Budget Thursday: Lord & Taylor Cashmere

We’re featuring a very simple, basic, crewneck cashmere sweater from Lord & Taylor, but note that all Lord & Taylor cashmere sweaters are on crazy sales right now, some as low as $80 from $285. Lord & Taylor cashmere has always been one of Corporette readers’ favorites for quality, easy-care, affordable cashmere for work. This particular sweater comes in three different grays, and I like all of them. It would be a great basic to wear with neutrals or with brighter colors (like the purple that’s the 2018 Pantone color of the year). The pictured sweater happens to be $40, marked down from $160, but there’s much more available on the site. Lord & Taylor Cashmere (specific item pictured)

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ooh, we finally get a post at 11! Totally the right time for overachieving moms and moms to be.

    • Sorry, all — the lateness of this morning’s post is entirely my fault, as Kat had written it before today. Thanks for reading!

      • Hi Kate. I really feel you shouldn’t throw yourself under the bus/get thrown under the bus for stuff like this and the issues on the main s!te months ago. I manage a team and my job is to focus the praise on the team and to accept the blame for mistakes. Obviously blogs are different than corporate environments but I don’t like this kind of blame game.

        • Hi! Just to clarify, Kat didn’t ask me to post anything in apology today — I understand what you’re saying, but in this specific case, it’s definitely on me, and since this was an ongoing conversation from yesterday within the comments, I just wanted to point it out.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Well, I showed up to work an hour later than I hoped today so I’m not going to throw stones : )

  2. Anonanonanon says:

    Ooooo I love Lord and Taylor cashmere. Might need to add to my open cardigan collection. You know, for post-partum (yes I know cashmere and baby spit up don’t mix but let me justify this purchase to myself ok?!)

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally justifiable. I decided that I would spend whatever I saved by not using formula on treats for myself. Really helps when you are struggling with BF in the moment to think about a nice treat for yourself. Also means your budget is adjusted so that if you do have to switch to formula there’s no ‘where is the money coming from’. That stuff is expensive.

  3. Food Allergies Suck says:

    Somebody please talk me off the ledge and remind me the world is not ending. We took my soon for a food allergy scratch test yesterday. He’s 6 mos old, has eczema. Because I also have eczema and some food allergies, the ped recommended testing before we get too far into solids. Test results not great, he reacted to peanut, milk and wheat.

    Short term I’m freaking about how to feed my kid. We are still breastfeeding so now my options are basically: 1) eliminate wheat, dairy and peanuts from my diet or 2) wean. I feel guilty/selfish that I don’t really want to undergo a massive dietary change because formula is readily available. I’m sick over the 100+ oz in the freezer that I suppose we just dump. And I actually really enjoyed breastfeeding (pumping of course sucks).

    Long term I’m freaking about everything. The PA who did the testing pretty much just said, eliminate those foods from his diet and schedule and appointment with the allergist doctor in a month. I think my biggest source of stress right now is just all the unknown – I need there to be a plan and it doesn’t feel like we have one yet.

    Just needed to vent in a safe space and I’m wondering if anybody else has dealt with this?

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Don’t feel guilty/selfish about not wanting to undergo the dietary changes necessary. You sacrificed your body for 9 months (maybe longer if you made a bunch of lifestyle changes to get pregnant) and then 6 more to feed him. You’ve done plenty, and it’s entirely understandable to not add more to your plate

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hugs. I don’t know much about infant food allergies, so not going to weigh in there. I will say that any big change seems very scary until you integrate it into your routine, and then it becomes your normal. You can do this, you will find a way to make it work for your family, and you’re doing a great job caring for your kiddo.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve dealt with it and I would take the Pediatrician’s advice with a huge grain of salt. My oldest has a dairy/egg/peanut/fish allergy. PA’s advice is not good. It doesn’t reflect the most recent understanding of how food allergies work. I would not stop wheat, dairy or peanuts unless there was an allergic reaction in your baby when they were consuming the food. The baby should NOT have been tested for peanut without a prior bad reaction. The skin prick test for that has a 50% false positive rate. Definitely would not stop for exzema only. Per our pediatric immunologist, food allergies rarely cause eczema. Are you seeing a pediatric immunologist or just a pediatrician that offers allergy testing? Heading to a meeting but will post a more detailed answer later.

