Archive for October, 2011

What do to with all that Halloween candy?!?

Monday, October 31st, 2011

As fun as trick-or-treating is, the end result is a big pile of unwanted candy! Of course our kids are stoked about all that candy, however parents are often concerned about the amount of sugar, artificial dyes, and hydrogenated oils their child will consume in a relatively short period of time. Here are some ways to approach that mountain of candy:

Invite the “Toy Fairy” to your house

Not familiar with the Toy Fairy? She is in a special class of fairies! The Toy Fairy will pay a visit to your house and exchange the candy for a highly desired toy. This can become a fun tradition in your household and you can make it as extensive as you want. For example your child could plan in advance what type of toy they want. They could write a toy request to the Toy Fairy much like a letter to Santa Claus. Before relinquishing their candy to the Toy Fairy perhaps they could select a small designated amount of pieces to keep.

Now you are probably wondering what the “Toy Fairy” should do with all that candy? Throwing it away hardly seems right? Typically my husband brings the bag of candy into work and puts it in a bowl in the break room for his co-workers to enjoy. I have one friend that freezes the chocolate candies and uses them to make homemade ice cream throughout the year. Another option might be to donate the candy to a church or some type of non-profit that could use the candy for a special event.

Check with local dentists

Some dentist have programs where they will “purchase” Halloween candy from your child and then they send the candy to troops stationed overseas. Your child might appreciate this concept of getting money for their candy. Additionally because it’s a dentist making the exchange it might impress upon them how candy can effect their teeth causing decay and cavities.

Dwindle the stash

This worked well for me when my children were young and didn’t have a basic understanding of quantity just yet. On Halloween night after they fell asleep, I took about 90% of their candy out of their Halloween buckets and bagged it up for my husband to bring to work. The next morning when the kids asked for their candy, I gave them their pumpkin buckets. They did not seem to notice at all that their stash had been drastically reduced. They were young enough that the small amount of remaining candy was exciting. Obviously with older children, you may have to be more gradual about it.

Develop boundaries

Rather than get rid of the candy, you may be able to develop healthy boundaries around candy consumption. For example every morning your child could select the three pieces of candy to eat that day. Or maybe after lunchtime they are allowed to pick out two pieces of candy. Another part of the routine could include brushing their teeth after they eat the candy.

Ask your child for suggestions

Perhaps your child is old enough to discuss the concerns of eating large amounts of candy in such a short time. You could engage them in developing a solution. Ask them what they think you could do to reduce the amount of candy? Often our children surprise us and are highly creative problem-solvers when we encourage them to be a part of the process.

What do you do at your house with Halloween candy? Would love to hear what works for your family!


Tomorrow is our first Tasty Tuesday blog post! Every Tuesday I will share a healthy, kid-friendly recipe that is both easy to prepare and delicious.

Sunday Funday Giveaway | Aden + Anais Cozy Sleeping Bag

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Aden + Anais Cozy Sleeping Bag - Jungle Jam Giraffe

Now that the cold weather has arrived, I thought an  Aden + Anais Cozy Sleeping Bag would make a perfect giveaway for this week! On a cold night an Aden + Anais Cozy Sleeping Bag is a safe alternative to a blanket. They are designed with four layers of muslin to keep baby cozy and comfortably warm without overheating. They come in adorable prints, including gender specific and gender neutral options. At first glance you might think diaper changes would be difficult when using an Aden + Anais Cozy Sleeping Bag, however they are designed to zip from the bottom making diaper changes a breeze. Would you like to win a FREE Aden + Anais Cozy Sleeping Bag to keep your baby warm this winter? If so be sure to enter this week’s giveaway today!

PLUS get 15% off all Aden + Anais products all this week with the coupon MMBBLOG

Silent Saturday | Make a Splash!

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

"What you are passionate about was created in you to make a splash in this life that no one else can make." -- Nicole Johnson

Attachment Parenting: What does it mean?

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Sometimes I hear people say they practice “Attachment Parenting” because they breastfeed or cloth diaper or even because they feed their child organic foods. While these are lifestyle choices that often coincide with Attachment Parenting, they do not define it.

So what does Attachment Parenting mean?

Attachment Parenting International has identified 8 principles of attachment parenting. They are as follows:

    1. Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
    2. Feed with Love and Respect
    3. Respond with Sensitivity
    4. Use Nurturing Touch
    5. Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
    6.  Provide Consistent and Loving Care
    7.  Practice Positive Discipline
    8.  Strive for Balance in Your Personal and Family Life

These 8 principles provide a solid framework for understanding how to create, support, and sustain a close connection with your child. Naturally we desire a healthy attachment to our children. While our instincts will guide us accordingly, sometimes it is difficult to escape external pressures that may directly interfere with attachment. However to me one of the most important aspects of Attachment Parenting is interacting with your child consciously.

When you approach parenting intentionally you are more likely to follow your heart and to truly listen to what your child needs in the moment. For me this means there are very few “absolutes” in our family. Some people might argue that consistency is most important in child-rearing, although I prefer to be consistently flexible with myself and my children. This might take extra time, energy, and effort to analyze individual situations and develop resolutions; however it allows for connections to be preserved or even strengthened.

Over the next several weeks we’ll examine each one of the 8 principles further to better understand the evidence base in relation to attachment theory. Every Friday for the next 8 weeks I will attempt to dissect one principle and provide ideas for practical application. I look forward to learning and growing together! As always I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas as we navigate this parenting journey together. 🙂

RESOURCE TIP: If you are practicing or trying to practice AP, Attached Resources is a great place to gather and share.

Peace and joy,

Fun Fall Dinner

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Jack-O'Lantern Stuffed Peppers

Looking for a fun, fall dinner that your kids are sure to get excited about? Try this Halloween twist on a classic dish! Any stuffed peppers recipe will work, so you can use a family favorite if you have one. Or if you are looking for a new stuffed peppers recipe here’s one I made up that was super yummy! It’s very similar to the Mexican Lasagna recipe I recently shared so if you liked that one, you’ll enjoy this one too!

6 orange peppers
1 cup of quinoa
2 cups water
Olive oil
2 gloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoons cumin
1 16 oz can of black beans
1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
Salt to taste
A jar of your favorite salsa

1. Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. Save the tops.
2. Bring two cups of water to a boil. Add one cup of quinoa. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil
4. Add zucchini and sauté until tender
5. Add chili powder, coriander, and cumin. Saute for a minute.
6. Add black beans, tomatoes, and corn. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste
7. While bean mixture is simmering, you can carefully carve faces into your peppers.
8. Add cooked quinoa to bean mixture.
9. Fill peppers with bean and quinoa mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
10. Top with your favorite salsa and enjoy!

Note: Bake peppers with the tops on for decorative purposes only. You don’t actually eat the tops rather use them to create the Jack-O’Lantern look.

These Jack-O’ Lantern Peppers were a huge hit with my kids. If you try them out, let me know what your family thinks!