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Posted on Friday August 29, 2014 in Parenting
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Get Awesome Cheap Food from the Farmers Market

Posted on Wednesday August 27, 2014 in Family health
Local Farmers Market Foods - Yummy!

Local Farmers Market Foods - Yummy!

Do your kids have a hollow leg?

Lately I find myself wondering where my three little monkeys put all the food they’ve been eating. Ever since we have taken them off processed foods they eat all day every day. Every time I turn around there is at least one child in the fridge and another asking what we are having for a snack. Has anyone else ever experienced this with their children?

Thankfully we discovered the farmers market because this is seriously the only affordable way to satisfy both the little ones and my pocketbook. Last weekend we bought apples, peaches, nectarines, two huge baskets of blueberries and strawberries, broccoli, peppers, a cucumber and green onions . Thank goodness Sunday is coming because we have nothing left from our trip. Running out of our vegetable haul is great since it means there’s no waste, but holy moly they are eating us out of house and home.

Loading Up On Healthy Breakfasts

So I have come up with a plan. I will start making them healthy baked goods and I might even try giving them some oatmeal so they have something to stick to their ribs as the saying goes. Now I know my kids won’t eat a bowl of oatmeal so I plan on sneaking it into their smoothies with breakfast (which, by the way, is the only way I can sneak protein into my 6 year old in the morning). I use greek yogurt in his smoothies since he doesn’t eat eggs or bacon although recently he had started to eat sausage patties so I will count that as a win.

I guess I will just have to deal with their hollow legs for now but I can’t even begin to imagine how much food we will go thru once their all teenagers!

Easy Healthy Meals for Picky Eaters

Posted on Thursday August 21, 2014 in Family health
Nutrition is Important

Nutrition is Important

Well it’s almost that time of year again year we send the little ones off to school and preschool. This year I want to be prepared as far as lunch and snack ideas so I decided to search the almighty Pinterest and share these brilliant ideas that I found. (Am I the only one who can spend hours on that site but it feels like 5 minutes?)

  1. Don’t stress out about your picky eater. Instead pre-bag some snacks, lunch meat, cheese and crackers and place them in different bins. Let your child make his or her lunch by letting them pick items from each bin.

    They can pick 1 item from the bins with a 1 and two from the ones marked 2. Not only will they love the opportunity to participate in the process, they will appreciate the sense of independence and control they get over their lunch.

  2. If you want your child to have baked goods in their lunch batch cook the cookies, banana bread etc and freeze them in individual portions.

  3. Let the artist in you come out. If your child will only eat a dinosaur shaped sandwich then head over to that dollar store and get the sandwich cutters.

  4. Finally, don’t worry what other people think of the lunch you are providing your child. Too often we get caught up in what people think of our parenting, our kids clothing, and everything else. As long as you are sending what you consider to be healthy food to school with your child then you’re doing a great job.

Here’s to another school year!

Summer Living

Posted on Saturday August 16, 2014 in Holiday

Ah life with three kids under seven. Some days everything goes off without a hitch and we just get to laugh and play all day and those are the best days. But then there’s days when everyone is sick and cranky and no one will seem to listen to you. On days like that I’m reminded of this YouTube video:

When I first saw this video a few years ago I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants but with three kids under 7 some days really do feel like I am saying all those things in the video about 20 million times.

Summer is coming to a close and even though we aren’t sure when our children will be going to pre school and school this year ( there’s currently a teacher’s strike here in British Columbia) I thought I would take the time to write down some of the great memories we created for our children. This summer was the same as every summer around here. We found some new and fun things to explore that are free or pretty cheap. My favourite outing with the family this summer was by far Lynn Canyon. If you ever have a chance to visit Lynn Canyon it’s simply a must.

I think this trip is memorable for more then one reason. Last year I still had my two youngest children in a stroller which meant hiking was doable but you really needed to research the trails and double check that they indeed accommodated strollers. The baby of the family was also still in diapers which meant we had to drag the dreaded diaper bag everywhere making it interesting when the little man decided to take a poop in the middle of a beautiful nature walk. I was one proud mama to see all three little ones not only walking numerous trails this summer but actually loving being in nature and coming up with games as we walked. In fact just last week I went walking in a trail with the kids and a friend and her children and they had a whole story about not being in a walk and not being kids but knights searching for princesses and fairies.

