Category Archives: KIDS

How to REALLY Pack Your Child’s School Lunch with alternaVites KIDS

Sponsored by alternaVites KIDS

How to REALLY Pack Your Childs School Lunch WM

Contributed by: Modern Boca Social Mom

With the anxiety of the first few weeks of school over with (OK, mostly anxiety on my part, my daughter did just fine!), a new stress has taken over.

It’s called: The School Lunch Box.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

I can really get myself worked up into panic mode just thinking about what to pack for my daughter’s lunch for the week! It has to be healthy and it has to be something she will eat and it has to be enough to fill her up! Packing the lunchbox can be just as stressful as making the food! My friend recommended me to visit and get some name labels printed for my kids lunchbox. I guess this will lessen the stress a bit!! The lunch also has to be the right temperature (we wouldn’t want that mayo to get hot, would we?).

Modern Boca Mom reached out to Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist (and mom!) for some schooling on lunches.

Ilyse Schapiro

Ilyse told MBMom, “Ideally a healthy packed lunch should include: Whole Grains, Fruits and Vegetables, Lean protein and Water.”

Whole grains –Always aim for whole grain or whole wheat breads, brown rice and whole wheat pasta, couscous or quinoa. Whole grains have more fiber and less sugar than their white counterparts, and will help keep your kids fuller for longer periods of time.

Fresh fruit and vegetables – This goes without saying. Fruits and veggies have a multitude of health benefits, including vitamins, minerals and fiber! Plus for most, they taste great. Having fruits and veggies in your child’s lunch also contributes to variety and color which keeps lunches appealing.

Lean protein – Helps to keep kids satisfied. Aim for lean sources such as chicken, turkey, tuna and wild salmon. If your child doesn’t eat meat, they can get it from low-fat cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu and beans – all which are packed with calcium too!

Water Nothing beats water to help keep your child hydrated at lunch and throughout the day. Also, filling up on water will help to prevent overeating later on and a necessity for everyone. If water doesn’t cut it, aim for low-fat milk over juice.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

And one thing that we both agree on? You need to pack foods that your child actually LIKES.

“The last thing you want is for your hard work in packing the lunch to get thrown away. Kids end up trading for things they do like or come home ravenous,” said Ilyse.

Luckily, just browsing through Target and Publix gave me some great ideas. I also found plenty of websites and Pinterest Pins to help me out. Some of my favorite ideas are snacks with hidden veggies or vitamins inside them.

Plum Organics makes organic fruit bars called Mighty 4 that have 11 essential vitamins and minerals and chia. Plum also has a line of smoothies, Fruit & Veggie Mashups, that are made from 100% real organic fruits and veggies “mixed and mashed into purees kids can squeeze and eat!”

For vitamins, Ilyse also recommends alternaVites KIDS.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

alternaVites KIDS are so versatile that they can fit into your child’s lunch a different way each day. At school, they can mix alternaVites KIDS in with their yogurt, stir it into a healthy fruit smoothie, even add it to their pudding or apple sauce. As a dietitian and a mother, I also like that you don’t have to worry about them adding too much since it comes in a single serve packet so it’s easy to trust your children with it if they buy lunch or want to take it as is by pouring it on their tongue,” said Ilyse.

Moving onto the beverage, I found Vita Coco Kids juice boxes at Publix. These juice boxes claim to have half the sugar and half the calories as “leading kids’ juices”. Capri Sun has also gotten in the game with Capri Sun Super V. This juice contains vitamins A, C and E and has one combined serving of fruits and vegetables. If they can’t see it, they won’t know what is or isn’t in there!

Other great sides are apple slices, grapes, graham crackers, hummus and pita chips.

“Children need an ample supply of vitamins and minerals to help support their growth and development. While it’s always important to get as many nutrients as you can through diet, sometimes it is not always possible. Especially during the back to school period, things can get hectic: between the new schedule of homework, after school activities, play dates and even birthday parties & sports, it’s often hard to stick to any routine – let alone one where our children eat the way we wish they would or could,” reminded Ilyse.

The main course is where I start to have issues. The ‘tried and true’ sandwich is great, but I want my daughter to have some variety. So, one quick search for school lunch ideas on Pinterest did not disappoint!

I found recipes for mini pizza buns, a variety of pasta salad recipes, rotisserie chicken ideas, a cute sandwich sushi roll tutorial and so many other great ideas.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

Check out this Pinterest Page for all the awesomeness including Halloween lunch ideas!

