Healthy Kid-Friendly Banana Muffins

Minutes after this picture, 5 muffins disappeared 🙂

This is a recipe I found on another blog. It is absolutely amazing! I make this recipe all the time for my kids because they eat it up and I do not feel guilty about that at all. I love to make these on Sunday so I can store them in the refrigerator and give them to the kids for a quick, healthy breakfast on the way to school.

I have made some changes/substitutions to the recipe so if you access the link below to visit the original post, you will see some discrepancies. For example, I do not use eggs in my recipe. I substitute the eggs for applesauce. I use 1/4 cup of natural applesauce for each egg. I also add flax seed to my muffins. I never measure the amount that I add, but it is approximately 1/4 cup.

Below is my version of the recipe and the link to the original page where I found it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup (I have found some amazing local honey – https://www.beelicioushoneyflorida.com)
  • 1/2 cup of natural applesauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup of ground flax seed (if you want to add more feel free but use a little less flour)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the applesauce and mix well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and water.
  3. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, with a big spoon, stir in the flour and flax seed just until combined. Lumps are ok.
  4. Spoon the batter into your muffin tin until about 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (I set my timer for 15 minutes and add additional time after that, if necessary).

If you want to see the original recipe (and other amazing things) head over to https://cookieandkate.com/healthy-banana-bread-recipe/

Once again, my family loves this recipe so much! It is quick, easy, and healthy. Winner!

Sports, Kids, and WATER

#wrestlingmom #softballmom

Oh my gosh, it is so hot outside. Have you seen the news? The kids passing out from heat? I have and it is so scary being as I have children who play outdoor sports in FLORIDA..  

If your kid plays an outdoor sport (or just plays outside), that usually means practice a couple times a week and games on weekends.This leads to a lot of times where they could overheat.  

So what do you do about it?

This might sound simple, but it’s all about the water. Kids tend  to drink water during practice and during their game when they feel thirsty. They will take a sip or two to quench their thirst and then head back to the field. In order to truly cut down the risk of overheating, kids should be constantly drinking water throughout the entire day prior to their activity (really all day, every day). They should be drinking multiple cups of water before they ever even step on that field to make sure their “internal air conditioner” is working.  

My kids fought me (still do sometimes) on drinking water until I used the “AC” analogy.

I asked, “Would you want to stay in the house if the AC wasn’t working very well?” 

“Heck, no! It would be too hot!”

“Well, not drinking water is similar to a house with no AC. Think of water as an AC system for your body. If you don’t drink enough, your AC can’t work very well and your body will be too hot, just like the house. This is what happens when you see someone who gets sick from being too hot.”

It is important that as adults who have kids playing outside, we monitor their water intake. Water regulates our internal temperature. Without enough, the body will sweat and you will not have anything to replenish the fluids that are lost. This leads to dehydration. When combined with excessive heat, this can be very dangerous. Drinking water all day prior to an outdoor activity can help to make sure this does not happen. We should also make sure kids are drinking water during and after their activity to make sure they replenish all that was lost during their game or practice.  

How much water should kids be drinking?  Really, this depends on age. Here is a chart I found on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Website.

Kids Total Daily Beverage and Drinking Water Requirements

Age Range    Gender     Total Water (Cups/Day)
4 to 8 years         Girls and Boys     7
9 to 13 years     Girls 9
  Boys 10
14 to 18 years Girls     10
  Boys 14

Data are from Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) Tables. Recommended Daily Allowance and Adequate Intake Values: Total Water and Macronutrients.

Moral of the story…DRINK YOUR WATER! 🙂

Easiest Chicken and Veggie Recipe Ever

I was browsing Pinterest the other day, looking for an easy, healthy recipe for dinner that night (yes, for that very same night). I came across a chicken and veggie recipe that looked like a winner because it checked both my boxes: easy – check; healthy – check. I didn’t feel like heading out to the grocery store to pick up all the ingredients I was missing, so I decided to change the recipe and use what I already had in the fridge. This is a bold move because I am no creative chef here. Luckily, it worked out and I have officially added a staple recipe (I don’t know if this qualifies as a recipe because it is so easy…) to my list of about 10.

First, I marinaded the chicken. I usually pick my marinade by looking in my refrigerator and picking the dressing or marinade bottle that is the most full. It’s like a surprise every time! This time I selected a rustic italian dressing and poured it into a large Ziploc bag along with the 4 pieces of chicken I was going to use. I always shake up the Ziploc bag a couple times just to make sure the chicken is completely covered in the marinade. I put my bag of chicken into the fridge for about an hour to soak in the marinade. If I had planned ahead I would have let it marinade for longer, but you know… Next, I preheated the oven to 375. I chopped up my vegetables and tossed them in a little oil, salt, and pepper. One of these days, I plan on adding a little thyme or something to my veggies but I haven’t done this yet. I ripped aluminum foil into 12-16 inch pieces and added 1 piece of chicken and vegetables to each piece of foil. Hint: If you use a sturdy aluminum foil the juices from the chicken and veggies will stay inside your foil packet leaving you virtually no cleanup! I closed and repeated with each piece of chicken. I really love that the individual packets allow me to cater to the tastes of each member of the family. For example, I do not put asparagus in the kids packet and I have an all vegetable packet for myself. Last, I placed the aluminum foil packets on a cookie sheet and baked in the oven for 30 minutes. TaDa! Super easy and healthy!

