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How to Avoid Food Waste with Kids: Part 1

How to Avoid Food Waste with Kids: Part 1

Food waste is a big topic these days. An estimated 70 billion pounds of food is wasted in the U.S. every year and 25-40% of food grown or processed in this country will never be consumed. That’s a whole lot of waste that not only costs you money, it also contributes to serious environmental concerns.

And get this: households with young children waste more than the average families because, as you probably know, kids can be finicky eaters. This week we’re exploring how to avoid food waste with kids so you can be part of the solution and reduce your impact on this grave problem.

The Facts about Food Waste in the U.S.

As families embrace nutrition and healthy eating habits, the “clean your plate” method is generally not the best strategy. Children are encouraged to make healthy choices but also to eat until they are satisfied, not stuffed. Incentives like desserts for eating all of a meal may be counter-productive to teaching children healthy eating habits. Therefore, parents like you may need to execute other means to avoid food waste with kids. But why is food waste such a big deal?

First, food waste costs you a lot of money! Approximately $160 billion of food is wasted every year in the U.S. That includes food over-produced on farms or in factories, food never sold or expired in stores, food that is wasted by restaurants and schools, and food that is thrown out or that goes bad in households across the country. This lost money takes a toll on everyone and ultimately increases food prices.

Worse is the environmental impact of food waste. Food is the leading waste product in landfills. As it breaks down it creates the green house gas methane, which contributes to global warming more than carbon dioxide. Plus, the energy cost of producing food that will ultimately go to waste is extreme, between farming methods, factory outputs, over-use of water, transportation of goods, packaging waste, and much more. Food waste is incredibly harmful to our earth.

How to Avoid Food Waste with Babies and Toddlers

It’s somewhat of a conundrum: once your baby starts eating solids, you want your little one to experience a variety of foods and develop a broad palate. On the other hand, experimenting can be wasteful, especially when a favorite food of yesterday is the most despised food of today. Here are some suggestions:

  • Make small portions until you’re positive your baby or toddler likes what you’re serving.
  • If you’re mixing food with breast milk, definitely don’t overcook because you may end up wasting your precious milk.
  • For purees, start with a few spoonfuls in a bowl. Let your baby try the food and then add more in the bowl if she likes it. This way you don’t have to throw away an entire jar or batch of homemade goods if she’s eating directly from the container.
  • Also for purees, try mixing in breast milk or baby cereal if you find your baby doesn’t like the food. The familiarity of these flavors may tip the scale and encourage her to eat it.
  • For finger foods, only dish out a little bit at a time. For instance, don’t fill a highchair tray with everything you hope your little one will eat at the beginning of the meal. Chances are she’ll revolt and much of it will end up on the floor. Instead, serve just a few pieces at a time.
  • If your baby does not want to eat what you’re serving, don’t continue to feed it to her.  End the meal as pleasantly as possible and save the food to try at the next mealtime.
  • When your baby completely refuses to eat something and you have a lot leftover, come up with another way to use it. Perhaps it was a blander version of what you were making for the rest of the family in which case you can season it and serve it to others. Or throw it into a creamy soup or gumbo to avoid waste.

Later this week we’ll take a look at how to avoid food waste with older children so stick around for more great tips.

Sources: Feeding America, Bloomberg, Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, I Value Food, MSNBC, Super Kids Nutrition and USDA

Improved Healthcare for Children

There’s some great news when it comes to access to healthcare for children! New research indicates more children than ever have access to healthcare and are taking advantage of it thanks to a rise in medical insurance for children.

Improved Healthcare for ChildrenThe journal Pediatrics published the results of the study called “Trends in Access to HealthCare Services For U.S. Children 2000-2014,” which relied on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey. The findings suggest that public policies surrounding healthcare for children are improving access and health outcomes.

Now millions more children have access to doctors and over 9 million more children had well check-ups in 2014 than in 2000. This is mostly because more children have health insurance. The uninsured rate went from over 12% to well under 6% in this 14-year timeframe. The study showed a positive impact for children and families across ethnic and racial groups and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program, which was enacted in 1997 and reauthorized in 2009, may be responsible for much of the improvement in health insurance for children. This program helps families whose employers don’t provide insurance but their income levels do not quality for Medicaid. This section of the population – serving over 8 million children – was widely uninsured.

