Browsing Category

snacks

McCafé at Home in Your Kitchen

EAT, snacks By October 16, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

McCafe at HomeThere’s a joke in my house about me not being a morning person. But it goes further than that. I’m so groggy in the morning that I probably should have padded walls in the hall and a bathrobe made of bubble wrap so that I don’t hurt myself on the way to the coffee maker. Unless I make it the night before I always measure wrong. One friend laughed and told me it was ‘simply’ the miles to kilometers ratio for portioning coffee to water. That didn’t help much.. If I had a few million dollars I wouldn’t hire a cleaning lady or a chef. I’d hire somebody to place my coffee beside the bed in the morning so that I could wake to the scent and avoid EMI – early morning injury.

Morning Person McCafeWhen McCafé first launched I had the opportunity as an all-access-mom to work behind the counter at a McDonald’s restaurant where I could act professional and run the barista machine. Incredible. Perfect every time (it was the machine), full of flavor and float-on-a-cloud aromas. I got slightly addicted. But then I ran into the issue of having to jump in my car in the morning in a half-awake state in order to reach the drive-thru for coffee. Not a wise move. The last time I tried I drove over my purse whilst backing up. I remember at university McDonald’s used to deliver to our residence. MMMM. Can you imagine fresh-brewed McCafé in the morning delivered all steamy and rich after you’ve been up all night writing a paper?

Though I still do a fair amount of last-minute writing, pigs can’t fly and I’m no longer in a university residence, but a thrilling coffee solution has fallen into my kitchen. McCafé is now sold in every major grocery retailer in Canada. To keep in your pantry! McCafé at HOME! In Canada, 65% of coffee is consumed in the home. I suspect that stat is about to go up… And if you have a fancy coffee maker you’re still golden – it comes in K-Cup, Tassimo T-Discs, or Ground. BOOM.

Now if McDonald’s could just teach my kids the miles to kilometers ratio…

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

Camp Must-Haves

EAT, fitness, GEAR, kids, LIVE, play, snacks By August 13, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Going to camp is an exciting summer activity for kids. Meeting new people, learning new games and going on adventures are some camp memories that are never forgotten. We have compiled a list of camp must-haves that will make your kids experience at camp even better…

1.  Pop Clocky. As most of us know, being at camp doesn’t mean sleeping in. Early wake up calls are inevitable. With Pop Clocky you can wake up the whole cabin with a fun start to the day. Pop Clocky resembles a Jack-in-a-box and makes early mornings fun. Sunny, Rosy, Gilbert and Charlie will make sure everyone up with the birds.

2. Allergy alerts from Mabel’s Labels will ensure that the peanut butter doesn’t pass the lips when the kids come back from canoeing a wee bit dazed and sunburned.

3. A few healthy snacks. Hippie Foods coconut snacks arrived at our office and I’m now hoarding them in my desk…. .

4. A Flashlight. For those long walks back to the cabin, in the woods, a flashlight is useful for avoiding injuries. We found one that’s also a portable music player – the Hipstreet bluetooth speaker/radio with flashlight will keep them dancing around the campfire!

5. A Journal. You can’t experience your child’s week at camp with them, so, by getting them to keep a journal they can keep up their writing skills and share every bit of their experience with you when they get home. We love this robot illustrated Mudpuppy journal/sketchbook from Raspberry Kids.

6. A water bottle. Though you won’t be there to tell them to drink water and stay hydrated every minute, getting them to bring a water bottle will encourage them to drink more water and I’m sure they will be thanking you later. Having one of these adorable SIGG animals will make them want to keep it close.

7. An Eco Lunchbox. For those days when they’ll be going on an adventure and will be needing to carry around some snacks with them.

8. A backpack. A a similar idea to the eco lunchbox, when your kid is going on an adventure they will have a lot to carry. Whether it be sunscreen, a water bottle or a flashlight, your kid will be glad to have a backpack to put it all in. Companies like Land’s End allow for easy personalization.

9. Their own pillow case. She won’t have a chance to miss home when dozing off on this festive Mum pillowcase from Pottery Barn Kids. Better yet – you’ll avoid having a child return home with lice. It will be a reminder of home and be a lice blocker at the same time!

Share:
Year of no sugar

Year of No Sugar by Eve Schaub

books, EAT, FAM, GEAR, health, snacks By May 2, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

Have you ever thought about how much sugar you consume and it’s affects on not only you, but your family?

Have you noticed that eating sugar with every meal has become the norm and that we live in a time where there is an abundance of food and yet our children are more undernourished than ever before?

