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Moms and dads often have questions about baby constipation and bowel movements when they start introducing their baby to solids foods. The first point to know is that yes, their diapers will get smellier. It’s not a myth. Sorry. But it’s not only the smell that will change. It’s normal for the frequency and consistency to change too. When introducing solid foods to your child, here’s what you can expect, and the constipation symptoms parents and caregivers should watch out for.

Introducing Solids to Your Baby May Cause Constipation

When introducing your baby to solid foods, what you’re putting in one end is changing. So do expect that what comes out the other end to change too. When a baby is exclusively breastfed or formula-fed it’s normal for them to have bowel movements once or several times a day.
Solid foods require more digestion, so it’s normal for babies to have less frequent bowel movements as you introduce solid foods. Once a day and skipping days are both normal.

Constipation Symptoms in Babies: The 6 Tell-Tale Signs

Signs of constipation in babies will vary from child to child. Here are some of the tell-tale signs that your baby is constipated:

  1. After the introduction of solid foods, babies normally have approximately one bowel movement a day. If your baby is having infrequent bowel movements, they may be constipated.
  2. Unusually long periods of straining or crying while trying to have a bowel movement
  3. A lack of appetite or refusing to eat. Your baby may feel full quickly if they are constipated and may refuse to eat because of their discomfort
  4. A hard belly
  5. Clay-like stool consistency or hard pellets of stool
  6. Streaks of red blood in their stool
When is Baby Constipation potentially serious?

As a parent, you will know in your gut when something isn’t right. It is advisable to call your doctor if your baby has no had a bowel movement after a couple of days and if your baby has either blood in their stool, seems irritable, appears to have abdominal pain and isn’t responding to the remedies below to help.

Our Top 4 Food-Related Remedies to Help Your Constipated Baby

Unfortunately, there aren’t guaranteed, gold-standard, food-related ways to get things moving smoothly again. Here are 4 tips that may work:

  1. Look back on what your baby has eaten in the last 48-72 hours

    Did you introduce a new food within the last 48-72 hours? Your baby’s constipation may be a sign of sensitivity to that food. If your baby is constipated, stop feeding your baby that new food and see if their constipation clears up.

  2. Iron Supplements may be the cause

    Are you giving your baby iron drops? Or, has your baby increased the amount of iron-fortified baby cereal that they’re eating? If you’re providing drops, speak with your healthcare provider about possibly lowering the dosage. If it’s an increased amount of iron-fortified baby cereal, offer less cereal (or none) and offer other foods instead for a few days to see if things get moving again.

  3. Try feeding your baby apples, pears and prunes

    These fruits all contain a type of fiber that helps draw water into the stool, bulking it up and moistening it to help with movement. Prunes are quite powerful so we don’t recommend continued use every day, but we find that they often work very well. You can check out our Simple Firsts Puree line that includes organic apples, pears, and prunes – they are perfect for babies that are just starting solids.

  4. Water

    Your baby is likely meeting their fluid needs through breastfeeding or formula. But use this time to introduce how to drink water from a lidless cup. It’s a skill they’ll need anyways. And, a bit more water may help get things moving again.

Is your baby still constipated?

Making small changed to your baby’s diet will generally help get things moving again and help with constipation. If these don’t work to get things moving again, connect with your healthcare provider. They may recommend some other interventions and advice that are specific to your baby.

The post Constipation When Introducing Solid Foods to Babies appeared first on Love Child Organics.

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Should you start introducing your baby to solid foods at 6 months? What foods do you start with? What if your baby starts choking? Is it best to feed organic? Introducing your baby to solids is a really exciting transition but it can also be a little overwhelming. Luckily, you are not alone. We’ve listened to your questions and wrote the solids food guide (literally!) to answer them all, once and for all.

Here you’ll find the what, when, why and how on feeding your baby their first solid foods. Hopefully, it will also help up your confidence as you embark on this journey. Remember this is just a guide and when it comes down to it, every child is different. No one knows your baby better than you do, so you should only do what you (and your baby!) are comfortable with.

