Going Barefoot Will Improve Your Health

Earthing and Grounding: The Benefits of Going Barefoot

Why is it that our children always rip off their socks and shoes as soon as they get outside? Maybe they intrinsically know that going barefoot not only feels good, but it is good for us in so many ways. Going barefoot is so good for us in fact, that it has been studied extensively and given the fancy names of “Earthing” and “Grounding”.

What is Earthing?

Earthing (also known as Grounding) is when we connect with the Earth’s surface electrons by walking barefoot outside on grass, sand, dirt, or concrete. These are all conductive surfaces through which your body can draw the Earth’s energy. Wood, vinyl, and asphalt are not conductive surfaces.

The Earth’s Surface Has a Negative Charge

It is pretty commonly accepted that the Earth’s surface carries a negative charge, but there isn’t really a consensus as to why this occurs. Some say that at the inner core of the Earth, the temperature and pressure are so high that the atoms there are ionized which creates a positive charge, therefore the surface is negatively charged. Others explain that thunderstorms are an electrical generator pumping electrons from the air to the ground against the electrical field in the form of lightning.

Here’s how that happens: When frozen raindrops in thunderclouds move around and bump into each other, they create an electric charge. As the cloud fills up with electrical charges, the positive charges (protons) accumulate at the top of the cloud, and the negative charges (electrons) accumulate at the bottom of the cloud. Since opposites attract, this causes a positive charge to build up below the cloud. The charge coming up from the highest points eventually connects with a charge reaching down from the clouds, and ZAP, lightning strikes!

Lightning Strikes

Lightning Strikes (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Tó campos1, 2007)

Other generators in the global electric current are ionospheric dynamo and magnetosheric dynamo, which you can read about more here if you’re interested.

Basically, just know that the Earth’s surface has a whole bunch of extra electrons just waiting to be picked up by our bare feet.

How Electrons Act as Antioxidants (by Eliminating Free Radicals)

So now you understand (hopefully) that the Earth’s surface is flush with extra electrons, but why is that good? Well, these electrons act as antioxidants that eliminate free radicals in our body. Free radicals (which we get from exposure to X-rays, ozone, cigarette smoking, air pollutants, and industrial chemicals) are atoms that have unpaired electrons in their outer shell. These unpaired electrons make free radicals highly reactive to other substances that can lead to mutations, cancer, and oxidative stress (where your body is literally rusting from the inside out). Antioxidants stabilize the free radicals by giving them the electron they need to calm down. In the process, the antioxidant sacrifices itself. What a pal!

This Free Radical is Missing an Electron Which Makes it Highly Reactive

This Free Radical is Missing an Electron Which Makes it Highly Reactive (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Healthvalue~commonswiki, 2012)

For more information about free radicals and antioxidants, check out my blog How to Stay on Top of Free Radicals with Antioxidants.

Benefits of Going Barefoot

So not only will you be boosting your immune system and overall health by getting rid of free radicals with the extra electrons that you accumulate from the Earth’s surface, there are a myriad of other health benefits as well. Studies have shown that earthing (or grounding) has so many health benefits, that it suddenly seems silly to wear shoes, especially plastic soled shoes that aren’t conducive to the Earth’s electrons like leather soled shoes are.

  • Thins the blood (lowers blood pressure)
  • Reduces risk of heart attack
  • Cardiovascular benefits
  • Lowers stress levels
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Decreased depression
  • Sense of calm
  • Improved mental clarity
  • Fewer headaches
  • Better recovery from adrenal fatigue
  • Better sleep
  • Less phosphorus and calcium loss thus leading to a reduced chance of osteoporosis
  • Reduces inflammation (which leads to many chronic diseases)
  • Less chronic pain
  • Slows the aging process (by getting rid of free radicals)
  • Less muscle tension
  • Quicker healing from exercise-induced muscle pain
  • Faster immune responses
  • Protects the body from EMFs

How to Do It

It’s not rocket science really; it’s just a matter of going barefoot as much as possible on surfaces conducive to the Earth’s energy (grass, sand, dirt, or concrete). Or better yet even, take a nap the next time you are outside sprawled out in the soft warm grass or getting some sun at the beach.

Ophelia Playing Barefoot in Our Sandbox

Ophelia Playing Barefoot in Our Sandbox

In order to maximize on your grounding time when you’re inside, you might want to get an earthing mat like this that can be plugged in and placed on top of a desk under your keyboard and mouse or under your desk for bare feet contact. Or you might like something like this half sheet to place under your bottom sheet on your bed to get the full effects of grounding while you’re asleep. If you have sleep problems, I highly recommend this!

In Conclusion

So when you see our family playing at the park and all of our shoes have been cast aside, now you’ll know the reason why! And at the end of the day when my little ones are done playing outside and ready for pajamas, I’ll know that I did a good job if I can see that the bottoms of their feet are covered with well worn dirt. (And no, we don’t bathe everyday, but that’s for another post!)

Resources

How to Make Healthy Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Yes, these oatmeal cookies are healthy! They are healthy because they are made with real all natural ingredients and half the sugar of conventional cookies, yet they still taste absolutely amazing! Butter is not the demon you might think, it is actually a healthy fat and a good source of energy. Pastured eggs are a superfood with the perfect balance of fat and protein. Organic rolled oats are a good source of fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. Cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and helps you digest sugar more efficiently. The dark chocolate chips provide beneficial antioxidants, and who can argue with that?

Not only are these cookies a staple of my children’s diets, but they love helping me make them too! I think they secretly just like eating the batter. 🙂 (*Note: If you’re cooking with pastured eggs, eating them raw is not a problem.)

Ruby Cracking Eggs

Ruby Cracking Eggs

Ingredients

  • 2 Sticks (1 c.) of Butter, Room Temperature (Grass-fed like Kerrygold is best, but I at least look for organic, or rBST free at the bare minimum.)
  • ½ c. Sugar (You could even use less than this.)
  • ½ c. Brown Sugar  (Sometimes, for extra flavor, I only use brown sugar.)
  • 2 Eggs (Preferably pastured for the highest nutrient content.)
  • 2 t. Vanilla Extract (Get some here.)
  • 2-3 T. Cinnamon (Get some here. *I go REALLY heavy on the cinnamon! We love the flavor, plus it helps stimulate insulin production which helps the body process sugar better.)
  • ¾ t. Baking Powder (Look for the aluminum-free kind. You can also use baking soda, and no, there is never any aluminum in baking soda.)
  • ¾ t. Real Salt (Get some here.)
  • 3 c. Organic Rolled Oats (Get some here.)
  • 1 c. Fresh Ground Whole Wheat Flour (Get a grinder here and some grain here.)
  • 1 c. Chocolate Chips (Ghirardelli are the best!!)
  • Coconut Oil (to grease the pans)
  • *Optional: ½ c. Craisins (Get some here.) or Raisins
  • *Optional: ½ c. Coconut Flakes (Get some here.)