The American Academy of Pediatrics supports The Children’s Health Insurance Program and other public policies aimed at improving medical insurance coverage as a means to promote regular and consistent care for children. With the proper insurance, children can be immunized on an appropriate schedule and seen for well check-ups to ensure every aspect of their health is addressed. More proactive health treatments and parental coaching can lead to less illness and disease for better overall health outcomes.

Much like breastfeeding, consistent preventative healthcare for children ultimately taxes the healthcare system less and has substantially less economic impact on our country. These findings are exciting and encouraging for the future of children throughout the U.S.

Sources: The American Academy of Pediatrics’ HealthyChildren.org

 

What to do if you have Food Poisoning while Pregnant or Breastfeeding

When you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, your body is working hard on more than just sustaining your own needs. That’s why pregnant and breastfeeding moms take extra caution over external exposures to things that may affect their babies, especially when it comes to food. But do you know what to do if you have food poisoning while pregnant or breastfeeding? We’re covering that topic today.

Food Poisoning while Pregnant

For moms who already have morning sickness and often feel nauseous and weak, food poisoning can be a double whammy. Pregnant women are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses because their immune systems are not as strong as they are under normal circumstances. The body’s primary focus during pregnancy is supporting the developing baby, which unfortunately compromises the mother’s immune system.

What to do if you have Food Poisoning while Pregnant or BreastfeedingBeyond the way a mom-to-be feels from the symptoms of food poisoning, there is added stress because she is also worried about the safety of her baby. If an expectant mother believes she has food poisoning – characterized by nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, upset stomach and diarrhea – she should call her doctor immediately. The three most common types of food poisoning – listeria, e. coli and salmonella – may have serious side-effects for an unborn baby including neurological defects, weakened linings in the blood vessels, kidney problems, meningitis, and bacterial infection in the bloodstream. In severe cases food poisoning can cause miscarriage, premature birth or still birth.

However, the most common side-effect of food poisoning while pregnant is dehydration. Vomiting and diarrhea can quickly dehydrate the body. Sipping water consistently during bouts of food poisoning is vital to helping mothers maintain adequate fluid levels for their baby’s development as well as flushing out the cause of the food poisoning so the mother can recover.

Due to their weakened immune systems, pregnant women are urged to take extra caution to avoid risk of food poisoning. Moms-to-be should not consume raw fish, meat or eggs and should not eat any packaged meats or meat or cheese spreads. Also, unpasteurized fruits, vegetables, juices or milk are at risk of contamination too.

Food Poisoning while Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can usually continue during most types of common illnesses including food poisoning. While it may be unpleasant to nurse a baby when a new mom is feeling miserable, in most cases the microbe that caused the food poisoning would not enter her breast milk. Because adequate water consumption is essential to producing breast milk, it is essential to continue to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

It’s only if a mother is hospitalized because the bacterial, viral or toxic cause of the food poisoning entered her bloodstream that she may need to temporarily pause breastfeeding during treatment. The baby may then need to be treated if breastfed before symptoms appeared. The family’s doctors would advise on the best course of action for both mother and baby. Should a new mom need to suspend breastfeeding for a short time, pumping and dumping breast milk is the best option to ensure her milk supply is not affected post-illness.

Keep your little one safe by knowing the causes, precautions, symptoms and course of action should you get food poisoning while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Sources: Kellymom, Healthline, LiveStrong, and WebMD

Crawling and Sleep: How Learning to Crawl Affects a Baby’s Sleep

Crawling and Sleep: How Learning to Crawl Affects a Baby’s SleepIt’s a well studied and documented fact that many babies are more wakeful during normal sleep times when they are working on a new skill. Parents around the globe may find this frustrating because, just when you think you’ve figured out your baby’s sleep habits and gotten into a rhythm, sleep may be interrupted in big ways. It’s also hard to know what emerging milestones your baby may be reaching, or if it is something else altogether such as teething, illness or an emotional concern. Crawling is one of the biggest developmental milestones to upset sleep. Today we’re looking at crawling and sleep to give you some information on why this major skill might be keeping your baby (and you!) awake.

Babies usually start to motor at some point in their first year. Movement can emerge in many different ways ranging from traditional crawling or army crawling, to scooting or crab crawling. All of these are normal progressions for babies as they learn to use their bodies for movement. As you can imagine, your baby is thinking hard about moving, even when he’s not actually making any moves yet. His brain is working on how to connect all of the pieces to get his body going, and that’s difficult work!

