When grains are not on the menu, breakfasts can require you to think out of the box!
(Haha, get it? "out of the (cereal) box"?!)
My middle son, Benji, has been tested on and off sensitive to eggs. Not a full blown allergy, but sensitive. If you persist in giving/eating a food that you are sensitive to, there is a really good chance that a big, nasty allergy will develop. So...we really don't do scrambled eggs, omelets, etc.
Cereal, oatmeal, toast, french toast, scrambled eggs, pancakes, waffles and omelets are all a no-no for us right now. So what's for breakfast??
Kefir is basically fermented/cultured milk. At our house, we use raw milk from grass fed cows to make a variety of cultured dairy products. Why raw? Dairy products that are pasteurized (that you find in the grocery store) are from grain fed, CAFO cows, and are only a source of calories and allergies!
(more on this here, here, and here-don't forget; if you are doing research make sure you find similar information in three or more places!)
Raw, grass fed milk is a natural immune builder! It is rich in the vitamin B's, is a great source of probiotics for intestinal health, and has tons of enzymes (which fight inflammation). All of this is destroyed completely when the milk is pasteurized.
(more on this here, here and here!)
OK, so back to Kefir!
Kefir is a powerful probiotic beverage. It is made by placing kefir "grains" (not really grain, it just looks like grain!) in milk and letting it stand on your counter for up to 48 hours. It looks kind of like runny yogurt when it's finished.
It can be strained, also, to make kefir cheese (similar consistency to cream cheese).
I make a 1/2 gallon of kefir at a time, and we use 2-3 C each morning in our smoothies.
Since we've been drinking kefir daily and using kombucha (more on that in a later post!), we've hardly been sick at all! In fact, I can't remember the last time I was sick since my flu back in October of last year. Proper intestinal flora (friendly bacteria) is of utmost importance to a healthy immune system. In fact, I would almost say that it's the single most valuable area of your body that you can work on being super healthy.
So, here's my recipe...sort of! I'm not really a by the books recipe kind of gal, I just cook with a little of this and a pinch of that. I'll attempt to quantify what I use!
Daily Breakfast Smoothies
2-3 C fresh homemade kefir
1-2 C frozen fruit
raw honey to taste
Blend, drink immediately!
That's the basic recipe that I always add or subtract from. I've been known to throw an avocado in (which makes it super creamy and satisfying), some raw egg yolks, aloe vera juice, kombucha, vanilla, a pinch of salt, some raw spinach, cinnamon, or whey. Not necessarily all at once!!
I will say that kefir is an acquired taste. It's a bit sour, similar to plain yogurt. At first, we had to do the "I'm sorry you don't like this, honey. It's good for your body and you need to be obedient to Mom and Dad and drink it" speech. After a while, maybe a week or so, the kids actually were asking for smoothies and my pickiest child was begging me to add avocado!
Don't give up when you are trying to introduce new, whole foods to your kids! Keep trying...sometimes it's just the "newness" that freaks them out!
I had my first really mean, negative comment on here recently. The commenter (anonymous of course, aren't they all?) said something about hoping that my kids would develop minds of their own. Even though the comment was just an ignorant, idle insult, it got me thinking about the true definition of an independent mind and how we, as Christian parents, define that for our children.
What does "having a mind of your own" mean, really? Does it mean what it says, having a mind that is only full of your own ideas, ideals, plans, concerns, and ambitions? If you break it down that way, it sounds pretty selfish, doesn't it!
Or, does "having a mind of your own" simply mean being able to think for yourself, above influence? I think this definition is more accurate, and fits our personal goals as Christian parents much better than the first.
As followers of Christ, and as parents, we are solely responsible for the training of our children's minds and hearts. We are raising up the next generation of believers, the next leaders of our nation, the next missionaries, the next pastors. If we give in to "our own minds", we are inherently going against every command that Jesus has given us regarding how we are to live.
"Our own minds" are full of sinful, selfish desires! Not how we want our children to turn out, right? I'm sure you've seen your share of spoiled children, individuals who demand that the world revolve around them, and are horrified if they don't get everything they desire, WHEN they desire it. That, truly, is allowing your child to "have a mind of their own"!
Our goal (my husband's and mine) is to raise independent children who can think for themselves, above worldly influence, and who have keenly trained ears to the Lord's voice. We are working towards this by choosing to do several things.
First, our goal is immediate obedience. If our children can't listen and obey our voices, how can they listen to and obey the voice of the Lord? Obedience is required in ALL areas. And yes, that does include mealtimes, as I addressed in a previous post. We are obeying our heavenly Father to the best of our ability, and model obedience with a cheerful heart for our children.
Secondly, we choose to educate them here in our home. We believe that home education goes way far and above any other type of education in preparing our children for the real world. It allows them to learn how to focus during real life distractions. It allows them to learn the intricacies of relating to people outside their peer group. They are able to watch Mommy and Daddy navigating through bumpy situations regarding home repairs, or money issues, or family problems and how we deal with them. They get one on one time with their teacher, me! The list goes on and on but I'll stop now because this post is not about why we homeschool!!
Thirdly, we model for them daily prayer, Bible reading, serving others (with a good attitude!!), and other life skills that they will need when they are adults.
Fourthly, we don't help them. Yep! Not a typo. Parents who do EVERYTHING for their children are not being kind. Where will your sweet darling be when she walks out the door to college and Mommy is not there with a plate of hot eggs in the morning, or to put her freshly washed clothes away in the drawer for her? Hungry and dirty, that's where! We teach our kids life skills so they can ultimately be independent, but learn how before they step out into the wide world by themselves. After giving them the tools, we encourage them to solve quarrels between themselves on their own, or cook something on their own, or clean the bathroom by themselves, etc.
These are just a few examples of how our family is raising up independent, well-equipped children, who cling to Jesus and follow His word.
It is very prideful to say that you have only your own thoughts and ideas and follow no one's input but your own. Like it or not, the truth is that everyone will be influenced by someone, or something sooner or later in their lives. Home schooled or not. The choice is ours, then, as parents, to choose who we want to be the powerful influence in our children's lives. Who will direct their minds and hearts? A stranger? Their peers? Cartoon Newtork? Or us?
We know that we are human, and aside from the Lord's redemption and grace, are fallen sinners. If left to their own devices, children's minds will belong to the world, and the prince of darkness. Because, in reality, our minds have never been our own, and never will be! So, we choose to raise children with the mind and heart of Christ, who can think for themselves, above influence and follow the voice of Jesus.
I urge you, Christian parents, be vigilant! Seek daily to turn your children's hearts and minds towards yourself and thus towards Jesus! Be obedient and seek obedience from those precious souls entrusted to you for this short time on earth. Their minds are a battleground and the Prince of Peace must prevail.
I don't know
guest child,"Mommy? What's that?"
parent, "Oh, it's such and such"
guest child, "Oh! I want to taste it!"
parent, "Oh NO, you won't like it."
"Oh, I don't think you should, you've never had that before."
What? "you won't like it"???!!! I really and truly can't even wrap my head around that mentality. Why in the world would you not only discourage your child's natural curiosity but also squash their desire to try WHOLE, NUTRITIOUS FOOD??
I could probably understand if it were the other way around, if I was serving up a big helping of processed grain, refined sugar, msg and high fructose corn syrup, and the parent, bless their heart, was trying to discourage tasting that. But this? Really?
(when I say "food" here, I'm referring to whole, traditional, nutritious foods)
It frustrates me and saddens me to no end to see parents putting their preconceived notions about food, or personal dislikes of a food onto their children. For example, my husband hates tomatoes. Since boys always want to be like Daddy, we are very careful not to let the boys know just how much Daddy hates tomatoes so that they will try them and develop their own opinion. All three of the kids actually don't like tomatoes right now, their choice, but we serve tomato stuff anyway and I just tell them, "Well, you're not old enough to like them, but you will when you are more grown up."
At the end of the day, our goal with our children is to accomplish the realization of a new meaning of the word "like".
Like: the ability to enjoy and eat whole, nutritious, traditional foods because they are the best choice, and God's choice, for a healthy body.
Conversely, the word "dislike" or phrase "I don't like that" translates to this:
the sinful flesh refusing to be obedient to God's design for the body, an ungrateful spirit rearing it's ugly head
So, when my children are served something they object to, their thought processes should run something like this:
Oh, this is not my favorite thing to eat. But I'll eat it anyway with a happy heart because I like foods that Mommy and Daddy tell me are healthy, and because I want to be obedient.
I do not believe in coddling, or cooking for, the appetite of my children. Occasionally we will allow them to participate in meal planning, or have a favorite meal for a special occasion. Largely speaking, though, I cook and serve what I deem to be the best, and healthiest foods for the
family, and fully expect cheerful obedience and "liking" of what I serve!
Our goal is raising kids with a grateful heart, and a taste for simple, nutritious, life-giving foods.
Welcome to our life!
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