Healthy

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!

Small Resolutions Can Change Lives

Motivation for your New Years Resolutions

Here it is January 6 and I am already questioning myself on where I am with my resolutions for this year. I am reminded of a true story and how one resolution can change lives forever…

Eighteen years ago, there was a great-looking, smart, single 20-something young man who made a New Years resolution that he needed to be more outgoing. On January 4, four days after he made the resolution, it was Saturday night and he went out with his buddies. He challenged himself to go introduce himself to some cute gals at the bar where they were. So he approached a group of three gorgeous women who were chatting away in the middle of a packed dance floor. His initial words to them were, “You gals need to stop talking and start dancing. What are you doing out here if you’re not going to dance?” The end. Well, not really…

That group of women was me and two of my best friends from college and that young man turned out to be the man I married. What’s so ironic in all of this is that I was always one who never liked meeting anyone in bars and that he is not the type for “hitting on girls” in bars.  But, bottom line, we’ve been happily married for 17+ years (and hopefully a lifetime to come!) and we have two beautiful children, all thanks to the New Years resolution he made in 1998.

My resolutions for 2017, and ways I hope make them happen, include:

1. Spending more time playing with my kids during the week and make sure to have one-on-one time. This means I need to somehow make more out of my already limited home time. When I cook, it eats into my playtime with the kids. So I aim to make larger portions and freeze meals, which will take me out of the kitchen and enable me to make more forts and build more towers. 

2. Trimming those few final pounds. For me, this means cutting back in a few areas, such as less lunches out during the work week, higher portion of veggies in every meal, less carbs, having healthy snacks always on hand at the office, etc. I have some exercise goals to go along with this - spin classes 1-2x/week and yoga 1-2x/week.

3. Having a night out with my girlfriends at least once a month. No more excuses. 

4. Planning ahead for date nights this year whether at home or going out with that handsome husband of mine.

What are your 2017 resolutions, and how do you plan to make them stick?  All of us need the support, regardless of where we are on the ‘healthy scale.’  Small choices and slight changes can have huge impacts! One day at a time. 

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. 

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.

Why Antibiotic-Free Meats?

Using antibiotics in livestock has been practiced by ranchers and farmers for decades. According to the Antibiotic Resistance Project, 29.9 million pounds of antibiotics were used in food animals in the United States during 2011. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 80% of all the antibiotics sold in the United States are used in farm animals—not humans. Surprisingly, these antibiotics are the same antibiotics that are used in humans to treat illnesses such as food poisoning. But these antibiotics aren’t being used to cure sick animals. Ranchers and farmers use antibiotics to accelerate the animal’s growth.

So if these are the same antibiotics that we ingest when we’re sick, what’s the big deal about consuming them in our foods? Researchers believe that, over time, bacteria living in antibiotic-fed animals will become resistant to the drugs, creating superbugs. According to the Environmental Working Group, these superbugs can trigger food borne illness and infections that are hard to treat.

Countries in the European Union and Canada have made feeding livestock antibiotics illegal. However, the United States has not banned such practices. American consumers nevertheless have been dissatisfied with these methods. A study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council reported that 86% of consumers polled said that meat and poultry raised without antibiotics should be available in their local supermarket. Unfortunately though, antibiotic-free meat is likely still less than 5% of the market.

Mom Made cares about feeding our families the highest quality food and we know you do too. We’re proud that all of our Mom Made Meatball Bites are made with antibiotic-free meat.

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

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!

BIG NEWS! Mom Made launching into Giant, Stop & Shop and Martin’s

We’re so excited to share some GIANT news with you! We have seven items going into Giant, Giant Supermarkets, Martins and Stop & Shop stores! In the freezer collageMMFaisle at these stores you will soon find, our brand new “Italian Style Beef Meatball Bites,” in addition to Turkey Meatball Bites, Chicken & Apple Meatball Bites, Cheesy Mac Meal, Spaghetti with Turkey Meatball Meal, Bean Burrito Munchie and Cheese Pizza Munchie. This expansion is thanks to all of you, our fans! Thank you for your endless support of our mission to make healthy foods for kids accessible nation-wide. Please tell your friends and let Mom Made do the cooking for you this summer.

