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Bullied Kids Suffer Academically

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Last week, a study in the Journal of Educational Psychology stated that children bullied throughout their educational career have declined test scores, a distaste for school and lack of confidence in their abilities.

Researchers monitored hundreds of children from kindergarten through high school and found nearly 25 percent had experienced chronic bullying.

Gary W. Ladd, the study’s lead and a professor of psychology at Arizona State University, began research in 1992 when he and his colleagues chose 383 (190 boys and 193 girls) kindergarteners to participate. Each year, the children were assessed and asked to describe their experiences with bullying, violence and verbal abuse on a scale of  one “almost never” to five “almost always.”

Of the 24 percent of children who reported chronic bullying, the study revealed they had lower academic achievement, a greater dislike for school and less academic confidence. The 18 percent of students who experienced moderate bullying early and increased bullying later on suffered similar consequences than the chronically bullied children.

The study also found that boys were more likely to stuff from chronic bullying, and when the study began cyber-bullying was not an issue. However, by the study’s end, 23 percent of participants had dropped out.

One-quarter of the children came from families with annual income of under $20,000, 39 percent from families making above $50,000 and the remainder were from families with an annual income between $20,000 and $50,000. Seventy-seven of the participants were white, 18 percent African-American and the remainder were Hispanic, biracial or came from other ethnic backgrounds. Most of the children were from Illinois, but by the fifth year many had migrated to other states.

Additional information can be found on

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ADHD: Helpful Questions to Ask Your Provider

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Updated: Monday, February 6, 2017

Does my child have ADHD?  As an assessment psychologist working in a pediatric clinic I hear that question quite often. I understand the reasons behind it, but find it’s not exactly the most useful question to ask when trying to understand and help a child who might be having difficulties.

While we have various measures and methods of assessing for ADHD, getting a Yes or No answer to that question doesn’t necessarily provide much insight into effective interventions for home or school. ADHD, which stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a clinical diagnosis that can be provided by qualified providers. The diagnosis provides an overarching label to multiple behaviors or symptoms that can potentially open the door for various services such as formal accommodations at school via a 504 Plan or an IEP. But that is probably where the usefulness of the label ends.

ADHD is a diagnosis that covers a wide range of behaviors and issues including, but not limited to short attention span, increased distractibility, increased activity levels and hyperactivity, impulsivity, and poor executive function skills such as planning, organizing, and self-regulating. ADHD is comprised of three types: 1) Primarily inattentive, 2) Primarily hyperactive/impulsive, or 3) Both. Children who have the same primary diagnosis may not necessarily “look” the same or need the same intervention plan. There are different degrees of severity and accompanying issues to consider. Other individual factors such as self-awareness and insight, anxiety, sensitivity, self-esteem and many more are relevant. In addition, a child’s environment both at home and at school is critical to fully understand the impact of an attention/self-regulation based disorder.

Therefore, when looking for help with your child’s possible attention deficits, limited regulation, or impulsive behaviors, it is far more helpful to consider the specific behaviors, symptoms, issues, and struggles that you and your child are experiencing and ask the following:

  1. What might be causing, contributing, or helping maintain such difficulties?
  2. How do such difficulties impact my child’s functioning? (This may be at school and home including learning, interactions with others, sense of self, etc.)
  3. What are some recommended interventions to address these difficulties and to reduce any negative impact they might have?

An ADHD diagnosis may be a part of the answer to the first question but won’t be very helpful for the other two, which are as important if not more so. Every child is a unique individual regardless of an ADHD (or other) diagnosis. Thus, while there will be some overlap in interventions recommended, the plan for each child will differ. There are certainly some well-recognized interventions for children with ADHD that can indeed be helpful. However, it’s necessary to consider the multitude of individual and diverse factors relevant to each child in order to recommend or provide truly helpful interventions. 

Hadas Pade is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Sutcliffe Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. Dr. Pade, originally from Israel, is fluent in Hebrew and English. She has worked in a variety of settings providing assessments, therapy, training, and consultations to children, adolescents and families, as well as training and consultations with teachers and schools. Dr. Pade is a strength-based provider who specializes in conducting psycho-educational and psychodiagnostic assessments for children and adolescents.

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Study: Kids are Consuming Too Many Sugary Beverages

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Updated: Sunday, January 29, 2017

In new information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the organization reports that almost two-thirds of children aged 2-19 consume at least one sugar-sweetened beverage each day, and 30 percent of children drink two or more sugary drinks per day.

