parenting

Celebrate a S-L-O-W Holiday

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | December 10th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth | tags: activities, baking cookies, board games, children, christmas, family time, Hanukkah, holiday season, kids, movies, parenting, slow down, snowman, volunteering, winter

Mother and daughter playing in the snowSlow, in our culture, is a four-letter word. Slow is lazy. It’s unmotivated. It’s got an attitude problem.

Fast is where it’s at. Fast-track your career. Fast-burn your fat. Get results … fast!

I like fast as much as the next mom. I badger my children to tie their shoelaces faster, eat their dinner faster, make their beds faster. We run for the school bus, race to piano lessons, zip to the grocery store.

Recipes: Homemade Baby Food Purees

Pooja Mottl by Pooja Mottl | June 19th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: babies, baby food, baby food purees, carrots, children, cilantro, flavors, fresh herbs, fruits, healthy-eating, homecooked baby foods, homemade baby food purees, leeks, mother nature, natural foods, organic, palates, parenting, purees, recipes, red bell pepper, roasted red pepper, thyme, vegetables

Carrot Leek & Thyme Baby Food Puree

Just as our grown-up taste buds are programmed to enjoy glorious, nourishing foods from Mother Nature, so are our babies’! Babies have a hardwired fondness for sweet tastes from the moment they enter the world. Their first sweet stop? Mother’s milk. From there, usually sometime after six months, babies begin to eat “solids,” which gives us parents an opportunity to guide their taste buds in a way that will allow them to explore and experiment with a broad range of flavors. The goal? By showing them what true, natural flavor really is, babies have a chance to fall in love – on their own – with foods that love them back!

“Green Lemonade! Fifty Cents!”

Ginny Figlar Colón by Ginny Figlar Colón | May 30th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: artificial flavors, children, compost, compostable, environment, green kids, Green Living, high fructose corn syrup, kids, lemonade, lemonade stand, organic, paper, parenting, plastic, recyclable, recycle, recycling, reusable, sugar, summer

Green Lemonade Stand

When my daughter held her first lemonade stand this past week, I was so caught up in the “milestone” aspect of it all that I totally missed out on an opportunity to add an environmental lesson to the mathematical/economical one.

The Power of Motherly Love

Cynthia James by Cynthia James | May 8th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: affirmation, animals, Candice Lightner, children, creation, healing, HOPE, humans, intuition, justice, love, MADD, mothers, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, mothers-day, pain, parenting, persistence, reconciliation, Relationships, separation, trust

Mother and her young son

During the month of May we celebrate Mother’s Day. It is a time when we honor our biological, adopted and surrogate mothers. It is a time when we remember the incredible and awesome nature of the “mother spirit.” Whether it is in the animal kingdom or the family of human beings, most mothers are fierce protectors of their young. They intuitively know when something is happening with their child. I was always amazed when my mother tuned right into me. This wasn’t always good news for me, but it most certainly reminded me that we were connected in an extraordinary way.

3 Tips to Make Snacktime Healthier

Susan Stiffelman by Susan Stiffelman | February 20th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: after-school snack, apples, babysitter, children, chips, eat and enjoy snacks you offer, fancy foods, food variety, fun recipes, getting kids to do what you want, getting kids to eat right, good food for snacks, guacamole, have fun with snacks, healthy snack options, healthy snacks, kids, misbehaving children, mix up snacks, model healthy snacking, mono-eaters, nut butter, parenting, parenting advice, refueling, relaxed connection, snack presentation, sugar, unhealthy snack options, yogurt

“I have a very difficult time getting my 5-year-old and 9-year-old to eat healthy snacks. All they want are things like potato chips and sugary cereals, which their former babysitter gave them whenever they asked. Any advice?”

Signed,

Smart Snacker

4 Ways to Have a More Peaceful Evening

Kate Hanley by Kate Hanley | November 27th, 2012 | 3 Comments
topic: Family Health, Health & Wellness, Relationships | tags: back, bed, bedtime, body, breath, breathe, car, channel surfing, children, cleaning, cooking, couch, decompress, evening, family, floor, happy, intention, Internet, kids, meditate, meditation, mind, night, parenting, peaceful, pillow, relax, relaxing, rest, sleep, spine, stress, stressful, transitions, TV

Peaceful Evening

In theory, evening is a glorious time of day — a time to eat and spend time with loved ones and then unwind before bed. In reality, though, it’s often a stress fest – feed the kids, put the kids to bed, answer some emails, fall into bed. Or simply lost time – eat whatever, channel surf, cruise the Internet, then look up and wonder how it got to be 11:30 already.

