The little book with BIG resources!

The Newlyweds Guide To The First Few Years

The wedding bells have rung, Now what!?  Here is Sarah, from the iFamily Mom Squad, with her Newlyweds Guide to the First Few Years!  Take a look…

newlywed

A Newlyweds Guide to the First Few Years…

Summer is almost over and it seems that most of the summer was spent at weddings, wedding showers or engagement parties! This got me to thinking that all you newlyweds out there may need some advice from someone who has been there!

Seems like the most amazing moment in your life doesn’t it? You have walked down the aisle, you had the most expensive cake that you will ever eat and shuddered as some just ate the icing and threw the rest away. You opened all the presents, the thank-you cards are addressed and sent.

Now what?

You are sitting on the couch with this person with whom you had it all figured out just a few weeks ago and bam! You don’t know what to do now! It’s called the coming down; suddenly your single friends are a little more hesitant to hang out with you. Your married friends are so happy for you both and “let’s do dinner” or “movie night at our house” seems to be the norm. Plus they just announced that they are pregnant! Which really means in bed by 9 and it really isn’t the same when you host a “mock”tail party. A caveat; I am no expert. My only expertise is that I was a newlywed once and maybe picked up a few things along the way. And maybe this will sound nothing like you and your spouse and that’s fine too. Still, read it for just the humor and the fact that you can laugh at all the poor souls that are going through this while you are out at the new club opening with your husband in tow!

Remember when

…you were just dating and the question at every family holiday was “when are you getting engaged!” “You know, you aren’t getting any younger! What are you waiting for?!” You could laugh them off and look into your spouse’s eyes and laugh as you are pinning wedding ring designs to your secret Pinterest board. Well now comes the question; “When are you guys going to have a baby!?” “You know, you aren’t getting any younger! What are you waiting for?!” Here is your first tip: DON’T RUSH THINGS. I know you aren’t getting any younger, I know that your biological clock is no longer ticking, it is now banging so loud in your head that you can’t sleep at night. Just like you did before; laugh it off. Spend time with you and your spouse, if babies are in your future, you will NEVER get this opportunity again so enjoy it. Travel to places that you have never been, redecorate the house together, go see an afternoon movie—just go see a movie! And if that biological gong is still going off, get a dog, a puppy if possible. One sleepless night of taking the whining puppy out every two hours will shatter that thing within a day.

So what?

Some little elves on a break from the North Pole came down and rebuilt that biological clock (gong)? Talk about it; make sure you are all on the same page. And then talk about it with a close friend, preferably one that has already had a baby. Let them tell you how it was for them and what to expect. I would bet you a jar of pickles and a tub of ice cream that you don’t know everything about it! And then you can start trying to have a baby.

Here’s your second tip:

DON’T RUSH IT! I am the biggest control freak, I just knew that I could plan everything out: when I would get pregnant, which would lead to when I had the baby (not in July—too many holidays and birthdays) which would mean that I would need baby showers in February and May taking the most pictures at the one in February because you are still in the “glow” and not so much in the “I am ready for this child to come out of me—somehow—I don’t care how!” phase (Every woman gets there, don’t even try to tell me you don’t!) But you know what all that planning does? It makes for a really rough time when that timeline doesn’t work out. Even worse when it doesn’t happen in two months, in 8 months, in a year. You feel worthless, like you have no idea what you are doing and how to fix it. What if there is something wrong? What if I am not making the right decision? You know why that happens? Because this is exactly what motherhood is like! Get used to it kiddo—this is your life for a really long time! It will happen and if it doesn’t there are plenty of other options to make sure that your little family is complete. They just may not be as you planned it.

The world works in mysterious ways…

It takes all kinds of kinds to make it spin round. All along the first years of marriage be thankful for what you have. Once the pitter patter, by the way whoever said that never had kids, I have never known my children to pitter patter at anything! It used to be that silence was golden to me, now silence means that there is a jar of finger nail polish all over the little sister and the dog and the walls. Anyway, when little ones come it is going to be harder for you to remember to be thankful—not that you aren’t, just you will be busy trying to do everything else.

