Hello Fresh….Hello Dream Come True!

September hit me hard! After an overall relaxed paced summer, we hit the ground running with new school, work, and extra curricular activities. I have worked hard to meal plan, grocery shop, and meal prep as well as possible but some days we still end up with a rush around supper. Enter Hello Fresh! We had the opportunity to try a 3 meal package from Hello Fresh a few weeks ago and it was a total life changer for this mom!

At 4:45 pm on a Tuesday we came home from a family bike ride to find a box at our front door filled with fresh produce and amazing quality (aka antibiotic free, local, sustainably farmed, etc.) meat, fish, and poultry. I was very impressed with the food safety aspect too. All items were packed in a way that ensured appropriate temperatures were kept.

One of the boxes was labelled “Make Me First” and so I unpacked that one right away and within 30 minutes we were enjoying salmon cakes, roasted sweet potatoes, and fresh veggies. Our whole family truly loved the flavor and I loved the ease of preparation. All the ingredients were perfectly prepped and portion and yet I still had the opportunity to do the cooking. A win-win for me!

Over the coming week I chose our two busiest days (one being piano lesson day) to cook the other two meals. They were equally easy to prepare, packed with nutrients and flavour, and enjoyed by the whole family.

If you have busy weeks, and a few partially prepared, high quality and incredibly tasty meals would be useful for you, please use my discount code MINIS50 for $25 OFF YOUR NEXT TWO BOXES!

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The Baby Buddy Sonic 360 (aka our new favourite toothbrush)

Oral care is a high priority in our family. I started brushing the boy’s gums at least twice a day with a soft facecloth after breastfeeding at an early age, and as soon as we saw that first tooth, we started brushing it gently right away. When they had several teeth we started flossing and have been very conscientious about brushing their teeth for 90-120 as least once each day. We try for twice but I will admit it does not always happen. One thing that has always bothered me about brushing their teeth is that we don’t know how the pressure feels. We can’t 100% know if we are brushing hard enough or too hard. I had been on the lookout for an electric toothbrush that would work well for them and was thrilled when I came across the Baby Buddy Sonic 360 ! Baby Buddy was generous to send me one to try and I can honestly say this is exactly what I have been looking for!

The Baby Buddy Sonic 360 lights up and is very soft. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but for me it is. Despite our efforts to make teeth-brushing an enjoyable time, the boys have always been reluctant. To be honest I cannot blame them. I wouldn’t love someone else shoving a toothbrush into my mouth every day either. Cue the fun lights and soft bristles of the Sonic 360. They love watching the colours in their mouth as we brush and there is not pressure on their gums to push back on.

As the name suggests, it has bristles all the way around so we do not have to make sure the toothbrush is a certain way in my boy’s mouths. No matter how we hold it, it will hit their teeth. Also, this allows for more independent brushing. We have been doing the evening brushing with toothpaste and allowing the twins to do their own morning brushing with just water. It is good practice for them and I feel secure that the toothbrush is doing the work without the twins needing to apply any pressure. Also, unlike adult electronic toothbrushes, it is very quiet which has been important for our youngest who was frightened by others that we tried and it does not spray water everywhere which prevents a big mess if they pull it out of their mouth without turning it off first.

Another thing that drew me to this toothbrush is the design of one holder and several heads. We have labelled the heads for our kids but only have to store one base. This is a wonderful improvement to having several toothbrushes in one drawer!

Baby Buddy is a wonderful family run business with a heart for helping parents by providing the quality products we are looking for! For more information on this and other Baby Buddy products, you can visit their website: www.babybuddy.com or find them on Instagram (@babybuddyig), Facebook (@babybuddybear), or Twitter (@babybuddybear).

Mother’s Day Pancakes

I absolutely love pink…it just makes me smile. And my kids love pancakes. So for Mother’s Day brunch I decided to create a pink pancake recipe that everyone would enjoy. The best part…they helped me make it and kids in the kitchen is the best Mother’s Day gift I could ask for. Here is the recipe in case you want to try it too.

Ingredients

1 and ¼ cup milk (any milk is fine…buttermilk, cow’s milk, coconut milk, almond milk….etc.)

1 cup frozen strawberries or raspberries

2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)

1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil

¼ cup Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts

¼ cup chia seeds

¾ cup unbleached white flour

1 and ¼ cup whole wheat flour

2 Tbsp. baking powder

Instructions:

  • 1) In a mixer of your choice (Vitamix, Blentec, Ninja, etc.) blend together 1.25 cups milk of your choice (I like to use coconut milk), 1 cup frozen berries, ¼ cup hemp hearts, ¼ cup oil, and 2 eggs (or 4 egg whites). Set this aside
  • 2) In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, and chia seeds) together.
  • 3) Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix together…but don’t overmix.
  • 4) Cook pancakes on a frying pan of your choice. I prefer an electric one as I find they are less likely to stick or burn.
  • 5) Serve with your choice of yogurt and fruit for a delicious and nutritious meal for mom!

Until next time….stay healthy!

