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momaha.com

VOLUME 8 · ISSUE 3

MARCH 2017

GET ORGANIZED Store medications without worry

Plant the seeds for good choices

Babywearing: Hands-free for a stronger bond


Free Newborn Expo with Boys Town Pediatrics

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SAVE SOME GREEN!

CA ny YMter. a t a Join ome Cen gear Welc into

outs ted work Get Star ! r u o y E in E o k j c R i K our F n you with ram whe prog

JOIN US! YOU BELONG AT THE Y.

March 17-20: Join the YMCA of Greater Omaha for only $1! Valid at any YMCA of Greater Omaha location. Must be a new member. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Must present bank draft info. First draft 4/3/17.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE Y AT WWW.METROYMCA.ORG!

GET A JUMP ON SUMMER! 2017 YMCA Summer Camp

YMCA Summer Camp: May 30 - August 25! • Summer Day Camp • Camp Platte • Specialty Camps (full or half

• Preschool Camps • Teen Summer Programs

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Visit www.metroymca.org to view our full 2017 Summer Camp Guide! Register at any YMCA Welcome Center.

Register for camp at our Camp Open House on March 18 & save the $25 registration fee! 3


SAFE & LOVING QUALITY CHILD CARE

momaha where moms connect

VOLUME 8 . ISSUE 3 . MARCH 2017 editor in chief CHRIS CHRISTEN chris.christen@owh.com 402-444-1094

creative director + designer HEIDI THoRSoN hthorson@owh.com 402-444-1351

assistant editor kIm CaRpENTER kim.carpenter@owh.com 402-444-1416

momaha.com editor aSHlEE CoffEy ashlee.coffey@owh.com 402-444-1075

production coordinator paT R I C I a “ m U R p H y � B E N o I T

content contributors JEN SCHNEIDER amy TokoS

account manager DEB mcCHESNEy deb.cavalier@owh.com 402-444-1448

account executive SaRa BakER sara.baker@owh.com 402-444-1442

account executive G ay l I D D E l l gay.liddell@owh.com 402-444-1489

account executive E m I ly m a R T I N emily.martin@owh.com 402-444-1411

    •     •    

Call today for a tour | 402-451-0787

www.nchs.org 4

account executive C aT H y Va N H a U E R cathleen.vanhauer@owh.com 402-444-1209 Momaha Magazine is a monthly publication of the Omaha World-Herald, 1314 Douglas St., Suite 700, Omaha, NE 68102. Momaha is a registered trademark, and all content is copyright 2017 by the Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved. The opinions and perspectives published herein are those of the authors and should not be construed as those of Momaha Magazine.


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CONTENTS

Real MoMs + advice 8 Editor’s Column 10 On Our Radar 12 Get Organized 14 Momaha Bookshelf 28 Babywearing

NutRitioN

16 Peanut Recipes 30 Childhood Obesity 32 Be Well

oN tHe coveR

Photo: Family Features 24 Energy for the Day

spoNsoRed 20 Kids Camp

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Photo by Lemon and Lace Studios

MARCH IN

TO SWIM FOR

GOLD

REGISTER NOW FOR SWIM LESSONS Ages 6 Mos. & Older. Morning, Afternoon, Evening & Saturday Morning Timeslots Available!

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Join us for a summer of

EXPLORE and G R O W

OUTDOOR E ADVENTUR

Summer Adventure Camps at Lauritzen Gardens provide exciting opportunities for children ages 4-12 to connect to nature and foster an appreciation for the environment through direct experiences with the natural world. Visit lauritzengardens.org for details.

THE MORE YOU

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MoMaha.coM editor // aShlee coffey Wife to Kevin Coffey, music critic for the Omaha World-Herald. Mom to Sam and Elliott. Follow her on Twitter: @ashleecoffeyowH

The Ups and downs of ThaT ‘foUrTh TrimesTer’

P

arents with more than one child know how difficult it can be to get anything done – whether that’s cleaning the house, running errands, exercising or just doing something you love. Sometimes, when babies are born, they are extremely ill-prepared to handle life outside the womb. They hate being put down. Many people call this the “fourth trimester.” I am convinced Elliott is going through this. I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent walking from one end of my house to other in an attempt to get him to sleep or to just calm down. Even today, at 5 months old, he prefers to be held.

