Author Archives: Kristen

3 Ideas to Keep Your Kids Entertained While in the House

Thousands of families are staying home in self-quarantine to help protect themselves and others from getting infected with Covid-19.  Me and my family are no different. The question we are consistently dealing with is what do in quarantine with our kids.

If you are quarantined with your kids, you may be fully realizing how long 24 hours in a day really is! 

Don’t worry if you’re at your wit’s end, we have come up with a list of 4 fun activities to keep your kids entertained and healthy

1. Host a Movie Night

One of the oldest tricks in the books regardless if you quarantined is to host a movie night with your kids! 

The key to this entertainment is to create a movie-theatre atmosphere. This activity can last much longer than just the two hours that the movie lasts- 

Here are some ideas to make the activity last all day:

  • Have your children plan and prepare a “movie snacks menu”
  • Have your children vote on what movie to watch
  • Create a comfy atmosphere in front of your TV. Ask your kids to help decorate!
  • Turn the lights off during the movie and try to make this an uninterrupted time

This may even help you relax as a parent. When was the last time you sat back and just enjoyed the company of your family?

While the Covid-19 pandemic is undoubtedly stressful and being in self-quarantine is an inconvenience, try to appreciate the unexpected family time you now have! 

2. Try Camping Indoors

When quarantined with kids, try to add a little bit of adventure to your days! 

Creating a fort is the ultimate activity to get kids involved and make them feel like they are in a whole new world. 

Here are instructions for an incredible camping adventure indoors:

Step 1: Set up a tent inside. If you don’t have a tent, a blanket fort will do just fine!

Step 2: Cook food that you would normally make at the campground. At-home s’mores still taste delicious!

Step 3: Share spooky (or funny) campfire stories. 

Step 4: Try stargazing from your living room with some amazing apps!

Step 5: Let giggling induce and don’t worry too much about bedtime. This is a memory they will have forever!

This activity also allows you to take a step back from the screen-time that is consuming so many of us during this self-quarantine! 

3. Teach Them How to Cook Their Favorite Dish

What special dish do you make for your child for their birthday? 

Or on a special holiday? 

There is no better time than during a quarantine to teach your kid how to make their favorite dish!

Kids are so curious and will love learning how to cook side-by-side with you in the kitchen. This is also a great time to teach them about staple meals you make in your household, kitchen safety, and dining etiquette! 

Fun for the Whole Family During Self-Quarantine

Don’t let the Covid-19 pandemic get you down. Self-quarantine is an excellent time to bond with your family and try some activities out that you enjoyed during your own childhood!

These activities are all learning activities for your children and will help peak their natural curiosity. 

Interested in reading more about healthy activities and family life? Make sure to check out our blog for more! 

Obvious Health Benefits of Eating a Plant-Based Diet

A few years ago, practicing a plant-based diet was a rare thing. But nowadays, it is the new normal! 

The reasons for trying out a plant-based diet are numerous. Many people reduce animal products in their diet to take a stance against animal cruelty or as a way to help the environment. Increasingly, people are adopting a plant-based diet for their health!

In the last decade, numerous health studies have come to light about the health benefits of eating a plant-based diet and cutting out animal products. 

In this article, we’re going to be talking about the most obvious health benefits of eating a plant-based diet!

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

First things first, let’s define a what it means to be plant-based!

A plant-based diet is exactly what it sounds like, a diet based around plants! This diet restricts or eliminates animal products altogether, as well as harmful things like refined sugar and other processed food. 

There are multiple types of plant-based diets, such as vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, and pescetarian, but the important thing is that is focuses on the following five food groups:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Tubers
  • Legumes
  • Whole Grains

Now that you know the staples of a whole food plant-based diet, let’s talk about the benefits!

Whole Food Plant-Based Diet for Weight Management

It is a well-known fact that obesity is on the rise for people of all ages, especially in the United States! The culprit to this problem is sitting right on our plates.  

The standard American diet is full of red meat, refined sugar, fried foods, pre-packaged foods, and other unhealthy staples. This all contributes to weight gain. 

Being overweight can lead to health issues such as increased risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. 

