April 20, 2015

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Six ways to enjoy a litterless lunch

We love litterless lunches! To celebrate Earth Day, here's our top six favourite ways to ensure that your lunch is good for you and the planet.

1. Pack snacks inside a reusable bag. Our favourite reusable brands include Russbe, Kindervilll Silicone Snack Pouch, RuMe Baggies and Fresh Snack Pack.  

2. Use Bento Boxes to teach kids about portion control and waste reduction. The compartments are an excellent way to ensure that you get all the necessary fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins. Some of our favourite brands include Yumbox, Steeltainer and Lunch Bots which offers tons of options that fit perfectly in our lunch boxes and cooler bags.

 

3) Pack cloth napkins instead of paper napkins or you can make your own! Check out this article from DIY network on how to make your own cloth napkins!

4. Pack reusable cutlery. Bring a pack to keep in the office or place in your child’s lunch box. Many cutlery packs include fun carrying cases to place in your child’s lunch box. Look for options made of bamboo, PVC free plastic or classic stainless-steel.

5. When it comes to packing your lunch, think outside the box! Containers shaped to match your food are great way to keep meals fresh. Try  these three fun shaped containers from Fenigo: Pizza-To-Go, Banana Guard and Froot Case & Froot Guard (pictured above). These adorabe Froot cases are great for for fruits or cupcakes for a sweet treat!

 

6. Stock up on your favourite snacks. Instead of buying small size versions of your favourite snacks, buy them in bulk. This will not only reduce the amount of waste you use, but also help you save money while conquering those mid day cravings! You can also try baking some of your favourite pastries and keep them in the freezer to use throughout the week. Enjoy!

January 15, 2015

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How About Cookie to Master Healthy Lunches

Blogger and food artist Selena Kohng's parenting blog presents tons of fantastic ideas to please picky eaters. One of our favorites is this recipe where she uses animal-shaped food cutters to create adorable sandwiches for her kids.

Blogger and food artist Selena Kohng's parenting blog presents tons of fantastic ideas to please picky eaters. One of our favorites is this recipe where she uses animal-shaped food cutters to create adorable sandwiches for her kids.

Here’s a familiar scene that I’m sure many of our readers can relate to. You come home from work with a fantastic idea for a healthy lunch. You take your time to pick the right vegetables, pair it with your child’s favorite side dish and even break a few rules by including a sweet treat that is sure to please the senses of your picky little food critic. The next day your little one returns home and to your disappointment, she admits that the vegetables did not make it anywhere near her taste buds—an hour in the kitchen has come down to this! If this sounds like an everyday dilemma in your household, then, freelance writer Selena Kohng’s blog How About Cookie could be your new bestie.

“If necessity is the mother of invention, desperation is the mother of Friday lunch boxes,” says Kohng on the blog.

    

How About Cookie is a food and parenting blog based in Chicago. On the blog, Kohng combines her experience as a seasoned writer and mother of three to present healthy meal ideas designed to appeal to the pickiest eater. The blog provides endless inspirations and vibrant photos, of melons and persimmon shaped trains, turtle-shaped sandwiches with spinach in the place of shells and even berry-kale smoothies frozen in the shape of snowflakes, perfect to “cool down a pot of oatmeal” or used as an “instant yogurt topper”. Kohng’s delicious recipes and flair for food art will take your child’s meals from boring to bento-box perfection!

To learn more, check out her blog at howaboutcookie.com.

We've teamed up with How About A Cookie for an awesome SoYoung Pinterest giveaway! Three winners will win one gorgeous backpack, lunch box or cooler bag of their choice. Click this link for all the details!

October 09, 2014

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Sarah Jessica Parker and The Russian Dolls

I spy not 1 but 2 of our Pink Russian Dolls #lunchboxes being carried by mum Sarah Jessica Parker with her twins en route to school - thanks @soyoungaustralia for your keen eyes! #celebritykids #backtoschool 2014

August 01, 2013

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Everything for a Litter-Less Lunch

SoYoung is excited to introduce one of our favourite retailers, Fenigo! Fenigo is a fantastic store that is all about litter-less lunches. We spoke with Jana Campbell, founder of Fenigo, to learn more about her business and the inspiration behind it.

Can you introduce yourself and your company?
www.fenigo.com as launched as an online store in November 2008. It opened its first brick-and-mortar location in Waterloo, Ontario, in November 2011. The founder Jana Campbell grew up in Latvia where she had to bring her own empty glass jar to the store to be filled with sour cream. She moved to Canada in November of 1994.

What’s Next? What does the future hold for your Fenigo?
As an online store we already have lots of customers in Toronto. We are excited about opening our first Toronto location (1199 Bloor St. W.) in July.

Tell about the best part of what you do?
I personally love sourcing the latest and greatest products in the litter-less lunch niche.

What advice would you give to others who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Follow your dreams, implement good processes right from the beginning, be daring and have fun!

Can you tell us a bit about Fenigo’s mission
At Fenigo we believe that every little step that we take to preserve our environment makes a difference. Packing litter-less lunches is one way to reduce waste that fills our landfills. We only work with companies that adhere to strict standards when it comes to product safety and fair labour. We are confident that everything available at Fenigo is safe as all products are BPA-, PVC- Phthalate- and Lead-free.

What do you (and your customers!) love about SoYoung?
There is a lot that Fenigo and our customers love about SoYoung: the lunch bags and backpacks are well-made, unique and visually appealing. The company always works on perfecting the product.

 

 

Location: 136 Moore Ave. 

South, Unit B Waterloo, ON N2J 1X5 1199 Bloor St. West Toronto, ON M6H 1N4

March 21, 2013

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Nutrition for Picky Eaters - Tap Your inner Artist!

Did you know that March is Nutrition Awareness Month?
Added to March Break, St Patrick’s Day, International Women’s Day and Daylight Savings, March is a very busy month! March nutrition campaigns are meant to show us the importance of healthy eating and the positive impact nutrition has on our health and well-being. However, while we may understand the importance of eating healthy it can be much more difficult to convince our kids that healthy eating is important

Before joining the team here at SoYoung I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work abroad in Scotland as a Nanny for two boys, ages 4 and 6. As adorable as the boys were they could definitely be very picky when it came to their food! As I am a firm believer in providing healthy snacks for kids, it was often a challenge convincing the boys that apple slices and carrot sticks could make for a great snack.

One thing that I found helped was the way in which I presented their snacks.
Putting carrot sticks on a plate for the kids always lead to the boys fussing about how they didn’t want carrots for snack – they would have much preferred “biscuits” (as they say on the other side of the pond!). However, if I used carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, grapes and cheese slices to make the shape of a funny face or their favourite animal or dinosaur they would happily eat it and get creative themselves changing the picture as they ate more of it. 

Imagine their delight at finding this Angry Birds themed sandwich staring back at them at lunch! 
This works with the food and snacks that goes into their lunch boxes as well. As a kid, opening your lunch box at school to find a sandwich is not nearly as fun as opening your lunch box at school to find a car, boat or star shaped sandwich.  Imagine their delight at finding this Angry Birds themed sandwich staring back at them at lunch time! This can easily be done using different cookie cutters by pressing the shapes into their sandwiches, just as you would with cookie dough, and peeling away the remaining bits outside of the shape. If you have tiny cookie cutters you can even press them into snacks such as cheese slices to make new and exciting shapes. It is always a challenge finding ways to feed little ones nutritious snacks but sometimes putting a new spin on a simple, healthy snack can do the trick!
January 22, 2013

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How to save money and reduce landfill

Pack a lunch – it could save you hundreds… and it’s earth-friendly too!

Many of us want to spend less in 2013.  But demands on our money can be tight – especially if there are kids to clothe, entertain and feed!  So how do you find ways to cut back on spending?  Well, there is one tried and true way to save money – take your lunch to work. If you are in the habit of buying your lunch – or breakfast, snacks and coffee – during the workweek, you’re probably spending a lot of cash that you could end up saving.  Not to mention the landfill from all the disposable packaging! Sure, runnin
g down to the food court is fast and convenient – especially if you have busy mornings – but have you ever done the math? 

Spending just $10 a day on food works out to $50 a week… $200 a month or $2400 a year!
Packing your lunch every day can be easy, healthy and tasty.  And with the right lunch bag, you don’t have to limit yourself to sandwiches and carrot sticks.   Pack warm leftovers or throw together a crisp salad – you’ll probably find you save money, time and calories!

