Count Up to 2017

30 Hidden Names For Sugar



According to Statistics Canada the average Canadian is consuming 26 teaspoons of sugar a day. That’s the equivalent of 40 kilograms or 88 lbs of sugar a year!! 
Recently, a study out of Ontario found that over two-thirds of products on our grocery shelves had sugar in it. Surprised? Not really, eh? Some call sugar the last legal drug.  When you think about how prevalent and ubiquitous sugar is… the impact it has on our emotions and the evidence that sugar acts similarly to cocaine or alcohol in our brains, sugar addiction is society’s worst kept secret?
For years, sugar has been touted as the main cause for diabetes. However, a new book out called "The Case Against Sugar", proposes that it is sugar.. not fat.. that is the true cause of cardiovascular disease. The author implicates researchers, nutritionists and especially the sugar industry in what he claims amounts to a major cover-up.
Take a listen here on CBC's The Current for an interested interview with the author, Gary Taubes.
Now, I'm sure that you are all aware of the evils of sugar, but did you know that there are over 50 different names for sugar?? Here are 30 of them for you to keep an eye out when choosing what you are bringning home from the store: 
1.  corn sweetener
2.  ethyl maltol
3.  corn syrup
4.  dextrose
5.  fructose
6.  fruit juice concentrates
7.  glucose
8.  high-fructose corn syrup
9.  invert sugar
10.  lactose
11.  maltose
12.  malt syrup
13.  raw sugar
14.  sucrose
15.  sugar syrup
16.  florida crystals
17.  cane sugar
18.  crystalline fructose
19.  evaporated cane juice
20.  corn syrup solids
21.  malt syrup
22.  barley malt
23.  agave nectar
24.  rice syrup
25.  caramel
26.  panocha
27.  muscovado
28.  molasses
29.  treacle
30.  carob syrup
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29 Mantras For 2017



Unsure of what exactly a mantra is?  A mantra is traditionally known as a word, sound, or phrase repeated to aid in your concentration while meditating.  It is useful to keep you focused during day- to-day life and the challenges that accompany it.  
Below is a list of modern mantras and a few traditional mantras to try.  You can use them during meditation or repeat them to yourself throughout the day.

Modern Mantras

1.  Let It Go
2.  I Am Happy
3.  Today Is Perfect
4.  I Am Strong
5.  I Am Beautiful
6.  Life is Beautiful
7.  I Am Enough
8.  Just Be
9.  I Am Here
10.  Less is More
11.  This Too Shall Pass
12.  Smile
13.  Today I Choose Joy
14.  I Am Capable of Wonderful Things
15.  I Change My Thoughts, I Change My World
16.  Slow Down
17.  Where I am right now is exactly where I need to be
18.  I have a purpose in this life
19.  I am a magnet for joy, love, and abundance
20.  I am radiant
21.  Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better
22.  I am at peace with what is, what was, and what will be. I forgive you. I forgive me

Traditional Mantras

23.  Om – thought to be the primordial sound of the universe
24.  Om Shanti – a mantra for peace
25.  Sat Nam – a mantra for truth
26.  Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung – a restorative mantra meaning Sun, Moon, Earth, Infinity, All that is in infinity, I am Thee
27.  Om Nama Shivaya – means I honour the divinity in myself
28.  So Hum – meaning I am that
29.  Sat, Chit, Ananda – means Existence, Consciousness, Bliss
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28 Ways To Be A Great Neighbour

Our neighbours is our community. Like an extended family at times. It can be rewarding to connect with the people that live around us to help create a sense of community in our neighbourhoods. 
1.  Chat with your neighbours
2.  Introduce yourself – even if you’ve lived there for years and now it seems awkward…
3.  Sit on the front porch or step and say hello to everyone who passes
4.  Go for walks around the community and chat with people along the way
5.  Organize a play date with your kids and the neighbours’ kids
6.  Keep your sidewalks clear
7.  Shovel your neighbour’s sidewalk
8.  Bring homemade goodies to new neighbours when they move in
9.  Give new neighbours a map of your favourite places in the area
10.  Host a block BBQ in your front yard
11.  Consider your neighbours’ lifestyles and be respectful
12.  Let your neighbours know what you appreciate (quiet mornings, clear walkways, etc.)
13.  Give thank you cards to neighbours when they help you out
14.  Be aware of shared walls and how sound travels
15.  Be aware of common parking areas and be considerate
16.  Control your dog’s noise levels
17.  Pick up after your dog
18.  Discuss grievances with neighbours personally before involving by-law officers
19 . Inform neighbours in advance about any parties
20.  Invite your neighbours to your parties
21.  Let your neighbours know how to contact you if there is ever an issue
22.  Maintain your yard and garden
23 . Mow your neighbour’s lawn if they need help
24.  Join a community garden
25.  Keep an eye out for your neighbours and their property
26.  Host a garage sale
27.  Attend community events
28.  Invite a neighbour over for drinks
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27 Local Businesses to Check Out In Calgary



