child development, child safety, health, healthy food, momblog

3 Food Myths that Parents with Toddlers Should Totally Avoid for Healthier Children

Hey parents, do you even know that the World Health Organization recorded over 41 million children under the age of 5 to be either overweight or obese in 2016? We are now in 2019, and the figures could have gone way beyond in a span of three years!

Surprising? Maybe not, maybe yes… No matter how knowledgeable you are of the seemingly global epidemic of obesity in children, it is worth asking, “Why are more and more kids getting overweight? Why do some toddlers tend to be categorized as obese despite their young age?”

The answer lies in our food beliefs that affect family eating habits.

To help everyone break the constantly rising record of children getting obese, let me bust some of the most common food myths that actually contribute to the unhealthy development of toddlers and children.

1. Juice is Fun & Good for the Body

element5-digital-CpBBsda2eRI-unsplashOh yes, oh yes, the colorful appearance and the refreshing taste of juice can surely make your kids’ faces beam with delight! But wait, what kind of juice are you giving your toddler? A strawberry yogurt drink in a carton? An orange juice in a can? Hmmm…

Sorry to disappoint, but not all fruit juices are actually healthy! Although most of these packaged juices are labeled to have high nutritional value, you still need to get into the little details. How many calories are in each pack? How much sugar are you letting your child gobble up in single drinking?

Although it would be less convenient, I still suggest that you let your blender’s sounds be heard in your kitchen space. Grab some apples, pineapples, kiwis, mangoes, or berries from your pantry and toss them into your blender or juicer. Making your own natural juice or blended fruit at home beverage at home is still the best way to make sure that your child gets all the nutrients and fibers without the unnecessary sugars.

2. Organic is the Ultimate Healthy Option

Yes, organic is definitely better than those with artificial preservatives and chemicals. However, not all organic food shall be freely taken by your child. Not because the potato chips that you got from the grocery shelves contain the natural and organic label does it mean that your toddler can already eat the entire contents of the package!

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Even if a certain food is labeled as organic, still make sure that you carefully examine other aspects of the food such as its sodium level, the presence of artificial sweeteners, its calories, and nutritional value. High sodium levels can raise blood sugar and contribute to heart diseases. Huge amounts of artificial sweeteners can cause type 2 diabetes among children. Remember to look at the food in its entirety before buying it and serving on the dining table.

3. Flavored Yogurt is Great After Meals

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Whenever we hear the word yogurt, we can easily think of it as a healthy source of yummy probiotics. Yup, that’s true! Most yogurt drinks are really great for maintaining good gut health. However, some frozen and flavored yogurt delights are not just packed with probiotics and essential nutrients but also with lots of sugar!

Do you want a better alternative to flavored yogurt? Plain yogurt with your choice of fruits! Not that difficult, right? By doing this, you still enjoy the benefits of probiotics for your children’s gut health.

On the same topic

Remember, parents play a big role in determining the present and future health status of children. Whatever food we serve them today can create an impact on how well they would develop physically and mentally.

P.S.

By the way, a few weeks back I posted worksheets for your use on a post from Education.com.  Well now, they are offering the opportunity to win money for college and donations to your library in their Limitless Learners Contest!  Visit  https://www.education.com/contests/ for additional details.”


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child development, Child's Education, family time, momblog, Relationships

Why You Need to Spend Quality Time With Your Child

In today’s busy world, work, household chores and social activities all put a strain on your time with your child. But as you well know, it’s imperative that you spend quality time together. It helps strengthen the bond between parent and child, and lets your child know you can be trusted and counted on. Children who spend quality time with their parents often do better in school, and excel in extracurricular activities, hobbies or sports. And though it can be ‘scheduled’ to a degree, it’s something that happens when you least expect it.  Therefore it’s important that you do spend as much time as possible with your child in a relaxed atmosphere and do things together that you both enjoy.

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But you’re asking yourself, “Where am I going to find the time? My schedule’s crazy enough as it is!” Well, for something as important as your child, you need to start digging around in that crazy schedule and find the time.  Prioritizing is the key.

Here’s some helpful suggestions on how to make the most of your time and find quality time where you least expect it.

Look at your household chore list and decide which ones can be left undone or be done imperfectly in order to make more family time. 

You might also want to consider leaving certain things until after your child has gone to bed to make the most of your time together.

Turn some of your everyday routines together count. 

Sing some favorite silly songs on the way to daycare, or make that drive to and from school a great opportunity to discuss what’s happening in your child’s life.

If you have more than one child, realize that each of them needs your individual attention.

