How to Tackle Fussy Eating Tots

Do you dread meal times?

Do you ever feel as if you are a broken record on repeat with the “Eat your dinner, eat your dinner...” Followed by a chorus of, “Come on finish your veggies at least!”

Then you hear the words you promised yourself you wouldn’t say, “Okay just your meat then, no, not just the tomato sauce!” followed quickly by “No more drink until you have finished your dinner! Right, that’s it! No dessert for you!”

Only to be met with more struggle, until you sputter out those words…

“You’re going to go to bed hungry then, tough!”

Every meal time I feel as if I’m having an internal meltdown! I have thoughts like, why won’t my kid eat? Followed by the guilt inducing thought: they’ll end up going to bed hungry!

This thought is usually followed by bargaining. The dozen alternatives I offer up to do everything to ensure my children go off to sleep with full tummies to avoid the risk of them waking in the middle of the night hungry if they don’t eat! (But that’s a blog for another day!)

In our hectic lives time together and especially sharing meals is incredibly important for many families. In an ideal world we would like to come together as a family and talk about our days, share stories and just enjoy each other’s company. In reality? We may feel like we’re turning into a frustrated witch, that broken record until the last thought we have is, AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! WHY CAN’T YOU JUST EAT KID?

We know what it is like to spend hours preparing a healthy and nutritious meal for your family- made with love, to then have it sometimes quite literally, shoved in your face.

Is there a solution? Our Mikki&Me community have put their heads together and shared some of their top tips for combating fussy eating tots! Read on for more:

Take Baby Steps
When making dinner, add 2 or 3 things you know your kids love mixing them with the things you want them to eat. Praise them just for having a bit of the new stuff.
We have had so much positive feedback from customers (and with our own family) with our Dinner Winner Plates using this method. For example if you know your kids love cucumber and cheese you can add these to the meal along with the stuff you’d like them to eat such as a hard-boiled egg and some chicken strips. If you’d like, you can include a reward in if they have finished their dinner. I like to add a few of ‘nature’s lollies’ like dried fruit or even a handful of grapes to the mix!

You can see a great example of this below:



Expand slowly
Another great tip from our community is to introduce new flavors slowly. It can be tempting to just throw everything you wish your child would eat on a plate, but if you know your child loves cheese and cucumber, a slow expansion of this might be using cream cheese on rye bread instead of cheddar cheese. And cucumber? Why not swap the cucumber for crunchy green capsicum.

The 3 P’s – PRAISE, POSITIVITY, PERSISTENCE
• Praise
Praise your child for what they have eaten, and what they did try!
• Positivity
Bringing positive praise to the dinnertime will help to reinforce that dinner time is calm and enjoyable. Don’t focus on the negatives and remember to focus on the POSITIVES; what they HAVE eaten and what they DID try! This is soooo important!
• Persistence
This is not a one week easy fix, making meals enjoyable again is an ongoing process of adding things they love with things to try.

Making food fun
At Mikki&Me we love making mealtimes enjoyable and fun. We have heaps of fun food ideas we share regularly on our Facebook page. You can also check out our Feeding Time selection for Practical, Affordable and Adorable meal time essentials.
Need some more inspiration? We also found some great and imaginative ways to prepare fun meals for kids here.


Get your kids involved
• Involve your kids in food preparation. Let them top and tale beans, dress the salad and stir the sauce.
• You could get them to set the table with place mats and cups (leaving the handling of any sharp knives to the adults), and make meal times feel special. Make them feel special by letting them know how great the table looks before sitting down and eating.
• When kids feel involved they are more inclined to try the food they have helped prepare.

One other thing that’s worked in our household is we always have the same meal. I never make separate meals for the kids (unless they are babies requiring mashed foods). They need to eat what everyone else is eating. This will save you time and get them used to eating what they are given. You may need to simplify things for a few months and not offer fancy shmancy meals. Platters with separated foods work really well. Like an antipasto platter with wraps to make your own.

We hope this article has given you some tips for fussy eaters of your own.
Remember you are doing a great job. Persistence is key and most of all, trust and know fussy eating is just a phase that won’t last forever (WE HOPE!) If you have any you’d like to add, let us know in the comments below!

Liza & the Mikki & Me Team xx




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Getting Organised for Back to School

Getting Organised for Back to School: 7 Top Tips to prevent back-to-school chaos!

Are you preparing for your child’s first school year ever? No matter your back to school needs, Mikki & Me Baby Boutique has gathered our 7 top tips to minimise that back-to-school chaos whether it is your first or fifth time round!

