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Natural Goodness Blog

  • 5 Fun Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

    If you’re the adult that always wishes they would get seated at the kids table – this is the blog for you! Five fun kid’s activities that will not only keep the little ones occupied – but will also make their table sparkle (and not in the “OMG there’s glitter everywhere!” way).

    Do you have a fun activity you do with your kids every Thanksgiving? Share with us on Facebook!

    1. Thanksgiving Bingo

    Thanksgiving BingoThis adorable Bingo card is already designed and ready to go (get the free printable here: https://crazylittleprojects.com/thanksgiving-bingo/) and is such a fun way to keep the kids entertained before dinner. Picky eater in the house? You could also fill the card with all kinds of different Thanksgiving foods and challenge the kids make “bingo” by trying a bite of each!

    2. Kraft Paper Table Runner

    Kraft Paper Table RunnerNo need to ruin a perfectly good white table cloth by placing it even remotely near the kids table. Instead, try this genius parenting hack and cover the table with Kraft paper. (Super cute design ideas here: https://bydawnnicole.com/2014/11/kraft-paper-table-runner.html) It makes for a really pretty aesthetic, is easy to clean, and also gives the kids a place to color while they wait for their turkey dinner!

    3. Turkey Play-Dough

    Turkey Play-DoughDon’t worry, the dough isn’t actually made out of turkey! Instead, roll up some regular Play-Dough into small balls, and provide the kiddos with various decorations to create their own Thanksgiving turkeys (get some great decoration ideas here: https://www.fantasticfunandlearning.com/thanksgiving-turkey-play-dough.html). Super cute, and great for working on fine motor skills.

    4. Fall Leaf Suncatchers

    Fall Leaf SuncatchersIf nothing else, kids are great at ripping things up. Put that skill to use with this fun sun catcher project. Let the kids rip up the tissue paper, press into a self-laminating pouch, and then cut into the shape of your favorite fall leaf. Get the full tutorial here: http://www.ehow.com/13559464/how-to-make-beautiful-leaf-suncatchers/.

    5. Turkey Hand Prints

    Turkey Hand PrintsAn oldie but goodie, this craft never seems to lose its appeal, especially amongst the finger paint lovers! Pull some (washable) paints out of the craft box, maybe grab a couple of googly eyes, and get started creating your own Thanksgiving turkeys. We love the idea of writing something your child is thankful for on each feather as well!

  • 3 Not-Totally Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes

    Thanksgiving is all about the staples- turkey, mashed potatoes, maybe a green bean casserole or two? But what about the extras? The sides, the desserts, the breakfast for the morning after? If you’re willing to think (re: eat) a little bit outside the box, we’ve got three delicious recipes for you to try.

    What are your favorite Thanksgiving flavors? Share with us on Facebook!

    1.Creamy Butternut Squash BakeButternutSquashNot your typical squash bake, this version includes Oakhurst heavy cream for a deliciously smooth texture, and panko bread crumbs, brown sugar, and pecans for a sweet and crunchy caramelized topping. It’s almost like having dessert for dinner!

    2. Eggless Pumpkin “Nog”PumpkinNogOakhurst Egg Nog is made with real eggs, of course. But if you want to try something a little different, this homemade pumpkin version is more like pumpkin pudding in a glass. Perfect for kids and adults alike. Top with whipped cream and dig in!

    3. Butternut Squash and Pear CrepesButternutSquash crepesThe perfect solution for the morning after Thanksgiving, this Butternut Squash and Pear Crepe uses leftover squash and cranberry sauce to create a perfectly sweet and savory crepe. Relax and enjoy, or bake at the crack of dawn to fuel up for Black Friday shopping!

  • 3 Perfect Pasta Recipes to Celebrate National Pasta Day

    Just in case you need a reason (aside from “it tastes SO good!”) to eat a warm, delicious pasta dish this fall – today is the day – National Pasta Day! Celebrate the deliciousness that is macaroni, spaghetti, farfalle and more with one of these perfect pasta recipes that the entire family can agree on.

