Healthy stocking stuffers
I have a diary entry today that says “clean like a mad woman”. Somehow my mum's visit has crept up on me and I only have one small cleaning window before she arrives.
If only I had to clean one small window everything would be fine. Instead I need to clean EVERYTHING — from the ceiling fans to the baseboards, underneath the cutlery trays and behind the toaster. There's no real need to look behind the toaster, but she will! I have one hour to do it, which means I will spend 55 minutes like a rabbit in headlights and five minutes in real productivity. This is not going to go well ...
If the truth be told, I could dedicate the last hour of every day to the cleaning, but I am far too busy with the Elf on the Shelf. I am having way too much fun dressing up our little chap in Barbie outfits or hiding him in funny places.
Yesterday I bought him an overpriced hat and scarf and popped him in the fridge clinging to the beer.
What is wrong with me? Those people at Elf on the Shelf have a marketing genius on their hands.
Despite having a love/hate relationship with the whole tradition, I have embraced the shenanigans this year. Let's not get carried away (we are only on day 11 after all), but I have decided to be positive this time.
I absolutely love Christmas and suffer from serious Boxing Day blues. So no complaining, just appreciation for every single festivity along the way.
One of my very favourite traditions is stockings. It's so much fun to unpack all the treasures (even if waiting for your kids to fall asleep is a bit hellish). I am trying to be “good” this year and rein in the spending but I am also trying to avoid too much sugar and plastic crap. If you have a similar goal in mind, here are a few ideas to help you on your way!
Ten healthy stocking stuffers for kids
1. Paper straws. Retro and cute. Available from the new party shop, B4 The Party, on King Street. Lots of designs to choose from that add a little fun to breakfast smoothies.
2. Funking. Reusable cloth napkins for home or lunch boxes. So well made that I haven't had to replace any, ever. Lots of great designs available at People's Pharmacy and online too (www.myfunkins.com). Online: you can purchase ten holiday-themed Funkins for $35 and 60 per cent off sports designs.
3. Healthy Snacks. Try small packs of Munchy Seeds (Supermart or Down to Earth), Made Good granola bites (Down to Earth), walnuts and a satsuma! Also — age permitting — try Xylitol-based chewing gum, Epic (Supermart), Pur (MarketPlace/People's) or Glee Gum (Supermart/Down to Earth).
4. Chomp sticks. Learning chopsticks in fun shapes from International Imports on Par-la-Ville Road. These are plastic but great quality and will last for years. If you have a budding chef, the store is packed full of fun, learn-to-cook equipment too.
5. Lip balm. Try the organic EOS brand (Supermart or Phoenix) or the naturally coloured Burt's Bees (People's Pharmacy) options. Soften those lips without all the chemicals!
6. Reading material. A kid's magazine (nice and bulky, takes up lots of space!), a book (try a kids' cookbook) or a library card if you don't have one. Brown & Co have great hologram bookmarks too.
7. Seeds. Packets of seeds are inexpensive and kids generally love to eat what they grow! Start with herbs or vegetables, although there's no reason you can't include flowers too. I do not have green fingers but hopefully you do!
8. Fun necessities. At some point your kids will need a new toothbrush, Band-Aids, bath stuff or underwear. There's nothing wrong with buying kids things they need and there are tons of fun designs out there. Buy a multipack of underwear and wrap them individually. When it comes to bath bubbles or body wash, Supermart, People's and Down to Earth have lots of chemical-free options.
9. Activity toys. Bats/balls, skipping ropes, hula hoops ... all in the major toy stores and help to keep your kids active affordably! Good luck getting the hula hoop in the stocking.
10. Reusable water bottle. Every kid needs a good one that's BPA-free, so if they don't have one or if they need an upgrade, now is the time. My favourites (that don't leak and are easy to wash) are the Kleen Kanteen (People's), Camelbak (Sportseller or People's) or S'well (Atelerie). Great colour options in all brands!
• The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is the managing Director of Natural Ltd and a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. For details, please go to www.natural.bm or call 236-7511. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda