Fun (& helpful) Kitchen Fun for Kids

When September rolls around it means back to school and the regular busy routine. With all the fun new leisure activities going on, and homework, simple snacks are important for parents! Even better, why not get the kids to help make their snacks? What a cool activity to do together in your leisure time!

Below we talk about a few great snacks that kids can make all on their own with maybe just a little bit of help!

Make Your Own Trail Mix

Grab some unsalted nuts like peanuts or almonds, cereal such as cheerios or Chex, whole wheat gold fish crackers, popcorn or pretzels and dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries and small amount of chocolate chips or M&M’s and let the kids make their very own trail mix snack!

Lay out a small snack bag or container and let them pick and choose what they want to put in their trail mix! You could do a bunch on a Sunday with the kids and have a it ready to go when needed.

Fruit and Cheese +

Grab a couple options for favourite fruits from the grocery store and cut into bite size chunks. Also grab a block of cheese and cut into squares. This is an easy snack to take on the run with little prep, and is something older kids can help with. If you want to make it more fun, you can get the kids putting the fruit and cheese on skewers to make kabobs! This also helps with not eating too much and ruining their appetite at supper time. Other options to put with the cheese and fruit is some deli ham, boiled eggs or some carrot or celery sticks. Super good for the kids and relatively easy to eat in the car!

Pizza Crackers

This one could be really fun to help the kids with! What you need is some large whole wheat crackers, which you spread pizza sauce on. Add some grated cheese and a veggie of your choice (fresh or frozen) such as broccoli, pepper, mushroom, etc., or cut up hot dog, salami or ham is you want and stick in a toaster oven or in the regular oven and broil for until the cheese is melted. Should take 2-3 minutes. Great little special treat the kids can help with!

Contributed By:

Taylor Devlin, Family Recreation Practitioner

ROC Eastman

Waiting to enjoy life?

Today I thought to myself “If only I could win some money, just a little bit, just enough to catch up, just enough to give me some breathing room… then I’d be able to relax and enjoy life.” The problem? I’ve been saying that since I turned 18 and entered the dreaded world of adulthood. Since then I’ve been promoted, come into several lump sums of cash (nothing huge, but enough to help), had a child, bought a house, bought new vehicles, did renovations, paid off substantial debt, and I still feel the same way I did 10 years ago. I still feel like I’m waiting to be able to enjoy life.

When I think about all the moments I missed worrying about tomorrow it brings tears to my eyes. Those tomorrows that caused me so much anxiety, so many sleepless nights, have come and gone. And today I can’t think of a single one that was worth it. Today, I see that I made it through them all, and not one of them was as bad as I had built them up to be in my mind. Don’t get me wrong, there were some rough days in there somewhere, days when I really thought I wouldn’t make it through. But I always did. And today I realize that if I had had a little more faith in God, and a little more faith in the person that he made me, those days might not have been so hard. Maybe I could have found a little more joy between the heartache.

I know this isn’t a new lesson. There are many quotes on the internet about living for today, enjoying the moment, etc. The two that come to mind now are “Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace” and “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” There comes a time in each of our lives when these old life lessons really hit home and today, apparently, is my day to learn this one. Today this one will change my life, but only if I let it. Actually “let” might be too passive of a word. Only If I work really hard at it. Because I’ve been worrying all my life and speaking from experience, it takes a lot of time and effort to change something that’s ingrained in the very fabric of your being. So today I’m going to make an effort to be aware of those nearly constant worrisome thoughts. And tomorrow I’m going to make an effort to remind myself, when those thoughts come up, that today is short and tomorrow can be dealt with tomorrow. And I will keep doing those things until eventually my brain will learn that I no longer live in the constant anxiety of tomorrow, and it will be much easier to live in the joy of today.

And one day I’ll be able to sit outside in my yard with the weeds that grow faster than I can cut them, and my son that grows faster than the weeds, and I’ll be able to put my focus on the latter rather than the former. And in 10 years from now, when I look back I will be able to smile at all the precious moments I’ve had, rather than cry for all the moments that I let pass me by.


Submitted by Michelle Nault

Thousands Of Dollars Raised At Local Benefit Concert

Written by Rachel Siemens

Thousands of dollars were raised for two local charities Saturday night.

Spokesperson Dorinda Penner says the Roots Benefit Concert raised money for ROC Eastman and Today House, two local charities she notes help build a stronger community.

