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Make mealtime into fun time for your kids

by Deborah Lowther

As a parent, one of the most difficult times of the day is meal time. It’s when active and energetic kids are asked to sit still, use utensils, eat green vegetables, and try new foods.

For my family, I am a big believer in having our meals together at the table and creating a mealtime routine, but having three children in three years did not always make this an easy task. Night after night of being told to sit at the table, eat your carrots, don’t play with your food, drink your milk, and the favorite, “there will be no dessert if you don’t eat your dinner,” can turn our dinnertime into crying time.

So I decided to mix it up and add a whole bunch of fun.

I started a tradition a few years ago when I told the kids we will have special time when they are ALLOWED to play with their food. My husband thinks I’m crazy but the kids believe I am THE coolest mom ever when I tell them it’s “food fun time.”

When grocery shopping, they help me look for fun, playful ingredients and they get excited when they see the trays we use come out of the cupboard.  It’s a ‘special occasion’ kind of activity saved for rainy days or after a healthy meal. Yes, it’s messy, it’s kind of gross, the food involved is generally not very healthy, but it’s right at the top of our kids fun-list.

All you need is inexpensive large plastic trays: ones that have a nice tall edge work best to contain the fun.  We wash our hands really well and then get creative. A little chocolate pudding, mix in some vanilla pudding — with your hands of course — add some whip cream, and maybe top it off with some sprinkles. Jell-o is high on the fun chart for its colours and jiggly squishiness between their fingers. Anything goes. They love mixing it up and licking it off.

We’ve done ice cream with chocolate sauce, and I hand out straws to slurp up the melted finished product. We have even brought in a tray full of clean snow from outside. I give them some small cups to make little snow forts on their trays and some food colouring to turn it colours.  They play until it melts and then we go get more from outside.

I am hoping my healthy kids find ways to always enjoy food . . . they still have to sit still at the table and eat all their vegetables; but sometimes at dessert there is a whole lot of fun with food at our house!

8 disgustingly homophobic tweets about George Smitherman’s missing husband

Because someone’s missing spouse is apparently an opportunity to show off your ignorance.

While George Smitherman has broken down barriers as one of the first openly gay big-name politicians in Toronto and Ontario it is sad to see that so little has changed over the years, namely the media’s inability to cover the story of his husbands two day disappearance without improperly using the term “partner” instead of “husband” and trying to dig out some sort of drama or scandal from the parents of a missing man.

To title a story on any missing person as being about their so-called ‘on-again off-again relationship‘ — which, in the frame of the article, refers to their relationship before getting serious a decade ago — is so utterly tasteless , tabloid, and would most likely not be the case if this story were about a straight couple.

One basic rule to identify news from simple events is to spot the unusual. If a dog bites a man, it isn’t news. If a man bites a dog, however, it is. What is increasingly evident with the coverage surrounding Christopher Peloso’s disappearance is that the media coverage surrounding it from the start was due to the fact that George Smitherman was once the second in command of this province and almost held the top spot in Toronto, but that that continued coverage was due to the news media and the newsreading public having a sick hard on for the drama surrounding the personal lives of a gay family.

The fact that this is a gay couple and a gay family and a gay person missing is what makes the story a ‘man-bites-dog’ and that is totally unacceptable.

To the mainstream media: Trying not to be offensive and failing at it is still offensive.

On top of all that professional incompetence comes the deluge of hate filled tweets directed at a man and his family who, at the time these were posted, were most likely experiencing the most harrowing moment of their lives.

Read on to lose faith in humanity.

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.

 

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