Thursday, June 28, 2012

Let the summer reading programs begin!

Most of you are probably way ahead of me in the summer reading program game. I'm blaming our vacation at the beginning of June as the reason we are just now getting started.  If you are anything like me you might be interested to know that there are a lot of summer reading programs available which offer some great prizes. Here are a few I've found. I would love to find out if there are some I'm missing!

  • The local library--this seems pretty obvious but still it's the only place we've participated in a reading program up until now.
  • Barnes and Noble--You just print out the reading journal template and once you have completed it you get to go into Barnes and Noble for a free book!
  • Pottery Barn--You can use the list of books from Pottery Barn to complete both this reading program and the one at Barnes and Noble. If you have a Pottery Barn store near you this would be an excellent one to participate in!
  • Half Price Books--If your child reads 600 minutes in June and July and he will get a $5 gift card!
In addition to all that brain exercise if you need a cool place to go with the kids and some time away Regal Cinemas offers a great summer movie getaway. The movies are every Tuesday and Wednesday morning at 10 am and are only $1 per person! 

Just a few things to get us all started and excited about the summer. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Real food for baby

You would think by the time my fourth child was born I would be a pro at all this baby stuff but sometimes I feel like instead of progressing I have completely forgotten everything. When Eliza was nearing solid food age I was determined to try to hold her off and start her a bit later then my general MO which, for the boys, was always around 5 1/2 months. However, as with all of them, my resistance was worn thin when just at 6 months she was insatiable! I was nursing her every 2 hours and she still didn't seem to be getting enough. I even started taking milk thistle capules (which seemed to greatly increase my milk production) but she was still ravenous.
Before giving in and plopping a jar of tasteless cereal in front of her I followed my sister-in-law's recommendation and got my hands on the book Real Food for Mother and Baby. After tearing into this myself it is hard to resist the urge to buy a copy for every new mother. This is an excellent book!

Although she deals with nutrition from pre-conception all the way to baby's first foods I was mosty focused on the latter and it reinforced what my instincts were telling me regarding my new eater's nutritional needs. No longer did I feel somewhat guilty about adding salt and flavor to my baby's first foods or feel somehow bound to start with bland rice cereal that offers no real nutrition.

 I did go somewhat against Nina Planck's advice, and I pureed (and still do) all her food before I served it to her. Eliza has an extremely sesitive gag reflex and doesn't manage chuncks well.

 Here are some of Eliza's first purees:

 The yolk of 1 farm fresh egg
A little bit of fish oil (ideally cod liver oil)
1 mashed banana


 Roasted butternut squash
Chicken broth (homemade from a free range chicken)
Vegetable of choice (usually whatever we had for supper)


 Roast beef
Mashed potatoes
Beef stock


Sweet potatoes
Homemade Chicken stock (from an free range chicken) 

Nina gives several other recommendations but mostly her point is to give your baby the foods you are eating (with the assumption that you are eating real food as well). 
Farm fresh egg yolks contain an amazing amount of DHA and so many other wonderful brain-building nutrients. Fish oils and cod liver oils do the same. 
Nina also recommends salmon roe which I'm sure is a storehouse of omega 3's but I have yet to be able to afford such luxuries. I do have my sister and brother-in-law to thank for their efforts in providing us and the community with farm fresh eggs and free range chicken. It wasn't until I was feeding Eliza food that I really appreciated all the nutrients we have been blessed with by consuming these vitamin rich foods.

I would love to hear more purée ideas from any of you out there and I highly recommend the book to anyone whether you are feeding a baby or not.