Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Toy Garden

If you haven't read one of my very first posts called "Article on Toys, Lead, and Plastics"; its the reason I started this blog and talks about our family's discovery of the toxins that could be in our home and what practical steps we've taken since then.  We've done some major toy overhauls around here and now focus on buying safe, quality toys for our kids.  Natural toys can be more expensive, but they are often made with wood or natural materials and will last for generations (unlike plastic toys that need batteries and wear out quickly).  One place you can find some of these toys is at A Toy Garden.  They recently sent some toys for my girls to review and tell you about, and have provided a discount code especially for my readers!  

A Toy Garden is a wonderful website that features all kinds of unique wholesome toys and gifts.  Sonya Bingaman is a work at home mom and social worker who attended a Waldorf school for 13 years.  She began sewing and crafting for her own children and then started selling to others.  Her website features handcrafted items along with toys from larger manufacturers who have strong ethical and safety policies.  Many of her toys are purchased directly from the artisan.  I love that her toys are open ended and allow room for a child's imagination.  One could easily spend quite a bit of time browsing her website looking at all of the treasures she has found to offer.  

Sonya sent us a few things to review: silk wings, a small toy boat, and a wonderful little dollhouse stacker.  My girls were thrilled to test these toys out and give them two thumbs up!

This little canoe is four inches long and can actually be taken into the bath tub.  Safe bath toys can be hard to find so I was especially excited about this boat.  We had a mermaid handy who really enjoyed swimming with the boat on a playsilk.  It hasn't been in the water with us yet because I'm going to give it a coat of beeswax first.  You can purchase these oiled or put your own protective coating on it; simply allow it to dry between uses.  

These silk wings are amazing!  They fit my very-small-for-her-age three year old, and I can see them fitting a much bigger child as well.  The silky ribbon crosses around the front and ties around the waist safely and securely.  There are ribbons on the ends for the child to hang on to.  Lucy had fun flapping her arms and running around to make the wings fly out behind her.  These are a must-have for any fairy, butterfly, or princess!  You can choose from the rainbow pattern shown, or a gorgeous blue color.

The natural doll house stacker is another treasure.  This unique toy provides countless ways to set up house and play.  Some of the pieces are obvious like the chair and table, but it also includes pieces that can be used in many different ways.  I love that this toy allows a child to be creative.  The wood is wonderfully smooth and any sharp points are sanded off.  Our Plan Toys family felt right at home and are a great size for this set.  

There is a curvy piece that makes a great rocking chair, triangular pieces that were used as a slide, and more.  Both of my girls had a lot of fun with this and even though we have a big dollhouse, I love this set because it encourages creative play and is so unique.  I've had it on the coffee table all week and its gotten lots of use, even grown-ups who have visited were impressed and had fun trying to put it together.  It is tricky to get back in place, but I like that it stores so compactly.  (The doll house stacker and silk wings are both currently on sale at A Toy Garden.)

I also recently purchased these, but have them hidden away for birthdays this summer.  

Natural toys like these encourage creative play and are just all around wholesome fun.  I love having toys that I can feel good about and that I don't have to wonder chemicals or toxins could be in them.  Thanks, Sonya, for sharing your great website with us!  Use the code littleword5off for $5 off a first time order over $20, good through 7/31/2009.   

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tip: Dicing An Onion

Everything I do lately has me thinking "I could post that on my blog!" I'm having fun with this and hope you are too. Today I'm sharing my tip for dicing an onion. A friend shared this with me and I've done it this way ever since because its so easy.

Peel your onion. Start by making slices a little more than 3/4 of the way down into the onion (but don't cut all the way through). Make your slices about 1/2 inch apart, all the way across the onion.

Turn the onion and make cuts the opposite way, being sure not to slice completely through the onion.

Now you can turn your onion on its side and slice again. You'll have nicely sized little pieces.

Once you get down to the last part that doesn't have slices, its easy enough to just lay it on the flat side and chop it up. If you don't need the whole onion you can simply store the rest in the fridge. I usually cut the whole thing up and freeze what I don't need.

There are several tricks to reducing eye irritation while chopping onions- rinse the onion in cold water, chill it in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes before chopping, or cut the root end last (it contains the highest concentration of sulfuric compounds). I've also heard that burning a candle nearby helps. If all else fails, wear goggles and tell your kids that you are super-mom!