If my sister hadn’t given me her baby carrier, I am certain my house would be in a constant state of chaos, and my 3-year-old, Sam, would feel incredibly neglected. I am so thankful for something that allows me to carry my baby while still freeing both my hands to tend to Sam’s needs, do laundry or dishes – even take a walk. Not only are there benefits to the parent, there are plenty of benefits for the baby as well. Read Jen Schneider’s full story, page 28. And with your handy-dandy baby carrier, you’ll have your hands free to make one of our many recipes and enjoy everything our March issue has to offer.

Get Social Facebook /momahacom TwiTTer @momaha_owh PinTeresT /momahaowh

SUMMER CAMPS 132nd & Millard Ave.

www.schoolofrock.com 402.691.8875 8


FITNESS ADVICE YOU CAN FOLLOW. Fitness and Nutrition tips, recipes, videos and more!

HEALTHYKOHLSKIDS.COM BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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On OUR RADAR // EDitOR’s picks

THINGS TO TRY THIS MONTH

GREEN BY ANY OTHER NAME

Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year is “Greenery.” What better hue to represent the Emerald Isle? Enjoy some Irish soda bread accompanied by a steaming cup of tea with this Pantone Universe Mug, which bears the official pigment numbers for the new hue. Sláinte! $25, Pantone.

ERIN GO BAH

The old joke is that an Irish traffic jam consists more of sheep than cars. Those sheep make beautiful wool, though, so nobody minds. Wee folk will look super stylish in this three-button Irish knit sweater made from Aran wool. $59.95, aransweatermarket.com

SET IN STONE

Connemara marble is some of the most beautiful in the world. Quarried in the picturesque countryside of western Ireland, it makes the legendarily verdant country that much greener. Carry a little of it wherever you go with this handsome disc statement necklace. $29.95, theirishstore.com

KISS THE BLARNEY STONE

Who knew the Duke did his best acting in the romantic comedy The Quiet Man? When a Yank returns to his family cottage in 1920s Ireland, he has to woo a fiery redhead according to local customs. This John Wayne-Maureen O’Hara classic should be required viewing every St. Paddy’s Day. $11.99, Amazon.com

KEEP THE HEARTH FIRES BURNING

Ireland might have gray, drizzly weather this time of year, but nothing quite takes the chill off like a toasty peat fire. This Turf Peat Incense Burner Kit, housed in a miniature ceramic replica of a traditional Irish cottage, creates an aromatic way to enjoy the “Old Sod.” $36.99, creativeirishgifts.com

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Get ORGanized // amy tOkOs Amy Tokos is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Freshly Organized. You can find more organizing tips at freshlyorganized.com.

The medicine cabinet is one of the riskiest places in your home. Knowing how and where to store medication plus the best way to recycle it is an important organizational tool for protecting your family and the environment.

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2

3

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Keep liKe items together

Create Categories

seCure mediCine

maximize spaCe

properly dispose

When someone is sick or injured, know where medicine and first aid supplies are located by keeping them in a central place. The only exception is daily prescription medication; store it where you take it.

Group medicines that address similar health issues together. • First aid (band aids, ointments, gauze, wound cleaners, burn salve) • Muscle sprain/aches (heat packs, cold compresses, braces, wraps, muscle ointments) • Cold and flu (fever, stuffy nose and cough relievers) • Allergies (seasonal, epi-pen) • Stomach (antacids, nausea and diarrhea suppressants) • Prescriptions (as needed)

We all know we need to store medicine where children can’t access it, but the goal isn’t just keeping it away from curious hands. You also need to secure prescription drugs from teenagers and young adults. Sixty percent of teenagers who misuse prescription drugs get them from their own homes. Use combination lock caps on bottles to prevent misuse.

