Grow your roots for everyday living.

Posts from the ‘Babies/Children’ category

The Food You E A T: What is What?

A lot of the parents I work with ask what food’s count as what.  “I know an apple is a fruit, but does it have protein in it?”  When I ask some of my Head Start kids where meat comes from, they yell, “From the grocery store.”  I figured it might be good to break things down further.

The food pyramid puts our foods into categories: meats/beans, milk, fruit, vegetable, grains.  We also break food down into macronutrient groups: carbohydrates, fats and proteins; and then further into micronutrient groups: vitamins and minerals.  Just because a food is categorized as a  carbohydrate, doesn’t mean it is only made of carbohydrates or sugar molecules, it just means that this is the primary nutrient.  For instance, milk has protein, fat and carbohydrates in it.  It is certainly not all black and white!  Referring to the food label is also a good way to gain clarify on what a food is comprised of.  Eating a variety of Whole Foods is the best way to get as many nutrients in as possible.

Carbohydrates: These are found naturally in grains, vegetables, fruits and sometimes legumes. We need them in order to help fuel our brains and body every day. The most important are carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits. We do not need excess of grains or sugary foods such as: breads, pasta, tortillas, rice, cereal, crackers, chips, etc.

– Everyday Examples of “Good Carbohydrates”: Legumes, berries, melon, apples, pineapple, bananas, asparagus, broccoli, cucumber, spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and tomatoes.

Fats/Oil: Fats and oils are commonly perceived as being bad for your body, but in fact, the “good” fats that are found naturally in food are essential to maintain your hormones, maintain gut health, make cholesterol, and are incredibly beneficial to keep you fuller longer. The reason why fats were originally given a bad name was because of hydrogenated and ‘trans’ fats from processed foods and fast food restaurants.  These fats are not beneficial to us.

– Everyday Examples of “Good Fats”: Natural oils we cook with (such as butter/coconut oil/ghee/duck fat for heat and olive/avocado oil for cold foods), some dairy products (such as cheese, Greek yogurt, raw milk), bone broth, eggs, meats, fish, avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds.

Protein: Proteins help maintain body structures, muscles and brain development. Eating more proteins in combination with carbohydrates and fats can actually help you feel fuller longer.

– Everyday examples of “Proteins”: Chicken, beef, pork, turkey, lamb, fish/shellfish, sardines, oysters, tuna, nuts, seeds, cheeses, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, dairy, eggs, avocado, nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower butter etc.), beans, and some other vegetables.

Vitamins: We have always been told, “Make sure you take your vitamins”, because everyone knows that it’s important to receive your daily fix. But what most people do not know is that if you eat a balanced and nutritious diet, you will get the vitamins you need. Vitamins are the most basic helping tool to make your body function every day; as they help with your body create energy and metabolism.  Nonetheless, taking a quality multi vitamin (Garden of Life, New Chapter, Apex, Standard Process etc.), is never a bad idea being that many of us do not get enough nutrients!

– Everyday examples of “vitamin rich foods”: Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, dark leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, almonds, beans/lentils, garbanzo beans, liver, oysters, tuna, milk, & bananas.

Minerals: Daily minerals are essential for a variety of body functions. They are important for building strong bones, teeth, skin, hair and other metabolic processes that help turn the food we eat into energy. Common minerals names include sodium, chloride, potassium and calcium; however there are many more. A balanced and healthy diet should provide enough minerals for most people.

– Everyday examples of “mineral rich foods: Fish, sardines, salmon spinach, liver, peas/beans, asparagus, mushrooms, dark green leafy vegetables, potatoes, bananas & prunes.

Water: The most important element of your daily diet should be water. Water plays many roles in the body including helping with your body temperatures and help transport nutrients throughout your body. Water should be the most important beverage you consume!

Leave a comment

Ever Wonder Why Your Child is Hungry all the Time?

Anyone have a hungry, hungry “hippo” child?!

This is what I jokingly and lovingly refer to as kids that are hungry all the time!  What many parents don’t realize is that most of what their children are eating is sugar – cereal, bread, crackers, pasta, cookies, milk, and even sugar – and this contributes to them being hungry all the time!  Most people think of sugar as treats and snacks we eat after meals or to meet our sweet tooth.  However, sugar does occur naturally in fruits, some vegetables and other foods.  And, many of the foods we consume contain “added” sugars.  Without the protein and fat there is nothing to keep us full, which is why 30 minutes after having some chips your child might be pulling at your leg for more!

