kids

My Favorite Hungryroot Foods & How to Get Kids to Eat Them

My Favorite Hungryroot Foods & How to Get Kids to Eat Them | Writing Between Pauses

You guys know I love Hungryroot. I’ve written about them a few times and as they’ve changed how they deliver food, I’ve grown to love them even more. Hungryroot is a great way to supplement your weekly grocery shopping with quick, convenient options. I wanted to share a few of my favorites, while sharing my tips for getting (slightly picky) kids to eat them.

If you want to try Hungryroot, you can use my promo code PAUSEKIDS for $25 off your first two boxes of Hungryroot; that’s $50 total! Click here to visit Hungryroot and sign up for your first box today. I promise, you’ll love it as much as I do.

1. The Superblend Salad Mix

Sometimes, you meet a salad mix that is just absolutely perfect. I have a love-hate relationship with salads in general; I find them delicious, but hard to make and eat. Plus, buying lettuce and all the ingredients for a great salad can be expensive—and it all goes bad so quickly, I can barely use it all.

I know this is not an attractive photo, but superblend salad + brown rice + ground beef is the perfect burrito bowl.

I know this is not an attractive photo, but superblend salad + brown rice + ground beef is the perfect burrito bowl.

Enter the Superblend Salad mix, which has a combination of (wait for it) Brussels Sprouts, Napa Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Broccoli, Carrots, and Kale. It is…. perfect. When I tell you this salad mix works for everything, I mean it. Salads? Sure. Taco bowls? Yep. Coleslaw for tacos? YUP. In wraps? For sure. You name it, I’ll eat it. I’ve ever sauteed it for stir fry and it’s good that way too. It’s so freaking good.

And get this: even Forrest likes it. A sprinkle in his burrito (beans and rice only please, no cheese) (yes, he hates cheese) for a little crunch, or on his taco as coleslaw. He also likes a little sprinkled on top of his ramen when I make that at home, because he’s a cultured toddler like that.

But in all seriousness, this is a salad mix that isn’t droopy or plain; it has crunch, it has variety, it has flavor. It’s so, so good and perfect for using with kids. Like I said, it totally works as a coleslaw mix. A few suggestions: use on tacos, barbecue chicken sandwiches (!!!), or alongside fried (or baked!) chicken. Mix with ranch dressing and serve in a BLT wrap. There are so many ways to add this to the things you and your kids are eating anyway, for extra nutrition.

2. Superfood Almond Butter

A classic waffle topped with Superfood almond butter & syrup—this is Forrest’s favorite breakfast!

A classic waffle topped with Superfood almond butter & syrup—this is Forrest’s favorite breakfast!

We are bit peanut butter fans in our house—and swapping classic (aka sweetened, not very good for you) peanut butter has been a huge challenge for us. I’ve yet to find an almond butter that I love as much as I love JIF (and lemme tell you, I love JIF). However, Hungryroot’s Superfood Almond Butter is the closest thing I’ve found. Here are a few ways we love it in our house:

  • On toast with slicked strawberries or peaches on top

  • On waffles with syrup

  • In smoothies with banana

  • As a dip for apple slices in the afternoon

  • Mixed with oats as a crumble for pumpkin bread

  • Paired with local honey in an almond butter & jelly sandwich

  • On top of my morning oatmeal

  • Danny mixes a hearty dollop into his Kodiak Cake Flapjacks every morning before going to work.

This almond butter is just perfect. It’s not too sweet, but not too plain; it tastes like almonds without being aggressive; and it’s seriously healthy. It has almonds, chia and hemp seeds, coconut sugar, goji berry powder, and pink Himalayan salt. Honestly, it’s perfect. The packaging is also perfect because it’s easy for me to put the entire thing in my bag; it comes in a resealable tube not unlike a packet of baby food. It’s easy to dispense and great for traveling.

