Raw Blend Family Challenge!

We are growing ever more conscious about what we are doing to our bodies – how we eat, the way we move, the way we don’t. We all want to improve our health, reduce our risk of disease and create longevity for our future. The problem is so many of us don’t know where to start. We are struggling to create these healthy habits for ourselves but particularly for our children.
 
Did you know that the number of children in Australia who are overweight has more than doubled in recent years?
 
The stats show that 1 in 5 Aussie kids are either overweight or obese and for me that is just not good enough. Based on this, if our happy little vegemites continue on this current path, it is estimated that 65% of the younger Australian population will be overweight or obese by 2020.
 
That is more than half of our children.
 
Half – in five years, half of OUR Aussie kids! It scares me, it upsets me and it perplexes me.
 
Child obesity can have devastating effects both physically and psychologically. It can lead to low self-esteem, bullying, poor social development and incompetency at school.
 
This can create a ricochet effect for other physical and psychological health problems that can carry on through to adulthood like:

Diabetes
Eating disorders
Liver problems
Respiratory disorders
Sleep apnoea
Heart issues
depression
 
So how can this be happening?
 
We have become tech savvy couch potatoes. There is no denying that we live in a fast paced society with instant gratification.
 
We are QUALITY time poor. We drive through for our favourite meals that are “fast”, “convenient” and “cheap”. We shop with the click of a mouse. We work predominately in front of a screen and we work longer hours thanks to living expenses continuing to rise.
 

Children are led by example – monkey see, monkey do. So let’s start doing!

 
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Nourish don’t Punish!

Do you remember sitting on the warm concrete in your cozi munching on a big slice of fresh juicy watermelon, juice dripping down your forearms?
 
Children should be eating REAL food. Food that nourishes, heals and energizes. Food that gives our kids sustained energy throughout the day which fuels their bodies and their minds allowing them to grow and develop into happy, healthy human beings.
 

Unprocessed, unrefined wholefoods the way mother-nature intended.

If you take a look inside a child’s lunchbox, I am willing to bet that the majority of its contents is in a packet. A packet of chips, cheese and biscuits, fruit straps, muesli bars, cookies, fruit juice boxes … these pretty packaged goodies have some heavy marketing behind them and some heavy dollars to make you believe that you are making “smart & healthy” choices for your children. With labels like “100% Fruit Juice” and “Natural” branded across them.
 
Sure there probably is 100% fruit juice in that box of juice, there is also a whole lot of other stuff too! Let me share something with you – there is nothing natural about a product that can spend its life in a packet on a shelf for months – even years without turning bad.
 
For prodcuts such as these to have a hefty shelf life, food companies jam pack these babies with chemicals, preservatives, sugar, sodium and a whole list of other ingredients that I can’t pronounce to enhance the taste and prolong the shelf life. They are deemed edible and ingestible but i personally believe we are only just beginning to experience the longer-term effect of these “ingredients” can have on our physical health and our mental well being and they are detrimental to our health.
 
Not scary enough? Did you know some companies actually use petro-chemicals in ice-cream so it doesn’t turn rock solid in the freezer? They put the same stuff in radiator fluid! Yep. You heard me right, radiator fluid. Then we serve it up to our family for dessert.
 
Think about what these pre-packaged foods are doing to your kiddies insides? Children should be eating all the colours of the rainbow from natural wholefoods. Fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance.
 

There is a common misconception out there that “healthy” food tastes bad.

This is certainly not the case and here at Raw Blend and our mission and our passion is to show you that you and your family can enjoy delicious, nutritious wholefoods every day!
 
Head to the Raw Blend website to find healthy recipes, tips and tricks to create for your family ‘A Healthy Mix For Life’. We also have a list of our 10 favourite kid approved recipes for the holidays.
 
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Copycat

Do you remember sitting around the dinner table sharing a meal with your entire family?
 
