The Best Kids Birthday Cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken

If your child has a birthday coming up, you are likely looking for a special birthday cake! Of course, homemade cakes are always special and delicious, but sometimes life gets in the way and you are too busy to whip up a complicated birthday cake from scratch. Luckily, Jersey City and Hoboken have a ton of great places where you can purchase super yummy and beautiful kids birthday cakes. In this post, we will explore the best kids birthday cakes in Jersey City & Hoboken!

Cocoa Bakery

The Best Kids Birthday Cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken

This awesome bakery can do both regular birthday cakes and cupcakes. You can completely customize the size, flavor, and shape of your birthday cake. Maybe your little girl is looking for a Minnie Mouse cake or you are looking to celebrate your little boy’s first birthday with a #1 shaped cake, whatever it is, they can do it!

Milk Sugar Love 

The Best Kids Birthday Cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken

If your kid is looking for a unique cake and they also love their ice cream, look no further than Milk Sugar Love’s huge ice cream sandwich cake! What is so great about this option is everything is organic, making it a safer and healthier option to feed your kids, family, and friends. This is a cool way to switch up their birthday cake making it one of the best kids birthday cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken!

Carmen Rosa’s Bakery

The Best Kids Birthday Cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken

This bakery has been in business since 1999, and we can see why. Their cakes are delicious and beautiful. You can choose any cake flavor, filling, and frosting you would like and every layer can be different if you so choose. They do awesome children’s cakes, which makes it one of the best kids birthday cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken!

Dulce de Leche Bakery 

The Best Kids Birthday Cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken

This bakery makes custom cakes and would be delighted to bake your little one’s next special birthday cake. You can choose your flavors and your decorations and whether you want your cake covered in buttercream frosting or fondant.

Sweet Bakery

The Best Kids Birthday Cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken

With an endless amount of cake flavors and frostings to choose from, this place has a little something for both kids and adults alike. Maybe try their peanut butter cake with PB frosting and chocolate or vanilla cake! Sweet is one of the best kids birthday cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken!

The Hudson Cakery

These beautiful cakes from the Hudson Cakery are perfect for birthdays! You can choose from an array of beautiful and fun styles and they also have some amazing cake flavors like red velvet and funfetti! They do gluten-free cakes as well, which is perfect if your child has a gluten intolerance. These gluten-free cake options make this bakery the best kids birthday cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken!

Little Daisy Bake Shop

The Best Kids Birthday Cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken

Although this bakery is located in Montclair, it had to go on the list since they have nut-free options and all of their baked goods are nut-free as well.

“Yes! We are peanut-free and nut-free. We use Vermont Nut Free Chocolate, Americolor food color and Lucks nut-free sprinkles. We do not have nuts in the Bake Shop and none of our products contain nuts”

However, if your child has a very severe nut allergy, you may want to call and speak with them first about it prior to ordering.

Carlo’s Bakery

The Best Kids Birthday Cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken

Of course, this famous cake shop and bakery have made the list. This place is known for their yummy and vibrant cakes, which is perfect for a little kid’s birthday cake. You can choose from many different cake options and also custom design your cake with them! This famous bakery definitely earns a spot in the best kids birthday cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken!

Om Sweet Home

This bakery specializes on gluten-free and plant-based baked good, but that doesn’t mean they don’t taste sinful because they do! You can special order your little one’s birthday cake from here with different sizes, flavors, and fillings.

WHOS Gluten Free

The Best Kids Birthday Cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken

This dedicated gluten-free bakery specializes in granola and other baked goods, including cakes and cupcakes. They are great for kid’s birthday parties and they have a bunch of different flavors to choose from. Try their pumpkin spice cupcake or their delicious Lord Grey chocolate cake!

Choc O Pain

The Best Kids Birthday Cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken

This French bakery has some of the most delicious breads and pastries, and they can also do special order birthday cakes as well. Call one of the few shops in both Jersey City and Hoboken to speak with them about special ordering a birthday cake.

Cupcake Salon

Even though this shop specialized in cupcakes, they will also make your an awesome birthday cake as well. They have a wide selection of flavors to choose from and you kid is sure to love their special and delicious birthday cake (or cupcakes!)

