How Do You Track Down Your Turkey?

Roast Turkey

Thanksgiving is a holiday that centers mostly around grub, with all eyes on the tasty turkey towering over the fixings. But, if that turkey turns your tummy into a mess of bloating and nausea, and makes your body feel fatigued, you won’t be particularly thankful.

A little secret that many of you mamas may not know is that when it comes to holiday turkey, it’s best to flock to the natural ones. Be aware that most commercially processed turkeys are fed animal byproducts, injected with hormones and then not allowed to roam free on the farm. Tell me you’re not going to feel like a turkey yourself serving that to your family.

Heritage turkeys

Instead, turn your attention to a farm-raised bird – one that takes his time developing at a natural rate, and you’ll get tastier, more flavorful, healthier meat. Just think of that turkey-cranberry-sauce-stuffing sandwich you’ll make the next day. And the next. Leftovers last for the entire week in some families, and you don’t want anyone feeling yucky because of the poor bullied bird you chose.

Resolve to find your turkey from a trusted source this season. I love Mary’s Turkey http://www.marysturkeys.com/turkeydifference.html because the website finds a store near you that carries this healthy variety. Plus, you can watch a video of the sustainable farm and learn how the owners meet the turkey’s needs when they are small, which then eliminates antibiotics and additives as they get older. You can also ensure the best bird for your buck by checking out the turkey buying guide at nrdc.org http://www.nrdc.org/living/shoppingwise/organic-heritage-sustainable-when-talking-turkey-does-it-matter.asp.

And if you want to visit a local farm that sells turkey (search “turkey” on LocalHarvest.org), go armed with a few questions: What are the turkeys fed? Do they ever eat any animal byproducts? What size yard do you have for the turkeys and are they free to roam? The answers will tell you the quality of the bird. If what you hear doesn’t fly, then take your turkey touring elsewhere.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Got any questions or tips for families looking for a high quality bird for the holiday feast? Please share in the comments!

Limiting Halloween Candy Isn’t Ghoulish

pillowcase full of candy

Eating candy is part of being a kid. At Halloween, I remember dragging pillowcases home FULL of candy! We had tons of fun sorting through the mountain of treats to find our favorites. In my house, you got to choose a handful of favorites and then your sugary loot was replaced with cold hard cash before Halloween was even over. Here’s more ideas for swapping out candy.

Letting kids who are two and half years and older enjoy a few pieces of sugary candy is not a big deal. Kids younger than two and half years old do not need candy. They don’t know what it is yet and they don’t quite understand what it means to enjoy in moderation.

For preschoolers and older, it’s important our kiddos learn how to enjoy candy ever so often. If you completely restrict candy, your kids will want more, more and MORE.

So, what’s the big deal with letting your kiddos eat all their Halloween candy?

Here’s a silly, but illuminating way to think about it (sing it in a child’s voice to really drive it home!):

  • After one night of Halloween candy, my tummy kind of ached.
  • After two nights of Halloween candy, my behavior surely tanked.
  • After three nights of Halloween candy, I really can’t sleep.
  • After four nights of Halloween candy, I start to feel weak. (Sugar lowers our body’s immune response making it easier to get sick!)
  • After five nights of Halloween candy, I’m really feeling ill. (Uh-oh! Coughs, sniffles, sore throats may start to appear.)
  • After six nights of Halloween candy, I’m craving sugar like a pill!

crying sick child

Got the picture? After loads of Halloween candy you’ve officially got yourself a little sugar addict who might be sick, tired, cranky and NO FUN at all!

Halloween can be so much more fun than just an excuse to gorge on candy. Dressing up in costumes is a favorite pastime, watching age-appropriate scary movies, visiting haunted houses and carving pumpkins are activities American families look forward to all summer.

Just because some of us grew up gorging on Halloween candy, doesn’t make it healthy. Heck, I used to ride in the back of my Dad’s pick-up truck without a seat, never mind a seatbelt.

Tell us about your healthy Halloween traditions? How will you deal with all the candy?