Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bringing Healthy Habits to the Table

Is your child a picky eater? According to some professionals, picky eating - among children and adults alike - is becoming cause for concern in our culture, one symptom of the greater problem of overall unhealthy food and eating habits among Americans.

Image: federico stevanin /
The prevalence of bland, nutrient-devoid foods in the American diet – and the tendency to avoid diverse foods when eating this kind of diet – has recently been the topic of a thought-provoking online discussion. As it relates to children, this conversation was originally spurred by Pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene, and brought to the mainstream by renowned natural health proponent Dr. Andrew Weil.

In its most extreme form, picky eating is now increasingly considered to be an outright disorder that can plague individuals well into adulthood. While not currently listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), Selective Eating Disorder is getting quite a bit of lip service from the media, health professionals and mental health experts as of late. This begs the question – just how pervasive and serious IS this problem? How does this differ from the routine picky eating behavior that is exhibited by children? When does picky eating become an indicator of an overall problem of unhealthy eating habits that could affect children as they grow up? And what can parents do – if anything – to prevent their child from becoming a lifelong selective eater?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Baby Dolls, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Little Man recently made it abundantly clear to me that he would like a baby doll. Yes, a baby doll. Allow me to explain.

During our "swim tots" class a couple of weeks ago, the instructor was using a floating demonstration doll to show parents how to hold their child for the various exercises we would be doing. Little Man got one glimpse of that floating baby doll and, the second the teacher's attention was averted, he dove for it, yelling, "Baby! Baby!" I could barely keep him from going under water as he attempted to squirm his way over to the floating doll. Once he had the doll in his arms, he kissed her, hugged her, looked at her adoringly and said, "baby" several times more. A few seconds later, it was time to demonstrate the next exercise. The teacher began looking around for the doll, and her eyes eventually settled on Little Man and me. "Sorry," I apologized, with a chuckle. "He seems to like the doll." I tried to hand the doll over to the teacher, but this kid was not letting go. As the entire class watched, I had to pry the baby doll from his death-gripping hands and, of course, tears ensued.

Apparently, this child really wanted a baby doll.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Can See for Miles and Miles and Miles(tones)

This week, my baby took his first steps. At nearly 14 months old with no real signs of walking, I’ll be honest – we were beginning to wonder. I wasn't worried about any developmental delays, as I knew he was taking strides (pun intended) in the right direction; I just anxiously wondered when it would happen. Then, in the kitchen one night as I was doing dishes, I saw it out of the corner of my eye – could it be? Yes, yes! He’s doing it! He’s walking! One step, then two, then three…! Ecstatic, my husband and I tried to get him to do it again…and again…and again. We cheered him on. He grinned and laughed. It was an amazing moment.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Meta-Report - 8.3.11

I'm very excited to introduce a new feature of my site - the Meta-Report. These periodical reports will include summaries and commentary on what I'm currently reading (online and offline), as well as brief updates on evidence-based news related to parenting, pregnancy, and child development.

This week in Meta-Report:
No Kids Allowed
Holy Unplanned Pregnancy, Batman!
Sharing Sleep, the Evidence-Based Way
and Family Planning...for Blacklash