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More Homemade Granola Bars

I've modified this recipe slightly, and it's even better!

1) I removed the brown sugar. Honestly, it's sweet enough with all the honey. With the brown sugar it was too sweet.

2) I've added (drum roll) - cocoa powder!!!! This meant removing other spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.) to avoid flavour clashes.

3) I've added sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and chopped walnuts.

Next I'm going to try replacing the oil with peanut butter, to create a chocolate/peanut butter flavour. The only problem with this (and the chopped walnuts) is that I couldn't send that version to school in September because of the rules against nuts (allergies).

Still, why not have a peanut butter version for the summer? I'll let you know how they turn out :)

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Homemade Granola Bars

So I thought I'd try making some. Just because, well, why not? The cereal bars that you buy in the store are pretty expensive, and not really that nutritious.

Here's the recipe I followed:

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
1/2 cup each of flax, coconut, quinoa, wheat germ, raisins, chocolate chips
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar

Basically you mix everything together, pack it all into a 9x13 inch greased pan, bake it at about 325F for about 18-22 minutes.

Easy, right? Let me tell you, they were delicious, but they fell apart even after they were cooled. Now all I have to do is figure out where I went wrong (or figure out how to send sticky granola cereal to school with a five and seven year old ;)
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What Healthy Lunches?

Aaaand it's stopped.

Alyssa no longer eats the healthy part of her lunch - just the yummy carbs (oh and the cheese string, which I suppose I can't totally complain about). Should I skip the carbs so she'll be forced to eat the fruit and veggies? I suppose I could, but she's pretty darn lean. I don't need and "feedback" about her being underfed.

Instead I've stuck with carbs (along with the fruits, veggies, grains, and dairy), but with a twist: I'm back to making homemade treats with extra nutrients snuck in them. Jam filled bars with bran, flax and oats; chocolate chip cookies made with wheat germ, almonds and quinoa (which is high in protein, having all essential amino acids - did you know that? I just found this out recently). She gobbles down her "treats" with gusto, and reaps the nutritional benefits.

I still packed apple slices and carrots for her this morning though, because hey, you never know...
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Video Game Addiction In Kids

I was at (love that website :) and came across this post and video...

...where three moms discuss their boys' video games habits. I myself also know several moms who have sons who can't get enough of this electronic entertainment, and who are fixated on it to the point where nothing else matters to them.

I worried about lil' J for awhile because he adores the computer (which is good in many ways) and Wii. Every day it was: computer, Wii, computer, Wii.

He started in on it all fairly young (3 1/2 yrs) when he didn't really have a busy schedule. Because of this, I let him indulge in gaming, in the back of my mind thinking I'd have to start setting limits when he starts Kindergarten (which he did this year). I wondered how difficult this would be, and often thought that I should start cutting him back gradually, and getting him used to limits. However the early computer skills that he was acquiring appealed to me and so I just let it continue.

Then one day he he didn't play as much, and then the next even less, and before I knew it he was chasing a soccer ball around in the back yard.

I am convinced that because I let him immerse himself in gaming, he's had his fill, and played to the point of boredom.

Whereas if I had set limits, say with a timer each day or something similar to that, he would have been stopped before he was ready, and possibly left wanting more?

If you were given a slice of chocolate cake and while you were eating it someone intercepted the fork on its way to your mouth and took away the plate with half the slice still on it, wouldn't you be thinking about cake for the rest of the day? (I know I would!!) On the other hand, if you were allowed to finish the piece, and then were given as much more as you could eat, wouldn't you eventually feel tired enough of it to maybe not want cake for a few days? There might be a parallel here.

In any case, it's worked for us (so far :)

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So far so good!! Lil' J is loving Kindergarten and A is happy in Grade 2. Meanwhile I am happy for another reason:

I have no idea why, but Alyssa is eating all of the healthy food I've been putting in her lunches. Who is this child? What have they done with my daughter? They look the same, but...

I've struggled with her from day one of her school career to eat healthy food at lunch. No matter what I did, the carrots, grapes, and anything else remotely beneficial would always come back untouched. She'd beg me for cookies and crap like "ALL the other kids get, Mommy!" (which I somehow doubt, but anyway...), and I'd finally give in, and include a small sweet something, which of course would get eaten.

That was before this year. The subject of treats in her lunch has yet to come up, and yesterday she even ate her apple slices that had turned slightly brown.

(Now I just have to hope that blogging about it hasn't jinxed it ;)
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