Children welcome and wish for snow days… a day off from school and a chance to play outside. When the weather keeps you from getting out of the driveway, seize the day. Bundle them up and head outside, you too!
- Summer games seem new in the snow. Try: Tic-Tac -Toe, Hop-Scotch, Follow-the-Leader, and Tag.
- Play Act. Pretend you’re the Grinch, Frosty, or any of your favorite Christmas story characters and reenact you kid’s favorite scenes outside together.
- Build something with snow. Give them shovels and buckets to create roads, forts, cities, creatures, and furniture.
Are you Worried that your Kids are Headed Toward Obesity … before they Grow Up?
We’re a culture obsessed with media-glorified body images and yet our lifestyles are mostly sedentary with a high caloric intake. We live in a contradiction that’s challenging to win. The grocery check-out highlights our dilemma with these two messages: (1) Follow these recipes and indulge, and (2) look like these super-skinny models. Research shows our health is the loser. Both children and adults are experiencing an obesity epidemic. 30% of American children are overweight or obese [i] and 35.7% of adults are obese [ii]. On top of that, our self-esteem wanes as we don’t meet the size and shape expectations we’ve accepted.
Thursday, January 16 is National Hot and Spicy Food Day. It is the perfect opportunity to combat chilly weather with food that will heat you from the inside out.
Warm up with our Buffalo Ranch Chicken, Sweet Chipotle Chicken Cavatappi, or Outlaw Chicken Sliders from January’s menu. The great thing about celebrating spicy flavors with Dream Dinners is that you can make your dinners as hot or as mild as your family likes. By adjusting the spices to fit your family’s tastes, you can rest assured that your kids will still enjoy all of these family-friendly meals.
When the extra Christmas decorations begin to feel like clutter and the daylight hours are short, it is the perfect time to organize. Cupboards are like junk drawers – they need regular attention or things become lost and unused.
When you feel that organization motivation coming, seize the day and tackle your pantry!
Try this step-by-step guide for creating a little peace when you open your cupboards.
If you’ve tackled the question of, ‘What’s for dinner?’ you might still have one big dilemma, ‘When’s dinner?’ Family meals are not easy to squeeze into today’s busy family calendar. We have long work hours, long commutes, kids going in multiple extracurricular directions, and if there’s room, we might grab a date night or enjoy a hobby of our own. Assembling everyone together can be like gathering butterflies. Sometimes it just seems easier to give into the chaos and let our families eat when they can.
Why protect the family dinner hour?
January is National Slow Cooking Month. Using a Crock Pot, or slow cooker, is a great way to save time and make a delicious meal. Just set it up in the morning and you’ll have a delicious-smelling, hot dinner waiting for you when you get home – perfect for busy weeknights!
Both the Old Fashioned Pot Roast with Baby Bakers or the Honey Chipotle Pork Roast with Almond Green Beans from our December menu are great meals to make in a slow cooker. Plus both come with a side, so you’ll have a complete dinner with no extra prep work.
Dream Dinners has you eating homemade meals at dinner time, but we want to help you avoid ‘famished-overeating’ by incorporating healthy snacks into your diet.
Why healthy snacks? Because sugary snacks make you crave more sugar causing your blood sugar levels to vacillate like a yoyo. Low blood sugar makes you feel hungry and therefore eat more. That’s why you can eat a muffin and feel so hungry in only a couple of hours.
Fiber, protein, and unsaturated oils will slow digestion and help keep your metabolism stable. Fiber rich foods include whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables, beans, peas, and lentils. You can find protein in lean meats, fish, jerky, low fat cheeses, nuts, eggs, and beans. If you eat something sweet, pair it with these other food that will slow its digestion.
You can stop the yo-yoing cycle by wisely choosing healthy snacks. Here are some of favorites from our Dream Dinners Home Office staff.
No matter how many years have passed since our kids were little, every mom has a vivid grocery store meltdown story. That is our kid’s meltdown, not ours. Well, both are a viable possibility! When I see little children having tantrums at the checkout or hear loud wailing 3 aisles over, all I have is compassion. Even on a good day, packing children in and out while focusing on the task at hand really is a lot of work!
My daughter was sweet and easy, but, my son offered me a strong dose of ‘reality therapy.’ He was like a wild animal throwing things and running off. One time when he
I try always to do everything in moderation so my resolutions are usually around improving something, like cleaning out a closet, organizing my pantry, and telling people how much I appreciate them. Hopefully I am making a new habit not just a resolution.
During last summer’s vacation, Vern and I decided to chew each bite of food 30 times. It’s not a magical number, since chewing depends on what you eat, but, that was our resolution. It’s a healthy choice for aiding digestion, increasing satiety, and maintaining weight. We figured if we spent 2 weeks focusing on chewing we could create a habit.
This year (2014), the Super Bowl will be on February 2nd so make sure to plan ahead with meals off the January menu that can easily be turned into game day appetizers. You’ll be able to spend less time focusing on food prep and more time enjoying the game! Try these great options.
Outlaw Chicken Sliders – A platter of these crispy, cheesy sliders are sure to be a fan favorite and take only 20 minutes to prepare.