Motherly IRL

Tips by Trimester: A Becoming Mama Event

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Motherly's Becoming Mama event is an experiential and informative full-day event exploring all three trimesters of pregnancy—plus postpartum! The event will include engaging panels with industry leaders, interactive workshops with experts, intimate, honest stories from influential moms, and a chance to meet your new mom village IRL!

Saturday March 30
10:00am-3:30pm
Betaworks Studios
29 Little W. 12th St., NYC

Event Lineup:

10:00am: Registration + Breakfast

Sponsored by Siggi's

11:00am: Mindful Meditation

featuring Deborah Hanekamp @mamamedicine

11:20am: Finding Your Strength in Childbirth

featuring Eva Amuri @thehappilyeva; Morgane Richardson @doulamorgane; Tinamarie Clark @tinamarieclark; Diana Spalding @mother.ly

11:50am: Calming the Chaos of Motherhood

sponsored by One Medical

featuring Lindsey Bliss @carriagehousebirth; Colleen Wachob @mindbodygreen; Paige Bellenbaum @themotherhoodcenter; Margaret Chapman, M.D. @onemedical; Christie DeGallerie @iischristy

12:15pm: Lunch

1:25pm: Discovering Your Baby Balance

sponsored by Jetblack

featuring Bethany Ciotola @bethanyciotola; Claire Khodara @clairekhodara; Pooja Radia @jetblack; Liz Tenety @mother.ly

1:55pm: Navigating the Fourth Trimester

sponsored by Vital Proteins

featuring Randi Zinn @randizinn; Lashanda Dandrich @uptownvillagenyc; Lindsey Vestal @functionalpelvis; Caryn Johnson @vitalproteins

2:20pm: Snack Break

sponsored by Majka

3:00pm: Relationship SOS

featuring Alexandra Sacks MD @alexandrasacksmd; Alexis Barad Cutler @notsafeformomgroup

PLUS:

Motherly's Gear Lab featuring the best gear for 2019

sponsored by Born Free

Experience Reiki and Mini Sound Baths in our Wellness Lounge

sponsored by Crane

Take a Seat for a FaceLove Face Massage

sponsored by Evenflo

Enjoy a Light Breakfast & Healthy Lunch.

Thank you to our event sponsors: Born Free, Jetblack, Evenflo, Vital Proteins, Crane, Siggi's, Majka, SZENT Water

Our Gift Bag Sponsors: TwelveLittle, Chewbeads, June & January, OXO, Urbansitter, Weleda, Mom Culture & GimMe, First Aid Beauty, Rael, Water Wipes, Bundle Organics & Trumpette.

And our VIP Gift Bag Sponsors: TwelveLittle, Freshly Picked, HATCH Collection, Summer Infant & Wash With Water.

*While many of Motherly's events are family focused, there will not be specific activities or playspaces for babies or kids. this event is more mom-focused. Babies under 1 are welcome at this event, but a baby carrier is suggested as there's no room for strollers. Please use your discretion.

Meet our speakers

Eva Amurri Martino is a Mom, Wife, former Actress, and now… Blogger! She launched HappilyEvaAfter.com in 2015 as a way to share her multifaceted interests that range from Style, Decor, Food and Crafting—to her role as a new mama! Catch her on social media @thehappilyeva or on her Youtube channel.


Lindsey Bliss is a seasoned birth doula, co-director of Carriage House Birthh and the mother of seven. Lindsey is considered to be a multiples expert after giving birth to and breastfeeding two consecutive sets of twins. As such, Lindsey lends her unique expert insight to the education wing of Carriage House Birth through curriculum building, class development and the dissemination of education through teaching, blog posts, periodical writing and authorship. Lindsey is a newly published author of the book The Doula's Guide to Empowering Your Birth.


Morgane Richardson has been birth doula and perinatal health educator since 2012 and wears a variety of hats in this field including: Former Director of the NYC Doula Collective, Current Head of Practitioner Relations at CYCLES + SEX & Co-Founder of Woven Bodies, an inclusive digital practice supporting queer folks + allies from family planning through parenthood. Morgane holds a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.A. in Gender and Peacebuilding from the UN Mandated, University For Peace. She currently makes her home in Brooklyn, NY with her wife Alexandra and their 11 month old daughter.