Back to School Lunch Box Ideas

The Best Back to School Lunch Box Ideas

The kids going back to school means you will need plenty of creative lunch box ideas. Kids often love the same foods, but you can prepare them in different ways so things stay interesting and they don’t get bored. Additionally, it is a great way to get them to try new foods and ingredients because you can incorporate the new items into their favorite lunch meals.

When packing a lunch for your kids, it is great to add as many fruits and veggies as possible, give them protein and provide them with a treat. The great news is, their treats can be disguised as healthy…and they will never know! Let’s take a look at some of the best back to school lunch box ideas for kids.

Healthy Banana & Oatmeal Sponge Cookies

If you are looking for a perfect secretly healthy cookie, look no further than these. Your kids will never know these are good for them and they are sure to devour them. The cookies are only made with 6 ingredients, like oats, applesauce, and banana so you are likely to already have the ingredients on hand.

Snag the recipe here.

Lunch Box Fun-Due

If you are looking for a creative lunch idea, this fun-due is perfect. All you have to do is cute meats like ham and turkey into cubes, add some veggie sticks like carrots and celery, and include a treat like small cubes of angel food cake. Then, add the dipping sauces. You can use sauces like salsa, homemade cheese sauce, and pureed strawberries! This is defintely one of the coolest back to school lunch box ideas.

Recipe.

Hummus Pizza

For one of the healthiest back o school lunch box ideas, this is the way to go. This is an awesome extremely healthy and nutritious recipe that is great for older and more adventurous eaters. All you need is to take your kids favorite veggies, some simple hummus (plain or flavored), and even though the recipe does not call for it, you can add plenty of cheese.

Find this recipe here.

Mexican Style Lunch Box

If your kid has an inkling for Mexican food, this lunch box is perfect for them. Fill this box with a simple cheese quesadilla, salsa, guacamole, and tortilla chips. Add some fruit to the mix and pack a separate container of berries, apples, etc.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta Bowl

Get your kids to eat their greens! This pasta lunch box is filled with perfectly cooked pasta, healthy pesto, and super nutritious broccoli. Serve with oranges and other fruits or veggies and your kid will love you.

Check it out here.

Cheesy Chicken Meatball Sliders

Who doesn’t love a good slider? These mini meatball sandwiches are the perfect kid size. There is not anything for them not to love with melted mozzarella cheese, savory chicken, and tangy flavorful tomato sauce. They will please even the pickiest of eaters. They also travel quite well and do not need to be heated up as they are great at room temp.

Get the recipe here for one of the best back to school lunch box ideas.

Turkey and Bean Chili

Sometimes one of the best back to school lunch box ideas is a hot soup or stew, and this chili definitely makes the cut. It is filled with tons of protein from the ground turkey and healthy fiber from all of the beans.

Check out this hot recipe here.

Catch of the Day

This creative lunch box meal is perfect for the kids that love anything fish and water related. Make their favorite kind of sandwich and use a fish shaped cookie cutter to cut out the sandwich. Load the rest of their lunch box with goldfish crackers, fruit, and veggies with dipping sauce.

Muffin Meal

Something breakfast for lunch is a fun way to switch up your kids back to school lunch box ideas. Pack some homemade muffins, dry cereal, and their favorite fruits. Like with this idea, you can add some calcium to their meal and throw in a cheese stick or any cheese of choice.

Recipe idea is from here!

Tortilla Rolls

If your kid gets bored with traditional sandwiches, try these super fun tortilla rolls. All you need is a soft flour tortilla, lunch meats, cheese, and dressing to roll into a tortilla. Cut the roll, place in their lunch box, and then add some of their favorite snacks. Fruit, veggies, crackers, and cheese are always good choices.

Get the idea here. 

