A Fancy Holiday Dinner Party – For Kids?

The holidays are here and it’s time for food and fun. For a different twist, why not host a fancy holiday dinner party… for your kids and their friends? Our whole family had so much fun with this that it’s become a yearly tradition.

A fancy dinner party for the younger set has many benefits. Your kids learn to plan, organize, shop, clean house, be good hosts, and everything else that goes along with hosting a party. They get to dress up in their finest clothes, practice their “company” table manners, and learn dinner conversation. This is a night where kids are king, and boy do they feel important!

You can certainly make your own rules, but this is how we do it. First, the kids create an invitation list. 8 kids is the maximum our table can comfortably hold and I can comfortably cook for. Next is the hard one – trying to pick a night when there are no extracurricular events we’ve already committed to. The kids then make formal invitations on the computer and mail these out. I admit I tend to lecture a bit about what the RSVP in the invitation means and how important it is to always respond when someone asks you to RSVP.

While we wait for our invitation responses, we decide what will be on the menu. The kids come up with two choices each for the main dish, sides, and dessert. They pour over my cookbooks (mostly just look at the pictures), pick recipes, and make up a shopping list. One of the things they pick out is an easy appetizer that they will make themselves ahead of time. Mom and Dad shouldn’t do all the cooking!

On the day of the party, the kids set the table with our good china and lots of candles. Rather than taper candles, we use tea lights in small glasses as a safety precaution.

On the eve of the party, all the kids dress up in their finest attire. This alone, makes the night feel so special. As a surprise, I create fancy dinner menus and “laminate” them with clear contact paper. Mom and Dad take on the role of chef. Not only do we do the cooking, but we are transformed into French waiters with dubious accents and are dressed the part. We don’t hover around the table, but disappear back into the kitchen when not needed.

It’s a new thing for many children to sit at a table, order their own food off the menu, and be responsible for themselves without any grown ups telling them what to do. And they love it! In order to promote good table conversation, I write up some conversation prompts on paper scraps and put them into a bowl. While they are waiting for their meal or dessert to be served, they read their prompt out loud and answer it. Examples are “If you could get on an airplane right now and go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?” or “What do you think would be the worst job ever to have?” or “What do you have sitting on the dresser in your bedroom right now?” Of course, all the kids chime in with their answers!

We’ve come to think of the fancy holiday dinner party as a Christmas gift we give our kids. We are there to serve them, no strings attached, and they enjoy it immensely. The other benefits for them are learning how to host a gala and all that it requires – planning and organizing the party, making seating arrangements, learning how to set a fancy table, planning the food, etc. While this is maybe not at the top of the list, it’s just something nice for children to learn. Every year the flavor of the dinner party is a little different, because they grow and change. This makes every year so special in my eyes.

If this sounds like fun to you, give it a try and adjust it to fit your family. I guarantee it will be a night to remember for all of you. Don’t forget to take pictures!

Facts About Fast Food

In this day and age, convenience has become our friend. With busy lives and careers that take up a good chunk of our days, fast food restaurants are seen as an easy way to get dinner on the table.

Most people work at least 8 hours a day and then there’s the commute home; who wants to cook dinner after all that? It’s very tempting to just stop and pick something up; a readymade meal to just set on the table and dig in. However, it may be fast and easy, but it’s not always good for you. Here I will explain some of the facts about those easy, fast food dinners you bring home to your family.

Let’s first discuss McDonald’s: a value menu hamburger with fries has approximately 60 grams of fat; not to mention the 1,100 of calories. Add in what you drink with it you’ve consumed over half of what your daily calorie allowance is in just one meal, if your diet calls for two thousand calories a day.

Another favorite fast food restaurant is KFC. A lot of people think because it is chicken, it is healthier for you. But there are 21 grams of fat and over 300 calories in one chicken breast cooked in the original recipe. Most people won’t eat just one piece of chicken, so you can do the math; that’s a lot of calories and fat, not to mention the side orders that go along with it. Doesn’t look so healthy after all, does it?

Pick up the phone, order a pizza from Pizza Hut and have them deliver a large pepperoni pan pizza to your door, along with 14 grams of fat and 270 calories a slice. It’s easy and tastes so good, but not a healthy choice.

Like most people, you will likely eat at least two pieces of pizza which will then total 28 grams of fat and over 500 calories, and that’s just for one topping. Add extra cheese and the total fat content rises dramatically. If this is going to be your mode of easy and fast dinners, be prepared to buy new clothes a size or two larger.

