Wednesday, December 25, 2013

How to be Free: 10 Simple, Transformative Daily Life Practices

prayer wheels

Daily life is a practice in which we can try to live as mindfully and happily as possible.

For me, I try to include the practice of yoga and /breath work meditation.
However, even if you’re not into “yoga” or “meditation,” there are still ways to practice mindfulness and happiness.
Here are 10 suggestions:

1. Have good posture.
Sit and stand up straight. Lengthen your spine. Lift the crown of your head. Grow tall.
 2. Breathe.
Breathe deeply and consciously. It helps immeasurably, especially if you’re tired, stressed, angry, upset, worried, overwhelmed or confused. In other words, human.
Alternatively, just pause and bring your attention to your breath but don’t change it. Just notice the inhale going in and the exhale going out. Stay with your breath for a minute or two. Take this kind of pause periodically throughout the day.
 3. Walk with mindfulness.
By this, I don’t mean walking meditation, which is also a lovely thing (a zen practice in which you walk in super slow motion and meditate).
Walking with mindfulness can be done when walking at a normal pace, even when listening to music. Notice your feet and legs,ankles and knees and hips. Your breath. How amazing that your body can move this way, so smoothly transporting your bones around. Walk with gratitude. Walk with wonder. Walk with mindfulness.
 4. Act from the heart.
Practice Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion. Cultivate compassion. Random acts of kindness.
If you’re in a relationship shower your partner with love. If you’re not in a relationship with someone else - or even if you are - your primary relationship is that with yourself. We all need to shower ourselves with more love. How can we be kinder? Gentler? More compassionate? More loving?
 5. Honor your body.
In daily life practice, this means sleeping when tired, eating when hungry, going out and socializing when you need to interact and communicate, staying home and reading and meditating when you need to contemplate. Relaxing when you need to relax. Moving when you need to move.
 6. Honor your emotions. 
Emotions come and go all day long, nonstop. They overlap and at times we can feel 10 different, and sometimes contradictory, things all at once. Humans are complicated, but we all experience similar emotions. Honor them, feel them, let them go naturally when their time is up. Whether a pleasurable or unpleasant emotion, see if you can allow it in without attaching to or pushing it away.
 7. Serve somebody.
Practice karma yoga; act on the behalf of others. Aim to be selfless.One way I do this every day is by cooking. My boyfriend and I share duties in the kitchen, so if he cooks breakfast, I cook lunch and he cooks dinner—or some such arrangement. Whenever I cook, I can make the meal an offering of love by being mindful as I prepare the food.
 8. Exercise.
My preferred forms of exercise is yoga. I also enjoy biking, walking, hiking, and going to the gym... Any form of exercise can be a mindfulness practice. Be present. Notice your breathing. Notice your body. Notice your thoughts. Notice your emotions. Exercise is invigorating, healthy and spiritual, too, who knew!
 9. Relax.
Slow down. Unplug. Shut down all your devices. Connect with nature, the fresh air, the sky, your breath. Lie down. Take a nap, maybe. Turn on some classical music or watch a pleasant movie or do whatever soothes you. Breathe and relaaaax.
 10. ”Stop, drop and roll.”
When I was in elementary school and they taught us about fire safety, the rule if your clothes caught on fire was to “stop, drop and roll.” For some reason, that slogan came into my mind recently, and I realized that it’s applicable to daily life practice, too. When you get caught in a pattern of negativity—ill will, jealousy, anger, fear, self-hate or whatever it may be—stop.
Stop. Notice that you’ve been swept away from the present moment.
Drop. Let it go. Just as simple as that. Surrender. You don’t need to hold onto it anymore.
Roll. Life goes on. Continue on your way until you need to stop, drop and roll again.
~Thanks to Bryonie Wise 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Making the Healthiest Party Appetizer Sexier

