William’s first race

Yep, William’s first race was this past weekend.  Well, technically he did the same race last year, but he was in a stroller the whole time.  It was a biathlon and consisted of biking and running.  We have one of those Radio Flyer bikes with tall handlebars on the back, so it makes it really easy for parents to push.  William’s feet reach the pedals, but he can’t quite pedal completely on his own yet.  Of course, at the race, he wanted to get on any bike besides his own…

For the “race,” he ended up riding a tricycle that was extra.  I pushed him around the loop while he kept his feet on the pedals.  The second lap was running and he crushed it.

running race may16

He and I both loved every minute of it!

It was an adorable event, and while it was a smidge chilly, everyone still had a blast.  Love Grown so kindly sponsored the snacks and provided individual cereals.

lovegrown cereal

These “adventure cereals” are AMAZING for kids and adults alike!  They’re made from navy, lentil, and garbanzo beans, but pack a ton of flavor and so much crunch.  The bright packaging is fun, and of course, appeals to the tiny tots.  Adults (me, especially!) approve of the flavor and the nutritional punch they provide!  (They’re gluten-free and corn-free, too.)

Besides the race, the event had many other fun activities to keep the little ones busy, like ring toss, hopscotch, hula hooping, and more!

biathlon

Kids were busy the whole time, and while there were scheduled activities, families could do their own thing if they wanted.  A yoga instructor came for a short yoga session, and a soccer coach came to lead some drills.  That was obviously William’s favorite part.

soccer may16

William first started organized soccer when he was 18 months old.  Then, it was more about the kids having fun and learning how to follow directions.  He was a little young for it as most of the other kids were closer to two years old.  We did one eight-week session and then stopped for a break.  Now, I’m thinking, it’s time to sign up again as William did such a great job following the directions and seriously loves anything with a soccer ball.  He may only be two years old, but he can do step overs, toe touches, and dribble pretty well!  (Yes, clearly I’m a proud mom thinking her kid rocks, but it’s true.  I should capture some video to prove it, haha!)

All in all, it was a fabulous event!  William and I both love being outside and being active, so this was perfect and made me even more excited for summer as we’ll spend the majority of our days outside!

Who has raced recently?  How about your kids?

still not cooking, but eating well

I enjoyed sharing my meals with you last week so much that I thought I’d do it again this week!  My goal lately is to meal prep and cook larger batches, so I have more easy food to grab and go or make meals from.  However, this week I have parent / teacher conferences, so my time is even more limited than normal. This would have been the ideal time to meal prep and batch cook, but that just didn’t happen.  Hey, sometimes life gets in the way of our goals, and that’s ok.  Please realize that the meals I’m posting and aren’t necessarily reflective of my everyday meals, just a snapshot of some of my better meals as of lately!  Though I’d have no problem eating sushi every night! 😉

To introduce you to today’s WIAW post (over at Sprint 2 the Table), I thought I’d show you a picture of William in his kitchen.  Yaya and Pops got William this Melissa & Doug kitchen for Chanukah, and he LOVES LOVES LOVES it!

kitchen

We have a few different Melissa & Doug kitchen sets (grill, pizza, and fruit).  I love Melissa & Doug since the toys are all wood.  William loves bringing “real” kitchen tools into his kitchen.  He loves baking and cooking and having me eat his food.  “Yummy in my tummy!” is what he often says when playing!

Breakfast

lgf hot oats

Love Grown Foods hot oats have saved me this week!  I love oatmeal and never get sick of it.  I think oatmeal is a quick and easy meal to make and there are a million mix-in options, so you never get sick of it.  LGF hot oats make mornings a no brainer since you literally just have to add water or milk and stick in the microwave!

Lunch

daveandtonys salad

Dave and Tony’s salad that my team at school ordered for lunch during conference week.  It was a nice mid-week treat among the business of conferences!  Dave and Tony’s is our favorite place that delivers to order from.  The build your own salad with the veggie burger (the best!) and corn, black beans, cucumbers, carmelized onions, and balsamic is faaaaantastic!

