As parents, it seems like the list of things to worry about never ends. From prenatal health to getting them into college, raising kids is probably the most anxiety-provoking thing we will ever do. And, as if that isn’t bad enough, the 24-hour news cycle seems determined to inject new fears into our overwrought minds all the time.
But, as it turns out, much of what we’re told to be concerned about is actually quite harmless, while more likely dangers are seldom discussed. If we’re going to put so much energy into worrying about our kids, let’s at least worry about the right things.
So we're a few weeks into the school year; how's lunch going? If you're packing a lunch from home, chances are you started off the year full of terrific ideas (perhaps from our Back-to-School Guide?), and chances are that by now you've had several of these healthy, well-packed lunches delivered back into your hands virtually untouched at the end of the day. There should be a special name for the heartbreak one endures at the words "I told you I hate peanut-butter and jelly," when not only is this the first you're hearing of it, but you spent extra money on organic jelly and peanut butter not on the recall list. Besides - if not PBJ, then what? Well, we've got 30 answers to that question!
What about the egg hunt at home and the kids’ Easter baskets? Does the thought of stuffing them with candy and weathering the ensuing sugar high give you a headache? If you’re looking for some ideas for filling baskets and eggs without going overboard on the sweets, read on for basket themes, egg fillers, and places in and around Boston to get great little gifts.
What's the first thing my family does to prepare for Halloween season? No, not make costumes or crafts or plan out our calendar. Our very first activity is to throw out all the stale candy my daughter has been hanging on to since last October 31.
Whatever you do with your child's Halloween haul—donate, repurpose, hoard or eat—there's no question that trick-or-treaters collect way too much candy. And while I'm glad my kid doesn't actually ingest it all, many children do, and the health implications of that are pretty scary.
So this year I'm not going to be part of the candy craze. Instead, I plan to give out small, fun, non-edible treats, like the kinds of tchotchkes you might find in a birthday goody bag. (So if you have any of those lying around the house, start gathering them up now.) Yes, I realize these things may end up sitting around as long as last year's candy, but since they don't go bad I can always hand them out again next Halloween.
Here are some cool things to hand out on Halloween besides candy that won't get you egged.
The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has helped us discover local playgrounds with shade, easy Boston area hikes for preschoolers, nearby farms, and family friendly tent camping. Now, AMC has a new endeavor: A unique kind of prescription program called Outdoors Rx. Through the program, healthcare professionals at MassGeneral Hospital for Children give families in Waltham and Framingham prescriptions for regular outdoor physical activity. Then AMC fills the prescriptions with free, easy, and fun local outdoor programs.
Pam Hess, AMC’s Director of Youth Engagement, is one of the primary architects of Outdoors Rx and is AMC’s Outdoors Rx Program Director. We interviewed her to find out how the program started, why she’s so passionate about getting families outdoors, and what her family does for fun.
Do you find yourself drawing a complete blank as a new year of school lunches and snacks is upon us? If you’re like me, the quest is two-fold – sending food to school my son will enjoy AND preparing something that’s good for his growing body.
Here are some tips on planning and preparing healthy school snacks and lunches that are crowd pleasers at my house:
On Monday afternoon, inspired by the runners in the Boston Marathon, I started a Couch to 5K running program. When I got home after my first training session, I heard the terrible news of the tragedy at the marathon. At first, I thought about giving up on the 5K program. But then I made a completely different decision: Although I am in the worst shape of my life – I can’t even run a mile (seriously, but please don't judge) – I am going to start with a 5K, and then keep going all the way to next year’s Boston Marathon. Every race I run will be for all the people who are no longer able.
Races have always been a family affair for us. Over the years, my kids have done several fun runs and kids races while one of the adults in the family runs the “big race”. I plan to continue our tradition. If you’d like to give a race a try, either just for fun, or in honor of the Boston Marathon runners and their loved ones, take a look at my round up of upcoming family-friendly races in Massachusetts this spring.
You’ve spent three hours at the Boston Children's Museum exploring, dancing, climbing, banging and blowing, and now it’s time to fill those hungry bellies. There are a multitude of options for dining near the museum. We’ve narrowed down the best ones, plus bonus tips for adult-time munching, too.
We're glad you're here at Mommy Poppins Boston, your free online resource for everything for families and kids in the greater Boston area. We'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions! — Tara