    1. Parmesan Chicken Fettuccine A family favorite, this dish comes together quickly and has something for everyone (veggies, chicken, bacon, cheese). Tastes delicious warm and makes for yummy leftovers, too!1

    2. Smoky Mac and Cheese A tasty twist on a household staple, the smoked gouda and seasoned breadcrumbs in this rendition take Mac and Cheese to a whole new (grown up) level. So much better than out of a box!2

    3.  Farfalle with Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce Looking to impress your guests at a dinner party? Or just trying to get the kids fed before bedtime? This gourmet-tasting recipe takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. Simply simmer, puree, and pour over your favorite pasta for a delicious last-minute dish. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese for some extra flavor and the perfect amount of crunch.3

  • 3 Spooky Snacks for a Homemade Halloween

    It’s officially October which means it’s time hang the cobwebs (instead of clean them) and start shopping for the 16 different costumes your kid inevitably “has to have” (a new idea every other day). Unfortunately, we can’t help you with the costume indecision – but we do have 4 easy-to-make, spooky snacks that kids will love either after school or at their next Halloween party.

    Do you have a favorite Halloween treat? Share with us on Facebook!

    1. Ghosted Milk Shooters  

    These super cute ghosted milk shooters require only one ingredient – milk! Simply pour into a tall shot glass and use a sharpie to create ghost eyes and a mouth. Garnish with sprinkles, cookies or other treats as you see fit. It’s the perfect way to add a little protein and calcium to an otherwise sugary evening. MilkShooter

    2.  Silly Apple Bites

    Not all Halloween snacks have to include candy. This adorable take on a spooky snack is made from apples, peanut- or sunbutter, sunflower seeds, strawberries and of course, googly eyes. Get the recipe here.Silly Apple bites

    3.  Grapefruit Jack-O-Lanterns

    You probably don’t want your kids eating candy for breakfast, but this Grapefruit Jack-O-Latern is the perfect way to bring Halloween fun into your morning routine. Empty and carve out a grapefruit, then fill with fruits, veggies, cereal or any other of your morning staples. Get the instructions here.Jack olanterns

  • 5 Fall Foods We Can’t Get Enough Of

    Fall is here and before everyone freaks out about how close we are to winter – let’s just take a moment to enjoy everything the harvest season has to offer. Like, for example, pumpkin spice lattes, apple pies and maple everything. Check out our 5 favorite fall foods (with recipes to match!) and then leave us a comment with your favorite seasonal snacks.

    1. Apple

    Obviously apples had to make this list – an iconic harvest season staple. There are so many delicious ways to cook with apples, but we love how simple this Apple Walnut Overnight Oats recipe is. The apple pie spice is the perfect addition, giving this make-ahead meal a “dessert for breakfast” kind of reputation. Yum! apple-walnut

    2. Pumpkin

    Pumpkin spice lattes are a New England fan favorite – but you don’t have go through the drive thru to get one. This make-at-home recipe is perfect for all the pumpkin lovers that prefer to stay in their PJs all day. PumpkinSpice

    3. Maple Syrup

    Fall = football season, and football season calls for chicken wings. These Maple Glazed Chicken Wings are sweet, spicy, salty and smoky – seriously everything. Don’t forget to use REAL New England maple syrup!maple

    4. Squash

    Healthy, hearty and full of flavor – Butternut Squash is a fall superfood. This Roasted Butternut Squash Soup is perfect for cool, cozy evenings in. Serve with bacon and croutons for the ultimate comfort food feast. squash

    5. Cranberries

    They’re often used as decoration (think: centerpieces, garlands), but cranberries are a yummy Fall ingredient as well. These Almond Cranberry Muffins are an excellent breakfast-on-the-go, and take less than 30 minute to make (including baking time!). Almondcranmuffin

    What are your favorite fall foods?

     

  • 3 Fun Things to Do with Apples This Fall (besides eat them)

    Apple picking season is in full swing – and while we love apple everything (pies, sauce, jam, cobbler, crisp…the list goes on), sometimes you just have more apples than you can eat. Save yourself the belly ache and try one or all of these fun apple projects with the kids

    1.Candle Holders

    Apples are the perfect harvest table décor, and they just happen to make great candle holders as well. Carve out the top of a fresh apple and place a tea light in the center (detailed directions here), then arrange in a dish or on a platter for a beautiful Fall centerpiece.

    Apple

    2. Apple Stamps

    A is for apple – and also – art! Turn your favorite fruits and veggies into beautiful stamps in just four simple steps. Get the tutorial (and all kind of design inspiration) here.

     

    3. Shrunken Heads

    We know – it sounds gross – but this fun and easy project is perfect Halloween prep. Follow the simple steps here to carve and dry your leftover apples into spooky Halloween décor.

    shruken heads

  • Oakhurst Celebrates 20th Year as Beach to Beacon Sponsor

    Since 1997 Oakhurst has partnered with Beach to Beacon, an event we believe aligns perfectly with our commitment to environmental sustainability, healthy active kids, and community impact through giving.

