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Kid Appeal

Kids can learn to eat real food. Believe that taste buds can transform, feed your kids accordingly and watch new habits form. Read on to find out how.

Updated: 2018-03-08T07:03:21.698-08:00


life as a real foodie on the island


i’ve just dropped off my kids and husband at a water park and i’m headed to a beach for a walk before i find some lunch and wi-fi to work on the manuscript.  i get to the beach entry and the attendant tells me it’s cash only.  fabulous.  i used up all my cash on pastured chickens, eggs and purslane at the farmer’s market.  i’m about to wet myself because I’ve been chugging kombucha and coffee with raw milk since we left west houston.  i head over to the walgreens to pulse out cash, and relieve my bladder.  i forget to look for a beverage because that would require keeping three objectives in my mind at once.  i'm on vacation folks and i really want to have the sand between my toes.  like now.i stop at a convenience store and cross my fingers that they sell a beverage that won’t poison me.  hallelujah, they import real mineral water from other countries and it’s in a glass bottle. the owner tells me it’s twist off, and i try in the store, it doesn’t open.  He suggests using a cloth to get it open.  i ask for a bottle opener. he won’t let me use his bottle opener because of liability.  it’s not even alcoholic.  i’m scratching my head, but i’m a business owner, so i get it.  he’s not losing his license so that one real foodie who wants mineral water can quench her thirst. i head to my car to try again with a cloth. nada. i start looking for something to open the bottle with.  my bottle opener key chain is on the pool keys in the junk drawer.  i neglected to bring the junk drawer to the beach.   i go back in and offer to leave my iphone as collateral if he will let me use his opener in my car and promise not to break the bottle and cut myself so badly that i need emergency care.  i don’t tell him this exact thing has happened to me requiring 10 stitches because he surely wouldn’t comply with my request. he was so wise not to take a risk on me.  he hands me his bottle opener, which I scurry back to the car with as he hollers after me in an accent "be very careful with the bottle please."   his bottle opener is deficient.  it must have baked in the sun a long time because the metal bottle cap is shredding the plastic opener.  fantastic.  now he’s going to sue me because i broke his bottle opener.  i return to the desk hand it back to him and say thanks. i neither tell him that i shredded his tool, nor that my bottle of MINERAL WATER is still unopened.  i return to my car thinking, i’m resourceful, i can get a bottle open without a bottle opener, and prevent blood stains in the highlander.  a man gets into his car next to mine.  i roll the window down all damsel-in-distress and ask if he has a bottle opener.  i assure him I only want a little sippy of my wholesome mineral water.  awesome.  humans live on the island!  humanity exists!  rejoice rejoice!  now i'm feeling like this is a universe i want to live in.  thanks man in the car next to me, i don't even know your name!i skip the beach that wouldn’t take my credit card to park because it had a mcdonalds at the entrance.  i head to the next beach that has a lock on the parking entrance.  why is the island preventing me from a walk?  i street park for free, walk down some steps and plant my happy bare feet into the wet sand for a restorative grounding walk, mineral water refreshment in hand, transferred to a beach safe vessel.  i have a view of the gulf of mexico as I write this.  i might move into the hotel galvez to finish this manuscript except their pool bar wait-staff that make mojitos entirely too sweet and have no idea that salad dressing contains oil.  you know that look you get from a young person in uniform when you ask “what kind of oil is your dressing made with?”  huh?  salad dressing doesn't grow on trees?  it's the same look the teenager at the grocery store gives you when you ask h[...]

Classroom Snacks - real food solutions to snacks in public schools


little boo enjoying frozen grapes and peachesYesterday we discussed public school classroom party food.  Today we're tackling classroom snacks in response to the question left by reader Kari on the Food with Kid Appeal facebook page. My question is about school snacks for classroom parties. My son will be in first grade this year, well tomorrow :), and I was asked to oversee all the parties for the entire school. I would like to compile a list of healthy, nut free snacks that the other parents can refer to. The main problem is that everything must have a nutritional label on it, no homemade snacks, to "prove" that the snack isn't too high in fat, calories, sodium, etc. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you :)Ironically, many school wellness policies make it almost impossible for parents to provide food for classroom snacks that won't be a distraction to the learning process. They state that only store bought snacks that come with labels showing nutrition information are the best way to protect allergy kids from exposures and all students from unhealthy snacks with too much sodium, fat, calories, etc.  processed food is not healthy  I know many kids are used to being fed goldfish, pretzels, gogurt and fruit snacks to quell their between meal hunger, but these snacks do not do what a snack should do.  Teachers and parents need snacks to provide kids with nourishment between meals so students can stay focused on learning objectives. Brain cells are greedy, they require two times of the energy other cells in the body need.  If the quality of the energy from food is lacking, the brain is not adequately fueled. This makes it hard for some students to focus, pay attention, follow rules, behave and build the skills the teacher is teaching.  For other students who are on the various learning and behavior disorder spectrums like ASD (autism), ADHD/ADD (behaviour/learning) and sensory processing and vision disorders, a starved brain makes it nearly impossible for them to be in the classroom in a productive way.natural and artificial flavors Most people are unaware that the snack in the package, while it may meet low sodium, fat and calorie requirements, actually contains other ingredients that have been manufactured in a factory specifically to trick brains into thinking they are more delicious and tasty than the food actually is.  These are usually natural or artificial flavors.  The flavors entice your child to eat too much of these snack foods, reducing their hunger for the real food that you may send in their lunch box, for after school snacks or dinner.excitotoxins and neurotoxinssome ingredients are toxic to the various bits and pieces in the brain that are responsible for memory, learning, fact recall, connections between knowledge that allows kids to apply knowledge in difference scenarios.  They are called excitotoxins and neurotoxins.  These ingredients are also manufactured in factories and are used by food manufacturers to improve taste, palatibility appearance and acceptance of a food.   Petrochemical food dyes fall in this category.  Sure that gogurt looks like it's made from strawberries, but there may be no actual fruit in the snack.  Not only is it lacking in fruit which would nourish a learning brain, it is actually sub-lethally neurotoxic.   MSG and it's derivatives like the protein isolates common in most "high protein" snacks also fall in this category.Students don't fall over dead when they eat gogurt or cereal bars, nor do they go into convulsions or lose consciousness.  Those would be acute severe reactions. Our kids respond to these artificial and toxic ingredients in a chronic way.  They generally make it harder for them to follow directions, stay focused, pay attention, learn without interventions.  It is so chronic that as parents and educators we think these reactions are "normal" kid behavior.  sodiumThere are tons of minerals in natural real salt.  each c[...]

