Cookies Made With Vegetables?

Hidden Garden Thumbnail

Is it hard to get your child to eat their veggies? Never fear, we have a possible solution. Give them a cookie that is made with vegetables! We were pretty eager to get these cookies to try them once Hidden Garden Foods reached out to us about reviewing their brand.

Here is a little back story on this brand. The founder, Catherine, was having difficulty getting her two young daughters to eat vegetables. All they wanted was to eat cookies, so naturally,  Catherine decided the best plan of action was to combine the two and Hidden Garden Foods was born! That was back in 2012. Now four different flavors of cookies are selling in grocery stores all across North America. The flavors are Chocolate Chip made with Pumpkin, Ginger Snap made with Butternut Squash, Red Velvet made with beets, and Cocoa Cherry made with Spinach. All of the cookies are certified Gluten Free, and made in a completely nut-free, peanut-free facility. The products are also all natural, made with ingredients that most people could find in their local grocery store or pantry at home.

I recruited my three-year old grandson to do a taste test with me. You don’t get a more honest opinion than a three year old. Check out our video to get his reaction. You will be VERY surprised when you see what flavor he picked as his favorite.

The video speaks for itself! You can purchase the cookies on their website or in health food stores across the country.

Have you heard about the new SNICKERS candy bar?

There are times when chocolate can solve many problems in life. Unfortunately, it can’t solve all the world’s problems but we have three problems that chocolate can help save the day. Specifically, the new SNICKERS Crisper Candy Bar!

Snickers Crisper Review

I’ve partnered with SNICKERS (MARS) and SheSpeaks to share with you the ways the new Crisper has helped us. You may laugh, but that is good for the soul as well. Click play to watch the short video.

Can you relate? We never know what each day will throw at us, but we can hide SNICKERS throughout the house and let them show up just when they are needed!

The Crisper is a delicious combination of crisped rice and peanuts topped with a layer of caramel and coated in creamy SNICKERS Brand milk chocolate. I will be honest and say this has always been my favorite candy bar. The addition of the crisp rice to the candy bar gives it a nice crunch. My husband loved the crunchy taste as well. Each FUN SIZE bar is only 100 calories which makes for a nice dessert in the evenings after a hard day at work, the gym, the doctor office, and the list could go on and on. You can opt to purchase the full size candy bar which features two pieces, each with 100 calories, allowing you for a snack for now and another for later.

SNICKERS Crisper are available at Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com and come in the following sizes: Single, 4 to Go and Medium FUN SIZE Bag (12 count).

Embarking on a New Health Journey: Eosinophilic Esophagitis

I know I haven’t written a lot of personal posts here at lately. There is a reason. Since January, my youngest daughter, L, has been on a health journey. It all started the second week of January when we were in the emergency room. She swallowed an M&M and it got stuck in her esophagus. This frightened L and thankfully we only live about 10 minutes from our local emergency room. With their quick thinking, we were able to get the M&M to go down but it opened up a can of worms so to speak. This was on a Thursday night and over the next few days, L kept complaining about food not being able to go down so she just quit eating. Milkshakes and liquids were her avenues of getting nutrients.

On Tuesday morning, I decided to call her allergist. They requested we bring her in right away. The allergist examined L and thought she had a stricture in her esophagus. This led us being sent directly to an ear, nose, and throat doctor. After he examined L, we were sent to the hospital for a barium swallow to check to see if there was a stricture. There was no stricture, but the radiologist showed me on the screen, her stomach was sending lots of acid back up her esophagus. We were sent back to the ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT). He proceeded to put her on acid reflux medicine and scheduled a test called a manometry test to be done the next week. This test tells if your esophagus is able to move food to your stomach normally.

Fast forward to the next week, L’s symptoms were not being resolved and still unable to swallow food. She failed the manometry test, so the ENT scheduled an emergency surgery to have her esophagus dilated. She did well with the surgery and the pictures they were able to take were not pretty. He wanted her to stay on the acid reflux medicine and follow-up in two weeks. In the meantime, something just did not sit right with me. I felt like there was a bigger problem instead of acid reflux. I called her pediatrician and she was able to get us a fast referral to the closest Children’s Hospital.

The first appointment at Children’s Hospital was full of information and left us feeling like we were finally going to get a proper diagnosis. The pediatric GI put L on another medication and wanted her to be on it for four weeks before she did a full endoscopy and biopsies. Unfortunately, during this time L is still not able to eat which is just playing on all of our emotions. It is hard to see your daughter drop 16 pounds in less than two months. The doctor prescribed for L to be on NeoCate Splash. This is an amnio acid formula and is hypoallergenic.

EoE NeoCate
Two weeks on the medication, L had another allergic reaction with her throat. Children’s told us to take her to Urgent Care and they were moving up her surgical procedure for one week later. She was to stay on her medication and the formula.

It was time for the surgical procedure that would finally give us answers. The pediatric GI surgeon was so good with L and didn’t mind her million questions before she was put to sleep. After the surgery, the surgeon comes to talk to us and said without a doubt your daughter has eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). This is a term that we were told was a possibility at our last appointment, but were praying and hoping this was not the case. We were just relieved and grateful to finally get a diagnosis for L.

What is EoE you may ask? This is a rare and chronic disorder. This is a type of white blood cell that builds up in the esophagus because the esophagus thinks food is a foreign particle. More than likely, L has had it for a few years as the doctor said it has damaged her esophagus greatly, where she has no motility. The signs were missed over the years and I do feel so bad for that. We are adding a steroid to hopefully help her regain the motility back. She was very swollen all the way up to her throat. They took 8 biopsies while they were in there as well so we will wait for those to come back. We are scheduled for a big meeting at Children’s the first week of April for a long term treatment plan. Currently, there is no cure for this disease. Although, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has a division that is dedicated to finding a cure for EoE. For now, we will pray the steroid will at least bring back her motility in her esophagus and she will stay on the formula so she doesn’t drop any more weight.

We are grateful for Lyndsee’s surgeon/doctor. She stayed right there with us answering our questions. This will be a long journey to see what foods are causing EoE in L’s body. I will update her journey here so maybe in return it can help other families.

Packing for a Disney World Trip? Try these tips!

We will be heading to Disney World soon and are starting our planning. My husband starts his packing lists well in advance. He has packing the car down to a science. He doesn’t want anything blocking his view and would like for us to try to keep items to a minimum. Sometimes, I go a little overboard with the packing.

Disney World Packing Tips

Disney has released a video with helpful tips that will help you pack for a magical vacation and discover fun for the little ones.

Your little one can now be proclaimed a Princess at Walt Disney World!

 

Have you heard the exciting news? Your little one can now be proclaimed a Princess at a character greeting or Princess dine location at Walt Disney World or Disneyland. This will be a very memorable moment for your child. My girls still talk about their Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Experience at Disney World.

My Storybook Moment-Princess” lets guests become royalty through a new gifting experience at Disney Floral & Gifts that includes royal treasures and a personalized proclamation, but it’s unsigned. Simply present the declaration to a favorite fairy tale princess for signature and become part of the royal court!

To learn more, check out My WDW Storybook Moment-Princess (407-WDW-GIFT) and My DLR Storybook Moment-Princess (717-781-GIFT).

My Storybook Moment is also available in other beloved characters and themes, such as Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse (including a “Best Friends” lanyard and Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse Ear Hat), Sheriff Woody (including an official cowboy hat, bandana, and sheriff’s badge) and many more.

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