Sunday, June 7, 2015

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Easy Grilled Tomatoes on the Grill and the Power of Elmo

"Mommy!" Pure joy and excitement wash over my kids' faces when they see their mommy. Do you know who else can evoke that kind of elation from my children? Well, certainly not daddy. My kids love Elmo. In fact, "Elmo" was probably one of the first words my kids learned. And so, we packed our sleepy children into the mini-van at 5:30 in the morning, and made the pilgrimage to see the red, furry deity.

After a remarkably pleasant three hour drive, we arrived at Sesame Place. Although it's called Sesame Place, a more apt name would be Elmo's Place. Although the park is replete with all the classic Sesame Street characters, Elmo is most prominently featured. And let's face it, he is the main attraction. That's why we reserved a special seat at the appropriately titled, "Breakfast With Elmo & Friends." 

Taking your kids to Breakfast With Elmo scores major points with the little ones. Cailya immediately brightened up once she was greeted by the Count. The young girl inside the Count outfit gave Cailya  a warm hug and even offered to hold our selfie stick so we could take a proper family photo. In addition to the Count, the kids met Abby, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, and of course, Elmo. 

As an added bonus, reserving a spot for breakfast entitled us to early admission into the park. This is a huge tip for those seeking to beat the massive crowds that build up at the 10 o'clock opening. Because we were able to beat the bottleneck into the park, we were able to breeze through many attractions without having to wait in extended lines. Everything is perfectly geared towards young toddlers. We went on several rides including Elmo's Cloud Chaser, witnessed the musical styling of Elmo the Musical, and took in a show called, "Let's Play Together", featuring Elmo. The highlight of the trip however, was Sky Splash, a large family water slide. 

I learned a few things from this trip. Go early. Don't overschedule your trip. Freeze water bottles and carry popcorn with you at all times. And, Elmo is God. Elmo's influence is so powerful, he can even help your kids develop healthful eating habits. For instance, children rated broccoli more favorably when an Elmo sticker was attached to a picture of broccoli. I enlisted Elmo's help to encourage the kids to eat grilled tomatoes in the following video:

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