You Can Make Your Own Baby Food

Babies need a lot of nutritional foods to develop their brains and bodies. It is also necessary for building their immune systems. Once a baby reaches the age of six months, it is recommended that they start with eating solid foods. By solid foods, I am referring to soft foods. The easy method would be to buy pots of baby food but who knows how much preservatives and other added ingredients are in those food pots. If you want to, you can make your own baby food.

Making baby food is not really difficult. It’s much simpler than you would expect and there are many varieties that you could make. All you need is a small pot and a blender; plus the ingredients, of course. Then you can prepare it yourself. With baby food, you want to keep the meal as natural as possible. So only the vegetable and fruit will feature. No added salt, sugar or other additives.

Fruit based baby food can consist of one or a number of fruits. You can mash a banana as a sweet treat or you can mash strawberries. For an interesting option you can add the two together. Apples are also a great fruit to use. Peel the apple and cut it into slices then cook it until it is soft. You can either mash it with a fork or blend it.

With a vegetable based baby food you can play around with different options. You can cook sweet potato, potato, carrots, or butternut. Using a blender, you can blend the potato with any one of the aforementioned vegetables. Alternatively, you could blend and serve each vegetable on its own.

You could also incorporate chicken in these meals. Be sure to cook the chicken breasts thoroughly before you blend it. You may need to add a bit of water or milk when you blend it so that it can reach a smooth consistency that your little one can digest.

A blender that offers high speed to blend fruit and vegetables to a smooth and soft consistency would be the ideal catering equipment for preparing food for your little one. When you prepare the vegetables and fruit yourself, you know exactly what is in the food and what you are giving your child – a natural wholesome meal. If you’ve made too much baby food, you can store it in little food pots or in ice cube trays and freeze it for another day.

CaterWeb stocks a full range of commercial kitchen products and we even offer free demonstrations as well as hands on training if necessary. Visit our website to access our online store or alternatively we welcome you to visit our new showroom.

7 Things to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Baby Name

Many parents have a difficult time when it comes to picking the perfect baby name. There are many traditional names to pick from, but there is also the option to be unique and creative. Let’s take a look at a few of the important things to consider:

Surname

A simple point to consider is whether or not the preferred name goes well with the surname. For instance, it helps to avoid a name that is too similar or rhymes with the surname. Also, it helps to choose a name that doesn’t jar with the surname, but instead flows with it.

Liked by both

Any name chosen for the baby should be liked by both parents. It can be difficult to find a name that is entirely liked by both, so it is necessary to reach common ground. There may be a need to compromise, but that is better than forcing things and going with a name that is hated by one parent.

Initials

When considering a name, it is worth taking a look to see what the first, middle and surname spells out. In some unfortunate situations, this can spell out an undesirable word, which is likely to be picked up quickly once the children starts going to school.

Shortened version

Many names can easily be shortened. For instance, the name Catherine is typically shortened to Kate. If the shortened version of a name isn’t very appealing to you, it may be worth dismissing the original name and to continue to look for something else.

Popular names

Certain names are extremely popular and for this reason avoided by many new parents. Additionally, it is worth avoiding the names of high-profile celebrities or their children if you want to be unique.

Similar names

Any new baby name should go well with the names of existing children. For instance, it can be helpful to avoid using very similar sounding names for two or more children. Similar sounding names can make it more difficult for other people to remember who is who. Also, the names should sound okay when calling in a playground, park or similar place.

Later in life

The name given to a baby should still be acceptable when they become an adult. There are plenty of names that can go well with a newborn, but it can start to sound quite silly later in life. If the name isn’t likely to sound too good for a grown-up it may be worth reconsidering.

Top 5 Ways to Sleep Better As A New Parent

For most people, getting a good night’s sleep is tough enough. In fact, according to the CDC, in 2016 35% of Americans are reported as not getting enough sleep on a nightly basis. That doesn’t even factor the quality of their sleep.

Add in a little rug rat into the mix and you are likely to lose out on 6 months’ worth of sleep in the first 2 years of your child’s life. So, have no worry about feeling tired as a new parent, it’s normal!

Knowing that you aren’t getting enough sleep though doesn’t help. Sleep deprivation has been linked to physical and mental health issues that over time can exacerbate and cause family troubles, weight gain, irritability and depression (just to name a few).

The problem then becomes how do you sleep better, not just more?

1. Set the mood

Focus on where it all happens. Make your bedroom a haven from the day where you and your partner can go for just two things: sleep, and sex!

By associating your bedroom with only these two things, you’ll be able to focus on your fatigue and ease yourself into sleep mode at the end of the day.

Your surroundings should be both quiet and cool. If you need a bit of sound then something low, consistent and tranquil can help. They should also be as devoid as possible of electronics. Besides being a constant distraction at the end of the day, they have been shown to hurt your sleep.

2. Escape the Day

You’ve managed to set up a strict bedtime routine for your child, but you still have things to do. It’s time to take that focus on yourself.

Set up a bed routine for yourself. Make sure your you can wind down from the day.

Try to avoid alcohol. You may feel you get to bed quicker, but your overall sleep can suffer. Stick with light snacks and avoid screen time. While you may need some type of escape, try reading, playing a game or setting your to-dos for the next day.

3. Make a Trade

It’s not just a mom’s job to bear all the responsibility for a new baby. Figure out a way to share the load. This includes overnight feedings and bedtime duty.

Sleeping longer can help you to sleep better. So if you can split the night into shifts by passing over the baby monitor from side to side, then you and your partner may be able to enjoy a few extra hours which can do wonders!

4. Get Physical

Getting up and getting active is key. While a toddler can wear you out, it’s not necessarily the same as setting up an exercise routine.

The benefits of exercise have been well documented. But the focus areas are how it gives you energy during the day and helps you fall asleep faster at the end of the day.

It doesn’t have to be anything specific (weight training, running, etc.), any physical activity can help. What you want to avoid though is getting your heart rate up too close to bed time. While you may feel exhausted after a late-night run, your body won’t be ready to wind down.

5. Look for Help

While this could mean seek a doctors’ advice (which is a viable option), what we mean specifically is to find sleep aids that work for you. Sound machines, eye masks, chamomile tea can all help put you to sleep fast.

Parents What About Bullying?

First, I would like to say that not all behaviors are bullying behaviors. If someone accidentally bumps your child in the hallway it’s not necessarily bullying. Even if someone was to push your child on purpose it still might not be bullying. Bullying is a pattern of behaviors that is meant to intimidate another over a period of time. If the pattern is not there, then it can be argued that the bullying isn’t there either.

So, what do we tell our kids about kids bullying other kids? Well, I think seeing school violence on our television sets has shown us that we can no longer say that it’s just boys being boys. We have to move away from the old permissive laissez-faire attitude and head in a new direction that consists of good leadership. We have to help our children become better leaders. Hey, the bottom line is that good leaders don’t bully others. And good leaders help those who can’t help themselves.

In addition, we shouldn’t vilify the bully. When it comes to bullying, everyone is a victim. The person being bullied is obviously a victim. The bystanders to the bullying are victims too as they stand there feeling helpless when they are really not. And believe it or not, the bully is also a victim. He or she is lashing out for a reason. The bully is usually someone who is in pain. So, let’s not vilify the bully, but rather let’s teach better leadership and decision-making to all of our kids so they’ll know how to firmly stand their ground without using violence, how to band together because there is strength in numbers, and how and where to go for help if they need to.

Now, as my Granddaddy always said, “Go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Remember to be that role model parent for your children who teach them the essentials of bullying through kindness and leadership. And once again parents, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…

Enjoy Parenting More!

We all should just enjoy parenting more… Now, I know that this is easier said than done, especially since we parents are under constant stress, deadlines, and potential consequences if we fail. The pressure many of us parents are under would break most ordinary people. However, we are not ordinary people. We are parents! We may bend, but we don’t break, right? Not only don’t we break, but beginning right now we are going to start to enjoy parenting more, no matter what other people have to say.

