The Power Of Choice

powerofchoiceHave you ever stopped to think about how many choices you make in any given day?

If we’re talking about me, I make choices from one end of the importance spectrum to the other, multiple times a day. Too many to count, really.

And I might argue that everything we do involves a choice on some level. What do you think?

My spectrum ranges from which creamer I want in my coffee to if I’m going to work that day, or how fast I want to drive. One choice has minimal consequences (except if you encounter me pre-coffee) while the other two have more weight on them.

What about the little ones in our lives – how many choices do they encounter? I’m sure every home looks completely different, yet somewhat similar. Maybe you let your little one choose what to wear, what they eat for breakfast, or how they wear their hair.

What about the choices with more weight on them? Did they choose to share? Maybe you let your second grader choose their consequences from a list. Are they learning to obey their teacher at school? Maybe they’re choosing to be unkind to their friends at school.

Back to the volume of choices we make as adults – it’s a lot. I would say that the ability to think critically about the choices you make, weighing consequences and responsibility and how others may be/are affected, is a really good thing to know how to do.

It’s one thing, among many, we’re doing as parents and caretakers, really – teaching little ones how to think critically, make educated choices, and teach them that actions have consequences… good and bad.

Something we do in our home is identify choices. It’s pretty simple.

For example, a little one chooses to throw her peas on the ground, so she chooses to be on her hands and knees picking them up. And she is told that. We use the word “choice.” If a bad choice is made, the consequence follows suit.

What about the good ones? Yes! I love the good ones – don’t we all? One chose to clean their room, so they chose to live in a clean, peaceful room!🙂 One chose to work and study really hard, so they chose to make the dean’s list or get straight A’s.

Think about your day-to-day. What are some things you do to give your little ones the ability to make a choice? How do you teach them about making choices? In what ways do you celebrate and foster your little ones’ developing autonomy? (Hint: It’s probably more than you think.) I’d love to hear!

In my home, it’s my responsibility as a parent and an adult to know how much power, choice, and freedom to give my three year old. At the same time, it’s my job to know where to set limits for her because kids fail without proper limits and boundaries. They need them, and they need them clearly communicated.

Limit setting is an entirely separate post. Look it up if you get a chance. If you’re sick of saying “no, no, no” – try changing the way it’s being said. It may seem like semantics, but it might do wonders to change the dynamic in your home. Instead of “Don’t stand on the chair,” try “The chair is not for standing on, it’s for sitting on,” with a redirect of “You can choose to stand on the floor or on the stool.” It teaches them the boundary while giving them a choice. Albeit a forced choice, but they’re still learning how to make choices. And if they choose to disobey, well then they choose themselves a consequence.

Here, here, and here is some research about children, choices, and a parent’s role as “coach.”

Here’s to raising well-adjusted adults, one day at a time!

————————————————–

LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children. Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

Oodles Of Local Holiday Events

LCA Holiday1

There is plenty to do around this time of year! We don’t want to cram the holidays full of “doing” at the expense of enjoying this holiday season, but it’s fun to enjoy some festive things with the family along the way.

Our first Lionheart Children’s Academy is located in Arlington, TX, so here are some events going on in and around Arlington that are fun for the whole family:

Arlington

Check out the Spirit of Arlington website for a big ol’ list of events going on in Lionheart’s backyard!

Fort Worth – Sundance Square

Here is a great list of events going on in downtown Fort Worth at the beautiful Sundance Square.

Grand Prairie

Here’s a calendar of Grand Prairie’s events including lights, live events, and Santa!

Mansfield

Here is historic Mansfield’s calendar of holiday events.

Hurst

Hurst has Santa’s Mailbox, tree lighting, and much more! Check out their calendar here.

Euless

Euless has a parade of lights, breakfast with Santa, and a historic park Christmas celebration – find their calendar of events here.

Bedford

If you’re in Bedford, they’ve got a tree lighting at the Historic Old Bedford School and a community wide decorating contest! Get the details here.

Grapevine

Grapevine, TX claims to be the “Christmas Capital of Texas,” so it’s probably worth checking out!

Irving

If you’re in Irving, you won’t want to miss the Holiday Extravaganza! Get the details here.

 

We hope this Christmas season fosters togetherness in your family – how ever big or small it may be!

————————————————–

LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children. Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

 

Exploring The Great Outdoors: Fall Edition

Down here in the south, it’s finally cool enough to get outside and enjoy the outdoors! Here are some basic, free, and educational fall activities we’ve come up with. Let us know which are your favorites and feel free to add to our list in the comments!

