Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Toddlers and Preschoolers: 8-minute Routines to Help Your Child Grow Smarter, Be Happier, and Behave Better by Helen Garabedian (Da Capo, 2008)The Why: Yoga is great for toddlers and preschoolers. They take to it quickly and enjoy the fun of doing the poses. The author is a certified hatha yoga instructor who created this program to fit easily into a young child's day.
The Health Bonus: According to the publisher, your children will have "fewer tantrums, better and longer sleep, increased motor coordination, improved listening and ability to follow directions, better self-expression, higher self-esteem and easier relaxation."
What We Liked Best: The instructions on how to position your children and exactly what to say to them. It's simple to read and do.
What We Liked Least: We could use more photos and a DVD.
What It Replaces: Sitting and watching TV.
The Price: $16.95.
Other Offerings: Itsy Bitsy Yoga: Poses to Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Digest Better, and Grow Stronger (Fireside, 2004).
Where to Buy: Bookstores, including Barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com.
Ingredients: Features more than 50 yoga poses and games. The chapters include Wake n' Stretch Yoga; Patience Please Yoga; Run, Rock n' Roll Yoga; Building Balance Yoga; Tantrum Taming Yoga; Strong n' Sweet Yoga; Coordinated n' Confident Yoga; Quiet Time Yoga.
The Why: Looking for a great food to feed your child? These are just the ticket. HappyBaby is a wonderful company that offers fresh-frozen organic baby meals. Just peek at the ingredients and you'll feel confident that you're giving your baby the best.
HappyBaby Grrreat Greens and Easy Going Greens
The Health Bonus: They're made with organic foods. Plus, they contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 essential fatty acid that is a main component of brain and eye tissue and is required for their optimal development.
What We Liked Best: The combination of sweet pears, mango and spinach is off-the-charts good (Grrreat Greens)¬--whether you're 7 months old or 45. The Easy Going Greens is not bad either. (They're packaged together.)
What We Liked Least: They're not available everywhere.
What It Replaces: Regular baby food.
The Price: Package of 12 cubes for $5.20.
Other Offerings: Eight varieties with 14 distinct flavors, including meat, grains, fruit and vegetables. Simple Purées for tots 6 months and older: Yes Peas + Thank You Carrots; Smarter Squash + Wiser Apple; Sweeter Potatoes + Purer Pear. 9 months and older: Baby Dhal + Mama Grain; Chick Chick; Gobble Gobble + Paradise Purée; Super Salmon + Regular Prunes.
Where to Buy: Whole Foods and many Super Targets, but check the site: www.happybabyfood.com and click on 'Where to Buy'.
Nutrition: Grrreat Greens: three cubes (3 ounces), 38 calories, 0g fat, 8g carbs, 2g dietary fiber, 2g protein, 34mg sodium, 272mg potassium.
Easy Going Greens: Three cubes (3 ounces), 80 calories, 0g fat, 17g carbs, 3g dietary fiber, 3g protein, 40mg sodium, 80mg potassium.
Ingredients: Grrreat Greens: Organic pears, organic spinach, organic mango, DHA algal oil. Easy Going Greens: Organic green beans, organic peas, water, organic barley, organic brown rice, DHA algal oil.
Charles Stuart Platkin is an Active Expert, nutrition and public health advocate, author of the best seller Breaking the Pattern (Plume, 2005), Breaking the FAT Pattern (Plume, 2006) and Lighten Up (Penguin USA/Razorbill, 2006) and founder of Integrated Wellness Solutions. Sign up for The Diet Detective newsletter free at www.dietdetective.com.