PNE Food: 5 Foods to Try From Classics to Food Dares

It’s that time of year again! The PNE is a Summer tradition here in BC and along with the rides, the animals, the dog races, and outdoor concerts (I know I’m missing some things, there’s just too much to list!), the food is one of the highlights for many visitors. There’s a novelty about the food at The Fair- maybe it’s the atmosphere, maybe it’s the people serving it, maybe it’s the food itself (or all of the above) but it’s definitely on another level than your everyday meals. Add in that some of the items are only available once a year at the PNE and it’s the perfect excuse to try something new (food dares have definitely become an annual tradition for a many, but more on that later) alongside classic favourites like the infamous mini donuts and elephant ears.

Whether you want to go with some classics or go a little crazy (or maybe a try a little bit of everything) you’ll get a sample of of what’s available this year at the PNE to indulge your cravings in this post. There are so many options to choose from it’s hard to narrow down the choices, but I’d definitely suggest trying something new alongside something classic/ familiar. I’ve got a total sweet tooth so I couldn’t resist including 2 sweet options on this list (one’s a classic and one’s new this year), alongside 3 savoury options + I’ve also included some extras at the end that I didn’t want to leave out.

What food are you wanting to try at the PNE this year?

PNE food #thewaffletaco waffle ice cream cone

Waffle Ice Cream Cone aka #TheWaffleTaco- Steve O’s Public House 

Picture a taco made out of a waffle cone filled with ice cream, whipped cream, and finished with your favourite toppings. Need I say more? This is a twist on the classic waffle cone that deserves a place on your PNE food list: the waffle taco is dipped in chocolate, filled with rolled ice cream that’s mixed with your favourite toppings (here’s just a few of the options you can choose from: Oreos, Skor, and strawberries) and topped with whipped cream. Choose up to two toppings to customize your waffle cone and indulge your inner sweet tooth. If you love ice cream don’t miss #thewaffletaco this year!

PNE food Dim Sum Express dumplings 

Dumplings- Dim Sum Express

Want to try something different than typical fair food? If you’re looking for something outside of burgers and hot dogs, dim sum is a refreshing option. Added bonus: you can eat it on the go as you walk around the fair. 

PNE food Beaver Tails

BeaverTails

A PNE classic. What’s a BeaverTail exactly? It’s thinly- rolled dough that’s deep fried and topped with cinnamon and sugar (the classic version) or choose from other topping combos like bananas and peanut butter. If you really want to indulge try the Triple Trip: chocolate hazelnut spread, peanut butter and Reece’s Pieces (shown). Oh em gee so good!

PNE food Jamaican fish and chips

Jamaican Style Fish & Chips- Double Decker Diner

Two reasons not to miss this: 1) Fusion cuisine always produces some amazing combinations and these fish and chips are no different and 2) Everything is cooked and served in a converted double decker bus! This British classic gets an update with Jamaican flavour served alongside hand- cut fries (these aren’t the frozen, out of the bag variety!). If there’s room, eat your meal on the open air patio atop the second level of the bus and enjoy great views while you eat. Come for the food, stay for the bus!

Cricket Burgers & Fries- Gourmet Burgers

Maybe you’re wanting a burger while you’re at the PNE. But maybe you want to take it to a whole new level…? Enter the cricket burger new to the fair this year. Add this to your food dare list but be prepared to enjoy it more than you might think (if you’re willing to give it a try!). Crickets are a great source of protein and while they aren’t a standard burger topping, don’t be afraid of them adding a weird flavour (they don’t). This makes for a great foodie bucket list item to check off and some entertaining photos. Definitely one of the more adventurous items available this year at the PNE and worth a try!

Other foods to check out:

  • Double Bacon Mac N’ Cheese Super Footlong Hotdogs- Super Footlong 
  • Funnel Cake Poutine- Funnel Cakes
  • FOOD DARE: Chicken Feet- Chicky’s Chicken (definitely one of the crazier foods available this year!)    

What’s on your PNE food list this year?