 

Objectives: sensory experiences – motor skills, talk with them – language development, laugh with them – emotional development/relationship building, let them explore the outdoors and their developing autonomy – building confidence

  • Crunch leaves in hands.
  • Walk through leaves barefoot.
  • Smell leaves.
  • Walk and talk about what you see, hear, and smell outside (wind, cool weather, trees, birds).
  • Go to a new outdoor place or park to explore (it could be the next street over in your neighborhood).
  • Talk about the wind, let them see it blow the leaves or your hair.
  • Take them on a wagon ride and narrate your walk, what you see, whose house you’re passing, or even which foot your walking with. Talk the whole way.
  • Let them explore a plant store by smelling, touching, and exploring (on a slow afternoon and within eye shot, of course).
  • Find favorite leaves and practice sharing them with each other – taking turns looking at and holding.
  • Make sensory/sound boxes with things you find outside – take an old kleenex/shoe box, fill it with rocks, tape it up and see how it sounds/feels different than a box with leaves or acorns in it.
  • Throw leaves. You could include some directives in this activity to develop listening skills, following directions, and directions such as up/down – “throw the leaves up in the air,” throw the leaves down to the ground,” throw the leaves while running,” etc.

 

preschool

Objectives: Autonomy, independence, problem-solving skills, gross and fine motor skills, communication, identification, classification.

  • Glue leaves. Let them use the glue and take the lead.
  • Cut leaves with scissors. These are my three year old’s favorite scissors (with adult supervision, of course). This is good for motor skills because the scissors actually cut but are not too sharp and have a blunt tip.
  • Color on leaves.
  • Trace leaves.
  • Talk about/identify colors outside. Talk about two colors that come together to make one color.
  • Talk about the wind and the weather changing: why the wind blows, why the weather changes, opposites.
  • Talk about the autumn season – leaves changing, holidays coming, going to grandma’s house.
  • Talk about things/people/actions/emotions you’re grateful for.
  • Play “I spy” outside.
  • Throw leaves.
  • Rake leaves/bag them up.
  • Let them collect things: acorns, leaves, rocks, pine straw, pine cones, pumpkins, different gourds.
  • Talk about the different shapes, sizes, weights, and colors of collected things: compare and contrast, challenge them to find two of the same and two different.
  • See if things sink or float.

 

school age

Objectives: critical thinking, experimenting, problem-solving, communication/language development, relationship building, community awareness.

  • Science experiments: How different objects fall at different speeds – talk about gravity & velocity, how far you can throw things – do heavier things travel a longer distance, newton’s laws (in language they can understand).
  • Have a scavenger hunt.
  • Walk and talk about what makes the seasons change.
  • Go on a bike ride.
  • If you live by the beach, bundle up and go for a cool walk on the beach to experience it at a different season.
  • If you live by the mountains, go on a cool hike.
  • Talk about the coming winter season and where snow comes from/how it’s made.
  • Plant flowers, herbs, and autumn plants, and teach them about plants/photosynthesis.
  • Talk about and explore in-season fruits and vegetables.
  • Lay on the ground and do some cloud watching using your imaginations.
  • Clean up the front yard.
  • Pick up trash in your neighborhood/a local park.
  • Clean the outside windows.

 

————————————————–

LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children. Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

Lately At Lionheart: David & Goliath

David & Goliath

Lately, our Lionheart kids have been learning about the story of David & Goliath. We’re learning to be brave, that we can do important things even when we’re young, and to have a good heart. Here’s a little peek at some of our munchkins learning about David & Goliath:

On the left, Jaxon is standing on Goliath sized feet. He must have been a big dude, but David’s story teaches us that we’re never too little to do important things!

On the right, some of our four year olds are role-playing with armor teaching us to be brave and not give up.

We have lots of fun while learning some very important character lessons here at Lionheart Children’s Academy! Visit our website today to learn more about us.

————————————————–

LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children. Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

Teaching Kiddos To Spread The Love

love; beautiful hands of children holding green heart shapeThe holiday season is coming! In my house, it starts with Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving, and topped off with Christmas & New Years. Those are the big guys, anyways.

We love giving and receiving gifts, dressing up for Halloween & trick-or-treating, and giving lots of thanks.

Along with eating lots of food.🙂

I also live for decorating.

More importantly, this year I’m excited to incorporate some “giving back” into our holiday traditions. To me, it’s important to teach our three-year-old that there are other people in this world, and some of them need help. My husband and I want her to experience the privilege of giving first-hand and see the joy in helping others.

