Teaching Kids To Eat Wild

  Here are 4 easy-to-identify plants to teach your kids to eat wild!
I love watching my girls roam the yard and woods with wild plants hanging out of their mouths. Not only does it give me satisfaction that they are practicing what I’ve taught them, but I also know they are getting great nutrition! 
 
Wild plants have the best source of nutrition available. Most people don’t realize that eating wild plants in their yard is even better than buying organic food at the store!
 
To teach your kids to eat wild, purchase a book such as A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants or Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt To Plate to help you identify wild foods. I suggest starting with one edible plant that doesn’t have any poisonous look alikes. Study that one plant until you and your kids can identify and harvest it without any hesitation. Once you have that first plant mastered, begin with another one. 

Teach Your Kids To Eat Wild

These are the 5 herbs that I have started with in teaching my girls to identify wild plants:
  • Chickweed
  • Dandelion
  • Plantain
  • Wood Sorrel
  • Red Clover

1. Chickweed

Chickweed has a tiny line of hair on one side of the stem, tear-shaped leaves, and grows a tiny white star-shaped flower.  

Edible parts: leaves, stems, flowers

2. Dandelion

There are a few flowers that look similar to dandelion, but a dandelion can be easily identified by its leaves. Dandelion leaves make an arrowhead shape at the top of the leaf. Other leaves are more rounded.

Edible parts: The whole plant.  Roots, leaves, stem, flowers

3. Plantain

Plantain grows everywhere except in Antartica. The bottom of the leaf stem has a purple/red color, and the leaves are thicker with strong, raised veins on the back.

Edible parts: leaves

Underside of Plantain Leaf

4. Wood Sorrel

Wood Sorrel ( also known as sour grass) has a distinct delicious lemony flavor. My girls really enjoy this plant as a treat! Its leaves are heart-shaped, and the flower color can vary. In my area, the most common flower color for wood sorrel is yellow.

Edible parts: flowers, leaves

5. Red Clover


Red Clover is a plant with amazing nutrition! It’s a great blood purifier, cancer fighter, and is used to treat infertility. 

Edible parts: leaves and flowers

What plants have you taught your kids to identify?

Is Raw Milk Better For You?

Is raw milk better for you? There is an assumption by the general public that pasteurized milk is safer than raw milk. Let's explore this subject together!

There is an assumption by the general public that pasteurized milk is safer than raw milk. Most of us were taught that dairy products are only safe if they have been heated to a temperature that kills all bad bacteria and pathogens. When I began to look into eating more foods in their original, God-created state, I was quite hesitant to take that first drink of raw milk. My brain was so trained to think that “raw milk was dangerous”. I had to educate myself on this subject, and now I am more leery of drinking milk pasteurized.

Why Is Pasteurized Milk Not The Best Option?

When milk is pasteurized, it is not a “whole food”, meaning it is no longer in the form that God created it to be. Milk in its original, raw state contains inhibins that fight a large number of pathogens. When milk is heated, it inactivates the inhibins in milk, causing pasteurized milk to have an environment that supports the growth of harmful bacteria. Pasteurization inactivates the safety of the milk, it also destroys the enzymes in milk, causing digestive troubles when consumed. Do you have a milk intolerance? Try switching to raw cow’s or goat’s milk and see if the intolerance disappears. Most believe that pasteurized milk is completely safe, but it can cause illness outbreaks. As a few examples, in 2006 over 1,000 prison inmates were sickened by pasteurized milk, and in 2007, 3 people died in Massachusetts. Pasteurization is not a guarantee that the milk is 100% safe.

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Is Raw Milk Safe?

Let’s see what raw milk is made of to help us decide that question.