If you are thinking that Subway is a healthy choice, you might want to think again. Most regular item subs (excluding those on the low cal/low fat menu) can add up to 500 calories and 18 grams of fat per six inch sandwich. Sure, Jarred lost weight on this plan, but he chose healthy choices from the specialty menu. The regular menu items are still very high in calories and fat content.

It’s best to steer clear of fast food eateries, but if you’re forced to go to one for convenience, try to scout out the menu ahead of time on the Internet to find out what menu options they have that won’t blow your diet plan for the entire day.

How Healthy Dog Food Makes a Happy Social Dog

There is an old saying that a dog is mans best friend. That is certainly true as dogs do give you unconditional love and companionship. What you need do in return is to provide your dog with plenty of love, attention and a healthy dog food to keep him in the best of health. This means taking the time to play with your dog and train him to know how to behave in the various social situations he may find himself in, which includes good habits around food.

Playtime can be used as a way to teach your dog basic commands such as “sit” “wait” and “stay” which are important to your dogs’ socialization. A dog who is used to following these commands is easier to control in public and in new situations. A great way to train your dog good manners before he eats is to get him to sit and stay while you serve up his healthy dog food dinner, then say OK. If he tries to eat before you are finished dishing up, just do the whole procedure over again. In no time at all he will learn what is acceptable behaviour at mealtimes.

Dogs are energetic and intelligent animals and need to be constantly stimulated mentally and physically which also has an effect on their emotional well-being. Along with a healthy dog food diet, playing and socializing provides a way for you and your pet to keep the bond between you strong and loving – a happy dog is a joy to behold!

It is always wise to start socializing your dog while he is still a puppy. Taking him about with you will make him less fearful of new situations, people, and other animals. He will be comfortable in more situations and will therefore be more willing to follow your commands because he will not be fearful.

Dogs enjoy a good game of chase. Balls, frisbees, and other toys that you can throw and have your dog chase are great fun for your dog and for you as well. It also gives your dog a chance to exercise and that is important to his overall health and helps prevent him from becoming lazy (which can happen). A healthy dog food diet with plenty of natural ingredients will also help his general well-being.

There are all sorts of ways you can play with your dog. Rope chews provide a way for your dog to strengthen his teeth and a means of play that both you and your dog will find enjoyable. Simply grab one end of the rope toy and shake it before your dog, he will latch on and before you know it the two of you will be enjoying a game of tug of war. Play this game a few times and your dog will be bringing you the rope and begging you to play with him.

For the times when you are not available to play with your dog, chew toys and puzzle balls will keep your dog from becoming bored, allowing him to occupy his mind in various ways while entertaining himself. Supplying him with a large variety of toys that he can use alone will help avoid any problem behavior resulting from boredom.

Just as your dog is a friend and companion to you, you also need to be a friend and companion to your dog. Using play to help strengthen the bond between you and to teach your dog socialization skills will result in both of you leading a happier more fulfilled life together.

Natural Fat Burning Foods Dinner Recipe

Natural fat burning foods will help you lose fat naturally without the help of fad diets, diet products or other gimmicks. This dinner recipe contains lots of natural fat burning foods that may help you to lose fat and even some weight. And it is also super tasty. Have a look at it and see for yourself:

Poached chicken fillet and veg
This dinner recipe is very kind on your figure as it is low in fat and high in taste. Serve it with any veggies of your choice – just don’t add any extra sugar or butter. Rather steam them and season with veggie spice.

Serves: 2
Number of natural foods that burn fat: 2 (chicken and vegetables)
Calories per serving:140 plus the calories of the veggies
Fat per serving:3g

2 skinless chicken filleted breasts
1 cup of boiling water
1 table spoon lemon juice
Chicken spice
Vegetables of choice (pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, baby potatoes, green beans or other)

Place half of the boiling water in a pan on the stove; add the lemon juice and season with the chicken spice. Add the chicken fillets, season and poach until cooked. You may have to add the remaining water as the water cooks away. Cook your vegetables and make sure not to add any sugar, creamy sauces or excess butter. Serve the chicken fillets with the vegetables.

These natural fat burning foods are not the only ones that burn fat by nature. There are lots other foods that also burn fat. They where too much to put together in one (even 8) articles. So I made a FREE special report on the top burning fat foods. It contains the different types of foods that burn fat, lots of examples and guidelines to make the perfect fat burning diet.