The Hidden Dangers of Tap Water

By Dr. Susanne Bennett
SusanneAs parents, we all want to ensure that our children and loved ones eat healthy, unadulterated food, free of hormones, pesticides and chemicals. But are we as vigilant about the liquids and drinks we ingest? Did you know that there is a hidden chemical in most beverages and liquids we consume, including tap water, the iced tea served by most restaurants, your child’s favorite soup from the local deli, even your glass of red wine? A vast majority of beverages and foods that are made with municipal drinking water in the US will contain a chemical additive called fluoride. If ingested in large amounts, fluoride may be harmful to the body, particularly in children. (more…)

Storybooks and New Situations

Your child can be the star of the story.

By Atoosa Nehorai
atoosaFor children, the world is wondrous place filled with new experiences and new challenges. Every parent knows that some life events are more complicated and require more attention and discussion than others. As a mother of three, I came to realize the power of storybooks in helping parents explain new situations to their children. I learned that these books can play an important role in facilitating an honest and open discussion about the issue at hand. Upon seeing the benefits of these storybooks, I decided to launch a website which allowed parents to create customized stories which addressed specific issues that were significant to their child; a place where families could write their own stories. (more…)

Prepping Your Child for Kindergarten

What are private schools looking for?

By Janis Adams
janis adamsThere are a lot of questions about whether or not one should prep their child for the all important playdate/entrance exam to private school Kindergarten.

The subject is so fraught with emotion that many parents do not even discuss it with other parents. This anxiety is fueled by the low number of openings in Los Angeles private schools and by a sense of competition that careens off the walls of inflatable party bouncers the minute the child turns three.

Such is the reality of today’s private school admissions. (more…)

Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

By Catherine McCord
Thanksgiving is my favorite meal hands down. When I’m planning dinner for our family, I attempt to make everyone’s favorite dish for them. For me, that’s roasted Brussels Sprouts , for my father-in-law it’s Maple Turkey, and for the kids it’s Orange Glazed Carrots. I like to keep the recipes simple and easy to ensure I spend as little time in the kitchen and as much time enjoying my family as possible.

mapleturkeyMaple Brined Turkey (Makes 10-12 Servings)

Water1 Cup
Maple Syrup1 Cup
Salt (preferably kosher)1
12-14 Pound Turkey (defrosted if frozen)
1 Orange
1 Onion
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Mama’s Singing the Blues

By Dr. Maria DiMeglio
MariaDiMegliIn your arms is the most precious, beautiful bundle of joy you could ever have imagined. You know your heart should be filled with loving warmth, jubilee, and sheer wonder at the little miracle in front of you; BUT, instead, you’re a wreck! You haven’t slept in weeks and you’ve lost your brain and a few other things you can’t remember at the moment. The deep, dark bags under your eyes are reminiscent of the Bride of Frankenstein. You’re completely overwhelmed and leaking from every orifice in your body, especially your eyes…uncontrollable tears are streaming down your face.

Postpartum depression is a very real and all too often overlooked condition that can affect up to 25 percent of new moms. It can range in severity from a mild case of the “baby blues” to the rare, and often tragic, psychotic break, and can impact the whole family. Chronic sleep deprivation coupled with huge hormonal shifts take their toll on even the strongest individuals, let alone someone who may already be prone to depression.

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Creating Wonder-Inspired by Nature

Teaching your kids to love nature.

By Lisa Niver Rajna
lisa

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep
and suck out all the marrow of life, to put to rout all that was not life and
not when I had come to die Discover that I had not lived.” Henry David Thoreau

Not all of us can make a commitment to nature like Henry David Thoreau to go live on Walden Pond, but we do not have to go to such lengths to inspire our children to love nature. By creating wonder and a connection to the environment we can all protect our planet.

We can even share seeds and caterpillars with our children without even going very far outside! As Janine M. Benyus states in Biomimicry:

Bringing children back into nature and nature back into childhood is a job for teachers and parents and friends willing to take a child outside for a lark. There need not be an ‘official’ park involved; finding a place where green things grow, even if it’s a crack in the sidewalk, is enough.

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Haunting Halloween Recipes

Halloween is a great time to have some fun with your kids in the kitchen. Here are a few easy, fun recipes to share with your family.

grilledchesepicSpookie Grilled Cheese: What kid doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich. But this one up’s the Halloween anty by cutting out your favorite spooky shape in the middle making the perfect filling meal before the little ones head out for a night full of candy and fun.

Spookie Grilled Cheese (Serves 4)

Butter
8 Slices Pumpernickel or Dark Rye Bread
4 Slices Cheddar Cheese (more…)

Sibling Rivalry

Tips on dealing with new siblings.

By Rachel Bernstein
RachelYou all know the family. The one in which the siblings seem to magically get along, support each other, work well together, and talk through difficult moments with little to no yelling, or homicidal threats. You also know there is a reason you probably only know one family like this. It is a rarity. It doesn’t exist in nature in large numbers. Parents aspire to have that sense of familial calm and sibling cohesion, and may feel that it will always be beyond their reach. Then, a new sibling is brought into the mix, and that aspiration for familial magic seems like an ever-more-distant hope.

Truth be told, familial magic can always be created. When parents already have a child, or children, and find out they are pregnant, there are a few tricks to put up your sleeve.
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