School Lunch Bag! How to Prepare for the Cafeteria at School 🍎

Your child may only have 20 minutes to eat.

There will be volunteers to help, but waiting for them costs delicious time!

 Bring food rather relying on school lunch, at least the first couple of days. Waiting in line takes time! Wait until your child is familiar with the cafeteria and with the time allotted before trying out the cafeteria offerings.

 Pack a lunch that your child can easily open. Consider practicing at home a few times to make sure!

 Provide foods that can be eaten efficiently. Cut your fruits and veggies. Halve or quarter your sandwiches.

 Have kids help with the packing process. They will know what’s in their lunch box and can develop a plan of attack!

 Make sure you’re packing something that will look just as nice after being banged around a bit! A beautiful, nutritious lunch in the morning might not be so Pinterest worthy by lunchtime!

                        

Well school has started. Time to get back into a school year rhythm. Back to getting things accomplished around the house. Or maybe time to get your own head back on straight with a nice bath and Netflix binge.

It’s also time to start packing lunches for your kids.

Sure, you could browse Pinterest, which will initially provide inspiration, but will eventually leave you feeling a little… less than. I mean who can keep up with this craziness?

Obviously, this is awesome, but who can come up with these ideas, never mind actually execute them, on a daily basis?

There is absolutely no need to get so elaborate. It adds pressure in an already difficult job. Of course, if you want to take advantage of an extra pot of coffee every so often and get really creative, I won’t stop you.

The good news is that you don’t have to. There are a few things you’re looking for when packing your child’s lunch. You want a mix of nutrients in order to cover your nutrition needs and keep your child’s little belly satisfied the whole day. Learning creates such an appetite!

You want to send your child with a colorful lunch. It’s beautiful, which means it’s more appetizing. Colors represent different nutrients, which means that by giving carrots, kiwis, and grape tomatoes, you’re hitting different micronutrients. This will also help protect them against all those nasty bugs that always accompany the back to school season.

Protein is important for building those muscles as they grow, but it also helps cue the brain into that fullness signal and helps keep your child going throughout the day.

Fat also signals the brain that you’re full. But fat also helps build up the nervous system, which impacts development of fine and gross motor skills. In essence, it helps build the brain!

Carbohydrates get a bad rap these days, but the truth is that the body uses carbohydrates for fuel. Our bodies take fuel that we provide as food and turns it into the only efficient form of energy that can actually be used in the body, glucose. Grains provide fiber and micronutrients that are very helpful to a hungry belly and growing body. The fiber in whole grains helps keep kids regular. The B vitamins help to release energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

But, as I explain in this Nap Time Nutrition segment, it can be too easy to make all meals grain-based. They are quick to prepare, travel well, store well, freeze well, and are readily accepted by even the most selective eaters. So, it’s important to plan your day of meals (or week, or month if you’re way more on top of this than I am) so you can have an easy visual of the variety in your nutrition.

Variety is key. In this info graphic, I have broken down school meal options into major nutrient categories to help ensure variety while keeping it simple.

And if you do really want to spice it up and you’re looking for a middle of the road type of creativity, add a note, maybe a sparkly note. Draw a cute picture to add in your kid’s lunch. Or even hit up Amazon for some Kid Pick Forks or Eyeball Toothpicks.

Health & Happiness,
Yaffi Lvova, RDN
Creating Healthy Relationships with Food
If I’ve helped you overcome a nutrition obstacle, please feel free to review me!

 

Want to move but not sure about the schools in other areas of town?  Contact Katie Halle Lambert with Team EvoAZ at Revelation Real Estate for school info in all areas of Phoenix and surrounding cities.
EvoAZ.com

It’s October! Top Fall Family Events in AZ

At last! October in AZ has arrived!!  Time for outdoor living, zoo trips, park play dates and, of course, HALLOWEEN!

Over at MOMnation, we know it can be tough to narrow down the fun, so we put it all in one place. Below you’ll find all the info you need for a family and fun-filled fall season.

Events

MOMnationMarket and Halloween party is happening at HQ on October 28th.  MacPea Photography will be there with a cute little Halloween set-up and will be offering photo minis! All market vendors will have candy for the kiddo’s and Liz with Pop’n Art will be face painting.

For more info and to RSVP, click here.

