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Category Archives: Special Needs

Lentils: Another Homemade Blended Formula Recipe

Lentils and Peasphoto by photobunny

As a vegetarian, I’ve known about the wonders of lentils for a while. Not only are they delicious (especially in a soup or stew), but they also provide a powerhouse of nutrition high in protein, calorie dense and balanced out with a healthy dose of carbs. Armed with this knowledge, I decided to try a recipe for Jenna’s homemade formula using lentils. Here’s what I came up with:

  • 1 c. Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix  (green & yellow split peas, barley, lentils & vegi pasta)
  • 1/4 c. quinoa
  • 2 T raw honey (No children under age 1 should consume honey!)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 T ginger (read this, too)
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 4 c. coconut milk
  • 1 c. goat’s milk kefir and here
  • 1 c. powdered goat’s milk
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 T Udo’s 3-6-9 oil (read here for benefits)
  • 2 T Hemp butter
  • 1 c applesauce
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 c. chopped spinach (dark, leafy greens are an often overlooked source of protein)
  • 3 T kelp powder read this also (especially for it’s iodine, iron & selenium)
  • 6 brazil nuts (for selenium)
  • 1 c. water

All my ingredients are organic from our local co-op.

Preparation is easy. I simmer the soup mix & quinoa in the 4 cups of coconut milk. While that’s simmering, I add all other ingredients to my Vita Mix blender and blend well. I add the mixture from the stove, blend very well (sometimes adding more water to achieve the desired consistency to pass through the feeding pump tubing) and pour into storage jars.

Nutritional info:

  • 2651 calories (30 cal/oz)
  • 112 grams of fat  (38% of total calories)
  • 90 grams of protein (14% of total calories)
  • 344 grams of carbohydrates (51% of total calories)

Good to know when making these calculations:

  • Fats have 9 calories per gram
  • Proteins & carbs have 4 calories per gram

I’d like to get the protein percentage a little higher and will probably do so by using more of the lentil soup mix the next time. BUT, even though the percentage of protein for the overall mixture is not as high as I’d like, I calculated what she consumes in a day and found that she’s still getting the 18 g/day recommended for her age and weight.

Happy cooking! Happy feeding!

 
 

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Fire Safety For Kids

firephoto by matthewvenn

We were in Chicago over the weekend and visited the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier. If you ever have a chance to go, I highly recommend it. One of their exhibits is on fire safety. There is a firetruck to climb on, fireman costumes to dress up in, pretend hoses to spray, flashing lights, radios, and a bedroom with lightweight fabric draped all around to simulate smoke. The bedroom is to train kids to “get low and go” to stay under the smoke. They find their way in the dark, under the hanging “smoke.” It’s a great opportunity to talk to kids about fire safety. They had brochures for parents to pick up, so I did. I know we need to work a little more on a concrete plan.

Here are the 10 Steps to Fire Safety (from the Chicago Fire Department):

Smoke Detectors Save Lives! Put a smoke detector outside your sleeping areas. Change batteries twice a year (when you change your clocks) and test them monthly so kids can hear the beeping sound.

Have an Escape Plan! Create and practice escape routes from different areas of your house – especially from your bedrooms at night.

Sleep With Doors Shut! Fire travels through open areas first. Closed doors help keep fire and smoke from spreading.

Get Low and Go! Smoke and heat rise toward the ceiling. Air is more breathable near the floor.

Never Hide – Crawl Outside! Young children may fear the sights and sounds of firefighting equipment. Talk about why they should NEVER hide from firefighters, no matter what.

Know Two Ways Out! A fire may block a certain path. Know two ways out of the house or building.

Feel Every Door! As you crawl, feel doors with the back of your hand. Don’t open a door if it’s hot – there may be flames on the other side.

Go to the Family Meeting Place! Make sure everyone knows where to meet after they leave the home (a neighbor’s house, street corner, or particular tree).

Call 911 for Help! It’s OK to scream and yell in an emergency. Find a neighbor and call 911.

Practice Your Escape Plan! Practicing how to exit your home in a fire is the BEST way to prepare.

If your child has disabilities, call your local fire department’s non-emergency number and explain your family’s situation. They can suggest escape plans, perform a home fire-safety inspection, and recommend special equipment, such as smoke alarms with flashing lights and vibrating elements to place under pillows.

More information for those with disabilities:

U.S. Fire Administration

FireSafety.gov

Great books for kids:

A Day with Firefighters

Fighting Fires

Firefighters A to Z

Fire Truck

I Want to be a Firefighter

No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons) – we love!

Free coloring book download

If your child is curious about fires, the bedroom is the most common place for children to “play” with fire. If you suspect your child is experimenting, look for burnt matches or burn marks under your child’s bed, desk or in the closet, and GET EXPERT ADVICE.

Hopefully, you never need any of this information, but if you do, preparedness is key and can truly save lives.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Parenting tips, Special Needs

 

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ID Bracelet Giveaway

CONTEST CLOSED. “Kel” (Comment #4) was the winner. Waiting for her contact information to send out her prize. Wish I had one to give to all of you! Thanks for entering.

We recently purchased a MY-MED ID bracelet for Jenna. It’s similar to the one shown above and features a USB storage device enclosed in water resistant silicone. The storage device includes already installed software that allows you to simply fill in the blanks with important information for your child. Programming the information was as easy as plugging in the USB device and filling in the blanks!

