Be a Food Superhero – Campaign and Giveaway

Stonyfield Farm likes to ask, “What’s a Food Superhero?” Food superheroes know their food and make food choices that protect their health, family farmers, animals, and the planet. So are you a food superhero and if not, how do you become one? One simple answer is to visit Stonyfield Farm’s latest campaign at: https://iwillknowmyfood.com. Through an ongoing campaign partnered with Food Corps ( http://foodcorps.org/), Stonyfield Farm will donate $1 to each superhero profile that’s created on their site, when you share through Facebook, Twitter, or email, and when you Tweet using hashtag #FoodSuperhero. Stonyfield Farm (http://www.stonyfield.com/), a leading organic and natural yogurt company in the US, has been making great food choices for their consumers – by providing the best possible yogurts and yogurt-based frozen desserts.

According to a report made by LetsMove, a government-sponsored health initiative, child obesity has tripled over three decades in the United States. Our children and possibly future generations may be in jeopardy of obesity if something isn’t done now. It’s crucial for parents, especially parents of young children to teach their kids to eat responsibly and make responsible food choices. When kids learn at an early age to eat the right kind of foods, then they’ll grow up to eat more healthily and make healthier choices. That’s why Stonyfield Farm and Food Corps has teamed up to help kids in America live a healthier lifestyle through their everyday food choices.

As an official Healthy Child Healthy World blogger, I was given the opportunity to become a “Food Superhero”. I created a Superhero profile and my profile is: “The Green Organics”. My food superpower is: Kapow! I use food choices to protect the little guy. And my Kryptonite: Nothing!  It’s super easy and super fun to create your own Food Superhero on their site. Simply select from the choices given and you’re instantly transformed into a well-informed food superhero. Much easier than falling into toxic waste to gain superpowers! And what’s even better is that with each Superhero profile created, Stonyfield Farm will donate $1 to Food Corps for each activity performed (Create a Superhero profile, Tweet, and Like). So not only are you helping your little ones, but you’ll be able to help other little ones too. And the more activities you do on their site, the more money will be donated.

When I was given an unique opportunity to create my own Superhero profile, I was also the winner of a $50 Whole Foods Gift Card, a blue Superhero Cape, and a coupon for any Stonyfield Farm yogurt. As an official Healthy Child Healthy World blogger, I was also given the opportunity to offer 1 LUCKY reader of Happymomblogger the opportunity to win the Be a Food Superhero prize pack. The winner will receive a $50 Whole Foods Gift Card, a Superhero cape, and a Stonyfield Farm coupon. So how do you win this wonderful prize as well as help others? Read below to find out!

Here’s how to enter in the Stonyfield Farm Food Superhero giveaway:

(Please note, the rules have changed slightly. Please read carefully before entering)

ENTRIES:

#1 entry (2 tasks) – “Like” Stonyfield Farm on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stonyfieldfarm and write on their wall that you are entering the contest at Happymomblogger: http://www.happymomblogger.wordpress.com/. Please put Happymomblogger as the heading. Create your Superhero Profile on https://iwillknowmyfood.com and tell me what your profile is.

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:

#2 entry – Become a follower: http://twitter.com/#!/happymomblogger and “Tweet” me @happymomblogger that you are entering the Stonyfield Food Superhero giveaway. Become a follower of Stonyfield Farm: https://twitter.com/Stonyfield and “Tweet” that you are entering the Stonyfield Food Superhero contest at Happymomblogger.

#3 entry – Subscribe to my Blog.

#4 entry – Enter in my other contests.

#5 entry – Vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs using the link provided below.

You can enter by telling me the 5 entries in the LEAVE A COMMENT box. Please be sure to give me your name and email address so that I may contact you if you win. Contest is open to residents of US only. 18 years and older please. Please be sure to provide a physical address and not a P.O. Box. Only 1 contestant per household please. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of prize. Any violation of the rules will deem your entry as disqualified. Happymomblogger is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged prizes but will do the best to ensure your prize gets there. In  the event the winner can not be contacted within 3 days of email sent then another winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibed by law.