Supporting local businesses helps us to strengthen our community and meet the people around us. Many of these businesses started as grassroots initiatives that have blossomed or are poised to take on this year and grow to serve their neighborhoods by offering great products or services. 

1.  Grassroots Naturopathic Medicine

Speaking of grassroots small business:  we opened in March 2005 and have grown to include a team of eight naturopathic doctors, a registered psychologist, an athletic therapist, a massage therapist and a great front office team. We are committed to developing the foundations of health with all our clients and welcome anyone wanting to start on their own journey towards their best health to contact us. 

2.  Ski Cellar Snowboard

Staying active is instrumental to staying healthy and the Ski Cellar has been helping Calgarians do that for the last 70 years! Your fun is their obsession and they want you to enjoy the mountains, whether you are a busy mom with their Ladies Day Buses with Nakiska, or a kid of any age through their partnership with Winsport & Mount Norquay. They stay actively involved in the community through their support of the Children’s Wish Foundation and the Mustard Seed, as well as their Customer appreciation events they want to make sure that winter fun is enjoyed by everyone no matter their age or stage. 

3.  Flipp’n Burgers

Sometimes you need a burger, even though it might not fit in with those resolutions. And if you are going to indulge in that treat – why not have a bit of retro flare and the knowledge that you are supporting a local, family owned business that cares about the environment and giving back to their communities where they are located. We also need to mention that their beef (even their bacon) is halal – which is ethically raised and sourced, along with having delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options.

4.  Functional Spaces

Started in 2016 by our own Melanie, this organizer is passionate about making sure everything has a place and that your space works for you. She offers customized organizing services for your home and small business. She will even take care of the fridge and pantry
to keep you eating well and living healthy.

5. Fit Republic

Now a Bridgeland staple, Fit Republic aims to empower people through fitness. Offering a diverse mix of classes from AntiGravity, TRX, rowing, spin, kickboxing, HIIT, barre and yoga; you are sure to find your fit.

6.  Modern + Mindful

Calgary’s first modern and strictly meditation studio that offers quick 30- minute meditation classes. From the beginner to the experienced, corporate bookings or classes for kids and teens, the founders hope to share a space where people can sit still and enjoy the moment. 

7.   Urban Venus

Sometimes you need a place to get pampered. Enter Urban Venus Nail Bar, started by a Calgary couple in their kitchen making bath bombs that exploded into the idea of offering Calgarians an indulgent spa experience, including locally made products. They also support TELUS Spark and the Community Connections Program to help families who might not be able to afford it the ability to explore the science centre.

8.  Poppy Innovations

As part of the local food movement happening in Calgary, Poppy Innovations wants to empower us to make healthy food choices to build healthy communities. This means starting early with parent & child cooking classes along with teaching you how to grow and sow your own garden

9.  Plant

There have been a lot of studies recently on the benefits of bringing plant life into your home or workspace. Also for those of you that follow Pantone’s colour of the year for 2017, maybe it is time to check out this local shop to get you in the spirit of greenery. 

10.  ReWorks Upcycle Shop

A Calgary owned and operated small business that has been aiming to make our lives more sustainable. They offer fun home décor and gifts that have either been made by local artists or with recycled or upcycled materials.  

11.  Ironside Fitness

Founded in 2011 by Charmaine Ironside a former member of the National Snowboard Team, Ironside Fitness has grown into two locations. Charmaine came back from a spinal cord injury to be able to join her team in Whistler for the 2010 games and has taken that love of strength, recovery, determination and fitness to build classes and programs to help others be fit and healthy.