Deborah Hanekamp, known as Mama Medicine, is "fashion's favorite healer" (Vogue Magazine). She facilitates Medicine Readings out of her Space in Soho, NYC, integrating over 17 years of experience and wisdom in the healing arts. Her work blends ancient knowledge from across a variety of traditions. At the end of every Medicine Reading Ceremony, Deborah prescribes a ritual bath. These beautiful baths (with flowers, crystals, and herbs), along with her unique aesthetic and approachable personality, have garnered Mama Medicine tens of thousands of global followers on Instagram. Her work has been featured in Vogue, New York Times, and Marie Claire. In a world of gurus and self-help, Mama Medicine helps us connect to the inner shaman within us all: the power of love. Follow Deborah @MamaMedicine


Alexandra Sacks, MD is the leading expert on "matrescence," the transition to motherhood that is as demanding and transformative as adolescence. She is known for popularizing the concept in her TED talk with over 1.5 million views, and in her article "The Birth of a Mother," the number one most read piece of 2017 for the New York Times "Well Family" section, where she is a regular contributor. She is the host and executive producer of Motherhood Sessions podcast to be released in April 2019 by Gimlet Media, and coauthor of What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood available for pre-sale now.


Colleen Wachob is Co-Founder and Co-CEO at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Stanford University with degrees in international relations and Spanish, and spent 10 years working at Fortune 500 companies including Gap, Walmart and Amazon. Colleen lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, mbg Founder and Co-CEO Jason Wachob.


LaShanda Dandrich is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, IBCLC and co- founder of the worker owner Cooperative, Uptown Village Cooperative. After the birth of her daughter in 2009, her passion for breastfeeding and supporting mothers and families in the postpartum period blossomed. She became a trained postpartum doula while pursuing her IBCLC credential. She has supported families of all diverse, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds throughout NYC. She resides in Harlem with her 10 year old daughter.


Christy DeGallerie is a New York writer and performer, she can be seen on Refinery 29, Huffington Post, Pop Sugar, Bustle and other various publications. Her work intersects identity and the humor in parenting. She lives north of Manhattan with her responsible and well dressed roommate, whom happens to be her 5 year old daughter, Ava.


Tinamarie Clark is a mother, model and shift stirrer. She guides people through her Five S-Method ™ , which is designed to transform negative emotions and storylines into more positive and empowering ones, while helping them forge deeper connections to themselves and our humanity. She frequently shares "magic in the mundane" moments and "owning your awful" stories, revealing the lessons in her everyday experiences that create transformative shifts in her growth. She holds space and curates conversations for others to share their own Shift Stirring Stories and push to the edge of their own evolution. Learn more at shiftstirrer.com.


Paige Bellenbaum, LMSW is the Chief External Relations Officer at The Motherhood Center. The Motherhood Center provides treatment and support to new and expectant mothers experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) otherwise known as postpartum depression. Paige has 20 year experience creating and overseeing programs for vulnerable populations, as well as advocating and providing education for such populations.

Caryn Johnson is senior vice president of marketing at Vital Proteins, and the force behind Vital's brand strategy. Caryn leads digital programming, celebrity, influencer & brand relationships, brand activation, messaging and consumer education. Her deep-rooted knowledge of the natural beauty space comes from her previous work with well-known skincare brand, Indie Lee, where she honed her integrated marketing skills and helped grow the brand exponentially. At Vital, Caryn has cultivated an aspirational lifestyle where fitness, wellness and beauty are one in the same.


Alexis Barad-Cutler is the founder and facilitator of Not Safe For Mom Group (NSFMG), an online and in-real-life community where women can find connection in talking candidly -- and without shame -- about the grittier sides of the motherhood experience. Also known as "The Mom Group You Didn't Know You Needed," NSFMG publishes boundary-pushing content about motherhood, and hosts live events and meetups in NYC. Alexis lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband, and their two young boys.


Bethany Ciotola is an advertising graduate turned stay at home mom, married with two and became a content creator sharing our everyday beautiful chaos of NYC life with our 3 boys.


