parenting | Recipe

Healthy Snack Ideas for Toddlers

By on July 12, 2017
Snack ideas for toddlers and children
Lets just be honest for a second: sometimes feeding your kids is hard. Wealthy or poor, one child or six kids, working mom or stay-at-homers – we all just want our kids to eat healthy portions of healthy foods. And we all face different challenges:
 
Some of us have kids that are bonafide picky-pants. These are the kids that eat the same foods over and over and would rather go hungry than try something new that they almost certainly would like if they gave it a shot. On the other hand you have the quote “good eaters”, the ones that try lots of different foods, including the occasional vegetable. I happen to have one of each, and sometimes it’s hard to not like my adventurous eater a little better than her picky sister, at least at mealtimes.
 
Another challenge that moms face is time. The thing about toddlers is that they usually don’t tell you when they are beginning to feel a little bit hungry. Most of the time they wait until they are on the verge of becoming full on ravenous wild beasts that need food NOW. Like right now, or maybe even ten minutes before now. This is where you learn that toddlers are extremely prone to the condition known as ‘hangry”.
Something else I think we can all agree on is that we want our kids to eat things that are healthy, or at least that contain more nutrition than bad stuff. And if we could do that in a cost-effective manner, then we would really have something!
 
So we want yummy, quick, healthy, and affordable. Here are a few of the toddler snacks I love that fit that description:
 
Fruit
We love fruit! Our favorites for speed of delivery are bananas and blueberries because those can be served almost instantaneously. If you have two extra minutes to spare for prepping you can slice strawberries, apples, or grapes, or peel a clementine. Or you can make these fruit popsicles to keep on hand for healthy treats on hot days. Melons like cantaloup or watermelon are a fun way to mix it up when they are in season. 
 toddler snack ideas
Cheese
Cheese is a big favorite around here. We like all mild types of cheese for snack time, like mozzarella, mild cheddar, or Monterey Jack. You can get string cheese, cheese cubes, or you can cut slices off of a bigger block if you want the slightly slower but least expensive option.
 
Yogurt
A few months ago I started using this recipe for homemade yogurt and it allows me to make an entire gallon of yogurt for about $4.50! Life changing, for me at least. A lot of people like fruit in their yogurt so you can customize that to your taste, and I like to mix a few tablespoons of quick cooking oats into the yogurt to absorb some of the liquid to make self feeding easier for new spoon users. I also sweeten with honey instead of refined sugar.
 toddler snack ideas
Grains
Graham crackers, ritz crackers, or cheerios are a good choice for this food group. Surprising fun fact: chocolate cheerios have less sugar in them than honey nut and they make your milk chocolate! Another thing I love is granola bars. This is my recipe that I like for toddlers because it’s not tough or crunchy like a lot of the prepackaged ones.
 
Vegetables
Sneaky is the name of the game when it comes to veggies. The only two ways that I have successfully snuck them is by putting tons of spinach in all their smoothies and by inventing this recipe for chocolate hummus that they dip their strawberries and graham crackers in.
 
On The Go Snacks
Travel snacks demand special consideration. The key is to find the combination that meets most or all of the requirements we listed before, plus can be packed up with getting melty, crumbly, or smushy. 
Craisins or raisins, and applesauce pouches – dried fruit is a great non-messy finger food. When we are home we eat homemade applesauce, but when we are on the road applesauce pouches are the way to go.
String cheese – prepackaged for convenience, and if you freeze them you don’t even need to pack a cooler for them to stay good for a few hours.
Fruit snacks (gummies) – these are something that I only buy for treats or traveling. There are a couple high fruit/low sugar options that are passably healthy for those occasions. If anybody out there has a good recipe for healthy, homemade gummies hit me up!
Pretzels and peanuts – these are good options for older toddlers and preschoolers. They aren’t messy and they keep you full for a while.
 toddler snack ideas
My general policy is to provide one thing from two different categories for snack time, and then three different things with bigger portions for meals. There is so much more that could be said about snack time (because we all know that snack time is a big part of life for toddlers and their mamas) but this about covers the highlights of the snack menu we love at my house. I hope you’ve found some helpful suggestions and I would love to hear what YOU love to snack on with your wee ones!
 
 
Jordan writes about all things food
and books over at Read. Eat. Repeat.
She eats, reads, and lives in small
townTennessee with her husband
and two little girls.

