The Back to School Struggle

 

 

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Tomorrow is the the 1st of August, which only means one thing: The first day of school is quickly approaching… I know a lot of parents who are more than ready for school to start, however for my family getting back into the school year routine has always been stressful!! Do the kids have new clothes that fit, do we have enough paper and pencils, are they going to pack a lunch or eat the cafeteria food?

The last question is usually a no-brainer for the kids– hard for me. Of course they want to pack a lunch over eating cafeteria food (and I don’t blame them!) , but that is just one more thing we as parents have to worry about!

I try to encourage my children to eat healthy, get enough fruits and vegetables, you know the drill. But normally once school starts this all starts to slip. We start packing whats EASY – not whats HEALTHY.

This school year, however, is going to be different! Packing lunches from now on is going to be something fun that the kids and I can do together. This way they will learn what foods they need to eat to stay healthy and it gives them the option of picking out the foods they love most.

Here are some simple tips I thought of to start following when packing school lunches. Seems easy enough! 🙂
1. Avoid pre-packaged, processed foods. Although they are fast and easy, they are extremely high in sodium and preservatives.
2. Don’t be afraid to use leftovers! If your kid loved last nights dinner, pack it in a thermos for them to enjoy for lunch.
3. Pack foods from each food group. This includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and diary.
4. Make it fun! To get your kids to pack healthier foods, make a game out of it. See how many grapes they can fit in one ziploc bag or time how long it takes them to make the perfect turkey sandwich.
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Hope these tips make it easier for you all to pack school lunches as well! What other tips or advice do you have for making healthy but delicious school lunches??

The Royal Baby…It’s a BOY!!!

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Prince William and Duchess Kate are officially parents! The Royal Baby was born Monday, July 22nd at 4:24 p.m., weighing 8 pounds and 6 ounces. And BOY….does this child have a lot to live up to! The child’s title will be His Royal Highness Prince (the baby’s name) of Cambridge. And of top of that…he is third in line to the throne. Talk about pressure!!

The most interesting thing about the Royal Baby is that his name has still not been announced. People are anxiously awaiting the announcement of the name, even making some bets and suggestions of their own. But despite the name, this is the most popular and most talked about baby in the world! In fact, some economists expect the birth to boost the UK economy by 380 million dollars!!! How? Apparently most of that money will come from souvenirs and purchases of party food and rounds of celebratory pints at the pub.           
Talk about a powerful little boy. He DEFINITELY needs The Highchair Organizer 🙂

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Now let’s talk about Kate for a minute. We all know she looked great the entire time she was pregnant, but looking fabulous the day after giving birth!? That’s just crazy! But leave it to Kate to make her public appearance one day later in an adorable blue dress with her hair and make-up looking flawless. I don’t know many women who feel (let alone look) that good the day after having a baby! But that’s just one of the many reasons why we love Duchess Kate!

As with many people, we are so excited about the Royal Baby and cannot wait to hear the name. What do you think the name is going to be?

Spice up summer by starting your own garden!!

Finding fun activities to keep your kids active during the summer can be tough. There are only so many times you can go to the pool or park before your children start wanting more of a variety. That is why this summer our family decided to start our own garden! This is a fun way to spend more time with your children outdoors and to help them learn a little along the way.

Here is a picture of our garden!

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The best part about having your own garden is getting to cook with the foods you grow! When our tomatoes were ripe, the kids and I decided to make bruschetta. There are many different ingredients you can use when making bruschetta, but the most important is the tomatoes!! Here is a picture of the bruschetta we made with our fresh tomatoes.

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It was SO yummy!

In addition to all the fun starting a garden can be, it also provides many great health benefits:

  • It helps you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • You decide what kinds of fertilizers come in contact with your food.
  • It lets you control when to harvest your food. (Vegetables that ripen in the garden have more nutrients than some store-bought vegetables that must be picked early.)
  • It is a good source of physical activity.