Pooja Radia is a soon-to-be mom of 2 boys and 1 dog who is currently running Member Experience at Jetblack, a text-based personal shopping service for busy NYC moms. After earning her MBA at Wharton and spending two years at The Boston Consulting Group (and getting worn down from weekly travels from NYC to Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and even Italy!), she got bitten by the startup bug and launched/ran Luxe's NYC business until the company was sold to Volvo in the summer of 2017. Pooja is committed to building amazing consumer experiences for her fellow busy (and pregnant!) moms and always striving to find hacks on how to make it all work without losing her sense of self.


Margaret "Peggy" Chapman, MD, MS, FA is a board-certified pediatrician with One Medical. Peggy focuses on establishing a trusting and respectful relationship with parents and children to forge a therapeutic alliance. She believes preventive care and parent education are key to raising happy, healthy children-and she feels privileged to be part of the process. She enjoys working with children of all ages, from newborns through adolescents, and is especially interested in child behavior, child development, parenting, and ADHD. She graduated from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and did a chief residency in pediatrics at New York Presbyterian Hospital.


Claire Khodara is a singer, live music event producer, radio show host, and mother based in New York. Her international career spans 15 years, with residencies in London & Paris, including performing with David Foster on his most recent tour.


Lindsey Vestal owns The Functional Pelvis, a private practice specializing in pelvic floor therapy "house calls" for pre and postnatal women. She has dedicated her career to empowering women to find relief from conditions such as bowel and urinary incontinence, constipation, dyspareunia, pelvic pain, prolapse and pre and postnatal complications. She has trained with Herman & Wallace Institute, Marquette University, Diane Lee's Integrated Systems Model, Maitland as well as specialized biofeedback training for the pelvic floor. She is a certified Restore Your Core™ (RYC™) teacher. She graduated from NYU with a Master's of Science in Occupational Therapy and lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children Avery, 7 and Liam, 5.


Liz Tenety is co-founder and Chief Digital Officer of Motherly. A former Washington Post editor, she's also a mom of 3 with one more on the way.

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Babywearing allows newborns to be held close to your body and mama to snuggle with their new bundle of joy—but that's just where the benefits begin. When you're toting your baby with the help of a specially-designed carrier, you're also given back the two hands normally reserved for rocking, cuddling and soothing your little one. That opens up a whole new world when it comes to getting things done—particularly for #mombosses who are masters of multitasking.

We asked four of our favorites about the biggest benefits of their productivity hack of choice (babywearing) and how they got it all done using their carrier of choice, BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Free.

It helps soothe babies more easily

Daphne Oz wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Babies benefit from being in a carrier not only because worn babies cry less but also because a soothed baby means they're more likely to catch a much-needed nap. Rachel Zeilic, VP of Influencer Marketing at Who What Wear and Creative Director for fashion line Marjoelle, wore her son, August, in his early days for that reason. "It was a GREAT method to help him get to sleep," she says.

Sleep aside, decreased crying makes a huge difference in your busy days, even if your baby is super easygoing and loves carrier time, like that of Emmy-winning TV host, author and mama of four, Daphne Oz, whose youngest, Giovanna Ines (Gigi), is 4-months-old. "Gigi has always loved to be held. She's a very big baby, so babywearing is essential to give my arms a break. She loves to be snuggled as much as possible, and you can tell [being in her carrier] immediately soothes her. Sometimes she'll drift off or just rest her head on my chest and gaze around."

Mobilizing is a snap

Rachel Zeilic wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Like so many mamas, Zeilic needed to get out of the house frequently in those first few weeks for doctor appointments, but she found the sheer magnitude of getting out and getting the hang of a stroller pretty intimidating. Instead, she relied on her Baby Carrier Free and was out and about quickly after delivery. "We left the house from day one and we made a point every day of walking around the neighborhood," she says. "It was much more feasible [for me] than putting him in the stroller and going for a long walk."

Ariel Kaye, the CEO and founder of Parachute, was a big fan of babywearing with her now 11-month-old daughter Lou for the same reason. "Especially as I started to get more comfortable getting out of the house, what started as really short walks and gradually got longer," she says.

Carriers are especially friendly for city-dwelling mamas

Ranji Jacques wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Having a baby while living in a big city can be a challenge, but babywearing makes going about your day so much more simple. That's how Ranji Jacques, Fashion Director at Condé Nast, gets around New York City. "Everyone can agree that a baby carrier is a must-have, especially if you're in an urban area," says the mom of two to 3-year-old Diego and 1-year-old Lucienne. Why? Because steep curbs and storefront steps no longer pose a deterrent, and (bonus!) you can keep germ-covered surfaces out of baby's reach.

