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Natural Goodness Blog

  • 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

  • 5 Fun 4th of July Crafts for Kids

    Fireworks are fun but late nights and loud noises aren’t for everyone. If you’re looking for kid-friendly way to celebrate, we’ve got 5 fun crafts you can do as a family.

    What are your favorite 4th of July traditions?

    1. Shaving Cream Fireworks  Make your own (less noisy) fireworks out of shaving cream, food coloring and toothpicks. This is a great sensory activity for little ones and the finished paintings are pretty enough to hang on the fridge!

    Shaving Cream Fireworks

     

    2. Festive flags  These adorable homemade “flags” are made out of cardstock and ribbon. Great for kids working on cutting and gluing, and perfect for the front porch! Get the full tutorial here: http://www.parents.com/parents-magazine/festive-flags/

    Festive Flags

     

    3. Patriotic Berries and Cream This yummy snack is picky-eater approved – and perfect for 4th of July! Hollow out some strawberries and fill them with Oakhurst whipped cream. Top with a Maine Wild Blueberry for a red, white and blue treat.

    Patriotic Berries and Cream

     

    4. Tin Can Luminaries For older kids capable of handling a hammer and nail, these tin can luminaries are a great way to celebrate the 4th. Punch holes in old tin cans to form letters, shapes or fireworks, and then paint and set a candle inside to light them up. So pretty! Get the full tutorial here: http://www.crafts-for-all-seasons.com/tin-can-luminaries.html

    Tin Can Luminaries

     

    5. 4th of July Tie Dye T-Shirts Remember making rainbow tie dye t-shirts as a kid? So messy but so much fun! This tutorial shows you exactly how to create this cute “bomb pop” design using just red and royal blue dyes: http://ilovetocreateblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/firecracker-tie-dye-patriotic-t-shirt.html

    4th of july tie dye tshirts

  • 3 Fun Salad Recipes for Summer

    Finally the weather is warming up an gardens are beginning to grow – perfect timing to switch up those chilis and casseroles for some fun summer salads. If you’re looking for a new recipe to inspire you, try one of these three creative takes on summertime salads:

    1.Lobster on Brioche with Turnip and Potato Salad

    Nothing says summer in Maine like lobsters, and if you love lobster you’ll love this fun take a lobster roll and salad combined. Tender lobster meat is set on Boston Bibb lettuce and brioche roll, topped with a Lemon Caper Aioli dressing and a turnip and potato salad on the side. Get the recipe here. Lobster on Brioche

     

    2. Grilled Watermelon Salad

    You’re probably used to grilling meat and veggies all summer long – but don’t forget about fruit! Grilled watermelon is delicious on this simple and super refreshing salad from Kitchenability.com. Grilled Watermelon

     

    3. Avocado 3 Ways

    Avocado toast may be all the rage, but we think these avocado boats are even tastier. Filled with three different “salads” (tuna salad, watermelon salad, and black bean salsa salad) this healthy and delicious summer recipe is perfect for a dinner party or picnic. Get the recipe here. Avocado 3 ways

    What are your favorite summer salads? Share with us on Facebook!

     

  • 5 DIY Father’s Day Gifts Dad Will Actually Want

    Macaroni necklaces are cute and everything – but we all know what Dad really wants for Father’s Day is a new iPhone, or lawn tractor, or a shirt without spit-up stains. Problem is, all those things require a trip to the store and more than a few dollars – ain’t nobody with little kids got time for that. So instead we’ve pulled together a list of Father’s Day gifts you can make at home without breaking the bank. If all else fails, a couple half gallons of Oakhurst chocolate milk ought to do the trick 😉

    Got a great homemade Father’s Day gift idea? Share with us on Facebook!

