Page 1


Win S NURSERY wor pa Trea th $2 TIPS tm DESIGN 20.0 ent 0
















Want to see your Kid on our next cover? Submit photos of your child to win the cover of our Fall/Winter 2013 Issue Submit your pictures to our tumblr page or email us at info@pinkandbluebaby.com

DEADLINE: October 1, 2013


30 Back to School Tips 36 Eco Age Charity

HEALTH 18 20 22 31

Recipes Ideas for the Whole Family Are Colds Inevitable? Healthy Eating Chart Healthier Pizzas


25 Organizing your kitchen homework station 26 Decorating toddler’s room on a budget

30 Back to School Tips

31 Healthier Pizzas

FAMILY AND LIFE 34 Private vs. Public 33 First time at school 41 Back to School Already


46 Books to read to get ready for baby 42 Pregnancy and Oral Health


Books to read to get ready for baby Back to School 2013



48 Transition into full day kindergarten


10 Gear Guide 12 Trend Report 44 Allergy Free Lunches


49 Dealing with Social Pressure


Allergy Free Lunches


10 Kids Items (Staples) 12 Coolest Back to School Items (Mastermind) 38 Car seats


14 What did you do this summer? 50 Back to school books



Dealing with Social Pressure


6 8

Testimonials Letter from editor


What did you do this summer?






TEACHER Elizabeth Chambers, HBA, BEd, OCT, was blessed with parents who instilled in her a love of reading from an early age. This love led to a career in teaching. Trained to teach from Junior Kindergarten to grade 12, Elizabeth taught High School English in South America and in both the Niagara and Waterloo Regions. On the journey to motherhood, Elizabeth experienced over a year of fertility testing and treatments and was faced with the possibility of never having a child. Elizabeth realized how important motherhood was to her. So she left the world of teaching, trained with her supportive husband to become foster parents, and was surprised to find herself pregnant. Now Elizabeth spends her days proudly watching her 11 month old daughter Daisy take on the world and raises 3 children from the community between the ages of 3 to 9 . Elizabeth firmly believes that you never know where life will take you, so make sure you do your best to enjoy the steps along the way. Email: elizabethzahorchak@hotmail.com


CONTRIBUTORS - EXPERTS Jodie Rosen B.A, Dipl. ID, LEED AP | Interior Designer Elizabeth Zahorchack-Chambers Teacher, aka “resident bookworm” Patricia Bardowell Nutritionist and co-founder of LearnEatGrow Aviva Allen Kid’s Nutritionist Erin Lazer MBA, CSP | Home Stager and Professional Organize Meytal Algranti Fashion Stylist Marni Wasserman Culinary Nutritionist Deborah Goldberg ECE, works with children with autism and behavioural disorders

Christelle Agboka Writer, Editor, Lifestyle expert Cari Haim Teacher Stephanie Spicer Family, Lifestyle and Toddler Expert Stephen Gosewich Daddy blogger, aspiring enlightened male Andrea Traynor Founder of mommygearest.com, mommy blogger Dr. Dina Kulik Pediatrician Dr. Tal Lewinger Dentist Family Expert

BLOGGERS - LIST Mommy Blogger: Andrea Traynor, Mommy Gearest Mommy Blogger: Renee Kaiman Daddy Blogger: Stephen Gosewich

INTERIOR DESIGN, JODIE ROSEN DESIGN Jodie Rosen is an accredited Interior Designer with a background in commercial, institutional and residential design. Moving from a corporate architectural firm to her own boutique studio, Jodie is now able to juggle her growing clients with her growing family. Jodie is a mom to son Dylan and loves the balance of life and work being self-employed can provide. Jodie Rosen Design focuses primarily on residential design, ranging from full-scale complex projects to the selection of accessories and art. Most recently, Jodie has begun manufacturing custom designed furniture for clients throughout North America. Look out for the official launch of the JRD furniture line in the coming year. Website: http://www.JodieRosenDesign.com Email: jodie@jodierosendesign.com


Stephanie Spicer has a Master of Arts in Leadership and Administration from Gonzaga University and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Victoria. She is currently a member of both the Ontario and the British Columbia College of Teachers, and an experienced elementary teacher in both English and French Immersion. She’s a past recipient of the Parent’s Choice Award for teaching excellence in Victoria and is passionate about teaching Full Day French Immersion Kindergarten.


PEDIATRICIAN Dr Dina Kulik completed her pediatrics residency and pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children. She works as a general pediatrician in the GTA and is a Staff Physician in the department of Emergency Medicine at Sick Kids. She has two young kids and knows the joys and struggles of being a modern working mom.


testimonials What people are saying about I love the magazine and the Facebook site is super helpful. ~ Julie Foisy



at the cover shoot

Ironically, so many people have asked me if I work for Pink & Blue because of how excited I get about the forum and how much I actually promote it. I have to say I don’t think I could have gotten through the past 8 months with my daughter (first time mommy) without P & B. I have made some new friendships and have learned so much from the forum.. It is also my GO TO place when I need any advice. Thank you for starting this wonderful resource and outlet for us mommies. ~ Mandy Waagner I am a huge fan of your Facebook group and a devoted member since having my daughter. ~ Jennifer Dickie

Hey saw some of your interviews on FB today. Looked like a great event. Congrats on such a needed event for moms and moms to be. You’re a true revolutionary!! Great Work!, ~ Eric Shendy To all the amazing women out there had helped make this possible, thank you! Today was inspirational and tonight my heart is full. ~ Staci Nicole Lumb Hi Nicole. I’m a big fan of your Pink and Blue empire :) Keep up the good work. Honestly, the Pink and Blue Facebook page helped me a lot after having a baby. I’m grateful! ~ Ofra N.



I posted on your group this evening about a young woman who was in a abusive relationship and ran away with her 5 week old daughter. She had nothing for her little girl and was even contemplating adoption at one point as she could not provide. She contacted my website Single Moms Fresh Start and was only looking for a little inspiration. After hearing her story i wanted to help her. I posted in your group looking for any type of donation not expecting much but the out poor of support and donations has truly floored me and even brought me to tears tonight. I am doing a toronto run and collecting from everyone who has offered! I just want to say that because of your group this woman will have everything she needs for her little girl and i am so inspired! ~ Staci Nicole Lumb


from our editor | notes

} s







By N

loomb icole B

ummer is almost over and school is starting. It is a time of year that I think most parents dread no matter how old your kids are. Time to get your kids off to school, yourself organized, and your household. I personally know that once you get organized you feel a sense of accomplishment and are happy that your tots, kids, and teens are back in their routine and classrooms! This is the time of year to do something for yourself…Sign-up for a class that you have never done before like painting or yoga. Go get a manicure, pedicure, massage and bring along your ipad and read our latest issue! You can get that mom time in, learn to get balance in your life and get the school year off on the right foot. Remember if mom is happy and relaxed so is the rest of the family.


We did our best this issue to give you everything you need to know for your tots that are starting school , kids, and teens. We even shared the best back to school items that we found! Our kids get the newest clothes, back to school items, cool baby, and after school programs and all of the mommies get to reward ourselves by doing something that gives us our sigh of relief and Zen moment. We made sure to pack this issue with great advice that you can look at as well as amazing recipes! Pull out your ipad and pull up our recipes, put on some tunes, and pour yourself a glass of wine while cooking your family a healthy dinner. Be sure to print out the Kids Eating Reward Chart by Aviva Allen, it is fab! We would love if you sent in your recipes to us, so we can share with our readers, you can also send in pictures of what you made or if you made one of our recipes. It can be featured in our next issue or in our recipe section of our website www. pinkandbluemag.com. Please also write in and let us know about topics that you would like to learn about or if you have any info that you think other parents would be interested in learning about you can email us at info@pinkandbluemag.com Here’s to the next school year. Remember to love yourself, your family, find balance, and focus on the positive in life! It is all about the law of attraction and good energy. That is how you make some happy babies…. Love, Nicole Bloomberg, MBA Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

Pink & Blue Magazine is not responsible for advice and information that is expressed in this magazine. If you have any medical question please consult your health professional. Reasonable care is taken to ensure that Pink & Blue Magazine articles and other information on the web site are up-to-date and accurate as possible, as of the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by Pink & Blue Magazine for any errors or omissions contained herein. Pink & Blue Mag will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this site. Furthermore, responsibility for any losses, damages or distress resulting from adherence to any information made available through this website is not the responsibility of Pink & Blue Magazine. The content from any organization websites which you link to or from Pink and Blue Mag are our of our control. These link are provided purely for your convenience. They do not imply Pink and Blue Magazine’s endorsement of or association with any products, services, content, information or materials offered by or accessible to you at the organizations site. The opinions expressed are those of the authors, reviews, and other materials and do not necessarily reflect the views of Pink & Blue Magazine. All copyright and trade marks accessible via the links from Pink and Blue Magazine are owned by the respective website owners, or their licensors.



Cool back

to School Items BACK TO SCHOOL Cool items and gear to keep your kids in line with hottest trends!

hot items!

