Children

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!

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Thanks
Thanksgiving placecards made by kids

Festive Stars on Your Lawn

Easy and fun way to make your house festive for the 4th of July and a fun project for the kids!

What you will need:

  • A large piece of cardboard -The top of a pizza box works well!
  • Scissors
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Flour
  • Sifter

Step 1: Find a piece of cardboard and cut a big star to make your stencil.

Step 2: Fill your spray bottle with water. Then squirt the grass star with water thru your stencil.

Step 3: Once the grass is wet (with some extra help from the older kids :)), use a flour sifter and sift flour thru the stencil onto the grass. And carefully lift the stencil from the grass once you have covered it in flour.

And, there you go! Your lawn covered with festive stars will stop traffic. Don't forget to fly your flag too.

Happy 4th of July from our family to yours!

Mom Made on Cooking Channel's "Unwrapped 2.0"

Unwrapped 2.0

Unwrapped 2.0

Watch Mom Made production on the big screen! If you love everything cheesy, you'll love Cooking Channel's Unwrapped 2.0. Watch how we make the pasta fresh and the the secrets behind our 100% organic Mom Made Cheesy Mac that make it nutritious and delicious!

If your mouth is watering after watching and you're wondering where you can find this product, then it's time to head to the freezer aisle! Find a store near you.  You can also order Mom Made's Cheesy Mac online with free shipping on healthygoodness.com

Yummy!

RECIPE: Peachy Salmon

Heather, our founder, made this delicious meal on TLC a while back. The recipe is simple, easy and healthy and perfect for a summer meal. 

Peachy Salmon

Prep Time: Max. 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of fresh salmon

  • Four fresh peaches

  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar

  • 2 Tbsp honey

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • Dash of sea salt

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Peel and slice peaches, place in a baking dish around the salmon.

  • In a separate bowl, combine rice vinegar, honey, olive oil and salt, and top salmon and peaches with sauce.

  • Bake for 10-15 minutes (until the fish flakes when poked with a fork).

Serve this with your favorite sides or try it with the healthy sides that Mom Made Founder, Heather, made. Enjoy!

family meal

family meal

Asian Turkey Meatballs

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz) box Mom Made Turkey Meatball bites
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 3  Tbsp. Lower-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili Paste
  • 6 Garlic Cloves (finely minced)
  • 3 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds
  • 1/3 Cup Green Onions (minced for garnish)

Instructions:

  • Combine brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste and garlic for the sauce in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside the sesame seeds and green onion.
  • Place Mom Made Turkey Meatball bites in the microwave on high for 60 seconds.
  • Coat meatballs with sauce mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Garnish with green onions. Serve with toothpicks.

It's time to dig in!

To find Mom Made Meatballs in a freezer near you, click here.

5 Reasons to Make the Effort for Family Dinners

The busy schedules of both parents and kids make it difficult to have "family dinners" regularly. The benefits that come with regularly eating together at the table are a good reminder why the effort is so important. These are our top 5 reasons why you should make family dinners a priority!

1. Children who routinely have family dinners are less likely to start smoking and drinking, or have an eating disorder.

2. It takes 8-10 times of trying something new before kids develop a taste for it.

3. Studies show that setting time aside to have a family dinner can reduce stress.

4. Use dinner-time to get to know what's going on with your family members and stay close to them. Ask about the best part of their day and anything they might need help with.

5. Gratitude is strongly associated with happiness, and family meals are a great time to practice it. Have everyone at the table name one reason they're thankful today.

Meatball Enchiladas

Mom Made's dishing out our Top 10 Favorite recipes to put on your dinner table. We've teamed up with Sky Valley to bring you this delicious Mexican classic. Serves: 4

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz) box Mom Made Beef & Cheese Meatball Bites
  • 12 6 inch Corn Tortillas
  • Olive Oil non-stick cooking spray
  • 2-3 cups Shredded Cheddar/Jack Cheese Blend
  • 1 bottle Sky Valley Enchilada Sauce

Directions

  • Combine meatballs with 1 cup of the shredded cheese.
  • Spread ½ cup of the enchilada sauce over bottom of baking dish.
  • Spray each tortilla with olive oil non-stick spray
  • Fill each with about 1/3 cup of the meatball/cheese mixture.
  • Roll each tortilla up tightly with mixture in the middle and place in baking dish, seamed side down.
  • Squeeze remaining enchilada sauce out of bottle onto rolled enchiladas.
  • Sprinkle dish with remaining cheese.
  • In 375 degree oven, bake casserole for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted on top.

