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Open your own culinary school in the kitchen by exploring some of the recipes in these easy-to-follow cookbooks for kids. With these recipes, your family can learn new skills and travel the world — all for a few dollars.
“The Spatulatta Cookbook”
by Isabella and Olivia Gerasole
For ages: 8 and up
Given the James Beard Award for Excellence, this cookbook stars Liv and Belle — two grade-school-age girls who have taught kids to cook online. The book starts out discussing basic skills that chefs need for the kitchen. Moms and dads will be pleased that new chefs are reminded to wash their hands thoroughly before beginning. They’re also reminded of the importance of a well-set table. Other basics such as measuring ingredients and separating eggs are shown with bright photographs, allowing readers to understand how things should look. Tools used in the kitchen are also shown.
Recipes are divided into seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall; there’s an additional chapter focusing on vegetarian recipes and snacks. Some recipes have literary influences. For example, in winter we are encouraged to make a bowl of “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” and “Stone Soup.” In the spring chapter, the girls show readers how to make a bunny-shaped salad with a pear body and carrot ears. In summer, the girls show how to make a fresh blueberry pie and how to make weenie dogs out of hot dogs. Fall includes recipes of hearty meals such as black bean chili and harvest soup. All recipes have mouth-watering photographs of the food being prepared, inspiring little chefs of every age.
“Around the World Cookbook”
by Abigail Johnson Dodge
DK Publishing, 2008
For ages: 8 and up
This cookbook focuses on recipes from around the world. The Earth is divided into six chapters, and each begins with a colorful map labeling the region. All recipes are simple introductions to new tastes. For example, the India chapter offers a cauliflower and pea curry that is mildly seasoned with curry powder and coconut milk. Ingredients in this book should not be new to kids, but the preparations and flavors may showcase a new way for food to be prepared. Adults may also be interested in these recipes since the easy instructions offer healthy and family-friendly flavors; basic recipes for gazpacho, ratatouille and pavlova are all included. Other classics such as warm German potato salad and Swedish meatballs can be found here, too. Kids will enjoy the trip back home to the United States and Canada at the end of the book, where they can discover regional dishes such as jambalaya and Southern-style cornbread. Recipes are clearly organized for kids to prepare on their own. Lists of ingredients, equipment needed and directions are clearly labeled. An exclamation point icon is marked on each recipe that requires a hot, sharp or electric tool.
by Amanda Grant
Sterling Publishing, 2007
For ages: 8 and up
This is another cookbook that offers new and unique flavors in the family kitchen. This book is divided into recipes that explore food from the sea, farm dairy, garden, mill and afar. The goal of the book is to teach children where different foods come from, and it does so by devoting a two-page spread as an introduction to each topic. For example, the dairy section discusses eggs at length. The book teaches readers the difference between barn eggs, free-range eggs and organic eggs and discusses how different commercial farms treat their hens. Following the introduction are recipes for an egg omelet, warm poached egg with bacon salad and an interesting egg and toast dish called boiled egg and soldiers.
All recipes offer helpful hints on food preparation techniques. Kids learn whisking in the chocolate mousse recipe how to use a candy thermometer when making vanilla fudge. Those with discriminating tastes might enjoy making the roasted mediterranean vegetables and parmesan and herb risotto. All kids will enjoy making Super Easy Pizzas, chunky oven fries and Quick Cheese Twisties. The design of this book is simple; photographs of children cooking the food accompany each recipe and easy-to-understand text allows for a bit of culinary education.
“Emeril’s There’s a Chef in My Soup! Recipes for the Kid in Everyone”
by Emeril Lagasse
For ages: 8 and up
Emeril’s recipes follow meals over the course of the day, starting with breakfast dishes and ending with desserts. Breakfast dishes include easy morning meals, like French toast and Mile High Blueberry Muffins. Emeril encourages readers to kick scrambled eggs up a notch with his Baby Bam blend of seasonings (recipe included). Make a Happy Happy Club Sandwich for lunch and Some Real Good Chili or a side of Oh Yeah Baby Glazed Carrots for dinner. Recipes include cartoonlike drawings of dishes or special steps that need to be described in detail. With Emeril’s Cajun-style encouragement, meals are sure to be a blast.
