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Motts Fruitsations Kids

In Their Own Words: Kids Review Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie Snacks

I thought I’d try something new on the blog today so instead of writing a review about something my kids will be consuming, I figured I’d ask them to take care of the actual review themselves. This week we are working with Mott’s and trying out their Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie fruit flavoured snacks.

We sent a package of Fruitsations with the kids each day for their first week of school and now that we have all emerged from that week without any bruises, the kids are ready to share their thoughts on the 80 calorie snack pouches that are Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie!

We’ll start with my 8 year old, whose testimonial interview went exactly like this:

Me: “Okay buddy, how did you like the Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie snacks that we put in your lunch this week?”
Son: *Staring down at his tablet* “Good”
Me: “Hey, could you put the tablet away for a few minutes so we can talk about these snacks?”
Son: *Glances up for a split second before looking back at tablet* “Ok”
Me: *Takes tablet away* “So, how did you like the Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie snacks and do you want us to keep putting them in your lunch?”
Son: *Staring at tablet in my hand* “Good”
Me: “Great, thanks for the amazing attention to detail in that review”

To be fair to my son, he has always had a short attention span so I wasn’t expecting a novel here. He is also a very picky eater so the fact that he said they were good is a major victory in the lunch snacks department!

Next up is my 6 year old daughter, who I have no doubt will win an Oscar or an Emmy someday. Her reaction to the Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie snacks was exactly as I had expected from her and our conversation went a little bit like this:

Me: “Honey, now that the first week of school is over, how did you like the fruit snacks that we were putting in your lunches?”
Daughter: *Doing jumping jacks and cartwheels* “They were the BEST SNACKS EVER!!!!!”
Me: “Wow, what did you love most about them?”
Daughter: *Grabs my ears and pulls our faces together* “EVERYTHING!!”
Me: “Then I’ll assume you would like us to continue putting them in your lunch?”
Daughter: “I want twenty one hundred packages in my lunch!!” (Hey, it’s a number in her world)

Well, there you have it, folks. Both of my picky eaters were impressed with the Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie snacks and we now have a new staple for their lunch bags that we know will come home eaten. Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie snacks contain fruit and vegetable juice from concentrate from apples, pears and carrots, plus strawberry puree and can be picked up at your local grocery store.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program but these are the actual conversations I had with my children because there’s no way I could have come up with that on my own.

Kids Spartan Race

With Kids, The Adventure Never Ends! #FeedYourAdventure

This post was sponsored by CLIF Bar & Company after they noticed how active our lives were and that our kids were big fans of their CLIF Kid ZBar.

It would be a grave understatement to say that we are a family on-the-go. There were many times this summer where I had no idea what day it was but knew that we had to get from activity A to activity B and on some occasions from there to activity C, and all this before lunch. Did we bring this on ourselves? Definitely, but we want to encourage our kids to be active and think it’s especially important to start doing so at a young age.

I’m going to assume that we aren’t the only busy parents out there who have trouble finding time for breakfast, lunch & dinner while shuttling their kids around from sport to sport. As I’ve written about a number of times on the blog, our kids have developed some pretty strong picky eating habits and we have struggled to find foods for them to eat on the go, often falling back on fast food, which I think we can all agree is not the best way to get the most out of your young athletes… As you can see from the picture below, our kids seem to have caught the athlete bug. Not picture here are ice hockey, ballet and karate.

clif bar canadian dad

One of the bright spots throughout all of this has been our discovery of the CLIF Kid Organic ZBar. I was already a big fan of CLIF bars (chocolate chip, if you wanted to get me some), but had no idea that they had a bar for busy kids. Luckily for us I am a stubborn dad and still force my kids to try new foods even though I assume they won’t enjoy them. Imagine my surprise when both my kids loved the CLIF Kid ZBar and begged me to buy more! The best part is that on top of the fact that they are made with organic oats from Canada, the ZBar also provides the following:

* Source of fibre
* 8-10 grams whole grains
* No trans-fat, partially-hydrogenated oils or synthetic preservatives
* No high fructose corn syrup
* No artificial flavours
* CLIF Kid offers lower levels of fat and sugar than many kids’ snacks available today

We certainly don’t use these bars as meal replacements but they are an excellent source of energy for between and before events. Plus, I feel better knowing that my kids are putting something good into their bodies instead of more junk or in a lot of previous cases, nothing at all. You can check out all the products that the CLIF Bar Company has available by visiting their website at ClifBar.ca.

