5 ways to encourage healthy eating in kids {and a giveaway!}

 5 ways to encourage healthy eating in kids {and a giveaway!}

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I don’t know about you, but as a mom, it is so important to me that my kids (and my husband and I) eat well. With busy schedules, homework, and after school activities, though, this can be a challenge. I am always on the lookout for easy and fun ways to encourage my kids to eat better, and today, I’m sharing some of my favorites with you!

1. The first step to getting your kids to eat well is eating well yourself and offering up nutritious and delicious meals. This can be daunting night after night, but take a shortcut when you can. I recently discovered Eat Smart Gourmet Salad and Stir Fry Kits, and they have become the fast and flavorful way to get my family to eat our veggies every day. Each kit is packed with five to seven delicious and beneficial superfoods, and contain delicious and sophisticated combinations of ingredients like kale, green cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chicory, and/or quinoa and toppings like roasted pumpkin seeds, almonds or dried cranberries.

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Yesterday, my family tried out the Kale and Red Chard Stir Fry Kit. It had been a busy day, and we needed something quick to put together, yet yummy AND healthy, for dinner. The kit contains vegetables and a stir fry sauce, I just added a protein and a grain.

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For this recipe, I took some beef, sliced it into thin strips, and cooked in a large pan (with a tablespoon of vegetable oil) over medium heat. Remove your meat, and add the veggies included with the kit. Stir fry for a couple of minutes, add in your stir fry sauce, add back in your protein, and serve over the grain of your choice! I chose quinoa, but rice or pasta would work as well.

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Yum, right? We thought so, and we can’t wait to try some of the other Eat Smart salad and stir fry kits! Click here to find Eat Smart products near you!

2. Involve your kids in the cooking process. From gathering ingredients to stirring to plating and everything in between, getting your kids involved with cooking will make them more likely to try a vegetable or other ingredient. Kids feel a sense of pride when they help prepare a meal and they’ll actually want to taste the fruits (or veggies!) of their labor.

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3. Add a dip! I love this trick for getting my own kids to eat things they think they don’t like. Dips are magical in our household for getting vegetables eaten, and kids (okay, adults too), love dipping their food.

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4. Help your children understand where their food comes from. Just like letting children help prepare meals, having children take it a step further and help plant and pick their own fruits and vegetables will give them a sense of involvement that will make them more likely to try something new. You can do this through an outdoor vegetable garden, an indoor herb garden, or even taking trips to “pick your own” orchards. We love picking our own strawberries, apples, peaches, cherries and blueberries–it’s such a fun family activity, and the kids love cooking with and eating the goodies we pick.

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5. Have fun with it and don’t make it a battle. Mealtime should be a time of enjoying each other’s company, not battling it out over an uneaten vegetable. The rule in our house is that you have to try each thing on your plate, but don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to. This may or may not work in your household, but, whatever you decide, realize that if you are offering a wide variety of produce and grains, modeling healthy eating, and involving them in the process, your hard work will pay off. It may not be immediate, but know that you’re taking steps to ensure a healthy attitude towards food in your children, and there’s not much more important than that!

Now for the giveaway! Eat Smart has generously offered a burlap+blue reader  five (5) full-value coupons for Eat Smart Gourmet Salads or Stir Fry Kits ($30 total ARV).

The giveaway is only open to US residents age 18 and older residing in the following states: New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Delaware and Washington, DC.

To enter, simply leave a comment letting me know which Eat Smart product you’d most like to try! Contest ends 12/16. Good luck!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Mastering Weeknight Meals with Smithfield Pork

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Smithfield®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #PutPorkontheMenuhttp://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

smithfield pork recipes copy 300x600 Mastering Weeknight Meals with Smithfield PorkIf your family is anything like mine, between school, homework, sports and other extracurricular activities, dinner can easily start to feel like just one more thing you definitely do not have time for. Am I right? The reality of it, though, is that putting a healthy and delicious meal on the table each night IS important, and is one of the best ways you can love on your family. So what’s a busy mom (or dad!) to do? Enter Smithfield Marinated Pork.

I took one Smithfield Marinated Pork Loin, that I purchased last weekend at Walmart, and created THREE easy and delicious meals that my family loved. Never had a Smithfield product before? It’s perfectly seasoned and expertly marinated, and  perfect for any night – Grilled. Roasted. Sautéed. I wanted to do something a little different with mine, so I took my pork loin and cooked it in the crock pot until it was tender, shredded it with two forks, and created three amazing, 30-minute recipes with it. Here’s the step-by-step…

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I chose the Garlic & Herb Pork Loin Filet, that I purchased at Walmart, and put it in my crock pot on low for 6 hours. Because it’s marinated for little prep or mess, I did nothing but cut open the package and drop it into the crock pot. Six hours later…

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I hope this picture does the pork loin justice…it was so tender and moist, and super simple to pull apart with two forks. I divided it into thirds, put one third back in the crock pot to keep warm for that night’s dinner, and put the leftovers in the refrigerator for later in the week. Let’s dive into what you are really here for–the recipes!

