Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dinner Conversation

Family meals are so important to keep families connected. One thing I found hard, was to let everyone, even the young ones, feel part of the conversation. So I started something that all the kids love. After we get everyone served we go around the table and share "the best and worse thing of our day." This really has been fun to see what the kids remember. It's cute when the kids say, "The best thing is ...... and my day was so great I didn't have any worse things." All the kids like to have a turn to share something. It really makes them feel special. What has helped your mealtimes a time you can enjoy as well as your children?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Super Baby Food Diet

Third attempt to put superbaby food diet on. Click here. Let me know if it works for you.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Super Baby Food

When my oldest child was about to start eating solids I was so clueless as to what food was best to start with. How long till I started another food etc. etc. I was frustrated with how little information the doctor office gives. I really wanted to avoid any food allergies. So I did some searching for a book or literature about baby food. I found the best book called, Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. It was exactly what I was looking for. It teaches you how to make your own baby food (which is so much cheaper), what foods are best to start with and which foods you can introduce month by month. I love love it! I don't do everything she suggests. Some of the foods she lists are just not available or in my mind edible so I skip over these things. She has a great section on Yogurt making which is very basic and helpful. There are also lots of recipes in the back that are great. From her material I made my own Excel sheet that I use to keep track of which foods I have introduced to my baby. I have put it on Google documents for those of you that would be interested. It has been very helpful for me and I can give it to babysitters to show which foods my baby can and can't have. Click here to view. Let me know if you have problems using the document. FYI. I have a new poll on the left hand side of the blog so be sure to vote!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Healthy Recipes: Chicken Tortilla Soup

We have oodles of zucchini from our garden so I'm always looking for good recipes that my kids will eat this plenteous vegetable. My next door neighbor gave us this recipe and it's now a family favorite. This is my very favorite way to use up our zucchini from our garden because it is so delicious and easy in your crock pot. My husband does not dig zucchini but he love, loves this soup. If you chop your zucchini up small you won't detect it.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 TB olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 medium onion
Saute-then add the remaining ingredients in a crock pot
8 cups water
2 TB chicken bouillon
3 cups salsa
1 cup cilantro
3 small zucchini, chopped
2 cups of black or pinto beans (soaked and cooked previously)
Cook on low for 5 hours
Then add:
4 cups of broken tortilla chips
3 chicken breasts cooked and chopped
Cook on High for 30 min-1 hour
Serve with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream slices of avocado and tortilla chips if desired
But this soup is great solo.
If you want to do it on your stove it's just as easy. After sauteing add the next 6 ingredients and simmer on medium heat for 30 min that add the chips, and chicken and simmer for 10 mins. and Wallah you have yummy soup!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mommy and Daddy Dates

I remember growing up my parents making an effort to having one on one time with us. These "dates" with mom and dad were some of my favorite memories as a child. Their is something special about being with my parents one-on-one. I think I felt closer and more willing to share my feelings when I was a teenager because of this effort. Because of this I really want to do the same for my kids.
My husband decided that each month we would alternate with the children in having dates. This is how our schedule works for three children:
August--Dad goes on a date with Child #1 and Child #3 Mom goes on a date with child #2
September--Mom goes on date with Child #1 and Child #3 Dad goes on a date with child #2
This way each child has a date each month.
We set up a schedule and write it on the calendar so we wouldn't forget. Well, we did good for awhile and then things got crazy and we forgot about it. So now that school is going to be starting again in a few weeks we are going to set up another date schedule and commit to do it.
Once our kids our age three they are old enough to go on dates with mom and dad. The child gets to help plan the date. We plan dates that require little or no money, which helps our tight budget and allows us to be more creative.
Some of the activities they have chosen have been: Playing ball at the park with Dad, Riding bikes, Playing a board game, Going to the library and playing a computer game.
I'm so grateful for the individual differences each of the children have and having one on one time really helps me show them I value them as an individual. I'm recommitting to doing better at doing daddy and mommy dates with our kids. Have you tried dates with your kids? What works for you? What have been your favorite dates?