Queen Creek Trunk or Treat  is happening on October 21st from 5p to 9p. Children trick-or-treat by going from car trunk to car trunk on “Trunk or Treat Street” to get their bag filled with goodies. Admission is free.

For more info, click here.

The SpOoOoKieST Trick or Treating Locations

Our MOMs love these neighborhoods for the best trick or treating and the spookiest decorations.

Gilbert:

Power Ranch

San Tan Ranch

The Gardens*

Circle G Ranch

Coronado Ranch

Gilbert also has The Halloween House!

Mesa:

Dobson Ranch

Evergreen Historic District

Las Sendas

Boulder Creek

San Tan Valley:

Ironwood Crossing

Circle Cross Ranch

Phoenix:

Desert Ridge Aviano

Ahwatukee:

Equestrian Trail in Ahwatukee

 

🎃 Pumpkin Patches 🎃

MacDonald’s Ranch, Scottsdale, AZ

Take a horse or mule drawn hayride over to the pumpkin patch and pick your favorite pumpkin!  Come for the pumpkins and stay for the petting zoo, hay maze, pony rides, gem mine, cowboy golf, carnival rides, face painting, and sand creations. Visit their website to learn more.

Mother Nature’s Farm, Gilbert, AZ

Tons of pumpkins to choose from and a cute little “farmhouse” shop with local goodies.  You can also enjoy hayrides, an adventure maze, a straw bounce and farmyard animals. Learn more at their website: http://mothernaturesfarm.com

Tolmachoff Farms – Glendale, AZ

There’s a six acre corn maze, a petting zoo, train rides (weekends), corn box, pedal carts and a jumping pillow. Not done yet? Tolmachoff Farms also hosts the AZ Field of Screams and of course, a pumpkin patch!

 

👻 If Haunted Houses are your thing:

AZ Field of Screams – Glendale, AZ

Haunted House and Hayride – Phoenix, AZ

Jack and Jill’s Haunted Hill – Phoenix, AZ

13th Floor – Phoenix, AZ

Fear Farm – Phoenix, AZ

Sanctum of Horror – Mesa, AZ

The Crypt Haunted Attractions – Mesa, AZ

The House on Camino – Mesa, AZ

Dark Scares – Mesa, AZ

Golfland Fright Nights – Mesa, AZ

Scarizona – Scottsdale, AZ

 

Did we miss something that you love?  Please comment below and share!  

Happy Halloween!  

 

This awesome home in The Gardens in Gilbert, AZ is available for sale!  Check it out!

The Gardens in Gilbert, AZ

Our Top Egg Hunt and Easter Festivities for 2017!

Local Easter Egg Hunts:

4/13: MOMnation members only Easter Egg Hunt and Park Play Date hosted by Ashley in South Gilbert!

4/13: Tiny Tots Egg Hunt in Downtown Mesa!  The event takes place on Main Street from Center to Country Club.

4/15: City of Chandler Family Easter Celebration at Snedigar Sportsplex! 

4/15: FREE Easter Spring event at Little Einstein Preschool! Bounce house, cookie decorations, crafts, games and an Easter egg hunts for all ages!!

4/15: Easter Egg-sperience at Vertuccio Farms!  You will enjoy pictures with the Easter Bunny, animals to pet, face painters, a train ride, an egg hunt with over 12,000 eggs and a pancake breakfast!

4/15: Enchanted Island Amusement Park in Phoenix is hosting a FREE Easter Egg hunt ages 1 to 10!

4/15: Easter Egg-Citement at Schnepf Farms!  The Egg hunt begins promptly at 11am.

4/15: Easter EGG-stravaganza @ The Wigwam in Litchfield Park! 

4/15: Dolly Sanchez Memorial Easter Egg Hunt at the Peoria Sports Complex. 

Visit the Great Lawn at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for special hourly Easter egg hunts and “Bunnyland”!  The entire family will have a day filled with games, rides and live entertainment.

