The Trouble With Concession Stands In Youth Sports

Continue having conversations with your kids and educating them on healthy habits. Instead of looking at the calories burned while they play sports, think about the long term effects unhealthy foods can have on them. Think about the message you … Continue reading

Let It Go (Part 2)

It has been four months since I’ve last sat down to write a post. How can that be? Where did the time go? I spent the last four months nannying for an infant whose parents were visiting scholars to the … Continue reading

Perfection Doesn’t Exist

  This title has a lot of different meanings, but what I am referring to here specifically is overall health. I have driven myself nuts in the last year to ensure everything my family eats and does is healthy. I … Continue reading

Healthy Fundraising Ideas

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I don’t participate in a lot of the fundraisers my children’s school holds. Namely because it seems many are centered around unhealthy ways of life. I would prefer not to visit Wendy’s or McDonald’s on a given night just so that those fast food joints can kick back a small percentage towards the school. My family and I haven’t been to a fast food joint in years, so why start now? I also don’t like choosing junk out of a catalogue that is just going to “junk” up my house or end up in the garbage, and eventually the landfill later. I want fundraisers that help instill healthy habits onto my children. Selling unhealthy foods to children “for a good cause” seems counterintuitive since those foods are not part of a balanced diet. Fast food, cookies, ice cream, candy all contribute to poor eating habits, and part of their education should be about healthy living.

Let’s focus on healthy alternatives that promote healthy behaviors. Here are a few ideas:

Fundraisers that support academics:

1. Spelling Bee (Participants would ask for donations to sponsor them, as well as admission could be charged to enter the bee, contest, fair.)

2. Math Contest

3. Science Fair

4. Workshops/classes on weekend (Sewing, knitting, wood working, cooking, robotics, etc)

5. Read-a-thon (Participants are sponsored for number of books they can read.)

Fundraisers that support the arts:

1. Concerts (Admission to be charged to enter these.)

2. Art shows

3.  Plays/musicals

4. Dances

5. Poetry reading/story telling contest

Fundraisers that support physical activity:

1. Dance-a-thon (Participants ask for donations for how long they might dance, jump, walk, bike, etc)

2. Jump rope-a-thon

3. Walk-a-thon

4. Bike-a-thon

5. Run/walk (Entry fee.)

6. Bowling night (Perhaps the venue would kick back percentage of earnings that night to the school.)

7. Sport tournament (Participants would pay an entry fee to play in a golf/tennis/etc tournament.)

Fundraisers that support the environment:

1. Garden show

2. Flower bulbs/seeds

3. Tree Planting

Fundraisers that support nutrition:

1. Fruit baskets

2. Mixed nuts

3. Healthy cookbook (Have parents donate a healthy recipe whole family loves and make a customized cookbook to sell.)

Other healthy fundraising ideas:

1. Auction (Local retailers donate goods/services or have artists hand make items. Good way for artists to get recognized.)

2. Healthy Kit Fundraiser (SunBuddy Sunscreen Fundraising)

3. Organic Soy Candles (Non toxic and good for the environment.)

4. Holiday wreaths

5. Sporting event (Trenton Thunder or even a college game.)

So, now that I got you thinking, can you think of any more healthy fundraising ideas? I would love to add them to the list.

 

 

 

Real Food

I have been wanting to switch my entire nutrition towards eating “real food” for some time now. I would to seriously limit processed foods, and limit sugars, grains, dairy, alcohol, and gluten as much as possible. In order to begin eating this way, I was thinking about completing the Whole 30 program as my sister had glowing remarks about how much better she felt after completing it. I am interested in this “resetting” process or “cleanse” as I see it, but I just think it’s too hard with a family in which I am the main meal preparer. My husband did offer to help more with meal preparation, which I appreciated, but I am hesitant. Not only do I get really anxious having someone else in the kitchen helping with meal prep, I really want the entire family to also adopt eating real food, but I don’t feel it’s fair since we are already a vegetarian family within the home. The children are allowed to eat meat outside of the home. I just won’t prepare it in our home. Friends and family might be thinking, “how could she possibly limit the children’s variety of kid friendly food than she already has?!!” But, it is possible.  I know that I feel better when I eat real food, and I also notice a huge difference in my son’s behavior and how he feels when he eats a diet richer in real food. He has more energy, less stomachaches, less tantrums when he is tired. Yes, kids can burn off the calories of all the “kid friendly food” such as donuts, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, pasta, chicken tenders, french fries, but it’s not about them gaining weight or being out of shape. It’s about them feeling good inside (their stomachs…..they, too, experience gassiness or bloating that us adults do) and learning healthy eating habits at an early age. I personally would prefer it if restaurants got rid of children’s menus so that my children would order off the adult menu. The chefs could make the meals “kid sized” or we could take home the leftovers. I am sick of the restaurants that only offer hot dogs, mac and cheese, hamburger, pizza, and chicken tenders. Thankfully more restaurants are adding healthier side options such as applesauce, carrots, and broccoli instead of just pairing the main kid meal with FRENCH FRIES! But I digress…..

We have been in Florida for a week. Vacation mode meant a lot of eating out. Wine. Beer. Dessert. I figured it’s a good time to start over since our fridge and pantry are almost completely bare and therefore, have to go grocery shopping. But first I need to have some sort of meal plan in mind before I shop. I have spent the better part of the day pouring over websites such as Whole 30 and 100 Days of Real Food, and other blogs and sites trying to get meal ideas that the whole family would enjoy. But it is so  hard and time consuming. Besides unpacking and cooking lunch and dinner, I literally have been sitting at my computer since we got home around 2 pm and it is now 10 pm. I plan on transitioning slowly to give everyone time to adjust. I also don’t plan on committing to this nutrition lifestyle 100%, but there are some definite changes that need to be made. Of course it will take more work on my part since real food definitely takes more prep work. I hate meal planning!

Don’t believe me about my pantry and fridge? Here, take a look.Somehow we managed to make 2 meals out of what was left in the freezer (unfortunately packaged foods/frozen foods……mahi mahi burgers/veggie burgers/frozen corn/edamame) for today’s lunch and dinner. I, however, decided to try something new and sauteed up a can of chickpeas with a can of fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies. I added some spices (garam masala, cumin, and coriander) and at the last minute added some edamame and corn. It was delicious! Everyone else turned up their nose up at it, but I love meals like that. I just would like to get my family on board as well!

Bare Pantry

How about that one lime in the crisper drawer! Ha.Bare Fridge