Much of this motor-based brain action occurs during sleep. You may even notice that your baby suddenly has a new skill in the morning after a good night’s rest. His brain was working out the details overnight and finally he is able to coordinate all the moving parts. However, sometimes babies feel the urge to try their skills immediately or the brain activity promoting locomotion is so great that they are awakened by the commotion. This is when crawling and sleep become an issue for many families.

One study in 2015 documented a sampling of baby’s sleep before, during and after learning to crawl. The results showed that babies are more wakeful during their period they are learning to crawl. Usually once the skill develops, sleep patterns return to normal, typically within three months. The research also indicated that babies who learn to crawl later experienced more wakefulness than early crawlers.

When it comes to crawling and sleep, some babies stay awake longer before falling asleep while others wake-up throughout the night. Also, some babies simply cry out while others practice motor skills in their cribs while they are awake. Why does this happen? No one knows for sure but here are a few theories:

  • The control mechanisms and emotional response to learning a big skill like crawling excite your baby. Just as you may wake when you’re excited about something in your life, your baby is waking from his enthusiasm and anticipation.
  • The brain activity occurring to promote gross motor skills may interfere with your baby’s normal sleep and wake cycles. This is equivalent to you trying to solve a problem in your head that suddenly wakes you at night to think about it more consciously.
  • Sleep regression is a normal part of advancement in another area. You may notice sleep regressions with the development of fine motor skills and speech too. Your baby’s brain can only focus on a certain amount at one time!

When crawling and sleep problems arise, you can help your baby in a few ways. First, offer consistency and normalcy as much as possible. This means a solid bedtime routine, an age-appropriate bedtime and a room conducive to sleep. If your baby wakes because he’s practicing his skills by getting on all fours or pushing up to a seated position, let him do it as long as he is happy. It’s likely his drowsiness will eventually take over and he’ll fall asleep. If he’s unhappy or stuck in a position that he can’t get out of, gently ease him into a more comfortable sleep position. Continue to do that until he’s tired enough to sleep.

Sometimes the emergence of crawling is so disruptive of sleep that naps are short or don’t happen at all. If your baby refuses to nap at his normal times, let him stay up later and then try again when he’s tired enough for sleep. Resist the urge to add bumpers to your baby’s crib even if he is banging on the sides. Bumpers can present a suffocation hazard and increase the risk of SIDS. Also, this is a great time to lower your baby’s crib.

Crawling and sleep can be a trying time for you and your baby. Remember, consistency and calmness is the key to getting through this period. It is bound to be short-lived and once it’s over, your baby will be happily exploring his world in new ways.

Sources: Child Sleep Science and Science of Mom

 

 

The Best Nursing Bras

A New Year is a time for fresh starts and thinking forward to what can make your life better.  Striving for our best is something that motivates each of us. At Leading Lady we are dedicated to offering you the best in your maternity and nursing attire. As we’re all contemplating how to be our best selves, we want to take the time to talk about the best nursing bras. Knowing the nursing bra features that will make you feel your best and breastfeed with ease will help you make the best choices when you’re ready to purchase bras.

The Best Nursing Bras

The best nursing bras are going to excel in four important categories: Fit, Comfort, Support and Style. When you’re shopping for nursing bras, assess each one under consideration using these four criteria:

Fit: Just like the rest of your wardrobe, fit is the key to how well the garment will look and feel. Bras are particularly important to fit properly because you cannot achieve the other essential categories for the best nursing bras if you don’t find the proper fit. Every woman’s body is different but finding your fit may not be as difficult as you think. Using our fit calculator, you can easily plug in your measurements to determine your size. A well-fit bra should allow your breasts to sit upright on your chest. Your breasts should not spill over the top, bottom or sides and there should not be any gaping spaces in the cup. The straps, band and cup should not dig into your skin. You should be able to move comfortably while still feeling supported in your nursing bras. If you’ve achieve these goals, you’ve found your fit!

Comfort: As women we know that even if a bra fits and looks good, if it is uncomfortable, we’re just not going to wear it. Therefore, the best nursing bras are going to feel comfortable. This begins with soft, breathable, stretchy fabrics that will feel silky smooth on your skin and keep up with your changing shape during pregnancy and nursing. Straps should stay in place without slipping and the band should clasp easily and comfortably in front or back. The best nursing bras will also be simple for breastfeeding with either drop down cups or slide over cups. This comfort feature is invaluable when your baby is ready to eat.