Onions should be stored in a cool dry place, not in the refrigerator. Keep them well ventilated (not in a plastic bag) and away from potatoes - the ethelyne gas will cause them to spoil faster. Chopped or sliced onions can be kept in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to seven days.

Onions contain quercetin, a flavonoid that helps protect against cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and more. Onions have also been linked to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
They are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, folic acid, calcium, and iron.

All about onions.

It works for me!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Giveaway- Lead Free Lunch Bag

*** Giveaway is now closed. chose commenter #1, Ang.  Now is your chance to use the discount code to for 10% 0ff.  This expires May 11.  See the full post for details. ***

I first learned about the issue of lead in lunch bags while visiting The Center for Environmental Health in California has tested over 200 vinyl lunch bags and found many of them with high levels of lead (at least 1 in 5). Some even had over 10 times the legal limit for lead paint on children's products! Of major concern is the fact that the highest levels of lead were found on the inside of lunch bags where it can come into contact with food. Lead is a known neurotoxin with hazardous effects even at low levels of exposure. Soft plastics (PVC) are the worst kind, notorious for lead and other stabalizers that are added in their processing. PVC is hazardous from production to disposal and is referred to as the "poison plastic"... not something I want a lunch bag to be made of!

Thankfully there are safe options available. sells lead free lunch bags! My husband takes his lunch to school daily and was using a soft vinyl lunch bag that he had gotten from a company he used to work for. Our suspicion that it contained lead, along with the fact that it had his old company's name on it sent us searching for a better lunch bag.

I was impressed with the Acme Large Insulated lunch bag on many levels. It is lead and PVC free and its insulation is made of 100% recycled plastic. With a lifetime guarantee (seriously? on a lunch bag? yep.) and being hand made in the US, I think this is a great choice for a lunch bag. offered to send me one to review as well as give away one to my readers! Ross (my husband) chose the blue color above - if you win the giveaway, you'll get to choose your own color.

I'm glad we chose the large rather than the medium insulated ACME bag. Ross likes to take leftovers for lunches instead of sandwiches, so we needed to be able to fit containers of varying sizes inside. It comes with a reusable ice pack that slips down into a pocket on the inside. We didn't need the ice pack since the bag is fairly well insulated, but its a nice feature. I'm in love with the pink version and think it would be great for packing a picnic lunch for me and my girls.

We also received a Laken reusable bottle for review. Laken bottles are BPA and pthalate free and the caps are PVC free polypropylene. They are aluminum with a Poly Aramide lining and are actually 100% recyclable. The inner coating is baked on to prevent flaking or chipping and is taste neutral. The bottle is very lightweight and there are several fun designs as well as colors to choose from. Ross chose the silver .06L classic which is a good size for him. is great website; I love that they have so much information in the FAQ section and the learn more tab at the top. You can find articles on waste free lunches, information on plastics and the environmental impact, and more. Check the FAQ section for more in depth information about the lead in lunch bags issue.

While you're there, take a look at some of the other great items they sell and think about how you can reduce your plastic consumption. That plastic Texas-sized blob in the ocean doesn't need to get any bigger. Try a snackTAXI reusable bag for your kids lunches, or a Wrap-N-Mat instead of ziplocs for sandwiches. To receive 10% off your order at just enter the code "onelittleword" in the coupon field at check out. Please note: This offer cannot be combined with other coupon offers and it expires May 11, 2009.

To enter the giveaway for the ACME large insulated lunch bag: leave a comment on this post, being sure that your email address is somehow accessible to me or is included in your post. For an extra entry subscribe to my blog in whichever way you choose and let me know that you did so and how (added me to your igoogle page, google reader, became a follower, etc). Please note this as a second separate comment so that you are given another chance to win!  If you're already subscribed in some way that counts too, just let me know that.

This giveaway will close Weds May 6th at 11:59pm and one winner will be randomly chosen. Thanks for stopping by my blog, feel free to browse around and let me know if you find any of it useful.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dandelions (part 1 of Salad Series)

I have a whole series on salads planned. How can salad be that interesting you ask? Just wait and see! We'll be talking about how to make your own croutons, homemade salad dressings, and more. If you haven't seen my post on sprouting, check it out as an easy way to give your salads a big nutritional boost. Today's post is about dandelions.