Place high-use medications on a lazy susan. Maximize a tall space with a doubletier model. If items get pushed to the back of a cupboard or cabinet, a basket or bin will keep bottles and tubes contained and easy to spot. This is especially handy for low-use items. Put the basket on a shelf above the lazy susan.

Never flush medicine unless instructed to do so by the manufacturer; some prescription drugs can contaminate water supplies. If a bottle does not have disposal instructions, consult a pharmacist. Some pharmacies will dispose of prescription drugs year round. Or take advantage of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, April 29. Find a collection site near you beginning April 1 at deadiversion.usdoj.gov

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Don’t miss Nature Connects® by Sean Kenney, an indoor exhibit featuring 14 installations, inspired by nature and built from nearly 450,000 LEGO® bricks. ON DISPLAY THROUGH MAY 15 • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Off Interstate 80 at 100 Bancroft Street, Omaha | (402) 346-4002 • www.lauritzengardens.org

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New picks hot off the presses, straight to you COMPILED by Momaha Magazine

DR. SEUSS COLLECTION

(Random House) March 2 would have been Dr. Seuss’s 113th birthday. Mark the occasion with the new Kohl’s Cares collection, which includes beloved classics like “Thidwick The BigHearted Moose” and “Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!” plus a version of “The Cat in the Hat” in English and Spanish. Major bonus: the books are $5 each, and 100 percent of the proceeds benefit children’s initiatives. Ages 2 & older

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CHICKEN STORYTIME

(Sandy Asher, Penguin Young Readers) What happens when a chicken shows up for storytime at the library? Kids show up, too. Then more chickens. And more kids. Still, more chickens. So many kids, so many chickens – and books to the rescue! This silly tale will keep kids giggling. Chickens are bibliophiles – who knew? Ages 5-7

ELIZA THE PIG

(Alexandra McClanahan, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform) On a farm in Nebraska, pigs, cattle and chickens shoot the breeze, the cat shares inside information on the human world and Eliza, a black Berkshire pig, has to stand up for what she feels is right. The book has a throwback charm while handling contemporary issues. Ages 8-12

EVERY COLOR

(Erin Eitter Kono, Penguin Young Readers) A polar bear lives at the top of the world surrounded by white ice and white snow. He longs for color. A young girl takes him on a journey around the globe. A sentimental tale of how we can help friends experience the beauty in their own world. Ages 3-7

HAND IN HAND

(Rosemary Wells, Henry Holt and Company) Rosemary Wells’ sweet books with her signature bunny illustrations are modern-day classics for a reason. Her latest offering details the bond between parents and children and reminds us that we are their first and very best role models – their first feeder, first reader, best playmate, midnight staymate and so very much more. Ages 2-6


SUMMER @ THE ROSE

SCREAMING EAGLE THE

ZIP LINE

t. Crescent Ski Area

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If you're crazy about peanut butter, allow us to help you spread the love. RECIPE PREPARATION, STYLING + PHOTOGRAPHY Heidi Thorson

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SAVORY

THAI PEANUT HUMMUS

Makes about 2 cups 1. In a food processor, add 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 tablespoon Sriracha, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, 2 small garlic cloves, minced, ½ tablespoon honey and purée until mostly smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. 2. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and 4 tablespoons cold water. Mix until smooth. 3. Add ¼ cup peanuts, 2 green onions, chopped, and a handful of cilantro, chopped. Process until desired texture. 4. Plate and top with chopped red peppers, cilantro and a fresh squeeze of lime juice. Serve with salty crackers or chips. TIP: Add more Sriracha to taste for a higher level of spiciness.

Makes 2 cups 1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons peanut butter and 1 tablespoon honey. 2. Serve with sliced apples, bananas and strawberries. TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to three days.

