Archive for the ‘ Must Read ’ Category

Is Your Tot Refusing to Eat? Entice Him With One of These Dips.

Friday, July 27th, 2012

When Mason’s being a picky little pill at mealtime, I add a dip to the mix, and watch him dig in. Last night, for example, he was more interested in his toy cars than dinner, so I added a dish of hummus to his tray, and suddenly he was gobbling up the strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and multi-grain crackers on his plate. (Sadly the pasta sat untouched, but you can’t win ‘em all!) Sometime he eats dip by the spoonful, but since we give him healthy dips, I don’t mind. These ideas have worked for us. Any of your own ideas to add?

Eggplant Dip — Multi-grain crackers, bell pepper, tomatoes, chicken.

Cucumber-Yogurt Dip — Bell pepper, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, chicken.

Ketchup — Mason likes everything better with ketchup.
(I like Annie’s natural ketchup because it doesn’t have sugar or corn syrup.)

Hummus — Try it with chicken, bell peppers, carrots, cucumber, and apple slices.
Make it or buy it at the store; we like Sabra’s classic and roasted red pepper hummus

Peanut Sauce — Try it on chicken and lamb.

Guacamole — Try mild to medium guacamole on carrot sticks, toasted pita wedges, and tomatoes.

Photo: Eggplant Dip, BHG.com

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Rude Comments Other Moms Make: “Your Son is So White, I Feel Sorry for Him!”

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Bad mommy moment: I forgot to put sunscreen on Mason before we left the house this morning. He goes to the park every afternoon with his class, and as I was walking to lunch earlier today, I was panicking that he’d get a sunburn. (It is sweltering out!) Then I remembered his teacher telling me that she puts sunscreen on the kids before they go out. Hopefully she was telling me the truth and he won’t come home with a burn.

I relaxed a little and then suddenly remembered a conversation that I had with another mom recently at a friend’s party. Now I’m not so relaxed. It was so unimaginably rude, I just have to share:

Other mom: Your son is so white, I feel sorry for him! He must get sunburned the minute he steps outside.

Me: Nope, we just put sunscreen on him before we go out and he’s just fine.

Other mom: Really? I can’t believe it. He’s just so white!

Me: Well, he’s been playing outside the whole time we’ve been here, and, look–no sunburn!

Other mom: Huh (totally amazed)

Meanwhile this woman, who I had only met about an hour earlier, is totally ignoring her kids while she’s picking on mine. Her nine-month-old is perched precariously in the opening of a sliding glass door chewing on what looks suspiciously like a barillo pad, and her three-year-old is throwing sand at a group of younger kids. Hmmm.

It baffles me that moms pick on other people’s kids. In this case, Mason is fair complected–so are his parents, creamy skin runs in the family on both sides. (See how his skin matches mine in the pic above?) On the upside, he has beautiful skin.

And it’s not just strangers who are rude.

In fact, I was visiting a friend in another city recently and she managed to insult Mason three times in about 10 seconds (“His skin looks translucent!” “He’s so skinny he looks emaciated!” “He has the face of an old man, it’s so weird!”). The last comment was in reference to how much he looks like Chris, but Chris doesn’t look like an old man, so I didn’t get it. Anyway, I ignored her, hoping that she didn’t realize what she was saying. But still, WTF.

I know you know what I’m talking about. I see it happen all the time to other moms, at the playground, in the local coffee shop, standing in line at the grocery store. Any moments of rudeness you care to share?

Photo by Adriana Casey

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Just Ridiculous: Giving New Mothers Formula Is Like Giving Trying-to-Quit-Smokers Cigarettes

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

“A ‘gift’ of formula is like a ‘gift’ of a pack of cigarettes when you’re trying to quit smoking; it will undermine your resolve,” says Peggy O’Mara, editor-in-chief of Mothering magazine.

O’Mara made the comment in support of the fact that Massachusetts has become the second state in the country whose hospitals ban free formula gifts to new moms, in an effort to force encourage moms to breastfeed. Her remarks were excerpted in a TIME magazine article about the formula ban and the Mitt Romney connection (see the article for more on that).

I had to read O’Mara’s remarks three times–was she making a terrible joke? How could she seriously compare formula to cigarettes? It’s incredibly offensive for so many reasons.

For starters, I gave my baby formula, so how dare she even suggest a connection between a toxic cancer-causing product and a nutrient-rich food. I didn’t throw in the towel on breastfeeding because the hospital sent me home with a few free samples. In fact, I transitioned Mason to formula after I struggled for weeks to breastfeed. I finally confessed my anxieties to our pediatrician and he told me to let go of the guilt and switch to a specific brand of formula. He insisted that Mason would be just fine. And you know what? He was absolutely right.