Take meetings with baby in tow

Rachel Zeilic wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

If you need to phone into the office or are a permanent part of the growing work-from-home mama population, strapping on baby allows you to talk shop and spend time with your little one. "I've honestly gotten so many conference calls and deals done with August in the carrier," says Zeilic.

So did Kaye, who would tote her daughter Lou in her BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Free on walks to Parachute's nearby brick-and-mortar store as not only a way of getting outside, but also checking in with work, too.

Tackle housework + make  errands easier (and feasible)

Daphne Oz wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

When you've got a new baby at home, getting the dishes done or folding a basket of (clean!) laundry is a huge accomplishment. But using the carrier can help you tick off your to-do list while spending time with your newborn. "Babywearing really helped me—like it made all of my everyday [tasks] so much easier," says Kaye, because it gave her back her much-needed set of hands.

Oz agrees that wearing her daughter has been a boon to her productivity. "I try to bring Gigi along whenever I can, since my time at home can be limited and [I'm] often stretched thin trying to get everything in order. She comes along to the market and for coffee and on other errands—and I love to use a carrier in the house so I can keep her with me while I'm heading from room to room putting things in order."

It can provide for everyday teaching moments

Ariel Kaye wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

When you're going about your daily tasks, babywearing provides a front row seat to turn it into an educational experience for the two of you. "It's a special way to be able to communicate with her—I can show her things, touch things," says Kaye. From folding laundry to self-care, opportunities to engage baby can happen anywhere. Just ask Lou, who loves watching mama Ariel do her makeup while happily hanging out in her BABYBJÖRN, a task enjoyed by Gigi and Daphne as well.

Plus, allotting some of your attention to quickie tasks feels more guilt-free when babywearing. "Even though I'm doing other stuff, I can talk to him and narrate what I'm doing," explains Zeilic. "I just feel like it's playing and bonding, versus feeling like I'm sacrificing time with him."

Hello, old favorite activities

Ariel Kaye wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Zeilic and her husband love to use their Baby Carrier Free for hikes—anything under an hour and she'll strap on the carrier, over an hour and Dad's on the job (good thing it's easily adjustable for parents of all sizes). Even if hiking isn't your hobby of choice, resuming your pre-baby favorite activities and feeling more like yourself post-baby is a welcome change to which most mamas can relate, Oz included.

She fondly remembers the sense of confidence and familiarity that accompanied a babywearing outing when her eldest children were a bit younger. "My first, Philomena, was only 20 months old when John was born and still such a baby herself. I remember going out to the beach on a calm day with Philomena to collect shells, and John was strapped next to my chest, snuggly and content. It was one of the first times I really felt confident as a new mother of 2."

You can travel light

Ranji Jacques wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Working in fashion, Jacques has a tendency to be flanked with a host of accessories or at least a go-to purse, but babywearing has helped her limit the amount she has in tow when out and about. "I strap on baby, grab a bottle of water and my wallet and I'm ready to go," she says. Minimalist multitasking has never been so chic.

This article was sponsored by BABYBJÖRN. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

So far 2020 has been a year of big changes for Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Earlier this month the royal couple announced plans step back and senior members of the royal family. Initially, the plan was for the couples to retain their royal tiles and raise their "son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born" while also give themselves the space to work and live in North America.

But sometimes, young parents have to make tough choices to do what's best for their new family and that can mean making changes that impact your family of origin.

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This weekend the Queen announced that her family has found a way for Harry and Meghan to move forward, and it means they're not only not senior royals anymore, they do not have HRH titles (His Royal Highness or Her Royal Highness) anymore and "are no longer working members of the Royal Family."

The statement from the Queen reads, in part: "Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.

"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.

"I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.

"I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.

"It is my whole family's hope that today's agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life."

The Queen's statement explains that Harry and Meghan have "shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home."

Basically, they're serious about being financially independent and they're going to pay rent on the cottage.

Untangling family issues can be hard, and it is hard for anyone to imagine what it must be like to live this out on the world's stage. In her statement, the Queen said she understands the role the intense press scrutiny has played in the couple's decision to forge a new path, and that they will always be her family.

Whether you're leaving the royal family to move to Canada, or just trying to explain to your parents that your own family needs to move to another state, this stuff is hard.

