Super Healthy Kids Meal Planning Membership Review

One of our lunches. Easy, healthy, and surprisingly delicious.

Y’all know me, I don’t often pay someone to do something that I can do myself. Meal planning is most certainly something I can do myself, I’ve done so in the past. But the issue with doing that myself is that it never gets done. So I would plan things out with the best of intentions for a couple of weeks, then it would fall to the wayside. So why not try a service that plans it all for me? Especially one that’s made for kids to like it and to be “super healthy”? Let’s do this!

So I contacted the ladies at Super Healthy Kids, a website I’ve been following for years and love, to ask if I could do a review of their meal planning service. They graciously obliged and I was able to try out their service for three whole months! It’s been three months of some downs and definitely lots of ups and I’m excited to report that not only did we like it, but we’ve decided to continue with the service on our own dime. Even my husband agrees! And isn’t that the true show of a good reviewed product, buying it myself?

Let’s get on with the actual review.

So keeping in mind that it was all resolved in the end, there was a bit of a learning curve. I think 3 months billed at a time is perfect because I may have given up after one month if it was an option. Really what it all boils down to is someone else is planning everything. I had to find ways to make it our own. First off, I had to re-arrange the meals. Being a family of five with three of those being small (and therefore not eating a ton, though the oldest is starting to), I had to add two leftovers nights a week. Then I add a third every week for Sundays, which are often spent with family. This encompasses both the times that we need to eat the extras from other nights as well as the times that we decide to get pizza or something else not made at home.

Bunny pancakes!

The other thing I did to mitigate the over-abundance of food was to edit the meals to the correct size. My husband often takes leftovers to work or goes out with co-workers, so he only eats a couple of the lunches that I make a week. Then some of the meals are made with serving sizes of 6, which we’ll never be able to make it through, so I edit those totals down. For now, I print off the recipes (which I found out is my preferred way of doing it anyway) and manually going through and editing totals. Amy assured me that they’re working on putting in the function that edits it for you, so I’ll be on the lookout for that in the future.

The other big learning curve was the price. I’m not talking about the $24 every three months for the service, but rather how much I was spending at the grocery store each month. To be fair, I was spending a very low amount at the store each month in comparison to others I’ve talked to about it. Generally about $300/month, not including WIC and frozen meat we have from the farm (which we don’t use a ton of because it’s mostly the stuff we don’t use much at this point). Adding in that our country is in a sad state where crap processed food is cheaper than fresh fruits and veggies, we by definition had to spend more to eat healthier. In the beginning, we were spending a LOT more though. More like $500-600 a month. With the things I mentioned above and some smart shopping (substituting things I already had in my cupboards for things I’d have to buy, though I’ve had to do that less and less as I’ve used stuff up), I got it down to around $400 a month, which is definitely livable. And we stopped eating out as much, so things are balancing out really well.

Not every meal is a hit (really, they aren’t when I pull new recipes off the internet either), but I was surprised at how much we really did like the recipes. We tried things we wouldn’t have normally. New fruits and veggies, new ways of eating things, all sorts of new. And I actually liked probably about 90% of it. The kids are probably more like 70%, but there’s always enough of the familiar that they still eat what they need and they’re always at least trying the new things. And I’ve noticed that with time as they get used to it that they’re complaining less. The biggest thing I think they’re happy about is the abundance of fresh produce. They both LOVE fruits and veggies, so having them at every single meal makes them crazy happy. Often it’s something simple like orange slices and cucumbers on the side. All the meals are simple to make.

Something really unexpected to me as been how good it is for me to eat these foods. I’ve been working on losing weight for the past about 4 months and starting this meal plan is when I really started to shed the weight. I’ll write more on this later, but I’ve lost about 15 lbs so far and I’ve had treats nearly every day (yeah, probably shouldn’t do that). This meal plan is leaving me that wiggle room and it’s worked out really great for me. And I feel great every day, never hungry, and I can tell I’m eating healthier because I just *feel* better. Super healthy kids and super healthy mama!

Do you want to be super healthy too!? Well, you can right now with 25% off! Just use the code claire25 when you sign up! And one lucky reader will win a one year subscription!

First off, make sure to leave a comment for each entrySo if the item you accomplish says 2 entries, leave two comments! I try my best to check through and make sure everyone gets all the entries they should, but I’m not perfect! Make sure to get credit where credit’s due!

