10 Simple Tips to get your Child to Eat Veggies

Do you offer your child 5 fruits and vegetables daily?  UM… Check. [?]

Key word: Offer.

Since my 3-year-old’s toddler days, she’s come a long way with veggies. She went from a very strong and adamant: not going to have anything to do with greens. To: ok, I think I like these greens after all. Which is nice. But not without effort. And today, I am going to share some of my little tidbits on how I got my 3 year old to meet her 5 a day and eat some freaking veggies already. *Disclaimer: You’re not about to read some ingenious rocket science stuff – which at one point I thought it just might be. But it’s quite the opposite actually. It’s always the simple things…

PS. This also isn’t a sneaky smoothie post if that’s what you’re thinking. This is an actual, getting them to hold, look at and eat some real freaking veggies post. Fruits too. But fruits are easy.

1. Have your child watch other kids eating veggies. Els has a friend a few years older than herself, who she completely loves and admires. This friend just so happens to LOVE broccoli. So I’m sure you can guess who now also loves broccoli.

2. When packing snacks for short outings, only pack fruits or vegetables. No alternatives. I used to pack all kinds of things – crackers, cheese, popcorn… Guess what never got eaten? The veggies. Sometimes limiting the choices makes it easier for them to eat what’s there.

3. Add spinach or kale into all your soups. I add spinach or kale into almost all my daughter’s soups. I just cut it up with my fingers into small pieces. For example, with a classic miso soup, I always add some spinach or kale. It kind of just mixes in with the seaweed, and you can’t even taste it. But you’re still not hiding it.

4. Just put it on display. Meaning, cut up some fruits or veggies and put it out on the table or wherever they are playing. Eventually, they dabble with a bite or two. Like I said, fruits are easy. But once they eat that cauliflower, you’re laughing.

5. Add some peanut or almond butter and raisins. Nothing beats good ol’ fashioned ants on a log. But don’t limit it with just celery. It works with apples, carrots, almost anything if you want them to.

6. Alternatively, add hummus. Hummus works wonders.

7. Make veggies into baked chips. Kale chips are amazing. But so are parsnip chips, carrot chips and beet chips. All it takes is a little olive oil and pinch of salt.

8. Change things up. For example, when steaming veggies, try adding a little bit of salt, sesame oil and sesame seeds. It gives a great nutty flavor. Sometimes all it takes is a change from the everyday.

9. Experiment with unusual concoctions that work. Putting edamame beans inside raspberries. Scooping cantaloupe with a teaspoon and placing it on top of sliced cucumbers. Wrapping carrot sticks with seaweed. Sounds kind of weird, but it’s not. As a kid, I loved eating apples with salt and vinegar chips. People thought it was so weird, but I loved it. Still do! I’m actually still a huge fan of unusual conglomerating. Like kimchi and pasta. Grapes and almonds. Mac and cheese with fish and radish. Brown rice with cheese and pickles. I could go on and on…

10. And last but not least, just cut it up differently. Dice, chop, long strips, thin strips, shapes (if you can), it makes a difference. Kids get excited with the simplest things… Seriously, I once gave Els a whole carrot and she went nuts. It was like the greatest thing ever for her.

*Carrots are choking hazards. Always supervise small children and chop into smaller pieces. As are grapes.*

Also don’t forget to check out your local farmer’s market. Buying seasonal and local fruits are so tasty. And there’s so much to sample… I love samples. As does Els.

Goooooooooood luck!!!

10 Simple Tips to get your Child to Eat Veggies

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10 Mistakes and Lessons Learnt As a First Time Mom

10 Mistakes and Lessons Learnt as a First Time Mom.

A mental list to myself, from myself for the next time, if, BIG if, there is a next time…

1. When they say breastfeed every two hours, that doesn’t mean forever.
Ok… So I didn’t do it forever, but I was pretty much waking my baby every two hours  long after it was okay not to… I TOTALLY missed that memo.

2. Buy a good car seat. For every reason.
My husband and I suffered from major baby-sleeping-in-car-seat envy. Because of course, our baby, hated hers. We were lucky if she lasted five minutes before she cried bloody – everything. And once we switched to a different one, (much later, i may unfortunately add) our lives were forever and ever and ever changed.

