Tag Archives: healthy eating

Copy Kids Really DO Eat Fruits and Vegetables! DVD Giveaway {Ends 2/10}

Since the day I got that first pink line, my goal was to make sure my child was familiar with lots of different fruits and vegetables. I loved them as a kid, and I had high hopes that he would, too. And he always has.

So, imagine my surprise the other night when he looked at me, squinched his nose in disgust, and said, “No, Mommy. I don’t want that healthy thing on my plate!”

It was an avocado. One of his very first foods.

Knife. Heart.

I was completely floored. So this week, as I wandered the produce department while grocery shopping, contemplating this new development, I remembered a DVD I had at home. It’s called Copy Kids Eat Fruits and Vegetables, and its main purpose is to show kids enjoying their fruits and veggies in the hope of getting your kids to do the same. Pretty simple, right? Kids, unscripted, eating healthy things and having fun.

Simple? Sure. But effective? I was ready to find out.

The DVD is split into 12 yummy chapters, each focusing on a different fruit or vegetable (Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, Carrots, Avocado, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Oranges, Bananas, Raspberries, Strawberries, Apples & Blueberries.) We have NO problem with fruits, but since there is a chapter devoted to avocado, I tossed one into the cart, along with a cucumber, and headed home.

Let me preface this by saying that I was a bit skeptical.

Could something so simple possibly work? Did I really want my son doing anything just because he saw other kids doing it? Doesn’t that go against the way I parent him? Using peer pressure for good instead of evil is still allowing your behavior to be influenced by the masses, isn’t it? Would I actually be happy if my son followed along just because the kids on TV were doing it?

Then I told myself to shut up, and I gave him an avocado and a spoon, and sat him in front of the TV.

The children appeared on the screen, and they ate. One at a time, they smiled, laughed, took bites, and had fun. And you know what? Within minutes, he was scooping up his avocado, too. What!? Yup. It seemed to work. The cucumbers, too (and he’s usually pretty lukewarm about those.)

My husband hid in the kitchen and I caught him peering out, curious to see if there was any merit at all to this method. The look on his face was pretty funny when he saw that it did, in fact, work…and work well.

Our little man even got a little riled up and silly watching the other kids. See how he can stick his face in the avocado and eat like a puppy! :) Goofball.

After we watched the parts we really needed, he said “Mommy! I want the tomato one!” then proceeded to get really mad at me because we didn’t have a tomato. Same for the broccoli, and the carrot. So I made them for dinner…and now they’re in his belly. Mama <– happy. (But it’s highly suggested to have an array of fruits and veggies on hand for viewing. If your kid wants to go on a veg bender, you should probably be prepared.)

Now, in this case, we’re talking about a child who has always been really good about eating his veggies. And fruit? Well, I have to limit him, actually, or he’d eat nothing else. But I’m willing to go out on a limb here and suggest Copy Kids to any parent who might be concerned about their child’s pickiness at the table.

Why Copy Kids Eat Fruits and Vegetables  just might get your kids hooked on fruits and veggies:

  • It’s produced for children ages 6 months to 5 years, which are key ages for developing healthy eating habits.
  • The DVD project was inspired by a real mom, Cai Dixon, and her real child, Bella, who was hesitant to try new things…until she saw other kids doing it. A simple concept that proved to be quite effective.
  • Copy Kids is endorsed by renowned Dr. Jay Gordon, MD, and approved by the USDA. The DVD has since been added to their Education and Training Materials Database for pre-school nutrition.
  • Copy Kids is the recipient of three childhood excellence awards, including PTPA (Parent Tested, Parent Approved.)
And, there are more DVDs to come! The folks at Copy-Kids Media are using the same successful approach to teach kids about brushing teeth, exercise, tying shoes, and more!
The biggest surprise? My son has wanted to watch Copy Kids Eat Fruit and Vegetables again and again! He calls it his “snack movie” and he seems to really enjoy it. I guess I’d better go shopping… :)

Learn more:

See what the folks at Copy-Kids Media are doing by visiting their website, or following them on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Buy it!

The DVD (115 min. running time)  is available for $19.95 at Copy-kids.com

Win it!

Enter to win your own copy using the easy Rafflecopter form below! US only. Contest ends 2/10.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Filed under Baby Guide, giveaways, Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews, Uncategorized

My Top 5 Fall and Winter Wellness Goals

Thanks to Walgreens for sponsoring my writing. Help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote.