Staples Mini Pencil Shaped Stapler A fun and functional stapler shaped like a pencil - iconic for back to school. **These products are exclusive to Staples. $2.86


GUIDE Back to School Cool Items

Hilroy backpacks and notebooks These fashionable zebra and giraffe animal prints are bound to get everyone’s attention for the back to school season. **These products are exclusive to Staples. $4.28



iHome Monsters University Earbuds Licensed Monsters, Inc. scare and wear earbuds are perfect for children. The soft ear cushions provide extra comfort. $12.99

iHome Monsters University Headphones Furry and fun child-friendly headphones keep ears safe with volume control functionality. $24.99

iHome Monsters University Earbuds Licensed Monsters, Inc. scare and wear earbuds are perfect for children. The soft ear cushions provide extra comfort. $12.99

Novelty Flash Drives Students can transport files with their favourite characters. Ugly Dolls, Batman, Einstein and R2-D2 are just a few favourites. $14.98

Hilroy backpacks These fashionable zebra and giraffe animal prints are bound to get everyone’s attention for the back to school season. **These products are exclusive to Staples. (pricing TBD)

Hello Kitty and Superman Backpacks The Hello Kitty and Superman backpacks are perfect for any young student heading to school. **These products are exclusive to Staples. (pricing TBD)

Back To

SCHOOL items




Hot Items

Product images supplied by

Mastermind Toys


BUTTERFLY FOOD JAR ($16.95, Ages 3+)





Product images supplied by

Mastermind Toys





BIXBEE BY SCHOOLBAGS FOR KIDS - ROCKET FLYER BACKPACK ($34.95, Ages 3+) **Mastermind Exclusive**

Back to School 2013


What did you do this Summer



he chalkboard at the front of the classroom has three things written on it, the teacher’s name “welcome back to school” and the words “what did you do this summer?” Though this is a cliché image of the first day of school, it brings to mind some ideas of how to develop literacy in our children. We have heard since our babies were still in the womb how important it is to read to them and then read with them and then have them read to us, but in reality how can we truly encourage our children to develop a love of reading and writing. The first day of school is a huge milestone for any and every child, so why should it not be a celebration for all children each year. Yes the summer is coming to a close, but this is a great time to see old friends and make new ones. During the summer there are so many opportunities to read, write and develop literacy skills with our children. Having pen pals, making grocery store lists, and scavenger hunts are just a few activities that can be adapted for any age. What about campfire story-time – this is an activity which can continue during the fall, and even into the winter. It can then be brought inside with flashlights to the bedroom, where stories can be told underneath bed sheets. Encourage your children to




come up with wild and crazy adventures and make it a truly fun event by starting the story for them and letting them finish it (or vice versa when they get older). Star stories are also a lot of fun – whether it be laying out on a tarp in the backyard or park and picking out a whole bunch of stars to imagine as pictures. Another option is to put dot stickers on the ceiling and lay in bed imagining what stories they could tell. As summer is beginning to wrap up, a great way to get children to work on their literacy skills is them to put together their memories of the summer. Kids of any age can get into scrapbooking, and they also can put their own descriptions for the pictures they chose. Or if you have a family album, another option is to let each child design a page themselves based on their summer memories. Many people are getting into the idea of creating a smashbook which is similar to scrapbooking but you make sure you add in all the extra things that come along with daily life such as ticket stubs, maps, receipts, business cards and anything else that collects in your wallet or bottom of your purse. So encourage your children to put together a few momentos of their summer as they are cleaning out their rooms to put into their books or memory page. It may be an idea even to


have an album for each child that they can do a page each summer which will grow larger each year. That way when they graduate Elementary School, they will have a great momento to look back on and see how far they have come. Another way to encourage literacy is to remember books when we are planning all our back to school shopping. My daughter’s library started at her baby shower when I requested that the guests bring a book for the baby instead of a card, and I am always looking for ways to expand that library. As a long term gift my daughter will receive a new book each school year to celebrate their entrance into another grade level. As a youngster the books are chosen for her and then she can begin to pick her own as she gets older. We will take the inside cover of each book as a place to personalize the book for her. We will be filling it in with her likes and hopes. These books will become her first High School Graduation gift. For the over ambitious or the parent who like me have a September born child, perhaps it is time token like a back to school party. For any age this could be a great way to end the first week of school and fantastic way to meet new friends. Think of everything school related when planning activities for your party. What is school without apples so why not bobbing for apples for the teacher? Having a scavenger hunt where kids have to read the clues is a lot of fun. What about the unwrap

a story game where you have the kids sit in a circle with a big roll of toilet paper or wrapped Saranwrap or wrapping paper. As they peel off a layer each child will find the next part of the story. Reading, writing and story telling is such an important part of our child’s learning and education. It takes time and some thinking outside of the box, but the more we try the more we will find literacy activities all around us. Of course, it’s just such an added bonus to have another reason to celebrate our children going back to school!

During the summer there are so many opportunities to read, write and develop literacy skills with our children. Having pen pals, making grocery store lists, and scavenger hunts are just a few activities that can be adapted for any age.

Back to School 2013


health& food YUMMY FOR MY TUMMY Heatlhy recipe ideas for the whole family and kids healthy eating chart included!

Recipe Ideas for the

Whole Family the chef ends up becoming a short order cook. This can make meal preparation even more stressful for families. It is definitely about trial and error and figuring what dishes work for your family. I think exposing our kids to all different types of foods is really the key in training their taste buds to enjoy the taste of whole foods, but also to help them expand their appreciation for the abundance that nature has to offer. Below are some time-tested recipes in my household that always gets the whole family asking for seconds.

When it comes to meals, most parents are chal-

lenged for time and variety, but also trying to balance them with taste and nutritional value. For me, my philosophy is always about keeping it simple, tasty and exposing my family to new flavours and dishes. This keeps things interesting and fun, but also ensures that they are getting their nutrients from a variety of foods. In a family, you can have many different food preferences and dislikes. Trying to cater to each and every individual’s taste buds can quickly get out of hand as



Turkey Mango

hese tasty turkey burgers have a bit of an exotic flair to them, but the best part about them is that they can be made in advance and froWHAT YOU NEED: zen. They can be •1 lb organic ground turkey baked in the oven •3 cloves garlic, minced or grilled on the •1/4 cup green onion or barbecue. Either red onion, minced way, they are a •1/2 cup cremini mushroom, minced simple, healthy •1/3 cup bell pepper, minced and tasty entrée •1/3 cup mango, minced for the whole •1 tbsp cilantro, minced family.


•1 tbsp tamari

•1 tbsp maple syrup •1/2 tbsp sesame oil •1/4 cup whole grain flour


•1/4 tsp sea salt •1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1. In a bowl mix all the ingredients together 2. Form patties of desired size. 3. Pan fry in a little oil or grill on barbecue. 4. Enjoy with whole grain or wild rice and/or steamed bok choy.




health WHAT YOU NEED: • 3 tbsp tamari • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar • 1/4 cup tomato paste • juice from 1/2 lime

Sweet AND


• 2 tbsp coconut nectar or maple syrup • 1 pound of organic chicken breasts, cubed • 1 tsp sea salt • 1 tsp paprika • 1 tsp dried parsley • 1 tsp dried marjoram


• 2 tbsp arrowroot powder • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 red bell pepper, chopped • 6 green onions, chopped • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced • 5 cloves of garlic, minced


• 1/2 cup pineapple, 1 inch chunks



his recipe is always a hit with the family and leftovers make a great thermos-lunch for school the following day. The traditional bright, orange sweet and sour sauces in Chinese restaurants have got nothing on this wholesome twist that doesn’t compromise on the taste and leaves out the excess sugar, breading, deep-frying and colouring!

Directions 1. In a bowl, combine tamari, 1 tbsp arrowroot powder, rice vinegar, tomato paste, lime juice, and maple syrup/coconut nectar. Whisk until all combined and then set aside. 2. In a larger mixing bowl add chicken breast cubes, sea salt, paprika, parsley, marjoram, and arrowroot powder. Mix until all chicken is covered with spices and arrowroot powder. Add olive oil and mix. 3. In a large pan, stir fry chicken over medium-high heat. Try and make sure chicken pieces are not too close together. Cook in two batches if necessary. When chicken pieces are all cooked through (about 10-12 minutes), set aside in a bowl. In same pan, add bell pepper, green onions, mushrooms, cilantro and garlic. Sautee for just 5 minutes until veggies are slightly softened. 4. Add chicken back to pan. Add sweet & sour sauce in bowl from Step 1. Bring sauce to a boil, and let simmer for 2-3 minutes until a thickened sauce forms. Toss in pineapples and sautee for 2 more minutes. Serve immediately with whole grain rice or pasta.

Back to School 2013



Are colds



nfortunately, if you have children you are likely used to dealing with runny noses, coughs, and fevers. Young children average more than a cold a month, and this can be much more in the fall and winter when kids are back at school and indoors more often.