Classroom Parties - real food and non-food solutions for public schools


real red food partyOn occasion a reader will lob a question to me on the FwKA Facebook page and in lieu of answering there I'll write a post about it.  This is one of those times.  If you have a question for me, leave it in the comment section of the blog post or put it on our facebook page.  I will either answer directly or move the response to the blog.Kari's question My question is about school snacks for classroom parties. My son will be in first grade this year, well tomorrow :), and I was asked to oversee all the parties for the entire school. I would like to compile a list of healthy, nut free snacks that the other parents can refer to. The main problem is that everything must have a nutritional label on it, no homemade snacks, to "prove" that the snack isn't too high in fat, calories, sodium, etc. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you :)This is a big topic, so I'll be answering the classroom party question today, and the school snack question later in the week. After three years in the public school setting and four years before that in a pre-school setting here's what I've learned about classroom food. It's politically charged.  While there are plenty of parents, teachers and administrators who do want far less carnival type food offered in a school setting for health, education, behavior or allergy reasons, there are just as many parents who tow the "but it's a special occasion, a little junk food won't kill anyone" line. To all those parents I say thisYou are super fortunate that carnival food doesn't make your child come unglued, give them a tummy ache, weaken or eliminate their appetite for nourishing food, make it impossible for them to follow directions, give them hives or airway constriction requiring meds or worse hospitalization, create a homework battle, put them in such a foul mood that for hours and sometimes days after the exposure they can't handle any frustration without acting like a 2 year old, etc.  About 1/4 or more of your child's peers have moderate to serious reactions to the chemical and allergenic ingredients in goldfish and cupcakes.  Do you really want to give every teacher and parent of those kids a hard time just so your kid can have a cupcake at school on his birthday?  Is that an acceptable trade off from your perspective?  Can't you feed him that cupcake at home or a private birthday party?In Texas we have the cupcake law, so even if a teacher would very much like to say no to the parent who would like to share her junky chemicalized store bought cupcakes with every kid in the classroom and still insist her child and others in the classroom meet or exceed all educational goals for the day, she can't.  She must allow parents of birthday kids to create a distraction to the learning process by fueling kids with petrochemical food dyes that studies show make it difficult for kids on the various ASD, ADD/ADHD and learning/behavior spectrum to conduct themselves per school rules in the classroom.  And she must meet all campus and district objectives for the day to teach those same spectrum and "normal" kids all the required components of their education.  Per Dr Susan Rubin, ".......the research on artificial food colors and additives published in the September 2007 issue of Lancet. This double blind study spelled out the fact that increased levels of hyperactivity are associated with the development of educational difficulties, especially in relation to reading, therefore adverse effects could affect a child’s ability to benefit from schooling."the real food party solutionSome parents have had success with creating real food parties instead of junk food parties.  In 2010 I shared both a valentine's day real red food classroom party idea and a green food st. patrick's day party idea sent in by a reader.  The teachers who have taught my sons were a mixed bag.  Some loved the real food party idea and results (yay!!), others felt t[...]

The Best Brain Food for Back to School Post


easy lunchboxesSchool starts in one week.  Big boo is headed to 3rd grade and Little boo to 1st grade.   I hear third grade is a challenging year for dual language students.  Let's hope our continued healing has big boo's brain ready for the learning adventure!  If Little boo is on the same track as big brother, he'll start reading in Spanish this year, exciting!  He got a kick start in the bilingual play from summer camp where he had lines in both languages.Our new soft lunch box bags have arrived, school supplies are waiting in classrooms and I've got gobs of coconut kefir yogurt (recipe and instructions coming soon), carrot pickles and home-made gluten free quick-bread recipes (recipes coming soon) to fill lunch boxes with.  We'll be using our Easy Lunchboxes for the 3rd year.  They've held up well.  Hubby was on lunch gear purchase duty this year and got extras so he could start packing lunch too!brains need fuel to learn and behave normally  I'm putting the finishing touches on a free ebook that will launch in coming weeks, Eat to Learn.Until then, keep in mind that eating real food for breakfast and lunch can improve your child's performance in school.  The more whole clean food (food that has no labels) you can provide for breakfast and lunch the better.  Fats, proteins, complex carbohydrates and micronutrients like those found in fruits and vegetables should make up the majority of your kiddo's breakfast plate and lunch tray.Minimizing excitotoxins such as MSG and it's derivatives will go a long way to ensuring your child's brain is not distracted during the learning process.  I would like to write a deeper post about excitotoxicity and these nasty additives that are better left out of your child's diet.  Stay tuned for that.Later this week I'll answer a FwKA facebook question from reader, Kari My question is about school snacks for classroom parties. My son will be in first grade this year, well tomorrow :), and I was asked to oversee all the parties for the entire school. I would like to compile a list of healthy, nut free snacks that the other parents can refer to. The main problem is that everything must have a nutritional label on it, no homemade snacks, to "prove" that the snack isnt too high in fat, calories, sodium, ect. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you :)Hopefully I'll be over my temper tantrum from last week and can answer from a more grounded perspective. back to school brain food round up 5 Ways to Feed Your School KidWhat to feed themhow to break in new gearhow to refuel quickly at lunch protein for lunch and snack and the eat to learn connection.Help, My Child Doesn't Eat Enough School LunchSadly, this post gets tons of traffic Sept - Nov when parents realize just how little their kiddos eat at lunch.  I can't imagine how I would possibly learn all day long if I ate a tiny bit of garbage for breakfast and a tiny bit of garbage for dinner, but this is reality for a lot of elementary school kids.  It still takes me great courage to head to the school cafeteria to eat with my sons.  My heart just breaks for little brains too low on fuel and teachers trying to teach undernourished brains. Get Your Preschooler Ready for School LunchIf you have a reluctant eater on your hands like I did, you'll want to start practicing for school lunch a whole year before kinder starts.  They'll need that much time to develop good refueling skills in the school cafeteria where there are tons of silly buddy, loud noise and low-nutrient food distractions.   Did you see the picky eater interview I posted last week?  I think I look too serious in it.  What do you think?  I need to practice smiling when talking about the serious business of feeding kids real food!  [...]

Food Trumps Education - Transforming Picky Eaters @KidAppeal interview


allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="300" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="400">If you have 8 minutes you should watch me answer these 5 questions with Kim Goodall of Mommy to the Max. 1.  When is picky eating a problem I should solve?  Is it OK if my kid just doesn't care for a handful of veggies?2.  What should a parent do when kids say no to all veggies.3.  What advice do you have for parents who cook separate meals for their kids?  How should parents cope with such finicky palates?4.  How painful is going to be to switch from separate meals for each picky eater to a family meal where everyone eats the same thing.5.  What are some steps to take to get a healthier eating child?Keep in mind, this is 8 minutes of dialog.  I am writing a tome on how to grow a good eater.  I did not share all of the road map in this brief interview.  If employing these steps hasn't gotten your child to be a good eater yet, please don't be discouraged.  You and your child just need more guidance and training to reach the destination.  Your child can learn this life-skill.  I know, I did when I was in my 20s.  Stay tuned, complete road map coming!The working title for my eBook is  Transforming Picky Eaters. I'll be sharing this content in the coming months.   I still haven't decided what format it will be.  I thought eBook, now I'm thinking 10 sessions each with a chapter of material and a webinar where readers can hear me speak about the chapter material and have a chance to ask questions.  Not really a class.  More like a Q&A with the author.  Still deliberating.  Chime in with your preference in the comments if you like.I'm really excited to be working on this content and can't wait to share the finished product with you, whatever that is!Writing blog posts and having dialog with parents is how I hone my message. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with Kim Goodall of Mommy to the Max about transforming picky eaters.  She asked some really good questions her audience had been peppering her with.In one response during the interview, I say that the life-skill of eating healthy food is as important as education.  Since the interview aired, I've had a chance to think deeply about that statement.  Not only do I firmly and whole-heartedly believe that eating healthy food is an important life skill that all parents should teach their kids, I believe that food trumps education.I know.  That's a bold statement.  But Maslow agreed with me.   Wrong order.  I agree with Maslow, sorry, I know that I am not the center of the universe!When you nourish the body and brain properly, it learns without intervention.  It will learn in a variety of environments, cultures and scenarios.  Just try to make a nourished brain not learn.  Not going to happen.   It's not as simple as that, I'll take you on the deep dive in Chapter 1, Food Trumps Education.So when you think about how important school is as our kiddos are getting ready to start the school year, keep that in mind.  What you feed them is more important than how and where they're taught.More details on the launch and format in coming days.  Things are getting pretty exciting around here.  I am already planning the launch party.  It is going to be fabulous!To see the interview, it's short and sweet at about 8 minutes, head on over here.Oh, and since I plan to one day be interviewed by Oprah, Brene Brown, Jenny Lawson and Katie Couric please share in the comments with me your suggestions on how I can look, sound and be more amazing on camera in the future.Thanks for watching,jennarecovered picky eater and your person[...]

