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Dietary Essentials for Your Baby
By Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers

Feeding your 12-24 month old

Babies are introduced to solid foods at about six months old, and from this time to about 24 months old, they will learn plenty about food, and it goes well beyond taste.

First it is just swallowing solid foods, then lumps, picking up pieces, chewing (or gumming) and much more. It takes a great amount of coordination, muscle development and motor skills for your baby to master these tasks. The best approach is to take things slowly and to wait for your baby to give you signals he or she is ready. There is no need to rush this development process.

While babies are people, they are not little adults. Their dietary requirements are different than adults, and different than toddlers, preschoolers and adolescents. Unless your baby's diet is under the supervision of a healthcare professional, it is not necessary to count calories, or choose low-fat and non-fat foods.

In the past three decades, the number of overweight two year olds has doubled. Hurried lifestyles, the abundance of processed foods, and the lack of focus by parents is creating unhealthy two year olds with poor eating habits and cheeks that are much too chubby. These statistics are alarming and should concern all parents. When your baby reaches 12 months old, you need to focus on some basic nutritional aspects.


The fat and calcium found in breastmilk, formula and milk are essential for bone growth and brain development. While the requirement for fat reduces dramatically after two years old, the calcium requirement gradually increases through adolescence.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding your baby to 12 months old and the World Health Organization recommends to two years old. If you decide to wean your baby at 12 months old, you should wean them to 16-24 ounces of whole milk (preferably in a cup) per day. If you wean your child at two years old, you wean them to 16 ounces of low fat or nonfat milk (in a cup) per day. If your child is not being introduced to dairy products, it is very important that you introduce calcium-rich foods that will satisfy their calcium requirements.

If you were unable to or decided not to breastfeed, you should switch from formula to 16 to 24 ounces of whole milk per day when your child is 12 months old. If you have not already done so, this is also a good to transition from a bottle to a cup. At two years old, you switch from whole milk products to 16 ounces of low fat or nonfat milk products per day.

Unless recommended by a healthcare professional, toddler formulas and toddler nutrition drinks are not necessary. Many of these drinks contain large amounts of fat and sugar and are high in calories.

Serving sizes are small for toddlers

Over the past 20 years restaurants and food companies have been increasing the amount of food that is contained in a serving. These larger serving sizes are considered to a contributing factor to the rise in obesity. Interestingly, children eat more if the size of the portion on their plate in larger.

In most cases, a serving size for a child under two years old is one ounce -- about 2 tablespoons. Every day, your baby should eat two to four servings each of fruits and vegetables and two to three servings each of proteins (beans, eggs, lean meat, fish) and grains (preferably whole grain brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, oatmeal).

Meal frequency

Your little baby has a very small tummy and a fluctuating appetite, so The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends small, frequent meals over fewer larger ones. Your baby should be fed four to six 'mini meals per day. Each meal should include a fruit or a vegetable and you may want to vary proteins and grains throughout the day. Following the mini-meal concept, means that you need to pay just as much attention to offering well-balanced nutritious snacks as you do the traditional meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner.


As your toddler begins eating 'grown up food, they might also develop 'grown up eating habits like too much junk food and too few vegetables. It is important to pay attention to eating patterns, and to remember that the ultimate key to a balanced diet is variety. Different foods provide different nutrients. In order to ensure your child is getting all of the nutrients he needs to grow, he has to eat a good variety of foods.

Everyday, your baby should eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains (i.e. whole-wheat bread pasta, brown rice, oatmeal), proteins (i.e. beans, fish, lean meats), and dairy products. When your child is 2 years old, you should switch dairy products to low-fat or nonfat varieties. According the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) the average 2 year old should be eating the following amounts:

Vegetables8 ounces
Fruits8 ounces
Grains3 ounces
Proteins2 ounces
Dairy16 ounces milk/yogurt or4 ounces cheese

To sum it all up a healthy approach to feeding your toddlers is to offer small servings, many choices, frequently throughout the day.