An extra bonus of recipe cards includes great ideas for quick snacks; strawberry cream cheese pizzas and turkey cheese pinwheels are perfect for after school.
“Paula Deen’s My First Cookbook”
by Paula Deen
Simon & Schuster, 2008
Paula Deen has a new cookbook out for little ones. In this scrapbook-themed book, Deen also follows the day with breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes. Extra sections feature special-occasion recipes for birthday dinners, holiday treats and drinks. Also included is a chapter of recipes for arts and crafts, which include directions for making clay, dough and giant bubbles. Each chapter has pictures of Deen’s family and brief captions describing the photos. Recipes are on a two-page spread: the first page illustrates what supplies and ingredients are needed, while the second page explains what to do. The collection of snack and lunch recipes is most appetizing with homemade peanut butter for apple dipping and applewiches — peanut butter and cheddar cheese sandwiched in between apple slices.
“Southern Living Kids Cookbook”
by Elizabeth Taliaferro
Oxmoor House, 2007
For ages: 8 and up
This colorful cookbook is fun, hip and full of interesting recipes everyone in the family will want to try. Breakfast recipes include strawberry French toastwiches and bacon cheese cups. Main courses have recipes for El Paso oven-fried chicken (chicken is breaded in crushed chili cheese corn chips) and Chicken Salad Scoops (a homemade scoop of chicken salad in a cake ice cream cone). Intriguing dessert offerings include apple enchiladas and redcoat trifle. Other chapters give ideas for bread, soup, fun food, side dishes and beverages, making this book a great inspiration for weekday dinners. Photographs of prepared food are displayed in funky serving pieces on decorated tables, making the dishes even more appealing. This book has an index of recipes and a cooking section that describes basic equipment and examples of different cutting techniques such as cutting crosswise and lengthwise or cutting by julienne or mincing.
–By Lisa Erickson, McClatchy Newspapers
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At Meals Matter, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb chop! Celebrate the arrival of spring with a family meal of Savory Lamb Chops, Parslied Potatoes, a Fresh Vegetable Salad and Strawberry Cornmeal Muffin Cakes.
Other recipes this week are guaranteed to put a spring in your step. Each recipe falls into our “Make Ahead” category. For instance, make a double batch of the kid-friendly Polynesian Chicken Tenders to enjoy for dinner this week and freeze the rest for dinner sometime later. Have a team meeting or a crowd to feed? Tomato Sauce with Ricotta and Herbs serves up to 24. The California Cheese Strata, Sunny Chicken Salad and Baked Orzo with Mushroom, Chives and Parmesan Cheese can be prepped one or two nights before you plan to serve them.
By using these recipes as a guide and planning even some of your families’ meals ahead of time you’re taking a simple step towards healthier eating. Planning ahead and having some “Make Ahead” options in the freezer helps you serve your family healthy, nutrient-rich foods even when you don’t have much time to cook.
