If you’re looking for a delicious vegan chocolate frosting recipe, to use on your favorite cake, cupcakes, chocolate chip muffins, or even to just eat by itself; then keep reading for this recipe!
This chocolate frosting is a bit healthier than the frosting you would get from the store, or even non-vegan frosting recipes; as it has no dairy or hydrogenated oils (or butter), so it has less saturated fat and no trans fats! It does still have the powdered sugar, though. So, be sure not to give too much to your kids if they are sensitive to sugar!
Now, let’s learn how to make this rich and delicious chocolate frosting, so you can see for yourself, tastes like store bought frosting!
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Let’s Make the Chocolate Frosting!!
To make the frosting; fill your mixing bowl with coconut cream, vanilla, and cocoa. Whisk those ingredients together and then slowly add in powdered sugar.
For the coconut cream, only use the cream, there may be some liquid on the bottom of the can, don’t use that bit!
Make sure your mixer stays on low, or 2; you don’t want the sugar to go everywhere! (When it happens once, you become very aware to not let it happen again!)
Next, melt the chocolate, either in a double boiler or in the microwave. Let cool, then mix it in with everything else.
I didn’t melt the chocolate chips all the way, so it tasted like it was chocolate chip chocolate frosting; up to you if you want that or just chocolate frosting. But, it should look like the picture below when it’s done.
Unfortunately, I don’t know how long this frosting lasts in the fridge for; it disappeared in two days in my fridge. It was also enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes, plus a few spoonfuls to simply eat!
Make sure you cool your cupcakes before you frost them. If you don’t, the frosting will melt, and it tastes much better not melted!
Want to Remember This? Pin 10 Simple Tips for Buying Groceries on a Budget to your favorite Pinterest Board!!
In this article you’ll learn 10 simple hacks to help you save as much money on your groceries as possible. Even if you only take advantage of a few of the tips below, you should still be able to see some savings on your grocery bill!
Because, let’s face it, we have kids to feed and they eat, a lot!
My kids are still little and I’m still astonished whenever they say they are actually full. So, if you have an older kid, or teenagers, pay close attention; we all know how much they can eat!
10 Tips for Saving Money on Food
1. Drink Water
The easiest tip anyone can give you, that will save you on your next grocery bill, is to have everyone drink more water.
Instead of buying juice, soda, or other drinks that are high in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and empty calories; just have water available.
If you need to buy milk (or non-dairy milk), go ahead; but don’t have that be your go-to drink in the home. Have everyone drink milk sparingly and rely mostly on water to quench their thirst.
Whether you invest in a water purifier (this is the one I use), or buy water by the gallon; it’ll save you so much more money than buying other drinks. Plus, it’s better for your health, too!
2. Buy in Bulk
If you haven’t heard this advice before, then you might think this tip is counter intuitive because it costs more (at first) to buy in bulk.
But, in the long run, buying in bulk will save you tons of money, especially if you’re able to buy the bulk items while on sale!
If you’re starting to try to eat healthier and save money; do yourself a favor and don’t start buying fresh produce in bulk, as it’ll probably go bad before you get to eating it all.
A few things you should start buying in bulk are:
dried beans (make sure you go through them and put them in containers right away!)
bread (and freeze it)
oats (for oatmeal, baked goods, and more)
nuts and seeds
bananas (to cut up and freeze for smoothies)
avocado (to puree, freeze, and use for toast/sandwiches)
Along with any food you and your family eat a lot of that is non-perishable, or will last a long time in the freezer! We all have different standards when it comes to what we eat and feed our family, so your list of food to stock up on may look differently.
However, you’ll get the most savings from buying whole foods in bulk and making the meals yourself, instead of stocking up on processed food- even if they do come in a bulk package.
3. Have the Same Type of Meal All Week
Maybe you’ve heard that some people meal plan and have the same type of food depending on the day of the week. For example, taco Tuesdays or having Italian food on Wednesdays, Mexican food on Thursday, or pizza every Friday. While this technique is great for making meal planning a little bit easier; it’s not doing any favors for your wallet.
If you’re trying to save money and want to plan themes for your meal planning; try doing it by week, instead. This way, if you have leftover ingredients from one meal in the week, you can use it for another meal later in the week.
For example, if you and your family really want to have tacos, have tacos! But, plan for other, similar meals, for the other meals in the week. Such as homemade pizza made on soft tortilla shells, with the same type of cheese (or non-dairy cheese) as you used for the tacos, and plenty of veggies. Then another night, maybe make burritos with similar ingredients, or a taco bowl.
This way, leftovers don’t go to waste and you can save money by buying ingredients you’ll need in bulk!
4. Make Freezer Meals
If you have the space in your freezer, or have a chest/deep freezer, then making freezer meals will help you out in more ways than just saving money!
Sure, you’ll be saving money because you’ll be able to:
buy ingredients in bulk
make quite a few freezer meals all at once
avoid wasting food
use a freezer meal as a quick alternative to eating out
But, you’ll also save tons of time by prepping several freezer meals at once.