The Eczema Cure


Holistic Kid's daughter's before/after Eczema Cure photosThere are a lot of things I wish I could go back in time and redo from my boys' infancy and early childhood.  One of them is the choice to ignore eczema.  I pretended that applying the cream that the pedi gave us was a solution instead of a terrible band aid that gave us false security that the problem was addressed.Of course I knew at the time that eczema, allergies and asthma usually showed up in threes and we had family history of asthma and allergies on both sides of the family tree.  Still I wasn't informed enough to make the best decision.  I guess I was just ducking to see if the bullet would miss our family.  Stupid stupid expensive choice.The best decision would have been to figure out why my both my babies had skin rashes.  Not how to make it go away, but why it happened in the first place and how to stop it from recurring.  I should have started my detective work then, found the root cause and fixed it.But I didn't.  I still very much believed that doctors were wise and could help me heal my kiddos when they got sick.  So I did what the pedi told me.  Rub on a cream, and go on with life, pay $15 copay.Neither one of them had very severe eczema.  It wasn't scaly, and they were never frantically itching it.  Yet by the time both were in elementary school they would need heavy medications just to stay out of the hospital from allergy induced asthma.  Health can decline rapidly, even in the young.If you or a loved one has a baby or young child with eczema, please become a detective and a triage nurse right now.  Find out why eczema happens and what you can do to stop it.  Don't settle for solutions that temporarily relieve the itching and scaly skin just to have all that nonsense come back days, weeks or months later.Holistic Kid's The Eczema Cure  can help you find the eczema cause and offers solutions. Real ones.  Lasting ones.  Ones that don't lead to allergies and asthma later.there's more than one way to skin a catYou don't have to pay for this information.  You can dig around online and find this stuff, like I did.  That took hours, and years for me to read, filter and amass that much information to put it into an action plan.I know you're a busy parent and you may or may not feel qualified to assess all the free information you find online to determine best solution and best practice.  So you you want a short-cut, an easy button.  Buy the book.  $25 might be more than you spend on the cream the pedi asked you to slather on your little one, but if it were me, back then, when my babies started getting rashes, I would have bought this book every day of the week and twice on Sundays.I can't even begin to count how many dollars I would have saved on healing very sick kids, versus healing a tiny bit sick kids.  The stress savings alone are priceless.  What I wouldn't spend now, to get back sleepless nights, constant vigilance, the effort to research and find real lasting healing instead of band aids that made them sicker.  I wish I could go buy a new endocrine system for myself, because mine in shot from all the worry, discovery and resource intense healing protocols we've had to employ to get off the train wrecked health path.Press the easy button.  It is right here in this post.  Just press it.  Not because I'm going to make a few bucks if you buy, or the author is going to get rich if you buy, but because you want real lasting health and wellness for your child.  Easy Button for Eczema Cure  Click that!  Spend a little money.  Read book.  Employ road map!  It's easy!Buying this book and following it's action plan may seem harder than smearing on the cream from the pharmacy, but it's my opinion that that this is the closest thing to an easy button y[...]

Dear USA, I'm Mad - open letter from a mom with sick kids


[Ed. Note.  Full disclosure folks: if you're in my inner circle you know I curse like a sailor.   If you love Jesus and this post offends you I'm really sorry.  Remember that time Jesus got all pissy in the temple and started breaking shit?  That's how I feel right now, and I think if Jesus were sitting next to me he'd probably tell me it would be ok if I went into the temple all pissy and broke shit.  I'm just not in a place right now where I can share this story without cursing.  PPS If you are a blogger or a social media user, and feel so inspired please share my story, if anything can come from our tribulations, I'd like help other families who are suffering.]Dear USA, Do you ever have days you wish you could just do over?  Yesterday was like that for me.  I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it all.  Still wishing I could unlearn.It started it off with an early morning visit to the vision doctor to evaluate little boo.  In my quest to find out why my last born is intolerant to life, I stumbled across the movement doctor's website.  This led me to an vision evaluation that would take 1/2 a day to figure out why my brilliant pun making, dual language, poetry reciting six year oldfalls into pondsgets headaches at movie theatres won't keep 3D glasses oncan't walk outside when it's above 75 degrees for longer than 1/8th a mile without complaining of muscle fatigue, getting itchy, being hot and asking to be carriedclips door frames, counter-tops and coffee-tables on a regular basiscan't stay seated when he eats a meal or reads a bookfalls off chairs as if they spontaneously change into holey swiss cheesetook two years to learn to write the "y" in his name the correct waystarted writing his name backwards at age six after mastering this skill at age 4didn't finish kinder at a reading level that matched his oral fluencywobbles so much on his bike that even after 15 months with no training wheels, he still falls frequently.  we all hold our breath when he rides next to ditches. (so far, no ditch diving)hates frisbee or ball catching and won't participatecries when i announce it's outside time, usually chooses to sit and watch vs run and playprefers only legos, screen time, snacks and is "intolerant" to most other diversions and activities.I am hopeful that this would explain why my son is exercise, heat and exertion intolerant and why even the limited amount of screen time he gets makes his head hurt.  Why was it so hard for my little guy to enjoy walks, outdoors, movies?  Life?Vision is a skill After the initial eye exam by the doctor to test eyesight, stereo vision, color blindness, how his eyes tracked objects, convergence and other tests I don't recall, he went for a couple hours with a therapist to find out how his vision skills were developed and what gaps existed.I was not permitted to stay with him.  I left the practice to go eat lunch, he had his lunch box with him.  While I was eating lunch alone I decided to entertain myself with my daily Dr Mercola newsletter.  I got 4 bites into my food and literally felt like vomiting from what I was reading.Food is heaven to me y'all.  I'm a foodie.  Food makes me feel awesome.  I can eat through death, I can eat through grief, I can eat through a bad head cold and I can eat through worry. I think this was the first time I ever lost my appetite for something other than virus or the cocktail flu.When I read that it's possible that our government agencies were in criminally negligent ways approving pharmaceutical drugs that would knowingly sicken ignorant citizens I really thought I would hurl the crab Rangoon I'd just inhaled as a guilty pleasure across my table at Panda Garden.Is the USA knowingly sickening it's citizens?My phone rang.  Little boo had finished the evaluation, time to return to the visi[...]

