Happy Valentine's Day

If you’re like me, you have a busy day — parties with playgroups or at school, dinner plans, trying to find a few minutes with your significant other to actually tell each other you’re still in love.  So, I am giving you a short entry today.  It’s a list of things you can do to make Valentine’s Day special for your young children.

1)  Have a special dessert.  Something you would normally never let your toddler eat.  Think Death by Chocolate.

2)  Dress up your kiddo for the occasion. Admittedly, this is easier with girls, with hearts and bows and pink.  But, with a boy, just put him in a nice red shirt, and everyone will know you remembered what day it is.

3)  Get out the construction paper and make good old fashioned valentines.  You don’t even have to give them away, but cut out paper hearts, cover them with stickers, paper doilies, and marker or crayon drawing, and you have a memorable holiday keepsake.

4)  Take your kid on a date.  Babysitters are super busy on Valentine’s Day.  Pick a different night to go out with your own valentine (think cheaper dinner specials and shorter restaurant waits) and take your kiddo out on a date.  Think about his/her favorite foods and what restaurants won’t be full of couples on romantic dates.

5)  Give your child a valentine.  Dads, give your daughters flowers.  It’s sweet.  And a wonderful tradition.  Buy your kids a small heart full of candy or maybe a Valentine’s-themed book.

6)  Go for the cheese.  Turn on some music and dance the night away with each other.

7)  Have hot cocoa and storytime.  Fireside. 

8)  Call loved ones and let your kids talk on the phone.  Nothing like a long distance “I wuv you” to melt Grandma’s heart.

9)  Make your children a special breakfast.  Maybe try your hand at heart-shaped pancakes.  Hopefully, they’ll turn out better than my attempt this weekend.  (Let’s just say that no amount of 3-year-old imagination could remotely see a heart in any of those pancakes!)

10)  Spend some extra quality time together.  Read one more book at bedtime, or let that bath go an extra couple of minutes.  Just because.

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers!

Make Your Own Playdough

If you are looking for a fun activity to do with your kids that has some lasting power, try making playdough with them.  There are several recipes out there, but this is one I have used successfully.

Kool-Aid Playdough

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

2 packages of Kool-Aid (small, unsweetened)   (This is the source of your color, so choose wisely)

1 T. plus 1 1/2 teas. cream of tartar

Mix these 4 ingredients together.

Pour in:

2 cups boiling water

1 T. plus 1 1/2 teas. vegetable oil

Stir, then knead when thick.

Store in airtight container once it’s cool.  You can refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks.  (I use a Ziploc bag.)

Just like any other playdough that you have used before, it can be rolled out, cut in to shapes, and molded in to figures.

Just the Right Notes

A sampling of Rocky's love notes

My child often gifts “I love you” notes to friends and family. He sees what a positive response he gets from the recipients and it makes him feel good. Once he gave one to a little girl he plays with at the YMCA. Her mom jokingly told me about how the girl’s father had gotten emotional about the fact that their little daughter had received her first love note from a boy already. “Don’t worry,” I laughed. “He gives them to all the children he likes.” And ladies. Especially good looking ones.

I may not be a young beauty like the girls at the Y but in Rocky’s eyes I am the “prettiest woman in the galaxy” and the lucky recipient of the majority of the notes he writes. If I tried to keep them all, I would probably qualify as a hoarder by the end of the year. But I feel guilty throwing them away. As a compromise, I keep a few and I take pictures of others. They are a lovely pick me up during those times when I am forced to be a “mean mommy”, when doors get slammed on me and when the back talk starts.

It occurred to me one day that Rocky might like a few notes in return. DUH! Not sure why it took me so long to come to this conclusion. My sister-in-law works for a company called Chronicle Books; they produce some great coffee table books, kids’ materials and knick knacks. You have probably seen their stuff at any bookstore but just don’t realize it. She brings us all kinds of interesting books including stuff like the Sounds of Star Wars and photo books on everything from beer to toys to cupcakes. One of the products she gifted me was this awesome little note set called Mini Lunch Notes. Perfect!

I began to stick a few of these handy notes here and there. I hide them in his jacket, in his lunchbox, etc.  “I love you no matter what,” I write, “Keep up the good work” or “Please eat your banana.” Each time I do this he gets so excited; who knew a few little words would have such an impact? I wish he would stay this young just a few years longer, that just a simple note could give him such a high. I know it won’t always be this way and so I will just milk this as long as I can.

