Natural Mimic

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Infants are wired to mimic or mirror their adult caregivers, which leads to the beginnings of language, social skills, and emotional intelligence, just to name a few! So today, I really focused on letting Veronika mimic the bigger people in our household, in preparation for some milestones to come.

Of course, one of the easiest ways to encourage mirroring is to continue making faces at your child – big smiles are sure to be returned by your little mimic!

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More to the point, though, talk your baby through your day, and encourage him or her to join in. Today I sat Veronika in her high chair while her big brother ate meals. She got play food; he got the real thing.

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She got to hold a spoon just for fun; he used his fork for real.

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Pretty soon she was picking up the toy food, biting at the spoon – a natural!

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Later, I put her back in the highchair as I cleaned the kitchen. Veronika got her own cloth to “clean” her tray. She looked so excited to be involved in mommy’s activity, as I narrated my own counter wiping and cleaning to her.

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Another great opportunity is diaper changes. I talked Veronika through my actions, and she got her own diaper to hold.

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This mimicry is also the reason babies love toys that look like (a more colorful) version of your things. Veronika loves her set of car keys – so much like mommy’s!

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How does your baby mimic you? Please share in the comments!

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Whole Wheat Goldfish Crackers

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As a mom of vegan kids, my biggest goal is to make sure they never feel left out. This means I come prepared with vegan pizza slices and cupcakes to every birthday party we attend, stock my son’s preschool cabinet with vegan cheddar squares and rice cereal bars, and happily go out of my way to try a new recipe or test a new vegan meat on the market.

But one item we haven’t been able to replicate was goldfish crackers. Until now! These snacks are ubiquitous, and Travis has been asking about them, so I special ordered a little goldfish cookie cutter. Turns out the crackers are a cinch to make, and now he can have them at snack with his school buddies!

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups shredded Daiya cheddar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, using the dough blade attachment. Process for about 2 minutes, until a dough forms, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.Goldfish Crackers (1)
  2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather into a ball. Note: the dough is a bit crumbly, but will stick together as you work it with your hands.
  3. Roll the dough out.Goldfish Crackers (2)
  4. Use a mini fish cookie cutter to cut out the shapes.Goldfish Crackers (3)
  5. Transfer the fish to a baking sheet – we had quite the little school of fishies!Goldfish Crackers (5)
  6. Use a toothpick to make a small eye in each fishGoldfish Crackers (6)
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Note: The original recipe said to roll the dough 1/8-inch thick, but ours was closer to 1/4-inch. Honestly, we preferred the results, with crackers that were a little chewier and a little less cracker-crispy than actual Goldfish.