Archive for the ‘ Your Child ’ Category

Catch the Hulu premiere of Doozers, the new kids’ series from Lisa Henson

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Who doesn’t have a soft spot for Muppet creator Jim Henson? We got excited to hear that his daughter, Lisa Henson, is producing Hulu’s first original kids’ series, Doozers, based off her dad’s Fraggle Rock, which followed a community of creatures living in an underground fantasy world. In the original show, Doozers were tiny green characters constantly at work on construction projects. With Lisa’s new animated series, the Doozers get their turn in the spotlight, teaching preschoolers the importance of science, math, and technology while having fun. To celebrate today’s premiere, Lisa shared with Parents her new spin on a classic and why problem-solving is a must for today’s kids.

P: What was it about your dad’s show Fraggle Rock that inspired you to create Doozers?
L:
 On Fraggle Rock, the Doozers were busy building with their hard hats and megaphones. They had construction projects going on all the time, but it was like peripheral business to the activities of the Fraggles. We always thought the Doozers had such a fascinating world and were such cute, wonderful characters. We feature kid Doozers and really build out the world so it’s no longer just underground. Most of the show takes place out in nature in our world.

P: The show will have its own special curriculum. In what ways will the series encourage STEAM learning?
L:
 We’re getting a bit more into technology and engineering with the Doozers because they love to create, make, build, and invent. They address a different problem in every episode and then design something that addresses that problem. We feel it’s a very unique curriculum but within a show that’s extremely fun and fantastical. For kids, I think they’re going to be watching the little green guys have fun and play. While the message is there, it’s not extremely formal, so they’re learning more informally.

P: The Doozers are really into creating and building. Why was it important for you to make a series that encouraged those qualities in kids?
L:
 With kids today, there’s no such thing giving them too much modeling of teamwork and problem solving. What it takes to improve our world is problem solving. We don’t really want kids to just lay back and become passive as adults. We want them to take a plunge and try to address problems.

P: This will be the first original kids series on Hulu. How did you decide that was the right source for your show?
L:
 What’s unique about this show is because it’s premiering on Hulu, that’s the only place that kids can see it. We find that to be pretty modern because it lines up with how kids watch shows today. They want to be able to watch them when they want, where they want, or even watch a favorite episode over and over again. Hulu is perfect for that kind of viewing.

P: Who’s your favorite character from the series?
L:
 The youngest Doozer, Daisy Wheel, instantly became a winner for me. She has bright blue hair, a ladybug backpack, and a jet pack she flies around with. She’s so cute! What she contributes to the show is very important too because she loves nature and is always observing things. Then, the Doozers take those ideas from nature and use them in their designs and inventions, also called biomimicry. She’s just so perfectly put together.

You can watch the trailer on Hulu now.

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Give Back to Moms in Need with Boppy, and Enter for a Chance to Win a Trip

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Mother’s Day—it’s the one day a year that’s truly all about you and your little ones. Maybe you’re looking forward to a leisurely breakfast in bed or a cute card “signed” by Baby. But before you unwind and enjoy a well-deserved day of relaxation come May 11, consider giving back to mothers in less fortunate circumstances, too. 

Boppy will celebrate the mama-centric holiday as well as its own 25th anniversary by donating 5 percent of all May profits from their feeding pillow to moms in need. Boppy is working alongside Nurse Family Partnership, who matches financially needy new moms—often teenagers—with public health nurses who assist them before Baby arrives and for the two years following the birth. This service has been intact for over three decades and has helped foster healthier pregnancies and safer home environments, and it has also positively impacted children’s education and their mothers’ employment status.

Taking part in this initiative means you’ll have a new Boppy for yourself or to gift to an expectant friend or relative. The Boppy pillow comes in lots of colors and patterns and helps keep Baby comfy while you nurse or bottlefeed. As your wee one grows, the pillow can help support her as she learns to sit. 

Prefer to donate a concrete dollar amount? Give online here through Boppy’s partnership with Captivate.org (http://captivate.org/contests/nfp-explore-keystone) or use the link on Boppy’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TheBoppyCompany/app_1393201434248014) from now through May 11. Upon donating $10 or more, you’ll be entered to win a vacation to Keystone, Colorado for two. Pledge larger sums and you’ll be rewarded with a variety of Boppy products, detailed here: http://captivate.org/contests/nfp-explore-keystone/ Even if your own little one has outgrown such items, this is an excellent opportunity to stock up on baby shower gifts for pals who will soon be engaging in their own Mother’s Day celebrations!

Are you a pumping mom? Here are some tips on storing your breastmilk safely.

Store Breast Milk Safely
Store Breast Milk Safely
Store Breast Milk Safely

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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Enter for a Chance to Win a $140 Clothing Set from Munchkin’s Mbaby

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

It’s not often that there’s true innovation in baby clothes, but Munchkin’s new Mbaby line has some well-thought-out details that are unique and useful, especially as the weather heats up.