Here are few time saving tips for healthy homemade meals:
  1. Make meals in large quantities, in advance, and freeze them ice cube trays or small plastic containers. When it's time for a meal, simply defrost a few food cubes or a small container. Some toddler meals that freeze well are:
    1. Whole wheat macaroni and cheese with tomatoes and peas
    2. Ground beef (or firm tofu), spaghetti sauce and whole wheat elbow macaroni
    3. Burrito filling made from beans and mild enchilada sauce. Defrost a roll up in a flour tortilla.
    4. Hash brown potatoes with chopped broccoli or spinach. Defrost and serve with melted cheese on top.
  2. Have no-hassle healthy snacks on hand at all times.
    1. Frozen veggies (peas, carrots, green beans) a small handfuls cooks up quickly
    2. Fresh fruits (blueberries, peaches, strawberries, grapes) avoid hard fruits (unless they are cooked), and cut the fruits into small pieces, grapes should be quartered.
    3. Whole grain cereals (puffed wheat, cheerios)
    4. Rice cakes and whole grain crackers
    5. Yogurt
    6. Semi-hard cheeses (cheddar, Jack, Provolone) cut into cubes of thin slices
  3. Bake healthy foods for your family. Most baked goods freeze great and defrost quickly. Freezing some of your homemade treats
    1. Make cookies with real fruit or fruit juice. Do not make large cookies, keep them small. For toddlers, two cookies are much better than one, not matter what the size.
    2. Add shredded carrots or zucchini, or pureed pumpkin to muffins and sweet breads. Consider buying a mini muffin pan or slice the quick bread loaf in half longwise and then slice it into pieces.
    3. Bake bread with whole-wheat flour.
About the authors: Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children, and founders of Fresh Baby ( Raised by parents who love fresh foods and entertaining, their mom, a gourmet cook, ensured that they were well-equipped with extraordinary skills in the kitchen. Both with long track records of business success, they decided to combine their skills in the kitchen with their knowledge of healthy foods and children to create Fresh Baby. Cheryl and Joan put a modern twist on the conventional wisdom that when you make it yourself, you know it's better. Their goal at Fresh Baby is to make the task of raising a healthy eater a little bit easier for all parents. Fresh Baby's breastfeeding accessories and baby food making supplies provide parents with practical knowledge and innovative tools to support them in introducing their children to great tasting, all-natural foods easily and conveniently. Visit them online at and subscribe to their Fresh Ideas newsletter to get monthly ideas, tips and activities for developing your family's healthy eating habits! Permission granted for use on

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Your iPhone 4: Is itSafe?
By John Sileo

While the new features keep the iPhone at the forefront of technology,they also cause some privacy concerns.

One concern that carries over from previous iPhone models is the Always-on iPhone Apps that trackyour every move through the GPS navigation system. Back in April, Applebegan allowing location-tracking applications to run in thebackground. So, for example, companies like FourSquare, Yelp, andFacebook can continuously track your location, providing automaticnotifications to your friends when you are less than 1/2 mileaway from them, if you allow them.

For example, I just had a highly confidential client meeting at theclient's corporate headquarters. To the uninitiated, that meansthat the company I was visiting is probably having data theft issues(and has brought me in to help). If the media finds out that they arehaving these issues before the company has had a chance to start thedamage control process, their stock will drop far faster than if theyhave prepared for the news to go public. If Facebook or FourSquare isbroadcasting my whereabouts, my followers already know which company ishaving the problem, their competitors know it (if they are following myGPS broadcasts), and the media sits and waits for me to enter thebuilding. Luckily, I'm not well-know enough for anyone to care, butjust in case, I don't broadcast my whereabouts. Other, far moreinfluential people, do so without thinking twice about it. Which goesto show you that there are ways to utilize all of the cool newtechnology without letting it control you. With the right knowledge,you can take control of how your information is utilized.

