Keeping Your Gut Healthy All Summer

Keeping Your Gut Healthy All Summer

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Summer comes with laid-back vibes, later bedtimes, and subsequently, lazy eating habits. It’s the time of year when we most want to kick back, take it easy, and usually end up ordering out. I’m doing my best at home to keep things even-keeled, but it’s an inevitable beast. Eventually, the lazy summer monster gets us all.

One of the ways I try to keep the good stuff going in with a busy schedule and two kids, is by enjoying a delicious smoothie each day with the family. We enjoy participating in smoothie challenges and coming up with new and interesting recipes to keep the kids engaged in healthy habits. Good Karma Flaxmilk is a wonderful way to add protein to your smoothies. It’s made with cold-pressed flax seed oil, a rich source of Omega- 3’s without all of the calories. Plus, it’s dairy-free for my lactose sensitive boys. I use both the Unsweetened and Vanilla flavors depending on the type of smoothie I’m making.

Smoothie Recipe

This Banana Mango Protein Smoothie is excellent! It’s the perfect frosty beverage for summertime (you can add spinach or kale to turn it into a green smoothie. Just add 16oz of frozen mango to 3 cups of Good Karma Flaxmilk, add 1 ripe banana and blend. It’s a simple favorite that is frosty and refreshing. It’s easy to take this on the go on a summer adventure.

Smoothie

Probiotics is a great source of good gut bacteria necessary for optimal gut function.  Traditional Chinese Medicine believes the gut is the epi-center of the body. That without it’s optimal health, the rest of the body cannot function effectively. Implementing healthy gut behavior with Drinkable Yogurt, yogurt packs, and probiotics is essential to our well-being.

Good Karma Drinkable Yogurt  is packed with dairy-free probiotics, making it a great summer treat by the pool. It’s easy on-the-go caps mean you can just drop it into the cooler and enjoy.

Smoothie

I rest easier knowing I’m injecting good practices even while enjoying our laid-back summer vibes. The kids enjoy the dairy-free yogurt as a fun summer treat. With up to seven live and active cultures, Omega-3 healthy fats, and five to six grams of plant-based protein, I’m happy to let them enjoy this delicious snack.

Kefir

Essentially yours,

Erika

Kids Lunch Box Ideas for Back To School

Kids Lunch Box Ideas for Back To School

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetCheesy #CollectiveBias

School will be back before we know it and the lunchtime struggle is real. Making the effort to  provide your child with a healthy and nutritious lunch they will enjoy can be a tough task. Especially when you are trying to keep things new and exciting for picky little palates. I do my best to keep from packing a sandwich with deli-meat each day. These tips have helped me develop fun and creative kids lunch box ideas and themes for the summer, and I’m ready to start creating more for back to school time. It’ll be here before you know it..

Kids Lunch Boxes

The Eyes Have It

Developing minds rely mostly on their senses (sight & smell mostly) to function. Fewer things can draw kids in more than bright vivid colors and a fun invitation. My kids attend a Montessori school, and the thinking behind the Montessori method is to respect the individual by setting up an invitation to learn. The shelves in a Montessori classroom have materials laid out in a fashion that would invite someone of interest to take part in that particular lesson. The same goes for kids lunch boxes! By arranging the food in such a way that it looks inviting could be enough to get your kids munching in no time.

Organic Valley

Organic Valley Stringles and American Singles make it easy to pack individual sized portions for lunch-time snacking. Right now you can save $1.25 off any Organic Valley Cheese at your local supermarket.

Cut It Out

A simple slice of watermelon may not seem enticing to a kid. But a melon ball they can pop in their mouth and is easy to hold can be a blast. Making smaller and creative portions of food, it invites the child to take part in eating a well-balanced meal. Organic Valley products are all organic, without antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides, or GMO’s. Cutting your items into fun shapes and sizes makes kids lunch boxes a little less intimidating, and a little more exciting.