I also found some pretty cool ideas for packing these nutritious meals such as using cupcake liners to separate food, BPA free plastic containers with dividers and sandwich boxes with built in freezer packs (available at Target) to keep things cool.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch BoxalternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch BoxThis cornucopia of info was making me feel pretty confident about what to pack…and then I saw FOOD ART!

Are other moms really doing this? I am having a hard enough time making a sandwich without crust and now I have to sculpt it?!

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

So I tried…

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

and failed.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

My daughter thought it was some type of unicorn. To my credit though, I had to alter the ingredients because I knew my daughter was not going to eat seaweed. So the eyes and the ear were made with Nutella.

She was not impressed.
alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

So, I will just stick to focusing on packing a healthy and satisfying lunch and not so much on the presentation. Another gold star towards my “MBMom of the Year” award! 🙂

Now, let’s hear from you! What are your favorite school lunch ideas? Have you ever tried food art or alternaVites KIDS?

Sponsored: This post was sponsored by alternaVites KIDS. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist who holds a Master’s of Science in clinical nutrition and dietetics from New York University. Her professional experience includes clinical and private settings and counseling clients on a host of nutrition-related issues.

Before launching her own practice, she was a dietitian at Joy Bauer Nutrition, and served as a clinical dietitian at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Prior to pursuing her graduate degree in nutrition, Ilyse served on the publishing team at Men’s Health magazine for several years. Working at the award-winning publication inspired her to pursue her life-long goal of working in health and wellness.

Ilyse has also been a contributor to Joy Bauer’s Food Cures and a guest lecturer on diet and nutrition at PepsiCo, The Marilyn Modeling agency in NYC, The American Ballet Theater, Equinox Fitness Clubs and the Hospital for Special Surgery, as well as local schools and doctors’ offices. She is also an active member of the American Dietetic Association.

Ilyse currently has a private practice in New York and Greenwich, CT.

Are Your Kids Playing it Safe on the Internet?


Internet safety tips for parents

From our contributor: Modern Boca Social Mom

The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can also be a very scary thing when it comes to the safety of our children. It’s important to have internet safety tips for parents.
I often struggle with how to teach my kids how to have fun with the online world and at the same time, be cautious. My daughter Ella loves to watch YouTube videos on her iPad. Mostly she watches other kids playing games she likes or cartoons.
One day she asked if she could watch My Little Pony videos. I set up the search for her and Voila! She was happily watching Rainbow Dash fly through the sky. The next video that played showed kids playing with My Little Pony dolls. But then the videos began to veer off topic…
One video showed real ponies happily prancing around. No harm there. Then the next video had nothing to do with ponies at all and well…it was totally inappropriate. Luckily, I was right there to intercept the iPad and Ella was clueless.

Internet safety tips for parents

Gone are the days where we can keep the family computer in the family room and watch over our children as they search online. Now there are portable devices that are portals to the World Wide Web.
My niece just turned 12 and is constantly on her iPod using Pic Collage and Video Star. She isn’t allowed to post anything online, but of course, her friends are all doing it (so she says) and she wants to do it too. Her mother warned her that even when she posts something anonymously, it is possible for someone to find out things about her.
Her response was a sarcastic, “Yeah…right” followed by an eye roll. After witnessing that, I was not so excited for the teen years with my own kids. We as parents definitely have to be ‘not so cool’ sometimes.

Internet safety tips for parents

So how do we give our children access to the internet AND still keep them safe?
Here are some tips:
  • With YouTube, it is best if you set up a separate account for your child and set the filter to strict. But beware; it is still very easy for things to seep through those filters. It is always a good idea to monitor your children while they are browsing YouTube.
  • Follow age restrictions on sites like Facebook. Right now the minimum age to sign up is 13. You might think it isn’t a big deal for your child to have an account, but there are ads that pop up that are not suitable for children. Plus, some private information could be given to advertisers. It is also a violation of Facebook’s terms to provide false information for a Facebook account.
  • Place time restrictions on your child’s internet use and discuss internet usage rules with them. This will make it easier for them to know what is expected and for you to watch what they are doing. You can set up your computer to block certain websites and block out the internet completely. Did you know that some internet providers automatically block inappropriate or adult content? Protecting children from harm online is a huge concern in today’s world and something that the best internet service providers such as the ones linked endeavor towards.
  • Communication is key. When your children are old enough to start using social media, educate them on the correct way to use it. Be sure they know what cyber bulling is and what to do if they feel like it is happening to them or someone they know.
  • If your child has been begging for their own email, a perfect solution is This site enables you to receive a copy of all incoming and outgoing email that is sent to or from your child. You can also set time restrictions, block specific people and it offers a GPS tracker on their mobile app. Parents love using Kids Email because it allows their children to use technology in a safe environment. Kids Email allows your child to e-mail their Grandparents and friends and you, as the parent, have the peace of mind that they won’t see anything inappropriate.
I dread the day when my daughter asks for an iPhone or wants to setup Facebook and Twitter accounts. My 8-month-old already knows how to turn on my iPhone. Just one swipe with her finger and she is connected and posting as me on Facebook.
Her status update one day was just “PK”. I am not sure what that stands for…maybe it stands for Pure Cuteness, but with a K because she doesn’t know how to really spell that well yet. 🙂

