…aked in the oven until crispy are a fool-proof way to encourage your kids to eat this powerful superfood. In all the kids cooking classes I have taught, I have never met a child who didn’t LOVE kale chips! A little kale can pack in some powerful phytonutrients into your fruit smoothies as well. 6) Zucchini. Plant zucchini and stand back! Once you get these into your garden, your kids will love seeing them take off! Zucchini is very versatile to p…

…ur ______ (point to your head)!” Once your child is confident with this new game, he/she will be able to fill in the blank knowing exactly what you are thinking. I love the idea that children can imagine a song in their head but most of all, I love the idea that the children can engage and connect with someone at a level with the absence of sound. Whether it’s in the car, cooking with the family, or tucking your precious one into bed, this is jus…

…pain staking process that he had gone through and how difficult making a wooden toilet paper holder really was.  Of course, I had no choice but to put Mike’s gift to use in my bathroom.  After all, I would not want to hurt his feelings.  But what surprised me was that as I used Mike’s gift day after day, I came to realize that his gift to me was not the wooden toilet paper holder. . . but it was his love for me, a true gift of the heart.  My newl…

My daughter has a big, powerful voice. My other daughter likes to do things better than everyone else. These are personality quirks that are often the source of conversations around our house. Conversations about trying harder to not upset others. Once I realized that these “issues” we were constantly addressing were really just interesting ways my child is being human, I was able to relax a little and find genuine gratitude for who they are…

I really love mornings. I love the newness of the day, the opportunity — the chance to get it all right, for once. And I love the coffee. But what I don’t love is when the really early alarm goes off — and by alarm I really mean just a tap, tap, tap on your arm in the dark from a toddler or a child — and I’m not ready. I don’t love feeling unprepared to meet the day that early. This kind of off-schedule pattern can really…

…they have been through and not all are grateful.  It’s all they knew and you’re taking them away from it.  This of course applies to adopting older children and not infants. We have lots of money and can give lots of things to a child.  That alone isn’t a reason to adopt. Children don’t want your money. I can love any child placed in my home. I’m betting I can find a few that would make you change your mind.  Children have been put up for adop…

…ical fashion parents do – “Love Dad” – I felt melancholy. My son, my only son, the little guy who I professed to love more than life itself wanted mail and the best I could do was purchase a bunch of mass produced, impersonal greeting cards. I signed the cards “Love Dad” but I wrote a whole lot more in those cards. I made the cards as personal as possible. I professed my undying love and devotion, expressed my hopes and plans for his bright futur…

It is no secret that babies get a kick out of seeing animals and hearing the unique sounds they make. This is probably why there are so many children’s books that incorporate animals; babies and toddlers are engaged by them easily!  One of the classics is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. In this video I’m capitalizing on the rhythm and cadence of this prose to introduce the signs for each animal and it…

…ns Cuisine: Indian Course: Soup Skill Level: Easy Lentils are much easier to prepare than other dried legumes. They do not need to be pre-soaked and they cook quickly. Cooking time depends on the age and variety, so check the package for cooking instructions. Be sure to test for doneness by tasting the lentils. They should be firm, but not crunchy. If you purchased bulk lentils without cooking instructions, you can follow these guidelines: Pick…

We all have busy lives these days and sometimes cooking is just one more thing to get through in the day so the thought of bringing kids into the kitchen to “help” may not seem appealing on first glance.  Cooking with little ones tends to take a little longer and be a little messier so it’s not necessarily practical to have their “help” every day.  However when you aren’t in the middle of a hectic day I would…

Parents of food-allergic youngsters know that the most surefire way to safeguard their kids from trigger foods is to prepare all meals and snacks at home in a controlled environment. For this week’s series, I asked three top voices in the Twitter food allergy community, Kim Maes, Cybele Pascal and Robyn O’Brien — all parents of children with food allergies — for their favorite cooking tips, essential tools and strategies…

…isk from petting cats. Other animals also get toxoplasmosis, including cows, pigs, chickens, and goats. Although they appear well, infectious tissue-cysts get in their muscles and milk. Outbreaks have been linked to consuming raw goat’s milk or undercooked meat. One study in Palo Alto, California showed cysts present in up to one third of pork chops. The cysts can survive for months at refrigeration temperatures. They are destroyed by cooki…

…isk from petting cats. Other animals also get toxoplasmosis, including cows, pigs, chickens, and goats. Although they appear well, infectious tissue-cysts get in their muscles and milk. Outbreaks have been linked to consuming raw goat’s milk or undercooked meat. One study in Palo Alto, California showed cysts present in up to one third of pork chops. The cysts can survive for months at refrigeration temperatures. They are destroyed by cooki…

…ey won’t mind; they’ll thank you for it. The easiest switch is just to pick up a whole grain version of baby cereal. But the first food doesn’t need to be a cereal. Let every child’s first food be a real food. My preference for the first bite is to give a baby a bite of something they’ve seen the parent eat, something they’ve seen come from the produce aisle, a CSA, garden, or a farmers’ market. I love av…

…t pears and squash and soak prunes—then go crazy! Apples and squash. Pears and prunes. Apples and pears. You get the picture. * Don’t be afraid to use herbs and spices. They’re often what separate bland baby food from purees that even grownups love. Remember those puree combos from above? Now turn them into apples and squash with toasted curry powder; pears, prunes and cardamom; apples and pears with cinnamon and nutmeg. Now we’re cooking! * For…

Healthy Green Fun Idea #5 To wrap up this series, I am going to focus on learning because I love to learn.  I love a great book.  I love new facts. I love being motivated and inspired to change because of the work an author has done to research, document, edit and share their thoughts and ideas. Here are some of my “most favorite” books about living healthy and green. 1. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle , by Barbara Kingsolver Barbara’s year living l…

…ut the fact they did it by themselves? What if it’s less about measuring up to their peers and more about baring the colors of their souls? What if it’s less about who’s right and more about forgiveness when wronged? What if it’s less about what the “experts” say and more about the fact you’ve looked into those eyes since the day they were born? What if it’s less about complicated theories and more about plain and simple love? What if it’s not wr…

…have been kindergarten or 1st grade. When I got a little older, it was time to ceremoniously and publicly, cross the wooden bridge from daisy status to BROWNIE magic. The title of “Brownie” meant a higher responsibility, but also more reward. It was clear, even to my simple 9 year old mind, I had crossed the bridge. Let the new Girl Scout life begin. I often am looking, waiting, searching for that wooden bridge to cross now, as a parent. I feel l…

…ut I can tell you a little about what made her a stellar mom, hoping that you might find in my words reflections of things that make you, too, a light that will endure through generations of loving memory. Her advocacy: She feared no one when it came to her children’s health and safety. Her advocacy helped us believe we were worth loving and fighting for. Her love of reading: She read to us often, took us to the library and bought us what…

…ld daughter, Theodora, who has CP, out of the wheelchair and take her to receive communion where I find God more often than in the sermon. Recognize Your Gifts and Abilities. Don’t tell me you don’t have a talent. Everyone does. Learn to use it and be proud of it. If you don’t know what yours is, ask the people who love you – they will tell you. Mark Twain said “We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess…