Thursday, August 20, 2009

ABC and 123 Snacks

The picnic table talk this week, over at ABC and 123, is all about snacks. The questions are: What easy snacks do you pack for your family? What nutritious snacks do your children most enjoy? Do you have any creative tricks for encouraging healthy snacking in your home? What do you use to pack your snacks in? Does your child's school have specific requirements for healthy snacks?

Unfortunately, I don't have anything too creative...but this is what it's like around here:

Their favorite snacks might be frozen fruit. Definitely any frozen fruit, but there is also almost always a bowl of frozen grapes or sliced bananas in our freezer. These are Ryan's favorite snacks, too. He's always bummed when he gets home, and the grapes or bananas he put in there are gone. There are never enough frozen grapes and bananas around here. I, however, prefer my fruit room temperature. :)

The kids like to use straws for their yogurt (she's slurping up coconut milk yogurt here) and applesauce cups. I got this tip from Tornado's OT. I don't know if she does it for oral motor purposes or because of the mess, but it's definitely less messy. We use any straws, but it's helpful to use these straws out of their stainless steel Thermos cups because they are fatter.

Speaking of straws, we love our new stainless steel straws that I got in NYC; I won't ever have to buy plastic straws again, which is great because we went through a lot of them. I still want to try the glass straws, too; they are fatter, also, probably easier to clean, and supposedly very durable.

We love our green smoothies and popcicles around here. I originally posted about them here.
I used to have to sneak the kale or spinach in because of my pickiest eater, Dash. Now he knows he loves them so much, it doesn't phase him to help add the greens himself. Just add juice and frozen fruit, bananas, etc., and it doesn't have a strong green taste. This was actually the first time I made them in ice cube trays with craft sticks (and the sticks stood up on their own because the smoothie mixture was so thick). I thought about doing it after I read Annette's yummy-looking post at Live, Love, and Learn. (I still need to order new popcicle molds because we go through them too fast, and I don't have enough . I've been sort of holding out hope these stainless steel molds would be available soon.)

We get a lot of inspiration, such as the green smoothies, from
Green and Crunchy's blog. She also gave us the idea for Earth Balls, which I wrote about here. They are made from nuts and dates, plus anything you want to add, such as coconut, seeds, goji berries, dried cranberries, etc.

Another way the kids like to eat their meals and snacks is out of measuring cups. (The only problem is: I'm often out of measuring cups when I need them to actually measure. I recently picked up a new set, though.) They're the perfect sizes to fit little snacks and even their oatmeal for breakfast, and they have the little handle, perfect to help them carry one across the room.

Last, here are a few of their favorite snacks-on-the-go.

I've written before about my love for Sea's Gift seaweed paper. I know it sounds weird, but Ryan and I think it's yummy (think salty), and the kids love it, too. They sometimes call it "seaweed," but they mostly call it "paper." It's very cute to hear Sissy ask for, "More paper."

Clif Kid Twisted Fruit

...and Veggie Booty.

They especially like to eat these because they get to sing their version of the song, "Shake Your Booty."

(Shake your booty...Pirate booty...)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend Ride

This weekend we headed north for a family get-together (more on that later). Ryan got up around 6 a.m. (while we were all still sleeping) and took off on his bike. The plan was for me to get up and get the kids ready/car packed and pick him up along the way. We got to try out our cool, new bike/luggage rack.

We planned to meet at Leslie, Arkansas, which is about an hour away. However, he was too fast for us. My Mom and Dad were ahead of us, and Mom called me to say he was not in Leslie. I think she was getting worried because there were segments of highway with little or no shoulder. We all thought it helped make the trip go by faster. Like - "Where's Ryan?" They finally passed him in Marshall and actually stopped and handed him a drink. We finally caught up with him, and the kids and I got out to greet him. We cheered and clapped (a little cat-calling from me) as he made it up the mountain.

Isn't my hubby a total hottie? I was so proud of him. He wasn't even huffing and puffing - as I would have been after just riding up that one mountain, let alone also riding 81 miles (a very hilly 81 miles). I huff and puff on the slightest incline, and I have to raise my body up to give it all I've got when pedaling. It's really nothing for him, as he's ridden over 220 miles at once before.

And then he got a little help cooling off. I think it's so great for the kids to see him doing things like this. It's easy to become sedentary (tired!), and clearly we all can't ride up mountains on a bike, but I think it's important for all parents to push themselves and work toward goals (no matter what genre they are - physical/educational/spiritual/musical, etc.). Not just for ourselves, but for the sake of being inspiration/examples to our children. I know the kids are proud of their daddy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Canoe Boats & Moo Clucks

Today we got a little box delivered from Pangea. Receiving packages in the mail of any kind makes for a great day...and especially if they are filled with vegan treats. We had a little "cheese" tasting with three different kinds of cheeses. (More on that later.)

We also tried out the vanilla canoe boat snack cakes, a vegan version of Twinkies. And they also split a Moo-Cluck Creme-Filled Cupcake. No complaints here. I only had a tiny bite or two of each, just to try them, because I am on a serious diet. Seriously. It's not pretty around here these days. I've mysteriously (disregard pictures of vacation meals) gained ten pounds in the last year. And it mysteriously won't go away. Wish me luck.

creme filling...

"Cake" is not generally my first choice for dessert, unless it has lots of frosting (I'm like the kids at birthday parties who only want to eat the icing off the top.) or layers of something creamy or chocolate-y inside. Mission accomplished with each of these.

"I don't know which one to pick because both of them is so good."

Those were the exact words out of Dash's mouth. Tornado chose the vanilla, as I knew he would. If it seems like we're being weird, excited about a "Twinkie," we don't ever eat these kinds of things. We save it up so we can get really excited!

the aftermath...picture doesn't really do it justice