     

    1.DIY Coin Jar

    Help dad save for his next big trip (or you know, trip to the golf course) with these DIY coin jars. They’re super fun for kids to make, and actually helpful to dads who always have loose change filling up their pockets, wallets, or driver’s side door. Get the instructions here. DIY coin jar

    2. Mini Tool Boxes

    For the dad that’s got tools for fixing his tools (and leaves them all over the garage) – help him get organized with these adorable mini-toolboxes made out of Altoids tins. They’re perfect for drill bits, screws and other small odds and ends. Get the tutorial here. Mini Tool Box

    3. Kids Car Wash

    Everybody loves a clean car – especially when they don’t have to scrub it themselves. Put the kids to work buffing and shining up dad’s ride – or vacuuming out the inside. You never know, if they find it fun they might just want to clean your car, too!Kids Car Wash

    4. Homemade Shaving Cream

    There’s nothing like a fresh clean shave, especially when it’s irritation-free thanks to this homemade shaving cream. The kids will love mixing it up, and dad will appreciate the gentle scent and moisturizing finish. Get the recipe here. Homemade shaving cream

    5. Toddler Art T-Shirt

    If you’ve got little kids it can be hard to find a DIY that’s age appropriate, but also something Dad might actually wear. This Toddler Art T-Shirt is the perfect solution! All you need is a blank t-shirt, some masking tape and a fabric marker. Get the full tutorial here! Toddler Art Tshirt

  • Celebrate World Milk Day!

    June is National Dairy Month and the festivities kick off this Thursday (June 1st) with World Milk Day – a worldwide day of recognition for the wholesome nutrition of nature’s most perfect food – milk!

    We’ll be celebrating all day long, starting with a $50 Facebook giveaway and an opportunity to share your World Milk Day photos to raise money for the Great American Milk Drive.

    Make sure you check the Facebook page on Thursday morning for all the details.

    We’d also like to share a huge thank you to all of the hardworking farmers and their families that work tirelessly to bring deliciously fresh milk to kitchens across Northern New England. And of course, thank you to all the lovely cows as well! Today is your day!

    Kid and cow

    Looking for a fun way to celebrate World Milk Day with the kiddos? Try one of these homemade flavored milks – yum!

    Vanilla Cinnamon Milk (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/vanilla-cinnamon-flavored-milk-recipe)

    Vanilla Cinnamon Milk

    Lavender Honey Milk (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/lavender-honey-flavored-milk-recipe)

    Lavender Honey Milk

    Chocolate Banana Milk (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/chocolate-banana-flavored-milk-recipe)

    Chocolate Banana Milk

     

  • Memorial Day Recipes

    3 Red, White and Blue Recipes for Memorial Day

    While the true meaning of Memorial Day is to reflect on the incredible sacrifices made by our brave military members and their families, it is also a day to come together with family and celebrate summer, freedom, and of course, BBQ.

    If you’re stuck on what to bring to this year’s get-together, we’ve got 3 patriotic recipes that are perfect for pleasing both parents and kiddos alike.

    What are your Memorial Day BBQ traditions?

    1.Red, White and Blueberry Parfait

    Red, White and Blue parfaitCelebrate all day, starting with breakfast, with this red, white and blueberry granola parfait. It’s super simple to make, just layer your favorite yogurt with strawberries, blueberries and granola. Drizzle with honey and add pomegranate seeds and/or mint leaves for garnish. Serve with milk for a protein boosted Memorial Day breakfast!

    2.Starred and Sliced Quinoa Fruit Salad

    Starred and sliced quinoa fruit saladA red, white and blue mix of apples, blueberries, and star shaped bananas come together in this quinoa fruit salad topped with a creamy lemon poppy seed dressing. It’s healthy enough to be considered dinner, and tasty enough to pass as dessert!

    3.Patriotic Berries and Cream

    Patriotic berries and creamStrawberries are an iconic way to welcome summer, and this super easy recipe turns them into the perfect patriotic snack. Just hollow them out, fill with Oakhurst whipped cream (or make your own) and top with a Maine Wild Blueberry. Delicious!

     

     

  • Mother’s Day Mad Lib

    Kids say the darndest things – don’t they? If your little one is too little to write their own Mother’s Day card (or even if they’re not), this Mother’s Day Mad Lib will help them express their love, and growing vocabulary (ha!) in a hilarious fashion.

    Click here to download a printable PDF that includes a full color card and a black and white version that can be colored in by your little artist.

    Ready? Just ask for the following word types, fill in the card, and prepare to laugh.

    Mother's Day Mad Lib

  • 3 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Today and Every Day

    Does your family celebrate Earth Day? We believe Mother Earth deserves more than just one day – so we’ve put together three ways to celebrate today and 3 ways to celebrate all year long.

