Creative Ways To Make Kids Eat Their Vegetables This Thanksgiving


No parent likes to fight on Thanksgiving. Yet this year, millions of adults will venture into epic battles with their toddlers over eating their vegetables. The good news is you don’t have to.

Unless your child is in the one percent, the vast majority of children hate eating vegetables. Somewhere deep in history, children started perceiving vegetables as “yucky”, when the reality is, the vast majority of adults would love to remind themselves of the regret they have for not eating more as a child.

Science can play a role in the eating of veggies. Did you know:

  • Babies are more likely to eat carrots, green beans, spinach or broccoli when they’ve tasted the vegetables mixed into milk or rice cereal for 12 days each.
  • Children aged three to five are more likely to eat bell peppers after watching a video of a child eating bell peppers.
  • Children aged three to five are more likely to choose vegetables over a granola bar when the veggies are packaged with cartoon character labels and they had to wait an extra five minutes for the granola bar.

Rather than having mounds of leftovers (you, too, will splurge on turkey and stuffing), here are six tips to help fill Thanksgiving with love instead of war:

Create an Incentive

The Thanksgiving table is full of delicious foods. Trade them one bite of biscuit for one bite of veggies. Trade them one bite of veggies for 15 minutes of TV or cell phone time. Let them cut their own piece of pie if they eat five bites of veggies. While you want to be careful to not tie an incentive to every bite, having fun with the plate of food can encourage better eating behaviors over time.

Create a “Try It” Game

By encouraging your child to just take one bite, you will eventually, over time, change their eating behaviors. Dieticians suggest it will take eight to 10 times before a food habit is changed. Why wait for a New Year’s resolution for your five-year-old—encourage change now. Play a game to see who can eat the most bites of vegetables (which is especially beneficial if other children are present).

Don’t Force Them to Finish a Full Plate

Too much is too much. Set small goals for them in the beginning. There is true benefit in baby steps. Celebrate the winning of one-bite. Give them high fives.

Play to Their Favorite Color

What is your child’s favorite color? When shopping for veggies for Thanksgiving, let them pick out veggies that match their favorite color. This will create collaboration around the experience. When you get home, let them participate in the prep and cooking of the food. And, in a worst-case scenario, use food coloring to change the colors (especially for food color friendly foods like cauliflower).

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon – Oh, and Butter

There isn’t much more that has to be said about this one. While not particularly the healthiest options for making food taste better, bacon and butter can be great ways to add flavors familiar to their pallets. Also, a good game of hide and go veggie is fun, too. Those rolls, that stuffing, that pie – adding fruits and vegetables (grounded up) can help distribute more good-for-you foods into the mix.

Children Love Patterns

At school, many learning exercises are created around patterns. Do the same with their plate. Have them create patterns of similar foods. Have them go around in a circle, taking one bite of each. Have them mess up their plate and organize again. A little food mess can help encourage participation with new foods.

About the author:

Gigi Schweikert, Early Childhood and Parenting Expert

“Inspirational, encouraging and real,” that’s what audiences and readers across the country have to say about Gigi Schweikert, an internationally known expert on early childhood education, parenting and work life issues. 

Known for her humor and practical messages, Gigi is a popular keynote speaker for education conferences, corporations, women’s events, and parenting seminars. Gigi is the best-selling author of over a dozen books including the popular Winning Ways for Early Childhood Professionals book series and Prime Times: A Handbook for Excellence in Infant and Toddlers Programs. 

During her twenty-five years of experience, Gigi directed the United Nations Early Childhood Program in New York City and developed the Johnson & Johnson System of Family Centers. Gigi is President & COO of Lightbridge Academy and consults to Fortune 100 clients. Gigi also hosted the television show, “Today’s Family.”

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Make holiday travels more fun (and educational) with Wonster Words


Are you traveling for the holidays? If you are traveling with children you’ll no doubt be thinking of ways to keep them entertained the entire trip. If there is one thing that could make your travels more stressful, it’s bored children (“Are we there YET?”).

As a parent, I can relate to traveling with young children. I still remember our plane trip to Florida (we live in N.Y.). It was only about a 2+ hour flight (each way) but we made sure that our kids were entertained every step of the way.

