Best plastic free lunch box gear for kids, including containers, snack size boxes, and water bottles. Read on to prepare your kids for back-to-school with a healthy lunchbox, even before the food gets packed. (links below are affiliate links in Amazon for you to see the various sizes available.)

plastic free lunch box for kids containers in stainless steel and glass

 

What are some first steps we can take to create a plastic free lunch box for kids?

  • Switch to glass and stainless steel whenever possible.
  • Purchase produce not wrapped in plastic, or remove once you purchase from the store.
  • Transfer food to glass storage containers as you meal prep.
  • Avoid putting any plastic you have in the dishwasher.

Why do we want a plastic free lunch box for kids?

In case you missed it, the Academy of Pediatrics released a new study showing the danger of plastics and the effects on children. They released a statement expressing concern about the scientific evidence that chemicals from plastics interfere with the body’s natural hormones and long-term development. The chemicals that are cause for concern in the latest statement include phthalates, which are needed to make plastic flexible. It also includes bisphenol (BPA) which is still used to line metal cans, and also perfluoroalkyl (PFCs) found in grease proof paper and packaging.

Infants and children are particularly vulnerable to exposure to hormone disruptors. This can increase their risk of obesity, diabetes, and fertility issues. Make the switch to glass and stainless steel, for your kitchen and for creating a plastic free lunch box for kids.

Best Plastic Free Lunch Box

Let’s start with the actual bag, or tote, for your kid’s lunch. There are so many options, but not all are created equal. Look for ones that are PVC, BPA & Phthalate-free, and CPSIA compliant. One of our favorites has been the Wildkin brand. (they also make really sturdy backpacks too!)

Plastic Free Lunch Box for Kids

PlanetBox

  • Plastic free lunch box bento style in stainless steel
  • Rover is great for most school aged kids.
  • Launch is great for older kids (and adults)
  • Comes with coordinating containers for “wet” food like yogurt, applesauce, and oatmeal.
plastic free lunch box for kids planetbox ideas

So many amazing lunch ideas for the Planetbox.

 

LunchBots

  • variety of simple, stainless steel containers
  • great for busy parents…keeps packing simple and you can toss them in the dishwasher at the end of the day.
  • I have multiple on hand so some are ready to prep, while others are getting washed overnight

plastic free lunch box lunchbots healthy lunch

 

Plastic free lunch box snack containers, great food storage containers for home and school

  • Kids Konserve– variety of sizes and easy to open silicone lids. I’ve used them for years, and finally ordered a second set last year. Love them.
  • Kid Basix Safe Snacker– sandwich size option, but also fits a salad for my 9-year-old. Added this to our lineup last year and it’s a great multi-use option. Also good for car trips.
    • opt for generic colors so the containers don’t “belong” to any particular child. It will make your packing lunch life easier.
  • Wean Green– we have had our first set of Wean Green containers since our youngest went to daycare at 9 months. We packed baby food in them, and now they hold her salad dressings! They now offer a variety of sizes and they are super durable. Dishwasher friendly and the square sizes pack really well in the lunch box. As you go up in size, they are also great for meal prep!

plastic free lunch box wean green kids

Plastic Free Lunch Box Bags and Accessories

  • Beeswax wraps- skip the bag and use a beeswax wrap. This is great for young kids as it’s easy to open, and doesn’t add extra weight to their backpack like glass does.
  • Lunchskins are our favorite fabric sandwich bags. Itzy Ritzy zippered fabric bags are my favorite for smaller snack size options. They have a ton of cute patterns too!
  • Bamboo utensils to pack for oatmeal, salads, or yogurt parfaits for lunch. Stainless steel kid utensils are great for the dishwasher, but adds more weight to the lunch bag.
  • Stainless steel thermos options are another great way to add more variety to your kid’s lunch. We like the Lunchbots Thermo Soup Jar. It works for when we send in oatmeal or a yogurt parfait. (Or a fried egg that stays hot and can be used for an egg sandwich!)

Plastic Free Water Bottle for Lunch Box

This has been a struggle for way longer than I would like to admit. Between straws that are hard to clean, leaky snap covers, and paint that chips off, we have seen it all. I can give you a few suggestions of what everyone has been happiest with lately.

