Posts Tagged ‘ back to school ’

American Baby’s Baby Booty: Win a Back to School Chobani Prize Pack Sweepstakes

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

After what felt like an endless heat wave, it’s a chilly day here in NYC. Pulling a sweater out this morning was a harsh reminder that the relaxing days of summer are almost over and back-to-school season is fast approaching. Soon enough we’ll all be standing in lines at department stores, waiting to empty our pockets on the ever-growing back-to-school list. We’ll have to make sure that our kiddos’ snacks are healthy, their lunch bags are cool, and their backpacks, even cooler. But not to worry—we’ve got you covered.

This week we’re giving away three Back to School Chobani Prize Packs. Each pack includes a 3-month supply of Chobani Champions Greek Yogurt tubes (four 8-ct. boxes delivered each month for three months), a Built lunch bag, an FJALL Raven Kånken backpack, and two reusable LunchSkins. Leave a comment below, up to one a day, between now and Wednesday, July 31, and you could be one of three lucky winners!

Read the official rules here. Goody luck!

Congratulations to our winners Jocelyn Glore, Suzie Horvath-Cullinan, Deidrea Haysel

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Chris Noth on raising his 5-year-old: “I want him to be a strong, but gentle, man.”

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Last month, Chris Noth presented a generous donation to Nourish Now—an organization that brings meals to families in need—on behalf of BV Wines. Parents spoke to Chris about how his work (both on-screen and on the hunger relief effort) impacts his life as a father to his 5-year-old son, Orion, from dealing with dinnertime pickiness to spending time together before Orion heads off to full-day school. 

P: How does being a father impact your perspective on the issue of hunger relief? 

CN: As a father your instinct kicks in and you want to make sure your kid is safe and well-fed. People don’t really know that 1 in 6 Americans don’t have access to food, that 17 million children are living in food-insecure households. Like me—I didn’t know that. It’s inconceivable to me that if you have a child that they would be food insecure.

P: Speaking of nutrition and healthy eating, your son is at that age when it can be difficult to feed your child, not due to lack of resources but due to pickiness. Is Orion a picky eater?

CN: All kids have their own peculiar tastes, I think. For instance, Orion doesn’t like spicy foods. He loves strawberries. He’s a big cheese eater, too, by the way. I was surprised at that. He loves cheese. Loves Parmesan cheese [laughs]. We’re just now getting him to eat meat; he wasn’t attracted to any kind of meat. But, then, he loves certain seafoods.

I try to trick him of course because he’s in that superhero-fascination age. I say, “You gotta eat this if you wanna be like Spiderman, kiddo. You gotta finish this up.” It’s an ongoing challenge. We’ve made vegetables kind of fun for him to eat. But we also use the old tricks of the trade. My son, for dessert, he doesn’t like chocolate—believe it or not—but he likes mochi. He’s crazy about mochi. So if he knows that he’s gonna get his two mochis at the end of the meal, he’s gonna clean that plate.

P: Do you sometimes disguise the vegetables in tastier items? 

CN: She [my wife] is very good at that, at chopping vegetables up and blending them into things so he thinks he’s getting a French Fry but maybe it’s beets. I mean he does love those salty things that can be a little dangerous.

P: What about school lunches? What are you most excited or most nervous for with him going off to full day kindergarden?

CN: We just had our kindergarten meeting, so he starts next year. It’s a huge huge step. He had a very tight community at his preschool and so did we—with the teachers. It was just such a nourishing environment. I hate to say this, because it’s ridiculous, but it’s like from that [preschool] environment to kindergarten it’s kind of like he’s going to university in his eyes. He’s nervous. But, it’s still a really small community.

P: Since you split time between New York and L.A., when you and Orion get to see each other and you are in the same place, what are some of your favorite things to do together to celebrate that father-son bond?

