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Summer Ice Cream Round Up: Bars, Cones, & Sandwiches

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Summer is here, and temperatures just keep rising and rising. Along with the heat, the urge for a refreshingly cold treat also tends to increase on a daily basis. Thankfully, July is National Ice Cream Month. In honor of the celebration, here at Parents we’ve taste tested a variety of flavors and brands to bring you our absolute favorites! (Hey, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.) Be sure to check back every week during the month of July for even more yumminess.

Click here to read the picks for our favorite dairy-free and ice-cream on a stick options.

Skinny Cow Ganache Cones

Skinny Cow Ganache Cones

You’ve probably heard or have had Skinny Cow ice cream before (and if you haven’t, you should!), and their two new flavored cones don’t disappoint. Bonus: At only 160 calories each, these delicious treats are worth every bite.

Flavors: Chocolate Mint Ganache and Chocolate Mousse Ganache

Sold: Nationwide

“Super yummy, and definitely didn’t taste fake or light.” – Sabrina Hall, tablet designer

 

blue bunny mini swirl ice cream

Blue Bunny Mini Cones

Sometimes, ice cream cones are just too much for little stomachs. The makers at Blue Bunny have offered a yummy solution. This pint-sized cones are only about four inches tall, the perfect snack size.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Vanilla, Birthday Party, and Peanut Butter

Sold: Nationwide

I ate the caramel cone, and it was so tasty!” – Madeleine Burry, associate managing editor

Klondike Kandy Bars

Klondike Kandy Bars

For those that love to put their candy bars in the freezer (or for anybody with a sweet tooth), than this ice cream is for you! Klondike has combined the crunchy scrumptiousness of candy bars with the smooth sweetness of ice cream to create the ultimate Kandy bar.

Flavors: Caramel & Peanuts, Fudge Krunch, and Cookies & Cream

Sold: Nationwide

I’m pretty sure I devoured my Caramel and Peanuts Klondike bar in under one minute. It hit the taste trifecta for me: sweet-salty, creamy, and crunchy.” – Sherry Huang, senior editor

 

homemade ice cream sandwiches

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwich

If you prefer to keep your ice cream homemade, try one of these six delicious ice cream recipes that are anything but boring!

I is for ice cream! Click here to download this fun coloring sheet.

How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations
How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations
How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations

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Summer Ice Cream Round Up: Ice Cream on a Stick

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Summer is here, and temperatures just keep rising and rising. Along with the heat, the urge for a refreshingly cold treat also tends to increase on a daily basis. Thankfully, July is National Ice Cream Month. In honor of the celebration, here at Parents we’ve taste tested a variety of flavors and brands to bring you our absolute favorites! (Hey, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.) Be sure to check back every week during the month of July for even more yumminess.

Whether your child is on-the-go in the car, at a picnic, or at camp, it doesn’t get much better than ice cream on a stick if you’re a kid. From fruity to creamy, decadent to juicy, these treats are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Popsicle Red Classics

Popsicle Red Classic

Red usually means stop, except when kids see this Popsicle flavor. Red flavors are very popular, so the makers of this summer staple decided to package them all together. Gone are the days of children fighting over who gets the red one, while the poor grape and orange Popsicles are left to melt.

Flavors: Cherry, Raspberry, and Strawberry

Sold: Nationwide

“I love the adorable retro packaging. This is so smart because everybody always goes for the red ones, first, right?” – Samantha Hyde, editorial assistant

Dreyer's Outshine FV Apples & Greens

Dreyer’s Outshine Fruit & Veggie Bars

It’s pretty common for kids to enjoy fruit in ice cream, but veggies? That’s a whole different story, but these bars are 25 percent vegetable made with puree and juices.

Flavors: Peach Mango, Tangerine Carrot, Strawberry Rhubarb, Blueberry Medley

Sold: Nationwide

“With few calories and natural ingredients, you can’t go wrong!” – Caylin Harris, associate lifestyle editor

Talenti Gelato Pops

Talenti Gelato Pops

Made with fresh milk and pure cane sugar, these pops are worth the indulgence. And at 30 percent less fat than regular ice cream, you don’t have to feel guilty about it!.

