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Is BBQ Healthy? With These Kid-Approved Grill Favorites, It Can Be!

Grilling is one of the favorite summer activities. The most popular items to grill are often hamburgers, followed by chicken, hot dogs, and steak. All that meat makes one ask, is BBQ healthy? If you’re looking for delicious options for healthier and lighter BBQ fare, we’ve got you covered with some kid-approved burger substitutions.

Burger Alternative Recipes: 

Salmon Burger with Avocado Salsa: Salmon is a fantastic addition to any grill and it’s full of health benefits for growing bodies! Salmon is rich in B vitamins and fatty acids which are great for brain health, improved cognitive function and thyroid/heart health. This yummy recipe from Laughing Spatula includes the added benefits of heart-healthy, high fiber avocado. If mild poblano peppers aren’t your thing, sweeten things up with some chopped mango in your salsa!

The Humble Black Bean Veggie Burger: There are plenty of delicious veggie burgers on the market if you need a quick dinner but homemade always tastes better. The beauty of this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction is that you can flavor these black bean burgers any way you choose. They’re also the perfect platform for all kinds of burger toppings. Black bean burgers are nutritious as well as tasty. The high fiber content helps keep kids regular, reduces digestive issues and helps keep cholesterol low.

Savory Falafel Tahini Burgers with Tzatziki: Looking for another healthy vegetarian option for grilling on the BBQ? Try these falafel tahini burgers from Evergreen Kitchen served with a dollop of fresh tzatziki sauce. They’re filling, rich in plant protein and high in fiber, something most kids and adults could use more of. Instead of pan-frying, cook your falafel burgers on a cooler grill for 4-5 minutes per side. Don’t forget to oil the grill to prevent sticking! Serve on a pita, bun or in a lettuce wrap with your favorite veggie toppings.

Sweet Potato Coconut Patties: If your family loves exotic flavors, they’ll love these sweet and healthy sweet potato coconut burgers. Sweet potatoes aren’t just a kid-favorite for their sweet taste, they’re healthy too. Rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, sweet potatoes boost the brain, eyes and immune system. Coconut has its own health benefits too. Coconut is high in healthy fats and provides quick energy to the brain and body while increasing HDL cholesterol, which helps keep heart disease at bay. Try this recipe from Foodal and grill them as you would black bean or falafel burgers.

Healthy BBQ Ideas That Aren’t About The Meats: 

Substituting out ground beef or hot dogs isn’t the only way you can boost the healthiness of your next BBQ meal, here are a few more ideas to keep things light and fresh:

Always grill vegetables when you BBQ. Grilled veggies can make fun and healthy finger foods, burger toppings or side dishes. Try grilling things like beets, squash, corn, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms and tomatoes. Whichever vegetables your kids love most, they’ll love even more on the grill!

Grill fruit for a healthy dessert. Many fruits taste amazing on the grill. Grilled pineapple is a given but don’t forget about grilled peaches, pears, apples, figs, bananas and even watermelon!

Dump the bun. Opt for healthy lettuce wraps instead of a carb-heavy bun. Romaine lettuce is a good choice for wrapping up patties but lettuce isn’t the only option. Get creative! Serve your patties between grilled eggplant slices or portabella mushrooms for a healthy twist.

Make your own condiments. It’s easy to make your own condiments like mayonnaise and ketchup at home with any preservatives or extra sugar. Try this homemade ketchup recipe from The Pioneer Woman and rediscover what ketchup should taste like!

With a little ingenuity and some fresh ingredients, now when people ask, “is BBQ healthy,” you can say yes!

Earth-Conscious Plating:

Ditch the paper plates! Minware’s Sandwich Plate with Divider is the perfect BBQ plate for kids. It’s sturdy and shatter-proof, great for outdoor settings and the smart divider is ideal for creating a healthy plate of varying foods while keeping sauces and foods separate. A must-have for picky eaters! Durable, eco-friendly and dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up.

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Special Midsummer – How to Celebrate like a Swede?

At Miniware, Sweden is part of our heritage, and as soon as June comes around we can’t stop thinking of Midsummer. In many cases, a lot of families gather to celebrate this traditional high-point of the summer through traditional midsummer dishes, and dances!

Discover the top 5 traditions of a Swedish Midsummer, and follow our tips if you wanna celebrate like a Swede. 

Pick some colorful and pretty summer flowers and some green leaves!

Midsummer Eve often starts in the morning by picking flowers. It’s a tradition to wear a midsummer wreath on midsummer eve. Most people make these themselves by picking flowers and binding them around a steel thread. Some use the flowers for decorating the pole.

Gather and raise the maypole!

The Midsummer celebrations usually start around noon, when friends and family gather to enjoy a small picnic often in the countryside or the archipelago. Symbol of fertility, the “Midsommarstång” (the maypole) is decorated with greenery and flowers and raised in an open spot for people to dance around. 

Let the dancing begin! 

Many traditional ring-dances follow around the maypole. Make sure to take part in the “Små grodorna” (The Little Frogs) dance, one of the most popular dances during midsummer. People of all ages jump around the pole while singing about little frogs and mimicking little frogs, it looks as fun and crazy as it sounds!