Studies have shown that people who eliminate meat end up intaking far more nutrients as well as achieving successful weight management. A good place to start looking into this research is by looking into the Nutrient-Dense Approach to Weight Loss Management

The great thing about a plant-based approach to weight management is that it is less about what you “can’t” eat, and more about incorporating new foods into your diet!

A plant-based diet is not a “quick fix” for weight loss, it is a long term lifestyle switch to help you maintain a healthy weight for the entirety of your life.

 Lower Risk of Heart Disease and Other Diseases

In its current state, the health care system helps treat symptoms instead of prevent illness. 

The best way to prevent disease is by fueling it with a whole food plant-based diet. Here are the diseases and issues that this diet can help with:

  • Heart disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cognitive Decline

To learn more about the research behind a plant-based diet and disease prevention, here are a few great resources to get you started:

A Healthy Immune System

In a society that is very focused on calories and macronutrients, (carbs, proteins, and fats) we tend to miss out on the most important thing- nutrients.

Eating a plant-based is not only going to keep you in a healthy calorie range, it is going to ensure you are getting enough iron, calcium, vitamin A, potassium, fiber, and other essential nutrients!

A healthy immune system is what protects your body from harmful bacterias and viruses. It is your body’s first line of defense, so make sure it has the armor it needs.

The Health Benefits of Eating a Plant-Based Diet

Eating a whole food plant-based diet is a way to prevent and treat diseases, manage your weight, and maintain a healthy immune system. 

Many people report that the health benefits have transformed their lives in ways that they couldn’t have imagined! 

But don’t take my word for it! Try eating a plant-based diet for yourself and see how it feels. 

Enjoy reading about health and food? Make sure to check out the blog for more!

3 Healthy Activities for the Whole Family to do During Self-Quarantine

3 Healthy Activities for the Whole Family to Do During Self-Quarantine

Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us are in search for some healthy activities during our self-quarantine. I believe as many do that it’s an unprecedented time at which many families are recommended to stay-in in order to avoid spreading the virus. 

In many States, including my own, self-quarantine is required to all individuals and families, regardless if you have been exposed to the virus. These people should avoid all interaction with other people for 14 days and keep a close eye on the CDC guidelines

Self-quarantine is taking the term “family time” to the next level. We as parents are finding out that keeping a child entertained 24 hours a day is no easy task. 

It is tempting to hand your child an iPad or a phone and just wait it out. While it’s the easiest approach, this is not the most healthy activity during self-quarantine.

However-

Staying active and healthy is essential during this time. That’s why I’ve put together a list of three activities you can try to get your family up and moving! 

1. Go on a Family Walk

Go on a Family Walk

Bring it back to the basics and go on a family walk! As long as you are not interacting with other people, going on a walk is a great activity to try. 

There are lots of ways to make simple walks an engaging activity for the whole family. Here are some of our ideas:

  • Play eye-spy on your walk
  • Go on a “nature walk” and let your child collect new plants and leaves to learn about
  • Gather treasures and then make an art project when you get home
  • Let your child take pictures of things they enjoyed on their walk

Our children are used to running on playgrounds and playing with friends all day. Keep up their physical activity and their curious nature by taking a walk around your neighborhood! A perfect healthy activity during a self-quarantine.

2. Take a Wiggle Break

Teachers in schools have been using this strategy for years, and the time has come to share this with all parents! 

If you type in “brain break” or “wiggle break” into Youtube, hundreds of helpful videos will come up that guide your child through some movement activities. 

These short breaks will get your child up and moving, and it will give you a couple of moments to clean up a quick mess or put the finishing touches on dinner. 

With self-quarantine, it is so important to not get sucked into a video game or show for hours on end. 

Standing up and dancing, wiggling, and stretching is going to help prevent any meltdowns that might be bubbling up under the surface. 

3. Create a New Routine with Morning and Bedtime Yoga

Create a New Routine with Morning and Bedtime Yoga

Breathe in- 

Breathe out. 

Yoga is a healthy activity best during self-quarantine :). It has been found to help kids (and adults) control their emotions, have more stable energy throughout the day, improve mobility and core strength, and relax. 

When my big family is cooped up in a house all day together during self-quarantine, all of these skills come in handy! 

Creating routines helps kids feel safe. 

With that in mind- 

What better time to introduce this healthy activity into their routine than during the Covid-19 pandemic? 