For instance, all the one-pieces in the collection have a double layer of fabric on the front side, but a single layer behind. That’s because babies spend so much time with their backs against the stroller, or car seat, or crib mattress, that they could use venting back there and extra warmth up front!

And I don’t know about you, but I had big-headed babies. A lot of bodysuits can stretch around the head, but this little Mbaby sailor suit has snaps that open to easily get it over a boy’s head, then can be snapped up for a smart polo-shirt look. Too cute!  

Check out the line (most pieces are between $28 and $60) and when you shop between now and the end of the day on April 30th, use this exclusive discount code for 15% off: Goody15.

Also this week, Munchkin is offering TWO lucky GoodyBlog readers the chance to win Mbaby’s Cherry Stripe Sleepster (worth $48), Sailor Peacoat (worth $60), and a Onester of the winner’s choice (bringing the total package to about $140). 

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day April 30. Be sure to check back on May 1 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!

Now that we’ve helped you dress your baby, let us help you play with him too! Watch this video.

Congrats to our winners Adriana La Fontaine and Becca Parks!

Playing With Baby: Baby Toys
Playing With Baby: Baby Toys
Playing With Baby: Baby Toys

Click here for official rules.

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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Enter for a Chance to Win a $400 Organic Crib Mattress from Naturalmat

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Your baby will, ideally, spend a lot of time in the crib. That’s one of the reasons I’m always preaching to pregnant women to consider spending extra money on an organic or Greenguard-certified crib mattress. You want something non-toxic, that’s safe for baby to breath next to for hours at a time. I know the mattress isn’t as fun to buy as the sheets or the crib itself, but I’d argue it’s the more important purchase.

Probably the most hyper-natural mattress manufacturer I’ve ever encountered is Naturalmat. Watch this video of them making mattresses over in the UK, by hand! Surrounded by cute lambs! You can’t make this stuff up. They are organic down to the ingredients they use to make their mattresses hypoallergenic and fire-retardant

Naturalmat is offering ONE lucky GoodyBlog reader the chance to win its Coco Mat organic crib mattress, which is $400 at retailers such as Amazon.com. The inside is made from coconut husks and lambswool…such a nice change from the days when we all thought we had to sleep on plastic-encased metal springs.

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day April 23. Be sure to check back on April 24 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!

And since this giveaway closes on my birthday, here’s the horoscope for Taurus Moms like me. Mommy-style horoscopes for all the signs are on our site!

Congrats to our winner Nicole Hessig!

Horoscope for a Taurus Mom
Horoscope for a Taurus Mom
Horoscope for a Taurus Mom

Click here for official rules.

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World Premiere Video: Rockabye Baby Does The Clash

Monday, March 31st, 2014

We always get a kick out of Rockabye Baby, which takes music you love as an adult (from The Beatles to Jay Z to Pink) and plays the tunes out on xylophones and bells. It might sound like sacrilege but turns out to be music that appeals to your infant without you getting “Twinkle Twinkle” stuck in your head, which is a blessed relief.

They have some 60 titles at this point, with each CD selling for about $12 to $17 and also available for download on iTunes. There are single MP3s for about $1.30, including Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. (I know it’s probably inappropriate but the picture of their signature bear, blurred, cracks me up.)

Today they are taking us back to London in 1980, presenting a first look of their video for The Clash’s London Calling, done Rockabye-Baby style. Play your newborn The Clash without risk of raised eyebrows, or show your toddler this gentle little one-minute video for a minute of screentime that won’t grate on your nerves.

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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Win a $300 High Chair from BabyBjorn

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

My niece is fully onto solids. On most Tuesdays I do Facetime with her, and I eat my dinner while my brother spoons food into her mouth. She seems fascinated to watch me eat while being fed herself! 

This week, when she was done, she started to try and dismantle her high chair. The one she is using is portable and not super sturdy. That got me thinking, gear-obsessed editor that I am, about the Baby Bjorn High Chair. It’s sturdy as a rock, great for small spaces, has a comfy shape and footrest to keep a kid sitting, and wipes down quickly. The $300 pricepoint stops a lot of people, but I would maintain that if you watch the video on the product, you can understand why the design and features are worth it.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that it isn’t giant; a baby doesn’t need a big seat (and you don’t want to clean one). This high chair fits a 5-month-old to a 3-year-old, and BabyBjorn is giving it away to ONE lucky winner. (But not to my brother! He’s going to have to pony up.)

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day April 2. More Qs about our giveaway? Read the official rules. Be sure to check back on April 3 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!

Starting solids? Watch our cute video for some tips!

Congrats to our winner Joanna Garcia!

