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Archive for July, 2010

Back To School Safety

July 30, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children No Comments →

Back-to-school safety: Follow these tips to keep your child safe and healthy

(ARA) – The back to school season can be both an exciting and anxious time. As a parent, you can teach your child a few lessons, and take a few precautions yourself, to put your mind at ease when children leave home to go back to the classroom.

From the lunch container you buy to teaching your child about playground safety, you can do a lot to prevent your child from falling ill or getting hurt.

“Parents need not worry about sending their children back to school. By doing a few little things to ensure your child’s safety, you’ll put your worries to rest and allow yourself to have a fun and stress-free start to the school year,” says Dorothy Drago, child product safety expert and author of “From Crib to Kindergarten: The Essential Child Safety Guide.”

Back To School Safety Tips

Drago offers the following tips to consider as your child goes back to school:

* Food safety: When packing a lunch for your child, make sure you keep items that need to be cold (like cheese or yogurt) at the proper temperature by storing them in an insulated container. Products that keep foods and beverages at the proper temperature for longer, like the Thermos FUNtainer series that includes both insulated beverage bottles and food jars, inhibit the growth of potentially dangerous bacteria.

* Transportation safety: Make sure to check with the school on approved walking or biking routes. Many schools are making efforts to communicate with parents about this issue to encourage active lifestyles, while also keeping kids safe. If you are buying a new bike helmet for your child before school, make sure it fits correctly and refer to the helmet wearing instructions to ensure the safest ride. If you bike with your kids, wear a helmet to set a good example. Also, remember that safely crossing the street is not always such an easy task for children. Find out if the school has crossing guards on your child’s route to school.

* Product safety: Make sure any products, from art supplies to lunch boxes, are certified under the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). “Independent testing results like the CPSIA-required compliance certificates are a smart and easy way for parents to validate that the products they purchase meet current safety regulations and standards,” says Drago. This information should be available on the product’s packaging or detailed on the company’s website. For example, Thermos, the leading manufacturer of lunch storage products, makes it easier for parents to find this CPSIA certification information for their products. By visiting www.thermos.com/cpsia/ parents can view the results of these critical compliance tests.

* Playground safety: Playgrounds are fun areas for kids of all ages but they can be dangerous. Take a look at how much protective surfacing is under equipment. There should be at least nine inches of mulch, and it should be replenished or re-spread as needed to ensure that the depth is maintained. Encourage kids to play with the existing play structures and to never add jump ropes or other toys because they may introduce a strangulation risk.

With these safety issues talked about and taken care of, nothing should stand in the way of a great start to the school year for you and your child.

Strategies for Dealing with Picky Eaters

July 28, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Healthy Living No Comments →

Remember the Life cereal commercials where Mikey ate everything? Some parents should be so lucky with their kids. If you have picky eaters on your hands, here are five strategies to deal with the picky eaters.

Kids have their own rhyme and reason to eating. While some will eat everything you put in front of them one week, they will fight you at each meal the next. The first thing to remember is not to over react. Kids will be kids as they say.

Your children are not testing you. Their food preferences change with moods and their age. Resist the urge to shove food in their mouth when they refuse. They may not be hungry at that particular moment. It is important to set the picky eater at ease when its time to eat.

1. Introduce new foods slowly. Maybe they got used to eating macaroni and cheese for lunch. If you want them to eat a jam sandwich this week, they may not want to break their routine. Instead, give them some macaroni and cheese and a quarter of a jam sandwich. They can see if they like it and still have something on their plate that they will eat if they don’t.

2. Save drinks for last. It is a common practice to serve a drink with the meal. Smaller kids love to drink. Filling their stomach with liquid will diminish their appetite. Later, when the drink fullness wears off, it’s bedtime and they are whining for food. Let them eat when they are hungry and serve them something to drink after they have eaten at least half of their meal.

3. Ask your child what they want to eat. If they choose to have breakfast at lunch or dinnertime, let them. The important thing is that they are eating. Your choice of food selection will provide them with the nutrients that they need even if they eat only a little.

4. Let kids help with meals. When your picky eaters can see what you are fixing and participate, it can stimulate their appetite. It is not recommended to snack while cooking but for your kids, a few celery or carrot sticks won’t hurt. Be aware though, that too much snacking will spoil their appetite.

5. Have your picky eaters sit at the table with you. With finger foods, kids are prone to walk around with their food if you let them. Also, sitting in front of the television to eat distracts a child and can mess with his or her appetite. They would rather see the show than eat their food.