Within that data, male toddlers (ages 2-5) are drinking 65 calories and female toddlers are consuming 59 calories each day, making up 4.1 and 4.0 percent of their daily calories, respectively. As children age, the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed per date increases, with boys aged 12-19 drinking an average of 232 calories per day and girls 12-19 drinking 162 calories. Boys aged 6-11, on average, drink 133 calories per day and girls aged 6-11 consume 104 calories.

When breaking the information down by race, boys and girls identifying as Non-Hispanic Asian consume half as many calories from sugar-sweetened beverages as all other races. Hispanic females, followed by Non-Hispanic white females consume the next lowest calories. Non-Hispanic black females and Hispanic males consume equal amount of sugar with Non-Hispanic white and Non-Hispanic black males topping the list.

Current dietary guidelines recommend that less than 10 percent of a person’s daily calories come from added sugars and the American Heart Association recommends children cons

ume under 100 calories of added sugar and limiting the intake of sugary drinks to no more than eight ounces per week. According to the CDC, consuming an excess of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with Type 2 diabetes, weight gain, cavities and high cholesterol in children.

The information for this study was compiled from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for years 2011-2012 and 2013-2014. Information was collected through an in-person 24-hour dietary recall interviews covering beverage intake for a 24-hour period.

Sweetened beverages within the study were defined as regular soda, fruit drinks – including sweetened bottled waters and fruit juices with added sugar) – sports and energy drinks, sweetened coffees and teas and other sweetened beverages, including horchata and those sweetened with sugarcane. Diet drinks, 100 percent fruit juice and self-sweetened drinks (coffees and teas) were not included in the data. 

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Let Them Play! Drop-in Play Spaces around the Peninsula

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Toddlers are tiny little powerhouses of unwavering energy, and sometimes all the toys in the world can’t keep them entertained. All their zest for life and curiosity can, at times, be draining, and sometimes you just need a break – we get it. We also understand that making a weekly play date or class might not fit into your busy schedule, but you’re in luck. We’ve put together a list of drop-in play places that can tucker out your little ones.

Wund3rkid (559 College Ave., Palo Alto)
Wund3rkid offers a drop-in play rate of $25. Children must be at least 9 months old and accompanied by an adult, but they can enjoy Wund3rkid’s selection of toys from around the world.

Parents Place (200 Channing Ave., Palo Alto; 2001 Winward Way Ste. 200, San Mateo)
Play with your child (birth to 5 years) at Parents Place’s Drop-In Play on Monday and Friday from 9:30 to 11:20 a.m. and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to noon for a low $10 fee.

La Petite Playhouse (1264 Oddstad Drive, Redwood City)
For children under 3, La Petite Playhouse has a baby and toddler play area with slides, crawl spaces and mats. For children over 3, a larger play space is available.  

Safari Run (341 N Amphlett Blvd., San Mateo and 1180 Kern Ave., Sunnyvale)
For an annual fee (or drop-in rate of $10), Safari Run will give you 20 open play sessions between Monday and Friday in its jungle-themed locations.

Diddalidoo (544 San Mateo Ave., San Bruno)
Diddalidoo has three areas – infant, toddler and quiet – to entertain babies and toddlers of all ages. Single day passes cost $13.

Play! Los Altos (170 State Street, Los Altos)
Day passes start at $10 and range from 30 minutes to a half-day of play. Children can participate in arts and crafts, fort building and hide and seek.

Rec Room Creative (1419 Chapin Ave., Ste 101 Burlingame)
Recently opened (January 17, 2017), Rec Room Creative offers open-ended collaborative, imaginative and construction-type play for children under 6. Drop-in play is offered during business hours (every day except Monday). One hour play rates are $15 for one adult/child and $10 for one adult/infant (infant is defined as pre-walker). Additional guest rates are $10 per child and $5 per adult.

Sky High Sports (1524 Rollins Rd, Burlingame)
Although for older littles, Sky High Sports has a Kids Court with trampolines and a foam pit. Day passes start at $14.

Pump It Up (1309 Elmer St, Unit A, Belmont)
Open Play is from $12 10 a.m. -noon and $12 will give your children the opportunity to play with Pump It Up’s giant, soft and interactive inflatables. Children must be are at least 34 inches tall to play.


