Parent Hacks offers up daily parenting tips from the trenches - real parents (not marketing experts or other people trying to sell you something) submit their suggestions for things they've figured out how to do a little better. I subscribe to the feed and do a periodic review because you never know what you might find, and I appreciate the site's focus on making these ideas as concise as possible.
Every parent has their tricks and knows that what works for one family/child/parent may not work for all. This said, I feel I'd be doing the parenting world a huge disservice if I neglected to share my own mommy magic.
1) Macaroni & Peas - My kids complain about the temperature of their food. They like things on the lukewarm to cold side and demand ice if their dinner is, in their words, "HOT! HOT! HOT!"
We stir ice into our oatmeal, and many dishes are sent to the freezer to chill before the dinner service.
Trader Joe's makes a great frozen Macaroni & Cheese that heats beautifully in the microwave. (Jake will even eat it cold for lunch the next day, and that's saying something.) Even removed at 4 1/2 minutes, with some of the cheese not quite melted, it was too hot to serve. I stirred in about a quarter cup of frozen peas into each kid's serving and presto! Macaroni & Peas, the perfect temperature meal with vegetables cleverly incorporated.
2) The Yogurt Straw - We love the convenience of yogurt sticks, especially the Stoneyfield Farms YoKids Squeezers (also available at Trader Joe's). They are great frozen (not so much once they've thawed) and are the ideal serving size for my kids. While my 4 1/2 year old has mastered the tear and squeeze method for eating his, the little one just makes a mess of herself and her immediate surroundings. Introducing (ta da!) the Yogurt Straw! Instead of tearing off the top of the yogurt tube, I snip the corner just big enough to insert a plastic drinking straw. It makes this healthy snack portable and manageable for my busy toddler.
What works for you?