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Fresh Apples. There’s a bazillion ways to eat them.

   

Fresh Apples are everywhere!  Organic ones are easy to find.  You may be in the enviable position of having an apple orchard near you so you can take you family to pick your own.  Or, at least go to local market. While in season, stock up.  My two young apple trees were not very productive this year.  I'll have to give them an organic fertilizer boost to improve their harvest next year. 

I love apples.  Every afternoon I bite into a crisp apple to satisfy my desire for sweet and give myself an energy upper. And, its natural fluoride helps keep my teeth clean and healthy!

Apples are delicious!  Serve them raw for mouth watering fresh bites, dehydrate or freeze them with a little lemon juice for winter use, make applesauce, pies, tarts and crisps, use them as toppings on pancakes or waffles, put chunks or shavings into salads, fill or coat acorn or other squashes with an apple mix, and cook them with meats.  Healthier Recipe Mom, Shonda, created this Apple & Veggie Stix Stuffed Chicken scrumptious meal. The Kid Kritics were amazing that their chicken was so moist and had a touch of sweet. They loved, loved, loved it!  Your family will too. Try it!

… for the health of families,
ellen

 

 

 

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Expo East Rocks

Recovering from exploring hundreds of food booths at Expo East for three days… lots of new products.  One was a Greek Yogurt "ice cream" bar.  Another, Chocolate Greens by Barleans (see photo). Oh, you want to know who is in this photo?  Part of our Family Food Experts Network team, Kathy and Lauren (Nutrition Babes), Tracee (Real Food Moms), and Molly, our business manager.  The guy is Andreas, head of marketing for Barlean's.  I'm taking the photo.

The BIG trend was non-GMO foods.  Prop 37 will be voted on in CA requiring food companies to identify their products as GMO or non-GMO.  This will have a huge rippling affect on food production because it will impact consumer buying decisions.  Research is now confirming what we all suspected, GMO (genetically modified organisms) food is related to health problems.   Google it to learn more.   Bottom line, it is best to eat non-GMO foods.

OR, you can listen to our internet radio show this Wed. 6pm eastern on W4WN (Women for Women) radio. With Dr. Heather Manley and food expert, Kimberly Stewart, we discuss this GMO issue.  Learn the truth by listening. 

… for the health of families,
ellen

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Looking for new products for Kid Kritics to taste test

The large eastern Natural Products trade show is in Baltimore this week.  I will be there with our team to search for new food products that will meet our healthier ingredient standards for Kid Kritics to taste test.  As you know, at least 70% of the kids have to give positive results for them to award a product their seal of approval.  Then, odds are, you kids will like them too.

You may be surprised to learn that there are many "natural" products that fail our ingredient qualifications.  And, there are many that meet our standards but do not taste good.  In our eyes, many are not family nor kid friendly.  We won't tell you about them.

Between now and next Sunday, I will have walked my feet off trying hundreds of foods.  The challenge is to keep my weight off at the same time.  I am wiser thanks to years of doing this.  I won't try anything that sends and red flag signals. A sweet has to be REALLY worth it before I will try it… same for chips… there are hundreds of them. 

Next Sunday I will let you know my top picks from this food show!

In the meantime, if you have any products to suggest, please let me know (ellen@KidKritics.com)

… for the health of your family,
ellen

PARTY WITH ME: Tuesday, 2pm eastern, #FamFoodExperts. We'll be talking about School Night Dinners!

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Store’s FREE Cookie Giveway to hook kids and you

I had an interesting talk with a dad this morning.  He has an adorable 3 year old.  One day they were in a grocery store and someone asked if she wanted a cookie. It was the free cookie for your kids attraction.  Before this happened, he said, they used to have fun going to the store to shop for food.  Now, she associates grocery shopping with a cookie – she wants to go there for the cookie. "Let's go to the store so I can get a cookie." 

Has anyone stopped to think what message is being programmed into young children with this cookie bait?  Grocery shopping is now about free cookies.  Come and get a free cookie. Come to our store because we have free cookies for kids.  It it no longer about being together and choosing good foods for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.  Here, I'll give you this sugar filled cookie if you are sit quietly in the cart – really?  Are you using this behavior gratification for  behavior modification?  Cookies rule.

How many of you have been sucked into this lure?  How many of you choose the store you shop in because they give a free cookie to your kids?  How many of you say no thank you to the store and no to your kids?  How many of you say, let's go pick out an apple instead?  Please, think twice about how you are brain training your children. 

By the way, usually, these cookies are made with totally unhealthy, nutrient-empty, sugar-laden harmful ingredients.  You think it is free.  One day, you will be paying for this cookie habit.  Or, you can outsmart these stores and say no, or, stay away.

… for the health of your family,
ellen

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Choose to have a Smart Active Brain or Fructose

Research continues to point out how the sweetener Fructose negatively impacts your brain… as well as your children's.  Please read this report by Dr. Mercola,

September 2, 2012 – Issue 2206

Too Much Sugar Makes You Stupid!

The rats fed fructose syrup showed significant impairment in their cognitive abilities—they struggled to remember their way out of the maze. They were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats' ability to think clearly and recall the route they'd learned six weeks earlier.

Additionally, the fructose-fed rats showed signs of resistance to insulin, a hormone that controls your blood sugar and synaptic function in your brain.

Because insulin is able to pass through your blood-brain barrier, it can trigger neurological processes that are important for learning and memory. Consuming large amounts of fructose may block insulin's ability to regulate how your brain cells store and use sugar for the energy needed to fuel thoughts and emotions. The average American consumes roughly 47 pounds of cane sugar and 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture2.

Researchers concluded that a high fructose diet harms your brain, as well as the rest of your body. But there is even more to this story.

A second group of rats was given omega-3 fatty acids in the form of flaxseed oil and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), in addition to the high fructose diet. After six weeks, this group of rats was able to navigate the maze better and faster than the rats in the non-DHA group.

The researchers concluded that DHA is protective against fructose's harmful effects on the brain. DHA is essential for synaptic function—it helps your brain cells transmit signals to one another, which is the mechanism that makes learning and memory possible. Your body can't produce enough DHA, so it must be supplemented through your diet.
 

YOUR CHOICE IS either to cut out all sweeteners, artificial included, use a little cane sugar for occasional treats, and take DHA supplements – fish oils!  OR, go down the road of destruction, ignore conclusive research, eat lots of sweet junk food, including "candy cereals" and be stupid. 

I think you are smart enough to follow choice one.

… for the health of your family,
ellen

 

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DISCLOSURE: Once a product passes ingredient standards evaluation followed by a blind Kid Kritics taste test, a company can opt-in to the Kid Kritics Approved marketing program. Though monetary compensation for marketing is involved, this does not affect the nutrition evaluation or taste test results.