St. Patrick’s Day Supergreen Smoothie Machine

St Patrick’s Day is around the corner and we’re seeing GREEN! Enjoy this delicious smoothie from the SQ1 family to yours.

Check out this recipe:  Supergreen Smoothie Machine made with SQ1 spinach.  Don’t let the spinach scare you it is really good!

1 (2 oz.) Square One Organic Spinach cup, frozen 

1 cup frozen organic blueberries or cherries or apples

1 cup Vanilla Rice DreamÒ rice milk

½ cup Rice DreamÒ organic vanilla non-dairy frozen dessert

1 tablespoon organic Agave nectar or 2 pitted organic dates (optional)

Run frozen spinach cup briefly under warm water to loosen.

Remove foil and pop spinach into blender container.

Add remaining ingredients.

Blend until smooth.

Yield: 1 ¾ cups

March 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

The 6 Month and Up Crowd

It was great to see a packed classroom Monday night at Wholefoods Market in Lincoln Park for the Bump Club and Beyond 4-8 month baby food making class. The number of Dad’s in Monday night’s sold out crowd we super impressive!! I co-authored this class with Chef Amanda Skrip. This is the first class in the series, which we put on a few times a year. So glad you all are enjoying it and talking it up to your pals.

In this class, Amanda shows families how to cook some key first foods and I take the class through safe food introduction using the SQ1 Superfood Introductory Guide and the SQ1 Daily Trackers. Additionally, we tackle this list of important topics:
• What is Gluten and Why Gluten-Free?
• What are Nitrates and why is it important to know about them when introducing first foods?
• What to know about water and infants?
• What foods to combine at mealtime and why?
• Why is eating from a spoon important to the development of a baby’s mouth?
• What are the 3 important reasons to NOT blend first foods?
• What are food families and why is it important to know about them when introducing first foods?
• Why are Vitamin A foods so important and which foods are excellent sources of Vitamin A?
• Why are Vitamin C foods so important and which foods are excellent sources of Vitamin C?
• What are Supergreens, which foods are supergreens and which ones should not be introduced before 8 months?
• What are the most important things to buy organic for babies when budgets are tight?
• Why and how to set up a batch cooking routine?
• What books, websites and products I strongly encourage my class to use. 

It’s a lot and I talk up to the last minute but we get it all done!

Here is a little taste of what we cover in the class!

Food introduction for babies 6 months and up – Up until now, it has been mostly breast milk or formula and possible some cereal depending on what your pediatrician suggests. Now it’s time to venture into the land of what foods to introduce first and why. I am a big believer that the every time children eat it is an opportunity to make a positive impact their growth, development and future food choices. Organic superfoods are a smart way to go. Here are a couple of helpful hints to get things started.

1.) Download the Square One Organics Superfood Guide and tape it to your refrigerator door. http://www.squareoneorganics.com/superfoodguide.php. We developed this with a Pediatric Nutritionist and a Pediatric Allergist, from Children’s Memorial Hospital. This is a helpful tool that takes the guesswork out of what food introduction. Across the top, we breakdown superfoods into 4 categories, Vitamin A’s, Vitamin C’s, Supergreens and Supergrains. The left column, shows at what age your child’s digestive system is mature enough to have the foods listed introduced.

2.) http://www.squareoneorganics.com/6monthguide.php. Also developed with our medical team, these daily journals were designed to give guidelines on appropriate portion size, meal/snack frequency, liquid intake, sleep, wet diaper, dirty diaper and any sort of food reactions. These are great tools for a few reasons: First, they are excellent daily guidelines and record keepers for families who use childcare inside and outside of the home. Second, record any questions or concerns on the journal and bring it to your Pediatrician visits. Finally, for those of you list lovers, like myself, these were developed for you. These days if I don’t write it down I just don’t remember.

