Happy Family Healthy Snack Giveaway

Happy Family, snacks, Healthy snacks

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My kids are big snackers. When we are out and about, I like to carry the healthiest options possible such as fruits and portable options. One of my favorites is the selection of organic baby, tot and kit items from Happy Family.

Happy Family, Happy Family snacks

They recently released a new collection of healthy snack options with Happy Tot Best Friends toddler cookies and Happy Tot Mornings breakfast blends. The Best Friends toddler cookies feature a fun puppy shape in delicious flavors like Honey Buckwheat and Chocolate Pumpkin. Made from whole grains, these cookies are gluten-free and offer your kids a sweet snack that has no trans fats, artificial sweetness, artificial flavors, and BPA packaging. 

Happy Family Snacks

Another new favorite is the Happy Tot Mornings breakfast blends where you will find a collection of pouches that are filled with a blend of fruit, yogurt & oats. I love these for busy mornings where I know my daughters will be getting 750mg of Omega-3s from Salba® The SUPER Chia and 3g of fiber. The pouches also contain whole grain oats, whole milk yogurt and organic fruits.

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Full Disclosure: Winner must be 18 years or older and a US Resident. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email with the specifics on how to claim their prize. Contest ends 5/22/14 at Midnight EST. Winners will be picked by random.org. By entering this contest, you will automatically be signing up for the Momtrends newsletter. This is a sponsored post.

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Juice Plus+ ® Boost Your Vitamins

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Juice Plus+ ®  sponsored me to talk to you all about junk food. I’m game.

Here’s how I see it. You’re busy. You’ve got kids. You’ve got to feed the kids. They want junk. It’s easy to give them junk. It’s cheap to give them junk. Junk let’s you off the hook for  a minute. But oh, the toll the junk takes it’s toll on the family dynamic over time.

Since we’ve started Momtrends my writers and I have tried to NOT be too heavy handed about nutrition. I wish everyone could grow an organic garden and have a private chef make quinoa seem appetizing to the kids. But unlike Gwyneth Paltrow, I live in the real world. You and I, we’ve been know to make hotdogs and cupcakes a meal. Yep, we shoot for kale and salmon, but it doesn’t happen every day. When I find products that help families stay on track, I’m intrigued.

For nearly two decades, Juice Plus+ ® has set out to help time-starved families fight the good fight when it comes to nutrition. This is an easy way to get the good stuff in your kids every day. Last week I got to talk to Dr. William Sears and Dr. Jim Sears (and co-host of the Emmy Award-winning daily syndicated show “The Doctors”) I jumped on a video chat to explain the health benefits. I’m going to talk more about those later, but let’s get you an overview.

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There are three ways to get the boost of vegetables and fruits from Juice Plus+ ®. First, there are the capsules. The capsules include juice powder concentrates from 25 different fruits, vegetables and grains that have been dried and ground into a fine powder packed with vitamins. They come in three options:

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ORCHARD BLEND: apple, acerola cherry, pineapple, orange, cranberry, papaya, peach
GARDEN BLEND: beet, brown rice bran, broccoli, parsley, cabbage, carrot, oat bran, spinach, tomato, kale
VINEYARD BLEND: Concord grapes, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, bilberries, and elderberries.

Each blend contains no artificial flavors or colors, and is carefully tested to ensure that no pesticides or other contaminants affect the natural purity of the product.

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For kids, sometimes chewables work better. These are child-size in a tasty, soft chewable form. The appealing taste comes from two all-natural sweeteners – tapioca syrup and organic cane syrup – with absolutely no high fructose corn syrup. It contains no artificial flavors or artificial colors and is 100% vegetarian; the ‘chewiness’ comes from fruit pectins, not gelatin. The kids are getting 17 different fruits, vegetables, and grains in a form that’s easy to dose out.

It’s working. According to an ongoing survey of more than 150,000 families who take Juice Plus+ ®, children and adults are:
• Eating less fast food and more fruits and vegetables
• Drinking fewer soft drinks and more water
• Visiting the doctor less and attending school more

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In addition to Juice Plus+ ® capsules and chewables, Juice Plus+ Complete ® is a whole food based beverage mix available in French Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate flavors. It provides balanced nutrition packed with protein in every scoop and is ideal for an “on-the-go” breakfast, pre-exercise energy drink, post-workout recovery drink or late-night snack.

