4 Quick, Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids

4 Quick, Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids

Coming up with breakfast ideas for kids can be tough during this busy time of year. When everyone needs to be out of the house and ready for the bus at 7 am, you don’t have time to sit down to a full breakfast of oatmeal, eggs, and fresh fruit. But that does not mean you can’t still get off to a healthy start. Here are four quick and healthy breakfast ideas for your little ones — and you can enjoy them, too!

Apples and Peanut Butter

With an all-in-one apple corer and slicer, you can slice up an apple in 5 seconds or less. Sit your child down with the sliced apple and a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter, and let them crunch away. Apples are full of soluble fiber, which helps keep the digestive tract working well, and they’re also high in vitamins and minerals. Peanut butter is a good source of protein to keep them full throughout the morning. Choose a low-sugar, all-natural peanut butter so you’re not putting them at risk for cavities.

Smoothies: Breakfast Ideas for Kids On-the-Go

For a truly on-the-go breakfast, make a smoothie. You can make enough smoothie in the average blender to feed three or four. Some smoothies are really high in sugar, but you can avoid this if you use the right ingredients. Here’s a simple, lower-sugar smoothie recipe to try:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice

This smoothie is packed with vitamins and minerals from the berries, but strawberries and blueberries contain a lot less sugar than bananas, orange juice, and other common smoothie ingredients. The almond milk and yogurt add creaminess and protein. This recipe makes enough for two and is easy to sip from a thermos on the school bus.

Homemade Trail Mix

Some store-bought trail mixes are coated in sugar or contain a lot of sugary chocolate chips. Try making your own healthy trail mix by combining equal parts roasted almonds, unshelled sunflower seeds, unsweetened raisins, and tiny pretzels. Toss in just a few chocolate chips for fun. Pre-fill Ziplock baggies for your child to grab on their way out the door.

Freeze-Ahead Oatmeal Pancakes

This is one of those breakfast ideas for kids that requires a little prep on the weekend but really saves you time later in the week. Oatmeal pancakes are higher in fiber and more filling than traditional pancakes, making them a healthier option. Mix the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl:

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fry the pancakes on a skillet. Stack them, and freeze them in a Ziplock bag. Your child can pull one or two out, microwave them for 30 seconds, and enjoy.

These breakfast ideas for kids will save you time and headaches while ensuring your child gets the nutrition they need. Enjoy!

 

5 Things to Do in Holland, Michigan This September

5 Things to Do in Holland, Michigan This September

September is a month of comfortable weather and new beginnings, and it’s also a month packed full of fun, Holland events. Between back-to-school and raking your leaves, make sure you leave a little time to enjoy these upcoming, family-friendly activities and festivals.

Labor Day BoardWALK

September 2, 2019 

Celebrate Labor Day with a fun walk and pancake breakfast. Participants will meet at the Heinz Waterfront Walkway at 8:00 am and enjoy a beautiful, 4-mile walk along the water, followed by a pancake breakfast at the Windmill Island Gardens. The cost is just $5 per adult and $3 per child. What a nice way to get some exercise and enjoy the fall air.

Rock, Mineral, and Jewelry Show

September 13 – 15, 2019

If you have a child who is interested in rock collecting, this is the event for you. The show is being held at the Soccer Stop Sportsplex on River Hills Drive. You’ll browse unique displays of minerals, fossils, and unique rocks. There will be hands-on games for the kids and educational demonstrations throughout the day.

Live Mannequin Night

September 13, 2019

There’s something so interesting about mannequins. They just seem so real… and on this night, they will be. On Live Mannequin Night, downtown Holland will be taken over by real-life mannequins standing in the windows of the local shops. The mannequins will be recreating scenes from comic books and cartoons. Stroll down the street and admire this unique art form while also enjoying the fresh air. The event lasts from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., and all in attendance are invited to vote for the best mannequin.

Van Raalte Farm Civil War Muster

September 21 – 22, 2019

This reenactment will give you an up-close look at what life during the Civil War was like. You can watch live portrayals of battle scenes and medical scenarios. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase on-site, and admission is free for children and adults. This is a great way for your kids to learn about history, perhaps in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Holland Hospital Park Half-Marathon & 5K Race

September 28, 2019

Start getting in shape now for this fun race to benefit Holland Hospital. September’s cool weather makes it a great time for running. The half marathon course winds through Holland College Park, the Ottawa County Fairgrounds, and downtown Holland. The 5K course traverses Waukazoo Woods and the Ottawa County Fairgrounds. There will be overall awards as well as age group awards. Children under the age of 12 must run with an adult. The half marathon starts at 8:00 am, and the 5K at 8:30 am.

Whether you love admiring gems, walking along the waterfront, or running through town, these Holland events offer something for everyone. Get out there and have fun this September! And if you do attend one of these Holland events, let us know what you thought.

5 Teething Jewelry Alternatives

5 Teething Jewelry Alternatives

Teething jewelry has become quite popular lately, but popularity does not equate to safety. The FDA recently released a formal News Release regarding the risks of teething necklaces. In this report, they describe how teething necklaces pose a choking hazard. They also explain how teething necklaces made from materials like amber may release harmful substances that are absorbed into the baby’s bloodstream. There have been several reports of infants suffering serious injuries or death after choking on beads from teething necklaces.

Teething can be miserable, both for babies and for their parents. However, teething necklaces are not a safe solution. The following are some safer ways to keep your baby comfortable during the teething process.