Kids Lunch Boxes

Kids Lunch Box Ideas

When In Doubt, Stick It

Kids will eat just about anything you put on a stick. Our new favorite kids lunch ideas mostly involve Kids Kabobs. A simple salad may not be enough to get your child excited about lunch, but throw some spinach, string cheese, and tomatoes on a stick and you’ve got yourself a winner! My boys love finding new and interesting ways to incorporate kabob-style lunches into their school lunch. Organic Valley Stringles makes that easy by simple cutting up a cheese stick and adding it to most of the fun lunch-box combinations. You can create fruit sticks, salad kabobs, and even quesadilla on a stick. It’s become such a hit they have started requesting their breakfasts on a stick (french toast kabobs anyone??).

Kids Lunch Ideas

You can find the Organic Valley cheese products easily in the dairy aisle at your local Publix supermarket.

Essentially yours,

Erika

Healthy Summer Kid Snacks + DIY Sun Catcher

Healthy Summer Kid Snacks + DIY Sun Catcher

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackStories #SnackSnapShare #CollectiveBias

Summer is here and with it comes summertime crafting! After picking the boys up from camp they always ask what we are up to today. During the school year schedules are tight and there isn’t always time for as much fun as we’d like. During the summer while the days last longer, we try to take advantage of all the extra outdoor time by eating al fresco as much as possible.

One of the ways I keep the kids engaged, is by providing delicious snacks for them to munch on while were outside. With two hungry boys this can be a tough feat, some days it feels like they are never full! I struggle with making sure they get the right nutrition while fueling their busy little boy tanks. I like to create an “invitation to eat” by making snacks individualized, kid-sized, and most of all, fun-looking. Bright foods with different textures are most inviting to kids. Right now the boys are digging anything crunchy, so my options are pretty wide open on the veggie side.

 

Summer Snacks

Late July® Organic Tortilla Chips are the perfect go-to for snacks. They are crunchy, made with high-quality ingredients, and ready for dipping. The new Jalapeno Lime flavor is the perfect kick for some summertime snacking. My oldest likes a little spice, but my youngest son prefers the original tortilla chips, and I love the new recyclable packaging!

Summer Snacks

I make sure to provide a few different options so they don’t get tired of the same flavor. I cut open a few peppers and added Avocado Hummus (our newest favorite), Black Bean Salsa, and traditional salsa. They each pair perfectly with the Late July®Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips. Avocado Hummus is a new twist on hummus, the boys really love the texture and I love how simple it is.

Easy Avocado Hummus

Easy Avocado Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz Can of Chick Peas
  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp of EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 Tsp of Cumin
  • 1/4 Tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley for Garnish

Instructions

  1. Add the Avocado, Chick Peas, Garlic, Salt, and Lime Juice to a food processor. Pulse 3-5 times, then slowly add the EVOO on a full blend until creamy. Sprinkle with Cumin and garnish with Parsley to enjoy!
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Just throw a few ingredients into the food processor and voila! You’ve got a fun summertime snack for the kids and yourself. This was an easy recipe perfect for chomping on while making our fun Summertime Sun Catchers. This craft was perfect for outdoor use since it involved melting plastic and I didn’t want those fumes in the house.

Sun Catchers

You start with clear plastic beads you can find in your local craft store. Add a handful to an aluminum muffin pan so the bottom of the pan is covered. You can create patterns if you like or even all one color. The boys thought it would look best if they put in a bunch of multicolored beads to see how they would all melt together.

We put the muffin pan directly on the hot grill and put the top on for 15 minutes. When I took the lid off they were completely melted down (don’t worry these won’t stick onto the muffin pan). I set them aside and let them cool overnight.

Sun Catchers

Once they were cooled, they were ready to be strung. I used my trusty hot glue gun to attach the bakers twine to the back of the sun catcher.

Once the glue dries, they are ready to be hung outside or in front of your favorite sunny window!

DIY Sun Catchers

The boys loved decorating the tree outside, they were impressed with their new creation as we all sat and snacked on our healthy summertime snacks. Bonus!

Enter the #SnackSnapShare Sweepstakes before 7/11/17 or your chance to win a grand prize of $10,000! There will be eight weekly winners eligible to win a year’s worth of snacks so they can continue to share the love all year-long. OR you could be one of 57 daily winners set to receive a $50 prepaid Visa gift card to stock up on snacks at your favorite retailer.Good Luck!

#SnackSnapShare #Sweepstakes (5/30 to 7/25)

Summer Snacks
If I were to enter, I would use this photo!

Essentially yours,

Erika


Summer Snacks

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