*I included Amazon links to most ingredients, but I’m actually in a co-op where I order most of my ingredients in bulk from Country Life Natural Foods

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  2. Mix the butter, eggs, and sugar. First, let the butter sit out until it’s at room temperature. I like to do this the night before (if I can think of it).

    Eggs, Sugar, Brown Sugar, and Butter

    Eggs, Sugar, Brown Sugar, and Butter

  3. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix with beaters until it is nice and creamy. (I actually never measure anything…so basically, I shake a TON of cinnamon, add a few glugs of vanilla, and then a sprinkling of salt and baking powder. 🙂

    Oatmeal Cookies with Vanilla, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, and Salt Added.

    Oatmeal Cookies with Vanilla, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, and Salt Added.

  4. Mix in the flour and oats. If you’re looking for a more sturdy cookie, go with a bit more oats; if you’re looking for a softer cookie, go with a bit less.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and any other extras. My kids LOVE the chocolate chips and would hate it if I skimped, but you could totally just add half a bag.

    Oatmeal Cookie Batter

    Oatmeal Cookie Batter

  6. Cookie sheet time! First, grease the baking sheet liberally with coconut oil. Use a cookie scoop (I love this medium sized one.) to place the dough balls in scattered rows on a baking sheet.

    Oatmeal Cookie Batter Neatly Scooped on a Cookie Tray

    Oatmeal Cookie Batter Neatly Scooped on a Cookie Tray

  7. Press down the balls with a fork. If you cook them in little balls, they will stay in the shape of little balls, but hey, that might be pretty good too!
  8. Bake at 375˚F for 10 minutes. If you like your cookies on the soft side, this is a perfect amount of time, but if you want to avoid the crumbles, you might want to go with 12 minutes.

    Oatmeal Cookies Fresh Out of the Oven

    Oatmeal Cookies Fresh Out of the Oven

  9. *Let cool on a cooling rack. Get one here. This is totally optional, but I find it necessary when I make a double batch because I just don’t have enough counter space. Plus, it makes the bottoms more firm.

    Oatmeal Cookies on a Cooling Rack

    Oatmeal Cookies on a Cooling Rack

  10. Serve with a tall glass of raw milk, sit back, and enjoy.

    Freshly Baked Oatmeal Cookies with a Glass of Raw Milk

    Freshly Baked Oatmeal Cookies with a Glass of Raw Milk

In Conclusion

I make a double batch of these cookies about every other week. My kids love them as a snack, packed in their school lunches, when we’re on the go, and even as a meal replacement. I like to store them in large ziploc bags and keep them in the fridge. If you’re looking for another great recipe with oats, check out my healthy granola cereal recipe, and if you’re looking for another great cookie recipe, you’ve got to try my Great Grama Gene’s famous gingersnap recipe.

Best Pregnancy Items

Best Pregnancy Item Must Haves

During my four pregnancies, these are the things that I loved the most (or would have loved to have had). Being pregnant is a great honor, a wonderful journey, and a very special time in a women’s life. It’s fun to be able to pamper yourself a little bit and take care of your needs during this special time as you take on the wonderful honor of growing a tiny human.

  1. Body Pillow – I usually just prop up about a thousand pillows all around my body, but I would LOVE to have something like this to snuggle up with.
  2. Belly Band – When I want to be able to wear my old jeans, but I just can’t button them anymore, I love wearing one of these. During my third trimester, I also love these high waisted jeans.
  3. Maternity Support Belt – Sometimes carrying around that extra weight can get a bit uncomfortable and a support belt like this can really help.
  4. Compression Socks – When I get varicose veins while pregnant, I’ll put these on before I get out of bed in the morning (or whenever) and they totally help.
  5. Maternity Tank – I love wearing this under my shirts to hide the lines of my belly band and to cover up my butt crack when I bend over. I also like wearing it to bed to support my growing breasts.
  6. Maternity Pants – I usually just go to the thrift store and see what they have in their maternity section, but basically, I just want something that feels comfortable. I like these pants because they can go over my belly (which is nice when I’m further along) or I can fold them down (for when my belly is smaller).
  7. Maternity Shirt – Once again, I usually buy my maternity shirts at the thrift store or get “hand-me-downs” from friends, but finding a shirt with some kind of scoop or v-neck makes me not feel like so much like a huge whale, and I like something that gives me lots of room to grow.
  8. Maternity Underwear – I find these “boy shorts” to be very comfortable when I’m pregnant. Who likes wedgies anyways?
  9. Stretch Mark Oil – They say that you’ll get stretch marks no matter what you do if you’re genetically predisposed to get them, but it couldn’t hurt to try a little oil! At least it will help with the itching. Here’s another brand I like. This is good too.
  10. Exercise Ball – I loved using this for working out while pregnant, and it was absolutely essential for getting through labor.
  11. Prenatal Workout – When I was pregnant for my first baby, I loved doing these workouts. After that, I just never had the time. 🙂
  12. Prenatal Yoga – I loved doing this prenatal yoga video with all of my pregnancies. I believe doing yoga helped me to have good labors. There’s a massage component that my husband followed and it was AMAZING. I also really liked this prenatal yoga video.
  13. Pregnancy Tea – When I had to give up coffee and so many other things during pregnancy, it was nice to drink something warm and yummy that was full of natural herbs that are good for me and my growing baby.
  14. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea – I love buying this tea in bulk because it is so nourishing. I love using it to make my kombucha tea.
  15. Teeccino – This is a great caffeine-free coffee substitute and it is made with chicory which is a great prebiotic.
  16. Fermented Cod Liver Oil – We can’t afford to take this all the time, but when I’m pregnant, we fit it into the budget because it’s worth it. You can also get the Fermented Cod Liver and Butter Oil, which is more expensive, but even better. The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends that pregnant and nursing women take 20 fermented cod liver oil pills a day (or 4 teaspoons of the liquid), but I only took 4 per day (which is still 9 bottles of pills throughout the whole pregnancy).
  17. Trace Minerals – I like adding this to my daily water.
  18. Massaging Foot Spa – I never got one of these, but I sure would have loved one!
  19. Journal – I just wrote down my thoughts and ideas in a composition book (in addition to adding pictures and artifacts), but I think it’s so important to document this special time. You and your child will enjoy reflecting on it in the years to come.
  20. Oh Baby the Places You’ll Go! – I loved reading this to Ruby when she was in my belly baby in utero. I believe this helped her to love books from the very start. (Warning: It will probably make you cry.)
  21. The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care – The original Nourishing Traditions book is my food Bible, and this baby and child care book is an excellent source of information as well.

