Posts Tagged: mabels labels

Smoothies-Smooth or Stupid Move?

Should you be a smoothie monster? It’s true that you can hide a whole bunch of fruits and vegetables in any blender, even disguising spinach in this trendy drink. But while a few sips of this stuff may be worth a whole serving or two of fruits and vegetables, are they all they are still a healthy food?

It depends upon your goals.  While many weight loss regimes are touting smoothies as the holy grail amongst the myriad of weight loss tips, if you’re using a smoothie diet as your weight loss regime, you may actually be working against yourself.  Most contain 400 + of liquid calories and liquid calories are not processed by the brain as effectively as food that needs to be chewed.  You are made to sit down and work for your fuel, chewing sends the right satiety message to your body and brain.

Another issue with drinking your calories is that even healthy smoothies can be high in sugar.  Many have jumped on the green smoothie as a part of a healthy breakfast but most people put a high serving of fruits in their green drinks to disguise the taste of the veggies. All of that fruit equals sugar-(yes,even if it is all natural and from fruit). And fruit smoothies without veggies, can be high in calories and will spike blood sugar even higher. For healthy smoothie recipes, keep portions small and focus on proteins as well as nutrients from low cal vegetables.  Munch on handful of nuts to engage your brain and help beat the satiety odds, or add them to your smoothie.

If your goal is to smack as much into a kid’s mouth before rushing out the door, then the story is slightly different.  You still want to make sure they are only getting 1 or 2 servings of fruit, but because they can be very high in sugar you also want to focus on protein source.  Whey powder seems to be the most palatable for kids and many brands are now lactose free.  For vegetarian recipes, be sure to choose organic if you are using soy protein otherwise you are likely getting a genetically modified soy. Brown Rice and Pea protein are growing in popularity and are terrific sources too, albeit more expensive. Hemp protein can be gritty and green but it is a very nourishing option. It would be great to rotate your type of protein powder so you don’t get too much of a good thing, just be sure you choose a brand that doesn’t have sugar or other sweeteners since they add empty calories.

Another way to make healthy breakfast smoothies is to sneak in a few leaves of baby spinach, kale or even parsley or mint for some chlorophyll, fibre and phytonutrients. Add cinnamon for its anti-inflammatory properties and plain, unsweetened cocoa powder (great if you need to hide a color- if it looks chocolate, it is more likely to be accepted). Feel free to blend in some yogurt, Greek is best with its high protein count for protein smoothie recipes, but be sure to choose an unsweetened brand.

Here is a list of ingredients to make healthy smoothie recipes. Ask your child to circle their own concoction. You can’t really go wrong with mixing and matching fun and the process gives them some control over the outcome. And you know how I feel about giving the eating power back to the one who will have to manage it for life…right?

Follow these tips and a green smoothie really will be a part of a healthy breakfast. Bottoms up!

Liquid

Protein

Fruit

Veg

Flavourings

Milk Whey powder Berries Spinach Cinnamon
Almond milk Organic soy Banana baby kale Cocoa powder
Rice Milk Pea protein Pineapple parsley Vanilla extract
Greek Yogurt Hemp Protein applesauce carrot juice nutmeg
Coconut water Rice protein Cherries fennel fronds

 

About the Author:

Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at www.myfriendinfood.com

Ainsley Doesn’t Play Well with Others

I was at the kids’ park playground the other day having a good ol’ time swinging, checkin’ out the twisty slides, and enjoying the sun. My daughter was there, too, and we were having a great time. Another cute couple arrived, a momma and her son. I’m all about my daughter being social but she’s at an age where she is always looking for friends. I mean EVERYTHING in her beautiful, innocent world is a potential friend, maybe even a stop sign if she wanted to (adorable!). Of course she wanted to say hello to the couple and sadly they did not reciprocate. Then the little boy went so far as to throw water at her when she was in his vicinity and his mom chose to be, what I like to call, a PPYP (a passive play yard parent).

You know the one I’m talking about: the parent who chooses to sit outside of the play area and yell at their kids while they are on the play structure instead of being active with them. Not only did it make my daughter upset it also put me in a bit of pickle—was I supposed to speak to the mom and say, “hey stranger, your child should work on being nice to my innocent mini-me”? Or should I just continue playing with my daughter to distract her from the fact that, in life, there will be the occasional jerk at the kids’ playground? Perhaps I should ask Ontario parks to post a list on kids getting bullied and how to play nicely at the playground for all to see so that we are all on the same page. In the end, we cut our play time short, which meant the little boy was left to play on his own and that made me kind of sad, too. My daughter and I learned a lesson that day—it can be tough making new friends (no matter what the age) and hopefully, in the near future, we will be able to find some other couples who frequent the kids playground and share the same ideas regarding play time, sharing, and being nice to others.

