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    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
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Sunshine Eggs

Lately, Calvin’s gone on a food strike when it comes to his typical breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs.  He’ll eat his grass-fed, free-range “A-con”, but refuses the eggs.

One morning, I made his eggs over-easy, even though the intent was sunny-side up.  I told him they were sunshine eggs.  I made a BIG deal about them with a sing-songy voice and exclaimed how they were special since they looked like little sunshines.

He gobbled them all up.

And every day thereafter.

Now when he gets his morning eggs, he exclaims, “Mmm! Sunshine eggs and A-con!”

Mom – 1, Picky-Eater – 0.

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Happy Green Baby — Seminar Scoop

happy-green-baby1Thanks to everyone who participated in today’s seminar!  What a fun group.  For those of you who couldn’t make it and are out of town, no worries…get your Happy Green Baby highlights right here.

As promised, I’ve collected all the links and info into one location to serve as your Happy Green Baby information headquarters.  Don’t forget to bookmark this post for future reference.

Cloth Diapers

Feeding Baby



Family-Friendly Grand Opening

As a friendly reminder, I hope to see you at the grand opening festivities for Spinal Health & Wellness on Thursday, October 8th from 4PM to 7PM.  We want to make this fun-filled event enjoyable for the entire family. Participating vendors are offering FREE portrait sittings, chair massage, face painting, and kid-friendly snacks. There’s also fabulous door prizes including 8×10 portraits, HappyBaby coupons and snack samples, and much more.

Healthy Mama Workshop

healthy mama smallI’ll be back at Downtown ACAC on Saturday, November 7th as the featured speaker for the Pre-Natal and Post-Natal seminar series offering a Healthy Mama Workshop that begins at 11:45 AM.

Moms will learn safe and ergonomic postural considerations for both parent and baby while babywearing.  Also, augment the breastfeeding bonding experience by caring for mom and baby’s back needs.  This workshop will teach you how to stay comfortable longer while wearing baby–preventing spine or pelvis injuries on baby.  You’ll also learn body support tips for the most common nursing positions, and caring for your baby’s back from infancy to toddlerhood.

Bring your baby carrier/sling and nursing pillow, if you use them.

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Green Baby & Ribbon Cutting

happy-green-baby1It’s almost here…

The Happy Green Baby workshop at Downtown ACAC (111 Monticello Ave.) in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, October 3rd at 11:45 AM.

I’m teaching new parents simple ways to go green with baby through an intro course in cloth diapering and I’ll show you how to make organic baby food from scratch–don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds!

This class is part of ACAC’s pre-natal/post-natal program and the first 15 minutes includes yummy snacks and social time with other new parents.  We’ll wrap up at 1PM (just in time for the afternoon nap).

The best part about this event, it’s FREE for the general public.  So, bring your friends, and let’s have some fun!


Then, on Thursday, October 8th from 4PM to 7PM, Spinal Health & Wellness, my practice, is celebrating our official opening in grand style with a big party and a ribbon cutting ceremony.  The office is located in Charlottesville in Berkmar Crossing, near the intersection of Rio Road West and Berkmar Drive at 679 Berkmar Circle.

We want the entire family to enjoy the fun, so we’re offering yummy Asian-fusion styled tapas, chair massage, kids crafts, face painting, portrait sittings, kid-friendly snacks, and cake!

Non-profit National Eating Disorders Association and Rabbits for Recovery will be represented at the event along with Charlottesville Regional Airport (cuz  hey, we’re building a patient base that extends beyond central Virginia!), SuzySaid.com, and many other community partners.  Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is officiating the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Don’t forget the fabulous door prizes:

We can’t wait to see you at the par-tay!

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Happy Green Baby

Hey Moms!

If you’re in the central Virginia area this coming weekend, stop by for a  one-hour class on simple ways to go green–an intro to cloth diapering and preparing homemade organic baby food from scratch–at Charlottesville’s Downtown ACAC (111 Monticello Ave.) on Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 at 11:45AM. This event is free and open to the public as part of ACAC’s pre-natal and post-natal seminars.

Happy Green Baby classes focus on surrounding a baby with a safe and and healthy environment, void of synthetic chemicals and harmful toxins.  This class will teach parents simple ways to go green, through an introduction to cloth diapering and creating homemade organic baby food, as well as a brief overview on wisely choosing items that come in contact with a baby’s mouth and precious skin, such as non-toxic bottles, baby skincare and baby sun care.

