Tag Archives: Raising Kids

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!

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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!

My Thank you Letter to the Swet Shop Boys for Cashmere

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Heems: “His Family from India but Riz Pakistani, My Family from Pakistan, I’m Hindu Punjabi”

This describes my boys to a tee, from both my side and their Papa’s side. My boys are represented by the Swet Shop boys. This brings me so much joy, my boys are young and don’t know how important it is to have representation yet. They may not understand the importance, but they do understand that they are being represented now on the small and big screens and in Music. Right now their favourite song is Aaja, as it has been on repeat since the album dropped. In fact to be honest, I don’t get the same joy out of other music as I do from the Cashmere album as a whole.

As you may well know I am Woman, Mother, Teacher and Canadian-Indian. For most of my life, I’ve had to find a balance between two cultures. I wanted so badly to do something in the Arts when I was younger, but at every corner I was discouraged by my Mother, and most of my family. I had the talent, I could play Hindi film songs by ear on my clarinet, and damn well too! I even auditioned to Etobicoke School of the Arts waaaay back in the day, by playing “I Will Always Love You” from the bodyguard as a solo piece on the clarinet. I remember that day being ecstatic that I got into the school, excitedly telling my mom who basically told me I couldn’t go to an Arts school, I had to focus on my studies. So my dream was crushed. Since I became a mother I swore whatever field my kids wanted to go into I would support them (minus the illegal stuff).

Since Riz Ahmed has blown up in Hollywood, my heart has been filled with Joy! Pure Joy! I will tell you why, because both of my boys are inclined towards the arts, both are under the age of 7, but I can see it. I see how much they smile and take joy in creating things, and listening to music. Music is my religion. So if I pass any religion down to them I hope that my Love of all Music from Johnny Cash, Queen, Tupac, and Swet Shop boys is passed down to them.

Riz MC and Heems quite literally represent me, they represent my boys, and they are carving a path with a wonderful and meaningful blend of rap and the beautiful sounds, rhythms, bass, ghazals and instruments of my youth, and their youth (since I think we are about the same age). They seem to have brought together their cultures. Something that I’ve been doing for so long, and still struggle to find a balance with. So I appreciate the balance that this album has immensely.

I have to give them so much love for this album, they don’t shy away from any of the touchy subjects. I tell anyone who wants to understand what it is like to live within the balance of two cultures, to listen to this album and take it in. I Love the album for the representation that I have never, in my 30+ years in life being born and raised in Canada have seen. They touch on everything uncomfortable, the TSA, the problems with flying while brown or Muslim. Having to constantly be harassed under the guise of being random in any and all airports or border crossings. When Riz Spits this;

I pray for my nephew, I pray you’re not antagonized by all the hatin in news and the shit they sanitize/Look Zayn Malik’s got more than 80 virgins on him/there’s more than one direction to get to Paradise.

That line, I mean that line speaks volumes. It shows the other side argument to the young men being converted over to those extremists. It shows that there is another path. There is more to life than being a sheep and following blindly. Not only for religious Desi people, even everyday kids growing up in Toronto, they will know that brown guys can do “Big Things” (like Heems says in one line) that are Different from what is expected of them.

“Ya you Rap but you should have been a Surgeon/What you care for, girl we still splurgin'”

Since this album came out, I have literally told EVERY SINGLE student of mine that is Desi to listen to it. I may get in trouble if it comes back to me but I really don’t care. It’s more important to me to spread the message that there are other avenues in life for Brown boys. You don’t have to go be an extremist, you don’t have to do the typical career path of being a doctor, lawyer or engineer. You can follow your creative side and you should, look at this album, this shows that you can do it.

I took in this whole Album and I mean I’ve listened to it non-stop, the whole album feels like a love letter to my youth. Now that my youth is almost gone, I feel like this will be one of those albums that brown kids in Canada, the US or England can see themselves in, and will easily become a classic for rap lovers like me.

“My only heroes were Black Rappers, so to me Tupac was a True Paki”

I feel like I have to add a Brrrup, Brrrup there with a two finger up in the air salute!

To conclude my Love letter, all I can say is thank you for doing big things, Riz, Heems, and Redinho. You are doing it for our gen and the next, because I’m raising my boys with this music, your music, so keep dropping Big, Big things!

Also I don’t know why, but Aaja, is just pure fire, the song, the video, Everything about it, magic, it is Perfect, the sorta old school Bollywood feel, it was just so bloody fantastic, magic, pure magic.

I had to share some fan art of someone’s that I loved for Aaja it’s from an artist

@drawing_mari

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!