How to Start Solids
How to Start Solids
How to Start Solids

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Mayim Bialik: “I Love Raising my Kids Vegan”

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Mayim Bialik-Mayim's Vegan TableStar of The Big Bang Theory, Mayim Bialik is a mom of two, a trained neuroscientist (!), and the author of the new cookbook Mayim’s Vegan Table. Recently Mayim spoke with us about the challenges and rewards of avoiding meat and dairy and how she gets her kids to eat Brussels sprouts.

What inspired you to write this cookbook?

I write for a website called Kveller.com where I talk about mom things like what I cooked and how I made things vegan…and there was interest in me publishing a book. I am not a fancy celebrity cook; I’m a regular mom with no chef or nanny or anything. These are the recipes I most often make for the non-vegans in my life as well as for my own family. Dr. Jay Gordon is pediatric nutritionist and pediatrician and he helped with all of the nutrition stuff in the book.

How long have you been vegan? What were your reasons for giving up meat products entirely?

I was always an animal lover and became vegetarian at 19. I still ate dairy and eggs, but after cutting out most dairy in college, my health improved significantly. I didn’t get seasonal allergies, I have not been on antibiotics or had a sinus infection since. When my first son was born, he got gassy, fussy and really miserable if I ate any dairy so I cut it out completely and that solved the problem! I read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer about six years ago and after that, I cut out all trace eggs and dairy. I am vegan for environmental reasons, nutritional and health reasons, and ethical reasons. I love the lifestyle and I love raising my kids vegan.

How old are your children now? Did you ever consider not raising them vegan?

My boys are 5 1/2 and 8. Their dad and I assumed we would raise them vegan unless it wasn’t working. But it is working! They are thriving and everyone is happy with how they eat.

What are the biggest challenges of cooking for a vegan family?

Talking to them about “growing foods” – meaning the foods that make you grow – and letting them know that it’s our job as parents to feed them well makes all conversations about food easier in my house. My kids know I expect them to eat food that is good for them, and they also know I want them to eat fun foods, too. I never bargain with them or bribe them to eat. I also don’t have a lot of the rules many of us grew up with such as “No dessert unless you finish everything on your plate” and stuff like that. I have found those things don’t work for my kids, and we have other ways to make meals enjoyable and a success for all!

Mayim Bialik Vegan PizzaDo your children ever ask you for non-vegan foods? How do you respond to them?

Once they hit about age 3 1/2, they understood we eat differently and they could understand why we couldn’t eat everything everywhere we go. I simply tell them that everyone eats differently, and this is how we eat to grow our bodies best without allergies and the problems many people have from eating animal products. Now that they are older, they like not eating animals (which they think are so cute), and they eat a ton of fun, exciting food. They sometimes get bummed out if they can’t eat cake at a kid’s party, but they get plenty of opportunities to eat cake so they are very reasonable about it.

What gifts do you feel being vegan has given your family?

A sense of consciousness in our eating, which is in line with our values. And for our bodies and with the support of our pediatrician, I believe this is the best way to raise my sons for their health and optimal growth.

Which of the recipes in the book are your kids’ favorites?

They like salads, like the green salad with agave (honey!)-mustard dressing. They love brussels sprouts and kale chips, and they of course love anything with Daiya cheese like pizza and quesadillas. They like any burrito I make which is good because I get to pack lots of healthy stuff in a burrito, and everyone is happy. And of course, they like any cookie I make. And my mom’s banana bread recipe!

You’re a busy lady! How do you find time to cook for your family? 

I cook ahead a lot. I generally don’t make super-elaborate stuff during the week since I barely have time! So, simple stuff on weekdays and a special thing or two on weekends or for holidays.

Are your kids choosy? What are your strategies for dealing with that?

My older son is choosier than my younger one. I try not to make a big deal of any food preferences since they invariably lead to struggles around food, which I really try and avoid. I try and have a few reasonable choices for everyone at each meal, and my rule is that if you don’t like the choices, you can eat anything raw in the house: I will cut up any fruit or vegetable and they can have any nuts in the cupboard. It seems to work fine for us.

Mayim Bialik Vegan CookiesWhat are some surprising foods that your kids like?

Well, they love brussels sprouts chips. They don’t taste bitter when you bake them with olive oil like I suggest in my book. It’s better than potato chips we think!

What are your thoughts on organic foods, especially for families on a budget?

If you want to pick and choose, there is a list of which fruits and veggies are most susceptible to holding pesticides, and which “Dirty Dozen” to avoid. We all do the best we can with our budget and lifestyle and I think any produce is better than none. I also hope the day comes when we don’t have to choose between budgeting and having healthy, organic foods available to all of us.

Some people may not be ready to be 100% vegan, but still interested in eating a more plant-based diet. What are some baby steps you recommend? 

