Category Archives: Family

Kids in the Kitchen

5 Reasons You Should Invite Your Kids in the Kitchen:

I have many fond memories of being in the kitchen with my sister.  She is five years older than I am but she would teach me to cook in the kitchen with her.  I loved our giggles and laughs.  To this day, I still love when she makes me homemade biscuits!

Cooking for yourself builds confidence and independence.  I started my children early with learning to bake and chop veggies and fruit.  They enjoy being a part of the action in the kitchen and setting the table.  Start simple and you know your child.  I know my daughter follows the rules so she wasn’t going to cut herself by cutting cucumbers.  It was scary at first but it is a time we build our bond.

Here are High Country Mom’s Top 5 Reasons to get your kids in the kitchen:

1. Builds a sense of independence and pride.  They are able to build a snack or meal from the ground up.  When their friends visit or siblings need a snack, they are self sufficient.  They trust their skills and ability.

2. Children who cook are not picky eaters.  This may not always be true.  There is always an exception.  When children are involved in meal planning and preparing their food, they experience new foods.  Taste testing is part of the cooking fun.

3.  Confidence outside outside the kitchen!  A child who is nervous about sliding a hot pan into the oven and safely achieves the goal will begin to build a “I can” attitude.  Children who believe in their own successes are willing to try more things.  You may even hear your child say “I can” make that while you are eating out at a restaurant!

4. Memories and moments.  When you think back on your childhood, almost all of the traditions involved love that stemmed from the kitchen!  Thanksgiving is so much more fun when you have your helpers!  My kids each have their own specialty for those “special” meals.   My daughter makes homemade macaroni…. oh my goodness!!! and watergate salad.  She is so proud when every comments on how delicious her creations are during the meal.  Our son makes the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie!!!  OH MY!!  The look on their faces are priceless! You would think they were a gourmet chef from France!

5. Cooking together allows you to talk about healthy meals and ingredients.  While we cook together we discuss how protein fuels our brains and gives us a “can do” attitude.  Kids try new veggies when we are at the grocery store and research delicious recipes.  Some are amazing and well others are just a good story!

raddish kids

I hope this blog helps you invite your kids into the kitchen. Another great resource to allow your children too cook in the kitchen, under your supervision, is Raddish Kids.   I pray your family cooks up many memories and moments they will cherish for a lifetime.

Sweet Dreams

Sleep is what most every parent dreams of in the distant future.  Babies love predictability.  I am not a doctor or in the medical profession. I do love my children and am thankful with a little help I was able help both children have sweet dreams.

I remember the sleepless nights trying to figure it all out.  Everyone offering advice and not knowing where to turn.  We purchased Harvey Karp, The Happiest Baby, and were watching the dvd at 11:30 pm!!  He recommended swaddling, which they taught us in the hospital, and a swing.  We packed up our 5 month old baby and headed to WalMart!  That was the beginning of our sleep again.

There is no magic way to get your little one to nod off and no two babies are the same.  Our first loved to be swaddled and placed in a swing.  Our second would have none of the swaddling but love to co-sleep with us.  They are 8 and 10 now and we still have our bedtime ritual that helps create a safe, relaxing and nurturing atmosphere.

Let’s talk about ways to encourage sleep:

  • Create a bedtime ritual: I believe this is the number one successful advice I took advantage of!  Settling your child in for the night isn’t just about putting them into bed.  Little ones need a routine and they feel comforted when they come to know what to expect.  Infants who go to bed at a reasonable time each night usually have less trouble nodding off on their own and sleeping through the night.  Sometimes it might be easier in the moment to let your little one fall asleep in your arms while you watch tv but that routine hurts the child in the long run.  We are telling our children you need noise and you need to be in my arms to fall asleep.

Our routine has not changed a lot since they were infants. 

  1. Warm Bath before bed;
  2. Story time;
  3. Swaddle your little one (again this didn’t work for our youngest);
  4. Soft music or some people use white noise;
  5. Lavender in the diffuser.

Fast forward 9 years and our bedtime ritual looks very similar (minus the swaddling).

  1. Warm shower or bath before bed;
  2. Story time (read books together as a family or they are allowed to read in their rooms);
  3. Oils on their feet (we love Lavender, Peace and Calming, Cedarwood and Valor);
  4. My favorite is the 10 to 15 minutes snuggled up next to them talking about their day, dreams, concerns and questions;
  5. Soft music or Audible for another few minutes while they have their alone time;

Our children are normally asleep by 8:45 pm.  Find what works for you and your family.  The only “rule” is consistency.  I am so glad we invested in a bedtime ritual. It has paid off. Now when I need them to put me to bed early they do the same ritual for me…lol.

  • Lull your little one into a slumber.   If your little one is comforted during breastfeeding or bottle feeding, let them drift off in your arms.  Be careful to prevent tooth decay and ear infections, don’t let your little one fall asleep with a bottle in their mouth.  Once your baby is sleeping, you or dad can safely place them in their crib.
  • Try co-sleeping.  This is what worked for our second.  We tried swaddling, crib beside the bed but nothing worked.  We tried the quickest way for everyone to get a good night sleep was to have him attached to the side of our bed or in our bed as he grew.  Try various sleeping arrangements. I’ve found that the easiest and quickest way to resettle your baby when he wakes at night is to have him sleep in your room. You can move your newborn’s crib next to your bed or buy a crib that attaches to the side of your bed. The idea is to comfort your baby before you and he are fully awake.
  •  Look for the “why” behind your babies sleep trouble.  When children wake up crying, and feeding or changing doesn’t provide any comport, check for a stuffy nose, is it too hot or too cold?  Does your baby have reflux, food or milk allergies, or ear infection?  Talk with your doctor is you believe you have tried everything.
  1. Tummies: We use Tummiegize from Young Living
  2. Calm and Soothing: Lavender

Imagination Library – Receive a book a month until your child turns 5.

Just registered our little ones for this great program.

Dolly Partons Imagination Library

Dolly Partons Imagination Libriary

 

 

Healthy, Happy Pregnancy – How to Incorporate Natural Living Lifestyle Into Your Pregnancy!

Pregnancy is a beautiful time when you planning and preparing to welcome a new addition to your family.  Your body and emotions are ever changing.  Trying to make healthy choices in our world of abundant options can be a daunting task.  When we were expecting our first born is around the time I began researching healthier, non-toxic options for our family.  It was overwhelming and during pregnancy was not the time to make mistakes.  I am not a doctor, midwife, or medical professional, just another mom who has been there too!

My hope is these resources will help you as you eat and think for two.  Adjusting to a healthy lifestyle is easier when taken in baby steps. Why should you consider a healthy eating, cleaning and wellness support?  Numerous studies show a healthy lifestyle allows your body to adjust easier with the ever changing physical and emotional ups and downs pregnancy brings. I’ve only been through this journey two times in my life.  My hope is to share trusted resources and information with you that I have gathered and researched along the way.

Non-Toxic Cleaning: 

Toxic cleaners were the FIRST items removed from our house!  All I will say is “google” health concerns with cleaning products and you will find your “why” for switching out cleaning products.

Our family chose to use Young Living Essential Oil Thieves cleaning line.   We started small with replacement buying.  When we ran out of all purpose cleaner, we purchased Thieves All Purpose Cleaner and it is amazing!!  Our daughter accidentally spilled something sticky on her carpet.  I placed a cap full on the 2 inch bright red mess and was going to let it sit for ten minutes.  I forgot and came back 30 minutes later….. it was GONE!!! There was not even a slight bit left.  It was amazing.

Thieves-PSK

If you would like more information on Thieves, reach out to me via our Contact Us page. I am happy to get you a sample.  It is amazing.  That was where I took the replacement buying plunge.  I was able to replace everything from dish washing soap to toothpaste!  Thieves has been a life saver.  Got stains in the shower grout? Got stains on the carpet? Need a tough degreaser? Need hand soap? Thieves Household Cleaner will clean it all!  I would have this on hand for your clothe diapers and spit ups that are sure to come your way.  Thieves also does an amazing job on floors!  When your little starts to crawl you will rest easy knowing their space is clean with no toxins.

