How Balanced Are Your Meals?

California Pizza Kitchen Meals

Did you know that the average American meets the U.S. Dietary Guidelines only seven days out of the entire year?* It’s a shocking statistic, and one that the Balance Your Plate initiative is hoping to change.

As part of that initiative, The Motherhood recently worked with California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) and a team of amazing moms to share simple, convenient ways to make nutritious, balanced meals using CPK frozen pizzas (yes, pizzas!).

Read on for their recipes, timesaving strategies and tips on incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into their meals!

AmyAmy, Grinning Cheek to Cheek

  • Amy with Grinning Cheek to Cheek paired her CPK Crispy Thin Crust Margherita with a friend’s Greek Barley Salad and raw sweet bell peppers.
  • A tip from Crystal, Simply Being Mommy: “Always check the serving size on the back of the box to ensure you are putting the proper portion size on your plate. A good rule of thumb is to fill half of your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables.”

AnneAnne, Upstate Ramblings

  • Anne with Upstate Ramblings whipped up a delicious Strawberry-Cranberry Salad to accompany her family’s CPK Crispy Thin Crust White pizza.
  • If your kids aren’t salad eaters, Jen at The Suburban Mom suggested including fruits and veggies they’ll happily eat. In her girls’ case, that’s tomatoes and peas!
  • Mariah, The Simple Parent, shared her easy tip for serving veggies to her kids without doing double the prep: “I throw together a quick salad for the adults and then I break out cut-up fruit and veggies for the kids! It’s easy and delicious! They love dipping so sometimes I had a bit of a dipping sauce and they are ready to eat!”
  • Brett from This Mama Loves shared her Raspberry Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing, which she drizzled on her salad of spinach, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries and walnuts.
  • Enza with Enza’s Bargains shared a fun idea of having an indoor picnic, where her family enjoyed pizza, salad, and some dried cranberries on the side!
  • Cherise with Mom and More showed how she fills half of her plate with fresh veggies to balance the two slices of CPK Hand-Tossed pizza.
  • Nicole with Mom Always Finds Out tried the BBQ Chopped Salad recipe from the back of her CPK Crispy Thin Crust BBQ Recipe Chicken box (you can find the salad recipe here, too: www.cpkfrozen.com).
  • If you’ve ever wondered if frozen is as good as fresh, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier, shared this information: “As freezing is nature’s ‘pause’ button, vegetables that are picked at their peak of freshness retain the nutrients that are often lost by the time fresh produce is consumed. Many frozen options are also lower in sodium, saturated fat and calories than quick-service meals and national chain restaurants.”

JenniferMBTTJennifer, My Boys and Their Toys

  • Jennifer, My Boys and Their Toys, shared a rainbow-colored fruit salad and helpful budget tips: “Plan ahead and write it down. Stick to your list when shopping. Reuse ingredients throughout the week to eliminate waste. Balance your plate with produce in season, and stock up on frozen produce as well.”

JenniferMomSpottedJennifer, MomSpotted

  • Jennifer with MomSpotted paired her CPK Crispy Thin Crust Margherita pizza with a gorgeous salad using fresh produce picked from her garden!
  • If you’re looking for balanced meal inspiration, head over to Life with Lisa, who shared some helpful meal plans like those from the Balance Your Plate site.
  • Did you know CPK has a line of gluten-free flavors? Mickey with A Helicopter Mom tried the gluten-free CPK Crispy Thin Crust Margherita, and shared an easy formula for pairing frozen with fresh for a balanced meal.

KendaKenda, Remaking June Cleaver

  • Kenda, Remaking June Cleaver, shared her recipe for Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette.
  • Ever had a frantic moment when you commit to making dinner for someone and it slips your mind that day? Mary with Giving Up on Perfect can relate! Read how CPK Frozen Pizza and a quick salad came to the rescue for her.
  • Mellisa, Mom Luck, paired her CPK Crispy Thin Crust Signature Pepperoni with a side salad and shares helpful tips on balancing her family’s plates.

