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January 2018












Xavier, 4 of St. Paul

Sneaky protein PIZZA Page 30



A licensed full-time program featuring:

• Value-based curriculum designed to enhance your child’s learning and growth • Healthy meals and snacks • 6 locations throughout the metro area

YMCA PRESCHOOL Ages 2 to 5 years

A part-time program featuring:

• Creative and fun learning environment to develop classroom socialization and school readiness • Preparation for school success • 3 locations throughout the metro area

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44 | Essential oils for kids Aromatherapy is proving to be a powerful healing force in local clinics and at home.

40 | Building up bones 32 | Ever mindful See how teachers in Woodbury are using meditation to help kids focus and cope with emotions. 6

January 2018 •

Once your kids reach adulthood, it can be too late to prevent osteoporosis.



Your kids won’t be sick (and tired) forever.

The vision needed for learning goes far beyond the eye chart.



A local mama is helping families embrace natural hair.

Explore gender equality with these fantastic new reads.



Just wait

Curly girls


Even the calmest folks can turn into paranoid parents. 16 THE UNCENSORED TODDLER


Self-care won’t solve the bigger problems facing us.


Back on the track Fourteen years after becoming a mom, I’m running again. 20 TEENS AND TWEENS

Stranger things It’s odd not taking care of my kids’ physical needs. 22 #ADULTING

Postpartum 101 Many different mood disorders can be debilitating post-baby. 24 ASK THE PEDIATRICIAN

Is stevia safe?

As with all sweeteners, take it with a grain of salt.


January 2018 •

Eyes on eyes

Women’s work

Flatout sneaky

Here’s how to healthify your kids’ mini pizzas. 66 FROM OUR READERS

Slush fun

Sleds, snowshoes, shovels: This is how you do winter!


You can’t give most cold medicines to toddlers because of age restrictions. Fortunately, there are herbal alternatives for ages 2 and up.

& About 60 Out CA L E N DA R

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12/11/17 3:46 PM

About our cover kid Name: Xavier Age: 4

City: St. Paul

Parents: Lindsey and Andy French Sibling: Harper, 7 (brother) Personality: Happy, silly and kind Favorite activities: Dancing, reading and art Favorite foods: Hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and carrots Photos by Tracy Walsh Photography / Get your kid on our cover! Find out how at


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11/21/17 3:12 PM • January 2018



PUBLISHER Janis Hall SALES MANAGER AND CO-PUBLISHER Terry Gahan EDITOR Sarah Jackson 612-436-4385 • CONTRIBUTORS Abbie Burgess, Crystal Clancy, Megan Devine, Ed Dykhuizen, Dr. Kimara Gustafson, Shannon Keough, Laura Malm, Dana Flanders-Turman, Kaitlin Ungs, Tracy Walsh, Jen Wittes, Jennifer Wizbowski CREATIVE DIRECTOR Valerie Moe GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Dani Cunningham Kaitlin Ungs DESIGN INTERN Victoria Hein CLIENT SERVICES Delaney Patterson 612-436-5070 • CIRCULATION Marlo Johnson 612-436-4388 • ADVERTISING 612-436-4360 • 50,000 copies of Minnesota Parent are printed monthly, available at news stands statewide. Get Minnesota Parent mailed to your home for just $18 a year. Call 612-825-9205 for more information.

Minnesota Parent (ISSN 0740 3437) is published monthly by Minnesota Premier Publications. POSTMASTER send address changes to: MINNESOTA PARENT, 1115 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403. Minnesota Parent is copyright 2017 by Minnesota Premier Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Address all material to address above.

This too shall pass I

remember when our son — who started fulltime daycare at 4½ months old — got sick ALL THE TIME. My husband and I went to work each day wondering if we’d get “the call” — fever, random vomiting, pinkeye, unexplained full-body rashes, constant crying. We’d bargain desperately with each other, trying to figure out who could take the sick time, whose job had been compromised more in the recent weeks, who had the more important deadlines and who could be gone the next day instead — because our child would be banned from daycare for at least 24 hours. Photo by Tracy Walsh / It was a grind, a nearly three-year limbo of never knowing when our so-called regular lives would be derailed and when we’d see our little guy suffer next (which was the worst part). Never mind the fact that we all had to steel ourselves for lost sleep, too. Our friends told us it wasn’t our fault for having our son in daycare so young. It was just part of the first few years of being with other kids, they said. If it didn’t happen now, it would be during preschool or kindergarten, our doctor said. Everyone promised our son would build up immunity and things would calm down. And, I’m here to tell you, things did calm down. Our son is 9 now and (knock wood) he rarely gets sick-sick, which means he almost never needs to stay home from school. And when he does, he’s old enough now to chill a bit while we work from home. Thank goodness! Of course, we still need to work hard to stay on top of his overall health. But we aren’t living in as much day-to-day uncertainty. (Now we’re focused on improving those darn eating habits and getting him to the dentist/orthodontist!) If you’re still in the early years, I feel for you. I wish I could keep your kiddos from getting sick (and getting each other sick — and you). I wish I could help you avoid all the worry and doctor visits that are part of early parenting. What I can give you is this month’s magazine — our awesome annual Health Issue! On the pages ahead, you’ll find a parent-approved cold medicine for toddlers age 2 and up; a healthy, kid-friendly flatbread recipe (tested by yours truly); an eye-opening story about essential oils; articles on the surprisingly high importance of your kid’s vision and bone health (who knew!); and one mom’s story of her own 14-year journey back to real exercising after having four kids. You’ll also find stories that address mental health, including a fascinating look at mindfulness among school kids, and a piece about serious disorders to watch for postpartum among new moms (and dads). I hope you learn something new from our magazine this month. I know I did! Sarah Jackson, Editor


January 2018 •

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Sarah Jackson


Embrace those curls! All hair is good hair. That’s the motto of Melissa Taylor, a local

hands-on classes for parents. (Heads up: Another round of Kids’ Hair Fundamentals

mama, professional stylist and the owner of The

will be offered in February for $75.) And

Beauty Lounge salon in Northeast Minneapolis.

an e-course is coming in the new year as

Her mission — in addition to running a full-service hair and makeup salon — is to

well ($99). “One of the biggest things I teach is

help Twin Cities’ kids embrace their curly or

language. Never say, ‘Your hair is nappy.’

textured hair, especially biracial or multiracial

Never say it is ‘difficult.’ Speak positively,”

children whose parents might not have grown

Taylor told KARE 11-TV in a recent story

up styling anything other than straight hair.

about hair challenges. “Unfortunately, since

Though women today still chemically alter

the parent is dealing with hair that is not like

or straighten their hair, there’s great beauty

theirs, it can be challenging. It is not that it’s

— and empowerment — in embracing one’s

more difficult. They are just not accustomed

naturally beautiful curls and ringlets.

to it.”

It’s just a matter of knowing how. So Taylor has been offering in-person,


January 2018 •

Learn more at or call 612-227-9363.

Boxes for mamas Amma Parenting Center’s retail boutique in Edina has long been a hub for new Twin Cities families seeking helpful products for newborns and beyond. Now, however, new mamas (and dadas) don’t even have to leave home to see what’s new for Baby. They can simply order up — or ask friends and family to gift them — an Amma Mama Box, a monthly delivery of four or five items chosen by experts at Amma to support infant development and provide everyday parenting solutions for each stage of infancy. Boxes are geared toward ages 0 to 6 months and include a small card that describes how each product supports Baby’s growth, plus a card with parenting tips, self-care advice and educational information for new families. Boxes, which can be shipped nationwide, are available in 1-, 3- or 6-month subscriptions for at $45 per month (plus tax and shipping). Learn more at • January 2018


Jen Wittes


The Worry Switch E

ven for those who, by nature, tend to be a little paranoid — even for those who typically get lost in “what ifs” — the near-insane level of worry triggered by parenthood can be a shock. It starts during pregnancy and is fueled by how-to books and (ahem) magazine articles and doctors and experts and neighbors and folklore. Soft cheese and deli meat and sushi and the chemicals in your new carpet. Exercising vigorously versus not exercising at all. Both are, could be, definitely must be, very bad for your baby. But so is exercising moderately. And riding with a seat belt. And riding without a seat belt. Having sex. NOT having sex. Of your tiny, 3-week-old embryo you might think: What if she falls out of her crib? Falls for a bad guy? Falls into the wrong crowd?

The new you This worry — so consuming, so painful, so particular to being a parent — can wane and wax in intensity, but it’s always kind of there. It’s why you might, for the first time ever, develop superstitions … just in case. It’s why you can no longer watch the news or (so help you) CSI. The worry that you are not enough, that the car seat is not enough, that the organic teething biscuit is not enough, that the world is not enough. The worry over childbirth and breastfeeding and preschool and the perils of the Internet. The drug epidemic and school-bus fumes. BP frickin’ A. Screen time. Tummy time. Airplane crashes and red food dye. Co-sleeping, not co-sleeping. Antibiotics and vaccines. The fact that you can find 1,000 opinions on


January 2018 •

any of these things by simply succumbing to Google. The fact that YOUR CHILD can find 1,000 opinions that you don’t want him to have, someday, on Google, which will be implanted via injection just behind his eyeballs, in the messed-up dystopian world you worry he’ll grow up in.

in the air. My thought? It wasn’t, “Oh, my sweet Mama,” as much as, “Crap. I’m 40 and she’s still worrying. This will never end for me.” A life sentence of bone-shaking, soul-scorching worry. Not a darn thing you can do about it.

It’s torture Oh, the worry switch. It flicks on. And then that’s that. You’re a parent. It’s wonderful. It’s torture. You will love so much and you will worry so much. And this — despite good friends, great food, a loving relationship, satisfaction at work — will become your “thing.” It’s your MO, your defining characteristic, your nagging voice that keeps you up at night. My own mother, in recent years, called me after my plane had landed back home after a trip and said, “Oh, good. I can put my arms down now.” The idea was that she was flying right alongside the plane, keeping me safely up

Things to try OK, maybe you can do a little something about it. You can try not to fuel the fire. You can set rules for yourself. You can try to follow them. These rules might include: • No “Google MD”-type research after dinner. The potential perils — of rare disease and the toxic world we live in — seem much worse after dark, when you’re tired. • No to fear mongers. The lady at the post office who starts talking about your child’s flat head and “what can happen” if you are a “bad mom” and


Plush car

Cushy and cute — like a tricked-out, 360-degree Boppy — this adorable toy lets babies rev the engine (by turning ignition key), beep a horn, check a side mirror, click controls, spin a rattle and use a turn signal (with reactive left- and right-blinking lights). It also plays a short, not-annoying song at a not-annoying volume. Though the car, available in red or pink, is geared toward ages 6 months and older, you can detach the driver controls to use them solo or attach them to a stroller.

$79.99 •

lay your child too often on her back? Tell her to buzz off. • Yes to deep breaths, many and often. • Yes to using your eyes. Look at your child. See that she is well; know that you’re doing your best. Feel grounded in that perspective. • Yes to calling exactly the right friend at exactly the right moment of panic. Deep inside, you know the one. Choose the right resource at the right time. • Yes to fresh air and exercise. These are medicine — a reset button, an outlet, a way to turn the switch off (or at least down a bit). In the meantime, enjoy your notso-worry-free existence. I mean that. You are a parent. You are ALIVE. Take it all in. Jen Wittes is a certified postpartum doula and writer who now works in marketing and communications. She lives in St. Paul with her two kids, two cats and husband. Send questions or comments to

EXERCISE PREGNANCY STUDY The University of Minnesota is seeking women who are currently less than 20 weeks pregnant to participate in a research study examining the effect of exercise and wellness on mood following childbirth. DETAILS: • Program delivered to you via the mail and phone

• Program can be delivered in English or Spanish

• Must be 18 years of age or older

• Must be considered low-income, defined as:

• Must not currently exercise regularly

-Enrollment in any government assisted program (e.g., WIC, SNAP) AND/OR

• Must not take antidepressants • You will receive $100 & a FitBit for your time (you will be allowed to keep the FitBit after the study is over)

-Annual income that is considered low (less than $45,510 for a family of four, less than $30,044 for a family of two, and less than $22,311 if single).

To see if you qualify for this research study: English Speaking: Call or TEXT to 612-345-0325 or Spanish Speaking: Call or TEXT to 612-237-1004 or U of M - Kinesiology Dept MNP 1217 S3.indd 1

10/30/17 4:35 PM • January 2018


Shannon Keough


Self-care is not enough S

elf-care. There’s something about that term that makes my skin crawl. It sounds so squishy and self-involved. I hear it and a certain image comes to mind — kind of a cross between Gwyneth Paltrow and that “life coach” who hawks her services as yoga class lets out. I don’t know what my problem is. The basic premise of self-care — that we should take time away from our stressful lives to focus on ourselves for a change — sounds good to me. That whole “put on your oxygen mask first before you help others” idea makes sense. I can get behind that. But something about it just doesn’t sit right. For one thing, the term is super gendered. Seriously, when was the last time you heard some dudes commiserating about their stressful lives and discussing their urgent need for some self-care? That’s right — never. And furthermore, all the self-care solutions just seem kind of inadequate. “Try your hand at tai chi!” “Cook from scratch more often!” “Have a coffee date with a friend!” A quick Google search delivers list after list of “self-care strategies for busy moms,” “20 simple ways to take great care of yourself” and “four reasons why self-care is critical for working mothers to succeed.” In other words, these articles suggest, a healthy, happy, balanced life is within everyone’s reach — so long as you adhere to the right self-care strategies. The expression “can’t see the forest for the trees” seems relevant here. While we frantically search for ways to keep our work obligations from bleeding into our evenings and weekends (“Turn off your


January 2018 •

phone after 7 p.m.!”), our health from deteriorating (“Focus on deep, mindful breathing during your commute!”) and our relationships from stalling (“Schedule a ‘relationship summit’ after the kids go to bed!”), we fail to see the bigger, structural problems that are screwing up our lives in the first place.

