Clever Recipes to Get Kids to Eat More Veggies

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To help your kids grow big and strong it is without a doubt vital for them to eat fruits and veggies. But if you’re a parent of such picky eaters (who aren’t), you’d know for a fact that accomplishing this is no joke. That when you have finally discovered the trick to making them wholeheartedly eat foods that basically came from plants, then you might as well get the ‘Best Parent’ award.

But don’t get pressured and all, because just like what they always say, “To each his own.” Whatever it is that you deem is necessary and effective for your growing children, then do it. What matters is that you do everything to make them get the nutrients their developing little bodies need.

And to help you out, here are some of our favorite bento box combos, incorporated with the most clever and creative recipes you can make to help your picky eaters eat more veggies. Hope these will help:


The Best Spaghetti & Meatballs for Kids

If your kid is a sucker for spaghetti and meatballs, then use that to your advantage! Here’s a little spin on the classic Italian favorite that’ll cleverly make your kids eat veggies without them knowing it!

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INGREDIENTS:

For the meatballs

  • 300g good quality pork sausage (about 4 large or 8 chipolatas)

  • 500g lean beef, minced

  • 1 small onion, coarsely grated

  • 1 carrot, finely grated

  • 1 tbsp dried oregano

  • 50g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve

  • 1 medium egg

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the tomato sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 courgette, coarsely grated

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée

  • pinch caster sugar

  • splash red wine vinegar

  • 2x 400g tins chopped tomato

Squeeze all the sausage meat out of the sausage skins into a large bowl and add the mince. Tip all the rest of the meatball ingredients, except the olive oil, into the bowl and season with black pepper then squish everything together through your hands until completely mixed. Roll the meatball mix into walnut-sized balls and place them on a plate.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the courgette and garlic and cook for 5 mins until soft and mushy. Stir in the tomato puree, sugar and vinegar leave for 1 min then tip in the tomatoes and simmer for 5 mins. If your children like courgettes then you can leave the sauce chunky. If you know they hate courgettes then blitz the sauce with a hand blender – either way continue to simmer sauce gently while you cook the meatballs.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and, working in batches, brown the meatballs on all sides then pop them into the sauce – continue to simmer the sauce for 15 mins, stirring very gently until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve with cooked spaghetti, extra grated Parmesan and a few torn basil leaves.

BENTO BOX COMBO TIP:  Pastas are already very filling ‘complete’ meals in and of itself. But should you want to make the most out of the compartments of the bento lunchbox, put cheese crackers or crostinis on one and then a fruit cup on the other for dessert.


Deep Dish Kiddie Pizzas

Kiddie pizza lovers, rejoice! If your children are crazy for anything pizza, then consider yourself lucky because the possibilities are just endless when it comes to ‘hiding’ veggies in them. The traditional flatbed round pizzas aren’t really effective in concealing the greens and the yellows. But creative renditions like pizza roll-ups and this deep dish recipe always do the trick:

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package Crescent Roll Dough

  • Mini Pepperoni Slices (or slice them yourself from mini pepperoni sticks), or bacon if your kids love bacon more

  • Grated Mozzarella Cheese

  • Parmesan cheese

  • 1 small can of Pizza Sauce

  • Tomatoes, chopped

  • Spinach, chopped

  • Parsely, chopped

  • Onions, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.

Lay the crescent roll dough on a cookie sheet and cut out 12 circles (for the mini pizzas shown in the photos) or 12 squares (if you want larger pizza muffins). Place the dough at the bottom of each muffin cup. If you cut them into squares, overlap the corners so the top edge is even.

Layer the deep dish pizzas in this order:  Cheese - Pizza Sauce - Veggies - Pizza Sauce - Cheese - Pepperoni - Cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan to give the top a little crunch.

Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes until the cheese starts to bubble and the crust is golden brown. Let them sit for 5 minutes before pulling the mini pizzas out of the muffin tin.

BENTO BOX COMBO TIP:  To make eating these yummy mini pizzas more fun, you can put one  of their favorite dipping sauces in one compartment of the bento lunch box (e.g. ranch, nacho cheese dip, etc.). For the other compartment, give those little palates a bit of texture by making them their own favorite trail mix. Depending on their preferences and allergies (if any), give them nuts, a bit of chocolate, dried fruit, mini pretzels, crackers, and others.


