Fuel Up To Play To Keep Kids Healthy And Active!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on how to keep kids healthy and active and was written by me on behalf of Real California Milk. All opinions expressed are mine.

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Quality family time if I’m not careful.

One of my kids’ favorite things to do is eat a snack (usually popcorn or potato chips) while playing on their iPads. “Playing” means using their fingers to build worlds made of blocks or playing games that require thinking ahead and considering the bigger picture. Those are good things; they are using their brains and imaginations to solve problems. But they are also eating potato chips and trying to turn themselves into couch potatoes. Trying to keep kids healthy and active over summer break is a challenge, and I like a good challenge! That’s where Fuel Up to Play 60 comes in.

Fuel Up To Play To Keep Kids Healthy And Active

I’ve told you about Fuel Up To Play 60 and why it’s so important during the school year to keep kids active and eating healthy during the school year. It’s also important over summer break, too! Real California dairy families have continued activation of Fuel Up to Play 60, the campaign created by the NFL and National Dairy Council that promotes physical activity and good nutrition in schools.

The campaign encourages kids to fuel up with nutrient-rich foods: low-fat and fat-free dairy (dairy is a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin D.,) lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains AND to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Easier said than done over lazy summer days.

Fueling their bodies with the right nutrition gives them the energy they need to get out their and play with friends and family all year long and the Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign gives you everything you need to make it happen!

It’s easy to just let the kids eat junk food and lay around, especially if it’s super hot outside. Staying active over the summer starts with nutrition…a healthy meal doesn’t have to be extravagant or difficult to make.

Keep kids healthy and active year round. Keep nutrition a priority this summer, and get them outside and playing for at least 60 minutes a day! #FuelGreatness #CADairy

It can be as easy as Mia’s favorite Tropical Fruity Yogurt, perfect for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack…

Keep kids healthy and active year round. Keep nutrition a priority this summer, and get them outside and playing for at least 60 minutes a day! #FuelGreatness #CADairy

….or a quick and easy dinner like these yummy un-stuffed bell peppers with ooey, gooey cheese.

Don’t forget, helping your kids succeed both in the classroom and throughout their lives starts with YOU being a role model. Look for ways to encourage healthy eating all summer long. Ask the kids to find a new recipe they’d like to try for dinner. Get the kids to help you in the kitchen. Visit a farmer’s market and let them pick out fresh produce. Get outside and help them get  physical activity this summer…it doesn’t have to be “exercise”…have a water balloon fight or races in the pool. Keep nutrition and physical activity top priorities over summer break and see the difference when school starts in the fall.

Visit Fuel Up To Play 60‘s website for information and to get your kids and local school involved.

For more great recipes and to learn more, visit the Real California Milk website and on social media!
Real California Milk Facebook page
Real California Milk on Twitter
Real California Milk on YouTube
Real California Milk on Pinterest
Real California Milk on Instagram

How do you keep kids healthy and active over summer break and year round?

a2 Milk® And A Yummy Cookies Recipe!

This post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Every morning, my kids wake up and ask for milk, chocolate milk, or hot chocolate. In the evening, they ask for a cup of milk and cookies or another simple treat. And really, is there anything better than milk and cookies?

Afterward drinking milk, Mia complains that her tummy hurts. I was actually considering not let her have it anymore because I was concerned that maybe she was dairy intolerant. Especially because it only happens when she drinks milk or has ice cream. And then I discovered a2 Milk®.

a2 Milk® allows you to enjoy real milk without any tummy or digestive discomfort! Learn more about it & find a couple of favorite desserts to enjoy with it!

What Is a2 Milk®?

a2 Milk® is not a milk substitute – it’s real milk. The reason milk may cause discomfort and tummy troubles after you drink it is due to the A1 protein that’s currently found in all conventional & organic milks on the U.S. market.

a2 Milk® allows you to enjoy real milk without any tummy or digestive discomfort! Learn more about it & find a couple of favorite desserts to enjoy with it!

a2 Milk® only comes from specially selected a2 cows, whose milk is naturally free of the A1 protein. That’s where it gets its name! a2 Milk® is a  replacement to overly processed alternatives. If you or your kids experience tummy troubles or digestive discomfort after drinking milk, you may be able to enjoy milk again without any symptoms.

More About a2 Milk®

If you’ve never heard of a2 cows, you’re not alone. I’m sure most people haven’t. That’s why I am glad to have the opportunity to help spread the word! An independent study showed 1 in 4 Americans have discomfort after drinking milk, that’s a lot of people! And although that’s a big number, only about 5-7% of the population has been diagnosed with a lactose intolerance medical condition.

a2 Milk® is more nutritious that milk alternatives; it contains approximately 6x the amount of calcium as soy beverages, approximately 8x the protein of almond beverages, and approximately 6x the potassium levels of rice beverages.

a2 Milk® allows you to enjoy real milk without any tummy or digestive discomfort! Learn more about it & find a couple of favorite desserts to enjoy with it!