Mandatory first entry: Go to the Super Healthy Kids blog and check it out! Leave a comment here telling me which recipe you’re going to try! Be sure to use an email you can be contacted at in case you win!

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1 entryfollow Super Healthy Kids on Twitter. If you already follow, you still get an entry!

1 entry: Tweet about this giveaway (leave a link to the tweet in the comment). You can tweet about this giveaway once every day for an entry. That’s up to 15 entries just from tweeting!

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1 entry: Write a post on your Facebook page about this giveaway! Make sure you link to The Adventures of Lactating Girl on Facebook and Super Healthy Kids on Facebook in the post and leave a comment here each time you do it. You can do it once per day! That’s up to 15 entries!

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The winner will be chosen on Wednesday, June 10th at 5PM Mountain Standard Time by random. The winner will be emailed and must respond to the email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck everyone!

Newsletter – March 2015

Hi You Three!

March was another great month. Lots of time outside, lots of fun inside, and we even got our Lagoon season passes at the end of the month. We had a week-long spring break from Peanut’s school, so we got to just hang out and do whatever we wanted every day. It made me really look forward to summer. Of course this month was Peanut’s birthday and we celebrated by going out to her birthday dinners, the Natural History Museum of Utah, and watching Harry Potter all day (a girl after my own heart).

Writing your name for the first time.

Twig, you’re turning into a real person. Three is a hard age, but it’s also a cool age. You’re just making leaps and bounds in that little head of yours and I see how much you’re changing every day. You’re leaving toddlerhood behind and becoming a kid. One day this month when I was unbuckling your car seat I realized that you had an eyelash that had fallen out. I got it on my finger and told you to make a wish, then we pressed our fingers together to see who got their wish (whoever gets the eyelash). I didn’t really expect you to get it, but when I asked what you had wished for, you said a Daniel Tiger movie. That’s a real wish! You got it the eyelash by the way, so better get on that PBS. Another good example is when we were saying goodnight one night and I said something along the lines of “I love you to the moon.” We were going back and forth saying different places that we love each other to, then you said “I love you to my nose.” and started to laugh. You actually got that it would be funny. And it was funny!

 You’re making even more strides with letters. I decided to try it out just to see if you could and it turns out you can match most of the capitalized letters to their lowercase counterparts. You also love it when I read to you. You’ve always loved reading, but it’s a whole new level. I’m pretty sure that we could read all day every day and you’d be happy. You do get a bit bored when Peanut and I read chapter books, but you still listen along and want me to read them to both of you, just while you’re sometimes wandering off to do different things. And lastly, you nighttime potty trained this month. I expected it to be a big hassle of constantly changing wet sheets, but you’ve been good from the start. I think you’ve only had a full on accident (and a few wake-up-mid-pee accidents) once in the month you’ve been diaper-free at night.

Your poor nose.

Banana, you’re really zooming now. You spent the last part of last month in the “aww, he’s crawling!” stage and starting off this month with “How did you get to the dog water that fast again?!” You are getting into everything. You would think that three kids in our house would be pretty baby-proofed, but you’re still finding plenty to get that I don’t particularly want you to have. A downside to your newfound ability to crawl is that you keep falling on your face. Your poor nose actually got a blood blister (or something of that sort) that popped and it looked so sore. It never seemed to bother you though. And I’ve figured out that I have to get your pjs off immediately when you wake up so you don’t trip all over them. You still fall over quite a bit, but not as much.

Pulling yourself to stand at the bottom of the stairs.

One of your favorite things is to make noises with your mouth. I don’t know why, but one day you were getting upset and I started bouncing my hand on your mouth to make “ub-bub-bub-bub” noises. You loved it! So much so that you started doing it with your own hand too. It’s really cute. Here’s a video.

Peanut, you spent this whole month telling people that your birthday was coming up, then once it passed you told them how many days ago it was. You also told everyone who would listen that you were having a “My Neighbor Totoro/Kiki’s Delivery Service/Spirited Away/Ponyo” birthday party. You’re still loving Studio Ghibli. Honestly, we all love them.

You also have a newfound love of climbing trees.

