Recently a friend of mine told me about a great new company in Newton, MA called Crudité Creations, owned by Lauren Brooks, who cares about community and children's health! We were offered a chance to try out one of their tasty creations which was delivered by David promptly on Father's Day morning! I was thrilled to meet him and told him how great of an idea I thought this was! Plus the fact they will deliver to Cape Cod makes this particular mom an even bigger fan!
The Tiny One and I were excited to try our very own Vegetable Bouquet! As soon as I unwrapped everything I was astounded at the attention to detail and creativity that had gone into creating such a beautiful arrangement. Crudite Creations are vegetables arranged in an artful way and they are perfect for events and celebrations. BUT they are also a fun way to get kids and picky eaters to eat more healthy veggies especially since they are cut and arranged in such a visually appealing manner.
The Tiny One and I went right to work on the olives, radishes, zucchini and squash, dipping them into an extremely delectable white bean dip. We sampled a little bit of everything and the Tiny One was very excited by the "itty bitty baby corns". We shared with family and friends and enjoyed them for snacks, lunch and even cooked up a bunch of them to enjoy with our dinner one night!
With the Tiny One now in preschool, I loved having some of the leftover squash and zucchini pieces to share in his lunch or even for our picnic dinners. Apparently cutting them into shapes makes eating veggies more fun to kids, which means I am going to need a veggie cutting class with Lauren Brooks stat!
The company also sources all their ingredients from local suppliers and when available local farm stands!
The Tiny One and I were so pleased with our arrangement from Crudité Creations that he gave it the Tiny Thumbs Up! I urge you to give this brand new company a chance and try ordering one of your own for your self or for a friend or your next event! Try it out ASAP and save 15%!
Reasons Crudité Creations is AWESOME!
Crudité Creations is offering a special 15% off their vegetable bouquets to the Cape Cod area community for this week only. Orders need to be placed by Friday 6/27 at 1pm and delivery will take place on Saturday 6/28.
Crudité Creations (www.cruditecreations.com) was recently featured on WCVB’s Chronicle show as part of their “what’s new” segment, and is receiving widespread acclaim for their beautiful and healthy vegetable bouquets. The arrangements and their selection of gourmet dips are a perfect addition to any summer event or celebration.
To take advantage of this offer please log on to the Crudité Creations web store and use the “capecod” discount code.
You can contact them:
Let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: Although I received an arrangement for free to sample and review for this blog, I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.
By: Liz S
As a parent and a nanny, I have spent years of my life working with children to get them to their next milestone or goal. Whether it is crawling, walking, talking, weaning them from a bottle, potty training, sleeping in big kid bed, learning letters and numbers, or having good manners, you name it, there is an endless to-do list for parents. Our little ones just reach one goal only to have another one facing them. Such is the life of a parent or care giver. Our role is to teach, support and encourage all facets of a child’s development.
My daughter Charlotte is 9 years old and in fourth grade. My husband and I have seen her successfully navigate through all those early childhood milestones and start to be a more independent being. But now is not the time to rest on our laurels, oh no. There is still so much to be done. And time continues to fly by, weeks at a time, doing homework, playing sports, having play dates, doing chores and more. I often say how much faster time flies by now that I have a child. And although I would love to savor each milestone and achievement as it happens, life moves on and there is always more to be done. This brings me to my Ah-Ha moment from the other night…take the win.
Let me explain. About 6 months ago I was determined to get more vegetables into my daughter’s diet. It is a simple mothers wish and I hear this a lot from other families too, “How can we get the kiddos to eat better?” Well, this was my goal and I knew I had a bumpy road ahead. My daughter would eat salad (with Caesar dressing and croutons of course) and had come to like summer squash we had grown in our garden, but that was it. No broccoli, carrots, corn, peppers, onions, or mushrooms- you catch my drift. No veggies. I had sent her to school with carrot and celery sticks and if I was lucky she would dip them in some ranch dressing, but who knows if it was really eaten. I have always put our nightly vegetable selection on her dinner plate and had tried some bribery and threats along the way to get her to eat them. I guess I was looking for her to not only eat them on occasion but perhaps even enjoy them? Dare I think that was possible? We took our pediatricians advice to always have a variety of color on our plates to get the best nutrition. We never made two dinner options, one “kid friendly” and one for the adults- she ate what we ate. We tried to expose her to many ethnic food choices (she has loved hummus since she was 2 yo) and not always go for the chicken fingers or mac and cheese.
