Blog Posts by Team Mom Staff

  • Childhood Obesity: Are Parents to Blame?

    ThinkstockAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years-and we as parents may not be helping to reduce it, says Dr. Natalie Muth, author of "Eat Your Vegetables and Other Mistakes Parents Make."

    Dr. Muth tells Away We Grow host Diane Mizota that a common parental practice that could lead to childhood weight gain is the "clean plate club." When parents require their children to eat everything on the plate, kids then lose the ability to use their own feelings of hunger and fullness to decide how much to eat. "And that habit stays with that child for their whole life," says Dr. Muth.

    Related: Childhood obesity: A Growing concern

    How parents try to get their children to eat vegetables may also lead to problems down the road. A classic mistake that parents may make is to tell their children that if they eat the vegetables, they can then have dessert. All of a sudden, the dessert becomes a reward.

    "It starts early,

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  • Money-saving Solutions for the New Year

    Save money in the new yearOne of the most common New Year's resolutions is to save money, but this may be easier said than done. Financial expert Erica Sandberg joins Easy Does It host Ereka Vetrini to help tighten your purse strings with some money-saving solutions.

    Sandberg says that before you start thinking about making more money or having a budget, the most important thing you need to first is get rid of your debt. "Put yourself on a plastic diet," she says. "Totally stop using the card while you are paying that debt off." She suggests giving yourself goals-for example, "I'm going to put $500 toward my credit card debt every single month, and I'm going to be out of debt by May."

    Related: 6 new ways to tame credit card debt

    Debit cards can also be problematic, as they may come with high overdraft fees. In addition, "if you're constantly going to the ATM and if it's not your particular bank, you've got fees associated with it," Sandberg says, noting that these types of fees are a waste of money.

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  • The Perfect Mother Moment

    The Perfect Mother MomentJohanna learns how pregnancy can help a person become her higher, better self. (Or, in Johanna's case, her lower, dopier one.)

    Related: 5 tips for surviving the first trimester blahs

    "The second trimester has been kind to me," she begins, "and I am feeling all of the things the books say I should feel: feminine, serene, and in a state of emotional ecstasy. I spend most of my waking moments picturing my future perfect motherhood with my future perfect baby, and when I do, it's in soft-focus, with dappled sunlight and hippie wind chimes. I'm so happy I could puke a friggin' rainbow."

    Related: Mom humor: 5 funny books on pregnancy and parenting

    Johanna continues, "I'm at a picnic table with some friends when a woman in a bikini walks over and asks if she can borrow a bottle opener. She is quite fit--except for her very exposed tummy, which is taut yet full; there's no mistaking it, this is a belly full of arms and legs. Sizing up the bulge, I pin her at maybe five months along. I

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  • Super-Mommies: Why They're Super-Ruining It for the Rest of Us

    Super-MommiesIt's true what they say: nothing compares to the arrival of your first child--that feeling of "family," the shared sense of purpose, the built-in excuse generator: "Sorry we can't make it, the sitter cancelled!"

    Related: 5 "new mom" things I swore I wouldn't do

    But Johanna was not prepared for the Club of Motherhood.

    Related: Mommy wars: Why good parents judge others as bad

    The minute you shoot a wad of humanity out of your body, Stein says, "you're suddenly fair game to the criticism of other women--women who are doing it better than you. These women are known as 'Supermommies' - in Germany, Uber-mutti; in Spain, Madre Estupenda; and in Holland, BesteMoeder - and if you don't do as they do, a horrible fate is in store. If you've ever been shunned by the Amish, you know what I'm talking about."

    Check out the video for more from Johanna about how to recognize these Super-mommies!

    Watch more videos from Shine

    The perfect mother moment

    Kids and the art of lying


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  • Making New Year’s Resolutions a Family Affair

    IMake resolutions with your whole familyt's the new year, and everyone is making personal resolutions. How about making some to improve the lives of your whole family? Katie Hurley, child psychotherapist and parenting expert, shares her ideas with Away We Grow host Diane Mizota.

    Hurley notes that instead of referring to family resolutions, she prefers to talk about "making family goals." She says people tend to make enormous personal resolutions, like losing 30 pounds or getting a big promotion--resolutions that can be hard to keep. She adds, "When you make smaller goals that are attainable, your self-esteem goes up because you reach those goals."

    Related: A new approach to the New Year's resolution

    When families set goals together, Hurley says that it's always important to keep things simple, fun, and positive. "Instead of mom and dad deciding on what the most important things are that the family needs to work on, give everybody a chance to have some input into these goals," she says.