Have you considered that there could be a link between high sugar foods and heart disease, obesity, stroke, diabetes, cancer and increased behaviour and emotional issues that could be associated with the enormous rise of children being diagnosed with ADHD?

Eve Schaub noticed and woke up to the fact that sugar is everywhere and it’s making us fat and sick. She has started a conversation that we all need to hear and will help us to redefine the word ‘treat.’

Eve is the friend down the road sharing her sugarless journey; the pitfalls, challenges and revelations and she implores us to start taking some responsibility for our own nourishment so we can set up our children to make better choices that will support their long term health, and ours. Written in a way that every mom will understand and relate to and all backed up with science.

Reading this book will not only inspire you to look at how much sugar you are eating on a daily basis but will provide you with the tools you need to navigate all it’s pseudonyms while learning to reconnect with the food that you eat and it’s importance in nourishing and caring for our bodies.

In short, Eve has done a brilliant job in doing all the hard work so we don’t have to!

 

– Tisha Bryant is currently working towards a certification as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. 

Using nutrition to heal a persistent health issue was the catalyst that spurred Tisha on to become a certified Whole Food Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach. She is a raw food chef and also gained a certificate in counselling in 2005 while living in the UK. She is currently working towards a certification as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Tisha runs A Pinch of Lovely.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:
How do I switch to organic

How Do You Switch to Organic?

EAT, family meals, snacks By January 2, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

Switching to organic is a tough decision for many families. By choosing organic versions of the family’s most consumed foods, you can increase the percentage of organic food in your diet without big changes to your shopping cart or your spending. Opting for organic produce, for instance, doesn’t necessarily have a big impact, depending on what you eat. The key is to be strategic in your organic purchases. But how do you switch to organic? Like this.

According to the Environmental Working Group, commercially-farmed fruits and vegetables vary in their levels of pesticide residue. Here’s their standard of when to choose organic and when it’s OK to go conventional.

Dirty Dozen—These should always be organic: Nectarines, Celery, Pears, Apples, Cherries, Berries, Imported Grapes, Spinach, Potatoes, Bell Peppers, Lettuce.

Clean fifteen—It’s OK to opt for conventional here: Onions, Avocados, Sweet corn, Pineapple, Mangos, Asparagus, Sweet peas, Kiwi, Cabbage, Eggplant, Papaya, Watermelon, Broccoli, Tomato, Sweet potato.  (Tip: Print this and slip it in your wallet.)

Why Organic?

Nutrient Dense: Reports of organic food not being better for you are outdated. A brand new analysis of about 100 studies, including more than 40 published in the past 3 years, found that the average levels of nearly a dozen nutrients are 25% higher in organic produce.

Consume Fewer Toxins
: Eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables exposes you to about 14 pesticides a day. A study supported by the EPA measured pesticide levels in children’s urine before and after a switch to an organic diet. After just 5 days, the chemicals decreased to trace levels.

TOP ORGANIC PICKS

1. Milk: Most children drink milk everyday or in large quantities so this is one product not to skimp out on when it comes to choosing between organic and non. Also, when you choose a glass of conventional milk, you are buying into a whole chemical system of agriculture. Organic milk doesn’t contain the harmful antibiotics, artificial and growth hormones and pesticides that are used in commercial dairy.

2. Potatoes: Potatoes are a staple of the North American diet—an alarming fact in itself—one survey found they account for 30% of our overall vegetable consumption. A simple switch to organic potatoes has the potential to have a big impact because commercially-farmed potatoes are some of the most pesticide-contaminated vegetables. Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. Potatoes are treated with fungicides during the growing season, and then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won’t. 81% of potatoes tested still contained pesticides after being washed and peeled, and the potato has one of the highest pesticide contents of 43 fruits and vegetables tested, according to the Environmental Working Group.

3. Peanut butter: More acres are devoted to growing peanuts than any other fruit, vegetable or nut, according to the U.S.D.A. More than 99% of peanut farms use conventional farming practices, including the use of fungicide to treat mold, a common problem in peanut crops. Given that some kids eat peanut butter often, this seems like a simple and practical switch. Commercial food firms now offer organic brands in the regular grocery store. Even opt for grinding your own in store. Kids love the process watching the nut transform into paste!

4. Ketchup: For some families, ketchup accounts for a large part of the household vegetable intake—another sad fact in itself. About 75 percent of tomato consumption is in the form of processed tomatoes, including juice, tomato paste and ketchup. Notably, recent research has shown organic ketchup has about double the antioxidants of conventional ketchup.