Juice Plus+ ® products are available through your local Juice Plus+ ® representative or online. To connect with your nearest Juice Plus+ ® representative,call the Juice Plus+ ® Customer Care department at 800.347.6350, or head to http://www.juiceplus.com/

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This is a sponsored post.

New Food Finds

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There are constantly new and exciting food ideas on the market. From healthy snacks to on-the-go bites, here are some of our newest finds.

With the summer coming, we are stocking up our freezer with LifeIce, an all natural, low sugar, gluten free and fat free ice. Made with a Coconut water and an agave base, these ices are great to include in drinks as well as in smoothies. Flavors include Chocolate Crisp, Berry Bite, Green Grind and Citrus Chomp that are sure to make them a delicious part of your summer.

Moms are always running and to make sure that we get enough of our nutrients we have been snacking on the new line of lower sugar Promax bars. This includes flavors such as Chocolate Fudge, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough and Peanut Butter Chocolate that all contain 9 grams of sugar. This includes bars that are bursting with flavor, fiber and protein that are sure to get you through your day.

For healthy snacks on the go we love Earth’s Best and their Smiley Snacks that feature a delicious vanilla flavor and the Earth’s Best Crunchin Crackers that are an excellent source of ion, zinc and six B vitamins. They also make snacking fun with Big Bird and Elmo in every bite.

For juicing at home, we love the new blend from R.W. KnudsenFamily and their new Nature’s Peak™ juice blends. This includes flavors such as Berry Veggie Blend®, Orchard Veggie Blend and Tropical Veggie Blend.These flavorful blends are packed with 100% fruit and vegetable juices that contain a ½ cup serving of fruits and a ½ cup serving of vegetables. My girls love these blends that also contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives as well as being non-GMO Project Verified.

For something a little sweet, I have been loving the new MOJO Fruit & Nut and MOJO Dark Chocolate. This special treat is packed with organic whole nuts, organic fruit and chunks of organic dark chocolate. This also includes a line of other MOJO varieties including Cranberry Almond, Wild Blueberry Almond, Coconut Almond Peanut, Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond (SRP $1.49) – all of which are gluten-free, under 200 calories, low glycemic and a good source of fiber.

For a protein-packed morning, we love ViCrunch Fusions, a blend of Tri-Berry Puffs and Chocolate Macadamia Granola. Packed with protein and fiber, this will sure to keep you and your kids full all morning long. Another favorite is ViCrunch Super Cereal, a blend that is also packed with protein and 5 grams of prebiotic fiber. This is designed to support immune function, digestive function, heart health, mineral and calcium absorption and hunger control.

I love giving my kids a daily smoothie that is filled with veggies and fruits. To give them another boost I have been using D’Vida, a line of pre-made smoothie sachets. This includes a delicious line of flavors such as VidaPUMP (Banana + Peanut Butter), VidaGREEN (Cucumber + Kale + Green Apple + Spinach), VideBOOST(Pineapple + Coconut) and VidaSLIM (Strawberry + Banana). Featuring all-natural ingredients and only the freshest fruits and vegetables, all of the packets are GMO and Gluten-Free that are also packed with protein and fiber.

Another fun way to drink on-the-go is with Juice in the Box, a designed and patented reusable drink box is the perfect companion to any healthy lunch or snack. It’s safe, BPA and Phthalate free, easy to clean and comes in five beautiful colors – green, orange, pink, red and blue. With Juice in the Box, you can ensure her family is drinking healthy – even when on the move.

A great way to boost your nutrients is with Quinoasure, a 100% instant quinoa powder. New to the U.S, Quinoasure is a great supplement for pregnant, nursing women, babies and children that is made from organic, non-GMO quinoa seeds and is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and prebiotics. I tried this in my smoothies and I loved it’s smooth texture that is also great for first-time eaters as it is a complete protein that is suitable for children’s natural digestive system as well as having antioxidants and Omega Fatty Acids that are similar to mother’s milk.