Support: Now more than ever you need supportive bras. Unlike any other time in your life, your breasts may fluctuate in size hourly based on milk production and your baby’s breastfeeding needs. Your breasts will likely be larger and heavier than normal so supportive bras make the best nursing bras. Support features include stretchy material that will expand with the ebb and flow of your milk and move with your body. Adjustable straps and bands allow you to change the fit of your nursing bra to accommodate your size fluctuations throughout the day or at different stages of breastfeeding. Also, cups should encapsulate your breasts and keep them lifted and supported for all day and all night comfort. You will probably want to wear a nursing bra or nursing tank top around the clock to ensure ultimate support.

Style: When it comes to the best nursing bras, style has two meanings. First, you need styles that match your lifestyle needs. If you’re active and working hard to stay fit after having a baby, our sports nursing bras are a great choice. If you’re returning to work and need to keep your silhouette looking sharp, molded padded nursing bras are in order. For cuddly days at home and overnight support, go with sleep and leisure bras. When you’re out and about running errands and showing your baby the world, feel awesome in everyday t-shirt nursing bras. Our styles match your life but do be sure to wear the right nursing bras for whatever you’re up to that day.

The second sense of the world style is our fashionable designs. From sleek seamless looks, to luxurious lace, to fun prints and patterns, we’ll keep you cute and sassy in your nursing bras. After all, moms like you want to feel great about the way you look while nourishing your baby in the best possible way.

This year, 2017, is all about the best for you and your baby. Familiarize yourself with these features of the best nursing bras and find your best fit, comfort, support and style this year.

Breastfeeding Beyond One Year

Breastfeeding Beyond One YearBreastfeeding for any amount of time is one of the greatest gifts you can give your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends exclusively breastfeeding for at least the first six months of a baby’s life and up to a year or more as the mother and baby desire. The vast benefits of breastfeeding continue as long as a baby receives breast milk so why stop at one year? We’re exploring breastfeeding beyond one year today.

Many moms feel that when their babies turn one is the acceptable time to wean. However, like other developmental milestones, babies (and mothers) have different needs, desires and abilities. Putting an arbitrary expiration date on your breastfeeding journey just because your baby has a birthday may not be the right choice for you or your baby. Consider your own situation and the impact it would have on your baby before making a decision. Breastfeeding is personal and the decision to wean should be too.

Breast milk is an incredible superfood that offers your baby benefits on many levels. And breast milk continues to evolve to meet your baby’s developmental needs. As your baby ages, your breast milk offers more intense nutrients including heartier fats and proteins that he needs for growth and development. Additionally, your breast milk responds to your baby’s immediate needs. For instance, if your baby is hot or cold, your breast milk will adjust to warm or cool him. Or if your baby is sick, your breast milk will literally help nurse him back to health. As an immune booster, breast milk helps keep your baby healthy and reduces the risk of many diseases now and in the future. Plus breastfeeding proves to increase cognition and social development.

Emotionally breastfeeding beyond one year can offer your baby a sense of security and stability. Toddlers are known for their curious minds, but with that come fears and uncertainties. Breastfeeding can be comforting to your baby as he branches out in the world. Plus, bonding between a mother and child is endless so the closeness of breastfeeding contributes to a strong lifelong relationship.

Breastfeeding beyond one year will change in some ways from your first year’s experience. During the first year, the majority of your baby’s nutritional needs should be met by breast milk. After a year, this changes and solid foods take a more significant role. The combination of a healthy diet and breast milk can be the best nutrition for your 1+ year old baby or toddler. You can think of it as the healthiest nutritional supplement on the planet – and the most rewarding one too.

Breastfeeding beyond one year may come with some challenges if people in your life (or even complete strangers) are against it. Only you and your baby can make the decision about what is right for both of you. Don’t let a birthday dictate the physical, emotional and mental health needs of your baby. Happy Breastfeeding!

Sources: Healthy Children and Kelly Mom

Why Babies Should Not Eat Honey

With the American Academy of Pediatrics new and more lenient guidelines on infant feeding, almost anything goes. However, one rule has remained the same: babies under one year of age should not eat honey. You may know the rule but do you know why babies should not eat honey? We have the answer!

