I didn’t know there was a food crisis in Canada | #FeedTheHope

The truth is, there is a food crisis in Canada and NOBODY is talking about it!

I didn’t know there was a food crisis in Canada | #FeedTheHope

As a relatively new parent, one of my biggest fears is not being able to provide for my family. A roof over their head, clothes on their back and food for every meal of the day. I am constantly striving to work hard and better myself with my wife and kids top of mind. However, some people aren’t as fortunate as our family.

The truth is, there is a food crisis in Canada and NOBODY is talking about it!

Thank you to Catelli Pasta for partnering with me on this post, to bring to life their FEED THE HOPE campaign, a mission they have set out in partnership with multiple food banks across Canada to donate 1 million portions of pasta to those in need. While Catelli Pasta has sponsored this post, I will be sharing my own personal experience with you and would like to mention that all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Over the past 2 months, I have been made aware of some incredibly very eye opening realizations when it comes to our Canadian food crisis. There are more than 850,000 people who turn to food banks in Canada each month, with 1 in 5 Canadians having used a food bank and 1 in 3 Canadians knowing someone who has used a food bank. According to a recent study commissioned by Catelli,  42% of Canadians don’t believe there is even a food crisis at all within Canada – which is pretty crazy to think about!

If I am being honest, up until I had my kids, I was one of the 42% thinking this food crisis didn’t really exist within our country. We are very fortunate as a nation, to have second-to-none resources available, so  I personally never thought there was any major crisis. The reason being, we are not aware because no one talks about it, due to the stigma attached to using food banks. If we continue to ignore this food crisis, how will things change? Something needs to be done and I will share with you the difference you can make within your community to make a large impact on the many lives of those who struggle to put food on the table or lunch in their kid’s backpack.

I had the recent opportunity to learn more about all of the great things happening to really impact the lives of many. Catelli hosted an event along with North York Harvest Food Bank for a hands-on cooking experience. I met so many inspiring people who volunteer their time on a regular basis, as well as many individuals who have actually had to use or still use the food bank services because of their personal circumstances and we got to learn a little bit about each other. The stories I have heard and the reasons as to why people dedicate their time to such self-less acts really hit home for me.  I have never had to use a food bank, but I have had my fair share of struggles and adversity as a child growing up in foster care and utilizing programs like nutrition for learning. As a parent, it really put things in perspective for me and made me question – what if these were my kids? I often reflect on my struggles as a child and it really makes me think about the activities I can do to inspire my kids. To add to my experience with the hands-on cooking event, we made some delicious, inexpensive and NUTRITIOUS food! My time there gave me such a great appreciation and I was happy to attend, meeting so many wonderful people.

For the last 10 years, Catelli has donated millions of portions of pasta to families in need. However, our Canadian food crisis continues and they need your help to really impact the lives of many who need it. Here is how:

Donate Healthy Food!
So many people have participated in food drives, but are we educated on what foods to donate? Follow Catelli’s link to learn more about the healthy and nutritious non-perishable items you can donate.


Volunteer Your Time!

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Volunteering at our local food bank

Your time is a huge asset in helping those in need and can be equally or more important than just providing financial compensation. Food banks across Canada need your help! Make it a commitment to set aside a few hours throughout the year for you and your family to either sort or pack donated items or serve a hot meal to families in need. My family and I recently had the opportunity to volunteer at our local food bank. It was a very heartwarming experience and such an eye opener. We learned so much about their day to day operations, had a tour of the facility which was incredible and also learned about the impact they make to help so many families that struggle. It was crazy to think that this was happening in our own community, something you never really hear people talk about. Thousands and thousands of people rely on the food bank and we took away so much from our visit. While we were there, we along with 16 other volunteers had the opportunity to sort and package food. It was a great day of fun work and positive energy. It was nice to know that what we were doing was creating such a positive impact within our community. We even got the kids involved and they had so much fun feeling included and were declared as the youngest volunteers from the KW Food Bank. You can check out our live video during our visit here  – To share some incredible stats we sorted over 4230 lbs of food in just over 2 hours which will provide over 3300 meals to families in need. Had us amazed!

Create Awareness!
Social media is a powerful tool  – you can make a huge difference by using the social tools you have to create awareness or virtually anything.  Use the hashtag #FeedTheHope and share with us how you will help fight child hunger in Canada. You never know who you will inspire!

For more information on the #FeedTheHope campaign and to learn more about Catelli Pasta and the Catelli Brand, visit https://www.catelli.ca/en/feed-the-hope/ Together with your help we can help feed the hope and end child hunger in Canada.

Let’s start with a conversation.




Struggling With Dinner for the Kids? We Got You Covered!

As parents of multiple children, one of the biggest challenges we have is coming up with dinners that we know everyone will enjoy and actually eat.

