Tamara: Hi, everybody.
Everybody: Hi, Tamara.
|L-R Me, Tamara and Lynne: the Three Stooges|
Now, unfortunately, none of us live in the same state, but Tamara lives a couple hours away in Kansas, which means we came up with the pretty spectacular idea to meet halfway in between our houses -- in Kansas City -- at . . . wait for it . . . IKEA.
But when she's not making me laugh or meeting me for lunch and a desperate attempt to buy all manner of Swedish furniture, Tamara and her husband, Ben, are the hilarious, insightful and downright fun mom and dad to four kiddos: three spunky girls and one thoughtful young man.
They're also milk drinkers and yogurt eaters, and that just makes us appreciate them even more! Last summer, Tamara and the kids even drove from Kansas to meet our cows and cats and dogs firsthand. We loved having them, and they loved being here.
Never been to a dairy farm? Got kids? Then cozy up to your computer for just a minute while Tamara explains why her kids love yogurt and why she loves buying it.
Tell us about your family.
My husband and I have been married for nearly twelve years and are doing our best to raise up four children, ages 9, 5, 3 and 1. We are born and bred Kansans and currently live in Atchison, Kansas, where my husband is a Lutheran pastor and I am a stay-at-home, boo-boo kissing, cooking, cleaning, hugging mom.
Why are dairy products an important part of your kiddos' diets?
When I was growing up, the slogan for drinking milk was "Milk. It does a body good." Milk provides my family with Vitamin D, Potassium, Calcium and Protein, which are all essential for growth and development. That makes giving my kids milk, yogurt and cheese an easy choice for those times that they are wanting a snack or something to drink, which seems to be about every twenty minutes in our house. As an added bonus, we are fostering healthy eating in them by teaching them to reach for a yogurt and some fruit instead of candy or pop to satisfy their cravings.
Also butter! I'm pretty sure we can all agree that butter makes everything better, right? I think if we've learned anything from the Pioneer Woman, it's that! Making our own homemade breads and most of our meals from scratch is just another way I try to encourage healthy eating in our family, and butter and milk are key ingredients in many of my recipes.
What were you expecting when you visited the farm?
I have to admit that I wasn't sure exactly what the dairy farm would be like before we went, but I was 100 percent sure that my kids would love seeing the baby cows, so we checked it out. I kind of expected it to be a loud place with lots of mooing and restless cows. Not the case at all. The cows were quietly resting comfortably on their beds of sand, which I learned they enjoyed more than straw, as they waited for their turn to be milked.
I was right about the baby calves though; my kids thought they were 100 percent adorable and named about seven of them. Unfortunately, they named them all things like chocolate cake, chocolate milk shake and chocolate covered marshmallow, so zero points on originality there, kiddos.
Seeing how content the cows were and what a family operation the Heins dairy farm is was great. It helped me feel like when I bought my milk each week that I wasn't just buying something good for my kids, but that I was supporting a generation of hard-working farmers and their families.
Do your kids have a favorite dairy treat?
My kids definitely have a favorite dairy product, and it is yogurt! They love yogurt so much that I have to ration it out like we are in some sort of yogurt shortage crisis. I think I could spend almost my entire grocery budget on yogurt and they would be the happiest kids in the world.