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Make a Jesse Tree Advent Calendar to Celebrate Christmas this Year

Make a Jesse tree advent calendar if you want to count down the days until Christmas with a little more than daily chocolate. I first learned about the Jesse tree craft idea last year on Pinterest when I came across a cute photo from Lacy Rabideau’s blog post, “O Jesse Tree, O Jesse Tree” on her website: Catholic Icing. I fell in love with the idea of creating a Jesse tree advent calendar craft for my kids, but advent was already almost over. This year I got started early on my Jesse tree advent calendar. If you are looking for some free Jesse tree patterns or Jesse tree clip art, you’re in luck. I have designed over 26 Jesse tree ornament clip art images for you to use with your kids. I wanted to print mine in full color and use a felt canvas. But I also made copies of them in black and white too. This way you can have your kids color their Jesse tree clip art images with crayons, too. Continue reading

Breast Milk Nutrition: Study says Diet Affects Mother’s Milk

New breast milk nutrition facts are available from new study on diet and the quality of mother's milk. Did you know that not all breast milk is the same? The old myth that mom's can eat whatever they want while breastfeeding their baby is not true. Baby's can't take what they need from mom if mom is lacking in vital nutrients. For better breast milk nutrition quality, consider taking some simple dietary steps... Continue reading

Easy Organic Cucumber Pasta Salad with Apple Cider Vinegar

Organic cucumber pasta salad is my favorite summer salad recipe. Want to cut out the chemicals and calories in commercial salad dressing? Use this easy recipe that doesn't require a bottle of Italian dressing. It's fast, easy to make, and stores a while in your refrigerator. I like to serve my cucumber pasta salad on hot days when we've got the barbecue going. This cucumber pasta salad recipe is made with tomatoes, black olives, red onions, and apple cider vinegar. If you plan to make this cucumber pasta salad for a party, prepare it the night before for best results. Continue reading

Americana Subway Art: Get Free Printable 8×10, Great for Framing

Get Americana Subway Art for free from Healthy Family. Since summer has finally arrived in style, I've decided to add a pair of American Subway Art pictures that I recently created. These two Americana Subway Art signs are originals that I created using my software on my computer. You are welcome to use them for your own personal use. Continue reading

Chocolate Cake without Eggs Recipe Using Flax Seed Meal

Want to make chocolate cake without eggs? It's pretty easy when you make a quick substitution to a box mix. Although we're not an egg free family we do have friends who are strict vegetarians. They will eat dairy products, but eggs are definitely off their list. I made an egg free chocolate cake for them using LivingNow gluten free all purpose flour and a recipe for Mom's Chocolate Cake that was printed right on the side of the box. Continue reading

Make Better Salads and Improve Skin with These Ingredient Combinations

Want to make better salads that will digest well and give your skin a radiant healthy glow? You'll love these tips from Certified Clinical Nutritionist Lauren Talbot's book, Clear Skin Detox Diet. I was recently sent a copy to review and I was immediately surprised by it. This is not a fad book with fantastic food photos and recipes made with ingredients that are hard to find. Nope. It's an easy read manual that includes simple recipes and practical advice. The book is chalked full of nutritional information, education about skin cells, digestion, and even toxins in conventional foods. Lauren writes in plain English and offers sound advice for the average person. If you have acne, dermatitis, eczema, or signs of premature aging, you'll want to check out this book. Continue reading

Corn free Products at Enjoy Life Foods? See our Official List

There are corn free products available from Enjoy Life Foods. The company runs a facility that is dedicated to producing snack foods, breakfast foods, and chocolate products in a factory that is free from the top eight most common allergens: wheat, dairy, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and egg. All their products are gluten free and made without artificial ingredients, too. If that's not enough to make you like this Chicago area company, they are also certified non GMO as well. But for folks with corn intolerance and corn allergy, not all the Enjoy Life Foods are safe. We decided to make a list for our corn free peeps to help them make decisions about which corn free products from Enjoy Life Foods may be safe to try out. Continue reading

