5 ways to get your child to eat Veggies

If your a mommy that has a hard time getting your child to eat veggies then read the article below to gather tips on how to get your child to WANT to eat veggies! The article was found on the San-fransico Chronicle.

 

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report last month indicating that American adults were eating fewer vegetables in 2009 than they were in 2000.

The study didn’t specifically look at children but we can only guess that if the parents aren’t eating green stuff then their children aren’t either. And so it seems like an appropriate time to bring in an expert who can offer up some fresh ways for parents to prepare veggies for their kids.

Enter Catherine McCord, Los Angeles mother of two whose wildly popular Weelicious website is dedicated to feeding kids healthy, yummy foods. With inventive recipes, fabulous photography, and fun instructional videos, McCord encourages parents to get their kids eating green beans, carrots, corn, salad, even beets, kale, onions, and okra.

McCord says that parents often offer their kids a veggie only once or twice. If the children spit out the food and say they don’t like it, then the parents say, “Well, I guess that my kid is just a picky eater.”

“Studies show that it takes up to 10 tries before a person starts enjoying a certain vegetable,” McCord says. “We also have a habit of not offering our kids foods that we don’t enjoy. I try to offer my kids a variety of foods and let them decide on their own if they enjoy them without saying a word either way. We have a tiny garden, go to the farmers market to try the fruit and vegetable samples and try to include the kids in the cooking process as often as possible. The more you can empower your kids in the kitchen, the more excited they will be about trying new foods.”

We asked McCord to offer up 5 fun ways to prepare vegetables for kids.

1) Sweet Beet Cookies

Catherine McCord

McCord says: “Not only are these cookies gorgeous, perfectly sweet and super crunchy, they’re also packed with folates and vitamin C. They’re the kind of treats that make everyone happy. Beet that!”

Sweet Beet Cookies recipe

2) Kale Chips

McCord says: “When you’re trying to inspire kids to eat healthy, my experience has been if whatever you are making for them is in the form of a chip, muffin, pancake or on-a-stick, it’s usually a hit! We’ve been making these kale chips a lot recently and I can’t tell you how fast they disappear! I truly can’t believe how tasty they are — I know that’s a huge statement, but I think I like them even more then potato chips (and that’s saying a lot)!”

Kale Chips recipe

3) Cheddar Cauliflower

McCord says: “When I was a kid, my mother would take an entire head of cauliflower, bake it, cover it with tons of grated cheddar cheese and then put it back into the oven to continue baking until it looked like a great big orange basketball. I loved the taste, but felt if I recreated it, it may look a bit overwhelming to a little kid. I think smaller pieces of roasted cauliflower with just a light sprinkling of melted cheddar has more eye appeal for little ones.”

Cheddar Cauliflower recipe

4) Baked Zucchini Coins

McCord says: “Zucchini has a very delicate flavor, so I focused on a simple preparation. These zucchini coins are baked, which makes them crunchy on the outside and soft and tender inside — a real textural treat for kids. Add a little tomato sauce on the side and they’re the perfect side dish for your family to enjoy with any meal.”

Baked Zucchini Coins recipe

5) Maple Roast Veggies

McCord says: “This roast veggies dish is a holiday favorite in my house and is great no matter if you are having twenty people over or just two. I first started making this simple dish for Thanksgiving years ago, but it’s so delicious and easy to make that I started making it all the time. Roasting is one of the best techniques for getting the maximum amount of flavor out of vegetables. They become super tender, sweet on the inside and a bit caramelized on the outside. For anyone who has a child who is prone to say, ‘I hate vegetables,’ just try making this dish and tell me if those words ever come out of their sweet little mouths again!”

Maple Roast Veggies recipe
More kid-friendly recipes at Weelicious.com.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfmoms/detail?entry_id=74943#ixzz12vgYNjZy



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Catelynn and Tyler

So I finally had the opportunity to watch the season finale of Teen Mom. Out of all of the dynamics that happened in the show I found myself feeling very emotional about Catelynn and Tyler. The moment I saw baby Carly(who looked like Tyler with blonde hair) I felt so happy for the couple(who’ve struggled with their decision to give up their daughter). Baby Carly is by far one of the cutest babies on Teen Mom (though Bentley is super cute as well). I loved watching Catelynn and Carly interact with each other, and during those precious moments when they were interacting, I felt as though Carly knew that Catelynn was her mommy. When she hugged Catelynn and laid her head in Catelynn’s hand. When Tyler was holding her and she was feeling his face and hugging him. Carly knew they were her parents. But what made me the most emotional was the “recorded” book that they made for Carly(anyone else get tears during that scene?)

