Children Eating Smart

Are you a parent that often has to sneak in vegetables and fruit into your child’s meals because they refuse to eat those types of items if they see it in true form? Well, you are not alone. Many parents find it hard to get their children to eat a well-balanced diet. Sometimes, children are so picky you do not care what they are eating as long as its something!

Over time we have heard many parents, doctors, and famous food chefs talking about ways to “sneak” healthy items into children’s food. Whatever happened to being honest with your child and starting from an early age telling them what they are eating, not masking it, and telling them it is good for them?

That is exactly what the people at Bitsy Brainfood teach. They promote healthy (and organic) vegetable and fruit snacks for children without covering up what the child is in fact really eating. They make an assortment of healthy snacks for all ages including items which contain the following:

“Bitsy’s Brainfood organic smart cereals and cookies are all made with real fruits and vegetables as well as omega 3 DHA+EPA, folic acid, calcium, whole grains, iron and vitamins A, B and D. The smart cereal comes in three flavors: Carrot Raisin Crunch, Banana Squash Square, and Fruit and Veggie 1, 2, 3. The cookies are created with unique flavors, such as Zucchini Gingerbread Carrot, Orange Chocolate Beet, Lemon Broccoli and Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin.”

Bitsy Brainfood can be found at Whole Foods and other health/organic food stores. Mom and Dad the next time you find yourself trying to sneak in those peas, spinach leaves, carrots, etc., try Bitsy Brainfood (or other similar snack items from other companies) and tell them what they are eating and that it is yummy! You never know, your picky eater just might like it.






Best High Chairs

Babies and toddlers spend a lot of time in their high chairs- whether their eating, drinking, or playing with a toy while you are cleaning up the kitchen, a child’s high chair receives a lot of action. Which high chair is best for your child? Take a look at some of these different high chairs to help you choose:

The best way is to look at a design/style/size you like and then actually go look at it (and test it if permitted) at the store. This way you can see what is comfortable, safe, and the right size for your kitchen if space is limited. Also do not forget to check out other parent reviews before purchasing as well- this can provide information about durability and safety!

Graco Harness Recall

Graco has recalled 1.9 million harnesses on car seats. These car seats were manufactured between July 2010 and May 2013. Check out the link below to see if your car seat is on the list:

The buckle on the harnesses can become stuck to where a parent cannot get their child out of the seat in an emergency. Parents should stop using the car seat until a replacement buckle has been obtained. For more information you can call 1-877-766-7470 (have your model name and number ready).



Consumer Reports: Sunscreen Spray Warning

Consumer Reports is sending out a warning to all parents who use spray sunscreen versus sunscreen lotion: It is recommended parents stop using the spray until more tests have been conducted regarding how sprays affect children with allergies and asthma. Consumer Reports is not 100% sure that children will not develop these symptoms/illnesses as a result of using the spray.

As parents we like to use the spray because it is fast and easy to apply. However, with new warnings coming out, it is recommended if you use the spray sunscreen to first spray it on the parents hands and then rub it in like you would the regular lotion- do not spray it directly on the child as the spray then goes into the air which can cause breathing problems in children. Always avoid spraying near the eyes and mouth. For more information you can contact Consumer Reports or your child’s pediatrician.


Celebrities Sound Off on Working Moms

For many mom’s across the United States (and around the world, for that matter), the option to not work is impossible. With prices of food, gas, housing, etc. going up, many families cannot survive on a one-parent income. It is common to see both the dad and mom working to make ends meet for themselves and their children.

Recently, some celebrity mom’s have taken to commenting on their personal beliefs when it comes to a mom either staying home with their child or having to be out in the workforce.

Celebrities Emma Thompson and Angelina Jolie have been vocal about this topic in recent months. They both support working moms however, Emma Thompson said, “You can’t be a great mum and keep working all the time.” This has sparked outrage amongst the working mom’s force. Just because a mom has to work full time does not mean she is any less diligent when it comes to her children. She is helping provide for her child’s needs which in turn helps them to grow and gives the family stability in the long run. Emma Thompson went on to say how she recommends all mom’s take one year off to be with their child if they can afford to do so because she did and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, many moms’ find this impossible due to financial strain.

Angelia Jolie has taken a different stance on the working mom- she has admitted how her circumstances are not normal and how she is able to work here or there to spend more time with her children. She does not criticize the “normal” working mom who does not have any other option but to work to help support her family. She recently was quoted saying, “I have much more support than most people, most women in this world. And I have the financial means to have a home and health care and food.” Angelia realizes her lifestyle is not that of the average mom. It is refreshing how she does not try to throw down her opinion and be judgmental on mom’s who have to work unlike Emma Thompson or even Gwyneth Paltrow for that matter.

To the working mom: You are a fantastic mom! You are taking care of your child by providing for them- there is nothing wrong with that. If anything, when you come home to your child in the evening it makes those precious dinner times, story times, bath times, all that more special and important.


Words of Wisdom for My Child

Blogger Lindsey Mead of The Huffington Post wrote an article on June 5, 2014 titled, “10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know Before She’s 10.” In this article Lindsey provides us with the 10 words/sayings of wisdom she feels her daughter should know. They are:

1. It is not your job to keep the people you love happy.

2. Your physical fearlessness is a strength.

3. You should never be afraid to show your passions.

4. It is ok to disagree with me, and others.

5. You are so very beautiful.

6. Reading is essential.

7. You are not me.

8. It is almost never about you.

9. There is no single person who can be your everything.

10. I am trying my best.

Lindsey provides her daughter, and us, an explanation of each one. In this blog she reminds us to make sure we encourage our children, tell them how amazing they are, provide them with age appropriate life lessons and also advice. At 10 years old her daughter may not know (or care) about these words of wisdom but in the future she will hold onto them dear because her mom told them to her and wrote them down. What matters more than anything, is Lindsey’s legacy is forever with her daughter because she opened communication with her daughter and expressed words of love and strength.