To find a store near you, click here.

From moms for moms; Katrina from Vosges Haut-Chocolat

Tell us about yourself: An Indiana native with Macedonian roots, Katrina Markoff went on to study katrinaheadshot_065chemistry and psychology at Vanderbilt University, and three days following her graduation, she realized her true passion was cooking and committed to following her heart wherever it led her. She boarded the next plane for Paris to pursue her dream of culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu (L’Ecole de Cuisine et Patisserie), where she garnered the Le Grande Diplome in Cuisine and Patisserie as well as a degree in Oeneology. From Paris she moved to Spain, and apprenticed alongside Ferran and Albert Adria at the famed El Bulli restaurant. Continuing her travels, she began a nine-month sojourn around the world studying food. Markoff perused local street offerings, exploring the open-air spice stalls of Vietnam and the floating markets of Bangkok. Upon her return to the States in 1998, she founded Vosges Haut-Chocolat with the concept of Travel the World through Chocolate - using chocolate as a medium to tell stories of her travels, and the people, artists, movements, religions, music, and culture she encountered along the way.

Tell us about the company: 

Fifteen years ago, Vosges Haut-Chocolat began in Founder Katrina Markoff’s VosgesChocolateLogoChicago kitchen and has since grown to nine Purple House boutiques in New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills and Las Vegas with a strong presence nationwide in esteemed gourmet and specialty grocers and luxury department stores like Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and more. As the innovator in the luxury chocolate category, Vosges was first to combine exotic indigenous spices, herbs, flowers, roots, and liqueurs with premium, ethically sourced chocolate. Built on a foundational mission and core values, the company creates a transformational, sensory chocolate experience that nurtures awareness of and appreciation for the world’s diverse cultures. Vosges Haut-Chocolat is a certified organic manufacturing facility that operates on 100% renewable energy. Under its Green Purchasing Oath, the chocolatier selects ingredients with sustainable merit like Rainforest Alliance organic chocolate and uses packaging made of 100% post-consumer recycled material for all its chocolate bars and purple boxes. The company’s latest endeavor is the construction of a Platinum LEED-certified green manufacturing and chocolate lifestyle house in Chicago, another step in expanding its mission of bringing peace to the world through chocolate.

What advice would you give moms about raising healthy eaters?

Start making your own food from the beginning. It is really quite easy and a big cost savings. Your children will love all the fresh veggies and fruits from the start

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

A Nature Scavenger walk on our property with my two little boys and dogs. We are in the moment.

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

Nothing compares to a roasted cauliflower with Lemon, Garlic and Parmagianno.

When nobody is watching, what is your favorite treat? CHOCOLATE...

Tell us about your favorite recipe to make for your family? Anything with Lamb. Right now I am into Morrocan Lamb Kepabs with Pine Nuts, Tomato and Eggplant.

To learn more about the company please visit:

Website: www.vosgeschocolate.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Vosges

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; Jeannette Levenstein from MD MOMS shares her story

Tell us about your family: I married my husband Bruce almost 26 years ago.  He saw me through medical MDMoms-JJapplications and I made the choice to stay in LA to go to school and be with him.  Our son Max was born my senior year at USC Medical School and was 9 months old when I graduated.  Bruce stayed home to raise Max, and I started my career.  After Max graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012, Bruce and I both retired to enjoy our empty nest.  We are lucky to have his family here in southern California, and the majority of my friends from San Francisco have relocated here- forming the perfect support network for us.