Dinners have really proven to be a challenge for us as Emily and the triplets go through stages of being picky eaters. It is also now a struggle to get them to sit down and stay seated while they are eating.

I enjoy cooking and I love trying new things, but I sometimes forget that kids aren’t always open to trying new foods. I cannot tell you how many dinners I have made, thinking it will be a hit and everyone will love it, just to have everyone pick it apart and cry (Yes! Crying actual tears!) because they don’t want to eat it!

As much as I want to try making something new for the kids, I know it is better to stick with something simple, not overly complicated and that I know they will like. If I had to pin point one meal, I know will always be a hit and everyone will enjoy, it would be PASTA!

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If I stop and think way back to when Emily and the triplets started eating solid foods, there was never a time they refused pasta. It was and still is our go to meal for dinner and even lunches!

Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi love pasta and when we have a pasta dish on the table, we know dinner will be eaten, which makes our new partnership that much more exciting!

We are so happy and excited to share with you that we have partnered with Catelli and will be working with them over the next year! We knew it would be such a great fit for us to partner with Catelli because of how much pasta has been a staple in our house over the years!

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Throughout the year, we will be sharing some of our favourite pasta recipes, information on the many great pasta collections Catelli offers and the variety of pasta out there for you to enjoy! We hope you are excited for our partnership with Catelli and will see just how versatile and simple pasta can be!

Catelli is all about #RealFeelsGood and realizing that how you choose to parent is the right way for you! They want to stop the anxiety and fear that parents have when they feel they are not measuring up to the pressures and standards that seem to be set all around. Catelli wants to encourage everyone to be real and to share their #RealFeelsGood stories because we need to stop comparing ourselves to others and know we are all doing the best we can! In fact, according to a recent poll commissioned by Catelli, being real about parenting on your own terms can feel good: 88% of Ontarians actually feel better when they focus on what works best for their family versus comparing themselves with others.

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Their messaging resonates with us because it is so easy to look at everyone else around you and feel as though you are not doing a good enough job. In this day and age with social media, you only get a glimpse into someone’s life and everything may not always be how it seems. We think it is important to not compare yourself and your parenting with others because every family and situation is different. As parents of four kids, there are going to be times where we aren’t perfect and we make mistakes, but we will also have the times where we could not be more proud of how well we handled parenting. That’s what real is and #RealFeelsGood!

As we mentioned above, Emily and the triplets love pasta and knowing that gives us an advantage at dinner time! We can plan our meals out for the week and make sure to have pasta dishes for multiple dinners. We can also adjust our level of creativity for each meal and pick out our top recipes.

We love that you can change a pasta recipe so easily, just by adding an extra ingredient, switching the type of pasta you use or the type of sauce you use and even the way you cook the pasta. The possibilities are endless when it comes to being creative with your pasta meals!

Three of our go to pasta dinners include basic spaghetti noodle with a tomato meat sauce, tuna pasta with fusilli noodles mixed with mayo and chicken alfredo pasta with fettuccine noodles. What is so great about all three meals, is that they can be transformed to meet the preferences of your kids. If your kids prefer spaghetti noodles over fusilli noodles, it is so simple to just change the noodle you use.

We know that it can be a challenge feeding kids and we know that every parent wants to provide healthy meals that their kids will eat. We want to show you that dinners don’t have to be complicated and you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen every day creating meals your kids will love. With Catelli pasta, we know that we will be able to share great recipes that you can add to your list of meals for your kids.

We truly are excited to partner with Catelli and to kick off our partnership, Dan and I thought it would be fun to have a little Mom vs Dad cook-off with our special ingredient: Catelli Pasta!

Take a look below and find out whose pasta dish won over Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi!

To learn more about Catelli and their products, as well as their #RealFeelsGood messaging, you can visit www.realfeelsgood.ca. We also want to encourage you to share your real life stories about what works best for you as parents and be sure to use #RealFeelsGood. We will be keeping an eye out and cannot wait to read them all!

Finding Time for My Oldest After Having Multiples

One of the biggest challenges I have with 4 kids, is the ability to make sure I am spending enough time with each one of them and making sure my time is divided equally. I know it will never be perfect and I know it will never be 100% equal, but I know how important it is, so I always try my hardest everyday.


Going from 1 child to 4, was a huge shock and a big adjustment for myself, so I can only imagine how it must have been for Emily. Emily was only 17 months when the triplets were born and as much as we made sure to involve her in everything, it was still a big change to go from being the only child to 1 of 4.

I never want Emily to feel as though I have forgotten about her or I don’t have time to spend with her, so I have come up with a few ideas of things we can do together. I almost always take her to the store with me if I am running out by myself to pick up a few things and when the triplets are napping, I use that time to do an activity such as coloring or even having her sit in the kitchen with me if I have work to do. Just the other day when Olivia, Jackson and Levi were napping, Emily and I spent some time outside on the deck and had some lunch together. I was able to talk to her, listen to her and just be there for her if she needed something or wanted to ask me something. I know there is no need for the activities to be so complicated and I really do think she enjoys the little extra focus just on her.