*According to the NPD Group National Eating Trends Database

Summer of Social Media Trends: Live Video, Search & Explore and Project Lightning News

Social Media Updates

While summer is a time for relaxation and vacations, new social media trends continue to crop up, and activity isn’t slowing down! In fact, people share 22 percent more frequently during the summer than in any other season. It has been a big summer in the social media world. Read about latest updates and trends in The Motherhood’s Social Media Round-Up below!

Meerkat’s cameo feature is bringing new ways to unite brands and influencers through real-time video. This feature allows a user to invite watchers to take over his or her live stream for up to 60 seconds, then notify his or her Twitter followers and Facebook friends about the cameo.

Meerkat Cameo

Source: The Next Web

This has huge potential to get influencers and their followers involved in real-time conversations with brands, and provides a new interactive alternative to Twitter parties.

Did you know that 63 percent of Facebook and Twitter users turn to social media to stay current on live events and hot-button issues, outside those related to friends and family? That number is sure to grow with Twitter’s fresh news feature, Project Lightning (name subject to change). The new service will allow anyone (Twitter users or not) to view a feed of tweets, images and videos about live events as they happen, curated by employees with “newsroom experience.”

project lightning

Source: BuzzFeed

Project Lightning will unlock never-before-reached potential for brands, too. Users will potentially be able to follow events without following other users, allowing brand tweets to be blended into several timelines and, more importantly, reach those who aren’t Twitter users.

Instagram is changing the way people use the app by allowing users to step out of their bubble and into trending topics and places. In late June, Instagram rolled out features including a new Search & Explore feature, which makes finding interesting and trending photos from all over the world easier.

“The new Explore now surfaces trends as they emerge in real-time, connecting you to events and conversations both near you and around the globe,” the company wrote on its blog.

3047726-inline-searchandexplore

Source: Fast Company

Brands can capitalize on these new features, and the massive (100 percent) organic reach and high engagement of Instagram by getting involved with the latest trends.

Which of these features do you think are here to stay? Let us know in the comments!

The Motherhood Recognizes Nelson Mandela International Day — #MandelaDay

Nelson Mandela

In honor of Nelson Mandela International Day tomorrow, July 18, we hope you’ll enjoy the below pictures and moving quotes The Motherhood Co-founder Cooper Munroe collected last month while visiting Mandela’s hometown of Soweto, a section of Johannesburg in South Africa.

IMG_3731

IMG_3741

“Let your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela

IMG_3742

“It always seems impossible until it is done.” – Nelson Mandela

IMG_3740

“Tread softly, breathe peacefully, laugh hysterically.” – Nelson Mandela

“Don’t judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela

Share your favorite Nelson Mandela quote today using the hashtag #MandelaDay! 

Dr Pepper Snapple Let’s Play: Bringing Playgrounds to Communities

Camden Play Ground Lets Play

Let’s Play Build Day in Camden. Photo credit: Kristin Wilkinson, Keenly Kristin

With the invention of computers, video games and smartphones, the world has become a different place. The lure of screen time has changed the way kids play and decreased the amount of physical activity in their daily routines. Research shows that rather than playing outside, kids spend an average of seven hours each day on “entertainment media” (such as TV, computers and phones).

A Solution: Dr Pepper Snapple Let’s Play

The Motherhood is proud to be working with Dr Pepper Snapple Group on its Let’s Play initiative to provide kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority. Most recently, we’ve worked with bloggers to help publicize the program and build playgrounds in underserved communities in Camden, N.J., and Dallas, Texas.

Building Playgrounds

At Let’s Play Build Day in Camden on June 25, Kristin of Keenly Kristin was on hand to witness the excitement and positive energy of the Camden Children’s Garden construction zone. In a blog post she wrote afterward, she noted it would be the only playground in the city of Camden:

“No playground in Camden. Nowhere for kids to go, nowhere for them to engage in the most basic of childhood activities — play. KaBOOM! and Dr Pepper Snapple Group wanted to change that for the community, but especially for the kids. It would mean a lot, Gladis Zambrana said. ‘It means ‘the community’…it means the community cares. It means you’re wanted. It means ‘it’s mine.’ That’s what this means.'”

