Yesterday was the first day of school. And for us, it wasn’t just the first day of school, but the first day at a new school. The kids did well but I know it will take them awhile to get in the swing of things (and me too).
This summer was long but fun. I didn’t get much work done, but I had lots of quality time with the kids. And I find that taking the time off makes me ultra-motivated once they return to school.
Although I used my summer rotation, we were really flexible with dinner meals. That’s what summer’s all about right? But now that school has started, having meals all planned out helps a lot. The fewer decisions I have to make, the better. Typically, in San Diego, it stays hot in September and October. We will still grill on weekends but Thursdays Little D has soccer practice at 5:30 and the kids have Faith Formation (Sunday School on Thursday) from 4 to 5, so we’ll be having picnic dinners at the park and my husband will meet us there. I’ll be trying out Buddha bowls and a few other new dishes this rotation.
A Last Minute Trip to the Big Island
We were disorganized about our summer vacation this year. First, we were trying to coordinate dates with some of our family and friends. And second, we weren’t sure which school our kids were going to, and that added to our stress. Halfway through summer, we dropped our previous plans and started from scratch. I came up with some ideas but my husband was so unimpressed, he suggested we go to Hawaii after checking the flights. So we went from no plans to staying in a cottage north of Hilo on the Big Island in a small town called Hakalau.
Before we went, we watched a video informing us the east side of the island (where we were staying) gets the most rain in the United States. But that didn’t stop me from getting my vacation blow dry and straightening, which usually lasts about 5 days. Needless to say, I regretted that decision. But the rain is what makes this place so darn beautiful. The amount and type of greenery is beyond comprehension.
We had to drive at least 15 minutes to get food. Most nights we stayed in and had frozen pizza, salad and fruit. To be honest, just being in a grocery store made me kind of woozy like I had to get out of there ASAP. We grilled fish one night but the grill was “limited” according to my husband. While papaya was literally growing on trees where we were staying, this wasn’t our favorite Hawaiian fruit. We liked the rambutans (first picture below), which looks strange but tastes good, and the pineapple was amazing.
We had a few favorite eating places, like What’s Shakin’, the tasty smoothie place close to us that had a ton of grass so the kids could run around. We went out for Thai restaurant one night, which was tasty. And right when we got off the plane, we ate at a place called Ultimate Burger which serves grass-fed burgers. They have some amazing fries, and the burgers were good too. The kids liked it so much we went there again before flying home.
We visited the volcano park, warm tide pools and did some hiking. On day 3 of 6 nights, we started hearing rumblings from Little D about missing home and being bored. The daily drives were getting to him. So the last day we rented a room at a resort and spent the day going down the pool slides. If we could do it over again, we would stay least part of the time in a resort to give the kids a bit more to do. But all in all, I can’t complain. No matter what happens on vacation, we always come back with a renewed appreciation for home, along with lots of memories from our trip.
News, Updates & Links
I’m putting the finishing touches on my book before I send it to the editor next week. I’ve received great feedback from readers, which always helps. The title has changed to: How to Raise a Mindful Eater: 8 Powerful Principles for Transforming Your Child’s Relationship with Food. It will be available for pre-order soon! Expect to also hear about my site redesign, a new format for my newsletter and a podcast. I’m changing things up around here and am really excited about it.
There were two important reports recently released from health organizations. The American Heart Association came out with sugar guidelines for children. They recommend limits of 6 tsp day across the board (25g) for kids of all ages. They want to want to make it easy to follow but I fear this is his is not realistic for older children. They also recommend not giving sugar to children 2 and younger which is in line with the AAP guidelines. Babies and young toddlers (expect for special occasions) don’t need to eat sweets on a regular basis. Their stomachs are small and their growth high. Bettina at the Lunch Tray has a nice post about the new guidelines.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a clinical report entitled “Preventing Obesity and Eating Disorders in Adolescents.” The key message, targeted to pediatricians, is to focus on a healthy lifestyle instead of weight. It includes research showing that focusing on a child’s weight increases their risk for dieting, eating disorders and future weight gain. I hear stories of pediatricians focusing on weight — and giving some bad nutrition advice — so I hope this helps. The report lists out 6 key recommendations such as “Discourage dieting, skipping of meals, or the use of diet pills; instead, encourage and support the implementation of healthy eating and physical activity behaviors that can be maintained on an ongoing basis. The focus should be on healthy living and healthy habits rather than on weight,” and “Encourage families not to talk about weight but rather to talk about healthy eating and being active to stay healthy. Do more at home to facilitate healthy eating and physical activity.”
I’ll leave you with a few back-to-school articles. Have a great week!
Want to create your own family dinner rotation? My book, The Family Dinner Solution, helps you step-by-step through the process.