First things first, when should you start introducing solids?

This is one question that has long been debated. According to the World Health Organization, you should be starting your baby on solid foods at about 6 months.  This is the age when a baby’s mouth, stomach and intestines are mature enough to cope with foods other than milk.

That’s not to say that some babies might be ready to give solid foods a go before that. Like we said, every baby is different and they may start dropping cues that they’re ready to bring on the solids. However, it won’t be for the reason a lot of parents think it is: hunger. Interestingly enough, babies don’t register that eating more will help them reduce hunger until later on. In fact, babies should continue feeding on breast milk (or store-bought formula) as their primary source of nourishment until they reach the one year mark.

So, when is your baby ready for solid foods?

Since babies can’t tell you themselves, the next best thing is to pay attention to their body movements and cues.

Your baby may be ready to start solids if:

• They can sit up without support, and have good control of their neck muscles
• They start to show interest in foods others are eating
• They open their mouth when they see food

Want to pick up on even more cues? Read more in our free solid food guide here.

What should be your baby’s first food?

Again, there are many opinions on the subject, but a good rule of thumb is to stick to foods made with simple ingredients. Look for easily digestible cereals that can be mixed with breast milk or formula to ease the transition (like our Baby’s First Oats + Chia cereal). Not only are they subtle enough for babies’ sensitive taste buds, they’re packed with iron – one of the most important nutrients needed for growing babies.

In terms of what types of foods you should feed your baby, look to the food guide.  Stick to whole grains, rice and whole wheat pastas in the grain category. For fruits and vegetables, go for pureed cooked options or try one of our super-convenient Superblend Purees. For protein and iron, go for cooked meat, fish, chicken, beans, eggs and tofu – or try one of our Savoury Baby Meal Purees.

What foods should my baby stay away from for now? 1. Foods with added salt or sugar

These are two things that can seriously mess with your baby’s digestion. Be sure to read the labels on any products you introduce to make sure they’re free (this includes juices and any other liquids).

2. Honey

Babies shouldn’t try honey until they are at least a year old, as there is a risk of infant botulism.

3. Cow’s milk

Doesn’t provide the proper nutrients for the body so it shouldn’t replace the breast or formula until after year one.

4. Hard, raw veggies or fruit

Really anything that can present a choking hazard. Once your baby gets used to cereals and pureed fruits and veggies, you should be able to introduce hard solids by cutting them into tiny pieces.

5. Unpasteurized cheese

Presents a slight food poisoning risk in babies under the age of one.

If I have food allergies, will my baby have them?

Another thing that comes up a lot when discussing first foods is allergies, as in “If I have them, will my baby have them?” Good question. If you have a history of allergies it would be a good idea to talk to your general practitioner. However, Canadian experts do NOT recommend waiting to introduce any foods in the hopes it will prevent allergies. A good thing to do is introduce common allergens (ie. peanut butter, eggs, fish, wheat, soy) one at a time to see if there is any reaction. If your baby does react, speak to your primary caregiver immediately for next steps. If your baby doesn’t react, you should continue feeding that food a few times a week to help maintain tolerance.

How exactly should I transition to solids with my baby?

Between the ages of 9 – 18 months, babies transition from getting all the nutrients they need from breast milk or formula to getting their nutrients through solids. This journey is different for everyone so it’s important to be patient and trust that the weaning will happen when you and your baby are ready. Another good thing to remember is that they won’t like everything so don’t be hard on yourself if there’s something they don’t like.

