It's All About the Potty

I have been known to take the stance of "ignore it and maybe it will fix itself." For some reason, I feel like this has worked, but the two instances that come to mind where I applied this technique did not turn out as planned. Those would be when the dishwasher started retaining water with each cycle and when we potty trained.

Or rather, when we didn't potty train. I kept hoping some magical spell would occur overnight and poof our 3 year old would suddenly be diaper free. It didn't happen that way. In fact, it took our wonderful and kind preschool teacher giving a gentle nudge during parent teacher conferences to finally go cold turkey on the nappies.

As you well know we parents spend a lot of time dealing with poopy in one way or another.  Without being crass, I feel like we all share common memories of our children's poopy life. There's the one that squirts all the way across the room when they're infants. There's the one that blows out the leg of the diaper. This is how it goes. And it's so important that our kids are able to comfortably and effectively poop, especially when they're suddenly sitting on the potty themselves waiting for something to happen. Enter our wonderful friend, fiber.

We know we need to get enough fiber through a variety of healthy foods and supplements. Try explaining that to a 3 year old who only wants to eat foods that are white to beige in hue. One day it may be all you can do to serve up a popsicle and call it a fruit. We do the best we can. Right?

I do have two suggestions for kid-friendly healthy fiber: crispy kale chips and fiber gummies.

Crispy Kale Chips

  • Rinse a head of curly kale.
  • Remove the leaves from the stalk and tear them into bite-sized pieces.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet and blot dry with paper towel or clean tea towel.
  • Douse with olive oil and mix to coat with your hands. (Moisturizing!)
  • Sprinkle liberally with kosher or sea salt.
  • Pop in a 350 degree oven for 15-25 minutes.
  • Stir around a bit, turn the oven off and leave in the oven for an additional 20-60 minutes (this extra time crisps it up even more, but keeps it from over cooking).

The ideal is crisp, deep jade green, extremely munchable chips. My daughter loves theseā€¦ on some days. You know how it is. But, she's always ready for a gummy.

I'm happy to say we've successfully left the diapers behind us and have made friends with the potty. And we did get the dishwasher fixed, but it took a while.

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Looking Into the Lunchbox

Let me be perfectly clear on this one topic: I am not a lover of change. I get nervous, worried, twitchy, even when my rational mind knows everything will be okay. Case in point: making lunch for my preschooler. In the grand scheme of things, this is not a big deal. But now near the end of the school year looking back on the beginning of the school year, I will tell you this particular topic caused me considerable angst.

The daycare where Hazel happily played and grew from the tender age of 3 months to the big girl age of 3 years provided breakfast, lunch, and snacks -- amazing! When it came time for Hazel's switch over to preschool I had lots of concerns for her: about how she would handle the new teachers and classmates, new routines, and new settings. But she is a resilient and brave girl and she did just fine.

My main worry for myself, I admit to you now, was what in the world I would pack in her lunch box every day. I was baffled. As a full time working mom, I just barely have the time and energy to get family dinner together every night. Now I would have to add another meal prep after that? Was this humanly possible?

I'm thrilled to say it was. For me the absolute key to this process was to break lunch down into groups with options for each. At the start of the year I'd consult a written list and even jot down lunches in a notebook to make sure I was keeping things varied.

If your child's lunch box is looking cavernous or you just need some new options, here's how I do it:

Pick one from each category:

Main:

  • Leftovers from last night's dinner
  • Half a PB&J or other sandwich


Dairy (I sometimes double up here and forgo the main):

  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cheese stick


Fruit or veg:

  • Apple Slices
  • Edamame
  • 1/2 banana
  • Broccoli spears


Grain:


Drink:

As all moms know, providing healthy, wholesome, varied, and well-received food for our kids ranks way up there on the list of essential parenting. From the day we brought baby Hazel home from the hospital, I have been awed by how big a role nutrition plays in the whole parenting experience. It's in my top three along with keeping her safe and showing her love. I'm proud to have cracked the code on the lunch box mystery. I'm intimidated no longer.

Next stop? PreK, here we come!

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