Archive for the ‘Feed Me!’ Category

10 Foods for Strong Kids

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Want to help your kids' bones grow stronger? Faced with kids who don't want to try new foods? You'll want to check out Cooking Light's "10 Foods for Strong Bones."

Registered dietitian Katherine Brooking shows you good food sources for this critical nutrient, then shares great recipes for dishes made with salmon, cheddar cheese, almonds and more.

Check it out. You'll be inspired to amp up your family's grocery list with these bone-friendly foods.


Manners? We Don’t Need No Stinking Manners!

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

My family was at a nice Mexican restaurant recently and a 4-year-old at
a nearby table was standing on her chair talking loudly and making a game of throwing
chips on the floor (for the staff to pick up).

All the while, her Mom and
Dad sat there with friends, relaxing, drinking their beer…

What's
wrong with these people? They made no attempt to clean up after their
child, to make sure she talked at a reasonable volume or to show any
concern for the restaurant employees or their fellow diners.

I've
been seeing this situation more and more frequently in the past year or
so. Do I just live in Rudeville, U.S.A., or are you seeing this, too?

The
sense of entitlement — the attitude of "it's all about me" — seems to
be increasingly common these days. What can we do to turn this trend
around?

Need a Quickie Dinner Idea for Tonight? (Who Doesn’t?)

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

pasta sauce

I actually got out the crock pot AND the food processor this morning. Chopped up turkey sausage and an onion, sauteed both for a few minutes and added it to a jar of pasta sauce in the crock pot. House smells great! 

I forget how helpful these two items can be — especially during weeks like this, when we're running Matt to and from Wizard of Oz rehearsal constantly!

I love having a crock-pot meal ready to go, but I don't like to spend time on week days doing a lot of chopping and prep work. I'm going to save this idea for crazed weekday nights. Took about 15 minutes to put together. (And that's about as Martha Stewart as I get!)

Giveaway! Simple Wishes Bustier

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Are you a multi-tasking new mom who doesn't want to sit and hold a breast pump while you're pumping at work — or even at home? Some very creative folks have come up with a solution.

At first, this contraption cracked me up, I have to say. (But then the whole breast-pump thing cracked me up when my son was born and I tried pumping for the first time.) But I got over that in about a minute and got practical. The whole goal is to get the milk collected, right?

The Simple Wishes Bustier offers a hands-free way to pump. Check out the website for details about all the features. The design of the bra allows you to position the breast shields in the most-comfortable spot for the best seal during pumping. The bra is designed to be worn comfortably all day.

It retails for $35 and can be purchased at the website. (For a short time, get 15% off your pre-order by entering LAUNCH coupon code at checkout.)

Giveaway! If you'd like to be entered in a drawing for a FREE Simple Wishes Bustier, leave a comment below. The winner will be announced here next Monday.

Mmm. Pie.

Friday, May 8th, 2009

My son Matt (now 13) and I used to cook together quite a bit when he was in third and fourth grade. We had more time back in those days (even though we didn't think we did!), compared with our schedule now — baseball, swimming, piano, homework…

But I just received something in the mail that has inspired me to spend a Saturday afternoon in the kitchen with my kid. Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies, by Mollie Cox Bryan, made my mouth water.

Doesn't that cover photo just get to you, too? There goes the diet.

The book includes recipes for pies I've always wanted to try (and some that just sound like so much fun!): Shoofly Pie, Grasshopper Pie, Tar Heel Pie, and even Brown Sugar Pie From The Attic.

Matt and I will give one a try and we'll report back. Do you cook with your kids? I'd love to hear about how you spend time together in the kitchen.

Pistachio Warning: Salmonella Can Be Fatal to Young Children

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Pistachio nuts in and out of the shell

As you may know, I work for Consumer Reports as their social media reporter. I so appreciate how they stay on top of food-recall issues.

The Consumer Reports Health blog has been reporting on the Food and Drug Administration's recent recalls of pistachio nuts. The FDA is now recommending that consumers avoid eating pistachios until further notice due to the risk of salmonella.

Salmonella can cause serious — and sometimes fatal — infections in young
children, elderly people and anyone with a weakened immune
system.

A number of illnesses have been reported that may be associated with pistachios. We don't yet know whether
any of the salmonella strains found in the pistachio products are
linked to an outbreak.

Keep checking the Consumer Reports Health blog for updates. Better safe than sorry on this one.

Bursting with Milk, Smelling Like Coleslaw: One New Mom’s Journey

Friday, October 24th, 2008


The baby monitor started squawking as I finished the dinner dishes. Walking into his room, I found my 10-month-old son, Matthew, sobbing and clutching the crib railing.

We settled into the rocking chair, the glow from the night light shining across his pudgy cheeks, highlighting a tear and a quivering chin. As we rocked and I hummed a lullaby, I could feel Matt’s weight sink into my chest. With each rocking movement, he let go a bit more, until, with his trademark little shudder-sigh, he fell asleep.

It was a scene I dreamed about when I was expecting. That is, when I wasn’t devouring pregnancy books. I didn’t have to be hit over the head with a breast pump to get the message: It’s All About Bonding.

Talk to my baby in the womb? Check. Play music that he will recognize later? Check. (I even bought a tape, “Yosemite Sounds,” to commemorate the vacation my husband and I took while I was pregnant.)

But these were small potatoes compared with the two mommy-baby-bonding biggies: natural childbirth and blissful breastfeeding.

I never missed a Lamaze or breastfeeding class. I even stopped by a La Leche League meeting, looking for tips. By my eighth month, I was more than ready to bond with my little guy, who was probably ready to bolt from the womb screaming “Mom, enough with the Yosemite tape!”

