Protein-Rich Foods (and Recipes) for Vegetarian Children

Protein Options for Vegetarian Children |

Recently my nine-year-old has mentioned a desire to eat less meat. We are not a vegetarian family, but Sofie has several vegetarian friends and a soft spot for animals. As much as she loves the taste of most meats, I think she’s grappling with the realization that animals are being killed for her food. I’m all for supporting this change. A semi-vegetarian lifestyle is healthier and eco-friendly (learn why). My role now is to determine good sources of protein to replace the meat in Sofie’s meals. As the main building blocks of the body, proteins are necessary for building and maintaining our muscles, tissues and organs; fueling our brains; and aiding in specialized functions. A “complete” protein includes all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. Vegetarians often get all those amino acids through eating a varied diet. After some research, and knowing my daughter’s … Continue reading

Helping Kids Reduce Stress

Ways to Help Kids Manage Stress |

Already, at nine years old, my daughter has mentioned that she keeps her stress in her neck and shoulders. Stress? At nine? What’s happening? Nothing major, as it turns out. But I haven’t attributed much weight to Sofie’s everyday quarrels with friends, homework anxiety, or even how she reacts to issues within our family. Apparently, as much as we try to feather their nests, our kids still deal with stress at an earlier age than we may have thought. While we can’t relieve them of their anxieties, we can help them cope. Here are some tools your child can learn now and use for the rest of her life. Cultivate a Positive Outlook The more you focus on your child’s best parts and behaviors, the more he will learn to see the glass as half full and seek solution to his problems. The latest research shows that we can mold … Continue reading

Inspiring Children to be Lifelong Learners

Inspiring Children as Lifelong Learners |

Welcome to the August 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have talked about how they continue learning throughout life and inspire their children to do the same. ***** From the beginning, my husband and I have been less focused on the academic standards of a school and more interested in what Sofie will learn from her school environment about communication, conflict resolution, working as a team or making mistakes… Rather than be someone who learns just enough to pass the test, we want her to be a lifelong learner. Because of this, we’ve been front-loading her education, spending our dollars in the formative early years as opposed to saving for college, a time when Sofie will be living the values, qualities and influences that she experienced … Continue reading

BE YOUR OWN YOU! Girls and Self-Esteem

Girls and Self-Esteem |

Since the moment I knew I was having a baby girl, I wanted her to be strong and confident and brimming with the self-esteem that eluded me as a girl. (Do mothers of sons have these thoughts, or do we naturally assume boys are born with loads of self-esteem?) I still struggle with maintaining confidence in who I am or what I do. Feeling “not enough” is one of my gremlins. So how do I teach my daughter what I never learned? And what exactly is self-esteem? One dictionary offered two contradictory definitions: self-es•teem (noun) 1. A realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect. 2. An unduly high opinion of oneself; vanity Those who follow the second definition equate self-esteem with conceit (ridiculous, isn’t it?) and therefore tend to see it as a bad thing. They use phrases like “having a big head” or “getting too big for your britches.” Sadly, these parents usually have low opinions of themselves because they too were raised … Continue reading