‘Sun made’ goodness that’s close to my heart

I don’t know about you, but one of my favourite childhood memories shared with my brother was when our parents got us raisins. Having our own little packs to snack on, be it at home or on excursions, we’d finish the pack before we knew it and would be begging for another. #nostalgia

I guess our liking for raisins was passed down to the kids, or maybe kids just naturally love raisins; whatever it is, my kids, nieces and nephew all have a thing for these sun-dried raisins. But I think the biggest kid, my brother, is still the greatest fan.

Sun-Maid raisins

These portable, convenient, delicious, and very nutritious snacks are ideal for travel, a great healthy alternative to bring to school in a lunch box or a quick bite during breaks, serves well as during parties and in birthday goodie bags

When I was a child, I only knew one way to eat raisins – from the mini snack box packaging (as shown above). As I grew older, I discovered them in muffins and bread.

Then when I became a mother, I realised that besides getting the kids to get the nutritional benefits of raisins in the convenient snack boxes, they were always thrilled to see raisins at main meals.

Grilled chicken served with a side of fruit salad with raisins and a slice of garlic bread

The kids had their fruit salad served in a separate bowl and the chicken cut into smaller portions.

It’s kinda wonderful to eat snack food at mealtimes (oh who doesn’t love that?) so they will be motivated to eat faster… though my slow eaters would always eat up the raisins first and ask for more, so it doesn’t always work out the way I want, but at least I know they enjoyed their meal and they are getting the benefits of essential nutrients by consuming the raisins.

Pineapple fried rice – another one of my favourite ways to incorporate raisins into our lives

Anyway, whether you are a stay home mom or a working mom, whether you are a culinary noob or an expert, whether you can whip up these dishes or buy them from restaurants, you know you can always spice up the food by adding these raisins into the food to brighten up your child’s day (or yours too!). Failing that, you could just eat them as they are!

Great as a healthy 100% NATURAL (just grapes and sunshine!) snack food, I never need to worry about giving them raisins too often or too much.

Snacking on raisins while doing her work

Since 1912, Sun-Maid has been providing premium quality sun-dried raisins and dried fruits from the farms of California to homes and eating establishments around the world. As a cooperative, Sun-Maid Growers of California is owned by family farmers who grow raisin grapes all located within 100 miles of each other in the Great Central Valley of California, midway between Los Angeles to the south and San Francisco to the north.

California Valley

Sun-Maid has earned its reputation as “America’s favourite” for raisins and dried fruits. The process of making Sun-Maid raisins requires Natural Seedless grapes – plump and flavorful – and the extended period of drying sun found in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

The sweet, sun-ripened grapes are harvested in early autumn and over 90% are sun-dried on paper “trays” in the vineyards. Over a three-week period, the sun dries them into raisins, giving them their dark color and characteristic flavour.

Besides the snack packs, there are other packaging sizes that are available to suit your needs:

Canisters like this one are suitable for cooking, baking or snacking as you like

As shown earlier, raisins can be used as an ingredient in pastas, rice, bread, pastries, salads and cereals (very yummy when used as a topping for overnight oats). It can even be consumed as an energy booster before exercise!

Celebrating more than one hundred years of history, Sunmaid’s ebook is available for download here for FREE! Get inspired with more ways to include this healthier snack alternative which is 100% natural, preservative free and packed with nutrients. Make raisins a part of your family’s everyday life today!

Now if you’d excuse me, I’m off to share my stash with my brother, and this time, he can eat out of the 500g canister instead of the mini packs. #somethingswillneverchange

 

 

Disclosure: This is an advertorial. All opinions are mine.

 

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{KidsFest 2016} I Believe in Unicorns and other productions

I’ve heard so much about KidsFest and I’m so glad that this year with my little girl having settled down in Primary school and my boy in kindergarten, we’ll be checking out one of the six theatre productions by ABA Productions. A world-class festival for families, KidsFest returns in January and February 2016 at School of the Arts (SOTA) with new favourites alongside well-loved stories. The production which we’ll be catching, I Believe in Unicorns – here for the first time in Singapore –  is a tale about the power of books, and the bravery of a young boy called Tomas.

