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5 Spooky Fruit and Vegetable Halloween Treats for Healthy Kids

Halloween is my favorite holiday – mostly because it is an anything goes, don’t hold back, get as creative as you want holiday! I have been adding a little spookiness into Eben’s snacks by getting creative with fruits and vegetables. He seems to enjoy these “sweet” treats just as much as a sugary alternative – maybe even more. Read on for 5 spooky fruit and vegetable Halloween treats that I have used as inspiration for celebrating the holiday with my healthy kid.

#1: Jack o’Lantern Fruit Plate
This may be one of the easiest treats in the bunch – simply peel, cut and arrange a selection of organic strawberries, clementines, blueberries and grapes and you have a Halloween treat that is sure to please everyone!

+ Jack O’Lantern Fruit Plate
+ via Wholesome Dinner Tonight

#2: Veggie Skeleton
Looking for a fun way to get your child to eat more vegetables this autumn? Look no further than this adorable veggie skeleton. This, along with the Jack O’Lantern Fruit Plate would be perfect for your child’s class Halloween Party or your family’s spooky get together!

+ Veggie Skeleton
+ via Feeding Four Little Monkeys

#3: Pumpkin Oranges + Banana Ghosts
Yum! These goodies are definitely calling my name – I bet the bananas would be even better if they were slightly frozen! These would be great for a kids party – just grab and go.

+ Pumpkin Oranges + Banana Ghosts
+ via Kid Party Food Ideas

#4: Apple Teeth Treats
While these little yummies might take a little more time to prepare – I bet they are worth all of the compliments you would get at your Halloween party.

+ Apple Teeth Treats
+ via All Recipes

#5: Halloween Sweet Potato Fries
I want to whip up a batch of these yummy sweet potato fries to go with Halloween dinner. Not only does my family love them – but the spook factor will win them over for sure.

+ Halloween Sweet Potato Fries
+ Babble

How to Make Simple Upcycled Halloween Lanterns

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One of my favorite areas to decorate for Halloween is our front porch. It’s the perfect spot to share your Halloween decorations with visitors and neighbors! These painted glass lanterns are one of my favorite projects to pull out of storage every year. They are just so delightful!

What you will need:

What to do:

1. Spray the glass containers inside and outside.
2. Once dry, paint on the design or face that you would like.
3. Place a rechargeable or solar powered tea light inside.
4. Watch the delight on the faces of your neighbors as they walk by.

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What do you think of my Halloween lanterns?

How to Make Your Next Summer Shindig a Lot More Eco-Friendly

Many families have embraced an eco-conscious lifestyle. But when throwing a party, sometimes convenience takes precedence over preserving the planet. It’s so easy to go out to the store and purchase processed foods, plastic cutlery, and packaged paper plates that considering the alternative doesn’t always seem all that alluring. However, it might actually be easier — and more fun — than you’d think to throw a green get-together. Here are some of our favorite tips for making sure your next summer soiree, backyard barbecue, or birthday party will be as eco-friendly as possible.

Choose the Right Location

One of the most energy-efficient ways to host a get-together is to take advantage of natural lighting. That means heading into the great outdoors. Whether you choose your backyard or a local park, you can keep your energy usage low and be surrounded by the beauty of nature all at once. Remember that by choosing a local location and encouraging guests to carpool (or use greener forms of transportation), you’ll create a more eco-friendly environment from the start.

Opt for Digital Invitations

In the digital age, it’s become a lot more commonplace to skip paper invitations and send invites via email or Facebook. While some traditionalists may scoff, the truth is that this is a lot less wasteful and is now a generally accepted practice. If you want something a bit more special than a Facebook event, there are specific sites that will send invitations of your choice and even track RSVPs for you. And if you feel you really can’t do without paper invitations, make sure to construct them out of recycled materials and encourage recipients to recycle them once they’ve told you whether they can attend.

Be Thoughtful With Your Decorations

When you’re decorating for a party, the decorations tend to be pretty standard across the board: tablecloths and toppers, streamers, banners, flowers, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of those items tend to be thrown away after the party’s over. But by using reusable decorations and natural elements, you can be a lot less wasteful and make your party place look incredible. Use linen tablecloths and napkins that can be washed and used year after year or opt for recyclable brown paper that the kids can decorate with crayons. Use fresh flowers, branches, shells, and stones from your own garden to decorate the table. Instead of balloons, get some reusable bunting, make banners and chains from construction paper, or create pom-poms out of tissue paper or yarn that you can reuse. If you can, forgo electric lighting in favor of candles in mason jars or other glass containers.

Reuse Your Tableware

Plastic cutlery and plates are a ubiquitous sight at many a get-together, but they don’t have to be. By using real dishes instead of plastic ones, you’ll be able to wash and reuse over and over. If you’re worried about breakable plates and glasses, you do have some alternatives to disposable plastic or melamine. Sterling silver tableware (which is an alloy that usually consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper) can be a good option, as can recyclable paper products or disposable wooden cutlery. Some hosts might even consider asking guests to BYOP or BYOC (bring your own plates or cups) to cut down on waste. If you need to use straws, get some reusable crazy straws (or invest in metal or biodegradable ones) instead of plastic. For any items that do need to be thrown away, get some eco-friendly garbage bags to make clean-up a bit easier. And be sure to set up a recycling bin or a tub for reusable items.