One of our favorite no sugar added drinks is from good2grow, a line of healthy children’s beverages featuring popular character tops that make these nutritional products fun for kids to drink. My kids loved the collection of tops featuring Minnie Mouse, Monsters Inc, Sponge Bob and more that feature a spill-proof Sippa – making it great for travel and on-the-go adventures. This includes a line of fruit, fruit and vegetable and organic blends of juice – all of which are non-GMO, have no artificial colors, preservatives, or added flavors.

For a sweet treat, we are loving the New – Chips Ahoy! Ice Cream Creations. Featuring fun flavors like Dulce de Leche, Mint Chocolate Chip, Mocha Chunk and Root Beer Float you and your kids will love this classic cookie with its new and flavorful update.

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Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given some samples for review.

Gear Girl: Tableware for Your Tot

Once junior joins you at the table, the real fun (and mess) begins. Fortunately a collection of smartly-designed tableware for tots will keep keep mealtime more manageable. Here are some of our favorite divided plates (lest the chicken touch the peas!) and toddler-friendly silverware.

best dishware for toddlers

Whether it’s keeping peas out of the applesauce or noodles not touching the sauce, these compartmentalized plates and bowls will keep foods separate and easier to scoop.

This plate from Boon Inc is divided (no food touching!), edgeless (nowhere to grab it for a Frisbee-style fling!) and has a non-skid bottom so the plate will (hopefully) stay on the table. How cute is this? SkipHop’s Stay-put Mat + Plate comes with a divided, rotatable, removable plate, a built-in placemat and silverware.

OXO’s Divided Plate has one large section, two smaller ones and a center dipper to give parents a guide for portion sizes of proteins, vegetables and grains. The Divided Plate set from Giggle has a silicone suction base, two compartments and a soft silicone spoon, making it perfect for feeding baby or letting your tot feed herself.

Tommee Tippee’s Section Plate comes with two plates that are BPA-free and safe for use in the microwave or dishwasher. Plus it’s $6. For two of them. Half of getting kids to eat is in the presentation. We used Boon’s Groovy + Modware set from 6 months up to 2 years. It comes with a a plate with two compartments plus two attach-anywhere mini bowls for sauce or sides. We used them for things like ketchup, tzatziki, blueberries, applesauce and chocolate chips. Plus, the set comes an with easy-to-hold spoon and fork.

silverware for babies

Yes, a 6-pack of plastic mini spoons will do you fine, but this silverware goes above and beyond. Here are their hidden superpowers.

Boon’s Adaptable Utensils have a chunky handle for little hands to hold and an ingenious bendable tip since tots aren’t often able to maneuver the spoon to the right angle for their mouth. Fisher Price’s Learn-To-Hold Spoons arrive straight in the package, but have handles that can be bent and twisted into the perfect shape whether you’re feeding baby or baby is feeding baby.

These Munchkin White Hot Safety Spoons are perfect for DIY moms making (and reheating) homemade baby food. If the colored tip turns white, the food is too hot. The Boon Swap Spoons have both a soft and hard tip, helping you transition your new eater to a more experienced connoisseur of pureed peas. Plus they are extra long for getting that list bit out of the jar.

Finally, in case your sound effects alone aren’t selling that bite of broccoli, Air Fork One and Oogaa Baby’s Train Spoon give you the extra visual umph to go along with your best motor attempts.

 PICKmeUP napkins

Another favorite for mealtime is napkins, and our latest favorite is from PICKmeUP napkins where you will discover bright prints with fun and positive sayings like ‘Be Creative,’ ‘Have a Nice Day’ and ‘I Love You’ – among many other fun messages. We also love that the napkins are made of reusable cloth that helps the environment while also making mealtime (a little) neater.

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Family Movie Night with Frozen and KidFresh (and a Giveaway)

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Frozen has struck the hearts of so many families, and ours is no exception. My daughters have become obsessed where we have seen it over 5 times! Now, we just added another time to that number since we recently had the chance to watch it on DVD in the comfort of our own home!

After a busy week I surprised my girls with a viewing of Frozen, and I also gave myself a break by not making the homemade dinners that I do throughout the week by serving something equally as tasty with a collection of meals from kidfresh. As a healthy frozen kids’ meal brand, kidfresh was created by parents for parents with the help of pediatric nutritionists and top chefs, KIDFRESH has grown from its initial concept store in New York City to become a pioneer in all-natural, frozen, healthy kid’s meals that contain hidden vegetables and essential nutrients.

Personally, I love that this includes a line of products that sneaks in veggies like pureed vegetables to their Super Duper Chicken Nuggets, carrots and corn to their Wagon Wheels Mac + Cheese and carrots, sweet potatoes in their Spaghetti Loops + Meat Sauce.

Kidfresh Disney Home Page Artwork

To celebrate the launch of Frozen, kidfresh has collaborated with Disney to promote the release of the Frozen Blu-ray Combo Pack. For this promotion, families will be able to save up to $6.00 when they purchase any two Kidfresh meals and the Frozen Blu-ray Combo Pack, parents can save $5.00 by mail-in rebate. Additionally, you can receive an extra $1.00 off coupon for any two Kidfresh meals will be available at point of purchase in over 2,200 participating retailers. You can also score a $1.00 off coupon by liking them on facebook at Facebook.com/kidfreshfoods.com.

As for the movie, if was, of course a hit and we loved belting out our favorite songs in the comfort of our own home with a full and veggie-filled belly.

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Full Disclosure: Winner must be 18 years or older and a US Resident. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email with the specifics on how to claim their prize. Contest ends 4/1/14 at Midnight EST. Winners will be picked by random.org. By entering this contest, you will automatically be signing up for the Momtrends newsletter.

 

 

 

 

Celebrating National Cereal Day

National Cereal Day

Did you know that today is National Cereal Day. In honor of this simple and healthy breakfast food option, we are sharing some tips on how to celebrate from Nature’s Path as well as some of our favorite products to enjoy a hearty bowl this weekend.

1.       Create a Cereal Bar: Surprise and delight family and friends with a make-your-own cereal bar. It’s simple. Put out large bowls of your favorite cereals, such as EnviroKidz Gorilla Munch for the youngsters and delicious and nutritious granolas and flakes for the whole family, such as Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola or Sunrise Crunchy Vanilla for those who are gluten-free. In smaller bowls, have slices of cut fruit and fun toppings such as dried cranberries, raisins and coconut flakes. Include bowls of Greek yogurt, organic milk or almond milk, fresh juice and you’ll have a celebration that will bowl them over. Here are a few inspirational ideas from CatchMyParty and LittleMissParty.

cereal bar, cereal day

 

cereal themed birthday party

2.       Look outside the bowl and celebrate Cereal Day with muffins made with crunchy, yummy Nature’s Path granola goodness, hot from the oven and bursting with yum.

3.       Use your favorite bowls. To enjoy your cereal we love the new bowls from loaf – especially their breakfast in bed collection where you can relax with your morning cereal. 

4.       Favorite spoons. For spoons, we love the Colored Demitasse Spoons from Sur La Table and the modern horn mixed spoon set from ABC Home.

5.       It’s After School Snack Time or Work Break Munch Madness: dinner is still a long way off but we have the perfect way to celebrate the day and fill them up with good food that is nutritious, delicious and won’t spoil dinner: grab a banana for an infusion of energy and potassium, dip in almond butter for protein goodness then do the cereal roll by dipping the banana/almond butter duo into some of your favorite cereals for crunchy munchy snack-aliciousness.

6.       Cereal for Dinner: Are you one that has the not-so-guilty pleasure of loving cereal for dinner? You can also have a familycereal nighttime celebration with hearty, healthy and oh-so-satisfying squash soup made with Smartbran for smart bodies.

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Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given some samples to celebrate.

Favorite Food Finds

New Food Trends

There are new food items coming out all of the time. I feel so lucky that I have the delicious job of getting to taste test a lot of these products. From healthy deserts to new whole grains, here are a few of my favorites.

