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Snack Attack: How to Recharge to Right Way

Hi MySuperFoods Blog Followers,

I’d like to introduce myself as a new blog member to the MySuperFoods Team. My name is Lauren and I’m interning here this summer! I’m so grateful to be a part of such an amazing company and to be able to gain the experiences I have thus far.

Today we’re talking snacks. And no, not chips and candy types of snacks, more along the lines of healthy, recharging our energy types of snacks.

I always feel better when I eat healthy. Whether it be waking up ten minutes early to whip up some egg whites or sticking to actually eating my salad that I brought with me to work- there’s no doubt that what I consume throughout the day has an effect on my work ethic and my mood as well.

But, where I really need to reign myself in is through my snacking habits. Walking into the kitchen looking for a mid-day or sometimes even mid-night snack can be dangerous, and we all know it! For me, it’s all about learning that there is always a healthier option out there.

A recent article taken from EatRight.org gives us plenty of easy, yet nutritious quick-fixes for snack ideas. Not only are these ideas perfect for kids as an after-school snack, but ideal for adults too!

1. Peel a banana and dip it in yogurt. Roll in crushed cereal and freeze.

2. Spread celery sticks with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese. ants on a logTop with raisins. Enjoy your “ants on a log.”

3. Stuff a whole grain pita pocket with ricotta cheese and Granny Smith apple slices. Add a dash of cinnamon.

4. Mix together ready-to-eat cereal, dried fruit and nuts in a sandwich bag for an on-the-go snack.

5. Smear a scoop of frozen yogurt on two graham crackers and add sliced banana to make a yummy sandwich.

6. Top low-fat vanilla yogurt with crunchy granola and sprinkle with blueberries. yogurt parfait

7. Microwave a small baked potato. Top with reduced-fat cheddar cheese and salsa.

8. Make snack kabobs. Put cubes of low-fat cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks.

9. Toast a whole grain waffle and top it with low-fat yogurt and sliced peaches.

10. Spread peanut butter on apple slices.

11. Blend low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana for thirty seconds for a delicious smoothie.

12. Make a mini-sandwich with tuna or egg salad on a dinner roll.

13. Sprinkle grated Monterey Jack cheese over a corn tortilla; fold in half and microwave for twenty seconds. Top with salsa.

14. Toss dried cranberries and chopped walnuts in instant oatmeal.

15. Mix together peanut butter and cornflakes in a bowl. Shape into balls and roll in crushed graham crackers.

16. Microwave a cup of tomato or vegetable soup and enjoy with whole grain crackers.

17. Fill a waffle cone with cut-up fruit and top with low-fat vanilla yogurt.

18. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on hot popcorn.

19. Banana Split: Top a banana with low-fat vanilla and strawberry frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with your favorite whole-grain cereal.

20. Sandwich Cut-Outs: Make a sandwich on whole grain bread. Cut out your favorite shape using a big cookie cutter. Eat the fun shape and the edges, too!

21. Spread mustard on a flour tortilla. Top with a slice of turkey or ham, low-fat cheese and lettuce. Then roll it up.

22. Mini Pizza: Toast an English muffin, drizzle with pizza sauce and sprinkle with low-fat mozzarella cheese. english muffin pizzas

23. Rocky Road: Break graham cracker into bite-size pieces. Add to low-fat chocolate pudding along with a few miniature marshmallows.

24. Inside-Out Sandwich: Spread mustard on a slice of deli turkey. Wrap around a sesame breadstick.

25. Parfait: Layer vanilla yogurt and mandarin oranges or blueberries in a tall glass. Top with a sprinkle of granola.

Snack Ideas taken from AmericanDieteticAssociation.org

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**GUEST BLOGGER** Innovative Dinner Party Decor Ideas (With Kids)

We’re happy to welcome Rudri Bhatt Patel from Modernize.com to share some fun ideas for dinner party plans for moms while keeping the kids in mind. 

Throwing a dinner party is a fun way to entertain family and friends. For those evenings including kids, you want decor to reflect a festive, but child-friendly vibe. Try these decor ideas the next time you entertain adults and kids at your dinner party.

Guest blog 1

Create a Kid-Friendly Centerpiece

Make a statement with a centerpiece on your table. It will serve as a focal point
for your guests. Try a vase with a fresh-cut roses, lilies or flowers which complement a particular theme. Add some ivy to accentuate the flowers you choose. If your goal is to entertain the kids while the adults engage in conversation, place an art-themed centerpiece in the middle of your table with Guest Blog 2crayons, markers and sheets of plain paper or coloring pages. While the kids are making their masterpieces, adults have the option to mingle and talk with others.