3.) Here are some of my most favorite foods for this age group. Avocados, Millet and Papaya, are such important first food for babies. First, Avocados which are nature’s source of unsaturated fatty acids that babies need for brain development. Avocados are ripe when they yield to gentle pressure and feel soft to a 5 finger gentle squeeze. Try to mash and incorporate this amazing vegetable into your child’s routine every day. It is an important food for them to learn to love so that it will continue to be part of their “good fat” food routine.

Millet is another one of my favorite foods for babies this age. It cooks up nicely into a cereal and is one of the most hypo-allergenic grains you can find. Buy it organic in bulk at any Whole Foods Market. To cook millet simmer 1/2 cup in 11/2 cups of water. If you leave it alone as it cooks, you’ll get fluffy grains like rice; if you stir frequently and add a little extra liquid during cooking, you’ll get a dish that resembles mashed potatoes. It takes about 25 minutes to cook millet by simmering. At mealtime scoop out what you need dilute it with what your baby is drinking, pop it into a mini processer and infant cereal it is! Store the leftover uncooked millet in tightly sealed jars on the pantry shelf, except during very hot, humid weather when it may be best to keep them in the refrigerator.

Finally, Papaya, I love this food because it is an above excellent, low-acid source of Vitamin C. It contains the enzyme Papin, which ads in digestion. Think about it, happiness is a baby that sleeps, which is what you are working on at this age. Baby can’t sleep if baby can’t poop so feed Papaya to keep those digestive juices working smoothly. Organic Papaya is one of the foods Square One Organics offers. Click here to see where Square One Organics is available near you. http://www.squareoneorganics.com/retail.php

Stay tuned for my follow-up blogs on the other topics we cover in class!
Thanks,
Denise

February 28, 2013 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

8 Month & Up Crowd

At this point your child’s digestive system is maturing and a slightly bigger variety of foods are good to be introduced.  Continue to use the Square One® Organics Superfood Guide for suggestions on what new foods to introduce.  In addition to continuing the daily avocado routine, here my top 3 things to keep in mind during for this age group.

1.     Two more SQ1 resource materials can be helpful: The Square One Organics Food Family Awareness Chart http://www.squareoneorganics.com/awareness.php. This chart shows you which foods are members of the same food families.  As you introduce foods, try to work inside a handful of food families.   Dr Nimmagadda recently wrote an article for Square One Organics about how children may react similarly to foods inside the same food family.  To read Dr. Nimmagadda’s complete article go to https://squareoneorganics.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/whats-up-doc-2/.  Second, The Square One Organics Daily 8 Month and Up Journal http://www.squareoneorganics.com/8monthguide.php can help with eating frequency, appropriate portion sizes, sleep, liquid intake quantities etc.

2.     Pincer practice and spoon grabbing! Yes these two things are part of the age territory.   Here are some tips.  As part of my feeding gear, I would always have a number of plastic table spoons on the twins’ highchair trays so they could practice their spoon grabbing skills.  They see us feeding them with a spoon and they just want to try too.  It can get messy but that’s how they learn!  For Pincer practice try some ripe avocado pieces and/or soft tofu pieces on the highchair tray.

3.     Mango, Quinoa and Broccoli – These are probably my favorite foods at this age.  Mango because it is an excellent source of Vitamin A and C.  Mango is also a superfood for immunity and the heart. 
Quinoa is a favorite because it is Gluten-Free, has the highest protein count of any other grain on the planet and possess all of the essential amino acids.  Finally, Broccoli, one of my favorite supergreens because is such a multi-tasker.  Broccoli is a superfood for bone, heart, brain, immunity and antioxidant.  It is an excellent source of Vitamin A, C and Folate.  It is such a great food for your child to learn to love!  For more food facts check out http://www.squareoneorganics.com/superfoods.php

February 21, 2013 at 5:48 pm Leave a comment

SQ1 Loves EWG

 

Thanks to Environmental Working Group scientists for putting together these easy-to-use tips on how to read labels on personal care products. Check out the new video below:

It’s the mission at Environmental Working Group to use the power of information to protect human health and the environment. EWG’s Skin Deep database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals. Their staff scientists compare the ingredients on personal care product labels and websites to information in nearly 60 toxicity and regulatory databases. Now in its eighth year, EWG’s Skin Deep database provides you with easy-to-navigate safety ratings for a wide range of products and ingredients on the market. At about one million page views per month, EWG’s Skin Deep is the world’s largest personal care product safety guide.