Today we sit on a couch with our lap tops or our smartphones as we multi-task emails from work, social media updates and shopping online. The kids are watching TV while they eat their burgers and fries and in the background a popular weight loss television show is on and you pause and watch for a moment. You think to yourself how sad it is that someone has gotten to the point where they are so unhealthy and overweight and that they are at risk of cutting their lives short … you shove another French fry in your mouth and think – tomorrow I will start exercising.
 
Does it sound familiar?
 
Unhealthy family habits can shape your children’s future. We are a product of our surroundings and as much as we try and deny that we are slowly turning into our parents – let’s face it, we are all little clones of them, one way or another.
 
Children are sponges, they absorb EVERYTHING. They learn from us and they mimic us, so let’s make healthy food choices and make healthy lifestyle choices.
 

Make a choice that will have a positive impact and give your children a positive message.

Turn the television set off and set the table. Sit down together – as a family and talk to one another. Enjoy a delicious and nutritious prepared meal together. It is fun I promise!
 
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Let’s Get Physical

Do you remember when you couldn’t wait to go outside and play? Skipping, jumping, dancing, twirling, running, climbing trees and scraping your knees was the highlight of your day. It was simple. It was fun. It was healthy.
 
Our ever growing sedentary lifestyle is a major contributing factor to child obesity. No longer do children go outside to play. They are becoming less involved in active extracurricular activities and as a result are consuming more KJ then their little bodies are able to burn throughout the day. Not to mention the excess processed sugar they are consuming on a daily basis from modified foods.
 

Get your children moving – better yet get the whole family moving. Play!

Regular moving is beneficial not only for our body’s aesthetics but also for our heart health. Increasing your heart rate and moving your body produces feel good endorphins – making you quite literally happier! Happy & Healthy Kids… what more could you want?
 
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Skinny Genes

Nope, I’m not talking about the denim ones. I am talking about the heredity ones. We all come in different shapes and sizes and genes can have an impact on how whether your child has a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. If you have these factors in your family history then use this as an even bigger motivation to educate and encourage your children to make healthy choices throughout their life.
 

One step forward

It sounds cliché and corny I am sure, but Children are our future! What kind of a future are we preparing them for? Life can be hard enough, full of lessons, challenges and magical twists and turns – let’s give them the best chance to thrive and survive this wonderful game of life. Let’s allow them to be happy and healthy. That’s the best start we can give them and I am certain that when entering into the wild world of parenthood that’s all that you wished for them. To be HAPPY AND HEALTHY.
 
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The Raw Blend Family Challenge!

I want you all to take on this Family challenge to encourage others everywhere to make healthy changes towards making child obesity a thing of the past. For one week I want you to implement these three Healthy changes into your household. It’s only one week and they are all achievable.
 
1. Participate in an outdoor family activity ALL TOGETHER. Get fresh air in your lungs, spend quality time with one another, get moving and have fun. Go for a family bike ride, a walk or run in the park perhaps? Backyard cricket, kick the footy. Whatever you choose remember you have to do it together!

2. Eat dinner as a family together – without the technology. I know this one can be hard with parents working late and kids extracurricular activities but whoever is in your household for dinner time – eat together. No TV, no phones, no computers. Engage in conversation and enjoy one another’s company over a delicious meal.

3. Eat Fresh! Try eliminating your pre-packaged snacks and food in a can. Eat fresh whenever and wherever possible.Fresh is best! I want you to include as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you can. If you own a blender smoothies are the best way to do this, they are simple, fast and delicious. You will feel amazing!
 
Now Go!
 
While you’re completing your weekly challenge make sure you keep us updated in the comment section below or upload your pics to social media. Don’t forget to tag us @rawblendoz and #rawblendfamilychallenge
 
 
593330-0e085b90-3d3f-11e4-b4eb-3aaea0238ac5 Tommy Nicholas – Health Entrepreneur, Raw Food and Fitness Enthusiast and Creator of Raw Blend – a healthy mix for life.
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Will My Breastfed Baby Be Affected By What I Eat And Drink?

