Looking For Food Vendors

Calling all food vendors for JCFamilies upcoming events!

If interested in participating in any of our following events, please email “[email protected]

 Please check the events details below:
JC Fitness Fair 2017
May 20 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at City Hall Plaza

Join us for our 2nd annual #jcfitnessfair with Chicpeajc, on May 20th at City Hall Plaza in #jerseycity!

Mother’s Day Celebration at Hamilton Park, Jersey City
May 12 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Details:  http://bit.ly/2pQcr2F
JC Kids Run 2017 at Exchange Place, JC
June 3 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

We are so glad to announce JCFamilies’ Third year of Kids race: “JC Kids Run’17”.

Feministival 2017 at Hamilton Park, JC

On the following dates: July 14th, Aug 11, and Sept 8

From 3 to 8pm At Hamilton Park, JC

 

 

Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Jersey City

Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Jersey City

You may find yourself hard pressed to find truly VEGAN restaurants in Jersey City as there are only some limited options available. This is a go-to guide laying it out plain and simple, where to go, what to get and whether to bring the kids.

http://www.subiasorganiccafe.comSubia’s 

506 Jersey Ave, Jersey City

This Van Vorst neighborhood staple has been around for over ten years with great success. It is the only TRUE vegan restaurant and pure vegan kitchen in Jersey City. The sister duo team that own the place are extremely knowledgeable and helpful and they will navigate you through any vegan question you have. The menu is comprehensive and there is something for everybody. Even my carnivore meat eating husband was impressed by the vegan rib sandwich. Subia’s also has an amazing dessert selection as well as a thorough juice list for those seeking something on the lighter side – the beet & spirulina combo is a real winner. I would recommend this café style restaurant for anybody seeking a delicious, filling, nutritious comfort food style meal. The home style, casual atmosphere and food make you feel truly welcome the second you sit down to read the menu, ideal for the entire family.

Kid Friendly 5/5

Stroller Friendly 5/5

Kid Friendly Foods 5/5

Pet Shop 

193 Newark Avenue, Jersey City

This relative newbie is a kitschy, fun, trendy local watering hole offering strictly vegetarian food. There are vegan options on the menu as well. Sundays they offer half off glasses on open wine bottles, get there early to avoid disappointment and to score a great bargain on some really delicious wines. The bar staff are extremely knowledgeable on pairing wine and drinks with the food menu. The kitchen offers up fun, modern and diverse fare. The Buffalo Cauliflower starter is a must and the Chili is sure to fill even the hardiest of bellies.

Kid Friendly 3/5   (during brunch hours you will have best luck with strollers and young kids)

Stroller Friendly 3/5

Kid Friendly Foods 5/5   (grilled cheese, soups and chili will all please the younger crowd)

Tea NJ

262 Newark Ave, Jersey City

This café is not strictly vegetarian. However, the menu is helpfully divided into vegan/vegetarian and carnivore sections. Largely a brunch/lunch establishment and café, so plan to wait a bit if you come on the weekend. Tea and coffee connoisseurs will love this place, the tea options are extensive – there are over 30 varieties of tea including traditional and more modern chai and bubble tea. My personal favorite has to be the dirty chai – this is ideal for caffeine lovers of all types – a tea and espresso concoction that will give you a caffeine buzz for hours. The menu offers fresh classic salads, wraps, sandwiches and all day breakfasts.

Kid Friendly 5/5   

Stroller Friendly 3/5 (small and limited space available)

Kid Friendly Foods 5/5   

Tidal Poke 

34 Exchange Pl, Jersey City

Also a relative newbie and always super busy during lunch, a testament to the popularity and success of the only true Poke “POH-keh” and Acai place in town. The menu offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. For Poke and Acai bowl virgins, here’s a quick low down – Poke is an old Hawaiian dish that’s a relatively new phenomenon to non-Hawaiian cities. It is a combination of fresh cubed raw fish, seasoned and served on a bed of vegetables and a base of typically rice or noodles, served cold, think of like a sushi salad of sorts. Poke is delicious and very healthy. Tidal Poke offers vegan and vegetarian Poke bowls. Acai Bowls are equally healthy, light and refreshing and are comprised of fruit and added crunchy goodies – basically thick smoothies topped with granola and fruit, then wolfed down with a spoon.

