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Football Season Party Dip Recipe

Football season is upon us here in Kansas City and with that, comes the need to know some new recipes to wow your fellow tailgaters. You don’t want to take that same tired dish that you bring every time. Food is meant to be enjoyed…not to be a reputation!  Max, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares one of his favs with us!

Football Season Party Dip Recipe

Just like the pros use the pre-season to work out the kinks and see what will work, I use the pre-season tailgates to test out some new recipes. My wife and I enjoy taking our girls to the Chiefs pre-season games because they are a bit more low-key, but we get to start the indoctrination process early.

Pre-season brings some unique difficulties to the tailgating process. First, these games are typically on weeknights meaning that most people that are at the tailgate not only have to work the next day but they also likely just came from work as well. This makes it more difficult to have an impressive spread and means that someone else will inevitably swing through their local Hy-Vee to get some roll-ups and a couple bags of chips. While this is certainly the easier route to take, I’d like to think that there is a compromise to be had between store bought snacks and a full-on BBQ spread.

That compromise comes in the form of DIPS. Who doesn’t love a good dip?! For this pre-season tailgate, I made an Enchilada Dip from our leftover ingredients earlier that week. I was in a bit of a bind because I didn’t have the time to go to the store and we had already promised to bring something to the tailgate. The following is the recipe that I can up with and I highly encourage you to use this more as a guide so that you can change it to your specific preference. Like I said, I used ingredients that I already had on hand to make this.

Football Dip Recipe

-1lb browned hamburger meat

-1cup enchilada sauce

-1cup shredded cheese

-1/2cup rice

-1 can black beans

-3tblspn taco seasoning

-salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown and season the meat with taco seasoning, salt, and pepper. You will need to cook your rice while you’re browning the meat. Once both are cooked, simply dump the ingredients into an oven safe bowl. Pop it into the oven until it’s warm. I heated it in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  If needed you can turn up the heat if you need it to be done sooner.

This pre-season dish is perfect for the regular season, too, or any other entertaining that you have to o throughout the year. It’s a perfect complement to your homemade guac and salsa for taco night, too!

From iFamily to Yours,


Keep Your Family Healthy & Happy With These 5 Simple Tips

Keeping your family happy and healthy can sometimes be a challenge with all the chaos going on in your life.  Ruth, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad gives us 5 simple tips to help you keep your family happy and healthy!

family healthy

Keep Your Family Healthy & Happy With These Simple Tips

If you have multiple children, you may struggle with this even more while shifting from activity to activity in addition to the hustle and bustle of school and work.  So what can you do to help relieve the daily stresses? Here are some tips to get you started.

Self-Care Is Necessary

Remember that it IS OKAY to take a little time for yourself every now and then. That may be a 30-minute bath/shower without while your significant other helps supervise the kids or it could be a weekly hobby that you enjoy or just time to focus on something you care about. The point is that even parents deserve a break sometimes!

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

Share the load at home. Household chores can’t be covered all by one person when both parents are working and even if only one parent works, it can be stressful to do alone. Splitting child rearing responsibilities is key to a successful family. I am sure you have heard that it takes a village, right? When you share the home responsibilities it helps to prevent some stresses and burn out.

Flexibility is a Good Thing

Kids thrive on routine and families need some for stability. However, your family deserves a little flexibility too! Remember that routines are good as long as they are not so rigid that you miss out on life. It is okay to change things up now and then. You nor your child will be harmed by staying up a little later to read …one…more…story…past their bed time or by eating dessert first! Memories are too precious to waste.

Things Are Better When You’re Together

Get outside and explore or go on an adventure. Do something regularly as a family. Choose something that you all will enjoy. It should be an activity to encourage family bonding with only parents and kids. You can have other activities later that include friends and other relatives. As a family, it is important to share some memories alone. It can be something simple like a picnic and playtime at the park or a family vacation. Just spend time together, doing something that makes everyone happy!

Know When to Hold Them, Know When to Fold Them

Pick your battles, change your plan and reduce the stress. Some things are worth worrying about and others are not. If you are chronically struggling with something at home, find a new approach. Avoid fighting the same battle over and over again. Change your routine if you’re always running late.  If your child can’t seem to remember their spelling words, try having them sing and spell. If you have tried one strategy over and over…it’s time to move on.

It takes team work to build a family and a team to keep it going! It only takes one unhappy person to rock the boat. Remember work together, stay together and be happy together!

From iFamily to Yours,


5 KC Parks to Fall in Love with This Autumn

Erin, with the iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares with us 5 of KC Parks for you to FALL in love with this Autumn season!

kc parks

5 KC Parks to Fall in Love with This Autumn

Fall is the perfect time to check out a new park or visit an old favorite!  I love October for many reasons but one reason being in KC you can get away with picnics and outdoor parties at the park with beautiful weather! There are so many awesome parks in our awesome city! We’re counting down the 5 best parks in the KC area! Which one is your family’s favorite?

Variety KC Parks

Several park locations in KC are adapted so that children of all abilities have a safe place to play.  Smooth surfaces, adaptive swings, fencing, ramps on the play equipment, stainless steel slides and roller slides, sensory activities involving musical chimes and drums.  Located in Independence, Leawood, Olathe and Tiffany Springs,

McCoy Park

Nice park with shelters for rent, playgrounds, spray ground, tennis courts, horseshoe pits. Located in Independence, MO. across from the Truman Library.

Loose Park

Well known park in KC with 75 acres of beautiful and historic land.  Fantastic rose garden, picnic areas, large shelter house for parties and events, and a playground with a sand pit the kids will love to dive in to! Spray ground open May 27th-September 4th. Located on Wornall Rd.

Shawnee Mission Park

1600 acre park includes 120 acre lake with boating, fishing, swimming, sail boarding, a giant off-leash dog park with 53 acres of land for your furry friend to run, picnic areas, shelters, playgrounds, Theater in the Park, archery and disc golf. You can even rent paddle boats, canoes and fishing boats!  What more could you ask for? Located in Shawnee Mission, KS.

Drum roll please…..

The number one park in KC has to be Penguin Park!

Kids LOVE the gigantic animals including a penguin, giraffe, kangaroo, and an elephant.  They have a separate area for the little ones to play and tucked away behind the park are some great walking/biking trails with a pond for fishing and watching geese. Located on Vivion Rd in Kansas City North.

Also worth mentioning:

Fleming Park

English Landing Park

Antioch Park

Dagg Park

Waterfall Park

The “Castle” and “Pirate” parks

Little Mill Creek Park North

 

Happy Park Hunting!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 


Amplify Your Workout With These 15 Songs to Get You Moving!

What’s rhymes with workout?…  Playlist!  Well, not really.  But the two definitely go hand in hand.  Connie, From the iFamily Mom & Dad Squad is here with some Workout Wednesday motivation and a new playlist for you!

workout songs

Amplify Your Workout With These 15 Songs to Get You Moving!

When it comes to working out, there is one thing I can’t do without and that is a good playlist.  I was running one day and my iPod died.  And then I almost died.  My motivation definitely did anyway.  There is nothing better than a solid playlist ringing in my ears to get me pumped up and ready to go.  For the sake of genuine honesty, I wanted to let you all get a glimpse inside my iPod.

Now I am warning you, my taste in music can best be described by some as eclectic. Others may describe it as old lady/pop princess and still others may say I have no taste at all.  But, to that I say, to each her own.  I am going to set my iPod to shuffle and without any editing, I will tell you the first 15 songs that come up.

Give these a whirl on your next workout!

#1 Bill Medley-The Time of my Life from the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack

#2 Pitbull—Don’t Stop the Party

#3 Flo Rida—I Don’t Like It, I Love it

#4 Beach Boys—Kokomo

#5 Wheatus—Teenage Dirtbag

#6 Meghan Trainor—All About that Bass

#7 Corinne Bailey Rae—Put Your Records On

#8 Nate Dogg and Warren G—Regulators

#9 Brad Paisley—Beat this Summer

#10 Train—Play that Song

#11 Tech N9ne—The Waitress

#12 Jake Owen—Beachin’

#13 Lady Antebellum—Compass

#14 Abba—Waterloo

#15 Eli Young Band—Saltwater Gospel

Now, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to this list, no set genre, no set era, no set anything.  And to me, that is the beauty of it.  And also the fun.  As I have learned from experience, it keeps me motivated and on my toes if my music is always changing.  So I update a lot and try to add things to my iPod that aren’t constantly overplayed on the radio.  And I know, some of you reading think I’m super out of touch for still having an iPod, but again, to each his own.  I don’t like to rely on Wi-Fi and cell phone signal to stream my music.  Besides, what Pandora station is going to play this variety for me?

My point is simply this:  Music is Motivating.

