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Healthy Eating Made Easy for Kids


As we’ve seen in everything from newspapers to scientific reports, there’s a major childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. One of the most important factors in fighting obesity is portion control and the goal of our friends at Portion Size Matters is just that.



Portion Size Matters strives to help childcare providers feed their children in the healthiest ways. Learning good eating habits at the earliest of age can help kids lead healthy lifestyles as they grow. The kid’s portion plates teach children what and how much to eat of the recommended portions from all food groups. The individualized sections of the 8.5-inch plate come labeled with recommendations of all food groups. Simply fill each section and your little one is set for a healthy meal or snack.



The Portion Plates come in a variety of kid friendly bright colors, FDA approved, BPA-Free and Dishwasher safe for commercial and home use. The simple-to-use Portion Plate makes it easy for children to fill up their plate while teaching them healthy habits from a young age.



Remember, teaching healthy eating habits now can help ensure children grow into healthy adulthood. So order your Portion Plate today!




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Mommy Math: Tantrums

Less than 10% of preschoolers have daily tantrums. But daily outbursts or extreme ones, where they last an unusually long time or harm others, can be a sign of mental illness, according to a study at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Researchers at the University of Connecticut Health Center surveyed parents of 1,500 preschoolers to compare tantrums types and levels. Here’s how they compare:

Kids Parties: Five Hosting Tips for Moms

Busy moms know how hard it is to host a budget-friendly kid’s party. From the decorations to the food to the goody bags, kids’ parties can be expensive and stressful. Yet every child needs, wants and deserves a celebration on their special day. Instead of blowing the family’s budget on a single party, implement five money saving trips that also eliminate stress.

Choose a Theme

Is your child into Batman, zebras or princesses? Give your child the chance to decide on the theme, and dress up in a costume that he or she may already have.

With a theme and early preparation, you limit stress. Instead of running out at the last minute to buy matching paper plates and napkins, you already have everything you need. Save money and your sanity by choosing a theme and getting your shopping done early.

Accessorize the Decorations

Character-themed birthday decorations can get expensive and are sometimes challenging to find. Instead of buying themed tablecloths, centerpieces, balloons and wall hangings, choose one or two well-placed decorations.

A single table decoration or tablecloth conveys the theme without cluttering the party venue. You can always add party ambiance by using coordinating colors for balloons and the paper products. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also keep your sanity when accessorize the party decorations.

Serve Simple Food

A hand-carved watermelon looks cute if you have time and money to add it to the menu. Realistically, most moms need simple and affordable foods their kids and guests will love.

When planning a birthday party, choose simple, fun foods. Think easy finger foods like mini hot dogs, apple slices or pretzels and cheese. And don’t forget the cake. If you let the guests frost their own cupcakes, you save time and provide a fun mid-party activity.

Eliminate the Party Favors

Instead of spending time and money on finding the perfect gift for your party guests, either eliminate party favors altogether or make a craft during the party. The guests can decorate small wooden picture frames, bead necklaces or paint T-shirts. These crafts serve as effective and affordable party favors for your budget.

Limit the Guest List

Inviting everyone your child knows takes a bite out of your party budget. Does your child really want or need the entire preschool class, tee ball team or dance studio at the birthday party? Not only do more guests increase your stress, but they also add cost to the party.

It’s OK to be selective when choosing the guest list. Invite only a handful of friends for an informal sleepover. Maybe you want to limit the party to only boys or girls. A family party with only one or two special friends also eliminates extra expense and stress.

Throwing a special birthday party for your child celebrates his or her importance. Hosting a budget-friendly party doesn’t limit the fun. Instead, it gives yourself permission to enjoy the day without blowing your budget.

Extreme Parenting: Adventure Parents

Adventure parents Mark and Brooke Stephens with their daughters Chloe and Shiloh
Outdoor enthusiasts and bloggers Mark and Brooke Stephens know that being a parent is an adventure in itself. They also love rock climbing, skiing, camping and hiking. The couple founded the blog Adventure Parents, which aims to celebrate the outdoors and the importance of exposing children to them. MomTrusted talked to Mark Stephens about his blog and tips on adventuring with kids.
MomTrusted: How long ago did you start Adventure Parents?
Mark: The very first blog post published on May 5, 2009. At the time, maybe still today, I didn’t quite have a grasp on the vision for the blog. At least not much beyond that it’s going to be about the quest of parenting and how that plays a role, affects, diminishes, adds surprise or whatever-may-come to the active lifestyle my wife and I enjoyed before we had kids. It’s not so much about how to do anything as it as about exploring the journey and discussing the sorts of adventures other parents manage to pull off.
MomTrusted: Is Chloe your only child? How old is she now?
Mark: Chloe is five years old, but she’s not our only child. In September my wife gave birth to another daughter, Shiloh. She’s slowly drifting off to dreamland on my lap as I type this. She’s beautiful. We also hosted a 16-year-old girl, Ania, a foreign exchange student from Ukriane who shaped our lives so much that we don’t hesitate to call our daughter as well. She’s now 18 and attending a university in Lithuania studying English Lit of all things. She’s my hero.
MomTrusted: Why do you believe it’s important to educate your children about the outdoors?
Mark: Nothing too grandiose. We just want to raise well-balanced kids and expose them to many things. The outdoors, travel, culture, history, art, and hopefully they come to understand the joys of visiting wilderness, mountains, rivers, wild places and so forth. I want them to experience the satisfaction of hiking to the top of a tall peak or learning to turn in deep powder. Sure, embedded in this is exposure to the concept that the planet is undergoing serious depletion and overuse. But that’s just one side of it. I think it’s important to have a solid curiosity about the world and how it works. However, waaaay back when we were dating, our idea of a fun weekend was to go backpacking or rock climbing with friends. So out of a sense of nostalgia perhaps, we associate time outdoors with friendships and our budding romance. That’s good stuff.
MomTrusted: Would you say that some trips are easier with kids than others? Which are the easiest?
Mark: I would say that the variables are multiple and complex. In general, we find that a simple adventure road trip is pretty easy in the spectrum. My wife and I always enjoyed road trips, so we kind of emit positive, happy vibes when it comes to a trip and we think that helps get our kids excited too—that’s not to say the trip is exactly perfect and fun the whole time, no way. But not all families feel that way, some people think it’s nuts to be in the car for 30 minutes with their kids. Luck of the draw? Who knows. My wife and I really miss going hiking, backpacking and rock climbing. We’ve tried to get Chloe into hiking and to try her skills at simple bouldering, but she’s very hit and miss as to when she’ll be down for it. However, she loves going for a bike ride with me when I pull her in the kid trailer and she’s even asking for her own two-wheeled bike now. That’s exciting. Ania, when she lived with us, was awesome and always down for a hike, a road trip, a camping trip, anything that got her out of the house and spending time with us. She helped rekindle many of those things for me. Frankly, babies are the easiest age for just about any reasonable activity. If you’re game to carry the load, you can hike and backpack with a baby. Plenty of folks also keep rock climbing because it’s pretty simple to hang out at the crag for a day if there are enough hands on deck to be on baby duty. But when they turn into little kids with opinions and preferred activities, the game becomes so much more complex. This question is always a hell of a topic among our friends at a campfire. Everyone’s mileage varies.
MomTrusted: What is the largest challenge of outdoor adventuring with children?
Mark: Scheduling. When they start going to school and getting involved in other activities, obviously the window of opportunity narrows. There are birthday parties, which invariably get scheduled at midday on Saturday. Then there are swimming lessons, soccer games, neighborhood friends and whatever to keep you anchored at home. It’s not a bad thing.
MomTrusted: How do you overcome that obstacle?
Mark: Accept it and put shit on the calendar. Sorry about that. I mean there’s no such thing as spare time. There are priorities and goals and then there’s everything else. When there’s a trip you want to do, get it down on a date, put it on paper or your Google calendar or what-have-you. That goes for something as simple as a bike ride for me. I don’t specifically go write on the calendar “2:00 – 4:30 pm, Mark’s bike ride,” but I voice it to my family. “This Saturday I’m going to ride.” It’s not a demand or anything like that. It’s more like soliciting support to hold me to my goal. Know what I mean?
MomTrusted: What is one item that you will not leave for an adventure without now that you’re a parent?
Mark: Good food. We love cooking pseudo gourmet meals and semi-sophisticated foods while camping, stuff with fresh veggies and tasty appetizers and bottles of wine. We enjoy the challenge and the little exercise in luxury, if that’s the word for it. It’s fun.
MomTrusted: What advice do you have for other parents who seek outdoor adventure and want to expose their children to it?
Mark: You are not alone. Many parents are doing so at their own pace and on their own terms. Learn CPR and First Aid; chances are you won’t need them, but you’ll be empowered.

The Truth about Santa – How and When to Tell Your Kids

Santa Claus is a so-called “white” lie embraced by Western society. Every year, when Christmas is near, children from far and wide write letters and sit on Santa’s lap explaining what they want their presents to be. There comes a time, however, when they need to grow up and accept the truth. When is that time and how are parents supposed to handle it?

Santa Claus is a representation of magic in a child’s life, a phenomenon that children strongly believe in. Children begin to face obstacles and difficulties as they grow up, so it can be important to keep this belief alive in order to provide them with the comforting thought that magic exists and can help them to achieve anything. Not only that, but it encourages them to develop their imagination as they believe there are no limits to what is possible. Over time, children start to understand the difference between reality and the fantasy world of creatures and special powers. Santa is one illusion that children cling on to for some time though as it provides some consolation for the fact that magic may not be all around all the time – it is at least at Christmas. The myth of Santa tends to serve as a last barrier between the protected child and the harsh world outside its happy bubble. That is one reason why the world spends such vast amounts of money on portraying the image of Santa and keeping him alive in children’s heads.

But when should you consider that your child is old enough to be ready for the truth? In many cases, when children develop the ability of logical thinking, they come to the conclusion that the stories are too hard to believe themselves. For that reason, it might be unnecessary to sit them down at a particular age to tell them the truth, unless you are directly confronted.