Those pesky plants that grow in your yard are actually good for you! If you want to get rid of them, try serving them for dinner. Dandelions are the ultimate in "eating locally"! Dandelions are actually very healthy. Their official name is "Taraxacum Officinale" which means "the official remedy for disorders". This website says:

"Modern science has analyzed dandelion greens. They are a good source of calcium, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. They have twice as much vitamin A in a one-cup serving than most vitamin pills. They also have as much calcium as a children’s vitamin or half a glass of milk. That’s more than most other vegetables."

The French actually grow dandelions in their gardens for consuming. Early settlers from Europe brought dandelions with them and used them as a spring tonic to cure their ills. Dandelions are reported to help with a host of problems including acne, excema, psoriasis, arthritic conditions, and improving gallbladder, kidney, and liver function. With all my research on toxins I'm particularly interested in the fact that dandelions help detox the blood and liver and remove toxins from the body! Dandelions are a diuretic (help the body release excess water) which can help with weight loss and PMS swelling.

For best flavor, pick the leaves when the blossom bud first appears, before the stalk starts to grow. Be sure not to pick dandelions that have been poisoned with chemicals or are growing too near a road where they will be contaminated. You can serve the greens as a fresh salad, make a coffee drink from the roots, make dandelion tea, or fry the blossoms.

We picked some dandelions from our yard today and fried them! I hate frying anything in oil, so I'm not sure why I decided to do this. After I dripped a bit of oil on the burner and it burst into a small flame I screamed for my hubby to come finish the frying. Lucy tried one or two and decided that she didn't like them. Julia put one in her mouth but spit it out when she tasted the mushy dandelion inside. (She is fussy about food textures.) The dandelion blossoms didn't have a bad flavor but I didn't care for the mushiness of them on the inside. We'll probably make a tradition of frying dandelions once a year in the spring just for fun anyway. I'm planning to add dandelions to our salads as much as I can this spring and I told my husband that I'm putting him on a dandelion detox. I'm considering trying to make him some tea to drink daily for a week or so. We're also going to try using the juice from a dandelion stem to cure a corn on his foot, another dandelion remedy that I read about.

Check out the links below and then take your kids outside to pick dandelions for dinner! Let me know how it goes.

Fried Dandelions recipe
Dandelion Salad hot recipe
Article on dandelions
Health benefits of dandelions
More health benefits and info on dandelion tea

Friday, April 24, 2009

Coming Up

I have some exciting things lined up! Discount codes, another giveaway, and more informative posts. If you haven't entered the Sinupret giveaway there's still time, just be sure to leave your email address. Thanks for all of the kind comments so far. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


In my quest to change our eating habits for the better, I've focused on eating "a variety of foods in as close to their natural state as possible" (to quote La Leche League philosophy). Lately I've been eying the sugar container in my cupboard. It can't be natural, its gleaming white for goodness sake! What do they do to it to make it that way? What about brown sugar, is it better for you? I've been reading about natural sweeteners lately (evaporated cane juice, maple syrup, etc) but decided that I needed to do some more research to figure this all out. Why are natural sweeteners better for you? How are they processed? I've seen white sugar on the list of things that are bad for you (white flour, hydrogenated oils, etc), but didn't really understand why other than that we shouldn't consume too much of it.

Americans consume anywhere from 100 lbs of sugar a year to 1/2 lb of sugar a day, depending on which statistic you read. Either way, its a lot. Sugar- white sugar- is in many of the products that we consume on a regular basis. So, how is it made? Here is a link to a short summary. Sugar cane or sugar beets are crushed and the juice is extracted, boiled and dried to create sugar crystals. The sugar is then spun in a turbine (like a washing machine drum) to remove the molasses and make it white, or treated with chemicals.

So what about brown sugar? Its actually white sugar that has a bit of the molasses added back in and can even include coloring that is sprayed on to the sugar. One website suggested that you can even rub the brown color off to reveal the white sugar underneath! I feel duped. Why process the molasses all the way out just to add it back in again? This is beginning to sound like the white flour/ wheat flour story where the flour is processed to death and then a few vitamins are added back in. Molasses has iron, potassium, calcium, B vitamins, and other trace minerals in it. Your body actually uses up stored vitamins in order to process the sugar you eat. It makes sense that sugar in its natural form is supposed to come with some of these vitamins.