Contest Start Date: October 19, 2012

Contest End Date: October 29, 2012 – Congratulations to Sara for winning the prize!

Only 1 winner will be chosen at random and I will post the winner’s name on my blog.

GOOD LUCK AND THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING!

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

*If you’re unsure about supplements, please be sure to consult your health practitioner before consuming any.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

Amy’s Kitchen – Products Worth Reviewing

People often ask me if being a vegetarian is hard to do. But honestly, I’ve been a vegetarian for so long, that I really can’t recall when I started. I think it was around when I was in junior high or maybe younger. But the main reasons for being a vegetarian is for the love of animals and for wanting to live a healthier lifestyle. There’s never a wrong reason to start being a vegetarian but you have to know what type of foods to eat to sustain your energy and maintain good health. Being a vegetarian isn’t about eating potato chips or fried okras all day. And yes, although they’re vegetables, they’re not altogether nutritious or necessarily healthier.

On the other hand, you don’t have to be a strict vegetarian to enjoy vegetarian food either. Vegetarian food is all about a balanced diet and obviously not eating any animals. In fact, most plant-based foods such as soy and nuts contain all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that you can’t necessarily find in meat. And vegetarian fare can be really delicious and satisfying. I personally think there are more flavor in vegetarian-style foods because you can use any kind of spices, seasonings, and condiments to add to your dishes. And they’re also beautiful to look at to what with the glorious reds, oranges, greens, and yellows, vegetarian dishes are pleasing to the eyes and the palettes. I’m constantly finding new ways to cook more vegetarian food mainly because my husband was raised on eating meat and only meat and I want him to understand the importance of eating more plant-based foods. Our son loves most vegetables as it is and he absolutely enjoys fruits no matter what. So luckily getting my son to eat more vegetables isn’t a problem.

If you’re seriously thinking about starting a vegetarian lifestyle, then there are countless of resources to help you with that. One great company who dedicates their business on feeding people healthier meat-alternative foods is Amy’s Kitchen (http://www.amys.com/). Amy’s Kitchen has been making meatless frozen foods for over 20 years and their perfection in making high quality, delicious, and nutritious foods are indicated in every dish that they make. Amy’s makes frozen foods that ranges from frozen pizzas, to veggie burgers, to burritos, to Asian-style meals, to kid’s meals, and they recently added gluten-free shortbread cookies to their immaculate line of desserts. Speaking of desserts, if you’ve ever wondered about the taste of gluten-free cakes, then wonder no more! Amy’s makes a gluten-free chocolate cake that is super moist, not overly sweet, and oh-so-chocolately. Of course they make regular cakes and desserts as well and they are all equally good and delicious.

Amy’s Kitchen originated over 20 years ago when a love for wholesome, natural, healthy foods was just starting. The founders, who named their company after their daughter, wanted to provide other families with foods made from natural and organically-grown ingredients that also tastes like they were made from your own kitchen. With a “made from scratch” quality and recipes, Amy’s little home-based business soon grew into a much larger company and their products can now be found in most natural grocery stores as well as major supermarkets that carry natural and organic products. At Amy’s, every aspect of their business, from sourcing locally grown foods to packaging to manufacturing is under the strict eye of the family. They believe that in order for food to taste good and to be appreciated, it’s important to be part of every aspect possible. Amy’s owners promises to make every dish from scratch, using scratch sauces, organically and locally grown ingredients, and recipes that everyone can enjoy – whether you’re a vegetarian or not. And at Amy’s health is the most important part of their business – healthy food choices promotes a healthier lifestyle and eating less meat is better for the environment and for the animals.