And you can’t count on your gym to play good overhead workout music, because, well, let’s just face it, what I think is good may not be what the next person enjoys.  Listen to what motivates and moves you!

Turn it up and get your sweat on!

From iFamily to Yours,

Connie


When It’s Your Turn To Be The Caregiver

What do you do when it’s your turn to be the caregiver to your parents?  Connie, from the iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares what it means to care for your parents in times of need.

Caregiver

Taking Care of Your Parents in Times of Need

July is always my favorite month of the year because, during that particular month, summer is in full swing, fireworks are exploding, my birthday is the 5th, with my son and my mother’s following later in the month.  It’s something I look forward to every year.  This year was no exception.  I had birthday week plans, and 4th of July plans, and my son’s birthday plans, and ideas for my mother’s birthday as well.  There were tons of items left on my kids’ summer fun list that I had planned on getting checked off.  We were so ready for July.

What I wasn’t ready for was spending 8 days in the hospital when my mother got so sick she almost died.

I am one of those weirdos who has always been close with my mother.  Even in those moody, yucky, I hate everyone teenage years, she and I were best friends.  My friends loved her, many of them preferring to hang out at our house, rather than their own.  She always has my back, no matter what the situation.  And I always knew, no matter what, my mother would take care of me.  Not in the “I don’t want to grow up and deal with adult responsibilities” type of take care of me, but in the “I just need my mom right now” type of way.

She was there.

She was there for our 2 am chats when I cried with my head in her lap over my latest break up, there to walk me down the aisle at my wedding, there to coach and then watch every volleyball game I played until I landed a college scholarship.  My mom would bring me soup to work when I wasn’t feeling well.  She came to the hospital immediately when I was there waiting on a scan of my swollen leg when I was pregnant.

Whatever direction life took me I could always go confidently, knowing she was going to be there to help me get through it.

I feel like I returned the favor.  When my grandmother passed away after a long battle with ovarian cancer I was there with my mom .  I flew with her to Virginia when my uncle died.  I had seen my mother when she was weak and vulnerable emotionally and we got through it together.  But I had never been faced with my mother needing me to take care of her physically.  I had never had to help make medical decisions, or be there to talk her through the latest round of tests, or help her talk to the multiple specialists who paraded through her hospital room that week.

My mother almost died.

I still have a hard time admitting that to myself.  Looking back on it now, it still makes me shudder.  My strong, funny, young, vibrant mother almost died.  And my entire world was rocked.  If we hadn’t gotten to the hospital when we did, this would be an entirely different post.

I found myself dealing with every emotion I had.  Mad because she didn’t tell me how bad she felt before we went to the hospital and scared to death of losing her.  So much so that I was shaking.  I was confused by what was happening and the multiple diagnoses that kept coming in.  I was stressed because I had two kids at home that I was supposed to be taking care of, but I knew she needed me there.

And I was overwhelmed.  I was completely overwhelmed by her needing me.

She needed me there to keep her calm, she needed me there to help her keep track of all the treatments and issues and tests, she needed me there to comfort her and tell her everything was going to be okay.  The person who had always helped me deal with life when it got overwhelming was now the person who was causing me to feel overwhelmed.  It was time for me to take over that caregiver role and do what she needed me to do.

I became the parent.

I took care of her.  Holding her hand.  Sleeping on the loudest, most uncomfortable cot on the planet because nights were the hardest for her.  Swallowing every fear, every worry, every doubt and I put on a brave face.  Because I knew, if the roles were reversed she would do it for me.   I vented to my husband and fell apart in the car or in my brief breaks from the hospital, counted on my friends to help me with the kids and to be there if I needed anything.  Always reminding myself that the time spent with her at the hospital was extra time we got to spend together.  We managed to laugh through the chaos and rejoice in the small victories and improvements.

Once she left the hospital, my mother came and lived with us for 5 weeks.  She needed some extra help to get through the day.  She needed me and my little family to keep her motivated and focused on getting better.

Usually, as an adult, your parent moving in sounds like a nightmare.

For us it was such a blessing. 

My kids loved waking up knowing that Grandma was there.  She cooked some of my favorite meals for us when she was feeling good enough to be up and around.  She would make sure the kids stayed quiet and entertained so that my husband and I could sleep in.  And I got to watch her get better.  I got to see her get stronger and healthier and happier every day.  I got to slowly switch back to just being her daughter and not constantly worrying about every ache and pain she had.  And she got to see that she is stronger than she gives herself credit for.

