A Tested Method of Getting Healthy Foods into the Diet of Your Kid

All of us parents, well I’m sure that most parents anyway are always trying to get our kids to eat a healthy well rounded diet.  My two solid eaters at home, 2 and nearly 4 years old, can be quite picky when it comes to food.  My almost 4 year old is the worst of the two.  He has always been at war with the textures of most foods.  If I’d let him he would eat bread and cheese at every single meal.  Since he began eating solids at right around 8 months of age he was a picky eater.  Then, his sister came  long and I was presently surprised that she did desire to at least try most foods.

Since I have a hobby and passion for in depth study of health and nutrition it has pained me to watch my kids eat an unhealthy diet.  I guess that sometimes ignorance is bliss to not know exactly what (insert name of famous American fast food restaurant here) does to one’s body.  Praise the Lord that our body is designed to recover for much of our bad food choices.

So, as a parent who not only wants to have healthy children, but also by nature reads everything she can get her hands on when it comes to health and nutrition I can’t sit back and feed my kids bread and cheese until they decide they want something else.  Nope, I just can’t do it.  Instead I developed my own method of helping my kids make good choices when it comes to their food so that I can only hope that someday they will want to take after their mama and make healthy choices.

Keep in mind that I’m not a parenting expert and I don’t try to stay politically correct, I am just doing the best that I can here folks and it seems to be working.  I’ve tested out this method on no other kids by my own, but hey if it works it works.

We do not cook separate meals just to appease my children.  We believe that it is important that they eat with my husband and I, plus that is just way too much work when I’m already chasing around two little ones and caring for a baby.  I almost always put a food or two that my children like on their plate and then I put foods on their plate that they do not like.  Many times I hear “Mooom, I’m NOT eating that.” Although we encourage our children to eat everything on their plate, we do not force them to eat what is on their plate.  We allow them to decide to eat whatever they like.  However, if all they want that particular night is bread we don’t allow any more bread (or any other food) until they eat everything that is on their plate.  If they want to eat nothing further than that one food they are given that is fine, we really don’t make an issue out of it.

I honestly didn’t really think it was working.  And, then just out of the blue one day after I’d been putting salad on my kids plates they started eating it like champs!  Then they started eating other things like carrots, cucumbers, and other things!  Whoo hoo!  Success!  Now they aren’t perfect and still are picky at times, but putting the food in front of them seems to really be worth it.

If you want more tips on how to feed your kids healthy try this article from Holistic Kid on 4 Food Groups All Kids Should Eat, it is really about much more than fruits and veggies!

Healthy Toddler Snack Ideas

I hope you enjoy this article on toddler snacks.  Feel free to share your favorite kid snack ideas too!  (I’m always open to suggestions.)  Don’t forget that over on my website www.endlessblessingsbirth.com I’m giving away a trunkload of great stuff from local sponsors! There are super giveaways going on over there like TaraMichelle Photography,  WeeCycle Children’s Consignment Sale, One + Tutu,  Childbirth Doula Package Earth Mama Angel BabySweet August Interiors and Green Mother Goods!

I’ve recently started tensing up at the question, “Mom, can we have a snack?” when it comes from my sweet toddlers mouth.  I get tense because I’m a mom that some might call a little bit crunchy.  Meaning, I don’t typically serve up goldfish, graham crackers, or any other typical kid snack food.  I’m a health nut, and a natural living freak.  Those tend to be special treats that the kids only get when they are at a friends house, at preschool, or in the nursery at church because I don’t feel like I can always control every situation. I want to serve up things that I consider healthy, unprocessed and minus all the sugar additives.  And, it doesn’t help any that my 3 year old is a bit picky, so most food that I suggest just seems to get the boot.  “No, I don’t want that.” Is a phrase that comes out between his precious little lips.

I have several recipes that I would love to make for my kiddos, but lately I just find myself too exhausted to literately cook up something.  Who knows, maybe it is due to being pregnant, chasing two toddlers, starting a business, or just plain thinking about packing up my house to get ready to move across town.  Ouch, I sound busy!  Life can be a little busy, right?  It’s all about having a good balance.

In order to change my boring old snack habits and brainstorm something new, I took a short poll of High Country Moms and did a little reserach to find some healthy toddler snacks that can make snack time a little more healthy (and a little more fun).  Share your great ideas with a comment on this post!  I would love to hear them!

Here is what they said:

Apple Slices and Peanut Butter

Nori (seaweed) wrapped Bananas

Fruit and bread cut into fun shapes with Cookie Cutters

Homemade Granola or Protein Bars


                                                                                                               Sneaky Chef Muffin Recipes


Or, how about these great ideas?

Homemade Popsicles

Monkey Mix

Chocolate Drizzled Trail Mix

Homemade Crackers

Egg Boats

Tasty and educational – Coral Snack Snack

So, tell us.  What are your great snack ideas?

Meet the Princesses this Sunday in Boone!