From iFamily to Yours,

The Importance Of Impromptu Dates With Your Significant Other

Impromptu dates with your significant other not only help to keep your relationship exciting but also serve as an important time to spend some time connecting without the kiddos in tow. We’re excited to share today’s post, and to welcome, the newest member of our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, Gabrielle. Today’s post is one that is near and dear to her own heart. Take a look…

Impromptu Dates

The Importance Of Impromptu Dates With Your Significant Other

A few years back, my husband and I decided to play hooky from work.  We dropped the kids off at school and then met for breakfast.  After breakfast, we went to the mall, hung out at our favorite book store, and did a little window shopping.  We saw a movie, then we grabbed some lunch and hung out for a bit until it was time to pick up the kids from school.  We had such a great time that we decided to do it monthly.  Now I know many couples have standing monthly date nights.  They hire a baby-sitter for the night, or send the kids off to grandma’s house for the weekend.  I absolutely support this, but I strongly recommend trying a date day at least once.  The benefits are amazing.

First, we save money.  There’s no need to hire a baby-sitter.  Also, the meals are much cheaper during the day.  My husband and I can eat both breakfast and lunch for the same amount of money that we would spend on a dinner date.  Lunch dates are a great way to experience fancy cuisine in smaller portions and at a cheaper prices.  Check your favorite spot to see if there is a lunch menu.  Want to see a movie, instead? The theaters are empty and most offer matinee pricing.

Second, we save time.  My husband and I once attempted an impromptu dinner date on the weekend.  We found ourselves wandering up and down 119th street looking for any place that didn’t have an hour and a half wait for dinner.  We were so hungry, we wound up at a chain restaurant eating tacos.  On date days, the longest we’ve ever had to wait was a couple minutes for a server to actually notice there was a customer who walked in the door.  Not only that, but a six-hour marathon date provides enough adult conversation, that you don’t go crazy when you return home to non-stop Disney channel reruns.  We don’t have to try and get everything in between the appetizers and dessert.  We have all day.

Finally, it’s like a micro-vacation.  Who does not need a day off in the middle of the week?  When is the last time you spent eight hours alone with your significant other?  Our date days allow us time to slow down and just enjoy time with each other.  We can go to the amusement park and not be stuck in the kids section, riding the same tiny roller coaster multiple times.  We can go gaze at million dollar homes and dream together.

Date days have become a priority in our household.  We tell every couple we know to at least give it a try.  The only people we haven’t told are the kids… and grandma (because she’s our daycare provider and we do not want to ruin our good thing!)

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle

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5 Easy Tips on Teaching Kids About Money

Good Morning, Kansas City! Money habits start forming from a young age, and there’s a lot of little things parents can do to help them become good habits. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has some great tips for teaching your kids about money. Take a look…

5 Easy Tips on Teaching Kids About Money

5 Easy Tips on Teaching Kids About Money

 

So.. I know it’s actually “a penny saved is a penny earned” but I never really believed that. I always felt like money was something that was taught in one fashion. Pay bills and save the rest. As I got older and my circle of friends and mentors grew, I learned so much more than just paying bills and saving money. I learned how to make money stretch, how to make it grow and how to share the wealth.
Now that we home school, we talk about different ways to not only make money but budget, plan and save money.
Here are a few guidelines that we use with our kids when talking about money.

#1 Teach them value

From an early age we always talked to our kids about money. When we head out to shop, we always show the kids options when looking at toys, clothes or other things that interest them. We allow them to browse, check prices and see if there are any other options that would allow them to get more and spend less.

#2 The difference between want vs. need

Something that I’m sure kids barely grasp the true understanding of lol. I always allow my kids to make choices when it comes to their money. I think the best way for them to learn is to experience it for themselves. Any time they want a new toy, candy and something that is not a “parent duty” I allow them to decide if they want to purchase it or not by asking them if they need it or not and why.

