In this episode of Healthy Family Project, we talk to Kiran Dodeja Smith of Easy Real Food about managing life at home during quarantine. With the world on lockdown, we’re spending more time at home than ever and that comes with its own set of challenges.

Kiran shares ways to create a schedule, split up house duties, and find creative ways to spend time together as a family.

Kiran is the mom to four kids under the age of 13, an influencer marketing manager and holistic health coach. Her site, focuses in on real ingredients and helps families ensure they are eating whole nutritious meals.

With a busy household herself, she wants to help others not feel the stress that so many often do when it comes to meal planning and eating healthfully.

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Want to skip straight to a hot topic? See time stamps below. But of course, we recommend listening all the way through!

  • 4:22 Tips for setting a schedule & setting a routine
  • 14:08 How to set boundaries & encourage independence
  • 21:24 How to split up cooking duties & get kids involved 
  • 30:12 Tips for setting up a house responsibility system 
  • 39:12 Creative activities to enjoy at home during quarantine

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Transcript for Episode 50

This transcript was produced by Otter.Ai. Please forgive any misspellings and grammatical errors.

Welcome to the healthy family project by produce for kids covering the hot topics in the world of health,
food and family with a dose of fun. Welcome, everyone. I’m your host Amanda. Today we are talking with
Kieran from easy real food about managing kids and family at home. During these Coronavirus times, I
promise stress free conversation today. Kieran is the busy mom to four kids and influencer marketing
manager and holistic health coach, and also the author of easy real She’s had an interest in
healthy eating since a early age. And her site easy real food focuses in on real ingredients and helps
families ensure they’re eating whole nutritious meals. So our plan topics here at healthy family project
have shifted. The topics we were planning on covering this spring, so far are have changed a bit. Like so
many things in our lives have shifted. I can tell you some moments, I’m okay. And some moments I am
not okay. But what I do know is that I’m doing the very best I can. And I need to just keep reminding
myself of that, as do all of you listening, that we can only do what we can do. And we need to just give
ourselves grace and live each day. So staying afloat wouldn’t be possible for me without so many of you
who keep up our conversations over in the healthy family Project Facebook group. I love having
conversations after episodes, just hearing ideas from all of you podcast ideas or, or just a laugh or a
meme or something that brings a smile to my face every day. So and if you’re looking for resources to
help during this time, we are working on those outside of the podcast, we do have our website produce
for You can check out the show notes which will link you up to different resources that we have
available. You know lists of pantry staples, fruits and veggies that lasts the longest, just a lot of resources
from our psychologist, Dr. Stephanie on how to keep the peace in your family while you’re all kind of in, in
the home home zone. So all those things will be linked up. And then of course, we are sharing content
daily on our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. So you can find us at any one of
those social outlets where we have you covered. Feel free to comment, leave us a direct message, email
us and let us know how we can help you and your family. If there’s things you want us to talk about or
topics to cover questions you have. We want to hear from you. And we have a lot to cover today. So let’s
get started with today’s episode. Hi, Karen. Welcome back to the healthy family project. We are excited
to talk to you today. I know a lot of parents are struggling right now. I say a lot of parents, I mean, all of us
parents, I guess I’ve I for 1am working from home full time at this point and having to balance that with
distance learning with my two girls. You know, I have the two two girls in different grades. So I am having
to be a part time teacher. And it person I’m going ice when all this is over, I am adding it to my resume, I
can tell you that because it has been quite an adventure. So you know, just working on all of these new
platforms that have been introduced into our world, obviously, to make the distance learning easier and
more functional. But you know, like with anything, just getting up to speed can be a challenge. And mark
both you know, kids, they expect you to just know everything, you know, like why aren’t you figuring this
out quickly? And so, you know, there’s been some back and forth. Anyway, so it feels like these days
escaped me. Do you have any tips for setting a schedule and getting a routine in place?
Sure. Yeah. And thank you again for having me. I always love talking with you. I know you know we
obviously share the same passion for our work areas but also our kind of have the girls and kids in
similar ages. So I am living the same kind of life as you and I know as so many others. So gosh, I feel
like on one hand, I’m so much less stressed because you know our taxi driver status has gone away and
all the routines and the schedules and everything like that has been that’s been a really nice break. And
then on the other hand, we’ve been thrown so many new responsibilities like you said, you know the it
and helping kids of different grades and gosh, I remember some of the stuff but not all of it. And they