Fall and Winter Wellness Goals

I used to love fall. The colorful landscape, the aromas of cinnamon and spice, the cool, crisp air.

But this year, fall feels a little different to me. We moved into our new house with the loftiest of goals – to garden on our new land, be more self-sufficient and sustainable, and eat the healthiest food we can while instilling a love of the earth and appreciation for all things homegrown. But, we’ve had nothing but problems since we moved in, and my beloved spring seems so far away. With my long commute to work, the impending winter seems insurmountable and I’m finding that I really just want to bury my head in a box of doughnuts.

But, for fear of emerging in the long-awaited spring actually looking like a doughnut (which I’m kind of starting to feel like already…) I’ve decided that we need to get creative, refocused, reinspired–and my husband is totally on board. We need to rededicate ourselves to a life of good health, and this is how we’re going to do it:

1. Focus more on a plant-based diet. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it a million times over: veggie, veggie, veggie! It’s just easy to fall off the wagon after missing this year’s garden, living in limbo for months waiting to move, and then going another month without a fridge. :mad:  I’m sad that we weren’t able to can this year’s crop, but until next year, we take advantage of what is fresh and abundant now! Pumpkins, kale, turnips, lots of bumpy, thick-skinned squash, beets, parsnips…all the good things fall and winter have to offer will remind me why the colder weather isn’t so bad after all. :) (And why I adore recipes like this one…)

2. Prioritize mealtime. As a full-time career mom, blogger, and overall “take-on-too-much-stuff” kind of personality, I’m always overwhelmed and busy. But, studies show that families that make the time to sit down to a family meal on a regular basis benefit in tons of ways, from better communication to better behavior and grades in school. I may not pull it off every day, but the goal is 4 times a week. Homecooked, at home. It’s good for the body, but even better for your family bond.

3. Speaking of family bond, we’ve got to keep our eye on the prize for next year. 2012 will be our year. The year of the big garden. The year of canning and preserving. The year of really getting our son out in the soil, digging and planting and understanding where his food comes from, what it looks like from the earth, and how it helps him grow big and strong. So we’ll spend the next few months planning and getting the whole family hyped up. Being creative and cultivating ideas will keep us motivated and sharp for when it’s time to spring into action early next year!

4. Sleep. There’s really no need to elaborate here – sleep is vital to good health, and far too many of us get far too little of it. I need to change that, and you probably do, too!

5. Move! This one is a toughy. Having no time to exercise sounds like an excuse, but sometimes it really is a valid reason. But even so, it’s a problem that needs to be fixed. So, it’s time to send these sedentary past few weeks packing and get back to business. That sleep thing I mentioned? It goes hand in hand with exercise–the more you move, the more energy you have!  Since I have a nearly-2-year-old, I plan to harness that unyielding energy for good instead of evil, and get him to move with me! Some days, that will mean running with the jog stroller. Others, it may simply mean a jump jivin’ silly dance party in the living room. But hey, what good is living out in the country if you can’t make a fool out of yourself with the window wide open? :lol:

So there you have it. My top 5 goals for how I’m going to focus on family wellness over the coming months. How will you keep wellness top of mind in your household? I’d love to know!


Don’t forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

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Filed under Green Living, Parenting & Family, The Everyday, Uncategorized

Hungry Toddler Hop #2

I think we’re all pretty much in agreement that toddlers love:

  • food that comes in fun shapes
  • food that comes in fun colors
  • food they can DIP!

So, we should agree that they should probably love this Red Lentil Dal recipe with pita triangles and grape tomatoes, right? ;)

It’s a hit in my house! Try it in yours and let me know what you think! (Bonus: only one pan to clean up!)

I found this recipe at Vegetarian Times. Find it HERE.


Food is fun, right? Help us spread the word!

I invite you to link up your favorite toddler-food-related post (old or new) – lots of toddler moms want to hear from you! (Tell your friends, too!)

There are no real “rules” to this hop, but I do have a few small requests:

  • If you are able, please grab the code below and post it so your readers can hop from one blog to the next.
  • Please try to keep a “healthy” focus:) If you don’t have a healthy recipe, tips and helpful hints on making mealtime easier, productive or more fun are welcome!
  • Please follow and comment freely as you hop. We all like new followers!
  • I can’t tweet or promote from work, so please hit the share buttons below so we can all get lots of fun new recipes!

Bon appetit, little ones!

Linky will remain open until midnight on Tuesday, August 9th.




Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food

I’m craving dirt!

No, I don’t want to eat it, silly. :roll:

I want to dig in it!