Read these tips below to help inspire you to get organised and create a stress-free school routine.

The night before

There is just too much to do the morning of school or kindergarten. Having lunches packed and clothes ready the night before will really take that pressure off.

Have a healthy breakfast

Teachers will agree. Making sure your child has a healthy breakfast makes sure they are ready to concentrate, learn and have fun.

Our favourite tip: bananas are truly nature’s super-food. They don’t even require glad wrap! Have some on hand in the fruit bowl for those mornings your child is running late. They are a great healthy breakfast on-the-go for both you and your little ones.

Lunchtime fun

You can make lunchtime even more fun (is this even possible?) with bold and bright lunchboxes. Our selection of colourful lunchboxes and lunch bags will make lunch time a treat! Check out our personally selected range here.

Personalise it

Lost Property. It is the arch nemesis to all of your child’s belongings. It also means labelling your child’s belongings is a must.

We love vinyl labels, they are great for a wide range of things from drink bottles to notebooks, and will be the first line of defence for avoiding (forever) lost property! We love these Vinyl Labels with their bright rainbow design.

We have a wide range of personalised products which are ideal for school. A best seller at Mikki & Me Baby Boutique is this medium sized backpack. Featuring a navy and orange star design personalised with your child’s name, it is a popular backpack for the new school year.

We have a variety of designs you can browse through on our online baby boutique to find a backpack your child will love.

No hat, no play

Making sure you are organised with hats and sunscreen before the new school year begins will ensure your child is protected against harmful UV rays. For added peace of mind, keep a spare hat and bottle of sunscreen in the car with you for those mornings it lays forgotten on the kitchen bench.

File it

It can be super simple, but having a tray or folder to keep all of your child’s important documents together in the one place is super handy and comes with the added bonus of reducing stress.

Time out  

Sticking to a stress-free school routine is much more achievable with the right frame of mind!

This is always easier said than done and looking after ourselves means something different to everyone, but it makes committing to being organised so much easier.

Getting organised for back to school and setting up routines is worth it. It takes energy and commitment which is why taking time out to even just have a cup of tea or chat with a friend on the phone is super important.  

Connect

We’d love to hear your back to school sanity tips. You can contact us personally with questions, or link up on our Facebook page here to join our Mikki & Me community.

And for all of your back to school needs? Check out our back to school goodies here.   

Best of luck with your 2015 back to school adventure!

Mikki & Me Baby Boutique Team xx

 

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Celebrate Christmas with Mikki & Me Baby Boutique

Seeing the delight on my children’s faces as they unwrap their presents is one of the loveliest parts of Christmas. But, before this moment arrives, most of us are staring down the barrel of hours of elbow grease to help make Christmas day relaxing for the grown-ups and fun for the kids. As many of you know, this is not always an easy feat!
Decorating, baking, preparing meals, cooking, cleaning, buying gifts, and wrapping presents... Just a small snapshot of the many things Mums (and Dads) do in the lead up to Christmas;my family and I included. One thing I know for sure about Christmas is that I prefer to shop stress-free… and this has never been truer as I am currently 37 weeks pregnant!
As I am getting ready for the arrival of another little one, I want my time leading up to Christmas to be spent with my family; not battling for car parks and waiting hours in jostling queues of frazzled shoppers. I imagine this is spot-on for most of us, whether we are expecting or not!
With only 4 weeks until Christmas, it really is time to get organised. At Mikki & Me Baby Boutique we have a gorgeous selection of products sure to enchant your children this festive season. Shopping at our online baby boutique reduces the time spent at overcrowded shopping centres, and allows you to shop at your own pace.
At Mikki & Me Baby Boutique, your Christmas shopping will be an enjoyable one. You can simply make yourself a cup of tea, and shop in the comfort of your own home! If you have not shopped with us before, I am proud to say Mikki & Me Baby Boutique only stock products that:
  •  I have personally tried, tested and believe in; 


  •  I believe are great value for money;
  •  Are exceptional quality;
  •  And are seriously irresistible!
You will find everything you need for your newborn, baby, kids and children’s gift shopping this Christmas, including: stocking fillers, Santa Sacks, and a range of popular gift ideas.
You can browse our Christmas selections here and Mums, don’t forget to make time for yourself... you can browse our ‘Just for Mums’ collection of products here.
Some of my favourite picks for this year include the
popular:
  •  Kinetic Sand
  •  Water Marbles
  •  Christmas Baubles
  •  Personalised Santa Sacks
  •  Night Lights
If we can offer any assistance, or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to be in touch.
On behalf of the team here at Mikki & Me, I wish you and your families a safe and wonderful Christmas.
Merry Christmas & happy shopping!
Liza xx
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Should I have a night light in my child's room?