—Savory Lamb Chops
—Fresh Vegetable Salad
—Strawberry Cornmeal Muffin Cakes
—Entree: Polynesian Chicken Tenders
—Entree: California Cheese Strata
—Entree: Sunny Chicken Salad
—Side: Tomato Sauce With Ricotta and Herbs
—Side: Baked Orzo With Mushrooms, Chives and Parmesan Cheese
6 cups Marinara sauce (Sauce and soup)
2 cups Cantaloupe, cubed (Produce)
¼ cup Fresh mint, finely chopped (Produce)
¼ cup Fresh parsley, finely chopped (Produce)
1 clove Garlic, finely chopped (Produce)
4 Lettuce leaves (Produce)
8 cups Chopped onions (Produce)
2 tablespoon Minced garlic (Produce)
9 quarts California tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced (Produce)
6 tablespoon Chopped fresh marjoram (Produce)
4 tablespoon Chopped fresh rosemary (Produce)
1 cup Minced sweet onion (Produce)
5 Mushrooms, diced (Produce)
2 teaspoon Minced garlic (Produce)
¼ cup Snipped chives (Produce)
1.5 cup Chopped green pepper (Produce)
¾ cup Chopped carrots (Produce)
¼ cup Thinly sliced fresh basil, divided (Produce)
1 Ginger root, small (Produce)
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime (Produce)
1 ½ pounds Small new red potatoes (Produce)
1 Medium onion (Produce)
1 Garlic, bulb (Produce)
1 Bunch fresh parsley (Produce)
2 pint Baskets fresh California Strawberries (Produce)
3 Cucumbers (Produce)
1 Red onion (Produce)
3 One each green, red and yellow peppers (Produce)
2.5 pounds Chicken breasts or tenders (Poultry)
2 cups Cooked rice, cooled (Pasta and rice)
3 pounds Cooked fettuccine (Pasta and rice)
9 ounces Orzo (Pasta and rice)
9 Spinach lasagna noodles (Pasta and rice)
6 Loin or rib lamb chops (1 ½” thick) (Frozen food)
1.5 cup Liquid egg substitute (Eggs)
2 Eggs (Eggs)
2 cups (8 ounces) grated California Cheddar cheese (Dairy)
3.5 cups Nonfat milk (Dairy)
½ pound Plain nonfat yogurt (Dairy)
1 cup Whipping cream (Dairy)
1.25 cup Grated Parmesan cheese (Dairy)
1 tablespoon Butter or stick margarine (Dairy)
2 (15 ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese (Dairy)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided (Dairy)
½ cup Butter (Dairy)
¾ teaspoon Dried sage, crushed (Condiments)
1.5 teaspoon Dried thyme, crushed (Condiments)
8 tablespoon Olive oil (Condiments)
2.5 tablespoon Salt (Condiments)
3.5 tablespoon Black pepper (Condiments)
4 cups Nonfat chicken broth reduced sodium (Condiments)
1.5 teaspoon Garlic powder (Condiments)
3t White wine vinegar (Condiments)
1.5 teaspoon Curry powder (Condiments)
¾ teaspoon Ground ginger (Condiments)
Ã teaspoon Grated whole nutmeg (Condiments)
Cooking spray (Condiments)
3 tablespoons Soy sauce (Condiments)
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil (Condiments)
½ cup Cider vinegar (Condiments)
1.5 cup Pineapple chunks in juice (Canned fruits & drinks)
12 slices White bread (Bread)
¾ cup Fresh bread crumbs (Baking needs)
1 ¾ cup Flour (Baking needs)
3t Brown sugar (Baking needs)
3 tablespoons Honey (Baking needs)
1 teaspoon Baking powder (Baking needs)
2 cups Powdered sugar (Baking needs)
½ cup Corn meal (Baking needs)
4 tablespoons Sugar (Baking needs)
SAVORY LAMB CHOPS
A succulent dish!
3 tablespoons Soy sauce
3 tablespoons Honey
1 tablespoon Minced, peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Minced garlic
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime
6 Loin or rib lamb chops (1 ½-inch thick)
1. To prepare the marinade, combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Add the lamb chops and toss them to coat well in the marinade. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat the broiler.
4. Broil the chops 3 inches from the heat source for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare meat. Cook longer for well-done meat.
Source: Shelia Watkins
1 ½ pounds Small new red potatoes, scrubbed
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
1 Medium onion, chopped
1 Small clove garlic, crushed
1 cup Chicken broth (reduced sodium)
1 cup Chopped fresh parsley, divided
½ teaspoon Pepper
1. Peel a strip of skin from around the middle of each potato; place potatoes in cold water. Set aside.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add oil. Saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until tender. Add broth and ¾ cup parsley; mix well. Bring to a boil.
3. Place potatoes in a single layer in skillet. Return to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
4. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon to serving bowl. Add pepper to skillet; stir. Pour sauce over potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.
Cook’s Notes: Variation: Replace the fresh parsley with basil leaves and add ¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes for an Italian twist.
