Scaffolding for Your Picky Eater

This is a guest post written by Anna Lutz, MPH, RD, LDN, CEDRD.

Do you have a picky eater? As a parent, this can bring up frustration, worry and even anger at times. Understanding about parenting styles and childhood development can help us have the tools to assist our child in expanding what they eat.

Picky eater

Authoritarian vs. Permission Parenting Styles

We know being authoritarian with feeding, telling a child they have to eat certain foods, doesn’t help children expand their variety, and often backfires. An example of this is telling a child that they “must clean their plate.” The opposite of an authoritarian feeding style, as described by Ellyn Satter, is a permissive one. A permissive feeding style may be short order cooking or allowing a child to eat anytime, anywhere. It’s common, when a parent is concerned about their child’s eating, that they go back and forth between these two approaches. Although it’s a natural reaction to being worried about a child’s eating, engaging in these two feeding styles doesn’t support the child in progressing in their eating. The middle ground is authoritative parenting style. In feeding, this is providing structure for meals and snacks for a child.

Childhood Development Theory

So much of nutrition and feeding advice is not based in the theories and understanding of childhood development. Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development is one of many childhood development theories. The Zone of Proximal Development is defined to be the “distance between the most difficult task a child can do alone and the most difficult task the child can do with help.” Children can learn on the outer edge of their Zone of Proximal Development with “scaffolding” or assistance from teachers, peers or parents.

As parents, it’s important to provide the structure, or “scaffolding,” so that the child can expand their eating skills.

Structure or “Scaffolding” for Your Picky Eater

Here are some examples of how a parent can provide structure or “scaffolding” with food:

scaffolding for picky eaters
  • Establish times of meals and snacks so that the child arrives at meal and snack times hungry, but not starving.

  • Decide what is offered at meals and snacks, and not short order cooking.

  • Offer avenues to try new foods – a familiar sauce or dip for the child to have with a less familiar food.

  • Provide a child an opportunity to explore a food in different ways. This may include smelling it, licking it, kissing it, rubbing it on their lips and allowing them to spit it out, if they choose. If this isn’t accepted meal time behavior, you could experiment at a non-eating time.

  • Decrease anxiety at meal time by allowing a child to serve their own plate and having a familiar food on the table.

  • Serve combination meals, like a taco bowl or salad, “deconstructed” so that the child can try the meal with the ingredients of their choosing.

  • Not always serving the item “made to order.” For example, a child may prefer cheese quesadillas, but one night you may decide to put black beans or some chicken in everyone’s quesadilla. Or making a pizza for the whole family and having the child “pick off” what they choose not to eat.

  • When out to eat, ask a child to pick something unique to that restaurant, rather than defaulting to the kids menu of acceptable foods. For example, picking a Asian dish at a Asian restaurant, rather than mac ‘n cheese.

  • Ask a child to help you prepare an unfamiliar food.

  • Prepare an unfamiliar food in a familiar way. For example, serve breaded fish sticks, as a bridge to eating fish in other ways.

  • Eating well is like any other developmental task. Children will approach it in their own way, and as parents it’s our job to support them in making small steps forward. We can’t make them eat a variety of food, but we can provide them with support and assist them in making progress towards eating competence.

-Anna Lutz, MPH, RD, LDN, CEDRD

Anna Lutz is a mom of 3 and a Registered Dietitian with Lutz, Alexander & Assoc. Nutrition Therapy in Raleigh, NC. She specializes in eating disorders and pediatric/family nutrition. Anna received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Duke University and Master of Public Health in Nutrition from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD). Anna is a national speaker and delivers workshops and presentations on eating disorders and childhood feeding. She is passionate about helping parents avoid the food battle and raise kids to feel good about food and their bodies. She writes about simple cooking, nutrition and family feeding at Sunny Side Up Nutrition.