  • Sugar is actually the only taste we are born with, so we will always naturally crave it.
  • Sugar filled foods actually do not keep us full, instead they make us hungrier more often. Constantly eating foods high in added sugar can promote eating more than what you really need, since you are not providing your body with any substantial fuel.
  • Calories from sugary beverages often get stored as fat in our bodies.
  • Natural sugar is best paired with fat or protein, in order to keep people fuller longer.


–       Eat Slightly Less: bananas, mangos, cherries, grapes, pomegranate, tangerines/oranges, pineapple

–       Eat Mostly: avocados, lemons/limes,strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, apples and apricots.


–       Eat Slightly Less: potatoes, yams, peas, and corn.

–       Eat Mostly: asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes are all considered non-starchy vegetables.


–       All have Sugar: The trick with grains is to eat them in moderation because they all have sugar in them. Remember that breads, cereals, tortillas, crackers, rice, pasta, chips, quinoa, oats and barely break down to sugar. Often, grains are a more white, tan or brown color, so if you have multiple items for each meal, watch the colors on your plate.


–       Eat Less: candies, gummy bears, fruit snacks (fruit Roll-Up, Fruit by the Foot, etc.), puddings, jell-o’s, cakes, pies, cookies, donuts, sugary cereals (Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, etc.), Pop-Tarts, and chips/Cheetos.

–       Eat More: Greek yogurt, ants on a log (celery, peanut butter, raisins), string cheese, hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, hummus with crackers, veggies with cream cheese, nut butters with fruit, and carrots with ranch dip.


–       High Sugar: Gatorade/Powerade, fruit juices, sodas (diet and regular), Vitamin water, juice boxes (High-C, Capri Sun), Naked Juices, milk.

–       Less Sugar: water, fruit infused waters (by adding berries, lemon, limes, cucumber, mint, etc.), teas without added sweeteners, black coffee.

snackid snack2

Try giving your kids snacks that have more “bang for your buck,” in other words, more nutrients.  Instead of a piece of fruit, crackers, muffin, or tortilla, try adding protein and healthy fat such as with this Owl Rice Cake snack!  All you need is: rice cakes, nut butter, some fruit.  Decorate away!

Rooted in fun and filling snacks xo

Leave a comment

Shake it UP

Blue Bird Rising
almond milk, blueberries, raisins, almonds, walnuts & honey

almond milk, strawberries, dates, chia seeds & vanilla extract

Whole Hearted
almond milk, cantaloupe, banana, coconut butter, coconut, dates, cinnamon, almond butter & vanilla extract

almond Milk, coconut water, kale, banana, nut butter, dates & walnuts

almond milk, banana, dates, nut butter, coconut, flax seeds & granola

San Diego Happiness
coconut milk, Greek yogurt, banana, nut butter, dates & coconut

coconut milk, banana, blueberries, almond butter, protein blend

West Coast
coconut, water, kale, apple, lemon & ginger

Start Strong
coconut water, kale, spinach, celery, apple, chia seeds, flax seeds, dates, honey & spirulina

coconut milk, banana, orange, pineapple, nut butter & almonds

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 5.23.46 PM

<- Immune, Inflammation, Infection ->
For Extra Boost Add:

– Bone broth
– Apple cider vinegar
– Collagen powder
– Carlson’s cod liver oil
– “Green Food”
– Bee products (local)
– Protein powder

*Use “unsweetened” milks and other products to keep sugars down.

Rooted in liquid nutrients.

Leave a comment

Choking Hazards for Littles Ones

It is easy to forget, but choking is one of the leading causes of death for children under age four or five.  Many of us are mainly concerned with drowning, but choking is another major potential danger for small children.  If you are like me, it is easy to get distracted and not be watching your toddlers every move!

Young children put almost everything in their mouth, which makes the main goal of choking prevention to keep any small items that your child might choke on out of his or her mouth.  This means occasionally checking under the kitchen table, behind couch cushions and around furniture.  In addition, it is important to regularly check the floor, the car, and other areas where your child crawls, walks, and plays.

Food and Non-Food Choking Hazards:

  • Whole grapes
  • Peanuts and other nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Hard candy and chewing gum
  • Hard foods, including raw vegetables
  • Softer, large chunks of foods, such as large cubes of cheese
  • Chewy foods, such as thick spoonful’s of peanut butter
  • Uncut hot dogs
  • Coins
  • Marbles and small balls
  • Small magnets
  • Balloons
  • Safety pins, pen caps, and tacks
  • Pet food
  • Small toy parts such as: Lego building blocks, dice, beads, etc.
  • Small random pieces/parts such as: Earbuds for headphones, buttons, batteries, tampons, etc.

