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  • Peanut Recalls: What You Need to Know

    By Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN

    If your family eats peanuts, peanut butter, or other peanut products, you're most likely concerned by the recent slew of recalls of some of these foods because of possible salmonella contamination. Thus far, an estimated 240 peanut products have been recalled, including popular brands such as Trader Joe's and Hines Nut Company.

    Last month, Trader Joe's recalled its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter and eight other products. Sunland, Inc. followed suit and announced a voluntary limited recall of almond butter, peanut butter (including the one made at Trader Joe's) and cashew butters, tahini, and their roasted blanched products. Most recently, Hines Nut Company, Inc. voluntarily recalled its salted jumbo Virginia in-shell peanuts, distributed under Hines or Dollar General Clover Valley labels. The Hines products are sold at Wal-Mart and Dollar General.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 35 people from 19 states have reportedly been

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  • Why You Shouldn’t Reward Kids for Learning

    By Liesl Den

    This past summer we chose not to participate in our library's reading program. At one point, we were chatting with a librarian and she asked if the kids were doing the library's summer reading program. She was shocked when I told her we weren't participating this year. "May I ask why?" she wanted to know. I had a hard time articulating why exactly I didn't want to have the kids join, but it was clear from her demeanor that she thought I was doing the kids a disservice. I replied that my kids love reading and I didn't want them to equate reading with getting prizes.

    RELATED: Teaching Your Child How to Read

    Besides, my son would only read one or two huge, thick books this summer and would feel frustrated not to have read the huge numbers that the girls would be reading. Nor did I want him selecting easy books just so he could fill up a prize sheet. The librarian actually said to me, "well, this is a competitive world and your son should just get used to it." I smiled

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  • Adopting a Sibling Group is a Bigger Deal Than One


    By Nicole Dorsey

    One of the first things you realize when you start filling out domestic adoption paperwork via foster care and the county - in our case Los Angeles County - you realize how many brothers and sisters must be separated during the domestic adoption process because it's nearly impossible to take in two, three or even four siblings.

    RELATED: How to Raise an Adopted Child

    How can one adoptive family go through the foster-to-adopt plan with more than one child? If you've read this blog before, you know that I chicken out pretty quickly. When all you think your little family can handle is one foster toddler, but there's the chance you'd get a child faster if you agree to foster her siblings, too.

    This happens all the time. If me and my family (with husband and bio son Sam) agree to foster siblings we'd have a foster delivery far quicker than usual. I heard from reader Shell, who said she had to look deep inside her heart and soul before she began the adoption process for

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  • Two Autism Moms on a Mission to Create a Sensory Gym in Their Neighborhood

    SenseAbility GymAlysia's son Howie going through the Squeeze Machine.

    By Lisa Quinones-Fontanez

    One of things I admire most about autism parents is their willingness to give back. If you've never met an autism parent before, one thing you need to know about them is: when they see a need, they work to fill the void. Often, it is the parents of children with autism that open specialized schools, programs and play groups.

    Alysia Butler and Tina Perriello are two autism moms who are working desperately to fill a void in Hopedale, Massachusetts.

    Back in February, Alysia and Tina had the opportunity to attend a sponsored sensory gym with their kids. The moms saw how happy it made their children. They watched as their children made friends who were just like them. And they had the chance to connect with other families like theirs. There was no judgement, no stares, no fear - it was a safe place for everyone. And while the moms felt incredibly lucky that their local Autism Alliance provided this much needed sensory gym during the winter

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  • Decode Your Child's Drawings

    By Martin T. Stein, M.D.

    Children love to draw, and their work is a reflection of their inner world. Most kids don't think about or censor their artwork. For the past 40 years, I've used children's drawings as an important part of my pediatric practice. At each well-child visit beginning at 4 or 5 years old, our nurse asks the child to "draw a picture of your family doing something." To simplify the process, each exam room is equipped with blank white paper on a clipboard with a black felt pen.

