Monday, July 25

Picky Eaters Anonymous

As a kid (okay and teenager, and mostly an adult) I was am was a super super picky eater.  I didn't like anything green, didn't like my foods mixed together, or even touching for that matter, HATED onions, didn't like certain textures... My parents tried EVERYTHING to get me to eat what everyone else was eating... bribery, punishment, even that good old trick of trying to serve me the same plate the next morning for breakfast. Nothing worked!
Now as a mom, my worst fear is my kids having the same bad eating habits as I have had.  So we are undergoing a food make-over in our house, trying out new foods, more specifically new vegetables.  I've also completely changed the way I plan meals- but more on that another day.

In the past we put a copy of the food pyramid out where we could see it.  The kids liked pointing out all the food they were eating on the chart.  Now as I'm trying to make more of the food on our plates veggies, I love this new chart:
   It's straightforward and easy for the kids to understand, especially since they use divided plates.  Check out these nutrition plates and these portion plates or these balance plates.   

Thanks to my friend Natasha I discovered that I really like Brussels Sprouts (roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper), and thanks to the great farmer's market we've been visiting regularly I've discovered all sorts of new (to me) salad ingredients.
So... if any of you have tried and true favorite veggie recipes out there- please help and send them my way! :)

Tuesday, July 19

Summer Reading

Our soon-to-be 1st grader's Kindergarden teacher's parting words to us (whew- that's a mouthful) were: "Keep up her reading over the summer!!".  Aye Aye Captain!
We've been trying to do that in a few different ways.

First, giving her books she can read mostly by herself.  These are some of her favorites:
1. Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain.  These are the I Can Read version: same great stories with fewer words.
2. Mouse Tales and Mouse Soup by Arnold Lobel
3. George and Martha by James Marshall

Second, introducing chapter books that we are reading together.   We read these, a couple of chapters at a time, at night.  Here's what's we've been reading:
1.  Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures by Jeff Brown and Macky Pamintuan.  Fun books, and not too long (we read them in a few nights).
2.  Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Third, we try to get her to read books to her younger siblings.  These are usually board books that she is SUPER familiar with, and she likes being the "teacher".

And finally, we got her a library card and signed her up for the Summer Reading program.  She LOVES checking out books by herself!

Here are some good articles about kids and reading:
1. ...Why My Books Really Are 12-Up
2. Addictive Summer Reading Lists
3. 10 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Love Reading

Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 16

With school starting on Aug. 1st, our summer break is almost over.  We've made a good dent in our list of "summer fun" activities.  There are more and more great activities popping-up all over the internet... here are a few that I'm adding to our list:

1. Twirling Paper Ladybugs from Make and Takes
Photo Source
4. Potion Lab from Frugal Family Fun
5. Nature Explorer Bag from Chez Beeper Bebe
6. And finally... Super Slip and Slide from The Inspired Housewife.  We don't have a backyard so this one will have to be put on a future "summer fun" list.
Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!!

Friday, July 1

Saw this today over at Bakerella
(source Bakerella)
It was made by "Pop Star Jennifer".
I love it!  I'm going to have to make this someday.
Check out the other cute cake pops being made over there.