Posts tagged under Food. Show all posts.
Despite all the fresh local produce available to us during the summer, it’s not always easy to produce healthy, well-balanced meals three times a day. A quick dog here, a few fries there, a trip to the ice-cream store and the never-ending series of barbeques (aka: burger bonanzas). What is a savvy mom to do?
The rule in my house is to make sure the kids eat healthy at home so that when they are out at summer parties or events, they can enjoy the treats that go with them. But you want to make sure the meals you are producing at home really are nutritious and delicious and that’s not always easy, either. That’s where it’s good to know about one of our partners, Mission Nutrition. You can find lots of nutritional information there, but you can also enter into the Healthy Eating contest. One lucky winner will have a nutritionist visit their home, advise them of what to buy/replace in the kitchen and then go on a $300 grocery shopping spree. Now that’s a mission I would like to go on.
How do you make sure your kids eat and stay healthy during the summer?
Trips to the ice cream store, barbeques featuring burgers and dogs…these are the treats that summer brings. It’s right around now that you start thinking about getting ready for back to school, or just back into the normal routines.
If you need a little help in the area of nutrition, look no further than Mission Nutrition, a program developed by registered dieticians to encourage healthy eating, physical activity and positive self-esteem among school-aged children.
We like it so much that we partnered with them for an exclusive contest available to SavvyMoms only. It’s called the Mission Nutrition* Healthy Kitchen Cupboard, Healthy Eating Contest. One lucky family can win a healthy living consultation with a registered dietician right in their own home. The dietician will assess what’s in your cupboards and help maximize your family’s healthy eating habits. She’ll provide quick and tasty recipes for the whole family to enjoy and take you on a $300 healthy eating shopping spree at your local grocery store.
How do you enter? Simply read through the new Fibre Up* Your Family section. Then click the ‘Enter Now!’ button where you’ll be prompted to submit your favourite tip on how you try to get fibre into your family’s diet. It’s that easy!
It’s not surprising that children who develop healthy-eating habits and physical-activity patterns will enjoy health benefits throughout their lives. And guess what? Healthy-eating habits start at home.
Good luck getting back into that routine!
Everyone at SavvyHQ was appalled by last week’s story of the mom who runs a ‘healthy and green’ childcare food catering company (aptly named Whole Green Kids) but was accused of serving food that did not meet the criteria promised to her clients and to the parents of the childcare children. Hundreds of children in daycares across the country were being served food that claimed to be peanut-free, halal, kosher and organic, but in fact was not any of those things.
The Toronto Star broke the story on May 30 with an investigation into the business that tells of bankruptcy, unpaid leases, unhealthy (and illegal) kitchens, unsanitary food handling and the owners of the company driving around in Porsches and renting luxury homes. Since then, the health inspectors have been called and her business has been shut down. According to reports, she is no longer delivering food to daycare centres.
The fact of the matter is that the owner sent staff out to buy bulk food from discount grocers, then re-packaged them with green ribbons and pawned them off as premium organic foods. This is a serious breach of trust. In all industries and all walks of life there is a level of trust that we take for granted. We trust that people are telling us the truth when we ask for directions. We trust that drivers will stop at a red light. We trust that employees tell the truth about where they go and what they do (ie. a sales call or a job interview). But caring for children introduces a whole new world of trust. Parents trust daycare providers with their children—their most prized possessions. That’s a very big deal. Layer that with life-threatening allergies (peanuts) or religious beliefs (kosher foods), and the trust goes deeper and becomes more dependent.
Susan Blouin has made a very deep wound in the trust among the families whose children attend the daycare centres where she supplied food. She has not just single-handedly taken her own business down, but she has taken a stab at the childcare industry as a whole. Children’s safety is always paramount, and hearing reports that non-peanut-free foods were being passed out to schools is unfathomable. Katie York, mommy blogger and member/contributor to the popular Bad Moms Club said it very succinctly regarding the food-allergy negligence: “especially that nut one—could have killed a child. Killed a child.”
These are the worries that keep working parents everywhere awake at night. If this can happen at 75 day care facilities across Canada, what is happening at mine? Or, I wonder if my nanny is watching properly when Jack and Jill cross the road?
