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The little book with BIG resources!

What about Omega 3’s for your kids?

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids — we need them for our bodies to work properly.  So how do omega-3s benefit children?  Here’s the rundown on the research.
Keep in mind that few of these studies are definitive, and larger studies are needed to determine therapeutic benefit.  Also, some studies used food sources of omega-3s, and others used omega-3 supplements.  More research needs to be done before we’ll know the full implications.

Are omega-3 supplements for children an option?  Before starting any supplement for your child, be sure you consult your physician first.

Omega-3s for Infants, Prenatal Health, and Pregnancy
Omega-3s are important for children’s health right from the start – actually, before they’re even born. Here’s some of the evidence.
Cognitive development. Some studies show that infants fed formulas enriched with the omega-3 fatty acid DHA show improvements in hand-eye coordination, attention span, social skills, and intelligence test scores. Studies have shown that children born to mothers who took supplements of omega-3s (DHA and EPA) during pregnancy and the during the first months of breastfeeding scored higher on cognitive tests at 4 years of age compared to children whose mothers did not take supplements of DHA and EPA.
Asthma risk. A 2008 study found that the teenage children of women who took fish oil during pregnancy were less likely to have developed asthma.
Growth. There’s some evidence that when omega-3s are added to formula, it promotes growth and brain development in premature infants.
Preterm labor. A 2003 study found that women who ate eggs enriched with omega-3s were less likely to go into premature labor than women who ate standard eggs.
Although none of these studies are conclusive, there’s good reason to make sure that infants – and pregnant women — are getting their omega 3s such as DHA and EPA.
Many infant formulas are now supplemented with DHA. A mother’s breast milk is an ideal source of omega-3s, although it may be affected by how many omega-3s she’s getting in her diet.
Omega-3s for Children and Teens
ADHD. Kids with ADHD may have lower levels of omega-3s in their bodies than normal, and a few small studies have looked at fish oil supplements as a treatment. They found that the supplements might improve behavior, reduce hyperactivity, and boost attention in kids under 12.
Depression. Fish oil is often used as a treatment for depression in adults; there have been a few studies in children too. One small 2006 study of fish oil in depressed 6- to 12-year-olds found it helped their symptoms significantly.
Diabetes. One small study looked at kids who were at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that those who ate a high omega-3 diet were less likely to develop the condition.
Asthma. Omega-3s may reduce inflammation in the airways, which could benefit those with asthma. One small study of 29 children with asthma found that those taking fish oil for 10 months had fewer symptoms than those who didn’t. However, other studies of omega-3s as an asthma treatment have not found consistent evidence that they help.

This is part of an article from WebMD that was written by R. Morgan Griffin and reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD.  Go to http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/who-needs-omega-3s to read more.


Halloween Safety Guide

Halloween Safety Guide

It’s just about that time of year! With this super sweet holiday, be sure to make it a safe one as well. With help from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), I have created this halloween safety guide for parents to ensure this Halloween is surely a treat!

 

When it comes to costumes:

  • Steer children in the direction of bright fabrics, even better ones that are reflective

*** Add reflective tape to costume and trick or treat bags

  • Make sure shoes fit comfortably and costume is of appropriate length to prevent any nasty falls
  • Suggest hats or non toxic face paint instead of masks as a safer alternative
  • Avoid swords or costumes with violent props

***A child can be easily injured if he trips/ falls

  • Do not wear decorative contact lenses. As creepy and fun these might be, these lenses are not prescribed by a professional, cause serious damage and are in fact illegal.

Trick or Treaters Halloween Safety Guide

 

When it comes to pumpkins:

  • Young children should be encouraged to paint their pumpkin, not carve for obvious reasons
  • For carved pumpkins, use flashlights for the safest lighting option. If candles are insisted, votive candles are safest.
  • Candle lit pumpkins should never be left unattended
  • Place lit pumpkins someone sturdy and far away from flammable objects (ex. Curtains)

Pumpkin Carving Halloween Safety Guide

When it comes to your home:

  • Double check outdoor lights for visitors/ replace burnt bulbs
  • Safety proof your outdoors for trick or treaters. Remove anything children could potentially trip over (ex. Flower pots, garden hose)
  • Sweep wet leaves on pathway and steps, maybe even snow!
  • Restrict pets from contact with visitors due to excitement (jumping, biting) or allergies

When it comes to trick or treating:

  • Children should always be with a responsible adult, even just around the neighborhood
  • Only knock on doors with lights on, that is the universal sign for “guests are welcome”
  • Carry a cell phone (parents)
  • Use sidewalks and stay on well lit streets
  • For safety reasons, do not cut across yards
  • Always use crosswalks and look both ways before crossing
  • All children and adults should carry a flashlight
  • Be sure your child is familiar with 9-1-1 in case of emergency

halloween candy halloween safety guide

When it comes to health:

  • Before children go wild, an adult should examine all treats throwing away all expired or treats that have been tampered with
  • Candy is not the only treat, consider investing in fun Halloween coloring books/ pencils / nick nacks
  • Ration candy and other treats to avoid belly aches and further health concerns

 

Stay safe and enjoy your Halloween!

