Family

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

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!

Pop'em Meatball Party Appetizer

A bite-size, super easy appetizer that all ages are sure to love!  Everyone will think they're homemade...shhhhhh!

Prep Time : No more than 10 minutes

Yield : Approx 12 (2 Meatballs per person)

Ingredients:

1 (8oz) box of Mom Made Beef & Cheddar Meatball Bites

Low sodium chicken broth or water

2 Tbsp olive oil

Your favorite sauce(s) for dipping (bbq, tomato sauce, teriyaki, mustard, ketchup, etc)

Toothpicks

Instructions:

Prep dipping sauces and serving platter. 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Add meatballs to olive oil and heat for two minutes while turning meatballs until lightly brown. Add 1 C of water or chicken broth to pan and continue heating over medium heat for 5 minutes or until hot. With a slotted spoon, remove meatballs from pan and place on a plate with dipping sauce. Place a toothpick in each.

Enjoy!

(To find a store near you that carries Mom Made's Meatballs, click here.)

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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

Zoodles and Meatballs

Mom Made's dishing out our Top 10 Favorite recipes to put on your dinner table! We've teamed up with Cucina Antica to bring you this fabulous zoodles recipe! Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Sauce:

Zoodles:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 medium zucchini, spiralized
  • 2 medium carrots, spiralized

Directions:              

  • For the sauce, place Cucina Antica sauce and Mom Made meatballs in a saucepan and simmer 15-20 minutes.
  • For the zoodles, add the olive oil, zucchini, and carrot pasta in a separate saucepan and sauté for 5 - 10 minutes, until desired tenderness is achieved.
  • Separate pasta on four separate plates and top with sauce and meatballs. Enjoy!

Notes: Fresh zucchini will often lose moisture as the zucchini pasta cooks so be sure to drain any liquid that has built up in the pan. The recipe serves well as a leftover, but be sure to drain any excess moisture released by the zucchini before serving again.

Ask the Nutritionist: Help! My Son Won't Eat Veggies!

My 7 year old son eats NO veggies, and hasn't since he threw up all his peas and his dinner in Kindergarten. I tried smoothies, raw carrots and edamame, which he refused and then puked up. It's all drama and a gag reflex, and incredibly hard not to be so mad, yell, etc. I obviously did something wrong when he was little, and now I am stuck. Any book suggestions, or advice would be much appreciated : ) Thank you!

I *totally* know what you mean! When my daughter was around 6 or 7 months old, a well-meaning babysitter gave her spoonful after spoonful of avocado (one of the few solid foods I had introduced to her at that time) until she threw them up. For a long time, she wouldn’t touch avocados. But she did eat other vegetables and fruits and generally had a balanced diet so I didn’t push it.

My best advice to you is: relax. What your son is doing is totally normal for kids his age. It doesn’t sound as though he has any swallowing problems, since you’ve introduced all kinds of tastes and textures, and it’s only vegetables he’s refusing. If you really want to be sure you can ask your MD for a referral to a therapist specializing in swallowing issues. What you have here is a classic case of a power struggle. The more you pressure, the more he will rebel, and the more he rebels the more frustrated you get…and the result is an out-of-control spiral.

Here’s how to get you and your family back on track: know your roles. According to Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibilities (www.ellynsatter.com), it is a parent’s job to provide what, when and where to eat. It is the child’s job to decide how much and – yes – whether to eat.  That is all. As a parent, don’t pressure, cajole, beg, barter or fight. Don’t give in to demands to fix something else just so he’ll eat something, nor give a snack later when he might be hungry after forgoing a meal. Calmly serve a plate, keep your eyes on your own plate, and when dinner is over, clear the plates.