My Gym (2655 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto)
My Gym’s $75 membership fee is transferable to all My Gym Centers around the world and if you sign up for a 4-week course for $88, your child is entitled to one Practice & Play session (unstructured parent and child time) per week.

Junior Gym (811 South B Street, San Mateo)
Buy a membership for $50 or pay an hourly fee of $8 and hour if you’re a registered guest of a member or an inactive member to gain access to Junior Gym’s open gym Monday – Friday. They’ll love romping around Junior Gym’s play structures, sliding down the zip line and running through its obstacle course.

Gymboree (664 Los Altos Rancho, Los Altos)
A $50 new member initiation fee (currently being waived) and monthly membership fee (between $74 and $129) entitles members to weekly open gym hours on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday and weekly classes (the $129 monthly option gives parents a two-hour drop-off option per week) as well as other discounts.

Know of any other local drop-in play places? Let us know in the comments. 

Tags:  peninsula play  places to play  play spaces 

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Get Your Table Now for the 2017 PAMP Rummage Sale

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Updated: Sunday, January 29, 2017

It's that time of year again! Register now for the annual PAMP Rummage Sale at the PAMP member price of only $30 to sell your previously loved children's and maternity clothes, equipment, toys and household items. This is a great opportunity to get a jump start on your spring cleaning and make another parent's day. 

Previous Rummage Sales have been a huge success for parents and we are opening tables to PAMP members first!

Here's the rundown:

- All tables are 6 ft y 3 ft and are not assigned.

- No signs or banners promoting businesses are allowed, unless you are a Rummage Sale sponsor, and you cannot represent a business or sell on behalf of a business, nonprofit or church

- All items must be "like new" - puzzles must have all of their pieces, clothing must be stain- and- hole-free. Items that have been recalled are prohibited. Check Consumer Product Safety Commission for all recalls

- Keeping your items organized in your own portable racks or bins and sorting them by size, sex or season will help, and please bring your own price tags or stickers to avoid any confusion. 

- Pricing items on par with Ebay, Craigslist or consignment stores will help you be a more successful seller. We are aiming to sell 50 tables and other members may have similar items so keep that in mind when pricing your goods. 

- Plan on staying the entire duration of the event to get the maximum exposure. You are responsible for your own set up and breakdown.

- Finally, you have the opportunity to donate any items that you don't sell to the Salvation Army, which will accept all types of baby and children's items. This is not mandatory, but encouraged. 

-Volunteers gain early access (if you want to get in on the goods early, volunteer the day of the event. email for more information) so setup should be complete by 8:10 a.m. The event is open to PAMP members at 8:30 a.m. and the general public at 9:30 a.m. Entry for shoppers is free and the event will end at noon. Cleanup needs to be complete by 1 p.m.

Ready to buy? Purchase your table today for the PAMP member price of only $30 and join us at the Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto on Sunday, March 19. 


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Health: Study Suggests Breastfed Babies May Not Be Getting Enough Vitamin D

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Updated: Monday, January 23, 2017

A study published in the January/February edition in the Journal of Annals of Family Medicine has suggested that breastfed infants may not be getting enough vitamin D.

Breast milk contains a low level of the vitamin and inadequate levels can lead to the bone disease rickets. Increased vitamin D can come from sunlight, however it is recommended that infants under six month avoid exposure due to a risk of obtaining skin cancer. And, of the 184 women surveyed in the study (140 who exclusively breastfed and 44 who fed a combination of breast milk and formula), most were not giving vitamin D supplements to their infants.

Many mothers are unaware of the recommendation and fail to consistently provide supplementation, while others assumed their multivitamin containing vitamin D provided an adequate amount. Studies have shown, however, that a mother would need to take a daily supplement of between 4,000 and 6,400 IU to provide sufficient breast milk enrichment. 

The Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants who are breastfed or combination-fed, receive 400 IU of vitamin D each day, as should infants receiving less than 33.8 ounces of formula per day. Infant supplements come in a liquid form that can be added to a bottle or given with a dropper. Mothers choosing not to give the supplement directly, can take a high dose vitamin D supplement to meet their baby’s needs. 

