Friday, September 19, 2008

Horizon Organic Creaminess in FOUR FLAVORS!

Bubbles has two favorite foods: bacon, and milk.

The pork people haven't gotten to me yet, but the Horizon peeps know where to look to find some serious milk drinkers: Ask the Mamas.

We had planned on having a big milk taste test last week, but when Bubbles blew chunks (can I say that in a product review? probably not) sick all over the parking lot of Target (thus ensuring the 30 minute drive there was futile since I have a personal issue about walking into a store covered in kid-puke), it pretty much squashed that idea.
Now, however, everyone is back in working order and thirsty.

I am guessing that most of the mommies I know have caved at least once at their child's request for some chocolate milk at Starcluck's. I mean seriously, you are in line waiting to pay for your $4 latte, your child grabs a strategically placed chocolate milk box and sweetly asks you for a treat. You shake your head impulsively, rejecting the notion that your Starcluck's excursions are now going to cost you an added $2 if you dare to bring your small child near the child-friendly display case. Then you see the label: Horizon. Organic. Milk.
And you are a loser because you realize that other customers witnessed you trying to prevent your child from having something as wholesome as ORGANIC MILK just so you can jack up your caffeine fix. So of course you buy them the milk box, because there you are indulging yourself.

But then you discover that Starcluck's is not the only vendor for those little milk boxes; they are actually available to the public at other outlets! Like grocery stores!
So you could buy a whole pack of the milk boxes and take your own milk boxes to starcluck's because you are so cheap theoretically put them in your child's wholesome lunch.
But that's not all! They have FOUR FLAVORS! Yes, you heard me. This is the modern world, where we expect the most from our cows milk.

Even Supergirl got in on the action, and she is not generally a fan of The Milk. But she saw 'strawberry flavor' on one of the boxes and, being a huge fan of Charlie and Lola, wanted to try 'pink milk' as a show of solidarity.

We prepared the shot glasses (this was my fancy and clever way of avoiding the single straw issue):

First, they tested the strawberry. Supergirl chose this flavor first, and handed a glass to Bubbles, ignoring his pleas to "Have choco! Want choco!"
Supergirl was a little skeptical that it wasn't actually pink milk, but I was thrilled to note the absence of red food dye. If you have ever been around my daughter after she had ingested a red vine or bowl of trix, you would be emphatically nodding your head in agreement here.

She loved it. She drank it. She asked for more. For the first time in her life since giving up breastmilk (at 16 mos), she asked for more milk.
My children's mantra seems to be: ingest the least amount of calories to get by each day. So when Supergirl discovers that she likes MILK with some sugar (cane sugar! no high-fructose corn syrup in Horizon products!) and strawberry flavor, I am all over that. Even I will cave to the single serving boxes to get her to drink some milk.

Bubbles tried the strawberry, obliging us with a sip, before he slammed it down on the table and pointed again at the preferred flavor: CHOCO!
Since we knew he would love the chocolate flavor, we moved on to vanilla for the second flavor.
I cannot believe this, but both of my kids gave it the thumbs down. I think it was because Supergirl was already hooked on the strawberry, and Bubbles was obsessing over the chocolate, but they both wrinkled their noses and asked for another flavor.
I tried it myself to see what the big deal was about, and decided those two are certifiably crazy. The vanilla tastes like a creamy melted vanilla milkshake. THE BEST, in my opinion.
Do NOT trust your children in matters of taste, even when there is a cute little cow on the label, thus implying that children will be impressed by the contained product.

Moving on to the chocolate.

Supergirl took one sip and made this face:


Bubbles, on the other hand, demanded a bigger cup of the stuff. I offered him the straw, but the little guy gets the most satisfaction out of a nice long draw off a sippy cup, so he helped himself to another cup and poured it in himself. Then he handed me the box of chocolate milk and asked me to pour the rest into his sippy cup. I love that boy's initiative.
Bubbles decided that the beloved CHOCO milk was all his. He would not share the coveted box of chocolate milk with anyone.
I saved the box of regular 2% milk to keep on hand for emergencies, because Bubbles will drink regular milk any day, all day. We are regular fans and buyers of Horizon products - I want my children to have an organic, hormone and additive-free diet as much as possible, so I tend to stock up when it is on sale.

If you would like some coupons for Horizon products, click here and they will send you some!