For full details about The Fair at the PNE, check out their website and find them on social media:

Facebook: PNE/ Playland

Instagram: @pne_playland

Twitter: @PNE_playland

#TheFair

Ari Update: Reintroducing Foods to My Daughter {+ Giveaway}

OK parents, hands up how many of you are always looking for snack ideas for your kids? No matter if it’s for at home or you’re packing them up to go to school/ daycare/ grandma’s, sometime you just need something quick to grab (I know I did this morning with Liam- the kid doesn’t stop eating!). If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you know that dietary restrictions and food sensitivities have had a big influence on what we eat, just like many other families. It can make things interesting for parents trying to navigate what their kids need to thrive and can limit food/ snack options, among other unique challenges that arise when your kids can’t eat certain foods (‘they have it, why can’t I?’). Allergies/ sensitivities have become a major conversation as they seem to become more common, and it can be hard as a parent to know what to do- scary, even, if your child has a severe allergy- and sometimes it really comes down to trusting your gut instinct.
As of the beginning of September we started re- introducing foods back into Ari’s diet after more than a year and a half of her going without things like dairy, peanuts, and almonds. Her stomach and digestion had been doing much better, so it came time to try some of the foods we’d been keeping out of her diet. Knock on wood, so far, so good. Going dairy and gluten free had the biggest impact on our family, so I tended not to talk about certain other foods, like nuts, that we also removed from her diet, but I know this is another common allergy/ sensitivity. I’m not going to pretend to understand all the finer details of allergies/ sensitivities, but when removing food from her diet I also learned how sensitive someone can become if they’re never exposed to that allergen again; the body may develop a stronger reaction when it’s not exposed to something for a long time, and peanuts/ almonds had me a little nervous when it came time to give them to her again. Luckily, we didn’t have a problem, but it reminded me of the nerves that come with introducing foods to a baby for the first time- it’s exciting, but you’re also nervous to see if/ how they react. 
Now that she’s eating almost everything again (she’ll stay gluten free for the foreseeable future), it’s been fun trying foods and snacks that she wasn’t able to have before now. I know that foods like nuts, eggs, wheat, and milk can be biggies when it comes to allergies, but I’ve also learnt that completely avoiding them may not be the answer either, especially when it comes to introducing babies to foods that are common allergens (again, things like nuts, egg, wheat, milk, etc). This is a tough area for a parent to figure out, and I know our family sure has had some interesting experiences when it comes to food. But that doesn’t mean you have to be scared to try foods with your kids/ babies. There are now studies showing that introducing rather than avoiding common allergens can help children grow up without allergies to foods like peanuts (I know this might sound counter- intuitive/ confusing). But by speaking with your paediatrician or family doctor/ naturopath, you might find out that you’re able to give your child certain foods, even if you have concerns and/ or a family history of food allergies (please know I’m not trying to give medical advice, just a friendly suggestion as Mom who’s gone through a lot with her own kid’s health). And if you’re a parent with a baby about to start solids or just looking for some tasty snacks for your kids, it’s good to know what options are available. 
In the past I’ve shared about some of the snacks we’ve tried (convenience always seemed to be my biggest challenge when it came to gluten/ dairy free ideas), and we’ve recently been enjoying trying out Cheeky Monkey’s Peanut Butter Puffs with the kids. These were actually the first peanut- containing food that we gave Ari since adjusting her diet, and they were a hit with both her and Liam. Sure, I was nervous, but I also knew we had to see how she’d do; she was never diagnosed with a severe allergy, just a strong sensitivity so I was cautiously optimistic that she’d be fine with them (and she was, yay!). 
I understand that peanuts pose an interesting challenge when it comes to packing lunches for school/ daycare, but I love having these as an option when we’re at home or on a play date with friends, and even for taking to visit the grandparents. Both kids love them- who doesn’t love puffy snacks?- and I like the attention to the quality of ingredients (they’re 100% organic and non- GMO, and gluten free for starters). As we enter this new foodie phase in our house, I appreciate that fun snacks like this exist and that it’s a convenient option I now have that isn’t loaded with added sugars, weird ingredients, or preservatives. Somedays you just need something quick and easy, and these check all the boxes in my books. 
What I love about them:
– 100% organic & non- GMO ingredients
– gluten free
– no added sugars
– high protein
– baked, not fried
– no flavour extracts or trans fats
– no chemicals/ preservatives
If you want to find out more about introducing the ‘Big Eight’ foods known to cause allergies to your kids, check out this website for more helpful info. I know this can be a hot topic, so I’d love to hear how you handle(d) food allergies/ sensitivities with your kids. If you’re curious about Cheeky Monkey & trying their snacks with your kids, visit their website to learn more.
…And speaking of trying out these tasty snacks with your kids- Scroll to the end of this post to enter to win a case of Cheeky Monkey Peanut Butter Puffs (12 bags) for your kids! Nom nom, happy snacking!

