Archive | Artificial Food Dye

EnviroKidz Back-to-School Snacks $100 Giveaway

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Sponsored by: Nature’s Path Hosted by: Mommy Footprint

If you are travelling down the road to limiting GMOs (Genetically Modified Food), artificial dye, highly processed sugars, and for lack of better word ‘JUNK’ in your kid’s diet, you’ve probably already tried and fallen in love with Natures Path Organic and their EnviroKidz brand. Having moved my oldest child away from his favorite GMO (corn based) cereal this summer, I couldn’t have done it without Nature’s Path alternatives on hand. He has now transitioned away from these junky cereals and they won’t ever be making another appearance in our home. We keep Gorilla Munch on hand for occasional dry snacking and anyone wanting a quick bowl of cereal in the morning loves Koala Crisp.

Nature’s Path has earned the trust and respect of parents looking for Non-GMO Verified options, along with many gluten-free and organic products. We have also enjoyed Nature’s Path granola and bars for occasional convenient snacking so I’m excited for the lucky winner of this contest!

About EnviroKidz

EnviroKidz Crispy Rice Bars are made with simple, wholesome, certified gluten free ingredients, so you’ll be happy adding them to the lunchbox – and kids will be even happier come snack time. They’re gluten free, organic, and full of the great taste kids love.

Who would love a chance to try these yummy snack bars? Well, Nature’s Path is generously sponsoring one lucky reader a chance to receive a supply of EnviroKidz Crispy Rice Bars – enough for the entire Back-to-School season! So, let’s get on to the giveaway!

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One lucky winner will win an

EnviroKidz Back-to-School Snacks Prize Pack ($100 value)!

Includes a variety of EnviroKidz and Nature’s Path bars plus free product vouchers!

Giveaway ends 8/13 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to US and Canada 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US and Canada 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Avoiding GMOs – Make Your Own Mayonnaise

When I recommend where to start with limiting GMOs, I normally suggest starting in the pantry. After all, it’s normally our dry-stock food that contains the most processed and packaged foods. As we drift towards the fridge, there is a section of store purchased items that are probably (and by this I mean are) GMO. Packaged salad dressings, dips, and mayo. If you can reduce these items and actually make your own dressings and mayo you are doing a few things: reducing your exposure to preservatives, GMOs, and binding agents in your food.

Salad dressing might already be easy for most with a combination of oil olive and vinegar. Did you know that you can make you own mayonnaise? I started hearing about homemade mayo recipes when I was on the Whole30 diet. I couldn’t have store bought mayo because it contains corn, sugar, and preservatives. Actually the preservative and binding agent Calcium disodium EDTA that is listed as an ingredient is also used in shampoos to improve stability of emulsified liquids. Gross and do you really want to eat an ingredient found in shampoo and other beauty products?

What other ingredients caught my eye when staring at the jar of mayo in the fridge? Canola (GMO) or Soy Oil (GMO), Sugar (GMO), Calcium Disodium EDTA (contains formaldehyde and sodium cyanide).

Here’s the good news. Blogger The Clothes Make The Girl and author of Well Fed, has a great homemade mayo recipe. During the Whole30 I was happy to just mash up avocado to use in my egg or tuna salad, but I want to switch my family over to mayo (lots of sandwich eaters here) so having a good tasting recipe was important. I can’t stress enough how important it is to follow Melissa’s tips on keeping the ingredients room temperature and going slow, slow, slow when adding the oil. The recipe worked for me but I read through many of the comments attached to the article so I didn’t waste my oil ruining any batches. I’m committed to keeping this recipe as a staple in my house and scratching this store bought product that is filled with crap from our grocery list. And after trying it while it was still warm from my blender…it’s amazing. It’s one of those items you’ll wonder why you didn’t make it yourself earlier.

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Here are the ingredients for the Well Fed mayo recipe. To see the instructions and tips for success, visit The Clothes Make The Girl site.

Homemade Olive Oil Mayo

Ingredients:
1 egg
2 tablespoons lemon juice @ room temp
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 cup light-tasting olive oil (Not extra virgin.)

After making the recipe twice, I would re-enforce the tips of room temperature ingredients, light olive oil, bottled lemon juice and even the comment of using 3/4 cup rather than a full cup of oil. Very satisfying to make such a non-grid recipe like this! Try it and reduce one more place where your family consumes GMO ingredients and horrible preservatives.

 

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What is Wrong With A Grapple?