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Where to find allergen-free treats along the Peninsula

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It’s tough to be a parent with a child who has food allergies and special dietary restrictions. You’re constantly asking questions and on the lookout for the best – and sometimes only – place in town to find sweet snacks for your kids. When you’re out and about, you find yourself bombarding cupcakeries and dessert shops with questions in an effort to keep your little ones safe – or you avoid these shops altogether. In an effort to make outings easier, we’ve compiled a fairly comprehensive list of local places to find tasty treats along the Peninsula, and broken them down by allergy or dietary needs. 


Zest Bakery (1224 Arroyo Avenue, San Carlos)
Zest Bakery is quite the find. It’s a dedicated gluten-free bakery where no gluten ever comes into contact with the shop or equipment. Here you can find muffins, loaves of bread, donuts, cookies, brownies, cakes, scones, cheesecake, quiche, ravioli, pizza, sandwich rolls, breads and cakes for all occasions.

Sprinkles Cupcakes (Stanford Shopping Center, 393 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto)
The original cupcakery, Sprinkles keeps its daily menu stocked with a gluten-free red velvet and gluten-free chocolate chip cookie. There’s also a sugar-free red velvet (not gluten-free) available.

Kara’s Cupcakes (855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto)
Kara’s, a Bay Area chain of cupcake locations, definitely understand its gluten-free audience. Among its offerings (not every cupcake will be available every day), Kara’s makes a gluten-free chocolate coconut, vanilla coconut, chocolate velvet, sweet vanilla and flourless chocolate.

Racarons (Online with local pickup in the Mountain View Area)
Yes, it’s online, but it’s nice to know that almost all macarons, from Racarons or not, are gluten-free and made with almond flour. Racarons has a lengthy list of 19 macaron flavors (only one contains gluten) plus additional seasonal offerings.

Cream (440 University Ave, Palo A lot and 134 South B Street, San Mateo)
The ice cream sandwich: yummy, refreshing and hard to find for those who can’t tolerate gluten. Enter Cream, which has a gluten-free chocolate chip, snickerdoodle and white chocolate fudge cookie on its menu.

Calafia Café and Market A Go-Go (855 El Camino Real, Suite 130, Palo Alto)
Isn’t it the worst when you sit down at a restaurant or pick up meal and are forced to skip dessert because of its lack of gluten-free options? Calafia has a gluten-free rosemary crème brulee, banana split, ice cream trilogy and chia seed parfait (raw, with no sugar added). Although a couple of offerings might be for a more sophisticated palate, it would be rare for a toddler to pass up a banana split or ice cream.

LYFE Kitchen (167 North Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto)
LYFE locations keep popping up around the Bay.   When you go, make sure you order the chocolate or banana coconut budino if you’re staying away from gluten.

Prolific Oven (550 Waverly Street, Palo Alto)
Prolific oven offers gluten-free chocolate verrines and a blueberry cream cake.

Chilly and Munch (2101 Showers Dr., Mountain View)
We had to add shaved snow, even though it’s logical to assume ice and syrup are gluten-free, but all flavors and toppings except Oreo and brownie are free of gluten.

True Food Kitchen (180 El Camino Real Suite 1140)
For the adventurous eater, True Food has a squash pie, chia seed pudding, apple goji crisp, flourless chocolate cake and lemon ginger frozen yogurt – all gluten-free.

Fraiche Frozen Yogurt (200 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto)
Fraiche has healthy, gluten-free smoothies available.

Sibby’s Cupcakery (Online orders - minimum one dozen – delivery throughout the bay Tuesday-Saturday, or place and order for pickup at 716 South Railroad Ave, San Mateo)
Sibby’s has a variety of gluten-free cupcakes available - butter cup, choco choco, chocolate and cream, chocolate coconut cream, dulce de leche, latte love, MMM good mocha and old-fashioned birthday cake.

Veggie Grill (565 San Antonio Road #26, Mountain View)
While everything on the menu is vegan, the pudding parfait can be made gluten-free if ordered without the cookie crumbles.

Bonus: Gluten-free Bread

Ducks & Dragons Bakery (Online orders – pickup at the College of San Mateo Farmers’ Market on Saturdays)
Sure, it’s online only, but a dedicated gluten-free bakery offering bagels, flourless soft baguettes, flourless rolls, flourless pizza crust and sandwich bread is hard to find.