FB: @lutzandalexander and @sunnysideupnutritionists

IG: @annalutzrd and @sunnysideupnutritionists

Twitter: @AnnaLutzRD and @sunnysideupnutr

No Fork Dinner Recipe

No Fork Dinner with Cabot cheese and Mom Made meatballs

No Fork Dinner with Cabot cheese and Mom Made meatballs

We think every family needs to add the No Fork Dinner into their dinner rotation, like this cheese, meatball, veg and fruit combo. Make this healthy, fun dinner in less than 5 minutes. It’s so simple that even your chef junior can make this dinner.


  • Mom Made Bite-Size Meatballs

  • Block of your favorite cheese (Cabot cheddar or colby recommended)

  • Your favorite fresh veggies, e.g. orange peppers, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes

  • Your favorite fresh fruit, e.g. grapes and cherries

  • Your favorite dipping sauces, e.g. ranch and bbq

Preparation Instructions:

Prep the meatballs according to cooking instructions on the carton. Wash and chop the veggies and fruit as needed. Cut the cheese into bite-size squares. Serve each food in a separate bowl or serve in mini-muffin trays.

We've partnered with our friends at Cabot Creamery for an incredible giveaway on Instagram! Entries close July 28th, 2019 at 11:59pm ET.

Introducing the all-new Lunchwich

Mom Made's proudest reinvention of healthy kids food to date: the Lunchwich!

Are you tired of the morning frenzy of packing your kids’ school lunch? Want your child to eat and like their lunch? You already make sandwiches. Your kids already eat them. Now, Mom Made has made sandwiches easier and healthier. The Lunchwich has familiar ingredients and is made to eat on the go.

We’ve worked for well over a year to develop four amazing, kid-favorite flavors –

The Lunchwich product line was pre-launched nationally via a Kickstarter campaign. The Kickstarter campaign for Lunchwich wrapped up June 21, 2019 at 155% of goal. Thank you to all participated!

Lunchwich have been seen on:

Sign up for our emails and keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for more information once Lunchwich are available in stores and online.

Red, White, & Blue Berry Sticks

Fruit kabobs! So easy that kids can make themselves.

Fourth of July Recipe for Kids to Make

These scrumptious treats will surely be a hit among kiddos and adults, alike. And, the best part is the kids can make these themselves.  

Total Time: ~15 Minutes

Yields: 20 Skewers

Delicious fruit kabob recipe. Perfect party recipe for the 4th of July!


10 fresh strawberries, halved
1 Cup fresh blueberries
3 bananas, sliced


It's simple! Just spear the strawberry halves, banana slices, and blueberries. We started with strawberry, then added a banana slice, and finished with two blueberries.

Happy Summer!

For more fun recipes on a stick, click here.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Playdate

A simple & tasty summer playdate your kids will love!

Summer’s here and to keep the kiddos having fun and not glued to the TV, it's time for some playdates! We call this our “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Playdate” because it takes minimal time and effort to host a super fun afternoon with friends. Mom Made Meatballs, lemonade and old fashioned games create an easy way to pass the time, feed hungry bellies and entertain the young and young at heart. 

Easy, healthy recipe for a playdate that kids love

Whether you pre-make the snacks and lemonade, or send the kids out to play while you and the other Moms tackle snack time together, it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to get everything ready.

We started making the lemonade then meatballs, and finished with playtime, but don’t be afraid to mix it up! Lemonade not your thing? Try some iced herbal tea or add some cucumbers to water for a spa like treat. Sliders not your thing? Sauté the meatballs and give the kiddos toothpicks and dipping sauces. The sky’s the limit with what you can create for your very own Mom Made “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy” playdate!

Happy Summer!

Playdate Games:

T ball – create backyard memories with a good ole’ fashioned game of T ball
Pitch a tent – Fill with books, puzzles and coloring books
Yard games – grab some outdoor darts, corn hole or ring toss for a fun mini-carnival
Tag – tag you're it!

Mom Made Meatball Sliders

Meatball slider recipe that kids love


1 package of Mom Made meatballs – we used Beef and Cheese for this, but any flavor will do!

