from my “blog crush” as my friend Julie would call her!

My “blog crush” is Lady Homemade: http://www.ladyhomemade.com/

I love her blog as:

♥ She makes wonderful food that is quick and easy and the family enjoys

♥ Her blog is simple and because of this I enjoy reading each post

♥ She is just so real – I love real people

♥ She has great competitions 🙂

One our family’s favourite recipe of hers is the “Quick Salmon Patties”.  They are quick, cost nothing to make and are delicious.

salmon

Thanks Lady Homemade I am thankful for the book and your blog rocks!

I recommend you go and check it out!

My Christmas gift to my friends this year is a gift to others!

Sipping on our coffees this morning at the Northey Street Markets a kindly gentleman told my girlfriends and I we looked “honest, reliable and friendly”.  “Ah thanks”,  we said but what do you really want we were thinking!  Turns out he was looking for “honest, reliable and friendly” people to help in his Christmas shop.

As he spoke I remembered I had heard of him on the news before.  Each year he opens a shop the week before Christmas, people donate all kinds of gifts to the shop and those less fortunate come and do their Christmas shopping.  Each year this grows bigger and bigger as more people find out about it.

So this year I thought instead of buying my friends Christmas presents since most of us don’t want for anything I will use the money to donate gifts to this man and his wonderful idea.

Merry Christmas friends! My gift to you is a gift to others!  Let’s hope this brightens the Christmas of a few people.

If you are interested in joining in the Christmas spirit you can find all the details here: http://www.spiritofchristmas1.com/

Also Dennis is looking for people to help in the shop during business hours and help tidy up and restock after hours.  If you are interested in helping the shop is located in Bulimba this year his contact details are also on the website.

Low Carb Downunder inspired me to start this Blog!

I have been thinking about starting a blog for a while and when I attended Low Carb Downunder “What should we Eat” I decided it was time!  My family and I have been reasonably Paleo for about a year.  I say “reasonably” because I am 16 weeks pregnant and since becoming pregnant for the first 14 weeks I did introduce bread (and a few other things) back into my diet and I felt terrible!  Now I am happy to say the morning sickness has passed and I am back into my Paleo diet but with a slight twist to before.

Since hearing Jimmy Moore from livinlavidalowcarb.com speak (my podcast hero live in person!) I have added a bit more fat back into our diet and so far so good!  I am not feeling as hungry and I have certainly not wanted for bread at all!

So how good was Low Carb Downunder?

It was amazing to see around 300 people turn up and support this event which just proves the Paleo community is growing bigger and bigger.

The day started perfectly with David Gillespie ( I call him that guy that wrote those books about sugar)  author of “Sweet Poison” and “Big Fat Lies” and spoke about eliminating fructose and you will automatically lose weight.  I really thought he was American but was surprised to see he is an Australian! You can find more information about him here: http://sweetpoison.com.au/. After his talk I thought I had better stop sneaking down to Boost Juice for that 3pm sugar fix!

Dr Eric Davis followed him who is a local dentist interested in the effects of mercury in teeth.  He is a leader in biological dentistry and showed lots of interesting case studies.  One of the parts I enjoyed most was at the panel discussion someone asked him what he thought of fluoride in water and he said it should be put in sugar instead!  They then went on to say tooth decay is an early warning sign as some health related diseases do not show for years and adding fluoride to the water is just masking these signs.

One of my favourite speakers of the day (besides Jimmy) had to be Dr Anastasia Boulais.  I was really looking forward to hearing here and she did not disappoint.  She said how Paleo was not a diet but a set of principles and that eating Paleo was appropriate to our species.  Her discussion on evolutionary principles really broke Paleo down into an easy to understand format that anyone could understand.  I also enjoyed how she spoke of eating appropriate to the season.  You can find more info on here: http://primalmeded.com/

I have a lot more to say about Low Carb Dowunder so we will say this is just part one of most likely a few posts as being a busy working mum with a toddler there is only a few spare moments to myself before I have to get up again!

In the meantime “like” my Facebook page “Brisbane Paleo Family”