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2 10 Tips to make School Lunch a Breeze

Ten Healthy Lunch Packing Tips

Make school lunches a breeze with these ten healthy lunch packing tips.

10 Tips to make School Lunch a BreezeI often hear from moms that “packing lunch takes a long time” or “I don’t have time to pack lunches.” My mantra is that it only takes 10 minutes to pack one or five lunches. In fact, if you can learn to pre-plan your lunches in advance and do most of the prep work ahead of time, then all you need is a weekly plan.

If you are just getting started and find lunch packing overwhelming, here are ten lunch packing tips:

Make a List

Sit down and write a food plan for the week. You can browse the Internet for new ideas or subscribe to a school lunch-planning service. From there, you can create your shopping list or print out the one from your subscription service.

Shop Over the Weekend

If you shop over the weekend, you can come home and prep a lot of your lunch items. Starting the week with fresh produce means you don’t have to stare at the refrigerator and hope something talks back and says, “Eat me!”

Wash all your Produce at Once

As soon as you get home from the store, fill your sink with water and produce cleaning solution (such as water and vinegar). Let the produce soak for 10 minutes, scrub, and rinse. Begin cleaning your fruits and veggies so they are cleaned and ready for when you need to pack them.

Prep your Produce

After you wash all your produce at once, prep the produce in the way it’s meant to be used. This means chop, cut, julienne, or dice your fresh produce and refrigerate in airtight containers.

Hard-Boil your Eggs

Eggs are delicious and filled with nutrition! Of course, they are very portable in their hard-boiled form but they also offer an infinite amount of lunch options! You can make wraps, egg salad sandwiches, or top a green salad in a couple of minutes when they are already in your fridge. If you have older kids who have bigger bellies to fill, you can throw a hard-boiled egg inside a lunch container for an extra boost.

Bake Ahead

Do you know you can use your cupcake pan to make little meatloaves, quiches, spaghetti nests, carrot muffins, or ham and cheese muffins? These are all items that bake easily and freeze very well! Bake single-serving lunch box items over the weekend, freeze, and pull them out when you need a quick lunch box fix.

Assembly Line Packing

Instead of packing each lunch container individually, consider placing all of your lunch items on the counter and filling your lunch boxes assembly-line style. Whether you are making a simple lunch with deli meats, cheese, and crackers or adding baked goods, filling your containers at once can save you a lot of time.

Blend and Freeze

If you have smoothie fans at home, make all the smoothies for the week at once! The easiest way is to make a blender full of your smoothie recipe, blend, pour in individual plastic cups with lids, and freeze. Each morning, pull a sealed smoothie out of the freezer and pack inside an insulated lunch bag. It will thaw to a smoothie consistency by lunch. Bonus: no ice-pack needed.

Freeze your Dairy

Prevent soggy cheese and warm yogurt simply by freezing them the night before. They will be thawed out by lunch, and your child won’t complain of the lunch being a soggy mess!

Prep and Freeze your Fruit

Fruits such as mango, pineapple, grapes, and orange slices freeze very well. I like to save prep time by sticking them in the freezer and having them ready to pack inside the lunch box. Berries also freeze well, so buy them on sale when in season and freeze for smoothies! 

Getting your kids ready in the morning is stressful enough, let alone getting yourself ready! Follow these tips for less work in the mornings and take packing lunch off your morning to-do list.

Do you have any lunch packing tips for me? 

 

 

 

 

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

8 Fun Mother’s Day Crafts for Kids

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother’s Day Crafts! You’ll have something special your kids made just for you.

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

Mother’s Day is such a special holiday! A day all for the moms. Breakfast in bed, relaxing, spending time with my family…it really is the perfect day.

Do you have any special Mother’s Day traditions? Every year my kids (with the help of my awesome husband!) make our favorite pancake recipe and top it with lots of lovely fresh fruit. And of course, they bring me my beloved cup of coffee. They know me so well. ;)

My kids love making crafts, and I love that they get to express their creativity. These 8 Mother’s Day craft would be perfect for kids of any age to make for their special moms. Dads, I hope you’re reading this right now to get some ideas!

1. Handprint Mason Jar Vase from Christina’s Adventures

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

2. Cupcake Liner Flower Card from I Heart Crafty Things

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

3. DIY Floral Herb Perfume from Hello, Wonderful

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

4. Egg Carton Flower Art from Mod Podge Rocks

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

5. Love You Bunches Thumbprint Card from Crafty Morning

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

6. Rainbow Pour Pots from Edventures with Kids

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

7. Hand-Shaped Ring Dish from Mama Papa Bubba

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

8. Fingerprint Flower Card from Crafty Morning

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

Becoming a Proactive Parent {Podcast}

Have you ever wished there was a user manual to parenting?   In this podcast you will learn some key tips on becoming a proactive parent.

Becoming a Proactive Parent Podcast is a MUST listen! | MOMables.com

You can download “Becoming A Proactive Parent” at iTunes & Stitcher.