This picture is from a couple of weeks ago, but look how happy William is when Pops was reading to him during his lunch!

pops reading

Dinner

sushi

SUSHI!!! I love sushi so much and could literally probably eat it every night.

As a Nuby Parent Blogger, I was sent the iMonster Feeding Set to review.

nuby monster set

Nuby really has the best products, and they’re all so affordable, too.  This monster set is adorable and makes eating even more fun.

nuby monster plate

William was eating his goldfish before the monster did!  Do you see Zoey scavenging in the background?  While William does use the iMonster set to actually eat, whenever they’re clean, he brings them to his play kitchen; they’re always being used!

Note: I just proofread this post and realized I used the word “love” close to one hundred times (in a 500 word post).  Slight exaggeration, but just goes to show I share things I really do love enjoy. Or maybe I just need a thesaurus.

Have you been cooking or eating out lately?

a day late

A day late… or two or three.  I started this post on Monday with the intention of publishing it on Tuesday.  Clearly that never happened. I figure a day late (or three) of sharing some Valentine related activities is better than none at all.  I’m trying to get my act together.  I did make a Valentine’s Day breakfast a day late on Monday when I was off work.

valentine pancakes

I intended on making it for Valentine’s Day, but that just didn’t happen.  I followed this recipe, but added chia seeds to the yogurt topping, as well.  Clearly, I’m no food photographer.  This was the best of the several I took, and obviously nobody’s writing home about this one, ha!  They did taste good, too! William LOVED the pancakes!  And I doubled the recipe, so I’ll have pancakes to send with William for school this week.  Usually I make him French toast everyday to take for breakfast, but this will be one less thing I have to do in the morning.

For the second year in a row, Love Grown Foods sent my students individual boxes of Power O’s!  Instead of giving them cheapo candy for our Valentine’s Day exchange, I let them choose which flavor of Power O’s they want – chocolate, strawberry, or honey.

LGF poweros

Before I begin teaching them about LGF, I let them try a couple Power O’s of each flavor.  Then I shock them with the news: this cereal is made from BEANS!  They all start gasping, eyes wide, mouths open; they can’t believe it!  I show them the box and we talk about how eating healthy foods can taste really good!  (I also make sure to throw in that I love eating treats, cookies, ice creams, etc., just not all the time.)  Then they get to choose their box, take a coupon, and a pin that LGF so kindly sends.  This is how you get kiddos to eat beans for breakfast!

linking up with peas and crayons for wiaw 

I wasn’t quiiiite sure which direction this post was headed, but it has more food than I’ve showed lately, so I decided to turn it into a WIAW post.  The problem is, I don’t have a lunch to show you.  My lunch yesterday was leftover salad from the weekend and my lunch today is leftover dinner from last night… which I’m going to show you now.

dinner

This dinner was GOOD!  It was Greek salad, baked potato fries, and turkey burgers with sautéed mushrooms and onions.  And better yet is that I have leftovers for lunch for tomorrow!  When I do cook, I always try to make plenty for leftovers since cooking does take effort, especially with a toddler running around.  I have a playgroup moms dinner this evening, so I’m looking forward to that!

And I’ll end with a random photo.  Sometimes William plays in his crib for a few minutes in the morning while I’m getting dressed or doing my hair.  His latest game is throwing everything out of his crib, calling my name, and laughing hysterically when I walk in as he points to the ground saying, “Mess!  Mess!”

crib feb16

Check out that wild morning hair!  I love that dude and all his curls!

What have you been cooking for dinner lately?  I’m trying to get in the habit of cooking more than once a blue moon… Give me some ideas!

thinking out loud {food edition}

I love food, that’s no secret.  Sometimes I make pretty food, and sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes I eat pretty food, and sometimes I don’t.  (Well, the pretty part.  Clearly I always eat.)  Lately I’ve made/eaten/Instagrammed some pretty food that I thought would be worth sharing in today’s thinking out loud {food edition} post.  Let’s start with the world’s absolute cutest Chipotle date:

cute chipotle date

Are you going to eat that gigantic bowl, baby?

