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Archive for the 'school-age kids' Category

Seinfeld, Sneaky smackdown


OK, not really, but Slate enters the Jessica Seinfeld and Missy Chase Lapine cookbook debate with this diss

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Sunday, October 28th, 2007 at 10:23 pm |

Lunchbox makeover, slow food style


Imagine this: Your kids’ lunchboxes get a makeover from the guru of the slow-food movement, Alice Waters.

If anyone can make a kid love locally grown, healthy food, it’s Waters.

Journalist Patricia Leigh Brown gets to live this dream in a great story in Sunday’s New York Times magazine. Check it out. (With recipes!)

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Monday, October 22nd, 2007 at 1:17 pm |
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Seinfeld v. Sneaky Chef


I wrote about Missy Chase Lapine not too long ago here and in the pages of The Journal News. She’s the Irvington mother of two who wrote the well-received cookbook called “The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids Favorite Meals.” It offers healthy menu ideas for frustrated moms and dads of picky eaters by sneaking vegetables and other healthy foods into dishes kids love to eat. Think spinach puree in brownies (way better than it sounds) or sweet potatoes in mac-and-cheese.

Now Jessica Seinfeld, wife of Jerry, has come out with a book in a similar vein called, “Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food,” and, as Motoko Rich writes in today’s New York Times, readers are raising the question if the two books are too close for comfort. Seinfield also relies on recipes that sneak, like mixing kale in spaghetti and meatballs.

Lapine, quoted in the Times article, says: “Honestly I can’t speculate, and I’m not going to accuse anyone of anything,â€? she said. “I suppose it’s possible it’s a coincidence.â€?

I haven’t read Seinfeld’s book yet, so I can’t compare.

What do you think? Anyone have either book? Both?

Of course you have to love the brain of the Amazon.com computer. Here’s what it put under the listing for Lapine’s book: 

Better Together: Buy this book with Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food by Jessica Seinfeld today!”

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Friday, October 19th, 2007 at 12:20 pm |


The picky-unpicky nexus


We’ve all heard stories about picky kids who will only eat white foods or kids who refuse to eat anything but peanut butter and fluff sandwiches, morning, noon and night. Picky, picky, picky.

As Mom to a picky eater myself, I can relate. But I’ve always been curious why my picky eater is demonstrably UN-picky in most other aspects of his life. In fact, he’s only really picky about food and socks. He hates vegetables, unfamiliar foods and socks that “bug” him (like the socks in this AP photo.)apsocks.jpg

I can bend on the socks, but not the veggies. Not forever, anyway. But as we try to find any brief, shining window of acceptance (aka carrot-zucchini muffins), I’ve been wondering why he’s so picky about this, and not much else? And why is it that our middle girl, almost 4, will eat almost anything but can’t leave the house if the shade of pink in her (wildly temperature-inappropriate) outfit isn’t just perfect? Here’s how it usually goes in my house:


So what do you want to wear to school today?

Shrug. “Whatever you want me to.”


OK, time to get going. Let’s get you in your car seat.

“Mmm. I’ve changed my mind. These pants don’t fit right. I have to change them. No really, I HAVE to.”

What do you think? What makes a kid so picky about one thing, and not another?

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 at 12:56 pm |
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Back on track


We’re back on track after some technical glitches with the blogs.

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 at 11:16 am |
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Swimming in apples?


Here’s a great post by our friends over at Parents’ Place with all sorts of things to do with that big pile of apples on your counter — with recipes!

Now if only we can make the weather cooperate. I’m in D.C. today and it feels more like mid-July here — highs in the 80s, humid. Yuck. Where’s the sweater weather?!

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Saturday, October 6th, 2007 at 7:51 am |
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What kind of candy parent are you?



Halloween is right around the corner. In my house, that usually means a one-night-only candy free-for-all and then just a trickle of goodies here and there until about Christmas, when I decide to throw the rest of it out. (Usually just the bad stuff is left anyway. NECCO wafers are fun to play with — we’d pretend to be priests giving them out for communion as kids — but to me the taste is more cardboard than candy.)

It seems to work OK for us so far, but there are more ways to handle the issue than peanuts in a Payday.

What’s your Halloween candy strategy this year?

Anyone want to cop to being the parent who gives out toothbrushes and floss picks?

Whatever your rules, chances are very good you’ll have a ton of candy to deal with. In a recent survey by kidshealth.org of 1,200 boys and girls, most kids said they get at least 50 pieces of candy, with over 44 percent saying they get more than 100 pieces.

And most said their parents do set limits.

My favorite was the mom who limited her kids’ candy haul by giving it back out that same night to other trick-or-treaters. Brilliant!

(Photo by The Associated Press)

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007 at 10:30 am |

A PSA on cough medicine


The FDA is considering dropping the ‘consult-your-doctor’ part of cough medicine labels relating to use in kids under 2, the message being it’s not safe at all for kids that young.

In fact, a growing body of evidence questions the safety of giving cough medicine to children younger than 6. Even the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which represents the makers of OTC medicines, agrees cold and cough treatments not be used in children younger than 2.

Read about it here.

What do you think? Do you give cough medicine to your younger children? I used to use it a lot more, but with all the news questioning its safety, hardly ever now.

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Monday, October 1st, 2007 at 4:21 pm |
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Low-G.I. breakfasts for kids


I’m probably the worst offender when it come to allowing kids sugary breakfasts, usually in the form of a lake of maple syrup covering pancakes or waffles.

But a new study confirms that a breakfast higher in fiber and so-called good carbs (whole grains) helps you stay fuller longer. In fact, the study found kids who ate a low-glycemic index breakfast consumed 60 fewer calories during the day.

If you are trying to help a child lose weight, that would definitely add up over time.

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 at 10:17 am |


Motherhood and apple pie


I was determined to bake a quick apple pie or tart yesterday, hoping to make a dent in the pile of apples we have on the kitchen table and use up some store-bought dough sitting in the fridge.

Usually my kids are pretty psyched to coat the kitchen or dining room floor with sugar so I was sort of surprised when my oldest said, “We can’t, Mom! We can’t make apple pie now!”


“Because that’s what we bring for Thanksgiving!”

I assured him we could certainly make another pie come November and all was good. (If only all their problems were so easily solved!)

They made their own little cinnamon pies with the extra dough while I piled the cinnamon and sugared apples onto one disc of the pie dough and pulled the sides up into a little open-faced apple purse. A few chunks of butter on top (OK it was half a stick) and maybe 35-40 minutes in the oven?

Wasn’t our best but certainly not our worst — I’m the type who thinks any combination of apples, sugar, cinnamon and pie dough is wonderful. We only had Macintosh apples, which aren’t going to make you a great pie no matter what. I swear by Golden Delicious (as per Joy of Cooking), though I will give a slight nod to the Granny Smith camp…

What apples do you prefer?

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Sunday, September 23rd, 2007 at 11:07 am |