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Recipe

Recipe: Mediterranean Pasta Salad + Mezzetta Holiday Sweepstakes!

By on November 29, 2015

Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Thank you to Mezzetta for sponsoring today’s post!
Happy Sunday! With the weekend coming to a close I decided a pasta salad would be the easiest solution for lunch today. I can not get enough of these Mezzetta olives so I based my recipe off of them.  This is one of the easiest recipes ever!
Ingredients

Mezzetta Kalamata Olives
Feta Cheese crumbled
1/3 cup Sundried Tomatoes
1/2 can Artichoke Hearts
1/3 of a Red Onion
Pasta
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Boil Pasta according to package. Rinse and Drain.
2. Place Pasta and remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir. 
3. Serve! 

Pretty simple which is what Sunday’s are all about right? 
Make sure to go HERE to enter the Mezzetta Holiday Sweepstakes.
The Holiday Memories Sweepstakes is hosted on the campaign landing page.
• Grand Prize (1) – Instant Print Digital Camera plus a Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket including Mezzetta Olives, Olive Spoon, Cutting Board, Olive Bowl, Cocktail Napkins and Recipe Card.
• Runner Up Prizes (10) – Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket including Mezzetta Olives, Olive Spoon, Cutting Board, Olive Bowl, Cocktail Napkins and Recipe Card. 
Entry: First Name, Last Name and Email Address
Expires: December 31
Winners Chosen at Random
Winner will be notified and will receive prize within 2 weeks
 

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Giveaway | Recipe

Recipe: The Busy Mom’s Chili Recipe + a GIVEAWAY

By on November 5, 2015

Growing up my Mom wasn’t the Mom who cooked every meal from scratch. She worked full time and the days she worked often went past dinner. Fortunately she was off three days during the week so those days, while she was busy, she always managed to make something delicious. My all time favorite meal that she made was chili. I used to always ask her to make it for my birthday too. 
A staple for this recipe is Ragu Chunky Combination. It gives a little something extra than just plan tomato sauce. This sauce is a homemade recipe by Assunta Cantisano. She brought the recipe over from Italy and the neighbors quickly spread the word on her amazing sauce.
Here is a really quick and easy recipe for all you busy parents out there!

24 oz jar of Ragu Chunky Garden Combination Sauce
1lb ground turkey meat (or beef)
1 can Diced Tomatoes
1 can of Kidney Beans
Chili Seasoning
Spaghetti Noodles
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

  1. Cook the spaghetti and ground turkey. 
  2. Strain pasta and put to the side.
  3. In the same pain as the ground turkey pour in the tomatoes, beans, pasta sauce, and chili seasoning. 
  4. Then mix them together. 
  5. Let them simmer for about 10 minutes. 
  6. Mix with spaghetti and your done! 

Easy right? This is seriously the fastest and easiest way to jazz up your regular spaghetti night. 
Now you can enter TWO giveaways! Click HERE and enter the Ready. Set. Cook! contest. 
 
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Many thanks to Ragu for sponsoring today’s story!
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fall | Giveaway | Halloween | life | Recipe

EAT: Halloween Mummy Dogs + a GIVEAWAY!

By on October 17, 2015

Friday nights I always try to do something fun with the kids. Even if it’s as simple as getting a movie and eating something out of the ordinary to kick off the weekend. 

Last week was a long week at work since we were doing testing so I really wanted to just do something that was easy but still felt like we weren’t just sitting around at home. Branden and Ace went to the store and got a movie (only $0.50 from RedBox!), some hot dogs, meatballs and some Pillsbury Crescent Rolls so we could make something fun! 

We found this super cute recipe on how to make Mummy Dogs and Mummy Meatballs. It’s really easy and your kids can help you make them. For all the details click HERE. You can also get $1.00 off of 2 Pillsbury Refrigerated Baked Goods Products from October 1st – October 30th.
Everly is what we call our garbage disposal. She eats anything and everything and she eats it fast. I actually looked over at her and didn’t see her food anymore and asked Branden if she dropped it but nope, she ate it that fast. It’s scary, really. She obviously loved these and wanted seconds, ha! 
 Ashlyn is my pickiest eater so I was surprised she ate them. I think she has only had a hot dog once and she rarely likes meat so it was a shocker that she finished hers and asked for a Mummy Meatball also!

Mummy Dogs and a Mummy Meatball!