Sibby’s Cupcakery (Online orders - minimum one dozen – delivery throughout the bay Tuesday-Saturday, or place and order for pickup, 716 South Railroad Ave, San Mateo)
Sibby’s, which has gluten-free choices (perfect for those who are gluten- AND nut-free), is a dedicated nut-free bakery!!!! Everything here is safe to eat.

LYFE Kitchen (167 North Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto)
LYFE serves a nut-free chocolate chip cookie.

Chilly and Munch (2101 Showers Dr., Mountain View)
Although almonds are a topping option and the Atari, coco banana and rocky road combos contain nuts, everything else on the shaved ice menu is nut-free.


Sprinkles Cupcakes (Stanford Shopping Center, 393 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto)
Vegan cupcakes! Sprinkles always offers a vegan red velvet, so anyone who can’t have eggs or dairy has at least one option here (the red velvet also comes in sugar-free and gluten-free versions, but neither is suitable for vegans or anyone unable to have dairy)

Cream (440 University Ave, Palo A lot and 134 South B Street, San Mateo)
There’s nothing better than cold ice cream on a hot day – unless you have a dairy allergy or intolerance. Cream has a vegan chocolate banana bliss, fudging awesome and oatmeal e crazy ice cream, and a soy mint chocolate chip and blueberry ice cream available.

Calafia Café and Market A Go-Go (855 El Camino Real, Suite 130, Palo Alto)
Vegan banana split! Hooray! If you aren’t feeling sundae-y, the ice cream trilogy and chia seed parfait (raw, with no added sugar) are also a safe bet (and all are gluten-free).

Tin Pot Cremery (855 El Camino Real #121, Palo Alto and 201 First Street, Los Altos)
Tin Pot has a vegan mint truffle ice cream on its menu.

LYFE Kitchen (167 North Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto)
There’s only one dessert available for the dairy-free/vegan crowd here, but try the vegan chocolate chip cookie if you have egg or dairy allergies.

Veggie Grill (565 San Antonio Road #26, Mountain View)
Everything on the menu is vegan, so the desserts are safe for anyone with dairy or egg allergies and they have an amazing vegan carrot cake, in addition to a chocolate chip cookie and chocolate pudding parfait, and other seasonal vegan dessert offerings

True Food Kitchen (180 El Camino Real Suite 1140(
Try the squash pie, chia seed pudding and apple goji crisp – all safe for egg and dairy intolerance (and gluten-free).

Fraiche Frozen Yogurt (200 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto)
There’s both dairy and sugar-free smoothies available on Fraiche’s menu.

Pinkberry (Stanford Shopping Center, 680 Stanford Shopping Center Suite 14, Palo Alto)
Seasonally, Pinkberry has dairy-free options, but daily, the Palo Alto location serves a dairy-free coconut milk coconut flavor.

Raw Daddy’s (Palo Alto Farmers’ Market, Sundays 9am-1pm - California Ave at El Camino Real - Palo Alto)
Everything on Raw Daddy’s menu is vegan so grab a dairy-free cone and fill it with ingredients like raw almond butter, agave nectar, cinnamon cashew yogurt and coconut oil. There’s also a dairy-free chocolate haystack dessert.

Creamistry (164 University Ave., Palo Alto)
I scream, you scream, we all scream for non-dairy ice cream! Creamistry has non-dairy, water based sorbets in blood orange, green apple, mango, pineapple and pink grapefruit, and a non-dairy, coconut based, vegan ice cream base available.

Chilly and Munch (2101 Showers Dr., Mountain View)
Everything on the menu but the vanilla flavor and the condensed milk and black sesame condensed milk drizzle are vegan/dairy-free.

Smitten Ice Cream (4800 El Camino Real, Los Altos)
Yet another dairy-free/vegan frozen treat on the Peninsula! Smitten offers a Vairhona fudge and a caramel pop.

As with everything, check websites or make a phone call prior to arrival. In any case, we hope this helps when you’re out and about with your children and their friends.

Did we forget anywhere? Let us know in the comments

Tags:  allergies  allergy-free  sweets  treats 

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Take a Break from the Kitchen and Check Out These Places Where Kids Eat For Free

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Picture this: It’s a Wednesday evening around dinnertime. You’re out and about after picking up your kids from their most recent afternoon activity. They’re starving. You’re exhausted. Your refrigerator and pantry are a little scarce on the ingredients needed to prepare dinner – another errand you meant to run today but ran out of time with everything else going on. Also, your spouse is out of town for business so it’s just you and the kids tonight. You need dinner quickly, inexpensively and with no clean up. Sound familiar?