***The Gen X Moms are no longer writing as a group (too many scheduling conflicts) but you can continue reading about my adventures with Rocky on my new blog at:

http://www.jedismama.com

Traveling Internationally with Kids

by The German Teacher

I love both of the travel posts Gen X Moms Blog has posted before:  Flying With a Baby and Flying With a Toddler and always read them before we travel, to refresh my memory on the excellent advice given there.

 Since we travel internationally with Rosebud and Superdude, primarily to the United States from Germany, I thought I would share some of my thoughts on traveling internationally with children.  While it may seem daunting to fly and travel internationally with children, particularly for intercontinental trips, it can be done! 

 An international trip can be a great learning experience for a child, and offers them the opportunity think differently about what they know and the world around them.  I was 11 when I first traveled abroad with my parents, to the United Kingdom.  That experience was very enriching for my younger sister and me.  We still talk about our memories from that vacation.

 Apart from traveling to the United States from Germany with our daughter Rosebud, we have also taken her to London, Venice, and eastern France.  Already I have seen how much these experiences have interested her, and we are eager to share more travel experiences with her and her baby brother.

 The first step in planning an international trip is to reread both the travel posts I listed above.  As many times as we’ve traveled back and forth across the pond with Rosebud (six completed intercontinental trips now), I always find myself needing to refresh my memory on the excellent suggestions for flying with young children.  The second step is to research your destination and carefully plan, so that you have a good variety of activities tailored to your family’s age range and interests.

 Our international travel often involves a visit to family and friends, so it is a little different from traveling for pleasure with children, but the advice I wish to share applies to both situations.

 1.  If you are US citizens and are travelling internationally, all children will need a passport, no matter how young they are.  Keep in mind that when applying for a US passport for a minor (under 16), both parents need to be present when signing the passport application for the child.  A child’s passport needs to be renewed every five years.  If your child cannot sign for himself, the parent needs to first print the child’s full name, then sign next to the child’s name and write down relationship with that child (i.e., mother, father, guardian).

 Make a copy or two of your passport photo and signature page, and keep the copies in a separate location from the passports themselves.  That way, if a passport goes missing, you still have the passport number, which can help in acquiring a new one.  You might even consider leaving a copy of your passport with a relative.  In your passport, there is a page to record contact information, too.  Definitely write down this information, including your home address, but do it in pencil so that you can change the information later on.

 US citizens can also register their trip using STEP, or Smart Traveler Enrollment Program: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/registration/registration_4789.html.  In case there is some sort of travel emergency that arises during your travel, registering with STEP alerts the nearest embassy or consulate.  Then, the consulate or embassy can offer you and your family assistance, should it be needed.  If a passport were to go missing while you are abroad, registering with STEP can make it easier to acquire a new passport.

 2.  Plan ahead and be sure to include plenty of down time for you and your children during your stay abroad.  This is especially important if you are dealing with jetlag.  To help your children and yourself adjust to a time zone change more quickly, stick to their regular schedule when possible.  In other words, have meals and naptimes occur at roughly the same time as at home if possible.

 When you arrive at your destination, try to spend some time outside to play or take a walk.  I find getting a little fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways to overcome tiredness after flying.  And, of course, little ones need an opportunity to stretch their legs after a long flight and day of travel. 

 Make sure you and your children keep hydrated and eat lighter foods while traveling, too.  To keep well hydrated, you might want to carry a refillable water bottle to fill in the airport, once you get past security. 

 If you can have a rest day with few activities planned on your first day, this is especially beneficial for kids.  This way, the kids can settle in, relax and feel comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings. 

 3.  Especially in European cities, child-friendly accommodations may not be available or easy to locate.  One alternative to consider, if you’ll be staying in one location for a time, is a vacation apartment or home.  Vacation apartments often include a kitchenette, which can help you save money and time.  Vacation apartments can be less costly than a hotel, depending on the length of your stay and the city.  

 Another option is to stay in hostel.  Many youth hostels offer family rooms.  If you want to keep down your travel costs, a hostel is usually less expensive than a hotel.  Hostels may not offer the same level of amenities as a hotel and you may not have the same level of privacy that a hotel offers, but on the other hand, hostels are a great way to meet other travelers.  This can be especially nice for children, particularly older ones.

