Mother's day is coming and it's your time to unwind and relax, mama. To help you out, we've rounded up a few recipes that will give your partner (if you have one) a major hint for what to do this weekend. And since they might need help, we asked Molly Birnbaum, America's Test Kitchen Kids' Editor in Chief, to give us a few tips to get kids involved, too.

According to Birnbaum, the best way to get younger kids to enjoy themselves in the kitchen is to include them in as much as possible—the menu planning, recipe picking, decision making, gardening. The key is to Include them in the little things that take place before you actually step into the kitchen.

"If they help pick out the ingredients (and know where they come from), they'll be more excited to cook them," says Molly Birnbaum. "And if they cook the food, they'll be more excited to eat it, too. I also recommend having your young chefs do as much scrunching, mixing, rolling, kneading—whatever hands on tasks, however messy, they can—in the kitchen. That's where they'll have the most fun!"


Here are our easy Mother's Day brunch recipes we're sure you'll love, too:

Carrot cake baked steel cut oatmeal

Carrot cake baked steel cut oatmeal

Serves: 6-8

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3 large carrots (1 1/2 cups grated)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups 2% milk (or almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup raw steel cut oats
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.
  2. Peel and finely grate the carrots, enough for 1 1/2 cups.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, egg, milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder and kosher salt. Pour into the bowl with the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Stir in the steel cut oats.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, then mix in carrots and spread them around evenly. Cover the pan loosely with foil.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil then sprinkle with pecans. Bake another 30 to 35 minutes until set. Serve warm, or refrigerate and eat leftovers for several days. (Note: This baked steel cut oatmeal is best warm or room temperature. Leftovers store well and can be reheated. To make it ahead, you could bake the entire pan and reheat: or prepare the wets and dries separately and refrigerate overnight, keeping the carrots in a separate container, and then mix them and bake the next morning.)

Recipe from A couple cooks

Avocado toast with fried eggs

Avocado toast with fried eggs

Serves: 6-8

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, measured separately
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, squeezed from ½ lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 (½-inch-thick) slices crusty bread
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions

  1. In small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon oil, lemon juice, pinch salt, and pinch pepper.
  2. Use butter knife to cut avocado in half (see photos, below). Separate halves, then remove and discard pit. Scoop avocado into a bowl with lemon dressing; discard skin. Use fork to break avocado into large pieces, then mash into dressing until mostly smooth.
  3. Place bread in the toaster and toast until golden on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes. Spread avocado mixture evenly on toast.
  4. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over low heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, crack eggs into second small bowl and add pinch salt and pinch pepper.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high and heat oil for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking). Working quickly, pour eggs into skillet, cover skillet, and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Turn off heat and slide skillet to cool burner. Let sit, covered, for about 1 minute for slightly runny yolks or about 2 minutes for set yolks.
  7. Use spatula to transfer 1 fried egg to each toast. Serve.

Recipe from America's Test Kitchen

Sausage and gravy pie with biscuit crust

Sausage and gravy pie with biscuit crust

Serves: 6-8

Total time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the pie plate
  • 4 pieces prepared biscuit dough (about 8 ounces)
  • 8 oz breakfast sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 large whole egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz white Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

Instructions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate, including the lip, with butter. Gently roll each piece of biscuit dough out to about two times its original size. Stretch and press the biscuit dough, one piece at a time, into the pie plate, until you have covered the bottom and sides, pinching together the seams where pieces meet. Fork the bottom many times. Bake, until the sides are lightly browned and the bottom forms a crust, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool. Leave the oven on.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the sausage. Cook, stirring and breaking the sausage pieces up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Pour off any excess grease and add the half-and-half to the pan, scraping up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat.
  4. Whisk the egg and egg yolk together in a medium bowl and slowly add the half-and-half and sausage mix to the bowl in batches, whisking constantly, to incorporate. Stir in the scallions and season with salt and black pepper. Scatter the cheese over the biscuit crust, pressing the cheese over any holes that may have formed during baking. Pour the sausage custard over the cheese and bake until the custard is set, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Recipe from Food Network

Classic English muffins

Classic English muffins

Serves: 15

Total time: 11 hours

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1 (1.25-oz.) envelope instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • Coarse cornmeal

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add flour, sugar and salt. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk and yeast. Add milk mixture, butter, and egg to dry ingredients. Mix on medium high speed until dough forms a ball and is shiny and elastic, about 15 minutes. Dough will still be slightly sticky.
  2. Grease a large bowl with cooking spray and scrape dough into bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.
  3. Remove dough from fridge and let sit at room temp for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment and spread a thin layer of cornmeal on top. Lightly flour a work surface and divide dough into 15 equal pieces. Pinch seams together and using a cupped hand, roll each piece on counter to create a smooth ball and place on prepared baking sheets. Top each ball with a little cornmeal. Loosely cover and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  5. Heat a medium skillet, preferably cast iron, over low heat. Lightly press each ball down to flatten to 1" thick. Working in batches of 3 to 4 at a time, cook until bottom is golden, about 7 minutes. Flip and press dough down again. Cook another 5 to 7 minutes or until golden. Repeat with remaining dough.
  6. Place muffins back on a large baking sheet and bake until cooked through, 10 minutes.
  7. Use a fork to cut open muffins and serve warm.

Recipe from Delish

Fluffy blueberry pancakes

Fluffy blueberry pancakes

Serves: 2

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • ½ cup blueberries

Instructions

  1. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In small bowl, whisk milk, egg, oil, and vanilla until well combined.
  2. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir gently with rubber spatula until just combined (batter should remain lumpy). Let batter sit for 10 minutes before cooking.
  3. Spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with vegetable oil spray and heat over medium heat until hot, about 1 minute.
  4. Use ¼-cup dry measuring cup to scoop ¼ cup batter into skillet. Repeat 2 more times, leaving space between mounds of batter (you want 3 pancakes to cook up separate from one another).
  5. Sprinkle each pancake with 1 tablespoon blueberries. Cook until bubbles on surface begin to pop, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Use spatula to flip pancakes and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer pancakes to plate. Repeat with remaining batter in 2 more batches. Turn off heat. Serve.

Recipe from America's Test Kitchen

Homemade acai bowl

Homemade acai bowl

Serves: 2

Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 handful coconut flakes
  • 1/2 mango, diced (or 1/2 cup frozen diced, thawed)
  • 4 sliced strawberries
  • 1 small handful blueberries
  • 1 small handful pepitas
  • Bee pollen, optional
  • Other toppings: Granola, almonds, pecans, walnuts, almond butter, peanut butter, chia seeds, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup

For the acai bowl

  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 large banana
  • 1/2 mango (or 1/2 cup frozen diced)
  • 7 ounces frozen unsweetened acai pulp (such as Sambazon)*
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Instructions

  1. Place your bowls in the freezer: this will help to keep the acai from melting while enjoying it.
  2. Prep the toppings (before making the bowl, again to minimize melting): In a small skillet, toast the coconut over low to medium low heat until golden brown, stirring often. Immediately remove to a bowl. Dice the mango and reserve half for the acai. Slice the strawberries.
  3. In a large high speed or regular blender, blend the pineapple, banana and mango until somewhat combined and chunky.
  4. Thaw the acai pulp under warm water until it can be broken into smaller chunks, then remove the packaging. Add the acai to the blender with the lime juice and 1/4 cup cold water. Blend until smooth, stopping and stirring as necessary. (If you need a bit more water you can add it; try not to add too much in order to keep the acai texture thick. A high speed blender will work well here; with a regular blender you'll have to stop and stir more.)
  5. Pour the acai mixture into the frozen bowls. Top with the fruit, coconut, pepitas and other toppings. Serve immediately.

Recipe from A couple cooks

Easy frittata

Easy frittata

Serves: 4- 6

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs, enough to cover the ingredients
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 2 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, such as Gruyère, Fontina, or cheddar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
  2. Whisk the eggs and cream together. Whisk the eggs, heavy cream and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Cook the bacon. Place the bacon in a cold 10- to 12-inch nonstick oven safe frying pan or cast iron skillet, then turn the heat to medium-high. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. (If omitting the bacon, heat 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet, then proceed with adding the potatoes).
  4. Saute the potatoes in bacon fat. Return the pan to medium-heat, add the potatoes and sprinkle with the pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
  5. Wilt the spinach with the garlic and thyme. Pile the spinach into the pan with the garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Add the bacon back to the pan and stir to evenly distribute.
  6. Add the cheese. Spread the vegetables into an even layer, flattening with a spatula. Sprinkle the cheese on top and let it just start to melt.
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cheese. Tilt the pan to make sure the eggs settle evenly over all the vegetables. Cook for a minute or two until you see the eggs at the edges of the pan beginning to set.
  8. Bake the frittata for 8 to 10 minutes. Bake until the eggs are set, 8 to 10 minutes. To check, cut a small slit in the center of the frittata. If raw eggs run into the cut, bake for another few minutes; if the eggs are set, pull the frittata from the oven. For a browned, crispy top, run the frittata under the broiler for a minute or two at the end of cooking.
  9. Cool and serve. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then slice into wedges and serve.

Recipe from The Kitchn

Strawberry ricotta bruschetta

Strawberry ricotta bruschetta

Serves: 12 crostini

Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely diced strawberries
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flakey sea salt
  • 12 toasted baguette slices
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • Balsamic vinegar (use an aged balsamic that is thick and syrupy), for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, toss the strawberries with the mint, olive oil and a pinch of flakey sea salt.
  2. Spread each slice of baguette with ricotta cheese. Top with a spoonful of strawberries, drizzle with balsamic and sprinkle with more flakey sea salt.
Recipe from Food Network

Raising a mentally strong kid doesn't mean he won't cry when he's sad or that he won't fail sometimes. Mental strength won't make your child immune to hardship—but it also won't cause him to suppress his emotions.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks. It gives them the strength to keep going, even when they're plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.

But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common yet unhealthy parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid equipped to tackle life's toughest challenges:

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