  • Contigo Thermalock bottle– we bought this last September and it’s still in great shape for the school year ahead! No straw, easy to clean. I do think it’s better for older kids as it may be challenging to open it.
  • Eco Vessel Kids Scout bottle– this has also latest over a year for us. It does have a food-grade silicone straw, but it detaches easily and the spout cleans well too. My younger kids have this one and love it.
  • As our kids get older I see them asking for bigger water bottles. Certainly for sports they need more water. The Hydro Flask brand is a favorite in our house as they have a variety of lids, depending on what you need. The sport top is the easiest for the kids to “lock” so we don’t end up with wet backpacks!

Whew! That’s a lot of info about how to switch to a plastic free lunch box! Happy back to school everyone!

Resources

“Choosing a safe sunscreen for your family is such an important job as a mom. I’ve tried to explain the science behind what makes something a safe sunscreen, and what we need to look for when choosing a product. This is updated with the best natural sunscreens for 2019.

ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SAFE SUNSCREEN

As the sun gets stronger and days longer, this is the time of year when I’m asked how to choose a safe sunscreen. I started paying more attention to sunscreen ingredients when I had to put it on my first born child. Since then, I’ve learned a lot more about what’s safe and what’s not. I’m also covered in moles from head to toe, and I see them now on my kids too. I’ve had a least 10 surgeries to have them removed, and often needed a second round to remove the margins. My family has a history of skin cancer, and my husband’s family has a history of melanoma. I’m truly diligent about sun protection, and it comes from both safe sunscreen and protective clothing.

Safe Sunscreen: Mineral based ingredients

The ingredients to look are zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or both. These are mineral based ingredients, which physically block the sun from absorbing into your skin. They are your safest choice, as they don’t disrupt your hormones, and don’t actually penetrate your skin. Zinc in particular is healing for the skin. Think about all the diaper rash creams on the market, they all use zinc oxide, which has a healing mechanism. Even more interesting, there are studies that show zinc may help your body assimilate Vitamin D from the sun better. As our sunscreen wears off, we are going to be exposed to some sunshine until we reapply, which will produce Vitamin D on the skin. If that gets absorbed better from the presence of zinc, it’s a win, win.

Unsafe Sunscreen: Chemical ingredients

Despite us growing up with chemical based sunscreen, we now know they are harmful to our health. The chemical sunscreens block our skin’s ability to breathe. That’s not a good thing. Studies also recognize that many of the chemicals being used are disrupting our hormones. This is so important, especially on little bodies! These are the chemicals you don’t want to see on the ingredient list of your sunscreen:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Benzophenone
  • Butylparaben (always run when you see “paraben” anywhere!)

Additionally, methyliosothiazolinone should also be avoided. It’s a skin allergen, and was deem unsafe by the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety back in 2015. Yet it’s in 44 sunscreen on the market today in the US. It’s a chemical preservative and it doesn’t belong getting absorbed into your body.

Why Chemical Sunscreens are not Safe

Here’s the problem. As you sit in the sun, the chemicals bake into your skin. As a toxin, this is absorbed and then travels to your fat cells. They STICK there. Once you have a toxin that has found a fat cell, they stick to it. Curious where they stick…you guessed it, cellulite- in all the places you don’t want it. Reducing your total toxin exposure everyday is a key part of achieving a weight loss goal. It makes a big difference.

Second, chemical sunscreens actually alter the integrity of our cells, increasing carcinoma risk. This means a sunburn is actually less damaging than what a chemical sunscreen does to your skin cells. Crazy, but true.

Third, if chemical sunscreens are killing the coral reefs, what are they doing to your body? Sunscreens using chemical ingredients are being banned in Hawaii and Australia due to the toxicity in the wildlife that’s killing coral reefs. Mineral sunscreens do not pose the same risk to the environment.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”If chemical sunscreens are killing the coral reefs, what are they doing to your body?” quote=”if chemical sunscreens are killing the coral reefs, what are they doing to your body?”]

safe sunscreen Food as sunscreen

Foods that Increase Sun Protection Naturally

This is a fun thing! There are plenty of plant foods rich in antioxidants that actually help protect your skin from the inside out. While I still support using sunscreen, I’ll happily layer on these foods for extra protection.

