LitterLESS…. Halloween?!?

Melissa, October 28, 2014

In my 194 days of LitterLESS Lunches I have ran into a stumbling block….aka Halloween. Even the ‘healthier’ options are all pre-packed (for some reasons that I do understand). This got me thinking of parties in the classrooms. While we are all working hard on keeping our lunches LitterLESS what about events like Halloween? I know that in my daughter’s class a sign up sheet went out for food items as well as ‘napkins’ ‘disposable plates’. Why not just ask parents to bring in a ‘reusable container’? This would also double to get rid of some of the food waste as well (have you ever seen a six year old walk up to a buffet and only serve themselves what they were going to eat). They could enjoy goodies from their friends’ homes, choose their favourites and bring home anything they didn’t eat! Brilliant;) Ha! I do encourage you to look at ways to green your Halloween. Here are a few good sites and reads for a greener Halloween: Green Halloween Not So Scary Halloween Treats 10 Sweet Tips for an Eco-Friendly Halloween Eco-Friendly Halloween by Inhabitots 13 Healthy Halloween Treats Your Kids will Devour I hope your 194 days of LitterLESS Lunches has been rocking! I’d love to hear what you’ve been packing-please feel free to share on the 194 Days of LitterLESS Lunches post!

Wean Idea-Tea Leaves

Melissa, October 15, 2014

Keep your tea leaves as fresh as the day you bought them. Even better, bring them to the store and have them fill your containers directly to avoid the wasteful packaging they come in!

The Great Canadian GIVEAWAY!

Melissa, October 8, 2014

  In celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving we have put together The Great Canadian Giveaway – prizes from some of our fav Canadian Companies! How to enter:  Post a picture or share a story about how your family acts like Canadians! Some examples include pouring maple syrup on anything, wearing toques anytime of year and living in an igloo. Note: Canadian companies will be closed on October 13th to give thanks to all that is Canadian! Contest open to anyone that can show some Canadian pride in the countries of US & Canada. ENTER HERE October 10-14th

Preserving Nutrients in Fruits & Vegetables

Melissa, September 18, 2014

As you discover the benefits of making your babies food in your own kitchen you need to be aware of how to best keep the nutrients locked into those fruits and veggies. While my mother, her mother, her mother’s mother (you get the picture) have always told me to boil all my fruits and veggies when preparing them for my babies, there are actually better ways to prepare them to ensure that the nutrients stay locked into these wholesome meals. Check out the lists below for the best way to retain the nutrients in fruits and vegetables. Note: Microwaving doesn’t even come close to the best way to prepare babies food! Best Served Fresh avocados, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, melons, cherries, oranges, grapes, kiwi, papaya, pears, strawberries, cucumber, Best Steamed apples, mango, plums, prunes, asparagus, broccoli, beets, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, parsnips, peas, spinach, summer squash, tomatoes, Best Baked apricots, peaches, nectarines, pumpkins, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, turnips Best Boiled cranberries, green beans, lentils, dried beans, corn,

Dirty Dozen

Melissa, September 16, 2014

The Dirty Dozen (no we are not convicts but these foods are!)  Sometimes purchasing organic foods is not available for certain foods at certain times.  If you choose to purchase ‘regular’ foods instead of ‘organic’ beware of the dirty dozen! The dirty dozen list is a list of the highest pesticide residues in produce.  It includes: PEACHES, APPLES, SWEET BELL PEPPERS, CELERY, NECTARINES, STRAWBERRIES, CHERRIES, PEARS, IMPORTED GRAPES, SPINACH, LETTUCE, POTATOES The Environmental Working Group has a great article about the infamous Dirty Dozen, check it out:

Get SET! Weelicious CONTEST

Melissa, September 3, 2014

    Back 2 School means packing lunches. We have lots of EMPTY containers and weelicious gives us yummy recipes to FILL them.  Be SET for litterless lunches this year! ENTER CONTEST HERE!  

