RSS Email

Public Service Announcement – No Expired Food!!

On Saturday after a month or so of planning we had our block party for the “Child Hunger Ends Here” campaign. Melinda worked her butt off to secure the moon bounce, the cupcake truck and to make sure there was enough food, drinks and raffles for everyone. She did a great job putting everything together and the day was awesome but there was one huge problem. The food donations!

To gain admission to the moon bounce all you needed to do was bring non perishable food items or a small financial donation. Most people brought food but some people did give food and money. It was great we had so much food I needed to load up the kids’ wagon 2 or 3 times to get all of the food to the van. The van was so full with food that the back end was kind of sagging due to the weight. We were so excited and proud that people stepped up and donated for a great cause.

On Sunday Melinda wanted to look through the food to see what was donated and she started to look at the expiration dates on the items. One of the first two items she pulled out of the bag was expired. We were hoping this was an isolated incident and that everything would be good but now we started to check every item in the van to make sure the dates were good. They weren’t and we found item after item with expiration dates 2, 3 and 4 years past the date. I understand a can or two but we filled up two 13 gallon trash bags with expired food. What a waste.

I was really mad and upset that this happened. This was supposed to be a fund raiser to help feed hungry child not a day to clean out your pantry and give old expired food so your child could go on the moon bounce. I understand people not wanting to go to the store to buy food when they have food at home but seriously people check the date. You shouldn’t even be eating it let alone donating it for someone else to eat. That just isn’t cool. I understand things and the economy are tight but if you aren’t able to give food that is not expired then do not give anything at all because all we did was just throw it away.

All in all it was a great day and when Melinda dropped off the food at the Maryland Food Bank on Monday the total weight of the donation was 338 pounds. Not a bad day if you ask me for one local block party but it could have been better if we didn’t have two trash bags full of waste. So this is my gripe and now a service announcement to all. If you are going to donate food to a cause pretty please make sure the item is not expired.

Foodie Friday-Substitutes for Picky Eater

We all know that veggies are known for their high content of Vitamins and Minerals. Everything from Vitamins A & C and Folate to Potassium and Iron; all of these nutrients are key components to a growing child. What happens when your little one won’t eat veggies though?

Fruit is usually a favorite, its sweet and colorful not leafy and green. Below you’ll find awesome alternatives to get the goodstuff in without going through mealtime meltdowns.
Vitamin A helps with cell reproduction, boosts immunity, promotes bone growth and helps maintain healthy skin and hair.
Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Tomato and Mango

Niacin assists in a a properly functioning digestive and nerve system and healthy skin.
Avocado, Peaches, Tomatoes, Bananas

Vitamin C plays an important role as antioxidant, which protect the body’s tissues from damage of oxidation.
Orange, Kiwi, Strawberry, Blackberry

Folate is important for red blood cell production.
Kiwi, Banana, Mango, Orange

Calcium we all know is needed for bone growth and strength.
Orange, Blackberry, Kiwi

Iron deficiency can adversely affect the immune system and result in impaired learning ability and behavioral problems in children.
Raisins, Prunes, Dried Apricots, Watermelon

Magnesium is used for building bones, manufacturing proteins, releasing energy from muscle storage and regulating body temperature.
Watermelon, Tomato, Avocado

Potassium is essential for the body’s water balance and proper heart function.
Banana, Mango, Kiwi

I am NOT a medical professional and I do not state the above to replace yours or your child’s diet. This article is based on my research and personal experience and my opinion about getting kids to eat healthy.

Foodie Friday- Kinda food related

One Word- AMAZING. This behemoth of a toy takes up a large amount of space but it is the greatest thing that was ever brought into this house. The Step 2 Grand Walk-in Kitchen has been the #1 toy for my family since the day it arrived.

Our playroom is filled floor to ceiling with everything play related imaginable; toys, games, puzzles, crafts, legos, and much more. But when I put my youngest on the floor after coming down the stairs in the morning the first thing she does is grab a fork and starts stirring a pot. There are jars of spices and metal utensils and even a pepper grinder that makes a cracking noise when turned. The one thing she likes best is the boiling and sizzling sounds that come from the burner when it comes in contact with a certain pot. There aren’t a ton of electronic features in this kitchen so it does encourage children to use their own imagination and their own sounds while playing.