You may really have to juggle things around to make this happen, but try to be flexible and creative when spending time with each of your kids.  And no matter what, don’t skip those individual times with each child.  By doing so you show them they’re lower down on the priority list than the dry cleaning or the grocery shopping.

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Children thrive on stability and routines, so plan your quality times so that they can take place regularly.

Maybe you can walk the dog together on weekend morning, take a shopping excursion together, have a scheduled night each week for a sit-down dinner together, or make a trip to the park.

child development, Child's Education, family time, momblog, Relationships

The Hows of Positive Parenting: Proven Tips to Raise Happy & Successful Children (Part 3)

We are now down to our third (and final) article on the series covering the techniques and tips to effectively implement the positive parenting approach.

Here are the prevous ones:

Do you still remember the first seven points that we have discussed before? Here they are:

  1. Manage behaviour with Clarity
  2. Implement Rules with Transition
  3. Frame your Instructions in a Positive Manner
  4. Work on Your Own Mood and Transform Your Perspectives
  5. Validate their Feelings and Empathize with their Emotions
  6. Interact with the Same Level Physically
  7. Let Self-Expression Be Free Yet Proper

So how shall we complete our list? Let us now dive into the final yet highly important hows of positive parenting!

8. Be More Intentional on Finding the Good

When our children are on the “terrible two,” “tiresome three,” “feisty four” or “fearsome five” stages, we can have the tendency to focus on the negatives. Their tantrums, disobedience, naughtiness, playfulness, and many other seemingly negative characteristics push most parents to perceive them as terrible, tiresome, feisty, or fearsome.pexels-photo-789786.jpeg

Instead of looking at such stages of development negatively, we can actually transform our own perspectives and direct our thoughts towards being more intentional in looking for the good. I admit, this tip can be easier said than done. But there are ways to make it work!

First, make a reflection of your parenting. Get a notebook and pen and list down both the good and the bad aspects of your parenting experience. Surely, the bad will never outweigh the good! For every cry of your child, there would be hundred-fold smiles. For every hour taken away from your sleep, there’s an overflowing bucket of happiness in your heart.

Second, be keener on looking at your child’s good behavior. When your child wakes up from her nap, you can tell her, “You’ve surely had a sweet nap, my dear! You know what? Mama also had a wonderful nap beside you. (Or Mama also had a beautiful time cooking our dinner for later!) Let’s do that again tomorrow, okay?” Remember to always verbalize your praises. Don’t be afraid to show appreciation.

9. Help & Coach Them with Their Emotions

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One of the misconceptions of parents about their children’s emotions is that they are too simple and shallow to care about. Most parents would have the perception that children are too immature with a mere play on their minds, thus it is not necessary to talk about how they feel or why they are angry, frustrated, happy, excited or whatsoever.

Emotions are at the core of our being. No matter what stage in life we are, everything that we feel is valid. It is important to talk about your child’s emotions from time to time. It helps them accept and validate their own happiness, joy, anger, excitement, and disappointment.

When they suddenly smile, you can ask, “How come you are smiling, my dear?” Then you can share some of your personal accounts this way: “You know what, I also smile when I am happy. I smile when you hug me and kiss me.” It would also help if you can teach them how to react properly when they get disappointed over an unmet desire or how to show appreciation to other people.

By always talking to them about their emotions, you can help them have a secure emotional foundation which could help them cope with different circumstances as they grow and experience the real world

10. Be Generous with Love – Physically & Verbally

Are hugs and kisses a normal part of your day? Then great! Do you frequently say “I love you” to your child? Then wonderful!

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Do not be afraid to show your love both physically and verbally to your children. Although others would argue that this could make them weak or feeling entitled, let me counter that. Our children are in their developing years, and they need the maximum amount of love that we can give. We cannot make them fully secure with their individuality and confident with their environment if they do not feel accepted, loved, and taken care of. The world can be quite harsh and they would soon discover this fact as they grow old. For them to be strong enough to conquer all challenges, they need to know that there are people who love them and won’t leave them no matter what happens. And that is you, mom and dad.

After all, doesn’t the world need more love? When our child is filled with love in their hearts, then it wouldn’t be hard for them to be kind to other people.


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child development, Child's Education, family time, games, momblog, Relationships

Encouraging Play Encourages a Child’s Development

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We’ve all heard the term, “Oh, that’s child’s play.” It implies something is easy, frivolous and unimportant in the overall scheme of things.  But to a child, child’s play is essential to their mental, social, emotional, and physical development.

We all know that children like to play. But what we may not know is the importance of play in a child’s life. Play is essential to every area of a child’s growth and development.