1 package of 8 count slider buns

1 jar of marinara sauce (bonus points if it’s homemade!)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, chives – fresh or dried)

1 – 2 cups of Mozzarella / Italian cheese



Preheat oven to 350. Grease a pan large enough to fit all 8 buns (we used a round 9x9 cake pan). Layer bottom of buns around the pan, and drizzle 1 cup of sauce across buns. Add 3 meatballs to each bun and top with mozzarella cheese, remaining sauce and bun caps. Brush sliders with olive oil, and sprinkle with herbs. Cover with foil and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes for before serving.  

Mom Made Meatball Kabobs


1 package of cooked Mom Made meatballs – your favorite flavor!

3 cups of your kids' favorite veggies cubed

1 cup of cubed cheese

½ cup of your favorite dipping sauces – BBQ sauce, Ranch, etc

10 Skewers

Gather the family around and make your own Meatball Kabobs! Bonus points for using extra veggies or creating your own recipe!


Organic Blueberry Lemonade


½ pint of blueberries

8 lemons – juiced to 1 cup

8 cups of cold water

1 cup of blueberry simple syrup (recipe below)

1 large pitcher

Blueberry Simple Syrup:


¾ cup of sugar

1 cup of water

½ pint of blueberries


Bring water and sugar to a boil until sugar is fully dissolved. Add blueberries and cook for an additional 5 minutes until berries break down. Strain through a sieve and let cool. In pitcher, mix together cold water, lemon juice and simple syrup. Stir till well combined. Serve chilled and garnish with blueberries if desired!

Wondering where to find Mom Made near you? Click here. Mom Made is also available online and on Amazon.

Top 5 Tips to Help Your Picky Eater

This is a guest post written by Anna Lutz, MPH, RD, LDN, CEDRD.

“How can I help my picky eater?” This is the number 1 question that I hear from parents. It can feel like everywhere we look people are telling us how our children should eat. There’s not one way to feed a child. As parents, we can provide children with experiences and structure to help them learn and grow in their eating. However, we can’t make our children be adventurous eaters.

We are all different and, therefore, eat differently.

Tips to help picky eater

Some children may approach new situations and food with excitement and curiosity. Other children, may be a bit more cautious and new situations, including food, may be a bit more challenging. Just like anything in parenting, it’s important to support our children for who they are. As parents, it’s important set up a structure for our children so that they can progress in their eating over time, just like we’d help a child learn to go to bed on their own or take responsibility for their homework. If we’re too permissive, children don’t learn how to do things on their own and if we are too forceful or authoritarian, children may not learn sustainable skills outside of being forced. There are things we can do, as parents and caregivers, to help our children grow up to eat a variety of foods.

5 Tips to Help Your Picky Eater:

1. Eliminate pressure: Research shows that pressure doesn't help children accept new foods. It may “work” at a particular meal, but it doesn’t help them readily accept food over time. What is pressure? Pressure can be telling a child they have to eat a certain amount, cheering for a child when they eat certain foods, or telling a child they have to eat an item in order to eat another food item. Pressure for one child may not feel like pressure to another. Being neutral about food choices is the best bet to support a child in making progress.

2. Have “food amnesia:” One of the biggest changes I encourage parents to make is to keep offering foods to their child, even and especially, if you know they won’t eat it. Have “amnesia” about what they ate or didn’t eat the last time you served the particular foods. So often, concern about a child not eating enough food or a particular type of food, can lead to catering to these preferences. For example, if a child eats broccoli, but not carrots, a parent may not make carrots and only offer broccoli so the child “gets in her vegetables.” The problem with this is that the child will never learn to eat carrots if she isn’t offered them. You may need to offer the carrots for years before your child eats them, but she will never eat them if they aren’t offered.