Flavors: Caribbean Coconut, Double Dark Chocolate, Banana Swirl, Black Raspberry, Coffee, Mediterranean Mint, Tahitian Vanilla, and Sea Salt

Sold: Nationwide

“They’re so good!!! I love their salted caramel, and it’s great on a stick, too.” – Sarah Lyon, editorial assistant

Yasso Greek Yogurt Pops

Yasso Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars

At only 80 calories a bar and 5-7 grams of protein, you’ll want to go back for seconds with these delicious frozen treats. (Don’t worry. We won’t tell.)

Flavors: Chocolate Fudge, Mint Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Sea Salt Caramel, Peanut Butter Cup, Raspberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, Vanilla Bean, Mango, and Coconut

Sold: Nationwide

“AMAZING! It didn’t melt super fast, and was tasty without being too rich or heavy.” – Ashley Oerman, assistant editor

In the mood to made your own ice cream? Try one of the six delicious ice cream sandwiches!

I is for ice cream! Click here to download this fun coloring sheet.

How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations
How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations
How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations

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Summer Ice Cream Round Up: Dairy-Free Favorites

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Summer is here, and temperatures just keep rising and rising. Along with the heat, the urge for a refreshingly cold treat also tends to increase on a daily basis. Thankfully, July is National Ice Cream Month. In honor of the celebration, here at Parents we’ve taste tested a variety of flavors and brands to bring you our absolute favorites! (Hey, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.) Be sure to check back every week during the month of July for even more yumminess.

Most of us have two assumptions about ice cream: First, it’s delicious. Second, it’s a dairy product. And while that’s true, there are many scrumptious dairy-free options that can fulfill an ice cream craving without the allergy worries. (P.S. These are delicious even if you don’t have a milk allergy!) Here are our favorites:

TCBY Silk Vanilla

TCBY Silk

The brand you loved as a child is now available for your little munchkins to enjoy. TCBY has partnered with Silk Soy Milk to create a delicious dairy-free frozen yogurt option available in all its locations. Since Silk is available as a soft-serve, customers can still customize and add their favorite toppings.

Flavors: Coconut, Chocolate, and Vanilla

Sold: TCBY Stores Nationwide

“Mmmmm, I tried the coconut and loved it! Not too sweet or too rich. Definitely a keeper.” – Allison Berry, editorial assistant

 

Alchemy Creamery Dairy-Free Ice Cream

 

Alchemy Creamery

New Yorkers have enjoyed Alchemy Creamery’s unique dairy-free goodies for years. Recently, the team behind the brand launched nationwide-shipping so every one can experience their unique mix of flavors.

Flavors: Green Tea & Coconut, Chocolate Chai, Salted Peanut Butter, Almond Marzipan, and Strawberries & Cream

Sold: Smorgesburg and Fairway Markets in New York City, shipped nationwide via their website

“I loved the almond marzipan. It tasted just like crushed almonds. It was creamy and tasted naturally sweet, not overly sweetened.” – Ruthie Fierberg, editorial assistant to the Editor in Chief

 

Sorbabes

 

Sorbabes Gourmet Sorbet

Sorbabes prides itself on combining farm-fresh ingredients, filtered water, and peak-season fruits to create a delicious mix of exciting summer flavors.

Flavors: Pistachio with Sea Salted Caramel, Peanut with Banana and Chocolate Fudge, Juicy Orange Passionfruit with Lychees, Lemon with Candied Zest, and Raspberry with Dark Chocolate.

Sold: Primarily on the East Coast but constantly expanding

“Passionfruit with lynchee was refreshing, light, and tangy. Both flavors were present and I liked that the tart balanced the sweetness.” – Mia Song, senior designer

Click here for dairy-free desserts you can make at home!

Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope
Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope
Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope

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10-Year-Old CEO with Cerebral Palsy Makes a Difference in Local Community

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Keith's Ice Cold Lemonade Stand

Keith Boyd and Arthur Greeno

One special boy is doing incredible things in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Keith Boyd, 10, is currently on a mission to raise $250,000 this summer for The Little Light House, a local development center for children with special needs. Keith was born with non-verbal cerebral palsy and went to school at the center until age 6. He is now able to verbally communicate after receiving the Tobii EyeMobile as a gift from The Little Light House. The tool allows users to type a message by interpreting the gaze of their eyes, which is then read aloud. The Tobii is just one of many new tools to help kids with disabilities

And while the gift of communication is invaluable, Boyd is doing what he can to give back.