Eat Your Tummy Healers - part of our allergy & asthma healing journey


I'm in the process of training my gluten-free, dairy-free allergy kid to self-serve himself all his tummy healers.  He's been a reluctant eater for years, so getting him to eat is a chore.  I'm worn out.  I've spent over a year optimizing his diet so he can heal quickly.  I've come to realize that he's the one that's in control of how quickly the healing happens. I can make all the bone broth, fermented veggies, soft cooked egg yolks and kefired coconut milk in the world, and I can nag and nag and nag him to eat one more bite, take one more sip, take one more serving.  But we don't like each other very much when I nag like that. So I  stopped doing it.I'm making his healing foods, they are well stocked in our house. If he wants to heal quick he can eat a lot of them. If he wants to heal slow, he can eat a few of them. His choice. I hope he wants to heal fast, because I'm exhausted after a year of being his creamery, his bakery, his deli, his condiment maker, his soup cook, et cetera.I am one tired allergy kid mom. I am so grateful my kiddos are getting healthy and off all their asthma inhalers but man oh man am I tired. Healing their leaky guts has taken a toll on me and I need a big. fat. rest.Little boo and I have this conversation at least 3 times a day:Little boo:  Mama, when do I get to have that bread stuff again?Me:  You mean wheat?Little boo:  Yes.Me:  When your tummy is healed.Little boo:  When?Me:  I don't know.  How many tummy healers have you eaten today?Little boo:  I don't know.Me:  The more tummy healers you eat the faster your tummy will heal. orLittle boo:  Maaaaaoooom, smoothies again?  I want a different snack. Why do you always give me smoothies when you know they aren't my favorite?Me: Because smoothies help your tummy heal fast.    the new path forward to dairy and gluten for little booHe still has to finish his daily allotment of tummy healers before he's entitled to snacks or dessert.  But if he chooses to skip some of his portions, that's on him.He's only six and this seems like a huge responsibility to burden him with.  What can I say?  We're a sick family, trying to get healthy.  I can't do all the work or I'll peter out.  I can't keep chasing kids around with half drunk smoothies like we're all going to perish if they don't get finished.  If he's OK with slow healing, I'll just have to be OK with slow healing too.He's unfairly struck with adversity.  His body doesn't work the way it's supposed to.  It's allergic to indoors.  To outdoors.  To food.  To chemicals.  He did nothing to deserve that fate. He is a marvel and he doesn't feel marvelous.  That's just not a fair burden for any kid to have to carry.Yet he has to rise to the occasion.  He must become wise beyond his years in order to overcome this adversity and claim a healthy body that will serve him for the rest of his years.  I know he can do it.  I know I can step out of the way and let him learn this unfair life lesson.unfinished coconut kefir smoothie sitting on the counterour tummy healersHere's what we eat and drink in order to heal our leaky guts so we can put an end to this allergic to everything bizniz. We are sorta still following GAPS protocol, but we do eat starches and rice in moderation.lacto-fermented vegetablescoconut milk or raw milk kefir soft cooked or raw egg yolks from pastured hensbone broth made from weight bearing bones, rich in collagen and gelatinthe juice from our veggie fermentsanimal fat, more than anyone would enjoy, pifcoconut oiltherapeutic levels of high quality probiotic supplementskombucha (this is no hardship, the boys love that one!)fermented cod liver oil (more of a brain healer/protector) This post is participating in Real Food W[...]

Grilled Asparagus Recipe - Popular Posts


grilled asparagus photo courtesy of cookin' canuck[Ed. note:  I'm working on Chapter 1 of my upcoming Transforming Picky Eaters eBook, "Why real food is more important than a quality education."  While I write the book, here's another post from the archives that is getting quite a bit of attention on Pinterest. This Grilled Asparagus recipe was originally posted May 2009. Enjoy your veggies on the grill this summer!  Just don't char them, ick.]This is timely for my family since we are getting ready to leave on a six day road trip to Arkansas. Three nights will be spent in a cabin in Petit Jean State Park, but unlike the cabin we stayed in for little boo's third birthday "camping" trip, this cabin has no kitchen. That means all our meals will be cooked over fire, and it's a sure bet I'll throw some green veggies on the flames. To quote my sister-in-law "Jenna, you are the only person I know who would grill asparagus on a camping trip."The key to grilled veggies on the outdoor grill is to cut them in large pieces (or leave them whole). They take a little longer to cook this way, but then you don't have pieces falling through the grill. Asparagus is a low prep veggie and can be done out doors easily, no knife needed. Just wash it, and snap off the woody stalks, drizzle with a little oil, salt and pepper and grill for a minute or two, rolling them once. We did asparagus on the grill in April for little boo's trip and I have to say that batch of asparagus was the best I've had in many years. Although I love olive oil for the flavor, I don't like to grill or roast with it, because it's not a high heat oil. In addition to losing a lot of it's nutritional qualities, studies have shown olive oil becomes toxic when exposed to high heat.  For the grill I like to use coconut oil. If you feel like being ambitious with your asparagus, try out this delish recipe I snagged from Cookin' Canuck. I would serve the flavored mayo as a dip vs, cooking it.  Sub real mayo for light mayo obviously.Kid Appeal Tip Don't be afraid to include veggies in your outdoor meal menus. So often meat is the star of the show for grill days, but veggies get a great smoky flavor on the grill and that taste enhancer is one you want to share with your kids. Grill marks make veggies look appealing too, and kids like adults eat with their eyes! Plus grill food is often eaten with hands, grilled asparagus spears make great finger food. Let kids help prep veggies too. My guys love to peel carrots, snap asparagus, etc.Like what you've read? Never miss a recipe or kid appeal tip to grow your good eater, join the email newsletter list.  Subscribe to Food with Kid Appeal newsletterThis post is participating in  Make Your Own! Monday at Natural Family Awareness, Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, Traditional Tuesday at Whole New Mom (link coming soon),  The Mommy Club at Crystal & Co., (link coming soon)[...]

My Picky Eater Manifesto


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[Ed. note:  The links to the video were missing when I published this yesterday.  They should work now, sorry for the errors!  Also included is my Picky Eater's Manifesto, the entire video I submitted to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Team.]

19 days until the eBook launch of Transforming Picky Eaters.  While I write, I thought you might like to read some of my old favorite posts, and some of the most visited pages from this blog.  Stay tuned for new content.

In case you missed it the first time....

Food Revolution is Real Video

Wanna know who was included in Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution is Real" video currently on his websites front page? Me! Twice! Fun. This has been out on youtube for weeks, but I just stumbled on it today.

If you want to check out a few seconds of my mug, play this video. Don't blink at minute 1:54 and 3:56 or you'll miss me! Click the play button on the video right under the top navigation bar.

Don't you just love the little girl who talks about sugar, hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup as "stuff I just don't need." Love that.

In case you want to hear all the words I said to Jamie, here's the rest of my video submission. I never did figure out how to make the sound sync on the YouTube upload, but clearly the copy the Food Revolution folks got was fine. And yes. That is a lamp in the background. Don't ask.

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This post is participating in Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday.

[Second Ed. note:  I just watched my picky eater manifesto for the first time since I published it in May 2010.  It took a moment of courage because I wondered how much my message had changed since I have two more years of perspective and experience under my belt now.  I wondered how embarrassed I'd be to share outdated material with you.  

I. Cried.  I could have authentically written those exact words today as I did over two years ago. Except now it's been two years since I challenged myself to make a difference in the health of our youngest generation and I don't feel like I've accomplished nearly as much as I would like to.  It's a huge problem, how sick kids are today.  The problem needs to be solved. Urgently.  Still I'm one woman and completely human.  I can only go so fast to share my message of hope and healing through real, clean, non-toxic food.]

July Happenings - what I cooked, uncooked, read and discovered


July has been a happy, joyous, hopeful, packed with opportunity month.  I've been juggling summer harvest, fermenting for a healing family of four, mothering, recruiting, baking grain-free dairy-free bread for little boo, laundry/dinner fairying and recovering all while trying to redesign and grow this blog, decide what book to write first, and how to publish it and taping interviews.We are also really starting to reap the benefits of all the asthma and allergy healing we've been practicing since June 2011.  Both kids are off their daily asthma and allergy medications and they have bright smiles healthy appetites.  They are both normal, healthy kids for the first time since early toddler-hood. One thing July taught me is that even the very good stress of new opportunities and healed children can still put the brakes on new found healing.  My insomnia had been getting better, nearly resolved, but since i returned to blogging it has now returned.  Not as severe as it was in the fall and spring but still impacting more nights that not.  If I am really going to get this book published in three weeks I need to sleep!Here's a re-cap of some of the posts I've shared with you, in addition to what I've been reading.   Lots of things percolating for future posts! July Happenings we had the best farmcation ever ever.  we visited my brother, practiced archery, shooting bb guns, built and shot off a bottle rocket, and many fireworks.  i cooked on ma's chamber's stove.  mostly we unplugged and nourished our bodies and souls with real food and excellent company.the homemade rootbeer recipe i planned on making with the boys during our August staycation.  Rescheduling that project for after the Transforming Picky Eaters book launch. most of my pickled peppers and squash ferments went awry.  but i'm wiser now, next time i'll get them right.  the tummy healing fermented salsa has been a hit with extended family, and the pickled carrots are welcome in summer camp lunchboxes. i might have to start making these easy meatballs for lunchboxes instead of lunch meat sandwiches, now that i've learned even organic lunch meat can be treated with bacteria to prevent listeria. recipes like this onion gratin keep me hopeful that one day all my children will be able to tolerate dairy.when we do have all kiddos eating dairy, hubby and i will make goat cheese so he can finally put into practice the 10 year anniversary present I bought him, cheese making books!i'm thinking of this fudge popsicle recipe for our next family gathering.can you sleep for weight-loss or sleep for stress management?  i'm trying both.  my new bed-time despite stupidly ambitious book launch deadline is 10:30p, 9:30 preferred.  maybe these 15 pounds that have mysteriously shown up in the past 2 months will fall off while i sleep more! (insomnia, are you listening?)if our old neighborhood tangerine tree makes a crop this winter I'll be adapting this orange brownie recipe dat's fo true!i gave up on trying to make grain-free cakes for special occasions, too much hassle, way complicated recipes had me stressed.   these grain-free, gluten-free, GAPS legal lemon bars are really something I could wrap my brain around!a candy-maker i am not, but Kresha from Nourishing Joy has an open invitation to come be my wife (in a the most platonic way imaginable) and make me honey marshmallows with rhubarb any day of the week and twice on sundays!with our recent move away from a townhouse and into a house with front and back landscaping, we'll be looking into growing our own homemade mosquito repellent. i wept when i spoke to dr. theresa nesbitt, the movement doctor who explained to me why my 6yo gets headaches/migraines when watching TV [...]

