I’m not eating THAT! {Review} #Cheekychops Holistic Nutrition with Annie Anderson #YMCCommunity

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

You prepare dinner, call everyone to the table. After everyone is settled and prepared to dive in to the scrumptious meal that you’ve been slaving away at for the past hour (or so), and the kids pipe up, “This looks yucky! I’m not eating THAT!”

Picky Eater

You tell them that all the ingredients that are in their meal, are all foods that they like, and you proceed to list off said ingredients, but to no avail. Frustrated that they aren’t giving in and it’s getting late, you bust out the foods that they WILL eat and dinner’s done. Chances are you boiled up some noodles, made a silly monster from a Cheese String, rolled up a couple of pieces of deli meat and maybe managed to slice up a few veggies to round out the major food groups.

Wouldn’t it just be nice for EVERYONE to be able to eat the same meal at the same time?!

I’ve gone online to websites that specifically have recipes for kids, Annabel Karmel, weelicious, Super Healthy Kids, Canadian Living Moms, The Sneaky Chef , and several other Google searches for “healthy kids food recipes”, but my kids just won’t eat it. So frustrating!

Enter Annie Anderson from Cheekychops.

Cheeky Chops

Cheekychops is known for providing personalized, one-on-one assistance for sleep, potty training and general parenting advice, and now they have extended their services to include personalized holistic nutrition advice.

Annie had me fill out a quick survey for each of my kiddos, where I answered questions pertaining to their diets. We then had a telephone consultation discussing what the little ones are currently eating, how our mealtimes are (like where do we eat, do we eat as a family, are there any distractions such as TV) and when do we have our meals and snacks.

She made suggestions where we could change what goes on during our mealtimes, a few recipe suggestions and reassured me that I was doing a great job at what we are feeding our kids and that by just having them try new things, they will eventually start to accept what is prepared for them without argument. Sometimes it can take up to 20 times for a child to really decide that something isn’t their preference.

As a result from my consultation, I feel that Annie’s suggestions were ones that we can integrate into our family’s eating habits. She reminded me that having the TV on during mealtimes is major distraction for kids while they are trying to eat, which could lead up to lengthy mealtimes and the annoying job of constantly telling the wee ones to “Keep eating your dinner!”. Eating together as a family (hopefully at the dinner table, if your living space allows, which mine does not) helps create good eating habits, and your kids see how focussing on your meal and engaging with one another is far more important than a TV show. If there’s a good show on during dinner that you just don’t want to miss, set your PVR. Also, by having set meals, such as breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks a day, and eliminating “grazing” throughout the day, this will probably encourage the offspring to be more hungry at mealtimes and actually finish what’s on their plates. Having healthy snack options ready-to-go, will also keep us from just grabbing whatever is handy, which could possibly be a less healthy option like fish crackers or gummie snacks.

Cheekychops Holistic Nutrition Services includes help in areas such as:

  • Feeding babies and children: learn how solids should be introduced and how to ensure your child is getting all the nutrients they need for optimal health
  • Say goodbye to picky eaters: Custom-tailored strategies for turning a picky eater into a more adventurous one
  • Health issues: Addressing common health issues such as allergies, behavioral challenges, eczema & more, with a natural and drug-free approach
  • Customized food menu planning including recipes that are easy to make and cater to your child’s needs
  • Fridge & Cupboard Cleansing/Reading Food Labels: learn to decipher which foods and household products are healthy versus the ones that are toxic for both your child and your whole family (in-home consultation)

In addition to Holistic Nutrition consulting, Annie also provides sleep consultations for children 0-5 years of age. She services the Tri-cities, Burnaby and New West areas, but is also available for consultations anywhere in British Columbia.

Annie Anderson  from Cheekychops is pleased to offer a 10% off promotional  discount for either a telephone/Skype or in-home nutrition package consultation. Telephone/Skype option is open to anyone living anywhere, even outside of BC.  In-home consult is available for anyone living in the Greater Vancouver region, from Maple Ridge through to Vancouver. To take advantage of this offer-please email/phone Annie directly and mention promo code: nutrition03

Check out the link here to find out how a Nutrition Consultation can benefit your child:  http://www.cheekychops.ca/blog/2013/12/cheekychops-now-offers-holistic-nutrition-advice

 

Are you prepared? {Giveaway} #Beesafe

With the deep freeze going on east of us, I can’t help but think, “Is my family prepared if this happened here at home?”

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If we were suddenly with out power, how long are we really prepared for if the power is out for more than a few hours?

Do we have enough food and water? Will we be able to stay warm?

My husband and I could manage, but now we have a 4 yo and a 1 yo to look after, so having enough food, water and warm clothes is essential.

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Did you know that you should be prepared for 72 hours? It could take this long for emergency responders to get to you. Follow this link for more information about being prepared.

I am planning on putting together a “tote” chock full of the essentials that we would require to survive for a week in the event of a serious catastrophe.

I’ve poked around the internet and there are kits that you can purchase from companies like: Beesafe Solutions, 72 Hours, Costco, or you could build your own with this list provided by the Canadian Red Cross.

Beesafe Solutions has generously provided an Emergency Kit to give away to one lucky reader. Please enter via the Rafflecopter link below. The giveaway will run January 1st – 7th, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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4 year old Birthday Party, Halloween Style!

Happy 4th Birthday!

Happy 4th Birthday!

This past weekend, we celebrated our daughter’s 4th Birthday! And she decided this year that she wanted a Halloween themed party.

Just like her Mommy, she is a HUGE fan of all things Halloween, so when we asked her what she wanted to do, it was obvious.

