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Simple learning. Preschool homeschool.

Five Amazing Art Supplies for Preschoolers

5 Amazing Art Supplies for Preschoolers
5 Amazing Art Supplies for Preschoolers

FOCUS ON GOOD QUALITY ITEMS

Homeschooling is a blessing. We spend quality time together, read classic books, and play with art! My boys are spontaneous and creative working with various art supplies.

HOMESCHOOL STYLE

Our homeschooling style is a mix of Charlotte Mason, Montessori, and Waldorf. Probably, you will notice emphasis on beautiful and natural materials when following a Waldorf homeschool style. We seek beauty in our surroundings. We value nature outings, a minimal home atmosphere, and quality children’s toys and materials. We prioritize beautiful and nourishing foods. However, it can be expensive to choose quality! Therefore, we include both quality items and affordable items.

preschool art supplies
preschool art supplies

CREATIVITY WITH WATERCOLORS

First, we used watercolors. My oldest son made a rainbow. He is very curious about rainbows. Together, we choose different colors paints and therefore, he had a great time creating art! He enjoys painting his name, and creating different shapes. He has re-created watercolor pictures from books.

Our boys are pictured below. I created some donuts with a piece of left over cardboard and my younger son is intensely focused while he paints frosting.

Water Color Art Donut Craft
Water Color Art Donut Craft

GLITTER GLUE PENS AND FUN LEARNING THE ALPHABET

We began our preschool learning with the Peaceful Preschool. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue to create sensory, textured alphabet flashcards. At first, I thought the glitter glue ran out too quickly. However, we have used them with all of the letters thus far. The glitter glue is one of my children’s favorite parts.

I have witnessed their fine motor skills improve. Their hand writing skills have begun to emerge by using these glitter pens. They love picking and choosing different colors to trace their letters. My oldest son has recently taken an interest in writing!

watercolor of brown bear
watercolor of a brown bear

ALPHABET LETTER STAMPS AND LEARNING

Simply Learning Kids recommends these alphabet letter stamps. I ordered some from Amazon. The boys have loved using them to stamp the letters they are focusing on.

We have some other alphabet stamps from Michael’s also, but these particular ones above have a great shape and structure. They are perfect for little hands to hold onto while stamping letters. My children also have fun putting these away. They find the correct place holders for them and put them back in the box when they are finished using them. We were so excited to discover this item since its a great practical life skill!

watercolor and art
Finally, Watercolor arts

CREATIVITY AND BEAUTY WITH OIL PASTELS

SaltyTribe recommended these oil pastelsWe have so much fun using them! I have created simple Winnie the Pooh drawings with them and the boys love to use them. My boys love to freely draw with the pastels and usually make a big mess. I don’t mind the mess since they are creative!

My children make large, sweeping shapes with the pastels and add various colors on the page. They are the best crayons we have every used. We decided to purchase them since they were so affordable. We are thankful we have these amazing pastels since they have turned into so many interesting art projects.

WATERCOLOR GLASS JAR HOLDERS

The glass jars and cherry wood holder are on my list of future purchases since they are beautiful! They are a beautiful addition to any child’s work space (or adults for that matter). They would store the paints very well and also be a beautiful and functional item. It seems like nice quality Stockmar paints are often paired together with these.

Finally, what are you favorite preschool art supplies?

OUR PICKS

Lowercase Alphabet Stamps
Watercolor Paper
Modeling Clay
Natural Eco Dough and Tools
Chalk Pastels

Homemade Jars of Strawberry Jam

Simple Homemade Strawberry Jam

GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE

My fondest memory of my Grandmother Tessie was how much she loved her family, and I also loved her homemade strawberry jam. While we visited my Grandmother each year, we were welcomed with a home-cooked breakfast. Each morning, we could wake up to count on: bacon, sausage, grits, homemade biscuits, butter, and homemade strawberry jelly. I have always loved food and am particularly fond of a big breakfast and the star of Grandmother Tessie’s breakfast was her strawberry jam.

STRAWBERRY JAM AND BUTTER

My Grandpa Ford showed me how to mix butter and strawberry jelly together in just the right amounts to make a delicious topping for anything. We would take a fork and mash together the two ingredients and although it didn’t look very pretty, it had a heavenly taste. I’m pretty sure my eyes rolled back in my head with delight each time we concocted it. When I was in middle school, I learned Grandmother’s delicious jelly actually was made with figs. Since I didn’t know anything about a fig, I was a little shocked and turned off by my new knowledge. My ignorance quickly faded and I maintained my reverence of her strawberry jam.

