Four Steps to Help Parents Reduce Holiday Stress

The holidays are coming up, and although many parents look forward to having their children home from school, they also find that after a few days it isn’t so easy having the kids underfoot all the time. The youngsters are all excited about Christmas, they start fighting more often, and when they’re not doing that they complain to their parents that they’re bored.

This season is one of those odd times that combine a lot of fun with a lot of stress. It isn’t easy having the children right on top of you again, especially when they’re all pumped up about the presents they’re going to get and can’t seem to leave one another alone. Here are a few ideas for maintaining sanity during these both enjoyable and difficult times. Read more

Time-Saving Holiday Entertaining Tips

When entertaining guests this holiday season, the last thing you want to do is run around last-minute, prepping your table and cleaning. This year, try some simple tips so you can spend more time enjoying the season with friends and family.

From the food preparations to the table settings and the cleanup, entertaining can be time consuming, but also rewarding. Planning ahead and introducing a few shortcuts will help manage your kitchen time so you’re free to mingle and not stress about the mess. Read more

9 Ways to Acknowledge Your Indigo Child–and Help Them Thrive

A child who has high sensitivities and enriched sensory abilities is often labeled as a “problem child” with an emotional disability that needs to be medicated. When we recognize our gifted children as the next evolutionary step for humanity, we can finally see them for who they truly are. As a parent, we need to embrace each of our unique children and find a way for them to flourish in a world that doesn’t always embrace differences.

For parents of sensitive children, here are 9 attributes that you may notice in your Indigo child. Read more

Easy Painted Sugar Cookies

(Family Features) Paint iconic holiday-themed designs onto frosted sugar cookies using Flavor Paints – a delicious mix of extract and food color. McCormick’s Easy Painted Sugar Cookies guide makes it easy to turn simple sugar cookies into personalized place settings and gifts. Little elves can write their names on cookies while adults paint everything from presents and pine trees to snowmen and Santa Claus. Read more

Folic Acid Plays Vital Role in Babies’ Health

(Family Features) Each year, more than four million women in America give birth and 2,600 infants are born with neural tube defects. While there are simple preventative steps women can take, Americans are generally unaware of the impact that diet, specifically enriched grains, has on pregnancy and infant health.

A recent Grain Foods Foundation (GFF) survey with Nielsen uncovered that less than half of Americans are aware that consuming folic acid is a key step a woman can take for a healthy pregnancy. If all women consumed the recommended amount of folic acid, up to 70 percent of neural tube defects could be prevented. Still, over half of Americans (51 percent) are unaware of the positive benefits folic acid provides in preventing birth defects. Read more

Food Allergies Can Cause Nutrition Gaps

(Family Features) The first mission in creating safe meals for children with food allergies is avoiding the offending ingredient. But there can be a downside to diets that miss out on the nutritional value found in foods kicked off the menu, according to Carolyn O’Neil, a registered dietitian and nutrition advisor to Best Food Facts.

A study in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (JAND) cautions that such diets can induce vitamin and mineral deficiencies, anemia and other symptoms affecting a child’s growth and nutritional status.

“Food allergies and intolerances are on the rise,” said registered dietitian Vandana Sheth, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “But it’s important that we identify that kids are actually allergic (through proper testing) before we avoid those foods unnecessarily.” Read more

Bake Away the Winter Blues

S’mores Snowflake Brownies
Spicy Snowman Cookies

(Family Features) When the weather outside turns frightful, baking homemade treats will be so delightful. Whether it’s with friends, the kids or even by yourself, making treats is a great way to keep warm and active when snowed in.

Try these tips from Wilton for fun indoor activities during wintry weather:

  • Plan ahead. Stock up your pantry ahead of time with baking and decorating supplies, so you’ll have what you need during snow days.
  • No two snowflakes are alike. It’s easy to make a deliciously unique treat. Bake a large brownie or a cake in a Snowflake Tube Pan (see recipe below). Decorate it with icing and marshmallows, sprinkles, candy-coated chocolates or chocolate chips.
  • Build tasty snowmen. Instead of getting bundled up to build a snowman outside, make fun snowmen cookies with a two-piece Melted Snowman Cookie Cutter Set (see recipe below). After decorating, enjoy the cookies with a cup of cocoa.

For more fun and tasty winter recipes, baking tips and inspiration, Read more