You’ll save your own sanity by having something easy to make when everyone thinks there’s nothing to eat for dinner.
You’ll save money on gas by not having to go out to buy ingredients for a last minute meal, before it’s that time of the week to get groceries again.
And, you can do these with more than just dinners! Personally, my favorite freezer meals are breakfasts; pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc. It doesn’t take much extra time, either. Simply double, triple, or quadruple the recipe while your making it for breakfast anyways.
5. Make Your Own Baked Goods
As tempting as the bakery in your grocery store is, it is expensive!
In general, the ‘fresh baked’ donuts are anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar a piece, and if you’re buying more than one in a package, it’s going to be even more!
Plus, forget about trying to find a ‘healthy’ baked good in the bakery section. Their focus is purely on taste, and ignore anything they know about nutrition in the interest of making their baked goods delicious and addictive.
So, do yourself, and family, a favor, and make your own baked goods!
Baking ingredients will last a lot longer than a 4 count of muffins. And, you get to control what goes into the baked goods when you make them yourself. No wondering if the blueberries are real or made of another ‘cheaper’ ingredient, like mostly some type of sugar.
And, no more empty calorie baked goods; there are soo many ways to make them healthier and full of nutrients! Such as using oat flour to increase flour, replacing oil with applesauce, or simply reducing the sugar. Check out this post to find out more healthy swaps you could make.
6. Don’t Buy Cereal and Milk for an ‘Easy’ Breakfast
Maybe you think buying cereal and milk for you and your family for kids is super easy and cheap. Well, you have one thing right; it’s easy. But, it’s definitely not cheap.
And, it’s not cheap for a couple of reasons.
It can take a lot of cereal in the morning to fill up an adult.
A lot of cereals, especially the ones your kids may ask for, lack fiber and protein while having way too much added sugar and empty calories.
Milk tends to go to waste once the cereal is gone, or it doesn’t but you go through it much faster.
It would be much cheaper to make healthy baked goods, smoothies, oatmeal, or even pancakes or waffles for breakfast for the week. And, you could save time with most of those breakfasts by making them in batches and freezing them!
Now, I personally may be a bit biased, because my diet is basically vegan (and I’ve been vegetarian for 20 years), but meat and seafood are expensive!
How do I know? Because my husband still eats meat, seafood, and dairy. And, every time I see what he picked out and look at the price, I roll my eyes. He’s the only one who eats it, so seeing that a small piece of meat or fish costs $8-9 on average, and will be one meal for just him; it just doesn’t sit well with me.
Even if everyone in your family eats meat and seafood, it’s not going to change the price tag. It’s still going to be expensive, and loaded with saturated fats which aren’t that great for you.
You’d save a ton of money by eating plant based, or vegan, protein sources instead. Such as:
tofu (1 package is generally less than $2)
beans (buy dried to save even more)
vegetables (yes, they have protein in them!)
edamame (these are great as a snack and generally around $2 a bag)
nuts and seeds
Plus, all of those sources of protein can be bought for far less than $8-9! Unless you’re buying nuts in bulk, in which case they can get a bit expensive, but will last a whole lot longer than 1 small package of meat or fish.
8. Meal Prep
If you have never meal prepped before, and have only made food on demand; then you are missing out on a whole lot more just saving money on groceries.
It will save you time and help you out when you just don’t feel like cooking, especially in the summer when it’s hot out and you don’t even want to be in your kitchen making hot food.
And, there are more than just one way meal prepping will save you money!
It’ll save you money by:
helping you avoid wasting the food you spent money on
preventing you from eating out or ordering in
preventing you from having to go to the store for an ingredient for a last minute meal idea
force you to meal plan and write a grocery list (you’ll save even more by sticking to that list)
If you’re still unsure if meal prepping is something you should do, you can check out more benefits of meal prepping by reading the related post below, or by downloading the pros and cons of meal prepping below.
I never got into couponing. I’ve always seen it as a huge waste of time, effort, and why would I ever want to buy what the coupons are for (in the quantity you need to buy) in the first place?!
So, to say the least, I’m not a fan of coupons, finding them, cutting them out, remembering to buy the items, and then remembering to actually hand them over to get the savings.
Luckily, there’s another way to save money on groceries, and it’s like reverse couponing, if that’s even a thing. It involves you buying what you would normally buy, then going on your phone, bringing up an app (Ibotta), and scanning your receipt! Simple as that.
If you want even bigger savings, then check out the offerings in the app and save them before you get groceries. That way you’ll have a rough estimate of how much money you can get back while grabbing your groceries, then simply scan your receipt and make sure all the offers you bought are on the list to get money back with.
(There’s even an offer for between 10 cents and 50 cents, depending on the week, that you can get simply by scanning a grocery receipt, it doesn’t even matter what you bought!)
That’s Ibotta for you, and I’ve earned over $130 since I started using it. So, it’s paid for at least a weeks worth of groceries since I installed it.
How would you feel if you could pay for a weeks worth of groceries simply by scanning in your receipts and getting money back on the items you already buy?
Have you ever compared prices between name brand products and store brand products?
