Husbands Sitting Vegetables Turned into Disappearing Vegetables

steamedvegDonna, one of my good friends, found that her husband did not eat all of his vegetables when she made them from a can. She wanted to make sure he got his nutrients and looked at the vegetable steamer baskets when she went shopping. She was hoping if she made him steamed vegetables he would eat all of them like he did when he would get them at a restaurant. Donna liked the vegetable steamer baskets that had a nice distance between the water and the bottom of the basket. When looking at local department stores, kitchen stores, and even online she got a good idea of what she wanted. She also liked the newer versions of the vegetable steamer baskets that had popup grips.

When Donna went grocery shopping, she picked up a few fresh vegetables thinking she would test her theory before she bought a bunch of fresh vegetables. That evening she steamed green beans and pearl onions. Her husband had a second helping of the vegetable dish and she knew she would have to try out some more recipes.

The next night Donna made steamed corn on the cob using her vegetable steamer basket. Her husband loved her BBQ ribs and she had seen a time where he only ate half of his corn on the cob but this night he ate two full cobs. He told her he did not know what she did with the corn but it was great as he reached for his second ear of corn.

The third night Donna used her vegetable steamer basket to make fresh broccoli with snap peas. When the vegetables were finished, she put a dab of butter on them and set them on the table. When she went into the kitchen and looked over at the table her husband was sneaking one the broccoli blossoms and she was amazed at the disappearing vegetables.

She had finally figured out the trick to getting her husband to eat vegetables. Cooking them in a vegetable steamer basket was so simple she had to giggle at herself for not realizing it sooner. This is the same thing I do for my own family now.

Hopefully becoming a less distracted parent

happy kidsAs a mother of two young children I struggle to give them my undivided attention where everything else seems to take my attention away from them. I notice that it is not just me who is having a tough time but parents around me are also as distracted. It is not just working parents; but also parents that are primary caregivers, taking care of children at home for the entire day, who are going through such turmoil.

Let us start with self. “Learning to say no” and “Care for self” are very important in parenting. These remind us that parenting is not an easy job and as a parent, even though we need to take care of others, we need to put ourselves first. We cannot fill another cup from an empty cup! By setting healthy boundaries we are teaching our children to do so when they grow up. If we can give ourselves some time to relax and do what we need to do for ourselves we will have energy and time to give without harbouring negative feelings for the rest of the family. By taking time off for ourselves, even if it is just half an hour a day, we are not being selfish but we are helping ourselves to be a better parent. We shouldn’t feel guilty about doing things for our own good.

Another important thing to remember is to stop ourselves from worrying about every consequence! I think nearly every parent goes through this at some stage. We all do things and then worry about the after effect that the situation will have on our child and also about the worst consequence that it can lead to. For example “What if I don’t spend time with my child now, will he/she become an antisocial person?” This makes us feel guilty and we start blaming ourselves more than ever before. It does not help in any positive way whatsoever! I personally go through this a lot. Once in a while we need reminders that it will all work out in the end and that we are doing the best we can. With this comes the concept of modelling positive thoughts and positive talk. In a way, making positive talk a habit helps with talking ourselves out of the guilt factor too!

The most important points for me, though, are accepting yourself and the emotions of both yourself as well as your child’s. I think it is extremely important to accept oneself first. Only when that happens we can handle our emotions calmly and accept our child’s emotions. We need to be able to get rid of all the “I can’t do it” and “I am not good enough” thoughts. They can bring us down and bring down the child too in the process. We have to understand that it is normal to cry, feel angry or sad, for us as well as the child. I have to work a lot on this as I have a lot of baggage from my own childhood which I need to unpack before I learn to understand my child’s emotions. It is important for me to see to it that my child doesn’t grow up with the same baggage as I did.

We all try and compare our child to the rest of the world and wonder why our child is not like somebody else’s child who will eat what is served on their plate without complaining or a child that will do all the homework by herself and so on. Half the problem is solved when we just accept the child that we have as he or she is. Once we accept what is normal then we can work on other things. It is not as frustrating as before anymore. We know what we have and we are ready to work with it.