Here is some information that I came across in my sugar searching...
How sugar is made.
How sugar beets are processed- "a series of physical and chemical separations"
Great FAQs on Wholesome Sugar and how its made. This company produces fair trade, organic, and natural sugars. I've seen this brand at a few of my local stores and I think we'll be purchasing it from now on. Sucanat is their least processed option.

Sucanat stands for SUgar CAne NATural and it is simply sugar cane juice that has been dehydrated. It contains all of the natural molasses and nothing is added or removed. Other natural sweeteners include maple syrup, honey, stevia and others. Here is a great post on natural sweeteners. You may find "evaporated cane juice" at your local health food store and it is similar to sucanat, but it is slightly more processed in that it is evaporated and then spun to remove some of the molasses. We've started using real maple syrup for waffles and honey to sweeten tea. I had to use 1/2 maple syrup and 1/2 artificial syrup from the store for a few months to get used to the taste, but pure maple syrup is fine with me now. My husband has severe allergies in the spring and fall but since using local honey in his tea he's been dramatically better. (link)

My conclusions- sugar is not a whole food, if it were you'd be chewing on sugar cane! It has to be processed in order to be usable in recipes, but I'd prefer to consume it in its least processed form. I'm not happy with chemicals possibly being used on my sugar and I'm even less happy my new knowledge about some brown sugars actually being white sugar. Molasses has so many vitamins in it that I'd prefer it be left in the sugar. Sucanat is the least processed sugar available; I'm going to experiment with it in my recipes and see how it goes. Choosing natural sweeteners is just one more step in the direction of eating healthy whole foods!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Play Dough Activities

Play dough is an activity that will keep my girls occupied for long periods of time. Lately we haven't been very creative with it so I went searching for some new ideas! We recently played with some homemade play dough and discovered that it was much softer than store bought and easier to use. I found the recipe and Lucy helped me mix it up today while Julia was napping. It was easy to make other than being hard to stir at the end. I doubled the recipe and left out any coloring until it was done so I could make three different colors. Here is the recipe, along with some other fun ideas you may enjoy!


1 cup of flour

1 cup of water

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

A few drops of food coloring (or I pkg. Kool-aid mix with water for color and smell)

½ cup of salt

1 Tablespoon of cooking oil.

Combine ingredients. Heat and stir until mixture forms a soft ball. Put mixture onto wax paper until cool. Knead slightly to eliminate grainy texture. Store in tightly covered container. The recipe can be doubled.

-stick toothpicks into a ball of dough to make a porcupine
-use toothpicks to make cages for animals
-hide a small object in a ball of play dough and let your child dig it out
-make snakes, balls, ropes, pizza, snowmen, flowers, a log cabin, or anything else you can think of
-use a rolling pin and cookie cutters (cut a wooden dowel the width of your child's hand and sand it a bit to make a perfect sized rolling pin)
-use play dough snakes to form letters
-Play dough mats: print the page and then laminate them. Simple shapes here - I chose the crown and butterfly to start with. Create jewels for the crown and spots for the butterfly!
-Brown Bear playdough mats here
-Chicka Chicka Boom Boom play mat here (use with alphabet cookie cutters or make your own letters)
-This is a great set to purchase, it comes with eyes, legs, noses, feet and more to create animals!
Do you have any other fun play dough ideas to share with us?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Giveaway- Sinupret for Kids


I've used to choose 15 winners whom I've emailed.  (Jenell, Lucy, Rachel, Robyn, Megen, ladyvenora, Teri, Jenni, Kori, Marie, Sara, Ebie, Amanda, Rebecca, Lisa)  Please respond within 24 hours with your name and address or alternate winners will be chosen.  Thanks for participating!

Did you know that the FDA no longer recommends giving over the counter cough and cold medications to children under the age of 4, and they are even considering upping that recommendation to age 12?  This can leave a parent feeling a bit helpless.  In my "sickness protocol" post I talked about some things you can do to support a sick child's immune system including serving chicken soup, steam treatments, vitamins, and more.  Another option for supporting healthy sinus, respiratory and immune function is Sinupret.  I've not personally tried this yet but feel good about recommending it based on what I've read about the company, the ingredients, and the fact that Dr Bob Sears and Dr Jay Gordon both recommend it.  
Sinupret for Kids contacted me and offered give away packs to 15 of my lucky readers!  *Giveaway ends April 28th at 11:59pm*

