Hiding Fruits And Veggies And Other Mysteries

Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix #StreamTeam blogging program. I was not compensated for this post, but do receive perks and insider information from Netflix. 

Once a month, I write about shows that have caught our family's attention. The commentary is mine.

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During the month of October, we spend a lot of time deciding on costumes and counting down to the day we head out and guess the identities of everyone around us.

And my kids love a good mystery.

From What are we having for dinner? to How did I get inside your tummy? there is never (ever) a shortage of questions happening around our house.

And for the most part, I'm happy to answer—if I think it's okay for them to know.

Sometimes it means I'm giving a simple, We're having food for dinner (insert child-sized eye rolls), and sometimes it means I'm reading an age-appropriate book about the birds and the bees. 

Last week a nutritionist friend of mine asked parents about hiding fruits and veggies (especially for picky eaters). She wanted to know which camp we fell into, when it comes to disclosing the ingredients in the food we feed our kids.

I feel it's okay (and even important) for my kids to know what they're eating and why it is or isn't beneficial for their well-being. And often times, I'll tell or show them (while preparing it), even when they haven't asked.

Saying that, each kid has definite preferences for certain fruits and veggies and how they or aren't cooked, and none of those preferences align completely with the preferences of their siblings (because that would be too easy). Because of that, I do tend to look for and use recipes that make "hiding" fruits and veggies a possibility. 

Although they are well aware there is pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, or chick peas in their food, their taste buds are none the wiser. And that means they're much more likely to eat it. 

If you're looking for some new inspiration, here are some of my tried and true recipes:

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese

{Photo and recipe from: Pinch of Yum}

Wholewheat Pumpkin-Applesauce Muffins

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Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies (vegan, gluten-free)

Chick pea

{Photo and recipe by: Begin With Nutrition}

In the spirit of mystery, we are also add to the excitement of October by indulging in some mystery-inspired series on Netflix.

For the little one of the house (who is working very hard on her letters and numbers) that means: Blues Clues and Busytown Mysteries.

Spy Kids

For the older kids, it's: Spy Kids.

And for whole family fun, we took advantage of the newly released: Scooby Doo Live.

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What about you? Is October a month of mysteries at your house?

Are you hiding fruits and veggies in your kids' food? 

I would love to hear about your favourite recipes, too. 

 

 

 

 

 

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CANADIAN, EH?

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I am spending the end of Canada's birthday month abroad. And my focus and energy has been directed at getting ready and prepared for take off. I'm going on my own (without JB and the kids) and joining my parents and sister for a 10-day re-do of a childhood trip to Ireland.

There's a lot to do to get ready both for the trip and for what will go on here at home while I'm away. In between the swimming and camping and messing up of the house, I've had to rely on entertainment that comes from a source other than me, and I'm reminded how much I appreciate being part of the Netflix blogging team. As part of the team, I receive alerts about shows that are offered and we often discover new shows that save me from listening to My Little Pony on repeat.

This month, Netflix is spotlighting Canadian-made or inspired shows. Here are some that kids have been enjoying, just in case you have suitcases to pack, or a long to-do list, or you've hit one of the those the-kids-are-home-for-the-summer speed bumps.

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Nickolodean's Team UmiZoomi is a lot of fun, and the kids have been taking away interesting factoids, too. 

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And one of my favourite shows is Super Why! because a little extra focus on letters and reading during the summer months is never a bad thing. 

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For the school-aged set, Diary of a Wimpy Kid gets a lot of air time. We've read all the books and my kids are huge fans of the characters and funny storylines.  

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I hope your summer is going well and you are all finding moments of calm in the chaos. I admit there have been some late nights and sleepy mornings around here, and that's okay. I'm doing my best to soak up the unstructured days and not get too fussed about having a plan for each day—not an easy feat for a mom of four who relies heavily on routine to get through the school year. We'll get back on track in time for school, right? Happy July, everyone!

 

 

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AFTER HOURS

Now that school is out and the sun stays up really, really late, our only quiet time seems to land at the end of very long days of in/out, up/down, on/off—when parental energy levels are hovering just above zero.

And as much as Netflix served me well during the long, cold winter...it continues to find a place in my heart now that summer is here. 

JB and I have been meeting wherever we can find an empty room around 10 o'clock each night, and then we swear we will watch one, just one episode of a show. We've been mixing things up as a way to drag out the newest season of Orange Is The New Black (which is amazing), because we definitely have a tendency to binge watch the good ones. For every one episode of OITNB, we watch two episodes of Lost (yes, we are one of the few people on earth who didn't watch Lost the first time around). 

FridayNightLights

The last series we burned through together was Friday Night Lights, and y'all know how much I loved that one. Oh Timmy. Lost was a slower start for us, but we're definitely committed to seeing these characters through their backstories—which is an element of OITNB that we really enjoy, too. 

When the heat has gone to our heads, and the mess has risen to a height that feels like it surpasses our knees, sometimes the best thing for us to do is retreat to separate corners for alone time. 

In my corner, I'm making my way through Nashville (a nice way to hang onto FNL a little while longer) while JB is really enjoying the contemporary version of Sherlock.

Sherlock

I hope you find your quiet/alone time and spend it whatever way you need to for a recharge. If your summer is about to be anything like mine, we're all going to need it. If you're watching a good show on Netflix, I'd love to hear about it, please share!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix #StreamTeam blogging program. I was not compensated for this post, but do receive perks and insider information about awesome shows from Netflix. 

The opinions and recommendations regarding the shows I watch are all mine. 

 

 

 

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THROW BACK

It was the same way for years.

Our Saturday morning TV-watching ritual. 

My sister always woke up first. I would hear the creak of her bed and she'd be at my door in moments. She never knocked before whispering Are you awake? and I never failed to mumble, I'm coming

Together we headed to the kitchen and raided the refrigerator. Saturdays meant we were allowed to eat whatever caught our eye. Sometimes it was cake, often it was ice cream. 

Then we headed to the family room for a three-hour TV marathon. 

It always started with The Smurfs, had some Care Bears or My Little Pony thrown in and ended with the classic Laurel and Hardy. Parents were never invited (and I'm quite certain now, they were happy to be left out). 

When our shows were over, we knew it was time to get dressed, find some real food and get ourselves outside. 

I don't know exactly when those days came to an end. I do remember some mornings in my teen years that I answered her Are you awake? with a very cranky Go away!

I'm glad we had those Saturday mornings though—moments spent together splayed out on the shag carpet laughing at the shows, talking about life. Our shared ritual created an overlapping of our childhood memories and I realize now that it was a gift.

Anitalou

Saturdays are very different, now that I'm a parent. I'm raising four kids, instead of the two my parents did, and our weekend mornings are far from predictable. 

But we've noticed over the past six months—now that our youngest is four—the kids are forgetting to stop at our room when they wake up on weekend mornings. We listen as they meet on the landing and with a rush of giggles and a stampede of feet, head downstairs together to rummage through kitchen cupboards and find their own breakfast. 

I know we will be met with a mess when we come down ourselves, but I'll only have to look around the corner to see my own kids splayed out on the carpet and feel grateful for it.

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If you enjoy sharing retro shows with your kids, check out Netflix's wide selection. Our family favourites are Ghostbusters and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

Disclosure: I am part of the Nettflix #StreamTeam blogging program, which provides me with product and an extension on my existing (and well-used) Netflix subscription.

The opinions regarding the shows we watch are mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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