Healthy Snacks In a Snap

I love this simple and fun recipe from Whole Foods Market! A great recipe to do with the children and the sandwiches turn out looking great!

Always get children involved in their meals. By doing this children will enjoy their food more and feel as though they are a valuable part of the meal or snack making process. Involving children in the kitchen also provides a great educational opportunity for explanations on where their food comes from and where they are grown.

Ingredients:
2 small organic apples, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
3 tablespoons all natural/ organic peanut or almond butter
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons all natural granola

Method:
If you won’t be eating these tasty treats right away, start by brushing the apples slices with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

Spread one side of half of the apple slices with peanut or almond butter then sprinkle with chocolate chips and granola. Top with remaining apple slices, pressing down gently to make the sandwiches. Transfer to napkins or plates and serve.

Nutritional Info:
PER SERVING:300 calories (150 from fat), 16g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 115mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 25g sugar), 8g protein

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/apple-sandwiches-granola-and-peanut-butter

Jumper Bean Starts Construction

94 McMaster Street wasn’t always known as Jumper Bean Daycare. There were a few changes and tweaks that needed to be done to make it into the wonderful daycare atmosphere it is today. Let me take you through the process of what transpired to transform a home into a daycare.

One of the very first things that was done to the outside of the home property was stump removal. A very old tree with not much life was cut down and an extra large stump remained. Yes stumps are fun to play on but this stump was up against the hard walkway and the street so we decided it would be better gone. The stump was ground and the removal began. Once the wood chips were gone we filled in the hole with dirt, along with any other small holes on the front lawn and added grass seed. Now I can say the lawn is coming together nicely!

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On the side of the home or the secondary entry, are some cement steps. These steps had weathered and large pieces of cement were braking off and loosing. My father went to town on these steps and really created a fantastic finished product! I am so proud of these side steps and the nicely tightened, freshly painted railing. Now the side of the home is ready for company!

Here are a few other changes I would like to mention;

  • The swing set was tightened and re-finished. New swings were added and small wood crips where placed underneath the swing set for a safer play area.
  • We fenced the one side of the yard and will continue with the rest this fall.
  • Air conditioning was added to the home to make for cooler days and nights this summer and fall!
  • New light fixtures were adding to both the inside and outside of the home to brighten up all areas used for play.
  • New painting to both the inside and the outside of the house.
  • Replaced old door handles.
  • Child friendly light switch installation in the first floor bathroom is coming soon.
  • New windows were installed throughout the home because some were unable to open properly.
  • All outlets were checked and non working ones were replaced.
  • Tree removal in back yard.
  • Now with all the hard stuff done we can move onto the fun stuff which is setting up the space for the children! This home is such a great fit for children and toys because of all the built in storage!! This is so great because every toy can go neatly away when we are done using them and there are no bins left out. We filled all the first floor cabinets with many toys.

  • Brought in a custom length, children’s picnic table for lunch time and arts and crafts. We stained and finished this picnic table to give it a nice look for inside the home.
  • Filled all the downstairs cabinets with toys, books and games.
  • Placed all the larger children’s items around the boarder of the room.
  • So here are many of the renovations we made to 94 McMaster to turn it into Jumper Bean Daycare. With some sweat and a little tears this home was transformed into a fun, friendly, loving and inviting place for both children and parents. If you haven’t been in to take a look and would like to just email info@jumperbean.com and we will set up an appointment. See you soon!

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Learning Letters

Jumper Bean is not only a daycare where children have fun, it’s a place where children learn! Our learning is based on current, pre-school curriculum. Everyday children are creating crafts, learning about letters, shapes, numbers, colors, and using their senses. Children learn and have fun at the same time through foam letter painting, digging deep to find specific items in rice bins and use uncooked colored macaroni to trace letters. This interactive and fun way of learning proves to be effective and keeps children interested. Children will also learn basic sign language, manners and the proper use of grammar.

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Jumper Bean follows basic Montessori principles and approaches which have an emphasis on childhood independence within limits. At Jumper Bean we teach children to become independent and self sufficient individuals. Children learn to serve themselves, pick up toys and become responsible. Children choose their own activities. Appropriate activities are available and accessible daily.

Pouring activities are intended to help children develop their small motor skills, strengthen fingers and prepare children for holding a pencil -MontessoriServices.com. Miniature pitchers, cups and spoons are all used and easily accessible for children.

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Our exclusive, organic, and academic program has very limited spaces and is now excepting enrollment for ages two and up. Please visit the enrollment page and fill out the pre-registration form which will determine availability.

Raising Healthy Kids

Highly processed foods have been altered from their natural state and have little to no real nutrients. The definition of highly processed foods according to YourDictinoary.com is; manufactured products that are designed to have a long shelf-life through the addition of preservatives, coloring, additives and flavorings.
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Highly processed foods provide empty calories. When eaten the body only becomes satisfied for short periods of time until wanting more of the same type of food. Highly processed foods lose almost all of their nutrients in the processing period. Whatever types of nutrients were left became dehydrate, bleach, sweeten, fatten and salted for convince purposes.

I like this quote from Andy Bellatti, Huffpost Healthy Living, “You have to ask yourself, could I make a Pop-Tart or Hot Pocket at home, with all those same ingredients listed on the package? I don’t know anyone who could do that in their home kitchen. How would you even go about procuring distilled monoglycerides and BHT, for instance? These are highly-processed food products loaded up with sugar and sodium, subjected to abusive processing conditions, and assembled with a litany of additives, many of which nobody ever consumed prior to a hundred years ago.” I say don’t eat anything that looks like a science project on the ingredients list. The less ingredients the better and the more you can read, is even better!

Here is a good example; the two pictures I provided below give you a feel of what to look for and what not to look for. See the mess of ingredients on the right? Try to stick with more of what you see on the left.
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So when shopping for yourself and your family try shopping on the outside perimeter of the market. Here you will find almost all the nutrients you need including your meats, dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread and cold items. Now you won’t find everything you need here but the majority of your basket should be filled by this point. When you do go in the center aisles remember to look on the ingredient list and make sure you can read it. Try looking for the item in Organic. Yes, organic items do come prepackaged for convince reasons but just read the ingredients list and make sure the front and the back match up! Sometimes it’s better to go with something non-organic and instead all natural because processed organic foods can still be unhealthy. Look for the most wholesome, basic ingredients list you can find.

FOOD DYES!

There is so much mixed controversy about food dyes and if in fact they are linked to hyperactivity and adverse affects in children. I wanted to touch a little on this topic and some of the information I found online about food dyes.

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Food dyes take many names and forms, they can also be found in many unlikely places. They are listed right in black and white on the nutrition label but yet so many of us overlook these colors and numbers. Food dyes, also know as artificial coloring can be found on the back of some of your favorite snacks as shown;

  • Blue 1
  • Blue 2
  • Green 3
  • Red 3
  • Red 40
  • Yellow 5
  • Yellow 6
  • Citrus Red 2

So what are food dyes? Food dyes are made from petroleum, a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons which is present in certain rocks. This same mixture is extracted and refined to produce fuels including gasoline, kerosene, and diesel oil. Food coloring is used to improve the appearance of foods to make them more appealing to the consumers. Millions of pounds of food dyes are used each year in the United States and can be found in everything from vitamins, yogurts, cereals and oatmeal.

Food dyes have been linked to long term health problems such as cancer and one of the most recent controversies circles around ADHD in children.

In the UK most foods that contain artificial dyes must have a warning label, stating that the food may have an adverse effect on activity and attention levels in children. Numerous studies have proven that children with ADHD, behaviors worsened with the addition of artificial food dyes to the diet (Center of Science in the Public Interest, 2012).

So what can you do about food dyes? Natural dyes are a great alternative. Here are a few examples of what they would look like on the package;

  • Caramel coloring (E150), made from caramelized sugar
  • Annatto (E160b), a reddish-orange dye made from the seed of the achiote.
  • Chlorophyllin (E140), a green dye made from chlorella algae
  • Betanin (E162) extracted from beets

So decide for yourself what stand you may take. Will you allow moderation? No dyes at all? Or maybe food dyes just don’t seem to bother you. Whatever side you choose to take make sure you do your research and always be open to a little change.