Saturday, June 30, 2007

Media Literacy--An Important Skill for Kids

I'll never forget how surprised I was when my four year old son recited the slogan of a popular laundry detergent verbatim...especially since we are a family that watches very little TV! It was an "ah-hah" moment-- I realized just how absorbent a kid's mind is when it comes to media.

Now my son is a teenager and he's grown up to be a very media saavy kid--questioning what the real story is behind advertising, research studies, even documentaries.

If you have a toddler, you can add "media literacy" to the list of required learning along with letters, numbers and colors. Why? Kids are bombarded with advertising for fast food and sweets, not to mention subliminal brand advertising that can easily turn your toddler into a little consumer.

The deeper problem with too much media, is it takes time away from other quality activities like playing outside, reading and other imaginative play. If kids are on a constant diet of screen time, it gives their brains little chance to explore their own imagination. And we know that too much time in front of the screen also contributes to childhood obesity.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has guidelines for TV watching that you might want to know:

Kids under 2: No screen time, including educational videos

Kids over 2: 2 hour limit of all screen time

No TV in the bedroom

If you are a mom who wears "lots of hats" (and who doesn't?) you've probably popped a video or two in to keep your toddler busy so you could get something done. That's fine--just try to limit the time. Another idea is to use music as a calming or motivating distraction. A little slow jazz or classical music can "soothe the savage beast"; story time on tape allows your child to expand his mind while building with blocks, for example. If it's a rainy day outside, and you'd like your child to be more active, you can try a video that encourages dancing or other active play like:

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Baby Bites on It's Way to Bookstores!

Baby Bites has left the printer and is now on it's way to your local bookstore!
What do you need to know
about Baby Bites?
Price: $15.00
Pages: 370
Easy to Read and Priceless Information!

It has all the nutrition info a new parent needs to know about feeding their new baby and toddler including:

  • Breastfeeding

  • Formula feeding

  • Starting solids

  • Making your own baby food

  • All about your baby's GI tract

  • Prevention and dealing with food allergies

  • How to start good eating habits

  • Dealing with picky eaters

  • Toddler friendly foods

  • Dental health

  • Preventing childhood obesity

How Can You Find Baby Bites?

1. Call our toll-free number: 800-284-MOMS

and get a personally autographed book!

2. Go to:

3. Your local bookstore--now available--or available any day now!

What's the Best First Food for Babies?

If you have a new baby about to leap into the world of eating solids, it's most likely you're considering rice cereal as your baby's first food. It's the tried and true first food for a few reasons--
  • it's easy to mix to the just the right texture for a new eater
  • it's bland
  • it's not a highly allergenic food
  • it's fortified with iron

But there are a few other foods that would serve just as well as a first food--and sometimes may even be a better choice, especially for exclusively breastfed infants. Exclusively breastfed 7- month old infants do not meet their needs for iron or zinc from breast milk alone.

Other "first foods" to consider? Beef and Lamb. They are high in iron and zinc and pretty well accepted (especially if you follow a recipe from Baby Bites). In an article by Nancy Krebs MD in the February 2007 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, meats are recommended as a complementary first food by breastfed infants. (J. Nutr. 137:511S-517S, February 2007)

When trying any first food for your baby, remember that the food is really not "solid" at all--but more like a thick liquid. And don't be discouraged if your baby spits out his tongue for his first bite of food--it's completely normal. If he continues not enjoying his first meal of solids, don't push it. Just wait a week or two and try again.