Internet safety tips for parents

So tell us: How are you monitoring your child’s exposure to the online world? It’s important to have internet safety tips for parents. is the #1 Kids Email Service Provider. Their mission is to protect children from predators and questionable email. Kids Email gives parents the tools to protect their children in a manner that is simple and effective.
You can try it FREE today by visiting and using the code MBM.

Internet safety tips for parents

Learning to Embrace Teachable Moments…

Benefits of teachable moments

From our educational contributor: Modern Boca Teaching Mom-benefits of teachable moments.
As the summer continues to fly by, I am truly awakened by how much my life has changed in the last year. Instead of browsing the Sunday advertisement flyers looking for the best deals on folders and glue sticks for back-to-school, I’m perusing the web for “first birthday party ideas” and deals on diapers.
Benefits of teachable momentsOK fine, neither one is that glamorous.
But, for those of you who do not know me, I’ve pretty much prided myself and based much of my identity on being a teacher. I started volunteering at a preschool when I was fourteen and have been in the education field ever since.
Now as a mommy to my amazing baby girl, I find that I’m still creating lessons, speaking in my teacher voice, and reading lots of stories, but this time it’s for my OWN CHILD. As I write this my eyes begin to fill with tears. Being L’s mommy is the most incredible and rewarding experience I’ve ever known…and yes, the salary is even less than what I made as a teacher, but I’m OK with that.

Benefits of teachable moments

Back in my teacher days…

Going back to how I’ve always identified myself as a teacher, that title came with many expectations- to behave in public (what if a parent sees me?), always being ‘in the know’ with educational theories, curriculum and politics (apparently people really are interested in education), and of course giving advice to family and friends with children.

Benefits of teachable moments

Since my title has become teacher AND mom, I find that I’m held to even higher expectations- which can be intimidating at times, after all I am a first time mom!
However, I do believe that being a teacher does give me a different perspective as a mother. I do feel that the teacher in me still lives and is still yearning for the opportunity to educate.
As an educator of young children, I was always trying to find ways to sprinkle in the learning when the kids least expected it. Children are naturally curious, so even when I’m doing the most mundane task, I know deep down that my baby has never experienced this before and would like to observe and be a part in whatever it is that I’m doing.
Benefits of teachable moments
Which leads me to finding teachable moments.  A teachable moment can happen almost anytime, anywhere – in the grocery store, going to the beach or preparing dinner.

Benefits of teachable moments

Chances are that many of the valuable moral lessons that you learned as a child were not consciously taught at all. They were rather learned in the midst of casual moments in your real life. It is now my mission to bring learning into my baby’s life and share those moments with other parents.
Real life is not something strategically planned out and executed, so why should learning be?

Now, we want to hear from you MBMoms! What has been your biggest ‘teachable moment’ so far as a mom? Comment below!

Kristine Keshishian, M. Ed. founder of Embracing Education, truly believes that education begins at birth and parents are a child’s teacher for life. No matter what educational philosophy one identifies with, we can all “embrace our children’s education” from early on to grow life-long learners!  Check out her upcoming fall class calendar HERE.

17 Necessities for Back-to-School


How to choose vitamins for kids to go back to school

And I’m not talking about backpacks and notebooks…

How to choose vitamins for kids to go back to school

Congratulations MBMoms! You’ve made it to the midway point of the first week of school OR it might be the first day for your older kiddos (you old pros!). I just love seeing everyone’s sweet pictures on Facebook! It makes me feel equally excited and terrified for #dailybabyavery’s first day of school down the road…

I used to love back-to-school time as a kid…crisp school supplies, new clothes, a fresh lunchbox and backpack. But, I was definitely forgetting about the 17 REAL back-to-school necessities. Also, how to choose vitamins for kids to go back to school. My friend suggested for me to check out Kids multivitamins since they really helped her kids. So I’ve done some research into them and found some fantastic options. Continue reading 17 Necessities for Back-to-School