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Here's the scoop—we have nothing bad to say about ice cream. It's refreshing, tasty, and it's our go-to when we need an instant pick-me-up after frolicking in the scorching sun with the kids. It also doubles as the perfect dessert to make with your toddler, which is another reason it's high on our list of summer activities. Simply put: Nothing evokes the summer season better than a big bowl of it.

That's why we gathered the yummiest (and sweetest) homemade ice cream recipes to make with your toddler:

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours 45 mins

Ingredients (makes 8 servings):

  • 1½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 cups low-fat milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 14-ounce can nonfat sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 vanilla bean

Instructions:

1. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl; let stand, stirring once or twice, while you make the base for the ice cream.

2. Pour 1½ cups milk into a large saucepan. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds into the milk and add the pod.

3. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until steaming. Whisk egg yolks and condensed milk in a medium bowl. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the back of the spoon is lightly coated, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not bring to a boil or the custard will curdle.

4. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean large bowl. Add the softened gelatin and whisk until melted.

5. Whisk in the remaining 1½ cups milk. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

Whisk the ice cream mixture and pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions. If necessary, place the ice cream in the freezer to firm up before serving.

Recipe from Eating Well.

Strawberry Ice Cream with Brown Sugar

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 5 mins

Ingredients (makes 9 servings):

  • 1 package (16 ounces or three cups) Driscoll's Strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Mix strawberries, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan. Let stand 10 minutes off heat.

2. Mash mixture with a potato masher until all berries have broken up. 3. Puree one-half strawberry mixture in a blender, then return to the saucepan.

4. Heat mixture gently only until fragrant, about 5 minutes. (Be careful to not overcook.)

5. Stir in heavy cream, milk and vanilla and chill in refrigerator overnight.

6. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

Recipe from Driscolls.

Smuckers Caramel Apple Ice Cream

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely chopped, peeled cooking apples, like McIntosh
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice or ground cinnamon
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half cream
  • 1/3 cup Smucker's Caramel Flavored Topping

Instructions:

1. Cook apple in melted butter in large skillet over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in apple cider and apple pie spice; cover and simmer 5 minutes.

2. Whisk sweetened condensed milk and cream in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in apple mixture. Fill a large bowl about halfway with ice cubes and very cold water. Set the medium bowl containing the ice cream mixture inside the large bowl. Stir until very cold, about 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Spread in 8- or 9-inch square pan. Cover and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. Scoop ice cream and mound in pan.

4. Drizzle caramel topping over entire surface, allowing caramel to seep into ice cream. Pack ice cream back into pan. Cover and freeze until ready to serve.

Recipe from Smuckers.

Chamomile Blackberry Ice Cream

Prep Time: 20 mins (plus cooling overnight)

Cook Time: 37 mins

Ingredients:

  • Chamomile Ice Cream
  • 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons whole milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons (2½ ounces) cream cheese cut into cubes
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup dried chamomile
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vodka, optional

Blackberry Swirl

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 packages (6 ounces each) Driscoll's Blackberries
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

1. Pre-freeze ice cream maker bowl according to manufacturer's instructions.

2. Chill a metal loaf pan in freezer until needed.

Blackberry Sauce

1. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.

2. Set aside cornstarch mixture.

3. Place blackberries into a small saucepan. Add lemon juice and cornstarch mixture.

4. Stir to combine ingredients.

5. Cook blackberry mixture over medium-low heat while stirring occasionally until blackberries have broken down and sauce is thick and bubbly, about 10-12 minutes. Allow blackberry mixture to cool slightly.

6. Transfer blackberry mixture a blender or food processor.

7. Puree blackberry mixture until smooth. Press blackberry sauce through a fine-mesh sieve and discard seeds.

8. Chill blackberry sauce in refrigerator until needed.

Chamomile Ice Cream

1. Whisk 3 tablespoons milk with cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside cornstarch mixture.

2. Place cream cheese in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Place remaining 3 cups milk into a medium saucepan. Add cream, sugar, honey, and salt. Boil milk mixture over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly. Remove milk mixture from heat and stir in dried chamomile. Cover with a lid. Allow milk mixture to steep for 20 minutes.

4. Strain infused milk mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth and squeeze cheesecloth firmly to recover all the liquid.

