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Have you got a gamer in the house? Getting worried? Here are a few ways you can tell whether your child is addicted to gaming

Have you got a gamer in the house? Getting worried? Here are a few ways you can tell whether your child is addicted to gaming

Have you got a gamer in the house? Getting worried? Here are X a few ways you can tell whether your child is addicted to gaming.

Have you got a gamer in the house? Getting worried? Here are X ways you can tell whether your child is addicted to gaming.

Have you got a gamer in the house? Getting worried? Here are X ways you can tell whether your child is addicted to gaming.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Have you got a gamer in the house? Getting worried? Here are X a few ways you can tell whether your child is addicted to gaming.

Is your child addicted to gaming? Here’s how you can tell.

The TastyMoments team have a few gamers in our households. We’ve been chatting (over a couple of Ital Pizza Classics for a quick and easy lunch) about what we consider healthy habits when it comes to playing in the virtual world. The new Netflix documentary, “Not A Game”, takes a closer look at the role of gaming in the modern world and assesses its pros and cons. The pros are often very case-specific, telling stories of chronically ill and disabled children who have found new life in the online world. The stories of the downside of gaming are mostly of teens suffering from gaming addiction that eventually becomes unmanageable. So, we asked the question, how would we know if our children are addicted to gaming? And if so, what can we do about it.

First of all, gaming addiction is defined as “the excessive or compulsive use of computer and video games that may interfere with daily life.” The reason people become addicted to gaming rests in our brain response and how we release dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger in the brain) released when we expect a reward or a positive outcome. Doing drugs, for instance, releases dopamine and people chase that “dopamine high”. According to Healthline.com, “When you come to associate a certain activity with pleasure, mere anticipation may be enough to raise dopamine levels. It could be a certain food, sex, shopping, or just about anything else that you enjoy. It’s a cycle of motivation, reward, and reinforcement.” Studies conducted by the California State University found that video games can have a similar effect on children’s brains as drug abuse or alcoholism. 

So when your child throws an insane tantrum because you’ve switched off a game, you know that it’s due to their brain’s chemical response, much like when drugs are taken away from a drug addict. However, it’s also reassuring to know that true gaming addiction (in the clinical sense) is not that common, affecting around 6%-15% of gamers.  

According to Parent.com – you should keep a lookout for the following signs of addiction if you’re concerned.

  • Does your child talk about their game(s) incessantly?
  • Does your child play for hours on end?
  • Does your child get defensive when you try to discuss their excessive gaming habit?
  • Does your child get angry or explosive when made to stop?
  • Does your child sacrifice basic needs (e.g., sleep) to game?
  • Does your child hide or downplay time spent gaming?
  • Does your child seem preoccupied, depressed, or lonely?

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, they may be addicted to gaming. There are several ways to encourage your child to spend less time online. The most obvious being that you limit gaming time to an hour or two a day. Other methods include reinforcing the perspective that gaming is a hobby or a pastime – not who you are or a way of life. There’s more to life than gaming, and it helps to take the kids on outings or reinforce other positive behaviours (like tossing a ball in the back yard) when they’re not playing. Another idea is to remove the gaming console or computer from your child’s room when game time is off-limits. In extreme cases, you may need to get a therapist or counsellor involved. Like any addiction, the root of the problem may not sit in the “drug” itself but the person using it to escape from other troubles. Ensure open lines of communication and try and find the root cause of your child’s gaming obsession.

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Feeling hopeless? Here are 3 ways to reframe your thinking and get your groove back.

Feeling hopeless? Here are 3 ways to reframe your thinking and get your groove back.

Feeling hopeless? Here are 3 ways to reframe your thinking and get your groove back.

Feeling hopeless? Here are 3 ways to reframe your thinking and get your groove back.

Feeling hopeless? Here are 3 ways to reframe your thinking and get your groove back.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Feeling hopeless? Here are 3 ways to reframe your thinking and get your groove back.

Feeling stuck and in a rut? Here are 3 ways to reframe your situation and get your happiness back.

The TastyMoments team are no strangers to feeling a bit down amid all the uncertainty and impact of the virus.  It’s always fun to keep watching Netflix and eat delicious Ital Pizza Familias to relax over a quick dinner (nothing wrong with that). But it’s also good to do a bit of self-care work to keep your mindset strong. So, in the spirit of mental wellness, we’ve pulled together 3 pieces of advice that have helped us look at life and ourselves differently.

When you’re feeling frustrated and enraged – try the 5-minute rule and practice acceptance.

Many people complain of feeling out of control of their lives. Many speak about feeling depressed and angry with the world around them. And, yes, while we need to be aware of what’s happening out in the world. There’s not much you can do to change it. But you can change how you feel about it. For example, no one could have predicted or wanted a virus like COVID, but here it is. It might feel like you’re releasing your frustrations by venting about the world right now. But it actually only makes you feel worse. Life coach Hal Elrod recommends applying the 5-minute rule to venting your frustrations. He suffered a terrible car accident in his younger years and credits this rule to his recovery and positive outlook. You’re allowed to vent your frustrations for 5 minutes only. Once the 5-minutes are over, he recommends you accept your situation in full. Then you can start planning your solution or approach to the problem. And even if an answer isn’t immediately apparent, at least you’re not worsening your state of mind by raging about it.

Feeling like everyone is driving you mad? Skip the judgement and try empathy.

The old saying, “before you judge a person, walk a mile in their shoes”, is even more applicable during a crisis like COVID. It means that you should try and be empathetic before you judge their behaviour. You don’t know what they have faced in their past and present to inform who they are and why they behave the way they do. Everyone is super-tense at the moment, and our fuses are short. So, it’s easy to want to pick a fight about a parking space or to judge someone’s behaviour when it’s not “what you would have done in that situation”. Instead of defaulting to a place of judgement and anger, remind yourself to be kind and calm. The people you’re angry with are fighting their own battles and have their own demons. Accept that this is how they’re coping with the circumstances, and be grateful that you have the power of perspective and empathy on your side. It’s really quite liberating to be kind and let people “be”.

Feeling stuck? Try “micro-wins”!

Progress is most often made in increments, not major leaps. That’s why musicians called “overnight success stories” often took 20 years to get there. Few people ever master a challenge in 24-hours; that’s why none of us can be Olympic athletes in a blink. It takes practice and consistency to achieve a goal. Trainer and author Lori Milner calls this the practice of “micro-wins”. Where you choose a goal and take small, daily steps to get there. It might seem daunting to want to lose a chunk of weight or get fit – to the point that few very of us actually even try. By applying micro-wins as the goal, you can celebrate the little steps you take to build new habits each day.

The last point to remember is that you’re not alone. Every single fear, hope, dream and failure you’ve experienced has been experienced by someone else before. Take comfort in the fact that they’ve survived – just like you will. Stay strong and reach out for help if you need it. There are many free resources at SADAG (South African Depression and Anxiety Group) to help you.