I haven’t taken William out to eat very much.  He’s such an active, wiggly guy that I’ve always been nervous that he wouldn’t sit still throughout a meal.  And while he doesn’t really sit still, now he can sustain a few minutes in the high chair.  Long enough to scarf down a Chipotle bowl, anyway!  The other day we went to Chipotle, and he was SO good!  It helped that we sat right by a window, so he was able to watch cars drive by and birds fly around.  He ate a few bites of chicken, black beans, and corn, too.  Then I ate the rest of that massive bowl.  Chipotle never disappoints.

I went to my sister Stephanie’s house for dinner the other night and check out her beautiful creation:

zucchini turkey boat

Zucchini turkey boats!  Well done, Steph!  I’ll be coming over more often now that you’re learning to cook. (JOKE!)

I was determined to eat something red, white, and blue on the Fourth of July:

blueberries strawberries

I poured myself a bowl of Love Grown Foods Mighty Flakes (made with beans!) and added fresh blueberries and strawberries.  It hit the spot!

I was working with California Pizza Kitchen on a couple social promotions for their Gluten Free Frozen Pizzas, so I made a BBQ Chicken one last night.  While they’re good on their own, I spruced it up a bit more by adding pineapple and avocado to it.

cpk pizza

Fantastic!  What’s your take on pineapple on pizza?  You either love it or hate it.

William takes a gym class on Mondays, but they are in the morning right when his morning nap usually would be.  It can be a struggle to keep him up until we leave the house, and then I know he’s going to fall asleep in the car for a short catnap.  Well, the past couple of Mondays, I’ve left earlier than usual just so he can nap in the car and I’ve gone through a Starbucks or Bread Co. (Panera) drive through for a drink to kill some time… and it’s a good excuse to get myself a treat, something I don’t usually do.

breadco green smoothie

I ordered a Green Passion Power Smoothie thinking it was healthy. It was listed on the menu as just 200 calories.  I’m not a calorie counter by any means, but it was clearly healthier than their blended coffee drinks that topped 500 calories.  Well, after I pulled into a parking spot to let William catch a few more zzz’s, I looked up the drink online to get the official name before I Instagrammed it.  I was appalled to see that even though it had just 200 calories, it contained 47 grams of sugar! 47!!!!  Now, I’m not anti-sugar or anything.  I have no problem and thoroughly enjoy my desserts.  Cake, ice cream, cookies, you name it.  But 47 grams of sugar in a supposed “healthy” green smoothie drink was very disappointing.  Won’t be ordering that next time.  On a positive note, William’s catnap was just enough to hold him over and have a good gym class before his real afternoon nap!

Part of what I love about blogging is being introduced to and working with brands.  I received a “welcome to the tribe” care package yesterday from Sambazon.

sambazon

Join Sambazon and Friends to inspire 100 Days of Positive Change through 100 acts that will change your world mentally, physically and spiritually. From small choices to radical endeavors, we’re inviting you to join us to shake things up, and do it for the better. Let’s be catalysts for positive change. #100startswith1

Follow Sambazon on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They constantly post motivational messages and tidbits, delicious food, hold contests, and give you opportunities to win rad prizes.  Not to mention their products rock!

Have you heard of Sambazon? Do you add additional toppings to frozen pizza? What pretty food have you eaten lately?

Chipotle again

Ok so I know I said last week that I needed to be better at food prep, but I failed once again.  Life is busy, and yes that’s totally an excuse, but sometimes I just don’t feel like spending much time in the kitchen.  It definitely doesn’t mean that eating mostly healthy has to go out the window though.  Here are a few of my meals from this week:

// breakfast //

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Love Grown Foods blueberry banana walnut hot oats.  Add water and microwave.  So easy, so delicious, so nutritious.  A side of homemade banana bread with Essentially Coconut sweet almond coconut butter on top.  And yes, I actually made the banana bread.  Despite me not wanting to do any food prep this week, I did make a batch of banana bread.  In fact, I usually make banana bread every week with my leftover bananas.  It hardly takes any time, and I love it.  A glass of A-Game greens on the side always makes me feel much healthier since it contains ten servings of vegetables, probiotics, antioxidants, and more healthy goodness.

// lunch //

chipotle

Chipotle again.  I picked it up Sunday for Monday’s lunch which completely justified my lack of meal prep.  Chipotle is healthy fast food.  I almost always order a bowl with chicken, brown rice, black beans, corn salsa, cheese, and lettuce.  Occasionally steak, but mostly chicken.  And tonight William and I have a Chipotle play date with our friends.  Chipotle addict over here, no shame!

Linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!

// snack //

detour bar

Detour just sent me some of their Chocolate Chip Caramel simple protein bars.  They now have a snack size which is just perfect for a protein bar.  And as always, Detour’s simple bars contain clean ingredients, are gluten-free, and non-gmo.  Good flavors, too!

// dinner //

dinner

This dinner was from my parents’ house.  Mini sliders with ketchup, roasted asparagus, and salad.  Simple and easy, my kind of meal.

What’s your go-to order at Chipotle?  I know everyone has one because I have literally never met anyone that doesn’t like Chipotle!

bacon and lox

Heeeey there, friends!  How about a new edition of What I Ate Wednesday?  (Check out Peas and Crayons to view or join the party!)  I’ll show you some of my meals as of lately, but I’ll be honest… I didn’t make any of them.  I like cooking and baking though there’s not always time for it.  Rather, I don’t always make time for it.  Maybe next week I’ll be better about meal prepping.  For now, let’s talk food:

Breakfast: Love Grown Foods new Mighty Flakes with a side of BABY

mighty flakes

As a Love Club Ambassador, I was sent some of their new cereal.  I like cereal, but usually it doesn’t pack a whole lot of nutrition.  Mighty Flakes are different.  They include protein, fiber, not a ton of sugar, and are made from navy, lentil, and garbanzo beans!  #BeansForBreakfast, baby!  They come in five flavors: Frosted, Strawberries & Flakes, Chocolate Joy, Cranberry Almond, and Bean Flakes.  Perfect for a quick, easy breakfast, and I even gave William a couple of the flakes since I was ok with the ingredients.

Brunch: Bagel, Lox, and Cream Cheese with Bacon

bagel lox bacon

On Sunday, my parents hosted a wonderful brunch for Stephanie’s birthday.  As usual (like typical Jews), they served bagels, lox, and cream cheese.  Not like typical Jews, they also served bacon.  My dad puts brown sugar on it before he bakes it, and it’s ridiculously good.  Sides included spinach casserole, blintzes, and fresh fruit.  Brunch at my parents’ is always delicious!

Lunch: Mexican Food

mexican lunch

For teacher appreciation week at school, our wonderful PTO gave us lunch yesterday.  It was catered and included lots of good Mexican food.  The enchilada casserole was fantastic, as was everything else.  I opted not to have a taco and just made a salad out of the meat, beans and cheese, and had rice on the side, but ate it before I snapped the pic.  Homemade desserts of caramel brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and lemon bars were also served.  And yes, I sampled them all.

Dinner: Chipotle!

chipotle

Ever since I ate Chipotle last week, I’ve been wanting it again.  Luckily, there’s a Chipotle waaaaay too close to my home, so after I picked up William we popped in to grab dinner.  A bowl filled with brown rice, black beans, chicken, corn salsa, lettuce, and cheese.  Satisfied my craving and cured my hunger, just like always!

Dessert: Dark Salted Burnt Caramel Chocolate Bar

burnt caramel chocolate

This guy may have made it into my last iHerb order.  A square here, half the bar there, and way too soon, the bar was gone.

What food that you didn’t prepare have you been eating lately?  Maybe next week I’ll actually do some cooking / baking! 🙂

simple meals

I’m busy.  You’re busy.  We’re all busy.  But guess what?  We still have to eat.  You.  Me.  Everybody eats.  So why not make some healthy choices and prepare simple meals for that eating thing.  Yes, I think so.  That’s what I try to do.  I don’t eat 100% healthy 100% of the time, but I do my best, and maybe today you can get some meal inspiration from these simple meals I’ve eaten over the last couple of weeks.

After all, today is a What I Ate Wednesday party over at Peas and Crayons, so you can look around there, too, to get TONS of meal inspiration!  Without further ado:

morning drink: Skoop A-Game

Skoop A Game

My Skoop A-Game is a habit.  I take it as a drink or a mix it with my breakfast every morning.  I know I’m getting in 10 servings of vegetables, probiotics, 5 grams of fiber, antioxidants, and lots more.  (Read about ALL the benefits HERE.)  My favorite combination recently, as pictured, is Skoop A-Game in Chocofresh mixed with vanilla almond milk.  It’s like the healthiest chocolate milk ever!  If you want to try Skoop A-Game, you can order a sampler pack for just $10 – it comes with five days worth of Skoop A-Game samples, a shaker bottle, two samples of their protein powder, and free shipping!  Check it out HERE.  {affiliate link}

breakfast: oatmeal

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Oatmeal is always a healthy choice as it’s packed with whole grains and fiber.  There are a million ways to eat oatmeal (just be careful on the kinds that sneak in lots of extra sugar!).  Love Grown Foods makes hot oats that come in convenient single serving containers.  All you do is add water and microwave.  Delicious!  And Love Grown Foods is coming out with awesome new products… Stay tuned…

Lunch: hamburger salad

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Yep, nothing fancy here.  Just a salad topped with a leftover burger.  My salad contains power greens, honey goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, a burger, and fig balsamic dressing from Whole Foods.  Simple, pretty healthy, and tasty!

snacks: inner beans, fiber bars, sugar snap peas, and hummus

snacks

  • Inner Beans: These were a new-to-me find at Trader Joe’s, and oh my goodness, they rock.  They’re made out of baked black beans, they’re light, crunchy, and so good.  It’s hard to stop once the bag is open.
  • Fiber d’Lish bars: A blondie bar that’s healthy for you! All NuGo Fiber’s flavors are amazing, and obviously loaded with fiber.
  • Sugar Snap Peas: Probably my favorite raw vegetable.  Perfect to eat plain, steam, or dip in hummus.
  • Tomato & Basil Hummus:  Can’t go wrong with any of TJ’s hummus.

soup: butternut squash

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Ok, this isn’t necessarily “healthy” because there is a touch of cream in it, but I had to throw it in today’s post.  My dad made this butternut squash soup from scratch and it was absolutely incredible.  I don’t have the recipe to link to because it’s from a cooking class that my parents attended, but I assure you it was fantastic.  He topped it with green onions and three types of mushrooms.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to have pre-made butternut squash soup again.

dinner: chicken, greens, butternut squash

dinner

Apparently butternut squash has been the thing to eat lately!  I found pre-cut bags at Trader Joe’s for just $1.99, so I picked up a couple.  Usually I’m a bigger fan of buying whole vegetables since it is more economical, but I couldn’t really beat the two dollar price tag on this.  I baked the chicken, topped it with some hemp seeds and fig balsamic, and called it dinner.  Nothing fancy, but healthy, indeed.

dessert: my baby

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Just kidding.  You know I had to throw in a picture of baby William, and at least it’s a picture of him eating, so it fits with the post, right?  Right.  And don’t worry, soon enough I’ll teach him to chew with his mouth closed.  At least he’s cute!

Are you more of a simple meal person or do you take a lot of time in preparing your food?  Any simple meal favorites?

d’Lish GIVEAWAY (closed)

Oh hey there!  Missed ya yesterday because some handsome little man decided to take an hour and a half to get to sleep on Monday evening.  By the time he finally went down, this momma headed to bed herself.  Sleep > blogging.  True story.  Last night was considerably shorter (yay!), which I’m happy about because it means I get to come here and tell you about some tasty food I’ve been eating lately.  So here we go:

Breakfast: Heart-Shaped Pancake in Honor of Valentine’s Day 

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In the mix for the pancake: Love Grown Foods super oats with quinoa and chia, two eggs, flax seed, cinnamon, milk, and baking powder.  For the topping I microwaved frozen strawberries with a little water, mashed them up, mixed in Mamma Chia seeds, and let it sit to thicken up.  I slathered coconut oil on my pancake, topped it with this strawberry mixture, and then drizzled syrup on top.  It was fantastic.

Lunch: Chicken, Sugar Snap Peas, Orange, and Babybel Cheese

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My mom made the chicken and sent me home with a couple.  She makes the best baked breaded chicken.  I steamed a bag of sugar snap peas, and every time I do, I am reminded just how much I love them.  I think they are a very underrated vegetable.  I seriously love them.  I made them in the morning as I was getting my lunch together, and kept eating them.  It was seven o’clock in the morning, and I hadn’t even had breakfast yet!  I literally eat the whole bag in one sitting.  My grandma gave me a few Babybel cheeses, and the white cheddar flavor definitely doesn’t disappoint.

Yes, my family always gives me a lot of food.  I guess they know how much I like to eat. 🙂  Dinner was courtesy of my sister.

Dinner: Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches and Asparagus

bbq chicken

There is a little dollar roll underneath all that meat.  I went back for seconds.  Jacob, my nephew, couldn’t believe how much he liked the sandwiches, too.  I feel like everyone loves barbecue chicken sandwiches.

Dessert: Hot Chocolate and Special K Brownies

special k brownies

The Special K brownies are supposed to be a healthy snack because they are pre-portioned in reasonable 80 calorie sizes.  However, after taking so long to get William to sleep, I needed a major chocolate fix.  So I had two.  And some hot cocoa.

Snacks: NuGo Fiber d’Lish Apple Cobbler Bar

fiber dlish

You might have seen that Gnu Foods FiberLove was recently acquired by NuGo Nutrition, and renamed NuGo Fiber d’Lish.  Same great bars, same great taste, same great flavors, same great fiber, just a new name.  These are honestly the best fiber bars I’ve ever had.  They’re so soft and chewy and the flavors are amazing.  Quick facts:

  • Entirely natural
  • Heart healthy
  • Promotes natural regularity with 12 grams of fiber per bar (48% of your daily needs!)
  • Only 140 calories per bar
  • Contains 6 grains and seeds
  • No trans fat, no high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils
  • Soy free
  • Vegan friendly
  • Flavors: Chocolate Brownie, Peanut Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Raisin, Banana Walnut, Blueberry Cobbler, Orange Cranberry, Blondie Bar, Apple Cobbler, Coconut Macaroon, and Carrot Cake

And now, to help spread the word about their new name, NuGo Fiber d’Lish wants to send TWO of you a box with 16 bars of your favorite flavor!

nugo fiber dlish

To enter the giveaway, visit NuGo Fiber d’Lish and comment on this post with which flavor sounds best to you (mandatory).  For additional optional entries:

Be sure to leave a separate comment on this blog post for each entry. This giveaway will be open until Thursday, February 19th, 2015 at 8:00 pm CST. A winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, February 20th, 2015.  CLOSED!

Congratulations to #14 Maggie and #46 Sabrina @ Nutritiously Sweet! We will be in touch to get your flavor of choice shipped out! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: NuGo Fiber d’Lish sent me a box of bars, free of charge.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

How to Get Children to Eat Beans

How do you get children to eat beans?  Better yet, how do you get children to eat beans for breakfast?  Seriously!  I did it, and I’ll share the secret with you.  Are you ready?

TRICK ‘EM!

For real.

Children are very easily influenced, for better or for worse.  I see it with my students and I see it with my niece and nephew all the time.  Let me explain how to positively influence kids (aka trick ’em), so they eat beans for breakfast.

I told my class of fourth graders that I had a special Valentine’s Day treat for them, but I wanted to take a survey on which flavor they liked better: strawberry or chocolate.  Right away, they already started thinking about their flavor preference. They weren’t thinking about if they would like the food or not.  Because of how I had phrased the question, they were assuming they would like the food, and would have to decide which flavor they liked the best.

