9 Important Vitamins for Kids

Important Vitamins for KidsIdeally, we all should eat a well-balanced diet that supplies us with the proper amount of vitamins, but that’s not always easy – especially if you have some picky eaters. Supplementing vitamins is often a practical solution or most people. Make sure your kids get these vitamins.

1. Potassium

Potassium helps to control nerve impulses and muscle contractions and maintains fluid balance. Great sources for this mineral include nuts, dried fruit, bananas, bran, raw fruit and vegetables.

2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D promotes bone and tooth formation and helps the body absorb calcium. Good sources include milk and other dairy products, and fish oil. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight.

3. Iron

Iron builds muscle and is essential to healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency is a risk in adolescence, especially for girls once they begin to menstruate. Beef and other red meats, turkey, pork, spinach, beans, and prunes are all chock full of iron.

4. Zinc

Zinc aids in wound healing and immune function, is essential for normal taste, smell and sight, and can help in the formation of strong bones. Get your children zinc through lean meat, fish, and chicken, milk, whole grains, and nuts.

5. Calcium

Calcium helps build strong bones as a child grows. Calcium can be found in quality amounts in milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, and calcium-fortified orange juice.

6. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for eyesight, especially night vision and critical for normal growth in children. This vitamin also keeps the skin in the mouth, respiratory tract and urinary tract moist (protects against harmful bacteria). Finally, Vitamin A builds immunity to protect kids from infections. Good sources include milk, cheese, eggs, and yellow-to-orange vegetables like carrots, yams, and squash.

7. Vitamin B Family 

The Vitamin B family includes, B2, B3, B6, and B12. These vitamins aid metabolism, energy production, and healthy circulatory and nervous systems. Good sources include meat, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, beans, and soybeans.

8. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is needed for healthy skin, gums, teeth, bones and cartilage. This vitamin also assists with absorption of some types of iron, along with wound healing and resistance to infection. Good sources include citrus fruit, strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, and green vegetables like broccoli.

9. Magnesium

This mineral provides structure for healthy bones, is involved in the release of energy from food, and is essential for muscle and nerve function. Magnesium can be found in milk, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, legumes, lean meats, nuts, and bananas.

baby swaddleGuest Blog by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Healthy Family Food Recipes

I prefer to live a healthy lifestyle wherever I can. That’s especially true when it comes to the products and foods I offer my kids. Organic cooking is not that much different than cooking traditionally grown foods, you just have to keep an eye on your ingredients. Sometimes you have to make some substitutions, but there are plenty of incredible organic recipes out there. Here are some of my favorites.

1. Organic Strawberry Lemonade Pops

Organic Strawberry Lemonade Pops

Skip the pesticides and extra sugar! These are perfect for the summer and easy to make in large quantities.

2. Organic Potato Crust Quiche

Organic Potato Crust Quiche

Quiche is a great breakfast/brunch food for busy mornings because it can heated up and consumed quickly. Plus you can change the toppings to whatever foods your family prefers.

3. Organic Pumpkin Cheesecake

Organic Pumpkin Cheesecake

Everyone loves cheesecake! Be sure to make this one while pumpkins are still in season so you get the freshest ingredients.

4. Organic Chocolate Mousse

Organic Chocolate Mousse

This is a fun dessert because most people don’t have mousse on its own very often. Usually we use it as a filling, but it’s quite delicious.

5. Organic Pizza Zucchini Boats

Organic Pizza Zucchini Boats

Kids love pizza! You can make them extra healthy by skipping the traditional dough crust for something healthier like zucchini.

6. Guacamole Bruschetta Toast

Guacamole Bruschetta Toast

These have a ton of flavor and a nice texture (the soft vegetables and crunchy toast play nicely together). They’re better served as an appetizer than a stand-alone meal.

7. Banana Oat Energy Bars

Banana Oat Energy Bars

These are great for snacks for the kids because they lots of healthy ingredients. Plus, they don’t require any cooking, just mixing, so you can whip them up quickly.

8. Organic Frittata

Organic Frittata

Like the quiche I mentioned above, this frittata can easily be customized depending on your family’s preferences.

9. Organic Maple Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Organic Maple Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Sometimes you just want a hearty meal, especially during this part of the year. This is a good one to serve if you have company visiting.

10. Roasted Cauliflower Soup and Spinach Salad

Roasted Cauliflower Soup and Spinach Salad

This is a light meal perfect for when you dine alone. I wouldn’t recommend it for kids unless their tastes are really refined.

organic bedding and accessoriesGuest Blog by Jennifer Cicci of Babee Talk

As a mother, Jennifer understands the importance of offering nothing by the best for baby. Motivated by teeth marks on her children’s cribs, she decided to design a teething rail cover after trying products that didn’t measure up when it came to quality or style. What she found out made her even more concerned about children’s safety and health: The toxic chemicals used in the production of synthetic materials have been linked to birth defects, reproductive disorders, and weakened immune systems.

She asked herself, “What if I could revolutionize the way parents decorated their crib with a safe and stylish teething rail cover that could be placed on the crib from day one?” Babee Talk® launched in 2014 with organic bedding and accessories. Chew-friendly, drool-friendly, and organic inside and out, her products ensure a healthy start in life for babies.