The workshop will be led by me…besides editing Traveling with Baby, I’m also a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Charlottesville.

I’m excited to offer Happy Green Baby to parents.  There’s enough learning curves involved with a new baby; I want to help parents feel confident and simplify the learning curve involved with raising a healthy, happy, and green baby.

For more information on Happy Green Baby, please call the office at (434) 566-0126 or visit www.scoliosisdoc.com.

I hope to see you there!

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Sneak Preview

CB106363Yesterday, we had a wonderful adventure at our local Charlottesville Fire Station.  I can’t wait to share the details with you.  Not only can little ones sit in the driver’s seat of the fire engine, but they can experience the lights and siren, too.  Oh, boy! Stay tuned for this week’s Tuesday Travels post when I post photos and details of one of the best kept field trip secrets in Charlottesville.

Thanks for those of you who showed up to the “Make Babyfood from Scratch” class at Whole Foods on Thursday evening.  We’re going to have an encore class soon at a time that’s more convenient for moms with young’uns.  There was enough demand for more information that soon enough I’ll either create a series of posts with the class information on this blog, or I’ll write up an article for a magazine.  Either way, I’ll definitely let you know.

Before this month is over, I will feature an exclusive interview with nationally-acclaimed folk music artist/song writer Ellis Paul of The Dragonfly Races.  Learn from a professional music artist the beautiful and subtle differences in writing quality songs for children compared to adults–but, even better, writing music that can be shared by both.  Also, learn how to help your children instill a love of music from an early age.

I’ve received numerous comments and e-mails about the “41 weeks and 1 day pregnant…seriously” post.  Thank you to all of you who share your past-“due” pregnancy stories and triumphant birth stories with me.  I love it.  Yes, I know I never posted the conclusion to the seemingly never-ending pregnancy.  But as you can see, my son, now one and 1/2 years old was born healthy and happy.  I’ve responded to many of you individually through e-mail with my birth story.  I’ve hemmed and hawed about whether to post something so personal, challenging, and amazing on my blog.  And, I’ve decided to not put it “out there” for anyone to read at any point in time.  However, if you e-mail me, there is a strong possibility that we may end up sharing our very personal and significant birth stories through e-mail.

I’m always interested in learning more about what YOU would like to read about on Traveling with Baby.  I read and heart every comment and e-mail.  So, keep the feedback coming, and I’ll continue to keep it real.

Making Babyfood from Scratch

CB101818It may seem daunting, but it’s not as difficult or time consuming as you may think.  By doing bulk food prep once a week, or even once a month for younger babies, your overall food prep time (with cooking, freezing, and thawing) can be as quick as 2 to 5 minutes per serving.

What I love best about making my own babyfood is that I know EXACTLY what’s in it.  There’s some good stuff in the freezer at health foods stores, but price per ounce, making your own can’t be beat.  The jarred stuff that’s been on shelves for who knows how long.  I’m not so sure that I’d want to feed that to my little guy.  But, homemade sweet potatoes, apple sauce, oatmeal with raisins, now that’s good stuff.

Thursday, April 16 at 7pm, I’m teaching a class at the Charlottesville Whole Foods on Making Your Own Babyfood.  If you’re in the area, and you’d love to learn more details, show up and bring your friends!

We’ll cover information such as

  • physical signs to know whether your  baby is ready for solid foods
  • basic tools for food preparation
  • cost analysis
  • tips for preventing freezer burn
  • nutritional considerations when thawing frozen baby food
  • tips for taking home made babyfood with you on-the-go
  • the Dirty Dozen of the 12 worst conventional fruits and veggies (the BEST foods to purchase organic)
  • quick tips on thinning and thickening foods
  • the most baby-pleasing and economical baby food staples

FUN with Food

img_3647Calvin gets a kick out of mealtimes, especially when we’re serving some of his favorite options like avocado.  I’ve posted this photo before, but it’s one of my favorites, and I want to play in the contest at 5M4M.

Mom Made Wholesome Goodness

I love making food for my son from scratch.  But, there are days when it gets hectic, and having enough food prepared to last several meals or several days when we’re on the road just isn’t pragmatic.  I’m not interested in purchasing jarred baby food that’s been sitting on a shelf for who knows how many months.

So, when I heard about the Virginia-based Mom Made Foods was going to be available in Wegmans, Whole Foods, and Super Targets all over Virginia (and many other states) I was thrilled.  Finally–wholesome, organic, baby food that I can purchase locally if I’m in a pinch.