Along with the health benefits of starting your own garden, it is also very simple! You don’t have to have a “green thumb” to start a great garden! Just try these simple tips:

  • Start small and plant things you’d really like to eat.
  • Pick a spot with at least 6 hours of good daytime light and access to water.
  • Use contaminant-free soil.
  • Consider using a raised garden bed, which allows you to control the soil and nutrient blend.
  • Talk to farmers or other backyard gardeners in your area to get a sense of what grows well in your region and when.

Have any of your started a garden before? What kinds of food did you grow?

 

 

 

 

How to make BREAKFAST FUN!

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Earlier this week I was talking to some parents who said they have had a hard time getting their children to eat breakfast. I remember my mother struggling with this as well when my siblings and I were growing up. Even now that I am an adult I often find myself skipping breakfast.

With breakfast being the most important meal of the day, it is crucial to sit down and make sure your children are eating before the day starts. But what are you to do if your kid simply refuses breakfast??….. MAKE IT FUN!!

When I was growing up I LOVED playing with my food (like most kids do!) Although playing with your food is not proper table adequate, sometimes there is an exception.

I’m sure most of you have taken your child to IHOP to let them decorate a pancake. This is a fun way to eat and enjoy breakfast without all the hassle. And the best part is, you can do this at home!

Decorating pancakes (or waffles if your not a pancake lover) is a great way to let your kids have fun with breakfast and get the nutrients they need to get their day started. Some good toppings for decorating your pancake include whip cream, sprinkles, chocolate chips, peanut butter, jelly, fruits, and anything else you can imagine. Go crazy! The more toppings, the better!

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You can also have fun with breakfast by cutting your pancake into different shapes. The best way to do this is by using cookie cutters. Heart shaped, Star shaped, even Football shaped pancakes taste a lot better than just a regular, circle pancake!

Hopefully by letting your child use their imagination and fix up breakfast how they please will make it easier to get them to eat in the mornings. If you and your child decorate a pancake of your own, show us your pictures!! We would love to see what kind of designs you come up with.

 

 

Happy Independence Day, America!

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July 4th is a special day celebrated here in America, where we spend time with friends and family being thankful for our independence. If your anything like me, your favorite 4th of July activity is enjoying all the beautiful fireworks shows, or even setting off fireworks yourself. Barbecues, picnics, and carnivals are also popular 4th of July activities, but what are you to do if it’s raining outside?!?

Don’t worry – we have found some great 4th of July activities you can enjoy with your children indoors! And the best part is, the activities are super easy and can be made from objects you have lying around the house!

 ImageThe first activity is a Patriotic Pinwheel!

Supplies needed:

  • 2 pieces of construction  paper
  • scissors
  • a hole punch
  • a push-pin
  • a pencil with an eraser
  • markers or crayons

Directions:

  • Start by making two square pieces of paper. To make a square, put the two pieces of paper together, then fold the corners of the pieces of paper together.
  • To finish making the squares, cut off the extra paper that is shaped like a rectangle.
  • Fold the triangle in half, then unfold the paper.
  • Decorate one side of each sheet of paper.
  • Put the undecorated sides of the paper together. Make four cuts along the fold lines – about halfway to the center.
  • Punch four holes in the pinwheel, one at each corner.
  • Gently gather each of the four points with a hole to the center.
  • Push a push-pin through the four punched holes through the center of the pinwheel to attach the pinwheel to the side of the pencils eraser.
  • Enjoy your patriotic pinwheel!!

ImageThe second activity is a Star Wreath!

Supplies:

  • red, white and blue construction paper
  • a paper plate
  • scissors
  • glue
  • glitter (optional)

Directions:

  • Cut a large hole in the paper plate.
  • Cut out a lot of stars from your red, white and blue construction paper.
  • Glue the stars to the paper plate.
  • If you have glitter, decorate the stars with glitter.
  • Hang your 4th of July wreath around your home!

We hope you enjoy these simple 4th of July activities and have a fun day with family and friends.

Have 4th of July plans of your own? We would love to hear what you are doing!!