Family always comes first for triple-threat Ana Cristina Enríquez. The blogger of Mami Glammy, entertainment reporter and journalist, and parenting guru, the Latina mother of two has a practiced hand at keeping her kids well-fed, entertained, and free of germs. Through her writing and social media presence, she is determined to empower others in their own parenting and caregiving journey. She’s especially lending a voice to Latina mothers like her who often find themselves pulled in a million different directions. Between their heritage, gender, and differing cultural expectations from the norm, it might feel impossible to feel like Latina moms know what they’re doing.
After all, our kids always know how to keep us on our toes. From their full schedules outside the home to their active lives inside, it might feel like we’re always cleaning up after them, just waiting for the next disaster to strike. Drink and food spills, stray paint and artwork on every surface (even the ones they’re not supposed to!), coughs and sneezes without washing their hands afterward–the list goes on. And especially during COVID-19, the spread of germs is likely on the forefront of your mind, the top item on your list of worries as a parent or caregiver.
Thankfully, Cristina has a few simple secrets for parents and caregivers of little ones, who want to feel like having a clean house and engaged, active kids is not far from impossible.
For example, when it comes to the home environment, Enríquez swears by essential oils and diffusers.
“At this time in life, when one spends so much time at home, diffusers and essential oils have become essential items in my house,” Christina said in one of her blog posts from last year, “Breathe with Saje essential oils and diffusers!” “They not only help us maintain a more pleasant environment, but also my children already ask me to regulate their mood.”
This, combined with breathing exercises, meditations, and candles, can lift your childrens’ moods, encourage healthy self-reflection and introspection, and offer a bonding experience for the whole family to enjoy. She especially recommends Saje products to help promote a clear and calm mind.
However, Cristina also acknowledges the value of keeping her children physically active as well. It doesn’t mean that it has to be as strenuous as walking or running. Instead, it can be as easy as getting a box of colored chalk and joining the kids outside for a fun drawing afternoon–perfect especially for parents and caregivers on a budget! What better activity than a “Chalk of colors for a boring afternoon”?
“Colored chalk to brighten up a boring afternoon is all you need, especially if what you want is to keep your children away from electronic devices,” she says. “You have no idea how magical they are on those days when they want to be glued to a screen. As if by magic you are then able to manage to get them out to breathe fresh air.”
When it comes to this activity, her first tip is always to pick a safe space where the kids can play safely and be supervised. Whether a driveway or sidewalk outside the house, be sure it has plenty of space for movement and exploration while also keeping them out of harm’s way from cars.
Once you’ve picked your spot, she recommends the dubbed “baby milk game.”
“The baby milk is an ideal game to boost motor development and practice numbers,” Cristina says. “Do not just follow the numbering from 1 to 10. You can use different numbers that must follow in order. You can also do it with letters.”
Another one of Cristina’s favorite games include encouraging your child to write their name, solve mazes, play snakes and ladders, recreate their favorite board games on the pavement, and an imaginary obstacle course.
She also recommends a whole line-up of food hacks for little picky eaters on her blog, from making green salsa child friendly to healthy pancakes made with pear and brie cheese! In this reader favorite, she takes on arguably the most ambitious task yet: turning fruits and vegetables into popsicles! When your little ones refuse to eat the very food that is best for them, this hack is perfect, safe, and healthy, too!
After her baby girl started becoming more selective with her eating habits, “we blend and freeze all kinds of fruits and vegetables to fulfill the daily dose without drama,” she says on her blog. “To make our popsicles truly natural and nutritious, we never add sugar to them, so we try to use combinations with sweet fruits…If necessary, add just a little water to better liquefy the fruit.”
A few of her favorite frozen treat combinations have included banana and strawberry, and pineapple and oranges. For the anti-vegetable eaters, she recommends trying raw carrot and orange with a splash of peach or cooked beetroot. You can even try freezing the juice in unique-shaped popsicle molds for a more memorable and fun experience for your child.
Thanks to Latina bloggers like Cristina, parenting doesn’t have to be a chore–in fact, with just a few hacks, it can be quite the adventure!
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