Thursday, September 17, 2020

6 Tips For Better Snacking

6 Tips For Better Snacking
This post is in partnership with Simple Mills.

If you have kids (aka eating machines), or are just the average busy person in today's world, you can probably relate to my ongoing snacking dilemmas. What snacks can I keep on hand that don't require a lot of prep work? What snacks can I buy that we'll all like? What snacks can we also easily take on the go? And most of all, how can we snack in ways that are better for us? I've really made an effort over the last month or so to find solutions for my snacking woes, and today I thought I'd share some of the things that are working for us.

6 Tips For Better Snacking
6 Tips For Better Snacking

1. Plan.
I am not a meal planner. It is not my thing. But I have become a snack planner. I don't mean creating a color coded daily snack chart, but I do mean planning for easy grab-and-go snacks that you know will get eaten, making a list of them, and stocking up for a couple of weeks. We try to opt for fruits, veggies, yogurt, and wholesome crunchy snacks like Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers and Crunchy Cookies that I can pick up at Meijer. (Speaking of Meijer, make sure to take advantage of this amazing deal they're offering.)

2. Go for crunch.
Everyone in our house agrees that a crunchy snack is more satisfying. Our current favorites for the perfect crunch are fresh carrot sticks and Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers and Crunchy Cookies, which are made from whole food ingredients, with nothing artificial. I always pick up a package or three when I'm getting groceries at Meijer, which makes the kids (and us!) very happy. The Almond Flour Crackers are super delicious snack crackers made with a wholesome blend of almond flour, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds. They're a great source of vitamin E and contain 3 grams of protein per serving. Perfect right out of the box. Simple Mills Crunchy Cookies also provide a yummy crunch and are perfect for when we have a sweet tooth. Crafted from plant-powered, nutrient-dense ingredients, they're just the right amount of sweet, thanks to natural coconut sugar.  

6 Tips For Better Snacking
6 Tips For Better Snacking

3. Read the labels.
I've always been a label reader (thanks mom!), but I still need to be reminded sometimes. Always check out the ingredients, and opt for snacks that are made with whole foods and free from anything artificial.

4. Choose convenient.
I admittedly get big ideas in my head of Pinterest-worthy snacks that will ultimately take a whole lot of ingredients and time I don't have. When I attempt this, I end up with uneaten food. I've found that opting for convenient snacks is more realistic and much easier on all of us, and better for when we're on-the-go. Berries that can be eaten right from the container, string cheese or cheese sticks, and Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers and Crunchy Cookies, which are nutrient-dense and made with whole foods, are our go-tos. 

6 Tips For Better Snacking
6 Tips For Better Snacking

5. Be mindful.
We're all guilty (at least in this house), of mindlessly munching on snacks while we're watching movies or looking at our devices, which can lead to overindulgence. I've found that when we're more aware of why we're actually snacking, it leads to better snacking habits. We talk to the kids (and remind ourselves) about listening to our body's hunger cues, and when we really are hungry for a snack, to choose better-for-you options. And if we are watching a show or looking at our phones, we portion onto a bowl or plate. 

6. Listen to your body.
A nutritionist friend gave me that advice and you guys, they are words to live by. For real. If you're hungry for a snack, eat one, but pay attention to when you feel full. If you're bored and just feel like eating, try drinking a glass of water, or just nibble on a few crackers (Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers to the rescue again!). If you crave something unhealthy, try eating a better-for-you version and see if that satisfies. This is a great life lesson to teach your kids as well!

6 Tips For Better Snacking
6 Tips For Better Snacking
6 Tips For Better Snacking

I hope these tips prove helpful for those of you looking to improve your snacking habits. They've been very helpful for us! And if you haven't tried Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers and Crunchy Cookies yet, I highly recommend grabbing some at your local Meijer. They are our absolute favorite snacks right now. Make sure to take advantage of this incredible deal too.


Monday, September 14, 2020

Sweet Corn with Chili and Orange Hoisin Glaze

Grilled Corn with Orange Hoisin and Chili Glaze

One of the things that I love most about summer is sweet corn on the cob. So as sweet corn season (and summer itself, boohoo) comes to an end, I find myself grabbing it from a local farm as often as possible knowing that it will soon be gone.

This is one of my favorite ways to eat sweet corn, with a unique twist. You may even remember me sharing it here a few years ago. I've since tweaked a few things with the recipe and now I officially declare it end-of-summer sweet corn perfection. I hope you love it as much as we do. 