I am truly sorry for all the families who have been lied to and affected by this scandal but I am also sorry for all the families who have children in daycare and have been frightened by these reports. Working moms have enough guilt and worry; we don’t need to add more to the equation.
What do you think about the scandal?
It’s only the second week of my return to the blog and so much has caught my attention. Here are my top five radar-worthy things this week.
What’s on your radar this week?
It’s a busy world out there and not much shocks me these days but the recent publicity stunt by Ashley Madison has got people talking. See what else caught my radar this week.
It’s not all about me though—what do you think?
There is much to report. Google’s self-driving car, pregnancy must-haves, more Fifty Shades of Grey, mason jars and sandwich bags—they all caught my attention this week.
1. The movie What to Expect When You’re Expecting is coming out next week. With a star studded cast (Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez), it’s sure to be a hit with moms. We’re excited—especially after we received a nice big package to the office promoting the movie. What did we find inside the box? Condoms and a Trojan Vibrating Touch (that would be a mini-vibrator that attaches to your finger—yes). Pregnancy must–haves? The promoters did include a few other items such as a very large pickle, a First Response pregnancy kit and some Nair hair removal products. I’m not sure about all of you, but pregnancy seems a whole lot more fun than what my memory serves. Babymoon, anyone?
2. Google just announced that the first ever self-driving car passed its drivers test. Let’s review. A car that drives itself. Think of the hands-free opportunities this provides for moms. Did the baby keep you up all night? Have a nap in your car. Hungry toddlers, dropped toys and sibling spats can all be solved without having to turn around and drive off the road. Finally, all that pesky traffic isn’t your problem. You can watch a movie with your kids, text, sext, read, apply makeup, surf and parent all at the same time. A world of opportunity awaits you in your car. Note that you have to live in Nevada first—it’s the only state that will allow it for now. (Side bar: what would we do without the state of Nevada?)
3. The fascination with Fifty Shades of Grey just isn’t going away anytime soon. Apparently, well over 2,000,000 copies of the book have been sold and even more on Kindle. Here’s a hilarious skit on SNL I wanted to share with you. Is mommy porn the new reality TV? I suppose things could be worse.
4. Have you stuffed anything into a mason jar recently? If you have, then apparently you’re on trend. Foodies and decorators can’t get enough of this classic container. It seems that everywhere I look these days, I see them. What’s amazing is the speed at which their popularity has risen. Should we be crediting Pinterest for this? Whatever the reason, I’m definitely going to dig out my old jars and use them.
5. Worried about your kids’ lunch getting stolen or traded? Tired of not being able to control the lunch situation? Make sure they eat what you pack with these handy disposables. The Anti-Theft Lunch Bags might not be the most eco-friendly option but you can be sure nobody else will touch your kids’ lunch. Helicopter mom or hilarious mom?
Ah, it’s spring. The birds are chirping. The grass is long and green. The city’s streets and sidewalks are torn up and the Bond family, hand in hand, blissfully skips into yet another season. All smiles people!
I’m known to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. So, in appreciation of the last week’s ‘cold toss,’ allow me to sum up some recent events:
The Cold Toss, the Circle Sniff, the Sick Cycle—every family has a name for it (I just made those three up!), but the result is the same—one family member falls ill, then the others fall on top of them. If executed correctly, the timing should coincide with the month’s busiest schedule and most important meetings.
Baxter is a miserable sick child. Sure, there’s snot and a cough and changes in his digestion (I’ll leave it at that—you’re welcome), but there is also a new found awareness of this sad state. This metacognition paves the way for a kind of baby depression manifest through exhaustion, impatience, fidgeting and a constant blubbering, or as my father would say, ‘pissing and moaning.’ It makes for a long day.
Baxter’s ‘growth’ is phenomenal. No doubt. He’s practically walking and his babble linguistics are impressive. He’s not afraid if we leave the room and he’s more focused during playtimes. Unfortunately, he’s lost his taste for baths. By lost his taste, I mean he screams bloody murder and now that he can stand and move about, escape attempts are constant. I wonder if Oasis Relaxation Aromatherapy candles come in a log form?
Lastly, to those moms that just smiled smugly when I bragged that Baxter eats anything you put in front of him, I am now at the table eating those very words. Yesterday’s favourites are today’s cod liver oil. Some foods must precede other foods lest the planet go off axis. There is little confusion as to what Baxter will eat, and what is refused. Merely look on the floor or curtains.