By: Stephanie Falcone


Creative Halloween Craft Ideas!

Creative Halloween Craft Ideas for Kids!

Halloween marks the start of fall and also the holiday season. It is such a fun and exciting time especially for the kiddos! With all the fun themes, characters, and symbols that go along with Halloween there are opportunities for so many creative halloween craft ideas! With the weather cooling down crafts are fun ways to keep the kids entertained inside the house! Crafts are also a great way to bring the whole family together for some bonding! Here are 5 Fun & Creative Halloween Craft Ideas to do with kid’s!

Halloween Handprints!

ghost handprint creative halloween craft ideas

Spider Handprint creative halloween craft ideas

Kids love when they can get their hands messy, especially when mom is ok with it! That is why hand and footprint art is always a hit! Not only is this fun but they are great keepsakes!  There are so many Halloween themes that can easily be made by hand and foot prints. Here are a few ideas:

– Use white paint and an upside down foot or hand on black paper to make a ghost!

–  Use a fisted hand dipped in orange paint to make the perfect pumpkin!

– Use black paint and both hands to make spiders or bats, your fingers will be the legs/wings!

– Use yellow, white, & orange paint  to make stripes on the hand and it will look just like candy corn!

After the paint dries you can go back and use markers & crayons to add details, such as faces & stems!

 Homemade Decorations

Sometimes buying cute Halloween decorations from the store can get pretty pricey. One way to avoid that is use everyday items and turn them into Halloween Décor to use year after year.  If you have kids they will like this idea too and they will definitely want to help! Here are a few ideas:

 Milk Jug Ghost Lanterns!

Milk Jug Ghost Lantern creative halloween craft ideas

First collect a group of gallon milk jugs and clean them out. Next use a black marker to draw a spooky ghost face on the front of the jug. Cut the back side of the jugs off, Line the jugs up outside or in a window. Lastly use a string of lights and place them in the openings in the back of the jugs. This project looks great especially when it gets dark.

Candy Corn Traffic cones!

Candy Corn Traffic Cone creative halloween craft ideas

You can find miniature traffic cones at Wal-Mart or dollar stores for pretty cheap. Since they are already orange and shaped like candy corn all that has to be done is adding the yellow and white! You can do this numerous ways rather its paint or colored tape. These candy corn pieces will look great around the house or in the front yard!

Painted Pumpkins!

Painted Pumpkins Creative halloween craft ideas

Carving pumpkins is a great tradition and super fun. However it can be dangerous for kids to do on their own. An alternative that gets the kids involved and allows them to show off their creativity is painting the pumpkins! With different colored paints and decorations you can paint a pumpkin into almost anything.  Halloween characters such as Frankenstein or a witch, your child’s favorite character, animals, or just a silly face! You can add more detail by gluing on googly eyes, rhinestones, & hair!  This is a fun project the kids will LOVE!

Fun Treat Bags!

Treat bags are always popular at Halloween.  Rather you are passing them out to trick or treaters or making them for the kids Halloween parties, candy and snacks seem to be essential.  Here a few fun creative ideas for treat bags!

Candy People

Candy People creative halloween craft ideas

This is such a simple and cute idea that kids will absolutely love! Not only do they get to help assemble the people, but they also get to play with them like a toy, and eventually eat the candy.  What you will need is a glue gun and some assorted candies. Use a pumpkin lollipop for the head, boxed candies such as nerds or dots for the body, and long, skinny candies such as tootsie rolls, smarties, and twizzlers for the arms and legs!

Popcorn Hands

Popcorn Hand creative halloween craft ideas

This is a simple Halloween treat that the kids will really get a kick out of!  Get a box of disposable plastic gloves and drop a piece for candy corn in each finger hole as the finger nails. Then stuff each glove with popcorn and tie the bag closed with something like a trash bag tie. To add more detail to the treat get a pack of plastic spider rings from the dollar store and place them outside on the fingers!

Decorated Trick or Treat Sacks!

Homemade Trick or Treat Sacks creative halloween craft ideas

When trick or treating kids will need something to carry their candy in so why not make it into a fun activity.  Making their own bags is a great way to get in the Halloween spirit and express their creativity. You will need some sort of blank container rather it’s a plastic bucket, a felt bag, or just a paper bag with a handle. For decorating you will need markers, crayons, paint, various decorations, any craft supplies you think will be fun to use. Spread all the supplies out on a big table and let the kids decorate their bag however they want rather its Halloween themed or made to go along with their costume they are sure to have a blast!

Photo Sources

http://www.lowescreativeideas.com/Halloween_Handprints_0911.aspx

http://www.kxkc.com/Article.asp?id=1788492&spid=21289

http://www.kxkc.com/Article.asp?id=1788492&spid=21289

http://isewcute.blogspot.com/2011/10/halloween-crafts-for-kids-to-do-part-1.html

http://www.perkins.org/resources/cindys-corner/spooky-halloween-hand.html

http://craftyladyabby.blogspot.com/2010_10_01_archive.html

http://www.backroadscharmingtowns.com/2006/09/articles/a-tale-of-apples-pumpkins-corn-stalks/


Camping…Check!

