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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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Medicine: Introduce Food Allergens Early

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Updated: Sunday, January 15, 2017

According to new guidelines from the National Institutes of Health, an expert panel sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) suggests that parents introduce peanut-containing foods to infants prior to their first birthday.

As peanut allergies continue to be a growing health problem, the new recommendations provide three guidelines for introducing peanuts based on their risk of developing a peanut allergy. It is recommended to introduce peanuts to the highest risk group – those with severe eczema, egg allergy or both – as early as four to six months. For infants with mild or moderate eczema, the recommendations are that peanut-containing foods be introduced around six months of age. The third group, those without eczema or any food allergies can be given peanut-containing foods freely. Solids should be introduced prior to peanuts and parents should always consult their pediatrician for more information.

“Living with peanut allergy requires constant vigilance. Preventing the development of peanut allergy will improve and save lives and lower health care costs,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “We expect that widespread implementation of these guidelines by health care providers will prevent the development of peanut allergy in many susceptible children and ultimately reduce the prevalence of peanut allergy in the United States.”

Emerging data has suggested peanut allergies can be prevented by the early introduction of peanut-containing foods. The new guidelines can be viewed in full here

Tags:  allergies  guidelines  peanuts 

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Spend a Super Sunday Morning with PAMP

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Updated: Monday, January 9, 2017

There's no better way to spend a Super Sunday than at PAMP's Funtastic Winter Arts & Crafts Day.

Come out for a funtastic morning of arts, craft, music, movement and more in an indoor, winter-themed environment on Sunday, February 5 from 10 a.m. to noon (avoiding any interference with your Super Bowl plans) at Menlo Park's Arrillaga Center, Sequoia Room, 601 Laurel Street.

Register today! Registration is only $10 per PAMP family and $20 for non-members.

Sponsors and activities include:

Alkalign Studios will provide a movement activity for parents and kids.

 Music Together Menlo Park will be on hand with short music classes and activities throughout the morning.

Get crafty with La Petite Baleen who will have a fun craft for kids.

Woodside Parents' Nursery School will have a creative activity for guests.

If you've been missing Messy Play, stimulate your child's senses with Messy Play Kits.

Wund3rkid is also attending with an arts & craft activity.

We'll even have a play area and hot cocoa for you and your family to enjoy!

Don't forget to register for our "Super Sunday" Funtastic Winter Arts & Crafts Day.


Tags:  arts  crafts  funtastic winter arts and crafts day  pamp events 

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Medicine: Study Suggests Fish Oil May Reduce Child's Asthma Risk

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Updated: Sunday, January 15, 2017

A study published Dec. 29, 2016 in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that women who take fish oil during pregnancy may be doing their babies a favor by reducing their risk for developing asthma.

The study, which gave 736 women who were 24 weeks pregnant either fish oil or a placebo and studied a total of 695 children for five years, found that the fish oil supplementation in the third trimester of pregnancy “reduced the absolute risk of persistent wheeze or asthma and infections of the lower respiratory tract in offspring by approximately 7 percentage points, or one-third.”

Performed at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, in a country where fish oil consumption is already at a high level, the findings will lead to additional studies and more research, notably determining the optimal dose of fish oils and the best point at pregnancy when to begin the supplement.

Pregnant women are encouraged talk to their doctors about the need for increased intake of the fatty acids found in fish oils. For some, the levels consumed by their prenatal vitamin will be sufficient, while others may need additional DHA and EPA from a supplement. 

Tags:  asthma  medical study 

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Healthy Start to the New Year -- plus recipe

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Updated: Monday, January 2, 2017

When introducing new foods, it’s helpful to give kids what I call a “food bridge”—an easy path to help them travel from familiar foods to new foods. Take, for example, risotto with sautéed kale and bacon. Your kids probably like the flavor of pasta. Invite them to take a taster—one very, very, small bite—of one small piece of rice. Build on that by inviting a taste of bacon. They probably like that flavor too. Then work towards combining flavors. Try bacon and risotto, two approved tastes, with a teeny, tiny speck of kale. Then stop right there. In trying to get kids to give something new a try, set expectations! A teeny, tiny taster is all you need to start building a deeper love of wholesome foods. You don’t need them to eat a full plate, or even a whole serving. You just need them to be willing to try again (and again). It can take upwards of 15 exposures to a new food before your child might warm up to it. Big servings will only overwhelm reluctant eaters. Use espresso cups or small teaspoons to serve up your tasters. Remember: Small steps will get you there, not one great leap forward only to stumble backwards.    

When you’re ready to take your new food adventures to the next level, it’s time to start cooking together. As a busy parent, I know that can feel onerous. But what if I told you that all it takes is 30 minutes each week? That in the time you’d spend watching an episode of Modern Family, you’ll help your child build skills that are just as important as math and reading? Kids who cook their own food are more likely to eat wholesome foods, for a lifetime. Even more, the diets of young children have been directly linked to their health as adults. The key is to cook with your kids, not for your kids. And to get past the mental barrier of cooking with kids, you need to reframe it.