Why Babies Should Not Eat HoneyRisk of Infant Botulism from Honey

In short, raw honey may contain Clostridium botulinum or botulism, which are harmful bacteria spores that a baby’s immature digestive system cannot handle. If a baby under 12 months does get botulism from honey, it may be fatal. Since honey is not typically pasteurized, babies should not eat honey. After a year, a healthy baby’s intestine can normally combat the negative impact of a small amount of botulism.

Where does Botulism Come From?

Bees feed on flora in the soil that contains Clostridium botulinum. Therefore, raw honey can become contaminated with botulism. The Centers for Disease Control says that botulism is more common in rural areas of the eastern and western United States.

Baking with Honey for Babies

Botulism can be destroyed through boiling, pasteurization or cooking at extremely high temperatures, however normal household baking or cooking with honey would not kill botulism spores. Therefore, making food items for babies using honey such as breads, pastries or pudding, should be avoided. On the other hand, commercial goods are cooked at high enough temperatures to ward off botulism and are deemed safe for babies.

Alternatives to Honey for Babies

Some parents seek natural alternatives to honey for their babies. Corn syrup and molasses are not good alternatives as they may also contain botulism because they are not processed or pasteurized. Pediatricians generally agree that pure maple syrup is the best natural sweetener alternative to honey for babies. Although it is also consumed raw, it is extracted from the inner sap of the maple tree where it is highly unlikely to be contaminated.

Understanding why babies should not eat honey can help keep your little one safe. If you’re offering your baby something sweet and homemade, ask about its ingredients first to avoid any risk of botulism.

Sources: Babycenter and Momtastic’s Wholesome Baby Food

Holiday Crafts: Creative Kids Ornaments

Holiday Crafts: Creative Kids OrnamentsIn a household with young children, your holiday decorations should reflect your family. For many this means incorporating your kids’ interests and artwork into your festive home décor. Holiday crafts are a fabulous way to spend time together as a family and let your creativity run wild. Today we’re sharing ornament holiday crafts that are fun and simple for your entire family to create.

Muffin Cup Flowers:  Flowers brighten any home, especially for the holidays. Create your own floral holiday crafts using various sizes of muffin cups. Layer them largest to smallest and cut the edges in floral shapes. Glue the centers together for a beautiful, textured flower ornament.

Handprint Wreaths: Help your children trace their hands and cut out 10-20 handprints from green construction paper. Layer the hands into a wreath shape. Add cotton balls, bells or other craft supplies to decorate the wreath. Complete it with a festive ribbon to hang from your tree or any door in your home.

Snow Globes: Snow globes are a sign of the season and you can make one with a clear plastic cup and card stock. Pick a small, light item to be the centerpiece of your DIY snow globe ornament. Glue it to a piece of card stock. Before sealing your snow globe add confetti or any snow-like bits. Glue the cup to the card stock to complete your snow globe.

Shimmery Shapes: Glitz and shimmer give your holiday a glowing vibe. Without using metallic paints or glitter, you can achieve this look with disposable baking pans. Simply cut them into the shapes you desire and let your kids decorate them with push-pins and hole punchers.

Party Hats: Turn last birthday party’s hats into creative holiday crafts by decorating them as Christmas trees, reindeer and Santa Claus hats. This is an easy and fun idea for kids of all ages.

Craft Stick Characters: Create a holiday full of homemade characters by simply dressing up craft sticks. Your kids can make Santa, snowmen, reindeer, angels, gingerbread men or any characters their hearts desire.

Picture Frames: Another wonderful holiday craft to celebrate your family is framing some of your favorite photos from the year. You can make frames using craft sticks, candy canes, construction paper or any other craft supplies you may have on hand.

Pinecone Trees: Head outside to pick up a few pinecones to decorate as Christmas trees. You can paint them or leave them natural. Add bead, candies, pompoms or other craft items to decorate them as holiday trees.

Bead It: Form pipe cleaners into your desired holiday shape, such as a star, candy cane or Christmas tree. Then let your kid’s string beads to decorate the shapes. This is great for teaching patterning and practicing fine motor skills too.

Wishing you a happy holiday season filled with fun and togetherness with these holiday crafts!