Recipe adapted from fooduzzi.com

Recipe adapted from cookingclassy.com

SIMPLE

3 -INGREDIENT FRUIT DIP

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Open to members & Non members! SWEET

PEANUT BUTTER DARK CHOCOLATE GRANOLA

Makes about 2 cups 1. Heat oven to 325 F. 2. Add 5 tablespoons peanut butter and 3 tablespoons honey to medium bowl. Melt in microwave for 30 seconds. 3. In a large bowl, add 2 cups old-fashioned oats and the peanut butter and honey mixture. Stir until coated. 4. Place coated oats on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. 5. Let cool and stir in ½ cup dark chocolate morsels. 6. Store in air-tight container at room temperature for up to seven days. Recipe adapted from chefsavvy.com.

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Here’s a handful of tidbits about peanuts. 1. It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter. Mobile-cuisine.com 2. Studies show that early childhood introduction of peanuts dramatically reduces the prevalence of peanut allergies, even if the child stopped eating peanuts when he or she got older. Metalfloss.com 3. The average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products each year. Mobilecuisine.com 4. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the speed record for eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is six in one minute. Guinnessworldrecords.com 5. Peanut shells have multiple uses. Leftover peanut shells can be used to make kitty litter, kindling, fireplace logs and compost. They also make for eco-friendly packing material. Mentalfloss.com 6. Technically, peanuts are not nuts. Unlike tree nuts, they grow underground and are part of the legume family, like beans and peas. Nydailynews.com 7. The average peanut farm is 100 acres. Nationalpeanutboard.org 8. There are six cities in the U.S. named Peanut: Peanut, California; Lower Peanut, Pennsylvania; Upper Peanut, Pennsylvania; Peanut, Pennsylvania; Peanut, Tennessee; and Peanut, West Virginia. Nationalpeanutboard.org 9. Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one’s mouth. Dictionary.com 10. Feeling stuck? Peanut butter can help get gum out of hair. The oils in peanut butter help make the gum less sticky. American Academy of Dermatology

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City OF OmaHa Weekday summer camps for grades 1-7: Hummel Day Camp, June 5-August 11, registration begins March 13. Camp Hanscom, June 5-June 29, registration begins April 3. Camp Zorinsky, July 10-August 4, registration begins April 3. $35-$95. 1819 Farnam Ste #701 402-444-5140 or 402-657-4921 parks.cityofomaha.org SCHOOL OF ROCK Specializing in summer camp experiences that leave kids feeling like rock stars, knowing the world is their stage. 132nd Street and Millard Avenue 402-691-8875 132nd & Millard schoolofrock.com

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KIDS CAMP GUIDE

Camp LegaCy Give children back their summer, one adventure at a time. Swimming, archery, zip line, sports obstacle course, arts and crafts and team building for grades K-6. 6860 N. 166th Ave. 402-884-2242 camplegacyomaha.com

LauRiTzen gaRdens naTuRe speaKs Camp Campers ages 5-12 learn about the ways that nature speaks as they experience both Lauritzen Gardens and Fontenelle Forest. June 12-16 or June 26-30. 100 Bancroft St. 402-346-4002 lauritzengardens.org

Two Keys CReaTive sTudios summeR aRT Camps and CLasses foR Kids and Teens Each week students will experiment with different mediums, learn new art-making techniques and begin to develop their own artistic style. Classes help students develop critical thinking, problem solving skills and visual expression of their ideas and emotions.  10760 Suffolk Circle 402-660-1939 twoKeysStudios.com The Rose TheaTeR Acting, dance and musical theater classes starting at $46. 2001 Farnam St. 402-345-4849 therosetheater.org

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KIDS CAMP GUIDE

Lauritzen Gardens BLue pLanet Camp Campers ages 5-12 learn about the role that water plays in the environment and ways that they can conserve and keep water clean as they attend camp at Lauritzen Gardens and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. July 10-14 or July 24-28 100 Bancroft St. 402-346-4002 lauritzengardens.org

tHat potterY pLaCe Bring balance to your child’s summer activities by nurturing their creative and artistic abilities. Summer camps dabble in mosaics, canvas and pottery painting, fused glass and clay. 7828 Dodge St. 402-392-1166 thatpotteryplaceomaha.com