Easier said than done, I know. But bite your tongue, stay strong, and trust that he will go back to exploring and perhaps accepting vegetables as part of his diet. According to experts, it takes anywhere from 8-20 exposures to a food before a person accepts it (notice that I didn’t say “like” it – but rather tries it and makes a firm decision about whether the food is something they will eat or something they truly do not like). Other tips that help increase acceptance of a food:

  • Serve the same food in different ways. Perhaps he hates raw baby carrots but likes cooked round carrot slices, or julienned carrots in salads.
  • Serve it with something he likes. Maybe mashed potatoes aren’t so bad when they’re on a plate next to slices of lean flank steak.
  • Be liberal with toppings, sauces and sides. Broccoli alone may be “meh” to your son, but topped with melted 2% cheddar cheese or dipped in ranch dressing – yeah!
  • Be a role model yourself. All of your efforts may be thwarted if your spouse or another person your son looks up to refuses to eat his or her vegetables – or worse – badmouths vegetables and calls them “yucky.”

I personally am opposed to “hiding” vegetables in foods, since it only reinforces the notion that vegetables need to be endured and not enjoyed. But if you’re really concerned about the quality of your child’s diet, and if he isn’t getting adequate vitamins and fiber from fruits or other healthy foods, then incorporating vegetables into cooked foods is an OK option. One of the reasons I like Mom Made Foods is that while the veggies are baked into the munchies and sides, you can also see the individual veggies (the peas in the Cheesy Mac) and taste the distinct flavors (like celery in the Turkey Meatballs).

For what it’s worth, I think you’re doing all the right things by being so concerned about your son’s health and nutrition!

If you have a question for our nutritionist, please contact us. 

3 Healthy and Easy Appetizer Recipes with Meatballs

Having friends over to watch the Final Four or hosting a party soon? Here are three ways you can create healthy finger foods with meatballs:

1. Mini Meatball Grinders. Place Mom Made Turkey Meatballs on a small bun with marinara sauce and hold it together with a toothpick. Make them a little fancier by adding a slice of fresh mozzarella and a sprig of fresh basil.

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2. Meatball Taco Bites. Heat Mom Made Beef & Cheese Meatballs according to directions. Lay out scoop chips on serving platter and place a pinch of chopped lettuce into each. Add a meatball on top of the lettuce in each chip. Top them with a pinch of shredded cheddar and a bit of salsa. Simple and fast!

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3. Asian Meatballs. Combine 2/3 cup hoisin sauce, 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar, 2 garlic cloves (minced), 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and 1 tsp. sesame oil. Whisk together all these ingredients. CookMom Made Turkey Meatballs according to directions and dip each meatball individually with a toothpick into the Asian sauce. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top along with fresh chopped chives. (as seen in "gimme me some oven")

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….or simply serve a variety of different meatballs and sauces with flag toothpicks themed to match your party. We got crafty last season and made these NFL toothpicks. Or, you can find lots of fun toothpick choices, such as these online.

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Enjoy! 

Sticky BBQ Meatball Slider with Pork Barrel

Mom Made's dishing out our Top 10 Favorite recipes to put on your dinner table! We've taken our classic Sticky BBQ Meatball Slider recipe and teamed up with Pork Barrel to make it extra yummy!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Sliders:

Side:

  • 2 boxes of Mom Made Cheesy Mac

Directions:

  • Place Mom Made Turkey Meatballs in the microwave on high for 60 seconds.
  • Place BBQ sauce in the microwave on high for 60 seconds.
  • Coat meatballs in sauce.
  • Place three meatballs on each whole wheat slider bun.
  • Puncture 3 small holes in overwrap of each box of Mom Made Cheesy.
  • Place Cheesy Mac in the microwave on high for two minutes.
  • Stir and reheat for one minute.
  • Place two turkey meatball sliders and ½ a container of Mom Made Cheesy Mac on each plate.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

Plum Sauce Meatballs with Broccoli Slaw

Mom Made's dishing out our Top 10 Favorite recipes to put on your dinner table! We've teamed up with Organicville to bring you this different and sweet meal.