Tomas hates reading and school, but his world is turned upside down the day he meets the Unicorn Lady in his local library. An enchanting and interactive production, I Believe in Unicorns, which won an Argus Angel Award for Artistic Excellence at Brighton Festival, sparks imagination in both young and old.

We just received the book today and you can be sure my little girl is extremely eager to read it!

I Believe in Unicorns is recommended for aged 6 and up while here are the rest of the productions for which you might want to catch and these are all recommended for families with little ones aged 3 and up.

The Gruffalo (January 21st to 24th)

Back by popular demand and opening the festival is none other than The Gruffalo. A classic mainstay at every KidsFest since 2013, The Gruffalo is the perfect show for parents bringing their children to the theatre for the first time. With music, songs and dance to bring Julia Donaldson’s award-winning story to life, there is monstrous fun to be had!

Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep dark wood in search of hazelnuts. Meet the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the party mad Snake on the way. Will the story of the fabled Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these wily woodland creatures? Armed with only a nut map and a little courage, Mouse must outwit them all. After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo – is there?

Room on the Broom (January 28th to 31st)

Room on the Broom – another favourite by Julia Donaldson, and one of our favourites too! – promises a spellbinding adventure on the broomstick. Join a witch and her cat as they fly happily along on their broomstick – until a stormy wind blows the witch’s hat, bow and wand away into the night! With the help of a daft dog, a beautiful bird and a friendly frog, her belongings are retrieved. But this broomstick’s not meant for five and – CRACK! – it snaps in two. When a hungry dragon (and a fire-spitting one at that!) appears, who will save the poor witch? And will there ever be room on the broom for everyone?

The Snow Child (February 5th to 7th)

The Snow Child is a touching story of a lonely couple who built a small figure from snow, and wish very, very hard… until the strength of their longing brings a magical snow child to life before their eyes! As she dances in the wild landscape and talks with the animals, she brings joy, fun and laughter to the whole village. But it’s not easy, bringing up a wild daughter of the blizzards and the wind. As the seasons turn, and winter gives way to spring and summer, will the Snow Child and her parents find their “happily ever after”?

Aliens Love Underpants (February 11th to 14th)

Also here for the first time in Singapore is Aliens Love Underpants. Journey into space and find out why aliens have such an unexplainable fancy for the unmentionables. With the plot revolving around the knickers, it is sure to have you snickering. This zany and hilarious tale based on the best-selling children’s book is wonderfully brought to life on stage for the very first time. With stunning effects, madcap action, original music (and lots of aliens of course!) this fantastically fresh and funny production will delight the whole family.

Little Red Riding Hood (February 11th to 14th)

Embark on a heartfelt journey to discover the power of love, hope and bravery in the joyous new version of the classic fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood. From the creative team behind the hugely popular Hairy Maclary Show, Little Red Riding Hood is a fun, original musical for children, with live music and loveable characters. Join Scarlet and her side-kick Stanley the Squirrel as they try to outwit Walter the Wolf and discover that it’s not just the enchanted forest that has magical powers… A forest full of family fun, this show is a joyous new version of the classic fairy tale.

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Tickets are on sale NOW. Book them at any SISTIC outlet (List of Agents), official SISTIC website or call the hotline 6348 5555. Prices range from $42 to $62.

SAVE WHEN YOU BOOK TWO OR MORE SHOWS!

A 10% discount is applicable when you book two shows and a 15% discount when you book three or more! You can also show your purchased tickets or ticket stubs at any SISTIC outlet to receive a 10% discount on additional tickets.

For more information, check out KidsFest and at the official KidsFest Singapore Facebook page.

 

Disclosure: We were invited to catch one of the productions and we’re looking forward to it. No monetary compensation was provided.

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