Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Bit About Breastfeeding: Manual Pumping vs. The Breastpump

In my years of practice, both as a midwife and as a Lactation Consultant, I have always advised mothers to learn to hand express their breast milk. One of the reasons for this is that doing so aids latching-on by newborns and increases milk production and flow.

A very recent research article has confirmed this practice.  A small study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood showed that expressing breast milk by hand in the first days after birth is better for boosting breastfeeding rates among poorly feeding newborns than the use of a breast pump.

The results are based on the findings from 68 mothers whose newborns were latching on to the nipple or sucking poorly 12 to 36 hours after birth. The women were randomly assigned to either 15 minutes of using a breast pump or 15 minutes of manual breast milk expression in a bid to encourage their babies to breastfeed.

Afterwards, the amount of milk produced and suckled, pain levels, and confidence in breastfeeding were assessed. Breastfeeding rates were then monitored when the babies were one week, one month and two months old.  By the age of two months, breastfeeding rates were higher among those babies whose mothers first expressed their breast milk by hand than those who first used a breast pump; almost all the mothers (97%) assigned to manual expression were breastfeeding compared with just under 73% of those assigned to the breast pump.

Most who used a breast pump at two months said they did so to store milk for occasions when they would be unable to feed their child in person.  Just 15% said they did so to boost their milk supply.  But mothers who expressed manually said they were more comfortable being seen to do so than mothers who used a breast pump.

The authors point out that breast pumping is a fast, efficient method of milk expression, once the milk supply is established. They strongly suggested, "Providers should consider teaching hand expression instead of pumping to mothers of healthy term newborns feeding poorly after birth, in cases where either method of expression might be appropriate."

A Lactation Consultant can advise on manual hand expression of breast milk and it is important to get this education as early as possible after giving birth, before any breast feeding issues arise.

(To make an appointment with our boobie guru, and hear more sage words from this wise woman, call Lani at 226-9063)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Keeping it Simple


I am big believer in keeping things simple. You'll never see me doing one leg squats, balancing on a Bosu board, doing a bicep curl with one hand and a shoulder raise with the other. That's more trouble than it's worth. I try to apply the same uncomplicated philosophy to what I eat and the dietary recommendations I make to my clients. Truthfully, any type of diet can work in the short term; how short that term is really depends on how restrictive the diet, how much effort it takes to stick with it, and how well it integrates into your life and the life of the other people you have to feed. However, yo-yo dieting takes a toll on your metabolism, and makes you feel terrible both physically and emotionally.

I believe that if you eat a well-balanced, properly portioned diet of whole grains, healthy fats, lean proteins, and tons fresh fruits and vegetables you'll have little difficulty reaching and maintaining your health goals. Buy local when possible; the food is actually more nutritious when it's fresh! Avoid things packaged things and products with ingredients you can't pronounce. Don't buy in to the supplement scheme; unless you have a specific deficiency or issue synthesizing a certain nutrient your generally wasting your money. You absorb nutrients much better in food form than from a pill, and food tastes much better anyway. If you want some specific action steps:

Don't drink your calories. The average American consumes around 450 calories 
in beverages a day, and liquid calories don't really contribute to satiety. Cut out soda, 
desserts masquerading as coffee, smoothies, and juice drinks. Even 100% juice contains 
calories and a ton of sugar. Reach for water instead, and try to drink at least 2 liters a day.

Watch your portion sizes. It doesn't take a Harvard research study to conclude that 
portion sizes are huge and so are our waistlines. Familiarize yourself with what a 
standard portion size really is. Even things that are healthy can become a problem if you 
overeat them. Brown rice is great, but if you have 3 cups of it with your stir fry, that's 
about 650 calories in rice alone. An occasional glass of wine may be beneficial for heart health; three glasses every evening with dinner caps you r day off with about 375 non-nutritional calories.

Eat some protein at every meal or snack. Protein slows down your digestive process 
so that you can feel fuller longer on the same number of calories than if you were only 
eating carbohydrates. Think about this: which seems more satisfying, 4oz of chicken 
breast or a slice of white bread? Meat and fish aren't the only good sources of 
protein: cottage cheese, eggs, edamame, tofu, beans, nuts, seeds, plain Greek yogurt 
are all packed with protein.

Include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in your day. Juice doesn't count 
here! Think of fruits and vegetables as low calorie plate-fillers that will fill you up 
without filling you out. Try to dedicate about half of your plate space to vegetables 
at every meal (can you even sneak some in at breakfast?). As an extra bonus, fresh 
foods like these contain numerous antioxidants and vitamins that help you look
youthful both inside and out. 

Avoid the white stuff. White rice, white flour, and white sugar (and alcohol!) all break down very 
quickly in your body, leading to spikes in blood sugar that cause insulin (a fat storing 
hormone) to be released. Spiking blood sugar can also later cause fatigue, sugar cravings,
inflammation in the body, and eventually even diabetes. Stick to fiber-rich whole 
grain products like whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and rolled oats to help you 
stay slim and stabilize your blood sugar.

Amy Forsyth is a personal trainer specializing in women's fitness and weight loss. She is currently running ladies-only morning boot camp programs across Oahu in Manoa Valley, Aina Haina, and Mililani. For more information and class schedules visit Mention Baby Awearness and receive a $15 discount off any August session. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

World Breastfeeding Week at Baby A

Join us to support moms who breastfeed the world over! All are welcome to learn about the power and beauty of how nature designed us to feed our babies. This is a great time for moms to feel renewed and encouraged in their decisions to include breastfeeding into their parenting and family lifestyle as well as for expecting moms to get questions answered or learn where they can go to for local communities that support breastfeeding. All discussion groups are free and held at the Baby Awearness store. For more information, call 988-0010.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Help Baby A Support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu!

The staff at Baby A is participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters' upcoming fundraiser event Bowl For Kids' Sake in August. Through our bowling team, we are collecting donations to help support the awesome mentoring programs that benefit Hawaii's youth and families.