Serves: 4

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz) box Mom Made Turkey Meatball Bites
  • 1 bag of Broccoli Slaw
  • 1 cup of Organicville Plum Sauce

    Directions:

  • Place Mom Made Turkey Meatballs in the microwave on high for 60 seconds.
  • Place broccoli slaw bag in the microwave on high for 4 minutes.
  • Toss meatballs, slaw and sauce.
  • Serve warm.

Back to the Dinner Table Entertainment Tips!

We know that sitting down as a family isn't always easy with soccer practice, piano lessons and ballet going on, but we encourage you to scroll thru our top 5 ways to spend time as a family at dinner.
  1. Make dinner-time a giggle fest by playing "Would You Rather." It's simple: Pose a dilemma like "Would you rather eat a Brussels sprout or eat a bug?" and have everyone answer. Laughter guaranteed!
  2. Dinner-time can be fun and profound when you ask new questions and get a conversation started. Try, "if you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?" or "If you could travel back in time, where would you go?"
  3. Get your kids involved in dinner prep. They'll feel a sense of pride eating what they've created!
  4. Make dinnertime story time! Have one family member start the story with a sentence like, "Once upon a time there was a boy named Jimmy with a pet hippopotamus." The next person continues the story with another sentence, and so on until you have one wild narrative.
  5. Make your family dinner a special event by creating a festive atmosphere. Light candles, play music, use different place settings- maybe even dress up!

Mom Made Turkey Meatball Tacos

If you love turkey just as much as we do here at Mom Made Foods, try our delicious recipe I like to make for my family. I made this recently for CBS6 Richmond. To watch the video, click here.

Prep Time: approx. 10 Minutes

Cook Time: approx. 2 minutes

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

8 taco shells, warmed per package instructions

8 ounce package of Mom Made Turkey Meatball Bites

1 cup chicken broth, low sodium

Toppings

¼ cup red onion, diced

1 ripe avocado, sliced

2 cups fresh spinach, washed & rinsed, remove stems and chop

1 - 7oz can corn, drained

1 cup cheddar, shredded

1 jar of your favorite salsa

2 limes, quartered (optional)

½ cup sour cream (optional)

Fresh cilantro, washed & rinsed, chopped (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven and heat taco shells, according to directions on box.
  2. In a large microwavable bowl, heat Mom Made Turkey Meatballs in low sodium chicken broth for 2 min on high. If preferred, cut meatball bites in half before serving.
  3. Place all prepared toppings in separate small serving bowls, to serve family-style.
  4. Let each guest make their own taco with their desired toppings.

 Fun Tips

  1. Encourage your child to make their own turkey meatball taco.
  2. Challenge them to put as many toppings on their taco as they are years old. For example, a five year old would choose 5 toppings.
  3. Challenge them to see who can make the most colorful turkey meatball taco.
  4. Let them have fun digging in!

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.

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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

Winter Bucket List: 5 Things to Stave off the Doldrums

The holidays are behind you and the freestyling summer months barely a speck in your memory. [sigh] Looking down the long road of winter might seem daunting—long days spent inside means the natives get restless. You need an action plan! We’ve been thinking it over and came up with a few creative, active and educational ideas that will keep your family moving and shaking until the crocuses pop up their pointy heads. (It’s also possible you could be busy through Memorial Day. You’re welcome.) Make a Winter 2015 Photo Book

Tell the story of this winter. Take the family out for a 30-minute walk with the camera and have everyone take pics of things they find inspiring. Animals, trees, cityscapes, yourselves. Shoot what you see, and make it fun! Have a snowball fight, make snow angels (or sand angels if you’re near the beach) and don’t forget to get a shot of the whole family. Once you have the pics you want, create a custom photo album online. You can even add text to tell the story of your day—or make it a fictional tale if you’re feeling super creative. We love the photo books at shutterfly.com, picaboo.com and snapfish.com.

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Host a Living Room Picnic

It might be chilly outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t break out the picnic basket and some cozy blankets for an indoor picnic. Move the furniture aside, thrown down a couple blankets and invite the neighbors over. Opt for easy-to-eat, healthy snacks like veggies and hummus, whole grain bread and peanut butter, and Mom Made Apple Munchies. Make sure everyone knows the dress code (pajamas, naturally). Bonus idea: When you’re done eating, use the blankets to make forts!

