Foodie Friday: Back to School Breakfast

It seems that just about every primary/secondary school in the state of Oklahoma has already started back for the year…. except Chandler. My daughter, Amelia will be starting first grade next week and I am starting to think about breakfast. Our entire daily routine is going to change from summer, but also from last school year and breakfast is now taking priority position in the planning area of my brain. Breakfast is not my strong suit. I struggle to eat breakfast most mornings, so making sure my kids eat breakfast is an equal struggle. I have been searching the internet for some ideas. I want my kids to eat a healthy, filling breakfast so that they aren’t thinking about food instead of enjoying their mornings. Here are some ideas I’ve found:

(Just click the picture to go to the website offering the idea)

6 WHOLESOME & FILLING breakfast recipes you can make in 5 MINUTES or less! It is true, you can really make these super fast and they are delicious for kids and adults!

 

Back to School Breakfast Recipes

Egg & Veggie Sandwich from FoodieCrush.com

What are your go-to breakfasts? Let me know your ideas, because I need them!

Caregiving 101

I will be holding a meeting very soon to discuss caring for aging or ailing loved ones. We will be discussing

  • stages of care
  • preparing to care for someone
  • resources that help
  • conversations to have with the one who will be receiving care
  • conversations to have with a medical doctor
  • 10 things families should know
  • how to support a caregiver

The goal is to help people giving care to help their loved one hold on to their dignity. According to The SCAN Foundation “The largest generation in American history – baby boomers – has begun to turn 65. Twenty years from now this age group will double, reaching nearly 20 percent of the population. The American senior of tomorrow will be better educated, experience lower levels of poverty, live in a more diverse society and have a longer life expectancy than previous generations. On the flip side, we will also live with more illnesses and have fewer loved ones to help support us as we grow older.” 

The younger generations will need to be there to help care for the baby boomer generation. What do you need to know about caring for your aging loved one?

  1. Most of the aging generation will need a little help to get around as they get older.
  2. Most are not prepared to pay for this care. $$
  3. Supportive services are very expensive.
  4. Medicare does not pay for these services for a long period of time.
  5. Most government assistance for these services is linked to poverty.
  6. Many do not know where to find or how to access the support services they need.
  7. So far, private insurance has not been the solution.
  8. There is a growing demand for these support services as people get older.
  9. Rising costs threaten the health system.
  10. Helping individuals stay healthy and in their homes for as long as possible is the main goal of the federal  health reform law.

If you find yourself in a position where you are or will be caring for an aging relative or loved one, and would like to get more information on how to do this successfully, please join us on September 5th at 6:30 pm in the lobby of the Lincoln County Courthouse in Chandler, OK. This meeting is free, but an RSVP is appreciated. Please call 405-258-0560 to sign up.

Foodie Friday: Lunch Prep

In my personal experience, one area that can really mess up a diet plan is lunch. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has this problem. I might be doing great eating enough fruits and veggies and staying within a reasonable caloric intake for breakfast and dinner, but then there’s lunch…. It’s so easy to just grab a hamburger at a fast food joint but chances are the burger-and-fries meal I would get has enough calories for my entire day, not to mention the salt and fat content.

Even with the best of intentions for bringing my lunch to work, I have found that it is difficult. Without some sort of  planning it is downright impossible. I have fallen on the “just bring leftovers for lunch” plan in the past but am currently discovering that as my kids grow, and I get better at planning and doing a leftover night, there aren’t always enough leftovers for me to bring that for lunch. I need to actually plan for my lunches. And not just plan, but PREP.

There are all sorts of ideas for meal prep on Pinterest (you know how I love Pinterest!) and this week I tried one of them, but adjusted it for me. I have always been curious about the mason jar salads. Turns out you need quart sized jars and all I have at home are pint sized, so I did things a little differently. First, I grilled 4 chicken breasts. When they were cooled, I sliced them and put half a chicken breast in snack size zipper top bags. This gave me chicken for 8 salads with approximately 3-4 oz of chicken in each one. Then I did up baggies for my toppings. I put fresh mozzarella, black olives, and tomatoes in bags together. Croutons went in bags alone, and then  my greens and bell peppers went in bags together. I happened to have condiment sized cups with lids and measured out my dressing into those. Now all I have to do each day before work is grab a bowl and all my little baggies and I’m good to go! My salad was greens, colored bell pepper, grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella balls, black olives, grape tomato, croutons, and Italian dressing.

Next week I am going to choose a different type of salad. I found a recipe with chicken, roasted beets, apples, and goat cheese. Sounds sooo good! I have also purchased some individual frozen meals for days that I just can’t eat another salad. I also found a really good blog called Damn Delicious where a woman shares recipes and… wait for it… LUNCH PREP IDEAS! I’m really excited about the ones I have found there. Not just for me, but for my daughter’s school lunches as well. Hopefully I will be successful in doing this, trying new salads/boxes each week until it is cold out and then switching to hearty soups!

What ideas have worked well for you? What do you like to eat for lunches? Do I have any other lunchbox buddies out there?

Successful Co-Parenting

When I teach co-parenting in Lincoln County, it seems that we spend a long time talking about how parents can really mishandle things. By the time we get to the part where we focus on how to do it right, I’m often afraid that I have lost my audience to doom and despair. If any of my former co-parenting participants are reading, I hope you will be encourage that we actually do have some tips on how to be successful at co-parenting. You can’t control what your co-parent does or how your co-parent behaves, but you can make a conscious effort to be on the same page when it comes to your kids. Here are 10 things you SHOULD do for successful co-parenting.

  1. Try to have similar rules for the children at the two homes. If  you and your co-parent absolutely cannot agree on rules, that’s okay. Don’t sweat it. 
  2. Give your children permission to love their other parent and encourage that bond.
  3. Help your children succeed in their relationships with their other parent by coaching them to talk with their other parent  without sugarcoating any bad behavior on the part of your co-parent.
  4. Respect your co-parent’s right to privacy in their home.
  5. Try to have a regular business meeting to discuss issues surrounding the children. This meeting could be in person, by phone, or via email.
  6. Do everything in your power to keep appointments with your co-parent and be on time!
  7. Offer your co-parent extra time with the children before hiring a babysitter.
  8. Truly desire for your children to enjoy their time with your co-parent. Help children plan out the things they might do with their other parent. Help them make sure they have all the things they will need, like reminding them to pack a swimsuit if they might be going swimming.
  9. Make sure your kids have what they need in each home so that a minimal amount of “stuff” needs to be carted between homes.
  10. Stay focused on the children. Don’t react to threats, insults, or criticisms from your co-parent.

Working with an uncooperative co-parent is difficult. It may take a lot of practice and trial/error to find a way to work together. However, the investment of time and energy is worth it. Learning to work with a co-parent can literally be the difference between the success and failure for the children involved.