Passion Tea Lemonade

Easy Passion Tea Lemonade recipe by the pitcher made with Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea. Fresh blackberries make this the perfect summer drink. This post is sponsored by Milo’s Tea Company. EASY Passion Tea Lemonade Recipe This quick and easy Passion Tea Lemonade recipe by the pitcher made with Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea is the perfect […]

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Red White and Blue Ice Cream Sandwich Pops

Red white and blue ice cream sandwich pops are an easy patriotic dessert for the 4th of July or Memorial Day. Simple sprinkles make these extra cute! Red White and Blue Ice Cream Sandwich Pops Simple no-bake red white and blue ice cream sandwich pops are the perfect patriotic dessert for a festive 4th of […]

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I Wasn’t A ‘Bad’ Cook — I Was A Poor One

I’ve always been “that” person who rolls up to barbecues with my infamous store-bought veggie and fruit trays. If I’m feeling really fancy, I might even pick up some Kroger-brand sugar cookies, put them into my own Rubbermaid container like the trickster I am, and call it a day. I guess you could say that I’ve never been one to boast about my cooking or baking skills, because quite frankly, I’ve been led to believe that I have about as much culinary expertise as that of a drunken monkey. 

It’s not that I’ve yet to give cooking a real chance, because I have (the many burnt and undercooked casseroles my family has braved their way through is proof of that). It’s just that, up until recently, my family has lacked the time, space, and money needed in order to cook comfortably. 

We’ve lived in a “fixer upper” (my gentle way of saying a real dump) for years with the hopes that we could remodel it to sell in the near-ish future. When my husband and I first moved in, we bought our stove and refrigerator secondhand from our neighbors for $50 combined, if that tells you anything about our financial situation. And while I would never judge a person because of something as materialistic as their home, finances, or even the quality of their meals, personally, my cooking and dysfunctional kitchen quickly became a source of shame for me.

Our kitchen was so old that, no matter how many hours we spent cleaning it, it still looked dirty. Plates would shatter regularly because we didn’t have the space for everything, and slicing onions meant sitting on the floor with a raised flat surface and a cutting board. And don’t even get me started on the hell that is hand-washing dishes for a family of six every single day. 

Recently, though, things have started to look up for our family. We’ve paid off some debt, increased our income a bit, and my dream of restoring our kitchen has finally become a reality.

Throughout this season, I’ve learned something. After spending so much of my time believing that I was a bad cook without hope, it never occurred to me that maybe I wasn’t “bad” — maybe I was just poor and lacking what I needed. 

This isn’t to say that poor people = bad food… not at all. It’s just that, for me, as someone who didn’t have what was necessary to cook in the kitchen, the funds to get me there, or the experience built from a lifetime of growing up with a cooking family, the result of my family’s financial brokenness didn’t allow me the tools required to learn much of anything. 

I wasn’t able to afford the spices needed to add extra flavor and a little “zing” to dishes. I didn’t have good-quality meat. I didn’t have a dishwasher or the necessary plates, pots, and pans needed to cook for my big family. The oven was sketchy, the pantry and cabinet shelves were falling apart, and all of this made cooking for anyone feel like a complete impossibility. 

My husband and I aren’t “rich” by any stretch of the imagination at this point. In fact, nearly all of our extra cash flow has been directed into renovating our house. We still have a strict budget, take advantage of the clearance section, and have our moments where we stress out over money. I’ll be saving my pitch for the Food Network until a later date — but for now, we’ve finally been able to fix our kitchen up in a way that allows for smooth and stress-free cooking.

To so many of us, food is comfort. Whether it be a holiday, birthday, or even just Gram’s Sunday brunch, we all have at least one memory of how a home-cooked meal made with love made us feel warm and fuzzy. For so long, I wanted to love my family in that way. And now that I’m able to and learning how to do that, I can’t help but wonder how many other families are sitting where I once was — on the kitchen floor, slicing onions and longing to do just about anything to simply cook comfortably and “normally” for their family. 

