A Morning Of Sanity – Kid’s Pantry At The Playstation.

Sipping on my single shot latte, with actual thoughts processing in my head for the first time in awhile, watching my little guy happily squeal with delight as he gets his sensory fingers covered in chocolate dough – I can’t help but find myself wondering why I never thought to do this before.

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Just a short drive from our home, I left the house with an excited 3 and a half year old, excitedly anticipating his very first cooking class ever. I often find him begging to bake at home, which I do often allow, but find myself with minimal patience, and cringing about the mess. It doesn’t stop me, but does, at times, make me more hesitant. I also try to minimize the amount of sugar in our home. Baking means an entire batch of something sugary and sweet, which generally means that you’ll find yourself consuming sugar over the next few days.

Baking classes mean that they leave with just a few special treats that they made themselves.


If you haven’t yet heard of The Playstation, you’re likely to be living under a rock, or perhaps just a busy mom who hasn’t had much of a chance to venture out to discover a place such as this. But, you can thank me now, because I am about to change your life!

My son only goes to school three mornings a week, which means that I have a Tuesday and Thursday to play teacher and mom. I love these mornings, they are incredibly special to me, yet, at this age, it is tough and challenging to keep my busy boy stimulated, and to constantly find new, and exciting projects or ideas to keep it exciting. When I heard about The Playstations brand new Kids Pantry, my heart skipped a beat. I knew exactly what we would be doing once a month.

The thought of my son being able to do something that truly makes him happy, with somebody trained to have patience and who has the passion to bake and do messy activities with kids while I work, and sip on coffee for two hours almost seemed too good to be true. I’ve never had somebody to look after my son, so this felt like Heaven. Cher runs the lessons with the kids, and was previously a teacher – which means that she has the experience working with young kids. This is a huge bonus!


Now to tell you about our experience, and, it feels surreal, but I am actually typing this as my son is in the kitchen baking!!!

Kids Pantry begins at 09h30 and ends at 11h30. This class consists of some play time before the baking begins for approximately 15 minutes. They then get called to the table, wash hands and they go through the ingredients with them. Because the classes are small, they are highly interactive, and they get tons of one on one attention, which is ideal for my sons age!

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They each get their own little station with their utensils, etc. Perfect for your independent child. In between, they break to play and then return to complete the next task. This is phenomenal for a child like mine who isn’t always capable of concentrating for a long period of time. But, due to the small classes, he wasn’t overstimulated or overwhelmed, and was able to listen and follow instruction so well! Half way in, they got to get on their hair nets and visit the kitchen, where they helped melt their chocolate, safely! He loved watching the cooks preparing other meals while in there.

I arrived at a clean and hygienic baking environment which was beautifully laid out and 100% organized. They use utensils which are colourful and without even being aware, perfect for creating a sense of calm.

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I loved that they asked me if they wanted me to have it plated to take home, or if he was allowed to eat one here. I think that is so important – for you to be respected as a parent rather than somebody else making that call. He was, of course, allowed to have one of his cake pops here, and we took the other two home.

The kids were enabled to be independent, make a mess, and unlike how we often are as parents, they were left to just be. This is something I struggle with, I suppose, as a perfectionist. The sticks were allowed to be skew, and the cake pops didn’t HAVE to be totally covered in melted chocolate. And it has made me realize how important it is for kids to be able to do things their way. Imperfection is perfect.

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This has been such a special morning for both of us. A learning curve for me, and a wonderful opportunity for me to breath, and to not feel guilty for getting work done because my son has had the very best morning at the same time!

For two hours – the Kids Pantry as well as play time in the main play area at The Playstation, it is only R95 per child. It is every Tuesday, and there are only 10 spaces available. I would highly recommend booking online. The classes are open to kids aged 18 months – 12 years. Each week, they bake something different – cake pops, muffins and biscuits.

For those of you who have never heard of The Playstation before, it is based in Tokai, Southern Suburbs, Cape Town.

Do yourself a favour and check out their social media handles for more information, as well as to see what other exciting classes they offer – such as Bright Sparks, Sensory Kids and Book Worms.

Website
Facebook
Instagram

We have had the most amazing morning, and I don’t want to leave.

We will be back!

 

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Eliminating Sugar – Ceres Fruit & Water Swirl.

Sugar, sugar, sugar.

As a child, I remember sugar and sweet treats predominantly being party food. Dessert consisted of peaches and ice cream or jelly and custard, once a week. It wasn’t a privilege, it was a luxury. Something we knew not to even bother asking about. We knew when it was allowed.

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Fast forward to 2018. Lunch boxes are packed with treats and snacks packed with sugar. Schools have to send notes home to parents requesting for junk food to NOT be sent in their lunch boxes. I see families out with their young kids with fizzy drinks bubbling away in their juice bottles. What is the world coming to?

Sugar doesn’t full a child’s stomach.
It doesn’t feed their brains.
It feeds cancer cells.
It creates obesity.
Sugar is an addiction.

Feeding your kids wholesome foods and keeping sugary treats for parties, and special occasions is not depriving them. It is doing them a favour. Providing your child’s body with goodness is one of the best things you can do for them.

