5 Tips to Make Packing Lunches Easier

5 Tips to Make Packing School Lunches Easier on 100 Days of #RealFood

Packing kids’ lunches is a hot topic this time of year, and the reality is, it must be done! Today’s post will give you the tools you need to make packing school lunches easier.

Keep Reading

Real Food Tips: School Lunch FAQs (the answers to all your questions!)

PB Alternatives

When I post my daughters’ “real food” school lunch pictures on Facebook it often provokes a lot of questions. So here – all in one place – are some answers for ya! Now let’s just hope we can get all those with the questions to actually read this post :) If I left out any of the more common ones please let me know in the comments below…I know some of you are just as familiar with these daily school lunch questions as I am!

1) Where do you get those snazzy divided lunch containers? And what does the lunch look like after being tossed all around on the way to school? Don’t the yogurt and applesauce leak into the other compartments?

We actually own quite a few different lunch containers, but I do find myself reaching for our BPA-free Ziplock divided containers most often. And there are two main reasons why – First, each compartment is truly leak-proof therefore liquids will stay put no matter how much the box is tossed around on the way to school, and secondly, they are lightweight and easy to wash and open (okay, I guess that is technically 3 more reasons – but we really like these). Plus at the uber reasonable cost of $5+ for 2 containers they are a great deal!

The divided lunch containers can be purchased at…
– Target (stores only)
– Walmart (online and in stores)

Keep Reading

Real Food Tips: 10 Recipes To Cook With Your Kids

kids in the kitchen

There is no better time than summer break to spend some quality time in the kitchen with your kids. With all the learning our children do when they are off at school a few things they are not being taught are some pretty important household duties like cooking, cleaning, and laundry – just to name a few. In Michael Pollan’s newest book, Cooked, he said himself that [Cooking from scratch] “is the single most important thing we could do as a family to improve our health and general well-being.”

That’s a pretty strong statement – don’t you think? I personally want cooking to be second nature to my girls when it is time for me to send them off into the world, which means I need them to start learning these skills now! It’s no secret that getting your kids in the kitchen – even starting as young as 1 or 2 years old – can lead to many benefits like increased confidence, more adventurous eaters, and quality time together. But it’s also of course no secret that it’s more work for mom and dad to slow down your cooking pace and deal with more of a mess in the process, but I can assure you that it is totally worth it in the end. It does not need to be an every day occurrence …even cooking with your little once only once every week or two will go a long way!

So it’s time for you to schedule a little cooking project with your kid(s) – no matter their age. From toddlers who stir pancake batter to dindergartners who can cook scrambled eggs on the stove (supervised of course) to 8-year-olds who follow and make entire recipes by themselves (we’ve just recently reached this milestone with our oldest daughter) the moral of the story is – better late than never so go in there and get cooking together! :)

Here are my top 10 recipes for sharing the cooking duties with your kids (click the name for the full recipe):

Keep Reading

Real Food Tips: Top 10 Travel Snacks

travel snacks

It’s no secret that we’ve done our fair share of traveling so far this summer. If your family still has some fun trips coming up – whether by car or by plane – below are some snacks that we think are great and easy to take along. Even if you just can’t (or won’t) stick to a real food diet once you get to your destination, I think it’s great to have some items for the road trip there or even to supplement meals once you arrive. What good is a vacation if you feel sluggish (or even sick) from some not-so-great airplane or gas station food? And yes, you can take your own food and empty water bottle through airport security, provided you follow TSA guidelines for anything considered a liquid.*

1) Homemade Trail Mix or Granola
Trail mix is easy enough – just mix together a variety of nuts, seeds, and even dried fruit then divide up into little baggies or reusable containers. Or alternatively bag up some yummy homemade granola cereal that you can just eat dry out of your hand. These options can be an especially filling snack for taking up such little space.