I know being vegan isn’t for everyone and that’s fine! My book isn’t designed to make you vegan; it’s simply providing plant-based recipes that are yummy. I think it’s good to think about what foods you already enjoy that happen to be vegan, and eat more of that kind of thing. Bean-based chills, Asian food (which requires almost no dairy and rarely needs meat for a variety of dishes), and pastas are a good place to start. You don’t need to eat processed vegan foods if you don’t want to. There are plenty of plant-based options and recipes that you probably already can enjoy, and every meal counts!

Interview has been edited and condensed.

Click here for more ways to eat clean, or try one of these delicious meatless meals. For healthy recipes sent directly to your inbox, sign-up to get our weekly newsletter!

Sesame Street Lessons: Healthy Eating
Sesame Street Lessons: Healthy Eating
Sesame Street Lessons: Healthy Eating

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Sarah Michelle Gellar on Pertussis Vaccine: “How Could Anyone Who Loves a Child Say No?”

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Cold and flu season is almost behind us. Though your days of runny noses and coughs may soon be over, another illness is proving to be a more serious hazard for young ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns America is experiencing one of the largest outbreaks of reported pertussis cases in 50 years. That’s an even bigger deal for infants who are much more susceptible to the disease; they can’t get vaccinated until 2 months of age.

As mom to 4-year-old Charlotte and 17-month old Rocky, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, 36, was blown away when she learned how easily the disease can spread. Because newborns can’t get vaccinated right away, it’s still a must for adults who plan to be around an infant; the vaccine you got as a child has likely worn off. Parents caught up with the Sounds of Pertussis campaign ambassador to get her take on the disease as well as her tips for raising a healthy and active family.

P: What makes you so passionate about this health issue?

S:  Once you become a parent, your main job is to protect your children in any way possible. When I first had Charlotte, whooping cough was something most of my friends thought had been eradicated. People aren’t aware that 80 percent of the time when you link back to how an infant gets the disease, it comes from a family member or direct caregiver. That’s the scariest thought. Our job is to protect them, and if it’s something as simple as getting a vaccination, that’s something everyone needs to know.

P: What can moms say to convince family and friends to get vaccinated?

S:  It’s about making the information understandable. The way I liken it is if someone has a cold usually they will try to stay away from your baby so he doesn’t get sick. So why would you potentially expose a child to something that’s even more fatal, like pertussis? When you put it in those simple terms, how can anyone who loves a child say no? When the information is coming from someone you trust, it’s a very easy decision.

P: It can be stressful when your kids don’t feel well. How do you handle Charlotte or Rocky getting sick?

S: There’s no question that the very first time your child gets that stuffy nose and cold, it completely freaks you out. You have so much guilt because you can’t explain it to them. I think sometimes first-time parents have this thing of, “I don’t want to bother the doctor and be that annoying parent.” But if you have a question, you need to ask it. As you have more children and become an experienced parent, you sort of get to the point with the colds where you’re like, “If it’s not severe, you’re going to school.”

P: You’re a very active person. How do you encourage your kids to keep fit as well?

S:  The beauty of children is that everything is interesting to them. The more you involve them in whatever activity it is you’re doing, they just love to be part of your life. I let my daughter go walking with me and our dog Bella outside. And there’s still so many fun activities you can do for children exercise-wise in inclement weather. My daughter practices Yoga and Jiu-Jitsu. It’s about taking the time to listen to your child and find what interests her. Whatever those things are that appeal to children and get their minds flowing, that can help keep them healthy and active.

P: How do you motivate Charlotte and Rocky to eat healthy?

S:  Including children in the actual preparation of food is a big thing. We started Charlotte in cooking classes at about 3, and seeing what goes into it gave her a new appreciation for vegetables. Whether you’re growing produce in your backyard or taking a trip to your local farmer’s market, seeing those different aspects can get children excited to eat better. And anything you can do to give a young child ownership and help him feel independent, that’s what you ultimately want. Even if it’s as simple as letting Rocky sprinkle cheese on eggs or a pizza. You just see his face light up.

P: What else can moms do to teach their children the importance of good health?

S:  It ultimately comes down to explaining at a young age what healthy living means, teaching a child what germs are and how easily they are transmitted or how to wash his hands correctly. Those very simple things can really stop the spread, not just for your own family but for your friends and everyone else your child comes into contact with.

Whether you’ve had the vaccine or not, visit the campaign’s Breathing Room Facebook app to help spread the word about pertussis. There, you can create a virtual room for your Baby and invite family and friends to join you in the fight for protection. Every little step counts!

In the meantime, watch this short video to learn what whooping cough sounds like.

What Whooping Cough Sounds Like
What Whooping Cough Sounds Like
What Whooping Cough Sounds Like

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