Mishy snacking while Momma cuts an x in bottom of the brussel sprouts

Here is a link to a fascinating article in the New York Times.

6 Food Mistakes Parents Make

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/health/healthspecial2/15eat.html

Mishy has always been an adventurous eater, but this article got me thinking about how to continue foster her food curiousity since the article states, “Young children are naturally neophobic — they have a distrust of the new.” Other articles I’ve read highlight that food neophobia is especially heightened from when children are 3-6 years old. Because we travel so much, it is important to me that Mishy continues to eat a variety of food. Here are some things we’ve implemented after reading the article.

1. Sending children out of the kitchen

We have a small kitchen. When Mishy helps with the food preparation, she certainly eats more of it. Tonight, we had brussel sprouts. She sat down in front of me, noshing on cut fresh pear as she watched me cut a x in the bottom of the sprout. (It helps it cook faster.) She peeled away some of the older leaves and passed me the sprout to cut the x in. We use a splat mat which we lay down on the floor and sit on. If we end up making a mess, I easily spray it with vinegar for a fast clean up. Other friends, who have the luxury of space, use the Little Partners Learning Tower or a Guidecraft Kitchen Helper. Both have gotten plenty of positive reviews on amazon.com.

Prior to reading the article, Babba played with Mishy while I made dinner. (Babba does the dishes and laundry. That’s how we divide the domestic responsibilities.)

2. Pressuring them to take a bite

If Mishy doesn’t want to try something new, she doesn’t have to, usually she does without any coercion. We are lucky. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss is one of her favorite books. She loves the part when the person tries it and says, “Say, I do so like green eggs and ham!” When we catch ourselves not wanting to try new things, Mishy reminds us about Green Eggs and Ham. So far, so good, but we still let it be when she just doesn’t feel like it.

3. Keeping ‘good stuff’ out of reach

We don’t have chips or cookies or cakes at home. I do have dark chocolate in the freezer in the week coming up to my monthly cycle. So far Mishy does not know this. So far Mishy hasn’t eaten cake or chips. This “mistake” will be the hardest for me if she ever wants to start eating cakes or cookies or chips.

4. Dieting in front of your children

I am nursing. No way can I afford to diet. Before I got pregnant, I spent a lot of energy making sure my calorie consumption was on par with my weight because of my acting career. I don’t think I will be doing that anymore since I don’t have the time anymore!

5. Serving boring vegetables

We put butter on the brussel sprouts. I never ate my vegetables with oil or butter before. Mishy loves butter. That’s that.

6. Giving up too soon

Here is an excerpt from an article in the Boston Globe. “Allison Lauretti, lead clinical psychologist in the Optimal Weight for Life Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, says children often need to be exposed to a new food a full 15 to 20 times before it’s clear whether they don’t like it or are simply reacting to unfamiliarity.”

I keep that in mind when I try something new and don’t like it. I believe for adults, it is 7 times.

Details:

Splat Mat

http://www.landofnod.com/family.aspx?c=83&f=4955

Little Partners Learning Tower

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Partners-Learning-Tower-Natural/dp/B001ECHXVC/ref=pd_sim_t_4

Guidecraft Kitchen Helper

http://www.amazon.com/GuideCraft-G97325-Guidecraft-Kitchen-Helper/dp/B000SQNAQC

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Boston Globe article: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/articles/2009/11/04/kids_menus_should_grow_up_to_be_as_interesting_as_their_parents/?page=1

Mishy trying on shoes I had bought online - how do we know if they fit?

This past Saturday, Mishy, Babba, and I went to see one of Santa Monica’s foot doctors, Dr. Noah. He hosts monthly Kid’ Shoe Outings where he gives an informal and highly informative talk about which shoes to buy for your children to help their feet grow and develop. He is an extremely enthusiastic man and passionate about the care of children’s feet. He does say wearing used shoes is like giving someone your prescription glasses and it can have detrimental effects, especially on children’s feet since they are developing. He also mentioned the main function of children’s shoes until they are 8 years old, since a foot arch is usually not developed until they are eight, is to provide protection when they run and walk outside. Inside, it is best to have them barefoot or with socks so their feet are not encumbered. (Plus, having them shoeless does limit the dirt that gets in from outside.)  You want as flexible a shoe as possible for children. Flexible enough that you can make a fist or ball with the shoe. (This amount is not ideal for adults since we do need more support.) Also, a round foot is ideal – the shape of our toes – and if you align the shoe to the box, the center of the heel makes a straight line to the second and middle toe, the shoe is wide enough for healthy development.

His discussion is 15 minutes in length and afterwards, he measures your child’s foot. Since he devotes 2 hours to the shoe outing, and if there is time, he is willing to look at the parents feet as well. (His associate does provide adult shoe outings as well.) Most of the adults present had their feet informally examined. He did say he will probably find a problem with our adult feet because we usually have them and that is his work. My husband was terrified to hear his 8 mile/day jogging habit has severely limited achilles tendon and he might need physical therapy to remedy this. (Yoga will probably help as well.)

For more information, his website is: http://www.thedoc4feet.com

Here is a link to his handouts which includes a guideline for finding shoes for children.

http://www.thedoc4feet.com/handouts/handouts

After the shoe fitting, we bought her new shoes at Payless.