      • Knope says:

        YES YES YES THIS.

        My ped gave the same advice. We went to see a pediatric allergist, who said that this advice is completed outdated. She said that unless the kid has unexplained gastro-intestinal distress and trouble gaining weight, there is no need to cut out food groups. In fact, exposure via breastmilk can help prime the kid’s immune system so that the allergy, if any, won’t be as severe when you start solids. Please please please get a second opinion. I subjected myself to an insane elimination diet for the same reasons before getting the second opinion and I deeply regret it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha!! I have that kid :) She’s now 3 and thriving. It’s worth freaking out about, and then coming up with a plan of attack.

      If you want to run down a rabbit hole, you’ll see that eczema and allergies are linked. IIRC, there was a theory floating around that with eczema, the skin’s barrier is “broken,” and allergens pass through the broken skin. But, this is not how the body should “receive” those allergens, and so it fights them off – creating the response we know as an allergic reaction. I.e., they speculate my kid’s allergies came from the peanut butter dust that was floating around when he was a bitty baby with eczema.

      But, the good news of the theory is that the child will grow out of most allergies obtained this way. My allergist was pretty progressive and actually had me actively eating the allergens to pass through my milk, so that my kid would be exposed to the allergens in a traditional way? Digestively? I dunno. So I actively ate everything she was allergic to, which included peanuts even those his blood test was positive for the anaphylactic protein (which you have to get a blood test for).

      SO – do NOT dump unless instructed to by your allergist. And, in the last year, my child has outgrown everything except peanuts, and that is weakening. In this day and age, it’s much easier to avoid the allergens anyway.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lots of typos there — but importantly, *do NOT freak out about it* and seek a second opinion.

        And I wholeheartedly agree with the anonymous above — it’s highly unusual to give a skin test at that age, and I’ve never heard of doing it unless you’ve had a bad reaction. My daughter reacted strongly and immediately to peanuts and eggs, and ped would not do a skin test because they are so inaccurate for that age. Ped did a blood test (no skin test), and pediatric allergist only did a skin test to use as a point of comparison for down the road. They based all recommendations off what showed up in the blood test, and what she actually had a bad reaction to when eating the food. The skin test did not reflect the blood test or her reaction to real food.

        • Allergy Mom says:

          +1, I wrote some more below.

          • Anonymous says:

            +1 My now almost two-year old has allergies to dairy, peanut, and fish (peanut and fish only by test). We did not diagnose the dairy allergy until he was given yogurt around 9-months, and at that point, I did remove dairy from my diet, which was easier than I thought (especially for someone who loves cheese). My allergist, however, was completely fine with me giving him milk from my freezer stash, or with me not completely cutting out dairy. It seemed to help his eczema, but it never really went away. I never avoided peanuts or fish. He’s now past breastfeeding entirely, and the eczema is still there, despite no exposure to his allergens. There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there — and a lot that they don’t know — so a second opinion, especially from an allergist, is good, but even then, there seem to not be a lot of absolutes when understanding what, if any, connection there is between mother’s consumption, breastfeeding, and the baby’s reaction.

      • As I try to navigate this as well — can I ask when you started trying to feed your daughter the offending foods directly? Did you have to try and then stop and try again later? If so, how long did you wait before trying again?

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes! The answer, as always, is that “it depends” .

          With eggs, I started with foods that required fully baked eggs, and then moved to lesser cooked, all the way until she could handle scrambled.

          With non-anaphylatic foods, like sesame, I touched the food to her skin first. My daughter’s reactions were nearly always topical, and so if I saw her start to break out where the food touched her, I pulled back. If she didn’t, I’d add a trace amount to her food and build from there. I always waited for docs orders on these, and did with an epi-pen nearby just in case.