learned so differently. So you know, the the Zoom calls, I don’t know if you’re doing those with your kids,
but I feel like that’s something just added to my schedule my already busy schedule that regardless of
you know what anybody’s doing, we already kind of have a full plate. So you know, that’s, that’s just just
added to our level sphere. So
and you have four, you have four, I can’t do have 4k?
Yeah, like
for potentially for zoom calls all going on at one time?
Oh my gosh, yeah. And you know what they’re in different. It’s a very unique situation, because I have
two kids in Montessori School. And ironically, you know, I don’t know how familiar with the Montessori
philosophy, but their technology is not a big part of their schooling. And yet, they were up and running.
You know, we found out Friday and Monday morning, they’re in Google Classroom, and they have, you
know, full schedules. And then my older two, I have a middle schooler and a high schooler and my
middle schooler still doesn’t have any work. And so I’ve got, it’s, it’s kind of, it’s all on me, you know, I’m
trying to make sure that she’s doing something, you know. So I guess, with having multiple kids knowing
that they were in different scenarios, and just my own sanity, I had to establish a routine right from the
beginning. So a few things that helped me was getting a kind of strict schedule, and I’m usually usually a
little bit more flexible, you know, they go to bed, you know, the older ones kind of, sometimes they go to
bed before them. But you know, right now, everybody has to be up at, you know, between 730 and 745.
And then it’s lights out at 10. So that, for me is just a little piece of sanity, I know that they’re going to get
up and they’re going to you know, start doing something. And then I also took their screens away. And
that has been kind of life changing for me, just not having a battle that I know that, you know, we’re all
trying to manage that technology area with the with the kids. And this is something I’m definitely going to
carry forward, you know, for us, I’ve taken them away. And what we do is we have a journal, all the kids
have a journal, they write down their goals for the next day. And after that day, we kind of go through it,
you know, at the end of the day, we go through it, what do we get done? Is there anything that we could
transfer to tomorrow, what is tomorrow gonna look like, just to have them feel a sense of responsibility
and, and accomplishment when they are doing the different things that’s important for them. So around, I
don’t know, 334, somewhere in there, we’ll go through those and, you know, make sure that everybody’s
getting their their work done. Or, you know, the one my one daughter’s case, she’s getting the work done
that I’m giving her. And then I’ll give them their screen for hour, hour and a quarter hour and a half, even
honestly, like, no questions asked, I feel like I know, it sounds sort of reward situation, I didn’t intend it to
sound like that or feel like that. But it just works for us, then they know that their screen time, then after
that, I take them away, and it’s back to normal the next day. So that has been really helpful for us. In
addition to that, you know, like I said, my younger two, they have a lot of structure, the older two didn’t,
regardless, every day, I tell them everybody has to eat for 30 minutes, everybody has to do math for 30
minutes, and they need to get outside for an hour. So we are blessed we’re in, in North Carolina, the
weather’s been beautiful, I’m so grateful for that. Even if it’s cold out, I would, you know, really try to get
the kids outside, I think just getting out of the house is is good for all of us. So that that’s been really
helpful for us. And during that time, when they are doing, you know, their schoolwork or what I’ve told
them to do, that’s a good time for me to be working also. So I know that I at least have that little
separation time. And sure they come to me with questions here and there. But I think that having some
kind of a structure and routine is helpful for all of us, you know, I I personally wouldn’t be able to have
everybody kind of stayed up until all hours and then just getting up whenever they feel like it I feel like
they should still have a sense of being in school even though they’re not right. So, you know, having
some kind of system setup however that works for you. And maybe, you know, somebody listening has a
different kind of work schedule or anything like that just tailoring it to how it can fit your family. So and you
know, all that being said, we we are doing things together. I mean, it’s not it’s definitely not a all work
situation or anything like that, you know, we were trying to play games, we’re trying to get outside
together. I mean, I played on the trampoline with them, you know, different things like that. We started
watching a new show, but but also making sure that there’s just that I guess balance I keep going Going
back to that.