But you must be thinking these poor kids did all they do is hike this summer. Well of course not because mommy and daddy sometimes like to act like big kids too. So we discovered wading pools and splash pads and even an amazing farmers market where the kids enjoy seeing the chickens that lay the eggs and the clown made them ballon animals. And we also went to free art in the park events which was put on by the city of burnaby. I have to say art in the park is a must every year. Face painting, scavenger hunts and crafts all in the great outdoors there is no better way to spend a morning then that.

I do have to say the whole summer was not a walk in the park. This summer we decided to decrease the amount of time the kids have in front of the television and increase the activity. That was a tough transition for all involved. And we also decreased their processed food and increased real food. The market helped that transition go a little more smooth since the kids loved knowing where their food came from.

It’s sad that another summer is coming to an end but I’m excited to see how much the kids will have changed and matured next year. Who knows maybe we will go on a canoe trip with them next year.

Flying with Small Children

Posted on Sunday July 13, 2014 in Travel
Adios!

Adios!

It’s summer, which means vacation for thousands of families. Whether it’s the North American pilgrimage to Disney, visiting family, or just seeing disparate family members, flying with kids is not easy at any age. Here are some times for making the airplane ride as enjoyable as possible for you as well as your fellow travellers.

The Airplane Ride

Our last flight was intimidating because we had to keep three very young children busy but in their seats for six hours on a nonstop flight across the continent. Our oldest was intrigued by the plane and take off, but got bored fast. The babies needed constant entertainment. Overall we were able to keep them in their seats, quietly playing with toys, and fed to satisfaction so there were no tears or bouts of yelling. If anyone else on the plane was disturbed, it was by the presence of children on the plane, not by noise or invasion of space.

Key takeaways from this excursion were:

  1. Seat Selection: It cost more to pre-book the seats but I am glad we did. As it was we took an entire row just for our family. If we had left it to chance the flight crew would have tried to arrange for us to move together once all the passengers had boarded, but it wasn’t a guarantee. That would have been messy.

  2. Seat Location: We sat as far back as possible on the plane. This was good because most other passengers try to sit near the front of the plane so the back tends to be emptier. We had a great view of the latrine which came in handy for the many in-air diaper changes (what an adventure!).

  3. Feeding: We were still on a three hour schedule for feeding the baby, but fortunately we didn’t need to give him prepared bottles. We bought milk after passing security and managed with sippy cups for the older kids. The flight crew were kind enough to warm up the youngest one’s bottle with milk for us.

    If you are traveling with smaller children, most airlines are able to warm bottles for you (but check ahead!). You are allowed to carry on as much powdered formula as you need but airport security may want to check any prepared bottles. Honestly, if you have to fly with an infant ready-made bottles are your friend assuming your baby doesn’t have an intolerance. They can be consumed at room temperature and are pretty easy to carry around.

  4. Entertainment: Three kids meant three carry-on bags, which we took advantage of to stuff full of small toys. Every thirty minutes or so we would bring out a new toy and put the old one back, keeping things new and interesting. The tactic worked!

    This was before the rise of the iPad – totally bring your iPad if you can!

  5. Time of Day: I booked the flight for nap time! Although there was a lot of excitement and distraction, all of the kids took turns sleeping on the flight. I can’t say enough how thankful we were for those down times!

Other Travellers

No matter how well behaved your kids are there will be other travellers on the plane who have their nose bent out of shape about having to share the cabin space with children. Don’t let them bother you. Honestly the engine noise is louder than any whiney kid; people need to come prepared with headphones and their own entertainment.

At the same time remember that people generally do not board a plane (or bus, or boat) looking to socialize with other travellers - they typically want to be left alone and eke out as much personal space as they can. Your child may be absolutely cute and delightful, but that doesn’t mean other passengers appreciate getting googly eyes, touched, stared at, or otherwise interacted with by uninvited children.

The morale of the story is keep your kids forward facing and entertained. You’re expected to parent your child - that can be a tough job! One day they’ll be grown enough to manage on their own and you can sleep through your flights again, but when you have small kids to take care of that’s all you need to think about doing.

Feedback

Do you have any horror stories or funny tales to share from your experiences traveling with your kids? Share them below!