Tag Archives: Parenting

Nut Free, Egg free weekly dinners for the whole family! Keto, Paleo & Gluten friendly

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I’ve decided that sharing one recipe at a time can make it difficult to plan for a whole week. So this week, I made 4 different meals, and it is now Saturday and I still have leftovers! Some tweeks can be made to make these follow the Keto or paleo or gluten free diets 

The meals were as follows: 

White fish cooked in lemon butter with couscous and mixed veggies.


This one I pan fried the fish in the juice of one lemon and half a stick of butter, I just dipped them in breadcrumbs (since I don’t use eggs) and made the couscous and veggies in another pot at the same time. I used one package of frozen veggies the carrots and peas mix. Couscous is super easy to make, if you have some tomato sauce laying around it would taste really nice on top of the couscous and veg mix. That’s it, super simple. Follow the directions  on the box for couscous and throw the veggies in at the same time bring to a boil, cover and let sit. 
Chicken thighs with quinoa in a red pepper sauce (one-pot meal).


This I sautéed the chicken thighs in my new non stick pan with butter, turmeric and garlic and minced half a red onion. I puréed three peppers and once the chicken was browned I threw in the puréed peppers and 1 and half cups of quinoa, covered it and simmered it for approximately 15 mins. If the quinoa isn’t soft and fluffy at the end of the 15 then add a cup more water, stir it and cover again for 7 mins. Repeat that as necessary until the quinoa is fluffy! Serve it with cheese for the kiddos and hot sauce or cayenne pepper for the adults!
Vegetarian black bean chilly in lettuce wraps for the adults, and cheddar tortilla wraps for the kids.



There are 4 wraps on this plate and two people ate them lol in case anyone thinks I’m a pig, I am usually but I controlled myself lol

I mean was my masterpiece for the week, made in the instant pot! I soaked a whole bag of black beans or approx 3 and 1/2 cups in a bowl for 30 mins. I sautéed minced garlic, red onion, and mushroom and garlic salt, onion powder, turmeric, and cayenne. Once sautéed I added puréed Roma tomatoes (I’ve also made this with a jar of tomato sauce) and then added frozen organic corn. Covered the instant pot and set to chilli. While that was happening I made two cups of quinoa with vegetable stock! For the adults I served this on top of lettuce sprinkled with pepper, avocado slices then quinoa and the chilli on top sprinkled with cheese and a small bit of Greek yogurt. The kids I did in a cheddar wrap, they ate it and asked for more. We also ate this on leftover day, and today for dinner! Winner, winner, vegetarian dinner!!!

Tex mex style casserole over rice for the kids and without carbs for the adults


This was easy since I had my seasoning made, which consists of garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, sea salt, turmeric,  and cayenne pepper. I browned the ground beef in butter and red onions garlic and seasoning. Then threw it in a casserole dish,  threw in chopped Roma tomatoes, package of shredded cheese, and chives I grew and baked it for 30 mins at 350degrees. You could serve it over rice, or even leftover quinoa! 
This really helped me in the week not to be stressed and well fed. In case you didn’t already pick up on this, I use whole fat ingredients for myself and the family. It’s very close to the Keto or Paleo Diet, and I do personally take from them for myself alone, but I don’t make my kids eat super clean. Unfortunately tree nuts and eggs are basically in everything so I am forced to make almost everything from scratch. 

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School lunches, both Nut Free & Egg Free!

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So I’ve now completed making lunches for the first two weeks of school. I must say it has been a successful week, because NOTHING, I REPEAT NOTHING HAS COME HOME!!


What I did was on Sunday while I was making dinner, I refused to sit down, and make my kids two varieties of wraps. 


For the wraps I used spinach wraps and regular wraps or tortillas. They both had no added sugar, and not as much salt as regular or even most whole wheat bread. We always accompany with two fruits and one veggie in the small planet box compartments. 

WRAP 1:

I had was slow roasted beef from natural selections, with old cheddar cheese and sliced dill pickles! This was a big hit with my kids, like Huge! Either on spinach or plain tortilla. 

WRAP 2:

Natural selections turkey with sliced Havarti and green apple slices! Again Boom! Huge hit!

Then I placed all ten wraps into a large bag and kept it in the fridge pulled a new one out every day and sliced on the diagonal, or you can slice it in pinwheels if your kids like that fancy schmancy stuff!