That concludes the Bond State of the Family Address. I shall resume the white washing next week.
Baxter may have been a big baby but he seems pretty ‘normal’ sized now. Perhaps it has something to do with his fussier eating habits. Now we second-guess ourselves as to whether or not he’s eaten enough.
A couple of evenings ago, I took him to the grocery store for a quick shop. It was getting close to bedtime and he had dinner. We strolled through the aisle and Baxter wasn’t attempting to ‘re-merchandise’ all the products to his preferred floor level—so I knew he was wiped. Then we got to the bananas.
From the time I grabbed the bananas to the time I got home, Baxter was obsessed. Amy had said that she had BB eating bananas without slicing them neatly and I suppose I never pictured what that meant. That evening I got a demonstration.
From the moment the banana was detached from its bunch it was like watching an episode of Shark Tank. Peeling appeared optional. His gorging reminded me of a frenzied prehistoric beast—mindless, save stuffing every morsel of banana into his wee mouth. By the end (yes, of the entire banana), Amy tried to remove the wee nib left buried in the base, but as she did so, Baxter moved on to the peel with the same fervour.
In the end we were all exhausted. Baxter looked like he just smoked an exploding fruit, and Amy and I were somewhat concerned over that fact that he ate more banana than either of us ever could have after a full dinner.
He frightens us.
Hot dogs, grilled cheese and Jamie Oliver…it’s all about food this week. But I also liked these tips on how to look good on a webcam and am excited to see the new Microsoft tablet. Whenever they launch it. Here are just a few things that caught my eye this week.
1. I know kids love hot dogs and there are a lot more options for us to choose from these days. Companies like Life Choices for example, offer an all-beef option with none of the scary additives that were in the type I fed my kids when they were little. But here’s the thing. I came across this new revolutionary tool that makes eating hotdogs so much safer for kids—The Dog Dicer. I have to ask: do moms really need a quick slicer for kids to eat their hot dogs faster? If they are that dangerous, should they be eating them in the first place at such a young age? Really, how hard is it to chop up a wiener?
2. Since we’re talking about kids’ food staples, here’s a tip that came across my desktop this week that actually made me look twice. Just by tipping a toaster on its side, this handy way of making grilled cheese sandwiches is brilliant. Kids can make them on their own without having to use the stove top, there is less mess and you can even add your own toppings to make the open face grilled cheese fancy (croque-monsieur, anyone). It did occur to me that there could be some crumb spillage from the toaster when it gets tipped on its side, but that’s OK. They needed to get out anyway.
3. And there’s more in the world of kids and food. One of my favourite global men—Jamie Oliver—swooped in to save the day for a nine year old foodie with a cause. A student in the UK who photographed and blogged about her school lunches being unhealthy was successful in implementing change in her school cafeteria. Unfortunately, when the story hit the national press, the school asked her to stop posting. That’s when the Jamie machine swooped in to defend her. This story is about so much more than school lunches, freedom of speech and Jamie Oliver (but he does make it so much more attractive). It’s about the power of one, social media and it’s ability to affect change.
4. If you have ever communicated over Skype or a webcam you know what I’m talking about. Who is that person on the screen that looks like you but worse? Whether it’s personal or professional, you want to look like yourself and you don’t want to be distracted during the call with how big your nose looks. This video I found on Daily Candy gives some pretty simple tricks on how to set up for a successful skype or webcam call.
5. For something that hasn’t hit the market yet, there is already a lot of hype about the new Microsoft Surface tablet. Good for them—I’m excited to learn more about it. There’s still no launch date (they are being rather cagey about that), but here is some information released by Microsoft listing five advantages it has over the iPad. It sounds like their point of difference is going to be that they have solved the keyboard issue so we’ll be able to get more work done on it. It’s a good idea if it works.
Despite the slow pace that summer brings, there was still lots of news, entertainment and interesting tidbits that caught my attention this week.