Part of the reason this was such an emotional episode for me, is because I just can’t fathom giving my child to someone else to raise.  I don’t necessarily look down on adoption rather I know that for myself adoption wouldn’t be an option, simply because I wouldn’t be strong enough to go through with it. The fact that at such a young age, these two were able to go through with such a huge decision, and do so in a way that is both mature and responsibile–well I just am very intriguied by these two!  They certainly have had tough lives, and it makes perfect sense why these two wanted more for their daughter.  Up until the season finale, I always felt as though these two didn’t make the right decision when they chose to give up Carly. I felt that if they really wanted to it was very possible for these two to beat the odds and raise their daughter. My mom did it. Several other women and men from bad backgrounds(if not worse than Catelynn’s) have done it. I can admit that this has been my thought during these last two seasons of Teen mom.

But when I saw the finale last night I changed my mind. Carly seems to be extremely healthy, and it’s obvious that Brandon and Theresa are doing a great job with her!  All in all, as difficult as the decision seemed to be, it looks as though it was for the best. More importantly  I get the feeling that Catelynn and Tyler look up to Brandon and Theresa and as result they’ve refocused their lives (focusing on their education, then getting married, getting a house, and finally having a child) so that when they do have a child, they raise the child in the same healthy environment.

Anyway I just wanted to briefly talk about how much I admire their decision, and loved the way the season finale went for these two!

But a question that is still being thrown around–seeing how healthy baby Carly is–did Catelynn and Tyler make the right decision when they chose to put Carly up for adoption?

Stayed tuned for Dr. Drew’s portion of the show tonight! 🙂

Working Moms Kids Turn Out Just Fine

I found the following article in Time’s Magazine:

Another day, another study on whether women who work are jeopardizing their children’s well-being. According to a review of 50 years of research on the subject, kids whose moms went back to work before the kids were 3 years old had no worse academic or behavioral problems than kids whose moms stayed home. In fact, in some instances they did better. The research, which appears in the Psychological Bulletin, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Psychological Association, looked at 69 studies between 1960, when research on the issue started, and 2010. The researchers looked specifically at academic and behavioral outcomes. “We really wanted to try to resolve some of the controversy and inconsistent findings around the issue of maternal employment,” says lead author Rachel Lucas Thompson, an assistant professor of psychology at Macalester College in Minnesota.

The researchers found little evidence to suggest that mothers who work part-time or full-time have children with problems in later life. But the researchers did find two positive associations between working motherhood and well-adjusted children: kids whose mothers worked when they were younger than 3 were later rated as higher-achieving by teachers and had fewer problems with depression and anxiety.

The only small caveat was that children whose mothers worked in the very first year of their lives tended to have slightly lower formal academic scores than those whose moms didn’t. However children whose mothers were employed when the child was 1 or 2 years old had higher academic scores than kids with full-time moms. Over the three years, the effects evened out.

The debate about working moms is often conducted as if the only group affected were guilt-ridden high-income college-educated women. But most working mothers have little choice but to hold down a paying job, especially in single-parent families. The children of single moms who work tend to do better than those who don’t. “These findings suggest in single-parent families there should be no guilt about employment,” says Lucas-Thompson. “They can also alleviate some concerns among the wealthy,” although among children of higher-income families whose moms were working before they were 3, there was a slightly higher incidence of aggressive behavior.

It’s not just the extra money the working mothers bring in that helps the kids, although that’s a huge part of it. Other research has suggested that an employed mother provides children with a positive role model about the value of working hard, and lessens other, non-economic stresses on the family.

Recent studies have shown that wives and mothers are taking on an increasing share of the burden of providing for the household, partly because of the decline in jobs for men with only a high school education. Many experts are concerned that child care and flexible work options have not nearly kept apace with this change.”

Having a Baby Can Break Bank

I found a really helpful article for first time parents on how to budget when planning to have a baby. Found the article from the Herald Sun.  Article is below:

“An explosion of high-end baby gear is putting pressure on mums to spend big.

The cost of raising a baby, including childcare, prams, cots, clothing and doctors’ bills, is now $9840 a year on average, research by Practical Parenting magazine shows.

But Carmel McCartin, who runs budgeting website Budget Bitch, estimates parents could save thousands by taking shortcuts.

New top of the range prams can cost $1400, while a mid-range stroller is $500-$600. But eBay sells them near-new for hundreds of dollars less. Other tips include joining a babysitter club with other mothers to avoid up to $100 a day in childcare costs.

Free baby gear can be found at freecycle.org, and hiring a baby capsule from the local council will cost between $70 and $100 with a refundable bond.

For those who have the time, cloth nappies are an economical alternative. Estimates suggest a child will have an average of 6500 nappy changes from birth to toilet training, costing more than $3000.

