July 2022

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VOLUME 39, #5 JULY 2022


ROAD TRIP! 20 Ways To Keep Kids Happy

or Parent?

PY SMonitoring Your

Teen’s Life Online

How I Survived Before the Internet INSIDE: Healthy

Child, Healthy Family - Pull Out and Save!

New Yo rk’s Only Intera ct Reptile ive Zoo!

Only 3.5 miles from Letchworth Park

16 Lake St. Perry, NY 585-356-3312

Admission $10 per person (2 and under free) Visit Prehistoric World for a chance to touch, hold, and see amazing animals from Birthd ays, Sc hool around the world. Assemb lies, an d More FUN FOR ALL AGES FEED AN ANIMAL FOR ONLY



2 WNY Family July 2022

July 2022 • Volume 39 • Issue 5

EDITOR & PUBLISHER Michele Miller GENERAL MANAGER Paul Kline SALES REPRESENTATIVE Paul Kline GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Karen Wawszczyk Melanie Schroeder CONTRIBUTORS Barbara Blackburn • Donna Phillips Richard De Fino • Deborah Williams Kathy Lundquist • Myrna Beth Haskell Mike Daugherty




Visit Our Web Site www.wnyfamilymagazine.com To Reach Us: Advertising Department advertising@wnyfamilymagazine.com Calendar Submissions calendar@wnyfamilymagazine.com Subscriptions subscriptions@wnyfamilymagazine.com Editorial Submissions michele@wnyfamilymagazine.com MAILING ADDRESS: 3147 Delaware Ave., Suite B Buffalo, NY 14217 Phone: (716) 836-3486 • Fax: (716) 836-3680 PRINTED BY: Commercial Printing Division The Post-Journal, Jamestown WE ARE AN AUDITED PUBLICATION CIRCULATION (copies printed): 20,000 © 2022 Western New York Family, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form without permission is strictly prohibited. Inclusion of an advertisement does not constitute an endorsement by the publisher. PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS: MAILED FIRST CLASS, IN AN ENVELOPE SAME DAY ISSUE IS DELIVERED FROM THE PRINTER: $28 one year, $52 two years, $75 three years. Phone & online orders accepted with credit cards. Gift subscriptions available. Single copies & back issues by mail, $2.50. IF YOU MOVE: Missed issues will not be replaced if we do not receive an address change before issue mailing date.

Where It’s At! Travel & Vacation Features: 6n

Family Fun in the Sun: Summer Recreation and Activities for the Whole Family by Kimberly Blaker


Road Trip: Twenty Ways to Keep Kids Happy by Jan Pierce

10 n

Great Ways to Save Money on Your Summer Vacation by Tanni Haas, Ph.D.

12 n

Helping Our Children Rediscover Joy in the Midst of Tragedy by Jeanine DeHoney

14 n

How I Survived Before the Internet by Rebecca Hastings

19 n


A Special Pull-Out Section • How to Build a Nature Habit for Your Family to Feel Happier and Calmer • 6 Steps to Get Your Health Back on Track • 12 Powerhouse Veggies to Incorporate into Your Family’s Diet • Ultraprocessed Foods Now Comprise 2/3 of Calories in Children’s and Teen’s Diets • The Mental Health Crisis of Moms • Your Body Will Thank You When You Stress Less • One Parent’s Experience: The Well Visit • Excess Screen Time is Impacting Teen Mental Health • Diabetes in WNY’s Children: Rates are Rising • Improving Outcome for Children with Diabetes


16 n Summer Camps 48 n Choosing Childcare

Regulars: 5 n Web Finds / What’s New In The Kid Biz 18 n Dear Teacher by Peggy Gisler & Marge Eberts 39 n Parent Previews by Kirsten Hawkes 40 n Raising Digital Kids Digital Memories Management by Mike Daugherty 42 n Family Travel Clayton, NY by Deborah Williams 45 n Journey Into Fatherhood The Beginning of the Terrible Phase by Richard De Fino 46 n Pick of the Literature by Dr. Donna Phillips 50 n Single Parenting Discipline Do’s and Don’ts by Diane Dierks, LMFT, CFLE 51 n Tweens and Teens Spy or Parent? by Mary Helen Berg 52 n Special Needs Success Story: Supported Work Program 54 n The Kid Friendly Kitchen Cowboy Caviar & Fruit Salsa by Kathy Lundquist 55 n The Kiddie Gourmet Almaza Grill by Barbara Blackburn

You’ll find FREE courtesy copies of WNY Family at all Buffalo area Wegmans and 300 locations including Public Libraries, Doctors’ Offices, Child Care Centers and many of our advertisers. (Look for us INSIDE Wegmans on the racks where newspapers are sold, even though we are still FREE, or in some stores, on the FREE rack in the store foyer.)

Find this entire issue online at www.wnyfamilymagazine.com July 2022 WNY Family 3

Award Winning Academy of Theatre Arts 2022/2023 ATA Theatre Season

Performing Arts Center located at 4231 Transit Road Williamsville, New York 14221

Fall registration is now open!

Spots fill up quickly, so sign up today!

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4231 Transit Road • Williamsville, New York 14221

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4 WNY Family July 2022

• Nationally Award Winning Academy of Theatre Arts and The ATA Performing Arts Center is the only year-round full time theatre venue in Western New York created and designed solely for the development and training of children and young adults in the genres of acting, vocal performance and musical theatre dance. Dedicated to enriching young lives dramatically, ATA provides an extensive year-long venue, as well as our extremely popular summer camp program, for anyone between the ages of 3 and 18 who has an interest and passion for theatre arts. • Not only does our Award Winning program excel in theatrical training, but with a generation now losing those communication skills needed to succeed in life, ATA uses theatre as a platform to teach and promote excellence in public speaking, self esteem, confidence and personal skills.

web.finds July brings our most patriotic holiday, Independence Day, the 4th of July. Add some crafty “fireworks” to your holiday with these red, white, and blue ideas!


