Strawberry Mango Cream Pops

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The a2 Milk Company™. All opinions are 100% mine.

Strawberry Mango Cream Pops

One thing we always have to keep stocked in the house besides milk is fruit. My kids go through fruit like other kids might go through candy. We enjoy fruit for breakfast, with our lunch, and even for dessert! These strawberry mango cream pops are one of their favorites and reminds me of one of our favorite smoothies in popsicle form. So good! 

Strawberry Mango Cream Pops - 4 simple ingredients

What I love about this recipe is how easy it is to make. 4 ingredients all blended together and poured into cute popsicle molds then set overnight in the freezer. And because we use a2 Milk®, I don’t have to worry about my daughter having tummy troubles or breaking out with eczema. Over the past few months of using a2 Milk® with her we’ve found that reducing dairy and grabbing the a2 milk® instead has helped her. 
Strawberry Mango Cream Pops are perfect for toddlers

Strawberry Mango Cream Pops

  • 1 cup strawberries, hull removed
  • 1 cup mangos, sliced
  • 1/2 cup a2 Milk®
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Blend all ingredients in your blender until smooth. Grab popsicle molds and fill to fill line. Make sure not to overfill! Place molds in freezer and let set overnight. Remove molds from freezer and enjoy.

Strawberry Mango Cream Pops with fresh strawberries and mangos

Over the past few months we’ve incorporated a2 Milk® into our everyday lives and it’s now our go-to milk. The kids haven’t noticed a difference at all but I have. Since we’ve introducing our 15 month old to a2 Milk®, and me drinking it as well, she’s been happier and has had less breakouts with her eczema. Since all other forms of mammal’s milk (i.e. goat, sheep, human) only contain the A2-type proteins, she’s used to only getting the A2 protein. I’m hoping this continues to make her transition to cow’s milk easier as she nurses less and less. 

Strawberry Mango Cream Pops with a2 milk

What is your go-to dessert for kids?

Interested in more info about a2 Milk®? Check them out on Twitter and Facebook or find where you can purchase it by using their Product Locator! Or check out the great recipes they have on Pinterest. And right now you can take advantage of this a2 Milk® $1 Off Coupon.

Visit Sponsors Site

10 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas for Toddlers

10 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas for Toddlers
If you have a toddler, you know how tricky lunchtime can be. With children’s ever changing tastes and food preferences, finding the perfect meal can be a challenge. We have tried to take some of the stress away from mealtime with these 10 quick and easy lunch ideas for toddlers below, perfect for filling your child up so they can be well fueled for the rest of the day! 

Each week as I plan meals for dinner, I also try and make a list of items we’ll need for lunches as well so we can kill two birds with one stone. Then when we head back home from the store on our weekly shopping trip, I prep both dinners and lunches so it’s quicker to throw together during the week. I also make sure to keep some easy frozen or pantry options on hand as well for those times that we just don’t have prep-time. 

If you are looking for lunches you can make in a jiffy that are sure to be enjoyed, give these suggestions a glance!

10 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas for Toddlers - pizza dippers

10 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas for Toddlers

1.Mac and Cheese Shells with Veggies and Dip

Mac and Cheese Shells (in the box) with a side of fresh veggies and salad dressing for dipping makes the perfect meal! You will love the ease of a boxed mac and cheese, and they will love dipping their carrots and celery in dressing!

2. Walking Taco

Fill a bowl with tortilla chips and add some shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, and chopped tomato if you think your child will eat them. You can also add a touch of sour cream or even diced avocado for the perfect walking taco.

Tip: Put all of the toppings out on the table and let your child choose what they put on their chips! You’d be surprised at what they choose to try. 

Weight Watchers Simple Start anytime snack

3. Yogurt Parfait

Try whipping up this easy yogurt parfait for a simple lunchtime treat. Layer plain yogurt and cereal or granola to create a sweet parfait that kiddos are sure to love. You can even top with fresh fruit if you wish!

4. Pizza Dippers

Try this easy hands on lunch that kids are sure to love. Bake some mini frozen pizza bagels and serve with some warmed pasta sauce for dipping. Kids will love dipping their bagel bites and feeding themselves.

movie night ideas fruit kabob skewer

5. Fruit Skewers

Kids love creating and eating this sweet treat! Give children a variety of cut fruit chunks and let them make their own fruit skewers. You can give them yogurt for dipping, or even add some cottage cheese on the side.

6. Breakfast Bites

Who says you can’t have breakfast for lunch? Try making some refrigerated cinnamon rolls and serve with fresh fruit, yogurt, or a protein side such as bacon or sausage links. Kids will love the variety and having breakfast for lunch.

