Homemade Honey Stick Valentines

I decided honey sticks would be a good alternative to candy for my daughter’s school valentines this year. I whipped up a little tag using my favorite bee graphic and these little cuties were done in less than an hour!

Honey Stick Valentine Close Up

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Here’s the link to the bee graphic: http://thegraphicsfairy.com/marvelous-bumblebee-clip-art-image/

Home Made Meat Based Baby Formula Recipe

Home made meat based formula is not something that I hope anyone reading this will need. I am posting this recipe because when I needed it so badly 2 years ago I did not know it was an option and could offer a safe, nutritious alternative to commercial formula for babies with food allergies.

When my youngest daughter was almost 6 months old I got the stomach flu and had to start supplimenting formula because my supply dropped off. She had previously been exclusively breast fed and was a very fat, healthy baby who was almost sleeping through the night. Within 2 hours of having her first bottle of commercial baby formula she had a rash on her arm and that night woke up screaming every 45 minutes. I had quite a nice supply of pumped milk stocked up in the freezer but she was burning through it fast and we were scrambling to find a formula she could tolerate. I sincerely believe that we tried every formula available on the market. Soy, lactose free, organic, hydrolyzed, amino acid based… All of them caused her major reflux, vomiting, rashes and near sleepless nights.

When I would take her off of formula, she would improve dramatically within a day or so. Unfortunately though, I reached a point when I did not have enough breast milk and had no choice but to feed her formula. Our lives for 4 months consisted of stress, sickness and very little sleep. I can’t even tell you how many doctors I took her to during that time. Our primary care doctor was very supportive but had run out of formulas for us to try. Specialists couldn’t find anything wrong with her and I started to wonder if I was crazy or was doing something wrong.

Long story short – we ended up at the Allergy Associates of La Crosse in Onalaska Wisconsin. She was allergic to dairy, soy, corn and wheat. There is no commercial formula that is free of all of those ingredients. Our doctor pulled out a 50 year old “allergy friendly” formula recipe that her father (an allergist also) had developed. This recipe has been a life saver for us and we fed it to her for almost a year. It did take some time for her to get over the damage that had been done by the other formulas but within a week or two I had my happy baby back. I did still have to watch what she ate for solid food like a hawk but that’s another story….

Chicken Based Formula

-1/2 tsp Salt

-1 Tbsp Cane Sugar (or honey if your baby is old enough)

-1 tsp Calcium Carbonate

-2 1/2 Tbsp Tapioca Starch

-1/3 C Water

Mix ingredients in blender and then add:

-1 C Strained / Liquified Chicken Meat

-3 Tbsp Safflower Oil

-Infant Vitamin Drops

-Water to make 1 quart

Place chicken in pan and add enough water to just barely cover. Bring to a boil on stove then turn off burner and let set covered until cool. Chicken should now be cooked through. Cut chicken into chunks, put in blender and then add some of the water that the chicken was cooked in so the chicken can be liquified in the blender. Next add all of the other ingredients except for the additional water and freeze in 2 oz cubes. I pull them out of the freezer as needed and add 2 oz of water to each 2 oz of “formula”.

Kefir Smoothies

Both of our girls have had issues with food since they were very small.  We’ve been gluten free for almost 4 years and our youngest also has pretty major issues with dairy.  This last year we decided to increase our probiotics to see if that would improve some of the digestion issues.  Our whole family took probiotic supplements for a month.  Our girls actually really liked these chewable probiotic tablets by Metagenics http://www.metagenics.com/mp/products/ultraflora-childrens.

We also made our own sauerkraut and I started keeping live kefir.  I have managed to keep my kefir alive for over a year now and we have smoothies for breakfast 2 or 3 times a week.  My youngest, who gets really sick from even small amounts of dairy, is not bothered by the kefir smoothies at all.  Can’t explain why that is exactly but I think the addition of kefir into her diet has really helped her to be able to eat a normal diet without as many issues.

I keep my kefir grains in a mason jar on the counter and this is what they look like when they’ve done their job.  Not a great pic but they stay at the top when done and the bottom of the jar gets watery.

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All I do is scoop them out of the jar and put the kefir grains into a new jar to start the process over again.  Depending on how warm it is in my kitchen it usually takes 24 to 36 hours for 2 Tbsp of kefir grains to ferment  2 cups of milk or half and half.

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I either use organic whole milk or organic half and half.  I’ve found that using half and half makes a really thick yogurt texture.

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I put the kefir minus the actual grains into the blender and add the following to it:

-Approximately 2 cups kefir “yogurt”

-2 or 3 Tbsp coconut oil

-1/4 Cup orange juice

-1 Cup berries or other fruit

-1 banana or avocado

In the summer when I have fresh spinach from the garden I’ll add a cup or so of that too

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If there is any left after breakfast I pour it into popsicle molds in the freezer and have a great healthy alternative to ice-cream for an afternoon snack.

 

Essential Oil Blend for Congested Kids

When my girls were little babies it drove me nuts when they had colds and I didn’t know how to help their congestion.  Vick’s in my experience isn’t that great and smells less great.  Decongestants aren’t recommended for small children and I’m really not a fan of them anyway.  Over the years I started adding essential oils to the humidifier and now have a blend that I use every time someone is sick in my house.   It’s effective and smells great.

 

Humidifier Blend

In the warmer months when the air isn’t as dry I use this diffuser.

Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential Oil Diffuser

I purchased it on Amazon and it can be found here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GJRG3K/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I’ve been really happy with this little diffuser and as an added bonus it lights up and changes colors.  My youngest uses it as a nightlight even when we aren’t using it as a diffuser.
The diffuser holds approximately 1 cup of water and I add the following essential oils to that:

2 Drops Thieves Oil

2 Drops Lavender Oil

2 Drops Peppermint Oil

4  Drops Eucalyptus Oil

 

In the winter I use a larger humidifier that holds a half gallon and I double or triple the amounts for that.