          We did a food challenge for walnuts at the allergist’s office because her risk of anaphylaxis was increased.

          I try to regularly give her the food after she “passes” a food test. But again, I am a strong proponent that increased exposure reduces the severity of the allergen, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

          • Anonymous says:

            Oh, and I always tried to give the foods when I’d be around her, and start in the morning. So, Saturday morning of a three day weekend is ideal. My allergist had me on the look out for secondary reactions, like GI issues, hyperactivty, insomnia, lethargy, etc. It’s so hard with some of these bc they can basically describe 3 year old behaviors experienced in the same 1 hour cycle, but know your kid.

            OH, and again, all of my food plans were blessed first by the pediatric allergist.

          • emlou says:

            Thank you!!

    • Cornellian says:

      A few thoughts:

      *You can donate the freezer milk. I might donate the older half of it now, and keep the younger half in case his reactions abate over time and you can use it.
      *If you want to cut the stuff from your diet, great! You can continue pumping in the interim month and donate or save the milk.
      *If you don’t want to reform your diet (which sounds like an AWFUL amount of work), then it’s okay not to. Get info about what formulas, etc might work best for your kid.
      *If you want to take some intermediate step, you could ask the PA about what item you might eliminate first. If dairy is the most common problem causer, maybe eliminate that one for a month first and see if the problem goes away, for example.

    • Allergy Mom says:

      Don’t freak out! Talk to an allergist. As someone else has indicated, the skin tests can show lots of false positives. I have a child that tests positive to two foods that she eats constantly without problem and her allergist wants her to keep eating those foods. One of those foods is peanut.

      Also, I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think b*milk exposure is the same as food exposure. I ate tree nuts a lot while b*feeding my child, only to find out later that she has an anaphylactic reaction to some of them. My diet *might* have contributed to some skin/digestive issues, but my child never had an anaphylactic reaction to b*milk. I think there is some evidence that her reaction might be milder than it would have been if she had never been exposed via b*milk.

      I know that PAs are great, but allergies can be complex. If this were me, I would escalate this to an allergist/second opinion before I weaned and completely cut out the foods. I would also ask about Benadryl dosing and emergency epipen use if your allergist still suggests trying foods that the skin test showed an allergy to (just in case), especially for the peanut.

      • Allergy Mom says:

        As an aside, I’ve read about using very mild bleach baths for eczema. You may want to discuss this with your doctor. And maybe also try a good probiotic for you and baby. I swear it helps with my skin issues and it seemed to also make a difference for my daughter’s general health.

        • Anonymous says:

          As someone who basically lives at a pool I have certainly heard both sides of the chlorine beach/eczema conversation. Parents raving that swimming “cured” their kids eczema and parents freaked out that their kid will have to drop off the team because the scabs won’t heal and swimming leaves their kids skin a mess.

          I suspect that “eczema” may be multiple different diseases with similar manifestations that respond to different treatments.

    • I just wanted to commiserate. My daughter is 10 months old. At about a month, she had blood in her stool, which the ped said was probably related to a dairy intolerance. Advice was pretty much the same — just cut out dairy. Ped thought she would outgrow it and said to try dairy again at six months. I’d also received other advice that it’s better not to completely avoid an allergen. So, after eight weeks completely off dairy (and soy), I, off and on, reintroduced dairy into my diet — in large and small amounts — to see how she reacts. While she seems to handle small amounts okay, large amounts (or small amounts over the course of several days) really do upset her. In addition, now that she is on solids, I have given her yogurt and cow’s milk formula directly to see her reaction. Again, she handles small amounts okay but anything more than like 2 oz of formula causes her a lot of intestinal upset. This is complicated by the fact that there are clearly other things that bother her (demonstrated by bloody stool episodes that cropped up even after completely clearing dairy and soy from my diet) and even after all this time I have not been able to pinpoint exactly what those things might be. She also has ongoing constipation issues. Dr only seems to recognize dairy as a possible culprit, and fully believes almost all babies outgrow it, so he’s not been helpful beyond the advice to cut it out and try again later.

