Surviving the Holidays with Your Family

Don't you love the holidays? School is out and kids are home. What? Are they bored already? That didn't take long! Or maybe they retreated into their computer game cave (aka bedroom) and won't emerge again until the day before school starts.

Do you long for the “good 'ol days” when families hung out together, playing board games, piecing together a puzzle or building a snowman? How can we unplug our kids from technology, help them re-engage with the family and build fun memories? Food is a great common denominator. Everybody has to eat, and creating a dish to enjoy together can be a bonding experience! If Santa is expected to visit your house, you might consider baking cookies. I know it is a simple idea, but I could hardly leave it out! Home-baked cookies are much better than dropping a couple of store-bought cookies on a platter!

For something different, try this clever recipe for making cookies that look just like tiny reindeer! Pair them with a glass of milk and Santa will be impressed! How about working with your kids to make a plate of sweets for the neighbor who picks up your mail when you are out of town? Creating something sweet for a sweet neighbor is so easy with Tastefully Simple. There are so many great recipes, it is difficult to choose just one. I love this recipe for Biscotti because you can fill a holiday mug with a few pieces, just as the picture illustrates, and it makes the perfect gift!

While you and your kids are at it, why not whip up some of these adorable Polar Bear Paw cupcakes for the babysitter or anyone else who loves coconut? These are so easy and fun to make!

Since your kids have more time on their hands over the school break, why not let each child pick the dinner menu for one night and help prepare the meal for the rest of the family? Tastefully Simple's Family Faves 10-Meal Kit has a collection of recipes that are sure to please the pickiest eater in the household. If the picky eater happens to be one of your kids (Hey, sometimes it is the spouse!), you may find that enlisting their help in choosing a meal and preparing it helps them to overcome the “Eewww! Factor.” Quite often when a picky eater sees the ingredients as they are added to a recipe, it takes the fear of the unknown out of mealtime. If the thought of preparing dinner with your kids stresses you out, try one of our drink mixes, such as Almond Créme Frozen Drink Mix! ( I meant for you - not the kids!)

Another meal prep activity you can encourage your kids to help with is preparing a meal for an elderly person living alone. The One-Pot 10-Meal Kit offers several delicious recipes that can be split into one- or two-serving meals. Rustic Chicken Wild Rice Soup is included in the One-Pot 10-Meal Kit. My family thought this was one of the very best meals they ever had! You must try it!

If you know of someone who just returned home from a hospital stay or someone with a new child, you could even assemble several meals in gallon freezer bags and take a few over to their house with the cooking instructions. Nothing warms the heart more than a good deed … especially one that includes Tastefully Simple! Happy holidays to you and your family!

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