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Special Midsummer – How to Celebrate like a Swede?

At Miniware, Sweden is part of our heritage, and as soon as June comes around we can’t stop thinking of Midsummer. In many cases, a lot of families gather to celebrate this traditional high-point of the summer through traditional midsummer dishes, and dances!

Discover the top 5 traditions of a Swedish Midsummer, and follow our tips if you wanna celebrate like a Swede. 

Pick some colorful and pretty summer flowers and some green leaves!

Midsummer Eve often starts in the morning by picking flowers. It’s a tradition to wear a midsummer wreath on midsummer eve. Most people make these themselves by picking flowers and binding them around a steel thread. Some use the flowers for decorating the pole.

Gather and raise the maypole!

The Midsummer celebrations usually start around noon, when friends and family gather to enjoy a small picnic often in the countryside or the archipelago. Symbol of fertility, the “Midsommarstång” (the maypole) is decorated with greenery and flowers and raised in an open spot for people to dance around. 

Let the dancing begin! 

Many traditional ring-dances follow around the maypole. Make sure to take part in the “Små grodorna” (The Little Frogs) dance, one of the most popular dances during midsummer. People of all ages jump around the pole while singing about little frogs and mimicking little frogs, it looks as fun and crazy as it sounds!

Make sure that herrings and strawberries are on the menu! 

Later in the afternoon, it’s time for midsummer food! Must-haves are gravlax or salmon, different kinds of pickled herring, boiled new potatoes with fresh dill, soured cream and chives and of course, for dessert, a strawberry cake and the first strawberries of the summer. 

If you’re a single parent, don’t forget to pick up seven flowers before going to bed! 

According to the legend, you should collect seven different kinds of flowers to put under your pillow before you go to bed. If you do this, the legend says that the person of your dreams will appear!;)

How Miniware can help you to enjoy this day with your little ones?

Photo by IG @raisingislaelyse_

Forget about the paper plates! Miniware’s Healthy Meal Set is the perfect plate for toddlers. It’s sturdy and shatter-proof, great for outdoor settings and the smart divider is ideal for creating a healthy plate of varying foods while keeping sauces and foods separate. A must-have for picky eaters! Durable, eco-friendly, and dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up.

Toddlers also want to join the fun and all the midsummer toasts! So why not serve them their favorite smoothie in our 1-2-3 Sip Cup! Success guaranteed! 

Among your picnic essentials don’t forget to pack some snacks, water, wipes, and extra clothing/diapers. Some games are also a must to keep your kids entertained, take your favorite game, like a frisbee, bubble soap, a ball, or for our Swedish families a kubb. 

We have prepared great bundles and free gifts especially for you so that you can be ready for the celebrations and set a beautiful and colorful table. Enjoy a composition of our best sellers, and a special 20% discount on a selection of products! 

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Celebrating our Mini’s Moms! ♡

Being a mom is fantastic, and means a lot, it is all about joy and love, watching them grow up, and supporting their dreams.

As Sweden is part of our heritage, and the 30th of May is Mother Day here in Sweden, we thought we’d take the opportunity to celebrate all mothers by sharing the portraits of some wonderful moms.

♡ Discover the portrait of our Mini’s Mothers ♡

They share what they love to do with their little ones!

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3 Easy Breakfasts Kids Can Make for Mother’s Day

Kids often delight in cooking a special breakfast for mom on Mother’s Day, with or without the help of another parent. It gives them a sense of pride in the food they create and good feelings from doing something special for mom.

Kids, like our partners, don’t just magically know what we want so it’s important to tell them. As parents, we often put our own wants and needs aside to focus on our families but being clear about what you’d like teaches your kids very valuable lessons. First, how to ask for things they need and want themselves and that it’s okay to do so, but also it teaches them how to be better partners. Mom and dad are the first people they strive to please but someday they’ll need to make boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, and their own kids feel special and appreciated. What you teach them now about doing loving acts of service and giving thoughtful gifts will carry into those relationships.

Of course, we want our kids to be successful so although your favorite breakfast may be eggs benedict, it’s best to keep things simple for them. Egg poaching can take time to master! Thankfully there are some easy breakfasts kids can make for Mother’s Day that won’t leave the kitchen a disaster or anyone in tears. They’re both delicious and “fancy,” so your kids can make you feel like a queen!

Fancy Toasts

For kitchen novices, fancy toasts are a simple yet elegant breakfast perfect for Mother’s Day. Avocado toast is hugely popular and only requires toasting bread, smashing avocado and spreading it, something older children can do on their own or smaller kids with supervision. Other fancy toast ideas could include cream cheese and sliced veggies, pesto and egg, smoked salmon or pear and honey.