Source: Easy Everyday Cooking
FRESH VEGETABLE SALAD
3 cups Thinly sliced cucumbers
¾ cup Chopped red onion
½ cup Each chopped green sweet red and yellow peppers
½ cup Cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Sugar
In a large serving bowl, combine the cucumbers, onion and peppers. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar and sugar. Pour over vegetables; toss to coat.
Chill until serving. Serve with a slotted spoon.
Source: Simple & Delicious
STRAWBERRY CORNMEAL MUFFIN CAKES
1 ¼ cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
Generous pinch of salt
½ cup Butter softened
2 cups Powdered sugar
½ cup Milk
½ cup Corn meal
1 cup Whipping cream
1 teaspoon Sugar
2 pint Baskets (1 pound) fresh California Strawberries, stemmed and halved
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour 12 muffin cups or 6 (6 ounce) custard cups.
Mix together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a mixer bowl cream butter. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, scraping bowl as needed, until mixture is fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in dry ingredients and milk alternately, to blend thoroughly. Blend in corn meal.
Spoon batter into prepared cups.
Bake in 350 degree oven about 30 minutes until springy to the touch and pick inserted into center comes out clean; cool 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely.
Beat cream and sugar to form soft peaks. Serve muffins topped with cream and strawberries. Arrange in serving bowl; spoon into individual dishes.
Yield: 12 medium or 6 large desserts.
Source: California Strawberry Commission
POLYNESIAN CHICKEN TENDERS
Kids will love these chicken treats! Cook ahead for added convenience.
½ cup Flour
1 ½ teaspoon Garlic powder
1 ½ pounds Low fat chicken tenders
½ cup Egg substitute
3 tablespoons White wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Brown sugar
1 ½ cup Nonfat chicken broth
1 ½ cup Pineapple chunks in juice, drained
1 ½ cup Chopped green pepper
¾ cup Chopped carrots
1 ½ teaspoon Curry powder
¾ teaspoon Ground ginger
Spray large nonstick skillet with Pam and heat over medium high heat. Combine flour and ½ teaspoon garlic on paper plate and mix well. Dip chicken tenders in egg and roll in flour mix. Brown chicken pieces in skillet 5-8 minutes until cooked through. Remove from skillet and drain well. allow skillet to cool slightly and re-spray with Pam. Return skillet to heat and add vinegar, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon garlic, chicken broth, pineapple, pepper, carrots, curry powder, and ginger. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture becomes thick. Stir in cooked chicken. serve over rice. chicken mix can be cooked and cooled to room temperature. Freeze in plastic freezer bags. To reheat, microwave directly from freezer 1-3 minutes per serving.
Source: “Cook Once, Eat for a Week,” Weight Watchers
CALIFORNIA CHEESE STRATA
You can make this great dish ahead of time…even the night before.
12 slices White bread, crusts removed and cut into halves
2 cups (8 ounces) grated California Cheddar cheese
3 cups Nonfat milk
1 cup Liquid egg substitute
¼ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon Salt
¾ teaspoon Dried sage, crushed
1-½ teaspoon Dried thyme, crushed
Spray a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with a nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Line the dish with half of the bread slices, overlapping to make them fit. Top with half of the grated cheese. Combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour half of the liquid mixture over the bread and cheese in the dish. Continue layering and cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before baking. Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before baking.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the strata in the preheated oven and bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to stand for five minutes before cutting.
Source: California Milk Advisory Board
SUNNY CHICKEN SALAD
2 cups Cooked rice, cooled
2 cups Cantaloupe, cubed
1-½ cups Cooked chicken breast, cubed
¼ cup Fresh mint, finely chopped
¼ cup Fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
½ pound Plain nonfat yogurt
4 Lettuce leaves
Mix together first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Combine next 4 ingredients in another bowl. Gently stir yogurt mixture into rice mixture until well combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, until chilled. Serve lettuce on individual plates topped with chicken salad.
TOMATO SAUCE WITH RICOTTA AND HERBS
A great pasta dinner to serve to family and friends. Make sauce ahead so you have time to enjoy company.