An inability to work “harder” for the change desired isn’t the problem with people who are poor — poor people work hard for the things they have. Please, trust me, lower income families are anything but lazy. The problem is, it’s a struggle to obtain the things we need and desire when we’re constantly trying to catch up from last week. 

Living paycheck to paycheck makes it difficult to go to the grocery store and buy more than a few days’ worth of food. Because of this, it makes one cringe to think that you will wind up spending more money on things like gas, transportation and food items of a lower quantity, just because you couldn’t get everything you needed at once.

What so many fail to realize rings true: it costs more money to be poor.

Sure, it’d be more cost-friendly in the long run for families to buy their groceries in bulk, but this is unrealistic when so many parents can’t pull themselves over a financial hump. 

Feeding the family can become a day-to-day hustle, one that won’t even allow you to look toward tomorrow because there are hungry kids and an impossible kitchen to work with right now. From the get-go, being poor and cooking for your family can make you feel defeated before you’ve even begun.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Beyond seeing if your family qualifies for government assistance, churches, charities, Craigslist, furniture banks, and organizations such as Freecycle, an online group that allows members of communities to connect with those in need, are great resources available for a little extra help with appliances and everyday cooking needs.

Food insecurity is real, and it hurts. Having a dysfunctional kitchen is real, and it hurts. Knowing you will spend more money in the long run just so your kids can eat today is a real struggle, and it, too, hurts — parents have enough on their minds without worrying about how tonight’s meal is going to go.

We all move forward at our own pace and with a unique set of circumstances. But no matter our financial status, at the end of the day, we are all deserving of a warm, home-cooked meal made with love.

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Peppermint Chocolate Popsicles

Cool off with this easy homemade peppermint chocolate popsicles recipe. Adding York Peppermint Patties makes this a remarkably wintery refresh snack on a hot summer day. York Peppermint PattieS Chocolate Popsicles These easy peppermint chocolate popsicles are the perfect snack on a hot summer day! Since getting my fun new ice cream popsicle molds, I […]

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I’m Not Baking Fresh Bread Right Now, And That’s OK

I have to admit, by week three I’d started to compare myself with others—people baking bread in their white minimalist kitchens, their kids learning new languages and instruments, people organizing closets, and starting new exercise programs.

That first two days I was “on.” I had us up at the usual time, served both my daughter and myself a hot breakfast at 7:30 am and even had us take a brisk morning walk in place of our usual walk to school. I rang a little bell at 8:30 am and we said the Pledge of Allegiance. I gave “morning announcements.”

By the second night, I awoke at 3:30 am having a severe panic attack … something I am prone to and struggle with in a non-pandemic year since losing my husband suddenly when I was 34 and my daughter was not yet two. That was my body’s reminder to me to slow down and just get through. I spent the next day under a soft blanket watching Korean dramas. After that first week, I gave up all aspirations of trying to make this “new normal” feel normal. Because it isn’t, and it won’t be for a very long time. What we’re going through together, on a global scale, has been called a form of grief, and it is.

In early, raw grief, right after my husband died, no one expected anything of me. I lived in a grief cocoon where my bed became my sanctuary. Beside it was an overflowing basket of sympathy cards/checks that I would eventually reply to with thank you notes … but not for many months. Sitting in bed, I ate my mother’s famous Christmas cookies for breakfast on my husband’s birthday in December of that first year; it was the perfect ritual. Even though I had no TV in our apartment because I’d been strictly adhering to the no screens before age two guidelines of the APA, my toddler began watching DVDs given to me by a neighbor every morning beside me on the bed while I struggled to get up.

I did not drive anywhere for weeks because I did not trust myself to concentrate. I was not expected to cook — our church brought me meals for months. I was not expected to be productive in any real way. I showered, ate what I could, and took care of my daughter. Besides that, it was enough just to try to process the news — all of the shocking ways in which my life had abruptly changed. So why in a time of global grief would I expect myself to bake fresh bread?

While grieving is universal, every person’s grieving process is as unique as the relationship and loss they’ve suffered. Even though we’re all going through the same global crisis, all quarantines are not created equal. Some of us are single parents spending our day with a child or children with little to no adult contact. Some of us have four children who are entertaining each other amidst arguing. Some of us have elderly parents to care for. Some of us have family members on the frontlines who are risking their lives and living in constant fear of contaminating their family members.

