Sunday, October 24

If you eat ground beef?

I cook or brown my ground beef in a skillet using a potato masher pressing, twisting, and seperating the meat.  I feel it cooks faster than just flipping it around with a fork, spoon, spatula, etc...  I think it gives me a better sense to as to if it is cooked all the way through.  I also think it makes the meat more crumble like as opposed to clumps.  I prefer my spaghetti sauce, shepherds pie, or taco filling not to have lumps of meat.
Just a thought to the cooking process of ground meat.

Thursday, October 7

Food Issues in Children

Who doesn't know a child who is a picky eater?  Most of the time you think the parent has just given into the child's desires and is catering to what the child will eat.  That maybe the case sometimes, but I'm starting to notice that there more parents out there trying to do the right thing to combat the picky eaters.  There is so much advice and information out on the Internet it makes you wonder if you are doing what it takes to help them.

My oldest daughter has to have a gluten free diet. The nice thing is that she will eat just about anything.  In order for her to eat what the family is eating I buy lots of gluten free products.  It is so nice that the availability of them is so good now.  I get her gluten free pasta, crackers, pretzels, pancake mix, frozen waffles and cookies.  This girl eats green beans, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, squash, peppers, mushrooms, all dairy, most meats, and almost every fruit.   I buy her 2% organic milk and she drinks at least 2 glasses a day.  Heck ya I'm going to let her have some junk food. I just recently started buying her rice bread.  She is thrilled to be able to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with her sister. Despite the gluten restriction she has a very well rounded healthy diet that includes fruits and veggies.

Now, my youngest has no strict diet restrictions per se.  She tested as mildly allergic to egg whites, but the doctor said that small exposures to egg whites wouldn't hurt her.  So we don't make her any kind of eggs for breakfast, but she does get pancakes and a few other products that have a little egg in them. It doesn't appear to effect her.  Plus, I wouldn't describe her diet as well rounded.  She is a picky eater so we give her what she will eat.

I saw a piece on Nightline the other night where they profiled a 7 year old with nutritional deficiencies because she only ate about 7 things.  She has food neophobia.  It got me thinking about my youngest diet.  She has quite the discerning palate.  She can tell the difference between organic chocolate milk and the regular junk.  I have tried to slip nutritional proteins into her chocolate milk and she won't drink it.  She will tell me it taste yucky.  I even tried chocolate almond milk today and that didn't pass the test either.

Concerned that at the age of 4 she doesn't have a well rounded diet, I started listing all the things she will definitely eat and what she will occasionally eat.  There are 17 foods she will eat that I would consider part of a normal diet, like grapes, cheese, cantaloupe and whole wheat stone ground bread. Then there are about 15 junk foods she will eat, like hot dogs, ham, candy, and french fries that have very little nutritional value.  I do buy Hebrew National Hot Dogs, but still they really don't meet the nutritional needs of a little girl.  There is only 2 vegetables she has ever eaten more than once, slices of raw peeled zucchini and broccoli dipped in ranch dressing.  Although tonight she didn't eat her slices of zucchini.  It was from a local farm here, so I think they had to much flavor. I thought it was yummy.

So I guess since she will eat that many different things she is just a picky eater and probably doesn't have a food neophobia?  I continue to try and find ways to get veggies into her, but she really isn't falling for any of it.  Usually I can bribe her into trying one bite of things, but if it resembles something she doesn't like, she won't even do that.  I tried not to cater to her tastes, but she will go hungry before she will eat something she doesn't know or like.  I do make sure that at dinner there is at least one thing I know she will eat.  I present her with 1 teaspoon of whatever we are having and ask that she try anything new.  I will still put that 1 teaspoon of food on her plate even if she has refused to eat something 10 times.  I sometimes think that just maybe she will get tired of being hungry and eat some.  Even if she likes something she doesn't always eat much of it.  She likes bananas, but they have to be just the right taste.  Often times she will only take one bite even if she is hungry.  In order to prevent starvation I do let her snack on her healthy favorites throughout the day.  The issue is when we are out and about.  She often times will get exhausted and cranky because she is hungry. It breaks your heart to hear your child cry, "my tummy hurts Mommy."

I learned from that Nightline show a few other things I can try to get her to eat more foods.  I will try that, but I think I have decided I need to keep a food journal for her.  Then I can take her to a nutritionist and find out if she is getting enough of what her body needs.  Her pediatricians have never been much help.  They have said, "She doesn't loose weight, don't worry about it, she will eat when she is hungry." However, I know that she doesn't eat when she is hungry. She only eats what she likes no matter how hungry she is.  I don't want her to be 7 years old like that child on Nightline when I figure out she needs professional help.

Monday, October 4

You can find the coolest things...

...on the Internet.  I just learned about a really cool resource on the web for coordinating meals for a family.
It is free.  Amazing what you can find these days on the Internet.  It certainly doesn't help my addiction, finding one more reason I need to spend time on the computer.
I'm not 100% convinced it is a full blown addiction yet. 
According to Wikipedia, "an addiction is characterized by impairment in behavioral control, craving, inability to consistently abstain, and diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships."
I do crave being on the Internet, but I can still walk away.  Although there are times I would prefer not to.  Well, at least I'm not in denial.  I realize it could be a real problem.
Although I have used it to procrastinate.  In fact, I have a resume someone has asked me to review and provide feedback on and that was 3 weeks ago.  Okay, I better get to it.
Before I close I want to reiterate the reason for this post.  The Internet can be such a fabulous resources, like the coordination of meals for someone preoccupied with the legitimate distractions of life like a new baby or illness. Try it and let me how it works out for you.