This weeks wraps were amazing! I know because we all taste tested

WRAP 3:

Apple butter, turkey, shredded mozzarella, cucumbers in an ancient grain wrap!

WRAP 4:

Apple butter, Black Forest ham, cucumbers and feta!

I forgot to take pictures of all the wraps but here is one lunch


My kids LOVE cucumbers! I gave them Ontario peaches and strawberries and a cup of yogurt (Liberte strawberry 2%)mixed with half a cup of Motts fruit and veggie sauce (mostly because my little one loves the combo and there is quite a bit of fibre in it) 

I write this for people who get mad that they have to deal with kids allergies at school, or parents who don’t know what to pack, or parents who want to get out of the norm of package foods, or even want to have their kids eat healthier. I really hope it helps!

Happy Back to school!!

Stay tuned for more homemade snacks without packaging!

Funny story

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I was emptying out my hubby’s clothes from the laundry and pulled out a Long Blonde hair and got so upset, I started throwing all his clothes all over the floor, just tossing it here and there…midway through my hissy fit I realized it was my own long grey hair!!!!

I’m an idiot today! I put the clothes neatly away after that!

Lebanese-esq ground beef and couscous

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So I was in the mood for something with a reminder of Middle East tastes, then I realized I have never exposed my kiddos to some of the flavours that I used to and still adore. What I made was a Lebanese style ground beef with couscous. I wanted to add spinach to this, but it had gone bad and the only frozen veggie I had was corn…it turned out fantastic!!!
What you need:

1 and 1/2lbs of lean ground beef 

1 red onion chopped 

1/2 bag of organic or regular corn (I find the organic tastes more like corn) 

1 tbsp of cinnamon

1 tbsp of all spice

1 tbsp of turmeric 

1 tbsp of garlic salt 

1 tbsp of Italian seasonings 

1 tbsp of onion powder

1 tbsp of sesame oil

4 tbsps of olive oil

Salt and cayenne pepper to taste!

With the ground beef and onion sauté all the seasonings and oil, once the beef is brown and the onions translucent then add the corn and 2 cups of water and simmer for about 20 mins or until the water has thickened up a bit, and serve over couscous. 

If you have never made couscous, it’s waaaay easier than rice. You boil 1 and 1/2 cups of water for every cup of couscous you  want. Boil the water with salt and 1tbsp of olive oil or butter and then once the water is boiling toss the couscous in, STIR, REMOVE FROM HEAT, cover and let sit for 5 mins. Fluff and then put the meat on top and ENJOY!!!
This meal has a subtle sweetness with no sugar added and it is very filling and flavourful!

The Ultimate Guide to Travelling with Children

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So first I must thank my wonderful friend Lauren for telling me to put all my information stored in my head up on a post

First step to ease your mind about travelling with children is what form of safety and travel gear will you take? Car seats, Strollers, play pens oh My! Well if you are travelling to specific cities you may be in luck, because you can rent gear from two very reputable companies, and get this, they DELIVER the gear to your destination! Hotel, home, or airport! Whaaaat?!

This is important for people who are concerned when they rent carseats from car rental places, i mean they usually have the cheapest of the cheap, and lowest safety rated carseats. These two companies below, allow you to Choose the same britax you have at home or the city mini jogger if that is your stroller, allowing kids to feel comfortable too!

Their sites are: http://www.weetravel.ca (so reasonably priced) and http://www.coast2coastbabies.com (they only work in select US cities)

So that’s check one off of your list.

Next step is the Stroller you want to take (especially if the companies above don’t service your area). I think the city select is the best stroller of all time.It maneuvers with one hand and can go into any handicap washroom stall, folds easily and is a general lifesaver. When we had two small kids they would face each other and entertain each other. When they were tired it fully reclined, while keeping the canopies closed. It was as if they were in their own business class pods! It is a pricey stroller if you don’t have it but you can easily find them second hand online in great condition! The configurations available on this are just too good to be true. Now that my oldest is 6, he rides the boogie board on the city select and his brother is in the seat, and trust me for connecting flights it is a saviour to not have to run holding a child who cannot run as fast as you, when you can literally just push and run (i recently had to do this in the Vancouver airport at 4am, it was as if I got a bootcamp workout in!) I have no doubt I will be using this stroller for at least two more years especially for travel, which will mean that I’ve had it for 9 years!

cityselect

What to pack for the flight?

