Finger Food Fridays – Caterpillars

Are you ready for the weekend!  I know Mongo is!  Kids love it when you read to them.  Mongo reccommends one of his favorite books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle.  Just like Mongo, the very hungry caterpillar is always hungry.  He loves eating FRUITS and when the caterpillar eats sweets, he gets sick, just like Mongo!  Finally, the little caterpillar eats leaves (VEGETABLES for insects), he feels better again.  What are you waiting for?  Round up the kids, read them the story and let’s do a fun activity together!

Making caterpillars with your food is the easiest thing.  You can make them with fruits, vegetables, bread and cheese, or even pancakes!  You can use anything you already have in your kitchen.  This activity will teach your child about different shapes, colors, and how to arrange their food into a pattern.  Hep your child identify the foods and how it could help them grow into big and strong butterflies!  Who said you shouldn’t play with your food?  We’re all about making food fun.  So get ready, here’s a list of things you will need:

  • cut up fruits or vegetables
  • raisens, blueberries, cranberries, etc. for eyes
  • bread, slices of cheese and lunch meat
  • toothpicks, or wooden skwers

Get creative! This caterpillar is made out of bananas, apples, and raisins, but you can also use grapes, strawberries, even cantaloupe! Don’t be shy, explore different shapes and colors to make this more fun!

Think “Caterpillar Sandwich”! You can use whole wheat bread, turkey meat, cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers to make this sandwich.

Have fun Saturday morning making these cute pancakes. Add some color by adding some cut up fruit.

The possibilities are endless.  Share your caterpillar creations and Mongo will see which one is his favorite.

If you don’t have The Very Hungry Caterpillar, here’s a link to order yours today, or you can always go to your local friendly public library.  You can also watch this video here  🙂

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle on YouTube

Mongo Helps Feed America

Mongo has paired up with Madlov to help donate to a cause Mongo loves, Feeding America: Hunger-Relief Charity.  Now you can help Mongo feed 8 children when you pre-order a Go Go Mongo Plushie!

Follow the link to learn how you can help Mongo feed these starving children.


Dec out your kid’s backpack and send them to school in style with this 3 inch cute and fun Mongo Plushie with backpack ring


With your order, you will also receive:

5 FREE Mongo Stickers

1 iPhone Screen Wipe (works on all phones)



Children Hunger Facts (

  • A starving child lacks the ability to learn, becomes a less productive citizen, and is more likely to live in poverty as an adult
  • 14 million children are served by Feeding America, 3 million of which are under 5-years-old
  • 20% or more of the child population in 40 states and D.C. lived in food insecure households in 2009. The District of Columbia (32.3%) and Oregon (29.2%) had the highest rates of children in households without consistent access to food.


Get them while they’re hot.  Regular sale will begin once 200 children are fed.  Order today, put a smile on your face…and 8 other faces

MONGO’s Finger Food Fridays – Apple Boats

Each week, we will be posting one of MONGO’s favorite FINGER foods.  These snacks are fun, healthy and yummy!  Round up the kids this weekend and get ready to get your hands dirty.This week, we’ll make something you can make with your toddler, APPLE BOATS!  Here are a few variations.

Totally Tots

Made with apples, pretzels, peanut butter, and marshmellows

Tutus and Turtles

Cut up thick slices of apples and cheese. Use a toothpick to attach the sail.

Try them all or create your own.  MONGO would love to see your APPLE boats, share them below.


This post was written by Fareesa

Plan a Trip to the Apple Orchard

Did you know, one hour of picking APPLES burns 208 calories? So get ready because MONGO is going to tell you all the fun things you need to know before you go to your local APPLE orchard this fall.

  • APPLES are:
    • Fat free
    • Sodium free
    • Cholesterol free

A medium sized APPLE is about 80 calories

The only way to tell if an APPLES is ripe is to take a little nibble

APPLES come in a variety of COLORS
dark green, yellow, pink, orange, bright red, dark red, or even a COMBINATION.

The best way to pick an APPLE is place your palm all the way around the firm , unbruised APPLE and gently twist and pull downwards. Place the APPLE lightly in your bag or basket. APPLES are a very delicate fruit. Once bruised, it rots quicker.

Once you’ve picked your APPLES, make sure to ask the farmers which ones are the best to eat.

APPLES are very versatile. You can freeze them, bake them, can them, make them into APPLE cider and make them into so many recipies. MONGO especially likes to eat APPLE pie!

Find an APPLE orchard near you at

MONGO would like to know, what’s your favorite APPLE recipe??