Night One: Shredded Pork Fajitas

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My family loves tacos and fajitas, but we’d never tried them with shredded pork before. I am so, so glad we got a chance to remedy that; these fajitas were flavorful, fresh and oh so delicious! I dare you to try them and not agree:)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 of a Smithfield Pork Loin, shredded (I chose Garlic & Herb flavor)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Sliced Onion
  • 1 cup Sliced Bell Peppers
  •  Flour Tortillas, Warmed
  •  Shredded Queso Cheese
  •  Salsa
  •  Sour Cream
  •  Cilantro Leaves
  • Lime Wedges for Garnish (if desired)

In a dish (or gallon sized bag), mix together olive oil, Worcestershire, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar until combined. Place all the veggies in the dish, turning to coat. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour.

Prepare tortillas, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in some oil. Add the veggies and cook them for a few minutes, until they’re cooked but still slightly firm. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Place a tortilla on a plate and add shredded pork, cooked veggies, cheese, salsa, sour cream and cilantro. Enjoy!

Night Two: Shredded Pork Cobb Salad

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Nothing is better in my book than a good Cobb salad. The key here is to use the best and freshest ingredients you can, it really does make a difference! The pork adds a salty, savory goodness that makes this recipe a keeper!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 of a Smithfield Pork Loin, shredded
  • Lettuce (I chose romaine, but choose your favorite)
  • 2 Hard Boiled Eggs, Chopped
  • 1/4 cup Blue Cheese
  • 3 Slices of Bacon
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1 Avocado, Diced into Cubes
  • Dressing of Your Choice

Wash your lettuce, and spread over a serving platter. Add Smithfield pork to the center of your platter over the lettuce. Add cheese, eggs, bacon, tomatoes and avocado around the pork. Add dressing and serve.

I know a lot of people like ranch with their Cobb Salads, but with the richness of the ingredients, I like to keep the dressing a bit lighter. I chose this Champagne Caper Vinaigrette that we just loved!

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Night Three: Cuban Sandwiches

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A good Cuban sandwich is one of life’s best pleasures. The saltiness of the meat, the tang of the pickle and the bite of the mustard all combine to make a meal that’s much more than the sum of it’s parts.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 of a Smithfield Pork Loin, shredded
  • Sandwich Rolls (choose your favorite!)
  • Sliced Ham
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Dill Pickle Slices
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Butter

Slice your bread in half, and add several slices of ham to one half. Layer shredded pork, swiss cheese and pickles on top of the ham, add mustard to the other half of bread, and put the two halves together.

Heat a grill pan to medium, add butter to the outsides of your sandwich, and place sandwich on grill pan. Cover with a piece of foil, and press down with a heavy pan (we use a cast-iron skillet). Turn over once sandwich is golden brown.

Cut in half, and enjoy.

Want to create one (or all three?) of these recipes yourself? Receive seventy five cents ($.75) off ONE (1) Smithfield Marinated Pork product (while supplies last), when you use this coupon and shop at Walmart. Need more recipe inspiration? Head to the Smithfield site for even more delicious ideas!

Keep up with Smithfield via their Facebook page, twitter feed, or Pinterest!

I’d love to hear-what is YOUR favorite recipe using Smithfield Pork? 

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50 fall recipe favorites

I don’t know about you, but I am loving the (slightly) cooler weather we’ve been having lately, and it’s inspired me to start trying some new, Fall-inspired recipes! Today, I’m sharing 50 of my favorites, there’s something on this list for everybody. Enjoy!

fall recipes 50 fall recipe favorites
caramel apple cupcakes 50 fall recipe favorites

caramel apple cupcakes from recipe snobs

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crock pot mac and cheese from a whisk and a prayer 

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crock pot pork bbq from lil blue boo 

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cinnamon roll waffles from phenomenon 

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caramel apple popcorn from cookies & cups

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amish caramels from house and hone 

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chai pumpkin spice thumbprint cookies from pass the sushi 

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pumpkin pie white hot chocolate from closet cooking

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butternut squash soup from cook your dream 

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caramel stuffed apple cider cookies from scrambled henfruit 

thanksgiving pops 50 fall recipe favorites

thanksgiving cheesecake pops from wedding chicks 

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chicken stew from cookin’ canuck 

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autumn chopped salad from espresso and cream 

Mini Snickers Cheesecake 50 fall recipe favorites

mini snickers cheesecakes from a pumpkin & a princess 

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apple yogurt cake from kitchen heals soul 

twicebakedpotato 50 fall recipe favorites

potato casserole from six sisters’ stuff 

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oatmeal raisinette cookies from burlap+blue 

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sweet potato and pear soup from taste of home 

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs 50 fall recipe favorites

slow cooker hawaiian meatballs from six sister’ stuff 

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slow cooker cheesy chicken and rice from southern plate 

southwestern 2 bean chicken  50 fall recipe favorites

slow cooker southwestern chicken from the gracious pantry

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snickerdoodle blondies from lovin’ from the oven 

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pecan pie cobbler from betty crocker 

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goat cheese potato gratin from dainty chef 

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butternut squash pasta from these peas are hollow 

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white chocolate and pumpkin truffle pie from the moonlight baker

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