Somehow my well-planned birthing experience turned into 32-hours of labor, an hour of pushing and finally — with the mother-to-be cursing and “hee” breathing all the way to the operating room — an emergency C-section three days before Christmas.

So much for placing the naked baby on my chest while my husband and I wipe away tears of joy.

Actually, there were tears of joy. And I did get to touch my son while the doctors sewed me up. But I could almost feel the experts’ disapproval.

In the Bonding Olympics, breastfeeding wasn’t our strongest event, either. After consulting with two obstetricians, three lactation specialists and one nurse, I still found myself in a frustrating, exhausting, every-two-hour cycle of pumping milk while my husband fed Matthew with an eye dropper. I think we all were relieved when, after several weeks of round-the-clock angst, we threw in the towel and switched to formula, at our pediatrician’s suggestion.

But even quitting was no picnic. I had to bind my chest to decrease milk production, but my breasts still ached miserably. Then I read somewhere that applying cabbage leaves could reduce swelling. So there I stood in the kitchen, in tears, holding cabbage leaves to my breasts while my husband wrapped my chest with an Ace bandage.

Looking back, I can laugh. But standing there in the kitchen, full of milk, pain and guilt, I felt like a failure. By the experts’ accounts, I had blown it big time.

Never mind that I held my newborn son on Christmas eve as we listened to carolers singing “Silent Night” outside our hospital room.

Or that, after bringing him home on Christmas Day, we’d spend evenings in the living room, lights off, listening to Bing Crosby while Matthew clutched my finger and stared, wide-eyed, at the twinkling tree lights.

And never mind that he gazed into my face as we snuggled in his grandma’s afghan for 3 a.m. feedings, with Matthew eating happily until every part of his tiny body was asleep except for his bottom lip, which kept making little sucking movements.

Never mind that 10-month-old boy who nestled peacefully against my chest that night as we rocked, heartbeat-to-heartbeat. Or the happy squeals that greeted me the next morning. Or that little tango we do that makes him giggle in anticipation of the “dip” at the end. Or the hundred other simple ways we weave ourselves into each other’s hearts.

When it comes to “proper” bonding with my son, the experts would probably throw the book at me.

But finally, I can honestly tell myself, it’s OK. After all, my sweet Matthew, you and I didn’t do it by the book.

Got a Family With a Healthy Appetite? You’re in Luck

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Are you a fan of the Food Network? If so, you’ve probably been tempted (like I am) by Paula Deen’s butter-laden Southern goodies.

But given that I’m trying to cook more healthfully for myself and my family these days, I tend to enjoy Paula for the entertainment value (she’s a hoot!) and then turn to “Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger” for recipes I’ll actually use.

While I’ve done my share of downloading Ellie’s recipes from the Food Network website, I’m all over her hot-off-the-presses new cookbook, The Food You Crave (Taunton; 2008; $28).

Ellie doesn’t pretend we don’t all have cravings. In fact, she takes the comforting dishes my family adores the most — garlic fries, chocolate pudding — and creates healthy versions that we love.

She also offers tips for things like “building a better muffin” by cutting but not eliminating fat, using heart-healthy canola oil, increasing moistness and tenderness with fruit or vegetable purees and using whole-grain pastry flour.

With recipes for Jerk Chicken with Cool Pineapple Salsa, Jambalaya With Shrimp and Ham and Chocolate Cherry-Almond Biscotti, you may tend to forget that Krieger is a registered dietitian and that these recipes are good for you. Just don’t tell your taste buds — or your kids — and they’ll never know.

A Little Ice Cream… And a Better Day Today

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Several readers have e-mailed to suggest that the comment I left yesterday (in the comments section, not as a post) should be a post. So here goes: 

Today is a much better parenting day, and I even felt a bit (just a bit) bad about writing such a whining post yesterday. (Although in my “What’s Parent Talk Today?” description, I do promise a bit of whining now and then!)
I considered taking the (July 14) post down, but then I thought “Hey, this is real life. Some days we drive the people we love crazy, and we muddle through and move on to the next day and it all works out.”
That’s probably a better thought to share with my fellow parents than all the hearts-and-flowers posts about mommyhood could ever be. (Although you’ll find those here, too.)
Because none of us is even close to perfect, and it helps, I think, to know that other moms have days when running to the grocery store, alone, feels like sweet relief.
So the post stays. And the love for my son never disappears — even when I’m so frustrated with him that I want to take his video games and hold a big garage sale because he’s driving me nuts.
Today is a better day. But boy, that ice cream tasted good last night!

Hey McDonald’s: Your New Pitch Doesn’t Cut It For This Mom

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Images
I know McDonald’s is trying to court the young-adult crowd with its new radio ad featuring an insipid-sounding young woman exclaiming “OMG!” in regard to meeting her girlfriends at Mickey D’s for coffee and gossip. But as a mom, I have to speak up. (After all, McDonald’s is also going after the parents of young kids, constantly, right?)

I have always taught my son, from the time he was a preschooler, the importance of not taking God’s name in vain. And there are certainly better ways to mention God than exclaiming “OMG!” about coffee. I’m no over-the-top parent who writes letters to the editor and cancels magazine subscriptions over every little thing. But this ad offends me, and I don’t think it’s a help to parents to have it playing on the radio. As a company that markets to families as well as to young adults, McDonald’s should keep this in mind.

And for what it’s worth, In ‘N Out has MUCH better burgers…

If you’d like to let McDonald’s know how you feel about this ad, click here.