Cool Washcloths: A Safer Teething Jewelry Alternative

Another way to ease your baby’s teething discomfort is to keep a moist washcloth in the freezer. Rub the washcloth over your baby’s gums whenever he or she gets fussy. You can even let your baby chew on the washcloth a little bit. Rotate the cloth out with a fresh one once it starts to warm up.

Mesh Feeders

Many baby stores sell mesh feeders that you can fill with your baby’s favorite foods — such as bananas, apples, and carrots — and place in the freezer. Once they are frozen, you can let your baby chew on them. The food will slowly work its way through the mesh, serving double-duty as a healthy snack and a soothing, cooling aid.

Chamomile

You’ve probably heard of the relaxing, soothing effects of chamomile. It can soothe pain topically, too. If you visit your local pharmacy, you may be able to find chamomile-based teething gels made specifically for babies. Applying a little bit of this teething gel each time your baby seems irritable can help keep teething more manageable.

Popsicles

Popsicles made with real fruit juice can also be soothing to a baby who is teething. You don’t have to let your baby eat the whole Popsicle. Just let him or her bite or suck on it for a few minutes at a time, as needed. Always rinse your baby’s mouth out with water and wipe his or her gums off after feeding a Popsicle and before putting him or her to bed. Putting your baby to sleep with sugary residue on the gums is not good for dental health, even if the teeth have not erupted yet.

Teething Biscuits

You’ll find teething biscuits in the baby food aisle of most grocery stores. These hard biscuits slowly break down as your child chews on them, making them a safe and tasty alternative to teething jewelry. Make sure you choose a low-sugar variety for dental health. Zweiback bread, a European bread, is a good choice.

Use one or more of the methods above for safer pain management during teething. If you run into any trouble or have questions, reach out to your pediatric dentist.

Are We There Yet? Boredom Busting Activities for Car Trips

Are We There Yet? Boredom Busting Activities for Car Trips

Car activities for kids can be a real lifesaver when summer road trip season rolls in. Whether it will be 2 hours or 10 hours until you reach your destination, boredom will set in as soon as you leave town. But the drive does not have to be a drag! With these fun car ride activities, it can be an entertaining adventure.

Make Edible Necklaces

This activity comes in two parts. First, you have the kids make the necklaces by stringing ring-shaped pretzels, Cheerios, Lifesaver Candies, apple rings, and other ring-shaped snacks onto a long piece of string or yarn. Then, you let the kids wear the necklaces throughout the rest of the voyage, snacking as they go.

Play “Guess That Song”

This one works really well with older kids who have a broader music knowledge. Start playing a song, and see who can guess the song’s title and artist the fastest. You can get even more creative by choosing all music within a certain genre or from a certain decade. The kids might win the 2010s round, but the parents will dominate the 90s music round!

Pass Around a Book

Find a short novel that will appeal to all or most of the family members, and pass it around the car. Each passenger should read a designated number of pages out loud before passing it on to the next family member. This is the perfect way to sharpen your kids’ reading skills, and if the book selection is spot-on, you’ll want to keep reading even after you reach your destination.

Play “I Spy”

This is one of those classic car activities for kids that never gets old. You say “I spy something red” with a certain item in mind. The kids guess what the item is, and you answer “yes” or “no” as they guess. You then repeat the game with another adjective, such as “I spy something fast.”

Play “I’m Going on a Picnic”

“I’m Going on a Picnic” is another classic car game. You start by saying, “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing cheese.” (You can choose whatever item you want to bring.) The next person repeats what you said, adding their own item. So, for example, they would say “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing cheese and carrots.” The next person repeats what the second person said, again adding their own item. You see how many times you can go around, adding more and more items to the list, before someone forgets.

Car Activities for Kids: A Healthy Spin

If you’ve been looking for ways to get your kids more interested in dental health, or in health in general, you can put a health-related spin on most of these car activities for kids. Require that picnic items for “I’m going on a picnic” be good for teeth. Pass around a book to read that is related to dental health. The sky is the limit. Have a great car trip!

What Happens If Your Children Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep?

What Happens If Your Children Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep?

When it comes to kids, just how important is a regularly scheduled bedtime? Whether or not your child gets enough hours of sleep each night affects them in more ways than you might think. Helping your children to get better sleep can improve their health and their mindset.

“Regular sleep deprivation often leads to some pretty difficult behaviors and health problems—irritability, difficulty concentrating, hypertension, obesity, headaches, and depression. Children who get enough sleep have a healthier immune system, and better school performance, behavior, memory, and mental health.”

How Sleep Deprivation Affects Children

Children who regularly suffer from sleep deprivation often develop ongoing behavioral problems. You may find that your child becomes irritable and cranky, has trouble concentrating, and seems down or depressed. Clearly, this has a negative impact on children’s performance in school and on their ability to learn and retain new information.

A lack of sleep can also contribute to health problems in children. Children who don’t get enough sleep may have a weaker immune system, leaving them prone to colds and the flu — and even increasing their risk of oral health problems like gum disease. Headaches, obesity, and hypertension can all be related to a lack of sleep, too.

Sleep Is a Major Health Concern

Your child’s sleep habits determine more than whether they’re going to be crabby the next day. An effective amount of sleep is essential for your kids to function and do their very best. It’s not just about how they act, though. It’s about how they feel. Getting enough sleep is just as important to their health as eating a healthy diet and exercising. Their health doesn’t end at bedtime, and neither does yours.

Teaching good sleep habits early on will help your child maintain those sleep habits throughout his or her lifetime. Good sleep is important for ongoing mental and physical health, whether you’re 8 or 80 years old.

To learn more about how to make sure your whole family is getting enough sleep, refer to Healthy Sleep Habits: How Many Hours Does Your Child Need?