  • Watermelon
  • Green Tea (try it iced!)
  • Leafy greens
  • Berries
  • Tomatoes

It’s the pigment rich foods that tend to boost an internal SPF. Tomatoes showed a 30% increase in sun protection after study participants ate a tomato rich diet. Maybe that’s an extra good reason for a caprese salad at lunch with extra basil, right?

Eating plenty of greens can also help us capture sunlight in our cells, which is then translated into energy via our mitochondria. (Sayer Ji- Green Med 2015 Chlorophyl)

Sunscreen Safety Facts and Vitamin D

I can’t gloss over the fact that skin cancer rates are on the rise. However, the use of sunscreen is also on the rise. Shouldn’t the cancer rates be doing down?

What’s happening may be related to our lack of Vitamin D as a society. Those of us living in the northern latitudes are certainly vitamin D deficient most of the year, and the supplements we may take are not the same as vitamin D generated from sunshine. Vitamin D from the sun is created via the absorption of UVB rays, to create D3 sulfate. What we buy from the store is just D3, and what is fortified in foods is just D2. These are both water soluble, versus D3 sulfate that is fat soluble.

Why is Vitamin D so important? A deficiency in this “hormone” is actually more likely to cause an overall increase in cancer risk, including skin cancer. So as we block all the sun we can to avoid premature aging and skin cancer, we may be setting ourselves up for an increase in cancer rates.

Adding to this concern, studies now show melanoma is more likely to occur in places where the sun doesn’t shine. There is a study that shows there is a reduced likelihood for melanoma for adults and children who play outside. (source) This isn’t the same case for basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, so we all still need to be mindful about our sun exposure, but maybe it’s time to play more outside without sunscreen in the early hours of the day. Let our skin soak in the vitamin D created, and don’t wash it till the end of the day. Vitamin D needs nearly 12 hours to be fully absorbed into your bloodstream.

Did you grab your Free Smoothie Guide?

I could talk all day about how just one smoothie a day can help boost your energy, clear up your skin, and help your digestion.

 

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Safe Sunscreen without Oxybenzone

How do shop for safe sunscreen? First, look at the ingredient label on the back. Skip the marketing on the front label and flip that bottle over. Look for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in the ingredient label. Make sure you don’t see “fragrance” or methyliosothiazolinone on the ingredient list either. Avoid any sunscreen with oxybenzone in the ingredient list.

Next, check the bottles against the Environmental Working Group sunscreen ratings guide. Enter your choice and shop for those with a #1 rating. These are some of my favorites. (and yes, I am a Beautycounter consultant as I joined many years ago to support their mission to educate women about safer skin care. And it was the sunscreen that lured me to them in the first place!)

 

safe sunscreen beautycounter nontoxic

The new sunscreen line from Beautycounter was updated with the addition of California poppy, which boosts the effectiveness of zinc oxide to block blue light. This makes it an excellent non-toxic safe sunscreen to avoid premature aging from blue light. In addition, the zinc oxide used is very fine, so you won’t be walking around covered in a white film. The newest formula is non-greasy and actually feels good on the skin. All of the sunscreen has an EWG rating of a 1.

In addition, there is a new sunscreen mist option available. It’s an air-pressured can, not a spray using chemical propellants. Also, it’s a non-nano particle zinc oxide so it’s not harmful to children. Those chemical spray sunscreens may be handy, but they are damaging to the skin AND your kid’s lungs if they are inhaled.

In addition to Beautycounter, I’m also happy with these brands and usually shop for them on Amazon. (However, I only use Beautycounter on my kid’s faces as they have very sensitive skin. Other sunscreens would make their eyes itch and get red so I stick with Beautycounter.) 

Best natural sunscreen 2019

SPF Clothing

I think sun coverage during the day is another great awesome to protect our skin, and wear a lot less sunscreen in general. I don’t need all that much sunscreen on my kids when they wear sunscreen shirts and bottoms. My favorite brands to pick from are Cabana Life, Hatley, Mott50 and Coolibar. You will find me on the beach in this navy stripe Cabana life rashguard shirt this summer.