Kristin shared updates on the playground build in real time via social media that day, too:

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 7.56.32 AM

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 7.56.48 AM

In Dallas, Jamie of Roubinek Reality did the same at La Academia de Estrellas. She reported in her blog post about Build Day, “Many of the students’ families at La Academia de Estrellas are of low socio-economic status, but they are an active and collaborative bunch who pull together to bring their children unique opportunities that provide a holistic education. That was proven in the sheer number of volunteers they had to help with the playground build day. Volunteers came from all over, including Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Walmart, school employees, and the surrounding community.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 7.48.24 AM

Dallas playground before and after

La Academia de Estrellas Playground Build Day – before and after. Photo credits: Jamie Roubinek of Roubinek Reality.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 7.47.39 AM

Maintaining Momentum

The Motherhood will be working with bloggers in Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Little Rock, Ark., to build playgrounds in those areas through the rest of the year. Keep an eye out for blog and social media posts around this important Let’s Play initiative from Maureen of Wisconsin Mommy, Yolanda of Sassy Mama in LA and Heather of Heather’s Dish to follow the campaign and learn more.

July’s Twitter Parties

Twitter Party Round Up

We hope you’re enjoying your summer so far! Check out the details below for exciting Twitter parties you can add to your fun summer activities this month!

#SummerIsSocial

Tuesday, July 14 at 2 p.m.

Summer means it’s time for potlucks, pool parties and BBQs! It’s finally time to get outside with family and friends to share experiences, and of course, delicious meals together.

HelloFresh is a meal delivery service that delivers great chef- and nutritionist-designed recipes and fresh, pre-measured ingredients to your doorstep each week. Each of the meals is ready in about 30 minutes, so they’re perfect for weeknights and hectic summer schedules.

HelloFresh’s seasonal menus reflect the social nature of summer with ingredients that can be thrown on the grill, doubled to feed a potluck crowd, eaten with your fingers or easily held in your hands so you can spend more time catching up with friends and less time doing dishes.

Join this hour-long #SummerIsSocial Twitter party, where we’ll chat about getting social with great food, family and friends! We can’t wait to hear your favorite outdoor dining, grilling and cooking tips!

We’ll be giving away five prizes to randomly selected individuals who answer questions tweeted from @TMCHatHost correctly. Each prize includes a free week of HelloFresh deliveries (valued between $59 and $129, depending on box type and size). Prizes limited to U.S. participants only.

#TheStorkOTC

Thursday, July 16 at 1 p.m. ET

This month marks our third installment of #TheStorkOTC twitter chat series! Join us as we discuss how The Stork OTC is an affordable, at-home conception device that could assist LGBT couples in starting a family. During this 30-minute chat, you’ll also have a chance to win one of three $25 gift cards by answering some trivia questions.

For more information on The Stork OTC, please visit their website. This content is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician.

Starting a Family

Brands Follow the Lead of Consumers, Making Products More Health Conscious

health conscious eat pears

Have you made any dietary changes in the past year or do you plan to? If you answered “yes,” you are not alone: In a recent survey conducted by The Motherhood (full results to come!), we found that 55 percent of respondents had made or plan to make better-for-you, health-conscious dietary changes, including eating more organic and natural products, and less sugar and carbs.

Shoppers are paying closer attention to the labeling on food packaging, too, as they are increasingly concerned with what’s in the food they are feeding their children and themselves. According to Women’s Marketing research, 58 percent of consumers usually or always read the ingredients list. Most importantly, consumers are reaching for foods with no additives or preservatives, with real ingredients that they can recognize and that are minimally processed or natural.

