It’s getting very festive around here, just in time for a Valentine’s Day breakfast at our daughter’s preschool, we whipped up a batch of strawberry jam muffins–but made them into heart-shaped bars instead. As usual, my three helpers were on hand and as usual, their best work was in the sampling.
Charity Curley Mathews
Charity Curley Mathews is the founder of Foodlets.com, a haven of tips, tricks and kid-friendly recipe makeovers, and also a mom to three real-life foodies in the making…maybe. She’s a former VP at Martha Stewart.com turned consultant and overseas foodie blogger. The kids were born in Italy where Foodlets also began. But after four years abroad, the whole brood recently repatriated. Charity now cooks wheat germ infused concoctions for her family on a mini-farm in North Carolina. Besides transforming decadent recipes for knee-high critics, she’s also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Food Network’s Dish and Upwave.
We’re new to living the U.S. as a family, after moving to North Carolina from Rome last year, and loving the fun of special days like Valentine’s Day. Only here’s the rub: I head up a blog about cooking healthy foods for kids and V-day is hardly sugar-free these days. That’s why we’ve come up with 7 sweet ways to celebrate…without quite so much sugar, but all the fun.
While experts debate about whether organic or conventionally grown produce is best, we all know that more fruits and veggies equal better health. However, like many things with small kids, this can be pretty tricky to pull off. If you’re worried that your kids won’t cooperate, try these 10 delicious kid-tested recipes.
Oh boy. I’m pretty into healthy eating, but something about this level of screening makes me nervous. A new pilot program has started in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of a California hospital. They’re studying the breast milk of mothers who have delivered premature babies to ensure these infants are getting the nutrition they need. Since preemies need to gain a lot of weight and fast to avoid development delays, this research is supposed to help determine whether “supplements” are necessary in addition to breast milk.
It’s pretty common knowledge that you usually feel your friskiest when you’re ovulating, thus boosting your chances of conceiving on those days considerably. (And if you’re TTC right now, pay attention to those pangs!) But a new report from the University of California, Los Angeles takes it even further, suggesting that, “on high-fertility days, women who considered their partners less sexually desirable felt less close to them and were more critical of their faults. Women with more sexually desirable partners, on the other hand, felt more satisfied with their relationship and closer to their partner on high-fertility days.” Ovulation, as it turns out, amplifies the good and the bad. But you might have already known that, too.
A cheerful PR rep recently sent out a glowing press release about a new product for kids: “chocolate milkshakes that offer a full serving of deliciously disguised veggies in every eco-friendly container.” I know my kids would love a chocolate milkshake, and I’d love for them to get a serving of vegetables, so what’s the problem? Well, that depends.
Is it hard to get your kids to eat vegetables? If they’re like mine, the answer is likely somewhere between sometimes and pull-my-hair-out-yes! I have three small kids with another on the way, and I cook so much for the whole brood that I even write a blog about it. So you can bet my kids have seen their share of veggies. We do roasted broccoli, sautéed carrots, pasta with ginger pork and sugar snap peas and white bean hummus designed to get more crunchy raw vegetables into the mix. Some are hits, many are misses but still, those veggies keep appearing on little plates again and again.
That’s because at our house, the vegetables are never a secret.
Well this is a deja-vu moment. I just read a surprising statistic about the U.S. that has been true in Italy, where we lived for the last few years, for quite some time. “U.S. birth rates have been on a steady decline since 2007, but our procreation has reached a historic low: Birth rates are the lowest they’ve been since the government began tracking the data in 1909.”
I didn’t realize this was happening, possibly because I haven’t actually lived here for four years–the same years when I started being a parent myself–but I think the fact that we have a big family has more to do with it. As my husband says, you see the world from where you sit. (And if you think that’s an annoying saying, maybe we should have coffee together some time. Nevertheless, it applies…)
Sadly, sleepily, most of us have been there. (And if you haven’t yet, be sure to bookmark this page because it’s probably coming.) When Lori Kirsten, a physical therapist in Washington State, needed help keeping one of her twin, nearly 3-year-old boys in bed all night, she asked every mom she knew—online. In a world of Instagrams and tweets, it’s the best way to get the advice you need, and fast. We boiled down the incoming advice to two friends: a mother of three (with one on the way, that’s me!) and another who’s a pediatrician. Here’s how it worked out, and spoiler alert: Everyone’s sleeping perfectly well now.
The (Pretty Common) Problem
“For about a month, Caleb has been waking up around 4 AM. It started around daylight saving’s time, so at first I chalked it up to that,” Lori explains. Admittedly, she and her husband had let both boys into their bed a few times before, out of sheer exhaustion, but they put a halt to it now. “I’ve been using my good Super Nanny techniques: He wakes up, I walk him back to his room, tuck him in, don’t say a word and walk out. I do this every 30 minutes, or as he wakes up. Then last night it started at 3 AM. I might die.”
When it comes to feeding picky eaters, Dina Rose, Ph.D., literally wrote a book on it. It’s Not About the Broccoli isn’t a cookbook, it’s full of smart strategies for feeding kids successfully, for ending stressful mealtimes and teaching kids to enjoy healthy foods for the rest of their lives. If this sounds daunting, take heart. You’re not alone. Here are some tips to get you started.
It may just be the large glass of chardonnay in my hand, but these kinds of stories make me happy. A massive study from Denmark where researchers tracked 100,000 mothers found that those who drank moderately during pregnancy had “better behaved” children. With my fourth child on the way all I can think of is what a win, baby, win!