Learning Some Epic Dad Hacks and Making New Friends | LG Kitchen

Recently I had the opportunity to visit the LG Kitchen in the Chatelaine offices, where I spent the afternoon with celebrity Chef Chuck Hughes and Rick Campanelli. They were gracious hosts to introduce us to some pretty amazing LG Kitchen Appliances and overall the day was a blast.

As a working dad, I sometimes miss the opportunity to sit down with the family to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. Most times Corrie will take on the daily task to make sure the kids have a healthy (and sometimes not so healthy) meal. I by no means am a great cook, but I do enjoy the opportunity to jump on creating a nice meal for the family when we are all together, whether I am off on the weekend or starting work later in the afternoon. It helps break things up giving mom a break and allows me to brush up my mediocre cooking skills (did I mention I am a self-proclaimed grill master!?).

Continue reading “Learning Some Epic Dad Hacks and Making New Friends | LG Kitchen”

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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.

 

Advice I would give to myself as a new dad #HappyFathersDay

Dads, you are special. The role you play as a positive male influence in the lives of your children and family is crucial. Teach your children how to be kind, caring and compassionate. Most important, teach your kids how to be happy.

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How dad’s stay in shape.

I often think about how time has just passed us by with the kids and us as new parents. We are still new and learning every day, but it seems like yesterday I was holding my first baby for the first time, changing my first diaper, helping with her first feeding. There are so many memorable moments. With one it was very overwhelming; I remember being so nervous handling our daughter Emily. This fragile baby so soft and precious making these little cute noises and cries had my heart RACING! All I thought was; “please do not hurt her”  “Why is her poo so black?” “Am I doing this right?” “Is this as hard as it gets?” “It’s so hot in here.” Question after question and thought after thought judging myself on how I was doing and how would I be able to do it…Could I do it? Luckily we had a great team of medical professionals who worked endlessly by our side to help us transition and educate us on a few things. Not to mention the support from our families and each other as a new parenting duo.

After over four years of parenting and jumping from one child to four, in a matter of 16 months (the birth of our triplets) here is some advice I would give to myself as a new expecting father.

Life is unpredictable and most cases out of our control. As long as we are with the right people we can handle anything. You will never know all the answers, but things will tend to always work out in most cases teaching you a valuable lesson.

Your role as a father is vital to the relationship of you and your children and you need to own it. Every stage; from baby to toddler and beyond, they are always your baby and will always look to you for advice, encouragement and wisdom.

There is no one job for a mom and no one job for a dad… WORK TOGETHER! Build your partner up, motivate and encourage each other.  Develop those core values early. There will always be tough and difficult times but everything always comes down to attitude. One thing I always find are people who tend to ask- how do you it? – Truth is there is no real answer. You just do it. Being a dad and most important being a parent is tough and very difficult. Long nights, long day’s tough lessons.. but the most beautiful and most rewarding thing you can do. So take it in stride and bring your best self to every situation.

Dads, you are special. The role you play as a positive male influence in the lives of your children and family is crucial. Teach your children how to be kind, caring and compassionate. Most important, teach your kids how to be happy.

I commend all of you dads out there for turning your power into love and commitment, to shape and inspire the lives of your children. You are appreciated.

Happy Father’s Day.

Thank you to Pampers for sponsoring this post to celebrate dads everywhere, and with this sponsorship in mind I would like to disclose all thoughts and experiences are my own.

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