How You Can Help No Kid Hungry End Childhood Hunger

This is a sponsored post.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a special No Kid Hungry event at the Santa Monica Pier with my two youngest kids. Everyone in Southern California was invited and it was definitely the happening place to be on the pier that morning!  There were fun games like corn hole, a coloring station, photo station, a caricature artist and participants could jump on the bikes and pedal them to light up breakfast inflatables. Best of all, the DJ was there to pump up the crowd. We were ready to join in!

Click Here to Find Out Ways You can Get Involved with No Kid Hungry

The theme of the No Kid Hungry Event was Powered by Breakfast!

Breakfast at school gives hungry kids the fuel they need to reach their best potential. Did you know that 1 in 6 kids in America lives with hunger and more than half of the children who qualify for free school breakfast aren’t eating it. It’s a nationwide problem that No Kid Hungry is trying to solve along with their partners Kellogg, Citi, Amazon, and General Mills. Together to make sure every kid is Powered by Breakfast every day.

What No Kid Hungry Does

The most effective way to feed hungry kids is by changing how schools serve breakfast, and No Kid Hungry creates effective programs that provide kids with that food. Making breakfast part of the regular school day, just like lunch, has a powerful effect on kids. Kids can stay focused, studies show that grades and attendance rise. Plus, these programs also help teacher…not only by helping their students stay focused, but also with the expenses that teachers face. Research shows America’s teachers are spending an average of $300 each year from their own pockets to buy food for their students.

By having these programs available to everyone at the schools, no one child is singled out. When everyone eats together, it creates a feeling of community in the classroom, and kids who need that morning meal no longer feel singled out as the “poor kids.” I really love this message, especially because all kids need to feel safe and loved, and deserve the same opportunities as their peers without having to feel singled out.

It was great to see Chobani teaming up with No Kid Hungry to help end childhood hunger in America! My kids we loving the new Chobani Gimmies. they come in fun flavors kids love. YUM.

We had such a great day learning about No Kid Hungry, and now we are inspired to find ways that we can help in the movement. Not only does No Kid Hungry create programs to provide breakfast, but also programs for lunch, after school meals and even summer meal programs. They also offer classes to kids and parents on how to get the proper nutrition, and work with community officials to find out what will best work for their area to end childhood hunger.

How You Can Join the No Kid Hungry Movement

Visit the No Kid Hungry website to find out ways to get involved with this important cause. No child should have to go hungry and childhood hunger is a problem we can most definitely solve. Are you with me?

Helping Children Develop Healthy Eating Habits

This post is sponsored by CHOC Children’s

.Helping Children Develop Healthy Eating HabitsFeeding my family healthy meals has become increasingly important to me as a parent. As our lives have become busier and time is scarce, it’s been my goal to crack the code on getting my family to eat healthy. I was able to chat with Dr. Eric Ball, a pediatrician at Southern Orange County Pediatrics Associates, and President of the American Association of Pediatrics of OC, and we had a great discussion on how to help children develop patterns of healthy eating. I am so excited to share some of the knowledge he passed on to me!

It’s okay if kids don’t eat during every meal

If you’re a parent like me, then most likely you have worried that your child doesn’t eat enough during meal time. There are times when I’ve had a kid eat nothing from their plate during dinnertime. It’s not only frustrating, but also worrisome that my child is not getting enough nutrients or sustenance to fill their tummies.

Dr. Ball has assured me that you don’t have to worry. It is okay for kids not to eat during mealtimes. They eventually will eat when they are hungry. It’s perfectly normal to have times when kids will only eat one meal a day. Do not make them their own special meal just to get them to eat something. Simply present them with the food you’ve prepared at every meal, and at some point they will eat. Don’t give in. Kids need to learn how to eat a variety of foods, not just the few foods they demand.

Send me more nutrition tips from CHOC

Obesity in kids is one of the biggest problems seen in kids.

Obesity is a huge problem for children here in the United States. Video games, non-planned activities, processed foods and empty calories – such as soda and juice can be to blame for part of this problem. Dr. Ball explained that many parents come to him not knowing that their children are overweight. When your kids are babies, they may have baby rolls and baby fat, but as they pass the toddler stage, they should thin out. Most kids between the ages of 5 – 6 years look a bit skinny when they are a healthy normal weight. Around 9-10 years kids get a little pudgy before they thin out in their teens.

