• Many puddings use beaver anal gland juice for vanilla or raspberry flavoring. Many puddings use beaver anal gland juice for vanilla or raspberry flavoring.

    By Brianna Steinhilber, Everyday Health

    Cafeteria mystery meat and processed foods have led many parents to join the brown bag club - and while you may think keeping your kid out of the lunch line ensures you know exactly what they're putting into their bodies, what's lurking in many go-to healthy lunch picks may shock you. Read on for nine weird (and sometimes disgusting) ingredients that could be hiding in your child's favorite foods, plus how to spot each one's code name on the label.

    1. Beaver Anal Gland Juice

    Found in: Vanilla and raspberry flavored foods and beverages, puddings. On the label: It's called castoreum, but is labeled as "natural flavoring." What's it doing in there?! The less-than-appetizing brown slime that comes from a beaver's castor sacs is used to add vanilla or raspberry flavoring to foods. While it may earn a 10 in gross factor, the FDA recognizes it as generally safe for consumption. However, you won't be able to tell if the additive is in your little one's

    Read More »from 9 Gross Things Lurking in Your Child's Lunchbox
  • By Ingrid Simone, Common Sense Media App Editor


     

    There's a seemingly endless supply of apps for practicing math, vocabulary, grammar, and other traditional school subjects. But you may be surprised to know what else kids can learn. Apps can teach a range of both "soft skills" (such as recognizing emotions) and 21st-century skills (such as online collaboration). Check out these apps in which problem solving, creativity, emotions, and more take center stage.

    Health and fitness

    Apps can help even very young kids learn about health topics relevant to their lives, such as potty training, doctor's visits, and how their bodies work. Older kids can get more in-depth information about their bodies and learn to set nutrition and fitness goals.


    Try:
    Potty Time with Elmo, age 2+
    Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Play at Home with Daniel, age 3+
    Toothsavers Brushing Game​, age 5+
    The Human Body by TinyBop, age 7+
    DK the Human Body App, age 10+
    LiVe, age 10+

    Emotions and social skills

    It's easy

    Read More »from Making Art? Getting Healthy? There Are Kids' Apps for that -- and More
  • By: Ivy Jacobson for TheBump.com


    Courtesy of the ManufacturerToday, Vera Bradley announced a recall on about 98,000 Lola Bear Ring Rattles and Lola Bunny, Lilli Bell Bunny and Tutti Frutti Bunny stuffed animal toys.

    More from The Bump: Best teething toys for baby

    The toys, sold at Vera Bradley retail stores, department stores, specialty gift shops and online, pose a choking hazard to young children because of the pom-pom tail that can detach from the body of the bear rattle and the bunny.


    Here's what you need to know:

    The recalled bears and bunnies are made of cotton and fleece. The bear ring rattle has a white teddy bear head, arms attached to an O-shaped body with a green, blue, brown and pink crisscross pattern design rattle. The bear ring rattle measures about 4.25 inches in diameter.

    More from The Bump: Best toys for babies and toddlers


    The bunny is 10 inches tall from the top of its head to the bottom of its foot and was sold in three printed patterns. "Lilli Bell Bunny" has green vines with pink and orange

    Read More »from Recall Alert! Vera Bradley Bear Ring Rattles and Bunny Toys
  • Spring Cleaning Shortcuts

    After a long winter, spring is the perfect time to refresh your home, but don't let the term "spring cleaning" scare you. Carolyn Forte, director at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, shares her ideas for tackling bigger cleaning projects.

    WATCH: Party Cleanup Tricks

    Curtains: If you don't have the time to get your curtains professionally cleaned, there's an easy way to freshen them up and remove dust. Simply toss them in the dryer on the "air fluff" cycle without any heat. "They'll get freshened, and they'll be ready to go back up," Carolyn says. If you don't even want to take them down, simply use the upholstery attachment tool on your vacuum for a quick dusting.

    Mattress: Remove the bedding and mattress cover, and give your mattress a good vacuuming. Then, run a household or garment steamer over the mattress. "That will help kill and remove some of the bacteria at the surface," Carolyn says. Finally, sprinkle baking soda over the mattress. "Let it sit about 15 minutes or

    Read More »from Spring Cleaning Shortcuts
  • Daily plucking is strangely satisfying for some, yet the pros warn against it.Daily plucking is strangely satisfying for some, yet the pros warn against it.

    They're a defining facial feature. Make sure they look their best.

    1. Overplucking
    Daily plucking is strangely satisfying for some, yet the pros warn against it. Brow specialists Michelle Wu and Santi Garay at Browhaus, an international brow and lash grooming company, say tweezing about once every three weeks is best. That way, hairs that may be on different schedules have time to grow out, which will make your brows look more even. "Overplucked brows don't frame the face very well," says Wu. Plus, the full eyebrow has been trendy for awhile and is showing no signs of going away.

    2. Using an old pair of tweezers
    If hairs are slipping through your tweezers or you're struggling to bring the two points together, it's time to invest in some new tools. And don't let them get all gunky in your makeup bag: Clean them with a dab of isopropyl alcohol after each use to avoid bacterial build-up.

