• 5 Tips for a Picky Eater

    Many parents dread those terrible twos... sometimes those terrible two also carry over into the threes and fours. The toddler years can be challenging for parents, trying to establish boundaries, teaching proper manners, and correcting bad habits or behavior. It may feel like a never-ending battle between you and your tiny tot.

    One of the battles many parents who come to Infant Crisis Services lament about is their toddler's picky eating habits. We've had many mothers desperately express "He just won't eat anything I give him!" "She won't touch her vegetables!"

    If you've been there, you understand.

    While we don't claim to be nutritionists, we are somewhat experienced when it comes to babies and toddlers.

    So in honor of National Toddler Month, here are 5 tips we like to give parents when dealing with your protesting picky eater.

    1) Start early. This one may come a little too late if you're child is already out of the infant stage. But it's an import step in preventing the picky eating behavior. When first introducing your child to baby food and solid foods, think vegetables first. Let them develop a liking to vegetables before introducing sweeter fruits and food varieties. So instead of starting with mashed bananas or other sweet fruits, introduce them to peas, green beans, carrots and sweet potatoes.

    2) Present foods in new ways. If your toddler won't touch raw carrots, try steaming them. If celery is a no go, try putting peanut butter and raisins on top (ants on a log). Get creative and present the foods in a way your toddler might find appealing.

    3) Give food fun names. This one may sound silly, but it may just be silly enough to work. To a picky toddler who doesn't want to touch any green food, broccoli probably sounds like the worst word in the world. But if you call it tasty tree tops your curious little one might just take a bite. Kiwi can become fuzzy fun food. Once again, creativity is key here.

    4) Involve your child in picking out and prepping the food. Let your child have a say in what produce you buy at the grocery store. Then get him a step stool and let him lend a hand in the kitchen. If he helps prepare it, your mini chef might be more willing to taste his creation. 

    5) Don't give up. I know it seems easier to give in, surrender to your tiny opponent and hand over the Cheetos, but don't. Keep trying. It's in your toddlers best nutritional interest. Plus, you want to establish healthy eating habits while they're young, so they grow up to snack on celery instead of ice cream.

     

  • 5 Tips to Make Breastfeeding Easier

    Every day at Infant Crisis Services, we sit across from new mothers who are at their wits end. Their intention throughout their pregnancy was to breastfeed as long as possible, but just weeks after giving birth they're faced with the high cost of formula because breastfeeding was no longer an option. While we know the amazing health benefits a mother's milk can provide for a baby, we also recognize just how hard breastfeeding can be. That is why Infant Crisis Services is here to assist families in need who cannot afford the high cost of formula each week. But if you can and are willing to breastfeed your child, we encourage and support that decision. This week is World Breastfeeding Week, so we reaching out to one of our Young Professionals Board members, Petra Calindres, who is a maternal-child nutritionist and owner of Happi Lives, a family-focused nutritional support system for infants, children and families. She addresses mothers' number one breastfeeding complaint and offers her top 5 tips to make breastfeeding easier.

    Q: What is the number one complication mothers run into while trying to breastfeed?

    A: The number one complaint mothers have regarding breastfeeding is the fear of insufficient milk production. In all actuality, most mothers produce far more milk then they need, especially if they follow some basic steps in the hospital (details provided below). Mother's were made to make milk for their infants, and there are tons of benefits for both mother and child. For the infant, those who exclusively breastfeed have an increased IQ; reduction in disease states such as obesity, cancer and diabetes; better cognitive development long term; reduced incidences in ear aches, diarrhea; and much more! Even for the mother, breastfeeding helps reduce their incidence of cancers and helps them return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster.

    What are the five tips you’d give new mothers to make breastfeeding more successful?
    There are many things mothers/parents can do to help make their breastfeeding experience with their new little one successful.

    1. Let your hospital team know your intention to breastfeed, and exclusively breastfeed. From the head doctor to the nurse, the whole team needs to be aware of your decision to help support you in every way possible. If you can get your hospital team on board with your vision, and can talk about this intention prior to delivery, the better breastfeeding outcomes for all. Also, if at all possible, deliver at a baby-friendly hospital. This is a designation that hospitals receive if they help in all ways parents succeed in breastfeeding.

    2. Do tons of skin-to-skin with your child, especially in the early days. Skin-to-skin is personal contact time with both the mom (or dad) with their new baby, bare chested with just a blanket wrapped over. It's also called kangaroo care. For a good information on skin-to-skin, check out the following link. https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/importance-skin-skin-contact

    3. Allow on-demand feeding. Let your child eat any time he or she wants! This will not only garauntee that you have an ample milk supply (note the biggest fear in breastfeeding woman) BUT also will lead to a happy, full and growing baby. It is common for a child within the first 6 months of life to feed anywhere between 8 to 12 times today, sometimes (if they're going through a growth spurt or are just super hungry) up to 15! Don't fret, it's normal. Allow your infant to tell you when he or she is hungry and allow them to eat as long as they want.