As awful as that time in the hospital was, and as overwhelmed as I felt, I wouldn’t change it.  She taught me everything I know, and I got to show her just a fraction of the strength and care she has shown me in my life.  I hope to not have to face another illness with her for a long time, but getting through this one showed me that I can do it and I like to think it showed her that she can too.  It made me appreciate her even more and caused us to become closer than ever.  I still panic just a bit when she calls sometimes, and we’re still adjusting to time without her here, but I’m excited for the new normal with my healthier, stronger mom.

From iFamily to Yours,


Giving Back In The Wake Of A Tragedy

Tales of destruction from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have dominated the news cycle over the past couple of weeks.  Our hearts are broken as we hear stories of those who have lost homes and loved ones in the path of these violent storms.  But there is a secondary group of stories that inevitably comes out of these tragedies.  The stories of the hometown heroes who risk life and limb to save their neighbors.  These stories capture our hearts, and renew hope in the human spirit.  Gabrielle, from the iFamily Mom and Dad Squad is here to show us why giving back is so important.

give back

Giving Back in the Wake of Tragedy

While my family and I cannot afford to go to coastal regions and help with the clean-up efforts, there are things we can do here in our own hometown to be a blessing to our friends and neighbors who are down on their luck.  Here are few ideas you might want to try.

Volunteering at a local food pantry

Local pantries are always look for groups to help them serve.  They are also looking for volunteers to help them clean and organize their pantries.  Even the little ones can help.  When my daughter was about four, she was given the job of passing out salt and pepper in the dining room of one of the local shelters.  She felt like she had the most important job in the world, and it gave the residents a good chuckle to see her tiny little hands handing them their condiments.

Ronald McDonald House

This charity houses families whose loved ones are being treated at Children’s Mercy Hospital.  These families are often strapped for cash as they have to cover medical costs and transportation.  Many of these families are from out-of-state.  As such, the Ronald McDonald House is usually looking for groups who are willing to cook and serve families who are temporarily housed in their facilities.  This can be costly, as several families are housed in each unit.  Each volunteer group is responsible for providing the meal, as well as preparing the meal and cleaning up after.  It is best to do this activity with a larger group.  I recommend joining with a social or church group when taking on this endeavor.

Donating Toys to a Women’s Shelter

Women who leave abusive homes often leave home with nothing but their children and the clothes on their backs.  The children, who are already facing a traumatic situation, have little to comfort them.  This is when your child’s barely and rarely touched toys come in handy.  That old teddy bear that’s been sitting on the bookshelf untouched for the last six months could provide a hug to some child in desperate need of unconditional love.

Shirley Chisholm, a personal hero of mine, said, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.”  Teaching our children to serve others will undoubtedly impact them.  Serving with our children will undoubtedly impact the world, even if it is just a small corner of it.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle

 


4 Easy Ways to Balance Your Crazy Busy Schedule

If there’s one thing that we, as moms, need more of (and just can’t get enough of), it’s balance. Between managing your household, working around your children’s school routines, getting to and from extra curricular activities, and everything else that life seems to throw your way, balance can become overwhelming (and sometimes feel too time consuming).  Bridgette, with the iFamily Mom & Dad Squad has 4 easy ways to help balance your crazy busy schedule!

 

4 Easy Ways to Balance Your Crazy Busy Schedule

I remember, back when I was in school, how exhausted I felt after sporting games, work, and pageants (sorry mom!). But now that I am a mom and a wife, I can fully see just how important plans, balance, and organization really are to a family. So, if you, like pretty much the rest of us moms out there need to incorporate a little or a lot more balance into your life, try incorporating these four small ideas.

#1 Get a Mommy (or Daddy) Binder

I know this may sound crazy but my life is basically written out into multiple organizing items. But my binder is my “go-to” strategy for keeping everything together. Inside, you will find everything from mail that needs to be sent, monthly bill paying spreadsheet, grocery list, to do list and way more. Seeing everything written out on a calendar or a check list makes me feel more organized and able to keep school tracking and home life more doable.

#2 Get a Family Command Center

Lately I have been getting hip to the idea of a family command center. Since I don’t always need my binder just a quick reminder, I can take a glance at my command center to make sure I am on schedule for the day and EVERYONE can see what is ahead.

#3 Get a Planner, Be a Planner

Similar to my binder but more for “mom stuff”. If I plan a girl’s night or have a doctor’s appointment it goes into my planner. I know it may seem a little extra to have a planner as well, but my binder is so big and bulky, It would never be ideal to carry it around with me every single day. A planner is a lot smaller to carry around but big enough to write things down.