      On top of that, my milk supply has drastically dropped (am now at 8 oz a day pumped over four sessions) and she won’t take soy or hypoallergenic formula (to be fair, the latter smells so so awful). Every day I worry that she is not getting enough to eat. I got clearance from the ped to give her a milk alternative to supplement, but that is 100% conditioned on continued breastfeeding. I mean, I totally want to breastfeed to a year, but 2 hours of pumping for an 8 oz yield is beginning to exhaust me.

      The only advice I have is that if you think you might want to switch to formula, try a bottle or two sooner rather than later. Even if you don’t think you want to switch to formula, it’s not a bad idea to try and get him used to the taste now. I feel so stuck right now and wish that — someway, somehow — I’d been able to get the baby on board with a non cow’s milk formula before she got so darn picky! (-:

      • I should add that dairy intolerance and dairy allergy are, of course, different, so most of this doesn’t directly apply in your situation. I mostly just wanted to convey that I, too, feel like this whole area is so murky and amorphous and there really don’t seem to be any good answers.

      • I just wanted to say this sounds super rough and you seem to be handling it so well.

      • Been there says:

        On the subject of babies refusing hypoallergenic formula: Have you tried one of the RTF varieties? (Ready to feed = the prepared liquid formula that you feed just as you bought it in the store, without adding water) RTF Alimentum has a different formula than the powdered stuff, and was the ONLY formula I could get my highly-allergic baby to take. It smells less gross, and it tastes a LOT less gross than the powder — it has a higher sugar content, more like breast milk. Good luck dealing with this! It’s the worst. If you find a formula that works for your baby, I hope you spend zero minutes feeling guilty if you decide to give up the 2 hours (!!) of daily pumping.

        • emlou says:

          Thank you! I did initially try the RTF (before the powder) but she was not cool with that at that time. That was the time, though, where she wasn’t really cool with anything that wasn’t breast milk (including juice). I ended up getting the powder so I could put small amounts daily in her cereal, in the hopes she’d get used to the taste. Knowing that the RTF is much better than the powder gives me a reason to try it again!

      • Anonymous says:

        I would get a different doctor if my doctor was that blase about bloody stool.

    • It’s normal to freak out, but you can do this! And those tests are often inaccurate at that age. I have severe food allergies and we went through a period early on with DD where we thought she might be allergic to peanuts – turns out she’s not, but we did go through multiple pediatric allergist/immunologist visits and down the rabbit hole of research and worry. Agree with PP to seek a second opinion from a specialist. Unless kiddo is actually reacting, cutting out the potential allergens may not be the right answer.

      Check out the LEAP study for more info on why early introduction is actually the recommendation these days, even in many cases where there is eczema (which is a risk factor for food allergies, but is likely not itself a manifestation of a food allergy). It was shocking to me that our general pediatrician recommended holding off on peanut introduction until after 1-3 years – completely against the latest research, which shows that holding off on introduction correlates with higher incidence of allergy and in fact early and repeated introduction results in lower incidence.

      And, if your kiddo does have food allergies, it’s a developing field and there is good promise with repeated exposure therapy in some cases, in other cases it goes away, and in case a reaction does happen, epipens really do work. Our allergist was willing to write an Rx for epipens even before we did testing, being of the mind that they save lives and you never know when an allergy might present itself – if it gives you peace of mind, perhaps ask about that. Benadryl is also good to have on hand, but it shouldn’t replace epi.

      • Another adult with severe allergies. It sucks, but can be managed – especially now with more knowledge and understanding about how severe they can be. I actually was better about my allergy as a kid because my mom drilled it into me that I could NEVER eat someone else’s food, or eat brownies/cupcakes/etc that were brought in. As an adult I will get lax after a year or so without an issue and then eat something without thinking (or more accurately, without questioning the ingredients closely enough).

        I also outgrew some of my allergies, which has been great. I agree with those above that skin testing an infant really doesn’t tell you much – I wasn’t skin tested until I was adult; my ped growing up just told me to avoid the things that had actually given me a reaction or were in that ‘family’.

    • I have no experience or expertise in this. But I will say that it is the heart of winter. If eczema or skin irritation is going to show up, it is now. It is pretty common this time of year in the toddler rooms at our daycare. In fact, the best recommendations I’ve gotten for lotion, etc. have been from my daughter’s teachers!

      • farrleybear says:

        This. My kiddo’s eczema first showed up during a particularly cold/dry winter. We have done coconut oil baths and aveeno eczema lotion pretty regularly, and that has helped tremendously. But any flare tends to be at this time of year.

    • Food Allergies Suck says:

      Thank you all so much. We now have an appointment with a pediatric immunologist specializing in food allergies in a couple weeks. All of your comments arm me with some additional areas of research and really good questions for the doctor. And mostly hope that this isn’t nearly as bad as it seemed last night. He is gaining weight like a champ and hasn’t had any gastro distress to speak of so that makes me feel better. There’s also something about being told that you need to start an elimination diet which makes you think you’ve been harming your kid for the last 6 months without know it. (Mommy guilt is hard core. Seriously, I rationally know that is completely ridiculous but doesn’t stop the thought from creeping in.)

      I think I was probably extra upset because he was really crabby/not himself all afternoon as a result of the testing. Mostly because they prescribed a lidocaine cream to numb his back before the test, which instead led to an awful rash/reaction. So generally, yesterday was pretty awful.

      • Anonymous says:

        Haven’t read all the responses in detail (and this is a slightly different scenario) but will share my experience hoping it may be helpful. The first time or two we fed kiddo wheat cereal (this was five years ago now but I think he was around 4-6 mos old), he immediately broke out in a rash around his face / neck, and he also had a bit of a rash in the crook of his elbow. It was a pretty clear and immediate reaction. Doctor advised to wait a month a re-introduce, on the thinking that his system was just immature. We did that and he had no issue when we added it back in, or since then.

      • So glad you feel better! I have had eczema since age 6 months, and no food allergies – eczema does not necessarily equal food allergies. That was quite a leap to take.

        I think the hardest part of parenting is learning that doctors can be wrong, which is against what we’ve been taught. Some of us learn it in pregnancy, many in the delivery room, and the rest of it having a tiny baby.

      • Allergy Mom says:

        Oh my! If he is gaining weight and thriving, then you should not be worried. You did no harm and have given many benefits by feeding your baby in the way you thought best! Let go of that mom guilt now! You have been a great mom and it sounds like you are prepared to continue to be a great mom as you advocate for your baby in the medical system. I’m sorry you are going through this, but you and the baby will be get through this. Good luck!

    • Penelope says:

      Hi! Sounds like you’ve got some good advice and it is wonderful that you’ve got an appointment with a pediatric allergist. For some additional data, my son has eczema and is allergic to peanuts and very allergic to eggs (anaphylactic shock kind of allergic). I was still nursing him when he had the eggs reaction at 8 months and the allergist had me continue to eat both peanuts and eggs. After the eggs reaction, she did have a skin prick test for all major allergens (environmental and food) and they’ll continue to test him every 6 months. If the reaction to the allergens steadily goes down, they’ll do a food challenge (introducing little bits of the allergen) in the office as he gets older. The doctor seems optimistic he may outgrow the egg allergy all together, most children do. They will definitely talk you through how to introduce other foods and can prescribe an Epi-pen (and your pediatrician can too).

      Also, while I hope to never use one again, I can attest that Epi-pens work really, really well. I am grateful to live in a time with clear food labeling, lots of understanding in daycares and schools about allergies, and a surefire reversal in the Epi-pen if something goes wrong. You can do this!

  4. Anon in NYC says:

    We just found out that one of the primary teachers in my daughter’s school had a family medical situation arise, and as a result, her last day is tomorrow. We’re sad that she’s leaving, and she was a great teacher. Do I give her a gift in this scenario? That seems weird to me, but I’m not sure what the etiquette here is.