Here’s six more tips to help start the transition to starting solids:
  1. Start with one food at a time using very small spoonfuls
  2. Choose one time a day when your baby is the most hungry and the least cuddly. From that day forward, make that the solid-food time everyday.
  3. Expect a bit of a fuss as your baby gets used to having solids over the regular breast milk or formula.
  4. Once your baby is comfortable with one feeding time a day, increase it to two times a day.
  5. Again, when your baby is comfortable with two times a day, increase it to three.
  6. Expect hiccups and be aware that there may be times your baby wants milk instead, like when they are under the weather or teething.
Yes, there’s even more to know when introducing your child to solids

No matter how you go about it, transitioning your baby to solids can be tricky at times. There are a lot of other things to consider beyond what we discussed here. Things like picky eating, what to do if your child starts choking, introducing superfoods and organics, and advice on what other great products you can feed your child at every stage of development. To answer these questions and more, refer to our handy Parent’s Guide to Introducing Solids and keep it close by. Remember, we’re all in this together!

References:

World Health Organization. (2002, April 16). Infant and young children nutrition: global strategy on infant and young child feeding. Retrieved from http://apps.who.int/gb/archive/pdf_files/WHA55/ea5515.pdf?ua=1, Geneva.

Canadian Paediatric Society. (2019, January 1). Feeding your baby in the first year. Retrieved from https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/feeding_your_baby_in_the_first_year, Canada.

Community Practitioner. (June 2011) Baby-led weaning: transitioning to solid foods at the baby’s own pace. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/openview/bcd820fafb3777b5385157d829ffe898/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=47216, USA

Canadian Paediatric Society. (2019, January 24). Timing of introduction of allergenic solids for infants at high risk. Retrieved from
https://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/allergenic-solids, Canada.

Oxford Academic. (1996, November). Strategies for the prevention of iron deficiency: Iron in infant formulas and baby foods. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article-abstract/54/11/348/1853471, USA

The post Everything You Need to Know About Introducing Solids to Your Baby (With Free Guide!) appeared first on Love Child Organics.

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It’s safe to say that for most people, their favourite and most memorable childhood memories come from the summertime. The warmth, the freedom, cool swims, and icy treats – summer is a magical time. While great summer memories are not hard to forge, there are some ways to help us maximize our own and our children’s summer experiences.

How to make the most of your summer with kids: 1. Document your family adventures and get your kids involved

Now more than ever, it’s easy to keep records of our family time. It’s rare to find a family without at least one working digital camera or device with recording abilities. A gentle reminder – if you’re documenting moments on your smartphone or tablet make sure to back them up. Developing a few photos or using summer images on a calendar or photobook, are a fantastic way to look back on your adventures.

Another way to preserve summer moments, is journaling your adventures. Try designating a notebook or buying a premade template like this one. You can write brief descriptions about your adventures, snippets of conversations you’ve had with your kids, and anything else memorable. If your children are older, get them involved in the retelling of your adventures, or have them write or draw portions themselves.

And if you forget to document, don’t worry – being in the moment has so many benefits.

2. Be prepared with snacks for the kids

Whether you’re traveling by bus across a city, flying on a plane, or driving across the country in your minivan, this one is key! As a parent, you already know this, but it’s worth a reminder – being prepared with snacks can keep everyone’s blood sugar levels stable and save the day. If you’ve already got little ones at home, you’re likely well versed in snack options. You’ll likely also know that Love Child Organics has some easy to pack, delicious, and nutritious snack options. Yet, it’s always worth exploring new ideas – check out this healthy snacks post for some great options for on the go snacks.

3. Get outdoors as much as you can with your kids

Especially in Canada, we are all well aware that our summertime heat is limited. In the blink of an eye we’ll be getting winter coats back out, so enjoying the heat while it lasts is important. Plus, getting outdoors has so many benefits for us and our little ones. The warmth on our skin feels soothing and provides us with that much needed Vitamin D, which is essential to our bodies wellbeing. Also, being immersed in nature has been proven to lift our spirits, improve our sleep, and our cognitive abilities. Just remember your sunscreen (check out these great tips on choosing the right one here) and hats!

4. Use all your senses to fully experience your summer

Take a few minutes a day to actively savour with our senses. Taking in your children laughing, cool water on a hot day, the sunshine, the hit summer song on your playlist will allow you to experience more positive emotions, such as joy and happiness. As psychologist Rick Hanson points out, when we savour our moments, we allow those experiences to become locked into our minds and bodies. This helps to foster resilience. When stress hits, those moments help to pull us back into positivity.