I’m not a frequent shopper of traditional chain grocery stores. I find there is so much ingredient reading involved because I’m not getting the local or organic options. But a really busy schedule this week has kept me buzzing to the local grocer and with every visit, my eyes spied something that just didn’t make sense. I’ll save the cinnamon that contained 2 additional GMO (genetically modified) ingredients for another article, but after I recovered from that, I spotted a 4-pack of apples called Grapples. What is a Grapple? It’s an apple that’s been infused with grape flavouring so it tastes like an apple that’s been dipped in grape juice. Below is a picture of this grape flavoured apple and the shine in the picture is the heavy duty plastic packaging.

grapple

So what is my problem with a Grapple? Do I hate the packaging? Well, yes. I don’t know how a company can think that much plastic packaging is a good idea with what we know about plastic pollution – but that’s not my biggest problem with the Grapple. Is this item GMO? No the Grapple hasn’t been genetically modified and the seed isn’t of the hybrid variety either. Besides for thinking this product is silly, I think it represents a much bigger problem and one that affects our kids. Children are growing up with an altered set of taste buds because of marketing concepts like the Grapple. Making food sweeter and artificially flavored really messes with the development of a child’s relationship with food.

Does any child really like the taste of McDonald’s food the first time they try it? No. Because we force kids to grow accustomed to salt, artificial flavours, sugar, and preservatives, it’s not wonder we complain when they refuse to eat real food. By handing them an apple that tastes like grape juice we are messing with more than mother nature but also with real food. When kids bite into an apple, they need to experience the sensation and taste of an apple. The experience of having artificially flavoured grape juice should be a separate experience.

We all know that clean food is the ticket to improved health for our family but there isn’t a suburb family that doesn’t consume junk food, artificial flavours, sugar, etc. on occasion. Let’s teach our children that these treats are ‘sometimes’ food and the clean food is ‘everyday’ and necessity food. Confusing the two, in my opinion, sets back the food movement and is confusing for kids.

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DIY Toothpaste & Oil Pulling

You know those moments in your life where you try something new and think “why haven’t I been doing this for years?” Well that’s going to happen after you try making your own toothpaste and oil pulling. There are lots of homemade toothpaste recipes on the Internet but recently I saw a post from Homestead Wannabes and the frothy finished result encouraged me to whip up a batch! It’s been slightly modified which you need to do in the essential oil world…it’s very difficult to source food grade essential oils which kept me back from making my own toothpaste for quite a while. I didn’t want to order expensive oils online when I didn’t know what the result would be.  But when I purchased organic vanilla for baking recently,  I noticed a peppermint flavor in the baking section with only two ingredients: organic sunflower oil and organic peppermint oil so I purchased a bottle to flavor my toothpaste. This recipe combined with oil pulling made my teeth feel very slippery and clean – much more than using traditional toothpaste or store bought organic brands.

Homemade Toothpaste Recipe modified from Homestead Wannabes:

Ingredients:

4 tsp Bronners liquid peppermint
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 tsp xylitol
1/2 teaspoon peppermint flavor

Directions:

Boil water and add 2 tablespoons into a blender. Add Bronners, coconut oil, xylitol, and peppermint flavour and blend until frothy (few minutes). Store in air tight container.

So there you have a very easy homemade toothpaste recipe. Kids will not mind the taste of this recipe and the cost savings is monster. I can’t tell you how happy I am to not purchase $6-7 organic toothpaste brands on a regular basis anymore. Why do I insist on organic toothpaste for the kids? Two years ago I pulled all fluoride from their dental routine. You can read why here.  And since it’s been two years I can address the issue parents and grandparents worry about the most with not giving kids fluoride – do we experience more cavities? We have seen a decrease in cavities so for our family – there is not a link with tooth wellness and fluoride for us. And if we got into a routine of flossing I think we could have near perfect success at our routine appointments.

Now I can talk about my own dental health. It’s not great because I didn’t have a cavity before starting to have kids in my late 20s. So for the past 10 years I really had a false sense that not going to the dentist I would be okay. Well that’s not the case..I have cavities and a root canal that need to be looked at. But before I re-book my appointment to talk to a dentist – I’m going to spend a few months trying restorative measures with my own teeth and oil pulling is something that really interests me. ** And I’d like to thank my friend Susan for posting oil pulling information to the Mommy Footprint Fan Page – it has been very encouraging!! **  Here are some benefits of oil pulling in my own words and I’ve also linked to a Dr. Mercola video that goes into more depth.

Oil pulling with sunflower or coconut oil changes the PH balance in your mouth and bacteria prefers an acid environment, therefore minimizing tooth decay..
Oil pulling with coconut oil seems to have the most health benefits and helps fight cavities and gingivitis – sunflower or sesame oil is also used for oil pulling but it increases your Omega-6 oils which isn’t needed.
Coconut oil also helps heart health, skin, and gut health.
Oil pulling limits germs that cause plaque accumulation and tooth decay before they spread through your bloodstream to the rest of your body.