5. Return infused milk mixture to saucepan.

6. Whisk cornstarch slurry again until smooth. Then, wisk cornstarch slurry into infused milk mixture.

7. Cook infused milk mixture over medium-high heat while stirring constantly until mixture lightly coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour ⅓ cup infused milk mixture over cream cheese. Stir cream cheese mixture until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture back into saucepan. Whisk ice cream base until completely smooth. Stir in vanilla and vodka (if using).

8. Chill ice cream base over ice bath for 30 minutes or in refrigerator 2-4 hours.

9. Pour ice cream base into bowl of ice cream maker. Churn ice cream until frozen according to manufacturer's instructions. Remove loaf pan and blackberry sauce from the freezer. Spread ¼ of ice cream evenly into loaf pan.

10. Dollop ¼ of blackberry sauce in several places over ice cream. Swirl blackberry sauce gently into ice cream using a chopstick or butter knife. Spread another ¼ of ice cream evenly into loaf pan. Dollop another ¼ of blackberry sauce in several places over ice cream. Swirl blackberry sauce gently into ice cream using a chopstick or butter knife.

11. Repeat steps until all blackberry sauce has been swirled into layers of ice cream. Cover loaf pan tightly with plastic wrap. Chill loaf pan in freezer 4 hours or overnight.

12. Let ice cream to rest at room temperature 5-10 minutes before serving

Recipe from Driscolls.

Homemade Cookies-and-Cream Ice Cream

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 4 ounces chocolate wafer cookies (about 20)

Instructions:

1. Whisk the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the beaten yolks, then pour back into the saucepan, whisking, and return to medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, coats the spoon and reaches 180 degrees F on a thermometer, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl or measuring cup; discard the solids. Stir often until the mixture cools to room temperature. Lightly press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until cold, about 3 hours. (For faster chilling, set the bowl of custard in a bowl of ice water and stir until cold.)

2. Place an 8-inch square metal pan in the freezer to chill then freeze the cold custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Put the cookies into a resealable plastic bag and lightly crush with the smooth side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a measuring cup.

3. Remove chilled pan and sprinkle in half of the crumbled cookies. Top with half of the ice cream, then repeat with remaining cookies and ice cream. Working quickly, use a spoon to incorporate the cookies into the ice cream mixing from bottom to the top. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, 2 to 3 hours.

Recipe from Food Network.

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We spend a lot of time prepping for the arrival of a baby. But when it comes to the arrival of our breast milk (and all the massive adjustments that come with it), it's easy to be caught off guard. Stocking up on a few breastfeeding essentials can make the transition to breastfeeding a lot less stressful, which means more time and energy focusing on what's most important: Your recovery and your brand new baby.

Here are the essential breastfeeding tools you'll need, mama:

1. For covering up: A cute nursing cover

First and foremost, please know that all 50 states in the United States have laws that allow women to breastfeed in public. You do not have to cover yourself if you don't want to—and many mamas choose not to—and we are all for it.

That said, if you do anticipate wanting to take a more modest approach to breastfeeding, a nursing cover is a must. You will find an array of styles to choose from, but we love an infinity scarf, like the LK Baby Infinity Nursing Scarf Nursing Cover. You'll be able to wear the nursing cover instead of stuffing it in your already brimming diaper bag—and it's nice to have it right there when the baby is ready to eat.

Also, in the inevitable event that your baby spits-up on you or you leak some milk through your shirt, having a quick and stylish way to cover up is a total #momwin.

2. For getting comfortable: A cozy glider

Having a comfy spot to nurse can make a huge difference. Bonus points if that comfy place totally brings a room together, like the Delta Children Paris Upholstered Glider!

Get your cozy space ready to go, and when your baby is here, you can retreat from the world and just nurse, bond, and love.

3. For unmatched support: A wire-free nursing bra

It may take trying on several brands to find the perfect match, but finding a nursing bra that you love is 100% worth the effort. Your breasts will be changing and working in ways that are hard to imagine. An excellent supportive bra will make this so much more comfortable.

It is crucial to choose a wireless bra for the first weeks of nursing since underwire can increase the risk of clogged ducts (ouch).The Playtex Maternity Shaping Foam Wirefree Nursing Bra is an awesome pick for this reason, and because it is designed to flex and fit your breasts as they go through all those changes.