Eco Friendly School Supplies

Melissa, August 20, 2014

The most eco friendly school supplies you can send your child to school with this year? Their school supplies from last year! If they have completely destroyed that opportunity (as mine have) make sure you are aware of what evil chemicals can lurk in the school supplies you send. Here are some awesome back 2 school school supplies that don’t involve chopping down the rainforest or bathing the class in nasty toxins. Top Ten ‘Must Haves’ for an Eco Friendly School Year: [SlideDeck id=’2353′ width=’100%’ height=’300px’]  

Benefits of Using Tempered Glass Containers

Melissa, August 6, 2014

Tempered Glass is simply glass that has been strengthened during the manufacturing stage.  There are several advantages to using tempered glass and it should be the only glass used in safety applications and applications that require a lot of temperature changes (such as freezing and heating). Tempered Glass is Freezer Safe Tempered glass is designed to be able to be frozen.  Regular glass is not designed to withstand sudden and drastic temperature changes. When non-tempered (or regular) glass is frozen it has a large probability of breaking off into microscopic shards and entering your food.  Tempered glass is 4-5 times stronger than regular glass When you accidentally drop tempered glass on your hard wood floor the chances of it breaking are extremely less than that of regular glass! If you drop a drinking glass on a hard floor it will probably break. Tempered glass is normally designed to be able to withstand large drops (up to 4′) Tempered glass is microwavable When you heat non-tempered glass there are micro air bubbles and as they get hotter they will expand to the point where they blow up (trust me!).  Because tempered glass has been treated to withstand heating there are no micro air bubbles that allow it to blow up.  With ALL glass, tempered or not, it is still susceptible to thermal cooling shock.  One example of thermal cooling shock is when a hot container is thrown in a bowl of cold water, it will break! Tempered Glass is infinitely recyclable  Continued proper use will not cause tempered glass to breakdown.  It can go from the freezer to the microwave to the dishwasher six times a day and still obtain its strength.  When non-tempered glass is used in such applications it is even more susceptible to breakage. Glass is made out of recycled glass. So even if you do break a container-put it in the recycling! One of the reasons that tempered glass is used in many safety applications (such as windshields) is that it breaks in a specific pattern that is less harmful than that of other types of glass.  When tempered glass breaks, it breaks into small, circular pebble type pieces instead of breaking into shards and splinters that have sharp edges. Tempered Glass has NO Chemical Migration While tempered glass is superior to regular glass for food storage it is also superior to all other food packaging materials such as plastic, stainless steel, Styrofoam, and cardboard due to its recycling qualities as well as chemical compositions. Tempered glass is free of BPA, PVC’s, Phthalates +. Think of a plastic container with tomato sauce-the plastic will go into your food just as easy as the tomato sauce stains the plastic. That isn’t possible with glass because it is non-porous.  Are Commercial Baby Food Jars Tempered? Over the short course of business we have had many people ask us why we didn’t simply buy commercial baby food in glass jars and then reuse those jars.  It is extremely important to note that commercial baby food jars […]

Travel Kit – Homemade Emergency Kit

Melissa, July 16, 2014

  We love having these kits handy for road trips, camping, hiking, boating and many other activities.  We have compiled a list of all the emergency kit must haves.  All of these items will fit and stay dry in one of our Meal Cubes: 1. About 25 Band-aids in a variety of shapes and sizes. 2. Throat lozenges such as Ricola 3. Purple Frog insect sheilder patches 4. Honest Company Healing Balm  5. Honest Company Hand Sanitizer 6. MD Mom’s Sunscreen Towelettes  7. About 5 alcohol wipes 8. One small roll of gauze  

6 Tips to Prevent a Picky Eater

Melissa, July 7, 2014

1) Stop trying to control how much your child eats. No more “3 bite rule!” When we force or strongly encourage our child to eat more, it just builds power struggle. They end up actually eating less than if given the option to choose how much they are hungry for, and mealtime is not enjoyable for anybody! 2) Do not be a short order cook or offer “back-up” foods if your child refuses what is offered. Not only is it more work for you, but it discourages your child from trying new foods when they know they can get what they want. 3) Do not bribe or reward with dessert and sweets. This puts sweets on a “pedestal” and sets your child up to have a sweet-tooth for life. It also tells them that dinner/the vegetable/whatever they have to eat, is undesirable and must be forced down. 4) Continue to offer previously refused foods whenever you eat them, with no pressure. You can try foods in different forms as well (like sweet potatoes baked, mashed or in fry form). 5) Be a good role model. Offer mostly nutritious foods and eat them yourself! 6) Get your child involved in growing the food, shopping, preparing the food and setting the table. They are more likely to eat new foods they have played a part in preparing!

Road Trip Kit – Tips From The Pro!