Quiche

This dish most likely requires adult supervision unless you have older, more experienced kids in the kitchen. Young children can whip eggs, sprinkle cheese and wash vegetables to help. Teens can follow a simple quiche recipe, many of which can be found online. Quiche possibilities are endless; vegetarian and with meat. Use cooked hash browns as a crust or frozen pie crust for an easy shortcut. A variety of colorful vegetables like diced peppers makes for a festive Mother’s Day meal!

Waffles

You can get as fancy or as simple as you want with waffles. Young kids can make frozen gourmet waffles in the toaster and decorate them with washed berries and whipped cream or chocolate chips or both. With supervision they can help mix batter for fresh waffles, spread softened butter and pour syrup. Other kid-friendly Mother’s Day waffle suggestions include peanut butter and banana, Greek yogurt and berries, blueberries and cream, and whipped ricotta and strawberry.

Create Breakfast Together Beforehand

One way to make Mother’s Day breakfast both exactly what you want and easy for the kids is to prepare it together beforehand. Bake your favorite morning pastries together the day before and the kids can warm and serve them to you. Or create a more complex dish like breakfast burritos that they can simply reheat and serve. They’ll still get the joy of creating a pretty place-setting or tray and serving up something they helped create with mom!

Skip Cooking Altogether

Send your partner and kids on a breakfast run to your favorite bakery or brunch spot or get something delivered from one of the many services like DoorDash or GrubHub that deliver from a multitude of restaurants. Just make sure the kids can still add their own special touch on breakfast with fancy plating, decorations or a special drink!

Don’t Forget the “Momosa”

Even if champagne and orange juice isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of festive drinks your kids can make as a colorful addition to Mother’s Day breakfast. Try peach nectar and ginger ale for a mock Bellini, sprinkle in a few berries for color! Other fruity morning favorites include citrus juice with a splash of pomegranate, pineapple and strawberry juice or a refreshing “mojito” with seltzer, lime, and mint. Kids can serve it in a fancy glass!

What’s your favorite Mother’s Day breakfast? Do you have ideas of breakfasts kids can make for Mother’s Day? Share your experience on our Instagram!

Picture by @talenejessicaweeks

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Celebrating Women’s Day: Recognizing Achievements of Women and Mothers Everywhere

March 8th is International Women’s Day, a global day of recognition of women’s achievements and to promote gender equality. It wasn’t that long ago in the United States that there was a firm line between “women’s work” and men’s. Thankfully, those lines have blurred and we’re able to acknowledge all the amazing things that women and mothers do and that all of them are worthy of admiration!

At times, being a woman can be hard work, and being a mom, doubly so! Whether you’re home full time with kids, a working mom, a single mom, any kind of mom; we recognize the hard work you do every day to raise healthy, happy kiddos. We’re celebrating Women’s Day and this day is for you!

Designer/founder Ai Su Bonnier created Miniware with her husband Adam the year their son Astor began eating solid foods. They created their eco-friendly, all-natural children’s tableware brand to help young children as they master self-feeding skills. Running a multinational business while being a dedicated mom is quite the juggling act but one that Ai seems to have mastered!

Blessed with a partner who truly believes the equality of sharing both professional and home workloads are the key to a successful relationship, Adam is no stranger to the non-traditional husband role. He gets up early to prepare Astor’s school snacks and drive him to school while Ai recovers from late-night international meetings. Miniware indeed cares about every parent’s well-being and celebrates the independence of women and kids.

Although the days are long and busy, Ai is committed to having dinner with her family every day, a routine they all enjoy. At dinnertime, Astor loves to put on his apron and help Ai with the preparation of simple, healthy meals. They both cherish this time as it not only creates wonderful memories and bonds through cooking but teaches Astor important skills for a healthy life while still feeling like fun!

Despite the busy and sometimes hectic work schedule, Ai has few complaints. It’s a valuable experience for them to build a successful brand and still have the flexibility to do their favorite things, including lots of hands-on parenting time with their joyful sons like volunteering and other outside school activities.

Like most first-time parents, Ai and Adam are learning the best methods of parenting for their son Astor and their family dynamic. The high-pressure lifestyle of running a company just made them more committed to being deeply involved in their son’s fleeting childhood.

Whatever your lifestyle and however you parent, we know you’re just as dedicated to your precious kids and that’s what makes you a great mom!

Happy International Women’s Day from Ai, Adam, and the Miniware Team!

Learn more about celebrating Women’s Day and gender equality issues here.

