Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday's Tips: Picky Eaters

courtesy of
As a mom it's frustrating when a child won't eat the food you've prepared for them.  Sometimes it can even become worrisome if they aren't eating enough, or aren't eating a variety of foods to get the nutrients they need.  The number of possible solutions are endless....and there will be more posts on this topic.  But here are a few to try if you're at the point of throwing your hands up in the air at every meal time. 

*Think of your child's personality.  The same things don't work with every child.
*Also remember to be positive.  If you're nagging, getting mad, punishing, etc. it actually backfires worse than you have any idea.  It becomes a power struggle and that doesn't work.  The child will push back harder and harder
*Sprinkles.  Many kids will eat anything with sprinkles on it.  Broccoli, green beans, peaches, pasta, chicken.....  It sounds gross, but is true.  Just remember, you don't have to have it on your own food. 
*Shapes.  Do you have cookie cutters in the shape of hearts, stars, etc.  Use them on sandwiches and other food.  You can also use a butter knife to cut a shape.  Just be careful and don't make it too elaborate.  You'd regret your child requesting a detailed ferris wheel ham sandwich every day.
*Dipping.  Some kids believe Ranch dressing or Ketchup make everything wonderful.  And I do mean EVERYTHING.  While you don't want your child to be drinking ketchup and ranch because they're not very healthy, there are a lot of foods that if dipping will help them want to eat it, the nutrients in the food will outweigh the unhealthiness of the dips.  You could also try yogurt, hummus, or other things your child may like.
*Other kids.  My son will always eat what he sees other children eat.  He seems to trust their tastebuds more than mine or my husband's.  Have a lunch group, or occasional meal with cousins or neighbors and let your child sit with the other kids.  Then dish up the same food the others are eating.  Not just what you know they already like. 
*Making food.  If a child helps make a food it can be more exciting to them.  They feel like they have ownership of the food and will often times love it.
*Counting.  "At least one bite" is a good standard rule.  If you are consistent with this, they'll know they can stop after one bite and you won't bother them anymore.  So, they'll do it without a tantrum. 
Best case scenario: they love it and will eat more. 
Worst case scenario: they tried something new and got a few nutrients. 
You could try another way of counting besides "at least one bite".  You may tell them ten bites of food on their plate...but they can choose which foods, or can even ask them how many bites they will take and then hold them to it (in positive encouraging ways...not punishments).  There are many ways to implement counting into eating.  And children who are learning to count seem to repond well. 
If your child doesn't want to eat everything, it's okay.  Forcing them to eat everything can add to multiple problems like not recognizing when they're full and can 'turn off' their ability to recognize when they're full...which leads to overeating in the future.  It can also become a power struggle-which three year olds are especially excellent at.

If none of these things help, don't give up hope.  If you are seriously concerned, talk with your pediatrician.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Explaining MOMents & Mail

Each Monday will be our day of MOMents and the Mommy Mailbox

So, what is a MOMent?  A MOMent is one of those special 'mom moments' in life that you hope to never forget (...or are embarrassing and wish you could forget).  You know, the ones that make you laugh until you cry, appreciate the simple joys of a child, and feel grateful that you are a mother.  MOMents spice up the mundane parts of motherhood.

The Mailbox will be for submitting your own MOMents so I can include and post them to lighten everyone's day and help us all remember how wonderful it is to be a mother.  We will also have fun surveys, Q&A's, and occasional opportunities for prizes. 

To help out with the MOMents and Mailbox:
*Please post a comment or email me at mommymailbox@gmail.com 
*Include your first name, if you are a mother, grandmother, aunt, etc. & # of children

I look forward to hearing from you!!! 

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Friday Favorite: Family Fun Magazine

If you haven't checked out the Family Fun Magazine website, you're missing out!!!!  So, I thought I'd help you find it and LOVE it.  Why is it so great?  Here are a few of the many wonderful things you can find there:
*Homemade Games out of recyclable things
*Healthy recipes that your kids will want to help make AND they'll want to eat
*How-to's on making Fabulous Birthday Cakes
*Creative Crafts that kids and Moms love
*And A LOT more
Check it out, and let me know what your favorite is......
(***if you'd like the paper copy in your home, there's a subscription deal on their homepage: 10 issues for $10.00 a sweet deal!)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday's Things to Do: Shadows

Find a night this week, after it's dark, & go with your child into a dark room with a flashlight or nightlight.  Turn off the main light and show them the shadows you can both make with your hands.  Can you make a bunny rabbit?  An eagle?  What other animals can you make?  Take turns guessing each others shadow puppets.  Don't rush, just enjoy some simple time together imagining, playing, laughing, and not being distracted by the dirty dishes that are piling up in the kitchen.  Just Enjoy some SIMPLE FUN together. 
***(Bonus: maybe this will help turn your child's "fear-of-the-dark" into "fun-in-the-dark")

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday's Words

"Recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction."

~M. Russell Ballard, “Daughters of God,” Liahona, May 2008, 108–10

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday's Tidbit: Handclapping

Did you know that handclapping games....(yes, those same ones we did with our friends on the playground in elementary school)...are SMART.  They actually help children develop and improve important skills.  The combination of rhythm, music, and specialized movements helps improve children's coordination, verbal memory, and handwriting skills.  If you'd like some great tutorials in remembering these songs with actions, or if you would like to learn some new ones, here's a great site filled with handclapping songs that you'll love. 
~Idea from Disney's Family Fun, Sept. 2010, 71