3. Brown Rice & Quinoa Blend

I am terrible at cooking rice (like, really bad at it), so these Brown Rice & Quinoa Blend 90-second pouches from Hungryroot are basically the answer to my prayers. Finding quick cooking brown rice, as well as quinoa, is like running a gauntlet, but Hungryroot pretty much took the baton from me and ran the entire race. They actually snapped their fingers, ala Thanos, and got rid of the race. These are perfect for nights where you have leftovers you need to use: leftover taco fixings? Make a burrito bowl. Leftover stirfry? Heat it up! Just need a quick dinner? Some brown rice and salad greens and call it a night! They are perfect.

Forrest loves rice and beans, so I pretty much can always make him happy with a scoop of homemade refried beans (just heat a can of low sodium black beans and mash with a fork, voila, homemade refried beans) and a scoop of rice. Add a few torn of tortillas (or even better, some of the Sprouted Wheat wraps from Hungryroot) and he is set. It’s a quick, easy dinner for a toddler who loves one thing and one thing only: carbs.

4. Energizing Green Juice

Personally, I love a green juice—the more vegetable-y, the better. And this one from Hungryroot really fits that description: it has cold-pressed cucumber, apple, celery, lemon, spinach, ginger, kale, mint, and parsley. It mostly tastes like cucumber water with a hint of lemon. If that doesn’t sound like your thing, go ahead and try it, you might be surprised.

However, this makes an excellent non-dairy base for a smoothie. Forrest and I love smoothies; it’s our normal afternoon snack. Here are a few of my favorite smoothie combos:

  • A bottle of green juice + pineapple, watermelon, cherries, & a frozen banana

  • A bottle of green juice + 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin (you can freeze this in tablespoon size ice cubes and it makes a great ice base too!), ginger & nutmeg, a banana, and a little bit of honey

  • A bottle of green juice + strawberries, a frozen banana, and a big spoonful of the Superfood Almond Butter

These are our three absolute favorites. Even better is to make a smoothie then freeze into popsicle molds for a quick, super healthy popsicle on hot days. This is Forrest’s absolute favorite treat during the summer and being able to offer a healthy option with the energizing green juice makes it even better.

5. Red Lentil Fusilli

Do you find yourself making spaghetti, like, 3 times a week in your house? Sometimes, it’s all I want to eat; it’s all Forrest wants to eat; it’s all Danny wants to eat. It’s so quick to boil some noodles, crack open some sauce, and move on with my life. That’s why I love that Hungryroot now has some quick grain options—including plaintain luinguini! But my favorite is their Red Lentil Fusili; I’ve also loved lentil pastas, they are a great, easy swap and they don’t taste any different from regular noodles. But you get an extra dose of iron, protein, and fiber.

Obviously, you can pair this pasta with any sauce (we are partial to red sauce in our family) and your toddler will probably wolf it down. However, Hungryroot also has some great, kid-friendly sauces, like Superfood Tomato Sauce (a classic!), Beet Pesto, Chickpea Pesto, and Garlic Parm.

If you had told me a few years ago that I was regularly eating red lentil pasta with chickpea pesto sauce, I would have told you that that wasn’t possible; I was a tried-and-true box of pasta and jar of store brand marinara sauce lover. But this really is just a better option—and it’s delivered to your door!

Final Thoughts

Hungryroot isn’t just for adults, is what I want you to take away from this. If you want your kids to try new foods, and develop a love of some healthier foods, Hungryroot is a great way to do so. Plus, it’s just so easy to pick a few things and have them delivered to your door. No wandering through Whole Foods, trying to decide what to pick; no spending more than necessary. That’s why I love the subscription element; you pay the same price every week and get exactly what you want! These are just a few of my favorite items, but if you follow me on Instagram, you can frequently see what Hungryroot foods I’m eating every day.

Again, don’t forget you can use my code, PAUSEKIDS, to get $25 off your first two boxes—$50 total! You can also stretch those boxes over a month, getting one every other week, to see how often you would want a delivery.

Disclaimer: I am a Hungryroot affiliate, which means every time you use my code, I will receive a small kickback. Posts like this help Writing Between Pauses keep going! This post was written on my own and all viewpoints expressed remain my own. I just really love Hungryroot! If you’d like to learn more about my disclaimer policy, click here.

