Eat ’N’ Play Placemat Makes Mealtime Fun


aka How To Get Your Kids To Sit Still Without Yelling at Them Constantly

Restaurants are right on the money when they give a kid a placemat with puzzles and games on it. Here are my kids eating food when they have something to do at the table:

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Here’s what they do when there is nothing to keep their focus on the table:

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Needless to say, my kids are fidgety at mealtimes. Kyle rocks on his chair. Brady takes a bite and runs away to do something else.

They both LOVE activity placemats at restaurants. Why not have those at home? Kyle loves to solve word search puzzles. Brady likes to color, and he’s catching on to puzzles too.

This is a great way to keep them in their seats to eat a meal in a reasonable amount of time! It really helps when you’re in a hurry, like in the morning before school.

Here’s where I confess that the photo of Brady in the sombrero didn’t happy at a mealtime, exactly, but he did wear this getup during dinner. I just used this post as an excuse to share the image, because come on. That’s hilarious.

Click here to download and print out the placemat for your own mealtime fun!

More Great Starts Tips from Team Kellogg’s can be found here: http://kelloggs.com/greatstartstips

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Kellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips

Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.

Flashback Friday: Just Two Clicks

brady and spiderman

Two clicks, and Brady is only 3 and a half. Spiderman showed up at a birthday party, on stilts even, and he was a little…I don’t want to say creepy, but he was a little creepy. Brady didn’t notice.

Second Breakfast Is Another Chance for a Great Start


A day in my glamorous life. work harder

There’s really not ever much of a lull in my schedule. Maybe Sundays, when I am too exhausted from the frenzy of the week. A typical weekday goes like this: I get up at 6AM to make lunches and have a little quiet time alone. Then breakfast, the mad rush out the door to get the children to school on time. Then my own work: creative jobs, administrative jobs, deadlines, to-do lists, housework, errands. Then the children arrive home from school. Snacktime, homework, then football practice/karate class/religious school/playdate/extra school project, depending on the day.

football practice

Guess who’s in charge of remembering ALL OF THAT? Me! If your life looks anything like mine, you know that it’s important to stay limber and properly fed! Your body will tell you what it needs. At least MINE does. It communicates with me. Loud and clear. It shuts down when I’m exhausted. It gets tight when I haven’t exercised in a while.

hiking across a bridge My favorite form of exercise.

My body makes me cranky and absentminded if I forget to eat. (Who am I kidding? I NEVER forget to eat. Okay, almost never. But when I do, my body reminds me.)

Usually, when I eat when my body is hungry, especially when I eat enjoyable and nutritious foods, I feel fine and ready to take on whatever comes next. I’m willing to bet that this works for almost anyone, including my family.

The key for me is Second Breakfast. Since I get up so early, I have a small snacky breakfast, like a banana. But after I get home from walking the kids to school, I’m ravenous, so I have a real breakfast then. Or that’s also the best time to have a meeting or a get together with a friend. “Shall we meet for Second Breakfast?” I will ask, and it works well. By then, rush hour traffic is over and I’m suitably hungry, but I’ve had something to take the edge off so I don’t make unhealthy choices.

On good days I remember to bring a portable snack with me in case something runs long and I might get hungry while out doing errands or waiting at a practice, or being stuck in traffic in Los Angeles. Which happens a lot! On the bad days, well, let’s just say I’ve identified lots of places where I can pull over and get myself something to tide me over!

IMG_9006Just adding this photo of me and Stewart on a beach hike because I’m usually the one behind the camera!

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Compensation for this post was provided by Kellogg’s via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.

Songs That Stab Me in the Heart: “Storms” by Fleetwood Mac

There are songs that exist in your life, songs that you never really listen to. They just are, and you take them for granted.

I try to say goodbye, my friend
I’d like to leave you with something warm
But never have I been a blue calm sea
I have always been a storm

This song is 35 years old. And I am 42. And just tonight, I finally paid attention. I have always been a storm.