We also use baking soda, vinegar and water a lot for cleaning!  What are some of your “go-to” recipes for non-toxic cleaning?

Use “what to look for in cleaning products” as a guide to determine is safe for your family.

Healthy Eating:

Healthy eating during pregnancy is not always easy. Everyone wants to offer advice.  I believe following a healthy protein and fat driven diet helps mom and baby.

Foods to focus on during pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding:

  • Protein: Most women need 80+ grams of protein everyday for a healthy pregnancy. Research supports the facts by demonstrating lower preclampsia and other complications when consuming high amounts of protein.  Do you research to determine if you need to increase your protein and how it will benefit your body during pregnancy.
  • Fats: This is often the biggest hurdle for many women, but consuming adequate fats is absolutely vital to baby’s organ and brain development. Women should focus on healthy sources of fat like meat (including red meat), butter, eggs, olive/oil, coconut/oil, nuts, limited dairy, etc.  Use your best judgement.  If it is high in sugar, it is probably not the healthiest choice.
  • Vegetables and Fruits: Vegetables and fruits have a variety of vitamins, minerals and fiber that are helpful during pregnancy. Eating a varied diet including a lot of green leafy vegetables can also help raise Vitamin K levels.
  • Water: Water shows amazing benefits for the body.  My mom’s was diagnosed with cancer recently. One of the main recommendations was to double her water intake in order for her body to carry the protein she is eating to the correct places.  She is doing radiation and needs protein to help heal her neck and mouth.  A woman’s blood volume actually increases during pregnancy and her body has to supply fluid to replenish the amniotic fluid the baby is in. Drinking enough water (usually around a gallon a day) can help fight off morning sickness and also helps prevent constipation and make sure mom and baby are properly hydrated.

Supplements:

Supplement needs can vary by woman, and all supplements should be approved by a doctor or midwife to ensure safety during pregnancy. In general, pregnant women have higher nutrient needs and often supplements are the only way to get adequate nutrients.

These basic supplements are ones that are often beneficial during pregnancy:

  • Probiotics:  I love Young Living probiotics.  If you decide to incorporate them into your diet, obtain high quality supplements, fermented foods, and beverages like water kefir and kombocha.  Babies are born with a sterile gut and their gut bacteria begins to develop based on the beneficial gut flora of the mother.   Adequate probiotics can also help reduce the risk of Group B strep.
  • Omega-3s, DHA, RHA: Again I love Young Living OmegaGize!  Good fats are essential for a baby’s development. Today’s modern diet makes it difficult to get enough from our everyday meals.  Supplementing high quality sources can help reduce the risk of complications and give the baby necessary nutrients for good development.
  • Vitamin D:  This amazing supplement needs to be taken from a high quality source.  Do you research!  4,000 IU could help keep your blood sugar and blood pressure in check.  Ask your doctor what level they suggest for your pregnancy. Every one is different.
  • Folate:  This super hero is best known for its preventative effects against spina bifida and other developmental struggles.  Ask your doctor for their dosage recommendation.  It is water soluble and difficult to overdose.
  • Iron: Anemia may cause serious complications during delivery, and is easy to prevent.  If your blood tests show low iron levels, look to iron supplements.  Ideas to keep your iron up are cooking with cast iron pans, eating red meat/grass fed liver and eating a variety of fats and vegetables can help optimize iron levels.  It is much better to get your iron from food verses supplements.

Herbs During Pregnancy:  

Consult with a qualified herbalist, midwife, or doctor before taking any herbs during pregnancy. All herbs are not created equal.

Here is a list of “safe herbs” during pregnancy.

Here is a list to AVOID during pregnancy.

Essential Oils During Pregnancy:

Here is a list of “safe” essential oils during pregnancy.

Here is a list to AVOID during pregnancy.

Consult with a qualified midwife or doctor before using essential oils during pregnancy.