Experiment With Table Settings

Guest Blog 3Place butcher paper and chalk as the base of your table. Kids will love drawing or playing tic-tac-toe with these two items, while adults will feel tempted to return to their childhood by also doodling too. If you opt for a more adult centric table setting, provide placements with puzzles on the front – kids love to play crossword puzzles and other games as they wait for dinner. To include kids and adults in the mix, why not teach an etiquette lesson to help them learn which fork and spoon to use during a meal containing several courses.

Use Martini Glasses to Accentuate Your Table

Martini glasses are a great way to display trinkets around the table. Depending on the theme of your party, fortune cookies, sand, candy or beads will take your table to the next level. If older kids are joining the Guest Blog 4party, place a single floating candle in the martini glass to illuminate your dinner party into a magical night experience. If you want to create an interactive tone to your dinner party, provide paint and let adults and kids paint their martini glass – at the end of the night, it is a fun party favor to take home.

Build Party Around a Specific Theme

Theme parties are a fun way to liven up a dinner party. Decide whether the theme will border on serious, festive or somewhere in the middle. With a preplanned theme, all of your decor will work toward highlighting your table in a special way. If it is a Hawaiian-themed dinner party, add Guest Blog 5leis for dinner guests to wear, use a floral table cloth and decorate the table with miniature palm trees and coconuts. For a more kid centric theme, like candyland, use a colorful table cloth, sprinkle candies across the dining space and use the game Candyland as the centerpiece.

Guest Blog 6

Use Name Cards With an Accessory 

Name cards are practical and decorative. For a more formal party, use
heavier paper and pen the name of your guests on the cards. Looking for a more festive tilt? Pair your name cards with an accessory, like bubbles, candles or even a deck of cards.

Creating a tablescape with adult, but kid-friendly decor isn’t out of your reach. Brainstorm on various themes to find the right fit for your next dinner party!

For more design ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.

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Happy 4th Birthday To Us!

PrintHappy birthday to us

Happy birthday to us

Happy birthday to u-us

Happy birthday to us!

(You sang along in your head, didn’t  you?  It’s okay.  We loved it)

Impossible to believe, but MySuperFoods is 4 years old today.  We feel like celebrating.

Today we celebrate moving forward.  Feeling scared and doing it anyway.  Feeling proud and complimenting each other.  Feeling unsure and asking for help.  Falling down and getting back up.

Today we celebrate learning.  Constant learning and change and steps backward to take leaps forward.  Constant questions and puzzle solving.  Constant breathing.  (That one’s really important.  Falling over hurts.)

Today we celebrate our team.  Part-timers and full timers and interns.  Family and friends, investors and customers.  Buyers and distributors and in-store demo teams.  Bloggers and editors and social media fans.  Our team is bigger than we know but we KNOW what it’s doing for us.

Today we celebrate our kids.  That afternoon play date just over 4 years ago when we had a fun chat about food.  About the kind of food we wished we saw on the shelves of stores.  Watching the (4) 18-month-olds who played on the floor, not knowing that we were being pushed to do more, to dream big and act on the passion inside.

Today we celebrate that text that Silvia sent Katie later that night…”do you want to do this with me?” And for Katie ignoring the question she next asked Mike, “do what???”

We are so thankful.  This is a dream.

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Family Movie Night: Kids Baking Championship

KB0104_Duff-Hollis-Valerie_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni10colLike many families, we love a good movie night.  Lately, instead of a box office hit from Disney or Pixar, we’ve been watching DVR’s episodes of the Kids Baking Championship on Food Network.  My daughters love helping in the kitchen and I am admittedly tired of the rotation of cartoons that they want to watch so I hoped it would be a hit.

Boy, was it.

We all loved it instantly.  These kids are only 10, 11, 12 years old.  Amazing skill, poise, confidence, humor.  So entertaining and very brave.  I immediately loved that my girls were not only watching a show about baking but also about the amazing things kids can do all by themselves, and sometimes, as in my favorite moment in the series, together.

In this clip, Jackson burns his hand on a pot and Annika comes over to help him finish his task.  Unfortunately, I’ve been trained by other reality competition shows (and life) to wonder, “does  she thinks this will help her chances?”  A minute later, her expression never changing from honest concern for Jackson finishing the competition, I realized, no, she’s just a great kid.  They don’t think this way.”  She gave new meaning to the word competitor, in a way that I’d never be able to articulate to my daughters.

Now, more than ever we play “The Cooking Show” at meal times.  As I sit down I’m often asked (with a twirl of the hand and a motion to my plate) “what did YOU make?” insisting that I explain my dish in a way that is worthy of moving on to the next level.  Fortunately, I know just what the judges like so I can usually describe their favorite dishes with ease.  But I’ll be honest, I do love moving onto the next level as much as they do.

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I Want a MySuperTicket! ***GIVEAWAY***

You might want to come in a little closer for this news, because it’s really fun.  MySuperTickets are out again!  If you were with us last November, we launched our first MySuperTicket contest and had a blast watching the winners roll in from across the country.