CLIF Kid ZBar

Motts Fruitsations Lunch

How To Convince Your Picky Eaters To Finish Their Lunch

As hard as we’ve tried as parents, our children still act as if we are trying to poison them when we serve them mom-and-dad-approved meals. I have no idea where we went wrong but it has been an uphill climb trying to get them to start eating foods we can feel good about, and I wanted to share a few of the ways we have managed to get them back on track.

1. Hiding Fruits & Veggies in Their Meals

That’s right, the oldest trick in the book is exactly that for a reason. We weren’t exactly experts at it right off the bat but we have learned from our early errors and now our hiding skills would make Harry Houdini proud.

Motts Fruitsations Pizza

2. Pay Them Money

This strategy worked like a charm at the beginning. Unfortunately the kids were eating so many fruits and veggies that we had to either re-mortgage the house or cut this wonderful trick from our list.

Motts Fruitsations Cash

3. Cover Everything in Peanut Butter

What kid doesn’t like a huge slab of peanut butter, am I right?! We found that if you threw enough of it on their food, they wouldn’t even recognize what it is that they are eating. Genius! Also, for the nut free crowd, you can try alternatives such as strawberry jam or melted cheese.

Motts Fruitsations PB

4. Start Them With Something They Love, Like Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie!

Motts Fruitsations Kids

One thing we haven’t had to force on the kids are Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie fruit flavoured snacks. They are made with no artificial flavours or colours and the kids love them! Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie snacks contain fruit and vegetable juice from concentrate from apples, pears and carrots, plus strawberry puree.

Each pouch is only 80 calories and they are perfect as lunch or after school snacks for our busy kidsIt’s worked well in our household and it makes mom and dad happy campers! You can grab Mott’s Fruitsations at your local grocery store and I’ll leave you with a quick word of advice to put them up high in your cupboard or you’ll be staring at an empty box the same day you buy them…

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program. I would definitely never pay my children to make wise food choices…

Quaker Chewy Super Grains

Why Didn’t You Eat Your Lunch??

We have asked our children this question on an almost daily basis for this entire school year. I have no idea what it is about the lunches we are packing that repulses the children so much but it seems the one thing we can count on in our house is a less than half eaten lunch when they get home from school.

When prompted about their decisions to neglect their lunches we have received a number of different, yet equally unsatisfying answers, that range from “They didn’t give us enough time!!” to the half-mumbled version of “I don’t know” that sounds kind of like Tarzan’s roar if he were to do it quietly and curtly. It is a frustrating daily exercise that we have tried to fix in a number of ways but still seem to be losing the battle.

Much like the rest of you, we have very active kids who compete in multiple sports and activities. I’m actually at a loss on how to explain to them that they need this food in order to fuel themselves throughout the day, as everything we have tried seems to go in one ear and out the other. Actually, if you guys have any tips, please feel free to share them in the comments because I am all ears! All this said, we have found a few items that the kids will eat no matter how little time their dictators, oops, I mean teachers give them.

The latest such items are the new Quaker Chewy® Super Grains granola bars, which were sent to us by Quaker for the kids to try out. In the last week since we have been sending them in the kids lunches, they are the only empty compartment in the lunch bags when they return home and the kids would eat them all in one sitting if I left them out in the open. The things I didn’t tell the kids are the reasons why I am happy they are eating them. The Quaker Chewy® Super Grains granola bars are made in a peanut-free facility and combine super grains like whole grain oats, brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, sorghum, and barley to deliver 8 g of whole grains, 5 g of protein and 2 g of fibre. Remember the mention of fuel earlier? This is at least some of the fuel they will need to get through their afternoon activities.

