Handy Family Tips: How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Kid eating corn

Vegetables are good for our health, but they are not very popular. I think this is because the advertising departments of junk, sugary and chocolaty food companies are much better than the advertising departments of vegetable companies. It is very simple. If we had the same publicity for vegetables that we do for junk food, it would be easy to get kids to eat vegetables and they would do it happily.

Even more than advertising, the best way to get kids to eat vegetables is to love eating vegetables yourself and to buy lots of them for your home. If this is what kids have on hand, this is what they will eat. Obviously, this is not as easy to do as we might think. Otherwise, everyone would do it and every kid in the world would eat vegetables at every meal.

The A-Z Vegetable Challenge

One of the tricks I offer to my clients to get kids to eat vegetables and overcome eating problems is the A-Z Vegetable Challenge. Starting with the letter A, the family chooses a vegetable beginning with that letter to focus on for the week, to learn about, research, cook with and eat.

This post is part 21 of 23 in the series Handy Family Tips

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How to Feel Good: Take Time Off

Ronit and her Mother

During a recent presentation, someone asked me to share some tips on how to feel good. In the first post of the series How to Feel Good, I shared the science of endorphins – the feel good hormones. In the second, I covered the science of smiling. In this post, I suggest another great way to feel good – taking time off.

Last year, I took time off from everything (home, work, kids and Gal) and went overseas to spend some time with my family. It was a wonderful reminder for me about why we have take time off to recharge out emotional batteries.

Taking time off from daily life can have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing. It helps us regenerate and start fresh. Sleep is the body’s natural way of giving us time off. It “forces” us to rest so we can function. Did you know that without sleep, we would die? If you want to torture someone, you do not need to hurt them. Just deprive them of sleep for 2-3 night. Just ask any mom!

This post is part 3 of 4 in the series How to Feel Good

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Happily Wealthy Family: Positive Beliefs about Money


Being wealthy is more than counting the money you have in your bank account. It is a mindset. In the last chapter of Happily Wealthy Family, I shared many of the negative beliefs we often have about money. By identifying these beliefs, you can do your best to replace them with positive beliefs about money.

Here is a list of 100 positive beliefs about money, wealth, investing and rich people. Reading them does not mean you automatically adopt them. Find the ones you do believe in and make sure to hang them up in a place you can read every day. If you find others you want to adopt, find a story, a situation, or a person you know that is proof that this belief is valid.

For example, I had a belief that you have to be born rich to be rich. I wanted to believe that everyone could be rich. I knew a guy (who was my dad’s boss) who was very wealthy but was born to a very very poor family. With the help of this story, I could adopt the belief “Everyone can be rich!”

This post is part 9 of 9 in the series Happily Wealthy Family

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Happily Wealthy Family: Negative Beliefs About Money

Money tree

I was born in a poor family and I think the people in my family had poor beliefs about money. I made it my goal to raise my kids with rich and wealthy beliefs about money. I think I did. You see, poor people adopt beliefs to justify the fact that they do not have money. Because of their beliefs, they do not take certain opportunities to gain money and their situation remains the same. My job as a mother is to keep my kids away from those thoughts.

Most people think that in order to have money, you need to make, earn or win it. I think that in order to have money, we have to have good thoughts and beliefs about money, about making money, about finances and wealthy people. If you have these thoughts, the money will come to you rather than you trying to chase it.

The best way to become wealthy is to examine your beliefs about money, get rid of the bad ones and adopt good beliefs. My strategy of getting rid of negative beliefs is to find just one example where it is not true. For example, if I believe money only comes when I work hard, I think of a time when I sat on my butt doing nothing and still got paid.

This post is part 8 of 9 in the series Happily Wealthy Family

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Handy Family Tips: Wake Up With a Smile

Cute girl in pink robe

In every family, some mornings are harder than others. How the morning goes often sets the tone for the rest of the day, so the way all the family members wake up can determine whether the day will be easy and relaxed or stressed and chaotic.

Imagine a rushed morning. You find yourself saying things like, “Get ready”, “Get dressed”, “Come on, put your shoes on”, “We are going to be late”. The kids are late for school, you are late for work, you spill coffee in the car, the kids forget their lunch boxes and when you think it could not possibly get any worse, you find yourself stuck in traffic. You end up thinking if only you had those 5 minutes you wasted hurrying the kids, you would have been ready on time.

It is not always easy to wake up kids. If they went to sleep later than usual, or they stayed up late in front of a screen, it can be even harder. The best way to help them wake up in the morning is to give them time. I know it sounds funny but enough time to wake up at their own pace is all it takes. Regardless of their age, waking up at their own speed is essential for a good start to the day.

This post is part 18 of 23 in the series Handy Family Tips

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Know Your Partner: Parenting

Happy Family

If you are familiar with this blog, you know that parenting is one of our key topics and that is why it is important to discuss parenting when you get to know your partner. This is the final installment of Know Your Partner, a series of posts to help you get to know your partner, and today’s post is about parenting.

You may find that you need to ask many questions that are not cover here. Also, keep in mind that people’s opinions about parenthood are often not fully formed yet. If you have never been a parent, you don’t know what you don’t know.

In this case, parenting is like a discovery zone – you pave the path while walking it. Focus instead on attitudes you think will benefit you or may become an obstacle in your relationships. If attitudes are an obstacle, do not worry. It is possible to change them. It is just good to know what they are at the start, so you can make an educated decision about whether to go into this relationship or not.

This post is part 8 of 8 in the series Know Your Partner

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Happy New Year: Best Beginning Quotes


The end of the year is fast approaching and with feelings of end, there are many feelings of hope. Because every end is a new beginning. At our house, we usually have a tradition of writing down our wishes, desires and goals for the new year, a list of requests to send to the universe. At the same time, we evaluate how much of the previous year’s requests the Genie of the lamp has granted us. Funnily enough, I discovered this year that my Genie has some time management issues. He has a bit of a delay. Sometimes I get my requests two or three years later. Luckily, I keep my requests from previous years and so I can see my Genie has granted my wishes, even if it was a bit later than I thought. Still, I am happy. I think I will add another request for my Genie to attend my time management course.

This year, I want to wish all my readers (and we had plenty of them) a wonderful 2013.

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Handy Family Tips: Bathroom Art


Children are very artistic and love to draw. The problem is that they seem to love drawing on the walls. I am not sure if you have ever tried it, but it is much more fun than drawing on a piece of paper. Do you remember the times when you were younger, when you went to the teachers’ blackboard (yes, it was black back then) and tried to write on it? For some, this was the highlight of the day. Teachers know how exciting it is for students to write on the board and they try (well, those who understand and are not control freaks) to give them opportunities to do it.

Drawing on a piece of paper requires fine motor skills (delicate use of fingers) while drawing on the walls has a different feeling altogether and requires gross motor skills. The problem kids have with drawing on the walls is that this fun activity is usually accompanied by the pain of anger and disappointment from frustrated parents or teachers who prefer their wall or board clean and ready to use.

The simplest solution at home is to buy a big whiteboard and position it at a height that will allow kids to use it as much as possible. I have discovered that this is a great solution for kids who continue to practice their graffiti skills, no matter what you tell them (sometimes with permanent markers).

This post is part 16 of 23 in the series Handy Family Tips

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Powerful Suggestions


If you have ever seen a hypnosis show, you already know how this works, but if you have not, this should be very interesting for you. Either way, after watching a hypnosis performance recently, I think there are important lessons we can all learn from it.

On Ronit’s birthday, we went to a local comedy club. There is nothing happier than laughter and good comedy can really brighten up a birthday night, so there we were. The first act was a very good, but normal, stand up routine. We ate, we laughed and we had a good time.

The second act was called a “Comedy Hypnosis Show”. It started during the break with a multimedia presentation showing swinging watches, spinning spirals and other “street” symbols of hypnosis, along with boasting words about the performer himself and his abilities to deal with the subconscious mind.

“This is going to be cheesy”, I thought, “Maybe the hypnosis is just a gimmick”.

But I was partly wrong. It was only cheesy. The hypnosis was real. And impressive. And quite educational, actually.

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Emotional Credit Line


Now, perhaps more than ever in our lifetime, things are tough. Money is tight, prices are up, revenues are down, globalization, the Internet and mobile technology change almost everything we know. As a result, pressure is mounting and many parents struggle to cope with it.

In the past week, two things happened that made me think of using buffers or “lines of credit” as a strategy for reducing pressure, both financial and emotional, and keeping ourselves sane, while being better parents for our kids.

The first thing was Eden’s presentation of her research on corporal punishment. You may remember we invited our readers to participate in this research, which examined the links between parents’ disciplinary methods and things like the number of children in the family, age differences, financial situation and more.

When she analyzed parents’ and children’s’ responses to her survey, it occurred to Eden that stress may be a mediator between the various characteristics of each family and the amount of physical punishment used by the parents. Turns out, it is. She found that when parents experience more stress in their life, due to having more kids, having them close together and/or not having enough money to support them, they used less positive reinforcement with their children and were more abusive towards them, both verbally and physically.

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