Tips to Prevent Germs from Spreading WASH YOUR HANDS AND YOUR CHILDREN’S’ HANDS. About 80% of infectious diseases are spread

through touch! Hand washing should take as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice (20sec). The type of soap doesn’t matter – regular soap works as well as antibacterial, and may have benefits over regular soap. No water around - use an alcohol-based sanitizing gel.





contents are full of bacteria and viruses. Be careful to clean your hands and the change table surfaces with soap or alcohol after each diaper change.

KEEP BREASTFEEDING. Breastfeeding when you are sick passes antibodies to protect your baby from getting sick. AS A FAMILY, EAT HEALTHFULLY - vegetables, fruit, grains, meats and dairy are an important part of keeping your body nutrition at its optimum. Processed, fatty, and sugary foods can damage the immune system and lead to more illness.

EXERCISE REGULARLY. Exercise has immune-system enhancing effects that can help ward off illness.

HYDRATE. Dehydration inhibits the immune system and fluids helps your body to fight the virus or bacteria.






WHAT YOU NEED: • 3 cups whole grain pasta, cooked • 1 cup nut or rice milk (unsweetened) • 1/2 cup raw cashews • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice • 1 tsp dijon mustard • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast


his recipe is a great alternative to the traditional Mac N Cheese recipes that are typically laden with dairy and cream. In lieu of a traditional cheesy-creamy sauce, this recipe uses a mix of cashews, nutritional yeast and pumpkin as the sauce which packs a serving of fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, carotenoids, vitamin C, copper, manganese, and B-vitamins!

• 4 cloves garlic, chopped • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil • 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin (canned works too) • sea salt and pepper to taste • 1 diced onion + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Cook pasta according to directions, drain and transfer to a large oven safe dish. 3. Sautee onion in 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil until softened. Mix in with cooked pasta and set aside. 4. In a blender, add lemon juice, milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, and cooked pumpkin. Blend until smooth, slowly adding extra virgin olive oil. 5. Pour sauce over cooked pasta until coated. Enjoy.

Back to School 2013



Kids Healthy Eating

Chart b ack to School” is a great time of year to get back on track with good eating habits at home. If you are looking for a way to get your kids to eat a more balanced diet, encourage them to try new foods and make healthy eating more fun, this colourful reward chart is a great tool to help you achieve this! The chart works best for children between the ages of 4 and 10, but can also be tried with younger/older kids. It is a great way to motivate even the pickiest eaters.

HOW TO USE THE CHART: » Each day, check off/colour in a circle for every serving consumed per category and recieve 1 point when a category has been completed. » A “serving” does not need to be very big. As long as it makes it onto their plate and they eat some of it. Do not force your child to finish their plate - let your child decide when they are full. » Encourage your child to try new foods! They can receive 1 bonus point each day for trying something new. » Total up the points at the end of each day. If their points for the week total 30 or more, they will recieve a reward. » At the start of each week, decide on the reward* for your child if they achieve the goal. Choose something that will be a strong motivator for them to complete the chart. Please Note: This chart is not intended to replace the Canada Food Guide. It is simply a tool to encourage your child to make healthy food choices and become more open to trying new foods. The suggested number of servings




for each of the various food groups represented on this chart are general recommendations. For advice that is specific to your child, individual nutritional counselling would be recommended. To download and print a FREE copy of the Kids’ Healthy Eating Chart, visit www.avivaallen.com. Aviva Allen, RHN, is a Toronto-based nutritionist specializing in prenatal, infant and child nutrition.

* MAKE SURETHIS IS A NON-FOOD REWARD. The purpose of the chart is to encourage your child to make healthy food choices, so using an unhealthy food reward, such as candy or other sugary treats, as a motivator would be sending the wrong message.

Back to School 2013


justyou for SEX& HOME Your home

and how to setup your kids homework station! Learn how to decorate your kids toddler room on a budget.



Organizing your Kitchen Homework BY JODIE ROSEN

s we prepare for our kids to head back to school, new clothes and supplies are at the top of the list – but have you figured out where your children are going to do their homework?? In the age of iphones, ipads and the internet, parents are wise to consider alternatives to setting up desks in their children’s rooms. In my homework days, there was no threat of texting instead of studying or ‘facebooking’ instead of finishing a math problem. Most of my clients with young children are opting to provide a central spot in the kitchen for homework where kids can be monitored and parents can assist if required. This provides a dedicated nook for papers, a computer and supplies without cluttering the dining room or kitchen table. The trick to keeping this space neat is ensuring that there is ample storage for all the electronics and wires required. By providing pencil drawers, closed door storage and shelving the amount of junk that can accumulate


is limited. The messier the family is, the more likely I am to suggest more closed storage – nothing can deter more from a gorgeous kitchen then open shelving that is piled high with papers and books. This space should still be stylized while providing function. If a client confesses that they are not too neat, closed doors is a great solution! The choice to drop the desk to the standard desk height (29.5”) vs. continuing the surface at counter height (36”) is a personal one. Depending on where the desk is located within the kitchen a chair can be pulled up from the table for a desk height solution. In the case of a counter height station, a stool from the island can act as great double duty. Either way – the kitchen homework station is a great use of space and an equally great way to keep your family from disappearing behind closed doors.

Back to School 2013



Decorating a




With Baby #2 on the way, it was finally time to transition our toddler to her “big girl” room. Sad as it was to admit she’s growing up, it seemed like the right time. We did have a bit of a hitch to deal with though. We are planning on moving in about a year, so we didn’t want to invest too much into decorating the room, furniture, etc. My goal was to repurpose as many items we already had in the house, and only purchase what was necessary, all the while making the room fun and exciting for her. The most important thing to consider was furniture, of course. She needed a bed, a night table, some shelving, and enough place to store her clothes. We took the Queen mattress and box spring from our guest bedroom which we rarely used and I purchased an inexpensive metal bed frame for $50. I did have to purchase 2 bedrails for safety at $30 each at Toys R Us, but they fold down and under the mattress so are invisible when not in use. For shelving, I took a shelving unit my father had made for me as a child, which I had converted into a “bar” 2 houses ago, and re-painted it white. Only cost

32 26



for this was a quart of paint. For a night table, I borrowed a white IKEA table from our basement playroom that wasn’t really used. As for clothes storage, the room we moved her into had a small walk-in closet, so by adding cloth shelves($20) and an extra rod that doubled the hanging room ($15), as well as a night table from our guest room with 2 drawers, I was able to store all of her clothes without needing a dresser. Next comes décor, and this is the fun part. I started, of course by choosing bedding that would be the inspiration for the room. I didn’t want anything themed that she would grow out of quickly, so I searched for a great patterned set in a colour that was fresh and fun, and I happened to catch it at 30% off, for a total of $175 including a sheet set, duvet cover and 2 shams at Sears! I bought an all-season duvet and 2 very flat pillows at IKEA for $66, plus a bedskirt to cover the frame, and some pillow protectors ($25). I used extra pillows from my guest room for the shams. Everything else in the room was chosen and created to work with the fabulous bedding.



Because I didn’t want to invest in a headboard until we move to the new house, I painted a headboard onto the wall, rather than purchasing a headboard. This way I was able to customize it to match the bedding. To make the wall soft, I simply used the pillow shams that came with the bedding for her to lean up against if she chooses. For lighting, I purchased an inexpensive $20 lamp with a plain white shade from target, then I prettied it up using some great decorative paper flowers and fabric ribbon from Michaels that I glued onto the shade ($6.00). To prevent the glue from re-melting, I used a CFL bulb which also meant the bulb wouldn’t be as hot, or dangerous for my daughter. I also picked a lamp that turned on by pulling a short chain, rather than the knobs commonly used where you had to reach up into the lamp, or the ones with the switch on the wire. I figured this would be easiest for my toddler to turn on herself. For the walls, I did a number of things that would tie in with the bedding. First, I repainted the letters that spell her name from her nursery to match the headboard and bedding. I purchased 2 $9 large white frames from IKEA and

framed sheets of wrapping paper ($4 at Homesense) in a hounds tooth pattern that matched the colour of the bedding perfectly. These can now be used to tape up some of her artwork to display in her room. I purchased a few faux flowers in coordinating colours at Michael’s ($12). I also purchased 3 small square canvas prints from Target (3 for $45) to add a bit more colour into the space, but still coordinate perfectly with the bedding. For drapes, I kept it simple and purchased off-white drapes from IKEA, as well as a blackout curtain liner ($60). I hemmed both myself using special hemming tape that irons on, saving myself from going to a seamstress (and I certainly don’t sew!). To fill the shelves, I just transferred all of the things she has collected since she was born and displayed them. The result was a beautiful, coordinated, and fun room that she loves, and it only cost about $600 including supplies! She hasn’t stepped foot in the nursery since we unveiled her new bedroom, so hopefully she’ll have forgotten about it when the new baby takes over.

HAPPY DECORATING! Back to School 2013


family& life FAMILY LIFE All you need to know to get you and your kids ready for Back to School!


