Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A GIVEAWAY For a Non-Toxic and Healthy New Year!

I have never published  a guest post on Non-Toxic Munchkin, but when Samantha Sirota approached me with an idea for a post and a giveaway for my readers I could not resist.   Samantha and her husband Mark founded Good Life Organics in 2010.  Good Life Organics is a Los Angeles based weekly delivery service of fresh, in season, organic fruits and vegetables - one that I personally have been using for three years now!  What sets their delivery service apart is that;
  1. Affordability: boxes start at $16 a week!
  2. Supports Schools and Local Farms! They allows family’s to bring home the best-tasting fruits and veggies while directly supporting sustainable agriculture and our local school (you can choose your own school to support!) .  So far, Good Life Organics has raised over $100,000 for local schools in west Los Angeles.
  3. Time Saver: For me, the weekly delivery box saves me a second midweek trip to the supermarket/farmers market (we always run out of fresh fruits especially!) 
Now that the New Year has officially begun - there is no easier way to stick to your healthy eating and non-toxic living resolutions!   Read Samantha’s article below for tips on pesticide free eating, her favorite recipes that will get the pickiest little eaters asking for veggies and fruits and a not to be missed GIVEAWAY!

“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful medicine or the slowest form of poison”- Ann Wigmore
Organic fruits and vegetables are the best choice to make sure you’re excluding as many pesticides as possible from your family’s diet. As you might have read in a previous post here:
Pesticides are designed to kill living things (pests) - by definition, something that kills living things can't be great for you or your kids.
Pesticides have been linked to cancer, acute and chronic nervous system injury and dysfunction of the endocrine, reproductive and immune systems and behavioral problems

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued an important report that said that children have "unique susceptibilities to [pesticide residues'] potential toxicity." They cited research linking pesticide exposures in early life and "pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems." It advised its members to urge parents to consult "reliable resources that provide information on the relative pesticide content of various fruits and vegetables."
Pesticides persist on fruits and vegetables tested by USDA, even when they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.
However sometimes due to price or availability, it’s not possible to buy 100% organic.  To help families determine which produce they should be buying organic and which are safe to not buy organic,  the Environmental Working group publishes an annual list of foods with the highest levels of pesticides - ie the foods that are MOST important to buy organic.
What fruits and vegetables have the highest levels of pesticides?  Repeat offenders on the ‘DIRTY DOZEN’ list include; Apples, Peaches, Pears, Nectarines, Strawberries, Grapes, Celery, Spinach, Sweet bell peppers, potatoes, Hot Peppers + Kale / Collard greens 
If you’re without access to this list when you’re shopping, just ask yourself… “if this fruit/veg were still hanging on the plant, would it be easy for a bug to bite into and start feasting on the sweet part?” If the answer is “yes” then the conventional product probably has a LOT of pesticides to keep it from becoming insect food. Think of strawberries for example which grow on the ground and are super sweet and have no protective skin. 
Many foods though, have their own natural protection; avocado skin, watermelon rind, citrus peel, etc that makes the food hard for insects to get to the sweet part so they don’t need as many pesticides. These fruits and a handful of others are part of the CLEAN FIFTEEN (Avocados, Pineapples, Cabbage, Onions, Mangoes, Asparagus, Kiwi, Eggplant, Cantaloupe, Grapefruit, Sweet potatoes, Cauliflower) and actually don’t have to be organic to be safe to enjoy.

Now for the fun part! How do you get little kids- including the pickiest of eaters- to eat these healthy fruits and vegetables? 

First, it goes without saying, make sure you  choose fresh produce and cook as much as possible at home. By choosing fruits and vegetables and cooking at home you know exactly what you’re eating, compared to a bottled, packaged or pre-made product. These kid-friendly recipes below take just a few minutes to prepare and are packed full of fresh produce! 

1) Smoothies are a great way to load up on lots of veggies and fruits at once spinach smoothie recipe
2) DIY Baby food- this can take just a few minutes and you can guarantee you’re getting the best food for your baby Mashed carrot recipe
3) Include greens in your breakfast - this way you know you've already had some veggies for the day. Kale, Chard, and Spinach are all great with eggs and cook very fast. breakfast burrito recipe
4) Use lettuce as a wrap for burgers, or instead of a shell for tacos. Make sure to have at least 1 topping be a veggie too! Shredded carrots, cabbage, sprouts, etc lettuce wrap recipe
5) Make a big pot of veggie soup This can be a meal in itself or a great veggie-rich addition to any meal. Freeze half for another day to save time. Slowcooker lentil soup recipe  

To help you eat more fruits and vegetables in 2018, 1 lucky winner will receive a home delivery of organic fruits and vegetables from Good Life Organics. Winner will receive the Family Box of 100% organic seasonal fruits and vegetables, delivered to their front door + an email full of recipes to go with every item in the box,  a $55 value! To be eligible you must live in the West Los Angeles area (between Sunset & Venice Blvd, west of the 101).  Giveaway will close on Friday January 12th at 10 am PST. 

To enter: 
1. Like our post on Instagramand make sure you follow @nontoxicmunchkin on Instagram
2. tag a friend who loves organic fruits and veggies as much as you (each friend you tag is an extra entry for you!)  in our Instagram post  comment section and tell us what your favorite fruit or veggie is!

3.  Follow @goodlifeorganics on Instagram too!

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