Apple does realize the privacy concerns with location tracking andgives users a way to control how much information is shared. Whenyou open an app, the top bar will show a little arrow in the right-handcorner, indicating location awareness (pictured to the right). Therewill also be a dashboard where you can toggle location-trackingpermissions on and off for different apps. Regardless, this means thatmore companies will have access you your location than before. Ihaven't spent a lot of time thinking through the negative implicationsof location tracking, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be aware thatit is going on in the background so that we can make decisions from aposition of power.

High-definition video is a second tool that will be used by data spies.What could be easier than for an identity thief to pretend they are onthe phone as they are actually filming you typing in your ATM PIN infront of them? Why does iPhone 4 change the game? Because Hi-definitionmeans that they can stand further away and still get high quality videowith which to read your data. A simple sweep of an office desk, aclient file, etc. with high definition video gives me all of thedocuments I need to learn more about your company. Think of it as a spycamera that provides thousands of pictures a minute and is hidden asthe most ubiquitous device on the planet - a cell phone. Powerful toolboth for good and bad.

About the author: Tofurther bulletproof yourself and your business, visit John's blog at Tobook John at your next event, visit Sileo became America's leading Identity Theft Speaker amp; Expertafter he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft anddata breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer andthe FDIC. Permission granted for use on

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Tags: Marriage, Men's Point of View, Women's Point of View

Strengthen Your Marriage with a Simple Daily Exercise

By Winn Claybaugh

I don't know about you, but I've found that on many days it's easier to smile at strangers than at the person at home. However, if you want a better marriage, then you need to practice every day with total strangers. Imagine that in the course of one day you come across fifty people. They might include strangers you pass in a parking lot, a waitress, or a bank teller. What if you looked at all of those relationships as a "pass or fail" exercise?

You pass when you smile at a stranger in the parking lot and say, "Have a nice day," or go out of your way to cheer a grumpy waitress, or choose to ignore a driver who flips you off. You fail when you come across that stranger in the parking lot and do absolutely nothing, or when that waitress has a worse day after her experience with you.

Can you have fifty fails in a day and expect to go home to a successful, constructive, loving relationship with your spouse? Absolutely not. You can't be a monster in the world and expect to be charming at home.

Several years ago, I traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, with a dear friend of mine, Kitty Victor, for a two-day seminar we were facilitating together. After landing at the airport, we had about an hour to grab our bags, get to the hotel, change clothes, and begin the seminar. We jumped into a cab but didn't tell the driver we were in a hurry. However, our cabbie was driving like a maniac and his driving began to frighten us. He darted in and out of lanes, honking and yelling at the other drivers. A driver next to us was talking on his cell phone, so our driver sped up, cut in front of the other driver, and slammed on his brakes-all in rush-hour traffic.

At that point I yelled, "What are you doing?" Our driver mumbled something about how he hated it when other drivers talk on the phone. I angrily quipped, "Oh, so you're going to teach him a lesson at the expense of our safety? Quit driving like a maniac! Slow down, and get us to our hotel safely."

At that point, Kitty asked me, "Pass or fail?"

I replied, "PASS!" Improving your relationships doesn't mean letting people walk all over you while you bite your tongue. Unconditional love doesn't mean unconditional abuse. Had I said nothing to the cab driver, I wouldn't have been honoring the most important relationship I have: my relationship with myself. Physically or verbally attacking him-"You're an idiot and the worst driver in history!"-would also be a fail.

If you want a better relationship with your spouse, you need to practice all day, every day, with total strangers. Every stranger you encounter was sent to you for a specific reason and purpose: They're your personal home-play assignments. So, which will it be-pass or fail?

