00:06 - Intro to Saturdays with Harper
00:35 - Toddlers and Vegetables
02:41 - Rock-A-Bye Baby
04:39 - Kids And Tantrums
Hi, everybody! Harper Jones with Bow-Tiger! As we mentioned last month, we're going to start a segment which runs once monthly called Ask Harper. And for this segment, I'm gonna answer you, the viewers' questions in regards to your toddler. I'm gonna select a few questions to answer every month, so if you do have any, you know, out of the blue questions or anything that you need answered, please feel free to leave it on our Facebook page. Just headline it Ask Harper and then go ahead and ask your question or you can also email us at bow-tiger.com as well.
So, I wanted to go over a few questions that I got in which I thought were great.
The first one was from Megan, and she wants to know, "How do you get your toddler to eat vegetables?" Now, the first key to this, and if you haven't done this, I've got some other suggestions for you, the first key to this is have them eating vegetables off the bat. Of course, when our baby's eating the baby food, they're eating a lot of veggies out of those little jars. Well, continue that. Make sure they're getting a lot of even cooked vegetables. Sometimes it's very nice to have those softer vegetables. Make sure they continue that after they get out of that baby stage and transition into the toddler stage.
Another thing that you can do is do something like vegetable art. It's food art, it's a lot of fun, and your kids will really love doing that. Give them a paper plate and then provide them with all sorts of veggies like the little cherry tomatoes and carrots and squash and green beans and then let them make their cool little design on their paper plate. Now, to make the design stay a little bit better, you can actually even use ranches, kind of like a food glue, and they can put a couple dollops of ranch on the plate and then actually stick their different vegetables onto the plate as well. And then, when they're done, they get to eat their masterpiece. I found that that worked really, really well for my daughter. It made eating veggies fun, which made it cool, and now she loves to do that.
One other thing that I do with veggies, and I still do this and I actually absolutely love it, is making spaghetti veggies. You can do it out of zucchini or squash, any of these. The zucchini is actually cut into very thin slices and then cooked like a spaghetti. Put it with some of your favorite marinara sauce or pasta sauce and it's fantastic. The same thing, the spaghetti squash, you can actually get this or purchase a spaghetti squash, and it's very, very thin, noodle-ly type vegetable, and they absolutely love it. They'll eat it up, I promise. You can put it with a little bit of butter, not too much. And then, of course, some Parmesan cheese or something like that and marinara sauce, if they like it, and they will gobble it up.
Next question is from Mike. Mike writes, "I have a question. My son is 14 months old, and at the moment, when it's time for naptime or bedtime, my wife and I rock him to sleep. How can we stop the rocking? And any suggestions on getting him to start sleeping on his own?" I had the same problem with my daughter, so thank you for asking. Now, this takes some time and some patience and it's not gonna work the first try or the second try and probably not the third try. But what you need to do, as with anything else that your child gets attached to as a baby, is you need to start to wean them off of it. Same way if a baby is breastfeeding too, if a baby has a passy, takes a passy, any of these things that they get very attached to. It is not something that you can just stop right off bat. And that's the same with rocking.
So, what you want to do is continue to rock your child, but instead of rocking your child to sleep, maybe start with rocking your child until they get a bit drowsy and they're kind of in that closing their eyes stage, in a very calm state and then try putting them in the crib. Now, you may have to do this a few times that night but eventually you're gonna be able to get them to go to sleep. But you're still doing the rocking. So then, after that, go a little bit further and rock them for a few minutes, maybe while you read a book or sing some songs with them but don't necessarily do it until they're super sleepy and then put them in the crib again.
Now, this is also going to take a little bit of letting them cry it out. And I'm not a big fan of that at all, and of course, you don't want your child cry out for too long. But letting them cry it out for a couple of minutes, sometimes it's all they need to fall asleep. So, definitely give it a try. And, you know, don't feel defeated if it doesn't work after a week. This may be something that you need to do with child and just gradually wean away over the next few weeks, but I guarantee, after a while, your child will be sleeping by themselves and peacefully and they'll be going to sleep by themselves, as well.
Okay, last question and this question is from Tanya. She writes, "Hi, Harper! I'm sure this is a popular issue but it's something that has started happening to me each week, and I'm at a total loss. I'm in the store with a cart full of groceries and my toddler starts throwing a tantrum. What do I do?
Okay, well, I've had that issue several times and I continue to have that issue because toddlers are going to throw tantrums. You can't immediately stop your child from throwing a tantrum and you can't guarantee that your child is not going to throw future tantrums. But you can help control the situation when this tantrum sort of erupts, and it's kind of funny how it erupts in the most public of places. They don't wanna do it at home, they wanna do it when you're at the grocery store, with a cart full of groceries and you can't leave just yet.
So, there are a couple of things that you can do just to kind of ease your mind and make the situation a little bit easier for you. The first thing is make sure that when go to the grocery store, even with a toddler, not just a baby, that you are prepared to go to the grocery store. Provide them with some toys or something that can keep them busy so, while you're walking around the grocery store, they have something to do. I do recommend actually using the grocery cart and putting them in the seat that is designed for them. This kind of gives you the security of knowing where your child is and kind of limits their boundaries as far as what they can touch in the grocery store. This does keep them safe as well.
Another thing that you can do is try playing a game, have them help you pick out the foods. Ask them if they can find the different things on the shelves. If you're looking for green beans, when you get to the canned vegetable aisle, ask them to help you find the green beans. Or even play, like, an I Spy game while you're going through the different aisles. Keeping them busy is key. So, as long as you can do that, you may be able to avoid the tantrum. Now, if a tantrum erupts, which inevitably it's going to at some point, first, make sure it's not a tantrum over something like they need to go to the bathroom. If it's anything like that, make sure you take care of their needs and then come back to the issue.
Now, if it's a tantrum that's just because they're not getting the cookies that they want and they're frustrated because they've been in the grocery store for 20 minutes, there are other things that you need to do to make sure that they understand that tantrums are not okay. You do not wanna scold them, I don't condone spanking or anything like that, but you do want to have a stern conversation with them as to why this type of behavior is not acceptable. Explain to them that the other people in the store, nobody else is throwing a tantrum and nobody else is crying, that, "We are at the store now. We're going to take care of what we need to do and then we're going to leave and maybe we could have some playtime when we get back."
You can offer just a little bargaining tool like that just to kind of twinge their attitude. Now, if that does not work too, don't continue to give in and try to offer them the cookies that they wanted or candy or a toy or whatever is available. Tell them that it's not acceptable, tell them that you do not acknowledge that behavior and don't pay attention to the behavior. I guarantee you most of the other adults in the store have kids or have had kids and have had to deal with it as well, so it's not as embarrassing as it may seem because we've all been through it, but let your child know that this is not appropriate behavior and do not acknowledge the behavior. Eventually, because they're not getting your attention, the tantrum's gonna stop all in all.
So, anyways, I'm really, really happy to get through our first segment of Ask Harper, and again, if you guys have any questions you wanna ask me, please be sure to go on to the Facebook or bow-tiger.com. You can email us at bow-tiger.com or you can also access our Facebook page and you can leave your questions there. Thanks so much guys and we'll see you next month.