#4 Use Your Cell Phone

Last, I have my cell phone. Nothing is worse than writing everything down and forgetting an appointment because you have been hustling and bustling all day. Adding events and dates in my phone allows me to set a timer so I can ensure that I am on time.

Now, you may be thinking this is a nice idea to get organized but how can I balance everything. Well, on top of being organized with dates and times, you will be able to see what you are doing a lot of and what you need to do more of. Are you doing too many extra-curricular activities after school? You can see what days you can rearrange or let go of to allow more family time or time with your spouse. Working too much outside of the house? This will also help you add in those much-needed vacations and breaks from the stress. Having a balanced life makes not only you, but your whole family, happier! The saying is true, happy wife, happy life.

I hope you find these ideas helpful and are able to incorporate them into your life!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 


10 Best KC Date Nights For You To Do This Weekend

Stuck in a rut with the same restaurant and movie date nights?  Liz, from the iFamily Mom and Dad Squad shares some of KC’s best date nights for you and your honey!  Take a look…

KC Date Nights

10 Best KC Date Nights For You To Do This Weekend

Shake things up a bit with these unique and fun date ideas to do around Kansas City with your sweetheart!

  1. Take a Ride

Meet anywhere from the River Market to the Plaza and hop on a B-Cycle, Kansas City’s bike sharing program! Ride around all day for only $7!

  1. Pack a Picnic

Before it gets to chilly outside, take advantage of the beautiful fall air and take your lunch to the park! Try Loose Park or the lawn at the Nelson-Atkins for a picnic date.

  1. Get Your Tokens

Relive the 90s by heading to Tapcade or Up/Down for a night of arcade games and beer! There are a ton of beers on tap between the two locations. The extensive beer menu features a long list of Kansas and Missouri brews.  Once the tokens run out catch a movie in Tapcade’s Screenland Theatre or enjoy the patio at Up/Down.

  1. Get Cooking

Enjoy an interactive and relaxing evening out with a couples cooking class at The Sundry, located in the Crossroads.

  1. Breakout Escape Rooms

Team up with other couples to test your composure at an escape room, like the Exit Room Express at Paradise Park, a live action escape game!

  1. Get Spooky

This Halloween grab your partners hand, have a scary good time and brave Kansas City’s haunted houses! The Edge of Hell and The Beast are located in the West Bottoms.

  1. Restaurant Hop

Why sit down for an entire dinner when you can restaurant hop! Enjoy small bites and drinks at all your favorite local eateries. Some of my personal favorites are Beer Kitchen, McCoy’s Public House, Westport Flea Market and Californos.

  1. Take a Brew Tour

In the heart of Kansas City is the Boulevard Brewing Company! This was my husband and I’s first date and one we will always remember. Mainly because they asked us if we wanted to meet with someone about having our wedding there …remember it was our first date.  You and your partner can also enjoy a FREE 60- minute walking tour of the brewery, which includes samples in the tasting room!

  1. Have a Friendly Competition

Hit up a local spot for a friendly competition verse one another! Char Bar in Westport is a great spot to enjoy the feel of a backyard BBQ with great yard games- corn hole, bocce ball, croquet and ping pong. No other pub in the Power and Light District has an awesome bowling alley, shuffleboard and beer pong! If pool is more your style than hit up Westport Flea Market for pool, skeeball and pinball.

  1. Take a Road Trip

Just a short drive from Kansas City is historic Weston, Missouri. Spend the day touring this fun little town and all it has to offer. Drop into Pirtle Winery located in the Weston Historic District for a tasting and tour. In the backroads of Weston is the Green Dirt Farm featuring cheeses, yogurt and ice cream. Enjoy a cocktail at the McCormick Distilling company on Main Street. Get your barbeque fix at the Tin Kitchen featuring a menu driven by hickory-smoked barbeque meats.

With some much going on daily in Kansas City there is no reason you can’t find the perfect day date or night date for you, have fun!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Pack A Smile With These Creative School Lunch Ideas!