Lunch Ideas for Kids

Chocolate Bread : Lunch Ideas for kids

HEALTHY YUMMY BUFFINS :Lunch Ideas for kids

Cheese Shelled Tacos: Lunch ideas for kids

Fun With Fruit & Vegetables : Kids Lunch Ideas

JC Lunch Box: Middle Eastern Delights

JCF Lunch box of the week: Mini Fun Shaped Pizza

JCF Lunch Box of the week: Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggidy dog

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Finger Tenders & Peas

Quick and Healthy Summer Snacks

Semi-Healthy Treats & Eats with Mel: Chocolatey Peanut Butter Cookies

Pick Your Own Peach Farms Around Jersey City

The Best Pick Your Own Peach Farms Around Jersey City

Just like our posts about picking your own blueberries and strawberries around Jersey City, there are an abundance of farms to pick your own peaches as well. As we are entering into peach season, the fruits are super sweet, juicy, and fresh. To ensure you are getting the freshest peaches possible, we suggest you take out the family and go pick your own.

Let’s explore some of the best pick your own peach farms around Jersey City. So, pick a day, pick a farm, grab your baskets, and let’s go pick some Jersey fresh peaches!

Demarest Farms

Pick Your Own Peach Farms Around Jersey City

Pick your own peaches at this huge pick your own farm. Peaches at this farm are not available to pick all the time as they only allow you to pick are their fruits and peaches ripen. Be sure to check their schedule online to see when their next peach picking days are. This is definitely one of the best pick your own peach farms around Jersey City.

Prepare yourself for a new experience in peach picking. Demarest Farms features well-manicured trees, spectacular views, and tasty peach varieties – home to more than 12 varieties of pick-your-own peaches.”

Location: 244 Wierimus Road, Hillsdale, NJ 07642

 Terhune Orchards

Pick Your Own Peach Farms Around Jersey City

This is a 225-acre family owned and operated farm. They have peach picking in the summer from July until September. They offer up some of the best peaches you can pick on your own. They are perfect for eating straight from the tree or baking into a pie or cobbler.

Once you have picked peaches until your heart’s content, you can also check out the farm’s farm animals. They have sheep, goats, ducks, horses, and much more! You can also check out their tractors – this is a real hit for the little ones. Terhune is one of the best pick your own peach farms around Jersey City.

Location: 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, NJ

Alstede Farms

Admission is either free or reasonably priced on the weekends and weekdays for around $6.99 per person. Although you may not want to pay an admissions fee, it gets you a bit more than just picking your own peaches. They offer hayrides, sunflower maze, tours, and much more.

If you are looking for both white and yellow peaches for picking, Alstede Farms is the place for you. Since we are currently in peach season, there peach picking conditions are considered “excellent” on their website. Another bonus? Every weekend through August 13th, they host a peach festival and they also have a peach pancake breakfast coming up as well. This is a super fun and eventful pick your own peach farms around Jersey City.

Location: 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester

Johnson’s Corner Farm

You can pick your own peaches at Johnson’s Corner Farm from June to August. They have some really great peach picking around Jersey City and it is not too far of a drive as well, making is a convenient pick your own peach farm around Jersey City. For a minimal fee, you can also access their barnyard filled with animals and also take a super fun hayride with the kids. The farm also has ice cream for when you need a sweet treat at the end of your peach picking adventure.

Location: 133 Church Rd, Medford, NJ

Lewin Farms

Pick your own peaches are from mid-July to mid-September. However, they suggest you give them a call on the day you are planning on heading over so they can let you know what their availability is. During the winter time, they sell freshly cut Christmas trees. You can truly make Lewin Farms a year round trip with the whole family. The farm is 110 acres and is easily one of the most beautiful pick your own peach farms around Jersey City.

Location: 812 Sound Ave, Wading River, NY

 Ochs Orchard

Peach picking lasts from July to September, so their season is a little longer than most other New York and New Jersey farms.

Of course, this stunning orchard has other attractions at the farm as well. They have farm animals for the kids to meet, a gorgeous view of the valley below, and you can even pack a picnic lunch to eat with the family. It is the perfect location to get back in touch with nature and experience some fresh, clean air! Ochs is a great option for pick your own peach farms around Jersey City.
Location: Ochs Lane, Warwick, NY

Mead Orchards

From mid-July to early September, Mead Orchards have pick your own peaches along with berries and other fruits and veggies. This huge farm has over 180 acres. When berries and juicy peaches at the farm run out, be sure to make a trip in the fall when they have an abundance of apple and pumpkins. It’s the perfect place to get you in the fall and Halloween spirit and one of the best pick your own peach farms around Jersey City!