Now that I am learning all of these new rules and tips about being a parent, I am really seeing just how naïve I was about this whole parenting business. There is a whole crazy world out there that I feel completely unprepared for. Not only am I helping to mold my daughter into a reasonable human being, but I am also gaining all sorts of new insights about making friends myself!

I worry constantly that my daughter will be too much like me, labelled with, “does not play well with others” by primary teachers. (To this day my mom, and now my husband, still laugh at this.) As I grew up, that statement became inaccurate. I grew into a friendly person, my job requires that of me—that’s what customer service is all about. As a child, I was just more introverted, my parents weren’t worried about it and I am not going to worry about it either. If my daughter wants to read and play on her own I’m not going to stop her and hopefully there will be few instances in her young life where people don’t want to have her around.

As a parent, I didn’t realize that I would also have to make new friends, remind myself how to play nicely with others, and remember how to share. I am going to have to put more effort into looking for friends who are also parents, and I’m going to have to learn to share my daughter’s time, too. As adults, we forget that we are going to have to interact with other parents and, since I’m a full-time stay at home mom, I am really going to have to try harder. It’s different when you’re at work—you can’t just run away or throw sand when you don’t feel like interacting with others. At the kids playground, I sometimes find myself a little lost, but I have to start somewhere so. . . Hi, my name is Ainsley. Wanna come out to play?

I would love to hear more about how you interact with other parents and neighbours at the kids playground or elsewhere; any advice you can share about making friends or how I can find likeminded parents would be awesome!

 

About the Author

Ainsley Gelder was welcomed into the Mabel community back in 2012 – ready for a new job and pregnant the Team welcomed her (and her bump) with loving arms and now they can’t get rid of her! You may recognize her voice from communicating with her through the Customer Service Department, she’s here to answer questions or to chat about labels and loves to laugh. Ainsley is crazy for a good DIY Project on Pinterest and spending time with her family, she especially loves spending time reading books with her toddler and having dance parties in the living room.

You can find her on Twitter @ainsleyisdancin

The PANK Perspective: First Day of Kindergarten

My 4 year old nephew had his first day at public school the other day. In the weeks leading up to his first day, his parents said his mood changed from excitement to hesitation as the days drew nearer. Going to full day kindergarten is a big transition for any kid, and with my nephew being somewhat reserved at times, I was worried that he would have anxiety about attending. You see, I’m a worry-wart. I think about things that I just shouldn’t spend time thinking about.

“What if some of the kids are mean to him?”

“What if he has an accident because he’s too nervous to speak up about going to use the washroom?”

“Will he like his teachers?”

Then I thought, if I feel like this as his aunt, how the heck does his mother feel? She uses humor to express her emotions and laughed about how “he will be someone else’s worry for a few hours a day.” With having an 8 month old to look after she joked about having a break from my oldest nephew. But I know that she’s struggling with letting him go and wondering some of the same things I am. How could she not?

On the first day of full day kindergarten my nephew was excited, and all of his questions and potential fears of going to school faded as soon as he met some of his classmates. I needed to remember that he’s not the only 4 year old entering the big world of public school (and of germs and lice…eek!) Many parents had to bid adieu to the fact that their child was no longer confined to the family ‘bubble’. Their teachers, classmates and even parents of their classmates will have an effect on them. They will learn new things along with bad habits and manners. They will become more independent. They will stumble, but they will also climb.

I read an article the other day from Huffington Post that was written by a Mom of a kid going to Kindergarten for the first time. She wrote about the transition of being pregnant to caring for a newborn, then a toddler and now for a child that is entering the education system. She asked, “How did we get here?” and I have wondered that this summer as I watched my nephew play. How is he old enough to be going to school? How did he get so big so fast? I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. So much has changed in my life since that wonderful day, but it sure doesn’t feel like 4 years ago.

Where did the time go?

Time flies.

Did you have a child that started full day kindergarten this year? How did you feel about this transition?

 

About the Author:

Diane Morris is a PANK; Professional Aunt, No Kids and works for Mabel’s Labels as the Sales Coordinator. She’s an Aunt to two boys, and an “Auntie” to her boyfriend’s niece and nephew. She’s a sucker for romance, country music and peanut butter.

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