America the Abysmal It’s no secret that the United States is a tough place to be a parent. If you’re inclined to disagree, I would urge you to read Brigid Schulte’s article in the Washington Post: “The U.S. ranks last in every measure when it comes to family policy, in 10 charts.” For example, the U.S. ranks last in government-supported time off for new parents. The U.S., in fact, is one of only three countries in the world to offer no paid maternity leave (the others are Oman and Papua New Guinea). The Family Medical Leave Act is the one family-friendly policy

we can brag about. Of course, it’s restricted to workers in companies with more than 50 employees, who work full time and who have been with the firm for more than one year — effectively excluding 40 percent of the U.S. workforce. Other areas where the U.S. fails spectacularly include child-care assistance (none, except for those with very low incomes), vacation time (no national policy) and overtime guidelines (no bans on mandatory overtime). Add to this the fact that more American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than in any other country — in fact, we’re the only nation where the maternal mortality rate has been rising — and you can see why so many of us are committing ourselves to self-care. We might not be able to get out of working 60-hour weeks for 40-hour pay, but, hey — maybe some meditation can soften the blow. Look, I’m not saying that self-care


Mucus buster Most OTC cold medicines are recommended for ages 6 and older (at least). There are however, homeopathic alternatives, including Hyland’s 4Kids Cold ‘n Mucus Day & Night for ages 2 to 12. Hyland’s herbal ingredients fight cold symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion and mucus in chest, throat and nose. These formulas seem to be helping our sick kids — a lot — and they don’t contain artificial colors/flavors, aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), pseudoephedrine (decongestant) or dextromethorphan (cough medicine). #worthatry $11.99 •

strategies are pointless. In our “every man for himself” nation, if we don’t take care of ourselves, who will? At the same time, however, I think we need to keep looking outward and make an effort to create change for the better. That might mean lobbying our workplaces for flexible scheduling, voting for people who support family-friendly initiatives and, in general, refusing to settle for a culture that’s actively hostile to families. We can’t fix the situation overnight. But looking ahead 20 years or so, wouldn’t it be great if we could help create a better parenting culture for our own children? Shannon Keough lives in St. Paul with her husband and two children. Send questions or comments to MacPhail Center for Music MNP 0118 2-3page_#1.indd 1

12/8/17 1:29 PM • January 2018


Running back to health O

nce upon a time, I was a young, fit and competitive athlete. As a grownup in my early 20s, I continued to exercise, running 5Ks, half-marathons and assisting the high school track team, which kept me healthy and active during the first few years of my marriage and teaching career. Then, in my mid-20s, my body started running a different kind of a marathon — that of becoming a mother. Between the years of 2005 and 2011, I was pregnant four times. If you break it down, that’s 9 months, times 4 children, equals 36 months. I was pregnant for three full years of my life!

Motherhood’s toll Of course, my focus and priorities shifted during that time. While my kids were babies and toddlers, I did my best to stay active with low-impact exercise and activity as I adjusted to my new normal with my postpartum body. I never really got back into “shape.” I’m not expecting to return to the shape or size I was pre-pregnancy, but I do have a yearning to feel better, healthier and stronger. Pregnancy, childbirth and the other stresses associated with motherhood have taken a toll on my body. Some moms’ bodies bounce right back, but mine has taken a little more time. My pregnancies weren’t particularly easy and resulted in some problems, including abdominal separation and varicose veins, which aren’t uncommon for women who have had four children. Still, symptoms of pain and discomfort limited my activity level.


January 2018 •

Now that my kids’ parameters and abilities are expanding, I’m finding that my own personal health and fitness is becoming an increasingly important element of who I want to be and how I want to parent. Over the past few years, I’ve worked to make self-care more of a priority. I’ve followed through with the medical interventions I needed to be more active — without being so uncomfortable. And I’m budgeting time to exercise more and at a higher intensity. I’ve been running and have recently started doing workouts that include cardio, core-body and strength-building activities. Getting back into the habit of exercise after becoming a mom of four children hasn’t been easy, but I’m making it happen. If self-care is on your list of resolutions for 2018, here are some strategies that have worked for me:

nearly-13-year-old daughter. My kids know I’m exercising to feel good and to be strong, not — to quote fitness guru Jillian Michaels, whose 30 Day Shred workout video I’ve been using — so I can go “bikini shopping.” Not only do I try to be a role model with my words, but also with my actions. My kids have seen me work through some hard spots, and they’ve seen me grow stronger and meet some short-term goals. My hope is that I’m a model of perseverance, too.

Set up accountability I committed to volunteer with the track and cross-country team two to three days a week, participating with the team.

Set a long-term goal One of the moments of reckoning that prompted me to take action to change some of my lifestyle habits was when I was having a hard time keeping up with three of my four children during a hike on our family vacation last summer. My goal is to be strong, fit and healthy for myself and for my children. I want to maintain a healthy weight and lean into the mental-health benefits of exercise, including stress relief and improved memory, sleep and mood.

Be a role model I’ve been very intentional with my words and expressions in regards to body image, especially around my impressionable

↑↑Megan Devine (right) recently finished her first half-marathon since her first pregnancy 14 years ago.

Getting back into the habit of exercise after becoming a mom of four children hasn’t been easy, but I’m making it happen.

This structure worked great for me, as I had experience coaching — and was able to both help and work out at the same time. I also created a measure of accountability measure by signing up for a race. This fall I trained for and finished my first half-marathon since I’ve had kids, which was a major accomplishment. Granted, it wasn’t the sub-two-hour finish time I was used to in my previous running days, but I did it — and I had fun talking and running (and a little bit of walking) with a friend. And we both finished with smiles on our faces (as you can see from our photo)!

Forgive yourself I’m not the same athlete nor do I have the same body I had before I was blessed with my four children. I am, however, happy and proud that I’m developing healthy habits that make me feel good. Each day I’m able to work out, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I’m starting to feel stronger and healthier, and that’s helping me be the individual — and mother — I want to be. PS: I’ve signed up to run Grandma’s Half Marathon in Duluth in June. Reach out if you’re working toward the same goal. I would love to connect with some runnermama readers. Megan Devine is an elementary school teacher who lives in Northeastern Minnesota. She blogs at Write her at • January 2018


The physicality of teens T

hey may be taller than you, have hairier legs than you realized or smell bad (or be suddenly aware that they smell bad and then make sure they smell overly good to cover it). Teenagers: They stand out in public from the younger kids with their parents and those entirely freewheeling independent young adults. They’re definitely in a class of their own. One of the many things I feel slipping past me — as my children get closer to adulthood — relates to how their physical bodies are something I don’t take care of anymore. It’s strange to think my work as a parent began with only this. I willed myself to sync with the rhythm of their feed-change-sleep cycles. And now they put themselves to bed. They make their own breakfasts and lunches. They of course bathe and ready themselves. With our busy lives caught up in school, grades and activities, we almost forget this whole side of them is now a well-running system on its own.

Well, pretty well-running anyhow. And — although they may do most things on their own — I often ask myself: How can I give them that little bit of guidance to make sure they’re equipped to take care of their bodies and physical health into adulthood?

Food Teenagers don’t always remember that they need sustenance. They’re too tired to eat in the morning or don’t want to do the extra work. (Yes, I know pouring cereal in a bowl is a lot of work.) Letting go of making lunches was a hard thing for me when I went back to work as a teacher. But, I had limits on what I could accomplish that early in the morning, so I let that one go. But I haven’t let go of making dinner. It’s the one way I feel I can provide nourishment and make sure they get a vegetable here and there. The bonus is we all sit down together. I also do a little simple nagging here and

there: Did you drink some water today? Did you put some fruit in your lunch? Did you have some protein?

Rest I think sleep is a good thing. And I also think our teenagers need more of it than they want to admit when it’s late at night and the world is alive, snapping and posting away. I’m a big proponent of making them plug in and turn off their devices at a time that is late enough for them and early enough for me every night. I know this hour varies by family. I encourage them to do work that requires a laptop or screen earlier in the evening. If that’s not possible, at least plugging in their phone means their connectivity to their online social life gets a rest. It’s all too easy for me to let them enjoy their friends and the cocooning they do at this age. I get time to read or have conversations with my husband — those facets of life that were so hard to come by during the kids’ younger years. But I’ve been mindful about calling them down from their teenage dens so we can cuddle on the couch and talk about our days. This time forces them away from their devices for a short while, and it gives them the opportunity to release the stress and responsibilities of their days.

Touch Both of my kids have made it across the awkward bridge of puberty that, for many, makes it hard to show affection. I remember distinctly both of them being unsure if they wanted those daily hugs or


January 2018 •


Super site

It’s not just “a mommy blog for old mommies,” say the creators of Grown & Flown, a late-stage parenting site with the mantra of “parenting never ends.” We agree! Geared toward parents of high schoolers and college kids, it’s a mustread during the adolescent years — and beyond. “We steer the conversation away from diapers and sleep deprivation,” say the New York-based curators, “And instead ponder the teen years, college admissions and when to cut your kids off the family payroll.” #amen

whether their changing bodies affected how I felt about them. They don’t just sit in my arms or in my lap like they used to. And they don’t need to. But they still need our touch. Their growing bodies obviously have needs and desires that they’re still figuring out. I want to make sure they’re getting plenty of pure, innocent, loving touch to sustain them as they do. I want them to know what real love feels like — safe and unconditional. How I explain my inscrutable, sometimes annoying parenting antics is this: When I say, Did you eat your vegetables — it really means Let me take care of you. I want you to see you function at your best. When I say, Plug that in and come talk to me — what it really means is I care about all the moments in your day I can no longer be a part of. And when I touch the side of your face before bed and tell you Sweet dreams — what I really mean is You are worthy of pure and healthy love. Don’t accept anything less. Jennifer Wizbowski lives in Excelsior with her husband, and daughter and son, ages 14 and 17. Send comments, questions and story ideas to • January 2018


Crystal Clancy


Beyond ‘the baby blues’ M

any people have heard about Postpartum Depression (PPD), but not many know that there are other types of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) that can be equally debilitating. The most common thing I hear from moms struggling with any of these disorders is, “I do not feel like myself,” or “This is not what I expected it to be like.” Here’s what you need to know to take care of yourself or to help others who might be suffering: PPD: Postpartum Depression (PPD) is often characterized by a depressed or sad mood, though some new parents describe it as more of an elevated level of agitation or irritability. Changes in appetite and difficulty enjoying things are also common. These parents (dads get PPD, too) often notice a feeling of detachment from their babies. Some have thoughts about dying or fantasize about running away, known as escapist fantasies. PBD: Those with Postpartum Bipolar Disorder (PBD) may cycle between depression and mania/hypomania (a less severe level of mania). Mania can involve racing thoughts, rapid speech, being overly productive and getting little to no sleep. Moms with PBD are at higher risk for suicide and/or psychosis. PPA: Parents with Perinatal/Postpartum Anxiety (PPA) generally feel restless and have a hard time relaxing. This can cause disruptions with sleeping (beyond the sleep disruptions caused by having a new baby), because of the difficulty turning off the brain. Many moms who struggle with PPA have a


January 2018 •

so-called type-A personality, and feel pressure to appear they’re handling everything well. PPOCD: Perinatal/Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (PPOCD) involves anxious thoughts, but the thoughts sometimes become scary or disturbing (known as intrusive thoughts). These moms do NOT want to hurt their children, and go to great lengths to avoid these thoughts coming true. In reality, they’re at very low risk of causing harm. (I hope that is reassuring!) Some moms engage in compulsive behaviors to get temporary relief from the thoughts. A common example is repetitive thoughts that the baby has stopped breathing. Mom will then check on the

baby numerous times and become unable to sleep. PP-PTSD: If a woman has had a history of trauma that’s reactivated during pregnancy/childbirth, or had a traumatic experience during her labor, delivery or postpartum, she may devleop Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PP-PTSD). A loss, medical emergency, unexpected intervention, C-section or having a baby confined to the NICU are examples of traumas. Women with a history of sexual abuse or assault are also at risk. Those with PTSD tend to avoid talking about what happened, and may experience nightmares or flashbacks. Partners, who may have witnessed events, are also at risk.