Yolato: My girls sure have a sweet tooth and they always request desert after dinner. I try to give them fruit but I have been mixing that up with a delicious new frozen fruit called Yolato. This tasty frozen yogurt is packed with robotics with only 80 calories per bar. This includes delicious flavors like Naturalato, Blueberrato and Pomegranato – all of which are made with natural ingredients, hormone-free milk and live yogurt cultures for a unique and memorable treat that will surely be a favorite this summer.

So Delicious Dairy Free Bars: Another frozen treat favorite for those that are dairy-free is the new frozen bars from Soy Delicious. This includes a line of 80-calorie frozen treat bars that are dairy-free and made with organic coconut milk. This includes a line of three delicious flavors like the simply strawberry, just java and my favorite – fudge. All of the bars are USDA certified and gluten-free that also include an innovative plant-based bio-stick that is made from non-GMO corn – making it compostable and better for the environment.

Vemma NEXT: We just discovered a new way for kids to get their vitamins and minerals with Vemma NEXT including 12 full-spectrum vitamins such as DHA, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Beta carotene, DHA, Quercetin and 14 organic fruits and vegetables! Ideal for kids  ages 2 to 12, Vemma NEXT is a delicious creamy orange flavor and does not contain any preservatives artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Also, parents can feel great about buying Vemma NEXT where for every month’s supply purchased, Vemma will donate a month’s supply to a child in need.

Mott’s New Juice Drinks: We are excited about the latest drinks from Mott’s including their “Fruit Punch Rush,” “Wild Grape Surge,” and “Strawberry Boom.” These new drinks pack a punch in flavor, but they have 40% less sugar than traditional fruit juices, no artificial sweeteners and provide 100% of the Daily Value of Vitamin C as well as one full serving of fruit per cup (Strawberry and Grape – 53% juice content, Fruit Punch 52% juice content) differentiator with majority of juice drinks in 5 – 10% juice.

Blue Diamond Almonds: One of my favorite snacks is Blue Diamond Almonds. This protein-rich snack is packed with vitamin E that also features fun and delicious new flavors like Coffee Almonds, Fruit-Flavored Almonds and the traditional ones like roasted, smokehouse and more.

Nature’s Valley: For grab-and-go quick snacks, we love the new Nature Valley Breakfast BiscuitsMade with real blueberries and honey, Nature Valley Breakfast Biscuits provide a wonderful combination of convenience, great taste and breakfast satisfaction, offering more than 26 grams of whole grain in each four-biscuit serving. Another favorite is the Nature Valley Greek Yogurt Protein Barsa delicious, protein snack option perfect for an active lifestyle, offering a great source of protein while you are on-the-go. Made with real fruit, crunchy peanut and almond pieces, the bars offer 10 grams of protein per serving.

Nature’s Path: We have been fans of Nature’s Path for a long time, and recently they launched a delicious new line of products including the Nature’s Path Q’ia, a product that is made with chia, hemp and buckwheat – providing you with a natural dose of energy to start the day. I love adding the Path Q’ia to yogurt and cereal as well as oatmeal for an added dose of fiber, minerals and antioxidants. I also love the new Nature’s Path Sunrise Crunchy Vanilla  and Whole Os cereal- both of which are gluten-free and packed with fiber!

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Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given some samples for review.

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eating Healthy

It is possible to feed your family healthy meals on a budget.  Here are a few budget friendly healthy eating strategies that will keep your family healthy but not empty your wallet.

Avoid pre-packaged healthy foods and wash and chop your own foods: Our population values a highly convenient lifestyle and this has transitioned into our current food supply.  But the more convenient a healthy food is, the higher the cost, unless you’re buying low-quality foods.  Instead of purchasing pre-washed and chopped produce, cut and wash them yourself at home.  Children of all ages feel empowered when they help in the kitchen, quality time with your kids can be in the kitchen. Challenge yourself to find foods that are in their whole natural state as much as possible, plain oats are cheaper and healthier than the flavored oatmeal packets.  Instead of individual yogurt cartons, purchase a pint or more at a time.  The more individualized and the smaller the package, the more costly they will be.

