Fruit Art

Fruit Art

Hello crafts, meet fruit!

Most kids love sweet, delicious fruit. And most kids love crafts as well. We’re combining the two for some awesomely fun fruit art projects for you and your kiddos. If your baby is eating solids, she can enjoy the deconstruction – a.k.a. eating – portion of the program. Even if not, observing, smelling and touching fruit is a great sensory activity for infants.

Fruit Art Project #1: Taste the Rainbow

Rainbows are fascinating for kids and adults alike. Talk about how rainbows form and the color pattern they make and then create one using a variety of colorful fruits. [IDEAS: Red – strawberries or raspberries, Orange – oranges slices or mango, Yellow – pineapple or peaches, Green – kiwi or green grapes, Blue – blueberries, Purple – plums or blackberries.]  Arrange the fruits in an arched shape in rainbow color order. Regardless of the weather outside, you’ll have a beautiful rainbow treat inside.

Fruit Art Project #2: Beautiful Butterfly

Butterflies make excellent fruit art because they are stunning and offers the opportunity to talk about symmetry since the wings of butterflies are symmetrical. A banana or long melon slice makes a good center for the butterfly’s body and then your kids can arrange fruit in a symmetrical pattern to create the wings. Don’t forget the antennae with blueberries on top.

Fruit Art

Fruit Art Project #3: Tree Treat

With just two fruits you can create a beautiful tree. Peel a tangerine, clementine or halo and pull apart the sections. (Kids love pulling apart the sections!)  Use the slices to make a tree trunk and tree branches. Then scatter green grapes across the top surrounding the branches.

Fruit Art Project #4: Adorable Lion

This king of the jungle isn’t going to scare anyone but it sure does look cute. Start with a ring of pineapple for the base of the face. Add tangerine sections all around for the mane. Banana rounds are perfect for the ears and the base of the eyes and then add blueberries for the pupils. Use a melon triangle for the nose with a few blueberries beneath for the mouth. And complete your lion with very thin apple slices for the whiskers.

Fruit Art Project #5: Flower Garden

There are many ways to make flowers out of fruit and your kids can experiment with them all! Thinly sliced sticks of apple or pair make a nice stem and kiwi slices or green grapes are terrific leaves. Using brightly colored berries, your little ones can make beautiful flower petals. Or you can use floral-shaped cookie cutters on melon or pineapple to cut out flowers. Encourage your kids to make several different types of flowers and create a garden scene with grass, a sun and perhaps some birds or clouds as well.

Fruit Art Project #6: Come Sail Away

It doesn’t get much cuter than these adorable sailboats. Tangerine slices make the perfect boat shape for the base and wedged apple slices act as the sails. Use one stick-shaped slice in the middle to hold up the sails. Make a small flag for the top out of melon, strawberry or pineapple. Then add a row of blueberries underneath so your sailboats set sail in the ocean blue.

What’s your favorite fruit art project?

Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom

Breastfeeding Benefits for MomWe’ve all heard about the amazing nutritional benefits breastfeeding gives to our babies. Breastmilk supplies crucial vitamins and minerals, and is packed with disease-fighting substances that ward off things like the stomach virus, respiratory illnesses, meningitis and it is even linked to higher IQs. But what about the benefits breastfeeding gives to women?

Breastfeeding creates a special emotional connection between women and their infants. Not only are you giving them the best nutrition for life long benefits, you are also giving yourself those benefits as well. Here are just a few things to consider when debating on whether or not you want to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom:

  • It makes you happy! While you breastfeed the hormone Oxytocin is produced, which is often known as the “cuddle hormone” because it helps creates a bonding feeling and a better overall emotional health.
  • Your body will recover from childbirth faster! Oxytocin, along with creating happiness, helps shrink your uterus after delivery. The hormone helps the uterus contract lessening bleeding and returning the uterus to pre-pregnancy size quicker.
  • You’re at lower risk of developing certain types of diseases! These diseases include breast and ovarian cancer and cardiovascular disease. The longer and more you breastfeed the less likely it is for you to develop high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Breastfeeding also helps with bone strength and reduces your risk of obtaining osteoporosis.
  • Breastfeeding helps you lose weight! You can burn up to 200-500 calories a day. Studies show women who breastfeed often lose more weight and return to pre-pregnancy size faster than women who don’t.
  • Breastfeeding is a form of natural child spacing! Most woman are unaware of this fact, but while you breastfeed your body will delay its monthly cycle. As long as you stick with a regimented breastfeeding schedule you are more than likely to not see your period. However, this only lasts for about six to eight months due to your changing hormones.
  • Costs less than formula and is good for the environment! What’s great about breastfeeding is it doesn’t cost a thing. Formula can cost up to $10 a day, and while being expensive it’s also not the best for our environment. Breastfeeding is a renewable resource, it doesn’t require to be packaged or shipped, therefore reduces pollution, and it can reduce the cost of healthcare.

Before you decide to choose whether or not breastfeeding is for you speak with your doctor and learn about your options. Breastfeeding gives women an experience they can’t have with anything, or anyone, else. It provides a real and special bond between a mother and her baby. For more information about breastfeeding checkout “Breastfeeding A-Z” on our home page.

Breastfeeding For New Moms: Breast Milk Storage Capacity

Breastfeeding For New Moms: Breast Milk Storage Capacity

Breastfeeding moms have already made the most important nutrition decision concerning their babies—breastfeeding provides unparalleled nutrition benefits for both mom and baby! If this is your first time nursing, you’re sure to have many questions about breast milk supply, let down, and feeding frequency. Even if you’ve nursed before, did you know that your breast milk storage capacity might not be the same as before? Believe it or not, breastfeeding is not the same experience for each child.

Even though the two might seem related, breast size and milk storage capacity are not linked. Breast tissue does not impact storage capacity. According to this infographic produced by Nancy MohrBacher, there are three breast milk storage capacity classifications that cover the range of nursing mothers.

Small breast milk storage capacity: you are providing enough breast milk to keep your baby full and happy (a baby consumes a standard 30 ounces of breast milk a day) but need to feed more frequently than other moms. Signs that you have small breast milk storage capacity include frequent feedings (about 12 a day) and regularly at night, your baby feeds from both breasts, and you have trouble double pumping. Be sure to stay hydrated and focus on your baby’s feeding cues to help with let down and nursing frequency. Each of your feedings produces an estimated 2 ½ ounces of breast milk.

Medium breast milk storage capacity: your baby might feed from both breasts, but not necessarily. Because you produce just under 4 ounces of breast milk per feeding, your baby will nurse around 8 times a day to get the full 30 ounces he or she needs to gain healthy weight. You might feed at night, but not on a regular basis.

Large breast milk storage capacity: you produce about 5 ounces of breast milk per feeding, so you have less (6) feedings per day than other moms might have. Also, your baby will typically nurse from just one breast at a time. Because you produce larger amounts of breast milk at a time, you are able to skip middle of the night feedings!

There is no right or wrong ability when it comes to breast milk storage, moms. As long as your pediatrician notes that your baby is gaining healthy weight, be confident in your ability to nurse your baby. Milk-making glands in your breasts determine how much breast milk you’ll be able to produce at one time, so listen to your body’s cues and figure out the best breastfeeding plan for you and your baby.

 

Happy nursing, moms!