After talking to Charlotte about her veggie likes and dislikes I dug a bit deeper and asked why she did or did not enjoy these foods. I had been pushing some sweeter vegetables on her thinking that would be an easy sell, offering corn, carrots and butternut squash. Turns out she did not like the combo of hot and sweet. She would eat raw carrots but not sautéed. I also found out she did like snow peas. I also heard her when she said absolutely no broccoli. I had tried to sneak broccoli in on many occasions thinking if she only had more exposure to it, she would come around. That never happened by the way, so I changed my tactic. I used snow peas as a base for my nightly veggies and started making a stir fry type of mixed veggies. I used onions, peppers, mushrooms, scallions or anything I had on hand. I picked out a yummy soy teriyaki sauce from Trader Joes to ease her into it and we were on our way. Charlotte would help slice and chop the vegetables and started eating vegetables each night. I noticed she would pick out less and less “unwanted” veggies from her plate and there were no bribes or threats to be had. I guess I took this in stride as I had most of our other parenting victories. Until Saturday night. Some new friends invited us to their church’s family night pot luck dinner. As Charlotte was sitting with some other girls her age, the parents noticed her plate. She had taken more vegetables, salads and healthier options that some of the other girls, which sparked a conversation. My friend said, “I wish my daughter would eat like that”. Charlotte proceeded to tell the adults at our table how much she likes onions, peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables. She went on and on about her love of red onion and how she has come to enjoy Greek salad. I sat there nodding, as it was all true, then I noticed the surprised parents faces. They looked at me like I was so lucky to have a child who wasn’t a “picky” eater and would eat veggies. That is when it struck me. I was partly responsible for helping Charlotte expand her food choices and eat vegetables. I had set out with a specific goal and we had accomplished it. And I should take the win. I should celebrate this, even just with myself, that I made a positive impact on my daughter and ultimately her health.
This simple thing really resonated with me. I look back on all we have been through as parents and thought maybe time is flying by in part because we have not taken the wins as they came. Acknowledging, reflecting and yes even celebrating that milestone is important. It could help parents increase their confidence and support our desire to parent in a more conscience and engaging way. Parenting is a life long journey and commitment. You can feel like a hamster on a wheel. One day, one month, one year can roll into the next. If you have recently had a win in your family, I urge you to celebrate it. Did your little one give up his binky? Is your child now sleeping through the night? How about getting rid of all those diapers- woo hoo! Is that transition from a crib to a toddler bed finally paying off? No matter your children’s age and ability, there are milestones to be met and celebrations to be had. I do not want to look back on Charlotte’s childhood like a blur. I need to slow down and take the wins.
By: Amy E
Update: Congrats to winner Sarah who won the Rachel Ray Casserole Dish!
Cape Cod Mommies was invited to attend the "Day of Play" event which we told you about, hosted by Birds Eye, Stop & Shop and the Boston Children's Museum. Birds Eye event sent us creative recipes for including vegetables in our meals as well as some fun Fred & Friends plates and even vegetables packed in dry ice (I also now know how to properly dispose of dry ice!)!!! They also sent us a Rachael Ray casserole dish and extra goodies to be used for a giveaway for our readers and fans!
Birds Eye also featured a local registered dietitian, Janel Funk, MS RD LDN, who spoke with attendees. Janel is the college dietitian for The Boston Conservatory and a consultant for Berklee College of Music Unfortunately for me I missed this portion of the event due to the awful traffic traveling to Boston that day.
I was able to speak with Janel a few days later via phone conference and get her nutrition philosophy and take on the event.
"My tagline is: helping you eat better one bite at a time because small changes can turn into big results." She loved the Birds Eye event because it was "helping parents make small changes that can lead to life altering results."
I was also thrilled with the colorful and creative cards with ideas for recipes. Honestly I think my favorite was the smoothie! I didn't realize that a combination of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots would be so good but it was! Janel also loved the idea of the vegetable smoothie! Note to self-I should make one of these at least once a week! Below I have included the cards with recipes for you!
Before you brainstorm some of those rules though, let me share with you our thoughts and experiences with the "Day of Play" and some of the fun things did!
The event was definitely a great idea and a fun way to get people, kids especially, excited about vegetables. I was impressed by the creative way Birds Eye engaged the audience with their displays. All were interactive which is so important for kids as they learn by actually doing. Dora was even on hand to show her support for the veggies!
The displays at the event were broken up into three parts: a Sampling section (where of course I hung out and sampled everything); the Make a Veggie Face section, where they turned your creation into a button you could take home; and a stationary bike station, where kids could pick their favorite veggie and race! Check out one of the races!
To help encourage more fun with vegetables, we are hosting a giveaway sponsored by Birds Eye.
One lucky winner will receive this Rachael Ray Casserole Dish with some surprises included! It would be perfect for the holidays coming up soon!
How to Enter:
Simply leave a comment on this blog post below telling us how you make veggies fun for your family.