Soures: Family Fun, Fun Holiday Crafts and Pintrest

14 Simple Ways to Make your Home Festive for the Holidays

14 Simple Ways to Make your Home Festive for the HolidaysYou don’t have to be a fancy interior decorator to make your home festive for the holidays. A few touches here and there and some personal flare will make your home feel warm and bright this season. Today we’re sharing 14 simple ways to make your home festive for the holidays.

String Twinkle Lights Indoors: Lighting up the outside of your home is lovely but you spend most of your time inside. String holiday lights around banisters, your fireplace or other family spaces where you gather often to brighten your indoor décor.

Change your Linens: Make everyone’s beds with holiday sheets during December. If you’re so inclined, use holiday quilts or comforters as well. Alternatively, simply add a decorative holiday pillow to the mix for a more festive bedroom feel.

Countdown to the Holidays: Buy or make a countdown to the holidays display such as an advent calendar. This is a fun way to get everyone in your family excited for the approaching holidays.

Fill your Home with Holiday Scents: Holiday spiced candles fill your home and nose with beautiful festive scents. Or use fresh spices by tying ribbon around cinnamon sticks or creating satin bags with holiday spices including nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and ginger.

Bake your Favorite Holiday Treats: Another way to make your home smell like the holidays is by baking. Create a baking list and tackle new recipes as a family every few days. This is a delicious way to get into the holiday spirit!

Wishes Wreath:  Encourage everyone in your family to write down wishes on small cards. Then create a wreath using everyone’s holiday wishes that you can display prominently in your home.

Play Holiday Music: Nothing makes you feel the holidays from head-to-toe and in your soul than some good holiday tunes. Fill your home with festive music and dance your way through December.

Frame your Doorways: Welcome the holidays by framing your doorways using holy, garland, paper chains, popcorn strings or anything that strikes your fancy. As you enter each new room you’ll feel the warmth of the season.

Use Holiday Table Settings: From flatware and glasses, to plates and placemats, keep your home feeling festive with seasonal table settings. Add a warm centerpiece and every meal will feel like a holiday meal.

Display Holiday Cards: Share the cheer that others send by displaying the holiday cards you receive. You can pin them to a bulletin board, clip them to a string or prop them along your mantle so you’ll get a glimpse of them throughout the season.

Decorate your Plants: If you’re not into having a big Christmas tree, decorate your house plants with small ornaments, candy canes and lights. This is also a fun way for each member of your household to have their own “pallet” to decorate as they please.

Make Holiday Crafts: Get crafty as a family and fill your home with your creations. Challenge your kids with different arts supplies and encourage them to decorate to each space you want to fill.

Serve Holiday Accessories: Another simple way to make your home festive for the holidays is by placing holiday accessories in dishes, vases or glasses throughout your home. You can use ornaments, garland, holly, tinsel, tissue paper, candies or any other holiday-themed items.

Display your Presents: Once your presents are wrapped, leave them out for everyone to see. This way you can build anticipation for gift-giving and receiving and decorate your home.

We hope you enjoy these simple ways to make our home festive for the holidays! From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!

Sources: Real Simple, Interior Decorating About.com, and The Inspired Room

How to Foster Long Distance Relationships with Grandparents

How to Foster Long Distance Relationships with GrandparentsGrandparents are a wonderful asset in your child’s life. They usually provide the same unconditional love as parents and are eager to participate in their grandchildren’s lives. But when grandparents live far away your children may feel disconnected from them.

Young children learn through repetition and consistency so when grandparents are a sporadic influence, babies, toddlers and preschoolers may not bond and feel comfortable around them. Even if grandparents cannot visit regularly, there are ways to help facilitate a better relationship with grandparents. As the holidays approach and the New Year is upon us, it’s a great time to consider how to foster long distance relationships with grandparents so your children can have a meaningful experience with your parents or in-laws during their lifetimes.

Video Chat: Modern parenting and grand-parenting offers the ability to video chat from virtually anywhere in the world. Take advantage of this technology to speak to and see grandparents often. A video conversation increases bonding because children are extremely visual. Start this routine as early as possible with your baby so she becomes familiar with seeing her grandparents, even if only on screen. If everyone’s schedules are hard to coordinate, set regular video chat times to make sure the calls happen often.

Read Books Together: Reading is a bonding experience that children can share with grandparents from across the miles and at any age. For babies, toddlers and preschoolers, ask grandparents to record themselves reading books. Then you can play them back time and time again for your youngsters to enjoy. Reading can also be done on video calls. For older children, start a grandparent-grandchild book club where they select books together and then call one another to discuss them. This is not only educational but also creates a meaningful emotional connection over a common interest.