    OakieB2B

    This year, in addition to handing out half-pints of free chocolate milk, we also enhanced our commitment to the organization, becoming the presenting sponsor of the Kids Fun Run and highly competitive High School Mile.

    At the Fun Run, we encouraged children and their families to join us in doing good for the environment by filling out a sustainability pledge card, and gave participants the chance to paint their feet and run across an enormous “Small Footprints” canvas, which will hang at our Forest Avenue headquarters and be used at family-focused events throughout the year.

    Oakie2B2bSFP

    The High-School mile race included Maine’s top 31 high-school-aged boys and girls, and culminated with a winner’s ceremony in which the top three runners in each category (male and female) received $250, $150, and $100 respectively to donate to a charity of their choice.JLboysJLGIrls

    Prior to the race, each competitor sent us their chosen charity, and at the last minute, we decided to expand our commitment and award each competitor (instead of just the winners) with a $50 donation to their chosen organization, more than doubling our financial commitment.

    FInish

    “It was deeply inspiring to be a part of this year’s TD Beach to Beacon High School Mile and to watch these Maine students compete,” said Jim Lesser, Oakhurst VP of Marketing and Sales. “The goal of the High School Mile is to attract the state’s best and then to encourage their best. By allowing each of the racers to select a charity of their choice, we felt it would be an opportunity for them to experience first-hand the satisfaction of helping others.”

    Group

    The charitable funds will be dispersed this week to a total of 13 nonprofit organizations in Maine, including Camp Sunshine ($450), Center for Grieving Children ($400), Seeds of Peace ($350), and Maine Adaptive ($250).

    Thank you to all who participated and came out to support this incredible event!

     

  • 5 Tips To Get Back In The Swing Of School Lunches

    With fall approaching fast, it’s time to start reviving the school-year rituals that – let’s face it – can get a little rusty over the summer. Whether your kids are athletes, musicians, dancers, brainiacs, or all of the above, one sure-fire way to power them through the day is ensure that they have plenty of food packed. Here are 5 tricks that can make it easier for you to make it easier for them:

    1. Pack the night before. Most parents are well acquainted with the chaos that can take place when the bus is coming in ten minutes but little Johnny hasn’t eaten breakfast, has his shirt on inside out, and is missing his hat/shoes/homework. One easy way to simplify your mornings is to pack lunch for all the kids the night before when you have time to breathe – that way, when disaster strikes in the morning, you can just grab a ready-made lunchbox and save precious minutes.Almondcranmuffin
    2. Make breakfast ahead of time.  If making lunches the night before doesn’t work for you, you can always go another route to make room in your mornings by having grab-and-go breakfasts.  Instead of using morning time to prepare a fresh breakfast, try making these muffins (http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/almond-cranberry-orange-muffins)  or this oatmeal http://(http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/apple-walnut-overnight-oats)the night or weekend ahead of time so that while the kids are munching, you can be packing.Appleoatmeal
    3. Use an assembly line. As your kids will learn in history class, the development of the assembly line led to multiple sweeping Industrial Revolutions, so don’t underestimate its power at home! If you have more than one school-bound mouth to feed, maximize your productive efficiency in the same way that Henry Ford did: spread three pieces of bread with peanut butter, then three with jelly, then fold them together, then add a piece of fruit and bottle of milk, and voila! I’m not sure Henry Ford did exactly that, but you get the idea.
    4. Shop strategically. For some, grocery shopping is soothing. For others, it’s a hassle. Either way, nobody wants to go more often than they have to, so it helps to plan ahead. When you’re making your shopping list, ask your kids what they’d like to have for lunch this week, and make sure that you buy enough for a full week of lunches as well as out-of-school snacks so that you don’t find yourself short on supplies when you’re most in need.
    5. Make it fun. Yes, packing lunches is often a must, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. This can take many forms. Try getting your kids involved– let them have a say in what they eat, bring them shopping for it, and then show them what you do to prepare the box rather than just having it magically appear in their backpack. Surprise them with a silly or sweet note written on their napkin. Pack their food in a pencil box so that they’ll feel extra academic. Even amid the frenzied mornings of the school year, make sure that you’re sending your kiddo a lunch made with love.
  • Five Things To Check Off Your Summer Bucket List Before Fall

    With the chilly New England fall approaching, now is the time to relish the warm weather- and what better way to do that than to take your kids on an outdoor adventure that they’ll remember forever? Here are five family-friendly day trips sure to please the whole family.