This month you’ve started doing something that really excites me–reading for pleasure. You spend most of your quite time these days reading Elephant and Piggie books (your absolute favorite). Of course you still love it when we read to you (currently mama is reading you Matilda and dad is reading you The Hobbit), but it’s just so cool that you want to read all by yourself too. You’ll even read books to Twig sometimes, which I can tell is just the start of an awesome reading relationship.

Love you three!

Mama

Meal Plans and Food Waste

Have you guys heard of Super Healthy Kids? They’re pretty awesome. These ladies make food that is healthy and kids enjoy. Well, they do a pre-planned meal plan that we’ve been trying for a review (look for that coming up soon!). I’ve been really enjoying it, but there has been a bit of a learning curve.

A big part of that learning curve has been food waste. It’s always an issue for me when I meal plan, to be honest. When I’m not meal planning, we just eat whatever is there. We make what we have work, so not a ton ends up wasted. When going by a meal plan, I have to be much more conscious of what’s already in the fridge. I also have to work around meals getting skipped because life gets in the way. One day we’re invited to dinner by our parents. Another day we decide we really want to order a pizza. Normal things that I do try to plan for, but some things don’t give me a week forewarning.

So I decided to start holding myself accountable again by showing the internet our food waste. Hopefully this gives me an extra push to get everything used up in the fridge before it goes bad.

This week we have three items. First, the clementines. Three little clementines that got past their prime.

Next item on the list doesn’t have a photo because I forgot. I was pretty upset about these, actually. You see, as part of the meal plan I made muffins last Saturday for breakfast. They were on a bag on the counter, which is generally how I store muffins that I’m not freezing. They never stick around long enough to get moldy, but a combination of not eating these fast enough and the muffins growing a tiny spot of mold sooner than they generally would (they were particularly moist) meant about a half dozen went in the trash.

Lastly, this poor little avocado. I’m the only one in my family that really likes avocados. Thanks to the meal plan, I’m finding out a lot of different ways my family will tolerate them. Still though, I haven’t been using them nearly as fast as I should be by meal plan standards. This is not our first avocado casualty in the recent past.

So there you go! Other than these three things, we’re doing pretty good. We’re on track to use up (hopefully) all our leftovers and all the produce in our fridge is looking good. I did have a few wins this week with substituting items that needed to be used. And of course our bunny does a good job of eating not only the scraps, but also the produce that isn’t completely bad. She got a whole romaine lettuce heart this week! Lucky bunny!

Newsletter – February 2015

Twig playing in the unseasonably warm rain puddle.

Hello Kiddos!

We had a pretty awesome February. It’s been unseasonably warm around here, so we got to spend time outside. Our days were also spent going to the Treehouse Museum, story time, volunteering at Peanut’s school, and just hanging out at home. Life is great.

Peanut, I have a funny story for you. We were out to dinner and you started to complain about your mouth hurting. I kind of brushed it off, but it was a weird spot, so I decided to feel your tooth just to see. Well, that tooth moved and I let out a shriek of surprise that startled you too. You had a loose tooth! I didn’t even know that kids start loosing teeth this early, but a quick Google search told me that you’re a bit late if anything (Google also told me this is unsurprising give that you started getting teeth a bit on the later side). I was so sure that it was nothing and I would “just check to be sure.” Silly mama.

“Gideon is a firefighter but a baby firefighter. I am too.”

You’re also getting better and better at writing things 100% for yourself. You’ve been writing letters for ages, but it’s always been “Mama, how do you spell…?” Your teacher said to encourage “creative spelling” and ever since I told you to start trying to spell things yourself, you’ve found every excuse possible to write things down. I love how you’re always writing me notes. I hope it never stops.

You also finished playing basketball this month. You went around telling everyone you spoke to (you have absolutely no qualms speaking to strangers out in public and everyone you meet thinks you’re awesome when you start chatting with them) how you love playing basketball. You were also pretty devastated that it’s over for the season. About a week after the last game I finally sat you down and explained that it’s not just that I’m mean and won’t let you play, but nobody is playing because the season is over. After that you calmed down a bit. You’re still adamant that you want to play next year though.

Speaking of little miss chatterbox, you came home from school one day this month with phone numbers and a couple of your little friends came home with your number. I had no idea that calling friends on the phone would start this early, but you love it. I’m amazed that you have so much to say to someone that you just saw an hour ago. It’s calmed down a bit since it originally started, but two months later you still ask to call someone on the phone most days. You just gave out your number to a fresh batch of friends too.