It will be challenging at times to divide myself between 4 kids and all their needs individually. Finding the extra time during the day to give each one of them a little more attention and focus, will help to make sure I am letting them know I am there. When the triplets were born it was hard because when they needed me, I had to multiply that time by 3. Now that they are older and are capable of playing on their own and not relying on me for everything, I have the time to dedicate to Emily. In a way, I can now make up the time that I couldn’t give to her when the triplets where born!


If you are subscribed to our YouTube Channel, The Baby Gang, then you would have come across our videos of In The Kitchen with Emily & Mummy. They are fun videos of Emily and I, baking or cooking some fun recipes together and then trying them at the end. Some videos include the triplets, but most of them are just of Emily and I.

I love to cook and bake and I am so excited to teach Emily some of the basic skills and techniques and of course the triplets, when they are old enough. Making the videos of us cooking or baking in the kitchen has been so much fun and Emily has really started to enjoy them. In our latest episode, we made chocolate chip cookies and I thought it was so cute to see Emily picking up on the way I say things or introducing ourselves. At some parts it may have been unclear as to what she was saying, but I know she was explaining the steps of making the cookies and it was just too adorable!

The recipes we chose are not complicated and only take a couple of minutes to throw together and I think that helps to keep the focus on the fun, which is what they are all about. It has taken me a little bit to get over the fact that the video may not go exactly how I imagined or planned, but even after the extra mess and extra time, everything has turned out great.

Baking or cooking is such a great hands on activity to do and allows Emily to learn while having fun. I think it is important to teach basic cooking skills and I find it keeps Emily engaged and eager to do more, as I am sure it would with every child! Not only does it help with learning to cook, but even with her vocabulary, learning new words and new foods and also being able to give directions when telling each step in the recipe. pb3

Sometimes it is a little bit of a challenge to find the time to set everything up and make the video, especially during the day when I am home alone. We have to wait for Jackson, Olivia and Levi to fall asleep and even then we only have a limited amount of time to record. The other option we have is to set up the chairs and have all three join us for the video! It is fun to have them included as well and I like to think Jackson, Olivia and Levi enjoy having a snack and watching us cook. It will be interesting to see how the videos will go when all 3 are old enough and ready to join in on the cooking!


When we started In The Kitchen with Emily & Mummy, we were wearing our matching Christmas aprons. I had actually found them before we started the videos and they worked perfectly, but we needed an upgrade. Last weekend when we were in Buffalo, we were walking through Macy’s and in the corner of my eye I spotted an apron that said “mama” on it and as I was looking at them, I found a matching one that said “bebe.” They were so cute and exactly what I was looking for and on top of that they were on sale! Now we have some new aprons to wear and they add that much more excitement to each episode!


At the end of the day, the main purpose of In The Kitchen with Emily & Mummy, is to have fun and spend some quality one on one time with Emily. Even if we decided not to record the videos, we would still be cooking together and having fun!



I encourage everyone to try baking or cooking with your kids. If you have multiple kids who are ready to get in the kitchen and start baking, set up a day every few weeks for each child to join you, that way you can include everyone in the fun, but still have the one on one time with each of them! And if you only have one child who is ready, but have little ones who aren’t, set up their high chairs, set out some snacks or toys and have them watch what is going on!

To check out all of our episodes of In The Kitchen with Emily & Mummy, visit our YouTube Page, Youtube.com/thebabygang and look for the Playlist IN THE KITCHEN WITH EMILY AND MUMMY.

We are always open to trying new recipes and any suggestions, so please leave any you have in the comments below! (We will give you a shout out too, if we make your suggestion!)

Here is our newest Episode of In The Kitchen With Emily and Mummy!

We are baking The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies!

*Emily was too cute and has really started to pick up on how the videos go!


Yummy Banana Bread – 2 Ways

I love to bake and one of my favorite things to bake, as well as eat, is banana bread!


When I was younger, I remember my mom always making banana bread and it was just the best thing in the world. The smell of the banana bread baking would fill the house and as soon as the timer went off we were sitting at the table eagerly waiting to gobble it up. The banana bread smell is easily recognizable and it is one of those smells that reminds me of my childhood.

I don’t think I have ever met someone who doesn’t like banana bread, although I am sure they are out there! There are so many ways to make banana bread, not to mention the endless amounts of add-ins and toppings you can include. You can even make a banana bread cake! Whatever way you choose to customize your banana bread, it is such a simple and easy recipe to make.


It is also a great recipe to start off with when you want to introduce your little ones to baking and getting them in the kitchen to help you. I am so excited to have Emily join me in the kitchen, now that she is older and I am patiently waiting for the day when Jackson, Olivia and Levi can join us as well! I hope they find the same enjoyment as I do when I am cooking and are just as excited to be in the kitchen cooking or baking with me.

