Tag Archives: kids

Why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? A good excuse to throw a party!

My middle son asked me on Tuesday, “Why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?” I’ll be honest, it was one of those moments when I didn’t have an answer so I told him to “google” it.  I’m not sure if he ever did, but I did.  Do you know why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? For me, it’s always been one of those holidays you celebrate by wearing green, eating green food, drinking green beverages and decorating with green shamrocks.  Here is what I discovered about St. Patrick’s Day, it’s a global celebration of Irish culture on or around March 17. It particularly remembers St. Patrick,  one of Ireland’s patron saints, who ministered Christianity in Ireland in the fifth century. I’d say that’s a good enough reason to party!

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Treat bags for the kids…skittles, rolos and a pack of green gum.

Every year, I throw a Valentine’s Party for my kiddos just like my Mom  used to do for us when my sister and I were little.  Some where along the way, I started throwing a St. Patrick’s Day party.  It started one year several years ago with a few leprechaun tricks, a leprechaun trap, and some rainbow candies with cold coins. Then I started making green food for dinner…green pancakes with sprinkles of course.  I also made sure there was green milk to drink.

As my kids get older, I know they won’t find these parties too exciting…we do them now mostly for my 6 year old daughter and 9 year old son who still enjoys the fun! I think I enjoy them the most! Here are some pictures of the last minute fun I came up with this year for our party.  I was a little under the weather, so I’m surprised I was able to pull anything off.  Thank you Pinterest! All of these were inspired by Pinterest posts.

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Shamrock shaped Rice Krispie treats with green sugar sprinkles.
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Shamrock pretzels with a rolo and m & m middle. These were supposed to have sucker sticks in them but I didn’t have any.
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Rainbow fruit with miniature marshmallows for clouds and rolos candies for the pot of gold.
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Our cute party table.
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My pot of gold…YUM!!

For dinner we had turkey sausage, Brussels sprouts, baked potatoes, mac n cheese & corn.  I tried to eliminate too much junk this year.  No cupcakes or cookies or cakes.  I think it all turned out pretty well considering this Mama was not on her best game that day.  Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? If so, I’d love to see what you do! Please share your comments, questions and suggestions below or email me at happycleanlife@gmail.com.

Have a happy healthy day!

~Michelle

Healthy Snacks for Kids That They Will Love

Finding healthy snacks for kids that they will actually eat and love, can be a challenge.  So today, I thought I’d share a few of my kiddo’s favorite healthy snacks.

The first one is Apple Nachos.  I must agree, these are a tasty treat! We slice up organic apples.  Melt some natural, organic peanut butter and drizzle that over the apple slices.  Then we add some dark or semi sweet chocolate chips (organic would be best if you can find them) and that’s it! My kids gobble these up! You could add other toppings as well such as: shredded coconut, walnuts, pecans, white chocolate chips, raisins, melted chocolate etc.

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One of my kid’s favorite snacks…Apple Nachos.

 

Here’s an Apple Nachos recipe I found on Pinterest if you are one of those who likes to follow a recipe.  Not me! I like to “guesstimate”. 🙂

 

Another healthy snack that my kids love are Energy Bites.  I love these as well! They are sweet & packed with healthy goodness!!  The recipe I am sharing below uses oatmeal, mini chocolate chips, peanut butter, ground flaxseed, honey, and vanilla.  I would of course recommend using organic ingredients.  You can also add or substitute shredded coconut, peanut butter chips, butter scotch chips, white chocolate chips, chia seeds, raisins, nuts, and etc. You could also use a different nut butter or sweetener…almond butter or agave if you prefer.  After you make these into 1 inch balls, be sure to store them in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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Bite-size healthy snacks…Energy Bites.

 

Here is the recipe I follow when we make these: Energy Bites Recipe.

 

The last snack I want to share with you is another one of my kid’s favorites…Yogurt Parfaits.  These are great because they are easy to make & taste great! We use organic vanilla yogurt & a healthy granola.  I found this one with dried berries yesterday at the store & thought we’d try it.  I also have an organic granola that the kids love that is honey almond. There are so many different granola choices these days & some don’t taste as good as others.  I was in my local grocery store yesterday in the whole food section & I was almost overwhelmed by all of the choices! You can even sneak in some extra protein and get “protein packed” granola.  Your kids will never know how good this is for them.  To make these, you simply need your favorite yogurt and granola.  Fresh organic fruit is a great option too…strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, bananas, and etc. We layer our ingredients in a glass & dig in!

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Yogurt parfaits are easy, tasty snacks that my kids love!

Again, if you are someone who likes to follow recipes, here you go: Yogurt Parfait Recipe.

It’s so important to offer your kids healthy snacks instead of sugar loaded junk that offers no nutritional value at all.  You can make snacks that your kids will love & they won’t even know they are good for them.  However, I suggest you educate your kids on the importance of eating healthy & skipping the sugar.  I would also recommend you cook with your kids in the kitchen.  Yes, it takes longer and it’s usually messier but it’s valuable time spent with your kids.  Plus you are teaching them skills they will need as adults.  Making memories in the kitchen cooking with my kids is something I cherish.  So, what will your kids have for an after school snack today? Please feel free to share your comments below.  I’d also love to hear your kiddo’s favorite healthy snacks.

I’m the only one who can give my kids a healthy, happy Mom

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There are so many busy, overworked, tired and sometimes crabby Moms in the world today.  I often think about the Mom I was just 5 years ago.  I wasn’t a happy, energetic Mom. Looking back now, I feel like I was just getting by every day. I did my many duties for my family with very little time for myself. I was a stay-at-home Mom of 4 kids and we did struggle financially back then. I tried different ways to make some extra money but in the end, I just didn’t have the time or energy. I knew there was something missing in my life. I knew I wasn’t taking care of me. I wasn’t eating as healthy as I should. I wasn’t as physically active as I could have been. I had extra pounds to lose but I it wasn’t doing anything to try and change anything. I was just going through the motions every day and counting down the hours every day until my husband came home from work and the kids went to bed.

Eventually my family and I relocated out of state and that was the best thing ever for me. I had a fresh start. I had to get out and meet new people and explore my new surroundings. I got to try new things and gained my confidence back. But I still wasn’t taking care of my health. One day it just hit me that in the end, I’m the only one who can give my kids a happy healthy mom who loves life. I knew my kids deserved a happy, healthy mom and I knew I deserved it. I knew I wanted to be around for them as long as I could and the only way to ensure that was to take better care of myself. I had to eat healthier. I had to workout regularly. I had to make time for me.

It’s taken me 5 years to get where I’m at and I’m still a work in progress but I am happy and I am healthy. I take care of myself and I definitely don’t dwell on things like I used to.  I’m in charge of my own happiness. If I’m miserable, unhappy, discouraged, depressed or etc., ultimately I’m the only one who can make a change in my life to make things better. Too many people complain about things they just aren’t willing to change. So stop complaining and stop being unhappy. Your kids deserve better and so do you. If you aren’t happy with your weight, guess what? You are the only one who can change that. If you aren’t happy with your current job or lack of one, you are the one to change that too. Whatever it is that makes you unhappy can be changed. You can find happiness! I honestly believe that being truly happy with life also means you take care of your health. Being overweight, sick, tired and dealing with all sorts of health ailments can really bring someone down. I’m here to help you in anyway that I can, please reach out to me. Don’t give up! Be happy and love life!!