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7 Tips on how to become a vegetarian – it’s actually easy peasy

7 Tips on how to become a vegetarian – it’s actually easy peasy

7 Tips on how to become a vegetarian – it’s actually easy peasy

7 Tips on how to become a vegetarian – it’s actually easy peasy

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

7 Tips on how to become a vegetarian – it’s actually easy peasy

7 Things you can do to become a vegetarian. It’s easier than you think!

Thinking about going vegetarian? There are many health benefits when you choose to focus on a plant-based diet. The TastyMoments team have been giving it a try, and we’ve got a couple of tips to help first-time vegetarians get started.

It’s not as difficult as you think

The good news is that it is really not that difficult to transition to becoming a full-time veggie person. There are so many delicious meat substitutes these days. You – and your entire family – will not notice the difference. With soy alternatives to, for example, minced meat, you could still make an excellent spaghetti bolognaise served with a bowl of Nice ‘n Easy Green Valley spinach. Pair it with some chopped avo and tomato. Or, if you were planning a curry, simply substitute the chicken with tofu. Dinner sorted.

Remember the benefit of avoiding saturated fats

Let’s face it, saturated fats found in meats are harmful and inflammatory. But good fats, such as those found in vegetables and nuts, are superfoods that lower our risk of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. A veggie diet allows you to enjoy more healthy-omegas that for sustained energy and focus.

Write it down

If you decide to try a vegetarian diet, take a moment to write down the reasons for your decision. Stick it on the fridge or your bathroom mirror. Any significant change requires a good deal of motivation and reaffirmation. If you have a point of reference, you’ll be reminded of the many good reasons for your decision – and be more likely to stick to your resolve.

Read up on the benefits of being a vegetarian

An understanding of the benefits of this lifestyle choice will really help. For example, eating plants instead of meat is better for the planet! Also, compile a list of 5 – 10 lekker everyday recipes such as soy lasagne (soy is a complete protein), a handy hummus dip, a fabulous feta and broccoli soup, and so on. With all the delicious meat substitutes on the shelves these days, in many ways, you can actually carry on eating exactly as you have before.

A gradual transition

Some people adjust better if they cut out one thing per week. You could, for example, cut out red meat during week one, chicken in week two and finally fish. Unless you want to remain a pescatarian (Vegans, Pegans and Flexatarians). It is worth noting that most new vegetarians report that they had no cravings for staples of their previous diet after 1 – 2 weeks. Some even migrate from cows’ milk to delicious alternatives such as almond milk.

Take heart; you can still enjoy a braai!

The TastyMoments team have often remarked how people lap up the non-meat items at a braai. Check out how quickly the Ital Pizza Snack Slices Margarita, braai broodjies or that slab of halloumi cheese, butternut cooked on the fire, disappear – long before the boerewors. And, if you are a guest, make sure you take a dish, so no one is inconvenienced. Why not try this awesome braai-veggies recipe we’ve been working on? 

Remember that it’s all about balance

Many first-time vegetarians battle to maintain the diet because they haven’t adjusted their mindset to put veggies at the centre of the plate. Many think that vegetarianism is just about eating pasta with lots of cheese. But a diet loaded with refined carbs and dairy is as unhealthy – whether you skip the meat or not. The trick is balance – everything in life is about moderation. You can enjoy a delicious Nice ‘nEasy Mac and Cheese but pair it with a fresh green salad or a nice warm veggie soup as a starter.

Given the considerations about the environment, living costs, and health benefits, vegetarianism is worth a thought. And the family will love the bragging rights, we think.

Enjoy these TastyTips?

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FEELING THE SLUMP? 5 WAYS TO BEAT COVID FATIGUE AND LOVE LIFE AGAIN

FEELING THE SLUMP? 5 WAYS TO BEAT COVID FATIGUE AND LOVE LIFE AGAIN

Feeling-the-slump-panel

FEELING THE SLUMP? 5 WAYS TO BEAT COVID FATIGUE AND LOVE LIFE AGAIN

FEELING THE SLUMP? 5 WAYS TO BEAT COVID FATIGUE AND LOVE LIFE AGAIN

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Feeling-the-slump-optimized

5 WAYS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE FAMILY THRIVES AND LOVES LIFE IN A TIME OF COVID

Here’s why and a few recommendations to get you started.

OK, so let’s face it, this lockdown can get us all a bit down. And, somehow, it seems to fall upon mom to cheer things up. Whether we like it or not, social distancing (how much do you miss that hug from our bestie?), virtual meetings and the pressures on all those around us can get to us too.

But here’s a few tips from the TastyMoments team to remind us how we can cheer things up and love life again.

WHO REMEMBERS BRAAIVLEIS, RUGBY SUNNY SKIES and Chevrolet?

We are so lucky to live in a country where the sun shines most days. Even in winter, we can sit outside and share a cheesy Ital Pizza Familia as a starter. At the same time, the chicken is crisping on the braai. Even if there are no crowds to encourage our sportsmen, we can still watch our favourite athletes on the box.  Whether they be rugby, cricket or soccer players.

So why not get the family together to kick a ball around outside to get in your dose of Vitamin D – and then flop down on the couch to watch a game? A good game always lifts our spirits.

GRANDMA’S FAVOURITE RECIPES

Which family recipe can you virtually smell as you’re sitting in the lounge? Is it Gogo’s curry or granny’s go-to chicken dinner? Or does your family have their own all-time favourite? Order the ingredients on-line and get everyone to pitch into the cook-up. It’s not only fun. It serves a triple purpose. The kids will be well-nourished, feel loved and included. Best of all, they can take leftovers to school – to the envy of their friends.

SCHEDULE MEANINGFUL, VIRTUAL CATCH-UP SESSIONS WITH LOVED ONES

Zooming it can never be as intimate as seeing your peeps in the flesh. But it can provide a renewed sense of belonging and connection. You could schedule a 10-minute call for everyone to share their news. In this way, you reduce the feeling of isolation.

Warning: The 10 minutes may become 20 minutes in no time!

AS MUCH AS WE HAVE JUST ENCOURAGED VIRTUAL INTERACTION … HERE’S THE THING

Social media and news of the day overload can cause COVID fatigue.

Does it really help to wallow in bad news? Does it help to know that another strain of the virus has been detected? Or that another celebrity Princess has misstepped in public? Instead, encourage the kids to learn a new dance, read an inspirational book, groom the dog or even mow the lawn – in our dreams

A HEALTHY DIET

Never has this cliché been more critical. Suppose everyone eats a balanced mix of grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables. In that case, you will all benefit from a hugely improved immunity system. So, look up a few healthy recipes to serve on their own or, as starters, with the pizza. Immunity is what it’s all about right now – and probably for another year or so to come. With winter fast approaching, one of the easiest ways is to cook a luscious soup with everything in the vegetable drawer – and serve it with a side of Ital Pizza Minis. The family will love you for it. Guaranteed!

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WHY EATING DINNER TOGETHER IS GREAT FOR KIDS

WHY EATING DINNER TOGETHER IS GREAT FOR KIDS

4 REASONS WHY EATING TOGETHER IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN

4 REASONS WHY EATING TOGETHER IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN

4 REASONS WHY EATING TOGETHER IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

4 REASONS WHY EATING TOGETHER IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN

THE GREAT BENEFITS OF EATING MEALS TOGETHER

Find out why it’s so important to eat dinner with your children.

