Children's Health

The Weaning Dilemma

July 30, 2008

OK, I know this sounds crazy, but I am still nursing my 2-year-old daughter. I’ve been trying to wean her for the last couple of months with little luck. I have been successful at cutting back, but she does seem a pretty attached to the whole thing still. I’ve tried replacements, like a pacifier or food, which in both cases haven’t worked. When looking into suggestions about weaning, I found some good info online from Dr. Sears and the La Leche Group. Both websites had similar suggestions. I have listed some of the basic ones below:

Laptop Lunches: A Waste-Free Lunch Box

July 28, 2008

Now that most schools begin some time in August, it’s time to start buying those back to school items. My son will be starting kindergarten this fall, so we are started shopping for a new backpack and lunchbox. When we were shopping for a lunchbox, we came across Laptop Lunches. These cool waste-free lunch boxes are American-style bento boxes that were developed by two moms in Santa Cruz. They’re designed to help families pack nutritious, environment-friendly lunches that do not contain lead, phthalates, or bisphenol A (BPA). Laptop Lunches also come with a book of healthy lunch ideas and lunch-making recipes. They are reusable, recyclable, and dishwasher safe. The basic Laptop Lunches starts at $20.99 (shown on right) online. You can buy them online at

Chicks-n-Chickens at Lucy in Corte Madera

June 23, 2008

Lullaby Exercise classThis Friday, June 27, the Lucy store in the Corte Madera Town Center presents a special event with Darcy Novo Albrecht of Chicks-n-Chickens. Darcy, a Bay Area mom and founder of Chicks-n-Chickens, will present two Lullaby Exercises "mommy and me" dance classes and demonstrations, the first from 11:30 to noon and the second from 1:30 to 2 pm. In this new kind of workout, new moms can get in some exercise and sooth their babies at the same time. Recommended for moms with babies 8 weeks to 1 year in age.

Attack of the Light Brown Apple Moth!

April 26, 2008

light brown apple mothsThe light brown apple moth has been getting a lot of press lately, mainly because of the State of California's plans to spray over the Bay Area in an attempt to eradicate the little critter (pictured here). While the government says that there's nothing wrong with the chemical used in the spraying, many people aren't so sure. Apparently the plan is to use an airborne pherimone called CheckMate to confuse the male moths and prevent them from breeding, however, there's some contention as to whether this pherimone and other stuff in the spray is actually harmful.

More on Creative Play from NPR

February 28, 2008

Creative playHere's a link to this morning's follow-up story from NPR's Morning Edition about children and creative play: Creative Play Makes for Kids in Control. We wrote about the story that aired last week that introduced the subject. You can read our take on it here or jump directly to the story on NPR's website: Old Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills. Either way, the series is really fascinating, especially given the over-regulated lives that many children lead these days.

You can also read answers to reader-submitted questions about kids and play from Adele Diamond, a professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience at the University of British Columbia.

The Importance of Imaginitive Play

February 21, 2008

Children playing at a parkMy husband e-mailed me a link to a story he heard on NPR's Morning Edition yesterday morning while driving in to work. It was something of particular interest to me, a story about the importance of imaginitive play in the lives of children, and how it greatly affects their development and behavior. It's an interesting take on the role of toys, especially specific toys such as those tied into TV shows and movies, and the commercialization of children's play (marked by the debut of the Mickey Mouse Club in 1955 and its associated toy advertising).

Breastfeeding Tips from Moms for Moms

February 19, 2008

Breastfeeding my children was one of the best choices that I made as a mother. I have been nursing my 2 children a total of 4 years. When I had my first child, I almost gave up breastfeeding after the first few weeks of his birth. My son had a hard time latching on and never got enough food. I recently came across an article in Parents Magazine called 23 Great Nursing Tips from Moms that offers some valuable you-can-do-it. I wish I had read this article when I was beginning my nursing endeavor. Some of the tips that I most identified include:

Snacks for Kids: A Necessity

February 16, 2008

A recent AP article in the IJ  (Wednesday, February 13, 2008) stresses the necessity of making sure active kids eat healthy snacks throughout the day. Younger children, especially, need two snacks during the day since they definitely need the energy. I'm not going to rewrite the article here (and I can't find it on the IJ's website), but the gist of it is that kids need healthy snacks low in fat and sugars and high in fiber and nutrients. Fruit and crackers, two snack staples in our home, are specifically mentioned.

At least five servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended; that's at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 1 1/2 cups of fruit. One of the ways we like to make sure the kids consume enough fruit is through fruit smoothies like the one we wrote about here.

How Safe is That Plastic Bottle or Sippy Cup?

January 23, 2008

Sippy cups and bottlesWith all talk about toxic plastics in the news, I decided to research the subject a little closer and find out which children and household items are not safe in my home. After finding a quick reference of plastic codes from the National Geographic Green Guides, I decided to go through my kitchen cabinet and check the kid’s sippy cups and plastic dishes to find out if they should be avoided. You can check the type of plastic of an item by looking for the number on the bottom.

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