Yep it’s true a mother’s milk will pass all consumed substances through to her child. Obviously this can be either advantageous or detrimental depending upon the mother’s awareness and her lifestyle habits.
DETRIMENTAL SUBSTANCES INCLUDE:
 
Alcohol, caffeine, recreational drugs and prescription and over-the-counter medications all pass through breast milk through to our baby’s. These substances are mildly filtered by the mother’s metabolism but their harmful effects will still impact our child due to their small body-weight ratio. So it’s incredibly important that we are mindful of all things we consume.
 
There are specific foods which are known to contribute to irritability and colic in newborn babies (see Items to Avoid When Breastfeeding). Alchol obviously impacts our baby’s growing brain but it also creates digestive upset so it’s important to consider if those post birth bubles some hospitals offer and friends offer when we arrive home are really worth it if it means our baby will have a tummy ache for the next 24 hours.
 
The foods outlined that are known to cause colicky symptoms can slowly be introduced after the baby’s first six months but parents should carefully monitor the baby’s physical and behavioural responses. Irritating food items include wine, champagne and caffeine, which is found in tea, coffee and Coca-Cola. Unfortunately, chocolate also ranks highly on the Items to Avoid list due to the effects of both caffeine and theobromine, another stimulant.
 
Others items include artificial sweeteners, soft-drinks and carbonated beverages, fatty foods, lentils, beans and split peas. Acidic fruits such as oranges and berries may also be irritating for newborns. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauli- flower, broccoli and turnip may exacerbate colic. Onions and garlic may be problematic, as can heavily spiced foods.
 
We all know breast feeding is time consuming but it’s vitally important that a mothers diet doesn’t rely on quick snack foods or refined carbohydrates. Planning ahead is the key. We need a diet high in good fats (for example nuts, avocado, butter, coconut oil) clean proteins and lots of vegetables and fruits. Ideally all organic. These foods provide nutrients for our baby’s growing brain and help build their digestive strength.
 
Unfortunately a nursing mother’s diet that rely’s heavily on convenience, wheat-based foods can also contribute towards a colicky baby partly because of preservative 282 (calcium propionate), found in most breads, frequently affects breastfed babies, presenting symptoms such as screaming and chronic diarrhoea. Additionally hidden additives and other preservatives found in refined foods irritate our newborns sensitive nervous system and their digestion. Mothers are often unaware of these detrimental side-effects.
 

ITEMS TO AVOID WHEN BREASTFEEDING:

 
The foods listed below are known irritants for babies. Once your baby has reached six months, you may choose to slowly re-introduce some of these foods into your diet. It’s best to re-introduce them in minimal doses so as to avoid restlessness and stomach upsets for your baby.
 
1. Drugs—over-the-counter, prescription and social drugs will all adversely affect your baby. Valium and phenobarbitone can cause sedation.

2. Nicotine—affects your baby’s lungs, heart rate and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea (please see Chapter 6 of Well Adjusted Babies for further information). Smoking may also reduce breast milk.

3. Alcohol—affects your baby’s brain (please see Chapter 4) and causes sedation. Red wine and champagne in particular will cause irritability.

4. Caffeine—found in tea, coffee, chocolate, coca-cola and many other fizzy drinks is an addictive stimulant which causes sleeplessness and irritability.

5. Chocolate—theobromine is a stimulant.

6. Artificial sweeteners found in assorted confectionery may also cause hyperactivity.

7. Soft-drinks and carbonated beverages.

8. Fatty foods.

9. Lentils and most secondary proteins such as beans. Split peas (beware of your mothers ‘pea and ham’ soup!).

10. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and turnip, and onions and garlic, may be problematic.

11. Heavily spiced foods.

12. Acidic fruits (too many oranges and berries, etc).

13. Dairy products—cow’s milk is the first allergen to which infants commonly react. Please see Chapters 5, 22 and 23 of Well Adjusted Babies for further information. If you are sensitive to these products, remember that you and your baby will be better off without them. Constant consumption of dairy may lead to nutritional deficits and compromised immune systems for you both.