Tell us about your company:

MD MOMS was started by my business partner, colleague and friend Diane Truong, and I,MD_Moms_logo 8 years ago after we couldn’t find appropriate solutions for skin care issues in the baby section.  We set about to create a brand that was supported by our clinical knowledge, our respect for science, and our experience as mothers.  MD MOMS Baby Silk was born, and alive and well.  We have received several parent and press awards, but most importantly, have received the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association for our core products.  A big part of our mission is to raise awareness and dollars for Children’s Charities - and currently we are doing that for United Cerebral Palsy Los Angeles - helping fund the UCPlay program that brings art services and floor time to children with autism, developmental and psychological disabilities in our local school systems.

What advice would you give moms about raising healthy eaters?

Give your child real food as soon as possible, and don’t be afraid to add herbs and seasonings to make it tasty.  Stay flexible when your child turns 2-3, and rejects a previously wonderful diet - they will eventually circle back.  Eat at the table, not on the go, and if you can grow a little of your food, with your children’s help, you’ll be surprised how invested they are in what they water!

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

Broccolini - steamed until bright green, add a little lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and pepper - delicious!

When nobody is watching, what is your favorite treat?

Doritos

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

Always believe you can do ANYTHING, and then do it.

For more information about MD Moms please visit:

Website: https://www.mdmoms.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mdmoms

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 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.

Our Excitement is Off the Meter...Mom Made is Now in Harris Teeter!

Harris Teeter storeI am often asked by friends if I am excited by all the growth at Mom Made. Yes, absolutely, it is a dream come true to see “my third baby,” Mom Made, growing at rocket speed. But, lets be honest…managing a growing business is much more stressful than it is exciting. When I do get excited is when I walk into store and see our product in the freezer aisle. And, it is VERY exciting to see it in the freezer in a new retail chain, like Harris Teeter! Not only is Harris Teeter local to Mom Made’s headquarters, but we’ve been hearing from our customers for years that they’d like to see our products there. Well now it’s there, folks! You'll find Mom Made's Cheesy Mac Meal, Spaghetti & Meatballs Meal, Cheese Pizza Munchie, Bean Burrito Munchie and my son's favorite...Apple Pie Munchie!

Click here to find a store near you.

As I once heard someone say, "Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness." Thanks, Harris Teeter! We're so happy to be working with you!

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

Cozy Family Winter Meal

Heather's Creamy Pasta with Mom Made Chicken and Apple Meatballs! I love dreaming up new recipes and especially love it when my whole family approves with a "Mommy, this is so good!" I hope your family enjoys this too!

Simple:  Mom Made Chicken and Apple Meatball Bites served with homemade white sauce over pasta (potatoes or rice works well too!).

Family Dinner:  In a pan, warm 3 Tbsp olive oil then saute diced garlic and shallots and sliced mushrooms over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp of flour and stir so that flour is soaked up. Add 1 1/2 cups of milk and salt and pepper to taste. Let the milk warm till it is bubbling and thickens slightly. Add a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach and a package of frozen Chicken & Apple Meatball Bites. Warm the sauce over medium heat until the meatballs are hot. Voila! Serve over your favorite pasta. You can also bring your own twist to the table by adding other veggies.

Chicken&AppleMT-WhiteSauce

Monday Night Football Snack

For some, football is serious business and for others it’s an excuse to come together. Regardless of how big a sports fan you are, it likely also means endless unhealthy finger foods like chicken wings, potato skins, onion rings, chips, etc. FootballMeatballs

You can still watch Monday Night Football tonight, but give Mom Made Meatballs a try. We’ve got three options for you to choose from, Chicken & Apple, Beef & Cheddar or Turkey. We make them low sodium and use antibiotic-free meats.

Heat them in the microwave and within less than a couple minutes, you have healthy snacks everyone will love. Serve on a platter and decorate them with flag toothpicks. To make it even more fun, serve with a few different dipping sauces, like barbeque, marinara, ketchup or honey mustard. So simple and they’ll be a hit!

You rooting for Tampa Bay or Miami tonight?

5 Spooky Meatball Ideas for Halloween

How about some spooky meals for your family to make Halloween extra festive this year? We've got you covered with these 5 easy recipes using Mom Made Meatballs.