    Related: Revive your resolutions

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  • Why Timing is Everything

    Timing is everythingWith the New Year around the corner, wouldn't you like to make better life choices for next year? Mark Di Vincenzo, author of Buy Shoes on Wednesday and Tweet at 4:00, joins Easy Does It Host Ereka Vetrini to share some timing tips that can make all the difference.

    Related: Shopping online? Insider tips on the best times to buy

    According to Di Vincenzo, timing is crucial because "if you know the best time to buy things, or do things, or go places, you can save a lot of time, you can save a lot of money, and you'll just look smarter." He offers the following timing tips, covering everything from shopping and social media to asking your boss for a promotion:

    • Buy shoes online on Wednesday to save up to 40 percent.
    • Send tweets or retweets between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., when the most people are using Twitter.

    Related: Time management tips for busy moms

    • Begin a weight-loss program in the winter, when the cold weather causes your body to work harder to burn more calories. "We

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  • Avoid Catching Colds from Your Kids

    Don't catch colds from your kidsWhen kids go back to school, they bring home homework, artwork…and germs. And there is nothing worse than nursing a sick family while you're feeling under the weather. Dr. Nicole Nourmand talks with Away We Grow host Diane Mizota about keeping germs at bay.

    Sometimes it can feel like children rebound much faster than adults when it comes to colds. Dr. Nourmand explains, "I think that women take care of everybody but themselves. And if we don't sleep, if we don't exercise, if we don't eat right, then we're run down. When you don't rest, your immune system isn't able to fight off viruses the way it normally would."

    Related: 5 ways to boost your immune system naturally

    Exercise can help boost your immune system in many cases. "High cortisol--or the high stress hormone--compromises your immune system. So if you're doing some cardiovascular activity, you're decreasing that stress hormone, and that's going to boost your immune system," says Dr. Nourmand. She adds, however, that depending

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  • Set Your GPS Without the Stress: Planning Your Holiday Road Trip

    Plan a stress-free family road tripIt's the holiday season, and for many families, that means taking a lot of road trips. But how can you avoid the cries of "are we there yet?" The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman, speaks with Easy Does It host Ereka Vetrini about how to hit the road with ease.

    Kaufman notes that many times, families think that they'll "wake the kids up at the crack of dawn and put them in their PJs into the car, and they'll sleep the majority of the road trip. Well this never happens." Instead, when you're heading out on the road with small children, stick to familiar routines so the kids will know what's coming next without much disruption.

    Related: 21 fun road trip games

    As for a packing strategy, Kaufman says that before loading the car, start with an empty trunk. Then, she says, "Make sure the things you're not going to need accessible are down at the bottom." Kaufman advises packing a tub filled with such items as a soccer ball, a jump rope, or a football so you can take a break from driving and run

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  • Family Meals that Please Everyone

    What to feed your picky eatersJenny Flake, author of Picky Palate, joins Away We Grow host Diane Mizota to discuss making weeknight dinners that work for even the pickiest eaters in your family.

    Flake's book was inspired by her own personal experience with her two sons, who were picky eaters as toddlers. "They didn't want anything colorful. They didn't want any fruits and vegetables. It was more just the chicken, the bread, the things that were just that one color. I definitely wanted to help those families with similar issues that I had."

    Related: 10 common misconceptions about kids who are picky eaters

    Some parents may be inclined to make a separate meal for a picky eater, but Flake says that's not necessary. She says that what works well in her home is "the 'No, thank you' policy." She offers a range of options on the table, including things appealing to picky eaters like appetizers and sides, as well as fruits and vegetables. "But, if they don't love the main dinner, they have to at least try it once," she

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  • De-bunking Myths About the Common Cold

    We all have our own special -- and sometimes wacky -- tricks to keep the germs at bay, but do they really work? Away We Grow host Diane Mizota chats with pediatrician Nikki Nourmand, who de-bunks several myths about the common cold.

    Myth: If you take mega doses of vitamin C and drink lots of orange juice, you can keep a cold at bay.

    Not so, says Nourmand. Rest and fluids are essential to recouping from a cold. But high doses of vitamin C are "kind of a big waste of money" because it doesn't provide a huge boost to the immune system.

    Related: The scoop on children's vitamins

    Myth: Chicken soup will speed your recovery.

    Says Nourmand: "So, I don't know if chicken soup will help you get better faster, but it's excellent for symptomatic care." You can count on the the broth to soothe a sore throat and make you feel cozy.

    Myth: You shouldn't let your kids drink milk when they have a cold because it causes mucus.

    You don't have to avoid dairy when you're sick with a

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