As a mom of 3, I’ve often wondered how I can be a better parent to my kids. I’m often tired from working more than what’s considered full time, exhausted from the pressure of online social media content creating, developing recipes and cookbooks…and yet, when I come home from a long day I want to be the best mom I can be.

My big desire is to raise children that are confident, have little insecurities about my love for them, and that they become loving and respectful people themselves.

Of course, that’s in the “future” and to get there, I have a long road ahead of me. In today’s show, I speak with Sharon Silver about the difficult world of parenting.

She is an educator, author, speaker, and blogger. She blends her 5 certifications in parenting with research-based early childhood development, introspective empowering philosophies, and 29 years of teaching practical parenting skills to help parents focus on raising kids, not just correcting behavior.

Sharon is the author of two books, Stop Reacting and Start Responding and Why is Yelling My Go-To Tool? and contributor to Parents Ask, Experts Answer. Silver’s books are unique in the parenting world because they include a child’s point of view, a crucial component for success.

As the founder of Proactive Parenting, based in San Francisco CA, Sharon has been an online radio and TV host, a weekly blogger for PopSugar, Circle of Moms and Life 360, a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Fox News, and been interviewed by Parenting magazine, CNN Health, as well as countless radio, newspapers and blogs.

You can check out Sharon’s books and resources on her Proactive Parenting website.

Get a copy of her book Stop Reacting and Start Responding plus her bonus e-Book, Why is Yelling My Go-To Tool?

26 Teach Your Kids How to Cook by Age

Teach Your Kids How to Cook by Age

Have you been wondering at what age your kids can start helping out in the kitchen?  What is appropriate and what isn’t for them to do?  I have put together a list of age appropriate tasks for kids in the kitchen.  This will help you teach your kid how to cook by age.

Teach Your Kids How to Cook by Age

See my girl?  She is 8. Little by little I’ve taught her basic kitchen skills. Sometimes, she assures me she doesn’t like “X” and I tell her that she still needs to help me make the recipe.

Bonus: she can read! She can slowly read the meal plan recipe and help me make our food.

I believe that teaching our kids a new kitchen skill should not be done during bewitching hours. Instead, use the weekends and non rush-hour times. I’ve found that I’m more patient (and not as critical) when I’m more relaxed.

Here is a breakdown of some age appropriate kitchen tasks:

2-3 years old – At this age, kids need high supervision. Focus on basic tasks like setting the table, squeezing lemons, learning to match the silverware as you empty the dishwasher, using the salad spinner, picking the leaves off fresh herb stems, gentle stirring, and mashing potatoes, for example.

4-5 years old – Motor skills are more defined and they can focus better. This is a frustrating age for many parents because many kids will be doing the 2-3 age group while others the 6-7 -it depends how involved and interested they’ve been.

6-7 years old – Fine motor skills are developed so they can take on more detailed work, like using measuring spoons and forming meatballs or nuggets. They still need a lot of guidance and reminders of where to keep their fingers during grating and peeling. Some of the things you can teach them to do at this age are: dicing and mincing vegetables (use a pairing knife and start with soft foods like strawberries), peeling raw potatoes with a peeler, slicing and scooping avocados, greasing pans, using a microplane zester, draining and rinsing canned beans, pouring liquids into containers, and decorating dishes.

8-9 year olds – This is my favorite age group. They can read! They can take on every task prior to this age group and teach new things based on their interest. You’ll have to decide if they are mature enough to work at the stove; but you can start with easy toaster oven type of recipes if not.

This age group can use a pizza cutter and can opener, scooping batter into muffin cups, scraping down the batter and using the stand mixer, putting away leftovers, rinsing dishes and loading the dishwasher, pounding chicken, skewering food, make sandwiches and wraps, and chopping most foods (nothing much bigger than a paring knife or small serrated knife).

10-12 years old – This age group can usually work independently in the kitchen. Make sure they have learned basic kitchen skills and moved on up on skill level before they are left to make meals (even under supervision). Rules still apply (and often need reminding) like use mittens and wash hands after touching chicken, can do basic stove tasks like scrambling eggs and flipping pancakes.

One of the questions I’m often asked: what if I haven’t taught my kids kitchen basics in each age group? Don’t stress.

My suggestion is that regardless of when you start; teach with patience and be careful to not talk down to your kids when they are doing it wrong (I’m guilty of this). Talking “down” can be as simple as “let me show you” and… “hurry, let me take over” or as simple as our tone.

If you aren’t “feeling it” then skip the teaching moment. We can do it quicker and avoid any hurt feelings -trust me.

If you’ve got teenagers in the house they can make nearly all the recipes in our meal plans. Win-win.

I want to encourage you to teach your kids one skill each month. Just one.

Cooking along side our kids is a great opportunity to talk about life. It gives us the opportunity to connect and teach our kids about the things we find important (like our food and health).

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