Stress Free Mealtime

Ezpz-facebook-3Is January a month for a renewed goal in family mealtimes?

Here are a few tidbits you may find interesting from Miss Dawn, a Speech Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist on EZPZ’s team. Her tip on focus is spot on for my family! Which resonates with you?

“Parents often tell me that work, over-commitments and family activities keep them from having consistent meals together as a family. They explain that when schedules get tight, dinner at the table gets dropped because it’s too stressful to manage on top of everything else. I have some suggestions for easing mealtime anxiety by establishing routines, planning and serving meals, and changing our feeding focus to be proactive. Let’s explore 4 tips for making a stress-free mealtime!

ezpz Routines: Having a mealtime routine can decrease the stress of mealtime for both kids and parents. I utilize pre-feeding rituals in feeding therapy, and I teach the families I work with to carryover this practice at home. Something simple like having the toddler/kid go to the bathroom, wash their hands and put on lotion before meals can be calming to a child’s sensory system, which makes them more willing to eat when they get to the table. Every child is different and some of my clients have to jump on a trampoline, listen to music, take a walk or have some quiet reading time before they are ready to focus on eating. Incorporating daily pre-feeding habits will help get their wiggles out and prepare them for sitting and learning to enjoy new foods. In addition, these rituals may give you a few more minutes to get the meal on the table so you can sit down with your children and enjoy it too!

ezpz Planning: When I first started meal planning I was overwhelmed by scheduling meals in advance, as it oftentimes entailed doubling recipes, finding freezer friendly glassware, searching for meals on Pinterest and making room in my freezer to store these extra meals! Now I teach parents easier meal planning; simply cook a little extra of your family’s favorite recipes and throw it in a zip bag. Mark the bag with its contents and put this extra portion into the freezer. Once you have eaten the food, wash the bag and store the marked bags with your recipe books. This technique helps meal planning for the next month, as you can look back at the bags to remind you what meals worked and what to make again.

ezpz Serving: Remove your frozen meal and place the food in child friendly plates that are oven and microwave safe, like the Happy Mat. This makes the prep, heating and serving of your food super quick, plus it generates less dishes! Remember, the Happy Mat is dishwasher safe too, making cleanup stress-free!

ezpz Focus: An important aspect of mealtime is shifting your focus on how much your picky eater is eating (or not eating) to something else. Focus on what you CAN change to make meals less stressful. Some focus questions to ask yourself are: How can I gently introduce a new fruit or veggie to my child today? Is it time to ditch the highchair tray and have baby at the table? How can I help my child be less distracted at mealtime? Am I offering the right portion sizes for my baby or toddler or am I giving too much?

I hope these tips help you make mealtime less about and more about family time! What are some of your tips for a stress-free mealtime? How would making mealtimes stress-free change the way you view feeding your child? Let us know and use #ezpzfun #stressfree #mealtime

Happy Feeding,

Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for EZPZ

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You can see the original post of this blog here.  Be sure to catch Miss Dawn’s regular blog posts at the EZPZ blog!

P.S. You can buy EZPZ ‘s Happy mat, Happy Bowl and Mini Mat here in Canada on our web store. #NurturedMealtime

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

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Looking for something sweet and memorable to create for the holiday?

This year for a special treat we created cut-outs with a cinnamon applesauce ornament recipe I was incredibly happy to revisit. It takes just 3 ingredients you probably have on hand plus a few cookie cutters.

1 1/2 cup cinnamon

1 cup applesauce

1/2 cup glue

I was beyond thankful to Nurtured Mama, Jessica, for lending me her acorn and gingerbread cookie cutters. I stirred up a batch with my two boys and created handmade ornaments a few days prior to the event. The scent of cinnamon wafted through the shop the whole evening as we tied an ornament to each bag at our exclusive shopping night.  It smelled delicious!

Adding a little glitter to the recipe can also add a magical charm.  Small Business Saturday we shared that 250 acorns had fallen from our oak tree that stands inside Nurtured. Naturally, we collected the bounty and added these to our gift bags as well as some online orders.

This time of year a salt-dough recipe is always fun but I encourage you to give the cinnamon applesauce a go with the infamous handprint ornament. Just trace your child’s hand and lay it on top of the dough, then cut out.