Banana, you’re just zooming on with development. This month you started to crawl! It’s not super coordinated yet, but you’re definitely moving forward with purpose. You usually crawl a couple of steps, then stop and get on your belly to see if you can reach what you’re going for yet. If you can’t, the process repeats. I call it lazy crawling. You also decided to pull yourself to stand at virtually the same time as starting to crawl. My goodness. Calm down! And you got your first two teeth this month, both of your bottom front teeth.

It’s really fun watching the sibling dynamic emerge. One of the most interesting things to me thus far has been how Peanut is some sort of pseudo-adult to you. You’ll stay happy if she’s playing with you a good majority of the time. You even fall asleep on her while watching TV (I think you just need something interesting enough to stare at while you drift off). It’s super cute.

Twig, on the topic of siblings, you’ve great with Banana. You finally got him to laugh this month and you just love it. For some reason you weren’t very interested in getting him to laugh before now. You also call him “boy” all the time. “Do you like that, boy?” “Where is boy?” If I ask you what his name is you’ll immediately tell me Gideon, but if you’re talking to or about him it’s always boy.

You’re also making strides with development, though yours is mental. It seems like overnight that you went from knowing a handful of letters to almost every one of them. You even know the sounds of a good majority of them. You know all the letters in your name in mostly the right order, though you mostly insist on just spelling Mere. Can’t blame you there considering that’s what we call you 90% of the time.

You also love going to Peanut’s school to volunteer. You’ve made real friends there who send you home drawings in Peanut’s backpack. You like to pack your own little backpack of things to play with a books to look at and you think recess is amazing. Your favorite thing is how you get to participate in the art whenever they’re doing a project. You think that Peanut’s teacher is pretty amazing too. You’re gonna love it when you get to start kindergarten.

Love you all!
Mama

Twig’s Winnie the Pooh Birthday Party

Winnie the Pooh (2011) is probably my favorite kids movie. It absolutely baffles me that so many people haven’t seen it. Seriously, my husband and I enjoyed it more than the kids the first time we watched it. Luckily, Twig shares our love of Winnie the Pooh. Really, she loves Winnie the Pooh in any form. So, unsurprisingly, she wanted to have a Winnie the Pooh 3rd birthday party. And since that movie is clearly the best incarnation of Winnie the Pooh, I stuck with that movie for the theme. I’ll try to give as many links as I can for the ideas I used, but just in case I miss any (and for some ideas I didn’t end up using), here’s my Pinterest Board.

First, the invitations. I loved this idea of the honey pot, but I don’t have a special paper cutting machine and program like this lady does. So I just hand-traced a honey pot onto a piece of printer paper and used that as a stencil for tracing it onto some pretty scrapbook paper I picked up at the craft store. Twig’s favorite color is purple, so obviously we needed purple honey pots! Then I used a yellow marker to color some white letters and traced out some honey drippings onto yellow scrapbook paper. I used Disney, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger fonts on the actual invitation part as if the big announcer voice (Disney font) was talking with the two characters chiming in their own comments.

 

Next the decorations. My amazing brother made us another banner, which I get to share with you guys again! Isn’t he great?! Here’s the link.

Didn’t realize until halfway through the party that I put the T and H up opposite.

I also drew a Backson (following along as Owl draws it in the movie) on the chalkboard. I’m seriously amazed at how much better I’m getting with drawing as I practice. Guess being a mom has given me the right motivation to learn to draw!

And I made signs with things from the movie too, making sure they were to spec by pausing the movie.

I also put up various other signs and what not that are not pictured. Links for those found here, here, and here. And I set up all our Winnie the Pooh books around the house (we have a lot!).

Now the activities! When the guests arrived, they colored. We used pots (little ceramic ones from the dollar store) to hold the crayons. They colored free coloring pages from the internet (some of which found on my Pinterest board, some I didn’t ever get around to adding it, just googled to find them).

Then we found Eeyore’s Tail (like they do in the movie). The whole scavenger hunt thing at Peanut’s Tangled party was a huge hit. Honestly I think I’ll do it every year. Kids just love hearing the silly clues (I just make a four line little rhyme that tells them where the next hiding spot is and center it around the birthday child) and figuring out where they are hidden. Peanut finger knit Eeyore’s tail.