7. Baked Potato Bar

Let kiddos build their own baked potato from a baked potato bar. Warm a potato and serve with cheese, bacon bits, veggies, and other toppings you think they will enjoy. Let them build their own potato to their liking.

Easy Lunch Ideas for Busy Moms - turkey and cheese roll ups

8. Tasty Peanut Butter Roll Ups

Try spreading peanut butter and jelly onto a tortilla shell. Roll it up and cut into wheels. Kids will love this creative way of enjoying peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes we call it PB&J sushi to make it more fun.

My kid loves ham or turkey and cheddar roll ups too! I use a toothpick to keep them together when I’m prepping them but take it out when I serve it to her. 

9. Banana Boats

Place a peeled banana into a dish and let children top it with shredded coconut, fruit, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and other fun toppings of their choice. They will love crafting their own banana boat and will love eating it even more.

10. Pasta Bar

If your child loves pasta, try making a pasta bar. Boil some pasta for them and let them choose the toppings. You can have cheese, pasta sauce, veggies, pepperoni, shredded cheeses, chicken cubes, and other toppings to make it unique.

See how fun and easy lunchtime can be? Give these 10 quick and easy lunch ideas for toddlers a try and see what fun you can have! They are sure to make lunchtime more enjoyable for all.

What’s your toddler’s favorite meal for lunch? 

Healthy Snack Time with Sprout Organic Foods

Healthy Snack Time with Sprout Organic Foods

My kids are huge snackers. My daughter would much rather have small meals throughout the day then big meals three times a day. So when a shipment of Sprout Toddler Fruit & Veggie Crispy Chews and Fruity Yogurt Bites showed up at our door for review I knew she’d LOVE trying them out!

One thing that’s very important to me when it comes to snacking options for the kids is convenience. If I can grab a pack or two and put them in my diaper bag for on-the-go snacking it makes getting out of the house much easier!

With Sprout Organic Foods BPA free packaging and small sizes I can easily fit a few in the bag as we enjoy our summer fun around town.

[Read more…]

Healthy Ranch Yogurt Dip {Snack Recipe}

Yogurt Ranch Dip

My family is absolutely obsessed with ranch dressing. If the kids have veggies, they want to dip them in ranch. So I’ve tried to change up the way we make ranch and have ditched the sour cream!

Now sour cream isn’t bad. I love the stuff. But by swapping out sour cream with greek yogurt I not only am cutting calories but I’m increasing protein! All in all I’m very excited about the swap and the kids can’t seem to tell the difference.

And Greek yogurt can be subbed for more than just sour cream. I also swap it out for mayo in some recipes.

Yogurt Ranch Dip ingredients

Ranch Yogurt Dip
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons ranch mix (see below for ranch mix)

Mix ingredients together until well combined. Let sit in the fridge overnight. Serve with your favorite veggies or chips.

 
Ranch Dip Mix
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

Combine ingredients and store in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. Feel free to double or triple and use as needed.

Tomato Zucchini Soup {Lunch Recipe}

 

I love simple lunches. Something I can whip up or reheat easily is key. So when I was figuring out what to do with all of the tomatoes we have coming in right now from our garden, I knew that a soup would be perfect. Now I normally roast my tomatoes with some other veggies to make the base for my marinara sauce so I thought why not roast up some tomatoes for a soup as well.

This recipe, from start to finish, takes 30 minutes and can easily be made in larger quantities to store for future lunches (or dinners!). It’d go great with a grilled cheese and a salad. The kids loved it as well!

Tomato Zucchini Soup

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh basil, stems removed
  • Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line rimmed baking sheet with foil and lay tomatoes and zucchini on sheet.

Mix olive oil and garlic together in a small bowl. Drizzle over vegetables. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden.

Remove veggies from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Add to Magic Bullet, food processor, or blender (your choice!) and blend for a few seconds until just combined. Add basil and salt and pepper. Blend until it’s at the consistency you like.

Pour and serve. This soup can be served cold, lukewarm, or hot. It tastes good either way!

Serves 2-4 depending on portion size

What type of soup do you love? 

Quick Toddler Lunches: 5 Easy Solutions

5 Easy Solutions for Quick Toddler Lunches

One meal that I find the hardest to make for my children is lunch. I don’t know what it is but every time I go to fix lunch my mind draws a blank. So I’ve come up with 5 easy solutions for quick toddler lunches. That means that in less than 10-15 minutes your kids will have a healthy, delicious meal to eat for their mid-day meal.

Frozen Foods and Pasta

Grab a bag of whole grain pasta out of the cupboard. Or let the kids decide what pasta they want. Then go into the freezer and grab a few nitrate free hot dogs and some frozen (or fresh) veggies. Now you’re ready to make lunch in under 10 minutes!