  • Raw milk contains bioactive components that help eliminate bacteria and strengthen the immune system.
  • Raw milk’s white blood cells consume yeast, mold, and bad bacteria. They also produce specific antibodies.
  • Raw milk contains inhibins, which are the enzymes lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase.
  1. Lactoperoxidase seeks out and destroys bad bacteria.
  2. Lactoferrin stimulates the immune system, inhibits the growth of fungus, bacteria, viruses, and parasites.  It works effectively against {get ready for this list}: E. coli, Vibrio cholerae, Haemophilus influenzae, S. typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis, Candida crusei, Tinea pedis, Plasmodium falciparum, hepatitis C, Herpes simplex, Toxoplasma gondii, S. aureus, Candida albicans, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and other pathogens. (1)

Because of the amazing benefits of lactoferrin in raw milk, you can actually purchase lactoferrin in supplement form! From 1990-2004  there were over 30,000 illnesses from produce alone, not to mention the many, many illnesses caused by seafood and meat.  And yet, raw milk is under such criticism when it causes far less illness than other every day foods.  If you study reports on illnesses caused by raw milk, you will find that many of the reports are misleading.  Raw milk that is responsibly handled and that comes from clean, healthy cows rarely leads to cases of food-borne illnesses.  According to Ron Schmid, ND, you are over 2500 times more likely to contract illnesses from foods other than raw milk.

What About Organic Store-bought Milk?

Organic milk purchased at the store has still been pasteurized, unless it specifically says “raw” on the label.  While you will get a better product since this milk is hormone-free and most likely comes from healthier cows, it will still be void of healthy nutrition, and contribute to digestive troubles and other health problems.  Most states do not allow raw milk to be sold in stores to consumers, but there are a few states that do allow them.  The healthiest choice is milk that is not only all–natural, but raw!

How To Find Raw Milk

If your state does not allow raw milk to be sold in local stores, check with a health food store or food co-op in your area that may be able to put you in touch with a farm that sells raw milk.  It’s important to tour the farm and make sure that the milk is handled properly and the cows are well taken care of.  You can also find raw milk by visiting the Real Milk Finder.

There are many healthy recipes you can make with raw milk!  Here’s a great list of resources:

Yogurt

Our Favorite Yogurt from Titus 2 Homemaker 

Make Your Own Yogurt from Nourishing Simplicity 

Homemade Frozen Yogurt from Blessings Overflowing 

Coconut Milk Yogurt in a Slow Cooker from The Holistic Mama 

Transferring Ordinary Yogurt into Greek Yogurt from Don’t Waste the Crumbs  

Milk Kefir

Step by Step How to Make Kefir from Don’t Waste the Crumbs 

Milk Kefir from Richly Rooted 

Other Dairy Recipes

Homemade Cottage Cheese from Homegrown and Healthy 

How to Make Butter from The Prairie Homestead 

Homemade Whipped Topping from Jill’s Home Remedies 

Dairy Alternatives

Homemade Rice Milk from Don’t Waste the Crumbs

Are you a raw milk drinker?

Sources: 

  1. The Untold Story of Milk 
  2. Campylobacter Blog 
  3. Center for Disease Control 

How To Make A Warming Cinnamon Salt Bath

Cinnamon is a warming herb that makes a great aid for aches, colds, and congestion. Here's how to make a warming cinnamon salt bath!

Have you ever bathed in cinnamon? Cinnamon is a warming herb. It has properties that are decongesting, antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-fungal. It relieves muscle spasms and acts as a relaxant, making it a great aid for aches, colds, and congestion.

How To Make A Warming Cinnamon Salt Bath

To make the bath salts mix:

To use:

  • Pour 1/4 of this mixture into a bathtub full of water.  
  • Soak for 20-30 minutes.

Why sea salt? Acid can build up in muscle tissue, causing you to feel sore and stiff. Sea salt is alkaline, helping to lower the acidity level of the body. It also stimulates the elimination of toxins, while providing a feast of minerals for the skin! Sea salt contains high concentrations of calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Not only does this salt bath aid in making you feel better, it also relaxes those sore muscles and could be just the comforting thing you need to be on the mend!

What is your favorite bath to soak in?