Many moms who struggle with postpartum anxiety have a so-called type-A personality, and feel pressure to appear they’re handling everything well.

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PPP: Postpartum Psychosis (PPP) occurs in 1 out of 1,000 births. And when it does, it’s an emergency. Symptoms generally begin quickly, within the first two weeks following birth. These moms are often the ones in the media who die by suicide or commit infanticide. Moms having a psychotic episode might have bizarre or irrational thoughts. And yet to the person suffering from psychosis, such thoughts make sense, and aren’t distressing. Some moms have visual or auditory hallucinations, and believe what they’re experiencing is real. If you’re struggling, or know someone who is, it’s extremely important to find a specialist who is an expert at treating PMADs, such as those providers listed on the Pregnancy and Postpartum Support MN site at You can also call or text the PPSM HelpLine at 612-787-7776 or write Though the HelpLine isn’t a crisis service, it can get you connected with therapy, psychiatry and free peer support services, including a private Facebook group. Crystal Clancy is a licensed marriage and family therapist and the owner of Iris Reproductive Mental Health of Burnsville ( She is also the executive director of community engagement for Pregnancy and Postpartum Support Minnesota and a co-coordinator of the Minnesota chapter of Postpartum Support International. Explore MN Tourism MNP 0118 S3.indd 1

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Dr. Kimara Gustafson

My kid has horrible breath! What cures toddler halitosis? His teeth are clean! Bad breath can be caused by a few factors — diet, dental hygiene, certain respiratory tract infections or, more rarely, systemic illnesses. Dietary factors include foods, such as onions or garlic; and on the adult side (but also possibly teenagers) — coffee, cigarettes or chewing tobacco. Infections such as gum disease as well as lingering food particles from not fully brushing or flossing fall under the dental hygiene causes. Make sure you’re also regularly brushing the top of the tongue, as this could be another source of the odor. If the bad breath occurs with a fever, stuffy/runny nose or cough, it may be a sign of a throat, sinus or lung infection. And finally, in very rare instances, a pungent odor of the breath may be a sign of a wider systemic condition. If your kid is pretty healthy overall — no fever or cough, a good appetite, growing well, lots of energy and playfulness — I would look to see if diet or dental hygiene

Are stevia sweeteners safe for kids? Stevia, also known as stevia leaf extract, is an increasingly popular sweetener in the food and beverage market. Often billed as an alternative to other sweeteners such as aspartame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda), stevia is derived from the plant Stevia rebaudiana.


January 2018 •

might be one of the culprits. Appearances can be deceiving: Even if the teeth look clean, there can still be a lot of residual food particles or gum disease present. The recommended time for brushing is two minutes, which is equivalent to singing the ABC song three times. If your child is anything like mine (aka “Mr. Busy”), he may not be brushing long enough.

Check out Brush DJ, a free app that offers tips and plays different songs that are two minutes long to help you reach the recommended teeth-brushing time. I would also recommend making an appointment to see your child’s dentist every six months, with the first checkup at 12 months old. A thorough exam could also help determine the source of the bad breath. X

Stevia, is one of several sweeteners that is considered a “high-intensity sweetener” by the FDA because it delivers a taste many times sweeter than table sugar, typically about 200 to 400 times greater in the case of high-purity steviol glycosides. Stevia is sometimes also referred to on ingredient labels as Reb A or Rebaudioside A (the extracted chemical compound used to make stevia). Stevia is sold under brand names such

as Truvia, PureVia and SweetLeaf in various forms, including packets, loose powders and liquid drops. Though some folks are quick to call stevia “natural,” that term isn’t regulated by the FDA. Many of the components of table sugar and artificial sweeteners are found in nature or derived from plants, but that doesn’t necessarily make them good for kids or adults. The FDA’s “acceptable daily intake”

page for high-intensity sweeteners for a 132-pound adult lists stevia at 9 packets a day, sucralose/Splenda at 23 packets a day and aspartame/Equal at 75 packets a day. (See the full list at As with all things, however, I would encourage moderation. Common sense should tell us we don’t need 75 packets of any food additive every day. Rather, I would encourage you to think more broadly about the sugar intake among our kids as well as their tastes for super-sweet foods. In addition to avoiding large amounts of artificial sweeteners, I’d recommend avoiding added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 3 to 4 teaspoons of added sugar for younger kids and just 5 to 8 teaspoons for preteens and teens. Read labels with a critical eye: Added sugar can appear under many ingredient names in many prepared foods, such as dextrose, fructose, caramel, sorbitol, treacle and others. There are actually more than 50 names for sugar-based ingredients. (See So, how do you make sure you aren’t overdoing your little one’s sugar intake? Cut down or eliminate juices or other sugary drinks. (Milk and water are really the best fluids at this age.) And prepare as much food as possible from scratch. For a kid with a sweet tooth, try switching to healthy sweets, such as fruit. Another hidden source of added sugars for young kids is flavored yogurt. It might seem healthy because of the calcium and protein, but you’d be surprised how much sugar can be found in a single yogurt cup. Try mixing your kid’s favorite yogurt with plain yogurt and see if your child’s taste buds can grow accustomed to the taste. Kimara Gustafson is a Minneapolis mother who works as a pediatrician at Masonic Children’s Hospital and the Adoption Medicine Clinic, both at the at the University of Minnesota. Send your questions to

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Dana Flanders-Turman

When vision affects learning W

hen my son was in second grade, it became clear that he was struggling to read. Despite the fact that he was curious, loved to learn and seemed truly interested in reading, he appeared to be in need of special education. So he ended up in a special reading room. Unfortunately, after several months, his reading skills did not improve. Then it occurred to me: What if it’s his vision that’s holding him back? As a special education teacher and tutor, I had learned about the importance of vision in student learning. Experts estimate that 80 percent of learning occurs through the vision system. So I took my son to a behavioral optometrist to see if his eyes were working appropriately. Perhaps he had a learning-related vision problem? He did! After four months of vision therapy, my son was able to drop the special reading help, join his peers in the main classroom and move forward with his studies. He’s now entering his second year of Hamline University and doing very well. Over the years, I’ve discussed the possibility of vision problems with parents, including many who later found that their children weren’t willfully avoiding reading, suffering from attention problems or in need of special education services. They simply had vision problems that were getting in the way. Indeed, I’ve seen real successes when students receive comprehensive eye exams and get the proper interventions with help from a behavioral or develop-


January 2018 •

After four months of vision therapy, my son was able to drop the special reading help. mental optometrist. Students who have been diagnosed with attention problems such as ADHD can demonstrate many of the same behaviors that a student with a learning-related vision problem might demonstrate. Most schools don’t assess a student’s vision other than distance vision (the

Snellen test). As a special education teacher, I’ve found that when the student’s distance vision is tested by a school nurse, it often comes out 20/20. But having 20/20 distance vision doesn’t mean a student has all the vision skills needed to read. Even with 20/20-vision students, I’ve learned to be particularly attentive to the following symptoms — complaints of headaches, rubbing eyes while reading, putting the head on a table while reading, covering one eye while reading or having a short attention span while reading. According to the American Optometric Association, every child needs to possess the following vision skills for effective reading and learning:

• Visual acuity — the ability to see clearly in the distance for viewing the chalkboard, at an intermediate distance for the computer and up close for reading a book; • Focusing — the ability to quickly and accurately maintain clear vision when the distance from objects change, such as when looking from the chalkboard to a paper on the desk (and back again, repeatedly). • Teaming — the ability to use both eyes together when moving the eyes along a printed page (and to be able to judge distances and see depth for classwork and sports); • Tracking — the ability to keep the eyes on target when looking from one object to another, moving the eyes along a printed page or following a moving object, such as a thrown ball; • Hand-eye coordination — the ability to use visual information to direct the hands when drawing a picture or trying to hit a ball; • Visual perception — the ability to organize images on a printed page into letters, words and ideas and to understand and remember what’s read. If any of these visual skills are lacking or not functioning properly, a child will have to work harder. This can lead to headaches, fatigue and other eyestrain problems. For more information on comprehensive eye exams, finding a behavioral optometrist and symptoms of learning-related vision problems, see or Dana Flanders-Turman is a mother of two grown sons and a special education teacher who lives in St. Paul with her husband. For the past eight years, she has worked with members of the Minnesota State Legislature to help school districts address learningrelated vision problems. • January 2018


Kaitlin Ungs


Tales of triumph

Women have faced big challenges throughout history, including, of course, right now. But females — of all ages — have also achieved amazing things throughout the centuries. Why not explore those stories, not just with your daughters, but also your sons? These awesome books will make it easy!

Strong Is the New Pretty Girls from 4 to 19 years old share their advice, dreams and stories about themselves in this captivating photo book. Compiled by a mom photographer, these images show the power of being uniquely confident, wild, resilient, kind, joyful and determined — in gender roles both traditional and not. Ages 5 and up • $17.95

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She Persisted

This nostalgic picture book features black-and-white illustrations with pops of pink and a simple story that ends with a march, including pink hats everywhere — the perfect jumping off point for conversations with your kids about women’s rights.

Sometimes being a girl isn’t easy: “At some point, someone probably will tell you ‘no,’ will tell you to ‘be quiet’ and may even tell you your dreams are impossible.” Fortunately, this engaging, inviting picture book, inspired by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and written by Chelsea Clinton, tells girls to standup for themselves, using concise examples of 13 real-life American women.

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First Ladies Close your eyes, kids, and imagine how your life would change if one of your parents became president of the United States. Then learn about all the triumphant ways women of the White House have used their power to help shape politics, history and life — including women’s rights — in America. Ages 4–8 • $17.99


January 2018 •

I Am A Woman

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This beautiful, linen-bound coffee-table book (compact at 9 inches square) will introduce your kids to more than 50 fabulous females, each captured in a gorgeous black-and-white photograph, paired with a quote or short informational paragraph. Meet entertainers (such as Audrey Hepburn, pictured in her later years, not her girly days), athletes (Olympic medalist Wilma Rudolph), authors (Maya Angelou), scientists (Marie Curie) and activists — plus heroic survivors of racism and the Holocaust. This is the first-ever title published by Jane’s Parade Books, a new imprint from the nonprofit Afton Press of St. Paul. Written by country-pop singer-songwriter and Minnesota native Mary Sue Englund, this gem includes the lyrics to her 2011 song, I Am A Woman, in the front of the book and a CD with the song in the back, too.

Malala Yousafzai — the Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani girl behind the memoir I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban — brings her story to a younger audience with an age-appropriate non-violent tale, sprinkled with elements of whimsy (a gold-ink magic pencil) and simple storytelling on soft, watercolor pages. Ages 5–8 • $17.99

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100 Women Who Made History It isn’t always easy to bring to life the dynamic biographies of historic figures, especially on an international scale. But this colorful, information-packed encyclopedia-like book does just that, telling the stories of Frida Kahlo, Sacagawea, Eleanor Roosevelt and many others — as well as women whose names may not be as familiar, such as Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei, revolutionary Louise Michel and mathematician Sofia Kovalevskaya. We like the “Who came before …” and “Who came after …” segments, which provide context and timelines, too! Ages 3 and up • $16.99 • January 2018



Flatout breads are sold at most Target and Cub Foods stores. Find retailers and recipes at


January 2018 •

Photo courtesy of Flatout Flatbread


We love making mini pizzas with the kids! And we’ve recently found a way to make them a bit healthier by using whole wheat flatbread. We like Flatout Light wraps, which have 9 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, 14 carbs and only 90 calories per Flatout. Traditional white-dough pizza crust has just 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 24 carbs and 120 calories. So your kids get extra protein and fiber — and you all get a nutritious dinner that’s ready in 15 minutes.

PEPPERONI FLATBREAD PIZZA INGREDIENTS 1 flatbread from Flatout 1/4 cup chunky red sauce 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded, or more to taste 15 mini pepperoni slices

DIRECTIONS Preheat a grill or oven to 375 degrees.   Prebake flatbread for two minutes (optional) on a cookie sheet or — for a crispier crust — a pizza pan or stone. Layer on sauce, cheese and pepperoni or other toppings. Bake or grill for 4 minutes or until the cheese melts.


present Children can focus better and manage emotions — at school and at home — by practicing mindfulness By Laura Malm


t’s 11:55 on a Tuesday morning and Jennifer Gervais sits at the front of a class of second- and third-graders at Valley Crossing Elementary School in Woodbury. “When I say focus, you say focus,” she says. “Focus!” the group responds eagerly. “I have citrus this week,” she tells students while holding a small brown spray bottle filled with an essential oil blend. As she walks around to each table, students hold out their hands if they would like a spritz, and fold them in their lap if not. The juicy scent of ripe orange fills the room, and then it’s time to begin. Students take a deep breath, inhaling the sweet fragrance from their palms. Gervais rings a small hand chime. The sound resonates for a few moments while the students quiet. • January 2018



present Gervais — a social worker at the school — is leading a weekly 20-minute Yoga Calm sequence. The class starts with deep-breathing exercises. She slowly expands and contracts a Hoberman sphere breathing ball, which serves as a visual guide. A calm instantly blankets the class. Next up is yoga. This week students are practicing while seated. They start in mountain pose, with feet grounded and hands at their sides. They breathe deep and raise their hands to the sky transitioning into extended mountain pose before exhaling into a forward fold. The kids slowly rise and then Gervais instructs them to place their hands at heart’s center. “Think of someone you love. Send them healthy thoughts,” she says. They go through this flow several times. For the final minutes of the session, students double-stack their fists on the table and rest their heads on their hands in

A Hoberman sphere, which can expand and contract easily, is often used to illustrate the expansion and contraction of the lungs during slow, deep breaths.