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Plan a Spring Garden

There’s nothing quite as magical as placing seedlings in the ground and watching them grow into food you will eat in the coming months. It’s also a great lesson for kids to understand where food comes from and how delicious it can be plucked straight from the vine or ground. Brainstorm what you want to plant and order seeds online or get them from your local home store. You can start germinating indoors soon after. Put the kids in charge of checking in and watering sprouts. For a step-by-step guide on all the things you need to know when planning and prepping a garden, check out this great article at garden.org.

kids.lovetoknow.com

Learn a New Language

Hola! Ciao! Zdravstvuyte! Whether you decide to tackle Spanish, Italian or Russian, winter is a great time for starting new and concentrated projects. Learning a language is something the whole family can do together, and it’s a great way to expand your horizons and understand another culture. While you’re practicing basic conversation and conjugation, be sure to also research the traditions of your chosen country—especially the cuisine! For free online language learning, try Duolingo.com and Livemocha.com. For those interested in an investment, check out Rosetta Stone.

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Perform a Secret Act of Service

This is our favorite. An anonymous act of service is an exciting way to make someone’s day, week or even year—especially in the middle of the winter season. When you get your kids involved, it’s also a fun lesson in paying it forward. Some ideas to get the creative juices flowing: Leave a gift basket of goodies on your neighbor’s doorstep when they’re at work, shovel the snow from a friend’s driveway before they wake up in the morning, or leave a kind note in a friend’s mailbox telling her how awesome she is. Dream up the ideas with your kids and let them lead the charge.

via 247moms.com

We love hearing about what you’ve been up to and other ideas you have. Like us on Facebook and share your pictures and stories!

Mom Made

Nine tips for an easier back-to-school

After long hours playing in the summer sun, the transition back to regimented school schedules and studying can be stressful on kids. Here are a few tips (and some fun ideas, too) to ease everyone back into the academic year from Mom Made Foods:

  1. It’s back-to-school time! To motivate your children, we’re fans of rewarding kids when they meet their goals. Have your kids set their own goals with your guidance and base them on what’s realistic for each child. Some ideas: eat healthy snacks, save part of their allowance, read a book a week/month or learn to play an instrument. Back to school tips with Mom Made
  2. Ever thought about getting your kids writing in a daily journal? We love this idea because it cultivates the writing and language skills vital to success in school and in life. Favorite topics to start young writers off: favorite school lunch, happiest summer moment, what I learned today.back-to-school -FB-YellowFrame3
  3. Create a month-long lunch plan for your family. Bring your kids in on the planning! It’s a great way to make sure they finish their lunch and get the nutrition they need to be successful in the classroom.back-to-school -FB-YellowFrame4
  4. Many kids are always on the hunt for a snack, especially right after school. Hide the cookie jar and counter unhealthy choices with easy-to-grab pre-cut veggies and fruit in the fridge.

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  1. Spend quality time eating together as a family! This “together” time is so essential to maintaining a bond for the whole clan. Another great way to squeeze in some QT: Sit down together on the weekend and plan ahead for dinners.

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6. Kids love notes—especially surprise notes from you stowed away in their lunchbox. Simply jot down an inspirational quote or a quick message on a napkin and slip it under their sandwich. THEY WILL LOVE IT.

back-to-school -FB-YellowFrame77. How many plastic sandwich bags do you toss every week? We’re betting a lot. Switch to the reusable variety for packed lunches—you’ll reduce waste and save money. Our favorites are from our friends at LunchSkins and…Mom Made Munchies fit perfectly in them!

back-to-school -FB-YellowFrame88. It can be next to impossible to find convenient foods that are actually healthy within the packed shelves at grocery stores. You have to commit to reading food labels to differentiate the “real food” from the rest. Simplicity is your best friend here. Focus on products with short, pronounceable ingredients and look for these labels: organic, antibiotic-free, non-GMO! Need more simple guidelines, then peak into our 2 min video "5 Tips for reading food labels."

