What to do with all those apples… Whether I’ve brought home a bushel or two from an apple picking excursion or been tempted by one of those handy tote bags full of of fresh apples from the grocery store, there comes a time each fall when I feel like I’ll never make a dent in our apple harvest.
So each year, we go in search of a new apple recipe in hopes of adding to our list of favorites. This year's find—inside out caramel apples—definitely makes the list. Instructions for these and some of our other favorite apple concoctions follow. Kids can even help with some of them; just be careful with the sharp knives.
Across Litchfield and Fairfield counties, several family-owned farms and orchards offer pick your own fruit opportunities. Most offer many other attractions, as well: other kinds of fruits or vegetables, a neat, little farm store stocked with delicious goodies, farm animals, playgrounds or a variety of farm-themed programs. Some are especially good if you have toddlers in tow. Whichever place you choose to visit, you are guaranteed to find tasty, fresh fruit and memorable experiences appealing to everyone in the family.
What kids eat is very important and having the right snack can actually improve a child's ability to learn. Our school occupational therapy consultant, Casey Halper, put together a list of sensory smart snacks just in time for back to school. That means that they are snacks that help kids stay alert and focused in school without making them hyper and restless. These are great snack ideas for children in school, but would be equally great snack choices for toddlers too. Some of the themes for healthy sensory snacks are:
Crunchy and chewy foods help make kids more alert by engaging their senses.
Sipping or sucking can help organize and calm children.
And of course fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and calcium rich foods make them healthy overall.
We thought we’d take advantage of some free time this summer and make our own ice cream. After all, how tough could it be? But by the time we had Googled a recipe (found plenty that did not require a machine) and made a list of ingredients we needed, the enthusiasm had waned, and we decided it would probably be best if we left the ice cream making to our favorite ice cream shop and enjoy the fruits of their labor!
From good quality ice cream chains founded right here in New England to one-of-a-kind specialty shops, there are plenty of places for Boston families to satisfy that need for something cold and sweet to beat the heat. Read on to find some of our favorite ice cream and frozen yogurt experiences.
It's back to school time and so we are thinking about all those little details of preparing for the school year. Making healthy school lunches and snacks is a big one. We asked the moms of Mommy Poppins what their best tips for easy healthy snack options and school lunch recipes were and they came up with a bunch of really original school lunch box ideas, as well as some old standbys.
Read on to find out what we're putting in our kids' lunch boxes for school lunch and snacks:
Eons ago (OK, just five years) we did a post on family meal planning. In fact, it was one of the very first things we blogged about here at Mommy Poppins. But a lot's changed since then, and the rise of smartphones, social networks and a gazillion new websites gives us many new options to chew on when it comes to making meals.
You can't overestimate the importance of sitting down to family meals. Studies show that eating as a family benefits everyone, especially children, who are then less likely to become obese, fall into substance abuse or have low self-esteem. Of course preparing dinner (and breakfast and brunch and lunch) isn't always easy to pull off. Happily, there are a slew of online meal-planning sites, mobile apps and meal swapping tools to help get healthy, budget-friendly meals on your table. Here are some of our current favorites.
Granola bars are a snack that kids love and parents can feel good about giving their kids - or so the ads say. But many granola bars aren't much better than candy bars and are loaded with sugar, fat, trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. I found a really easy recipe for granola bars on AllRecipes and I've been making our own ever since. We whip up a batch every weekend for the upcoming week - perfect for back to school time. You could also make more and freeze them. The kids love them and love making them. It's fun for them to eat healthy snacks they've made themselves.
The back-to-school season is filled with anticipation, excitement and stress—for kids and parents. There are new clothes and school supplies to buy, lunches and snacks to plan, and classes to prepare for (no easy task after summer slump). If you're worried that you'll never get it all done, stop, take a deep breath and check out our Back-to-School Guide, which is packed with simple tips and advice to help take the edge off.
We're glad you're here at Mommy Poppins Boston, your free online resource for everything for families and kids in the greater Boston area. We'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions! — Tara