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Ways to Improve Communication with Your Child

July 9th, 2010

Communication is the base of a relationship so ways to improve communication will always be put to good use. Here are a couple tips to help you better communicate with your child.

1. Acknowledge why your child feels the way they do and if not, ask them why.

2. Ask them to express their exact emotion when upset or frustrated and let them know how your perceive what they are feeling through their actions

3. Both express why you both feel a certain way and where the desire comes from to do that.

4. Have your child state what he or she feels they need at that time and why. You may also state what you feel they need and why and explain why if they are different from one another.

If you have additional suggestions for ways to improve communication, we would love to hear them. Please feel free to add your suggestions in the comment section.

Try This Incredibly Healthy Chicken Recipe

July 7th, 2010

If you are looking for a healthy chicken recipe, look no further. This chicken stir fry recipe is power-packed with healthy ingredients. Broccoli and kale are nutrition stand-outs among vegetables. The red onion, garlic, ginger and red cabbage are also an excellent addition. Add to this the brown rice, which offers B vitamins, manganese, selenium and iron as well as a high fiber content. Not only is this a healthy chicken recipe, it is also great tasting!

Chicken Stir Fry
What you need:
3 chicken breasts
2 cups of brown rice
6-8 florets of broccoli
1 chopped red cabbage
1 chopped red onion
1 chopped or diced red bell pepper
1 cup of bean sprouts
1 cup of chopped kale
4 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of minced ginger
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
1. Prepare the rice according to directions
2. In the olive oil, stir fry the onions, red bell peppers, garlic, ginger, kale, cabbage and broccoli for about five minuets on medium.
3. Add chicken and soy sauce.
4. Serve over rice.

No Whining, Please!

July 5th, 2010

Wouldn’t it be great if you could establish a No Whining zone in your home? You will find that even when all your child’s needs are met, they still may have something to whine about. Sometimes your child may just be in a bad mood for no real reason at all. At times it may seem very hard to ignore them when they are causing a fuss and acting out but at these times ignoring them may be the best answer.

However preventing your child from whining in the first place will solve the problem all together. Praising your child every time they are showing any good behavior will encourage them to act that way more. Giving them more attention for being good then for whining will prevent them from whining at all. Make sure you are giving your child everything he or she needs so you are not giving them any legitimate reason to be whining about. Make sure they are always fed, bathed, dressed and loved.

Explain to your child exactly what whining is and why you do not like it. Tell them they will get what they want when they ask nicely and that being mean and fussing will only make it more difficult for them to get what they want in the situation.  Show your child the difference between your reaction when they are both good and bad and this will make it easier for them to understand the difference.

If your child is crying or continues to whine you can give them a place to go and let their emotions out. Designate a place for them to go and let out their frustrations but let them know that you do not wish to be around them when they are doing so. Tell them that once they have finished crying and can tell you what they want without becoming emotional that they can come back and talk with you about it. This will let them know that it is not bad to cry or become emotional but that it is also not a way of getting what they want either.

Stuffed Snow Peas Recipe

July 2nd, 2010

Snow peas are bursting with nutrients and like all peas, are a type of legume. Snow peas are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, B complex vitamins and vitamin C. Foods considered an “excellent source” provide 20% or more of the daily recommended value. Try this snow peas recipe for a healthy and delicious snack.

Stuffed Snow Peas Recipe
What you need:
35 young snow peas
3 once package of cream cheese
¼ teaspoon of dry mustard
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of mayonnaise

1. Rinse off the snow peas in cold water and cut off the ends and any hanging strings.
2. Place the peas in a bowl and pour boiling water over them until they are covered.
3. Let the peas sit in the water for about a minuet and they drain it.
4. Then open up one side of the pod and let them cool.
5. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and fill up each pod with it.
6. Let sit in the fridge and cool for about an hour before eating.

Teaching Children to Have Patience

June 30th, 2010

Teaching children to have patience is a skill that will benefit them now and through their entire lives. It is important to teach your child that the world does not evolve around them and wanting something doesn’t always mean they will get it.

Preventing this problem in the first place will make it much easier on you and your child. Help your child to realize that there are other things he can do while waiting for what he wants to do. Tell them things like “you can play with your blocks for five minuets and then we’ll go to the park.” This way your child will realize that not getting their way doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, they can still have fun doing other fun things as well.

If your child continues to whine even after giving them other options make sure and stay as calm as possible. It’s important to remember that they are still learning and it may take some time for them to understand how to become patient. Although the idea of being patient may seem like a simple concept to a child it may be confused as to why they can’t get their way. You must be patient yourself and give your child time to understand the meaning of the word before he or she can act on it.

Any time you notice your child even showing the slightest bit of patience don’t let it go unnoticed! Give them praise and tell them how proud you are of them for being patient, especially if they are doing it all on their own.

