This post is sponsored by Else Nutrition but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Eating a plant-based diet can be really good for you! Rick and I are really trying to be more healthy about our food choices for our own personal goals and to set a good example for the kids. And while we haven’t gone fully plant-based (everything in moderation), we are trying to be more mindful. Our behaviors are trickling down to our kids and it’s been great because not only is it healthier, but I don’t have to make 3 different meals at mealtimes. Below I’m sharing my tips on transitioning your kids to a more plant based diet.
What is a plant-based diet?
Plant-based eating means eating foods that mostly come from plants such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. Eating a whole food plant based diet gives your body nutrients from natural minimally processed foods. There are a few types of plant based diets, the most common being a Mediterranean diet (which also includes fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, a few times a week) and vegetarian, which there are many different versions of.
Benefits of plant-based eating
The benefits to going plant based are well documented. Plant-based diets have been shown to reduce or reverse chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, metabolic diseases and depression. There is also evidence to support that plant based eating helps with weight management and obesity. In addition, it is also more sustainable so better for the environment.
Tips for transitioning your family to a more plant-based diet
Now I am of the mindset “everything in moderation”. So do we still eat chicken, eggs, meats, cheese, etc? Yes we do. However with that being said, we’re being more conscientious and making an effort to incorporate more plant based meals into our diet. Here are some of my tips to help your family transition to a more plant based diet.
- At least one night a week, have a vegetarian meal for dinner. In our house we try to do “Meatless Mondays”. Our favorites is Zoodles with tomato sauce or chickpea pasta.
- Fill the majority of your plate with veggies and healthy grains. This is my tip for my husband who is a big meat eater. It’s all about changing your perception. Instead of making meat the focal point of your meal, make it about the plants with a side serving of meat.
- Incorporate a nutritional drink for the kids – Recently, we tried Else Nutrition. It’s a complete clean-label nutritional drink for kids ages 12-36 months made with whole foods. Endorsed by leading pediatricians, it’s a great alternative for children with lactose intolerance, sensitivities or families looking for options free of dairy or soy. My kids love their “breakfast smoothie” – almond milk, Else nutrition, a banana and some fresh berries, but it’s also great by itself. Scroll to the bottom for a special offer for my followers/subscribers.
- Have fruit for dessert – If you’re like me and have a sweet tooth, you probably crave something sweet after dinner to cleanse your palette. Instead of my usual ice cream, I have a bowl of berries or I make “nice cream” – blend a frozen banana with a splash of almond milk and add in some nuts and a few chocolate chips.
- Start small and be kind to yourself – When making any change, it’s normal to want to go full out and give it all 110%. But start small. Instead of cutting out meat and dairy completely, try just doing 1 meal a week or 1 meal a day at first. For your little ones, you can also try incorporating Else Nutrition a few days a week. Recognize that you are making a conscious effort to be better to your body and give yourself a pat on the back.
Fresh zucchini from the garden and summer corn make this a refreshing soup to take you from the end of summer into the beginning of fall. This creamy zucchini corn soup is perfect for a light dinner or lunch either chilled or hot. I’m sharing the recipe below.
Creamy Zucchini Corn Soup
If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember the ginormous zucchini we picked from the garden last week. (I think we made Martha proud!) Anyways, what was I going to make with this bad boy?
With the temps trending a little cooler and fall approaching, I’ve had soup on my mind so I decided to make a zucchini soup. We had some leftover grilled corn on the cob from the night before so I threw that in too for some added sweetness and a little crunch! You can serve either hot or cold. I prefer it served chilled and topped with goat cheese.
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2tbsp garlic
- 6 cups of chopped zucchini
- 3 cups of broth (I used chicken broth because that’s what I had in my fridge)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 ears of corn (grilled and sliced off the cob)
- Optional – goat cheese
1.) In a large saucepan, heat some olive oil. When the pan and olive oil is hot, brown the garlic and heat onions until translucent.
2.) Add chopped zucchini and cook until tender.
3.) Pour in broth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir well and let simmer for 15 minutes.
4.) Using an immersion blender, (this is the one I have) puree well.
5.) Stir in heavy cream.
6.) Top with corn.
Optional – sprinkle in some goat cheese or Parmesan. Enjoy warm or chilled.
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Ahhhh zucchinni season. There are so many amazing things you can do with the vegetable but sneaking it into dessert so that your husband and kids will never know brings me great joy! I’m sharing my recipe for the fudgiest chocolate zucchini brownies you’ll ever make.
Fudgy chocolate zucchini brownies
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil or coconut oil
- 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (approximately 1 large zucchini)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2/3 cups of cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- sea salt (optional)
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 square pan with nonstick baking spray.
2.) Mix the vegetable oil and sugar together. Add in the vanilla, eggs and shredded zucchini combining well. (The zucchini will be watery. Be sure to leave the water as that will add the moisture).
3.) Stir in cinnamon, cocoa, flour and salt until a brownie batter forms.
4.) Pour the batter into the greased pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
5.) Bake for about 28-30 minutes, will be fudgy. Remove and cool.
6.) Cut into squares.
7.) Optional – sprinkle with sea salt. My fave!!!
Store in an airtight container. I like to keep these in the refrigerator to maintain their fudginess.
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This strawberry cheesecake trifle recipe is a favorite in our house! Last week I took the boys strawberry picking. If you’re local, we went to Bowman Farms in Rexford. They had a great time and we used our fresh strawberries to make this strawberry cheesecake trifle for Father’s Day.
Trifle bowl desserts are perfect for entertaining as they’re so easy to make ahead of time and always looks so pretty! (If you don’t have a trifle bowl, I love this one on Amazon!)
I’m sharing my strawberry cheesecake trifle recipe below.
But first a cute pic of my M&M’s in the strawberry fields 🙂
Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle Recipe
For the cake layer
- cubed pound cake or angel food cake. (I love to use Sara Lee frozen pound cake. I usually buy 2 loaves and use 1 1/2 of them.)
For the cheesecake layer
- 16 oz of cream cheese (room temp)
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
- another 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
For the strawberry layer
- 2 pounds of sliced strawberries (you can use fresh or frozen)
- Start by preparing your cheesecake layer. In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar.
- Add in the sour cream, vanilla extract and almond extract.
- In a separate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract and sugar.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
- Layer the bottom of the trifle bowl with cubed pound cake or angel food cake.
- Spread a thick layer of the cheesecake mixture, covering all the cake.
- Next layer with sliced strawberries.
- Repeat another layer of cake and cheesecake.
- Top with sliced strawberries. (If not serving right away, wait to top with strawberries so that the juices don’t run.)
Cover and keep refrigerated until serving. Scoop into dessert bowls.
(If you’re making for Memorial Day, 4th of July or Labor Day, I also like to add in blueberries for the red, white and blue theme!)
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