8 healthy eating strategies from your favorite foodie mamas

Children and vegetables can sometimes go together like, well—children and vegetables.

Have no fear, mama: we’ve gathered the best ideas experts have to offer to help your little ones get all the nutrition they need. Employ these strategies from the experts (and mamas!) at Weelicious, The Forest Feast and Yummy Toddler Food and your wee one will be eating like a foodie in no time. Your job—grab the fruits, veggies and this article—and start chopping. ?

You should know. . .

Nutrition in early life impacts physical, neurological and even emotional development, so what kids eat can have lifelong impact on them! But before you freak out if all your son will eat is french fries (we’ve been there!), try these eight tricks and techniques from the pros.

The experts say. . .

1. Sneak it in

If your childkeepings snubbing the spinach, try this smooth trick: Throw it in the blender! Erin Gleeson, author of The Forest Feast for Kids—an awesome vegetarian recipe book for children— says “smoothies are a good way to get some vegetables in their little bodies, since the sweetness will likely cover the trace of anything vegetable-related. Lately I have been making my son Ezra beet smoothies which are a pretty color and taste good.”

Wanna beet it?

“Just combine one boiled beet, almond milk, 1 banana, a couple ice cubes and a dollop of yogurt. Sometimes I even sneak a few spinach leaves in,” Erin shares. Yum! ?

2. Chop to it!

“The smaller the veggie is, the better chance it has staying inside that little mouth and off your floor,” Erin explains. (Motherly note: seriously, how did we not realize this?) “I chop spinach leaves realllllly finely and mix them into scrambled eggs. Sprinkle with a little cheese and it works most of the time.”

3. Bake it in.

Not only willa little heat make most veggies more palatable, it’s also a great way tocombine add greens and other produce to your baked goods. “I make a lot of Vegan Zucchini Bread which Ezra loves for breakfast and snacks. I use half the sugar this recipe calls for, or substitute honey, and it’s great. You can make these loaves ahead and freeze them as well.”

4. Pick the right veggies.

Not allproduce is created equal—some are better mixed in, and others make perfect sidedishes on their own. Amy Palanjian, founder of Yummy Toddler Foods and author of the new ebook builds veggies into the meals she cooks:

“We like sweet potato pancakes, carrot cake pancakes, roasted veggies in enchiladas, veggies in pureed black bean soup, marinara sauce loaded with vegetables, and even shredded carrot in hummus. ?

“Green veggies,” Amy explains, “can be a little tricker to ‘hide’ since they are easier to spot, so we focus on having really yummy versions of green vegetables like roasted broccoli, mashed potatoes and broccoli, kale pesto, or sesame green beans.”

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5. Get kids involved.

Catherine McCord, founder of the super-popular kid food site Weelicious tries a more straightforward approach. By getting kids involved at the beginning of the food process, she explains, they may have a more open mind to new foods. (And we hope, you have fewer turned-away meals!)

“By shopping with kids at the grocery and farmers market, cooking and eating together you will show them the enjoyment you have around these foods inspiring kids to enjoy them as well,” Catherine explains.

Give them two choices “Do you want broccoli or bell peppers?” “Do you want them raw or roasted?”

Just these small choices will offer kids some power over the foods that go in their bodies.

6. Experiment with cooking techniques.

Don’t think apuree is your only option! “Try them raw, cooked grated, chopped. Give kids a child safe knife and let them cook along side you. The more involvement they have in the kitchen the more they will be excited to try new foods!” ?

7. Add fruits and veggies to your kids’ favorite foods.

The Weelicious founder says shes not a big fan of sneaking vegetables into dishes, instead, she adds them to her kids’ favorite foods.

“Recently, I made green veggie pancakes and green mac and cheese You would be surprised what a kid would eat when the word ‘cookie’ ‘pancake’ or ‘pasta’ is attached to it,” Catherine says.

8. Don’t forget about snacks!

Your kidisn’t ready to scarf a salad? Don’t sweat it! “I’ve found that by making them a key component of snacks, my daughter eats a lot more fruits and vegetables,” explains Amy. ?

“We try to have snap peas, cucumber slices, frozen peas and easy fruits like clementines and bananas on hand. I also use those same sorts of fruits and vegetables as sides to round out dinners. I often serve them on shared plates so that my daughter can be in charge of serving herself—little ones so like power!” (Yes, they do!)

And remember. . .

“Cooking is love made edible”

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Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.

This article was sponsored by Earth Mama Organics. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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