Before we ordered Jenna’s, I accidentally ordered the MY-ID bracelet (the one pictured above). It’s the same idea, but doesn’t include as many pre-programmed spaces for medical information. This is good news for you, because you get to benefit from my mistake! That’s right! I’m giving away the above pictured MY-ID bracelet to one lucky reader!

I think these bracelets are priceless for kiddos who are prone to wander, especially if they’re non-verbal. I can even see advantages for “typical” kids when visiting theme parks, festivals, malls, or other places where there might be a higher likelihood of being separated. Even though the MY-ID bracelet doesn’t include multiple spaces specifically for medical information, there’s a “Notes” section where medical conditions or medications could be included. From the MY-BANDS website:

“Each band comes with instructions for loading numerous emergency contacts onto the USB device, so emergency personnel have easy access to this critical information so they can reunite you with your child. There is also enough space to upload a current photo and scanned fingerprint.

MY-ID is unique as it holds the emergency contact information of whom to call when a child is lost, or missing, NOT the childs name and personal information.”

Jenna usually doesn’t like wearing jewelry of any kind, but this band is light and comfortable and she never complains. In fact, she loves wearing it, and frequently prompts me to remember that she needs to put it on!

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment! Simple as that! Make sure you include an email address so we can contact you if you win.

Contest details:

  • Only 1 entry per person
  • Winner will be selected at random using a random number generator
  • Contest ends at midnight on August 5
  • A winner will be selected and announced on August 6 during the chat/blog hop for BlogHer at Home
  • Winner will be contacted via email

For more fabulous prizes and fun over the next week, be sure to check out the BlogHer at Home website!

Disclaimer: I didn’t receive any payment or products for writing this post. The opinions expressed here are completely my own.

 

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Teaching Kids About Personal Space

Check out my review of the book Personal Space Camp at Shop Sensory today!

 

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A Labyrinth for Calming Stress Relief

Check out my post at Shop Sensory on a fun & calming activity for kiddos and adults alike!

 

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Who Am I?

Question?

I finally had a little free time today to sit down and read some blogs that I’m WAY behind on. I came across this at Caleigh’s Corner:

“Often I wonder if parents, just like myself, lose their identities in the care of their children. I’m truly different since Caleigh’s diagnosis during pregnancy, and it becomes more apparent all the time. Crowds are now difficult for me to handle. Social situations are awkward at best. My bubbly persona that once described me only peeks through every now and then. I was the girl that was always happy. Always smiling. I can still smile and laugh, but my motives are different. The results have changed. I’m definitely more cynical and snide about certain things. Where before I was naively positive. My empathy for others and their needs isn’t what it should be; isn’t what it once was. My rational is jaded. I’m not walking around crying all the time, but I definitely have a more serious nature about me now.”

And I seriously teared up. Her words mirror pretty much exactly how I feel. It’s not something that I necessarily LIKE, it’s just something that IS. The social area is where I notice the most differences. Crowds ARE difficult for me to handle now. I often feel socially awkward, and like I don’t quite fit in or know what to say. I used to love going out or hosting people. Now – not so much. I’d much rather stay home and be “hermit-y.” Maybe because I’m often tired and soul-weary. I’m not sure I feel like I’ve lost my identity, but I definitely feel like it’s shifted and I’m constantly rediscovering it. I know I would not trade a single day of my time with Jenna and I’m so very glad that I get to be home with her. I know that my perspective on many things has changed positively as a result of Jenna’s presence in my life. Are these changes I notice a result of being a special needs parent or just the natural result of motherhood? Or maybe just a part of “growing up” and the constant evolution that is life? I don’t know the answers.

What I CAN tell you, is this is why I blog. It’s why I read blogs. There are still a lot of people out there who don’t get it. Who think I’m wasting time. But, finding a connection with people/parents who are experiencing many of the same things? Finding that you’re not so alone on the journey?

That’s absolutely priceless.

 

Nutrition Information

creating a balanced meal- food group plate- healthy nutrition meal planner platephoto by nutrition education

I’ve been getting several requests for information on where to find reliable nutrition information for creating homemade blended formula for tube feedings. Below are several sources I use with a brief description of each as provided by The Oley Foundation in their monthly newsletter.

www.Nutrition.gov

The government’s nutrition website provided as a service of the National Agricultural Library of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). You can find links to USDA MyPyramid or Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The site includes a “Health Issues” page and links for shopping, cooking & meal planning.

www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource

Maintained by the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and designed to help you achieve the healthiest diet possible by providing timely information on diet and nutrition. Colorful & easy to navigate.

www.eatright.org

The American Dietetic Association offers “Food & Nutrition Information You Can Trust.” Click the link “for the public” and you’ll find numerous resources and nutrition education materials. Site includes a BMI calculator and videos on a variety of food & nutrition topics.

www.nutritioncare.org

Provided by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) Includes current news on topics related to parenteral and enteral nutrition with information for patients and caregivers.

www.clinicaltrials.gov

Registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted worldwide, offered through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There are currently around 100 studies on parenteral nutrition open to enrollment & 180 for enteral nutrition.

Additionally, one of my favorite books is Raising Vegetarian Children, which is just full of charts with nutritional requirements for children and tons of other useful information.

If you have a favorite reliable source, please share it in the comments! I always love to hear what you have to say!

 
 

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