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How Two Moms in the Raw’s healthy products are making a difference

The owner of Longmont’s newest manufacturing company never set out to own her own business. Two Moms in the Raw literally evolved out of a life-changing incident that founder Shari Leidich underwent 10 years ago.

Leidich was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004, wracking the young mother’s body with pain and discomfort. Fortunately, she met Brigitte Mars, a Boulder-based nutritionist and author, and that meeting also proved to be a life-changing event — but in a completely different way.

Two Moms in the Raw“She said, ‘Why don’t you try a raw lifestyle?’ ” Leidich said last month, giving visitors a tour of her company’s new 24,000-square-foot facility in Longmont. The move more than doubled the space the company had occupied in Lafayette, and its food manufacturing operations recently got up and going.

Taking Mars’ advice did nothing less than give her her body back, Leidich said. Raw and unprocessed foods became all she ate.

“My husband said, ‘You know, I could do what you’re doing if you make something that tastes good,’ ” she said, and out of that comment came blueberry granola, Two Moms in the Raw’s first product.

Not only did her husband like it, but her CLICK TO KEEP READING.

(Photos by Matthew Jonas, Longmont Times-Call)

The school cafeteria’s hurry up and eat policy–advice for quick, healthy lunches

Most parents tell me that their elementary school child has 20 to 25 minutes to enter the school cafeteria, search for her lunchbox buried in a portable tub, find a place to sit, open all the containers, eat (oh, right, eat), then clean and pack up before the bell rings. In an effort to ensure that their kids eat anything at all, well-meaning parents pack lunchboxes filled to the brim with typically, 7 to 8 different options!

Picture this: Your little first grader searches for spot in a sea of tables, newly found lunchbox in hand. She squeezes in between her best friends, climbing up onto the metal bench, feet dangling, with her little elbows resting on the much too high table top, just below her chin. Most school cafeterias provide the same size seating for the entire school, whether the kids are 3 feet tall or towering 5th graders, about to move on to middle school. Ever try to eat a meal on a narrow bench, your feet dangling and no back-rest?

It’s not easy. By the time your child gets the plastic bags opened, the juice box straw unwrapped and poked hard enough into the box that it squirts her in the face, all while holding up her other hand to signal the teacher “Can you please open this lid?” well, another 5 minutes have passed by. Meanwhile, she’s excited to get out to recess, now just 15 minutes away.

As a feeding therapist, I visit lots of school cafeterias and have learned that parents and teachers have one priority: Getting kids to eat a nutritious lunch. In contrast, kids have this priority: Talking to their friends. How then, does a parent pack a lunch, especially for a picky eater or perhaps a child with special needs, that still allows their child some much needed “down time” to chat with friends yet fill their bellies quickly and nutritiously? Here are 3 strategies to do just that:

Some school districts quit healthier lunch program

After just one year, some schools around the country are dropping out of the healthier new federal lunch program, complaining that so many students turned up their noses at meals packed with whole grains, fruits and vegetables that the cafeterias were losing money.

Federal officials say they don’t have exact numbers but have seen isolated reports of schools cutting ties with the $11 billion National School Lunch Program, which reimburses schools for meals served and gives them access to lower-priced food.

Districts that rejected the program say the reimbursement was not enough to offset losses from students who began avoiding the lunch line and bringing food from home or, in some cases, going hungry.