If you have been following our vlogs this summer you will have noticed that we have done some pretty epic travel adventures – our first, was a month long trip with the kids to Alberta and pretty much right after that we headed for another long road trip to Florida for just under 2 weeks. In total we drove over 130 hours and clocked in approx. 16,000km, maybe more and all with the kids in tow! While travelling, we had a lot of late nights, early days (sometimes late days), unscheduled eating times as well time zone change. If you are reading this as a parent, you will most likely understand the impact all of these things (plus more) might have on the functionality of your children and yourself. In lighter terms, our routine was completely gone. We have always embraced our chaos as parents because in a world of social media you will see so many parents living the perfect life as if they are the most perfect parents. It can be so misleading and sets an unreal expectation. With our kids so close in age and so young, every day is a new and unpredictable day. From extreme tantrums to massive holes in the wall from crazy play time, we need to let go of our guilt and anxiety as if we are bad parents. Parenting is the real deal and we need to bring a good attitude, doing the best we can. Because real feels good.
Now that all of our travelling is out of the way and the summer months are coming to an end it is time to get things back in order and establish once again, a good routine. The triplets still have one year left to be at home before starting their first year of JK while Emily will be starting her second year of school in SK. We as parents cannot believe where the time has gone. One thing I often say is once you have 2 or more kids things just become a blur and the older our kids get I see that could not be truer.
So with the school season fast approaching, we have come up with ways to help you establish a good routine to help take back the ownership of parenting. You most likely have a ton of questions about bedtime routine, what kind of lunches to make or what you should make for dinner? – All valid things to think about.
First things first, bed time, especially when things have been way out of whack. Start as if you were establishing things for the first time. One thing we have learned as parents, especially of multiple children, is kids love a good routine. It may seem difficult at first but it is important to do your best and to have a good attitude because it probably will take time and test all of your patience. Once your routine is established it is only up from here! Try to also incorporate some fun bedtime traditions, like a bedtime story, brushing their teeth or fun bed time game.
When it comes to food, pasta has always been one of our go-to favorite food options. It comes in many different varieties and has an unlimited amount of variations. One thing we like to do when it comes to feeding the kids is KEEPING IT SIMPLE and KEEPING IT NUTRITIOUS. Pasta is a great way to also introduce new foods and when you live in a house full of picky eaters, all while taking advantage of incorporating those healthy vegetables. The nice thing about pasta is we tend to cook a lot at once and always have lots of leftovers. With Emily starting school this September, we’ve learned about the school lunch/snack schedules so we can incorporate our pasta dishes into her lunch. This has proven to be a huge time saver when prepping for the next day and has been something she really enjoys. We’re already thinking of the time we will save when we do this for the triplets when they to go to school as well.
Catelli is our go to pasta choice and they offer a wide variety of selections. One of our favorite choices is the Catelli Smart Veggie options. Very high in fiber and gives you ½ serving of vegetables – did I mention we have picky eaters? This has been a great way to eliminate the parent guilt of not having healthy meals for your kids. If you are ever feeling stuck or unsure of what to make, you can always refer to the Catelli website for some great culinary inspiration. When I cook pasta, I immediately think of delicious chicken Alfredo (it’s my go to pasta choice). While I was browsing the website I immediately took a liking to their Spaghetti with Caulifredo Sauce (you can also use any pasta option you prefer.. our kids love macaroni). Check out the recipe below:
- 1 PKG of Catelli Smart Veggie Macaroni
- 3 Cups of cauliflower florets
- ¾ cup of warm milk
- 2 tbsp of butter
- ½ tsp of garlic powder
- ½ tsp of salt
- ¼ tsp each of freshly ground nutmeg and black pepper
- ¾ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup of chopped parsley
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cauliflower to a blender.
2. Add macaroni to boiling water and cook according to package directions.
3. Meanwhile, add milk, butter, garlic powder to blender. Blend until smooth, adding additional warm milk as needed to get a creamy consistency. Add salt, nutmeg and pepper (adjust to taste).
4. Toss sauce with hot cooked macaroni, Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
Warm the milk in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds or until steaming.
Customize this pasta with add-ins such as sliced grilled chicken, cooked shrimp or blanched broccoli florets.
Some great parenting advice we have recently learned ourselves is when it comes to cooking food for the kids, try and include your kids in the cooking process. They get so excited when you include them and will actually get excited to eat the food they helped make. It will also allow you to have some great fun, all while creating some real and loving memories.
Let’s keep it simple, nutritious and real… Because real feels good.
Have a great start to the school year!