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Dinners fussy kids are guaranteed to love

Having a fussy eater as a child can be a lot of hard work. But, did you know that the worst thing you can do is let them know that they are a fussy eater? In situations where your child is refusing some food or saying they don’t like something, bite your tongue. Showing them how much you want them to eat something will only give them a power trip and cause more repercussions. Telling them they are a fussy eater will give them an excuse not to eat things, and make them think they have special requirements! Instead, try recipes like these that they won’t be able to refuse:

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s pie is a hearty meal, filled with carbs, protein, and veg. You can alter a recipe as much as you like too, using different meats, veg, and potato to create a different taste. The great thing about this is that it’s perfect for kids who say they don’t like vegetables. You can hide all kinds of veggies in it! 

Homemade Pizza

Homemade pizza is much better than shop bought or takeaway pizza, as you know exactly what’s going into it. You can even swap the bread base for a kind of vegetable, or even meat to make it healthier. Sprinkle over some light cheese (not too much), and press in as many vegetables as you want. One of my favourite recipes!


Wraps are the perfect alternative to a sandwich, and you can even get your child involved by letting them fill them on their own. Simply put all of the ingredients in the middle of the table and tell them to help themselves. This is too much fun for them to refuse! 

Grilled Meatloaf Burgers

Meatloaf can be made with lots of different vegetables too, but you wouldn’t know it as it looks and tastes so nice. You can make it look even more appealing to kids, even kids who say they don’t like meatloaf, by putting it on a bun and calling it a burger. I bet with some healthy homemade relish, they’ll ask for this dish again! 

Crispy Chicken Fingers With Apple Fries

Rather than buying chicken dippers from the shop, make your own crispy fingers out of a healthier breadcrumb alternative. You can even use oats to get that nice crunch! Apple fries are delicious and will add vitamins and nutrients to the meal. If you don’t know where to start, browse the Thermomix forum for tips and advice. You’ll be a pro in no time. 

Cheesy Corkscrew Pasta

Pasta is great for giving kids energy, and cheese makes the meal all the more delicious. Try sprinkling crispy bacon over the top for some crunch. Mix in veg like spinach and peppers, as these will hardly be noticeable to your child. Another perfect weekend treat meal! 

Try these dinners on your kids and see if they dig in any faster than before. Just remember not to make a scene, and hide how much you want them to eat it. They’ll get there in the end!


Salba Chia Seeds-- Where have you been all my life?

For some time now, I have been really curious about chia seeds. I know, I know-- I'm so late. Seriously though, I have been wanting to try them since I have been hearing so many good things about them. I received a fabulous box of samples from Salba Smart to try out. 
Salba chia comes both in whole seeds and ground. I read some material that was enclosed in my package and was blown away by the healthy benefits chia seeds provide. Salba is gluten free, raw, vegetarian/vegan, non-GMO, non allergenic, and has a neutral flavor profile. Salba can be easily incorporated into any recipe to boost the nutrition, which is especially beneficial in more specialized diets. Salba's water absorption properties and high fiber make it excellent for increasing satiety, which is important to maintaining healthy weight. Salba also increases your energy, makes your nails, hair, and skin healthier, and improves regularity.
We tried Salba whole seeds on salad first. I love the fact that chia seeds are practically flavorless. This makes adding a super healthy punch to foods much easier. Me and my husband absolutely love Salba on our salads. Seriously, we have been missing out for so long. The amazing part is staying full longer from eating a salad. This was a first for both of us. I have been adding some seeds on top of my cereal and even our six year old has been asking for them on his oatmeal. This is really good since school starts back in exactly two weeks. I worry about him staying full until lunch time. Looks like we have found a new pantry staple in our household. I love the fact that you can purchase single serving packets. This makes it easy for me to send in my husbands lunch box. 

I plan to incorporate Salba chia seeds into breakfast muffins, yogurt, smoothies and more. To find out more about Salba Smart chia products, check out their website. They have a recipes tab and such great tips on how to use them in general. These tips were very useful to me. Check them out:

Have you tried chia seeds? What is your favorite way to have them?