One of the Books that I Encountered...

along my journey to finding the power of parenting my children as God intended, since He decided I was good enough to love and care for them. 

Have you ever read a book that was a catalyst for learning and reading more?What did it start? 

One of the diagnoses that my oldest daughter received was Dyspraxia otherwise known as Developmental Coordination Disorder. It wasn't until her music therapist gave me a book by Lisa Kurtz, that I saw a diagnoses wasn't enough to explain or understand how it effected behavior:  Understanding Motor Skills in Children with Dypraxia, ADHD, Autism, and Other Learning Disabilities: A Guide to Improving Coordination. I'm going to call it the Kurtz book for short.

For me reading the Kurtz book became the beginning of a laundry list of things to do, books to read and people to see.  It was one book that started the process of deciding to home school our children.

The Kurtz book is an easy read, I actually read the whole book, as opposed to The Out of Sync child which I quit reading half way through.  Although both books relate to issues I see in my children, it was the Kurtz book that kept my attention.

I not only learned about different disorders and the professionals to seek, but also what I could do at home to address different motor skills.  There is even a how to guide for promoting classroom success.  If I could find a professional that did Neurodevelopmental Therapy along with some Sensory Integration Therapy, I might have been able to end my research with the Kurtz book.  However, living here in Las Vegas has presented challenges to finding the appropriate health care resources.  Plus, knowing how life is, even if my children were able to get the therapy, it wouldn't be the end. I think that is the beauty of each child being unique, there are no quick and fast answers.  God intends for us to grow and learn along with our children.  At least that is how it is working out for me.  I do find on occasion that I'm not the only one.

In fact, the search for providing my children everything they need has led me to create friendships and resources I never would have encountered if I just waited for them to out grow their delays.  I have met the parents who waited and thought their child would learn and mature despite their problems.  I didn't want those challenges for my children.

This post started because I was referencing the Kurtz book again in helping me put together a lesson plan for tomorrow.  Who knew it would lead me to this post.  

Sunday, October 3

I'm Going to Give it a Try

I like to talk, but even more than talking I love to write. People who know me may be shocked to learn that I like writing more than talking since I can babble on for hours and hours.  Writing is more cathartic for me.  I started writing when I was young.  I would journal about life until my brother found my journal and humiliated me.  I then destroyed all my writings.  Only a few pathetic poems I came across in junior high notebooks remain.  I didn't start journaling again until I went away to college.  My writing then was sporadic.  Then I got married and my husband and I wrote letters to each other for the year I finished college and he was away working.  We have kept all those correspondences and some day I want to organize it all into some order.  It is one of my projects on my to do list.

This blog was on that same to do list.  It made it onto the list about 2 years ago when I moved.  Then it surfaced again when I started my facebook page.  Recently I have been sending more and more e-mails to friends and family that are lengthy biographies of my children's lives.  I can't get on the phone for more than 15 minutes without my children demanding my attention.  It is typical behavior at their age.  As an outlet for my need to communicate I have posted on message boards and typed lengthy e-mails.  Now, my children are conditioned to leave Mommy alone when she is doing her homework. Yes, anytime I am on the computer typing rapidly, my children believe I am doing homework.  I haven't felt the need to correct them yet.

My husband received his degree over the Internet.  That is how the whole homework association started.  Of course it doesn't help the perception when I do all our home finances online and track our budget with Quicken.  I started bargain shopping with some favorite websites like slickdeals, woot, and one sale a day.  Now there are blogs about savings, freebies and coupons that I follow.  Plus, all the time it takes to print out all the coupons, sign up for savings and receive freebies.  I find new recipes to cook and magazine articles to read. Then there is always facebook, the black hole of time. I no longer have time to watch television.  How do I think I will have time to blog?

My ultimate goal would be to have all more family and friends read my blog.  I would no longer have to send out individual e-mails, post new statuses, or up load photos to Walgreens.  I really should say it is a dream not a goal.  The chances that my Mother or Aunts will read my blog are pretty darn slim. Heck, they are just getting used to e-mail.  I still can't send a PDF file to my Mom.

Actually, I was thinking that this blog would be less expensive than therapy.  At the rate at which I think I burn out the people around me with my chatter, I figure I am going to have to hire someone to listen to me.  I have paid people to listen to me before, sure it helps, but it doesn't last.  Maybe if I blog I will get better focus on what I need to say.  I have tons to say and it doesn't always need to be said.  Yet, I feel the need to purge it from my brain.  Look at how long this first post is!  Really I could have said the same thing with at least 1/2 the number of words and sentences that I did.

If you decide to torture yourself and read my dribble, please be tolerant of my lack of grammatical structure, babbling on and on, and political incorrectness.  I'm sure I will offend everyone at some time, bore others, and appear stupid at times or most of the time.  I'm still undecided about how honest I should be.  There are many dimensions to my inner thoughts and how much I am willing to share is still being debated.  Plus, how often can I post or will I post.  Today I could keep typing for hours.  Other days I'm sure I will not feel the need to share or have nothing to share. So off I go into the world of blogging.  I pray that it isn't a complete failure.