Last week we were having breakfast on the beach in the Caribbean at a little joint called Hemmingway’s. Hot coffee, fresh coconuts and scrambled eggs. One thing didn’t miss my eye. As far away from civilization that we were, there it was – like a little piece of home. The mini Heinz ketchup bottle.
You might not think twice about your ketchup – but I’m a native Pittsburgher – where ketchup is just as important as our Super Bowl rings. We take it very seriously – you’ll never find another name brand on a restaurant table or in a true Yinzer’s home (I’m honestly surprised they carry any other brand in the grocery stores!). I’ve actually called out restaurants on road trips – ask anyone I’ve traveled with – when they mis-mark their “Heinz” bottles as well. “Excuse me, miss? I am sorry, but can you explain why the ketchup coming out of this Heinz bottle is bright red, and this one is a dark brown?” hmmmm…. seems someones been refilling those bottles in the back.
I take great pride in my hometown’s competency to turn tomatoes into something so grand. The Heinz family name has resonated through the years, and the product hasn’t changed much – except to adapt to better healthier lifestyles – such as their organic line. The taste isn’t different – but you know that there are less chemicals and no GMOs going into the ketchup. This is a huge deal in this day and age, and as we all start to look more closely into what’s in our foods – I think it’s important to realize that processed food – aka condiments – can also transform into these healthier options.
No one is ever going to give up ketchup – so wouldn’t you rather just eat tomatoes that are the next best thing to growing your own in your own garden? Plus, let’s just be honest here – we’re moms. We’re not Julia Child’s creating mind blowing feasts everyday in the kitchen – we grill hotdogs (or grab then in Central Park!) and don’t serve veggies with every meal. But, ketchup is tomatoes right?
Here are a few summer swap tips for healthier options:
1. Hot Dogs
One of Maximo’s favorite things are hot dogs, and it’s not always the best things for kids – so I try to keep 100% organic beef hotdogs on hand at all times. Because, well, we know the ones in NYC aren’t exactly – er – organic. My favorite? The Great Organic Un-Cured Beef Hot Dog by Applegate Farms. Yes they’re still full of sodium, so don’t eat a bunch at once, but they’re a lot better than most. Check out this list of the 9 best grass-fed hot dog options for ideas.
2. Organic and non GMO
You can make easy, simple swaps to make small differences, and your family won’t even know. Start with the heavy hitters like milk, ketchup, coffee, juice and eggs. I couldn’t be more proud that Heinz is introducing their new Happy. Healthy. Heinz. products. In response to consumer demand, Heinz® Tomato Ketchup, America’s Favorite Ketchup® for generations, has expanded its product offerings to include two new sizes of its popular Heinz® Organic Ketchup, made with 100 percent USDA certified organic tomatoes, and Simply Heinz® Ketchup, made with real sugar. It’s time more mainstream brands followed their lead – especially since Heinz is also carried in so many restaurants and amusement parks throughout the country – this is an easy, nationwide healthier change that is HUGE.
3. Try it – grow your own
This is Maximo’s little garden on our balcony. He has some herbs sprouting, his own kids-sized tools and we just planted some tomatoes that I think will spring up shortly! Everyday he runs out to check on them and see if they need water.
It’s a trend that I love seeing everyone do these days. Gardens are popping up everywhere – even here in NYC. Even if all you have is a fire escape – you can still grow your own herbs (think basil and cilantro), and thanks to Heinz, we’re even potting some tomato plants on our balcony this summer! Many city schools are turning old parks and even rooftops (and classrooms!) into miniature gardens and teaching our children it’s possible to grow food and plants almost anywhere. What a beautiful thing – literally. It’s it more fun to see green plants growing in your house, as well as give them a reason to get dirty AND tend to something each day?
Thanks, Heinz for being a pioneer in the healthy lives of your consumers. We hope this trickles down to replicate in many more of our every day food items.
Want to make the switch? I’m giving away three coupons for full-sized organic Heinz ketchup. Who can’t use a little ketchup! All you have to do is tweet and follow Heinz and myself. We’ll see you and pick a winner next week. Happy Fourth everyone!
I’m making the switch to #organic @heinzketchup_us with @missstephanieb. Join me! http://www.footballfoodandmotherhood.com/happy-healthy-heinz/Click to tweet
Thank you Heinz for sponsoring this post and helping to keep our family healthy.