Crudites are the boring, oft-ignored platters that most hosts put out on the holiday table because they feel like they should (and then end up tossing later). It’s a shame, because they’re also often the healthiest offering amid cheese boards and desserts of all stripes and could help add some balance to your noshing.
It’s not that people don’t like raw vegetables—it’s that they don’t like bad raw vegetables. Of course the crudites will go untouched if the selection is dried-out carrot sticks, raw broccoli florets, and soft, unappetizing zucchini spears—and tragically, that’s what you tend to get with a pre-packaged grocery-store tray or a thoughtless caterer.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! The key to making sexy crudites is paying special attention to vegetable selection, arrangement, and pairings. And the bar for great crudites is now really low -- if you make a show of how totally, crazily, life-alteringly delicious these raw vegetables are—and set them off with flavorful, homemade dips—your guests will be thrilled.
Here are three tips for making crudites sexy. Follow them while prepping for your New Year’s guests:
Watercress Dip and Roasted Carrot and White Bean Dip
1. Tap your inner artist. Vegetables come in such an array of colors, textures, sizes, and shapes -- it’s a great opportunity to think about food from an almost entirely visual perspective So when you’re choosing them, think about what they’ll look like as much as what they’ll taste like—and get creative. Do you want to do a play on the color green, with everything from pale celery to almost-black kale? Do you want to run everything in a gradient rainbow, starting with red peppers and going all the way down to purple cabbage? Do you want to go minimal, just alternating one or two contrasting veggies like radishes and cucumbers?
2. Think seasonal. Carrots and celery are not required. It’s a great time to use lettuces and other leafy vegetables: Purple and yellow endives are beautiful on the plate and so texturally interesting, and make an easy scooper.  I love to slice small, tight heads of red cabbage into thin wedges (keeping the core intact so they hold together) to add something with a fiery bite, and they look beautiful arranged with tightly bundled romaine hearts. Lightly blanched cauliflower and broccoli are staples, but are particularly great in winter.
3. Pick a killer dip. You don’t need to satisfy every palette with different creamy offerings. Instead, focus on one amazing homemade dip that will pair well with what’s on the platter. I love things with a bit of bite, like radish, turnip, and fennel, alongside a creamy, herbaceous dip like a Green Goddess. 

Green Goddess Dip makes 1/2 cup
2 tbsp. parsley
2 tbsp. tarragon
2 tbsp. scallions
2 tbsp. chives
½ cup Greek Yogurt (full fat)
2 tbsp. crème fraîche
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine herbs in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms. In a bowl, combine yogurt with crème fraîche and vinegar. Add the paste to the yogurt mixture and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper.

~ Thanks to Lisa Elaine Held

Is Your Workout Ruining Your Skin?

sweat_mirrorSweating profusely is generally regarded as a detoxing activity. You know, when your heart’s pumping hard during your favorite fitness class, and your pores seem to be giving up their impurities in buckets.

But sometimes, bad things can happen to your skin when you’re doing something healthy for your body: you can look red as a beet for hours, a new crop of pimples appear, or your expression lines look more severe than ever.

How to make sure your workout taxes your muscles and targets your metabolism, and not your pretty face? We don't want you to skip a workout over skin-care woes!  Instead, here are the dos-and-don’ts to be aware of before you jump on a spin bike, a treadmill, or a wooden Crossfit box.

smudged_mascara.pngTake your off makeup before class
"Do I look like I just got dumped?" asked the rider next to me at the end of a sweaty cycling class, as she dabbed at her dripping mascara. She kinda did. But that wouldn’t have happened if she’d quickly washed off her makeup or used a no-water-needed facial wipe to remove it as she walked into class.

Your makeup and sweat blending together on your skin for an hour are a recipe for a pore-clogging smoothie. For this reason, I always recommend removing makeup beforehand. We like the Neal's Yard Organic Facial Wipes.

grit_teethNo grimacing—your face may stay like that!
Ever get the advice to soften your shoulders in a spin class, or relax your forehead in yoga? That's because your instructor's looking out at a sea of spinners or yogis with shoulders tensed up to their ears and serious scowls associated with their eightieth chaturanga. Instead, relax into your workout! Your mother is right—your face may stay like that. Your scowling could contribute to setting the pathway for wrinkle patterns. Time will tell.

Wash your face after your workout with a gentle cleanser wash-your-face
Anytime you have a certain amount of sweating there’s a reasonable possibility you’re going to see breakouts, especially along the hairline. But if you work out a lot, you can also over-cleanse-- and really dry out your skin. Opt for a mild cleanser that’s not going to strip your skin and leave it feeling tight and dry, like Kahina Giving Beauty facial cleanser. your clothes after your workout
With more people doing hot yoga or workouts in heated spaces, dermatologists are seeing way more breakouts below the neck.

