Friday, November 16, 2012

What’s on the menu for your child’s 1st Thanksgiving?

For those with infants under six months old, the answer is pretty simple, as it’s important to keep those little ones away from any solid foods – even though it's a very exciting time with lots of specialty foods around for the holidays.

However, for those just adventuring into solids and especially toddlers, each Thanksgiving and holiday meal provides a fun and exciting time for trying new textures, flavors and forms of foods. Although you may worry about finding foods your tot will like, the huge spread of Thanksgiving food provides a ton of options for everyone to enjoy. As long as your little one is inching up on his or her first birthday, you can introduce many of the typical Thanksgiving foods if they are diced very small. 

If a tot is just starting solids, remember to introduce foods one at a time to keep an eye out for allergies. Also important is to not use adult food mixed with salt, seasonings or extra ingredients. Offer sweet potatoes, but keep it simple and baby will still feel like they are getting something just like the adults! 

For the older more experienced palate, introduce your toddler to turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, string beans, peas, carrots and even cranberry sauce--although that might get quite a reaction due to its tart flavor. For dessert, go ahead and share some of your delicious pumpkin or apple pie (don’t worry, you don’t have to share all of it!). As long as the foods you are introducing are somewhat soft and do not have an array of extra seasonings, a toddler near age 1 or older can handle it, and in fact, may be tickled to enjoy the same food that they see others around the table enjoying as well.

A great tool to use to help your toddler try new foods is a plate with several sections that will help them distinguish between different flavors and textures. A great example of this is the mOmma™ Warming Plate. It separates food and keeps it warm so the little one can take his or her time eating and not get the potatoes mixed with the cranberry sauce. That way, the foods won’t “touch” and your toddler can choose which food he or she likes best. Offer small portions of new foods and evaluate your child’s reaction to decide whether or not your toddler likes it or might soon throw it across the room at Grandma.

Although it may too early to introduce your little one to your broccoli-cheese casserole, your toddler still can experience all the exciting elements of Thanksgiving and begin to enjoy its tasty treats. In fact, check out some great award-winning Thanksgiving recipes for toddlers shared by moms recently on our mOmma Facebook page.

Be a Gobble Gobble Winner!
We’d love to learn more about how your infant or toddler is getting ready for Thanksgiving. Whether it’s practicing fantastic turkey impersonations (gobble, gobble, gobble….), getting dressed up in their holiday best, or talking about what they’re thankful for, please share it with us! Post an image or video of your little one getting ready for Thanksgiving on our Lansinoh Facebook page, and you could win a great mOmma mealtime set or Lansinoh mOmma Bottle Set YOU can be thankful for!

Last Week’s Winners
Wow, we had so many fantastic "breastfeeding through the holidays" tips! Thank you all so much for contributing and helping other moms be successful this holiday season.

Our top tips and winners of the Lansinoh Essential Breastfeeding gift packages are:

Cabelli Family:
Nursing during the holidays can definitely be tricky. Particularly when staying with relatives for an extended period of time and even more so when said relatives are in-laws. Everyone has opinions on nursing (and everything else related to raising children!). If it isn’t telling you that nursing is the best and only way, it’s telling you that you have nursed too long and bottles/sippy cups are best. Bottom line, be ready for it and be confident and comfortable with your own decision related to nursing and how it’s executed.

My best advice for continuing a happy and productive nursing relationship during the holidays is as follows. Wear a really comfortable, easy to use nursing tank and don’t forget to wear easy to access clothing. Dresses are tricky to navigate, shirts and skirts work easier. Loose fitting tops allow for some coverage so you can ditch the cover, but remain covered while nursing. (Both of my kids hate nursing covers, even a simple
shawl like the Bamboobies one - I love it!) While it’s great to remain part of conversation, many babies, particularly as they get older, become distracted and overly stimulated when nursing in public or around people. Don’t be afraid to request a private room, a more quiet room or to physically turn your body as needed to create a more intimate space for you and the baby. When family and in-laws are involved, they often want to hold the baby. Don’t be afraid to clearly state you need to feed the baby as necessary. And don’t forget to bring a pump, if you are so inclined, so you can allow in-laws to feed a bottle if desired. Sometimes it helps ease the situation for everyone.

Lstly, ask for help! Whatever you need, just ask for it. Family and friends seem ready and able to help when they can. Oftentimes, people offer what they think would be helpful. Don't take that to heart, just redirect and request what will really help you! Good luck! :)

Brandy W.: 
“We all know that the holidays bring on some breastfeeding challenges, especially for new moms so here's a breastfeeding survival guide: 1. Keep an infant carrier. It works wonders for those demand feedings & keeps baby calm in the midst of crowds of unfamiliar faces. 2. Carry a pump, whether it be manual or electric. All the extra calories will boost milk supply for sure, so be ready for it. A manual pump is great for travelers. It can be taken (and used) on planes, trains, buses & on long car rides. 3. Bring a breastfeeding cover or blanket. It can be used when pumping in public for privacy when making a bottle or two & we've all seen those nosey men with wandering eyes, so prepare ahead of time to make a privacy shield for both you and baby & avoid awkward looks. 4. Keep a bottle of Beano in your purse. Take it before eating to avoid gas (& embarrassment) from those gassy but delicious foods like beans, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Since baby gets a small dose through the milk, it will also prevent her from having gas & those terrible little gassy belly aches too. Good luck to all the breastfeeders during this and every holiday season!”

AND...Surprise! We were so excited by all the amazing tips we received, we picked out FOUR runner-ups to receive some fun samples from Lansinoh!

Tanya B.: 
“Some holiday survival tips for all the new moms like me are to make sure everyone Always washes theirs hands before holding your little one. Never be afraid to ask since it's your babies health at risk. Also, make sure you are getting lots of healthy fats in your daily diet; avocado, almonds, cashews, olive oil and granola are some great healthy fats. Eating these daily will help both our milk supply as well as the quality of your milk. Lastly drink lots of water! At least 8 8oz glasses a day! Happy Holidays and congrats to all you new moms ♥”

Jessica H.:
 “When traveling, you need to be sure that your baby isn't going too long between nursings. The reason that this is important is that it can increase your risk for getting a plugged duct or a breast infection. So, try to stay as close as possible to your regular nursing pattern.”

Tiffany H.:
 “I think my best advice would be to always make time for you and baby. Don't feel bad asking for help. Ask others to prepare most of the meal, so it allows you to have the time needed to nurse and so you don't stress out. Don't feel bad for leaving the room to sneak away and spend 1-on-1 time with your baby. Spend lots of extra time cuddling in bed with your little ones and spouse/partner. Remember to always wear clothing that you can easily and pain-free nurse in. Also, drink lots of fluid (water of course). Oh, and maybe a few days before, ask your mom or sister or husband to help you cleaning the house so you aren't rushing at the last minute. And make lots of lists and take LOTS of pictures!! Enjoy!

Kari B.:
Survival tips #1: Feed your little one first thing in the morning. Then you have a couple hours to get things done.
Tip #2: Pump in the car. Get an adapter for your pump (or batteries) so you can plug it in, in the car. Then you can sit in the back seat to give the baby its bottle, or wait until you arrive at your destination. You can let Great Aunt Meredith have the fun of feeding the baby.
Tip #3: Get a hooter hider or some kind of breast feeding cover up. Then you don't have to try to keep a blanket on, or leave the gathering in the midst of a great conversation.
Tip #4: When everyone is tired snuggle up with your little one and have a little momma time.
Follow these simple tips and you will have a great holiday

Thanks, everyone!


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