Planting Wholesome Roots with Cooking
Oct01

Planting Wholesome Roots with Cooking

  When I was growing up, (we won’t say how long ago that was), we only had a few cooking shows. From The Frugal Gourmet to Yan Can Cook and, of course, Julia Child, we sat and watched them make one delicious meal after another. I remember one particular episode of The Frugal Gourmet where Jeff Smith had characters from Sesame Street on. They cooked kid-friendly meals and played around a little. Fast forward to the late ‘90’s and we get an entire tv channel dedicated to cooking and baking. Shows like Great Chefs showed us the professional side of cooking and baking in restaurants, hotels, and theme parks. Emeril came on prime time with a Bam! The Two Fat Ladies taught us that no amount butter was too much. Then there was Iron Chef. The Chairman chose a high-qualified chef who, in return, got to pick an Iron Chef to challenge.   I believe that having family that cooked from scratch and access to these shows helped to grow my love of food and cooking. I love trying new foods, cooking in new styles, with new tools and creating my own recipes for my family to pass down. My kids love to cook, too! They’re interested in what dad and I are doing in the kitchen and often want to help. Sometimes, though, life gets busy. I don’t always have time to let the kids cut veg or help flip the pancakes. It gets hard to teach them everything I want to pass down. Also, I believe in having other influences to teach them. That’s where Wholesome Roots Cooking comes in. Wholesome Roots Cooking has cooking classes for kids. Meghan Hauser, owner and certified Healthy Hands cooking instructor, teaches kids hands-on cooking skills and that eating healthy can be simple! Her goal is to “plant wholesome roots for a healthy lifestyle.” “One of the best parts about my job is to watch students become inspired to create new food and feel proud of their accomplishments!” says Hauser. Wholesome Roots offers kids cooking classes publicly and also privately in schools, birthday parties and co-ops. They also offer a Homeschool Cooking Club where homeschoolers have a monthly class during the day on Tuesdays. Do you want to take a cooking class? Well, Wholesome Roots offers classes for adults, too! Just contact them via their website at www.wholesomerootscooking.com. While you’re there, you’ll find their class schedule as well as the types of classes they offer. Getting your kids involved in healthy cooking as young as possible will set them up for a healthy life so check out some Wholesome Roots Cooking...

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Summer Outdoor Adventures of Northeast Indiana
Jun15

Summer Outdoor Adventures of Northeast Indiana

Northeast Indiana has no shortage of outdoor activities. From Fort Wayne’s three rivers, 86 parks and hundreds of miles of bike paths, there’s plenty to explore. Keep reading for our favorite outdoor adventures in and around Fort Wayne. Visit a State Park Northeast Indiana’s State Parks are the best places to go for hiking, observing wildlife, camping and more! Pokagen Located near Angola, Pokagen is one of Indiana’s original state parks.  With activities for every season, the park is a hot spot all year long. This summer head to Pokagen to enjoy its scenic hiking trails, boat rentals, fishing, horse riding and beautiful sunset views. Chain O’ Lakes Nine connecting lakes make up this state park. With 10 miles of hiking trails, plentiful beaches, the one-room schoolhouse nature center and cabins for rustic overnights, there’s plenty to keep the whole family busy all weekend. Ouabache Easier said than it looks, this park’s name is the French spelling of a Native American word and is simply pronounced “Wabash.” Head here to enjoy the park’s interpretative naturalist services, hiking trails, swimming beaches and paved bike paths. Other Parks While not designated as state parks, there are plenty of natural areas nearby to get your outdoor fix.  Check out Allen County Parks with more info about Fox Island and Matea Park  which offer great activities for the kiddos. Salomon Farm Park is an historic working farm and park for everyone. Roush Lake Fish and Wildlife Area is designated for hunting and fishing opportunities. Head to the Water There are numerous lakes and rivers surrounding Fort Wayne offering cottage rentals for a weekend (or longer) getaway. There’s no better place to de-stress than near the water. Lake Life Lake Wawasee is Indiana’s largest natural lake, with rumors that Oprah has purchased lakeside property there, and Al Capone used to be a regular visitor. Salamonie Lake has tons of activities to enjoy besides swimming and boating including biking and bridle trails, playgrounds, sports courts and waterskiing. Other nearby favorites are Crooked Lake, Lake James and Tri-Lakes. Looking for a cottage or lake house rental? Try a quick search on AirBNB! River Fun Fort Wayne is home to the St. Mary’s and St. Joseph Rivers which form the Maumee River. Fort Wayne Outfitters offers kayaking and canoe rentalswhile River City Ventures offers relaxing, scenic tours. If you’re willing to travel a bit out of the city, head just an hour to Howe, Indiana for some river adventuring. Mongo River Run and The Trading Post offer boat rentals from four to 13 mile runs down the quiet and scenic river. Hit the Trails Fort Wayne has hundreds of miles of paved bike paths...