1. I read recently that our beloved treat/toy for budding engineers, Kinder Surprise eggs, are illegal in the US. Do people know this? Apparently they are banned from importing into the US due to the ‘non-nutritive object embedded in it,’ which means the toy is viewed as a choking hazard. I can’t help but note the word ‘nutritive’ when referring to the chocolate—but I digress. According to the National Post, two Seattle parents returning home from Vancouver last week were stopped at the border in possession of the illegal substances and told by a border guard that they could be fined $2,500 per egg. They were then ordered to head to the port of entry, where they waited for more than two hours. In the end, the fines were dropped, the family was released and allowed back into their country. With the eggs in hand. (Slow day for the border police?) Good to Know:Don’t pack those illegal eggs in your travel bag of goodies for the kids when crossing the border.
2. Run, Fat Bitch, Run is the title of a new book written by Ruth Field, a British mother of twins and a hard-core runner (hard-core being the operative word here). She takes the tough love mantra to a whole new level, but does so in an effort to get women off the sofa, or rather, ‘that large arse-shaped dent in your sofa.’ Apparently her straight talking, funny, take-no-prisoners approach to self-loathing is working. Book sales are taking off. Imagine all those skinny British bitches running around England…and the sequel…The Skinny Bitches Win the Race. Let’s wait and see.
3. What caught my attention with this product was the title of the post: ‘Water Bottle Doubles as Wallet?’ That seemed a bit far-fetched, so I looked further and found that this No-Spill Kangaroo Bottle by Contigo is actually a pretty handy water bottle with a neat little contraption for keeping change or a key. I thought it might be perfect for those ‘fat bitches’ running around England. They’ll get thirsty, and I’m sure they’ll need a place to store some pounds.
4. On a more serious note, this cover of Newsweek titled ‘iCRAZY. Panic. Depression. Psychosis.’ caught my attention. The fact that technology and social media causes anxiety came as no surprise to me. Just a few weeks ago I actually heard my 13 year-old son say, ‘I’m going to turn my phone off. I need a break from the pressure of trying to keep up to date with everything.’ Thankfully, he went outside to throw the ball around. With other live humans. I felt a bit better, but I’m still aware that his brain is actually being rewired. According to the article, internet addiction is real, as real as any other kind of substance addiction. I’m not a scientist, but the thought of my son’s brain being re-mapped doesn’t thrill me. Reminder: Get them outside as much as you can, away from their devices. This article from The Daily Beast provides some good tips to avoid the psychosis.
5. Maybe all our kids need is some time in the kitchen with a bit of bacon. Everywhere I look these days I see it. But what really caught my attention was this recipe for Frozen Elvis Bites that our food editor, Jan Scott, sent in. It’s clear that bacon is the new ‘it’ food among foodies these days. Now that’s something I know my kids could get addicted to.
Even with the Olympics on 24/7 (admittedly a huge distraction for me) there was still a lot that caught my attention this week.
1. First, let’s talk about the Olympics. Not the athleticism, but what the athletes are wearing—it’s time to admit this is a topic we all care about. I noticed that the women playing beach volleyball are covering up much more than usual which must be a let-down for some viewers. Personally, I think the new gear is much less distracting. It looks like all the Lycra used to make their black pants was taken from the male divers’ suits though. There’s barely a thread left on them. I’m not complaining, I’m just sayin’. And on the topic of bathers, I liked the women’s Canadian diving suits but I will give top marks to the Italians in the synchronized diving event. They do always send their athletes looking top notch. I can’t say the same for the NIKE US podium outfits though. They look like they were made for NASA. They look OK on Michael Phelps and his hunky teammates but not for those cute little female gymnasts. I have so many more opinions but I’m trying to keep it short…who was wearing your favourite outfit at the games?
2. Back to the male divers and a more serious topic. There was a sad story I learned about in The Huffington Post about a British diver in the men’s synchro event who was squeezed off the podium into fourth after missing his last dive. His father died a year ago and he was quoted as saying he wanted to win a medal ‘for myself and my dad.’ After the event, a British TWIT sent a tweet saying: ‘You let your dad down I hope you know that.’ What followed was a series of tweets that included a threat: ‘I’m going to find you and I’m going to drown you in the pool.’ The TWIT was found and arrested. My first reaction to this was that I was glad he got busted. Then I thought about our freedom of speech, then about all the ridiculous tweets that are sent out every nano second and the amount of arrests (for stupidity alone) that could take place in an effort to keep the twitterverse clean and respectable. That will never happen because that’s not what Twitter is all about. There are a lot of comments on whether or not this TWIT should’ve been arrested but the bottom line is that the British are protecting an athlete while the games are on and he has more events to compete in. The arrest was a reaction to the threat—not the nasty comment. The athlete needs to be able to focus and feel safe at his own games. I’ll allow it.
