Genesee Valley Parent May 2011 : Page 12

&#1b; Her Words Compiled by Jillian Melnyk here's no doubt that technology is shaping par-enthood. It's easier than ever for parents to connect, link up, net-work and share inti-mate details about themselves and their families across the dig-ital wires. Some ask 'what's the point?' while others follow their favorite bloggers religiously. “I love the immediacy of blog-ging,” says Christina Le Beau. It's about “the community of support out there,” adds Monica Gebell. These moms are bloggers. But don't call them "mommy blog-gers"; they don't necessarily like that. They are powerful women who share the trials, tribulations and challenges they face while raising kids, the lessons they learn from parenting and their experi-ences from life in general. They are connected and they are mak-ing their voices heard. T Christina Le Beau, from Rochester Mother of one daughter, age 7 &#1b; HER BLOG: Spoonfed, Raising Kids to Think About the Food They Eat • www.spoonfedblog.net in the mainstream was troubling: food com-panies, marketers, government groups, schools and parents treating kids like mind-less eating machines, incapable of eating real food or understanding how food choices affect their bodies and the environment. I wanted to help break that day-to-day mind-set and also advocate for change at a greater level. I saw a lot of blogs about kids and food, but none about actually making kids part of the bigger conversation. BEST PART ABOUT BLOGGING: I feel like I'm actually making a difference. I hear all the time from readers who've been inspired to make changes in their own lives or to rethink their assumptions about kids and food. People tell me that I make them think critically about issues whether they agree with me or not. I love that! I've also met a lot of other food activists through the blog, and that has so enriched my life. A FAVORITE RECENT POST: One recent post that got people talking was "The color of trouble," about the dangers of artificial food colors. That was the most-shared Spoonfed post ever, and I heard from many people who said it really drove home why we shouldn't be feeding our kids these petro-chemical dyes. FIVE WORDS HER DAUGHTER WOULD USE TO DESCRIBE HER: Funny, silly, organic, nice and googolplex (long story). ACCESSORY SHE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT: Salad spinner. (Tied with coffee mug.) WHAT SHE DOES WHEN SHE'S NOT BLOGGING: I make my living as a free-lance journalist, so I'm always writing and reading. We're avid cyclists. We love to travel and be outside. We like plays and museums, and visiting artists' studios. THE MEANING BEHIND THE TITLE: "Spoonfed" means "to be treated or informed in a manner that destroys initiative or curbs independent thought and action." On the blog, I add a second definition: "what happens when we don't educate our kids about food." SHE'S BEEN BLOGGING SINCE: March 15, 2010 WHAT SHE BLOGS ABOUT: Raising food-literate children; teaching kids where our food comes from, how it affects our bodies and the planet, and why it matters; being aware of how politics, money and marketing influence our food supply and the way we view food. HER FAVORITE TOPICS: Avoiding so-called "kid food" and banning the "picky eater" label; the importance of not only providing healthful and sustainable food, but also teaching kids why you're doing it. HER INSPIRATION: We began adopting a sustainable whole-foods diet some time ago, so our daughter has been raised in that cul-ture, and educated about it. But what I saw 12 www.GVParent.com

Her Words

Jillian Melnyk

Christina Le Beau, from Rochester Mother of one daughter, age 7

HER BLOG: Spoonfed, Raising Kids to Think About the Food They Eat • www.spoonfedblog.net

There's no doubt that technology is shaping parenthood.It's easier than ever for parents to connect, link up, network and share intimate details about themselves and their families across the digital wires. Some ask 'what's the point?' While others follow their favorite bloggers religiously.“I love the immediacy of blogging,” says Christina Le Beau. It's about “the community of support out there,” adds Monica Gebell.These moms are bloggers. But don't call them "mommy bloggers"; they don't necessarily like that. They are powerful women who share the trials, tribulations and challenges they face while raising kids, the lessons they learn from parenting and their experiences from life in general. They are connected and they are making their voices heard.

THE MEANING BEHIND THE TITLE: "Spoonfed" means "to be treated or informed in a manner that destroys initiative or curbs independent thought and action."On the blog, I add a second definition: "what happens when we don't educate our kids about food."

SHE'S BEEN BLOGGING SINCE: March 15, 2010 WHAT SHE BLOGS ABOUT: Raising foodliterate children; teaching kids where our food comes from, how it affects our bodies and the planet, and why it matters; being aware of how politics, money and marketing influence our food supply and the way we view food.

HER FAVORITE TOPICS: Avoiding so-called "kid food" and banning the "picky eater" label; the importance of not only providing healthful and sustainable food, but also teaching kids why you're doing it.

HER INSPIRATION: We began adopting a sustainable whole-foods diet some time ago, so our daughter has been raised in that culture, and educated about it. But what I saw in the mainstream was troubling: food companies, marketers, government groups, schools and parents treating kids like mindless eating machines, incapable of eating real food or understanding how food choices affect their bodies and the environment. I wanted to help break that day-to-day mindset and also advocate for change at a greater level. I saw a lot of blogs about kids and food, but none about actually making kids part of the bigger conversation.

BEST PART ABOUT BLOGGING: I feel like I'm actually making a difference. I hear all the time from readers who've been inspired to make changes in their own lives or to rethink their assumptions about kids and food. People tell me that I make them think critically about issues whether they agree with me or not. I love that! I've also met a lot of other food activists through the blog, and that has so enriched my life.

A FAVORITE RECENT POST: One recent post that got people talking was "The color of trouble," about the dangers of artificial food colors. That was the most-shared Spoonfed post ever, and I heard from many people who said it really drove home why we shouldn't be feeding our kids these petrochemical dyes.

FIVE WORDS HER DAUGHTER WOULD USE TO DESCRIBE HER: Funny, silly, organic, nice and googolplex (long story).

ACCESSORY SHE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT: Salad spinner. (Tied with coffee mug.)

WHAT SHE DOES WHEN SHE'S NOT BLOGGING: I make my living as a freelance journalist, so I'm always writing and reading. We're avid cyclists. We love to travel and be outside. We like plays and museums, and visiting artists' studios.

Monica Gebell, from Rochester Mother of Devi, age 2 and Solomon, age 6 months

HER BLOG: Aprons & Blazers www.apronsandblazers.com

THE MEANING BEHIND THE TITLE: I'm on maternity leave from teaching, so I'm temporarily a stay-at-home mom. All parents – especially working parents – wear a lot of different "hats," so to speak. Aprons and blazers immediately suggest the roles we play in and out of the home: we're feeding our families and learning how to be good parents, and some of us also work in professional settings. I also like the idea of "blazers" as people who try new things and help others to do the same.

SHE'S BEEN BLOGGING SINCE: 2004

WHAT SHE BLOGS ABOUT: Trying to feel more competent in my own kitchen and stuff that happens in everyday life; experimenting with (or without) recipes; a little memoir; and much about questions and new challenges that arise as my kids hit new developmental stages.

HER FAVORITE TOPICS: I love to write memoirs. Sometimes I have no idea what my post is about until I get to the end. Usually I wind up writing about something I've learned about cooking or being a mother or a teacher because I've always felt that none of those talents come naturally to me, and improving in each is a lifetime's pursuit.

BEST PART ABOUT BLOGGING: Friends sometimes call me up or post on Facebook that they enjoyed reading a particular post or that they generally felt entertained. It makes the writing even more worthwhile if I've made someone laugh. More veteran parents, and newer ones, like me, sometimes comment on posts to talk about their own experiences.

HOW HER CHILDREN WOULD DESCRIBE HER: My two-yearold would say that my hair is soft. My six-month-old would give me a toothless, drooly smile.

ACCESSORY SHE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT: My yoga pants. And let's be honest here, I'm no yogini.

WHAT SHE DOES WHEN SHE'S NOT BLOGGING: Playing and snuggling with my family, spending time with my husband, reading, hiking, and of course, cooking with abandon.

Tricia Isham, from Webster Mother of two boys, ages 4 and 2

HER BLOG: Mom is the Only Girl http://momistheonlygirl.blogspot.com

THE MEANING BEHIND THE TITLE: I was trying to think of a simple title that reflected who I am and what I intended to write about. I started with the basics which was that I was the only girl in the house.It sort of made sense to use that because then I could make my blog about whatever I wanted. It made it mine!

SHE'S BEEN BLOGGING SINCE: March 2010 WHAT SHE BLOGS ABOUT: I'm a stay at home mom to 2 boys (22 months apart) who are always competing for my attention and keeping me on my toes. Topics include learning the alphabet, day trips in the Rochester area, experiments we've tried (at the preschool level), various indoor and outdoor activities, discovering, imagination – and lots of other things centered around the little guys.

HER FAVORITE TOPICS: I enjoy blogging most about my boys' adventures when they see things in a new light or for the first time.

HER INSPIRATION: My sister-in-law told me about a couple of blogs she had started reading. In a separate conversation she was complimenting me about what I was doing with my then 3 yearold working on his letters. The idea came to me that if she thought it was a good thing, then others might benefit from it and be encouraged by what I was doing. If I encourage one person to have fun in everyday life and find little ways to help their child learn outside of a book and pencil, then I'm happy!

BEST PART ABOUT BLOGGING: When people comment regularly it is nice because you sort of start a friendship in blogland.The bloggers I've met so far have been very encouraging and I've found some great blogs and ideas that way.

A FAVORITE RECENT POST: "One Mommy's Snow Thoughts" from March 24th. This was really going out on a limb for me.First it had nothing to do, really, with what my boys were up to.Second, I never have poetic thoughts like that and to share them and get positive comments gave me a real boost!

HOW HER CHILDREN DESCRIBE HER: Cutie Pie, the 4 year old, said "Mommy, special, desrectable" (which was followed by a smile, hug and kiss, so I'm thinking that's a compliment!) Sweet Pea said "Mommy."

ACCESSORY SHE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT: Digital camera.

WHAT SHE'S DOING WHEN SHE'S NOT BLOGGING: Hanging out with my husband, play with my boys, and card making.

Read the full article at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/Her+Words/714237/68427/article.html.

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