Ace had so much fun with these Mummy Dogs. He loved that they had eyes. It was also a good way for him to try mustard since he usually sticks to ketchup. We gave him a fork and he would dip it in the mustard to put eyes or hair on his mummy after he licked it off. 
Thanks for checking out my post. Now Enter to win a PayPal Gift Card! 
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“Disclosure: The information, products and Publix gift cards were provided by General Mills through Linqia.”
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Football recipes | Giveaway | Recipe

EAT: Game Day Chili Cheese Dip + GIVEAWAY

By on October 3, 2015

When I was growing up my Mom always made this super easy Chili Cheese Dip for any party we had. It would be gone in a hot minute so it’s definitely my go to now that I am in charge of Game Day dishes. Did I mention it’s super easy? 
What you need…


Progresso Smokehouse Pork and Bean Chili*
1 Cup Cream Cheese softened 
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese 

1. In a glass bowl or casserole dish you will spoon in the cream cheese and evenly disperse it over the bottom of the dish. 

2. Next pour the chili over the cream cheese, again evenly dispersing it.
3. Cover the chili with the shredded cheese. 

4. Place dish in microwave for 2.5 minutes or until shredded cheese is melted. 

Optional: Mix everything together to make it more of a queso style dip over a layered dip. 

 
ENJOY! 
Easy right? It’s guaranteed to be a fan favorite!
Pair this delicious dish with chips and you are ready for any party. 
And when you buy 3 Progresso Chili or Stews you can use a $1.00 off coupon!
*For a Vegetarian option replace with Roasted Vegetable Chili.
Today’s post is sponsored by brand, by my love for their Progresso™ stew is all my own!

Now you can win a really fun Progresso Prize Pack that includes; Progresso’s new Chili and Stew flavors, Progresso Ladle and a Game Day Cooler Chair.



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 Easy Game Day Chili Cheese Dip
Disclosure: The information, products and Publix gift cards were provided by General Mills through Linqia.

Today’s post is sponsored by brand, by my love for their Progresso™ stew is all my own!
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eat | family fun night | life | Recipe

EAT: Kid Friendly Taco Bar!

By on September 10, 2015

I am a huge fan of taco night. I love how easy it is to make and get on the table quickly. Now that my kids are getting older they have been becoming pickier with what they eat. I have to get creative and find ways that will encourage them to eat new things. 

The best way to get Ace to eat something out of his norm is to have him help make his food. He likes when he feels like he is in control of what he is eating. This gives him options on what he puts on his plate and there is no nagging from Branden and myself for him to eat more. We kept our taco bar simple but you can add any toppings you think your little one would love.
Our Taco Bar
Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Tortilla Chips
Ground Turkey
Plain Greek Yogurt (instead of sour cream)
Shredded Cheese
Romain Lettuce
Taco Boats
Mild Taco Sauce
What else you can add (and we probably would have had we not also had the salsa) 
Avocados or Guacamole 
Tomatoes 
Rice 
Get creative!

The best way to go about this is to make it fun. If they have fun bowls they really like put the toppings in there. We also laid brown wrapping paper over the table and let them draw. It makes dinner fun and feel special. It also kept them busy while we got everything ready. Another fun option are these awesome taco boats. The kids can fill them up and eat from them or pick them up and bite without spilling!
Check out Publix Flavor Excursion page for coupons for these ingredients and much more! They will also be on display in your store from 9/9-2/23
Make sure you go and enter the Visa Gift card giveaway going on now! 


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Football recipes | Giveaway | Recipe | Super Bowl Recipes

Recipe: Black Bean & Corn Salsa + GIveaway

By on September 9, 2015
This is a sponsored post from General Mills through Linqia. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

With back to school it’s time for homework and early mornings. Kids might feel like they are exhausted and over the day by the time they sit down for dinner. We decided to make a fun Mexican themed dinner night on Tuesday. I knew this super easy Black Bean and Corn Salsa would be a big hit with my kids. It is so mild that even my younger two loved it.
 With Publix Flavor Excursion sale happening tomorrow you can get your ingredients on sale! Tomorrow I will be posting a coupons (along with more fun dinner ideas) for you to enjoy your own Mexican fiesta!
And if you are looking for an easy dish to bring to a party this is your recipe! You only need a handful of items and it’s best made the night before so you can just grab it and go the day of. 