Promega Banana Muffins

Looking for a breakfast or snack food packed with quality protein and omega 3 fatty acids? Look no further! These muffins are packed with nutrition and flavour AND have no added sugar!!! You can also “dress them up” as I have in the picture above. This mini version of the muffin is topped with Yoso Chocolate Coconut Milk Yogurt and a raspberry. You could also use Greek yogurt and/or any other fruit you and your little ones enjoy!

Ingredients

1 cup oats (ideally steel cut quick cooking oats)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached white flour

¼ cup Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts or Baby Brain Organics

¼ cup chia seeds

½ Tbsp. baking powder

½ Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup bananas (about 3 large bananas)

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (or alternate fruit puree)

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

2 eggs

½ Tbsp. vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Mash bananas and beat eggs then add these together along with applesauce, oil, yogurt, and vanilla.
  3. Add the dry and wet mixture together and stir until moistened, but do not over-stir.
  4. Spoon into muffin pan and bake at 375 degrees F for 14-17 minutes for mini muffins and 22-28 minutes for “regular” size muffins.

Makes 18 regular size muffins or 36 mini muffins.

Feel free to add dried fruit or nuts for added nutrition and flavor too!

Until next time…stay healthy!

Meatball Muffins

I am always looking for new ways to get more protein into my children in a way that won’t involve complaining from them. I decided to try making meatball muffins this week and they were a HUGE hit!!! I thought I would share the easy recipe I created in case your little ones might like them too.

Ingredients

1/2 cup grated carrots

1/4 cup grated onion

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

3 Tbsp. sweet BBQ sauce (or you could use tomato paste)

1 pound ground chicken (or you could use ground beef, turkey, or pork)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl, then add the ground chicken/meat.
  3. Spoon mixture into a muffin pan.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes for mini muffins and 25 minutes if medium size muffins.

I served these with sweet potatoes and cauliflower and since it was the twins birthday, we mashed a few of the sweet potatoes on top to make “icing” and make them look like cupcakes 🙂  SO fun to make healthy food fun for kids:)

Until next time….stay healthy!

 

 

Healthy Treats for Outdoor Fun!

Summer is here and its time for park visits, zoo days, beach days, and spontaneous trips to your friend’s pool! Along with these amazing outdoor activities comes irregular schedules and increased appetites. This can lead to poor choices in food and/or missing meals. Planning ahead will help you and your children stayed nourished, hydrated, and healthy this summer! Here are some tips to get you started.

1) Don’t get caught filling up on high salt and high sugary snacks and beverages OR skipping eating for so long that you overeat. Pack easy to eat fruits and veggies for you and your kids to snack on. Grapes, blueberries, apple slices, melon cubes, cucumber slices, baby carrots, and pepper slivers are some of our favourites. Maybe take along some Greek yogurt or hummus for your kids to use as a dip. Kids love to dip and having healthy options available encourages them to eat more of the things you want them to.

2) For longer days when you need more complete meals, add more filling foods to your fruit and veggie snacks. Focus on things that are easy to pack and easy to eat. Your kids may not be willing to stop very long to eat. Try wraps or sandwich wedges; muffin with cheese; whole grain crackers and almond butter; Greek yogurt with granola; or hard boiled eggs and pita wedges.

3) Stay hydrated! Always take lots of water with you for you and your children. .  You can take plain water or for a more exciting option add strawberries or limes or orange slices to your water. For mamas, you can also try making your own iced tea to take along. Some of my favourites right now are “Just Peachy” and “Strawberry Colada” from Davids Tea. I use this amazing iced tea carafe that can even sit on its side in a cooler without leaking! These provide a way to stay hydrated and feel like you are having a sweet treat without any calories or caffeine.

4) Don’t forget to take an ice pack. Put any sandwiches, cheese, yogurts, eggs, etc. next to an ice pack so they stay cold and safe to eat.

5) Last but not least, involve your children in the planning.  Kids are more likely to eat foods that they have helped to choose and you will be teaching them the valuable lesson of planning ahead so they are set for life making healthy choices.

Wishing you all a safe and healthy summer!!!

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Watch the blog later this week for fun dip ideas your kids will love and tips on getting more fruits and veggies into yourselves and your little ones. Until then stay well!

Healthy mind, Healthy mama

I don’t know about you but meals at our house are bizarre! With three children 3 and under it is very noisy throughout the meal and I am generally up and down about 50 times doing something for someone…a dropped fork, more water, feeding the dog, more food for the children, etc. I absolutely love our family meal time together and I wouldn’t have it any other way! But when the weekend comes I am ready for a date night! Date nights aren’t always easy to organize or easily affordable so my husband and I have started doing “date nights in”! I love them just as much as “date night out”. On these nights we can sit and eat and talk. Really talk. I can hear a full sentence from him without one of my children interrupting. We like to give our children a family meal time experience though so we sit with them while they eat supper and have a snack so that we are still eating something as a family. Then once the children are in bed we can enjoy a meal together. For “date night in” we can enjoy all the quality time we would get by going to a restaurant without the cost of a babysitter or a high-calorie, high-cost restaurant meal. I absolutely love to cook so once the kids are in bed we pour a glass of wine or iced tea, make a healthy meal, and sit together to nourish our bodies and our relationship at the same time. image So next time you have had a long week and you feel distant from your husband, try “date night in” and nourish your body, your mind, and your relationship. Cheers!