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Fun Ways to Boost Our Kids’ Food Variety (Podcast)

Are you looking for ways to add variety to your kids’ meals? Maybe even something a little more exciting? In this podcast, Jennifer Tyler Lee talks about fun ways to boost our kids’ food variety that work.

Boosting Kids Food Variety podcast | MOMables.com

Download Boosting Our Kids’ Food Variety the Fun Way on iTunes & Stitcher.

A mom of two, Jennifer Tyler Lee is the author of The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year and the creator of the award-winning series of healthy-eating games, Crunch a Color. Her family cooking adventures have been featured by Jamie Oliver, Rachael Ray, Laurie David, Pottery Barn Kids, and Whole Foods.

She is a featured blogger at The Huffington Post and a regular contributor to the James Beard award-winning magazine, Edible. Tune in to her delicious recipes and weekly tips at 52NewFoods.com.

In today’s podcast, you’ll love that Jennifer understands how difficult it can be to introduce new foods to our kids. She also provides suggestions on how to make food interesting and fun for them.

Her game, Crunch a Color, was born out of a desire to help her own children enjoy and have fun trying new foods. It’s a card game where kids earn points for eating a balanced and colorful meal, and they get bonus points for trying new foods and having good manners.

We know what to do. We know how to make healthy meals. But how do we get the kids to eat the foods we make? Jennifer has some really specific ideas on how to make that happen. She explains that cuing into what motivates your child goes a long way toward encouraging them to try new foods and to want to eat healthy meals, and that exploring new foods doesn’t start with cooking them.

Lots of people worry that buying fresh fruits and vegetables is more expensive than buying processed food. Jennifer says it doesn’t have to be, and tells us why. One of her brilliant suggestions is to “merchandise” our refrigerators, and she explains what that means and how to do it.

She also tells us how she made small steps toward moving away from packaged foods by replacing one thing at a time with homemade versions. She reminds us that taking small steps paves the way for big changes. Jennifer mentioned a few recipes she developed that she is particularly excited about. Those recipes, along with many others, are available in a full-color e-book bonus that you get when you pre-order her book, The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year.

Links to items discussed during this show:

Did you enjoy the show? Please leave a review on iTunes! E-mail me at podcast@momables.com to tell me what you thought of this week’s show and to offer suggestions for future episodes.

How to Bring Up Great Kids (Podcast)

Have you been struggling with your child’s behavior? If you answered yes, this is a podcast you don’t want to miss. Carolyn Bond gives parenting advice on how to raise great kids.

How to Bring Up Great Kids Podcast | MOMables.com

Download How to Bring Up Great Kids on iTunes & Stitcher. In today’s podcast, Carolyn Bond discusses how parents can struggle a little less when it comes to resolving common parenting issues like kids fighting for attention. As a mom to three young kids, I’ve often wondered how my grandmother handled five children and managed to do all that she did. Clearly, she implemented a lot of the things Carolyn shares in today’s show. If you have kids and are constantly resolving their bickering and know they often throw tantrums to grab your attention, this is one episode you don’t want to miss.Carolyn Bond is a parenting coach who is passionate about helping parents bring up great kids. She helps parents who are desperately seeking solid, proven, and effective ways of raising their kids to become respectful, considerate, loving, and independent adults. Her tried-and-true approach continues to work for everyone who uses it thoughtfully and consistently.

She’s a graduate of the University of Calgary and the University of Toronto with degrees in Sociology and Social Work. She always dreamed of having perfect children and a perfectly orchestrated life—like the one described as a possibility in many parenting books.

To her shock, her first child cried for 2- to 4-hour periods for the first 3 months! After her second arrived, she experienced the wonderful world of sibling rivalry, which progressed to constant bickering and fighting as the children grew older.

Around this time, she joined a parenting support group, where she learned Adlerian psychology. Immediately, she began see how her parenting problems began to be solved, almost miraculously, one after another.