Back to


re you the type of parent who likes to buy everything for the season in a one-time stock up mission? Perhaps you prefer to buy periodically, stalk the sale racks consistently, or maybe you are a borderline-hoarder and constantly buying the latest and trendiest for your growing kiddos. Whichever style suits you best, Back-To-School season really is the universal time where parents relieve themselves from the exhausting task of finding entertainment for their kids all summer, and send them on their way with a new crisp backpack and a lunch box that will be sure to impress their peers. So we’ve got our books, pencils, and erasers out of the way. Recently I came across the most fabulous backpacks that are not only extremely functional with great storage and different compartments, but are also very pleasing for both parent and child. Unlike some of the typical backpack that are monogrammed with the child’s name (that fall apart after a few months of use), Pottery Barn Kids has the most awesome selection of great quality bags that you can personalize with your Child’s name! (http://www.potterybarnkids.com/ products/batman-backpacks-bts-2012/?pkey=dbatmancollection). Add a beautifully monogrammed lunch box to match so you never have a foreign child’s lunch box come home. Although a very well priced little Disney Princess lunch pail couldn’t hurt either! (http://www. target.com/p/disney-princess-3d-motion-lunch-box/-A-



13934329#?Ink=sc_qi_detailbutton). Shopping for Fall and Winter clothing for the upcoming school year can be so easy. There are many deals and you don’t even have to hit the mall. Get your babe into these gorgeous saddle shoe oxfords for the upcoming school season at http://www.shoebuy.com/ willits-classic-saddle/136366/314894. In fact, I had this identical pair when I was in the fourth grade! Fashion has repeated itself in a fabulous way! My absolute favourite are these very comfortable and functional fall shoe for boys http://www.clarks.co.uk/c/originals-kids, which I purchased for my son. For an amazing look that won’t break the bank, try these http://www.shoesteal. com/kids/. I’ve spoken to many parents who really want their child to be comfortable but don’t want them stuck in that bobyish gear that is just too cutesie cute (you know, the kind of matching outfits your motherin-law might gift you). From toddlers to big kids, age appropriate rompers for girls and edgy track suits for boys can make a day at school comfortable yet slick. Stock up many of the same looks in different colours for variety and for practicality. Invest in good quality basics to ensure you don’t have to do another shopping run or scour clearance sites for end-of-the-season left overs. With great gear on their backs, your children will be pleased to get back to school as you are to have them there.



• 1-1/4 cup spelt flour • ¼ cup ground flax seeds • ½ cup water


• 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp honey • Pinch sea salt



1. Line a round pan with parchment paper. 2. Mix flour, flax, and salt in large bowl and set aside. In a measuring cup, measure ½ cup water. Then add oil, honey, and salt and mix well. 3. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and toss with fork. Once it starts to come together, knead with your hands for about 2 minutes. It should be a BY MEYTAL ALGRANTI soft dough, but one that holds together. 4. Using firm pressure, press the dough with your knuckles or fingers and spread evenly over the pizza pan. Let the dough extend a little onto the rim of the pan. Prick the surface with a fork and then bake for 10 minutes in the oven.



veryone loves pizza so why not make a homemade version of your favourite pizza using fresh, wholesome and traditional ingredients. Making a pizza at home with your family is fun and easy, not to mention cheaper and healthier!


1. Rethink your crust In order to make a great pizza, you need a great crust. Long gone are the days of white crust loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Spelt is the flour of choice for natural, pure dough that’s authentically Italian. Spelt is also higher in protein and fibre and has a wonderful nutty flavour and texture. You will also digest it much easier than white flour. Note that spelt is not gluten-free; if you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative I suggest using brown rice flour or an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix. 2. Don’t complicate the sauce When it comes to sauce there are quite a few options beyond the classic tomato, but there is really nothing wrong with just using a pure roma tomato sauce regardless of whether it’s homemade or store-bought. Just look for a label with no added salt, sugar or oils other than traditional ingredients like olive oil, spices, garlic, tomatoes and sea salt. More sauce options include pesto, roasted garlic and olive oil or try no sauce at all if you’re going for something rustic. 3. Try a new cheese This is where things can get sticky. It’s very easy to use too much or the wrong kind of cheese, which contributes to,

unwanted calories and fat. Here are a few nutritious options for cheeses: Dairy cheese: If you’re going to choose this type, opt for goat and sheep’s milk cheeses. Or you can choose a traditional chevre or feta. Be sure to use the cheese sparingly on the pizza because you actually don’t need a lot to get the flavour, texture and satisfaction of a cheesy pie. You can also grate some goat mozzarella as an alternative to cow. You’ll have a much easier time digesting sheep and goat cheese as they contain less lactose. Non-dairy cheeses: If you’re completely dairy-free, lactose intolerant or vegan, you may want to opt for store-bought cheeses such as Daiya – which is made from tapioca and coconut. It melts really well on pizza and provides that gooey texture we all love (while being soy and casein-free). Then you can go natural and use wholesome toppings such as soaked and blended cashews, avocado slices or you can even sprinkle nutritional yeast on the pizza to get a creamy texture and flavour. 4. Load up on toppings When it comes to toppings, the sky is the limit. You can choose any veggies you desire. Some even opt for fruit! Have fun with it and choose ingredients such as mushrooms, onions, kale, arugula, peppers, olives, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, basil, sweet potato or you can get a little exotic and try pineapple, pear, walnuts, or figs. Make a few different pizzas, so that you have a few different options for your guests! The more toppings the more nutrients, so be sure to load up in this department. Pizza dough: Spelt crust recipe Back to School 2013



School i back to

t’s that time of year again where parents are eager and fearful for their child; going back to school. Then the questions in our head begin. Will they be alright without me? Will they make new friends and behave? It’s only natural to feel this way but it’s important for us parents not to overburden ourselves thinking of the what ifs and deal with the things we can control.

First and foremost it’s important to talk to your kids about their new experience and let them know ahead of time what they will expect in the new school year. Mention to them that they’ll be meeting new people, that they won’t be seeing you as often and that they’ll be doing new things each day. Outlining what they should expect ahead of time helps better prepare them for a new and unknown situation and most likely cause less anxiety for not only your kids but also yourself.

Overall though as parents we can only do so much for back to school time; getting the bags ready to go and picking our kids up afterschool but at a point, we just need to let them experience firsthand the new school year.





First Time



t’s creeping up on you. In just a few short weeks, rush hour will begin earlier, those big yellow buses will slow down everyone and you will enter into yet, another milestone. Sending your toddler to school alone for the first time can seem so daunting and scary, but after a few tears, (more than likely from you, not him/her), this day you have anticipated will be one of many fond memories. As with any ‘first’ for young children, starting school can be exciting as well as scary. If they have never been to daycare or programming, separating from Mom and Dad can be frightening. Their biggest fear is possibly that you might not return to get them. Parents often have many fears as well- will my child make friends, will he eat his snack/lunch? While it might be difficult to hide your own emotions, it is important to be strong and let your child know that school will be FUN, and that you will be there at the end of the day to hear all about the amazing things he did in just one day!

Here are a few tips for a great first experience:

1. Talk about what the first day will look like: visiting with

your child for a couple of hours the first day, and maybe drop off for a couple of hours the next. Let them know what to expect in their day. Will they be eating lunch there? Do they know anyone in their class? (Setting up some play dates


before school starts will help alleviate their insecurities about friendships in the class).

2. Keep goodbyes to a minimum.

The longer you stay, the harder it will be to pull away from them. Give hugs before you approach the school door. When inside say goodbye, give a kiss, tell them you love them and you’ll see them very soon. (Then go to your car or around the side of the building and have a really good cry).

3. If you’re packing lunches or snacks, make it fun. Sandwich cut outs and putting in a few of their favourite healthy snacks will make them smile and know you are thinking of them! 4. When you pick your child up, make a huge deal about

what a wonderful day they had. Ask questions. Try not to tell them you missed them so much. While it sounds silly, that might give them some guilt for leaving you.

5. Be prepared that if day #1 went smoothly, day #2 might not. Now they know what to expect! Enjoy this next step in raising children. This is just the beginning of their education and before long, they will be teaching you!

Back to School 2013




. S V







The cost and


Win a Diono, Radiant GTX car seat worth


id you know…

• Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for Canadian children? • Keeping your child rear-facing until at least age two can reduce the risk of death in a collision by 75 per cent? • Up to 90 per cent of car seats are installed incorrectly? • Many police stations offer free car-seat installation checks?




Click here for details • There are professional car-seat installation centres? • Making a run for the border to find a “deal” on a car seat isn’t the best idea? Car seat regulations are different in Canada than in the U.S. and other countries (pssst! It’s also illegal) • Five-point harnesses are far safer for small children than seatbelts? • Every car seat has an expiration date? (Please follow it – I really don’t think this is a load of crap)


et us help you narrow down a very broad field by highlighting the benefits of the two major educational paths: private schools and public schools.