5. Apples: Apples are the second most commonly eaten fresh fruit, after bananas. But apples are also one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. So apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. Don’t buy that. So minimize exposure by avoiding the most pestiside doused produce but choosing organic apples. The good news is that organic apples are easy to find.

6. Popcorn: Chemicals, like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the microwave popcorn bags, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to migrate into your popcorn and accumulate in the body for years. Many manufacturers will phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then. The solution: Pop organic kernels the old-fashioned way—in a skillet. For flavorings, add real butter, olive oil, or dried seasonings, such as dill, vegetable flakes or nutritional yeast. Bonus is that air-popped popcorn is a whole food, high in nutrients and a way cheaper snack food option.

7. Canned Tomatoes: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity—a prominent characteristic of tomatoes—causes BPA to leach into your food. Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings). Substitute low sodium organic jarred pasta sauce for canned tomatoes when a recipe calls for canned tomatoes and none are on hand.

8. Meat and Poultry: A study in the journal Meat Science compared the nutritional content of organic and nonorganic chicken meat. The researchers found that the organic samples contained 28% more omega-3s which are linked to reducing rates of heart disease, depression, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease. Animals raised organically are not given antibiotics, growth hormones or feed made from animal by-products (read: they don’t eat their own species).

Money Saving Tricks When Buying Organic

In-Season Savings: Hunt for produce at your local farmer’s markets. Buy organic produce in season (preferably local), when it’s most affordable—usually at half the cost. Not only does your wallet benefit, but also do the local farmers. Produce is farm fresh with a much zingier taste as it was probably just picked that day. Plus, little energy was wasted in its journey from the farm to kitchen.

Buy in Bulk: Organic options can be found at Costco—like organic bagged brown rice, whole-wheat flour and quinoa. Stock up on these, They don’t go bad and you will use them more often when on hand. You can also find many organic grains—brown rice, whole oats, pastas, flours, dried fruits, and nuts in bulk sections of stores for far less.

Portion Control: The recommended portion size for meat and poultry is three ounces, the size of a deck of cards. Stick to this amount and round out your meal with less expensive whole grains and veggies not only to cut meal costs, but also to drastically improve nutritional intake.

Organics to Skip: Which products don’t require the hefty price tag? Step into any health food store and you’ll find an organic version of just about everything, including junk food. While it’s true that organic is still better for you, soda is still soda, even with an organic label. A six-pack of organic soda contains 160 calories and zero nutrients. So skip it entirely. Cutting back on sweets and nutritionally void extras altogether is the best step to better health and won’t sabotage your shopping budget that should be spent on healthy whole foods.  

Alyssa-Schottland Bauman received her training to practice Health Counseling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the only nutrition school integrating all the different dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods.  www.nourished.ca

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdickert/

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:
smoothie freezer packets for kids

Smoothie Freezer Packets for Kids

EAT, snacks By January 1, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

I like to save time. Doesn’t every Mom? With a focus on healthy this year, I started making smoothie freezer packets for kids. Perhaps it’s also because I bought a Vitamix and am determined to have my family eat whole, healthy foods. You can reuse the ziplock bags and keep a stash of smoothie mixes in the freezer. Keep coconut water or almond milk on hand and add 1/2 cup to your smoothie packet. Hint: Using dark berries allows you to camouflage kale or spinach without the kids thinking there is anything green in their smoothie.

Green Smoothie For Kids (aka Hulk Juice)

1 yoghurt (you can also freeze the yoghurt in muffin tins and buy the large tubs)
1 stalk celery
1 cut up apple
1 handful spinach or kale
1/2 avocado

Berry Smoothie for Kids

1/2 cup each blueberries, blackberries, raspberries
1 peeled banana
1/2 apple
yoghurt

Chocolate Banana Smoothie for Kids

2 peeled bananas
1/2 square bakers dark chocolate (to freeze) or 1T cocoa powder to add later

Mix with 8 oz. almond or soy milk and 1T honey.

Peach Flax Smoothie for Kids

1 frozen banana
1 Yoghurt
3 cut peaches
1T flax meal

Mix with 8 oz. almond or soy milk.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

iögo 0% Yogurt with Stevia

EAT, snacks By September 24, 2013 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

iogo steviaIn my house we call it go-geet.  We also call muffins cupcakes.  Do you see a pattern?  (besides teaching the kids horrific spelling?)  Yes, I try to convince the kids that the healthy desserts are actually sinful.  We recently sampled the new iögo 0% yogurt with stevia extract, a100% natural origin calorie-free sweetener.  They loved it.  They took it for school lunches, ate it after dinner and I popped it into smoothies.  

