Introducing Your Baby to New Fruits and Vegetables

When your baby has mastered the very fine purees and simple flavors most often introduced as the first solid foods, it’s time to start incorporating new flavors into your baby’s diet. When your baby starts to enjoy more variety, it’s time to think outside of the box. Get beyond the typical apples and bananas and offer your baby some different and often overlooked fruits and vegetables that offer up tons of nutrition and plenty of flavor.

Avocados. Avocados are an excellent early food for babies. They have a silky, smooth texture that only requires fork mashing, rather than real pureeing. The mild flavor is very often a hit with babies, and avocados are loaded with the good fat that babies need.

Kiwi. Kiwi also has a naturally soft texture so it is easy to mash to the correct consistency for your baby. While kiwis may be a little sour for your baby at first, they are a wonderful source of vitamin C.

Melons. Melons such as cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon are great fruits for your baby to try. Again, they have a naturally soft texture so they are easy to chew. Cantaloupe is packed with vitamins A and C. Honeydew is also a great source of vitamin C and watermelon has lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin A.

Cherries. Bing cherries, chopped into tiny pieces, are another great fruit for your baby to try. Cherries provide vitamin C and potassium.

Broccoli. Because of the naturally firm texture of broccoli, it is sometimes overlooked as a baby food. Removing the florets and chopping them finely, however, makes broccoli a great vegetable to mix in with another puree such as carrots. Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse providing vitamin C, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, and folate. The gassiness that broccoli often gives adults, typically does not translate to babies.

Spinach. Spinach can be pureed alone or mixed with other purees. Because it has a rather strong flavor, your baby may like it better when mixed with something else. Spinach is packed with nutrients including Vitamin A, C, magnesium, folate, and iron.

Summer Squash. Your baby probably already likes butternut or acorn squash, but what about yellow summer squash? This vegetable provides vitamin C and has a mild flavor that many babies love. Just make sure you leave the skin on and chop it very finely.

Corn. Corn too is often overlooked as a vegetable because it is sometimes considered to be a grain. But with vitamin C and fiber, and a naturally sweet taste, corn can be a nice addition to your baby’s diet. Be sure your baby is accustomed to chewing before trying smashed corn kernels.

Tomatoes. Tomatoes are acidic so make sure your baby is a little older (8 or 9 months) before incorporating tomatoes into his diet. Chopped tomato makes a great finger food. Tomatoes are full of lycopene, vitamins A and C, and potassium.

When feeding your baby make sure you consider all that your grocery store produce section has to offer, not just the same old fruits and vegetables. Introducing your baby to plenty of new flavors from a young age will help her to be open to new foods for a lifetime, and will give her the ultimate in good nutrition.

How to Sleep like a Baby

It’s 3:00 a.m. where are you? Most people would probably be asleep. However, for a large majority of people, it is near impossible for them to get a good nights rest. Without it, they are unable to focus well, they have low energy, and let’s face it, they are usually in a not so good mood. Is there anything that the sleep deprived can do in order to help give their body the much needed sleep it needs? Aside from counting sheep, which rarely works, try some of the suggestions below.

How to Sleep like a Baby

First, start out by examining your bedroom for sleep distractions. Sleep distractions would be such things as clutter, the color of the paint, the noise level, etc. If your room is painted in bright, electrifying colors, you may want to consider painting it a soothing cool color. A pale green or a soothing blue would be good choices. You can’t expect to be able to sleep if the paint in your bedroom is so bright that it looks like an airport runway.

If your room is cluttered, consider scheduling a spring cleaning day and get rid of all those unwanted sleep thieves. If a room is cluttered, it gives our mind more things to focus on and think about during the night instead of sleep. Your bedroom is supposed to be your sanctuary, and let’s face it, who wants piles of bills or junk mail in their sanctuary? Not too many people.

As far as the noise level goes, this is different for each person. Some people enjoy some form of noise while they sleep and may even purchase a noise machine, while others have to have quiet. If you fall into the latter category, try purchasing some heavy drapes to see if they block out any of the unwanted noise. While the drapes probably won’t get rid of every unwanted noise, you will notice a big difference.

Next, try not to exercise before going to bed. I’m not saying don’t exercise at all, because exercise is good for us, but we all know that exercise releases endorphins which amp us up. You can’t expect to be able to go to sleep if you feel like you could run a marathon. Try to keep exercise to either early in the mornings or to around four hours before bedtime. This will give your body time to calm down and will help you to drift off to sleep much easier.

Another suggestion to help you get a good nights sleep would be to take a nice warm bath just before you are ready to go to bed. The warm bath will not only help you to relax physically, but it will also give your brain some time to unwind as well. It doesn’t have to be a long bath, just 10 or 15 minutes should do the trick. As you are letting the water out of the tub, picture your troubles and cares being washed down the drain. A mind that is not burdened with troubles is a mind that can easily drift off to sleep.

Lighting is another issue that effects sleep. If your bedroom window lets the light of a nearby street light into your bedroom, you might want to try some of those room darkening curtains to eliminate that problem. If you can’t find any or can’t afford them, try putting a quilt up instead. If your curtain rods are sturdy, they will usually hold up the extra weight of the quilt. Either of these two things will help darken your bedroom and help you drift off to what could be the best nights sleep you’ve had in a while.

Of course, don’t forget to flip your mattress every so often to keep it from getting worn. However, if your mattress is not in good shape and you can’t afford to buy a new one (because we know they don’t come cheap), consider buying a mattress topper. This will give you the sense of a new mattress, but will cost you a fraction of the price. Toppers come in a variety of styles, and it is up to you to find the one that suits your needs.

The last tip, try and keep the temperature in your bedroom at a comfortable level. You don’t want the temperature too hot or too cold. You want it just right. Again, it is up to you, as an individual, to decide what your perfect temperature is. Try these few tips out and see if they help you get the peaceful nights slumber your body has been missing. Pleasant dreams sleep deprived.