#3 Saving & investing from an early age

we are pretty old school when it comes to this one. No, we don’t have an account set up for them ( though we probably should), we use a good old fashioned piggy bank. Well this day in age it’s a Paw Patrol bank and Emoji banks lol. Any time they earn, receive or find money, it has to go into the piggy bank before they can spend it. Once it’s been in the bank then they can decide where it needs to go. When it comes to making investments, they really don’t have many options. They can buy something that will benefit them in return. Even though they don’t “invest” much, my husband and I always talk to them about it when they are trying to decide.

#4 Budgeting

Ok this one is more my line of work. I budget for EVERYTHING! I am horrible at math, but money…. I know. When shopping, I tell the kids my budget and what I have to get first off my list. Once my list is checked, I show them if I am over or under my budget. If I am over, I allow them to look around the store to see what else I could get without going over.

#5 Tithing/donating

This may or may not be something that your family practices, but in ours it is our golden rule when it comes to money. Even though they don’t tithe as frequently as we do, they pay their tithes on Holy Days and keep a portion for the feast. If we are out and about and they have some of their coins on them ( they usually sneak a few) , if we run into a homeless person they give. Donating money to someone is something that they take pride in. Helping those in need will make you feel richer than you already are.
Everyone lives, spends and saves differently, so these tips are what we do. I hope you find them helpful when talking to your kids and family about money!
Brigette blogs at www.bybrigettedanielle.com

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 


Check Out This Easy Way to Wind Down from the Holidays

Hello, Kansas City! We’re on our way through January, and some of us are still recovering the craziness of the holiday season. January offers a lot of motivation to start the year off on a good foot, but also gives us all an opportunity to wind down from the previous season. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, shares her low-key, free, and easy remedy to renew yourself and spend some time with the family. Check it out!

Check Out This Easy (and FREE) Way to Wind Down from the Holidays

Check Out This Easy Way to Wind Down from the Holidays

 

After a month of marathon shopping, cleaning, cooking and hosting duties, I said farewell to my final group of holiday visitors Sunday morning and spent the rest of the day sick in bed. At first, I was so frustrated. Feeling ill was not how wanted to finish off my weekend. Around noon, my eldest daughter came in to check on me and asked if I’d like to watch a movie. I agreed and we spent the rest of the day in bed burning through Netflix and munching on crackers. She told me it was the best day and I had to agree.

The funny thing about the holidays, is that I ran myself ragged for my family and spent a lot of time with extended family, but my kids and I did not get much one-on-one time. It’s ironic really, that we spend so much time making the holidays magical for our kids, but we may just be missing the mark.

After weeks of parties and gifts and playdates, my daughter’s favorite thing was hanging out and watching movies with me. Now I’m sure a part of that was in its uniqueness. A nagging part of my mom brain worried about screen time several times, but I let it go and I’m glad I did. It was a really fun day and one that didn’t cost a thing.

It reminded me of another thought I had the other day. My mom was commenting on how quickly time goes by, and it does- for adults anyway. Commenting on the speed of time is one of my mother’s favorite things to note and in agreeing with her now, I remembered that I didn’t always. I remember when I was a kid and the days seemed long and a school year felt like forever. In the hustle and bustle of getting through our weeks and months- we may be once again missing something.

Perhaps kid years are a bit like dog years in that there’s less to mark time and so they’re just on a different scale. Maybe when I think to myself ‘twice a month I have this moment with my child and that is a lot,’ really isn’t true. It’s certainly something to consider. And I hope to find more time in my schedule for lazy hang outs and focusing completely on my time with my kids. Apparently, those are our best days.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

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25 Tips For Managing Holiday Stress

Christmas Eve is upon us here in the metro area and, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably frantically getting in those last minute errands that you’ve been putting off forgotten about, baking holiday treats, and cleaning the house in anticipation of loved ones later this evening (or in my case, first thing tomorrow morning). It’s okay, we can all be superheroes from time to time, right?! Don’t stress out, it’s all going to be fine…right? RIGHT? Thankfully, our very own iFamilyKC Mom Squad team member Leah shares her 25 tips for managing holiday stress with us right here on the blog. Take a look…

25 Ways to manage holiday stress

25 Tips For Managing Holiday Stress

If you are anything like me you are guilty of trying to do a thousand things at once. I find myself being  pulled between trying to locate the “perfect gift”, attempting to stay on budget, pull money out of thin air, working more hours to afford “the perfect gift”, ordering things online, and trying to create time to wrap gifts all while trying to balance my daily tasks. Needless to say this momma is wore out.