If not, you may be very surprised at how much more name brand products cost, and when every little bit adds up; no wonder your grocery bill is so high. So, stop feeling pressured by whoever to have only name brand products in your home, and start saving money by buying generic brands.
Honestly, there isn’t much of a taste difference, if there is any. And, any difference in taste you do notice is probably more psychological than physical. Meaning, if you were to try both name brand and a store brand food at the same time, without knowing which was which; you wouldn’t be able to tell which was name brand and which was generic.
Do yourself, and wallet, a favor, and just don’t be a brand snob, ok?
How Will You Start Saving on Groceries First!?!
There are so many different ways to save money on groceries, and I didn’t even mention them all above. (Like, growing your own fruits, veggies, and herbs, or making sure you eat before getting groceries, and always following your grocery list.)
Some tips will be easier for you to follow than others. Some tips you may just ignore all together because you’re stubborn (it’s ok, you’re not the only one). But, I’m hoping there’s at least one tip above that catches your eye that you want to try out as soon as you can; I’d love to know which one that is!
Let me know in the comments which tip you’ll start using first for buying groceries on a budget!
Ever wake up in the morning wanting something delicious that you know will take too long to make? Or, maybe your kids want pancakes, or something else for breakfast that you just don’t have the time for before dropping them off at school. If so, then you need to take advantage of the kid friendly freezer meals below that are just for breakfast, and maybe snacks, too!
When you take a little time over the weekend to bake or make breakfast foods for the week; then eating those foods you want when you first wake up, before truly starting your day, is possible!
When you have to be out the door at a certain time in the morning; it feels so good to only have to warm up breakfast for your kids and get them to eat before leaving, instead of having to actually make it in the morning, too!
So, take a look at the recipes below and make a few batches to freeze; it’ll save you time, money, and your sanity on busy mornings!!
Want to Remember This? Pin 34 Kid Friendly Freezer Meals: Breakfast to your favorite Pinterest Board!!
One of my girls, and my own, favorite breakfast foods are waffles!
Luckily, they are easy to make and freeze really well. We usually make them on the weekend and I simply double or triple the recipe and freeze what we don’t eat. Makes for a super easy breakfast on another day; just pop in the toaster or microwave and add some syrup!
Finding a french toast recipe not loaded in saturated fats (aka- not using eggs) and still tasting great, I thought was going to be impossible. But, it’s not! Check out the recipes below for some delicious french toast!
I always have muffins in the freezer! Whether we eat them for breakfast or just a snack, they are great to have on hand with kids. My girls even love helping me make them. And by that I mean that they get very upset when I don’t let them help, even if ‘helping’ is just placing the silicone baking cups on a tray for me to fill with the batter. (But, they like to fill the cups with the batter, too!)
Quick breads are a delicious breakfast option and freezes well, too! I’d recommend letting it completely cool, slicing it, and then freezing; that way you can warm up only the amount you (and your kids) want to eat, instead of having to warm up the whole loaf. Unless of course, if you make quite a few loaves at once to freeze and want to take one out a week to eat. (Be prepared that they may disappear in a day! At least they always seem to in my house.)
If you like eating savory and filling breakfasts, be sure to check out the recipes below! I would personally make and freeze these for lunches or dinners because my taste buds likes sweet or fruity things in the morning.
Oatmeal is a great breakfast option, whether you make it ahead of time and freeze it, or make it on the spot! Just be sure to portion it out before freezing; you shouldn’t refreeze food that has already been frozen and then warmed up.
Breakfast bars are great! They freeze well, and to defrost them you simply just have to leave them out of the freezer long enough for them to get soft enough to eat. They’re a great size for kids, and perfect for eating while breastfeeding (in case you have a newborn and little kids, like I do, this is very important!).
Honestly, the best kind of breakfast in my home is one that I don’t have to make in the morning!
The freezable breakfast recipes above make that possible. Simply make a batch of a few of the recipes above, or double or triple a couple of the recipes, over the weekend so you have breakfast made for all week! All you’ll need to do is warm them up.
This is how my girls and I are able to have healthy breakfasts every day when I don’t feel like cooking in the morning, or don’t have the time or energy to do so.
What are your kids favorite kid friendly freezer meals to have for breakfast? Leave a comment to let me know!
Is your child starting school this next year and you have no idea what to give them in their lunch? And, to make it even harder, your childs new school prides itself on being allergy friendly and completely nut free? So, now you have to come up with healthy nut free school lunch ideas!
I would say ‘good luck’ because it can be difficult to come up with healthy nut free school lunches that kids actually like. (My oldest, who just finished up her first year in school, would’ve had a hard time going to school without peanut butter in her lunch.)
But, instead, I’ll provide you with a list of healthy lunch ideas that do not contain any nuts (and are vegan- in case that matters to you)!
This lunch isn’t only nut free, but also loaded with veggies! Be sure to check out the recipe if you’re trying to get more veggies into your child. And, honestly, what parent isn’t trying to get their child to eat more veggies?!