As parents, our responsibility is to provide healthy food. Our kid’s responsibility is to eat it…or not. If you are providing all healthy food, it’s okay if your child eats a lot. Kids can only eat so many carrots! It is the junk that causes obesity. It is important to not let your child become overweight in the first place as it is hard for our bodies to go backwards. Once we become overweight, our bodies become comfortable at that weight, our metabolisms slow down, and losing weight can become harder and harder. This is why healthy eating starting from infancy is so important.

How to Feed Kids a Healthy Diet

Dr. Ball suggests that the best way to stick to a healthy family diet is to meal plan for the week. By planning weekly meals and shopping at the beginning of the week, you will not only save money by avoiding last minute stops at drive thru restaurants, but it also saves money and helps you to avoid buying things you don’t need.

Whether you win or lose will be determined at the grocery store, so be careful what you buy. If there are things that you don’t want your child to eat, then don’t bring it home with you (this is a good reminder for yourself too!) Only buy food that you don’t mind your kids eating. The biggest thing Dr. Ball suggests, is to avoid processed food. Foods that don’t need a nutrition label are what are best to buy – fruits, veggies and meat. These are the “real foods” you should focus on buying. Also, don’t worry too much about buying everything organic. The United States has very strict laws on making sure our food is healthy. And just because something says “organic,” doesn’t mean it is healthy. Even junk food can be organic. If you want to buy organic, that is fine. If you have to choose one thing to buy organic, Dr. Ball suggests fruits where you eat the peels.

To make mealtime better, Dr. Ball gave me some ideas. For breakfast, cut-up fruit for the kids to graze on throughout the morning. Many kids skip out on breakfast, so this is an easy way to get kids to grab some healthy calories to start off the day. Let kids pack their own lunches and put whatever they want in it. Since you have done the shopping, they will only have access to healthy food, so it doesn’t matter what they pack. Planned snacks are great, set out fruit, cheese, peanut butter, veggies, and/or nuts. For dinner, make sure 50% of your meal is fruits and veggies.

What Foods Kids Should Avoid

There are some foods that kids should never eat. It is best to try to avoid these foods whenever possible or simply savor during special occasions. Soda, juice, sweetened sports drinks, cereal, and sugary foods shouldn’t be a regular part of any child’s diet. Treat anything in a package as a treat and eat sparingly. A lot of junk foods are very appealing to kids with their cartoon wrappers and bright fun colors. It can be hard to keep these foods away from our kids, but try hard to stick to a healthy diet as your kids will eventually develop healthy habits. Did you know that kids almost never need sports drinks during or after practice? It would take running in a marathon to actually become deficient in electrolytes. Water is a much better choice, and if you are looking for something to replenish a workout, eating orange slices is a much better idea.

Healthy Eating, Healthy Lives

So much of our lives revolve around food, and if we can promote a healthy eating lifestyle, our children’s lives will be greatly improved. There are many little things we can do when it comes to food. Things like – prioritizing family dinners can improve communication with the entire family, getting in the habit of carrying a water bottle with you can increase water intake, and resisting bringing in “bad” foods into the home in the first place can reduce temptations. Eating healthy can increase our energy, make us feel happier and create good eating habits.

I am really glad that I got to speak with Dr. Ball and learn more about healthy eating patterns for children. Many of his tips are also relevant to adults, so they are great reminders on how all of us should live. By instilling healthy eating habits in our kids from a young age, they will grow up with these same habits. Something that they will one day thank you for!

Send me more nutrition tips from CHOC

Check out another post presented by CHOC Children’s
The Importance of Play in Children

Why You Should Buy Girl Scout Cookies plus a giveaway!

Girl Scout Cookie season is in full swing here in Orange County, and you probably have seen a cute Girl Scout or two selling them either door to door, or now at your local grocery store. And…you’ve probably have had a Girl Scout cookie or two in your lifetime. I even remember selling them when I was in elementary school. My mom would stock up on them and store them in the freezer to enjoy for months after Girl Scout Cookie season had ended.

Girl Scouts all over the Unites States are busy selling Girl Scout cookies to raise money for their troops to do fun learning and enrichment activities! Girl Scouts of Orange County builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. I think that the Girl Scout program is awesome, so I really wanted to help support these girls during cookie season.

(Make sure to read to the end to enter to win some Girl Scout Cookies!!!)

This year, all cookies packages are $5.00. Many of your favorite varieties are being offered including  vegan cookie flavors – Lemonades, Thanks-A-Lot, Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties & S’mores. There is also a BRAND NEW Gluten-Free: Caramel Chocolate Chip cookies (limited availability).

