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.

https://www.catelli.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Food_Bank_Shopping_List.pdf

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.

Dan.

 

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Learning Is Fun With Barbie Dreamtopia

As parents we are always trying to find fun ways to teach our kids important life lessons that are entertaining and engaging. When you think of ways to teach your kids those lessons, watching a TV show may not always be your first answer, but what if we told you there was a show that did just that!

Today we are sharing with you a show we were recently introduced to and that is Barbie Dreamtopia! It is a series of mini episodes that take place in a fairytale land called Dreamtopia featuring Barbie and her sister Chelsea. Together they embark on various adventures that are not only fun but demonstrate valuable social and emotional lessons. It is colourful, it is fun, the kids love it and we have been hooked ever since!

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One of the episodes that stuck out to us was “Keep On Looking ’til You Find It | Barbie Dreamtopia: The Series | Episode 4.” This episode was all about perseverance and we found it very relatable with Emily and the triplets. Barbie and the Elephant King both lose an important item and Chelsea’s dog Honey goes missing, so together they head out in hopes of finding their missing items and Honey. As their search continues, Chelsea worries that they may not find Honey, but Barbie says they cannot give up and they have to continue searching. They receive some unexpected help from the Glitter Balls, who lead them in the right direction and they are able to find Honey and Barbie and Elephant King’s missing items.

The lesson of perseverance is something I think we can teach Emily and the triplets almost daily. Just like the episode, Emily and the triplets are always losing something. Whether it’s a favourite toy or their sippy cups, someone is always missing something throughout the day. Many times, they simply give up when searching for their missing item or become frustrated that they cannot find it. They then come to Dan and I and want us to find it for them. We try to encourage them to keep looking and tell them it has to be here somewhere, followed by asking them where they last had it, just like Chelsea did when asking the Elephant King where he last wore his crown. As the parent, we pretty much know all the spots where an item could go missing, so we give Emily and the triplets a list of places to look first. About 9 out of 10 times, they end up finding what they were looking for and are so excited when they do.

Perseverance is just one of the many lessons learned from Barbie Dreamtopia and others include patience, team work, inner beauty, and communication. Barbie was such a big part of my childhood and I know it will be the same for our kids. Barbie can also be a very influential character for many kids, so it’s nice to see her influence used to give such valuable lessons and teachable moments.

What’s amazing is that there is also a Learning Through Dreamtopia Activity Guide available for parents to use after each episode. The activity guide provides you with an activity to do with step by step instructions, as well as discussion question. The Dreamtopia activity guide is a great way to interact with your children after an episode and to start a conversation about these lessons. After watching “The Gemonstrator | Barbie Dreamtopia: The Series | Episode 3,” we were excited to try out the activity with Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi. The activity was called “Fun With Fruit” and the lesson was inner beauty.

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The instructions for the activity were very clear and easy to follow and the discussion questions were great for relating our activity back to the episode. Emily and the triplets were so excited to see the fruit on the table and they immediately started touching them and asking what they were. I had them try to guess what each fruit was and what they thought the inside would look like. Their reactions when opening up each fruit were priceless and they were all brave enough to try some of the fruit!  Just as Barbie and Chelsea learned that the gems were inside the rocks, Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi learned that the inside of the fruits look very different from what they thought they would from the outside. I really enjoyed doing the activity with the kids and it was a creative way for them to interact with the episode from Barbie Dreamtopia! 

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For those of you looking for a series to watch with your kids, we highly recommend Barbie Dreamtopia and all it has to offer. It is a great way for you to bond with your children and who doesn’t love Barbie!?

You can catch the show weekly on Treehouse airing Saturday and Sunday mornings or catch-all the latest episodes on YouTube. Make sure you also visit the “Learning Through Dreamtopia” website for fun activities to do with your kids.. They will love it!

We want to hear from you – Tell us about what you and your kids learned from Dreamtopia in the comments below.

This blog post is kindly sponsored by Mattel. Opinions are our own and we only partner with brands we truly love prior to being contacted.

Pampers Pure Collection is Changing the Diaper Game

Today I have something to share with you that I am super excited about and I know you will all love!

Pampers has just released their brand new Pampers Pure Collection and I want to share with you all of the amazing qualities of the collection. Pampers Pure Protection Diapers and Wipes was created to meet the desires of parents and what they are looking for in a diaper.

At the beginning of the month, we had the pleasure of attending a Pampers event, where we were introduced to the new collection. We learned all about the new Pampers Pure collection, watched demonstrations to show just how well the new diapers perform and were given our very own package to take home and try out with the triplets.

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As parents, we are always looking for quality products that meet the needs of our babies. Pampers has always provided that with their diapers and wipes and Pampers Pure Collection is no exception! Dan and I were both so impressed from everything we learned not only about the new diaper and wipes, but also about Pampers as a company. Pampers has always been there for moms and I think that this line truly shows the kind of company Pampers is and their relationship with moms. After taking the time to listen to moms all across the world and understand what they are looking for and wanting in a diaper, Pampers gathered what they had learned and created the Pampers Pure Collection.

The Pampers Pure Protection Diapers are the first diaper to combine premium cotton, soft plant-based fibers and other thoughtfully selected materials, while still providing Pampers trusted protection. They are made without chlorine bleaching, fragrance, parabens, natural rubber latex and the 26 allergens identified by the European Union. The Pampers Pure Protection Diapers are also dermatologically tested, clinically proven hypoallergenic and gentle for baby’s delicate skin.

Along with the qualities to keep your baby’s skin safe, Pampers Pure Protection Diapers also have the Pampers trusted protection you expect. With the three absorb channels, absorbent polymer and an absorbent top sheet made with a plant-based and polypropylene blend, they are designed to absorb all the wetness and keep your baby dry. The outer cover is super soft and made with a premium cotton, polypropylene, polyethylene and polyester blend, and as we witnessed with the demonstrations, it is very breathable and allows the heat to easily escape, keeping your baby comfortable. As an extra for moms, all sizes offer new and different designs, which I think are very cute!

Just like the diapers, the Pampers Aqua Pure Wipes are designed with parents in mind and are 99% water! After carefully selecting ingredients, Pampers has been able to reduce the amount of ingredients in the Pampers Aqua Pure Wipes to only seven, compared to twelve in their Pampers Sensitive Wipes. They are also dermatologically tested and clinically proven hypoallergenic and contain dermatologically tested ingredients. Pampers Aqua Pure Wipes are cotton enhanced and are designed to help maintain the pH of baby’s delicate skin. They are also safe to use on your newborn’s bottom, hands and face!

Dan and I are both very excited for the Pampers Pure Collection and I think both the diapers and wipes are great products. It was so much fun learning about the new collection and watching the demonstrations to see just how amazing the diapers are. We have worked with Pampers for over two years now and we are always so amazed with what they do. As a company that produces one of, if not the biggest items needed with babies, I think it’s so important to stay up-to-date with what parents are looking for. Pampers is always maintaining relevancy and looking to not only improve their product, but to develop new products to meet those wants and needs.

I think the Pampers Pure Collection will be a go to for many moms who are looking for diapers and wipes that are gentle on their baby’s skin and still provide the Pampers trusted protection we’ve all been accustomed to loving. I am excited to be using them with the triplets and to share them with all of you!

I’ve been using Pampers since day one and only partner with brands I truly love, prior to being contacted. The opinions on this blog are my own.