Welcome to Mothernova, a parenting website created by a journalist-mama with two energetic kiddos, a constantly curious mind, and a long list of questions about food allergies, vaccines, breastfeeding, creative play, and several other hot-button parenting issues. When my first child was born over four years ago, I came face-to-face with food allergies and sleep apnea. I truly got a crash course in motherhood and quickly learned how to be my child’s best advocate. I love interviewing, researching, and really getting to the bottom of things. In this spirit, Mothernova will deliver practical tips, special interviews, feature reports, and short blasts of information from those “in the know” straight to you!

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Parents who engage in empathic parenting by setting age-appropriate expectations while offering love and understanding will find their “sweet spot” for raising happy and successful kids, Dr. Laura Markham, the founder of Aha! Parenting, told a group of parents at at Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church in Ashburn, Va. With peaceful parenting, we’re setting reasonable limits while supporting and connecting with our children; we’re working to achieve cooperation without punishment, the renowned parenting expert said. “This means whatever your child is trying to master, you’re giving them the support to learn how to do it,” Dr. Markham said. Teaching our children emotional regulation through self-discipline and resilience is key, she continued.

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With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, food allergies and other auto-immune conditions on the rise, so many parents and their children find themselves struggling to manage emotions that can be intense, challenging and confusing. Clinical psychologists Judith M. Glasser, PhD, and Kathleen Nadeau, PhD, offer us Learning to Feel Good and Stay Cool: Emotional Regulation Tools for Kids With AD/HD.

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I’m honored to share that Food Allergy Research & Education has included writing from an article I wrote–What My Son Taught Me About Food Allergy Awareness: Think “A-E-I-O-U”–in its latest newsletter! After learning an invaluable lesson at FARE’s walk to “say FAREwell” to food allergies last fall, I started thinking about food allergy awareness in terms of A-E-I-O-U: Awareness, Education, Inclusion, Outreach and Understanding.

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In a fast-paced world where parents type away on iPhones and families rush from one activity to the next, Visiting Feelings is a beautifully illustrated book that takes children on a magical journey and invites them to stop and take a breath. How are they feeling? Lauren Rubenstein’s easy-to-read rhyming verses are catchy and fun. She gently encourages children to recognize, listen to, feel and explore their emotions. Check out my book review!

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My mother-in-law has one recipe that is jealously guarded by granddad and coveted by her kids: her famous orange blossoms. After enjoying them over the holidays with us, she has finally agreed to share her secrets! The recipe, changed to account for our allergies to dairy and egg, was given to her 35 years ago by a colleague. She said she has been making them for the Christmas holidays ever since.

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Our Thanksgiving celebration this year was amazing not only because of our wonderful family members seated at the table, but also for our delicious meal that was free of dairy, egg, nuts, corn and apple–our combined food allergens. My favorite was her stuffing. Made with our dairy- and egg-free homemade bread and her chicken stock from scratch, it was mouth-watering to say the least. We hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!

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Our Thanksgiving celebration was extra special this year with a visit from Grandpa and Grandma Pumpkin, who helped make sure all foods served at the Thanksgiving table were free of dairy, egg, nuts, corn and apple. From papa’s smoked turkey and grandma’s delicious stuffing to the yummy pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies pictured here, everyone at the table was deliciously full by the meal’s end.

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When I signed up to participate in FARE’s walk to say “FAREwell” to food allergies, I had two “C’s” on my mind: community and charity. But what I walked away with was much more. I realized that with play dates, preschool, parties, and so many events that require making sure those without food allergies are aware, I’d forgotten to make sure the most important person was fully aware: my son. I like to think of this awareness for not only others but for our children too as A-E-I-O-U: Awareness, Education, Inclusion, Outreach, and Understanding.

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