I have a simple rules for packing a carryon bag. I pack for a worst case scenario. I take a Carryon (wheelie suitcase) and my giant TokiDoki Juju Be soft bag (Starlet or Super Be which can later be used at my destination as a beach bag and a stroller bag.

starlet

starlet1SuperBe

For a baby in diapers: 3 outfit changes, 1 diaper per hours in transit, a travel pack of wipes, (not a small one but the decent size ones in case of a poop explosion) 3 snacks (milk and water if they are not eating solids) per hour of flight, and a way to wear baby and a swaddle blanket for them to cover their eyes like a sleep mask, while rocking them to sleep. My kids sleep with white noise and in the dark so if i cover their eyes on a plane its like the ideal sleep situation for them. Multiple pacifiers if they take them, and in case you lose them!!! No judgement if you don’t.

For a toddler: 3 outfit changes (i usually let them travel in pjs), 1 diaper per hours in transit, 4 snacks per hour (because chewing is good for their ears, especially if in pain). For entertainment purposes, their favourite digital movies downloaded on their ipads or portable DVD player, their headphones, and a little kid neck pillow. Also their favourite Stuffed toy. I also buy like a bunch of mess free colouring books from dollarama, and let them go to town!

For Mom: It’s probably wrong if I say little alcohol bottles, especially as my first item right? well it isn’t too bad, I have done it and will do it again, just to calm my nerves. In all seriousness; 1 change of clothes, ear buds, gum, and basically anything you need to look human and feel like a human and not just a walking Mom zombie! I take my makeup bag, and a headband and hair-tie. My favourtie thing I just found out about was wearing a giant cotton scarf (if you are still wearing baby they have nice baby wearing scarves that you can pull over yourself if you are feeling a chill.

For liquids, medicine, and easy access: I usually take two giant ziplock bags and keep one in my diaper bag. I take tylenol for the kids (who I wake up early, and let stay up late, and they almost always sleep on the flight) I give them tylenol and gravol, 20 mins apart with the last dose 20 mins before take off. I will justify this once, and only once. The tylenol is usually for the pain in their ears, I know by trail and error that this helps, because every time I’ve travelled with my children if one of them refuses the tylenol he is the child that screams their head off on the plane, because he cannot handle the pain in his ears! I also give them a dose of gravol, because they do get tummy aches, and motion sickeness in the car on a regular basis, and after one flight where both of them were screaming that they wanted to throw up every 30 mins, I will always keep liquid gravol ready to go and now it even comes in chewables so you can take chewables for the tylenol and gravol now and not have to worry about the liquid rules.

I also take extra strength tylenol, advil, and sinutab (if you get congested on a flight) for myself in my ziplock medicine bag and benedryl in case of a random allergic reaction. I also keep all the liquids and meds in that are in the ziplock in a Jujube fuel cell, along with two small spoons, forks, and medicine dispensers 2 of them in case one is sick you cant have them sharing (this has happened to me, I shit you not it almost killed me the stress)

Fuel Cell

When you have a baby or child you need to have a little wristlet like the JuJu Be Be Quick that I keep in the outside pocket of the diaper bag with the change bag. In it i have 2 diapers, baby wipes & disinfectant wipes (to wipe down all the seat handles and tray tables and anything your kids can touch because those things are nasty, and the last thing you want is to be sick from some random airplane bug at your destination) When you have the wristlet you can just grab it and the change pad and hands free go to the washroom.

BeQuick1

beQuick

Sometimes I used a second Be Quick for passports and a pen and any travel documents so that everything is in one place and I wear it until I’m on the plane, and then put it inside my diaper bag in a zipped up pocket.

One very important thing you need to pack: Confidence, that you can do it, and even if you don’t who cares, no one else on that flight paid for a private plane so they should know that babies will be babies, and if they don’t give them a death-stare! It isn’t easy travelling with small children but it is doable and can be fun, once you get the hang of it!