 I hope that these tips I’ve shared are helpful and, if you’ve ever considered traveling abroad with your kids, will help you realize it is doable and well worth it.  Safe and happy travels, everyone!

Some Ways to Combat Cabin Fever

Last night was the BCS National Championship game.  For Dear Hubby and I, that means dinner in front of the TV.  To pull that off with the wee ones, we had to get creative.  Our solution is one that I think a lot of families can use, especially this time of year: a living room picnic.  We laid our picnic blanket down on the floor, used paper plates, and ate finger foods to minimize mess.  The Big Cheese was so excited about our picnic, she was contemplating the menu most of the afternoon.  And, the girls and I baked a special batch of cookies to make our picnic extra special.   

When the weather makes you spend more time inside, don’t let that take all the fun out of your family time.  Just get creative.  In addition to our living room picnic, we’ve had hot cocoa in front of the fireplace (in sippy cups, of course!) for a special family story time, and we’ve also increased the frequency of our board game playing.  Have any boxes left over from all the Christmas loot?  Turn them in to art projects, dog houses, baby beds – the possibilities are endless.

New Year's Eve with Tots in Tow

Dear Hubby and I have never really fully embraced New Year’s Eve as a bona fide holiday.  To us, it’s always been a night to stay up late – and then cram in some sleep before the big day of football.  But, we do have our own New Year’s Eve custom we started a few years before we had kids. 

We get dressed up and go out to a fancy restaurant for dinner.  It’s not much, but since it’s not even a real holiday, we thought it was something.  When The Big Cheese arrived on the scene, we toyed with how to keep up our little custom without a babysitter.  Honestly, we found that it was really easy.  We still go to really nice restaurants (think linen tablecloths, romantic ambience, classical music piped in. oceanfront), we just go at the very beginning of the dinner hour when we won’t interfere with super romantic dates and annoy other diners. 

Her first New Year’s Eve, we went to a wonderful oceanfront seafood restaurant with a good friend from out of town.  Our waitress, a full-time teacher who waits tables on holidays for the tip money, absolutely fawned over The Big Cheese.  She brought the seven-month-old diner her own New Year’s tiara and introduced her to all of the neighboring tables.  Needless to say, she knew how to earn a good holiday tip from us! 

We certainly haven’t always had such success.  Last year was Bugster’s first New Year’s Eve, and we went to a different oceanfront restaurant.  We had family in from out of state, and we had our customary early reservation (5:30).  We were seated in a corner, surrounded by windows.  It was majestic.  Until the grouchy elderly couple was about to be seated next to us.  They took one look at our well-behaved and fashionably dressed darlings and demanded a new table.  Every time either girl eeked out a single noise that evening, they glared in our direction.  Oh, well.  All I can say is karma, baby.

This year, we waited too long to make our reservation.  In fact, we made it two days ago.  So, we are dining at the ripe late hour of 4:45.  We decided to mix things up a bit.  We’re going to take the girls to Rainforest Café, a super kid-friendly restaurant (floor-to-ceiling aquariums, gigantic gorillas, faux thunderstorms) with a tasty menu for grownups.   We almost never go, so it will keep the special occasion vibe going. 

It may not be much, but it’s our little way of maintain a piece of our pre-parenthood life.

Got Cork? Get Creative!

My first attempt at a wine cork wreath.

I did not get the artistic gene in my family. My mother reminds me of this fact. “Mom,” I asked her once. “Why do you keep that ugly clay duck I made in 6th grade? It has no neck, the beak is misshapen and the colors are all off.” She shook her head and said, “I keep it because I know it was the best you could do.” I think she takes pity on me because she didn’t get the gene either. Like recently when I painted a basic happy birthday sign for my son’s party. She took one look at it and said, “You needed your sisters to help you with that.” Ah geez.

Well, I may not be the artist/animator with a strong musical background like my older sister. Nor do I have a passion for sewing that my younger sister has, something that came in very handy after she had three children by the age of 30.

A different take.