Kid Friendly 5/5   

Stroller Friendly 5/5

Kid Friendly Foods 3/5   (kids will love fruity, cold Acai Bowls, Poke Bowls may not appeal to all kids)

*Other top notch Jersey City restaurants with vegan dishes on the menu:

Third and Vine

Porta

Kitchen Step

Orale

Koro Koro

Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Jersey City

Email ErinRose on [email protected]

Free Public Library in Jersey City

Free Public Library in Jersey City

Regional Branches

Regional Branch Hours

Monday: 9:00am – 8:00pm

Tuesday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Wednesday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Thursday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Free Public Library in Jersey City

 

 

Main Branch (* This branch & the Children’s Room are currently closed due to renovations)

472 Jersey Ave.

Jersey City, NJ 07302

(201) 547 – 4501

Free Public Library in Jersey City

 

 

 

Glenn D. Cunningham Branch 

275 Martin Luther King Dr.

Jersey City, NJ 07305

(201) 547 – 4555

Free Public Library in Jersey City

 

 

 

Five Corners Branch

678 Newark Ave.

Jersey City, NJ 07306

(201) 547 -4543

Free Public Library in Jersey City

 

 

 

Greenville Branch

1841 Kennedy Boulevard

Jersey City, NJ 07305

(201) 547 – 4553

Free Public Library in Jersey City

 

 

 

Heights Branch

14 Zabriskie St.

Jersey City, NJ 07307

(201) 547-455

Free Public Library in Jersey City

 

 

 

Miller Branch

489 Bergen Ave.

Jersey City, NJ 07304

(201) 547 – 4551

Free Public Library in Jersey City

 

 

 

 

Pavonia Branch

326 Eighth St.

Jersey City, NJ 07302

(201) 547 – 4808

Neighborhood Branches

 

Neighborhood Branch Hours

Monday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Tuesday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Wednesday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Thursday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

 

Free Public Library in Jersey City

 

 

 

Lafayette Branch

307 Pacific Ave.

Jersey City, NJ 07304

(201) 547 – 5017

Free Public Library in Jersey City

 

 

 

Marion Branch

1017 West Side Ave.

Jersey City, NJ 07306

(201) 547 – 4552

West Bergen Branch

476 West Side Ave.

Jersey City, NJ 07304

(201) 547 – 4554

Programs can be found on the JCPL website calendar http://www.jclibrary.org/ under ‘Programs & Exhibits’

 

Fun Things to do in Jersey City

Fun Things to do in Jersey City

If you are a family living in jersey city with kids 10 years of age and younger, don’t miss these awesome free events we have planned for you!

Check out the list below of few upcoming events

 
The Fun is Coming With the Sun in Jersey City (Free Event)
Fun is Coming with the Sun:
Put your sun hats on for 3 hours of  FREE & FUN-TASTIC outdoor fun for the whole family!
Join for us for “Fun In the Sun” on April 29, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at City Hall Plaza, Jersey City.

RSVP NOW: http://bit.ly/2nWPqtC

JCFamilies School Summer Camp & Daycare Fair 2017 
April 29 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Only fair in Jersey City where you can get information about & speak to the representatives of major Schools,Day Cares ,Summer Camps & Activity Centers in & around Jersey City & Hoboken.

RSVP NOW: http://bit.ly/2pywgio

 
JC Fitness Fair 2017
May 20 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Join us for our 2nd annual #jcfitnessfair with Chicpeajc, on May 20th at City Hall Plaza in #jerseycity!
With last year’s smashing success, we are bringing all our local fitness and health experts back under one roof!

 
 
Mother’s Day Celebration in Jersey City
May 12 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Roll out the red carpet and make mom feel like a Queen this Mother’s day! @jcfamilies is throwing a fun celebration for its moms on Friday, May 12th4.00-7.00pm at Hamilton Park in Jersey City.

RSVP NOW: http://bit.ly/2pQcr2F
 
 
JC Kids Run 2017
June 3 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

We are so glad to announce JCFamilies’ Third year of Kids race: “JC Kids Run’17”.

Calling all KIDS from 1 to 10 years for The JC Kids Run 2017!!!

All JC Kids Run Participants will receive a t-shirt, a medal and a participation certificate. Fastest runners in each age group will be awarded.

A race for the benefit of Embrace Kids Foundation . Let’s help to improve the quality of life for children with cancer, sickle cell and other serious disorders while having fun with our little ones.

Register here: https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/JerseyCity/JCKidsRun

 

Kiddie Academy of Hamilton Park, NJ

All about Kiddie Academy of Hamilton Park, NJ

An Interview with Joanne Johnson, Director of the new and growing Kiddie Academy, Educational Child Care in Hamilton Park, NJ

Kiddie Academy of Hamilton Park, NJ

 

 

 

 

When did Kiddie Academy of Hamilton Park open its doors:

Our Hamilton Park location opened in July of 2016.  It has been a wonderful experience for us so far! The community has been so warm and welcoming. We love seeing our neighbors, and try to participate in as many community events as possible. It’s great to see our families out at the community events too. The majority of our families live right here in Hamilton Park! In NJ we have 4 sister sites including us; Hoboken, Hamilton Park, Florham Park and Secaucus. All of our centers are committed to providing exceptional experiences for our students and their families. While Kiddie Academy of Hamilton Park may be a brand new facility, the company is grounded in roots stemming back 36 years, making us Downtown Jersey City’s newest childcare, with the oldest roots!

Kiddie Academy of Hamilton Park, NJ

How many classrooms do you have here:

We have 10 classrooms and also have an indoor gymnasium.

What are the age groups of children enrolled:

We have a broad age range. We start with children as young as six weeks of age and go through Kindergarten for full time care. We also accommodate children up to the age of twelve. The older children come for winter breaks, spring breaks, before & after care and summer camp.  To secure a space, families may enroll for any age group as far as two years in advance. We do not require an application. Families can simply call in and learn about availability free of charge. We strive to make our operations as convenient as possible for our families.

What is your teacher/child ratio in your classrooms:

Our ratios vary based on the specific age group. We follow all NJ state regulations.

Do you provide an option for catered lunch:

We have a commercial kitchen at our facility.  We provide, breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack & low fat and whole milk (certified organic). Meals are prepared fresh daily using all natural, organic ingredients. For our student’s safety, the school is nut free. In the event of a student allergy and/or preference, our catering company will create meals for the child that meet their dietary restrictions.

Do you have early drop off and after care options available:

Our operating hours are from 7am through 6.30pm. Families enjoy the benefit of being able to bring their children here anytime during those hours without incurring additional charges. This is a tremendous advantage for working families that can at times have unreliable schedules or face commuting delays. By offering unrestricted schedules throughout our operating hours, we have enabled our families to use our services without fear of unnecessary late fees and avoid commuting stress.

What kind of curriculum do you follow:

Our curriculum called is called Life Essentials and is based on the 4 Pillars of Learning. Those pillars are: Technology, Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum, Character Education and Health & Fitness. The curriculum is written and developed at our corporate headquarters in Maryland and is overseen by our Curriculum Advisory Board. Board members, Dr.Rivkin, Dr. Wheeler, Dr. Rogowsky and Dr. Watson-Thompson work collaboratively to evaluate and refresh our curriculum. Refreshed curriculums are piloted for a year at a corporately owned school prior to being rolled out to our centers. This ensures that it is as finely tuned as possible by the time it comes to us.

Each teacher is able to enhance the curriculum to meet the needs and interests of their current students. Having this flexibility enables us to provide an experience that is tailored to our current student body.  Additionally, children from 6 weeks – 2 years of age receive an individualized lesson plan that is unique to them. To ensure that we are continuing to develop plans that meet our students needs and support their learning, our faculty complete developmental checklists and compile student portfolios for each child. We offer live streaming webcams in all classrooms, so parents can log in and watch as their child learns and explores! Also included are electronic daily student reports so parents are always aware of what happened during their child’s day.

What extracurricular activities do you offer:

We incorporate Spanish and American Sign Language into our curriculum. Additionally, we enhance our curriculum with a Music program called Kindermusik. Our older students also enjoy the benefits of having technology in their classrooms. Whether it’s a smart table, computer, or touch screen smart board, we teach our students how to interact with technology in a purposeful way that will support their understanding and engagement with these tools.

Do you offer a Summer Camp program:

Absolutely! All existing students are automatically enrolled in our Summer Camp. Children from the community can also enroll in the camp program. Summer camp is broken down by age group and is geared towards students 2 years through 12 years of age. Campers will experience a summer like no other! Campers enjoy field trips, camp activities and splash days! We are thrilled to launch our brand new Biological Sciences Experience this summer! Campers will have an opportunity to learn about, handle and interact with real specimens brought right to their classroom. Sharks, stingray, turtle, starfish, insects and reptiles are all of the list to be explored this summer at Kiddie Academy of Hamilton Park! Enrollment is open to the community right now and will end once all spots have been filled. We urge interested families to enroll as soon as possible as space is limited.

What would you like to say to our families:

We are thrilled to be part of the community and invite you in to learn more about the services we offer. At Kiddie Academy of Hamilton Park, we are a community within a community! Many of our families have developed bonds and friendships through the school which has intern enhanced their experience living in Hamilton Park.  Our multicultural school population offers students a richly diverse learning experience that exposes them to a world beyond downtown. Our State of the Art Facility has been designed to optimally meet the needs of our student body. Our learning environment, makes the school an idyllic place for students to learn and families to come together. Our award winning faculty is at the heart of everything we do! They are among the top talent of early childhood educators in our area. We simply cannot say enough about them!  Additionally, a member of our leadership team is always on site to ensure the appropriate operations of the school and that our families always have a supervisor available to them.

We invite you to come learn more about the services we offer through a personal tour of the facility. For your convenience, tours are offered M-F 7am-6:30pm. We look forward to showing you our difference!

Check out the website: https://kiddieacademy.com

Call to schedule a tour : 201-241-4443

Spring Break Snacks: Lunch Ideas for Kids

Spring Break Snacks: Lunch Ideas for Kids

Your kids have either already been on Spring Break this week, or they are about it be. Here are some fun snacks to make with them while they are home over the next few days. Adapt and modify them to fit in with your families’ tastes. These snacks are very versatile, healthy and super easy. They also work great for lunchbox ideas, pack well for picnics, days out and road trips. Happy snacking!

Flower Power Fruit Cocktail Sticks

Cut little rounds of melon for petals and small circles for center, place on cocktail sticks along with grapes to resemble flowers. There are super cute for play dates or for a lunchbox surprise.

 

Cheesy Butterflies

Place open string cheese in center of the plate, adorn either side with berries to resemble the shape of butterfly wings, use pieces of carrot for antennas and eyes.

 

 

1 string cheese

Handful of blueberries

3-4 strawberries

Couple slices of carrot rounds

Cookie Cutter Sandwiches

Simply make your favorite sandwich and use fun cookie cutters to shape it, serve along-side fresh fruit and vegetables for a healthy, colorful lunch.

Bunny Bite Carrot Snacks


These carrot cake inspired mini bites are truly delicious and addictive. Not only are the scrumptious and naturally sweet (no added sugar!), they are packed full of nutrients and vitamins from the almonds, carrots, flax and chia.

Makes about 20 bites

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup coconut nectar syrup
1/4 chopped almonds
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Tiny pinch of each – nutmeg, ginger and allspice

Spring Break Snacks: Lunch Ideas for KidsCombine shredded carrots, almonds, raisins, flaxseed, and spices in a bowl and stir to combine. Add almond butter and syrup to the bowl and stir again until evenly combined. Place mixture in refrigerator for at least one hour. Shape mixture into one-inch bites and keep stored chilled in the refrigerator.

Lunch Ideas for Kids

Lunch Ideas for Kids

Spring Season

Nature’s April Fool’s joke this year surely has to be the horrid, blustery, wintery weather we are experiencing. The results from Groundhog Day have proven to be accurate… at least 6 more painful weeks of winter. In theory we should start to feel the warmth of spring air NOW though! With Easter right around the corner, these seasonal snack ideas will bring a smile to your kids’ faces and remind us that spring IS indeed coming.