12.  The Light Cellar

An independent business that aims not only to be inspiring but also to remain inspired by constantly learning ways to share their love of superfoods with Calgarians. They offer many workshops, events and classes to keep you healthy and energized in the kitchen.


13.  Monogram Coffee

Sometimes we need that cup o’ joe. So how about a local company that likes to build relationships with other local businesses and host events to build a stronger community? Also they make their own organic almond and cashew nut mylk to be used in their drinks. Yum!

14.  Wild & Raw Superfood and Juice Bar

Another Calgary based offering for superfoods on the go. Wild & Raw is located in Kensington and aims to create tasty foods and drinks packed with nutrition to keep you fueled and nourished. Their ingredients are carefully and sustainably sourced so you can feel good about what you are eating.

15.  Strength Shaman

Strength Shaman gives you the opportunity for a personalized training program designed for you by an athlete to help you with your goals: whether it is weight loss, mobility, flexibility or strength. From athletes to those who are just starting on their resolutions, Dimitri’s goal is to get you healthier.

16.  One Love Float

Have you tried floating yet? There are several options in our city including this home studio run by Treeka Drake, a doula with a background in sports, which offers both the option of a closed or open tank float. This is a sensory experience unique to you that helps to reduce stress, promote relaxation to help you feel and perform better through recovery and visualization. 

17.  The Yoga Shala

A place where everyone is invited to explore what yoga has to offer. Several classes to help you find which style is right for you from traditional Ashtanga to Flow to Yoga Nidra. 

18.  YYC Cycle

Started by 3 ambitious Calgarians, YYC cycle has brought the dance floor to spin class. They aim to build a new fit biker gang through daily classes and high-energy music. Another focus of theirs – giving back. Each Friday they offer a 10$ drop in class where a 100% of the proceeds go to a local charity, nominated by Calgarians.

19.   made. foods

We all get busy but we know the importance of eating right. This company started when two friends wanted to solve the question of how do you eat healthy when you are always on the go. Now they offer ready to go foods and a selection of vegan, vegetarian, gluten and dairy sensitive options for when you are in a rush and still want to fuel up right.

20.  Wild Tea Kombucha

Kombucha has become hugely popular, especially with new research linking healthy gut flora to good mental health, immune function and boosting overall health. Cue the founders of Wild Tea - one of whom was an Olympic athlete that got hooked after their naturopathic doctor introduced them to the energy and performance boost from using this rather than drinks laden with sugar.

21.  The Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre WoodWorks

A local woodshop ran by experienced craftsmen that help at-risk individuals develop skills and self-sufficiency through training in core carpentry skills.  They offer services that include corporate gifts, residential and commercial services. Not only do you get a handmade product, but you also help someone with a second chance.

22.  The Loose Moose Theatre Company

They say laughter is the best medicine, if so then check out this local theatre group that was formed in 1977 and now has an international reputation. Not only can you go see a great show, but they also offer training for those interested in improvisational theatre.

23.  Farmer’s Markets

From local vendors to local food producers to consignment items Calgary has several farmers markets to meet your needs and keep you in the spirit of buying local and farm to table:
Calgary’s Year Round option:
Part Year round market part flea market: 
This mostly food market is always popular: 
Community driven seasonal markets that include: 
Hillhurst Sunnyside: 
Inglewood Night Market: 

24.  Calgary Tool Library

Have some home renovations on the go for 2017? Or maybe you want to learn a new skill. Enter Calgary Tool Library, an organization ran mainly by volunteers to help bring people together by sharing both tools and knowledge.

25.  White Rose Vegetarian Kitchen

Maybe your 2017 resolution was to eat more vegetables? Here is a restaurant built on the concept of plate sharing that gets creative with ensuring you eat your veggies. 

26.  Wee Wild Ones

Part yoga studio, part day care, Wee Wild ones offers programs for children 2-12. They are also recognized by their commitment not only to the kids in the programs, but their employees, environmental initiatives and partnering with other local businesses and charities.

