Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My KIND of bar

I don't know about you, but I am ALWAYS on the lookout for great-tasting, healthy snacks that my kids will actually eat.  The problem is, those two adjectives rarely go together when it comes to kid-friendly food.  I'm also not a fan of food dyes and HFCS, so that rules out a majority of snacks right there.

And let's not forget about the D-factor either.

So when the good people at KIND Healthy Snacks contacted me about trying some of their product, I couldn't help but be a bit skeptical.  It's been my experience that most of these types of bars taste like sawdust held together by some type of sweet goo, masquerading as honey.  But they sounded pretty good, so I thought I'd give them a try.

The verdict? So far I have been blown away by how GOOD these are.  Even their names are mouth-watering. 

Madagascar Vanilla Almond?  Yes, please!

Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt?  Yum!

Those are just a few of the tasty snack bars they offer.  Each bar falls into one of three categories; Fruit and Nut, Nuts and Spices, and Plus.  The Plus variety has the added boost of nutrients like protein, fiber, antioxidants or omega-3 fatty acids.

The day they arrived, we waited until afternoon snack to try them out.  I chose the Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt, and Elise wanted Almonds & Coconut. Both of them looked amazing and they didn't disappoint.  Elise's was a perfect blend of almonds and sweet coconut (yes, I stole a bite), and mine paired the yummy goodness of dark chocolate with just the right amount of salt to satisfy my sweet and salty craving.

Even better is how each bar has listed buzz words right on the packaging that are important to a lot of people that are concerned with what we are putting into our body.  For example:
  • Non GMO
  • Gluten Free
  • No Sugar Alcohols
  • Low Glycemic
  • Dairy Free
  • No Trans Fats
  • Low Sodium
We were also given some granola to try, and so far I am loving the Maple Walnut Clusters.  It is the perfect breakfast with a bit of milk with a few cut-up strawberries thrown on top.  It's also great sprinkled over yogurt.

Note that the bag is open... I kinda couldn't wait to try it out!

So far the entire family has loved everything they've tried.  Now Mattias, who picked the Fruit & Nuts in Yogurt, ate about half before he lost interest.  But I chalk that up to the fact that he's two, and has rather eclectic tastes for a toddler.  He loves spring rolls and will steal them from your plate, but will sometimes refuse to eat fries.

Yes, my son wears pink, hand-me-down bibs... I'm totally cool with it

Now, you may be wondering how the bars affected Elise's BG.  The first bar she tried, Almonds & Coconut, she was at 180.  She ended up in the 300s, but that's not a fair test because I had *just* changed her pod and we are still doing battle with post pod-change highs.

The next day, she selected a Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan.  She was 70 pre-bar, and 103 a few hours later.  And she thought the bar was, "awesome-chawsome!"  I took that as a good thing.

Most bars have between 14-26g of carbs, 3-5g of fiber and 3-7g of protein.

She's a bit of a clown

So, here's my final thoughts on these bars from KIND Healthy Snacks...

All natural ingredients?  Good!
A healthy snack that won't spike Elise's BG?  Good!
Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt?  Goooooood!

If you go to their website at, you can find a list of where to buy them, and approximately how much they retail for. 

Check out their website.  KIND isn't just their name; it's their philosophy.  They even have a section devoted to encouraging people to go out and "do the kind thing" by partnering with KIND to help out in their community. I love doing business with companies that give back, and I can't wait to stock up my pantry with more KIND Bars.

And you can stock up too!  The kind people at KIND (see what I did there?), sent me a box of extras that I am hiding from my family, to give to one lucky reader!  To enter, just go to their website by clicking here, and scope out all the yummy goodness that they offer.  Then come back and leave a comment telling me which you think you would like the most.  I will pick the winner by a random drawing on Monday, March 4.  Good luck!

***As with all reviews, the opinions are solely mine.  While I did receive free product to review, I was not asked to write about it, and did so of my own volition.  No, I cannot be bought, even with food.***

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Flowers die... Donate so a child won't

"Mama? Why do you hate flowers?"

This question was posed to me by Elise just the other day. A neighbour had brought by a vase of flowers because she and her family were going away and she didn't want them to go to waste. Elise saw them and proclaimed them to be, "absolutely so gorgeous."

Apparently she noticed my indifference, because she then asked her question. I made some off-handed remark, then distracted her with something bright and shiny.

Because really, how do you explain to a five year old that flowers are stupid because they die, without sounding like the most heartless person ever?  It's just hard for me to spend a lot of money on something that just sits there for a few days, and then... Poof! They go to the great flower bed in the sky.

Give me chocolate any day.

So why the post slamming flowers? Because Thursday is Valentine's Day. And no doubt roses are in your future; either as the giver or recipient. Enter a very cool idea put forth by some very cool peeps in the DOC:

"We want to help the Life for a Child program, sponsored by the International Diabetes Federation, which aims to take “contributions from donors [to] go to established diabetes centers enabling them to provide the ongoing clinical care and diabetes education these children need to stay alive.”  Our idea was to take the typical “dozen roses,” so popular on Valentine’s Day, and save just one rose to spare the life of a child. “Spare a Rose, Save a Child” is simple:  buy one less rose this Valentine’s Day and share the value of that flower with a child with diabetes in the developing world.  Your loved one at home still gets flowers, and you both show some love to someone who needs it."
-Taken from

For the cost of ONE rose, you could donate to save the life of a child. Even though here in the U.S., I am able to keep my daughter alive with life-saving insulin, in developing countries, type 1 diabetes is a death sentence.

To donate, just click here.  Flowers for Valentine's Day might be nice, but saving the life of a child is even better.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The dilemma

I cannot believe it, but the time has come to start pondering kindergarten for Elise.  How did this happen? Wasn't it just yesterday that she made her grand entrance into this world? Shouldn't she still be babbling and cooing, all snuggled in my arms?

Isn't she due for a diaper change right about now?


Okay... Focus.

So. Kindergarten. And the dilemma. Once again I need your advice.

We are zoned for what I will call "school A". This school is about a 10 minute drive from our house. The kids in our neighbourhood take a bus (this will not be an option for Elise since there is no way I will put her on the bus at such a young age) to get there. In years past, it didn't have the best reputation, but they now have a new principal and things are turning around. My neighbour who sends her kids there says it is wonderful. A former neighbour who teaches there says the same.

"School B" is about 2 minute drive from our house. Although Elise couldn't walk there because she would need to cross two very busy streets, it is a lot quicker to get to AND right across the street from the preschool Mattias attends. It has an excellent reputation, and is an "exceptional" school (I think that's what the ranking is called). There is also a ton of parental involvement.

I was told I could petition for Elise to be sent to the closer school for medical reasons, and I so I was thinking of talking to the principals/nurses/kindergarten teachers at each school to see who I get a better vibe from.

 And this is where I ask you to help me with my dilemma.  What should I ask? What is important to know? What would ask if you were me?

I really want Elise to be in a school that will care as much about her as her preschool has (although I'm pretty sure that's impossible, her preschool rocks!). Right now I'm not leaning either way and I'm waiting to talk to each school before I form an opinion.

So if you have any pearls of wisdom, send them my way!  Please help me DOC... You're my only hope.

***At this point, if I had mad photo shopping skills, I'd include a picture of my head on Princess Leia's body.  But since I lack the talent and time, do me a favour and picture it in your head, m'kay?***