Superfoods Home Page Strawberry Plant Garden Hands
Home Page Strawberry Plant Garden Hands
Strawberry Jam Helping Hands
Strawberry Jam and Helping Hands

Grandmother Tessie lived to be 97. She lived a long, loving and loved life, filled with a large family, and homegrown and homemade foods.

CHILDREN IN THE KITCHEN

I knew just the thing to do when I discovered an abundance of strawberries in my refrigerator. I rounded up my boys and we made homemade strawberry jam. My boys are always so excited to help us out in the kitchen. Their faces lit up and they are so delighted to get their hands on the food and assist. I call my boys my great little helpers often – and they truly are. They wash berries in the sink, cut off the stems, place berries in a bowl, squeeze lemon to make fresh juice, and dump in sugar, and vanilla extract from my pre-measured spoons and cups. They also stir it all together before I place it on the cooktop to simmer.

When your children assist you in the kitchen, it may take longer for the task to be completed, and your kitchen may get dirty. Yet, I believe the benefits of including your children in cooking preparation far outweighs the negatives. We can help you discover tips on how to get your children more involved in the kitchen.

  • STRAWBERRY JAM: The recipe is super simple and super delicious! I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.
SIMPLE, HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY JAM

Ingredients:

2 pounds strawberries, sliced and stems removed
Juice of one lemon
Zest of half a lemon
2 cups sugar (raw cane sugar or coconut sugar - I'm going to try honey next!)
2.5 teaspoons fig balsamic vinegar (or plain balsamic vinegar)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and stir frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally. 

Jam should be ready in about 60-90 minutes. It should be thick and jam-like.

I stored my jam in a mason jar in the refrigerator. It should keep for a month. However, I don't think it will last that long!

This recipe is adapted from a Completely Delicious recipe. I use fig balsamic vinegar because it reminds me so much of my Grandmother’s homemade version. I also add lemon zest for brightness since a little extra lemon is almost always a welcome addition! If you try this jam recipe, please comment! I would love to hear how it turns out for you! 

Finally, Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam

 

OUR PICKS

Helping hands in kitchen. Fresh vegetables.

Try a Farmer’s Market and CSA

strawberry farm
strawberry farm

FARMER’S MARKET:

Have you tried purchasing your food at a Farmer’s Market? I highly recommend it! There are so many benefits to purchasing foods at your local Farmer’s Market. Here are some of the positive aspects below to purchasing food from a Farmer’s Market:

  1. MEET THE FARMER

    Ask questions about their best farm practices such as, “Do you use pesticides on your vegetables?” or “What do you feed your cows?” or “Do your chickens have access to grass?” Get to know more about your food life cycle so you can make informed decisions and purchase the best foods you possibly can.

  2. FRESH, HIGH-QUALITY FOOD

    At the farmer’s market, chances are the food was freshly picked the day before or the morning of. This allows you to absorb the most nutrients you can from the vegetables or fruits. Farmers at Farmer’s Markets often produce foods that are certified organic or nearly organic. Talk to them about this if its a concern to you.

  3. TASTINGS/SAMPLES 

    At a local Farmer’s Market we attend, most vendors provide samples so you can try their tasty wares before purchasing. We have had the pleasure of tasting local, raw honey, savory Indian sauces, granola, gluten-free, homemade pizza, and raw, unpasteurized, organic whole milk on a weekly basis. My children’s favorite bits of attending farmer’s markets are definitely trying the samples!

  4. SUPPORT A LOCAL FARMER

    It is always nice when you can support a local farmer or business. They are trying to make a living just as many people are. I think its nice to support someone local to your area.

  5. INVOLVE YOUR CHILDREN 

    When my children come with me to the Farmer’s Market, they see me tasting fresh foods, talking to vendors to learn about the foods, and ultimately purchasing fresh foods that we take home to cook. Children are learning by the daily example we set as parents, and the modeling we are doing. Help them make the world a better place by letting them discover a Farmer’s Market. We often bring along our own bags, because my children love helping. This basket would be a great one to have on hand.

 

Helping hands in the kitchen. Peeling vegetables.
Helping hands in the kitchen. Peeling vegetables.