Ingredient List:

  • 4 pieces of chicken
  • Marinade, enough to cover the chicken
  • Asparagus, chopped
  • 2 cups of baby carrots
  • 3 potatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups of broccoli
  • Canola oil, enough to coat veggies
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Aluminum foil, cut into 12-16 inch pieces

Directions:

  1. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour marinade on top. Place in fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 375.
  3. Chop veggies and toss in oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Place chicken in the center of a piece of aluminum foil and add veggies. Fold and enclose.
  5. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

This is seriously one of the easiest recipes I have ever made. If you use a sturdy aluminum foil then it is also one of the cleanest recipes, too! I love that you can customize almost everything about this dish to cater to the different ingredients you have on hand and the different mouths you are feeding. Enjoy!

Money Saving Tips during Pregnancy

This is only part of the stockpile!

When reading this post please sing “$ave Dat Money” by Lil Dicky ft. Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan for the full effect…play edited version if sensitive to language! LOL. 

Let’s be honest.  Babies are expensive.  Like, really expensive.  My first time around I had no idea how to prepare for a baby.  I thought you buy some diapers, have a baby shower, set up the nursery, and BOOM! Prepared.  Boy, was I wrong. I look back at the ridiculous and unnecessary amount of money I spent and I want to cry.  I bought new clothes (unnecessary), diapers and wipes when I ran out (dumb), and all kinds useless gadgets (ugh).  This time around I knew better. I spent virtually nothing compared to what I would have spent preparing for this baby. Here are some of the ways I saved:

Coupon.  Find coupons.  They are your best friend when buying diapers and wipes.  It is a ridiculously easy process these days. If you join a facebook group for couponers (ex: Couponing at Publix or the Couponing Couple) they give you the exact breakdown on how to score some major deals.  It is as simple as looking at facebook, finding the coupons which are available on coupon websites, newspapers, etc, and going to the store. That is it. When I coupon, I usually save 50% at a minimum. I stocked up this time around using my coupons and I now have a huge supply…probably close to a year’s worth of diapers.  The best part is never having to run to the store because I am almost out of diapers…and saving money, of course!

Baby Shower. Have one, heck, have two or three and make sure you register your shower.  Creating your registry is super important because people love to buy things that you do not need.  Every person wants to spend their time shopping for a new outfit for the baby because it is ridiculously fun.  Unfortunately, it is also a waste of a good gift. What you really need out of a baby shower are the necessities like bottles, thermometers, swings, car seats, strollers, etc.  You get my drift. Make sure to add gift cards to your registry. These will come in handy when you have all your added expenses and bills because you can use them instead of dipping into your cash flow.  A side note about the registry…some of them give awesome coupons and gift bags. For example, if you register at Target you get an awesome gift bag with all kinds of sample products and coupons. These coupons are for a variety of products like maternity clothes and baby detergent.  When I got my bag I did some serious shopping with those coupons and ended up saving about $60. 

Secondhand.  Don’t be afraid of the secondhand!  I learned my lesson after my first pregnancy and almost all of the clothes this time around were given to me by someone. I never have time to dress up the baby in super cute outfits, and if I do, it usually has either spit up, pee, or poop on it before I make it out of the house.  Those first couple months you really don’t go too many places. Plus, you don’t know how fast your little nugget will grow. Thank goodness all my clothes were given to me because I never used a newborn outfit and the 0-3 months clothes lasted about 3 weeks. By the time my son was 2 months old, I had  already had to purge his drawers of anything 3 months or smaller. Do you know how mad I would have been if I had bought all those clothes? The same goes with baby accessories. I had friends give me their old swings, bottles, bathtubs, strollers, baby carriers, etc. I checked Facebook marketplace and found some great deals, too! I got out my cleaning supplies, gave them a good scrub and good as new!  If you don’t know anyone with supplies to give to you, check out a local secondhand store. If you find one that you trust, it can be the best thing ever. I have one that I absolutely love and I always check there first when I need something. I once scored a $600 stroller for $150! 

Breast Pump.  You need to check to see if this is covered by your insurance.  If it is then it’s a free (or greatly reduced) breast pump for you!  I had about 5 different options to choose from when I picked out mine.  I went to the website edgepark.com to check my insurance coverage and order my pump.  Once it was ordered, it was on my doorstep in under a week. This saved me at least $200…probably more.  Most insurance companies have restrictions on how many you can get so if you plan on having another child soon, you may want to check that out.  

These are a couple ways you can really cut down on your expenses.  The more you plan ahead, the better off you will be. It’s way more expensive and stressful to run out and restock. 

BTW, my son is 13 months and I have not had to buy a single diaper and I still have a box and multiple bags of diapers left!