Extra Steps to Prevent Choking:

  • Learn CPR.
  • Learn Heimlich maneuver.
  • Keep medications and vitamins out of reach in childproof containers.
  • Childproof cabinets and drawers so that your kids can’t get inside.
  • Supervise kids when they are eating.
  • Cut foods, like grapes and hot dogs, into small, one-half inch pieces.
  • Avoid foods that are not age appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers such as: chewing gum, hard candy, and nuts until they are at least four years old.
  • Don’t let your kids play with toys that are not recommended for their age, since they may have small parts and could be a choking hazard.
  • Inspect toys to make sure that parts aren’t going to break off and throw out any broken toys.
  • Supervise kids under age eight if they are playing with a balloon, keep un-inflated balloons out of reach, and throw away balloons once they deflate or break.
  • See your pediatrician if your child seems to have an episode of choking, recovers, but then develops an ongoing cough that doesn’t let up since that can be a sign that your child aspirated the item and it is still in his lung.

Watch out for loose toddlers!

Rooted in supervising your little one.

Leave a comment

Dinner for Little Ones

Don’t make dinner for your little ones more complicated than it has to be. I serve my 13 month old whatever I am eating, within reason. Children will eat what their parents eat. They eat whatever they’re given.

If they don’t like what you prepare, don’t worry, eventually they will become accustomed to and interested in the various foods offered. Usually a child will eat at least some part of the meal, and that’s great. However, I do not recommend catering to what your child “wants” and cooking different meals; otherwise they will always expect that! In my case, if Phoenix doesn’t want any part of the dinner, I offer fruit and leave it at that. Remember, textures, tastes and mouth feel are all new for them. Be patient and make meal time enjoyable!


Mushroom, broccoli, quinoa, and raw cheddar, cooked in ghee and sprinkled with sea salt! xo

Leave a comment

Extra Nourishing Foods for Babies/Toddlers

This is a baby feeding guide with some of the most nourishing foods for babies and toddlers. Although I recommend sticking to only these foods for ultimate health, digestive, and absorbative reasons, feel free to deviate if this is too strict for you. This is based on information provided by Kim Schuette at Biodynamic Wellness.

6 months: Egg yolk, grated frozen liver, meat stock, pureed meats (organic grass fed)

6 ½ months: Avocado, banana, cooked carrots, ghee, kidneys and other organ meats, cooked sweet potato (lacto-fermented); Delay introducing fruits if GAPS symptoms such as eczema are present.

7 months: Cooked apples, pears (to break down pectin), mango, papaya, kiwi, fish roe, marrow, lacto-fermented vegetables

8 months: Coconut milk and coconut kefir, cooked vegetables, olive oil, lard, cooked peaches, apricots and cherries (cooked to break down pectin)

9 months: Raw yogurt, raw butter, raw cheese, oily fish, cooked berries, fermented pickles; pineapple

10 months: Purified water, coconut water, beets and beet kvaas and well-steamed leafy greens (spinach, chard, kale)

11 months: Wild fish and fish stocks or soups

12-15 months: Whole eggs, liverwurst, raw milk, raw berries, honey (raw, unfiltered), tomato, potato, eggplant, peppers, citrus, arrowroot powder, most spices and herbs, beets, celery and radishes

15-18 months: Soaked brown rice, raw vegetables, carob, soaked nuts and nut butters (no peanuts)

18-21 months: Properly prepared gluten-free grains, raw greens, occasional pasteurized cheese

21-24 months: Properly prepared gluten grains, properly prepared legumes (which includes peanuts) and shellfish

2 yrs +: Limited: pasteurized dairy products; dried fruit, fermented soy products, nitrate- free lunch meat, peanut butter.

-Remember, each baby is different, some will eat larger portions and be ready for more faster.  This is all just part of what makes your baby unique!

Stay rooted in your instincts as a parent, because only you know best.










Leave a comment


Use these concepts regularly to teach your kids to have a healthy relationship to food. Remember, it starts at birth!

Permission to Eat All Foods: No food is forbidden. This means your kids are less likely to binge eat and have an unhealthy relationship with food. Teaching your kids about foods and what they do is important, but I recommend a neutral presentation of a variety of foods instead of labeling food as “good” or “bad”.

Eating for Physical Rather Than Emotional Reasons: Encouraging kids to eat for hunger and enjoyment, instead of boredom, anxiety/emotional reasons, or out of habit. Less binge eating and obsession with food down the line. Structured meals at a designated place instead of grazing or using food to reward or punish.

Using Hunger and Satiety Signals: Trusting your body to guide what and how much to eat. People who don’t trust themselves lose their food regulation abilities and are more likely to gain weight, emotionally eat and diet. Allow your kids to chose what and how much from what the parents serve instead of controlling or being super lax.