Location: 7 Scism Rd, Tivoli, NY

Battleview Orchards

Freshly baked pies, gift baskets, pick your own fruits and veggies, seasonal events, a country store…Battleview Orchards has so much stuff to do and see. Of course, they have pick your own peaches that are available to pick from July to the beginning of September. This is definitely a must check place for pick your own peach farms around Jersey City.

Location: 91 Wemrock Rd, Freehold, NJ 07728

Eastmont Orchards

This is a huge farm that has tons of pick your own options, including many varieties of peaches. They supply you with their own bags for easy picking. Picking is also super easy for younger kids. Be sure to check their Facebook page before heading down to the orchard to make sure they have pick your own peaches open for that day.

Location: 181 County Road 537 East, Colts Neck, NJ 07722

10 Best Restaurants To Go With Your Family in Jersey City

The Top 10 Best Restaurants To Go With Family in Jersey City

Jersey City is filled with an abundance of restaurants. You can find a little bit of everything in the city – from Cuben to Thai to Italian eateries. Furthermore, there are plenty of restaurants that are perfect for the whole family. It is often challenging for an entire family, small or large, to agree on a place to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Thankfully, this list explores the 10 best restaurants to go with family in Jersey City. The restaurants below offer a wide range of food options, have a great family-friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and serve up some seriously delicious food. Your family is sure to leave with full and happy bellies!

Brownstone Diner and Pancake Factory 

The Top 10 Best Restaurants To Go With Family in Jersey City

This family owned diner is truly a special experience. It’s a place where regular customers are known by name, kids are loved, and the food is made with passion and excitement. When eating at Brownstone, it will feel like family making your breakfast on a Sunday morning.

This diner is constantly ranked as #1 in Jersey City and offers a huge menu with endless options to choose from. The kids are sure to love the huge fluffy pancakes and are a definite must try. This definitely makes our top 10 best restaurants to go with family in Jersey City

Location: 426 Jersey Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Prato Bakery

The Top 10 Best Restaurants To Go With Family in Jersey City

This Tuscan inspired bakery is like a little slice of Italian heaven. This bakery offers up some delicious sweet and savory baked goods. The bread is to die for and the focaccia with Nutella is a must try for both the kids and the adults.

One customer also says, “Incredibly kid friendly cafe! With a tent and open space! Great cappuccino and prosciutto sandwich!” making it one of the 10 best restaurants to go with family in Jersey City.

Location: 61 Erie St, Jersey City, NJ

Wonder Bagels

The Top 10 Best Restaurants To Go With Family in Jersey City

With multiple locations throughout Jersey City, there is always a time and place for a hot and delicious bagel. This is an awesome place and one of the 10 best restaurants to go with family in Jersey City. These are handmade water bagels and are made fresh every day with the best ingredients possible.

They have bagels, sandwiches, salads, breakfast, lunch, and have something for everyone. It’s a great place for kids because they have simple bagel options that are perfect for the picky little eater in your life.

Location: 433 Sip Ave (Route 440), Jersey City, NJ (and more).

Beechwood Cafe

The Top 10 Best Restaurants To Go With Family in Jersey City

Located on the very popular Grove Street, this industrial style cafe has delicious tea and coffee. They serve brunch until around 3 pm every day and lunch begins at 12 pm. Kids love their simple smoothies, pancakes, and milk. They also have outdoor seating, which is perfect for when the weather is nice or if you need more room for strollers. We highly recommend you check this top 10 best restaurants to go with family in Jersey City.

Location: 290 Grove Street, Jersey City

Skinner’s Loft

The Top 10 Best Restaurants To Go With Family in Jersey City

If you are looking for the perfect family dinner sport, Skinner’s loft is certainly one of the best restaurants to go with the family in Jersey City. This place is very kid-friendly since they offer an array of markers, paper, and stickers to the little ones. The kid’s menu consists of the usual like griller cheese, pasta, and chicken fingers, but the main menu also has burgers and mac and cheese, which are also great for kids as well.

Parents will love more adult options like lentil nachos, short ribs, and mushroom pizza.