• Increased parental involvement in children’s education, at home and within school community • Class sizes are usually smaller; one-on-one time with students has been proven to improve academic achievement • Private schools often have a good reputation in global higher education institutions, with many schools boasting a 100 per cent rate of students attending their first choice university • The private school system provides various educational options, including international exchange programs, advanced placement (AP) or international baccalaureate (IB); faith-based schools— Christian, Jewish, Muslim; coed or single gender schools; and special needs schools • Excellent extracurricular activities or special programs—e.g., arts, sports, clubs, music • Dedicated and well-trained teachers, many with advanced degrees • Not run by tax dollars, thus more freedom in curriculum design and general governance • Larger student populations in public schools may lead to decreased supervision and more bullying issues • Public schools may have more bureaucracy, leading to less innovation in program offering, less positive change at the institutional level and decreased parental influence on a child’s educational progress and disciplinary measures • Children who are less assertive or different may miss out on social and leadership opportunities with larger school sizes in public schools • Frequently overcrowded schools and classrooms in public schools may decrease a student’s chance of getting extra attention and academic support as needed • Many private schools meet or exceed provincial education standards, according to Michael Zwaagstra, co-author of the book What’s Wrong with Our Schools and How We Can Fix Them. Private schools that are included in the rankings often score high in the Fraser Institute’s report cards measuring academic achievement among all school types that take standardized tests.


• Public schools are overseen by provincial governments and local school boards (many private schools that receive government funding or grant credits for the provincial high school diploma are also required to abide by provincial standards, but families must exercise due diligence and do research on each school) • Top public schools may have a wide range of resources and cutting-edge equipment • Some private schools may be more selective than public schools and can be stressful to get into • Although there are more ways and financial aid to manage the costs of private school, private schools may not be affordable for some families.


Whether you choose a public school or a private school, most critical is finding a school that will provide your child a solid educational foundation for future academic, career and personal success. Ensure that the school emphasizes the well-qualified teachers and smaller class sizes that cater best to students’ unique academic and personal strengths and weaknesses. Finally, realize that there are good public schools and good private schools. In the end what matters is choosing a school that best suits your child, as well as the entire family. Once you have done your research, relax! No decision is irreversible, and if the school turns out to be the wrong fit—geographically, financially, academically or otherwise—there are plenty more schools to choose from.



• Cost-effective; public school is free, paid for by Canadians’ tax dollars • Like private schools, some public schools offer specialized courses or programs—e.g., math and science, special needs and the arts • Public schools don’t usually require prospective students to undergo entrance interviews or tests in order to attend the school, so students may be exposed to a wider range of people • Students in public schools are typically grouped according to geographical area, which can be an advantage in terms of out-of-school socializing • Typically, teachers in North American public schools must have a bachelor’s degree as well as federal, state or provincial certification


Back to School 2013




L ov e d by busy parents across Canada and the

U SA, ECHOage is a new, free online partyplanning website with a uniq ue charitable giving twist. ECHOage gives busy parents all the tools they need to plan and manage an effortless birthday party and teach their children about giving at the same time. Through online invitations, guests contribute funds securely towards birthday gifts the child actually wants. The funds collected are split in two.

Half of the funds collected go to the charity of the child’s choice and the other half goes towards the child’s desired birthday gifts. Even better, party guests receive tax receipts. The birthday party has been reinvented for modern day parents - ECHOage is the better way to celebrate. Here are two amazing stories of children who used ECHOage for their birthday parties:

C lara’s



F or C lara’s 3 rd b irthday, she got a tree hou se and Proj ec t Linu s got $ 2 2 7 .0 0 C l ara says she chose to support Proj ect Linus, “Because children didn’t have blankies.” Clara adores the q uilts made by her G reat G reat G randmother and her G reat G randmother Imogene that she sleeps with every night. Her G randma Imogene also makes q uilts for the Linus Proj ect. For her birthday, Clara wanted to help other children get their own “blankies.” Proj ect Linus gives handmade blankets to ill and traumatized children that are in need of a little ex tra comfort. When we offered the choice between giving blankets or helping children who needed more food, Clara said, “Why can’t I do both? ” Clara’s M om says she loves that Clara is learning about helping others – inspiring her generosity at such a young age.



Clara is getting a tree house in her backyard that her parents are building for her from new and reclaimed materials. Hopefully, it will be a little retreat for her for many years to come. Happy birthday sweet Clara. Y our ECHO will certainly be heard far and wide. Wishing you many wonderful hours of dreaming up new ways to improve the world in your new tree house.


ECHOage is an online birthday party service where kids get the gifts they want AND give to a charity. ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Free online invitations Secure gift & charity giving Contribution tracker RSVP manager Thank you notes

A Better Way To Celebrate



A Little Drama Goes A Long Way at Norah’s 9th Birthday Party.


For Norah’s 9th birthday she and all her friends had a great drama party at The Stage Door Academy. They played really cool drama games, freeze dance, ate pizza and celebrated with birthday cake!

Her present was an iTunes gift card and 3DS games. In her words, “I love to listen and sing to music.” For her ECHOage birthday, she chose to support WWF. When asked Norah how she felt about her contribution, “I LOVE animals and I wanted to help Polar Bears because they are getting endangered and I want to protect their Arctic Home.” Norah, we are so proud of you and the ECHO you have already started at such a young age. We can’t wait to see what you do for your second act! Happy, happy birthday, Norah from everyone at ECHOage.com

echoage.com A Better Way To Celebrate Back to School 2013



The cost and



id you know…

• Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for Canadian children? • Keeping your child rear-facing until at least age two can reduce the risk of death in a collision by 75 per cent? • Up to 90 per cent of car seats are installed incorrectly? • Many police stations offer free car-seat installation checks?



• There are professional car-seat installation centres? • Making a run for the border to find a “deal” on a car seat isn’t the best idea? Car seat regulations are different in Canada than in the U.S. and other countries (pssst! It’s also illegal) • Five-point harnesses are far safer for small children than seatbelts? • Every car seat has an expiration date? (Please follow it – I really don’t think this is a load of crap)

BRAND Safety 1st

MODEL Alpha Omega Elite



• Easiest-to-manage price point

• Installation presented some

• This is a three-in-one seat, with a


rear-facing option for infants

• Fabric is the least desirable of all

• Forward-facing with five-point

four models

harness to 65 lbs. and with

• Buckles feel the flimsiest

seatbelt to 100 lbs. (up to 52” tall)

• Harness slots seem too high for

• Eight-year expiration date

newborns and too low for an


average four year old


BRAND Britax



MODEL Nautilus

MODEL Frontier XT




• Although regularly priced at around $250, I scored one for $99 • A three-stage forward-facing seat: five-point harness to 65 lbs. converts to belt-positioning high-back booster to backless booster to 100 lbs. (up to 57” tall) • Steel-alloy frame • Head rest is easy to adjust



• Incredible nine-year expiration date • True side-impact technology • Forward-facing with five-point harness to 65 lbs. and with seatbelt to 120 lbs. (up to a noteworthy 65” tall) • Wide, comfortable seat – ideal for bigger children • Two built-in cupholders • Tall harness slots


• Forward-facing only • Tether frayed within one year of use (but replaced for free within days) • Door-side arm rest has come loose from being used as leverage to get into the car seat • You must remove the seat to raise or lower the headrest


• Ten-year expiration date – amazing! • Three-in-one seat that goes from rear-facing to forward-facing with five-point harness to 65 lbs. in Canada (legal to a whopping 80 lbs. in the U.S.) and with seatbelt to 120 lbs. (but only up to 57” tall) • Fit three of these across the back seat • Memory foam padding • Comes with a seat protector and two cup holders • Fabric is machine washable • Easiest installation of all • Steel-reinforced frame • Lots of side-impact protection

here are a few baby and kid products that I think are worth an investment – and strollers, snow suits and car seats are among my top picks. When it comes to safety, there is perhaps no more important product than the car seat. And it’s where my favourite investment tool, the “cost-per-use” principle – dividing the total purchase price by the number of times it’ll be used – should be strongly considered. In my experience with car seats, you get what you pay for. And whether you’re a new or veteran parent, you can’t put a price on your child’s safety. While there are several choices for infant car seats, I feel relatively confident that most of these perform similarly enough that you can choose the brand that fits best with your stroller. My personal choice for both kids, in case you were wondering, was the Graco SnugRide.