The Kiddie Cheese Plate w/ Veggie Croquettes

Know any kid who doesn’t love cheese? Well, we sure don’t. So if you kids are gooey cheesy lovers, then this one’s for you! Btw, disregarding the name, this recipe is nothing at all fancy nor difficult. And the best part is, while you picture your kids enjoying the cheese, think that they’re eating veggies too -- thanks to these Bacon & Broccoli Croquettes! So go and do follow:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 400g floury potatoes, large ones cut in half

  • 150g broccoli, broken into florets

  • 1 medium egg yolk

  • 40g mature cheddar, grated

  • Chopped bacon or bacon bits

  • 60g fresh breadcrumbs

  • 20g plain flour

  • 2 medium eggs, beaten

  • 100g sesame seeds (optional), replace with panko crumbs or crushed cheese crackers

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

For the dip:

  • 100g cream cheese

  • 50g natural yogurt

  • 1 tbsp chives, snipped

  • 1-2 tbsp full-fat milk, if needed

Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and just cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 14-16 mins until completely cooked through. Drain and mash well, then put back in the saucepan over a low heat and cook for 1-2 mins, stirring constantly – this will remove excess moisture.

Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, add the broccoli and simmer for 6-7 mins until tender. Drain really well and pat dry with kitchen paper/ paper towel (it’s important to do this thoroughly as excess water will make the croquettes a little wet). Finely chop the broccoli, then add to the mashed potato with the egg yolk, cheese and fresh breadcrumbs. Divide the mixture into 12 equal balls and roll each one into a short sausage shape. Chill for 10 mins in the freezer.

Put the flour, beaten eggs and sesame seeds in three separate bowls. Roll the croquettes in the flour, dip in the beaten egg, then roll in the sesame seeds / panko / mashed crackers.Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and fry the croquettes on a low-medium heat for 4-5 mins, turning frequently for an even, golden colour. Drain on kitchen paper.

To make the dip, just put the cream cheese, yogurt and chives in a bowl and stir to a soft consistency, adding the milk if needed.

BENTO BOX COMBO TIP:  Now that 2 compartments are already used up by the veggie croquettes and the dip, set aside the other for a variety of chopped cheeses and roll-ups of ham, salami, or pepperoni (whichever is your kid’s favorite).


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Try these recipes now and easily prep them with the California Home Goods Leak-proof Bento Lunch Boxes! Your kids will definitely love how arranged, mess-free, and appetizing their lunch meals are even after running or moving around with their lunchboxes.

Top 5 Benefits of More Fiber in Your Diet

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The Extra Strength Zero for Him - dietary supplements made for men, by men - aren’t just daily capsules you take to have good clean fun all night long. Because first and foremost, these best-selling organic supplements are meant to do amazing things for your health!

It isn’t new to everyone that fiber is an important component of our diet. Actually it isn’t too hard to find foods that have fiber in them. But the question is: Are you getting enough?

To further convince you that your body should get the right amount of (or even more) fiber in order for you to stay healthy and live a longer fuller life, here are our top 5 things fiber can do for you:


Maintain bowel health

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Say buh-bye to constipation when you incorporate more fiber into your daily meals. Dietary fiber simply normalizes bowel movement. It increases the weight of the stools and softens it so it’s easier and faster to pass. In the same way, if you have IBS or have watery stools more often, fiber will add form and help solidify it. Enjoy bloat-free days and regular number twos when you take more fiber-rich foods. With better bowel health, there’s even lesser chances of you getting hemorrhoids and colon-related diseases.


Lose & Maintain Your Weight

Who needs a juice cleanse when you have more fiber in your meals? Think of fiber as an easier all-natural way to detox. Without the not-so-pleasant taste of juiced veggies or the harsh weight loss supplements, you will now be able to lose weight faster and then maintain your ideal weight a lot easier!

Apart from the fact that fiber helps us defecate on a more regular basis, fiber-rich foods are also more filling and satisfying. They have less calories but you’ll stay satisfied for longer, making you stay away from untimely binges. See the amazing results-- once you increase your intake of dietary fiber, you’ll be surprised on how many pounds you’ll shed just by making that diet change.