Easter Candy Crafts made with Surf Sweets Organic non GMO Candy

Looking for homemade Easter candy crafts to do with your family? Our friends at Surf Sweets recently sent us a little sample box of their organic non GMO candies. Of course I wanted to wait until Easter to open the packages because our house is on a strict no sugar diet for Lent. Having a box full of Surf Sweets laying around the place really heightens the temptation. The kids were going nuts looking at the box. We've got a week to go before lent is over. Against my better judgement I cracked the seal and sat down with my youngest son with a mission. Together we decided to come up with fun Easter candy crafts that could be made with Surf Sweets candy. Continue reading

Postpartum Alcohol Use: Finding a Way Out of the Darkness

Postpartum alcohol use is not that uncommon. Everyone tells you that the role of a first time mom is a joyous occasion. But it's not like this for all mothers. If you find motherhood outright daunting and extremely overwhelming, you are not alone. There is help. Between adjusting to caring for a little one, new schedules and sleepless nights, there is a lot of added stress postpartum. If you find yourself craving alcohol and relying on it to get through the day, you may have more than an issue with postpartum alcohol use. You could be suffering from postpartum depression (also called PPD). Continue reading

Minecraft Story Map for Kids: Teach Creative Writing with Minecraft

Download a free Minecraft story map for kids and use it to teach creative writing skills. If you've got a kid who loves to write stories, or if you are a classroom teacher looking to motivate and teach narrative writing, you'll love this project. Recently a reader came to Healthy Family looking for a Minecraft story map. I immediately thought, what a great idea! It's difficult to teach kids the parts of a story and put it into action when you are dealing with very abstract ideas. But what if you used something that they are very familiar with, like Minecraft? Continue reading

Green Furniture Refinishing: Condition Wood Using Kitchen Ingredients

Green furniture refinishing is quite easy. You'll be surprised at how nicely an old piece can look after just 30 minutes of your time. I recently acquired an old pine dresser that was in need of some TLC. I decided to condition the wood using some kitchen ingredients on hand in my pantry. It's an easy job and you'll be able to use your furniture about 12 hours after applying this green furniture refinishing coat. Continue reading

First Communion Booklets that Teach the Order of the Mass

Learning Order of the Mass for first communion is tough. There is a lot for a child to understand about the traditions, symbolism, and prayers of a Catholic Mass. Each year in parishes around the world children are studying the Order of the Mass for first communion. Recently Healthy Family got in touch with a wonderful company based out of North Carolina called Holy Heroes. If you are a regular reader you may have seen an earlier post we did about Holy Heroes free Lenten activities for kids program. The company has published an Order of the Mass for First Communion Booklet. On one side of this book the Prayers of the Mass are taught, and on the flip side of this book Holy Heroes includes 24 pages of "Best Loved Catholic Prayers" for children. Continue reading

Pipe Cleaner Shamrocks and Coloring Page Activity for St. Patricks Day

Pipe cleaner shamrocks are pretty fast and easy to make. They make a fun St. Patrick's day craft for kids. You can do them at home, like we did, in a classroom, or for a Sunday school activity. Most people think of green beer, leprechauns, pots of gold, and parties for St. Patrick's Day. We draw and color shamrocks, and wear them on our clothes. But many people don't know about the history behind the shamrock and Saint Patrick himself. The story is a wonderful one to share with your kids and I promise that after you do you'll always insist on a shamrock with three leaves instead of four. Continue reading

Reading Comprehension Apps for Kids: A Top Ten List of iPad Apps

Reading comprehension apps can be a great teaching tool for struggling kids. If you've been following Healthy Family for a while you've already read some of my reading comprehension articles for parents and teachers. I'm a firm believer in direct instruction and peer tutoring, but using reading comprehension apps is another powerful tool for your tool bag. I'd like to see kids with reading comprehension problems use these apps in addition to other strategies. They can make reading practice fun and enjoyable for the kid who's not too motivated to read. Check out my top ten list of apps available in the app store that can help your child improve reading comprehension skills. Continue reading

Finding Faith After Losing Everything: Watch Survival Film on DVD

Finding faith after losing everything. Is it possible? How much of yourself is connected to your material possessions, your job, your role in the family or your community? What would you be if it was all taken away from you? Who would you be? Would you still have faith? Hope? A wonderful and inspirational film from Elevation Pictures explores what happens to a young pioneer woman's faith when she loses everything and has to rely on herself and ultimately God for survival. Continue reading