This week, we launched MySuperCookies in the cookie aisle at 500 Target stores.  To celebrate, we hid 50 MySuperTickets inside 50 boxes across the country.  In fact, a lucky winner found one in Seattle on the first day we were on shelves!  What did they win? A Target gift card and a CASE of MySuperCookies.

mysuperticketWant to see if we are in a store near you?  Click HERE.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Find your nearest Target store where MySuperCookies are available.  If there isn’t a store near you, call a friend who IS near a store and have them buy a box for you.

2. Buy MySuperCookies with your fingers crossed.  (Ask for help if you need it.)

3. Once you pay, look inside and see if you are a winner!  If you are…

4. Snap a photo with your MySuperTicket and tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and we will send you a case of MySuperCookies.

GOOD LUCK!!

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When Your Brain Feels Like a Jar Full of Glitter, Shake It Off – Mindfulness For Kids

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have changed a lot over the last 2-3 years.  Not just because of the obvious happenings in my outside life but because of the not-so-obvious happenings in my inside life.  I meditate.  Regularly.  And it’s completely transformed my life.  Those same people who know me well might be getting tired of hearing me talk about it.  But that’s how big it is.  I can’t keep it to myself.

I’ve always been a loyal friend and a compassionate thinker.  I am creative and thoughtful, intelligent and brave.  But I rarely gave myself the credit for it before meditation.  Back then, I was a chronic perfectionist, a worrier, a “finethankyouhowareyou” respondent.  I pleased and thank you’d and hoped everyone liked what I had to think, say, wear, and eat.  Since meditation, I’ve learned to create space between my thoughts and reactions.  To carry empathy in my front pocket.  To go easy on myself and everyone around me.  I still remember the day, over 4 years ago when I was first introduced to meditation and I felt like I was walking with my girls through our neighborhood for the first time.  Except they were over a year old.  Where had I been before that?

The beautiful part of this is that I found it.  Or, as they say, it found me.  The crazy part of this is that it took me over 30 years to get here.  But thank goodness I got here.

Now, as I look at my perfect little kiddos, I try to find little ways to introduce this idea of slowing down, being present and breathing.  Which, ironically, often comes very naturally to children in the first place.  Watch a 3 year old dig in the sand for the first time.  Really watch.  And get comfortable because you might be there for 2 hours.  That’s how THERE he is.

Realistically, in between the wonderful kid-moments, we have our fair share of negotiations, confrontations and sometimes (lately) full on tantrums.  I have been feeling helpless, since I assumed most of this would be over by now.  They are 5 1/2 year old twins.  I keep chalking it up to a growth spurt or being hungry or tired…but who can explain what’s going on with THEM??  Seriously, I want to do better for them and time outs just aren’t making sense these days.

A couple months ago, I saw a short video called “Just Breathe” from a Super Soul Sunday show.   It’s beautiful and simple.  When we feel big, strong emotions, our brains and bodies react similarly.  Chaotic on the inside.  Kids are no different.  Except maybe they aren’t so sure what to do with those feelings all the time.  Here comes the glitter.

A simple glitter jar explains what many of us cannot.  The shaken glitter jar represents our inner turmoil.  Not making the team, losing a best friend, feeling different.  Our responses vary, but can often be or feel chaotic.  Sitting with the glitter jar, noticing the swirling, sparkling flecks of color, then noticing as they settle to the bottom of the jar allows a couple minutes of rest.  A couple minutes to breath in and out, to notice how we feel.  What a great lesson for kids.  And by kids I mean all of us who know, or have or used to be one.

This morning, we made our own.  As we gathered the ingredients, I explained the project’s purpose (since all they thought was “GLITTER!!!”)  I said, whenever I notice that you are starting to feel overwhelmed by emotion and maybe about to make a bad choice with words or actions, I’m going to say “glitter jar” and then just go shake it up and take a minute to relax.

What you’ll need:

Small jar with a secure lid

Colored glitter glue (1/2 of a large bottle or 1 small)

Matching colored glitter (1/2 tube)

Warm water

Add ingredients together and shake to let glue combine.

glitter jar 1

glitter jar 2

glitter jar 3

glitter jar 4

glitter jar 5

glitter jar 6

Once they are shaken, watch the glitter swirl…

glitter jar 8

Then settle…

glitter jar 7

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Business Update: Say Hello to Summer

passion never failsWho can believe we are at the end of May?  Certainly not I. But the gentle reminder of a slowly setting sun late in the day and an afternoon temperature today that’s creeping toward 90 seems like sufficient proof.  We are headed straight for summer.

The coming month have some exciting things in store for MySuperFoods.  Here are 5 things we are celebrating this summer:

1. Nearly 500 Target locations and over 250 Kroger stores are lining their shelves with MySuperCookies Heroes (Blueberry Vanilla, Honey and Chocolate).  We’ve given our store locator a heads up but are still nervous that it might explode on impact.