The most common prescription? Change your clothes. So many people are staying in their sweaty workout clothes until they’re dry. Get out of your sweaty items ASAP, and ideally shower with a gentle, lathering soap.

woman_runner_beautyDon’t worry about “runner’s face”
It’s not that runners' faces succumb to gravity, it’s that sprinters and distance runners start to lack facial volume or fat. That’s what happens when you spend a huge chunk of your day in fat-burning mode.

There’s no reason to worry about your daily spin class. While it's an intense activity, it’s only when you’re “training like a triathlete year-round” that burning that amount of fat can affect your face.

Wait till your face cools down before applying moisturizer
For some fitness types, a blood-pumping, heart-pounding workout is tantamount to tomato face, redness or facial flushing that lasts thanks to increased circulation in your body.

While science hasn’t conducted a peer-reviewed study on the effects of your skin on cardio, if you get red, you may want to let your flushed skin cool down before applying products. A post-workout calming or hydrating mist might be plenty. Or wait 30 minutes or so before applying a light, soothing facial gel or a super simple lotion, and save your active vitamin C moisturizers for when your skin’s back to it’s non-cardio-enhanced color.

best_postworkout_smoothiesConsider an antioxidant booster
Good news, exercising indoors means you're protected from the worst skin-care offender, UV rays. Bad news, any exercise causes free radicals—it's a natural byproduct of revving your metabolism (and living).

An hour-long workout every day isn't going to cause you to look five years older. But a collection of marathons might make an impact (also because there are UV rays at work). An antioxidant-boosted smoothie after a workout is a great solution! 

~Thanks to Melisse Gelula

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snacking Your Way to Better Health

Nuts to you! No, that’s not an insult. It’s a recommendation to add nuts to your diet for the sake of your health and longevity.
Consistent evidence for the health benefits of nuts has been accumulating since the early 1990s. Frequent nut consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of major chronic diseases, including heart and blood vessel disorders and Type 2 diabetes.
The newest and most convincing findings, reported last month in The New England Journal of Medicine, come from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which together have followed nearly 119,000 women and men for decades. Both studies repeatedly recorded what the participants ate (among many other characteristics) and analyzed their diets in relation to the causes of death among the 27,429 people who died since the studies began.
The more often nuts were consumed, the less likely participants were to die of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease, and not because nut eaters succumbed to other diseases. Their death rate from any cause was lower during the years they were followed. (The nuts in question were pistachios, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, peanuts and walnuts.)
Those who ate nuts seven or more times a week were 20 percent less likely to die from 1980 to 2010; even among those who consumed nuts less often than once a week, the death rate was 11 percent lower than for those who did not eat them.
I know what you’re thinking: Aren’t nuts fattening? Yes, an ounce of nuts has 160 to 200 calories, nearly 80 percent from fat. But in study after study, the more often people ate nuts, the leaner they tended to be.
For example, in a Mediterranean study that tracked the effect of nut consumption on weight gain over the course of 28 months, frequent nut consumers gained less weight than those who never ate nuts, and were 43 percent less likely to become overweight or obese.
How is that possible? First, nuts may be taking the place of other high-calorie snacks, like chips, cookies and candy. And nut eaters may be less likely to snack, period; the fat, fiber and protein in nuts suppresses hunger between meals.
Second, the body may treat calories from nuts differently from those in other high-carbohydrate foods. Third, nut eaters may pursue a healthier lifestyle and burn more calories through exercise.
Whatever the reasons, every study has indicated that nuts make an independent contribution to health and longevity, even after taking other factors into account.
And not just tree nuts. The new study found that peanuts were also linked to a reduced death rate and lower risk of chronic disease. Peanuts are legumes that grow underground, but they share constituents with tree nuts that are believed to protect against a wide range of diseases.
Botanically speaking, nuts are fruits, but most of the nuts we consume are the fruits’ seeds — able to produce a new plant when raw. Like the yolk of an egg, seeds must contain nutrients that support healthy tissues.
Thus, all nuts are powerhouses of biologically active substances, most of which are known to protect and promote health. Penny M. Kris-Etherton, a professor of nutrition at Penn State who has studied the effects of nuts on heart disease, describes them as “complex plant foods that are not only rich sources of unsaturated fat but also contain several nonfat constituents,” including protein, fiber, plant sterols that can lower cholesterol, and micronutrients like copper and magnesium.
Every one of these substances has been shown to ward off one disease or another. The fat content of nuts alone could account for their ability to support heart health. Nuts have less cholesterol-raising saturated fat than olive oil. On average, 62 percent of the fat in nuts is monounsaturated, the kind that supports healthy levels of protective HDL cholesterol and does not raise blood levels of harmful LDL cholesterol.
Nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that can lower triglycerides and blood pressure, slow the buildup of arterial plaque and prevent abnormal heart rhythms. Walnuts are especially rich sources of alpha-linolenic acid, some of which is converted to heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids.
Most nuts, and especially almonds, are good sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant. Joan Sabaté, a nutritionist at Loma Linda University who has studied the health effects of nuts among Seventh-day Adventists, lists folic acid, selenium, magnesium and several phytochemicals among the compounds in nuts that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or anticancer properties.
The nurses’ study has linked tree nuts to a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer. ATaiwanese study of about 24,000 people found a 58 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer among women who ate peanuts, although a similar effect was not found among men.
In both the nurses’ and health professionals’ studies, eating nuts more than five times a week was associated with a 25 percent to 30 percent lower risk of needing gallbladder surgery.
Nuts also contain dietary fiber, about a quarter of which is the type that reduces cholesterol and improves blood sugar and weight control. The nurses’ study and a study of about 64,000 women in Shanghai found strong evidence that frequent consumption of tree nuts, peanuts and peanut butter reduced the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Peanuts and especially pistachios are rich in resveratrol, which is being investigated for possible anti-aging effects. Pistachios are also rich in arginine, which gives rise to nitric oxide, a substance that improves blood flow and can help counter erectile dysfunction.
Including a serving or two of nuts in your daily diet is not challenging. Dr. Kris-Etherton suggests using peanut butter as the protein source in a sandwich, and replacing a cookie snack with a one-ounce serving of mixed nuts. Nuts can also be added to hot or cold cereals, salads, stir fries and desserts.
~Thanks to Jane E. Brodie, NYT