Add a big summer hat and you are golden! Well…fair I mean.

ultimate safe sunscreen guide safe sunscreen kids babies

I hope this long post about safe sunscreen is helpful, and I’ve added in a lot of information. Use this Sunscreen Guide to help you find a safe sunscreen for kids, test out the best natural sunscreens, and learn what are safe sunscreen ingredients. Bottom line, enjoy your time in the sun safely, get some vitamin D, and choose a nontoxic mineral based sunscreen.

p.s. Beautycounter added new after sun cooling gel AND a tinted sunscreen! No more pasty legs!

Safe sunscreen beautycounter countersun 2019

Create Color In Kids Thank You Note Cards

My Grammy once told me how much she appreciated receiving my thank you notes after the holidays and every birthday. When I was young, all I remember was how long it took to write out those cards. Sending a note is such a simple gesture, but it turns out it can be quite meaningful.

Our kids have been blessed with very generous grandparents and extended family. Now it’s our job as parents to work with them to instill the value of gratitude. Explaining the concept of  gratitude via thank you notes is helpful to take that first step. Having cute thank you notes to help the cause is even better.

Kids can write a note on their own paper, create their own card, or try these custom thank-you notes we used this year. Although I’m embarrassed to admit, we are still catching up on holiday/birthday thank you notes. Our kids get a double dose of presents over a month and we are trying to finish up those thank you notes this week. Part of the delay is the challenge of getting a seven year old to spend quality time writing out the notes. I don’t want thank you notes to feel like a chore, but more like an opportunity to discuss the gratitude we feel in our lives. To the children, it may be for presents, but it’s a good time to talk about other blessings. A warm home, healthy food, favorite friends and strong bodies. The less we focus on the “stuff” we are thankful for, maybe the kids will be more protective of the other blessings in their lives.

Color-in-kids-thank-you-notes

 

Try this with your kids. Next time they need to thank someone for a gift, use this as a chance to get them involved. Talk about gratitude and what it means. Then turn the tables and talk about how we can be more generous. Can we donate some toys to a family in need? Drop off a meal to someone who is ill? Call those grandparents more often because we know it makes their day. (Even grown ups need a reminder here sometimes, me included.)

Need some adorable Thank You notes for your kids? Tiny Prints wants to spread the message of gratitude and I’m happy to help. One winner will get 30 Color-In Thank You Notes ($56 value.) Pop over to my Instagram and enter into the contest there. Thank you to Tiny Prints for sharing this product with me and with you too! Contest is open until 3/9.

Thank-you-note-coloring-kids

A few people have asked about what we pack in our Yumbox lunches. These are our favorite lunch boxes, both for ease of use and how cute they are. They come in a variety of colors and inserts so you can customize it to the age of your child.

Yumbox bento box lunch for kids

When packing the boxes, it’s best to break it down into categories. The Yumbox makes it easy for you by reminding you of the categories in their inserts. Protein, dairy, vegetables, fruits and grains. So simple, right?

We own both the panino (sandwich friendly) insert and also the original bento box version. I use them both so frequently I can’t say I love one over the other. We have the blue and the pink box.

Here are some ideas of what to pack for each category.

PROTEIN
  • Hummus
  • Yogurt
  • Cold cuts rolled up
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Beans (chick peas are kid friendly)/Legumes
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Sunflower seeds/sunbutter
  • Sulfite free pepperoni sticks
DAIRY
  • Cheese stick
  • Cheese cubed
  • Yogurt- plain or greek flavored with honey is better than the presweetened variety
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ricotta with honey
FRUIT
  • Grapes-check for seedless variety
  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Pears
  • Applesauce
  • Oranges/Clementines
  • Raisins/Craisins
VEGETABLES
  • Peppers
  • Cucumber- English is better for packing
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Broccoli/Cauliflower
  • Salad
WHOLE GRAINS
  • Pita bread
  • Crackers/rice crackers
  • Popcorn- (homemade)
  • Whole wheat bread/bagels
  • Pretzels
  • Rice cakes
  • Homemade mini muffins/breads

 

Pin the image to save for those mornings when you just can’t think of what to pack!

Healthy kid lunch ideas using the Yumbox lunch box container bento

 

What else do you like to pack in your kid’s lunch box?

Note: I’ve bought all my Yumboxes myself. Love them. The links in here are affiliate links, which means if you decide to purchase one the site receives a small commission. Thanks!