Is your child a picky eater? Use these five strategies to deal with mealtime issues.

Do you need Kid-Friendly Recipes? We invite you to visit Kid Approved Meals  to pick up your personal 13 week breakfast and lunch menu designed just for children.

Back To School Supplies

July 26, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, organizing No Comments →

It’s that time of year – getting smart about your back to school checklist and your back to school supplies is very important.

(ARA) – The back to school bug is in the air as summer camps start to wrap up, teachers head back to their classrooms and parents start reviewing class lists for this year’s required school supplies.

But back-to-school doesn’t have to be a stressful season if parents and teachers prepare early and take advantage of deals and offers.

Here are some smart ideas for how to get organized this school year:

* Review the clothes closet. Your child has likely grown over the summer and may need some new items. Try everything on (including shoes), to avoid any last-minute surprises, and make a list of what you need to replace. Consider donating anything that doesn’t fit to a charity.

* Start planning your family schedule for the school year. Make it a priority to review how your children are getting to school, when they’ll be arriving back home, how they’ll get to any after-school activities and when they’ll have time to do homework. Taking the time to review the schedule as a family before the first bell rings will help to make sure the first day goes smoothly.

Back To School Supplies

* Check the back to school supplies list and start stocking up as soon as you can to avoid the last minute rush before school starts. Make sure your child has everything on their school supply list such as backpacks, binders, notebooks, and pencils.

Purchasing new school supplies doesn’t have to break the bank when you know how to find the right deals. Take advantage of penny specials being offered at stores like Office Depot beginning on July 26. You can find core supplies like pencils, rulers, glue sticks, folders, scissors and more for just $1 and under. Be sure to check the Sunday circulars in your local paper all summer long to learn about free promotions going on as well.

Need some help figuring out what’s hot for back-to-school this year before hitting the stores? Below are some of the top picks your children are going to love this school year (all back-to-school supplies are available at your nearest Office Depot).

* Project Backpack- A new backpack is one of the essentials kids need before heading back into school. For something totally unique, check out this backpack designed by 17-year-old Jerry Delgado, last year’s winner of Office Depot and Sharpie’s “Project Backpack” design contest. The music inspired backpack will have your kids singing down the hallways.

* HP G62 laptop computer – The start of school is a perfect time to purchase new computers. The HP G62 is great for everyday student needs and comes equipped with AMD Turion II Dual-Core processor, 3 GB’s of RAM, and a webcam and microphone.

* Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010- Students will want the latest version of Microsoft Office which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. It’s perfect for use throughout the school year.

* Ativa 4 GB flash drives – Flash drives offer a convenient way to access your documents anywhere. There are more than 40 patterns/colors to choose from (three styles available for No Fear flash drives).

* Mead fashion binders – Keep homework organized with fun new binders from Mead. Choose from various patterns such as candy colored stripes, retro flowers, or for alternative flair, the new punk plaid line.

Teachers need to get ready too. Network with fellow teachers and get ready for the school year at Teacher Appreciation Breakfasts being hosted at stores like Office Depot. While you’re there, stock up on all your back-to-school needs like pocket charts, notepads, bulletin boards, record books, nametags and other classroom supplies in the exclusive teacher aisles. For more info on teacher appreciation breakfast dates and times, visit www.mystarteacher.com/tab.

Why Family Meals are Important

July 23, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

Children are the future. You want the best for them. Family meals are instrumental in spending quality time with your children and helping them avoid some of the dangers that come with growing up.

Parents and kids have created shortcuts that pass for quality time. Most of us don’t even know that that’s what we are doing. Sitting in the same room watching a movie or saying ‘hello’ and ‘good night’ is not the same as holding a meaningful conversation.

Here are a few statistics that might shock you to learn. According to A.C. Nielsen, parents and children spend an average of 38 minutes per week talking to each other. That is less than six minutes each day finding out what is going on in their lives. They spend more time than that with their friends.

Kids who spend meal time sitting down with their families have a lower risk of starting such behaviors as smoking, drinking and drugs according to the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (2004). These are three of the major concerns that parents have with their kids. The teen years are a time when depression is common as kids seek to “find” themselves. Those depressive episodes are less likely to occur in children who have meals with their family.

Also, kids (and parents) eat slower when they have meals with their families. This cuts down on overeating which is what we do when we are eating in a hurry between activities. Overeating is contributing to a greater incidence of childhood obesity.