We are so thrilled to have guest Blogger and "Baby Whisperer" Katie Forsythe write about her views on Night Lights.

 

Check out our sleepy lights HERE

 

As a Certified Child Sleep consultant, a question I often get asked is “should I have a night light in the room?” The answer is not just a simple yes or no, it is influenced by a couple of factors, the main one being the child’s age.
I generally advise that children don’t need a night lights until about two or three years of age as that is when cognitive development has advanced to the point where they understand fear and are able to imagine monsters and unknown scaries hiding in their room in the dark! Until that happens, your toddler is physiologically better off sleeping in a dark room. That said, when an infant requires multiple feeds overnight it can be useful for the parents to have a very low night light in the room to save them stumbling around in the dark. Switching on brighter overhead lights in other rooms is more likely to interfere with melatonin (our sleepy hormone) production and could make it more difficult for parents to get back to sleep once baby is down again.
Melatonin is the hormone that regulates our body clock rhythms, essentially it is responsible for telling the brain when it is night and when it is day. Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland within the brain and the production of the hormone is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light. Photosensitive cells in the retina detect light and set off a chain reaction of nerves ending in the pineal gland being notified that it is light. When humans are exposed to artificial light when it is naturally dark their melatonin secretion is suppressed which means their sleeping cycles are likely to be disrupted.
But not all night lights were created equal! The most important thing to consider when looking at night lights for your child this; colour. The colour of the light will have a dramatic influence on how much the secretion of melatonin is affected. It has been well established through scientific research that blue light is the most melatonin suppressive (blue light, interestingly, is the type of light emitted by televisions, computer screens, tablets and smartphones). In contrast to this, red light has been shown to have the least effect on melatonin secretion and is therefore why I recommend people buy a nightlight that is either red, orange or pink.
This is the main reason why I LOVE the Sleepy Light range – parents have the option to choose the light’s colour and can therefore stick to the range of hues that will have the least effect on their child’s sleep. The ‘dimming’ function is fantastic as well because it means that the room is not bathed in light. Other features that really impressed me were the fact that the LED lights generate very little heat and that the whole light is made of low weight and shatterproof material thus making it safe for curious little hands.
Katie Forsythe is the owner of The Baby Sleep Company Brisbane’s leading baby whisperers. She is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant and is the Regional Director (Asia Pacific) of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants. When she’s not helping families overcome their nocturnal dramas she enjoys spending time with her three beautiful children (who all obviously sleep like proverbial babies). You can follow The Baby Sleep Company on Facebook.

 

Thank you so much Katie for your insightful review on the benefits of Night Lights.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Liza

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The Importance of Sensory Play in Childhood

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a few of your favourite things…

The smell of a home cooked meal at the end of a long day. The feeling of a warm cup of tea in your hands after a particularly stressful day… A sweet kiss from your little one on the cheek… the soft yet crunchy feeling of sand underneath your feet on holidays. That first, cooling bite of ice cream on a hot summer’s day. The feeling of freshly washed sheets on your skin… The smell of your favourite essential oil.

All of these things we know and love; we have learnt through our experience with the world around us. Growing up we used our senses to learn, explore and grow. And it is exactly the same with our children. They learn about the world around them through their five senses. I am excited as a parent to have the amazing opportunity to help shape my children’s world through something I am very fascinated and passionate about; sensory play.

Sensory play enriches their life by giving them the tools to discover, explore and question. Sensory play helps to create meaning and context to the lessons, things, places and people that our child comes across in their day to day lives.

Numerous studies demonstrate that sensory play is keystone to the healthy growth and development of children. It assists in the development of fine motor skills like zipping up jackets and tying shoelaces. Sensory play helps children develop different kinds of language to talk about the world. Descriptive and expressive language is developed from a young age and the great news is one way to encourage and develop a rich vocabulary is through sensory play. Sensory play not only benefits these things but offers relaxation and confidence.

If you are a beloved long term customer you would know here at Mikki & Me I only stock quality products which are personally tried and tested, absolutely adored and loved and which are great value for money. One product on my site which is all of these things is my brand new Kinetic Sand. I am really thrilled to be stocking this product, as it is a truly great way to encourage sensory play and a fantastic addition to your child’s learning toolbox.