• Assembly was a tad finicky because of the LATCH connectors • The tether strap is much too short for the average three year old • As your child grows, you need to rethread the harness • Quite narrow; bigger children simply won’t be comfortable in this seat for long

• It’s more than $350 at many retailers • The cupholders don’t really click into place and are easy for toddlers to remove; they also sit on an angle, which isn’t ideal for all children’s cups • Headrest repositioning can be tricky – but at least you don’t have to remove the seat to adjust it up or down




However, the toddler and child car-seat category is cluttered with numerous brands and more models still within each brand. It can get overwhelming. I took a closer look at four popular car seats with various price points to help you better understand where your money will be well-spent. Testing took place in two different CUVs and one pick-up truck, and we used both professional installation and our own home installation throughout the testing period. Of course, I’m not Consumer Reports and – thankfully, mercifully – haven’t done any crash tests. As a parent, I was looking for several things, including: ease of installation, buckle and strap quality, my child’s comfort, extra features, frame strength, maintenance and overall performance over time. Check out this handy chart to see how each model measured up (click here for a complete list of pros and cons): Back to School 2013


new concept in

What is Kidville? Kidville is the #1 place for families with young children – from newborn to age 6. Offering a wide range of creative classes in music & dance, gym, art, and more! It’s a unique one- stop shop for families looking for fun classes and activities that cater to a variety of needs and schedules. Their teaching philosophy focuses on the process rather than the product – so every child can be successful in any class.


Why do you offer classes in 16-week semesters? At Kidville, they believe that routine is instrumental in the stages of learning. Their 16-weeks semesters allow children to build trusting relationships with teachers and peers. It provides enough time for children to fully immerse in the curriculum.

Offering a wide range of fun, easily accessible classes and programs designed by early childhood development specialists, Kidville is an exciting new place where parents and kids can put creativity, fun, and family-time first! “Kidville is your next-door neighbour, your music and dance studio, your art room and your playground all rolled into one,” says Cathy PiedraMcKenzie, entrepreneur and President of Kidville Canada. “Our goal is to make parents’ lives better and easier by providing high quality activities, great locations and convenient scheduling options that meet families’ various needs. It really changes the way you feel about rushing your kids around to classes each week.”

Where is Kidville located? The first Kidville Canada location will be located in Toronto’s Yonge Lawrence Village. They’ve turned 8,500 square feet of indoor space into a state-of-the-art learning and activity centre; including a theatre space, an art studio, two indoor gyms and retail boutique! KIDVILLE – YONGE LAWRENCE VILLAGE 3420 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4N 2M9 416.483.7070 LIKE US ON FACEBOOK facebook.com/KidvilleCanada

Kidville, a new community destination for parents and kids from newborn through age six, is coming to Canada with the launch of its first flagship location in Toronto’s Yonge Lawrence Village neighborhood, August 24 2013!

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER twitter.com/KidvilleCanada

It’s not too late to register for Fall classes at www.kidville.ca, where flexible membership options and online class selection make it easy for parents to plan activities for their children of different ages, interests, and naptimes!


Back to School

Already y BY CARI HAIM

Back to School Already?

ou know it’s coming. Just as we get used to those lazy, hazy days, that fall chill will creep in, and the first day of school will be just around the corner. While we’d all like to bury our heads in the summer sand and stay on permanent holiday, our lives will be so much easier if we embrace the inevitable and get organized for a successful school year. So let’s sharpen our pencils and get started!

A Place for Everything:

Whether your resident scholar is going off to kindergarten for the first time or is a seasoned high school veteran, it’s important to keep things organized. Make sure you have a place for your child to do homework – the kitchen or dining room table is fine. Don’t worry about your child having a desk in her room. You want your child nearby so you can monitor and support him, without the “Dad! Mom! I need help!” calls from the bedroom.

School Supplies:

Ensure your child has pens, pencils, erasers, markers or crayons, glue stick, scissors and a ruler handy. Even the youngest student can take responsibility for a pencil box and its contents. Older students may need a calculator and math kit (containing a compass and protractor) as well.

Backpack Routine:

Now is the time to decide where the backpack will go each night before bedtime. Right near your child’s shoes is always a good location, as it cuts down on the chance of forgetting the bag at home! Please check the school bag daily. There may be a note, permission slip or a piece of leftover lunch. Trust me, you do not want to find that tuna sandwich next Tuesday. Go through it nightly, or better yet, have your child empty it and help file away the contents. Deal with papers right away. If it’s trash, throw it out. Permission slips can be signed and placed back in the bag immediately. If you need to send money but don’t have it handy, put the information portion of the permission slip on the fridge and send it the next day. Most students have a planner or agenda that is used to record homework and important school events. Find out how your child’s school will use the planner. Do you need to sign it daily? Weekly? The planner can be an effective way to communicate with your child’s teacher, so ask if this is the best way to send and receive messages.

Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks:

Please make sure your child eats breakfast. It makes a huge difference in their ability to learn and focus. A hungry child simply cannot concentrate. Make sure that there are healthy foods for lunch, like fruits and cut up veggies, whole wheat sandwiches or wraps, and water or juice. Send snacks for recess times that are easy for your child to access, like raisins, fruit, or a granola bar. Pack lunches in the evening. Older children should be expected to prepare their own lunch, or at least contribute to the preparation. Kids who pack their own lunch and snacks are less likely to waste food because they don’t like something.

Label, Label, Label:

For the younger set, label EVERYTHING: the backpack, lunch bag, lunch and snack containers, and clothing, particularly outerwear and gym clothes. Items WILL be lost, and having your child’s name on everything will ensure a less frustrating trip to the lost and found. When sending money to school, place it in an envelope or small baggie with both your child’s name and teacher’s name on the outside.

What to Wear:

If your child goes to a school where a uniform is required, then breathe easy. You will not have the tortuous “But I don’t have anything to wear!” trauma at 7:30 a.m. But for the rest of us, there are ways to ensure a smoother morning. When shopping for back to school items, buy the basics. A few pairs of pants, shirts and sweaters should do it. The girlier girls might want the occasional skirt or dress, but remember that they should be clothes that are appropriate for play and work. Don’t send your child in any clothes that can’t get messy other than on picture day. School is a busy place and there may be remnants of your child’s day on the clothes. Be aware of your school’s dress code as well. Many schools don’t allow ‘spaghetti straps’ or short skirts/shorts, even for young children. It’s one more thing to do, but it really does help to choose clothes the night before. Give your child a couple of options and once chosen, stick to the choices in the morning.

Morning Routine:

Schedule your mornings as if they were business meetings. How much time do you need to get everyone ready, including yourself? While extra sleep is delicious, it may be helpful to have the parents get ready first, while the kids are still in bed. Have your children do as much for themselves as is appropriate for their age. Older children can be expected to dress themselves, brush their teeth and prepare a simple breakfast of cereal and juice. The younger kids need help with every step, so make sure you build in enough time to get it all done. Beware of the television in the mornings – know if it helps to move things along for your family or just slows things down.

Taking some time before school starts to plan your family routines will help your children get excited and ready for school. If you are organized, life will be so much easier. And if you’re not, just ‘fake it ‘til you make it’! Have a wonderful school year! Back to School 2013



Pregnancy AND


ORAL Health

hile a mom-to-be has much on the mind, one of the things not always at the top of the list is oral health. However, there are lots of reasons why good oral health is important, especially during pregnancy.

Bleeding Gums

The first reason is that hormonal changes occur during pregnancy that can cause gums to become swollen, inflamed and bleed more easily. It is important to gently brush around the gums during pregnancy to avoid pregnancy gingivitis. Having regular dental cleanings during pregnancy can reduce or eliminate the effects of these hormonal changes on gums.

Tooth Erosion and Decay

The second reason is that nausea and vomiting during pregnancy cause stomach acid to stay on teeth which can cause erosion and decay. Nausea and vomiting (or alternatively, pregnancy cravings) can also result in a change of diet for pregnant women who may eat more starchy carbs and/or sugary foods. Such a change in diet increases the likelihood of cavities during pregnancy especially if brushing of teeth is avoided as a result of nausea. The dentist can provide strategies to protect teeth during pregnancy e.g. while regular brushing is recommended, brushing immediately following vomiting is ill advised because it will accelerate the damage to the teeth. Rinse with water or mouthwash immediately after vomiting and save brushing for later.



Health of Baby and Mom


There is some research that suggests that pregnant women with periodontal disease may have a greater likelihood of delivering a pre-term baby or a baby with a lower birth weight. Some studies have also tied periodontal disease to health problems for women including diabetes and heart disease.

Don’t Delay Necessary Dental Care and Take Preventative Action

The important message is not to delay necessary dental care. This means addressing known dental problems prior to becoming pregnant if possible when it is safest to take xrays, medications and undergo dental procedures. It is also recommended to see a dentist during pregnancy to have oral health assessed early on so that hopefully dental treatment during pregnancy e.g due to cavity or infection or periodontal disease will be unnecessary. Once pregnant, a dentist will likely only perform a dental procedure on a mother if it is absolutely necessary. This is why preventative care during pregnancy is so important. For more information or if you have any questions, contact Dr. Tal Lewinger at www.marketplacedentistry.ca or e-mail at info@marketplacedentistry.ca

For more information or if you have any questions, contact Dr. Tal Lewinger at www.marketplacedentistry.ca or e-mail at info@marketplacedentistry.ca

littlebig steps AGES & STAGES Be prepared for your child’s every step with important facts and guidance for every phase of their childhood.






etween allergies, food advertising and picky eaters, putting together a healthy lunch for school can be tricky. We’ve got some tips on what to look for and avoid, as well as a healthy pasta salad recipe. Packing your child’s lunch for school can be tough. First you have to sort through all the commercials and media promoting seemingly “healthy” additions to a balanced lunch. Then there are the serious allergies that must be considered, including peanuts, nuts, eggs and milk. Finally, some kids are just particular about which foods they do and don’t like. It’s easy to see how things can get complicated quickly, especially if you have more than one kid to pack for. The trick is to keep lunches as clean and simple as possible. You don’t have to go out of your way to make things that are “kid friendly” — the truth is, if you are eating healthful and balanced meals at home, your kids should be doing the same. Keep that philosophy in mind when putting their lunches together. Remember, what you pack for lunch not only has an impact on the health and well being of your children, but it can also affect how they feel each day and their overall performance in school.




What to avoid in the lunch box:

• High-sugar snacks — cookies, cakes, juice boxes, canned fruit • Additives like colour and MSG, which could be linked to poor behaviour and attention span — cheese slices, jams, non-fat yogurts • Bad fats, which may interfere with nerve function — lunch meats, fried foods, processed cheeses • Caffeine — found in chocolate and soda • Too much salt — from potato chips, crackers, lunch meats

Some tips for what to pack:

• EFA-rich foods to feed the brain — like a sunflower-seedbutter and apple-butter sandwich sprinkled with flax seeds and fruit trail mix • Protein to even energy throughout the day — think brown rice cakes with hummus or bean salad • Calcium-rich foods help to support cell membranes and improve behavior — try sheep yogurt with fruit and pumpkin seeds

(who is now in high school), freaking out about not being able to memorize the combination to the lock for her locker and the worry of getting to class school year were (and still are) tricky, especially at night as my children lie awake in bed, thinking and anticipating what is ahead.

these days as even the most educated of graduates are meaningful and fair paying work. -

dren at this age to go out and make some money (baby-sitting gigs or even part-time work) and to contribute more around the house (cleaning up their room, doing dishes, helping with the laun-

High School carries with it the greatest amount of pressure and we as parents should never, for one second, minimize the level of pressure our children are never ends and is relentless!) under while going to high school. All you have to do So, to think that kids have it easy is completely crais remind yourself of what it was like in high school zy. Newborns and toddlers have it easy...but make for you and multiply it by 10. no mistake, once our kids hit grade 1...the party is over. But don’t worry...managing this pressure Grade 9 was hard for my daughter. Aside from getreally doesn’t start until the end of the elementary ting accustomed to the new digs, she had to almost school years. In her case, she was the “new kid on the block” trying to penetrate cliques that were already developed back in middle school or at summer camp. It is still a struggle for her to this day (she is now in grade 10) and doesn’t feel completely comfortable with the idea that she has any “true” friends....lots of acquainOther things come into the equation in high school...nothing I am sure that we parents didn’t experience when we were kids...but these things are now happening to our little babies!! Exposure to sex, exposure to drugs and exposure to alcohol. Accept it or not, our children will try one if not all three of these things during their tenure at high school. Again...think back to when you were their Peer pressure is probably the biggest kind of stress your children will be under when attending high school. We all probably have war stories of our

mounting since the early days. Exams and more complex assignments and projects are now part of the mix. However, the biggest challenge with academic pressure at the high school age is the need to begin to formulate an action-plan for the post-secondary life head around when you are 14 or 15. It’s a hard thing to get around as a 47 year old too!! It is even harder

So...what can we do as parents do to ease this sense of pressure that our children feel? Firstly, don’t minimize it. Home is safety for kids...or at least, it should be. Home is where their voice can truly be heard and heard with empathy and compassion by their parents. Home is where kids can be their authentic and real selves. If we create a safe, loving and empathic environment for our children, they will be more willing to share with us what they are feeling. Remember, we parents have “been there and done that”. We can provide our children with great insight and at the very least, we can listen to them as they try to express their feelings. At the high school level, a parent must work extra hard lenge parents have at this level is being allowed inside their kid’s heads. Kids feel their parents will dump on them for experimenting, screwing up or taking mismistakes too. Our parents made mistakes with us and that is ok. We must support our teenagers, allowing them to test the waters knowing that their parents have their backs every step of the way. contest...decisions we make for them will not always be well-received but listening to our children with patience and empathy and appreciating that what they are going through as teenagers isn’t easy, is the best strategy for future success. Back to School 2013 53


more meal ideas: WHAT YOU NEED:

• Pasta salad with raw veggies • Homemade nut-free granola bars • Leftover quinoa • Hummus and veggies

• 1 package of brown-rice pasta (Tinkyada is the best brand) • 2 carrots, chopped into small pieces • 2 stalks celery, chopped into small pieces • 1 red pepper, chopped into small pieces • 1 handful of snap peas, cut into slices • 1 handful spinach, chopped into small pieces Optional: 1 can organic chickpeas — (Eden Organics) rinsed and drained

Directions 1. Have all of your veggies, chopped and ready to go, in separate bowls. 2. Cook pasta to instructions on package, then rinse under cool water to drain any excess starch. 3. Place pasta into a large bowl. 4. In a large bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Then add the cooked pasta and chopped up veggies and mix together. Marni Wasserman is a culinary spring/summer nutritionist in 2013 Toronto whose philosophy is stemmed around whole foods. She is dedicated to providing balanced lifestyle choices through natural foods. Using passion and experience, she strives to educate individuals on how everyday eating can be simple and delicious. Article originally seen on chatelaine.com

Back to School 2013



little big steps

Sleepless Nights Equal

Prime ReadingTime BOOK IDEAS




ne of life’s ironies is that the time we have left to bank sleep before life begins with a newborn, our bodies rebel and insomnia sets in. Warm milk, yoga stretches, waking up our partner and trying to convince them it would be more fun to give us a foot rub than to try and sleep, we try it all. When all else fails, it is time to crack open a new book. If you have not started delving into the world of pregnancy books that surround us, here are a few ideas.

What to Expect When Expecting: 4th Edition Edited by Arlene Eisenberg You will have a new appreciation for the fruits and vegetables around you as you start comparing the growing baby inside you to different forms of produce. This book is broken down nicely and has an interesting question and answer section that will often cover your common concerns or queries. This is a great start for getting pregnancy information, and has been read by so many it can be easily found at the bookstore, library or used book depot.



Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin This is for all the Moms-to-be that have chosen to go the midwife route. Ina May is a famous midwife from the states who has been pivotal in the development of birthing centers. Her approach to childbirth is wonderfully positive and encouraging. She is realistic and gives you a well rounded picture of both hospital and home births.

Baby Center Pregnancy from Preconception to Birth edited by Linda J Murray One of the best parts of this book is that it is connected to one of the greatest resource websites for parents available on-line. Once you register on the website you can get information sent to you weekly from pregnancy to toddler years. The book is well laid out, full of images and again addresses the majority of concerns and areas of interest that you can think of.

Pregnancy Day by Day Canadian Edition by Elaine Herer Once you have read all the books and are you still looking for more to read on the baby growing inside you or how you are feeling, it is time to pull out this book. It can be daunting in size, but a fun and enjoyable read. Once you have read all that you can read on your growing banana perhaps it is time to turn to fiction.

The Birth House: A Novel by Ami McKay If you decide that you want to keep with the baby theme even though you have gone into the area of fiction, this is a great book to read. This is the story of Dora Rare who is the only daughter in five generations of children. She starts to learn to be a midwife in a small Canadian town and recounts quite the tale of ups and downs. For those of you that are sick of thinking about growing and delivering this child, perhaps fiction that has nothing to do with babies might be in order.

In the Field by Claire Tacon “Once, on a tour of his school’s music room, Terrence picked up a violin and played it next to a cello. As he sounded the E string, the A on the cello vibrated because they share an overtone. It’s why people fall in love, he said, because even though one is a violin and the other is a cello they sense their sameness.” This engaging story tells the story of Ellie Lucan who is a professor who faces job loss, marriage issues and an aging and ailing parent. She must discover what she truly wants in life while choosing how best to care for her mother, what to do about the temptation of a long lost love and how to deal with the small town prejudice that her biracial face.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh On her eighteenth birthday, the social worker tells foster child Victoria Jones, “this is it, you know…your life starts here. No one to blame but yourself from here on out.” With that Victoria starts life without anyone to check up on her and no one to answer to. From a childhood experience

this young woman has an understanding of the true meaning of each type of flower. She knows that baby’s breath means everlasting love, a daisy means innocence, a gerbera daisy means cheerfulness and rosemary means remembrance. She uses the flowers to build bouquets to help those around her communicate and in the process faces her past, her present and her possible future. Being a foster parent myself I have to note that the author mentions in the novel that camellias mean my destiny is in your hands and so she has created the Camellia Network to help foster youth transitioning into adulthood. I love when the novels we read can lead to improving the world around us.

