What Every Mom Should Know About The Early Years

Statistics on early childhood care and adult success.

By Negin Ascher
Negin AscherWhen life gets crazy, it’s easy to miss opportunities to nurture our youngest children. In fact, statistics indicate that very few Americans truly understand the impact of a child’s earliest years. In California, the state’s financial commitment to early care and education declines with each successive round of budget cuts.

Yet, we know now that there is a biological window of development that, once past, can hardly be revisited. We know that the earliest years are the time of greatest development and brain formation and the best predictors of eventual educational attainment, social contributions and even happiness. (more…)

Spooky Halloween Recipes

By Catherine McCord

Chocolate Tofu Pudding Pots (Serves 4)

Chocolate Tofu Pudding PotsTotal Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz package soft silken tofu (i like house foods soft silken or mori-nu firm silken)
  • 1/3 cup pure cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar (feel free to use a little more if you want it sweeter)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 24 chocolate wafers (i like using famous chocolate wafers) gummy worms (i know, it’s candy. if you think of a healthier “worm” substitute, go for it. or, you can leave them out altogether.)
  • 4 small clay flower pots

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The Importance of Physical Activity

Kung Fu is a whole body exercise.

By Art MacHentsev
MacHentsevThe new school year is in and with it the question of which activity to engage our children in. There’s lots of advertising for sports, dance, art, singing schools and more. The choices could be overwhelming and make our head spin, but the criteria for selection is actually quite simple. Give children what they want and most importantly what they need. (more…)

Back to School Fun Days

Brentwood Gardens is hosting another amazing free family fun day for families on Sunday, September 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. Bring your entire family for loads of fun. DJ Groovy David will be spinning. Anita will be doing free hair wraps and tattoos and there will be a fabulous clown creating balloons for your kids. It’s a great way to spend a few hours in the shade and then you can grab a bite upstairs at CPK or Daily Grill. If you’re not ready for dinner then head up to Riva for organic yogurt or fresh organic juice. It’s the only place where my kids actually drink the green juice because it’s sweet and delicious. (more…)

Easy, Healthy Holiday Recipes

by Chris Brugler.

ChrisBruglerMarking the beginning of fall, this tasty dish is delicious served both at room temperature and warm. It is not only sweet and savory, but also filled with nutritious ingredients. Couscous is low in fat, filled with protein, potassium, and the antioxidant, selenium. Raisins are fat-free, cholesterol-free, low in sodium, and high in fiber. Butternut squash has fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, and is low in fat, making it a heart-friendly “power food”. (more…)

A Vaccine that Can Save Your Child’s Life

By Peter S. Waldstein, M.D., F.A.A.P and Julia A. White, M.D., F.A.A.P
Getting your children caught up on vaccines before school is extremely important. Starting last year, adolescent vaccinations came into the spotlight with the new requirement for all 7th graders to be up to date on the Tdap (Tetanus and Pertussis) vaccine after the large pertussis outbreak in 2010. There are other vaccines that adolescents should have as well, including the meningococcal vaccine (Menactra or Menveo). (more…)

The Parent Revolution in Education

Parent activism is the key to reforming our schools.

By Kevin P. Chavous
KevinChaveousSlowly, yet ever so surely, a new revolution is emerging in this country as a response to our declining educational outputs. This revolution is being driven by parents who are tired of trying to navigate local school bureaucracies just to get their children a quality education. These parents come from all walks of life and are challenging the education status quo to listen, embrace innovation and be open to change. This new parent voice couldn’t come at a better time. (more…)

Dealing with Divorce

How divorcing parents can help their children during this difficult time.

By Rachel Bernstein
Have you ever dreaded a moment so much that you delay it, find every excuse not to have it, and hoped you could hire someone else to do it? That is how the parents I talk to in my practice often portray the moment when they have had to tell their children they are getting divorced.

While it is always a life changing moment, there are ways to lessen the pain initially, and even afterwards.

Children prefer for things to be familiar, for their world to be predictable, and for life as they know it to remain basically unchanged. Divorce throws a wrench into all of those needs and wishes, at least at first. That is why there is often a reaction on the part of your children that is a cry for their family to stay the same, but is also a cry for the loss of the wonderful naivite’ of childhood when things are as they have always known them to be. (more…)

Easy Back to School Lunches

By Anni Daulter
Anni DaulterBack to school means early hectic mornings getting everyone out the door. Preparing their lunches is another obstacle so take time to prep anything you can the night before. I like to chop vegetables for a stir fry or whip up a pasta sauce for instance the night before, so I can just quickly make it in the morning. It is also important to make sure to have all of your containers ready to go and your child’s lunch basket, bag or box all set to make sure the morning routine goes smoothly. There are some great companies that make eco-friendly containers and reusable carriers that I love and recommend. (more…)