I love this recipe because you can easily scale it up or down depending on your family's needs. This makes dinner for 2 adults and 1 toddler with enough leftover for 1 adult and 1 toddler lunch the next day.
5 large sausages (We like to use the Chicken and Apple Sausages from Costco)
1 or 2 bell peppers, sliced (any color will do)
1 medium or large onion (or 2 small)
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (if you have tomatoes in your fridge you need to use, dice those up, too)
salt and pepper
Seed and slice your peppers. Cut the ends off the onions, cut in half (stem to bottom), peel the outer skin off, and slice into onion 'rainbows'. Put the onions in your slow cooker first then pile everything on top. Cook for 6-8 hours on low, you can cook it on high in a pinch, but I think it turns out better on low. Serve by itself or over rice or egg noodles.
See you at Mama Yoga! - Michelle Rodriguez
Recently my 14 month old got some sort of stomach bug which resulted in me washing more loads of sheets in one day than I ever thought possible (9 for the record). Vomit and poop city. He’s normally a pretty good eater of solid foods and breastmilk, but when he was actively sick (i.e. making the sheets dirty) he would not tolerate solid food or water. A toddler that is not eating or drinking is not a situation I would wish to find myself in. Fortunately, we were able to breastfeed through his illness.
It’s pretty common in our country for people to wean their babies from breastmilk at around 12 months, but my thought for my family is, ‘why fix what isn’t broken?’ Having a breastfeeding relationship with a toddler works for my family. I was so thankful that we were still breastfeeding while my son was sick; I knew at the bare minimum he was getting some valuable nutrients and staying hydrated even though he was throwing up all food and the water he drank from his straw cup. I also knew that my immune system was helping him fight off this nasty stomach bug. He was only actively sick for a day and recovering for another day, then back to his normal self.
Unfortunately, I managed to catch the stomach bug and got really sick myself. Again, I was so thankful I was breastfeeding because I was able to feed my just-recovering-from-his-illness son without having to get out of my sick bed/off of my couch. He still wasn’t tolerating solids that day, so thankfully I got to stay out of the kitchen that day.
It actually took just over a week for my son to get his full appetite for solid food back. During that time he was nursing every few hours, and I could tell my supply was going up to meet his needs. It’s so amazing how my body was able to respond to what my son needed without me having to fret over it. When he was just picking at his food because he didn’t want to eat, I didn’t need to worry he was going to starve since he was getting everything he needed from my milk.
We have no plans of weaning now or in the foreseeable future. The value of breastfeeding a sick toddler or breastfeeding to soothe a toddler just learning to walk who falls down a lot is definitely worth maintaining our breastfeeding relationship to me. I know breastfeeding past a year isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s what works for my family. In the end I think most of us agree you need to do what’s best for your family, even if it’s not what everyone is doing.
Michelle is mama to a sweet one-year-old boy. She also teaches Baby Led Weaning at Enso.
We’ve all heard that it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to raise a new mama. This motherhood thing isn’t exactly the most intuitive or easiest thing in the world, believe it or not. It took me until my third trimester to even step foot into a prenatal yoga class. I wasn’t sure I needed a prenatal yoga class; I had a regular home practice and that was good enough for me. I wasn’t sure how much benefit an actual yoga class, held outside my living room, would be. I also had some reservations stepping into an environment with so many pregnant women after spending many years trying to get pregnant; I wasn’t sure I would be able to relate to my fertile counterparts. I thank my lucky stars I took the leap and stepped into Kari’s prenatal yoga class when I moved to Colorado Springs.
The women I met in prenatal yoga are some of my closest new mama friends now almost a year later. We graduated from prenatal yoga to postpartum yoga and our numbers doubled (in the form of our new babies). I’ve also been able to meet women I didn’t overlap with in prenatal yoga when they graduated into our Mom and Me Yoga class. We’ve been able to talk about everything. And I mean everything from BLW to breastfeeding to sex after birth to sore nipples to everything in between. These are the women who are supportive no matter what topic comes up. When I had trouble breastfeeding my son and used a finger feeder/supplemental nursing system Mom and Me Yoga was the first place in public I used the finger feeder when my son was 6 weeks old. It was my safe place. Now when my son isn’t sleeping (very often), and I’m about ready to rip my hair out and cry at the same time those ladies have my back. Some times all you need to hear is ‘keep on doing it, mama, you’re rocking motherhood.’
Internet support groups and forums are nice, and I believe they have a place in this world. But a hand on your shoulder and a friend with tears in her eyes who really gets it, who empathizes with you so perfectly is a thing of beauty. For me yoga was the place where I connected on so many levels with my wonderfully supportive, open minded, beautiful Mama Tribe. I don’t care how you build your mama tribe, where you find your mama friends, but it is important to go out there and find those women. They need you as much as you need them, even if you don’t know it now.
And to my Mama Tribe: Thank you so much for holding me up, giving me a shoulder to cry on, and a good laugh on this awesome, crazy journey called motherhood. You have no idea how deeply and profoundly you have affected my son and me.
Michelle is mama to a sweet nearly one-year-old boy. She also teaches Baby Led Weaning at Enso.
My husband and I love to eat out. We used to move around a lot as a military family, so we would always make a point to try as many new places to eat as possible when we arrived at a new duty station. It’s part of our family’s life. Moving to Colorado Springs was no different, except my husband was out of the military. We still love to explore which is why I always asked around at prenatal yoga for places to eat.
We knew we wanted to get our son comfortable with eating outside the home, and I thought I’d suggest a few things we’ve tried in case you’re wondering how to dine out with a baby, especially a BLW baby.