My son absolutely loves Amy’s Macaroni and Cheese and Veggie Loaf. The Macaroni and Cheese is made with organic whole flours, organic seasonings, and organic milk. It has a delicate and creamy texture and the flavor of cheese is delightfully smooth and not too heavy. The Macaroni and Cheese comes in several versions – Dairy Free Rice Macaroni and Cheez, Light in Sodium Macaroni and Cheese, Regular Macaroni and Cheese, Macaroni and Soy Cheez, and Rice Mac and Cheese. That’s one of the great things about Amy’s – they provide delicious food for everyone in mind. The Veggie Loaf is loaded with nutritious ingredients such as organic peas, organic carrots, organic corn, organic mushrooms, organic oats, and several other wonderful ingredients. The Veggie loaf resembles your typical meat loaf but it’s filled with so much more nutritious ingredients and loaded with lots of vitamins. Their sauce is really extraordinaire and if only they would include more sauce or even sell it in a bottle! We’re also fans of Amy’s pizzas because they are made with a thin crust and filled with so many ingredients, the local pizza restaurant couldn’t even compete. Amy’s makes over 20 different varieties of frozen pizzas so I’m pretty sure you’ll find something to your liking. Our favorites are the Broccoli & Spinach White Pizza which is made with a gentle blend of organic cream sauce and organic broccoli and spinach. And their Italiano Pizza which is made with meatless sausage, mushrooms, and bell peppers, and their Spinach Pizza which is loaded with lots of vitamin-rich spinach. If you ever want to “sneak” vegetables into your children’s diets, then let them try Amy’s frozen pizzas. The vegetables are all in there, but they’re blended so well and seasoned so finely, that your kids won’t mind eating their veggies at all.

The good folks at Amy’s knew that we were fans of their food so they sent us some coupons to pick up any variety that we wanted. We decided to try their Broccoli and Spinach White Pizza (which has now become our favorite frozen pizza), their Indian Paneer Tikka which was paired nicely with organic basmati rice and swimming in a delectable tomato and coconut cream sauce, and their Cheese Pizza Snacks, which by the way, is my son’s other favorite Amy’s food. Amy’s makes such a great selection of organic and natural foods that it’ll take awhile to try them all. I’m so glad that there really are so many products to choose from that if I’m ever too tired to cook a meal for myself or I want to fix a quick, wholesome, delicious, and natural snack for my son, I can count on Amy’s to provide them for me.

If you need more info about Amy’s Kitchen’s foods, please visit their website: http://www.amys.com/. Their website also contains tons of great information about how to eat healthier, incredible recipes, as well as their delightful food blog, The Lemonslice. Amy’s carry products for those with gluten-sensitivity, for vegans and vegetarians, and for those with certain food allergies. And since all of their products are made with ingredients that have not been genetically modified or engineered, whether they’re organically grown or not, I have another thing I don’t have to worry about feeding to my son.

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happym omblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products. 

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

Crofter’s Organic – Products Worth Reviewing and Giveaway

We love fruits in our family. We eat them fresh as is, baked into pies, and as jams and spreads. Once I even made my own jam which turned out pretty good but it was a bit too time-consuming as I had to make a bunch for the holidays. So for me, it’s just as easy and delicious to buy some really extraordinary jams and spreads that are made with natural and organic ingredients. In fact, if I had to make it from scratch using all organic ingredients, it would probably cost way more. And if I was going to make it from scratch, I definitely wouldn’t use inferior ingredients – it wouldn’t be fair to my family and to the recipients.

There are many fruit jams and spreads out on the market today, but most of them use generic, low quality fruits and more sugar than necessary. Sugar is addicting and that’s why conventional companies put a lot of sugar in their jams and preserves so that people will buy them.  But in reality, a really good and simple fruit jam or spread does not need to contain a lot of sugar. With Crofter’s Organics, they use less sugar than the conventional brands and they use organic white grape juice as a sweetener when possible.  In fact, their Just Fruit Spreads line uses 100% fruit ingredients and is sweetened with organic grape juice. And since their jams and spreads are made with organic fruits, you don’t have to worry about any toxic pesticides or herbicides sitting in them. We really enjoy their Just Fruit Spreads because you can really taste the true flavor of each individual fruit inside the jar.