Also, because we grieve who we are, our reactions to the same pandemic will look different. A friend who is a fitness teacher and a dancer is making and sharing brief fitness videos online each day. A woman in town is organizing activities to keep kids cooped up at home busy. Yes, some people are baking bread and cakes and muffins. I’m a writer, so I write.

I’ve also been cooking three meals a day. I even baked a banana bread and some muffins. I do try to get outside every day, and I’ve been jump roping on my driveway while my daughter sweeps nothing in particular off our steps. The first week I even posted a cute guide for well-being my daughter and I came up with online myself. Maybe people have been looking at me and comparing themselves. Who knows? In light of what’s going on right now, none of this matters.

As Joyce Carol Oates wrote in the epitaph of her memoir, A Widow’s Story, “Of the widow’s countless death-duties there is really just one that matters: on the first anniversary of her husband’s death the widow should think I kept myself alive.” I think the same applies during a pandemic. At the end of all this, that accomplishment wouldn’t be a bad epitaph to have.

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How To Safely Grocery Shop During This Pandemic

We all have to eat whether there is a pandemic going on or not. Most grocery stores are still open even if they’ve had to cut back on their hours. In my area, they are only allowing seventy-five people at a time in the store, so once you’re in, you want to stock up enough so you don’t have to go back for as long as possible. It just doesn’t make sense to pop in for milk or juice if you have to wait a half hour to enter the store.

Not to mention, since most things are shut down, and the grocery store is one of the only places people are going to, they have become one of the places where you need to be extra safe.

But what does that mean? Do you need to wear gloves and a mask? Should you bring your own bags since the virus can live on plastic for a reported 72 hours? Do you need to wipe everything down with a wipe, or is washing fruits and veggies with just water sufficient?

Just like the rest of our lives, going to the grocery store has new rules — and we are here to share them with you.

First, if you can get your groceries online and have them delivered, do it. If you don’t have that option in your area (I don’t), think before you head out, and have a list on you.

According to an article in Sunset, we need to use common sense, and small trips should be avoided at all costs. Use what you have on hand instead of running out to the store to get things for a special meal. If you have rice instead of the pasta you want, use that. If you are craving ice cream but have yogurt in the fridge, stay put and eat the yogurt. You get the picture. While food is essential, small runs for cravings or the fact that your child wants Cheez-Its instead of Goldfish crackers are not.

Scary Mommy talked with Janilyn Hutchings, certified food safety professional at StateFoodSafety, who told us that “while COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for hours to days, the biggest offenders at the grocery store are your fellow shoppers.”

Because of this, the Center For Disease Control suggests if you are over the age of two, and do not have any respiratory problems, you should be wearing a mask or a face cloth when you go out in public. That includes the grocery store.

It’s also imperative to stay at least six feet away from everyone at all times. If that means you have to wait for a bit to grab that cereal you need, then so be it. It’s a small price to pay.

Hutchings also adds that, if possible, you should plan your grocery visits for less busy times of day. Going on a Friday afternoon may not be the best choice, but later on a Sunday evening, you may have less of a crowd.

Although you are less likely to get COVID-19 from your cart or food, according to Hutchings, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be wiped down. Most grocery stores are providing spray and wipes. Remember to wipe down the cart before touching it.

If you are allowed to bring your own bags into the store, wash them after each use if possible. If you aren’t able to do that, put them in the trunk of your car and they should be fine to use again within a day or so, as they are a porous surface.

Upon arriving home, make sure you have a designated area where you set the bags down to empty them. Wiping down each container with a disinfectant wipe before putting it away is the best way to keep the germs from spreading to your house. Then, disinfect the area the bags were sitting on.

Hutchings says there’s no need to wipe fruits and veggies down with anything other than water before you store them. (I used to leave this up to my teens to rinse produce before eating them, but now I just do it before putting them away for peace of mind.)