January 2018 •

what’s called seated child’s pose. It’s time for a meditation reading, and today Gervais has selected a passage about mighty trees and feeling powerful on the inside and out. Finally, the chime rings again and kids lift their heads. She congratulates them on completing the longest mediation session they’ve done yet. The kids grin enthusiastically as she tells them next week they get to try new poses — boat, cat and cow.

A school-wide program Sessions like these happen regularly throughout the K–5 school. Gervais teaches 12 Yoga Calm classes a week to students, but many more occur when the teachers lead the sessions themselves. (More than half of Valley Crossing teachers are trained in Yoga Calm.) These sessions are part of the school’s bigger focus on mindfulness and self-regulation. Gervais and her colleague, Tyra Raasch, have worked together to develop a school-wide program with a goal to empower students. Other core parts of the program include Social Thinking and Zones of Regulation. As part of the

program, each teacher is encouraged to have a calm space in the classroom students can visit when they need to self-regulate through various activities such as deep breathing or silent counting. “Students are taught that no emotion is bad, rather, how they can deal with that emotion appropriately,” Raasch said. This speaks to the core of what it means to be mindful. Sarah Rudell Beach, a former TwinCities-based schoolteacher and founder of the mindfulness training organization Brilliant Mindfulness of Minneapolis, shares her definition: “Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, with curiosity and kindness. When we are mindful, we are aware of what we’re doing as we do it, and what we’re thinking as we think it. We bring an attitude of kindness to our experience, so if we notice that we are sad or upset, we don’t try to push our feelings away or tell ourselves we shouldn’t be feeling that way; instead, we offer ourselves kindness during that tough moment,” Rudell Beach said. Being mindful can be as simple as deliberately sitting down and paying

Students are taught that no emotion is bad, rather, how they can deal with that emotion appropriately. — Tyra Raasch, Valley Crossing Elementary School, Woodbury

attention to your breathing. When your attention drifts, you slowly bring it back to your breath. “We can also be mindful throughout our day, simply noticing what’s happening, what we’re thinking, what we feel in our body or what emotions are present,” Rudell Beach said. “When we bring this kind of attention to our experience, we can eat, drive, do the dishes or play with our children mindfully.”

Modeling mindfulness This type of calm focus on the present moment seems in stark contrast to the busyness that often plagues modern life. Digital devices, overwhelming extracurriculars and social demands have made many kids busier and more distracted than ever. “I think we can say that, based on a cultural, perhaps global, tendency to simply keep adding more things — more technologies, more activities, more choices — many kids now lead lives that have very few gaps in them,” said Marc Anderson, founder of the St. Paul-based M2 Foundation, which offers mindfulness training in schools. Of course, most adults’ lives aren’t any better. “Adults model the behavior,” Anderson said. “We fill our lives with stuff, activities, jobs and leave the most important jobs of inner peace, well-being and community connection on the back burner. Kids get the message, and they follow our lead.” In addition to parents being role models, teachers can have a big impact, too. “A significant portion of my work is providing mindfulness training to

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←←Kindergarten and first-grade students at Valley Crossing Elementary School in Woodbury rest in child’s pose while listening to a meditation about listening.

present teachers,” Rudell Beach said. “There’s now a growing body of research demonstrating that when teachers practice mindfulness, it has a positive impact on their students, even if the teachers don’t teach mindfulness to the kids. If teachers can manage their own stress, and be fully present with their students, it improves their relationships with students and, amazingly, can actually improve student behavior in the classroom.”

Reaping the benefits Rudell Beach has conducted mindfulness training with teachers and students at numerous Minnesota schools, including in the Wayzata and the Anoka-Hennepin school districts. “Students tell me that mindfulness helps them feel calm and relaxed, and that they use it to help them fall asleep at night, to calm down when their siblings anger them or to focus when they are worried about a test,” she said. Research indicates that mindfulness activities help kids improve their concentration and focus, decrease stress and anxiety, increase self-awareness and impulse control, and calm them when they’re upset. “In short, mindfulness can help them develop the executive functioning skills that all children and grownups need,” Rudell Beach said. “There’s also some indications that mindfulness can help improve sleep as well as children’s conflict-resolution skills.”

At school and at home It was apparent that the Valley Crossing students in Gervais’ class had embraced the idea of mindfulness wholeheartedly. They all willingly participated and were remarkably focused.


January 2018 •

Photos courtesy of Valley Crossing Elementary School

But how have parents responded to the program? “Parents love the attention we’re giving to mental health,” Raasch said. “We’re addressing it in a non-confrontational way. It helps support social and emotional development, both at school and at home.” Raasch and Gervais have developed resources for parents so they can extend mindfulness and regulation activities into home life. They’re encouraged to use the same language and terminology that their kids are hearing at school to make it as easy to do at home as it is in class. While mindfulness initiatives like these are available at some Twin Cities schools, it’s still a new concept at many. There are numerous barriers to implementing programs, including administration constraints, funding and lack of teacher buy-in. Without everyone on board, a program like Valley Crossings’ would be impossible to implement, Gervais said. Fortunately, mindfulness is something you can do at home, even if your child’s school doesn’t currently have a program. Rudell Beach recommends starting with kids who are 3 or older, noting kids younger than that are actually already inherently mindful. “We could learn some lessons from them about being totally engrossed in the

present moment and not letting past regrets and future worries trouble us,” she said. “Executive functioning skills develop throughout our life, but early childhood (ages 3–4) and early adolescence are the two critical periods when these skills develop rapidly, so kids at those ages can especially benefit from mindfulness.” Laura Malm is a writer, editor and storyteller who lives in Woodbury with her husband and two daughters.

RESOURCES • Brilliant Mindfulness, Minneapolis, • M2 Foundation, St Paul, • Valley Crossing Elementary School, Woodbury, selfregulation curriculum resources, • 1000 Petals, a local mindfulness and movement training company that works with teachers, counselors, therapists and parents, See or to buy a 1000 Petals Move Mindfully Card Deck.

Mindfulness anytime, anywhere Sarah Rudell Beach, founder of Brilliant Mindfulness of Minneapolis, offered six ideas for trying mindfulness activities: Mindful breathing: With young kids, play with different kinds of breathing. Can you breathe like a lion? Like a bunny? Like a dragon? Like a horse? Mindful listening: With your eyes open or closed, set a timer for one minute and ask everyone to sit quietly and listen. After the timer goes off, talk about all the sounds you could hear. This activity helps teach concentration (focusing on sounds/listening, instead of getting distracted), and helps kids realize there’s a lot that we often miss when we don’t pay attention. You can also ask children how it feels to just be completely still and silent for one minute. Emotion charades: Help kids understand their own emotions and those of others by acting out an emotion. Let everyone else guess what it is. Mindful walk: Go for a walk around your neighborhood. Can you find five things you’ve never seen before? Gratitude: Take a few minutes and talk about what you’re thankful for. Gratitude is all about mindfulness: It’s about appreciating what is here, right now, in front of us. Mindful breathing for teens: Teens often like to use apps for mindfulness. Two great ones for teens are Calm and Stop, Breathe, and Think. When your teen practices mindful breathing, have her try to notice her breath first in her nose, then her chest and then her belly. Encourage her to breathe for a few minutes, just noticing where in the body it’s easiest for her to sense the breath.



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BONE HEALTH MATTERS Simple steps taken today will impact your child’s lifelong health. By Laura Malm


or oral health, you bring your children to the dentist twice a year. For vision health, you see the eye doctor annually. For general health and growth progress reports, you schedule annual physicals and other checkups with the pediatrician. But have you ever thought about your kids’ bone health? If you’re like most parents, you probably don’t put much concern toward your child’s constantly growing bones. However, bones serve incredibly important functions in kids’ overall well-being. And the childhood years are uniquely crucial for bone development, which can affect lifelong health. Bones — the framework for a child’s growing body — are made of a living tissue that’s always forming. As kids grow taller and bigger, their bones do as well, starting in the womb and continuing into the college years. “All of the bones in your child’s body

initially were formed during pregnancy,” said Heather Steckling, a pediatric chiropractor with Season Family Chiropractic in Woodbury. As your child grows, the cells within his or her bones are continually replenished and remodeled. In fact, bone cells will respond not only to the demands placed on them during growth periods, but will also during any type of stress or injury. (See our sidebar on this for more fascinating bone facts.)

Osteoporosis risk But here’s where it gets real. Almost all — 90 percent — of peak bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and age 20 in boys, according to the National Institutes of Health, which compares bone density to a bank account. More bone is deposited during childhood than at any other time in life. In adulthood, this trend reverses, meaning that, as you age, you withdraw at much higher rates

while making far fewer deposits. This is why osteoporosis — the disease that causes bones to lose density and become more prone to fractures — has been called “a pediatric disease with geriatric consequences.” That means habits your children form as tots can dramatically impact lifelong skeletal health. By making many deposits during youth, you’re setting the stage for good bone health when your children are old and gray. Parents of teens should be on particularly high alert. About half of adult bone mass is built during the critical teenage years, said Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd, a pediatrician and director of medical education for Children’s Minnesota. “Knowing this, the best way to prevent risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture later in life is to ensure that optimal peak bone mass is reached by the end of adolescence,” Goepferd said. • January 2018



BONE HEALTH MATTERS What’s the best way to make deposits into your child’s bone-health account? Proper nutrition and adequate movement are the key components. But neither seem very easy for kids to achieve these days, said Steckling, who focuses on caring for children with chronic immune and digestive-system issues. “If you look at the lifestyle of children 30 years ago, in general, they had less fast food, less processed food and more home-cooked nutritious meals,” she said. “They also were outside more and sitting less. Children today are significantly lacking in both proper nutrition and proper exercise.” As a result, modern kids aren’t building a strong foundation in their bones, which can make them more susceptible to fractures and disease now and in the future.

Nutrition: Beyond calcium What can you do? Getting sufficient calcium during childhood is a good place to start. In the U.S., the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium for 700 milligrams for toddlers to age 3; 1,000 mg for ages 4 to 8; and 1,300 mg for ages 9 to 18. One glass of milk, one cup of yogurt and 1.5 ounces of cheese each provide about 300 mg of calcium. Calcium can also be found in green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and calcium-fortified cereal and orange juice. Calcium, however, is only one piece of the puzzle. “Keep in mind, bone health is not necessarily determined by how much calcium we consume, but rather how well it is absorbed,” Steckling said. “Calcium needs vitamin D, vitamin K and magne-


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sium to help it absorb and be utilized efficiently. Most Americans are deficient in these vitamins.” Goepferd said diets low in protein or vitamin D — or high in sodium — also can reduce the body’s ability to retain calcium. And getting enough dietary calcium can be especially challenging among the many teenage girls who are preoccupied with thinness. “They tend to have diets low in dairy — thus low in calcium and vitamin D — and higher in carbonated beverages like diet soda,” Goepferd said. “They also tend to have lower body fat and engage in less muscle-building and weight-bearing activities.” Promoting a healthy body image, particularly in teenage girls, Goepferd said, can be a “protective factor for promoting bone health and decreasing osteoporosis risk.” Natural dietary sources of vitamin D, such as cod liver oil and fatty fish (tuna, salmon), can be hard to get into children’s diets, too, of course. Though many dairy and cereal products (and some orange juices) are fortified with vitamin D, kids living in northern climates, such as Minnesota, are still at risk for vitamin D deficiency since a major source of vitamin D is exposure to UVB radiation through direct sunlight on bare skin. Despite this risk, most kids aren’t, as a rule, screened for vitamin D deficiency.

That’s why Goepferd recommends vitamins or supplements that offer the vitamin D RDA of 400 IU for infants up to 1 year (breastfed infants need supplementation due to inadequate amounts in human milk) and 600 IU for children and adolescents.

Physical activity: What’s best? Exercise is another way to boost bone health. Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Young women and men who exercise regularly generally achieve greater peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) than those who do not, according to the NIH. For most people, bone mass peaks during the third decade of life. After that time, decline begins. (All adults can help prevent bone loss with regular exercise.) Activities for optimizing bone density include exercises that work against gravity, such as walking, jogging, hiking, weight training, climbing stairs, dancing and sports that involve running or jumping. Lower-impact activities such as swimming and biking are great for keeping kids physically fit and preventing obesity. But they’re less helpful at building bone density. Laura Malm is a writer, editor and storyteller who lives in Woodbury with her husband and two daughters.

THE AMAZING RESILIENCY OF BONES If you’ve ever broken a bone or had a child with a fractured limb, you know the miracle that is bone tissue — and its many different types of cells. The process — as told by Arizona State University biologists — goes like this: • Within a couple hours of a break, a blood clot forms around the break. Inside the blood clot, special immunesystem cells called phagocytes begin cleaning bone fragments, surrounding and destroying unwanted bacteria. • Next, a soft callus made mostly of collagen is created around the fracture by another special group of cells called chondroblasts. (This stage can last anywhere from four days to three weeks.) • Then a hard callus forms as osteoblast cells create new bone, adding minerals to make it hard. This stage typically begins two weeks after the break, and ends somewhere between the sixth and 12th week.

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• Lastly, the bone is “remodeled.” Special cells called osteoclasts break down extra bone around the fracture until it’s completely healed and returned to its original shape, a process that can take three to nine years to complete. See a video of the entire process at

GET SMART ABOUT CALCIUM Go to to see how many milligrams of calcium kids need at various ages; a list of foods (including non-dairy) that contain calcium; and medications, medical disorders and behaviors that can affect bone mass. Learn more about bone health at Prairie Oaks MNP 0118 S3.indd 1

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Can essential oils help kids feel better? Parents and doctors are increasingly saying: Yes! Here’s what you need to know to use them safely and effectively. BY ABBIE BURGESS

Healing Power


n a cloudy November day, Kristenza Nelson drops bergamot and lavender essential oils into a diffuser, filling her East St. Paul home with a citrusy floral fragrance. “In Minnesota you spend so much time indoors, without the freshness of outside or a garden to dig in,” she said. “When you haven’t seen the sun for days, if you smell a little bergamot it’s like a burst of sunshine.” The preschool teacher and mother of two learned about the medicinal properties of essential oils while working at Garden of Eden, a St. Paul store with its own line of oils. “At first, I thought it was an old wives’ tale,” she said. “But they really work.” Nelson loves helping expectant mothers make oil blends of soothing scents, such as rose geranium and chamomile, to use as


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massage oil during childbirth. “When my children were born, they had a lavender bath every night for the first year of their lives,” Nelson said. “It’s so calming and relaxing.” Her sons, Andreas, 14, and Alex, 12, are used to coming home to the scent of essential oils diffusing — peppermint to help them concentrate on a school project or eucalyptus for rejuvenation after a tough basketball practice. “It’s part of our tool kit,” Nelson said.

Do they actually work?

Essential oils are highly concentrated versions of the natural oils found in plants, extracted through a process of steam distillation. They’ve been used since ancient times, but plant-based therapies fell out of favor with the rise of Western medicine, including antibiotics. Today they’re widely available in supermarkets, co-ops and pharmacies and are increasingly used in clinics and hospitals in the Twin Cities and beyond. Interest in natural products and the environment has recently boosted awareness of aromatherapy as a tool for

wellbeing — and parents seem to be a big part of the trend. On Facebook moms’ groups, it’s common to see advice doled out on using essential oils for everything from allergies to insomnia. For parents with no experience with oils, there are so many questions: How do you use them? Are certain brands better than others? Are they safe? And — most important — do they really work? The answer, according to a growing body of research from laboratory and clinical studies, is yes.

Tried and true

Health professionals at Children’s Minnesota use essential oils made specifically for the hospital, including lavender, sweet orange, lemon, peppermint and spearmint. Dr. Melanie Brown, an MD and program director at Children’s Minnesota’s Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrated Medicine Clinic in Minneapolis, said those five oils have been extensively studied for safety and efficacy. Patients smell the oils for managing the symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, fatigue and nausea. Brown has no doubt that aromatherapy works. She’s seen it herself, from the child who sleeps through the night for the first time to the eating disorder patient whose nausea is calmed. “There’s a lot of evidence to back up their use,” she said. “Smell affects us on a very deep level. It affects your physiology as well as your mind.” Brown encourages families to use essential oils for aromatherapy at home, but she also recommends that families always talk to their physicians about what they’re using, too. “(Aromatherapy) can empower patients

to take part in their own health care,” she said. “As long as they’re using it as an adjunct to the care they’re getting.” Other health-care facilities — including University of Minnesota’s Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis and Fairview Homecare and Hospice of Minnesota — have adopted oils for treating pain, nausea and sleep problems, according to a 2017 article in the Star Tribune. Essential oils might one day be used to treat life-threatening illnesses, too. According to a 2015 article in The Atlantic, studies have shown some oils to be powerful enough to kill human cancer cells of the breast, colon, mouth, skin and may even play a role in countering the antibiotic-resistance crisis.

Treating wounds, calming anxiety

neurosurgery, aromatherapy was a built-in part of the process. Staff taped cotton balls soaked in lavender oil to his gown to calm presurgery anxiety. They put peppermint oil on a cloth for him to smell for nausea. She’d started using essential oils recently herself in hopes of strengthening the family’s collective immune system. It seemed to work: When one child fell ill with strep, no one else in the house caught it. That was previously unheard of in her busy household. “Usually I was lining them all up at the doctor’s office,” she said. Now Anne Nelson has expanded to using essential oils as a lice deterrent, a kitchen spray and an effective remedy for her longtime battle with cold sores.

“I have been extremely thrilled,” she said. “It’s better than any prescriptions I’ve used.”

Safety first

Although essential oils have become invaluable to many families, it’s important to remember that they’re highly concentrated and should be used with care — especially with babies and young children, said Linda Halcon, a registered nurse and associate professor emerita with the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. For 20 years, Halcon has a taught a course on aromatherapy at the university’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing in Minneapolis. Halcon knows of parents who have seen improvement in symptoms of anxiety,

Kristenza Nelson said she’s seen a growing number of health-care providers talking about oils. When her son suffered a second-degree burn on his hand at camp, she applied lavender essential oil topically — a common home remedy for burn pain and healing, often combined with aloe. She then took him to an urgent care facility. The doctor walked into the room and announced, “I smell lavender. What a good mama,” Nelson said. Anne Nelson, an Andover mom of 11 children ages 6 to 33 (no relation to Kristenza Nelson), said when her son went to Children’s Minnesota for • January 2018


Healing Power ADHD and certain skin conditions thanks to aromatherapy. But she stresses that parents should use oils with extreme caution. Inhalation delivers the lowest, safest dose of essential oils and is the method she recommends for children. Topical application is more likely to result in adverse reactions such as skin irritation and sensitivity. Ingestion delivers the highest dose of all and should be avoided, she said. Dosage is a concern because some essential oils can be toxic in certain quantities. Seizures and even death from

eucalyptus oil have been documented in adults and children. This might be surprising since oils are all natural. But they’re also highly potent. Halcon recommends not using essential oils during pregnancy in the first trimester. In later months, only certain oils such as lavender and rose should be used. For children, she advises avoiding all essential oils for the first few years, and then using them carefully. “Use them sensibly, and for a specific purpose,” she said. “I would encourage parents to really do their homework,” she said. “Don’t just take someone’s word for it because they sell oils.” Anne Nelson’s top safety tip with essential oils is to never let children handle bottles of oils. She doses, dilutes and applies them to the children herself. (Learn more about essential oils safety in the sidebar with this article and at the

University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing at

Daycare provider perspectives

Bobby Clausen discovered essential oils when she was suffering from severe tennis elbow, likely from years of holding babies at her in-home daycare in Crystal. When a vendor at a fair gave her an essential oil product to try for the pain, she tried it and was astonished at how quickly it worked. “It was unbelievable how the pain went away,” she said. In the following years, Clausen would find more uses for essential oils for herself and her two young boys. Ear aches, mosquito bites and bee stings have all been alleviated by a little drop of lavender. Clausen said essential oils helped her get over a recurring

What is pure? Since essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, any company can call its product therapeutic grade. It’s up to consumers to determine how pure a product is and if it’s truly potent enough to deliver the benefits associated with clinic use. (Learn how to spot fake oils at There are clues a savvy shopper can look for to indicate that a product is the real deal: • Common name and the Latin/botanical plant name • Volume listed in milliliters • Location of where the plants were grown • Words such as “undiluted” and “certified organic” • Certifications from the American Herbal Products Association, the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy or the Alliance of International Aromatherapists. Source: Dr. Melanie Brown, an MD and program director at Children’s Minnesota’s Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrated Medicine Clinic


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infection at her implant site after she recovered from cancer. “Lots of lovely things have happened to us because of essential oils,” she said. Clausen said her sons Marcus, 8, and Lucas, 6, think essential oils are the answer to everything. The boys’ favorite scent is peppermint, which Clausen uses as an air freshener in the car and spritzed around the house as a spider repellent. She tells her daycare clients upfront about her non-toxic cleaning routine, which includes essential oils. “All of the families are on the same page,” she said. “Most of them are using it, too.” With her daycare children, all elementary age and younger, Clausen limits her essential oil use to a small amount of lavender diffused before naptime. When using oils topically, Clausen dilutes them in vegetable oil to reduce the risk of skin irritation. Has her family experienced any negative reactions or side effects to essential oils? “We have not. None at all,” she said. Kristenza Nelson, meanwhile, uses lavender and tangerine spray to set the ambience in her preschool classroom. Children learn through all the senses, she said, adding: “I want them to know my classroom is a welcoming and calming place to be.” Nelson’s never heard a negative reaction from a parent. “Smells can be very strong for people,” she said. “But I use a mild amount.”

What brands are best?

Parents might wonder which line of essential oils is right for their families. Anne Nelson — with many kids still at home in a household that goes through a lot of essential oils — is sometimes tempted by the cheaper prices she sees on essential oils at drug stores. But she sticks to the brand she was introduced to by a distributor at church because she trusts the bigger name. Dr. Brown, meanwhile, doesn’t endorse a certain brand. She believes many different lines on the market are sufficient for home use. In addition to the well-known, respected names of Young Living and DoTerra — both distributed through multi-level marketing networks — shoppers can find numerous local brands of essential oils at vendors throughout the Twin Cities. Those include — but are not limited to — Veriditas by Pranarom of Minneapolis; Wyndmere Naturals of New Hope; Garden of Eden of St. Paul; Timeless Essential Oils of Rosemount; Plant Extracts International of Hopkins; My Naptime Jewelry of White Bear Lake, offering essential-oil diffusing jewelry made with lava stone; and Healing Alchemy of Bloomington, which sells on-the-go aromatherapy inhalers and wristbands. Abbie Burgess is a Twin Cities freelance writer and lifestyle blogger at

Safety tips • Don’t let children handle essential oils. Keep them safely out of reach as you would any medicine. • Use a carrier oil such as olive, grapeseed or coconut oil to dilute for topical use. Use 1 to 2 drops of essential oil to one teaspoon of carrier oil to make an estimated 1 percent dilution. • Perform a patch test before using an oil topically by applying a small amount to the wrist and watching for adverse reactions over a 24-hour period. • Some citrus oils can cause severe burns from phototoxicity when applied topically, so use these only for inhalation therapies. • Avoid contact with sensitive skin, especially the eyes. • Essential oils have been known to react to some medications, so check with your health-care provider before use. • Inhaling the scent of essential oils is the safest method of aromatherapy. Health-care professionals do not reccommend ingestion of essential oils. Source: University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing. Learn more at • January 2018





Groves Academy Summer Programs Groves Academy offers summer programs for students entering grades 2–11 from the community with learning and attention challenges. Taught by Groves trained teachers, our small class sizes and specialized instruction build success and confidence. Both academic and enrichment programs are available. 3200 Hwy 100 S St. Louis Park 952-920-6377

Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest Students in grades 4–8 will learn how to run a successful business through a variety of fun, interactive activities. Held at JA BizTown, our unique kid-sized city. June session explores STEM careers; July session will appeal to the young entrepreneur. 1800 White Bear Ave N Maplewood 651-255-0455

Summer STEM Camps with Curious Minds LLC Kids become a citizen scientist or engineer by participating in exciting hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) activities and challenges. Curious Minds LLC is an official partner of Twin Cities Public Television SciGirls CONNECT on PBS TV! June 18th–August 10th half-day camps for ages 5–13. Register at

The Works Museum Engineering & design camps for kids in pre-K–grade 6. Coding, LEGO engineering,


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girls design, robotics, architecture, and more! Half and full-day options, June–August 2018. The Works Museum: inspiring the next generation of innovators, engineers, and creative problem solvers. 9740 Grand Ave S Bloomington 952-888-4262

Zoo Camp Minnesota Zoo offers half-day to week-long adventures for toddlers to 12th graders (and adults!) to meet animals, make new friends, and have fun learning about the natural world. Check out our popular Horse Camps and our new Build a Canoe with the Zoo camp for 7th–9th graders! Register at 13000 Zoo Blvd Apple Valley 952-431-9320


Adventures in Cardboard Mythic Play in Summer Wildlands! Be initiated into an esteemed House of The Realm and jump into live-action adventure gaming! Build your own armor, create castles to defend your land, battle on trails, fields and shorelines! Swords, bows, catapults, magic and monsters! Full days spent in beautiful parks across the metro region. Days, Monday–Friday, ages 8–16 and several TEEN ONLY weeks! 22 sessions in 10 Regional Parks, June 11–August 17. 3448 16th Ave S Minneapolis

The Art Academy Give your child the opportunity to explore

their creative side and develop their skills by illustrating their own children’s book and learning the principles of drawing and painting at the Art Academy’s Summer Camp program. Classes and camps, with exceptional student/teacher ratios, are available for students ages 5–18. 651 Snelling Ave S St. Paul 651-699-1573

Articulture Art Camps Articulture art camps encourage kids to explore a variety of media and emphasize personal creativity–fun and educational! Themes range from animation to food as art. Runs June 11–August 31 for ages 4 and up. Full and half-day options. $132–$285. 2613 E Franklin Ave Minneapolis 612-729-5151

Artistry Over 50 week-long visual and performing arts camps for grades 1–9! Artistry campers will explore art forms including pottery, puppetry, fused glass, design, theater arts, drawing, painting, sculpture, bookmaking, printmaking, and more! $110–$150/halfday. Combine for full-day experience. Scholarships available. Bloomington Center for the Arts 1800 W Old Shakopee Rd Bloomington 952-563-8575

Kidcreate Studio Kidcreate’s award winning summer camps are designed to inspire and educate young artists, ages 3 to 12, in an environment where giggles and grins are encouraged. Camps combine art education with an atmosphere full of fun. This summer’s camps include: A Day with Monet, Beyond Pokémon, Doodle Bugs & Flutterbys, Glitter & Glow, LEGO Star Wars, Mad About the Masters, Shopkins Cute, Sparkle Power, The How To’s of Drawing, The Messiest Art Camp Ever, Think Pink, Willy Wonka and many more! Making a mess is the best at Kidcreate! Eden Prairie: 7918 Mitchell Rd 952-974-3438 Woodbury: 1785 Radio Dr, Ste F 651-735-0880 WATCH FOR OUR THIRD STUDIO, OPENING THIS SPRING, IN THE SOUTHERN METRO!