    The family drawing helps me survey development at a given moment in time, and it may tip me off to potential problems. A single drawing is a snapshot of a child's point of view -- of her role in the family, her relationship to other family members, and her self-esteem. It also may show strengths in the child and the family that are important to recognize and validate. It can indicate cultural patterns that give me a better understanding of some behaviors or beliefs. I always ask the parents

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  • Why I Love ‘Vagina’, Naomi Wolf’s New Book

    Mom with girl

    By Kristin Kemp

    The word vagina comes up a lot in our house. My kids, ages 5 and 6, learned it as soon as they could speak. I try to be a liberated mom--unlike my own mother who still can't bring herself to say vagina out loud. In all the years I've written about sex for women's magazines, experts have advised me over and over to teach my children proper terms for their body parts.

    At the very least, young girls need to know how to keep their vaginas clean and how to protect them from danger. If a horrible person ever touches my kids in their private parts, they are armed with the words and the self-confidence to speak up. Hopefully, as they grow, they will feel comfortable talking sex with me because I've tried to normalize the subject and take away taboos.

    RELATED: What You Need to Talk to Kids About Sex

    Naomi Wolf's new book Vagina shares my mission. She told me, "Parents should read the book so they can understand the latest discoveries about female sexual

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  • Arsenic in Rice: Should We Cut This Grain Out of Our Children’s Diets?

    Girl eating
    By Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN

    Move over juice--rice and rice products are now garnering considerable attention for being a source of arsenic, thanks to a recent Consumer Reports article. Following a report they published last January about concerning levels of arsenic in both apple and grape juices, the popular magazine now reveals surprising findings about rice and its many forms in 60 products commonly found in grocery stores.

    Turns out there's arsenic--and sometimes, "worrisome amounts," according to the report--in a range of rice products, including organic rice baby cereal, rice breakfast cereal, brown rice, and rice milk.

    The report itself--and no doubt the media frenzy surrounding it--has led many of us to scratch our heads, and wonder if we unknowingly exposed our families to a potentially dangerous chemical. You may have even thrown out all the rice and rice products in your cupboard. But are we overreacting?

    RELATED: What's Your Food Safety IQ?


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  • 19 Habits of Highly Effective Parents

    Moms and dads from our Facebook community share the parenting routine or habit they feel most proud of when it comes to effectively raising happy, responsible kids.

    By Katie Thomas for Parents Magazine

  • What Moms Want in a President: The Parents Platform

    Mom with baby
    By Sarah Mahoney

    Politicians and pundits may call 2012 the year of the woman, but it's really the year of the mom. Mothers aren't settling for catchy bumper stickers or vague promises in this presidential election. How do we know? With the help of an all-star moderator, Soledad O'Brien, anchor of CNN's Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien, Parents recently hosted a luncheon roundtable with 21 moms from across the political spectrum. We admit we were a little nervous when we saw a Barack Obama supporter sitting between a Mitt Romney backer and a Ron Paul fan, a social conservative next to a gay mom, and an environmentalist hoping the government will do more across from a pregnant mom of four who wants it to do less.

    RELATED: Moms Sound Off on Economic Issues

    We heard dramatically different opinions about solutions, but there was a remarkable consensus about the problems facing families right now. Together, the women helped us hammer out a bipartisan mandate for the candidate who wins

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  • 5 Exceptional Elementary Schools—And How Yours Can Be like Them

    Honor schools
    By Karen Cicero

    Suppose you had to grade your child's elementary school. Would you give it a B? In an exclusive survey with the market-research firm Quester, Parents found that while most moms are generally happy with their kid's education, one third have concerns about the pace of the curriculum and a quarter don't think it encourages creativity and independent thinking. How can you take your student to the next level?

    RELATED: Moms Discuss Education Reform

    To find out, Parents asked state departments of education, charter-school associations, teacher groups, and our Facebook fans to nominate innovative public elementary schools. More than 500 suggestions poured in, and from them, we picked ten to feature. Each trailblazer took a different approach to excellence, but all have buzz-worthy ideas that could make your kid's school everything you've longed for it to be. Take notes!

    Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
    K-5 630

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