I am always trying to find, fun, easy and of course healthy snacks for Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi to eat, which is also another reason as to why I enjoy making my own banana bread. I can control what ingredients I add and also make adjustments to the recipe. Don’t get me wrong, the banana bread from the store is just as tasty and I have bought it for pure convenience, but I know there is more sugar and added ingredients in it that I would prefer to cut from the recipe. And like I said, banana bread is so simple to make, why not make it if I can.

The recipe that I found online is very straight forward and after making it several times, I have adjusted it in a way that works for everyone. Emily has a milk allergy, which means I have to substitute both the butter and milk that are typically found in a banana bread recipe. The recipe I found uses vegetable oil instead of butter, but still calls for milk. To replace the milk I use one 100 gram container of vanilla yogurt. For some reason Emily is fine with yogurt and other things such as cheese, but will break out in a rash and itchy body if she has direct forms of milk from butter or plain milk. It seems strange, but it works.

I also wanted to cut back on the amount of sugar. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of white sugar, so I cut it down to 1/2 a cup and switch to brown sugar. To be honest, I don’t really know if brown sugar is better than white sugar, since they are both sugars, but I like the flavor of the brown sugar in the recipe and I am taking away one whole cup. To make up for less sugar I simply add an extra banana to the recipe. After adding everything together in the bowl, mixing it and baking it, you would never know the difference or the fact that two-thirds of the sugar is cut out.

Another variation to the banana bread that I have done, was adding some cocoa powder. We always like to add some chocolate chips, either semi-sweet or milk chocolate, but only recently did I think to add the cocoa powder. The banana bread without the cocoa powder is great, but when you want a chocolate fix and don’t want to eat a chocolate cake, this is a good alternative. I add 1/2 a cup of cocoa powder to the recipe and if I am in a chocolate mood I also add in some chocolate chips, because you can never have too much chocolate!

It is so much fun to change-up a recipe and to customize it in a way you know yourself and everyone will love. Banana bread is a great recipe to try out and the variations you can create are endless. I encourage you to try it out and see what new flavors you can come up with. I know both banana bread recipes don’t last long in our house and we will be making banana bread for a very long time!

I have started a new series on our YouTube Channel called In The Kitchen With Emily & Mummy and I am excited to start doing more baking a cooking with Emily. The recipe for our first episode is of course banana bread! It was a lot of fun and we also had 3 little special guests join us. We made the 2 variations that I talked about and you can find the first episode down below!



Here is the full recipe! This is my altered recipe from the original that I used for the kiddies.

You can find the original recipe at http://www.food.com/recipe/moist-and-delicious-banana-bread-252449



5 Ways to Hide Veggies in your Child’s Food

There is a good chance that every parent may experience their child’s dislike for vegetables and the challenges of getting them to eat their vegetables. You may have tried bribing them, letting them watch you eat the veggies while saying how good they are or dipping them in any kind of sauce you can find and yet they still wont touch them. I have had a few experiences with Emily and the triplets, with Emily being the most difficult now that she can tell me how much she doesn’t like them. There will be days where she will eat broccoli raw or cooked and then the next day she will spit it out or throw it at me if I dare put it on her plate. It becomes a challenge and I then worry I’m not feeding them properly if they aren’t eating their veggies.

From the moment Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi tried food I was determined to feed them all of the vegetables in the world. The first food other than baby cereal that they tried was vegetables and they all seemed to like them. They would eat vegetables twice a day and since that’s what I was giving them that’s what they would eat. As they get older their tastes change, but I still want to make sure they are eating enough vegetables. I had to be creative and think of ways to make them eat their veggies, even if they didn’t know they were eating them!

I wanted to share 5 ways that I have hidden veggies into their food:

  1. Smoothies
    I love to make smoothies and they are so simple to throw together. You can also add whatever you like into one and even hide the veggies your kids don’t want to eat. When you have smoothies with lots of fruit, such as bananas, strawberries or blueberries you can throw in veggies like spinach or broccoli and the sweet taste from the fruit should mask the flavor of the veggies. I made a fruit smoothie with spinach for Emily and she drank every last drop!
  2. Scrambled Eggs
    We go through a dozen eggs when we make breakfast for all 6 of us and the go to way to cook our eggs are scrambled. Scrambled eggs are perfect for adding in vegetables because they mixed in with the eggs so well. I know you can still see the pieces of vegetables when they are done, but if you cut them small enough, they blend right into the bite of egg. I have added in spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower to our scrambled eggs and every time Emily and the triplets eat them up!
  3. Meatloaf
    I mentioned meatloaf in the last post about freezer meals and here it is again! I made meatloaf in muffin tins for Emily and secretly added a ton of veggies. I cooked up broccoli, carrots, spinach and cauliflower by roasted them in the oven and once they were cooled, I chopped them up into the smallest pieces and mixed them right into the ground beef. The pieces were so small you only saw small specs of veggies throughout the meatloaf, but with a little bit of ketchup on top you would never know they were in there.
  4. Tomato Sauce
    One day I made a huge tray of roasted vegetables and included red and green peppers, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, cauliflower and carrots and I thought Emily would eat them as a side on her plate with the pasta. Well I thought wrong and she wouldn’t touch them, so I took the veggies and tomato sauce and threw them all into the blender. I blended everything up and now I had roasted vegetable tomato sauce. I mixed that with the noodles and Emily ate 3 bowls after! This is a perfect way to hide veggies and a great way to enhance the taste of the store-bought sauces.
  5. Fruit and Vegetable Blend
    This one is more for the baby just beginning to eat new foods and vegetables. Jackson and Levi would eat anything, but Olivia was a little more picky. I would make sweet potatoes, or mixed veggies and blend them up and the boys would devour them, where as Olivia would turn her head and pucker her lips to avoid eating any of it. I knew she liked fruit, so I tried to think of different fruit and vegetables that worked together. I would mix the sweet potato with blackberries or blueberries, carrots with apples and broccoli with strawberries and she would eat them no problem. Just like with the smoothies, the sweet fruit covers the taste of the vegetables. I did find that if I mixed anything with blueberries the taste of the vegetables was always covered up and they did seem to like eating the purple stuff compared to the green or orange stuff.

There are so many other fun and creative ways to hide vegetables into your children’s meals. I am always ready to try new ways and if it means they will eat their vegetables then I am a happy mom!

P.S. I realized after that peppers are a fruit, but it is one of those foods some kids may be picky with so they work in this case =D


What are some of the ways you get your children to eat their vegetables?


11 Things That You Can Freeze to Save Time and Money

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After sharing an example of what we eat on a typical day, you can see how much food we go through. While it is a lot of food, there is also a lot of time that goes into making everything we eat. If I can find ways to save time and make things easier, I am all for it!

When I cook, I like to make more than what I need, that way I have left overs in the fridge to use for another meal. Sometimes I don’t want to use the left overs right away,so a great way to keep them for longer is to freeze them. After freezing the meal, it is so easy to just pull it out of the freezer the day before I want to use it and then it is ready to go the next day. It is also a time saver to freeze individual food items that you could eat on their own or add them to a recipe.

Before Jackson, Olivia and Levi arrived, I prepared a lot of meals ahead of time and froze them. I knew it would help tremendously when we didn’t have time to think or make dinner. Here is a list of the top 11 foods that I found worked perfectly to freeze.