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Change Your Diet, Change Your Life

Change Your Diet Change Your Life

The new year brings an opportunity for transformation as men and women everywhere resolve to improve themselves in a variety of ways. If your New Year’s resolution involves losing weight or getting healthy, you’re certainly not alone; the initiative to drop excess pounds is consistently the most common resolution made. As individuals attempt to tackle this feat they often get caught up in the fad diets circulating in today’s media, each one claiming to hold the key to successful weight loss. But with gurus telling resolution-makers to go low-carb or gluten-free, to eat like our Stone Age ancestors or like the French, to juice everything before consuming it, or to detox with a lemon and maple syrup concoction, how are you supposed to choose the best way to lose weight and get healthy? The answer is actually rather simple—don’t diet. Don’t give into whatever magical strategy celebrities are endorsing this month, because ultimately, these methods just don’t support overall wellness.

It is time to make dieting a thing of the past. While the diet regimens currently on the market may result in initial weight loss, they also result in decreased energy and a miserable outlook on food. Additionally, the rules are often so strict that it becomes incredibly difficult for followers to partake in everyday activities, such as eating out with friends. Then after the diet period is up, it is quite common (understandably so) to devour everything in sight, immediately erasing any weight loss you managed. Most dieters end up gaining back all the weight they lost during the diet; in fact, two-thirds of American dieters regain all the weight lost within a year. This doesn’t mean that dieters are merely lacking self-control; dieters are essentially practicing deprivation by shunning nutrient-dense food groups and consuming too few calories. Eating 1,000 calories a day simply isn’t practical, nor is it safe. Along with failing to produce lasting weight loss, dieting often leads to nutritional deficiencies and puts incredible strain on your body, your heart, and your vital organs. The only way to get weight to come off safely and stay off long-term is to adopt a maintainable healthy lifestyle. This change should encourage you to eat, to treat food as fuel for your body, and to treat nutrition and exercise together as tools for disease prevention.

