Monthly Archives: February 2016

Feeding Tips for Babies

Homemade Baby Food Purees

First bites are a big milestone in baby’s life. Here’s a step-by-step guide to introducing solid foods.

1. Pick a single-grain infant cereal, such as rice, or a single-fruit or vegetable puree (see recipes in this slideshow), and prepare it. Cereals should be prepared with breast milk or formula.
2. Serve the same food to baby for at least four days, watching for any signs of allergy or intolerance.
3. Move on to a new food, and start the process over until baby has tried a variety of single foods.
Looking for the perfect first purees? We recommend Carrots, Bananas, Avocado, Green Peas, or Butternut Squash. These purees tend to be popular with baby because they are smooth, mild-flavored, and slightly sweet. Remember to thin them down to an almost liquid consistency for baby’s first few meals.

Source: Carolyn Land Williams, M.Ed., R.D.

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Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Every year on February 14th, people all around the world share candies, flowers and gifts with their loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from? So let’s find out about the history of this centuries old day of romance – Valentine’s Day.

The history of Valentine’s Day and the story of its patron saint are shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and most importantly romantic figure.