The hardest part about sending my children to school initially was getting used to the fact that they wouldn’t be spending meal time with me. I wouldn’t be sitting and chatting with them while they eat their lunch, and for Jack specifically I had a next-level state of concern, as he has a severe tree nut allergy and both elementary schools he’s gone to were without blanket nut policies. Meaning, each classroom was different based on their specific needs.
After seeing Jack in anaphylactic shock more than once, the mama bear in me is desperate to maintain control over what he is exposed to. Now that he’s in second grade, however, I’m learning that he has to be the one to take the wheel more often than not, and we’re building a great system of protection and trust through learning about how to read packages, always asking questions, and by being proactive and vocal about his restrictions, especially in new situations. Part of this process also means being very careful about what I bring into the house and where I store items that he shouldn’t be around. The sole benefit of having so many children with nut allergies in the past several years is the growing amount of products that are allergy conscious and deliberate about displaying their allergens on packaging. With three children in our home, buying snacks that they all love is an absolute must-they generally all want to be eating the same thing, especially when they’re together (makes it easy for me). We recently discovered Bitsy’s Brainfood, a brand that makes snacks, cereals and cookies not only with vegetables but they are also free of nuts (proudly displayed) and can even be found at Target.
Because of my protective tendencies and affinity for cooking, I’m probably one of those “crazy” moms that loves to pack their children’s lunch. I get a kick out of preparing their meals packed with veggies and fruits, and even an added treat. Beau asked earlier this week to join his classmates for lunch for the first time today, so I pulled out his brand new lunch box and added it to our assembly line. The Bitsy’s Brainfood Smart Cookies also come in letter shapes, so it’s an added bonus for my preschooler who is just learning what letters and numbers look and sound like. He also happens to be my most picky eater, so the fact that these cookies are packed with vitamins, minerals and are GMO free is an added reason for me to put a few into his lunch routine. Plus, he’s now a big boy and gets what the big kids get. This is a pretty tremendous development in our Shyba Tribe repertoire.
Part of the beauty of raising children is instilling in them the power of choice. We are big on promoting their self-awareness and the importance of smart decision making, how it affects themselves and the people around them. We are conscious of the food we put into our bodies and the wonderful things that good foods can provide us with (and, consequently, the way that crummy foods make us feel, too). I’m incredibly proud of their everyday diet and watching them make smart choices even when us parents aren’t around. I’m particularly grateful for the “fun” foods that are available (specifically at Target because I’m a fan as you know) that taste good, are made with good, conscious ingredients and provide me with the piece of mind that any allergy parent will understand. Bitsy’s Brainfood cookies and cereals are one of these that I’m happy to bring onto our team.
I’m happy to announce that I’ll be taking over Bitsy’s Brainfood’s Instagram account the week of March 18th, plus I’m giving away a sizable stash of the Bitsy product (one of each product from their extensive line!) AND a $100 Target gift card.
To Enter the Contest: Please leave a comment below telling me what your favorite product would be to try from Bitsy’s Brainfood product line (which can be found in stores by looking here). Winner will be chosen randomly by March 20, 2015 and contacted via the email address provided within the comment section.