Archive for the ‘ Health & Safety ’ Category

Shop Healthy — With Affordable Prices

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Thrive MarketGrocery shopping can be such a dreaded task. For most parents, you either have to open up your wallet and shell out big bucks for healthy foods, or get over your guilt of buying less-expensive foods that aren’t as healthy.

The founders of Thrive Market know your struggles, and they have crafted a pretty smart solution. They’re offering more than 2,500 of the most popular non-perishable products from trusted brands like Tom’s of Maine, Annie’s Homegrown, and Gerber.

For $59.99 a year (about $4.99 a month), members gain access to their favorite healthy food, beauty, and cleaning brands at 25-50% off their regular retail price. New members get a 30-day free trial and 15% off of their first order when registering. The founders of Thrive consider their business model “Whole Foods meets Costco.” They told us that their goal is to democratize access to healthy living because, after all, why shouldn’t products like these be available to all families?

Members have the option of shopping in categories such as paleo, vegan, gluten-free, Healthy Mom. You can also search by ingredients, such as GMO-free, peanut-free, and pesticide-free or by environmental/social standards like cruelty-free, made by a family-owned business, and locally sourced.

So how deeply discounted are Thrive’s prices? A 6-ounce box of Annie’s Homegrown Shells and White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese is ordinarily $2.65, but on Thrive Market it’s $1.75. Tom’s of Main Fluoride-Free Antiplaque and Whitening Toothpaste sells for $5.99, but Thrive Market gives it to you for 34% off at $3.95. (Note that you can’t see the discounted prices until you register for the service.)

Here’s what I really like: Thrive Market donates one membership to a deserving family for every membership purchased. So, not only are you taking care of your family, but also you are helping a family in need.

Image courtesy of Thrive Market

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Wear Your Baby Like a Pro

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Strapping your peanut to your chest can be a sanity saver when he wants to be held and you need to keep your hands free, but it’s not always easy to master safely using a carrier. Learn to be a wrap star with these steps.

Take it slow. Read the instructions carefully, and practice with a doll or a sack of flour first (seriously!). When you’re ready, wrap your baby or place her into the carrier over a soft surface such as a bed, says Linnea Catalan, executive director of the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance.

 Keep Baby close. When he’s in an upright position, your little one’s head should be close enough to kiss and his back should be supported, so that his spine sits in its natural curve and his chin is off his chest. You should be able to fit at least one finger between his chin and his chest—any less and his airway could become blocked. In the cradle position in a sling, he should rest at chest level, with
his bottom in the deepest part of it. And know that babywearing shouldn’t hurt your back, shoulders, or neck—if it does, the carrier isn’t fitted properly.

Make sure his face is visible at all times. Suffocation can be a real risk, especially for infants younger than 4 months, preemies, and those with respiratory problems, says Nychelle Fleming, public affairs specialist for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Look down at your baby often, and be especially diligent about returning him to the proper position after nursing. You don’t want him to fall asleep after a feeding with his face pressed against your body or behind a piece of fabric. In fact, Catalan suggests that you skip nursing in the carrier until your sweetie is stronger.

Avoid overheating. “Think of the carrier as an extra layer of clothing,” says Catalan. Don’t wear Baby zipped up under your coat. That’s dangerous. A cover that’s made for the carrier is best.

This week is International Babywearing Week! Read about the benefits of babywearing and watch our video all about attachment parenting:

Parenting Style: Attachment Parenting
Parenting Style: Attachment Parenting
Parenting Style: Attachment Parenting

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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Win the New Halo Bassinest Plus a Gift Set!

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The mission of safe sleep for babies is something that HALO takes very seriously. While they’ve always been a leader in safe baby nightwear, such as their SleepSack Swaddle and SleepSack wearable blanket, they’re now introducing their first piece of gear, the innovative HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper.

Use the bassinet to have your baby sleep by your side, but not in your bed (which poses a suffocation hazard; if you don’t believe them, read about safe sleep habits from First Candle). Unlike traditional bassinets, this one can slide right next to you in bed, plus one side lowers down, making it easy to lift your baby out for feedings. Also, the mesh sides provide both good air flow and a clear view of your sleeping infant, for peace of mind. It’s good from the moment you bring your newborn home until he or she is about 5 months old.

The Bassinest just launched for $230 at Giggle and Right Start. But HALO is also generously giving one away here! HALO will send ONE (1) lucky winner a HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper and a HALO gift set (including a SleepSack, Swaddle and a SleepSack wearable blanket); a retail value of approximately $294.00.

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day October 8th. More Qs about our giveaway? Read our official rules. Be sure to check back on October 9th and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!

Congrats to our winner, Casey Hoffman! Please check your “other” message folder on Facebook in order to claim your prize.

Watch the video below for additional tips on dressing your baby for sleep.