Between school and work, very few families take the time to relax. Less often than that, they take the time to relax together. Home is a sanctuary and a place of safety. At the dinner table, you and your kids can let your guard down and listen uninterrupted to each other. For younger children, listening to conversations at the dinner table helps them to learn language and communication skills (Harvard Research, 1996).

Most of the happier moments in our lives center on food and family. That can still be true when you make time for meals. There are no set times for dinner. If your family can only get together at seven o’clock, have dinner then.

Just like working and school are priorities in your life, consider treating meal time the same way. Use that opportunity to discuss what happened during the day and also to give advice to your children concerning tough situations they are facing. In such a calm setting, they are more likely to open up and hear what you have to say.

Visit Dine Without Whine – A Weekly Menu Plan & Grocery List Delivered To Your E-mail Box

Meal Planning Ideas that Save Time and Money

July 21, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living, organizing No Comments →

One thing we never seem to have enough of is time. When time gets short, the first thing that gets skipped is meal time. Eating fast food several nights a week can be costly not to mention unhealthy. If you plan your meals ahead of time, your family can still eat together for dinner.

There are many meal planning ideas that you can use to save you time and money.

Here’s the scenario: You come in the house and realize that you forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner. Scavenging through the refrigerator, you find a few odds and ends to throw together. When the kids come in, they grumble because it’s not what they wanted. Your husband arrives later to find a congealed something in the pan on the stove and skips dinner.

Does this sound familiar? If it does, there is help for you and your family. Menu planning saves the headache that comes with searching at the last minute for something to fix for dinner. It also keeps you from throwing away food that no one wants to eat.

You might be one of those families who eat out for dinner because it’s late when you get home. No one wants to cook so you hit the fast food joint.

There are many benefits to meal planning:

1. The entire family gets involved. One day a week, probably a Saturday or a Sunday, let everyone come together for an hour and decide what will be on the menu for the coming week. Each person from the youngest to the oldest has a say in breakfast, lunch and dinner.

2. Menu planning fosters healthier lifestyles. When you have time to decide ahead of time, you can be sure that there is the right combination of protein, fats and carbohydrates in each meal. Eating at home means that you’ll know what is in the food that you eat.

3. You can save on the grocery bill. How many of us have gone to the grocery store and half filled the cart with items that we didn’t need but caught our eye? When you plan a menu, you have an instant grocery list. Each week, you’ll shop for the items that are needed to make the meals and that’s it.

4. Meals can be fixed in a snap. When you are tired in the evening, simply pop your meals in the oven or microwave. Planning allows you to start the prep work the night before in anticipation of a busy day. That way, all the hard work is already done.

Are you looking for a way to save money and get the family to eat at home? There is always time for a meal at home when you use menu planning ideas.

Visit Meal Planning Central A Quick and Easy Way To Get Dinner On The Table and Enjoy More Quality Time With Your Family.

Save Time and Money in the Grocery Store

July 19, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living, Organization No Comments →

As a kid grocery shopping looked like fun. As the parent, it is a chore that many of us could do without. Here are a few tips to save you both time and money on your next excursion to the grocery store. You might just change your mind about the experience after trying one or two.

First, why do people dislike going to the grocery store? You probably don’t like the long checkout lines or the time it takes to go up and down every aisle to find what you are looking for. Or, it could be the high cost of food and other grocery items these days.

Now, examine the following tips in light of what bugs you about the grocery store:

1. Clip coupons – This point can’t be stressed enough. Using money-saving coupons on the items that you use most is free money. Some grocery stores routinely double or triple coupons. When you want to try something new or exotic, use a coupon to get a discount off of the full price.

2. Create a grocery list from your meal menus – Meal planning saves money at the grocery store because you start with a list that encompasses everything you will need for all meals that week. Only pick up those items. With a list, you can target what you want and get out of the store fast.

3. Visit the grocery store early in the morning – This works for stay-at-home moms. Everyone else is at work so you will have the place pretty much to yourself. Many trucks deliver supplies to the grocery stores in the morning. You’ll be the first to get the freshest cuts of meat and the best produce.

4. Know your store. The biggest pet peeve has to do with the need to shop every aisle to find something. Choose a grocery store that has all of the food and qualities you like in a supermarket. On your grocery list, put the number of the aisle next to the item. Now, you won’t skip over the bread on aisle two while looking for the green beans which are on aisle four.

5. Stock up on common staples. Since you plan your meals every week, you know which items are needed most. When shopping, it’s okay to buy those items in bulk so that it cuts down on weekly shopping bills. For instance, if peanut butter is a lunch menu item most of the time, buy a lot when the peanut butter is on sale to save money.