Here are some causes you can be part of, or donate to, if you want to spread the love this holiday season (or any time of year):

  1. Donate that extra Halloween candy to our troops.
  2. Donate to Toys for Tots.
  3. Donate or volunteer with the Salvation Army’s Christmas Angel Tree.
  4. Sponsor a child. There are lots of organizations to choose from, find one that resonates with your family.
  5. Donate food to or volunteer to distribute food at a local food bank.
  6. Go through closets, bookshelves, and toy boxes and donate things. Here’s a big list of who needs/accepts what.
  7. Make Care Kits for the Homeless. This is something little ones can help with, and it can be stored in your car for times when you see someone in need.
  8. Make a card to send to out of town family – we can serve loved ones in addition to strangers.
  9. Make a jar of hearts for dad, mom, sister, etc.
  10. Contribute to or pay the bill of the person behind you in the check-out line at the grocery store.
  11. The next time you go out for a meal, pay another table’s bill.
  12. Pick up trash in your neighborhood.
  13. Deliver Meals on Wheels (we did this one Christmas day when I was a kid).
  14. Make Chemo Care Packages for a local oncology center or for someone you know going through chemotherapy.
  15. Contact a local foster care agency and make care packages for their children. Often children arrive at the center with nothing and have great needs.
  16. Write letters and send care packages to service men and women.

(Lots of these ideas came from Pennies of Time & FeelsLikeHome)

Which cause do you like the best? Which one are your kids most excited about? What other ways does your family give back? I’d love to hear, so leave a comment below!

————————————————–

LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children. Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

Local Pumpkin Patches & Tips for Making the Day Fun

pumpkinpatch

I’m pretty sure that my parents never took me to a single pumpkin patch when I was growing up. I just don’t remember it being a thing for us Texas kids. But now, well, by golly, a fall pumpkin patch is an important rite of passage for today’s kiddos, and it’s a permanent part of my fall to-do list.

Last October, my little Wrenn was only three months old – unable to even sit up on her own, much less have any idea what a pumpkin patch was all about. But I called my sister anyway and asked if her family wanted to meet us so we could take pictures for each other. A few lessons I learned as a first-time pumpkin patch mom:

1. Bring a change of clothes. My little one had a blow-out diaper the minute we got to the pumpkin patch, so we had to go with Outfit #2. Just assume it will happen to you!

2. Set low expectations. For us, it wasn’t exactly easy to capture awesome photos of our little one, since she couldn’t sit up on her own. We did a few obligatory photos of her lying on a blanket surrounded by pumpkins, and a few quick family photos. My one-year-old nephew fell and hit his head on a pumpkin and cried. My colicky baby had a meltdown. There was a lady’s rear end in the background of my favorite family photo. It just happens… so keep your sense of humor!

3. Invite another family so you can take each others’ pictures. My little family of three rarely gets a picture together that isn’t a selfie. By bringing friends, you can help each other out so that MAYBE you can capture a frame-worthy moment. Or, at least a moment that you can laugh about later.

4. Enjoy the memories. I hope that once Wrenn is a little older we can make it a special family outing, where she can pick her very own pumpkin to decorate. It’s an easy, inexpensive family outing, and a fun tradition we can create. In the meantime, I’m excited to bring her back this year, now that she’s 15 months old and can enjoy running around the pumpkin patch, enjoying the fresh air. Even if she still has no idea what’s going on.

Don’t know where to go? We found some resources to help you find a local pumpkin patch in Tarrant County:

DFW Child’s List of Best Pumpkin Patches in DFW

Pumpkin Patches Sorted by County

————————————————–

Bethe LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

 

#grateful

Mom Encouragement

I am so guilty of overusing this hashtag. Okay – maybe I’m just an over-hashtag user all around, but this one is my favorite.

Know why?

I’m discovering the freedom – like twirling in an open field on a cool day – that comes from choosing to be grateful. Not a feeling of gratitude, nor a judgement that you’re better than others – but the perspective that is gained from a conscious, objective thought about what is good in us and around us.

The other day, no lie, my three year old told me that she was grateful to be my kid, and grateful to be with me as we sat together in her chair.

Nothing else in this natural world can quite compare to those little, high-pitched words coming from that teeny person with an amazing mind.

Because this is a post about being grateful, I won’t talk about how dramatic and emotional I tend to be – I’ll just be grateful for the tenderness I’m wired with, and say that those words deeply moved me there, in that chair.🙂

After putting this little pixie-haired girl to sleep, the tasks that awaited me were a little less precious than the moments before them: packing lunch, making sure I had each food group covered, feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, and having a good cry.