She only offers products that she would provide for her own children. She hopes moms and dads will start to talk about the importance of choosing safe, healthy, eco-friendly products, especially for babies.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Travel Must Haves for Moms-To-Be

traveling while pregnantAs if travel preparations weren’t difficult enough, doing it while you’re pregnant makes things even trickier. If you can get your doctor’s blessing and make smart preparations, there’s no reason to miss out on enjoying travel. If you’re planning on hitting the road, learning how to stay comfortable and educate yourself about which activities are safe, will also go a long way to make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable. Here are some packing essentials for your trip as a mom-to-be:

Comfortable Clothes

Expecting moms should know to wear whatever makes them feel good and is comfortable. Taking it a step further, it’s best to wear a dress or separates, such as a skirt or pants with a top, to accommodate frequent trips to the bathroom. Drawstring pants or those with elastic waists are also good choices for pregnant mothers. Another good tip is to layer your clothing to cope with sudden temperature changes; whether it’s the chilly environment of an air-conditioned airport or the stuffy, warm bus that is crowded with people.

Snacks and Drinks

Whether you’ll be on a long road trip or flying for a few hours on a plane, making sure to stay hydrated and prepared with snacks is going to be an important part of the trip. As you now know, you’re eating and drinking for two, and this will show in how quickly you get hungry or thirsty. Make sure to pack an ample amount of snacks and drinks so that you don’t find yourself uncomfortably hungry or thirsty while you’re stuck in an airplane seat. Also, you’ll be able to pack your favorite healthy options rather than relying on a random convenience store or whatever they are serving on the plane.

Important Paperwork

Some paperwork that could come in handy during your travels includes items like your insurance information, medical records, and emergency contact information. All of this paperwork may either be necessary to travel or just helpful and useful to have available when you’re far from home. Obtaining a doctor’s note that says it is safe for you to travel on an airplane may also be very helpful to have.

Sanitizer/Supplements

Maintaining your health and trying to avoid germs is crucial while you’re pregnant. An airport is one the most germ-ridden places you could be, so being sure to plan for this is important. Hand sanitizer will certainly come in handy as you make your rounds through airport security, bathrooms, and on the airplane. Prenatal vitamins and supplements are also great to have to provide your body with what it needs to be healthy while you’re carrying your little one.

baby swaddleGuest Blog by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

6 Healthy Halloween Treat Alternatives to Candy

I like Halloween (my kids do too), but I’m never pleased with the sheer amount of candy that’s available around this time of the year. People have bowls of it laying around their houses, they give it out at stores, and even teachers will hand out a piece now and then. I don’t think you have to be unhealthy to celebrate Halloween, so here are some alternatives to candy that I’ve found.

1. Skeleton Vegetable Platter

healthy Halloween recipe

Using your basic vegetable platter ingredients (carrots, broccoli, celery, peppers, mushrooms, etc.), you can turn the traditional platter into something spooky. It’s simple to make and gives your celebration a lot of flare. I would skip the celery hair, though – that’s not very skeleton-y.

2. Pumpkin Deviled Eggs

healthy Halloween recipe

With a little extra paprika and a tiny piece of celery, you can turn traditional deviled eggs into a Halloween-themed treat. The beauty of this recipe is that it’s just as simple as regular deviled eggs, so you don’t really need to learn a recipe. Once you see a photo, you can make them.

3. Cracker Spiders

healthy Halloween recipe

You can fashion these little crawlers out of basic ingredients. Use the peanut butter (or any type of nut-butter, or even cream cheese) to glue everything together. Even after they’ve sat for a while they’re still delicate, so try not to handle them much.

4. Party Pumpkins

healthy Halloween recipe

These “pumpkins” take very little preparation at all. Peel a few tangerines and stick some celery in the top – ta da! Not much to it.

5. Witch’s Broom

healthy Halloween recipe

This is another super easy recipe that makes your event or party seem extravagant. It’s so simple you could serve these as snacks on any day (since you probably already give your kids pretzels and string cheese at some point.)

6. Halloween Skewers

healthy Halloween recipe

These aren’t a ghost, skeleton, or mummy, but they still use Halloween colors. They’re great for a party of adults who aren’t easily impressed by vampires and other spooky characters. Simply cube and skewer melon and blackberries.

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

8 Tips for Kids to Learn Healthy Eating Habits

teach kids to eat healthyIt’s so tough to teach kids to eat well these days. There are unnatural and unhealthy ingredients in our most inexpensive, most accessible foods. Kids can eat all the bad stuff they like as soon as they’re out of our supervision. It’s tough to monitor their diets. Even still, it’s important that we work to leave them healthy habits once they’re out from under our thumbs. Here’s how you can tech your kids to eat well.

1. Dinner time should be family time.

In our modern, busy lives it’s not uncommon for the family to eat separately. A couple people eat together, another eats in the car on the way to practice, one eats leftovers when she gets home, etc. When we grab something quick or eat in a rush, those foods tend to be unhealthy. Have everyone sit down to dinner together so you can actively monitor everyone’s food intake.