If you would like to help us reach our goal of raising $600, please make an online donation on our Baby Awearness page, or stop by the store and drop some love into our collection jar.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Join us for story time

Monday July 11 at 10:30 a.m.

In launching a new line of board books for kids, we are offering a free 20-minute story time by the staff at Baby Awearness. 

Published by local publisher BeachHouse Publishing (an imprint of Mutual), all of these stories are written and illustrated by local talent. From learning your 1-2-3-s to surfing the high waves, these stories capture  the magic of growing up in Hawaii. Perfect for children ages 0 to 5 years.

A fun series teaching all the shapes, colors, numbers, opposites, and textures found in Hawaii's waters
Only in Hawaii do you find geckos jumping on the bed! A cute story to lure any child to sleep
A young boy learns the power of imagination along with his desire to surf the high waves.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Healthy Pregnancy Lecture

Wellness in the First Year
Wednesday July 6 at 6:00 p.m.

Chiropractic Wellness Practitioner, Dr. Eric Schaid, speaks about creating a sustainable quality of life for you and your baby. With less than 1% of hospitals having chiropractors on staff, new moms need to learn about the benefits of chiropractic care for their children. Dr. Eric will also apply the concepts of eating well, moving well, and thinking well during the first year of life.  

Dr. Eric Bio
With a background in personal training and bodybuilding, Dr. Eric Schaid has always had a passion for health and fitness.  After graduating Valedictorian from Palmer College of Chiropractic with a Doctorate in Chiropractic, Dr. Eric pursued courses in pediatric care, wellness, and lifestyle management.  Dr. Eric has a passion for educating and empowering families to create healthier lives through the Chiropractic Lifestyle which includes eating well, moving well, and thinking well.  The most distinguishing factor about Vitality is that we utilize state of the art technology, certified by the Space Foundation and used by NASA, for evaluating our communities’ health.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Growing up one of my fav restaurants served the best broccoli cheese soup. Every year, when I return to Houston,  I eat there...Until now - because the recipe below BLOWS my hometown's soup out of the kettle!

I added cauliflower because I am trying to eat more non-diary forms of calcium. I swear even the most suspicious children will not be able to taste it if you puree it finely enough.

Hope you enjoy and let me know your thoughts!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Serves 5

* 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 cup yellow onions
* ½ teaspoon salt
* ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
* ½ teaspoon minced garlic
* ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
* 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 4 cups veggie broth
* 1 cup pureed cauliflower (steam, puree until fine/smooth)
* 1 head of fresh broccoli (finely diced)
* ¼ cup heavy cream
* ½ cup reduced fat milk
* 1 ¼ cups shredded sharp Cheddar
* Croutons, for garnish

In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, thyme, onions, salt and pepper, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes.

Slowly add the veggie stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil.

Add pureed cauliflower

Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.)

Add the milk and cream. Bring to bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted.

Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately.


* 1 cup 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubed olive bagette
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons finely diced parsely and basil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the bread in a medium bowl and toss with oil, garlic, and herbs. Spread evenly on a small baking sheet and bake, stirring twice, until light golden brown on top, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.

Yield: 2 cups

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mililani Bootcamp!

Hi Ladies,

For those of you who've attended Radical Homemakers or visited the store during events, Amy Forsyth is a wonderful personal trainer who I have worked with personally. She's not just in wicked good shape and super motivating, she thinks locally and sustainably, which you know I love. Since many of you live in Central Oahu, I wanted to give you the heads up on the new classes her company is putting on. Even better - I've asked Amy to give all my Baby A mamas a discount. Hope you'll consider attending.


Outdoor workout programs are no longer for townies only. Honolulu Personal Trainer has brought lady boot camp to Mililani! Each four week session of this women-only program combines strength training, cardio, balance, core work, flexibility exercises, and plyometrcis to deliver dramatic fat loss, energy gains, and chronic pain reduction. All ages and physical abilities are welcome; exercises can be ramped up or down so that classes can accommodate everyone from the marathoner to the new exerciser. Class will run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30am to 9:30am in Mililani. There are also morning class options available in Manoa Valley and Aina Haina. Please contact Amy Forsyth at or 808-783-2558 for more information or check out the summer schedules at

Mention Baby Awearness to receive $10 the retail price of $180 for 12 classes. Prorated options are available for sessions already in progress.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Healthy Pregnancy Lecture: Lamaze

Wednesday June 1
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Come to our free healthy pregnancy lecture and learn all about the Lamaze course for couples led by Piper Lovemore, local doula and natural birth advocate.

Next class series: Monday evenings from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., starting June 6th

Discover how you and your partner can experience a blissful, fearless, and powerful birth of your desires!

Lamaze can provide these powerful tools of reference regarding a woman's labor and delivery:
  • learning how to reframe our thinking about birth
  • learning how to experience birth beyond fear
  • breathing exercises and insight into addressing labor pains and concerns
  • and ultimately gaining the tools to clear any preconceived negative influences on the birth experience.
Let us help you pave the way for an empowered, in-tuned birth experience!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Your Keiki Can Sign presents Sing, Play, Sign! Classes

FREE Preview Class:  Friday, May 27 at 10:30 a.m.
June 3 – July 22, Fridays at 10:30 a.m. at Baby Awearness in Manoa Marketplace


Babies Crawl Before They Walk, and Sign Before They Talk

Enjoy these many benefits by learning how to sign with your little one!

  • Children and parents bond together while learning true American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary
Improve early communication and learning skills in pre-verbal infants and children to age 4

  • Baby Signing Time materials used in this course feature a fun, multi-sensory approach to learning such as visual cues, catchy original tunes, ASL and other activities
Cost: 8 weeks of 45-minute sessions for $100, or $15 per drop-in class
Pre-registration required for all classes

Course led by 
Akie Kagawa Baby Signing Time Instructor, Certified by the Signing Time Academy

Call:  (808) 258-8588  or email:

Come sign with us!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Keiki Earth Day Line Up

Aloha Mamas,
As you plan your weekend, please take a look at our Event timeline. Its going to be a fun filled day!