Lower the Odds of Heart Disease

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Soluble fiber has amazing cholesterol-lowering effects. Like those found in flax seeds, beans, and oats, it will simply sop up all the excess cholesterol found in your system before they can even clog your arteries. Many studies have shown that people who regularly eat high-fiber foods at less likely to get heart attacks or die from a heart disease. Other heart health benefits of fiber include reduced blood pressure and inflammation.


Healthier Gut Bacteria

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When you eat high-in-fiber foods that are then fermented in your GI tract, there are some good bacteria in your gut that feeds on them. As they gobble up on those, they produce short-chain fatty acids and eventually multiply. So how is it good for you? If those good bacteria keeps multiplying and continues to feed off fiber, you’ll never be obese; you’ll be less likely to experience systemic inflammation; and a lot more. Just be sure to consistently take the proper amount of fiber, and you’ll continue to reap the benefits.


Keep blood sugar levels steady

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Diabetic or not, it is important that you take in at least the required amount of fiber for your body. When added to meals, soluble or viscous fiber turns into a gel-like substance in the stomach. As a result, nutrients-- including sugar, is absorbed more slowly. Because of that, a lesser amount of insulin is needed to clear sugar from the bloodstream. As for non-diabetics, fiber is effective in eliminating post-meal hunger or cravings that are caused by a consumption of more carbs and sugar-containing foods.


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Foods that are high in fiber include whole-grain products, fresh fruits, raw vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, pulpy juices, barley, and more. But if you really want to make sure that you’re taking in more fiber in your body, then apart from these foods, take the Extra Strength Zero for Him Fiber Supplements. Packed with organic psyllium husk, chia, flax seeds, and concentrated aloe ferox, you’re sure that your body’s fiber needs are covered on a regular basis. Go and buy yours today!

The Ultimate Party Appetizer Sets for Every Occasion

Finger food. Hors d'Oeuvres. Tapas. Cocktail Appetizers. No matter what you prefer to call these handy and easy-to-devour food items, there’s no denying that they are just perfect for a fun celebration.

But it’s simply no fun if you just serve them up to your guests in regular plates or disposables. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, presentation is still key even for these appetizers that don’t even call for the help of utensils for consumption. That’s exactly why we have the California Home Goods Condiment Server Set.

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Here are 2 examples of great-tasting and visually-tempting appetizer sets you can serve in this lovely condiment serving tray with 4 bowls/parts.


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SET 1:  Gooey Cheezy Goodness Tray

Dip for Bowl 1: Bacon Cheese Ball

  • 2- 8 Oz packages of cream cheese, semi-softened

  • 8 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled

  • 1 cup of Colby Jack Cheese

  • 1 tablespoon of chopped green onion

  • 1 cup of chopped pecans

Combine cream cheese, bacon, cheese and onion using an electric mixer until it is well incorporated. Form the cream cheese into a ball. If combining the ingredients my hand, you might want to make sure the cream cheese is completely softened and then refrigerate the mixture covered for a couple of hours before forming it into a ball. Or if you prefer it to take the shape of the square bowl, then go right ahead and do what makes you happy.

Dippers for Bowl 2:  Bread Sticks, Crackers and Pretzels

Dip for Bowl 3:  Cream Cheese Buffalo Chicken

  • 2 medium chicken breasts cooked and shredded

  • 4 ounces of cream cheese room temp

  • ½ cup Litehouse Homestyle Ranch Dressing

  • ½ cup buffalo sauce

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, ranch, and buffalo sauce. (I used a hand mixer and beat on medium until creamy). Mix in the shredded chicken. Then the cheddar cheese. Transfer to one part of the condiment server tray.

Dippers for Bowl 4:  Fresh Veggie Sticks - carrots, celery, etc.


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SET 2:  Guilt-Free Seafood Delight

Dip for Bowl 1: Garlicky Shrimp Ooze

  • 2 tbsp.  extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 lb.  medium shrimp, thawed if frozen, peeled and deveined

  • 3  cloves garlic, minced

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 oz.  (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened

  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise

  • 3/4 c. shredded mozzarella

  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon

  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add shrimp and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until shrimp is pink and no longer opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, stir together cream cheese, mayonnaise, mozzarella, Parmesan, lemon juice and zest, parsley, and chopped shrimp and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer dip to a small baking dish and bake until golden and bubbly, 25 minutes. If yield is greater than the size of one bowl in the condiment tray, don’t worry, that’s a good thing - you can just refill if it runs out. (We’re guessing that won’t take long).