Rooted in Intuitive Eating.

Leave a comment



Don’t start solids until at least 6 months of age -> Although some practitioners recommend starting as early as 4 months, I feel confident that waiting till 6 months is best.

Start slow, one new food a time -> This is important to make sure your baby doesn’t have an allergic reaction to anything, also it takes time for them to get used to a food.  Some babies will adapt and be ready for more food quicker than others.

– Offer food at consistent times each day -> Having a routine is important.  Although the times will not be exact, you can get your baby adapted to a regular feeding schedule. For example, B: 8 am, S: 10 am, L: 12 pm, S: 3pm, D: 6pm.

– Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues -> Babies have an internal clock telling them when they are hungry and when they are full. Your job is to pay attention and learn about your baby’s clock.

Hunger Cues:
-Fusses and cries
-Smiles, gazes and coos at caregiver during feeding time
-Actively moves head toward spoon or attempts to put food in mouth
-Reaches or points to food
-Shows excitement when food is offered
-Uses words and sounds to indicate hunger and desiring food

Fullness Cues:
-Decreases rate of sucking or stops altogether
-Spits out nipple
-Is easily distracted
-Moves head away from spoon, bats or pushes food away
-Slows pace of eating
-Shakes head to say no or says “all done”
-Plays with or throws food

– Introduce foods over and over again –> The taste for veggies, proteins and good fats is a learned taste. Keep serving a food, even if your baby didn’t like it the time before.  Repetition is key!

– A little goes a long way -> Your baby’s stomach is only as big as his/her fist, so a few bites is perfectly fine. If your baby doesn’t eat a lot, they will likely need more milk.

– Food intake changes -> Some days or weeks your baby will be hungrier than others. This is completely normal as each baby grows differently.

– Don’t ever force your baby to eat.

Eat with your baby -> Babies/children learn by watching you.

Make food fun and appealing -> Introduce different, age appropriate textures, colors and forms of foods.

–Remember there is no perfect science to feeding babies –> Use your intuition, take note of what works and what doesn’t and try and enjoy the process!

Leave a comment

TIPS on Constipation for Kids

TIPS on Constipation for Kids: How does your Poop Stack up?

Although this article was intended for the little ones, it can apply to any age group!

1. Drinking Water

Lots of us forget to drink water or don’t get enough water. Water is very important to keep things flowing! FYI: Urine should be very light in color and not have a strong smell if you are drinking enough water.

2. Eat Real Foods

Stick to real foods as much as possible. It’s one of the most important changes anyone can make. Watch out for eating lots of sugar and processed/packaged foods – candies, chips, cookies, crackers, fruit snacks, granola bars, breads, pastas, fast food etc.

3.  Eat More Fat

Fat has a direct impact on the waves our bodies make to get rid of poop.  Fat can be extremely helpful for people who are constipated.  Increase your healthy fats from sources like coconut oil, animal fat, olive oil, butter, avocado, fish, nuts, flaxseeds and fermented cod liver oil.

4.  Eat Good Bugs

Our gut has tons of good bacteria and a healthy stomach is necessary for healthy poop.  Eat good bugs every single day – yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, soft cheeses and apple cider vinegar. Taking a probiotic is one supplement that can also boost the immune system in the tummy and improve digestive health if problems continue.


Being active is critical. The more kids play inside or outside, jumping up and down, back and forth – the more likely they are to have normal bowel movements.

6. Sleep

Kids need lots of sleep for many reasons including physical, mental and emotional development. Sleep helps immensely with digestion.  Remember the zzz’s you get before midnight count double!  In other words, children should go to bed at a reasonable time (between 7 and 9 pm).  Sleep is also critical for adults impacting hormones, metabolism, aging and stress levels.







Listen to what your poop is telling you and continue to make changes to improve the food you’re eating.

Leave a comment


SNACK / MINI MEAL IDEAS for Little Ones and Big Ones!

These are Simple snack ideas, for simple palates.  Feel free to add as many ingredients as you like and dress up these snacks to your liking..

–  Soft Fruit Bites – banana/oranges/tangerines/papaya/avocado/mango or mix all and sprinkle with cinnamon or dollop of honey.

–  Banana on a Stick – peel banana, cut in half, insert popsicle stick. Dip in yogurt and roll in wheat germ/cereal. Freeze and enjoy!

– Chia Chow-Down Pudding – 2 cups of coconut milk/almond milk/ raw milk/water (your choice!), 1/2 cup chia seeds, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional), 1 tablespoon honey. Place in fridge for 15 minutes and voila you have chia pudding! Great source of protein, fiber, calcium, iron, & nutrients.