With so much to get through in a day, the TastyMoments team knows all too well that coming up with easy dinner ideas can be a proverbial pain. So, it’s good to remember that everyone absolutely loves a crisp, fresh Ital Pizza Familia. Keep a few in the freezer, simply stick one in the oven when you’re pressed for time.

What is more important than the side dish is that there are significant benefits to eating together. Take a look.

A Sense of Belonging

By sharing a meal, you are signalling that all who sit at the table belong to the same ‘tribe’ – the same group of family and friends. It is pure proof that everyone is important and has an equal right to participate in what the family can provide.

It is also an opportunity to make your kids understand that they, too, have a responsibility toward the group. So, don’t be afraid to divvie up the chores. One person gets to set the table (even if it is in front of the TV) and another to de-set. Then everyone pitches in to wash or pack the dishwasher. Initially, they may be grumpy, but soon everyone will feel a sense of importance in knowing that they are making a useful contribution. They will also start to understand why good housekeeping is essential and how participating contributes to family bonding.

Time to Set The Example

Supper time is the ideal opportunity to teach kids good manners. Sure, table manners are essential, but other manners are equally valuable. Simple things such as allowing a sibling to tell a story without interruptions, praising a fellow family member for an achievement or expressing empathy for someone else are critical social skills. What’s more, they will stand children in good stead for the rest of their lives.

What’s News?

Being surrounded by mobile phones, TVs and other devices, your little ones are bound to hear some stories which may be disturbing to them. Mealtimes are opportunities to listen to and understand their concerns. This is your chance to guide them on how to interpret events. Now that the Don has vacated the White House, there may be less fake news out there, but with the disruptions of the ever-present virus, your children may be tense about the future. Talking openly will help. Even if you do not know all the answers, your willingness to chat about current affairs will be a great comfort to them.

Explore New Worlds and Tastes

Ask everyone to introduce a weekend theme. Take Italy, the home of pizza, for example. Everyone could bring a fact about this fascinating country to the table. Heard of the Tower of Pisa? Or the Vatican – the smallest independent state in the world, housed in the city of Rome. This information may stimulate an interest in a subject they may never otherwise have considered.

Now’s the time to set the time – for your family’s dinner date. It will soon become everyone’s favourite time of day. Now, let them slice the pizza, pass around the salad, enjoy the companionship and say thanks for the privileges of the day.

Top tip: Ask the kids to make a tomato and onion salad or another all-time favourite, beetroot salad. Make it fun, turn up some music, and they will love being involved.

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5 Ways To Improve Your Memory

5 Ways To Improve Your Memory

5 Ways To Improve Your Memory

5 Ways To Improve Your Memory

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

5 Ways To Improve Your Memory

5 Ways To Boost The Whole Family’s Memory.

Just recently one of the TastyMoments team members bumped into an old school friend she’s always fancied. Guess what? She couldn’t remember his name. Lousy luck, we say, because she was incredibly keen to reconnect with him. So, what can we do to stimulate the brainbox and keep it as fit and agile as we like our bodies to be? Here’s a quick list of a few scientifically proven ways in which to improve one’s memory. Take note all you clever people who are playing the Ital Pizza MmmmmmZAnsi Memory Challenge

1. Antioxidants To The Rescue

Certain foods are very high in the antioxidants we need to keep ourselves sharp and alert. Turmeric contains tonnes, so it’s probably time for you to go and raid that long-neglected supplement storage cupboard and see what you’ve collected over the years. But, do the family a favour and check the expiry dates before dishing them out at breakfast.

2. Hot Or Cold Milk Chocolate Drink, Anyone?

Cocoa is another excellent source of flavonoids. And if you don’t have the time to brew up a pot of steaming chocolatey joy, or serve ice-cold milkshakes, there is always chocolate! Choose a dark variety brand that contains at least 70% cocoa and make it a relatively guilt-free Saturday night TV treat. This way, your family won’t mind getting in their flavourful flavonoids. Promise.

3. Zzzzzzzzz

Everyone must get enough sleep. Devices and gadgets distract and entertain us until waaaaaay past bedtime, many of us do not get enough shut-eye. A well-rested person is much more alert and mindful of their surroundings. They’re more in touch with their feelings and their environment, and research has shown that their recall memory is improved.

4. Play!

Whether you gather around a Scrabble board or connect online, games are a fantastic way to keep focused and teach kids problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Even Tetris improves mental alertness. Put that Ital Pizza Familia in the oven already, and let the games begin!

5. And, Let The Sunshine In

With our President’s voice in our ears and ‘stay at home’ as our new mantra; not many people are venturing out to catch some of those life-affirming rays we are blessed within South Africa. If you have a garden or balcony, try and do a 20-minute workout in the sunny spots. This way, you should get all the vitamin D you need for brain health.

Got any tips of your own? Tell us in the comments below.

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Feel Better With These Science-Backed Tips

Feel Better With These Science-Backed Tips

Feel Better With These Science-Backed Tips

Feel Better With These Science-Backed Tips

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Take Control Of Your Mood With These Clever Tips

Got the blues?

We’re here to help you feel better with these clever, science-backed tips.

Feeling a little overwhelmed with 2021 already? We don’t blame you; it’s been a crazy year thus far and it is only January! The TastyMoments team have been doing some homework and we’ve found a couple of science-backed methods to making yourself feel better.

1. Beat The Blahs With Exercise:

It’s probably the last thing you feel like doing when you’re down, but exercise is a great way to boost your mood. Why? Exercising helps our brain release endorphins – your body’s own feel-good chemical. While it might not cause happiness, it will certainly make you feel better.

2. Learn To Let Go:

Holding on to stress and anger can make us sick and depressed. Forgiveness and a little bit of “hakuna matata” vibes go a long way to making you feel better. It may seem an impossible task but when you let go of past hurts and resentments, you give yourself permission to heal and move on with your life. With a bit of practice, it can be done!

3. Take It Easy On Yourself

When you master the art of being kind and caring to yourself, you will almost certainly feel better. Most often, we’re our own worst enemies and all our negative self-talk and criticism can really impact your frame of minds. When you talk to yourself, ask what you would tell your best friend if they were facing the problem. Chances are you’d be a lot more supportive, understanding and kind. Try and cultivate the habit of speaking to yourself the same way you would your best friend.

4. Avoid Eating Alone:

Eating alone is a real downer. Create the habit of sitting down with friends or family over meals. Lucky for you, Ital Pizza Familia is and easy dinner meal, ideal for sharing, so you have the perfect excuse to make more shared moments over a slice. Besides, pizza is a mood booster in itself, so it’s a win-win!

Remember, you are not alone. As they said in the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, “Everything will be alright in the end so if it is not alright it is not the end.”

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5 TastyMoments approved educational Apps

5 TastyMoments approved educational Apps

Here are 5 TastyMoments approved educational apps your kids must try.

Here are 5 TastyMoments approved educational apps your kids must try.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Feel good about letting you kids play these 5 TastyMoments approved apps.

You won’t feel guilty about letting your kids play these 5 educational apps.

If your kids are anything like ours, their devices are more like limbs than tools. It’s almost impossible to escape the virtual world, especially since COVID has forced us to teach our kids online. Even the most resistant parents have to succumb to the “ah ma, can I have your phone for 10 more minutes” plea. Lucky for you a slice of Ital Pizza Thick’A almost always gets their attention. Thank goodness for small blessings and easy dinners. 