O’Mara is also suggesting that moms lack free will. Using her logic, grocery stores should never offer free samples because some shoppers might be on a diet and the freebies might weaken their resolve to avoid snacking between meals.

It’s ridiculous.

I’m also appalled that Rhode Island and Massachusetts instituted the ban in the first place. Why should the government have that right? And what about moms who can’t breastfeed their babies for health reasons?

Take my twin sister, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis about a decade ago. She gave up her MS meds while she was pregnant, because the particular drug she was taking had been proven harmful to a growing baby, and by 30 weeks her symptoms were so bad I was afraid for her. However, Erin insisted that she would not go back on her medication–nor would she seek an early induction–because she was determined to give birth to a healthy baby girl.

When asked by her ob-gyn whether she was taking a breastfeeding class, Erin explained that her neurologist was urging her to go back on her MS medications immediately after the birth due to her declining health, and therefore she wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. Instead of being supportive, her doctor gave her grief about formula feeding and pressured her to delay taking her medication. Erin called me crying after the appointment, and I told her to ignore the b*tch.

Erin’s efforts paid off and she gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 41 weeks. Fortunately she listened to her neurologist and started her shots, along with an aggressive steroid infusion, immediately after she delivered her baby. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough: Erin had a massive relapse shortly after Natalie was born and was paralyzed for weeks. Imagine what kind of shape she’d be in if she had given in to the pressure to breastfeed.

When did breastfeeding become a tool for bullying?

Photo: Mother feeding a baby a bottle via mathom/Shutterstock.com

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Moms: Let’s Celebrate Marissa Mayer Instead of Picking Her Apart

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

I’m in awe of Marissa Mayer. In case you haven’t heard, she’s the new CEO of Yahoo, one of the most powerful technology companies in the world. There are few high-powered women in technology, aside from Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, and Mayer has scored the coveted role at only 37 years old. Her achievement is epic, and so is the responsibility that comes with the job: She’s not only going to run Yahoo, she’s tasked with saving it.

Turns out the new CEO and former Google executive also happens to be pregnant with her first child–and shortly after Yahoo announced her appointment, she revealed that she’s essentially going to skip maternity leave. “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it.”

Queue the judgey moms. According to a Today Show poll, 89 percent of respondents think that she’s making a mistake.

But how can we possibly say that before she even has a chance to do her thing?  Now is the time to rally around her and celebrate her bravery. She’s taking on a monumental challenge, and indeed the opportunity of a lifetime, at a time that even she would admit isn’t ideal for her personally. Swollen ankles aren’t exactly a confidence builder.

True, she’s never gone through the hell miracle of childbirth. Or recovered from it. She’s never had to breastfeed. She’s never stayed up all night with a screaming baby. But, c’mon people, she’s not stupid. Obviously she will surround herself with lots of help. In fact, I’m betting she’ll do pretty much whatever she needs to do to set herself up for success–both as a mother and as a CEO.

It will be incredibly hard, and while I can’t imagine making the same choice myself, I’m not her. Nobody has ever approached me to run a tech giant, nor would I be equipped to do the job at this point in my life. So how can I possibly judge her for her decisions? How can you?

Instead of judging Marissa Mayer, and using her achievement as an excuse to rekindle the debate about whether women can have it all, why don’t we sit back and watch her work? I’m betting she’ll show us some magic–and probably teach us all a thing or two.

Photo: Google Plus

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BPA Ban in Bottles and Sippy Cups: What Took So Long?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Back when I was registering for baby gear, I naively believed that every plastic item produced for children was safe. Then I learned last month that although many companies that make kid products have switched over to safe plastics, some manufacturers are still using plastics with chemicals that could be harmful to your child’s development. I was horrified.

How in the world could that be the case?

One of those chemicals of concern is bisphenol-A, otherwise known as BPA–and yesterday the Federal Drug Administration announced that it can no longer be used to make baby bottles and sippy cups because of health and safety concerns.

Although I’m thankful that the FDA has finally made a move that I believe is critical to our children’s good health, I don’t understand why it took so long. Reports about the dangers of BPA have been circulating for years.

Why even take the chance? I say they should have banned BPA long ago, pending the outcome of their research.

Instead, the FDA has repeatedly stated that those findings cannot be applied to humans (researchers cited studies on rodents and other animals to help build their case). The federal government is currently spending $30 million on its own studies assessing the chemical’s health effects on humans.

And what about the use of other hazardous chemicals in plastic today? When will the FDA ban those? More importantly, what can I do as a mom to help make that happen?

It seems crazy to me that we have to rely on a number system to determine whether a household product is hazardous to our health.

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