As soon as  the Halloween decorations hit the store shelves, she started giving me her list of the decorations, food, treats, sounds, lights, etc. I had to stop her when she asked to have the “spooky baby in the walker” at her party. We wanted to have fun with our friends, not frighten them away.

Cruisin Candace

Cruisin Candace

This year I decided that I would make all the food, so I went with Mummy Wieners, Mummy Pizzas, a big ‘ol batch of Mac & Cheese, and for dessert, I made Oreo Ghosts and Franken Krispies (with my own twist). For the healthy aspect, there was fruit and veggies, of course. And what kind of party would it be without Party Mix and Veggie Straws?!

Oreo Ghosts.

Oreo Ghosts.

Franken Krispies.

Franken Krispies.

Fruit Platter

Fruit Platter

Veggie Platter

Veggie Platter

Hubby organized the tunes for the party. An I made a few crafts for the kiddos to do, picture props and a witch hat ring toss.

Frankenstein Picture Prop

Frankenstein Picture Prop

Lollipop Spider

Lollipop Spider

Q Tip Skeleton

Q Tip Skeleton

Witch Hat Ring Toss

Witch Hat Ring Toss

Witch Photo Prop

Witch Photo Prop

Ghost Plate

Ghost Plate

Unfortunately we were cakeless due to the demise of our cake makers oven, but it wasn’t missed and now we can use the idea next year.

It was maddness, but as long as there was food and stuff for the kids to do, that was all I was worried about. The kiddos seemed like they were having a good time, the food was being gobbled up and there were no meltdowns had by anyone (parents included).

The Birthday Girl

The Birthday Girl

Now my only worry is, how will I one-up myself next year?

A second chance.

Today we paid a visit to our local animal shelter. We have no pets, but frequent the local pet store when we are out for walks. I thought that it might be a nice idea to visit the animals that are looking for a second chance.

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Coquitlam Animal Shelter

They have lots of cats and a few dogs, as well as a bunny barn.

The cat room was fun. There were probably about a dozen cats of different age and personality. We were greeted by a very friendly, curious little black cat that was quite young still.

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The friendly black kitty.

Little dude was so excited with all the cats, that I thought his head would explode from all of the excitement. Our wee lass had to pet every. single. one. of the cats as to not leave anyone out.

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More kitties.

After giving lovvies to ALL the cats, we headed out to see the dogs. Fortunately there were only 2 looking for homes, but they were a little too rambunctious and loud for my littles, so we said a quick “Hi” & “Goodbye”, before we ventured into the bunny barn.

I never realized that people actually take rabbits to the SPCA. There were many bunnies in there looking for homes.

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Brown bunny.

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Harlequin bunny.

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Bunny run.

All of the animals in the shelter look well taken care of and the facilities appear to be kept clean. The kennels and pens are tidy and look like they are washed down regularly.

The Coquitlam Animal Shelter is open to visitors:

  • Monday to Friday – 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sunday and Statutory Holidays – 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Shelter’s Viewing Hours for Dogs – We are working to give the dogs a less stressful environment and they will be having “Quiet Time” every day.
    • Monday – Friday – closed from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    • Saturday/Sunday/Holidays – closed from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Looking for a new family.

Looking for a new family.

The Shelter welcomes all kinds of donations including: cash donations, food, towels, blankets, pet beds, carrying cages, toys, and other animal related equipment.

Cash donations will be used to directly benefit the animals, such as to acquire specialized equipment and provide a fund for extraordinary veterinary costs.  Cash donations are not used to offset general operating costs of the shelter. Charitable receipts are available upon request for any donation and will be automatically mailed to identified donors of donations over $15.00. Charitable receipts may also be available for substantial donations of supplies. To make a donation or for more information, please contact the Coquitlam Animal Shelter.

Donations are greatly appreciated!

Donations are greatly appreciated!

If you are considering pet adoption, please follow this link to find out more information.

So next time you’re planning an outing with the little ones, why not pop in to the nearest shelter for a visit. The animals are always looking for some company and maybe, just maybe, your family might be perfect for giving one of these animals a second chance:)

Coquitlam Animal Shelter

Coquitlam Animal Shelter

Slow Cooking

‘Tis the season to bring out the slow cookers, (if you haven’t already been using them all summer to keep the heat down in your home).

Slow cooker

Slow Cooker

The kids are back at school, the parents are back at work, Fall sports have begun, number of hours in a day seem to be less. And chances are, you are now making dinner in a mad frenzy and probably not making super healthy choices when it comes time to feed the family.

Dinner time stress

Dinnertime stress!

Slow cooking is a great way to avoid dinnertime disasters and hitting up the nearest drive-thru. You toss everything into the slow cooker before you head out to work in the morning and by the time you get home, dinner is ready to go. Some recipes will require that you precook part of the ingredients prior to putting putting them in the pot, but if you give yourself a little extra time in the morning to do this step, or even the night before, you shouldn’t run into any trouble when you’re trying to get the family out the door in the morning.

Take time to enjoy dinner

Family dinner time.

There are loads of cookbooks and websites that you can check out to find recipes that suit your lifestyle and diet.

Here are a few websites to get you started:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_slow_cooker_recipes

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/top-rated-recipes/slow-cooker-favorites-00400000038588/

http://skinnyms.com/category/recipes/skinny-slow-cooker/

http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/recipe-index?slow-cooker

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/main-dish/slow-cooker/

http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/7-kid-favorite-slow-cooker-dinners-for-school-nights/

http://glutenfreeslowcooking.com/category/recipes/

http://momswithcrockpots.com/

Have fun, eat well and keep dinnertime stress-free:)