3. Some of us might aspire to be as fit as the athletes but I like to set more attainable goals for myself. So when I read this wonderfully easy to digest (ahem) book called Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan, I decided I could at least eat like an athlete. It’s filled with simple rules to eat and live by when making food choices. It’s about eating more ‘real’ food (i.e. from the earth) and less-processed food. One of his rules is simply this: ‘If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.’ His rules are practical and easy to understand, perhaps not as simple to live by. But I might give it a try.
4. I’m pretty sure Michael Pollan would approve of popcorn since the kernels come from a plant. Not the packaged type from the supermarket, but the kernels that can be popped in this fun to use Coleman Popcorn Popper which was our Pick of the Week this week. Pick one up at a Canadian Tire and you can pop your corn over a campfire or fire pit. The kids will love eating their popped corn in that new tent they just built.
5. Speaking of snacks, here’s what defies every single one of Michael’s rules: The Krispy Kreme Burger being served up at the Canadian National Exhibition this month. According to Toronto Life, what’s new this year at the Ex is the arrival of Bacon Nation. (I have said before that it’s all about bacon these days.) Look for sandwiches made with Nutella bacon and Jack Daniels bacon, bacon parfaits, bacon sundaes and even bacon popcorn. Note: I said look for them, not eat them. I am a newly minted disciple of Michael now, after all.
This week I thought I would mention a few things I love and a few others I don’t.
1. Top of the list is my love for summer. I love the summer and from time to time, I like to reflect on just what I love about it—just to make sure I don’t miss anything along the way. One of my all-time favourite things about this season is the food. I am obsessed with the local produce—the tomatoes, fresh peas, herbs from the garden, corn, etc. Watermelon is one of every moms’ essential summer ingredients. Which kids don’t love it? I found some amazing ways to work watermelon into your day from one of our bloggers, Sweet Potato Chronicles. Try the watermelon lemonade, strawberry watermelon salad and—my fave—the watermelon gazpacho.
2. But I’m not always that healthy. Sometimes I like to add a kick to all that fresh goodness with ingredients like bacon. I have mentioned bacon a few times in my blog lately because everywhere I go these days it turns up. Just last week I was at a friend’s farm—a foodie with her own vegetable garden—who served her local corn wrapped in bacon! Delish. This week Sarah and I both served up the chicken with blueberry bacon jam from this month’s EatSavvy to our families and it was a BIG hit. Just saying bacon jam sounds weird, so I referred to it as a blueberry reduction with a touch of bacon (the kids preferred jam). To be clear, there’s a lot of bacon in this recipe (not just a touch)! Try it—it’s addictive.
3. This summer I am also loving the Olympics. I am a total sucker for the games. I cry every time an athlete steps onto the podium. But I don’t cry when athletes are on the podium crying because they didn’t win (gymnastics, I’m talking to you). We have seen our fair share of bad sportsmanship at these games (hello, badminton players) but when it comes to receiving medals, there is no crying at the Olympics. We know some of our Canadian athletes have been disappointed or did not meet their medal expectations but we and they can be proud of how they conducted themselves. Handling disappointment can be as tough as training for four years to get there.
4. Speaking of crying and bad behaviour, nothing tops my latest TV dislike. Back for its second season is likely the worst of all reality TV, hit series, Dance Moms. It’s a show about pushy parents and a despotic dance teacher. Any parent with children in sports has witnessed the moms and dads who live vicariously through their children’s sports accomplishments. This show takes the hockey dad or Toddlers and Tiaras to a whole new world of hurt. The children are the ones getting hurt, and the cameras keep rolling. Sorry folks, but this is not entertainment.