Chai Tea Sunday by Heather A. Clark “We do not lose the people we love, even to death…(she) has left a mark on your soul and there is no one and nothing that can take that from you.” This amazing book is one that you should buy and save for after you safely deliver your pride and joy but then when you need a good fictional emotional journey to get all those hormones really pumping through you, it is time to pick up this novel. This is the story of Nicky Fowler who with her husband face a horrible loss. In order to get away from it all Nicky travels to Kenya and through volunteering and helping others there, finds a way to heal herself. This book has a higher mission in that a portion of the sales of the book goes to an organization called Artbound. While the ideas for books to read and novels to absorb your mind could go on for ever, we shall end this time with a book that can easily be picked up and put down. This one is perfect for the Momto-be who has become the To-do list queen and is welcoming the nesting period of her pregnancy.

1000 Best Quick and Easy Organizing Secrets by Jamie Novak This book has been compiled by the founder of ClutterprooofingTM products and is great to tackle in the middle of the night when you just cannot get any shuteye. This has fantastic ideas on how to de-clutter every room in your house and even every area of your life. In reality a true added bonus about pregnancy is the chance to prepare for life as a parent. The more proactive you are at getting organized and de-cluttered, the easier life will become in the long run.

Back to School 2013


little big steps

Useful Tips to

Help Your Child

Transition Seamlessly INTO FULL DAY



ears on the first day?

No not you! Your little one! We all know that it can be an emotional day for many parents, but the focus of this tip is the apprehensive new kindergarten student. It’s natural to miss mom or dad until a child feels safe and comfortable at school. Pack a family photo in your child’s backpack so that your child can look at the picture when they’re feeling lonely.

Packing lunch - If you have time, get your

child to help you pack their lunch. It’s a great opportunity to help children learn about nutrition, and also increases the chances the food will be eaten if it was agreed upon at home! Picnic style lunches such as cut up fruit, veggies, crackers, and cheese are tasty, healthy meal options. The key is nutritious items that can be snacked on during the various eating opportunities throughout the school day. Soy-nut butter is a tasty, protein packed substitute for schools that do not allow tree nuts or peanuts due to allergies. Final tip, fill a water bottle and your child will stay hydrated during the day. Kindergarten kicks - Many teachers will ask that

you send your child to school with shoes that they can do up independently. Whether it’s Velcro or laces, many children still confuse left and right.




One way to get around this is to draw a small happy face on the back of the shoe (half the smile on the left and half on the right shoe). Once the smile lines up, the child can step into the shoes correctly. If you don’t want to mark up the exterior of your child’s shoes, a simple dot on the left and right inner fabric of the shoe can help children prevent shoe mix-up. Just show your child how the dots need to touch before he or she slips on their outdoor or indoor shoes.

Get involved! The goal in the first few weeks of Kindergarten is to develop a safe, inclusive classroom where children feel confident following routines. Volunteers can actually be a distraction until students feel confident following directions from one adult (the classroom teacher!). Once the teacher is ready for volunteers, this is your opportunity to let your child know you are interested in their education by participating. Volunteer on fieldtrips, bake with the class, share your musical talent or read with students. Even coming into the classroom to help with cutting/pasting can be a big help to the teacher and special to your child. If you work full time, ask if you can do cutting/pasting job from home.

teen slug




am always envious of little kids, running around in the playground or in the park...footloose and fancy free, without a care in the world.

I GUESS WHAT THEY SAY IS TRUE... “IGNORANCE IS BLISS” - NOT THAT THESE LITTLE GUYS ARE STUPID OR DUMB...THEY JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND THEM. Why should they? It’s pretty cool when you don’t have to worry about a thing - you are too young for school, too young to take on any kind of responsibility, too young to worry about paying bills, putting food on the table. A little kid just assumes that all this stuff will be taken care of for them by their parents or caregivers. In fact, I don’t even think they give a moments pause thinking about any of it. As these kids get a bit older, they start their journey of education. It’s still pretty easy and non-stressful in kindergar-


ten and even into grade 1...but at this point, grown ups start placing demands on them. Certain milestones need to be met such as being able to read, very basic math (adding and subtracting), being able to identify the letters of the alphabet, writing, drawing...and other stuff like that!

As parents and caregivers, we listen very carefully to the teachers of our children to hear about their progress and if they are flourishing at the level that is expected of them based on formulas and calculations done by the brains higher up the food chain. If our children are struggling at this point, it still doesn’t bum them out because they really still have no clue about the pressure that is being placed on them. Once the kids pass the primary grade levels, other stuff starts to happen, which might now include assignments and projects being doled out and our children being expected to have them completed by a certain date. “Tests” and “quizzes” start entering the conversation.

Back to School 2013




For the beginners Kindergarten Rocks BY KATIE DAVIS

This is the story of Dex Dexter who is just about to start Kindergarten and while he is not nervous at all his stuffed dog Rufus is a bit scared. Not to worry though because his big sister Jessie who is going into grade three is there to tell him all about it. This is a great book for those kids who appear a bit nervous about what Kindergarten is all about.


For the Toddler: The Berenstain Bears BY STAN AND JAN BERENSTAIN

Truth of the matter is The Berenstain Bears have been a staple in many houses over the years, and were there for many of us as children since they first published in 1962. There seems to be many stories still to come and The Berenstain Bears Go Back To School is an example of a great story for kids. This picture book was written by Stan and Jan Berenstain and was actually illustrated by their son Mike Berenstain who was one of the children that inspired brother bear. This story tells of brother and sister going to school on the school bus, the school bullies being busted by a teacher, a teacher with eyes in the back of her head and a nervous new teacher to round out the group. This is a fun way to get back into the school mood after a summer full of fun times and long nights!




Early grades Suki’s Kimono BY CHIERI UEGAKI

Another beautiful picture book for those beginning school and those returning in the early grades is Suki’s Kimono by Chieri Uegaki. This is a wonderful story of Suki who is determined to wear her favourite kimono and shiny red geta on the first day of school, even though her older sisters Mari and Yumai say she will be teased. The other students do not know what to make of Suki’s outfit but after she has the confidence to sit up straight and tall like her grandmother taught her and shows off the dancing she loves to do in her kimono she is applauded by all and has a much better day than her sisters.


For the Early Learners: Amelia Bedelia Goes Back to School BY HERMAN PARISH

Who would believe that Amelia Bedelia could be involved in school time, but indeed she is in Amelia Be Bedelia Goes Back to School by Herman Parish. This is a world of confusion as Amelia Bedelia learns that taking things quite literally can have unexpected results. Amelia asks the teacher where she should take her chair when told to take her seat, tries to put her head flat on the chalkboard when asked to keep her eyes on the board, and gets dizzy when told they are going to read in a circle. You can only imagine what happens when Amelia Bedelia is told they are serving hot dogs for lunch!

It’s that time of year again and our children are getting ready for school, some or the first time and others that have been going for years. Here is a sampling of books for different ages that might just become new yearly favourites.


For Beginning Readers: Ottoline Goes to School BY CHRIS RIDDELL

For the child looking for more independence in reading and a book with amazing illustrations, check out Ottoline Goes to School written and illustrated by Chris Riddell. This is a great story about Ottoline and her best friend Mr. Munroe who her parents found in a bog in Norway. Ottoline makes a new friend Cecily ForbesLawrence III and follows her to the Alice B. Smith School for the Differently Gifted. A great adventure occurs with ghosts, thefts, and a fun mystery. This book is a delight from beginning to end. Make sure your child checks out the challenge at the end of the book to go back and find all the ghosts hidden in the illustrations, what a great way to end this story.



A Book for All Ages: The Sea of Monsters BY RICK RIORDAN

For our tweens excitement is brewing that the next instalment of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series is coming out in movies. What a great way to get students into reading, by having them read the book before going to the movies. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan is the second book in the series and is an adventure that occurs as Percy nears the end of grade seven. With his friends Annabeth and Grover and a new friend, the Cyclops Tyson, Percy goes in search of the golden fleece and comes across old enemies and new in the process. Just be prepared there is a cliff hanger ending so you will probably want to pick up the third book while you are at it.


Truth first, we broke Another movie coming out that is book related and is so captivating to read for the older student is the second book in the Hunger Games series. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins continues on the story of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Melark after they have won the hunger games in book one, the first time there are two victors from a game since it is supposed to be a fight to the death. Since Katniss defied the capitol to save them both, she must deal with the consequences not just for herself but also for those around her. Again be warned this is definitely a cliff hanger ending and you will find the need to buy the last book in the trilogy Mockinjay is a must.



A book that does contain violence and monsters, but that is also coming out in movie form this fall is from the Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. City of Bones is the first book in a six book series (just so you know, book six has not been published yet so when you get there, you are going to have to be patient to find out how it all ends!) This is the story of Clary who discovers that there is another world around us that mortals can not see. This is the world of shadow hunters, demons, vampires and werewolves. It is a world that she should be a part of but her mother has been having her talents repressed so they could live a normal life. The possibility of that is long gone early on in this novel and it is interesting to follow along in where this story takes her.

Back to School 2013


Profile for Pink & Blue Magazine

Issue 4: Back to School 2013  

Issue 4: Back to School 2013