    1. Bradbury Mountain State Park 

    BradburyLocated just 10 minutes from downtown Freeport in Pownal, Maine, Bradbury Mountain State Park is a great place for kids of all ages. Its spectacular views are accessible to family members of all ages thanks to the short and easy Summit Trail, and you’re sure to enjoy exploring the surrounding trails as much as your kids. Pack a picnic and you have the makings of a great summer afternoon!

    Peaks2. Peaks Island Peaks Island is the most visited island in Casco Bay for a reason– from the first step aboard the charmingly quaint ferry to the first lick of the Down Front ice cream cone that awaits once you reach Peaks, the small island’s vacation atmosphere is contagious. Explore the island’s many beaches and walking paths on foot, bike, or rented golf cart, and be sure to seek out Rock Sculpture Cove.

    Rattlesnake3. Rattlesnake Flume and Pool If you’re in the mood to get away from the world, you can’t beat this tiny, vividly green waterfall on the New Hampshire border. Just a short hike from its entrance in Stoneham, Maine, this little-known swimming hole has a gradually deepening rocky bottom and a slide-like waterfall that kids and parents alike can have a great time riding. After you’ve cooled off in the water, have a picnic in the sun or walk on the rocks that punctuate the surrounding stream.

    MtWashington4. Mount Washington Cog Railway or Auto Road New Hampshire’s Mount Washington is one of the state’s most beloved landmarks, offering stunning vistas of the surrounding White Mountains. It is also one of the most accessible landmarks for families with young kids– for those of us who may not be up to the foot hike, the popular Auto Road and whimsical Cog Railway allow everyone to enjoy the view.

    AmericanStonehenge5. America’s Stonehenge  This collection of ancient stone structures located in Salem, New Hampshire, has puzzled scientists and locals for generations. The site has gone unchanged for over 4,000 years but is to this day an accurate astronomical calendar. Today, it also serves as grazing ground for a herd of alpacas! Let your kids play in its many stone caves, bridges, and cairns and determine the builders for themselves– Native Americans, aliens, or something else altogether?

     

    Hopefully, these beautiful destinations and all of the others scattered through New England will help you to make the most of your summer.

     

     

  • 6 Simple Summer Smoothies

    Smoothies are awesome all year long – but they’re especially delicious on hot summer days when the thought of turning on the oven is…well….out of the question. Cool, quick and refreshing – smoothies are the perfect way to fuel up on the go. Make them with milk for added protein, calcium and Vitamin D. The only problem with smoothies is getting stuck in a recipe rut – so switch it up with one of these delicious summer blends.

    1. Super Food Smoothie (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/super-food-smoothie)

    For the picky eater who can spot a vegetable in their smoothie from a mile away – this simple recipe contains fruit only. Choose frozen wild blueberries for an extra antioxidant punch, or toss in a quarter cup of frozen greens if you’re feeling daring – the strong blueberry flavor and purple color hides them really well!

    SuperFoodSmoothie

    2. Protein Power Player Smoothie (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/protein-power-player-smoothie)

    With 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and only 238 calories – this chocolate banana smoothie is perfect for fueling up (or cooling down after a good workout). The roasted almonds add a great nutty flavor.

    ProteinPowerPlayer

    3. Go Green Smoothie (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/go-green-smoothie)

    If spinach in your smoothie doesn’t make you green – this recipe is the perfect mix of fruit and veggies. Spinach, grapes, honeydew melon and kiwi give this summery blend a gorgeous green hue – and a touch of honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness.

    GoGreenSmoothie

    4. Mango Ginger Smoothie (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/mango-ginger-smoothie)

    Filled with delicious tropical tastes like mango, mandarin orange and lime, this icey blend is incredibly refreshing. It’s also packed with oats, almond butter and fat-free milk for an 11gram punch of protein.

    MangoGinger

    5. Peach Almond Smoothie (http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/peach-almond-smoothie)

    Peaches are perfect in summer – and this smoothie is, too. Blend a peeled and sliced peach with some low-fat milk, brown sugar, almond extract, and ice for a deliciously summery smoothie snack.

    PeachAlmond

    6. Berry and Beet Smoothie (http://foxeslovelemons.com/berry-beet-smoothies/)

    Don’t let the beets scare you away, they’re actually really sweet and give this smoothie the most incredibly gorgeous color. Mix with fruit and milk for a delicious and healthy breakfast.

    BerryandBeet