“It has everything to do with our roots in the community. We have a strong community because we’ve got strong roots and people give from the heart. So, we wanted an event where people could come and listen to some great Manitoba artists and their music, have a good evening, and just give from the heart.”

Penner says she has been involved with both charities and seen the benefits of their work.

“I’ve been part of the Today House CEO Sleepout for a number of years and I think it’s a great event, although my back gets a little tired after sleeping in K.R. Barkman Park for the night. And what Moni Loewen and her group does with ROC Eastman, I’ve had the opportunity to make Christmas wreaths with those kids in the greenhouse and for a child that wants a piano lesson or an art class or recreational hockey, it’s just fabulous.”

She adds the night consisted of good food, Manitoba musicians, and spending time with family and friends while giving back to local charities, something she hopes to make an annual event.

“Steinbach is built from our farming community to our commercial to our manufacturing partners that all make this community what it is, all the way to you guys at the radio station reaching out and telling people about events like this. So, we all work together and we make Steinbach and southeastern Manitoba a fabulous place to live and grow and raise your family.”

Thank you Mike and Dorinda and your team at Sunshine!  This is an important time of year for ROC kids (fall registration season) and your ongoing support means the world to us.

Thank you to the Today House team for being amazing partners – love.

~ ROC team

Stories from the heart of ROC

The families that ROC serves are the heart of everything we do. They inspire us to share about lives changed through positive recreation, they encourage us to continue to reach out to others that could use a little help and they always teach us far more than we teach them. As much as the ROC families are integral to our organization, they are rarely in the spotlight. But with their permission, they let us capture their stories to share with you. Every ROC family knows that we wouldn’t exist without the tremendous support of our community and they want to share how you are impacting their lives. Click here for some of their stories…

National Injury Prevention Day!

On July 5, 2017, an organization called Parachute will be celebrating its first ever National Injury Prevention Day to “shine a light on largely predictable and preventable injuries”. “Our goal is to help save more lives through education, knowledge and empowerment”.

Parachute’s website has some great resources on children’s safety including play ground, sports, wheeled activities, and pedestrian safety, helmets, car seats, drowning prevention and concussions.

I highly recommend checking out their latest information on concussions, including YouTube Videos from Dr. Mike Evans called Concussions 101 and a personal story from Molly Tissenbaum who plays hockey for Harvard University. There is important information for parents on signs, symptoms and red flags of a concussion, what you should do if you suspect a concussion and more!

If you have a smartphone you can also download the Concussion Ed App for free through the Apple App Store, Google Play for Android devices of a web-based version for Blackberry and Windows.

If your children are taking part in sports and activities where there is a risk of concussions let coaches and leaders know about the resources and education available to help them keep an eye out for the kids too!

Play Safe and Have Fun!

Contributed By:

Taylor Devlin, Family Recreation Practitioner, ROC Eastman

Reflections & Life Lessons

The things I write are usually realizations I’ve come to, life lessons I’m in the process of learning. Some of them are deeply personal. All of them cause me great anxiety to share with the world, but I post them because I’ve come to realize that we all have more in common than we talk about. And if there’s a small chance the lessons I’ve learned the hard way can help someone else choose a better path, or even just feel like they’re not alone, then it’s worth my discomfort. Today’s post is for those who suffer from anxiety. If you’re one of them, you know how debilitating it can be. I’ve known I was graced with this ailment for quite some time. I’ve only lately come to realize how much it changed  the course of my life.

As mental illnesses often do, it started out small. I wouldn’t answer a question in class for fear of being made fun of. I would stop wearing a shirt that someone made an innocuous comment about. Because I didn’t realize that this was the beginning of something bigger, I didn’t confront it. And so it got worse. I quit speaking up at all because I’d convince myself later that it was likely the stupidest comment in the history of humankind. I quit playing sports because I didn’t make every play the way I told myself I should have. I quit going to social events where there were people I wasn’t completely comfortable around (which was pretty much all of them) because I was sure they were judging me. I slowly but surely stopped living life.

It’s only now, at 28 years old that I’ve come to realize how small my circle has become, and how little my life consists of. In an interview I was asked what I like to do for fun. I was stumped. Such a simple question and I couldn’t think of a single hobby that I did just for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the people in my life beyond words and I wouldn’t trade a single one of them, but when your social circle consists of a 7 year old son who could talk about Yu-Gi-Oh cards 24 hours a day, a boyfriend who works the exact opposite shifts as you, and a family that lives over an hour away, life can get pretty lonely.

