Wednesday, 15 July 2015
The birds are singing. A whiff of freshly applied sunscreen as kids run by tingles your nose. The sweet sound of laughter echoes from every angle. The prickly green grass encompasses your barefoot toes. It’s summertime.
Some of our fondest memories are being outside during the summer months. The long days seemed endless. Yes, it gets hot. Yes, we get sweaty, but there is a certain importance to allowing our kids to roam free in the summertime. The value of fresh air is something we hold important as adults, but may be even more important for our children. According to the National Wildlife Federation the average American child spends 30 minutes or less outside each day yet seven or more hours in front of an electronic screen.
The outdoors can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. It’s time to put down the electronics and bask in the beauty of mother nature. Here are seven reasons to value the fresh air with your children:
7 Reasons to Get Fresh Air with the Kids
The outdoors caters to our imagination. You get to explore new ideas and places. Create inventive games. The outdoors provide endless opportunities that help to sculpt a child’s imagination.
2. Health Benefits
Fresh air equals a fresh mind. Getting outside offers a variety of health benefits. For one the sunshine boosts Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is having healthy calcium and phosphorous levels which are essential in building and maintaining strong bones. Just don’t forget the sunscreen! Even just 20 minutes of fresh air a day can reduce stress and improve overall health. Fresh air is good for the body, and in particular the brain. NPR journalist Jon Hamilton discusses how child’s play outside can help build the brain and teach your children valuable lessons:
- No Mess!
With lots of playtime indoors comes lots of clean up time as well. Time outside is good for the mind and also good for keeping mom’s living room clean. Enjoy some summer treats like watermelon or popsicles without the worry and frustration of making a mess that mom will have to clean up later.
- Change of Scenery
Yes we all love the time we get to spend relaxing on the couch and in the comfort of our homes, but there is beauty outside of our comfort zone as well. A change of scenery is good for the body and the mind. A nice hike or a quick dip in the pool can refresh the brain and release the stress we carry in our hectic world, plus your kid’s will love that valuable time spent with them in the fresh air.
With obesity rates increasing especially among our youth, fitness is something we should all ta
ke seriously. Like we mentioned before, even just 20 minutes a day can improve your overall health. Gyms get boring, especially with the same routine every day. Getting outside can provide a fun outlet to your static workout routines and also is a great way to keep your children healthy and active. Teaching your children the importance of a healthy lifestyle is a trait they can value and carry on into the rest of their lives. Jump rope, swim, gardening, walking, or kayaking – there is an endless amount of opportunity to keep you and your family fit while still having a lot of fun!
- Spirit & Soul
Have you ever walked outside after being cooped up on a long day, and felt immediately re-energize and overall better? It’s the magic of the outdoors. The sunshine can provide our bodies with energy and happiness. It actually releases endorphins that help to keep us happy and healthy. By incorporating the sunshine and fitness you’re participating in two activities that release endorphins. Good for the mind and body!
- Helps build a Strong Relationships
Whether you’re camping deep in the forest or taking a stroll around your neighborhood park, fresh air with your children can help build an even stronger connection. Without the distraction of technology, being outside leads to stronger conversation and appreciation for the little things.
Contributed by Emily-Jane Cosgrove
National Wildlife Foundation http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Kids-and-Nature/Why-Get-Kids-Outside/Health-Benefits.aspx
NPR – Jon Hamilton “Science Says Child’s Play Helps Build a Stronger Brain”
Tuesday, 7 April 2015
Thank you to all who tweeted, commented, pinned and shared the Caboose VaryLight Does It all Giveaway. We had a fabulous response and are excited to announce that Melissa Marlow is our lucky winner of a new Caboose VaryLight stroller. Melissa, if you could email us at email@example.com to claim your prize. From your blog comment, we see thatÂ your choice in color is the red Caboose VaryLight! Great selection! We will need your shipping address.
Strolling with children of different ages is made easy with a tandem that does it all. The Caboose VaryLight is ideal for strolling with children of different ages & offers flexible seating as families grow.
Our new Caboose technology includes a telescopic frame that expands to a full size double in seconds to accommodate when more room is needed. This means the front seat can be fully reclined (to 3 positions) and the VaryLight can be extended to accommodate and give the rear rider more room to sit comfortably. In its shorter length, there is still room for the older child to stand. The beauty is that you can customize seating as needed, all in a matter of seconds.Â Car seat adapters (brand specific and sold separately) can be used in the front, rear or both allows strolling from infancy. When not in use, the Caboose VaryLight can be folded with a one-handed action.