8 cups Chopped onions
2 tablespoon Minced gralic
6 tablespoon Olive oil
9 quarts California tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
6 tablespoon Chopped fresh marjoram
4 tablespoon Chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon Salt
2 tablespoon Black pepper
3 pounds Cooked fettuccine
1 ½ cups Ricotta cheese
Saute onions and garlic in oil in a large skillet over medium heat until softened. Stir in remaining ingredients except ricotta and fettuccine. Cook over medium-high heat stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Serve with cooked fettuccine and top each serving with 1 ounce (1 tablespoon) ricotta cheese.
Cook’s Notes: This recipe feeds approximately 24.
Source: California Tomato Commission
BAKED ORZO WITH MUSHROOMS, CHIVES, AND PARMESAN CHEESE
Warm and comforting side dish, perfect accompaniment to beef tenderloin and a simple salad of mixed greens.
2 tablespoon Olive oil
1 cup Minced sweet onion
5 Mushrooms, diced
2 teaspoon Minced garlic
¼ cup Snipped chives
9 ounces Orzo, cooked al dente, according to package directions, drained
2/3 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/3 cups Low-salt chicken broth
¼ teaspoon Coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
¾ cup Fresh bread crumbs tossed with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon butter, for topping
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-cup capacity, 8-inch square, 4 inch deep, casserole or souffle dish; set aside. Place oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the onion and the mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add the chives, orzo, cheese, broth, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle the crumbs over top. (This can be prepared to this point several hours ahead and kept at room temperature.) Bake, uncovered, until the crumbs are browned, about 45 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Source: Contributed by sbogert to www.mealsmatter.org, based on LA Times recipe
Family Meals Matter features recipes selected by registered dietitians from the thousands of user-contributed recipes available at the free online nutrition and meal planning Web site Meals Matter http://www.mealsmatter.org , sponsored by Dairy Council of California.
For more healthy meal planning made simple, go to www.mealsmatter.org
(c) 2009, (Dairy) Council of California, MealsMatter.org.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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Recently, our school librarian gave my son a copy of the book, “101 Ways to Bug Your Parents.” It was an old copy and she told him he could keep it.
This was really annoying to a parent whose children were already naturally talented in this regard. I was tempted to take that book over to the librarian’s house, and give it to her kids.
This volume has all sorts of fabulous ideas like, “Ask for a big breakfast and then say you’re not hungry.” Or, “Use all the hot water in the shower.” It’s not like children need lessons on this stuff. They do just fine with no instruction at all.
But, occasionally, when my rugrats have been particularly aggravating, I want to exact my own revenge. That’s why I have my own list of things I can do, such as:
DANCING: My kids go into a frenzy of mortification if they see me shake any part of my body to music. It’s even worse, of course, if I dance in public, like at a wedding, but even waltzing around the house sends them into a medical state of shock.
SINGING THE WRONG WORDS TO SONGS: Kids absolutely hate it if you make up your own words to songs they know by heart. The other night, we were watching “The “Brady Bunch” and I started singing the Brady song along with the characters, but doing it wrong on purpose. My son was so upset he almost had to go to bed.
STOP TALKING SUDDENLY WHEN THEY COME INTO THE ROOM: They will think you’re hiding something and it will simply drive them mad, even if you know all you were really talking about was the hairballs spit up by your cat.
PUTTING MY ARM AROUND THEM IN PUBLIC: This is mostly a problem of Cheetah Boy’s, but even Curly Girl at age 10 is starting to act like my arm is a heat-seeking missile if it lands anywhere on her body in public.
HAVING YOUR OWN TANTRUM: Sometimes, Cheetah Boy would sit down on the floor and start screaming when he didn’t want to do a chore. When I was in the mood, I would sit down next to him and start screaming too. This never failed to infuriate him, and amuse me. Sometimes, he would get so mad he would forget what he was yelling about.