  1. Boil water
  2. Add Pasta and set timer (cook for however long the bag says)
  3. 1/2 way through, add frozen hot dog. 
  4. When 2-3 minutes remain, add a handful of frozen veggies
  5. Drain, cut up hot dog, and serve!  – cutting up is optional for children over 3*

Usually takes less than 10 minutes and the kids love it!

Change it up! Don’t want to use hot dogs? Toss the noodles and veggies in some olive oil or butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Toss some pepperonis or deli meat in for a change in flavor or cube up some cheese.

Mmmm!

*If cutting up the hot dog, remember to cut up length wise first, then width wise to reduce the chance of choking.

Roll Ups and Fresh Fruit

Another lunch idea that takes less than 10 minutes. Simply pull out some lunch meats and cheeses and put them on a plate along with a few veggies. When your kids are deciding what to put in their roll ups, wash and cut up some fruit to go on the side!

Once they’ve decided it’s time to start building! Here’s what you do:

  1. Place a slice of meat down
  2. Add some mayo or mustard (or other spread)
  3. Add cheese on top
  4. Sprinkle with veggies (easier to slice up or shred)
  5. Roll up and eat!

Serve with some fruit on the side and enjoy.

Quesadillas 10 Ways

Quesadillas are super easy. The most work spent on them is the time prepping what goes into them. And that can be done in as little as 5 minutes. You just have to know what you want in them! Here are a few suggestions for what to put in your quesadilla:

Now it’s time to make your quesadilla!

  1. Heat up pan and butter one side of tortilla. 
  2. Put tortilla in heated pan, butter side down
  3. Sprinkle with cheese and other ingredients
  4. Fold over into a half moon and cook until golden brown
  5. Flip, cook other side, and serve!

I love serving my quesadillas with some left over rice and some ripe avocado and salsa. The kids love theirs with apple slices and tortilla chips.

Pizza Perfection

What kid doesn’t love pizza? In our home pizza comes in all shapes and sizes. Don’t have pizza dough? That’s ok! Grab one of the following to get started:

1. Base
Tortilla
Whole Wheat Pita
English Muffin

Then move on to the sauces. I love just grabbing whatever jarred pasta sauce we have in the pantry:

2. Sauce
Pesto
Marinara
Meat sauce
Alfredo sauce

And for the fun part!

3. Toppings! Toppings can range anywhere from veggies to meats to cheeses. And variety is key. When you give your kids a few options you’ll be surprised to find what they choose for their pizzas.

Simply go in this order: Base, Sauce, Toppings when creating your pizza pie masterpieces.

Then just use the oven (or a toaster oven) and cook at 400 degrees for a few minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly golden brown! Looking for a great pizza dough recipe? Check out this one here.

Salad Bar

Just because your two year old hates lettuce, don’t rule out the power of an awesome salad bar! And as always, get the kids involved. Ask your kids to pick 5 fun toppings to add to their salad. I suggest having fruit, veggies, nuts, and some sort of crunch for them to choose from.

Then give them a few lettuce options. Spinach is a favorite in our house with romaine coming in close second. But they also love the crunch of cabbage and the pretty shapes and colors in micro greens.

Here are a few great ideas for Salad Bar fixings:

Once the kids have chosen their 5 topping choices I give them dressing choices as well. From oil and vinegar to ranch dressing and everything in between, giving them 2-3 options makes our salad bar a success.

What’s your favorite lunch time fast fix?

Coconut Oatmeal with Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil {Breakfast Recipe}

We’re always trying to find great alternatives to classic favorites in this home. Since my daughter consistantly eats oatmeal for us for breakfast we wanted to continue our luck with the one meal we know she’ll finish. So when I received my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil I knew exactly what I’d to do try it out… put it in our oatmeal!

When I was done making the first batch of coconut oatmeal I went into the fridge to grab the kids some milk for their sippy cups. I looked over and saw an open package of mini chocolate chips from my husbands latest baking adventure so I grabbed the bag and sprinkled a few chocolate chips over the top of each bowl for an added treat. OMG! This oatmeal tasted exactly like my favorite chocolate chip oatmeal cookie. Delicious!

I cannot wait to start using Tropical Traditions coconut oil in other recipes. Added benefit? We can use it as cloth diaper friendly diaper cream too! Who knew? Plus there are so many other ways to use this stuff. Go here to find more!

Coconut Oatmeal
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon Tropical Traditions coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips (optional)

Pour milk into a small saucepan and heat on medium.

Stir in coconut oil and coconut flakes. Stir until oil is completely melted. Add in oats. Sprinkle on cinnamon and continue to stir. Cook for 3-5 minutes.

Pour into a bowl and sprinkle with chocolate chips for an added bit of sweetness!

Serves 2 (or 1 adult, 2 kids)

Do you use coconut oil? I’d love to hear how! 

