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Archive for September, 2010

Family Cuisine: Weelicious Looking for brown bag inspiration? Or ideas for creative family dinners? Have you checked out Weelicious? It’s the brainstorm of former fashion model Catherine McCord, who fell in love with exotic, flavorful food while traveling the world on photo shoots. So culinary school and restaurant work were a natural post-modeling segue for her — and when she had her kids, there was no way she was going to feed them Mc-anything.

Now, she writes, a family food blog that emphasizes seasonal, organic, kid-pleasing food and recipes — PBJ panini, eggplant parmesan sticks and the carrot and zucchini fritters her kids Kenya and Chloe dubbed “vegetable pancakes.” And her Facebook album of “School Lunch” photos (like the one pictured) provides enough inspiration to get you through an entire brown bag year. It’s, well, yummy.

Here’s a taste: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, September 14th, 2010
Under: Cuisine | No Comments »

TEENY Tiny Book Giveaway

Teeny Tiny Tales for Toddlers This adorable picture book is really five teeny tales, just the right length for bedtime (or naptime) storytelling. Sarah Hayes’ “Teeny Tiny Tales for Toddlers” is all about the teeny tiny people who live in the garden. They’re not quite fairies, not quite elves, just seriously adorable. The prose has a nice lilting quality that will delight the pint-sized crowd and help lull the sleepies. And it can be yours! Click “comments” and tell us, what’s your family’s bedtime ritual? We’ll draw a winner’s name next week.

Speaking of which, congrats are due to Janna, who won Jan Brett’s “Little Dassies”! And thanks to everyone who entered and shared such great ideas for that next library foray.

Posted on Monday, September 13th, 2010
Under: Books, Contest | 5 Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Tots, Teens & More

College library Speech & Language Development & Disorders
September 15, 7-9 p.m. at Bananas, Oakland
Speech and language pathologist Amy Faltz discusses common speech and language delays and intervention strategies for preschoolers in this four-week series. (You must attend the first session in order to continue on.)

College Fair
Sept. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m., Berean Christian High gym, Walnut Creek
The National Christian College Fairs is hosting a college fair, and two financial aid seminars at 6:15 and 7:15 p.m. Free.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, September 13th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

More Toy Recalls: 56,000 Trains

Recalled toys In today’s edition of toys that can hurt you, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Step2 are recalling 56,000 Sand & Water Transportation Station toys, like the one pictured, in the U.S. and another 7,700 in Canada. The light blue plastic wheels on the train cars can come off, which poses a potential choking hazard for small children. Trains with grey wheels are OK. Please don’t ask about the chartreuse or magenta wheels, because we don’t know.

The toys were sold at Target and other stores for $49-$59, and Step2 is offering to replace the train cars. Need more details? Get ’em here.

Posted on Thursday, September 9th, 2010
Under: Toy Recalls | No Comments »

Happy Birthday, Alligator Claude!

Crocodile Birthday!
San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences is celebrating a momentous occasion. The museum’s albino alligator, Claude, is turning 15 on Sept. 15 — a golden birthday, eh? — but the merriment runs for an entire week, from now through next Wednesday. That means gator-themed craft activities all week, and a party on the 15th at 9:30 a.m., complete with a “Happy Birthday” sing-along and fish-shaped “cupcakes” made from protein pellets and decorated, with children’s help, with fruit and flowers.

Posted on Thursday, September 9th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

Doggone Dangerous Veggies

Recalled toys OK, let’s get this straight. Fresh veggies, good. Veggie toys, not so much.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Land of Nod toymakers just recalled 2,100 “Play With Your Veggies” toys (pictured) because the asparagus can cut you. Ahem. There’s a metal wire inside the asparagus spears, and the pointy bits can tear skin. The radish, onion and fellow vegetables are not implicated in the recall. Need more info? Get it here.

Posted on Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
Under: Toy Recalls | No Comments »

Weeknight Cooking

High Flavor, Low Labor Juggling frantic family meals now that the new school year has started? My buddy (and colleague) Linda Zavoral has been pouring over cookbooks, and she’s found a good one by J.M. Hirsch, the food editor for the Associated Press. He’s “masterful when it comes to creating short recipes,” Linda says. “Now the multi-tasking dad is out with a cookbook, “High Flavor, Low Labor” (Ballantine, 288 pp, $24) that aims to reinvent the Monday-Friday kitchen drudgery.”  Speaking as someone who had take-out pizza last night… on the couch … while watching TV (heyyy, what can I say? It was a really rough Tuesday, and I cook gourmet most of the rest of the time) – yay. Hirsch’s trick is to punch up the flavor of simple meals by adding sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and other uber-flavorful things. So he pairs Spicy Ground Lamb with Hummus, for example. “Spoon store-bought hummus on a platter,” says Linda. “Top it with the lamb, give the kids some heated pita rounds — and let them fill their own.”

Here’s a taste… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
Under: Cuisine | 1 Comment »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Ardenwood Shakespeare & Renaissance Festival (Photo by Anda Chu, Bay Area News Group)
The Bard in Fremont: The Ardenwood Shakesfeare Festival and Renaissance Faire (pictured above) brings its cast of 800 actors and assorted knights of the realm to Fremont’s favorite park this weekend. The fun, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 11, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 12, includes a cappella singers, magicians, blacksmiths, archers and more. Tickets $8-$15;

Jedi Masters: San Francisco’s Zeum salutes all things “Star Wars” this weekend when costumed characters from the Clone Wars stroll the exhibits and pop into the animation and digital art studios to help kids and families create their own galactic adventures. The fun runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 11 and 12. Museum admission $8-10;
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Babies, Temperament & More

Tricycle (courtesy of MCT Direct) Spirited Child II
September 7, 7-9 p.m. at Bananas, Oakland
The second in a six-week series, “Spirited Child” teaches parents of kids ages 9 months to 5 years how to work with their children’s inborn traits and temperament. It’s led by Helen Neville, BS, RNP, and it’s sponsored by Kaiser. Class fee is $40 for Kaiser members, $55 for non-members, and registration is through Kaiser, by calling 510-752-6150.

Childhood Matters
September 12 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on
Join Nurse Rona and special guests as they discuss parenting issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, September 6th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »


Photo by Dai Sugano, San Jose Mercury News
Really disturbing story in the latest issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics – seems the number of ER visits by young athletes with concussions has gone through the roof. And experts are theorizing that it’s not just because parents and coaches are more aware of the dangers of head injuries, but because the intensity and aggression in competitive youth sports has soared too.

Emergency room visits for 14- to 19-year-olds with concussions has tripled in the last decade — from 7,000 in 1997, to 22,000 in 2007. And younger kids, ages 8-13, went from 3,800 to 8,000.

And that awareness stuff is troubling too. Yes, parents, coaches and players are more aware of concussions – but, say the study’s authors, their concerns seem to center around how soon the kids can get back on the field, rather than the long-term impact of having one’s brain matter sloshed against the sides of the skull.

Read more about…

Posted on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Under: Health & Safety, Sports | 1 Comment »