Each Giveaway Pack Includes: 
  • A copy of Dr. Bob Sears bestselling book The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood
  • A sample of Sinupret
  • Yellow children's binoculars
  • Sinupret for Kids Activity Books
  • Sinupret for Kids Stickers
  • Mini Plush Bear 
So what is Sinupret?  Sinupret is a natural remedy that has been used in Germany for over 30 years and is now available in the US.  It consists of a blend of European Elder, Sorrel, Cowslip, European Vervain and Gentian and promotes healthy drainage in the upper respiratory tract, improves airflow in the nose and supports healthy mucous clearance from the nose and sinuses. In addition to supporting sinus and respiratory functions, it also supports the immune system.   For more information about Sinupret click here.  

I'm excited to host this giveaway as I posted recently about Dr Sears book and how helpful it was to getting our family started eating healthier.  I'm thrilled to be giving away 15 copies of this book along with the Sinupret samples.  To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post including your email address.  15 winners will be chosen and Sinupret will ship your winning package directly to you!  While you're here, browse my blog and let me know if you find any of it helpful and thanks for visiting.

My own sample package is on its way to me in the mail but I wanted to get this post up and let you know about the giveaway as soon as I could!  We have a round of sickness going through our house right now so if it arrives soon I'll put the Sinupret to work and let you know how it goes.  If you're looking for more information, here is an article by Dr Sears on staying healthy through the winter, and another Dr Sears in depth article on coughs and colds and what to do.  

Oh, and stay tuned, I have another giveaway up my sleeve already...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cooking Disasters

I've had some awful cooking disasters lately.  

This was supposed to be a coffee cake.  A soaked-the-night-before-to-reduce-phytates coffee cake made with wheat flour, organic cane sugar, honey, coconut oil... all healthy stuff.  When the timer beeped, I opened the oven not to a done coffee cake but to this boiling gurgling mess that was spilling all over my oven.  I tried leaving it in a few minutes longer hoping it would somehow finish cooking but the spilled parts started to burn and smoke.  I called it quits and took it out of the oven.  Did I mention that I was making this on playdate morning and the guests were due any minute?  

Later that day I somehow forgot that I hadn't cleaned the oven yet and started to mix up a batch of zucchini bread.  I was quickly reminded of the morning's disaster when the burning coffee cake smell started wafting through the kitchen again.  I hadn't finished mixing up the dough, but had to abandon it because the oven was hot and there was no way I could get it clean now in time to make the bread.  

The day before, I made up a batch of yummy croutons with some leftover bread I'd been saving, put them in the oven and then promptly walked away without setting the timer.  They were black when I remembered them.  

Then there's the whole bagel saga... I've tried making bagels three times now, with the first two times being complete disasters (sticky dough everywhere, bagels with a glue like texture) and the third time being a near success.  I say a "near" success because it took me 20 minutes to pry the bagels off of the pan I baked them on.  

Why am I telling you all of this?  I post my successes and tips here, but there are plenty of failures that don't make it to the blog.  I don't want anyone to be afraid to jump in and try things out; I certainly don't get it all right the first (or second, maybe third?) time.  I'm committed to learning how to keep my family healthy - sharing that process with each other just makes it all the more fun.

I won't even bore you with the details of the shepherd's pie that I made earlier this week that was way too watery and no one liked.  Good thing I made a double batch of that so there was extra for the freezer... 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Green Cleaning

Cleaning supplies are not required to have ingredients lists.
There are no regulations on what goes into them!

Just think for a minute about how awful the cleaning aisle at the grocery store smells. I can hardly stand to breathe when I'm in that aisle! I don't want to expose my children to chemicals unnecessarily. Cleaning my home doesn't require some expensive chemical cocktail solution sold in plastic bottles at the grocery store. It really only requires having a few ingredients on hand and a couple spray bottles that you can reuse each time you make more solution. Now that I use homemade green cleaners I'm so much happier about cleaning, I don't have to turn on the bathroom fan and worry that the lingering harsh smells are eating away at my brain.

I don't know why this is such a well kept secret because its so easy and inexpensive. Having a few base ingredients on hand allows you to easily mix up a solution of your favorite cleaning recipe whenever you run out. There are some great recipes here which I typed into a document, printed off and then laminated. I have the laminated one page cleaning list stuck to the inside of my cupboard where I keep the cleaning supplies so that its easy to mix another batch of cleaner when I need to.

