HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BABY FOOD




5-INGREDIENT MAGICAL FUDGESICLES

These are so lusciously creamy, sinfully rich-tasting – the kind of thing you put in your mouth and kind of can’t believe what’s happening. Vegan, almost raw, and full of whole food ingredients, they are also downright filling!

5-Ingredient Vegan Magical Fudgesicles
Makes 4 cups / 1 Liter / 10 fudgesicles
Ingredients:
1) ½ cup / 75g unroasted, unsalted cashews
2) 1 14-oz can / 400ml full-fat coconut milk
3) 1 large, ripe avocado
4) 1 cup / 250g pitted, packed soft dates
5) ½ cup / 55g raw cacao powder (cocoa powder will also work)

Optional add-ins:
1) a few pinches sea salt
2) vanilla (seeds from 1 pod, powder, or extract)
3) a few drops of food-grade essential oils (peppermint, orange, almond etc.)
4) finely diced fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango etc.)
5) a pinch of cayenne pepper
6) espresso powder
7) finely chopped toasted nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios etc.)

Optional toppings:
1) melted raw chocolate (recipe here) or melted dark chocolate
2) cacao nibs
3) finely chopped toasted nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios etc.)
4) dried fruit (I used raspberry on the ones pictured)
5) citrus zest (lemon, orange, lime)

Directions:
1. Place cashews in lightly salted water and let soak for 4-8 hours (overnight is fine).

2. Drain the cashews and rinse well. Add to a blender (a high-speed blender is highly recommended) with the remaining ingredients (and any flavourings, if using) and blend on high until as smooth as possible. Add water only if necessary – you want to mixture to remain quite thick.

3. Spoon mixture in popsicle molds. Firmly knock the molds on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Insert a popsicle stick into each mold and place in the freezer until set – at least 6 hours. To remove popsicles, run the mold under hot water until you can easily pull a fudgesicle out.

4. If you want to decorate your fudgesicles, dip or drizzle them with melted chocolate and sprinkle with desired toppings. Eat immediately, or place back in the freezer to set until ready to enjoy.

These 10 Books Without Words Turn You Into The Master Storyteller At Bedtime

If a picture is really worth a thousand words, then you read the equivalent of War & Peace in board books every night. It’s no secret that kids go for big, bright, visual stories. And, fortunately for you, these award-winning picture books are 99 percent word-free and a lot more fun than Tolstoy.
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It also provides a great opportunity for you to put your creative stamp on things. Let the illustrators provide the brilliant artwork, universal themes, and general plot — you fill in the details. Of course, even toddlers who can barely say their ABCs know that you’re improvising most of it — but at least you’re enthusiastic.

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

We've somehow decided that little kids can't understand these complex topics, or we want to delay exposing them to injustices as long as possible (even though not all children have the luxury of being shielded from injustice).

However, young children have a keen awareness of and passion for fairness. They demand right over wrong, just over unjust. And they notice differences without apology or discomfort.

Racial identity and attitudes begin to develop in children at a young age. Two- and three-year-olds become aware of the differences between boys and girls, may begin noticing obvious physical disabilities, become curious about skin color and hair color/texture, and may also be aware of ethnic identity.

5 Elementary Strategies

1. Use children's literature: There's a wealth of children's books (check out here: http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/books-matter/#.VwQW3_krLcs) that can be read aloud and independently to approach the topic of bias, diversity, and social justice.

2. Use the news media: Find topics and news stories that bring forth these themes and discuss them in the classroom -- like the nine-year-old boy who was banned from bringing his My Little Pony backpack to school because it was the source of bullying.

3. Teach anti-bias lessons: Social and emotional skill development lessons are the foundation, and then teachers can move to lessons on identity, differences, bias, and how bias and bullying can be addressed individually and institutionally.

4. Give familiar examples.
Take advantage of children's interest in books, TV shows, toys, and video games, and use them as opportunities to explore diversity, bias, and social justice.

5. Explore solutions: Re-think the concept of "helping others" to include discussions about the inequities that contribute to the problem and consider actions that can address it. For example, while it's useful to provide food to homeless people, we want to deepen the conversation to convey a social justice perspective and a wider lens with children. Therefore, discuss the stigma and stereotypes of homeless people, learn about unfair housing policies, and reflect on solutions that will reverse the problem in a lasting way and encourage students to take action.

