What could I possibly have against these cute little "healthy" snacks that can be found in school lunchboxes across America? It's back to school time and Baby Carrots are one snack to keep out of your childs lunch.  

It may shock you that baby carrots do not come out of the ground that way.  There is no little baby carrot garden where these are harvested.  Baby carrots are a result of taking all the broken and "ugly" big carrots they can't put in the package, grinding them all up, pressing them into the "baby" carrots and giving them a bath in chlorine to give them a bright happy orange color. 

If you look on the package it doesn't say "Chlorine", because it was added as part of manufacturing and not added as an ingredient...why is that?

Packaged foods contain lots of chemicals both in the ingredients and in the manufacturing process.  The tricky part is chemicals added as part of the manufacturing process are not considered to be an ingredient therefore does not have to be listed on the food label.  So there is no way to tell what else is hiding in that box or package.  

As defined by the EPA, Chlorine is a pesticide.  Its purpose is to kill living organisms. So it would make sense that when you ingest chlorine it kills some parts of our body like the healthy bacteria in your gut and intestinal flora for instance.  Chlorine is a highly toxic, yellow-green gas most heavily used in chemical agents like household cleaners and can be found in the air near industrial areas especially around paper processing plants.  Exposure to Chlorine has been linked to health problems such as sore throat, coughing, eye and skin irritation, rapid breathing, narrowing of the bronchi, wheezing, blue coloring of the skin, accumulation of fluid in the lungs, pain in the lung region, severe eye and skin burns, lung collapse, a type of asthma known as Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS).  

Chlorine is also added to the public water supply.  So not only are you drinking it, but you are absorbing it through the largest organ in your body, your skin.  In fact, 2/3 of human absorption of chlorine is from inhaling the steam in the form of chloroform and fast absorption through your open pores in the warm shower or bath. The inhalation of chloroform is a suspected cause of asthma and bronchitis, especially in children... which has increased 300% in the last two decades.   Other health risks associated with chloroform is cancer, potential reproductive damage, birth defects, dizziness, fatigue, headache, liver and kidney damage.  Chloroform is also found in the air and in food, like baby carrots.

Organic Carrots
Conclusion:  Stick to organically grown whole carrots.  They are really easy to find as you can buy them at your local farmers market or grocery store.
Wash them and cut them into sticks for your childs lunch box.  Carrots are an excellent snack that we enjoy all the time.  Enjoy!

If your house is like mine, mornings are a whirlwind!

The bathroom is crowded with everyone trying to get ready for the day, then it's a race downstairs and out the door!....WAIT!  What happened to breakfast?

It's the most important meal of the day for adults and for kids!  But it's often an afterthought because our lives have gotten exponentially busier.

Breakfast is a healthy habit that will determine how your child will feel for the rest of the day!  If they don't eat breakfast they will be cranky, grumpy, sluggish, unable to focus, inattentive.  Kid's that don't eat breakfast are also 5 pounds heavier, exercise less, & choose unhealthy foods throughout the day.

Not all breakfasts are created equal!  Stay far away from juice, cereal, doughnuts, muffins, toaster pastries/waffles, cereal bars, & other things like that.... though they are convenient they offer no nutritional value and can actually make your child FEEL worse because they will get a huge rush of energy and completely crash an hour later.  Protein and fresh fruits and veggies are the key to starting their day off right!  Remember, happy healthy kids need a minimum of 7-9 servings of fruits & veggies daily, get a few in first thing. 

Here are my favorite quick and easy breakfast ideas:

1.  Dinner for breakfast.  If there is leftover dinner it's fair game for breakfast.  I've given my girls salmon with fresh tomato, and a glass of milk, grilled chicken and yogurt, you name it!  Some kids don't like breakfast food, so don't hesitate.

2.  Eggs and veggies.  Eggs are a snap to prepare in the morning.  Add a little cheese and a variety of veggies like spinach, tomato, peppers, red onion, broccoli, fresh basil or other herb, etc..the possibilities are endless.

3.  My girls favorite...Smoothies!  Portable and super quick.  Blend plain Greek yogurt, banana, frozen berries, milk, and 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil.