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Hank D and the Bee: Cold Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving from Hank D, the Bee, and me!

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5 Green Products: Happy Baby Organic Baby Food to PVC-Free EcoZoo Natural Cotton Animal Backpacks

happybaby1. Happy Baby Organic Baby Food

From Dr. Sears’ book Happy Baby: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months, comes a line of organic baby food.  Packaged in BPA-free pouches heated by placing in a pot of hot water, these organic meals are portable and easy to use.  Unfortunately, the pouches can’t be recycled like traditional glass baby bottles.

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Kid-Friendly Breakfasts

Photo:  Attribution Some rights reserved by kevindooleyKid-Friendly but not healthy breakfast

Kid-Friendly but not healthy breakfast

Healthy Breakfast = protein + fruits or vegetables + whole grains + calcium

• Peanut butter and fruit spread on whole wheat toast, ½ an orange and a glass of milk

• Peanut butter spread on apple slices and a bowl of whole grain cereal with milk

• Toasted whole wheat bagel spread with peanut butter and honey, topped with slices of bananas and a glass of milk

• Bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar, peanut butter and milk and a glass of orange juice

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Kid Friendly Vegetarian Recipes: Kiwi Wraps or Rolls

Photo by AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by jonycunhaKids love kiwi!

Kids love kiwi!

Kiwi Wraps or Rolls

These wraps can be served as a traditional wrap sandwich or slice it into pieces (like a sushi roll) for bite sized treats.


1 tablespoon peanut butter or sunflower butter

1 tablespoon cream cheese

1/2 kiwi

Tortilla — whole wheat or plain (squared)

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Vegetarian Family Recipes: Edamame & Pan Roasted Corn

Photo by avlxyzKids love edamame!

Kids love edamame!

This is a great family recipe with a puree recipe for babies in stages two and three.


3 ears fresh sweet corn or 1-1/2 cups of frozen corn

1-1/2 cups shelled edamame

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp butter

Salt & pepper, to taste

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Does a Maternal Vegetarian Diet Cause Hypospadias?

Photo by avlxyzCan a maternal vegetarian diet cause birth defects?

Can a maternal vegetarian diet cause birth defects?

A recent comment to the post “Birth Defect Risk Increased by Mother’s High Fat Diet” prompted me to do a little research into the potential harm of a maternal vegetarian diet.  Jenny of The Nourished Kitchen, which features delicious recipes, wrote:

But, that’s not to say a diet in nutrient-dense, natural fats like raw butter would cause the same effects. Lack of retinol (vitamin A from animal sources) is implicated in congenital defects and a vegetarian diet is implicated in hypospadias in humans.

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Family-Friendly Vegetarian Recipes: Calabecitas

Photo by iLoveButter)Vegetarian Kid Recipes: Calabecitas

Vegetarian Kid Recipes: Calabecitas

This is a family-friendly recipe that includes a puree for babies in Stages Two and Three.


  • 3-4 medium-sized zucchini, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 ears fresh sweet corn or 1-1/2 cups of frozen corn or canned corn, rinsed & drained
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sprinkle of chili powder, optional
  • Salt and fresh pepper, to taste

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Stuffed French Toast

]Photo by Kim ScarboroughKids love stuffed french toast!

Kids love stuffed french toast!

Sunday brunch is always good family-fun. This Stuffed French toast is a treat the whole family will enjoy and they can all help make it too. Younger children can use their little fingers to pinch the edges around the bread, and older kids can mix and spread the filling.


  • 8 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Maple syrup for serving

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Kids and Nature: 3 California Eco-Friendly Summer Camps

Screen shot 2010-04-27 at 10.58.08 AM

Camp Trinity (Bar 717)

This summer, my eight-year-old daughter will be attending summer camp for the first time. One whole week away from mom and dad (and brother) immersed in nature, kids, and experiences we can only imagine!  As the American Camp Association explains:

At camp, when children make new friends, explore the world around them, and learn that “I can” is much more powerful than “I can’t”, magic happens. In an environment created just for them, children learn real life skills, develop self-esteem, and gain a sense of independence and community. Whether children are playing, exploring nature, conquering new heights, or becoming part of a camp family, they are creating memories that will last a lifetime.

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Recipes for Kids: Organic Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate

Photo by rawheadrexMexican chocolate is easy for kids to make

Mexican chocolate is easy for kids to make

I remember as a child experimenting in the kitchen with recipes and concocting my own. It takes a special parent to allow children free reign in the kitchen, as the results can be disastrous, but the experimentation and wonderful ideas that result are worth the risk. My daughter loves to cook, and we have purchased several kids cookbooks for her.  One of her favorite recipes (and a family favorite too) is adapted from Handstand Kids.   I just love the fact that she can make this all by herself!

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Hank D and the Bee: Hank Goes Veggie


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Lunch Options for the Vegetarian Kiddo

You and your family may be trying to eat more vegetarian fare. Or, even better, you might have taken the plunge.

And then it sinks in: come mid August, your child will be bombarded with greasy, unhealthy food in the school cafeteria.

Whether your little one attends a “meat- and nut-free” school, or you simply wish to ward off the deep-fried chicken, here are a few ideas for your Back-to-School grocery list: [Read more…]

Vegan Recipes: Quick and Easy Organic Chocolate Chip Pecan Muffins

My kids love to make muffins, and one of their favorite vegan recipes is for chocolate chip muffins. We like to put a special dash of bran on the bottom and a dash of coconut on top for an extra treat.  If you’ve never tried chocolate chips in a muffin, you will be pleasantly surprised!  These muffins are quick and easy to make, but be warned:  they will be eaten up quickly! [Read more…]

Meal Planning for Part-Time Vegetarians

For almost two years we’ve been eating vegetarian or vegan twice a week and seafood twice a week. I guess you could consider us part-time vegetarians. Eating this way keeps us from overloading our diets with too much meat or dairy and cuts down on our grocery bill. It forces us to eat more fresh produce and to shop locally so the produce actually has flavor.

It is extremely eco-friendly to eat vegetarian twice a week; eating meat takes a toll on the environment big time. The beef, poultry and pork industrial farms notoriously contribute to water pollution, use large amounts of fossil fuels and generate prodigious amounts of greenhouse gases. The United Nations has actually issued a call for citizens of the world to go vegetarian one day a week to curb global warming.

My girls love fresh veggies and fruit on their own, but I also like to puree it and add it to other meals. I’m not trying to hide it but it’s another great way to add more essential vitamins to their diet. When my girls were babies I made their baby food and always used organic ingredients. Their teeth came in quickly and they moved onto solids sooner than later, so both times I ended up with extra bags of frozen cubed baby food. I started adding the pureed butternut squash into their grilled cheese for lunch and whole grain pancakes for breakfast. During that time two cookbooks were released dedicated to adding pureed fruits and veggies to favorite recipes!

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