Gerber Lil’ Beanies for the (Twin) Win-Win

Hey there. We’re the ‘lil Burghers twins and of course we do everything exactly alike. You know. How twins do. We’re best at eating all of our meats, fruits and veggies and Gerber snacks.

Gerber

Believe them? Ha! We’ve been struggling with getting both twins to eat like they should. Ava loves meats. Isla loves carbs. They both are “eh” about getting in all of their fruits and veggies. They both love some snacks.

Ever since birth, I’ve been keeping my eye on their nutrition. Not to keep them from having weight gain issues, but the exact opposite. Most of you probably remember when they were “failure to thrive”, measuring in the first (and less) percentile of weight for their age. That was some scary times. So it’s no surprise that when I see them throwing food around, I get a little cranky.

Luckily, they both love some snacks. Tricking them into getting their veggies and other key nutrients in through snacks has made for a win-win situation. We introduced Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ and now they get goodness from this snack made from navy beans. For the twins, this means flavor and nutrition. For mom, it means I get to say yes to the twins more often when they beg for a “nack”.

Take for instance when we went to Target to grab some supplies for our upcoming vacation. We knew the Gerber Lil’ Beanies™ would be perfect for a road trip snack, but the girls thought that the road trip was right then and there and didn’t understand why they couldn’t just dig in and eat up. There might just have been a mini meltdown in the baby aisle.

lil beanies

We grabbed two flavors, both equally loved by the girls. Isla was ready to chow down on the Original while Ava was begging for the White Cheddar & Broccoli to open itself and get in her belly.

toddler snacks

It was so mean of us to make them wait until they got home, huh?

eatingsnacks

We know that good things come in twos, so we’re sharing a way for you to get a discount on your next Target purchase of Gerber Lil’ Beanies™. First, you’ll need to login to iBotta and grab up this offer to earn cash back on the purchase of Lil’ Beanies™ (while supplies last). Next, head out to your local Target. Find the baby aisle (in ours, we always forget that baby food and diapers are up front and not with baby furniture and clothes) and look for these cans of win-win choices. Your toddler will thank you and you’ll feel better about giving into the ‘nack. (Oh, and after you check out, be sure to go back to iBotta and submit your purchase so you get that cash back! Win-win!)

gerberlilbeanies

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About Lil’ Beanies (information from Gerber):

The first bean-based snack in the baby aisle, Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ is made from the goodness of navy beans to deliver 2 grams of protein (9% Daily Value), 1 gram of fiber, and 10% Daily Value of Vitamin E per serving. A delicious and nutritious treat, your little ones will love it for its taste and you’ll love it for its nutrition. Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ Snack is baked, not made with genetically engineered (GM) ingredients, and is naturally flavored!

We’ll just be over here, enjoying our snacks! xoxo, Ava & Isla

Perfect Pudding Pops (a #BacktoSchoolSimple Recipe)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BacktoSchoolSimple #CollectiveBias 

Oh, Back to School. How is it less than a week away? We’ve gone through Kindergarten Orientation, started earlier bedtimes, bought new clothes / shoes, and did our back to school food shop at our local Giant Eagle. Grabbing everything we needed for lunches, snacks, and a special first day of school treat (see the Perfect Pudding Pops, below!) was easy and convenient at Giant Eagle. (Bonus? I got to add some fun, healthy snacks to my lunches, too!) We set out to grab quick win items, and the Bigs had control over what went in the shopping cart. Everything on our list was checked off in one quick and easy stop.

Perfect Pudding Pops

Pudding Pops

I wanted to be sure the kids had a fun first day of school treat, so I asked my chef-in-the-making (Arianna) to look at our list and help me come up with a fun recipe. She wanted to fill Snack Packs with some of the fun Oreo and Goldfish treats we found while at Giant Eagle, and Evan chimed in that we needed some healthy additions, too. We ended up deciding to grab some strawberries to mix in, then put them in the freezer for a cool treat (as the first day of school is of course forecast to be a hot one).

To make our Perfect Pudding Pops, we needed to pull our ingredients together:

  • Snack Pack Pudding cups (we wanted chocolate and vanilla)
  • Goldfish crackers (assorted, we chose Chocolate Mint + Pretzel and s’mores)
  • Mini Oreo Cookies
  • Strawberries
  • Optional, Popsicle Sticks
  • Optional, popsicle molds

ingredients_pp

The Bigs were pretty excited about those Goldfish, by the way.

goldfish

 

Putting together the Perfect Pudding Pops was pretty easy, too. We simply:

  1. Open Snack Packs.
  2. (Optional) Spoon into the popsicle makers.
  3. Crumble add-ins.
  4. (Optional, if not using popsicle makers) Add in popsicle stick.
  5. Cover.
  6. Put in freezer for about 6 hours – perfect for during the school day. Pro tip – don’t let these sit for longer than a day – they do get a bit crunchy! 
  7. Push out of the cup or mold and enjoy!

filledpopsicle

Yum!

ariannapuddingpop

The Lunch Station

Beyond having a super fun first day of school treat, we wanted to build a station that would help with packing lunches once or twice a week, so the Bigs looked for favorites like Schwebels Bread, JIF Peanut Butter, Smuckers Fruit Spread, Frito Lay snacks, Goldfish Crackers, and Entemanns Little Bites. Of course, we had to be practical and pick up the bags to tuck the goodies in, too!