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I’ve heard many parents saying that it is easier for them (perhaps working parents) to just throw a couple of snacks into a lunchbox because they don’t have time to prepare lunches. I don’t agree! This post was created for those parents. It is possible to choose healthier alternatives to junk food.

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Here’s my list featured in the photos:

– Rice Crackers (the ones without any flavouring – avoid the ones that are covered in a powdery flavouring). My son also loved the ones covered in carob and yoghurt as a toddler.
– Droerwors (I buy a few sticks, and then just break the longer strips into about ¾ pieces. This goes a long way!)
– Dried fruit (Again, I buy a big pack, and only put 2-3 pieces into his lunchbox – remember, even when feeding your child healthy snacks – it’s about portion control).
– Berries/fruit (I wouldn’t usually add both fruit and dried fruit into his lunchbox on the same day, but just wanted to show options).
– Animal crackers (I buy them from Woolies, they’re plain with no flavouring).
– Baby Tomatoes / Baby Carrots / Cucumber

#Ceresfruitjuice challenged me to creating three nutrient packed lunches for Olly over three weeks. Less sugar – more goodness relating it to the new lunch box solution – Ceres Fruit & Water Swirl.

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They have already diluted the juice with water meaning that there is no fuss and no arguments with the tiny humans. They taste delicious, and are perfect for party packs, outings, and school lunch boxes. I’ve seen the difference in my 3 year olds behavior and attention span when unnatural sugars are eliminated from his daily diet.

The Ceres Fruit & Water Swirl comes in three delicious flavours:

– Apple: 45% Less sugar than Ceres 100% Apple Juice
– Raspberry & Apple: 40% Less sugar than Ceres 100% Secrets of the Valley.
– Fruit Punch: 50% less sugar than Ceres 100% Medley of Fruit.

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They taste great with the benefit of less sugar and are high in Vitamin C.

They are available in all major retail stores.

Tell me which healthy snacks you add to your kids lunchboxes on days where you are in a rush. Do you keep things on hand for days like these?

Share your thoughts & ideas, and you could win one of the Ceres Fruit & Water Swirl flavours in a pack of 6.


#Sponsored

Photos by Criene Images.

Getting Creative – Ceres Fruit & Water Swirl.

When my three and a half year old son returns from school, I often find myself feeling rather uninspired by what to give him for lunch. Sometimes he’s so exhausted when he gets home that he goes straight to his bed for a nap, but other times he’s starving.

It was actually great to be challenged by Ceres to create a nutritious lunch for him, which has really made me think out of the box. What he eats for lunch AFTER school, is just as important as what I put in his lunch box. It needs to fuel his brain and give him energy for the rest of the day. I often find that when he has junk – his attention span goes from 10-1 in the blink of an eye and the tantrums begin. My son really is sensitive to sugar, and as he gets older I notice it more.

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He thrives from wholesome food and meals that are packed with nutrition. Being a growing boy, he needs to be fed food that is healthy rather than food that has been processed. I’ve often said that you know you’ve done a healthy grocery shop when you haven’t gone down any of the middle aisles of the grocery store, simply sticking to the bordering aisles which are home to all the fresh food.

He squealed with delight when he saw his dinosaur themed lunch – it was amazing watching him remain calm while eating, and being able to wind down because there was no junk. Had I added any sugary treats or junk, he would have wound up and become wild instead. I do believe that when their food has created to be appealing to the eye, even the fussier kids are more likely to eat it. Perhaps decide on a weekly theme with your little ones to keep things exciting!

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I also love being able to simply grab one of the new Ceres Fruit and Water Swirl juice boxes to add to his lunch. Keeping hydrated, especially in this hot, dry weather that Cape Town is handing us, I love that these are diluted with water too. As good as fruit juice tastes on a hot day, as well as the natural sugar giving us the energy that we need, the water is really what quenches our thirst. Again, instead of having to add water myself to dilute his juice, it has already been done for us! This specific one featured – Fruit Punch has 50% less sugar that Ceres 100% Medley of Fruit. This is phenomenal for our little people. Giving them just the right proportions of each.

It is boiling hot in Cape Town today, and instead of giving my son ice cream to cool him down and as a treat, we will instead be enjoying fun ice lollies made from these juice boxes!

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Kids are so sensitive to sugar and they don’t understand why they are feeling hyped up, or feeling strange because of their energy crashing down after the sugar high wears off. And we often take our frustration of not understanding why they are behaving differently out on them. I’ve seen how sugar affects my son, it always has. It isn’t a pretty site. And I am learning to keep junk food out of the house which means that it is kept sacred for parties and special occasions. So, I really do love that Ceres has launched this new Fruit and Water Swirl which is just an extra helping hand to us moms to limit the sugar intake for our kids. Keeping their bodies as well as teeth healthier.


I would love for you to share your thoughts with me, telling me how you control your childs sugar intake. And I will choose one of you who I will send a pack of the Ceres Fruit and Water Swirl 6 packs to to try for yourself!