With fall approaching… it’s time to familiarize yourself with autumn activities. More specifically, CAMPING!
Camping is one of America’s favorite outdoor activities and continues to grow each year. There are countless recreational parks that allow camping in either tents or motor homes. Simply Google those in your area!
Camping requires a variety of items. I’m here to help! Use this camping checklist to ensure a good time in the outdoors with your family!
CLOTHES
Just as every other day, clothing is essential. Depending on the weather conditions, which you can never be too sure about, pack an assortment of breezy or cozy clothes.
socks
shoes
water friendly shoes
hat
sweater
rain jacket
underwear
swim suit
t-shirts
shorts
pants
*In precaution of rain or storm, pack extra socks!

FOOD
This portion of the trip depends on the amount of people intended to feed. Nevertheless, I will assist you with suggesting which foods are best to bring camping. Depending on whether you are roughing it in tents or camping luxuriously in an RV with kitchen appliances, these items may differ.
Condiments- ketchup, mustard, mayo
Liquids-water, juice, coffee, soda
Snack foods- chips, pretzels, granola bars, pop tarts, cookies
Sandwich items- bread, pb&j, veggies, meat
Canned food- soup, fruit, veggies
And last but not least… marshmallows! CHECK

BEDDING
No one likes a cold nose and toes when they’re trying sleep. Be smart, pack warm.
air mattress
sleeping bags
memory foam pad
pillow
sheets
extra blankets
And don’t forget the stuffed animals!
ACTIVITES/ TOYS:
This is why you’re here right! Pack the car with everything in sight. From Frisbees to bicycles, you can never pack too much sports equipment and toys! Also, click the site below for a list of Disney kid’s camping craft ideas.
http://familyfun.go.com/summer/summer-crafts/summer-camp-crafts/classic-camp-crafts/
SAFETY KIT:
This is important. Remember to pack a safety kit in case of emergency. With children running around, constantly playing outdoors, a scraped knee is common! Don’t worry, you’ll be prepared with this checklist.
bandages
gauze
antiseptic creams and ointments
sterile wipes
headache medicine
tweezers
scissors
sunscreen/ aloe spray

 

References:
Disney Family Fun: Classic Camp Crafts

R.E.I.: Camping With Kids

Written by: Stephanie Falcone


Falling Gracefully With the Autumn Leaves.

Now that the Summer has come and gone, the changing of the seasons is upon us and it is officially time to make changes from the hot Summer scorchers to the cool Fall afternoons. This means pulling out those boxes of Fall decor, putting  bright summer clothes into the rear of the closet, and preparing for the frigid weather that will insist we reach for a warm, cozy sweater and hot apple cider. While the change of weather and more hectic schedules may change the pace of life, this doesn’t mean that Fall should not be just as refreshing and sporadic as Summer. Read on for some ways to spice up the autumn lifestyle and keep the sun shining both indoors and out.

With the coming of a new time of year, it’s not just the season changing. Our days get busier, our wardrobe changes, activities outside of responsibility appear scarce, and our taste buds change gears towards home-cooked comfort foods. These three suggestions below will help guarantee direction towards a comfy, cozy and exhilarating Fall season.

Keep the colors.

While we sometimes tend to lean towards darker colors in the colder seasons, switch it up and go for brighter fall tones. Bring on the layers and pair those fun, Summer dresses with tights, boots and a light jacket. In the market for a new Fall pea coat? Be on the look out for bright reds, oranges, and yellows instead of the average black and grey winter regulars.

Fall clothes shopping for the kiddos?? Check out the Holiday and Fall styles at Gymboree right now and save 25% OFF online and in-stores!

 

Reach for new recipes.

 

 

Whether it may be afternoon snacking or crock pot dinners, Pinterest is an awesome resource to switch up the dinner menu and find some healthy, cheap, and easy family recipes. Check out these 25 Tasty Soups and Stews, something for everyone and perfect for the Fall time weather! Need grocery shopping made easier? Take advantage of our door to door organics coupon by receiving $10 OFF your first order. Perfect for the fresh vegetables you’ll be needing for your new Fall soups!

 

 

Make time for crafts.

If the Fall leaves are already raked and the frigid weather is keeping you from doing much else outside, dive into a new Fall craft. Hit the ground running with seasonal decorations and create your own instead of buying them at the store. With Halloween right around the corner, of course pumpkin carving is a good place to start. Make a day out of it, invite the neighborhood over and have a pumpkin carving contest! If you have little ones in the house and want to stick with seasonal arts and crafts the simple way, check out this blog post all about easy Fall crafts for kids. Your house will be decorated to the brim in no time!

 

Need even more ideas?? Our Pinterest Page is loaded with DIY projects, new recipes, and Fall crafts to keep you busy for the rest of the season!