Why Biting?

From toddlers to twos, biting is an unavoidable topic. While developmentally appropriate, and completely normal in many ways, biting is still an uncomfortable and sometimes scary reality for many families. When you find yourself asking, why, why, why, here are some common answers:

  • Expressing emotion: Oddly enough, young toddlers can bite as a way of showing love. “Toddlers have really intense feelings but don’t know how to show them,” says Dirk Flower, chartered psychologist. “Biting can be a way of expressing their feelings.”
  • Experimenting: Toddlers are learning how their body works – they put things in their mouths, and sometimes nip. It’s impulsive and they don’t mean to hurt. Often, a baby chomps on someone when they’re teething. Sometimes toddlers nip when they’re over-excited or over stimulated. Things smell good, look good, so a young child thinks, how does it taste? Then they go for it!
  • Defending: Young children learn to bite as a defense, especially if they can’t talk. Sometimes changes or upsets at home can bring on this type of biting. “These children are trying to establish a safety zone,” explains Dirk Flower. “When you bite, your victim moves away – it’s a great defense.”
  • Controlling: Some children know biting is a way of getting other children – or their parents – to do what they want. They don’t always do this consciously. It may happen when a group of children are jostling to be leader. Sometimes the youngest child in the family bites to gain power. And as any child who’s ever tried it has learnt, biting is a fantastic way of getting attention – and so what if it’s negative?
  • Frustrated or irritated: Your child wants a toy back. Or they want a biscuit or adult attention, or can’t cope with a situation. They may not understand turn-taking and sharing. Or things may have changed at home or the child feels under stress. Your child doesn’t necessarily mean to cause harm, but just can’t find the words to express themselves.

 

While we don’t like it, and try very hard to prevent and redirect these types of behaviors, biting can still occur. Depending on the ‘why’ you can then partner with your child’s teacher to come up with a plan. Just remember at the end of the day, your little one is exhibiting normal toddler/twos behavior, and we will work together to redirect that behavior into a positive growth experience.

 

Time for Fall, Time for Treats!

The weather is turning colder (cold for California at least) and there is a definite fall feeling in the air. With some major holidays right around the corner (Halloween, thanksgiving, dare we say it….Christmas) we are all starting to feel the pressure of a busy season. What better way to step back and relax then cooking with your child! Sure they may stick their whole hand into the batter, lick the butter cube, drop the eggs, and start a flour fight, but you will be making delicious memories that will last a lifetime.

Pumpkin Loaf (Betty Crocker)

Ingredients

1can (15 ounces) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 2/3cups sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs

3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour

1 cup cup Chocolate Chips

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

1 Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350ºF.

Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan 9x5x3 inches, with shortening.

2 Stir together pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pans.

3 Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

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Pumpkin Pie Cookies (Betty Crocker)

Ingredients

Cookie Base and Topping

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix

¼ cup cold butter

4 oz (half of 8-oz package) cold cream cheese

Pumpkin Filling

3 oz cream cheese, well-softened

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions

1 Heat oven to 350°F. Generously spray bottoms and sides of 24 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray. Place cookie mix in large bowl. Cut in butter and 4 oz cream cheese, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture is crumbly. (Do not overmix.) Reserve 1 cup cookie mixture for topping; set aside. Firmly press 2 tablespoons remaining cookie mixture evenly into bottom of each muffin cup.

2 In small bowl, add 3 oz cream cheese and stir until smooth. Add remaining pumpkin filling ingredients; mix well. Place 1 rounded teaspoon pumpkin filling in center of each cookie. Sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons reserved cookie topping.

3 Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden brown. Cool completely in pan, about 30 minutes. Run metal spatula around edge of cookies in muffin tin to loosen.

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Mini Pumpkin Pie Pancake Muffins (Betty Crocker)

Ingredients

1 cup Original Bisquick™ mix

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup milk

¼ cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 16 mini muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, stir together Bisquick mix, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, egg, milk and pumpkin until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full.
  3. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown and tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm or cool.

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