Disclaimer: I received a 32oz jar of Tropical Traditions coconut oil for review purposes only. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal {Breakfast Recipe}

As I mentioned yesterday, my daughter now has to take an iron supplement. We’ve had great luck over the first few days with making her smoothies when it was time to take her supplement but now she’s no longer interested.

So this morning I thought I’d put a spin on her favorite breakfast meal. I added her two favorite foods, peanut butter and oatmeal, and threw in a banana to find that this finger-licking good meal would be completely devoured before my eyes!

The results were exactly what this mama wanted.

The first time since we started her iron supplements and she actually finished a whole dose! In the form of peanut butter oatmeal, of course.

And an even better bonus is the fact that one serving is only 4 points. Paired with a banana this makes a delicious breakfast for my kids and me. And it’s a bit faster to whip up than my baked peanut butter and banana oatmeal squares.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast

Peanut Butter Oatmeal 

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • banana to top, optional

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Cook on medium low heat stirring frequently. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until oatmeal is creamy and all ingredients are incorporated.

Spoon into a few bowls and enjoy this delicious breakfast!

Serves 2 | 4 WW+ Points

First my daughter tried eating her oatmeal with a spoon.
When that didn’t get it to her mouth fast enough she went with her hands and got much more!
The oatmeal was so good she licked each finger clean after finishing her bowl! Now that’s a success.

Green Monster Smoothies {Breakfast Recipe}

Green Monster Smoothie

One of my favorite new ways to get greens into my kids is by blending them up into smoothie form. And this smoothie started it all. Now this is just your basic Green Monster. There are so many different variations of this smoothie and my kids and I love to experiment with what we put in it when we make it.

For some awesome ways to shake up the original recipe check out my friend CB’s Green Monster journey over on her blog See Cupcake Run. Just search for “green monster” since I’m not sure how to link to one of her categories.

Green Monster Smoothie

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ripe, frozen banana, peeled
  • 3 handfuls organic spinach
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or PB2)
  • 4-5 ice cubes

Add 1 cup of milk to the blender.

Now add in the chia or flax (if using) and nut butter.

Next, add in the spinach followed by the banana on top.

Blend until smooth.

Add in your ice cubes and blend some more.

Serves 2 | 4 WW pp+ with PB2 (not including banana)

Chick-Fil-A’s Newest Menu Addition {Healthy Kids Meals}

Chick-fil-A is offering a new Kid’s Meal, which is anticipated to be one of the most nutritious in the country, featuring Grilled Nuggets as an entrée. Compared to an “average” hamburger kid’s meal offered at fast food restaurants, the new Chick-fil-A Kid’s Meal (4-count grilled nuggets, fruit cup and low fat milk) contains almost 60 percent less calories and an estimated 85 percent less fat. The chain also is enhancing its side choices by adding Buddy Fruits Pure Blended Fruit To Go applesauce.

This is a huge step for Chick-fil-A to further expand healthy menu options for families. When we visit Chick-Fil-A for lunch or dinner we always get the same thing for the kids. We order a 4-count chicken nugget meal with french fries, milk and an extra side of fruit. The fries are shared by the whole family (you read that right… a kids meal fry split between our family of four) and the fruit and nuggets are shared between my daughter and son. Now with the addition of the grilled nuggets I’m even more inclined to stop by Chick-Fil-A when we need a meal on the go.

My son recently celebrated his 3rd birthday so for lunch last week I took him on request to Chick-Fil-A. And while I normally don’t order chocolate milk I couldn’t resist his birthday pleas. So he suckered me into getting him chocolate milk and french fries. But don’t worry, his sister made sure to eat all of the fruit we got from our side order. Mommy enjoyed a delicious grilled chicken salad. Full of flavor and no guilt! Their grilled chicken sandwiches are super tasty too. Order it with a wheat bun to make it a tad bit healthier. Or skip the bun all together and go for a lettuce wrap.

We don’t usually eat at fast food restaurants but when we do it’s at one of two places. And the first place on our list is Chick-Fil-A. Tasty food, healthy choices and great service are what will help keep us coming back time and time again. I don’t feel like a bad mommy for letting my kids eat here and I enjoy the options I have too. Have you tried their berry balsamic dressing? YUM! 

An added bonus for the kids is their toy-for-ice cream trade. If your son or daughter isn’t into the toy they received (or you just don’t want another toy around the house) they can trade it for a kids size ice dream cone. My kids love this and know exactly what to do at the end of their meal.

Have you tried Chick-Fil-A? What menu item do you love? 3 lucky readers will win a coupon good for one free kids meal at Chick-Fil-A. Simply fill out the rafflecopter form below for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a coupon for a free kids meal at Chick-Fil-A for review purposes only. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.



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