Archive for the ‘ Time for Fun ’ Category

Kid-Friendly Pantry Options

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

This is a post from Jessica Sanderson of Modern Day Moms provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner.  Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.

We recently remodeled our pantry and decided to make it a little more family friendly. You should have seen the before photo. Whoa. It was messy.

Here is an “in progress” photo:

Pantry remodel

Crazy, right?

The after photo looks much better, promise.

Pantry Remodel

With this new pantry system, we were able to create a bottom shelf specifically for my daughter. I went out and bought a clear organizer bin and used it to organize and hold her snacks. It was the perfect size for her fruit cups, drinks, and other various snacks.

Del Monte Peaches

By seeing everything easier, she was actually able to make healthier choices. When we put the new pantry in, we went through and got rid of a lot of the junk and replaced it with healthier options like fruit burst squeezers, fruit cups, raisins, pretzels and more.

Now, when she goes to reach for a snack, she grabs a fruit cup instead of the first thing she used to see, which usually involved some sort of cracker, chip, or candy mess. The old pantry was not very organized and there were no shelves to help keep things neat. I’m so happy I am now able to devote a small space for her.

In a snack rut? Try the Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers! These squeezers offer the goodness of 1 ½ servings of fruits and vegetables. They have a fruit-forward taste so kids love them! No high fructose corn syrup. No artificial flavors. Excellent source of Vitamin C. Gluten free. Great for on-the-go.

For more information, check out the Del Monte Facebook Contest!

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Tags: | Categories: Food

Get Organized for Back to School with Lunchbox Snack Stations #SqueezeorSpoon

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

This is a post from Stacie Vaughan of Simply Stacie provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner.  Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.

It’s almost time for back to school to start up once again. Are you ready for the chaos to begin? School mornings in our home are crazy! It seems like I’m always rushing around trying to get them both girls ready and out the door to catch the bus on time. Between making breakfast, ensuring teeth are properly brushed and preparing a healthy lunch bag for the girls, I’m frazzled by 9 am. I’ve resolved to make this year different though with a little bit of organization and preparation! I can do this.

My stroke of mommy brilliance hit when I was browsing the aisles at our local craft store. I spotted these pretty colored baskets in the clearance section and thought I could use them to help organize the morning chaos. I knew exactly what I wanted to use them for: Lunchbox Snack Stations!

Lunchbox Snack Stations

I decided to make one for both of my daughters and then also bought one extra to use for my husband for the days he needs to pack a lunch. I figured these stations would save time in the morning so I wouldn’t have to dig through the pantry to find healthy snacks that the girls like to eat.

My daughters have very specific likes and dislikes in terms of the snacks they’ll eat. If I give them each their own lunchbox snack station and fill it with healthy snacks I know they enjoy, then they can just pick and choose what they want to bring with them to school.

It’s really simple to make these Lunchbox Snack Stations. All you’ll need is some baskets, duck tape and some alphabet stickers.

Lunchbox Packing Stations

I wrapped a piece of duct tape around each of the baskets. It makes the baskets look a little fancier and also provides a spot for the alphabet stickers to go.

Lunchbox Packing Stations

Using the alphabet stickers, put each child’s name over the duct tape.

Lunchbox Packing Stations

Homemade Lunchbox Packing Stations

Voilà! Your Lunchbox Snack Stations are ready!

Lunchbox Packing Stations

Now it’s time to fill it with some healthy and delicious lunch snacks! My kids enjoy eating Del Monte Plastic Fruit Cups so I put a few different varieties in both their stations. I made sure to give Olivia more of the Orchard Peach flavor since that’s her favorite.

Del Monte Pineapple Coconut

Another option would be to add Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers. With 1½ servings of fruits and vegetables and a yummy fruity taste, kids love them. As a mom, I appreciate that they have no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors.

I think these Lunchbox Snack Stations are a win-win. They help to keep us organized in the mornings and also provide the kids with healthy snacking options to fuel their day. I feel much better about school starting up again. Bring it on!

