Archive for September, 2012

Women’s Health offers the 125 best packaged foods

We all know that fresh foods are most healthy but families often buy prepackaged foods for the convenience.

Women’s Health has taken a look at all categories of prepackaged foods and picked some of the healthiest options for your family.

I wasn’t surprised to see Kashi and Bear Naked items on the list. I was surprised to see Pretzel M&Ms and Kettle brand chips.

Here is the link you can click through by category to find options you might want to try.

I tend to get into trouble with snacks and breads. Like I said I feel better about choosing pretzel M&Ms for a sweet and salty fix, and here are some of the products from the list I was interested in checking out:

“Pure Dark Blueberries

The most indulgent way to get a double shot of antioxidants: wild Maine blueberries picked at the height of ripeness, then dried and smothered in semisweet dark chocolate. Yum.

Per serving (1/4 cup): 180 cal, 8 g fat (4.5 g sat), 27 g carbs, 0 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein, 22 g …

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Should mom be fined for 2-year-old peeing on the sidewalk?

In more potty training news, a mom was fined $50 because her potty training 2-year-old peed on the sidewalk. Here’s the story.

From The Stir:

“Here’s a story that will totally piss off anyone who has tried to potty train a toddler (pun totally intended). Philadelphia mom Caroline Robboy was given both a ticket and a lecture by a police officer this past Sunday evening because her 2-year-old potty-training son, Nathaniel, couldn’t hold it.”

“I kid you not. She told NBC10 that they were in a store with her two other children and elderly in-laws when the toddler said he needed to go. She asked if they could use the restroom, and they were “told no.” Upon exiting the store the boy couldn’t hold it and ran over to a pole on the sidewalk to get some relief.”

“When she saw what was happening, she tried to at least get him to move to a grassy patch, but it was too late. A police officer saw it and busted them, issuing her a $50 ticket for public urination.”

I think we all pretty …

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What do your refrigerator magnets say about you?

I'm not sure if I have more than 52 items on my fridge, but I do know I could dump a bunch of that stuff. I don't think the alphabet magnets should count against you.

I'm not sure if I have more than 52 items on my fridge, but I do know I could dump a bunch of that stuff. I don't think the alphabet magnets should count against you.

The number of items you have stuck to your refrigerator indicates whether you have a cluttered home or an uncluttered home, according to UCLA social scientists.

Social scientists at UCLA have written a book about “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century ($25, UCLA Costen Institute of Archaeology Press). The book says that the more cluttered your fridge is with coupons, calendars and other stuff, the more likely you are to have a cluttered home.

According to the October issue of Food Network Magazine, the average family fridge has 52 things stuck to it, but they don’t indicate if that is high or low.

I tend to layer things. Also do alphabet magnets count as multiple items? That’s definitely hurting my average.

How many things do you have stuck to your fridge? It is more or less than 52? Does it accurately …

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McDonald’s to post calories on menus: About time or a buzz kill?

Would you order this or the items below? Check out the calories and it may help you decide? I went with the chicken and beans at the Panda Express while traveling in California this summer. It's already required there to post the calories and I love that!

Would you order this or the items below? Check out the calories, and it may help you decide? I went with the chicken and beans at the Panda Express while traveling in California this summer. It's already required there to post the calories, and I love that!

Seeing the calories sure changed my order at the Panda Express in California.

Seeing the calories sure changed my order at the Panda Express in California.

Starting Monday, McDonald’s restaurants across the country will post calories on inside and drive-through menus.

The world’s largest hamburger chain is posting the calories voluntarily ahead of a regulation that could require major chains to post the information as early as next year.

From The Associated Press: (I bolded for  quick read.)

…”We want to voluntarily do this,” said Jan Fields, president of McDonald’s USA. “We believe it will help educate customers.”

In cities such as New York and Philadelphia where posting calorie information is already required, however, Fields notes that the information has not changed what customers choose …

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Do photos and video of baby help new moms get through work day?

A good friend went back to work last week after almost four months home on maternity leave.

Her husband is a wedding photographer so he is able to be home with the baby during the week. (I guess he’s editing photos during the week and shooting on the weekends and at night.)

Her husband posted photos and videos of the baby on the mom’s Facebook page during the week to help comfort her.

In one video, he interviewed the baby about being home with Dad. He asks her what she is doing? And she just smiles and babbles away. And then he asks her “Is everything going OK with Daddy?” She smiles and babbles. Then he says, “So mommy shouldn’t feel bad about going to work. You’re OK.” And she just smiles and keeps on talking.