Play provides a means for energy to be put to use. It strengthens and refines small and large motor skills, and it builds stamina and strength. Sensory learning develops mostly through play.

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Play is significant to physical development in that without it the body could not grow and develop normally.

Children possess a natural curiosity. They, explore, learn and make sense out of their environment by playing. Parents and educators alike can support this learning activity by ensuring age-appropriate toys, materials and environments are available to the child.

monica-gozalo-138999-unsplashPlay enables children to know things about the world and to discover information essential to learning. Through play children learn basic concepts such as colors, counting, how to build things, and how to solve problems. Thinking and reasoning skills are at work every time a child engages in some type of play.

Children learn to relate to one another, negotiate roles, share, and obey rules through play. They also learn how to belong to a group and how to be part of a team. A child obtains and retains friends through play.

Play fulfills many needs including a sense of accomplishment, successfully giving and receiving attention, and the need for self-esteem. It helps them develop a strong sense of self, and is emotionally satisfying to them.  They learn about fairness, and through pretending learn appropriate ways of expressing emotion such as anger, fear, frustration, stress and discover ways of dealing with these feelings.

So encourage your child’s play.  Color pictures, make finger paintings, build buildings and imaginary cities with blocks, and built a tent in the middle of the living room and go camping! And as we all know, childhood is fleeting, so let them enjoy being a kid while they are one!


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child development, family conflict, momblog, Relationships

The Hows of Positive Parenting: Proven Tips to Raise Happy & Successful Children (Part 2)

Do you still remember the first 4 hows of positive parenting that we have discussed in the previous post? Let me recount them:

  1. Manage behaviour with Clarity
  2. Implement Rules with Transition
  3. Frame your Instructions in a Positive Manner
  4. Work on Your Own Mood and Transform Your Perspectives

Now, let us look into three more tips that can help you raise happy and successful children through positive parenting:

5. Validate their Feelings and Empathize with their Emotions

Is your child afraid because of the spider? Is she annoyed because of her sibling’s mischievous actions? Do not discount her emotions. Do not undermine how she feels by saying that it’s nothing or it’s not correct to feel a certain way.

We must all acknowledge the fact that all humans can become disappointed, frustrated, sad, lonely, and angry at times. Even though we are pushing for positive parenting, we cannot remain blinded by the truth that negativities can happen anytime most especially during the most unexpected times.

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When your child shows signs of anger or sadness, validate her feelings and empathize with her emotions. You can do this by uttering the following expressions, “I understand that you are sad (or mad) because of what happened. I know the feeling and it’s totally okay to feel that way. Come, let me embrace you.” Then after a few minutes of empathizing, it is now your turn to transform the negative into positive. Encourage your child to forgive and understand other people and her environment. Teach her to move forward from negative emotions.

6. Interact with the Same Level Physically

Mom and daughter talking about travel in the cityNot until when your child reaches a certain age, you would surely still be taller than her, right? But do you know that this physical gap between parents and children can contribute to misunderstanding and feelings of aloofness? In order to address this, you can actually make adjustments.

Physically, you can make sure that you are always talking at the same level as your child. Let your eyes meet hers whenever you discuss something. This will fortify the impression that you are sincere with your child. Even the very act of lowering yourself to her level shows humility and compassion and can even encourage more openness and acceptance on your child’s part.

7. Let Self-Expression Be Free Yet Proper

Your child is bored from your lunch meeting with friends then she suddenly cries really loud. Your daughter screams during your church’s afternoon service because she hasn’t had her nap during the day. Your son throws a tantrum at the mall because you didn’t buy him a toy.

Sounds all too familiar? Don’t worry, you are not alone. These kinds of circumstances are normal in almost all families in the world. That’s particularly because our children are children! They haven’t developed maturely yet. They don’t even have enough capabilities to control their emotions.

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As a parent, it is your duty to respect the way that they vent out their emotions. And it is also your responsibility to teach them the proper ways of managing them. First, look into the reason why they suddenly reacted in a certain way and resolve that. Second, create a diversion so they could move from the negative behavior to a more acceptable one. Third, talk to them calmly and clearly explain how they should behave the next time. Do not worry that your child won’t understand you because of her age. Just do the talking, and she surely has her own way of figuring out what you intend to tell her.

Positive parenting is a complex approach. It is not as simple as giving you a few commandments or guidelines to follow. So don’t be surprised if we will still have a third part for this topic. I know that you are eager for more tips.

Be updated with the most recent posts from Little Ones Life Skills by following our social media pages! The next article would surely be a gem!


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