To try this out, you have a few different options. You can try using kid yoga poses posters. Just type in “kid’s yoga” into Youtube, or check out a couple of highly rated yoga kids books on Amazon!

Try These Healthy Activities to Stay Active During Self-Quarantine

Incorporating these three healthy activities into your routine during self-quarantine are going to help you stay calm. But more importantly stay healthy and bond with your family! 

Hundreds of thousands of families are avoiding contact by self-quarantining during the Covid-19 pandemic. We are all trying to navigate this “new-normal” as best as we can. 

Focusing on the things you can control, like your physical activity, will help you navigate this experience with much easier!

From our family at planted.org to yours, please say safe, healthy and positive!

Like what you’re reading? Check out our other healthy living blogs for more!

9 Delicious Vegan Snacks for Teens

delicious vegan snacks for vegan teens

With the presence of veganism in social media, it is no wonder that teenagers are switching to a vegan diet at higher rates than ever! As a parent of a vegan teen it is my job to ensure they have not only healthy meals but also delicious vegan snacks too!

However, being a vegan doesn’t necessarily mean being healthy… Teenagers tend to load up on processed foods like chips, candy, and soda, and if they do eat a solid meal it is usually a plate full of carbs. 

This is a problem since teenagers are going through rapid change in their development and their metabolism is skyrocketing! It’s essential to make sure teens are receiving the proper nutrition. 

The bottom line when it comes to teenagers is that they are busy, they don’t want to prepare their own food, and they want to eat something absolutely delicious! 

Keeping that in mind, we have compiled a list of 9 easy, nutritious, and delicious vegan snacks for teenagers! 

Savory Snacks

Lots of times, we forget that vegan food can be savory food! These three vegan snacks are going to satisfy any craving, while also providing nutrition to carry teens through the day!

  1. Spicy Sweet Potato Falafels

These spicy falafels can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge until snacktime! With spices that pack a punch and a nice protein boost from the chickpeas, this snack will act as fuel.

  1. Spicy Sriracha Tofu Jerky

Let’s face it, jerky is just delicious. Lots of vegans might feel a small pang for missing out on this, but no longer! This spicy sriracha tofu is just as mouth-watering without all of the preservatives. 

  1. Oven Baked Vegan Taquitos

These taquitos are another snacking staple that you can make ahead of time and freeze for when you’re ready to chow down! These treats are creamy and crunchy and have a boost of protein from the black beans.     

Salty Snacks

Want something to snack on that’s a little less boring than popcorn or pretzels? These vegan snacks offer that same satisfying crunchy salty goodness, while packing in a bit of extra nutrition. 

  1. BBQ Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a great way to add some protein into a vegan diet! Roast these up ahead of time and your teen will enjoy snacking on them all week long. 

  1. Crispy Garlic Edamame

Besides just being tasty and an added source of protein, edamame is also rich in vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants. Take this crispy variation out for a spin. 

  1. Chips and Creamy Avocado Dip

No list of snacks would be complete without the famed “chips and dip.” Try adding in this creamy avocado dip with the chips for a flood of vitamins and healthy fats!

Sweet Snacks

We all have a bit of a sweet tooth, and vegan teens are no exception. Skip the processed cookies and candy and give these guilt-free guilty pleasures a try!

  1. Pan Fried Cinnamon Bananas

This sweet snack could not be easier to prepare and have on the go! This recipe will have you saying, “Now, why didn’t I think of that?”

  1. Peanut Butter Quinoa Bars 

These sweet and salty protein packed quinoa bars will satisfy hunger in a second! They taste like dessert, but your teen can take them on the go for any time of day. 

  1. No Bake Vegan Turtle Brownies

These no bake vegan turtle brownies are the ultimate way to satisfy a sweet tooth. Ooey, gooey, savory and sweet, you’ll be fighting your teenager for the last one! 

Vegan Snacks for Vegan Teens

We hope that these 9 vegan snacks encourage you to whip up some tasty treats that your teen will love! 

These vegan snacks for teens are all delicious, but more importantly they are packed with healthy fats, protein, and other nutrients to help your child grow! 

Enjoy reading about this? Make sure to check out our other posts for more goodness.