I must admit I've usually bought granola, thinking it's too complicated to make on my own, but boy was I wrong! Homemade granola is so easy to whip up and so much more nutritious and delicious when you play around with add ins yourself. Not to mention the irresistible aroma that floods your kitchen when its baking. It also makes for a thoughtful gift for a friend and is ideal for travel. I am sure this will become a breakfast and snack staple in your household just as it has in ours.
Baking with vegetables is a genius idea for three wonderful reasons - added nutrition, natural sweetness and moisture. Carrots, in particular, are the perfect addition to cakes, muffins and breads. I created these whole grain, omega-3 fatty acid-rich, refined sugar-free, spiced carrot muffins to make my mornings less stressful, more nutritious and delicious.
Overnight oats are what the moniker implies - oats soaked in a liquid of choice overnight until they are softened into a pudding-like consistency, presenting themselves as the perfect canvas for additions and toppings like fruits, nuts, sweeteners and spices! The most fun aspect of this dish is getting your kid to make breakfast with you the night before. Talk about serious skin in the game.
Magnesium is an incredibly important mineral and most adults and kids today don’t get enough. To help your family get their magnesium in the most delicious way, I created these Energy Bites. One nom and you'll wonder how something that tastes so good can be so good for you! Each ball contains 33 mg of magnesium or 41% of the recommended daily intake for 1-3 year olds! My 4 year old and the rest of the family, for that matter, are absolutely addicted.
Traditional Chinese Five Spice is an aromatic blend of fennel, clove, star anise, cinnamon and Sichuan peppercorns. I swap tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorns (perhaps a bit much for the kids) with black peppercorns to make a kid-friendly blend that's perfect with chicken, pork and beef and divine in these delicious meatballs.
Butternut squash is not only delicious but alive with nutrients - carotenoids (that become vitamin A in the body), antioxidants, anti-inflammatory molecules, types of starches that aid in blood sugar regulation, B vitamins, including folate and surprisingly, a bit of omega-3 fats in the form of alpha linoleic acid, also a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Squash is abundant in winter and affordable so there really is every reason to make it part of your family table. Combined here with antioxidant-rich spices that regulate blood sugar, exhibit antibacterial effects and boost digestion, to name a few of the benefits, this delicious and soul-warming soup is sheer health and deliciousness in a bowl.
If spices were superheroes, cinnamon would occupy the upper echelons of power. Superman. Maybe Batman. No, actually maybe Captain America. Or more likely, a combination of all of those and more. Packed with anti-diabetes, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, cognition boosting, anti-cancer and female hormone cycle regulating powers, cinnamon is a spice truly worth incorporating into your baby's, toddler's, kid's and family's diets. The only caveat with cinnamon, as previously discussed, is that the widely available Cassia variety has high levels of coumarin, which is a liver toxin. A 2012 study conducted in Norway by the Scientific Committee for Food Safety found that Norwegian kids, because of their regular intake of cinnamon-flavoured oatmeal, were ingesting coumarin in much higher doses than what is considered tolerable and safe. The simple way around this problem is to ensure that the cinnamon you use, especially if sprinkling it into your foods regularly (which you should!) is of the Ceylon / Sri Lankan variety, which has undetectable amounts of coumarin. You can get Ceylon cinnamon from specialty spice shops, Whole Foods and on Amazon. The extra effort in this regard is definitely worth it.
Cinnamon has a plethora of science-backed health benefits like anti-diabetes, cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, anti-Parkinson's and female hormone balancing activities - all in once spice, that's pretty darned remarkable. Oats contain a special kind of fiber called beta-glucan which has been shown to lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, boost immune function, stabilize blood sugar and even prevent breast cancer. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium which is critical for heart function. Creamy and naturally sweet, they contain fiber to promote digestion and are a 'PREbiotic' - food that feeds the good bacteria in your digestive tract. All of these nutritional powerhouses join forces with omega-3 and calcium-rich chia seeds in this delicious and decadent breakfast that is a delicious, energizing and nutritious way to start your tot's (and your) day.
As discussed in a previous post on the science-backed health benefits of cinnamon, this miracle spice can temper the effect of sugar on the body. Studies on type II diabetics have shown that even less than 1/2 a teaspoon a day of cinnamon for 4 months reduces blood sugar levels. There is evidence that cinnamon improves the function of insulin, the hormone that coaxes our cells to soak up blood sugar and use it for energy. Rice pudding flavored with cinnamon spikes blood sugar less than bland rice pudding. It's no wonder then that we encourage the use of cinnamon in any carb-heavy, sugary treat and this delicious French Toast is no exception!
The content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. We do not claim that any of the spices or recipes we discuss are a substitute for modern medicine or will cure you of a disease or ailment. Please consult with your doctor before introducing spices or any new foods mentioned on this site to your baby or kid if you are concerned about their reaction to them.