COLORING MY HAIR: Before I had kids, I was under the mistaken impression that my hair belonged to me. Now, every time I want to change the color even slightly, my children feel it’s a personal attack on their emotional stability.
GOING BACK TO BED: When my kids are arguing with each other or refusing to follow my instructions, sometimes I just get fed up, go into my bedroom, and silently crawl into bed. It feels delicious, by the way, for the brief time I’m allowed to be in there before the kids are on my bed, begging me to get up and promising to behave better.
REFUSING TO GET OFF THE PHONE: My children have no interest in me whatsoever until someone calls, which is their signal to ask me every question they forgot to ask all day long. Occasionally, though, I will simply refuse to answer them, and they will finally give up and let me talk.
—By Marla Jo Fisher, The Orange County Register
Marla Jo Fisher was a workaholic before she adopted two foster kids several years ago. Now she juggles work and single parenting, while being exhorted from everywhere to be thinner, smarter, sexier, healthier, more frugal, a better mom, better dressed and a tidier housekeeper. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her blog at http://themomblog.freedomblogging.com/category/frumpy-middleaged-mom-ma rla-jo-fisher/.
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Heather Wheeler knows the loneliness and devastation too well. With the stillbirth of her second son, Grant Kelton Wheeler, on Feb. 4, 2007, she entered a sorority no one would choose, a motherhood united in loss.
Now she wants to help other families whose babies have died before, during or just after birth.
“I wanted to make something good out of something bad,” says Wheeler, 34. “I remember saying that to one of my nurses. He will not be forgotten. But you have a tremendous amount of grief to get through first.
“I came home, and I longed for that blanket he’d been wrapped in. I cried myself to sleep at night longing for something he’d touched. It was a huge regret that I hadn’t asked for it.”
With Grant’s Gift, Wheeler and her husband, Kevin, 36, a school psychologist, have donated almost 300 baby blankets to hospitals in California and Oregon so that stillborn babies can be cradled in them. The Wheelers intend the blankets as keepsakes for grieving parents.
A VIRAL INFECTION
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 115 American pregnancies ends in stillbirth — defined as naturally occurring fetal death after 20 weeks’ gestation.
The Wheelers, who live in Rocklin, Calif., have two other sons — 5-year-old Gavin and baby Graden, who was born in June.
“My second pregnancy, up until the point he died, was perfect,” says Wheeler, a communications specialist for Adventist Health.
When she was 25 weeks along, Grant stopped moving. At Sutter Roseville Medical Center, doctors discovered he’d contracted a viral infection, with no hope for survival. He died hours later and was delivered the next day.
“Sometimes, the husbands are overlooked,” says Wheeler, “but my husband has been profoundly affected. He was there. He gave our child his first and last bath. This affects the whole family.”
She put together a Web site in Grant’s memory — www.grantsgift.org — and in December began asking her co-workers and family members to help her collect nice, new receiving blankets to donate, expecting only a handful. Soon, anonymous donations were arriving in the mail, too, including a boxful of blankets someone sent from Maine.
We don’t much like to talk about stillbirth, it seems, but when people have been touched by it, they understand what it means to help other people going through the same thing.
‘SUCH A SPECIAL THING’
In early February, just in time for Grant’s birthday, Wheeler distributed the washed and neatly packaged Grant’s Gift blankets to eight hospitals in the Adventist Health chain, as well as Sutter Roseville.
“We haven’t had to give them out yet, thankfully,” says Debbie Shoro, a labor and delivery nurse at Sutter Roseville. “But these blankets are such a special thing.
“It’s always heartbreaking when someone loses a baby. It comes on so unexpectedly. Parents had hopes and dreams for their baby. Having something soft and special like this blanket is such a human thing, a mommy thing.”
For Heather Wheeler, the blankets are a way of finding purpose in the loss of her son.
“I wish my son was here,” she says. “I wish that every day, but he’s made me a better person.
“All your kids teach you something. I’ve probably learned the most from the son I don’t get to spend this life with.
“I want to wrap my arms around people in the same situation, because I know how hard it is. There are no words.”
—By Anita Creamer, McClatchy Newspapers