 

Dress Baby for Sleep
Dress Baby for Sleep
Dress Baby for Sleep

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Beautiful Ways to Support Breast Cancer Research

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Show your support—and look good in the process—with these products that help benefit breast-cancer causes.

Supersmile gives 75 percent of online sales of its Pink Diamond Toothbrush to SHARE, a national breast-cancer support group. $15; supersmile.com

Estée Lauder donates three dollars from each sale of Clinique Pink With a Purpose Long Last Lipstick in Power With Pink to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The company recently debuted BCAcampaign.com, an interactive site with video stories from people affected by breast cancer.  $16; clinique.com

For every sale of the Avon Anew Vitale Night Cream, $5 of the net profits will help fund the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. $28; avon.com

A quarter of a million dollars from sales of select products owned by Kao USA, including Jergens Original Scent Dry Skin Moisturizer, will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance. $7; drugstores

 

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Making the Play with Andrew Luck

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

What do you do with your kids to get active? An NFL quarterback wants to know!

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is helping launch “Make the Play” with Quaker Oats to help motivate families to eat healthy and get active. Parents can submit their favorite ways to play with their families. The winning family with the most innovative game or original way to be active gets to participate in a “Day of Play” with Luck. Parents caught up with Luck to learn about the importance of kids getting active with their families.

P: What inspired you to get involved with “Make the Play”?

AL: This is my third year getting to work with Quaker. It’s really because we share so much passion for healthy lifestyles and encouraging kids to get outside to play for at least an hour a day, to eat good breakfast, and sleep well. I think those are great messages to get behind. I feel strongly about them and so does Quaker.

P: How did active play influence your childhood? 

AL: It was a big,big part of my childhood. I have three younger siblings, so the four of us were outside all the time after school playing games, making up games. My sister made up a game called “roof ball.” We’d play that constantly. She always beat me in it, and it made me very mad. But we were outside all the time. We’d wait for my dad to come home from work, and he’d take 15, 20 minutes to just throw a football or shoot basketball hoops or kick a soccer ball or play volleyball. That was always a big part of my childhood, and I know it must have helped me with sitting down and doing homework later or falling asleep. It was a great way to use up some energy.

P: What was “roof ball” like? 

AL: “Roof ball” was a game where we’d throw a ball on the roof and the person who caught it got points. I shoulda won, but I rarely did.

P: What are some advantages of children getting active? 

AL: I do think studies have shown that getting active for at least 60 minutes a day helps with concentration and focus, so I think that’s important. Just an active lifestyle is great for health overall.

P: What athlete inspired you as a kid to be active? 

AL: My dad [Oliver Luck] played football in the NFL, and he was a quarterback, as well. He was always an inspiration, and I loved watching Peyton Manning and Steve McNair. I enjoyed watching those guys.

P: How does eating right affect your performance?

AL: It’s a big part of being a professional athlete. To me, breakfast is my most important meal. It’s often the meal you play a game on. I make sure I have oatmeal, milk, and fruit. It’s the fuel you use to hopefully do your best, so eating right is a big part of being a professional athlete. I wish I paid more attention to it earlier in my life.

P: What’s you favorite oatmeal topping? 

AL: Fruit! All types of fruit—berries, especially.

P: What are some ways parents can inspire their kids to get active? 

AL: I always appreciated my dad coming outside and playing with us—or my mom—and being a part of the game we were playing or refereeing it or just being outside. That was fun for us, and it was very encouraging.

P: What are you looking for when judging the “Make the Play” contest? 

AL: Two simple things! One: Involve other people. It’s fun when a bunch of people are playing the game and families. Two: Have fun. Make sure you’re having fun, and that will come through on the videos.

For more information on the “Make the Play” contest, visit QuakerMakeThePlay.com.

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Say Goodbye to Summer Sniffles with These Products

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

When you’re experiencing cold-like symptoms, it’s easy to swallow some meds and get on with the day. But it may be years before your little one learns how to swallow a pill, and he may not be enticed by chewable remedies, either.   

This is where sprays come in. Arm & Hammer’s Simply Saline Nasal Mist and OCEAN Saline Nasal Spray are both drug-free products designed to help those suffering from nasal congestion. All Simply Saline sprays and OCEAN Nasal Care products are safe to administer in conjunction with other oral and nasal medicines (consult your doctor first, as sprays may flush out any other nasal remedies), plus they’re A-ok to use while pregnant and breastfeeding.

Arm & Hammer offers various versions of the Simply Saline Nasal Mist, including a product specifically for babies (ages birth and up) as well as one for kids (ages 2 and up). The spray for babies has an infant-safe nozzle. Compared to Neti Pots (which are suitable for those ages 5 and up), the Nasal Mist is gentler on little noses and easier to use as a whole. 