Here's to a new chapter in 2020, for Harry and Meghan and all the other new parents who are writing their own stories.

News

Motherhood is a juggling act. Whether you have one child or many, work outside the home or don't, have a partner or are doing this whole thing solo, you are always juggling something. So how on earth do we keep up the act? How do we ensure no ball gets dropped?

We don't.

All of us, every single one, lets something slip through our fingers on some occasion or another. And that's totally okay.

A friend from college recently commented on Instagram how peaceful and sweet my children seemed. I laughed out loud, and not an endearing chuckle, a wholehearted cackle. What a glorious and erroneous idea that my children are peaceful and sweet. I have three of these beautiful monsters, ages 12, 5 and 4 months. Our house sounds more like a child run circus than a zen meditation retreat.

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It is true that my children are sweet at times. And I will admit I try very hard to create a peaceful life and home, but those are not the two words I would ever use to describe our family. I might choose words like rambunctious, spirited, passionate and intense.

What I realized as I simultaneously smiled and snorted in laughter, was that I put a lot of work into creating a life on social media that looks just like that. Peaceful and sweet. I choose my words carefully, I edit my photos and of course choose only the best ones, the ones where everyone is smiling and we appear to love each other. The pictures of my children pulling each other's hair, stealing snacks and shouting that they hate each other don't get quite as many likes.

Don't get me wrong—my children often smile and we do love each other very much. But by carefully curating the life I post on social media I have unintentionally created something laughable. What a jolt to realize the very thing I'm striving for makes me laugh out loud when someone names it. Is there anything more inauthentic than that?

I am working to strive for authenticity and perfect imperfection.

I make mistakes, hurt those I love, burn dinner and that is what makes me human.

I drop the ball every single day in some large or small way—and that's okay. It is to be expected really.

It's what can give us the gift of connection. We can connect with one another via our faults and our vulnerabilities. We starve ourselves of this by pretending to be perfect.

As I write this I'm sitting in the front seat of my car in the parking lot of our local skate park, my youngest is napping in his car seat, my oldest is wearing a helmet and pads and is driving his new BMX bike as fast as he can up and down hills and ramps set at odd angles with weird curves among them.

This moment feels ideal t. The breeze blows through my open windows as my oldest is getting a great workout and my youngest slowly wakes up cooing.

We can only enjoy the moment if we are present within it. When I live my life constantly in a state of distraction, constantly keeping my eyes on all the balls I'm juggling, I'm not enjoying any of it.

I am not a master juggler at this moment in life. I don't think what I'm doing even looks like juggling. I do not have my eyes on all the balls, I am not even attempting to catch or toss them all in that perfect arc that looks so magical.

I prefer to relish these kinds of moments, soak up their joy, their peace, their sweetness and to do that I have to let go of the charade, I have to accept imperfection in the form of letting some balls drop.

I want to live a life full of authenticity and joy in the simple moments.

I want to live without the pressure of doing it all.

I want to give myself the gift of not doing everything the way it should be done by the imagined deadlines that cannot be met.

I want to enjoy my rambunctious, passionate children.

So I let the ball drop—and I'm okay with that.

Life

Feeding your new baby can be a beautiful experience, but it can also be really hard. We at Motherly have talked about it. Amy Schumer has talked about it. And now Kate Upton is talking about it, too.

Upton and her husband Justin Verlander became parents when their daughter Genevieve was born in November 2018, and in a new interview with Editorialist, Upton explains that while she loves motherhood she didn't always love breastfeeding.

"Having VeVe has changed my life in such a wonderful way," she explains, adding that in the early days of motherhood she felt "so much pressure"..."to be doing all these things, like breastfeeding on the go—when the reality, for me, was that breastfeeding was sucking the energy away from me. I realized I needed to calm down, to allow my body to recover."

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Breastfeeding can take up a lot of a mama's time and energy in those early weeks and months, and while Upton doesn't explicitly say whether she switched to formula, combo fed, pumped or what, it's clear that she did give herself some grace when it came to breastfeeding and found the right parenting pace by taking the pressure off of herself.

Upton took the pressure off herself when it came to her demanding breastfeeding schedule, and she's also resisting the pressure to keep up with a social media posting schedule.

