For some reason, getting kids to eat vegetables can be a challenge. Maybe it’s because we want them to do it so badly. I know many parents have come up with ways to sneak the veggies in. Here is a great recipe for Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins from Vancouver-based Registered Dietician and mother, Lindsay Pleskot.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
“This recipe is packed with powerhouse ingredients (who knew zucchini and chocolate were made for each other?!) Wylie isn’t quite ready for these ones but I tested them out with my niece Mila and let me tell you they passed with flying colors! Once you try blender muffins you’ll probably never go back because the texture it creates is amazing.”
Makes 24 mini muffins
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup natural peanut butter
- ½ cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 small zucchini, finely shredded and liquid squeezed out
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup cacao or 100% natural cocoa powder
- 3 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips + more to sprinkle on top if desired
- Preheat your oven to 350F and line a mini muffin tin with parchment or silicone liners
- Grate zucchini, wring out any excess moisture with a paper towel and set aside.
- Add the first 4 ingredients to your Vitamix and blend 10 seconds. Add remaining ingredients except for chocolate chips and blend until a smooth batter is formed, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed.
- Unplug Vitamix and stir in chocolate chips
- Scoop batter into muffin tins and sprinkle with chocolate chips
- Bake 13-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Thank you, Lindsay, for sharing this great recipe.
Located in a lush forest setting, Vallea Lumina takes place just 10 minutes from Whistler Village at Cougar Mountain. Guests reach the night walk via complimentary shuttle and are immediately immersed into charming storytelling in a breathtaking environment. Throughout the approximately 60 minute adventure, visitors follow in the footsteps of two long-ago hikers, Leonard and Gloria, who are seeking a mystical hidden valley where stardust falls from the sky; as guests move through the experience, opportunities abound to touch, play and engage with the ever-changing environment. The new winter trail will offer smooth, easy to walk surfaces with minimal elevation gain or loss; and additional lighting effects will serve to heighten and enhance the excursion. As with Vallea Lumina‘s summer experience, guests can enjoy cozy non-alcoholic refreshments and snacks at base camp prior to entering the show. Be prepared to enjoy a magical, mesmerizing experience from the creators Moment Factory and powered by The Adventure Group.
Join Mickey Mouse and his friends at Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party, a brand-new adventure filled with world-class skating, high-flying acrobatics, and unexpected stunts! Help them follow Captain Hook’s treasure map and look for clues in the search for Tinker Bell in immersive, fantastic worlds. Explore the colorful spirit realm of Coco in Miguel’s Disney On Ice debut, sail away with Moana as she bravely saves her island, see Belle in the sky above you as the enchanted chandelier comes to life, and sing-along with Elsa in the icy world of Frozen. Make memories with your whole family during Aladdin, Toy Story and The Little Mermaid as the search party becomes an all-out magical celebration on the ice, in the air, and all around!
Summer is over, but that doesn’t mean outdoor time has to end. Riding bikes is a great activity and fun for everyone.
The idea of riding safely with kids is another story. I’ve always been unsure of how to do it so I reached out to PedalHeads for an expert opinion. Here is what they had to say.
When riding with kids that already know how to ride:
1. Always have an adult lead the kid(s). Children don’t have the best initiative, struggle to make instantaneous decisions, and are often not aware of what is happening in the distance, both in front and behind when riding. Having the adult in front allows the kid to just simply follow/copy the adult. The leader must always be checking behind them, but this also allows better awareness of what is going on behind them in general so they can better communicate with the kid(s) what is coming up but also if they should know about anything approaching from behind.
2. Choose a carefully planned route that is primarily quiet, residential streets. Kids can get overwhelmed if there is a lot going on, and this can lead to panic, indecision, and not always the best choices. A quieter route also will usually mean more/better places to stop and take a water break. Make sure kids stay hydrated! If you take frequent short breaks, you will be amazed at how much ground you can cover with young children
3. Make sure your child has all the necessary skills to ride safely and confidently on the road:
- Can they ride at different speeds
- Can they brake quickly in case of an emergency
- Can they control and steer their bike well
- Can they hand signal and maintain a straight line
- Do they know different dangers/hazards on the road and what to do if encountered
4. As an adult being the lead, it is important that you be the example. Since we want the child to simply copy/follow you, you need to ensure that you are being as safe as possible not just for your own sake, but also the kid(s’). This means obeying traffic signs, riding in the appropriate areas (bike lanes, restricted bike areas, right-hand side of the road, etc), and using your hand signals. Be decisive when you are on the road and don’t hesitate once you decide on something. Drivers will understand signals and decisiveness and will make it safer for all parties.
5. Ride on the road – in many jurisdictions, like Vancouver, riding on the sidewalk is banned. Some places are exempt like bridges, but generally speaking, bikes should not be on sidewalks. So this means that you and your kid(s) should be riding on the road. Make sure you always ride furthest to the right when on the road. This does not mean right by the curb at all times but do stay as far over as possible. Maintain about a meter distance between yourselves and the curb/parked cars. It is important to teach kids this!
So there it is, expert advice on how to ride bikes with your kids. Of course, the biggest message is to Be Safe!
Pedalheads offers bike, swim, and sport programs to families in over 45 cities across Canada and the USA. Pedalheads helps kids develop life skills, confidence, and independence through fun, safe, and engaging instruction.
Throwing that remarkable, memorable, truly special birthday party can be a challenge. Sure you can do a Community Centre Party or Laser Tag, but what can you do to make it stand out?
If your child isn’t shy and likes being in the spotlight, My Studio Party can plan a truly star-studded party for you.
My Studio Party transforms your venue with red carpet and props and lets the children become the stars. They record their own song, learn some choreography and get the full star treatment. They offer party packages for all ages from 3 – 17!