Tranforming Picky Eaters - Mindset Matters


I guest posted on Nourished Kitchen last week.  Be sure to check out the comments where I answer reader's questions.  Show some FwKA love and leave a comment/question on Jenny's blog.  Thanks!

How do you transform a picky eater? First, you have to change their mindset.  The mindset has to become I’m capable of learning to like new foods, instead of I’m a picky eater.  Once the mindset shift has occurred, thoughts will change.

Your child may start thinking, I don’t really like scrambled eggs, but hardboiled eggs are okay.  Once their thoughts about the hated food start changing, their actions change too, scrambled eggs are for breakfast, I’ll try them. Then as they are eating those eggs they’ve consistently rejected they think, huh, these eggs are actually not so bad, I could eat another bite.  After experimentation with eggs prepared in different ways, plus a mindset shift, this leads to a change in results.  Your child used to avoid scrambled eggs, but now (s)he’s found a way to like them.

To read the full story click here.

Transforming Picky Eaters - Ebook & Snapware Announcement


Thanks to all of you who participated in the survey regarding my upcoming eBook topic.  Regardless of the topics I'm most interested in writing, this book is for you, my readers (and all those people who will be my readers once they hear of my road map to healing a nation of sick kids).Snapware Winner Congratulations Sara M B, you won the snapware.  Please email me to find out how to collect your thank-you gift.  The topic I'm most passionate about right now is reversing allergies and asthma.  But that is not what most of you want to hear about.  Most of you want to hear about how to teach your children to eat the nourishing food that will get them and enable them to stay healthy.  My first eBook will be Transforming Picky Eaters (subtitle is not finalized.)  What you may not understand yet, is that picky eating is often a sign that your child doesn't feel well enough to eat the palatable and sometimes unfamiliar food you are serving.  Underlying pain can rob them of their normal appetite that would  instinctively allow them to eat the healthy food available to them.I'll get to the reversing asthma book.  If you can't wait for that book, stay tuned to the blog, I'll be reporting our progress and healing practices as they happen real time.  I have ambitious goals for the next 12 months.  I will be producing a series of books in the next year to help families feed kids real food and avoid or reverse picky eating, reluctant eating, allergies, asthma, eczema, autoimmune diseases and learning disorders.  You will learn how malnutrition (not body size) and chemical exposures are the cause of these illnesses.  Once those two monsters are remedied, you and your kids will start feeling better and no longer need medications.  Even if you're already eating a very clean, balanced, nutrient dense diet like my family has since my babies were born, they can still fall prey to these thieves of good health.Why would I buy a book when your blog content is available for freeSome people, like you, enjoy subscribing to a blog and consuming a writer's content real-time.  You follow and converse with me on facebook, listen to my twitter broadcast and read blog posts.  Other people aren't online so much.  They head online when they need to buy a product or find information to solve a problem.  Sifting through hundreds of blog posts that contain the information and answers they are looking for is not feasible.  They'd rather pay a few dollars and get the content delivered in a neat, organized package.  I've been drafting the book's message on my blog and facebook feed for years. I'm collecting relevant articles and studies on Pinterest.  If you've followed every word I've written (snore), there may not be much news in the book. If you don't feel  the need to buy my book when it launches because you've already gotten the details, no worries.  You helped me immensely by telling me what you struggle with and what doesn't make sense.  When I sound off on something you chime in probing deeper or mentioning counter points I understand how a larger audience will respond to my material.  For that feedback I am eternally grateful. You made my book digestible and relevant.  Hugs to you all!Transforming Picky Eaters book written by FwKA community When this book comes out,  it will be our book. It is written by us and for other families struggling to raise healthy kids in this toxic world where too many young kids are already incredibly and needlessly sick.  I know you all have the same goal I do.  To do no harm to our kids and to give them the feeding skills they need to get and sta[...]

Virgin Mango Mojitos - a cultured drink recipe for kids


Little boo is a mixologist.  We've been drinking unsweetened drinks in our house since he was a toddler.  Juice is a special occasion beverage.  Perhaps his body yearned for a more sophisticated flavor than plain water or unsweetened herbal tea.  Whatever the inspiration, I like the results!In his pre-school days he was often found adding cut fruit to his water.  Following my habit of dropping fresh basil or mint in my water, herbs were next.  Then Altoids.  I know.  I was skeptical too.  That's the awesome thing about having kids in the kitchen.  They don't have all the taste fails from decades of cooking in their mind yet.  They take risks with flavor combinations that I might not take.  In other words, they grow my courage in the kitchen.  It makes such simple sense I couldn't have thought of it myself.  Altoids really do fit the "minty drink" model.Since mint has been in season I've been making mojitos for myself on occasion.  Naturally he wanted one.  We've been experimenting with different mixers.  I'm too lazy to make simple syrup.  Why do that when there is ginger beer, Izze, kombucha or other fermented sodas in the fridge?I started thinking of our virgin mojitos as dessert.  A dessert that could even help my kids heal from allergies and asthma. Happy mama!  Drinking fermented beverages helps with digestion, perfect for after dinner.  And they make the kids so happy.   After our summer of food variety deprivation last year, we are all delighted to be enjoying our food and drink again. Altoids?  Yuh! They taste good in mojitosLast night I asked little boo to make mango mojitos for everyone while I cleared the table.  He was giddy!  He didn't require any interference from me except help cutting the lime. Bonus. Dessert tastes better when some else makes it! I drank half of mine before the kids went up for bed, then I added a splash of vodka (outta rum, ya know?).  The first half wasn't very altoidy at all, but after the altoid had dissolved more it really added an interesting minty bite to the cocktail. I'm not sure altoid mojitos are my favorite, but I could see myself ordering this beverage at a bar with a nice outdoor patio and really enjoying the party happening in my mouth.  Volcano, are you taking this hint?  Pretty please, put a kombucha mojito on your menu. Virgin Mango Mojitos- makes 4 six ounce servings ingredients 1 16oz  bottle mango flavored kombucha (or fizzy juice drink like ginger beer or izze)2 limes, halved1/2 cup mango, diced1 large bunch fresh mintSparkling mineral water (or club soda)ice cubes 4 Altoids (optional)directionsDivide the mint evenly in each cup (do not cut).  Add mango cubes if using.  You can crush the leaves in your hands before adding it, or use a muddler to release the minty oils. Add one Altoids to each glass. Add ice. Divide the mango kombucha evenly in four glasses.  Add about 2 ounces of sparkling mineral water to each cup.  Stir and serve.  Enjoy the grins!Kid Appeal Tip Do your kids beg and plead for flavored beverages all day?  Mine love them and would drink them exclusively if I let them. Even good for your sweetened drinks like kombucha should be consumed in moderation.  Humans just aren't designed to metabolize a lot of sugar in any form on a daily basis.  It taxes the liver and metabolism.  One way to damage your kids health early on is to permit continual drinking of sweet drinks, even 100% fruit juice.  They only get one liver.  You really don't want to send your kid to college with a damaged liver.  Make sur[...]