So how can you stop worrying about calories and start eating for your health? The first step is to adopt a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and using only food from nature, no refined or artificial foods. One of the best ways to do this is to begin a plant-based diet and to reduce meat and animal products from your recipes. It is not a difficult plan to begin, and the benefits are enormous. By loading up your diet with fiber from fruits and vegetables, along with healthful legumes and whole grains, you will feel fuller longer, and your digestion will improve. You never need to “cleanse” your body with a detox because your digestive system will be functioning properly. Reducing animal products keeps saturated fat and the cholesterol found in the diet in check, which effectively aids in weight loss and assists with disease prevention. More than anything, you will soon learn that removing sugar from your diet is the biggest gift you can give yourself. “Dieting” becomes irrelevant, as there is no need to count calories when eating foods from nature. Hunger cues will be sufficient to indicate when to eat and when to stop. You will have tons more energy. And making regular exercise a part of your resolution will keep your metabolism and your spirits high and will further help to prevent disease. 

There truly is no downside to beginning the year with this new lifestyle.
If you’re interested in making a change, or even if you’re hesitant about taking on this food from nature eating style, just give it a shot for 21 days and see how your body changes and how your cravings disappear. 

So as you usher in the New Year, instead of picking up that lemon-water concoction or trying to contract a tapeworm to remove your extra pounds, make it a priority to start something that you can maintain. Make a resolution to stop dieting forever, to stop worrying about the calories you consume, and to stop fighting with food. Just start living healthfully; the pounds will fall off without any effort, your energy will pick up in no time, and your body will thank you!

~Thanks to PCRM

Monday, December 2, 2013

Habits of Supremely Happy People

An interesting article on the habits of the super happy including a great list at the end of busy, successful business people who meditate - such as the executive chairman of Ford, Rupert Murdoch, Oprah, Ray Dalio, Arianna Huffington and more. More meditators in business and politics means a better world.
In summary:
Martin Seligman suggests that 60% of happiness is determined by genes and environment, 40% is up to us. He breaks happiness down into three types:
1) Pleasant: Fill your life with as many pleasures as you can (hardly any contribution to lasting fulfillment).
2) Engagement: find a life in your work, parenting, love and leisure.
3) Meaningful life: Knowing what your highest strengths are, and using them to belong to and "in the service of something larger than you are."
Here are the main points of the article, which I recommend you read in full.
The super happy
  • Surround themselves with happy people
  • Smile when they mean it
  • Cultivate resilience
  • Work on being happy
  • Are mindful of the good and appreciate the simple things
  • They give of their time and spend money on other people
  • They lose track of time!
  • Prefer deeper conversations
  • Uphold in person connection over “thinner” mediums like text and phone calls
  • They listen
  • Look on the bright side
  • Listen to music – choosing the music they listen to
  • Unplug
  • Get spiritual
  • Exercise
  • Go outside
  • Respect sleep
How about it? Time for some positive changes!
  • LOL
  • Even how you walk can have an impact

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

8 Healthy School Lunch Superfoods for Kids

It's not always easy to pack healthy school lunches for kids. 
Try these tricks to get superfoods in at lunchtime.



Carrots are the No. 1 kid-friendly source of vitamin A and beta carotene, two essential nutrients for strong vision in the classroom, strong bones on the playground and a strong immune system for the crowded school bus. Carrots are also a top source of lycopene, a disease-fighting phytonutrient. 
And kids will often eat carrots plain and raw. Cut them into kid-friendly spears, or get creative with the cutting board to keep them enticing.
Be aware, however, that carrots have made the list of dirty dozen foods high in pesticide residue, and childhood exposure to pesticide residue has been recently been linked to attention deficit disorders, among other potential health problems. (You can find the complete list of dirty dozen foods by googling Dirty Dozen.) Buy organic carrots to avoid pesticide residue - and they taste like they did when we were kids!