OCEAN for Kids Saline Nasal Spray is safe for children and infants, and it, too, includes a smaller spray tip for young ones, plus it provides extra moisture.

Though the weather is warming up, it’s still important to be mindful about cold prevention. Summer colds are common, as slightly over half of the respondents in a Simply Saline survey, released last week, report experiencing one within the past year.

Confused about how to administer nasal spray? This video can help.

How to Give Nasal Spray
How to Give Nasal Spray
How to Give Nasal Spray

Images courtesy of Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC and Simply Saline, respectively. 

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Healthy Fathers = Happy Fathers

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Father’s Day falls on June 15 this year. You’re probably thinking, “I just bought him socks for Christmas!” which is probably right. You’re going to need to think up a new gift, but should also know that on the day before the holiday, Sam’s Club nationwide is offering free health screenings for men. Members and non-members alike are encouraged to visit their nearest Sam’s Club to receive an in-club health screening between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.. Not only is it an early Father’s Day gift, but since June is also Men’s Health Month, it’s a smart choice.

A lot of men may look and feel healthy on a daily basis, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease are among the top health risks for adult males in the United States today. A convenient health screening, like this one, will not only educate the men in your life, but it may also lead them to a healthier lifestyle.

Tests that will take place include:

  • PSA (prostate-specific antigen) which test men 40 years and older. This test is used to screen men for prostate cancer by checking his blood level of PSA; a protein produced by the prostate gland.
  • Blood pressure
  • Body Fate Percentage
  • Total cholesterol
  • Glucose
  • HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Risk Ratio
  • Vision Screening/Testing

These tests are typically valued at $150, but the father in your life will receive a priceless opportunity.

Making the choice to become, and stay, healthy is a big step. Dieting and exercising is always the first to pop in our head when it comes to choosing a healthy routine, but simple tests, like those mentioned above, is sometimes all it takes.

Think the kids are up for making a bird feeder for Dad to hang outside? Check out this craft.

How to Make a Bird-Feeder Craft
How to Make a Bird-Feeder Craft
How to Make a Bird-Feeder Craft

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7 Shocking Things I Learned From Fed Up

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Fed Up - Childhood ObesityOver the years we have heard a lot about the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States. But Fed Up, a new documentary produced and narrated by Katie Couric, suggests that we’ve been battling this disease in all the wrong ways.

Instead of blaming a lack of will power and pushing kids to exercise more, Fed Up puts the responsibility squarely on the sugary processed foods so many kids and families rely on for their daily nutrition.

The doc follows four overweight children who are struggling with their weight, and, frankly, it’s heartbreaking. These kids desperately want to be healthy and accepted by the other students at school. They are afraid of getting diabetes or cancer or even dying young. But they are confronted at every turn—at school, at home, on TV, and online—by the foods that are making them fat. As one of the kids says, alcoholics don’t have to keep liquor in the house, but everyone needs to eat.

Here are just a few of the shocking things I learned while watching:

A calorie is not a calorie. One hundred and sixty calories of almonds is not equal to 160 calories of soda. One provides healthy fats, vitamins, and fiber. The other is absorbed instantly by the liver and turned immediately to fat. Guess which is which.

Based on lab studies, sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine. For this reason alone parents should go easy on the added sugars given to babies and toddlers. The more sugar kids consume at this age, the more they’ll crave it as they grow up.

In 1980 there were no reported cases of Type 2 diabetes in the U.S. In 2010, that number was 57,638.

There are 600,000 packaged food items in America. Eighty percent of them contain added sugar. As Dr. Robert Lustig recently told Parents, naturally occurring sugars in fruits are perfectly healthy since they come with fiber to balance it out. But most added sugars enter our bodies with little fiber and go straight to our liver where they’re turned into fat.

One can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, and 80% of America’s public schools have a deal with Coke or Pepsi. Mark Bittman, New York Times columnist, calls soda “the cigarettes of the 21st century.”

When it comes to school lunches the federal government considers tomato paste a vegetable; thus a slice of pizza can help meet a lunch’s produce requirement. I love pizza, but it doesn’t look like a vegetable to me.

It is possible to be “TOFI”, or thin on the outside and fat on the inside. Meaning, thin people who eat junk food are still at risk for major health problems.

What does this mean for me and you and our families? The prescription is simple: eat more real food. Cook at home and rely less on processed foods that are typically sugar-laden and nutrient-poor. Home-cooked food doesn’t need to take a long time or be fancy. Here are some of my favorite recipes from Parents.com:

Get recipes for three weeks of easy, weeknight dinners, plus a grocery list.

Try a stir-fry kids will love.

Make ahead parts of your meal for easy family dinners.

Fed Up opens in movie theaters today. Learn more about the film and how we can feed our kids better.

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 via Fed Up

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