The latest in Hand Picked Goodness.

Kids and Their Veggies

Mott's | 
2 November, 2010 | 

Having trouble getting your kids to eat their veggies? A fun way to get kids involved
in the process and at the same time perhaps try new things is to take them with you
to shop (hard sometimes I know, and often not fun!) and take a spin through the
veggie aisle. Now before you lose your mind, have them point to a few veggies of
their choice. Make sure it’s one they have already tried and one that is new.

Now you might want to steer them toward ones you think they like, and if they
choose something you question, try adding it to a pasta sauce or buried in a salad.
Whatever works!

Be careful in case it backfires on you! I tried this when my kids were younger and
they first chose brussel sprouts…which I hate. But honestly they loved them! Of
course I had to eat them with a straight face or it would have given the wrong

What tricks do you have to get kids to eat their veggies?

Fall Craft: Votive Candle

Linda | 
8 October, 2010 | 

Looking for a fun craft to do with the kids?  Try this votive candle craft we found on Kaboose.  See their version and photo here.

Gather small leaves and other foliage from outside. They should still have some life to them and shouldn’t be too dry or crumbly. Then lay leaves in a single layer and place a large book on top to flatten them. Leave for a few hours.

Completely cover one side of the leaves with white glue and attach to the votive or glass. Dilute the rest of the glue 50/50 with water.

Tear the tissue into large 2 inch pieces and using a paintbrush or foam brush and glue the pieces over the glass and covering the leaves as well.

Allow it to dry overnight. Use with small votive candles for a lovely fall decoration!

Remember back in the day… “I Got the Motts!”

Linda | 
1 October, 2010 | 

“A blast from the past! Anyone remember this old Mott’s commercial? It has always made me laugh! What other fun commercials do you remember from your “younger” days?

Lucky Seven Family Fall Activities

Mott's | 
17 September, 2010 | 

These are some of our family’s favorite fall time activities. Which ones would your family enjoy?

1. Go apple picking. Even the little ones can help, though you may have to lift them up to the trees!
2. Go to your local high school football game on Friday nights. Kids enjoy the band, the football, the cheering and the food!
3. Have a picnic in the park. When the weather gets a little cooler, this is the best time to take in all the park you can before the cold sets in.
4. Have smores in the firepit out back. Cool weather makes it a great time for lighting a fire and having friends over for the evening.
5. County fairs are often held in early fall. Visit one in the next county and enjoy a change of scenery!
6. Amusement parks are typically open on weekends in the fall and often have fun fall themed activities!
7. Can you think of some fun crafts to do with bright colored leaves and acorns? Have the kids help decorate your front door wreath. Even if it’s not perfect, it’s yours!

Back to School Appetites!

Mott's | 
3 September, 2010 | 

Looking for after school snacks that are easy to make and so delicious?  I am always looking for something easy that is not straight out of the box.  After a hard day at school they love a little something homemade.  Try these Mott’s recipes and let us know how much the kids enjoy them!

Apple Sauce Energy Bars

Combine quick oats, dried fruits, and Mott’s applesauce to make a snack bar they will love

Healthy Kids’ Smoothie

Mix Mott’s Apple-Grape juice, yogurt and berries and watch them drool.  There is nothing like a healthy smoothie on a hot day after school.

The Big Dipper

With Mott’s Healthy Harvest Applesauces combined with yogurt, you get a quick and yummy dip for skewered fruits.  Choose their favorites…apples, grapes, bananas or strawberries!  It’s like their own “fondue”.

Have a recipe you love?   Share it in the comments.

Back to School Treat Bag

Linda | 
27 August, 2010 | 

Sending your little one to school for the first time? Consider a “Back to School Treat Bag” for him or her to make the first day a little easier… Add the following to a bag that you can decorate with his or her name..with this message. (you might have to read it to them!)

A Starburst because you are a star in our class.
Laffy Taffy because we are going to have fun.
Smarties because you are so smart.
A pencil because we’re going to work hard.
An eraser because everyone makes mistakes and we can all learn from them.
Crayons for all of your colorful ideas.
A penny for good luck.
A lifesaver because I will always be here for you.
A Candy Kiss because you need a kiss to get through the day!