Shell Lake Arts Center With programs in jazz, rock band, show choir, art, theater, film, and more, the Shell Lake Arts Center is like nowhere else! Just two hours northeast of the Twin Cities in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. Come join us for the experience of a lifetime! 802 1st St Shell Lake, WI 715-468-2414

Dance, Music, Performance

Circus Juventas Travel the globe without ever leaving our big top! Our full-day, week-long camps explore a vast array of circus arts from Morocco to Mongolia, China to Russia. Reserve your spot now to be a part of one of the most talked about and unique summer camps anywhere. 1270 Montreal Ave St. Paul 651-699-8229

Sing Minnesota August 6–10, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sing Minnesota is a weeklong day camp for girls and boys, ages 8–12 sponsored by the Minnesota Boychoir. While focusing on choral singing, campers also participate in other creative arts: drama and movement, visual arts, and outdoor fun and games! $350, scholarships available. Concordia University Buetow Music Center 300 Hamline Ave N St. Paul 651-292-3219

St. Paul Ballet Dance all summer long with St. Paul Ballet. Dance camps, intensives and drop-in classes available for ages 2.5–100! 655 Fairview Ave N St. Paul 651-690-1588

Chan DT Musical Theatre

Stages Theatre Company

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres offers summertime theatre camps for kids and teens (ages 5–18). It’s a fantastic week of full and half-day sessions focusing on musical theatre fundamentals taught by Chanhassen professionals throughout the summer. Sessions begin June 11th. Registration opens Feb. 1st!

Summer Theatre Workshops: June 18– August 17, 2018. Calling all ACTORS, SINGERS, and DANCERS… Have fun learning about theatre from some of the area’s finest teaching artists! Stages Theatre Company offers a variety of age appropriate workshops for students ages 4–16.

PO Box 100 Chanhassen 952-934-1525

SteppingStone Theatre (SST) Camps & One Day Classes Young people lead the creative process in SST’s year-round Creative Learning programs for ages 3–18. Create-A-Play in our devised theatre classes, learn theatre design skills in our workshops or perform on the mainstage as a LEAP artist. Mix up your creativity and play in our interactive, youth-centered programs to promote critical thinking and empathy. Scholarships available! 55 Victoria St N St. Paul 651-225-9265

Theatre Arts Training at Children’s Theatre Company June 11–August 17, ages 4–18. Theatre Arts Training offers camps for all levels in acting, musical theatre, improv and more, making it easy to find the perfect fit for the young actor in your life. Be Curious. Be Creative. Be Confident. Registration now open. 2400 3rd Ave S Minneapolis 612-874-0400

University of Northwestern (UNW) – St. Paul, Academy of Music Whatever the age or musical ability of your child, UNW Academy of Music has a summer camp to excite and challenge them on their musical journey. Brio Music Camp: Intro Music for ages 4–8. Show Choir for ages 9–16, Piano Institute for ages 10–18. Music Recording Camp for ages 13 and up. Northwestern Campus 3003 Snelling Ave N St. Paul 651-631-5108

1111 Mainstreet Hopkins 952-979-1111, option 4 • January 2018




Zenon Dance Company & School

Playworks 2018 Summer Camp

Week long dance camps for ages 6–14. Each day includes technique, choreography and fun. Participants will perform for family and friends on the last day! Register online for Youth Hip Hop & Sampler camps throughout the summer.

Sign up for Playworks Summer Camp, full of learning, adventure, field trips, and fun! Children learn through hands-on experiences, outdoor activities, playing in the Atrium, and educational programs. Playworks Summer Camp is open to children 6–12 years of age. Daily meals are included. Part-time and full-time options are available.

528 Hennepin Ave, Ste 400 Minneapolis 612-338-1101


Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Awarded “Best Day Camp” by Nickelodeon’s Parent’s Picks. Camp Como enhances your child’s appreciation for the natural world with enthusiastic instructors, zookeepers and gardeners, and behind-the-scenes adventures. Campers will get closer to plants and animals than ever before. Preschool through 8th grade. 1225 Estabrook Dr St. Paul 651-487-8201

Gibbs Farm Day Camps We’ve created the perfect mix of day camps for your kids! Family-friendly pricing, fun for kids ages 4–15. Choose Pioneer PeeWees, ages 4–5; or one of our three-day camps, ages 6–10, including Pioneer Kid, Gibbs Girl or Dakota Day Camp. Digging History, our archaeology day camp, and Victorian Ladies Day Camp are for ages 11–15. Camps offered June 19–August 31. Pioneer Kid, Gibbs Girl, Dakota Day Camp, Digging History, Victorian Ladies: $99/week. Pioneer Peewees: $19/day. 2097 W Larpenteur Ave Falcon Heights 651-646-8629

Gibbs Girl Three days, three experiences! For girls 6–10. This craft-rich camp explores the lives of girls in Minnesota during the 1800s: Life as a Pioneer girl, Dakota girl and Victorian girl. Tuesdays–Thursdays, June 19–21 and August 7–9, 21–23, and 28–30, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. each day. $99/week. 2097 W Larpenteur Ave Falcon Heights 651-646-8629

Minnehaha Academy Summer Programs Jump into summer fun with more than 60 half- and full-day athletic, enrichment and academic camps for grades pre-K through 12. 4200 W River Pkwy Minneapolis 612-728-7745


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2200 Trail of Dreams Prior Lake 952-445-PLAY (7529)

Providence Academy Providence Academy’s Summer Activities offer a variety of programs for students age 5 through grade 12. Enjoy activities that promote experiential learning, creative and academic growth, and unique summer experiences. Full-day sessions for students age 5 through grade 6. 15100 Schmidt Lake Rd Plymouth 763-258-2500

School Chess Association Summer Day Chess Camp All levels of chess instruction, professional educators tailored to the student’s individual needs. Fun activities include swimming, water slides, field ball, Magic the Gathering, soccer, tennis, roller skating, bowling, fishing, sign language, and roleplaying games. Programs: June 25–28, July 9–12, July 16–19, July 23–26, July 30–Aug 2, Aug 6–9, Aug 13–16. St. Louis Park Recreation Center 3700 Monterey Dr St. Louis Park 763-593-1168

Spring Break & Summer at Blake From robots to art projects and the classroom to the athletic field, Blake challenges students to creatively express themselves in an array of disciplines. Sports, academics, arts and day camps are open to pre-K–12 students throughout the Twin Cities. Hopkins, Minneapolis, Wayzata 952-988-3463

Tanadoona | Camp Fire Minnesota Explore Tanadoona’s Big Woods and zigzag by canoe across Lake Minnewashta! With 103 acres, adventures are endless with new friends and local and international counselors. NEW: water log rolling, Tanadoona Tree House, and agility course! Open Houses: 3/10 & 5/5. 3300 Tanadoona Dr Excelsior 612-235-7284

Horseback Riding Regent Arabians: Developing Equestrians for Life

LESSONS, DAY CAMP, TRAIL RIDING, BIRTHDAY PARTIES. Handle, groom, & ride beautiful, intelligent & experienced horses. We educate & ride year round. Students improve their physical & mental fitness, self esteem, respect & focus while pursuing their dream with horses! 26125 Tucker Rd Rogers 763-428-4975

Sunnyside Stables Horsemanship Summer Camp Sunnyside’s camp is a place to discover horses and new friends. Each day includes riding—rain or shine, as we have an indoor and outdoor arena as well as scenic trails. You will discover the basics of grooming, saddling, body language, posture, contact, and balance to develop independent riding skills. 15400 Emery Ave E Rosemount 651-226-2027


Audubon Center of the North Woods Youth summer camps with a focus on wildlife, nature, challenge and outdoor skills. Rocks, Ropes & Rafts (entering grades 6–8); Outdoor Explorations (entering grades 5–7); Ways of Wildlife (entering grades 4-6). June–July. 54165 Audubon Dr Sandstone 888-404-7743

Camp Chippewa for Boys We develop character through adventure, inspired by over 80 years of tradition. Your son will receive individual attention as he learns life skills and makes lifelong friends in our wilderness environment. He will return more confident, self-aware and resilient. 22767 Cap Endres Rd SE Cass Lake 218-335-8807

Camp Olson YMCA Since 1954, Camp Olson has been providing unforgettable and life-changing experiences for youth and young leaders through quality camping programs. Traditional summer camp available as well as specialty programs in sailing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and leadership development. 4160 Little Boy Rd NE Longville 218-363-2207

Star Lake Wilderness Camp Star Lake Wilderness Camp provides life changing experiences for 3rd–12th grades. Campers sleep in tents, swim in lakes, hike, canoe, cook on fires, and live in guided small groups. Some weeks have Christian programming. Pay only what you can afford. Pequot Lakes 651-263-0578

Tanadoona | Camp Fire Minnesota Unroll your sleeping bag in a rustic cabin for a week with new friends, and local and international counselors. 103 acres along Lake Minnewashta, adventure awaits with activities like archery, agility and teambuilding courses, and canoeing. Open Houses: 3/10 & 5/5. 3300 Tanadoona Dr Excelsior 612-235-7284

Wolf Ridge Summer Camp Kids grades 2–12 will find outdoor adventures to match their curiosity at Wolf Ridge. Share nature up-close every day with lifelong friends at our 2000-acre campus near Lake Superior and the BWCA. Learning is the greatest adventure there is! Choose yours at

Finland 218-353-7414

Special Needs

Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) Summer Camps AuSM’s summer camps are tailored for youth and adults with autism and feature options including 1:1, 1:2, and 1:4 staff to camper ratios. Parents and caregivers can rest assured knowing that their campers are being cared for by highly trained, experienced staff, while campers make memories that last a lifetime. Camps for AuSM members include Hand in Hand (residential, 1:1); Wahode (day, 1:2); and Discovery (residential, 1:4). E-mail camp@ for more info. Register today! 2380 Wycliff St #102 St. Paul 651-647-1083

Groves Academy Summer Programs Groves Academy offers summer programs for students entering grades 2–11 from the community with learning and attention challenges. Taught by Groves trained teachers, our small class sizes and specialized instruction build success and confidence. Both academic and enrichment

programs are available. 3200 Hwy 100 S St. Louis Park 952-920-6377

Specialty Camp Choson

Camp Choson is a dynamic, welcoming day and resident camp that offers youth ages 4–17 opportunities to explore Korean arts and culture. A camper’s experience includes Korean language and culture, traditional dance and drum, Taekwondo, music, self-respect, archery, Korean arts, and outdoor play. Camp Lakamaga

Girls who Code Girls ages 10–18 learn coding, connect it to their interests, build confidence and join a supportive sisterhood of girls who code. Beginner and advanced courses: Intro to Computer Science, iPhone App Development, Wearable Tech & Fashion Design, Website Design & Development. St. Paul: St. Kate’s University 2004 Randolph Ave Mendota Heights: Visitation School 2455 Visitation Dr Minnetonka: Vantage Space, • January 2018


CAMP RESOURCES Minnetonka Public Schools 4350 Baker Rd 844-226-7622

Groves Academy Summer Programs

Saturday, February 24th 10am–2pm Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

Groves Academy offers summer programs for students entering grades 2–11 from the community with learning and attention challenges. Taught by Groves trained teachers, our small class sizes and specialized instruction build success and confidence. Both academic and enrichment programs are available. 3200 Hwy 100 S St. Louis Park 952-920-6377

Sports and Fitness Mini-Hops Gymnastics Campers will have professionally trained coaches that will help develop and build gymnastics skills, lead small and large group activities, get crafty, build strength and friendships. There will be daily down time for the youngest campers (4 & 5 yr olds). All gymnasts are welcome from beginner to advanced. Ages 4+, M-F, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. with 8:30 a.m. Early Drop Off available. Save 15% when you register by March 31st!