This scenario, in various capacities, happens to all of us from time to time, but this Wednesday is different. You pull into Hobee’s to grab a hot meal for yourself and the kids. As you walk into the restaurant, you find it lightly filled with customers, warm and inviting, and it isn’t until you sit down that you’re reminded kids eat free Wednesday nights. You’ve accomplished your goal and picked up a quick, inexpensive, tasty meal for you and your family.

Luckily, there are places around the Peninsula where kids eat free. Whether it be a Wednesday at Hobee’s or Monday at Jack’s Prime Burgers & Shakes, every day of the week there’s somewhere to take the kids for dinner.

Happi House Teriyaki 286 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View
Kids eat free on Sundays with the purchase of an adult numbered meal. All kids’ meals are served with Asian chicken salad, white or beef flavored rice and their choice of apple juice or a soft drink. Choices include: grilled chicken tenders, teriyaki beef, teriyaki pork, crispy chicken fingers and a chicken drumstick meal.




Dickey’s Barbecue Pit 570 North Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View
Children under 12 can choose between chicken nuggets or a meat or sandwich plate as well as a drink with the purchase of an adult entrée (one kids’ meal per adult entrée).





Jack’s Prime Burgers & Shakes 3723 S. El Camino Real, San Mateo
Purchase an adult meal on Mondays and kids eat free. Kids can choose between a hot dog, two prime sliders, grilled cheese and two chicken fingers (all options come with fries).






IKEA 1700 E Bayshore Rd, East Palo Alto
Get up to two kids’ meals (under 12) with the purchase of an adult entrée. Kids’ choices may include organic pasta with tomato sauce, chicken tenders with French fries, Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes (chicken and veggie balls are also available), mac and cheese with vegetables and grilled chicken with carrots, strawberries and string cheese.

Denny’s 1201 Broadway, Redwood City
On Tuesdays from 4 to 10 p.m. kids eat free at Denny’s.  Have breakfast for dinner (junior banana berry pancake breakfast, chocolate chip pancakes, build your own junior Grand Slam and junior French toast) or choose between kid-friendly favorites of a junior cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, spaghetti, mac and cheese or grilled chicken on a stick.

Hobees 4224 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
Get one kids (under 10) entrée per adult meal at Hobee’s on Wednesdays after 5 p.m. Kids can choose between Hobee’s soup or salad bar, nachitos (cheese, chips and chicken), peanut butter and jelly with fruit or chips, grilled cheese with fruit or chips, turkey sliders with smiley potatoes, cheese quesadilla with tortilla chips, spaghetti with marinara, penne pasta with pesto or alfredo sauce, chicken nuggets with baby carrots and smiley potatoes or liver and onions with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, eggplant and beets.

El Torito 388 Vintage Park Drive, Foster City
Kids can choose from a variety of favorites at El Torito (also in Milpitas) and eat free on Wednesdays (one kids’ meal with purchase of any adult entrée).







Tomatina 401 South B Street, San Mateo
After 4 p.m. on Thursday kids under 10 can eat for free with the purchase of an adult meal. Kids’ meal picks include: Caesar salad; vegetable dippers (carrots, broccoli and celery with ranch dressing); mac and cheese; spaghetti or penne with butter and Parmesan, cream or tomato sauce; spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli with creamy tomato sauce or pizza.

Pho Hoa Noodle Soup 220 Castro Street, Mountain View
Every day after 2 p.m. kids eat free at Pho Hoa Noodle Soup. Soups include beef, chicken or vegetarian options.

Menu choices are subject to change. Tell us what other kid-friendly - and kids eat free - locations you love!

Tags:  dining out  food  kids eat free 

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Health: Nutritional Quality of Children's Menus Not Improving

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Updated: Sunday, January 15, 2017

The American Journal of Preventative Medicine has been studying the nutritional content in children’s meals since 2012, estimating the changes in calories, saturated fat and sodium in the menu items of 45 chain restaurants.

According to the journal, restaurant food is widely consumed by children and associated with many of their poor diets, and while many restaurants have been committed to reducing the nutritional quality of the meals offered, there hasn’t been an industry-wide impact.

Of the kids’ meals researched, the average entrée far exceeded recommendations for sodium and saturated fat, while desserts were as calorie-dense as meals and contained nearly twice the amount of saturated fats as an entrée.

In an article on, Alyssa Moran, a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan School says that  "Although some healthier options were available in select restaurants, there is no evidence that these voluntary pledges have had an industry-wide impact. As public health practitioners, we need to do a better job of engaging restaurants in offering and promoting healthy meals to kids."

The study’s data was obtained from MenuStat, where researchers examined the nutritional content of 4,016 beverages, entrees, side dishes and desserts offered at 45 of the nation’s top 100 fast food, fast casual and full-service restaurant chains between 2012 and 2015. Fifteen of those studied are Kids LiveWell, an initiative launched in 2011 to improve the quality of restaurant meals for children, restaurant participants.

Tags:  food  health  nutrition 

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Outside the Box: Places You May Not Have Thought to Take the Kids

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Updated: Monday, January 16, 2017

When thinking of places to take the kids, the standard locations come up: museums, the zoo, parks and the library. We love these places, too, but eventually we, like you, want to find new places to take the kids for an afternoon out. We’ve come up with a list of a few places around the Peninsula you may not have thought of going.

The Movies
As much as you’d like to see the latest and greatest films out, you know kids are unpredictable. The most well-behaved child can turn into a terror at a moment’s notice. You don’t want to be that parent, nor do you want your kids to be those kids. And, while Camera Cinemas Camera 7 in Campbell (1875 S Bascom Ave., Campbell) isn’t on the Peninsula, it’s worth the drive. On the first and third Wednesday of the month, and for $7.75 (kids under 3 are free), Camera 7 holds Diaper Days where you can enjoy a movie and feel confident you won’t ruin someone else’s movie-going experience. Camera 7 also has changing tables in the men’s and women’s restroom, and baby safe lighting and sound levels in the theater on Diaper Days.

Take a trip to Color Me Mine (602 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park). Kids paint for $8 plus the cost of the piece. Color Me Mine is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. Kids paint for $8 plus the cost of the piece. Alternatively, visit Create It (855 El Camino Real, #108, Palo Alto) and create a hand- or- footprint plate or paint an item for a cost ranging between $10 and $75. Studio time, paint and glazing is included in the cost of each piece. Create It is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The Bookstore
Yes, you can always pop into a chain retailer bookstore for some book shopping, but why not visit a boutique book shop with plenty of picks for kids? Linden Tree Books (265 State Street, Los Altos) holds events and author talks, which are just the tip of the iceberg. Linden Tree also has an ample selection of books to further your child’s interest in reading. Alternate independent and kid-friendly retailers include Kepler’s Books (1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park) and The Reading Bug (785 Laurel St., San Carlos). 

Bowling Alleys
Call ahead and reserve a lane with bumpers before taking older toddlers to the alley. They’ll have tons of fun rolling the ball while learning a new skill – and who cares if it takes forever for the ball to trickle down the lane? It’s a low-key, indoor, active activity that will burn off some of their infinite energy.  


Indoor Swimming Pools
The last place you want to take the kids when it’s cold and rainy out is an outdoor pool, even if it’s heated. Consider taking the kids to an indoor pool and give them plenty of playtime without dealing with wintery weather. Sign up for a membership at places like the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center (3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto) or your local YMCA and get access to their heated, indoor swimming pools. Or, enroll your children in La Petite Baleen Swim Schools (60 Fifth Avenue, Redwood City) and get complimentary Family Swim, an open swim program available on Fridays from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m., Saturdays from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. or 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. Registration is required to swim.

The Theatre
Although we're sure the theatre-lover in us wishes we could take the kids to Broadway San Jose or the latest production in San Francisco, the theatre-lover in us also knows they aren’t exactly the most child-friendly spaces. But, Palo Alto Children’s Theatre has found a way to foster a love of performing arts by designing productions specifically for children ages 2 to 6. Palo Alto Children’s Theatre’s The Playhouse series consists of special, interactive experiences designed for toddlers where local high school students perform classic fairy tales on the Magic Castle stage. Sets and costumes are simple and tales are told in a story-teller style that’s perfect for them. Performances are a short 45 minutes and held at 10 a.m. and noon on Saturdays and Sundays.

Do you have any unique finds for kids? We’d love to hear about them.

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