    • I don’t think I’d give a gift, but a nice note wishing her well and letting her know how much you/your daughter appreciated her work would be lovely.

    • What about a picture/scribble from your daughter along with a nice note from you?

    • We had something similar for an amazing, much loved teacher. We parents got together to make a bunch of cards and chip in for a big gift certificate and flowers. Once the emergency was over, the teacher came back! I’m so happy we gave a token of our appreciation when she was going through a lot.

  5. Anyone have a kid that just isn’t interested in reading and writing? He’s 4.5 and just… doesn’t care? Highly verbal, creative, outgoing, all around great. I’ve stayed hands off and encourage when it feels right but he often doesn’t want to even try writing his name or practicing writing letters or working on phonics (I try to sneak it in in fun ways but maybe I’m not succeeding).

    He’s been in daycare his whole life and his current pre-school room works on phonics and writing. He prefers tracing his name as he does when he “signs in” to class each morning. He will go to K in the fall and I’m not really worried. He’s bright and will catch up.

    Any experience or commiseration? Ideas?

    • Marilla says:

      Honestly (and speaking as the mom of a younger kid here, so no real experience) – I don’t think you have anything to worry about. 4 is still so young – in the past kids didn’t learn this stuff until grade 1, and now they’re pushed to learn reading and writing at younger and younger ages. Let him get to Kindergarten and see how he does there :)

    • avocado says:

      If you aren’t personally concerned, is there any external reason to worry (e.g., preschool is pressuring you to get him to write his name, upcoming kindergarten readiness test, etc.)? If there is no external pressure, trying different fun activities and waiting to capitalize on any signs of interest seems right to me. For kindergarten readiness, being able to hold a fat pencil correctly, trace lines and shapes, and use scissors is more important than being able to write his name.

      If you want another fun, easy thing to try, Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read is magic. If your kid already recognizes his letters, it may be better to skip the first level.

      • No pressure from his teachers, just my mother :)

        Thanks for the rec – I will check it out!

    • EB0220 says:

      My kid was exactly like this before K. She knew people wanted her to write, read etc and just didn’t care at all. Now she’s in K and is right on track.

    • One random data point but my nephew had zero interest until he was about 6. He took off SO FAST though – like 2 months from not reading at all and only writing when you spelled the whole word for him, to writing his own “stories” and sounding out books.

    • mascot says:

      So there’s a lot more to being ready for kindergarten than reading and writing. Maybe focus on some of those things and it will make you feel better about the whole picture. Here’s a list with some ideas https://www.today.com/parents/things-your-kid-needs-know-kindergarten-I545485
      The self- sufficiency skills were a big one for me. Making the bed, getting himself dressed, learning to tie his shoes, having some basic table manners, knowing his name/parents names/address, being able to get a basic drink and snack, are all things that 5 year olds can do. And practically speaking, they are actually useful at home. The reading skills/interest will come later on.

    • Why would you want to read and write when there are playgrounds and toys? I still feel this way. He’s fine. Just has other priorities right now.

    • My kid is also 4.5 and exactly the same way. He’s just not interested. He can identify all the letters and write his name, but if you try to encourage him to do it at home or make a game of it, he acts like it’s the most boring thing in the world. He’s the same way about arts and crafts. We are not worried about it. This is one of the reasons I’m so glad I’m not a SAHP – I feel like he gets plenty of exposure at daycare/preschool. We recently had him tested for a private kindergarten and he scored >99th percentile on several of the tests, so he’s obviously bright and a lack of interest isn’t indicative of a lack of intelligence or ability.

    • Anonymous says:

      If your mom complains again, invite her to pay for your family to move to Italy, where children don’t learn to read until age 8. Finland, where formal reading instruction begins at 7. Sweden, where all day school doesn’t begin until 6. Or France, where kids begin reading instruction at 7.