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Show & Tell: Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park
Jan07

Show & Tell: Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park

Sometimes I look at my kids and wonder if I ever acted the same way or said the most ridiculous things. Don’t tell my mother that I said that – I would get a phone call with a giggle on the other end. Last week Kennedy needed to get blood work done. As an 8 year-old, this was very nerve-racking for her as she has never had to do something like that before. But, I was very proud of her because she was brave and handled it as best she could. Ok, and I bribed her with $20. Afterward, we went home and she decided that getting blood work done entitled her to relax and be exempt from doing anything but be lazy for the rest of the day. She was on the couch playing games on her tablet for about two hours when I finally intervened. “Alright, Kennedy. It’s time to get up and do something besides play on that tablet.” “Ughhhh. But Mom! I can’t move my legs…and my arms are really weak…and I…I think that the blood work gave me a full-body infection, Mom. I just can’t do the things that I used to. You should probably call the doctor – I’ll wait here on the couch.” Wow. After 8 1/2 years, I thought I had heard some of the most creative excuses, but that one was by far the best yet. I couldn’t even make that up. “Ok, I’ll call the doctor and send you to his office while Daddy and I take Aylee to Sky Zone. We planned to take you kids there today.” “What?! Wait…let me try walking and see if the infection is wearing off.” She jumps up from the couch and sheepishly limps from one end of the couch to the other. She goes back and forth until after the fourth time she is no longer limping. “See, look! I’m feeling much better! Could you not call the doctor? I think I’ll be just fine.” Hmph. After that amazing attempt to have a lazy day and keep her nose in her tablet, we all headed off to Sky Zone. Once we arrived, it was difficult to find parking because they were so busy, which is a good sign that it’s a popular place. We walked in and were greeted with the sounds of laughter and people yelling from afar in excitement. You just can’t help but feed off the energy once you step inside that door! We went to the counter and handed in our waivers that we completed online at home, then also purchased our Sky Socks. These are special...

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Give Kids an Early Start in Music
Dec30

Give Kids an Early Start in Music

Fort Wayne is a great place to get kids involved in music at an early age. We have everything from pre-school programs to college degrees that propel students from the very basics to becoming teachers in classrooms. Here are some of the options the Summit City has to offer! If you have a small child and want to get him or her involved in classical music, check out our Suzuki talent education programs. For violin, viola and cello, look into the Fort Wayne Suzuki Talent Education program, run by Bill and Janet Guy-Klickman. The Fort Wayne Suzuki program offers private lessons, group classes, music theory and orchestra courses for young ones starting around the age of three to five years old. Parents are an integral part of this education system, and they attend all lessons and classes, especially when the children are quite young. According to the Suzuki philosophy, the teacher teaches during the lesson and the parent coaches during the home practice sessions, creating a triangle of support between the child, the teacher and the parent. Don’t worry – parents do not have to be experts in music. Parents just need to be willing and dedicated to helping their child progress at his or her own pace through this ear-training system. Suzuki piano lessons are also offered by Mrs. Carol Hahn, who is based out of the Indiana University-Purdue University campus. Her studio, located within the Rhineheart Music Center, is open to young children and their parents. It’s a common sight to see a child and mother hurrying with music books in tow, up the stairs to Mrs. Hahn’s studio. For education in pop or electronic music trends, Sweetwater Sound has Sweetwater Academy of Music and Technology, where students can learn drums, vocals, guitar, songwriting, keyboard, and recording/DJ techniques. Just log on to the Sweetwater Academy page to scroll through the many different options that they have. Families are definitely welcome to come along, and if they have to wait for a lesson to begin, they can hang out in the ‘arcade’ where they can play pinball, tossing games, electronic golf, ping pong, pool – you name it. It’s free and kids and their (usually) dads like to compete. If you get hungry, there’s the Downbeat Diner, where you can purchase snacks and meals. Oh, and a really neat perk of taking lessons at Sweetwater is that student recitals and concerts take place in their state-of-the-art theater, which has a fantastic sound system and comfy, upholstered chairs. It’s like walking into a special room in Star Trek’s Enterprise – little lights and futuristic accoutrements are everywhere. Of course,...

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Kiddie Academy of Fort Wayne Offers Tips for Choosing the Best Summer Camp for Kids
Jun02

Kiddie Academy of Fort Wayne Offers Tips for Choosing the Best Summer Camp for Kids

The below information provided by Kiddie Academy of Fort Wayne. Local child care experts advise families to start their search now for the widest choice of schedules and programs. The “official” start of summer may be Memorial Day Weekend, but parents with school-age children need to begin to think about summer camp programs now. Hajira Khan, Franchise Owner of Kiddie Academy of Fort Wayne, an educationally focused child care provider, reminds parents that popular camp programs fill up quickly, so for the widest choice of programs that fit your children’s and your family’s needs, the time to start the search is now. “Parents want their children to be safe, active and happy at camp,” said Hajira Khan. “Kids want to have fun, spend time with friends, and feel like they are on vacation.  With a little research, family discussion and give-and-take, both parents and kids can discover a summer camp program that works. But the key is to start the search early, while many programs are still accepting new registrations.” With so many programs to choose from, it makes sense to narrow down your choices with some practical criteria. Khan suggests using the following tips to find a program that fits with the family schedule and their children’s interests: Keep your needs in mind.  If yours is a busy two-working-parent family, you may have to rule out some camps that don’t offer extended hours or simply don’t fit with your work schedule. Team up with a friend. Talk to the parents of one or two of your child’s friends, and choose a camp that works for both families.  The children will have a built-in buddy at camp, and you’ll have someone to share pick-up and drop-off duties. Take an informal survey.  Talk to your child’s friends directly about their favorite camps.  They may help you add new possibilities to your list. Consider childcare providers.  Some childcare providers boost their programs with traditional camp activities over the summer.  This is a great choice if you have more than one child, as they accept more than one age group. Once you have identified the programs that will work for the whole family, it’s time to consider – and talk to your child about – the program itself.  Khan suggests that parents weigh the merits and benefits of different types of programs, like the ones listed below: Sneak in continuing education.  Good camp programs combine educational enrichment with fun activities.  At a great camp program, your kids won’t even notice they’re building on school skills. Try something new.  Summer camps are a great opportunity for children to explore their abilities and learn new skills. Your child can...

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