But terry towelling nappies cost about $3 each, while more effective modern cloth nappies can cost about $25 each new – an overall outlay of about $700.

Real Mums founder Amanda Cox said parents were bombarded by shops selling items they did not need.

“Most of it is manipulation … to get you to buy things you don’t actually need but they want you to have,” she said.

Ms Cox said change tables were handy, but a simple change mat on a bed or floor, or even a folded up towel could suffice.”


13 ways To Build Parent Involvement

PTO Today is an awesome website for fundraising tips and advice. I frequent the site, for tips and “expert” advice for PFG’s fundraising clients. The following list (taken from PTO TODAY) is 26 ways that a Booster Club/PTO/PTA can build Parent involvement:

A is for Asking. If you want people to participate, you must ask. The number one reason people cite for not volunteering: “Nobody asked.”

B is for Black Hole. People are afraid that if they volunteer, they’ll be sucked into a black hole of time commitment from which they can’t escape. Let them know up front that your group is not a black hole. Then, make sure you honor their time constraints.

C is for Communication. Use a variety of communication tools to make sure your message gets through. Flyers and e-mails are good for communicating a date and time. Use your newsletter and Web site to let people know about your accomplishments. Invite local media to activities involving kids.

D is for Diversity. Reach out to all parents in your school, not just the ones who are easy to reach. Sponsor multicultural events. Translate parent group materials, if necessary. Organize transportation for those who need it. Your school, your group, and the kids all will benefit tremendously from broad-based parent involvement.

E is for Examine. Look closely at your activities to decide what’s working and what isn’t. Don’t just do something because “that’s what we’ve always done.” New ideas can create new excitement for your group.

F is for Fun—don’t forget about it! Some special people will dedicate their time and energy to a group because it’s the right thing to do. Many, many more will participate if it’s fun. Make sure your group has fun. You’ll build involvement and fight burnout, too.

G is for Gradual. Introduce parents to participation in the PTO gradually. Parents who participate in family events are the most likely to become volunteers. Those who volunteer occasionally are the most likely to take on more responsibility, such as organizing an event. And those organizers are the most likely to become interested in serving as board members. Moving people from step to step takes the stress out of finding future leaders.

H is for Hour, the length to which you should limit meetings. People worry about time commitments. You have better ways for them to spend their volunteer time than at meetings, so don’t hold meetings that go on all night. Use your committees to do the detail work. Limit general meetings to one hour, and limit business to finalizing the work of the committees.

I is for Invitation. The best way to get parents involved is to extend a personal invitation. People are most likely to take part in any group when they know someone who already does. Don’t just send flyers home, then wonder why nobody “signed up.” Create situations in which you can communicate with people one on one.

J is for Just. Don’t use this word to describe your group. You are doing important work. You should know it, and others should, too. So don’t think of your organization as “just a PTO.” If you do, you’ll have a much harder time getting others involved.

K is for Kudos. Awards, compliments, a simple thank-you. Always let people know that you appreciate their help, whether they just organized a smashing fundraiser or spent an hour selling tickets at the carnival.

L is for Leadership. Being a leader means looking beyond today. Does your group have long-term goals? How will you get there? If you want to get parents excited, share your vision and give them something to work toward.

M is for Marketing. Sing the praises of your parent group. Make sure people know what you do. When you donate an item to the school, put a plaque or sticker on it that gives you credit. When you raise money, make sure people know what it was able to buy for their kids. A little basic marketing goes a long way toward building your reputation with parents—and encouraging parent involvement.

View the other 13 ways to build involvement here.

Teen MOM exploiting Teen MOMS?

So I haven’t had a chance to watch the season finale of Teen Mom yet. I’ll probably watch the finale this weekend.  However from what I’ve read online this was the last season that we will be seeing Farrah, Maci,  Catelynn, and Amber.  I think one of the unique aspects to this show is that we’ve been able to watch these girls transform within the last 2-3 years from teenagers to teen moms. We’ve been able to watch babies transform into toddlers–talking, walking and saying “mommy” for the first time.   The best thing about the show is the ability to see what it’s like to be a teen mom from each girl’s perspective.  This brings me to a blog I came across this morning. http://cassieboorn.com/2010/08/teen-mom/.

This blog was written by a woman who for all intent and purposes can be described as a “Teen mom” (she had her baby at 18).  And she admits that she didn’t watch the show and doesn’t care to and she has some really VALID reasons that I really want to discuss.  One  key point is the idea that people are shocked when a young mom succeeds. In other words teen mom’s are expected to fail and expected to make numerous mistakes which is why people often turn to shows that display the negatives of teen parenting. It’s expected that a show like Teen Mom will showcase “bad-parenting”, which is the reason the show is so popular.

