As a parent, I have found meal preparation very frustrating. Trying to find healthy meals for those picky eaters can be very stressful. Sometimes being creative will help get your little ones to eat something they usually would refuse to try otherwise. Most children like chocolate milk, so why not try making chocolate oatmeal. It is a quick and easy to make.
Ingredients needed for our Chocolate Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Recipe are
1 litre of chocolate milk
2 cups of Quaker Quick 5 minute oats
1 red delicious apple cut into cubes
1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
Mix together and put in the microwave for 2 minutes. Continuously stir at the end of the 2 minute intervals. Let stand for a few minutes and do it again.
I would say this would need to be repeated at least 4 times. After each interval, you will see the consistency starting to thicken. Once all the chocolate milk is absorbed into the oats it should be ready to eat. For those who like their oatmeal thicker you can do more cooking repetitions in order to thicken the consistency.
If you would like to include your little ones then once it is served they could also be creative by making little emojis of their feelings with small chocolate chips in the oatmeal. I have found that most times, if you include small children in the preparation they are more likely to eat the meal.
As a bonus this meal is affordable. Chocolate milk is often on sale for the same price or less at grocery stores. A $3 bag of Quaker oats provides you with 1 KG or 2.2 pounds of oatmeal. That’s about 3 times the amount you get from those sugary breakfast cereals all for around the same price.
Chocolate oatmeal is delicious and the chocolate flavour will disguise the nutrition of oatmeal and apples that you try so hard to get your children to eat. Every parent struggles to get nutrition into their little ones and the little ones struggle to get the parents to allow them to eat chocolate for breakfast. Let’s just say this is a manipulative way to have the children believe they have manipulated the parents to eat chocolate for breakfast, but in reality the parents have taken a healthy breakfast with a little compromise. This is definitely a win for both the parents and the children. Wouldn’t you agree?
April is autism awareness month and I wanted to share with my readers a personal story.
Have you ever been out shopping and heard a child screaming? Have you thought to yourself that the parent should control that child or gave the parent of the child an unwelcoming glare? I personally have, but after a few outings with my two year old grandson my way of thinking has changed. Maybe yours will too.
Last week, I was at a local Walmart when my two year old grandson suddenly started screaming for no apparent reason. I got a lot of dirty stares and nasty comments from other customers because it probably appeared to them that the child was having a temper tantrum, but people don’t realize that sometimes these children are not having tantrums, they may be children with disabilities like autism that are unable to communicate what the problem is. I would like to say he is autistic and having a meltdown due to being simply overwhelmed by his surroundings and can’t control his behaviour.
So before you judge the lack of parenting abilities, maybe offer a friendly smile. I found that with all the glares and comments, I became tense which intensified his frustration. These children need the opportunity to be out into the community and explore the outside world. This at times must be very scary for them and they are unable to communicate their want or fears of unfamiliar faces or surroundings. It is with outings like this that autistic children can become accustom to the change from being inside a home to being in common environments like a Walmart or a grocery store. So why don’t we all do our share to make shopping experience enjoyable for all. Giving a Friendly Smile or words of encouragement helps the parent through an emotionally difficult situation.
How many times have you asked yourself where your money is goes? How many times have you asked yourself where you could cut back so you could have extra money for emergencies or a much needed vacation? Many families today struggle to make ends meet living paycheque to paycheque and have idea where their money is going. Make a budget. It’s important to know where your money goes.
If you’re into the tens of thousands of dollars in debt see a bankruptcy trustee. It may make sense to clear your debts, get rid of collections calls and start anew. Now just because you declared bankruptcy doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear forever. A lot of times bad habits are hard to break and can cause multiple bankruptcies. Some of our remaining tips will help ensure that you avoid having to do it again. As your credit goes down with every bankruptcy you want to avoid doing this again as it just makes the hole you have to climb out even deeper the next time. Once out of debt, build a reserve fund. The law of averages means that emergencies will happen. This reserve fund you build will help you avoid borrowing in the future with credit cards or expensive payday loan business.
Our Six Easy Ways for You to Save Money
1. Little Things Add Up!
How many people stop to grab a morning coffee at Tim Horton’s on the way to work or the doing their errands? Making coffee at home and taking it in a reusable coffee mug saves you a lot of money over the course of a year. Grabbing one extra large coffee a day at $2.10 times 5 days equals $10.50 a week, $42.00 a month or $504.00 a year. If you buy one can of coffee, you can have several cups a month and save money. Buying one can of Maxwell House Coffee for around $6, you get approximately 60 pots per tin or 120 XL Tim Horton’s coffees which works out to $252.00 compared to the $6. This is a savings of $246.00 which could be put away for an emergency fund. That also doesn’t include the wasted gas waiting in the drive thru line which also saves time and money. You also need to think about the time you spend in line at Tim Horton’s. Often morning line ups are from our experience about 7-9 minutes. At 7 minutes times about 240 working days a year that’s 28 hours a year for just the morning coffee. At minimum wage of $11.40 per hour that’s an extra $319.20 in lost working time.
2. Save on Food
An easy way to save money is to go through the grocery flyers. Make sure you try to purchase items when they are on sale and price match items your family use. Plan your meals ahead of time to avoid impulse shopping at the store. Create a shopping list on your smartphone using the Flipp app. This app is also very helpful to use for price matching the sales at the other supermarkets. Price matching also saves you time and gas money, so you don’t have to go to all the stores selling the food your family eats on sale. I also have found that making leftovers for lunches and another dinner is also helpful and cost efficient instead of grabbing fast food on the way home. Taking your own lunch to work or school is also cheaper and healthier. Taking your lunch also allows you to plan your meals ahead of time, pick healthier, inexpensive food to avoid obesity thereby reducing the time needed at the gym, and also live within your budget.
3. Avoid Buying Luxuries on a Loan.
One idiot I know bought a BMX bike with a payday loan because he wanted a bike to do stunts with. Stunts increase your risk of getting hurt, which could seriously hurt your ability to make money. Eight weeks with a broken arm isn’t fun for you or any employer. Such careless actions cause financial hardship on not just yourself, but to others who depend on you. Never purchase luxuries on credit. This is an example of money being spent foolishly.
4. Why you Need to Budget.
It sounds like a buzz kill, but budgeting is essential to be financially successful. Always pay the bills before spending on the hobbies or wants. Don’t leave so little money in your bank account that you can’t pay the service fee because this just puts you behind and ruins your relationship with your bank. One budget blower I heard purchased so many Yu-Gi-Oh game cards that they didn’t leave enough money to enter and play in the tournament. Buying all the cards and not being enter the tournament to have fun with them seems rather senseless. This is an example of planning and budgeting to be successful in your hobby. Living within your budget allows you to plan ahead for the adventures or holidays you really have dreamed about taking, or just taking the time off of work to enjoy some relaxation at home without the worry about how the bills will be paid.
5. Saving on Broadband and Cable TV Costs.
Download frequently viewed YouTube videos instead of streaming them repeatedly. You will be amazed how quickly the kids repeatedly watching a streaming video can use up your data limit. Use a smart TV in combination with a Netflix subscription and YouTube to have more programming options and maybe downgrade your cable package.
6. Two Ways to Save on Travel.
For many people on fixed incomes, they depend on public transit to get around. It is much cheaper to take the city bus or walk to the grocery store than to use taxis. If you go to the local mall, you can purchase a small grocery cart and if packed properly you can fill with groceries for a week or two and board the bus back home or walk home if you live within walking distance. You also get free exercise to boot. Taxi cabs cost almost triple the cost of the bus and to me it seems like an awful waste of money.
This all seems to be pretty self explanatory, but when you actually sit down with the receipts, document each purchase you can see where so much money is wasted and many people are surprised when they do this. I am not saying that treating yourself every so often isn’t ok to do, but doing it within reason is the important key to a better financially secure future.
I would suggest to start by downsizing the services, multiple trips to trips to Tim Horton’s and see how much you can save in a month. I believe that once you see the bank account growing you will continue saving for a debt free future.
Children at a very young age know how to work parents against one another therefore the parents need to agree on the form of discipline and be consistent. Without proper discipline kids will not develop into proper members of society, they will not be behaved when you take them out in public and if completely uncontrolled could lead to law enforcement activities taken against you and/or your children.
When my children were young, I tried many forms of discipline such as time out, taking privileges away, writing lines, and nothing seemed to be working. Each time I tried these methods, things were fine for a few hours then back to the same old behaviour. I was worried that I was never going to get thru to them what was acceptable behaviour.
One day, in watching the Maury Povich Show about boot camp discipline I wondered if this would work for my children. Now for some parents they may think this technique is harsh and to the extreme, but some parents may feel this is their last resort. I firmly believe that disciplining a child is one of the hardest jobs a parent has to do. For many parents being the authority figure is hard as we love our kids and hate to tell them that they did wrong. I believe a child should listen because they respect their parents NOT because they fear them. My children at times were very disrespectful to their stepfather so we decided to try the at home boot camp. This technique was my last resort. Being a shy person I didn’t want to be paraded in front of a national TV audience with my children and Maury looks like a busy guy, so I created an at home version of the boot camp. I don’t believe in abusive language so in my version I removed the stereotypical yelling in the face of children.
How the At Home Children Boot Camp Works
As we sat on the sofa, we had the children stand in front of us in the middle of the living room. We explained that this behaviour wasn’t acceptable and this was how we decided to address the behaviour. The children would do whatever their stepfather would say almost like the Simon says game. He had them do jumping jacks, or march in one spot clapping their hands and say “I will not disrespect my parents” or “I will not borrow friends toys without asking first.” Each time we would respond, by saying we couldn’t hear the them and to say it louder. We would keep switching the physical activity from marching to jumping jacks to avoid them from becoming exhausted and after approximately fifteen minutes then we would have them stop and discuss what we expected.
The boot camp sessions only had to happen in our home a few times before we saw improvement. The kids started to become respectful of the rules of our home. It was such a success that other parents took notice and asked us for help with doing an at home boot camp with their children. My children are now adults and they still remember the boot camp. This may not be your first choice of discipline, but I will say it was never forgotten by my children.
All children need discipline as they try to test out and are trying to learn what is the acceptable behaviour in the home and what the boundaries of society are. As their parent remember that you also have to be able to live with the punishment. Consistency is important. Always remember to tell your children you love them and your disciplining them so that they will be a success in the long run. I found that when you explained this to your children they had no reason to fear you as their parent and you will have earned their respect.
In these economic times, many families need a double income in order to meet financial obligations. With busy lifestyles from working all day, extra curricular activities for kids etc, we find it so much easier to grab fast food on the way home. As the wife and parent, I was always concerned about the nutrition my family was getting throughout the day, so I was looking for something to help me make healthier meals in less time. This was when I purchased a Pressure Cooker XL Pro.
I have found the Pressure Cooker XL Pro has saved me money as well as time in the kitchen. I`ve been able to use the time saved in the kitchen making healthy meals for my family to help the kids with their homework, having a conversations about the day your kids had at school and other important family time events. Family time is very important to me and this device lets me get more of it.
For myself the Pressure Cooker XL Pro helped clear space on your counter because of its many feature. The pressure cooker replaces many other appliances,
such as vegetable steamer, rice steamer, slow cooker etc because the pressure cooker XL does what these other appliances do. It has a time delay to start which allows you to have the meal start cooking at a specific time. This is a neat feature that you won’t find on most slow cookers. It allows you to have a hot fresh meal over something that has been stewing for hours.
In case you do get held up at the office I like the safety feature that once your meal is cooked the machine will automatically switch to slow cooker mode. It can also be used as a slow cooker without the pressure.
All you have to do is put whatever meal you want for family dinner in the machine, lock the pressure and press the button on the front of the machine. The pressure cooker does the rest for you.
The Pressure Cooker XL Pro can go from frozen to fully cooked meals in 30 minutes depending on what you want to make for dinner. I use it for stews, pasta, variety of soups and I love that everything can be done in one pot for easy clean up. Something you don’t hear often is that a pressure cooker can make tastier meals. Take for instance pasta. Instead of having the noodles boil in flavourless water you can create it with the pasta sauce inside the pressure cooker. This means that the tomato based or creamy sauce through the high atmospheric pressure a slow cooker generates can enter the pores of the noodles and infuse the inside with flavour the same way that marinating meat can. When cooking pasta in the pressure cooker, the pasta cook in the sauce which I find more filling therefore my meal portion also decreases. It’s the same when cooking meat. The pressure cooker marinates the meat under the high pressure for more flavour. When using a slow cooker to make stews, the slow cooker could take hours to do, but with the pressure cooker XL the stew could be done within 30 minutes and the flavour is unbelievably better than the slow cooker. The flavour is pressurized into the vegetables so the flavour is throughout the entire stew. Before I got the pressure cooker XL, it would take me half a day to cook my soups, but with the pressure cooker XL soup can be made in 8 minutes and the flavour is much better than the ones I made on the stove. Again the vegetables are pressurized in the broth so the flavour gets through the entire soup not just the broth.
The uses for this machine does not stop at dinner either. It can be used for preserving or canning.
My only concern with the device is when checking on the progress you need to allow time to let the pressure slowly release to avoid potential explosion/blow out of liquid used for cooking such as soup broth. I had heard so many horror stories of the older pressure cookers lids exploding off etc, but the Pressure Cooker XL Pro will not allow the lid to open if there is any pressure in the machine.
I am not sure why more families don’t own a pressure cooker. The modern features of the Pressure Cooker XL Pro are way ahead of the old fashioned models I grew up with in the 60s. The older models were not programmable to let you set the time that the device needed to be on to cook your meal. The Pressure Cooker XL Pro is programmable therefore no estimation of time is required. It is all done for you with a touch of a button.
So on the mornings when you forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner, don’t fret! The Pressure Cooker XL cooks a meal from freezer to dinner table in less than 45 minutes! In my opinion the Pressure Cooker XL is well worth the money and will help you save money avoiding fast food meals.