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Gluten Free: So Many New Choices!

Have you noticed how the gluten-free food section in your grocery store has expanded over the last couple of years? That is primarily due to an increased demand for them.  A gluten-free diet is medically prescribed to people with celiac disease; 1 in 100 Americans suffer with the diagnosis. But those are not the only ones demanding a larger variety of tasty gluten free products.

  

Many people have found that although they do not have celiac disease they greatly benefit from eating less or no gluten which is primarily found in wheat, barley and rye.  They noticed their skin is healthier, they experience less gastrointestinal distress such as bloating, and some even claim better mental health. Even with increased focus by the science community on studying the digestive tract, no conclusive research warrants warning everyone to avoid gluten, though some trials suggest this is a good idea.  Many people dealing with various digestive related issues have voluntarily adopted a low gluten or gluten free diet.  

Mothers, determined to alleviate some of those same symptoms for their children, have invested time and money to find products and recipes that are gluten free, ones their children will like.  We have searched and found several family-friendly gluten free brands and products Kid Kritics have approved.  These include Crunchmaster Cheddar Cheezy Crisps and Grammy Crisps which make great snack alternatives to wheat-filled versions.  Lisanatti Foods, Pamela’s Products and Barbara’s Bakery also have several gluten-free products that have been awarded the kids’ seal of approval. To make your life really easy, we have posted many gluten free recipes on our website! For our full list of Kid Kritics Approved Gluten free products simply click on this link: Gluten Free Grocery List. It is wise, so please do discuss gluten free conditions with your doctor and/or dietitian to make sure low or no gluten foods are right for your family and you!

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

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Spring Cleaning: Your Pantry!

It's that time of year! Time when we are inspired to clean our houses and our lives of any unwanted clutter and stress. Perfect time to also clean out your pantry and stock up with new and better foods for you.

Start off looking at your canned goods, keep only what you can't live without. Then try to switch out for buying fresh or when needed and available packaged in glass. Canned goods can come in handy on a last minute pinch, but their BPA dangers, added salt, and other artificial ingredients are not ideal for everyday consumption.

Next look at your pasta, rice, cake batter and baking flours. Make sure you have at least 80% as whole grains. Switch out white rice for brown rice. Explore other grains such as quinoa, barley, Freekeh and bulgur. The basics are also very important, look at all your "best by dates" on all your products, including herbs and spices and throw out anything expired. On average we throw away $1 for every $4 of purchased food, we must break this trend with meal planning and avoiding stocking up due to sales when you are unsure you will use it in time.

The snack section of your pantry is just as important. Look through it and see what can you substitute with more nutritious options. Try to get rid of anything with lab-made food dyes, added preservatives, excessive sugar or salt and "empty calories" type snacks which don’t provide any nutritious value and may increase underlying stress. Look at our grocery list for great ideas on snacks and more! Our Kid Kritics Approved Brands have plenty of options to make stocking your pantry an easy task.

As we defrost from winter into spring we can start looking forward to Summer! Time to look and feel our best. Having the right foods at home to fuel your body is crucial to a successful "Spring time cleaning" of your health.

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

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“A Healthy Family Of Snacks”

Did somebody say chips? Usually people try to hide their chips and snacks when they see a registered dietitian coming. But let’s be real, kids like to snack! And they love crunchy chips to munch on. So what’s a concerned mother and nutritionist to do: look for a healthier choice! And that’s just what we found in Good Health Natural Foods Healthy Family of Snacks. We looked at the labels and liked what we saw. Take the Veggie Stix for example, it is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, D and B6 and a good source of vitamins E and K. They are made with all natural ingredients, no trans-fats and have 30% less fat than regular chips.

Awesome, so we found a brand we can trust with snacks for our kids, but should we spend our money on it? Will kids actually eat it? Good news! We have taste tested several of their snacks and awarded the Kid Kritics Seal of Approval. And our newest addition to the family of approved products from Good Health Natural Foods is the Harmonies Sea Salt, Harmonies Cinnamon Toast, Half Naked Pop Chocolate Popcorn and Half Naked Wild Blue Buffalo Popcorn. The only challenge is not eating the entire bag before the kids get some, the popcorns are terrific and perfect for movie time or family game night. The Harmonies made such a great combo served with a sandwich or wrap, or even with soup and salad. Don’t forget our previously Kid Kritics Approved Veggie Stix (Original, Pizza and Hot), Veggie Chips, Crispy Cinnamon Apple chips, Humbles Baked Hummus Chips, Half Naked Popcorn, organic Popcorn and my personal favorite Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels which all together make up a “Healthy Family of Snack” here to revolutionize the way we think about snacking. At last, money well spent, thank you Good Health Natural Foods!

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

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A parable of the wise and foolish builders by VeggieTales

My kids are very active and rarely sit in front of the TV these days, but when they do we make sure it is to watch educational shows with good messages! They love Veggie Tales, so when we received their new adventure “The Little House that Stood” they were jumping with excitement. They weren’t disappointed. Larry Boy and Bob delivered another hilarious performance! “The Little House that Stood” tells the story of the Three Little Pigs arriving into Cabbageville and preparing to build their houses. They met with three builders, but only one of them, Bob had a plan with solid ground.  In this adventurous parable, kids see what happens when they follow God’s blueprints, they can stand strong even through the storms! Building their houses and lives on a strong foundation makes all the difference.

But that’s not all. The DVD has a second fun story about the plight of Humpty Dumpty, and a featured Silly Song by Larry the Cucumber, “Happy Tooth Day!” The kids gave it thumbs up plus five stars! They’ve watched it over and over. Veggie Tales never fails to entertain while teaching valuable messages. What is there not to love when Vegetables are the Heroes?

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

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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.