My anxiety had not only built up walls around me, it built an entire castle complete with a 12 foot alligator infested moat surrounding it, and no draw bridge. And it convinced me that I preferred it this way. That I was safe here, and comfortable and had everything I really needed in life. Until provisions ran low, and I realized I was a prisoner in the castle that I spent so much time building, and now I was slowly dying with no connection to the outside world. The moment when you come to that realization, is a dark and scary moment. And for some people, it’s so dark and scary that it breaks them. Me, I’m building a bridge. I realized that I had to venture out of my comfort zone. Not only that, but I had to let people in. I had to build connections because they are what help us learn and grow, and they are our true legacy when this life is over. My hope is that one day my castle is a bustling city square where everyone is welcome, people come and go as they please and everyone can feel comfortable. Until then, I will continue to work on making my way across that bridge. To those who met me halfway, I am eternally grateful.
Submitted by Michelle Nault

ROC Cyclathon June 17, 2017 – Thank You!

Our little and big cyclists raised over $4000 and new friends were made.

We love this event because it brings together family, friends, fun and funds – the 4F’s!

Thank you to our sponsor, Steinbach Source for Sports, and to the Trinh family for all your event help. You are appreciated.

Looking forward to next year!

Let Kids Decide How They Can Be Healthy: Build Your Best Day!

If your kids could do anything for a day what would they do? Cuddle puppies? Swim with sharks? Ride bikes that churn ice cream?

Canadian based organizations ParticipAction, the Healthy Living and Obesity Research Group, Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, and the Public Health Agency of Canada have created an interactive online experience for families. It “lets kids imagine a day where they can do anything they want, all the while learning about the new Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth in a fun way!”

By choosing activities, real or imagined, the program teaches kids about the balance of sweating, stepping, sleeping and sitting they need each day to be healthy! Try it out today and see if your family learns anything new or inspires some fun recreation activities for the whole family!

Go to

For more information on the program and resources for parents, click the top left-hand corner of the Build Your Best Day home page! Have fun!

Contributed By:

Taylor Devlin, Family Recreation Practitioner ROC Eastman

Welcome to the ROC Eastman blog!

Chances are you probably already know a little bit about us, maybe the basics – we’re a registered charity, we work with kids and families, we love joining people on their journey of finding what fun activities ignite their passion. But there’s so much more than that! And that’s what this page is for.

We’re here because we want to share all kinds of stories, have conversations about recreation and why it matters, allow you to take a peek into the behind-the-scenes details, and chat about the exciting things ROC Eastman is doing. Our goal is to share updates every other week or so.  Also, we would love to hear from you! We’ve all been in one-sided conversations (ugh!) and that’s no fun. Let’s make this a dialogue – comment with thoughts and questions, share our posts, send us an email! Feedback is greatly appreciated. This is not our soap box, it’s a world-wide group chat and everyone is invited.

Along with the basics, you probably know that ROC is made up of many amazing people! We have a great team with our ROC families, Board of Directors, staff and volunteers. Each person is a valuable asset and has a different point of view. Unlike some blogs, this one is a group project! Each post may have a different author or several people may collaborate on one. We hope that various perspectives will give you a deeper understanding of the organization and our community.

Although each post may have a different voice, they will be written just for you – a ROCstar! A ROCstar is anyone that hopes for happier and healthier communities filled with families finding belonging and children exploring their worlds with excitement. We welcome all our readers and it’s a diverse bunch! Amazing ROC families, ROC supporters from Day 1 (over 8 years ago!), potential volunteers, members of our Eastman community and beyond, those looking to refer a family in need, all sorts – we’re glad you’re here and hope we can answer some questions or just brighten your day with a story.

We have been looking forward to creating and building this page for a while. We have lots to share and no two days (minutes even!) are alike. Since starting in 2009, ROC has grown in ways we didn’t think possible! And now that we know we have what it takes to change lives and transform families, we’re inspired to create ROC Manitoba, ROC Canada and… ROC EARTH! One child at a time. Thank you for joining us on this journey, we’ve only just begun.

Contributed by:

Chelsey Neufeld, Development Coordinator ROC Eastman

Can you relate to people on any journey? We’re hiring…

Our team is adding a part-time position to provide Phase 2 ROC children and their families assistance in reducing barriers to participating in recreation activities. These are families who have been working hard with us for at least 1-2 years and are ready for the next step. If you show people the highest level of respect and compassion; and enjoy building meaningful community relationships, please consider joining our team.

To download full job description details, please click here.

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