      And they ALL kick America’s ^&$#% on the Program for International Student Assessment.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry about it. He doesn’t need to be interested right now. My 5.5 year old all of a sudden got much more interested in reading and writing around the time he turned 5, and he loves kindergarten. His fine motor skills are still not the best, but they are totally within the normal range. My son’s preschool did not teach phonics at all; it was very much play based, and my son spent as much time as possible in the sand box. At our fall kindergarten parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me he already knows 25 out of the 27 sight words he’s expected to learn by the end of the year, and he’s really into their writing/phonics curriculum.

    • I appreciate the perspective. 25/27 site words is amazing.

      We get evaluations from school twice a year and currently he can recognize nearly all his letters and numbers but didn’t know the phonics for them. Most of the time I try to take the perspective that he needs to just be playing and growing and learning. The pressure will be there soon enough. It is just hard to avoid comparison.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry, didn’t mean to humble brag – I mentioned the sight words because before the teacher told me I had no idea he knew that many. Your son may be in better shape than you think.

  7. Certain foods my 18 month old used to eat plain are not of interest to him anymore. But, he’ll eat them in sauces/combinations with other things, etc. I don’t love this because it was just so easy to get green beans or peas ready, but here we are. Any recommendations for easy sauces or combos with these foods?

    Beans (especially black, red, and chickpeas)
    Green beans
    Peas
    Corn

    And he sadly won’t eat it if I just combine two of those things.

    • We throw peas and green beans into pasta and rice mixes (mac and cheese, pasta with marinara, stir fries, etc.). It doesn’t require a special sauce, but my son eats it in the mix.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Hummus (he can dip the green beans – or cucumbers/peppers, if that will get him interested in those).
      What about putting those veggies in things, like pasta with pesto + peas?

      I make a very easy meal for my daughter that she loves: 1 can chickpeas, 1 bag frozen mixed veggies (peas, carrots + corn) + 1 jar tikka masala simmer sauce. I warm it all up in a pan, it keeps well in the fridge, and my daughter likes it. I’m not sure what other types of simmer sauces are out there, but perhaps something like that is worth a try.

    • Knope says:
    • Sabba says:

      Don’t be afraid of healthy fats, or even butter on occasion! Kids need more healthy fat in their diet than you might anticipate, especially if your family eats low fat. Will he eat more of the vegetables if they are mixed with oil, including olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, or even butter on occasion? This is pretty easy and doesn’t require you to do much with the veggies. Also try making salmon or tuna patties if your kid likes fish, you can stick a lot of veggies in there.

      • My toddler and I go through a lot of Kerrygold butter. It’s from grassfed cows so, rumor has it, contains omega-3s. And kids definitely need fats!

      • AwayEmily says:

        We are also a butter-friendly family. Edamame in butter, broccoli in butter, peas mushed up with a LARGE dose of butter, etc. The “salted cultured butter” from Trader Joes is *amazing* (even better than Kerrygold and I didn’t think that was possible).

    • Thank you for all the ideas! I should definitely try butter. I noticed he was much more willing to eat sweet potatoes (formerly his favorite, which he ate plain and cubed) when I mashed them with butter.

  8. CapHillAnon says:

    (Cross posting on main site)
    Spa advice?
    My sister + I want to meet for a visit – spa – personal retreat kind of weekend (without our partners and children). She’s in SF and I’m in DC. We’re looking for someplace easy to get to for a long weekend, has hiking or some interesting activity, has spa stuff but won’t be as spendy as Mirival.
    We don’t know the lay of the land with destination spas: is the price worth it if we’re looking for a click or two below the premium luxury places? Are we better off just choosing a city between us with good food, hot springs, hiking, etc., and making our own spa experience? If so, any suggestions??

    • Anonymous says:

      Banff? It’s ski season there now but in April there are great deals to be found as it’s shoulder season. Fairmont has a lovely spa.