“[The Little Light House] has done so much for me; I want to give back so other kids can go to that school without paying any money,” he said.

But raising that amount of money in one summer is no easy feat, so Keith crafted a business plan to set up lemonade stands around his community. He presented the plan to Thrive15, an online educational resource for entrepreneurs. Moved by his proposal, local businessman Arthur Greeno stepped in to help make this charitable idea a reality.

Now, Keith’s Ice Cold Lemonade Stand is open for business.

Thanks to donations from local businesses, he’s off to a good start. Before the first lemonade stand opened, $70,000 had already been raised through donations. The local Chick-Fil-A franchise, owned by Greeno, also donated lemons. In his list of ingredients, Keith noted he would require lemons, water, and hugs to make the summer favorite. It can’t get any sweeter than that!

Check out Keith’s website to learn more about his mission, to donate, or to just read some good news. Because you know what they say: When life hands you lemons…

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Kevin Durant Calls Mom ‘Real MVP’ in Tear-Jerking Acceptance Speech

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Kevin-Durant-Mom-Wanda-Pratt-Grandmother

Kevin Durant with his mother and grandmother

Professional basketball player Kevin Durant accepted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award Tuesday, which was the first of his career. In an emotion-filled speech, he thanked everybody who helped him along his journey, from coaches to teammates to fans. As he began to thank his mother, Durant, Mama Durant, and practically everybody watching broke down in tears.

Durant was raised by Wanda Pratt a single mother of two in Washington DC. As Durant said in his acceptance speech, he never thought he would make it to the NBA, and without Pratt’s sacrifices, he might not have. Even now, Mama Durant still goes to almost all the Oklahoma City Thunder home games, and win or lose, Durant always gives her a post-game hug and a kiss.

In the sweet speech Durant is overcome with emotion recalling the mother-son journey. “We weren’t supposed to be here,” he said talking to Pratt. “You made us believe. You kept us off the street, put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.”

Watch it below, but be sure to have multiple tissues on hand.

 

Photo via Instagram.com/easymoneysniper

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How to Raise Healthy Eaters

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Kids and VegetablesWe all want to raise nutrition-smart kids, but where do you begin? Does a kindergartner need to know the difference between organic and processed foods? Aren’t babies just supposed to have breastmilk? And what about toddlers? Can we get them to do anything?

The good news is parents don’t need to go it alone in the quest for a healthier lifestyle. Local programs like The New York Foundling in New York City can help provide nutritional guidance.

“At The New York Foundling we empower our families by educating them on easy ways to incorporate healthy eating and the importance of nutrition,” said Bethany Lampland, COO, The New York Foundling. “We believe this is the most important step in enabling smart choices for years to come.”

To celebrate Nutritional Awareness Month, The New York Foundling’s Carlye Waxman, RD, CDN offers her tips on how and when to introduce healthy nutrition at different stages of a child’s life. And if you’re making feeding mistakes, don’t worry. There are easy fixes.

Prenatal: During pregnancy babies need vitamins, minerals and nutrients to develop properly. Get enough calcium by having 4 servings of dairy per day. Easy ways to do this – start your day with a yogurt (non-Greek has more calcium), have skim or low-fat milk as a snack, add cheese in your sandwich and have low-fat ice cream for dessert.

Babies: When your baby is around 6 months old, he or she can have more variety than just formula or breast milk. Introduce yogurt and cheese for necessary fat and calcium. Vegetables are important at this stage as well, not just for the nutrients they provide, but to encourage children eat their vegetables in the future. Be sure to introduce only one new food every few days to check for allergic reactions or intolerances.

Toddlers: Trying new foods may be a challenge if your toddler is choosy. Don’t force a new food if your child won’t accept it, but do try several times and don’t give up. Your child is also following your example, so eating healthy foods yourself will help him learn without even knowing it.

Kindergarten: This is the time to start involving your child in meal planning. Take her to the grocery store and ask her which vegetable she wants with dinner (present her with two or three options so she don’t get too confused). Serve foods that the rest of the family is eating as much as possible so they can learn by example. Don’t use desserts as a tool for children to eat their vegetables at this stage, or they may start to think of vegetables as bad or boring and simply a means to get to the real “delicious” foods after.

