Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Parents Teach Kids Nutrition While Introducing Them to the Benefits of Juicing

By now, most of us have heard about the growing epidemic of childhood obesity.  We've all heard about it, but the problem continues.  Why?  Because eating habits aren't changing.  And where does that start for children?  It starts at home, with what their caretakers are purchasing them to eat.

What's in the cabinets?  What is in the refrigerator?  In most cases, obesity in children begins with their parents.  And, in many cases, those children who eat poorly and are significantly overweight, have parents who have poor eating habits as well.

But today, there's also a growing interest in teaching children how to get good nutrition.  I see it all the time with the kids' sports teams I'm involved with.  While there are many who feed their kids whatever they'll eat to "get something in them,"  there's an increasing group of parents who understand input equals output, now and also way in the future.

I'm seeing more and more interest in kids and nutrition -- helping them consume good nutrients.  And one way that parents are doing this is by introducing their kids to juicing benefits.  Parents are making their children healthy breakfast smoothies and the kids just think they're having a great breakfast shake.  (Some do taste better than others, but some fruit smoothies are packed with nutrients and taste fantastic!)

As kids get more used to drinking smoothies and vitamin-rich fruit drinks, parents can introduce them to veggie drinks through tasty combos that give them nutrients that their bodies need without all of the empty calories that fast food provides.  They get the benefits of juicing vegetables, but don't initially give up the more processed foods that they're used to.   They idea being that they eventually swap more nutrient-dense drinks for junk food long-term.

Today, with rising costs of health care, everyone being one or two people removed from someone who has cancer or another significant health concern, and with increased competition among our youth to out-perform others in the sporting arena, nutrition is one area that can make a huge difference in our lives.  And juicing or blending more fruits and vegetables is one thing we can do to begin to feed ourselves right.

For more information about nutrition, visit the nutrition page on my parenting site. 

Want more info on juicing?  Check out Dr. Oz's recent piece on the Healing Properties of Juicing, and this site on juicing and blending.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Baby Product Recalls and Other Parenting News

If you have a baby, toddler or child with toys, you are probably really aware of the need to stay apprised of recalls.  Sometimes, it's just a matter of getting a replacement part or some other quick fix for the problem that's been found with the product.  Sometimes, though, the product needs to be replaced or retired.

When recalls occur, there have been hazards reported about the specific product; often the problem is just a concern for possible incidences, but often there have been serious injuries reported that are concerning enough for the CPSC and the product manufacturer to take action for consumer safety.

With all this said, if you're a busy parent like I am, it is difficult to stay current on recalls that actually might affect a member of your family.

To make it simple, I've got two pages on my site that enable you to make quick checks of products and/or just read through a list of the most recent recalls. Click here to check out all of your infants' items, and click here for a current list from the CPSC of recalls in general.

Aside from recalls, it's important to know what's going on in parenting circles.  Knowing what others are going through, current topics of interest, and just news that might affect you and your family is a good thing!  Join us on our "Parenting Resource" page for the news on what's happening with new treatments for various conditions, psychology research, neonatal studies, and other general parenting news.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Parenting Articles by Guest Posters

I've been asked over and over if I'd take parenting articles by guest posters.  There are a lot of parents with some insight that they want to share out there! (This isn't for this parenting blog so much as it is for my positive parenting website. )

In the past, I just didn't have time to put together a specific place for guest articles on parenting, but as of a couple of days ago, it's done! Now I'm calling for parenting articles, written by readers, by either credentialed parenting authors and moms and dads who have some specific advice on how to go about positive parenting.   (Let's face it... moms and dads who haven't had the first early child development course still have gone through the school of hard knocks and have some do's and don'ts to give!!)

This call-out is for articles; if you have something really short that speaks to a topic either here or on my parenting blog on the website, please write a parenting guest post either on this blog, or on the website.  (Link above.) However, if you have something more substantial to contribute, we now have a place for it!

Please make sure that you read the guidelines for submission.  (All too often, we get people wanting to advertise their product or website.  Parenting articles on the website is NOT the place for that.  Read the guidelines on the site.  You can click on the link below to be taken there.)

As always, I look forward to reading the contributions of other parents!