Quaker Chewy Super Grains Kids

I will admit that the lunch time battle is far from over but I will definitely take these small victories as they come. I mean, my kids are enjoying both the Oats & Chocolate and Oats & Honey flavours of the Quaker Chewy® Super Grains granola bars. That’s a win in itself for my picky eaters and we are now one step closer to an empty lunchbox at the end of the day. Now if only we could force them to eat their fruit…

How about you? Do you have picky lunch eaters? How do you deal with it? No, seriously, please help!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program but I did in fact have to hide the granola bars because my son is a granola monster who would hide in his room and eat them all in 2 minutes…

Barilla Easy Spaghetti Prep

Easy Barilla Spaghetti For Your Picky Eaters

I’m always surprised by the number of families who make two totally different meals at dinner time. This is usually because the kids won’t eat the food the parents are eating and, not wanting them to starve, a second meal is created. I don’t say this to judge, as I have been in this boat myself. I mention it because instead of creating a completely different meal we simply started finding meals where we could individually tweak the ingredients to make everyone happy.

One of the first meals we tried this with was with our famous Spaghetti Sunday! What? Don’t pretend you don’t name your days after the food you will be eating! Where was I?? Oh yeah, the spaghetti! You see, my wife and I love spaghetti but the kids have never liked spaghetti sauce. This has left us either avoiding making it altogether or with two empty bowls and two full bowls when we do prepare it. Instead of going the two dinner route, my wife came up with a brilliant plan.

Barilla Spaghetti

Looks Plain; Tastes Delicious!

Instead of putting the sauce on the kids Barilla spaghetti noodles, she simply added a little bit of butter/margarine and some parmesan cheese. I have never seen children eat a meal faster than my kids did that day. They even asked for seconds! Seconds I tell you! Just so you don’t think, “that’s all?!”, I should also mention that we included a salad and garlic bread to round out the meal. I realize this may not sound like much, especially to you wizards whose children eat everything you put in front of them, but this was a big breakthrough for us because it changed our mindset about dinner time. We had been stuck in a spot where it was either two separate dinners or make the kids starve to make a point, neither of which were good options.

On top of this new development, we have really been encouraging the kids to help out with the meal preparation and they are both really starting to love it. The great thing about the spaghetti meal is that they can pretty much do all the work aside from lifting the heavy pot, so they really feel like they are making their own meals. So, what are you waiting for? Stop slaving over two meals and get your kids involved experimenting with different combinations. At the very least you’ll end up creating some really fun family memories!

Barilla Easy Spaghetti

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the Barilla Share The Table campaign. Barilla was kind enough to send us some pasta for our experiments and I couldn’t be happier that they did!

Barilla Cooking With Kids

Let Me Tell You A Secret About Picky Eaters

My kids hate food. Alright, that seems a little drastic. It seems as though my children dislike more food than they like. Any parent with a picky eater understands the frustration of slaving over a healthy family meal, only to have 50% of the people at the dinner table refuse to eat any of it. Stories such as, “It has green things in it” or “I like it but don’t want to eat it right now”, are mainstays in our house and it seemed as though all was lost, until recently, that is.

I think I may have discovered a loophole in the system and it happened while I was working on my last blog post for Barilla pasta’s Share The Table campaign. I had the kids help me cook the meal that night, which included things that they normally would decline to eat. You know, things like whole grain pasta, tomatoes, all other vegetables… When I mentioned to the kids that food always tastes better when you make it yourself, they couldn’t wait to finish their plates!

Ever since then I have tried to make an effort to get the kids involved in the meal preparation and I have to say that I am running at about a 75% success rate, which is outstanding! No more whining about spaghetti or lasagna having too many vegetables in them because the kids are controlling which and how many veggies are going in. They are also beaming with pride as they help serve the food to the table for family and friends. Win-Win!

Speaking of winning… You still have time to enter Barilla’s Share The Table contest where you can win 1 of 3 trips for four to Italy!! My bags are already packed in case you win and can’t think of anyone else to bring with you. My Italian is quite weak, in fact non-existent, but I smile a lot and don’t sleep walk, so there’s that! Please also check out the Barilla Share The Table website for some great tips and tricks on how to make mealtime a meaningful experience in your house.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the Barilla Share The Table campaign.