Head over to the Del Monte Facebook page and enter their contest to win a (insert prize). Entering is simple. Just share a photo of your kids’ favorite Del Monte snack- Fruit Burst Squeezers or Plastic Fruit Cups!

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Tags: | Categories: Food

Download a Free, Family-Friendly Tune!

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Looking for fun new songs that are safe to play in front of the kids? We have a band for you!

The Pop Ups, a Brooklyn-based group comprised of Jason Rabinowitz and Jacob Stein, are releasing their album Appetite for Construction on August 19. Songs are upbeat, catchy, and family-friendly, so no need to press mute when your little one walks into the room. Themes mentioned in the lyrics include costume parties, crafts, and more. Their song “All These Shapes,” which is available for download now, is all about creativity. Lyrics include, “What can you make with all these shapes?/Triangle magnet on my fridge/Are you an Egyptian pyramid?”

Below, watch an exclusive video from the band:

The Pop Ups Talk Shapes from jacob on Vimeo.

You can download “All These Shapes” using the link below:

http://emailunlock.com/the-pop-ups/all-these-shapes

Happy listening!

Kiddos of all ages will enjoy a good beat!

Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play
Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play
Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play

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Creative Lunches with a Little Mommy Brilliance

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

This is a post from Trisha Novotny of 247 Moms provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner.  Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.

The school bell is about to ring , the lunch boxes will be ready to be filled once again as our kids head off to their class rooms. How do we as moms keep our kids lunches fun and creative all year long at the same time getting our kids to eat their fruits and veggies? With 5 kids and years of packing lunches I have had a few Mommy Brilliance moments when it comes to packing Fun and Creativity lunches with these school lunch packing ideas

- DIY Containers - Save your yogurt containers – wash them thoroughly then use to fill with liquid Jell-O or pudding mixture (before it sets), place lid back on and refrigerate. Now you have your individual snack-sized Jell-O or pudding at a fraction of the cost for your kiddos lunches.

- Colored fun - Add colored fun to your child’s lunch by using colored plastic wraps. Or during the holiday’s use special zipper-type bags, and napkins that are in holiday themes.

- Write it - Each day include a short note to your child. Anything that shows them you love them and you are thinking of them will show your child you care. For free lunch box cards Click here for FREE lunch box notes.

- YOU Win - Surprise your kids with a prize like they get when they order at fast food restaurants.. It can be as simple as stickers, small candy treat or a small toy.

- Change it - use colored lunch bags instead of the typical brown bags or lunch box they take every day.

- Cut it shape it - have fun with your kiddos sandwiches by cutting the sandwich into interesting shapes or cut with cookie cutters.

- S’more for lunch – Cook-free S’Mores: Spread Marshmallow Cream (fluff) on one graham cracker square, then spread nutella on the other, and press together and place in a zippered sandwich size bag and place in your kids lunch box. What a fun yummy treat.

-Milk Money - Often children need change (coins) during the school year whether it’s for ice cream day, an extra milk at lunch or some other reason. To keep your children’s change from getting lost use a 35 MM film canister to hold the change that can be placed in their lunchboxes.

-Kids get packing- Allow your kids to help pack their lunches. With the use of pre packaged foods and snacks they can easily begin making their own lunches. Try using Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers which offer the goodness of 1 1/2 servings of fruits and vegetables . They have a fruity taste so kids love them! And moms love that they contain no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors are Gluten free and are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Perfect for on-the-go lunches.

What fun do you add to your kids lunches?

Do your kids love Del Monte snack foods then grab your camera and enter the contest

WIN: August 1 through September 1 Del Monte is asking consumers to share a photo on their kids favorite Del Monte snack – Fruit Burst or Plastic Fruit Cups (Squeeze or Spoon?)

Click here for more details and to enter this fun photo contest.