9 Mom Made Highlights in 9 Years

Farmer's Market

9) Launch day at the Del Ray Farmer’s Market in Alexandria VA.   I awoke at 5 am to make a trip to our commercial kitchen I was renting at the time to pull product out of the freezer and have the stand set up by 7 am. After seven months of full-time business planning, it was awesome to see everything come together that morning on that sunny day in late May 2006. My family and friends came to support me and even more fun was meeting our first customers. We still have our first dollar from that day framed on our wall. It’s a day that is crystal clear in my memory.

8) Having a sales background, the thought of getting my foot in the door of our first retailers was daunting but a very fun challenge for me. Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic’s buyer was my first buyer meeting. She said she’d like to put our foods into their 35+ stores in the region. I took a deep breath and said, “I don’t think we can do that right now because we’re making it all by hand. Lets start with the 8 stores in Virginia then grow together into the other stores.” The rest is history. Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic and Mom Made have now been working together for 8.5 years. We are forever grateful for their strong support of our brand.

7) Seeing our product in the freezer of a new retailer. It is a long, tenuous process to sell to a new retailer. Months, sometimes years. It’s so rewarding to see Mom Made in a new home, knowing that new consumers will discover our products.

mom made door
mom made door

6) Moving from our basement in our home to a REAL office. It became official the day the Mom Made logo went up on the front door of the office. Walking through the Mom Made door every morning, I pinch myself at how lucky I am to get to work with such an amazing team and towards a mission of making kids healthier with our organic foods.

5) Hiring new team members. It’s tough to find individuals who hold the experience you’re looking for but also the passion for the mission of what Mom Made stands for. I remember clearly the first day of each of my colleagues joined the Mom Made team. I am so fortunate to work with such a talented group of dedicated professionals.

4) Support from my family, my husband and brother especially. My brother is a chef and helped in the early days with getting my home made recipes ready for large portions. He and his wife (who’s also a chef) have been very helpful along the way. My husband is frequently asked whether he works for Mom Made. His reply is that he’s the Chief Morale Officer. It’s so true and has been a critical piece for me personally on this journey but also as a sounding board for Mom Made as we've grown.

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3) Launching a new product. It takes months (if not years in a few cases) to concept,test, design, produce and sell a new product to be ready for retail. Our most recent product launch was Gluten Free Cheesy Mac. Being onsite in our facility when the first products come off the line is very exciting.

2) Customer letters make our whole team happy.One day we received a letter from the Indiana mother of 5-year old, Adler, who  has brain cancer. Adler had no appetite but his favorite food was Mom Made’s Beef & Cheese Meatball Bites. We immediately stopped what we were doing and put an enormous case of meatballs in the mail with some fun goodies for Adler. We continue to keep Adler in our thoughts and prayers.

1) Mom Made is my third child. The team is part of my extended family. Every day, we laugh, goof around, support each other, challenge each other and work very hard together. There are no politics in our company and no one who doesn’t put in their very best effort. It’s so refreshing and fun to be a part of and lead this incredible team. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come together and I have no doubt that we will be a household name in no time.

Happy 9th birthday, Mom Made!

#Madewithlove

From moms for moms; Laurie Hyman from Green Toys shares her story

Tell us about your family I am so lucky. I have three fantastic kids, two dogs and an amazing husband.  GreenToysFamily

I co-founded Green Toys at my dining room table when my girls were 5 and 4, and became pregnant with my son three months after that. Needless to say, my family has always been very involved in all things Green Toys.  My kids love being part of what Green Toys is about. They explain to their friends the benefits of recycling, have given us wonderful product ideas, and are the best toy testers on earth. Now ages 12, 11 and 6, my kids inspire me in every way.  As a parent, I dream about who they’ll become and what I need to do to help them get there.  It makes me consider the actions I take, the words I choose, how I approach things, and what I want to contribute to the world to make it the best place possible for my kiddies. They inspire me to be creative, think on my toes, question the obvious, find simplicity, stay strong, live healthy, be patient, be empathetic, respect others, make a difference, and so much more.  However, I could not do what I do with my fantastic husband. To say that he is supportive would be an understatement.  While having his own career, he’s the most hands-on dad I know.

Tell us about your company.

Everything we do at Green Toys – from our eco-friendly raw materials to our California-greentoysproduct  webbased manufacturing processes – is geared toward one purpose: making products that are good for the earth and safe for kids.  Green Toys Inc. lives and breathes sustainability in many ways, but is most evident in its authentically “green” materials and supply chain.  Green Toys’ products are made from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs -- a super-safe, FDA-food safe material. In material choice alone, this recycled material saves significant energy and greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, just one pound of recycled milk jugs saves enough energy to power 3,000 AAA batteries.    Additionally, a key focus for Green Toys operations is energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions. The company locates all of its manufacturing, packaging, assembly and distribution in a very tight local supply chain. Green Toys has invested heavily in developing its supply chain in an effort to deliver the highest quality products that are the safest for children and our planet.