Camp Like a GirL sCout! Fun, interesting outdoor experiences for EVERY girl, grades K-12. Your adventure and s’mores are waiting! 877-447-5558 GirlScoutsNebraska.org

Camp FontaneLLe Branching Out: Connecting Through Christ. Camps for ALL ages, including a Family Camp. Tree Climbing, Ziplines, Jumping Pillow, Swimming & more 9677 County Road 3, Fontanelle, NE 402-478-4296 CampFontanelle.com

Camp Wonder nook Take a journey through different cultures, dive into pond life, embark on a camping trip, and more. 10804 Prairie Hills Drive 402-730-8462 thewondernook.com

arts For aLL Summer art classes for kids of all ages! We offer more than 30 unique classes in music, visual and performing arts. May 30–July 25. 402-556-7821 artsforallinc.com

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Let your imagination run wild with Saint-Saëns’ delightful audience favorite! Lions, elephants, kangaroos, tortoises, and roosters come to life through storytelling, dance, and song during this symphonic safari. SUNDAY, FEB. 19 • 2 PM HOLLAND CENTER (Come early at 1:15 for the Instrument Petting Zoo and lobby activities on the Orchestra Level)

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Ensuring kids get off to a healthy start RECIPES Family Features, website.com PHOTOGRAPHY Family Features, Heidi Thorson

M

HEaltHyKIdStOday.Org

ore than nine in 10 millennial moms think it’s important for kids to know where food comes from, and more than three-quarters of those moms actively do things with their kids to help learn just that, according to a global market researcher. Building healthy habits is the top reason moms cited for encouraging more learning when it comes to food, according to a recent IPSOS survey. Here are three fun ways for families to learn together while encouraging kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.

Flower Salad

Serves 1 1. Peel 1 clementine and separate sections almost all the way, leaving sections attached at the base. 2. Place on plate with base down. 3. Using 9-10 thinly sliced strips red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces, place one bell pepper strip between each citrus section and ½ grape tomato in center to form flower. 4. Place 1 stick celery, cut to 3-inch lengths, and 2 small romaine lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. 5. Cut 1 English cucumber into thin slices, then arrange to represent grass. 6. In small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, ½ teaspoon honey and ¼ teaspoon lemon juice. 7. Serve dip in dish alongside flower, or in a mound underneath cucumber slices. Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger, host of “Ellie’s Real Good Food” on PBS and “Healthy Appetite” on the Food Network.

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1. Grocery shop together. Visit farmers markets. Often the farmers are there, so you can learn about fruits and vegetables and pick up suggestions for preparation. Free samples at supermarkets are another way to introduce kids to new foods in small bites. 2. Cook with your kids. Find fun recipes that let them explore fresh foods while being creative. Find age-appropriate ways to involve them, like stirring or measuring, and encourage them to get hands-on with recipes. 3. Explore where favorite foods come from. Kids retain information when it comes in the form of a story, told either in person or via video. “Making learning about food fun is good for the whole family,” said nutritionist and author Ellie Krieger. “It encourages kids - and parents - to explore new foods and be more connected to where their food comes from. It’s truly a ‘healthy’ conversation to have together.”


Celery snail Serves 1

1. For snail body, cut one 4-inch piece of celery. 2. Put

a spoonful of cream cheese in a sandwich bag with one corner cut and squeeze cream cheese onto the length of celery. 3. Top celery with 1 slice of cucumber. 3. Create face with two 1½-inch chives as antennas and 2 Cheerios as eyes on top of cream cheese and serve. Recipe adapted from craftgawker.com

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lettuCe boat Serves 1

1. Fill one small leaf of romaine lettuce with plain Greek yogurt to make the boat. 2. For the sail, use 1 cucumber peel and a ½-inch triangle of red bell pepper. Secure onto lettuce boat with a toothpick and serve.