1 can Ro Tel Chili 
1 can of Sweet Corn, drained
1 can of Black Beans, rinsed and drained
Fresh Cilantro 
1/4 Onion chopped

Optional

Avocado Chopped

Lime juice

Tomorrow I will post all about our fun Flavor Excursion night! We used Old El Paso‘s new Taco Boats and our delicious Black Bean & Corn Salsa. 
Pin it for later!
Until then you can enter to win a $10 Visa Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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back to school | Giveaway | Recipe

GIVEAWAY & #CheeriosFunFlavors Recipes!

By on August 23, 2015

So I am pretty sure one of the first “snacks” a lot of us Moms give our kids is Cheerios. It is a staple in our house and I am so excited that Cheerios now has a full page of fun recipes for everyone to try. 

I decided that it would be fun to start a little back to school tradition of making fun treats to end Summer and start the School year off right. Here are two we made using #CheeriosFunFlavors! Make sure to enter to win a Pay Pal Gift Card at the bottom of the post. Make sure you grab a BOGO coupon to save BIG on these new flavors!

First up a super easy way to jazz up a simple snack of Cheerios. Mix together Multi Grain Cheerios, raisins and M&Ms for a delicious combo of flavors. 

Simple and Delicious! 
Next up a yummy back to school dessert. 
Ace loves to decorate cookies so I knew this would be a hit. It’s super easy and fun!

Then just bake your cookies…

Decorate…
And EAT! 

Ace was loving this and it was a pretty simple way to have fun and let him be creative. 
If you are feeling ambitious you should definitely check out all the delicious recipes Cheerios™ has to offer.  My favorite is probably the Mini Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheerios™Bites. How can you not love that? 


Right now you can also get a BOGO coupon for any of these awesome flavors… 
• Honey Nut

• Original

• Banana Nut

• Frosted

• Multi-Grain

• Multi-Grain Peanut Butter

• Apple Cinnamon Cheerios


Now is the perfect time to head over to your local Publix and stock up on Cheerios. With kids heading back to school there is no better breakfast than Cheerios. Especially when you have so many to choose from. And the BOGO coupon and this giveaway below makes it all even sweeter!

Enter to win a $10 Gift Card now!!

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Football recipes | Party | Recipe | Super Bowl Recipes

Easy Salsa Taco Dip

By on May 17, 2013
taco dip photo ScreenShot2013-05-11at14730PM_zps72835bed.png
When my sister had her house warming party I offered to make my Mom’s Salsa Taco Dip. It is pretty much the easiest thing you can make ever and it is delicious!

taco dip photo ScreenShot2013-05-11at14820PM_zps0ce025b4.png
taco dip photo ScreenShot2013-05-11at15200PM_zps9709af70.png
taco dip photo ScreenShot2013-05-12at122111PM_zpsef6e10de.png

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 16 oz jar mild salsa
  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded fine
  • 1 large tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 cup shredded mexican mix cheese
  •  sliced black olives
Make It
  • Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, salsa and taco seasoning together in a bowl.
  • Next cover bottom of a glass container with the mix
  • Layer lettuce on top of mix 
  • Top lettuce with tomatoes
  • Load up on the shredded cheese
  • Add black olives to top and done! 
What is your go to dish you bring to a party?


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Easy Salmon Recipe

By on March 20, 2013
Salmon and Ravioli
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If you know me then you know I am as far from Betty Crocker as you can get. My cooking skills are not the most spectacular.

The other night I was scouring Pinterest for an easy Salmon recipe. I came across this one and kind of made it my own by mistake. The thing I like about this recipe is you can add more veggies if you’d like but this is what I had on hand. I was thinking some cherry or sun tried tomatoes would have been really good in this as well.

First I used tortellini instead of ravioli. Anyway here is my easy recipe for a delicious salmon recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 Cups Tortellini
  • 1 Lemon
  • 6 ounces skinless, salmon fillets
  • Salt & ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces package baby spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Parmesan Cheese

Directions

  1. Cook tortellini according to directions on package
  2. Halve lemon. Squeeze juice from one half of the lemon; cut remaining half into small wedges. Set lemon juice and wedges aside. Rinse salmon; pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium head; add salmon; cook for 6 to 8 minutes, shred salmon as it cooks, turn through out. Once throughly cooked remove from skillet. Add butter, lemon juice and garlic to skillet, once butter is melted add spinach. Cook for 1 minute or until spinach is just wilted. 
  4. Combine salmon, tortellini and spinach to bowl and top with parmesan cheese! 
Makes 4 servings.






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