Summer is on our doorstep friends. Time to load up on sunscreen and today is the day for the 2015 Sunscreen Guide. Here’s your chance to see what’s new, what works and most importantly, what’s safe for you and your family. Sunscreen is a wonderful barrier to protect your skin, but educate yourself on which ones can do more harm than good.

2015 Healthy Sunscreen Guide

In this guide, I’ll be sharing with you the product, the price (and amazon affiliate links where available to make ordering easy) and also the EWG rating. For those of you unfamiliar with EWG (or Environmental Working Group), it’s a hugely educational site that helps shed light on the safety of sunscreen and other beauty products. I am only sharing products that get a 0, 1 or 2 rating. Anything lower is just too questionable for me to consider sharing it with you.

2015-SUNSCREEN-GUIDE-label

NATURE’S GATE SPORT SPF 30

  • $10.50/ 4 oz. (Amazon)
  • EWG Rating: 2
  • Great for the beach and playing outdoor sports

GODDESS GARDEN KIDS NATURAL LOTION SPF 30

  • $15.99/ 6 oz.
  • EWG Rating: 1
  • Goddess Garden can be found easily at Whole Foods or online. Note- the trigger spray option EWG rating drops down to a 3.

 NEUTRAL SKIN MINERAL SUNSCREEN

  • $11.99/ 8 oz. (great value. Amazon)
  • EWG Rating: not included (I used this last year and can vouch for it.)
  • Thinner lotion that spreads better than most.

RAW ELEMENTS ECO-STICK

  • $12.99 stick/ (Amazon)
  • EWG Rating: 1
  • The ease of a stick without the white cast. The brown tint really doesn’t look brown, just a hint of color on light skin. It’s a little sticky so it’s best for small areas like the face and top of hands.

AVA ANDERSON LOTION

  • $15.95/ 2.9 oz
  • EWG Rating: 1 (same for the sunscreen stick)
  • Friends swear by this line for its eco-friendliness. I just ordered my first batch of products.

THINKSPORT SUNSCREEN (BABY AND KIDS VERSION AVAILABLE)

  • $12.55/ 3.0 oz (Amazon)
  • EWG Rating: 1
  • Easy to apply and the whole family can use it safely. Every version has great ratings.

BADGER BALM KIDS CREAM SPF 30

  • $14.49/2.9 oz (Amazon)
  • EWG Rating: 1
  • Badger is well known as being a great choice for kids with sensitive skin.

Couple of quick notes. You will notice that the majority of these sunscreens can’t be found at your local drugstore. Those sunscreens are generally less expensive, but are using chemicals instead to create a barrier for your skin. The benefit of using a mineral based sunscreen (zinc and titanium dioxide) is they create a physical barrier against the sun immediately. No need to wait ten minutes for chemicals to sink into your skin to make the sunscreen effective. (doesn’t that just sound creepy…)

AVOBENZONE = YUCKY

QUICK SHOPPING LINKS 

 

As we look ahead to the final weeks of preparing school lunches, let’s try to keep things fresh and fun. Here’s a little roundup of easy surprises you can add to your child’s lunchbox or after school snack time routine. Who knows, maybe your kid will try a new piece of fruit if presented with a little humor?

Have fun with these adorable lunchbox ideas!

Cute lunchbox orange

1. Happy little orange snail. (Use a food safe pen.)

Grape caterpillar for lunch

 

2. Line them up! Grape caterpillars.

Cute apple turtle for lunch

3. Sneak in some apple turtles.

Chicks and the mama eggs

4. What came first? The chicken or the egg?

Owl lunch design

5. Give a hoot for this fun owl lunch surprise.

Healthy kids bento lunch

6. Skip the work and just stick with a fun bento box for the kid’s lunch. The Yumbox is still a favorite since it’s lightweight, easy to clean and spill-proof. Pack them for a summer picnic or a car trip. These will make the cut for us on our Toronto road trip in August!

If you want ALL of my easy smoothie recipes in one handy printable recipe book, click here. All recipes are kid-approved!

Enjoy the last few weeks of packing school lunch. Then on to camp lunches…

Sources 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Which one is your favorite adorable lunchbox idea?

The hot weather has finally arrived in our little neck of the woods. Snow pants and wool hats were quickly replaced with sunscreen and sun hats. Getting the kids off to school layered up in sunscreen is a new part of our routine, one they need to get used to for the summer ahead. But what about other ways to protection our skin from the sun’s harsh rays? May is Skin Cancer Awareness month and it has certainly touched many people’s lives. Today I want to share some ways to protect your skin beyond reaching for the bottle of sunscreen.

Sun Protection Beyond the Bottle

Umbrellas

  • Find yourself a fabulous umbrella for the beach. Make sure it has an UPF rating of 50+. (UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor)
  • The Coolibar Umbrella here is our family favorite. You can see at least 4 of them lined up at our beach spot all summer long with multiple families sharing the cool shade. It’s worth the price.

UPF Clothing

  • There is now a wide variety of choices in clothing with built-inUPF ratings of 50+.
    • Coolibar has womens, mens, kids and babies
    • Athleta and Title Nine also have options now for working out and some beach cover-ups.
    • Mott50 has fashion forward choices, including this awesome infinity scarf accessory.

Mott50 Infinity scarf

 

Hats

  • There are so many choices in fabrics…straw, canvas, and so on.
  • The key is to find one that will cover your ears, one of the top spots for skin cancer to form.
  • Find one with a brim large enough to give you lots of coverage, but not so much that it’s droopy and impedes your peripheral vision. (I had that issue once and it was so annoying while watching the kids at the beach.)

Kids Surf Suits

Kids UPF Surf Suit

  • The adorable surf suits make playing outside all day so much easier for both kids and parents. Less sunscreen is needed and some cover from the neck all the way to the ankles. (both suits at Coolibar.com)
  • These suits are generally good for one season and not great as hand-me-downs. The fabric often gets stretched out from sand, salt and the sun and you can’t rely on the same level of sun protection.

Hydration

  • A friendly reminder to stay hydrated while hanging out in the sun. Treat yourself and the kids to new water bottles this summer to encourage lots of water intake. Flavor the water with fresh fruit or cucumbers and keep it chilled.

Stay safe as you enjoy the warm summer months! Sunscreen will always be helpful but I love that there are all these other options now to help us protect our skin from the sun.

Disclosure: Coolibar provided our family product in exchange for this post. We have been loyal shoppers of Coolibar for years and all opinions shared here are my own. Throughout May, which is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Coolibar is giving the American Cancer Society $1 for every order placed. As an added incentive, they are also offering 15% off the entire order using the code ACS15.

This is a compensated post in partnership with DOLE and the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. All opinions shared are my own. 

Go Green Spinach Smoothie

Spring has finally sprung! After leaving town for a couple of days, I was amazed to come home and see flowers everywhere. The trees are pink and the tulips are all standing at attention. It’s days like this that I love being a stay at home mom and get to relax and watch the kids play in the backyard for hours.

My other favorite thing that happens in spring is snack time takes place outside. Two less rounds of crumbs to clean up in the house! It’s the little things that make me happy in the spring.

The kids were excited when we tested out a new smoothie recipe shared with us from DOLE Pineapple Juice. I usually don’t add juice to our smoothies, but I was happy to learn that Dole’s juice is 100% juice and GMO-free. Two great things in my nutrition playbook. Plus with the “pollen tsunami” taking place, increasing our Vitamin C intake can be a helpful remedy for allergy symptoms.

Silly smoothie facesThe Go Green smoothie won over our neighbor’s daughter who isn’t always a green smoothie fan. The silly green mustaches everyone was wearing at the end of snack time was a sign of success!

One note, since we try to avoid GMO’s I swapped out the soy milk for almond milk. It can be tricky to find organic GMO-free soy milk so almond or coconut milk are alternate suggestions.

How to make a green smoothie

Healthy Green Smoothie Recipe

Go Green Smoothie

An energizing green smoothie to kick start your day.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Smoothie
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Emily

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup DOLE pineapple juice chilled
  • 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk or almond milk
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks partially thawed
  • 1 banana peeled
  • 1 tablespoon whole ground flaxseed meal

Instructions

  • If you have a high speed blender, add all ingredients to blender starting with the Pineapple Juice.
  • If you have a traditional blender, add juice thru spinach and blend before adding the balance of ingredients.
  • Blend and enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

 

You can make your own Go Green smoothie and get coupon here for your next sunny day smoothie snack break!

