Cascadian Farm Organic Goodness


Winter is the perfect time to spend bonding together as a family. It seems like the colder it gets outside, the more time my family has to do things together. We like to pack our winter with activities that are both Earth friendly and fun and that can be done either at home or close to home. Staying at home or close to home, enjoying winter activities is much better on the environment and tons of fun too.

Here are my top favorites::

1. Make it a Snow Day: One of the greatest things about winter is waking up to a few inches of fresh powder on the ground. My son will look out the window with wide eyes and ask, "Can we play outside?" The snow brings all kinds of fun activities with it. You can pack a warm lunch and cocoa and spend the day sleigh riding or snow shoeing. You can even spend the entire day in your own backyard building a snow fort, snowman or having a snowball fight.

I love long, hot showers. It is hard to resist standing under the hot stream of water while cocooned in my own personal steam room. I get my best thinking done with the warm water pounding down on my face. But as much as I may enjoy a long shower, I keep my showers as brief as possible in order to conserve water. However, trying to get my seven year old son to keep his showers short used to be a little more difficult!

When he got in the shower, he got lost in the warm mist. He would stand in there for thirty minutes if left to his own devices. I constantly had to holler, “Hurry up Jackson – you are wasting water!” But he usually ignored my nagging and chose to linger in the soothing comfort of the hot water. Tired of reminding Jackson to expedite his showering rituals, I came up with an idea! I would use my son’s competitive instinct to get him moving faster...

I suppose for many it goes hand in hand with Corn on the Cob, the melted stick of butter that everyone rolls their corn of cob in before dousing it with salt. I was raised that way too. I can still remember the plate of butter with melted impressions of kernels and a cob size valley in the middle.

But somewhere along the way, I stopped buttering up my corn. I stopped dumping salt all over it. I started tasting how incredible it was on its own. Now I am not crazy – a freshly buttered cob of corn is delicious. But I just can’t bear to take something so healthy and pure and corrupt it. So I skip the butter and salt – and, perhaps most importantly, I am teaching my kids to do the same.

When I pass my children a cob of corn, they don’t instinctively reach for butter and salt. They just eat it and enjoy the mouth-watering taste of fresh corn. And I find that training their taste buds on naturally flavourful and sweet vegetables like corn on the cob helps when I hand them a plate of other cooked vegetables...

Now, before I start, let me assure you that I do believe in table manners, and I am not trying to raise uncouth children.

But I have to tell you a little secret about how I encourage my children to eat certain cooked vegetables...

I let my children eat them with their fingers.

I know – it sounds ridiculous right? But wait – hear me out. I feed my children tons of raw veggies, so they are used to dipping vegetables in salad dressing and eating them with their fingers. Something about eating vegetables like French Fries, makes the process less intimidating and inherently childish.

So, when it comes to a couple of cooked veggies, I add some childish spins. When I feed my little ones broccoli, I call them trees and insist that my kids are dinosaurs, ripping off the leaves and devouring the trees. It works like a charm on toddlers and preschoolers. And before you know it, their palates are accustomed to the taste and broccoli becomes a “go to” vegetable in the house.

Yellow beans? Well, that is just easy! I tell my kids they are healthy French Fries. They gobble them up by the fistfuls. Seriously.

Most children resist eating vegetables, but in our family eating in “courses” solves the problem!
I can still remember my stomach growling. I was hungry and cranky when I came into the kitchen looking for dinner.

“I’m hungry Mom,” I would whine almost every day while my working mother flew around the kitchen preparing dinner.

And on most of those days, she handed me a carrot stick, freshly peeled. My twin sister and I would readily accept the offering – we would devour almost all of the raw carrots and she would have to swat us away so she had something to cook.

We knew nothing else was coming before dinner and somehow veggies tasted so much better when we were starving and begging for food....