Children vs. Vegetables

I should start this by telling you a little story. This is perhaps a little scary because I’m giving you the opportunity to judge my parenting skills. Two years ago we had the opportunity to bring two little boys into our home. Derek and I were nervous because although we loved children we had never been parents before. This occasion presented us with the challenge of doubling our family overnight, but we felt like this was an opportunity that we could not pass up.

Enter Hayden and Landen… Hayden was quiet and reserved. He was also very protective of his younger brother. Landen on the other hand was very excitable and also a little clumsy. Neither of the boys quite knew what to think of my cooking. I had recently made some serious lifestyle changes to my diet and decided that I wanted to feed my family the healthiest foods possible. This created some interesting drama for our new little family.

Week 2 I served meat and vegetables for dinner. Landen decided that he did not want to eat his celery so after 20 minutes of him sitting at the table refusing to eat his celery, I told him that if he didn’t finish it he would not get a sonic drink. He immediately agreed to this and got up to go play with his toys. Later that evening we left to go to Sonic. Landen sat there quietly as I placed our orders and waited for our drinks to come. As soon as the lady came to the car to give us our drinks, Landen immediately started crying as loud as he possibly could. I reminded him that he chose to not get dessert when he didn’t finish his celery. (Although I doubt that he heard me over his wailing.)

This is just one example of the many adventures we have had adapting to food battles. I’ve learned how to be smarter and pick my battles with more wisdom and grace. The lessons I’ve learned can be summarized into one thought: You can’t force your child (or anyone really) to eat something they don’t want to. However, you can incentivize a behavior with either positive or negative consequences.

Five tricks to help your kids eat more vegetables:

  1. Eat more vegetables yourself! As parents you are the ultimate example for your kids! If you don’t take care of yourself and eat junk food all the time, your kids will model that behavior. However, this can also work in your favor when it comes to encouraging your kids to try new things. If you are eating something your kids will want to eat it! My kids have begged me to make them Brussel Sprouts because I told them that I was only making them for myself! (P. S. I’ve also used this trick with liver!)
  2. Cook your vegetables! When you cook vegetables it softens them and makes them easier to digest as well as chew. It also helps improve the taste if you cook them in a healthy fat such as butter or coconut oil. Be generous with the spices as well!
  3. Provide incentives if they eat their vegetables. My rule of thumb is no dessert unless they finish their vegetables. This might seem counterintuitive because sweets aren’t good for kids. However, the more exposure they have with healthy vegetables the more their taste buds will evolve so they will actually enjoy eating vegetables.
  4. Require the kids to eat their vegetables first. My sweet Landen has a big appetite, and if he isn’t hungry he will fight me all night to avoid eating his vegetables. However, if I have him eat his veggies first it provides him with additional motivation to finish his veggies without complaining.
  5. Make vegetables part of every meal. Yes, I know this will be a pain at first but in the long run it will pay off with huge dividends. Children like having a routine and if vegetables are part of your routine as a family they will adapt! Make sure your kids know that vegetables are good for them. Yes, they might not appreciate it now but in the future those habits will serve them well and will translate into good habits in their adulthood.

How do you get your kids to eat their veggies?


Cold care from a nurse

Hello again,

Let me start by saying I hate winter… Essentially we have endless darkness for the three months after Christmas with little reprieve. This post will have a little science integrated into it so bear with me…

This year I’ve tried my best to keep all my kids as healthy as possible. I have four kids in elementary school and a 5 month old at home so this has proved to be a challenge. Here are the tools that I have found to be extremely beneficial for keeping my kids healthy this winter.

Quick background:

There is no cure for many viruses and the common cold. I’m sure someday a brilliant group of scientists will find a cure and become millionaires overnight. Working as a nurse I’ve seen people who run to the doctor immediately expecting a quick fix as well as individuals who wait until they are on the verge of dying. I don’t think either approach is healthy and so I’ve done some personal study to find treatment options to help my family. I definitely want to give credit to the work of Aviva Romm. She is a medical doctor, midwife, and herbalist. Her work is very thorough and a great resource if you are searching for more in depth information.


Common symptoms include fever, chills, malaise, nausea, a stuffy nose, fatigue, and a cough. Anti-viral medications (like Tami-flu) can be helpful in reducing the duration of flu symptoms especially if they are started within 48 hours of symptom onset (1).

Cold Care:

There is no definitive cure for the common cold***

Antibiotics do not help. Colds are viral and trying to take antibiotics to fight a cold is like trying to kill a deer with a fishing pole. It’s the wrong tool for the job. Additionally, chronic antibiotic use can contribute to other serious health problems as both good and bad bacteria are eliminated from our systems.

That being said I did a brief literature review, and I did not find strong evidence to support these recommendations. However, I have personally found them to be beneficial. It is often difficult to get studies to support the use of alternative treatments because of the lack of continuity with how supplements are formulated.

General Guidelines

~Sleep… Seriously go to bed and rest!

~Stress management

~Eat real food… Pizza doesn’t count. I’ve found homemade soup recipes with bone broth to be very healing as well as comforting. Danielle Walker has some incredible recipes! Be sure to check her out!

Finally after all that let’s talk about these cold remedies! The first list includes remedies that I found to have a moderate level of evidence to support their use in improving cold symptoms (2). (I really like the Herb pharm brand. Click on the title for amazon links)

  1. Use a humidifier: This helps prevent your mucus membranes from drying out which improves your ability to remove mucus. Dry air makes mucus sticky whereas moist (yes I used the word moist!) air loosens secretions.
  2. Pelargonium sidoides: Helps fight invading bacteria and viruses and also helps support the immune system.
  3. Andrographis paniculata: This herb is often used in traditional chinese medicine and has some evidence to support its use in cold care.

These are supplements I use but was unable to find research to support their use. However, I have found them to be very effective!

  1. Oregano and Thyme: I try to find recipes with these spices, and if I’m desperate I will take a shot of these essential oils in elderberry juice. Both of these have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
  2. Garlic: Smash a clove of garlic, cover it with honey, and swallow it. I got this idea from listening to the balanced bites podcast. This works wonders but doesn’t taste the best. Thankfully my kids are good sports! Garlic is anti-inflammatory and has anti-bacterial/anti-viral properties as well
  3. Elderberry juice: I use this for its immune boosting properties.
  1. Herbal teas: This brand creates multiple teas that are very beneficial for a variety of disorders. I use them often whenever my kids have a cold or stomach ache.
  2. Immune Avenger: This is helpful to boost immunity.
  3. Essential oils: I use both the young living and doterra brands. I find them very useful not only for cold care but other complaints as well.
  4. Smarty pants vitamins: I don’t give my kids vitamins all the time but I will supplement when we are fighting sickness.



  1. Dynamed (2017, September 9). Clinical presentation of influenza in adults. Ipswich

MA:EBSCO Information Services. Retrieved February 23, 2018,


  1. Dynamed (2017, November 29). Upper respiratory infection (URI) in adults and adolescents. Ipswich

MA:EBSCO Information Services. Retrieved February 23, 2018,