January 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm Leave a comment

SQ1 Loves Children’s Books!

Thanks MOCHA for this great list of children’s books that talkImage about food allergies.  All of these now can be found at the Northbrook Public Library.

MOCHA (Mothers of Children Having Allergies) is a group of parents sharing information and supporting each other. The 350+ Chicagoland members make up an amazing organization that does so much to advocate for kids with food allergies. Thanks again for making this happen, MOCHA!

Love these books? They can also be found on Amazon.com – don’t forget to add some delicious SQ1 Superfoods to your cart before checking out!

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Yes I Can! Have My Cake and Food Allergies Too – by Julie Wethington
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Food Allergies and Me by Juniper Skinner
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The Bugabees: Friends with Food Allergies
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Everyday Cool With Food Allergies
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No Biggie Bunch series (this is actually a series of 4 books that address different issues (birthday party, Halloween, etc.))
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The BugyBops – Friends for All Time

January 9, 2013 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment

Snack Smart Solutions App Makes Snacking Healthy at the Tip of Your Fingers

By Jasmine Jafferali

https://lh6.ggpht.com/USeJkwVLfrkEdROOX-C2MkLE9u5UCV-vaMvWXWUY7DurBY6e-8wSlj610VDI9rb5Dw=w705

Our good friend, Jasmine Jafferali, MPH, ACE-CPT has written a fantastic article to share with the SQ1 crowd on her new mobile phone app, Snack Smart Solutions.

Jasmine is the Program Director for Healthy Results, Ltd, and Program Coordinator for Educational Fitness Solutions, Inc. She has a diverse fitness background with over ten years of fitness and wellness industry experience working in campus recreation, corporate wellness, and a high-end commercial health club setting. She has presented on a wide range of health and fitness topics for the community, at major corporations, and at national and international conferences. Jasmine specializes in Maternal and Child Health and Wellness focusing on pre and postnatal fitness and is a Master Trainer for Healthy Moms® Fitness and Resist-a-ball®.

I am super excited to launch my new app called Snack Smart Solutions. https://i1.wp.com/cdn-5.iosnoops.com/wp-content/uploads/appsicons/575981638x178.png I originally met with Kim Koeller of Gluten Free Passport (http://glutenfreepassport.com/ ) to talk about writing an ebook.  She talked me out of it and said doing an app is the way to go.  I left a tad stumped, but it made sense to me.  As I was getting ready to go to bed that evening, right on my night stand was notes on a seminar I just did for Active Mom’s Club (www.activemomsclub.com ) called Smart Snack Solutions.  It was aimed to help new moms have get quick healthy snacks to keep up their energy and not over eat.  I had a list of several snacks that were creatively paired to naturally help boost energy in the body.  The light bulb went off and the next day I began working creating and pairing up more healthy snacks.

I read a study where Americans eat 200 calories over each snack they consume.   If each snack is 150-200 calories, it meant Americans are consuming calories that is equivalent to a meal.  Snacks are meant to be low in calories just enough to sustain blood sugars and help us get through to our next meal.   The problem is we unconsciously eat snack foods while sitting at our desks, we snack out of boredom or while waiting in traffic not realizing how much we are consuming.

While working with clients or conducting seminars I was learning that we don’t know how to snack.  I did a survey on Facebook and learned the favorite healthy snack food was fruit.  While fruit is good, it is not great as it often leaves you hungry again in 30-45 minutes, if not sooner.  The reason being it has not been paired with a protein to help sustain us to our next meal.