We have all heard how stress kills, right? I think that we can all agree that it’s unhealthy always to be stressed. It might even be harmful to our kids. Believe it, or not our kids can read our body language. Hence, subconsciously, our children’s mirror neuron system constantly activates, and they unknowingly mirror or reflect back our emotional state in their emotional state. So, if we’re stressed, they are probably going to be stressed, too. When we are relaxed, so are they…

A strategy to a life of less stress is to choose to live in the precious present consciously. Choose to be present in each moment. Choose to enjoy each moment for what it is because we’ll never get that exact moment back again. Life is made up of a bunch of tiny precious moments that flow in and out of our lives. We have the capacity to focus on each moment and find something to enjoy about it. These precious moments will eventually all add up to form a pretty good life as a parent if we let it. But, first, we need to turn down the volume on stress and worry and turn up the volume on gratefulness and appreciation within each moment of our lives.

Now, as my Granddaddy always said, “Go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us.” We can, and should, enjoy parenting more. So, just decide to do it! And once again, thanks in advance parents for all that you do, and all that you will do…

The Family Orange

I love looking at the fresh produce at the grocery store. Often I have been enticed by large, beautiful oranges and then am disappointed to find that what I have purchased is mostly peel! You can’t eat the peel but it does serve to protect the fruit that lives inside of it. Sometimes it is juicy and nutritious. Sometimes it is small or rotten.

Families can be like oranges. Each of us was raised in an environment surrounded by boundaries or peels that separate us from the world. Often, the thicker the peel, the more dysfunction in the family unit. I don’t really like the word dysfunction but, if broken down, it means “dys” or disease of the way that the family operates or “functions”.

When there are problems within the family unit such as addictions or incest, thick boundaries prevent the outside world from interfering. Those who are inside the orange are sometimes taught not to feel or talk about problems and that everything outside the peel is the enemy. In some cultures or families, those who leave the inside are shunned.

When two people start a new relationship, they bring what they know from their family orange with them. It is their “normal” and often they don’t talk about things that they have accepted from infancy and don’t understand what went on in the other person’s orange. If their experiences were healthy and happy, they might want to drag the other person into their family orange. If they were unhealthy and unhappy, they might view the new relationship as an escape.

Special events such as Christmas can cause friction in families, especially when those in the original oranges think that new partners need to become part of their orange. I have seen clients dread the holidays as they feel they are expected (or demanded) to attend several meals, honour traditions that are unfamiliar and satisfy others without question. Adults can be expected to sleep on the floor with their children rather than book a hotel room just because “someone” thinks they need to all wake up in the same location on December 25th. Some people are harassed if they are unable to unwilling to drive hours and hours for a planned celebration.

One of the most difficult but important things for a new relationship is for them to create their own orange which honours their shared values. This requires good communications and healthy boundaries. The peel needs to be thick enough to protect their relationship (and children if there are any) while being thin enough to allow interaction with the rest of the world. New traditions can be made and rather than have extended family members dictate what will happen, the couple will make joint decisions that they can both stand for.

Now that we are on the threshold of the Christmas season, it is time to consider all of those involved. Just because you have always done things a certain way doesn’t mean that this will or should continue. Would you rather have it “your way” and cause strife or will you consider that time changes things and others have needs to be considered?

Take out a pen and paper right now. Draw circles to represent the “oranges” of different family members who you care about. Make sure that you draw a separate circle for each single adult and each partnership rather than trying to drag them into your circle. Achieving peace on earth this Christmas begins with your efforts to honour the needs of those on the page.

When Should You Start a Family?

Many women wonder when it will be the best time to start a family. The truth is, you really cannot just pick an age and determine that it is the best age. This is just simply not the case. There are many different factors that go into deciding when it will be the best time to get started having children. This is something that will vary from one woman to another. Sure, there are ideal ages, but none of them are going to be accurate for everyone out there. This is because so many people have different ideas of what will make them ready to be a parent. These are all important and valid things to consider.

There are many different arguments that say that people should start having children in their early adulthoodlet’s say around the twenties. Well, the people that say this do have valid points, but it is simply not going to give you a textbook answer to the question. Most people that say that starting a family at this age is a great idea will give reasons such as the fact that they will be younger and be able to keep up with the children. They also feel that they will have a lot more energy and will be able to handle dealing with a newborn baby. Then you also consider that by the time they are in their late teens and early twenties, you will still have some youth left and be able to live a little. These are all things that people consider when having children in their twenties.