3. Don’t hibernate for the first three months at home.
I took, ‘be careful of exposing your newborn to germs’ to a whole new level, by not going out at all. In retrospect, it probably would have been the best time to go and have a nice dinner with my husband, while our baby slept safe and sound in her little stroller bassinet. ( As you can see, I did not say car seat, because even in retrospect, that is wishful thinking).

4. Buy a stroller with a BIG under compartment basket.
Every time I saw my friends cruising along with their Uppa Baby Vista’s, I got a case of serious under compartment basket jealousy. I had a friend carry an entire high chair attachment under there. It made mine look pathetic in comparison. Not to mention, it somehow always had the appearance of looking like one-dress-size-too-small, if you know what I mean.

5. Don’t wait 6 months before introducing a bottle.
I was so afraid of that ‘nipple confusion’ thing, I decided to hold off on the bottle entirely. Big mistake. She had nipple confusion alright. Just not with mine. When I tried feeding her with the bottle for the first time, and the 10th, and the 50th time, she chucked that bottle so far and so hard we have permanent marks on our walls to remind us of that total parenting fail.

6. Eat out. Eat slow. And enjoy eating. BEFORE having a baby.
Because frankly, I know those three things can not co-exist at the same time ever again.

7. (A.) Have a baby shower.
(B.) Have my registry made up only of restaurant take-out gift certificates.

8. Don’t listen to the blogs that say a diaper changing table is a waste of space/money.
My back certainly told me different.

9. Listen to the blogs that say a wipes warmer and a diaper pail is a complete waste of time and money.

And finally,

10. Try to wear something besides a nursing bra and hubby’s boxers for the first 3 months post-baby, so that when looking back at pictures there’s more than just me in a nursing bra and hubby’s boxer’s, post-baby.

Am I missing anything else?! Please feel free to add!

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Tots in Hotels: Ten Things To Do

Tots in Hotels: Ten Things To Do.

When I was pregnant, I always pictured my baby to look just like me. So did my husband. His playful wish was always for the baby to resemble me, and act like him.  But of course, we got the exact opposite.

And like mother like daughter, my tiny 2-year-old, does not want to live at home. She’d rather live out of a hotel, forever.

Here are the top ten things I recommend anyone to do when staying at a hotel with a toddler.

Tots in Hotels: Ten Things To Do.

1. Upon entering, disinfect everything with disinfectant wipes. All surfaces, remote controls, light switches, door handles, head boards and etc.
2. Scan the room and floor for anything small and dangerous that a toddler may pick up. IE) pins, pills, loose cords…
3. Bring with you, electrical outlet covers to child proof  the room. I thought of this after the fact.
4. Think about bringing your own pillow/pillow cover and sheets as most hotels use harsh laundry detergents that may cause a reaction to your toddler’s skin. Poor Els reacted.
5. Bring a big blanket to create a floor play space for your tot. This was genius. And very cozy.
6. Pack LOTS of snacks, water and individually packaged milk. Seriously, I paid 40 dollars for 2 hard-boiled eggs and a bowl of berries.
7. Bring OLD and NEW books. As well as old and new toys to play with. They appreciate both, and appreciate a little piece of home.
8. Bring a couple of arts and crafts or activities to keep your toddler happy and busy. This was a lifesaver. Check out this post for the activities I planned and brought with us.
9. Arrange a babysitter! (If possible.) You deserve a night out!
10. PLAN BUSY DAYS OUT. Ahead of time. And don’t forget to plan around naps.

Also, if you are planning on co-sleeping, make sure you request a king size bed. Otherwise call ahead of time to make special sleeping accommodations for your baby.

We had such a good time during our weekend hotel stay. Els loved it so much, she cried practically the whole way home. I said, ‘Why are you crying? Don’t you want to go home?’ And she said, ‘Nooo! The hotel is better!’

Of course it is. Door men opening doors for you. Concierge at your service. Food brought up to you on wheeling carts with flowers and mini Ketchup bottles. Enormous cushy beds. Cushy beds made. New toys to rent at the front desk. All the attention on you and you and you and you. Why wouldn’t it be better? She’s got it all figured out already.

Oh, boy.

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Babysitter ‘Kid Kits’

The Babysitters Club. By Ann M. Martin.