CHECKLIST: (you can screenshot and print this list)

  1. Call the travel rental gear places to set up the framework of your travel.
  2. Pick a stroller that will work for your family
  3. 3 outfits per child and one change of clothes for yourself.
  4. diapers per hour in transit depending on child (see above) _____________________
  5. 3 snacks per child and adult per hour
  6. quick grab wristlet (BeQuick) for diapers wipes and change pad
  7. Have a fuel cell handy with small cutlery (sporks) and medicine dispensers 1 per child, and all blister pills or bottles in a separate ziplock bag incase of a leak. You can also store baby bottles in this and it can clip around any diaper bag so that you are hands free.
  8. Be Quick (wristlet) with a pen, and passports and travel documents in it
  9. little backpack for toddler or small child with their headphones, tablet, stuffed animal and crayons and colouring in it so that they have it and they feel like a big kid. If your toddler is travelling with a paid seat they are entitled to their own carry-on take advantage of it. It will give them a feeling of independence, which you may be able to use against them, by saying; “Remember lets all be big boys and girls and use our manners and be thoughtful towards others on the plane” it’s worth a shot!
  10. Also in case of an accident you will need some good plastic bags to shove any soiled clothing into and then tie shut so the rest of your stuff doesn’t smell.
  11. for the above reason I also keep in that liquids ziplock bag in my carryon a little bottle of gain laundry detergent that i pour onto any soiled clothes
  12. One final tip, and this is for any traveller, I vacuum seal all of my carry-on suitcase items, and get a little hand vacuum pump. it saves on room, and I keep all of our clothes in them sealed when travelling to prevent ticks or bedbugs hopping a ride home with me. I know this works because they will die without the oxygen, because I’ve seen a dead tick fall out of a bag when doing laundry after vacation…because sometimes you forget to close the bag, but those suckers can survive the plane right home with after being vacuum sealed!

 

Hope this helps you. If you like it please feel free to share! Please also share any tips that you would like to share!! I’m always open for more advice in my storage of information.

 

I Get why you Hate my kid’s allergies

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So as parents prepare to send their children back to school, the dreaded list of allergic children and what allergies are present in your kid’s classroom will be sent home.

Here is one thing I want you to know, I GET WHY YOU HATE MY KID’S ALLERGIES! I Really, Really do! As a teacher I remember having to keep track of all the kids in my class and make sure there wasn’t any cross contamination, because I certainly didn’t want to have to use an epi-Pen on anyone (I have had to on many students in the past) it is a terrible and scary situation, especially in a class of 30+ kids. As a teacher I worried non-stop, and shook for the rest of the day, after having administered one, this was prior to having children with allergies myself, so maybe, it was a little easier for me to accept, when not one, but both of my children with diagnosed with severe allergies, requiring me to carry an Epi-Pen at all times.

I have suffered with allergies all my life, I’m allergic to the standard seasonal crap, but I also have food allergies. My food allergies have been with me forever! They aren’t something I developed, but my parents didn’t know I had allergies and instead labeled me as a picky eater, who was a hypochondriac. It was really hard to deal with that as a child, no one believing you, when you said you didn’t like a food because it made your tummy hurt. The thing is, people are still just as ignorant today. When I have to explain to people, that my child cannot eat their kid’s birthday cake or ask too many questions about what is in the food that they are offering me or worse if I feed my kids before we go somewhere, I get my favourite ignorant response: “Well back in my day we didn’t have all this allergy stuff, people are just so sensitive.” These are usually the same people who say things like “Oh well we didn’t have carseats back when I was small and I survived.” Not everyone is this ridiculous, I’ve been around so many really cool and understanding family and friends and I cannot tell you how much relief I feel because of this. To you I say thank you with all my heart.

Here is some information I would like to pass on to you, if you are one of these judgemental or super annoyed parent, when it comes to my child’s allergies:

1. PLEASE don’t shove food in my child’s face and say have a bite.

My older son is 5 and he knows now not to eat food unless he asks me first, mostly because he’s had quite a few reactions and he has seen the Epi-Pen is a needle and doesn’t want it. My younger son, is a foodie, and he will not say no to your food, if you shove it in his face, but when he Projectile Vomit’s on top of you and everyone else at your party, I will be sure to say, I told you so!

2. Please don’t say, well what am I supposed to make my child for lunch?!

This is a call of the selfish, and lazy parent. So you want to send your child to school with an allergen such as peanut butter, at the expense of the LIFE of another child, because you a) don’t want to buy a nut butter alternative, and b) too lazy to make a lunch that simply doesn’t require a spread? Wow, you my friend as the worst kind of person. As a parent of a kid with an allergy, why not go on pintrest, or google nut free or egg free school lunches? The possibilities are TRULY ENDLESS! My child’s favourite lunch sandwich is cream cheese and jelly, they are still spreadable, and easy, and taste like a freaking danish for lunch if you choose the right bread! There are also Vietnamese rice paper wraps that you can literally shove any leftover food into and it tastes divine. If you want Protien, make burritos, bean spread or whole, with sauce, cheese and sour cream or greek yogurt to dip. I mean it isn’t that hard. It isn’t Hard, but it is VERY considerate that you are taking some stress off of me, because I don’t have to worry that I’m going to get that call at home that my child is in hospital because someone’s kid shared their lunch with my kid, or didn’t wash their hands and sat at his desk…he could literally DIE because of your child’s lunch…would it be worth it to you?

