Congrats to our winner Leigh Anne!
I am a major fan of finance guru Suze Orman, host of CNBC's “The Suze Orman Show.” A few years ago, she appeared on “Oprah,” imploring us financially strapped parents to scale back on the spending we've been doing in respect to our kids (and her advice has and continues to resonate with me). One thing Ms. Orman said that really hit home: Parents shouldn't be rewarding kids with monetary gifts. For instance, bringing home an “A” on a test should not automatically net kids a new tech gadget or bump up in their allowance. In fact, she thinks, the word “allowance” should be stricken from our nation's vocabulary! Rather your kid's good behavior should result in time spent with you.
Both I and my bank account couldn't agree with her more, and I think one great way to spend quality time and save a few bucks simultaneously is to put an embargo on your take-out food habits (mine are at the point of needing outside intervention) and make preparing your family's meals a group effort. In other words, rather than call your kids to the table when dinner is served, bring them into the kitchen and have them help you create the meal. It will save you some money and give you a shared activity. Check out these great ways to help you get started which includes and a MasterChef Junior viewing kit giveaway!
#1 One think you can start doing to get your kids enthused about taking more of an active role in the kitchen is tuning in to MasterChef Junior. This show gives the best junior home cooks in America the chance to showcase their culinary abilities and passion for food through a series of delicious challenges. Each episode, host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay is joined by restaurateur Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot on the MasterChef Junior judging panel. Season 3 returned Tuesday, January 6 at 8/7c on FOX and my kids and I were READY!
#2 Get a PLAYFUL CHEF COOKING KIT This kit helps kids learn healthy eating habits through real hands-on cooking projects and includes a tool belt apron, 11 child-sized cooking tools, and six recipe cards which will teach nutrition, kitchen and food safety.
What kids will go gaga for: Having their own real kitchen tools, a snazzy backpack for storage and spending time with their favorite adult helper.
Parent perks: Tools are FDA- and toy-tested. The spoons and cups are color-coded to make it easier for kids to learn their fractions. And recipes are written like a cooking class with lessons integrated into the activity so parents can feel like a teaching pro. The kit will involve kids in the cooking process and help them apply cognitive, creative and critical thinking skills in a hands-on way. Information www.playfulchef.com.
#3 Remember that Parents Need to Eat Too! The question is as old as parenting itself: How can new moms and dads eat well when all their time and energy is spent on baby? Finally, there is an answer!
Specifically designed for frazzled, sleep-deprived parents, every recipe in Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals & Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents is nutritious, delicious, satisfying, and easy. As a bonus each recipe includes instructions for preparing baby food from the same ingredients. Plus every recipe has the added advantage of being tested by a group of more than 100 new parents.
Inside you'll find recipes and ideas that you and your kids can DIVE into (I especially liked Un-Recipes for parents who can't cook at all!) Meals you can eat with one hand
Recipes for the new parent's best friend: the slow cooker
More ambitious recipes, broken down into simple stages to perform while baby naps
Un-Recipes for parents who can't cook at all
Recipes that support breastfeeding
Advice from experts, including a pediatric dietitian and a lactation consultant to nab your own copy click here!
And since during this time of year, the perfect way to spend long winter nights is indoors, far from the cold and indulging in some delicious sweet treats we’re giving away a MasterChef Junior ‘warm winter’ kit containing everything you need to bundle up with family and whip up a steaming cup of decadent hot chocolate to settle in for a night in front of the TV watching America’s most talented young chefs. In addition to a selection of ingredients to make your own gourmet hot chocolate, the kit will also include recipes for delicious as well as a blank recipe card so you can jot down your own family favorite or let the show inspire a new masterpiece.
One lucky reader of the award winning blog will win a viewing kit: Each viewing kit is valued at $45 and includes:
(2) Branded MCJ Coffee Mugs
(4) Branded MCJ ‘Hot Chocolates On A Stick: Cinnamon and Cayenne Milk Chocolate, Hazelnut Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla White Chocolate
(3) Branded MCJ Containers with Toppings:Marshmallow bits, Caramel bits and Crushed peppermint
(5) MCJ Branded Recipe Cards: Snowball Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies, Carrotberry Oatmeal Cookies, Hot Coco Milk Crumb Chocolate Chip Cookies
Blank recipe card
(1) MCJ Branded Welcome Note
(1) MCJ Branded Lit Card
Winter Themed Packaging
To win you must Follow @melissaSChapman on Twitter, TWEET this giveaway and leave a comment here that you did so. For another chance to win you must FOLLOW The Staten Island Family on Facebook and leave a comment that you did so. For another entry you can subscribe to our YOU TUBE CHANNEL and leave a comment here that you did so. For another entry you can Follow MelissaSChapmanWriter on Instagram and leave a comment here that you did so! For Another entry you can follow MelissaSChapman on Pinterest . And for another Entry you can follow Melissa Chapman on Google + and leave a comment here that you did so! GOOD LUCK giveaway ends January 19th So what are you swooning about this Sunday? Check out what these bloggers are finding swoon-worthy and link up!
Disclaimer: This post is part of a sponsored conversation but as is always the case all opinions expressed are my own.