How do you unwind after a busy day at the office?

We are all about games at our house.  When I get home from work, I try and find a fun game to play with one or all of my kids. From board games to more active games, we always have a healthy competition going on at the Hyman house. We try to find games that everyone can play.  Our current family favorite is Telestrations.  Tetherball is another fantastic blast from the past.  Who knew you could break a sweat playing tether ball with a 6 year old?  My kids and I also love sports and outdoor activities. Some of our favorites include hiking, going to the beach, playing tennis, tag, swimming, baseball, and so much more.  We are a family of adventure and travel and love to try new things, see new places, and experience different cultures. But, above all, the best activities are the simple ones where we sit down for dinner and talk about our day, read a story, cuddle, and doze off to sleep. Then, I can truly unwind.

What’s your favorite vegetable and your favorite way to cook it?

I love my vegetables, but I’m not the true chef in our family. My husband gets all the credit.  Roasted root vegetables are my current favorite.

When nobody is watching, what is your favorite treat?

A massage for sure!

What’s the funniest thing your child said to you recently?

Hey, mom...guess if I am wearing any underwear?

What’s the best advice your mom ever gave you?

Don’t do everything, otherwise you will!

What do you want for Mother’s Day?

I would love to get up and go for a long run and then come home and spend the day with my cute family.  Maybe a hike, some tennis or just a picnic at the park.

To learn more about the company please visit:

Website: www.greentoys.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreenToys

Twitter: https://twitter.com/greentoysinc

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/greentoys/

Advice and insights from moms for moms. Please keep an eye out on our facebook page and participate in our Mother’s Day Giveaway! Winners will be announced on May 9th at 4:00 PM EST. 

From moms for moms; Dr. Lucy Gibney from Lucy's shares her story

Tell us about your family: I live in a two story tan shingled house with three wonderful beings!  My husband,lucyheadshot my 10 year old son, and our very sweet dog.  Each of us, including the dog, likes being together as a family.  Of course, we also spend lots of time apart -- at school, work, travel, and doggie daycare!  We like being out in the world, learning and doing things.  We love our friends and extended family.  And then, we love being home again -- together.

Tell us about your company:

My company is "Lucy's".  I make delicious, high quality, gluten free, non-GMO, food allergy friendly cookies.  You'll find them in stores throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Also, look for them in the U.K. and Mexico!

My husband and I started the company because our son has food allergies and we wanted to make delicious, safe treats that he could eat.  Turns out, Lucy's are favorites among the whole world of cookie eaters.  We use the very best ingredients, and make healthier versions of cookie classics.  I hope you'll try them.   They taste great!  Here’s a link to new_lucy logo_Patchworkmore about Lucy’s http://drlucys.com/

Heather, the fabulous founder of Mom Made, is a true comrade.  We’ve been friends since around the time that we both founded our companies. I'm so thankful to have her as a friend, to share ideas and advice, to laugh (or not laugh) about the crazy things that have happened along the way.  We understand the challenges of balancing our passion and commitment for work, with our greatest love -- our family.  It's nice to have a friend whose situation is so similar -- same industry, same timeline, same passions. Happy Mother’s Day, friend!

What advice would you give moms about raising healthy eaters?

Eat well yourself!!

How do you unwind after a busy day at the office?

I share a wholesome meal with my family!  We talk about the events of our day, and wind down for a good night’s sleep.

What do you want for Mother’s Day?

I already have it!  I’m a Mother!

 For more information visit:

Website: http://www.drlucys.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrLucys

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lucys_tweets

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/drlucys/

Advice and insights from moms for moms. Please keep an eye out on our facebook page and participate in our Mother’s Day Giveaway! Winners will be announced on May 9th at 4:00 PM EST.

From moms for moms; Mary Schulman from Snikiddy shares her story

Tell us about your family: We are a family that is very busy and we also have a lot of fun.  For sure the “boss” of the MarySchulmanFamilypicfamily our 9 year old daughter, Sunny. She is a fantastic big sister to her sister, Sadie (7), and brother, Luke (2).  There’s no shortage of fun activities in the family. Most recently, Sunny and I started to take tennis lessons together, which is a lot of fun mainly because she is much better than I am. While I work hard to grow the Snikiddy business, my husband Brett spends his work days as the CEO of Cava Grill.  We all enjoy cooking, baking and of course eating!