After getting everything put away and washed, it’s important to wash your hands before you do anything else. You’ve touched many things that may contain the virus, even though you’ve been wiping things down.

Even if you have gloves and wore them to the grocery store, you must still take all these steps. In fact, Karen Hoffmann, RN tells CNBC, “You can think about wearing gloves, but unless you’re really experienced with putting gloves on and off, you may actually contaminate your hands more and therefore get a false sense of security.” According to the WHO leaflet for proper glove use, wearing gloves can “result in missed opportunities for hand hygiene” and can transmit germs from one surface to another.

Vincent Racaniello, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University, adds that the riskiest place is at the checkout. “You go to check-out, you give your credit card, put it in a slot, you punch the numbers, you sign that little machine — that in particular, a lot of people have touched,” he says reminding us we all need to use hand sanitizer after using these machines and avoid touching our faces.

Once you are home, have everything put away, and have clean hands, it’s a good idea to go back and wipe down anything you may have touched with dirty hands such as your door and doorknob, cabinet and refrigerator handles, as well as the parts of the inside and outside of your car you came in contact with.

After taking these steps you can put your mind at ease for a bit — until you have to venture out again to feed your family safely, that is.

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Newborn Photographer Takes ‘Food Baby’ Pictures While Quarantined

Ute-Christin Photography started photographing her takeout the same way she does newborns to fight boredom and help local businesses

When one newborn, children, and family photographer, Ute-Christin Cowan, had to close her doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, she knew it meant no money coming in for the foreseeable future. But that didn’t stop Cowan from supporting her fellow local businesses. So, she decided to start shooting her takeout the same way she does newborns — and the result is absolute perfection.

Ute-Christin Photography is on hiatus in Milford, Conn. through May 20 because of a statewide executive order. With no newborns to photograph and a desire to keep similar small businesses going through this difficult time, Cowan had the idea of ordering food items from local restaurants, dressing them up, and posing them like newborns. And we have to say, these are the cutest food babies we’ve ever seen.

Photographer Starts Taking Hilarious 'Newborn' Pics Of Her Food Deliveries
Ute-Christin Cowan Photography
Photographer Starts Taking Hilarious 'Newborn' Pics Of Her Food Deliveries
Ute-Christin Cowan Photography
Photographer Starts Taking Hilarious 'Newborn' Pics Of Her Food Deliveries
Ute-Christin Cowan Photography

“I wanted to still support our local food businesses because I want them to still be there when this is all over,” Cowan tells Scary Mommy. “I was thinking of a way to support them and also do what I like best, taking pictures!”

Cowan said she called 13 local restaurants and ordered one signature item from their respective menus. “Some delivered and some had curbside pickup,” she said, so she and a friend split the orders in half and picked up the items that weren’t deliverable (at a sensible distance, of course).

Photographer Starts Taking Hilarious 'Newborn' Pics Of Her Food Deliveries
Ute-Christin Cowan Photography
Photographer Starts Taking Hilarious 'Newborn' Pics Of Her Food Deliveries
Ute-Christin Cowan Photography
Photographer Starts Taking Hilarious 'Newborn' Pics Of Her Food Deliveries
Ute-Christin Cowan Photography

Cowan said she took all the items into her home studio, unwrapped each one, lined them up, and came up with creative ways to dress them up.

“I knew I wanted the hotdog swaddled up to give pigs in a blanket a new meaning,” she said, “as well as a bun in the oven.” She shared the photos on her Facebook page, and they were an instant hit.

Photographer Starts Taking Hilarious 'Newborn' Pics Of Her Food Deliveries
Ute-Christin Cowan Photography

Ute said there were several items that stumped her, including everyone’s favorite grilled cheese sandwich. “The grilled cheese gave me the hardest time, but then I was like, ‘The grilled cheese is already awesome on its own, so why mess with that?'” she said. “So, I just added a crown.”

Photographer Starts Taking Hilarious 'Newborn' Pics Of Her Food Deliveries
Ute-Christin Cowan Photography

Perfection.