 

Awesome Local Easter Brunch Locations:

Grand Easter Brunch in the Palomino Ballroom at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Original Breakfast House in Phoenix – The Easter menu is served from 6:30am to 2pm

The Farm at South Mountain – Must make reservations 

SanTan Brewing Co. in Chandler is hosting a Sunday Brunch Buffet in their private Brewers Reserve 

Rustlers Rooste in Phoenix – Must make reservations

Easter Brunch at the Wigwam in Litchfield Park

 



			
		

We LOVE Farmers Markets! Here are our Faves

The Farmers Market is the perfect place to meet-up with the kiddos, shop the interesting and unique vendors, purchase organic locally grown and locally made foods, admire the art and hear the sounds of some amazing local talent. Here are our favorite Farmers Markets here in the Phoenix area!

#1 FAVE  <3 Chandler Farmers Market  (Thursday) 
3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Fountain Hills Farmers Market  (Thursday
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Downtown Phoenix Open Air Market (Saturday)
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Gilbert Farmers Market (Saturday)
8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Ray’s Farmers Market (Wednesday)
Power Ranch, Gilbert
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Uptown Farmers Market (Wednesday & Saturday)
Phoenix
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Weds) / 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Sat)

Tempe’s (indoor) Farmers Market (everyday)
8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market (Saturday)
7 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Goodyear Farmers Market (Saturday)
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Roadrunner Park Phoenix Farmers Market (Saturday)
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Camelback Farmers Market (Saturday)
Phoenix
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Center Point Farmers Market – (Sunday)
Tempe
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Please check the website for each Market for specific schedules and seasonal hours.

VISIT MOMnation and find your LLR “Unicorn” at our MOMnation hosted event at the Chandler Farmers Market next Thursday, February 16th for our GIANT Lularoe fashion show and sale!   The LLR pop-up will feature six different LLR ladies and is on from 3-6pm. Our fashion shows will be happening at 3:30pm and again at 4:30pm!  All ages!

RSVP HERE for the free show!

16473670_10154420643454397_3904860938547443152_n

 

Favorite Play Spots! Approved by The Real Toddlers of the East Valley 👶

Here are our current favorite toddler-friendly things to do, indoors and out, for your little little’s in the East Valley <3

Favorite Mall Indoor Play Zone:  Scottsdale Fashion Square 

Favorite Mall Outdoor Play Zone: SanTan Village in Gilbert

Favorite Coffee Shop with Toddler-Friendly Play Area: SoZo Coffeehouse in Chandler

Favorite Toddler-Friendly Trampoline Park: Krazy Air in Mesa

Favorite Indoor Play Place with Cafe: Makutus Island in Chander

Favorite Toddler-Friendly Museum: i.d.e.a Museum in Mesa

Favorite Toddler-Friendly Park: Dobson Ranch Park in Mesa

Favorite Healthy Kids Menu: Pita Jungle

Favorite Restaurant with Toddler-Friendly Play Area: Joe’s Crab Shack in Tempe

Favorite Outdoor Restaurant with Grass Area: Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert

Favorite Splash Pad: Riverview Park in Mesa

Favorite Sound Beginnings Classes: Let’s Play Music with Nicci Lovell in Mesa

Favorite Gymnastics Program: Aspire Kids Sports Center in Chandler

Got Leftovers?! Kid Friendly Meal Ideas for Holiday Leftovers. Our Kids Love ’em!

Stuck with a fridge full of holiday leftovers?  Try these kid friendly ideas:

Leftovers Breakfast – Mix leftover turkey and/or ham and veggies in an omelet and serve.  Cube potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash and lightly pan fry.  Makes perfect home fries!

Turkey Cranberry Grilled Cheese Sandwich – Mix cooked leftover turkey chunks in with the cheese and pan fry.  Serve with cranberry sauce on the side for dipping.

Mini Pizza’s – Spread pizza sauce on english muffins and sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Chop leftover turkey and/or ham and spread evenly on top of each mini pizza.

Turkey Taco’s – Shredded turkey, mild salsa, shredded cheese, and tomato wrapped in a soft tortilla.

BBQ – Fill a crock pot with leftover meat and cook on low for a short time smothered in a bottle of BBQ sauce.  Serve with sides as a meal or on a bun as a sandwich.

Cinnamon Chunks – Chop squash and/or sweet potato and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Brown in the oven.

Fried Rice – Chop leftover veggies and ham/turkey with a fried egg and add to a pan or wok of fried rice.

Turkey Salad Sandwich – Chop or shred turkey and toss with chopped celery, minced onions and mayonnaise for turkey salad sandwiches.