Tell us about your company:sn_brandmark_hires

Snikiddy® is a line of delicious snacks made from simple, wholesome, real-food ingredients.  The line includes Cheese Puffs, Baked Fries, and Eat Your Vegetables®, a first-of-its kind veggie chip snack that provides a full serving of vegetables in every ounce.  All Snikiddy snacks are made with non-GMO ingredients, are certified gluten and wheat free, and do not contain any artificial colors, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, hydrogenated oils or MSG.  Snikiddy pairs nutrition with great taste to deliver real, delicious foods the whole family can enjoy and feel good about.

How do you unwind after a busy day at the office?

Exercise! And, I love to take walks outside with the family. Sometimes we don’t get far when we run into a gorgeous flower or a pile of stones in the road that clearly should be moved, but it’s so fun to be outside getting fresh air with the whole family.

What’s the funniest thing your child said to you recently?

I recently asked my 2 year old as we approached the grocery store, “Do you want to walk or ride in the cart?”  His response, “Run!”  I’ve been chasing him ever since.

What do you want for Mother’s Day?

A new toilet… No seriously we are renovating our master bath and have been sharing a bathroom with the kids for almost 9 months!

For more information please visit:

Website: http://www.snikiddy.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Snikiddy?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/snikiddy

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/snikiddy/

Advice and insights from moms for moms and fabulous prizes from mom-founded companies. Check our facebook page and participate in our Mother’s Day Giveaway! Winners will be announced on May 9th at 4:00 PM EST. 

From moms to moms; Amie Garcia from Livie and Luca shares her story

Tell us about your family For me, family is top of my list. When I’m not pouring my energy and heart into my businessLivie&LucaFamilyPic, I am with my three young children and husband.  Co-owner of Livie & Luca, Mitzi Rivas, also has young children and we’ve established a family- friendly and flexible company ethic. When I’m not in the office, I’m with my kids - cooking, hiking, playing on the beach and spending time with friends and family. That to me is the solid foundation from which I work.

Tell us about your companyLivie&LucaLogo

Livie & Luca is a children’s shoe company and our primary purpose is to spread joy!

We spread joy by creating beautiful, whimsical, one-of-a-kind shoes that are both lightweight and durable, prioritizing healthy foot development and overall comfort in each design.

Being a sustainable and socially responsible business is a top priority. We source non-toxic and recycled materials and use environmentally-sound methods, we recycle and re-distribute shoes to families in need and we donate 10% of our online sales to charity. And tied to this is that broader definition of sustainability - creating a company that is healthy and well, and focused on long-term maintenance. When I say health I’m talking about all aspects of the company, from the well being of our factory workers, our customer service reps, our office workers and, of course, the children we make shoes for.

What advice would you give moms about raising healthy eaters? 

It's so important to provide kids with opportunities to try a variety of foods, not just once but multiple times. It grows on them! Also, we limit snacks to healthy ones so that they have a big appetite for dinner. It's amazing how good food tastes when you're actually hungry.

When nobody is watching, what is your favorite treat?

Oh, I must confess, my favorite treat is a spoonful of peanut butter sprinkled with chocolate chips. Actually, my Livie & Luca staff knows about this secret treat. Last December, we had a gift exchange and were instructed to bring one of our favorite things under $10.00. When my gift of PB & Chocolate Chips was opened, I discovered I was not the only one who loves this secret snack!

Tell us about your favorite recipe to make for your family?

Since it's hard to get kids to eat their veggies sometimes, my favorite easy meal is spaghetti with homemade sauce. I caramelize onion, brown some ground turkey, add any and all form of veggie from my fridge, either chopped or grated (usually spinach, carrot, zucchini, yellow pepper). And voila! A chock-full-of-veggies all-in-one meal.

For more info about Live & Luca please visit the following:

Website: http://www.livieandluca.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/livieandluca?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/livieandluca

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/livieandluca/

Advice and insights from moms for moms and fabulous prizes from mom-founded companies. Check our facebook page and participate in our Mother’s Day Giveaway! Winners will be announced on May 9th at 4:00 PM EST.

Get Lucky with These 5 Recipes

It's almost time to pull out all your green clothing and celebrate St Patty's Day. Here are some fun, healthy and GREEN cooking ideas to bring some luck to your family this year. 1. Start the day with some flower power eggs.

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2. Pizza with some greens ( via #Makethebestofeverything)

Won't hurt to add some Mom Made meatballs as well to give it more flavor.

