Unnatural food coloring is a hot topic out there and while there isn’t any firm evidence from the FDA (the US Food and Drug Administration) you can’t deny that biting into a bright pink deviled egg is less than appetizing. In the past the FDA has banned the use of Orange Number 1 and Red Number 2 finding the first to be toxic and the second to be a carcinogen. There have also been studies out there linking some food dyes to the increased number of children with ADHD. All I’m pointing out is that you might as well stay on the safe side and use the dyes out there that Mother Nature gave us.
How do you dye eggs naturally? From the research that I’ve done I’ve found that there are two ways to dye eggs naturally: Hot Dye Method and Cold Dye Method. The Hot Method for dyeing uses the natural dye as part of the boiling part in hard boiling the egg. Basically you place the item you’re going to use to dye the egg, like a beet, and boil the vegetable for about 15 minutes. Then, use a hand held strainer to get the plant particles out of the dyed water, add the eggs and enough water to cover the eggs. After that add a little vinegar (most things I’ve read have said 1/8 cup) into the beet-dyed water and begin boiling again. This time you’re dyeing your eggs and hard boiling them at the same time.
The Cold Dye Method is basically your standard way of dyeing eggs: hard boil the eggs first, make your dye (the same way you do with Hot Dyeing Method) and then add the egg to the already cool dye. The longer you soak the egg the more vibrant the color will be. Obviously, if you are going to let the egg soak for more than an hour you should place it in the refrigerator.
Here are some recipes for dyeing eggs naturally:
Dirty Gourmet’s Natural Dyed Easter Eggs
Itsy Bitsy Foodie’s Natural Easter Egg Dyes
Food Network’s Natural Dyes for Easter Eggs Recipe
This month marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. Created in 1970 by US Senator Gaylord Nelson, many consider the 1970 Earth Day observation as the beginning of environmental awareness both nationally and globally. No matter, your political preference or personal beliefs you cannot deny the impact we have on the environment which we live in. It’s an important lesson to pass on to our children to ensure we’re treating this world we live in with respect and care; after all, aren’t we supposed to be its caretakers?
I vividly remember as a child learning about how bad it was to litter on the highway. In fact when I reach back into the depths of my memories I can see litter skewed all over highway ditches. There’s a different scene now that’s for sure. I also remember spending an entire unit in elementary school learning about the three R’s – you know, reduce, reuse and recycle. Being a proper caretaker for the world we live in is something that we need to teach our children; the environment affects our health and wellbeing. What better time to really focus on that than this month leading up to April 22nd?
Here are some easy ways to teach your child about Earth Day and taking care of the world we live in:
One of my favorite ways to add a little change into our home decor is by finding seasonable printables on Pinterest, printing them out and then putting them in a frame that sits on one of the buffets in my living room. I love this free printable from Nothing But Country.
I still have snow on the ground here in the Twin Cities, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get my seeds started inside. I love fresh herbs, especially cilantro and basil. Not only do I love the adorable look to this palette herb garden from Second Chance to Dream but if you’re new to gardening and a little timid in trying it out, herbs are a very easy way to get started. Plus, fresh basil is SO darn expensive in the grocery store that I just can’t justify buying it when I want to make bruschetta. It’s better to have my own supply on demand at home.
I love the ideas that Trish, from Mom on Time Out, has for Earth Day activities that you can do with your entire family. Whether they’re in preschool or in high school there’s something for everyone in this post.
How cool are these paper mache light-up globes from Housing a Forest?! I’m definitely getting on top of making these with my five-and-a-half-year son. Sure this is a little more time consuming than some of the other crafts that you’ll find out there and I know that my almost three-year-old daughter would last about five minutes (and create a terrible mess) but I like the way they look and can envision having them around the house as a decoration.
I love this idea from Make Myself at Home for a steel can planter. You take magazines, an empty steel can, dirt and flower seeds to create a unique planter that your kiddo can claim as his/her own. If you don’t want to watch the seeds grow just use a grown flower from your local nursery. The materials are minimal, the concept is simple and it’s not going to take forever so it should hold the attention span of your toddler.
Whether you make something at home, take a nature walk, pick garbage up as the snow melts make sure you stress the importance of taking care of the earth to your child(ren) this Earth Day. It’s a great reminder for us grown-ups too!