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Coconut Macaroon Baskets
These mini Easter egg baskets are seriously adorable, plus they are sugar free. Coconut is extremely high in fiber, electrolytes and magnesium and low carb. It offers a much healthier alternative to a conventional cookie that is both high in sugar and carbohydrates with little to no fiber, protein or other nutrients/vitamins.

Ingredients:

4 egg whites whisked into stiff peaks

1/4 tsp. salt

½ cup coconut nectar

3 cups coconut flakes, unsweetened, shredded

1/4 cup coconut butter, melted

Mix all ingredients (excluding whisked eggs) until combined, slowly fold mixture into fluffed egg white mixture. Spoon out with cookie cutter into mini muffin tin, gently press a dent in the middle with your thumb. Bake for approximately 10 minutes in a 350*F preheated oven until the mini coconut shells turn a light golden brown. Promptly remove from heat and place baked coconut baskets on a cooling rack. Fill with little goodies. Fill them with tiny dark chocolate pieces along with other healthier treats such as a combination of nuts, seeds, that way it’s still relatively healthy and you don’t have to worry about too much sugar.

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Devilled Eggs Chicks 
Lunch Ideas for KidsThese are adorable and SUPER HEALTHY to include as part of a lunch-box or after school snack. Eggs are naturally high is the “good fats” that facilitate brain functionality, good cholesterol and digestion. They are also pure protein.

Ingredients:

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tbsp. mustard

1 tbsp. jarred pickle juice

1 tbsp. horseradish

12 black olive slices cut into tiny pieces (for eyes)

12 thinly sliced carrot rounds cut in quarters (for beaks)

Pinch salt and black pepper

Horizontally slice through top third of eggs (reserve cooked yolk in top third) and carefully remove yolk from bottom 2/3 of each egg, placing yolks in a bowl. Mix yolks with remaining ingredients (excluding carrots and olives). Place in zip-lock bag and cut tiny hole in bottom corner to pipe yolk mixture back into bottom 2/3 of egg whites. Add “beak” and “eyes” to each chick egg.’

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Spring Trail Mix

Yogurt covered raisins are by no means a health food, it’s more suitably placed as a candy. However, when combined with almonds and seeds, you can transform an otherwise sugary candy-like product into something more balanced that offers more sustained energy. Natural almonds are my top choice as they are high in good fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E.

Ingredients:

1 bag Sun-Maid Yogurt Raisins Mini-Snacks

2 cups bunny-shaped cheddar crackers

2 cups almonds

3/4 cup lightly-salted dry-roasted peanuts

½ cup each sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Lunch Ideas for Kids

Electricians, Plumbers & Handyman in Jersey City

Electricians, Plumbers & Handyman in Jersey City

Malfettone Electric

(201) 653-3982

http://www.mikemalfettoneelectric.com/

278 7th St, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Services & Specialties

  • Residential, Commercial
  • Fire Alarm Systems
  • Security Cameras
  • Monitoring Services
  • Renovation, Additions, and New Construction
  • Generators

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C. Pritchett Electric 34 Beacon Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306

(201) 479-4630

Services & Specialties

  • Residential Panel Upgrades Commercial
  • Electrical Installation & Repair
  • Install, Repair, or Conceal Home Theater Wiring
  • Home Addition or Remodel Electrical Installation
  • Electric Wiring Upgrade
  • Electric Outlets & Fixtures Install
  • Portable Generator Repair

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MDL Electric, LLC

240 Montgomery Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003

(973) 337-5530

http://mdlelectricllc.com/

Services & Specialities

  • Central A/C Install & Repair
  • Home Addition or Remodel Electrical Installation
  • Electric Wiring Upgrade
  • Electric Outlets & Fixtures Install
  • Generator Install & Repair
  • Ceiling Fan Install
  • Gas Furnace Install & Repair
  • Electric Furnace Install & Repair

 

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All City Electrical

220 N 14th St, Kenilworth, NJ 07033

Full list of services

(908) 497- 9977

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CA Fleming Electric

454 Gregory Ave, Weehawken, NJ 07086

(973) 296-5508

http://cflemelec.com/

Services & Specialties

  • Electrical Contractor
  • Electrical Circuits
  • Installation & Upgrades
  • General Troubleshooting
  • Maintenance & Repair
  • Switchboard Installation
  • Systems Installed and Serviced