Melissa, July 3, 2014

One side effect of living far from your family is that you get to take a lot of road trips.  Since my kids were born they have been enduring 15 hour road trips at least 1-2 times a year.  Through a fun trial and error process, I am happy to call myself a road trip expert.  I am not saying that the kids look forward to a long time strapped down in a confined space, but I have found a few things that work well.  Here are Dana’s top 5 road trip tips! 1.  Activities! Have crafts and activities ready.  Wean Green is a great way to create a special activity for your child.  Here are some great ideas that I have found: play dough in a Wean Bowl, create your own search and find by putting items in a Meal Cube and a list of things to find, Meal Cubes are a great way to store markers or crayons.  The last thing you want is a child who can’t find the red marker because it is lost in the car.  Those are the things that start back seat riots! 2.  Food!  Special snacks are imperative during a long drive.  I pre-pack my snacks so that I don’t suffer from pit stop buyer’s remorse.  I like to have the kids create their own trail mix before the trip.  I find if they create their own it is extra special.  I make sure to include a few items like marshmallows that the kids don’t normally get to make it a special treat, but 95% of the trail mix is food that I feel good about them snacking on.  I will also bring bulk and have some containers on hand so that everyone has their own portion.  No fights over food during my drive. 3.  Let them run!  Kids need movement.  With a little homework before you leave you can plan your pit stops so that a park is nearby.  A new park is always exciting for even the adults and you get to actually see the city that you stop in rather than just pass through.  I always pack a lunch so that the kids can get out stretch their legs and refuel.  It also keeps the pit stops healthy.  It is really easy to get junk when you are on the road.  Trust me, those high sugar items that seemed like a good idea will back fire when you least expect it…in the middle of nowhere. 4.  Give the kids reasonable expectations.  For us, the road trips are loooooong.  I let the kids know before hand what to expect.  I explain that we leave when it is dark and do not arrive until it is dark again.  This helps to avoid the classic, ‘are we there yet’. 5.  Enjoy your time together!  As painful as it may seem, these are the moments that memories are made.  Make the trip as fun as possible.  Participate with them in made up games […]

1st Annual Weanie Awards!

Melissa, June 23, 2014

We hit a very exciting Facebook milestone – we have 10k likes!  We couldn’t have gotten this far without all of you so we are putting together an awards ceremony to pick our top fans!  The Weanie Awards voting will take place from June 23rd to June 27th.  All the Weaners (winners) will be announced Monday June 30th. There will be exciting prizes for category winners as well as voters for each category.   How do you get in on all this excitement?  Vote for the 6 different Weanie Awards and your name will be entered to win!  We have some awesome prizes including Wean Green prize packs and gift cards to our favorite online retailers! VOTE HERE! 

Travel Snacks – Foods That Last

Melissa, June 18, 2014

There are several things that we should take into consideration when packing snacks for travel.  There is one feature that sometimes goes overlooked – packing snacks that will last.  We have researched snacks that will last 10 hours to get you through any trip.  Here is a list of 10 foods that last for 10 hours: 1. Granola Bars – These can be cut into bite size pieces and put into Wean Cubes so that everyone can have their own portions for the trip! 2. Crispy Rice Squares – These sweet treats are a good way to get some energy to keep you going!  Keep them in a Lunch Cube and pull them out for a special snack. 3. Homemade Granola – This snack is perfect to have with or without milk.  It is great served in our Lunch Bowl so that it can act as a cereal bowl if you can stop for milk along the way. 4. Whole Spelt Pumpkin Muffins – These muffins can be stored in Wean Bowls to avoid getting squished during travel! 5. Trail Mix – This homemade recipe is perfect for travel.  We always keep a stash in a Snack Cube in our glove boxes for emergency situations. 6. Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies – These cookies are a sweet treat for the whole family.  We store ours in Meal Cubes so that we can bring lots! 7. House Made Sweet Chips – These are a great alternative to buying potato chips!  Store them in a Meal Bowl to keep them fresh! 8. Animal Crackers – Your kids will love these fun snacks for the trip!  Keep them in Wean Tubs so they can all have their own crackers. 9.  Crispy Apple Chips – These healthy treats last for a long time if stored in an air-tight container such as Wean Green.  We store a big batch in Meal Bowls so there is enough for a full trip. 10. Cheddar-Chive Biscuits – If you are looking for something a little more savoury try these biscuits.  Pack them in a Meal Cube so there will be enough to share with everyone (if you are willing to share)!  

Michelle’s Granola Bars!