Another key-point: having the whole world looking at you while you “fumble”, make mistakes, and have personal issues(relationships, depression, finances) makes parenting that much more difficult. Imagine making a “mommy” mistake(all mom’s make them) and having everyone critisize you, laugh at you, “analyze” you, and paint you as a villain. This is precisely the case with Teen Mom. Another important point: people are always telling “young moms” what they should and should not be doing as a parent.  This is particularly true with Teen Mom. Everyone has had something to say(me included) about each one of these girls parenting boo-boos. This is extremely limiting for a parent–I can imagine that when these girls read comments, articles, and blogs there has to be a point at which they feel like “crap” for not being the perfect teen mom.

The most significant point that she made is that the show exploits teen moms’.   I wholeheartedly agree. We are using these young girls unfortunate circumstances for entertainment purposes. We make fun of these girls, call them names, analyze their decisions, paint the girls as heroes and villains and read about their horrible parenting styles in magazines and blogs. That isn’t healthy for these moms.  The show itself doesn’t  seem to be reducing teen pregnancy either. I’m still not sure what the show’s “message” is anymore especially since the show is heavily manipulated-with edited scenes, cuts, and “spinning”– to give off a certain image of teen parenting.  This current image is doing diddly-squat to change our minds about teen pregnancy. We already knew it was hard. We already knew the stats.  Teens didn’t seem to care then, and many don’t care when they watch the show. You’d be amazed at the series of comments  I’ve seen ranging from: “I want a baby” or “Bentley is so cute” to “I want to go on the show”.

As Cassie Boorn stated in her blog, teen parenting is tough, extremely tough. And yet this show only gives us “angles and snippets” of how tough it is. The only good about this show, in my opinion, is the ability to see a “small snippet” of each girls own experiences in teen parenting(though the same can be said about a lot of these mommy shows which paints a story about how each mommy parents).

So my 2 major questions are: what lessons if any has this show taught us about teen parenting and is this show exploiting teen moms?
Any input is appreciated.

What kind of mom are you?

Found an article from PR Newwire about Heidi Murkoff the author of “What to Expect” series and a study she conducted on “new moms”, this is what she has  to say:

“Moms are always evolving to keep up and keep connected – and they’re always looking for new and innovative ways to make pregnancy and parenting easier, more satisfying, less stressful, more  enjoyable,” explained Murkoff, “and this research showed exactly what they’re looking for and where.  Let’s face it moms have always been amazing, but this fascinating research showed just how incredibly confident and empowered today’s mom is, how open she’s become about pregnancy and parenting, and how eager she is to share insights, tips, and resources with other moms who are going through the exact same experience at the same time.  She’s pregnant and proud – out from behind those yards of polyester that used to keep her beautiful belly a secret.  She’s celebrating her pregnancy calling attention to her pregnant curves – in fact, today’s maternity fashion, all those tights, stretchy cute clothes, is a great metaphor for that pregnancy pride.

“And to say that today’s moms are embracing technology along with their bellies is an understatement.  The research showed that they are twice as likely to use Twitter – I should know, I Tweet with them – and 32% more likely to use a Smartphone than the national average of users. From tweeting the results of a pregnancy test, to putting sonograms on their profiles, to texting friends and family just seconds after the birth of their child – well, we’ve come a long way, mommy!”

Three Categories of Moms

The “Delivering a Mom” study identified three distinct segments of women in terms of how they approached decision making:  The Plan-Aheader, The Right-on-Timer, and The Lagger. “The Plan-Aheader likes to be prepared, skips ahead in books and online, can be an ‘inexperienced influencer’, and is more likely to change her mind because of her early decisions,” explained Laura Klein, Senior Vice President, Everyday Health Inc., publisher of WhatToExpect.com. 72% of first time pregnant women are Plan-Aheaders. “The Right-on-Timer takes each phase as it comes, does research and makes product choices based on her current needs. This often minimizes unwanted and unused items because her choices are thoughtful. Moms with more experience are more likely to be in this group,” Klein continued.  “Lastly, The Lagger mom is often the one playing catch-up, feeling chaotic and overwhelmed.  We found that this mom-to-be was more likely to take advice from others and when making purchasing decisions, likely to select what others have chosen.”

Murkoff concluded, “Today’s moms and moms-to-be are connecting like never before, and using technology  that moms just ten years ago would never thought possible. Best of all, they’re part of a virtual global community of moms, a family really, they can turn to 24/7 to learn from, share with, celebrate with every magical (and challenging) moment.  That’s mom power at work!”

 

What kind of mom are you?