"I want to be enjoying my life, enjoying my family, not constantly trying to take the perfect picture," she says. "I think my husband wants me to throw my phone away. We talk about it in the house all the time: 'Let's have a phone-free dinner.' We don't want [our daughter] thinking being on the phone is all that life is."

Whether the pressure to be perfect is coming from your phone or from society's conflicting exceptions of mothers it's a force worth rejecting. Upton is loving life at her own pace, imperfect as reallife can be.

News

After the treat-filled sugar rush of holidays and birthdays, it can be hard to get back on track with eating healthy as a family. (What can I say, I love cake—and my kids do, too.) It's totally okay to hold your boundary for sugar in your kid's diet, no matter what that boundary is. And you can do it without being the bad guy.

Putting a positive spin on "the sugar issue" (letting kids know that they can have treats sometimes, but not all. the. time.) will help prevent sugar becoming an ongoing power struggle, which nobody wants.

Here are a few phrases that can help your kids eat less sugar, without creating a power struggle over treats:

1. "Holiday and birthday treats are so fun, but they're not for every day."

Acknowledge that all of the extra treats were fun (they were!). You can talk about how some foods are for special occasions and others are the ones we eat every day to have strong bodies and feel good.

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2. "I feel so much better when I eat lots of fruits and vegetables."

Instead of putting the emphasis on why sugar is bad, try focusing on all the good reasons to eat healthy foods. You can talk about how eating carrots gives us strong eyes, eating oranges keeps us from getting sniffles, or eating kale helps us feel good and have lots of energy for playing.

3. "Which fruit would you like to have with your lunch?"

Keep it fun by letting your child choose which healthy foods to eat. Two or three choices are fine. You can let them help pick at the grocery store or let them pick from the options you've selected—the important thing is to offer choice.

4. "Let's see if we can make a rainbow on your plate!"

Who doesn't love rainbows, especially among the under-six crowd? Use their universal appeal to your advantage and encourage kiddos to make their own edible rainbows.

Make it extra fun by writing a checklist with colored pencils, one checkbox for every rainbow color, and bringing it with you to the grocery store. Let your child choose one item from the produce section for every color.

5. "You can choose one treat with dinner, but candy isn't a choice for snack today."

Make sure kids know that they will still be able to enjoy treats sometimes. Instead of saying "candy makes you crazy," or "sugar rots your teeth," just let them know when you're okay with them having a treat. It may be every night after dinner, only on Friday nights, or it may not be until Valentine's Day, but having a clear boundary will help reduce the constant pleas for sweet treats.

6. "I think treats feel more special when we don't have them every day."

Talk to your child about how part of the fun of holiday treats is that they're out of the ordinary. They are special traditions we get to enjoy each year and they help make the holidays feel magical. Just as it wouldn't be as fun if we had a Christmas tree up all year or wore a Halloween costume every day, treats aren't as fun if we eat them nonstop.

7. "I hear that you really want candy. I can't let you have it right now, but it's okay to be disappointed."

Let your child know that you empathize with their feelings about not being able to eat what they want all of the time.

Sometimes children just need to be heard. It might be more important to them to know that you understand their feelings about treats than to actually get a treat.

8. "Let's think of a healthy treat we could get at the grocery store next week."

Brainstorm with your child and come up with a list of healthy treats you could bring home from your next grocery shopping trip. This might be a kind of fruit they haven't had in a while, a granola bar you don't usually buy, or the makings of a fun trail mix.

Part of the fun of treats is the ritual—you can still enjoy the sweetness without the extra sugar.

9. "Would you like to bake with me?"

Carry those fond memories of making Christmas cookies together into the new year to help wean kids off the holiday high of constant treats. Just find something you're okay with your child eating regularly, like a healthy muffin recipe, baked oatmeal, or energy bites—whatever meets your own nutritional guidelines for your family!

10. "I noticed you didn't sleep well when you ate those treats before nap time. Let's think of a better time for treats together."

You can explain the effects of sugar on the body without vilifying it. Sometimes just saying sugar is bad makes it all the more desirable or pits you against your child. But that doesn't mean you can't give them the facts. Just tell them plainly that sugar makes it harder for them to sleep well, makes it harder for them to concentrate, or whatever other effects you've seen.

Here's to a healthy 2020—you've got this, mama!

Learn + Play
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