So, the first question on my mind is always, “Does it taste good?”

The answer is a resounding “YES!”

For baby, Mom Made Foods come in apple, pear, sweet potato, and broccoli.  Okay, so my son wasn’t as thrilled about the broccoli as he was with the other flavors, but I just mixed the broccoli with sweet potato and all was well.

These fab flavors are all made from USDA certified organic produce.  The only other additions are filtered water or lemon juice (to prevent oxidation).

Is it as good as homemade? Definitely.  It looks just like my applesauce and pureéd sweet potatoes except maybe a little runnier, since I don’t add water.

Overall, the consistency is smooth (no lumps).  It’s easy to thaw out the container at room temperature or dunked in warm water.  The color of the food is beautiful and fresh.

For a baby just beginning on solids, the serving size is a little large.  Yet, the servings (2 containers of 3.5 ounces each) are just a little too slight for a baby who’s been on solids for several months.  So, I’d recommend for a bigger baby, mixing and matching flavors, or adding some of your own (plain yogurt, mashed banana, mashed avocado…to name a few).

Besides little ones, Mom Made also has a line for Big Kids which includes fiesta rice, cheesy mac, cheese pizza, and bean burrito.

The Mom Made site also includes recipes and healthy tips for babies, toddlers, and big kids.

Glad: This is a great, healthy, organic option that’s just like I would make for my son…except it’s conveniently pre-frozen and ready for on the go.

Sad: I like the flavor options for baby, but I wish there were more.  Mango, cauliflower, berries, squash . . . this is something worth diversifying even further!

An original Traveling with Baby post by Dr. Dolly.

Baby Food Action

Butternut squash is finger-lickin’ good!

Calvin got bored with me feeding him his food with a spoon.  He’d fish it out of his mouth, look at it and palpate it with his fingers, then he’d put it back in his mouth once his obersvation was satisfied.  He did this same routine with ev-e-ry bite.  So, I dumped the entire portion onto his tray and let him have at it.  I knew it’d be a bath-worthy mess to clean up later, but I knew his curiousity would be satisfied and he’d have one heckuva fun time with it.  He even got squash on his eyelashes.

Heck, he even wanted to grab the camera!

Calvin’s first solid food was avocado, and he still loves it!

My son isn’t very happy here, but I was so thrilled that he was eagerly communicating in sign language.  Steve brought him to me right before bedtime for his night time nursing.  Calvin was repeatedly doing the sign for “milk” and fussing that I was taking his picture instead of giving him what he wanted.  I couldn’t resist.  It was just too cute.

Ask the Doctor

Dear Dr. Dolly, What foods does Calvin like? — Jiyeon

The short answer is, he likes what I feed him.  This baby doesn’t have options, and even as a potentially fussy toddler, he’ll have 2 choices: eat, or don’t eat.

He’s actually a very good eater.  Sometimes flavors surprise him.  He’ll give me that initial wince which seems to say “WHAT did you just put in my mouth?”.  Usually, he’ll give it a couple bites and then happily accept the rest.  The rare occasions when he doesn’t like to eat typically means he’s not feeling well.  I can count on one hand those times and there was a direct correlation to croup or teething.

My son has tried a variety of fruits and veggies, and I hope to increase his palate over time.  But, I stick to the staples because they’re plentiful and in season, inexpensive, and laden with great vitamins and minerals for his developing little body.

Calvin’s faves are bananas, sweet potatoes, yellow squash, butternut squash, peaches, plums, and Korean style Jangjorin brisket with nori and basmati rice.  When he was younger, his only food (aside from breastmilk) was watered down avocados.  Since those are kinda pricey right now, we’ve moved on to other healthy options.  He’s also tried and loved mangoes,  kiwi fruit, and hormone-free chicken.  He also loves plain whole milk yogurt, if mixed with fresh fruit.  I also sometimes mix it in with sweet potatoes and ground liver from free range cows.

Recently, I was introduced to an Asian-style bone marrow soup.  It’s served with rice and red bean and diced green onions.  It’s creamy and delicious, and it’s awesome for babies or post-surgery patients who are trying to heal and recover.  I don’t know if my mom fed this to me when I was a baby, but it is a very common first baby food in Asia.

I’m looking forward to introducing Calvin’s tastes to acorn squash, pumpkin, and other late fall and winter produce varieties.