Tweens: The old adage is true: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It can influence test scores and help increase learning throughout the day. If you’re on-the-go a simple breakfast can include a slice of whole grain toast, low-fat milk with cereal and a banana. For mornings that you can prepare foods, try making oatmeal with low-fat milk. Buy plain uncooked oats and sweeten them yourself with natural sweeteners such as fruit and honey.

Kids of All Ages:  Routinely have dinners at home as a family. Dinners together provide a balance of home-cooked nutrients, and serve as a time to talk about the day, the food or the meal prepared. Aim to include three things in your meal: a lean protein, a whole grain starch and a plethora of vegetables. Children will learn what constitutes a balanced, filling meal and take that knowledge with them as they grow up.

Take a look at our Food & Recipe Guide for healthy (and delicious!) recipe ideas.

How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids

Image: Happy Kid with vegetables and fruits sitting at the table via ShutterStock

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webRover, a New Internet Guard Dog, Monitors Your Kids’ Internet Time

Friday, March 14th, 2014

webRover-parental-control-internetEver worry about what your children are looking at online? Or worry they are spending too much time on the Internet? Of course you do!

There is so much to fear in the digital age, from online predators to cyberbullies to unwelcomed pop-ups and risqué advertising. But as consumers of the World Wide Web, we also know that so much good content is out there for children as well.

A new product just hit the market that may make it easier for parents to control the content as well as the amount of time kids are viewing it online. PowerCloud Systems, in partnership with Common Sense Media, launched a new parental control feature in Skydog (their home networking monitoring system), named webRover. The control is designed for monitoring kids between the ages 2 and 10. Through the Skydog-connected system, parents can set up multiple user accounts that can be controlled across all devices (including mobile and tablets).

“Kids can easily get exposed to age-inappropriate content,” says Caroline Knorr, the Parenting Editor for Common Sense Media. “They can do that by typing something into the Internet that seems like an innocuous search term, and they can arrive at a website that is not age appropriate.”

“Let’s face it, there’s no way that you can prevent your kids from being exposed to age-inappropriate content or content that you don’t approve of, but there are ways to manage their online activities so they are funneled into sites where they have a greater chance of finding age-appropriate, positive, nourishing websites versus what they might find on their own,” she continues.

Each webRover user profile can be customized based on what each parent deems appropriate for each child. For example, parents can schedule designated study hours during the week for school-age children where only approved websites can be accessed during that time. So even though kids may need the Internet to research a homework assignment, you won’t have to worry that they are wasting time playing an online game. For even younger children, parents can allow access-based categories, including learning potential. This is where Common Sense Media comes in.

The organization rates and reviews media across multiple platforms (like movies, TV shows, video games, apps, etc.) and assesses the appropriate age for each product. Multiple factors come into play, including violence, sex, cigarettes and drugs, language, positive role models, and learning capability. So, even though some websites may be kid-friendly, they may not necessarily promote learning. Through webRover, parents can customize the sites they want to allow, like ones with a higher educational rating. For sites that don’t have a ranking (like religious and regional websites), parents can manually enter in their own information and ratings. Parents can even override Common Sense Media’s ratings if they decide their young child can handle websites aimed at older children, or if they find something age-inappropriate based on their own values.

“Often parental controls are blunt instruments that block out too much good stuff,” Knorr says. “That’s been a real downfall with the controls up until this point. So the way Skydog has implemented it…they are saying, ‘You know what, we want to just curate the good stuff for kids.’”

The big key here is that although there are different recommendations about the what, how, and when children can access the Internet, the webRover feature allows ultimate control to be left up to the parents. And that deserves a little sigh of relief!

Download our Internet-use contract so your kids know the rules before they log in online!

Digital Devices and Children
Digital Devices and Children
Digital Devices and Children

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Family-Friendly Oscar Nominees Worth a Second Look

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Oscar-statue-Academy-AwardsBefore the stars hit the red carpet at the 86th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, take a look back at a few of the best Oscar-nominated, family-friendly films you may have forgotten about.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

This Disney classic, based on the Jules Verne novel, won two Academy Awards back in 1954 for Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects. The filmed starred Kirk Douglas and was the first and only science-fiction film Walt Disney personally produced. The story centers around a submarine crew out to prove the existence of a sea monster rumored to be attacking ships. The movie also spawned a popular attraction at Disney World. Unfortunately, after a more than 20-year run, the ride closed in 1994, preventing the next generation of children from discovering this deep-water tale.

Around the World in 80 Days

If your little ones like to travel and explore, or if they are fans of the television show The Amazing Race, then introduce them to the 1957 Best Picture winner Around the World in 80 Days. Based on another Jules Verne classic, this movie follows loveable gentleman Phileas Fogg as he attempts to travel the world in record time. Note, there was a remake in 2004 starring Jackie Chan, and while enjoyable, let’s just say it didn’t win any Academy Awards.

Doctor Dolittle

Doctor Dolittle has the special power to do what so many children dream of being able to do: Talk to animals. Except in this movie, the animals don’t talk back (at least not on camera). Rex Harrison (not Eddie Murphy) stars in the title role as the famed doctor that travels the world in search of the giant pink snail. The film was based on a series of children’s book by Hugh Lofting and won multiple Oscars in 1967, including one for Best Effects and Best Music.

 Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Bedknobs and Broomsticks is kind of like the forgotten sister to Mary Poppins. Both films combine live action and animation, and both films have exceptional scores, the former winning the film the 1972 Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Also based on a series of books, this charming tale follows three young kids as they discover their caregiver is a (friendly) witch. Kids will recognize the voice of Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast and fellow lead David Tomlinson as the dad, Mr. Banks, in Mary Poppins.

Pete’s Dragon

Following the Disney trend of combining live action with animation was Pete’s Dragon, which was nominated for two Oscars–Best Song and Best Score–in 1978. The movie tells the story of an orphan named Pete who escapes his abusive adoptive home with the help of an invisible (and loveable) dragon, Elliott. The film stars Helen Reddy of “I Am Woman” fame and Mickey Rooney as keepers of the local lighthouse. A remake is supposedly in the works by Disney, but it’s hard to imagine a new version living up to the enchantment of the original.

The Rescuers

Also earning a Best Song nomination at the 1978 Academy Awards was Disney’s The Rescuers. This animated flick is the story of how two small mice (voiced by Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor) in New York City travel south to rescue an abducted orphan named Penny. Though not nominated for an Oscar the sequel, The Rescuers Down Under released in 1990, is also highly recommended.

Babe

Sometimes, live-action movies with animals that talk can be extremely cheesy. Then sometimes, they turn out beautifully. For example, Babe, the 1996 Best Picture nominee stars an adorable pig raised by a family of herding dogs on a farm. The little guy teaches all the animals on the farm how to respect each other and learn to work together. No wonder it earned seven Oscar nominations.

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

Science has never been this cool. Nickelodeon’s Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2002 Academy Awards. The story revolves around a young boy with a big imagination. When all the parents are kidnapped by aliens, it’s up to Jimmy, his friends, and all of Jimmy’s crazy inventions to rescue them. Any film with the tagline “I may be small, but I’ve got a big brain” is something we can get behind.

Spirited Away

People may hear the name Hayao Miyazaki at this year’s ceremony. The famed Japanese animator’s latest film, The Wind Rises, is up for Best Animated Feature. But during the 2002 show, it was his film Spirited Away that went home with this award. The visually stunning film tells the story of a young girl who must rescue her parents and find her way home after being trapped in a spirit world.

Treasure Planet

Nominated alongside winner Spirited Away at the 2002 awards was Disney’s Treasure Planet. Best described as “Treasure Island in Space,” it’s the story of a teenager going on the journey of a lifetime. When an alien crash-lands near his home, Jim discovers that the bedtime stories he was told as a child were true. In that moment, he decides to go on an epic adventure across the universe to find Treasure Planet.

To help your kids enjoy the spirit of the awards season, download our free No. 1 winner trophy coloring sheet!

Our Favorite Celebrity Babies of the Year
Our Favorite Celebrity Babies of the Year
Our Favorite Celebrity Babies of the Year

Image: CANNES – MAY 15: This Oscar statue belonging to Jerry Lewis is on display in Cannes, France on May 15, 2009 via Shutterstock

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