Tag Archives: children

Are your kids afraid of green monsters!?

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So it is the oxygen mask theory, and I know you’ve heard it a million times. The whole idea about if you take care of yourself, you’ll be able to take care of your kiddos. But, this is one area where I see the trickle down effect of my good choices immediately.

And you know how everyone says breastmilk is liquid gold — and the very best thing you can give your baby? Well, the green monster is the best thing you can give your kids! And believe it or not, I bet you can get almost any kiddo excited about drinking it!

First, get them involved. Take them to the store (or the Farmer’s Market) with you. Let them pick out the biggest carrot, the prettiest bunch of parsley, the craziest looking ginger root.

Help them make their own. When I fire up the juicer, the girls love to gather around and throw in the veggies (with help and supervision, of course) and watch the juice come out each little squirt at a time.

An orange is our secret ingredient. Once my juice is done, I put it aside and then I add an entire orange to each of the girls glasses. This sweetens it right up and makes it much more drinkable for them.

Serve it small & cold. I don’t give them a big huge glass — even a shotglass full is better than nothing! And pour it over lots of ice! Drink up! YUM!

Too cold to exercise outside? Have a dance party!

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I wrote recently about our 20-minute per day walks. (There is also a sight & sounds of nature printable if you are interested). But, we stay inside if it is under 20 degrees. And today is one of those days (brrrr!) It is 19 degrees today! And windy so it feels even colder than that. (Have I mentioned that I am ready for winter to be over!?)

So, the plan today is for an after-school dance party! It is such a simple idea but the girls LOVE it! Just turn up the music (LOUD!) and dance, jump, and spin around the room! Now moms (and dads!) are supposed to dance, too. So, jump right in…and get at least 20 minutes!

And if you start having dance parties regularly you can even involve the kids in developing dance party themes! Here are a few to get you started:

• love songs in February

• country music two-step dancing

• a favorite movie soundtrack for the Oscars

• Beach Boys music and put on swimsuits and pretend it is summer

Are you Vegucated?

Let me just start with this: Vegucated is NOT kid-friendly. It turns out it isn’t even husband-friendly in this house. But, if you’re veg-curious like me, you’ll love it! See what the documentary is about here.

I am mostly vegetarian. I think they call that flexatarian, right? Day in and day out is pretty much no meat — but I don’t fall on the sword for it. I’m not a card-carrying member of a veg club and I still wear leather. (Except that I don’t because honestly I can’t think of anything leather I own. Even my cowboy boots are cheap and faux.)

Now, vegan is a whole different thing. And I have done it for short months at a time. And it feels great. Because I get it — we are the only mammal who drinks milk from another animal. And I do own Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet book so I know that cow’s milk is designed to turn baby cows into 400 pound animals. So why would we want to drink that?

But, doing away with dairy AND meat, oh and hand over your eggs, BOTH at the same time, that is hard! And I know, it isn’t supposed to be easy. And I hand it to all of the vegans out there, especially with young kids, who make that choice work day in and day out. You’re super special for sure.

All of this to say, what I love about Vegucated is that once you watch it, you can’t say you didn’t know. And maybe tiny little baby steps will result. Here’s my takeaway to do list for our family:

* I’m going to watch the number of servings of dairy we’re having each day. I talked about the Milk & Cookies Disease last week so it all comes full-circle.

* With all animal products, less is more. I’m not going to make turkey my go-to sandwich for Millie’s lunch anymore. We’ll try peanut butter, hummus and veggies, and cukes with cream cheese instead.

* I want to have a garden this spring. I want to teach them to love eating healthy so when they are old enough to choose they might choose veggie, or at least less meat.

So, go check it out! (On Netflix so you can stream it tonight!) Let me know what you think.

Printables for dressing up towers!

Towers Together
In my few short years of experience with Allergies and GI I have been so surprised to learn there are kids out there (and not just babies!) on NO food. Kids with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis whose intestines need to be healed, and the best way to do that is with Enteral Nutrition (basically formula). There are also kids with food allergies so severe they effect the gut, and leave these children no choice but to also go onto the same types of formula until the food allergies can be tested one food at a time and sorted out carefully. Many of these children take these types of feedings through tubes (there are different types of tubies, and I do not claim to understand the differences). I am not an expert on this type of treatment at all, but I revel in complete and total amazement at the bravery of these children and their superhero moms and dads!