Enough said. I loved these books growing up. Sometimes, I think I learned most of my life lessons from them. That and maybe Degrassi.  I would lie in my bed, book in hand, munching on Red Hot Tamales, and dream of one day living in New York City like Stacey, eating Ding Dongs and Ho Ho’s under my bed like Claudia, actualizing my own ‘bright idea’ like Kristy, having my best friend turn stepsister like Dawn and Mary-Anne, and lastly, building my very own ultimate “Kid Kit.”

And 20 years later, here I am, making one ( SO glad to see my dreams are coming true!) to prepare my babysitter for a wonderful day/night so that my husband and I can go out peacefully for our very special occasion.

Babysitter "Kid Kits" Plus tips + ideas on leaving your toddler with a babysitter.

My babysitter is actually pretty great and I probably don’t even need to prepare anything at all, but since this is my first time ever leaving my pretty much, if I had to put a label on it, attachment-parented child for a whole day, and past her bedtime, I thought I would do everything I can to prepare for an easy transition and hope for the best. Not to mention, we are in a hotel, outside of her comfort zone… Which might actually even be a good thing.

Here’s what I did to prepare:

1. I worked with my sitter 2 months prior, having her stay with Els and I, through her bedtime process so that they could both get used to each other during this time.
2. I wrote a complete and extensive list of emergency contacts, bedtime routine instructions, food likes and aversions and other information for my sitter to review and have on hand.
3. I created an ultimate ‘kid kit!’

Babysitter "Kid Kit." Plus Ideas + tips for leaving your toddler with a babysitter.

Inside are: SNACKS.  I packed crackers, popcorn, apple fruits, veggies, cereal and seaweed. Other ideas: PB+J’s. Cheese slices. Berries. Pretzels. Yogurts. Smoothies. Freeze dried fruit snacks. Homemade Animal cookies. Homemade toddler muffins. I made it a point not to pack anything with sugar, because with Els, it’s only a momentary happiness. And then after that, it gets ‘Els on sugar’ worse.

Babysitter "Kid Kit." Plus Ideas + tips for leaving your toddler with a babysitter.

Crafting supplies: Molding clay with cut up pipe cleaners, feathers, beads, bells and gems. (Fitting for St. Patrick’s Day!)

Babysitter "Kid Kit." Plus Ideas + tips for leaving your toddler with a babysitter.

DUPLOS. ( That never gets old) And one new toy – A Melissa and Doug word puzzle

Babysitter "Kid Kit." Plus Ideas + tips for leaving your toddler with a babysitter.

I also included coloring books, sticker books, and old and new favorite books for bedtime. Ella also threw in some of these:

Babysitter "Kid Kit." Plus Ideas + tips for leaving your toddler with a babysitter.
Finger Puppets. Cars. And little animal figures.




And that is that! One more day to go! The hotel we are in is amazing and surprisingly very kid-friendly. They even have toys to borrow at the front desk which is nice. And there is SO much to do in the area. Els is having a blast. In fact, while her face was half buried in the mounds of fluffy pillows on our enormous bed, she shouted: “I’m having SO MUCH FUN!”

Let’s hope for a smooth day and night tomorrow! My baby’s first time going to bed without her mama…

Just knowing we got everything we could possibly cover,  covered makes me feel much better.

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Make-Up Inspiration

Two more days until glitz and glam!

I found, bought and altered my gown. As well as cut, colored and detangled my hair. All I have left to do now, is figure out my make-up and I think I’m good to go.

Oh wait. I almost forgot I had a toddler. Ack. I have so much to do…

But before I pack our bags, clean like a madwoman, do my pathetic 100 crunches, and eat something – anything!  I thought I’d share my make-up inspiration for the moment.

Evening Make Up Inspiration.
Images Courtesy of: (l to r) makeupartistme.blogspot.com, indianvanitycase.com, pinterest.com

A gold smoky eye. Nude/pink lipstick + gloss. (MAC patisserie) And nude/pink nails. (OPI bubble bath)

Getting excited!

Stay tuned for babysitter ‘Kid Kits!’ I’m working on putting together the ultimate ‘kid kit’ for Els and her babysitter. Must have in it, everything and anything to distract her from thinking about mommyMommy really meaning boobies