5 Non-Scary Halloween Movies for Kids

5 Non-Scary Halloween Movies for Kids | Writing Between Pauses

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I love all the movies related to Halloween. I think I've written so many lists of my favorite Halloween movies that it would be impossible to round them all up. But trust me when I say: if a Halloween movie exists, I've probably watched it. 

Now that I have a toddler, I've had to adjust my favorite Halloween movies. Some are just too scary for Forrest to watch, especially if they have dark scenes or any really suspenseful parts. For my fellow moms out there, I've put together a list of our favorite non-scary (or not too scary movies) for kids. You'll notice one of my favorite movies ever is not on this list; I find Hocus Pocus to be just a little too scary for Forrest yet. But maybe next year! Here are our favorites right now. 

1. Halloweentown 

I love Halloweentown and thankfully, Forrest does too. This is one of those movies that has some slightly scary parts, but not scary enough to really scare a toddler. I have great nostalgia about this movie because it was one of my absolute favorites when I was little. We recently bought the double feature of it from Amazon. 

2. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! 

This is such a classic; everyone loves this movie! I've been searching for this movie relentlessly for months and finally, it popped up on Amazon for $10. Thankfully, though, it starts being played on TV as Halloween gets closer so we've watched it several times already. 

3. Trick or Treat on Sesame Street 

Forrest's number one obsession is Elmo and Sesame Street. He loves this DVD. It's basically a collection of Elmo trick-or-treat episodes and scenes. There are also some great special features on it about dressing up in costumes that aren't along the gender binary, which is my favorite part. As with any Sesame Street DVD, there is lots of subtle teaching: counting, learning how to talk to others, being creative, and how to deal with jealousy are the biggest themes. 

4. Spookly the Square Pumpkin

This is a TV movie (that you can buy on Amazon) that came out when my oldest nephew was a toddler. It's about a square pumpkin named Spookly who is different from the other pumpkins. It's a really cute, slightly spooky (but not scary) movie with lots of cute Fall imagery and a really great message about how being different makes you special. It's one of Forrest's favorites. 

5. Hotel Transylvania 

This is one of those movies that... really starts to grate on me after a while. But as a parent, I have to put up with it a little bit! It's definitely not on my list of favorite movies, but Forrest really enjoys it, it's not scary, and it doesn't have anything that I particularly object to (unlike other movies). 

A Sensible Gift Guide for: Toddlers

Have a friend with a toddler? (Is that friend me? I hope it's me.) It's really, really tempting to go crazy in the toddler clothing and toy aisles. Trust me, I know. 

But please, friends, I beseech you: don't load your loved ones with toddlers with toys and clothes. Guaranteed, their toddlers probably already have more than enough of both. I created this gift guide to give people without kids (or who have older kids) an idea of what to get for toddlers--besides clothes and toys! 

1. Decor items

Toddler rooms are in transition: it's no longer a nursery, everything is safety-proofed, and the crib has possibly transformed into a toddler bed. Ask parents what kind of decor the parents would like for the room and find something cool. I love this pillow from TJ Maxx and this wall art from Etsy

2. Books

Toddlers are getting right to the age where books are fun. (Forrest will sit for a long time, for him, looking at his books now, which is exciting.) If you can think of nothing else, a favorite book of yours from childhood is a perfect and thoughtful gift. And if you're totally not sure, a gift card to a (local!) bookstore is also perfect. 

3. Toy storage solutions

The toys, at a certain point, no matter how organized I am as a parent, get out of control. Cute, clever storage options are a great gift idea, especially if they can be used in the toddler's room. I love these stacking boxes from Target, but there are tons of options out there. 

4. Wooden toys

If you really, really want to buy toys, I encourage you to buy wooden toys. The less plastic, the better. These wooden stacking dinosaurs are perfect for young toddlers; they're educational, durable, and fun. 

5. Blankets

Forrest loves blankets and it feels like I'm always looking for one to give to him. When it doubt, a cute, cozy blanket is a great gift. Toddlers can use them in bed, for naps, or on the floor--or for cuddling up with their parents. It's more of a family gift, actually.