The holidays tend to add so much stress and chaos to our already over packed lives. Yet, their intention is to the opposite. This year I am determined to approach things differently. I don’t want my son to judge holidays based around how well I may or may not handle stress. We all know that kids see everything even when we think otherwise. I want to make sure he sees me handle things with grace. After all I cannot expect him to if I don’t.

It really is my goal to learn how to master stress so it does not master me. I know that I will not be able to completely avoid stress. However, that doesn’t mean that I cannot try to handle it better when it arrives. I have found some pretty simple ways to help make your holidays a little less hectic. I hope that you can find one or two them useful.

#1 Take an Epson Salt bath – for an added stress relief add essential  oils

#2 Create a daily gratitude journal- use this to remind yourself what you are grateful for in yourself and others

#3 Go outside for a walk or run- being around the sunlight can improve your mood

#4 Instead of stressing out over dinner give yourself permission to order out

#5 Turn on some good music

#6 Have a glass of wine

#7 Have a cup of tea- there are so many teas out there to help you relax

#8 Give your partner a massage then have them return the favor ( or just book an appointment at a salon)

#9 Go get your hair done… I always feel better after a good hair cut

#10 Set a budget and stick with it

#11 Schedule a lunch date with a friend  and share a good laugh

#12 Turn off your phone so you can get stuff done without being distracted

#13 Try to give out “group gifts” when you have to buy for a family. This will help you stay on budget. You can buy them a movie, popcorn, snacks, etc. Plus this encourages them to do something as a family.

#14 Pace yourself- you do not have to do everything in one day. I find it useful to break my to do list down to a daily list instead. This also helps me feel less overwhelmed.

#15 Take a break and go do something fun as family

#16 Go see some Christmas lights and get yourself back into the Christmas spirit

#17 Light some candles around the house

#18 Meditate – this is an amazing stress reliever

#19 Go to the gym

#20 Call a friend or a family member that puts you in a good mood

#21 Get some sleep

#22 Don’t be afraid to ask for help

#23 Don’t sweat the small stuff

#24 Remind yourself that if something does not get done there is always tomorrow

#25 Listen to yourself- only you know your limits

To follow Leah further please go to her page at  www.facebook.com/solaceforthesoul

From iFamily to yours,

Leah

leah_ifamilykc_momsquad25 tips for managing holiday stress

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Building Holiday Traditions: A Holiday Candy Party

Good Morning, Kansas City! We here at iFamilyKC hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. As we all prepare for the upcoming festivities that December brings, a lot of us probably have fun family traditions that we take part in. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, shares one of her favorite holiday memories: A Holiday Candy party! Take a look…

Building Holiday Traditions: A Holiday Candy Party

 

 

Building Holiday Traditions: A Holiday Candy Party

 

 

My favorite holiday memory has to be of my families’ annual Christmas “Candy” party. To me it was truly what the holiday should and were all about. To start at the beginning we have to travel back in time over three decades to the very first party. Imagine a cold December night, where we used the front porch as a fridge because we needed extra space. The house was a little smaller but there were people packed in from the tree in front to the back of the kitchen. I can’t remember too many specifics (I was only a month old and spent most of the night being rocked to sleep!) but laughter and holiday spirit was everywhere. Every year after this the same core group of people would come together to make their candy. After the first few years everyone started to rely on the faithful candy that was easy, as the years rolled on the candy “screw-ups” (and this is the cleaned up version) became more common.

From my perspective, I just got to play with all my “brothers and sisters” run through the house stopping only to sneak a piece of warm candy. See these people who came into my house every year, shared in our Christmas spirit and gave us the gift of true friendship were so much more than friends. They are my second family, my substitute parents.

