Sunday, April 13, 2014

Homeschool project fun...happy oil...kid-inspired vegan paninis

It's been far too long since I last wrote - with beautiful weather, family time, and coming to the close of our school year, I feel as though the days are packed full without much time to spare! I decided to do a combined post of some recent highlights in the areas of our "healthy obsessions!

 One of our recent school activities was learned about how early Americans made yarn and clothing out of wool. We used cotton balls for the activity and the boys had so much fun cleaning the "debris" out of the "wool", combing it, rolling it into ropes and dying it.

Recently Keith has been struggling to stay positive when doing subjects that aren't his favorite (ie. phonics and math). He is a very imaginative and creative little boy and I decided to build on those traits to try and help him feel more empowered to do well at these subjects with a cheerful attitude. I suggested to Keith that he invent an essential oil blend that might help him feel more cheerful when doing not so enjoyable tasks. I asked him to research (using my essential oils reference guide) what oils would be good for relaxation and cheerfulness. He was thrilled with the task and came up with a blend of Joy, Valor, and Lavender. We put an equal amount of each oil into a sample bottle and he named it "Happy Oil". He uses it throughout the day, inhaling it when he feels frustrated or grumpy with his schoolwork. Most times, he can't help but smile:-) Of course we exercise plenty of prayer and scripture reference throughout our days as well because He is the true source of joy in our lives!

Last year the kids and I did a unit on healthfulness in school - we did a program called Nutrition Detectives, watched a couple of health productions such as the Engine 2 Diet on Netflix, and the boys tried 22 new foods in 4 days...take a look here! Recently, the topic of healthful vegan food came up (which is a frequent topic of discussion in our family!) and the boys begged to watch the Engine 2 Diet again. One of the recipes featured on the film inspired the boys to create healthy vegan paninis of their own. They turned out delicious and full of vegan nutrition. The method is easy and can be tailored to anyone's tastes. Start with some sourdough or whole grain bread slices, spread with a generous helping of hummus, and top with a variety of veggies - Keith chose zucchini, kale, asparagus, sunflower seeds, and a sprinkle of salt. Braedon chose zucchini, snow peas, sunflower seeds, and asparagus. Put your bread slices together into a sandwich and grill on a panini-maker or electric grill, pressing down to ensure both sides get toasted and the filling gets smooshed together. Results are delicious!

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