Tag Archives: family

Summer = farmer’s markets!

 

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We wrote recently about helping kids develop their taste buds: Karen LeBillon’s 2nd book “Getting to Yum: Curing and preventing picky eating”, endorsed by a Harvard Medical School pediatrician, helps with taste training for kids.

The other things that help is to see where food comes from. Showing this to kids directly works amazingly, as UK celebrity chef Jamie Oliver demonstrated through his work with schools. Here is a video showing school kids who could not identify a potato from a tomato!

Farmer’s markets can help with that. Summer is a great time to visit one – and here are the listings for VancouverCalgary and Toronto. The best is when your kids can actually speak with the vendors and ask what they are passionate about – markets are full of creative people who are driven by their love of what they do, and it’s so interesting to discover the people behind the produce and the products.

If you can’t make it to a farmer’s market, there are some great online resources on “farm to table” food. Enjoy!

Alexandra T. Greenhill, MD, CEO cofounder myBestHelper

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When we are lonely…

Take 3 minutes to watch this and you will feel better. How can one not feel inspired by this video about Brazilian teens learning English by speaking to lonely American elderly?

It’s amazing how isolated our teens and seniors can still be in our social media networked world and I loved the creativity of helping cross the paths between generations. If you do know a teen or a senior, give them a call today – love at random times is always appreciated!

Alexandra T. Greenhill, MD, Co-founder CEO myBestHelper

Date Night for parents… what’s that? {Giveaway}

Loved the blog post Kelly Krol, Raincity Mama did on the importance of dating as a parent! Like if you agree it is core to keeping love going well past wedding vows…

Raincity Parent

Every parent needs a Date Night once in awhile.

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Unless…you have no child care options available.

Five ways date nights may strengthen couples.

(1) A date night is an opportunity to communicate.
(2) Date nights are valuable for their novelty.
(3) Date nights may strengthen or rekindle that romantic spark that can be helpful in sustaining the fires of love over the long haul.
(4) Date nights may strengthen a couple’s sense of commitment to one another.
(5) Date nights are a way to relieve stress.

The American Red Cross did a poll in 2012 that found that 55% of parents surveyed decided to stay home in the past 24 months, because they couldn’t find a babysitter.

I am totally guilty of this!
20140420-223505.jpg If you are lacking in the child care department, you should check out myBestHelper.
What they do? They make it easy and fast for families to…

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What’s the problem with pink and princess? The marketing, not the moms.

I totally agree it’s not about pink or princesses… What do you think?

Alexandra T. Greenhill, CEO myBestHelper and mom of three girls

Dr. Rebecca Hains

This week, New York and Slate published pieces asking why so many moms have a problem with pink and with princesses.

“What’s the problem with pink, anyway?” griped Yael Kohen in New York. Then, building upon Kohen’s piece, Slate senior editor Allison Benedikt demanded: “What is it with you moms of girls? I have never met a single one of you who isn’t tortured about pink and princesses.” Her annoyance is palpable.

Both writers proceed to defend all things pink and princess. “We treat pink — and the girls who like it — with […] condescension,” Kohen states, while Benedikt adds, “Moms of daughters need to chill out.”

Oh… really? Let’s take a step back, please. I am the author of a forthcoming book called The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls Through the Princess-Obsessed Years, and Kohen and Benedikt’s arguments are wrong on several levels. By pontificating on the subject without actually talking to the moms they’re criticizing, they’ve missed the…

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Of kids and vegetables – #BESTreads

karen le billon

Inspired by  CanadaReads, we are launching our #BESTreads series – yes, parents reading a book a month together to help us navigate the mysterious lands of Parenting. This initiative is fashioned on the “One Book One City” programs popular across North America.

The first book we picked for our first ever #BESTreads is “French Kids Eat Everything: How our family moved to France, cured picky eating, banned snacking, and discovered 10 simple rules for raising happy, healthy eaters“. It’s an award winning book by Karen Le Billon, and not only because it has one of the longest titles ever! Now translated into 10 languages, winner multiple awards and on the top 10 of bestseller lists in Canada and abroad, “French Kids Eat Everything and So Can Yours”  has changed many a family’s life for the better.

The book is an entertaining read itself: one follows the peripeties – french for “sequence of events that are worth telling in a story” – of a family exploring eating habits in a different culture and creating a blend that is better than the dominant habits from the original and the new way.

Karen has an engaging style and manages to avoid generalizations about the way the French or Americans or Canadians (or anyone else, for that matter) eat and live – she shows that she really understands that we’re just too diverse and that becoming an advocate of ‘French parenting’ serves no one. Rather, the book shares ideas and observations with the goal of sparking insights and discussion about key issues – like school lunches, snacking, and the role food plays in our families’ lives.

The book is also very practical – there are great recipes, and many simple and effective tips on how to get kids (and families) to enjoy food and meals together. The ten rules are easy to implement, and change for the better both what and how kids eat. In the coming month, we will do a series of mini-reviews of some of the best suggestions from the book and host discussions on the issues Karen Le Billon identifies that are interesting to discuss. As an ultimate treat, at the end of this #BESTreads month, the author herself will join us on a Google Hangout to answer your questions!

Want to be a part of this exciting community venture, meet authors, discover new books? Join us – we welcome all newcomers and experienced parents alike. This is a great opportunity to meet others and gather wisdom and ideas that are vital to survival or fun for when that is called for.

Kidsbooks Vancouver has their annual sale starting tomorrow – go get the book and let’s start the discussion!

Alexandra T. Greenhill, MOM MD, CEO myBestHelper, and – my kids do eat everything – so can yours!

Last Minute Unique and Easy #Christmas Decoration Ideas: TREE, TABLE, GIFTS

blog post on 3 ideas of christmas

1. Make your own Christmas tree

It’s easiest is to use Christmas cards you may have received or just get an assortment of 12 or 24 Holiday Cards – and use it to display them on some branches or in a Christmas tree pattern on the wall. You can also get rolls of wrapping paper and put them up on the wall in a tree pattern – instant festivity and no mess from needles!

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We also love these more elaborate, but unique and creative #Christmas Tree Alternatives by YummyMummyClub.caShape a Christmas tree on a wall using red, green and white (and more colors). You can use festive images or messages or not, the shape and color palette is what makes it cool looking.

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2. Decorate in minutes a super festive table 

Gather up pine cones, stones or even shape spaghetti into funny shapes – and toss them around in paint and/or glitter glue. Crumple festive colored tissue paper or add Christmas decorations into a bowl or vase.  Cover in festive gift wrap boxes of different shapes (can be things from the pantry!).

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bowl of ornaments

3. Give gifts that wow (at least before they are opened ;))

Everything goes – brown paper looks amazing with some fabric wrapped around the gift’s middle, using old maps (Joy to the World!), pages from an old book or dictionary.

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Alexandra T. Greenhill, MOM CEO myBestHelper, master of everything last minute 😉

November is National Family Caregiver’s Month – 3 ideas on how to celebrate by helping!

caregiving There are millions of people who are involved in caregiving for a relative who is sick or disabled, short or long-term. Studies show that this is tough on their own health, energy and finances, and even more importantly on their morale. The associations between physical and psychological health and being an informal caregiver are well established, with caregivers reporting higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression. So how can we all help? Here are three concrete ideas that any of us can do:

  1. Say thank you with a phone call, a message or a card: Does not need to be big or elaborate – just do it. You can also give them a copy of your favorite funny movie or a book on tape – distractions help. The AARP runs the ThanksProject.org – a fantastic collection of ways to acknowledge and e-thank caregivers among us.
  2. Give them a day off or even a meal off: Even dropping off a meal can mean a break from having to do it all! Usually help with practical daily chores is really appreciated – doing a shopping run, cleaning the yard from leaves, gathering the snow or throwing some salt on pathways if icy. If you are too busy or don’t live close by, offer them help through a service like ours.
  3. Help celebrate holidays: For example decorate a family caregiver’s home for the holidays or offer to address envelopes for his or her holiday cards. Daily life is so busy as it is, that managing the additional workload related to a holiday is often impossible.

These ideas are very actionable and especially will be life lessons for young kids who learn by example. So get them involved and see the miracle of how helping others makes your family tighter and happier.

Alexandra T. Greenhill, MD, Mom of three, CEO of myBestHelper, best place for families to find helpers