Make rules for your child. Telling them what they must do before they can get what they want will make them more likely to do their chores without complaint. Tell them things like, “You have to pick up all your toys and put them away before we can go to your friend’s house.”

Telling your child no may not always be avoidable, however try and give them alternative things to do. Telling your child no and giving them no other options will leave them feeling unsatisfied and confused. It is important to let them know why this is not a possibility and them let them know what is.

Carrot Recipe: Try This Healthy and Delicious Carrot Spread

June 28th, 2010

Carrots are an excellent source of antioxidant compounds and the richest vegetable source of pro-vitamin A carotenes. The crunchy texture and sweet taste of carrots is popular among both adults and children. If you happen to have one of those kids who thumbs his nose at carrots, try this carrot recipe. Even your finicky kids will like it!

What you need for this wholesome carrot recipe:
1/2 cup of peeled and grated carrots
1 hard boiled egg grated
½ teaspoon peeled and grated onion
½ teaspoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

Steps: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and store it in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

How to Deal with Back Talking

June 25th, 2010

The day your child begins using snide remarks and bad words you may be caught very off guard. It will probably surprise you to hear such things come out of your child’s mouth but just remember that those words are learned just like he or she learned every other word. The first step to take in avoiding back talking is to simply prevent them from hearing any examples of back talking in the first place. If you find your self getting in an argument with your child make sure to not back talk to them yourself because this will only encourage them to do the same to you. Even if your child is watching you in an argument with someone else it is still important to set a good example if you are going to expect the same from them.

Make sure you continually teach your child words like please, thank you, and I’m sorry. Don’t just teach them the words but where and when to use them, reminding them that they are necessary. It’s also good to let them know more importantly how to say them because saying thank you in a mean voice is not really a thank you.

Make sure your child is aware of what exactly back talk is and why you do not approve of it. Let them know that refusing, name calling, or yelling mean words is back talk and that is not ok.

Another very important step in stopping back talk would be to monitor what your child sees and hears during their day. Make certain that you try your best to not allow any inappropriate words slip from your mouth in front of your child. Make sure that your friends and family know to hold their tongues around your child as well. Try to also pay close attention to your child’s playmates and what kind of language they use. Your child could be very influenced by what their peers say and do so make sure they are not being encouraged to back talk.

Brain Smart Recipe for Jello Salad

June 23rd, 2010

Here’s a recipe for jello salad that has the added benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids. This is a Waldorf salad of sorts that includes walnuts and flaxseed. Whether you use a jello with sugar or a sugar-free jello is up to you. Some people are opposed to sugar while others are opposed to artificial sweeteners. I all depends on what camp you are in.

Omega-3 Waldorf Jell-O

What you need:
Any flavored Jell-O
1/2 cup of walnut halves chopped up
1/2 cup of dark cherries or purple grapes
1/2 cup of low fat, plain yogurt
1 tablespoon of ground up flaxseeds

1. Make the Jell-O
2. Fill the bowl of Jell-O with the walnuts and grapes or cherries
3. Put in the fridge until it firms up
4. Pour the yogurt on top and sprinkle it with the ground flax.

Healthy Granola Recipe

April 28th, 2010

Granola can be an incredibly healthy way to start the day or it can considered a junk food. It all depends on the ingredients used. Try this healthy granola recipe that provides great healthy benefits while avoiding some of the common granola pitfalls.

As with any granola recipe, feel free to add your own creative touch by substituting nuts, seeds and sweeteners. Play around with the recipes until you find your perfect mix. And don’t forget to include your kids in the preparations. Kids typically loving helping in the kitchen!

Sweet Tart Granola
6 cups old-fashions oats
1 1/4 cups pistachios
1/4 cups sunflower seeds
1/3 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 large egg whites
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cups honey (maple syrup or molasses can be substituted)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup coconut flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs whites and salt until frothy. Combine honey and oil.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until evenly coated.
5. Evenly spread the mixture on two baking sheets and bake 20 minutes.
6. Gently flip granola with a spatula and bake an additional 10 minutes, until golden brown. If the granola begins to brown too much on the edges, gently stir the outer parts to the middle.
7. Remove from the oven and cool completely on the pan. Once cooled, transfer the granola to a bowl and gently stir in the dried cherries and coconut.

Brain Food

April 26th, 2010

Here we are at the last post in the brain food series. Our final list is of foods with the highest antioxidant, brain-protecting abilities. These foods include;

Red onions
Spinach and kale
Sweet potato and yam
Parsley and cilantro

Berries: blueberry, cranberry, blackberry, raspberry
Avocado (yes, it’s actually a fruit and not a vegetable)
Dark-skinned apples
Dark-skinned grapes
Prunes, plums, cherries

Legumes, Nuts and Seeds:
Red and black beans
Walnuts, almonds, peanuts
Flax, sesame and sunflower seeds

Herbs and Spices:

Try to include as many of these brain food items in your daily diet. Your mind and body will thank you.