CN: He’s into baseball. A Yankee game has got to be on the list. He’s obsessed with Derek Jeter; he’s very upset about his injury [chuckles]. You know, I love taking him, believe it or not, I want to see a couple of shows on Broadway. He digs that. He’s seen Spider-Man twice. I’m trying to see if Matilda is the show for him. Although, I desperately don’t want him to be an actor.

P: Why is that?

CN: There’s enough…entertainment isn’t one of the things we lack. Actors are not something we lack. Do we need another actor? G-d no.

P: Obviously charity work is very important to you. Is volunteerism and giving back something that you hope to encourage as Orion gets older?

CN: Thanksgiving we went to a local church that I found through the food bank. I think it would be a nice thing for him always to know about these things. He didn’t really quite get it, he was having fun, you know, asking to serve things, but he will get it. I think it’s important for every child to understand what’s around them, what the problems are and to be a part of the solution as they get older. I didn’t do it as a kid, frankly. I wasn’t aware of it. It is about awareness and then action. 

P: Aside from volunteerism and helping out those around you, what would you say is the most important value you hope to instill in Orion?

CN: Generosity. I want him to be strong, but a gentle man. I want him to be able to see the difference between something that has real value and something that doesn’t.

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Pilot’s New Pens

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Your kids may be back in the classroom already, but our guess is that you still have some odds and ends to

pick up to round out their supply stash. When you head to the office supply store this week, be sure to check out Pilot’s new line of FriXion pens.

Erasable pens used to be synonymous with sticky ink and poor erasers, but FriXion pens are changing all of that. Kids will love them because they write like a smooth roller ball pen and the ink resembles that of a gel pen in both color and consistency.

These new and improved pens are especially great for grade-schoolers who are getting away from using just pencils and, like their name conveys, they erase through friction which means kids don’t have to press as hard to correct mistakes and marks. The rounded rubber ball at the bottom of the pen wears away ink like magic. Plus the line comes in an awesome array of colors that are perfect for school and doodling at home.

If you love the pens, you’ll probably also love the brand’s erasable highlighters! Be sure to check out the FriXion Light Erasable Highlighters and the FriXion Erasable Gel Pens out here.

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Jennie Garth Promotes Healthy Habits for Back to School

Monday, September 10th, 2012

I recently met up with former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Jennie Garth for the launch of Crest and Oral-B’s new line, For Me. The new line features a complete list of oral care products for tweens, while Oral-B Stages, for children from four months to seven years of age, has added the Disney characters Jake and the Neverland Pirates to their line-up.

Garth, who now has her own reality show, A Little Bit Country, says back to school is the perfect time to revamp kids’ habits. The mom of three admits that between the hustle and bustle of her family’s “crazy schedules,” it’s hard to keep up with the things they should.

To help encourage healthy habits, Garth starts early by telling her daughters it’s their job to take care of themselves.”I think that’s an important message to give them for all things in their life,” she explains. “They’re their own best advocate in any situation, so I start right away and model what they need to do.”

When I asked her what she liked most about being a mom, she smiled and said, “snuggle time,” without missing a beat. “Just a little of that compassion and empathy,” she explains. “I nurture that into my children, instill that into them, and then they can give it.”

Read more on Parents.com:

First Image: Jessica Scheetz with Jennie Garth

Second Image: Jennie Garth with daughter Lola Facinelli making toothbrush holders by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Crest and Oral-B/AP Images

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5 Celebrity Moms Share Back-to-School Advice

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.

For many families, the back-to-school rush can be overwhelming and chaotic. Some of our favorite celebrity moms are helping to alleviate some of that stress and anxiety by sharing their best advice. From Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s G-Free snacks, to Bethenny Frankel’s best bargains, to Brooke Burke-Charvet’s must-haves, read some great back-to-school tips from Hollywood’s moms.

Brooke Burke-Charvet
Dancing With the Stars host Brooke Burke-Charvet and husband David Charvet are parents to four kids: Neriah, 12, Sierra, 10, Rain, 5, and Shaya, 4. The mom-of-four wrote on her blog about preparing for the new school year:

“Back to school starts now in my house even though all four of my kids are returning at different times. This year will be my most challenging school year yet. Four kids in three different schools with four different drop-off and pick-up times.

