School Lunch

How to Keep Your Child Healthy This School Year

School LunchSchool has started for many Portland students – and will soon begin for children in Oregon City, Gresham, Milwaukie and surrounding areas. The new school year brings the food challenge all busy moms and dads face: keeping one’s child healthy at school.

Not only are children usually exposed to potential allergens and germs at school, they are also more likely to eat poorly. They may trade other kids for candy, eat out of school vending machines, or have a particularly unhealthy school lunch that day. Even with all of these factors, there is hope for parents. This article will give you information on how to help your child enjoy healthy meals both at school and at home.

Sweet, Salty, Creamy & Crunchy

Certain food combinations trigger the desire eat in the brain. The fast food industry hits these desires on the head. For example, food with a crunchy outer shell and a creamy middle can excite brain receptors, making it feel as if you are eating something novel and delicious. Additionally, sweet and salty foods activate the salivary glands, which “makes your mouth water”.

While many foods with these four factors are unhealthy, there are healthy options:

1. Add a spray of citrus where you would usually lay on the salt. Citrus fruits like lemon or lime activate the salivary glands much like salt would, making a dish taste seasoned with salty goodness when it’s really rather healthy. Foods you can activate with citrus include:

  • Salad and salad dressings
  • Stir fry
  • Soups, stews, and chowder
  • Chip dips, salsa, and guacamole
  • Homemade baked chips
  • Potato, tuna, or egg salad

2. Pickle veggies. It’s incredibly simple to pickle different vegetables in your refrigerator. You can pickle anything. Delicious and crunchy options include radishes, red onion, cucumber, carrots, and cauliflower. Here’s how to do it:

  • Cut all veggies into thin strips
  • Make a brine of 1 cup of rice vinegar, 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp of salt.
  • Toss everything together.
  • Leave in the fridge in a sealed container. The pickled veggies will be ready to eat in 30 minutes and can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week.

As a quick note, this is also a great way to get rid of leftover raw veggies.

3. Add some crunch to your creaminess. This is something you, your child, and food industries have been doing for years. However, if you’re drawing a blank on how to make something both creamy and crunchy, here are some ideas:

  • Add granola or nuts to yogurt or cottage cheese.
  • Make chia seed pudding (you can find a great recipe here).
  • Put a nut butter on rice cakes or celery.
  • Sprinkle a pureed soup with seeds. One yummy suggestion is sprinkling roasted pumpkin seeds or pepitas over a pumpkin or squash soup.
  • Send your child to school with a homemade jar of “instant cup of noodles.” There’s a great recipe for this here.

4. Go all natural. Many foods are naturally crunchy and sweet, creamy and sweet or crunchy and salty. Pack foods like apples, carrots, edamame, olives, avocado (which you can preserve naturally by coating in citrus juice), watermelon, pepper slices, broccoli, cauliflower, nuts, and more.

5. Make sure to pack food your child likes. The last thing you want to do is spend time creating fun and healthy meals that your youngster doesn’t eat. While it’s a good idea to expose your child to new foods, don’t do it in a packed lunch setting. Instead, expand his or her culinary horizons at home, where you can see the reaction to your newest creation.

Transporting all of this healthy food

Once you have healthy snacks and lunches ready for your child, it’s time to transport everything. This may seem challenging, but it can be made very simple.

First, it’s important to have the right tools. This article provides excellent information on what you need to pack and preserve a healthy lunch. You can read the article in full, but here is a quick rundown of what you will need:

  • Thermal bag
  • Ice packs (or frozen water bottle)
  • Containers with dividers, mini containers
  • Thermos to hold hot or cold food
  • Snack size Ziplock bags
  • Silicon cupcake holders
  • Smoothie pop molds
  • Cloth napkins/reusable plastic ware
  • Paper for notes

Next, include your child in buying, preparing and packing his or her meals. You will see what he or she prefers to eat simply by asking them to add a snack or two – or giving them the option to pick out which premade lunch they would like to bring with them. It may be disappointing to find out they never pack carrots, or they dislike cashews, but it’s important for you to know what your child will actually end up eating.

Finally, get your youngster to help you during cleanup. Usually cleanup occurs at the end of the day when you and your child have more time to chat about the day. Not only will you be able to connect with your youngster and get him or her to take responsibility for any messes they have made – you will be able to discuss why particular foods are and are not delicious. You may find out that your sweet tooth isn’t shared by your child. Or it could come up that they trade their olives to another kid for a fruit candy. This is valuable information that you can use later to guide your child in healthier eating habits.

Do you want to learn more about helping your child eat healthily? Attend our September 15th Class: Healthy Dinners for a Busy Mom and School Lunch Ideas. Just RSVP here.

Non-Toxic Alternatives to Sunscreen

Non-Toxic Alternatives to Sunscreen

Now that summer is here, many people are using sunscreen-based creams or simply applying sunscreen to protect their skin. Sunscreen is an important protector against harmful UV rays. Unfortunately, few people actually look at what is in their sunscreen and research which ingredients are toxic.

Your skin is your largest organ – and for many of us it is one of our most treasured features. Unfortunately, it can be time consuming to read the label on every skincare product and research each ingredient. If a bottle says “Natural” or “Nontoxic”, many Americans believe the product is safe. Unfortunately, these terms mean very little when it comes to health and safety as they are not strictly regulated. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it “has not engaged in rulemaking to establish a formal definition for the term ‘natural.’” There are also no specific standards listed for the “nontoxic” label.