14. Refined or simple carbohydrates often contain dairy products and preservative.

15. Rhubarb or laxatives such as senna, aloe or cascara—can also increase an infant’s bowel activity.

16. Sports Protein bars and shakes—these may actually decrease your milk supply! There is an array of artificial chemicals in some of these products, which may cause a decline in breast milk. (I inadvertently stumbled across this realisation when I ate one of my husband’s protein bars whilst driving his car one day. I was starving hungry and someone had given him some protein bar samples, without looking at the ingredients I inhaled the bar and then was completely shocked by the outcome. My breast milk dried up for two days, and I could not attribute this to any other food item which may have caused this same reaction). Note: I am referring to highly concentrated, artificially fortified sources of protein combined with an array of chemically-derived ingredients that probably impacted my supply of breast milk. I am not referring to protein in its natural, God-intended form. By no means should mothers avoid high quality, natural sources of protein.
 

ADVANTAGEOUS SUBSTANCES:

 
In the “Post Birth” Chapter of Well Adjusted Babies we discuss specific dietary items that are beneficial for you and your baby. These items include goods fats such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fats DHA and EPA for your baby’s developing brain, and probiotics which help to establish good bacteria within your baby’s digestive system. Please refer to the Post Birth Chapter for further explanation.
 
 
69 Dr. Jennifer Barham-Floreani – Chiropractor, Family Health Expert and Author.
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How to sneak super foods into your children’s meals…

I’m always suspicious of parents who say that their kids eat everything. Is it really true? And what’s their secret? Most kids go through phases – they eat whatever you put in front of them at first, then they develop a taste for things and start rejecting anything that isn’t pasta (or so it seems).
 
Most often than not, green vegies are the first to disappear, whilst orange ones linger a little longer, and eggplant or mushrooms never even get much of a look in!
 
Here are my favourite six ways to sneak super foods into your child’s diet.
 

Secret Spinach Smoothie

 
Next time you make a make a blueberry smoothie, which is an excellent source of antioxidants, toss in a handful of spinach and it will likely go undetected. Mix a handful of spinach with a scoop of Greek yogurt, a scoop of ice, blueberries, half a banana and almond or rice milk. Now watch them gulp it down.
 

Marinara Sauce

 
Most kids love pasta, so take advantage of it and make a sauce that’s full of vegetables. When cooking the sauce as you normally would, add zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, kale or any other vegetable you’d like to sneak in. Use a handheld blender to smooth the sauce before dishing it up with a bowl of pasta. They will never know the difference.
 

Veggie-Packed Meatballs

 
Next time you make meatballs, use a food processor to blend mushrooms and zucchini, then add it to the meat mixture before forming the balls. When cooked, your kids won’t notice the extra veggies, but you’ll know they’re in there!
 

Cauliflower Mash

 
This white veggie is not an easy one to get kids to eat whole. Mashed, however, it’s a whole new ball game. Mashed cauliflower is one of the most delicious side dishes a parent or caregiver can make. Add a sweet potato or two, if you like, to maintain texture and your kids will devour it. You can also sneak pureed cauliflower into a white creamy sauce and pour it over grilled chicken breasts.
 

Chia Muffins

 
Chia seeds are a delicious super food, packed with omega 3s and ridiculously high in antioxidants. They’re extremely versatile and easy to use. Add them to smoothies, sprinkle on top of yogurt or muesli, or toss them in your muffin mix, they thicken muffins nicely and add bulk and texture.
 

Dip it

 
Kids love an interactive meal and not just splattering it all over the table. Making their own anything always goes down well. The same is true for dip. Surround a nice healthy dip with carrot sticks, celery sticks, snow peas and cucumber slices and you’re bound to increase the veggie quotient quickly.
 
You’ll find lots of super food kids’ recipes on my website Supercharged Food.
 
Happy cooking!
 
 
lee-holmes_jpg_470x470_q85_crop-smart Lee Holmes – ‎Author, Nutritionist, Wholefood Chef and Lifestyle, Food and Healthy Eating Expert.
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