Bonus Entry: Make a meaningful comment on ANY other blog post on our blog but you MUST come back and let us know which post you chose to comment on.
Rules: Giveaway opens on Sept. 18, 2013 and Ends on October 2, 2013 at 11:59pm. Any entries received after that time will be considered void. Winner must be a US residents 18+. Winner will be contacted via the email provided. If winner does not respond to the notification within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. Due to the size of the prize, winner is responsible for pickup of the prize which is located in Falmouth, MA.
Thanks for all your submissions in the Cape Cod Mommies
VeggieChallenge Giveaway! You all are so creative and it is AWESOME that the Moms and parents in the Cape Cod community are so proactive about raising healthy children!
We picked 3 of our favorite submissions below! Check out our 3 favorites and then cast your vote on your favorite. The winner will receive a $100 Stop & Shop Gift card plus will be featured in an upcoming Tasty Tuesday Blog!
Voting opens today and closes at 11:59pm on Thursday August 22, 2013. Any vote comments submitted after that point will not be counted towards the final count. The winner will be announced on Friday August 23, 2013.
Top Three Submissions ~
3.) Prepare the eggplant by washing it thoroughly. Personally I cut off the ends and the skin. Cut up the inside into 2 inch sticks.
4.) Begin your assembly line:
a.) Coat the sticks in flour.
b.) Then dip the sticks into the eggs
c.) Lastly coat the sticks in veggie sticks crumbs and parmesan mix
5.) Place the pieces on your baking tray.
6.) Put them in the oven for 25-30 minutes. I turned them all over after 15 mins of baking.
This recipe promised to be ready to serve in about 35 mins. I did my prep work for the veggies in the morning while my son ate breakfast. I decided to swap, add and leave out certain things in the recipe such as switching the pasta and veggies as well as leaving out almost all the salt.... I really hate it when things have to much salt, there is plenty of sodium to go around in everything else.
As we added things, my son and I discussed the colors and names of all the ingredients, "ook mama, geen peeeasss". We discussed measurement, which I am sure went right over his head, but it doesn't hurt to talk about it. And we oohd and ahhd over the final result as it sat cooling in our bowls. I was pleased with all the colors in our bowls and how fun it looked. My son kept pointing to the items in his bowl and very excitedly heaping his toddler praise to his mama. It tasted even better and we both cleaned our plates.... we may have actually licked the bowls clean, which I'm sure I will very much regret later.
Below I have shared the recipe, hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Let me know your thoughts... would you add anything, swap something else or do you have another pasta recipe that you want to share? I'd love to hear it!
1 box spiral tri color (veggie) pasta
** Tip: you can get amazing homemade veggie pasta’s at Slice of Italy in Falmouth
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
8 ounces pancetta, finely diced
1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped use a regular diced onion
1 1/2 cups of lightly cooked spinach
1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
1/4 cup of diced tomato
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 cup of Feta
1/8 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (you may want to use more or less depending on how you feel about mint.)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and drain on paper towel-lined plate.
Add the shallots to the pan and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth (pasta water) and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Heat up the spinach with some olive oil until cooked but still retainer greener color.
Add the pasta, cooked pancetta, petite peas, Parmesan, Feta, tomato, the remaining 1/4
cup olive oil, a tiny pinch of salt and mint leaves. Toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water only if necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen
Transfer to a large bowl and serve.
This past weekend, despite refusing to at any veggies, I decided to try some veggie croissants! You only need a few things and it takes about 20 minutes to prepare these tasty morsels! Plus the kids can help you which is a fun way to integrate learning, math and cooking all together!
You will need the following:
* your own dough or precut croissants (I LOVE Trader Joe's or Pillsbury)
* an assortment of your choice of veggies finely diced. I used brocoli, onion, zucchini and squash above.
* Cheese - I used a Mozzarella that had hints of a BBQ flavor which I found at Windfall Market. If there are dairy allergies, try a soy milk cheese or rice milk cheese.
* Although mine did not have chicken-you could add this in for protein :)
1.) Preheat the over to 400 degress (or if using precut from the store follow directions)
2.) Lay out the croissants on the baking tray. I used 2 to make small ones and the remaining I left as larger rectangles so they could hold more.
3.) Finely dice up your veggie medley and place into a small mixing bowl and mix all together.
4.) Shred your cheese of choice and then sprinkle a little on each croissant.
5.) Layer the veggies onto your croissants and then seal up the croissants. This is a little tricky-don't worry if they are not completely sealed at the top.
6.) Bake in the oven for approx 10-12 mins and then cool before serving! ENJOY!
~ As you can see, this was a major hit and he ate most of them saving only a tiny piece for his exhausted mama-but we def hit and surpassed our servings of veggies for the day with this.
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