Our favorite has to be the Anthony Fauci donut from Donut Crazy because this man is a damn hero. He never sleeps (like most actual new moms), and he deserves All Of The Donuts featuring his face.

Photographer Starts Taking Hilarious 'Newborn' Pics Of Her Food Deliveries
Ute-Christin Cowan Photography

What an inspiration Cowan is to spend money on local businesses while being directly impacted herself. Though, the best part, she says, “was being able to eat all those things after I took their picture.”

Here’s hoping when the order is lifted, she’ll have appointments booked for months to come.

The post Newborn Photographer Takes ‘Food Baby’ Pictures While Quarantined appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Yes, Takeout And Food Delivery Is Safe — But With Guidelines

I would like to tell you that I’m settling into a new normal during this pandemic, but that would be a big fat lie. I am scared, overwhelmed, sad… I am grieving. I and so many other parents are trying to figure out how to balance our kids’ emotions and our own while trying to work and homeschool our kids. Each day is a long week, and at the end of a long week all I want to do is order dinner from our favorite local pizza or taco place.

But my state of Vermont and many others are ordering people to stay at home. People are starting to rely on food being delivered or available for curbside pick-up. But is this safe? Should I pick up takeout, or even the free meals offered through local restaurants and school programs? The answer is yes. Here’s why it is safe—and necessary—to keep indulging in comfort food from local restaurants.

COVID-19 is a virus that causes respiratory illness and is transmitted most effectively through airborne droplets passed from one person to another when an infected person sneezes or coughs into the air. While people can spread and contract the virus from a surface to themselves by touching it and then touching their mouth, nose, and eyes, that is not the main way it spreads. Here’s what you need to know about food and COVID-19.

Your Food

The CDC, USDA, and FDA have not found evidence that COVID-19 lives on food. “Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission,” says the FDA website. Even if someone infected does cough or sneeze into your food (gross), ingesting respiratory viruses like COVID-19 will not make us sick the way inhaling the virus will. Respiratory viruses spread along the respiratory tract, not the digestive tract. Even if you eat that food by hand, say, fries or a burger, the virus has been diluted by packaging and your own touch, says Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist from North Carolina State University. You would then have to lick your fingers or pick your nose to even come close to transferring the virus. And honestly, you shouldn’t be doing that whether we are in the middle of a pandemic or not.

There is no evidence that says our food is not safe.

Your Food’s Preparer

With any food we want to eat, we have to trust that the person preparing it is following food safety guidelines. Those have been supplemented by the FDA during the pandemic with additional requirements. First of all, sick employees should stay home and follow the CDC’s guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employees preparing and packaging food are washing and sanitizing hands, wearing gloves, taking extra care to clean surfaces with EPA and FDA approved sanitizers, and are practicing social distancing in the work environment and between customers.

Theresa Bertram, owner of El Gato Cantina, a Mexican restaurant with two locations in Burlington, Vermont, says that she and her staff are going above and beyond what is being recommended by state and city protocols. Bertram says, “We know exactly how and what touches your food and the packaging. Everyone is on board and doing what is expected and more.”

Bertram uses limited staff, and one person per shift is responsible for packaging the to-go orders. Employees are on timed hand-washing schedules, with extra washes as needed. Customers place orders over the phone with a credit card and when food is picked up, they sign a receipt that has been left out with a pen that is sanitized between uses. “We wave and say hello but do not have contact with the customer. Signs are posted so people know what to do and how to keep their space.”

Your Food’s Packaging

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the coronavirus can be detected on porous surfaces like cardboard, paper, or fabrics for up to 24 hours, and on hard surfaces like plastic, glass, copper, and steel for up to 72 hours. But scientists, food safety specialists, and the CDC confirm that the virus is not easily spread via contact with contaminated surfaces. Also, the virus loses strength over time. So, even in the worst case scenario—an infected person sneezes on the packaging your food is in and then hands it to you—you would have to touch that exact spot where the virus lives and then pick your nose, put your fingers in your mouth, or touch your eyes to potentially become infected.