3. Offer an easily accepted food at meals: I encourage parents to decide what is offered at meals and snacks and to not cater to only the preferences of the child. However, for many children, seeing one food on the table that they already accept, can decrease anxiety and worry at that meal. If you include a readily accepted food item at a meal, a child will know they can “make do” with the food there. This can help a more sensitive child to know they can try the more challenging foods if they want to, but there’s not the pressure that they must eat the challenging food or, if they don’t, they will not eat anything.

4. Serve meals family style: Serving meals family style is a great way for a child to have autonomy. They can decide if and how much they put on their own plate. This is a great way to reduce pressure at the dinner table. This can feel like a lot of work, but I encourage parents to put pots and pans right on the table if that makes it more doable. Parents can serve from the pot at the table and ask each family member if they want some of the food item on their plate and how much.

5. Get kids cooking: Exposing kids to foods in different ways helps children try new foods. When we get kids in the kitchen they are exposed to food in different forms and are more likely to try the food when they sit down to eat. Kids can help measure or mix ingredients. An older child can chop or cook foods on the stove top. Check out this post by Elizabeth Davenport about kids cooking at Sunny Side Up Nutrition.

My hope is these tips will be support for you! Establishing structure that is not too permissive or too authoritarian can help children expand their eating skills. Try not to win the battle at a particular meal, but rather think about supporting your child to learn to eat and expand his variety over several years.

Anna Lutz, MPH, RD, LDN, CEDRD

Anna Lutz is a mom of 3 and a Registered Dietitian with Lutz, Alexander & Assoc. Nutrition Therapy in Raleigh, NC. She specializes in eating disorders and pediatric/family nutrition. Anna received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Duke University and Master of Public Health in Nutrition from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD). Anna is a national speaker and delivers workshops and presentations on eating disorders and childhood feeding. She is passionate about helping parents avoid the food battle and raise kids to feel good about food and their bodies. She writes about simple cooking, nutrition and family feeding at Sunny Side Up Nutrition.

FB: @lutzandalexander and @sunnysideupnutritionists

IG: @annalutzrd and @sunnysideupnutritionists

Twitter: @AnnaLutzRD and @sunnysideupnutr

The Benefits of Adding Frozen Foods to Your Meal and Snack Line Up

This is a guest post written by Elizabeth Davenport, MPH, RDN, LD.

March is Frozen Food Month AND National Nutrition Month. So, it’s a fitting time for a Registered Dietitian to write a guest post about frozen foods! Often frozen foods get a bad rap. Many of the nutrition messages we see these days are either inaccurate or fear based. They leave us feeling like we’re not doing enough and not feeding ourselves and our families in the best way possible.

Nutrition is not black and white and there are many ways to eat and feed our families well. I use frozen foods on a regular basis in my own cooking. It’s absolutely OK, and beneficial, to use frozen foods and other convenience foods when feeding your family. Actually, there are quite a few benefits to incorporating frozen foods into your meal and snack line up.


One of the benefits of using frozen fruits and vegetables is that they’re typically picked at peak ripeness and processed (frozen) right there on the farm where they’re grown. Fresh fruits and vegetables have to be picked a little earlier for shipping and begin to slowly lose nutrients. This is a natural process and doesn’t mean that fresh isn’t a good option. However, freezing fresh fruits and veggies essentially locks in the nutrients by stopping the oxidation.

Many frozen foods, especially fruits and vegetables, have only one ingredient, the produce itself.

There are also brands like Mom Made Foods that have products with impressively short lists of ingredients. This is the ingredient list for Mom Made Foods Turkey Meatball Bites!

And look at this impressive list for their Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs!

Convenient and Affordable

Frozen foods offer a great deal of convenience. I keep a variety of frozen foods on hand to put together “go-to” meals. We’re all so pressed for time it seems. It’s nice to know you have meals in your freezer that you can truly cook in 20 minutes or less. Making a dinner out of frozen foods is a nice alternative to cooking from scratch or eating out.

And of course, with frozen produce, you don’t need to worry about using it right away and you can get out of season produce. It’s helpful to be able to pull out just the amount you need and leave the rest in the freezer to cook another time, especially when children are young and eating smaller portions.

