Healthy things my kids love – homemade applesauce and Camelbaks

When there are healthy things that my girls really love, I tend to love them too.  Applesauce is something that my mother always made us growing up and now she makes it for the grandkids.  If you have never had homemade applesauce you are really missing out.  It’s nothing like the stuff you buy in a jar at the store.  Nothing.   It’s also easy peasy to make – which is why I love it even more.  The most tedious part of making it is running it through the food mill (or a strainer if you don’t have a food mill.)  Still, that’s not even very hard.

Here is another great secret about making applesauce.  Does your grocery store have marked down produce sitting off by it’s lonesome in shame in a dark corner?  Do you ever look at it?  Sometimes I’m like – Huh?  It usually looks perfectly good to me – and it usually is still fine.  It might not be at it’s peak, but if you slow cook it, roast it or grill it, very often you will never know the difference – cross my heart. Plus, it’s usually at least half the price of the regular priced fruit and veggies… So, when I want to make applesauce I head straight for this rack and grab several of the packs of fruit.  I will usually get more than just apples, too.  I am pretty sure you can  throw in any fruit that you can get your hands on.   The sauce in the picture actually has bananas (that were a bit overripe), pears and a peach.  The pear might give it a hint of grittiness, but the banana makes it a bit creamy. You could also add strawberries or even some mango – yum.

Another thing that my kids love are their Camelbak Mini M.U.L.E.’s  We like to go on hikes and ride bikes and we find that if we  keep the kids hydrated and fed throughout the trip they can pretty much keep up.  Jim always carries his own Camelbak and they love drinking out of it.  So, as they got a bit older we decided we would get them each their own.   It was actually a great present for Grammy and Grandpa to get them for the holidays.

Now when we go on hikes or bike rides they can get a drink when they would like and it’s easy for them to grab their own little snack.  They feel like explorers with them strapped to their backs and they each have their own cool colors (pink for Taylor and blue for Ella.)  They are a lot smaller than a regular backpack so you can’t store tons of stuff in it, but things like a snack, sunglasses and maybe a hat can all fit in there perfectly fine.  Plus, as most Camelbak products, they are made really well.  Now our hikes and rides last a lot longer and are much happier:-)

This is my oldest daughter, Ella with her Camelback.  We are at Duke Gardens and this is my birthday weekend.  I always choose to go here for my birthday:-)  It’s one of my favorite places.  Oh, by the way, don’t you love Ella’s color blocking??

So, back to this applesauce.  I should also tell you there is no need to add any sugar to it.  I might add some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, but other than that, its pure fruit.  If you have never made it at home – I urge you to try it.  Honestly, it just couldn’t be  easier to make and your kids will eat it like ice cream – I promise!

Crock-pot Applesauce

6-8 Apples – any variety you have

Cut and core the apples, leaving the skin on and throw into the Crock-pot

Add any additional fruits you want to try (pears, banana, peaches), but I usually have at least 50 percent apples

Cook on low for 6 hours

Let cool and run through a food mill or a mesh strainer to get rid of the skins.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice to taste.

Enjoy!

Note- the opinions on the Camelbak’s are my own.  This is not a sponsored or paid post by the maker’s of Camelbak.

 

 

Yogurt Breakfast Bowls – My favorite healthy breakfast

 

I was going to call this my favorite breakfast, but truth be told, that would probably be 3 cinnamon rolls, bacon and coffee (preferably some S’Bucks.)

However, since  Becki’s Whole Life is about moderation I only have that type of a breakfast once or twice a month – max.  Plus, after I eat like that I feel pretty yucky. I am really much happier eating something like you see in the picture above.

Jim and I took a nutrition class at our gym a few months back and one of the big take-away’s was how to combine your food.  For instance, a great breakfast consists of a complex carbohydrate (think whole grains), a lean protein and a fruit or a veggie.  It’s extremely important to combine the complex carbs with a lean protein (google it for the reason why:-)) and we all know that we need our fruits and veggies.  Just eating healthy food is not enough – you need to eat with the right things.

Here are some good options for this type of a healthy breakfast…..

1)Whole Wheat Tortilla with an egg and some leftover roasted veggies

2)  Bowl of cereal (watch the sugar), skim milk and a sliced fruit on top

3)  WW Toast with 1-2 Tbsp of natural nut butter (there are some great new options out there) with some sliced banana on top

4) WW English Muffin, Egg Whites, Canadian Bacon and a glass of orange juice

These are all great easy breakfasts.  Just remember to really watch your sugar content and portion size.  If you are doing that you don’t really even need to count calories in my non-professional opinion.  I know personally I don’t have the time, patience or attention span to count calories!

So this little combo is idea number five.

Yogurt Breakfast Bowl

1 Whole Wheat Biscuit OR a 1/2 cup of granola

1 cup of low fat/low sugar yogurt – ideally Greek because it has lots more protein

1/2 cup of fresh fruit (blueberries, peaches or strawberries are all great in this)

A sprinkle of cinnamon and honey to taste

Combine and enjoy!

You can mix and match this bowl however you like.   This morning I actually put some granola on top of peaches and yogurt and it was sooooo good.  I will post a good whole wheat biscuit recipe shortly.  The taste of the biscuit in this yogurt is exceptionally good.

I hope you enjoy this healthy breakfast as much as I do!

For some great blogs that will inspire some healthy breakfasts, check out Kath Eats Real Food and Carrots & Cake.  They inspired me!

****What is your favorite healthy breakfast combo??****

Disclaimer – I am in no way a nutrition expert.  I am just sharing what works for me.

 

 

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