#CeresFruitJuice


*This post was in collaboration with Ceres.
*Photography: Criene Images
*Wardrobe: Minimi Atelier

Saving Money With LG NeoChef Microwave Oven Grill.

Goodness Gracious! Where do I even begin?
When David and I moved in together back in 2012, we didn’t have a large budget for going on a wild shopping spree to purchase new appliances and household items.
But, with me moving in straight from my parents home, and him moving from sharing a place with a friend, we were basically starting from scratch.

Cue, family members from all over wanting to do their part by handing down an old appliance or some ‘must-have’ pots and pans that were, quite frankly long past their life expectancy. For the past few years we have been using an ancient Convection Microwave, BUT, the one time I did use the convection, I swore to never use it again!

My mom is an avid baker. She swears by her convection oven for 99% of her baking. As we grew up, our birthday cakes and any other baked goods were religiously done in that oven. I only realized just how much of a lifesaver that was when I became a mom, AND when we started having to cover our own electricity bills.

When LG contacted me about their Neochef Microwave Oven with Smart Inverter Technology, I just knew I had to have it. With the chic, minimalistic design, which is such a lovely size (in comparison to our previous one that took up our entire counter top), and the fact that they have incorporated a range of hygiene-enhancing features, including Anti-Bacterial EasyClean which helps users keep their ovens clean and fresh is just a total win.

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I can already see the how simple meal time has become in my home. I’m looking forward to see our electricity bill at the end of the month to see how much of an impact not using a normal oven has made. This is a phenomenal appliance for somebody who lives in a small, limited space to own – you won’t need to find space for a bulky oven!
I love that they have designed this elegant LG NeoChef to not only deliver the ultimate precision and user-convenience, but to seamlessly blend in with the décor of any kitchen!

I’ve officially and successfully defrosted, microwaved and used the convection oven so far. And I am hooked. They have advertised the LG NeoChef by saying: ‘There’s no cooking job the LG NeoChef can’t handle’, and so far it has lived up to its word.

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I must admit that I am a bit useless with some appliances, and I am so grateful to have David around to help me navigate how to set them up, and how exactly to use them – but I have had a wonderful experience with how easy this one in particular is to use. I’ve mostly figured it out myself, and the book that comes with it really lays it all out very well. They also have a phenomenal, information packed video that one can revert to. View here: http://www.lg.com/us/kitchen/discovercooking/countertop-microwave-ovens
Here’s to some delicious meals, some baked goods for upcoming special occasions and just making life as a mom easier altogether!

Do find out more about this product here: http://www.lg.com/za

And, be sure to read some of the other bloggers reviews on the product, as individuals do have their own experiences with products.

LG’s Social media channels

– Instagram:

@lgsouthafrica https://www.instagram.com/lgsouthafrica/

– YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/LGSouthAfrica

– Facebook:

@LGSouthAfrica https://www.facebook.com/LGSouthAfrica/

– Twitter:

@LGSouthAfrica https://twitter.com/lgsouthafrica

#PaidAd


@lg_homeappliances
@LGSouthAfrica
#LGNeoChef

Stock Up Your Freezers – Fry’s Give Me Freedom.

We are currently sitting smack bam into a week.
I always find Wednesdays insane.
Half way through the week, but just out of reach of the weekend.

Hanging in there by a thread, longing for the craziness of the week to just slow down a little.
Olly is wild. I’ve started referring to Wednesday’s as ‘Wild Wednesday’,
He’s always a little more clingy, emotional and it’s generally a day of nagging.

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Dinner time arrives, and I used to find myself frantically scurrying through the freezer to find something I could just fry/pop in the oven or microwave.
I must admit that before I started giving Olly meat, I only gave him the Fry’s ‘meatless’ products.
So, they have always been safe in our home. I know he won’t complain, and his tummy will be full.

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That being said, I love having a freezer stocked up with these Fry’s Chicken styled Nuggets. I love them, Olly loves them and so does David.
I just pair them with some fresh baby tomatoes, some carrot sticks and tomato sauce and we are good to go. Everybody is happy.

Dinner time can become such a complicated time in your home sometimes.
I don’t like always feeling like I need to turn to overpriced takeaways when a day gets out of control.
Sometimes, we can plan ahead and stock up our freezers for those days instead.

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These chicken style nuggets are Olly’s absolute favourite out of the Fry’s Family products.
They literally just need to be popped in the oven for a couple of minutes, and BAM, dinner is served! They are also perfect for adults, might I add. They really aren’t just made for kids. They just love them.

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Also suitable for vegans, BUT, not for people who are gluten intolerant. They are packed with the perfect protein replacements, so one doesn’t need to worry about not getting their protein in their meals.

Fry’s has a large range of meat-free products, so there really is something for everyone. You can find them at most of the leading stores. I mostly buy mine from my local Pick ‘n Pay, just because they have a very large range, and it is just convenient for me.

They have lovely, very inspiring and insightful social media platforms that you can check out too:

Instagram
Facebook
Website
Twitter

Thank you to Angela Rea Photography for the photos!

Be sure to stock up, give them a try – and let me know your thoughts!

You’re welcome!!!

— @onemodernmom