Today’s families are so busy. Finding the time to be healthy is not always easy. Add a picky eater into the mix, and it makes things even more complicated! These seven tools can make being healthy more convenient, fun, and easy. I think of tools like these as investments in my families’ health. And although you might not be able to invest in all of them at once, create a wish list and start to budget for the tools you will use the most.
Vitamix – This is my #1 top favorite tool for busy families, especially those with picky eaters. This tool can make smoothies, soups, and so much more! The cool thing about the Vitamix, is the powerful motor. It gets rid of all texture. You can sneak a variety of healthy foods into smoothies using the Vitamix. I burned out two blender motors before I bought my Vitamix. Now I can’t believe I ever went without it. I use mine several times a day, and my kids have a smoothie most mornings.
Hurom Juicer – This is my newest addition to the arsenal of healthy tools! The Hurom is a slow masticating juicer which works like a mortar and pestle, so it extracts more juice, preserves more of the enzymes and antioxidants. Juicing is so fun for the kids to get into. They can get creative and try different combinations. Put the pulp into the compost, or some people like to add it to recipes to boost the fiber. Fresh juice is so much better for you than the pasteurized kind in a box, or frozen concentrate. Plus, you can sneak in veggies into your juice. So yummy!
Excaliber Dehydrator – This is one tool that has been on my list for a long time. It is an essential for a raw foodie because in order for a food to be raw, it can’t be heated to above 118 degrees. When food is heated above that temperature, it can degrade the natural enzymes of foods. This is great for drying and preserving fruits, veggies, herbs, and you can even make your own beef jerky! You can make bread in it, you can even revive stale crackers!! I have been experimenting with it all weekend, and I made dried strawberries, and bananas. I even made crunchy cinnamon chick peas. Delicious! You just sprinkle cinnamon, sugar and sea salt on chick peas, and dehydrate on 135 for about nine hours. It is great for making on-the-go snacks.
Zoku popsicle maker – My family loves our Zoku because it makes popsicles in less than eight minutes! And, we control what goes into them. All you do is pour some juice, leftover smoothie, or whatever you like into the Zoku, and then in eight minutes you have a popsicle! My kids love popsicles in the summer, but many contain high fructose corn syrup, and artificial colors. With the Zoku, you can make them with healthy ingredients.
Whirly Pop – It is fun to have a family movie night, and many people have them outside during the summer. There is nothing better than popcorn for your movie. But I always tell people to skip the microwave popcorn because those bags contain carcinogens. Use the Whirly Pop on the stove top. I like to make it with coconut oil. It is much better for you, and it’s fun for the kids! My kids love popcorn for an after school snack, too.
Crock Pot – This is a great tool for busy families that have activities that end close to dinner. Rather than driving through the drive-through, you can set up the crock pot in the morning, and it cooks all day long. Then, it is ready for you when you get home. And it makes the whole house smell good. We love to make healthy and hearty chili in ours, and pulled pork too. We usually get at least two meals out of it. Many people already have a Crock Pot collecting dust in the pantry. Get it out and whip up a batch of chili!
The Baby Bullet – If you have a new baby in the house, this is the perfect tool to make homemade baby food. Making your own baby food can save money, and you also can control exactly what goes into it, and how chunky you want to make it. And the funny thing is, I have an eight and 10 year old, and still use mine all the time. It is a great food processor, I love the two sizes.
Sara Vance is a Clinical Nutritionist in the Encinitas, CA area. Sara offers nutritional counseling, School Assemblies, group classes, kids healthy cooking, and more. Visit ReBalanceLife.com for more information.