Crofter’s Organic (http://www.croftersorganic.com/) was founded and developed in Canada when a young German couple imigrated to Canada with hopes of bringing fresh, simple, and delicious jams to their new country. With a philosophy, “be serious about keeping it simple”, Crofter’s Organics soon became the leading organic and all-natural jam manufacturer in North America. With over 20 years of experience in the jam-making business, Crofter’s Organics really knows their jam-making business. When you first take a bite into their luscious fruit jams, you’re instantly reminded of how jam should taste like – simple, wholesome, and mouth-watering. Their fruit jams and spreads are not overly sweet and they’re super easy to use on almost anything. I like to eat them on toast, waffles, and bagels, and both my son and I love drizzling them on our ice cream and yogurt. In fact, we buy plain ice cream and yogurt just so we can mix some of Crofter’s Organic jams in them.

Breakfast is really important in our family as it should be with anyone but fruit jams and spreads aren’t just for breakfast anymore. As previously stated, we like Crofter’s Organic jams on our ice cream just for an extra special treat and I don’t feel too bad giving it to my son since their jams are made with only natural and organic ingredients. And since they contain much less sugar than the other conventional brands, it’s okay to spread a little bit more than usual. I truly taste only the fruit when I eat their jams because they pack a lot of fruit inside them. And Crofter’s Organic promise to use only fruits grown from nearby organic farms and organic sugar that are Rainforest Alliance certified. In fact, they hope to use only organic grape juice in all of their fruit jams and spread in the near future as a sweetener. It’s healthier by definition and definitely taste a whole lot different.

Currently Crofter’s Organic produces the following varieties and flavors: Premium Spreads which has 11 different fruit flavors and one-third less sugar than conventional jams. And their Premium Spreads jams are made with impressive fruits such as Blood Orange, Morello Cherry, and Wild Blueberry as well as the more popular flavors including Strawberry, Rasberry, and Grape. They also produce Superfruit Spreads which features unique fruit blends from four different continents – Asia, which includes organic yumberry which is known for maintaining and restoring health; Europe, which includes Pomegranate and Black Currant known for antioxidants; North America which includes Wild Cranberries and Blueberries known for their antioxidants and vitamins; South America which includes Maqui Berries and Passionfruit known for their potent antioxidants. I really enjoy their Superfruit Spreads because they’re thick and loaded with tons of fruit pieces and bits. They’re absolutely wonderful on toast because of the thicker consistency and for those who love a lot of “superpower” fruits, you’ll really enjoy Crofter’s Superfruit Spreads. Crofter’s Organics also produces Just Fruit Spreads which are made with 100% fruit ingredients and sweetened with only grape juice concentrate. But because they are packed with more fruit than usual, they really don’t need a lot of sugar in them anyways. We really appreciate that Crofter’s Just Fruit Spreads contain only organic fruits and are not too sweet but sweet enough.

Crofter’s Organic fruit jams and spreads are currently sold in natural grocery stores and their adorable bear mascot surrounded by fruits and flowers are easy to spot on the shelves. Crofter’s Organic knew how much I enjoy real fruit jams and spreads so they sent me several coupons to try and review their products. They are also offering 2 LUCKY readers of Happymomblogger the opportunity to pick up their own flavors to try. Each winner will receive 2 FREE product coupons to pick up any flavor and variety. So how do you win this scrumptious prize? Read below to find out!

Here’s how to enter in the Crofter’s Organic giveaway:

(Please note, the rules have changed slightly. Please read carefully before entering)

ENTRIES:

#1 entry – “Like” Crofter’s Organic on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/croftersorganic?ref=s and write on their wall that you are entering the contest at Happymomblogger: http://www.happymomblogger.wordpress.com/. Please put Happymomblogger as the heading.

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES: 

#2 entry – Become a follower: http://twitter.com/#!/happymomblogger and “Tweet” me @happymomblogger that you are entering the Crofter’s Organic giveaway.

#3 entry – Subscribe to my Blog.

#4 entry – Visit: http://www.croftersorganic.com/ and tell me which flavor you would love to try.

#5 entry – Vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs using the link provided below.

You can enter by telling me the 5 entries in the LEAVE A COMMENT box. Please be sure to give me your name and email address so that I may contact you if you win. Contest is open to residents of US only. 18 years and older please. Please be sure to provide a physical address and not a P.O. Box. Only 1 contestant per household please. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of prize. Any violation of the rules will deem your entry as disqualified. Happymomblogger is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged prizes but will do the best to ensure your prize gets there. In  the event the winner can not be contacted within 3 days of email sent then another winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibed by law.

