Look Before You Leap

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As parents, we’re hard-wired to want to step in when we hear a baby mewling for help. But sometimes, it’s good to sit back and wait a minute (as long as your little one isn’t in true distress or in harm’s way) and let them figure a problem out for themselves. There aren’t really “do-overs” in parenting, but knowing I leaped a little too quickly with my eldest, this time around I’m remembering to look first.

To wit, today Veronika was busy figuring out how to get the lid off this box of toys. After a moment, she was quite frustrated.

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I encouraged her with a positive tone of voice and smiles.

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Pretty soon – she’d lifted the lid herself!

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I had one proud little lady.

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Waiting to leap can also help your baby reach his or her next milestone. Veronika is currently trying to crawl, and I deliberately set her up a little out of reach from some favorite toys.

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After initial frustration, she managed to turn herself sideways, but not forwards.

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Even this movement is excellent for her gross motor development, and then mommy could swoop in to help.

Same goes when I placed toys just out of reach during sit-up play.

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She’s become a “scooter” and pretty soon she beamed proudly, having reached a favorite squishy square.

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Remembering to look before I leap will no doubt be high on the agenda once she’s crawling, toddling, or running around on a playground. Start now, and you’ll get in the habit of raising a confident kid who can solve his or her own dilemmas… With you watching safely from close by, of course!

Go get that computer toy, Veronika!

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You can do it…

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Atta girl!

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Farmer’s Flatbread

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This gorgeous flatbread recipe from Raddish Kids┬áhas all the flavors of summer rolled into one bite – perfect for the Garden Party-themed kit! Travis loved helping, although he did tire out about halfway through as can sometimes be the case with more complicated Raddish recipes. But when we cook together, I love simply seeing him get his hands in there, learn a skill or two, understand where food comes from, and have tons of fun!

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As a vegan family, we had an extra step to start out: tofu ricotta in place of regular ricotta cheese. In a food processor, combine 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 1 (14-ounce package) firm tofu, an 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Anything with the food processor is a big hit around here!

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Process until smooth and creamy and refrigerate until ready to use.

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To prepare the flatbread dough, combine 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in 3/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons olive oil, to form a dough. Turn out onto a floured cutting board and knead for about 4 minutes. This was definitely Travis’s favorite part!

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We read the kneading instructions on the back of our recipe card, adding more flour as needed, but really he just loved getting his fingers good and messy!

As a result, our dough wasn’t perfect, but that didn’t deter us. Again, the idea with these recipes is the fun and the learning. So as best we could, we rolled it out into an 11×16 inch rectangle and transferred to a baking sheet. I admit we patched a few holes in the dough!

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To prepare the white sauce, whisk together 1/2 cup prepared tofu ricotta, 1/3 cup plain non-dairy creamer, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Spread over the dough, leaving a little crust at the edge.

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Sprinkle with 2 cups shredded Daiya mozzarella, 3 tablespoons vegan Parmesan sprinkles and 1 cup frozen corn. Add 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes. Bake at 425 degrees F for 22 minutes.

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Sprinkle with 8 minced basil leaves and serve!

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I had one very proud chef, who also enjoyed the farm vocab quiz and the farmers’ market facts on the recipe card as we dined.

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Bow-Tie Card for Dad

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This cute Father’s Day card idea from Highlights magazine was the perfect craft for Travis to make this year… because daddy can really rock a bow tie!

To start, we measured out a long rectangle that was 11 inches long x 2 inches wide. Travis proudly followed along the line to cut this out, needing no help from me.

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We cut a second rectangle that was 5 inches x 1 inch.

Fold the large triangle in half, and open back up. Now fold the ends of that rectangle in to the center crease and secure with tape.

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Cut each side into a trapezoid shape; now it looks like a bow tie!

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Wrap the small rectangle around the center and tape down.

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Kids can now decorate the tie with markers. Because Daddy loves orange, Travis proudly added orange marker atop orange paper.

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Your kids may want to add polka dots, stripes, or other common bow-tie designs.

I cut a final piece of cardstock into the shape of a gift tag and added a happy father’s day message. Loop through the bow tie with a piece of string.

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When Father’s Day is over, this card does double-duty as a bookmark! Need more ideas this Father’s Day? Check out a few photo gift options here.

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