Dippers for Bowl 2: Pita & Tortilla Chips

Dip for Bowl 3: Crab Artichoke Dip

  • 1 oz. (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened

  • 1 c. mayonnaise

  • 1 1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack, divided

  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan

  • 1 oz. (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped

  • 2  cloves garlic, minced

  • 12 oz. lump crabmeat

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • Kosher salt & Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tbsp. Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, stir together cream cheese, mayonnaise, 1 cup of Monterey jack cheese, Parmesan, artichoke hearts, garlic, crabmeat, green onions, and Worcestershire and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer mixture to a 10- or 12-inch oven-safe skillet and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese. Bake until golden and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to your condiment server tray as needed.

Dippers for Bowl 4: Garlic Crostinis

  • On a large baking sheet, drizzle a sliced baguette with olive oil and season with salt. Bake at 350° until golden and toasted, 10 minutes. Immediately rub with a whole garlic clove (the flavor will soak into the bread!).


So if you still haven’t moved on from the holiday party scene just yet, then invite your best friends over! Besides, having a gathering or mini-celebration doesn’t have to be difficult.

Don’t be hard on yourself by deciding which one you like better-- because both sets are just divine, just serve both! Your guests will truly be delighted to have spent a post-New Year’s get-together at your place. So while you’re taking down notes for the recipes, don’t forget to grab the elegant and reliable California Home Goods Condiment Server Tray if you still haven’t gotten one for yourself.

Click the link right here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CW1XLNZ

4 More Handy Uses for the Moving Foam Sheets

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Made from extra thick and durable polyethylene foam, the California Home Goods Cushion Foam Sheets are indeed great materials for wrapping glassware, safely separating china ware, shipping out wine glasses, and storing fragile collectibles. But truth be told, we’d like to give them the credit they truly deserve even though there’s no denying they’re already the best packaging and moving protection sheets for your precious belongings.

More than just reusable packing and moving foam sheets that are ready for your next big move, they can also come in handy for various purposes. Read up so you’ll know exactly what we mean:


Insulation

It is a known fact that foam or styrofoam is a great material for insulation. But more specifically, because these are foam sheets, they can be a lot easier to handle, and thus it won’t be hard for you to think of items or places that need insulation.

Wrap the walls of your pet houses to keep your furry pals warm and cozy during winter. Use these whenever you’re sending or bringing out beverages, desserts, and food items that need to be kept hot or cold even during transit.


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Winter Protection for Plants

As sad as it seems, it’s almost always expected to see house plants die during the snowy winter time. But if you do have used or spare cushion foam sheets, you can help stop those little shrubs from dying out in the cold.

Just get the foam sheets and lash them together to form a tent-like protection around the shrub. You may use double sheets if you prefer a substantial protection. To hold the pieces in places, drive bamboo garden stakes through the bottom of each piece into the ground.


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Craft Projects

The best thing about our cushion foam sheets is that no matter how thick and durable they are, you can treat them as something not so soft as fabric but not as rigid as a cardboard. Hence, it is also widely used to make props, decor, and other craft projects.

It is even a great alternative for the common styrofoam whenever you need to mount something. Because instead of needing a styro cutter, you can just use scissors to cut up these foam sheets. Have a look at this awesome craft where a styro sheet is used to make flowers for decor:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/301037556327863654/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/505529126900280177/


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Child Safety

Like what we have mentioned, the common styrofoam is just difficult to cut and shape unless you have a styro cutter; plus, it’s also messy. These cushioning sheets are perfect to make your place child safety-approved! Because they’re very easy to handle, you can cover the edges of shelves, corners of tables, bed headboards, toys, trampolines, and more.

And you may even layer it with more foam sheets if you want extra cushioning - without having to worry about how you’ll keep them in place.


The California Home Goods Moving Foam Cushion Sheets are indeed reliable and functional materials you can use for almost every single thing at home. With your resourcefulness and a little bit of creativity, we’re pretty sure you’d be able to think of more uses for our protective foam sheets other than these four that we’ve shared with you.

And if after reading, you realize that our Cushion Foam Sheets are what you need in your life right now, then don’t hesitate and just click this link right here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JC413Z5