How to Get My Kids to Live Green Lives?- L.I.E.

Welcome to the April 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Natural Kids. This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our carnival participants have written posts about how they communicate with their children about natural living and how they implement those changes with their kids.

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Making the decision to take the plunge and live a more natural lifestyle was one that I had toyed with for several years but I was never really committed, so I fell back many times. But after I got my son 3 years ago I was determined to stick with the changes I was making.

Sure I was eating healthier that most people for years, but there were SO many things I was doing that were not healthy. So my son came and along with his birth came my commitment to creating an environment that was as healthy, eco-friendly as possible.

So out went the Clorox and in came the vinegar. Out went many of the over processed foods and in came the local vegetables. And much more… Much, much more.

And I LOVED it.

And living this green, healthy lifestyle is something I wanted for my entire family. My husband took a VERY long time to come around to some of the choices I made, but recently he did his own research and made the change!!! Yay!! So now we both are working on it together.

Now that both of us are on the same page we have decided on the best way to help the children enjoy living this type of lifestyle. And so we decided to L.I.E!!!

Yup, we did. But I promise we are not bad parents for it!  We have realized that like anything we want our children to do, we as parents have to L.I.E.

L- Live the example we want our children to follow

I-Instruct them in the right choices to make

E-Enable and encourage them to make the greener, healthier choices.

So when there are spills you know what I use? My green/natural/non-toxic cleaners (Live the example). And best of all I have a little helper. So out comes the spray bottle and cleaning rags and I hear “let me do it!” And I oblige. (Encourage and Enable). I can’t wait until that little voice is joined by his sister’s. Oh how exciting that will be!

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Oh and grocery shopping for the best products- hectic, but we manage. I tell him and show them (well really him as my daughter is too small) why we choose certain things and why we don’t choose others (Instruct). Besides, they really love going shopping. Just yesterday they went for some produce from a “local farmer” and looks at some of the things they got:

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His new favourite things to use is a hand scrub that I made. He loves to smell his hands after he uses it and unfortunately he sometimes HAS to wash his hand even though his hands are not dirty!

Oh well. But we will continue to L.I.E so that our children hopefully will confidently make greener, healthier choices as they get older. Oh and we plan on doing this for all other aspects of their lives too.

So see, I told you we are not bad parents because of it!

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Cheesy Vegetable Pie

The guys went out to get the groceries today, so it was just me and my daughter. I wanted to spend a lot of time playing with her so I decided to make something quick, light and yet tasty. So I quickly cut up my vegetables and put them to boil and played with my daughter. When hubby got home I quickly made the cheese sauce. In less than 30 minutes everything was done.

And best of all- we played, sang and had a great time!

Here’s the recipe for the Cheesy Vegetable Pie

Ingredients:

5 Idaho potatoes

1 medium sweet potato

1 carrot

1 cup diced pumpkin

salt to taste (I had to use regular iodine salt as I have no other one right now, but after reading an article about salt, I am looking to switch. Not to mention that the iodine salt has in something my son is allergic to-CORN!!!!!!)

1/2 cup raw cashews

3 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp marjoram

1 tsp oregano

1 clove garlic

1/4 onion

1 chive

1 tsp tomato paste

1/4 cup boiling water

1/2 tsp lime juice

salt to taste

Method:

Cook carrots, potatoes and pumpkin with a little salt to desired tenderness. Remove from heat and drain.

Sauce:

Blend remaining ingredients excluding lime juice until a thick creamy paste forms. Add lime juice and a bit more salt and blend. The cheese sauce should be a bit saltier than you would like as it will loose some of that saltiness once mixed with the vegetables. Additionally you can add 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes to this sauce.

Pour onto cooked vegetable and gently mix.

You can also bake it for 15 minutes at 350. It tastes wonderful baked, but I had no time for that today.

WE ate ours today with fried plantain and salad and every one cleaned their plates.

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Chocolate, Banana Bean Parfait- Sugar Free

In my family we typically make a lot of food. It’s not that my family is big, but coming from a family that had at least 8 mouths to feed each meal, it is sometimes challenging for me to simply make something to feed 3 1/2 mouths (1/2 is because our daughter is still little and sometimes she eats, sometimes she doesn’t. Sometimes she eats a lot, sometimes she eats a little. You know what I mean).

Anyway this recipe is to serve the many mouths that make up my family. It will serve 10 (or more).

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked black beans

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup coco powder

2 red delicious apples

2 green pears

4 tbsp agave nectar

4 tsp ginger

3 tsp cinnamon

3 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp cassava flour or tapioca flour

1/4 cup grape seed oil

10 medjool dates

1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflour seeds

Method:

Layer 1

Cook pears and apples until they begin to caramelize and remove from heat. 

Blend garbanzos, 3 tsp ginger, pears, apples and 2 tbsp agave nectar until a thick creamy paste if formed. Taste and add more agave if you desire.

Layer 2

Heat a frying pan and add oil. Roast pumpkin seeds until they a just golden brown. Pulse in a blunder until the are a slightly broken down. Slice bananas or dice them and set aside. I personally prefer sliced bananas in this recipe but I am not too big of a banana fan unless the banana is baked in bread or cake.

Layer 3

Soak dates in hot water until they are soft. Blend black beans, drained dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1 tsp ginger, 2 tbsp agave nectar, coco powder, coconut milk and cassava flour. Pour into a saucepan and cook until mixture become thick. Remove from heat and let cool. 

Assembly:

Layer 1, Layer 2-sliced bananas then pumpkin seeds, layer 3.

Enjoy!

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Raw Date Truffles

I was “encouraged” unwittingly by another blogger to really cut out the sugar in my diet. After surviving the 30 Day Health Challenge and not using sugar for a bit I had returned to it.

But a nice email discussing sugar that I had used in one of my recipes last week got me really motivated to find and use better alternatives to cane sugar.

The more I look, the more I find nice alternatives that are not so expensive.

Well I wanted a dessert and did not want to use any sugar so I made some raw, vegan truffles. They are yum!!!

Ingredients:

20 pitted medjool dates

1/4 cup dried cranberries

8 dried apricots

10 prunes

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp sunflower seeds

1/4 cup shreded coconut

Method:

Soak dates in  hot water until the are soft. Place all fruit in a food processor and process until a they form a thick paste. Add seeds and shredded coconut and pulse until seeds are broken down.

Roll into balls and either place in cupcake papers or place on a tray. I made mine irregular since I have a little 3 year old chef who helps me a lot and hasn’t quite got the knack of rolling balls.

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