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Tags: | Categories: Food

School Lunch Packing Made Easy

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

This is a post from Chrissy Taylor of The Taylor House provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner.  Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.

School lunch packing and planning can quickly turn into a dreaded time in the morning. Moms’, like me, quickly run out of new and fun ideas for the kids shortly after the first week back to school. It takes some real Mommy Brilliance to make it through the entire year packing those brown paper sacks every day.

I have a new method you can try that incorporates a little planning ahead of time, delicious food and the kids getting hands-on and packing their own lunch.

Del Monte Lunch Box

The kids are the ones eating so shouldn’t they be the ones packing them too? Even starting out in kindergarten, with a little assistance they are able to jump in on the fun.

Del Monte String Cheese

If we leave the kids completely in control of this task, we all know they’ll end up with cookies, chips and maybe an apple for lunch, if we’re lucky. Right? We put together a handy little sheet that you can print out, stick on the fridge and it will help the little ones know what they can and should pack to eat.

Pack Your Lunch checklist

Giving the kids options from different food groups makes them feel in control of packing and deciding what to eat but they know they have to pick what’s on the list.

They must have a protein, fruit, veggie, snack and a water but they can decide if they want an apple or a fun and delicious Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezer. Then all I have to do is peek in the bag to make sure they didn’t grab five instead of one.

Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers offer the goodness of 1 ½ servings of fruits and vegetables. They have a fruit-forward taste so kids love them! No high fructose corn syrup. No artificial flavors. Excellent source of Vitamin C. Gluten free. Great for on-the-go.

Of course my kids are more likely to go for the Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers or Plastic Fruit Cups when they have the option, they’re just more a fun and yummy option that they love!

Be sure to check out the Del Monte Facebook Contest that’s happening!

This little lunch packing method works really well and takes away a lot of the work for Mom. Are you ready for back to school?

 

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Tags: | Categories: Food

5 Snacks to Keep Your Kids Going Strong During the School Day

Monday, August 11th, 2014

This is a post from Rebecca Mansfield of Your Modern Family provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner.  Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.

It’s almost time to start packing lunches again! It’s almost time to start packing snacks again, too!

Let me tell you that I stressed as much about snacks as I did about lunches. We had to send in a bag of snacks every week for our kids to eat. I wanted to send healthy snacks, because I knew that eating two oreos every day was not going to be good for anyone (his teacher, his Mama, or his dentist! haha!)

I had to get creative!

Today I am going to share 5 creative snack and lunch ideas for your kids:

1- Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers. This was a no-brainer!

Del Monte Fruit Burst

I think that I have these with me all day. I keep them in my purse, my diaper bag, at home, at my mom’s house… you name it- I’m sure I can find one there!

I used to send these for snacks all of the time!
I sent them to the church nursery with our one year old.
I sent them to preschool with our 3 and 5 year olds (in their lunch boxes).
I sent them for snack time with our 7 year old. They were a hit!

(I may have been known to have a few as my own little snack… shh…)

Del Monte Fruit Burst StrawberryP.S. – These are the perfect snack to keep your toddler busy while you are grocery shopping!

2- Plastic Fruit Cups – again: easy, healthy solution.

Del Monte Pineapple Coconut

I can send them in their lunch boxes and I also keep them for the kids to have as an after-school snack. There is a huge variety, so the kids like them.

3- Popcorn

Popcorn

It is easy to pack in a little baggie. I can add flavors to it (sprinkle a little flavoring on it to change it up a bit. You can try garlic powder, or cinnamon & sugar, or even my favorite… Parmesan cheese.)

4- Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

These are a really great muffin to have on hand with 10.3 grams of protein. I just keep them in a air-tight storage container and they are gone in a day. I often have to double and even triple recipes in our house if I want things to last for more than a day or two.

5- For a little treat, I add in these HEALTHY Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favorite cookie recipe! We make them once every week. I have actually started doubling the recipe because our family eats them so quickly! These Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies only have 80 calories per cookie and this cookie is much healthier than most. We love it!