There are 40 different snack solutions on this app and 20 more will be uploaded by March of 2013.  My goal is to have 100 different healthy snack solutions so there is no excuse not to be prepared and make smart snack choices.  My 3 p.m. Snack Slump is filled with foods that synergistically work in your body to create energy or give you that boost you need to get you through the afternoon.  The Evening Snack Attack section has foods that paired to help boost serotonin levels and rich in magnesium to help you relax and go to sleep at night.  Though, you can eat any of the snacks any time of the day.   There is something for everyone in this app from Gluten Free Snacks, Nut Free, Vegetarian and Paleo, you will not be lost in finding at least two weeks ‘ worth of healthy snacks so you can plan ahead.

https://i2.wp.com/a1769.phobos.apple.com/us/r1000/090/Purple/v4/af/e8/f3/afe8f350-e1db-5615-7e6b-b9c701ac4a54/mzl.qqdfqgds.320x480-75.jpg   https://i1.wp.com/a1933.phobos.apple.com/us/r1000/080/Purple/v4/d1/fa/3b/d1fa3b21-24a9-7806-a9d3-74cb76ed1e29/mzl.rzsyaxtg.320x480-75.jpg

I want to thank Square One Organics for being a part of my app.

My goal was to begin working with local food companies to be featured in my app.  You will see that more in the next phase as I work with healthy, organic food companies that want to be featured on Snack Smart Solutions.

Snack Smart Solutions is available on both Droid and Apple.

Link for Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snack-smart-solutions/id575981638?mt=8

Link for Droid:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app_jasmine.layout&hl=en_GB

December 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm 1 comment

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I hope your Thanksgivings were full of family, friends and fabulous food!  Our day was a double celebration.  We had a Birthday party and Thanksgiving all on the same day.I just can’t believe my twins are 11, so amazing and so crazy at the same time.  Moments like these make you stop and reflect on how far we have come since 2001 and what is left to do.

Regarding food, we have come a long way to raise aware on issues like, BPA plastics, the importance of recycling, why organic food is important for infants and kids, quinoa, superfoods and the benefits of gluten-free.  As any parent will tell you, there really isn’t a finish line and there is always something else to be done.  Many times major change starts with baby steps and this year I was so impressed by three important strides.

First, the documentary Carbon Nation, which everyone in my family watched twice.  It is so well done, so easy to understand and most important, very inspiring and uplifting. Watch it to the very end because they give action steps that you can take.  I love action step #5, which says raise your kids allowance when they help reduce the utility bill.  Here is a link to order a copy. http://www.carbonnationmovie.com/  Stocking stuffers for my family members for sure!

Second would have to be Prop 37.  While it did not pass in November, it is an important step to raise awareness and get the conversation about labeling food into the mainstream.  Gary Hirshberg is the CEO of Stoneyfield Farms and a passionate advocate for labeling food.  Here is a link to his new E-Book – Label it Now.  http://www.stonyfield.com/blog/2012/01/03/label-it-now-what-you-need-to-know-about-genetically-engineered-foods-new-ebook-release/.  Check out what he has to say on the topic.  I have watched his interviews and read his writings on the topic. You have to love a CEO with a strong moral and social compass.

Finally, I must applaud the amazing and tireless work done at the many food depositories all over the country.  If you follow us on Facebook and twitter, you know we do all we can to support The Oak Park Food Depository and The Greater Chicago Food Depository.  The fact that child food insecurity in this country is 26.7% in unacceptable to me and that is the reason why SQ1 is involved whenever we get a chance.   Feeding America, through its network of food depositories feeds 37 million Americans a year, has a public policy that is based on the values and a mission that together, we are working to ensure that:

Looking for a great gift idea? Check out this gift catalog https://secure.feedingamerica.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=GiftCatalog

November 26, 2012 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment

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