Back then we didn’t have the luxury of smartphones or tablets. We had to rely on books, coloring books. snacks, toys and in a perfectly world – naps! I think traveling with little ones these days is easier with today’s technology.

I’m all for letting kids play games on smartphones or tablets – within reason. It’s OK to have fun, but all a child’s fun shouldn’t come from being online. They need to learn how to play in the “real world” too.

If something is both fun and educational, then I think it’s OK to let a child play with it a bit longer than usual. Especially if a child is learning without realizing it.

Take for example the children’s app Wonster Words. Wonster Words is not only a fun game with cute, silly little monsters, but it’s also a learning app that teaches spelling, phonics and reading.

Help your kid learn phonics and grow his vocabulary! By playing with silly letter ghosts and hilarious wonsters, Wonster Words will help your kid learn how to spell and sound out new words by learning: phonics, consonant blends, word families, diphthongs, digrahs, and more. Kids will have a blast putting together words through interactive spelling puzzles, letter hide-and-seek, and other engaging mini-games.

Below is a brief video that gives you a sneak peak at Wonster Words.


I download the app to try it out for myself. Here are my thoughts about the app, Wonster Words.

The graphics and animations are top quality. Some apps have really “cheesy” graphics that look like the app was just thrown together. Wonster Words features quality animation. The characters are adorable and it’s easy for a child to like each and every one of them.

This is a well made game from a technological standpoint. I have played the game many times and everything has run very smoothly. I have not encountered any “glitches” or issues whatsoever. The games are also very easy to navigate and play.

I appreciate how Wonster Words tells a child what sounds each letter makes in the words they are trying to spell. They even go so far as to make the sounds for letter combinations too, so a child knows that “sh” together makes a “shhh” sound (hopefully you know what I mean). Even the letters are cute when you are playing the spelling games. They each have eyes and cute personalities.

Super cute characters.

Throughout the app children learn how to spell words. In order to move on to the next fun feature or game a child must correctly spell a word. Every time a child presses on a letter the game says the letter and makes it’s sound.

There are different games throughout the app. With each section there is a different “theme” and the words children learn to spell and pronounce are different depending on what theme  you are in. For example, in the holiday section your child will learn how to spell and read words like caroling, decorations and gingerbread. In another section (racing) a child will learn how to spell, read and understand words that relate to racing.

Many games to choose from. Download the ones you want.

Not only does the game teach the sounds, spelling and how to read the word, but it also helps a child to comprehend what the word means. They game developers really thought of everything when they created this game.

I really like the mini “scenes.” They are brief animations between the characters that help to reinforce the word that has just been learned.

The games are really fun too. There are a lot of racing game where your child needs to control the vehicle (move it up or down) to avoid road blocks and other dangers along the way.

Uh-oh! Watch out for the puddle!

Wonster Words makes winning the mini-games easy, even for the youngest player. You don’t have to worry about a child loosing a game. Even when I intentionally messed up I still managed to win the game.

I appreciate that Wonster Words has a holiday section which is perfect for this time of the year.


Learn to sound out the letters, spell the word and read the word.

Cute holiday animations!

Gingerbread! I love gingerbread!

This cute little guy’s name is Frankie.

Wonster Words is available for both iOS and Android. The game is free to download and there are some in-app purchases you can buy to add on to the games and learning fun.

If you would like more information about Wonster Words you can visit the developer’s website (77 Sparx).

If you would like to download Wonster Words  you can find it at the Google Play store as well as iTunes.

What do you think about this app? Does it look like something you’d like to download for your child/grandchild?


*I received a gift code in order to download this game to review. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download


Now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download is the sequel to the funny animated film, Nut Job. The sequel is entitled Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature.

Nut Job 2 brings back all the characters from the first film – Surly, Andie, Precious, Jimmy, Mole and more. The film also introduces some new characters such as Frankie and Mr. Feng.

Life seems pretty wonderful now that the park’s creatures have taken over the Nut House. Their lives seem pretty easy now that they don’t have to worry about food. In fact, they are getting a bit too lazy and forgetting how to forge for food. Andie sees a big problem with this, but Surly and the others are content to live in excess without a care in the world. That is until their world comes crashing down and they find themselves without a source of food.