I am much older now and plan on attending my 35th annual candy party. My families’ house may be a little older too, and now my kids run through the house and sneak treats. My family; their hair may have turned a little grayer and the bodies are fighting battles that only they can see and they hide pain by putting on a smile. The best part is we are all together—every year without fail. They are my family and the only people that I can think of sharing Christmas with—and I would even say that without the candy!

 

From iFamily to Yours,
ifam_sarah

 

 

 

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Holiday Reflection: Thanksgiving with Grandma

The holidays are such a great time for reflection — whether it’s on remembering what you’re grateful, reflecting on memories, or thinking about loved ones that are no longer with us, it’s a moment to pause and invest in this beautiful life. Our Mom Squad Ambassador has a beautiful piece reflecting on Thanksgiving with her grandmother and what still sticks with her. Take a look…

Holiday Reflection: Thanksgiving with Grandma

Holiday Reflection: Thanksgiving with Grandma

 

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always very special. My late grandmother who was like my best friend would always let me help in the kitchen. She would teach me her secrets to pie pinching, making her delicious sweet potatoes and even let me help “clean the turkey”.

 

One of my most fond memories for this time of year were us baking together. We would make pies, cookies, rollie polies, and other baked goods. I loved making the pies and rollie polies with her. I would roll the dough out as even as I could, place it gently in the pan and try very, very hard to fix all the cracks I had made lol. When our pies were all done and in the oven, we would move on to the next best thing! Making rollie pollies! Ahhh one of my favorites! My dear grandmother would let me roll the remaining dough out once more, and then the fun would really begin! I remember taking a stick of butter and covering the entire area of dough with it! I would always try to touch it because it looked so slippery and gooey! Once we finished with the butter we would sprinkle what is in my opinion one of THEE best smells ever, cinnamon and sugar. We would cover the dough with handfuls of the sweet mixture and then roll it up! I remember after we had rolled the dough into one long log, she would hold my hand and guide me to cut even pieces. I was so excited to make all of it… every year! Also, she would always let me “taste” our baking creations!

 

Once we were all done baking and the food was finishing its last 45 minutes of cook time, I would the “grown up table”. I LOVED setting the table, my grandparents had this beautiful gold set of cutlery. Every time she would open it (it was in a special trunk) I would feel like I was setting the table for royalty! She would get out the nice glasses and table cloths too. I remember her showing me how to place the lace covering on the table just perfectly. My cousins and I would always do our very best to make it as neat and clean as possible!

 

Once the food was cooked, we would all set the dishes and bowls on the table, take our seat and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Even though I didn’t get to sit at the “grown up table” I would always look over to see everyone’s reaction to all the food we had made.

 

Even though this year won’t be the same since she passed last December, I try to think of the positives. All the things she taught me, all the traditions we had, I can now do with my daughters this Thanksgiving. I can teach them how to set the special table, how to bake our family favorites and so on. And even though these are just memories, they all make Thanksgiving even more special.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

brigettev8

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How Men and Women Survive the Holidays – Together

Happy Sunday, Kansas City! Can you all even believe it? It’s time to start planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It sure sneaks up on you, doesn’t it? Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, is kicking off the holiday season here at iFKC with a fun little observance, if you will, of how men and women handle the holidays differently. Take a look…

How Men and Women Survive the Holidays - Together

How Men & Women Survive the Holidays—Together

 

 

It is November, can you believe it!? I guess we can officially say that the start to the Holidays is here. I can almost taste the pumpkin pie, see the turkey on the table, feel the pine needles on the tree and smell the cinnamon in my Home for the Holidays candle. But why is it that I can do this and my husband can’t? Well, it’s not that he can’t but to him the holidays mean something completely different. This is all due to the wiring in our brains where we can look at one thing but remember and explain it in two entirely different ways. I read a book, actually two books and an article on the subject; I was so excited to explain the things going on around me I just have to share it! While reading three things by no means makes me an expert– please take this for what it is worth. So here we go—the chemical explanation of the male and female brains and how we will survive the holidays with our significant others!

To begin, I promised my iFamily that I would leave the stereotypes out of this article. That doesn’t mean I am not saying them out loud, while I type, and no reason why you all shouldn’t be nodding your head and saying them to yourselves as well!

Let’s begin at the beginning then. Men and Women were different from the start; men were more the hunters, women more the gatherers. This continues to a point (enter Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus) although dated and filled with stereotypes, there really is a very good explanation to this division of labor, and why most women and men fall into these groups: CHEMISTRY!

Bringing this back to the holidays, let’s look at the first weeks of November. This is when planning for the big meal starts to happen, who will be invited this year and where they will sit. How many place settings do we need and who should bring what? Women’s brains have significantly more white matter, the interconnectedness of everything, so we handle these first few weeks at a rapid pace while multitasking on our everyday activities. The male brain has more gray matter than women’s brains. Gray matter, or the information processors of the brain, is why men will look at these activities and file them away for closer to the event, they are going to take each task and focus intently on it.

So now let’s have a little role play to illustrate these facts above. Feel free to ask your significant other to play the other part!

Scene: It is the day before Thanksgiving; the turkey is bought and defrosting, everything seems to be in its place and planned down to the last place setting. But wait! There is a last minute problem!

Woman: Panic! The table and chair arrangement is not going to work! It will put my sister and husband’s brother right next to each other and last year they fought about politics the whole meal! Stop! Couple things to point out here when we go back to our old friend, chemistry; first of all; stress, but we will get to that later. Most of all, I want to point out the memory from last year; key to women. The wiring in their brains have more connections with memories and feelings. They remember they didn’t like how they felt when sister and brother-in-law fought and a little file was put into one of those connections to keep them away from each other whenever possible. Okay continue.

Woman: Man, would you mind rearranging the table so that these two aren’t sitting together?

Man: Why

Woman: Because last year they sat by each other and fought the entire time about politics—this year could be worse! Don’t you remember? (See above, what we know about men’s brains is that he may not remember, or if he does it probably won’t be from an emotional standpoint).

Man: Sure, I will take care of it. Still sitting in his chair

Woman: DO IT NOW!!! I have so much to do and you are just sitting there!

Okay, so our little scenario above, I KNOW has happened in every household at one point in time. But once again I refer back to chemistry. It very well could be that the man is not just sitting there, but actually planning and plotting how to move the table or position the chairs just right. Because of that gray matter that men have it tends to lead to tunnel vision. At this moment he is engulfed in something, but in a few minutes he will get to the solving of this problem. Women, because of that white matter we would tend to go ahead and start on the place settings to just get it done. When woman above asked him to do the task, she needed to also say that she would like that done before she could do something else, indicating that she would like it done quickly. Both ways come out to the same result but only one way helps to keep the stress level down come T-Day.

Getting to stress, it will happen around the holidays, but the way that men and women will respond is going to be very different. And for that matter the way that we need to respond to our significant others when they are stressed is different as well. Our brains produce many neuro-chemicals including serotonin, testosterone, estrogen, and oxytocin. Women’s brains tend to handle stress by emotion and like to be around other people for support. This is because of how we process the estrogen and oxytocin; a bonding and relationship chemical. Men’s brains will likely handle stress by going to the gym, getting up and taking a walk or in some cases raising their voice. Male brains process less oxytocin and more testosterone which makes them more impulsive or aggressive. So how do we handle it? When you see yourself or your partner getting stressed, offer to take over a few things while they go for a walk or take a warm bath, or sometimes just offering up a hug is all it will take to diffuse the situation.

I know that everyone doesn’t need another thing to think about this year and making sure that you aren’t arguing with your spouse is probably near the bottom. But if we take a step back and think that maybe it is the wiring in our brains which make us act and say the things we do; it will cause a little less friction. Also, when you are watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation this year, make a game of how many times you can point out a “man-brain” or “woman-brain” action—there are plenty!

 

From iFamily to Yours,
ifam_sarah


8 Ways to Plan a Simple & Healthy Dinner for Your Family

Hello, Kansas City! Dinner can be tough for a family. Particularly trying to find recipes and foods that make even the pickiest eaters happy. Luckily, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, has some great ideas to add some life to your dinner and hopefully please the entire pack. Check it out!