  • $1.00 off #coupon for any 46oz or 6oz 6-pack of DOLE Canned Pineapple Juice.

Learn more about what you can make with healthy pineapple juice on DOLE’s Pinterest boards, Twitter channel or facebook page. I’ll be checking out some fun summer cocktail recipes here so I can use up my leftover pineapple juice. You can also buy the small cans and have them in the pantry for when inspiration strikes.

Healthy Green Smoothie Recipe

What’s your favorite activity to do in the sunshine?

Share the love of sunshine! Click to Tweet: Try this Go Green Pineapple Smoothie! @DolePackaged #ad #dolepineapplejuice #ayearofsunshine #smoothie http://bit.ly/1EqW2RE

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NaturalGoodness #CollectiveBias

Toothbrushing with the kids has been an adventure. The guidelines have changed over the past six years and it’s hard to keep up with the latest and greatest. The one thing that has remained the same is using Tom’s of Maine Silly Strawberry toothpaste. I choose them because they don’t use any food dyes, compared to most of the other kid’s brands that use a Blue dye. The kid’s now ask for Silly Strawberry by name.

Avoid the toothbrushing battle with the kids

Although our toothpaste choice has been consistent, getting the kids to actually take the time to brush their teeth well has been a struggle. Bedtime takes forever with three kids and usually all three kids want to brush at the same time which leads to pushing and tears. We finally found a solution.

Teeth brushing dance party to the rescue! In order to get the kids to brush for the recommended two minutes, we find some favorite tunes and turn them up while each child gets their two minutes. Each kid gets to pick their favorite song and it motivates them to get into their PJs faster so they can be first. (Competition really works in my house.)

The second winning solution has been a fun timer app on my phone. This is a special treat they have to earn. If they don’t have good behavior leading up to bedtime, there is no toothbrushing app. I love how it tracks their brushing on a calendar and motivates them to get it down. It truly is amazing how well they are brushing during the two minute countdown and there is no nagging involved.

If you want to avoid screen time before bedtime (which I totally strive for generally), you can print out some fun toothbrushing printables if you search Pinterest. I pinned a couple on my fun printables board for reference. Print out your favorite, laminate it (I use this one) and then reuse it week after week.

Kids favorite toothpaste Tom's of Maine

Tom’s of Maine has been the natural choice for our family since we had kids. I was excited to see an even broader product line when I picked up another tube at Walmart. (Click here to get $1.00 off any Tom’s of Maine product purchase at Walmart.) There was a toddler-friendly flouride-free option, which is great for the littles ones to practice with and then the parent can brush with the flouridated toothpaste. This was the direction I got from the pediatric dentist we visited today for JJ’s check-up.

 Kids at dentist

The dentist gave JJ a clean bill of health! Teeth look good and even with his “groovy” teeth he is able to keep them cavity-free. Sometimes the natural choice doesn’t always clean as well as the conventional choice. When it comes to Tom’s of Maine, we consistently see healthy teeth in both kids and the grown-ups. As a general rule, we try to avoid synthetic food-dyes whenever possible. There is just too many strange health concerns related to them and no long-term studies available. Since there is a safe and healthy choice it’s makes the decision as a parent.

Happy brushing!

There are so many lessons nature can help us teach our children. The beauty in the world around us is vast, both in large spaces and small. The ocean and all its secrets, the sky in all its glory; there is much to appreciate down to the grass below our feet. As Earth Month continues, now is a great time to encourage your children to explore the outdoors. What lessons will they learn?

Nature quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson

This week PBS Kids is celebrating Earth Month with a fun-filled Twitter party, Explore the Outdoors! Join other parents as we share ideas for how to get outside and explore. Some kids need more encouragement than just getting out their backdoor. There are ways to make it an adventure! What will you learn at the party?

  • how to incorporate learning into outdoor activities
  • how can we intertwine technology with our environment
  • crafts and activities to enjoy outdoors
  • lessons other families have learned from nature

Join me and other parents this Wednesday, April 15th, online from 2-3 pm EST as we chat about the great outdoors! Your family will be ready for Earth Day and outdoor fun in the days ahead.

PBS KIDS Explore the Outdoors