Instead of thinking of cooking as a chore (“I just need to get dinner on the table!”) or a big, fat mess (“Cooking with my kids is chaotic!”), think of cooking like a craft activity. Set up your cooking project on a low kids table, with all of your supplies within easy reach. Forget about working at the kitchen counter—it’s too high for kids even when they’re perched on a stool. Focus on exploring together, rather than creating the perfect dish. Let your kids do as much of the measuring, stirring, chopping, and sautéing as you can handle. Muster the patience you need to let go and let them do it, for 30 minutes (tip: have them work over a baking sheet to help contain the mess). The more freedom you afford them, the greater the payoff.

Brussels Sprouts Chips Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves 4


1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon kosher salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Using your fingers, peel away the leaves from the sprouts.

3. Place the leaves on a rimmed baking sheet. Add the oil and salt and toss to combine.

4. Bake for 10 minutes, then toss the leaves in the pan. Reduce the heat to 250°F and bake the sprouts for 10 minutes more, or until the leaves are crispy and almost burnt. Let your kids watch closely to figure out the best timing for your oven.

Tip: To peel the leaves, cut off the ends, turn the sprouts over, and gently pry the leaves away sta

rting at the stem. Trim off the ends as you go to make it easier to peel away the layers. This takes patience (and time), but it’s a fun activity for your kids. As you get closer to the center, the leaves will become too tight to peel, so simply save the small pieces for sautéing or roasting.

Cook Together

Kids can pry sprouts from the stalks and peel away the leaves. This step takes some patience, but the delicious reward is well worth their effort!

Eat Your Colors

These little cabbages may be small in size, but they’re big on Vitamin C!

Invite Exploration

Ask kids, “I wonder if Brussels sprouts taste different depending on their color?” Then experiment together to find out!

Keep Trying

Brussels Sprouts can be bitter for burgeoning palettes. The secret to mellowing their flavor is roasting. Kids love the crispy, almost burnt leaves.

Reprinted from The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes.

A mom of two, Jennifer Tyler Lee is the author of  The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year and the creator of the award-winning series of healthy eating games, Crunch a Color®. 

Tags:  cooking  food  recipe 

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Steps to a Safe Sleep Environment for Your Baby

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, December 27, 2016

There is more to baby proofing your home than just setting up gates and locks. You can start your baby proofing off by making sure your baby has a safe sleep environment. Newborns sleep an average of 16 hours a day. We want to make sure that your infant’s sleep environment is a safe place since they spend most of their time there. Taking the time to consider these important measures could help ensure the safety of your child as well as the health and happiness of the family.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death in infants 1 to 12 months of age. To help keep your baby protected you can follow these simple guidelines:

Welcome Home Baby
To set the safest scene for your newborn’s homecoming be careful when choosing the type and placement of your baby’s sleeping area.

  • The space between crib bars should be no more than 2-3/8 inches, so that the baby cannot get his/her head caught between the slats.

  • There should be no more than 2 finger widths of space between the mattress and the side of the crib. This helps prevent risk of suffocation after falling in between.

  • Remove all toys and loose blanketing from the crib when the baby is inside to avoid choking and suffocation hazards.

  • Remove all toys that are strung across the crib when the infant is 5 months old or can push up onto his hands and knees, as they create a strangulation hazard.

  • Do not put the crib or any other furniture near windows. Windows pose many dangers, including climbing and falling hazards. Place cord wind-ups on all window cords to decrease strangulation hazards.

  • Avoid putting the baby to sleep in an adult bed. Bed sharing does create a risk of parents accidentally rolling too close or onto their child.

Sweet Dreams
As you may know, the more rest your baby gets, the more rest you get. It is important to take the necessary precautions when getting ready for bed, to secure a good night’s sleep for the whole family. When you put your baby down to sleep:

  • Always place normal healthy newborns on their back to sleep. Research shows the risk of SIDS is higher for babies who sleep on their side or stomach.

  • The baby should sleep on a firm/flat surface. Soft mattresses are prone to sinking and can create a suffocation hazard.

  • Babies do not need pillows, sleep-positioners or wedges, loose blanketing, stuffed animals or bumpers. All of these products are possible suffocation hazards.

  • The baby should sleep in a separate bed from his parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a separate but proximate sleeping environment.

  • Avoid over- and underdressing infants. Babies should wear only one more layer than you are wearing, and ideal room temperature is between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

And Many More
There are steps you can take inside and out of the house to provide the means for your baby to live a full and happy life. Many of these measures will help reduce the risk of SIDS.

  • Do not expose babies to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke will introduce harmful chemicals that could prove fatal to an infant’s immune system.

  • Breastfed babies have a lower incidence of SIDS than formula-fed babies. Breast milk contains many essential nutrients that provide health benefits including improved breathing/swallowing coordination and immune strength to fight infection.

  • Consider giving your baby a pacifier. Some studies have shown a strong link between pacifier use and lower risk of SIDS. If you are breastfeeding make sure that the feedings are going well, before introducing a pacifier. It usually takes 3-5 weeks for breast feeding to go smoothly for both mom and baby.


Kira Nickel is a perinatal educator at El Camino HospitalFor more information specific to childbirth and parenting, El Camino Hospital offers a variety of classes to support new and expectant parents. To find an upcoming class, search or call 650-940-7302.


Tags:  parenting 

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