Low Carb Beef Stew Recipe for Low Glycemic Antifungal Diet

Low carb beef stew made with butternut squash and yams? You betcha! Who says stew has to have carrots and potatoes? That's so last year. This low carb beef stew recipe is both sweet and savory. Your family will love it, and best of all, it's low glycemic, too. If you are watching your sugar intake, or need recipes for an anti fungal diet, try this one. But really, this recipe is great for absolutely everybody because it's just plain great tasting. Everyone will love it, I promise. Continue reading

Sensory Processing Disorder Toys: Best Toys for Sensory Seeking Kids

Sensory processing disorder toys are a great tool for kids with sensory seeking behaviors. Do you have a sensory seeker? Sensory seekers simply can't get enough out of their environment. They are constantly looking for ways to stimulate their nervous systems, and it can be exhausting. These kids struggle in the classroom and are often labeled as hyperactive and impulsive. If you've got an ADHD child it's possible they are a sensory seeker with a sensory processing disorder. Experts believe that if these kids are able to get enough sensory input they will be able to calm down and focus when needed. Continue reading

Radiation Exposure and Breast Cancer: A Demron Bra Review

There is a known link between radiation exposure and breast cancer. If you are concerned about low level radiation, you may be interested in a new bra called the Demron®. The bra is meant for healthy women with a history of breast cancer in the family, frequent flyers, and women frequently exposed to hospital radiation technologies. The Demron® bra is marketed to limit your risk in these situations. It's designed by Radiation Shield Technologies with a fabric technology developed for nuclear hazmat suits. The recently designed special bras are designed help reduce radiation exposure and breast cancer risk in the average women. Continue reading

Fruit Wax Ingredients Revealed: What’s on the Wax Covering Your Fruit?

Fruit wax coverings have been hotly debated by organic, vegan, and food allergic bloggers over the years. I've read extensively on the subject and decided to put to rest some long standing rumors on what's really in or not in fruit wax coverings. I think the conversations on fruit wax and the fears some consumers have are legitimate. Unfortunately, finding out what's sprayed on our fruit is tricky business. Many formulations are proprietary, meaning their 'recipes' are secret. And because the US government doesn't classify these wax sprays as a food substance, it doesn't have the same labeling regulation as our packaged food products, organic products, and meat products. Do food allergy sufferers need to worry about fruit wax? Are they filled with toxic chemicals that are harmful to our kids? Let me tell you what I've discovered. Continue reading

Terrible Twos Help for Parents Struggling with Toddler Tantrums

If you are in need of terrible twos help you are not alone. We've all been there. My husband and I have four kids. Believe me, our house has seen its share of toddler meltdowns over the years. But our attitude towards those tantrums has mellowed quite a bit. We've learned to keep calm and carry on. We're more confident and better able to roll with it. I am much more relaxed about those tantrums when they come. You can be too. You can't stop toddler tantrums, but there are effective ways to handle them that will make those uncomfortable moments short-lived and less frequent. I think it helps to see the world from your toddler's perspective. Thankfully, there's a great resource available now for parents wanting some terrible twos help. Tovah P. Klein, PhD, who's the director of Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and the Associate Professor of Psychology, has written a guidebook for parents on how to raise happy toddlers. Continue reading

Reading Comprehension Strategies for Parents of ASD Kids

I've created some reading comprehension strategies for you today that will work with 3rd through 5th grade kids. These reading comprehension strategies are beneficial for all kids, but my focus today is on special needs kids, particularly kids diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). If you are a parent looking for reading comprehension strategies for your ASD child my suggestions should help get you off to a good start. As you know, for ASD kids, a lot gets missed in the large classroom setting that makes homework time at the kitchen table quite difficult. The ASD child often forgets, misunderstands, and inappropriately responds to his assigned homework. Frustrated and tired parents usually end up doing the work for the child just to get it done. If this sounds familiar, I'd like to offer you a few reading comprehension strategies. My reading tips will hopefully give you a few tools for your toolbox and take the torture out of homework time. Continue reading
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About this Blog

Healthy Family is an organic living website. It's mainly written by Caryn, a busy mom of 4. We talk about nutrition parenting, and education on Healthy Family. You'll find easy, family friendly organic recipes, all gluten and corn free. We offer shopping tips, craft ideas for kids, and product and book reviews, too. Caryn often talks about being a mom, honoring her Catholic faith and traditions, and the importance of eating healthy organic foods. Contact us if you'd like.