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Getting Your Toddler To Eat Vegetables
Cate Townsend 

I've figured out a way to get zucchini in my daughter's diet, and I'm pretty proud of it. Now, if you're a seasoned mom with two or three kids, try not to laugh, okay? I'm a newbie and my tips and tricks are probably not that innovative, and they've probably been in a back issue of Parenting or some other magazine that I don't have time to read. But let's back to the point of getting a toddler (Icons/Graphics) VeggieCartoon.jpgto eat zucchini.
Hide it. Skin off the green and shred it up into whole-wheat pancakes. Yeah, I know most of the vitamins are in the skin, so leave it on and hope your eater doesn't pick out the little pieces of green then start to complain. Shredding carrot works well, also. Heck, shred anything. Like my friend the pro nanny suggested, shred carrots and zucchini and put them into mini-muffins. If your child likes hamburgers or turkey burgers, ground up vegetables in the mix before cooking.

I can hear the skeptics. Isn't this not a good way to teach kids to appreciate all kinds of food? If you grind up their vegetables all the time and hide it in things, will that skew their tastes toward things that don't look like vegetables and therefore prevent them from developing a proper taste for healthful foods? Maybe. So don't do it all the time. Always try to introduce new things and make it fun for them. One time, I got my daughter to eat broccoli because I told her they were little trees and made them stand up on her plate. But the key phrase in that sentence is "one time". Haven't been able to do it since.

The best thing you can do--which is not really advice as much as it is common sense--is to eat them yourself. You can't sit there snacking on iced tea and Doritos and expect your kid to be into their celery and peanut butter. Maybe we'd all be a little healthier too if we ate in the way we tried to feed our children.



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Cate Townsend is a local writer, surfer, geologist, musician and mom to (almost) 2 year old Grace (left). Cate has called Santa Cruz home for over 18 years.



For more ideas or "tricks" to meal time and other parenting topics view the Tips section. Great recipes can be submitted or obtained in the Recipe Club .




 Back to School - Homework Tips
Now that school is back in full swing it is time to set up good study habits. Don't wait until the tear filled night or the crush of the "but it is due tomorrow" plea.(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) BooksSmallStack.jpg
  • Set up a regular homework time each afternoon or evening. Remember to create homework breaks that help make the chore not seem endless.
  • Stay close to your kids when they are doing their work, but not so close that you end up doing the work for them. Avoid the "I don't get its" by having them read the directions to themselves three times before asking for help, and then ask what exactly it is they don't understand.
  • Do your own work, like bills or lists to create a focused atmosphere.
  • Provide smart snacks and be supportive. 
  • Finally, don't wait for a bad grade to get a tutor. Sometimes kids need extra help, and not from their parents! Look into options before you actually need them.

Join the Team! is looking to build our sales team. This commission based position allows you to work when you want to work, on a part time basis. Ideally you would bring your knowledge of parenting, Santa Cruz County and the community with you. Our focus is connecting parents with the community and local businesses. The business listing rates you would be working with are affordable and friendly for both small and large businesses. For more information contact me at (831) 431-3373 or email






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831-688-8868 or



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