 

CSA (COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE):

Have you ever tried purchasing a CSA? CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Essentially, a customer like me, purchases a weekly or bi-monthly box of organic, local vegetables from a farm and the payment goes toward the farm’s needs. It allows them to continue growing the food for the community and stay in business.

My family and I began our first CSA with Johnson’s Backyard Garden about a year and a half ago. During the first winter time we received the CSA box twice a month. There were always a variety of dark, leafy greens included in each box. For the first time in my life, I regularly consumed spinach, kale, collard greens and similar dark, leafy greens.  

HEALTH BENEFITS

One of the best health benefits I experienced was immediately, my headaches that I had suffered from consistently for as long as I could remember, subsided. After doing some research, I attribute this to the consumption of the leafy greens, as they are an amazing superfood.

Another amazing thing about using a CSA box is that it gives me the opportunity to consume foods that I would never have purchased just going into the grocery store. They are a great price, too. I pay for a year up front now because its the most economical option, and best of all it winds up a better price than Whole Foods. I receive a fresh, just picked box of organic produce as part of our weekly CSA and I believe the produce is far superior when it is farm-fresh!

counting carrots with letter c unit
counting carrots with letter c unit

NEGATIVES:

  • You can’t choose your specific vegetables. This can be daunting wondering what in the world you are going to do with a turnip, for example. Quickly though, I discovered this was a blessing in disguise. My family and I are exposed to a great variety of foods and nutrients that would never have come into our life had we not done a CSA. We used our fresh mint this week to make homemade strawberry mint sorbet!

POSITIVES:

  • You consume a variety of nutrient-rich, organic, local produce.
  • You can choose your pick-up location, day and time. I pick up my CSA box at the local Farmer’s Market. Alternatively, you could choose to pick up at your local grocery store and do all of your grocery shopping for the week in one swoop!
  • Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) offers information on storing each vegetable so it will last the optimal amount of time. I have learned so much here!
  • JBG also has a blog where you can see beautiful photos of their farm and progress. They provide recipe ideas too to use the produce from your CSA box!
  • Finally, you can also volunteer your time in exchange for a free box of vegetables!

Finally, have you attended a Farmer’s Market or have you ever been part of a CSA?

b is for berry
b is for berry
fresh mint
finally, fresh mint

NEED MEAL PLAN IDEAS? Go here…We have you covered!

 

OUR PICKS

Favorite Vanilla Bean Cupcake Recipe

Favorite Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

First, I share our struggles to get pregnant. Next, I share how we opened up a cupcake shop. Finally, I share my favorite Vanilla Cake Recipe!

INFERTILITY

My husband and I tried for more than three years to get pregnant. I was more disheartened with each passing year when I did not become pregnant. I wondered why I had this huge desire to be a Mama, yet not be able to obtain it. My doctor recommended blood work and a radiology exam to check for infertility. All of my levels appeared normal, so we waited.

I took Clomid, an ovulatory stimulant, for five months with no positive results. My doctor said he had taken us as far as he would go, so he wanted to refer us to a fertility specialist. My husband and I had a discussion and we finally decided to let this goal go for awhile and focus on other things.  I was heartbroken, and mourning the loss of my dream, so I cried for several days.

BEGINNING A CUPCAKE SHOP

For more than a year, I created and tested cupcakes recipes in the kitchen. We valued high-quality ingredients since that is how we eat at home. Organic, whole milk, Madagascar vanilla, cage-free, organic eggs, and organic fruits were staples in our sweets, therefore I wanted to bring that to my business. We would use as many organic ingredients as possible in baking and also provide an abundance of gluten-free options. Flavor played a key role and each cupcake was taste tested happily by family and friends. I worked towards making the best tasting cupcakes I could, using the best ingredients I could in order to present the best quality.

PREGNANT

Finally, we acquired keys for the shop. About two days later, we found out we were pregnant! I was shocked and filled with wonder for so many different blessings during that time in our lives. God’s love is amazing. My husband and I prepared for our special miracle at the same time preparing to open a cupcake shop.

Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam

OPENING DAY

I clearly remember the first day of opening. We didn’t advertise or market. The health inspector had approved us for opening the day before. We decided to bake about 120 cupcakes to see what would happen. On opening day, so many customers, friends and family poured into our doors so by the afternoon, we were SOLD OUT of cupcakes.

Business that first weekend was even better and in one Saturday, we had sold more than 300 cupcakes. This was a huge deal because we were in a small town! I put in long hours daily at the shop, was pregnant, therefore, I could barely keep up with production that first year.

