Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

September 12, 2016

Treat Yo'self: 5 Healthy After School Snack Ideas with Giant Food Stores {GIVEAWAY}

*This is a sponsored post* 

I'm not sure about your kids, but my girls come off the bus ravenous. Before even getting a "Hello, Mom! I missed you! Let me tell you about my day" (which, let's be honest, never happens), I get a grumble that resembles some form of "I'm hungry. I need a snack. Stat."

There is a balance to be had when whipping up after school snacks. On one hand, kids are hungry after a big day at school, and need nourishment. On the other hand, it's close enough to dinner time that I don't want them chowing down and totally ruining their appetite.

So, I try my best to "treat" the kids with small, yummy snacks that will tide them over until mealtime. I like that it's a way to give them something special as a reward for working hard at school.

Giant Food Stores is a great resource for healthy after school snacks. I love their Nature's Promise organic brand, as there are so many tasty options that have a sneaky helping of nutrients, too!

Here are 5 of our favorite "sneaky healthy" after school treats:





Granola Bars

We always stock up on granola bars at Giant. I like that I can trust the ingredients in Nature's Promise granola bars, and my kids think they are getting a total treat because they are filled with things like fruit and dark chocolate! As of late, I've been particularly fond of the Ancient Grains and Chia granola bars. They are delicious and pack an extra nutritious punch! Granola Bars are also totally totable, which makes them a good on-the-go after school snack when you have activities, lessons and practice.

Carrots and Ranch Dressing

This is a great way to get kids to consume some veggies. I put out a bag of Nature's Promise Organic Carrots and a bowl of Nature's Promise Organic Ranch Dressing. It's a big hit in our house!

Granola Chips, Almond Butter and Special Toppings

I wish Granola Chips had been invented when I was a kid. SO yummy - and a great way to scoop up extra protein! Almond Butter is my go-to when trying to add something sweet but also filling. After school, it's a solid way to give the kids something that will "stick to their ribs" until dinner (which means they aren't telling me every five minutes that they are hungry. Again. Still. Always).

I scoop some almond butter in a bowl and top with things like coconut flakes and mini chocolate chips. Then let the girls scoop it up with granola chips. Win! You can also make "granola chip nachos:" spread the chips on a plate. Then, heat up the almond butter in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds, until it is thinned. Drizzle the chips with the almond butter and top it with coconut, chocolate chips, raisins, etc.

Organic Fruit Twists

Plain and simple. This is a win-win for us: they get a gummy treat, I get the secret knowledge that it's organic and good!

Yogurt Parfaits

We do this for breakfast sometimes, too. In a bowl, layer Greek yogurt and granola. Sometimes, if it's been a particularly rough day at school, I top with a dollop of whipped cream!

Now go treat the kiddos to something delicious...and HEALTHY!


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To give you a jump start in offering healthified after school snacks, Giant is awarding one of my lucky readers a $25 gift card! To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below. Happy winning - and cheers to a great school year!




a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclosure: I was provided product and monetary compensation for this review and giveaway. All opinions are my own.




August 22, 2016

How To Build a Better Lunch Box (and GIVEAWAY!)

*This is a sponsored post* 

One week.

While the first day of autumn does not arrive for another month, my family's summer is officially over in one week. Why? Because school begins!

This year is extra special. Not only because Hubby and Chica are back to the school grind (as teacher and 3rd grader, respectively). But Bug is going to be a big kindergartener!  Our program is in its last year of half day K, so it's only a few hours a day. But it will be a big shift having to put her on the bus (NO, I'm not crying - there's something in my eye) and to have everyone out of the house every day.

One of the things I'll be trying to focus on this year is offering better lunches for the girls. During the summer, since there was more time and we didn't have to pack anything, we had some great "out of the box" lunch ideas. Produce was fresh from the garden or farmer's market, and we had the time to be more creative.

My goal is to extend the same ideas to our school lunches. And, luckily, Giant Food Stores is here to help! Not only are their Nature's Promise products chock-full of healthy goodness, but their on-staff nutritionists offer great tips on building a better lunch. 

Here are some tips on building a better lunch box this school year!


Group It Up

MyPlate is a fantastic resource for what our "plate" should look like for each meal. With the pickiness of kid's palates, it's easy to get into a habit of missing some of the core food groups. MyPlate is a goo reminder to include the five food groups each day. 





Parenting Lunch Box Goal: aim to include a minimum of 3 food groups in your child's lunchbox each day.

Section It Out

I started doing this last year and I feel like it was super helpful for both me and my girls. Using a lunchbox with divided sections or separate containers helped me think beyond the sandwich and get creative. I felt free to try foods like salads or dips and vegetables that I wouldn't be able to use in a traditional lunch box. It's also a gentle reminder to include different food groups. It's a win-win, because the kiddos like seeing the different sections and not having their food touch.

Pump It Up

Pump it up...with protein! I've been more conscious of trying to incorporate foods full of protein into school lunches. Not only is protein an important part of MyPlate, but it's a great way to keep little tummies full for longer. Almond butter is one of my favorite protein sources (I always have a jar of Nature's Promise Almond Butter in my cabinet). Pack a double protein punch by adding some some granola as a greek yogurt topper.



Think Outside of the (Lunch) Box

How often do we plateau in a lunch-making routine of PB & J sandwich, goldfish crackers and a squeezy yogurt? This is a great lunch, but the same ol' same ol' can get boring. 

Use your divided lunchbox to break OUT of the box with new ideas! Try tortilla roll-ups, carrots and ranch dressing, quinoa salad or build-your-own tacos. Sometimes a smattering of random things is a great option, too. Cut up some cheddar cheese, add some crackers, hardboiled eggs, applesauce and raisins for a tapas-style meal. 

I know several parents who have had success putting mac-n-cheese or meatballs in a quality thermos and it's still warm and ready to go at lunch time! 

Shake it up - your kids will thank you!

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To help you build a better lunchbox, Giant is awarding one of my lucky readers a $25 gift card to start the school year right! To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below. Happy winning - and cheers to a great school year!


Disclosure: I was provided product and monetary compensation for this review and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

June 9, 2016

Limoncello Products are BACK at Giant Food Stores (and a GIVEAWAY!)




It's that wonderful time of year again!

No, not the end of the school year or beginning of summer. I mean that beautiful season of Limoncello products at Giant Food Stores!

Seasonal products are my fave - it always makes me excited about the season. Give me pumpkin in autumn! Mint in winter! And when the days get longer and the temps start rising, I need me a big helping of Limoncello flavor. Like last summer, Giant is harnessing the special Sorrento lemon flavor and infusing an entire line of products that will be available in-store for a limited time only.



The Limoncello product line includes more than 30 items, from fresh to non-perishable departments. What Limoncello items am I most excited about? Limoncello cookies, Limoncello seltzer, Limoncello granola, Limoncello soap, and, of course, the Limoncello ICE CREAM.

(Note from Steph: the ice cream is DIVINE. Like. Get some. Now.)

In honor of the fantabulous limited-time Limoncello product line, Giant is giving one of my readers a $25 gift card! That way you can buy $25 worth of delicious Limoncello products for your next Summer Soiree!

Or you can hide them and eat them all yourself. No judgement here.



GIVEAWAY 




Enter below! Happy winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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