4. For maximum hydration: A large reusable water bottle

Nothing can prepare you for the intense thirst that hits when breastfeeding. Quench that thirst (and help keep your milk supply up in the process) by always having a water bottle with a straw nearby, like this Exquis Large Outdoor Water Bottle.

5. For feeding convenience: A supportive nursing tank

Experts recommend that during the first weeks of your baby's life, you breastfeed on-demand, meaning that any time your tiny boss demands milk, you feed them. This will help establish your milk supply and get everything off to a good start.

What does this mean for your life? You will be breastfeeding A LOT. Nursing tanks, like the Loving Moments by Leading Lady, make this so much easier. They have built-in support to keep you comfy, and you can totally wear them around the house, or even out and about. When your baby wants to eat, you'll be able to quickly "pop out" a breast and feed them.

6. For pain prevention: A quality nipple ointment

Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt, but the truth is those first days can be uncomfortable. Your nipples will likely feel raw as they adjust to their new job. This will get better! But until it does, nipple ointment is amazing.

My favorite is the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. We love that it's organic, and it is oh-so-soothing on your hard-at-work nipples.

Psst: If it actually hurts when your baby latches on, something may be up, so call your provider or a lactation consultant for help.

7. For uncomfortable moments: A dual breast therapy pack

As your breasts adjust to their new role, you may experience a few discomforts—applying warmth or cold can help make them feel so much better. The Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Pack is awesome because you can microwave the pads or put them in the freezer, giving you a lot of options when your breasts need some TLC.

Again, if you have any concerns about something being wrong (pain, a bump that may be red or hot, fever, or anything else), call a professional right away.

8. For inevitable leaks: An absorbing breast pad

In today's episode of, "Oh come on, really?" you are going to leak breastmilk. Now, this is entirely natural and you are certainly not required to do anything about this. Still, many moms choose to wear breast pads in their bras to avoid leaking through to their shirts.

You can go the convenient and disposable route with Lansinoh Disposable Stay Dry Nursing Pads, or for a more environmentally friendly option, you can choose washable pads, like these Organic Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads.

9. For flexibility: A breast pump

Many women find that a breast pump becomes one of their most essential mom-tools. The ability to provide breast milk when you are away from your baby (and relieve uncomfortable engorged breasts) will add so much flexibility into your new-mom life.

For quick trips out and super-easy in-your-bag transport, opt for a manual pump like the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump .

If you will be away from your baby for longer periods of time (traveling or working outside the home, for example) an electric pump is your most efficient bet. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump is a classic go-to that will absolutely get the job done, and then some.

10. For quality storage: Breast milk bags

Once you pump your liquid gold, aka breast milk, you'll need a place to store it. The Kiinde Twist Pouches allow you to pump directly into the bags which means one less step (and way less to clean).

11. For keeping cool: A freezer bag

Transport your pumped milk back home to your baby safely in a cooler like the Mommy Knows Best Breast Milk Baby Bottle Cooler Bag. Remember to put the milk in a fridge or freezer as soon as you can to optimize how long it stays usable for.

12. For continued nourishment: Bottles

Nothing beats the peace of mind you get when you know that your baby is being well-taken of care—and well fed—until you can be together again. The Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle Newborn Starter Gift Set is a fan favorite (mama and baby fans alike).

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

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Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.

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A viral video about car seat safety has parents everywhere cracking up and humming Sir-Mix-A-Lot.

"I like safe kids and I cannot lie," raps Norman Regional Health System pediatric hospitalist Dr. Kate Cook (after prefacing her music video with an apology to her children."I'm a doctor tryin' warn you that recs have changed," she continues.

Dr. Cook's rap video is all about the importance of keeping babies facing backward. It's aptly called "Babies Face Back," and uses humor and parody to drive home car seat recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

"Switching from rear-facing to forward-facing is a milestone many parents can't wait to reach," Dr. Cook said in a news release about her hilarious video. "But this is one area where you want to delay the transition as long as possible because each one actually reduces the protection to the child."

Last summer the AAP updated its official stance on car seat safety to be more in line with what so many parents were already doing and recommended that kids stay rear-facing for as long as possible. But with so many things to keep track of in life, it is understandable that some parents still don't know about the change. Dr. Cook wants to change that with some cringe-worthy rapping.