Contest Start Date: July 11, 2012

Contest End Date: July 18, 2012 – Congratulations to Julie and Carol on winning the prizes!

Only 2 winners will be chosen at random and I will post the winners name on my blog.

GOOD LUCK AND THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING!

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products. 

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

All-Natural; What does it really mean?

It seems that almost every company today are claiming that their products are all-natural. You can find all-natural food, all-natural clothing, all-natural bedding, even all-natural hair coloring. But are these claims true? And what defines the word “natural”, actually? Webster dictionary describes natural as:  existing in or produced by nature : not artificial . So then what does artificial mean exactly? Well, Webster then defines artificial as: humanly contrived often on a natural model. So if you compared the two words, then it appears that artificial derives from nature. But good old common sense can tell you that artificial is usually man-made and not derived from nature. If all of this just sounds too daunting, then imagine what us as consumers can feel when it comes to buying natural products.

The natural food and products industry wasn’t very popular or prominent a few years ago. There was hardly a demand for them and the cost was too high. But as people across the world, and mostly in the United States realized the importance of eating more naturally, the business grew and became almost an overnight sensation. The government and private sectors all had an interest in the natural food and products industry and even mandated organic guidelines and labeling. However, the government has yet to mandate natural ingredients and that’s because there’s a fine line between what companies call their products as “natural”, and what us as consumers really think natural is. And the baffling part is – the owners, stockholders, and employees are also consumers, so wouldn’t they worry about their imprudent claims of their products being “all-natural”? Do they not serve those same products to their own families? Well, one would think so, but then money and power comes into play and us, the real folks who look for natural and organic products are left in the dust.

So how do you really know if a product is made from natural ingredients? In 1990, a law passed in the US that gave the FDA authority to require nutrition labeling of most foods regulated by the Agency; and to require that all nutrient content claims and health claims meet FDA regulations. The FDA is a pretty powerful agency within the United States Federal departments and when the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/Inspections/InspectionGuides/ucm074948.htm) was approved, I think most people rejoiced. Parents knew that the foods their kids were eating were going to be recognizable and they had a choice in whether to buy them or not – based on the list of ingredients. I, for one, always read the label of ingredients first before I buy anything and that goes for food, clothing, cleaning supplies, etc. But reading the labels can be a guessing game too especially when some ingredients do not use generic terms like, “whole wheat” or “apples”. In fact, some words that may look scary, like A. barbadensis is really just the aloe vera plant. So then how do you really know what is natural and why some people label ingredients using their Latin terms?

When it comes to food for instance, you should always make sure they are ingredients that don’t offer potential health risks down the line. For instance, artificial food coloring has certain dyes in them that can prove fatal for some people. Certain ingredients like aspartame, potassium benzoate, and high fructose corn syrup can cause harm to your liver and kidneys and make them work harder than necessary to process those toxic ingredients. Although some might argue that minimal ingestion is okay, when you think about it – if you ingest them minimally on a regular basis, then you’re taking in more than you normally should. And artificial ingredients do not have any essential nutritional benefits such as vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy. So when the big companies add nutritional content into their artificially-made food letting you think that you’re getting something better, well, you’re really not. Your best bet is to eat something that came from nature. After all, centuries of evolution proved to us that we as human beings, have learned something from our ancestors. And as we watch people get sick from eating too much junk we come to realize that eventually, we’ll have to make smarter food choices otherwise we might face health problems as we get older. My dad, who is a doctor, always conveyed his important message: “You may enjoy those foods now, but when your body gets older, you’ll regret it”.  But when we’re younger, we don’t really care whether that piece of chocolate cake was made from natural ingredients like whole wheat flour, eggs, and cocoa or made with Red 40 or Yellow 5 food dyes. And yes, as young and inexperienced as kids can be, there are many adults who are still oblivious to the dangers of artificial ingredients, or they simply don’t care. That’s why babies and young children need to learn early on that all those fun colors they see on their cupcakes and cookies aren’t necessarily good for them. Sure, they’re fun and tasty, but there are alternatives to those nasty ingredients.