10:30-10:50         Kachuzzi the Clown 

10:30-12:30         Face painting with Kiko

11:00-12:00         Uncle Wayne (2 -  20 min sets @ 11 and 11:40)

11:30-12:30         Foodscapes Herb Gardening - Mini seedling green houses from recycled materials!

12:30-1:30:          Re-Use Hawaii Craft time with Manny Pangalinan

1:30-2:00pm:       Bess Press Book Reading with Aunty Karyl

Hope to see your there!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Solving the Breastpump Mystery

Saturday, May 7th at 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. 
Led by: Pat Bilyk, IBCLC
Cost: $20/person or $35/couple

Have you ever asked yourself....

*Do I really need a breastpump?
*What is the best breastpump for me?
*How do I know the best breastpump for my    specific situation?
*How do I use a breastpump?

Then this class is for you!

Join Pat Bilyk*, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) as she shares her expertise on the "hows" and "whys" of the breastpumps presently on the market plus go over the top and most popular pumps on the market today.

*Pat Bilyk is an IBCLC, masters prepared nurse who has practiced in Hawaii
for 27 years. Her experiences have been as a Lactation Consultant at Kapiolani and Kaiser Medical Centers, Executive Director at Hawaii Mother's Milk, Sales Rep for Medela and a Lactation Consultant in her own business-Healthy New Beginnings.

Please call 988-0010 or e-mail to RSVP

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Post-Partum Rejuvenation

Healthy Pregnancy Lecture

Wednesday, May 4th
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Led by: Tara Mattes, LAc

Cost: FREE!

Join Tara Mattes, LAc and certified doula as she shares her wisdom and expertise on post-partum care.

The Postpartum Period is a vital time for a woman's present and future health. It is often considered the fourth stage of pregnancy as it is an essential time to heal, nourish and bond with her newborn baby. The mother's health and state of being is the foundation for building a new or growing family, but in this fast-paced modern world it is often the most neglected. This lecture will be about what all traditional cultures have known and practiced since the beginning of time; the importance of postpartum care and recovery. Understanding these universal and time tested traditions, we can adapt and apply them in a way that fits to our modern lives.

In the lecture, we will examine cover topics such as perineal care, nourishing foods, rest, warm therapy, proper support, mental and emotional well being, breastfeeding and cultivating energy. The aim is to best prepare mothers and/or their caretakers for the postpartum period that creates a positive experience and healthy start to a new life.

Tara Mattes is a licensed acupuncturist, certified doula, and certified detox counselor. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Pre-medical Studies from University of Colorado. She later studied in Hawaii under Taoist Master Chang Yi Hsiang at the Tai Hsuan College of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine. Her training in Chinese Medicine focuses on qi gong, acupuncture, herbal medicine and Taoist philosophy and arts. When not serving her patients, she enjoys receiving acupuncture treatments, dancing, hiking, swimming, and playing with her daughters.

TO RSVP for the lecture: e-mail

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book and Toy Exchange

Save time, money and reduce clutter by bringing your gently-used and loved children's books and toys to our BOOK & TOY EXCHANGE held during Keiki Earth Day.

How it works:
The idea is to give books and toys your family no longer uses in exchange for "new" books and toys your family may want. Bring your items for advance drop-off at Baby Awearness during store hours from April 18 - 21. You will be put on a list and given a bag.

On Saturday April 23, during our Keiki Earth Day festivities, you may peruse through our exchange tables to fill your bag and teach your children the joy of recycling.

Wooden, nontoxic, eco-friendly toys and puzzles -- no plastic or stuffed animals!
Toys must be unbroken and in working condition with all pieces intact
Toys & books must be clean
Books must not have ripped or missing pages

If you have questions about whether a toy is eligible for the exchange, please call the store first. Leftover toys and books at the end of the event will be donated to BAX and/or community nonprofit organizations benefitting children.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Must-Know for All Working Moms!

Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace and the New Health Care Law Regulations
Thursday, April 14th at 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Led by Pat Bilyk, RN, IBCLC

Cost: $20 per person / $35 per couple

Offered for the first time, this incredibly important and relevant presentation will cover all the essential issues working moms wanting to breastfeed need to know. Pat Bilyk, a seasoned lactation consultant, will share how women can influence their work environments to make it a more breastfeeding-friendly place, in addition to instilling the confidence to do so through informed rights and choices.
Learn about
  • What is a Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace?
  • How to plan to return to work
  • The New Health Care Law Provisions for working, breastfeeding women, their rights, and their worksite.
Partners are strongly encouraged to attend.

Pat Bilyk is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, masters-prepared nurse who has practiced in Hawaii for over 27 years. Pat has specialized in breastfeeding in Hawaii for nearly 30 years and her experience as a lactation consultant includes helping moms at Kapiolani and Kaiser Medical Centers, as Executive Director of Hawaii Mother's Milk, a Medela sales rep, and through her own private practice, Healthy New Beginnings.

Nicky Naoko Lawnsby, Baby Awearness's full-time, in-store lactation consultant, will also be present. Nicky is an IBCLC certified Lactation Consultant and has over 20 years of experience in midwifery, breastfeeding, and women's health.

To RSVP, please contact 988-0010 or

Coming up on May 7th: Solving the Breast Pump Mystery ~ a workshop on tips and troubleshooting breastfeeding and pumping issues

Kale Pita Pizza

Last week, at our Radical Homemakers Reading Group, I shared my easy, 30 minute Kale Pita Pizza Recipe. Although I love to cook dinner for my family, there are some nights when dinner is best when its made in under 30 minutes. Rather than reverting back to my college days and making a frozen pizza, these kale pita pizzas are made from fresh ingredients and I promise - the whole family will love them.

I've made the receipe as a CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE. for the picky toddlers, take the pureed route. Kids love dipping, so if you're open to a bit of a mess, let them dip in their own little dish of baba ganoush.


4 Whole wheat pitas
Mozzarella cheese – 2 cups
Feta or Ricotta Salata – ½ cup
Kale – 1 cup
Garlic – one clove
¼ cup finely diced onion
Cherry or Grape tomatoes – ½ cup cut in half, lengthwise
Salt pepper
Olive oil

Prep time: 15 minutes.

Baba Ganoush – Locally, Olive Tree Café in Kahala has the BEST baba ganoush – but if you’re looking to make your own, its easy.

Preheat Oven to 350.
Rub pita with olive oil. Set aside.

Sautee garlic and onion in olive oil on medium heat until slightly browned. Add in kale and ricotta salata until kale is semi-wilted (2 minutes).

FOR KIDS: Once kale is sautéed, puree in blender. This way they won’t be able to pick out the kale chunks. Spread the kale puree on the pita as though it were pesto or pizza sauce. If your child is notoriously anti-greens, start with less.)

FOR ADULTS: Layer mozzarella cheese, kale/ricotta salata, and tomatoes on top of pita.

Bake for 20 minutes until browned.

Now a recipe usually ends with a pic of the finished product - but in this case - the product was too delicious to take a photo!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Keiki Earth Day!

Saturday April 23rd, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.  **FREE**
Baby Awearness will be hosting its Annual Keiki Earth Day to celebrate our planet, our children, and living green!

The event will be on Saturday April 23rd from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offers a free fun-filled day for the entire family. Join us as we sing and make music with Uncle Wayne, recycle with a book-and-toy exchange, enjoy a healthy snack-making demo by radical homemaker Ashley Lukens, as well as various DIY craft and skills sharing activities including recycled container gardening and toy-making.

Local publisher Bess Press will also present storytelling hour and showcase their new season's line-up of books with eco-friendly themes and stories.

There will be activities for adults too. Experts will be on hand to educate you on cloth diapering, baby wearing/sling techniques, preparing healthy meals and more. Enjoy the store's natural parenting resource center filled with eco-friendly educational materials and money saving tips.

For more information contact the store 808.988.0010 or visit

Monday, March 21, 2011

All About Macrobiotics

by Leslie Ashburn

Macrobiotics is a flexible and practical approach to living based on using the world’s healthiest foods and traditional lifestyle practices to achieve wholeness, balance, and harmony in all dimensions of our lives. Food is energy and helps us create and become who we are. Macrobiotics is not a set of rules. It’s about personal power and choices, recognizing that each individual has the ultimate ability to decide how to apply these dietary principles and becomes responsible for everything that is put into one’s mouth and body. Everyone is different and no one set of standards or rules will apply to an individual condition. It’s important to make connections between what we eat and how we feel. With reflection, we can begin to empower ourselves to live better and healthier lives.

Emphasis is placed on:

  • eating a wide variety of foods grown locally, organically, and in season
  • utilizing a wide variety of simple cooking techniques
  • centering one’s diet on plant-based, unprocessed, unrefined foods
  • avoiding chemicals, pesticides, and other non-traditional methods of preparation

There are many benefits to a whole foods diet.

We develop strong mental, physical, and emotional health.
  • Studies show that a diet centered on plant-based foods improves blood sugar control, weight loss, and cardiovascular health, reduces cancer risk, and minimizes food addictions, to name just a few diet and lifestyle related items.
  • Eating consciously is good for the environment, farmers, and local economy.
  • Reducing intake of animal food reduces our carbon footprint.
  • Eating locally is more sustainable; besides being fresher, it supports local farmers and the local economy.
  • Eating organically is good for maintaining healthy ecosystems and protects the Earth, farmers, their children, and the local community from dangerous chemicals.
  • Eating seasonally keeps us harmonized with nature like traditional societies have practiced for thousands of years.

We know ourselves better
  • Practicing macrobiotics is not about following a rigid set of rules. It’s about making conscious connections between diet and lifestyle, and then how we feel as a result, and deciding what type of life we’d like to lead. It’s about flexibly adapting day to day to help us live our best possible life.

Basics for the kitchen
  • A person enjoying macrobiotic principles fills his or her kitchen with a wide variety of whole grains, beans and bean products, land and sea vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and natural condiments such as good quality oils, sea salt, shoyu, miso, brown rice vinegar, umeboshi vinegar, and natural sweeteners like brown rice syrup, amasake, and barley malt.
  • Cooking utensils typically include a variety of items such as stainless steel and earthen ware pots, a grater, pressure cooker, knife, steamer basket, mesh strainer, and bamboo mats.
  • Cooking techniques may include raw, steaming, blanching, boiling, sautéing, deep frying, pan frying, pressing, pickling, pressure cooking and baking
To learn hands-on techniques in preparing delicious macrobiotic foods, consider signing up for Chef Leslie's popular cooking series. Starts April 10th!

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    The Art of Menu Planning

    by Ashley Lukens

    I love to cook. I try to cook 4-5 nights a week, as schedule permits. Over the past 2 years, since my daughter was born, I have realized that in order to balance my busy schedule and ensure that my family gets the full range of fruits and vegetables into their diet, I MUST plan my menus out.

    Menu planning, for me, is a deal maker.

    If I don’t plan my meals out, I find myself feeling stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of making dinner. I am scrambling for ingredients, going to the grocery multiple times a week – wasting both my time and my money. I also find that I’m wasting money on ingredients that I can’t effectively use – and that I rely more on processed and preserved foods rather than fresh produce.

    Menu planning requires that we re-orient ourselves toward eating and cooking. With menu planning we have to de-couple convenience and spontaneity. While menu planning can increase the convenience of eating – it takes away that spontaneous, “I want tacos tonight” moment. Convenience and spontaneity are the touchstones of industrial eating.