Thankfully my youngest, Shaya, will still enjoy our beloved homeschool for two days a week. We decided to put him in a “regular” program three days a week so he’ll be with more kids as his sister is moving up to kindergarten.

I hate online paperwork and envy the parents with only one child. I literally have folders, separate file cabinets for each kid, their rosters, forms, sports and miscellaneous important documents. It’s a LOT to organize. Does anyone else feel that there are way too many orientations, meet-and-greets, pot lucks and social activities this month? Multiply it by four and you can imagine my schedule. Plus during BTS nights, I am divided in numerous classrooms and for SURE missing something.

I spent the day labeling backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles and clothes.

Here are some of my BTS MUST-HAVES. My kids love them all and it truly helps to have some go-to items to help you keep it together.”

Continue reading at Burke-Charvet’s blog ModernMom.

Alison Sweeney
Days of our Lives star Alison Sweeney is mom to son Ben, 7, and daughter Megan, 3. The Biggest Loser host is also a blogger and shared some of her best back-to-school fashion tips for the “stylin’ mom” on AlisonSweeney.com:

“School is starting again, and that means meeting lots of new people, for your kids and you. I love attending back-to-school nights and open houses and other evening events at Ben’s school and Megan’s preschool because it’s a chance to learn more about their teachers and interact with their classmates’ parents.

When I get ready for something like that, I keep my outfit simple and comfortable, but I definitely get more dressed up than I would for school pickup or running around at the playground.”

Continue reading Alison Sweeney’s back-to-school fashion tips at AlisonSweeney.com.

(more…)

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5 Essential Back-to-School Tips for Parents

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Back to School colored pencilsEditor’s Note: In a post for an ongoing series, Dr. Harley A. Rotbart, a Parents advisor, will be guest blogging once a month. He will be offering different advice, tips, and personal stories on how parents can “savor the moment” and maximize the time they spend with kids. Read more posts by Harley Rotbart from this series.

Ready or not, it’s that time again. Your kids are trying on fall clothes, cleaning out backpacks from last year, and shopping for school supplies. Another exciting year of growth and development is on the horizon for your children. Here are five sure-fire ways to make this a year of growth and development for you as well.

Hold a weekly calendar meeting.

Each new year of school brings more complicated choreography to your kids’ schedules – and to your schedule as well. Every Sunday night, sit down with your kids and enter every commitment and event of their upcoming week into your personal calendar. There are 3 important reasons to do this: a) you should always know where your kids are; b) you have a head start on dinner conversation if you know what your kids have been up to all day; c) you may get a pleasant surprise – a meeting of yours is canceled in time for you to make the second half of a basketball game. But you’ll only know about the game if it’s on your calendar.

Volunteer at school.

Every school is underfunded and shorthanded. Your kids’ school can use your help and participating in an after-school activity can be a meaningful experience. Depending on your kids’ ages and their level of pride (or embarrassment) in seeing you at school, there are many roles to fill: homeroom parent, teacher’s aide, hall monitor, coach’s assistant, team parent, crossing guard, PTA, office volunteer, and field trip chaperone or driver, to name a few.  Spending a part of your day at school gives you an up-close look at interactions with teachers and friends, hallway dynamics, and locker lore. All this can lead to more good dinner conversation!

Drive a carpool.

Whether it’s driving back and forth to school or to and from after-school activities you learn a lot about your kids by driving the carpool. Mysteriously, the carpool driver becomes practically invisible to the passengers, especially when it’s more than just your own kids in the car. This allows you an invaluable “fly on the dashboard” opportunity to eavesdrop on your kids social interactions, catch up on grade school gossip, and hear about homework without even asking.

Help with homework.