Yeah. And I think you made a good point that, you know, this is what’s what works for you. But I think
there’s so many, you know, you look at social media, sure all of us we have extra time to scroll. But you
look in your you see these schedules and you see things like, but I think it’s important to keep in mind
that you have to do you have to kind of look at your family dynamic and create something that works for
you. And I don’t think it’s anything that’s, here’s what it should be. And this should work for everybody.
Yeah, so even this morning, my youngest, she, we’ve been, you know, I’ve been saying school starts at
nine. So we get up and they do eat breakfast, do their thing, whatever. And then at nine o’clock,
everybody’s sitting at, you know, our workspace. And she said, You know, I’d really, I really wanted to
finish draw coloring this from art yesterday, can I do that before I get started? I said, that’s fine. We can
veer off schedule a little bit to get that done. But and I like your idea for journaling, because and not
necessarily a journal. But for me, at the end of the day, I in my planner will write my to do list for the next
day. And so I typically I pick three priority things that I have no, I have to get done the next day. And so I’ll
put those in. And then there’s some peripheral things that, that kind of go into the list. But I think it’s so
helpful to look at the next day. In that way, you know, even for me, as an adult for the kids to look at it
that way, like Okay, so here’s what my goals are for tomorrow. I think that’s just a great, great system to
have in place.
Right? Well, if you think about it, you know, when they go to school, they have all of that laid out for them,
right? They they know which classes they’re supposed to go to. And so they they haven’t had to really
think through this. And I know, I don’t know about you, but summer is summer summer, you know, so
we’re not doing this kind of thing during summer. So it’s, I think it just helps them establish a plan. But
again, like, they should feel like they’re accomplishing different things. And you know, gosh, I know, I
know, you’re in the same boat, sometimes, you know, your main few things that you have on your to do
list. They don’t include maybe doing the laundry or, you know, running and picking something up that
needs picked up. But those are still things that we’re doing and we should feel like, okay, we’ve we’ve
done quite a bit in that day. So I think that’s, that’s good for all of us just to know that we’re not, you know,
we’re not we’re spending your time wisely and getting things done, I guess,
right. So along with this schedule, I feel like we could benefit from some boundaries. So now for us to
talk, I had to give some stern warnings that we’re recording, I’m recording a podcast, I cannot be in or
interrupted for this next hour. So one thing I’ve experienced and heard from a lot of fellow parents and
friends is that our kids are home, and they see us around. So they tend to come to us for every little
thing, whether it be a school question, or asking for a snack, you know, and we’re available to help but
some of these see these things they can definitely do on on their own. I kind of it’s funny. I as I’m asking
this question, I think when I’m in the car, driving, somewhere that I’m not familiar with, I just use my GPS
or just go along and I get there. And my husband’s as when he’s in the car, I tend to ask him questions,
or it’s, but it’s I when I think back to it, I’m like, when I’m alone, I I’m fine. I get to where I need to go. So
why am I so I kind of kind of like goes back to this when someone’s there. It’s one of those things that
you do. So you ask the question. So I think they just think maybe it’s easier, just that I’m there to help all
24/7. So how do we set some boundaries and encourage a little more independence?
Oh, my gosh, this is this is a work in progress for me too. It really is. I know, I know. I am in the same
boat. I really had to give some stern directions before before we got on this call. But you know, I again, I
think I I’m trying to see all the Silver Linings here. And I think we just talked about them learning how to
set their own schedules. But I remember when this I distinctly remember when I kind of learned this
lesson, I did an internship in college and I worked at an accounting firm. And I would have questions and
I would go to a higher ups office and kind of stand there in the office. And at one point, I mean she was
very blunt and said, Listen, I am working. You cannot just come in here and think that you can ask me
questions whenever you have them and I feel bad Do not guilt, those negative feelings. I was like, Oh my
gosh, okay, I need to be respectful of people’s time. And you know that that has stuck with me ever
since. And I think that it’s, it’s a little more difficult because we’re their parents, and maybe it won’t come
across as strongly, but this is, this is a good time for them to start learning their boundaries. With that
being said, from the parental side, you know, I think that maybe giving them some time, at different points
so that they know like, okay, you know, for us in the morning, okay, what are we working on? What do
you got here this morning, and this is what I’m going to be doing. And I’m going to be sitting outside, or
I’m going to be sitting in my office. And, you know, if you have questions, then, you know, come and get