If you're just getting started, all you need are a few ingredients and a couple empty spray bottles. You can reuse bottles from commercial cleaners, just be sure to thoroughly wash the bottles and relabel them. I keep on hand:

washing soda (found in the cleaning aisle near the bleach)
baking soda
liquid soap (Dr Bronners, found at the health food store)
tea tree oil, lavender oil (these are expensive little bottles, but last forever as you only need a few drops)

I use my all purpose cleaner for just about everything including window washing. For cleaning the sink I sprinkle baking soda on and then wipe it off with a soapy sponge. Tea Tree Oil is naturally antiseptic and antifungal; I sometimes add a few drops to my all purpose cleaner or dilute in water and spray on counters to disinfect. For an air freshener, add a few drops of lavender oil to water and spray lightly. There is a recipe for furniture polish here and I'm working on a dishwasher detergent recipe to share as well.

Go give it a try!  It works for me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mommy Cards

I'm official! I have my own mommy "business" cards. Actually, I've had them since Lucy was a baby and recently updated them to include Julia's name too. (Did I just admit that? She's 20 months old! In my defense, I just gave away the last one the other day.)

I saw the idea in a parenting magazine and decided it couldn't be hard to make my own. I bought some Avery printable business cards in the office supply section of WalMart, made my simple design in Word and printed them off. The package of business cards came with instructions that made printing fairly simple. I carry these in my diaper bag and have found them to be so nice for handing someone rather than fumbling around trying to find a pen and paper and then write while holding a wiggly baby. Getting together for playdates is that much easier now, I just hand off the card with my email address and phone number on it. Give it a try! (and save a copy for your little one's baby book too)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Potty Training Tips

Julia has been asking to "go pee" like her big sister for quite some time now.  She has occasionally even told me when she has to go and has started staying dry at times.  I don't think she's close to being completely potty trained, but we're in the beginning stages.  We don't even need a sticker chart because she's so excited to be like her big sister and loves when Lucy and I clap for her.  I have a few tips and tricks to share with you about potty training:

The Potty Seat.  We recently remodeled our bathroom and in the process found this potty seat.  I saw it here but the one we purchased was found at our local Target.  I think every home with young children should have one of these!  No more messy potty seat being taken off and on the potty and dripping pee drips everywhere.  The smaller seat flips up into the lid when not needed and it also has little locks you can slide over to trap it in the lid in case you had company coming over and didn't want them to get confused or something.  

The Onesie Trick.  A friend shared this with me back when we worked in a daycare together in the potty training room.  If your child is wearing a onesie, unsnap it as usual, and then snap it back together over one shoulder so that it doesn't fall into the potty and get in the way.  Nice.

Cloth Trainers.  Lucy potty trained fairly easily and without many accidents but Julia is not quite as ready.  She wants to try so badly that I purchased her a pair of cloth training pants to use rather than putting her in underwear.  I chose the organic cotton Imse Vimse farm print here.  I had tried some other brands with Lucy and they were just too bulky and didn't work right for her.  These are cute and trim, but have a waterproof layer in them that I think will help.  We haven't used them yet as Julia is not quite ready but I'll let you know how she likes them soon.  

That's all I've got for today.  Have you found any other tips or tricks that work for you?  

Book Review- Eat Healthy, Feel Great

Ok, I'll admit it.  I'm obsessed with healthy eating, healthy living, feeding my kids right, and  teaching them good nutrition.  Here is another great resource that we've enjoyed.  Eat Healthy, Feel Great by Dr Sears talks to children about making wise food choices using a traffic light analogy.  Foods are labeled either red light foods (that we should not eat), yellow light foods (that we should only eat occasionally), or green light foods (that we can eat all the time).  There is actually a tear out poster in the back of the book that we laminated and have hanging in our kitchen.  Lucy will often ask if something is a "green light food" and we refer to the poster and discuss our food choices.

Eat Healthy, Feel Great talks about how food affects our bodies and helps us stay healthy.  It is written in such a way that young children can understand it, but contains a good amount of information that even older children can learn from.  Things like complex carbohydrates, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, and various vitamins are defined in simple terms.  I love that on the first page the mom is breastfeeding the baby and in later pages the baby is worn in a sling while grocery shopping.  We have already learned a lot from this book and plan to read it many more times!