This fruit salad is a perfect side dish to go with pretty much anything else you put in their lunch. Plus, it’s loaded with antioxidants and tons of vitamins and minerals to help keep your kids healthy!
Does your child beg you for lunchables when you go to the store? Do you have any idea how horrible lunchables are? Unless you’ve turned it over and read the ingredient list and nutrition label, you may not! Check out this recipe instead and send them off with something that will nourish their bodies and keep them feeling good all day long.
Do you remember pizza bagels? My mom used to buy them for my siblings and I when we were young. I don’t think she knew how bad they were for us. Check out the recipe above for a healthier (and gluten-free/vegan/allergy friendly) version!
Remember crustables? I think my school used to put them in vending machines- meaning that these food like products had loads of preservatives to keep them from going ‘bad’. The original ones were just peanut butter and jelly, so why am I bringing them up in an article about nut free school lunches? These ones use sunbutter instead of peanut butter, making them nut free, home made, and healthy!
My oldest used to eat regular spaghetti o’s when she was little, and when I worked full time. I was not a fan of her eating this stuff from a can. But, I didn’t have much of a say, the most I could do is make sure there was plenty of healthy food in the fridge for my husband to warm up and give her. And, home made spaghetti o’s was one of those things I would make! Which doesn’t have even nearly the amount of sodium, and no harmful ingredients in it, so go check it out and make it yourself. Be sure to have good quality thermos to pack it in, too, to keep it warm til lunchtime.
I don’t know a kid who doesn’t like mac and cheese! My girls will eat it no matter what, and we’ve tried quite a few different vegan versions. Check out this easy mac and cheese recipe and pack it up in a good quality thermos for them to take to school!
It’s Not Too Hard to Find Nut Free School Lunch Ideas
As you can see, it’s not all that difficult to find healthy lunch ideas for kids that don’t have nuts in them.
Plus, if all else fails and you simply feel like giving them a classic PB&J sandwich with plain fruits and veggies, just switch out the peanut butter for sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) and there you go with a nut free lunch!
Do you have any other nut free school lunch ideas that I missed? Leave a comment below if so, or with your childs favorite nut free lunch!
Have you ever been on a road trip with kids before? If you have, then you probably know just how often they will ask for food (you know, when they’re not asking ‘are we there, yet?’). And, if you’re health conscious, then you’ll want to have healthy road trip foods on hand for when your kids insist they are starving and can’t go another minute without eating!
Even if you’ve never been on a road trip with kids before, you’re just anticipating the fact that kids think they need to eat every 5 minutes when it’s the most inconvenient.
For example, both my older girls (ages 3 and 6) just finished up breakfast; so I decided to sit down and write this post. Not even 5 minutes after I sat down, my 6 year old is asking for more food.
So, if you don’t want to spend a fortune feeding your kids food that isn’t good for them, you’ll want to check out the on the go snack recipes below! Get the ingredients (or find them in your cupboard) and start preparing for your road trip. Bonus if you can get your kids to help…without it taking more time!
Don’t forget to grab this list for more ideas on How to Eat Healthy on a Road Trip!
Want to Remember This? Pin Kid Friendly Healthy Road Trip Foods! to your favorite Pinterest Board!!
The Best Road Trip Snacks
Be sure to check out the recipes below and make some before your next road trip so you’re not tempted to stop for fast food or buy packaged processed food like products!
There are 32 road trip worthy recipes below!
All could be considered snacks, and some could even be considered a meal. And, most are mess-free enough to eat in the car. Unless, of course, you have an issue with their even being a single crumb hit the seats or floors in your vehicle, then you may want to wait and eat them when you stop.
My girls and I love energy bites (or balls), and they are super healthy for you. This recipe in particular is only sweetened by dates and raisins, but is still delicious. You could probably find most of the ingredients in your kitchen already, I know I can. Go check it out!
These only have 4 ingredients and are soo much better for your kids than the kind you buy at the store! Just be sure to use maple syrup instead of honey if you need it to be vegan. And, make sure your kids have a way to get them off their teeth when done; maybe have it as a sweet snack before you stop for the night, so they can brush their teeth soon afterwards.
Do your kids have a sweet tooth and need some type of chocolate while on a long road trip? Maybe it’s just because I have girls, but these bars are the perfect healthy chocolate fix for in the car! If you or your kids are vegan, be sure to use maple syrup (or agave or another liquid sweetener) in place of the honey.
Packing a lunch for your child can be challenging enough; but when you ask the question ‘how to pack a healthy lunch for kids?’. Now, that’s a whole other story and could possibly be stressful, if you don’t even know where to start!
Not knowing how to pack a healthy lunch for you child should NOT stop you from doing so; whether you’re packing their lunch for school, or taking advantage of the lunch box meal prep method this summer to save your sanity!
And, in reality, packing a healthy lunch isn’t much more difficult than packing an unhealthy lunch, just a little more prepping to do. But, the benefits for you and your child for packing a healthier lunch is absolutely worth the little extra work and care that goes into it.
So, ditch those store bought granola bars and other highly processed foods, and keep reading to find out exactly how to make your childs lunch healthier!