Recipe adapted from neatologie.com

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Bunny-Faced Microwave oatMeal

Serves 1 1. In microwave-safe bowl, stir together 1/3 cup instant oats, ¾ cup milk, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Microwave on high 30 seconds to 1 minute and stir. 2. Cut 2/3 small banana in half crosswise. Cut 1 1/8-inch thick coin slices from flat end of each banana half. 3. Place slices in upper-third of oatmeal bowl, side-by-side, to make eyes. Top with 2 blueberries, one on each banana slice. 4. Place remaining banana halves at the top of the bowl, hanging off edge, to create ears. 5. Place ½ strawberry in the middle of the bowl to make the nose then drizzle chocolate, if desired, to make mouth and whiskers. 6. Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk. Recipe courtesy of Tiffany Edwards, Creme de la Crumb

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Carrot tulip Serves 1

1. Cut 1 slice of cucumber in half and remove seeded center to make a “C” shape. 2. Using a slice from a large

carrot, cut two triangles along the edge to create a “W” shape. 3. Use a toothpick to form the tulip and hold the pieces together. BONUS: The toothpick makes these snacks easy to dip in yogurt or ranch dressing. Recipe adapted from cookaround.com

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Comfort, closeness, bonding and liberation at the same time sTorY Jen Schneider

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ring sling

The ring sling is a one-shoulder carrier consisting of a long piece of fabric and a pair of metal or nylon rings. The end of the sling threads through the rings and adjusts to the person wearing the carrier.

pouch sling

A one-shoulder carrier, similar to a ring sling, except it cannot be adjusted.

Mei Tai

This carrier has two short fabric straps that go around the waist and two longer ones that wrap over the shoulders. There are no buckles, and the Mei Tai can be adjusted, making it easy to share between spouses or caregivers.

cArryMeAWAy.coM

PuPsIksTudIo.coM

BecoBABycArrIer.coM

MoByWrAP.coM

Wrap

Woven wraps, such as the popular “Moby wrap,” are the most basic carriers. Their popularity stems from the ability to carry babies in many positions, as well as their sizing capabilities. Parents often use wraps with newborns, but they work with toddlers as well.

carrier is used, the purpose of babywearing is connecting with your child while engaging in everyday activities, according to Babywearing International. The nonprofit organization strives to make babywearing a widely accepted practice while also providing education for parents and caregivers. The first question many parents have is, “Which carrier should I choose?” While there are many options, there is a carrier out there for everyone. Baby carriers generally fall into these five categories:

AMAzoN.coM

W

hether you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad, or a parent who works 9 to 5 p.m. (or beyond), running a household with little people can be quite challenging. Infants want to be held and toddlers want to play, but things still need to get done. Living life outside the home can also be a challenge with kids in tow. Many parents have found a solution for everything from housekeeping to hiking – and that’s babywearing. Babywearing allows parents to carry a child handsfree with one of several types of carriers. No matter what

Buckle/sofT sTrucTured carrier

The soft-structured buckle carrier goes off and on like a backpack and allows children to sit comfortably using front, back and sometimes hip carriers.


SUMMER AT UNO! Andrea Comisar, an Omaha teacher, loves the hands-free perk of babywearing her sons, James and Oliver. Andrea is expecting a third son in May and plans on wearing him as well. “I can get so much more done around the house while baby wearing,” she says. “Even now, with Ollie at almost 18 months old, he still gets clingy from time to time, and I feel like I can’t get anything done. I just put him up on my back and away we go.” Like Andrea, many parents appreciate babywearing when they have multiple kids to handle. Monique Visocky, a social worker in Omaha, and her husband, Brian, both wear their son Kayden, 4, and daughter Mira, 2. “When Mira was little, it made it easy to chase Kayden,” Monique said. “There were so many benefits at big events. I didn’t worry about them getting lost.” Many moms say babywearing helped them with postpartum depression, a common condition that affects more than 3 million mothers each year, according to the Mayo Clinic. Alexie Herrmann, an Omaha stay-at-home mom, found babywearing to be a huge benefit when it came to her PPD. “It has helped the depression by being able to work out, stay active, be independent, be social and, most importantly, build a bond with my son,” she says. Benefits are also abundant for the children. They include closeness to parents, skin-to-skin contact, seeing the world from an adult height and being involved in daily tasks. Many parents find that for children with special needs, babywearing is an essential part of helping their child develop and grow, both physically and emotionally. Bellevue mom, Colleen Ogburn, credits babywearing for helping with her 18-month-old son’s developmental needs. “My son has spina bifida, and babywearing instantly made a difference in his core strength and ability to hold up his head. Because his gross motor skills are delayed, while other babies were crawling, he would have been

