Happy Spring! As a Mom of two toddlers I have definitely found my favorite brands that are must-haves for every grocery trip. Toddlers (at least mine) tend to be creatures of habit so I am always trying to find a balance between getting foods that I know that they will eat and introducing healthy ingredients and new flavors. March, spring, and basketball bracket season seem like a great time to talk about my TOP FIVE FAVORITE BRANDS FOR KIDS.
Ahh, where to begin with Full Circle? This brand is in our pantry, it’s in our refrigerator and it’s in our freezer. We eat a lot, a whole lot, of eggs and they are always Full Circle. Eggs are a great way to get protein and essential nutrients to your toddler. Our youngest likes them scrambled with cheese. Our oldest prefers his in omelet form with ketchup (yep, ketchup). Eggs are also a great vehicle for leftover ingredients which helps us stretch our grocery budget. We make a lot of scrambles, omelets and fried rice. Another way to stretch the budget is by using frozen veggies and we use the Full Circle frozen vegetables on a weekly basis. Our oldest will only eat the green beans so I love that Full Circle offers a bag that is green beans only! Some of our other favorite Full Circle pantry staples are Graham Crackers, pasta noodles, and canned beans and tomatoes (did you know that Full Circle recently introduced a non-intent BPA lined can?).
Yogurt, yogurt, yogurt. In our house, yogurt can be breakfast, a compliment to a meal, an ingredient in a baking recipe, or even a dessert! I love the Chobani’s Simply 100 yogurt cups. I don’t have to worry about artificial sweeteners or artificial growth hormones, they’re loaded with probiotics, protein and calcium, and they taste like a treat. It’s definitely not my “cleanest” food item but it’s still a favorite!!
Here’s how we eat our Chobani:
- With granola for a crunchy breakfast
- Plain with lunch or dinner (the boys’ favorite flavors are Vanilla & Strawberry Banana)
- With dark chocolate chips for dessert!
Moo! Making sure toddlers get enough protein and Vitamin D can sometimes be a struggle so I rely on really high quality dairy products from Organic Valley to help me with that. The boys use the Whole Milk in their cereal, eat the String Cheese for snacks (or meals), and we use the shredded cheese for things like quesadillas (I like to add black beans), grilled cheese sandwiches, scrambled eggs and pasta. The boys love Organic Valley’s Grated Parmesan Cheese – they call it Cheese Sprinkles…. Whatever works!
Neither of my boys love eating meat (they might get that from their mom…) but Applegate makes a couple of products that they both really enjoy and this mom loves that they are nitrate and antibiotic free! Their favorite is the frozen breakfast sausage. It is a weekend staple at our house for breakfast but I also like to add the more savory varieties to pasta during the week. I just cook up the links in a skillet, add them to a marinara sauce (usually jarred if I am running short on time) and then add them to pasta. Dad likes their bacon for a Sunday morning treat and I love to use their pepperoni for Friday night pizza nights (hint: the pieces are extra-large so I use small cookie cutters to make pepperoni shapes!)
If we ever produce a girl (unlikely), we may just name her Annie in honor of a brand that truly goes everywhere with us. From Cocoa Bunnies cereal (fairly moderate in sugar for a chocolate cereal), to Mac & Cheese (definitely the bunny shapes for the kids, shells for mom & dad), to Bunny Crackers in every flavor and even Fruit Snacks when mom & dad need a quiet moment in the car…. Annie’s is a brand that we use almost every single day. As a mom of toddler boys I have tried hard to find “good” treat alternatives. Avoiding treats altogether is no fun for anyone so I rely on a brand like Annie’s to give me treats I can feel comfortable with – no artificial colors, slightly less sugar and more natural ingredients. Plus, who doesn’t love having their toddler ask for seconds of their Mac & Cheese? Did you know there’s 10 grams of protein in a serving of Mac & Cheese?
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