–  Ants on a Log – fill celery sticks with peanut butter or cream cheese. Top with a row of raisins or other dried fruit.

–  Apple Pockets – add a dash of cinnamon to a scoop or ricotta cheese, mix. Fill a whole wheat pita pocket with the ricotta mixture and add a layer of thinly sliced apples.

–  Little Bagel – add nut butter, jam, cream cheese OR add tomatoes, cheddar and avocado warmed.

–  Cooked Veggies Bowl – cook veggies of choice/in season and sprinkle with cheese of choice.

–  Peanut Butter on Rice Cracker – add raisins, almond slivers, flax or wheat germ for extra fiber.

–  Small Sandwich Sections – pb & j/cream cheese & olives/grilled cheese & tomato, avocado/turkey/chicken/tuna.

–  Oatmeal w milk and berries – mix with nut butter, top with honey and sprinkle with nut bits..

–  Home-Made Trail Mix – toss together a handful of each: your favorite ‘healthy’ breakfast cereal, dried fruits and nut pieces.

–  String Cheese/Cutie Cheese Cubes.

–  Quesadilla – add veggies: mushrooms, broccoli, tomato, avocado; protein: chicken, beef, shrimp; guacamole.

–  Yogurt Parfait – layer yogurt w blueberries, top with granola and drizzle with honey.

–  Frozen Yummy-Yogurt Sandwiches – smear a small scoop of frozen yogurt on two small graham crackers. Add a layer of sliced bananas or strawberries in the center to make a delicious sandwich!

–  Vegan Peanut Butter Ball Bliss – Add all the ingredients except for the rice cereal into a bowl and mix together until combined. Shape the mixture into 16 balls. Pour the rice cereal into a shallow dish and roll each ball in the crispies. Enjoy! Store remaining balls in the refrigerator.  Ingredients: 1/2 cup natural peanut butter, 1/4 cup whole quick oats
, 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup wheat germ, 
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 
1/4 cup apple cider, 
1 tablespoon maple syrup
, 1/4 cup brown rice crisp cereal.

-Raw Veggies – carrots, celery, cucumber w/ choice of: almond butter / homemade dressing / hummus / pesto.

-SD Sunrise – Avocado halved w/ fried egg on top.

-Mozzarella and Tomato Salad – with basil drizzled with olive oil, dash of salt and pepper.

-Sliced Prosciutto Rolls – wrapped around dates, basil leafs and goat cheese and sautéed.

-Smoked Salmon – on cucumber w goat cheese/dill cream cheese.

-Smoked Oysters – add slice tomato and bite of raw cheese.

-Pâté/Bratwurst Delight – on cucumber / rice cracker.

-Lettuce Wraps – w/ tuna, tomato, celery & seasonings.

-Apple and Almond Butter Sandwich – sprinkled w unsweetened coconut flakes and wheat germ.

-Greek Yogurt Bowl – with raw walnuts, berries, dollop of sunflower butter if desired, drizzle w/ local honey (allergy defense).

-Yogurt Parfait – Greek yogurt/kefir layered with mixed nuts and topped with berries.

-Banana Split – banana sliced length-wise topped with 1/2 cup frozen yogurt/Greek yogurt & sprinkling of walnuts.

-Cottage Cheese Bowl – w/ fruit, cononut and nuts.

-Homemade Trail Mix – walnuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes & a bit of dried fruit – apricots, date pieces.

-Beat, Kale or Zucchini Chips.

– Popsicle – make your own?

– Trail Mix Energy Bites – Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix evenly and refrigerate covered for 1-2 hours. Make into little energy balls and enjoy!  Ingredients: 1 cup old-fashioned oats, ½ cup peanut butter/almond butter/sunflower butter, ½ cup chocolate chips, ½ cup peanuts or almonds, ½ cup chopped pretzels, 1/4 cup honey, ¼ cup wheat germ, 1 tbsp chia seeds.

–  Make Your Own Smoothie – go green, go fruity or go creamy:

Holly’s Happiness:
1/2 cup ice, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1/4 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp sunflower butter/almond butter, 1 small handful dates, 1 scoop protein powder? 
Good Morning San Diego:
1/2 cup ice, 1 cup + kale,1 apple, 1/2 lemon squeezed, some ginger, 1 tbsp flaxseeds (optional)
Banana Blissed:
1/2 cup ice, ½ banana, 1 large handful of kale, dash of sea salt, dash of cinnamon, 1 small handful of dates








Become more Rooted.

Leave a comment