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Xpert Electric

1700 75th Street, North Bergen, NJ 07047

(201) 314-8688

Services & Specialties

  • Ceiling fans
  • Fixtures
  • Switches
  • Exhaust fans
  • LED lighting
  • Wlectric wall heaters
  • Panel repair/upgrades/installation
  • Service upgrades

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Plumbers

American Way Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

924 Bergen Ave #266, Jersey City, NJ 07306

(877) 717-8383

Provides 24/7 emergency services

Full list of services:

http://plumbingheatingcoolingnj.com/

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Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Services

65 Irving St, Jersey City, NJ 07307

(201) 942-3073

Provides 24/7 emergency services, commercial and residential

Full list of services:

https://www.rotorooter.com/jerseycitynj/

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Lou Guarini Plumbing & Heating

215 Harrison Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07304

(201) 333-5314

Services & Specialties

  • Plumbing & Heating System Installation
  • Bathroom & Kitchen Remodeling
  • Preventive Maintenance and Repair
  • Gas Steam Boiler Installation & Repair
  • Gas Hot Water Boiler Installation & Repair
  • Water Heater Installation
  • Hanging Sewers & Basement Protection Designs

http://jerseycityplumbers.com/

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DMC Plumbing and Heat

162 W 54th St, Bayonne, NJ 07002

Full list of services:

(201) 437-5751

http://www.dmcplumbingandheating.com/nj-plumber.php

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Hudson Plumbing Air Conditioning & Drain Cleaning

124 Westervelt Ave, Hawthorne, NJ 07506

(201) 468-3234

Provides 24/7 emergency services:

  • Plumbing
  • Heating
  • Air Conditioning
  • Drain Cleaning
  • Water Heaters

http://www.hudsonplumbingac.com/

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Advanced Professional Plumbing, Heating & Cooling

Clifton, NJ 07014

(973) 894-3005

Provides 24/7 emergency services

Full list of services:

http://advancedprophc.com/

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Clear Flow, LLC

PO Box 3251, Jersey City, NJ 07303

(201) 669-0051

Full list of services:

http://clearflowllc.com/services.html

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Handyman

Avid Handyman Services

300 Observer Hwy, Hoboken, NJ 07030

(201) 898-5605

Full list of services:

http://www.avidhandyman.com/carpentry/

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Hoboken Handyman

727 Monroe St Commercial Unit A, Hoboken, NJ 07030

(201) 683-6000

Full list of services:

http://www.hobokenhandyman.com/

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J & B Renovations

51-47th St # E3, Montclair, NJ 07043

(201) 519-8457

Full list of services:

http://jbrenovations.weebly.com/

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Jim’s Handyman Service LLC

(973) 345-6080

PO Box 657, Woodland Park, NJ 07424

Call for full list of services and pricing options

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Morales Handyman Services LLC

302 Aldene Rd, Roselle, NJ 07203

(908) 290-7499

Services:

  • Attics Renovations
  • Bathroom Renovations
  • Deck Renovations
  • Home Maintenance
  • Carpentry
  • Kitchen Renovations
  • Indoor/Outdoor Renovations

http://moraleshandymanservices.com/

 

Healthy food and Salads for Kids


Engaging kids in healthy food and salads that they will actually eat

Getting children to eat their greens (and other vegetables) often proves extremely challenging. This is one of the most frequent complaints parents have when speaking with me about nutrition. As with all new foods, eventually the palate adapts and matures, but the process to get there is all too often cumbersome and frustrating. The biggest downfall in developing and interest in AND taste for healthy food is making separate “kid food” meals with no healthy options in site. Not only is this way too time consuming, children will also become dependent on, and used to always getting what they want. Healthy eating should be a fun and engaging family affair.