10 Things NOT to Say to the Breastfeeding Mom of a Toddler

People have a lot of opinions about breastfeeding in general, but they have even more to say about extended breastfeeding. Nevermind that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing throughout a baby's first year (and for as long afterward as both the mother and child want to continue) or that the World Health Organization suggests breastfeeding for at least two years—to some onlookers (including friends and family), nursing a toddler is just plain weird.

After Losing Her Son In A Car Accident, Grieving Mom Urges Parents To “Hug Your Babies" Close

My kids have this really annoying habit of popping out of their rooms 15 times after they’re tucked in. They also have this uncanny ability to know exactly when I need some personal space, because that’s when they choose to be extra cuddly and clingy. They bicker with each other, and change their minds about what they want for lunch after I’ve made the previously requested meal. In other words, they are kids and they do a lot of those things kids do that drive parents absolutely bonkers.

Four Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore or Punish Toddler Tantrums

Popular parenting wisdom advises dealing with toddler tantrums in one of two ways. Ignore the ‘attention seeking behaviour’ and reward the toddler when they are good, or discipline the toddler by punishing them through exclusion. The naughty step and time out are commonplace in millions of homes around the world. Do they really work though? Child psychology and neuroscience says otherwise. Here are four reasons why you may want to reconsider your response the next time your toddler has a tantrum.

Should We All Be Raising Gender-Neutral Kids?

After the birth of my daughter, FaceTime conversations with my mother or my mother-in-law usually consist of a lot of cooing. “How’s my little princess doing today?” one of them will ask my five-month-old. “She looks like such a beautiful doll today,” the other will say. After ending a recent call, my husband came up to me and asked if we could please tell the grandmothers to stop referring to our daughter as a princess or a doll. “All dolls and princesses have to do is sit and look pretty,” he said. “Is that the kind of message you want her to grow up with?”

20 Guaranteed Ways to Mess Up Your Children

Parenting is nerve-wracking. You love your children and want them to grow up to be happy, successful adults, but some days you’re not sure how to make that happen.
Sometimes you fear that something you’re doing or saying will mess them up permanently. But here’s the good news: Part of great parenting is avoiding mistakes. Even better news is that you don’t have to discover these mistakes for yourself.
- See more at: https://www.familiesforlife.sg/discover-an-article/Pages/20-Guaranteed-Ways-to-Mess-Up-Your-Children.aspx#sthash.7UKv8IoI.dpuf

8 Essential Skills You Never Learn In School -- Thus Should Teach Your Child

Here are eight vital life skills that children aren’t taught in school:

1. Independence: Teaching children, a little at a time, to be independent, can show them that they can make decisions on their own. Letting them make their own mistakes can teach them valuable lessons they’ll carry with them.

2. Compassion: Compassion is needed to work well with others, to care for other people and to find happiness through making other people happy.

3. Individuality: They need to be taught that we come in all sizes, shapes and colors, and it is perfectly OK to be unique.

4. Welcoming Change: Teaching children that change isn’t something to be afraid of – just something to prepare for – can help them in so many aspects throughout their life.

5. Happiness: Many parents coddle their children in an attempt to keep them happy and safe, but it can make children rely on their parents for their happiness. Teaching a child from an early age that they can be happy on their own, by things like playing, reading and imagining, is a valuable life lesson.

6. Finding Passion: Many people struggle with finding their passion. Helping a child find what he or she is passionate about by allowing them to try a bunch of different things can help them find a source of lifelong internal happiness and motivation. Encourage the adventure, but let children decide on their own, where they find passion.

7. Asking questions: Teaching children that asking questions is a good thing, can encourage their curiosity and help them continue to seek knowledge in different aspects of life.

8. Solving problems: Constantly solving a child’s problems for them won’t help them as they grow. They need to know that they can solve problems on their own. New skills, a new environment, a new job – they’re all just problems to be solved. Modeling problem solving and allowing children to come up with their solution ideas can help them develop confidence and let them know that whatever comes their way, they are capable of handling it.

How to Deal With the Never Ending Questions from Your Kids

We all know that children are naturally inquisitive. We also know their inquiry sometimes manifests itself in annoying ways or at inopportune times, “Are we there yet?” or “Is that lady having a baby?” being among the most common examples.

Our culture inundates us with examples of parents losing their cool with inquiring youngsters, from Al Bundy to Homer Simpson. In malls and grocery stores across the country, mothers and fathers are telling their little ones to stop asking, be quiet, or shut up.