These tips make you want to run to the grocery store right now don’t they? Start with one and eventually use all five to shop like a pro.

For more tips, visit Menu Planning Central – and learn the quick and easy way to get dinner on the table and enjoy more quality tim with your family.

10 Quick Easy Meal Ideas

July 16, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living, Organization 1 Comment →

Coming up with quick easy meal ideas on the spot can be hard.

What are you serving for dinner tonight? How about lunch on the weekend? It can be a daunting task to come up with meal ideas especially if you have kids. Here are ten quick easy meal ideas for family meals try one tonight.

1. Spaghetti – It’s easy to quickly boil noodles and simmer some spaghetti sauce. Spaghetti has so many add-ins your family will enjoy: Italian sausage, hamburger, diced vegetables and a variety of herbs and seasonings. For a low calorie meal, use spaghetti squash in place of traditional noodles.

2. Tacos – Olay! If your family likes Mexican food, whip up a batch of tacos for dinner. Use hard and soft shells for variety. For family menu planning, dice the fixin’s ahead of time so you can just pull them out on taco night.

3. Macaroni and cheese – What kid doesn’t like this as a dinner main dish? Spice it up with diced tomatoes, crumbled bacon, sliced hot dogs or hamburger.

4. Pizza – This is not the store-bought or the delivery. Keep several prepared pizza crusts on hand (like Boboli for instance). On pizza night, let the entire family choose which toppings they want on their pizza. Prep time is fun so it doesn’t last long and it takes about 20 minutes or so to bake.

5. Skewers – you can create tasty chicken, pork, seafood or beef kebobs quickly. Skewer the meat and your favorite vegetables and place them in a sealed container until meal day. This is the benefit of meal planning – getting prep work done early. Cook your tasty kebobs on a gas grill or use a grill pan indoors. This is my personal favorite quick easy meal idea!

6. Hot dogs – Nothing could be easier than throwing them in a pot of boiling water or grilling them up. For the health-conscious family, use light franks or turkey franks by Oscar Mayer or Ballpark.

7. Chef salad – Salads are always quick to fix but they usually lack something in the taste department. With a chef salad you get your portion of protein from lean ham or turkey. The taste comes from the add-ins: bacon crumbles parmesan cheese, tomatoes, shredded cheese, black beans and cucumbers. Use others that your family likes.

8. Grilled cheese sandwich – Dinner doesn’t need to be a four-course meal. For a new taste, add deli meat or a juicy tomato.

9. Tortilla wraps – Create delicious quick sandwiches with your favorite flavor of tortilla. Glaze with mustard or low calorie mayonnaise. Add crunchy veggies and diced chicken, pork or beef.

10. Leftover creations– Use leftovers to create salads, casseroles, sandwiches and soups. Don’t let anything go to waste if it can be used for new meals.

Use some or all of these quick easy meals above to help you get dinner or lunch on the table faster.

Visit Meal Planning Central A Quick and Easy Way To Get Dinner On The Table and Enjoy More Quality Time With Your Family.

EFT Emotional Freedom Techniques

July 14, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Stress Management 1 Comment →

Many have been swearing to the amazing breakthrough that EFT, or short for Emotional Freedom Techniques, had given them relief from pains, emotional issues, and other health conditions. Unlike acupuncture, EFT is making a person feel better – minus those stingy needles. EFT Emotional freedom techniques just promise freedom from all negative emotions that we encounter in our daily lives – from anger, guilt, envy, hate, jealousy, grief, sadness, worries, doubts, to fears. This technique is becoming widespread and known as today’s Miracle Cure, helping thousands of people live a happier and healthier life.

In understanding how EFT works, one needs to learn that this practice requires an open mind. If you believe that this technique will work for you, chances are, it will really do. It is not just a placebo effect that makes EFT emotional freedom techiques great for your joy and health, but it seeks to balance one’s energy system like a car needing a tune up. When the body’s energy is displaced, negative emotions and diseases rise up. Together with the bad feeling comes physical pain, headache, and tension that lead to STRESS. What’s great about EFT is that it gives relief in a matter of minutes and the effects can be long-lasting.

How Does EFT Works?

Unlike conventional psychology, EFT emotional freedom techniques suggests that the root cause of all those negative emotions lie within the displacement of the body’s energy system. Because of this, symptoms are relieved through an unusual but methodological way of tapping the fingertips in the points of the body that corresponds to the acupuncture energy meridian points. This tapping is believed to release the blockages made when a person feels or thinks something that is negative. Once the energy is balanced, the memory of the negative emotion or thought may remain, but the negative energy is gone. The person is not only cured of the pain, but he or she becomes aware of how positive experiences, thoughts, and emotions can truly result to natural healing. Unlike the usual way of receiving therapy, EFT makes a person recover faster than all those tracking and testing that traditional psychotherapy makes.

