Make it Pretty for Earth Day + Kids Konserve Giveaway

I buy plates and cute cups like some people buy shoes! (OK, I buy shoes like that too) My husband and I do many food shoots and I am always on the hunt for new props. I can’t keep my hands off  those cute playful serving vessels, I do try to buy recyclable items as much as possible. My cupboards are busting (to my husband's dismay) with stacked colorful plates, bowls, napkins and even the occasional coconut shell or bamboo plate.  But in real life I try to reuse as many containers as I can.  I like fun food and so do kids, they love to imagine and play and it doesn't stop at mealtime.  If you are trying to get your kids to eat healthier, it can be a frustrating challenge. Starting with snacks can ease the pain, get them eating better in small doses. Once the snacks are more wholesome then you can work on mealtime. Kids are much more likely to be interested in a fun presentation of a food even if they may not have been a fan of it in the past.  Any change for kids can be tough but making it fun can make a world of difference. You can get your kids to make a world of difference by re using containers you already have. Reusing containers in a great way to stay conscious about how much trash we are tossing. Ditch the paper plates and cups and please do away with plastic forks and spoons. If you need some good ideas for no waste lunches click here
I have a great giveaway, this super reusable lunch bag and containers from Kids Konserve!! Read below to find out how to enter.

  • ·      Take everyday foods and cut them in new ways. Instead of giving a granola bar in the wrapper, unwrap it and cut it lengthwise for something different.
  • ·      Serve salad in a cup, stand up the baby Romaine leaves and cut everything in sticks
  • ·      Slice quiche in small triangles and insert fun playful toothpicks for eating. 
  • ·      Use an ice cream scoop for rice, or even veggie lasagna!  

Make it different, change it up and think out of the box. Snack time is a fun time to try new food ideas, it fast and uncomplicated. Moving to healthier foods at snack time can be tough, so put the emphasis on adding new foods not on taking away foods. Start with fruit to replace sugary bars and nuts to replace chips.  Keep the crunch, kids love crunch it is very satisfying.  Try fun snacks you may have not noticed in the store before, check the natural section.  Have fun and look around the house for new ways to serve up snacks to your kids.

See what you have in your cabinet to serve in and see what kind of healthy snacks can go in to them in fun exciting ways. Have your kids help find containers to hold the snacks.


   Clean votive candle holders
   Shot glasses
   Mason jars
   Use clean-take out containers
   Wrap snacks in parchment paper  and tie with a bow
   Cut a circle from a paper bag and make a cone shape for holding snacks
   Make a boat shape from aluminum foil
   Small Tupperware containers, are good for serving
   Large deep lids are good to serve in too
   Use doilies left over from Valentine's Day
   Cut wrapping paper in to squares for a makeshift place mat

Our winner is The Family Chef!

To win the Kids Konserve Lunch bag:
Tell me what creative ideas you have come up with for your children's lunches or what you thought of while reading this post?

Follow my blog or or join me on  The Toddler Cafe Facebook page but leave a comment here telling me you did!  
I will do a drawing on Saturday April 30th at 12:00 PM using Random.org you will receive your gift within three weeks.
Please make sure your profile is public or leave your email address in your comment or I won't be able to find you!!

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Apple Stuffin’ Muffins

Mini muffins with a strawberry and mint leaf in place of real leaves

Besides driving, working and entertaining, parents are always running right alongside their toddlers: making meals, doing dishes, and trying to keep everyone from getting grumpy.  The best way I have found to offset the constant running in circles is to be prepared with nutritious snacks.   I promise you that these are so quick and easy that you will WANT to make them, instead of feeling like it’s yet another chore.
This is a really flexible recipe.  You can change ingredients here and there and still get great results.  Add a small dot of cream cheese on top for more protein, or leave out the butter or replace it with a vegetable based non-hydrogenated margarine.  These muffins are extremely forgiving, so get to it and make a batch now your kids will thank you!  What are your kid's favorite healthy afternoon snack?

 Apple Stuffin’ Muffins
Makes 24 mini muffins
Here’s a great after-school snack for a hungry kid or any other member of your family. These are perfectly sweet with a strong apple flavor when you use homemade applesauce.  The better the apple sauce the more flavor the muffins will have. No time for making applesauce, add diced fresh apple to the recipe for a stronger flavor.

3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)
3 tbs butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup fresh applesauce 
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
Optional. 1/2 apple peeled and chopped very small

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl, set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter on high for about 30 seconds; add sugar, applesauce, egg and salt to bowl.  Mix well.
Pour the apple mixture over the flour mixture.
Gently stir in the flour until just incorporated, do not over mix.

Fill the muffin tins about half full with batter.
Bake for 8-9 minutes for mini muffins.
Note: For 6 standard size muffins bake 15 minutes

For evenly sized muffins, a mini cookie scoop works wonders, get one at your baking supply or craft store.

Optional Add-ins:
Small shredded carrot or zucchini, currants, chopped dates, flax seeds, quick oats, peanut butter, diced banana, shredded cheddar cheese

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Our Whole Family Reviews The Whole Family Cookbook

My husband and I have been supporting Michelle since she told me she wanted to do a book. She has been so super supportive of me and all my projects so now it is her turn to soak it in. It finally happened a book was born and we got to be a big part of the making of it! Matthew photographed and I styled the recipes and we had a great time doing it. When you get two Jewish girls who love food together how can you NOT have a good time?  

I wanted to do a review of this book but since it is really for kids we decided our daughter would do a great job.
Claire decided on the Baked Apple Puff recipe because she loves apples and most of it was at her skill level. You could have it for breakfast for breakfast dessert, which is what we did. You have to have breakfast dessert on Sunday, it's law.  It would be delicious along with some pork chops and a salad for dinner too.
In the book each task is notated with a color code to make sure the task is age appropriate, we loved this feature.  We also loved how the book was easy to read and had lots of hints and eco tips.
We shot this video very off the cuff on a Sunday morning and Claire is quite taken with seeing herself in the camera.  (notice staring child) You may notice the video is a bit long, that is due to my lack of video editing skills, I know know that there is a learning curve!!  Watch our video to the end because there are some dancing monkeys you won't want to miss.  Next we are going to make the Nutella Lace Cookies, but not for breakfast or even breakfast dessert!
Enjoy our video review and leave a comment answering my question below to win a copy of The Whole Family Cookbook! 
What are your children's favorite tasks to do your kitchen?
Follow my blog or leave a comment here to win The Whole family Cookbook for your family.
I will do a drawing on Saturday April 16th at 12:00 PM using Random.org you will receive your book within three weeks.
Please make sure your profile is public or leave your email address in your comment or I won't be able to find you!!
Now the disclaimer...I didn't clean up for you all, yes I invited you in to my house and did not tidy up!
Avert your eyes from the mess I totally forgot that you would be seeing all the parts of my kitchen. (oops)

Winner is:

Krista said...

hah! great video. this cookbook looks great, we would love to have a resource like this around!


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