Get Creative With Party Favors

If you want to send your guests home with some party favors, don’t go for plastic goody bags or junky toys. The typical American home already has 300,000 items inside, so you don’t want to add to the unnecessary clutter or have your gifts end up in the garbage. Get your hands on paper or cloth bags and fill them with useful gifts like chalk, pens, puzzles, books, plant seeds, small notebooks, wooden toys, or even some homemade or local treats. Make sure to wrap any leftover food in recyclable materials!

Pick the Right Food and Drink

In general, cooking outside is usually a good way to go, particularly if you use a gas grill (which uses less energy and gives off fewer pollutants than charcoal versions). Whenever possible, choose homemade foods over processed ones. Buy fresh, local foods from your local farmer’s market to ensure the highest level of eco-friendliness. Typically, the more veggies the better — they come with a reduced environmental impact and are a bit easier to incorporate into meals when there’s a lot left over. Instead of bottled water, opt for refillable pitchers or serve juice in old jam jars. Try to think mobile whenever you can; the fewer plates and forks that have to be used, the less clean-up you’ll have to do (and therefore, the less water you’ll need to waste).

Throwing an eco-friendly party may not be the easiest endeavor, but it’ll end up being a lot more fun than you think. Plus, you’ll encourage your friends and neighbors to think twice about their environmental impact, too.

On the Go this Summer? Grab Stonyfield!

I don’t know about you, but for me, summertime is family time. We love going out together to walk the dogs, splashing in the pool, heading on a beach adventure, or simply riding our bikes down the Lake Trail. Biking is a big thing in our family, especially in summertime. We ride them everywhere – even to do our shopping!

Because we’re out and about so much, we need on-the-go snacks that are easy to transport, healthy, and (of course) delicious! Enter Stonyfield Organic Kids Pouches. Stonyfield’s pouches are lightweight, portable, and resealable. And, while I know it says “kids” on the pouch, I don’t mind telling you that I enjoy snacking on them from time to time, too!

Stonyfield’s are a great option for the whole family for many reasons:

  • they’re made with 25-35% less sugar than the leading kids yogurt
  • they have live active cultures to help keep your family *ahem* regular
  • you’ve got so many delicious flavors to choose from
  • and they’re USDA Organic certified, Non-GMO Project verified, made with milk from pasture-raised cows, Kosher certified, and gluten-free!

Right now, we are loving the strawberry, but, no matter which one we toss in our backpacks, everyone is snack-satisfied!

If you’re heading out on a bike adventure this summer or just lounging at the pool or beach, pick up some Stonyfield’s for your journey. And don’t forget the sunscreen! I’m currently obsessed with Badger Balm’s Broad Spectrum SPF 30. It’s a mineral-based sunscreen that is safe, effective, and smells great, too. And, just like Stonyfield, it’s B-Corp Certified. That means they’ve been third party certified to meet rigorous environmental and sustainability standards, along with accountability and transparency. Hooray! 

If you’re looking for a product that’s both earth- and kid-friendly, look no further than Stonyfield’s. Your whole family will love them, and they’ll make any trip you take – be it by bike, boat, or car – so much more pleasant! Which flavor of Stonyfield’s is YOUR favorite?    

 

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield – all opinions expressed are my own.

How to Prevent Your Family From Getting Sick During the Transition to Spring

If you have a family, you probably know how important it is to make sure that everyone stays healthy throughout the year. When one person becomes sick in the family, things tend to spiral out of control. Your kids might have to miss school, you might have to miss work, or your whole family might have to miss out on major events.

The change from winter to spring can be rough on many people. Allergies are on the rise and sickness is in the air. To prevent your family from coming down with any illness this spring, there are many things that can be done.

Rose Medical Groups suggests making time for regular exercise. You might not like the idea of getting off the couch and heading to the gym, but exercise can really help maintain your health and prevent coming down with an illness.

Now, you don’t necessarily have to go to the gym in order to get your exercise in. If you have kids, take them to a trampoline park or rent a bounce house. A mere 10 minutes of jumping is a better cardiovascular workout than 30 minutes of running. It’s a really easy way to make getting out and getting active fun, without forcing your entire family through the doors of a health club.

Drinking plenty of water is another key to staying healthy during this time of year. Get your family in the habit of drinking eight to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water every day. The water can help get rid of your body’s bad toxins and can help prevent any cracks from developing on your skin. Children especially should be drinking plenty of water each day if they want to maintain their skin’s youthfulness.

Spring cleaning is one of the easiest things you can do to help prevent your family from getting sick when the seasons change. Go through your home and dust the corners that haven’t seen the light of day in about six months, get rid of any boxes you neglected to throw out after the holidays, and use steam to kill all germs and bacteria hiding in your carpets. Steam has been said to kill 99% of common household germs and bacteria like E.Coli, salmonella, and staph, as well as dust mites and bed bugs.

According to NBC 2, spring cleaning is also the perfect excuse to get rid of any expired or unwanted medication you have in your home, and to do so properly. You can even bring the medications to a take-back program to properly dispose of the unwanted pills. They also suggest using your spring cleaning time as a period of making sure your home’s first aid kit is up-to-date and that all of your emergency contacts are updated in your cell phone.

Taking any of the steps listed in this article can help prevent your family and household from coming down with any springtime illnesses.