Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Best Foods for Nursing

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Best Foods for NursingNursing is such a special time in your motherhood journey. Along with working on latch, positioning and learning to relax to release milk, learning what foods are best for milk production can help improve health and quality of your milk supply.

First let’s clear up a few terms: lactogenic foods are foods which help in the secretion of the lactation hormones estrogen, oxytocin and prolactin. They are also called galactagogues. The main function of a galactagogue is to help promote milk production, but in order for milk to be at its peak performance the body has to be properly hydrated and have fiber. One of the main characteristics of galactagogues is high fiber content to help the body move nutrients through your system and produce adequate and quality milk.

Oatmeal is one of the most common foods, since its high fiber, calming and comforting. Oatmeal helps with regulating blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and provides moms with a relaxing comfort food that can help produce oxytocin and promote letdown.

Spinach and leafy greens also help with production, offering a tasty way to fill your need for calcium, iron, folate and Vitamins K and A. They also contain phytoestrogens: plant-based chemicals that behave similar to estrogens help promote healthy breast tissue and lactation.

Carrots are a lesser-known galactagogue, offering nursing mothers a boost of energy as an afternoon snack. My favorite way of getting my carrots is as an afternoon juice to help boost milk production for the evening. They are high in betcarotene and Vitamin A. Papaya is another lesser-known galactagogue here in the states but is commonly used in Latin America and Asia. Papaya helps promote relaxation and has a natural sedative in it.

Brown Rice, much like oatmeal, is a great grain for nursing. It is a complex carbohydrate which helps fill the body while providing extra fiber. Research has found that eating brown rice causes an increase in serotonin levels, which in turn helps promote prolactin secretion.  Prolactin is the key hormone in milk production.

And let’s not forget protein! Salmon is a key and wonderful source of Omega 3 fatty acids and essential fatty acids–both are essential for healthy milk production and brain development.

Let’s not forget to drink lots of water, snack on wonderful almonds and keep nursing those hungry babies to help them grow grow grow!

Happy Nursing Mamas!

Pia Watzig is a stay at home mom to three (!) crazy little boys aged five, three and 10 months. A trained chef, she loves to cook for all her hungry boys in Portland, Oregon




Healthy Halloween Treats

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Fall is finally here and Halloween decorations are already up everywhere and the supermarket aisles are filled with candy. A popular treat that doubles as an activity for kids is the ever-famous Rice Krispie treat, which you can mold into just about any shape you like from pumpkin to goblin. Instead of making the traditional recipe, try giving the kids an extra nutritional boost and some added protein with this healthier version. It’s just as fun to make and healthy, too.

Most health food stores nowadays sell food dyes made from spices or food so avoiding synthetic food coloring is not a big deal, you can even find all-natural sprinkles which would be fun to add in as well! Choose your colors depending on what shape you’re going for.

Protein-Packed Crispy Rice Treats


2 cups puffed rice cereal

½ cup almond or sunflower seed butter

¾ cup brown rice syrup

½ cup finely chopped nuts, seeds or raisins

¼ cup mini chocolate chips


Combine the almond butter and rice syrup in a sauce pan and cook on very low heat for about 3 minutes until it’s nice and creamy.

In a large bowl toss the rice cereal and mix ins.

Pour the warm, creamy mixture over the cereal mix and make sure everything is evenly coated.

Press the mixture into a 9X9 baking pan and cool in the refrigerator.

Once it’s set you can use cookie cutters to cut your favorite shapes or shape into pumpkins!

If you want to go crazy with decorating but want to keep food dyes and corn syrup out of your creations look for Surf Sweet gummy candies or Unreal candy.

Jacqueline Banks is a board certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. To learn more about living a vibrant, healthy life, visit her website at

Healthy Pancakes for Kids

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Healthy PancakesPancakes are a favorite breakfast food in our family.  Although well aware that traditional pancakes are not a very healthy way to start the day, I decided to experiment in the kitchen to create a healthier version of pancakes that my kids would still enjoy. Here is the winning recipe:

1 cup of oatmeal
¾ cup of milk (whatever type of milk your family uses: cow, goat, coconut, soy, almond, etc)
1 Tablespoon Hemp Seed
1 Tablespoon Maca Powder
2 eggs (if you don’t eat eggs, you can substitute chia seeds)
2 dates
½ teaspoon vanilla
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Coconut oil (for cooking in pan)

Healthy Pancakes



Throw all ingredients except coconut oil into a blender. Blend on medium speed for approximately a minute or until pancake batter is smooth.

Melt small amount of coconut oil in pan over medium heat. Scoop the batter onto the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve topped with your favorite fruit.

Recipe yields about 6 pancakes.

Extras: And just for fun you can play with the recipe and try adding in various ingredients to alter both flavor and nutritional value.

  • Cacao nibs
  • Banana
  • Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans
  • Seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower
  • Coconut flakes
  • Also try topping with cashew nut cream. Yum!

Sarah is a crunchy mama to three boys with a fourth on the way. Her family feels blessed to currently live abroad in the Netherlands and enjoy exploring all it has to offer. 

Healthy Summer Popsicle Recipes

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

There’s nothing like a popsicle to cool you down on a hot summer day. But most store brands are loaded with sugar, artificial ingredients and food dyes.

Save your health, and some money this summer by making your very own popsicles at home. You can either use a Popsicle mold or Dixie cups with Popsicle sticks. If you use Dixie cups, cover them with aluminum foil and cut a hole for the Popsicle stick to go through- that will help keep the stick in place. Here are some of our favorite, kid friendly Popsicle recipes.

Orange Creamsicle Healthy Summer Popsicle Recipes

1/2 banana

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tbsp. honey

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

Blend everything together, pour into a Popsicle mold and freeze overnight.

Mango Dream

1 large mango

1/4 cup full fat plain yogurt

2 tbsp. honey

1/4 tsp. vanilla

Red, White and Blue Pops

¾ cup sliced strawberries

¾ cup blueberries

½ cup fresh apple juice

Mix the strawberries and blueberries together in a bowl and divide them equally into your Popsicle molds then just fill the rest of the mold with apple juice. These make a great 4th of July treat!

Watermelon Squares

Watermelon is one of those fruits that just screams summer. All you have to do to make a delicious treat is cut up large chunks of watermelon and stick in a Popsicle stick before freezing.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.