    4. No artificial nipples. This includes anything that's not a breast, from bottle nipples to pacifiers. The way an infant nurses on a breast is completely opposite than how the suck on a bottle or pacifier. Why confuse little infants any more then they have to be? They're learning everything when they are first born! It is recommended by the AAP to allow the infant to understand how to nurse on the breast well, about one month, before introducing any bottles or pacifiers.

    5. Have support. Every Mom, new or old, needs breastfeeding support. This can be found in your husband, your friends, or even local organizations. Groups like La Leche League and WIC provide groups that get together to help woman continue breastfeeding, and feel empowered to do so. Infant Crisis Services can help you get in contact with these groups, or answer any questions you may have on breastfeeding, so never hesitate to ask.


  • Vaccinating is Caring

    At Infant Crisis Services, we are all about building healthy communities. We know that starts with healthy babies, that's why we've made it our mission to make sure no baby goes hungry. But it takes more than proper nutrition to keep kids healthy. Children need immunizations to protect them from infectious diseases, like the measles and whooping cough, both of which have made an unfortunate comeback in the United States in recent months. 

    August is Immunization Awareness Month, and we are doing everything possible to educate parents about the importance of vaccinating their children. We are partnering with the Caring Van Program, which targets children in low-income and under-served areas who encounter difficulties in accessing traditional health providers. They provide immunizations at no charge to children in need. We will be joining the Caring Van this Thursday, July 31, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Buy for Less location on SW 29th Street and May Avenue. And on Friday, August 1, from 4-7 p.m. at Buy for Less on Penn and 23rd Street. 

    Both of these back-to-school events are free and open to the public. We know many families with school-aged children also have little ones at home. Our BabyMobile will be on hand to provide basic necessities for those families as the Caring Van makes sure all children are properly immunized. 

    For a schedule of all Caring Van events and locations, click here.

  • Jammin' for Babies

    If you've read our blog before, you probably already know how much we love our volunteers. They are dedicated, talented, creative and they love the babies! 

    Today, one of our regular volunteers, Sherry Park, brought in lots of jars of yummy homemade jam! I'm a sucker for homemade jam. When I was a kid, I would often help my grandmother make jam in her kitchen. Grandma lived close to a cherry orchard where you could pay to pick your own cherries, so we would go pick our cherries together and then take them home and make tons of jars of jam. Those are still some of my fondest childhood memories.

    Anyway, now that you understand my deep love for jam, I'll get back to Sherry. She brought in all of these jars of homemade jam today that she is selling for $10 a jar. Even the presentation of the jars is pretty! All of them are trimmed with fabric. You can tell she put a lot of work into not only making the jam, but packaging it. But the story doesn't stop there. Sherry is donating all of the money from her jam sales to Infant Crisis Services! She's calling it "Jammin' for the Babies." Aren't our volunteers creative?!

    Thanks Sherry for devoting your time, talents and financial resources to help the babies! And thank you for making me reflect back on one of my favorite memories. Can't wait to try the Plum Crazy Peach!


  • Volunteer Appreciation Banquet

    Last Friday, we held our annual volunteer appreciation luncheon and awards banquet. It's a time for us to love on those amazing people who donate their time to love on babies in need. We have some pretty phenomenal volunteers at Infant Crisis Services. Some of them have been with us for over a decade! Others may have started just a few months ago. But all of them are very special to us. We could not serve the community in the capacity that we do without the work of these dedicated men and women who freely give of their time and talents. 

    We named two volunteers of the year at the luncheon, Carol Barnett and Mary Keefe. I can say on a personal note, these two women are like family. I know the rest of the staff agrees. 

    Our other award recipients are as follows:

    Newcomer Award Raelyn Arnold
    Administrative Sherry Park
    Baby Mobile Caroline Schuepbach (not pictured)
    Ambassador Joann Winters (not pictured)
    Corporate Award Access Midstream
    Unsung Hero (Teen) Ryal Reddick

    It was a county fair themed luncheon complete with a pie judging contest and lots of cowboy boots! Roxanne R won the contest for her coconut cream pie, which was just as pretty as it was tasty.

    Thanks again to all our volunteers who work so hard every day to make a difference in our organization and our community.



  • Vote for Us!

    Infant Crisis Services is once again nominated in The Oklahoman's Readers' Choice Awards. This year, we are in the top five in two separate categories, Best Nonprofit and Best Annual Event. While it's an honor to be nominated, you can help us win! (We may even thank you in our acceptance speech)

    So here's what you have to do. Click here and vote. Easy right? You can vote once a day per computer through June 23.

    The picture to the left shows what categories you will find us under. Best Annual Event is listed under the "Lifestyles" category. Our yearly gala, Boots & Ball Gowns, is nominated. If you've ever been, you know it definitely deserves to win!  

    The Best Nonprofit category is located under the "Best Local" tab.  That's where you can vote for Infant Crisis Services! 

    And while you're in the voting mood, the OK Gazette is accepting nominations for it's Best of OKC contest. Feel free to nominate us for Best Nonprofit and Best Place to Volunteer if you would like. You have until June 25 to fill out a ballot. Here's the link. Happy voting and thanks for supporting Infant Crisis Services!


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