27.  Juice Because

Calgary’s latest Cold Pressed juice offering. With a focus on quality juices and educating their customers to choose a healthy lifestyle Juice Because is hoping to become a staple on the Calgary scene.
These are just a few of the great options we have in Calgary. For more ideas check out or to support your local businesses and help your community thrive!
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26 Natural Beauty Tips

Here are some beauty tips straight from your naturopathic doctor’s mouth.  Warning – some of these pointers are tricks to get you healthier too!
1. Drink more water for a healthy glow.  Drink at least 8 cups (2L) of water or herbal tea per day.
2. Cut out refined sugar once an for all.  Did you know sugar causes wrinkles?!

3. Get 8 hours of sleep and set your clock so that you get enough sleep every night.

4. Smile and laugh often.  Smile lines are the best kind of lines.

5. Eat good food sources of Omega 3 and other good fats such as wild salmon, flaxseeds, chia seeds, olive oil and avocado to prevent dry skin.

6. Dry, brittle hair and nails?  Ask your naturopathic doctor if hypothyroidism might be a concern for you.

7. Eat curry!  Curcumin, also called turmeric, is an anti-inflammatory and can help reduce skin redness.

8. Drink lemon water every morning to reduce bloating.

9. Add a bit of cayenne pepper to your lemon water to improve circulation and get a rosy glow!

10. Drink green tea daily for anti-aging antioxidants.

11. Be sun smart.  Get at least 15 min of sun without sunscreen to get your body making vitamin D.  After that, lather up with sunscreen!

12. Make 2017 the year to quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke as much as possible.  

13. Breaking hair and nails a problem?  Check in with your naturopathic doctor to be sure you are absorbing the nutrients from your food.

14. Dark circles under your eyes?  Food sensitivities could be the culprit.

15. Eat more fibre from brown rice, legumes, oatmeal and veggies.  Getting the system moving eliminates toxins so they don’t come out through the skin! (Think - prevention of acne and most skin rashes)

16. Have more sex!  And talk to your naturopathic doctor if libido is a concern.

17. Eat a cup of berries every day for anti-oxidants that help fight wrinkles and age spots.

18. Avoid coffee and red wine which stain teeth but also make you more acidic so you lose enamel.

19. Dairy and gluten can sometimes cause acne.  Time to bring in the almond milk and rice pasta?

20. Bothered by your silver fillings?  Did you know that they contain mercury, a very harmful toxin?  Getting them removed properly might be more than a cosmetic investment.

21. Got a mole that is bothering you?  Did you know that your naturopathic doctor can give you a healthy mole check up?

22. Check your cosmetics for parabens and chuck them out!  Parabens mess with your hormones.
23. Eat leafy greens such as kale and spinach on a daily basis for minerals and folate to help hair grow

24. Try something new and laugh at yourself when you suck at it!  

25. Commit to having more fun in 2017

26. Be kind.  Kindness is the most attractive feature of all.
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25 Herbs and Medicinal Plants You Can Grow in Calgary


You don't need to go the rainforest to find medicinal plants and herbs!  You can grow some in your backyard right here in Calgary.  

You may find some already growing... Here are 25 herbs and medicinal plants that you can grow in Calgary.
1.  Anise – helps settle the digestive tract
2.  Basil – helps with mood, blood sugar regulation, and digestion
3.  Bearberry – used traditionally for urinary tract issues
4.  Borage – excellent essential fatty acids
5.  Calendula – natural anti-inflammatory internally and externally
6.  Catnip – used to occupy cats and relax your mood
7.  Chamomile – aids digestion and reduces inflammation
8.  Dandelion – root and leaves are used to help liver function and as a diuretic, respectively.
9.  Echinacea – immune booster and help against the common cold
10.  Feverfew – helpful to reduce migraines
11.  Foxglove – originally where digoxin comes from.   Please note, this is also poisonous so don't try this at home.
12.  Garlic – cholesterol lowering, antimicrobial.  Does this come in a capsule?
13.  Hyssop – helps settle the digestive tract, similar to anise
14.  Lavender – used to help aid relaxation.  Can be grown easily as an annual in Calgary, much more difficult to grow as a perennial here.
15.  Lemon Balm – digestive aid, anti-viral, mood relaxant, great addition to your water for flavour
16.  Lily of the Valley – contains cardiac glycosides
17.  Mint – reduces gas in the digestive tract
18.  Mullein – soothes coughs
19.  Nettle – nutrient dense and used for a variety of ailments from allergies to edema
20.  Plantain – excellent topical to take the sting out of bug bites
21.  Rue – used as an antispasmodic
22.  Sage – antiviral and digestive aid
23.  Shepherd's Purse – reduces heavy menstrual bleeding
24.  Sweet Clover – has blood thinning properties
25.  Yarrow – diaphoretic, also used to promote wound healing.  Legend claims Achilles used this herb to stop his wounds from bleeding at the Battle of Troy, hence its Latin name Achillea millefolium.
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24 Ways To Show Simple Acts of Kindness


Gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to remind ourselves of how blessed and fortunate we are. Sometimes extending that kindness to others, is a lovely way of showing how humans can interact and connect with one another.


Here are 24 simple ways to show kindness:

1.  Send a text or an email to a friend to say you're thinking about them and that you appreciate them
2.  Like the service you’ve received somewhere? Take the extra step to let a manager know
3.  Allow someone to go ahead of you in a traffic line, even in if you're in a rush.
4.  Hold the door open for someone at the mall.
5.  Smile to a stranger on the street. It could make their day!
6.  Help someone carry their groceries or unload their cart if you see they are in need
7.  Bring a coffee or tea to your co-worker one morning and see the smile on their face.
8.  Compliment someone on what you admire about them. It will boost their confidence!
9.  Cook a meal for a friend in need. Nothing beats a home cooked meal.
10.  Be present. Be mindful. Put your phone away when you're talking to a loved one.
11.  Offer to baby-sit a friend’s child so they can have a morning or afternoon for themselves.
12.  Unload the dishwasher or take out the garbage without being asked, this can mean a lot!
13.  Give someone the benefit of the doubt. 
14.  Write a positive review online for your favorite restaurant or cafe (or naturopath!)
15.  Do a closet clean and donate those clothes you haven't worn in six months. Someone will make good use of them :)
16.  When you ask someone how they are, look them in the eye and mean it.
17.  If you're able to, donate to a local charity or fundraiser you believe in.
18.  Share your success stories and mentor someone who could benefit from your experience.
19.  Let someone know if they impacted your life positively
20.  Encourage a friend to try something new with you, especially if they're scared to try a alone.
21.  Help a friend with a blog or new idea they're trying to create.
22.  Practice being patient, with yourself and your loved ones.
23.  Make a list of ways you've impressed yourself in the past year, we need to be kind to ourselves too!
24.  Make time to do at least one thing you love, which makes you feel wonderful, every single day.
Try and practice one act of kindness per week and see how it makes you feel knowing you've made someone's life better!
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23 Buddha Bowl Inspired Recipes



Well, a good place to start is by answering the question, "What is a Buddha Bowl?"

You may also see them on the menu of a hip and health-conscious eatery... sometimes it's called a Buddha Bowl... sometimes a Hippie Bowl or a Macro Bowl. Whatever the name it has, it might as well be called Yummy Bowl. Typically, it includes some greens, a grain like brown rice or quinoa, some roasted and raw veggies, seeds, a protein and some sort of yummy dressing that brings it all together. Sure, it sounds like an over-glorified salad. But the warm rice with the slightly wilted greens and the crunch of a pumpkin seed or two is heaven in in a bowl. 

So today, we have found some incredibly tasty Buddha Bowl ideas for you to try out.  Click on the photos to link you to the recipes.

And hey, why not make five of them, layer the ingredients into some 500ml mason jars and call it healthy lunch for the week! 

1.  Butternut Squash Curry with Pumpkin, Cauliflower and Chick Peas


2.  The Hippie Bowl



3.  Roasted Buddha Bowl


4.  Spicy Mango Chicken Buddha Bowl


5.  Chimichurri Nourish Bowl



6.  Thai Peanut Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl


7.  Thai Salmon Power Buddha Bowl


8.  Superfood Taco Buddha Bowl


9.  Ultimate Winter Bliss Bowl


10.  Delish Buddha Bowl


11.  Quinoa Power Bowls with Avocado Sauce


12.  Vegan Buddha Bowl


13.  Winter Cobb Salad


14.   Asian Wild Salmon Buddha Bowl


15,  Middle Eastern Style Buddha Bowl


16.  Nourish + Glow Miracle Bowl


17.  BBQ Baked Tofu Buddha Bowl


18.  Roasted Root Vegetable Buddha Bowl with Maple Cinnamon Tahini Dressing


19.   Mexican Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl


20.  Smoky Tempeh Vegetable Rice Bowl


21.  Polenta with French Lentils Bowl


22.  Green Goddess Glow Bowl



23.  Millet Nourish Bowl





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22 Tips For Better Sleep


Who doesn’t want a better sleep?  Whether you truly struggle with falling or staying asleep, or just want a half hour more of quality sleep, here are 22 ways to get it:

Minimize or Avoid Stimulants 

1.  Avoid alcohol (wine, beer and hard liquor) within 3 hours of bedtime. 
2.  Avoid caffeine-containing beverages or foods after 2 pm; if sensitive to caffeine, avoid it after 12 (noon). These items include Pepsi, Coke, Mountain Dew; tea, coffee, lattes, and chocolate; coffee- or espresso-containing ice creams or desserts. Read the labels of everything you eat and drink! 
3.  Avoid Sudafed or other decongestant cold medicines at night. 
4.  Some medications may have stimulating effects. Consult your pharmacist and doctor to determine whether any of them might be contributing to sleep problems. Do not discontinue them without permission from your doctor. 
5.  Complete any aerobic exercise before 6 pm (or at least 3 hours before bed- time). 

Nighttime Tension and Anxiety 

6. Avoid anxiety-provoking activities close to bedtime: 
7. Avoid reading or watching the news before going to bed. 
8. Schedule difficult conversations well before bedtime—preferably at least 3 hours before.  Avoid arguments right before bed.

Sleep Planning and Bedroom Preparation 

9.  Plan your sleep by putting it into your schedule; plan for 8.5 to 9 hours in bed. 
10.  As much as possible, go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This will help train your biological clock. 
11.  Avoid getting in bed after midnight as late-hour sleep is not as helpful as earlier sleep. 
12 . Avoid large meals or spicy foods before bed. 
13.  Finish all eating 3 hours prior to going to sleep. 
14. Avoid drinking more than 4-8 ounces of fluid before going to bed. 

Strategies to Use with Trouble Falling Asleep or Staying Asleep 

15. Consider reading a good neutral book under low light to help with falling asleep. 
16. Don’t stay in bed more than 20-30 minutes trying to fall asleep. Leave your bedroom and go to a relaxing room other than the bedroom and read or do a relaxation technique (i.e., meditation.) 
17. If you awaken early because of light, put a dark covering over your eyes. 
18. If you awaken early because of recurrent thoughts, try writing them in a journal. If this does not help, consider counseling. Depression might be a factor. 

Bedroom Air Quality 

19. Keep your bedroom air clean, especially if you have nasal congestion or are prone to snoring. Use HEPA or other types of air purifiers/ filters to clean the air in your bedroom. Use the filter on a low setting at night if the noise is soothing. Otherwise use the filter on a medium setting for 4-6 hours during the day. 
20. If you see mold or have a musty smell in your bedroom, have it checked or cultured for mold with culture plates. If there is mold, have the house evaluated for water leaks and air quality issues to be fixed and see that the mold is cleaned appropriately. 
21. If your nose is blocked up and you have trouble breathing through it, take the above steps and consider using a saline spray before bed. Also consider Breathe-Easy strips on your nose. Make sure you read the instructions and t them over the lower third of your nose.
22. Consider replacing your pillows with hypoallergenic pillows. Use Ultra allergy pillow and mattress covers. 
Keep these tips in mind for you and your family. Consistent restful sleep is part of the foundation of good health.
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21 Healthy Toddler-Friendly Foods


Introducing healthy foods to your toddler can be an exciting time. There are a couple of tips to keep in mind when preparing your toddler's meals.

Keep trying with new foods and new textures. It can take up to forty times before a toddler will accept a food option. Don't give up on first or second try. Make sure that food is cut up into small pieces. Beans need to be cut in half. Grapes are cut in half length-wise and meats need to be moiste, soft and tender to chew. Before offering a food to your toddler, try a bite of it yourself to see how hard it is to chew. If it's too difficult, it's probably not a good choice.  