    How does your family celebrate? What are your favorite ways to help the environment?  

    Celebrate Today:

    1. Clean Up Crew It might seem boring to adults, but kids love a good trash walk! Get them gloves or “grabbers” and a big trash bag and walk the neighborhood looking for pieces of litter they can clean up. Add to the excitement by planning a prize for the person who collects the most garbage.

    2. Plant a Tree Improve your landscape AND help the Earth in one fell swoop. Trees create oxygen, and everyone needs oxygen! Even if planting a tree isn’t in the cards today – planting a flower, a bush or anything green is a gift to the Earth and to future generations.Plant a tree

    3. Build a Birdfeeder This peanut butter bird feeder is so fun to make, and perfect for hungry birds waiting for Spring. Build and hang it today, and enjoy the beautiful birds all week long (or until the birdseed is gone!). Get the instructions here: http://tinkerlab.com/two-creative-outdoor-activities/Birdfeeder

    Celebrate Every Day:

    1. Turn Out the Lights  Have you heard the rumor that it’s better to leave lights on than turn them on and off frequently? It’s not true! It does require a small surge of energy to power up fluorescent lights, but its miniscule compared to the energy required to keep them on. So make a commitment to always shutting off the lights when you leave a room, and powering down anytime there’s enough natural sunlight to get by.

    2. Turn Off the Water  Did you know that just by shutting off the water while you brush your teeth you can save more than 200 gallons of water a month?! Yes – a month! That’s more than 2000 gallons a year – enough to fill a standard swimming pool. Make a commitment to turning off the tap whenever you can to preserve one of Mother Earth’s most precious resources.brush teeth

    3. Eat Your Leftovers  Food waste in the US accounts for more than half of landfill contents – the single largest source of methane emissions. According to worldfooddayusa.org we waste more than 30% of our entire food supply. Yikes! Help save our food supply (and the ozone layer) by shopping and cooking strategically, and composting everything you can!

    recycle

     

     

  • 4 Ways to Sneak Protein to Picky Toddlers

    Toddlers are crazy, to put it nicely. They cry when their socks fall off, the scream when you put them back on. They like peanuts but not peanut butter, bananas – but only in the peel. They are notoriously picky eaters and for parents it can feel like a full-time job just trying to make sure they don’t starve to death.

    As a parent of two picky-eating toddlers I can tell you that the biggest struggle in our house is protein. My girls will eat applesauce all day long (especially if it comes in a squeeze tube) and surprisingly, they love their veggies. But protein – forget about it. They won’t touch it. So I’ve learned to get a little creative in how I manage their “energy” intake.

    These four recipes are some of our favorites:

    1. Cajun Mac and Cheese (http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/cajun-mac-and-cheese) Mac and Cheese is typically toddler-approved – and it already has a good amount of protein in it thanks to the whole milk or cream used to make it. This version kicks it up a notch with some andouille sausage (you can substitute any other kind of sausage or even hot dog if your kids aren’t fans of spicy) for an added boost of protein.Cajun Mac and Cheese
    2. Protein-Packed Berry Burst Smoothie (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/protein-packed-berry-burst-smoothie-recipe) When all else fails trying to feed toddlers, smoothies FTW! I can put almost anything into a smoothie and as long as comes out through a straw my girls are totally into it. This recipe includes, milk, berries, oatmeal and walnuts for a whopping 10 grams of protein per serving.Protein-Packed Berry Burst Smoothie
    3. Peanut Butter Cat Toast (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/peanut-butter-cat-toast-recipe) Peanut butter is a great source of protein – especially when paired with milk. But PB&Js can only take you so far. This cat toast is the perfect evolution. Filled with protein and decorated with raisins and pretzels, toddlers are sure to enjoy this cute little kitty. Pair with a glass of milk for an extra 8 grams of protein.Peanut Butter Cat Toast
    4. Raspberry Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/raspberry-cottage-cheese-protein-pancakes) Pancakes are a fan favorite in this household – but they typically don’t have very much to offer in terms of nutrition. Not anymore! These protein-packed pancakes offer more than 10 grams per pancake when paired with a glass of milk – but shhhhhh – the toddlers don’t need to know. Rasberry Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes

    Do you have picky eaters in your household? What are your favorite ways to sneak protein into their diet?