“In My Heart” Story Time Snack

I am so excited to be teaming up with my friend Janey at @darlingreaders 📚 for a very lovable, heart filled 💕 edition of #storytimesnacks. In My Heart, by Jo Witek and illustrated by Christine Roussey is a wonderful exploration of all of the feelings of the heart. This book is the perfect introduction to vocabulary specific to feelings and emotion. If you’re looking for wonderful early literacy tips, go give Janey a follow ( and also how darling is it that we both have darling in our names ☺️ AND we’re both actually photographers 📷 ) It’s a book filled with colorful hearts and feelings and perfect for Valentine’s Day or really any day of the year!

I can’t think of anything that says, I love you, more than a colorful, healthy, heart-shaped snack 🍍🥑🍉🍈 We simply used cookie cutters to make the heart shapes and skewered them only a coffee stir stick ( you could also use a popsicle stick! )

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What’s your favorite book for Valentine’s Day? ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

Soft Pretzels & Cheese

It’s snack day!!! I mean… game day 🏈 I couldn’t even tell you who is playing but I actually enjoying watching sports, just not professional teams. I’m a big fan of college teams 🏀 So today is more just a reason to have yummy snacks and hang out for me! I decided to make up a batch of @altonbrown soft pretzels and they are so dang good! And made a little rosemary cheddar cheese sauce for dipping 🧀 because cheese sauce makes me happy 😁

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2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped fine
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk until it thickens. Stir in shredded cheese and stir until cheese is melted and smooth. Mix in fresh rosemary and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ice Cream For Breakfast

#icecreamforbreakfastday 🍦 and we’re celebrating with #sillypancakesaturday because we don’t actually have any ice cream 😬 While I was making the banana version for my little one my oldest requested his be made of yogurt! And then they both wanted to decorate theirs with sprinkles and like always, sprinkles ended up all. over. everything. 😆 But they had fun!

We just used a frozen waffle trimmed into a triangle as the cone. Sliced bananas or yogurt ( I used a piping bag to make it look drippy ) for the ice cream. A dash of sprinkles for fun and a strawberry 🍓 looking cherry on top! You could use an actually cherry if you have one 🍒

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Rainbow Valentine Snack Tray

I don’t know about you guys but I’m a sucker for anything with hearts 💕 and that’s likely why I’ve always LOVED Valentine’s Day! And it’s the last day of the never ending month of January so we’re ready to 🎉 celebrate!!! This simple rainbow snack tray is an easy and yummy way to enjoy a holiday often filled with sweets! Making foods into hearts and arrows can give it a festive feel and a little more like a special treat. We used strawberries 🍓, pineapple 🍍, oranges 🍊, purple carrots 🥕, blueberries, cucumbers 🥒, and yogurt for dipping. It’s a great way to make snack time even more fun! 💕

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How to Take Healthy Eating Beyond the Table

Once you’ve hit that 6 month mark and start introducing new foods to your baby, it’s every parent’s goal to try and teach their little one about healthy food. We try multiple options to test and train their palettes with purees, mushes, and more. Yet, no matter how hard we try, we are still met with resistance, or worse as they get older and start tasting all the sugary, cheesy snacks their preferences rapidly shift away from veggies and towards the goodies. Picky eaters quickly emerge and meal time can become a major struggle every day. Just like it is with adults, the easiest way to stay healthy at the table, is to make it a part of multiple aspects of our lives.
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Think about the trend of avocado, in the last decade, the consumption of avocado in the US has increased by 79%. Concurrently, avos have been much more prevalent outside of the grocery store or your favorite Mexican restaurants guacamole.  Now, almost every coffee shop has avo toast, avocado ice cream is a thing and fresh accessories, toys, and more frequent our everyday lives. ​
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The effect? We eat more avocado! Our brains are trained by frequency, the more we see avocados out and about, the more we want to eat them too. Think of what we can do as a culture by taking all our favorite fruits and veggies and giving them the same attention outside of the dining room or kitchen.

This very concept, is what inspired the creation of Little Foodie’s apparel and gift collection and we were so excited to see that there are more companies out there with the same mission!

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We met Allyson over at Pleni Naturals through instagram and were blown away by her non-toxic, organic skincare line, made from real fruits and veggies with a mission to spark a lifelong love for wholesome foods for toddlers and babies across the country.

Although a 6 month old may not internalize exactly what a cucumber smells like or read the letters on their shirt, the habits and associations we are forming today away from the table, can build lasting healthy choices by making kalebroccoli and sweet potatoes just as fun in the bath and on the playground as they are on the table.

To CELERYbrate all things fruit and veggies, we have partnered with Pleni Naturals for an epic giveaway (valued over $100). To enter, head over to our Instagram and find the photo below to find all the details for your chance to win! 

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Avocado Fudgesicles

KILLER fudgesicles!!!! I mean like so good I hid some from my kids kinda good 😏 In case you didn’t snag the recipe yet, here is the same exact one but just frozen into chocolately amazingnesss.

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Avocado Fudgesicles
2 ripe whole avocados, pitted and skin removed
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
Whip together in a food processor or with the whisk attachment on a stand mixer. Spoon into popsicle mold and freeze until solid.

And we are totally eating these with snow falling outside ❄️ because it’s never too cold for popsicles at our house!!

Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

My picky eater husband said these are the BEST meatballs he’s ever eaten… and I have to say I totally agree!!! And both my kids devoured them too 🙌 I love cooking meatballs in the air fryer and this take on chicken parmesan comes out oh so crispy. You gotta try them!

Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
1 lb ground chicken
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs ( plus additional 1/2 cup for outside coating )
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
spray oil

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In a large bowl, mix together chicken, egg, parmesan, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, garlic powder, italian seasoning, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. When it’s fully incorporated, roll into 1 inch balls. place additional 1/2 cup bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Coat each meatball fully in breadcrumbs and set on a baking sheet. Continue rolling and coating until through all of the meatball mix.

Preheat air fryer to 400F for 5 minutes. Spray air fryer basket as well as tops of meatball with avocado oil ( or any spray oil you have ) play in single layer in air fryer and cook for 10 minutes, turning over one halfway through. Serve one top of spaghetti sauce and noodles or just dip them in marinara. 🍝 So yummy and such a hit for the whole family!!!