Made in Nature Organic Dried Fruit Review & Giveaway (2 winners)

I have a confession. I'm not a fruit lover. I'm very particular when it comes to fruit texture. Oddly enough I prefer to eat fruit dried over fresh. I received some samples of Made in Nature Organic dried fruit in Bananas, Cranberries and Black Mission Figs. Made in Nature organic fruit has no added sugar, are non-GMO, nut-free and are unsulfered. I don't think you can get more natural than that! 
I tried the bananas first. They aren't the prettiest looking things, but boy do they taste amazing. I felt like I could eat them like candy. The texture was so chewy and I just loved how naturally sweet they were. The cranberries were nothing like what I am used to from the usual brand I use. Apparently I have been buying the wrong kind for years. Oh boy, the cranberries were perfectly sweet-tart and packed with flavor. I admit, I wasn't too thrilled about the figs. I went for it. You know what? They were actually very good-- surprisingly sweet with a chewy texture. I browsed the Made in Nature site and didn't realize how many recipes you can add dried fruit into.

Eating dried fruit is a very good option for me since my body is in need of the extra potassium and fiber. My husband really enjoyed snacking on all of the varieties of dried fruit with organic pecans. They keep him energized during the workday and I feel good that he's eating something really healthy, without added sugar. We look forward to trying some of the other fruit varieties, especially the apricots, apples and plums. As a matter of fact, I think the plums or apricots would be amazing in a zesty lamb or beef stew.

Giveaway: Two lucky Mom Files readers will win a gift pack including three varieties of Made in Nature Organic dried fruit in Bananas, Cranberries and Black Mission Figs. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on July 11, 2014. Please follow giveaway rules in Rafflecopter widget. Two winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

I received product samples in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own as always. 

Operation #PileOnTheVeggies with SUBWAY and Fandango (Giveaway)

This post is sponsored by SUBWAY, but opinions are my your own as always. 

Getting your kids to eat their veggies can be quite a challenge for many. My son loves vegetables, but usually prefers them cooked. I have to get super creative when it comes to serving them raw. SUBWAY wants us to help reach the goal with Operation #PileOnTheVeggies. Children (and parents) are encouraged to pile as many different veggies on their sub as they can for special powers like Maleficent. My little one watched a fun video starring SUBWAY Ambassador Jared Fogle. 

After viewing the video, William decided that he was up for the challenge to #PileOnTheVeggies at lunch. We headed up to SUBWAY and he kept saying he wanted salad on his sub. This child NEVER asks for salad. He enjoyed watching the sandwich makers do their magic on his sub. I have never seen him so excited or interested in veggies like lettuce, spinach or tomatoes. 
We brought our lunch from SUBWAY home to enjoy. 
William was so excited to take a big bite out of his sandwich. He pretended to be a dinosaur and very surprisingly ate almost over bite. This is big for my finicky eater! 
SUBWAY offers an easy way to #PileOnTheVeggies with the Fresh Fit menu; featuring tasty, heart-healthy choices for all ages.  Kids get a special meal of their own, complete with a Fit Mini Sub (piled high with fresh veggies such as cucumbers and spinach), apple slices, and low-fat milk. For a limited time, your child can get a Maleficent backpack with their Fresh Fit meal. Be sure to connect with SUBWAY on Twitter and like them on Facebook for product promotions and updates.

SUBWAY wants you to have a magical experience, inspired by what is sure to be one of summer’s biggest blockbusters – Disney's Maleficent. One very lucky Mom Files' reader will win a $25 SUBWAY gift card to #PileOnTheVeggies and also a $50 Fandango gift card to see Disney's Maleficent. Enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway  
This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on July 2, 2014. Please follow giveaway rules in Rafflecopter widget. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

Get Weight Watchers approved items from Publix #myblogspark (Giveaway)

**CLOSED** Winner is Angel L. Congrats! 

The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Right now Publix is offering some great deals on Weight Watchers approved items. They include:
  • Progresso Light Soups: BOGO 
  • Green Giant Frozen: BOGO
  • Yoplait: 20/$10
You can check out the Publix everyday savings site for printable coupons to save even more. This is a great time to stock up on these foods. I have purchased a lot of Yoplait yogurt for the kids. They have been grabbing them for breakfast most mornings. I also stocked up on Green Giant frozen veggies for future meals. I like to incorporate green beans, broccoli or carrots in my son's mac and cheese for lunch. 