Our family has been very blessed to be able to visit Walt Disney World in  Orlando to meet many of the princesses in person.  However… the first time we went, we did not get very many photos because we left my camera’s battery charger at home. Incidentally, this is the very reason I made sure my next camera takes regular batteries!

Well, you don’t have to travel 11 hours away to meet all your favorite princesses!


Ashley Harkins as Belle, 2010

Come to Studio K Dance Workshop for  Princess Tea Party!

WHEN: This Sunday, April 17, 2011 from 1:00-4:00 PM

WHO: Children, ages 2-12 (with adult supervision at all times)

WHERE: Studio K Dance Workshop, 289 Daniel Boone Drive (across from New Market Center)

COST: $5 per child

In one studio room, the kids will be treated to tea with Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and more.

In another studio room, The Princesses will be featured at stations for you to meet them and take pictures!  Wear your finest ball gown or princess attire, and on’t forget to bring your camera!  Here are just some of the princesses in attendance:

  • Cinderella
  • The Step-Sisters
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Belle
  • Tiana
  • Mulan
  • Jasmine
  • Snow White (and the dwarfs)
  • Ariel

For more information, call 828-265-4111.

Random Acts of Zhu Brought Christmas Joy to Needy Kids!

This holiday season has brought so many blessings to our family. One of the best blessings this year has been our focus on giving. We have given to children across the globe through one of our favorite relief ministries, which is always great fun for the kids. And this year was the first year we actually took the kids out to shop for each other. I know, “What were we waiting for?” But it’s just so much easier to get them gifts and get on with it.

They really did have so much fun picking out gifts. The bright eyes of anticipation as they watched each other open their carefully chosen items warmed my heart.

Earlier this month, we were so excited when 104 Zhu Zhu (and Kung Zhu) Pets arrived at our door! The boxes stacked up almost higher than my kids’ heads! The best part was that the toys weren’t for us. We were privileged to partner with Cepia, LLC (the makers of Zhu Zhu Pets) to give these coveted toys to needy children for Christmas!

We chose to give these toys to Santa’s Toybox, a local charity that collects thousands of toys each year for needy kids in our community. The Optimist Club in Boone, NC, and local churches join together to make sure these children have the joy of opening gifts under the tree.

FREE Sledding in the Town of Beech Mountain!

The popular youth sledding hill in the Town of Beech Mountain is once again open for the winter season. The hill provides free sledding daily for children 12 and under.

Sledding conditions are usually favorable thanks to a combination of Beech Mountain’s high elevation (5,506 feet) andSledding Hill 014 a snow gun for blowing the white stuff when Mother Nature isn’t.

The sledding hill is located next to the Chamber of Commerce in the heart of Beech Mountain. It’s operated by Beech Mountain Parks and Recreation Department and open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (weather permitting) with safety personnel on duty. A loud speaker plays music and hot chocolate is available at nearby restaurants.

Plastic sleds are required. Folks may bring their own, or sleds are available for rent or purchase at nearby stores on the mountain.

Parking and restrooms are provided by the chamber. People are encouraged to call the chamber at (800) 468-5506 to receive live updates on sledding conditions. ‘We provide real-time updates on sledding conditions,” says the chamber’s John Troxler. “All we have to do is look out the window.”

Additional info on the Beech Mountain sledding hill is available at: www.beechmtn.com..

High Country New Year’s Eve Festivities (continuously updated)

We’ve started to find information on New Years Eve Activities for families (and parents) around Boone and the High Country. We will be continually updating this post as we find more activities! If you know about something we missed, add it in the comments or contact us here.

New Year 2011

Yule Log Bonfire

DATE: Thursday, December 30th , 2010

TIME: 7:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Beech Mountain Town Hall Sled Hill Area

DESCRIPTION: Join us for good tidings and great joy as we welcome the New Year with a Yule Log bonfire, marshmallows and s’mores, hot cocoa, hot apple cider, winter carols and songs with a guitarist, and stories.

MORE INFORMATION: 828-387-3003

Rockin’ Family New Years Eve Bash

DATE: December 31st, 2010

TIME: 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Buckeye Recreation Center

DESCRIPTION: Ring in the New Year with an early evening with your little ones at Buckeye Recreation Center. We will provide dinner, a bounce house, games, music and a good time for the whole family. All of the fun of New Years, just without the late bedtime!

MORE INFORMATION: 828.387.3003.

Trick or Treat for Tots at ASU


Halloween Trick or Treat ASUThis event is open to ASU Faculty and Staff as well as community families. Bring your children dressed in their Halloween costumes to go trick or treating in Hoey, Cannon, Lovill, East, Doughton, White, and Cone residence halls. ASU students will be handing out candy and there will be fun activities and games in some of the building lobbies. Last year Trick or Treat for Tots hosted over 300 enthusiastic trick or treaters. All are encouraged to park in any East side faculty/staff parking lots.