5 Reasons to Buy Girl Scout Cookies

1) Girl Scouts Cookies are YUMMY! Girl Scout Cookies are favorites of so many people, plus you can only get them once a year. Don’t miss out on your favorites. You won’t be able to get them until next year after March 10th.

2) Girl Scouts are super cute! How can you say no to those cute, hard working Girl Scouts?

3) Sales Support OC Girl Scouts. All the revenue earned from the Cookie Program by OC Girl Scouts stays within Orange County.

4) Cookie Share option. If you don’t eat them, treat them! Customers can buy and donate cookies that are then distributed to our nation’s military and local food banks. They also make great gifts for teachers and friends!

5) The Girl Scout Cookie Program helps girls to develop essential life skills. This is probably the most import reason to buy Girl Scout Cookies. When a Girl Scout is out selling cookies, they are learning skills such as – Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics. Girl Scouts set personal goals, and troops work together to decide how their troop’s proceeds will be spent.

We have really been enjoying our Girl Scout Cookies. Our favorites are the Caramel Delights and Thin Mints.


You need to hurry and get your Girl Scout cookies soon!  Sales end March 10th and you won’t be able to buy anymore Girl Scout Cookies until next year. If you are having trouble locating cookies, use the Cookie locator to locate a Girl Scout selling cookies near you. You can also have a chance to win a Girl Scout Cookie Prize Package below…

Girl Scout Cookie GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!!

here is your chance to win a Girl Scout Cookie Prize Package!!! Just enter via Rafflecopter below or on Facebook. contest ends February 24th at 11:59pm. Winner will be chosen randomly and must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States. Good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Silva’s Fresh Eatery and Brazilian Churrascaria in Santa Ana

Orange County Brazilian Food

Looking for a new eating experience? Then I recommend Silva’s Fresh Eatery + Churrascaria in Santa Ana! This new Brazillian steakhouse is located just around the corner from South Coast Plaza in South Coast Metro – an international bistro serving Churrasco and modern Brazilian favorites buffet style.

Orange County Brazilian FoodOrange County Brazilian Food

Silva’s is open for lunch and dinner daily.  A buffet experience where you can enjoy all their amazing Brazillian foods for just $22.95 for all-you-can-eat at lunchtime. This includes includes a customized meal from their Chef’s Table as well as other ordering options depending on how hungry the guest is. Or you can stop in for a power lunch for only $15 that includes one time through the buffet, a visit to the Churrascaria and a drink. Dinner starts at just $30 and reservations are available.

Silva’s freshly prepared, serve yourself Chef’s Table is full of made to order items from the kitchen. It includes daily chef’s specials such as Feijoada, fresh broccoli and cauliflower, butternut squash, Brazilian fried rice known as Biro-Biro and even vegetarian plate options. You will also find delicious Brazilian appetizers – Coxinha de Frango, prosciutto & cheese rolls and Kibbeh. Silva’s only uses locally sourced meats and vegetables, and work closely with local vendors, creating incredible Brazilian flavors using modern cooking techniques. I am pleased to share that Silva’s only uses sustainable greens, a variety of heirloom beans and farm fresh organic vegetables to accompany their churrascaria.

 Orange County Brazilian Food

One of the favorite parts of Silva’s is the Churrascaria. Here you can choose from fresh roasted Brazillian style meats and sausage. The Picanha…similar to top sirloin and the Skirt Steak are some of the favorite’s of foodies who visit Silva’s. The chef carves it fresh for you!

With their kitchen led by respected Chef John Vega, formerly of Roy’s Newport Beach, Silva’s serves up eclectic Brazilian dishes, appetizers as well as decadent desserts. Rooted in New York and Brazilian Clubs of the 60’s, Silva’s gives local foodies and diehard churrasco purists an exciting, authentic Brazilian dining experience that locals have been raving about.

Silva’s not only serves amazing food, it’s restaurant brings together beautiful elements of polished casual decor, comfortable seating, a sleek bar, and an elevated environment. It’s a great spot for the perfect for date night, large groups or even taking food to go. They also host happy hour offerings at the bar, which includes fine wine, beer and signature Brazilian influenced and mixologist created cocktails.

Silva’s prides itself on it’s freshness and authenticity.  “Our recipes are authentic, fresh and put together using the best organic, locally grown vegetables and highest quality proteins” says GM Alex Ferreira. “This is a family operated business and the care we put into every detail of the restaurant can be seen and tasted by our customers.”


Silva’s Fresh Eatery + Churrascaria Scratch cooking and the freshest organic and
locally sourced ingredients in a casual yet upscale setting that’s perfect for a quick meal,
hand-crafted bar favorite or a stylish dinner. Experience one of Orange County’s favorite hidden
gems.

