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Burger King free kids meals coronavirus

Parents all over the country are feeling an enormous amount of fear and anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic—and for too many those worries include how to keep their kids fed.

Grocery store shelves have been stripped bare in some spots, and when you couple that with the fact that many families are accustomed to their kids getting free meals at school—about 20 million lunches are served in U.S. schools, daily according to the Washington Post—some moms and dads are stressing out about how long their pantries are going to stay full.

Burger King is rolling out a new promotion that could help out with that (or at least offer an alternative to eating yet another can of soup or box of macaroni and cheese).

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Starting Monday, March 23, if you order one adult meal from the chain using its app or website, you can get two kids meals for free.

Making customers use the website or app to place the order is a smart move by the company, as it helps practice social distancing. Burger King is also urging people to take full advantage of other services that minimize contact, like drive-thru and free delivery (if it's available where you live).

According to the FDA, "Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects."

"However, the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in some communities in the U.S. The CDC recommends that if you are sick, stay home until you are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others," the agency states.

However, many food service workers in the U.S. do not have sick pay, something that could increase the risk as desperate people decide whether to miss work for the sake of society or miss a paycheck. According to the CEO of Restaurant Brands International (Burger King's parent company), José Cil, Burger King is among the companies acting to give low wage earners sick pay right now. This week Cil told Business Insider that BK employees at corporate-owned restaurants can now get up to 14 days of paid sick leave during this pandemic.

This week The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law, providing sick leave to many workers who have been without it. But there are still gaps. Big businesses (like large fast food chains) are exempt. That potentially leaves fast food employees very vulnerable at a time at a time when the White House says fast food workers are necessary to keep America fed.

This week President Trump had a call with Cil and other fast food execs to discuss how chain restaurants can stay open during the pandemic. "We discussed the important role that the drive-through, pick-up, and delivery service can play in the weeks ahead," the President explained.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also spoke about the role restaurants can play during this time. "First of all, we want to make sure that the states allow the drive-through portion of these fast foods to stay open. Particularly in a time period where we're telling people 'don't go to restaurants,' these companies feed a big part of America, and I expect they're going to feed a bigger part of America," he explained.

But many critics are pointing out that the economic vulnerability of many fast food employees means they're more likely to go into work sick. As the New York Times reports, "The government is asking these workers to perform a vitally important service—to stay home and sacrifice their livelihood to stem the tide of infection—and has a 'moral obligation' to pay them accordingly, said Economic Policy Institute economist Josh Bivens."

We often think of fast food workers as teens earning pocket money, but most are adults. Many are mothers trying to provide for their kids.

It's a complex issue. We can't say there is zero risk in ordering fast food right now, but there are some things you can do to be extra cautious if you want to take Burger King up on this offer. The Verge suggests unpacking your food right away and discarding all the packaging, transferring it from whatever container it came into a dish of your own, and using your own utensils instead of any disposable ones that might be included with your meal. And of course, before and after your eat, don't forget to wash your hands.

This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

This article was sponsored by Highlights. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Every parent can relate to these funny tweets about the presidential debate

If you've refereed siblings you can relate to Chris Wallace.

Wendi Aarons/Screenshot

The first presidential debate was painful to watch for many reasons. The sitting president of the United States failed to condemn white supremacy when asked, and while both President Trump and Joe Biden spoke nearly constantly, they didn't say much of value.

It was disappointing for stressed parents who would have rather heard more about policy and the future of America instead of watching two men interrupt and insult each other.

The candidates spent a significant amount of time talking over each other, asking the other to shut up and deflecting questions from moderator Chris Wallace, whose position was instantly relatable to any parent who has had to ask their children to stop squabbling at the dinner table.

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These viral tweets sum up the debate perfectly:

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