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Fall workshops at Nurtured

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Welcoming in September generally means one important thing at Nurtured: a fully stocked calendar of workshops and events. Be in the know and register today to attend the workshops that nurture both you and your growing family.

Infant Massage

Massaging your baby has many health benefits from promoting babies’ growth and development to improving digestion and sleep. Learn how to soothe and relax your baby, relieve tummy upsets and colic and develop a deeper bond with your baby.

Infant Massage is taught by the oh-so-lovely Kylie Field. Kylie is a Post-Partum Doula, Lactation Consultant and Certified Infant Massage Instructor (IAIM) and enjoys guiding parents and caregivers in getting to know their baby better through the wonderful world of nurturing touch.

Parents and caregivers with babies aged 1 month to crawling welcome.

Cloth Diapering 101

Wondering whether to choose reusable or disposable diapers for baby? Walk through the options in an informative hands-on class. Learn why people choose to use cloth diapers and the many benefits.

This class is led by NurturedMom, Jolyn, who offers a unique perspective of having used disposable diapers for her first but once she used reusable diapers she never looked back.

Music With Babies

This five-week class is always a hit with customers (and staff members!) Music with Babies is best suited from 4 to 12 months. We will explore rhythm, movement, and musical activities that offer your little one a fun introduction to music, bonding time with their caregivers and a playful social environment with other babies.

Instructor Louise Hanavan is a musician, mom, and true artistic spirit you will love to see each week. She plays the banjo, guitar, piano, and french horn, but most of all loves to sing!

Music With Toddlers

Louise is offering a new class this Autumn, as requested by Music With Babies graduates! A 5-week class for older children (walking/1 year through 4) and their adult caregivers. You and your future rocker will explore rhythm, movement, and musical activities in a bit more hands-on, involved way than the Music With Babies class. Bonding and play time with their caregivers and connection to other kiddos their age is still a big part with the older littles!

CPR + Emergency First Aid               

You realize passing a babysitter course requires this, right? Perhaps you should have it for parenthood too!

Earn certification (or recertification) via Lifesaving Society, a nationally recognized provider in Canada. The instructor will cover all the basics of emergency first aid plus CPR with AED and do so with a focus on answering your many questions as a parent plus all the hands-on practice required to meet your certification.  Certification cards from Lifesaving Society are received in the mail upon completion.

It’s of great note that our Emergency First Aid + CPR- Level C class includes Adult, Child, Infant CPR and Choking procedures and is a great option for recertification. This level is all inclusive from parents to child care workers, first responders and lifeguards.

Baby Led Weaning

Don’t let the “W” word deceive you — this workshop is all about introducing your babe to solid food.

Topics covered will include:

What is Baby Led Weaning and what are the advantages over conventional introductions to solid foods?

Nutritional considerations and requirements

Resources and recipes

Baby Led Weaning is led by Dr. Jennifer Salib-Huber, RD, ND and mother of 3 children who used the Baby Led Weaning method with her twins. Dr. Salib-Huber will combine personal experience with professional expertise as a Naturopathic Doctor and Registered Dietitian.

Prenatal and Childbirth Education

While our September class is all filled up, we are offering a two-night session in October for expectant parents looking for a more holistic, in-person course on giving birth than you might find online.

Providing a comfortable and friendly atmosphere, Wanda Cox of Graceful Beginnings Birth Services and Nurtured have come together to offer Childbirth Preparation Classes for couples in HRM. In these workshop, you and your partner will gain knowledge and build confidence as you plan and prepare for birth.

Classes are interactive and provide couples with evidence based information to ensure you feel confident and empowered for your birth experience. Wanda is a Certified Birth and Post Partum Doula, Certified Infant Massage Instructor, Certified Birth Educator and trained Lactation Educator.

Dog & Storks 

Has your dog been the baby all along?  Once you hear the stork will be arriving, take the time to learn some tricks of your own for introducing the family dog to the new baby. This “people only” workshop, Dog & Storks is a wonderful resource for sharing the importance of including Fido from the start in a safe way.

A Certified Pet Dog Trainer and mother, Tamara McFarland from Unleashed Pawsabilities will offer awareness and solutions to common issues that are positive, practical and both dog and baby friendly. There’s no one else as passionate about setting your dog and you up for success, safety and fun when baby arrives.