Here are some tips to easy meal packing:

  1. Batch prepare your meals for the week. Instead of making just 1 salad, prepare 3 at a time.  And be inventive with salads – throw both raw and cooked veggies (think leftover steamed broccoli) onto a bunch of greens, chop up an apple or clementine segments, and a handful of any kind of nuts. Pack the protein separately in smaller containers. If you can, keep a bottle of salad dressing at work. Easy!
  2. Pack dinner leftovers straight away into lunch containers after dinner so you can grab them and dash out the door.
  3. Better yet, plan to make leftovers in advance!  If you’re cooking pasta one night, throw in some extra noodles so that you know you’ll have a lunch option for the next day.
  4. Don’t feel the need to assemble everything at home.  Feel like a sandwich but don’t have time to make it before you dash to work?  Grab some fresh ingredients (i.e. cheese, meat, vegetables, bread) and put it together at work.

 

Have some helpful tips for easy lunches on the go?  Send them to us, and we’ll publish them on our blog!

January 08, 2013

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Nutrition & Wellness: How to Make your New Year’s Resolution a Family-Wide Effort

The new year is often a time for us grown ups to set goals for nutrition and fitness. And whether you’re looking to shed a few holiday pounds or are determined to make a general effort to simply eat healthier foods, why not incorporate the whole family into your wellness efforts? Chances are, the rest of your clan probably consumed a few too many candy canes and chocolate bark than you care to admit this holiday season… and probably got used to having lots of sweets around the house. 

As you take care to swap the candy for the carrots, the chocolate for the chickpeas, make it a family-wide endeavour.
Here are some ideas:

  1. Get the whole family involved in a purge of the pantry.  Chips, cookies, way-too-old Halloween candy?  Get rid of it!  Set up a “sweet” bin and recruit everyone to toss the junk food into it.  This exercise will also serve as a handy lesson to remind kids what’s healthy, and what’s not (i.e. cherry-flavoured jelly beans don’t count as a serving of fruit!)
  2. Set a goal together, such as no sweets except on Fridays.  Create an incentive for willful participation like a trip to the movies or a favourite restaurant at the end of the month.
  3. Serve healthy desserts.  Really.  They don’t have to be difficult or time consuming, and if your kids have come to expect dessert after every dinner, serving up a healthy but tasty option will make you all happy!

Here’s one of our favourites:

Pineapple-Raspberry Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 2 8-ounce containers (2 cups) nonfat peach yogurt
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries, (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh, frozen or canned pineapple chunks
Directions:
So easy!  Just divide and layer yogurt, raspberries and pineapple into 4 glasses.  The natural sweetness of the fruit will satisfy even the most spirited dessert-cravers!

October 30, 2012

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A sugar-free wheat free dessert that your kids will LOVE

Ideals and realities often collide when it comes to eating healthy
Over the summer, our busiest season at SoYoung, there was a lot of rushing around in our house and a lot of lunches and snacks that were thrown together as quickly as possible. As much as I claimed that healthy eating was a priority for me, the quality of what my kids (and I) were eating did not reflect this. I felt that my kids were eating way too much sugar, and filling themselves up on bread-y type foods. So how do I get my kids to stop eating sugar? Simple. (But not easy.)

I had to stop eating sugar myself. So I did.
Almost 6 weeks ago, I adopted a new way of eating – one that involved no sugar or wheat or grains of any kind. (For those of you interested – it is Paleo eating). For my kids, I decided that we would take it in stages. So first stage was – no more refined sugars. They way I got them to agree to it was that we would do it for a month (birthday parties and other exceptions were allowed), and if they managed to follow this rule for the month, they could get any toy they wanted after 4 weeks. (We're not against a little bribery in our household).

No sugar doesn’t mean no treats
The day that my son reported that he refused a lollipop from his barber (I wasn’t even there!) was a proud moment. Now, let me be clear - no sugar doesn’t mean no treats. It’s all about redefining what a treat is. One of the new recipes in my arsenal is this one here – Paleo chocolate cake from Lea at PaleoSpirit. Sweetened with 10 dates and a cup of unsweetened applesauce. Nothing else. And they LOVE it, no joke. Give it a try.