Date & Time:Tuesday, October 26, 2010. 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: East residence halls, ASU [Map link]
Sponsor: University Housing
Contact: Corinne Smith, smithmc3@appstate.edu, 828-262-8656
Admission: Free!.

Billy Jonas Comes to Farthing Auditorium October 19th: Limited Space, Reservations required

The Watauga Arts in Education Partnership, consisting of Watauga County Schools, ASU’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, and the Watauga County Arts Council has offered a regular performing arts series to Watauga County students for the last seventeen years.

Billy Jonas at Farthing Auditorium Boone, NCThis year, as a part of that series, we are bringing back the energetic and well-loved children’s musician, Billy Jonas, to perform for K-2 students at Farthing Auditorium on Tuesday, October 19th at 9:30 am.   AND, because Billy Jonas is so beloved by younger children, we are opening up this performance to parents and their preschool children age 3 and up.

Normally the policies of our Touring Arts Program specify that only children who are ages 5 and up may attend our performances. This policy has been in place for a number of years and with very good reason. We are not changing that policy…but we’re making an exception to it for this ONE time.

Because seating at these performances is very carefully counted and choreographed, parents of preschoolers who have older children attending the performance are asked to sit in the separate designated guest sections of the auditorium to which they are assigned (and not with their school aged child). Children who are not attending with their school must, regardless of age, be accompanied by their parent and seated on their own (not trying to ride or sit with school age siblings). Please understand that this is a ONE-time exception and that seating is quite limited. Therefore, we’ll accept your pre-paid reservations as long as we have the available seating. We will not be able to admit anyone who does not have an advance, paid reservation. All audience members must be seated by 9:15 am.

To reserve your seats, call the Watauga County Arts Council at 264-1789 BEFORE Monday, October 18, at 5:00 pm or come by our offices during regular gallery hours of 12:00-5:00 on Tuesdays-Fridays. No reservations will be accepted past that point. We can accept cash, checks, or Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. All seats (regardless of age) are $5.00.

Our gratitude to Holiday Inn Express of Boone, who is sponsoring this year’s Touring Arts Program by providing lodging for our performers..

Playhouse Pumpkin Party & Consignment Sale This Friday and Saturday!

The donations and consignors have been pouring into the National Guard Armory this week in preparation for the annual Playhouse Pumpkin Party & Consignment Sale.

“This will be a great chance to start your Christmas shopping with all the great kids’ clothes, furniture, books, household items, antiques, and more” promises Kathy Parham, Playhouse Executive Director.

Those folks wanting first crack at the good stuff will want to check out the Early Bird Sale on Friday, October 15 from 8:30-1:00 and will have to pay a $5 “hunting license” admission fee.

Admission is free for Saturday’s Pumpkin Party. Held from Playhouse Pumpkin Consignment Sale8:30-1:00 Saturday, October 16th at the National Guard Armory in Boone, the Pumpkin Party will be loaded with not-too-scary indoor Halloween fun perfect for little ones, including the always popular air walk, Halloween crafts, and trick or treating.

All rummage and most of the consignment items will go to half-price starting at noon.

Directions to the National Guard Armory

The National Guard Armory is located on Hunting Hills Lane behind a baseball field and diagonally across from the Tot Lot playground.

From 321/221 (South side of town) in front on the Walgreen’s Drug Store turn onto Deerfield Road. Go past the Watauga County Medical Center/Hospital to the bottom of hill. At the traffic light turn left onto State Farm Road. Go two blocks and turn right at the Fire Station No. 2 onto Hunting Hills Lane.

From downtown Boone: follow King Street (421) east, then take a right onto the 105 Extension. At the light near First Citizen’s Bank, take a left onto State Farm Road. Follow State Farm Road until you see Fire Station No. 2 on the corner of Hunting Hills Lane and State Farm Road. Take a left onto State Farm Road.

consignment sale at the Boone nc armoryAbout The Children’s Playhouse

Situated at 400 Tracy Circle near downtown Boone, nonprofit children’s museum The Children’s Playhouse provides children from birth to age eight with an enriching play environment while at the same time offering their parents friendly support in the important job of raising children. Stimulating arts– and science-based programs, enticing play areas and exhibits, and informative parenting resources all support this mission. The Children’s Playhouse is supported in part by Watauga County, the Town of Boone, and the High Country United Way. Call 263-0011 for more information or click to www.goPlayhouse.org. .

Our FIRST Coloring Contest Entry!

I am so excited to have received our FIRST Coloring Contest entry! This masterpiece comes from Lyndsay, age 5!  I think she did a fabulous job coloring the different scenes. If you want to enter the coloring contest, CLICK HERE for all the information.  The contest will run through October 31, so you have a whole month.  We will have a small prize for each person who enters, although we will have voting on Facebook.

Click the image to view larger.

Lyndsay, Age 5

Leave a comment and encourage Lyndsay for sending in her picture!