Have a great back to school first day!

Applesauce Smoothie!

Mott's | 
19 August, 2010 | 

Looking for something cold and smooth on a hot summer’s day?  Always!  I am over the heat already and looking for any relief I can find!

And a smoothie does the trick most days.  I’m easy to please!

1/3 c. vanilla ice cream
1/2 c. Mott’s ™ applesauce
1/4 c. milk
¼ tsp cinnamon.

Put all ingredients into a blender and mixfavorite chilled glass or mug and enjoy!

Summer Travel: Keep the Kids Entertained with Painter’s Tape!

Mott's | 
10 August, 2010 | 

We plan for vacations all year.  Whether the trip is long or short, we still need to keep the kids occupied.  Here’s an easy idea for something you can grab from the   house so you don’t have to spend a ton of money on toys to entertain on the trip.  I’m
all about the quick and easy!

My kids loved painter’s tape.  A few rolls and they were entertained for hours in the

Tear strips off to decorate the window.  Give them a shape to make or
pattern.  Let them use their imagination.

Have them decorate their pants.  Seems simple enough, but they can make
stars, stripes, dots.   So fun to see what fashion they come up with.  And if you
make a stop you won’t know anyone, so let them strut their stuff in their
fancy pants!

Bring paper along and have them tell a story with tape only.  You can see
what their creative minds come up with.  They can use it to make animal
shapes and even create letters with the tape.   Have them read their stories to
you on vacation!

Any other ideas?  What would you have your kids do with 2 rolls of painter’s tape and a two hour car ride?

Ready for Some Summer Comfort Food?

Linda | 
26 July, 2010 | 

When I think of traditional comfort food I think of biscuits smothered in gravy, fried chicken and cake. I think that’s the southern girl in me. But in the summer I don’t want to spend all day in a hot kitchen cooking those meals and I don’t want to run to fast food when we are on the go all day. I need a few healthy (or at least a little healthier) alternatives and ones that won’t keep me tied to the house. We are a family on the go just like you! I’ve compiled a list of what I would substitute for comfort in the summer.

apple_banana_smoothie1. Smoothies are at the top of the list. Whether you make your own with fresh fruit or use a prepared mix these are a healthier option than the milk shakes I grew up with.
2. Salad greens with feta cheese and bacon. Nothing says comfort like bacon and you can spruce up a salad like cool, creamy feta cheese and crisp bacon crumbled.
3. No bake cookies. We all need a sweet treat! Look for options that don’t require you to be in the kitchen for hours. Chocolate Balls and many Oatmeal Cookie varieties may require only a saucepan.
4. Grilled Hot Dogs and Hamburgers. Nothing says comfort like good American foods and you’ll get outdoors while enjoying the smell of the grill. Skip the fries and substitute some grilled veggies!
5. Crockpot Anything. Put your favorite casserole ingredients in the slow cooker, hit the pool and dinner is done when you get home. use my slow cooker all summer long because it is so much easier for families on the go. Then I can add a simple side dish like salad or fruit and I have an easy meal any day of the week.

What does comfort food mean to you and how are you stay cool in the kitchen this summer?

Colorful Pretzel Snacks You Can Make with the Kids

Linda | 
19 July, 2010 | 


We love the colorful display of the July 4 fireworks.  Well, the fireworks are over so lets add some flair to our snacks! These colorful treats might remind you of sparklers without the sparkle! You’ll have a blast in the kitchen making these no bake, no cook pretzel sticks and your kids will have even more fun because they made them themselves!

What you’ll need:

One bag of long pretzel sticks
1 can white prepared icing
Candy sprinkles in various colors

Start by dipping the pretzel sticks in the icing tub. If you want the icing to cover more of the pretzel, try spooning it out of the container an placing it on a plate. Then instead of dipping the kids can roll it in the icing until they get enough icing for their tastes. Sprinkle with candy in any variety of colors, turning the pretzel while they sprinkle so the sticks become colorful and festive.

You can let the icing harden or eat right away (my personal choice!)   This is a fun treat for any holiday and with no shortage of decorative sprinkles, you can dress up a treat any time of year!

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