Monday, January 28, 2008

Climbing the Stairs

We live in a 1-story house that has these amazingly steep steps up the front to the porch. I always carry the Biscuit up the stairs when we go in the front door (we usually go in the back door). This past weekend, my husband put the Biscuit down at the bottom of the steps and said, "Mommy watch."

My brilliant child walked up the 6 or so steps, holding on to the rail with both hands, with no assistance at all. Apparently, he had done the same when he went to visit his Paw Paw so the hubby wanted to check to see if he could do it at the house. Let me stress again that we don't have stairs so this truly is a bit amazing to us.

I had the blessing of taking 2 semesters of a perpetual motor therapy development class during college. In class, we worked with kids who were challenged by motor development. I worked with a girl who had ADHD. Our two goals were to 1 - walk up a flight of stairs correctly and 2 - tie her shoes by herself. She was 6-years old. Many kids walk up stairs when they are learning by going up sideways. The Biscuit walked straight and held on with both hands (one crossed over his body).

This is why I am so amazed with the little magician. He truly is magic to me. I guess we'll start working on tying shoes now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spaghetti

Everybody has their favorite recipe for spaghetti, so I thought I'd offer my favorite toddler (and baby) recipe for spaghetti. We've been feeding this to the Biscuit since he started on table food (I'm not kidding) and he has been lapping it up every time we have it since. (Oh, and the adults in my house eat this too!)

Ingredients (sauce)
2 cans organic diced tomatoes (non-organic tomatoes are the most pesticide-containing veggie)
3/4 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic (diced)
1/2 yellow onion
4 baby carrots (diced)

Instructions
  1. Brown the meat and drain.
  2. Saute the onion and garlic in the same pan for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and carrots.
  4. Add the meat back to the pan.
  5. Cook for at least 20 minutes on low-medium heat.
  6. Cook spaghetti noodles separately (according to package instructions).

I recommend (for babies and young toddlers) that you put some noodles and sauce in a small food processor and pulse/chop for a few turns to make it easy for the little ones to eat both the meat and the noodles. And, of course, everything's better with cheese so add Parmesan or some shredded cheddar if desired.

I've substituted the carrots for green peppers on occasion and I suppose you could probably throw in part of a squash or zucchini. Just remember that the veggies need to cook for about 20 minutes to turn soft (and to go unnoticed).

Monday, January 21, 2008

Applesauce & Carrot Muffins

So a friend gave me Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious book to help with toddler recipes (b/c I am always asking friends for tips on what to feed the Biscuit). While I won't share the recipe here (buy the book!) I will share with you which recipes in it work for the Biscuit and which ones don't.

So far we are 1 for 1. I made her Applesauce Muffins (which also contain pureed carrots) and the Biscuit devours them! (and the hubby and me aren't turning them away either) The Biscuit thinks they are cake. At breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner I'm hearing "CAKE! CAKE!" as he demands another.

I don't have any problem forking them over to him. They're loaded with oats so it helps on the poop department too. BTW, my ever-amazing 20-month old declared to me two days in a row "I poop!" Now, I'm not a linguist or anything, but that is advanced language development if ever I heard it. (Oh wait, I AM a linguist).

Potty training is just around the corner I suppose...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sneaking in Healthy Food

A friend gave me a wonderful tip (that she read in the kids recipes book by Jerry Seinfeld's wife). She told me to start offering the Biscuit appetizers before dinner. The thinking is that you offer your child something healthy (veggies and such) before dinner when they are hungry as hippos so that dinnertime won't be as stressful (since you already know they've had something good to eat).

The Biscuit looks forward to his special plate of appetizers that he gets 15-30 minutes before supper. I usually only offer him 1 veggie as the app (more than 1 seemed to confuse him and make him less interested in eating the app). His favorites are:
  • endamame (soybeans)
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • carrots

It truly has served to make both of us happier. Of course he will often ask for a cookie as his app, but when he sees the plate with the healthy snack, he forgets the cookie request and eats the vibrant veggie instead.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Biscuit

One early morning in May, my husband and I were blessed with the birth of our son who, for the purposes of this blog (and the public nature of the information and for privacy reasons), we'll call "The Biscuit." We actually do call him the Biscuit from time to time as a term of endearment. For the 30-somethings's out there, yes, this probably is carry over from the nutty character on Ally McBeal.

The Biscuit is 19 months old and quickly approaching the "terrible two's" stage. I thought this was a perfect time to start blogging about our experiences as parents raising a toddler. I plan to share our thoughts on approaches to parenting and to throw a recipe in here and there. Hopefully this will help another parent who's going through the same stuff out there (I am always looking for helpful advice for toddlers and can't seem to find a holistic, Internet source) or will at least give someone a good laugh. If nothing else, it'll keep me sane when we decide to do this all over again with kid #2.

The Biscuit was nursed for the first 13 months of his life. I'm a big fan of breastfeeding and you CAN do that and work full time. It was lucky for us that I did because on those very few occassions when the Biscuit had to have formula, he got sick and couldn't digest it. We made the choice to both continue working so the Biscuit goes to daycare full-time.

The Biscuit is a handsome handful of a boy. Of course I'm biased, but I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't find his baby blues and curly locks irresistible. He's a hefty boy, weighing in at 32 pouunds (he's always been a chunkster). Since he is a big boy, and I am a believer in organic products and a healthy environment for your family, we've raised him on organic milk and as much organic foods as we can find and afford.