Thankfully, according to the FDA and Health Canada, you can’t overdose on stevia extract.  Stevia extract is a 100% natural origin calorie-free sweetener made from the leaves of the stevia plant. It’s manufacturing process is the same as for natural flavours. Known first as the “sweet herb”, stevia is a native plant of Paraguay, South America and is 200 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar. When used in very small quantities, stevia extract can replace a portion of the sugar generally used in food products.  As of November 2012, Health Canada approved the use of stevia extract in Canada. This agency established the safety of stevia extract as a food additive.

iögo 0% with stevia extract is free of fat, gelatin, colours and artificial flavours. It comes in the flavours of raspberry, blueberry, vanilla and mango-passion fruit.  So have your cupcakes with go-geet.  We won’t tell.

Disclosure: UrbanMommies was sent a carton of iogo 0% for testing.  All opinions are own own.

 

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

Summer Zucchini Muffins

EAT, snacks By August 21, 2013 Tags: , , , No Comments

Zucchini MuffinsThe garden is thriving and the kids have been eating poorly since school got out.  Well, mine have anyway.  Time to hide some veggies in their favourite foods.  When we made these summer zucchini muffins, we tripled the recipe, baked one pan of muffins and saved the other two batches in large ziplock bags in the freezer.  A perfect start to the school year. Simply defrost the dough the night before and fill 12 tins for fresh breakfast treats or lunchbox snacks.

3 cups grated fresh zucchini (no need to take the peel off. The green adds depth.. and saves you time.)
2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
Pinch salt
3 cups all-purpose whole wheat flour (or replace 1 cup with wheat germ)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

You don’t need a mixer for this recipe.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. Stir in walnuts, raisins or cranberries if using.

2. Coat each muffin cup in your muffin pan with a little butter or vegetable oil spray. Use a spoon to distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups, filling the cups up completely. Bake on the middle rack until muffins are golden brown, and the top of the muffins bounce back when you press on them, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin let cool another 20 minutes.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:
kid friendly crab cakes

Kid Friendly Crab Cakes

EAT, lunches, snacks By August 18, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

 

If you’re used to picky eaters or chicken finger lovers, kid friendly crab cakes make a great healthy snack.  And it’s not necessary to catch the crabs and shell them like we did (for authenticity).  You can grab the cans.  You also have the option of frying or baking.  The baked version is of course healthier, but you could do a flash fry at the end using olive or grapeseed oil (which has a higher temperature threshold to prevent burning).  Served with veggies or a robust salad they make a great dinner as well.

Kid Friendly Crab Cakes Ingredients:

4 T. finely crushed whole grains (kamut, wheatgerm, wholewheat flour – whatever you have)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning/cocktail sauce
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
salt to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 pound fresh crabmeat, well drained
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (try to use whole grains seasoned with just salt and pepper)
2 tablespoons butter
3T cut chives
6 T finely diced apple (optional) 

Method:

  1. Mix grains, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, seafood seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, egg, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in crabmeat until mixture is combined but still chunky. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on a plate.
  4. Shape chilled crab mixture into 4 small thick patties; coat completely with bread crumbs.
  5. Grease a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Flip crabcakes at 10 minutes.
  6. Optional: flash fry for 30 seconds/side in a skillet before serving.

This kid friendly crab cakes recipe is also great for making shapes – the letters in the kids’ names, hearts, stars and geometric shapes.  Have fun! 

 

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

Palm to Coconut Popsicle at One&Only Palmilla

EAT, International, ROAM, snacks By June 24, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

coconut popsicle recipeWith the explosion of farmers markets and the locavore movement, everyone is interested in knowing where their food comes from. One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico, is taking the concept a step further. The new “Palm to Popsicle” program lets kids at the resort see the journey of a coconut from a palm tree, to the kitchen, and into a freshly made popsicle.

As an official “Coconut Hunter,” when a child spots a ripe coconut in a tree, a gardener will cut down the coconut. They will then head into the resort’s kitchen where the children will work with a chef to break open the shell and then help to make a fresh popsicle from a straight-from-the-tree, hyper-local coconut.  Children can take home the recipe for their coconut treats.

 

One&Only Palmilla Coconut Popsicle

Servings: 12

2 cups of fresh coconut water
2 cups of chopped coconut “meat”
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk
2/3 cups of pure agave syrup
2 ounces of fresh lime juice
Grated zest of one lime 

Step 1: Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend at medium to fast speed for one minute.

