Friday, October 29, 2010

Announcing the Healthy Habits Plate winner...

Congratulations to entry #15 - Amanda! We hope you and your kid(s) enjoy this plate as much as we have!
If you didn't win, you can still get 20% off a Health Habits Plate of your own by entering the code "KELLY" at checkout, so order a few!

Thanks to all that entered!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Candy, candy, and more candy!

Is it just me, or does Halloween seem to take up more and more time each year? Our festivities started last night at church with Trunk of Treats, and both kids got loaded up with more candy than they'd need in a year. Friday, they will both have Halloween parties at school (more candy). The Fall Festival fundraiser at Grayson's school is Friday night (more candy), then there is still trick-or-treating on Saturday (of course, more candy).

So how do we handle the candy overload? I'm not a Halloween candy Scrooge. After trick-or-treating, I will let them indulge in more candy than they need - tis the season, right? After that, I usually allow one piece a day for a week or so, then they usually start forgetting about it. Since Grayson's birthday is mid-November, I save the rest for his pinata, then I get rid of all of it!

I have to send goody bags to school with both kids (someone PLEASE stop this madness!), so I'm sending the Utz Halloween Pretzels, Annie's fruit snacks, and a little Halloween trinket of some sort. My kids love these treats, so I'm hoping I can spread the love a little.

I've heard that several dentists are now paying kids by the pound for their candy and shipping it to troops overseas. Cool idea! How do you stay healthy during Halloween madness?

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Fall, Y'all

This weekend, I decided to take my own advice and we took the kids to an apple orchard about 1.5 hours away. We had to drive through the mountains to get there, which was beautiful this time of year. The weather was lovely, and we enjoyed a really fun family day together!

Picking the perfect apples

Good time to teach why all the apples don't look perfect like they do in the grocery store - no pesticides!

Gorgeous view from the orchar

Posing with a very large Johnny Appleseed

Enjoying a fresh apple while driving through the mountains

"These taste better than the ones from the grocery store."

There isn't much easier or simpler than teaching your kids where food comes from, but it sure can make for a fun day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review & giveaway - Healthy Habits Plate

After seeing the Healthy Habits Plate featured on another blog, I asked the makers to please send me one to review and one to giveaway to my fantastic readers...and they did! I got the plate in the mail yesterday, and was immediately impressed. It is a very durable kid plate, and I can tell  that it will hold up to the wear and tear of my children for a long time. The pictures on the plate are very cartoonish, which my kids love. As soon as I showed my children the plate, they understood it's purpose and told me exactly what foods should go where and why. Great conversation starter!

Harper was anxious to use the plate this morning - she asked about it as soon as she woke up! So we made breakfast together, and I let her pick what she ate and where it would go on the plate. She chose apples and carrots (not a typical breakfast food, but she saw it on the picture and had to have it, lol!), a Kashi bar, and cheese cubes. My four year old easily made a healthy, balanced breakfast just by using the pictures on the plate.

Want one for your kid(s)? Leave a comment on this post, and you'll be entered to win! U.S. residents only, and please only one entry per person. Please make sure I know how to contact you if you win. Contest will end on Thursday, October 28 at 11:59 pm.

If you'd like to purchase one (or more!), the folks at Healthy Habits Plate are offering 20% off to my fabulous readers - just use the code KELLY at checkout! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Soup's on!

Both of my kids LOVE soup. With colder weather right around the corner, soup makes a perfect lunch on the go. I love to make homemade soup because most are pretty quick, affordable, and easy to make (I recently posted a recipe for a super easy chicken noodle soup), but canned soups have their place in our home as well.

When choosing a canned soup, reading the ingredients and nutrition label carefully is a must. Many contain too much sodium, MSG, preservatives, etc. Lately, it has been easier to find good stuff. Simple canned soups like tomato and beans (lentil, black beans) are going to have the shortest ingredients list and make it easier to find a healthy option. Plus, studying the ingredients will help you see how easy it would be to create similar soups yourself!

I heat up the soup in the morning, pour it in a thermos, and send my kids off to school knowing they are going to have a hot, healthy lunch to warm their bellies. Don't forget the crackers! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Funny!

(AKA - I have no time for a "real" post today!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Annoying commercial #17

As I'm sure you've picked up on by now, I'm not a fan of PediaSure products. I think they have their role for kids with actual health problems, but are only an enabling tool for kids who are simply picky eaters. PediaSure has done it again with a new product called SideKicks. This commercial will have you believe that this supplemental beverage will help create a sports star, but when the second ingredient listed is sugar, you might as well give your kids a soda and a vitamin.