One Mom Files reader can win a prize pack that includes a cool collapsible salad container, water bottle, snack container and a $25 Publix gift card. Both the salad and snack containers can be put in the freezer before food is added to keep food fresh and chilled when on the go. All items are BPA-free. Enter below in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck! 

This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on January 21, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email to claim prize. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes or for fulfillment of prizes. Good luck!


Finally, a multi-vitamin I can take with ease! SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins review

For my entire adult life, I have had difficulty taking multi-vitamins and dietary supplements. Apparently I am allergic to a certain combination of vitamins that bring on flu-like symptoms. Crazy, huh? When I was offered a sample of SmartyPants gummy vitamins to review, I did some quick research. I wanted to read up on them before committing to try them out. My first thought was that my oldest daughter can't take vitamins because she has great difficulty swallowing pills. If anything, she might benefit from them. I decided that she would be the one to review this product in my place. 

Her initial reaction was, "Yum!". She loved the flavors and the fact that she felt like it was more of a treat than anything. I was so curious that I had to try them for myself. I was very nervous because the last thing I would want is to come down with cold/flu symptoms. I went for it and tried them out for a week. Guess what? No bad reactions were had! I couldn't believe it! I finally found something I could take to supplement my relatively healthy diet. They worked out very well for my daughter and she decided that she wants to buy them for herself when she starts her job. 
Here are some facts about SmartPants All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Adults: 

  • Only Multivitamin + Omega 3s + Vitamin D gummy on the market!
  • Excellent Source of Omega 3 DHA+EPA* from eco friendly small fish oil
  • 225% of the US RDI for Vitamin D + includes 9 other nutrients
  • No High Fructose Corn Syrup, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
  • Gluten & casein free. Made in California in a GMP-certified facility

You can check out SmartyPants on the web or connect with them on Facebook


A Healthy Alternative to the Traditional Chips and Dip: Smart Fries

I have a confession: I am a compulsive snacker. I snack all day long and even at night in bed. When I received a box of samples of all natural Smart Fries from Gourmet Basics for review, I was happy for a healthy snack alternative. The first thing that stood out to me was the word "fries". I love fries. Of course, I know they are not something you can eat everyday because they are not healthy. Smart Fries are different. They are the "Better for You" potato snack treat which is Air-Popped in an innovative healthy cooking process that preserves the all natural goodness and delicious taste. Smart Fries contain as little as 1.5-2 grams of fat per serving (depending on flavor), and are 100% natural with no artificial additives, no MSG, and 0g trans fats and are sure to satisfy your potato chip craving. 
The first flavor I tried was the Vintage Cheddar. I was so pleased with the light crispy, crunchy texture and the surprisingly delicious cheese flavor. The full size bag contains 3 servings and it is quite possible that I ate half the bag at one time. At least I did not have to feel guilty about it!
They are absolutely delicious and really satisfy my craving to snack, especially at night. The crunchiness is addicting! It's nice to have the feeling of eating a potato chip-like snack without the disgusting oily taste.
I have tasted a few of the other flavors and so far the Honey Mustard Onion is my favorite. If you like spicy, the Jalapeno Trio is sure to please! I really love how much flavor is packed into each "fry" without being salty. I feel like I now have snacking freedom!

Stay connected to Smart Fries on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Smart Fries can be purchased at They come in single serving sizes and full size bags. The case of 24 single serving bags would be perfect for when I have snack duty for my kids' class or sports team. It's a good things to have in the workplace too for when the munchies strike.

I received samples of Smart Fries for review purposes. No other compensation was received and all opinions are completely mine. 

What I do with my homegrown garden cucumbers

One thing I have learned over the years is to not over-plant vegetables. In the past, we ended up with so many veggies that we couldn't even give it all away before they went bad. This time around, we planted only one or two plants of each vegetable we like and stuck to containers. One of the veggies my husband insists on each year is cucumbers. We went with pickling cukes since we prefer the crunch of them.

I love to pluck them right off the vine and give them a good rinse. I slice them up with the skin on and add sea salt, cracked pepper, vinegar and a squeeze of sriracha. Toss them up and you have a great side dish for your savory meals.

You can't get any better than eating something fresh that you grew yourself. Did you plant anything this year or do you plan to? Have you made anything yummy with your harvest?
Shelly, Mom Files

Smooth Fitness Treadmill Update #SmoothBlogger #spon

I am participating in a campaign as a Smooth Fitness Ambassador and will be reviewing a treadmill from Smooth Fitness in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts/opinions expressed are always my own.