Young children are adept at being completely immersed in their moments. But taking the time to walk children through the steps of being present, can help them carry mindfulness through their lives, as they grow.

Get out there and enjoy summer with your kids!

Your summer plans do not need to be big – a sprinkler, some books and some summer snacks can do the trick. It will fly by though, so savour (and record) all those sticky moments, while you can!

The post Summer With Kids: 4 Tips for a Memorable One appeared first on Love Child Organics.

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“I didn’t really think about what kind of dad I would be when I grew up because I didn’t think it was possible for me to grow up into a dad at all. Let alone a dad to five kids.” – brand strategist, father of 5, husband, transman @epicdanger.

Today we are featuring Nick (@epicdanger) and his family on our blog. Below is Nick’s story and journey to becoming the father he never knew he could be.

Nick North’s Journey:

“When I was a kid and I would stomp out of the room full of rage at my dad for whatever ridiculous dad thing he had done, I didn’t do that typical boy thing where they stomp their feet and mumble to themselves, “When I’m a dad I’ll never insert ridiculous dad thing here.” though.

I didn’t really think about what kind of dad I would be when I grew up because I didn’t think it was possible for me to grow up into a dad at all.  Let alone a dad to five kids.

When I was born I was assigned female at birth. I lived the first 30ish years of my life in what I like to lovingly call “girl mode.”

I did all the things. I learned to always cross my legs, and wear nail polish, and got married to the nicest guy I could find, and had babies (4 of them to be exact) and was the very best mom I could be. (I’ve got pasta crafts to prove it.)

Until I couldn’t be the person in the costume anymore.

I couldn’t be the wife, the sister, the mom, the woman because I knew deep down I was meant to be the husband, the brother, the dad, the man.

Now I am that man. Now I am that dad.

I’m that goofy, coffee-fuelled dad who makes 1 of my 5 beautiful little humans stomp out of the room full of rage at me at least once a day.

What for, you may ask?

Oh, any number of those ridiculous dad things like making them shower, or wear more than a gymnastics leotard to school, or not letting them ride down the stairs in a laundry basket, or bathe their stuffies, AGAIN. You know those types of ridiculous things.

And every time I shake my head, throw my hands up in the air, and then thank the stars that I get to be the dad that makes them stomp out of the room filled with rage.

As a kid I didn’t know the word transgender. I just knew that I felt broken and whenever I would talk about it the grown-ups in my world felt uncomfortable, or told me I was wrong.

Now, not only do I know who I am, but I am celebrated and loved for it. I am a husband, a brother, a man and a dad with the very best family, and the most supportive friends that anyone could ask for.

Our family might be a little bit different than your family, but that’s what makes us beautiful. The secret is, that thing that makes your family different? That’s what makes it extra beautiful too.”

Thank you Nick for sharing your story with us!

You can learn more about Nick by checking out his website!

– The Love Child Organics Team

The post We Are Family: Celebrating Pride Month With Nick North appeared first on Love Child Organics.

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Did you know that nearly 25% of Canadian households do not have a single book in them? Or that having fewer than 10 books in the home means a child can fall up to 18 months behind their peers by the time they reach third grade?

Through our programs, and community and publishing partnerships, First Book Canada is addressing this issue by providing new books directly into the homes of kids in need throughout Canada. At First Book Canada, we are so glad to have the support of Love Child Organics through their nonprofit partnership initiative.

Why Having Books in The Home is Even More Important in the Summertime

Over the summer, students without access to enriching, quality reading materials can lose up to two months of reading ability. This results in a loss of achievements gained over the school year. Commonly called “summer slide,” this loss disproportionately affects students from low-income households, who often cannot access the summer learning opportunities that are available to their more affluent peers.

The easiest way to prevent this “slide” from happening is to ensure that students have just 4 books in the home to read when they leave school for the summer break. Through our partnership with Love Child Organics, First Book Canada is providing students from high-needs communities with the books and resources that will ignite their imagination over the summer break and allow them to get the best start to the next school year.

Through Reading Celebrations, where students can share in the joy of reading with Love Child Organic volunteers and bring home books to read with their family, and a generous donation to provide books to high-needs communities, Love Child Organics and First Book Canada are facilitating summer reading and learning by making high-quality, brand new books available on an on-going basis.

A Partnership to Provide Hundreds of Books to Children

Over the past five years, First Book Canada and Love Child Organics have provided over 52,000 books to children across Canada and visited many schools in Toronto, ON. We’ve spent time sharing the joys of reading, and have provided hundreds of children with books for their home libraries. This year, First Book Canada and Love Child Organics visited a high-needs elementary school. We hosted a Reading Celebration with illustrator Qin Leng. The participating students read with Love Child Organics employees. At the end of the event, each of the students took home a brand new book to share with their families!

Love Child Organics is committed to providing students from high-needs communities with experiences they will value for years to come. At First Book Canada, we are so glad to work with Love Child Organics to provide children with these essential tools and treasured memories.

Together we are ensuring that young children have the nutrition, the books, and the resources they need. Through this work, we aim to support children’s social and emotional learning and development. We can all do our part to help kids reach their highest potential in education and in life!

Interested in applying for First Book Canada?

Do you know of an educator or community leader serving kids in need? Registering with First Book Canada is fast, easy, and free. Eligible applicants can immediately start receiving access to free and low-cost books and educational resources. For more information about our work, visit firstbookcanda.org and follow our latest news on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Happy Reading!

The First Book Canada team

The post First Book Canada and Love Child Organics: Committed to Providing Canadian Children with Books for Their Home Library appeared first on Love Child Organics.

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Should you start introducing your baby to solid foods at 6 months? What foods do you start with? What if your baby starts choking? Is it best to feed organic? Introducing your baby to solids is a really exciting transition but it can also be a little overwhelming. Luckily, you are not alone. We’ve listened to your questions and wrote the solids food guide (literally!) to answer them all, once and for all.

Here you’ll find the what, when, why and how on feeding your baby their first solid foods. Hopefully, it will also help up your confidence as you embark on this journey. Remember this is just a guide and when it comes down to it, every child is different. No one knows your baby better than you do, so you should only do what you (and your baby!) are comfortable with.

First things first, when should you start introducing solids?

This is one question that has long been debated. According to the World Health Organization, you should be starting your baby on solid foods at about 6 months.  This is the age when a baby’s mouth, stomach and intestines are mature enough to cope with foods other than milk.

That’s not to say that some babies might be ready to give solid foods a go before that. Like we said, every baby is different and they may start dropping cues that they’re ready to bring on the solids. However, it won’t be for the reason a lot of parents think it is: hunger. Interestingly enough, babies don’t register that eating more will help them reduce hunger until later on. In fact, babies should continue feeding on breast milk (or store-bought formula) as their primary source of nourishment until they reach the one year mark.

So, when is your baby ready for solid foods?

Since babies can’t tell you themselves, the next best thing is to pay attention to their body movements and cues.

Your baby may be ready to start solids if:

• They can sit up without support, and have good control of their neck muscles
• They start to show interest in foods others are eating
• They open their mouth when they see food

Want to pick up on even more cues? Read more in our free solid food guide here.

What should be your baby’s first food?

Again, there are many opinions on the subject, but a good rule of thumb is to stick to foods made with simple ingredients. Look for easily digestible cereals that can be mixed with breast milk or formula to ease the transition (like our Baby’s First Oats + Chia cereal). Not only are they subtle enough for babies’ sensitive taste buds, they’re packed with iron – one of the most important nutrients needed for growing babies.

In terms of what types of foods you should feed your baby, look to the food guide.  Stick to whole grains, rice and whole wheat pastas in the grain category. For fruits and vegetables, go for pureed cooked options or try one of our super-convenient Superblend Purees. For protein and iron, go for cooked meat, fish, chicken, beans, eggs and tofu – or try one of our Savoury Baby Meal Purees.

