Have we Gone too far Rewarding with Food?

toddler_eating_smoresLet’s face it, sweets and treats motivate kids! From the time they begin potty training we start reinforcing their behavior with whatever works best. Rewards come in smiles, high fives, a cheerful “good job,” and quite often, a piece of candy or a trip to their favorite restaurant. Much of our cultural celebrations involve food and these are wonderful traditions. There’s nothing wrong with having cake & ice cream for birthdays or going out to eat to celebrate your ‘Student of the Month.’ But what happens when food becomes a prize for just about everything? Think about your family, what food rewards are your doling out on a regular basis?

Too many food rewards have a downside: we learn to eat for emotional reasons, sugar becomes a habit or an addiction, and we pack on the pounds. We’re a product of our time, everyone gets a trophy. If we reward every little accomplishment, we diminish its uniqueness while the overused prize loses its value. We can end up treating ourselves (and our kids) for everyday occurrences, just because we ‘deserve’ it.  There has to be a balance.

Try to find other ways to reward your kids and celebrate accomplishments. This is


Most Parents Don’t Realize Their Kids Are Overweight or Obese

Half of the mothers who took part in a study thought that their obese four or five year-old was normal weight, as did 39 % of the fathers and when it came to overweight children, 75 % of mothers and 77 % of fathers thought that their child was normal weight.  Further, mothers and fathers of overweight and obese children were significantly heavier than the parents of normal weight children. These statistics certainly give us something to think about.


Elementary School Chef?

Parenting & Kids | January 18, 2010 | By

From Stacey Seybold Hiller, M.S.,CCC-SLP, Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist and Owner, Dream Dinners of Indianapolis, IN.

As parents, one of our most crucial responsibilities is to create independent adults.  Too often however, we leave some of the most fundamental teachings until the very last minute.  For example, how old should a child be when they start to learn how to do the laundry, or cook a simple meal?  Children as young as 8 or 10 years old can learn all the basics needed to cook the family meal.  Begin by asking them to help you prepare a meal once a week or so.  Let them become familiar with the language and equipment of cooking.  Teach them the safety basics. Once they have developed a competency with these skills, have them help you actually plan the meal from the very beginning.


Holiday Cookies to Share with Family and Friends


Christmas, Holidays, Recipes | December 14, 2009 | By

This time of year, baking cookies is a tradition appreciated by so many moms, and sharing with loved ones makes the experience that much sweeter.

Whether you enjoy serving Christmas cookies to your family, like surprising friends with a plateful delivered to their door, participate in an annual exchange with other moms, or are a hostess with a passion for entertaining, these sugary treats bring a smile to everyone’s face. What a delicious way to express your love and care for others!


Be Your Toddler’s Best Teacher

Family Wellness | December 4, 2009 | By

Stacey Seybold Hiller, M.S., CCC-SLP is an industry expert in speech, language and feeding skills in children.

The process of language development is astonishing.  Frequently, in less than 3 years, children go from absolutely no language skills, to a vocabulary of more than 300 words. Why do some children sail through this process so much easier than others?  There are a variety of reasons, but the type of stimulation children receive at home can make a big difference.  The tried and true methods are still very valuable-reading to your children as much as possible, and LIMITING TIME IN FRONT OF THE TV (yes, even the “educational” stuff).  However, there are more things that you can do.


Nutrition in Schools Improving — But Still Far from an ‘A’

Family Wellness | November 13, 2009 | By

In a nation battling obesity, your kids may be getting more than reading, writing and arithmetic at school. Soda pop, ice cream and cookies just might be in the mix.


Do Your Children Know They’re Special?

Family Wellness | October 26, 2009 | By

Taking time to make your children feel important and loved can be, well, tough. Working and raising a family along with the million and one things on the to-do list can be so stressful, we sometimes forget what’s really vital in life.


Practice makes Perfect!

From Stacey Seybold Hiller, M.S.,CCC-SLP, Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist and Owner, Dream Dinners of Indianapolis, IN.

Sometimes, once our children learn to eat independently with silverware, chew (mostly) with their mouth closed, and not pass rolls by throwing them, we tend to think that our job around the table is completed.  But really, it is has just begun.  As our children get older, they are exposed to a variety of eating situations.  Occasions such as going out to a nice meal with a friend to celebrate a birthday, a wedding reception, a confirmation, bar mitzvah, or Thanksgiving at Great Aunt Karen’s all present unique challenges.  Our job is to help them learn how to deal with these more “adult” eating situations.  For example, what if you are served something you want to spit out?  How do you politely refuse Mrs. Smith’s overcooked steak?  When do you use that second fork?  Where do you put your napkin when the meal is over?


Teaching Kids to Cook

Parenting & Kids | October 16, 2009 | By

As moms, our lives pretty much revolve around the kitchen. If we’re not cooking one meal, we’re cooking another – or cleaning up after it, anyway. Meanwhile, our kids are begging for attention. That, of course, mostly causes frustration – theirs and ours.