If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my six years as a stay-at-home dad, it’s that establishing — and honoring — routine can save your sanity. Whether it’s a scarily complex bedtime routine, a daily walk, or a weekly family movie night, kids do really well when they feel like they have some comfort in knowing what’s in store.
One of the most important routines in our house is breakfast, especially now that both of my boys are in school for at least part of the day, a couple of days a week. After our morning snuggle together and getting dressed, it’s our chance to get fueled up for the day.
Breakfast can come in many forms around here. Some days, this means I whip them up some pancakes, or my famous “puffins.” Other days my eldest shows off his burgeoning chef skills as he cooks us all his scrambled “cheesy eggs.” And on many days, especially those where snuggle time went long, we simply choose from our rotating selection of cereals.
The common denominator in all of these is, of course, milk — almost always both in/on the food, and always in a glass to drink with it as well. Milk is a powerhouse of nutrients and protein, that I know my rapidly growing boys need as a part of their diet. It also happens to be delicious.
I know that my boys are lucky. We’re able to keep our fridge stocked with fresh milk at all times. But not all kids are as fortunate.
Food banks report that milk is one of their most requested items, but one of the least often donated, because Americans are more likely to donate non-perishable canned and dried items. In fact, every day 22 million kids rely totally on the free or reduced-price milk programs at their school in order to get this boost of protein and nutrients. When schools close during the summer months, those 22 million of these kids are at risk for having no access to milk for breakfast or lunch.
That’s why I am proud to partner with Milk Life, Life of Dad, and many of my fellow dad bloggers for “The Great American Milk Drive,” helping to raise money for Feeding America this month. Us Dad Bloggers have divided into geographic fundraising teams, and Team West and I are ready to rep the Best Side well. My teammates are John Kinnear (Ask Your Dad Blog) from Salt Lake, UT; Seth Burleigh (Forty Weeks Later) from Los Angeles, CA; Daniel De Guia (Fit To Be Dad) from Santa Rosa, CA; and Don Jackson (Daddy Newbie) from Albuquerque, NM. Please be sure to go give them some love. 🙂
A donation of as little as $5 will deliver a gallon of milk to a local family through the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks. America’s milk companies and dairy farmers will make gallons multiply across the country by matching up to $10,000 in donations.
So as we get closer to Father’s Day, and more people ask me what I want, here’s my answer: I want you to help support the Great American Milk Drive.
And don’t forget to join me for the #MilkDrive Twitter Party on Tuesday, June 16th at 8PM ET, hosted by @LifeofDadBlog. Just hop on twitter and follow the hashtag of#MilkDrive for information, fun and surprises.