I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Arla Dofino. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Each week I gather with friends and our kids and we eat. It seems like the thing to do as mamas with kids in tow… and one of the best ways to tame the toddler woes. Food makes everyone happy, it seems. And the happiest food of all? Cheese, of course!
I know I always talk about feeding Addie the best foods for her health and well-being, but I think it’s SO important for the future to have the best of now… and it’s why I love Arla Dofino. Their foods are free of added hormones- all milk comes from non-rBST-treated cows, crafted with quality, natural ingredients and done so in a way that is environmentally friendly (the company is working to reduce greenhouse emission by 25%!)… Arla Foods is actually the world’s largest organic dairy company (not all foods are organic)! Knowing what a great product Arla cheeses are, I headed to Stop & Shop to get myself a few for an upcoming play date, plus some extra ingredients to create a complete lunch for both mamas and babies!
Keeping it healthy, I trolled the aisles looking for the best pairings for my Edam Cheese, that I decided would go well for kids and parents. It’s both nutty and lower in fat- PLUS it melts great- truly universal for snacks, sandwiches, or melting over pasta or in appetizers! I opted for grapes, strawberries, apples, crackers, pepperoni and cucumbers- a perfect mix for everyone… paired with water for the kids and some sparkling water and juice spritzers for the moms!
Using toothpicks to bind, I halved grapes and cut the Edam into cubes. Each pick contained the perfect, nutritious bite for the kids (and I made a few whole grapes for us
big kids moms)- the flavors melded together to form the sweetest, creamiest snack! I did the same thing with strawberries (and would love to repeat this with some champagne after baby 2 is born!). It was such a decadent treat- and felt like a dessert!
Then, I sliced it thinly to go with pepperoni- this was perfect for the adults, but the kids just took the cheese and meat separately. It really made me laugh to watch them try to figure it out as a sandwich. Then, using more sliced cheese, crackers and pears, I stacked the ingredients and baked at 350° for 5 minutes, until the cheese melted, for a sweet, salty, creamy mix. These were a BIG hit! …so I made the same bite-size dish with cucumber, but decided to not heat it so the cucumber stayed crunchy. The moms liked this one more- but deconstruction and eventual eating made its way into our little ones’ repertoires.
We had a healthy lunch with dairy, fruits, a veggie and some carbs, served up fancy… and I made it all in less than 15 minutes! I placed my simple spread on my usual dining plates (but love that I was able to pack away a few treats for our departing friends to take with them), and we spent the afternoon in the sun playing with the kids and snacking when we were hungry. Having my favorite mamas over, even with the kids, was a breeze with these easy snacks that we turned into a meal! As Kelsey Banfield (The Naptime Chef®) believes, being a mom and a foodie are not mutually exclusive… we can create healthy, delicious dishes for those hectic afternoons with just a few ingredients and even fewer minutes to spare!
The perfect afternoon #HavartiParty?
I think yes!
My favorite part of the day? A break from our usual sandwich lunches and simple snacks. Taking our staples of fruits and veggies as meal fillers and elevating them with some creative notes- mainly cheese (!) will definitely become the new normal around here. But, the best part of the whole get together is, if you ask my husband, the left over cheeses… his favorite dessert. He loved the cheese I bought and can’t wait to try the Edam melted on pasta, the other available options like Gouda (mmm… rich and buttery!) and Havarti (which we LOVE on sandwiches). Seriously… there is a cheese for everyone!
All parents look for the best foods and Arla offers that with their natural goodness- right from farm to fridge, few ingredients, no added hormones, using milk that comes from known local farmers, and their commitment to food safety, sustainability (100% recyclable packing being used by 2020) and corporate social responsibility. To learn more about Arla cheeses, visit their FACEBOOK page or WEBSITE. And check out the Arla Dofino Pinterest page for more ideas on how you can make the best for your family and friends- whether it’s your next gathering or for lunch tomorrow!