Author: Danielle

Edible Schoolyard – Because mystery meat isn’t good for anyone.

A few months ago, my daughter came home from school crying hysterically. A little boy in her class had tried to steal her lunch. Upon further investigation, we discovered that it was because his parents were making him buy and eat school lunch, and he decided that he wasn’t having anything to do with that, so he sought to raid my daughter’s carefully packed lunch box. While I don’t support his actions, I can’t say that I blame him. Lunches at my daughter’s public school are appalling (and reflective of many school lunches in our country). Individually packed in...

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Everyone will cheer for Hip Hip Purees (even if they groan from the pun)

I am a stubborn mom, so I am going to continue to put vegetables on my kids’ plate at every meal, but I am practical enough to realize that they aren’t always been ingested. My son has been known to slide his plate down the table at maximum velocity while shouting, “I no like dis salad!” And because I’m an anti-scurvy type of mom as well, it does make sense to be a little bit stealthy sometimes. (Sometimes.) That’s where Hip Hip Puree comes in. These convenient tubes of pureed, organic vegetables can be stored in the freezer and...

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Watch your back, Jacques Pepin

My kids have grown up knowing how important food is to me, so it’s not surprising that they are both fascinated by the kitchen. Children’s cookbooks are a frequent gift at birthday and holiday time, but I’m usually very disappointed in how so many of them dumb down of food for kids. We have cookbooks that are written in comic book format. We have cookbooks that feature only meals that look like something else (octopus-shaped hotdogs anyone?). We have cookbooks with dishes that have names so cutesy I feel like hurling. That’s why I was so pleased to find...

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Cake mixes for the cake mix haters among us

I’m one of those really obnoxious food snobs who turns up her nose at boxed cake mixes. But here’s my secret: I always kind of wished I was the type of person who didn’t. Mixes provide a lot fewer opportunities for giant messes, and they truly do take less time. But every time I start to take the plunge, I look at the long, scary ingredients list and go back to scratch. Then I found Naturally Nora. These delicious cake mixes and natural frosting mixes look just like the kid-centric cake mixes at the supermarket with the wacky sprinkles,...

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Smashies are a hit

Back when my daughter was a toddler, I’d stroll the aisles of the supermarket and get incredibly angry. As a working mom, I wanted nothing more than to buy convenient snack packs of her favorite foods, but then I’d look at the nutrition labels and walk away in frustration. As we all know, the organic companies finally did catch on to the kids’ snack pack craze, and there are now hundreds of choices when we want both convenience and nutrition. One of the better options is Smashies. These little packets of smashed fruit are both portable and neat. Kids...

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Let this cute daddy teach you how to cook for your cute baby

When my daughter was a baby, I made all of her baby food. I was only working part-time, and armed with an instruction book, I painstakingly filled ice cube tray after ice cube tray with pureed fruits and veggies. Once I had my son, I kind of lost steam, but I think if I had Chef Greg of Chef and Father by my side three years ago, I’d have gotten my baby food making mojo right back. It must be said that Chef Greg is really cute, which definitely adds to the appeal of these cooking videos. But, cute...

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1,2,3,4 Tell me that you love (my napkins) more

I have this dream. In this dream, my house is always organized, dog hair is contained on the actual dog, cushions are kept on the couch, and I frequently host elegant cocktail parties attended just by adults who speak about current events in hushed tones. This dream isn’t coming true anytime soon, but just in case, I’m going to be prepared with these awesome cocktail napkins by Butterfly and Company. Each napkin is unique, so guests can easily identify their drink, and I love the numerical theme. Even if you never get to entertain real live adults, you can...

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Making the kids set the Thanksgiving table this year

Last year, my daughter had a blast creating custom place settings for each guest at our Thanksgiving table. The setting for her little brother had a school bus on it. The setting for my stepmother’s mom featured a giant eye to symbolize her over-use of eye makeup. This year, I think we’ll be a bit more classy and opt for the Chalkboard Napkin Rings from Be Crafty. At $7 for the kit, this is a great deal–the very same rings, prepainted, are about $65 elsewhere. And, not only do you have darling re-usable napkin rings, you get the unadulterated...