    In order to get me and my family back to eating healthy, real food,  I had to take a well thought-out, proactive approach towards our weekly meals.

    So what does a meal planning session look like for my family?

    Our goal is to eat at home as a family 5 nights a week. Four nights I plan, the 5th we enjoy with our friends and extended family. By prioritizing a community meal, we check in with our support system – we share a meal, build memories, and help relieve the stress of cooking and childrearing.

    On Sunday morning over breakfast and everyone picks a meal for the week. We keep our respective schedules in mind – as well as any events that we might have that week.

    This is a sample shopping list that my 2 year old turned into her canvas.

    I write the meals on a top of a piece of paper and then organize my shopping list according to the sections of my grocery store: Produce, Dairy, Bulk, Frozen, Prepared foods, and finally processed. Having your meals and their ingredients organized in this way allows you to take a step back and look at what you’re feeding your family. If your shopping list is weighted in processed and not produce – think about how you can change that. If a recipe calls for canned tomatoes – try fresh. Canned Mushrooms? Try dehydrated. Canned beans? Go for the bulk aisle.

    If anything requires a special trip to a specialty store, create a box for it.

    Feeling uninspired? My favorite thing is to google a delicious ingredient and see the recipes that appear. My favorite website for recipes is the Food Network, but I also read cooking blogs, watch cooking shows, and read cook books for inspiration.

    We strive to eat leafy greens multiple times a week.
    We have 2 easy 30-minute meals and 2 or 3 that are more complex.
    We cook enough so that we have leftovers for lunch.

    We also make sure that the recipes make sense when taken together and that ingredients don’t go to waste. For example, if Monday’s meal calls for ½ a container of spinach, I make sure we can use the rest of the container before it spoils.

    Meal planning is a skill we’ve lost over the generations as industrial food has crept in and alienated us from our kitchens. Give meal planning a try for a month – if it doesn’t make your life more livable – call me a liar and let me know.

    Hope to see you all at our radical homemakers reading group Thursday, March 24th. We’ll be reading the second half of Radical Homemakers and the skill share will be a 30-minute meal prepared 3 ways.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    More Sessions, Longer Classes Starting April!

    Japanese Language Children's Songs & Rhythmic Class

    Join us for TWO new sessions of Sing-A-Long class in Japanese starting April. Plus, classes are now 45 minutes long so you and your little ones can enjoy MORE fun with the Japanese crafts and language! 

    Through simple songs and nursery rhymes, children will develop a sense of pitch, rhythm, and hand-body coordination. Recent studies suggest that sing-a-long classes can encourage positive brain development.  

    Parent participation is welcome!  For Age group: 0 ~ 5 years     

    NEW!   Each class is 45 minutes 

    1) Time: 4:30 pm - 5:15 pm ~ Every 2nd & 4th Monday 
        (April 11 & 25, May 9 & 23, June 13)


    2)Time: 10:15 am - 11:00 am ~ Every 1st & 3rd Monday
        (April 4 & 18, May 2 & 16, June 6)

    *1 Course of 5 classes   $40 (please pay at the first class day)
    *When you attend both courses of 10 classes, the cost will be $70
    *Walk-in price: $10 for one child 

    Contact: phone #808-988-0010 or

    *Second child is free if under 6 months old 

    Group maximum: up to 10 children 

    日本語で歌を歌うこのリトミッククラスでは、簡単な手遊び歌や童謡、歌遊びを通じて、日 本語に親しみながら、お子様の脳に刺激を与えます。指先や体を動かすことにより、体全体でリズムを感じ音感を養います。日本語と日本の童謡は、脳にとても 良いということが、最近の研究で明確になってきました。クラスでは、絵本の読み聞かせや、折り紙、お手玉などを使って楽しく日本語に親しみます。お母様も ぜひご一緒にご参加ください。

    教える人: 佐藤しのぐ
    連絡 先;phone 808-988-0010  or

    *9月か ら12月までのセッションを募集しま す。(9/13&27, 10/11&25, 11/8&22, 12/6)
     * 第2と第4の月曜日, 4時30分から5時(新しい時間帯です)
    ** 参加費 は、前払いで、3か月分1コースとして$35いただきます。
    **ファミリープライス もあります。お子様お2人/ $50    お子様3人以上/$70
    **Walk-in は、お子様お一人につき、$8です。(割引はありません

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    New Cooking Classes for the Whole Family!

    Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Cooking: Autism and ADHD Diets Made Easy With Warrior Mama Katie Berry
    March 10 at 10:00 a.m. and repeated on March 20th at 11:00 a.m.
    Class Cost: $15 per person, or $12 pre-registration (3/10 class only)

    This unique and first (but not last!) GFCF Cooking Class will inspire and guide parents onto the off-the-beaten path of cooking well and eating well. The class will cover:
    What is GFCF?
    What the benefits are?
    How this ties into children with Autism and ADHD
    Personal story (can share mine)
    Showcase list of "no" foods and their alternative
    Where can you buy GFCF products?
    Personal recommendations of GFCF products
    Showcase GFCF recipe and demonstrate how to make it (may bring two small things)

    Super Toddler Foods: How to Turn Your Purees into Healthy Finger Foods
    Taught by Ashley Lukens
    Sunday March 27th at 11:00 a.m.
    Class Cost: $10 per person

    This follow-up to our ever popular Super Baby Foods Class will cover how to integrate fruits, veggies, and most especially leafy greens into your toddler's diet. We'll discuss ways to make simple changes to your meals and meal planning to make sure your child is getting 3 square healthy meals a day!

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    Spanish Sing-Along Class - Free Preview on March 1st!

    Tuesdays 10:15 - 10:45 a.m.
    Open House (free) on March 1st, start of 10-week spring session

    Baby Awearness hosts Oahu's first ever Spanish-language classes geared specifically toward children ages 0-5 years of age. SOL Spanish stories & songs will immerse your child in Spanish language and Latino culture through singing, playing games, reading stories, and doing crafts-all in Spanish! 

