I still remember the very first time I saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It was MAGICAL! I pictured myself as another character in the movie and dreamed of walking into the room where everything was made of candy. I thought to myself, I would have given the everlasting gobstopper back also. It is still the only movie, when on tv, I just can’t pass. I still watch it with the same wonderment and imagine myself in that room.
Those are the reasons why I nearly fell off my chair yesterday when I learned Willy Wonka (Nestle) is holding a REAL golden ticket contest. The tickets will be in the new Exceptionals Bar. The prizes are amazing with the 10 Grand Prize winners getting a trip around the world for themself and 3 friends plus $12,500 in spending money. While it’s not the Chocolate Factory, the world is an adult version of candy store with so much to offer and so much adventure (and Wangdoodles, and Hornswogglers, and Snozzwangers, and rotten, Vermicious Knids!)
This is a great reminder to share this amazing movie with your kids someday! It is also a terrific excuse for some family chocolate time!
Call me Veruca…but “I want a golden ticket daddy and I want it Nooooooooooooooooow!”
“There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you’ll be free if you truly wish to be.”
A great way to introduce new foods and new cultures into your family meals is to use all the special ‘Days’ or ‘Months’ on our National Calendar. A quick google search provides some great examples. I found out February is National Potato Month, Fabulous Florida Strawberry Month, North Carolina Sweet Potato Month and National Pancake Day. http://www.squidoo.com/Food-Holidays
Use the occasion to make a little celebration!
- Read a book to your child about the featured food.
- Have your child draw the food, where it comes from or how it is prepared
- Select a recipe with your child to dine on the honored food!
- Discuss what it taste like.
To get you started, in celebration of National Pancake Day, IHOP is offering free shortstacks of pancakes today from 7am – 10pm. They are asking that customers consider a donation to a local children’s hospital through Children’s Miracle Network or other local non-profits.
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I saw an article in Body and Soul Magazine earlier this year about how to make healthier choices when we grab food from the fridge. The idea is to put the healthiest choices right in your eye sight and make them as easy to ‘grab and go’ as possible. After the reading the article, I made some simple changes in our refrigerator. I have found myself eating healthier than I have in years and losing less fruit to rotting or being forgotten.
So here is my fridge:
The article suggested dividing the fridge into categories. Here is my interpretation and use of the categories:
- Dinner – This is my top right shelf. I use it for our dinner entrée type items and leftovers.
- Grab and Go Fuel – This is my top left shelf. I leave high protein (fuel) snacks like cheese sticks, yogurt and nuts.
- Fresh Food Snacks – This is the middle left shelf and is usually where we look first when we open the door. I have filled this with fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, salsa, and sauces (more on this later.)
- Beyond Deli – This is the middle drawer. It has additional cheese, deli and chocolate.
- Liquid Assets – We keep this full of cold beverages. As you can see there is a wide variety of beer which is not necessary for a healthy fridge! 🙂
- Green Market – These are the drawers at the bottom. They are full of additional fruits, vegetables and leafy greens.
So a little more on fresh food snacks:
The article suggested keeping fruit cut up so they are easy to grab and eat. I found I was buying fruit, which I love, putting it in the drawer and then tossing it later because it had rotted. I bought these great storage containers at Macy’s. They have a divider. It takes me 5 minutes to wash and cut fruit and put it into the container. My concerns was that washed cut fruit goes bad faster. I have found we eat the fruit before that is an issue. There is something so fun and pretty about ‘ready-made’ cut fruit. Cut your produce, fruits and veges, into bite size pieces and store them right at eye level. For kids, put the cut fruit, in an easy to see, easy to reach spot in the fridge.
There is nothing wrong with taking a little help from the store and splurging when it comes to fruit! Trader Joe’s has pre-cut apples (green and red.) They have found a way to keep them from turning brown. It costs more than purchasing the apples yourself and cutting them however I find it a simple, healthy treat that really saves time! Consider skipping a $2-5.00 coffee and use the money for a few healthy treats instead.
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