  9. avocado says:

    Any suggestions for getting picky eaters to consume probiotics? My 11-year-old will not eat yogurt, kefir, or cultured cottage cheese. She likes miso but it’s too salty to consume on a daily basis and I can’t buy it around here anyway. I’d like her to be getting probiotics regularly, but I have doubts about the value of supplements and would rather it be in actual food.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Not at all a doctor, but last time I discussed this with my doctor, her advice was that probiotics are helpful in restoring or supporting gut flora during/after a trauma (food poisoning, antibiotics, surgery, etc). But her suggestion was to worry less about probiotics and more about prebiotics – the fibrous stuff that feeds the good bugs in your gut. The easiest ones for me have been garlic, onions, and asparagus.

      • avocado says:

        This is interesting. And she likes garlic a lot.

        Sadly, she is the one kid on the planet who despises smoothies.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Yogurt in a smoothie? I have the nutribullet blender and make my kid a smoothie with yogurt, frozen berries, a banana, and OJ every morning. It takes not time at all and she loves it.

    • Mama Llama says:

      Encourage her to garden or otherwise play in the dirt?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Sauerkraut is a good option – it’s surprisingly good on eggs – but I know not everyone loves the flavor. Kombucha is an easy choice as well. It can be pricey, but the bottles usually contain 2 servings, and if she likes it, it’s not terribly onerous to make your own (it takes about a month of hands off time to make the starter, unless you buy one, but it’s mostly 30 minutes of work and then hands off time).

      I can’t really eat yogurt, but I like coconut yogurt. Anita’s brand (the one most commercially available where I am) has probiotics.

    • I know you say you have doubts about supplements, but we mix a supplement (Culturelle) into applesauce. We only do it in response to something, as NewMomAnon suggested, not everyday though.

    • Sabba says:

      My grocery store carries probiotic prunes that my kid just (strangely) loves. I’m not sure if they are really better than a supplement, but it isn’t a food I would normally think of as being probiotic. I think the brand is Mariana or something like that.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      I buy the chewable kind. And agree that I only give them out when they are having upset stomachs or numerous bathroom visits. My kids call them “belly medicine candy”. Could you mix it with juice? My kids only get juice when they have sore throats so I could hide anything in apple juice.

    • AwayEmily says:

      You’ve probably already tried this but what about mixing yogurt with other delicious things? We have a lot of yogurt with muesli and fruit, yogurt mixed with applesauce and cinnamon, etc.

      On the pro/prebiotic note (I’m a big fan of both!) I really liked the book “The Good Gut.” Written by actual microbiologists, takes a very even-handed, evidence-based tone (ie, doesn’t pitch miracle cures), and has a ton of pre- and pro-biotic friendly recipes at the end that are actually super tasty and kid-friendly.

  10. This is for “Food allergies suck” above. I went through this with my first child. Starting when she was <2 months old, she had horrible eczema. Our ped at the time prescribed steroid creams but by 5 months (when she could really scratch her skin), it was awful. She's scratch until her skin bled on her arms, legs, neck, face. We brought her to the one ped allergist in town who would do a skin test on someone that young. She identified a list of things that triggered reactions (wheat, nuts, eggs, soy, etc.) I was exclusively breastfeeding at that point and, like you, I kind of freaked out. But I took those things out of my diet and the baby's skin was clear as a bell within a week. We brought her back for skin tests frequently (maybe every 3 months?) b/cbabies' immune systems change so quickly, but for us, my avoiding the foods worked really well to stop the horrible skin reactions. It was a pain and a nuisance (I was in big law at the time), and the conventional wisdom has shifted back + forth on avoidance v limited exposure since then.
    No shade on anyone who doesn't want to restrict her own diet, of course. I really wanted to nurse and the hypoallergenic formula available then was *disgusting*. this worked for me.

    Happily, my baby grew out of the wheat allergy by age 2, the stone fruit allergy by 3, egg allergy by 8, some nut allergies (!) by age 10. She's a very healthy 13 year old now. She carries her epipen everywhere and is careful about every label and only has the most ocassional issue with her skin. And my two other children have zero allergies, which is something to be very thankful for.

    Good luck, whatever you do. It's not easy, but it does tend to get easier over time.

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