Then you have the people that think that the thirties are the best years to start a family. For these people, they also have a valid argument on their hands. They say that by the time they are in their thirties they will be more secured in their careers and be better able to support the family financially. They also feel that they will have more worldly knowledge and be able to better raise the children. Following the knowledge is patience, which is gained in time. These are all great reasons that they choose to wait until they are in their thirties.

Well, then you have to look at it from an overall perspective as well as a scientific perspective. For men, it does not really matter scientifically. They continue to be able to reproduce far into their older life. This is just a fact of life and nature, and how the human body works. For women, it is a different story. Women do have a biological clock that is ticking. This is because they only have a particular number of eggs in their ovaries. When these are gone, then her chances of being able to get pregnant and have a baby will be over. This is not something that you should really worry about that much though. Worrying over something that does not usually happen until mid forties to early fifties is just not practical. By this time, most women would not dream of starting a family. They are at this point looking to settle down and enjoy life – whether they are alone or with a partner.

When you look at the overall points of view, you will need to just consider your individual situation. Do you see yourself ready and able to have a baby? Are you ready to be up at night with a newborn? Are you responsible? Do you have a partner that will help you with the baby? Do you feel that you will need one if you do not? All of these are answers that people may only be able to answer for themselves. It is for this reason that no one can give you a definitive answer on when the best time to start a family is.

As you can see – determining when to start a family is entirely up to you and your spouse, or partner. Letting someone else decide for you, or getting an invalid textbook answer is simply not practical. Take the time to make sure that you are ready before you get started in the baby making process.

6 Great Ways to Celebrate the Family Day

If you want to make your family day a great day this year, make sure you plan some activities that can help you achieve this goal. Given below are 6 ideas that can help you get the most out of this day.

Enjoy a breakfast

In the morning, if you have some spare time, you can cut a toast or some fruits, such as watermelon or apple into pieces for breakfast. For this purpose, you can make use of a cookie cutter. Alternatively, you can bake some muffins as well. It’s a good idea to make muffins in the shape of a heart.

If you have some extra time, you can also make a delicious spread based on your kids’ taste.

Get out

Playing in the snow is a great way of having fun with your kids. In fact, your kids would love to get out and spend time playing with snow. You can enjoy the natural landscape by making a small snowman or snow fort. Of course, your kids can help you with this. If it’s summer, you can play hopscotch, go for a hike or engage in other indoor activities.

Here the idea is to change your routine for a day and spend some time with your family somewhere outside.

Make a collaborative craft

If you make a masterpiece that can be displayed in your house, it will work as a great reminder. What you need to do is print out family photos and put them in an album.

If you have a creative mind, you can do a family project, such as a windowsill garden or a scrapbook. If you are short of ideas, you can sit with your family and come up with some ideas that you can work on. It’s also a good idea to get in touch with your friends a few days ahead of the family day to get some great ideas.

Read a book with your kids

You can choose your favorite book and read it sitting on your couch. It’s better to enjoy a book with pictures. Actually, reading a book with pictures will be an interactive experience. This way you can also teach your kids as to how exciting it can be to read a book.

If your children are learning to read, you can opt for a book that is easy to read. In other words, the book should have easy vocabulary and short stories.

Write letters

You can sit with your children and draw or write postcards to other family members, such as Grandpa, Grandma, uncles and aunts. This is a great way of expressing your love for those family members. You can also use stamps and stickers on the postcards.

Start a fresh tradition

Family Day is a new day on the list of holidays. Therefore, you can get creative and make a new tradition. You can watch a family photo album or videos over dinner to relieve family memories, for instance.

Why Did I Ever Grow Up?

At times, I have to do some errands for the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. It’s not that I like to do these errands, but I have learned this is one secret to getting along with her.

The errand she had for me was to go to the Mall and pick up something she had ordered. In my own way I tried to finagle out of that errand, but the more I finagled the more insistent she was. So, I decided to finagle no more.

As the pop song says, “I have a million reasons not to go, give me one reason to go.” I tried to play this on her and her response was, “Because I asked you to.”

You just cannot get any better than that. I know, because I have tried.

Since I do not go to the mall that often, I thought I would stop in at a coffee shop and have myself a cup of coffee and just chill out a little. Taking my coffee out in the main area of the mall, I sat in one of the lounge chairs and watched the people go by.

