Have you met Sarah from The Happy Gal? She has lots of inspirational ideas on her blog and stopped by today for our Summer Reading Series. She’s sharing one of her favorite children’s books and even has an idea for dinner.
One of my favorite things to do is to read with my kids. There is something about snuggling up with a good book, and heading off to different lands, times, and adventures. I love watching children’s eyes grow wide with wonder as I am telling them a story. My kids are older now, so I don’t get the chance to read with them as often as I used to, but my youngest still loves to cuddle up to hear a good story.
Another thing I love to do is to cook with my kids. It is a great way to spend time with them as we chop, measure, and stir. They often open up and tell me things I probably wouldn’t have heard if I had not taken the time to be with them. Another bonus is that they are learning skills in the kitchen that will serve them the rest of their lives.
The other day, my youngest had some friends over and we sat down and read the cutest book! It is called Little Pea.
In this adorable story, we meet Little Pea who is happy all the time. He likes to do all sorts of fun things, but we find out that there is one thing Little Pea doesn’t like… candy! He has to eat candy for dinner every night, and he doesn’t like it one bit. His parents tell him that he needs to eat his candy before he can have dessert. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens.
After we read the story, we found a healthy recipe that had peas in it, and cooked it together. I have discovered that when I involve my kids in the planning and cooking of our meals, they are more likely to try new things, and they are excited to eat… even their vegetables!
We decided to make Southwest Meatballs. I loved it because it is healthy and quick. The kids loved it because they got to get their hands all messy, plus it tasted great! The recipe only has a few ingredients and cooks easily in a skillet. To save time and keep their attention, I pre-measured all the ingredients so that they just had to add them together. They loved mixing it all up with their bare hands, and shaping all the meatballs!
We did discover that not all kids like to get their hands messy!
It only took us about 30 minutes to make the meal, and they had so much fun cooking! Go get the the full recipe for Southwest Meatballs.
It doesn’t matter if you are reading, cooking, playing, working or traveling with your kids; what matters is that you are spending time with them. When you take time with your children, it shows them that you value them, and love them. They don’t care if you do fancy projects, or take expensive vacations. They just want to know that they are loved, supported, and valued. By the way, they grow up quickly, and before you know it, they will be flying the nest and headed out on their own. Trust me, it will come sooner than you think. So grab your kids and pull out a book, take a walk, play a game, or just lay on the grass and watch the clouds pass by.
Sarah Hogan Gowans is blog manager and writer at The Happy Gal, where you can find ideas for living a healthy, balanced, happy life! She lives with her husband and four daughters in Kaysville, Utah.
Images by Brenda Nelson at Live Inspired, By Brenda. Recipe adapted from Clean Eating Magazine October 2011