12th annual

2600 Campus Dr Plymouth

Free admission and children’s activities! SPONSORED BY

Revolutionary Sports • 612-825-9205 Camp Fair 2018 MNP 4.85x5.925.indd 1

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Offers instructional classes, summer and school-release day camps, afterschool programs, and preschool programs. Kids, as young as age two, learn to play over 25 different sports, staying active, and having fun! Experienced, professional coaches that are great working with kids as young as two, use challenging, noncompetitive curriculum to teach sports and life skills. Metro-wide locations 7000 Washington Ave S Eden Prairie 612-234-7782

TAGS Gymnastics Camps Fun, fitness, friends! Gymnastics and tumbling camps for boys and girls ages 3–17 in June, July, and August. Kids will learn fun, new skills while developing strength, flexibility, and coordination in a safe, positive atmosphere! TAGS Apple Valley: 5880 149th St W Apple Valley 952-431-6445 TAGS Eden Prairie: 10300 W 70th St Eden Prairie 952-920-5342 Playworks MNP 0118 H4.indd 1


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Cyber Village Academy Cyber Village Academy is a charter school serving students K–12 in a unique hybrid model that blends on campus and online instruction. Strong test scores; great climate! Perfect for families wanting to stay highly involved in their children’s education! 768 Hamline Ave S St. Paul

Edvisions Off Campus School (EOC) EOC is an online learning community for 7–12th grade students. Create projects based on your interests and enjoy a flexible schedule while earning credit for your MN high school diploma. Discover what you are passionate about while developing real-life skills. Online Throughout Minnesota 507-237-8444

King of Grace Lutheran School King of Grace is a private, Christian elementary school focused on academic excellence. We achieve this through a


challenging curriculum, partnering with parents for success and anchoring our daily instruction with God’s Word. Offering preK–8th Grade. 6000 Duluth St Golden Valley 763-546-3131

Dance, Music, Performance

The Center for Irish Music (CIM) The CIM offers private and group music instruction to students ages 2 to 80 on 16 traditional Irish instruments including harp, flute, bodhrán and fiddle. Drop by the Celtic Junction building to meet our team of 20 experienced instructors, many of whom are performing and recording artists. 836 Prior Ave N St. Paul 651-815-0083

Deuxmensions Dance Theatre & School Quality dance training in a nurturing, ageappropriate and family friendly environment!

Deuxmensions Dance offers Ballet, Pointe, Modern/Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Yoga, Hip Hop & Musical Theatre classes for ages 3-Adult. Winter performance, all-school spring recital, and a Youth Performance Company. 5710 W 36th St St. Louis Park 952-926-7542

St. Paul Ballet This non-profit, community and preprofessional dance school offers classes for ages 2–100, for all income levels and abilities! Children ages 7+ perform in two major shows yearly: winter and spring. Boy’s Club now offered, free for boys ages 7–11! Birthday parties and drop-in classes available. 655 Fairview Ave N St. Paul 651-690-1588

Stages Theatre Company Stages Theatre Company is committed to the enrichment and education of children and youth in a professional theatre environment that stimulates artistic excellence and personal growth. School year Acting • January 2018


EDUCATION RESOURCES ADVERTISER LISTINGS Conservatory, and Summer Theatre Workshops June 18–August 17, 2018. 1111 Mainstreet Hopkins 952-979-1111, option 4


Dodge Nature Preschool On a 110-acre area of our Environmental Educational Preserve, Dodge Nature Preschool brings the natural world into the lives of children, through visits to our farm, reptile lab and raptor house, hikes, gardening, and more. NAEYC accredited. Four Star Parent Aware rated. 1715 Charlton St W St. Paul 651-455-4555

Especially for Children For 41 years, Especially for Children has provided high quality childcare and education for Twin Cities families. Our NAEYC Accredited programs foster the development of the whole child. Visit us today! Bloomington, Circle Pines, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Edina, Inver Grove Heights 952-857-1100

New Horizon Academy New Horizon Academy is a Minnesota familyowned child care program that provides exceptional early education and care to over 8,000 children, ages 6 weeks through 4th grade, every day! All eligible programs are accredited through NAEYC and hold a 4 star rating through Parent Aware. Over 60 convenient locations throughout the Twin Cities 763-557-1111

The Gardner School An academically-focused preschool for ages 6 weeks to 5 years, The Gardner School will stimulate your child’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth. We have state-of-the-art facilities, indoor and outdoor playscapes, highly-skilled teaching staff and a rich learning environment. Eagan: 1195 Town Centre Dr 651-255-5580 Edina: 4455 W 77th St 952-259-0139 Minnetonka: 6040 Clearwater Dr 763-259-6860

Wooddale Academy For over 40 years, Wooddale Academy


January 2018 •

has been a trusted partner in delivering high-quality, faith-based early childhood education. Our program offers both full day and half day options. Give us a call to set up a tour today at either our Eden Prairie or Edina location. 6630 Shady Oak Rd, Eden Prairie 952-944-3770 5532 Wooddale Ave S, Edina 952-656-1055


Ave Maria Academy In an encouraging and safe environment, Ave Maria Academy forms young minds, hearts, and souls through a commitment to clear thinking, academic achievement, character formation, prayer, and service for ages three through the eighth grade. 7000 Jewel Ln N Maple Grove 763-494-5387

Breck School Breck is where perpetually learning students meet a perpetually learning school. Come visit our beautiful campus where students progress from wide-eyed preschoolers to wise seniors among peers and adults who feel like family, with abundant opportunities in academics, athletics, service, and the arts. Financial aid available. 123 Ottawa Ave N Golden Valley 763-381-8200

Calvin Christian Schools (CCS) CCS’s comprehensive program provides rich learning experiences that meaningfully integrate a biblical world view. Over the past 50 years, CCS has built a solid reputation for delivering an outstanding, Christcentered education. Today Calvin Christian’s three campuses serve more than 400 students representing 100 churches and 45 metro communities. K-8: 4015 Inglewood Ave S Edina 8966 Pierce St NE Blaine High School: 755 73rd Ave NE Fridley 612-900-7300

City of Lakes Waldorf School Serving 280 children in pre-K–grade 8, Waldorf’s rich and varied curriculum includes rigorous academic work and rich artistic experiences, all of which are appropriate to the age of the child. Students transfer successfully from mainstream public and private schools.

Minneapolis 612-767-1502

French American School of Minneapolis (FASM) FASM offers programs from 16 months to Grade 5 with an added daily comprehensive music component. At the heart of its curriculum is a strong focus on harmonizing French, English and the Arts to the bilingual learning experience. 9400 Cedar Lake Rd St. Louis Park 952-944-1930

Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School (K–8) Heilicher delivers academic excellence in a nurturing environment. Our inquiry-based/ STEAM approach emphasizes critical thinking, second language learning, creative expression, and global engagement. Jewish values-based education promotes a lifelong love of learning. Currently accepting applications for all grade levels. 4330 S Cedar Lake Rd Minneapolis 952-381-3500

Holy Name of Jesus School (HNOJ) Holy Name of Jesus School offers a Catholic education for preschool through sixth grade. Families choose HNOJ School for the small class sizes, rigorous academics, stellar teachers and affordable tuition. 155 Cty Rd 24 Wayzata 763-473-3675

The International School of Minnesota (ISM) ISM is a private, non-sectarian, college prep school for preschool (age 3)–grade 12. In addition to a rigorous curriculum, students experience an international learning community where cultural diversity is embraced and celebrated. World language is taught daily by native speakers. Extended day available 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weekly swimming lessons included for preschool– grade 3. Rolling admissions. Come for a tour! 6385 Beach Rd Eden Prairie 952-918-1800 Facebook: The International School of Minnesota

Minnehaha Academy As a pre-K–12 school of distinction, we focus on academic excellence while integrating Christian faith and learning. Minnehaha graduates dynamic leaders who will significantly impact the community and world. Metro bussing and tuition assistance available. Email admission@ Lower & Middle School: 4200 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis Upper School: 1345 Mendota Heights Rd, Minneapolis 612-728-7722

Providence Academy Providence Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, pre-K through 12, collegepreparatory school with a comprehensive curriculum that promotes superior academic achievement, mastery of skills and content, character development and citizenship within a faith-filled, Christian environment. 15100 Schmidt Lake Rd Plymouth 763-258-2500

Risen Christ Catholic School Financially accessible K–8 Catholic school providing a quality dual language education to a diverse community of learners. Students develop full academic bi-literacy (Spanish/ English) across all subjects through a culturally, rich faith- and values-based curriculum. Tuition based on family income. 1120 E 37th St

Minneapolis 612-822-5329

Saint Agnes School Established in 1888, Saint Agnes is nationally recognized. We seek to form Catholic hearts and minds, while providing opportunities for excellence in academics, arts, athletics and service. Our traditional, liberal arts education is infused by the classics and emphasizes faith, reason and virtue. 530 Lafond Ave St. Paul 651-925-8803

Visitation School Visitation School provides an excellent academic program within a Catholic environment. Visitation is coed from preschool–grade 5 and Minnesota’s only all-girls college preparatory school in grades 6–12. 2455 Visitation Dr Mendota Heights 651-683-1700

West Lutheran High School West Lutheran High School offers a student focused learning environment with Christian influenced classes and extracurricular activities. Students are able to take PSEO and

AP college credit on campus taught by our instructors, as well as online college courses. 3350 Harbor Ln N Plymouth 763-509-9378


Minnesota Online High School (MNOHS) Nationally accredited with four strong commendations, MNOHS is a creative, connected public charter school for students who need a flexible schedule. With a 13:1 student-teacher ratio, we get to know each student and encourage all to expect joy in learning. Serving students across Minnesota 1-800-764-8166

White Bear Lake Area School District The White Bear Lake Area School District serves nearly 9,000 students in programs ranging from Early Childhood offerings to high school graduation. Students at all levels achieve outstanding results though community partnerships, world language experiences, and International Baccalaureate opportunities. 4855 Bloom Ave, White Bear Lake 651-407-7500 Early Childhood Program (0–5): Normandy Park Education Center, • January 2018



White Bear Lake Elementary Schools (Gr. K–5): Birch Lake Elementary, White Bear Lake Hugo Elementary, Hugo Lakeaires Elementary, White Bear Lake Lincoln Elementary, White Bear Lake Matoska International IB World School, White Bear Lake Oneka Elementary (Gr. 2–5), Hugo Otter Lake Elementary, White Bear Township Vadnais Heights Elementary, Vadnais Heights Willow Lane Elementary, White Bear Lake Middle Schools (Gr. 6–8): Central Middle School, White Bear Lake White Bear Lake High School-South Campus (Gr. 11-12), White Bear Lake White Bear Lake Learning Center, White Bear Lake Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear

Resources Help Me Grow MN

Young children grow, learn and change all the time. Keep track of the developmental milestones your child reaches. If you have concerns about your child’s development, talk to your doctor or refer your child to Help Me Grow MN. 1-866-693-4769

Landmark Center St. Paul’s historic Landmark Center boasts four FREE museums and galleries showcasing art, music, and history. Families can take part in incredible hands-on musical experiences, amazing wood art interactives and engaging historical exhibits. 75 W 5th St St. Paul 651-292-3225

Mathnasium Mathnasium specializes in teaching kids math the way that makes sense, helping them catch up, keep up, and get ahead. When math makes sense, kids excel and become excited about math – yes, even your kids! Call today for a free trial. 21 Twin Cities locations 877-601-MATH (6284)


January 2018 •


Minnesota Zoo

Groves Academy

Visit where amazing lives – every day! Bring the family to discover 5,300 animals along scenic indoor and outdoor trails year-round. From toddler time and family overnights to school break camps and adult classes, the Minnesota Zoo offers engaging programs for all ages.

Groves Academy serves students grades 1–12 who have learning disabilities and attention disorders. The Learning Center at Groves offers testing and services to families in the community. Teachers receive literacy training through our Institute for Professional Learning. We transform lives through education.