One could deduce from these results that my children are fickle and unreliable taste testers, OR one could deduce that Horizon offers something for everybody.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Everybody Jump on the Bento Bandwagon

Most of you want to know where to buy the cute little Bento supplies. A year ago, you were screwed unless you lived in the Bay Area, Seattle, or Japan. But now, thanks to my favorite store's new online shop, you too can order egg molds, pig shaped sauce cups, and quippy little lunch boxes. Try Ichiban Kan. You will not regret it. Suzy in San Mateo should probably kick down some Pocky to me for that plug, but know that I share this information with you from the goodness of my heart, not out of blogging for Pocky.
The goodness of my heart, and the greenness of my heart as well. Bento eliminates the need for disposable plastic bags, etc. That alone is enough reason to go with Bento lunches.

As Geener pointed out in the comments section, no wonder Supergirl rejects the red lunches. We do, after all, live in a Blue State. But there are not enough naturally occurring blue foods, so work with me here.

Seaweed rice cake, 1/2 sour pickle, granola bar, pocky, baby star noodle snack, dried snappeas, cottage cheese, salami and crackers.

TJ's cheesey puffs, caramel cookie, pear, PB&J, Judy's breadstick and brie cheese rounds, raspberries.

Shown with Supergirl's awesome new lunch basket from here. You know you want one....for $16? such a deal!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obligatory Back to School Bento Post

Full disclosure: I am not adhering to bento style lunches as much as I am committed to sending waste free lunches in cute little bento boxes. When my regular teaching schedule resumes in October, I will probably not be as committed or able to pack and/or photograph lunches. Rest assured, my children will never show up at school with a lunchable.

The first step to getting back into the groove was to organize and inventory the bento supplies.

Wow, that was easier than I thought. I have a ton more shit than I thought I did.

Okay, next step was to pack lunches that my starving children will actually eat. I say 'starving' because that is what they choose to do. Starve themselves and force me to throw away literally tons of organic delicious food every single year.

For Bubbles' first preschool pre-packed lunch, he got the three foods he will always eat, and a few wild cards for luck.

Pirate booty, rice cake and dried snap peas, bacon, fruit leather strips, and a Japanese rice cracker.

Supergirl got what I would consider a delicious lunch:

Snack container of popcorn, PB&homemadeJam, fresh strawberries and cherry tomatoes.

Supergirl later declared this lunch as being 'too red'. Mmmkay.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oops. Forgot it was Minimum Day

She'll probably never eat all of this, since 'minimum day' offers only one opportunity to eat.
Guacamole flavored chips w/sour cream and avocado. Orange juice jello hearts and wedges.
Peaches and strawberries (farmers market was yesterday!), veggie corndog.
What is up with that smarmy little Hello Kitty and all her secrets?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Boring Bear Tuesday

Salami bears and cutouts, havarti dill bears, black sesame crackers.
Pizza ice cream cone, squares and bears (leftover).
Orange juice jello stars and wedges.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bento Thief

Someone (hint: someone under two) was trying to snitch a little cracker out of Supergirl's lunch this morning. He couldn't wait. He got the cracker.

Monday's Polka Dot Bento: dried apricots, dried cranberries, honey peanuts, monster cheese cutouts, a blueberry-filled marshmallow (Japanese).
Raisins, protein bar, cucumber flowers, rice thins.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Food Dyes = Bad Kids? (oh yes, and lunch too)

On Fridays, if she has earned it, Supergirl gets a special treat and a juice box (100% juice only, ever) in her lunch.
We have suspected that she is sensitive to artificial food dyes, as her (usually predictable) behavior often spins out of control after ingesting something with them. One thing I love about Japanese snacks and treats, is that many of them are colored with natural colorings - beet, paprika, etc. And so I feel I can offer Supergirl special treats with a little less guilt over the ingredients. (IMO, processed sugars are one small evil, while chemically enhanced (colored) food is pretty damn evil)
Check out this article, which reports on a study conducted in England, that showed that many children have behavior issues and hyperactivity (redundancy?) after ingesting these artificial colors. What? Really? Who knew???
(we knew)

What's in Supergirl's lunchbox today?
Rice thins, salami and monster cheese stars, bear-shaped egg, cream cheese+jam flower, cottage cheese, raisins. Snack box: Furikake container (the girl loves anything with seaweed), a fake 'ice cream cone' snack, and shelly senbei (lightly frosted rice crackers from Hawaii).
Oh yes, there was a juice box - organic cherry - not shown.