The Truth About Baby Carrots

The Truth About Baby Carrots by 100 Days of Real FoodWho would have guessed that one of the most “viral” things I’ve ever posted on Facebook would be about organic baby carrots? Clearly people want to understand and discuss baby carrots! As a result I decided to do some additional research on the topic and also restate what I learned (and shared) in my original post. So today I am shedding some light on the two mysteries that surround baby carrots: how they are made and if they are really “soaked in chlorine.” I buy baby carrots on occasion (they are not a regular purchase), and like others I honestly just wanted to know the truth.

And speaking of the truth, I want to share that I do not like to spread misinformation so please know the facts I am sharing do not come from Snopes or Google or a Facebook “friend” or any other questionable source.

3/5/13 update: To clarify, it is not my intent to discredit Snopes or other sources, but rather to point out that I did not rely on 3rd party information.

I called up the carrot company myself to get these answers (the 800 number is right there on the back of the package), and if you think produce companies would spread misinformation to customers like me about their government-regulated processes then that’s a whole other blog post for another day! But for now, I believe what they’ve told me – and sent me in writing – is pretty solid.

How Baby Carrots Are Made

Let’s face it – baby carrots do not look like regular carrots. First off, the size and rounded edges sort of resemble little “stubs,” and when you cut them down the middle you don’t quite see the same core that you would find in a regular carrot. What’s up with that? Continue Reading »

Is Your Child a Picky Eater or a Problem Feeder?

Picky Eater vs. Problem Feeder + Tips on 100 Days of Real FoodThe subject of picky eaters is certainly not a new one around here. But after hearing feedback from readers it occurred to me that not everyone is dealing with the same level of pickiness. Some readers have said their child will eat no more than 5 different foods or literally vomit at the table when attempting to try something new. Other kids are picky, but maybe their lack of adventure at the dinner table is because they aren’t being exposed to different foods often enough. After consulting with a couple of occupational therapists I’ve learned that parents are likely dealing with two different issues: picky eaters vs. problem feeders. And for some who have a “problem feeder” on their hands, intervention might be the only answer.

A big thank you to Occupational Therapist Susan L. Roberts (referred to me by a friend) for providing the following information, which will hopefully help clear things up for some of you!

Picky Eater vs. Problem Feeder

Information courtesy of Susan L. Roberts, MDiv, OTR/L

  • Is the number of foods your child eats getting longer or shorter? All children go on eating jags where they ask for one food all the time and then don’t want it at all. Picky eaters will go back to that food again after a while so over time their food repertoire expands. Problem feeders never eat the food again so they slowly whittle away at acceptable foods until the list includes less than 10 or 20 foods. It’s important for a child to eat a balanced diet consisting of at least 30 – 40 different foods. Continue Reading »

Real Food Tips: 7 Healthy Holiday Parties (for kids!)

The holidays are a special time when we focus on family, celebration, thoughtfulness…and of course food! And while it’s completely appropriate to indulge in some fun treats this time of year, I personally don’t think you have to have loads of junk food for it to be a good time. So on that note, and thanks to a little brainstorming session with my facebook fans, here are some holiday party ideas for kids that are not centered around cookies and candy. I promise our children don’t “need” those things to have a little fun with their friends and make some memories! Please share your party ideas in the comments below.

Healthy Holiday Parties (for kids and schools!)

  1. Book Swap and Pajama Party
    Each student can wear pajamas to school and also bring a wrapped (new or gently used) book to “swap” with another student. The teacher or a special guest can choose one book to read to the class.
  2. Cards that Give BackReal Food Tips: 7 Healthy Holiday Parties (for kids!) from 100 Days of Real Food
    Using supplies like paper, markers, glue, buttons, and glitter the students can decorate holiday cards (or ornaments) for those who may be away from home during the holidays (children in hospitals, adults in nursing homes, or soldiers overseas). Continue Reading »

Real Food Tips: Advent Calendars (without candy!)

I touched on the subject of Advent calendars last year, but today I want to expand on the topic by including a detailed list. I like lists. :) As I mentioned our Advent house (which I bought at Target a few years ago by the way) was once filled with little pieces of highly processed candy, gum, chocolate, etc. I used to even let my girls open the doors and eat the junk before breakfast. This was just three years ago…wow, have times changed!

So anyway, I moved away from the candy for obvious reasons, and started going on these intense retail hunts looking for little toys that were tiny enough to fit behind those doors. This was no easy task, and to top it off that stuff really was just “junk” too since they were mainly little plastic items made in China that our children quickly forgot about or lost. So I no longer feel like racing around town and spending time/money on little knickknacks our kids honestly do not need. And I also don’t feel it’s necessary to fill this little house with organic less-junky candy (that is still candy by the way) during an already sugary time of year.

So inspired by This Lunch Rox, below is the official list for our newly renamed “Giving House.” And the criteria for these ideas were basically random acts of kindness that you could perform without having to go somewhere special (like a shelter or hospital). Of course going to such places on a regular basis would be fabulous in an ideal world, but I know how it is around the holidays so I personally did not want to over-commit during an already busy time! Continue Reading »

10 Stocking Stuffers for Real Food Lovers

This is a guest post by Kiran, our Sales Manager…to learn more about Kiran check out our team page!

The holidays are, without a doubt, upon us. Endless emails touting the holiday, Christmas music on the airwaves, and a chill in the air confirm it. If you didn’t finalize your shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, or if you’re just looking for deals on some tools that will make eating real food even easier and more “real”istic, then check out this list of 10 gift ideas for that special someone – and maybe even snag a few for yourself! Today we are sharing some great products and services that we’ve discovered over the past year or two…and we know you’ll enjoy them, too!

1. The Fresh 20 Meal Plans

It’s no secret that having a plan is one of the best ways to ensure success on the road to eating real. The Fresh 20 takes the guesswork out of what to make. The meal-planning service uses just 20 fresh, seasonal ingredients each week and mixes and matches them to create five balanced dinners. Purchase a plan for yourself or someone special on your list and get detailed guides to meal prep, five original recipes each week and a shopping list along with it.

>>> Special deal for 100 Days of Real Food Readers: Get 6 months for just $21 or 3 months for $10.50. Both are 30% off of the regular price! Offer good through December 9th.

How to Select and Use a Thermos

It’s no secret that I like to send warm soup (or leftovers) to school with my girls in insulated Thermos food jars. I’ve actually made a habit of doing this on Wednesdays because I like to have one night per week when I don’t have to be “creative” with packing school lunches. I make big batches of their favorite soups in advance, freeze them in individual jelly jars (leaving room at the top for the soup to expand), and then “voila!” lunch is pretty much done one day a week for weeks to come.

Tomato Soup for school lunches - in Thermos - by 100 Days of Real Food

Not All Thermos Jars are Created Equal

So you can imagine my surprise when one Wednesday I had lunch with my daughters at school and asked to take a bite of each of their soups. Some readers have told me their insulated containers keep their kids’ food piping hot and others have said it’s so cold their kids won’t even eat it. So I decided to see for myself how warm the food actually was by lunchtime (about 5 hours after packing it in the morning). Their lunch periods are only 20 minutes apart and the first daughter’s soup was fairly warm – even warm enough for a cold-natured person like me that prefers things pretty hot (soup, mochas, showers…you name it). Then I sat with my other daughter less than a half hour later and realized her soup was MUCH colder (she still ate it anyway – good girl LOL)! But, from the outside their food jars looked identical…same brand, same Hello Kitty logo, etc. and after packing them at the same time using the same method/soup I just knew something was not right. Continue Reading »