Step 2: Fill a popsicle mold and place in freezer; when half frozen, remove from freezer and insert popsicle stick.

Step 3: When completely frozen, loosen the popsicle by running warm water over the outside of the mold. Enjoy!

 

 

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

20 Picnic Basket Essentials Inspired by Anne Parks

EAT, lunches, snacks By June 19, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

20 Picnic Basket EssentialsWhen you meet Anne Parks the first thing you notice is the sparkle in her eyes.  Easy-going and in love with life, she infects you with curiosity.  And then she talks about her vegetable gardens and beekeeping, her gourmet cooking and passion for finding new food trends when she travels.  You would never guess that this vibrant, youthful woman with a phenomenal mane of blond hair has worked with McDonald’s Restaurants for 34 years and is now the Director of Menu Management for McDonald’s Canada.  Anne ParksBut then again, every executive I’ve met with at the company has been there for at least 30 years.  Listening to Anne talk at the Vancouver picnic-style launch of the newly developed Signature McWrap® gave us all a window into her passion and the reasons why McDonald’s Canada retains the great people who work there.

UrbanMommies ran a contest inviting readers to share their favourite must-have picnic items, and ten lucky parents attended the special lunch.  We learned so much from Anne about what goes into the process for choosing menu items and we were intrigued to hear Signature McWrapabout the Canadian palate.  In coming up with flavours for the new grilled or crispy chicken McWrap, she took into account  Canadians’ penchant for  spicier foods, and also our love of different textures within each bite.  (Think: crunch with a bit of bite and smoothness in the same mouthful). The sandwiches also come with a whole wheat wrap – a first for McDonald’s globally and only the second whole wheat item apart from the bun of the Premium Chicken Sandwich.

Chai LattesAnne Parks and her team travel to different parts of the world to explore fresh street markets, flavours and trends, and then bring their findings back to the McDonald’s test kitchen.  Working with dietitians and specialists in areas of pastry and baking, the team comes up with items that are tested for taste, quality, nutrition and consistency.  With the Signature McWrap, I loved the diversity that made me feel as if I were travelling.  I get in different ‘food moods’ so being able to pick Asian, Mexican or North American-themed flavours is a bonus.  The Signature McWrap comes in three flavours Fiesta, Sweet Chili, and Chicken and Bacon.

Jill Amery and Anne ParksThe luncheon was special in that guests got to ask very specific questions, and Anne was incredibly receptive to suggestions.  Comments about lower-sodium ketchup and options for healthy Happy Meal side dishes started to flow, and the lunch whizzed by.  We drank frozen Chai Iced Frappés and Iced Frappes that were also developed by Parks.

In an interview about her job and life, Parks clearly shows her love of food, people, and bees!


Picnic Kids

So for our picnic-loving readers, the contest was an incredible opportunity to gather and curate a ton of ideas about summer lunches.  We have compiled the ideas to help you plan your own picnic basket and make beautiful memories with your kids.  As much as I love making sandwiches, though, I’m personally counting on picking up a bagful of the grilled chicken Sweet Chili Signature McWraps, as they are certainly better than anything I can produce at home.  Thanks Anne!


Picnic Basket Gifts

20 Picnic Basket Essentials

1.  Baby Wipes (almost everyone included this!)
2.  A game like ‘Spot it!’
3.  Celery sticks in a lidded jar with peanut butter or cream cheese at the bottom
4.  Cloth napkins in fun colours cut with pinking shears – fun and great for the planet
5.  Extra bags and ziplocks for treasures the kids find during the picnic
6.  A blow-up ball.  It’s lightweight and great for encouraging activity
7.  Afterbite, bug spray and a first aid kit
8.  Old quilts and soft sheets
9.  A small vase for found flowers
10.  A jambox to connect to your smartphone for music
11.  Microwave popcorn cooked still in the sealed bag
12.  A blank book and pen for the family to write memories and share ideas
13.  Lemons and limes already cut up with ice water (we use frozen water bottles that you can drink as they melt)
14.  A scavenger hunt printable (we found one HERE).
15.  Tin dishes.  You can often find them at yard sales or camping supply stores
16.  Old-fashioned games (think: etch-a-sketch, cards, cat’s cradle)
17.  A trash bag
18.  Loveys for the kids in case the picnic sneaks into nap time
19.  Vintage mismatched silver plate cutlery
20.  Candles in tall jars

We’re looking forward to hearing picnic tales throughout the summer and having photos sent to us too!  Enjoy the memories and make sure that your meals have some crunch and some spice!

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share: