The Innovative and Amazing MIFOLD Booster Seat

This post was made possible by a collaboration with MIFOLD. The thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% mine.

This past summer my husband and I were chatting about how hard it is to travel with large car seats and how expensive rental cars are. We wished there was a way to take an uber or a taxi when we arrive on holidays but it seemed unrealistic to take car seats in and out all the time. We wondered if there was a more portable booster seat for our twins to at least to cut down on all we need to carry. We started researching and came across the mifold. This genius invention would meet our desires perfectly. The only issue that we could see was that it was certified for the USA and we live in Canada. With a few more minutes of research, we found that the mifold had recently been approved for use in Canada too. This meant that it would work for travel as well as everyday life at home. So now that I have explained how we became interested in the mifold, let me explain what exactly it is.

The mifold is a booster seat that allows for your child to be securely buckled into the car without the traditional bulkiness that a traditional booster seat brings. The mifold is a booster seat that weighs 1.6 pounds (yes, you read that correctly…the same weight as a small water bottle) and is about the size of large book (folds up to 10” by 5”). It easily fits in a backpack or large purse and can conveniently be transported from vehicle to vehicle.

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How does something so light and small and transportable keep your child safe? It’s quite simple actually. The mifold securely holds the seatbelt down to the child’s level. It rests on the bones of the hips, off the delicate stomach area, and on the shoulder, off the face and neck. This varies from traditional booster seats which raises the child up to be in a position of an adult.

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We have had our mifolds for about a month now and even though we have not gone on holidays with them yet we have used them several times for “everyday life” activities.
Here are three things that love about the mifold so far:

1) Easy to move/creates more space. In our van the bucket seats can now be used for the twins or adult passengers without the fuss of lugging heavy car seats in and out. In our car, we no longer need to jam the back seat with three car seats. We can fit the mifolds on either side of one car seat leaving more breathing room. Also, we can use those outer two seats for other things very easily between times that the children are in the vehicle. Once our youngest meets booster seat requirements then we will be able to have all three in mifolds across the back seat. The MIFOLD is designed for children 4 and over and is for the weight category of 40 to 100 pounds and height range of 40” to 57”.

2) Easy to transport. If we need someone to pick the twins up from school, we send the mifolds in their backpack. They easily fit and are light weight so are realistic to add to the twins load. We no longer need to add a car seat to anyone else’s car. Installation of the mifold can be done by the alternate caretaker and only takes 1-2 minutes unlike a car seat which can take 5-10 minutes (or more if it’s me installing!).

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3) Easy to clean. We like to give our children snacks on the go to ensure that they are well fed when arriving at various activities. Crackers, raisins, and other crumbly or gooey snacks have been banned from car seats in our home because of the awful mess they create. With car rides with the mifolds, we are back to offering these types of snacks. The mifold does not have little pockets that food can get caught in and are easy to wipe down with a little mild soap and water if needed.
Whether you have travel plans or just day to day booster seat needs, I would definitely recommend checking out the mifold for your child.
In Canada the Mifold is available for purchase at Canadian Tire (www.canadiantire.ca/en/mifold-booster-seat.html) and on the Mifold Canada website (www.mifold.ca/en/products). For addition information about the Mifold, please see the Mifold Canada website (www.mifold.ca) or the Mifold Canada Facebook Page: (https://www.facebook.com/mifoldcanada/).

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World KINDness Day

In my opinion, Emotional Intelligence is more important in terms of “success” in life that any IQ score. In light of this I strongly desire to teach my children about compassion, kindness, grace, and overall empathy for others. I want them to think of others needs over their own and love with a servants heart. Are you with me? If so, in honour if World Kindness Day, I have created a list of 10 activities of kindness that you can do with your children year around.

1) Each time you grocery shop ask your child to pick one non-perishable food item that they think a child would enjoy having whose family may not have enough money for food. Purchase this food item and have your child place it into a bag or box at home and at the end of each month deliver these items to your local food bank or a food bin that is designated for your local food bank.