Making cookies together is just a way that our family bonds in the kitchen, taking turns, learning math and science in our real-life baking experiments. The kids love to open their lunch boxes or snack bags to see homemade cookies waiting for them.

For more snack ideas, check out http://www.squeezeorspoon.com


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Tags: | Categories: Food

Time Saver: Grab ‘n’ Go Snack Bags

Monday, August 11th, 2014

This is a post from Heidi Kundin of Happiness Is Homemade provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner.  Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.

Grab N Go Snack Bags

Days that are filled with soccer practice, tutoring, baseball games, music lessons and impromptu park play dates keep families constantly on the go. My husband and I try to enforce a “no eating in the car” rule, but there are days when snack time and travel time inevitably merge. After too many incidences of last minute scrambling to gather snacks for my kids left me feeling frazzled, I had a moment of mommy brilliance that led me to create these handy Grab ‘n’ Go Bags. Now my kids always have a snack, water bottle, and other essentials ready to go!

How to Make a Grab N Go Snack Bag

What to Include:

  • Healthy snacks – nuts, pretzels, dry cereal, Del Monte Fruit Cups or Fruit Burst squeezers, etc.
  • Water bottle
  • Tissues
  • Cloth napkin
  • Anything else your child frequently needs – sunscreen, sunglasses, book, etc.

We use our bags a few times a week, so I don’t worry about our snack foods spoiling, but if you won’t use them as frequently, be sure to select healthy snacks that have a longer shelf life. I love to include Del Monte Fruit Burst squeezers in our Grab ‘n’ Go Bags because each one packs an entire 1 ½ servings of fruits and vegetables with no high fructose corn syrup, gluten or artificial flavors. The flavor profile is fruit-forward, so my kids don’t even realize that they’ve eaten vegetables, and they are an excellent source of vitamin C.

Snacking on-the-go is a whole lot easier now that we have these Grab ‘n’ Go Bags! As an added bonus, the bag can also hold all of your child’s empty wrappers trash until you get back home, so there’s no reason for you to find garbage in the backseat!

Right now Del Monte is hosting a photo contest on their Facebook page, so jump on over and share which is your favorite – Del Monte Fruit Cups or Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers (Squeeze or Spoon?) - for your chance to win!

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Tags: | Categories: Food, Home

Simple One-Ingredient (Banana!) Ice Cream

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

You may or may not have heard the buzz about one-ingredient ice cream, and you may be wondering whether it’s too good to be true. Rest assured that, yes, it really is as quick, easy, and delicious as it seems! I whipped up a batch in less than fifteen minutes with stellar results. Most recipes call for a food processor, but a blender will work just as well.

This is a perfect treat for kids and adults with a dairy-free diet or as a light alternative to traditional ice cream, and it definitely doesn’t sacrifice taste. I used this recipe as a guideline and added a few of my favorite mix-ins.

This makes enough for two small portions or one hearty (read: sweet-tooth-approved) serving.

All you’ll need is:

  • 3 bananas, cut into small chunks and frozen

My optional additions:

  • 2 heaping tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • A few pinches of sea salt, to taste

1. Whizz your bananas in a blender or food processor. If your blender is low-power, like mine was, let the bananas thaw on the counter for about five minutes. If your bananas are straight from the freezer, stop a few times to give your blender a break and the scrape down the sides. Blend until the consistency is smooth throughout, like soft-serve.

2. Once you’ve got a smooth texture, that’s it!

3. If you want to take it a step further, add your mix-ins. Pulse just a few times until everything is incorporated. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of cinnamon and salt on top.

Let your imagination go wild when it comes to your mix-ins: nuts, berries, spices, candy, sprinkles, or granola are all great additions. Or, keep it plain and simple with just the bananas. Either way, relax and enjoy your guilt-free dessert!

Looking for more easy family desserts? Check out these recipes!

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