8 Ways to Plan a Simple & Healthy Dinner for Your Family

 

 

8 Ways to Plan a Simple & Healthy Dinner for Your Family

 

My children have to be the pickiest eaters on the planet! Planning dinner is not the easiest chore in my house at all. I thought I’d share some easy kid-friendly dinner ideas that just might please the pickiest of eaters in your household. I think dinner should be an enjoyable time for the whole family and hopefully these ideas will have your family clearing their plate and asking for seconds!

 

Simple, separated and balanced meals.

A lot of kids may not like casseroles yet because of different foods being mixed together. I would suggest possibly separating out the foods before mixing all of the ingredients together. This avoids having to make another whole meal for the picky eater in the bunch.

 

Breakfast for dinner

Pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs, French toast! You could even have a waffle or pancake bar with different toppings for everyone to customize their own.

 

English muffin pizzas

SUPER simple and fun idea to get the kids involved in making dinner. Take an English muffin and top with sauce and cheese. Have a bunch of different veggies and meats cut up and cooked ready to add to the pizzas. Heat in the toaster oven or conventional oven for 10 minutes or so and you’re ready to eat!

 

Have an alternative choice

…but also put a small bite of the main meal on your child’s plate. We are all used to having choices when it comes to meals and kids are no different. They have a choice when they buy lunch at school or when we go to a restaurant.       The alternative choice for dinner does NOT have to be something extremely difficult to prepare and you can teach your child to make it as well. My daughter’s favorite alternative meal when we have something she absolutely will not eat is chicken noodle soup and crackers.

 

Spaghetti or pasta dishes

Where you can easily hide vegetables. It’s really hard to get kids to eat vegetables a lot of times. This is a great way to sneak a few nutrients in their food without them even knowing! I think there is a whole cookbook out there somewhere about hiding vegetables in food.

Involve your children

Involve your children in the process of shopping, preparing and cooking food. Or enroll them in a kid’s cooking club. My daughter tried guacamole for the first time ever at her cooking club and now she LOVES it! All because she made it herself and was able to add the ingredients she wanted to add and knew exactly what was in it.

 

Recreate your child’s favorite restaurant food

If your child likes a certain food at fast food restaurants try to recreate that food at home. My daughter would NEVER eat a hamburger at home until I decided to make the patty thin and toast the bun like McDonald’s hamburgers. She loves them now!

 

Make food fun!

There are all kinds of ideas on Pinterest to make food shaped like animals, scenes, or holiday themes. You can be as simple as you like or get crazy creative with those ideas.

 

Do you have any ideas or recipes that your kids just LOVE? Feel free to share with us in the comments!

 

From iFamily to Yours,
iFamMomSqdErinV2

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33 Family Outdoor Activities to do Together This Fall

Happy Monday, Kansas City! Fall is a great time to get out and active with your family. From pumpkin patches to bonfires to the amazing weather, it’s hard to beat fall in Kansas City. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Leah, gives us some fantastic outdoor activities to enjoy altogether this fall.

33 Family Outdoor Activities to do Together This Fall

33 Family Outdoor Activities to Do Together This Fall

My favorite time of the year is quickly approaching. There is something magical in seeing nature change all around you. I could spend hours outside during September – October. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing all the beautiful fall colors, going on hay rides, decorating pumpkins, and just embracing how beautiful the outdoors really are? My hope is that you take some time as a family and go outdoors. Whatever you do… just be in the moment. Put your phones down, check out of the virtual world for a few hours, and check back into your physical world. Taking time to recharge and to invest into you/ your family is worth it. Your Facebook world will still be there. However, this time with your kids will not. Get out there and laugh, throw some leaves around, get your hands dirty, and remind your kids what life was like before computers.

1) Have a Frisbee throwing contest. See who can throw it the furthest.

2) Grab a rope and have a good old fashion game of Tug Of War

3) Play a friendly game of Family Tag

4) Go to an apple orchard and pick apples together. Then come home and have an apple tasting. See which flavor of apples you each prefer.