Grilled Corn with Orange Hoisin and Chili Glaze
Grilled Corn with Orange Hoisin and Chili Glaze

Sweet Corn with Chili and Orange Hoisin Glaze  

Serves 6

6 ears sweet corn, husked
1 tablespoon Hoisin Sauce  
1 teaspoon chili oil (red pepper flakes work too!) 
5-6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Heat your grill to medium high. In a small bowl, combine Hoisin sauce, chili oil or red pepper flakes, melted butter, and grated orange rind, and mix well. Grill corn for about 3 minutes, turn, and grill another 2-3 minutes. Use a brush to coat corn with glaze, and continue to grill for another 5-7 minutes, brushing with the glaze every couple of minutes. Remove corn from grill, brush with glaze, and top with chopped cilantro.  

Grilled Corn with Orange Hoisin and Chili Glaze
Grilled Corn with Orange Hoisin and Chili Glaze

Savor that sweet corn, friends. I know I will be, 'til summer's bitter end. 



Wednesday, September 9, 2020

A First Day of Preschool Interview (For In Person, E-Learning, or Homeschool!)

A First Day of Preschool Interview (For In Person, E-Learning, or Homeschool!)

If you've been following us for a while, you know that over the past couple of years, I have put together a fun 'interview' with questions to ask my kids on their first days of school (and on the last day, to see how answers of changed).  I shared my daughter's answers a couple of weeks ago. My son's first day was yesterday, so I thought I'd share his answers as well. 

As I mentioned with my daughter's interview, I changed the questions slightly this year incorporate the new 'normal' in which we're living. Whether your child is learning in person, remotely, or via homeschool this year, this survey is a fun way to document the beginning of the year. 

1. What is your name? Emmett.
2. What grade are you in? Pre-K.
3. How old are you? 4-1/2.
4. What is your favorite color? Blue.
5. What is your favorite thing to do at school? Play.  
6. What is your favorite activity outside of school? Soccer and gymnastics.
7. What do you want to be when you grow up? A musician and Sonic (the Hedgehog).
8. What is your favorite food? Mac and cheese. 
9. How old is your mommy? 10.  
10. What is her job? Yoga. (I wish!)
11. What is mommy's favorite food? Spinach.  
12. How old is your daddy? 40.   
13. What is his job? Work. 
14. What is daddy's favorite food? Mahi mahi.
15. What do mommy and daddy like to do? Go on a date.
16. If you have brothers or sisters, what are their names? Essley.
17. How old is your brother(s) (and/or sisters)? 6.
18. What is your brother(s) (and/or sisters) favorite food? Fried chicken.
19. What is your favorite toy? Paw Patrol toys.
20. Where do you live? Chicagoland.
21. What is your favorite thing to do? Go to Disney World because we never went.  
22. What is your favorite place you've ever been? McDonalds. 
23. Who is your best friend? Nick and Hunter.
24. What is your favorite animal? Dinosaurs.
25. If you could have anything you wished for, what would it be? Go to Disney.
26. Are you learning at school, on the computer at home, or doing homeschool this year? All of them.
27. What is one thing you love about the unique way you are doing school this year? I like to wear my Cookie Monster mask at school.  

I'd love to see your kids answers as well, for anyone who wants to share! (I got the cute chalkboard sign in the photo above right here.)


Thursday, September 3, 2020

12 Halloween Themed Kids Outfits (Under $30)

12 Halloween Themed Kids Outfits (Under $30)
1. Pumpkin Dress ($24.99)   |   2. Ghost and Spider Joggers ($9.99)   |   3. Pumpkin Sweatshirt ($9.99)   |   4. Skeleton Jogging Set ($29.99)   |   5. Black Star and Moon Tulle Skirt ($14.99)   |  6. Ghost Dress ($14.99)   |   7. Spider Web Dress ($17.99)   |   8. Halloween Socks ($12.99 for 5)   |   9.  Witch and Cat Dress ($24.99)   |   10. Spider Sweatshirt ($14.99)   |   11. Black Cat 2-Piece Set ($9.99)   |   12.  Jack O' Lantern Hoodie ($24.99)

I'm one of those people who holds onto summer until the end of September, but the dumpster fire that is 2020 is making me want to fast forward more than usual. I am not ready for fall by any means, but I am looking forward to trying to make Halloween extra special this year, knowing that the usual parties and trick-or-treating fun likely won't be happening. This means I've been picking up a decoration and cute piece of Halloween clothing here and there, and I couldn't resist sharing some of these adorable Halloween themed outfits with you guys. Best of all, they're all under $30.

Are you ready for fall/Halloween, or soaking up summer for just a little longer?