Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Day !

So many wonderful changes happened in 2010 that I can not possibly predict what 2011 will bring! I am going to take it one fabulous healthy & thankful day at a time.

In 2010 KidsGummyMum was born, I found so many incredible friends on line, and I found just how amazing women entrepreneurs can be. In 2010 I found my voice, started a blog, created a Facebook Fan Page, quit my job, went to work for my husband, and discovered I really care about making sure IronKids Gummy Vitamins touch as many children as possible, all over the world!

What started as my husbands vision has turned into a family business. My kids can often be found drawing on the boardroom white board at IronKids HQ while I am in a meeting about our Iron-Kids.com web site re design. New flavours and colours are discussed at the dinner table and taste tested from bottles without labels in our home. Those Vitamin D sunshine shapes are thanks to the kids and I !! My husband may have the vision & Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology, Metabolism and Nutrition, but the kids and I are taking an active role in making sure IronKids appeals to kids & Moms in more ways than just being a great tasting all natural vitamin !!

And we have so many idea's! The first is Happy New Day ! I am challenging you all to simply being the best you can toDAY! Yesterday is in the past, and tomorrow we can plan, but today we get to enjoy! Cherish your kids smiles, acknowledge their frowns and comfort those tears. Eat one healthy new food, eat one less chocolate, go for a walk with the kids, give out your smiles to everyone you see, hug someone who doesn't expect it . . .live today to the fullest. Each day I will post a new challenge, play along with us, and make 2011 the best year yet, one day at a time! Check in tomorrow for Happy New Day #1!

Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/IronKids.Health and watch for the launch of our new website at www.iron-kids.com and if you are ever on twitter, be sure to look me up @KidsGummyMum !

Wishing you all the best in health & happiness in 2011 and, more importantly, toDAY!
Stuart, Deb, Julia, Brooke & Amy

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Traditions in Food


Does Christmas time mean family traditions at your house? It sure does at mine. Although I'm betting not the way you think it would for a mom who blogs about Raising Healthy Kids!!

I have blogged about fun with food before. I have three girls and am determined to foster in them a healthy relationship with food . . . and sometimes that means covering the healthy bit in icing!!

At Christmas we go all out and have fun with our food. We start with baking totally unhealthy gingerbread cookies and decorating with disturbing amounts of coloured royal icing, sprinkles and decorations. My kids do all the artwork . . . I am just the baker. We then give away plates of our creations to everyone we visit at Christmas time.

Next up is the required Gingerbread house from the grocery store with our own unique twist! That means more candy, more marshmallows, more icing and more colourful decorations! Its a work of art that is our kitchen table center piece for weeks leading up to Christmas!

Then there are the parties! Each of my kids (that means 3) gets to host their own Christmas party with their friends from school and we get crazy with . . .you guessed it, more sweets !!! I have bottles of coloured icing at the ready, 10 kids at a time around the table, dozens of candy dishes and pre made graham cracker gingerbread houses and Rice Krispie's in the shape of candy canes, snowmen, Christmas tree's and stockings. The kids then get creative and decorate like crazy! Anything sugary is glued down with brightly coloured icing! The more candy, the better it looks!! They love it. And they take it all home !!
Notice how there really isn't any eating going on here? The fun for us is the decorating. The 'being allowed' to stick your hand in the candy dish as many times as you like and use as much hot pink icing as you can.

And the best part of all this fun with food is that its shared with our family and friends!

May all your Traditions in Food be this fun! I'd love to hear what you do this time of year !!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Simple Start to Healthy Kids

Imagine if your kids were as excited as you were to prepare some amazing meals with this gorgeous display of fruits and veggies? For most of us, the reality is our kids may think the colours here look pretty, but don't you dare put that stuff on their plate!

A few weeks ago I embarked on a new journey of healthy eating and I bought into shares of a local Organic farm. They send me a full or half bushel (pictured) of amazing organic fruits and veggies either every week or every other week depending on what you choose. Stay tuned for future blogs on just how I incorporated all these wonderful colours into meals my kids would eat . . . well, at least try!!

Today I want to share how I started raising healthy kids. We as parents start making decisions the minute our children are born that will affect how and what they will eat for the rest of their lives. I believe there are some simple steps we can take right from the beginning to give them a healthy start, and besides, we only have a few years before they start to "catch on"!!

Making your own baby food . . . I know I know - blah. Why make your own when there are inexpensive jars of "all natural" baby food on store shelves? Most of those jars are on store shelves because they have preservatives in them so they don't go bad. There are so many benefits to making your own - I realized that when I cook & puree my own veggies I can control the salt, the sugar & the consistency - add more or less water for thicker or thiner baby food . . hint, thicker food is less messy!!

ONLY whole wheat bread . . . my children have never had white bread. Well, not in my house! My oldest was 6 years old before she figured out there even was another kind of bread. Had it at a friends house and thought it was the greatest tasting invention ever! Still none in my house!

Pureed vegetables . . . my kids have long out grown baby food, but I still cook and puree tons of veggies. I am not above hiding vegetables in my spaghetti sauces, macaroni & cheese, hamburger helper meals and even in muffins, cookies and brownies. Why not? They get all the nutrients and I get none of the grief . .they don't even know its in there!! My latest sauce had so much spinach and cauliflower I thought I was caught . .you could see the green bits, but it was a huge hit here.

Healthy cereal . . . No, Fruit Loops are not a healthy cereal! I only buy low sugar, simple cereals for our cupboard which my kids can help themselves to anytime. I offer 4 different cereals but none of them have chocolate or marshmallow thingys in them! I do buy treat cereals for just that, a treat . . but that treat is a dessert or a car snack for long trips. It is never the food they start their day with!

Juice . . . once a day. I'd rather they have real fruit and yes, I know juice from concentrate can be good for you in moderation. I think that is the key. There are good vitamins in juice but also a lot of sugar (26grams in a cup of apple juice!). My kids have always only been allowed 1 juice a day. Once thats done, your other choices are milk or water. And those drinks pretending to be juice? Those crystals and drink blends and juice hidden behind a label that says 'cocktail' . . . they are not juice!! If you do buy juice, make sure it's 100% real juice!

Lastly . . . vitamins, because really I can't talk about healthy kids without talking about vitamins!! Even though my husband formulates, manufactures and sells (amazing!) vitamins, we still make sure our kids eat fruit, grain, vegetable, protein and drink their milk. The vitamins are the extra . . .our girls are not big eaters so we know they need a bit more to get their daily requirements. Once your children reach two years of age, find a vitamin they like to take . . make it a fun and enjoyable experience. These days there are chewables, liquids and gummies on the market, have your child help you pick them out at the store, hand them out at home and take your own vitamins and set a good example. Of course, watch your ingredient lists here too . . .all vitamins are not created equal! Look for ones without sugar fillers, sugar coating, aspartame, coloured dyes or ingredients you can't pronounce or recognize!

I know I can only make the decisions about what my kids eat for a few more years and then they will decide what choices to make at the cafeteria and the grocery store. I can only hope I have given them a few simple lessons to make informed & healthy decisions . . .most of the time! Do you have any simple tricks you use at home?

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