Getting my kids to enjoy food that’s good for them is so NOT easy in a world full of sweets, fast food, and other treats that tempt them at every turn. Especially when so many of the most attractive foods are the ones that are of course, totally the worst for you – like sugary cereals that are every color of the rainbow and beyond (neon blue? really?), or cupcakes shaped like hamburgers for Father’s Day (ok, I admit it was my idea to buy them today…they looked so fun!).
Oh, and macaroni and cheese. Grilled Cheese. And some more cheese. And crackers.
Seriously. That’s what my kids want. Like. Every. Day. Despite my never ending attempts at offering them better-for-you foods.
What does a parent do?!?!?
Well, I’m so glad I recently met Heather Nardi, a local mom and instructor of healthy cooking classes for kids. She owns Wee Ones Wellness, which provides enrichment programs that are hands on for kids, and is a Certified Healthy Hands Cooking instructor. I met her at the Moms Rock! Expo in May. She had a booth, and I was there with the Twin Cities Kids Club – as was Dr. Elizabeth Wilcox, owner of Toylend USA, a toy rental business that the Twin Cities Kids Club partners with. We chatted and decided to coordinate cooking classes at Toylend’s private play place in Roseville called Playlend.
This past week my kids and I attended a class called “Just a Taste – Yummy Munchies.” A class for kids ages 2 – 5 with an adult, we also attended with a couple of other bloggers – Alice from Dining with Alice, and Anne from Family Fun Twin Cities, and their kids.
Because Playlend is actually a two-bedroom-townhome-converted Playlend. There’s a full kitchen that worked great for the class. (More about Playlend below!)
When we arrived all the kids got to wear special kid-sized aprons and sit at a kids table, where they each got to play a healthy snacks game and make healthy snack charts to take home.
Next we made “Funny Fruity Faces” using rice cakes and various good-for-you toppings they could pick from including natural peanut butter, cream cheese, raisins, strawberries, and bananas.
It was fun for the kids to create their own funny faces – my 7-year-old daughter helped her 4-year-old brother make his:
Though we were a small group, the kids had fun together making the snacks, followed by “Inside Out Sandwiches” and “Chocolate Banana Raspberry Smoothies”.
After the class, the kids were super anxious to play upstairs where there were a couple of rooms full of toys to explore. They got to play for an hour as part of the class, which was a great way to burn off their energy! Check out all they offer:
Downstairs (gross motor room):
Storage where you can find more gross motor toys
Upstairs (Fine motor and learning room):
Two playrooms with a variety of toys
A reading nook with many books
A bedroom with a bed and a cot for naps
Washer and dryer (get your laundry done while your children play)
Toylend USA’s indoor play place, Playlend, is a hit with kids, especially toddlers and preschoolers. It can be rented for $5 per child per hour.
I thought the class was fun for the kids. The recipes were simple and easy, and it was a good, interactive experience for kids and parents to make healthful foods together that are fun to eat (for the parents too!). My kids enjoyed it – and had fun making – and eating! – their good-for-you creations. Plus, it was a SUPER bonus to have an hour of playtime at Playlend. This place is so nice – it’s clean, organized and full of educational toys. Definitely check it out – and watch Toylend USA’s Facebook page for upcoming open houses!
Interested in attending a Healthy Hands cooking class? Toylend USA is providing the venue again at Playlend for a new class on these upcoming dates:
Growing and Cooking with Herbs
Ages 2 – 5 with an adult. Cost $25 per student.
Includes 1 hour of playtime at Playlend!
Thursday, June 25th, 11am to 12pm.
Tuesday, June 30th, 5pm to 6pm.
Register for classes here!
About the businesses:
Wee Ones Wellness/Healthy Hands Cooking
Wee Ones Wellness is focused on providing enrichment programs that are hands on for children. It is owned by Heather Nardi, a Certified Healthy Hands Cooking Instructor. She is also a Certified Children’s Etiquette Trainer, a Distributor of Juice Plus+ and most recently has become a ThetaHealing® Practitioner. Heather offers kids healthy cooking classes through her business Wee Ones Wellness. Healthy Hands Cooking is the perfect opportunity for children to learn nutrition and cooking skills that foster healthy lifestyle in an intimate learning experience that is both fun and empowering. Vist her personal site www.healthyhandscooking.
Playlend is an indoor, private play house owned by Toylend USA. Toylend USA rents toys for children between infancy and age five and is the perfect solution for parents tired of old toys piling up as your children grow. Founded by a Golden Valley mom with a Ph. D. in education, Toylend USA also offers a Toylender Club for families to join and rent toys and baby gear they’ve already invested in, but do not currently use, to other families.
Twin Cities Kids Club
Twin Cities Kids Club is a membership program for families offering discounts throughout the metro area including indoor play places, live theater, restaurants, and more. You can check out their growing directory of deals here. They also host events for members (and sometimes non-members!), like “Princess Mondays” at the Hard Rock Cafe and of course, “Just a Taste” cooking classes with Wee Ones Wellness and Toylend USA! Twin Cities Kids Club also offers discounts to members forToylend USA and Playlend! Memberships are available for only $7.99 a month per family for the life of the membership via this link: http://www.