So instead of letting them blow people up on Fortnite, we recommend these 5 Tastymoments-approved educational apps. 

1. QuickMath Jr.

This FREE iOs app (sorry, no Android yet) is ideal for kids aged 4-8. It’s perfect for a little person who may not be loving maths rights now. It’s cool because it approaches the subject creatively – making it more conceptual and easier for kids to connect to the ideas. Here’s what the Apple App Store’s editors had to say about it. “We wish we’d gotten to learn math like this! First, we designed a lovable creature—ours was a bug-eyed monster in a bowler hat. Then we played with our creation in a fun, fast mini-games that secretly teach math foundations.” Say no more! 

2. Peak Brain Training

Ideal for older kids, we recommend Peak Brain Training. In fact, it’s great for adults too. It’s a puzzle game that is designed to keep track of your performance and challenge you daily. “Our games are designed to push you hard with short, intense workouts designed around your life. Challenge the skills that matter to you most with games that test your Focus, Memory, Problem Solving, Mental Agility and more.” The whole TastyMoments is pretty addicted to it! And we don’t have to feel guilty about it cause we’re exercising our brains, you see? It was voted the best app in both the Apple App Store and Google Play. There is a subscription fee attached to the full app buy you can play the free version and enjoy a limited experience. 

3. BrainPOP Jr.

We’re excited about this app because it gives your kids a free “movie of the week”. The movies are educational and super entertaining. You can subscribe to the full library if you like, but there’s a whole bunch of free content your kids can enjoy too. It covers subjects like art, technology, maths and science, to name a few. It’s perfect for kids aged 6-9 and is available pretty much everywhere. 

4. ScratchJr

Got a budding young computer genius in your home? Best you nurture this sought-after talent with ScratchJr. This app teaches your kids the beginnings of writing code. It might seem a bit tricky, but once they get the hang of it, they’ll be writing their own endings to the story told in the app. It’s available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store and is excellent for kids aged 5-7. 

5. DuoLingo

This is the app for the little linguist in your home. Why waste time when you can learn a new language instead? According to the developers, “Duolingo is an incredibly popular, highly rated app that allows students of all ages to learn a foreign language. This educational app has an intuitive and engaging interface and a neat progress tracker, as well as a bevy of languages from which to choose”.  

So cool. We wish we had these when we were growing up! 

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Brainy Lunchbox Tips

Brainy Lunchbox Tips

5 Clever Lunch(Box) Tips

5 Clever Lunch(Box) Tips

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Brain booster lunchbox ideas for the new year

5 lekker schoolday lunch ideas

Brain booster lunch(box) ideas for the new year.

To kick off the start of the new year, why not try out some of these yummy lunchbox and after school snack ideas from the TastyMoments team? It’s one way you can keep your kids strong and on top of their game.

1. Greens Are Great:

There are many ways in which to sneak in some greens. Add some crunchy lettuce and thinly sliced cucumber to that lovely ham, cheese and tomato sandwich. Or, staying with the lettuce, roll some leaves around a tuna mayo mixture. A handful of fresh or frozen peas is also a tasty way in which to get them to love the vitamins. 

2. What’s the Plan?:

Good lunches need a bit of planning. Ask the kids to help to draw up a weekly menu. They will be much happier to try new things if they have been involved in the decision making. Ask questions like: ‘Would you rather have carrot sticks or apple wedges?’ or ‘Brown or wholewheat bread?’ And remember, if you’ve got a sporty bunch, they may need some extra carbs and fruit to keep them going.  

3. All Hail The Chicken:

For a meat-eating family, there’s nothing better than a cold chicken breast or leg at lunchtime. The mere sight of a plump piece is enough to tingle the tastebuds. These days there are rotisserie chickens available around the corner. And, what’s great is that they’re often more affordable than the cost of cooking and cleaning at home. Now, simply add potato salad and another veg or two.

4. Your Friend, the Freezer:

Frozen foods can be more nutritious than veggies that have been lying around for days.  So, feel free to treat everyone to a selection of Ital Pizza Slices. As we all know all too well, nothing says I love you louder than pizza! 

5. Keep It Fresh:

Yes, this means fresh peeled orange or naartjie segments, mango slices and, of course, the ever-ready, transportable banana. Keep the thinking fresh too. Allow the kids to find interesting ideas in magazines. It may be a broccoli and feta soup or a fabulous Greek salad served with Ital Pizza Minis. Pizza again? As they say, anyone who says money cannot buy happiness has clearly never spent their money on pizza! 

TOP TIP: A couple of nice, spill-proof containers will make life easier. And if you’re going to work, why not pack you own lunch? You’re sure to eat better and save a fortune to boot.

Enjoy these TastyTips?

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2 Reasons Not To Trash Our Rubbish Dumps

2 Reasons Not To Trash Our Rubbish Dumps

Do Not Trash Our Rubbish Dumps

Do Not Trash Our Rubbish Dumps

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Recycling plastic and glass

2 very good reasons not to trash our rubbish dumps.

We all want our children to live in a clean and healthy, natural environment. They should be allowed to enjoy the privilege of having butterflies, bees, polar bears and aardvark to observe as much as we have. Well, there is one way in which we all can do something super easy at no cost to you – or our precious planet. So, let’s get that delicious, crispy, cheesy and convenient Ital Pizza Thick’A ready and talk RECYCLING.

Plastic Bottles

Smart people are increasingly telling us that we are destroying the very environment that sustains our children. As far back as 2018, it was estimated that more than 3000 million kg’s of plastic bottles were collected in the US alone. Considering the feather-light weight of a water bottle, this a veritable Mount Rushmere of bottles.

The bottle manufacturing process creates greenhouse gasses, and plastic in landfills take between 100 and 400 years to biodegrade. Eek! By recycling, we use fewer fossil fuels which reduces carbon emissions and, in turn, slows down global warming. 

All plastics are made by extracting limited, valuable resources from our planet. This while we should be protecting as much of it as is humanly possible. Think of recycling as a way to extract less water, oil, metals and oxygen-generating trees and preserving these materials for our children’s children. 

In the US recyclers save as much energy as it would take to provide power to 15 million homes for a full year. Imagine living without your TV, mobile phone, computer, lights, security system, garage, stove and hair drier, not to mention the straightener – for a whole year. Starting to sound like the end of the world, right? And plastics that end up in landfills also produce methane gas which is 30 x more damaging than carbon dioxide. 

Glass

Much of what we have said so far holds true for glass too. But not all glass should go into the recycling bin. Windowpanes, light bulbs, drinking glasses, windscreens, Pyrex dishes and glass used in laboratories are excluded as they have different molecular structures. Solely glass used for foods, drinks and other packaging purposes should contribute to the effort. Remember to remove screw tops, other caps and lids first. 

It is also important to recycle correctly. Kids need to understand what goes where. When stuff gets mixed up, the recycling is ‘contaminated’. This means it becomes less valuable and could make other people’s best efforts worthless. (In South Africa the coloured glass is not separated at the point of collection, but at the of recycling centre).

