TODDLER LUNCH IDEAS




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.

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.

Who Are You, Really? The Puzzle Of Personality

What makes you, you? Psychologists like to talk about our traits, or defined characteristics that make us who we are. But Brian Little is more interested in moments when we transcend those traits — sometimes because our culture demands it of us, and sometimes because we demand it of ourselves. Join Little as he dissects the surprising differences between introverts and extroverts and explains why your personality may be more malleable than you think.

10 Things That Are Impossible To Do After You Have Kids

There are some things I used to do before I had kids that are impossible now that I have three. Remember the things you used to dare try because you had silence, the time, and the patience — back when these things weren’t considered luxuries like they are to so many of us now because we have little hellions running around ruining everything they touch? Here is a list of 10 things that are ill-advised once you start breeding. Believe me, I have tried them all.

A New Study Explains the Right Way (and the Wrong Way) to Praise Your Kid

Praise has become something of a loaded subject with regard to kids, one tangled up in debates over self-esteem, academic pressure, and how to raise people who know how to work for what they want. There’s a Goldilocks effect at play: You don’t want to go overboard, but neither do you want to be too unenthused. And a study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science showed how important it is for parents to get it just right.

STUDY: Children with Better Relationships with Fathers Less Likely to Have Behavioral Problems

Research has found that the closer a child is to their father, the less likely they are to have behavioral problems in the future, Independent reports.

After examining data from parents of 10,440 children, the researchers found that fathers who were emotionally involved with their child and who felt confident in their role as a parent had kids who were 28% less likely to suffer behavioral problems.

The researchers concluded that the psychological and emotional aspects of fatherhood are more powerful in influencing child behavior—not the amount of time fathers help in childcare or domestic tasks.

Play and Learn: 4 Ways to Deal with A Curious Toddler in the House

It never fails: You take just a two-minute bathroom break, and by the time you’re done your toddler has emptied his toy box across the living-room floor, ripped your magazines to shreds, and somehow gotten into the crisper drawer of the fridge. “Toddlers learn by exploring their environment with all five senses,” says Alexis Clyde, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. Kids this age are particularly fascinated by how an object works and what happens when they bend, drop, or throw it. While your child’s inquiries are normal, it’s no fun having your house constantly look like a wreck. We’ll help you contain the chaos by controlling his behavior without suppressing his inquisitiveness.

Why parents should encourage their kids to read ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,’ according to a top psychologist

Apart from the facts that the “Harry Potter” series has reached more people than any other book series in history and inspired an entire generation to read, Adam Grant, a professor of management at Wharton and author of “Originals,” tells Business Insider that J.K. Rowling is perhaps the most influential person alive because of what her books teach kids: originality and morality.

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.