The AAP recommends:

  • Babies and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat.
  • Once they are facing forward, children should use a forward-facing car safety seat with a harness for as long as possible. Many seats are good up to 65 pounds.
  • When children outgrow their car seat they should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly, between 8 and 12 years old.

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[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

Suicide rates for girls and women in the United States have increased 50% since 2000, according to the CDC and new research indicates a growing number of pregnant and postpartum women are dying by suicide and overdose. Suicide rates for boys and men are up, too.

It's clear there is a mental health crisis in America and it is robbing children of their mothers and mothers of their children.

Medical professionals urge people to get help early, but sometimes getting help is not so simple. For many Americans, the life preserver that is mental health care is out of reach when they are drowning.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg just released a plan he hopes could change that and says the neglect of mental health in the United States must end. "Our plan breaks down the barriers around mental health and builds up a sense of belonging that will help millions of suffering Americans heal," says Buttigieg.

He thinks he can "prevent 1 million deaths of despair by 2028" by giving Americans more access to mental health and addictions services.

In a country where giving birth can put a mother in debt, it's not surprising that while as many as 1 in 5 new moms suffers from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, more than half of new moms who need mental health treatment don't get it. Stigma, childcare and of course costs are factors in why women aren't seeking help when they are struggling.

Buttigieg's plan is interesting because it could remove some of these barriers. He wants to make mental health care more affordable by ensuring everyone has comprehensive coverage for mental health care and by ensuring that everyone can access a free yearly mental health check-up.

That could make getting help more affordable for some moms, and by increasing reimbursement rates for mental health care delivered through telehealth, this plan could help moms get face time with a medical professional without having to deal with finding childcare first.

Estimates from new research suggest that in some parts of America as many as 14% or 30% of maternal deaths are caused by addiction or suicide. Buttigieg's plan aims to reduce those estimates by fighting the addiction and opioid crisis and increasing access to mental health services in underserved communities and for people of color. He also wants to reduce the stigma and increase support for the next generation by requiring "every school across the country to teach Mental Health First Aid courses."

These are lofty goals with a lofty price tag. It would cost about $300 billion to do what Buttigieg sets out in his plan and the specifics of how the plan would be funded aren't yet known. Neither is how voters will react to this 18-page plan and whether it will help Buttigieg stand out in a crowded field of Democratic candidates.

What we do know is that right now, America is talking about mental health and whether or not that benefits Buttigieg's campaign it will certainly benefit America.

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[Editor's Note: Welcome to It's Science, a Motherly column focusing on evidence-based explanations for the important moments, milestones, and phenomena of motherhood. Because it's not just you—#itsscience.]

If you breastfeed, you know just how magical (and trying) it is, but it has numerous benefits for mama and baby. It is known to reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, and cuts the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by half.

If this wasn't powerful enough, scientists have discovered that babies who are fed breast milk have a stomach pH that promotes the formation of HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells). HAMLET was discovered by chance when researchers were studying the antibacterial properties of breast milk. This is a combination of proteins and lipids found in breast milk that can work together to kill cancer cells, causing them to pull away from healthy cells, shrink and die, leaving the healthy cells unaffected.

According to researchers at Lund University in Sweden, this mechanism may contribute to the protective effect breast milk has against pediatric tumors and leukemia, which accounts for about 30% of all childhood cancer. Other researchers analyzed 18 different studies, finding that "14% to 19% of all childhood leukemia cases may be prevented by breastfeeding for six months or more."

And recently, doctors in Sweden collaborated with scientists in Prague to find yet another amazing benefit to breast milk. Their research demonstrated that a certain milk sugar called Alpha1H, found only in breast milk, helps in the production of lactose and can transform into a different form that helps break up tumors into microscopic fragments in the body.

Patients who were given a drug based on this milk sugar, rather than a placebo, passed whole tumor fragments in their urine. And there is more laboratory evidence to support that the drug can kill more than 40 different types of cancer cells in animal trials, including brain tumors and colon cancer. These results are inspiring scientists to continue to explore HAMLET as a novel approach to tumor therapy and make Alpha1H available to cancer patients.

Bottom line: If you choose to breastfeed, the breast milk your baby gets from your hard work can be worth every drop of effort.

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