The best part is they are offering a discount if you book your party before September 8th! Let your child shine and be the rock star they truly want to be for their birthday this year!
Last week, my kids and I had the pleasure of visiting We Play Kids Gym in South Surrey. I wasn’t sure how everyone would enjoy it, but my eldest, who is 8, and youngest 4, had a blast.
This fantastic space is so much more than just a kids gym. It is a sensory-friendly indoor gym and play space for children of ALL abilities. The equipment has been specifically chosen, by the founder and physiotherapist, to create a welcoming atmosphere without overwhelming loud, obtrusive noises – a benefit parents can appreciate too. If it’s still too much for your little ones, there is a calming “Chill” area to help with relaxation if the sensory input becomes a bit much.
My children enjoyed climbing the equipment, using imaginative play zone for dress-up and sliding into the ball-pit. They made friends quickly and ended up having a great time with two other children of similar ages. There was still a lot more to enjoy, and you could easily spend a couple of hours here with children aged 0-9. There are various swings and slides, large play structures, climbing wall, monkey bars, and a special quiet and calming multisensory chill room and a creative arts and crafts space that offers paints, clay, water, sand, sensory bin play and more.
If you’re looking for classes or camps, they have it all. All program activities have been put together by We Play Pediatric Therapists and allow for the free flow of each participant, ensuing ALL children can enjoy FUN gross motor activities and fine motor creative play.
In addition to a great space to have fun on a rainy or sunny day, We Play offers pediatric Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physiotherapy in their clinic. The therapists use the specialized equipment to help children progress and develop, as needed.
We highly recommend a visit to We Play Kids Gym. It is definitely a place that provides activities, learning experiences, and just general fun for all!
It’s hard to believe Summer is almost over. The time flies by so fast with summer camps, summer activities, camping trips and much more to fill the day. It’s now time to start thinking about school again. It’s time to go through the wardrobe and see what kids haven’t outgrown, go through the school supplies to see what they need, and book the extracurricular activities. We can’t help you with the clothes or supplies, but we definitely can help with the activities. Be sure to look through the guide to see which your child is interested in. Have a read about how After School Activities Offer Worthwhile Benefits. If the idea of going back-to-school gives your child some stress, read our Ten Tips for Helping You and Your Child with Back-To-School Anxiety.
Once you’ve got Back-to-School sorted, be sure to read about The Myopia Epidemic. Unfortunately, the prevalence of screen-time is affecting our children’s vision. Near-sightedness (Myopia) is now a huge concern and something to be aware of and prevented as much as possible.
Finally, we have some tips to Rewild the Child and products to help you enjoy the last few days of summer. Time flies, get outside and have some fun, or hunker in with a board game and some quality family time!
Enjoy the read, and welcome back-to-school!
Summer-time is the perfect time to be outside, and bush-whacking is a great childhood activity. Kids love getting out there and exploring the woods, building forts, picking up sticks…but there is one danger out there to be aware of. Ticks! They’re small but carry many diseases.
If you’re in an area with wild deer, be especially careful, as theses ticks often carry Lyme Disease. Tick checks are one of the ways you can prevent Lyme disease and other infections spread by ticks.
where to check for ticks
Check yours and your child’s entire body, especially:
- head and hair
- in and around the ears
- under the arms
- back (use a mirror or ask for help)
- belly button
- around the groin
- behind the knees
- between the toes
Don’t forget to also check your pets!
What to look for?
Feel for bumps and look for tiny dark spots. Look carefully, most ticks are very small!
- Nymph (around 1.15 mm)
- Adult male (around 2 mm)
- Adult female (around 3 mm)
- Fed adult female (up to 1 cm)
Found a tick? Remove it immediately to reduce the risk of infection. Canada.ca/LymeDisease
Not many children have the privilege to live in such a beautiful place. British Columbia is a mecca of natural experiences and cultural history. To help children explore the wonders BC has to offer, the Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia, in the conservation area at Maplewood Flats, is happy to present the Kingfisher Summer Camp Series for children ages 5-12.
Just a stone’s throw from the City, located off Dollarton Road in North Vancouver, children can become immersed in activities focused on conservation of the environment, while addressing the concept of reconciliation of the traditional lands of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.
The full-day camp program (9:00 am to 4:30 pm) will include Coast Salish plant walks, kayak or canoe tours, bird watching, story-telling and a thorough appreciation of our coast and natural environment.
Let your kids step away from modern technology and into nature to learn firsthand about traditional ecological knowledge and conservation, through various mediums and hands-on experiences. With place-based, nature-based, and art-based programming, every child will find something to pique their interest. Camp leaders will share their passion for the land with the next generation and provide a fun, safe, and accepting environment for them to learn about nature and reconciliation.
Camps are held
July 22nd–26th – All about animals
The first Kingfisher Camp is for the kids who are fascinated by creatures of all sizes. Have you wondered how birds build their nests? What food bugs prefer? The types of animals that live in the area? This camp will answer these questions and more as children explore all things animal.
August 12th–16th – Your Story at Maplewood Flats
First Nations peoples often share their history through story, and that is what kids will learn about at Kingfisher’s second camp. Campers will have the chance to build their own story in a week-long art project while learning about the history and nature of Maplewood Flats.
August 19th–23rd – Hidden Nature
There is more to nature than you think! Many critters are living underground, in the underbrush, and even inside other creatures. The third week of kingfisher camp will dive into the side of nature that has to be uncovered to be seen.
Cost: $300 for 1 week, $345 for later pickup. Subsidies are available.
Camps run Monday – Friday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Located on the Conservation Area at Maplewood Flats at 2649 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver.
More info: email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit wildbirdtrust.org/kingfisher-kids-camp