    Download this form to pre-register or contact Gabby for more information.

    BAX Buy-In Event!

    Saturday, March 5th
    10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

    Clean out your playrooms and diaper stash to get cash or store credit AND join us for some delightful storytelling in English, Spanish and Japanese! We will also have a special BAX Bargain Basket filled with goodies (everything $3.50 or less!) as well as a donation drive of any books and toys we don't accept for resale. It will be a fun-filled family day that will leave you feeling good all around!

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Healthy Pregnancy Lecture!

    Fearless Birth by Piper Lovemore **FREE**
    Wednesday, March 2nd
    6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

    As any pregnant women with a burgeoning belly can attest, there are a preponderance of frightening birth stories out there, and little apparent reluctance in sharing them. Yet birth itself is perhaps the one unequivocal commonality we all share; everyone on earth today was born. It is a completely normal physiological process with generations of proof of efficacy and yet many, if not most couples in our culture today approach their births with some degree of fear.  

    So why the big freak out?

    The single greatest factor in evaluating a successful birth experience is perception. A highly significant and momentous experience for all involved, it is also completely subjective. Whether it evokes a few minor concerns or conjures major anxiety, fear is a common companion in many births today. The root is, invariably, concern surrounding perceived pain and injury. And yet, the irony is that for most women, fear and pain have a self-fulfilling relationship to one another in birth. It’s the fear that creates the pain, and the ensuing pain that, in turn, validates the fear. So how to break this cycle?
    Please join us as we explore this question!
    We will:
    • explore the common roots of fear
    • identify the purpose of fear in the birth space
    • explore the gifts fear has to offer
    • Learn how to reframe our thinking 
    • Learn how to experience birth beyond fear
    • and ultimately gain the tools to clear its negative influence on the birth experience.
    Come and learn ways to confront your fears  and pave the way for an empowered, in tune birth experience!
    Piper Lovemore is a local doula, lamaze instructor, and natural birth advocate. She teaches classes and leads the doula tea events at Baby Awearness. Piper Lovemore is a woman with purpose. She is a passionate birth activist, an insightful educator and an empathic support person. 
    Her core belief is that an informed experience is empowering, no matter the particular outcome. To that end, her goal is to educate and support families through their birth experience primarily through reconnecting them with their own embodied wisdom.

    She is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. Her courses cover fundamental information about pregnancy and birth, but also include interactive excersizes catering to a variety of learning styles, and her newest series features an innovative break-out module just for men.

    She also has the priviledge of serving her community as a doula and feels honored to share such an intimate experience with her clients. She has added Placenta Encapsulation to her repertoire of services, to more comprehensively support our birthing community.

    Piper believes deeply in the importance of community and the richness of a diverse support network. She strives to nurture her community by organizing and attending activities with her family in her free time.

    She and her partner, Chaz, have three children: Che’ Pax, Plum and Rocket, and they look forward to expanding their family further. 

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Childbirth in the Age of Plastics by Michel Odent

    Sunday, April 3rd
    9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
    UH Manoa Art Auditorium

    Michel Odent is back in Honolulu, this time to muse about the scintillating topic of childbirth in the age of plastics. His highly anticipated book of the same title will be released in June 2011.

    Enjoy a sneak peek into his new book and enjoy a morning with Mr. Odent himself. Meet the growing network of natural birth professionals and advocates as well as passionate mothers in Hawaii who are making a difference to reclaim the natural birth experience. For tickets or more information, contact Jennifer Narragon at 808-348-1567 or Summer Faria at 808-387-1098.

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Changing the Way We Eat - TedX Brunch Event

    The Hawaii Food Policy Council
    Invites You to Their 1st Community Brunch -Potluck Style
    Special Viewing Of TedX: “Changing the Way We Eat"
    Bring yourself, your favorite local dish and an appetite for good conversation. 
    We'll provide coffee, tea and water.
    For more information visit:

    What: TedX: “Changing the Way We Eat” Viewing Party - Potluck Brunch and Discussion
      Where: University of Hawaii at Manoa, Saunders Hall 624 (2424 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822)
        *Street parking is available around UH and/or parking on campus is available for a $4 flat fee. For more information  on UH parking options visit:
      When:  Feb 12,2011 from 8am - 12:30pm 

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Empty Nest Adventures

    (written by Anna L.)

    Ashley greeted me with a "Anna, we have a problem." She was a bit disheveled, the door was open and there were boxes from our storage room scattered about. "The baby birds have escaped!"

    Uh oh! 

    Perfect place for a nest
    Now, as a back story, about a month or so ago we heard some little chirping sounds and realized that a mama bird had chosen a vent on the outside of our store to have her babies. Baby A loves mother nature and babies, so it's only fitting, I suppose, that a mama bird pick us out of all of the other stores to entrust the safety of her little ones. Good thing too! I don't imagine too many other places would have went through the ordeal we did over a nest of birds and kept them around.

    So Ashley fills me in, she's moved things out of the way because the birds have moved whatever was stopping them from coming inside and have infiltrated our store room like naughty teenagers playing hookie.  I ask if they're in the flying stage or the hopping stage and she tells me that they're hopping. Phew. We're both pretty short so trying to capture a flying bird seems like a circus act to my mind. 

    As we're talking she captures one and climbs up to deposit it in the nest. We rearrange some more and finally catch the next one but as she is replacing it another one evades her and drops behind the fridge. We play a game of hide and seek, using a broom to gently shoo the little one into my hands and get it safely home. It's so cute and tiny! I love animals and, as Ashley and I agreed, there are too many examples of humans taking over their habitats and displacing them, I'm glad these little ones are unharmed and back where they will be cared for by their mom.