Look for items that are in season: Finding produce like vegetables and fruits that are in season will always be less expensive than those out of season. Another bonus of foods that are in season is they are at their peak nutritional value. Take your kids to pick berries (or similar produce) by the bucket while in season, you will save money and you can freeze them for later and use them for healthy smoothies for months!

Grow your own herbs: Food has to taste good in order to get your family to enjoy it, but flavor in unhealthy cooking comes from excessive fats, salts and sugars; healthy cooking flavor comes from herbs and spices.  Buying fresh herbs all of the time can be expensive and wasteful if the entire portion is not used.  Growing your own herb garden is a great way to always have flavor on hand for a healthy dish and just picking off what you need will save money and reduce waste.  Children love to watch things grow especially if they helped plant them.

Stick to the nutrition meal basicsCenter meals on vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. Avoid extras like rolls, crackers, or other processed items.  Homemade oven baked chicken strips, carrots and guacamole is a healthy kid friendly base to build a meal and does not contain any processed packaged items.

If you fail to plan you will pay for it.  It’s extremely important to plan a grocery and food budget.  Planning causes us to pack lunches more and eat out less, which is healthier anyway.  Plan your healthy meals for the week so you are able to develop a list and you will avoid unnecessary trips to the store that only end up costing you more money.  This will help you focus at the grocery store and only buy what you are planning on using, avoiding processed junk foods. 

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Tips provided by Dr. Keith Kantor, a leading nutritionist, the author of the books, What Matters and The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice.  He is also the CEO of Service Foods and Green Box Foods.  Additional information on him may be obtained at www.drkeithkantor.com

 

Friday Finds: Favorite New Subscription Boxes

Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes are a great way to receive a fun curated collection of items that is specific to your interests. We love them for the kids and for ourselves where we uncovered some of our favorite finds for this week:

Beauty 5 Box: Beauty fans will love the Beauty Box 5, a new and affordable beauty box sampler. Great for busy moms, you can test out different cosmetic products, beauty accessories and more. This includes 5 cosmetic samples featuring brands that you know and love.

Montubox: For some crafting fun, we love Montubox, a box that is filled with fun, educational, and creative activities for kids ages 4 to 9. Delivered to your doorstep, these boxes revolve around an interesting theme (Weather, Transportation, Space and Planets, Animals, etc) and include activities of top quality brands along with an educational book, all with the convenience of receiving the package at your doorstep.

Nadine West: One of our favorite new fashion boxes is from Nadine West, a free monthly subscription service where you can receive outfits or jewelry such as stylish earrings, bracelets, or necklaces right to your door. They determine what is best for you after you take a quick style quiz. You then get the items for 2 weeks and can decide to keep them or not. This includes on-trend pieces that are $9.99-$29.99 and offer a way for your to mix-and-match based on your unique profile.

Raddish: We love the new Raddish boxes as a way to get families cooking. This monthly themed subscription box is delivered right to your door each month where families will a discover a box that incorporates math, science, nutrition, geography, culture and history. Designed by Samantha Barnes, a teacher who believes the kitchen classroom is the tastiest place to learn families will receive a box that with family friendly recipe guides, skill cards to help families learn culinary basics, creativeactivities, list of required groceries for the meal and an adorable Raddish patch to be ironed-on to the Raddish apron, which comes free with a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription where you can collect a new patch each month! My daughter and I had fun with the recent Raddish box where we made homemade pizza and apple crumble together. She loved designing her apron and creating meals that also includes seasonally relevant concepts such as the Olympics for February 2014 and “Green” for April. A great way to get closer in the kitchen, Raddish also provides the tools for our kids to better understand food and nutrition, which will help them to build a solid foundation for a healthy future.

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Gear Girl: 4 Reasons To Organize Your Recipes Online

How do you organize your recipes? A recipe box of handwritten favorites? Computer folders of typed-up recipes? A binder of magazine tear-outs? Pinterest boards? Digital recipe organizers? Over the years, I’ve gathered a collection of binders and folders and Pinterest boards and bookmarks, but lately I’ve been in the process of moving ALL my recipes into one online system. Here are four reason to consider going digital and some of my favorite systems to use.