Are you feeling stuck in a PB & J rut already this school year? It can be tough finding new and yummy ideas to send with your kiddos to school!  Here are some creative school lunch ideas from Liz, with the iFamily Mom and Dad Squad!  Take a look…

creative school lunches

CREATIVE SCHOOL LUNCH IDEAS

Make life easy on you by grocery shopping for these simple and cost effective foods.  You will have more lunch ideas that will offer your kiddos healthy, tasty and fun meals! Just choose one item from each category, make additions as desired and change it up daily. Remember, high protein foods will help your kids stay full longer. Here are just a few ideas:

Step 1

CHOOSE A MAIN COURSE

  • Grilled Chicken
  • Pasta Salad
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Sandwich
  • Quesadilla
  • Hummus and Pita Bread
  • Tuna Salad
  • Tortilla Roll-Ups
  • Pizza Muffin

Step 2

CHOOSE A FRUIT OR VEGGIE

  • Apple Slices
  • Avocado
  • Fruit Cocktail
  • Pear Slices
  • Grapes
  • Celery Sticks
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Bananas

Step 3

CHOOSE A SNACK

  • String Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Rice Cake
  • Crackers
  • Goldfish
  • Pretzels
  • Trail Mix
  • Applesauce

Step 4

CHOOSE A TREAT

  • Fruit Snack
  • Cookie
  • Brownie

Give your kiddos some extra smiles at lunch by cutting their food into shapes! If you are thinking this takes too much time, it will literally take you 5 seconds and most likely increase the odds of your kid actually eating their sandwich. Use cookie cutters to also jazz up fruit or cheese! If your kid isn’t into sandwiches, try skewers!  Use cupcake liners to create cute little compartments within food containers.

Take an extra minute to add a note or a joke to their lunch. This will let them know you are thinking about them and will definitely brighten their day.  If you are feeling uncreative, hop on Pinterest and find free printable jokes. Print off a bunch and have them ready to throw in.  What do you call a fake noodle? AN IMPASTA …. Come on you know you are laughing. What’s the difference between a fish and a guitar? YOU CAN’T TUNA FISH. Ok, I’ll stop, but you get the picture.

A few tips to keep you moms sane is to try freezing individual portions of rice or pasta and reheat before you pack lunch. Freeze drinks the night before and they will double as ice packs the next morning. Print out a list of lunch ideas and keep it on the fridge to stay inspired and organized.

Remember, sometimes the most important thing is packing the lunch your kids will actually eat, rather than the one you want them to eat. And if you have to do PB & J every day, that’s totally ok. They will not go hungry. Happy packing!

From iFamily to Yours,


Hiding The Good (For You) Stuff

A few days ago one of my kids asked me ‘Do your taste buds change when you’re an adult?’ after trying something that I had been eating.  Made me laugh because I’m sure we’ve all as adults eaten foods that we never would’ve touched as kids, right!?  Sometimes the trick is just hiding the good (for you) stuff until they know for themselves what’s good for them!  Here is Gabrielle with a few tricks to put up your sleeve!  Take a look…

Hiding the Good (for you) Stuff

Last week we had tacos for dinner.  (We have some form of tacos almost every week.  Who doesn’t love tacos?) I made the mistake of putting lettuce on the toddler’s plate.  She refused to eat anything on the plate as a result. She is the only person I’ve ever known who willingly walks away from tacos.

I love vegetables, but my kids are another story.  I often have to sneak veggies into things I know they will eat. We have yet to try the cauliflower rice or mashed potatoes, but only because those are two of my kids’ absolute favorite foods, and I think they could spot an imposter a mile away.

There are a few vegetables, though, that are easily incorporated into some of our favorite foods.

Spinach is one of my favorite vegetables to eat.  I can eat spinach as a salad or as a cooked side dish.  My children, however, are not as enamored as I am, and so I have to hide it between layers of cheese and meat.  Spinach works wonders in a lasagna or even on a delivery pizza.  (Make sure you tell them to put the spinach under the cheese and sauce.  I forgot to tell them one time, and they showed up to my door with a perfectly cooked pizza, covered in barely wilted greens.   I nearly had to eat the whole thing myself. )  Spinach also works really well in a quiche.  Eggs and cheese are as universally loved as tacos. You can also throw frozen spinach in with the kid’s favorite fruit smoothie (as if kids have a favorite smoothie.)

Carrots are another easy vegetable to mask.  You can grate them and hide them in meatloaf or burgers.  Carrots pair well with mangos, oranges, or even peaches in fruit smoothies

You could always swap out the regular French fries or tater tots for the sweet potato versions.  The kids are going to cover them in ketchup anyway, right?  Ketchup does not count as vegetable, but its what’s under the ketchup that counts.  So make it count.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle