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Archive for October, 2010

HALLOWEEN: Trick-or-Treat Tips

halloween We usually roll our eyes over press releases with healthy Halloween suggestions – handing out raisins doesn’t exactly encourage neighborhood jollity, after all. But these tips from the “Got Milk?” folks are actually kinda useful. And the notion that a jack-o’lantern bucket of candy holds 9,000 calories is downright terrifying. So here you go:

We all know the part about serving a healthy pre-trick-or-treat dinner, but the milk people suggest families add a few extra laps to the neighborhood trick-or-treat trek too, not so you can hit more houses but so there’s at least a little extra exercise involved in the activity. Back home, serve up some hot cocoa, chocolate milk or other somewhat healthy, fill-up-the-belly beverage, before the candy consumption begins.  Then set limits on how much candy they can consume, help them pick out the pieces they want, and get rid of the rest.

Posted on Thursday, October 28th, 2010
Under: Halloween | No Comments »

FAB FIVE for the Weekend

Children's Fairyland (Photo by Gregory Urquiaga/Bay Area News Group) Fairyland Jamboree: Oakland’s beloved Children’s Fairyland (pictured) hosts a Jack O’Lantern Jamboree this weekend, Oct. 30-31, with parades, special entertainment, a pirate school and a spook-tacular Old West Junction Ghost Town. Tickets $10;

Terrifying Tennis: There’s plenty of Halloween fun in Pleasanton this weekend when the Pleasant Tennis Complex hosts terrifying tennis matches and a Haunted Hallway of Horror — plus, yummy treats — from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 29. Free;
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Posted on Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

HALLOWEEN: Jack Skellington Cupcakes

Jack-Skellington-Cupcakes (Courtesy Family Fun) Mmm, spooky cupcakes! The Halloween treat ideas floating around this year are terrifyingly wonderful, from Disney Online’s Rat Casserole and Candy Corn Parfaits to these awesome little Jack Skellington Cupcakes from Family Fun Magazine.

Chocolate cupcakes
White buttercream frosting
2 toothpicks
Tube of black decorator’s icing

Instructions: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
Under: Halloween | 1 Comment »

Book Giveaway: “Thumb Love”

Thumb Love (Random House) Every kid has pesky little habits and thumb sucking can be one of the most difficult to give up. Fortunately, New York Times bestselling author Elise Primavera understands. The author of “Auntie Claus” and a dozen other books has a new one out and it’s devoted to “Thumb Love.” It’s the story of Lulu, her beloved thumb, and her adorable efforts to quit – and it’s a story any current or recovering thumb sucker (or parent) can relate to. And it can be yours!

Click “comments” and share your best tip for getting your kid to quit this or any other habit. What worked for you? Bribes? Encouragement? A sock over the offending digit? We’ll draw a winner’s name next week. Meanwhile, congrats are in order for Cindi, who won the last go-round. Cindi, that copy of “All the Seasons of the Year” is heading your way!

Posted on Monday, October 25th, 2010
Under: Books, Contest | 3 Comments »

More Recalls: 40,000 Cribs

Drop-Side Cribs Recalled Letting your baby sleep in a box on the floor is beginning to sound like a good idea. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission just recalled another slew of baby cribs, including 34,000 Heritage Collection 3-in-1 drop-side cribs, sold at Kmart; 3,200 Ethan Allen drop-side cribs; and 3,400 Angel Line and Longwood Forest Drop-Side Cribs (pictured). The danger lies in the drop-side rail detaching from the crib – either due to improper assembly or normal wear-and-tear – and the baby getting dangerously wedged or falling out altogether.

There have been at least 17 cases involving Heritage cribs, including three in which babies were bruised or incurred scrapes to the neck, back and legs after becoming entrapped. There have also been at least five incidents involving Ethan Allen cribs, including one in which a baby became entrapped, two in which the babies fell out and two more that resulted in mild injuries.

If you’re worried about the safety of your crib – and you should be, because CPSC, which has received reports of at least 30 crib-related deaths and hundreds of injuries, calls cribs “a leading cause of nursery product-related deaths” – check out “Safe Sleep for Babies.” It’s a new crib safety video narrated by Joan Lunden and released by CPSC and three child safety groups at NewYork Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

Posted on Monday, October 25th, 2010
Under: Babies & Tots, Health & Safety | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Mindful Parenting & More

Parenting (John Roberge, MCT Direct)Parenting Mindfully
October 28 at 7:15 p.m. at Bananas, Oakland
Psychologist and parent coach Erica Reischer discusses how to raise happy, compassionate and confident children in this workshop. .

Childhood Matters: Keeping Kids Safe & Healthy
October 31 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on
Join nurse Rona Renner and guests as they discuss trick-or-treating issues – how much candy? how much independence? – and other parenting issues.
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Posted on Monday, October 25th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

HALLOWEEN: Costumes for 2010

Photo by Carl Juste/Miami Herald/MCT Halloween is just around the corner, and the hunt is on for the perfect costume. We hear Lady Gaga costumes are flying out the door – for grown-ups, we hope, not tots. In the kid costume arena, the top sellers, we’re told, are Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, Hannah Montana, the ever-popular vampire, Iron Man, Jack Sparrow and anyone Jedi-related.  Really?

Here, you tell us:

Related posts …

Posted on Thursday, October 21st, 2010
Under: Halloween | No Comments »

FAB FIVE for the Weekend

Courtesy Academy of Sciences SuperNatural Masquerade: San Francisco’s Academy of Sciences hosts a Halloween masquerade party from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 22 with dozens of creepy crawly activity stations, a costumed aquarium dive show – with a scuba-diving Spiderman (pictured) – and Halloween scavenger hunt too. Tickets are pricey at $35-$50, but the proceeds benefit the museum’s education and research programs and are partly tax-deductible.

Rancho Ghosts: Join Pleasanton naturalist Eric Nichols on a spooky night hike through Alviso Adobe Community Park on Oct. 22 and 23. Look for nocturnal animals – and a ghost or two – and make Halloween crafts. The hikes are 20 minutes long, but the festivities run from 6:30 to 9:20 p.m. Reserve a spot ($5-$8) by calling 925-931-5340.
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Posted on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

HALLOWEEN: Mini-Pumpkin Cakes

PumpkinCakes (Courtesy Nestle) Adorable? Check. Halloweeny? Check. Mostly healthy? Check! These cute little Pumpkin Patch Party Cakes hail from the folks over at, who kindly offered to share. Here’s how to do ’em:

Servings: 12
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
15 ounce can LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounce package low fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
6 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks

Instructions: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
Under: Halloween | No Comments »

TOY RECALL: Lacerating Bathtub Subs

Recalled toy sub by Munchkin Oh. My. God. And we thought exploding aromatherapy toys were extreme. Munchkin Inc. and the federal Consumer Product Safety people just recalled 34,000 bathtub subs (pictured) because the intake valve for the little water pump that propels the submarine can – well, here, we’ll let them explain: “The intake valve on the bottom of the submarine toy can suck up loose skin, posing (a) laceration hazard to children. CPSC and the company are aware of 19 incidents of lacerations to boys’ genital area. One of the incidents required medical attention.”  Ouch. More details here.

Posted on Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
Under: Toy Recalls | No Comments »