One difficult scenario to face is when your child finds out the truth from someone else. In that case, children feel like they cannot trust their parents because they have been lying to them their whole life. You have to find a way to calm your child down and explain why it was so important to misguide them. Try to ask some questions yourself first like “Do you believe that Santa Claus is real?” If you don’t get a straight answer but more questions instead, it is time that you come clean.

What troubles parents the most is what exactly they are going to say when they face this problem. A great strategy is to tell the child that they are now growing up and slowly becoming a young man or woman, and therefore they are old enough to learn one of the most important truths in life. This instills a sense of pride and somewhat softens the blow of the news. If you have younger children, explain that they still deserve to believe and that the child (now a grown person) is responsible for keeping the secret a little longer.

Once the deed is done, be prepared for any and all reactions – sadness, anger, relief, disbelief and so on. Just do what you usually do when your child is feeling these emotions and comfort them. Keep in mind that probably the biggest blow from the fact that Santa isn’t real according to a child is that Christmas is ruined. So do treat them as grown people and explain how you’ve been buying the presents all these years so Christmas will continue to be every bit as amazing as the ones before.

As an alternative strategy, it is possible to gradually drop your child hints from a very young age and then they won’t have a singular shocking moment, but will more gradually get used to the idea over time. When they develop their logical thinking capabilities, many children realize that the story cannot be true, but they still choose to believe in it, so you would not necessarily be spoiling their idea of Christmas by adopting this approach.

Christmas doesn’t have to stop being magical just because your child knows the truth about Santa. You can still make the season sparkle, getting them involved in decorating the house, making the food, buying the presents and telling them stories about Santa and his helpers. The stories are still fascinating to children when they know the truth, and can still get their imaginations going. In fact, even adults can still be captivated by the magic of Christmas, if we let ourselves.

There is this wonderful letter going around that gives parents a great way to explain santa to their kids while trying to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in their hearts.

is santa real -  what to tell your kids

Facing Testing Challenges in Light of Demographic Details

“Tests seem to be a necessary evil. Sometimes, there are frustrations because of the limitations tests place on classroom activities. The opportunity to really delve into a subject is restricted because testing standards must be met and curriculum strands covered. Public schools are evaluated according to test results while teachers attempt to convince the public that these measures of success and performance are faulty. Some teachers try to game the system by helping their students during testing situations.
In the general public, 64 percent of people believe that tests should play a role in teacher evaluations. In some states, tests already play a role in yearly evaluations. In Ohio, 24 of 26 data points used for consideration on school report cards are standardized test scores. Unfortunately, test performance is strongly tied to family income, especially in the case of the SAT. Teachers and administrators dealing primarily with low-income families are faced with an uphill battle in light of the statistical indications.”

5 Important Steps When Planning A Huge Birthday Party For Your Child

Each year your child gets one year older and you want them to remember it in the best way possible. If you want to start off on the right foot you can do it on their birthday. That means throwing them the best party in the world. One they will cherish forever. One that all their friends will talk about for years. A great birthday party can score massive brownie points for your child with all their friends. Did you ever experience something like this when you were growing up?
If you’ve never had one before you might not know how difficult it is. It’s easy enough throwing a small celebration for friends and family, but when you step up a level and start inviting the kid’s whole class it gets much harder. You want the day to go off with a bang and nothing terrible to happen, so you need to be prepared. Let’s have a look at some steps you’ve got to remember to take. This will ensure there is smiles all around.
Decide on a theme

This is a decision you will have to make with your child. There’s no point organizing something that they don’t want. Even if they have a favorite ‘thing’ they should still have the choice. Don’t let yourself think they might want a surprise. It sounds like a good idea, but the events leading up to the party are important and they will enjoy themselves for much longer. They might want a theme that would be more suited in a pool or on a football pitch. Just wait and see.
Get your invitations sorted

If you have a look online these days you will find some amazing party invitations that suit all tastes. Then they can be delivered to your door in plenty of time. You should send them out as soon as possible, so the other parents can record it in their calendar. When children are at a certain age there might be different parties happening all the time. You want to make sure people know about your child’s before they make other plans.
Get the decorations sorted
Luckily you only need to go to your local party supplier and you should find everything you need. You always have the Internet if you’re stuck. If you’re having the party at home you should start decorating the place a day early. You might have a lot of running around to do on the actual day. If you’re having the party somewhere else and they aren’t going to set it up for you, try to get a small team organized that can do everything on the morning of the party.
Get ready to play some games

You can have an amazing theme and some lovely cake, but don’t get the games right and kids will be bored. There’s also going to be more things to organize if the party is in a different place, for example, if it’s in a swimming pool you might want to buy some toys for the pool. Entertainment can also come under games and if you plan on hiring someone like a magician you better book them before their schedule is full.
Cakes, food, and drink

After all that running around the kids are going to get thirsty. Make sure you have plenty of refreshments available. Try to remember that different parents might have different rules about what their children can eat. Lastly you have the cake. The centerpiece of the party. You’ll know what kind they’ll like, so just order an amazing one in plenty of time.
Gavin Caleb is an enthusiast blogger and renowned online marketer. He recommends personalised banners as a great way to promote services.

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  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
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