Super Bowl and Breakfast

Super Bowl and Breakfast

Most Minnesotans know Super Bowl LII will be at the US Bank Stadium in 2018, but what has that got to do with breakfasts in the school?

Fuel Up to Play 60 is a partnership with the NFL and dairy farmers to get kids fueled up (healthy eating) to play 60 minutes of active exercise! Esther Dykstra and I are on-hand as local dairy farmers.

Earlier this week, Worthington (my hometown) High School was host to a grant dedication ceremony to thank a whole host of groups (Midwest Dairy Council, Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, Fuel Up To Play 60, and General Mills) for supporting this great cause, Super School Breakfast grants. 

Here’s the deal:  the school will receive some snazzy stainless steel breakfast carts that will make it much faster and easier for the students to “grab and go” breakfast.  Also, local dairy farmers sponsored some additional milk coolers.  The idea is that if a school breakfast is convenient and tasty, they will eat it — and it will help them to perform better in school.  Makes a lot of sense to me. 

We are each holding milk cartons for a “milk toast”. The two kids standing on the left are a part of the church Youth Group that I lead, and also a part of the FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation team that is practicing now. These kids have probably had a little overload of me lately, but we still had fun.

This is one of the first of weekly celebrations like this throughout Minnesota. All told, about 140,000 school-age students will benefit from this partnership, and I definitely think that it will leave a lasting legacy!


The No-no plate

At our local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group today, we listened to a speech language therapist that loves to focus on mealtimes and feeding.   Her name is Andrea, but she runs on social media as “thespeechmom”.  She had tons of real-life scenarios.   Our local moms were engaged and I could just see the wheels turning in many minds. 

So I listened to all her suggestions and thought I’d try some out tonight!  Joe is still in “full-on construction mode” at the dairy so he wasn’t home when we ate at 6:00 and that made it is a bit easier to give it a go. 

First change — After we prayed, I EXPLAINED the foods to them.  Really made me feel strange and we all started giggling. Roast beef that was going to require a bit of chewing, piping hot mashed potatoes that had milk and butter added to them,  cucumber sticks, and cooked carrots that had both the sweetness of brown sugar and the zing of ginger.  Yep, my kids were listening to the descriptions and thinking I was from the moon. Violet was so interested that she wanted to be buckled in. 

Second change — they each got to dish up their own food.  Ava was most delighted with the way that she had to hit the spoon on the plate to get the mashed potatoes to come off. 

Third — I allowed a no-no plate.  What is this?  I had never heard of such a thing either.  It is a small plate next to the regular plate that a kiddo can use to park the food they don’t want to eat.  So, when Ava fussed about not wanting any carrots, I told her she could simply put them on her no-no plate (that I quickly grabbed from the kitchen).    She was so distraught by these carrots on her plate but I insisted she needed to move them.  She barely survived the step of getting them to her no-no plate.  

Here’s the thing:   3 minutes later, Ava took the carrots off her no-no plate, ate them, and asked for more.  I nearly fell off my chair (somebody had to have a close call since Violet was actually buckled in and not dancing in her chair for once). 

Andrea, the speech therapist, had assured us that this would happen!   That a kid would be so thrilled by being able to get foods off her plate, she would experience the plop of food moving onto a new plate, and decide she would just maybe need to try it. 

Honestly, I was sitting in the meeting saying “no way”.  This is a crazy professional talking and she doesn’t get what it is actually like.  Yet, the no-no plate, her expert advise was right on!  

How many times at our farm do experts tell us ideas to try and we just dismiss them?  How many times has our pastor insisted on reading a certain chapter of the Bible and we just think…he has no idea how busy I am. 

So…consider trusting an expert.  They sometimes know their stuff. 

If you are interested in learning more, follow her page on Facebook, thespeechmom.  Website is She also uses this little thing called Instagram that I want to start using more. 

There is just one more neat thing…she has this side business of renting out “Bloomboxes”, an interactive grouping of toys that come with a little sheet explaining what is in there and why.   They would make an awesome gift for the kid who loves in a house where the parents can’t stand clutter — just play with the things for one month and send it back!