It has been about 4 months now since my Smooth Fitness 5.65 treadmill entered my life. I have to say that things have changed a lot. I haven't felt as good as I have been in a very long time. I almost feel like I time traveled backwards and a 26 year old resides inside of me. Having the convenience of a state-of-the-art piece of exercise equipment inside my home has been my ticket to better overall health and well-being.
Before becoming a Smooth Fitness Ambassador, I never made exercise a priority. It was always such a hassle to arrange the time, find a place and even the motivation to dedicate to fitness. My treadmill has helped me to stop making excuses and start making myself better. Each night I make my plans for the next day. I actually look forward to starting my day off with a brisk jog. I am in no way one of those moms that run 4-6 miles a day. I don't think I can handle that much and realize that it is okay. I set simple goals for myself and make them more challenging each week. Some mornings I may only do a mile or a mile and a half as well as some stretching and light weights. My goal is to feel better and have more energy. I have to say. I have certainly reached that goal! If I miss a workout for 2 days, I will know it and feel badly about it. Exercise has become a habit for me! 
If you are considering purchasing a treadmill for your home, I highly suggest any of the ones that Smooth Fitness offers. It is a great investment and on to this day, I snicker as I pass by the health club we were paying big money for in the past. Of course, you can't beat being able to "ugly sweat" in the privacy of your own home, no matter the weather! I know our treadmill will get used and abused this summer since the girls will be out of school.

Be sure to check out Smooth Fitness on the web, Facebook and Twitter to learn more about their line of treadmills and elliptical machines. I want to extend a huge thank you to Smooth Fitness for having me as a brand ambassador. My family loves the machine and we look forward to staying healthy and fit for life!
Shelly, Mom Files


Vitamins make me tired

About three weeks ago I decided to take it upon myself to do something good for my health. I realized that I will turn 40 this year and my body might need a little extra calcium and iron. I started to take a supplement that contained calcium, magnesium and zinc all in one. I also took a slow-release iron pill.
What I did was take one of each, every other day for a total of 4 times. Why only 4 times? It turns out that the combination of vitamins were exhausting me to the point that I had to take multiple naps each day and didn't want to cook, bake or do anything I enjoy. I was tired beyond tired and that is unlike me. I am a very high-energy person and I knew something was wrong. I decided to stop taking the supplements and drink a ton of water. Wouldn't you know that within 4 days, my energy came back and I felt like myself again! From now on I will use the right food as my supplement. I have never been able to take vitamins in combination because they do wonky things to my body. If I take a multi-vitamin, I will end up with flu-like symptoms. Crazy, huh?

Have you ever experienced anything like this before?
Shelly, Mom Files

#SmoothBlogger updates, Big Daddy style

I am participating in a campaign as a Smooth Fitness Ambassador and will be reviewing a treadmill from Smooth Fitness in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts/opinions expressed are always my own.
I wanted to update you all on my hubby's progress ever since he started his "Smooth Fitness" way of life. He has worked so hard to make sure he fits in some time in his crazy, busy schedule to get a jog or run in on the treadmill, even if it means getting up at 5:00 AM! So far he lost 6 pounds in the first 6 weeks but gained back 3 pounds. I think it was a combination of holiday festivities and stress eating that did it. He knew that it was time to get serious again.
He had to regroup and go back to eating leaner and cleaner. Thankfully, he was able to lose the 3 pounds he gained and even lost 2 more. I have to say that Dwayne really surprises me with his food choices. He is not one to eat anything he knows nothing about or sounds too trendy. One of his latest favorites (mine as well) is fat-free Greek yogurt with organic granola.

He even requests vegetarian meals and NO rice. Now that one is shocking! He can tell if he has gone a couple days without exercising on the treadmill because it shows clearly through his mood and sleep habits. Dwayne has a goal of being under 200 pounds so there is a lot of work to be done. He has 30 pounds to go right now and the whole family is cheering him on. We will celebrate his 40th birthday at the end of June on the beach so he has his work cut out for him! I will let you all know how far he gets in the next few weeks. 

Be sure to check out Smooth Fitness on the web, Facebook and Twitter to learn more about their line of treadmills and elliptical machines. 
Shelly, Mom Files
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