Winn Claybaugh is the author of Be Nice (Or Else!) and "one of the best motivational speakers in the country," according to CNN's Larry King. A business owner for over 25 years with over 8,000 people in his organization, Winn is the co-owner of hair care giant Paul Mitchell's school division. Winn has helped thousands of businesses build their brands and create successful working cultures. His clients include Southwest Airlines, the Irvine Company, Vidal Sassoon, Entertainment Tonight, Mattel, For Rent magazine, Structure/Limited/Express, and others. Winn is a frequent guest on national radio and a regular contributor to online publications. Visit to sign up for his free monthly Be Nice (Or Else!) newsletter. Permission granted for use on

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Tags: Character, Courage, Conscience, Character-Courage-Conscience, Values

What to Do When Your Partner Has Become Your Enemy
By Sharon Rivkin, M.A., M.F.T.

Where has all the love gone that you once felt for your partner? Do you seem to fight about everything? Has your partner become your enemy? How did it happen?

The process of "building a case against our partner" begins quietly and unconsciously, so we hardly notice what we're doing. The emotional battle often begins after the honeymoon phase of a relationship and reality has set in. Suddenly the one who could do no wrong, can't seem to do anything right. The one who used to make us happy is slowly becoming the enemy...someone to defend against and distrust. We're certain they're doing things just to annoy us and make us angry. We retaliate by doing things to them that get the same result. Slowly we have forgotten that we love our partner and now wonder what to do.

One of the most important things to do to begin to regain the love you once had for your partner is to start giving them the benefit of the doubt, like you would a friend or even a stranger. In order to do this, remember these three things:
  1. Step out of yourself and listen to your partner. What is she/he really saying if you weren't already expecting the worst and waiting to defend yourself?

    Example: Your partner is upset that you've come home late and says, "Here we go again, you're late for dinner and you didn't even call me." Your first reaction is to defend yourself with excuses of why you're late. Instead, just listen to your partner...when we're busy talking, we don't really hear what our partner is trying to communicate. You may see that your partner is simply trying to tell you that she/he's hurt, and not that you're a bad person. By holding back your defenses and addressing your partner's upset, a conversation can ensue rather than a defensive arguing match. In this situation, apologizing for being late, listening, and seeing the situation from your partner's point of view would dramatically alter the dynamics of the situation.

  2. Don't take everything your partner says PERSONALLY. In other words, don't just react impulsively from JUST your emotions. Let your head help you to think about the situation and what's been said, rather than assuming your partner is trying to hurt you. To help you NOT just react from emotions (taking a remark as a personal attack), try asking yourself these simple questions: How might I respond to my partner if I did not take what she/he is saying personally? What if what she/he is saying ISN'T about me? If this was true, would I hear her/him differently? Would I respond differently?

    Example: Your partner's had a hard day and has been unable to talk to anyone about it. Then you walk in and start talking about your day. All of a sudden your partner is angry that you never listen. If you take a minute to THINK about the situation, without immediately reacting, you may realize that your partner did have a hard day and needs to be HEARD, not necessarily that you NEVER listen. By not reacting to your own hurt, you might be able to be there for your partner...and then they're more likely to be there for you. Again, a potential argument could transform into an intimate conversation.

  3. What if I didn't see my partner as my enemy? How would I respond if I still loved/liked my partner? How did I respond in the beginning of our relationship?
Do you want to be right or do you want a resolution for the argument? Do you want a healthy relationship? The healthiest relationships are the ones where both people can be right and have the opportunity to express their feelings and be heard. It only takes one person to change the pattern of the relationship. Be that person. Stop attacking and putting your partner on the defensive. Begin with an act of kindness to yourself and your partner by giving them the benefit of the doubt. By doing so, you begin to change the pattern of your relationship from negative to positive, from attacking to understanding, from fighting to intimacy, from enemy to friend, lover, and partner. One act of kindness goes a long way, leading to a different and healthier way of communicating.