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Baking kits for your own little Betty Crocker

My daughter loves cooking with me. Loves it. And, while a mother/daughter cooking extravaganza might sound good in theory, the reality is actually quite messy. So I was intrigued by the many promises of Zebra Mix. These brownie, cupcake and cookie kits gives kids the ability to manage their own baking project in the kitchen? To own the entire process and be successful? All while caregivers step aside? Count me in. True to its word, Zebra Mix was a revelation. My 7 year-old laid out the mapped instructions and got to work. My role was limited to the dangerous...

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Healthy treats that won’t get your house egged on Halloween.

Now that I’m a nutrition-obsessed mom, I get where those raisin people were coming from that I made fun of when I was trick or treating as a kid. They didn’t plan on being the lamest house on the block (although they were), but it sure is hard competing with all the sugar out there on Halloween. I think I can stick to my healthy ideals while still retaining cool mom status with the all-organic Yummy Earth lollipops. They taste just as good as the junky kind–really!–and the colors are vibrant, but not artificial, instead derived from organic black...

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New for Baby gets color happy

Last weekend I had to buy baby gifts for two kids who are now toddlers, because the pressure I put on myself to buy something so useful and practical and cool and life-changing is so great that I end up procrastinating. For more than a year. Too bad I didn’t know about the awesome new colors and styles at New For Baby. Back when we first wrote about this company, we loved the baby-friendly features  on their yummy cotton layette basics like tagless necks, fold-over cuffs, and easy-to-use snaps. And now the company has expanded from basic pink, blue...

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Forget the $2000 stroller. Register for homemade meals instead.

About three days after I gave birth to my daughter, my friend Lisa brought over some dinner. I can still remember the exact menu:  Bulgarian Stuffed Peppers, salad and a loaf of crusty bread. In my post-birthing daze, it was the single best gift I received–those peppers rocked my world. I now try my best to return the favor and provide meals for new moms or other people in need, but it’s not always easy to coordinate. MealBaby makes it absolutely simple. It’s basically a free online food registry and calendar and it makes a terrific gift registry option...

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Because when it comes right down to it, pregnant women are HUNGRY

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was very careful about what I ate. No booze, no sushi, and hearing that soft, raw milk cheeses could be harmful, sat quietly weeping while my friends and family gorged on oozy, stinky Epoises. It was a tough nine months. Those nine months can definitely feel full of culinary deprivation. That’s why the Expecting Mother Survival Kit from iGourmet is so awesome. It is as far away from deprivation as you can possibly get. In fact, it is positively indulgent. There is salty. There is sweet. There is crunchy. There is...

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Plein de Vie: The remedy for what ails you, and you, and you…

There is nothing quite like the feeling of having everything you need in your purse. Tissues? Check. Crayons? Check. Emergency first aid for all aiments both real and imagined? Check. That’s why I am a huge fan of the Plein de Vie On-the-Go Remedy Stick. Made of all organic vegan ingredients and free of highly allergenic nut oils, this little guy is a jack-of-all-trades. It smoothed out the eczema patch on my arm, made my daughter’s bug bite stop itching and soothed my son’s boo-boo. The smell is a lovely mix of lavender and tea tree oil, but not...

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Chocolate bars for kids who rarely can have chocolate bars, poor kids

Food allergies suck. I am very lucky to have kids who don’t have them (knock wood), but with a fish allergy of my own, I am sympathetic to those who do. I still remember crying at camp when the kids ate fish sticks and I had to have a sandwich. I know. Fish sticks! Not exciting at all, but when you are deathly allergic to fish, they become the most delicious thing ever. So I can only imagine what it’s like for kids who can’t have milk or peanuts or wheat. That’s why allergen-free candy is such a great...

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ilunchbox.com – helping parents suck less at lunch making

Every fall, when the new school year rolls around and I stare down at that bane of my existence, the empty lunchbox, I tell myself that this year will be different. But every year by about December, my daughter is getting virtually the same lunch every single day, and all of the joy is gone. It’s a sad, sad state of affairs. With ilunchbox.com, there might be hope. This website features are tons of recipes and ideas and though the ingredients are all nutritious, these really do seem like items that kids will eat. Polynesian Chicken Skewers, Mu Shu...

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