Visit the Cheeky Monkey website for more info & follow along on social media:

Facebook: Cheeky Monkey Peanut Butter Puffs
Instagram: @cheekymonkeypbpuffs
Twitter: @cheekymonkeypb

#EatTheEight
Learn more at www.eattheeight.com

Around Town: Modern Family Expo

On Sunday, Feb. 23 I’m going to be perusing the ModernFamily Expo in North Vancouver. I’m really looking forward to my first event of the year, and this one doesn’t look to disappoint! With 75+ exhibitors, plus fitness classes, workshops, a Kid Zone, and a $10,000 prize up for grabs, the organizers have worked hard to offer something for everyone.

By Moms for Moms
The ModernFamily Expo has been organized by local Moms and ladies in business with a focus on eco- friendly and healthy options for families- two things I look for for my own family and those of my readers; plus I hope you know by now how big I am on supporting local Moms and businesses! The offerings run the gamut from prenatal planning to postnatal needs, food & nutrition, health & wellness, active living, and eco- friendly solutions. There’s the added bonus of complimentary food and beverage samples on offer from some of the exhibitors, so you can try some of the products out for yourself on the spot. 
Something for the Kids
There are so many great things for the kids to do and see I’m going to put them in list form for you! You can check all of these activities out in the Expo Par- T Perfect Kid Zone at the event:
 Bouncy castle (!!!)
– Face Painting
4 Cats craft station
Giggles Fun Dough play station (*wheat free for kids with allergies)
Gymboree play area
– Cinderella meet & greet
Whole Foods Market ‘play with your food’ station
Something for Mom & Dad
While the event is going to be a lot of fun, Moms and Dads know that packing up the family can be a lot of work. Again, the organizers have you covered (the benefit of having an event planned by Moms!). There will be the Family Lounge- courtesy of UsedVancouver.com– to relax in when you need to take a break. Complete with a water station, breastfeeding area, stroller parking, and change tables, the lounge will offer a valuable rest area for families so they don’t have to leave and re- enter the event to attend to their little one’s needs. Once you’re re- energized, you can take in Modern Mama speaker series for some great info for families. 
Do Good While Having Fun
In addition, new and expectant Moms will be able to pre- register for activities such as Boxing Babes and Yogapod prenatal classes. Plus Westcoast Families magazine will be hosting a Family Photo Contest for the chance to be featured in an issue. Proceeds from the classes and photo contest will benefit the Whole Planet Foundation, a foundation started by Whole Foods Market with the goal to aid poverty- stricken communities in developing nations. 
If that wasn’t enough opportunity to help those in need, one of my favourite organizations, BabyGoRound (remember our recent feature on them???) will be at the event collecting new and gently used baby items to distribute to local families in need. If you’d like more info about what BabyGoRound collects, check out this page.
Consistent with their eco- friendly focus, the Expo is partnering with green companies and using renewable resources to power and support the event. This includes using The Bicycle Valet(to encourage travel via pedal), Zero Waste Solutions to provide recycling throughout the event, Greener Print sustainable printing solutions, and Bullfrog  Power (the event is powered by 100% BC wind power!).
The event will be from 10am to 3pm next Sunday, Feb. 23 at the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier in North Vancouver. You can purchase tickets for the ModernFamily Expo in advance online for $8 or $10 cash at the door.  If you want more info on the event or to see the list of exhibitors, check out the ModernFamily Expo website and Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

How would you like to win free entry to the event???? The organizers have given TPB 2 adult tickets- a $20 value!- to give away! To enter, leave a comment below or on our Facebook page about how you’re trying to go green with your family with #ModerFamilyExpo in the comment. The contest deadline is Friday, Feb. 21 at 11:59pm, so get your entries in ASAP!

Logo & images courtesy of Modern Family Expo.