Frozen fruits and veggies are also a big time saver because they’re already washed, peeled, and cut. Prepared foods can also be a big time saver. Rather than making meatballs, you can buy them frozen and made with similar ingredients. And frozen foods are often more affordable than fresh and certainly more affordable than take-out.

Family Favorites

I use frozen foods in many different ways throughout my week. Here are some of my family favorites:

Frozen fruits are great in smoothies (here’s recipe for an easy fruit and yogurt smoothie) and in items like muffins, quick breads and baked oatmeal.

Frozen vegetables: I keep spinach stocked for spinach lasagna, spinach quesadillas and spinach enchiladas. I also keep frozen peas and green beans to use as a veggie side on busy nights or to use in weeknight fried rice or soups like this one.

Other frozen foods that are prepared foods are beneficial to keep on hand for easy meals and snacks. You’ll always find frozen meatballs in my freezer. Spaghetti and Meatballs is a favorite “go-to” meal that both of us at Sunny Side Up Nutrition have on our regular meal lists. I keep a few boxes of Mom Made Meatballs in the freezer to make spaghetti and meatballs when I need an easy dinner. And my family loves Mom Made Meatballs in meatball subs!

Mom Made Foods has some quick, healthy recipes on their blog like this one for Meatball and Orzo Soup.

Items like frozen waffles are great for a meal or snack along with some fruit and a glass of milk. Some of my family’s other favorite frozen foods are frozen croissants, mini pizzas, hash browns, breakfast sausages, veggie spring rolls, sweet potato fries, chicken tenders, rice, dinner rolls and lasagna.

What are some of your favorite frozen foods to keep on hand?

Elizabeth Davenport, MPH, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian. She co-writes the blog Sunny Side Up Nutrition and she’s in private practice in Washington, DC at Pinney Davenport Nutrition. We believe food doesn’t have to be complicated and that feeding your family doesn’t have to leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Visit us at Sunny Side Up Nutrition for tips for raising intuitive eaters and feeding your family.

5 Reasons Mom Made Foods Is Found in the Freezer Aisle

Happy #NationalFrozenFoodDay! Did you know there was such a thing? Here at Mom Made, we think the process of freezing is pretty cool. No pun intended. Freezing is our preservative.

We’re celebrating with a buy one get one free sale on all 4-packs of Meals and Meatballs bought online. (details below)

Here are the top 5 reasons why Mom Made is frozen:

1. Frozen food is convenient, fast and still provides nutritious value.

2.  Frozen food helps to eliminate food waste. Occasionally leftovers just end up in the trash. Did you know that 2/3 of the population ditch up to 20 food items a month?

3.  Frozen food manufacturers, like Mom Made Foods, flash freeze food within minutes of making them to keep the nutritional value, as well as lock in texture and taste. 

4.  Freezing food is a natural process and the use of any preservatives is NOT required. Instead, it seals in freshness, locks the vitamins and minerals.

5. Thanks to freezing, Mom Made Foods is available year around, allowing busy families the option to help their home freezers stocked with easy, healthy meal options for those really busy days. 

Celebrate frozen foods by stocking up on your favorite Mom Made in our buy one get one free sale on all 4-packs of Meals and Meatballs bought online. Use promo code FROZENBOGO at checkout. Offer valid thru 11:59pm 3/10/19.

Mom Made Foods makes healthy frozen meals for kids. Freezing is our preservative.

Meatball Tacos or Mini Taco Appetizers

Taco Night Made Easy by Mom Made

Kiddos and adults, all love tacos, right? BUT tacos can be messy. Well, we've got your solution.  Make some tacos or taco bites with our tasty and healthy meatballs and you're well on your way to a kid-friendly meal with half the work!