The breakfast bar is a fun feature also. I like to pull up a stool while my daughter serves up a pot of pizza slices, grapes and fried chicken and hands me a fork to eat it. She’ll even pour me a cup of coffee from the included coffee pot. This is definitely a toy where the whole family can get involved.

We’ve collected lots of kitchen stuff over the years such as food and bowls and most of those things fit in nicely with the new kitchen. We also have an older kitchen that my older kids refused to get rid of when the Grand Kitchen came. So now we have 2 kitchens side by side, they call it the restaurant kitchen and that’s how they play. They have made up menus and recipe cards and work together to serve up mommy and daddy full meals.
If you have the space this is an awesome buy that will last YEARS.

This is the Restaurant, you can see my son standing there and my oldest daughter’s feet sticking out of the new kitchen.

Foodie Friday-Sneaky Foods

We all know that our children should be eating healthy. As parents we try to give or children the nutrition they need while also giving them things that are yummy. Unfortunately as consumers we are sometimes tricked into buying products because they are advertised as having healthy ingredients.

Here are some examples:
Oscar Mayer Lunchables Turkey and Cheddar-while it’s claims to contain a good amount of protein and calcium are true it doesn’t announce to the public that it’s Sodium content is almost twice the amount that a 3 year old should have in a day. Grilled chicken strips made by you is a better choice.

V8 Splash-Yes it contains Vitamins A, C and E and fruit and vegetable juices. What you don’t notice right away is that it also contains High Fructose Corn syrup and is NOT 100% juice. A good alternative is V8 Fusion which is 100% juice.

Sweetened Breakfast Cereal-OK, I admit I love Corn Pops and Frosted Flakes but I realized they weren’t doing me or my kids any good as a meal. Loaded with sugar they brought us to a crashing halt soon after enjoying their sugary deliciousness. Cheerios is an all time favorite in this house, it has a slightly sweet taste but it also contains fiber, something that other cereals just can’t claim.

We aren’t the healthiest eaters in the world but I do try to make changes that are important to my family. Do the best you can as a parent and the decision maker in the grocery store. Read nutrition labels and make informed choices.

Foodie Friday-Who likes Gadgets?

ME! (waving my hand frantically)

Professional chef I am NOT but I do enjoy making yummy meals and decadent desserts for my family and friends. DESSERTS especially; I like cakes, cookies and brownies, if you read last week’s Foodie Friday post you’d know this already. Anyway, this most awesome gadget would be a lifesaver in my kitchen especially when it came to desserts. Since baking is a science, off measurements can kill a perfectly normal recipe for chocolate cupcakes (I deleted those pictures, we’ll call them cake shells). This alleviates all the guess work out of the scoop and level method for flour or packing brown sugar. I gotta get me one of these from ThinkGeek and for just $24.99 whose gonna stop me.

review from
If you’re a serious chef, you know that volumetric measurement is terribly imprecise. Let’s say you’re making biscuits. The recipe says 1 cup of flour, but are we talking 200 grams or 270 grams? Depending on humidity, or how much your flour was compacted when you scooped it, that could make the difference between light and flaky, and hockey pucks.
With baking, precision is absolutely vital. Measuring your wet ingredients and your dry ingredients with our new ultra-precise spoon scale. With two spoons included, you can scoop out just the right amount of sugar, or even 10-1 grams of salt! To get this level of precision, you’d normally need a separate scale, but we’ve combined two immensely useful kitchen gadgets into one, and we love dual-use devices in the kitchen!
The graduated scales on the sides of the spoon will help you measure out your volumetric measurements, or you can use the LCD display built into the handle to measure the weight. It can weigh as little as one one-tenth of a gram all the way to 300 grams. So, whether you’re trying to faithfully recreate grandma’s secret recipe for gingerbread cookies, or fine-tune your barbecue spice-rub down just right, you’ll need to have precision on your side. Grab your spoon and go! Allez cuisiner!
Combination spoon and scale
Precise from 0.1 to 300g (0.005 to 10.5oz)
Switchable between grams and ounces
Graduations on the spoon measure volume
Measures 23 x 5 x 2.5cm (9″ x 2″ x 1″) (L x W x H). Weight approx. 90g (3oz) including batteries.
Batteries included