    Sealed up, we actually replaced this with cardboard as they tried to escape again.
    We managed to get some pictures of our winged Ohana before we sealed their home from our side. Apparently these little ones are ready to have some adventures, I think they'll need to discuss that with their mom though because Auntie Ashley and Auntie Anna have decided that Baby A is not the place they are going to be having their fun. We love to hear them chirp and they're welcome to stay there, just... not causing commotion in our stockroom (after all, they could get hurt!).

    Welcome to the Ohana Little Birdies!

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Super Balls

    I come to you with a hidden laundry secret, particularly for my cloth diapering mamas.

    Wool dryer balls will save you time and money.

    These seemingly simple little balls reduce drying time, are safe to use (all natural fibers also make them antimicrobial and they can be safely scented too!) and will help you keep your diapers longer because the less time they are exposed to the high heat of a dryer the longer they last. That time you save also cuts the electricity you use so, bonus savings! They have also been shown to naturally soften your clothes and diapers without chemicals and reduce static.

    So how do they work?

    They work by improving the circulation and air and heat in the dryer. Unlike the plastic ones you may have seen, these are quiet and chemical free, they have no rough surface bumps to catch on your clothes and the natural fibers of wool reduces any unpleasant smells too. Just toss a few in with your clothes or diapers and let them work their magic! The more you throw in the bigger the savings but the makers recommend you start with four in each load.

    You can find these amazing dryer balls at Baby Awearness of course, and I highly recommend them to any cloth diapering mamas because they really will help your diapers live a little longer. After a while PUL that has been washed and dried on high temperatures will start to wear out, or the aplix will start to curl and need replaced, these are normal in the life of a diaper but this is a simple, effective way to reduce that wear and tear.

    As far as a sustainable living choice, you don't have to have a baby in diapers to benefit from these little laundry savers because the same magic works for your clothes.  If you're concerned about the environment the decrease in the use of electricity is great and since they're made of wool and not plastic they are less harmful to produce (plus sheep can grow more wool).  Less time spent waiting on laundry or buying new clothing, less static and softer clothes with no chemicals and more money in your pocket is a good thing for any family!

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Happiest Baby On the Block is back!

    Saturday February 19th
    10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    $60 (up to 2 parents)

    We are thrilled to repeat the Happiest Baby Workshop! It is so popular that we are going to offer it quarterly. To register, please contact Michelle Richardson at 366-8111 or the store at 988-0010.


    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Healthy Pregnancy Lecture: Pregnancy Nutrition

    Wednesday, February 2nd
    6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
    Led by: Kate Greenwell

    Cost: FREE!

    There's no greater motivation to eat healthy than knowing that your diet affects the health and well-being of your precious little one. Research clearly indicates the importance of a healthy diet during pregnancy for the ideal growth and development of your child. Find out how to give your child a head-start on health by attending the October Healthy Pregnancy Lecture on Nutrition!

    This super fun and informative event will include topics such as:
    • How what we eat affects the growth and development of our babies
    • Which foods to devour and which foods to avoid
    • Fact vs. Fiction when it comes to the safety of certain foods, supplements, and products during pregnancy
    • Key nutrients -- what are they, what do they do, and how to ensure you are getting enough
    • Tools to combat morning sickness and constipation
    • Tricks to keep weight gain on target
    • The low down on pregnancy complications: Gestational Diabetes, Preeclampsia
    Feel free to also email personal or specific questions prior to class to

    As a Registered Dietitian and food enthusiast, nutrition is Kate's passion.  Also a Licensed Massage Therapist, Kate uses her 9 years of experience in the health and wellness industry to collaborate with clients and develop realistic and sustainable lifestyle changes.  Kate's solid foundation in Clinical Nutrition combined with experience in Holistic Wellness gives her the distinct advantage of providing her clients with a well-rounded perspective of optimal health. Expecting her first child in November, Kate is the go-to expert for all things related to pregnancy and nutrition. 

    To reserve a spot at the lecture, please call the store at 988-0010 or e-mail

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Kale Applesauce

    The key to good applesauce, a wise auntie once told me, is lots of different apples. The key to a healthy diet, a wise macrobiotic chef told me, is variety variety variety. This yummy and easy to make kale applesauce does both.

    7-10 Apples of all kinds. Buy organic. Its better for baby and the environment. If you're feelin' kind crazy - add a pear or two!

    Peal ½ the apples and cube. Leave the skin on the rest for fiber’s-sake.

    Cover apples with water. Boil in sauce pan until soft. As apples cook, you might need to add more water.

    WHEN APPLES ARE SOFT, turn heat off and add 10 leaves of stemmed kale (to remove the stems, just rip leaves off).

    Turn off Heat.
    Mix in kale. Cover until wilted.

    Put in blender and blend for 3 minutes.


    Freeze in ice cube trays and add to all smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal. Add water to make popsicles.

    Our NEXT Super Baby Foods class is 2/13 @11am. Come learn how to make kale applesauce and more!

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Is it time to wean yet?

    by Holli Shiro

    When you’re ready to start weaning, weaning can be mother-led or baby-led, but often it is a combination of both, with the mother watching for cues that her child is ready to be nudged a little closer to weaning completely from the breast. Some moms may be ready to wean completely, others may be feeling overwhelmed by the number of nursing sessions in a day, but aren’t quite ready to wean completely. Cutting down on nursing sessions can help bring some balance back to her life. It is generally not advisable to wean abruptly since this can be traumatizing to the child and cause mom to be susceptible to plugged ducts and mastitis.   

    Common weaning strategies
    Nursing is about more than just nutrition for mother and child. For the child, it is a source of comfort and love, and as many experienced moms know, a quick nursing session can soothe an upset child, calm down an over-stimulated one or serves as a no-fail way to get their baby to sleep. When you are taking away this experience at the breast for your child, it needs to be replaced with something that conveys the same message of love and comfort.  

    1.  Don’t offer, don’t refuse: you can stop offering nursing sessions, but at the same time, nurse if her child requests it or clearly needs it.