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 3 Minutes

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Yields: 4 Servings


8 Taco Shells or 1 Bag of Scoop Chips

1 Box Beef & Cheese Mom Made Meatballs

1 cup Lettuce, shredded

1 Jar Salsa

1 C Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Cilantro, additional veggies, guacamole or sour cream optional.


Heat Mom Made Beef & Cheese Meatball Bites according to directions on box. Place lettuce and salsa in taco shells or scoops. Position meatballs on top of lettuce and salsa. Top off with cheddar cheese. 

Hungry for more Mom Made?  Find it in a freezer aisle near you.

Valentine's Day Dinner

Valentine’s Day dinner

Food is LOVE.

Are your kids digging up stickers, colored paper and the markers to make Valentine cards before the class parties tomorrow? Are you planning a special family dinner?

As for a love-filled dinner, how about a forkless dinner? The kids will think they’ve gone to heaven.

Head over to your favorite craft or party store for some heart toothpicks, ie Michaels or Party City. Or, make some yourself with construction paper, toothpicks and glue. Then pull your favorite Mom Made Meatballs from the freezer. Prep the meatballs in no more than five minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces, cheese cubes, as well as bite-size fresh veggies and fruit.

If you really want to make it special, go around the table saying one thing you love about each person at the table.

Presto! Your family will know they are loved!

If you’re needing more ideas, here are a few of our favorite easy Valentine's ideas on Pinterest, ranging from homemade crafts and healthy foods to family activities.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Meatball Orzo Soup

Meatball Orzo Soup made with Mom Made antibioitic-free meatballs. Your whole family will love this simple recipe. Perfect for a chilly evening!

From The Six O'Clock Scramble: "Meatball Orzo Soup is a really fun recipe from subscriber (and my college friend) Jill Rabach. It’s also great for a busy night because it’s a one-pot meal to cook and a one-bowl meal to eat, so clean up is a breeze. Serve it with whole wheat or white dinner rolls."

Prep Time : Prep + Cook = 30 minutes
Yield : 6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
2 carrots,finely diced (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp.minced garlic (3 cloves)
32 oz. reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
15 oz. no-salt added petite-diced tomatoes, with their liquid
2 boxes of Mom Made Turkey Meatball Bites
1/2 cup orzo
3 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped (or one box of frozen spinach)

In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. When it is hot add the onions, carrots and garlic, and sauté them until they onions and carrots are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth, water, and tomatoes, cover it and bring it to a boil. Add the meatballs and orzo, and stir frequently for a minute or two so the noodles don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes, partially covered, stirring occasionally. (Meanwhile, warm the dinner rolls, if you are serving them.) Stir in the spinach and let it wilt for one minute. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste, and serve it immediately.

Do Ahead or Delegate: Dice the onion and the carrots, peel the garlic, chop the spinach.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Use fire-roasted diced tomatoes rather than plain, and/or add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the soup along with the orzo.

Tip: Keeping all cooked foods and liquids covered while in your refrigerator not only prevents spills and odors, but also helps to prevent the build-up of humidity.

Side Dish suggestion: Serve it with whole wheat or white dinner rolls, warmed in a 300 degree oven for 5 - 10 minutes.

Easy and Special Christmas Breakfast

Keep the "Merry" before "Christmas" the morning of 12/25. 

Christmas morning, the kids are engulfed in present mania but need something nutritious in their bellies to counteract the candy canes. This dish, Mom Made Chicken Apple Meatballs, served with maple syrup for dipping, is the perfect protein you can prepare in a couple minutes and they can eat while unwrapping.

Serve with fresh, warm Bake‘mm Bagels, cream cheese and juice. All Mom Made and Bake’mm Bagels are on sale for 40% off! At checkout use promo code HOLIDAY40 thru 12/31/18.


Prep Time – 3 min

Cook Time – 2 min…no kidding!

You will need:

  • Mom Made’s frozen, antibiotic-free Chicken & Apple Meatballs (8oz)

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/4 Cup water

  • Maple syrup

  • Skewers or toothpicks (for serving)


  • Heat the meatballs on stovetop according to directions on the box.