restricted to laying on the floor or stuck in a stroller for mobility,” Colleen says. “Babywearing allows him to experience life from a different perspective and has contributed to him being spot-on in his cognitive development.” For parents and caregivers looking to start babywearing, there is local support available through Babywearing International of Omaha. Local meetings are free. For a small fee, sustaining members receive added resources. “Our meetings offer a free lending library of carriers to sustaining members and free education from trained and certified educators,” says Rachel Brutus Mcgarity, chapter president of BWI of Omaha. Meg Graves, vice president of the chapter, has worn all three of her children – ages 5 years to 7 months. She admits there can be some difficulties to overcome. Nursing in different carriers, as well as how to get baby on your back, are two learning curves. Meg likes to think babywearing “has overcome more challenges versus causing any.” Plus, babywearing has brought her more confidence as a mother and caregiver. Both Meg and Ashley Mott serve as volunteer babywearing educators with BWI of Omaha. VBEs help parents and caregivers with babywearing, as well as the different types of carriers. They must pass written and skill assessments and have both newborn- and toddlerwearing experience. Meg and Ashley are also involved with The Carrying on Project for wounded warriors, which gives military families a free carrier. Both have the same advice for parents and caregivers looking to try babywearing. “Don’t give up! Come to a Babywearing International meeting,” Ashley says. “We’d love to help you and baby feel comfortable and content together,” Meg adds. Connect with the BWI of Omaha chapter via Facebook or reach out via email at omaha@ babywearinginternational.org. Jen Schneider is a local middle school teacher and mom to two children.

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PHOTO: HUFFINgTON POST

What you need to know about the national epidemic STORY Kim Carpenter

At first glance, the news is good. According to a study published in the January issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, obesity rates for children ages 2 to 5 years old have declined by about 43 percent over the past decade. It’s a big number and a major drop, but don’t celebrate just yet. Childhood obesity in the U.S. has still more than doubled in both children and teens over the past three decades. The statistics are staggering. The number of obese kids ages 6 to 11 years has gone up from just 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teens ages 12 to 19 have been hit even harder, with the number skyrocketing from 5 percent to almost 21 percent during the same time period. Where do kids in Nebraska sit? The Healthy Eating With Resources, Op-

30

tions and Everyday Strategies (HEROES) program at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center estimates that 13.5 percent of children ages 2 to 5 and 31.5 percent of 10- to 17-year-olds are overweight or obese. What makes for an obese child? CDC guidelines define children as overweight if they have “excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors.” They are obese if they have excess body weight. “Usually, we base it on the growth chart,” explains Denise Bryson, a registered dietitian with the HEROES program, which uses medical management, nutrition, behavior modification, fitness and behavioral health therapy to address childhood obesity. “If a child is in the 85th percentile, that’s overweight. Above 95 percent is considered obese.” But obesity is about far more than

the extra pounds on the scale. “It’s a chronic disease that is associated with other diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and severe headaches, among others,” says Dr. Cristina Fernandez, the program’s medical director. It’s not simply a matter of kids consuming too much junk food, though. “It’s multi-factorial,” emphasizes Bryson. “It can be because of diet or genetics. Children are also very sedentary with a lot of nonactive TV and screen time.” “Schools also have decreased the amount of time allotted for exercise, and families aren’t as active. Society isn’t as active,” adds Fernandez. What can families do? At the heart of addressing childhood obesity is lifestyle, and a visit to a pediatrician or weight management program is a place to start. “Parents and children have to learn to