Nourished Baby On Sale - Giveaway Winner


gingered carrot recipe from nourished babyI'm so glad so many people participated in the Nourished Baby giveaway!  It is truly an amazing resource, I wish I'd had it around when my boys were babes.  I'm sure I could have avoided some or all of the wheezes, night time coughs, sneezes, tummy aches and headaches that were hallmarks of my boys' preschool days.  Instead of hauling my kids to the pediatrician for more and more antibiotics and steroids which only further compromised their health, I would have been in the kitchen making bone broth and kefir.Congrats Lisa D, you won!  Contact me (or check for my email) to claim your prize.Nourished Baby eBook SaleIf you didn't win the giveaway and would like to buy the book, good news, it's on sale!  Click here to buy the Nourished Baby eBook.  Use coupon code SUPERMAMA to get a discount.  20% off discount expires August 15th, 2012.Nourished Baby includes over 30 baby- and kid-friendly (not to mention parent-friendly) grain-free, dairy-free recipes — with gorgeous color photos. From Blackened Wild Salmon With Pineapple Mango Salsa to Kale Chips to Homemade Cherry Pie “Larabars”.Nourished Baby will teach you:How the actual birth experience can affect a child’s cravings for lifeWhy a 2001 study of North American women found that their breast milk did not meet the minimum requirements for many essential nutrients –- and how to make sure your baby gets the absolute best at your breastHow to decode your cravings while nursingWhy you should skip rice cereal and go for digestion enhancing stewsWhat the latest research says on introducing peanuts, eggs and other “allergenic” foodsWhy experts believe purees can lead to overeatingWhen children’s “picky” eating habits can actually indicate a serious problem — and how to correct itTips for raising an adventurous eaterInterview with Nourished Baby AuthorYou don't want to miss my interview with the author if you have autoimmune disorders, allergies or asthma running in your family.  No mama wants to give these diseases to their kids.  Did you know they are all preventable and reversible?  If you missed the interview with Nourished Baby author Heather Dessinger, click on over here. Our asthma medication updatePS - Little boo is now three weeks off all daily inhalers!!  Yay.  In addition to being wheeze and cough free, he also has improved appetite and wakes up smiling instead of grouchy.  I look forward to doing a dairy challenge soon so we can get him back on butter, dairy kefir, cheese and eventually raw milk.  We are really doing the happy dance around here.  Your two centsSo I want to know your thoughts.  Do you believe allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases are reversible?  If you have evidence one way or the other, please share in the comments.  You may encourage other readers to reclaim their health![...]

Feeding Kids To Avoid Autoimmune Disorders - an interview with author of Nourished Baby


 Here is the promised interview with The Mommypotamus and Nourished Baby author Heather Dessinger.  After recovering from autoimmune disease via real food and detoxification, Heather went on to deliver and grow two good eaters and healthy kiddos. What do mothers-to-be need to know about their health and how it impacts the health of their children?Goodness, where to start?!?!? I think the mainstream idea that a child's health is mostly determined by genetics is still pretty widely accepted, but what we're learning from the field of epigenetics is that nutrition and our environment play a HUGE role in switching our genes on and off. In the The Ghost In Your Genes, an absolutely riveting free documentary from BBC, a pair of identical twins are studied to better understand how the process works. At the beginning of their lives they were genetically identical in every way, but as they grew and made different choices their genes adapted, and by the end of their lives they were very different genetically. The fact that our genes are so malleable can work for or against us. If we nourish our children well, we can actually turn off disease promoting genes they may have received from us. On the other hand, poor nourishment and toxin exposure have been shown to switch on genes at inappropriate times, which leads to disease. Not only are mothers the first "environment" their children experience, they also pass on a microbial inheritance at birth that can either make them susceptible or resistant to conditions like eczema, ADD, and asthma. And of course they continue to shape their child's genetic expression with the foods they serve every day. This is especially true during breastfeeding and the early years. Unfortunately, nutritional deficiencies in breast milk are more common than most people think. In a 2001 study of North American women, researchers found that their breast milk did not meet the minimum requirements for many essential nutrients, most notably vitamin D.¹ And “[w]hile protein levels in human milk remain constant at about 11 percent under various conditions, levels of fat and lactose—both essential for the development of the nervous system—vary widely,” says the Weston A. Price Foundation. Can you give us the short version of your health status before you became pregnant?I was a wreck! Daddypotamus and I were junk food fiends when we got married. Though my wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life, it was also the very beginning of a landslide when it came to my health. I was losing weight so quickly there were concerns my wedding dress would be too big for me on the big day, and I'd only had it a few months! Years of eating MSG, genetically modified foods, and hormone “enhanced” meat was taking its toll. About two years after we said our vows – just when we were thinking about starting a family - my health problems snowballed into a debilitating autoimmune disorder. Blood tests also revealed that years of low-fat dieting had lowered my cholesterol to nearly undetectable levels – lower than those long distance runners who don’t get periods. It’s embarrassing to admit now, but when I first heard the numbers I thought it was a good thing! Um, no. Cholesterol is necessary for producing the hormones that sustain a pregnancy. “Don’t get pregnant, you’re not strong enough to carry a baby to term” were her exact words. All my friends were getting pregnant and having gorgeous, squishy babies and there I was: covered in acne, unable to eat without pain, chronically exhausted and discouraged. It was pretty miserable. How old were you when[...]

Nourished Baby eBook Giveaway


Eek!  I just committed to launching my new eBook August 18th.  First step?  Decide which eBook to write first. I'd like you're help with that one.  (And that of all your friends who have picky or reluctant eaters or kids with eczema, allergies, asthma.)

I know all too well what I'm passionate about.  But what to YOU want to read?
Take my survey  and let me know which title you're most interested in reading.

  1. The 3 Pillars of healing eczema, allergies and eczema (what my family ate, did not eat, and did to heal from allergies and get off all daily medications.)
  2. 10 Things You've Never Heard About Picky Eaters (what your mom, dr. and parenting magazine never told you about reversing picky eating habits).
  3. Eating to Learn, Live and Move - Make food relevant to your child, how food fuels their life.
  4. Growing Good Eaters Tips and Tricks - food/recipe specific tips you can implement in your house to help get wholesome food down the hatch.

Don't worry.  If your preferred topic doesn't win, that just means you have to wait a little longer to read the eBook you're most interested in.  Our health providing, I'll be writing all of them in the next 12 months.

To thank you for your feedback I will give each person who takes the survey an opportunity to win a set of reusable glass lock food storage containers from
If you get a friend to take the survey you'll have an extra chance to win.

If you like (or already like) my facebook page, you will get an extra chance to win.

If you subscribe to my newsletter (or already are) you will get an extra chance to win.

If you pin one of my recipes (or repin a FwKA blog post) on Pinterest you will get an extra chance to win.

Can't wait to hear from you (and your friends).

