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Friday 29 September 2017

A Simple Toddler Snack Tray

Today I'm sharing with you a super easy way to get toddlers sitting down to eat a range of healthy foods. Mathilde, like most toddlers, can be pretty picky at times about what she eats, and she's not so good when it comes to sitting down for a meal. She's much more of a grazer, snacking throughout the day rather than someone who likes to sit down and eat a big meal. I think that's pretty true of most toddlers - or at least most that I've met!

I really don't mind Mathilde snacking throughout the day, especially if she's snacking on something healthy, but I do mind her walking around the apartment with her food. Getting her to sit in one spot can be a little tricky, but I've found a fun way to serve up her snacks that gets her eating in one spot. A muffin tray!

It's such a simple solution, and it's kind of crazy that it works, but if I serve Mathilde's food to her with each item divided into a different part of the muffin tray she's much more likely to sit down and eat it all. If she helps me put it in the muffin tray (and chooses where each item goes) she's even more likely to eat it all. I guess there's just something about toddlers liking things in order - even if they are pretty chaotic most of the time!

I like to fill Mathilde's muffin tray with healthy, bite sized pieces of food. It's a great way to make sure that she is eating something from all of the food groups. Favorites with Mathilde are grapes (always sliced in half length ways), edamame, black beans, corn, whole grain cereal, carrots, berries, turkey, salami and cheese. You can add pretty much anything your toddler likes. I like to use silicon cupcake liners in the tray to keep things a little tidier, but you can always skip these and put the food directly in the muffin tray.

Wednesday 27 September 2017

A visit from the Tooth Fairy

Lola lost her first tooth yesterday at school!

Well, I say it was her first tooth, but really she had one pulled out by the dentist when she was 5 due to a cavity (eek!), but this was her first tooth that fell out on its own, and therefore much more exciting.

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Berkeley Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival 2017

About a month back the girls took part in one of our favorite local festivals, the Berkeley Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival! This festival was previously held annually, but has been away for the past few years (it clashed with the Bay Area Book Festival which was run by the same people). The girls and I were super excited that it has made a come back and we hope that it's here to stay.

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Cooking with Kids: Frozen Yogurt & Berry Bark

Now that Ava and Lola are back at school it's just Mathilde and I at home together most days (apart from her two half days a week at preschool). She's at a really curious age at the moment and is always eager to learn how to do new things, like writing, painting pictures of animals and, most recently helping me cook. 

Lately, it feels like every time I step into the kitchen Mathilde is there, hot on my heels ready to help out. I love that she's eager to learn and is really taking an interest in how food is made, but there are so many aspects of cooking that can be just a little dangerous when you're only three. To encourage Mathilde's interest in cooking I've been thinking about simple recipes that don't contain any, well... actual cooking! Simple recipes that she can prepare fairly autonomously without the need to use an oven or stove. 

One such simple recipe that Mathilde and I made recently was Frozen Yogurt & Berry Bark. A healthier, frosty take on the classic chocolate bark, this tasty treat is super easy to make and you really can use any toppings that you can imagine. Trust me, Mathilde was coming up with all sorts of crazy combinations - all based on chocolate, of course! I decided to stick with something a little healthier though and went with berries. 

Friday 8 September 2017

Say Yes to Lunchables Organic

As a parent there are plenty of times when the kids and I have, let's just say, a difference of
opinion. Whether it be about bed time, how much tv they can watch, brushing their teeth or what
they can eat, I feel like I spend half my time saying "No". Especially when it comes to food.

If it were up to Mathilde she would eat nothing but chocolate, candy or chocolate ice cream for
every meal, with the occasional noodles and gnocchi thrown in - but only after eating chocolate

Lola is also a major sweet tooth and loves candy, but is pretty good when it comes to eating
fruit. That said, she'll eat an entire bag of grapes or a large punnet of berries in one sitting and
not leave any for her sisters. Or for me! And then she won't eat dinner as she has filled up on
fruit and has a sore belly. Oops!

Ava is probably the pickiest of the lot. I'm not even going to go there!

As you can imagine, I spend a lot time saying "No" when it comes to snacks and lunch time. No to chocolate, no to candy, no to chips, no to cookies...

But there is one thing that all three kids and I can agree on when it comes to lunch...

Wednesday 6 September 2017

Mathilde's First Day of Preschool

Last week I shared Ava and Lola's first day of school for the year. Yesterday we celebrated another back to school milestone with Mathilde's first ever day of preschool.

As of this week Mathilde is a big preschool girl and is attending the same preschool that Ava and Lola also went to when they were younger. She's only going two days a week for now, but if yesterday is anything to go by we just might have to increase it to three or more days because she absolutely loved it!

Escaping the Heatwave at Stinson Beach

This past weekend the Bay Area was hit by a heatwave of the likes we've never seen here. Not only did we experience the highest temperatures that we've had in the time we've lived here, San Francisco experienced it's all time highest temperature ever reaching a scorching 106F/41C.

Now, that may not seem super hot to my friends and family back home in Australia where these sorts of temperatures are common in Summer, but here in the Bay Area the weather is usually so mild that it rarely even reaches 86F/30C at the very most in Summer - and as a result hardly anyone has air conditioning in their home (or even in shops and restaurants). We fall into that group of people with a non-AC home, and as the temperatures rose outside over Friday and Saturday, so too did the temperatures in our apartment. Staying inside our 89F/32C apartment to escape the heat wasn't an option so Saturday afternoon we jumped in a nicely air conditioned car and headed to Stinson Beach, north of San Francisco.

As expected the traffic was pretty busy as we approached Stinson Beach. Being a relatively short drive from San Francisco, Stinson Beach is a pretty popular spot for cooling off in the waves. We still managed to find a parking space close to the beach though which was great as it was too hot to walk very far. Ava and Lola changed into their swimsuits in the car while Mathilde stayed in her clothes as she was convinced that she didn't want to swim - of course, this changed pretty quickly once we were on the beach and she was playing in the water!

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