How Did EFT Started?

You may not have heard of EFT emotional freedom techniques before since it is relatively new when it comes to its practice. EFT was born in the 1990′s when Gary Craig, a graduate of an Engineering degree at Stanford, has found personal healing through years of research and training in TFT or Thought Field Therapy conducted by Dr. Roger Callahan.

Unlike placebo effects which require a person to believe in the process, an EFT may even distract a newcomer during the first treatment. Since the process is gentle in nature, there have been no reported side effects to this date. EFT simply helps you target your psychological reversals, which makes you feel that negative emotion when something of the similar nature that made you feel bad comes back and face you in another form. Your learned response to negative situations keep giving you all those bad vibes which is sabotaging your life along the way. What’s great about EFT is that it seeks to target those issues stamped into your subconscious, making you uncover these beliefs you thought you never had. This self-realization is the key to your true healing.

You can learn EFT emotional freedom techniques by yourself through countless books, DVDs, and other resources you can find online. In the end, you can find your natural healing … if you have the will to face your most negative emotions and thoughts buried deep within yourself. Free yourself from your emotional pain and live a happier, healthier life – For Real!

EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques You can be free from unwanted emotions such as fear, anger, anxiety, panic, self-doubt, stress, & sadness… We can show you how. It is an easy to use self-help tool!

Time Saving Tips for Moms

July 12, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Goals, organizing, Stress Management No Comments →

Do you often find yourself running out of time, running late, or running yourself ragged? Like it or not, we all live by the same rule when it comes to time. It is not infinite. As much as we’d love an extra couple of hours each day or another day added to our week, the fact remains that there are just 24 hours in each day and 7 days in a week. Time continues to tick by at the same rate irregardless of the number of tasks, appointments, and responsibilities you need to pack into those precious minutes. Taking steps to maximize your time will help you relieve the pressure, meet deadlines, and possibly even free up some extra moments to spend with your family and friends.

1) One of the most essential steps you can take to maximize your time is to purchase a planner and use it regularly. Write down any and every important piece of information in your planner including phone numbers, emails, and home addresses. Keeping this information in one location will prevent you from wasting time looking for it when you need it. In addition to being a warehouse for information, use your planner to take note of all deadlines and appointments –even those that seem insignificant. Missed appointments or meetings will quickly consume time as you rush to reach a deadline at the last minute or spend time rescheduling an appointment you forgot.

2) Consolidate your appointments and tasks when possible. If you have several errands to run on the other side of town, do them all at the same time to prevent time lost from driving back and forth. Flexibility is essential when scheduling multiple tasks. You may need to wait an extra week before your next haircut, but it will be well worth it if planning your hair and nail appointments on the same day allows you to free up time to watch your daughter’s softball game.

3) Think (or read) it through before attempting any task. Weather it be volunteering for a fundraising event, building a bookshelf, or writing an article, you will inevitably save time and frustration if you are cognizant of the full instructions or details before starting your project. Knowing ahead of time the step-by-step process, as well as the anticipated end result, will help the process go smoothly and ensure there will be no surprises along the way. Misdirection and getting lost can cause you to lose a great deal of time. Imagine the frustration of finishing a task only to discover the end result is not what was expected causing you to start all over or spend more time than you originally anticipated. Taking just a few extra moments before you begin the project can easily prevent that from happening.

4) Don’t sweat the small stuff. Nothing wastes more time and energy than maintaining a grudge, worrying about things you simply cannot change, or contemplating a multitude of `what ifs?’ If those little details won’t matter in the end anyhow, don’t let them eat away at your precious time. Life is too short to spend time purposely being angry or worrying. Choosing to ignore insignificant details and letting go of grudges will not only help you maximize your own time, it will free your mind and allow you to enjoy living your life.

5) Know your limits and stick to them. If you only have 15 minutes to chat before you need leave for an appointment, make that clear at the beginning of a conversation. If a task is taking longer than you expected, take a few quick moments to figure out why, decide whether additional time is needed, and schedule that time if necessary. Finishing one task at the expense of delaying another is never an effective solution to maximizing your time. Set clear time limits for tasks that easily eat up minutes. Answering emails, surfing the Internet, and chatting on the phone can easily cause you to lose track of time and get behind schedule for the rest of the day. When beginning these tasks, set a time limit and use your watch or cell phone clock to stick to that limit.