5. Another thing I don’t like is the rush into back-to-school season while we’re still smack in the middle of the summer. I like to stretch August out as long as I can. But if you are looking for somewhere new to get ahead of some BTS shopping (while on the dock, of course) you might like One Jackson. It’s the latest online retail destination for stylish moms. It caught my attention because I love when moms start businesses to meet their own needs. This group of mom entrepreneurs (and high-powered Silicon Valley types) couldn’t find a place online for high-quality, indie-designed kids clothing, so they decided to build it themselves. They have pooled all the indie talent in the community to offer stylish clothes for kids. What’s really cool about it though is that they offer regular design challenges where shoppers can vote for their favourite designs—and the winning design gets manufactured and sold on the site. Note: they are a US site but they do ship to Canada.
Keep enjoying the rest of your summer!
1. I’ll begin with some final words on the Olympics. I’m sorry they are over. I miss them already. I loved watching the athleticism and courage of the amazing athletes from all over the world. I loved judging their behaviour (to cry or not to cry) when I was in no position to do so and I loved reading the commentary from other media channels. An example of this is the outstanding investigative reporting exhibited above.
2. On a more serious and heartwarming note, my favourite story from the games was about Elijah Porter, the 10 year old boy from Newfoundland who sent the Canadian men’s 4X 100 relay team his own bronze medal (his only medal ever won). Porter understands adversity and the importance of fighting back. He wrote, ‘We’re Canadians. We persevere.’ That’s the message from a boy with Asperger’s syndrome who is homeschooled and rarely writes but was able to capture the hearts of the Canadian track team and an entire nation with his own words. ‘I saw all the people were crying and realized how much it meant to them. I thought it would make them feel better if they got something,’ said Porter. It reminds us that we need to listen to our children more than we do.
3. But now it’s time to turn our attention to back-to-school season, which is in full swing here at Savvy HQ. Our Back to School Gear Guide was filled with great ideas for backpacks, lunch bags and other essentials, but my favourite is the Optari Backpack. This water-resistant bag looks like you could easily hose it down after a long day of housing old lunch items and smelly sneakers. I also made note of the O3 Kids Cooler Backpack, a lunch bag and backpack all in one—just right for kids who know snack time is the most important part of the day.
4. Speaking of snacks, I heard some interesting news about one of our favourites—popcorn. As a child growing up in the eighties, I was no stranger to microwave popcorn or even margarine. As an adult, I am no stranger to the delightful flavour that can be enjoyed in a glass of Chardonnay. So you can imagine my horror when I learned that diacetyl, the flavourant used to produce the delicious (but fake) buttery taste in all of these items, may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists found that the architectural make up of diacetyl is similar to a substance that makes proteins clump together in the brain. That clumping (also referred to as plaque build-up) is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. I’ll be watching for more on this study but in the meantime I’m air-popping my corn and using butter on the kid’s sandwiches. As for the Chardonnay…I’ll keep you posted on that.
5. In other shocking news, the story of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s breakup just won’t go away. He’s a victim. She’s a homewrecker. Has the director gone back to his wife? It’s good Hollywood stuff. Our own Kelli Daisy has been covering it in SavvyStories. I watched Robert on Jon Stewart’s show Tuesday night, eating ice cream and carefully avoiding the questions being fired at him. At the risk of over analyzing The Daily Show, I will say that Jon’s comments at the end were well put: “When you are young and you break up, it is powerful and it feels the like world is ending. This is the first time I have seen the whole world actually act that way. Here is my wish for you: that you get to handle your business in private.” Unfortunately, I don’t think the world will allow that because, for some very sad and frightening reason, so many people care deeply about this breakup. Are you one of them?
Failing kids, healthy lunches, rapping parents and sh*tty moms. There’s a lot to talk about this week!
1. The first week back at school means that parents and kids everywhere are filled with the excitement and sheer joy that comes with the promise of another year of learning. Well, perhaps not. But there is a good chance that expectations and hopes for success are high. That’s why the article in the Globe and Mail about letting kids fail garnered so much attention this week. It talks about how we’re all overparenting our kids (we’ve heard that before). By not allowing them to fail, we are setting them up for failure later on. It’s confusing, but I can tell you that I am definitely guilty of overparenting (my kids call me a helicopter mom when I apply sunscreen to their faces—they’re teens). What has caught my attention is not just this article but all of the articles hitting us over our heads with this new truth about helicopter parenting. Many parents are accepting that it’s a real issue, but there are no apparent changes to our behaviour. I’m waiting for the anti-helicopter backlash. Stay tuned.