me at this point, but I’m going to be off limits, and try to set some of those boundaries. If you can, you
know, then for us, you know, at lunchtime, Lego pays. Do you know how things are? And like, what did
you get done? What else do you have to do? You know, are you working with anybody, anything like
that? So that they feel like you’re still there for them? Because you are you just don’t want to be talked to
24/7? You know, and you bring up such a good point that I think we’ve all gotten to this point where, you
know, I asked Siri everything. Yeah, so I have the Google app, and I love the Google app, because you
can do the microphone, I don’t even have to type. And you know, when you know, does Orion’s Belt
connect to the Big Dipper, you know what? Everything. And so we’re used to having all that information
at our fingertips of right now. We’re the information source. So when we, you know, our generation and
other kind of older generations, you know, way to figure things out. We didn’t have Siri, we didn’t have
Google and all that. So maybe this will push them to try to figure things out on their own. And, and also,
you know, use your resources. I try to teach my kids that all the time. Like, what might, this is a funny
story. During this course, we’re getting into all crazy things. And my 13 year old, wanted to dye her hair.
Okay. Uh huh. And, you know, I said, Well, I guess you’re not going to see anybody they said, I guess so.
But I don’t, I don’t have a clue what to look for in in hair color. Because that, you know, that’s just in my
wheelhouse. So, you know, here are two of my friends who are hairstylist, like, reach out to them, call
them and kind of use your resources and see what you can find out. So again, just trying to see, try to
focus on the positive, you know, maybe maybe the kids will kind of learn something, and, and what are
some lessons that we can try to help them learn through all of this, while also giving us some of that time
that we, we really need? Right? So obviously, for younger kids, this,
the boundaries become a little bit more difficult. I know, our kids are a little older, in elementary school
and middle school and high school. So I think, you know, I think there are some things you can do with
with the younger ones, but obviously, becomes a little, a little more sticky whenever you get into the
toddler age group and try to set those boundaries.
Right. And you know, what, if that’s a good point, and I’d be so curious to know, I am speaking from the
the elementary and older kids, and I’ve thought through all of this, I wonder what you know, how is it?
How is it different? And I don’t want to say which one is more difficult, because they’re all difficult. But
gosh, it’s just so interesting to see the the different challenges that we’re facing with kids of different
ages, and how people are handling that, you know, yeah,
well, and I think that, and I just had a conversation before we talked this morning about, it’s not just the,
you know, our kids are having to become better at problem solving. We’re becoming better problem
solving businesses, you look at these shifts, and all of these businesses, they’re having to become
problem solvers. And, and, you know, divert from normal everyday, I feel like just our whole society is
like, you know, and I think, from what I’m seeing, you know, I used to drive up. My colleague just said
they took had to take their dog for a shot and they drove up to the vet office and the vet came out and all
masked and everything and was able to give the dog a shot, like on the passenger seat, and they drove
away and it took like, 10 minutes, you know, and I’m like, okay, so silver lining in this, maybe people are
learning efficiency. You don’t have to sit in a waiting room for an hour, you know, businesses are shifting
where maybe streamlining some of the schoolwork and, you know, who knows, I keep looking for silver
linings. You said silver lining, so I keep every day I’m like, okay, if I’m seeing some good, I’m keeping my
list here.
Right, right. No, I agree. And you have to you have to, I do think there’s a lot of good that’s good. I mean
out of this. So I feel like I’ve seen so many more people outside. And I love seeing even like, the older
kids with their parents, it’s something you know, you generally don’t see. And lots of lots of good coming
out of it for sure.
Yes. So let’s talk about the kitchen. I know, this is a fun topic for both of us. So I love to cook, but I’ve
never cooked this much in my life. And it’s good I like that we’re eating at home. But it does get
exhausting. And also trying to figure out you know, how to be that pantry chef, where you you kind of are
like, Alright, I want to make that recipe, but I don’t have this in this. So I’m going to need to use these
other things. So I’ve been tuning into your awesome videos, I love to see you, with your kids in the

kitchen, and to see what you’re cooking up. So if you don’t already follow Karen, easy row food, make
sure you do that. So you can see her in action. And we’ll be sharing out all the links so that you can do
that in the show notes. But what can families do to cut back on the constant cooking? So you know, I
know we, a lot of times families come to us, especially in the summer months and say oh my gosh, my
kids are eating all day long, like how they’re not in school. So they’re snack snack snack or cooking or
this or that. So how can we split up the duties and also get kids involved? So it doesn’t fall upon one
person in the household?
Yeah, well, I’m with you. I feel like some days, I feel like taking the time and cooking this elaborate meal
and other days is like, oh my gosh, you know, I mean, we don’t it’s not that we really don’t eat out a lot.
But it’s that feeling of you can’t go to the store. And yet everybody’s eating food at home. And so, you
know, kind of what you said like, what can we do with what we have? So yeah, I have I have a few
suggestions. An obvious is to divide and conquer. You know, and I think a lot of people try to do this
during the summer, like you said is, whether it’s having your kids cook one meal a week, or, you know,
for us, I’m having the kids pick one recipe that they want to make. At first it was kind of free rein just pick
a recipe, I don’t care, just pick a recipe and you know, kind of with the, the mentality of that will be one
less thing that I need to make. So everybody chose baked items, which you know, you know, some
people like to bake some people don’t like kids don’t like to bake. And so then we had a ton of baked
goods, which is great. But then I thought, you know, little balance again, and maybe maybe, maybe
somebody can take like long shot by plate or something like that. And they can they can handle that one.
I know the last time we talked, you said that your daughter enjoys anything breaded so, you know, that’s
a huge help. Oh my gosh, yes. It really is. And that would be Yeah,
yeah, I don’t like to do that. She will stand there all day long. We made empanadas. She also and it’s
funny because she’s very particular. And she doesn’t necessarily eat all the things that she breads, but
we made empanadas a couple days because she just loves to fill the empanadas and close them up and
you know, do the oil. And so I’m like okay, these are you like these things? I’m going to keep putting you
in charge of those.
Right, right. All you you got this one? No, that’s awesome. Yeah, getting and again, I I should try to I’m
trying to think more towards the those with toddlers. I guess this is this is still a good time to get them
involved in kitchens. So you know, even they’re obviously not going to be able to make me on their own
but get them in there with a with the bowls and adding some ingredients and helping mix and get them
involved. That’s something that they can that’s an activity for them. And you know, that’s something you
guys can do together. So
any time you have time to clean up the mess so bring all the toddlers into the kitchen because no one’s
coming to your house. So make make a mess and take your time cleaning up because you have the time
right right exactly. We want to one of my kids actually came up with this Bake Off game I know I
mentioned how many too many baked items so you could do this with anything I’ve I’ve thought about
what we did the Bake Off and basically everybody baked one item and then at the end we all tasted each
other’s phone and kind of voted on what you know which one was the best so you know that that would
be a fun game to do and and also kind of like the cooking shows. Alright, what do we have in our pantry
I’ve thought about I actually haven’t done this with my family but I think this is a great time of okay, any
food in the house we’ve six people in our family so we could have teams of two something like that or
however it works if you for like, either pair up or everybody on their own and use whatever you got in the
house. You can make anything and kind of see what you can come up with. So that could be a fun game
and then the end result is secretly you have food made and that’s takes that duty off of your are off of
your list for the day. So you mentioned the food videos. I think we’re just my couple my kids and I mostly
want to vomit and I are having fun just doing some Facebook Lives but yeah, pretender YouTubers, you
don’t need to, you don’t need to post it anywhere, right, make some videos. Yeah, make some videos like
some cooking videos together that’s kind of fun. And, and again, the secret is you end up with cooked
food after that platters and bars are big tips that I would give platters. I know you love those also,

I was gonna say that I could have a grazing board for every day of the week. And I would be
saying it’s taking out taking leftovers and kind of just displaying it nicely or, you know, taking most of what
you already have. And making one thing to go on there, I just think the presentation part, it just makes it
a little more fun. And it truly is so easy. So you know, serve that up for for lunch or you know, a dinner or
two, that’s just easy. And by bars, I mean, you know, make a big pot of oatmeal and put out different
toppings. Get out your blender and get out some different ingredients and let people make their own
smoothies, make a bunch of sweet potatoes, even regular potatoes and just get some toppings and
make let people make their own, you know, obviously, like tacos or anything like that. But basically let
them make their own meal. So it’s not feeling like you have so much to do with coming up with a recipe
or anything like that. So you know, make it make it simple. I saw a really fun idea from somebody on
Facebook. A lot of times right now I don’t know about you, but I am that really dressing up or putting on
great things that you know you’ve had in your house and they What are you talking about?
I have a ballgown on right now.
I’m embarrassed to say how many days I’m trying to go without washing my bad. Yeah, they had a fancy
dinner night. And you know, you could each get involved with cooking the meal together. But I mean,
they put on fancy clothes and make candles and have this big kind of event for it. And I thought that was
so fun, it was something to do that some you know, everybody can get excited about and, and get
dressed up for. So I thought that was a fun idea. Also, which I’ve got on my list of things to do so. And
and the other thing is, just don’t stress it. I mean, we’re pretty fortunate in that we haven’t gone
completely bare in our grocery stores, but I know, some areas are much worse off. And you know, I know
some areas you really just are not at a point of wanting to go out at all and really, you know, keeping bare
bones and and doing with what you have. So you know, it’s okay, it’s okay if for you know, a couple of
weeks or everything, you’re not getting your green smoothies or you know, you’re not getting quite all the
veggies, veggies and fruits that you want for that time it’s come back to that balance, everything
eventually is going to get back to a point where you’ll be able to get those and kind of like where I think I
think back to kind of learning more about nutrition and not stressing each day in particular, but more
looking at it in a week. And at this point, just look at it, looking at it more over a longer period of time.
There’s enough there’s enough stress right now. And so this is one thing that that I think we need to give
ourselves a pass with.
Right? That is important to remember right now for sure. And just the fancy dinner night I actually when
you said that I saw on a friend on Facebook who had her kids do a ret like it was a restaurant so the
parents showed up, which could be scary. Their parents showed up and for dinner and the kids had you
know their towel and handed them their menu and serve their drinks and you know, who knows what
you’re gonna have to have on your plate. But I thought that was cute too, because it’s she has one a little
bit older and then to to one’s fairly young. But it was interesting to see all the how they came together in
their, their restaurant and the tasks and how they kind of served the parents on their date night. It was
cute. That’s really
cute. That’s good idea.
So okay, so along with cooking comes cleaning. Which we still have to do even though I said no one’s
going to your house, but that doesn’t mean you can’t clean it. So because we’re home 24/7 It feels like
our house is just messy permanently. So do you have any tips for setting up a I hate the word chore but I
guess a chore system or you know a duties daily duties. And then what about tackling bigger projects?
Are you doing things like that? I mean So it’s like, oh, we have time, now’s the time to, you know,
organize this and that. So, you know, if you’re tackling bigger projects like organizing your closet or
something, how do you get the kids in there to help?

