Posts in Category: Kid Activities
If I can make something healthy in keeping it still taste absolutely delicious, you bet I’m going to do it. Because why wouldn’t I? Since discovering that I’m dancing with the onset of diabetes (Genetically predisposed out the ying yang), I did a lot of research and discovered that no wheat, grains (therefore gluten), legumes, dairy or refined sugar for this girl would be a smart choice for me. A paleo diet all the way. The paleo way of eating is the best kind of diet to manage/treat diabetes through treating food as medicine. It was hard at first and I still have my cravings and I ‘cheat’ a couple times a month — but for the most part I feel the best I have since, well…pretty much ever.
The added bonus is that we’ve been refined sugar-free for a couple years now, (again — there are still treats the kids consume now and then outside the home – we’re not zealots about it). I’ve always felt good about the food I dish up for my family and I’m in love with raw desserts these days. The least amount of time that the oven is turned on this summer — the better. BBQ grilling action and raw food/desserts all the way.
Abby and Wyndham are especially keen on helping me create deliciousness in the kitchen, as most kids are. As long as I do the leg-work and prep things up (pre-measure, etc.) it’s less ruckus/stress and more fun for all involved. One might call this type of activity a Montessori, practical life exercise. Or a Reggio Emilia style parenting activity or a Waldorf one. I’m trying to stay away from parenting labels of recent and just call everything we do together LIVING.
Living and parenting. Having fun. Including my kids in the everyday stuff that needs to be done and not treating them like obstacles that are in my way, slowing me down. Well, for the most part. It’s not like they are helping me make dinner every night. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
What did teaching one’s child to cook get called before all of these terms and labels came along anyways? All of this from a devout lover of the Montessori and Waldorf methods/teachings. So you’ll probably still find activities of these types down the road – but just to be clear, I dig it all…minus the pretentious bull-hooey that I find tends to happen within all of the labelling. Although there are a few whom I find incredibly inspiring, living and learning by what they are inspired by — what they feel connected to. Like my friend Meghan. You should check out her blog Milkweed Montessori. Great ideas and beautiful writing from mama of a toddler and aspiring Montessori teacher.
Another key component to our summer of eating many a raw dessert is our recent acquisition of a vitamix. Oh hells yes it’s worth it. A green smoothie made in a regular blender VS. a vitamix? Night and day in consistency and taste. That horsepower motor and top notch engineering makes all the difference. I’ve blasted through numerous blenders over the years and when the last one bit the dust, I knew our next one was going to be a cadillac. With all of the nut butters, smoothies, nut flours, sauces and raw desserts I’ve been getting into – the horsepower is necessary. If you’re just making daily smoothies — maybe not, but still.
A smoothie made in a vitamix will always be smoother, creamier. Especially if you a nut and seed enthusiast. I put that shit in everything. Including our smoothies. There is no chewing through a vitamix smoothie and, no I am not getting paid to endorse the shizznit out of the vitamix, (but I should be).
They really are just THAT good.
So. When one has a vitamix, one blends avocado and ripe bananas and a bunch of other stuff with the best raw cacao and Mexican vanilla you can find to make pudding pops that would rival any of the white sugar, preservative and food coloured laden, powdered pudding variety. One might think that this is obvious from my description on the latter — but I know some peeps think that pre-fab desserts are the bomb diggs and that raw and/or paleo desserts are probably nasty. In truth, yes they sometimes can be. But once you embrace nut flours and do some of that preliminary experimentation, your mouth becomes a most willing participant and very happy body part.
This creamy pudding is versatile too. We love it chilled, as is or with fresh raspberries and mint tossed in. I can’t quite decipher if the kids like it better as the frozen pudding pops or pudding squeezee pouches. Not like they need to decide on one anyways, it’s all delicious. And all healthy. Get the recipe after the jump!
I know, right?! Look at those beauties up there! I recently went to a birthday party for the twins of a good friend and these crayons were in the goodie bags. Not just your average, run-of-the-mill goodie bags filled with dollar store candies and crafts either.
AS you might surmise, having a birthday party for twins isn’t the easiest and combining themes for a boy and a girl extra tricky.
But when you put a bunch of creatives, small business owners and foodies together to help make things happen, the results are usually off the hook, and YES, Pinterest worthy. Don’t hate.
Remember when I said that we we’rent putting Wyndham in daycare after-school? Or that TV wasn’t going to be my babysitter every single day? Yea. about that.
It’s been hard, obviously – to keep up with the equivalent of what should be my 8 hour work days as a mom who works from home. So far? So far I’m exhausted in wading through this new shift, yet totally revelling in all of the time I’ve been spending with my guy.
It really does ease the annoyance of working late nights after he and his sister are in bed to make up for lost time. I’m trying not to think about the things I’m missing out on; late evening yoga classes, reading, Netflix or crafting. I think about what I’ve gained when I’m lacking the dedication at 9PM, when after a long day all I want is to curl up next to Trev with a book or a show.
This is my new regular and that’s all there is to it. I’ve gotten back into waking up early some days, like really early…before anyone else in the house is up. It feels like I’ve carved out this secret little compartment of time for myself that allows me to fly through some work in anticipation that I can take back my evening to do some of the other things I enjoy. You know, actually hang-out with my other love, just the two of us.
It’s as if by some odd flash of common sense, that I’ve given myself some time to settle into this new routine before Abby begins staying home with me part-time in the New Year. Originally we were going to take her out of full-time daycare this autumn but then we shook our heads a bit and reassessed.
One thing at a time, one thing at a time.
Which is a really good analogy to follow when I pick up Wyndham from school. The days are so busy, so jam-packed with to-do lists, that if I don’t have a few planned activities mapped out for us for the week, I’m kind of screwed. As chief-in-residence-memory-maker, I want to have fun with my boy, I want to do new things with him and create a space and experiences for him that make his eyes light up with joy and fulfilment. Where I’m not a stress-bag about it.
So I make play-dates with his friends, and make faces out of food and execute craft projects to do together. In being honest, there are also the days that he does indeed hunker down and watch several episodes of his favourite shows on Netflix; wherein I toss him a quick snack of PB&J, screw those fun food plates! Where free play reigns supreme and I had not a planning moment involved in what he does or how he spends his time. This is important too.
Well, this week…this week I really had my shit together. I had sugar and gluten free apple and pumpkin pies leftover from thanksgiving to slice up for snacks. I invited a couple of our neighbours (gorgeously adorable), sons over for a crafting play-date. I’ve kept a reasonably clean and tidy house and only ordered take-out once this week. Success!
As I sit here typing, one of those dang cute Jack O’ Lantern ‘suncatchers’ (as seen below), picks up some chunks of morning light from my deck window to shoot tiny particles of light; dancing specks of dust and shadow across my
desk dining room table. Everything in this moment feels in place. Rather good really.
Making crafts with my kids doesn’t have to be a chore, especially for a creative like myself. Clearly I enjoy this sort of thing. I’m going to go out on a limb here and present you this easy craft project for ALL types of parents, (yep, this quick project is glue, paint and glitter-free), even those of you who shiver at the thought of craft-time. The thing is? Kids LOVE it. I could link-up a bunch of research about how creative, sensory activities and making art for little ones is vastly important for their development in a myriad of ways, but I won’t. The bottom line is that it’s good for their little brains; their wild and wanting souls and busy hands. Just as important as sports, academia, music and free-play.
I first discovered the wonders of contact paper for craft making with kids a few weeks ago via my pal Asia Citro of Fun At Home With Kids. Now that mom has it going on. I was so inspired by how she mothers and was especially appreciative of her Starter Art Kit list. The dollar-store is great for many things. There are a few super-cool things on that list that you can’t find at a dollar-store (including contact paper). (If you’re a nerd-o creative type like me and that list makes you drool a little be forewarned: Discount School Supply doesn’t deliver to Canada and yes, you REALLY DO need those liquid watercolours. They are the bomb-diggs. I ordered mine via Scholar’s Choice.)
Now that we’ve gotten that little digression out of the way, onto the instructions for those cute suncatchers! It’s Hallowe’en time (you all know how much I love Hallowe’en, right?) and these are a pretty great activity to do over the next couple of weeks…