The TastyMoments team thinks that the time has come for every one of us to become a Recycler and live by the mantra reduce, reuse and recycle.

P.S. Did you know that South Africa has one of the most advanced return systems in the world? Hats off to these forward-thinking planet saviours.

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2 Reasons Real Life Friends Are Super Important

2 Reasons Real Life Friends Are Super Important

Real Life Friends Are Super Important

Real Life Friends Are Super Important

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

2 very good reasons for your kids to get off the couch and make some real friends.

Do your kids live online?

Here’s 2 reasons why real life friends are super important.

Have you ever wondered why the TV series ‘Friends’ was so popular that it entertained us for 10 seasons, starting from 1994? It was because it taught us how much fun one can have if you have a bunch of mates who you really get on with. In a time of the avatars of Fortnite, this remains true for children and their friends. 

The TastyMoments team unpacks 2 of the benefits (there are so many others) of them having their besties around.

1. Physical and emotional health benefits

It has been scientifically proven that friendship is as essential to a child’s wellbeing as a healthy diet and regular exercise. For starters, youngsters who are surrounded by positive peers have lower stress levels. This means there is less strain on their vascular and digestive systems, which could lead to a longer healthier life. It is also well documented that older people who have intimate friendships live longer than those who are socially isolated and lonely.

The health benefits do not end there, though. There are powerful emotional upsides to be had by forming strong and intimate bonds with others. The knowledge that someone understands us and the warm and loving feedback you get from these relationships result in a good self-image and masses of confidence. Think of it as a social lubricant that makes us feel good about ourselves. If we have good mates that we trust, we can talk freely about matters we may wonder or worry about. And, at the same time, have the opportunity to establish good communication skills. We develop patience with others (and ourselves) and learn the value of teamwork.

A safe emotional space gives us a sounding board off which we can test the validity of our emotions, and take responsibility for our actions. And through shared laughter, we learn to forgive and move on to the next fun times on the horizon.

2. Practical support

We can achieve so much more with a little help from our friends. It could be super-sharp Samantha who explains the algebra sum to Steve. Or Dumi who brings his drone around so that Donna can find the frisbee she managed to glide over the wall. It’s a fact, people who have your back make life easier. 

Not only is someone’s practical support in trying times reassuring, but it also teaches you stuff. Kids will be encouraged to try out a new activity if they see their friends at it. If your little one visits a close friend who is busy painting a beautiful picture, they’ll be more likely to pick up a brush and try their hand at it – even if they not sure of the outcome.

Healthy competition helps to make the little ones a bit more daring, which can lead to a deep sense of satisfaction at having mastered a new skill. This is how they get to learn some Italian from the new kid on the block who now comes over to help set the table for a Ristorante Pizza Pepperoni-Salame every Saturday afternoon. Ciao, Lorenzo!

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5 Things We’ll Be Happy To See In 2021

5 Things We’ll Be Happy To See In 2021

We can’t wait for 2021 – here’s our list.

We can’t wait for 2021 – here’s our list.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Here’s our list.

Woot-woot, the new year is just around the corner. We can’t wait for 2020 to be over. And, as we thank this year for all its hard lessons, we also need to set our intentions for 2021. Here’s what everyone at TastyMoments is looking forward to seeing more of next year.

1. The Vaccine!

Our fastest ticket back to a healthier, mask-less world is the COVID vaccine which has recently been approved. Consider how incredible it is that our scientists have managed to develop a working vaccine in the space of a year. It just blows our minds. Yes, it will take a while before it reaches our sunny shores and there’s bound to be some politics involved. BUT we will eventually get it and soon be able to move around with confidence and without fear. We can’t wait!  

2. The Knowledge That We Can Get By With Less

Before the virus, many of us were wasteful and obsessed with buying stuff, being busy and having it all. Whether it’s because you’ve taken a financial knock or you were trapped at home, we’ve all learned how to get by with a little less. Before we may have said that a fancy meal, travel or new clothes would have made us happy. Now, we appreciate the fact that our family is healthy and that we are lucky because we have full bellies at night. Thank you, COVID for readjusting our lenses. Hopefully, this trend continues as we learn to value social connection, empathy and kindness more than stuff and status.  

3. More Comfy Work Clothing

If 2020 has taught us anything, is that we don’t need to be uncomfortable to be productive. Yes, we it’s important to look smart, credible and trustworthy on our Zoom calls. BUT we also realised that the social norms and conventions associated with suits and ties are a bit irrelevant in a crisis. We’re not saying that our President should give speeches in a tracksuit but– we’ve realised that your clothes don’t matter as much as your brain and output does. We hope to see more relaxed office spaces and workwear in 2021.

4. Supporting Local Businesses

We hope the trend of supporting local businesses continues in 2021. We don’t need imported stuff when we can make our own, even better. For example, Ital Pizza is proudly made in Johannesburg. Now you can feel even better about sharing a slice over dinner tonight!

5. A Permanent Shift In How We Work

This is COVID’s greatest gift to us. We have finally proven that it’s possible to work from home, be productive and have a better quality of life. We don’t need to spend our lives at desks or in the traffic anymore. Offices will become more flexible, work will become more output, and less presence focused. Many people will move away from the cities to seek a quieter life. The upside of all of this is less traffic and more time with the family to do the stuff that really matters.

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5 Things We’re Happy To Leave Behind In 2020

5 Things We’re Happy To Leave Behind In 2020

5 Things We’re Happy To Leave Behind In 2020

5 Things We’re Happy To Leave Behind In 2020

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Which parts of 2020 do you want to leave behind?

Are you ready to say goodbye to the bad bits of 2020?

Which parts of 2020 do you want to leave behind? Here’s ours.  

Phew, let’s not kid ourselves, 2020 wasn’t an easy year. Even the most positive, upbeat folks we know have had a moan and groan about the “new normal” we’ve created for ourselves. There’s no shame in admitting that it was a challenging year and these are the 5 things everyone at TastyMoments is happy to leave behind in 2020.

1. Conspiracy Theories

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will probably have been exposed to some conspiracy theories this year. From 5G causing COVID (it doesn’t) and Bill Gates and his team of lizard people plotting to overthrow governments (they aren’t). 2020 has run the conspiracy gamut. We’ve got to think twice about how we share and consume information. We need to build-up stronger critical thinking muscles and get into the habit of doing our own homework. Watching a stranger share their, usually unqualified, opinion on YouTube doesn’t count as research. Instead, look at reputable media sources, read several different takes on the subject and maybe even read a research paper before you post anything on Facebook. 

2. The Division

Yes, whenever there is a financial crisis, politicians seize the moment to capitalise on our differences. It sounds a bit esoteric, but we’re all connected, we’re all human, and we all share the same experiences. We all feel hurt, lonely, scared, happy, joyous and excited. When we focus on what connects us, rather than what divides us, we will truly start seeing more traction in social movements that actually make the world better. When next you see someone who might be different to you in any way, rather focus on what you have in common. Trusts us, you’ll feel better and more connected to your world.