For a shot of calcium at lunch, nothing beats yogurt, and plain yogurt is also a top source of potassium, a key nutrient for young hearts, muscles and bones? The problem is finding a way to dress yogurt up for a kid-friendly lunch, particularly if you're avoiding the many yogurts on the market that are overloaded with extra sugars.
One great strategy is to send your kid to school not only with yogurt, but with some of her favorite whole grain cereals and chopped fresh fruits. 
Because dairy products retain unwanted chemicals and antibiotics to which cows were exposed, you may want to choose organic yogurt. The GREEK yogurts provide the most nutrients and the least sugars. Also, look for yogurt packaged in containers that are BPA-free (avoid plastics marked with recycling codes 3 and 7).

trail mix

Trail Mix
Trail mix comes in all forms. The trick is to find a mix that is both healthy and kid-friendly. Experiment to find the right balance for your kid, as this can be a great source of healthy superfoods, like sunflower seeds (the top source of vitamin E), pumpkin seeds (a top source of iron), nuts (a top source of vitamin E and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids) and raisins (a top source of potassium). 
Be careful to buy RAW nuts vs those that have been roasted in too much oil. And be aware that grapes and raisins are on the list of dirty dozen foods likely to have high pesticide residue levels, so buy organic to avoid exposing your kid to potentially harmful chemicals. And do check for sugar - sometimes Trail Mixes include vast amounts of sugar on top of the fructose in the dried fruits.

Red Peppers

Vitamin C is a powerful ally for kids trying to ward off or recover from colds. But did you know that kiwis have as much vitamin C as oranges and that red sweet peppers have twice as much of the disease-fighting nutrient? (The guava has even more vitamin C, but isn't the easiest fruit to pack in a lunch, though it can be used in a delicious Hawaiian breakfast smoothie.)  Swap out oranges for a kiwi or red pepper every so often for variety, and a splash of color.
Be aware that bell peppers have been on the list of dirty dozen foods likely to have high pesticide residue levels, so buy organic to avoid exposing your kid to potentially harmful chemicals.

Sweet Potato

The humble sweet potato is an inexpensive, nutrient-dense food - and the No. 1 source of potassium (it has way more than bananas) as well as a top source of vitamin A and beta carotene, making it a superfood for the heart, skeleton, muscles, eyes, immune system and bones. The problem is getting kids to eat sweet potatoes, particularly in a cold lunch.
At home, you might try a simple sweet potato mash with a dab of butter - or baked sweet potato fries. For the brown bag lunch, try baked sweet potato chips for a kid-friendly snack.



What kid would want to eat chickpeas at lunchtime? What parent wouldn't want to serve an inexpensive, low-fat food that's a top source of vitamin B6, a nutrient that supports the immune system, maintain healthy blood sugar levels and fight disease? There's only one chance of satisfying both constituents: hummus.
Hummus can be easily made at home in a variety of ways, with different additions (try orange and lemon) to make it more palatable to a child's tastes. It may take some experimentation, along with the right cracker or veggies to scoop up all the nutrient-dense goodness, but it will be worth the effort.

Dark, Leafy Greens

Getting kids to eat dark, leafy greens is about as easy as telling someone born in the 21st century who Popeye and Olive Oyl were. Beyond trying different leafy greens as a garnish to a sandwich (and let's be honest, kids know how to remove the garnish before taking their first bite) — you can send them off with some kale chips. Kale is a top source of vitamin K, which is only available from leafy greens, and helps the body repair itself from skinned knees, sprained ankles and other common playground injuries. It's also a top source of beta carotene and vitamin A. Kale chips are a crisp delivery system that might just work.
Be aware, however, that kale has been on the list of dirty dozen foods likely to have high pesticide residue levels, so buy organic to avoid exposing your kid to potentially harmful chemicals.


Tomatoes provide powerful nutrition, with among the biggest doses per serving of the disease-fighting antioxidants vitamin E and lycopene. But even if the USDA famously considers ketchup a vegetable in school lunches (we do not, since there's as much corn syrup as tomato in the typical off-the-shelf ketchup), you may struggle to include tomatoes in school lunches.
Try fresh cherry tomatoes; they offer a sweet multicolored burst kids love, and can be easily packed to avoid bruising. If that fails, there's always the old tomato-based standby: salsa. It's as easy to make salsa as it is to chop a few ingredients, experiment to find a fresh salsa recipe that your child enjoys, and pack it with some whole grain crackers for a nutritious snack. Finally, you can sneak some tomato on your kid's sandwich (turkey is a top source of both vitamin B12 and vitamin B6, and tastes great with a fresh tomato slice).

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