Thursday, February 7, 2013

You have to try this!

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I don’t know about you, but 80 percent of my time involves food. It’s no secret that I love to cook, and I love to eat, but that’s not why it monopolizes my day. As a stay-at-home mom, I spend a lot of my time planning, prepping, and cooking meals, followed by the cleaning afterwards. Because my family eats at least five times a day (three meals, two snacks), there’s always food to make, which means there’s always a kitchen to clean. See how that works?

Therefore, with five meals to think of (well, four, really, since My Guy takes care of breakfast every day), being efficient with snack time is important to me. I often cook from scratch (read: make a mess) during lunch and dinner, so I try to keep the chaos to a minimum at snack time with ready-to-serve foods from the pantry or fridge, like fruit, crackers, granola bars, cheese, or yogurt. I do occasionally make my own granola bars, smoothies, muffins or cookies to indulge my family, but for the most part, snack time is mommy-gets-out-of-kitchen-jail time.

However, keeping the pantry and fridge stocked with healthy items can be tricky. Have you seen the junk they have in the grocery stores? Even self-proclaimed “health foods” may have ingredients that I don’t necessarily want my kids to ingest, especially ones we can’t pronounce and sound more like science than nature.

Don’t get me wrong - I’m not a health food nut. I’m a follower of the Golden Mean philosophy, which means I’m okay with all things in moderation, so yes, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and even (dare I say it?) McDonald’s are never off limits, but they’re definitely limited.

When it comes to feeding my kids, I’m a fan of natural ingredients that also taste good (unlike health food that taste health-food-y, know what I mean?). That’s why, when Chobani (the Greek yogurt people) asked me to sample their new line of yogurt products, I was thrilled because they’re all about natural.

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What made me even happier was what arrived in the package. Chobani Champions, yogurt in a tube, for the kids, and Chobani Bite, a 100-calorie snack for adults and kids alike. Well, except for the coffee-flavored ones - that’s all mine. (Woot!).

If your kids are older, like my four-year-old Little Miss, the tube is ideal as on-the-go snack, but for 20-month-old Thumper, it’s a disaster. She likes eating on her own, so there was no wrestling the tube from her when the yogurt oozed onto her dress, the table, the chair, the floor…you get the picture. But we came up with the idea to freeze the tube and voila! Crisis averted. Not only was it relatively mess-free, it also soothed a teething toddler’s gums. High five, clever brains!

I would have pictures of my girls enjoying their Chobani Champions tubes except they finished them all before I even had a plan for this post. I suppose that’s a testament to the product.

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As for Chobani Bite, I cannot tell you how happy I am that I don’t have to share my Coffee with Dark Chocolate one because it. is. delicious. For a coffee fanatic who would only allow myself no more than two cups a day, with none past 10am (because I’m also sensitive to caffeine), this was a great alternative for my late-afternoon or evening coffee cravings. Coffee and chocolate? Are you kidding me? And only 100 calories? Holy shit! I can’t wait to stock up once I find these in the stores.

Little Miss and Thumper, both chocoholics like me, eat the Raspberry with Dark Chocolate ones for dessert, and I have seriously thought of hiding the rest from them. Not because it’s bad for them, but because I want them for myself!

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The thing is, it’s healthy but it also satisfies our cravings for an indulgence. Instead of a big, fat high-calorie cookie, we have a Bite (ha!) and our sweet tooth doesn’t know any better. The chocolate-hungry lion in our belly is tamed, and my waistline has no complaints either. (Unless I eat five of those in one sitting, which is entirely possible. Ahem.)

Anyway, if you do see Chobani Bite or Chobani Champions at the store, I urge you to give it a try. This may be a product review - my first ever! - but honestly, for something this good, I’m calling this a public service announcement.


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Because I’m always looking for new ideas, what’s your favorite healthy snack?

Full disclosure: Chobani sent me the products to try but the opinion here is all mine.