Sharon M. Rivkin, Marriage and Family Therapist, and author of The First Argument: Cutting to the Root of Intimate Conflict, has worked with couples for 27 years. Her unique insight into the first argument was featured in O: The Oprah Magazine and Reader's Digest, and has attracted people throughout the United States and abroad for consultation, workshops, and courses. For more information on Sharon Rivkin and her book, or to contact her, visit Permission granted for use on

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Encouraging Your Childto Appreciate Their Taste Buds
By Cheryl Tallman

Encouraging healthy eating isabout balance - even when it comes to taste. Here are a few tipsthat can help you expand or improve the balance in your child'staste buds.

Experiment with Tastes: Allowyour child to experience and identify the four unique tastes that makeup flavor - sweet, salty, sour, bitter. Taste small amounts ofdifferent ingredients to identify which taste category they belong to.This can be a fun kitchen activity when preparing dinner!

Stay Balanced: Good tasteis a balancing act. Include a variety of tastes in your mealsand encourage your child to try all foods. Experiencing the sametastes all the time is not a path to healthy eating.

Ask Them and Talk About It: Whenyou hear "that's yummy!" or "Yuck - that's terrible!" - ask whichflavor is best or bothering. The more you understand your child's tastepreferences the easier to guide (and expand) their food choices.

Sweet Tendency: Bothbreast milk and formula are sweet. It is the first taste we develop andas a result we're already "off balance" when we begin eating foods. Itis believed the earlier you introduce your child to other tastes, thebetter chance you have of keeping a "sweet tooth" from overpowering thetaste buds.

About the author: Cheryl Tallmanis the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So EasyBaby Food Kit, and author of the SoEasy Baby Food Basics: Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 30 Minutes PerWeek and So Easy ToddlerFood: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years.Visit Cheryl online at for more delicious tips. Permissiongranted foruse

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Managing Anger BetweenParent and Child
By Nancy Carlsson-Paige

Mothers often say that they get "horribly angry" with their youngchildren. As one mother stated "I get so mad at them sometimes, mostlywhen they fight, that I end up screaming#151;no screeching#151;at them. I eventold them I hate them one time recently. I feel so out of control whenI'm like that. I know I scare them. Then I feel so bad for unleashingmy uncontrollable temper onto my kids."

When we're in an emotional state, we can't communicate or problem solveconstructively#151;our feelings hijack us and block our capacity to focus.We need to find ways to reduce the anger so that we can begin tocommunicate again.

Learning to deal with our own anger is an essential skill for conflictresolution and for life. First, it can help just to notice that you'regetting angry. What's happening in my body? Is my breathing more rapid?Does my face flush? Is my voice rising or my heartbeat increasing? Thenyou can ask yourself, what is it that's triggering my anger?

Next, see if you can lower the intensity of your feelings by breathingdeeply, using "self talk," such as repeating a key calming word orphrase, or taking a step away for a moment, or just simply pausing andwaiting. Then try to communicate your anger in an "I" statement#151;usingwords that say what you feel, what is making you angry, and what youneed.

It's worth noting here that anger is often a secondary emotion#151;that is,it can arise as a response to other emotions such as fear, sadness, orinsecurity#151;and it can be a challenge to go inward and try to find theunderlying feeling or need.

Marshall Rosenberg, founder and educational director of the Center forNonviolent Communication, explores anger deeply in his nonviolentcommunication (NVC) approach, set out in a body of work that may bevery helpful for many parents. Rosenberg explains that often whattriggers our anger is not its true cause; that is, it isn't what peopledo that makes us angry but something in us that responds to what theydo. He encourages us to try to go beyond what triggered our anger andbecome more conscious of the need that is at its root. His belief isthat we get angry because our needs are not getting met, but that oftenwe are not in touch with those needs and instead of recognizing themwithin ourselves we focus on what's wrong with other people.

On the other side of the equation, what happens when we're dealing witha child who is angry? First, if the child is acting aggressively, it'svital before anything else to ensure the safety of everyone involved.Once you've made sure everyone is physically safe, try to listenattentively to the angry child while he or she expresses how he or shefeels. Try to reflect back the essence of what you hear.