Yeah. No, I agree. I feel like every day around that three or four times, I’m like, Oh my gosh, it’s it’s what?
How does it get so messy all the time, I feel like I’m constantly picking up after people. So my, I
mentioned, the younger two are Montessori kids, and my, my third daughter, so she’s 11. Her teacher,
actually, right off the bat head said, Alright, so now that you’re at home, we had a call with him. And you
know, now that you’re at home, what are some things that you can do to help out and so that was really
helpful to hear it from him. But you know, her duties are, are doing laundry and everyday she is setting
the table, she’s cleaning up after dinner. And I’m sorry, from the laundry, she’s she was supposed to do
everybody in the houses laundry, and I just felt bad for her. So I said, You know what? It’s kind of a lot.
Yeah, so, but I have found that if I just kind of randomly say, Hey, guys, you know, somebody needs to
take the garbage out, I always have one child who will step up. And it’s just not fair. So I feel like letting
them know ahead of time. And going back to our cream, that list of what they have to do for the next day,
getting it on that list and just letting them know ahead of time, if you can, this, this is going to be your
responsibility. And so whether it’s a weekly thing, that every week, at this point that that that your child is
responsible for doing XYZ thing, they kind of know that and that is just it is what it is, or, you know, if it’s
weekly, you change up their chores. However it works again, kind of tailoring it to your family and your
situation and how much help you need to really, I mean, we don’t have activities, Nobody’s going
anywhere. So I used to have the excuse of saying, Oh, well, she’s, you know, she dances designer, you
know, and they don’t We don’t have that now. And so they’re home and and I think going back to those
silver linings, you know, I think we have, in today’s day and age of being so busy, we’ve lost that sense of
responsibility for doing chores at home and helping out with a household which you’re all a part of, and I
think this is a good time to start bringing that back. It might be wishful thinking to think that it’ll it’ll last but
you know, we can, we can certainly try, I think this is a good time to really teach them different, you know,
here’s, here’s how to vacuum, I’m some of my kids love to vacuum and gosh, you know, that’s great.
Teach them how to do different chores, and then and get them on their list, but more let them know that
this is going to be their responsibility for some amount of time. So I think that has, that’s been something
that’s working for us. You mentioned the bigger projects. And I, at first was excited and had this great
kind of mental list. You know, like me, too, I’m gonna, yeah, I’m gonna tackle that ebook I’ve been
wanting to do and I’m going to clean this closet, and we’re going after his closet, and all about you, I
mean, you can’t take anything anywhere. So now it’s this strange space of I can’t get motivated to clean
out because then I’m just gonna have big bags full of stuff to donate, but you can’t donate it anywhere.
So that’s kind of just been a mental block for me. So I’m kind of shelving that one until I do feel like at
some point, we’re going to see the light here and and know that those places are going to be open to and
we’ll be able to take them places but okay, what what can we focus on right now and and kind of the
bigger projects might be things like trying to get your kids involved in helping out. So you know, if it’s
making masks, I’ve seen so many people like making the masks and in different ways things like that, or
I know they really can’t go out and shop and and all that but can they make cards? Or can they you
know, just do different things or, you know, what are some ways that that they can kind of get involved
that way and then also tailor it to your family specifically, like my, my eldest daughter has decided she’s
going to work out with me, you know, so we’re exercising together and that’s something that’s kind of
achievable. And another one of my daughter’s loves to read. So she’s got a goal of kind of reading you
know, X amount of books right now, you know, things like that. What, what are some things we might not
be able to clean out those closets and do that, but what are some other different things that are
attainable at this at this at this time? Yeah, I
think and, and I actually same with you at the very beginning. Have all of this thought, Okay, we’re
cleaning out all the closets, we’re gonna do it. And I had my older daughter, she really she’s, she just
keeps getting more clothes coming into the house, but none are going out. And so I had her go through.
And so I am actually in that boat where I have like two big bags in my garage. And yesterday, I looked at
them and said, these are going to be sitting here, they’re in my way, first of all, and they’re going to be
sitting here for a long time. So I too, had some grandiose plans. What I’ve done actually, even for myself,
is just given myself like small organization tasks, just because for me makes me feel better. So like one
day, it’s like the junk drawer. You know, everyone has the junk drawer. So I’m like, Alright, I’m gonna do
that the next day, it was all right underneath the sink, you know, all your cleaning supplies and
everything. So I have broken down mine, personally, not necessarily for the kids. But for me. And like
that way. I’m like doing, like cleaning things out and kind of helping myself get on track with any of that,
like extra little bit of extra time I have. But I feel like that has been helpful for me personally like to feel
like I’m organizing or cleaning out? I don’t know.