Kinetic Sand will teach your child what it means to build, form, smooth, mold, break and recreate! Being 98% sand and 2% magic, the Kinetic Sand features special properties that make it soft and stretchy. And the great thing? The sand sticks to itself, and not you! Kinetic Sand never dries out, is non-toxic and anti-microbial. Kinetic Sand is a fun, indoor mess-free sand.

Now, before Kinetic Sand even made it onto the website my daughter Mikki sat down to play. Her awe and imagination was at work while I watched her play with the sand. I saw her pick up the Kinetic Sand and pour it through her fingers and then fashion it into cakes for us to enjoy with a cup of tea (I am very spoilt!) As mentioned before, the great thing about Kinetic Sand is it is not messy (sensory play can be notoriously messy- mud pies anyone?) The sensation of the sand between her fingers helped her to grasp the concept of texture. Building things with the sand exercised her cognitive functioning, and the simple act of creating was both soothing and relaxing. All massive wins in my book of playtime.

Sensory play is both educational, and enriching. It was as I watched Mikki with the Kinetic Sand it really hit home as to how important encouragement of sensory play truly is. It would be impossible for me to teach anyone who did not know what melting was, without first letting them melt an ice cube between their hands. Your child is learning about the entire world from scratch through touching, tasting, smelling, seeing and hearing. Before the experience of melting an ice cube, had no concept of what ‘melt’ was, looked like, felt or was. Truly fascinating.

Needless to say; Kinetic Sand was tried and tested, loved and adored- is a great value for money product- and I am thrilled to announce it is now available to purchase online at Mikki & Me. If you have any questions about any of our products, please don’t hesitate to contact Mikki & Me and we will assist.

Wishing you a happy, sensory play journey!

Liza xx

 

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A Light Bulb Moment

Do you ever have those moments where you wake up in the morning and something you have been pondering slaps you in the face with a YES or a NO!?

I always have said with decision making, the answer will come to me in the morning. More often than not it does! I always trust the answer in the morning when I am well rested and haven't made my decision implusively.

This is how I felt the morning I knew I had to seek out a natural and organic skin care range for Mikki and Me.

You see, I have been practising Beauty Therapy for nearly 12 years. I did a  Diploma in Beauty Therapy, followed 4 years later with a Bachelor in Health Science, Clinical Dermal Therapies in 2007. Since then and until now, I work for Cosmeceutical companies in training/marketing/visual merchandising etc.

 

So, skin, is my passion. I'm a "skin-a-holic". I love researching the newest fads and ingredients in the industry.

 

After running Mikki and Me ~ Baby Boutique for over 3 years, this particular morning, I had a light bulb moment. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE, THAT I HAVE SO MANY RANGES IN MY ONLINE STORE, YET NOT A SINGLE SKINCARE RANGE!?

I knew what I had to do. I needed to seek out a skincare range for babies and kids, that was free of any controversial/nasty ingredients. It had to be natural, and certified organic. It had to be affordable. It had to work.

 

It was then I realised, Little Innoscents was the range I had to get!

 

Little Innoscents is a small range of certified organic products. Non toxic, no nasties and containing beautiful blends of pure essential oils.

 

My hubby and I have been using the products on our girls and we are hooked! In the bath we are loving the Hair and Body wash for their all over shampoo and body wash product. The scent fills our bathroom with the smells of orange blossom, lavender and spearmint.

 

After we massage the girls with the non-greasy, Intensive soothing cream. The calendula and calming ingredients are perfect for Mikki who has patches of eczema. I am happy to report they have cleared up completely since using Little Innoscents!

 

The soothing cream is also fantastic for nappy rash and we are using the Mineral Powder when needed. I love the Mineral powder for its unique use of kaolen (Australia white clay) as a moisture absorber. All the products are suitable for cloth nappies too! Which is excellent for us cloth nappy users! 

 

Other products such as the massage oil, vapour balm, moisture rich body lotion and 30+ sun lotion make this range versatile to all kids (I'm even using them too!) Great for the most sensitive, allergic, reactive skins. You have the comfort of knowing the ingredients have been carefully selected with all skin types in mind.

 

I am so thrilled to be offering this amazing skin care range to my customers. It's pure goodness in a bottle and I am sure you will agree.

 

Here is a link to view the entire range on our website: http://www.mikkiandme.com.au/collections/vendors?q=Little+Innoscents

  

I look forward to hearing of your feedback on this new range in the coming weeks and months.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Liza

www.mikkiandme.com.au

 

 

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