That’s when the natural ingredients come in. Natural food coloring such as beets and purple carrots are used for many types of food such as beverages, frosting, and cakes and they are extracts of red beets and purple carrots. Much healthier than those old-fashioned synthetic food colorings and probably better looking too. Those bright red and pink colors on cupcakes were never really attractive to me in the first place and I steer clear from them whenever my son and I are grocery shopping. Other natural ingredients such as whole wheat flour are more beneficial to you than enriched wheat flour because whole wheat flour is made from the entire berry of the wheat which includes the bran and the germs and thus yielding all of its natural nutrients. Although enriched wheat was brought upon by a deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the US, if we eat food in their natural state, we are actually getting more out of them. Other favorite and popular natural ingredients such as brown rice flour, maple syrup, and sea salt are among the best-tasting ingredients you can find as supposed to artificial sweeteners, table salt, and white flour. And although table salt and white flour derives from salt and wheat, they are heavily processed and thus stripped of their natural nutrients, so in essence, they have become “man-made”.

So as we are getting more aware of natural food and natural products, we must also be aware of reading the labels on those natural food and products. Put the labels to good use – they’re there for a reason – so that you can make a sensible decision on whether to buy that or not for your kids. If you’re ever in doubt, look up the ingredients and determine if they are naturally-derived and if they are beneficial to your health. But be warned, there are also other natural ingredients that can harm you as well. My number one rule is – the lesser ingredients listed, the better. Unless the product your buying is meant to include more all-natural ingredients for taste and nutritional value. Some whole wheat breads contain not only whole wheat, but oat flour, barley, and honey for nutritional benefits.

And as much as we would love to cook all of our meals from scratch, in reality, we really can’t. Time, resources, money, they all factor into the convenience of buying food made by food companies. We just have to be wiser, look harder, and decide what is really natural enough for us and how much of it we should eat. After all, sugar is still natural, but that doesn’t mean we should be pouring it down our throats either. We as parents, even more so, must teach our children to eat more naturally and to make healthier food choices when they are grown up.

Now, how about those natural cleaning products? Well, that’s another story for another time!

Natural Products Expo West – The Latest and Greatest!

 

We were not going to miss the Natural Products Expo West this year, so when I heard that they were considering not allowing children on the showroom floors, both my son and I were disappointed. But through an overwhelming response from parents and exhibitors nationwide, the folks at NPE decided not to change their rules and allow children on the floors again. But next year will be another story – hopefully they’ll stand by their decision to allow children on the showroom floor. After all, most of the companies presenting at the Expo are dedicated in providing natural, organic, and healthy products for kids so how can you NOT have children at the event? Children are the best testers – their honest and candid opinions will surely help improve a product!

The Press Room this year was pretty interesting though. They had members of the industry vote on their top 10 products that were showcased in the Press Room. There were some pretty interesting companies with their newest products showcased such as Broo, which is a shampoo that contains beer, Shindig which are insulated cooler bags, and Indochine which makes natural soap, and other interesting stuff which I’ll get into later. I suppose the voting is to help the companies determine the popularity of their products and since there were over 20 companies to choose from, the voting became a bit difficult without being too prejudiced. But all in all, it was pretty fun – I felt like a member of the Motion Pictures Academy voting for the best movie or best supporting actress.

This year, there were many new companies attending the Expo and showing their newest products. Most of these companies were from overseas and were bringing their products into the United States. We weren’t able to visit all of the newer companies but most of them were tea companies from England, several new mom startup companies, coconut brands, and a few new chocolate companies – who couldn’t use more chocolates, right? But the majority of companies at the Expo were companies that have been in the business for a very long time and are becoming more popular as people are realizing the importance of eating healthily and naturally. And while I did visit some contacts whom I’ve worked with in reviews and giveaways, it was fun to meet new people and new companies. Everyone was excited to explain to you about their products and they were fervently having you try their samples as well. There were chocolates, candies, cookies, vitamin supplements, hand lotions – you name it, it was  there.