2) Take your child to a local coffee shop and ask them to ask the person behind you in line what they would like to order. Then pay for that persons order and explain to your child the concept of “pay it forward”.

3) Sit down with you child and ask them to pick out a few toys or books that they would be willing to donate to Goodwill or an alternate donation location for others to use.

4) Talk to your child at breakfast and ask them if there is something they could do today for their teacher or a friend that would be kind/helpful.

5) Have a discussion at supper or bedtime and talk about ways that each person either was kind or experienced kindness that day.

6) Have your child help you bake muffins or cookies or a meal and take them with you to deliver it to a neighbor or friend in need or even “just because”.

7) Think about the words used in your home and talk to your children about how some words build people up and others bring them down. If there is a negative phrase or situation, take time to talk about how the other person feels and how the situation can be resolved to help everyone feel built up not torn down. Tell your children you love them. Hug them. Kiss them. Pray for them. These are ways that seem so obvious but truly are “acts of kindness” in the home. Creating a safe place with example within our homes of what we hope to see in the world is one of the strongest ways that we can lead our children to be kind and empathetic as adults.

These are just a few of many ways that you can work with your children in honour of World Kindness Day but truly on any and everyday to help raise a generation that values kindness and empathy above self serving behavior.

Untile next time…start healthy!

Leading By Example

This morning I told Clay that I was leaving for a race soon and I would see him this afternoon. He immediately had a huge smile on his face and said “oh mommy! I hope you win!!!” I thanked him but also said that I wasn’t doing it to win. But rather to spend time with a friend, support a great cause, and overcome my fear of running in a race. He asked me why I was afraid. This was a great question. I don’t really know why I have been afraid, but the thought of a running race has always made me feel suffocated. But despite that, today I ran in my first race, and when I came home I was able to tell him all about it and how it was wonderful and I truly had nothing to be worried about. I hope so very much that Clay remembers our conversations the next time he is nervous to participate in something.

Part of the reason I run is to be an example to them. I hope they grow up knowing that making time for physical activity is important and doable. It has not always been that way for me. I didn’t start running until I was in my 20s and even then it was sporadic. After becoming a mom at the age of 31 and gaining 65 pounds in my pregnancy, I wanted to get back in shape but had such a hard time finding time for activity with twin babies. So I started walking briskly with the kids in the stroller. Over time I wondered if I could do more. I added small 1 minute jogs into our walks every 5 minutes and then every three minutes. I would make it a fun game going fast and slow and fast and slow and the twin loved it!  Eventually I was alternating every minute and after a few weeks of this, all the minutes were spent running one day!

My first true 5 KM stroller run was HARD! I remember wondering if this was something that would ever seem doable as a regular thing. So I kept at it and by the time the twins were 18 months I was running 8-10 km with them in the stroller 4-5 times each week. I made sure we always had snacks and toys for them, a park destiation at the end, and music to listen to. We were in a great routine for a bit.

Then I became pregnant with Rhett and after gaining 55 pounds in that pregnancy I felt back at square one. And this time I was post VBAC and truly had to pee every 5 minutes. I decided that pelvic physio-therapy was the answer. It really worked well and when Rhett was about 9 months old I decided to once again start towards adding minutes of running into my walks. By the time he was 1 year old I was back to running 8-10 km 4-5 times each week. Sometimes I went on my own, sometimes with just Rhett in the stroller, and often with the twins in the stroller during Rhett’s nap time if my mom could be in the house with Rhett. It was a wonderful way to get fit again. But even more than that I found it helped with my mental health. It helped to clear my head from the noise of life. It allowed me time to pray and think and just be. Rhett is now 3.5 years old and this pace hasn’t changed. I still run 8-10 km 4-5 times each week and I love it! I find that if things come up to prevent me from running I feel almost suffocated. I love the fresh air. I love the quiet time or conversations with him about what we see in nature while running. And I love the way my energy levels are after I have run. Also, the boys love coming with me. I hope that soon they will be running along side me. I hope my example of making time for activity and finding a way to fit it into our busy life will stick with them  I hope they find their chosen type of activity and find a way to fit it in too at all life stages.

Our kids watch every single choice we make…

• TV time or activity outside

• Handful of crackers while supper is cooking or carrots and hummus

• Standing at the counter while eating or sitting down to enjoy

• Coke with your meal or a glass of milk or water

• Sitting on the sidelines or getting involved

So all this to say three main things…

  1. If you are looking for a great way to be active while being with your kids…brisk walking or running is a great option.
  2. If you are a runner and have never run a race, I would encourage you to try it. You may just find it isn’t so bad after all!
  3. Making choices that seem “selfish” may actually be a great way to model “self care” and healthy living to your kids!

Until next time…stay healthy!

Our New “Main Squeeze”!

Did you know that we are all recommended to eat one dark green vegetable and one orange vegetable every single day? I don’t know about you but some days that is a hard goal for my kids to meet. Some days they gobble up their meal and other days they aren’t fussy on it. Smoothies and purees are a great ways to fill that gap. A handful of spinach or the addition of a little roasted sweet potato is easy when blended with other tasty foods. I love to offer them with a whole grain muffin at breakfast or for a refreshing after school snack. I have wanted to send them to school with my twins but up until recently I haven’t had a means to do so.

Over the past few weeks I have been making smoothies and purées in the evening, then filling our Original Squeezes and freezing them overnight. I add them to the twins lunches and according to my son Wes (who would live off smoothies if I let him) “they melt just enough to eat but not enough to be messy”. Yay! That is exactly what I was hoping for. I have included Wes’ favourite smoothie recipe near the end of this post.

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Other days I have been sending various combinations of applesauce/fruit purees including the most amazing apple/sweet potato/date blend which is Clay’s favourite. More on that soon. But first, if you haven’t heard of the Original Squeeze before let me tell you a little more about it. Then I have a few yummy recipes to share with you! 

The Original Squeeze was the first portable Squeeze container on the market. It’s sleek design allows you to pour your choice of smoothie, yogurt, or purée inside for your child to enjoy. I am fascinated by the fact that they stand up straight!!! This was huge for me…no spills! They are freezer and dishwasher safe and free of toxins, BPA, pthalatea, PVC, and lead and are dishwasher safe. Not only are these incredibly useful, they also have a cute design and helped us cut down on the environmentally unfriendly applesauce pouches we had been purchasing. 

I have been looking for something like this for a long time and am thrilled to share it with you. If you have been on the hunt for a way to take veggie and fruit packed purees and smoothies to the park or school, look no further! The Original Squeeze is perfect for the task. The Original Squeeze is available on well.ca and Walmart.ca .

Now, as promised, here are a few of my kids favourite smoothie and fruit/veggie purees that help them meet those goals for green and orange vegetables. Keep an eye on my Instagram page for a giveaway coming soon and over the coming weeks for more smoothie and puree blends my boys love to enjoy from their Original Squeezes.

CHOCOLATE CHERRY COCONUT (aka Black Forest Cake Smoothie when I serve it to adults)

2 cups coconut milk (or less if you want a thicker smoothie)

1 cup chocolate coconut milk yogurt (I use the Yoso Brand)

1 banana

2 cups frozen cherries

1 large handful baby spinach

Blend and enjoy!

APPLE/SWEET POTATO/DATE PUREE

  1. Peel sweet potato and dice into small cubes (about 1/4″ thick) and place on baking stone or pan.
  2. Dice or thinly slice 2 apples and place on same stone or pan.
  3. Sprinkle with tumeric and cinnamon.
  4. Roast at 400 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until sweet potatoes and apples are softened.
  5. Place in food processor and blend with 1/4 cup pitted dates.

Note: If you have a Baby Brezza or another kitchen appliance that steams and blends, you can steam and blend all at once and skip with roasting process.

The addition of turmeric and cinnamon to this recipe are optional. They add antioxidant and blood sugar balancing benefits in addition to flavor; however, the puree is great without them too if you do not have them on hand.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment here or send me a message through my Instagram feed. You can find out more about these squeezes and other amazing products from Elfe Juvenile Products on their website (www.elfe.com), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/elfejuvenileproducts/), and Instagram feed (https://www.instagram.com/elfejuvenileproducts/).

Until next time, stay healthy!

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Seven Lessons I Learned from my Mom

I had the honour of being my mom’s maid of honour last Saturday. I am in awe of her zest for life as she is jumping into the phase of “newly wed” life all over again. This week has been a time of reflections for me. I am filled with joy for her new beginnings, but also have had moments of sadness as I will miss her. You see, she has lived with us for the last 5.5 years. She has been part of the morning rush and the evening conversations. Morning tea parties and happy hour spritzers. She helps the twins practice piano and lets Rhett play in the kitchen while she bakes. Her presence in our home was greater than I ever realized. As I reflected on this I was thinking of what I have learned from her that I hope I can pass onto my children.

  1. Turn to Jesus…especially when you don’t feel like it. Whether in the dark moments of life or the highest of highs, my mom always modelled for me and reminded me to take time for the Lord and turn to Him first for wisdom, protection, and love.
  2. Every little thing to me was a big thing to her. Whether celebrating a small milestone or looking for the back of an earring…my mom has always made me feel like her main priority. I want my children to know that too. I want them to know that in the small times and the big, I care about the finest of details. I pray that I will show up for them the way she shows up for me!
  3. There is always time for one more hug. Before leaving the house or going to bed, my mom has always taken time for “one more hug”. She lost her dad at a young age and I think this impacted her to never want to leave someone knowing there could have been just one more hug. If you ask my children what I say when they ask for a cuddle, they would say “there is always time for a cuddle”. This is truly a testament to the fact that my mom always had time for a hug and I want my children to take that into their life too. The idea that there is always time to ensure that those around you feel loved. That is more important than any task at hand.
  4. Pray with and for your children. My mom always prayed with me and I am sure I don’t even know how often she prayer FOR me. To this day she prays for protection for our whole family: “From the tip of their head to the tip of their toes, their eyes, their ears, their mouth, their nose. For their skin, and all the organs that are within. Bless and protect today please Lord”. I have adopted this and pray it with my children each day too. It is a wonderful reminder of all that can go wrong, and all we can be protected from.
  5. Give graciously. My mom has always modelled serving others. She does not look to her own needs, but rather to the needs of those around her. This is something that I struggle with. I am A-type personality and I like to make sure I get everything done on my list. But thinking back on the example my mom has set I realize how often she let her agenda go to help me reach mine. Perhaps this is the best type of leader a mom can be. perhaps I could spend more time ensuring my children’s agendas are met before my own.
  6. Listen more and speak less. My mom seldom had to ask me questions to hear about my life. She was just always ready to listen. I have learned even with young children how much they have to say if I just listen. Lately I have enjoyed evening chats with my one son and morning ones with the other. They have different times of the day that they wish to open up and I am learning to be ready for that and plan accordingly.
  7. When all else fails…bake and sing! If someone asked me what I picture in my mind when I think of my mom, I would say it is her standing at the counter humming a tune and making muffins. She LOVES to bake and I will be forever thankful for the hours she spent teaching me all she knows and that now I can pass it along to my children. grew up to have the same passion. I love getting my children.

I hope this provides you with some heart warming inspiration on this chilly autumn day that the choices you make now truly do impact your children. They may seem insignificant. And your days may seem like ground hog day. But someday your little girls will be moms and your little boys will be dads and the choices you make now are molding who they become. So, with that said, more recipes and food related posts to come soon. Until then…go cuddle your sweet babies. They are only little for so long.

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

Autumn has so many wonderful traditions and one of my favourite is our annual visits to a local pumpkin farm. The boys love to pick out pumpkins for the front porch and a few for baking too. One of our favourite pumpkin recipes is pumpkin pudding which you can find here. Another is these pumpkin muffins…a true staple in our home during the fall months.

And if you don’t have a pumpkin farm near you where you can get fresh pumpkins to roast, not to worry, canned pure pumpkin works well too. Here is the recipe!

 

Ingredients:
1 and ¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 and ¼ cup steel cut oats
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup hemp hearts
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 cup coconut milk (or alternate milk of your choice)
¼ cup maple syrup or agave syrup
2 eggs
3 cups roasted pumpkin OR 1 can (796 mL) pure pumpkin puree
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce (or 1 banana mashed)
¼ cup canola oil or coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Optional Ingredients:
½ cup crushed walnuts or pecans
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries

Instructions:
1. Combine all dry ingredients and make a well in the centre.
2. Combine all wet ingredients and pour into dry ingredients.
3. Add optional ingredients as you wish.
4. Mix together until moistened. Do not over mix.
5. Spoon batter into non-stick muffin pan.
6. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.

Makes 18 muffins.

Here are a few more pics from the two trips we made to gather pumpkins this year…

 

 

Until next time…stay healthy!

 

 

 

Hello Fresh….Hello Dream Come True!

September hit me hard! After an overall relaxed paced summer, we hit the ground running with new school, work, and extra curricular activities. I have worked hard to meal plan, grocery shop, and meal prep as well as possible but some days we still end up with a rush around supper. Enter Hello Fresh! We had the opportunity to try a 3 meal package from Hello Fresh a few weeks ago and it was a total life changer for this mom!

At 4:45 pm on a Tuesday we came home from a family bike ride to find a box at our front door filled with fresh produce and amazing quality (aka antibiotic free, local, sustainably farmed, etc.) meat, fish, and poultry. I was very impressed with the food safety aspect too. All items were packed in a way that ensured appropriate temperatures were kept.

One of the boxes was labelled “Make Me First” and so I unpacked that one right away and within 30 minutes we were enjoying salmon cakes, roasted sweet potatoes, and fresh veggies. Our whole family truly loved the flavor and I loved the ease of preparation. All the ingredients were perfectly prepped and portion and yet I still had the opportunity to do the cooking. A win-win for me!

Over the coming week I chose our two busiest days (one being piano lesson day) to cook the other two meals. They were equally easy to prepare, packed with nutrients and flavour, and enjoyed by the whole family.

If you have busy weeks, and a few partially prepared, high quality and incredibly tasty meals would be useful for you, please use my discount code MINIS50 for $25 OFF YOUR NEXT TWO BOXES!

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Tips for Dining Out with Kids

I don’t know about you but heading to a restaurant with young children can be a little anxiety provoking for me. When they were babies I used to bring everything but the kitchen sink with me to cope, but now that the boys are a little older I prefer to travel lighter. Over the summer I found that three strategies really helped me cope with creating a positive experience for eating out. If you are planning a little outing as a family after the first week back to school, I hope these are helpful for you!

1) Children tend to behave better once food arrives so the sooner you can get food in front of them, the better. There are two things that you can do in this area…

a) Look ahead at the children’s menu and order for your children as soon as you arrive at the restaurant.

b) Bring a small container of veggies and hummus with you for the children to enjoy before their meal comes. Some restaurants (like Tony Roma’s and Boston Pizza) provide veggies and dip but if they don’t, then this is a way to offer nutritious food while your kids wait.

2) Use the experience as a “teaching moment”. Talk to your children before going to the restaurant about your expectations for inside voices, manners at all times, and staying on their seat. Children like to know what is coming and what is expected…even if they need a few reminders along the way 😉.

Also, let your children use the napkins, utensils, and plates that are offered once they are old enough. This is great way for them to know that this is a unique and special experience which is a great reinforcement for those manners that we request on the way. Beyond the age of three a bib isn’t realistic, but messy hands and clothes are still very likely! My boys LOVE to use a napkin at restaurants, but I find they are hard to keep on them…leaving me with stained clothes and requesting way to many new napkins from our servers…anyone relate??? I was thrilled to find clips recently that can be used to hold a napkin in place around my boy’s necks or on their laps. The clips are meant for baby blankets but are perfect for this job too! They can be found here.

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3) Don’t worry if your child does not finish all their food  sometimes restaurant portions are enough for three toddler or preschooler meals! Allow for them to listen to their satiety cues and just take the rest home for another day. This is how we teach our children the art of not overeating….by never forcing them too. Also, you can order one meal per 2-3 children to save on money and food waste. If you do this and they are still hungry at the end of the meal, you can always offer fruit or an alternate healthy snack at home before bedtime.

I hope that these tips and ideas are helpful the next time that you head out with your crew. Eating out as a family is as much about the experience as it is about the food. And somehow with that perspective, it seems a little easier to handle !

Until next time, stay healthy!

 

Five Tips for Travelling with Young Children

We have had the opportunity to travel with our children several times since they were born and each time there have been things that stood out to me as significant in our success. I have chosen to share the top five tips that seem to hold true in all vacations that we have taken, whether for 3 days or 3 weeks, by flight or by car.

 
1. Be as efficient with space and time as possible.

  • When packing, have 1-2 back up outfits that are for the actual travel days stored in Ziploc bags at the top of one of your bags so they are easy to locate. Make up a complete one for each child with a diaper/pull up/or underwear and socks. The reason for the Ziploc is to prevent you from rooting through your child’s main bag to find a diaper or underwear and new clothes if they have a diaper blow out, accidentally can’t wait for the next bathroom break, or get car sick along the way. You need a new option as fast as possible. Also if room permits, pack a towel that can be sued to clean up any bodily fluid that has come out of the child at a less than opportune time.
  • When packing your child’s main bag, pack in outfits so that you aren’t bringing clothes that you won’t use. Bring one outfit per day with 2-3 extra tops in case one gets dirty mid-day with a spit up for babies or at a meal for older children. I plan on sleepers or pajamas to last for 2-3 nights. If these get soiled, then they are easy to wash in a sink and hang to dry if needed. For bathing suits, it is nice to bring two so that you have a dry back up.
    Side note: Bring a small container of clothing detergent just in case there are laundry facilities or if you need to do a sink wash for anyone. If you do not bring detergent, you may be left without a good cleaning option OR using one that causes a reaction to your child’s skin. Children get used to the detergent we use and vacation is not the time to play with that.

2. Set yourself up for successful sleep.

  • Ideal beds: Determine ahead of time where and on what your child will sleep. There have not been enough beds for whole family in most places we have visited. For several years we travelled with three play yards which worked well. Then when our older two outgrew them, we started bringing air mattresses. They were time consuming to set up, took up a ton of space, and Clay slipped off of his several time each night making a huge THUD on the floor. I was determined there had to be another way. Recently I found the Regalo Tot Cots. I was thrilled when they sent me two cots earlier this summer and we have used them on several occasions over the summer including sleepovers at grandparents, “camp” nights at home, and most recently a two week vacation to a family cottage. The boys honestly LOVE them. They find them comfortable and very special to sleep on. They have slept over 12 hours each night that they have slept on them and truly no complaints going to bed. Wes has had a few mid-day naps on his as well. Each cot comes with its own sheet and we let the boys use their favourite blankets over them. I have washed the sheets and dried them on low heat and they came out really well. No change at all! My husband and I were also incredibly thrilled with the compact carrying case and the 3 minute set up and take-down. The cots accommodate up to 75 pounds so we will be using them for years to come yet and will be investing in one for Rhett soon too!
    If you have any questions about these cots, please feel free to comment below or email me. I would be happy to answer them.
  • White noise: Houses/cottages/hotels all have their own unique noises. Children are used to the ones in their own home, but may find foreign noises alarming. Using an app such as NoiseBox on your iphone or ipad works well to help drown these out. I actually use it when I am away at my bedside too!

3. Young children like “the familiar”. It is beneficial to bring along a few things that remind your child(ren) of home. For example, have them choose 1 stuffed animal, 3 small toys (and I mean small!), 1 book, 1 blanket, and 1 cup. When they are involved in this process, they can feel secure knowing they will have these things from home in less familiar or completely unfamiliar surroundings. Depending on the age of your child you may also consider bringing their usual bowls, plates, and/or cutlery. This is something that I always do.

4. Bring toys and books for the travel time and the “down times”.  This tip will not eliminate the “Are we there yet?”, but hopefully it will help reduce them. A few days before you leave, head to your local dollar store and purchase several small toys/activities that your child will enjoy. Wrap them up individually and offer a new one every 20-30 minutes. It takes them a few minutes to unwrap it, and then they enjoy playing for a while. It helps to occupy them and keeps you feeling sane. These are also great for down times on holidays between planned activities or when you are trying to keep children quiet in the morning before other people are awake. When we are visiting the boys grandparents I find the mornings to be on the long side and this is one activity that I use to keep them quiet. I usually take wrapping paper and just re-wrap some items from the car/plane ride. I also like to visit the library either before we leave or at our destination to offer the boys new and exciting stories.

5. Be prepared for adequate nourishment. The tips for this point vary based on your vacation. Here are a few ideas:

  • For a road trip, pack plenty of bulk snacks with small containers on hand to distribute little bits at a time. These small containers can then be used on the remainder of the holiday. I also always take our PlanetBoxes with us. I can use them in the car if we travel over a meal time or as a picnic option as part of the holiday. For a plane trip, space is a little more limited, so packing each child with a small multi-section container works well or a trail mix in one container. KIND snacks are a great compact option for travel as they are lower in sugar than most other packaged snacks, shelf stable, and offer satiety for children and adults alike!
  • When you are arrive at your destination, head to a grocery store to pick up healthy snacks that are ready to eat such as whole grain crackers, almonds, yogurt, Babybel cheese, apples, grapes, baby carrots, baby tomatoes, snap peas, etc. If you do not have access to a fridge, then investing in a “plug in” cooler is a great idea. We have one that we use in the car and in most places we stay that are part of a road trip. If you do invest in one of these, you can also do more grocery shopping at home which saves money if you are heading to a cottage/tourist town which can save a significant amount of money and also ensure you have any specialty items that you need. For our most recent trip, I made up a two week meal plan and purchased most of the groceries from Costco before leaving. We transported them using a plug in cooler and one additional cooler bag. I will be sharing this meal plan and the grocery list that goes with it in my next post.
  • If you need to eat out as part of your vacation, seek out any Groupon deals or “kids eat free” nights at local restaurants. There are several sites for this information. Here are two that we have used:
  • If you are at an all-inclusive, then that part is a little more straight-forward.

As I said at the start, there are many other tips that have worked on various vacations we have taken, but these are ones that really stand out to me. I hope that they are helpful for you on your next trip with your children. If you have other ideas, please share in the comments below. We are all in this together and I love learning from you too!

 

 

 

 

 
Until next time…stay healthy!

Banana Chia Muffins

The boys and I were in the kitchen today coming up with a yummy new muffin recipe. It’s a twist on their favourite banana muffins with added protein and omega 3.

Ingredients

1 cup steel cut oats

1 cup chia seeds

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 cup hemp hearts

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

3 large bananas, mashed

1 cup coconut milk (or your milk of choice)

2 eggs

2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Blend together dry ingredients in one bowl.

2. Blend together wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then add them to dry ingredinets and stir until blended but be careful to not over stir.

3. Spoon into muffin tin and bake at 375F for 12-15 minutes for mini muffins and 22-25 minutes for standard muffins.

Serve with a smoothie or glass of refreshing milk of your choice.

Until next time…stay healthy!