Colored Egg Play. Boys helping in the kitchen.
Colored Egg Play. Boys helping in the kitchen.

VANILLA CUPCAKE RECIPE

While I didn’t bake this particular recipe while we had my shop, if I did it all again, this recipe below would be my go-to for vanilla cupcakes. They are the most delicious we have made. These cupcakes contain high-quality ingredients which may lead to a superior flavor.

ALMOND CUPCAKES (or Vanilla Bean or Vanilla Cupcakes)

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS
3 eggs
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup full-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (grass-fed)
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup brown rice or sorghum flour 
1/3 cup cane sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat your oven to 325'F. Line a cupcake/muffin tin with approximately 12 regular size liners. I prefer the unbleached kind.

Whisk your eggs. Use a knife to cut the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add them to the bowl with your eggs. Add the honey, yogurt, butter and mix together. In a separate bowl, sift the almond flour, your choice of other flours, sugar, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix together. Use an icecream scoop to pour the batter into your cupcake liners. Bake until a cake tester or knife inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. The baking time varies depending on your oven, but a good rule of thumb is about 20 minutes. Set aside the cupcakes to cool on a baking rack.

FROSTING INGREDIENTS
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon cane sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract (Madagascar vanilla)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
pinch of sea salt

Whip the cream with a mixer until it thickens. Add the sugar and vanilla extract, and beat until fluffy. At the end, add the mascarpone and a pinch of salt. 

Top the completely cooled cupcakes with the frosting and add berries for a beautiful and delicious touch. Eat and try to share.
Birthday Boy Favorite Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
Birthday Boy Favorite Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

NOTE: This recipe is adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook. You can find her amazing blog here. Purchase her book below among my favorite and well-used cookbooks!

Helping hands in the kitchen. Peeling vegetables.

Simple Superfood Snacks To Try

DEFINITION OF SUPERFOODS

Merriam-Webster defines superfoods as, “…food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health.” Next, it expands to say, “Superfoods increase energy and vitality, regulate cholesterol and blood pressure and may help to prevent or fight cancer and other diseases.” 

This definition of superfoods really encourages me to attempt to incorporate these foods into our daily diet. I desire to feed my children foods which: support their bodies, provide them with energy, and assist their immune systems.

Superfoods Home Page Strawberry Plant Garden Hands
Home Page Strawberry Plant Garden Hands

NOURISHING OUR CHILDREN

From the birth of my eldest son, it has been my mission to feed our children healthy foods. First, I nursed them with my breast milk, so they could gain benefits of breastfeeding. I was careful to include superfoods, because they are so beneficial, when I introduced foods in their diet after they turned six months old.

Next, I attempted a light baby-led weaning with them which you can learn more about here. My favorite foods are those that are healthy, delicious and simple to prepare! I loved the ease of taking a banana or avocado, mashing it with a fork, and feeding it to my children.

My husband and I try to provide the whole family a nutritious meal. We feed our children the same food easily off of our own plates. It sets a good example for your young children – to eat the same foods they are eating, to sit down with them at the same table, to encourage them to try the food offered to them. As my children approached eight-nine-ten months, they were both eating most of what my husband and I were. So, we just cut up the food into bite sized pieces, and made sure they were soft enough for them.

superfood Homemade Gluten-Free Paleo Blueberry Muffins
superfood Homemade Gluten-Free Paleo Blueberry Muffins

FAVORITE SUPERFOOD SNACKS

Here are some of my favorite superfoods snacks that are easy to offer to our children:

  • BlueberriesBlueberries are, “high in antioxidants and they also contain fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C,” according to Wholesomebabyfood. We offer blueberries among other berries, often as a complement for breakfast or as a snack! Our boys love them. We love them also because they are great superfoods. When our boys were under 12 months, I would simply cut the blueberries in half prior to giving them a delicious and nutritious bowlful of berries.
  • Bee Pollen – this is a superfood my preschoolers love since it is naturally sweet tasting (resembling honey in flavor). Bee pollen are tiny balls or granules that are collected by worker bees on their body as they collect nectar from flowers. We purchase our bee pollen at our local farmer’s market because it is fresh. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, bee pollen reduces symptoms of: “allergies, asthma, menstrual irregularities, constipation, diarrhea, anemia, low energy, cancer, rheumatism, arthritis and toxic conditions.” We eat it by a small spoonful or sprinkle it on top of whole-milk yogurt.
  • Grass-Fed Butter – we add grass-fed butter into our daily diet by using it as a fat to cook our vegetables, meats and sometimes fruits. It is a great fat to have in your daily diet. We often use it for baking. I love Kerrygold Pure Irish butter  because I can purchase it at Whole Foods for a good price. It is a great quality grass-fed butter. It is very satisfying to eat butter and helps you absorb great nutrients in your meal. I also love the Organic Valley grass-fed butter brand and will stock up on these when they are on sale.
  • Quinoa – When our boys were younger than age one year old, we began to feed them quinoa as it is a great superfood seed full of iron, fiber, calcium and folate. We cooked it according to the instructions on the package, so it was similar to rice. I would often steam vegetables, or serve quinoa with some prepared frozen vegetables as a meal for the whole family.
  • Yogurt – Our entire family loves eating yogurt for breakfast or as a healthy snack. Parentinghealthybabies.com notes that yogurt is an immune-boosting food and provides gut-friendly bacteria, and helps support digestion. I prefer whole-milk yogurt as I feel the taste is better and the full-fat helps promote dental health, satisfies hunger longer, and is a more natural way to eat the food. I try to look for a full-fat, grass-fed yogurt, without a lot of extra additives or dyes.

Finally, there are tons of easy snack and healthy meal ideas available on my nourishedchildren Pinterest page. Feel free to check them out here! What are your favorite snacks you like to offer your family?

Boys Stirring Muffins. Helping in the kitchen.
Boys Stirring Muffins. Helping in the kitchen.

OUR PICKS

Water Color Art Donut Craft

We Love Simply Learning Kids

SIMPLY LEARNING KIDS

We began our preschool at home using free curriculum, books and projects provided by Simply Learning Kids. I highly encourage you to check Kaitlyn out – she’s amazing! We have read and created learning opportunites on great preschool toddler books suggested by Simply Learning Kids such as: Good Night Gorilla, Little Blue Truck and Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site. The three books listed above are repeatedly requested by my youngest three-year-old. When my oldest son was two, these were on consistent rotation as well! I just love these board books – there are so many different discussions and themes to build on and play with that can spark your imagination (and your children’s) while reading these stories. The illustrations and sweet little stories stick in your mind long after you close the books.

Simple learning. Preschool homeschool.
Simple learning. Preschool homeschool.

There are consistently the same education tools used in Simplylearningkids with each of her literature units:

  • great books
  • three-part cards (a Montessori concept)
  • fun, hands-on activities that promote exploration of letters 
  • simple counting activities
  • crafts

DOWNLOAD EACH LETTER UNIT FOR FREE.  Simply click on the link and it will download to your computer in a PDF format. Then, you can choose to print off the pages you would like your child to work on. I like to coincide the Simply Learning letter units with the Peaceful Preschool curriculum we are currently using. So, after we introduce a letter with the Peaceful Preschool, we then complete the Simply Learning letter that corresponds with it.

Water Color Art Donut Craft
Water Color Art Donut Craft

 

PRESCHOOL AT HOME

This was our first introduction into preschool at home. We fit it into our schedule when we can, and I continue with my children only as far as they are interested. Above all, I maintained an attitude of no pressure. They love it! We enjoy focusing on the good books, fun and simple crafts therefore my children have so much fun. This is our first time working on becoming familiar with letters. The art projects are so much fun (even for Mama). We can help you find our list of essential preschool homeschool supplies.

Best of all, her resources are completely free! She also has an abundance of resources on Pinterest to compliment her learning units. You can follow her on Pinterest here for even more ideas on supplementing your current learning curriculum.

Kaitlyn has a visually pleasing blog and recommends some great quality products. I was one thankful Mama when I found her website since she makes teaching easy. The peace of mind that comes from simply being able to download a learning unit and immediately work on it with my children has been phenomenal. Please check simplylearningkids.com out!

 

Simply Learning Kids Duck Craft Letter D
Simply Learning Kids Duck Craft Letter D

 

OUR PICKS

The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

Favorite Cookbook List To Check Out

OUR PICKS

Over the past five years, I have been gathering a wealth of good quality and useful cookbooks. I want to share a list of my favorite cookbooks with you, including my favorite cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte.

My passion for healthy cooking began about ten years ago when I became certified as an RYT 500-hour hot yoga teacher. I was led down a path of consuming nutritious and whole foods. With each passing year, I have discovered more food knowledge, and a deeper desire to consume the best foods we can afford.