Sometimes this alone is enough, especially for a young child, to enablehim or her to move beyond being upset. With younger kids anger oftenpasses quickly, especially if they know they are being listened to andrespected for how they feel. For a child whose anger is notdissipating, suggest that they try oneor two of the calming techniques mentioned above.

I believe that by helping kids develop inner life skills, we're puttingin their hands new tools that will help them manage all kinds of lifesituations. And when there are conflicts, or kids are angry, we cancall on these skills to help bring down tension and restore peace.

Nancy Carlsson-Paige is a professor of education at Lesley Universityand the author or co-author of five books. Her most recent book isTaking Back Childhood: Helping Your Kids Thrive in a Fast-Paced,Media-Saturated, Violence-Filled World. Nancy writes and speaks abouthow media, violence, consumerism, and other social trends are shapingchildren today and what parents and teachers can do to raise caring andcompassionate children. For more information visit Permission granted for use on

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Facebook Privacy:Hiding from Google
By John Sileo

The New York Times recentlypublished an article that discusses the severe changes Facebook hasmade to privacy settings.

What Can Google See? (Keep Your DataOff the Search Engines)

When you visit Facebook's Search Settings page, a warning message popsup. Apparently, Facebook wants to clear the air about what info isbeing indexed by Google. The message reads:

There have been misleading rumors recently about Facebook indexing allyour information on Google. This is not true. Facebook created publicsearch listings in 2007 to enable people to search for your name andsee a link to your Facebook profile. They will still only see a basicset of information.

While that may be true to a point, the second setting listed on thisSearch Settings page refers to exactly what you're allowing Google toindex. If the box next to "Allow" is checked, you're giving searchengines the ability to access and index any information you've markedas visible by "Everyone." As you can see from the settings discussedabove, if you had not made some changes to certain fields, you would besharing quite a bit with the search engines#133;probably more informationthan you were comfortable with. To keep your data private and out ofthe search engines, do the following:

1.Fromyour Profile page, hover your mouse over the Settings menu at the topright and click "Privacy Settings" from the list that appears.
2.Click "Search" from the list ofchoices on the next page.
3.Click "Close" on the pop-upmessage that appears.
4.On this page, uncheck the boxlabeled "Allow" next to the second setting "Public Search Results."That keeps all your publicly shared information (items set to viewableby "Everyone") out of the search engines. If you want to see what theend result looks like, click the "see preview" link in blue underneaththis setting.

Be proactive about what you share on Facebook and protect your onlineprivacy!

About the author: John Sileobecame America's leading Identity Theft Speaker amp;Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 toidentity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department ofDefense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To further bulletproof yourself and yourbusiness, visit John's blog at To book John at your next event,visit foruse

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Tags: Marriage, Religion, Values

Toddler Treat: Cranberries
By Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers

Toddlers love to play with their food. Dipping sauces make foods taste good and provide your child with an activity that makes meals and snacks more fun. Here are two recipes for yummy dipping sauces - one for fruits and another for veggies, tofu and meats.

Creamy Cranberry Dipping Sauce

frac34; cup 100 percent cranberry raspberry (or grape) juice
frac12; cup sour cream
frac12; cup vanilla yogurt

Place juice into a small saucepan. Boil until reduced to a syrup (about 3 tablespoons). Allow to cool. Add syrup to remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Chill and serve with a variety of fresh fruit slices.

Cranberry Mustard Dipping Sauce

frac12;cup jellied cranberry sauce
1 frac12; tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions: Combine ingredients in a small mixing bowl, whisking until smooth. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serve with raw/blanched veggies, baked tofu, chicken fingers or fish sticks.

All about cranberries

The cranberry is a Native American fruit that grows on trailing vines like a strawberry, and thrives in wetland areas, called bogs. Cranberries are harvested in September and October. The most common technique for harvesting is known as a "wet" harvest, which involves flooding the bogs with water to float the fruit for easy collection. During the winter the frozen water insulates and protects the vines.