She immersed herself in this miracle methodology at the Alfred Adler Institute of Ontario and became a leader of many parenting groups in the Ontario area. Over the past 20 years, she has helped countless families with their child-rearing challenges. She’s raised four wonderful children and now shares her expertise at HowtoBringupGreatKids.com.

For more information on how Carolyn can help you parent with confidence, check out her website and coaching programs.

how to introduce new foods to kids

How to Introduce New Foods to Kids

Want to know the secret to successfully introducing new foods to picky eaters?
how to introduce new foods to kidsEvery day, I receive dozens of e-mails from readers like you wanting to feed their children a larger variety of foods. The problem: The kid refuses to try new items. I decided to ask Dr. Dina Rose, a child-feeding expert and author of It’s Not About the Broccoli, for a little insight.

From Dr. Dina Rose—

Never (and I mean never) ask your children to eat anything new! Settle for a taste. Or a touch. Or maybe even just a sniff. When it comes to teaching kids to enjoy new foods, pressure is your enemy.  And—at least from our kid’s perspective—being expected to eat something they’ve never tasted before is a lot of pressure.

The shift from eating to tasting may not seem like a big deal. Most parents think that’s what they’re doing when they say to their kids, “Just taste it, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it.” But if you hear this statement from your child’s perspective—“If you do like it, you will have to eat it”—it’s easier to see why some kids balk. Especially if you introduce new foods the way most parents do, by putting a big heap on the plate at dinner. What if your child doesn’t want to eat it, or even thinks he might not want to eat it? The safest course of action is to not even taste it.

What can you do instead?

  1. Make tasting fun.
  2. Take the surprise out of new foods.
  3. Trust that your children will naturally start eating new foods after they become comfortable tasters.

Make Tasting Fun

One surefire way to get kids psyched about trying new foods is to amp up the fun factor. You don’t always have to stick to healthy items such as asparagus and fish. Go to the ice cream parlor, and sample new flavors of ice cream! Crack open a box of unfamiliar crackers! I know that getting your kids to like more of these kinds of foods seems counterproductive, but it’s not. It will help change your children’s attitude towards new, and that’s the goal.

Take the Surprise Out of New Foods

It takes a lot of courage to put something into your mouth when you know absolutely nothing about it, and the information most parents give their kids—“yum, this is good”—just doesn’t cut it. Being able to make predictions is key to trying new foods. Practice telling your children as much as you can about whatever food you want them to taste. “This is crunchy like the chicken nuggets you like.” “This is sweet, almost like a cookie.” Then, instead of asking your children if they like what they’ve tasted, ask them to describe something about the food.

Trust that your children will naturally start eating new foods after they become comfortable tasters.

As your children become accustomed to tasting new foods, they’ll naturally want to taste even more new foods. And tasting will eventually lead to eating. No question about it.



Dr. Dina Rose, PhD is a sociologist, parent educator, and feeding expert empowering parents to raise kids who eat right. She’s also the author of the book It’s Not About the Broccoli. You can find Dr. Rose on Facebook and Twitter



2 How to Freeze Cookie Dough

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Have you ever tried to freeze cookie dough? 

How to Freeze Cookie DoughThere are two ways you can freeze cookie dough. You can freeze it in a log, or by individual cookie—it’s up to your preference!


















Why freeze cookie dough, you say? So that you can have it handy when you want to bake a dozen or just four, to insert as a treat inside the lunch box. If you need lunch box ideas, click here

I usually keep frozen cookie dough in my freezer at all times. My family loves cookies, and we probably make them too often.

MOMables has a ton of helpful and insightful tips and recipes! You have to check it out!

The easiest way to curb myself from eating five at a time is if I freeze the cookie dough. That way, I pull out only a few cookies and bake them on the spot, instead of baking the entire batch in one sitting.

It also means if we ever want a dessert after dinner, there are always cookies ready in the freezer!!

How to freeze cookie doughI also love that I can bake them straight from the freezer. There is no need to let them sit out overnight and defrost. Just plop them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake!

When you are ready to bake your frozen cookie dough, just add 2 to 3 minutes to the baking time, and you’ll be all set!