We have always been told that children follow what they see and not what they hear. I think we all need a reminder about that every now and then. When we know someone is watching we tend to behave as a better role model. Being mindful and paying attention is quite important and we have to learn to do it without jumping to conclusions or trying to avoid the unpleasantness sometimes. This will help us to understand what the child is trying to communicate.

We have to learn not to rush, find time to be unplugged every day and under schedule the children. We try to fit everything into our children’s childhood so that they do not fall behind in the rat race. We also need to have hands free time to connect to the family every day. Also, lesser the toys for the children the better it is. It brings out their creativity and connectivity with the world around them.

On the whole it is not about just connecting with our children but it reminds us to connect with our inner self too which is important to become a focussed parent.

When Your Little One Wants to Eat a Mickey Mouse Sandwich Everyday, You Get Hold Of Children’s Cookie Cutters!

childrens cookie cutterTo you, it’s a Brontosaurus. To another, it could be an iguana. Perhaps a lizard?
Is that an eagle? Or a parrot? A hawk?
Look! A horse. Maybe a mule.
Is it a crocodile? Oh, wait! I found another one with a rounded snout. This one must be the lizard. Or newt. Or even a gecko.

While my mind is going over the possibilities of this guessing game with my cookie cutter set, my three year old is busy munching on a chocolate chip teddy. She cut the cookie dough with the teddy shaped cookie cutter and beamed with pride when it came out of the oven; warm and crunchy. Her breakfast sandwich was a Mickey Mouse. My four year old boy likes his cookies in Batman style. The Batman symbol stainless steel cookie cutter is just the thing I need for his eclectic tastes. The various shapes of children’s cookie cutters make it possible to ensure a daily diet of interesting shapes for my kids.

We use cookie cutters not just for cookies but to make shapes using play dough, turning boring toast into a fun breakfast and to decorate cakes. They are durable enough to be cleaned in the dishwasher. Some of the brands offer color coded shapes – like pink stars or green animals. This makes it even easier while sorting out what shape my child wants. Sometimes my son goes wild with green shapes – his favorite color. Animal cutters come in child friendly 3.5 inches by 3.5 inches.

Choice of Material

  • Plastic – Please ensure you get food grade plastic as it should not release toxins in to the dough or sandwich when it comes in contact with it. Plastic cookie cutters also come flat on one side which is easier to fill by children. These are easier to dispose off as well.
  • Stainless steel – Somewhat rougher to use than plastic, these will not bend and can be used to make vegetables more interesting to eat by cutting them into fun shapes.

childrens cookie cuttersShape sets

  • star
  • heart
  • flower
  • fluted round

Shape colors

  • blue
  • green
  • pink
  • orange

Animal Pals set

What do we have in Purple color?

Bee Brontosaurus  Bunny  Butterfly  Cat  Cow  Dog
Fish  Horse Lizard  Octopus  Owl Peacock  Sea Horse
 Shark  Stegosaurus  Duck Salamander Rooster    

Because Some Kids Love Green!

Alligator  Camel  Dove  Elephant  Frog  Giraffe  Goose
 Hippo  Kangaroo  Lion  Pig  Seal  Squirrel  Turkey
 Turtle  Whale          

What Do We Find In Orange?

Angel Fish  Bat  Crab  Dolphin  Flamingo  Gorilla  Caterpillar
 Parrot  Penguin Pterodactyl  Rhino  Sheep  Snake Teddy Bear
 T-Rex  Wild Cat  Song Bird        

What Moms like me are saying about cookie cutters!

“I made a fun panda pizza and a really popular Frog Prince sandwich without even looking at the instructions. I feel like a rock star lunch packer. My next creation is waiting to pop up in my head!”

“They come in a good assortment of shapes, with good quality thick plastic. It’s easier on the hands when you press down with them. This is especially nice for children to get involved in baking.”

“We made cookies and sandwiches in the shape of Mickey’s head for my little brother’s party and he LOVED them!”

“I create snacks that are just like mini munchies from the store, but healthier. I cut up meat, soy cheese and cucumbers or carrots and whole grain crackers!”

“Children’s cookie cutters work great and are a snap to clean.”