The North American cranberry has a distinguished history. Native Americans used cranberries as food, in ceremonies, and medicinally. Revolutionary War veteran Henry Hall planted the first commercial cranberry beds in Dennis, Massachusetts in 1816. Today they are farmed on approximately 40,000 acres across the northern United States and Canada.

Cranberries are available in a variety of product forms including: fresh, juice, dried and sauce. Cranberries are considered a healthy fruit. They contain no cholesterol and virtually no fat, and are low in sodium. In addition, they contain significant amounts of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that may help protect against heart disease, cancer, aging and other diseases. Cranberries also contain bacteria-blocking compounds that are helpful in preventing urinary tract infections, and possibly ulcers and gum disease.

Age to introduce: Over 12 months (cooked/juice/sauce). Over 18 months (dried).

Cranberries for the family
Cranberry up your Thanksgiving meal by trying some of these tasty and simple ideas.
  1. Football snack: Add dried cranberries to any nut mixture.

  2. Salad: Sprinkle dried cranberries on mixed green or spinach salad. The sweetness of the cranberries is terrific with any vinaigrette dressing and is a great compliment to crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese.

  3. Side dish: Add dried cranberries to your favorite stuffing, wild rice, or couscous recipe.

  4. Veggie: Sauteacute; onions, diced zucchini and dried cranberries in olive oil. Season with a dash of turmeric, cinnamon, and rep pepper flakes. Great taste and awesome color!

  5. All American apple pie: Add frac12; cup of fresh cranberries to your favorite apple recipe.

  6. Treat the whole family to fresh cranberry sauce. Here is a simple recipe that can be made ahead of time.
Easy Cranberry Sauce:

16 ounces fresh cranberries
2 cups granulated sugar
frac12; cup cranberry juice
frac12; cup fresh orange juice or water

Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the berries pop open (about 10 minutes). Skim the foam off the surface with a metal spoon and discard. Cool to room temperature.

Storage: Refrigerate, covered, for up to three months.

About the authors: Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children, and founders of Fresh Baby ( Raised by parents who love fresh foods and entertaining, their mom, a gourmet cook, ensured that they were well-equipped with extraordinary skills in the kitchen. Both with long track records of business success, they decided to combine their skills in the kitchen with their knowledge of healthy foods and children to create Fresh Baby. Cheryl and Joan put a modern twist on the conventional wisdom that when you make it yourself, you know it's better. Their goal at Fresh Baby is to make the task of raising a healthy eater a little bit easier for all parents. Fresh Baby's breastfeeding accessories and baby food making supplies provide parents with practical knowledge and innovative tools to support them in introducing their children to great tasting, all-natural foods easily and conveniently. Visit them online at and subscribe to their Fresh Ideas newsletter to get monthly ideas, tips and activities for developing your family's healthy eating habits! Permission granted for use on

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Tags: Adult Child-Parent, Character, Courage, Conscience, Character-Courage-Conscience, Family/Relationships - Adult Child/Parent, Values
Eating Colorfully
By Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers

It's essential to eat a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables every day and it can be a lot of fun too! Colorful fruits and vegetables provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals your body needs to maintain good health and energy levels. Each color range provides your body with different nutrients, so it is important to eat a rainbow of color! Here are five major colors and example foods:

Blue/Purple: Blueberries, Purple grapes, Plums, Purple cabbage, Eggplant and Purple peppers

Green: Avocados, Green apples, Honeydew, Kiwifruit, Artichokes, Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cucumbers, Leeks and Peas

White: Bananas, Brown pears, White peaches, Cauliflower, Garlic, Ginger, Jicama, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Potatoes and White Corn

Yellow/Orange: Apricots, Cantaloupe, Oranges, Papayas, Pineapples, , Butternut squash, Carrots, Yellow summer squash and Sweet potatoes.

Red: Red apples, Cherries, Cranberries, Pomegranates, Strawberries, Red peppers, Radishes, Radicchio, and Tomatoes.