Knott’s Berry Farm PEANUTS Celebration

the Knott’s Berry Farm PEANUTS Celebration is happening now at Knott’s as part of their Seasons of Fun! we love that Knott’s has different seasons of the year to enjoy holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, as well as the boysenberries and summer. but for the first time they have introduced the PEANUTS Celebration – a month-long celebration dedicated to the beloved PEANUTS characters. we weren’t sure what to expect, but but we knew we would love it because the PEANUTS Gang is just so darn cute and Snoopy already has won our hearts.

so let’s get down to business…how was the PEANUTS Celebration?

SO. MUCH. FUN. 

and we are gonna share all about it right now!

first, when we walked into the park, we found the best photo opportunities. you could literally jump into one of the comics.

then we headed into Ghost Town to check out what was happening at the PEANUTS Celebration there. it looks like at the trees had turned to kite eating trees! so many kites found in the trees.

we heard that Pig Pen from the PEANUTS Gang would be making an appearance at the Livery Stable. so we wanted to meet him since he will only be visiting Knott’s during the PEANUTS Celebration.

when we headed into the Livery Stable, we not only got to meet Pig Pen, but also his little piggy friends and a couple of horses and a donkey!

then we headed over to the Bird Cage Theater for the PEANUTS Sketch School. this was probably one of our favorite things to do at the PEANUTS Celebration. everyone was given a sketch pad and were taught by the Knott’s residence art teacher how to draw one of the PEANUTS Gang. during each session, a different character was taught. my kids could have stayed there all day.

even Dani joined in!

after our drawing lesson, we check out Town Hall were there were pieces of artwork borrowed from the Charles Schultz Museum on display.

then the big boys wanted to go on the Log Ride, so Dani and i headed over to Knott’s Charleston Circle Fountain to see if we could see the new PEANUTS Trolley. we were just in time.

the Peanuts Trolley takes the PEANUTS Gang to different locations in the park. at Charleston Circle, the jumped off and started dancing with the guests to fun music. we all danced around the fountain with musical instruments and ribbon wands with Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and Sally!

then they gave everyone a penny to throw into the fountain. we all made a wish and threw them in.

playing with the PEANUTS Gang was so fun and magical. we never wanted it to end. but we managed to work up and appetite, so we got a few of the special PEANUTS themed treats that were being offered in the park exclusive for the PEANUTS Celebration. my favorite was the Charlie Brownie.

over in Campy Snoopy there were lots of Instagrammable opportunities and fun photo opps, as well a fun new show at the Campy Snoopy Theater featuring songs, dancing and the answer to the age old question – how many blockheads does it take to kick a football?! also, you can take a ride on the Grand Sierra Railroad and take a trip to Beagle Bonanza.

Fiesta Village was also ready for the PEANUTS Celebration. Sally and Lucy were introducing the dancing of Mexico in traditional Mexican dresses and music.

in Calico Park, we met up with Linus and Franklin to join the Cowboy Jamboree. during the day, kids can participate in fun games.

we rested our legs while we watched the show “The Music Goes ‘Round and Around” on the Calico Mine Stage. it was a great show. at night there is also Woodstock’s Music Festival with live music from The Jelly of the Month Club!

NEW THIS YEAR at KNOTT’s PEANUTS Celebration

This year they have some fun new attractions at the Knott’s Berry Farm Peanuts Celebration. One of our favorite things is the new Camp Snoopy show “Space Beagle.” A really fun show great for all ages about Space Snoopy and his friends Charlie Brown and Lucy. The little martian Woodstocks were so cute.

In Fiesta Village, the all-new Discoteca De Silencio is so much fun. You can show off your dance moves while listening to dance music on headphones.

You can also make a Charlie Brown Kite cookie in Ghost Town. It comes in a cute little bucket, complete with frosting and sprinkles.

Finally, the Sky Tower has been made into Woodstock’s Bird Nest. Head over and check it out…and even take a ride above the clouds.

All this fun was exhausting. there is so much to do at the PEANUTS Celebration that we didn’t get to do everything. It was a great day.

luckily we are able to go to Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration multiple times. we have Season Passes, so we can go anytime we want. there are no blackout dates, and the price for an entire year is VERY reasonable. plus you can go to other Seasons of Fun events such as:

The Boysenberry Festival
Ghost Town Alive!
Knott’s Spooky Farm
Knott’s Merry Farm

there many fun things to enjoy at Knott’s!