6) Maximize your waiting time by keeping a `to do’ bag with you at all times. Fill it with tasks that need to be done, but are not necessarily time sensitive such as thank you notes to be written, recipes to be copied and filed, or possibly even a small article of clothing that may need mending. If you find yourself with free time while waiting for the subway or in line at the DMV, use that time to complete these tasks. Performing these quick tasks while waiting will prevent them from stealing valuable time later.

7) Last, but certainly not least, be certain to take time for your personal time management. Take a few moments each day to organize and administrate your upcoming day. Planning out your day will help you prioritize the tasks that demand your time and will help you decide what to work on and when to work on it. Using the tips from above, plot out each day to ensure each demand on your time receives adequate attention. Stick to your schedule and do your best to complete tasks in the time allowed.

Maximizing your time can be easy and painless using these few simple tips. While you may not be able to add more time into your day, you certainly have the ability to get the most out of the time you do have. Effective time management and prioritization will alleviate some of the hustle and bustle of everyday life allowing you to relax and spend more time participating in activities you enjoy with the ones you love.

Being a mom is extremely rewarding, but it’s challenging. Get the help you need at Real Life Guidance. It’s your place for instant downloadable help for moms, day or night.

Visit Finally Organized – Finally Free  for an amazing collection of 1,300 organizing tips.

Easy Kids Meals

July 09, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Healthy Living No Comments →

With dance practice, choir, cub scouts, and tae kwon do, who has time to prepare an appetizing meal for the kids after school? You do! You can have time if you serve an easy kids meal.

Of course it’s a no-brainer to throw a hotdog in the microwave or set a tortilla in a pan on top of the stove, add some cheese and 90 seconds later have a simple quesadilla, but what’s the excitement in that? Instead experiment with Casseroles or one-pot meals which in most cases go over well with the kids; and are simple to whip together.

Try this quick kids meal:

1 – lb. ground beef
1 – 16 oz jar spaghetti sauce
1 – cup water
1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 – cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Crumble beef in a three-qrt glass baking dish and microwave for 4-5 minutes, or until beef is no longer pink. Mix & rotate part way through cooking time. Drain Beef. Stir in sauce, water and macaroni. Microwave another 12 minutes, stirring part way through. Sprinkle cheese on top and allow to stand covered approximately 5 minutes before serving. Serves a couple hungry kids.

There are many meals you can cook with hamburger. Any recipe that asks for hamburger will work just fine replaced with ground turkey, chicken or venison instead. The simple recipe below uses ground meat. It takes nearly an hour to bake but merely a blink to prepare.

Combine together:

2 pounds ground meat
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
Crinkle Cut French Fries

Brown ground beef and drain the grease. Add both soups to strained ground beef and spoon into a 9×13 greased baking dish. Top off with cut French fries and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until French fries are light brown.

Taco salads are very quick and easy to prepare. Begin with lettuce. Add tomato, onion and cheese (if your kids will approve of it.) Fry up some meat and toss in an envelope of taco seasoning – or just incorporate some taco sauce to the meat. Next add crushed tortilla chips or Fritos. Finish off with salsa or Ranch salad dressing. Remember the sour cream and guacamole too! Kids love this meal!

For a fast, on the go, healthy, cold meal try:

A head of lettuce (not bagged lettuce)
Ham or Roast Beef slices
Cheese slices
Condiments

Step 1: Peel off a medium lettuce leaf.
Step 2: Assemble meat, cheese, and condiments.
Step 3: Roll up and stick a toothpick in the middle.
Step 4: Gobble Up.
Step 5: Wipe your face, there is a trace of mayo. on your cheek.

How about an interesting twist to the normal macaroni and cheese kids recipe?

1 (16 ounce) box macaroni (elbow, seashell, bowtie – doesn’t matter, just not spaghetti)
1 c. cottage cheese
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon

1. Cook macaroni according to package instructions.
2. Stir in cottage cheese, sugar, and cinnamon with drained macaroni.
3. Taste and add sugar or cinnamon, if required.
4. Serve right away. Delicious!

Incorporate a bit of creativity to incorporate a twist on a tried and true recipe and even with the chaotic after school activities you will find time to cook a nourishing meal for your kids evening meal.

Do you need Kid-Friendly Recipes? We invite you to visit Kid Approved Meals  to pick up your personal 13 week breakfast and lunch menu designed just for children.