3. The “Hello, Can You Hear Me? Is This Thing On?”

OK, so by now most of us should have cracked the whole video-conferencing thing. If you haven’t, here’s a quick recap of the basics. Make sure you’re camera-ready. No, that doesn’t mean wearing a ridiculous amount of make-up but rather making sure you appear as professional at home as you would at work. Make sure your background is tidy and do a mic/camera check BEFORE the meeting starts. Always arrive a few minutes beforehand (so that you’re not frazzled) and for goodness sake, mute your microphone if you’ve got a noisy background. Got it? Good.

4. The Fear of The Kitchen

When lockdown first kicked-off, we were held hostage by our kitchens. The relentless cooking and cleaning got us down. But then, we realised that the kitchen can be our happiest place, our connection-zone and our family’s sanctum. We’ve embraced the comfort of imperfect, homemade but delicious dinner ideas and talking to one another again. And if we don’t feel like cooking, there’s always an Ital Pizza Classic to come to your rescue. Let’s celebrate what it means to be cooking with the family again!

5. The Moaning and Groaning

We’ve all been guilty of it. We’re only human, after all. BUT! Constant negative thinking and complaining is not healthy or productive. Yes, it may make us feel a bit better during a vent to friends but don’t make it a habit. We’re all a bit stressed and a bit anxious after a long, unpredictable year. And, a miserable mindset isn’t going to make 2021 any better. Stop the downward spiral and focus on gratitude. It’s not about what didn’t have in 2020 but rather about what gained in 2020. When you approach life with positive intent, the bad doesn’t seem so severe, and the ups feel amazing.

What would you like to say goodbye to in 2020? Tell us in the comments below. 

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Sort out sunburn with these easy homemade remedies

Sort out sunburn with these easy homemade remedies

Sort Out Sunburn With These Easy Homemade Remedies

Sort Out Sunburn With These Easy Homemade Remedies

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Soothe sunburnt skin with these easy homemade remedies.

Stay in the sun too long?

Soothe the burn with these homemade remedies.  

We live in one of the best places on earth. The sun’s usually out, and our temperatures seldom exceed 35 degrees. So, whether you’re a sun bunny, tan-fan or just a busy holidaymaker shopping for a thin and crispy Ital Pizza Familia, you’ve got to watch out for the burn. Sunburn can cause skin cancer, pigmentation marks and will age you prematurely. The first rule is that prevention is better than cure. So always ensure you’re wearing a hat and a high SPF sunblock from a reputable brand. Also, try to avoid the sun from 12 midday until around 3pm when it’s a bit cooler. You can use that time to dream up more dinner ideas!   

However, if you’ve been caught short and can feel the sting of a few minutes too long in the sun, you can try these handy homemade remedies from the TastyMoments team.

1. Drink Lots And Lots Of Water

Sunburn dehydrates your skin – so it makes sense to help your body from the inside with wonderful water. If you’re feeling really parched on the inside, it may even help to take an electrolyte mixture to help you along. 

2. Ice It Or Have A Cool Bath

If the burn is isolated to a few spots, you can easily place some ice in a soft towel and then put it on the affected area. If it’s more of a whole-body kind of situation, we recommend having a cool (not too cold) bath. Our grannies used to always tell us to bath with a couple of bags of rooibos tea to help calm the skin. It’s the tannins, you see? Other grannies recommend soaking in a bath with a cup of crushed oatmeal because it has anti-inflammatory properties. 

3. Honey

The golden ooze is made for more than toast. Did you know that honey contains natural antibiotics and healing properties that can help soothe the skin and help you bounce back faster? Apply to the affected area or use a honey-based lotion. 

4. Coconut Oil

It’s all the rage at the moment, and it’s no wonder why. Coconut oil is full of skin-soothing fats. Jump into a cool but not cold bath and soak. Once the skin has cooled down, dry gently and apply the coconut oil. 

5. Aloe Vera

If you’ve got an aloe plant close by, simply break off a leaf and apply the aloe juice directly onto the sunburn – the shop-bought stuff is also good. 

Got any homemade remedies you can share? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ultimate guide to conflict management these holidays

Ultimate guide to conflict management these holidays

The Ultimate Guide To Conflict Management These Holidays

The Ultimate Guide To Conflict Management These Holidays

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Avoid conflict with these handy tips.

Spending time with the family this festive season?

Avoid conflict with these handy tips.  

Shoo-wee, it’s been a long year, and we are “moeg”. Tired with a capital “T”. The COVID stress, and all its regulations, have left us all a bit more frazzled than we usually are at this time of the year. Thankfully holidays are around the corner. But, with fabulous family times, comes the occasional family meltdown too. With this in mind, the TastyMoments team has come up with a few handy tips on how to avoid or manage conflict these holidays.

Tip 1 – Set Boundaries

If you’re hosting this year’s family celebration, or are going away together, have a chat with the family about topics are off the table. Most conflicts happen when people have different opinions about inflammatory subjects like politics or beliefs. The best way to manage this is to have a frank discussion with everyone and ask them to avoid those (and any other sticky) subjects altogether. Remind the family that you’re coming together to share a happy experience. There is a time and a place for those kinds of conversations, and it’s not now.

Tip 2 – Ask Everyone To Have A Bit Of Empathy

You don’t always have to agree with someone to love them. Ask your family to practice a bit of empathy with one another. If your kids are exhausting grandpa, remind them that he doesn’t have the same energy as they do anymore. Ask them to put themselves in his shoes. Cultivate this mindset with everyone in the family, keep reminding them that an opinion is just that, an opinion. Everyone is entitled to one—no need to take it to heart.

Tip 3 – Ask For Help

If you’re the primary caregiver, the chances are you’re overloaded with chores over the festive season. The never-ending dishes, the permanent cooking and fielding questions like “What’s for dinner, maaaaa?” while you scramble to dream-up an easy meal idea that everyone will enjoy. (TOP TIP: We recommend Ital Pizza Pizzinis as a deliciously, reliable and crowd-pleasing snack in your artillery.) Rather than pretending that you can handle it all, have an earnest chat with the family. Tell them you’re running on fumes and would really appreciate their help. It may even come down to creating some sort of roster to allocate dishwashing and other daily chores. Remind everyone that Christmas is a team sport and that you need their help to make it fun for everyone. Also, don’t expect your family to smell when you need help. Sometimes it just takes a very nicely worded reminder to get them off the couch and into the kitchen to help. It’s all in your tone of voice. Don’t be the resentful martyr. You catch more flies with honey!

Tip 4 – Try Be Zen About It

Look, chances are, someone is still going to bicker or have a meltdown at some point. Make peace with it. Try to float above the tense moments if you can. Use words like “I respectfully disagree” while you steer the conversation to calmer waters. You can’t control how people behave, and sometimes the best way to avoid a conflict is to remove yourself from the discussion. “This too shall pass” should be your mantra. No one can stay upset forever and time heals most wounds.

Got any other tips? Let us know in the comment section below.

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The difference between fantasy and reality

The difference between fantasy and reality

How To Teach Your Kids The Difference Between Fantasy And Reality

How To Teach Your Kids The Difference Between Fantasy And Reality

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Teach your kids the valuable difference between fantasy and reality today

3 ways to help your child understand the difference between fantasy and reality.