This commercial hasn't made it's way to youtube yet, but it is available here on the PediaSure web site.

Two points I do agree on - you are what you eat, and yes, you should have skipped the drive through, lady! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The fruits of fall

It is mid October, and fall is in full force. What a lovely time of year! With the change of the seasons also comes  a change in fresh produce. Just because it isn't summer anymore doesn't mean you can't enjoy delicious and affordable fresh just have to know what to look for!

During the autumn months, the following fruits are most likely to be on sale at your grocery store:
-cranberries (and they freeze beautifully!)

If you are lucky enough to have an apple orchard near by, take advantage of it. Your kids will learn a lot about nutrition simply by seeing where good food comes from, and so many orchards have fun activities for families to enjoy. Plus, you'll get the freshest produce around! Find an orchard near on this web site or here!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Homemade goodness

I live in a small Southern town where a lot of people still enjoy the fine art of canning their own foods. My best friend and her grandmother picked wild blackberries this summer and made jam that my kids can't get enough of. We finished up one jar and had to beg for another! I can't think of a better (or healthier) way to dress up an average PB&J.

My aunt used to make plum jelly that makes my mouth water just to think about. Note to self - I need to try to make some next year!

If you're not in the canning business and don't know anyone who is, check with your local farmer's market, flea markets, local grocers, etc. A lot of people make jams/jellies/preserves and sell them. You will definitely appreciate the variety of flavors, freshness/quality of the produce used, and the extra love that goes into homemade products.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Five minute homecooked breakfast

A nice, hot breakfast does not have to take up your whole morning. I literally don't have a minute to spare in the mornings, because I'm certainly not getting up any earlier than I already do! Here is a hot, healthy breakfast you can have on the table in about 5 minutes.

Scrambled eggs with 2% cheese on a whole wheat wrap, gala apple slices, and a Simply Gogurt.

Friday, October 8, 2010

We've got a new look!!

I'll be honest...when it comes to computer graphics type stuff, I'm 99% clueless. My blog design was straight off a template...I didn't have an ounce to add to it myself. Thankfully, Jen at :: real ideas for real parents generously came to my rescue with her time and talents. I look pretty cool now, thanks to her! Be sure to check out her blog, and give her a "like" on Facebook!

So, what do you think of the new look?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sometimes you have to cheat...

There are a few times during the year where I let my kids break all the rules and eat whatever the heck they want - birthdays, Christmas, and the fair come to mind. Last night was the fair, and boy did we indulge! I find that if we let the kids do this every now and then, they don't see healthy eating as a punishment, but a way of everyday life. Nights like last night are like the days they represent - they only come around once a year, and we make the best of it!

I've debated letting you see it is ugly. But it is the truth, so here you go! We don't eat perfect *every single day*. Who does?
(For the record, we shared the majority of these treats as a family, each of us only having a few bites. Oh, and they felt lousy this morning...good lesson.)

Blooming Onion

Bologna Burger

Candy Apple

Cotton Candy

Fried Moon Pie

Homemade Ice Cream

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Annoying commercial #16

The first ingredient is sugar (22 grams/serving), and there is plenty of saturated fat as well. Is that really what you want to start your kids' day off with? No thanks, Nutella! Let's keep this as what it is - a dessert item. Instead , try smearing your kids' toast with a healthy nut butter instead.

I can't find the video on, but you can watch the commercial here:
Nutella Breakfast Commercial

Monday, October 4, 2010

Salads for lunch

My kids love salads! They are great to pack for lunches because you can fit so many yummy and healthy items in one container. I set out all of the items I had to choose from (sort of like a salad bar), and I let my kids pick out the items they wanted to include. That way, they felt some control over what they were eating, and they can vary their lunches all week if they want. Be careful in what dressing you chose - we always get lighter dressings and make sure there is no MSG.

Today's salad selections:
Grayson's salad - mixed greens, carrots, cucumbers, cheese, turkey pepperoni, , croutons, and sunflower seeds.
Harper's salad - mixed greens, grape tomatoes, craisins, cheese, carrots, croutons, sunflower seeds, and turkey pepperoni.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lookie at what I've got!

Gorgeous tomatoes growing in October! The kids are excited for them to turn red (and so am I!).