Make sure that herrings and strawberries are on the menu! 

Later in the afternoon, it’s time for midsummer food! Must-haves are gravlax or salmon, different kinds of pickled herring, boiled new potatoes with fresh dill, soured cream and chives and of course, for dessert, a strawberry cake and the first strawberries of the summer. 

If you’re a single parent, don’t forget to pick up seven flowers before going to bed! 

According to the legend, you should collect seven different kinds of flowers to put under your pillow before you go to bed. If you do this, the legend says that the person of your dreams will appear!;)

How Miniware can help you to enjoy this day with your little ones?

Photo by IG @raisingislaelyse_

Forget about the paper plates! Miniware’s Healthy Meal Set is the perfect plate for toddlers. It’s sturdy and shatter-proof, great for outdoor settings and the smart divider is ideal for creating a healthy plate of varying foods while keeping sauces and foods separate. A must-have for picky eaters! Durable, eco-friendly, and dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up.

Toddlers also want to join the fun and all the midsummer toasts! So why not serve them their favorite smoothie in our 1-2-3 Sip Cup! Success guaranteed! 

Among your picnic essentials don’t forget to pack some snacks, water, wipes, and extra clothing/diapers. Some games are also a must to keep your kids entertained, take your favorite game, like a frisbee, bubble soap, a ball, or for our Swedish families a kubb. 

We have prepared great bundles and free gifts especially for you so that you can be ready for the celebrations and set a beautiful and colorful table. Enjoy a composition of our best sellers, and a special 20% discount on a selection of products! 

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Unplugged Travel with Toddlers: Road Trip Edition

Summer is nearly here and for many families that means road trip season! There are so many wonderful things to do and see, from family reunions and weddings to camping trips and beach adventures, most of us spend a lot more time in the car during this time of year. While watching movies or playing tablet games can be fine for some, we like to focus on unplugged travel with toddlers. By working with your child’s natural cycles, you can turn a device-free road trip into engaging, quality, family time and provide a childhood full of treasured memories instead of just another viewing of Frozen.

Don’t rush.

As adults, we usually plan a long-haul drive trying to get to our destination as soon as possible, but we have to change this mindset when traveling with kids.  Planning is key when it comes to road trips with toddlers. Kids have three main cycles; eat, sleep and play. The length of these cycles varies by age, but for infants and toddlers, the time in between can be quite short. Plan to stop approximately every two hours to stretch everyone’s legs, enjoy a snack and a bathroom break, especially important for toddlers in potty-training! Frequent breaks and taking your time will ease the stress of your child having their normal routine disrupted and help them enjoy the experience more. Try to end your day at 4 pm so that your child can eat dinner at their normal time and maintain their bedtime schedule. You can’t expect them to fall asleep right after checking into a hotel!

Pack accordingly.

Depending on the length of your road trip, it’s important to prepare for the unexpected. For short trips (under 3 hours), snacks, water, wipes and extra clothing/diapers are a must. For longer trips, several changes of clothing may be necessary along with extra wipes. Don’t forget a leak-proof storage bag for dirty clothing! Motion sickness can be unpredictable, so a few sick bags may also be in order. A thermos of warm milk is a surefire way to get toddlers to fall asleep once the car gets moving! Get a full packing checklist here!

Anticipate their needs.

Place a bag or other container that your toddler can reach next to their car seat and fill it with all the things they may want or need. Healthy, car-friendly snacks like sliced fruit or cheese (think non-crumbly) and water to keep them hydrated are important. Favorite sleeping comforts such as blankets or soft toys along with the white noise of the car is enough to put most toddlers to sleep. Coloring books or picture books with few words are a good choice for the car as reading will often lead to motion sickness. Audio books are something the entire family can enjoy. Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, Frog and Toad are Friends, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are toddler-approved (over 4 years old) and enjoyable for all!

Make the most of play time.

While many parents aim to drive when their kids are sleeping, playtime in the car helps kids stick with their regular daytime schedule much better. Here are some activities you can do with your kids while still keeping your eyes on the road.  

What would a road trip be without sing-alongs and car games? When your toddler is at their most active, it’s a great time to engage with them and build those road-trip memories! Make a couple of playlists in advance, especially if your child enjoys calming music before bed or naptime. Fill another with road trip classics and your toddler’s favorite dance music for a robust sing-along and in-your-seat dance party! It’s a great time to teach your kids the songs you sang at camp or in the car as kids and relive a little of your own childhood too.

Age-appropriate road trip games can be fun for kids of all ages. Simple scavenger hunts such as car colors for young kids and state license plates for older ones or a game of I Spy are good diversions. The Alphabet Game is great for toddlers, either spotting items outside the car that begin with each letter or through a scenario such as “I’m going on a picnic, I bring…” something beginning with A and so on. Twenty Questions is another classic your toddler will enjoy!

There are a lot of benefits of unplugged travel with toddlers, including building memories. Skip the DVDs and tablet time and help your kids be present. Also, work with their schedule to make naptime work for you. What are your best tips for road trips with toddlers? Let us know in the comments below!