The a2 Milk® Company™ is trying to get a2 Milk® to everybody, and has partnered with U.S. family dairy farmers in upstate New York and the Midwest to expand the a2 herd to make it possible. Support them by spreading the word!

For more information and resources, visit the Lactose Intolerance section of the a2 Milk website. You can also visit a2 Milk® online at the following places:

a2 Milk® Website: https://www.a2milk.com/
a2 Milk® Store Locator: https://a2milk.com/find/
a2 Milk® Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/a2milkUSA/
a2 Milk® Twitter: https://twitter.com/a2milk

Since a2 Milk® is real milk, I can use it to make Mia her favorite chocolate ice cream and serve milk to her with her favorite sugar cookies that we make because they are like those super soft Lofthouse cookies. She helped me make some today, and we all enjoyed fresh cookies and milk!

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Soft & Fun Sugar Cookies
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup colored sprinkles

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, egg, extract, and using a hand mixer beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, about 7 minutes. It should be light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and mix until just combined.
  3. Fold the sprinkles in by hand.
  4. Using a cookie scoop, drop by mounds on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Use your palm to flatten the mounds out a bit.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F. Remove plastic wrap and place the cookie sheet in the oven. Bake for 8 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if they look undercooked.
  7. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
http://mommyofamonster.com/a2-milk/

a2 Milk® allows you to enjoy real milk without any tummy or digestive discomfort! Learn more about it & find a couple of favorite desserts to enjoy with it!

And since this is Mia approved, it’s also Mommy of a Monster approved!

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Game Day Recipe Ideas You Need!

This is a sponsored post full of game day recipe ideas for SheSpeaks and P&G. All opinions and ideas expressed are my own.

A variety of game day recipe ideas for appetizers, drinks, and desserts perfect for the big game or for any party or get together! Includes prep and cleaning tips too.

I really love watching the big game with family and friends, especially when one of our favorite teams is playing! I love to entertain, however, I also want to watch the game. So I usually make lots of finger foods, dips, and easy to eat things that can be prepared in advance. That way, everybody gets to eat yummy foods and I get to still watch the game!

These game day recipe ideas are all perfect for the big game because they can be made in advance and almost all of them can be kept warm in a crockpot.

Game Day Recipe Ideas

If you love jalapeno poppers, I’ve got three different ways to serve them: in wonton wrappers, easy poppers you can throw on the grill, or as a dip.

This Italian sausage and white bean dip is addicting…make a double batch!

These ham & swiss finger sandwiches are always a crowd pleaser, and can be kept warm in a crockpot.

Garlicky chicken pesto pizza can be cut into small squares for easy pick up.

This warm bean dip pulls double duty as both an appetizer and as a filling for burritos.

This cookie dough dip is a favorite of kids & adults!

This holiday popcorn can be made anytime of the year. And trust me when I say to make extra because it will be gone before you know it!

Pickleback Shots anyone? It’s a fun way to do a shot (if you like pickle juice!)

Make your own edible shot glasses using your team’s colors with Jolly Ranchers (you can make Jolly rancher vodka, too!)

I’ve got lots of appetizers, cocktails, and dessert recipes here, and on my Tailgating & Party Food board on Pinterest too.

Honestly, game day can be messy. You’ve got people eating on your couches, lots of spills because you’re only half paying attention, and stains on clothing is almost always a given. With P&G products at Walmart, clean up can be a breeze!

A variety of game day recipe ideas for appetizers, drinks, and desserts perfect for the big game or for any party or get together! Includes prep and cleaning tips too.

Bounty Select-A-Size Paper Towels are a must have for entertaining. The Unique Trap & Lock Technology quickly absorbs messes both big and small and makes clean up a snap. Also use them to serve finger foods, or fold them up and use as napkins. These are a regular staple at my house because you can use them everywhere.

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Don’t forget to stock up your bathroom with Charmin Ultra Strong Mega Rolls!  These tw0-ply toilet paper mega rolls  are 4times stronger when wet than the leading bargain brand, are clog-safe and septic-safe, and with a washcloth-like texture that helps clean better than the leading flat-textured bargain brand toilet papers. And it’s so soft!

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You should also make sure you have a can of Febreze Air Effects Linen & Sky spray in the bathroom to keep it smelling fresh because Febreze actually eliminates tough odors rather than covering them up. And the best part is that the fine mist infuses air with a scent that is subtle, not overpowering…perfect in a busy bathroom.

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And after all the fun, finish the clean up with Tide PODS…another staple here. Yes, they may seem more expensive than traditional detergents, but they are a 3-in-1: they’re actually detergent, stain remover, and brightener all in one tiny pack! And Tide PODS do more than detergent alone: they’ll get your laundry 6 times more clean and target tough stains (basically anything the kids wear!) with specially formulated with HE Turbo technology. They work in any temperature of water and in standard and HE machines.

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I also have some quick and easy cleaning tips for when you don’t have time to clean that will help you prep for game day.

From prepping to clean up, you’ll find everything you need to make your game day a winner at Walmart.

Do you have favorite game day recipe ideas, traditions, or cleaning tips to share?

photo credit: tkaiponen via photopin cc

Holiday Popcorn (AKA Christmas Crack!)