Thanks in advance for reading and sharing your feedback.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to NOT give Eczema, Allergies and Asthma to Your Children


Read my story of what we suffered with until we started healing eczema, asthma and environmental allergies.  Check out the eBook, Nourished Baby, I wished I'd had when I was pregnant. Click here to view more details  If I'd read this 10 years ago we could have prevented a lot of suffering.This topic is near and dear to my heart. I don't think I've ever put the boys' symptoms down all in one place.  As you may know, both my sons both suffered from mild eczema that resolved without treatment as infants.  By age 3 my oldest was diagnosed with viral induced asthma and after hearing loss that make normal speaking sound like a whisper to him, he was found to be allergic to our family pets, 2 cats who no longer live with us, and mites, who we did not keep as pets.  He had three specialists, pediatric GI, ENT plus an allergist in addition to a pediatrician and was prescribed 4 meds, 3 of them daily.  Worried about side-effects, I only gave him meds when he was highly symptomatic.   Getting rid of the cat, buying an air cleaner, and installing allergy covers on pillows and bed allowed us to wean him off Claritan within just a few  months. By age 5, allergy induced asthma was added to the list, and his allergic to list grew to include weeds, grass and trees.  He had a near miss of collapsed lung and I quickly became very compliant with administering his daily inhalers.  He was now allergic to inside and outside. Fantastic.  Where do you let your active kid play when every place, especially his beloved climbing trees made him feel awful?  Hubby and I had very different perspectives on his "illness" and how to treat it.  We had many unfun conversations as we tried to help our little man stop coughing at night and enjoy his play.Meanwhile, his diet at home got cleaner and cleaner and cleaner.  Already we ate wholesome diet of prepared at home food with limited refined flours and sugar, I switched to mostly organic produce and organic dairy.  Then we switched to pastured meat and eggs, but only when we could afford it.  Preschool costs sucked up most of our discretionary income and I watched food pennies like a hawk.  What I was wrong about, was the assumption that the nourishing nutrient dense food they were eating was actually nourishing them.  Damaged guts, as most (all??) people with allergies and asthma have, aren't fully capable of nutrient uptake, meaning affected persons are undernourished.  Beyond that, allergies and asthma create inflammation in the body.  Inflammation is what causes the body heal, but it huge resource consumer, meaning it grabs stored nutrients to do it's healing thing.  Chronic inflammation can leave a person nutrient deprived, regardless of the quantity and quality of what they are eating.Little boo's story was very different.  He ate and ate and ate like crazy before he turned one.  When we took him to restaurants people were amazed that this little dude would sit and stuff his face for over and hour.  After I weaned him at 13 months, his appetite slowly decreased and eventually by age 3ish he was a full fledged "reluctant eater." By three about all he was interested in eating was snacks, wrapped food in packages both of which were in short supply in our house.  He spent most meal times pushing his food around his plate and complaining of textures.  Food that he used to eat.  With a messy smile. In large quantities. It happened so gradually that it was hard to recognize as what it actually was. And I was in den[...]

Milk Your Trees - Raw Milk Feeds Soil Bacteria


loquat tree fertilized with raw milkI hate wasting raw milk.  We are currently not drinking our raw milk uncultured, which means that when we travel or have a busy weekend that prevents me from culturing, I can't always use up our gallon a week rations.  When I have milk left and the new milk arrives, I use it to feed the soil bacteria around our fruit trees.We just moved to our new house in January.  Last summer we bought a fig tree at the farmer's market.  He was tiny, with about 5-6 leaves.  He lived in a pot at the townhouse for six months.  We didn't  transplant him there because we knew we were moving fig tree, one leaf, before milk, seaweed, molasses fertilizerWhen we put him in the ground at Sherwood Park he only had one leaf left.Look how many leaves he has now after only 5 months in the ground, drinking raw milk!  He's nearly as tall as the fence. And he has one tiny fig!  He's already producing fruit less than one year from buying him.  I also fed him with a concoction our CSA farmer, Hans gave me. A mixture of molasses, seaweed and something else.  big boo milking the trees, fig tree in background.Our loquat tree, pictured above,  was sprouted from a seed.  The boys put all the seeds they spit out from the loquats in the neighborhood in our back patio at the old townhouse.  A few of the seeds sprouted.  We moved one to a pot.  It wasn't thriving in the tiny pot, but again, we wanted to take it with us to the new house. I don't even know if it will produce fruit since it was seed sprouted instead of grafted.  He got an aphid infestation once we moved to the new house.  I asked Hans what to do.  His advice?  Support the trees immune system, a healthy tree will fight off invading pests.  The location move and transplant into the ground had stressed the young tree. He suggested the molasses, seaweed mixture 2x a month  for 3 or so treatments and was confident the tree would soon outgrow the aphids in a matter of time.  I wish medical doctors would provide the same recommendations for ailments "boost the immune system, feed the beneficial bacteria, remove toxins."  Sigh.Aphids were gone after only one seaweed/molasses treatment.  There are now ants at the new young leaves on the top eating the aphid nectar.  The leaves look healthy, so I don't think the ants are harming the trees, but I'm nearly ignorant when it comes to gardening and growing healthy fruit trees, so chime in if you know something! I no longer have to cry when I pour soured raw milk down the drain (yes, I know it's edible, but that usually requires a kitchen project I don't have time for).  I just feed the soil around our trees and lawn raw milk.  Don't take my word for it, check out the science.Little boo was my  photographer.  I was busy cooking dinner, so I handed him my phone to grab photos of the tree milking. This post is participating in Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food WendesdayWhat do you feed your trees?[...]

Oregano Rice with Chicken - a recipe


Oregano Rice with ChickenChicken and rice was one of my favorite meals from childhood.  I was a picky eater but even then, my body must have known what I needed for nourishment.  I always loved pan juices.  My mom served baked skin-on chicken pieces in a dish with rice on the side.  I would heap the rice on my plate, dice up chicken bites and spoon up all the pan juices from the chicken dish salt, drizzling it all over my chicken and rice pile, then salt generously.  No one else in the family touched the pan juices.  They were all mine.  My mom never objected, she never cautioned to avoid the fatty liquid, thankfully.  The "low-fat" bug never hit my childhood home.   When I serve chicken and rice, I assemble it the way I like it.  Meat off the bone (often how I use up left-overs from roasted chicken dinner), pan juices or chicken broth added to the rice, lots of real salt.  It's pretty bland, the way my mom cooked, seasoned with just salt and pepper.  My mom never used fresh herbs. I've probably lamented before that hubby's heart is not won over by starchy sides, often my favorite meal component.  So he was never impressed by my beloved chicken and rice night.  Until two weeks ago, when I prepared it slightly differently. After our GAPS journey we're all a bit shell-shocked when we see cups of broth or soup.  But I know we all need our dose of tummy healing broth, so I serve broth  in different "edible" ways.  I cooked the rice in broth.  Added the diced chicken, and diced up a bunch of fresh oregano from one of my favorite farmers. It. Was. Heavenly. Absolutely nothing left in the pan.  Hubby had seconds.  He said "the rice is really tasty, the only thing missing is gravy."  I didn't make gravy because I cooked the rice in broth. Next time I added gravy made from chicken bone broth to the dish.  More broth down the hatch.  Double win!This is not good food photography.  It's hard to make a pile of smothered-in-gravy rice look appealing, especially when you're in the farmhouse kitchen on vacation with unfamiliar lighting and famished vacationers ready to eat.  Believe me, it tastes so much better than it looks.  Oregano has never tasted better.  It gets lost in tomato sauce and is usually overpowered by the fresh bread in oregano pesto.  In this dish the oregano shines.  Herb perfection.Oregano Rice with Chicken and Gravy recipeingredients 1 cup white rice*3 cups chicken stock or bone broth, divided1-2 cups diced/pulled cooked chicken (preferably from skin on pieces) one bunch fresh oregano, finely chopped1 TBSP arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)1 TBSP fat/oil (your choice)salt and pepper to taste directionsCombine rice and 2 cups broth and cook according to package directions.  Meanwhile add the arrowroot powder to the remaining 1 cup of broth and combine.  Heat a pan over medium and add the oil/fat.  Shake the broth, thickener and add to the pan.  Stir until gravy is thickened.  Add cooked rice, diced chicken, chopped oregano. Salt and pepper to taste.kid appeal tip   Do you have a hard time getting your kids to eat fresh herbs?  Mine two both hated fresh herbs and spend hours trying to pick them out of all my cooking as toddlers.  Now 8 and 6, they both eat most fresh herbs in our family recipes.  Some things that help:  1) Ask  them to scissor herbs for you.  This is great kitchen work for pre-s[...]