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9. You don’t have to break into a sweat for exercise to “count.” But you do                   want to be regularly active with your kids—even walking or biking with them to school can make a huge difference. Combining this with balanced nutrition will keep your family on a healthy track and you’ll feel better!

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Fore more healthy insights and advice from our own Heather herself, please watch this 2 min video "5 Steps to hop on a healthy track."

It's never too late to start healthy!

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; Heather Stouffer from Mom Made Foods shares her story

Tell us about your family:

I married Craig in 1999 – we’re coming up on our 15th anniversary this month! He’s a fabulous friend, father and life partner. Everyone always asks me if Craig works for Mom Made. He doesn’t – he’s in the sports industry, but, I like to say he’s Mom Made's Chief of Moral Support, an extremely important role.

Audrey and EmoryWe have two amazing kids, Emory and Audrey. Audrey is in preschool. She loves playing with dolls, helping in the kitchen, playing with friends, dancing and keeping the whole family entertained. Emory is your typical third grade boy except when it comes to food. He loves sports, Legos, reading, and playing with his friends. When he requested Pakistani food for his 7th birthday dinner, we thought, our work is done here!

Tell us about your company: 

mom_made_logoThe company was launched in 2006, when as a new mother, I saw a huge need for healthy, convenient, organic and all natural options for kids. There were no existing options in the grocery for feeding kids in a pinch that were healthy. Mom Made Foods was created from my belief that convenient meals do not need to sacrifice quality or nutrition, and that kids should be able to eat delicious foods without added junk.

What advice would you give moms about raising healthy eaters?

Here are few tricks that I have found to work well...Focus on colors and flavors. Rather than saying, “Do you like your broccoli?” ask if it was crunchy, sweet, bitter or sour. Ask what other foods are the same color. This often helps children focus beyond yummy or yucky. Also, bring the your "helpers" to the grocery store and let them pick the ingredients for the meals to be made that week. Parents can also introduce veggies in a new way. For example, many children like veggies better as part of a soup. Sprout a seed or even grow a tomato plant to help your child get interested in fruits and vegetables.

Bottom line is for us parents to offer a variety of healthy foods, then take a chill pill. Ellyn Satter, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Family Therapist and internationally recognized authority on eating and feeding, is one of my heroes. I've learned so much from her philosophy about the division of responsibility when it comes to feeding kids. If feeding your kids is stressful for you or your children, I highly recommend her books.

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

I have only about a 10-15 minute commute home. Usually my husband picks up the kids from their schools so they're already home by the time I arrive. I walk through our door, drop my bags and the kids come running up with arms wide open ready for a big hug. I instantaneously unwind. Cooking, sitting down together for dinner and talking about our days are all therapeutic for me. After dinner, we will go for a family walk, turn on some music and dance or just play together. Our couple hours together before the kids go to bed are my favorite part of the day (before I typically plug in and do a few more hours of work...).

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

I can hear it as though she's standing right next to me, "Heather, dear, you have to remember to take care of yourself."

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

The other day my son who's 8 was playing on the iPad, sitting on the couch right next to me as I was reading a book. I asked him for the iPad for a minute so I could look something up quickly. I opened google and saw that he had just looked up "prettiest lady alive" in google and he'd clicked on images. Yes, just google that quickly, folks. It was one of those moments when I not only found myself laughing but also taking a big gulp because it was time for us to realize he's growing up much too fast and we need to get a handle on internet security, among other things. Oh the joys of parenting...just when you think you've got it figured out.

For more information about Mom Made Foods please visit:

Website:  www.MomMadeFoods.com

Facebook:  www.Facebook.com/MomMadeFoods

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/MomMadeFoods

Pinterst:  www.Pinterest.com/mommadefoods/

 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. 

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)

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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)

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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)

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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!