Perform with the Stepper-ettes this Summer! behave in a different way,” Fernandez explains. “They have to be educated so they understand the importance of healthy eating and exercise. In the first appointment, we can spend up to three hours providing a serious evaluation of what families need to do.” One area parents often need to tackle is diet, but not just in terms of eliminating junk food and sugary drinks. “Parents often give serving sizes that are too large. I’ll ask, “Show me a cup of milk,” and their ‘cup’ of milk is not a real cup,” says Bryson. “A lot of times parents also won’t feed their kids fruits and vegetables because they say their kids won’t eat them. We tell them just start having them on the plate as a way to get them used to healthier foods. Parents say, ‘They won’t eat them.’ I say, ‘Too bad.’” As for activity, limiting screen time and getting up and moving can be a good start. “Sometimes exercise can be going up and down the stairs,” says Fernandez. Fast-track weight loss should never be the goal, Fernandez emphasizes. “We want children to have healthy habits that they have for life. The focus shouldn’t be on weight loss or gain, but on the lifetime goal. One of the things that’s really important is that weight management is a 360-degree problem. It doesn’t have an end. Obesity is a chronic disease.” The most important thing, she emphasizes, is parents’ determination to put their children’s health first and foremost. “Treating obesity needs to be a family commitment. Parents are the ones who buy the food and put it on the plate. They’re the ones who set the screen time. There has to be a readiness for change.”

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ADVICE FOR A BETTER LIFE COMPILED by Momaha Magazine

March is National Nutrition Month. Here, some facts to digest.

PUT THE KETTLE ON

Tea time does a body good. Studies show that people who drink black tea experience fewer heart attacks. Those opting for green tea tend to have lower total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides. They also boast higher HDL, or “good cholesterol.” See, tea leaves really do lead to good fortune! eatright.org

DON’T JUST PUMP IRON - EAT IT!

KEEP IT SEPARATE

The body relies on iron for the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen through the blood. That’s what feeds our muscles and keeps them strong. Make like Iron Man and include this necessary metal in your diet by consuming fish, poultry and meat. Other sources include dark leafy greens, dark chocolate, whole grains and tofu. As if you needed another excuse to nibble chocolate. Healthaliciousness.com

Togetherness isn’t always a good thing. Cross contamination from bacteria in raw meat, poultry or fish can happen easier than you think. Even if you keep meat separate from other ingredients during meal prep, you might have already done more harm than good in the checkout lane. Designate a spot in your shopping cart for these items and bag them separately from other grocery store purchases. United States Department of Agriculture

PIZZA CRAVINGS ARE REAL

Think going cold turkey when it comes to unhealthy foods is tough? It’s not in your imagination. A new study shows that highly processed foods – ones with added fat or refined carbohydrates like white flour and sugar – trigger addictive eating. Pizza and French fries ranked among the most addictive; cucumber, salmon and brown rice among the lowest. Still, it’s not all bad. Chocolate was also high on the addictive list. That one, we can live with. University of Michigan

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU EAT – IT’S WHEN YOU EAT IT

The adage to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper may have something to it. Research suggests that eating the majority of your calories early in the day helps to stave off weight gain. That’s because you have more energy earlier in the day to digest food and burn calories. Yet another reason to banish lateday snacking from your routine. Today

GET MORE LIKES AT THE DINNER TABLE. HEALTHYKOHLSKIDS.COM 32


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Visit ChildrensOmaha.org for more information on how we can help your child. For a pediatrician, family physician or pediatric specialist, call 1.800.833.3100.

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Momaha Magazine - March 2017  

Monthly magazine for parents published by the Omaha World-Herald in conjunction with its blog Momaha.com

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