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4 No Sugar, Eco-Friendly Valentines Ideas for Kids

When it comes to classroom valentines, many schools have a “no sugar” policy that rules out traditional store-bought candy hearts and chocolates. Not only is this healthier for children but it can inspire them to be more creative when it comes to creating Valentine’s Day gifts for their classmates and friends. Even if your child’s school isn’t sugar-free this year, Valentine’s Day produces a ton of waste from candy wrappers and paper cards. 

This year help your kid create eco-friendly valentines the whole class will love, and teachers too!

Here are 4 clever ideas:

Painted Rocks

This art project is perfect if you’ve got a little collector on your hands. If your child loves to pick up little rocks, shells and other gifts from nature, consider giving out small decorated rocks this year. Unlike cards that get thrown away, plenty of kids will hold on to their special rock, possibly for years! It’s something personal and fun that’s unique for every child. Teachers like painted rocks too! No paint? Try googly eyes.

Seed Valentines

This idea makes for a fun afternoon art project you can do with your kids. Help them make envelopes to hold seed packets, any flower or vegetable you choose. The envelopes can be made with recycled paper (only one side must be blank, the print can remain on the inside) or other paper you have on hand, then seal with glue, tape or staples. Your kid will enjoy placing the seeds inside and decorating the envelopes while the classmates who receive them will love planting the seeds and watching them grow!

Biodegradable Paper Seed Hearts

These recycled paper hearts are packed with wildflower seeds and make beautiful and fun valentines. Many sellers on Etsy make them and they can be purchased quite affordably. If you’re feeling crafty, you can even help your child make their own. Get the instructions here. Your kid can affix these hearts to a small handmade card that holds their Valentine’s Day message and instructions on how to plant them. 

Teacher Gift Idea – Live Plants

During the three weeks leading up Valentine’s Day, hundreds of cargo planes carrying flowers from warmer climates scurry to meet America’s demand for roses and floral bouquets. The International Council on Clean Transportation estimated that those three weeks of flower delivery flights emit approximately 360,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Whoa! Forget about cut flowers and instead present your child’s teacher with a beautiful and much more eco-friendly valentine, a live plant!

Your local nursery has dozens of affordable options, even for those without a green thumb. Air plants and succulents require very little water and attention and make fun, unique gifts. Your kid will love looking through the plants to find the special one for their favorite teacher!

Once your child has completed their valentines, you can easily pack them in your Miniware GrowBento Box so they make it to school in perfect condition!

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5 Realistic New Year’s Parenting Resolutions

It’s Resolution Time Again!

Time to wipe the slate clean and give yourself a fresh start. Being a good parent is hard work and it’s natural to want to be the best for your kids all while berating yourself for not living up to impossible standards. So, there’s a laundry pile and you fed them pizza twice this week, cut yourself some slack and skip being super-parent. Instead, focus on the small things you can do that will make a big difference in your kid’s life. Here are some totally achievable New Year’s parenting resolutions for 2019! 

  1. Give your kids undivided attention every day. Just being with your children isn’t the same as being present with your kids. Being present means being fully focused and engaged in the moment, giving them your full device-free attention. Increasingly, we spend time behind screens capturing moments for social media or tweeting, texting, posting and tagging. Life is busy, so we multitask, but giving your child fifteen minutes of undivided attention, conversation and focus is worth more than an hour of distracted playtime. Put a cap on your workday (no email after a set time for example) and set aside some distraction-free time to spend with your kids.

Master time management

  1. Eat together. Schedules vary from family to family, but kids need to be fed on a schedule. Sometimes this means they eat before us, or with one family member but not others. Maybe eating dinner together every night isn’t realistic for your family but finding time to share food as a family is important to creating and maintaining bonds. If dinner isn’t in your schedule, try a family breakfast, brunch or lunch instead!

Plan meals with ease.

  1. Exercise more. This resolution tops most adult’s list this time of year, but kids need exercise too. Getting kids to exercise, especially if they’re not athletes, can be a challenge. Resolve to build fun activities into your time together that double as a workout. Think bike riding, nature walks, dance competitions, scavenger hunts, charity events, starting a garden or turning commercials into mini family workouts. Depending on your kids ages, you can have at least 30 mins of fun together every single day. Check out kid’s yoga and gymnastic stretching videos online which are fun for parents and kids to practice together. A simple jump rope can bring lots of fun. Creating a simple competition will make exercise more interesting for older kids and encourage them to participate.

Cosmic Kids Yoga

4. Learn a new language together. Another popular resolution among adults,  it’s never too early to get your kids started on learning a new language. Not only is it a fun activity to do together, but it can also serve them well in an ever-globalized world where being bi- or tri-lingual is a huge asset in any career. You can even set a goal of a country to visit together once everyone has reached a certain level. There are many ways to start learning together from apps that make learning a game to audio programs. Best of all, you’ll have each other to practice with in-between sessions!

Make learning a new language fun and easy. Check this out too: Gus on the Go

  1. Learn a new cuisine. Kids love helping in the kitchen. One way to spend quality time with your children is to involve them in cooking and baking projects. There are many types of kitchen tasks that even small children can help with like scooping, sifting, stirring and sprinkling. Older children will enjoy learning simple recipes and the science of baking. To add an extra level of motivation, choose a new cuisine (perhaps a future travel destination) and do some research with your child on traditional dishes and desserts. Together you can plan and execute an exotic dinner for your family that your child can feel proud of while teaching them about other cultures around the world.

10 New Cuisines You Need to Try.

There are no cookie-cutter families; each one is unique. What’s important is how we use the time we have with our families. Finding fun ways to share experiences and goals will help you build bonds and memories with your child to last a lifetime.

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Around the Table: Keeping Kids Engaged During Meal Times

We all know how hard it can be to keep kids sitting still and focused during a long meal. In the past, mealtimes used to last around 90 minutes but in today’s culture, the average family dinner is reduced to just 12 minutes. Taking this into account, you can see why keeping kids engaged during meal times during a multi-hour holiday feast is difficult!

Studies have shown that sharing meals together at the table provides a wealth of benefits for all family members. Children who participate in frequent family dinners are shown to eat better, perform better in school, engage in less risky behaviors in their teens and have better relationships with their parents.

So, while you may be looking for tips to keep the kids engaged during this holiday’s lengthy meals, we encourage you to apply them to lengthen the time of your family dinners throughout the year!

  1. Get your kids involved in meal preparation. When children help prepare a meal, they’re proud of what they’ve done and enjoy sharing their accomplishments at the table. Seeing people enjoying food that they’ve made will help them stay focused and engaged. There are many kitchen tasks that children of all ages can enjoy, from mashing and stirring for little ones to preparing simple recipes under supervision with older kids.
  2. Make sure they’re comfortable. It can be hard to enjoy your time at the table if the table is too high or your seat is too hard. Consider your child’s ergonomic needs for proper eating and help ensure they’re seated comfortably in a way that facilitates self-feeding and interacting with other diners. Placing something under your toddler’s feet so their legs aren’t dangling is helpful too.
  3. Serve dishes that reflect your family’s history and heritage. Do some research with your child regarding traditional holiday dishes from your grandparent’s or great-grandparents country or culture. Not only will your child enjoy learning about food and family history, but these dishes invite the sharing of family stories during the meal. Making and sharing these dishes can help establish a sense of family identity within your child!
  4. Make it fancy. Little kids especially enjoy playing “dress-up,” so treating your family holiday dinner like a fancy and important event can make it fun. Ensure children have pretty place settings and “special” dishes or cups. If you’re making use of a “kid’s table” make it just as elegant as for adults. Flameless candles, unbreakable stemware, an easy-clean holiday tablecloth and other kid-friendly exchanges can be made to prevent accidents. Provide elements that can also entertain, like a printed “menu” and crayons or small handheld puzzles. Consider a dry run or two with your child to practice table manners and polite conversation. You can roleplay you’re having dinner with kings and queens!
  5.   Include children of all ages in dinner conversation. Even young children enjoy engaging in dinnertime chat with family and visitors. Include family-friendly topics that interest children such as stories about how their parents or grandparents met, first jobs or how each family member got their name. Other topics children of all ages can participate in include dream vacations, favorite memories, asking who they admire and why, or what would make their perfect day. Older children and teens especially enjoy talking about their favorite celebrities, music, movies and games. Ask open-ended questions to keep the conversation flowing!
  6. Know their limits. The younger the child, the less time you can expect them to sit quietly at the table. For very young children, a two-hour dinner can feel like torture! If dinner is at home, add a small craft table with activities for children to enjoy when they leave the table. Things like activity, coloring and picture books or simple craft projects can keep them occupied while adults finish their meal. Purchasing a special item like new crayons or puzzle book with their favorite characters will give them something to look forward to after dinner, If you’re expecting several small children, provide enough materials for sharing to avoid squabbles. For babies, a bouncy chair is a good after-dinner option.

With a little preparation and planning, you can transform a long, boring holiday dinner into a fun, engaging and educational experience for your children. Making a point to regularly sit down for family dinners throughout the year will give them wonderful memories, build family bonds and gives them great practice for future holiday meals.