But it was the larger companies who really shined at the Expo. With an outstanding marketing approach, companies like CLIF Bar/LUNA had samples galore, and they even had a gaming center set up for kids and adults to play at. The staff were friendly and eager to answer your questions and if you were really hungry, you could probably get full on all the samples they were providing everyone. At the Stonyfield Farm booth, there were samples of their newest Oikos Greek Yogurt for Kids and their booth was set up like a farm with adorable little farm animals, hay, and flowers. There was even a photo area where you can dress up like a cowboy or cowgirl and have your photo or video taken there. It’s always fun to visit Stonyfield Farm as the staff is always eager for you to try their products and handing out souvenirs like tattoes, books, and yogurt. And as you leave the Convention Center, Stonyfield Farm hands you their famous yogurt ice cream bars and yogurt tubes so the walk to your vehicles won’t be so tiring.

Other companies such as Jones Soda, Popchips, and Honest Tea were giving out full size products and if you’re lucky and stayed for the last day of the event, you can take home many other full size products as well. But what was a really grand gesture was the fact that most of the food and perishables were being donated to the local food banks and charities. It was nice to see that all those food weren’t going to go to waste! And this year the exhibitors were smarter with their displays – they cleverly displayed empty cartons and packages just so people won’t grab them on the sly. It was quite shameful to see several people grab boxes of products that were meant for display only as they sneaked them quickly into their resuable bags. I wondered if any of them even knew what they were grabbing?

It seemed like time flew by really quickly at the 3-day Expo. We hardly had a chance to visit every booth and with so many new companies and products out on the market, it was exhilerating and challenging to take in all of the sights, tastes, and people. As usual, the Natural Products Expo West was superbly planned and implemented. The registration was easy and hassle-free and the staff were helpful and friendly. The booths were all set up with extraordinary professionalism and with so many samples offered from the different companies, you really couldn’t go hungry or tired. The event was exhilirating and fun and I’m glad we were able to go again this year. I hope to bring you new products that you may find interesting, as the world of natural and organic living just keeps on growing!

Mambo Sprouts – your resource for healthy and organic food and products!

Many years ago finding organic and all-natural food and products wasn’t all that easy – unless you grew them or made them yourself – most of the time you had to depend on conventional foods in regular supermarkets. Although conventional foods aren’t so bad, as long as you know what you’re buying, as years grew by however, the popularity of organically-grown foods and natural products became more prevalent. Natural grocery stores were popping up everywhere and farmers markets were becoming the norm. But finding organic food and natural products can be difficult sometimes especially if you don’t have the resources or the income to purchase them on a regular basis. That’s why as years grow by, environmental and organic companies and resources are also popping up everywhere to help everyone who is interested in the importance of organic and natural food and products and to offer ways of saving as well.

Several years ago when I was learning more about the benefits of organic products and how it affects our health and our planet, I came across a company called Mambo Sprouts: http://www.mambosprouts.com/. Mambo Sprouts is a company dedicated in educating and helping those who wish to learn more about environmental concerns, healthy living through food and lifestyle choices, and saving money while making healthier food choices. Through their website and touring events, they’ve helped thousands of people gain a deeper understanding about the health benefits of eating and using organic and natural products and the effects it has on our planet as well. If you ever have a question about what fair trade is about or what the country is doing with the “Just Label It” campaign, you can always check out their website for more info. And the best part is, if you ever need any coupons to help you with those organic and natural products purchases, their website offers those too. However, the best way to gleen more info from the company is to sign up for their newsletter which is sent to you on a regular basis with great info and great coupons.

Mambo Sprouts began over 15 years ago as a means to provide info on healthier ways to live for yourself and for the world. Through their touring events, promotions, and ongoing slew of helpful information, one can always find something new to learn and to try. They also offer contests and giveaways on a regular basis so you can enter to win some great prizes. Coupons that are offered on their sites are familiar organic and natural products such as Stonyfield Farm, Earth Balance, Vans Natural Foods, and so much more. So whether you’re a pro at finding and buying organic foods and products or just learning how, you can always find something useful at Mambo Sprouts. And with some coupons in your hands to buy the products you want to try, you’ll likely go back for more.

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products. 

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

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