2. Maybe the super groovy mom and dad from this Parent Rap video will start the counter heli-parent revolution. If anyone can do it, they can. This video caught my attention as it went viral over the last month with my favourite line (of course) being ‘Mom, mom, she’s the bomb.’ It’s actually very similar to an old Toyota Sienna ad that was produced about two years ago called the ‘Swagger Wagon.’ Do you think they can lead the charge? I’m willing to give them a try.
3. I’ll tell you who I don’t think will be leading the revolution, and that’s the massive group of women who are fans of the still so popular Fifty Shades of Grey novel. This book is not going anywhere fast. Just keep it on your Kindle, ladies, and please, please, don’t turn your kids into poster boards for such pedestrian lit by letting them wear onesies like the one above. If that’s not setting them up for failure, tell me what is.
4. One way to help your kids succeed is to pack them a healthy lunch (don’t spoon feed it to them—that’s definitely a helicopter move). But apparently our lunches are failing our kids. We’re smack in the middle of an obesity crisis and North Americans are leading the charge. Food production and the culture of food in North America has significant global implications as well. Andrea Curtis, a savvy Toronto mom, wrote a book called What’s for Lunch? How Schoolchildren Eat Around the World. It’s packed with colourful images and sidebars illustrating how kids all over the world are eating and, in some cases, learning about healthy food.
5. I know. All this parenting pressure is making you feel inadequate. It’s time to sit down with a glass of wine and flip through the latest hot book that landed on my shelf called Sh*tty Mom – The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us. It’s funny, irreverent and written by four moms who have their tongues planted firmly in cheeks. Feeling like a hostage? This will help.
Have a good week.
1. Sarah and I have been friends and business partners for so long that we’re sometimes accused of acting like a married couple. We share lunches; we finish each other’s sentences; and we show up at the office wearing the same outfit sometimes (except hers in usually designer and mine is Joe Fresh). But this last week really took the savvy cake, with our sons suffering from head injuries at the same time.
My youngest has a concussion and has been in lockdown at home for the past few days. Sarah’s boy had a much more serious accident, however. In a random act of nature, a large branch from a tree in Sarah’s backyard fell on his head while he was outside playing on Saturday afternoon. He suffered a serious blow to his head and was taken to SickKids where the doctors and nurses took very good care of him. After surgery and close monitoring for four days, he is now home—safe and sound—under the watchful eye and care of our publisher (Sarah) where he’ll require lots of rest and recovery.
I mention this today because of all the things that crossed my desk this week, the impact this accident had on all of us at Savvy HQ made everything else seem trivial—or marginal at best. Every mom knows how difficult it is to watch their child in pain. To be a victim of such a random accident is scary, makes no sense and is a fierce reminder of the fragility of life. We can only protect them so much and things can change in a nanosecond. We know. But to be reminded with such a close call is another thing.
We have missed Sarah in the office this week but our hearts and thoughts have been with her son.
So I’m sending you a gentle reminder to cherish your children. Hold them close and give them an extra hug tonight.
In lighter news, I’ll mention four more very quick thoughts from the week:
2. Speaking of bedtime, this video brought me back to the days when my kids were babies. It also highlights how quickly things have changed since those days. This is a real book—not just a video!
3. Back then (in the olden days) we didn’t know much about organic foods, either. A study released last week claims that there is minimal nutritional difference between organic and non-organic foods. This is causing all kinds of debate—even our food editor, Jan Scott, weighed in. Let us know what you think.
4. And there’s more in the world of good parents/bad parents. A new motion to outlaw spanking here in Canada reveals that apparently 50% of Canadian parents and 70% of US parents admit to spanking their kids. The Canadian Journal of Medicine states that spanking can lead to depression, drug abuse and other substantial problems in children later in life—using that as the main reason to outlaw the act. Sounds like a fair argument to me. At least 30 other countries are doing it already, including Austria, New Zealand and Sweden. Shouldn’t we?
5. And for anyone with a mobile device that stores music (hello), I found this hot new toy that turns anything into a speaker. Seriously. Watch this video to understand what I’m talking about. We’re still testing it out so we’ll keep you posted on how well it works.
Have a great week. Remember that extra hug tonight.