Right, right. It’s tricky, because I feel like, I know, we’re not alone. I know, a lot of us we have these ideas,
and we want to do these things. And I almost feel like it’s gonna feel like last time when we don’t do it.
But it’s, it’s also I do think it’s almost mentally difficult to to get that motivated to do something like that,
for some reason, even if even if you could donate things, I don’t know why I’ve, I’ve had a little bit of a
mental block with just the motivation part of doing things. And and again, I think that’s where we kind of
give ourselves peace and say like, it’s okay. You know, I think I think the self care thing is, is pretty
important right now.
It is because mentally right now all of us, well, me, I’ll say that and maybe someone else out there, from
one minute to the next. It’s a roller coaster. I mean, one minute, I’m in this like this is, you know, this is
not a great situation, overall, but like, you know, we’re together. And we did this, and we had this
moment, and I see these positives, and I’m feeling good. And then it could be 10 minutes later that I’m
crying my eyes out, because I just had to cross off the school play in my planner, you know, like, these
little actions, these little triggers will just send me into, you know, kind of, say over the edge, but send me
into this, like sadness and all of these feelings. And then I’m trying to push that out. And it’s like, oh, my
gosh, I’m so drained. I’m on this roller coaster of feelings. But I think we have to let ourselves feel those
things. And like you said, you know, kind of give ourselves grace. That yes, you know, it’s okay, we’re not
our house isn’t totally reorganized, and we haven’t learned French and how to play the guitar.
Right? Which sounds great in theory, just maybe not right now.
Yeah. So okay, so before all this craziness, our schedules were pretty full between tennis, dance, school
plays, community activities. So now our calendars have been wiped clean for the time being. And, you
know, we’ve been enjoying this time at home. But there’s a certain point where, I guess you feel like how
many more Netflix movies? Can you watch? What are, you know, what are some creative activities we
can enjoy at home? How can we get the whole family involved when we’ve got kiddos with, with age
gaps, like I know we do, who are in different stages of life. So we’re trying to, you know, figure out how to
keep all of these keep off screens. I mean, screens are part of what we’re doing right now. It’s like, you
know, we have all these this information, how to, like reduce screen time, and how to keep you know,
your kids off screens, and now all the sudden we’re in this situation, and it’s like, well, right, right, what do
we do now? But anyway, so what are your thoughts on on getting keeping these kids active and getting
these activities in?
Sure. Yeah. Yeah. Again, in the same boat, you know, I mentioned doing things like sewing the masks,
or, you know, making cards to take to and this is a tricky one. I honestly don’t know what the answer is. I
suggest making cards to take to different places. I don’t know if they’re actually accepting anything. So I
think it’s a very nice gesture. I don’t know if you can actually take cards to you know, maybe an assisted
living or something like that. Possibly not. But get outside of seeing a lot of people getting outside and,
and using chalk, which is super fun. I love that they’re getting outside and getting some sunshine and
putting positive messages on their driveway and I’m sure you’re the same I mentioned people just getting
outside so much. So they’re walking by and seeing little positivity. board games an obvious I don’t know
about you, I feel like we have tons of board games that are, we just don’t use, you know, we are like to
favorites that we always go back to. So this is a great time to pull those out have lots of game time. It’s
currently you know, Easter time. So die some eggs do some different art projects, I do know, I don’t
know, I feel like there’s so many resources for, you know, if you want to learn to draw or you know, learn
how to do different crafts, or science projects, things like that there are resources that are available. And
again, we have the time. So you know, maybe looking at some of those resources, I loved when my kids
were younger, I loved reading a chapter book together. In fact, my, my youngest just turned nine, and
we’ll still read chapter books together. So it’s basically me reading to him. But that’s just fun, you know, if
they’re, if they’re a little bit older, you can each read the same book I’ve done that with, with my kids
before we each read the same book, and then don’t have like a book club necessarily, but it’s just fun to
talk about the book that you just kind of shared in that story together. Or if you can get some of the kids
that are similar ages, let them do a little book club together and have a discussion, they can they can get
on get on Skype or hangouts or something like that, and do a little virtual, virtual book club ball. So that’s
kind of fun. be met, I have a couple of older kids also, and I’m sure everybody knows about tick tock and