But, c’mon Mom, I’m not totally lacking in creativity. Check out these cork wreaths I made this month. While there are other blogs that will give you step by step instructions on how to recycle your wine corks, I got what I thought I could use at the craft store (a glue gun, a couple different kinds of wreath bases and some ribbon) and went to work. To be honest, I came across the idea last year and casually mentioned that I could use a few corks to one of the relatives. She recruited a couple of others and, a year later, they delivered boxes full and told me they couldn’t wait to see what I was going to do with them. Darn it. I guess I’d better follow through, I thought. (I hope it’s true they were collecting from friends as well because otherwise those relatives drink quite a bit. I’m just sayin’.) So far I’ve made three wreaths and I still have many more corks leftover. Looks like someone’s getting wine cork trivets this year! Or maybe some cork ornaments from Rocky. Placeholders are another easy use. I recently visited a chic hotel that used wine corks in tall glass vases as decor. Must be the in thing now. Look, Scriv, conveniently green! Ho ho ho.

 

***The Gen X Moms are no longer writing as a group (too many scheduling conflicts) but you can continue reading about my adventures with Rocky on my new blog at:

http://www.jedismama.com

Toddler + Breakable Ornaments = ???

Mouse is one inquisitive dude. He is constantly exploring, testing, and problem solving. Train Guy is pretty positive he’s going to grow up to be an engineer because of the way he observes everything and then takes it all apart to see how it works. So it’s no surprise that he was absolutely enchanted by the Christmas tree, and by “enchanted” I mean “desperately wanted to figure out how that thing lights up and how all of those pretty ornaments feel in his hand.”

Bad cell phone pic of Mouse's creative problem solving

Like here’s an example of his problem-solving capabilities. We have some portable fencing that we use for our dogs on camping trips. We thought we would set up the tree all nice and pretty, and then surround it with the dog fence and make it Mouse-proof. It seemed like a great idea, and at first it totally worked. Mouse saw the tree, and after several rounds of “Wow! WOW!” he proceeded to conduct a very thorough investigation of the fencing to figure out how to get around it. Finding nothing, he quite simply resorted to hopping onto one of his ride-on toys and ramming the fence outright. I was laughing so hard all I could get was a crappy cell phone picture, but I had to admire his creativity.

I’m pretty damned proud of his sense of adventure and desire to learn and experience everything around him, but sometimes it’s not the safest course of action. Still, I wouldn’t change his natural sense of curiousity for the world.

Anyway, Train Guy and I collect Christmas ornaments and have gathered many from all over the world. Putting the truly breakable ones on the actual tree was clearly a bad idea, but I still wanted to display them.

From L to R: an antique ornament handed down from my grandmother, a Waterford crystal Snoopy, and a hand-painted ornament from Germany

Then I had a brainstorm. Why not buy a garland, string it up out of reach, and then hang our nice ornaments from there?

I headed over to Michaels to grab an artifical garland as well as a string of lights to make it all snazzy. Oh, an important thing to know is that I have these bursts of creating brainstorming quite frequently. A good 50% of the time they don’t work out at all. About an additional 25% they work, but not quite like I imagined them. I often run into several roadblocks along the way. This was no exception.

My first challenge was the fact that the garland was 9 feet long while the string of lights was only 7 feet. Yes, I could have purchased a longer string of lights, but these were on sale and I’m pretty cheap, so I bought two strings, thinking I could double up and make it all nice and pretty. Problem solved!

Back at home, I hit problem #2, which was that the two strings of lights I’d purchased did not, in fact, connect end-to-end to make one long continuous string. That would be the expensive lights I put back on the shelf thinking I was so clever by getting two cheaper strings. And since we only had one outlet to work with, I had to figure something out. I thought about cutting the end off the garland to make it shorter, but it’s made of this thick wire and I wasn’t sure where the wire cutters were in the first place (the garage, I presume, except the garage is sort of a hazardous area right now).

Voila!

But then it occurred to me to just bend the edges back, one foot on either side. And voila! A 7 foot garland to match my 7 foot light strand. Now I have to take the unused lights back to Michaels, but oh well. I worried about additional setbacks, but much to my delight, there were none! I managed to string the garland across two windows in our dining room, hang my nice ornaments out of reach, and they all looked quite good.

Go me!

So if you’re looking for a way to display breakable ornaments out of reach of toddlers, or just have extra ornaments you want to show off–here’s your solution!

'Tis the Season To Be Sick

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving and all through the day, I’d been achin’ and chillin’ with no appetite.  I called up my hubby and asked him to please, bring home some Oscillo as fast as can be.  After taking as directed, third time the charm, Thanksgiving morning I was raring to go.