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3. Keeping it healthy, some green fruit on a skewer is a great snack and fun to eat ( via #DeltaMorgan)

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4.  Another great low calorie snack are these cute cucumber hats with cheese! ( via #CreativeFood)

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5. Family dinner can include Mom Made's antibiotic-free, low sodium Chicken & Apple Meatballs with white sauce and spinach. It's Monday after all...and who has more than 10 minutes to prepare dinner on a Monday?

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Now it's time to celebrate!

10 Favorite Valentine Ideas from Pinterest

We want to share our top 10 favorite ideas from Pinterest you can make with your family. 1. Who doesn't have 100's of crayons around their house? Our Founder's kids are making these crayon cards. We'll post pictures once they finish...promise! (via bloglovin.com)

Melted crayon valentines

2. Take a different approach. Show you kids you love them with humor and creativity in a Valentine Fortunate Teller! (via Modern Parents Messy Kids)

FortuneTellers

3. An adorable way to greet your children in the morning and surprise them with a heart-shaped Egg-In-The-Hole. (via Incredible Edible Egg)

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4. Peak-a-boo! On the front of your card, cut out eye holes. Write "Peek-a-Boo" on the front of the heart, and "i" (or "we") love you on the inside with a photo of you and your kids! (via Spoonful)

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5. Use a cookie cutter to create fruit in a shape of a heart. You can also create a  fruit skewer!  Fun, healthy and festive! (via Amber Perry)

watermelonheart

6. Great classroom idea. These pencils will inspire your children's writing! (via Spoonful)

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7. Use a celery stick to create a bouquet of flowers! Fun kids craft idea to use up the celery in the fridge! (via Parentella)

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8. Wonderful card idea for younger kids. And a good re-use idea for an old sponge. ( via Homemmade Mamas)

Valentinecraft

9. Valentine format for creative writing. (via Teachers Pay Teachers)

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10. Make an animal card with hearts. Meeeeeee-ow! (via Sassy Dealz)

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Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!

Start 2014 by Making a Healthy Pledge

healthyPLEDGE_2014_logo Happy New Year, friends!

Have you made your resolutions yet?  In the spirit of new beginnings, we are excited to launch the Mom Made Healthy Pledge for 2014! Commit to simple and easy changes that will benefit you and your whole family now and in the future and receive a FREE COUPON from us!

"I pledge to nourish myself and my family with foods that are good for them; read nutrition labels; cut out artificial junk; and help my family learn about the importance of good healthy eating."

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Whether this pledge is a reaffirmation of your commitment, or a radical shift in how you approach food for your family, Mom Made vows to be here to support you and bring you on a healthy path!

Mom Made will send a FREE COUPON to families committing to take the Healthy Pledge while supplies last. Follow these simple steps:

Step 1:  Click here,  select "HEALTHY PLEDGE" and fully complete this form, including your mailing address as we are mailing these coupons. Limited while supplies last. One per family household. Must have a valid US mailing address.

Step 2: It takes a village and we'd love to hear your tips and ideas. Please join in the healthy conversation on FacebookPinterest and Twitter!

Step 3: In a few weeks, check your mailbox for your FREE COUPON good for any Mom Made Munchie. Mom Made is in freezer aisles nationally. Click here find a store near you. 

Mom Made cares deeply about children's health and nutrition, and we pledge to do our part to make positive changes.  It's not a New Year's resolution; it's what motivates us every day at Mom Made!

Wishing you a healthy, delicious and fun 2014!

-Your friends at Mom Made

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Childhood Obesity CDC

At Mom Made, we're all about making kids healthier. It's what brings us to work everyday excited! Given September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, for the rest of the month, we'll be sharing tips, ideas and facts with you. It is truly going to take a village to turn this problem around so all of us need to be in the know. 

The facts:

  • 17% (12.5 million) of children and adolescents  aged 2 to 19 years are obese.
  • 1 of 3 children are obese or overweight before they even reach their 5th birthday.
  • Planning and providing nutritious and balanced meals for your children is key to prevention.
  • Increasing your child's physical activity and limiting screen time helps to prevent childhood obesity.

*According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention

It's all about making the right decisions, changing habits and living a healthier lifestyle. Mom Made is here to provide healthier options for your children and families.

For more info we would like to share with you the article " Statement on National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month" by the  US Department of Health & Humane Services  and "Getting Started: What is Obesity" by the Let's Move Campaign.

Is it important to take action and improve the quality of lives.

Like Mom Made on facebookimage and follow us on twitterimage to stay tuned about upcoming ideas, health facts and tips for the rest of the month.