Travel With Kids! Yeah! As Much As Possible, Please!


I opened my Twitter feed this morning (I’m @urbandaddyblog if you’re not following me yet – and if you’re not… SHAME!) and the first tweet that greeted me was this one;

“Up next with on Travel Edition. Are healthy eating and traveling even possible with hotel stays and security restrictions? Tune in to hear more…

Then I thought about all of the travel we have done over the years with the kids and food, make that nutritious food, has never been an issue… anywhere!

By “travel”, I’m not just referring to East York, Mississauga, or GASP, Richmond Hill – which if you live in or near the Greater Toronto Area, you will know take 40 minutes to an hour no matter what time of day, and literally used to take “5-minutes” when I was younger…

Here are some of the places we’ve taken the kids (current ages are 8-13);

  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • PEI
  • England
  • France
    • Paris 3 times
    • Drove the country heading south
  • Spain
    • Barcelona
    • Madrid
    • Seville
    • Drove the country / took trains
  • Italy
    • Venice
    • Rome
    • Amalfi Coast
    • Florence
    • Drove the country / took trains
    • Tuscany
  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Ireland
  • Switzerland
  • Belgium
  • Holland
    • Amsterdam
    • Ghent
    • Edam
  • Florida

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some…

We’re big into the experience, so I’m not including cruises, but we backpack – take the least amount possible, and when we look for places to stay, there are no hotels.  We want to experience our destination as the locals would, which is why Air BnB is great for us.

With Air BnB not only do we save on accommodations because 5 people at hotels require an extra room, or extra charge, but we ensure we have WiFi, Air Conditioning and most importantly a kitchen!

With a kitchen, the food, especially healthy food, never becomes an issue.   We are so lucky to have a spouse who is almost certified as a nutritionist, and who is so incredibly organized that when we (read: she) plans our accommodations and itinerary around grocery stores so we can gather the food we need for breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

Without having to rely on eating out all the time, we save money, and eat much better and much healthier, plus we have snacks available for taking with us on our excursions / day-trips.

That’s how we get to experience the world with children, while eating healthy, and having a ton of fun.

 

 

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Fun Video Shoot with Pediatric Nutritionist Danielle Binns


Danielle BinnsThis past weekend, we had the wonderful opportunity to take part in a video shoot with Danielle Binns a Pediatric Nutritionist and Health Coach for parents.

Danielle needed the assistance of our youngest child – Boo – who helped to prepare some delicious green pancakes – inspired through the Green Eggs and Ham book – and some super healthy and easy to make cookies.

Danielle’s story is absolutely incredible.  Reading her story on her website after having met her brought tears to my eyes.  I’m not going to re-tell her story.  You just need to go read it yourself.  You will be emotional, then inspired, and then understand why the services that Danielle offers are so incredibly valuable.

As the parent in our family who cooks breakfast and makes lunches for our kids – one child who has become very picky with food – I found immense value in just learning 2 simple food options from Danielle which we are going to cook at home.  Sorry, which Boo is going to cook at home!

Danielle is more than a mother who is incredibly passionate about providing the BEST natural and holistic solutions for other moms (and dads) and babies.  She has obtained credentials/certification in the following:

  • Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP)
  • “Naturally Designed Pregnancy and Postnatal Nutrition”
  • “SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding”
  • “Feeding Matters”

Danielle can be found on Facebook through her Facebook Group: Holistic Solutions for Moms & Little Ones.

Her Facebook page is @ daniellebinnsnutrition

On Twitter and Instagram @daniellebinns4

Her Website is http://www.daniellebinns.com and her email is info@daniellebinns.com

 

 

Son, You Cannot Just Eat Carbohydrates!!!


Frosted Flakes cereal
Special K and Flax cereal with 1% milk

How many times have you told your kids they cannot exist on carbohydrates alone.

We’ve told all three of our kids that exact message but it seems to be lost on our oldest son, Linus.  He went from being an adventurous eater of everything my wife made, to a super=picky eater who got white bumps on his tongue during our cruise last year because he would only eat carbs.  Bread, plain white pasta, potatoes, french fries… BORING.  Also very unhealthy.

Now he likes his raw vegetable as well, so he did have some cucumber slices and tomatoes, but the acid in the tomatoes were burning his tongue so that ended quickly.  He loves broccoli but not in any of the sauces that they came in on the ship, so that was out of the question. 

