convenient

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! 

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; 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.

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.

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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

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

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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.

What's in my Cheese Pizza Munchie?

Americans love their pizza and a basic cheese pizza pleases almost everybody. Our Cheese Pizza Munchie is a healthy fun twist on traditional pizza. It's perfect in a lunchbox, as an on-the-go lite dinner or as a healthy after-school lunch. Even kids can heat them up! Check out how they compare to other frozen pockets:

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Double the sodium, no veggies, not organic and full of preservatives compared to organic goodness.

Our health is about making good choices. Mom Made Cheese Pizza includes all these organic nutritious ingredients that are good for you and makes you simply happy ;-)

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Where do you find Mom Made Cheese Pizza? Click here to find a store near you.

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

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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.

8 Must-Do's to Make Back-to-School Healthier

breakfast1)  No more lazy days of summer!  Use the last few weeks of summer to get into a school-day rhythm. Practice waking up, getting dressed and eating breakfast at the same time every morning. It can also be helpful to prepare in the evening for the morning tasks. Get your children involved in the process, so you have an extra hand. When you do this as a family, life can be easier for everyone. 2) Rise & shine! Wake up an extra 10 minutes early to encourage your family to eat a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and critical to your child's day of learning.

3) Make it fun! Put on your creative cap to jazz up lunch and snacks with fun shapes and colorful. Write a funny note or joke to put into their lunch. blog1

4) Involve the kiddos! Empower your kids by involving them the prep work and decision making about what goes in the lunchbox. Carrots or sliced red peppers today? Then don't be surprised when they bring home an empty lunchbox after school.

5)  Sweet dreams! Move back bedtime a week before school starts to the "school night" bedtime. A well rested child is a child ready to learn.

blog26)  Stock up on the have-as-much-as-you-like snacks! Pack your kitchen with easy, healthy finger foods, such as grapes, berries, cherry tomatoes and baby carrots. After school, leave healthy snacks on the kitchen counter so your children will help themselves. Or, pack your veggie and fruit snacks in easy-usable containers, that will provide your child access to prepared snacks in the fridge.

7) Plan your dinners! Take the stress out of dinner and get some help planning ahead for easy meals. It also helps to save on groceries if you have a clean fridge at the end of the week. Our founder loves the mom-owned meal-planning service, The Six O'Clock Scramble.

8) Look for healthy shortcuts! Let all-natural and organic prepared foods take some of the stress off of you for those nights when you're dashing from school to after-school activities. Need a meal in 2 minutes that comes with no guilt? That's when Mom Made Meatball Bites, Mom Made Meals and Mom Made Munchies come to the rescue. :-)