  1. Meatloaf
    Meatloaf is the easiest and simplest meal to prepare and it freezes really well too. I have made both beef and turkey meatloaf and even small ones in muffin tins for Emily. When I find ground beef on sale, I like to buy an extra pack and make meatballs from the meatloaf mix. The meatballs are easy to make and you end up with another meal!
  2. Chicken Enchiladas
    They are so simple to put together once you have all of the ingredients ready. I set up all the ingredients in an assembly line with 3 dishes and continue to make enchiladas until all the dishes are filled. In the end I have 3 separate meals. I also made individual ones for Emily and they were handy to have when she needed to eat dinner before us.
  3. Chicken, Veggies and Rice Casserole
    This is another straight forward dish and involves taking all the ingredients, adding them to a casserole dish, mixing together and then baking. The recipe is only 5 ingredients; chicken, frozen mixed veggies, rice, cream of mushroom soup and water and you can easily double this recipe and make it in a larger dish. I cook this meal completely and then freeze it, that way I only have to worry about heating it up when we go to eat it.
  4. Spaghetti
    Spaghetti is an all around favorite for everyone and is another easy to make meal. You can make a large quantity all at once, with very little effort. I use the store-bought pasta sauce, but add in my own vegetables. The first time I did this, I had bunch of roasted vegetables that Emily wouldn’t eat, so I added them to the sauce and blended everything up. I then tried again and she ate 3 plates of pasta! I mix everything together in the pot then put it in a casserole dish or tin foil trays and freeze.
  5. Butternut Squash Soup
    I was skeptical the first time trying this soup, but after that first try I was hooked and it was so yummy. I found a recipe to make my own butternut squash soup and it is a perfect soup for everyone to eat. I made this soup for Emily all the time and she loved it, plus it is made with all veggies and she didn’t even know.
  6. Green, Red, Yellow, Orange Peppers
    I never thought to freeze peppers at first, but when I bought a barrel from the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, I had to think of something to do with them before they all went bad. I couldn’t eat them fast enough, so I thought why don’t I freeze them. I looked up how to freeze peppers and it was pretty simple. I cut them into slices, parboiled them, let them cool and dry then freeze. By parboiling them I would be able to take them right from the freezer and add them to whatever I was making and it also helped to keep their bright colors.
  7. Potatoes
    I found potatoes cut into small squares are perfect for Emily and the triplets to pick up and eat themselves. I was buying the packaged hash-browns from the store, but they were too small and I was spending a lot. I thought I could just buy a bag of potatoes and cut them up myself, that way I could make them the size I wanted and it was also a lot cheaper. It does take a little bit of time to cut the potatoes all up, but you have so many ready to freeze when you are done.
  8. Banana Bread
    We go through so many bananas in a week and yet we still end up with bruised or brown bananas. When that happens I like to make banana bread or banana muffins. I can also find discounted bananas at the store for roughly $1.00 per package, which is great if I know I am going to need a lot to make a few loaves or muffins. From one package I have enough bananas for 2 loaves or 2 batches of muffins. I like to make mini banana muffins for Emily and the triplets and they make a perfect on the go snack. When I make the loaves of banana bread, I cut the loaf up and freeze the individual slices, that way I can just grab a piece when I want one.
  9. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
    Now this is more for me, well all for me and I guess Dan too, but who doesn’t want to have cookie dough already made and ready to bake? I make a double recipe of cookie dough and using an ice cream scoop, I freeze the individual balls on a cookie tray. Once they are frozen, I put them in a freezer bag and they are ready to take out whenever I want. I like doing this because when it is just Dan and I, making a whole batch of cookies is a lot, so to pull out a few works perfectly.
  10. Berries – Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries
    We all love any kind of berry, but sometimes they can be so expensive, especially when they are not in season. During the summer when we go to the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market can find all the berries in season and a good price. I like to buy the biggest basket of berries they have and bring them home, wash them and then freeze them. I dry them really well and lay them on a baking sheet, making sure they aren’t touching. Once they are frozen I can take them and pop them into a freezer bag. Now I can have berries throughout the fall and winter… if they last that long.
  11. Yogurt
    Frozen yogurt is a good snack to have during the summer and you can easily make your own frozen yogurt pops, by putting a spoon into the top of a yogurt cup and freezing it. I also like to make smoothies with frozen yogurt. I buy the tubs of yogurt and then divide it up into ice-cube trays. Once they are frozen I pop them out and put them into freezer bags. To make the smoothies, I take 3 or 4 frozen yogurt cubes, with some of the frozen berries I have, add them to a blender with some orange juice and then I have  smoothie. I also saw on Pinterest, hundreds of recipes for different smoothies and how to make individual smoothie packages. This would be a perfect way to have smoothies on the go and all you have to do is pull the package out of the freezer, blend and you are done.

Freezing food is such a good way to save you time in the future, especially if you are freezing food you are already making. The list of foods and meals you can freeze is endless and if you are ever unsure about whether or not you can freeze something, you can always look it up. It can also save you money when you buy extra of something that is on sale or if you buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. I hope my list of foods that I freeze has helped and got you thinking of food  you make on a regular basis that you could freeze too!


Have you tried making freezer meals? What ones have you found worked the best for you?


Temptations: How can I say no?


It is easy to say I eat healthy and say how many vegetables I eat with dinner, but the reality is I also eat a lot of food that is not healthy. Although I may eat healthy food, if I am eating all the bad food in between can I really say I am a healthy eater? As much as I try to eat healthy, the temptations are real and they are all around. From the donuts at Zehrs, to Starbucks frappuccinos, to the array of fast food drive thru’s, I just can’t help myself and cave all the time. I have the biggest sweet tooth and love all types of bake goods or desserts.

Up until a month and a half ago I didn’t think twice about what I ate because I was still breastfeeding the triplets. When I was exclusively breastfeeding them, my doctor told me I would burn 2000 calories a day when producing enough milk for all three. I took that as, “Okay! Eat what I like!” It was perfect, I could eat all the things I loved and not gain any weight. That was until they turned a year and I introduced milk into their diet. I wasn’t nursing them as much and as a result not burning as many calories as before. I continued to eat how I was and now I have paid the price of gaining weight.

I was so happy to have lost all the baby weight plus more and now it is starting to creep back on. Luckily it has only been about 8 pounds, but 8 pounds really does make a difference. I can feel it in my stomach and I notice it in my face when I gain the slightest amount of weight. My one pair of shorts are feeling a little more snug then they did a month ago and a few of my shirts are a little tighter than I would like.

It is not the nicest feeling knowing that I have gained weight so easily and the frustrating part in all of this is I know exactly the reasons as to why it is happening. I have indulged too much and caved at every temptation in front of me and if I continue doing this then I know I will just keep gaining weight. I have to understand and realize that I cannot just eat what I want and when I want, especially if I am not burning as many calories as before.