What are some words of wisdom you want your daughter or son to learn from and hold onto? Are there any important sayings you feel need to be told to your child by a certain age? Anything you remember your mom telling you?


Family-Friendly Summer Vacation Destinations

As summer approaches many families feel the need to get away. Unfortunately, vacations can become expensive especially when you have 4 or more in your family. Parenting magazine has listed some awesome, children-friendly destinations that are affordable while still allowing your family to have a wonderful time. Some of the places include:

1. A road trip along Route 66: Enjoy the beauty of the United States. Visit a special tourist destination in each state you drive through. There are many diners, museums, state parks, and amusement parks along the way. Take a picture in each state for a lasting (and non-budget breaking) memory!

2. The Florida Keys (or my suggestion: the Outer Banks, NC): Beaches offer families a variety of activities for all ages. Some include boating, fishing, playing on the beach, shopping on the boardwalk, restaurants, and carnival rides. If you are looking for more to do in a busy beach atmosphere then the Florida Keys are more your style. If you are looking for a more relaxed vacation and not so crowded beaches, then the Outer Banks might be more of interest to you.

Pretty much all beaches have a web site. Decide how far away you want to go home and what your budget is for travel expenses, food, hotel, etc. Once you have that narrowed down then you can look at which type of beach is best for you and the ages of your children.

3. Theme Parks: Theme park vacations are typically best for older children. Since they tend to have a lot of walking and rides that are not suitable for all ages, it is best to look online to compare them before planning your trip. Factor in strollers, children who may get tired walking long distances, if the park offers a variety of rides for different age, etc. Since there are many theme parks across the U.S. (Hershey, Disney, Six Flags, Kings Dominion) families now have the option of staying closer to home or going further away. Each park has varying pricing options to help families on a budget and many have summer specials if booking in advance.

Whether staying close to home, wanting to travel on a budget, or finding child-friendly destinations the possibilities are endless. Take time with your family this summer to make lasting memories and of course stories that your child will tell to everyone and anyone who will listen for years to come. Above all, vacations are about being with family and enjoying yourselves.


Have a Picky Eater in Your Family? Try These Fun Recipes!

As parents we all know what it’s like when your child is a picky eater: “It looks gross!” “I don’t like the taste.” “Why is it that color?” Us parents have heard it all! Sometimes it can be very frustrating when your child won’t eat anything you put in front of them. You feel like you have tried every option known to man to get your child to eat but he/she simply refuses. This takes a toll on your patience and also on your wallet for all of the wasted food you throw away each day.

Try these simple and fun recipes for those picky eaters in your family!

Honey, Almond Butter & Banana

Spread 2 slices of whole-wheat bread with almond butter or peanut butter. Top 1 bread slice with a drizzle of honey (for kids 1 and up) and a layer of banana slices. Cover with the other slice, butter side down.

Apple, Cheddar & Peanut Butter

Split a focaccia square in half crosswise. Spread the cut side of 1 half with peanut butter. Top with a layer of cheddar-cheese slices and then a layer of thin apple slices. Cover with the other half, cut side down, and press gently.

Many more healthy recipes can be found on Remember: Allow your children to help you make the food when possible. The more they are allowed to help, the more likely they are to want to eat it. Also, make the food look fun! Make faces out of vegetables, cut out sandwiches in child-friendly cookie cutter shapes… Your possibility for fun food (and fun memories) are endless when cooking together. Enjoy!


Sound Machines for Baby: Helpful or Hurtful?

Parents all around the world have different ways of putting their children to sleep: Rocking, soft music, night light on, night light off, singing to your child… and of course, sound machines.

Sound machines are often used (especially in the United States) to help soothe a child to sleep. The idea is for the child to hear calming noises to help them sleep through the night. Some of these sound machines are placed close to the infant’s crib while others are placed around the room.

New research is showing that sound machines if placed too closely to a child’s crib while they are sleeping can cause hearing loss. Often times parents can keep the sound on a level that may not be loud to them but in many cases is far too loud for the infant as their hearing is more fragile at this age.

It is suggested that parents keep the sound machine at least one foot away from the crib and if possible to put it on the other side of the room entirely. Other research shows it also may not be good to have the sound machine on all night and to turn it off before going to bed yourself.

While many parents and doctors have their own theories about how a child should “properly” be put to sleep, it is still up to the individual parent. Make note that if the sound machine is in a small room or close to the child, make sure it is on a low volume setting and consider turning it off instead of leaving it on all night.

How to Choose the Right Pre-School

In this day and age there are many types of pre-schools to consider before enrolling your child in one. Parents have the option of Montessori, faith-based, daycare/pre-schools with a curriculum or just simply daycare to name a few.

Each type of school offers something different. Some major differences may include price, location, age of children, and curriculum content. Whether you are looking for a mommies-day-out type of center or concerned about what your child needs to know before entering Kindergarten, it is always important to do your research and compare.

Some important guidelines to follow include:

  1. Who is with my child during the day (parent helpers or teachers only)?
  2. What ratio do they follow for each age group?
  3. Is the content my child is learning age appropriate but still engaging/challenging for them?
  4. Safety- How is the school secured and how do they handle emergencies?
  5. Will the teacher help meet my child’s emotional and educational needs?

Of course there are many more questions that can be asked during a visit to a potential school. Once you know what type of school you are interested in for your child, then you can start asking more center-directed questions. Always do your research first!