Location: 146 Newark Ave, Jersey City

Two Boots

The Top 10 Best Restaurants To Go With Family in Jersey City

Maybe the most colorful and kid and family-friendly restaurant in Jersey City, this is the perfect pizza place. Two Boots has “comfy banquettes, sidewalk seating, wine and beer, and occasional live music, this is a great place for a lunch break from work, a family dinner or a late-night jaunt from one of the local bars.”

Their super funky and cool dining room will keep the kids occupied and fascinated the entire dinner! It’s a must-go pizza place and one of the 10 best restaurants to go with family in Jersey City.

Location: 133 Newark Ave. (at Grove St.), Jersey City

Left Bank Burger Bar

10 Best Restaurants To Go With Family in Jersey City

With coloring books and crayons given to kids when you are seated, you will win over the kids with this burger bar immediately. They offer up some serious delicious burgers and have great kid meal options like freshly battered chicken fingers, sliders, and ice cream.

The huge and towering burgers may be a bit complicated for the little ones, but parents will devour these fun and creative burgers. A huge plus is their burgers are made with grass fed beef.

Location: 194 NEWARK AVE, JERSEY CITY, NJ

City Diner

10 Best Restaurants To Go With Family in Jersey City

Waffles, thick French Toast, pancakes, huge burgers, chicken finger, and so much more, this 24-hour diner is perfect for the whole family. There is something for everyone in the family here and it a definite crowd pleaser. City Diner is one of the 10 best restaurants to go with family in Jersey City.

“City Diner features rustic modern decor, hard wood floors, cushioned seats and booths, and free WiFi. Make yourself at home and enjoy the HD plasma TV’s while sipping on your favorite drink and enjoying your favorite meal. We have created an inviting modern touch that compliments the view of looking out on to the big city.”

Location: 31 Montgomery Street, Jersey City, NJ

Hamilton Inn

10 Best Restaurants To Go With Family in Jersey City

This classic downtown joint is rich with history and its food is incredible. For the kids, they have chicken fingers, french fries, pasta dishes with tomato or butter, and the cutest mini pizzas. For the parents and adults, the menu consists of options like ahi tuna burgers, huge salads, lobster rolls, and lamb burgers. Yum! You and the family should certainly try this option for 10 best restaurants to go with family in Jersey City.

Location: 708 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City, NJ

If you like Indian food, check out the Best South Indian Restaurants in Jersey City http://indiansinjerseycity.com/best-south-indian-restaurants-in-jersey-city/

The Waldo School, World of ABC in Jersey City

 The Waldo School, World of ABC in Jersey City

school in Jersey CityAn Interview with Founders, Daniela Sarbu & Dorota Mani And Curriculum Director, Courtney Bode

Located in the heart of the Waldo section of the Jersey City Waterfront, World of ABC, The Waldo School sets the standard for leading private education.

What inspired you to open The Waldo School, World of ABC:

Our inspiration were our children. We are two mommies who were looking for schools for both of our children. There were not many then as there are right now. We were looking for something different than what we had in the area. A school that was academically advanced but with a well rounded curriculum, with inspirational facilities that were green, sustainable and eco friendly too. We wanted chess, music, etiquette; multiple things that we could not find in the schools that were currently in the area.

We opened our doors in 2010. We found a space that was completely raw and we helped design it. We were almost at 80% capacity in our first year only. Most families enrolled here are from close neighborhoods in downtown Jersey City.

Private schools in jersey cityWhat kind of curriculum do you follow & how is it different from other schools in the area:

We use the International Baccalaureate program. It is a primary years program for kids from Pre-K to Highschool. The idea here is to promote inquiry based approach to teaching where kids are encouraged to ask questions and we use these learnings to develop a lot of our lesson plans and activities.

It’s a very student centric approach driven by the children’s’ interest. They are really invested in what they’re learning. Simultaneously we are also a little more academic than other schools. While following their interests we are also making sure we deliver targeted mathematics, language and arts, science instruction so the kids are not only learning what they are expected to know but a little more too. We also have smaller classes with lower ratios so students get the individual instruction that they need.