In another photo, he showed her holding her bottle feeding herself. The mom wrote back my baby is now 14! (She had been nursing. I’m not sure if she is pumping now or how she worked it out.)

I have another friend who said she watched the video feed …

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Woodward to randomly drug test students next year

Woodward Academy will begin random drug testing on its high-school students next year.

According to 11Alive.com:

“Drug use by students is prevalent everywhere,” said Dr. Stuart Gulley, president at Woodward Academy. “It’s not just a Woodward problem; it’s an everywhere problem.”

“More and more, “everywhere” includes private schools. The newest study from the National Center on Addiction and Substance says 60% of teens believe their high school is quote “drug-infected”. That number is actually relatively consistent with prior years. But in private schools, the number has jumped from 36% to 54%….”

Woodward’s plan looks like this: every few weeks, a random selection of upper school students — 9th through 12th graders — will be tested by an outside firm for both illegal drugs and legal (for abuse only) drugs. Test positive once, and you get extra hours of community service among other punishments. Test positive twice, and you will be dismissed from the school.”

We talked …

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Toys R Us jumps on next big tablet audience: KIDS!

Toy R Us is introducing a kid-friendly, lower-priced tablet in October just in time for the holiday buying season.

The Associated Press:

“Toys R Us plans to launch its own tablet computer aimed at children called Tabeo on Oct. 21, a low-priced entry into the increasingly crowded tablet business.”

“The news comes ahead of the holiday season, which can account for up to 40 percent of retailers’ annual sales. Toys R Us has focused on exclusive toys rather than discounts as it faces tough competition from online retailers like Amazon.com and discounters like Wal-Mart Stores Inc.”

“The 7-inch touchscreen tablet comes with 50 preinstalled apps selected for children, including games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, and a book app called istorybooks. It will retail for $149.99 and runs on Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

Toys R Us sells other electronics including Apple Inc.’s iPad, but this is its first store-brand tablet. The Tabeo’s main competitors include …

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9-11: What will be the defining news event for your kids?

I am teaching a digital media class at a local university, and I like to start the semester by asking the students what was the first big news event they remember as a kid? (We go on to discuss how that event would be covered differently now in the digital age than when they were little.)

For many of this generation in college now, 9-11 is their defining news event.

One student told how school was canceled for the day. Another said that the teacher listened to the radio describing the attacks the entire day. They remember watching the footage on the TV of the buildings being hit over and over again. And they remember going to war after 9-11.

They also remember the Columbine massacre in 1999 and the Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal, which broke around 1998. One student remembered Polly Klaas being taken (1993) because she grew up in the same area. (I remember a lot about the Atlanta child murders for that same reason.)

The Challenger explosion is a very clear memory for me. I …

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School fundraisers: Forget the wrapping paper! Just write us a check!

Our school has finally gotten a clue that it would receive a greater portion of the profits (100 percent) by just asking parents to donate money versus receiving about 40 percent when they sell gift wrap or cookie dough or other products.  (I think this is because our PTA president is a CPA!)

They are asking for parents to donate at least $50 but say they are happy to accept any amount.  The donations are tax deductible. (We ran a story this summer about New York schools doing this to supplement their budgets, and raising millions of dollars.)

The classes and kids that donate the most still get prizes.

They got a printing company to donate the printing a wonderful brochure explaining it all.

I personally prefer this method to selling stuff. I hated asking people to buy stuff from my kids. The only exception has been Girl Scout cookies. People actually want that. I preferred the Boosterthon to selling stuff because at least it promoted fitness but you still had to ask …

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Boy with Down syndrome barred from flying first class: Discrimination or safety precaution?

A boy with Down syndrome was barred from flying in first class on a cross-country flight and his parent say he was discriminated against because of his disability.  (There is video on the link. I am having problems with my embed codes. Hopefully fixed soon.)

From The Associated Press:

“Robert Vanderhorst, his wife Joan and 16-year-old son Bede, who is disabled, were booked to fly on an American Airlines flight from Newark to Los Angeles on Sunday when the boy and his parents were not allowed on the plane.

The family from Porterville had upgraded to first class tickets at an airport kiosk, and asked the airline to seat the boy and one of his parents together — a request the airline granted — Vanderhorst said Tuesday.

When the family was ready to board, they were stopped by airline personnel, told their son was a “security risk” and would not be allowed on the flight, he said. The parents protested, and later were rebooked to fly coach with another airline.

American Airlines …

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