Luckily, it doesn’t take much to transform your evening hours into the respite they ought to be. Here are four of my favorite tips for a peaceful evening. I’d love to hear yours!

Young Athletes: Are Kids Specializing in Sports Too Early?

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | October 17th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: baseball, basketball, body balance, children, coaches, football, Gwen Lawrence, kids, left dominant sports, michael jordan, muscle development, muscles, parenting, parents, physical development, right dominant sports, soccer, sports, sports specialization, sports training, tennis

Kids in Sports

Could your children be making decisions that hurt their physical development? While I don’t claim to be a doctor, I do have very specific feelings about your young athletes specializing in one sport too early. Consider these points when your 12-year-old tells you he/she only wants to play soccer from here on out and eventually become a pro!

How to Approach Frustrated Children

Susan Stiffelman by Susan Stiffelman | September 21st, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: adapt, adaptation, change, children, cry, crying, dad, frustrated, frustration, happy, kids, mom, parenting, parents, tantrums, tears

Crying child

Childhood is full of frustrating moments. Nature has designed life in such a way as to guarantee that children will have their wishes denied many times a day. Kids are small, physically disadvantaged, in need of support that isn’t always available, and desirous of all sorts of things that their caretakers determine aren’t good for them.

As loving parents, we hate it when our children cry, and we’ll jump through hoops to keep their tears at bay. We buy them the toys they can’t live without, force their big sisters to play Barbies with them, or let them stay up late even though we know they’ll be tired the next day.

But when we intervene every time our children become frustrated — believing we’re doing so out of love and care — we prevent them from learning the lesson of adaptation.

Balancing It All: Fitness, Nutrition and Life

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | July 17th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss | tags: balance, body log, diet, exercise, exercise journal, Fitness, food journal, healthy-eating, Kelly Branning, Libra, meditation, nutrition, parenting, self care, Stephen Covey, the firm, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, tree-pose, weight-loss, workouts, Yoga

Balanced Nutrition

By The FIRM Master Instructor Kelly Branning

I am a Libra. Although I don’t read my horoscope, I do identify with those scales that represent my sign. Balance, balance and more balance. It is a daily challenge to keep those scales from tipping over. One side seems overloaded with the things we do for others and the outside world, like family, career, social life and housework. The other side of the scale, including exercise and nutrition, usually threatens to let go at any time.

I think the absolute foundation of a balanced life is good self-care, coupled with good self-awareness. That said … how are you doing? How is your eating? Do you get everything you need from the foods you eat? Hopefully you are eating healthy, life-affirming foods every 3-4 hours. How about exercise? Are you finding a little time to work out and get stronger? If you don’t know how you are doing, let’s take some time to figure it out.

Objects on Foot Are Closer Than They Appear

Ginny Figlar Colón by Ginny Figlar Colón | July 13th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Fitness, Green Living, Green Tech, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Weight Loss | tags: car, car-free, children, community, dad, drive, driving, exercise, exerise, family, Fitness, Google Maps, health, healthy, kids, mom, neighborhood, parenting, pedestrian-friendly, running errands, stroller, take a walk, walk score, walkability, walking, walking directions, WalkScore, weight-loss

Happy family walking togetherIt usually takes me seven minutes to get to my daughter’s preschool. Today, it took 27.

That’s because, for the first time in 18 months, I strapped my 11-month-old son into the double stroller and walked there.

I like to walk. Our family of four has one car, and in the two years that we’ve owned it, we’ve only put 14,000 miles on the odometer.

I’m not alone. According to a 2011 survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, nearly 80 percent of respondents look for homes in pedestrian-friendly areas and 59 percent would choose a smaller home if it meant less driving.

Still, I find that once I’ve gotten into the habit of driving someplace — my daughter’s preschool, the Trader Joe’s on the other side of the highway, the garden store — I tend to keep on driving there, deeming it too far to reach on foot. The funny thing is, once I decide to test walking to a destination once, I realize not only how doable it is but also how satisfying running that errand becomes.

So now I’m on a quest of sorts: to debunk the myth that certain places in my everyday life are too far to reach on foot.