13000 Zoo Blvd Apple Valley 952-431-9200

Playworks Playworks is where learning and fun go handin-hand. Certified teachers, state-of-the-art facilities, and advanced safety technology provide a fun and safe environment for your child to play, laugh, and learn. Playworks offers contract child care, hourly child care, and before- and after-school care through their School-Age program. 2200 Trail of Dreams Prior Lake 952-445-PLAY (7529)

Science Museum of Minnesota The Science Museum of Minnesota is the Twin Cities’ must-see, must-do museum. Handson exhibits, a giant screen Omnitheater, live science demonstrations, and activities for all ages will provide an unforgettable spark of science learning and fun. 120 W Kellogg Blvd St. Paul 651-221-9444

Special Needs

Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) Summer Social Skills Classes AuSM Social Skills summer classes for youth and adults with autism offer low-stress, accepting environments that encourage learning and growth while participants develop social skills and confidence. Classes centered on special interests including the great outdoors, filmmaking, community outings, improv, zoos, art, drama, and more are offered in locations throughout the metro area. E-mail for more info. Register today! 2380 Wycliff St #102 St. Paul 651-647-1083

3200 Hwy 100 S St. Louis Park 952-920-6377

Specialty The Art Academy

City Pages Winner: Best of the Twin Cities! Year-round traditional drawing and painting classes and camps for students ages 5–18 years. Exceptional student/teacher ratio. Homeschool Program. A Renaissance Program for adults also offered. See samples of student artwork; visit our website. Call for a brochure. 651 Snelling Ave S St. Paul 651-699-1573

Groves Academy Groves Academy serves students grades 1–12 who have learning disabilities and attention disorders. The Learning Center at Groves offers testing and services to families in the community. Teachers receive literacy training through our Institute for Professional Learning. We transform lives through education. 3200 Hwy 100 S St. Louis Park 952-920-6377

Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion Academy Ranked 6th in Minnesota Elementary Schools, Jie Ming is a K–5 public language immersion, STEM school focused on exposing students to Mandarin as well as science, technology, engineering and math. Exceptional curriculum, dedicated teachers and a diverse community of students! 1599 Englewood Ave St. Paul 651-293-8715

TWIN CITIES ACADEMY Now taking applications for Fall 2018 Upcoming Informational Sessions Thursday, Jan 11

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Saturday, Jan 20

10:00 am – 11:30 am

Thursday, Feb 15

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Saturday, Feb 24

10:00 am – 11:30 am

There are many proven, effective ways to reduce stuttering.

Upcoming Student Shadow Days Wednesday, Jan 10

9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Wednesday, Jan 31

9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Thursday, Feb 8

9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Wednesday, Mar 14

9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Doing nothing is not one of them.



690 Birmingham Street, St. Paul, MN 55106 | 651-205-4797 | Twin Cities Academy MNP 0118 S3.indd 1

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12/18/17 12:10 PM • January 2018


Out & About JANUARY

Ice Castles ⊲ Stillwater will once again host this manmade fortress of ice and snow, featuring frozen waterfalls, ice caves, tunnels and towering archways. When: Opening day is expected in late December. Where: Lowell Park, Stillwater Cost: Online tickets will be $9.95–$13.95 for ages 12 and older, $6.95–$8.95 for ages 4 to 11, and free for ages 3 and younger; standby tickets will cost $10–$18 at the door. Info:

DEC. 31–JAN. 1

Photo by A.J. Mellor


JAN. 6

Noon Year’s Party

Omnifest 2018

Building with Snow

⊲ Ring in the new year during a special celebration. Kidsdance, a high-energy, interactive DJ service for kids, will lead the party with tunes, contests and prizes. Check out craft stations, animal enrichment activities and a countdown to noon with hundreds of beach balls dropped from the ceiling. 

⊲ This annual giant-screen film festival will feature five films running in rotation on a 90-foot domed screen, including Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees, a Science Museum of Minnesota original production; Journey Into Amazing Caves; Wolves; The Magic of Flight; and Rocky Mountain Express.

⊲ Learn winter engineering skills — and the art of packing snow and using a snow saw to construct quinzhees, snow caves, forts and tunnels — in this activity for all ages, including preschoolers.

When: 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 Where: Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info:


January 2018 •

When: Jan. 5–March 1 Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul Cost: $9.95 ($8.95 for ages 4 to 12 and 60 and older) Info:

When: 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m. Jan. 6 Where: Dodge Nature Center, West St. Paul Cost: $7 per person or $20 per family Info:

Woodbury Kids Expo ⊲ Discover local resources for families

with more than 80 businesses, organizations and schools showcasing programs, products and services for ages newborn to 18. When: 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Jan. 6 Where: Lake Middle School, Woodbury Cost: FREE Info:

JAN. 7

Sundays at Landmark ⊲ This annual fall-through-spring series of cultural and arts events is designed to entertain, enrich and educate all ages.

Now is the Perfect Time to Learn From preschoolers to adults, MDT&S offers classes designed to meet a variety of abilities from fundamentals to advanced-professional.

• Young Children’s Division • Performing Arts Division

When: 1 and 3:30 p.m. Jan. 7 (Minnesota Boychoir); 2 p.m. Jan. 28 • Open Division (St. Paul Civic Symphony), noon– for Adults 5 p.m. Feb 18 (Carpathian Festival), plus more in the months ahead. Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul Cost: All the events listed here are FREE except the Carpathian Festival, which costs $4–$6 per person. MN Dance Theatre MNP 0118 V6.indd 1 Info:

Moms We Specialize in Them

Helping Parents Create a Healthy Foundation for a Healthy Family Moms Emotional Coping Skills Group Miscarriage Support Group Couples Counseling & Parenting Work-Life Balance Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

7 Metro Locations


12/14/17 Postpartum 3:48 PM Counseling Center MNP 118 V6.indd 2

12/7/17 4:01 PM

JAN. 9–MAY 1

Ballet Tuesdays ⊲ Take in a ballet performance on the second Tuesday of each month,* courtesy of Saint Paul Ballet students and company members, offering excerpts from productions such as The Nutcracker and the company’s diverse repertoire. Children are invited to wear their dance shoes and tutus and to practice techniques demonstrated by the dancers. Bring a lunch to eat during the show or stop by Anita’s Café at Landmark Center. When: Noon Jan. 9, Feb. 13, March 13, April 10 and May 1 (This is the first Tuesday of May.*) Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: Special Olympics MNP 0118 S3.indd 1

12/15/17 12:19 PM • January 2018


JAN. 6–FEB. 3

TA-DA! Saturday Puppet Shows for Kids ⊲⊲Every Saturday morning, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre stages a kids’ puppet show based on a story from around the world. Stay after each 10 a.m. performance for puppet-making workshops based on the show of the day. When: 10 a.m. and noon. Jan. 6 (Lupita Doesn’t Want to Sleep), Jan. 13 (Nalah and the Pink Tiger), Jan. 20 (It and Git – Or How Change Makes the World Go Round), Jan. 27 (Gary’s Garden) and Feb. 3 (Martina the Cockroach and Perez the Mouse) Where: In the Heart of the Beast, Minneapolis Cost: $7 suggested donation ($2 for Powderhorn and Phillips residents); the workshop price is $5 for children and $3 for adults; advance registration is recommended. Info:

JAN. 12–14

JAN. 13–21

PAW Patrol Live!

Forever Flight

⊲⊲Ryder and his team of pirate pups must rescue Cap’n Turbot from a mysterious cavern in The Great Pirate Adventure.

⊲⊲In this family-friendly show, a lonely boy needs a friend — so he folds one out of a piece of paper. Though this extremely visual show is appropriate for all ages, it’s best suited for ages 8 and older.

When: Jan. 12–14 Where: State Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: $23–$124 Info:

JAN. 13–15

PolarPalooza! ⊲⊲Watch Arctic fox training sessions and see the skills polar bears use to hunt seals under the ice while kids take part in craft activities. When: Jan. 13–15 Where: Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info:


January 2018 •

When: Jan. 13–21 Where: Southern Theater, Minneapolis Cost: $8 for children, $20 for adults, free for children who can sit on laps Info:

JAN. 13, 27 AND FEB. 3

Scientific Americans

⊲⊲Discover the inspiring careers and contributions of local scientists from three important groups with three different days of exhibits and activities — African Americans in Science on Jan. 13, American Indians in Science on Jan. 27, and Asian Americans in Science on Feb. 3.

When: Jan. 13, 27 and Feb. 3 Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul Cost: $12.95–$18.95; kids can attend for free with a paid adult admission. Info:

JAN. 13

MLK Saturday ⊲⊲Take inspiration from the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and explore The 1968 Exhibit during this opening celebration. Create screen-printed activist posters; join in a spoken word activity; pack hygiene kits for the Dorothy Day Center; and enjoy performances by students at the Walker West Music Academy, a learning community rooted in the African-American experience. When: Jan. 13 Where: Minnesota History Center, St. Paul Cost: Included with museum admission of $6–$12, free for ages

4 and younger Info:

JAN. 19–FEB. 19


⊲ In this award-winning, country-folk musical adaptation of Leo Lionni’s Caldecott-winning book, hear the story of Frederick, who daydreams the summer away while the other mice gather food for the winter. When the cold weather sets in, however, it’s Frederick who has stored up something special to help everyone survive.

Ave Maria Academy MNP 0118 H6.indd 1

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When: Jan. 19–Feb. 19 Where: Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins Cost: $12–$16; lap passes are $5 for ages 3–4 and free for ages 2 and younger. Info:

JAN. 21

Urban Expedition ⊲ Experience cultures from around the world, including music, dance, food, animals, crafts and more at this annual international event series. When: 1 p.m. Jan. 21 (Bulgaria), Feb. 11 (Japan) and 25 (Iceland), March 11 (Bolivia), April 15 (France) Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info:


JAN. 23–MARCH 18

The Wiz

⊲ Travel with Dorothy and her friends in this dazzling all-ages show, featuring rock, gospel and soul music. When: Jan. 23–March 18 Where: Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets start at $15. Info:

Full and half-day camps, 8AM–5PM, register by day or week Ages 4–14, divided by age and ability levels Over 25 different sports taught and played, six each day

PLA-IT.COM | | (612)234-7782 Revolutionary Sports MNP 0118 H4.indd 1

12/8/17 3:44 PM • January 2018


JAN. 25–FEB. 10


⊲ This multi-faceted festival is the oldest and largest of its kind in the nation, with more than 75 events and nearly 1,000 volunteers. Check out ice carving, snow sculpting, skiing, dogsledding, a torchlight parade and more.

⊲ See the Academy Award-winning tale told live, capturing the dynamic between two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa. And join a sing-along with tunes such as Let It Go, Fixer Upper and Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

St. Paul Winter Carnival Disney on Ice: Frozen

When: Jan. 25–Feb. 10 Where: St. Paul Cost: Most events are FREE. Info:

When: Feb. 28–March 4 Where: Target Center, Minneapolis Cost: $17.50–$92.50 Info:

CHILDCARE/EDUCATION Catalina’s Preschool Spanish Southwest Mpls/Linden Hills

Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion


Now offering infant child care in Hopkins!

Fun music-based classes for ages 1½-6 & parents


Your child is a natural... Playing


Ages 3–Adult


Free Preview Classes

Catalina's Preschool Spanish MNP 12/16/16 0117 1cx1.indd 9:44 AM 1

Call 952-935-5588 and schedule a tour!

Locations in Hopkins, Minnetonka, and St. Paul


Creative Kids Academy

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CHILDREN’S YAMAHA MUSIC SCHOOL Celebrating Over 40 Musical Years in Minnesota! • 612-339-2255 Schools in Edina & Roseville

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5/15/15 10:45 AM

Imagine the Possibilities... Early Education * 6 Weeks–12 Years






Free Music, Spanish, Yoga, Storytelling and Karate! Anoka * Apple Valley * Centerville * Lexington * Maple Grove Minnetonka * Mounds View * Orono NEW LOCATION — Elk River! 763-441-5550 844-ckakids email: Nationally accredited and Parent Aware 4 star rated

sing. play. learn. ~

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January 2018 •

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Bring Growing With Music to your child care program or playgroup!

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CHILDCARE/EDUCATION Learning Center & Day Care | 6 Wks - School Age



March 2017

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MN MUSIC HALL of FAME AT YOUR PARTY! Choose band size &/or Panda! • Music for all ages available! • Special rates for flexible scheduling • (612) 861-3570

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7/14/17 You can empower young people to succeed in the global economy.

4:09 PM

Volunteer with Junior Achievement. Great times for all ages at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

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9/21/11 5:54 PM She’s my biggest investment.

- Rockin’ Reptiles - Botany & The Beast B-DAY - Buggy Birthday BASH! - Crazy About Cats - Polar Bears & Friends - Party With The Primates - Zebras, Giraffes & Foxes, Oh My! •

That’s why I depend on NARI.

Visit or call 612-332-6274 to find a NARI-certified professional for your next remodeling project or to become a NARI member.

7 party themes to choose from For children ages 1 & up

Reserve your fun! 651.487.8272 or visit

The NARI logo is a registered trademark of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. ©2008 NARI of Minnesota.

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12/19/17 7:18 PM • January 2018



Snow days!

In Minnesota, you have to learn to embrace winter. Fortunately, these kids — and one intrepid, igloo-building dad in Eagan — already know that!

↑↑Lucas, 3, and Joshua, 2, of Ham Lake

↑↑Edie, 4.5, and Louisa, 2, of Edina

↑↑Otto, 6, Brayson, 4, and Isley, 1, of Stillwater

↑↑Taryn, 4, of Eagan

↑↑Luke, 10, of Bloomington

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January 2018 •

January 2018  
January 2018