2. The 4 oldest SuperKiddos (2 sets of twins and the reason Katie and Silvia met) are finishing up preschool next week.  Kindergarten, here we come!  We couldn’t be more proud, honored and amazed to be their moms.  What an awesome group of kids.  (Little brother Tristan will continue to believe he is also 5…instead of 3)

3. The summer interns have entered the building.  Thank you, Kayla and Lauren! (huge sigh of relief…until September)

4. New products are in the works and the taste testing begins next week.  It’s tough job but SOMEONE has to do it!

5. We celebrate our 4th birthday on July 8th!!  What should the theme be…?

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What I’d Like For Mother’s Day (Not an Exhaustive List)

Mothers-Day1. Smiling, happy children.  All day.  Like, to the point that maybe I think something is wrong.

2. High quality, delicious, organic meals that everyone loves, prepared for the entire day week month.

3. A leisurely morning wake-up that includes stretching in bed before getting stepped on, gut punched or having my eyes literally peeled open while being asked, “are you awake?”

4. Six consecutive sentences that don’t begin with “Mommy” “I don’t know how this happened, but” or “What’s that smell?”

5. No Whining.  Or Wrestling.  Or I’m-Not-Touching-You’ing (#1 needed a solid back-up).

6. Something outside.

7. Something chocolate.

8. Something by myself.  Maybe yoga or coffee or staring at a tree.

9. A gift that was clearly made entirely, unapologetically, amazingly by my five-year-old daughters.  Preferably 3-dimensional.

10. A gift that was clearly hijacked from a list of “top 10 things to get your amazing wife for Mother’s Day” from my husband.

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My SMALL Business Feels Anything But

K&S May 2014 _MG_0080 Kelly Photo May 2014 MSF Company Picnic 2013This week (May 4-8 2015) is “Small Business Week”, dubbed so each year by the sitting President for the past 52 years.  With more than 50% of Americans owning or working for a small business, this seems like an appropriate nod to the hard work and innovation coming out of small businesses every day.

As a small business owner, I have to admit, this is a nice little week-long fiesta I’ve been invited to.  Virtual high-fives from the Small Business Association, Twitter parties and nationwide events and promotions.  It feels pretty good to take a week to celebrate the hard work we are all putting in to make our dreams a reality.

But I have a secret: This business is anything but small.

True, my sales stacked up against the industry leaders is meager.  My office of 500 square feet doesn’t require a campus or cafeteria.  My annual company picnic is held in my back yard with ease.  And when I show up to work, Wall Street isn’t watching.

But my first Granola Bite batches were made in my kitchen while my toddlers sat in high chairs eating breakfast.  Ingredients everywhere.  (and you should have seen the mess I made!) My house has served as an office, warehouse, storage facility, conference room, and delivery location for the post office, UPS and FedEx.  We even had a meeting with our insurance agent on the deck one summer while 4 three-year-olds ran around us.  My children have been turned into cookies, coloring pages, buttons, stickers and cartoon characters.  My husband has held down the fort while I’ve worked nights and weekends,  handed out samples in new stores to new customers, gotten on 4 planes in 30 hours for one 20 minute meeting and put our savings into this dream.

When any of us make a sale, we celebrate.  When we decorate our office, it’s with pictures of our kids.  My work is a member of the family.  My business partner and her family are my own.  My co-workers are friends.  We dream big and set lofty goals.  We meet many of them.  We believe in big things, including ourselves.  There’s nothing small about this ride.

But I’ll keep that (mostly) to myself.  I was never one to turn down an invitation to a party.

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The Day I Let My Daughters Drive to School

Now that my daughters are five, I’ve been thinking it’s time to give them more of the space they are craving.  So, today I let them drive to school.

Not really.  But hear me out.

This morning everything was moving on time.  Lunches were packed, shoes were tied, jackets were zipped.  We were in the car with 5 extra minutes to spare on our usual 4-minute-commute to their preschool.  It felt awesome.  As we headed down the driveway I called back to daughter #1 and asked, “Left or Right?”

She immediately dove in, excited to go “the other way”.  The road less traveled.  All along the way toward school, I chose a street here or there that didn’t take us too far off the beaten path, getting us more or less in the direction of where we needed to be.  Almost every time I asked “Left or Right?” I heard, “which way do we normally go?”  Then they would choose the other way.

It was a good reminder to take the road less traveled.  To slow things down and mix things up.  Maybe even release some control in the endless morning ritual of asking, “is (fill-in-the-blank) done yet?”

My daughters left the car laughing and smiling.  Grabbing my hand as we walked into school they both asked, “can we do that every day?”

I felt a little bit like Super Mom.

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