Children's Health

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.

Lead Poisoning: Is Your Child at Risk?

December 7, 2007

Marin Mommies is pleased to present the second in a series of guest posts by pediatricians Dr. Steven Martel and Dr. Oded Herbsman. Drs. Herbsman and Martel are the founders of Child’s Light Pediatrics, Inc., an innovative, house-call based pediatric practice that serves Marin and San Francisco.

There has been a lot of media attention regarding the risk of lead exposure from children’s toys. Most of this attention has been focused on the risk of exposure from lead paint in toys made in China.

What is lead poisoning?

Lead is a toxic metal that affects the nervous system.  It is absorbed primarily through the inhalation of lead dust and ingestion of lead products.  Lead poisoning generally occurs slowly after repeated exposures.

Sleep Safely with a Sleep Sack

November 10, 2007

sleep sackNow that the nights are getting chilly, the safest way to keep baby warm is with a sleep sack. For those who have big babies or toddlers who kick off the covers at night, Baby in a Bag carries traditional European-style sleep sacks in larger sizes. These premium sleep sacks are made from breathable, comfortable fabrics, and are available in a variety of styles, including lightweight summer and heavier winter models, both made of soft 100% cotton; as well as PamperSacks made from a variety of fabrics, including soft Minky, eco-friendly soybean protein fiber, and luxurious 100% silk. All are available in a variety of colors and patterns. Prices start at $24.95, so they're not terribly expensive, and make a great new-baby or shower gift!

Get Your Unique, Handmade Shopping Cart Cover

October 24, 2007
Now that fall has arrived, the flu and cold season is just around the corner. I have to admit that I’m a little paranoid about germs, so when my son and daughter were old enough to sit in a shopping cart, I quickly ran out and bought a cart cover. The one that I purchased wasn’t very good and would never fit around the shopping cart properly.

Understanding Influenza and the Flu Vaccine

October 19, 2007

Marin Mommies is pleased to Introduce the first guest post by pediatricians Dr. Steven Martel and Dr. Oded Herbsman. Drs. Herbsman and Martel are the founders of Child’s Light Pediatrics, Inc., an innovative, house-call based pediatric practice that serves Marin and San Francisco.

Fall and Winter is a frequent time for illness in children. One frequent cause of Fall and Winter illness is influenza or “the flu”.  Fortunately, there is a way to diminish the likelihood that children are sidelined by this illness.

What is Influenza?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by any strain of influenza virus.  It causes mild to severe illness, and is potentially serious in younger and chronically ill children. 

Each flu season is unique, but it is estimated that 5-20% of people in the U.S. get the flu. More than 200,000 persons are hospitalized for flu-related complications yearly. 
The flu virus spreads easily in droplets from coughs and sneezes. People become infected when droplets of an infected person are deposited on the mouth or nose of another person or on objects that are touched by that person.

Does my child have the flu?

Baby Tooth Care Tips

August 27, 2007
Baby TeethI took my 4-year-old to the dentist earlier this summer and found out that he had a cavity. Because of this, I have been very thorough about cleaning my 20-month-old’s teeth. I started researching the subject and found it’s really a hot topic out there. There’s a lot of information available, and it can get a little confusing. I’ve put together a list of baby tooth care tips that seem to be pretty universal.

Yoga for Kids

July 18, 2007
YogaKids DVD setMy son recently told me that he wanted to try yoga, probably because I do a class here and there myself. I couldn’t find any kids’ classes that we could attend in town, but after a brief search online, I did come across YogaKids icon an award-winning series of DVDs from Gaiam.

Shade your Babe!

July 6, 2007
Natalie sunshade by Bellah May DesignsAfter my son was born a few years ago, we experienced the hottest summer that I can remember in a long time. When we went for a walk I was constantly draping the stroller with baby blankets, shirts, or whatever else I had on hand, to shade him from the sun. Of course I didn't want to make it too hot for him, either, so it was always a balancing act. I searched high and low for some type of sunshade that would fit the stroller, but had no luck. I wish that I found these fashionable sunshades for Your Little Ones from Bellah May Designs. Choose from 27 different styles, all of which are reversible and are made of 100% breathable cotton.

One of my favorites is the Natalie (pictured above), which offers a Parisian flair with Eiffel Towers and polka dots in shades of pink and brown. The sunshades offer a sleeping baby privacy, and full or partial protection from the sun. They also offer a handy pouch for storage. Prices range from $75.00–$85.00. For more info or to purchase, go to
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