My husband and I quickly learned that making and consuming foods inside the home was a much more economical and nutritious option. We both fell in love with the process of being creative in coming up with meals and introducing various foods into our diet on a regular basis.

Favorite Vanilla Bean Cupcake Recipe
Favorite Vanilla Bean Cupcake Recipe

When I became pregnant with my oldest son in 2012, I had JUST opened up a cupcake shop. We sold mostly gluten-free cupcakes and used as many organic options as we could source for a good quality product. Over and over we heard that we made the best testing cupcakes around. I could hardly keep up with business at first. Due to the nature of being a start up business, I put in long hours at the shop, was on my feet all day, and despite my best intentions, mostly ate foods from restaurants out of convenience and sheer exhaustion. On the day I delivered my son, unfortunately, I had developed preeclampsia. I blamed myself for not taking better care of my body in pregnancy and the outcome of my birth experience.

Fast forward nine months after my first son was born, and we were pregnant with our second son. I vowed to take better care of my body. We ate in as much as we could.  My husband often brought me home cooked meals at work. While I didn’t rest as much as I should have, my second pregnancy was better than my first. I did not have preeclampsia with my second pregnancy. I attribute a healthy second pregnancy to eating nourishing, home-cooked meals as much as possible.

Now that my sons are toddlers and preschoolers, we try to eat home-cooked meals as much as we can. Cooking with our children is quickly becoming one of our favorite ways to connect as a family! I’m so fortunate I can stay at home with them, and my husband’s flexible hours mean that he is often home cooking meals with us for breakfast and lunch. I teach them preschool at home and preparing and eating meals together is a big part of our day. We are so lucky when Daddy can join us!

As my sister says, “Food is everything.” Below are MY FAVORITE COOKBOOKS that I refer back to and regularly use recipes from. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family and I does! Scroll down to the bottom of the page to purchase any of these stellar cookbooks on Amazon!

  1. The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods by Sara Forte.
  2. The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: The Delicious Way to Reduce Inflammation and Stay Healthy by Amanda Haas
  3. Green Kitchen Smoothies: Healthy and Colorful Smoothies for Every Day by David Frenkiel an Luise Vindahl.  
  4. Whole30 Cookbook by Melissa Hartwig
  5. Eat Beautiful by Wendy Rowe
  6. The Wellness Mama Cookbook by Katie Wells.

 

Boys Stirring Muffins. Helping in the kitchen.

Help Your Child Eat A Variety of Foods

Help Your Child Eat A Variety of Foods

“The parents’ chief care is, that that which they supply shall be wholesome and nourishing, whether in the way of picture-books, lessons, playmates, bread and milk, or mother’s love.”  — Charlotte Mason Home Education pg. 5

Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam
Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam

My child only eats mac and cheese and a few other foods. We struggle to feed our child a variety of foods. I want my child to eat something, anything. So, we finally offer my child mac and cheese so he won’t starve.” 

I see so many parents with this struggle. It is easy to fall victim to this vicious cycle. When we offer food to our children and they don’t eat their food, we feel like we should never offer the particular meal again. This results in your child eating the same variety of foods.

When young children are learning how to eat, they may need to try the same food many times before they discover if they like it or not. My oldest son refused eggs in ALL methods of preparation for about two years! Then one day, he decided he wanted a hard boiled egg. He has consumed hard boiled eggs ever since.

Find out why a Farmer’s Market and CSA is wonderful for your family. 

 

Helping hands in kitchen. Fresh vegetables.
Helping hands in kitchen. Fresh vegetables.

Below, are four tips to help your child receive a variety of healthy nutrients to nourish their bodies.

  1. STOP SERVING MAC AND CHEESE. Literally.

Give your child a few days to adjust, give yourself some grace, and provide a variety of other healthy foods. Do not feed your child mac and cheese, no matter what. Its just a few days – you can do it. In a few days, feel free to offer it back to them on occasion. The intention is not to deprive them of the foods they love, however, you are in control of what they eat. Provide them foods other than mac and cheese. 

2. WHAT DO WE EAT? 

  • Offer a variety of healthy food choices. Foods can be simple, easy and enjoyed by the whole family. When you offer an assortment of healthy choices to your children, you are fueling their bodies. The following examples below are filled with nutrients. Children can also help to prepare these foods.
Examples are, but certainly not limited to:

You can find simple recipes the whole family can be involved with on Pinterest.