Looking for a yummy holiday popcorn recipe? This popcorn is loaded with YUM like M&Ms, pretzels and more. It's so addicting we call it Christmas Crack!

We do a lot of holiday gatherings this time of year, and even though we are always cooking and feeding the masses, the kids are always “hungry.” I can make this popcorn in about 10 minutes, and kids and adults alike love it. Beware! This holiday popcorn (we also call it Christmas Crack…others call it white trash popcorn) is addicting. Make a double batch because it goes quick!

Holiday Popcorn (AKA Christmas Crack!)

Christmas Crack!
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Ingredients

  • 1 bag of buttered microwave popcorn
  • 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 cups rice chex cereal
  • 2 cups of pretzels
  • 1 package of vanilla flavored Candiquik (you can find it on the bakery aisle of the grocery store)
  • M&Ms or any other candy you want to throw in there
  • 18 Ghirardelli Melting Wafers (or a bar of melted chocolate)
  • Sprinkles or colored sugar if you want to get really festive

Instructions

  1. Pop the popcorn as directed on the package.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the nuts, cereal, pretzels, candy, and popcorn.
  3. Prepare the Candiquik as directed on the package. Pour the melted candy coating on top of the other ingredients and mix until all of the pieces have the candy coating on them.
  4. Transfer to a piece of wax paper.
  5. Melt the chocolate as directed on the package. Drizzle over the top of the popcorn mixture.
  6. Shake sprinkles over the top of the popcorn.
  7. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Break apart and serve.
http://mommyofamonster.com/holiday-popcorn-aka-christmas-crack/

Looking for a yummy holiday popcorn recipe? This popcorn is loaded with YUM like M&Ms, pretzels and more. It's so addicting we call it Christmas Crack!

The great thing about this holiday popcorn recipe is that it’s versatile. Leave the nuts out or add your favorites. Use Reese’s Pieces instead of M&Ms. Use different cereal. Add in other things that your family loves. The sky’s the limit!

This is a favorite holiday recipe, but I have lots others too! Like these Champagne Jello Shots, these Amaretto Truffles, and my Perfectly Imperfect Peppermint Truffles.

I’ve also got lots of other tips and tricks for keeping Santa alive and making your holidays easy to get through! Here are some of my favorites:

The Elf On The Shelf Warning Note All Parents Need

ABC Family’s 25 Days Of Christmas 2015

How To Make Candy Cane Vodka

Silly Christmas Decorations: The Story Of The Christmas Pickle

5 Holiday Cleaning Tips (For When You Don’t Have Time To Clean)

The Sparkle Box: A Must Read Christmas Story For Your Family

Tracking Santa: 5 Ways To Get In Touch With Santa Claus

How To Get A Letter From Santa Postmarked From The North Pole!

You can also check out my All Things Christmas and Elf on the Shelf Ideas boards on Pinterest.

It’s National Chocolate Day!

Happy National Chocolate Day!

Every year on October 28th, people everywhere celebrate their love for chocolate on National Chocolate Day. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite chocolate recipes with you…

This is the #1 most viewed recipe on my blog, and it’s full of chocolate.

Wondering when National Chocolate Day is? I'll tell you here, as well as sharing lots of yummy chocolate recipes including cookies, pudding shots, coffee, & more!

Yep, it’s my Holy Cow Cake. And yep, you really will say “holy cow!” after taking the first bite!

Wondering when National Chocolate Day is? I'll tell you here, as well as sharing lots of yummy chocolate recipes including cookies, pudding shots, coffee, & more!
My sister-in-law’s recipe for Browned Butter & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies sounds very gourmet and hard to make, but they’re super easy to make and always a MAJOR crowd pleaser! Make two batches, they’ll both be gone and people will be asking for more.

Wondering when National Chocolate Day is? I'll tell you here, as well as sharing lots of yummy chocolate recipes including cookies, pudding shots, coffee, & more!
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, anyone? This recipe has cold, fall morning written all over it!

Wondering when National Chocolate Day is? I'll tell you here, as well as sharing lots of yummy chocolate recipes including cookies, pudding shots, coffee, & more!
This recipe for Chocolate Pudding Shots isn’t for the kids, but people love ’em!

Wondering when National Chocolate Day is? I'll tell you here, as well as sharing lots of yummy chocolate recipes including cookies, pudding shots, coffee, & more!
And this adults-only coffee is a perfect dessert or sweet treat after the kids go to bed.

Wondering when National Chocolate Day is? I'll tell you here, as well as sharing lots of yummy chocolate recipes including cookies, pudding shots, coffee, & more!
Get the kids involved in the kitchen! I’ve got a few make-your-own Easy Bake Oven recipes, including the kids favorite – this one for chocolate cake.

So how will you be celebrating National Chocolate Day? We are going to be making a chocolate cookie recipe that we got in our Happiest Little Baker box!

Wondering when National Chocolate Day is? I'll tell you here, as well as sharing lots of yummy chocolate recipes including cookies, pudding shots, coffee, & more!