5) Put up a net in the back yard and play volleyball. Invite the neighborhood kids over to join in.

33 Family Outdoor Activities to do Together This Fall

6) Dust off your bikes and go for a family bike ride

7) Play Hide and Seek out doors

8) Bob for apples

9) Get out there and play football, kick ball, or soccer. Show the kids you still got it.

10) Fill up some water balloons, get out there, and get messy.

11) Have a potato sack race.

12) Rake up some leaves, make a pile, and then dive in.

13) Host a back yard picnic.

14) Get some sidewalk chalk and decorate your drive way. Or, leave your neighbors cute notes in side walk chalk on their drive way — telling them why you’re glad they’re your neighbors.

15) Plan a scavenger hunt.

33 Family Outdoor Activities to do Together This Fall

16) Host a bonfire, roast marshmallows, and tell ghost stories.

17) Grab some leaves, glue, paint, and paper…. Then go at it.

18) Decorate rocks. You could paint them orange and make “pumpkins,” or white and make “ghosts” on them.

19) Make bird feeders, then sit back and watch the birds enjoy their dinner.

20) Go on a nature walk and play “ I spy.”

21) Host an outdoor dance party.

22) Jump rope with the kids.

23) Play Badminton.

33 Family Outdoor Activities to do Together This Fall

24) Throw some bean bags / play “ Corn Hole.”

25) Design your own outdoor Tic Tac Toe game.

26) Grab some plastic bats and play water balloon base ball.

27) Have a “Leaf Blow Race” with the kids. Have the kids blow a leaf across a table with a straw. The first one across is the winner.

28) Find the Pumpkin. Purchase or paint a pumpkin white, then take turns as a family hiding it in different places outdoors. The first to find it wins.

29) Pass the Pumpkin Relay

Form two teams.

  • The first person passes the pumpkin over his/her head to the next person in line.
  • The next person passes the pumpkin under his/her legs to the next person, and so on.
  • When you get to the end of the line the last person runs up to the front and starts it all over again.
  • Whoever has the first person that was in line at the beginning of the game— in the back of the line wins.

30) Gourd Race

  • Set up start and turn around lines (about 10 feet apart) and divide children into equal teams.
  • At the signal, first players walk from starting line to turn-around line and back to the starting line while holding a spoon with a gourd on it. Child then hands it off to the next in line.
  • If the gourd falls off the spoon, players must stop and pick up the gourd with the spoon to continue.
  • Continue until each child has had a turn. With many children—have many lines.

31) Flashlight Tag

Playing flashlight tag in the fall is beneficial because you can get outside and play soon after dinner because of shorter days. The cool weather adds an element of fun. Designate a home base, and choose one person to be “it.” Give “it” a flashlight, and ask her to count to 50 while everyone hides. The “it” turns on the flashlight and searches for the other players as those players try to sneak back to home base. The first player tagged by the beam of “its” flashlight is the next “it.”

http://www.livestrong.com/article/206344-outside-games-to-play-in-the-fall/

32) Ring the Pumpkin

A variation on ring toss, ring the pumpkin is a game of throwing skill and a bit of luck. Put three or four large pumpkins with stems in a line on the ground. Depending on the age of your group, designate a throwing line four to eight feet away from the pumpkins. Using embroidery hoops or small rings, players take turns throwing the ring at the pumpkin’s stem. The player who rings the most wins. Use hula hoops as a variation, but ring the entire pumpkin.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/206344-outside-games-to-play-in-the-fall/

33) Capture the Flag

Capture the flag involves a lot of running. When you play this game in the fall, you are often able to play it for longer because of cooler weather. Divide the group into two teams, and designate an area of your yard for each team, with a neutral space in between. Give each team a flag, and tell the teams to hide the flag in their area. Once hidden, both teams begin searching for the opponent’s flag. If a player is caught in another team’s territory, he is put in “jail” until one of his teammates frees him by touching him. The team that finds the flag first wins.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/206344-outside-games-to-play-in-the-fall/

 

From iFamily to Yours,
iFamLeahV2

 


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