It finally took 4 days of him watching the rest of us eating the odd sweet treat before he caved in and started eating like a human again and he got better quite quickly.  I even remember him making googly eyes with the chefs in the buffet area and no matter how long the line was at the pasta bar, if my then 6-year-old son arrived with a plate in hand and caught the eye of one of the chefs, they would immediately throw penne noodles into a pan with butter and serve him a double portion covered in shredded parmesan cheese at the side of their station away from where everyone else could see.  He provided a smile and a quiet thank you and they went back to serving the angry masses.  He got his pasta and we got him eating protein with it.

So it’s no surprise then, that we make him eat breakfasts which include protein with his carbs.  He loves, for example, almond butter on bread, or an egg omelet with his toast.  He also loves cereal but we battle about this breakfast choice all the time.

Once he was able to read labels and understand the nutritional information, he began to realize that a bowl of cereal – with milk – had more protein that an egg because anyone can see that a large egg has 6g of protein while a cup of 1% milk has 9g of protein.  Therefore, in his logic, he should be eating cereal every morning.  He does understand, by the way, that an egg has no sugar and his cereals have around 5g of sugar, so he has always had that argument to get around, but he does need his protein so every now and then we give in.

Well on October 2nd, Linus asked for and received, cereal for breakfast and he proceeded to eat all the cereal out of the bowl, and he left behind the milk.  A lot of the milk, to be honest. 

So I called him back to the kitchen counter, showed him what he already knew he left, and let him know that I expected him to finish the milk before he left for school, otherwise he was not going to be allowed to have cereal until November 1st.

He complained that his tummy hurt, that he was too full, that he had to go brush his teeth, get his bag ready and get to school.

I felt compelled to remind him again of the consequences of leaving the milk, by phrasing it this way; “Linus, you need to finish the milk from your cereal.  By choosing  not to, you are choosing not to have cereal again until November 1st.”

He said he would finish it, so I followed him to the front door and left the bowl there. 

He asked for it to be poured into a cup so he would drink it and when I went back into the kitchen to get his cup, he used that opportunity to leave the house with his brother and mother for their walk to school.

Consequences.

So when he arrived home after school, I asked him if he was aware what the consequences of his actions this morning were, and he casually advised me that he understood that he would not be allowed cereal for breakfast and that he could handle not having until November 1st.

Ok, I thought.  “And you know today is October 2nd, right?” I reminded him. 

He showed a little panic, but settled his emotions and proudly proclaimed that he would be up for the task.

OK.

And so I reminded him on the 5th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 17th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 28th and 29th when he asked for cereal for breakfast, that he was not allowed.  I could tell he was thinking what all of us thought at the time (and his friend told him upon find this out), that he should have just drunk the milk!

So on the morning on November 1st, Linus had cereal for breakfast and he drank all his milk.  He did so again on the 2nd and he showed me both times that he finished the milk down to the last drop.

Alyson Shafer would be so proud!

Being Daddy for a Day (and surviving without any visible scars)


Saturday was a great day in the urban daddy household.  Urban Mummy was at the Ontario Science Centre all day for a nutrition seminar, and that meant I got to play full-time Daddy to my own kids for the day.

Originally the plan was a trip to karate for the boys, then meeting my mother and sister for brunch, then to visit my grandmother with the kids, and take them home so the baby could nap… The rest was up in the air.

Unfortunately someone forgot to tell the City of Toronto that it was going to snow so it was near impossible to drive this morning on the slippery unplowed roads, so I told my mothersister to stay home and the plans changed.

Firstly, karate was great!

Stewie got his green advanced belt.

…and Linus got another stripe for his yellow belt.

Special thanks to Elliott @ Supernova for the pics.

After karate we came home and the boys earned 2 cookies by shovaling the neighbours sidewalk and driveway.  They worked SO hard.

Then we came inside and while the baby slept for 3 awesome hours, the boys and I played, cleaned, watched some TV, read and had a great time.

At 5pm it was bath time for everyone, I put up the last of the mezuzahs in the upstairs, and UM came home just before 6pm.

Upon seeing her, Berry said, “Mama meh” (Mummy-milk) and in the process of getting her dressed in her PJ’s she fell off the bed backwards on her back / bum.  She barely cried, but fell asleep feeding – an exhauting day for her.  She was is in her crib for the night by 6:30pm. 

The boys ate dinner, then snack and were off to bed by 7:30pm, as UM and I had dinner plans with some friends later tonight – no kids.  I can’t wait!

Oddly enough neither boys wanted my wife to leave (not me) and one developed a tummy ache and the other was having nightmares (without having been asleep yet).  We managed to get both settled and we left.

Dinner was fantastic as was the company.  We had a great time and returned home around 1:30am with a new found understanding as to why you do not google things when playing the game “Headbandz”.

The kids of course we up well before 7 this morning… Oh well…

So there!  I not only survived the day with 3 kids – my three kids – but I had a blast.