My sweet hubby peeked over at me in the kitchen and gently reminded me to, “Do today.”

#grateful.

For being here, now. In my home. On that chair. With my baby.

For a life partner that gently brings me back to reality and assures me that I can do this thing called life.

Life is attitude and perspective and choices and grace. I choose grateful. I choose to be grateful for a brain that works well enough to feel overwhelmed. Grateful that trees are green and not red. Grateful for counter tops big enough to make lunch on.

I challenge you – busy, working, tired, joyful, gracious, loving reader – find it wherever you can and cling to it because choosing to be grateful will help to keep your mind in check and life in perspective.

What are you #grateful for? Leave a comment – I’d love to know!

 

————————————————–

LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

A Toddler-Safe Play-Doh Recipe

Today is National Play-Doh Day. Did you know that Play-Doh was first invented as a wallpaper remover? Or that more than 2 billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold, weighing the equivalent of 2,000 Statues of Liberty? That’s a lot of Play-Doh! (For more fun Play-Doh facts, check out this article.)

I have such great memories of playing with that soft, gooey mess as a kid, so I thought this would be a great excuse to introduce it to my own 14-month-old little girl. I love finding fun “science experiments” for her to do on the porch that let her get messy and be creative. Because she still puts everything in her mouth, it was important to me to make something safe for her to eat (it has a LOT of salt, so I wouldn’t recommend letting your little ones chow down on it, but a few licks won’t hurt them).

a

I followed this recipe with simple ingredients I keep in my pantry. The prep took about five minutes (one change – next time I would add a little more water), and I added some yellow food coloring to make it fun (and because I thought red might stain Wrenn’s clothes).

b

A few tips:
1. We do all messy projects on the back porch. They key is to take freezer paper and painter’s tape and tape down a place for your little one to play. This makes clean-up so much easier and keeps dirt out of your Play-Doh.

9

2. Dig up some utensils that make the playing more fun. For my 14-month-old, I pulled out some different shaped plastic toys along with some baby forks and a spatula so she could practice chopping, cutting, and making pictures with her Play-Doh.

3. Toddlers have short attention spans, but don’t worry – this Play-Doh can be saved in a zip-loc bag and reused again and again. However, instead of saving mine, I called my mom friend who lives one street over and offered to give it to her kids (ages 3 and 5 – they LOVE Play-Doh) as an unexpected treat. Because with motherhood, we might as well share the love, right?

————————————————–

Bethe LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

“How Was School Today?”

How Was School LCA

Well parents, school is in full swing – I’m right in the middle of grieving the loss of summer independence and dreaming of my fall decor. The way I see it, the back-to-school emotions of us caregivers can be placed on a spectrum, which ranges from ugly tears about spending less time with our babies (however old they may actually be), to literally dancing with a heart of joy because we get to spend less time with them.

Come on, let’s be honest. Where do you fall?

I have a three year old, so I’m a little more toward the ugly tears end, but she has yet to shed one tear about “school.”  It can’t be all bad… right?

If you have a verbal, school-aged child, you’re well aware of the response we can sometimes get from our dear ones when asked,

“So, how was school today?”

If you don’t have a verbal child, but they still attend some sort of Mom’s Day Out program or Childcare program, I strongly encourage you to still talk to them about their day. I am a big advocate of talking to your child from day one. The experts agree about this too. I digress.

Now, my question is usually full of excitement and wonder. My daughter’s response, however, is sometimes not. Sometimes I just get excited mumbo-jumbo flowing freely from her pink lips. Other times, I get a shrug of the shoulders along with some grunting noise. And sometimes, I literally get her saying (with slight attitude) “nothing!”. Pictured above are just a few of the faces I can expect to see from my daughter when asked about school.

So, to curb the grunting-nothingness that I sometimes get from my involved mom question, I do some digging ask some more pointed questions. Side note: I’m learning that my three year old does better with specific questions or commands. She needs some direction. Go figure. My guess is that this is true for children of all ages. Heck, I think it would help me keep my house more clean! For example: Instead of telling my daughter to go clean her room, I take it task by task. I’ll start with asking her to put all of her shoes in the pink box. If that is still too general, we go for the shoes with purple on them first, or the shoes with velcro. No wonder parents are exhausted!🙂

Why not apply this method to asking about a school day, so we can really get to know our little (or big) ones, communicate genuine interest in their lives, and help support and guide them?

I’ve seen a couple of lists floating around about how to ask your kids about their day. Here’s what works for us (sometimes). Keep in mind to adjust for the age of your child. Obviously, your 17 year old isn’t playing on the playground or sitting at circle time, per say.