Healthy Salsa Recipe - Fermented Salsa


fermented salsa  from garden tomatoesLast week on the WFD "What's For Dinner?" thread on Facebook I posted that we had fermented salsa with guac and chips at our poolside supper.  Several FwKA facebookers wanted to know "what is fermented salsa?"  I promised to post a proper response and my fermented salsa recipe, so here it is.About the only way to decrease the nourishment available from fresh salsa would be to pasteurize it.   But how do you make fresh salsa made from garden tomatoes shelf stable without cooking it?  By fermenting it.When the acidity rises in the salsa due to lactic acid-fermenting organisms, many other pathogenic microorganisms are killed.  This prevents the veggies from putrefying and enhances the nutrition of the salsa.  All the enzymes in the raw fruits and vegetables remain intact, nutrients are more easily absorbed, plus you get a large dose of beneficial bacteria like those found in yogurt and other cultured milk products.  The amount of beneficial bacteria, also called probiotics, in fermented foods is much much greater than those found in most store bought cultured foods.  Fermenting vegetables, condiments, chutneys, etc. not only extends shelf life of your harvest but also enables you to cut back on your probiotic supplement costs!Fermentation is my favorite food preservation technique.  No heating required! Nutrition increased!  Healing included!If you plan to use fermented foods as a means to improve health or a means to preserve your garden or CSA bounty, you will probably want to invest in some fermentation equipment.  My favorite is the picklit, but the more affordable vegetable master is also effective.  Because we use fermented veggies as tools to heal leaky gut, I don't use jars without an airlock.  You certainly can, and many people do.  I feel the fermentations are more reliable (less trouble with unfriendly bacterias growing on the surface) and require less maintenance when an airlock is used.  And although I've never  tested my own brews, I believe the beneficial bacteria counts are higher when using a starter culture and airlock.  Not to mention the amount of salt can be reduced, leaving a pleasant salty taste versus a major-slap-you-in-the-face salty overload. Fermented Salsa Recipe (based on Nourishing Days and Cheeseslave recipes)Makes about one quartingredients1/2 Serrano pepper, 1 jalapeno peppers4 medium garden tomatoes, cut in eighths 1 medium onion ( I used white)2 garlic cloves4 limes1.5-2 tsp salt (I used Himalayan)One bunch cilantro leaves Spring water to fill vessel (no chlorinated, fluoridated water, it kills the starter culture)1/4 package vegetable starter culture  (I used Caldwell's)directions: Prepare vegetable starter according to directions.  Using a food processor, pulse the peppers, garlic, cilantro a few times until coarsely chopped.  Add tomatoes in 3-4 batches.  After each tomato batch, pulse a couple times.  Add lime juice, salt and starter culture. Prepare your quart sized fermentation container, it should be clean and dry.  Fill jar(s) with salsa. Add enough spring water to reach shoulder or leaving 2-3 inches head space. Optional, cover surface of salsa with clean cabbage leaf and push under the brine.  Leave to ferment on your counter for 2-5 days.  Check the brine line, if the cabbage leaf pokes above the brine level, push it back under.  Notes: I tripled this recipe, plus ext[...]

Carrot Pickles - Cultured Lunch Box Food


still perfecting photo shoot location in new houseI began culturing vegetables as part of our healing diet a little over a year ago.  I wanted to be able to send something cultured in lunch boxes to camp / school.  If you've ever smelled sauerkraut, you're probably not an elementary school student.  As hubby says when we open our jar of of kraut at dinner "Mmm, farts and armpits."  I blame the cabbage.The boys already have radically different lunch box contents than there peers, which they don't complain about. I didn't want them to be teased about stinky food.  My courage grew at the end of the school year when I tucked a few quick pickles that had marinated in the pink kraut brine for 24 hours.  Big boo requested them in his lunch box, and while his friends did ask questions about his "pink pickles," he was happy telling me about their curiosity.   I got the carrot idea from our summer vacation.  With all the restaurant food we'd be eating, I was too scared to leave home without our daily dose of cultured foods.  I knew our digestion would need helpers and I didn't want to lose ground on healing while we were gone.  Nervous to take my mixed veggie kraut in a suitcase - I'm pretty sure hubby would have divorced me if I got magenta-from-beets brine on his suit* - I ordered some of Caldwell's cultured veggies online to be shipped to our first destination. They were waiting for us when we arrived!  Then I froze a few packages and put them in our checked bag to take to our second destination.  They were still chilled when we arrived at Disney World.  I tucked them in the mini-fridge in the hotel room, and we nibbled on them before breakfast and sometimes after dinner. These super salty carrot coins were our vacation favorites.  These carrot pickles aren't stinky, and bonus the boys love these in their lunch boxes on sandwiches or rolled up with sliced meat. Yay, it only took a year to find a solution to this problem, but now we have it.  I already have a second batch brewing. I make mine far less salty than the Caldwell's recipe.Even if you haven't already been bitten by the cultured food bug, you'll probably like these carrot pickles.  I've shared them with people who have a hard time enjoying fermented food and they were found to be very edible.  After all, if you don't eat it, it isn't nutritious.  Cultured Carrot Pickle Recipe1 lb carrots sliced in thin coins with a mandolin2-3 handfuls of shredded cabbage (optional) 1-2  cleaned outer cabbage leaves1/4 package caldwell's vegetable starter, prepared according to package directions (or other vegetable culture starter)**1 tsp sea salt or more to taste (do not use regular table salt)Spring water to fill the vessel1 tsp pickling spice (optional).  Scroll to the bottom of pickle recipe for pickling spice recipe.Add pickling spice to the bottom of a one quart jar.  Mix salt with 1 cup spring water to dissolve. Pack carrots in layers in the vessel alternately with sliced cabbage (if using.)  Leave two inches head space.  Lay whole cabbage leaves on top of the carrots to hold them under the brine level.  Fill vessel with water leaving two inches of head space. Cover jar tightly and leave on counter covered with a towel (or in a dark pantry/cabinet) for 6-9 days. Set your jar on a plate in case it leaks.  If necessary open jar and push contents under the brine.**Caldwell's had added cabbage to[...]

Follow Food with Kid Appeal on Pinterest and Real Food Recipe Index


Whoa, social media moves fast.  Pinterest got all big and popular while I was busy healing my family, falling apart and rehealing.

(image) Aren't CSA veggies funny?  I sliced the pictured carrot men with a mandolin in thin coins to make carrot pickles.  The boys love them in their lunch box.  Stay tuned for the recipe.  We love our CSA farm veggies from Twin Persimmons Farm.

I've pinned two of my favorite Asian recipes on my gluten-free recipe board. It's clear I need to learn how to take better pictures with my iPhone and get better at using PicMonkey. I just made the lettuce wraps last week, yum!

Want some laugh out loud funny?  Check out this real food sweet talk I pinned on my hilarious board.

Come follow Food with Kid Appeal on Pinterest, pretty please!  And if you have favorite recipes from this blog, I'd be delighted if you'd pin them for your gang to see. Need a refresher on Kid Appeal recipes?  Here's the real food recipe index

Share your funny CSA veggies pictures on the Food with Kid Appeal Facebook wall or my new Funny CSA Veggies Pinterest board

Also, I'm about to buy a dehydrator.  That's been on my to-do list for over a year.  If you have a brand recommendation or a recipe let me know in the comments. First up will be drying figs from my dad's tree. 

This post is participating in Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday.

Got any Pinterest tips for me?