3. Please don’t say we didn’t have all this stuff back in my day.

Just because you didn’t see it, it didn’t mean that it wasn’t there. I’m over 30, and I’ve had allergies all my life, so it was there back in your day, you sound like an ignorant troglodyte when you say crap like that. I mean how conscious were you anyway when you were say, 7-17 years old? my guess is, not so much! Also did you never watch the Movie My Girl, where Macaulay Culkin dies from a bee sting trying to save Vada? It Very much was around during your day!

The other reason that people don’t seem to realize is that there are so many more preservatives, pollution, chemicals, and pesticides in food now than there were back in your day. Most of my allergies come from tree sap, due to pesticides being absorbed more into the fruit and nuts that trees produce.

4. Do you give your kids take out?

I do give my kids take out, but from very few places, and sparingly so. I’ve had to learn the hard way, that everything that says Nut-Free etc., isn’t actually nut free. I will give  you an example, my son used to get the McFlurry, when they used to be made with Smarties, because they are the Canadian version of m&ms which aren’t nut free. When mcdonald’s recently switched, I also had to switch, and I started letting them only have an ice cream plain in a cup, because the cones don’t guarantee being nut-free, and i know that the soft serve machine doesn’t actually come into contact with any allergens. These are all things I had to go in and check and ask the employees about, as that annoying customer. So imagine, how ever much you hate my kid’s allergies, I probably hate them more, because I am the one who has to do all this stuff, instead of just being that carefree parent who says, “ya kid, go have some of that junk food, enjoy yourself, you only live once.” Nope, not me, I’m the parent who says “hold on let me check and ask first what is in it.” Sometimes they get happily surprised and sometimes they don’t. Even my 2 year old now seems to understand that there are certain foods he cannot eat, and to me that is sad.

5. Shaking your head and calling me too overprotective.

This simply makes me want to punch you. THEY ARE MY CHILDREN, THAT I CARRIED FOR 9 MONTHS A PIECE, I WILL ALWAYS BE THEIR PROTECTOR AND CHAMPION, ESPECIALLY IN THE FACE OF IGNORANCE!

I’ve changed my whole way of life in order to protect them at home, they feel safe to eat that anything that I give them, to know that I will Never ignore the cry of their tummy hurting due to something not agreeing with them, is my job.

When I was pregnant people used to tell me to eat a lot of this allergen or that, so that my child got used to it in the womb, I ate as much as I could and it didn’t work.

My job is to get them to adulthood, with the tools that they need to survive and that goes for their allergies too, along with morals and values. I always am very clear when ordering food, in restaurants etc. I am even attempting to get my children used to small quantities of the things that they are allergic too, slowly, so that they are safer in the case of accidental ingestion. But it is my Choice to do it in a CONTROLLED environment, when I am prepared to take them to hospital if the need arises. It shouldn’t be because someone just wasn’t careful, it shouldn’t be his teacher’s job to give him an Epi-Pen shot because you as a parent gave Zero Fucks about the life of a child, so that your life could be easier.

 

Have you been faced with Allergy Intolerance (as I like to call it) ?

 

 

Never Say Never

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To all you new Mothers & Moms to be, I see you. I see you saying all this judgemental stuff, saying I would Never do this or let my children do that. I have been you. I get it. Let me say this that eating crow was the Hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do!

Don’t judge the mom with one kid, when you have none.

Don’t judge the mom with two kids when you have one.

Don’t judge the mom with three kids until you have three, etc etc because until you have walked a mile in that Woman’s (or Man’s) shoes, you Really and truly have no clue! Like none, really and truly, being a parent is like the Hardest Job in the world, and you have to do it for the most part on little to no sleep, and you are trying to take care of this living, breathing piece of you, that has his/her own ideas and personality that sometimes refuses to be tamed.

Many parents don’t even agree on taming young children so that their true personalities can come through. It’s such a crazy thought to me personally, let me make my child like everyone else so that they are more pleasing to other people. Really? No Thank you!