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Is it winter yet??

9 Sep

I loathe winter…it is actually my least favorite season by far.  But, the other day I found this {click on the link to view} recipe for a Banana Nut Winter Smoothie on the lid of my Dannon yogurt.  If this is what winter is all about, then I’m ready!  I love a cool smoothie, just not being chilled to the bone by winter weather.

The verdict is still out…is this a healthy/diet drink or not?  Low-fat vanilla yogurt, bananas and walnuts??  I thought it sounded extremely healthy until I read the pesky nutritional information {but, that didn’t stop me}.  It is even tagged under “dessert” recipes, as it should be…this smoothie is just that delicious.

I love that I have all these ingredients on-hand in my kitchen.  Even frozen bananas…yes, frozen.  I buy bananas every week and if any of them become a little too ripe, I throw them in the freezer and defrost them when they are needed for baking {banana muffins, banana-nut bread, etc.}

I made my Banana Nut Winter Smoothie exactly as written and it was perfect.  And, the optional honey??  In my opinion, honey is NEVER optional…It is THE best sweetener. It rarely disappoints!! {I could devote an entire post to my love for honey…possibly even an entire blog!}.

So, bring on fall/winter and all the comfort foods.  I guess I should invest in some comfy sweaters to hide all of my anticipated smoothie weight.  I hope you enjoy!  {Please note this is not a baby/toddler safe recipe because of the nuts and honey!}

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Update {September 13}:  I got a little too anxious to have another one of these smoothies, so I froze bananas fresh from the store…not the same outcome!  The overly-ripe frozen bananas are definitely the best and they are so much easier to peel!

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My little Swiper

16 Aug

The first year of a baby’s life is packed full of dos and don’ts and many of those come in the feeding department.  Do start solids at 6 months, do only introduce one new food at a time, do start your baby on vegetables before sweet and delicious fruits….it goes on and on.  The don’t list is probably longer.  Don’t start solids early, don’t add cereal to your baby’s bottle, don’t add any seasonings to your baby’s food, and….DON’T give your baby egg whites, citrus juice, strawberries, honey, nuts, and ESPECIALLY not PEANUTS for the first year of life.  If you haven’t heard, there is a little something called a peanut allergy.  It affects tons of children and even adults.  Guidelines for introducing peanuts and peanut butter seem to vary by physician, but some of the more recent guidelines are suggesting well past the 1st year of life…maybe not even until kindergarten-age.  Seriously?!?!

This was the pb&j culprit. These may not be a dietitian's dream, but they make packing a picnic-lunch simple. And, they are even available with whole-wheat bread!

I know the rules, and even though they aren’t fun, I abide.  But, my little guy…he’s a rule breaker!  A few weeks ago he got into my daughter’s lunch box {while mommy was busy cleaning the kitchen} and smashed a half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich all over his face and in his mouth.  He was in heaven and quite proud of his accomplishment!  For the record, that’s peanut butter AND strawberry jelly…two things on the no-no list  for year one.

Last week something similar happened.  It all started with AJ finding the dog-water bowl {gross, I know} and splashing that all over the place.  I cleaned up the mess and got him in dry clothes.  I was happy to see him playing in the pantry a few minutes later, {I keep the bottom two shelves “kid friendly”…no glass or heavy cans that could hurt them…all fun and “safe” stuff.  I think exploring is healthy and great for development} until he bit a hole in a bag of instant oatmeal and dumped it all over the floor.  While a member of the clean-up crew {my term of endearment for my dogs…they are awesome} and I cleaned the pantry AJ moved on to bigger and messier things…like playing splash-park in my daughter’s orange juice on the living room floor.  OJ {yes, a third food from the “avoid first year” list} was in his hair, on his face…everywhere.  In about 15 minutes I had cleaned up 3 disasters, given 1 sponge bath, and 2 outfit changes.   I waved my white flag.  Is this life with boys or just life with two kids??  I never remember life being this chaotic with my girl or with just one child.

So now what do I do about introducing all the “off -limit” foods that have been introduced??  Our pediatrician said to go ahead and serve them since AJ has already been exposed.  Hmmm…hasn’t she heard that most allergic reactions occur with subsequent exposures, not the initial one??  I think I’ll just pretend none of this ever happened and re-introduce all these “swiped” foods when they were originally intended to be…sometime after my little guy’s first birthday.

Change of heart…

4 Aug

I have heard that August is breastfeeding awareness month and also that this is breastfeeding awareness week…I’m not sure which one is correct, but I’m a huge advocate of breastfeeding, so I’ll consider this my contribution to the cause!

I haven’t always been the big supporter of breastfeeding that I am now.  I am modest almost  to a fault and the thought of exposing a breast to feed my child {even in the privacy of my home} seemed strange to me at one time.

As a new graduate working in the NICU, part of my job description was to assist  new mothers with breastfeeding when necessary.  At that time, I couldn’t leave a nursing mom’s side fast enough…I felt uncomfortable, so I would politely excuse myself citing respect of their privacy.

Our pediatrician provided us with this book at my daughter's fist visit. It's a great resource!

As a public health nurse,  I received countless hours of breastfeeding education before even seeing my first client.  My younger, child-less self  held back eye-rolls at some information provided by the lactation-Nazis, but somewhere between bonding and children’s health, they won me over.  I was on a mission to promote breastfeeding with my clients and for the first time felt very comfortable doing so.

The benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and child are numerous {click here to read a research-based list of many of breastfeeding’s greatest benefits}. My favorites are the prevention of illness and reduction of SIDS {I’ve mentioned before how fearful I am of that}.

These days when people ask me if I am still nursing, I have to ask them to clarify what form of nursing they are talking about…feeding my child or caring for patients as a Registered Nurse?  My answer is “both.”  I am aiming to achieve the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to breastfeed for my baby’s first year of life {although not exclusively, solid foods should be started at about 6 months}.  I have done it once and I know I can do it again!

When it comes to doing what I think is best for my children, not even the fear of developing saggy boobs can stop me!  Having healthy children is well-worth any cosmetic consequence.  And, modesty??  I haven’t thrown that out, but a chubby baby laying across my lap provides a lot of coverage!

Yum Yum…Mum Mum!

28 Jul

A few weeks ago I bragged about my baby boy’s first word.  Now I’m asking myself…was that Mama or Mum Mum?!?!

My little guy absolutely loves Baby Mum-Mums!  We started these rice rusks not long after we introduced AJ to his first solid food {plain rice cereal, of course}.  Since vegetables are now a regular part of AJ’s daily diet, we have moved to the vegetable Baby Mum-Mums and AJ can’t get enough of them!  He usually downs an entire package before I can even get his real meal prepared.

The best thing about these Mum-Mums is they don’t make a huge mess {and nutritionally, they appear to be very healthy}.  When I was experimenting with solid foods with my firstborn, I made the mistake of purchasing “teething biscuits.”  Babies + food = messy, but those teething biscuits were the absolute worst…it seriously looked like my daughter was chewing on a poop…a poop that had smeared all over her face, hands, arms, and high chair.  They were disgusting and I never bought them again.

Lucky for me, Mum-Mums don’t require a trip to a specialty store {with two kids in tow, I’m a one-stop shopper}, they can conveniently be purchased at both very well-know grocery stores near my home and many other places {even online!}.

My little guy really is still saying mama {at least, I think so}, but he may have also added a new word to his vocabulary…another word that means food.  You think my little guy likes to eat?!?!