Category Archives: Babies

Citrus Time!

We recently harvested the tangerines we have been watching grow since February. In fact, growing our own tangerines has given me so much more appreciation for all citrus fruits. It takes FOREVER for the fruit to grow and ripen. It’s particularly hard for the little hands in my family not to pick these fruit before they are ready, and it has become a lesson in patience.

post image for citrus time

November through April is the best time to enjoy citrus fruits- colder months are when they are naturally in season.

Before a time when all fruits were available at all times in all seasons at the grocery store, citrus fruits were only available during the winter and they were considered a special treat. My dad remembers how exciting it was to find an orange in his stocking on Christmas morning.

citrus time

One tangerine has 87% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful immune system booster, helps prevent colds, and may prevent recurrent ear infections.

No wonder they are in season during the winter!

$5 Latte or Papaya?

Perhaps the number one complaint I hear about organic food is that it is too expensive.

I always respond with the oft used health counselor line- “Yes, but you either pay for the quality, non-toxic food now, or pay doctor and hospital bills in the future.”

This is truly the way my family eats and lives, and we shop with wild abandon at a store many people call “whole paycheck.” Maybe we’ve been spoiled by the 365 brand or their amazing Friday sales, but I don’t find Whole Foods to be more expensive than conventional grocery stores- I will say they offer such a great assortment of clothing, cosmetics, books, toys, and food that it’s easy to spend your whole paycheck there, but not because of the price of food alone.

It is one thing when you really can’t afford real food. And yes, it can be expensive to buy the best quality available. But I have a hard time understanding how people spend their money freely in other areas of their lives, but just because they can get cheap food, they do. It reminds me of those who can afford pretty much anything but will only go to doctors covered by their insurance, even if another provider would be a better option. Priorities, people, priorities!

But I digress.

The other day, I found I needed a bit of course correction myself. As I was perusing the delicious produce section, in search of some new fruits and veggies to offer my baby, I came upon my all time favorite. Papaya. And this wasn’t just any papaya. This was organic papaya from Hawaii- the best of the best.

But then I saw the price.


FIVE DOLLARS each? No thanks! I promptly texted a pic to my sister who recently moved from Hawaii with the caption-

“WHATEVER! $5 for a papaya?”

She responds- “oooh Sunrise- those are the best!”

“I know, but on principle I am not spending $5 on one papaya!”

“They’re expensive in Hawaii, too.”

“I know, but not FIVE DOLLARS!”

“True…” She texts, realizing I won’t back down.

So I put it back, shopped some more, spent more than I had planned to anyway, and left.

Next stop… Starbucks!

Can someone please hit me over the head? Never mind- I get it. I have no problem spending close to five dollars on a latte, or macchiato, or whatever I fancy in the moment, but I wouldn’t spend $5 on a juicy piece of fruit grown in the Hawaiian sunshine, bursting with flavor, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, potassium, fiber, digestive enzymes, vitamin E and vitamin K. Not to mention my absolute favorite, first thing I eat when we go to Hawaii, nothing compares to them, favorite.

And something I would gladly share with my baby- unlike the sugar, milk, decaf and flavor syrup of the latte.

So I rushed back to the store as fast as I could, truly worried at this point that there would be a “run on Whole Foods” and all of my glorious papaya would be gone.

Thankfully, not the case.

Aaahhh. Now I have a fresh perspective, zero judgement, renewed priorities, and a fabulous piece of fruit.





Strawberries Help Fight Cancer

We all know how important it is to feed our children and ourselves fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. We also know how hard that can be in our fast paced lives and with our sometimes picky children.

There are many baby and toddler food companies who sell freeze dried strawberries, bananas, and apples, and there are always lots of options for freeze dried veggies in the local natural food store. This seems much more convenient, however I was under the impression that once the “fresh” component of the food was removed, so were the vital nutrients.

When I’ve looked at the nutrition labels of some of these toddler snacks, almost every vitamin and mineral with the exception of Vitamin C has a 0% next to it.

But I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal showing the potential strawberries have to cure cancer, and they used freeze-dried strawberries in the study. In fact, the doctor who conducted the research said, “the freeze-dried substance [that fights cancer] is about 10 times as concentrated as fresh strawberries.”

How exciting! Now I can feed freeze-dried fruits and veggies to my son when I’m in need of a quick snack and don’t have anything fresh on hand, and I can feel really good about it.

Since he’s too young to eat popcorn (due to the choking risk) I recently bought him this dried corn from The Savory Spice Shop in Austin, TX, and he loved it!

Ch-Ch-Ch Chia!

Remember the fabulous informercial from the 90s (or was it 80s?) for the Chia Pet? I’m here to put that jingle back into your head.

Next time you’re at your natural food store, pick up a package of chia seeds. They are jam packed with anti-oxidants, omega 3s, and fiber, and lots of other vitamins and minerals. These nutritional powerhouses are just as beneficial as flax seeds if not better, because they don’t need to be ground to be digested.

Sprinkle some on your morning cereal, in yogurt, smoothies, on salads, or just eat them by the spoonfuls!

FYI: I had no idea, but you can still buy Chia Pets! I think I’m going to get one for my toddler- It’s so fun to watch him plant seeds, water them, wait patiently, and see the grass grow. I’m pretty sure he needs the Chia Dinosaur:

Strawberry Spinach Salad

With the bounty from our adventure yesterday, we were in need of some ideas on how to use our red ripe strawberries.  (Will I ever be able to think again without lines from children’s books popping into my head?  Considering the amount my son asks me to read to him, probably not.)

But I digress…

Since it’s spring, and I couldn’t find any recipes I liked for a spinach salad using strawberries, I decided to create my own.

Strawberry Spinach Salad


  • about 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 to 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed really well
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

for the dressing:

  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • hard cheese for grating on top- I used a raw gouda


Combine all of the ingredients for the salad in a huge salad bowl, and toss well.

To make the dressing,  stir the balsamic vinegar and honey together in a bowl.  Slowly add the olive oil into the mixture while whisking continuously. Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad just before serving, then grate the desired amount of cheese on top.

fresh spring salad

It was delicious!

I didn’t want my son to be overwhelmed with the salad, so I assembled the beans, avocado, cucumber, strawberries, almonds and alfalfa sprouts on a plate for him before I made the salad, and he ate every last bit of it!