Food.Body.Soul

FOOD.BODY.SOUL. hosts fun wellness experiences for kids and their parents, partnering with leading wellness and organic brands. This year is packed with exciting events, kicking it off in New York with the creator of Buzzfeed Tasty, Kanchan Koya. Guests will enjoy a wellness experience with hands-on healthy snack-making, breath work, and yoga. The kids have fun while the parents learn about beneficial ingredients and mindfulness techniques that they can apply at home. Check out their website www.foodbodysoul.net for more of their upcoming events!

MINI MAVEN: Advice for starters?

FOOD.BODY.SOUL: As mamas, we all know that the foods we and our kids eat are incredibly important for our immune systems and physical health. But did you know that what we eat is just as important for our mental well-being and our mood?

For example, if you or kids are feeling tired, irritable, depressed, unable to concentrate, or hungry, you are very likely thirsty and your body is sending our signals of dehydration? A lot of kids (and many adults!) are like camels and can go hours with only a sip or two of water. Hydration is so important for the health of our body, mind, and mood! So I make sure my son “eats his water” with hydrating foods such as strawberries (92% water), grapes (92% water), watermelon (92% water), cantaloupe (90% water), raspberries (87% water), pineapple (87% water), orange (87% water) and cucumber (96% water).

Did you know that the lion share of our good-mood hormones such as serotonin and dopamine are produced in our gut? As a mama, my schedule and calendar is full, so keeping my stress levels down and finding mind, body, and mood-boosting foods are high on my priority list. One way I do this is to make a point of eating all the colors of the rainbow every day. A few  of examples:

– A green salad with purple watermelon radish, carrots, yellow bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes

– Blueberries for a snack

– Apple for a snack

While getting ready for school in the morning, my son enjoys sharing with me the colors of the rainbow that he is going to eat at school that day. We aim high for five and often settle for three…but it gets him thinking.

And are brains need fat to function optimally, so, good-mood fats such as avocado, nuts + seeds like walnuts or hemp seeds, omega-rich salmon, and olive oil are front and center in my family’s diet.

In our family, the number one superfood is LOVE, followed by super-powered, mood-boosting foods.

MM: Simple Easy snacks for kids?

F.B.S: Sliced carrots, cucumbers, crackers or pretzels + hummus  

Sliced apple, pear or mango

Bowl of berries

Clementines are fun to peel

Siete chips + freshly made guacamole

A slice of ezekiel bread with organic sun butter

Homemade popsicles  (I sneak in avocado and a scoop of green powder!)

Sliced raw milk cheese

Plain whole milk yogurt or unsweetened non-dairy yogurt with fruit and granola

Made Good bars – only 6 grams of sugar

Squeezable fruit + veggie pouches with 6 grams or less of sugar per serving

MM: Quotes you live by that can help others?

F.B.S: It’s a practice, not a performance (Hari Kaur)

Eat like you love yourself (Unknown)

Self-care = self-love (Lisa Hurd)

You don’t have to like it, but I want you to try it.

Every person, fruit + vegetable has a super power!  (Lisa Hurd)

Cooking + Love = Happiness (Chef Alain Sailhac)

A happy belly = a happy mood (Lisa Hurd)

MM: How important is nutrition so kids can understand?

F.B.S: I try to make nutrition relatable and fun. In my family, we talk about foods that make us feel strong, healthy, and give us energy so we can do all the things we love most – like playing with our friends, jam sessions on the drums, playing our favorite sports, creating art, and having a family game night.

If the opportunity presents itself, I ask my son, “Which food gives you the most energy and makes you feel like a super hero – a bagel or an apple? And which one makes you want to take a nap?”

I like to give fun names to foods, such as the “Green Monster Smoothie.” I also like to include kids in the cooking process as much as possible, which admittedly varies. Some favorite meals to cook together are Simple Mills pizza crust, which he shapes into a train all by himself, ladles the sauce and sprinkles on the cheese. If I’m lucky, he will add some sliced veggies on top to make a design. We also enjoy making “ice cream” from frozen bananas, popsicles made from smoothies, granola bars, and muffins.

Now that my son is learning math, we have an activity that shows kids how 4 grams of sugar equals one teaspoon. For example, if the nutrition label says 16 grams of sugar, he spoons 4 teaspoons of sugar into a plastic bag so he can see what 4 teaspoons of added sugar looks like.

Any must have foods for moms to buy?

F.B.S: I’m all about good feng shui and that means having a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter. It’s a cue for everyone in the family to reach for a piece of fruit first, before hitting the packaged stuff in the cabinets.   

I also refer a lot to EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list of conventional produce with the highest and lowest pesticide levels. Whatever is listed on the Dirty Dozen list, I make sure to buy organic to lower my family’s exposure to harmful pesticides, chemicals, and sprays that can effect development and immunity.