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21 Pool-Party Pastas the Kids Will Love!

By Gen Cohen

 

 

21 Pool-Party Pastas the Kids Will Love!

Pasta salad is a staple at summertime pool parties, picnics, and BBQs. But after your first few batches, you start to get a little bored by the dish, and so do your kids! Kick it up a notch with these tasty (and healthy!) recipes that highlight the season's best ingredients. From "cool" mac and cheeses to colorful pasta salads, these pasta and macaroni salad recipes for kids will have your little ones asking for seconds without a sweat!

1. Grilled Ratatouille Pasta Salad

Grilled Ratatouille Pasta Salad

Got leftover grilled vegetables? Turn them into this tasty pasta dish from Two Peas and Their Pod.

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

2. Macaroni Salad With Chickpeas

 

 

Macaroni Salad With ChickpeasMacaroni with a kick of protein: what could be better? Unlike most macaroni salads, My Whole Food Life's healthy dish is a great option for meatless Mondays!

Source: My Whole Food Life

3. Confetti Pasta SaladConfetti Pasta Salad

Loaded with seasonal veggies like cherry tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, Peas and Crayons' confetti pasta salad will become a pool-party staple.

Source: Peas and Crayons

4. Whole-Wheat Pasta Salad With Feta and PeasWhole-Wheat Pasta Salad With Feta and PeasClever Carrot's kid-friendly pasta salad actually tastes better the longer it sits. The whole-wheat pasta is a filling option, and the pea shoots give it a nutritious crunch.

Source: The Clever Carrot

5. Chicken Pasta SaladChicken Pasta Salad

Two summertime classics — pasta salad and chicken salad — come together to create one tasty dish.

Source: Circle of Moms user Robin Bunker

6. Southwestern Pasta SaladSouthwestern Pasta Salad

Packed with protein and veggies, Two Peas and Their Pod's fiesta-inspired salad is great as a side dish or main course. To avoid a soggy salad, serve the dressing on the side.

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

7. Pesto Pasta SaladPesto Pasta Salad

If you want to sneak some extra veggies into your tot's pesto pasta salad, substitute half of the basil with spinach.

Source: POPSUGAR Food

8. Orzo Salad

Orzo Salad

Orzo makes a great, light alternative to traditional pastas.

Source: Circle of Moms user Nicole Diffenbaugh

9. BBQ Macaroni Salad

BBQ Macaroni SaladMel's Kitchen Cafe kicks up traditional macaroni salad with kielbasa, peppers, and BBQ sauce.

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

10. Avocado, Shrimp, and Pasta Salad

Avocado, Shrimp, and Pasta Salad

A great lunchbox or picnic dish, Good Cooks' avocado pasta salad is easy to make and bursting with flavor. Try making different variations by substituting chicken for shrimp or using seasonal vegetables throughout the year.

Source: Good Cooks

11. Tricolor Pasta
Tricolor PastaKids will be able to taste the rainbow in Mel's Kitchen Cafe's vibrant pasta salad.

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

12. 5-Ingredient Pasta Salad

5-Ingredient Pasta SaladEverything you need to make Gimme Some Oven's simple salad is probably already in your pantry and fridge.

Source: Gimme Some Oven

13. Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

Thanks to its tangy taste, Sunny Side Up's pasta salad is sure to be a dish everyone will enjoy. Try adding your own twist using fun-shaped pasta.

Source: Sunny Side Up

14. Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Kids with or without a gluten intolerance will devour Keep It Simple, Keep It Fresh's gluten-free creation.

Source: Keep It Simple, Keep It Fresh

15. Crab Pasta Salad

Crab Pasta Salad

Take advantage of the season's fresh seafood, and whip up this crab-filled salad.

Source: Circle of Moms user Sarah Schroer

16. Sunbutter Noodles

Sunbutter Noodles

Shh, don't tell the kids that these noodles are actually strips of zucchini. Oatmeal With a Fork's sunbutter noodles fill the kids with nutrients without them knowing!

Source: Oatmeal With a Fork

17. Pasta With White Beans and Tomatoes

Pasta With White Beans and Tomatoes

The Clever Carrot's simple pasta recipe has seasonal favorites like arugula and white beans for creaminess.

Source: Good Life Eats

18. Home-Style Macaroni Salad

Home-Style Macaroni Salad

Peas and Crayons' home-style macaroni salad is Summer's version of your little one's favorite dish. It directly translates to creamy, cheesy goodness with a (healthy) catch.

Source: Peas and Crayons

19.Crazy Delicious Pasta Salad

Crazy Delicious Pasta SaladWith ingredients like fresh vegetables and Summer sausage, we can understand why Keep It Simple, Keep It Fresh dubbed this a crazy delicious salad.

Source: Keep It Simple, Keep It Fresh

20. Pasta Salad Skewers

Pasta Salad Skewers

Thanks to Cooking With My Kid, your child can enjoy pasta salad on the go!

Source: Cooking With My Kid

21. Fruity Pasta Salad

Fruity Pasta Salad

Who said pasta salad can't be a dessert? Western Gardens' sweet salad highlights Summer's best produce — fruit!

Source: Western Gardens

 

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10 Nursery Storage Hacks to Help You Save Space

By Gen Cohen

Caring for your baby inevitably requires a whole bunch of stuff, and it isn't easy to fit all those necessities into a smaller nursery. Not to worry — if you're working with minimal space, there are some simple hacks and products to help you keep your baby's items organized. Keep reading for a look at 10 smart space saving nursery ideas for smaller spaces, and then get inspired by checking out kids' rooms you need to see to believe.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

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Skip the Gas Station With These Healthy Road Trip Snacks For Kids

By Gen Cohen

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7 Carriers to Make Bike Riding With Tiny Ones Fun For the Whole Family

By Gen Cohen

Before we dive into this awesome list of 7 bike trailers for kids, it's important to remember to protect those baby blues with our kids' rubber sunglasses. They're light, comfortable, and they keep your junior's eyes safe from harmful UV rays!

 

 

Going for a bike ride as a family is a fun and fit bonding activity, but if you have a tiny one who isn't quite riding a bike on their own yet or can't keep up the same pace as older children, it could be difficult to execute. Don't skip the ride or have anyone stay behind — with one of these accessories, you can bring the entire family to the bike trail with ease.

Read on for seven bike accessories that will change your family's bike rides this Spring and Summer.

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The 48 Best Noncandy Valentine Ideas For Kids

By Gen Cohen

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22 Outdoor Activities Perfect For Fall Weekends

By Gen Cohen

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11 Ways to Save on After-School Activities

By Gen Cohen

Going broke funding your kid's extracurricular activities? Try these 11 tips on how to spend less on after-school extracurricular activities.

 

1. Register early

Fill out your child's registration paperwork and pay the fees as early as possible. Some organizations give a discount for early registration, and registering early gives you time to prepare for the activity so that you can accommodate it into your budget without last minute surprise expenses, says Clare K. Levison, author of Frugal Isn't Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better. Another reason to get your child enrolled early: you don't have to worry about forgetting to do it in time and then having to pay a late registration fee!

2. Ask for a discount

Some activities offer a multi-child or sibling discount, but you may not get it if you don't ask. Even if you only have one child participating in the program, check if there are any other discounts for which your child or family might qualify. You never know. A program may give a small percentage off if you or your spouse are military or law enforcement, or if your child is on the honor roll at school. "It never hurts to ask for a discount because every little bit helps," Levison says.

3. Look for a coupon

Yep, you may be able to find a coupon for your child's baseball team or dance class. "Thanks to sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, there are coupons for just about everything now, including extracurricular activities," says Michael Catania, co-founder of the savings community PromotionCode.org. "Do a quick search for the activity along with the month and year (for example, Pony League Baseball, Las Vegas, August 2016 offers) to see if what discounts might be available before you register," he says. It's also a good idea to look for discount codes when shopping for uniforms, equipment and other required items. Even if it's only a 5 percent off or BOGO offer, those savings add up.

4. Volunteer or barter

Volunteering with the organization can often reduce or remove the participation fees for your child, says consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. "You can offer to help with bookkeeping, coaching, or cleaning a dance studio, or you could offer your professional skills, whether that be marketing or web design," she says. Whatever you do, it doesn't have to be too time-consuming. It could be as simple as running the concession stands once a week. Every little bit helps, so talk to the program coordinators to see if there are ways you can pitch in while also reducing your child's fees. A couple of bonuses: You get to spend more time with your child doing something he enjoys, and depending on the activity, you may even get in a mini-workout.