This list of 21 foods is broken down into three sections for you: starches, fruits/veggies and proteins. 


1.  Oatmeal

Try making stovetop oatmeal using whole rolled oats and coconut milk instead of water. This will add a natural sweetness and healthy fats to this breakfast option. 

2.   Sweet Potatoes

High in fibre and beta-carotene, this naturally sweet root vegetable can be roasted whole and cut into cubes or cut into sticks (fries if you will!) roasted in some olive oil for a great finger food option. 

3.  Spaghetti Squash

Mix with your favourite pasta sauce (that you can load up with even more veggies) and let them feed themselves. If you`d like it to have a softer texture, put it in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours. (Yes! You can cook more than meat in your slow cooker!!)

4.  Homemade Mini-Muffins

Mini muffins were made for toddler hands. Check out this recipe for gluten-free sweet potato mini muffins!

5.  Whole Grain Pasta

Brown rice, whole wheat and quinoa pastas are great options and come in lots of fun shapes.

6.  Pancakes

`Dollar sized`pancakes are great breakfast and snack options. Try making little pancake sandwiches with nut butter spread in between! If you`re looking for a simple, protein packed pancake option, check out this recipe for Banana Protein Pancakes made with just two ingredients!

7.  Brown Rice

Rice can get a bit messy with a self-feeding toddler but is a great addition to any meal. 

Fruits + Veggies

8.  Roasted Cauliflower

Roast cauliflower florets, tossed in some olive oil at 325F for 45 minutes for a great finger food veggie option at dinnertime!

9.  Avocado

A great first finger food to introduce as it can be easily mushed between the gums of your toddler. Plus anything leftover gives you an excuse to make guacamole! 

10.  Watermelon

This refreshing fruit can be either cut into cubes. Older toddlers can be given watermelon slices to much down on on a hot summer day. A great backyard treat.

11.   Raspberries

You can't go wrong with this option.  My kids love to place a raspberry on each of their little fingers, sing `Five Little Monkeys`and munch away at each berry after they gleefully sing 'one fell off and bumped his head". 

12. Spiralized Zucchini

Zucchini noodles can be a fun side dish to any dinner. 

13.   Pureed Soups

One our quickest meals that we do in our house is a pureed soup, which simply consists of cooking up a roughly chopped stir-friend onion, chicken or veggie broth, one chopped potato, a large handful of baby spinach and either asparagus or broccoli. Once you've simmered this mix for 15-20 minutes, whiz it up in a high powered blender and voila - soup! Or as the French call it, velouté.  Or as we call it in our house... green soup. (creative, I know)

14.  Mango

This is a great option as you can easily use the frozen variety (that`s already peeled and cubed... bonus!).  A slightly thawed mango cube can also be great for teething toddlers as well!


15.  Eggs

This quick and easy protein can be served up scrambled or hard-boiled. An omelette can also be made to include other veggies like spinach. 

16.  Plain pulled pork

Using a slow cooker, this is a great option for little ones to try pork. If your toddler likes to eat like the grown-ups, then wrap a soft corn tortilla around it, add some avocado and you've got Taco Tuesdays down pat. 

17.  Shreds of pot roast or short rib

Slow cooker short rib is a favourite in our house.  Who knew toddlers like short rib?? Tender and moist beef from a chuck roast or short ribs can be a great option to serve over rice with a side of roasted cauliflower. Yum!

18.  Chia pudding

Chia is a great way to add fibre and protein into a toddler's diet. We love this recipe from Simply Quinoa!  Or check out our version of Coconut Milk Chia Pudding!

19.  Hummus

Including legumes is a great way to include plant-based proteins into your todder's diet. If you're making your own, you don't need to stick with just chick peas. Try subbing them out for white navy beans or black beans for a little twist on a classic. 

20.    Homemade Meatballs

Using ground turkey thigh meat produces a high-protein and flavourul option that is perfect for little toddler hands. 

21.  Full-fat plain yogurt

Look for the 9% full-fat yogurt that is naturally thick (no extra thickeners required). Add in your own fruit, honey and cinnamon for a healthy dessert or snack. 


Well, there you have it. Lots of options for you to try at home with your toddler.  Remember.. monkey see, monkey do. If your kids see you enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods, then they will see this as normal and will soon follow suit!

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