Digital Recipe Header1) Never lose a recipe. One of my biggest pet peeves is knowing I have a copy of a recipe somewhere and not being able to find it. With a digital recipe organizer, my neighbor’s carrot cake or grandma’s famous ginger cookie recipe are just a click away. Every time.

2) Search by ingredient. Garden over-grown with tomatoes? Found a great deal on apples at the farmer’s market? Or wondering what else you can make with that container of anchovies you’re buying for Caesar salad? Having your recipes in a digital recipe book lets you search for meals by ingredients whether it’s what you need to use up or a favorite flavor you’re hoping to enjoy.

3) Time-saving tags. I used to organize my binders by food type (beef, chicken, vegetables, etc), but had a friend who organized all her recipes seasonally. A method that I was jealous of come fall and winter when all I wanted to do was see all my cold-weather favorites. With many digital recipe system, you can tag recipes with a variety of key categories. My favorite short rib recipe has a tag for “favorite” and “do ahead” as well as “fall” and “company” tags. So whether I’m looking for a set-it-and-forget-it weeknight dinner or a cold-weather recipe for company, I know I’ll find this recipe.

4) Your recipes, wherever you are. At home, a friend’s house, the farmer’s market or your weekend away with the girls. Wherever you are, having your recipes in a digital format lets you access the steps and ingredients with the touch of a button.

Ready to digitize your delicious recipes? Here are some of my favorite picks for putting your recipes online.

If you want one system for organizing recipes — along with the rest of your lifeEvernote.

best online recipe organizersI’ve recently been switching over all my magazine tear-outs, handwritten hand-me-down recipes and pinned recipes over to Evernote (free). While I love the visual layout of my Pinterest recipe boards, each pin links you to a website – and if that website goes away? So does your access to the recipe. With the Evernote Web Clipper, it is easy to import the complete recipe (with photos and links to the original site) from any website, letting me have access to the recipe even if the website goes belly-up or deletes a recipe. You can also type or scan recipes in. I have a folder called Recipes and dozens of sub-folder like Chicken, Thai, Dessert:Pies, and others. Plus I can label recipes with as many tags as I’d like so it’s easy to find recipes I love for weeknights, summer produce, make-head or potlucks. Evernote does have a special recipe app called Evernote Food, but I just like to use the regular Evernote mainly because I already use it to organize future post ideas, wishlists for the kids, names of wines to try, and a host of other things. One program for all my remembering.

If you’re a stickler for recipe formatting….Paprika.

digital online recipe organizationSure, there are lot of programs that let you import recipes from over the web. And their formatting. If this mixture of layouts drives your inner neat-freak crazy, you might be willing to plop down the cash for Paprika ($19.99 for the Mac app, $4.99 for the iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle and Nook app). Paprika lets you find recipes anywhere on the web and import them with a single click – AND – the recipe will be converted into a uniform formatted version – regardless of the stye or format of the original recipe. You can also add your own recipes, plan meals and create shopping lists from your recipes. Other cool features? Paprika lets you easily re-scale recipe servings for larger or smaller crowds, and for cooking times listed in the recipes (broil for 3 minutes, bake for 1 hour, etc.), you can click on the words in the recipe to start a pop-up timer. Smart.

If you want seamless communication between your recipes, shopping lists and meal plannerZiplist.

online recipe organizersZiplist (free) combines a web-based and  smartphone app-based shopping list along with a recipe box and meal planner. You can find thousands of recipes on Ziplist’s recipe database from popular websites like MarthaStewart.com and Epicurious.com and food bloggers like The Naptime Chef, Weelicious, and one of my personal favs, Alexandra Cooks, as well as recipes added by Ziplist users. You can also add your own recipes with ZipList’s Recipe Clipper bookmarklet or simply type them in. Ziplist not only lets you store your recipes, but lets you meal plan for the week and then easily create shopping lists sent to your smartphone app. Recipes chosen, dinner planned and food shopped for. You for the win!

 What’s your favorite way to organize your recipes?

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