Nutrition for the Family

By: Cindy Gauthier, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

One thing I truly believe as a parent is proper sleep for my children.  I feel all children as they grow into teenagers need sufficient amounts of sleep for proper development and growth.  When we are asleep, our body repairs and restores itself. Lack of sleep hinders growth, robbing the body of the vital rest needed for energy to grow.  Also, I make sure that I take a rest or a nap if I need one, the housework can wait!
An important cooking tool for my family is my crock-pot.  I use my crock-pot weekly for meals.  I make a large batch of what ever I am whipping up and freeze a bunch for easy dinners later.  I cook up stews, soups, chili, chicken meals and even baby food for my 8 month old. 
I have added a few tips on ways to make healthy alternatives while cooking and snacking,
Use plain yoghurt instead of sour cream
Buy whole grain crackers (I like Kashi-whole grain crackers)
Dip your fresh veggies or pita in hummus instead of creamy dips
Buy whole grain breads and avoid white breads
I always make sure I have the fridge full of healthy snacks, ready to eat for my family
Oh, one more thing, I found a great snack that is easy to make and is full of nutrients and my daughter loves them!  Kale Chip is easy to make…first preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Wash a bunch of kale and pat dry with some paper towel.  Tear the leaves off the center rib and tear into large pieces.  Place leaves in a large bowl and toss with olive oil and some salt. Lay flat on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with some parmesan cheese and bake for 25 min or until crisp.  Be sure to place the kale in one layer on the sheet tray. Overcrowding will steam the kale rather than crisp it. Enjoy!