Have you ever thought about the importance of imagination? Without it, we would have had dull lives, robbed of the magic and mystery of fantasy. Whether it was the tooth fairy, Father Christmas, elves in the garden or fire-spitting dragons, when we were little, we probably thought that these figures were real.  

Without imagination writers, filmmakers, musicians and game developers could never have created new material. Or conjure up futuristic events. Many book or movie scripts have sparked ideas long before they have become part of our everyday lives. Who would have thought that we are about to step into driverless cars precisely like those we remember from old comic books? Or that the Internet of Things (IoT) would bring seamless comfort into our homes. We now can simply tell Siri to open the curtains while, at the same time, adjusting the aircon.

But we certainly don’t want our little ones to feel foolish or be disappointed one day. How do we make sure that they don’t think that they’ve been tricked? At the age of around 3 or 4, children start to question what they are told. If things do not make sense, it can become a confusing time for them. So, here are three TastyMoments-approved ways in which you can keep the joy and adventure of stories and games alive without having to explain later.

One Actor – Two Roles:

An excellent place to start is to pop a delicious Hawaiian Ital Pizza Thick’A into the oven. While it is baking, find two distinct movies which star the same actor in different roles. You can then explain that the actors are real people, but that they are pretending to be other people in the movies. Tell them that in this way, the characters can tell different stories or have supernatural powers which are not real. This kind of insight helps a child to develop critical thinking skills such as the probability of an outcome, which will help in case they thought they too could fly. 

Ask Them To Imagine Something:

An excellent way to explain imagination is to ask them to tell you what they think the lions, elephants or hippos in the bush are doing right now. Or what they believe Granny might be doing. Then you can explain that they are only imagining what the animals or granny may be doing, but that might not be what is really happening.

Ask Them To Complete The Story:

Kids love dinnertime stories. You could begin by starting the tale and then asking them to imagine the ending. For example, choose the name of a dog they know and say her owners went off to the shops. Someone has left the gate open. The Fido has wandered off down the street. Now let them imagine how that story ended. Or pull a naughty face and tell them that the apples and bananas were dancing in the kitchen when you walked in to make breakfast. They will probably laugh and say it’s not true. In this way, they will come to realise that a person’s imagination can be amusing and rewarding, but also that some things are just not possible. 

In short, we all need a balance of fantasy and reality to handle the world in the best way we can. Now, switch on a cartoon while you all polish off the last of the pizza. Bellisima! 

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Is your child addicted to Fortnite?

Is your child addicted to Fortnite?

Is Your Child’s Fortnite Obsession Out Of Control?

Is Your Child’s Fortnite Obsession Out Of Control?

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

How to handle your child’s fortnite obsession

Is your child addicted to Fortnite?

Here’s how to manage it.

The Ital Pizza Classics are hot out of the oven. The salad is ready, and the table for a quick and easy dinner is set. You’ve called the kids for the hundredth time to come for supper, and all you hear is crickets. You shout again and eventually stomp down the passageway to see them engrossed in (what feels like) their millionth hour of Fortnite. You lose your temper and the usual “Aw ma, I was just finishing” chaos ensues. Sound familiar? 

Fortnite is a real-time, multiplayer online game in which players battle to the virtual death and your child is most likely playing it or wants to play it. According to Statista, the game had 350 million active players in May 2020. And with lockdown regulations tightening again worldwide, the numbers are likely to go up as more and more of our international peers are forced to stay at home. 

The game is addictive for many reasons, such as the “near-miss” feature. “When your character is killed on Fortnite, you get to see the health bar of the person who killed you. Often you will see that your opponent was also close to dying, so the game feels like it was very close. The near misses are tantalizing, and you’re compelled to keep playing” says Dr David Anderson, PhD, head of the ADHD and Behaviour Disorders Centre at the Child Mind Institute in the USA.

The game (which is free to play) also allows friends to connect and play against or in teams with another. And, players are kept hooked with “rewards” such as hidden treasures, health potions or weapons from a “dead” opponent. The game is a case study in creating FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) which is particularly compelling to young children. 

There are a couple of problems parents experience as we navigate the social consequences of playing a game like this. We don’t want to be spoilsports, and we do want to have our kids feel included BUT, how will we know when the game becomes problematic. Here are some Fortnite parenting tips from the TastyMoments team. 

The Social Aspect:

Because the game is set in a virtual world, kids often disconnect from reality and therefore, appropriate behaviours. Parents often report that excessive swearing, bullying and other antisocial behaviours from their kids when playing the game. Experts recommend that parents keep a close eye on their child’s behaviour and to have a game plan as to how this will be addressed if it crops up. Some parents have the rule that if the child cannot behave according to positive, real-world social norms, the game will be taken away from the child. Be sure to have a frank and open conversation about bullying, language and remind your kids that the virtual world contains real people too.

The Addiction Issue:

This is good advice from Dr Anderson again. “We try to take a sense of the amount of free time that a child has, and what we want to know is that there’s balance.” He has a checklist of things that he calls “developmentally integral” to a child’s life, that parents should make sure kids aren’t missing out on. The list includes:

  • Seeing friends and interacting with them in real life
  • Participating in extracurricular activities, they’re excited about
  • Keeping up with academic classes and doing homework
  • Building positive relationships with family members
  • Getting enough sleep

If you see your kids withdrawing from these activities, you may have a problem. Experts recommend giving children a healthy allotment of screen-time or keeping the game as a treat for weekends only. Another point to note is that the game itself doesn’t have a “pause” function. So asking your child to stop playing immediately may cause them some distress. Each game lasts 20 minutes, so it may be useful to negotiate an “end-time” with your kids in advance so that there are no tantrums later. 

The Stranger-Danger Factor:

Cat-phishing is basically the practice of pretending to be someone you’re not online. Games like Fortnite can attract some nasty characters who may want to harm your children. A recent case in New Jersey in the USA profiled 24 men who were using the messaging apps of games like Fortnite to lure kids. Make sure your children only communicate with people they know and avoid chatting to strangers online. Again, what happens in the real world should apply online too. Simply, don’t talk to strangers! 

Have you got a Fortnite obsessed person in your home? How have you coped with it? Tell us in the comments below. 

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3 Essential Life Skills Your Kids Must Know

3 Essential Life Skills Your Kids Must Know

3 Essential Life Skills Your Kids Must Know

3 Essential Life Skills Your Kids Must Know

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Are you empowering your kids with these 3 essential life skills?

How to raise better kids.

3 important skills which will help your kids succeed in life.

We all know that life skills are critical to a child’s development and growth. But how often do we take the time out to actively teach our youngsters the abilities that are critical to thrive in society? 

Here are a few things to consider and speak about from the team at TastyMoments. Whether it is over an easy dinner with ready-made salad and the all-time favourite, family-sized Ital Pizza Familia or while spending time on the school run together.

Communication Skills

Can you remember grandma gently pinching your ears if you didn’t do as she said? Well, this is probably because the ability to listen is super-important to enable effective learning. Whether it is on the playground, in a classroom or at home, your child can only be taught new things if they have learnt how to observe and listen. 

Equally important, they should understand how to express themselves clearly. Long chats with grandpa or other adults will help enormously to develop both verbal and non-verbal clues. How does mommy know that we’re getting hungry? Is it because we’re hanging around her in the kitchen?  

