My Latest Parenting Aid: Food Dye.

I’ve discovered a fabulous new parenting tool: food dye. Yes, those humble containers of food dye have become my latest emergency entertainment destination.

My mother gave me some really good food dye – not just the little bottles that we used to use at Easter. This dye is strong, vivid, and gorgeous.

I have a lot of tricks I use to pass time with my children, and these days I pull out the food dye whenever I need to lighten the mood a bit. My four-year-old is hungry but won’t eat a snack? I make a “Stripes Surprise” – vanilla yogurt dyed three different colors, served in a wine glass. I need a good April Fool’s trick? I dye the milk in the jug green, and act shocked when I pour it out in the morning on the girls’ cereal. I want to have a Halloween holiday breakfast? I dye the peanut butter black (my daughters eat peanut butter on toast for breakfast; healthy if unconventional).Fooddye

Have you found any easy strategies for getting a quick mood-boost in your house?

The days are long, but the years are short.