    Related: 12 Beauty Myths to Throw Out the Window

    3. Taking too much off the sides
    To avoid the

    Read More »from 8 Biggest Mistakes You're Making with Your Eyebrows
  • Natural headache remedies that work

     

    by Amanda MacMillan

    Anyone who's ever had a headache (and that's 90% of the entire population, according to some estimates) knows that they can range from nagging to debilitating. The most common type is a tension headache, a mild, constricting feeling around your head that's often caused by holding your neck in a tight position. Migraines, on the other hand, tend to be both intense and recurring. Medication is one way to treat your discomfort, but there are also plenty of natural ways-like the 21 tricks listed here-that can help you head off the ache.

     

    Health.com: 20 Over-the-Counter Cold Remedies: What Works, What Doesn't


    Rest

    Headaches are often a sign that your body needs a break, says Elizabeth Loder, MD, chief of the headache and pain division at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and President of the American Headache Society. "Many people are very busy and are reluctant to take the time, but if you consider the tradeoff of spending 10 minutes to close the blinds, lie

    Read More »from 21 Natural Ways to Prevent and Treat Headaches
  • By Elizabeth Sheer, Cheapism.com

    "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" was, at one time, the modus operandi of many families in America. Since then, we've become a consumer-oriented, throw-away society that is prompting some pushback. In the face of rampant consumerism, how can we teach our kids to save?

    Be a Role Model. Imparting thriftiness, says Dr. Adrienne Gans, a clinical psychologist in New York City, involves setting an example. "It means self-control and self-regulation as opposed to immediate gratification," she explains. "Learning to be frugal entails absorbing the internal qualities rather than the outward behaviors."

    Related: 7 tips to help your family save for a summer vacation

    Case in point: As a child, Lilly Slaydon longed for an American Girl doll, which her parents could not afford. The Los Angeles resident says she saved her allowance and birthday and holiday money and performed assorted chores for close to two years until accumulating

    Read More »from 4 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Frugality
  • Hands Creating a Heart Hands Creating a Heart This morning I spent several hours at school, meeting with staff, and discussing a plan to keep school interesting for my son, who may or may not have "issues".


    I'm fortunate to send my kids to schools where as a whole they are loved, cared for, and nurtured. But still, there are issues, and I have to advocate for my kids. Constantly.

    If only I had AVERAGE kids, I'm sure my life and theirs would be so much easier.

    But noooooo … I've been blessed with kids that "think outside-the-box" which is a nice way of saying,"learn totally differently from everyone else."

    Toss in a sprinkle of dyslexia, a pinch of possible ADD, and yep, I'm going to a lot of meetings about "issues". Clear the docket!

    These learning issues (or learning differences depending on who you talk to) are a blessing or a curse.

    To be sure, I think I have been blessed with brilliant kids. Kids that need to be more challenged than others, and kids who learn at their own occasionally unpredictable pace.

    Related: How to get a

    Read More »from 5 Teachers You'll Meet when Your Kid Has Learning Issues
  • We're celebrating the luck of the Irish on this special episode of "Easy Does It." Chef (and Irishman) Stuart O'Keeffe shares his version of a mint-chocolate shamrock shake perfect for a St. Patrick's Day dessert. There's also a refreshing lime sherbet that will delight the kids and adults in your family.

    WATCH: Kicked-Up Grilled Cheese

    Stuart's Shamrock Shake
    Serves: 2

    Ingredients:
    3 large scoops of vanilla bean ice cream
    3 large scoops of chocolate ice cream
    2/3 cup of milk
    1/2 teaspoon pure mint extract
    Green food coloring
    Topping: whipped cream & green sprinkles

    Method:
    In a blender, combine vanilla ice cream, mint extract, 1/3 cup of milk and 4-5 drops of green food coloring until smooth.
    Pour the first layer of vanilla-mint milk shake to the bottom of two tall glasses.
    Clean blender container.
    In the blender, combine chocolate ice cream and 1/3 cup of milk until smooth.
    Pour the chocolate milk shake over the vanilla-mint milk shake in the same glass, using a spoon to slow the flow and

    Read More »from Kid-Friendly St. Patrick's Day Sweets
  • On Knowing When to Start Pushing Our Kids, and When to StopOn Knowing When to Start Pushing Our Kids, and When to StopIn the era of over-scheduling and increased teenage stress, it's so confusing for parents to figure out when to push their kids and when to take a step back. We all want what's best for our children, but sometimes it's so hard to figure out what that is. None of us parents have a crystal ball, and we cannot fully understand the consequences of our decisions until time has passed. And of course, hindsight is always 20/20.


    So when my daughter said she wanted to compete in gymnastics as an amateur, I struggled with her decision. She's 8 years old (going on 15, as all little girls seem to be these days) and managed to get accepted into the team without any parental interference. It was impressive to see how much she wanted this, and I questioned whether I should have pushed her more from an earlier age when she began demonstrating her flexibility and love for the sport.

    On the other hand, she's still young and has been able to explore friendships, math, music, dance, yoga and other

    Read More »from On Knowing when to Start Pushing Our Kids, and when to Stop

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