Want to Remember This? Pin How to Pack a Healthy Lunch for Kids to your favorite Pinterest Board!!
Start with What They Like!
If your child is already used to the highly processed and convenient lunch bag toss ins you get from the grocery store, or maybe the lunches they serve at school (that really aren’t that healthy); then you’ll want to start swapping out the unhealthy for the healthier options slowly.
One part of the lunch at a time.
Say they do really like the store bought granola bars; try instead, to make your own granola bars, or cereal bars, or even the copycat protein type bars. I’ve been using this nakd bar recipe lately, and my 6 year old will not stop asking for them; it’s a great special treat to put in her lunch everyday. And, it’s soo much healthier (and cheaper) than buying the bars at the store.
If they love the lunches they serve at school, try making a healthier version at home for them to take with them. If it’s warm food they like at school, get them their own thermos to keep the home made version warm til lunchtime.
Make Sure All Main Food Groups are Included
And, by all food groups, I mean….
For a drink, they do not need milk, you can simply give them water. No need to worry about keeping their milk cold til lunch, or sending them to school with money for milk.
And, if you’re wondering why I suggest this and don’t have the dairy ‘food group’ listed above that we all grew up learning about; it’s because dairy is not necessary. The main nutrient in dairy the people are concerned about is calcium, and that can easily be found in veggies and other foods. The dairy ‘food group’ is a made up food group to help sell more milk, cheese, and other animal products high in saturated fat that are also very addictive in nature.
chocolate chip or raisin muffins (recipes coming soon!)
homemade cinnamon tortilla chips with fruit dip (recipe coming soon!)
But, lately with the warm weather, she’s been fine without a dessert, and just eating her fruit as a dessert, instead.
Avoid Processed Foods
One of the key things that differs in a healthy lunch vs. a not healthy lunch, is the absence of processed foods.
Sure, processed foods makes making a lunch early in the morning (when we’re barely awake) convenient and super easy. But, it doesn’t do much for our kids after they eat it and still feel hungry. With a little prep work on the weekends, or simpler foods the day of, packing a healthy lunch can be just as easy.
If your kids love fruit bars or granola bars in their lunches, try making your own and doubling or tripling the batch. Just make sure your kids like them before making more than one batch, then you can freeze them and throw them in their lunch bags the day of. (This recipe was a huge win in my home!)
Packing fruits and veggies (like you should be, for any healthy meal), makes avoiding processed foods easy. Simply wash and put in their lunch! Or, peel/cut them and add them in, depending on your childs preference. (For apples, sprinkle some lemon juice on top to help it stay good.)
If your kids are fans of uncrustables, or another processed food item as the ‘main’ part of their meal (the carbs and protein part); see if you can make it at home with less processed ingredients. (Here’s a healthy recipe for uncrustables from one of my favorite gluten-free, allergy friendly, vegan food bloggers!)
Keep it Simple
Whoever said making a healthy lunch is hard and super time-consuming was obviously trying to re-invent the wheel! Either that, or they were trying too hard to please their kids with their lunches.
Hint- kids don’t need to be given everything they want in their lunch! They can help with making it, or the decisions; but ultimately, you’re the one who decides what goes in.
A really simple lunch could be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an apple and some baby carrots. To make it healthy, be sure to use whole wheat bread and read the ingredient list for the jam if buying it (the less ingredients the better, avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup), or make your own.
Or, make a batch of homemade spaghettios on the weekend, or another favorite dish; heat it up in the morning (possibly too hot) and put it in a thermos for your kids to bring. Then you just need to add in the fruits and veggies, add in some hummus or nut butter for some extra protein and to dip the fruits and veggies in.
Make it Fun!
Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it has to be a boring lunch!
Add in some cute notes for lunch time, or use cookie cutters to cut melons, or other fruits and veggies, into fun shapes.
If you’re real creative, maybe you can pull off some of the picture like foods that can be found on Pinterest, like these!
Honestly, I am not that creative. Believe me, I tried during the A to Z snack challenge my girls and I went through. Luckily, my girls were having fun watching and helping me make the pictures, they didn’t care how it turned out!
Sometimes adding in a healthy special snack will be fun enough for your kids! It certainly is for my daughter!
Keep it Mess-Free
Just because unhealthy, processed foods, come in nice, neat wrappers, doesn’t mean that healthy food needs to be messy!
Make sure you use containers that don’t leak. I still have some that I bought on clearance about ten years ago that are probably discontinued, but go here to check out some other great options!
Also, be sure to add in a napkin, just in case. My daughter also likes to use her napkin to wrap up any utensils she used to eat her lunch, so her lunch bag doesn’t get wet or gross from the food.
Oh, and don’t pack liquids in anything other than a very secure thermos. Whether the ‘leak proof’ containers say they will leak, or not, they will.
Make Sure It’ll Stay Good Til Lunch Time
Making sure your childs lunch will stay good until lunch time is probably one of the most difficult parts of packing a lunch. If they had a fridge at school to keep their lunches in, or a microwave to use to heat up their food, it’d be so much easier. But, they don’t.