As a young person, my favorite author was Ernest Hemingway. In one of his books he says that the important thing for a writer is to, “listen, listen, listen.” I tried to practice that throughout my life so I thought here at the mall would be a good opportunity to do just that.

It was rather noisy, but I tried my best to listen. Some of the things I heard I wished I would not have heard, but that is the price you pay for listening.

In my situation, I could not hear much of a conversation, but the little that I did hear I tried to figure out what they were trying to say. I know I got some things wrong, but I laughed very discreetly at some things I heard.

Halfway through my coffee something struck me that I never thought of before.

So many young people and children were racing through the mall. I did not know there were that many children on planet Earth. They were running and laughing and whatever else they could think of.

I just sat back and watched. I tried to listen, but there was so much noise I really could not listen so I watched. Here these young people were having the time of their life. They were laughing and joking among themselves and just having a good time.

Occasionally I caught the joke and laughed to myself, but most of the jokes I did not understand. I guess that has to do with an age difference.

It was right after Halloween and so a lot of the gibberish in the mall had to do with the Halloween spirit. I thought several were dressed for Halloween, but realized that that is exactly what they wear every day.

I saw one young girl wearing blue jeans with so many holes that they really lack purpose. I was later to find out that you buy these blue jeans with all the holes in them. Moreover, the more holes they have, the more expensive they are.

When I was young I had blue jeans with lots of holes, but I earned every one of those holes.

My spirits were beginning to rise and I was enjoying my visit in the mall. Do not let that get out, I do not want anybody to know I was having a good time, particularly, you know who.

It seemed the more I watched, the more young people and children flooded the mall. And, the laughter rang from one end of the mall to the other with me in between.

As I was enjoying this little episode, a thought snuck into my mind. I must confess that it is a rare occasion when a thought actually comes to my mind. This time a thought did come to my mind.

What I wanted to know was, why were all of these kids happy? Why were they having so much fun?

Don’t they know how miserable the world is today? Don’t they know how sad and horrific things are on the outside? The hatred, the anger, the putrefaction of the world as we know it.

Quickly my smile turned upside down and I frowned.

It then came to me. These kids in the mall having a wonderful time were not all caught up with what is going on out in the world. Their world is a world of fun and excitement. It is only the “old geezers” that know about all of the terrible things going on in the world. The young only see the good.

In pondering this, I asked myself a very serious question. Why in the world did I grow up?

Why couldn’t I have stayed young and na├»ve and only focused on having a good time? If I had stayed young, I probably would not be so depressed by everything that is going on “out in the world.”

Catering The Baby Shower

Baby showers have long been a staple in many families. The women gather to bestow gifts on the expectant mother and ooh and ah over little bibs and stuffed animals. Today, the gender reveal party is gaining traction where the family (boys and girls together for this one) gathers and the gender of the impending arrival is shown to all. Will the balloons, confetti, smoke, streamers, etc. be blue or pink? What will baby be?

Of course if you have a party you have to have some sort of food for the guests. Yes, you can make it a potluck where everyone in attendance brings a dish or two, or you as host can do it all alone, making little blue cupcakes or icing little pink cookies. Or, you can save all the fuss for someone else and have your next baby shower or gender reveal party catered by professionals.

Catering for any party means that you can relax and have fun rather than spend weeks preparing and the whole party worrying that the food is okay. You won’t have to go grocery shopping and spend tons of money on the food, as you can pick and choose from preexisting menus for each budget and party theme.

Most catering companies know exactly what to offer for each party type and many have tried and true foods that everyone will love. Best of all, they come to you, whether the party is at your house, at the expectant parent’s house or at a venue. Food can be delivered cold and then you heat it up or it can be delivered ready to eat, the choice is yours.

Want a sit down dinner? A buffet? A dessert party? A chocolate party? Don’t worry, a caterer will have you covered and you will likely be shocked at how it compares in price to going it alone. Best of all, with the food out of the way, you are free to actually enjoy the party and will be stress free, unless of course you are stressed about the gender of the new arrival! All kidding aside, a baby shower or gender reveal party is all about being happy for the soon to be parents and coming together to shower the new arrival with baby items and advice. It’s a great opportunity to get together with friends and relatives and really, who needs the extra work and stress of doing the food? Not you!