Then we did a beehive pinata. I used a balloon to make the pinata and then decorated it to look like a beehive. I used black pom poms and wrapped them with yellow pipe cleaners to look like bees, then hot glued them on. The kids had a ton of fun with this one!

Lastly, we played Bounce Like Tigger. My original idea was a hopping contest (see who can hop the furthest), but then I realized that my mother-in-law bought a bunch of these blue bouncing balls. It turned out she had just enough for the amount of guests that were coming! So I turned on the Winnie the Pooh soundtrack and let them bounce away!

Last, but not least, the food!

I made little signs like these using pots (again from the dollar store), tissue paper, and popsicle sticks. I let Peanut write all the words so they’d look like Christopher Robin wrote them. Spelling is all hers too (though I had her re-do some of them because it was a bit too confusing).

Eeyore’s Sticks (Pretzel Sticks)

 

Hunny Candy (recipe here) “DO NOT CHEW” (turned out not quite hard enough, I think I should have let it get a bit hotter when making it)

Hunny Ham Sandwiches (just regular sandwiches make with honey ham)

Rabbit’s Veggies (with ranch)

Kanga’s Lemonade (recipe here)

Honey Cupcakes (cupcake recipe here, but I decided to use a this honey buttercream frosting instead)

And that’s it! Twig had a ball at her first ever big girl birthday party and I think the guests had a good time too. And I had a fun time planning it! Yay Winnie the Pooh!

Newsletter – January 2015

At Bear Lake on your birthday.

Hello My Children!

We’re still playing newsletter catch up here (so close!) and on to January. It was a surprisingly warm winter this year, so we spent plenty of time outdoors. We also spent a lot of time watching Studio Ghibli movies as a family. You both love My Neighbor Totoro. Really, you’ve loved all the ones we’ve watched. And of course, we celebrated Twig’s third birthday!

Twig, you had your first ever birthday party this month and you chose Winnie the Pooh as the theme. You loved being able to invite your own friends and being the center of it all. I had a blast planning it for you and everyone had a wonderful time. We got you some Calico Critters for your birthday because you love playing pretend with little toys. You really enjoy playing with them. On your birthday itself you were sick, so we took a long drive to Bear Lake as a way to celebrate without spreading disease. We had a lot of fun and you girls gathered tons of tiny shells.

You’re also learning more letters by the day. I wasn’t even aware that you knew any, then you suddenly started picking them up rapid fire. You love reading and especially love to read Press Here. It’s a silly book where you press the dots (and do other things to them) and it makes it look like you’re effecting the dots. You ask me to read it to you almost every night.

You also love drawing with your sister. Both of you have been drawing pictures from these videos on YouTube. I’m surprised at how well you both can draw. Twig, you made a daddy long legs that actually looked like a daddy long legs! And Dea, you can already draw just as well as I can most of the time. It’s awesome watching you two expand your artistic abilities.

Peanut, you are obsessed with black widows. Really it all started this fall. It was a warm fall also, which apparently caused a bit of a black widow issue in our area. We ended up finding about half a dozen throughout our property (thank goodness never in the house!). Ever since, you’ve decided you love black widow spiders. You brought a book home from the library at school that told you all about them. We checked out books at our library. We watched videos online. You just think they’re amazing.

Taking a bath in the sink when Oma and Opa watched you.

Banana, you are putting in a valiant effort to crawl. You’re trying really hard to get up on all fours and you can even do it if you get your butt wedged up against something. You can tell you’re so satisfied with yourself when you get up too.

You’re also very loud, just like Twig was. You love to just yell and yell, even when you’re happy. Something that’s different though is your pitch. From pretty much day one, you’ve been really high pitched! And when you get happy you’re literally squealing in delight. It’s so ridiculously cute. You’re also mad when you’re mad though. You don’t get angry often, but when you do, you sound like a fire alarm. We tried to leave you with Oma and Opa for the first time so mommy and daddy could go on a date, but we ended up leaving half way through The Hobbit because you were so angry. It’s alright though, mama doesn’t mind being with you all the time.

Speaking of you being happy, there’s one song from our music class that you just adore. We call it “Open and Shut Them” though I’m sure there’s a more correct name. Every time you’re upset, we start singing it and you get happy again. It works when you’re in the high chair while I make food, while you’re getting your diaper changed, anything. We start singing and you immediately start smiling.

Love you all!
Mama