Adventures in Drool: Do you believe in myths?

March 4, 2013
The cover of John Medina's book. SOURCE SCREENGRAB

Happy Monday!

Well, I just wrote this amazing blog for everyone, but then my computer crashed and it was completely lost. Ah, technology.

Starting over, now I am definitely going to need several more cups of coffee!

As parents and parents-to-be so much information is thrown at us, but what if you found out some of that information wasn't true?

That's what happened to me.

Over the weekend, I started reading a new book called "Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five" by John Medina.

Medina writes that many givens in parenting are actually myths.

For example, the very first myth he discusses floored me. He writes that playing classical music for your unborn child actually has little to no effect on the baby's brain.

I totally put my headphones on my belly so Droolface could hear Mozart in the womb. I played him all kinds of music, but mostly classical. Turns out the music doesn't improve his brain. In the end, it could make him a classical music appreciator later in life, but that's about it.

Hmm, this made me wonder what other myths I am walking around believing.

It's information overload these days. We hear all about what we should be doing, whether it's from the internet or from other family members, but who should we believe?

I'm still not sure I know. When I tell family members I am reading another parenting book, they just roll their eyes. All of this reading is probably just making me more confused about the science of development, when according to Medina the best thing you can do is simply sit and talk with your child.

He writes that all these DVDs aiming to make babies into geniuses are just not going to work. By watching these DVDs, your child might learn that you want him to watch TV, but he won't become a genius by spending hours in front of a screen.

Medina says it is a better bet to give him a bunch of crayons and a cardboard box. By using hands-on learning, children actually learn more.

Have you had any parenting myths debunked?

I will continue reading and fill you in on any other aha moments I have. In the meantime, here's something to enjoy next weekend:


Recipe Alert!


Kelsey Nixon's stuffed French toast


1 loaf braided challah bread, cut into 6 (1 1/2-inch thick) slices

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup Strawberry Jam, recipe follows

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons not melted

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 large eggs

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Maple syrup, for serving


Here is the recipe to make the strawberry jam, but you could also just use a good jarred jam, which is what I will likely do as it is not strawberry season yet.

Strawberry Jam:

3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced (about 1 pound)

1 cup sugar

1 medium lemon, juiced (about 2 to 3 tablespoons)



1. Using a paring knife, cut through the bottom crust of each slice of bread horizontally, to create a pocket that your fruit filling can be stuffed into.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, Strawberry Jam and lemon zest. Fold in the blueberries. Place the mixture into a re-sealable bag. When you are ready to stuff the bread you will snip off a corner of the bag and pipe the filling in.

3. In a baking dish, whisk together the milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and eggs.

4. In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet melt the 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.

5. Using the re-sealable bag as a pastry bag, stuff each slice of bread with about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture. Once the slices are stuffed, place each slice into the milk and egg mixture for about 10 seconds per side. Once the slices are coated with the custard base, place them into the skillet to brown.

6. Work in batches. Cook each slice of stuffed French toast until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. If cooking a large batch, transfer the cooked French toast to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200 degree F oven while you cook the rest of the slices. Repeat the process with the remaining French toast. Serve warm, topped with extra berries, powdered sugar and maple syrup.

7. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir often until the fruit thickens and becomes syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes.

8. Fill a large bowl with ice and a little water. Have a smaller mixing bowl that can sit within the larger bowl of ice. Once the fruit has cooked, add it to the smaller bowl and set it in the ice bath to cool. As the fruit cools it should become gel-like. Once the jam has cooled it can be stored.


Enjoy and have a great week!

  • Real Parents. Real Food. Real Fun.

    Welcome to Adventures in Drool! Talking about green living, getting rid of plastics and toxic chemicals in our homes and raising happy kids on a budget. Join the conversation ( and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!

    Rachel Swick Mavity, author of the blog, lives with a reformed drooler (Droolface), who at age 3 loves to get muddy, drink homemade smoothies, giggle and flirt with old ladies. Her current drooler (Birdy) enjoys spitting up on work clothes and leaving drool trails as a way of showing her love.

    Mavity previously worked as a journalist for seven years at newspapers from Pennsylvania to Maryland and Delaware. In Sussex County she worked for several newspapers, including the Cape Gazette. She lives in Lewes with her husband, Ryan Mavity, their son, "Droolface," and daughter, "Birdy."