Now, I truly felt like the flu was upon me that day and I’m ever so thankful to have heard about Oscillococcinum while attending a vaccine workshop at Belly Sprout by Dr. Lauren Feder, a homeopathic M.D. Our Thanksgiving dinner may have turned into take-out otherwise. I took the Oscillo just as instructed, at the first sign of flu symptoms, and followed up with one dose every 6 hours. By the third dose (after a good night’s rest), I was in good shape and able to cook all day.  I was worried that it may taste funky but not at all. It was quite sweet actually. What I really like is that when my son turns 2 he will be able to take the same Oscillo dose. No need to purchase the children’s type. It works for the whole family which helps the pocketbook and storage space. I love how homeopathy helps my body do what it needs to do when I couple it with rest.

A week later, So Cal was bathed in heavy winds which seem to be the culprit of my family’s “sniffles” lately. God only knows what’s flying around in the air out there. I knew I was fighting something off when my throat came up sore. As this is the first line of defense, I took immediate action by gargling with full-strength Alkalol, a natural antiseptic and mucus solvent. I then got out my trusty Neti Pot and filled it with a mixture of equal parts Alkalol and lukewarm filtered (previously boiled) water, and flushed my nasal passages. My new drink of choice became tea with honey and I donned a scarf around my neck at all times. I broke out with the generic Emergen-C to help boost my immune system.  It is effervescent which I learned from a pharmacology seminar was the fastest way oral medication would reach your bloodstream; hence, why I like many homeopathic remedies as they are dissolved in the mouth under the tongue.

What's in your medicine cabinet?

When my throat would worsen (usually at night which is an indicator to rest), I would gargle with Alkalol again and eat a teaspoon of honey and let it coat my throat. My yoga instructor uses turmeric with raw honey but, I have yet to try this and I don’t know the measurements. I stay away from citrus as it dries the throat. Being a singer, you learn many hard lessons while singing and performing, so I’ve learned what works best for me. Tea shouldn’t be too hot either, you’re just trying to soothe it, not inflame it. The same goes for soup. Chicken soup is always a winner, but I changed it up this time with some albondigas (meatball soup) with an organic chicken stock base and lots of fresh veggies.

After a couple days of contending with my throat, the rest of this bug reared its head with sinus pressure, headache and cough. I continued with the above remedies and ran to Henry’s for some back-up. There, I found that Boiron, the makers of Oscillo, had a few other remedies in their arsenal, on sale to boot. I picked up some Chestal syrup for my cough (another product my son can take when he turns 2—KA-ching!) and Sinusalia for my sinus pain. Also in my shopping cart was Ricola sugar-free cherry drops to keep in my purse for cough attacks and ginger-peppermint tea for my sinuses.

If I had the luxury of an hour of alone time (remember I’m a mother of two children under the age of 2), I would steep a pot of this ginger-peppermint tea and run a hot bath with sea salts and essential oils. I tried this when I was single, and it really helped sweat out a sinus infection.  This time around, I would just have to settle for dressing warmly and lots of tea with honey. Oh, I almost forgot another key remedy in my bag of tricks, Save The Baby. It’s an old family favorite and hard to find. It’s like Vicks rub. We apply it at night to our chest, throat and upper lip. The vapors help soothe the cough, throat, and nasal passages.  During the day, I would take a whiff of some pungent aloe gel. This can be used similarly if Save The Baby is unavailable to you.

This might seem like a lot to you, but this is my drug-free way of letting my body work its magic and avoid the doctor’s office.

What’s in your medicine cabinet?

DISCLAIMER:  I received no compensation for any of the above products/entities mentioned. I am a consumer and the above statements were based purely on own my personal experiences and are no substitute for medical care. Keep in mind that I’m not a doctor and don’t let me dissuade you from seeking medical attention if and when necessary.

Kids and Veggies? It Can Be Done!

Guest contributor The Cooking Mama weighs in on kids and veggies!

It’s a hot and sometimes contentious topic, getting veggies into your children. Some moms are of the mind that hiding veggies is disrespectful and detrimental to the development of their palates. These moms argue that if a vegetable is prepared simply and deliciously, kids will enjoy it. That’s undoubtedly true for some lucky moms, but if the success of Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious books is any indication, lots of moms have found that their kids just aren’t ever going to eat that broccoli, whether it’s roasted with olive oil, fresh herbs, and a sprinkle of sea salt, or slathered with radioactive-orange cheese. If making a bunch of purees and stirring them into everything you make isn’t your bag, I can share a few ideas that are totally palatable to young, developing tastebuds, while retaining all the nutrients and some of the flavor and texture of the vegetables used to make them.

Baby Goose love broccoli

When Goose was starting solids, she loved veggies even more than fruit. We followed the practice of baby-led weaning, so she happily and noisily sucked and gnawed on stalks of steamed broccoli, roasted asparagus, and green beans to her little heart’s content. As her pincer grasp developed, she enjoyed peas and was absolutely crazy about black beans. I was so pleased, and maybe even a little braggy about my excellent little eater (because clearly my wonderful parenting was responsible, and not her naturally adventurous disposition). There was nothing Goose wouldn’t try. And then came toddlerhood. Suddenly the foods she once gobbled down were being pitched to the floor in a fit of disgusted rage. Black beans? BLECH! Spinach? I haven’t seen YOU eating any spinach, mother! Over the course of a couple months, vegetables became all but verboten to Goose. As she was growing well and I thought it was a brief phase, I happily offered more fruit along with the veggies, but when I realized she wasn’t eating ANY vegetables apart from sweet potatoes and the very occasional carrot cube from her peas and carrots, I realized I might have to get sneaky.

Make eggs, not war

Kids, generally speaking, like eggs a whole lot. Goose would eat them at every meal if I let her. Luckily for us, eggs are a perfect vehicle for veggie delivery. A quick peek at one of my favorite sites for baby and kid food ideas, weelicious.com, led me to the idea of mini frittatas (link to recipe: http://weelicious.com/2008/06/18/baby-frittatas/). The site’s author makes hers with roasted red pepper and asparagus, which sounds delicious to me but perhaps not the best way to introduce the concept to a truly picky eater. My first try included a small handful of cooked peas and carrots, and a dash of salt and pepper. Goose loved them! Next up was finely chopped steamed broccoli and a little bit of shredded cheddar (Goose is sensitive to dairy but can handle a very little bit of cow’s milk cheese). Verdict?

om nom nom

Yum, and her little toddler pal loved them too. These cute little handheld frittatas could take on all kinds of veggies, I’d bet. Why not try chopped, well-drained frozen spinach, finely diced squash (roasted or steamed), or seeded and finely diced tomatoes? If you’re pressed for time or don’t feel like heating up the oven, just mix your cooked, chopped veggies right into scrambled eggs before they are fully set. And when in doubt, add cheese.

Fry them up

Goose was never all that impressed when I offered steamed cubes or the mashed flesh of a baked sweet potato, but when I started cutting them in sticks or rounds and roasting them with a little olive oil and a pinch of cinnamon? She was over the moon for them. Now we have sweet potato fries with lunch or dinner a couple times a week. Goose does a dance in her highchair when she sees them and I feel good serving them because sweet potatoes are absolutely loaded with vitamins and fiber. And remember, good old Russet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C and fiber too, so oven fries are a good guilt-free indulgence. Just leave the skins on and go easy on the oil! Some other veggies that might be better received in oven fry form are turnips, zucchini, carrots, or even green beans. There are plenty of recipes on the net, breaded and not, so do some experimenting.

Dessert

If all else fails and your picky little one turns her nose up at everything, make some sweets. Mini muffins are an excellent way to hide vegetables – think finely shredded zucchini or carrot in a basic spice cake recipe – and once baked, the veggies are nearly indetectable. This time of year, canned pumpkin is plentiful (barring a shortage in your neck of the woods) so try adding a few spoonfuls to oatmeal or baking up some quick breads. I’ve even read about black bean brownies, which are supposedly really moist and yummy and not at all bean-y (though I admit I haven’t mustered up the courage to try them yet). Those mixed fruit and veggie squeezable pouches are getting rave reviews, too. And even if your little one isn’t getting as many vegetables as you’d like, remember that fruit, although higher in natural sugars, also packs a big nutritional punch when it comes to vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.

gratuitous cuteness

Getting your kids to eat the right foods can be really stressful and difficult, and I’ve definitely let myself get worried over it as much as any other mama. One obvious, but invaluable piece of advice I’ve heard from many of my mom friends is to relax, because kids will eat when they feel like it. There’s no use fighting them and making mealtime unpleasant for everyone. With that in mind, our new MO has been to just keep offering veggies every day (some hidden, some not) and make sure that Goose sees us eating and enjoying them too.