Consumers aren’t the only ones reaching toward nutritious eating habits; big consumer brands are following that lead. To keep up with demand, many large brands are transitioning to more natural ingredients and expanded product lines. Consumer packaged goods brands are adopting new practices to appeal to health-conscious shoppers by removing artificial ingredients, expanding product lines into healthier markets, and giving priority shelf space to healthier foods. These practices are becoming a necessity to compete, penetrating the fast food and fast casual markets as a way to show intent and build sustainability.

 

heart_nutrition

Source: fleursvegankitchen.com

The government is also placing pressure on brands to eliminate harmful ingredients. Just this June, the Food and Drug Administration gave food brands three years to eliminate trans fats from the food supply! This effort is expected to save thousands of lives each year.

Bloggers and online influencers are fueling this trend of nutritious eating as they create content, share opinions and recipes and educate others on these topics via social media. In fact, 81 percent of U.S. women online trust Pinterest as a reliable source of information and advice, and furthermore, three out of every five boards on Pinterest are food-related, which creates a huge impact on formulating meal planning and food consumption practices.

Whole Food Blog: Fooduzzi - Pinterest

Source: Fooduzzi.com Pinterest

Social media and online platforms give brands a voice in the community to share authentically with consumers, which can have a huge impact on consumers’ opinions. Perceptions of brands and products are formed before shoppers even set foot in a store, through online and personal interactions — and more than 31 percent of food and beverage sales are directly influenced by digital.

Brands must connect with consumers on a level of trust regarding food ingredients as the demand for transparency increases. Not only do consumers want to know what’s in their food, they also want to know that it is coming from socially responsible sources.

Through the Balance Your Plate initiative, brands are educating consumers on how to make frozen meals more nutritious — providing families with tips on using frozen foods as part of wholesome, nutritious meals that meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. We’re happy to be working with California Pizza Kitchen, a brand involved in the movement, providing packaging and a website that highlights nutritious pairings as well as healthy sides and toppings for their delicious frozen pizzas.

Other brands are getting in on the action, too:

  • Kraft Mac & Cheese removed artificial flavors and preservatives. (Can you taste the difference?)
  • Jelly Belly will be releasing a line of fruit-flavored organic candies. (Yum!)
  • Target notified manufacturers that they would start promoting healthier options in an effort to project a healthier image.
  • Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Hershey’s, Smuckers, Arby’s and many more are all joining in the movement of including more natural ingredients in their products.
  • Chipotle became the first national restaurant chain to cook only with non-GMO ingredients.

With consumers’ powerful influence online and in person, brands are making the choice to build more health-conscious, socially responsible products in order to compete. I (Kahlianne) was lucky enough to grow up in a household where my mom was always health conscious and encouraged the development of good eating habits in my brothers and me. Have you adopted healthier eating habits in your household recently?

Featured image at the top of the post courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons user tsausawest

Introducing The Motherhood’s Newest Team Member: Kahlianne!

Kahlianne

The Motherhood team continues to grow, and we are so excited to welcome Kahlianne, our new database manager, to the team! While Kahlianne is new to our staff, her experience and expertise with our business means she’s quickly hit the ground running.

Kahlianne recently graduated magna cum laude from the Duquesne University School of Business in Pittsburgh with a double major in Entrepreneurship and Information Systems Management. She has been working with The Motherhood since 2013 as an assistant IT consultant at the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, where she worked on search engine optimizations, online strategy, survey insights and developing new innovative technologies for The Motherhood.

Be on the lookout for the latest industry news and trends on the blog from Kahlianne!

10 Takeaways from Social Media Day Pittsburgh 2015

social media day pittsburgh Cooper Munroe

For the second year in a row, The Motherhood has been excited to participate in Social Media Day Pittsburgh hosted by Smith Brothers Agency. Across the globe, June 30 is a designated as a day to celebrate social media, and this year, 150+ of Pittsburgh’s most influential social media professionals gathered to discuss “Using Social Media for Social Good.”