Be involved with your kids’ homework every night. When they’re in grade school, sit with them for part of the time they’re doing work – not to catch every math mistake but to make sure they get the big picture. In middle school, just look over their completed work regularly for overall quality. Show you are happy to see them doing such a nice job. Your pride in their work will become their pride. By high school, it’s enough to ask each night if they’ve finished their homework and occasionally review a teacher’s comments on the graded work.  No matter the age, if your kids ask for help, do your best to guide them without doing their homework. Remember, you’ve already learned “times tables,” so now it’s their turn.

Manage extracurricular activities.

Beware of “potpourri parenting” – soccer Mondays, violin Tuesdays, karate Wednesdays, etc. Kids’ options for extracurricular activities are limitless, and you may be tempted to enroll your kids in everything, thinking you’re “enriching” them.  As long as your kids are enjoying these activities, and you’re not missing chances to spend more time with them, there’s nothing wrong with having many varied experiences. But if programming begins to replace parenting or if your kids are showing “enrichment fatigue,” reduce the amount of activities. Your time together as a family is almost always more enriching, especially since time with your young kids is fleeting. Don’t give it all away.

The school years won’t seem to pass by as quickly if you get involved in your kids’ school lives. So have a wonderful fall semester!

Dr. Harley A. Rotbart

Dr. Harley A. Rotbart is Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado.  He is the author of three books for parents and families, including the recent No Regrets Parenting, a Parents advisor, and a contributor to The New York Times Motherlode blog. Visit his blog at noregretsparenting.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@NoRegretsParent).


Image: “Back to school” and colored pencils via Shutterstock

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Was Your Child Held Back? Prepare Him for Repeating a Grade

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

It’s almost time to head back to the classroom, but what if your child has been held back a year? He wouldn’t be alone: Approximately 10% of K–8 students have repeated a grade, according to recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Help your child adjust with these tips from Margret Nickels, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Children and Families at the Erikson Institute in Chicago.

Do:

  • Frame the situation positively. Try saying something like, “You know how it was so hard for you to pay attention and read? We’re going to give you a little more time to learn. You’ll feel less stressed because your brain is now in a better place to learn all of these things. It will be easier for you to do the things we’re asking of you.”
  • Boost your kid’s self-esteem. “By ages 7-8, kids start to compare themselves to others in terms of competition—who’s smartest, who’s best at sports—so issues of shame and failure becomes more pronounced,” says Dr. Nickels. Help your child reflect on things that he’s great at, whether it’s drawing or riding his bike.
  • Facilitate friendships. Ease your child’s social fears by helping her get to know her new classmates. Arrange playdates with neighborhood kids in the same grade. You can also enlist the teacher’s help. If another student shares your daughter’s love of soccer, maybe the teacher can suggest that they kick the ball around during lunchtime. If your student is worried about missing her old friends, remind her that they can meet up at recess or after school.

Don’t:

  • Blame your child. Kids are held back for lots of reasons, including behavioral, academic, and social issues. But it’s never productive to accuse your child of not trying hard enough.
  • Get discouraged. “Parents shouldn’t view this as a failure, but as a new opportunity,” says Nickels. “Repeating a grade can give your child the foundation and the space to develop at their own pace.” Focus on the ultimate goal: fostering an environment in which your child can flourish.

Image: Kids heading back to school via Shutterstock

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Back-to-School Supplies Contain Toxic Chemicals, Report
According to a new consumer report, children’s back-to -school supplies have chemicals that have been linked to asthma and birth defects. (via Medical Daily)

Obese Youth Have Significantly Higher Risk of Gallstones
Children who are overweight or obese face an increased risk for gallstones, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition. (via Science Daily)

AAP Issues New Guidelines for Kids’ Snoring
A new set of practice guidelines released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) may help parents and pediatricians uncover things that go snore in the night. (via ABC News)

Benefits of circumcision outweigh risks, US pediatrics group says
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines saying the health benefits of infant circumcision outweigh the risks of the surgery, but the influential physician’s group has fallen short of a universal recommendation of the procedure for all infants, saying that parents should make the final call. (via Reuters)

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