There’s a few different ways to overcome this challenge.
First, you could pack them foods that aren’t supposed to be warm or cold, but room temperature. This includes sandwiches, some fruits and veggies, nut butters for dipping, home made granola or fruit bars, etc.
Or, to keep foods cold til lunch time, put some ice packs in their lunch. I even tend to buy frozen fruit and add that to my daughters lunch while still frozen; that way, by lunch time it’s thawed and still cold! Plus, frozen fruit tends to be cheaper than fresh fruit and is just as healthy.
If you’re trying to keep food warm; heat it up too hot and then put it in a thermos in their lunch bag.
If you have any other ideas for healthy food that stays good til lunch time, please comment below!!
Don’t Forget About Water
Water is probably one of the most important thing to put in your childs lunch to help make it healthy!
Though, honestly, they should have their water with them all through out the day whenever possible because of all of it’s benefits. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure most teachers will let kids keep water on their tables/desks all day; I know my daughters teacher this past year did.
If you’re still not convinced that your child doesn’t need milk at lunch, then that’s your opinion and you have your right to it.
Regardless, you need to be sending your child to school with a full water bottle everyday. It’ll help them learn better (by helping them have a clear mind) and keep them hydrated during the day, which is super important, especially on days they have gym!
Let’s Summarize How to Pack a Healthy Lunch for Kids
First of all, it isn’t as difficult as everyone seems to think it is. With a little prep work, or just giving your kids simpler meals, it’s just as easy to pack a healthy lunch as it is to pack an unhealthy lunch.
Ok, so you may need to spend on hour on the weekend batching snacks or making a meal for them to take to school all week, but it isn’t necessary.
start with what they like
make sure you include protein, carbs, fruits, and veggies
avoid processed foods
keep it simple (how much simpler could it be than throwing in some fruits and veggies)
make it fun (as easy as adding in a special home made treat that you made and froze over the weekend)
Are your kids obsessed with bugs!? Looking for some fun and easy insect arts and crafts for your kids to do this summer?
My 3 year old daughter loves playing with worms and is completely obsessed with butterflies!
And, whether your kids love watching and playing with bugs outdoors, or would rather admire them from afar (or as toys, or as pictures on their clothing); they will love the crafts below!
Plus, summer is the best time to encourage little ones, or older ones, to make crafts based on bugs! This is the best time of year for them to observe real bugs and then can be as detailed, or not, as they want with these crafts.
Don’t forget to grab this list of Outdoor Activities for Kids this summer, as well!
(The activities link to the posts explaining them, and you can check off the activities without printing it out!!)
But, some items you may want to plan ahead for, such as googly eyes! Unless of course, if you do a lot of crafts with your kids, you may not have these readily available.
Be sure to check out the post with the craft you want to do, or have your child do, before letting them know about; no kid likes being told they can do a craft, just to find out that you don’t have all of the materials to do it!
14 Easy Beach and Ocean Themed Arts and Crafts for Kids
Summer is the perfect time not only for arts and crafts for little ones, but for beach and ocean themed arts and crafts!
Whether your child is simply looking for something to beat their boredom on a rainy summer day, when they wish they could go to the beach instead; or you’re the one who brings up the beach and ocean themed crafts. They’ll love the crafts below! Some will even help them feel like they are at the beach!
Don’t forget to grab this list of Outdoor Activities for Kids this summer, as well!
(The activities link to the posts explaining them, and you can check off the activities without printing it out!!)
But, some items you may want to plan ahead for, such as seashells. Grab these the next time you head to the beach, or get them here or at craft store if you don’t have any beach trips planned soon.
Be sure to check out the post with the craft you want to do, or have your child do, before letting them know about; no kid likes being told they can do a craft, just to find out that you don’t have all of the materials to do it!
Want to Remember This? Pin How to Easily Improve Mom Self Care to your favorite Pinterest Board!!
How to Easily Improve Mom Self Care
Mom’s tend to wear a lot of different hats! It’s so easy to get caught up in how much you do and forget about what you need to do for yourself. If you’re the kind of mom who always puts herself last but wants to improve your own mom self care, then this is for you!
Let’s dive right into 4 things you need to stop doing and what to start doing instead to focus and improve your mom self-care!
How to Improve your Mom Self Care
1. STOP worrying about tomorrow and START focusing on what you can do now
Moms have this habit of worrying TOO much. If you’re anything like me then you can easily get caught up in the worrying game and not know how to stop.
I’m a planner so I’m usually not only just focused on the day at hand, but I’m also planning for tomorrow and worrying about how am I going to get everything done. And I’m sure you can relate!
But one of the most important things you can do to help your mom self-care is to stop worrying about tomorrow and start focusing on what you can do today. This can apply to just about anything that you need to get done!
Reducing how much you worry can not only save your sanity, but it can also make you calmer and give you a new perspective. Which ultimately can seriously improve your self-care. When you take one thing at a time, one day at a time you tend to be more relaxed and less stressed. A mom who is less stressed is more likely to sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee, and take things a bit slower.
You have no idea how being less stressed can improve your mom self-care!
2.STOP making excuses and START seizing the day
I know a lot of moms who really want to focus on their self-care but since they always put themselves last, they never get around to it. To be honest, I used to be one of these moms.
For example, I would be home all day with my daughter and by the time my husband got home I was a stressed mess, frantically cooking dinner, and trying to clean. After my daughter went to sleep, he would tell me to go take some time for myself, relax and have a nice bath. But I wouldn’t.
Why? Because I felt like I couldn’t relax and do something for myself until everything else was done. I couldn’t take an hour-long bath knowing that I needed to fold the laundry, prep lunch for the next day, and work on my online business.
I was making excuses for not tending to my mom self-care. And man, oh man, did I need some self-care. I was running myself into the ground all in the name of “my family always comes first.”
So, don’t learn the hard way like I had to. Stop making excuses and start seizing your day!
3. STOP overwhelm before it starts and START a system to help you stay calm and organized
As a mom, I know how easy it is to get overwhelmed. Moms have SO much to do and it seems like a never-ending job. But, the best thing to overcome being overwhelmed is to stop it before it starts and learn how to prevent it.
Of course, there are times that being overwhelmed is inevitable, but the goal is to try to prevent yourself from getting to the point of being so overwhelmed that you can’t function. The most important thing you can do for your mom self-care is to learn how to stay calm. After all, no one knows yourself better than you!
The perfect way to stop overwhelm is to have a system in place that helps you stay calm, organized, and on top of things.
Maybe you absolutely hate prepping meals and grocery shopping is stressful for you. Find a meal planning system that can take the overwhelm out of cooking and prepping and that helps you feel in control.
Or maybe you hate to clean your house but can’t stand the clutter. Go online and research organizational hacks that can help you keep your house tidy in the easiest way possible.
Don’t be tied down to your overwhelm. Know that you can overcome it and in doing so, you are focusing on your self-care and sanity!
4. STOP winging it and START planning your goals
This is my favorite self-care tip! Many moms don’t fully understand the power of goals. And to truly master your time, productivity, and home management- goal setting is key!
To really focus on your self-care, start goal setting and stop waiting.
As a busy mom, I know that there are many things that I want to accomplish. In my head, I think to myself, “I’ll get around to it”, but then never do because something else always comes up. This can all be avoided if I just set what I wanted to do as a goal!
For example, I really wanted to work on my weight. Every morning I would wake up and tell myself that today is when I’m going to start some easy exercises. But, I never did because my day always gets so busy and I ended up forgetting. So instead, I set it as a goal and made time for it. Now that it was a goal of mine, I made action steps and a plan to achieve it.
It made me feel so accomplished!
What are some things you want to do?? Stop telling yourself you want to do something and actually make a plan to do it! Your future self will thank you!
Setting goals are so important for your mom self-care. Taking time to do things that you want to do and accomplishing things that make you happy will make you a better mom. Not because you’re being selfish, but because you are choosing to tend your yourself. After all, if your cup is empty as a mom, what do you have to pour out into your family??
Taking time to improve your mom self-care will make life easier and even more enjoyable. After all, a happy mom equals a happy family!
Here’s a quick recap for you to remember how you can truly focus on your self-care:
STOP worrying about tomorrow and START focusing on what you can do now
STOP making excuses and START seizing the day
STOP overwhelm before it starts and START a system to help you stay calm and organized
Teaching kids about nutrition and the healthy produce they should be eating isn’t always easy!
From explaining it in an easy to understand way to actually getting our kids interested in learning more about it; it can be downright hard! That is, if you don’t even know how to talk about the food you’re eating.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help create curiosity around healthy produce! (Even if you’re not a health nut like I am!)
Virginia, from Happy Healthy Abundance, has come up with tips on how to talk with kids about 8 different types of produce. Tips that she uses herself in her household, and uses to encourage her children to want to actually eat the produce based on their health benefits, not just the taste!
Want to Remember This? Pin How to Create Curiosity Around Healthy Produce to your favorite Pinterest Board!!
How to Create Curiosity Around Healthy Produce
Raising kids is challenging enough without even considering the spit out food, disgusted faces made at dinner, and the perpetual questions they ask. Just these three things alone could drive a mom up the wall.
You’re not alone in this. We’re all experiencing these things daily. No matter how much positivity you’re projecting or how well you try, these behaviors are bound to get to you at some point.
Once I learned that children don’t develop reasoning skills until the age of 7, my whole parenting philosophy took a shift. My eyes were opened to the puzzle in their little heads that they were constantly trying to find the pieces to. And the incessant “but, why?” question quit frustrating me so much.
I decided I want to be that mom who stops and takes the time to explain and teach while making eye contact and really connecting with that tiny growing mind. In pursuit of my dreams for their future, I focus on teaching them about health and money daily, in hopes their lives will be easier than mine.