One of my favorite things is to offer ‘deconstructed dinners’ – eg tacos, pasta, salads…. the opportunities are endless, with a small selection of options to add to it. Always offer a safe option of something your child enjoys to eat on the dinner table and always have vegetables on offer (goal: a healthy balanced meal should consist of at least 50% vegetables). Also, don’t fork out all of what they like in one go, offer a little bit of what they like (say, pasta), and indicate that they can have MORE pasta, once they add some vegetables/protein of their choice to their plate and eat it. If you want your kid to have a healthy relationship with food, give them permission to decide what to eat. Stressing over food with every meal will make all parties at the table unhappy.

EXPOSURE is paramount, have the less popular options frequently available on the table, and you would be surprised with how successful repetition can be to piquing interest. Kids are inherently curious, allow them to try new foods in their own time.

Preparation, options, and the way in which foods are presented also makes a huge difference. Perhaps shredded verses sliced, par boiled or sautéed verses raw (especially hardier greens like broccoli and kale), finely chopped verses large …. Every person is unique, ultimately it’s a matter of trial and error, but hang in there, eventually certain combinations of texture, taste and look will work, you WILL crack that healthy eating code.

Here are some of my top picks for salads that have positive kid feedback:

Shredded Carrot and Beet Salad with Lemon Poppy Dressing

Healthy food and Salads for KidsShred raw carrots and beets, mix with raisins, finely chopped parsley and mixed nuts and seeds

Dressing – combine extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and zest, dollop of natural yogurt, pinch salt and pepper and poppy seeds, mix well in jar and drizzle on top

 Greek Pasta Salad

Healthy food and Salads for Kids
Cooked whole wheat fusilli or penne, chopped cherry tomatoes and cucumber, crumbled feta, diced olives, sautéed red onion (everybody in my family dislikes raw)

Dressing – combine extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, dried oregano, parsley and dill, pinch salt and pepper

Bean Salad

Cooked beans, fire grilled corn kernels (I get bags of this frozen), minced and sautéed bell peppers, onion and garlic, fresh cilantro, roughly chopped spinach leaves

Dressing – combine extra virgin olive oil, fresh mild Mexican salsa, lime juice, pinch smoked paprika, cumin and coriander

Savory Quinoa Fruit Salad

Cooked quinoa topped with chopped mango, blueberries, toasted pecans, grilled haloumi (or grilled Mexican grilling cheese)

Dressing – combine extra virgin olive oil, orange juice and zest, pinch salt and pepper

Healthy food and Salads for Kids

Healthy food and Salads for Kids

 

 

 

 

About the Writer:

ErinRose Baldry is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, fitness instructor and food and nutrition specialist. She is passionate about exercise, cooking and sharing her knowledge to help and inspire others. If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback about nutrition, recipes, or getting your fitness on, please reach out!

[email protected]  Facebook/Instagram @ZellyBFitness

Chocolate Bread : Lunch Ideas for kids

Chocolate Bread : Lunch Ideas for kids

This will quickly become a lunchbox favorite for your kiddos. The texture is light, airy, spongy, chocolatey & not the least bit dry. Also, as it’s not very sweet, it lends itself well to toasting as an oh so good and guilt free treat. After 4 days it still tastes fresh, so it will last the week, that is if it is not polished off in the mean time!

Ingredients:

2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 cup natural plain unsweetened almond milk yogurt (or regular plain yogurt)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or regular milk)
2 eggs lightly whisked
1/2 cup vegetarian all natural protein powder
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp vanilla bean powder or pure extract
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup tahini or other seed butter
1/2 low sugar chocolate hazelnut spread*
1/2 dark chocolate mini chips
1/4 cup apple nectar or coconut nectar
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
*I like Nutiva organic hazelnut spread with flax which has about 40% less sugar than most
Method:
Pre-heat oven to 350*F
Mix together dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients (reserving chocolate chips and coconut sugar to the side until the end).
Add dry ingredients to wet, if batter still feels a bit tight or dry, just add a bit more milk.
Stir in most of the chocolate chips. Place batter in parchment lined loaf tin. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips and coconut sugar. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 45min until tester comes out dry. Let cool in tin for about 10 min before taking out to cool on cooking wrack.
This loaf is best once it’s had a chance to rest and cool for a good hour. Chickpea flour tends to need that bit extra time.
Chocolate Bread : Lunch Ideas for kids
Lunch Ideas for kids