It’s important to add here that our children are a year ahead with their current programs, but because we make our approach fun, exciting and innovative, they s don’t even know that they are learning so much!

pre-schools in jersey cityWhat extracurricular activities do you offer:

In addition to academics we believe that a child needs to be well rounded socially, emotionally and physically and because of that we offer a range of extracurricular activities that are included in our tuition. Music, swimming (with a salt water system), basketball, soccer, Spanish, art, robotics, chess are all programs that are part of our curriculum from 8.30am – 3.30pm. For extra coaching in these areas, we offer private lessons too.

Students enjoy an indoor pool and gymnasium for physical education or indoor recess.

We are in the process of opening our outdoor space in June with chess tables, hoops, picnic tables etc.

pre-k in Jersey CityWhat is the student/teacher ratio in your school:

Our program runs from Infant – 3rd grade and every year we plan to open a new classroom as our kids are growing with us. In general, each classroom has about 12 students. Our ratios are as follows:

1:3 in Infants and Toddlers

1:6 in Pre-K

1:12 in KG & Up


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

Our school day runs from 7.30am -6.00pm.

daycares in Jersey City

Do you provide an option for catered lunch:

We ask parents to send lunch for their kids with instructions as needed. However for parents who would like to order lunch through us, we do work with a chef who delivers meals for kids daily to our facilities. This is not included in the tuition

We do however, offer a snack at 10.00am and 3.30pm for all kids. We take into consideration all dietary restrictions.

private school in Jersey CityDo you offer summer camp programs:

We have two summer camp programs. One program for preschoolers and second one for kindergartners and up.

Our Pre-K program is fun. A great introduction to school for kids who are new. We include academics but with summer there is a lot of outdoor time, sports and different theme based activities that we plan our days around. Interested parents can see detail on our website www.worldofabc.com.

The Elementary summer program is based on STEM so includes robotics, programing, engineering, math and science in addition to sports as well.

We open summer camp to not just the enrolled children but all kids of jersey city and beyond. Summer camp is also a good introduction for new students that are starting in September. They get acquainted with the premises and the teachers which makes for a very smooth transition for them.

elementary school in Jersey CityWhat makes you different from other schools in the area:

This school is being run by two mommies. We are not a business. We are a facility that is a home away from home for our children.They are all happy and excited. Yes, we are challenging them academically in addition to a wide range of extracurriculars but they are also learning self confidence and getting a well rounded experience.

We are also blessed with really good teachers and not to mention exceptional students! It’s important to have all the right degrees but we also choose good teachers based on their interaction with kids in the classroom.

What would you like to say to our families:

Come and see us. Our doors are always open! We make sure all our children are safe and getting the well rounded experience they need. We do everything in our power to nurture successful individuals with a strong foundation.

It is also important to note that we have a very experienced nurse on our staff at all times too.

We conduct tours for all parents on Mondays and Thursdays from 4pm-5pm. We prefer more intimate tours with fewer families on a given day so that we are able to give them more time to ask questions and listen to their concerns.

Our admissions process is also on a rolling basis. We accept applications all year around and revert to families within 3 business days on availability and next steps. We believe in open communication and transparency!

Related Blogs: Hamilton Park Montessori School, Hudson Montessori School, Apple Montessori School, The OLC School, List of other schools

Healthy Snacks for kids

Snack Time!  Healthy Snacks for kids 

Is it just me, or do your kiddos ask for snacks on average at least once per hour? Often this is out of boredom, so gentle distraction or change of focus is all it takes to divert attention to something else. When genuine hunger strikes, don’t just reach for the animal crackers or cheerios. Fostering healthy eating habits starts from day 1, if you are offering up fresh vegetables, fruits and real food, kids will take notice and develop a taste for it. If there is always an alternative, in the form of allegedly “healthy” snacks like sugary yogurt or animal crackers, kids to will gravitate towards those.

Here’s an eye opening statistic according to the American Heart Association (AHA), by the age of 4, children on average, consume more than double the amount of recommended added sugar for their age. The next time you want to grab that vanilla or chocolate milk, or fruit yogurt cup, think twice, they have on average 18-24 grams of sugar, that’s as much as ice cream.