Make it fun while shopping by having the kids pick out different colored fruits and vegetables. At mealtimes, identify the colors and name the foods. Colorful eating is an easy concept to teach small children and it will go a long way to developing their healthy eating habits.

About the authors: Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children and founders of Fresh Baby, creators or products such as homemade baby food kits, baby food cookbooks, baby food and breast milk storage trays, breastfeeding reminders, and child development diaries ( Visit them online at and subscribe to their Fresh Ideas newsletter to get monthly ideas, tips and activities for developing your family's healthy eating habits! Permission granted for use on

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Tags: Family/Relationships - Children, Parenting

Seven Ways to Protect Your Family from Internet Dangers
By Steve Cross

It's the Wild West on the Internet, and as a parent you are responsible for keeping your kids safe 'out there, Even though 'out there may be two feet away from your kitchen while you are preparing dinner. Scammers, sexual predators, cyber bullies, and every type of hack are lurking on the Internet, in a very real and aggressive sense.

If you are the parent of a girl, you probably think about what name she is using in chat rooms and for instant messaging (IM), and you are wise to be concerned. How can you protect your daughter if you are unaware what web sites she visits, what chat rooms, who she chats with, and the true identities of her online 'friends?

If your teenager is a boy; what is he downloading? Are you going to be liable for illegal music downloads? Is he downloading porn, and the viruses that ride along? What sites does he visit, what does he look at there? It's a parents right to know these things, and a parent's responsibility if, heaven forbid, something goes terribly wrong.

Boys are aggressive downloaders, according to studies and many of the most popular sites for illegal downloads of music and movies are infested with viruses, worms, and Trojan Horses (hacker software that sneaks in and lets the hackers use your machine later!). Many of these programs will seek out your personal data and then transmit it to the hackers. Whether it is just the theft of your credit card information or full fledged Identity Theft, you would be very wise to be alarmed by this possibility.

Did you know that recent studies show that teenage girls spend even more time on the internet than boys? That's interesting and alarming news, as teenage girls are more likely to be cyber bullied, or sexually harassed online than boys.

Dr. Michele Borba, internationally renowned educational consultant and author of 20 books, wrote 'There are some specific ways to protect kids from bullying both in cyberspace and on the playground. Parents today need a closer 'electronic leash on their kids and need to be more tuned into the cyberspace trend. This isn't about being controlling--this is good parenting.

To extend her point, the monitoring of your children's activities on the internet is not about control, or infringing upon their privacy, it's about protecting your children from very real threats.

Some internet service providers (like AOL and MSN) have built in parental controls to 'block out certain types of web sites. However, none of these parental controls are foolproof, which means your kids are on the loose much of the time#151;and if you are a typical family, your kids probably know more about computers than you.

You can't look over their shoulder at all times, but you can do a number of very smart things. Here are seven ways to keep your kids safe when they use the Internet.
  1. Talk to them about the dangers of unrestricted use of the internet. Inform them about keeping passwords really secret, never sharing a credit card number with anyone, even their best friend. And please talk with them about cyber bullying, whether they are on the receiving end, or the giving end.

  2. If they are on the giving end of cyber bullying, you must take away their privileges immediately. You have liability here, both ethical and legal.

  3. If they are illegally downloading music and movies, make them stop. If the studios or record companies come after them, as their parent you have the legal responsibility of paying the fines.

  4. Talk to them about stalkers and predators on the internet that use false identities, and urge them to be careful in chat rooms.

  5. Use the parental controls that come with your internet service.

  6. Take the computer out of their rooms and place it in a common area in the house. Your kids are much less likely to do something inappropriate or dangerous if other people are around.

  7. Look into Internet Monitoring Software
Steve Cross, author of the book "Changing Channels", is a former columnist for Newman Media, Channel Media, and the Gartner Group. Steve is a contributor to various jazz publications. Currently, Steve serves as the Steve is president of Guardian Software. Permission granted for use on

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Tags: Military, Values