The simplest way to keep refining a child’s vocabulary is to teach youngsters the joy of reading. Yes, we know, there is always the Kindle – but we believe that the printed word is still the key to a magical world. Time to get ready for an afternoon visit to the library, mom and dad? 

Discipline And Self-Control

Kids need routines to feel safe and secure. It makes them feel in control of their world. And, if they get to help around the house, they will experience the joy of making a valuable contribution. Give them age-appropriate everyday tasks such as filling the dog’s water bowl or washing the bath before they get out.

Also, allocate space for them to pack away their own clothes, shoes and socks. Not only will they know where to find things, but they will also learn the time-saving value of keeping things tidy.

Any time soon turns into party time if you have vibey music around. So, make sure you download some of your favourite tunes on your mobile and refresh them now and again. If you are lucky enough to have a portable, battery-powered speaker, this also needs to remain plugged in so that you guys can pump-up the volume during downtime.

Being organised helps to prevent frustrations and tantrums. Talk to them about how an outburst may affect others. You could say something like: “I think Jenny was quite disappointed that she was not picked for the debating team. Don’t you think she handled it so well? By keeping control and congratulating her friends, she made them feel good. Bet you next time she’ll be included.”

Kindness

Roald Dahl, author of the famous book ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, had this to say about kindness: “I think kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the other things in life like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else.”

Kindness starts with respect for others, no matter who they are – your best friend or the people who serve you in a restaurant. Your children will learn from you and notice when you are being kind to others. Another way to alert the little ones to the value of kindness is to point out small acts of goodness by others.

In fact, in most aspects of life, your kids are sure to take the lead from you. So, let’s think of one thoughtful thing they can do every day. Doubt that there will be any leftover pizza, but perhaps, hand the other leftover food to a homeless person on the way to school. Let’s be good today.

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4 Ways To Get Fussy Eaters To Try New Things

4 Ways To Get Fussy Eaters To Try New Things

4 Ways To Get Fussy Eaters To Try New Things.

4 Ways To Get Fussy Eaters To Try New Things.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

4 Ways To Get Fussy Eaters To Try New Things.

Fussy Eaters?

Get them to try new food this way.

We all know the look of horror on a kid’s face when we serve something new for dinner. Not to mention the tears – especially when it comes to vegetables. But one thing is for sure, no matter how hard we try, we can’t force them to eat. 

So? How do we get them to open their minds so that they learn to enjoy all the food on the table? Here are a few tried and tested ways to tempt them into being more adventurous from the team from TastyMoments.

1. Let Them Grow Their Own Food

No matter how small they are, or whether you have a spacious garden or a few pots on the balcony, you can teach your kids the magic of growing vegetables. Buy a few small veggie plants and some potting soil at the nursery, and show them how to plant these little miracles. Once small green tomatoes start to form, and they see how these turn into big, luscious red fruits (yes, the humble – but indispensable – tomato is a fruit) they should be hooked. Who does not want to taste the fruits of their own labour, after all?

2. Allow them to choose the fruit and veg at the greengrocer

When your child sees exactly how vital fruit and veg are to so many people, it may just make them wonder whether they are missing out. Surrounded by mountains of produce, they will be fascinated by the displays and colours. Pick one or two vegetables and discuss their nutritional value with your kids. And, how they will grow big and strong they could be if they eat enough of these wonder foods. A better understanding may make a big difference.

3. Choosing their own toppings for tonight's pizza. Kiddie heaven!

Here’s an easy dinner idea! Buy a few Ital Pizza Classic Bases. Let them chop up some healthy veggies such as tomato, spinach, broccoli and mushrooms. Add some slices of pepperoni or salami. Then let them grate their favourite cheeses. Game on!  Set a time limit to create their works of art. The only condition of this pizza competition is that they have to use a minimum, but an equal amount of each vegetable. Use a measuring spoon or a cup. And, don’t forget the garlic – no pizza is complete without chopped garlic soaked in a bit of oil.

4. Next time, ask them to cook a soup as a starter

A butternut and carrot soup is an excellent place to start. These yellow and orange staples are sweet and delicious. Simply buy peeled butternut pieces and let them cut the carrots in chunks. Help them to chop an onion and fry before adding the veg. They could even add a bit of coconut or regular cream. Once the soup is liquidised, it should be yummy enough to convince the fussiest of little ones. 

We bet, if you make it fun and throw in a few facts about where veggies and other foods come from you will have a bunch of adventurous eaters on your hands – for life!

Enjoy these TastyTips?

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Teach your kids to have an attitude of gratitude!

Teach your kids to have an attitude of gratitude!

2 Ways To Teach Your Kids An Attitude Of Gratitude

2 Ways To Teach Your Kids An Attitude Of Gratitude

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Teach your kids to have an attitude of gratitude!

Attitude of gratitude for kids?

Here’s how.  

First, let’s look at the incredible benefits of instilling the habit of gratitude in a child. There are, in fact, many, many reasons that gratitude serves us all well.  As Lewis Howes expressed in his New York Times best-selling book “An Attitude Of Gratitude”: If you concentrate on what you still want, you’ll always be wanting, but if you focus on what you have, you’ll always have everything you need.

Everyone at TastyMoments agrees, he’s definitely onto something.

Much research has been done on the people who consciously practise being grateful for what they have. Some of the findings are quite surprising!

Firstly, people who openly express their appreciation for life and what life has given them are healthier. There is a real connection between body and mind. They have lower levels of inflammation, more regular heartbeat, sleep better and eat more nutritious foods than those who don’t. Also, because of their upbeat attitude, they have more and deeper friendships. And, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, they achieve their goals more often, get to be chosen to be prefects and – bonus – the parents get more promotions at work. No wonder the Americans have an entire day dedicated to Thanksgiving. They certainly got that right.

Being appreciative helps everyone to focus on the positive, even if someone is having a bit of a bad day. But how do you get the kids to be more conscious of being conscious? Here are two sure-fire ways in which to achieve this.

Write It Down

Start by keeping a family journal. If the younger ones are too little to write, you can do the writing for them.

Let everyone mention a great thing they noticed during the day. If you keep it light and make it fun, you’ll uplift everyone’s spirits.

Start with simple things like the roof over your head, the Ital Pizza Familia next to the salad on the table. Or the fact that you love and care for each other. As the kids grow up, they should each have their own gratitude diary and make an entry every day. Thankful feelings also teach them empathy and a polite manner in their dealings with people. Considering that children with a positive attitude have more resilience, better problem-solving skills, higher self-esteem and fewer mood swings, the effort is certainly worth it.

Teach Them To Acknowledge Their Own Efforts

If they’ve tried their best, done their homework and have studied for the exam, they can feel proud of themselves, no matter what. They need not compare themselves to others. We know that we love other people, but how often do we pause to love and praise ourselves? Only when we are thankful for who we are and what we’ve achieved, can we experience true happiness.

Well, now that we realise the importance of saying thank you for who we are and what we have achieved. How about everyone saying thank you out loud before tucking into that delicious dinner? Bon appetite, everyone.

Enjoy these TastyTips?

PS. Have one of your own? Let us know in the comment section below.

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