Tag Archives: family

Family Night

Those of you who get my newsletters or emails have often heard me mention Family Night.  What is Family Night?  You can pretty easily guess by the name of it, that it’s a designated night just to hang out as a family.  For us, it’s always Friday night.  It’s a little harder in the summer because we are traveling a lot or outside late.  But, now it’s fall and time to put Family Night back in motion. 

At the Billesbach Pad, Family Night is always spent at home – free and clear of distractions.  We spend lots of time all week together away from home, so it’s a real treat to stay in and hang out.  The kids are in charge of family night, so they get to choose the dessert and the activity.  I have several recipes that I consider to be “Fun” food, such as Nachos, Quesadillas, Sliders.  It’s usually finger food.  I just have it in my head that finger foods are “fun.”  There’s always a dessert.  The kids get to choose the dessert, but if I’m not really in the mood to bake or go all out, I can easily persuade them into Sundaes, Shakes, or Root Beer Floats.  The best part is the activity.  It can be anything from a board game, to a craft project, to a science experience (that’s what Kate calls an experiment.) 

If once a week is unreasonable at your house, aim for once a month.  The first Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of the month.  It doesn’t even have to be at night.  Make 1 Sunday at month, Family Day.  The idea is to set in stone a time that you will make spending time as a family your highest priority.

My favorite memory is watching my husband (who is truly the best sport ever) play Pretty, Pretty, Princess.  I know the kids will always remember that and many other fun times we’ve had on Family Night.  And isn’t that what it’s really all about.

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Filed under Family Time, Miscellaneous

Sneak in veggies to your family’s meals

As a parent, I’m always looking for ways to add more vegetables into my children’s (and husband’s) diet. Veggies regulate your appetite, prevent obesity and promote good health.

In a recent segment on ABC Phoenix, Patty James, a certified natural chef and nutritionist and author of “More Vegetables, Please,” a cookbook with over 100 easy and delicious recipes for eating healthy foods every day, shared 10 easy tips for getting your children to eat their veggies. The stigma of “vegetables are gross” can hopefully be a thing of the past in your household…if you follow some of these tricks.

Six of our favorite tips include:

1. Old favorites with a twist. Prepare your child’s favorite recipe but find a way to add in some veggies. For example, add tiny cut up carrots, peas and broccoli to macaroni and cheese.

2. Add them to your eggs. When scrambling up eggs in the morning, add sautéed chopped onions, garlic, or spinach.

3. Soups are a great place to throw in some veggies. Add carrots, celery or peppers to chicken soup or noodle soup. Or serve minestrone soup that is already packed with veggies.

4. Bring your child to the grocery store or Farmer’s Market with you to get them interested in produce shopping.  Have them pick out a new veggie to try each week. Make it fun.

5. Try grating zucchini or beets into brownies or chocolate cake – they’ll never be able to tell!

6. Ask for help. One great way to get children interested in food and cooking is to have them help with meal planning and preparation.

To read the entire “Top 10″ list and watch the segment, click here.

Good luck “hiding”!

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Filed under Food Stuff