  • What was your favorite part of your day?
  • What was your favorite thing you did today?
  • Who did you play with?
  • What did you play with together?
  • Did you play on the playground?
  • What did you play on the playground?
  • What did you eat (or usually not eat) for lunch?
  • Who did you sit by at circle time?
  • What books did you read?
  • What’s your favorite book in the classroom?
  • What songs did you sing?
  • What was the hardest/most frustrating part of your day?
  • Did you disagree with anyone today?
  • How did your friends make you feel today?
  • How did you listen and obey your teacher?

Be cognizant of how your child is wired, and be sensitive to what “state” they’re in. They may be exhausted and/or overstimulated as soon as they’re done with school, and want quiet to decompress for a minute. That’s good; it’s their personality and part of what makes them, them. Help your child (whatever the age) to identify this in themselves, learn what to do about it, and then respect and celebrate that piece of them. Ask them at another time: dinner, while getting on their level and playing with them, while you’re getting bedtime cuddles, or taking away their phones for the evening.

If we’re having a “nothing” day at our house, my daughter will usually unload at dinner or during bedtime snuggles. Last week, at the dinner table (I really value family dinners), I asked her who her new friends were at school. She told us they were Shelby and Carson, that she loved them, and they were her best friends. So sweet! I asked her what she loved about them, and she literally said, “Their heart and their spirit.” WHAT?! My three year old said that? Which TV show did she learn THAT from?🙂

My hope is that this post spurs some of your own ideas about ways to connect with your child and develop a genuine trust and relationship with them. Comment and let me know what works in your house – I’d love to hear!

————————————————–

About Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

What should I feed my baby?

Just when you think you have the hang of this parenting thing, the pediatrician throws something new again.

“Now you can start introducing foods.”

Those are six of the most intimidating words a first-timer can hear. We were already certified in baby and adult CPR and Heimlich Maneuver (I highly recommend it – the Red Cross offers a great class that we took at our local hospital), but there were still so many other questions. Like, what are we going to feed her? These babies don’t come with handbooks, but thank goodness for websites like Baby Center!

Fellow Lionheart blogger Christy sent me this article that spells out what types of foods babies should eat at each stage, as well as portions/balance. I wasn’t just worried about WHAT to feed her, but wanted to make sure baby girl was getting all of her nutrients and developing healthy eating habits early! (Now that our baby is 13 months old, they have a great article on toddler nutrition as well.)

1

Here are some lessons learned from this first-time mama:

1. Don’t go out and buy a ton of baby food at first. Better yet, don’t buy every single baby food container they have on the market in hopes that you’ll make your own baby food (guilty). Because here’s the thing – our baby only ate baby food for a few weeks, and we were left with TONS of leftovers. And, we only got around to making her special baby food ONCE.  Each baby and family is different, but my advice would be to buy a little at a time to avoid waste.

Same goes for utensils. We have friends who SWEAR by one type of baby spoon or another. We just used some hand-me-downs from a friend, and my daughter didn’t realize she had options. Save your money.

2. Invest in a lot of bibs. Eating is messy business, and you won’t want to do laundry every day. We liked the idea of those plastic bibs, but found that they were always hitting her high chair tray, so we went back to the regular, old-fashioned cloth bibs. At the very beginning, we also used a dish towel and chip clip for FULL coverage (you’ve got to be creative to be a parent).

3. Baby preferences can be finicky. One day, my baby LOVES strawberries. The next, she won’t touch ’em. Or she can’t get enough turkey, then a week later, she feeds all of it to the dog. They’re learning, so just because your child doesn’t like something the first time doesn’t mean she’ll never eat it.

4. Know which foods cause constipation. My daughter LOVES bananas, and I can hand her a quarter of a banana and she can feed herself for a few minutes. It’s bliss for both of us! But… nobody tells me that bananas can stop babies up, and after a week of daily bananas (okay, sometimes even twice daily – they were SO CONVENIENT), my poor baby was absolutely miserable. Here’s a great list of foods that can cause constipation, as well as foods that can help relieve it.

5. Have fun. Food is like a messy adventure. It’s so fun to watch your child experience new things for the first time. We tried to keep a laid-back attitude about it, and as she got better with foods, we try to give her a taste of whatever we’re eating, even if it has (gasp) sugar, or is mildly spicy. Our little girl has eaten Indian food, Chinese food, Cambodian food, African food…some of it she loves, some she spits right back out. And that’s totally fine with me.

————————————————–

Bethe LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.