Less far flung food, please
The hubs and I value nutrition and focus on eating foods containing nutritious ingredients, but motherhood had a big fat lesson in store for me: Just because I feel this way doesn’t mean the kids will eat healthy foods willingly.
I specifically remember asparagus being flung onto the wall by a certain cute little blondie.
We began speaking openly about the benefits of the foods we eat when the kids were just toddlers. Whether they could understand what we were saying or not back then, we knew it was important to start discussing the benefits of the nutrients in our foods and why we need to eat them.
Now that the kids are older, these conversations really satisfy my kids’ curiosity. Conversation about the nutritional value of the foods on our dinner plate inspires more discussion about our bodies and how to properly support our needs.
Here are the most common items we eat and some discussion pointers I hope you can share with your kids, too!
8 Healthy Foods & What I Tell My Kids About Them
Asparagus contains Vitamin K which assists the body in absorbing calcium and is a key player in blood health.
I tell my kids it makes strong bones and helps their body heal when they get a boo boo.
If they are still listening, I’ll remind them that they need strong bones to grow up and be taller than me. That always riles them up and gets the questions flowing.
I find a way to circle back and talk about how amazing the body is because when we get a scraped knee or a cut, our blood forms a scab and our body grows the skin back. Vitamin K helps the body do that & that’s a very cool super power to have.
If you have boys, they love pointing out their most recent scrape and being compared to Wolverine!
Broccoli is filled with Vitamin C and sulphur, both of which are excellent at boosting our immune system and warding off disease and even cancer.
I talk to the kids about avoiding getting sick, and although we wash hands and cover our mouths, germs still get in sometimes. I tell them that our body contains special cells dedicated to stopping sickness and that eating broccoli helps those cells.
Vitamin C is also fabulous for the skin’s texture and helps the skin fight damage from the sun. My daughter loves to hear about how she can take good care of her skin and keep it beautiful.
Berries are bursting with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-inflammatories help reduce swelling during injury, tension in the muscles, and even reduce the chances of heart disease. Antioxidants protect the skin and encourage the production of collagen.
These are big, complicated subjects for kids. So, I simplify it by telling them that berries help their skin stay beautiful and their muscles from hurting after exercise. My sports players really go for that one.
I told my son how beautiful his skin is too and remind him that it can’t hurt to be a good lookin’ athlete. I gave him a wink and said “just eat them for your muscles”. He catches my drift and gives me a smirk. We had a moment. That made my day!
Oranges are full of Vitamin C. Depending on your kids’ ages, this one could lead into a whole discussion about the immune system and how our bodies are constantly fighting off sickness and disease.
This is a great opportunity to explain how eating oranges can help us have less colds and yucky ear infections. Nobody likes those things anyway and I use this chance to talk about less doctors visits and less shots.
Carrots are loaded with vitamin A and betakerotene. These nutrients help our eyes focus and help us see at night.
My kids love talking about owls and wolves, so to compare your night vision to that of these amazing animals is a really fun conversation.
Peas contain protein. Protein is a major building block for our bones and our blood, not to mention that our hair and nails are made of protein.
I tell the kids they need to consume protein if they want long, healthy hair and nails, or if they want strong muscles and bones. Different kiddos will take what they want out of the discussion.
Spinach has iron and calcium in it, but I really like to highlight the magnesium component.
Magnesium dissolves lactic acid in the muscles (helps prevent soreness and cramping) and assists with the brains electric signals to the muscles throughout the body.
Anyone who wants to grow big and strong loves learning about muscles. Remember Popeye the Sailor Man? Now I totally get the whole spinach thing!
Last, but not least, we love melon. Cantaloupe contains vitamin A, which assists our bodies’ absorption of calcium. This combination helps us have strong teeth and bones. Vitamin A also helps us form strong white blood cells, which if you remember a little grade school biology, those are a key component in the immune system.
My older kiddo already has a few adult teeth, so we’ve started to talk about the importance of taking good care of them since they have to last your whole life.
A delicious melon snack on a spring day gives us yet another opportunity to discuss the immune system and the white blood cells fighting off unwanted bacteria and viruses in the body to keep us functioning well.
Holy Biology Lesson, Batman!
Of course, this is a lot of information. Keep from dumping it all on them at once.
There are way more vitamins and nutrients in each fruit and vegetable mentioned, but this is meant to be easy to understand for kids, so remember to keep it simple.
Uncomplicated conversation will hold their attention longer and provide for more open feedback and discussion about the foods and the health benefits they provide.
I suggest mentioning the benefits of berries over breakfast while enjoying some berry covered waffles and then having a separate discussion about the benefits of broccoli over dinner.
It helps the conversation if the kiddo can see and eat the healthy food in a relaxed setting during this “lesson”. Allow the conversation to ebb and flow and allow them to have input and ask questions.
Taking advantage of the teaching opportunity in these moments in a positive way is key. They love to learn about how to help their bodies grow bigger and stronger and I love using the benefits in the food as a tool to teach them healthy eating habits.
Understanding why we should choose veggies over cookies and the benefit our bodies get from making healthy choices is key to long term health. What a priceless gift we have the power to provide!