If you are using food delivery services, do it without contact. Pay via the phone or an app and ask your driver to leave your food on the step or at your door. Whether you picked up your food or had it delivered to you, bring it into the house and minimize the places it touches. I have read that some folks place packages in a sink or on a designated counter. Open packages, wash hands for at least 20 seconds, plate your food, and then throw away or recycle packaging. Wash and sanitize the surface that held the packaging and then wash your hands again before you eat.

Your Community

Bertram, like many small business owners, needs and relies on folks to continue to support their favorite local eateries. Restaurant owners are working together to support one another too. “Not everyone will make it through this. It has been so amazing how we have pulled together to help strategize how we can support our employees, the community and still stay viable. The community has been very supportive [by] ordering takeout and delivery; they are tipping well which really helps the staff.” Bertram encourages folks to purchase gift cards too. Even if you’re still worried about leaving your home for pick-up or don’t want to have food delivered, money spent now can be redeemed on meals later, when we aren’t under such strict social distancing rules.

To minimize crowds at grocery stores, use delivery services like Instacart or apps run by your local stores. And please, take advantage of free meals for your kids offered through schools and local organizations. Federal and state funding for these programs is typically based on the number of people who use them. More use equals more funding. Even if you don’t think you “need” a free meal, there are plenty of people who do; your participation keeps food available to the food insecure folks in your town and it reduces the stigma around the idea of needing a “handout.” Consider it a hand-up, and we all could use a hand and a break right now. It’s a relief to not worry about morning snack or lunch for my kids during the week. And it is minimizing my need to go to the grocery store.

Give yourself a break, support a local business, and order some tacos tonight. It’s safe and good for everyone.

But wash your hands. And don’t pick your nose.

The post Yes, Takeout And Food Delivery Is Safe — But With Guidelines appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Here’s How You Can Feed Your Family Healthy Meals (Without Leaving the House & Going Bananas)

Our kids, as much as we love them, are hangry little nuggets of emotion when it comes to what they will and won’t eat. One day they’re human vacuums who will eat anything and the next they’re practically on a hunger strike because a single rice kernel touched one cube of cheese.

As human moms and not robot chefs, dinner is a thing that seems to gnaw at us every single day. After all, dinner is more than just putting food on a plate — there’s the planning, shopping, putting it away, bringing it back out, cooking it, and the final hurdle of serving it. If you’re exhausted by reading about dinner, we’re all exhausted from doing it. (Even if we haven’t left the house.)

There’s Definitely An Easier Way To Make Dinner (During Regular Life and Can’t-Leave-The-House Life)

After a hectic day at work and an evening spent feeding and caring for her son, Jennifer Chow found herself up until midnight washing, chopping, prepping, and cooking her son’s meals for the next day. She knew there had to be a better way, and the idea for Nurture Life was born.

Nurture Life delivers nutritionally balanced and delicious meals for the family straight to your door — and they take less than two minutes from refrigerator to plate. Oh, did you hear that? It was you sighing with sweet relief.

With So Many Stressors Right Now, A Meal Subscription Could Really Help

A weekly Nurture Life subscription provides families with meals for all ages and stages of development. We’re talking nutritious, balanced, easy meal options straight to your door. Every meal is freshly made, and freezes easily. It’s like Nurture Life is coming straight for your heart too because, seriously, did all of our wishes just get granted or what?!

With a focus on organic produce, antibiotic-free proteins, and whole grains you can feel good about what you’re serving your family instead of shame-serving them something you hope they think is edible. Plus, Nurture Life never adds preservatives or artificial flavors, which is really like doing Salt Bae but with sprinkles on this already everything-we-ever-wanted-meal-subscription cake.

Basically, We Only Need To Show Up To The Table (YASSS!)

Tired of having a self-feeder eat Cheerios all day? For our tiniest 10-24 month humans, finger-food meals are cut to be big enough for little fingers to pick up, small enough to prevent choking, and soft enough to mush without molars. Think turkey meatloaf, broccoli, pasta fagioli, and salmon cakes, all in pea sized bites. Plus, they are brightly colored and packed with critical nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to power the rapid growth and development taking place at this age.