Chemicals to avoid when buying skincare products

Because the overall labeling of a product as “Nontoxic” or “Natural” is so inaccurate, it’s important that you read every ingredient of skincare products you plan to use. Here is a cheat sheet of ingredients to avoid in any skincare product:

  • Benzophenone and its derivatives like benzophenone-2 (BP2), dioxybenzone, oxybenzone (BP3), or sulisobenzone
  • Butylated compounds like butylated hydroxyanisole(BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Cinoxate
  • Ethanolamine compounds including diethanolamine, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulfate, and triethanolamine
  • Formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives such as quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, and DMDM hydantoin
  • Fragrance
  • Heavy metals like aluminum, arsenic, lead, or mercury
  • Homosalate (also called 3,3,5-trimethyl-cyclohexyl-salicylate or HMS)
  • Menthyl anthranilate
  • Mineral Oil
  • Nitrosamines – called diethanolamine (DEA) or triethanolamine (TEA)
  • Octinoxate, also called Octyl methoxycinnamate, Octyl salicyclate, OMC, parsol, escalol, or  2-ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate
  • Octocrylene
  • PABA including OD-PABA, padimate O, 4-aminobenzoic acid, para-aminobenzoic acid, p-aminobenzoic acid, Et-PABA, 2-ethylhexyl ester, p-carboxyaniline
  • Parabens
  • Phenylbenzimidazole or ensulizole
  • Retinyl Palmitate
  • Vitamin A

That’s a lot of ingredients! Take a look at your skin products that include an SPF rating (and yes, that includes bottles of sunscreen). If they have any of the above ingredients in them, you may be putting dangerous chemicals on your skin.

Don’t worry, there are products that exist without these ingredients. You can also follow our directions below for a DIY sunscreen.

Ingredients in our DIY Natural Sunscreen

Before we give you a recipe for homemade all-natural sunscreen, we wanted to talk about why some of these ingredients are recommended.

  1. Cold pressed virgin olive oil

Olive oil is great all around. It tastes delicious, has wonderful moisturizing properties and has an SPF rating of 8. We recommend cold pressed virgin olive oil for use in homemade sunscreen as this is the specific type of oil that has been tested for an SPF rating.

Olive oil can not only protect your skin from the sun, it contains antioxidants that will help skin recover from environmental damage. So, if you some suffered skin damage from the sun, from burns or just from aging, olive oil may help you recover.

  1. Coconut oil

With so many fantastic uses, it’s no wonder that coconut oil also has an SPF rating of 8. Coconut oil will not only will it protect your skin from the sun, it penetrates and moisturizes through layers of your skin. Additionally, coconut oil smells great!

  1. Zinc Oxide

This product is considered one of the safest for broad-spectrum sunscreen. Zinc is an essential mineral that we use in our body and it’s the only active sunscreen ingredient that has been approved by the FDA for infants under six months old.

We all remember zinc as a white cream or white strip that lifeguards have used to protect their noses. This highlights the one downside to utilizing zinc oxide in a homemade sunscreen – it has a tendency to clump into a white mass. That’s why we have put together this natural, DIY sunscreen. The formula used has minimal clumping – offering greater all-around effectiveness.

DIY Sunscreen Formula

1/2 cup cold pressed virgin olive oil

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup beeswax

2 tablespoons zinc oxide

1 teaspoon vitamin E

2 tablespoons shea butter

6 drops  helichrysum essential oil

6 drops of lavender essential oil


Add everything except zinc oxide and helichrysum essential oil in a medium sized glass mixing bowl.

Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat. Place the glass bowl on top of the saucepan so that the saucepan is cradling the bowl.

As the ingredients start to melt, stir occasionally to mix.

Add the zinc oxide and helichrysum essential oil and mix well. This may take quite a bit of stirring.


We have many other great DIY formulas and recommendations for natural skincare here at Change for the Health of It. If you are looking for personal health advice, be sure to contact us today.



Live Like the Rich & Famous-Hire a Coach!

Who Hires A Coach?
You should hire a coach!

Sports figures, businessmen, students, people looking for a career change, people who want to be fit, those who are struggling in life, public speakers, people wanting to improve their finances, people wanting to act or sing for a living, those who need help in relationships, people who wants to improve health & wellness in their life, all hire a coach. All these people want to succeed and deserve to succeed. A coach will teach them skill for success. The world is full of coaches helping people improve their talents, personal lives and business lives. By coaching then holding the client accountable for their actions. Coaches provide a unique relationship specifically geared towards helping you meet your personal goals. You don’t have to be a sports figure or a high paid executive to hire a coach. You should hire a coach.
I recently hired a fitness coach. I am taking a class with 4-6 other people with a personal trainer, this helps keeps the costs down. I have hired a private public speaking coach to help me branch off into the public speaking world. Coaches are for support and encouragement not ridicule or belittling.

If you have, tried to lose weight, change your eating habits, have health issues, or want live a healthier lifestyle and have done great for a while then fallen off track, gone back to old habits, or don’t know where to start, you need a Nutritional Health Coach! The money you save with eating better & less medical expenses will offset the cost of a Health Coach. If you don’t think you can afford it then think about a group class similar to my gym class. Find approximately 6 people who are in a similar situation and join as a group.

Studies show people who want to be successful hire a coach. What are you waiting for? Call Pam Mills today and she will coach you into a new life of health & wellness.

Pam Mills, INHC

Set up an appointment today!

Individual Coaching includes:
6 month commitment; 12 personal visits or calls
Email, texting & phone support in between
A guided program to insure your success for health and wellness.

Group Coaching includes: Minimum of 6 people
3 month commitment; 6 group calls, 2 a month
Facebook support Page; a peer partner; private email questions or concerns.
A guided program to insure your success for health and wellness.