Easy, educational craft...Buzz Buzz!

Not that long ago at preschool my little sprout made the cutest little craft that I just had to pass on to everyone. It's the easiest, most educational craft she has done at  school and she plays with it everyday...even now...two weeks later:-) By this simple toy she has learned how bees make honey, danced like a bee, created her own bumble bee songs, etc. Which goes to show kids only need something simple...you can let their imagination do the rest!

Here's what you need:

A paper plate (get green! Borrow one if you don't have any...don't go purchase a whole new pack)
black electrical tape
wax paper, cut into two little bee wings
a black triangle of paper for the stinger
yellow paints or crayons or markers
wiggly eyes (optional, a black marker will work too)

Let your little one color the plate and if they are old enough, help cut the wings out of the wax paper (a wonderful skill to practice!)
Using electrical tape create the bees black stripes
Let your little sprout stick on the wiggly eyes and glue the stinger on.
Let dry and then glue a little stripe of paper for a handle on the bottom. Let dry.

Then let your little sprout fly! Teach them about how bees make honey, about honeycombs, make up songs, dance and "fly" like a bee...let your imaginations soar! Buzz buzz :-)


April Fool's Foodie Friday

How about dessert for dinner...yummy! Cake and ice cream...what kid wouldn't jump for joy! Well, in honor of April Fool's play a little dinner trick on your sprouts: Meatloaf cake and Cauliflower mash ice cream with "sprinkles". Simply cook your meatloaf in a round cake pan and slice like cake, scoop your "ice cream" and sprinkle with green onions or chives. Below are my favorite recipes for this April Fool's meal (but it's great any day of the year!)

Pancetta and turkey meatloaf (recipe calls to make sandwiches but we normally just make the loaf)
*remember to use fresh, local, organic ingredients wherever possible (if in the area Caw Caw Creek pancetta is wonderful!)

Copycat of Ruby Tuesday's Creamy Mashed Cauliflower (thicken a little so that you can scoop it as the "ice cream" with the "cake")
*remember to use fresh, local, organic ingredients wherever possible (if in the area use Shumpert's dairy products...yummy!)

Enjoy feeding your sprouts a laughable, fun filled meal that is sure to make them smile!


Artificial coloring, behavior issues, and the FDA

This week the US Food and Drug Administration took notice of something the EU and green mom's have been tuned into for some time: artificial coloring affecting a child's behavior. Beside the fact that synthetic colorings are far from green (they are petroleum based for goodness sake!), these colorings have been linked to multiple child behavioral issues by various studies. One such study, conducted by the UK, reported that children behaved impulsively and lacked concentration after consuming beverages with such colorings. Multiple independent studies have found links as well. (click here for a study by color breakdown). Red #40 is even banned in several European countries.

The silver lining in the FDA panel discussing this is that they are finally taking note of all the information long since known by others. Likely, the outcome will be additional research but at least doors of change are opening.

And in the end, nothing is better than a naturally colorful plate of fruits and veggies because those colors come with wonderful nutrients lacking in there dyed counterparts. So look out, check your labels, you may be surprised where you find artificial colorings.

Here is a link for making your own food colorings as well...just another way to be a little greener and cut out all those synthetic colors!


Detox: Your internal spring cleaning

Recently on my visit to 14 Carrot Whole Foods I picked up my free copy of deliciousliving magazine and read an article I just had to share! It's titled "Choose your detox" and finally outlines what I feel to be a much healthier detox plan than all the pill form detoxers on the market right now.

Here's an overview of what is recommended:

Eat lean, mostly vegetable protein, crucifers (like kale, broccoli, etc.), Organic produce, citrus

Avoid eating high fructose corn syrups (did you know recent testing of products with HFCS as a top ingredient over 1/3 contained mercury?!), farmed salmon, animal fat, alcohol

That's just to do your basic overall detox, to go a step further and get digestive relief:

Eat fiber and omega 3's

Avoid colon-cleansing herbs that aggravate chronic diarrhea

Take probiotics and digestive enzymes

Chew your food well, try 30 times before swallowing

To Clear up skin:

Eat poached, steamed, and stewed foods

Avoid sugar and milk

Take probiotics, EPA and Curcumin (found in turmeric...did you know that studies have shown turmeric can help prevent the plaque buildup created by Alzheimers?)

Fight Fat:

Eat rice bran fiber and drink green tea

Avoid personal care products with artificial fragrances & food/drinks in plastic packaging (especially #7 plastics that contain BPA)

Take Chlorophyll, Whey protein

Do a 30 minute sauna at least once a week

The thing I love about this article by Lisa Marshall is that she doesn't push having to purchase tons of items for detox...working with whole foods and a few supplements is all that is required; which is what I feel that our system needs anyway...to work with what God gave us in nature to be healthy.

delicousliving contains lots of great articles each month, including recipes and holistic living ideas so be sure to find them on facebook and look for their monthly publications in a shop near you!


Potty Training the eco-way!

What's a green mommy to do? Pullups are pushed at us from all sides but then...so are disposable diapers. Don't fear! There are green options avaliable to you. Here's my top 5 picks:

1. Blueberry cloth training pants
2. Gerber Training Pants (LOVE these for daytime training!)
3. Mom Innovations Night Time Training Pants (side snaps are wonderful for a "messy" morning)
4. Little Beetle organic cotton learners (yippee! Organic cotton & snaps!)
5. Happy Heiny training pants (another great night option!)

Most importantly, remember to take time...patience is key with training your toddler. My oldest sprout (2.5years)  is very well daytime trained and we are working on the nap and night training. But we are letting her go at her own pace. For example, we got a training potty and had her sit on it periodically from about 20 months but we didn't get upset if she didn't use it then one day...something clicked! Shortly after her 2nd birthday she decided that she wanted to use the potty and has been ever since. I truely feel that because we didn't push her before she was ready, she has had far fewer accidents.

What are your sucess stories? How about your favorite training pants? Fill us in here!


Sunday's Eco Inspiration

"Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made." (John 1:3)

I am reminded of the song lyrics, "my help comes from you, Maker of Heaven, Creator of the Earth..." God's Glory is all around us; He created everything down to the tiny little atoms...stand in awe of the amazing Creator. He is our ever present help; REJOICE! YOU are important to the Creator...be amazed.