  • Place on a plate and add some maple syrup for dipping!

Happy (peace-filled) holidays from the Mom Made family to yours!

How to Make Marshmallows

A Homemade Holiday Treat

We eat nearly all organic foods in our house but somehow marshmallows find their way into our house regularly. My kids LOVE marshmallows. LOVE.

This year I decided to try something different for our holiday cooking fest.  Thanks to an idea that inspired me on Pinterest from Martha Stewart, we made vanilla and candycane marshmallows in the shapes of snowflakes.

Thanks to our awesome neighbors, we borrowed a candy thermometer and snowflake cookie cutters. It's not often (if at all!) that you find me cooking with corn syrup, but we went for it, heating it and sugar (yes, so healthy!) to 238 degrees then adding it slowly to gelatin and whipping it for 12 minutes. It was pretty simple but the key was to put vegetable oil on the spatula before pressing it into the greased pan.

This was a first for us in making marshmallows and we all agreed, they taste so much better than the store bought marshmallows.

Such a treat!

How to make homemade marshmallows? So much fun to make homemade marshmallows with the kids then enjoy them together in a cup of hot chocolate.

Do you have a recipe that you made with your kids for the holidays?  Please share!  Happy holidays from our family to yours!

dipping meatball APPETIZER

Meatballs, dipping sauces & some toothpicks ... what could be simpler?

Whether you're fixing a feast for youngsters or grandparents, this delicious dish is sure to delight!

Total Time: 5-8 Minutes

This one's super simple!  Just cook your favorite Mom Made Meatballs as directed on the box, pour some sauces in dipping bowls, set out some toothpicks, and you're good to go! This also works well for the kids who don't care for the Thanksgiving turkey as a no fuss protein. What sauce, you ask? We recommend cranberry, barbecue, and/or apple sauce to dip.


Find Mom Made Meatballs here.

4 Ways to Involve Kids with Thanksgiving Preparation

Preparing for Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to get the kids involved with sharing some of the responsibilities in the kitchen. There are plenty of tasks your children can help with no matter what age.

  • Let each family member select one dish they’d like on the menu. Discuss what new foods they would be willing to try. Use this time to explain the importance of having a balanced meal that includes protein, vegetables and a variety of other dishes.

  • Let children help with table decorations. Ask them to craft some simple table decorations like placing colorful fall leaves in a bottle and create name cards for all your guests. Or they can get creative and crafty with glue making pilgrim name cards.

  • For kids who want to be more hands on with the prep work, give them a specific job in the meal preparation, i.e. mashing potatoes, chopping vegetables or stirring the gravy. (Of course, make sure they are being supervised when they are using sharp knives.)

  • On Thanksgiving, ask your kiddos to help set the dinner table. They can help fold napkins, set out the plates, put ice in the water glasses. Depending on the age, they can also help cook and serve plated dishes.

Your kids will become more invested in the celebration and come to the table with pride in their contribution. Happy Thanksgiving from the Mom Made family to yours!

Thanksgiving placecards made by kids

Packing Mom Made in Your Child's School Lunch

Are you tired of packing the same thing Monday thru Friday in your child’s lunchbox? We hear from many customers that their kids love to have Mom Made meatballs in their lunchbox. They make a perfect lunchbox main as they’re easy to prepare, high protein and clean to eat.

Easy as 1-2-3!

  1. As you are preparing the lunch in the early morning, heat a thermos. Add hot water to the thermos and let it set for 5 minutes.

  2. In the meantime, heat the Mom Made meatballs according to directions.

  3. Pour out the hot water used to heat the thermos. Add the meatballs to the thermos along with some of the liquid you used to heat them. Add a fork to their lunchbox, a love note and some healthy sides your child likes. Voila!

If you don’t already have a thermos for your child’s lunch, click here to see some thermoses we like.

To find Mom Made meatballs in a store near you or purchase online, click here.

