Toddlers

5 ways to help your picky kid eat better

baby eating spaghetti

Almost every night, I set a plate down in front of General Leia, and for at least one food on there, she whines, “I don’t like this!” which is inevitably parroted by Bella Bean:  “I don’t like dis!”  Yet they end up eating at least some of it. My kids actually have a pretty varied diet, and I feel confident that their palette will continue to expand as they get older.  So how is this happening?

In Parts I, II, and III of this series, we established the pros and cons of buying organic food.  In Part IV, we talked about how you can get the most bang for your buck, nutritionally speaking, by buying groceries selectively.  But we all know that the most healthful food in the world isn’t going to help your kid if he or she won’t eat it.  So what do we do when our child is really used to a narrow diet and is unwilling to try new foods?

First and foremost, relax.  Think back to yourself when you were a kid.  Did you refuse a lot of foods then that you like, or even love, now?  Or do you at least know of someone else who you saw grow up to eat a more varied diet?  So see?  It’s going to be okay. (more…)

Dangers of teething meds

Teething sucks.  There, I said it.

And it basically never ends, right?  From when they’re about six months old (earlier, if you’re unlucky!) until they’re at least two and a half, there’s always a tooth that’s about to come through, a tooth coming through, or at tooth that just came through.

On the plus side, you always have an excuse for whatever socially-unacceptable behavior your child exhibits (Oh, sorry he doesn’t want to go to you, Auntie Em, he’s teething).

Teething means that for at least two years, you can be woken up any night, at any time, any number of times, by a crying, fussing baby.  And sleepy parents are not happy parents.  So we’re desperate to just make it stop.  Which means we’re susceptible to endless marketing aiming to get us to buy whatever might get them to just go to sleep.

With this in mind, we’ll look at several remedies, both currently in use and recently pulled from US shelves, and determine what can be helpful, what isn’t helpful, and what is potentially harmful. Continue Reading

Positive parenting vs authoritarian parenting – the effects on your kids

reading to kids

You’ve probably heard a lot about positive parenting over the past few years. It seems everyone is recommending it as the best way to raise your kids.

But what is positive parenting? How is it different from other parenting styles? Why is it more effective than more traditional parenting, such as the authoritarian parenting that many of us grew up with?

Let’s talk through where our parenting tactics usually come from, and why positive parenting (or responsive parenting, the nuance I prefer) is the way to go! (more…)

Teach your kids to take turns

It’s so hard to teach kids to share or take turns. In any household with more than one child, conversations much like this are heard almost every day:

“But I want that!”

“It’s not fair!”

“It’s my turn now!”

And so on, causing parents to want to tear their hair out.

Eventually, we snap. “Okay, you’ve had it long enough!  Give the toy to your brother now!  You have to learn to share.” (more…)

Tandem nursing: breastfeeding while pregnant or breastfeeding two kids at once

Did you know it’s completely possible to breastfeed while pregnant, and  even to nurse two children at once? You may not hear about it often, but tandem nursing can actually be a beautiful, rewarding experience.

I got pregnant with my second when my oldest little girl was only about 14 months old.  General Leia was only 23 months old when her sister was born, but I knew that the World Health Organization recommends nursing for two years or beyond.  Besides, both of us were still enjoying nursing. So we kept it up. (more…)