Friday, May 7, 2010

With the 'Rents

Our little family is enjoying some much needed family time with my 'rents in good old Avon, Indiana. We will have lots of fun stories and updates once we get home!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Best Baby Food Book

With so many baby-related books on the market, how can parents know when they have their hands on a winning one?

When it comes to the ever popular topic of home made baby food, the advice you get (and take) can seriously impact your baby's digestive system and can make (or break) the relationship your baby has with food for the rest of her life. As with diapers, breast feeding, and birthing, I felt like I needed some guidance to understand the complex world of solid foods. Though every baby eventually eats solid foods and it is seemingly "no-brainer", I think parents need to take a more active role in introducing healthy eating habits to their children. Understanding nutrition and embracing a healthy lifestyle better sets up our children for a successful relationship with food.

So, where can a new parent turn for great, healthy advice?

This book is, for a new parent anyway, a page-turner. At about 500 pages, it is a comprehensive, all-encompassing instructional manual on solid foods for babies through toddlers. The basic premise: don't fill your baby up with empty calories... give your baby the gift of super foods (brown rice instead of white rice, whole grains instead of refined grains, myriad of foods instead of the same ol' same ol'). Many times parents do not give their children "super foods" because they assume their children will not like them; other times, they do not even eat these foods themselves or they are not aware of "super foods". Breastfed babies already have acquired tastes for a variety of foods because they have had small amounts through mommy milk!

Don't assume your baby will not enjoy a hearty green like kale or a combination of brown rice and banana. Give it a try! You might be pleasantly surprised. For many people, having a child sheds light on lifestyle choices that may benefit from slight alteration. Aren't we always looking toward the future?

Let me state that there is nothing wrong with the occassional treat or candy-they are kids after all... but lets focus on the bulk of the diet being from super foods!

Back to the book.........

Yaron breaks the book into five main parts, each of which is packed with information. Here is a brief breakdown of what each section covers:

1) Feeding Your Super Baby: starting food; month by month lists of acceptable foods; allergies; how much to eat/drink; meal time vis a vis baby development; the super food diet:

"The Super Food Diet is an extremely healthy diet composed of only whole, natural foods. It
is based on these major components: whole grain cereals, vegetables and fruits, yogurt and
other dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Pediatricians and nutritionists agree
that a semi-vegetarian diet fulfills all of your growing baby's nutritional requirements."
(pg. 119)

2) Preparation and Storage of Super Baby Food: equiptment; hygeine; freezing and thawing; description and hints for diet components listed above, including recipes; meat introduction; home made yogurt

3) Toddler Recipes: over 350 amazing and healthy recipes drawing on "super cereal" and "super foods"; tips on yogurt, tofu, breads, pasta, crepes, agar agar, beverages, and super milks (much more!)

4) Fun Stuff: food decorating; party planning; arts and crafts

5) Reference: nutrional information on specific foods; home made baby food accessories; baby-safe cleaning products and recipes; nutrient tables with baby-size portions

Bottom line=starting good eating habits early is vital to your child's development and outlook on food and nutrition. There is a time and place for sweet treats, just remember to provide your child with a balanced, super foods diet.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Post from H:

The arrival of Kiera Layne naturally reminds us of the birth of our own little one, the details of which I’m sure we’ll describe here at some point. For now I have a little something for the parents of this new baby (and for the parents of not-so-new babies as well) that my brother shared with me the week D was born. Darius Rucker of “Hootie and the Blowfish” fame wrote a song that made me cry when I first heard it—I’m a bit of a softie as it is, especially so with a three-day-old D in my arms at the time—and I’ve gotten a little teary-eyed each time I’ve heard it since. The song is called “It Won’t Be Like This For Long”, and it really captures how I feel every time I think about D. She is and will continue to be the most amazing part of our lives, but each wonderful day with her happens just once, and one day she we won’t need us anymore, at least not in the same way. Here’s a small taste of the lyrics:

He didn’t have to wake up

He'd been up all night

Lying there in bed and listening

To his newborn baby cry

He makes a pot of coffee

He splashes water on his face

His wife gives him a kiss and says

It’s gonna be OK

It won’t be like this for long

One day we'll look back laughin’

At the week we brought her home

This phase is gonna fly by

So baby, just hold on

It won’t be like this for long

We are fortunate to have so much to look forward to with D (as Kiera’s parents do with her), and grateful for the many wonderful moments, even the sleepless nights, we’ve had so far.

New Baby!

NOT mine, obviously!

My cousin and his wife welcomed their second baby girl, Kiera Layne, into the world yesterday! We talked briefly and I congratulated R and M on a successful natural childbirth. There is nothing like a woman being in full control of her body, dominating the seemingly uncontrollable.

Natural childbirth is beautiful. Natural childbirth is natural! Can you tell I am a huge believer in natural childbirth?

They were obviously very busy bonding with the new baby so our phone conversation was cut short. I can't wait to see the newborn baby! My eyes are already welling up!


The Happy Sleeper

So it finally happened. Dalia slept as much through the night as a momma like me can imagine. And poor daddy missed it! There were a few very small bumps through the night, but she was solidly asleep by 11 pm and woke up for the day at 9 am. I feel rejuvinated and recharged! Perhaps it was just "time" or maybe there is something special in the Indiana air, but Dalia has been sweet as can be the last two days!

Today was full of enjoyment. After Dalia took her morning nap, I got to spend the day walking around Plainfield's Metropolis with my two favorite gals (mom the nucleus and little munchkin), pushing my little red UppaBaby buggy from store to store. And unlike most days, today was not only for window shopping!

We scored some great deals (including a skirt for $4.74 at Old Navy), and I even got to pick up Super Baby Food, a highly-recommended book on, well, basically home made baby food (I will be posting a book review in the coming days). The best thing? My mom treated me to a little early Mother's Day rondevous. I love coming home for a visit-you can't beat that!

We got an unexpected, but very welcomed visit from my sister and her own munchkin. So Dalia got to spend some time with her favorite little buddy, her cousin, C. Kiddos bond in that little person kind of way, you know? They crack smiles back and forth, make cute sounds, and connect on some level that I really can't get to. It is neat to see Dalia interact with other young people. She is curious and shy, and yet she exudes a smiley confidence. Her personality is already shining through, and it makes me happy and sad. Happy that she is growing into a beautiful little girl and a bit sad because she gets bigger with each passing day.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Happy Sunday

The sun is just starting to set and all of our windows are open, I love fresh air! I hear the birds chirping away-happy as can be that spring is finally in full force. Nothing beats a seventy degree Sunday evening. Don't you agree? To top it off, a friend from a long time ago gave birth to a beautiful baby boy-an amazing and natural home birth. Congratulations, K!

The day was packed with adventure (I am being sarcastic). With our washer and dryer in constant use this week, there was a mountain of clothing begging for my attention. The kitchen requested my presence as well, and to top it off, I also tended to the floors and my closet. Needless to say, I am exhausted. H did quite a bit of work this weekend, too.

Our little munchkin is asleep and H and I are about to seriously chow down on some delicious, healthy lasagna. You didn't think lasagna could be healthy? Well I am a pro at making everything a little bit healthier :)

Speaking of making food, H and I made some decisions about how we are going to proceed with the world of solid foods. I have to do a bit more research and processing, but it did not involve the purchase of a fancy baby food maker, despite my original plans to get one. More on that later this week.

Have a beautiful Sunday!