    2.  Use distraction or substitution: if child asks to nurse, offer a snack or to read a book or play a game instead. You can also change parts of your daily routine to eliminate a predictable nursing time.

    3.  Use delay:  if child asks to nurse, tell her you’ll do it after you finish the dishes or fold the laundry, etc. The child may forget about nursing by the time you are finished.

    4.  Limit nursing sessions. You can set limits, such as only nursing at home, not in public or nursing for the duration of a song or to the count of 10. 

    5.  Involve dad or other family member in distracting child from a nursing session you want to drop. Can be especially helpful at bedtime or first thing in the morning.

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Fertility and Nutrition

    Join us for our very first Healthy Pregnancy Lecture of the year!

    Wednesday January 19th, 6:00 p.m.

    Stephanie Jurgenson, holistic health coach, will offer an interesting presentation on how to nourish and even boost your fertility. A professionally trained and certified nutritionist, Stephanie will share all kinds of tips and insight into getting on a healthy track of well-being that also integrates pregnancy-readiness.

    TO RSVP for the lecture: e-mail or Stephanie Jurgenson 783-0163

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    Is It Time to Wean Yet?

    by Holli Shiro

    Technically speaking, weaning begins when something other than breastmilk is introduced to baby. For some babies weaning begins with a supplemental bottle of formula, for others it’s their first taste of rice cereal or smashed bananas. From this perspective, weaning is often a long process of gradually replacing breastmilk with other foods over the period of six months to several years.  Many mothers hear that their breastmilk no longer nutritionally benefits their baby after six months or one year of age. On the contrary, breastmilk continues to be highly nutritious and delivers immunological benefits to a growing baby or toddler for as long as they are breastfeeding.

    The World Health Organization recommends: “Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.”

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends: “Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.”

    Natural weaning age
    Anthropologist Katherine Dettwyler has studied weaning ages in primates according to different variables, such as weaning according to tripling or quadrupling birth weight, gestation length, attaining 1/3 of adult weight, adult body size and weaning according to emergence of permanent molars. When applied to humans, natural weaning age ranges from a minimum of two years old to a maximum of seven years old. Of course, cultural norms play a large part in deciding when to wean completely from the breast. For non-western cultures, nursing until age 3 is common. Mothers in western cultures often wean at a much younger age.

    Deciding to wean: what to consider
    Child’s reasons for continuing to nurse: 
    Tastes good, feels good, source of comfort and quality time with mom

    Child’s reasons for weaning: 
    Distracted by other activities, eating and drinking other foods

    Mom’s reasons for continuing to nurse: 
    Easy and free, good nutrition and immunological benefits, mothering tool

    Mom’s reasons for weaning: 
    Feels “touched out”, returning to work or school, desires return of fertility, outside pressures

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    Radical Homemakers Reading Group

    I am so looking forward to starting our Radical Homemaking Reading Group on January 20th, at 7pm! If you are curious what I mean by Radical Homemaking, please check out this short story in the weekly.

    Radical Homemaking is, at its core, about building sustainable, healthy communities through family. This reading group will be an opportunity for us to discuss the necessary conditions of possibility for us all to be our own version of a radical homemaker.

    Prior to our first meeting, please pick up a copy of Radical Homemaking at the store, and read the preface and intro. These short and easy to read chapters lay out the organization of the book and will give all of us an idea of what we're in for. 

    At our first meeting, we will set the schedule for future meetings and draft a short list of relevant books that we can read after Radical Homemaking. Finally, because skill-sharing and community building are the foundations for all radical homemaking, we will also come up with a list of workshops we are interested in having in conjunction with our reading group meetings.

    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    Doula Tea Returns this Saturday!

    Doula Tea Time
    Saturday, January 15th 
    2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

    Our first doula tea was such a full house that we are bringing it back! If you missed it last month, stop by the store this Saturday afternoon and enjoy some Earth Mama tea samples while learning all about doulas. You'll get to meet some of Honolulu's finest certified doulas and have all your questions answered. Find out how having a doula can be helpful to you and your partner and baby-to-come.

    A few questions and topics to ask about:

    • Who should come to my birth?
    • Why hire a doula?
    • What are the benefits of having a doula?
    • Coping with labor, the doula way

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    Baby A Exchange Launches

    Start the new year off right! Out with the old and in with the re-newed!

    Join us this Saturday, January 8, 2011, from 10 - 4 pm, as we celebrate the launch of  Baby A Exchange (BAX) at Baby Awearness in Manoa Marketplace. This will be the first and biggest "Buy-In" event of the year!  

    From 10 am to 4 pm during BAX's "Buy-In," we will hand pick high-quality, gently-used goods from the public. This is a perfect opportunity for you to off load those not-so-perfect items received during the holiday season, or simply to clean out your closets. Join us and and invite your friends along in getting a fresh start in 2011 (and a little extra cash)! 

    Baby A Exchange is a store by the community, for the community. 100% of our items will be bought directly from local customers to keep pre-loved goodies from going to waste. We curate for the high-end and the eco-friendly, offering clothing, toys and accessories for both mama and baby. No more sifting through piles of junk at the thrift store or waiting months to get repaid at a typical consignment shop. We give cash or store credit for your items on the spot. You'll get more value for your stuff if you're willing to accept trade (store credit) instead of cash.
    We only buy and sell the best at Baby A Exchange.
    BAX accepts high-quality, gently-used cloth diapers, carriers, toys, clothing and other parenting accessories including maternity clothes.
    Think "boutique eco-fashion" -- not Goodwill. For all accepted items,
    you will have a choice of being paid in cash, store credit,
    and/or donating any portion of your payment to a local non-profit.

    Additionally, a portion of proceeds from all Baby A Exchange purchases will be donated to various non-profits.
    Non-profits interested in being a beneficiary of the Baby A Exchange, should contact 

    For guidelines and further details on how BAX works, read here. If you have any questions or need to speak to a team member, please call the store at 808.988.0010.