Can you imagine your 3, 4, 5 or even 9 year old having only formula — tube fed — and that’s it? No food, none at all, for 6, 8, 12 weeks or longer? And some kids with Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Diseases will never get to eat but just a handful of foods at all. It is totally humbling to think of these children and what they’ve done to get better — to be healthy, and to sometimes avoid other meds like prednisone. It is only SUPERSTAR families that can take on this type of treatment.

I recently “met” a friend online whose little one has BOTH of these diseases. The IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) AND the EGID. On her recent 4th birthday she had a beautifully wrapped box for a birthday cake. No food — no ice cream, no pizza and especially no cake. And her extra-brave mama says she’s happy and she’s feeling just a bit better, and not asking for food — at all!

They had a great idea to decorate her tower (used for her feeding tube) with princess stickers to make it a bit more Rapunzel tower-like. I though that was darling and offered to create a tower graphic she could add to the tower to spruce it up a bit. I of course decided to share it here so any of your kids or anyone else you know can have one, too! (And by all means, feel free to use them on the fridge, on the back of the bedroom door, anywhere! They aren’t for towers only!)

Here are the free printables to download: Rapunzel’s Princess Tower and Pirate’s Lookout Tower

(A note on printing: I’ve created the PDF as 2 pages that are 8.5 x 11, since I know most people can only print an 8.5 x 11. The 2 pages need to be taped together at top/bottom to make one long vertical poster.)

If you would like one personalized (like I did for my friend’s princess), I would love to do that for you, too! I just ask that you sign up via email for my blog updates, so I have your contact information. And then leave me a note in the comments below!

A food pyramid we can get on board with!

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Lately I’ve been really interested in anti-inflammatory foods. With Posey’s intestinal inflammation (which we really do not know is IBD, but she seems to respond really well to Sulfasalazine, a drug typically used for IBD) and for my own health, I did a little research.

I came across Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory food pyramid. I love the really specific, yet really doable and understandable information. The online pyramid is interactive, but there is also a printable version. And we already know how much I LOVE printables! I am putting one right on my fridge! (Next to Posey’s weekly Take Your Medicine Chart, of course!)

It really leans toward a largely plant-based diet, which I’ve been transitioning to over the past couple of years. Posey has always leaned vegetarian, too. (Millie and her daddy still like their meat, though!) So that’s another nice thing about Dr. Weil’s chart — there is room for a couple of chicken or meat servings a week. And even more room for fish. I think it is something our family can subscribe to. What about you?

“Take a 20 minute walk with your kids everyday.”

ImageThis is what Posey’s allergist said to us in a recent discussion regarding her ongoing constipation. Constipation, ugh. I know, just the sound of the word is such a downer, right? And the absolute WORST is hearing the GI specialist say the dreaded words “functional gut.” Have you gotten this before? The functional gut speech? Doesn’t it sound like your math teacher lecturing you on benefits geometry in the real world? It is sometimes as if the GI doc hasn’t ever seen a kid poop before? Like there are really no practical applications to those words at all.

First of all, doesn’t functional gut mean that the gut is functioning properly? Which I can tell you first hand, 1,472 Miralax cocktails later, it CLEARLY is NOT. Not functioning, not proper, and not a simple or common problem, at all.

But, one of the positive changes I’ve taken out of all of this is stepping up our daily walks (we are still not perfect, there are just days it doesn’t happen) especially during the winter. Doctor’s orders are on any days over 20 degrees we’re to head out — 10 minutes out and 10 minutes back. Seems pretty simple, right?

So why don’t you join us on our 20 minute walk revolution! Constipation or not, we can all benefit from fresh air, stretching our legs, getting out and connecting and talking. Posey & Millie love their walks! And to make it extra fun, I’ve developed this Sights & Sounds of Nature Checklist. (Just click on the link to download a PDF and print up as many as you would like!) It is a great way to engage your kids with their surroundings while you’re out and about. And we all know how important nature is for kids. Please let me know how your walks are going!

Anatomy Worksheets for Kids

My kids love to learn! Sometimes when I can teach them a little something that has to do with their upcoming doctor’s visit it really puts them at ease. I love Education.com for lots of printables (all free!) but when I saw these I was really excited! It is a set of 5 sheets about the body to be printed and shared. I loved this one — Gutsy Move — because Posey’s been seen in the GI clinic lately. She has undiagnosed intestinal inflammation, as discovered with a endoscopy & colonosopy last spring. So, hop on over to Education.com (just click the photo to go straight to the page) and get yours! Let me know what your kiddos think. Enjoy!