The AHA suggests that preschoolers should consume less than 3 teaspoons (or 12 grams) daily. Children ages 4-8 should consume no more than about 4 teaspoons a day (or 16 grams). As your child grows into pre-teen and teen years, and caloric range increases, the maximum amount of added sugar included in a daily diet should be approximately 5 teaspoons of added sugar (20 grams).

It’s no secret that most convenience snacks that allege to be healthy, are in fact NOT. Often they are loaded with sodium, sugar and other additives. Here are some alternatives for healthy and nutritious snacks to stack your cupboards with:

Healthy Snacks for kids Granola Bars – most bars have 16 grams of sugar or more, seek out bars will 5 grams of sugar or less – Health Warrior Chia Bars, Trader Joe’s Nut Bars, Kind Bars, Mini Perfect Bars

 

 

Cereal – most have 10-16 grams of sugar per serving – seek out options with less than 5 grams per serving – Kashi original, Bear Naked Granola and Ezekiel are all great options

Healthy Snacks for kids Yogurt, milk and dairy drinks – most have 16 grams of sugar or more, seek out unsweetened, NATURAL, sodium free and full fat probiotic dairy products, lactose found in dairy, is already a naturally occurring sugar

 

Healthy Snacks for kids

Chips & Vegetable Chips – these tend to be full of sodium and hydrogenated oil with little to no nutritional value whatsoever – opt for air popped popcorn, or baked crackers with bean, other grains (barley, quinoa, spelt etc) nuts and seed eg. Luke’s Organic Been and Seed Crackers

Cookies & Sweets – instead, offer up dried or freeze dried fruit – figs, apricots and dates are all loaded with natural sugar and satisfy a sweet tooth, freeze dried berries are also super crunchy, sweet and tart, all great options with zero added sugar, fat and butter, found in most cookies


Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts
– now that the weather is warming up, the daily sounds of the ice cream truck and strategic placement of Italian ice stands EVERYWHERE can prove very difficult to distract attention from. Try to opt for natural cooling unsweetened lemonade with fresh fruit (often found in our local Farmer’s Markets), caffeine free iced teas (berry, citrus and passion fruit iced teas are all naturally sweet), or DIY popsicles made from crushed fruit

When kids do indulge in sweet sugary treats, which they SHOULD, just be conscious of it and balance the rest of the food for the day with healthier options offering up loads of vegetables and lean proteins. Moderation is key!

About the Author

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

Best Vegan Bakeries in Jersey City

Bakeries to Satisfy Dietary Restrictions 

Finding yummy treats that meet dietary restrictions can prove to be very challenging, especially when so many restaurants and cafes outsource much of their dessert menu to third party bakeries. I have tried, tested and thoroughly researched Jersey City and beyond to come up with this list, a tough prospect I know! This list is by no means comprehensive, as it seems there are so many home businesses (particularly of the cake making variety), that I have yet to discover. However, this should give you a good start. I have come up with a list of Best Vegan Bakeries in Jersey City.

Cocoa Bakery

Best Vegan Bakeries in Jersey CityCocoa bakery tops the list of Best Vegan Bakeries in Jersey City.This bakery has taken Jersey City by storm since its inception. The owner is a classically trained baker with several sweet treat tricks up her sleeve. Whether it’s gluten free, vegan or just eggless, this place offers several options and it will likely never disappoint as the baked treats are amazing. The cake decorating skills and creative team are also impeccable, great for big events where you want to impress on aesthetic and taste.

Egg Free Options Yes
Dairy Free Options Yes
Fully Vegan Options Yes
Refined Sugar Free Options No
Gluten Free Options Yes

Om Sweet Home 

Best Vegan Bakeries in Jersey CityI have added this bakery in my list of Best Vegan Bakeries in Jersey City because its very populer among JC residents.This café and bakery offers up baked snacks and custom cakes that are vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, wheat-free, palm oil-free, non-GMO and organic when possible. They also make their own non-dairy butter alternative available for purchase and use it in their baked goodies. It is based in Cliffside Park, NJ but they also have their treats for sale locally at Bwé Kafe in Jersey City & Hoboken. They are a very talented team and the cakes always look top notch and taste delicious. They less formal sweet treat options are also lip-smacking yummy.

