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Mom’s Pantry Product Review: Little Duck Organic Freeze Dried Fruit

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My little one just loves crunchy foods (so do I)! He will eat many fruits and vegetables, but if the texture doesn’t appeal to him, he tends to chew the food and then spit it back out (lovely I know!). So to help boost his fruit intake (without him returning it back to his plat after a few chews!), I turned to freeze dried fruit.

 

You may have seen freeze dried fruits (and even vegetables) and wondered if they are a healthy option or just a sugar-filled snack. Well first, you want to look at the ingredient list. The product should contain only the fruit in its ingredient list and no added sugars. I also like to look for organic fruit options when possible (especially for fruits like strawberries), since I am feeding this to the baby. Studies have shown that the antioxidant phytochemicals found in the fruits’ fresh state are retained at levels almost as high after freeze-drying. These studies have also found that the phytochemicals in freeze-dried fruits can reach our bloodstream. Which means that freeze dried fruits offer many of the same benefits as fresh (and can often be a lot easier to get our kids- or even our spouses- to eat them!).

 

I stopped at Stop & Shop the other day and found a new brand of freeze dried fruits I had not seen before, Little Duck Organics. They come from New York, so I’m not sure if they are available nationwide yet or just locally. What I loved about them though is they offered a variety of fruits, are already broken up into bite sized pieces appropriate for toddlers, and most importantly Joey can’t get enough! These are definitely a win in my book!

Kitchen Mania Monday: 10 Minute Meals- Smothered Chicken

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Sometimes the day passes me by and I realized I forgot to make dinner, or even think about what I want to make for dinner. On days like these, it’s easy to pick up the phone and call out for something. But when I do that, the meal usually isn’t as healthy as the meals I make at home. Even if I order the best choice, it’s still going to be higher in sodium, probably a huge portion, and most definitely cost a lot more than if I just cooked it myself.

 

So what’s the solution? Quick and healthy meals you can make in minutes with very little prep work. One of my favorites is Smothered Chicken with Onions (or you could make this with turkey too). All you need is:

 

1 pound thin sliced chicken breasts

2 cups fat free or low fat gravy (I use a store bought fat free gravy when I am in a hurry, but you could always make a lower sodium homemade one and freeze it for when you need it)

2 medium sweet onions, sliced

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 bag frozen broccoli florets

 

In a large pan, bring oil over a medium heat. Place in onions and sauté for a few minutes until tender.

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Add in the chicken breasts and brown on both sides. Pour gravy on top and bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover pan, and allow to continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 F.

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While chicken is simmering, steam or microwave frozen broccoli. Serve together with the chicken dish and enjoy!

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Friday Fitness Challenge: Laying Leg Flutters for Tightened Core

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Swimsuit season is right around the corner, so it’s time to ramp up your focus on your abs. Laying leg flutters are a great exercise for targeting the upper and lower abs. The longer you can do them, the more effective they are. For this week, I challenge you to perform this exercise for a total of 90 seconds a day. Who’s game?

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To perform, pay close attention to form here, since proper form what makes this exercise effective. Poor forms will limit the challenge to your abs, and therefore limit your results.

  1. Lay on the floor face up. Your arms should be at your sides, and your ankles should be together.
  1. Slowly lift your shoulder blades and ankles off the floor about 1 to 2 inches. Tilt your pelvis so your back is pushing against the floor. You shouldn’t be arching, and your abs should be engaged.
  1. Quickly flutter your ankles back and forth for a set length of time and then relax. Remember to breathe throughout the exercise. Repeat three times.

Let me know how you do on the #LegFlutterCoreChallenge!

Water Worries

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Before becoming a parent, I would see commercials showing babies being given loving baths. They’d look up at their parents with big smiles, showing just how much they enjoy being in the water. All babies seem to love bathing, I though. Little did I know what the truth was! As I was leaving the YMCA the other day, the nice woman who works at the front desk reminded me that it was sign up time for Mommy & Me swim classes. I thanked her and laughed as I told her he’s really more of a land shark. That’s actually a complete understatement.

 

I don’t know if there is a word to describe just how much Joey detests being bathed. Thank God for wipes or the child may never be clean. He was terrible about being bathed as a newborn, got a little better around six months, and now it’s an all out war to get him to go into the bathtub. It starts the second he seems me preparing for bath time. When I go into the closet to get a bath towel, he runs away. Yesterday he even tried to close his bedroom door on me to hide. He then starts to yell as I undress him to get him ready, and as we approach the tub, he really starts to lose it. He screams, climbs up my body, refuses to bend his legs to sit, and tries to crawl out of the tub. It’s completely exhausting. By the time I am done giving him his one minute bath, I am so sweaty, I need one myself!

 

I have tried everything. I gave him new bath toys that he can only play with in the tub. I’ve adjusted the water temperature. I’ve tried a bubble bath. I’ve gone in the tub with him. I’ve had assistance from multiple people to get him to bath. Nothing has seemed to work. As much as I am looking forward to spring and to getting outside with him, I dread him getting dirty since that will mean he needs another bath. Hopefully it’s something he will grow out of eventually. Have any of you had babies who hate water this much? Any suggestions?

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