Why Kids Should Not Be Rewarded with Junk Food

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By blog team member, Kiran.


I’ve been on my soapbox recently about kids and snacks. And before I step off, I need to address one more issue: rewarding kids with junk food.

If you’re a parent, I’m guessing that you are familiar with this tactic. A child goes to dance (or insert sport here), and the child gets a piece of candy. A child gets a certain amount of stickers on their chart at school, and the child gets candy. Wait a minute – what? Why??

Why kids should not be rewarded with junk food on 100 Days of #RealFood
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Video: A Tour of My Real Food Freezer

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Here is the final video in my kitchen tour series! In case you missed it I’ve already shared a tour of my fridge, pantry and kitchen (drawers, etc.). As you’ll see in this video we actually have an extra freezer that we use pretty regularly. When I first read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (the book that inspired me to cut out all processed food) he said if you have the space then get an extra freezer.

And oh boy was he right – between the locally raised meat from our farmer’s market (that’s sold frozen), and the 100% whole-wheat 5-ingredient bread I like to stock up on when I’m in that part of town, and the homemade convenience food I frequently make (including chicken stock, soups, muffins, waffles, etc.) it has been so worth it to have this extra freezer space. And that’s because when you find a good source for something like humanely raised meat or real bread it makes sense to stock up when you have the chance! It also goes without saying – I usually have a minor freak out when there’s a big storm and we lose power!! LOL Enjoy the tour…

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Guest Post: Clean Cuisine Cottage Pie (A British Food Makeover)

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The following is a guest post by Ivy Larson with Clean Cuisine.


Hi everyone! I’m Ivy Larson visiting from Clean Cuisine. I am truly thrilled to be here, as I have always felt a connection to Lisa, her mission, and the 100 Days of Real Food audience. I SO wish there was a website like hers back in 1998.

Like Lisa, I radically changed my diet practically overnight. I did this in 1998 when I was just 22 years old, after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis (MS). My husband, Andy Larson, M.D., was doing his surgical residency at the time and had never heard of using nutrition to fight a disease like MS. But, after consulting with my neurologist at the University of Miami, who prompted him to do some research, Andy finally agreed I had nothing to lose by giving nutrition a try. And since I desperately wanted to have children, knowing that the powerful disease-modifying MS medications were contraindicated (i.e., not advised) during pregnancy was a huge motivating factor.

But, like Lisa will tell you, it was not easy!

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Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie!

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If you (or your kids) are getting tired of the same old snacks I’ve got the perfect solution to switch things up …A Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie! The kick of the fresh cinnamon along with the sweetness of the banana in this recipe make the spinach hardly even noticeable. So not only is this a fun seasonal drink, but one that’s good for you, too! And if your little ones turn their nose up to drinking something green how about putting it in an insulated cup they can’t see through? Just be sure to show them what they were drinking (and enjoying) afterward so they know greens aren’t so scary after all! If it goes well be sure to visit our friends over at Simple Green Smoothies for more tasty green smoothie recipes.

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Video: Why I Don’t Hand Out Candy On Halloween

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The other day on my Facebook page I said, “What is everyone handing out for Halloween this year? We’re doing our usual – glow sticks. I’d love to feature some of your new and creative (non-candy) ideas on the Charlotte Today show later this week!” And I got a barrage of comments, many of which simply answered the question, but also included some of the following…

  • “I’m sorry, but it’s Halloween and they’re children. We give out candy.”
  • “This crosses the line. Too much. It’s once a year!”
  • “If you don’t want to hand out candy, replace it with a healthy alternative treat. But substituting junk food with junky plastic crap isn’t much better in my opinion.”

First of all, I NEVER said my kids don’t get to eat candy on Halloween night. The problem is this: When some people hear that I hand out glow sticks instead of candy they make assumptions and then say (in the comments), “Oh give me a break Halloween is just once a year so let kids be kids!” But when you eat gobs of candy on Halloween night and then continue to eat the rest of the candy for weeks (or months) to come how is it still counted as “just one night?” I have no problem with my children OD’ing on whatever candy they want on Halloween night – and that’s actually what they do – with no limits or constraints from me. But then we actually live up to Halloween being “just one night” and get rid of what’s left (with the exception of maybe 5 or so pieces for “later”).

So my thought process is that children will still get PLENTY of candy on Halloween even if a few of us decide to hand out something different. Not to mention there are lots of FUN alternatives to candy (see below) that I doubt will deprive any child from just being a “kid.” Now, that’s just my two cents on the topic. I occasionally have a hard time when commenters criticize me for something I don’t even do (i.e. not let my kids trick or treat for candy) – so just had to vent about that for a moment. :) Continue Reading »

School Lunch Roundup VI

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Here is another school lunch roundup post for you so you can get ideas all in one place! Also, we are working on a website redesign which will not only allow you to see ALL lunch pics at once, but it will also give you the chance to narrow by dietary need (i.e. dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, etc.) AND search by ingredient. So subscribe to my email list to be the first to know when this new feature is available!

To learn more about the lunches I pack here are some links…

Also be sure to check out our School Lunch FAQs with other info including what I do to prevent apples from turning brown!

100 Days of #RealFood #SchoolLunch

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