Create a Photo Website: Sharing photos is another important way to foster long distance relationships with grandparents. A photo website can help you keep grandparents up-to-speed on everything happening in your kids’ lives. Make a point to upload photos weekly so grandparents get a regular update. Grandparents can share photos from their day-to-day lives too. Photos make a great starting point for conversations as well.

Play Games: For younger children, playing games with long distance grandparents may be relegated to peek-a-boo and funny faces on video chats. But as children get older, you can play fun games online including tic-tac-toe, chess, scrabble, Sudoku and other words and numbers games. You can also play 20-questions via email or on phone calls or come up with a secret code and send private messages back and forth to one another.

Send Care Packages: Grandparents don’t need to spoil your children with tons of gifts but sending a postcard, letter or small meaningful items once in awhile is a great way to engage children with their grandparents. Your kids can also send artwork, letters and small gifts to their grandparents in return.

Share Family Memorabilia: Having a few special items that belong to grandparents or are family heirlooms can help keep the spirit of their presence constant in your home. Designate a spot in your home to keep these items and allow your children to look at them often. Explain their significance as well.

Share a Song: This may seem simple but simplicity can go a long way to foster long distance relationships with grandparents. Encourage your child to pick a favorite song with her grandparents. They can sing it together during calls and visits and you can sing it with her when she’s not with her grandparents to keep them top of mind. She’ll be excited and delighted whenever she hears her special grandparents’ song.

We hope your children foster long distance relationships with grandparents so every generation in your family can bond, share and spread love. Happy Holidays!

Sources: Grandparents.com, Health Day and Psychology Today

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Dinovember
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Eating your Placenta
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Halloween
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How Learning to Crawl Affects a Baby’s Sleep
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How to Avoid Food Waste with Kids
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How to Donate Breast Milk
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How to Foster Long Distance Relationships with Grandparents
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How to Keep Your Babysitter Happy
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How to Stay Calm during a Child’s Tantrum
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Nurture your Baby’s Sense of Hearing
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Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere
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Reminders for your Babysitter
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Selfie
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Shakespeare
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Signs Your Baby is Ready for Solids
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Simple Ways to Make your Home Festive for the Holidays
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Spring Fashion
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Staying Connected When You’re Away
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Storing Breaskmilk
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Teach babies about heart health
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that 70s show
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The Benefits of Acupuncture for Fertility and Pregnancy Symptoms
The Benefits of Music for Babies
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The Cost of Breastfeeding
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The Economic Advantages of Breastfeeding
The First Response Tracker
the golden rule
The History of Breastfeeding
The Importance of Vitamin K for Newborns
the Milky Way documentary
the Milky Way movie
the Milky Way: every mother has a story
The Most Common Poisons for Babies
the positive effects of smiling at your baby
The Pregnancy Companion App
therapy in early childhood
Things to do on Christmas Eve
things to get done before having a baby
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thrush
thrush in adults
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thumb sucking
time away from kids
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Tips for Family Photos
Tips for Flying with a Baby
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toddler and newborn
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tongue-tied
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toxins in makeup
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Toy and Gift Safety Awareness Month
Toy Safety
Toy Safety for a Happy Holiday Season
traits that influence personality
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Traveling
traveling with baby
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Twins
twitter
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UltimateWBW
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update your play space
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volunteering
water birth
Ways for Dad to Bond with Baby
Ways to Burn Calories with a Baby
Ways to Celebrate Baby’s First Thanksgiving
ways to encourage Crossing the Midline
ways to find other new moms
Ways to Get Kids to Drink Water
Ways to Get Rid of Cradle Cap
ways to make your home festive
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Ways to Say Goodbye to your Child
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Ways to Teach Sons to Respect Women
WBW2015
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What Dogs Teach about Love
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What is Dream Feeding?
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What Kids Perceive about Marriage from their Parents
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What to do if you have Food Poisoning while Pregnant or Breastfeeding
What to do in a Car Crash when you’re Pregnant
what to do on Christmas Eve
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What to do with kids on New Years
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white noise machine
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Why Babies Should Not Eat Honey
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World Breastfeeding Week 2016
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you baby's gut
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