Want to contribute a parenting article?  Click here to go to the right tab on Positive Parenting with Purpose. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Parenting and Sports

I haven't written in a while.  I've been trying to parent around and through all of the sports.  What I mean is that I've got all my kids in many different things after school.  Parenting and sports can be a great thing, but it can also make things nuts.

And, yes, I did mean to say that "I've got my kids in many different things after school." Truth be known, it started out with me pushing them to try different things.  Many parents do this.  You put them in something when they're young and they try it out to see if they like it.  Eventually, they might just land on something that they like enough to want to continue with it.  Along the way, if they're lucky, they might learn some determination, they might learn that disappointments in placement or performance are great motivators, that it feels better to win than to lose, but they also might learn to lose with some grace if that's important to you as the parent. Mine have learned that giving up play time is worth the results that they're getting.

With packed (and I mean packed) schedules, it can be a little stressful.

My friend was pretty blunt with me the other day and asked me what the heck I was doing having my kids so busy after school.  She has two kids that have one-day-a-week piano lessons, but other than that, they do homework and play.  (They're in the 5th grade.)  I think that that's fine.  But as kids get start to get a little older, my feeling is that it's good to limit idle time to the weekends.  My HOPE is that, while a little crazy sometimes, my kids are learning the skills of sports (which they love), and are also learning time management, delayed gratification, prioritizing, and many other lessons that create life-long impact.

How do you feel about parenting and sports?  Feel free to weigh in.  Different strokes, right?

For an aggregate of parenting sites which provide different information from birth to teens, visit my pipes.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Teaching Kids Personal Values

I read and watch all of the chatter surrounding Lance Armstrong and his eventual confession about actually doping while participating in professional cycling, and also his confession about lying for the past several years.

So many thoughts go through my head.

With all of the hype around the topic, it's no surprise that my 10 year old asked me the other day, "Mom, what is 'doping'", followed almost immediately by, "Why did he lie about it?"

Obviously, I had to explain the term to him and then explain reasons why it's been such a topic of discussion recently.

The second question, the one about lying, came just after we watched the CEO of Livestrong talk about the effects of Lance's revelation on the Organization, and it needed more thought on my part in order to provide the most meaningful explanation.

If you've read any of my other entries in this parenting blog, you'll know how I feel about teaching kids personal values.  One of the primary ones to teach at a young age is the negatives of lying.  It's a hard lesson to learn, and some don't ever learn it.  Some, as Lance indicated happened with him, lie to perpetuate their own reality regardless of the effects it has on others.

Kids who are taught personal values, such as telling the truth,  at an early age are much more likely to have a strong sense of virtue and want to do what's right with others, and do it for God and themselves... just because it's right.

I can't begin to know Mr. Armstrong's upbringing, his inner drive to perpetuate the narrative that he was the best of the best, at all costs.  I feel for what he put others through who competed with and against him the honest way.  But this post isn't so much about him, as it is about what we can and should learn from it all.

I'll be purposefully inserting some discussion with my kids about it, and hopefully get their wheels turning about the choices and consequences surrounding this situation.  I hope that some good can come from it. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Top 10 Baby Products Needed When Having a Baby

It sure is difficult to narrow a list of baby products down to a Top 10 List of Baby Products Needed When Having a Baby, but I've come up with my own version, cheating a little by combining a couple.  But here's the list of the items that I think a new parent should make sure that they have before bringing your new addition home:

  1. Diapers and Wipes:  Whether you use disposable diapers (there are so many brand available today including top brand names such as: Huggies Disposable Diapers, Pampers Disposable Diapers, and Luvs Disposable Diapers; generic versions, and even good discount warehouse versions!) or cloth diapers (there are cloth diapers and diaper bins that can be purchased, or, in many areas there are diaper services available) you MUST have an adequate supply of diapers ready for your newborn.  Ensure you also have the right size.  Wipes also need to be available for those diaper changes.
  2. Infant Car Seat
    In most places in the US, hospitals will not allow a new mom to leave their hospital without strapping their newborn into a car seat when leaving their facility.  Make sure the straps are sized properly for your new baby and that the seat is properly installed.  (The DMV has provided guidelines which I think are good.  Click here for more.)  If you haven't bought a car seat yet, make sure you get one that will meet your needs.  Click here fore more considerations. Also, make sure that you keep car safety in the front of your mind.
  3. Baby bottles:  Do you want to breastfeed?  Even if you do, you'll want at least one bottle for the convenience of feeding breast milk without having the baby to breast. If not, you'll want to decide if you want disposable bottles (where there are inserts for the milk that can be thrown away), plastic or glass bottles.  Nipple size and shape are also a consideration, although I always found that the baby will take what their given at some point!  Of course, if you're bottle feeding, you'll also want to decide which formula you'll want to serve and have some on hand.
  4. Baby Crib:  Do you want a crib right away, or do you think you'd prefer a bassinet?  Do you want to wait to decide and start with a pack and play that has its own built-in bassinet that can be placed right beside your bed at night and wheeled around during the day?  Decisions, decisions...
  5.  Sleepwear:  While most new parents love to go out and get a gazillion outfits for their infant prior to their arrival, after having several children myself, I can easily say that all of those outfits are not needed.  What you need to do is decide what is most comfortable for your baby, and what is easiest for you to manipulate when changing him/her.  Some of this depends on the season.  I loved the gowns when my infants were really small.  I'd use those with socks to keep their feet warm.  These nightgowns work for both boys and girls and make life a lot easier for the person changing the baby! When the baby gets older, the sleepers with the built-in footies work well. (My kids always used to take off their socks, fall asleep, and then have cold feet! These sleepers prevented that.)  If you get sleepers, consider if you like zippers or snaps.  Zippers were always much easier for me.
  6. Baby blankets:  You only need a couple of these, but I found that ALL of mine were much happier being snuggly swaddled when they came home from the hospital.
  7. Baby bath:  How will you bathe your child?  You COULD bathe them in the kitchen sink, but you'll want to make it comfortable and safe.  I always found that an inexpensive, foldable but leak-proof bathtub was best.  Click here for more considerations on bathing kids.
  8. Baby Carrier(s):  How will you carry your baby outside of the house?  Do you want a baby stroller?  If so, what kind?  Do you want another type of baby carrier like one that straps on you?  Will you just keep him/her in the infant car seat? You might find reasons to use all  of these, but you'll probably want something to help hold your child when you're out and about.
  9. Toiletries:  You'll probably want to have some petroleum jelly available for care of the belly button, some diaper rash cream, and incidentals like a baby brush or comb, bath soap, lotions, etc. 
  10. Medicines:  I always wanted to have some acetaminophen and some ibuprofen on hand.  Often, when calling the doctor because I thought one of my babies had a fever, they would give me the recommended dosing of one of these to help bring the fever down.  
For more on toiletries and medicines, click here.

If you're preparing for a baby, this is an exciting time for you! There is so much to prepare for!  The list above is just my own list of necessities when I had my kids.  I do know that, with my first, I really went overboard in getting things that I thought I needed and really didn't.  I guess that's part of the fun and excitement of it all, but if you want, just stick to the basics and have more money left for later... with a child you will need it!

Is this list missing something big?  Let us know!  Write a comment below.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Kids' Belief in Santa Claus

I was talking with a couple of friends the other day.  We started discussing Santa Claus and whether or not our children believe in him.

The conversation started in a lighthearted way, but changed a little as we got deeper into the conversation.  One friend felt very strongly that it is awful to perpetuate a long-existing myth with your children.  Most of the other moms were taken back by this and didn't quite know what to say.  (This particular mom doesn't celebrate Halloween or allow her kids to either, albeit for a very different reason.  She believes that people could easily make Halloween a very ugly celebration.) 

So this discussion about Santa Claus turned into more of an in-depth conversation about the meaning behind it all; we also talked about the ever increasing commercialization of this holiday, how easy it is to forget the true meaning of the holiday and get caught up in all the hype.

Later, as I was thinking it all over when I was at home, I thought about my friend's point, and then explored how I felt about it all.  Virginia's letter to the editor came to mind, along with the reply, "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus." (If you're not sure what I'm talking about read about it on a Hub page I wrote going into more detail.  My Hub page is entitled, "'Is There a Santa Claus' - Revisited.")

So do YOU think there's harm in living out the dream of Santa Claus with your children?  What do YOU do to keep the true meaning of Christmas alive?  Does Santa overpower it all?

What do YOU think?  Please add to this post by commenting below.


To become part of our parent online community, add your comments to some of our on-going questions, here.

I also really like MedlinePlus for good parenting information.