Expert Advice – Tips For Your Picky Eater!

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I am thrilled to pieces to introduce fabulous local pediatrician, Dr. Jennifer Stahl of Mia Bella Pediatrics, who has been so kind as to offer to write Expert Advice blogs for Tiny Oranges readers!  This topic hits close to home at our house, I am sure there are lots of you out there dealing with your own picky eaters.  She offers some fantastic tips and ideas…  

Tips for Your Picky Eater

By Jennifer Stahl, MD, FAAP, co-owner of Mia Bella Pediatrics in Mission Viejo

As a pediatrician, a major goal of mine is to start my little patients on the road to healthy eating habits. This is often harder said than done since children naturally tend to mistrust anything new or green. Parents need to remember to be calm and patient during mealtimes and to remember the following tips:

Respect your child’s hunger cues. A child should be allowed to eat when hungry and stop when full. Battle’s at the table will only start a power struggle and parents rarely win when that occurs.

Minimize snacking, especially with juice and starchy/sugary snacks like crackers, cookies and “fruit snacks”. If your child is hungry between meals, be sure to offer them healthy snacks like the ones I have listed below.

Don’t give up on trying new foods. Children take over a dozen exposures sometimes to accept a new food. The worst thing a parent can do is allow a child to fill up on their beloved chicken nuggets or cheese pizza on a daily basis because then they will have little motivation to try anything new.

Get your child involved. Kids love to be helpers and there are lots of fun recipe books for kids to get them involved. If you allow your child to have some control in the process of selecting and cooking meals, they will be far less likely to give you a fight at the meal table.

Healthy snacks:

1. Apple and string cheese or peanut/almond butter
2. High fiber granola bar
3. Carrots/broccoli/zucchini with hummus or bean dip
4. Fruit smoothie, freeze the leftovers and make a great popsicle for the next day.
5. Mixed nuts (if over 3)
6. Plain yogurt with fruit 

Do you have a topic or a question you would like Dr. Jennifer to answer?  Post a comment here or email me at  

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Win 4 Free Tickets to Discovery Science Center!

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Happy Monday! Make sure you read the last paragraph of this post for your chance to win a 4-pack of free tickets to Discovery Science Center! Details below…

Visiting Discovery Science Center is one of our favorite special outings.   There are so many amazing things for kids to explore and discover, and I love that all the fun is in the spirit of science and education. That being said, there are two awesome events coming up that you don’t want to miss!  

Bubblefest XIIIApril 4th – 19th, 2009.  The mysteries of bubbles are revealed as guests explore the sciences behind the amazing and colorful world of bubbles. Hands-on bubble activities demonstrate a bubble’s science and math principles, while Fan Yang’s Mega Bubble Show puts those theories to the ultimate test. World-renowned for his unique and stunning artistry, Yang performs four bubble shows daily at BubbleFest featuring a bubble carousel, bubbles within bubbles, smoking bubbles, spinning bubbles, bouncing bubbles and bubbles in all shapes and sizes! This special show will take place outdoors in a tent to accommodate a larger audience. I saw Fan Yang on the Oprah Show a couple years ago, it is really, truly spectacular! I am definitely taking Emma this year to get to see him perform LIVE!  Discovery Science Center is his only West Coast stop!

The Science of HockeyGrand Opening, Thursday April 2nd, 2009 at 10:00am.  Discovery Science Center, the Anaheim Ducks, the National Hockey League, and USA Hockey are joining together to showcase The Science of Hockey.  Visitors will experience the colder side of science as they explore physics, physiology and flying pucks! No helmets required, but the icy interactives won’t be for rookies! Exhibition highlights will include a Zamboni Machine, Penalty Box and Broadcast Booth, and more!  This will be a fabulous, permanent exhibit. 

Hooray!  It’s a Tiny Giveaway!  Discovery Science Center is giving away a 4-pack of free admission tickets*!   To enter, send an email to  Include your first & last name, address, and the answer to this question:  How many Guinness Book World Records does Fan Yang hold?   Click here to find the answer!  You can enter all week, just have your emails in by 5pm PST on Friday, April 3rd.  I will post the winner next Monday!

*NOTE:  The 4-pack free admission tickets do NOT include admission to Bubblefest XIII.  You are welcome to purchase tickets to Bubblefest XIII for an additional fee if you choose to visit while the show is going on.  Click here for admission prices.

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2 Great Events This Weekend!

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The Easter bunny is coming to Irvine Park Railroad! On Saturday, March 28th through Saturday, April 11th, Irvine Park Railroad will hold its annual Easter Eggstravaganza. Children and adults can ride the train through beautiful Irvine Regional Park and children ages 2 through 12 can participate in an Easter egg hunt.  Click here for times and info.

During the Easter Eggstravaganza, children can meet the Easter bunny and have their picture taken with him at a cost of $10.00 per photo. 

Irvine Park Railroad opens daily at 10:00 AM. The cost for train tickets is $4.00 per person; children younger than 12 months ride free. 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869.

Click here to print coupons!

And here is another great event going on this weekend, just in time for Mother’s Day!

Elsie from Precious Hand/Footprints is doing a special impression event this weekend at Fairytales.

Saturday, March 28th
10am – 2pm
Fairytales Children’s Boutique
831 Via Suerte, #105
San Clemente, CA  

Sunday, March 29th
10am – 2pm
Fairytales Children’s Boutique
32880 Pacific Coast Highway
Dana Point, CA

You also still have time to enter the $100 gift certificate from Precious Hand/Footprints!! Check Monday’s post for details and email me today before 5PM PST.  Good luck and have a great weekend!!! 

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Guest Blog – Cool New Place to Workout!

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First off, I have to give a “shout out” (hee hee) to my dad as it is his birthday today! Happy birthday dad (aka Papa)! We love you!

This blog was sent to me by Annika…I am soooo trying this place out after baby!!! She writes:

“I’ve only done yoga a few times in my life. I always enjoyed it but never felt motivated enough to commit to a series of classes…until now.

This past weekend I went to YAS on 17th Street in Costa Mesa. It’s a brand new fitness center combining two of the best workouts around: yoga and spin. My sister-in-law invited me to try it with her and we took one of their signature classes, Yoga for Athletes. It was great for a beginner like me as well as someone with more experience, like my sister-in-law.

As a working mother who also runs my own business, I must admit that “workout” has fallen lower on the priority list. YAS offers a wide variety of classes that can fit into any schedule, which is great! They offer 60-minute classes for yoga as well as spinning and a hybrid (their signature offering) that combines 30 minutes of spin with 30 minutes of yoga. I can’t wait to try that one!

The studio is brand new and is located in the Ross shopping center at 17th Street and Santa Ana Avenue in Eastside Costa Mesa. Click here to print a pass to try a free class.  I’m hooked!”

Annika is the mompreneur behind BurpieBlocker, the burp cloth that does not fall off your shoulder. She lives in Orange County, CA with her son Adam and her husband, Chris.

BurpieBlocker is offering Tiny Oranges readers 10% off their entire order! Use coupon code Tiny10 at checkout.

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Free Pet Adoption Event This Saturday

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OC Animal Care is celebrating “Forever Friends for Free” this Saturday, March 28th, which is a free* pet adoption event sponsored by the Angels Baseball Foundation.  So if you are looking to add a little furry friend to your family, you might want to check this out and help give an animal a loving home!  Here are the details:

Saturday, March 28th
10am – 5pm
561 The City Drive, Orange, CA 92868  

Special events of the day include:

* Hundreds of dogs, cats and rabbits available for adoption (*free adoption does not include dog licensing or microchip fees – limit 2 animals per household)
* Angels baseball giveaways to adopters
* Veterinarian available to answer pet health questions
* Craft activities for the kids, plus food and fun for the whole family

Call 714.935.6301 or visit for more information.

Special thanks to Tiny Oranges reader, Mary, for sending me the info on this event.  She said “I adopted a cat a year ago from the shelter and he is the best cat ever!” 🙂  

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