This post was written By Fareesa

FOOD – Getting to Know It

EAT the RAINBOW. different VITAMINS and NUTRIENTS distinguish themselves through colors. By combing colors, you consume more nutrients in natural form aka the most effective form.



– more vitamin C than an ORANGE

– as much CALCIUM as a glass of milk

3 TIMES more FIBER than a slice of whole wheat bread

– popularity increase of 900% over 20 years


Lettuce is a member of the sunflower family and apples are a member of the rose family


Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Bananas are all FRUITS



Think you don’t like them? Try another one. There are over 500 different types of bananas! Bananas are mash-able, freez-able, bake-able, and port-able. A banana a day is a filling, 99.5% fat free snack, with a rich source of potassium to build strong muscles!


Honey is the ONLY food that never spoils. With a lower glycemic index than sugar (meaning a slower and healthier absorption rate into the bloodstream), honey is a great substitute for sweetening drinks, cereals and baked goods.


Mongo Mystery: What is the only FRUIT with seeds on the outside ???

FOOD Deciphered

meet ANDI

ANDI, meaning Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, ranks FOOD on a scale of 1-1,000 based on the number of nutrients per calorie (# of nutrients/ # of calories) Holding the perfect score of 1,000, KALE and COLLARDS (both dark leafy greens) provide the most nutrients for the fewest number of calories. The first fruit to make the list are STRAWBERRIES, weighing in with a score of 212. With a spread of 788 points, the moral of the story is EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!



ORGANIC– food produced with no synthetic pesticides(keep bugs away), chemical fertilizers(grow faster), genetically modified organisms (GMO- combing DNA molecules from different sources) and irradiation (exposed to radiation)

CONVENTIONAL– food produced with chemicals, including fertilizers (grow faster), insecticides(reduce bugs and diseases), herbicides (reduce weeds), and antibiotics (growth hormones)

GLUTEN FREE– gluten is a protein found in grain products such as wheat, barley and rye. Since humans evolved as hunters and gathers, the main protein source was animal, not grain. Our digestive systems are slowly adjusting, explaining the sensitivities to gluten.

HEIRLOOM– most commonly used to describe a variety of tomatoes, heirloom seeds are saved from the best crops each season. The seeds are passed down through generations unaltered so their unique tastes can shine through.

Healthy Tips Calendar

NUTRIENT– substances needed to build cells, regulate internal body processes, and supply energy. Carbohydrates (sugars, starches, and fiber), fats ( saturated and trans fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), protein ( enzymes-metabolism, amino acids, myosin-skeleton) and vitamins (A, B1-B12, C, D, E, K) are the main nutrient groups.

GOOD FATS/ BAD FATS– fats which are solid at room temperature (saturated and trans fats) are bad, while fats that are liquid at room temperature (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) are good.



Check out this 2 minute video for quick tips in deciphering food labels

Confusing Food Labels–health/confusing-food-labels/16817885001/54212443001/



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Cartoon Characters: Higher Authority Than Parents?

Do your children drop everything for Dora the Explorer and Shrek, but won’t listen to a word you say? These lovable characters influence the games kids play, the toys they buy, clothing they wear, and even their bed sheets. Where does it stop?

Leaving parents with little influence, these popular characters have even started to shape food choices. In an article by, cartoon characters debuted on food items as early as the 90’s with green Ninja Turtle Pudding Pies.

Dr. Thomas Robinson, M.D., a professor of child health at the Stanford University School of Medicine says the use of TV and movie characters on food packaging is “designed to access certain feelings, memories, and associations. If you associate certain products with things that are otherwise considered fun, it’s going to make those products seem more desirable.”

Food and beverage companies spend more than $1.6 billion a year in licensing and cross-promotion efforts to attract kids’ attention. Cartoon characters appear on unhealthy food like chips, cookies and salty crackers. Good news though, they also started to use the same characters on healthy foods. Problem? Health experts believe children will confuse junk food to be nutritious.

According to a study, children develop an emotional connection with name brands as early as three-years-old. Researchers put 40 children to the test. Each child was given two clear plastic bags containing the same foods, but one bag had a sticker of an adored character and the other didn’t. The children claimed the food in the bag with the cartoon character tasted better, the apples were crisper, and the carrots were crunchier. What does this mean?

How can we limit character influence over children’s junk food consumption? Would it be beneficial to ban all cartoon characters on unhealthy snacks? Would you spend the extra dime on character packaging to ensure your child is eating nutritious foods?