The challenge is going to be saying no and avoiding the temptations. It is going to be hard during the summer months when ice cream and desserts are all around. When it’s hot outside I immediately think of having a popsicle or smoothy to cool down, or at the end of the day if we go for a walk, we get an ice cream. If I am out with Emily and the triplets I like to stop at Starbucks and get a frappuccino enjoy it in the van while they sleep. Then after everyone goes to sleep, Dan and I will sit down and watch TV with a bag of chips and a pop. It is never-ending and every day I am surrounded by all this food I shouldn’t be eating.

I know how important what you eat is to your health and how it can make a big difference if you are trying to lose weight. Back in April I was trying to lose a few pounds before Florida, so I cut out all the sweet stuff from my diet for a couple of weeks. I didn’t drink anything but water and ate more fruits and vegetables. It really worked and I lost 5 pounds in the one week, just from cutting out the bad stuff. It was hard for me to not eat the sweet stuff I wanted, but it felt good to lose weight and it was worth it in the end.

I think this is going to be the route I need to go from now on. I can’t say I won’t eat anything, but maybe limit myself to one snack a week. I have to increase the amount of veggies I eat and the amount of water I drink. I think with just an overall healthier diet, with less sugar and junk food and more fruits, veggies and water, I will see a difference in the way I feel and hopefully lose some weight!


What are some of the things you do to help avoid the temptations?

Do you have a meal plan or way to help you eat better and stay on track?

A Typical Day of Food

There is no doubt in my mind that we will be spending a fortune on food as Emily and the triplets get older, but I thought for sure I would have more time before that happened. Emily is 2 and a half now and the triplets are 14 months and already we are going through more food than I had ever imagined at this stage. I was always under the impression we would have until they were at least 10 years old before our grocery bills equaled our mortgage bills, clearly I was very mistaken.

My parents always made it very clear that we were not to waste food and whatever we had on our plate we had to eat. I can now understand exactly what they mean and I know I will be saying the exact same thing to Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi as they get older. Not only does the cost of food add up, but your time and effort put in to preparing and cooking everything adds up. After spending a couple of hours preparing dinner, the last thing I want is to see no one eat it and have it all go to waste.

If I am not making extra dinner for another day, I try to make close to the exact amounts that I know they will eat for dinner, to avoid wasted food. I have a pretty good idea of how much they can eat now, but there are days where they want more and days where they want less.

After talking about the three meals of the day I thought it would be fun to share all the food we go through in a typical day. After stopping to write it all down, I am shocked at how much we go through and I can only imagine what it will be like when they are a few years older.

So here it is!


Photo 2016-07-17, 10 23 00 AM
Breakfast for all 6 of us.
I try to make a good breakfast for Emily and the triplets each morning with a variety of food to eat. Eggs are a big part of our breakfast and with so many ways to cook them or ways to use them, they make it easy to switch it up for everyone each day. From scrambled, to hard-boiled or used for pancakes or french toast, we eat eggs pretty much everyday.

This would be our breakfast for all 6 of us.

  • 12 Eggs – 2 for Emily, 4 for the triplets to split, 3 each for Dan and I
  • 1/2 bag of spinach chopped and mixed with eggs
  • 5 Bananas – 1 for Emily, 2 for the triplets, 1 for Dan and I
  • 6 yogurts – 1 for each of us
  • 1 package of Strawberries
  • 1 package of raspberries


Lunch does vary depending on what we are doing, but I find making some kind of sandwich to be the easiest. I haven’t tried the triplets with a full sandwich yet, so they have a deconstructed one. I would give them the tuna separately and then break up the bread for them into little pieces.  I like to give them a little side of something too, which is usually some kind of fruit, or crackers.

If all of us were home this is one lunch we would have.

  • 3 cans of tuna mixed with mayo – split between everyone
  • 9 pieces of bread – Dan, Emily and I have a sandwich and the triplets have a piece each broken up
  • 1/4 cup of blueberries for Emily and 1/2 cup for the triplets to split OR
  • 1/2 a cucumber cut up for Emily and the triplets to eat, 1 whole one if Dan and I eat some too


Dinner also varies and changes with what we buy for the week or what we feel like eating that day. Chicken is an easy dinner to go with, as it’s easy to prepare and cut up for the triplets and Emily loves it.

Here is an example of a dinner all of us enjoy! It is the typical meat, veggies and potato dinner.

  • 5 Chicken Breasts – 1 for Emily, Dan and I and 2 for the triplets to split
  • a mixed variation of vegetables, either frozen or fresh
    • frozen would be almost 1/2 a bag
    • fresh would be 1 head of broccoli, 2 zucchini and carrots
  • some type of carb component – 2 cups of rice, 3 packages of sidekick noodles or potatoes
    • 3 large sweet potatoes, or 6 medium white potatoes


I cannot forget about the snacks. Throughout the day Emily and the triplets have some snacks, sometimes to keep them occupied and sometimes to fill them up a little longer. Whenever I take them out, I always make sure to have some kind of snack for them to eat, that way if they get a little fussy before we make it home I have a way to keep them calm and buy myself a little more time.