Older kids get meals like Chicken Meatballs with Pasta & Vegetables, Bolognese with Penne (that include a full serving of veggies) and even Teriyaki Salmon with Rainbow Veggie Rice.

Nurture Life understands concerns about allergies and diet restrictions, so all their products are peanut and tree nut-free (except coconut) and made in a nut-free facility. When you’re selecting your meals, you can use the dietary filter function to be sure your meals are free from wheat, dairy, egg, and other restrictions.

What Makes These Folks So Sure My Kids Will Like This Stuff?

Cooking for kids requires a special understanding that when a child approaches a dish, it’s with a fresh palate. They haven’t been exposed to certain flavors or textures, so each dish is an opportunity to shape their perspective. The dishes are kid and parent tested, and the registered dietitians and chefs that create the meals take feedback to heart.

Nurture Life makes it easy to get your kids the nutrients they need today, as well as teaching them to love making healthy food choices for life. And because they know how the only constant in a parent’s life is change, there’s no commitment — skip weeks or cancel anytime.

Check out all the meal plans online to learn how Nurture Life can make your life easier.

Meal planning doesn’t have to be stressful. Nurture Life provides healthy, balanced, easy meal options to feed your child at any age. Get 25% off your first two orders with the code SCARYMOMMY. New customers only, applied at checkout.

The post Here’s How You Can Feed Your Family Healthy Meals (Without Leaving the House & Going Bananas) appeared first on Scary Mommy.

9 Best Shopping List Apps To Download Before Your Next Grocery Run

You know the drill: you need one specific item, so you go to the grocery store to get it, only to stock up on everything else and forgetting the item you actually need. This has happened to us more times than we can count. But the good news is that there are several grocery shopping apps that can make that little oversight into ancient (well, recent) history. Sure, you could go with a good old-fashioned pen-and-paper grocery list, but it’s really easy to forget it and leave it at home. When you use these apps, the list will be on your phone and (hopefully) you won’t leave that behind. So enable your phone’s wifi and download the best grocery shopping list apps now (or at least pick one and try that).

1. Our Groceries

The Our Groceries app synchronizes your entire family’s shopping lists. So let’s say you’re heading to the store and your son realizes he’s out of jerky. He can add it to the list, and you’ll see it before you leave the store without dried meat.

2. List Ease

Like the Our Groceries app, you can synch up your family’s shopping lists. But List Ease also lets you virtually clip coupons and add them to the list, so they’re ready whenever anyone needs them.

3. Out of Milk

The Out of Milk app synchs up lists too, and also allows you to add items using Alexa or the Google voice assistant. It also comes with handy list templates to help you know what you’re going to need for things like party planning, cleaning your house, and a plant-based product app.

4. Flipp

The Flipp app has all the bells and whistles of the other apps on this list, but with an added bonus. Flipp automatically searches for coupons for your favorite grocery store brands, and scans your local supermarket’s circular so you know what’s on sale and when to stock up.

5. Grocery iQ

If you’ve ever been grocery shopping and come across a product that you don’t necessarily need right now but could be interested in in the future, the Grocery iQ app is for you. Just snap a photo of the product and the app will add it to your next shopping list.

6. Grocery Pal

If you’re always on the hunt for supermarket bargains, you’re going to want to download the Grocery Pal right now. It takes the guess work out of figuring out which store around you (including big box stores like Target and Walmart) has the best prices on the products you love.

7. Buy Me a Pie

The Buy Me a Pie app doesn’t only help you create lists, but it also allows you to customize those lists based on how the aisles are set up at your regular grocery store. Gone will be the days of forgetting something in the produce section and having to wind your way upstream through the grocery store to get the garlic.

8. BigOven

The BigOven app is what you get when you cross shopping lists and social media. Sure, you can organize your own list, but you can also compare yours with friends’ lists to see what they’ve been buying and cooking for some inspiration.

9. Yummly

Though not technically a grocery shopping list app at its core, Yummly lets you scan the products you have at home to figure out what you can make from the pantry, fridge, and freezer. It then automatically adds anything else you may need for a recipe to your shopping list.

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