What foods should my baby stay away from for now? 1. Foods with added salt or sugar

These are two things that can seriously mess with your baby’s digestion. Be sure to read the labels on any products you introduce to make sure they’re free (this includes juices and any other liquids).

2. Honey

Babies shouldn’t try honey until they are at least a year old, as there is a risk of infant botulism.

3. Cow’s milk

Doesn’t provide the proper nutrients for the body so it shouldn’t replace the breast or formula until after year one.

4. Hard, raw veggies or fruit

Really anything that can present a choking hazard. Once your baby gets used to cereals and pureed fruits and veggies, you should be able to introduce hard solids by cutting them into tiny pieces.

5. Unpasteurized cheese

Presents a slight food poisoning risk in babies under the age of one.

If I have food allergies, will my baby have them?

Another thing that comes up a lot when discussing first foods is allergies, as in “If I have them, will my baby have them?” Good question. If you have a history of allergies it would be a good idea to talk to your general practitioner. However, Canadian experts do NOT recommend waiting to introduce any foods in the hopes it will prevent allergies. A good thing to do is introduce common allergens (ie. peanut butter, eggs, fish, wheat, soy) one at a time to see if there is any reaction. If your baby does react, speak to your primary caregiver immediately for next steps. If your baby doesn’t react, you should continue feeding that food a few times a week to help maintain tolerance.

How exactly should I transition to solids with my baby?

Between the ages of 9 – 18 months, babies transition from getting all the nutrients they need from breast milk or formula to getting their nutrients through solids. This journey is different for everyone so it’s important to be patient and trust that the weaning will happen when you and your baby are ready. Another good thing to remember is that they won’t like everything so don’t be hard on yourself if there’s something they don’t like.

Here’s six more tips to help start the transition to starting solids:
  1. Start with one food at a time using very small spoonfuls
  2. Choose one time a day when your baby is the most hungry and the least cuddly. From that day forward, make that the solid-food time everyday.
  3. Expect a bit of a fuss as your baby gets used to having solids over the regular breast milk or formula.
  4. Once your baby is comfortable with one feeding time a day, increase it to two times a day.
  5. Again, when your baby is comfortable with two times a day, increase it to three.
  6. Expect hiccups and be aware that there may be times your baby wants milk instead, like when they are under the weather or teething.
Yes, there’s even more to know when introducing your child to solids

No matter how you go about it, transitioning your baby to solids can be tricky at times. There are a lot of other things to consider beyond what we discussed here. Things like picky eating, what to do if your child starts choking, introducing superfoods and organics, and advice on what other great products you can feed your child at every stage of development. To answer these questions and more, refer to our handy Parent’s Guide to Introducing Solids and keep it close by. Remember, we’re all in this together!

References:

World Health Organization. (2002, April 16). Infant and young children nutrition: global strategy on infant and young child feeding. Retrieved from http://apps.who.int/gb/archive/pdf_files/WHA55/ea5515.pdf?ua=1, Geneva.

Canadian Paediatric Society. (2019, January 1). Feeding your baby in the first year. Retrieved from https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/feeding_your_baby_in_the_first_year, Canada.

Community Practitioner. (June 2011) Baby-led weaning: transitioning to solid foods at the baby’s own pace. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/openview/bcd820fafb3777b5385157d829ffe898/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=47216, USA

Canadian Paediatric Society. (2019, January 24). Timing of introduction of allergenic solids for infants at high risk. Retrieved from
https://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/allergenic-solids, Canada.

Oxford Academic. (1996, November). Strategies for the prevention of iron deficiency: Iron in infant formulas and baby foods. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article-abstract/54/11/348/1853471, USA

The post Everything You Need to Know About Introducing Solids to Your Baby (With Free Guide!) appeared first on Love Child Organics.

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It’s safe to say that for most people, their favourite and most memorable childhood memories come from the summertime. The warmth, the freedom, cool swims, and icy treats – summer is a magical time. While great summer memories are not hard to forge, there are some ways to help us maximize our own and our children’s summer experiences.

