Try A New Meal Planning App And Be Entered To Win A $100 Grocery Gift Card To A Store Of Your Choosing!

We have discovered a new tool to help make meal planning easier! Meal Garden is virtual marketplace that allows you to easily find healthy meals based on:

  • What you and your family like (or dislike)
  • Time available for preparation
  • Budget
  • Allergies

Think of it as a ‘google’ for meals! Within one app you’ll be able to:

  • Find recipes from around the web (or from your own cookbook)
  • Automatically generate grocery lists for those recipes
  • Pre order the ingredients for pick up from participating grocery stores (yes – this is the future of grocery store service!)
  • Search restaurant take-out/delivery options
  • Order meal services like Mealspirations, Fresh Canteen, Green Zebra Kitchen, Organic Produce Boxes, etc.

Play with AppMG copyThe system will act as a concierge; managing the scheduling and payment aspects of these processes and even recognizing ingredients on-hand (ie what’s in your pantry).

At the heart of this system is a series of ‘Health Algorithms’. Every recipe or meal in the system is processed through these algorithms to determine a ‘Health Value’. This value is prominently displayed and can be calculated specifically for your family. Simplifying the process of eating healthier.

This app is still in the testing phase, and Meal Garden is looking for input from moms like you. They’ve created a simple demo system for you to walk through and then answer 5 short yes/no questions at the end. The whole process will take less than 3 minutes, and you’ll be entered to win a $100 Gift Certificate to a grocery store of your choice!  Just follow and click on the blue dot.  Survey must be completed by midnight on Monday Nov 3rd.

Ready to give it a try? Click here.

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Transitioning my babies to solids, and introducing them to new foods was, and is, one of my fave experiences.  I enjoyed it with my first, and therefore couldn’t wait to start with my second little guy. It’s so exciting and fun to watch them try new foods, flavours and textures for the first time. One of Roman’s original favourites was the blueberries and banana combo. So messy, but oh so delicious!

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Roman @ 6 months old (now 5 years old) enjoying his blueberries & bananas

In my search for new combos of flavours for Nico, I stumbled on Tyler Florence’s roasting recipes, and his cookbook Start Fresh. This particular cookbook of his is filled with recipes, for infants, babies, toddlers and well…adults too. Tyler loves to roast. He says in his cookbook that it’s “your best tool for winning your children over to what they may still consider the dark side of eating; fresh vegetables. The roasting process brings out food’s natural sugars and deeply develops its flavour in a way that boiling and even steaming simply can’t”

He’s right!!!! The proof is in the difference between a roasted sweet potato on the bbq vs steamed.

Using fresh blueberries from the market (#summerbucketlist), I ventured to try roasting the blueberries and bananas instead. Wow! So sweet and delicious! It was a big hit, not just with Nico but the whole family! While Nico eats his as a puree, the rest of us mix it in our oatmeal, yogurt, and just this past weekend, we put it on top of our homemade banana ice cream (#summerbucketlist).

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For Tyler’s original recipe, click here.

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Throw about 4 Bananas & a bunch of Blueberries (about a pint) on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

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After about 20-25 minutes in the oven. Usually gauged by when the banana starts to split

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Peeled bananas and blueberries in the Nutribullet

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Pureed and put ice cube trays, ready to be frozen and packaged in a ziploc bags.

Tip: Check out Fresh Baby Ice Cube Trays. They are great for freezing, and so easy to pop out the purees once frozen.

These messy smiles say it all!

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Dhillion

As parents, we all want to give our children the best start possible, but it is easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of information and ‘health clutter’ out there. Should you start your baby on rice cereal? At four months or six months? Do you keep feeding milk on demand? What is Baby Led Weaning? What do you give your baby after he/she is past the pureed stage? What finger foods should you start with?

This workshop is taught by Navneet Dhillon of Dhillon Nutrition and Health. Navneet is a Registered Nutritionist who helps parents navigate through all the “health information overload” out there and supports families in eating well. She educates and inspires families through personalized consultations, interactive cooking classes, and workshops. As a busy mother of a toddler, Navneet understands that time is at a premium, and teaches families how to approach nutrition and health in a practical, easy-to-apply manner.

In “Baby’s First Year: Setting the Foundation”, Navneet will educate parents of infants on the importance of good nutrition and digestion during this critical first year of a baby’s life.

Topics to be covered include:
• How and when to wean your baby when breastfeeding or formula-feeding
• What nutritious first foods to give your baby and how to introduce them
• How to make homemade baby food
• When to introduce allergenic foods and how to identify food reactions and sensitivities
• How to transition your baby to foods with more texture
• How to encourage variety in food preferences
• All about Baby Led Weaning (BLW)
• What are great finger foods for babies to begin with and enjoy

Cost – $40

The class takes place on Thursday May 15th, 1-3pm at Lole Atelier Oakville which is located at 172 Lakeshore Road East (Downtown Oakville). The workshop includes light refreshments, take home materials, swag bag and the chance to connect with other moms-to-be going through the same experiences you are. One lucky mom will also walk away with a copy of Sprout Right, Nutrition from Tummy to Toddler.

IMG_5989For those of you out there who are as Pinterest hooked as I, your boards are probably filled with many recipes and crafts you hope to make one day, but have never had the chance. There are so many wonderful food bloggers out there with many delicious recipes. I’ve tried a few of them, and many times they never come out looking like the picture posted. Well, I am pleased to announce that I finally had success, so must share because these are so delicious and addictive. Spinach and Feta Quinoa Bites (care of Aggies Kitchen).
Check out the recipe here.
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IMG_6025I usually always make my quinoa with chicken broth as I find it adds a bit more flavour. The only other slight variation to the recipe that I did was I used flavoured feta, already crumbled. I found it adds the perfect amount of seasoning, and takes away the extra step of crumbling the feta. I’ve made them a few times now and they are a big hit in the house. Great for the kids and a quick snack for mom! Have you tried these before? What other combinations have you tried? Post here!
I’m thinking of trying smoked salmon and feta next.
-Nicole

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