Melissa, June 12, 2014

Travel Snacks – Trail Mix

Melissa, June 11, 2014

Just because you are on-the-go, doesn’t mean you have to buy pre-packaged snacks. Packaged snacks are more expensive, and often contain refined flour, lots of sugar, colors and preservatives. Here are some easy and healthy snacks that you can pack in your Wean Green cubes and throw in your purse or diaper bag: raisins, dried apricots, freeze dried fruits or veggies, nuts, trail mix, cheese cubes, cereal, granola, chopped fruit, frozen veggies, berries, boiled eggs, and mini pitas. Easy Homemade Trail Mix Recipe: Mix together any of: 1) Nuts (peanuts, walnuts, almonds – as long as your child is over 4 to avoid choking hazards. Or chop up finely). 2) Seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds). 3) Dried fruit (chopped apricots, dates, prunes, cranberries, cherries). 4) Dehydrated or freeze-dried fruit 5) Dried cereal (Cheerios, Shreddies, Nutrios) 6) Pretzels No need to add sugar or oils, or to bake. Just mix together! Wean Green Travel Tip: Add a couple M&M’s or chocolate chips to the trail mix to keep your kids occupied while they search for treats!

MoPa’s House Made Sweet Chips Recipe!

Melissa, June 7, 2014

Travel Snacks – Food For Flight

Melissa, June 4, 2014

Figuring out which snacks you can bring on the airplane can be difficult.  Lets face it – most airplane food doesn’t look appealing and some flights don’t even offer food.   Why not just pack a healthy snack or meal to carry on?  We have compiled a list of our favorite carry on snacks for flights.  These are all approved to be carried on and will pass security screening. Our go-to snacks include: Pasta “Hero” by Weelicious (great in a Meal Cube) Fruit Salad by Pioneer Woman (great in a Lunch Bowl) Assorted veggie sticks (great in a Wean Tub) Raisins or craisins (great in a Wean Cube) Healthy Snack Bar (great in a Snack Cube) Apple Chips (great in a Wean Bowl) Slow Cooker Party Mix (great in a Meal Bowl) Animal Crackers by Weelicious (great in a Snack Cube) No-Knead Dinner Rolls by Pioneer Woman (great in a Wean Bowl)   ** If you’d like to try out different snacks and want to make sure they are allowed through security check here.

Crispy Apple Chips Recipe

Melissa, June 2, 2014

Crispy Apple Chips Melissa’s Fave Bedtime Snack 3 Apples (I use whatever I have on hand) 1 tablespoon Cinnamon 1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Core the apples. 2. Slice apples as thin and evenly as humanely possible. 3. Layer the apples on cookie sheets lined with silicone liners. 3-4 apples normally takes up 2 cookie sheets. Sprinkle with cinnamon. 4. Bake for 2.5 hours. Flip them every 45 minutes and keep a good eye on them. They will brown-not burn:) 5. Store in a Meal Bowl and put on the counter. They will be gone before you can put a lid on them! Added Bonus-0 Weight Watchers Points!

Mornings ROCK! Frozen Smoothie Kits

Melissa, May 27, 2014

Although I wouldn’t call myself a ‘morning person’ the world doesn’t seem to wait for me to get out of bed at my leisure:) School mornings have been known to get a little crazy in the Gunning house. The girls love smoothies so we decided to do some super easy ‘smoothie kits’ for them so that they can get a start on breakfast as I am convincing my body that it can move off my comfy pillows. Wean Green’s Morning Saver Smoothie Kit Organic Blueberries Organic Strawberries Organic Bananas Organic Raspberries Organic Kale Chia Seed Flax Seeds Almond Milk Coconut Water Plain Yogurt 1. After cleaning all of your fruits and veggies lay them on cookie sheets and freeze for 1 hour. 2. Portion them evenly into the Lunch Cubes. I normally put about a tsp chia and flax into the cubes. No reason to measure them-just dump and get it done! I always put the Kale on the bottom so it isn’t the first thing the kids see when they open them, ha! 3. FREEZE 4. When ready to drink-dump 1 Lunch Cube full into your blender and add 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup coconut water and 1/4 cup yogurt. Blend. Enjoy. Make sure your kids thank you for being so awesome. I normally make about 10 at a time. One LUNCH CUBE full will make enough for the 3 of us and a small one for kindergarten snack. This is our fave (today)

Rayne’s LitterLESS Lunch May 23, 2014

Melissa, May 23, 2014

Our lunches are always full of natural colours as well as the bright pops of Wean Green;) Packing leftovers is one of the little things that make life of a mama more successful. Today I packed: Weelicious’ Rice Cooker Mac & Cheese in a Lunch Bowl Tyler Florence’s Banana Nut Muffins in a Wean Bowl Wean Green’s Granola Bars in a Wean Tub Fresh, Organic Raspberries in a Wean Bowl Sliced Organic Cucumbers in a Wean Tub

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