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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A team of researchers have made a huge discovery in their search for the cause of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), which has become a more prevalent and pervasive food allergic condition. Nature Genetics published online the study team’s findings for what it describes as “a chronic inflammatory disorder associated with allergic hypersensitivity to food.” The cause for EoE up until this point has been a complex and gray area. These findings are a wonderful first step toward answers for the many families who are suffering from this debilitating and confusing condition.

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While celebrating the 237th anniversary of the signing of our Declaration of Independence, I have been thinking a lot about its meaning. The power and courage it took our forefathers to declare our independence is nothing short of amazing and inspiring. The word “independence” has so many wonderful meanings. It got me thinking about what independence means for us. Is there anything I want or need independence from? Yes. Our food allergy fears…

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I’m thrilled to share with you a book I just reviewed for Children’s Literature, written by Jessica Jacobs and illustrated by Jacquelyn Roslyn. With two children in every classroom having a food allergy, The Peanut Pickle is a must-read for kids with food allergies, their friends, and those that care for them. Jacobs does a wonderful job explaining what having a peanut allergy means on a daily basis.

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Do you need help at mealtime with a picky eater? Do you give in to junk food if it’s all your child wants? Are you managing food allergies? Do you need fun ideas for how to eat healthy? Brynn Hadler’s new e-book, 7 Ways to Your Get Children to Eat Healthy, offers creative and practical ways to change mealtime so you and your kids will want to eat healthier and will have fun while doing it.

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In honor of National Children’s Book Week, here’s a new review of a cute picture book about managing our feelings that my kids can’t seem to put down. Liesbet Slegers hits a home run with this story about Kevin, a likeable and typical little boy who experiences the very big feelings life throws at him throughout his day. If you have a young toddler and a child in elementary school, this book is sure to be a big hit with both! Slegers offers colorful and cute illustrations that are perfect for engaging this age group and taking kids through all of Kevin’s very common daily activities, which leave him feeling very common emotions: happiness, anger, sadness and fear.

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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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