5. Do a trial run

It's frustrating and financially draining when your child asks to participate in something, you fork over the cash, and then she begs to quit a couple of weeks later. If you're not sure that your kid will stick with a particular activity, ask if there's a way to try it out before making a full commitment. Some organizations will let your child to attend a class or two on a trial basis. It may be at no cost, or you may have to pay a small fee. Either way, it will give you and your kid time to see if this is really an activity she wants to be involved in, without you having to pay (and possibly lose) the whole fee.

6. Think thrifty

Of course, there are some things that should only be purchased new (such as mouthguards and helmets), but for many other things, secondhand is just as good. Asking family, friends, or neighbors for hand-me-downs is a great way to score gently used items like cleats, uniforms, bats, and art supplies for free or cheap. Buying used can keep more money in your pocketbook too. Check out thrift stores, eBay, Craigslist, yard sales, consignment shops, resellers like Play it Again Sports, or swap sites like SwapMeSports.com. And don't think that buying used means your child will get beat up gear. "A lot of times people try something, decide they don't like it (see above!) and then they have a piece of equipment that's practically brand new that they don't have a use for anymore, so it ends up at a thrift store [or other resale shop]," says Levison.

7. Rent equipment

Rather than paying for instruments, which can be expensive, look into renting. You can likely find rental options locally or through an online dealer. Another possibility: your library. "Some libraries, particularly those in big cities, offer rentals of musical instruments with just your library card," Catania says. Since you obviously won't be able to keep a library rental for the full school year, this option is best when your child is undecided about which instrument she wants to play and trying out different options. Once she's found the instrument she likes, you can look into a long-term rental from a music store or online.

8. Make meals/snacks ahead of time

In addition to the costs of the activity, many families shell out extra cash on food and snacks. Think about it: When you're leaving a long day at work and then heading to this or that practice or game, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. So you load up on snacks at the concession stand or grab takeout on the way home—and increase your spending. "Usuallly we find we spend too much money when we find ourselves in a time crunch," Levison says. "So if you can plan your meals ahead, do your shopping at the beginning of the week, and plan easy but healthy meals on the nights you have activities, it can save a lot of time and money." 

9. Save on gas

Another area that many parents don't factor into their budget with extracurricular activities is the added travel expenses. "Organize carpools with other parents and take turns driving to practices, games, and performances," Woroch says. Since everyone's schedule is likely to be busy, reach out to others to try to create a game plan as early in the season as possible. When it's your turn to drive, make sure you save on gas. "Start off by finding the lowest local prices with an app like Gas Buddy—a crowd-sourced app that offers near up-to-the-minute gas prices sorted by zip code," Catania says. And most gas stations have affiliations with credit cards and grocery stores, so if you carry a card or shop at a specific store, look to see if it can help you lower your fuel expenses.

10. Skip the add-ons

Just because your child participates in an activity doesn't mean he has to have every little item the team offers for sale. "Professional photos, videos, and extra shirts are fun to have, but the costs can really add up," Levison says. So pass on things that aren't necessities. You can take your own photos or videos, and skip the team shirts for mom and dad and show your support by wearing the team colors instead. 

11. Just say "no" 

If your kid wants to do football, soccer and swim, you may have to give him a choice. "I think we tend to want to sign our kids up for a lot of organized activities these days, but you don't have to go overboard, especially if it's affecting your finances," Levison says. Limit your child to one activity per season, and tell him to choose the one he wants to do most. If he has an interest in something else, he can do it at home or find a community center that is more affordable than, says, private art lessons. Sure, there may be some whining (or even tears), but you have to do what's right for your financial situation. And, add Levinson, this is a good opportunity to something else that's beneficial to your child: have a conversation about budgets and the cost of activities.

 

With savings like these, you can treat you and your kiddos to rad rosmbo shades! While your kids are out playing, make sure their eyes are safe! Added bonus that our shades are unbreakable.

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11 Life Lessons Kids Can Learn From Playing Sports

By Gen Cohen

11 Life Lessons Kids Can Learn From Playing Sports

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