How to make the most of your summer with kids: 1. Document your family adventures and get your kids involved

Now more than ever, it’s easy to keep records of our family time. It’s rare to find a family without at least one working digital camera or device with recording abilities. A gentle reminder – if you’re documenting moments on your smartphone or tablet make sure to back them up. Developing a few photos or using summer images on a calendar or photobook, are a fantastic way to look back on your adventures.

Another way to preserve summer moments, is journaling your adventures. Try designating a notebook or buying a premade template like this one. You can write brief descriptions about your adventures, snippets of conversations you’ve had with your kids, and anything else memorable. If your children are older, get them involved in the retelling of your adventures, or have them write or draw portions themselves.

And if you forget to document, don’t worry – being in the moment has so many benefits.

2. Be prepared with snacks for the kids

Whether you’re traveling by bus across a city, flying on a plane, or driving across the country in your minivan, this one is key! As a parent, you already know this, but it’s worth a reminder – being prepared with snacks can keep everyone’s blood sugar levels stable and save the day. If you’ve already got little ones at home, you’re likely well versed in snack options. You’ll likely also know that Love Child Organics has some easy to pack, delicious, and nutritious snack options. Yet, it’s always worth exploring new ideas – check out this healthy snacks post for some great options for on the go snacks.

3. Get outdoors as much as you can with your kids

Especially in Canada, we are all well aware that our summertime heat is limited. In the blink of an eye we’ll be getting winter coats back out, so enjoying the heat while it lasts is important. Plus, getting outdoors has so many benefits for us and our little ones. The warmth on our skin feels soothing and provides us with that much needed Vitamin D, which is essential to our bodies wellbeing. Also, being immersed in nature has been proven to lift our spirits, improve our sleep, and our cognitive abilities. Just remember your sunscreen (check out these great tips on choosing the right one here) and hats!

4. Use all your senses to fully experience your summer

Take a few minutes a day to actively savour with our senses. Taking in your children laughing, cool water on a hot day, the sunshine, the hit summer song on your playlist will allow you to experience more positive emotions, such as joy and happiness. As psychologist Rick Hanson points out, when we savour our moments, we allow those experiences to become locked into our minds and bodies. This helps to foster resilience. When stress hits, those moments help to pull us back into positivity.

Young children are adept at being completely immersed in their moments. But taking the time to walk children through the steps of being present, can help them carry mindfulness through their lives, as they grow.

Get out there and enjoy summer with your kids!

Your summer plans do not need to be big – a sprinkler, some books and some summer snacks can do the trick. It will fly by though, so savour (and record) all those sticky moments, while you can!

The post Summer With Kids: 4 Tips for a Memorable One appeared first on Love Child Organics.

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“I didn’t really think about what kind of dad I would be when I grew up because I didn’t think it was possible for me to grow up into a dad at all. Let alone a dad to five kids.” – brand strategist, father of 5, husband, transman @epicdanger.

Today we are featuring Nick (@epicdanger) and his family on our blog. Below is Nick’s story and journey to becoming the father he never knew he could be.

Nick North’s Journey:

“When I was a kid and I would stomp out of the room full of rage at my dad for whatever ridiculous dad thing he had done, I didn’t do that typical boy thing where they stomp their feet and mumble to themselves, “When I’m a dad I’ll never insert ridiculous dad thing here.” though.

I didn’t really think about what kind of dad I would be when I grew up because I didn’t think it was possible for me to grow up into a dad at all.  Let alone a dad to five kids.

When I was born I was assigned female at birth. I lived the first 30ish years of my life in what I like to lovingly call “girl mode.”

I did all the things. I learned to always cross my legs, and wear nail polish, and got married to the nicest guy I could find, and had babies (4 of them to be exact) and was the very best mom I could be. (I’ve got pasta crafts to prove it.)

Until I couldn’t be the person in the costume anymore.