Spring just didn’t feel like spring without our garden this year, and I’m thinking summer is going feel a little empty, too. With my husband in overtime, my work picking up, and our family getting ready to move in a few weeks, we decided not to put the usual focus on our garden.

It’s tough. When you love to garden, it can become much more than just a hobby. It’s a way of life. A way to feed your family, alleviate stress, feel productive, save the world. OK, so maybe I’m exaggerating. But only a little.

But as much as we both identify as gardening folk, we just didn’t see the point of planting what we usually plant this year. I wouldn’t mind so much if we had to leave some veggies for whoever may end up buying our house, but that’s a lot of time to devote to something that doesn’t bear real fruit for us. Time is a hot commodity these days, and we have to use it efficiently.

So in a few weeks we’ll be packing up and moving onto our new 6-acre lot, and there will be lots of gardening to go around. The herb garden taking shape in my head is just stellar. But until then, it just feels a sad to be missing our buds and shoots and blooms and baby veggies.

What’s our solution?

Well, we have two.

The first thing we’re doing is caring for a few choice plants that will help us feel “gardeny” while allowing our son some of the learning experiences we’re just not willing to let him miss. At 19 months, this is the perfect time to get him interested, so we did plant one little tomato plant for him, along with the dill volunteers from last year. (I even got a dilly bouquet today!) and a little spinach.

But the real star of the show is Little Man’s strawberry plant.

One potted plant, kept by the front walk. Every day when he gets home, he inspects it for new berries, which we allow him to pick (only if they’re red!) and pop into his mouth. He then fills up his tot-sized watering can and gives the plant a drink so it can grow more berries for tomorrow. Watching my son tend to his plant and snack on fresh berries, warm from the sun, is quite possibly on of the most gratifying experiences of my entire life. And nope, I’m not even exaggerating this time. :)

The other thing we’re doing to get us through this sparse year is exploring more local markets. We tend to miss them because we are too busy, or because we don’t need to buy more than we grow. But this year, we’re taking time when we can, as a family, to find out where the good local stuff is, and we plan to call and schedule tours at a few local farms in the next few months, too. I’m betting we find some real gems that we never would have found in a normal year, and we get to do our part to support our community farmers. It’s good karma, after all…you never know when we might be among them. ;)

This week, our local farmstand finds included blueberries, strawberries, cucumbers and green tomatoes. Can you tell they were a hit?




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Filed under Green Living, Home & Garden, Parenting & Family

Mommy and Me Spinach Mozzarella Bites

My little man is definitely a veggie eater, and I couldn’t be happier. But I’ll admit I’ve been lacking in the creativity department lately. A little boy can only be expected to eat so many lentils and sweet potatoes. So, I challenged myself to find a way to get more greens in that sweet little tummy…the result? Mommy and Me Spinach Mozzarella Bites!

I’m really excited about this recipe for a few reasons. First, it’s super easy to make, and loaded with fresh spinach. It’s also toddler-friendly without being messy. We barely even had to wash hands after these! And, given that we always have extra spinach from our garden during the growing season, these are an easy way to use it up without having spinach salad every. single. day.

(Please note: I’m sure there are other similar recipes out on the web. This one was simply born from the ingredients that happen to be on hand in my kitchen. :) All ingredients are estimated, so you may need to tweak to suit your tastes.)

Mommy and Me Spinach Mozzarella Bites

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed
  • 1/2 cup Organic Valley shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Organic Valley egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (use panko, whole wheat, seasoned or whatever you may have on hand.)
  • 1 dash salt (or omit if you prefer)
  • 1 dash garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. (I used a baking stone, which I highly recommend for even baking.)

Chop spinach in food processor, or finely chop by hand. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix well. Form into patties of desired size (we chose slightly larger than silver dollar size.) If patties do not stick together, add more bread crumbs until mixture seems a little more solid.

Bake 6 minutes on one side; turn, bake 6 minutes on the other side until lightly browned. (Cook times may vary slightly due to oven variations.)

Remove from oven and serve.

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, with a yummy toasted cheese flavor. And perfect for little fingers!

Wondering why I included them as a “Mommy and Me” recipe? Because they are terrific floating on top of a bowl of soup! I will definitely be packing a few of these in my lunchbox. Mommy needs her greens, too, right?

My little man gobbled down 5 of these while they were still warm from the oven. Can you tell they were a hit? ;)

How do you get your kids to eat more greens?


Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food