I beyond and I have a tick tock account now. So I haven’t posted anything, but I’m over there. Because I
it’s fun.
Yeah, it is, it is fine. I know. My kids are wanting to teach me dances. So finally I was like, Alright, we’ve
got time. And you know, we didn’t post anything, but you know, still, it’s still something different and fun to
do. And then, you know, the obvious kind of get outside walks and, and ride bikes together and all of that
I think this is just a great time to do those. Go play on the trampoline, you know, the be a kid again, you
know, it is a really good time for for family time. And, sure we are, like I said, we’ve got a new Netflix
show that we’re watching together, but try to balance it out with doing other things and, and let the kids
lead the way. You know, they’ve, they’ve got ideas, too. So maybe see what is it that they want to do and,
and follow their lead? Yeah, we found
a the teacher sent out some useful links. And one of them is an an art thing on YouTube that both my
girls, they’re like art classes at three o’clock, right? It’s at three o’clock. So they’ve been sitting down with
our colored pencils every day at three and really enjoying that. And, and I’ve been doing it with them, and
I forgot how much I love to draw. And it’s just been it’s so therapeutic to, you know, create something,
and then we all kind of create the same thing, but then add our own personal touches to it, which is is, is
interesting to see our different personalities kind of come through and the drawings so and then with the
board games, I mean, I’m with you, we have an entire closet, that is board games and different games
and card games. And so we’ve been pulling some of those old ones out that, you know, like Disney Beat
the Parents, which was always fun when you are challenging up against your parents knowledge. So
we’ve been having a really good time, I’m just playing some of those board games. So I think there’s a lot
that that you can do those, think about all the things that before this, you would say, Oh, if I only had, you
know, some extra time, we could do that, you know, fill in the blank, I’m sure there’s a million things that
you could plug in there. Right. So good stuff. Good stuff. I think this is a lot of good information. For
everybody I love, we can just hop on here and just be real, real talk. And we’ll link up to resources for
everybody over in the show notes. So it’s just been great to talk through some of these topics. I know. I
say topics, but just last month, they probably weren’t topics that we would have been talking about here
on the podcast, but definitely, you know the time we’re in important to keep these conversations going
and making sure people know that, you know, we’re all in this together and we’ll we’ll get through it and
give yourself grace. Remember, please no one needs to be putting too much pressure on themselves
right now. Okay, so well thank you for joining us today and sharing everything with families. But before
we close out, I guess if there’s anything else you’d like to share or tell listeners Here’s where they can
find and connect with you.
Yeah, no thank you as always for for having me, I really appreciate it. And, and likewise, I just I enjoy
talking with you. So thank you and, and I think for all of us to remember giving yourself Grace like you
said and give yourself that self care and, and, and we are going to get through this together. So my
information my website is easy real You can find me on Instagram also at easy real food and I,
you know, am on Pinterest and on Facebook as well. Facebook is real food easy. And we have been on
Facebook Yeah, we’ve been doing some different little cooking videos, my kids and I we do about two a
week. And it’s just easy recipes for you to make with your kids and trying to do minimal ingredients right
now and also give substitutions in case ingredients are hard to find. So again, just another resource of
ideas of things to do so. Yeah, thank you again for having me.
Great conversation today. I know we ran a little long, but just good information, good conversation. Hang
in there everyone. We will get through this. Remember, if you like the healthy family project, tell a friend
and leave us a rating it will only help our visibility so we can continue to create a healthier generation.
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episodes and really just talking about what’s going on and ways and tips that we can share with each
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