Eating out with a baby is never going to be the same relaxed experience you remember when it was just the two of you, but it can be fun for you and your baby with a bit of extra planning. When my husband turned 40 he wanted to go out for a nice steak. We went to a fine dining steakhouse in downtown Colorado Springs on a Wednesday at 4:30 in the afternoon. We were the only patrons in the place for most of the meal, but we have several staff members come over and comment on how cute our baby was eating his mashed potatoes in his highchair and drinking out of his little shot glass. What are some tips you can suggest for eating out with a baby-led weaning baby?
by Michelle Rodriguez, M.Ed., who offers Baby Led Weaning workshops at Enso. Check out her post Why We Are A Baby-Led Weaning Family and register for an upcoming workshop.
A common concern I heard in prenatal yoga was, ‘Should I tell my doctor this?’ This concern is echoed in postpartum yoga (Mom and Me yoga) in the form of, ‘Do you think I should call my baby’s doctor about this?’ I know a lot of times these questions stem from not wanting to bother the doctor with little complaints, but there is also some general apprehension in just talking with your doctor or your child’s doctor.
I’m not going to talk about the traditional advice on talking to your child’s doctor (bring a list of questions and a friend to help). And Enso Prenatal’s newsletters have already highlighted reasons to stay away from Dr. Google (just don’t google it, mamas). No, I’m here to say doctors are regular people. Yup, I married one, and we spend a lot of time hanging out with other doctors. They are just like you and me. They’re human. It’s okay to talk to them.
It’s also okay to question your doctor. In fact, they want you to question them. Sure, some doctors love giving long-winded explanations of your diagnosis, but most doctors like to be sure you understand the problem and ways to help. In fact, the National Patient Safety Council suggests three questions to ask your doctor or healthcare professional (physician’s assistant, naturopath, acupuncturist, pharmacist, etc.) every time you visit:
If you find you are constantly at odds with your doctor, you might consider if they are a good fit for your family. In our next article we’ll discuss disagreeing with and breaking up with your doctor.
by Michelle Rodriguez
I've hated ketchup for as long as I can remember. Something about the consistency. The pureed consistency just creeps me out. The thought of having to wash my brother's ketchup-laden dishes as a child still grosses me out.
When I was pregnant I thought a lot about how we were going to raise our baby. The thought of offering solids caused me anxiety even before I even laid eyes on my son. While at a La Leche League meeting a woman mentioned the term baby-led weaning (BLW). I was still pregnant at the time, but I made a note (in my phone - pregnancy brain is a killer, ugh!) to look more into this feeding technique - mainly because it meant no purees. The baby eats what the family eats, more or less. I was confused by the term 'weaning' but it's used in the British sense here - you aren't stopping breastfeeding or formula, instead you are merely introducing solids to complement your baby's main source of nutrition: breastmilk or formula. The baby is offered baby-appropriate pieces of food and the baby chooses what to eat (or not eat).
The idea of skipping the purees really appealed to me, and the more I researched baby-led weaning (BLW) the more I feel in love with its simplicity. Here are some reasons my husband and I decided to do BLW when our son was ready for solids:
1. My husband and I have struggled with our weight most of our lives. In the past we consistently ignored hunger cues, overate, and felt the need to clean our plates. We don't want our son to have those issues; with BLW the baby is in control. He eats as much (or as little) as he wants with no coaxing or bribing from us. Sorry, no hungry baby birds or airplane spoons here. He's learning how to listen to his body and how to use food to satisfy hunger (not some other emotion or to please his mommy and daddy).
2. I really love cooking meals for our family, and in general we eat pretty clean. Since our son eats pretty much what we're eating I'm extra cognizant to make sure the meal is as healthy as possible. That little extra bit of accountability ensures our family is eating well, even when I'm tired or just plain lazy during meal prep. It also means I do more meal planning and less frantic 'Oh, crap, it's 4 PM; what are we going to eat for dinner tonight?!'
3. My husband and I were guilty of eating dinner on the couch sometimes. It's a hard habit to break, but now that we eat at the table with our son (most nights) we've been able to reconnect and talk with one another instead of zoning out in front of the TV. And our couch is cleaner since no one eats on it anymore!
4. As I mentioned before, we love to eat, and I love to cook. During dinner I want to actually eat my delicious meal while it's warm and not have to wait until I'm done spoon feeding my son. Sure, we need to pause our meal to pick up a cup off the floor or to give our son a second helping of food, if he wants it, but for the most part everyone is enjoying dinner at the same time. Meal time is a pleasurable time to connect with each other.
5. Finally, our fat Chihuahua could not be more pleased about our choice to let the baby be in control of feeding himself. One drawback with letting a baby be in control is the mess, oh the mess! A dog definitely comes in handy if you plan to use BLW.
Are you thinking about Baby-Led Weaning? What interests you about BLW? Have you used BLW with your child? Why did you pick BLW? Do you want to learn more? Check out the calendar to see when the next BLW workshop is being offered.
Want to more? Sign up for author Michelle's Baby Led Weaning Workshop.
Michelle is a first time mom with a background in adult education who does copious amounts of research on all things baby. She loves cooking and creating healthy, homemade meals for her family as well as adding to her cookbook collection. She's been enjoying her family's BLW journey and wants to share the fun with you. If you love what she writes, visit her on her blog The Well Adjusted Pessimist.
This blog is not intended to be a source of medical information or advice. Please discuss all of your concerns with your care provider.