Cooking with Kids: Irish Flag Stew & Whole Wheat Soda Bread

The following post by contributor Christen Babb and originally appeared in March of 2010.

Every parent intuitively knows that the more your child is personally invested in a project, the more likely he is to learn and apply the knowledge gained. One of our many jobs as parents is to foster fun learning experiences that will encourage critical thinking and creative expression. If you are anything like me, sometimes it is hard enough to get through the day without adding another “to-do” to my list. However, when I decide to make an otherwise humble, everyday task a learning opportunity for my child, both of us are deeply enriched by the experience, creating a wonderful memory together.

Today, the featured recipes are in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. These recipes create an opportunity to teach your child a little bit about St. Patrick’s Day along with some hands-on-cooking techniques.  Cooking can be an exciting and powerful teaching tool for your child. You can be creative with any of your favorite recipes, applying information about family heritage or religious faith, for example.  As a bonus, your child will be more apt to eat the healthy foods he’s helped prepare!

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5 Techniques to Inspire Healthy Food Choices in Your Child’s Diet

The following post is by Christen Babb and originally appeared February 2010. Also, don’t forget about Nicole of Simple Organic’s From Pinterest to Real Life link up.  Have a great weekend, everyone!
Many parents struggle to teach their children healthy eating habits, especially in today’s world laden with overly processed, heavily sweetened foods.

It used to be so easy.
As a baby,  junior gobbled up his vegetables to his little heart’s content. You were certain he would happily snack on organic carrot sticks while his preschool buddies scarf down snack cakes. However, as he’s establishing greater independence, he’s beginning to turn his nose to healthy choices.

So, what’s a mom to do?  First of all, take heart knowing you are not alone. Establishing healthy eating habits takes a lifetime. It’s a continuous journey involving creativity, gentle persistence, and encouragement.  Listed below are some ways to successfully implement healthy food habits that carry into adulthood.

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New Years Resolutions Though the Eyes of a Child

The following is by contributor Christen Babb of Nurture Baby.

Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.  ~Pablo Picasso

Ever miss that childhood wonder, the longing to discover the world around you,  and the desire to just “play”?  I sure do. So, in 2012, I resolve to be more like my five year old.

For many of us, 2011 was a difficult year. In all its stress and seriousness,  I for one forgot how to play.  Being a task-oriented individual, I tend to create a to do list out of the simplest goals just to see that precious check-mark at the end of the day.  Caught in the frenzy of check-marks, it’s easy to lose focus on relationships by placing greater attention on accomplishments.

This year,  I choose to simplify and relish the journey towards my goals alongside my favorite little companions.

Less doing and more being might be my hardest resolution yet, but here’s to those 2012 goals through the eyes of my five year old:

Explore

The grown up version of this goal might be interpreted as “read more”, but that sounds a bit like a chore doesn’t it? That one more thing to check off your list before going to bed each night? Not through the eyes of my five year old. She relishes new books, gets lost in their fantastical, make-believe plots, and stays up late to read them over and over…and over again. She has a voracious appetite to explore new subjects through reading that in turn builds confidence, strengthens communication, and inspires creativity. Funny, those benefits are universal and I’m hoping this grown up can reap some of them as well.

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