The Benefits of Menu Planning

By Lindsay Harris
LindsayI have been grocery shopping for over 15 years. It’s a weekly chore and for some it is not a favorite task. I, however, love grocery shopping. It’s partly because it is a form of shopping (I’m a bit of a shopaholic), but mainly because the little organizer in me loves the whole process that leads up to the weekly shop. (more…)

Tips on Skin Rejuvenation

By Rebecca Casper
RebeccaQuestion:What special skin-care recommendations do you have for women ages 35 and older? How is their skin different from younger women’s and why would you recommend these practices?
Answer: By the mid 30s accumulated damage that has been done to the skin begins to rear its ugly head and we can literally wake up one morning and feel as though we’ve gained these changes overnight! Lines and wrinkles around the eyes, on the forehead, dark spots, dissipated redness and irritation are among common complaints. The truth is, you’ve had 30 plus years to gain this damage, but there is no time like the present to start repairing and protecting. As everyone has a unique set of circumstances and experiences that have gotten them to where they are today, it is wise to seek professional, individualized advice from a skin care therapist (Esthetician, not dermatologist) to address your specific needs. This way you can start saving money by getting on the right program and stop wasting your hard earned cash by trying every new skin care fad out there. (more…)

The Importance of Family Meals

By Mariana Rossano
marianaRossanoCooking healthy meals requires a huge time commitment. It can be nearly impossible to keep up with everyone’s schedules. Most people would agree that time constraints on family time have become the norm. The world has changed since we were kids, and most moms don’t have the luxury to stay home and take the time to prepare healthy meals for the family.

One of the most important benefits to family meals is good nutrition. A balanced diet will help your child grow up healthy, and family meals are a great way to establish good eating habits. Family meals are much more than a time for kids to sit at the same table with siblings and parents. Kids take comfort in the family dinner ritual, and eating dinner together on a regular basis is a routine they can count on. (more…)

A Meaningful Valentine’s Day

Tips on how to make Valentine’s Day fulfill your expectations.

By Samara Fabrick, LCSW
samaraSo you’ve made it through the holidays. Your extended family has gone home; expectations, disappointments, fun and frolic are behind you. Just when you thought you could relax, BAM, here comes Valentine’s Day. For many of us Valentine’s Day is a chance to sit down with our kids to make cards for their classmates, think of fun ways to surprise our honey or have an excuse to eat that box of chocolates. However, for many Valentine’s Day is another opportunity to have a million expectations that are so often dashed by our clueless spouses and our inability to express our wants. Here are a few suggestions to make sure that your Valentine’s Day is a happy one filled with whatever your heart desires. (more…)

Valentine’s Day Treats

By Catherine McCord
blood orange granitaI’m a total sucker for holidays. I love decorating, baking, and doing things as a family that reflect the happy spirit of whatever the holiday is for. Valentine’s Day always was THE Hallmark holiday to me, but now that I have kids, I have a whole new perspective on it and it’s even more fun celebrating love. (more…)

Choosing a Summer Camp

How to plan a summer they’ll talk about all year long.
By Jill Levin

summerNext summer may seem far away, but before you realize it, it will be June and your kids will be out of school. NOW is the time to start thinking about choosing a summer camp for your child. Summer camps help children develop new interests, choose a new direction and make lifelong friends. How do parents decide which is the right program for their child? Here are a few guidelines to help you make a wise choice. (more…)

Check Your Kids’ Feet Before Returning to School

Simple At-home Checks Help Spot Foot Problems

By Dr. P. Benjamin Nikravesh DPM, DABPOPPM, DABPS

Before returning to school after the winter break, Dr. Nikravesh, a local member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, recommends that parents take five minutes at home to check for signs of possible foot disorders that could prevent active children from participating in sports and other activities. (more…)

Cardio Tennis is the Workout of 2011

By Chris Ojakian
cardioThere comes a time in every gym-goer’s life when she feels the need to shake up her routine. Shuffle the deck. Take a break from the hamster wheel-like doldrums of the treadmill and elliptical machines. The answer to the workout blahs just may lie in a round of cardio tennis — a brilliant blend of cardio class, tennis camp, and the most enjoyable PE class you ever had. Cardio tennis gives you all the heart-pumping workout and the wacky satisfaction of a real tennis game — except that it’s OK if you’re truly terrible and have more chance of hitting the lottery jackpot than hitting the ball. (more…)

Gingerbread Cookies

By Catherine McCord
gingerbreadIt was always a tradition when I was growing up to make holiday cookies come this time of year. I used to love rolling out the sugar cookie and gingerbread dough with my mother, cutting the cookies into fun shapes and then decorating them. I wanted to continue that tradition with Kenya, but the thought of making cookies with tons of sugar didn’t seem like such a good idea (Kenya jumping off the walls at bed time never appeals to me), so we stuck with gingerbread. This recipe does have some sugar, but not a lot. It also contains molasses, which is full or iron, a bonus for kids. Kenya and I didn’t use any icing on these because, in my opinion, they don’t need it, but if you want to put a little piping on them, I included a simple icing recipe. This recipe makes dozens of cookies (more or less, depending on the size of the cookie cutters you use), so you’ll have plenty for friends and your family during the holidays. (more…)

Does Your Child Have a Learning Disability

Identifying the Problem and Getting Help
By Jennifer Gordon, M.A. Educational Therapist

jenniferLearning disabilities are problems that affect the brain’s ability to receive process, analyze, or store information. The term Learning Disabilities sounds scary, but actually includes a very broad set of issues that are quite common and diverse, and, most importantly very addressable. The good news is that there is a vast array of resources available to help with learning disabilities. The earlier an issue is identified the better it can be addressed. Detecting and identifying problems can be challenging and navigating all the assessment options can be dizzying. (more…)