So they tasted the strawberry…

poweros strawberry

And then the chocolate…

poweros chocolate

The marked their vote on our SMARTboard, and kept cheering for “their flavor” to “win.”  (Strawberry won.  My fav, too!  Smart kids.)  After the voting, I spilled the beans.  (<– see what I did there? haha)  I told them that the cereal was made with BEANS!  Navy, lentil, and garbanzo beans, to be exact.

BEANS FOR BREAKFAST?!  Beans for breakfast, friends.

You see, Love Grown Foods is very passionate about educating kids how to properly fuel their bodies with healthy foods.  They focus on:

  • Why breakfast is so important;
  • Why you should be able to pronounce every ingredient in your food;
  • Why whole grains, fiber, and good fats are essential to a healthy diet

They even have some great printables to “exercise your brain!”  Earlier in the week, students completed the Love Grown Foods word search.  Later in the day, we did the crossword puzzle together.  It prompted a discussion on many topics related to healthy eating, and it echoed what I tell them all the time: Breakfast is the most important meal.

Fast forward to yesterday, the day where we passed out Valentines.  As a Love Grown Foods LOVE Ambassador, I reached out to Maddy, the founder of LGF, and asked if they could help me distribute a different kind of Valentine this year.  Instead of the typical chocolate or candy (the kids get enough of that from their peers), the each received a special box of LOVE.

lgf poweros

LGF also sent “beans for breakfast” pins which my students thought were the coolest things ever.  And because I’m a teacher, I gave them heart-themed pencils.

That is how you get kids to eat beans for breakfast!

Big thanks to Love Grown Foods for spreading LOVE to my students!

How did you decorate your box to collect Valentine’s Day cards in school?  My mom is very creative and always helped us making elaborate containers!

Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food

I had all these great plans to exclusively breastfeed and make all of William’s baby food. Breastfeeding is going great (despite the rough beginning), but the making all of his baby food is not going so great.  Actually, I’ve never made his food.  My mom and Stephanie made all of it at the beginning.  And then I resorted to jars.  It’s funny (well, not really) that I feel the need to say I “resorted” to jars.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with jarred food, but for some reason it makes me feel like less of a super-mom. I assume it’s similar to how moms feel if breastfeeding doesn’t work out for them and they supplement with formula.  My motto has always been, “As long as you’re feeding your baby, you’re a good mom.”  I need to listen to my own words because they really are true.

Anyway, since making all of William’s baby food just was not practical for me as I’m an incredibly busy, working full-time mom, I needed to buy jars.  I wanted to feel good about what William was eating, so I made the decision to do all organic.  I, myself, don’t eat all organic, but while William is a baby, I want him eating organically (just my opinion).  When I bought fruits and vegetables for my mom and my sister to make the food, I bought organic fruits and vegetables.  At six months old, I introduced oatmeal mixed with my breast milk for William’s first food, I chose Earth’s Best whole grain oatmeal.

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such a cute little guy at six months old!

William did so well and still continues to do well with and enjoy the oatmeal, that I reached out to Earth’s Best to tell them just that.  Especially when he wasn’t tolerating food so great, he always did fine with oatmeal.  Earth’s Best kindly sent me a package to review of various items.

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Puffs!  William loves these organic yogurt puffs!  I’ve bought one other kind of puffs, but he really does prefer these. They are a bit “puffier,” if you will, than other puffs which I’ve found to be on the flatter side. Earth’s Best also sent me Pop Snax Veggie Crisps, but we haven’t tried them yet since they’re a bit harder. The puffs melt in your mouth which make them perfect for little babies!

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When I first introduce a new food, I always mix it with oatmeal since William is familiar with that taste.  He does really enjoy apples and pears.  Even though these are labeled as “first foods,” I still give them to William as he likes the purees.

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Something else I really like about Earth’s Best is that their products are available pretty much everywhere.  Local groceries, Whole Foods, Walmart, Target, and Babies R Us, just to name a few.  And while organic foods can be more expensive, if you buy in bulk, they’re much more reasonable. For example, a twelve-pack of the first apples at Target are just $8.99.  That’s less than a dollar a jar!