How do you oil pull?  It makes me wish it was called oil swishing or something less mysterious than ‘pulling’ because it’s SO EASY!  And it’s not gross tasting either…a very easy process. You take a tablespoon (or less to start) of compressed, unrefined coconut oil and put it inside your mouth. I keep mine stored in my cheek until it melts. Then you start ‘pulling’ or swishing the liquid (combined with your saliva) through your mouth. I loaded the dishwasher and cleaned the floor while oil pulling (do anything that doesn’t require talking) for approx. 20 mins. I was worried about gagging on the oil but it was not an issue. It’s important not to swallow the oil  just keep swishing it around until you are ready to spit. When it’s sufficiently ‘pulled’ the oil will appear a milky white and should be spat into the toilet or garbage. I’m finding with using so many personal care recipes that contain coconut oil, my bathroom sink is getting plugged quite often so better not to cause further blockage by spitting in the sink.

Making your own toothpaste and oil pulling are two personal care products that really live up to the hype of DIY!  I will make another homemade toothpaste recipe that contains baking soda now that I have the main ingredients on hand and will post back. But the frothy recipe within this article is a fantastic introduction to DIY toothpaste because of the great taste! And that’s important when introducing to kids.  And I’m excited to see how long the frothy texture lasts so I can take a batch to my dentist. He totally supports all my requests to only x-ray if needed (not routinely), not to give the kids fluoride treatments, discussions on dental sealant and cavities. And when I mentioned that I’d be trying to make my own recipe he thought it was very cool!  Nothing like finding holistic support in the middle of a traditional pediatric dentist office that give me the support to feel like I’m making the right decisions with dental care for my kids.

To read all the articles on my journey to more holistic dental care for my family – check out:

Holistic Dentistry & Mercury

Holistic Dentistry & Greener Toothbrushes

Xylitol and Natural Dental Care

 

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Greener Halloween Round-Up!

Having a spooky, fun Halloween doesn’t always have to include plastic and chemicals. With my own awareness being focused on reducing genetically modified food with my family – you need to look no further than traditional Halloween candy. The GMO giants that support and manufacture modified food are the leaders of many chocolate, chip, and convenience brands: PepsiCo Inc.and Nestle are two that come to mind. So an area that takes a little more $$ to make sustainable this Halloween is candy. Purchasing organic lollie pops in bulk seem to be the more budget friendly option – but there are many options for a more happy ingredient list this October. Looking for the GMO-free or USDA Organic stamp on candy is the easiest way to know it’s high quality.

Image Belongs to Green Planet Parties:

 

One of my all time favorite Halloween crafts has to be stamping bagasse plates with a rubber stamp and beet juice. It’s an eco-friendly way to make a highly compostable plate keep all of it’s sustainability when you decorate it. There are no toxic dyes leaching onto food or into the soil with this fun decorating tip and the kids loved it!  Read the complete article here or be inspired by the below image of the plates we stamped:

 

Decorating pumpkins is always a fun way to dress up your house for Halloween! We always opted out of carving to paint ghost pumpkins . The kids loved it, the pumpkins lasted longer, and we didn’t have to worry about 4 children wielding knives at the same time. =0  But this year the kids all wanted to carve pumpkins so we let our older children have full artistic expression and they loved carving traditional pumpkin expressions. I got some inspiration from Pinterest for my younger kids and look at the Cookie Monster design my 6 year old made!  We’ve had left over house paint in the garage and it was perfect for painting the exterior of the pumpkin (daughter painted herself) and the carving and paper eyes were great for a younger child with some mama help! To read the full article on painting ghost pumpkins click here.

 

For party activities I always say the more disgusting and imaginative – the better. Kids like to tap into your imagination and it’s also a good time to empty out your fridge. Think outside the box and make some specimen jars. The more gory, gooey and artificially coloured the better – these make great decorations or party crafts for guests to take home in mason jars. Full article here.

With Halloween costumes I encourage kids to either go 2nd hand or create their own. If you think about reducing single waste items – costumes are really wasteful. Most are made from plastic or polyester so getting into the concept of re-using is really important. When you ask adults or older children their favorite costumes growing up, they will never tell you the costume that is generic and commercial. . . they will tell you about the most creative costume they wore. Fun ideas with a cardboard box or picking a character and making the costume. With having picked up witches costumes at a 2nd hand store last year, my daughters are excited to dress-up – I need to figure out a home-made green face paint or try using vegetable based craft paints I already have. One of my sons also requires stubble for a lumberjack costume but I think a few coffee grounds will do the trick. They get to have a dress rehearsal of getting dressed this weekend when we attend The Great Big Boo musical. We are excited that Halloween will be celebrated a few nights this year!

 

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