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

How to Freeze Cookie Dough
  • Author: MOMables.com


  • Your favorite cookie dough
  • Plastic wrap or parchment paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Freezer-safe bags or containers


For the Cookie Dough Log

  1. After mixing together the cookie dough, drop heaping spoonfuls on a large piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper in a line.
  2. Use the plastic wrap or parchment paper to shape the cookie dough into a log.
  3. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap or parchment paper, and place it on the baking sheet.
  4. Flash freeze the cookie dough log for at least 1 hour.
  5. Place the log in a freezer-safe container or bag.
  6. When you’re ready to bake, take out the log, slice the cookies, and bake as directed.

For individual cookies

  1. After mixing the cookie dough, use a scoop and drop the cookies side by side on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (There’s no need to leave extra space between the cookies, so fill up your baking sheet as much as you can.)
  2. Put the baking sheet in the freezer until the cookies are completely frozen.
  3. Place the frozen cookies in a freezer-safe bag or container.
  4. When you’re ready to bake, take out as many cookies as desired, and bake as directed.


Add 2 to 3 minutes of baking time when baking freezer cookies.
Frozen cookie dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.



The Best Road-Trip Snacks with Printable List

Need some quick and easy snacks for your road trip? Here are some of the best road-trip snack tips you can find!


So finally, the time comes when you get to enjoy your mini vacation! You’ve decided to do a little vacation nearby, so you’ll be driving there. A road trip! Clothes and toiletries are packed. The kids have picked out their favorite stuffed animals to bring, everyone’s choice of music has been loaded into the car, simple toys and books are all within each child’s grasp, and you’re all ready to go!

But wait—what about snacks? I’m sure you all have experienced the “I’m not hungry” child turning into the “I’m starving” monster, right after you’ve pulled away from the house.

I speak from experience; believe me when I say it’s always better to prepare for hunger to strike at any moment without warning. Even if you don’t end up eating everything you packed while on the road, you can then have those snacks and use them for the duration of your trip instead of buying something while you’re out!  It’s really a win-win situation.

So what to pack? Depending on whether your trip will be lengthy or not will determine what kind of snacks you can bring. Should you bring finger foods, snacks, or full lunches?

For my family, it’s always important to pack healthy snacks that require little refrigeration. I’ve compiled a list of our favorite snacks that need no refrigeration just for you. Download it here

The convenience of packaged food might call out to you or your kids at the rest stop, but try making your own homemade lunchable first. Healthy lunches are super simple to make quickly at home. Your kids will love them just as much, and so will you. With all the fresh fruits, vegetables, and food you put into it, you don’t have to worry about an ingredient list that is a mile long.

You can also pack hearty meals! How does macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, lasagna, or soup sound? If you want to pack food that will stay warm while you drive, you can always use your thermos. For more details, check out this post on how to warm a thermos.

And what about something to drink? Water is always an easy option. Packing water in a reusable container means you can refill your container along the way. For those times where you might want something more than water, you can easily pack a smoothie to go (in a thermos cup or even in a squeezable fruit pouch!)

So now that the food is taken care of, I think you are ready to go on your trip!

1. Water
2. Trail Mix
3. Freeze-Dried Fruit
4. Freeze-Dried Vegetables
5. Cheese Crackers
6. Whole Wheat Crackers
7. Nuts
8. Applesauce
9. Homemade Granola Bars
10. Popcorn
11. Dried Fruit (dried apricots, raisins, etc.)
12. Fresh Fruit (bananas, apples, pears, grapes, etc.)
13. Fresh Vegetables (carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, etc.)
14. Cheese Sticks
15. Homemade Cookies
16. Pretzels
17. Muffins
18. Fruit Leather
19. Nut Butters (peanut butter, sunflower seed spread, soy nut butter, etc.)
20. Brown Rice Krispy Treats
21. Mini Nut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
22. Oatmeal Energy Bites
23. Cereal or Granola
24. Organic/Natural Fruit Snacks
25. Animal Crackers