What are Prebiotics?

Source: Exhibit Health

Source: Exhibit Health

Prebiotics

Over the past few years, we’ve been inundated with information about probiotics and why they are so good for us. It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t eat yogurt these days, “so they get their probiotics”.  From baby probiotic drops, to keifer, to capsules, making sure you’re getting enough probiotics has become part of a normal lifestyle.

Now I’ve been starting to see buzz around prebiotics. I’ve noticed packaged food claiming to have added prebiotics that make them even healthier than before!

So, what are prebiotics?  Consider it fuel for the probiotics.  The healthy bacteria, fungi and other organisms that make up your gut microbiome need food too, and some consumables are more beneficial for the prebiotics than others.  Healthier probiotics in your intestines and colon mean improved digestion and mineral absorption.
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Recipe: Ricciarelli Almond Cookies

Ricciarelli Almond Cookies

Ricciarelli Almond Cookies

Ricciarelli Almond Cookies

Ricciarelli Cookies are a traditional Italian cookie made with blanched and finely ground almond flour, sweetener and egg whites. If you do a quick search for Ricciarelli cookies, you will see that there are lots of variations out there. Some call for citrus zest or other flavorings in addition to almond extract. Some are drop cookies, while other recipes call for you to shape them. I’ve tried many of these recipes, and they are all delicious and gluten-free.

After many batches, I came up with my own variation that is even easier than the other ones I’ve tried, and just as delicious. The dough comes together quickly in a food processor, is rolled into logs and frozen until ready to bake. Just slice the logs evenly into cookies, and the whole batch fits on one cookie sheet.
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Eco-Friendly Easter Ideas

Spring is in the air and Easter is right around the corner.  Here are some wholesome alternatives to conventional Easter products that are a little better for you (and the environment), and just as colorful.  The snow has melted and it’s time to get outside and enjoy some fresh air!

Natural Easter Egg Dye

Natural Easter Egg Dye

Natural Easter Egg Dye

Especially if your kids like to help out in the kitchen, start by making your own Easter Egg Dye using easy to find fruits and vegetables like beets, blueberries and onions.  It doesn’t take too much time or effort, and makes the egg-dying experiment a multi-step activity.
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Book Review: Llama Llama Red Pajama

Where's Mama??

Where’s Mama??

We were gifted a copy of Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney and it quickly became a favorite.

After being tucked into bed for the night, the baby llama decides he needs his mama one last time. Baby llama calls for his mama, who is busy doing dishes downstairs and says she will be up in a minute to check on him. In the moments it takes her to finish up, the llama has scared himself silly over why she hasn’t rushed to his side. He basically has a conniption fit when she doesn’t come right away. Most of us parents can relate to this scenario, and so can our kids!
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Product Review: The Portable High Chair

The Portable High Chair

The Portable High Chair

While part of the US has been seeing record breaking snow fall and cold weather, some of us have yet to see “real” winter this year. Since we’ve been enjoying spring-like weather for weeks, we’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors. Franci has even been taking her meals outside, and always asks to sit in her ciao! baby Portable High Chair.

There are some definite pros to the high chair. Franci has no chance of standing up in it or jumping up to run around in the middle of a meal. She is so securely held in place by the tray, it takes two people to take her out of the chair.
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Recipe: No Mess Fried Bacon

oven-bacon

Before Ovenating

I love bacon. Who doesn’t? What I don’t love is standing by the stove for 20 minutes frying five pieces at a time. Even with a splatter guard I have to clean up a big splattery mess after standing there for what seems like ages. And if I forget to wear my apron? Arg!

Then I discovered cooking bacon in the oven. I was working as a caterer and we were providing a breakfast buffet for 100 utility workers. You can imagine how much bacon this group was going to eat. We laid out the bacon strips on lined baking sheets ahead of time, and were able to keep the chafing dishes full throughout the event with little effort.
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Is Daylight Saving Time Worth The Energy?

Daylight Saving Time vs. Standard Time

Daylight Saving Time vs. Standard Time

If you’re a parent of young children, you already understand the steep emotional and psychological costs of switching from Daylight Saving Time (DST) to Standard Time. This year, it took us a month to get Frances to re-adjust to the earlier schedule and stop waking up an hour before the alarm clock went off. I’m not sure who it was harder on; the parents who had to get up extra early each day, or Franci that couldn’t seem to make up for the lost sleep during her nap.

Environmental Impact

Personal issues aside, what about the environmental impact of changing the clocks twice a year? It turns out to be a bit of a wash, and very much dependent upon where you live. While you might not turn your lights on until later in the day, residents in southern locations are more likely to turn on their AC when they get home and leave it running for more hours. Despite the fact that DST was implemented to promote energy conservation, it no longer achieves that result because of the proliferation of AC units in residential locations. Back in the 1970’s, studies showed that the country’s electricity usage was down one percent per day during DST months, but 45 years later, it is actually up 1-4% due to cooling expenses.
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Book Review: Baby Bear’s Chairs

Love This Book!

Love This Book!

For a few months now, Franci’s Nana takes her to the library once a week and sends her home with a batch of books for us to read until the next library day. Out of the dozens of children’s books we have read, we’ve only ever purchased our own copy of one title: Baby Bear’s Chairs by Jane Yolen.

The rhymes are unique and fun to read and the pictures are detailed and colorful. The story is relatable, especially if your kids call their father “Papa”.  It’s a great bedtime book, and Franci has requested it every night since we got it.  So far, I haven’t gotten sick of it which, gives it five stars in my book.
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And the Endless Summer Package Winners Are…

Congratulations to Alyssa, Bryn, Bianca, Julie and Rachel! You have each one an Endless Summer Package from Idea Village!

If luck wasn’t on your side this time, you can buy your own hover ball, Snackeez, and Squishy Sand on Amazon. If you use one of these affiliate links, you can support The Green Baby Guide with your purchase!

For more information about these items, check out the review here.

If you didn’t win this time, check back soon for another giveaway!

Hover Ball

Hover Ball

Snackeez

Snackeez

Squishy Sand

Squishy Sand

How to Hang Dry Clothes in the Winter

Hanging Clothes to Dry Inside

Hanging Clothes to Dry Inside

With winter in full swing, our outdoor clothes line is not getting any use.  I still have plenty of clothes to hang dry, so I have a clothes drying station in my laundry room.

I have never liked free standing clothes drying racks. I don’t like having a big contraption cluttering up my living space, so I’ve always searched out an alternative to hanging our clothes to dry.

Free Standing Clothes Dryer

Free Standing Clothes Dryer

One of my first clothes drying racks was wall mounted and  folded up against the wall until it was nearly flush.  I liked the way it was easily accessible and adjustable.  It was so convenient!  I’m pretty sure it was a store-brand model from someplace like Kmart, because I have never been able to find the same style since.
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