Egg Free Options Yes
Dairy Free Options Yes
Fully Vegan Options Yes
Refined Sugar Free Options No
Gluten Free Options Yes

WHOS Gluten Free 

Best Vegan Bakeries in Jersey CityThis is a local Jersey City establishment where you can place orders online. They started out making wholesome vegan and gluten free granola snacks and now they have branched out into making other sweet treat options like cookies and cakes. You can also find their products in local establishments 9Bar Café and The Big Straw in downtown Jersey City. They have some really fun and quirky cake options like lavender, earl grey tea or mocha.

Egg Free Options Yes
Dairy Free Options Yes
Fully Vegan Options Yes
Refined Sugar Free Options Yes
Gluten Free Options Yes

Busy Bee Organics 

Best Vegan Bakeries in Jersey CityThis local business is from Jersey City, delivers locally and they also have a stand at Grove Street Market. Their buffins will satisfy any sweet tooth but equally offer up protein, fiber and nutrients (check out my previous blog on BUFFINS here ☺). They will keep you full for a while and you don’t have to feel guilty after consuming them. Due to their insane popularly, you can now even purchase the base buffin mix to make your own at home! Busy Bee Organics also delivers meals, caters and other savory goodies.

Egg Free Options Yes
Dairy Free Options Yes
Fully Vegan Options Yes
Refined Sugar Free Options Yes
Gluten Free Options Yes

Vegan Treats

Best Vegan Bakeries in Jersey CityIs a bakery based in Bethlehem, PA. The owner really makes up some amazing TRULY vegan desserts that make you wish you lived closer to her shop in PA. Veggie friendly Jersey City hot spots Tea NJ and Subia’s both source several fresh dessert treats from Vegan Treats on a daily basis and they are consistently delicious. Vegan cannoli or Red Velvet, yes please!

Egg Free Options Yes
Dairy Free Options Yes
Fully Vegan Options Yes
Refined Sugar Free Options No
Gluten Free Options Yes

Squirrel and the Bee

This bakery has a year round shop based out of Short Hills, NJ. They also have a table at our local Grove Street Farmer’s Market offering up 100% grainless (gluten-free), refined-sugar-free AND no or low dairy products. The bakery has some of the most amazing brownies, muffins and cakes and even savory loaves, buns and breads. On the days they are not in Jersey City, it’s worth hopping in the car to make the trip to Short Hills, for this bakery!

Egg Free Options Yes
Dairy Free Options Yes
Fully Vegan Options Yes
Refined Sugar Free Options Yes
Gluten Free Options Yes

About the Author

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

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Guilt Free Chocoholic Brownies

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Guilt Free Chocoholic Brownies 

These brownies not only deliver a truly delicious dark chocolate punch, they are also sugar, guilt and virtually FAT free! I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about baking brownies with avocado, but it really works well. Avocados have a smooth texture with a very bland neutral flavor that lend themselves ideally to dark chocolate. You cannot taste avocado, all you taste is dark chocolate. Also, as there is no sugar, gluten or dairy so as a result, they are lighter than air, making it very easy to eat A LOT without guilt.

Lunch Ideas for Kids Guilt Free Chocoholic Brownies Ingredients

  • 2 large avocados
  • 1/2 cup apple nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp coconut extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup melted unsweetened bitter dark chocolate melted with 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Instructions: Lunch Ideas for Kids: Guilt Free Chocoholic Brownies 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a blender or food processor combine avocado, apple nectar, eggs, and extracts
  3. Add above ingredients into bowl with melted chocolate. Stir to combine.
  4. Add in coconut flour, cocoa powder, sea salt and baking soda and stir until well-combined.
  5. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with coconut oil and add batter and sprinkle coconut flakes on top.
  6. Place in oven to bake for approximately 30 minutes (slightly less for fudgier brownies or slightly longer for more cake-like brownies).
  7. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting into approximately 16 brownies.

These will keep in an airtight container at room-temperature for up to 2 days or for a longer shelf-life store in the fridge or freezer.

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Guilt Free Chocoholic Brownies 

Lunch Ideas for Kids Guilt Free Chocoholic Brownies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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