Do This FIRST With Your Little Ones in the Kitchen

How early can you start teaching your kids to cook? It’s almost never too early to build good food habits and get kids involved in the kitchen. We happen to have a very little one here in the house, but… My sweet, joyful toddler who always smiled at everything had a transformation this month. He literally turned into a stubborn human being with OPINIONS right before our eyes! We keep looking at one another in amazement (“we” being everyone over the age of 7 years old in our house) and saying, “Oh my goodness, he’s a real two-year-old now! I don’t like this!” Nonetheless, it’s too late to take him back. (Kidding!) We know it’s just a phase, but there [Read more...]

That Time I Realized My 1st Grader Never Used a Butter Knife

This post is by contributing writer, Bethany Wright of WoodhavenPl.com. We all have those moments in parenting. I’m not referring to those glowing, warm fuzzy moments. (Like when your child spontaneously declares, “Mommy, you’re the BEST mommy in the WHOLE world.” This actually happened today. Hence, I’m recording this for all posterity…) No, I’m referring to those moments that make us want to put a paper bag over our head. Where we turn shades of embarrassing red and want to crawl in a hole. You know, the kind that generate those #fail memes. My #fail Moment I had one of those glorious fail moments recently when we began the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse as a family. My 7-year-old and 4-year-old were eager to [Read more...]

The Best EFFECTIVE Trick for No Tears Onion Cutting…so Easy, a Kid Can Do It

I’ve read a LOT of tips for not crying while cutting onions. When I used to stock my freezer regularly with diced onions, I cut a bunch at a time using a little chopper. Believe me, folks, the tears were flowing! Could I find a way to cut onions without crying? I tried doing the right breathing. I never actually remember if you’re supposed to breathe through your mouth or through your nose to make the onion bite more tolerable, but you know what? Neither one works, so it doesn’t really matter. I rarely remember to put my onions in the fridge before dicing (nor do I have room in the fridge) but I’ve often heard claim – and made [Read more...]

My Gift to my Future Daughter-in-Law

The very first time I met my future mother-in-law, she gave me a gift. Her son and I had been dating for a few weeks at the time and were young, know-it-all know-nothing 18-year-olds. It happened to be near Valentine’s Day, a big gift-giving holiday for people you barely know of course, so I got a Valentine’s gift. It happened to be some pink, jasmine-scented lotion that my roommates and I joked about for years because of some of the words on the bottle that I’m hoping future MIL had just never noticed. It was my first clue that the woman’s love language was probably “Gifts.” And I…am not like that at all. I neither delight in the giving nor [Read more...]

A New Idea, Some Tips (and Some Hard Words to Hear) for Picky Eaters

Your kid only eats pizza? Chicken nuggets? Plain pasta, no sauce? Is that picky eating or being stubborn? It seems to me that our nation’s “picky eaters” tend toward the same “standard American fare” foods. These foods are easy to prepare in our convenience food society, and it’s what parents tend to feed their kids if the kids balk at whatever the real dinner is. There are hundreds of different basic foods to choose from and thousands of food and flavor combinations. It’s hard for me to believe that so many people *only* like the same small handful, and that it’s truly how their palates were formed by God. I got this request from a reader a few months ago: [Read more...]

I’m Pushing My Kids to Grow up Too Fast (in one way only)

I think kids should watch different movies than adults. I know they should have different bedtimes. And they definitely should have different responsibilities (paying bills as an 8-year-old? No thank you!). However, I don’t think they should eat different meals. Baby Tastebuds are Overrated Kids’ menus at restaurants drive me crazy. I know they’re speaking to the majority, but they’re a perfect example of how we set such low expectations for kids’ tastebuds and food preferences that of course they’re going to meet those goals. Why would they ask for salad or hummus or vegetables au gratin when they’re offered addicting fast food fare all. the. time? When we go to our favorite Mexican restaurant, my daughter will end up [Read more...]

New Food Rules for Kids: How to Eat Healthy in Spite of Government Recommendations

Don’t tell me to eat 6-11 servings of grains every day. Don’t tell me the butter on my toast isn’t good for me. Don’t make me put crackers on a plate with pizza just to get in enough grains in one meal. I’m grateful I live in a democracy where the government just makes recommendations for what I eat and doesn’t completely control it – but for those who eat government-funded meals like school lunches and those from charitable organizations, I feel sorry. While volunteering at Kids Food Basket, a local (amazing!) charity that makes sack suppers for kids who otherwise might not eat outside of their government-funded meals at school, I noticed that we were adding white flour saltine [Read more...]

7 Things You Should Never Let Your Children Do in the Kitchen

Kids learn to cook by peeling a carrot You know you’re a parent when… You glance sideways while doing dishes and say to your 2-year-old, “Stop banging on the dishwasher with knives…” And THEN your brain clunks into gear and you realize: Gah! Knives! Of course your next move is to calmly remove the knives from the tiny child’s hands and figure out a safer way to keep them away for good…right? Our parenting might not always be perfect, and our cooking probably isn’t either. But that’s no reason to give up on either job. In fact, it’s the perfect reason to combine the two. You’ll get great parenting practice by inviting your kids to cook with you, as long as you lay the groundwork and avoid these pitfalls: You Should Never [Read more...]

Why We Should Worry About Toxins & What to Do? Lara Adler Interview (HPC:E19)

What’s that smell? If you have scented candles or appliances in your home, flowery shampoo or fragrant laundry, and you don’t want to mess up your kids’ hormones, this is really important. When I asked environmental toxins expert Lara Adler what one simple step parents should take to begin cutting toxins out of their home, she answered “focus on fragrances” without hesitation. She explained that the word “fragrance” is seriously unregulated and often contains phthalates, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and we should cut any of those smelly things out of our lives. Literally 10 minutes after finishing that interview, I was nearly knocked over by the artificial scent in my daughter’s classroom at parent-teacher conferences, and I was so unsettled by it [Read more...]

Reading Nutrition Labels Part 2: Don’t be Tricked! (HPC: E13)

Don’t be TRICKED by food packaging trying to tell you something is healthy using sneaky language! This video is meant for kids ages 8-18 and adults who love them. I explain the truth about low fat foods, is “whole grain” healthy, the 2 ingredients banned in our household (and how to find them), and a quick reminder of how sneaky sugar hides in too many places. You’ll see actual ingredients lists and packaging to practice your new skills right away! If your kids aren’t with you right now, that’s ok – just click here to get an email so you can always find this (plus part one and the worksheet for that). Check out Part 1 first to learn how [Read more...]