In Conclusion

When you’re pregnant for your first child, everything is new and kind of scary, and for you new moms, or for you veteran moms who still like to look at lists, I hope this has been helpful. I would love to hear what have been your favorite products during pregnancy too!

*These are all affiliate links, so if you purchase any of these products through my links, I’ll make a small portion that helps me to pay for the upkeep of this site. You will not pay any more than you would if you searched for these products on any other search engine. Thank you for your support!

How to Relieve Teething Pain

How to Relieve Teething Pain: A Review of 11 Options

Just when you think your baby is sleeping like a champ…teething hits! Your baby (or toddler) who was once perfect and happy is now just miserable all of the time. Of course you want to make your little one feel better, but the reality is that teething just plain old sucks and there’s not much we can do about it. Just know that it is a temporary phase in life, and while this sounds silly to say right now, just keep repeating to yourself,

This too shall pass.

The absolute best thing for teething is time. Time. Time will pass, teething will end, and eventually you will get your sweet happy child back. But in the meantime, here are a few options that might make things more bearable.

1. Nursing

Nursing and skin to skin contact has been scientifically proven to provide pain relief. Babies have a tendency to nurse more while teething (yes, all through the night too). This has always been my number one go to for pain relief when my little ones are teething. Now, when those two year molars have come in, and I’m not nursing anymore, well, that’s another story….

2. Cold or Frozen Washcloth

Whenever you tell ANYONE that your child is teething, the first thing they will tell you is to get a wet washcloth and let them chew on it. Every time I have a teething child, I am always excited to try this first and then immediately disappointed because it has never worked for me, but I do think it is a good place to start…especially for the front teeth. 🙂

3. Chamomile

I have actually never used this, but after a bit of research to update this article, I plan on trying it next time I encounter teething with a little one. Chamomile is safe for babies and has a calming effect that can help just about any fussy baby situation. You will want to brew a strong batch of tea (get some hereand then either soak the washcloth in it, add some to your baby’s bottle, or make a frozen popsicle out of it.

4. Amber Teething Necklace

I didn’t find out about amber teething necklaces until our third child, and now I swear by them! Every child is different and this may not work for everyone, but I have noticed a significant difference when using ours. The positive effect becomes most apparent when I think, “Oh, they’re sleeping fine now…time to take the necklace off,” and then BAM they are up in the night again! Amber teething necklaces are made from fossilized tree resin and exude succinic acid oil that has an analgesic effect similar to Ibuprofen. Read more about amber teething necklaces in my blog: Do Amber Teething Necklaces Really WorkJust keep in mind that it takes 24 hours for the pain relief to take effect.

5. Allspice Teething Necklace

I learned about allspice teething necklaces from my midwife and have had great success using them. They basically release tannins that strengthen the gums and help the teeth to break through the gums more quickly. This are particularly helpful when there’s a stubborn tooth that keeps teasing you by emerging a little bit, then going down, emerging a little bit more, creating pain and inflammation, then going back down, etc. Every time this has happened with our children and we put an allspice necklace on them, the stubborn tooth pops through within 48 hours. For more information, check out my blog: How to Make an Allspice Necklace That Will Help with Teething.

6. Clove Bud Oil

I am kind of hesitant to put this here because it is recommended that many (if not all) essential oils be avoided on children under 2 (and I have never personally never used this on a child under 2), but when my 2 year old was recently cutting his 2 year molars and NOTHING was seeming to help, I diluted equal parts olive oil and clove bud oil and applied it to his gums. (*This would be great for storage or you can buy a pre-made mixture here.) He didn’t like it at first, but within minutes he went from crazy screaming/crying to totally calm and happy. The eugenol in clove oil is a numbing agent as well as anti-inflammatory, but if used too often, the skin becomes more tolerant.

7. Teething Toys

During the day, I try to use as little “medication” as possible and instead try to help my babies find teething relief by chewing on things. They love chewing on my fingers, their fingers, or anything else that seems to be within reach, but there are a few toys that have worked really well too.

  • Sophie the Giraffe – Yes, it’s plastic and we do try to stay away from it most of the time, but this is phthalate and BPA free, so that’s good, and our little ones love this toy! This is my number one recommendation. 
  • Manhattan Toy Winkel – Don’t ask me why, but every single child we’ve had has loved chewing on and playing with this toy. We’ve had to buy several. It is BPA free.
  • Teething Ring – I like this basic teething ring because it’s easy for a baby to hold onto and they can chew anywhere. This one is BPA free.
  • Mesh Food Feeder – I personally have never used this, but I have heard so many people talk about it, that I just had to give it a mention. People like to put frozen bananas in them for babies to chew on to provide some relief. It seems like a great idea!

8. Orajel

Orajel basically works by numbing the gums. There’s a daytime version and a nighttime version that has a stronger potency. Sometimes, babies are totally bothered by the taste and the fact that it’s creating a different sensation, but once they get over the uncomfortableness of the application, they get a bit of pain relief, and sometimes that is just what they need to get back to sleep or to calm down. I try not to overuse this and only apply it when my little ones are really fussy and I can’t seem to console them any other way. If they are overtired and having trouble falling asleep or if they keep waking up because of the pain, I feel like these are both perfect times to use Orajel.

*Watch Out: The benzocaine gel can lead to a rare (but serious and sometimes fatal) condition called methemoglobinemia where the amount of oxygen in the blood stream is greatly reduced. 

9. What About Ibuprofen? (i.e. Motrin)

First of all, ibuprofen is just the generic name of Motrin (also called Advil). Chemically, they are all the same things.

Ibuprofen is only recommended for babies 6 months and older.  Ibuprofen works by limiting the body’s production of fatty acids called prostaglandins. This helps to reduce fevers, body aches, pain caused by prostaglandins, and inflammation. It is slightly more powerful and lasts longer than acetaminophen, and because of this, should only be taken every six to eight hours and no more than three times in a 24-hour period. It can irritate the stomach so it’s best if it’s taken with some kind of food.

You can check out this dosage chart to see the proper amount to give your child according to his or her weight. I know that some people try to avoid giving their babies any medication whatsoever and others give it at every little whimper. I used to be right in the middle and weigh out the amount of sleep we were getting, etc., but now I’m very very hesitant to give drugs for any reason and only do so on rare occasions.

*Watch Out: Ibuprofen (like any other drug) has a long list of potential side effects. Most commonly there is stomach bleeding, but there are many other possible allergic reactions as well. 

10. What About Acetaminophen? (i.e. Tylenol)

Like Ibuprofen (Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol) reduces fever, body aches, and pain, but not inflammation. It is milder on the digestive tract, so it doesn’t need to be taken with food. In large doses, however, it can be very toxic to the liver. Doctors recommend giving children the fewest doses needed to keep them comfortable. So at most, this would be every four to six hours, and no more than five times in a 24 hour period.

You can check out this dosage chart to see how much you should give your child according to his or her weight. We were once told by a pediatrician to alternate between ibuprofen and acetaminophen for pain relief, but after learning about the dangers of both, we’re not so sure about this anymore.

*Watch Out: A recent study (Sept. 2016) came out linking asthma and attention deficit disorders in babies born to women who used acetaminophen while pregnant leading some to draw the conclusion that without the mother’s detoxification systems, this drug would be even more damaging to an infant. This information has caused us to suspend all acetaminophen usage. (Source)

11. Arnica

Arnica is a homeopathic alternative to conventional pain medications (get some arnica teething tablets here). It eases swelling, soreness, and promotes healing by reducing swelling. I have personally never tried it for teething (although we have had success using the topical gel for bruising), but if you want to avoid ibuprofen and acetaminophen, this might be a good alternative.

In Conclusion

Whenever I have a child who is bothered by teething, I feel like my entire world pauses for a bit. Sleep regresses, I slip back into survival mode, we do what we can to get through the painful moments, and the days seems to stretch on into eternity. But then, as suddenly as it begins, the gradual release of pain gives me my child back and teething becomes but a vague memory.

As I update this article and prepare for baby #5, I am not looking forward to the phases of teething, but I know that I will reflect on this list and use my best judgement to provide my little guy with the relief that he (and I) may desperately need to get through some of the toughest moments. Having options, being informed, and having a plan can do wonders for the anxiety we feel as parents dealing with children who are in pain, so do your research, find what works for you, and always remember that “this too shall pass”.

*You might enjoy some of my other blogs about teething.

Do Amber Teething Necklaces Really Work?

There is a lot of uncertainty about amber teething necklaces. Some people swear by them, and some people think they’re a placebo. I have personally had a tremendous amount of success with using amber teething necklaces to relieve teething pain, and I wanted to share a bit about how they have worked for us and why.

Amber Teething Necklace

Amber Teething Necklace

How Amber Teething Necklaces Have Worked for Us

I didn’t even hear about amber teething necklaces until our third child, Ophelia. She seemed to be bothered by teething way more than our first two had, and so I was frantically searching for anything that might work when I stumbled across amber teething necklaces on Amazon. Ophelia didn’t start teething until she was ten months old, but then all of her teeth came in at once, so of course she was in pain, and the pain bothered her and kept her up in the night…a lot.

Ophelia with Amber Teeething Necklaces

Ophelia Wearing Her Amber Teething Necklace

After wearing the amber teething necklace for about 24 hours, we noticed a marked difference. Instead of getting up in the night every hour, she was only up a couple of times and easily soothed back to sleep. Months later, we started wondering if her better sleep habits and general happiness were a mere coincidence or they were really tied to the necklace, so we took it off to test things out. Big mistake! That night was one of the worst! After we put the necklace back on for another 24 hours, it was smooth sailing once again.

When we noticed that no more teeth were coming in, we took her necklace off (and have since lost it), so when she started showing signs of getting her two year molars in, I bought another necklace. This time, I didn’t get an Art of the Cure necklace, but some cheap knock off, and it hasn’t seemed to make a bit of difference.

Our youngest son, Julian, started getting his first teeth in when he was only four months old. His first tooth didn’t seem to bother him a bit as it broke through, but the second one was just creating this big bulbous ulcer and nothing seemed to work until I put on an allspice necklace that helped his tooth to pop through within 48 hours. He hasn’t seemed to be too bothered by the whole teething thing, but he still gets up quite a bit in the night. After wearing his amber teething necklace for 24 hours, he seems to be in a much better mood and his sleeping is more soundly.

How Do Amber Teething Necklaces Work?

Amber teething necklaces are made from fossilized tree resin. The baltic amber is mined near the Baltic sea and contains a substance called succinic acid. This succinic acid is actually an oil that is released from the amber when exposed to heat, such as body heat. Succinic acid works like Ibprofen since it blocks pain and reduces inflammation. It also has other healing benefits such as strengthening the immune system by working as an antioxidant and restoring energy.

“The human body naturally produces succinic acid. The salt of succinic acid (succinate) is one of the most active substances in the processes of cellular respiration and intercellular energy creation.  Succinic acid restores oxygen and energy supply to depleted cells and helps the body return to a normal, functioning state,” from Hazelaid.

Is it Real Amber?

The odds of finding fake amber beads made of plastic in teething necklaces are pretty slim. Most fake amber products are going to be priced in the three figure range and be used for things like bugs trapped in amber. If you look at the beads, they shouldn’t all be perfectly smooth and the exact same size and shape. Real amber beads will have air bubbles, be clear enough to let light pass through, and have imperfections within the beads. They will also have a slightly tacky feel versus being slick like glass or plastic. The necklace will feel lighter in your hands than you would expect it to.

Does it Need to be Worn Around the Neck?

The amber beads work best when they are close to the source of pain, and that is why it is recommended that they be worn around the neck. This is why people with arthritis or carpel tunnel syndrome will sometimes wrap these beads around their wrists for relief.

But is it a choking hazard? I’ll admit, the thought of my child wearing a beaded necklace scared me initially, but after watching my little ones wear them, I’m not worried at all. The necklace should be loose enough around the neck, and yes, it may get lost in a few neck rolls, but I haven’t seen anything that made me feel like it was a choking hazard.

Julian Wearing an Amber Teething Necklace

Julian Wearing an Amber Teething Necklace

If you’re really worried however, look for a necklace that has a pop off clasp that can detach if it gets tugged on. I personally like the twist on clasp, however. The beads on most necklaces are individually knotted, so if it were to break somehow, you’re not going to end up with loose beads all over the place. Also, don’t worry about your child chewing on the beads. First of all, it’s not designed to be used that way (so don’t encourage it), and second of all, it’s not long enough.

Those who are still uncomfortable with the idea of the necklace being around the neck can wrap the necklace around the wrist or ankle and put a sock over it, although I cannot personally attest to how effective this would be.

Should I Take It Off?

People also wonder if they should let their little ones wear the necklace all the time or take it off for baths, etc. Well, first of all, the necklace needs to be worn for a full 24 hours to achieve the full benefit, so taking it off and on isn’t a good idea. Second, it’s totally waterproof and does just fine in the bath, so it really doesn’t need to come off for any reason.

Sometimes, Julian’s necklace would get stuck in the fat rolls on his neck and leave little red marks. I would always try to pull it away from his skin so that it didn’t sit in any one spot for too long, and I made sure that his neck was always wiped down and clean after he spit up.

In Conclusion

When your little one is in pain, and you don’t want to resort to giving them pain medication every day for the next two years as teething occurs, amber teething necklaces are a wonderful way to do what you can to keep your little one pain free. I have personally seen the success of using them, but even if there was only a slim to none chance that it worked, I still feel like saying, “Hey, what have you got to lose?” Either they work and your baby is able to finally get some relief, or they don’t and now your baby just looks cute in his or her necklace.

I have tried a few different brands of teething necklaces and I feel the the Art of the Cure Amber Teething Necklaces are the most effective. If you click on the link, it’s for the lighter colored amber. Here’s a link for one that’s a little darker. For $18.99, I feel like it’s well worth the price. I’ve purchased a cheaper one that was more on the decorative side, and it wasn’t as effective. Good luck!

Amber Teething Necklace from Art of the Cure

Amber Teething Necklace from Art of the Cure

*You might enjoy some of my other blogs about teething.

How to Make an Allspice Teething Necklace

How to Make an Allspice Teething Necklace

When I see my little ones go through teething pain, it just breaks my heart, and I want to help them in any way possible. By making this allspice teething necklace which releases tannins into the body that strengthen the gums, it helps the teeth to break through more quickly and thus shortens the time they are in pain. I didn’t learn about this allspice teething necklace until my third child, and I only wish I had known about it sooner! It is simply amazing!

Teething Doesn’t Bother Everyone

Some children seem to be really bothered by teething and some don’t. With my four children, the two girls have had the toughest time ever with teething, my older son seemed to not be bothered at all, and my youngest son was fine when his first tooth popped out, but now this second one is being a real bugger!

When the Allspice Necklace Helps the Most

The thing that’s really frustrating about teething is when you see the gum start to bulge like a big bulbous ulcer about to burst, and then you wait and you wait and you wait…and you wait some more, but nothing happens. You look into your baby’s mouth with baited breath every time you change his diaper, hoping to find a little white ridge poking through the gum, but alas, there is nothing there. Then, one day, it looks like something is starting to peek through, but then when you go to show your spouse, it’s gone…the phantom tooth! THIS type of scenario is the perfect time to use an allspice necklace.

It Really Works!

It takes a bit of time and a little bit of work to make one of these necklaces, so I’m always a bit reluctant, but then when I finally do it, I think, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

Ophelia didn’t start getting her teeth until she was ten months old, but then they came all at once. One after another, and it was excruciating for her (and for us). Her amber teething necklace really helped with the pain, but she had a couple of stubborn teeth that would just not pop through. So I made her the necklace and within 24 hours, a tooth popped up, and she actually slept peacefully that night.

Now, our youngest son Julian, who at 4 months old, is already teething! His first tooth popped through without any of us hardly noticing, but this second one is being really shy for some reason. He’s been up every hour in the night, constantly fussy and crying, and that darn tooth just won’t pop through. So, I pulled out my allspice beads and got to work making an allspice teething necklace. Just like with Ophelia, within 48 hours, the tooth popped through and peace fell over the household once again.

After Wearing His Allspice Teething Necklace for 48 Hours Julian's Tooth Popped Through

Julian’s Tooth Popped Through

How Does the Allspice Help with Teething?

My midwife was the one who first introduced me to the concept of an allspice necklace being used to help with teething. She said that the allspice released tannins that helped to stiffen the gums which makes it easier for the tooth to come out. Since then, I haven’t been able to find a whole lot of “science” to prove this point. I just know that it has worked for me and countless others.

How to Make an Allspice Teething Necklace

Making your own necklace is kind of a pain, but since they only last for about 6 months and if you’re like me with a bunch of young kids and making these often, then it would be a good investment. Otherwise, if you just go to Etsy and do a search, you can find some already made. Easy Peasy.

Materials Needed

  • Whole Allspice (I like to buy mine here. You can get the organic kind here or a small quantity here.)
  • Stretchy Thread (I like this.)
  • Big Needle (I like this one.)
  • Thimble (Optional…get one here.)
  • *Magnetic Necklace Clasp (I have never used one, but if you’re worried about a choking hazard, this might be a good idea. Get one here.)
  • Small Pot
  • Paper Towel
  • Scissors

Directions

  1. Boil the Allspice: Place about a cup of whole allspice beads in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, turn the heat off, and let them sit there for about ten minutes. (This softens the beads so that you can puncture them with a needle.)

    Boiling Allspice for a Teething Necklace

    Boiling Allspice for a Teething Necklace

  2. Drain the Water: Strain them into a colander and dump onto some paper towel.

    Boiled Allspice Draining in a Colander

    Boiled Allspice Draining in a Colander

  3. Thread your Needle: Tie the thread off close to the needle. (You don’t need to make a double string, but you can if you want.)
  4. Put the Allspice On: Find the little dimple in the allspice “bead”, and puncture it with your needle. Use your thimble (or any hard surface) to press the needle gently through the bead. Be careful not to split the allspice. If you do, just discard it, and grab another one. I like to use the biggest allspice beads that I can find so that it will be easier to thread and be the most effective.

    Boiled Allspice, Stretcy String, and Allspice Necklace for Teething

    Allspice Necklace for Teething

  5. Measure: You might want to measure the thread length first, but I just eyeball when it looks close enough to my child’s neck and then hold it up to see. When it’s wrapped around the neck, you want there to be a few fingers width of extra length.
  6. Tie it On: Tie the ends together and clip the extra string.

    My 5 Month Old Son with an Allspice Teething Necklace

    5 Month Old Julian with His Allspice Teething Necklace

  7. Watch Closely: Some children may be allergic to the allspice or just have really sensitive skin. If you notice a red rash develop, I would just take it off. Also, keep watch to make sure it is comfortable and not getting stuck in neck rolls and making red marks.
Try to Fit the Allspice Teething Necklace Around the Neck Rolls

Try to Fit the Allspice Teething Necklace Around the Neck Rolls

FAQs

  • Will the necklace choke my child? This was my first question when I heard of this! It just seemed so weird to put a necklace on such a little tyke. But with the stretchy band, I don’t really see this as a risk. If you’re worried about it, however, you just have to see it on your child, watch them carefully at first, and then make your own determination. After seeing my own children wear both this and the amber teething necklace, I am not worried about choking.
  • Can my child wear it on his or her wrist or ankle? If you still can’t get past the choking thing, you can wrap the necklace around your child’s ankle and put a sock over it to hold it in place. I don’t think this method is as effective, but it might still do the trick.
  • Can my child wear it in the bath? Yes, your child can wear the necklace all the time – day and night and in the bath. I suppose you could make some kind of little clasp to be able to take the necklace off and on, but I just tie mine on and leave it there as long as it’s needed.
  • How long is it effective? As long as you can still smell the allspice, it should still be effective. They will typically last for about 6 months or so. I usually put one on my child as the teeth are coming through, and then take it off after they pop. When my child needs another one, I’ll just make another one.

In Conclusion

When I look at my little ones teething and then I try to imagine what I would be like if I had a mouth full of sores all the time, I think of two things. 1) You bet your buttons I would be cranky too! 2) This must be why children don’t have vivid memories of these years (thankfully). As a mom seeing her children go through something painful and just plain awful, I want to do whatever I can do mitigate the pain. This allspice necklace may take a bit of effort, but on the slim chance that it might just work, it’s well worth it in my book! *If you don’t feel like making one, you can probably find one on Etsy. 🙂

*You might enjoy some of my other blogs about teething.

Using Magnet Letters to Teach the ABCs

How to Teach the ABCs with Magnet Letters

Teaching letter names and letter sounds is a crucial component of reading. When children learn the alphabet at a young age, it lays a strong foundation for learning how to read. I have four children five and under, and I have been blown away by their capabilities and desire to learn. As a former elementary school teacher with a Master’s degree in Language Acquisition, I have always been fascinated with teaching and learning, but it wasn’t until I became a parent that I realized the true potential of a child’s brain.

If I could recommend one thing for anyone with small children, it would be to focus on teaching the ABCs. In my blog, Tips, Tricks, and Resources for Teaching the ABCs, I have outlined everything that I have done that has worked for me and my children (who are all very different). My oldest daughter Ruby is five and in kindergarten; she reads fluently at a 3rd grade level. My son Elliot is four, knows all of his letter names and sounds, and is reading basic words, phrases, and repetitive text. My daughter Ophelia is 21 months old and knows all of her letter names and sounds, can read memorized words and phrases, and is starting to sound out words. For more details on how children really learn to read (hint: it’s not about starting with phonics), check out my blog: How Children Really Learn to Read.

Using Letter Magnets to Teach the ABCs

We have had these LeapFrog Letter Magnets on our fridge for just about as long as we have had children. The style has changed a bit since our original purchase, but the concept is the same. Basically, each capital letter fits into the player and when pushed with say a little chant with the letter name and letter sound(s). There is also a little music button that will either play, “The Wheels on the Bus” or “The Alphabet Song”. There is also a volume control for loud or quiet play and an off switch (for when you just need a little peace and quiet).

The other magnet letters that I really like are these Melissa and Doug Wooden Magnet Alphabet letters. The bold colors and simple design are fun for kids and easy to use as a teaching tool.

Here is a 3:28 video compilation of our 21 month old daughter Ophelia using letter magnets. Notice how I do very little direct teaching. I like to let my children explore and use these types of learning toys however they want, and then I find ways to gently guide them along the way.

LeapFrog Letter Magnets

There are many different ways to use these LeapFrog Letter Magnets. Sometimes I like to line all of the letters neatly up on the fridge in alphabetical order for my children to discover, but they never stay that way for long! My daughter Ophelia, who loves order and neatness, will play with each letter one at a time in a patient and intricate way. My son Elliot, on the other hand, who loves movement and chaos, will smush all of the letters together, build towers out of them, or personify them in some imaginative play.

Ophelia Plays Neatly with Magnet Letters

Ophelia Plays Neatly with Magnet Letters

Each method has merit and is a reflection of the inner workings of their minds. As their mother, I love being a quiet observer as I take note of their different methods of play and think about how I can support their different learning styles. Just having educational toys available and allowing children to play with them however they choose is a huge benefit. The next step is to reinforce their learning along the way by verbalizing what they are doing and repeating what they are saying. Then the real icing on the cake is figuring out how to challenge them to just go slightly above where they are with guidance. This is known in the educational world as working within their zone of proximal development and scaffolding them as they work towards the next level.

Elliot Smushes the Magnet Letters Around in Imaginative Play

Elliot Smushes the Magnet Letters Around in Imaginative Play

 Wooden Magnet Letters and Tins

One activity I love doing with the kids involves using the magnet letters and tins. This is a great way to stretch their knowledge of letter names and letter sounds to the next level. By turning these muffin tins upside down, they make great templates for sounding out CVC words (consonant-vowel-consonant) or four letter words as with Elliot’s tin on the left.

Elliot and Ophelia Play with Magnet Letters and Tins

Elliot and Ophelia Play with Magnet Letters and Tins

What I do is pick a simple word like cat, sun, or dog, and then show them how to sound out each letter /c/ /a/ /t/ by touching each letter and saying the sound. Then I show how I say all of the sounds together quickly to make the word cat. They’re not ready to practice this skill independently yet, but it’s good to keep introducing things to kids that are just barely out of their reach so that they can get used to it through lots and lots and lots of repetition and as much time as they need.

Independent Learning Station

Once we have played with something like these wooden magnet letters and tins together, I like setting it up at an independent learning station. While here, the kids can practice what we’ve done together at their own pace.

Ophelia is Playing with Magnetic Letters at an Independent Learning Station

Ophelia is Playing with Magnetic Letters at an Independent Learning Station

Ophelia Loves to Have Little Stations to Play At

Ophelia Loves to Have Little Stations to Play At

There is No “Right” or “Wrong” Way to Play

I love it when the kids using these learning manipulatives as toys in a fun and creative way that works for them. I spend time setting up these learning stations and enjoy watching the kids use them however they like. When Ophelia takes the letters out of one box and says their names as she puts them in another box, this is an excellent way for her to practice her letter naming fluency.

Ophelia Puts Magnetic Letters in a Box

Ophelia Puts Magnetic Letters in a Box

Lakeshore Learning Alphabet Letters

Lakeshore Learning Magnetic Letters

Lakeshore Learning Magnetic Letters

If you really want to take things to the next level, these Lakeshore Learning Magnetic Letters are a wonderful teaching tool. If you have a child with a lot of patience, you can sit down side by side and build words together on magnetic white boards. This is something I used to love doing with my oldest daughter Ruby when she was younger.

Elliot and Ophelia Play with the Lakeshore Learning Magnetic Letters

Elliot and Ophelia Play with the Lakeshore Learning Magnetic Letters

In Conclusion

Magnetic letters can be a wonderful educational toy and teaching tool. By spending a little bit of time working on letters when your child is young, he or she will be much better prepared for preschool, kindergarten, reading, learning, and more. By making playtime fun and educational, children thrive as their brains are given permission to learn and grow at their own pace.

You might also like the following blogs:

How to Make the Best Potato and Egg Salad

There are lots of recipes for potato salad out there, but I’m not kidding when I say that this is the best! It’s all about the simplicity of the recipe and the quality of the ingredients. When you buy organic potatoes and pastured eggs and use Bragg’s Apple Cider VinegarHellman’s Mayonnaise, Real Salt, fresh organic parsley, you have the makings for a winning recipe. Not only does this recipe, taste good, it’s good for you too. So, let’s get to it!

Ingredients

  • 4-5 Medium Sized Organic Potatoes
  • 10-12 Eggs (Preferably pastured)
  • 8 T. Mayonnaise (Hellmann’s)
  • 1 T. Mustard
  • 2 T. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 t. Real Salt
  • 1 t. Dill
  • ½ t. Pepper
  • 1 t. Celery Seed
  • *1 t. Cayenne Pepper (If you like things on the spicy side.)
  • Extras: Chop up any of these items to give it a little pizzazz.
    • Fresh Organic Parsley
    • 1-2 Chives
    • 4 Small Pickles
    • ½ c. Celery
    • 2-3 Pieces of Bacon

Directions

  1. Cut the potatoes into cubes. (I don’t bother to skin them, but you could.) Make sure they are covered by about an inch and a half of water, and heavily salt the water (this brings out the flavor of the potatoes).

    raw_potatoes_chopped_up

    Raw Potatoes with the Skins On

  2. Bring the water to a slow boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 12-15 minutes. Check the potatoes at about 12 minutes. (If you cook them too long, they will lose their firmness and texture and it will be more like mashed potato salad.) Dump them into a strainer, and run cold water over them to stop them from cooking any further.

    cooked_diced_potatoes

    Cooked Potatoes in a Colander

  3. Boil your eggs. Check out my blog here to learn how to boil the perfect egg that’s easy to peel.
  4. Chop up the eggs into cubes. I just use a basic egg slicer.

    chopped_egg

    Cubed Hard Boiled Eggs

  5. Mix in the mayonnaise, mustard, and apple cider vinegar.
  6. Add the potatoes. I don’t mind if the eggs get mashed up a bit, but I like to be gentle with my potatoes so that they’ll hold their shape.

    Eggs, Potatoes, Mayo, Mustard, and Apple Cider Vinegar

    Eggs, Potatoes, Mayo, Mustard, and Apple Cider Vinegar

  7. Add the salt, pepper, celery salt, and dill. I really never measure out my spices, especially salt. I just add a little, taste a little, add a little more, and taste again until it’s just right.
  8. I like to add finely chopped fresh parsley, chives, and pickles to my potato salad, but add whatever extras suit your fancy.

    parsley_chive_pickles

    Parsley, Chive, and Pickles

  9. I just so happened to have some crispy freshly cooked bacon around after making this potato salad, and I thought, what the hey, everything’s better with bacon! So I crumbled some up, and sprinkled it on top of my potato salad, and as I ate it, my moans of pleasure brought my husband running from the other room. It was amazing.

    potato_salad_with_bacon

    Bacon Topped Potato Salad

  10. So what are you waiting for? Go make some dang potato salad already!

How to Make the World’s Best Yogurt and Buttermilk Pancakes

I stumbled across the recipe for these yogurt and buttermilk pancakes this morning purely by accident when I ran out of my intended ingredients, and the results have absolutely blown me away. These are the best pancakes I have ever made. Period. It isn’t even dinnertime yet and the entire batch has been devoured by everyone in the family. Now, let me share the brilliant story of their creation.

It all started when I woke up this fine Saturday morning with my precious little five month old who decided that 5:30 a.m. would be a fine time to start the day. While everyone else slept in and Julian played happily in his bouncy seat, I decided that I would waft the house with the delicious aroma of a pancake breakfast and fresh coffee.

After I had added two cups of flour to my bowl, hoping to next add the milk and my cup of sourdough starter for my Sort of Sourdough Pancakes, I realized that we were out of milk. “Rats!” I thought, as I slowly remembered that I knew that we were out of milk since it was milk day and we had plans to visit the farm and get our weekly eight gallons of fresh raw milk when everyone woke up. Come on brain!

As I scanned the fridge, I found one cup of buttermilk left over from making my Ranch Dressing. “Hmmmm, buttermilk pancakes sound good,” I thought. But after adding the one cup of buttermilk to my flour, I realized it wasn’t near enough liquid. So I scanned the fridge again and noticed some plain organic yogurt sitting way in the back. “I sure hope this isn’t rotten,” I thought, not remembering the last time I had even touched the stuff. “Phew!” it passed the smell test, and into the mixture it went!

Next, I had hoped to add 3 or 4 eggs to at least make some super protein pancakes that Scott and I could force down, but we only had one egg. So after adding it to the mixture, I only half-heartedly mixed in the rest of the ingredients (vanilla, cinnamon, aluminum free baking powder, and salt). I had pretty much accepted the fact that this recipe was a bust, and I was ready to toss the whole thing out. But after mixing everything together, I realized that, hey, it wasn’t half bad. “Maybe there’s hope!” I exclaimed to Julian who just looked at me with a big goofy grin.

So I heated up the skillet with some coconut oil and decided to give these my best shot. I spent the next hour cooking one pancake after another (they took a reeeeeeeeeeally long time to cook thanks to the yogurt) until I had one big stack of pancakes. I usually take pictures of just about everything I cook since I like to blog about my recipes, but I didn’t even think it was worth it to snap one single photo.

After all of my pancakes were complete, I finally decided to try one. I was prepared for the worst as I hesitantly lifted up one corner of a still warm pancake and took a little nibble. It was…good. I mean, wow, like, really good, and it didn’t even have any butter or syrup on it yet! So I smothered one with butter, cut it up into bite sized pieces (cuz that’s what you do when you’re a mom, even if there aren’t any kids around), and drizzled some fresh maple syrup on top. Then I poured a big glass of milk, and sat down to one of the best pancakes I have ever had in my life.

The texture was just so amazing. It was chewy and moist, and full of so much wonderful flavor. The way that the buttermilk and yogurt complemented each other, and how the vanilla and cinnamon accented this taste explosion was simply exquisite. When my husband and children finally awoke, they were all treated to the most amazing breakfast ever. Everyone devoured these pancakes for breakfast, and then we ate them again for lunch! I am happy (and sad) to say that they are now all gone!

We only go shopping every other week nowadays to help with our time and budget, so we’ll have to wait awhile to stock up on buttermilk and organic plain yogurt again, but you can bet your buttons that this will be a recipe I will make time and time again. Now, without further adieu, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Buttermilk
  • 1 ½ – 2 c. Plain Yogurt
  • 2 c. Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 T. Cinnamon
  • 1 T. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ t. Real Salt
  • 1 t. Aluminum Free Baking Powder

Directions

  1. Preheat your cast iron skillet at heat level of 3 (if that’s how you’re cooking) and plop in a huge dollop of coconut oil.
  2. Mix together the flour, buttermilk, and yogurt. The mixture shouldn’t be too thick, but it shouldn’t be runny either.
  3. Crack the egg and mix it in.
  4. Then add the cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and baking powder, and gently mix everything together.
  5. Turn the heat up to a 4, and pour in a ladle’s worth of batter.
  6. Cover and cook for about 10-12 minutes.
  7. Check to see when not just the edges, but the entire pancake starts to look a darker shade of brown and you can see little bubbles popping up before flipping.
  8. Cover and cook for another minute or two. If you don’t cook these pancakes long enough, they will feel gooey in the middle. As they cool, they will firm up a bit.
  9. This recipe should make about 6 medium sized pancakes.
  10. Top with tons of butter, drizzle on some fresh maple syrup, and sit down at a real table with a big glass of milk to enjoy the best pancake you’ve ever had.
  11. You’re welcome.
yogurt_and_buttermilk_pancake_partly_cut_up_with_butter_and_syrup

Yogurt and Buttermilk Pancake

ruby_eating_yogurt_and_buttermilk_pancakes

Yogurt and Buttermilk Pancake Lunch

 

 

 

Whole Wheat Pancakes or Waffles

I love making these whole wheat pancakes or waffles when we need a quick meal and I don’t have the time to wait for my Sourdough Waffle and Pancake Recipe or my Sort of Sourdough Pancake Recipe. I like this recipe because it has the most eggs and least amount of flour of any of my waffle or pancake recipes. Yes, it will have phytic acid, but as long as it’s just sometimes and not all the time. The kids love helping me with this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2. c. Milk (Raw is best.)
  • 3 ½ c. Flour (I get my wheat berries here, but you can find some similar here too. I use this grinder. You could also just buy some organic sprouted grain flour here.)
  • 4 Eggs (Preferably pastured)
  • 2 T. Cinnamon (Buy some here.)
  • 2 T. Vanilla Extract (This vanilla would be best, but on our budget, I buy this.)
  • ½ t. Real Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here, you can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
  • 1 t. Baking Soda  (or Aluminum Free Baking Powder)
  • 2 T. Coconut Oil (This coconut oil would be best, but on our budget, I buy this.)

Directions

  1. Preheat your cast iron skillet (make sure it’s cured properly) by setting it to a 2 or 3 for about five minutes.
  2. Add a dollop of coconut oil to your cast iron skillet (or whatever cooking pan you choose).
  3. Mix the eggs. It definitely is a good idea to have some help with this! Ruby knows how to puncture each egg yolk and stir them up.

    child cracking eggs into a bowl

    Ruby is Really Good at Cracking Eggs

  4. Add the cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Stir well.
  5. Add the flour and mix together. (Add a little at a time and mix well to avoid lumps. To make a thinner mixture, use 3 cups of flour, and to make a thicker mixture use 4 cups of flour.)
  6. Turn the heat dial to 4 and pour a ladle’s worth of batter into the skillet. (The oil should be bubbling around the pancake.) *If you’re making waffles, go ahead and add the batter to the waffle iron. I like to grease mine with coconut oil.

    whole wheat pancake batter just starting to cook on a cast iron skillet

    Whole Wheat Pancake Batter Starting to Cook

  7. Cover and let cook for about 2-4 minutes. (By the time I get a few pancakes in, the heat is sometimes too high and needs to be turned down temporarily. You’ll know if the heat is too high if you get hit with splattering coconut oil!)
  8. When the edges are slightly browned and the top is bubbly, you’ll know it’s time to flip. (Stand back as you do this so you don’t get hit with splattering coconut oil.)

    whole wheat pancake with brown edges and bubbly top ready to flip

    Whole Wheat Pancake Ready to Flip

  9. Cover and cook for about 1 minute on the other side.

    whole wheat pancake cooking in a cast iron skillet

    Whole Wheat Pancake Cooking

  10. Cook the rest of pancakes and add more coconut oil as needed. When you rock the pan back and forth, there should be enough oil to generously coat the bottom. This batter should make about 5-6 pancakes.
  11. Serve with butter and maple syrup. (I like to smear the butter all over the top, then cut it up, and finally add a very modest amount of syrup.)
    whole wheat pancake topped with butter and syrup ready to eat on a plate

    Whole Wheat Pancake Topped with Butter and Syrup

    child eating whole wheat pancakes for breakfast with a glass of milk

    Elliot Loves these Whole Wheat Pancakes!