SNDS. Summer Survival Series.

Because for most of us with kids, summer is not all fireflies and sunscreen.

It’s about some other stuff too.

Like sibling battles over who gets to have the supersoaker first.  And long whining sessions about being “sooooo booooored”.

Are you one someone who’s summer is about that stuff too?

I know I am.

Don’t know how to save myself completely, but you may officially consider yourselves rescued.

Dumb Mom, super hero extraordinaire/dumb stuff eliminator/funny-ish blogger/semi-know-it-all is officially in the make-summer-NOT-suck hizzouse, and I’m dedicated to bringing you products (and ideas, and other stuff) that will help up the awesome this summer.

Because this is the year of the awesome remember?

No wallowing in our this-sucks-so-effing-bad juices.

It’s 100% awesome 100% of the time!

So, what’s up first on the So NOT Dumb Summer Survival Series?

Free food!

Everyone loves free food, right?

I spent much of my time in college waiting in lines, entering contests, and crashing parties just for the opportunity to get my hands on some free eats.

My days of signing up for credit cards to get a free t-shirt and a  Del Taco coupon my be long gone, but I’m still a fan of an edible bargain.

Enter the lovely people at General Mills and My Blog Spark (seriously, people who like to try free stuff, if you are not down with MBS then you are not down with me!).

They recently sent me some delicious (individually packaged for easy summer portability) Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars and Simply Fruit Roll-Ups to test out on The Dudes.

First of all, let me say that I am not a fan of the granola bar, and sadly, these were no exception.

It’s the raisins, people.  Raisins are not my friends.  I hate them and I’m fine with them hating me back.

Plus, these have nuts.


Dude #3 has a wicked little peanut allergy (not horrible, but definitely inconvenient) that prevents him from even trying the things.

So, immediately, cross #3 and myself offa the list.

But, all was not lost, because Dumb Dad loves the things.  Like LOVES them.  He takes them to work everyday where he eats them for breakfast with a big ole glass of water (he’s not a coffee drinker) and a smile.

He ate the entire Costco sized box of them and asked me to buy more!

Don’t fret though, these are kid approved too.  #1 and #2 both enjoy them as well.

We can’t take them to the lake or the park or anywhere we have #3 along with us, but they eat them behind his back all the time.  They enjoy missions in stealth and we classify the consuption of peanuts and peanut containing products during nap time as stealthy.

The Simply Fruit Roll Ups fared similarly well with the kids at the Casa.

All three of them like them enough to choose them (without my insistence) for their afternoon snack.

Which is great because they are packed with Vitamin C and an entire serving of fruit!  That’s like a whole serving more than you can find in the strawberry Pop Tarts they’d eat everyday if I’d let them.  Their only gripe: that they have a hard time getting them offa that filmy, paper thingys General Mills rolls them up with.  No biggie, because then they bring them to me for help, and as payment, they are required to give me a bite.

Bruncle, sugar fiend that he is, complained that they were “too fruity” and not like the “OG Fruit Roll Ups” at all.  But, who even cares what he says?  He drinks Mountain Dew for breakfast.

Personally, I find them quite tasty, and at only 50 calories per roll I can eat them and not feel like I’m stepping out on my Weight Watchers plan.

Want to enjoy some of these ultra portable, not-completely-devoid-of-nutritional-value-but-remarkably-still-tasty snacks this summer?

Of course you do, but to make you even more excited about the whole thing, General Mills is also giving one lucky reader a $25 Costco gift card (which you can use on more General Mills products or any other bit of awesomeness Costco sales) to go along with their tasty treats.

To win, all you need to do is…

1.  Follow parenting BY dummies (here, or there) and tell me how sensational you think I look in my swimsuit.

2.  Share, in the comment section, a healthy snack you feed your kids in summer so that I can steal your marvelous idea and offer it to The Dudes thereby making myself look smarter and more awesome than I actually am.

3.  Complete numbers one and two above by midnight Eastern time on Friday, 6/25/10.

Wondering if you were the lucky winner of a Touch’d bath product and Sarah McLachlan’s new album?

Well, you weren’t unless your name is Angie and you blog at Seven Clown Circus and then you were and you are AWESOME!

*pBd admits it’s free: General Mills provided me with the free product, information, and gift cards through MyBlogSpark.


  1. Parris Story says

    I follow Parenting BY Dummies and I love to try new receipes like strawberry frozen yogurt between 2 graham cracker squares.

  2. Erin says

    For healthy summer snacks I like to feed my kids fresh fruit and lucky for me, they love it!

  3. says

    Summer snacks….I am a huge Costco fan as well as a snacker. I typically feed the kids a fruit of some sort with a slice of cheese. They love their cheese. I am surprised they arent part cheese already.

  4. Amanda says

    I follow thenagainphoto on Twitter @amandapersists! Also, you were on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, right?

  5. says

    Current follower. I love Costco and would love $25 there.

    I make my kids eat fruits and veggies for snacks, bananas, apples, mangoes, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, celery, cucumbers. We have met very few fruits and veggies we don’t like snacking on, yum!

  6. Rachel {at} Mommy Needs a Vacation says

    Healthy snack for kids in summer: I freeze yogurt in fun shape ice cube tray things. Favorites are the fish and star! Then they think they are getting like an ice cream treat! Brilliant I say!

  7. eunice b says

    granola bars and fresh fruit are wonderful snacks!
    ~eunice b
    rsmile2u @dejazzd .com

  8. Kathy Rambousek says

    Summer is the best time to pump my kids full of healthy foods. We eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies: watermelon, peaches, cherries, strawberries, blueberries….

  9. says

    I follow you all over the place like some crazed stalker lunatic. But I’m not. Really. NO REALLY.

    Watermelon… cuz it’s all about rehydrating. I think. I don’t know. They like it, they eat it. We give it to them.

  10. says

    Ah, I’m so sad I didn’t win your last giveaway.

    My favorite summer snack for me is a bowl of apple sauce. My girls don’t like it but they do love the little bags of carrots from costco and a string cheese.

  11. says

    We have loved Nature Valley Trail Mix bars for years!!! We are in danger here of sitting around until I am paying to weigh in again. For snacks, we like EVERYTHING. If I have it, my girls will eat a salad or a small bowl of spaghetti for a snack. I love bananas, berries, and peaches this time of year. I have been spending too much on individual packages, because they help with portion control.

  12. Alison says

    Thanks for the chance to win. I like to make fresh fruit smoothies! When fruit goes on sale (esp. berries) I buy extra so I can freeze them for smoothies. This is a healthy snack and it helps to cut down on the cost of frozen fruit bags!

  13. Michele says

    As an older mom of five, life in earlier generations was sometimes easier. For one thing, kids were way too spooked to mention the dreaded b-o-r-e-d word, because it was an instant trip to some form of cleaning or other work. The unspoken threat made them keep themselves amused, or at least, not complain to me about it!

  14. says

    I freeze juice into popsicle thingies for my kiddos.

    They are also fruit monsters, so any fresh fruit gets demolished by them very quickly.