I feel that I should apologize for my silence here on the blog. I've been taking some time to collect some giveaways and have been trying some great products for review. I've also been thinking about the direction I'd like Better Than Broke to take. I am very happy to have people interested and I want to keep that momentum. I have a few posts I am currently working on so look for those soon. Also, please check out the giveaways if you haven't already done so! Check back soon and feel free to send ideas and suggestions. This page is a work in progress :)
I recently had the opportunity to try out some new Bolthouse Farms products. I was already familiar with the company as I already know and love the "Amazing Mango" Fruit Smoothie. I can drink one of the smaller sizes in the morning and I am full. It's especially great when I'm on the run or when it's hot outside and I don't want to eat much.I got a few coupons to try a beverage product and one of the products from Bolthouse Farms salad dressing line so I decided I'd try out something I haven't had before.
I started with the Passion Orange Guava Juice-a new item in their product line. I have to admit that I was lucky I even got a few glasses of this juice because my kids discovered it. They were very excited about trying it as well. They aren't the biggest fans of Guavas so I was pretty surprised when they loved it because that was the first thing I tasted. I must admit that I didn't love it quite as much as I love the Amazing Mango, but then if you put any other fruit up against a mango, mango usually will come out on top. ;) Overall, it was a delicious juice that had alot of flavor that I would absolutely buy again.
I also wanted to try the Raspberry Merlot Vinaigrette but I had a difficult time finding the Bolthouse Farms dressings in my local stores. I ended up settling on theClassic Ranch Creamy Yogurt Dressing. I generally don't use a creamy dressing, but I did enjoy it. It had a great flavor that I think also works well for a dip. It even got picky eater approval ;) as a great "dipping sauce." I imagine that I had a hard time finding them because they are still new, but I look forward to trying some of the other varieties.
If you're interested in trying Bolthouse Farms out for yourself, check out the Giveaway Page for a chance to win a Beverage Product and Salad Dressing or Click Here! See Giveaway Info page if you have any questions. Giveaway ends Friday, April 1, 2011 at 11:59pm EST.
I went grocery shopping maybe 3 days ago. In addition to whatever I was picking up for dinner that night, I also bought a bag of apples, and a container each of strawberries and raspberries for my kids' lunches. This morning I realized there is 1 apple and only a few of each berry left. I almost complained and got upset that they blew through the fruit so fast, but then I stopped myself. How can I possibly complain that my kids are choosing to eat the healthy foods on their own? I can't. I would absolutely prefer them to sneak into refrigerator the fruit than to sneak into the pantry for chips.
Kids love junk food. and mine are no exception. If I stocked my pantry with unhealthy food, I bet you can guess what they'd eat. I knew that there are ways to change your children's lunches and after school snacks without starting World War III. I remembered that when I was pregnant the only craving that I had was sugar, but instead of hitting the junk food isle of the supermarket, I hit the produce section. This is how I changed the lunchboxes and after school snacks in my house.
I spoke to the kids about my desire for them to eat healthier lunches. On the first trip to the grocery store that followed our discussion, I let them pick out some of the fruits that they enjoyed. You'd be surprised to find out all the healthy things your children already like. I also purchased a set of small food containers that hold only a few ounces each. This was because I wanted to do away with Ziploc baggies that just get tossed in the trash and also because I needed something that would protect fruit like raspberries from being squished and subsequently spilled all over the rest of their lunch. This is also a good portion regulator. I didn't want to throw the kids into something 100% different so I agreed to one "unhealthy" snack provided they use the containers. This makes it so that even if they take cookies it's only 2. I should also say that every effort is made to only buy products for them if I can understand the ingredients without use of a dictionary.
I have 2 kids with a 4 year age gap. They are pretty great when they aren't waking me up in the morning screaming at each other. I've been lucky with them in that they have always been pretty great eaters, so the transition was pretty easy. I've always been able to get them to at least try new things knowing they won't love everything they eat. Since they aren't going to be in charge of themselves for at least another 8-10 years, I also don't give them a choice.
Born to a Puerto Rican father and a Czech mother who grew up in Brazil and into a navy family, I was destined to try new foods. With that said, I'm pretty positive that I was a picky eater (at least in part) too. I would order spaghetti when everyone else was ordering slices of pizza. On the soccer field, I had bananas when the rest of my team was eating oranges. What kid these days doesn't like pizza?! On the other hand, I remember eating sushi when kids still thought sushi was disgusting. Kids change. I grew out of my pickiness and I have known many adults that have done the same.
I've been vegetarian for 16 years (vegan at times) and at one time or another, my husband and children have joined in as well. Needless to say we probably do more vegetables in my house than many other families I know. Despite the fact that being vegetarian limits my ability to try everything, I love trying foods I've never had. I think the best thing anyone can do is expose not only your kids, but also yourself to as much of a variety as you can. You never know what you will end up liking.
I didn't start this post with the intention to be about picky eaters and I do realize that every situation is different. It was meant to be a comment merely about the eating habits of my own kids who like many others would come home from school and choose junk food for snack. The moral of the story is that kids are creatures of habit, it's up to us to change the habits we don't like. If your child is picky eater, keep trying. Things change. Just don't forget that you are in charge ;) Oh, and don't complain if you find that the fruit you're buying is getting eaten it a little faster than your wallet would like.
Here are a few great resources for printable coupons. A full list can be found on the coupon page of the blog. I will continue to add to the list as I find more sources. Please let me know if I miss one and I'll add it to the list!
$0.50/1 Odwalla Juice
$1/1 Kashi Berry Blossom Cereal
$1/1 Kashi TLC Soft Baked Cereal Bar
$1/1 SO Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage
Right now on Amazon.com you can pick up 100 mp3 albums for only $5! I love this deal because you can get a great albums for a low price and it's eco friendly because there is no packaging (although you are able to burn a copy once you download it).
Trees are starting to bud. Daffodils are starting to sprout. I've even hung out my hammock-although I still can't use it everyday. All this makes me long for fresh veggies and visits to the farmer's market-better yet, I can't wait to get my own garden growing again! That got me thinking about all the amazing options I have. I could spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on seeds and plants, but I don't really have that right now. I imagine I'm not the only one that is thinking the same thing, so I decided to get in touch with The Dinner Garden who I have followed on Facebook for quite awhile now.
If you haven't heard of the Dinner Garden, I strongly encourage you to check them out. They are a great non-profit organization whose goal is to help people (especially those who may not otherwise be able to afford it) grow their own vegetables. To accomplish this, they have distributors in many states that you can get free seeds from. If they don't have one near you, you can contact them directly. They also have a wealth of information on their website including recipes, gardening info, and even activities for kids. More importantly, there is also a place to donate to their cause. This isn't a post all about raising money, but I feel it's important to at least mention. Although they are doing this out of the goodness of their heart, it still cost money to ship the seeds to you. I'd encourage anyone that receives seeds to at least donate $1. Any little bit helps, right?
So...in addition to all this information about this great organization, I am happy to say that I have received about 25 seed packets from them to give to all of you! I'm keeping one for myself though to put in my own garden. :)
Want to know what goodies are in store if you if you request seeds from me? Well here's what you get:
Heirloom Sweet Bell Peppers (Yellow, Red, Chocolate)
If you liked my recipe for the Caprese Style Veggie Burger, you'll love this!! Here's a chance to make your own for a minimal amount. I am giving away a complimentary coupon (yes, that means your product will be completely free!) to 3 winners. These coupons are actually good for any Lightlife product so check out their website for the full product list if you want to try something new.
I'll leave this giveaway up for a week and it's open to everyone in the US, so share it with your friends!