3. INVOLVE YOUR CHILDREN IN THE FOOD PREPARATION. 

Children, and mamas too, are more interested in something if they have had a part in the creation of it. Children (even very young children) can help prepare all of the above meal examples in tip #2. By participating in food preparation, children are more inclined to taste test what they directly helped make. Please always make sure to assist your children and supervise as needed.

Your children can learn and help you by: gathering ingredients that are accessible to them, opening jars, bags, spreading the foods on the sandwiches, spiralizing vegetable noodles, squeezing lemons, adding garnish to dishes, and washing fresh fruit or vegetables.

Helping hands in the kitchen. Peeling vegetables.
Helping hands in the kitchen. Peeling vegetables.

4. EAT MEALS WITH YOUR CHILDREN. 

When it is possible, sit down and eat meals with your children. Lead by example so your children see you eat the same foods you are asking them to eat. Children are constantly learning from everything they experience, see and hear. When you sit beside your child, and eat the same foods together as a family, you are reinforcing their good eating habits. 

Stick with this parents and you can do this. Remember, you are their primary and first source of nourishment and you make the decisions. It may be a tough few days, but you can do this. I have seen it work with my children. Pave a path for your children. With your efforts, they will experience a wealth of nutrient dense and healthy foods, in just a few days time.

Our boys are pictured below. We made homemade whipped cream with just a few ingredients and it therefore turned out amazing. Finally, we topped our gluten-free pancakes with the cream.

Boys homemade whipped cream

 

OUR PICKS

Playing with Nature and Homemade Playdough Recipe

Essential Homeschool Preschool Supplies

HOMESCHOOL PRESCHOOL SUPPLIES

My children are at home for preschool. I enjoy keeping them close, and because I love learning and teaching, this is a good fit for our family. While you don’t need a ton of materials to get started teaching your children, there are some key supplies very useful to have on hand. I love online shopping on Amazon because it is so convenient, especially when you have littles. I like to click on items we need, and then click on “Save it for Later” because it will save in my Amazon cart. Then, when financially possible, I move it to my cart so we can purchase what we need!

letter b preschool unit
Then, letter b preschool unit supplies

ORGANIZATION SUPPLIES

First, find a yearly planner you love to use because you will use it often. I like the ones without dates because you can customize it to fit your needs. We use the curriculum from thepeacefulpreschool.com since it has been amazing for us! I can’t wait to share with you some lovely lessons we are moving through from the Peaceful Preschool since they have been fun and filled with learning. You can also download unit A for FREE to see if it is a good fit for your family! Finally, we use both our dinner table and a child sized table for our preschool needs.

 

ARTS AND CRAFTS SUPPLIES

We mostly spend our time together, reading classic books, and playing with art! We value nature outings, a minimal home atmosphere, and quality children’s toys and materials. However, it can be expensive to choose quality! Therefore, we include both quality items and affordable items when we choose our homeschool supplies. My boys love to freely draw with the oil pastels and usually make a big mess. I don’t mind the mess because they are creative!

 

LETTER LEARNING

 

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES FOR LEARNING

We purchased our wooden calendar fromJennifer Etsy shop since it is adorable. This may be one of the most expensive purchases yet, but it is such a great and beautiful learning resource. We enjoy talking about change of seasons, months, weeks and days with this beautiful resource. We also bought the small wooden clock and this wooden alphabet tracing board. I could purchase one of each item from their shop since they are so beautiful and well made.

I also purchased the nature themed play dough set from the Montessorirestore shop for my son’s birthday. My children could play with this for hours daily. The set allows for their creativity, and I love they are playing with items from nature. They use the play dough to form letters and also reinforce concepts from the stories they are hearing.

 

BOOKS

We stick close to the books that are part of the Peaceful Preschool curriculum because they are typically classics. You can find the books listed below on Amazon. You can also choose to check them out at the library for free! Below are some books we love that are additional to the curriculum we use. My children bring these to many over and over to read aloud because they are so good!

 

BOOKS FOR MAMA

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

 

butterfly symmetry art
Then, butterfly symmetry art supplies because we love art
preschool nature counting
Finally, Preschool Nature Counting

 

Also, here are five amazing art supplies for preschoolers.

OUR PICKS


While there are tons of useful learning supplies for your homeschool preschool, these are the ones I have found to be necessary for us.

Finally, what are your favorite homeschool supplies?

 

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