Celebrate the 2016 Rose Parade with DOLE at the "Live on Green" event

Growing up in Southern California, the Rose Parade has been a New Year's Day tradition my entire life. Well, with it being the 127th Rose Parade, it is safe to say it has been a tradition for more than just my lifetime. This year thanks to DOLE I was able to fulfill a life long dream of helping to build a Rose Parade float. I loved being so close to all of the details behind the scenes and now I can't wait to see it on New Year's Day. 

You can join in on the countdown to the Rose Parade with Dole Packaged Foods at the First “Live on Green" event. Families are invited to indulge in food, entertainment and fun activities at free three-day event in Downtown Pasadena.

Dole Packaged Foods announced the expansion of its Rose Parade presence with food and fun as part of the first “Live on Green” event in Downtown Pasadena. The annual Rose Parade is a prominent Southern California tradition viewed by millions across the nation year after year. Dole has shared in this annual tradition for the past five years, winning the sweepstakes trophy for most beautiful float every year it has entered. 

Here's a sneak peek of what you can expect from DOLE this year. 

At “Live on Green,” Angelenos and visitors from around the world will explore 100,000 square feet of free entertainment, unique and rare exhibitions, and fun activities, as well as indulge in healthy snacks and beverages at the Dole Bistro. Dole California Cook-Off Champion Ally Phillips of Ally’s Kitchen will perform live cooking demonstrations and share quick and fun recipes featuring non-GMO Dole Packaged Foods’ products.  

While adults enjoy refreshing snacks and beverages at the Dole Bistro, children can romp and play at the Scholarshare Toddler Play Area. There is fun to be had for the entire family at the Family Fun Zone, and visitors can also enjoy live performances throughout the event including sing-a-longs and strolling musicians.  

Although I was most excited about getting my hands on some of the floats, my girls were most excited about meeting the 2016 Royal Court.

The “Live on Green” event takes place Dec. 29 and 30, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Dec. 31, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pasadena Conference Center. The festivities will be centered around the National Park Service as it welcomes its Centennial celebration, and numerous other exciting vendors and sponsors will create memorable experiences for attendees. KTLA-5 will be broadcasting daily from the event. For more information, and a schedule of daily events, please visit liveongreenpasadena.com.

To kick off the final road to the 2016 Rose Parade, Dole is launching a sweepstakes in which one lucky winner and a guest will get to travel to a rainforest paradise. Launching today, and running through midnight on December 31, 2015, fans can enter for a chance to win a grand prize Hawaiian vacation, including hotel and airfare. For more information about the sweepstakes, and to enter, visit Facebook.com/DolePackaged or Dole.com/paradise.

My #ExpoWest picks!

Last week I talked about how much I was looking forward to going to Natural Products Expo West for my first time. A week has gone by and I wanted to share some of my favorite products with you all!
Let me start by explaining that my goal while at ExpoWest, was to find healthy but tasty food options for my girls. This is the way I see it, I am in charge of what my daughters eat and I would like them to feel comfortable trying a healthier option. One day they will make their own food choices, but for now, they will eat what I have on hand. I want what I have on hand to be healthy and tasty. 
We are huge fans of GoGo Squeez in this house. It's funny because once my girls got past the "baby food" phase they would not go anywhere near apple sauce. But now, they love these little on-the-go pouches of fruit. I think what they like is that it isn't a snack that they have to stop and sit at the table to eat, and they have so many yummy flavor combinations too. 
The packaging brought me over and those chocolate crisp Snackimals kept me there for a few minutes. This cereal and cookies are tasty and a healthier option since they are made with whole grains and low sugar. And, if you check out their site they have some cool recipes that 
Natural and Organic candy is not something you hear about too often, but Tru Sweets definitely makes it happen. I really liked the idea of these at first and of course was skeptical about their taste. But I was surprised. They have gummies, sours, and jelly beans that were all delicious and I was happy to see seasonal options too! 

Here are some more of my favorites I found at ExpoWest.
KIND snacks
 Man oh Man! I have been a fan of their Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew bar for a while now, I totally recommend these as a healthy snack alternative. At ExpoWest I got to try their new KIND Vanilla Blueberry Healthy Grain Bars and oh em gee! They are so delicious, I can not wait to add these to our snack packs.  
Brother's All Natural Fruit Crisps
 I love freeze dried fruit and so do my kids. The Disney characters on the packaging don't hurt and if you read the ingredients on the package, there is only 1! Apples. That's it! How great is that?
Mrs. May's
 Their almond crunch is so good! I just love Almonds and these are delicious! Made with simple and wholesome ingredients and no artificial colors or flavors. 
I love Dole! I was reminded at ExpoWest about all of their options for after school snacks: fresh fruit, salad kits, fruit cups, and their Fruit Squish'ems. I also got to try some of Dole's newer products like their Chia & Fruit clusters (I'm eating the cranberry apple ones right now) and their fruit Smoothie Shakers (these have frozen yogurt and fruit, you just add juice and shake to get your smoothie on the go!) 
Angie's Popcorn
Boom Chicka Pop is so good! I am a fan of popcorn as a snack for my kids and Boom Chicka Pop has great flavors and small packaging and is so fun for on the go.
PJ's Organic
These frozen burritos were so good! I am not a huge fan of frozen food for my girls, but hey, I'm up for options. They get bored and so do I and these have great flavor! With organic ingredients and handmade tortillas, these hand rolled burritos have some great flavor options.  
Immaculate Baking
Trust me when I say, these cookies are delicious! They have organic and gluten free varieties of their goodies. And, have so much more to offer than just cookies! They also have a great message, support folk art, and hold the record for the Worlds Biggest Cookie. It weighed 38,000 pounds and measured over 102 ft long! Some of their other products include cinnamon rolls, pie crusts, crescent rolls and biscuits and scones.
Annie's was probably the first organic packaged food that I ever bought for my girls. Their mac n cheese is great and my girls happily eat it. I was so excited to see all of the organic options they have to offer now. Not only do they have yummy organic snacks, they now have a line of frozen pizzas. Yum! 
I was so excited to see Piggy Paint at ExpoWest! I found these guys on Facebook probably 5 years ago, when my oldest daughter was just an infant. I thought that regular nail polish was too harsh to use on infant toes and wanted an alternative. As you can see above, Piggy Paint is Non-Toxic, Odorless, Eco-Friendly and Hypoallergenic but with tons of fun colors.

Thanks for checking out my favorite healthy alternatives that I discovered at ExpoWest this year! Keep checking back for more healthy choices for kids.