There are so many snacks that they enjoy, which is good because I can always add them into a meal or switch up a part of their meal with one of the snacks as a side.

Here is a list of some of my go to snacks!

  • Cheerios
  • Puffs
  • Crackers
  • Fruit of any kind
  • Mum Mums
  • Homemade banana muffins
  • Carrots for Emily
  • Cheese

What we eat changes everyday and I try to mix it up a little bit for each meal so everyone has a variety of foods to eat each day. Some days it is hard when they decide to be picky, especially on those days I spend more time making a good meal and they want nothing to do with it. In the end I have to decide is it worth trying something new and having them not eat, or keep it simple and make the same thing, knowing they will eat it.

I find the best thing to do is keep a very big list of what I know everyone likes and what they will eat, then go out and buy as much as I can from that list to keep on hand all the time. If I have everything at home then I can easily grab what I need or if I need to quickly make something new then I have that option. By knowing what they like and what they will eat I will also save money by not spending it on things I know they wont eat. Hopefully I can continue this way, as I know it will be important when they are older and eating more!


What are some of your favorite meals to make that you know your kids will love?




Cheesy Ravioli Lasagna

While endlessly scrolling through Pinterest or the Food Network, I come across so many delicious looking dishes and end up with a ton of great ideas for dinner. I love to cook and I am always looking for new recipes to try. My favorite dishes to make would have to be casseroles or any thing prepared in a casserole dish. They are usually the easiest thing to prepare, with little to no time or effort needed in making them.

Emily was my little helper, but couldn’t wait for dinner, so she ate a tomato!

Growing up, I always remember my mom making her homemade lasagna. It did take a while to prepare everything and put it together, but it was worth it in the end. I love homemade food and I find you can really taste the difference between homemade and store bought. Lately I have been seeing so many different takes on the classic lasagna. Some of them are so creative and use more than just the classic ingredients. One particular switch up I have noticed, was the use of ravioli instead of the typical lasagna noodle. I thought this was so creative and with the wide variety of ravioli out there, you could change it up in so many ways.


I liked the idea of using ravioli and when I saw the fresh ravioli on sale at the grocery store I thought it was a perfect time to try one myself. I also wanted to make it quick, easy and less time consuming then the typical lasagna. The version I put together only requires 4 ingredients, with one of them being optional. The trick is the use of the ravioli. It takes away the need for a few ingredients, such as the cottage cheese because of the filling inside. I was able to pick up cheese and spinach filled ravioli, but you could also use meat or mushroom filled ones as well.

3 Main Ingredients

The 3 main ingredients I used were Fresh Cheese and Spinach Ravioli, Four Cheese Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese. The 4th ingredient was Italian Seasoned Meatballs, but this is optional if you wanted to make it a vegetarian dish or you chose the meat filled ravioli.

The process of putting this lasagna together is pretty straight forward and you can’t really go wrong if you change it up a little. Everything is layered together in a casserole dish and if you like a lot of cheese you could add in another layer or if you are trying to cut back a little, just remove one of the layers.

I started with a thin layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of the dish and then layered the ravioli. I added a layer of cheese and then repeated this two more times. In total I had 3 layers of ravioli, sauce and cheese. At first I tried to add the layer of meatballs in the middle, but found the ravioli wouldn’t stay in place on top of the meatballs. I still wanted to add them, so I put them on top of the ravioli layers. After that I covered everything in the mozzarella cheese, covered the dish with tin foil and it was ready to bake!


Parchment paper over lasagna


One of the worst things to happen when you cover the dish, is to have the top layer of cheese stick to the tin foil. I find no matter how much I try to carefully peel it off, it never works and I lose half the top, which is of course the best part of the lasagna. I can’t remember exact where or who I learned this tip from, but I learned that to prevent the cheese from sticking to the top of the tin foil, you first lay a piece of parchment paper over top. Since nothing sticks to the parchment paper, it works as a barrier between the cheese and tin foil. I used this trick for my lasagna and it was the best thing and actually really worked!

I baked the lasagna for a total of one hour. The last 10 minutes I removed the tin foil to let the cheese on top brown. The lasagna is pretty filling by itself, but I also made some bruschetta bread as a side. You could make anything to add on the side, such as steamed veggies, a Caesar salad or even just some buttered bread.

The finished Lasagna!

I think this is a perfect dinner for any day of the week. It is quick and easy to prepare and any one at any cooking level could make it. It would also be a good meal to prepare ahead of time, such as the night before, to have it ready to go straight to the oven when you get home from work. You could always make an extra one too and freeze it for a dinner when you know you are going to be busy, especially if the ravioli is on sale. Just remember to take it out the night before and leave it in the fridge.

I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try and it should be a hit with everyone!