I couldn’t be the wife, the sister, the mom, the woman because I knew deep down I was meant to be the husband, the brother, the dad, the man.

Now I am that man. Now I am that dad.

I’m that goofy, coffee-fuelled dad who makes 1 of my 5 beautiful little humans stomp out of the room full of rage at me at least once a day.

What for, you may ask?

Oh, any number of those ridiculous dad things like making them shower, or wear more than a gymnastics leotard to school, or not letting them ride down the stairs in a laundry basket, or bathe their stuffies, AGAIN. You know those types of ridiculous things.

And every time I shake my head, throw my hands up in the air, and then thank the stars that I get to be the dad that makes them stomp out of the room filled with rage.

As a kid I didn’t know the word transgender. I just knew that I felt broken and whenever I would talk about it the grown-ups in my world felt uncomfortable, or told me I was wrong.

Now, not only do I know who I am, but I am celebrated and loved for it. I am a husband, a brother, a man and a dad with the very best family, and the most supportive friends that anyone could ask for.

Our family might be a little bit different than your family, but that’s what makes us beautiful. The secret is, that thing that makes your family different? That’s what makes it extra beautiful too.”

Thank you Nick for sharing your story with us!

You can learn more about Nick by checking out his website!

– The Love Child Organics Team

The post We Are Family: Celebrating Pride Month With Nick North appeared first on Love Child Organics.

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Did you know that nearly 25% of Canadian households do not have a single book in them? Or that having fewer than 10 books in the home means a child can fall up to 18 months behind their peers by the time they reach third grade?

Through our programs, and community and publishing partnerships, First Book Canada is addressing this issue by providing new books directly into the homes of kids in need throughout Canada. At First Book Canada, we are so glad to have the support of Love Child Organics through their nonprofit partnership initiative.

Why Having Books in The Home is Even More Important in the Summertime

Over the summer, students without access to enriching, quality reading materials can lose up to two months of reading ability. This results in a loss of achievements gained over the school year. Commonly called “summer slide,” this loss disproportionately affects students from low-income households, who often cannot access the summer learning opportunities that are available to their more affluent peers.

The easiest way to prevent this “slide” from happening is to ensure that students have just 4 books in the home to read when they leave school for the summer break. Through our partnership with Love Child Organics, First Book Canada is providing students from high-needs communities with the books and resources that will ignite their imagination over the summer break and allow them to get the best start to the next school year.

Through Reading Celebrations, where students can share in the joy of reading with Love Child Organic volunteers and bring home books to read with their family, and a generous donation to provide books to high-needs communities, Love Child Organics and First Book Canada are facilitating summer reading and learning by making high-quality, brand new books available on an on-going basis.

A Partnership to Provide Hundreds of Books to Children

Over the past five years, First Book Canada and Love Child Organics have provided over 52,000 books to children across Canada and visited many schools in Toronto, ON. We’ve spent time sharing the joys of reading, and have provided hundreds of children with books for their home libraries. This year, First Book Canada and Love Child Organics visited a high-needs elementary school. We hosted a Reading Celebration with illustrator Qin Leng. The participating students read with Love Child Organics employees. At the end of the event, each of the students took home a brand new book to share with their families!

Love Child Organics is committed to providing students from high-needs communities with experiences they will value for years to come. At First Book Canada, we are so glad to work with Love Child Organics to provide children with these essential tools and treasured memories.

Together we are ensuring that young children have the nutrition, the books, and the resources they need. Through this work, we aim to support children’s social and emotional learning and development. We can all do our part to help kids reach their highest potential in education and in life!

Interested in applying for First Book Canada?

Do you know of an educator or community leader serving kids in need? Registering with First Book Canada is fast, easy, and free. Eligible applicants can immediately start receiving access to free and low-cost books and educational resources. For more information about our work, visit firstbookcanda.org and follow our latest news on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Happy Reading!

The First Book Canada team

The post First Book Canada and Love Child Organics: Committed to Providing Canadian Children with Books for Their Home Library appeared first on Love Child Organics.

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