Packing Mom Made in your child’s lunchbox

Where to Donate Halloween Candy

Your Candy Will Bring Smiles

Donating Halloween candy

No matter how fun trick or treating is, the aftermath can lead to late nights, sour tummies, and fights over who gets the last mini kit-kat. So what’s a Mom or Dad to do when the candy long outlasts your little slugger’s costume? Are you wondering where to donate Halloween candy?

It might be hard to believe but donating your kids candy can help soldiers far from home feel warm and fuzzy, put a smile on a sick kid’s face who didn’t get to go house-to-house wearing their favorite superhero getup, and help families feel a little closer together when they don’t have a place to call home. Also, you can “donate” candy to science – there are some super cool experiments you can do with skittles, starbursts and lifesavers!

Operation Gratitude – Send candy to the troops around the world. No matter where a soldier is stationed, it’s probably far from home. What better way to celebrate a night of fun and frivolity than to send a sweet treat to those keeping us safe?! Operation Gratitude will gladly take your leftover candy (if you’re so inclined send some toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss too to keep their smiles sparkling and a handwritten note {reminding them to floss is optional}) and include it in the care packages they send to soldiers throughout the year.

Ronald MacDonald House – Families with sick kiddos can stay here for little to no cost during hospital stays to ensure that all kids have a “home-away-from-home.” Donating your candy to a local chapter of the RMHC can help put a smile on a face who might have had a tough day, long test schedule or just need a pick me up.

Local Homeless Shelters –If you want to donate your kids candy, and teach them a lesson in humility, try checking if the local homeless shelters accept donations of prewrapped candy. Little ones can make up goody bags with their leftover candy, and help out people in need. Many shelters have volunteer hours for high schoolers, families or just those who want to lend a helping hand. It never hurts to teach kids about life and how to make the world a better place.  

Science experiments with Halloween candy

Science Experiments – Bring back the good ‘ole days by dropping Mentos into a bottle of coke (make sure you stand back!), drop Skittles in water and watch the S’s float to the top, and see if Lifesavers really do spark in the dark! 

Meatball Mummies

Looking for something so yummy it's scary this Halloween? 

At Halloween, it can be challenging to get kids eating healthy. When sugary treats abound and veggies seem scarier than normal, treat your kiddos to a tasty dinner packed with protein, good fats, and just the right amount of 'fright'!

Cook Time: 10-15 Minutes

Total Time: 20-30 Minutes

Yields: 8 Skewers


  • 1 box Mom Made Turkey Meatballs

  • 1 box Linguine Noodles

  • 1 cup Marinara Sauce

  • Ketchup or diced olives (for eyes, as desired)


Cook linguine noodles according to box directions, drain the add olive oil to coat the noodles preventing them from sticking together. Warm Mom Made Meatball Bites as directed on box. Place four meatballs on each skewer. Wrap linguine noodles around the meatball "body," leaving a space near the top of the skewer for eyes. Dot the opening with marinara sauce, ketchup or diced olives to create eyes.

Dip mummies in marinara sauce and enjoy!

No need to be frightened, Mom Made is in a store near you!


Fuel your kids with a healthy, quick breakfast

A tasty spin on the traditional egg and meat breakfast, Mom's Morning Muffins are packed with protein and plenty of flavor.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Yields: 12 Muffins


3/4 cup shredded hash brown potatoes

6 eggs

1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup green onion, finely chopped

16 Mom Made Foods Beef & Cheese Meatball Bites


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan well. Microwave Mom Made Foods Beef & Cheese Meatball Bites according to package instructions, allow meatballs to cool, cut into quarters and set aside. Beat eggs in mixing bowl, add milk, shredded hash browns, meatballs, green onions and shredded cheese. Stir well. Scoop egg mixture into muffin pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until “muffins” are set. Serve immediately, or, let cool and freeze for quick breakfasts all week!

To reheat frozen muffins, microwave on high for one minute. 

Head out to get some Mom Made today!  Here's where we are!