2. Involve your kids in the food shopping.

This isn’t always practical, but whenever possible, include your kids in the food shopping. As you shop, examine the packing labels and discuss the ingredients. Point out how not all foods are equal, and while some may quell hunger, they offer little or no nutritional value. The idea is to make understanding what they’re eating a part of the process.

3. Track down tasty foods.

Foods and snacks don’t need to be laden with sugar to be tasty. In fact, after a period of abstaining from sugar, you would notice that sugary foods are nearly unbearable. There’s a lot of tasty and healthy options out there, you just have to find them. The unhealthy stuff is usually front and center because it’s cheap and easy for stores to stock.

4. Limit sugar and salt.

These two ingredients are a big part of American food and while they’re fine in moderation, they a play a big role in the processed food we put on our store shelves. We don’t just find salt and sugar in cookies and candy, either. Large amounts are added into our staples, like bread, canned soups and vegetables and condiments.

5. Limit portion sizes.

Avoid filling your child’s plate and forcing them to finish every bite. This creates an unhealthy behavior of eating just because food is available. If your child is honestly full, don’t insist they keep eating. We tend to make larger portions for ourselves than we need, but we finish it before our brain registers that our stomachs are full. Eat a bit less and you’ll be surprised that you aren’t hungry.

6. Keep a positive attitude.

Kids (or anyone, for that matter) don’t like to hear what they can’t do. They like to hear what they’re allowed to do. When they ask what’s for dinner, tell them the menu with a positive attitude. Talk about how much you love green beans, peas, carrots and broccoli. Make it seem like a treat that they get to eat such great food. Praise them for eating well without being forced.

7. Serve as a good role model.

Like all parts of parenthood, your kids are going to behave like you no matter what you say. You can’t tell them to eat healthy if you don’t do it yourself. Piling salad on their plates will feel like punishment if you’re skipping that course. Eat the same healthy foods your kids eat and do it with a smile.

8. Set reasonable goals.

Creating hard, unbending rules is the best way to see them broken. If you banish sugary treats from your house entirely, you’ll make your kids crave them and binge when they get the opportunity. Most foods are safe in moderation, so don’t skip birthday cake because it isn’t healthy; let everyone live a little.

eco-friendly green laundry detergentGuest Blog by Kim Webb, CEO and Founder of Rockin’ Green Soap

Finally it’s cool to be GREEN! Rockin’ Green is made for families that care about taking care of themselves and the Earth. As a mom Kim was fed up with the empty promises of “green” cleaning products that were not delivering what they promised… So she invented Rockin’ Green! We can all do our part for the environment while doing something good for ourselves. All of our organic cleaning products are biodegradable, and gluten and vegan friendly. They don’t contain phosphates, SLS, Parabens, or optical brighteners. All of our packaging is made from recycled materials.

Visit www.rockingreensoap.com for more information.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Healthy Summer Snacks for Kids

healthy summer snacksAt the supermarket, we’re offered countless snacks designed for kids, but none of them are as healthy as we would like. They’re filled with sugars, artificial ingredients and preservatives. When it comes to food, you’ll always serve the best if you make it yourself. This summer, when your kids are home, running around outside, and desperately need the nutrition for their growing bodies, serve some of these homemade, healthy, summer snacks.

For extra protein, offer string cheese or cube it yourself. If you’re in the mood, use a cookie cutter to turn it into fun shapes.

Sliced apples are a popular choice for many parents. An apple is quick to slice and enough for a couple toddlers. Add a thin spread of peanut butter for some fiber and protein. The peanut butter makes it a messy snack for a car ride but perfect for outdoor play time.

Mixed nuts are full of healthy fats (Omega-3s) that are important for brain and eye development. They can also stabilize moods. Nuts keep well and are easily carried to the park, pool, or field. Kids can grab them as they want and there’s no mess to clean up.

If you have the time to make preparations, hard-boiled eggs make great snacks. They’re full of protein that toddlers need and they’re easy for little hand to hold. Boil a batch once per week.

Yogurt parfait with some berries and granola is a great way to get nutrients without all the sugar in store-bought yogurt or kids’ snacks. For a special summer treat, freeze the yogurt in ice cube trays with a Popsicle stick to beat the summer’s heat.

Pasta a great complex carbohydrate that’s perfect for days with lots of activity. Add cooked pasta into a bag with vegetables and chicken (perhaps with some tomato sauce or Italian dressing on the side for dipping) and bring it with you to the amusement park or game field.

The simplest and healthiest snack you can provide are raw fruits and vegetables. Slice them into easy-to-hold bite-sized pieces and pop them in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware. They offer plenty of calories and energy without sugar, sodium, or fat.

Make your own trail mix with cereal, berries, raisons, dried fruit, and banana chips. This vitamin-rich snack can be made in large quantities at one time and doled out in handfuls.

Using vanilla yogurt, orange juice, and a banana, make your own smoothies. Experiment with different fruits and flavors until you find one that’s right for your family. Serve in a non-spill cup so your kids can cool off while they run around.

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.