Chocolate Paleo Snack Cake Recipe Recipe courtesy of http://paleospirit.com

Ingredients

  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (I use decaf, never take chances that my kids will lie awake a minute longer than they should)

Instructions:

  1. Place the medjool dates in a food processor and pulse until completely pureed.
  2. Add applesauce and continue to pulse until pureed and combined with the dates.
  3. Add the fruit purée to the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and coffee and mix on low-medium speed until well combined.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix on low-speed, scraping down the sides, until you have a smooth batter.
  6. Grease a 8×8 glass pan with coconut oil, pour in the batter and smooth it with the back of a spatula.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.
Makes 9-12 servings
October 17, 2012

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Meet our Retailers: Pebble Baby, Vancouver, Canada

Do you live on the Canadian West Coast? If so, take time to visit  Pebble Baby, one of our favorite retailers in Vancouver!  

Give us a little history on your store, how long you've been in business, and the best phrase to describe your store.
My son was the inspiration to launch Pebble. I left the corporate world to create a store I would like to shop at, filled with products that promote bright, healthy & active kids. Four and half years later, we're still amazed at the fantastic products available for children, like So Young! We are the lifestyle store for kids.

What do you feel sets your store apart from the competition?
We take our buying very seriously and make sure we vet our products for safety, value and style. As such, we have a unique offering of goods different from any other stores in our industry.

Which SoYoung products do you carry in your store?
We carry the cooler bags, lunch kits & Charlie Bags.

Which is SoYoung product you like best and why?
Hard to pick a favourite, but I would have to say Cooler Bags . They're stylish & functional. Great for kids or adults.

How to reach them: Pebble 2675 Arbutus Street Vancouver, BC 604.568.6923 Store Hours: 10-6pm Monday - Saturday 11-5pm Sunday & Holidays Find them on the Internet: www.pebblebaby.com info@pebblebaby.com www.facebook.com/pebblebaby

September 20, 2012

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Meet our Retailers: Diaper-eez

Here we are, back to introduce you another retailers of ours! For this week's feature we decided to play home and choose one of our Canadian retailers, the fabulous Diaper-eez , located in Toronto, Ontario.  

Give us a little history on your store, how long you've been in business, and the best phrase to describe your store.
Diaper-eez is your #1 source for all things cloth diapers. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Diaper-eez is a family owned and run baby shop that specializes in useful and sustainable products for babies and moms. For the last 17 years, Diaper-eez has been providing new families with the tools that they need to succeed at cloth diapering, as well as all other things newborn. From baby carriers and sunhats, to teethers and sleep sacks, Diaper-eez puts a focus on local and Canadian made products and works to ensure that we provide families with quality products at reasonable prices.

What do you feel sets your store apart from the competition?
Diaper-eez is the only specialty cloth diaper store in Toronto. We place a strong emphasis on customer service and education – we really want to help people choose the best cloth diapers for their baby, their budget and their lifestyle. We offer free cloth diaper talks daily and encourage customers to come back with any questions or concerns they may have after making their purchases.  Which SoYoung products do you carry in your store? We carry a wide variety of SoYoung products in our store, including the Charlie diaper bag, large cooler bags, lunch boxes, small cooler bags, toddler backpacks.

Which is SoYoung product you like best and why?
At Diaper-eez, we absolutely love the Charlie bag. It’s hard to choose a favourite SoYoung product because they’re all so functional and adorable, but the Charlie bag is undeniably great. It’s an incredibly practical and organized diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag at all. We really love the separate pockets for mom or dad’s things and the separate insulated pocket for snacks. We think it’s awesome that you don’t have to purchase a change pad or a wipes case or stroller clips separately, because they’re all included in one fantastic package.

How to reach them:
Diaper-eez 2309 Bloor Street West Toronto, ON M6S 1P1

Store Hours:
Monday: 10am – 6pm Tuesday: 10am – 6pm Wednesday: 10am – 6pm Thursday: 10am – 7pm Friday: 10am – 7pm Saturday: 10am – 6pm Sunday: 12pm – 5pm And, yes, they're also on the Internet: www.diaper-eez.com diapers@diaper-eez.com www.facebook.com/Diapereez www.twitter.com/Diapereez

HELLO INTERNATIONAL VISITORS!

SoYoung currently only ships to addresses within continental North America. For inquiries regarding international retailers and distribution, email us at  inquiries@soyoung.ca.

HELLO AMERICA!

We ship anywhere in continental North America, however if your shipping address is in the USA you’ll have to place your order in the USA Store.