After open networking, the speaker line-up began with Holly Byers, manager of brand partnerships at Pinterest. During her keynote address, she shared a preview of the exciting developments that have just launched or will be introduced soon, including buyable pins and cinematic pins. She also shared some tips and best practices. We were fascinated to learn that there is truly no “ideal” time of day to pin and that the average pin is re-pinned 11 times!

Then, the audience heard rapid-fire case studies from a panel of presenters (including our very own Cooper Munroe!) on how they’ve used social media to effect change for social good.

The Motherhood team took to Twitter to share key learnings in real time using the hashtag #SMDayPGH. Additionally, here are some of our favorite tweetable trends and news from each of the 10 speakers, courtesy of our fellow professionals who attended Social Media Day Pittsburgh.

Holly Byers, Manager, Brand Partnerships at Pinterest via @GatesmanDave

social media day pittsburgh


Dee Stathis, P3R & Dick’s Sporting Goods Marathon, via @KaitorTot

social media day Pittsburgh


Virginia Montanez, Pitt Girl, via @AppleBoxStudios

social media day pittsburgh


Leah Lizarondo, 412 Food Rescue, via @SmithBrosAgency

social media day pittsburgh
Cooper Munroe, The Motherhood, via @sugaraunts

social media day pittsburgh


Kelsey Halling, Thread, via @c_leveled

social media day pittsburgh


Bill Fuller, Big Burrito, via @TheBrandternExp

social media day pittsburgh


Brian Conway, NEXT Pittsburgh, via @PghMomtourage

pittsburgh social media day

Jacob Minton, Pittsburgh 311, via @SptLghtPGH

social media day pittsburgh
Heather Hopson, Allies for Children, via @TheMotherhood

social media day pittsburgh

Social Media Day Pittsburgh was an inspiring and energizing way to celebrate all of the good that can come out of social media and to get a peek at what’s to come in our region and on the larger social landscape. Our warmest thanks to Smith Brothers Agency for hosting and to our fellow social media friends for connecting with us and sharing your thoughts!

Blogger Spotlight Series: Jackie, Free is My Life

“Worrying is a waste of time!”

Jackie of Free is My Life said this was the best advice she’s ever received! Read on to find out what her advice is for new bloggers, as well as how she kicked off her summer and how many times a day she checks her email. Give her a shout out at @FreeIsMyLife!

Blogger Spotlight: Jackie, Free is My Life graphic

Click this link to read the most recent blogger spotlights from The Motherhood.

Wearable technology industry expands for women’s health

Industry Round Up

As we predicted earlier this year, wearable technology continues to be a hot item in 2015. As smart wearables continue to become more stylish, the creators are making other changes to their devices, specifically with women in mind.

In the past year, many voices have addressed the issue that wearable technology, especially health trackers, seemed to ignore the needs of women. They claimed that not only were the size and style of wearables not female-friendly, but also that the functionality of the devices excluded features useful to women. Take Apple’s HealthKit app, released in fall 2014, which included capabilities for tracking diet, activity, sleep and more. According to many of its users, it left one very important thing out: a female reproductive tracker.

This year, we can’t help but notice how wearable technology is responding and adjusting for women.

One example that has gained significant media attention is Bellabeat’s LEAF. Bellabeat is known for the SHELL, a device allowing pregnant moms to hear, record and share her baby’s heartbeat. The company introduced the LEAF earlier this month, and it sold out the first batch — 10,000 wearables within the first 48 hours! This stylish, smart jewelry can be worn as a necklace, bracelet or clip and tracks women’s stress, activity, sleep and reproductive health, and provides real-time feedback through its app. 

Smart wearables for women are showing up in the form of clothing as well. Just take a look at the new Sensilk’s Fight Tech smart bra that measures women’s heart rate, respiratory rate and calories burned during a workout.

And finally, Apple will be adding women health features to the HealthKit App in the Fall 2015 iOS 9 update. We expect to see more changes like these this year! 

Do you use wearable tech or smart jewelry? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Page 19 of 72« First...10...1718192021...304050...Last »