We’ve done our best work and think you’ll love the upgrades to the newest Caboose starting with putting it together! It’s a breeze!
Easy functionality and practical features are keystones of the Caboose VaryLight. We think you deserve the best quality when strolling with two children. That’s why we’ve used the best quality materials and components in constructing this awesome stroller!
Check out theÂ Caboose VaryLightÂ video below to see it in action!
Here’s what you get:
- Extendable stroller frame the converts from a compact to a full size double in seconds.
- Front seat has 3 position recline and 5 point harness
- Rear bench seat with 3 point harness
- Adjustable oversized canopy with sun visor
- Removable swing tray
- Easy access extra large storage
- High quality polyurethane wheels
- Quick and easy standing fold
- Car seat compatibleÂ (car seat adapters sold separately)
- BritaxÂ® B-Safe
- BOBÂ® B-Safe
- ChiccoÂ® KeyFit 30
- GracoÂ® SnugRideÂ® Classic Connect 35
- GracoÂ® SnugRideÂ® Classic Connect 32
- GracoÂ® SnugRideÂ® Click Connect 35
- GracoÂ® SnugRideÂ® Click Connect 40
- Peg PeregoÂ® Primo Viaggio SIP 30-30
- UPPAbabyÂ® MESA
Want more?Â Everything is backed up by Joovyâ€™s incredible customer service (877-456-5049) and a Satisfaction Guarantee.
Aaaaand, because we are so excited about this new stroller, we’ve decided to send one home with a lucky winner! Do you know someone who could use a Caboose VaryLight in their life? Please be a share-bee and let them know about this awesome giveaway that will run for 2 weeks!
Thank you and GOOD LUCK!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To learn more about tandem strolling, check out our blog post.
Hop on board!
Thursday, 19 March 2015
We are thrilled that the Joovy Glass Boob has made the mom.meÂ Best Baby Gear of 2015.
The Glass Boob Baby Bottle features the CleanFlow Vent, unique Boob Nipple and the ergonomic glass bottle. Designed to make transitions between breast and bottle easier, the system is easy to use, easy toÂ clean and easy to reassemble.
Read the mom.me post and be sure to try the Boob out for yourself!
With the new information that even BPA-free alternatives aren’t safe for our little ones, more and more moms are turning to glass bottles. We particularly love the Joovy Boob version for it’s revolutionary new nipple design, where they are molded instead of cut for the perfect flow….read moreÂ
Thursday, 12 February 2015
Check out who just turned one!
Happy birthday Addison Marie! Deanna and Stephen Stagliano celebrated their daughter’s first birthday over the weekend. TheÂ party was themed,”sprinkled with love” and was festively decorated with bright pink, lime green, yellow, turquoise and metallic gold color scheme. The Good Carma Girls were the party organizers for this milestone event and Dusty Lu Photography captured the party in photographs.
We think it’s pretty cool that the birthday girl got to have her birthday smash sitting pretty in her Joovy Nook in Orangie. A girl’s got to look good getting birthday cake on her face and mommy’s such a good sport with cake on her face too!
Read more about the party here.
Monday, 15 December 2014
I donâ€™t say this for many things, but the Joovy TwinRoo is a MUST for anyone with twins. When we found out we were having twins, our mindset changed. We no longer wanted what was cute or trendy. We needed practical. We needed products that made our lives simpler and easier. We needed things to be effective and efficient. We needed Joovy!
This is such a smart product on all counts. Looking back, this stroller was how we survived our everyday! It would be that one product that we could â€œnot have lived without.â€ We were those people who pushed the height limit on our infant carseats because we didnâ€™t want our days with the TwinRoo to be over. We knew that stroller made our lives easier and we waited until the DAY our son-the taller of the two-hit the 30inch point.
We live an urban lifestyle and rely on an elevator to get us to and from our parking lot. Space is always an issue and getting to and from the car is always an issue. The TwinRoo checked all of our boxes. There are other things that make this stroller one step above the leading brands of frame strollers.
Safety of course is number one. We chose the Chicco Keyfit 30 based on safety reviews and price. The click-in feature huge. Hearing the click is reassurance that your kiddos are securely in.
Beyond peace of mind, they were clicked in very securely. One can bump into the stroller, run into a door (whoops), or knock it with a bag. Basically, life can happen and you are clicked into to knowing your kid are safe.
We originally went with a different brand not knowing about Joovy. I was beyond disappointed that you had to use a strap to secure it. Not only that, despite advertisements, the Chicco Keyfit 30 didnâ€™t fit appropriately in it. We took it back immediately.
The fact that the carseats click in side by side in opposing directions is just plain smart! Many (many) people would comment the stroller and think it was so great that the kiddos could see each other. In all reality, they never really paid attention to one another BUT it did give me a better view of them as we were strolling. Most importantly, it makes the stroller shorter in length.
In the land of tight aisles in grocery stores, you need a stroller that can make a tight turn! Grocery stores, malls, doctorsâ€™ offices are not designed with twins and their rides in mind. When they told me were were expecting twins, someone should have said â€œwelcome to the land of inaccessibility.â€ Less is more when it comes to strollers in order to get around.
Due to the side by side design, the TwinRoo is also very sturdy because it is a little wider. As your twins get older, you will appreciate this as you push your height limits of the carseats. We reached the height limit way before the weight but our son was about 22 pounds and daughter 20. Thatâ€™s 40 some points you will be pushing and the TwinRoo will keep up.
This goes right with design but the fact that I could operate the stroller by myself and many times with one hand says a lot.
We used this stroller every day for a year and 2 months. It was used and abused and withstood all the tosses in to the trunk.
That says a lot about how it was built.
We used this stroller for everything. For us living in a condo and relying on an elevator, this was how we got to and from the car. No matter where we went, we used the stroller. Instead of using the grocery cart at the store, we simply used the Joovy. We added hooks to the handle so we were even more set!
Beyond transporting the kiddos, we used the stroller for feeding time. When they were little, I had to feed them on my own. I would strap them into their carseats and feed one on one side and one on the other. As they got older, we added the handles to the Joovy Boob and they were able to feed themselves in the carseats. We would just wheel the stroller out to the kitchen when it was time for their bottle and they would be all set.
Ease of Use
The TwinRoo is a simple as it gets for usability. Itâ€™s simple to handle, fold and unfold. The best is how easy it is to maneuver and push. Its relatively lightweight which is great once the babies start getting bigger!
Thank you to whoever designed this basket. You will use this basket and fill it up! For us, it was our grocery cart! The purse holder, the diaper bag holder! Since the carseats go on top of the frameâ€¦ it sometimes can be a little difficult to take items out, but the sides are low enough or one carseat can snap out.
It simply makes sense to have 4 cup holders on a double stroller: 2 for mom and dad and 2 for the babies. Other brands donâ€™t think so. It seems silly to mention a cup holder but in all reality, a cup holder turns into a key holder/cell phone holder, a pacifier holder, and a toy holder. It just one more plus to the stroller
From the design, to the durability, size, to practicality, this stroller is just smart. All aspects were well planned and designed with the parent of twins in mind.
As you embark on your new journey with twins, always keep in mind what is practical. You need products that make your life easier. You donâ€™t need double of everything but you do need a Joovy TwinRoo to make everyday life a little simpler.
Elizabeth, mom of twins, Carson and Ellie
Note from Doodie:
Thank you so much to Elizabeth for sharing herÂ advice for parents of twins. We’d love to add that the TwinRooÂ accepts these infant car seats:
- ChiccoÂ® KeyFit 30
GracoÂ® SnugRide Classic Connect 35
Peg PeregoÂ® Primo Viaggio SIP 30-30
We have also just introduced the new TwinRoo+ which has upgrades and is compatible with these infant car seats:
- GracoÂ® SnugRideÂ® Click Connectâ„¢ 35
GracoÂ® SnugRideÂ® Click Connectâ„¢ 40
Saturday, 13 December 2014
The notorious wall of bottles at the baby store. It haunts every soon to be new mom and seasoned moms alike.
Every color, shape, size imaginable litters the walls. They all have different tricks and gadgets to â€œreduceÂ colic.â€Â Itâ€™s beyond overwhelming to pick the right one for you and your baby.
Thatâ€™s all great and dandy if you are having one baby but twins is an entirely different ball game. With twins itÂ boils down to what is the best quality bottle with the least amount of pieces.
The Joovy Boob was the best bottle for us. When the twins were infants, eating every 2.5 hours, we wentÂ through 10 bottles a day! The last thing I wanted to do before going to bed was clean multiple pieces! They addÂ up! We loved that the Boob only had 3 pieces beside the bottle. All of which are super easy to clean!
The Joovy BoobÂ is on top of being easy to clean, a great bottle.
The nipple is very durable. At first, I was trying to do everything perfect according to the booksâ€¦ but then IÂ came to my senses and used the dreaded DISHWASHER. The nipples withstood a year of daily washing.
The bottle shape itself is the best on the market. It is very easy to hold and to hold comfortably with one hand.
Again, a plus with twins due to the fact that you will always be holding two bottles at once. You need a bottleÂ that you can easily grip. Whatâ€™s also nice about the shape is that when the babies are ready, itâ€™s easier for themÂ to hold as well. Best day ever when they hold their own bottles. You can also add the handles to the bottle toÂ help with that transition.
All around itâ€™s another smart designed product with the parents of twins in mind.
Elizabeth, mom to twins, Carson and Ellie (aren’t they adorable?!)
Thursday, 20 November 2014
We’ve got some ‘jingle’ for your loved ones this holiday season. Here are the hottest and hippest gift ideas from Joovy, guaranteed toÂ bringÂ holiday smiles.Â With the help of Santa himself,Â we’ve curated a list that includes something for everyone on your list.Â And, in the event youÂ need personal shopping recommendations, our elves are eager to help at 877-456-5049. Give us a call!
We all haveÂ someone on our list who ‘has everything.’ Â No worries, we’ve got you covered this season!Â For this well equipped person, consider the JoovyÂ MoonRoom.Â It’s a playard from out of this world! Fun, geometric design withÂ loads of space, this playard gives a new dimension to the old standby. Made of high quality materials, the MoonRoom offers FUN & FUNCTIONALITY!
Santa’s tip: Dads have been known toÂ love this far-out piece of baby gear!
MoonRoom – Jade
MoonRoom – Blueberry
Baby’s first vehicle should memorableÂ andÂ Santa suggests aÂ tricycle that grows with your child. Â The JoovyÂ TricycooÂ is top of his list for first wheel presents this holiday season! The Tricycoo is simple and perfect for very young babies. Your child does not need to steer, pedal or balance on their own in the beginning. Â They simply enjoy the fun and independence of their first tricycle while you guide them with the parent push handle (removable).Â Â When engaged, the parent push handle overrides the steering on the Tricycoo. The surround arms help them learn to balance and give you confidence that they won’t fall out. Â The pedals can be easily ‘turned off’ until they are ready to ‘kid power’ the Tricycoo on their own. As they gain confidence, the Tricycoo surround arms and parent handle can be removed for independent tricycling fun!
Santa’s tip: Get yoursÂ early. They sold out last year!
Tricycoo – Pink & Greenie
Tricycoo – Orangie
Get your little one trailblazing in style. The Joovy Bicycoo balance bikeÂ gives them the confidence to take the firstÂ step in cycling. Lightweight aluminum frame is easy toÂ control, pneumatic tires offer the smoothest ride and theÂ internal drum brake teaches them how â€˜real gearâ€™ works. Â What’s even cooler about the Bicycoo? It looks like a real bike!
Santa’s tip: Don’t forget the Noodle (helmet) below. Start with teaching safety early and create good habits for life!
Bicycoo Balance Bike – Red
Bicycoo BMX Balance Bike – Greenie
Protect that little noggin with the Joovy Noodle! Introduce safety early and create good habits from day one. Â The Noodle comes in six bold colors, has 14 air vents, integrated bug mesh and is designed for babies heads measuring 18.5″ – 20.5″. Â Extended visor for maximum protection, nylon straps, pinch guard chin strap, and an adjustable fit dial.Â It is a great looking helmet and we think kids will love being ‘safe’ while cycling and doing other outdoor activities. Â Meets CPSC Standards.
Santa’s tip: Give a practical gift to each child on your list!
Noodle – Red
For the growing family, the Caboose VaryLight isÂ the ideal gift. This fantastic and functional stroller grows from a single to full size double in seconds with it’s easy to expand, telescopic frame. This Caboose will accept infant car seats (car seat adapters sold separately) in the front or rear of the stroller for strolling with infants. The family that strolls with the Caboose VaryLight will be ready for all ages of little riders!
Santa’s tip: This stroller is the solution for families with more than one child! Check out the new graphite frames and my personal favorite, red!Â
with Infant Car Seat – rear
with Infant Car Seat (front seat removed)
Share Foocot fun for every kid in the house this holiday season! This practical sleeping cot for kidsÂ comes with a 100% cotton sheet and has a pocket for sleepover necessities like favorite Christmas story or travel companion.Â Perfect for travel, trips to Disney and grandma’s house, the Foocot also has it’s own travel bag. This great gift holds a child up to 75 pounds and comes in four hot colors.
Santa’s tip: Your kids will think the Foocot is fun while you know it’s the perfect sleep solution, especially while traveling!
The sleakest, most luxurious stroller to hit the market in 2014 is the Joovy TooQool. This double stroller is packed with features and high-end detailing. What most parents love about the TooQool is that it comes equipped with both seats! It has a small footprint that offers a super smooth and effortless ride! The upper seat on the TooQool is convertible (can face front or towards the rear). Â Joovy also has infant car seat adapters that are compatible Â with the Graco Click Connect, Chicco Key Fit, Britax/BOB B-Safe, and Maxi-Cosi/Cybex Aton car seats. The TooQool is available in 10 gorgeous colors and two frame finishes: graphite and silver.
Santa’s tip: The TooQoolÂ says ‘classy parent’Â all the way!Â
TooQool Graphite – Purpleness
TooQool Silver – Apple
The Qool is theÂ single version of the TooQoolÂ with the same attention to detail. Â Urban strolling has never been so Qool with this new luxurious stroller from Joovy! The Qool has dreamy features and exceptional functionality designed to make your strolling experience the absolute best. Offering style in its innovation, high-end detailing from top to bottom, and a compact aluminum frame for a state-of-the-art experience in strolling. The Qool seat reclines to 3 comfy positions as well as converts easily to forward or rear facing.Â Car seat adapters allow for convenient strolling while using an infant car seat with itty-bitty babies. Premium handle and bumper bars are covered with hand-stitched leatherette and the handlebar adjusts to three heights. Joovy is known for it’s oversized canopies which offer supreme coverage and the Qool delivers here. Zippered canopy extensions offer full coverage for protection of your little one. Seats have adjustable foot rest.Â Boasting two beautiful frame finishes and 10 fashion colors, there is a Qool to fit your personality. What’s more Qool? This awesome stroller weighs in at 21.5 pounds and will carry a child up to 55 pounds. Pretty Qool, for sure!
Santa’s tip: Consider the Qool/TooQool ride-onÂ board for that toddler who still needs to hitch a ride on occasion.
Qool Silver – Jade
Qool Graphite – Hot Pink
Qool with Ride-On Board
The SpoonÂ walker has a clean, contemporary design and is just the thing for the baby on your list. This crossover walker – highchair is perfect for the little one’s first steps. The tray is large, with a dishwasher safe insert, andÂ the height is adjustable to 3 positions. An ultra-wide base gives a wonderful foundation for scooting and exploring independently. The Spoon has a dishwasher safe tray insert makes clean-up easy.
Santa’s tip: Joovy just introduced my favorite ‘red’ Spoon. This is on my giving list for grandbabies!
Need something unique for that person who just has their own, je ne sais quoi?Â Â Consider the TooFold. ThisÂ highly engineeredÂ stroller will have Â heads turning as you transform the TooFold from a single to double stroller in seconds. This all-terrain-stroller, with built in stroller board, converts as needed to keep your little ones content and you on the move.Â Take this puppy on a trail or to the mall.Â It is guaranteed to turn heads.Â
Santa’s tip: This is for the seriously active family. Get ready for the New Year, New You with this stroller that will have you exploring!
TooFold – Lemontree
TooFold – Red With Second Seat Attached (sold separately)
Looking for longevity in a gift? For the efficient and thoughtful parent, the HiLo is calling their name.Â Modern, contemporary and most importantly, easy to clean, this convertible high chair will grow with your child. Age graded from 6 months to 6 years, the HiLoÂ converts to a toddler seat after use as a high chair and saves from having to purchase another chair as your child grows. Fun and functional!
Santa’s tip: The elves favorite seat! You will be pleased with this purchase!
For the family who travels thisÂ take-along high chair hasÂ supreme good looks and is easy to clean. The Hook is made of a comfortable leatherette and fits to most tabletops. Â The Hook comes with a travel bag, folds up compactly and is convenient for travel or eating out.Â Â Why not?
Santa’s tip: This is the perfect holiday gift for grandparents to give their globetrotting grand babies.
Hook – Orangie
TheÂ Boob Gift SetÂ isÂ the ultimate feeding gift set for the expectant parents on your list. This amazingÂ bottle system is idealÂ for breastfed babies because of the unique nipple that promotes proper latching and allows easy transitions between bottle and breast. Also important, the Boob is easy to clean, easy to reassemble and just gorgeous by design. The Clean Flow Vent offers excellent venting so baby is sure to take in milk or formula, not air. This gorgeous set contains 23 essentials, including breast pump adapters (works with major brands) so mom can pump directly into the Boob!
Santa’s tip: The Boob Baby Bottle Gift Set will add to an effortless feeding experience!
PPSU Gift Set – 23 essential feeding products
Is there anything sweeter than your daughterÂ or son’sÂ first babydoll? Pretend play is the best way to encourage nurturing and theÂ Toy CabooseÂ will add to the overall experience. Larger in scale, the Toy Caboose is perfect for 18″ dolls such as the American Girl dolls. Kids love this attractive, high-quality replica of the popular Joovy Caboose Stand-On Tandem stroller. The clever features of the Toy Caboose allow your child to secure and transport two or three cherished toy friends at once, for hours of role-playing fun. Â And with our toy car seat & attachment, the Joovy Toy Caboose creates a travel system for more playtime fun!
Santa’s tip: The elves may think this is for their babies because it’s so realistic! Hurry! These go f-a-s-t!
The Toy Infant Car SeatÂ is not only a fun toy, it helps children understand the importance of good passenger safety. Children learn to imitate the role of a caring and responsible parent as they safely secure a favorite doll or stuffed toy into the doll car seat which is LATCH compliant and has been crashed tested, so it’s safe for the car. The Toy Infant Car Seat comes in pink and blue.
Santa’s tip: Â Parents find that their child is more cooperative about using their own car seat as a result!
The Toy Infant Car Seat creates a travel system with the Toy Caboose
To round out the pretend play toys, Joovy has the Toy RoomÂ² Playard that is the perfect place for laying little one’s dolls and furry friends down for nap. Another great teaching tool, the Toy RoomÂ² helps children understand that even stuffed friends need downtime to rejuvenate and refresh!
Santa’s tip: The Elf on the Shelf may need a Toy RoomÂ² after this holiday season!
Saturday, 6 September 2014
Have you ever seen your child doubled over with laughter watching someone else and wondered whyÂ you canâ€™t get him to produce the same belly laugh at home? Me too. I am lucky enough to live in theÂ DC area, which one of the countryâ€™s best childrenâ€™s entertainers, The Great Zucchini, calls home. If youÂ havenâ€™t heard of him yet look out for an upcoming show on FX about him called The Great Zucchini.
There are several ways to add laughter into your home that are so easy and donâ€™t take long. Also, whenÂ a child is sad, or is having a temper tantrum, humor can make him smile.Â After too many times watching The Great Zucchini, also known as Eric Knaus, make my children laugh inÂ a way I never could I sat down with him to get some tips. Here are some of my favorites!
Children usually understand when something isn’t right and they love telling you about it. They can feelÂ empowered by being able to communicate that they know something isnâ€™t quite the way it should be.
There are many ways to do this. When Eric stands in front of a child at his show and pretends not toÂ be able to find them children often crack up and say â€œI’m right here!â€
Pretend to lose kids again andÂ again and they love it. This can be done in various ways at home. For example, at the kitchen tableÂ wait for Max to sit down then say, â€œWe can’t start until Max sits downâ€ and walk around kitchen lookingÂ for him.
Another way to empower children to let you know something is wrong is to do a running gagÂ of pretending to pour different juices into cereal instead of milk. Children will laugh and correct you atÂ the same time. Another take on this idea is that when the phone rings, pick up a random object (shoe,Â spoon, etc.) and say hello. Children will laugh, and tell you â€œThat’s not the phone!â€
A greatÂ trick to getting children to laugh is a take on hide-and-seek. Pretend to do a magic trick toÂ get an object to disappear, hide the object somewhere easily discoverable such as behind your back orÂ under your shirt, and let your child discover it. After your child finds the object, pretend to be flustered,Â and try it again.
When playing hide and go seek, lift up ridiculous object to hide behind, like chair or aÂ piece of paper. Your child will love finding you and think you’re not a very good hider.
Pretending you do not know where common items go or where they can be found will get kids laughingÂ as well. Put milk back in cabinet and let kids tell you where it goes. Pretend that you can’t find a fork toÂ use to eat, and pick up different items to use instead such as your phone or the remote. You can alsoÂ pretend to fall asleep randomly in the house.
Try these tricks at home and you will quickly become your childâ€™s new favorite entertainer!
Thursday, 4 September 2014
Everyone wants their kids to eat better, but it can be hard to make that happen. After one too manyÂ Mac nâ€™ Cheese dinner I thought it was time to seek out professional help. I found a busy mother just likeÂ me who would understand the obstacles I face to getting heathy food on the table. I turned to theÂ founder of Mai Health Now, LLC, Certified Health Counselor and Wellness speaker Mai Trinh Joubert.
Like me, Mai is a harried working mother of three young children. However, unlike me, she is able toÂ prepare healthy meals that her children actually eat and enjoy every day so I knew she was the rightÂ person to consult to get practical advice on how to prepare quick and easy healthy meals and snacksÂ that appeal to young children on the go — and their busy parents.
As a mother, Mai is able to test her recipes on her family to be sure they will be a hit with children andÂ parents alike. Mai offered a sampling of recipes that are both kid-approved and quick to prepare.
Oatmeal is a fast and easy breakfast to prepare that will give your kids a good start to their day. YouÂ can even prepare a big batch on Sunday night then heat up smaller portions every morning during theÂ morning rush. Preparing your oatmeal with milk instead of water gives your kids some extra calcium.
Although the old standby for oatmeal toppings is raisins with a bit of brown sugar, you can change whatÂ you add to your oatmeal every few days so your kids donâ€™t get bored. Some options are dried apples,Â dried coconut, walnuts, raw almonds and omega-3 rich chia seeds. Fresh blueberries with a dash ofÂ almond milk and a dash of raw local honey is a winning combo most kids will love. 100% maple syrupÂ with generous helping of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg is another combo that is a hit with kids.
Wraps make a quick lunch that kids enjoy. This one is a hit in Maiâ€™s house.
Maiâ€™s Sunflower Wrap
Spread sunflower butter on a whole wheat, brown rice, or gluten free tortilla. Add a touch of raw honeyÂ with a sprinkle of chia seeds for crunch and a dose of mega 3s. Roll it up. Serve with an organic cheeseÂ and stick side of fruit.
Clementines or fresh grapes are healthy choices kids love. This lunch is easy to prepare and packs well.
It contains have a complex carb, a dietary fiber, and a protein to help gets make it through the day.
Snack: Kale is a nutrient-dense food that packs a lot of punch. It is a great choice for all kids, but works
especially well for those kids who pick at their food or prefer to snack. Rather than asking kids to scarfÂ down another green, you can sell this recipe to your kids as chips, which most kids think of as a treat. ItÂ takes very little time to prepare and can be stored after baking, giving you a weekâ€™s worth of snacks toÂ pack for lunch.
Maiâ€™s Asian Baked Kale Chips (small children approved)
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rip stems off a bag of fresh Kale. Tear Kale in small pieces.
Throw stems away. Drizzle sesame oil on foiled baking pan. Place kale pieces on pan. Drizzle sesame oilÂ and Braggs Amino Acid (naturally fermented soy sauce — a little goes a long way) on kale pieces. MixÂ sauce and kale with hand so that kale is evenly covered. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes depending on yourÂ preference of crunchiness. Serve and eat!
This is a quick and easy, and totally yummy, kid-friendly dinner recipe that serves up veggies and proteinÂ in way kids will love.
Maiâ€™s Banging Black Bean Quesadilla Recipe:
Total Prep And Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Yield: 4 Servings or 4 quesadillas
â€¢ 1 can or 2 cups of cooked black beans*
â€¢ 1/8 tsp of cumin
â€¢ Squeeze of lime (optional)
â€¢ 1/3 cup salsa, as you like it
â€¢ 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
â€¢ 2 small Roma tomatoes, diced
â€¢ 2 cups of chopped baby spinach
â€¢ 1 cup shredded cheese or non-dairy cheese
â€¢ 1â„2 cup of cooked brown rice (optional)
â€¢ 4 burrito-sized tortillas (can use gluten free tortilla like brown rice tortilla)
1. Mash the beans, brown rice (optional) and stir in the salsa, cilantro, and tomatoes
2. Squeeze lime in mixture (optional)
3. Spread 1/2 cup of the bean mixture on one half of each tortilla
4. Top each tortilla with spinach and cheese
5. Fold each tortilla in half
6. Cook on medium heat, one or two at a time ona large skillet, turning to brown both sides.
7. The quesadillas are done when they are browned on both sides and the cheese is melted
*Note: If you’re going to soak and cook beans, do this overnight and save the rest for soup later!
All kids love smoothies and they are a quick and easy way to get lots of fruit (and even some veggies)
into your kids at one time. Smoothies make a great snack and can be served as breakfast in warmÂ weather. Fresh or frozen fruit can be used. Here are two recommended by Mai especially for kids, butyou can experiment with different combinations. Try giving your smoothies fun names like the â€œPunchy
Purple Monsterâ€ for a smoothie that features blueberries or â€œRazzle Dazzle Redâ€ for a smoothie madeÂ with strawberries. A green smoothie could be sold as Yodaâ€™s favorite drink for Star Wars fans and or oneÂ of Tinkerbelleâ€™s favorites for fans of the green-clad fairy. A little marketing goes a long way with kids.
Mai Blue for You Smoothie
Total Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Yield: 2 Servings
â€¢ 1 cup blueberries
â€¢ 7 oz organic vanilla yogurt
â€¢ 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
â€¢ 2 tbsp orange juice
â€¢ 1â„2 tsp pure vanilla extract
â€¢ 1 tbsp raw local honey
â€¢ 1â„2 cup ice
Place everything except ice into a blender and pulse a few times until blended. Add ice, cover and blendÂ on high until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Blueberries are a superfood with high anitioxidants, phytoflavinoids, potassium and vitamin C. They helpÂ fight heart disease and cancer and are anti-inflammatory to keep illness away.
Mai Brocco Power Berry Fruit Smoothie
Total Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Yield: 2 Servings
â€¢ 1 cup frozen berries
â€¢ 1 cup steamed broccoli
â€¢ 1 cup 100% cranberry juice
â€¢ 1â„4 cup organic plain yogurt
â€¢ 4 ice cubes
Place everything except ice into a blender and mix until well-mixed. Add ice, cover and blend on highÂ until smooth. Add honey or agave nectar if you want more sweetness or use vanilla yogurt instead ofÂ plain. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Broccoli is a great source of healthy portions of calcium, fiber, potassium and Vitamin C. It has manyÂ cancer-fighting properties and is especially beneficial in preventing bowel cancers. Steamed broccoliÂ mellows out the taste and is sweetened by fresh fruit!
Hopefully these recipes will give you a good start on getting your entire family on the path to healthierÂ eating. If you are interested in learning more about how you can make sure 2013 is the year yourÂ family eats better, visit Maiâ€™s website at www.maihealthnow.com for more recipes and tips. Mai isÂ available for consultations or to help you plan meals even the pickiest eaters will enjoy. She also speaksÂ to groups throughout the DC Area about eating better and boosting energy. For those who need a littleÂ more help in the kitchen, Mai conducts cooking demonstrations.
Focusing on making changes that are sustainable will help ensure that you and your family can enjoy theÂ benefits of healthy eating throughout 2013 and beyond. With just a little guidance and a little effort,Â you too can get your kids to trade in cookies for kale and put them on the path to a lifetime of healthyÂ eating.
Friday, 29 August 2014
I came across a quote from Ronald Reagan that I wanted to share with you.
â€œAll great change in America begins at the dinner table.â€
I love this quote and I am a big believer in family dinners. Today there is so much written about the importance of sitting down at the table and eating together as a family. It is a constant challenge in our home with my husbandâ€™s work and travel schedule and the childrenâ€™s sports and activities.
I grew up in a very busy household with two parents who worked fulltime and sometimes beyond.Â Â My brother and I played sports among a list of many other activities. The funny thing is that I donâ€™t remember NOT eating together at the table. Many times it was crockpot meals or casseroles or sometimes it was even eating the $5 papa platter special at Papa Ginoâ€™s but we always sat down together.
Last week I stated in my post that one of my personal goals this school year is to make delicious dinners for my family. I am not abandoning this goal but I am going to take a little pressure off myself. Dinner doesnâ€™t have to be a gourmet meal every night. It can be simple. It can be soup and salad, take out, or a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. The most important thing is to set the table, sit down and eat as a family.
If my mom could do it working full time, I can certainly do it as a stay at home mom. I remember making fun of my mom because she spent so much time cooking and freezing on the weekends. Now I know it was her planning that made our family dinners possible. I am going to accomplish this by scheduling just three to five nights a week when everyone can sit down together. Hopefully this will be one of the habits my children will carry on as adults.
I challenge all of you to sit down together this new school year. Letâ€™s see where it takes us.