All of the park’s creatures now find themselves with no where to go and no place to find food. They want to return to Liberty Park where they originated from, but the Mayor has other plans for the park.

Mayor Muldoon doesn’t believe the park is needed in the city. He rather see it as a place to make money. For that reason he intends on turning the park into Libertyland Amusement Park.

Without Liberty Park to return to the animals find themselves “homeless.” They search all over the city but realize that their true home is Liberty Park, and they only way they’ll be able to return is if they can disrupt the Mayor’s plans.

Will the friends be able to stop the humans from destroying the park? Where else will they be able to go? To find out you need to pick up a copy of Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature. Look for it where ever movies are sold.

Here is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.


I’ve seen both film (Nut Job and Nut Job 2) and I have to say that Nut Job 2 is my favorite of the two films. I think it had a lot more going for it (more action, more humor) than the first film.

The creatures are all likable. I think that is why I like this film. They are mostly cute and cuddly looking – even the mice (just don’t call them “cute” – LOL).

I think this film had a more interesting story line than the original film too.

I watched this film with my husband (our kids were not home at the time). At first he was too busy doing stuff on his phone, but after a while he put the phone down and watched the movie. He even laughed a bit. At the end of the film I asked him if he liked it and he said, and I quote, “It was cute” (with a smile on his face).

This is a fun, animated film that should appeal to both young and old alike. Maybe not very young children because the film is rated PG for action and some rude humor.

There are some bonus features which admittedly I haven’t watched (yet). But I will when I have a chance.

Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Bonus Features:

  • Deleted Scene
  • Animation Progression Reels: Watch as two key scenes are brought to life, from storyboard and pre-visualization, to final animation, lighting and effects.
  • Concept Art Reel: See the concept art that inspired animators to create the world of The Nut Job 2.
  • Feature Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Cal Brunker and Producer/Co-Writer Bob Barlen

If you would like to learn more about the film you can visit it’s official website. You can also find the film on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The film’s official hashtag is #NutJob2.

Did you see the film? If so, what did you think about it? Which is your favorite character?

Here are some Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature activities and recipes you might want to try.




*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Go on a unique adventure with Starpath Dolls


It’s the holiday season. If you have a child or grandchild there is no doubt that you have probably been given their Christmas (or Hanukkah) wish list. Chances are it’s several pages long. LOL!

When I was a young girl we had the Sear Christmas Wish Book. Does anyone remember that catalog? I would spend HOURS pouring over every page, dog-earring and circling things I’d want Santa to bring me and making up lists… long lists… I’d usually receive a few items from the list.

One thing I always wanted when I was a young girl was a doll. I enjoyed playing on my own as much as I did enjoy playing with my cousins. With dolls I could play either way.

Two of my favorites were Mattel’s Baby Tender Love Doll and Drowsy Baby Beans Doll.

I loved to play “mommy” and take care of my baby dolls. Back then the most exciting thing about a doll is if you pulled a long string in it’s back to make it talk or cry.  These days dolls can do so much more.

Now there are dolls that can take your daughter or granddaughter on amazing adventures. Not only do the dolls encourage creativity and imagination, but they also encourage a child to read (and want to read more!). The dolls I am referring to are called Starpath Dolls.

“Starpath Dolls has a new set of beautiful, multi-ethnic dolls and story books which are available as printed books or e-books which incorporate the child’s name, city, appearance and other personal details to create a truly one-of-a-kind personalized adventure!” approvingly wrote mom blogger MomFabFun to her readers.

On the Starpath Dolls website you can input details that will personalize any of their available stories for your child or grandchild. There are currently two books available (I’m sure more will be on the way). You can purchase an actual book or download an e-book. Both are personalized for your child/grandchild.

Some of the details that can be personalized in the books include your child/grandchild’s name, their school, the name of their doll, parent/grandparent’s names and so forth. What little girl wouldn’t be thrilled to read the details of her life and family in a book, and make it part of an adventurous story she can enjoy along side her Starpath Doll.

The e-books are FREE with the purchase of a doll, so you can download it, print it out and enjoy it right away. Or you can have an actual printed book created for your child/grandchild for $20.

Starpath Dolls are beautiful, multi-ethic dolls. Each has its own unique personality.

I really like that the dolls have different ethnicity. When I was growing all almost all dolls had blonde hair and blue eyes. I prefer dolls that break out of that “norm.” Even when my daughter was younger I would make a point of buying her dolls of different ethnicity because in the real world we all don’t look the same. My daughter also doesn’t have blonde hair (but she does have blue eyes).

These are beautiful dolls. I LOVE their hair. We have one of the dolls (the brunette named “Shining Star” on the Starpath Doll website).

I’m sorry that the picture doesn’t do her justice. I realized after I took the photos that she looked a bit “disheveled”. My apologies for that. The is really lovely in person. And her hair! I LOVE her hair! I could comb it for hours. It’s perfect hair to style (braid, ponytail, pigtails). Her hair feels so realistic!

I also noticed I forgot her hat.

You can purchase additional clothing on the Starpath Doll website. The dolls look like they can fit clothing made for similar sized dolls. I won’t mention the brand’s name, but I’m sure most people will know what brand I’m referring to.

You can even purchase little friends for your dolls – a swan and a tiger. Both creatures appear in the Starpath dolls stories.

With the holiday season upon us, Starpath Dolls would make an amazing gift for that special little girl in your life. To make it even more special, be sure to download the FREE personalized email you can create with the purchase of your Starpath Doll. Or you can purchase the printed version that she can keep and enjoy for years to come (I’m a fan of printed books).

For more information visit StarpathDolls.com. They offer FREE shipping on orders over $50.00 within the United States.

You can also check out Starpath Dolls on social media. All of their links are found on the bottom of their website.

What do you think about these dolls? Do they look like something your daughter/granddaughter would enjoy?


*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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How Education Insurance Can Secure Your Kid’s Future: Here are the 5 Solid Ways

*This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect my own.

As the college fees are increasing, it is becoming tougher and tougher to maintain these expenses for the child by the parents. But if you become a little technical, then securing your kid’s future will not be a big problem. And today, I am going to discuss how an insurance can unload you from the anxieties about the future education of your kid.

1. Ensuring Education Even the Guardian is Dead or Absent

Life insurance is the most common scheme taken by the most of the people. We are living in a society of uncertainty where even our life remains in danger because of accidents & other problems. And an early departure of the earning member of a family can take a kid to the edge of an uncertain future. And in those cases, a life insurance with education scheme will let the company take the whole responsibility for the kid’s education even if the parents can’t fill the total installment. And that’s the beauty of an insurance.

2. Signing Up for Better College

One of my friend’s kid got a chance in a very good college last year. But the problem is he didn’t get full fund. So, a partial amount of her education needed to be taken from her parents. Although they could effort a good college, they couldn’t afford that expensive college. But they had an education insurance & it saved their kid from getting admitted into another college. So, a good figure of insurance can tend to ensure the best places for your kid in future.

3. You Can Save Extra Cashes & Make Extra Saving

Usually, after giving birth of a child, the parents need to make a checklist of present and future expenses which contains the expenses for fostering the child, medical & other treatment, tuition fee for education etc. And when you have an education insurance scheme, you don’t need to carry the future tuition expenses of your children. And by this, you can save some extra cash. But, here some of you guys can ask about the amount of the installments. In that I’ll say, don’t worry because they will not be so higher that you can’t afford.

4. You Can Invest on Your Kid’s Co-Curricular Activities

Every parent wants to see their child as a super kid. And to do so, you should give him/her the chance of doing more co-curricular activities apart from the academic works. And an education insurance will give you the freedom to spend a good amount from your saving to create better ambiance for co-curricular activities. It’ll not only boost your kid’s future but also soothe your heart.

5. Your Old Age will be Hassle Free

When your kid will grow up, you’ll be a grown person also. And as your age will increase, your energy will decrease. In these cases, a bulletproof future plan can make a hassle-free life. So, when you’ll be older you can spend your time by being nostalgic with your spouse, grown-up kids and relatives. And when your kid will be established, they’ll take the lifestyle of your family one step ahead and this process will be continuous.

Finally, I want to say that our life is limited. So, in spite of knowing this, running after our bread and butter for the whole life doesn’t make any sense. And That’s why we should find out an easy solution to enjoy our present by not destroying our future. And in these case, an insurance scheme can take all your future burdens with a big smiling face so that you can enjoy your present life. And as a smarter citizen of USA, don’t miss this awesome opportunity to being hassle-free and happy in your daily life.

Author Bio

Margaret is a single mom. She, along with her team founded Mom and Baby Lab to support all pregnant & new mothers. Even after having a safe delivery, she helps to choose the necessary equipment & kid material for smarter fostering.

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Hallmark Movies & Mysteries “A Bramble House Christmas” Premiering this Sunday, Nov 19th at 9pm/8c! #MostWonderful


Hallmark Movies and Mysteries holiday movie A Bramble House Christmas airing November 19, 2017 at 9:00 PM/EST (8:00 PM/CST)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The time where there is an abundance of holiday shows, movies and other programming to really get you into the holiday spirit.

My family and I always make sure to watch the “classics” during the holiday season (A Christmas Story, Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Jingle All the Way, Miracle on 34th Street, Rudolph, Frosty and It’s a Wonderful Life to name a few). But we are not confined to watching JUST those movies. We are constantly on the look out for new movies to usher in the holiday.

Holiday programming is part of our holiday traditions. For example, on Thanksgiving we always watch March of the Wooden Soldiers (the original version), Miracle on 24th Street and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We have been watching them for the past 20+ years. What I love about this tradition is that our kids – no matter how old they get – still enjoy curdling up on the couch next to us after we’ve stuffed ourselves with Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy the movies TOGETHER. After all, being together is what the holidays is all about.

There is one channel I love to watch frequently where I know there will be plenty of enjoyable holiday movies to choose from. That channel is the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel. It’s a part of the Hallmark Movie Channel.

This film’s location looks SO NICE! I want to live there!

If there is one thing you can be sure of during the holiday season, it’s that you’ll be able to find an ample supply of holiday programming on the Hallmark Channel and the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel.  My husband and I are both amazed how Hallmark can put together so many brand new holiday movies each year.

We love the variety of films available during the holidays (and year round) on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel.

One movie I am looking forward to seeing is A Bramble House Christmas. It’s airing on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel this Sunday (November 19th) at 9:00 PM/EST (8:00 PM/CST).

A Bramble House Christmas is part of Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas programming. You can learn more about this year’s movies on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel’s official website.

Check out the trailer.


It looks good, doesn’t it?

While settling his father’s estate, Finn Conrad becomes suspicious as to why the man left a nurse $50,000. His dad knew her for less than two months before he died. Just before Christmas, Finn wants what to reclaim what he considers his family’s money, going undercover to investigate the bed and breakfast the nurse has recently taken over. When Finn meets Willa, he discovers she’s not a conniving gold digger at all, but a woman in need who put the money to good use. When she discovers his true identity, will it keep Willa from ever trusting him again?

The film stars Autumn ReeserDavid Haydn-Jones and Teryl Rothery. 

What interests me about this film is the scenery and the “small town” look and feel of the film. I would LOVE to live in a town where people dressed up in old fashion outfits and went carroling. I’d love to do that myself! That would be so much fun!

I also love how the set is decorated with colorful holiday trees.

Don’t forget to tune in at 9:00 PM/EST (8:00 PM/CST) on Sunday, November 19, 2017.

I grew up in a small town in upstate New York. This film sort of reminds me of the holiday season from my youth.

If you would like to learn more about the film you can visit the film’s official page on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel’s website.

You can learn more about the holiday movies airing this holiday season by visiting HallmarkMoviesandMysteries.com.

Don’t forget to tune into A Bramble House Christmas this Sunday (November 19, 2017) at 9:00 PM/EST (8:00 PM/CST).

I also have a wonderful giveaway! One lucky winner will receive the following. 

  • (1) $25 Visa Gift Card
  • (1) Holiday Hugs package (filled with wrapping paper, bags, bows, strings, tape & branded scissors, and under the bed storage case). 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on November 20, 2017. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me what the holidays mean to you. In addition, please comment and tell me if you are planning on tuning in to A Bramble House Christmas.

WHEN SHARING ON SOCIAL MEDIA please be sure to include the hashtags #ABrambleHouseChristmas and #MostWonderful. 

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I have partnered with HMM to bring you this information. This is a compensated post, however the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. HMM will be providing the prize package. 

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