2) Simple Store Bought Fruit & Nut Bars (or homemade!)
For the store bought versions be sure to check the ingredients for a short list of items you are familiar with and would cook with at home. We personally like Lara Bars, Kit’s Organic and Raw Crunch. (Tip use coupon code “100DAYS” for 15% off your online Raw Crunch purchase.) And yes it’s extra work, but I promise the homemade version of dried fruit and nut bars are even better than you could imagine :)

Keep Reading

Real Food Tips: 10 Ways to Be Less Wasteful

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 2.04.01 PM

It has been gradual, but over the last couple years we’ve been making small changes toward reducing waste that have been inspired by the Zero Waste Family – and the fact that after an entire year they only produced one mason jar full of trash. I am the first to admit that we will likely never even come close to such an accomplishment, but I immediately realized we could do much better than a big trash bag full of garbage every few days.

We’ve all heard that we should Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, but my favorite “R” is actually one that I just recently learned about and that is to REFUSE. Say “no, thank you” to the free pen at the trade show or hotel, stop entering those raffle contests, and don’t buy any more cheap plastic toys that you know your child will forget about in 2.4 seconds! Already being a type-A “purger” at heart, this motto has really hit home with me. I strive to have all our rooms and closets clean and neatly organized, but guess what – I would have to spend a lot less of my time doing that cleaning and organizing if we had less unnecessary stuff! So I am doing my best to stop those garbage bags full of unnecessary trash and Goodwill offerings before they even happen.

So in light of this new motto (and Earth Day!) here are 10 ways we’re working to “reduce” our footprint that others can easily adopt. Please share any of your own ideas in the comments below.

1) Ditching paper napkins was something I considered for a long time before I actually did it. Then once we made the switch (and I realized how easy it was!), I couldn’t believe I had waited so long. The first step for me was to clear out a drawer in the kitchen to store our new cloth napkins (they take up a lot more room than a little stack of paper ones). So I finally dedicated a day to getting rid of more unnecessary stuff, ordered some attractive napkins that didn’t appear to hold too many wrinkles (because I knew ironing them was an unrealistic expectation), and came up with a new routine. We decided we didn’t need a “fresh” napkin every single meal so in-between uses we would just hang our new colorful napkins on the back of our chairs. I also created a new spot in the laundry room for the dirty ones that I would just add to a load of laundry as needed. Let me tell you what – this new routine is easy peasy and not only do we save money on not buying paper napkins, but we also enjoy the more “upscale” feel of using real napkins at the table!

Keep Reading

More Picky Eater Tips (+ $140 Giveaway)!

Picky Eater Tips

Winning over your picky eater is no new topic on this blog, but it’s something that many parents continue to struggle with day after day. So this is why I am super excited to share some new healthy eating tips with you straight from two experts in the field (and both sponsors of our blog)! Cai Dixon, co-creator of the Copy-Kids DVD, and Kia Robertson, creator of the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit, have both created award-winning yet simple resources that get kids interested in – and eating! – their fruits and veggies. Both Cai and Kia are fellow moms who feel passionate about helping other parents overcome the typical struggles they face when trying to get their children to eat a varied diet. Be sure to check out the contest details at the bottom because both of them are generously giving away one of their products along with a $100 Whole Foods (or alternate grocery store) gift card!

Keep Reading

Real Food Tips: 10 Highly Processed Foods to Avoid

sugar packets

here are a lot of these “foods to avoid” lists floating around the internet I so was inspired to make a list of my own.
Highly Processed Foods and Ingredients to Avoid:

Artificial ingredients
This includes both synthetic dyes (like FD&C Red No. 40, Tartrazine, or Blue No. 1) and artificial sweeteners (like saccharin, aspartame, or sucralose). When you look at the history of food artificial ingredients haven’t been around all that long, and I don’t know about you, but I am not interested in being the guinea pig here. Plus the fact that artificial dyes require a warning label in many countries outside of the U.S. is enough of a deal breaker for me.
Instead: Look for dyes that come from natural sources (like paprika, saffron, or annatto) or forget the coloring all together (it’s only for aesthetics). When it comes to sweeteners pick those that come from natural sources (like honey, maple syrup, and even sugar) over the artificial stuff, but always consume them in moderation (see #2).sugar packets

Keep Reading