Back to School Simple

I think we did pretty good, don’t you? What would you have added?

lunch station

The After School Snack Station

To make life easy on Greg, we decided to pick out After School Snacks that stuck with our family theme – a healthy choice and a happy choice. The kids will get to pick one of each from this station in the pantry. No questions asked, except asking when can we go back to Giant Eagle to fill it up! *wink* (Check out gianteagle.com to find your local store.)

after school snack

Personally, I was over the moon with these portion packs because I’ll be using them to get back on track with right sized snacks for me, too! I showed Arianna how to weigh a serving of Goldfish, then we made some portion packs filled with her favorite treat from our shop.

portionsnack

Up Next? The first day of school!

I *think* that we are ready, at least when it comes to food. Thank goodness we have Giant Eagle as our local headquarters for back to school shopping! Check out how others are using Giant Eagle as their one-stop-shop for back to school.

What’s still on YOUR Back to School To Do List? Share below!

 

Whooo’s Hungry? Recipes from Family Fun

Fall is great, isn’t it? FamilyFun Magazine has some healthy, fun snack ideas that are perfect for celebrating the fall fun. Hopefully you’ll find them as adorable as I did and put them in your fall plans.

Banana Cupcakes

banana cupcake
source: Family Fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

Bananas

Peanut butter

Blueberries

Coconut

Directions

1.     Use a piping bag and round decorating tip (or a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off) to pipe a swirl of peanut butter on a 1-inch thick slice of banana.

2.     Top with fresh berries, shredded coconut, or other healthy favorites.

 

Whooo’s hungry owl crackers

Owl Cupcakes
Source: Family Fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

Round crackers

Mini round crackers

Cream cheese

Almonds

Raisins

Directions

1.     Spread a layer of plain cream cheese on a round cracker, using the tip of the spreader to make small indents for feathers.

2.     Press on a pair of mini round cracker eyes (we pulled apart a Ritz Bits sandwich and used a half for each eye) and attach raisin pupils with a dab of cream cheese.

3.     Finish by pressing on an almond beak and almond-slice feathers.

 

Color-Me-Sweet cupcakes

 

color me sweet cupcakes
Source: Family Fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

Your favorite cupcakes!

Directions

Once your cupcakes have cooled, frost them with four or five shades of tinted frosting (for intense tones like those shown, use paste food coloring).

To make the serving platter, use a craft knife to cut a palette shape from a sheet of cardboard or foam board. Paint it brown and let it dry before using it.

 

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Note: Family Fun provided me with the recipes and images for this post. I opted to share them with you without compensation. Any opinions within are 100% my own.

New Snack: Müller Yogurt (#Review)

It’s no secret that I believe eating healthy doesn’t have to taste bland. My love for yogurt and Greek yogurt has only heightened my appreciation for healthy snacks. When I was sent a sampling of new Müller yogurt from Quaker, I was eager to add another great snack to my weekly meal plans. The options did not disappoint.

 

Müller is a yogurt brand from Europe, tagged as “The European for yummy”, and I definitely agree. The first three varieties that we can get here in the US are Müller FrütUp, Müller Corner and Müller Greek Corner.  Both “corner” options include a two-part package that includes creamy yogurt and a mix-in. The FrütUp includes fruit mousse and yogurt. Yum!

Even better, the yogurts are low in fat and range from 140 – 220 calories each, the perfect range for my snack time.

I decided to give the Müller Greek Corner Carmelized Almond a try first. The almonds seriously were to die for, and the protein punch that this yogurt gives is amazing (20% DV). Because I was impatient and didn’t do my research on the yogurt before giving it a try, I chose to sprinkle some of the almonds in the yogurt by hand and then simply enjoyed some of the almonds on their own. Both the yogurt and almonds were divine. After eating, I realized the whole point of the corner set up is so that you can do this:

Oops. Lesson learned. I was then able to enjoy my other two “corner” samples just a ‘lil bit more. 😉

Next I gave the Corner Lowfat Yogurt with Choco Balls a try. This one was 210 calories and admittedly my favorite of the samples. The packaging made the choco balls look like malt balls (which I HATE), but in actuality they were tiny balls of crisp rice and chocolate heaven. I poured most in but I am a quantity and quality person, so I saved some in the corner to eat by themselves. This yogurt is really smooth, does not taste “cultured” like some yogurts do. Love this! I mean, look at them!

The Müller FrütUp Splendid Strawberry worried me slightly (I don’t really love mix in fruit yogurts), but in the end I loved this one, too! The fruit is a mousse and delighted my senses as I enjoyed this snack. The strawberry and mousse blend went well with the yogurt, and I am a fan.

My last venture was with the Corner Blueberry, which I didn’t mind, but it was the least favorite of the four I tried. There wasn’t anything in particular I disliked, the others just had so MUCH flavor that it was hard to say this one could come close to beating the others out.

I am sure by now you’re wondering where you can get yours. Müller FrütUp, Müller Corner and Müller Greek Corner are available here in the Pittsburgh area at several retailers, including Giant Eagle. They range from $0.99 for the FrütUp to $1.29 for Müller Corner and Müller Greek Corner (plus, there was a coupon in this Sunday’s paper, according to their Facebook!). Comparable to other yogurts I already enjoy, and well worth it. These snacks will definitely be on my grocery list from now on.

You  can check out Müller on Facebook and Twitter.

Okay, you knew I couldn’t do a review without giving you all some! Enter below to win 10 Free coupons for Muller. The contest ends 2/25 at 12:00 AM. One winner will be chosen. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was provided with a sample for review. All opinions, however, are 100% my own.