MeatballAppetizer1) Serve our Mom Made Beef & Cheese, Chicken & Apple and Turkey Meatballs with a Halloween decorated toothpick on a tray. Offering 3 very different flavors can please any taste buds. Prep time? Max 5 minutes.

spiderwebeyeballpizza2) You can never go wrong with a Spiderweb Eyeball Pizza.You need a prepared pizza dough, olive oil, pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, black olives and Mom Made Turkey Meatballs. Depending on your crust, spiderweb eyeball pizza will be ready in 10-12 min, enjoy

HalloweenMeatballs3

3) Decorate a plate with Mom Made Beef & Cheese Meatballs and use ketchup or vodka sauce to create spider legs. Yup...very spooky!

Meatball Taco

4) Meatball taco on the go! Heat up Mom Made Beef & Cheese Meatballs and insert them with lettuce in a hard shell taco. Use black olives for the eyes.

 Meatball and Pasta Mummy Skewers

5) Cook Mom Made Meatballs (take your choice!) then carefully skew them on a stick. Wrap cooked fettuccine noodles around to make your mummy and use a red pepper or black olive slice for eyes. Serve with your favorite marinara as a dipping sauce. 

These and many more healthy Halloween ideas on our Pinterest page. Wishing you and your kiddos a happy and HEALTHY Halloween!

PS. Like us on facebook and share your ideas.

Chicken Nuggets or Mom Made Chicken Meatballs?

Do you buy chicken nuggets for your family for those really-busy-no-time-to-cook dinners? Mom Made would like to share with you a simple swap you can make to keep things healthy at your dinner table. First, some facts that might be surprising to some of you. Did you know...

  1. These popular chicken nuggets, that you can find in almost any fast food joint, hardly contain any chicken. Their boneless chicken has been pasted and and then just held together with sodium phosphate acting as a glue. Appetizing?!
  2. Using a lot of other additives and chemicals, it is said that the majority of that paste consists of corn and not even real chicken. OK, again not appetizing.
  3. For appearance's sake, the food processors must add artificial coloring to make the gel look like chicken meat. Once the gel is artificially flavored and colored, it is squeezed into molds and breaded, then fried briefly to help it keep its shape.

Chicken Nuggets are popular because they're bite size and you can dip them in different sauces. Now, we want to share with you Mom Made Chicken & Apple Meatballs that come with the same fun factor as the chicken nuggets, but are so much healthier! 10 Mom Made Chicken & Apple Meatballs are almost less than half the calories and sodium than just 5 chicken nuggets. Here's how they stack up:

MM_Comparison_ChickenBites_shadowTo learn more about Mom Made Chicken & Apple Meatball, click here.

Mom Made Meatball Kabob Recipe

We're so excited to see our brand new product, Mom Made's Chicken & Apple Meatball Bites, featured in this month's "Every Day with Rachael Ray" magazine! There are so many fun and delicious ways to use these in making a healthy dinner. Here's one of our favorite recipes...Mom Made Meatball Kabobs, a meal on-a-stick the whole family will enjoy! Prep Time - 10 min Cook Time - 2 min...no kidding!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Mom Made's antibiotic-free RachaelRay - Chicken Apple MeatballsChicken & Apple Meatballs (8oz)
  • 2C low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, washed and cut into 1" squares
  • 1 green bell pepper, washed and cut into 1" squares
  • 1 box of cherry tomatoes
  • 1C cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1C pineapple, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • Wooden skewers

kabob

Heat the meatballs in low sodium chicken broth according to directions on the box.

Place meatballs, cheese cubes, bell peppers and pineapple on skewers. Serve with your favorite rice and dipping sauce, e.g. ranch, bbq, sweet & sour.

Family Tip: It's fun to have the kids make their own and challenge them to include as many colors on their kabob as they can.

Optional: Make the kabobs without the cheese. Grill then add the cheese cubes to each end.