Earth’s Best also sent a package of wipes.  Made with a soft, gentle texture that is gentler on babies’ bottoms and the environment and with natural aloe vera and vitamin E formula, the Earth’s Best Chlorine Free Diapers are part of the new #EBSpecialDelivery campaign, where you can win a year’s supply of diapers and wipes! Hypoallergenic, unscented, and alcohol-free. Tushie-approved!

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Does this look like a baby who loves Earth’s Best foods or what?! I couldn’t get the carrots in his mouth fast enough! He was literally coming toward me as I brought the spoon to his mouth!

I’ve already bought several more jars of Earth’s Best food.  Oh, that’s another thing: jars. I love that their food comes in jars versus plastic. I try to minimize my plastic usage, especially with William. The glass jars are perfect to reuse, as well.  All in all, I’m very happy and would highly recommend Earth’s Best products for all babies! They have some a wide array of products that William will be able to eat their food for a long time. I feel confident in feeding him their food, and that’s important for little tummies!

Here is some additional information about the benefits of Earth’s Best foods:

  • Earth’s Best Organic Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal with Bananas:  With 30% of the daily value of iron, 25% of the daily value of 6 B Vitamins, this infant cereal is perfect for starting babies on solids.  Rich in Iron and Zinc for infants’ healthy growth and development, and free of artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, this cereal is made with whole grains for a great start to the morning.
  • Earth’s Best Organic 1st Pears: Filled with Vitamin C and easy for little babies as they start fruits and vegetables, the 1st Pears jar is USDA organic and free of additives.
  • Earth’s Best Organic 1st Apples: An excellent source of Vitamin C and free of additives, the 1st Apples jar is perfect for babies to explore new flavors. Vegan and kosher certified, this jar is a great way to provide babies with healthy first foods.
  • Earth’s Best Organic 1st Bananas: Kosher, vegan, and filled with Vitamin C, the 1st Bananas jar is a favorite for beginning the little ones on fruits. Free of additives.
  • Earth’s Best Organic Stage 2 Banana Peach Raspberry: With USDA organic bananas, and raspberries, this jar provides Vitamins A & C for babies 6 months and older. Kosher and free of artificial ingredients.
  • Earth’s Best Organic Stage 2 Sweet Potatoes: With 90% of the daily value of Vitamin A, this single-vegetable puree is great for hungry, healthy little eaters.
  • Earth’s Best Organic Peach Yogurt Puffs: A good source of Vitamins A, E, six B vitamins, iron, zinc, and calcium, these snacks have 7g of whole grains per serving with a delicious meltaway texture. USDA organic, these snax are great for toddlers when on-the-go or to pack for daycare.
  • Earth’s Best Organic Veggie Pop Snax: A nutritional on-the-go snack with Vitamins A, E, Zinc, and six B vitamins, the Veggie Pop Snax are rice and potato crisps with carrot, spinach, and potato flavors.

And now, since I’m linking up with Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday, how about some of my own food I’ve been eating, because I’ve been eating good stuff, too.

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  • Breakfast: Cinnamon banana nut pancake made with Love Grown Foods chia and quinoa super oats topped with coconut oil, bananas, and syrup.
  • Lunch: Salad with grilled chicken, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, and fig balsamic dressing.  Not going to lie… I was hungry right after, so I made a bowl of oatmeal.  At school, I keep those individual oatmeal packages in my closet for emergency hunger situations. As good as my salad was, yesterday was one of those times.
  • Dinner: Salad, roasted asparagus, grilled zucchini and squash, hamburger with mushrooms, french fries, and garlic bread. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
  • Snack: Detour’s new Salted Caramel Cookie Dough whey protein bars! Made with clean ingredients, each bar contains 20 grams protein, 7 grams sugar, 6 grams fiber, and are gluten-free, non-GMO, and have nothing artificial!  And taste great. Win win.

What have you been eating lately?  Moms, did/do you make all your baby’s food?