It’s A Mother Thing began as an award winning family lifestyle blog by Katie Reed, a frazzled mother of four young boys. Now, it has grown to be a resource for parents, including this idea for creating your own pair of shoes perfect for celebrating our flag. An inexpensive pair of white canvas shoes, acrylic or fabric paints, masking tape, and star stencils or stickers are all you need. Find specific instructions at https:// www.amotherthing.com/diy-usa-patriotic-flag-shoes/


Alpha Mom was founded and is run by Isabel Kallman, a mother to a 13-year-old son. A free download of this colorful pinwheel is available along with instructions on how to assemble it. After cutting it out and making the proper folds, push a long pin through the center and into the eraser on a pencil. Before inserting the pin, add a pony bead for spacing to make it spin really well. Check out the details at https://alphamom. com/family-fun/holidays/printable-pinwheelsfor-your-patriotic-holidays/


Melissa, over at My Cake School, created these simple yet fun cupcake designs. She pipes on the white frosting and smooths it into a flat circle by pressing down with a paper towel that does not have a pattern to it, and therefore does not leave an imprint. Then she pipes on the simple designs in red and blue with a Wilton Tip 3 or 4. They look great with plain cupcake papers — or jazz them up further if fancier specialized papers fit your budget. Find specifics here: https://www.mycakeschool.com/blog/fourth-ofjuly-cupcakes/


Visit your local paint store, hardware store, or Home Depot to ask for some paint sticks to turn into this awesome door hanger. This is a project grownups will enjoy and older kids can do with adult supervision. Ten paint sticks are needed. Eight for the flag and two cut down as backing supports. Also needed are wood stars, acrylic paints in red, white, and blue, sponge brushes for each color, a ruler, a saw, a drill, Glue Dots Advanced Strength, and acrylic fixative if hanging outside. Precise details and a photo tutorial can be found at https://blog.gluedots.com/inspiration/consumer/american-flag-paint-stick-project.

What’s New... IN THE KIDBIZ VIDEO GAMES BRING PROBLEMATIC BEHAVIOR In January 2022, a survey of 1,409 people who play video games regularly was conducted by those who use popular platforms such as Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch. 58% of respondents identified as male and 42% identified as female. The average age was 36 years old. 26% play for 1-2 hours per day; 29% play for 2-3 hours; 12% play for 4-6 hours; 4% play for 7-8 hours, and 1% play for 9 hours or more. The most popular types of games where shooters (55%), multiplayer online battle arena (44%), role-paying (43%), sports (39%), and real-time strategy (37%). Of the respondents, 63% had children who play video games living in their house. According to parents, 8% of children spend less than an hour playing video games each day; 58% play for 1-3 hours; 30% play for 3-6 hours; 3% play for 7-10 hours; 1% don’t play at all. Over 90% of respondents have experienced or witnessed emotional abuse or bullying while playing video games, and nearly 7 in 10 have considered quitting because of what they’ve witnessed. More than 2 in 5 have experienced racism, and more than 1 in 3 have experienced hate speech on gaming platforms. Xbox and PlayStation see the highest rates of bullying. Two particular problematic behaviors — doxxing and swatting — are another source of abuse. Doxxing is the act of revealing someone’s sensitive information and has been experienced by 20% of respondents. Over a quarter of responding gamers have experienced swatting — abusers will call emergency services with false reports of violent crimes at their target’s address. Children and teens under 18 make up 20% of the U.S.’s 227 million gamers — that’s over 45 million kids. With what is known about the toxicity within gaming communities, parents have a right to be concerned. — Source: Preply.com July 2022 WNY Family 5

— by Kimberly Blaker

farmers’ markets. Buying locally-grown produce can be easier on your family’s budget besides offering optimum flavor and freshness. Round up the family and head out early while the day is still cool. When you get your bounty home, work together to prepare them for cooking or preserving for a later time.


Beach Bummin’ – Load up the beach ball, buckets, and blankets, and get ready for a day at the beach. For added fun, take along goggles, snorkels, and fins for underwater exploration. Wet Your Whistle… and More – Spend a smoldering summer

Summer Recreation and Activities for the Whole Family


t’s the season your kids have been waiting for, so how will you maximize the long lazy days of summer with your family? Celebrate the carefree season to its fullest with these outdoor activities and adventures your whole family will enjoy.

stables and catch the sunset on horseback. Make sure your child is provided a helmet for his safety before you ride.

Trailblazing – Head to a local, state, or national park and make a day of nature hiking. Before you go, make a list of things for your family to find and identify, such as a black oak tree, woodpecker holes, a garter snake, or a raccoon paw print. Carry a backpack with binoculars, sunscreen, visors or sunglasses, and plenty of water and snacks. Don’t forget your hiking shoes and a lightweight jacket in case the shade becomes cool.

Z is for Zoo – Summer wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the zoo. Check out animals at one of the many zoos that have created natural, spacious settings, and teach your kids the importance of these habitats. Check the schedule for animal presentations, and don’t miss the petting zoo where youngsters can walk and talk with the animals and feed them. We love our Buffalo Zoo but think outside the box and try a day trip to the Rochester or Erie, PA zoos.

Ride ‘em, Cowboy – You don’t have to be a horse owner to enjoy the pleasure of riding one of these majestic beings. Visit your nearby horse rental

Perk up those taste buds because fresh fruits and vegetables are available (or soon will be) at local U-pick farms and


6 WNY Family July 2022

U-Pick & Farmer’s Markets –

day cooling off at a water wonderland. Your family can swoosh down waterslides, catch the man-made waves, and tube around narrow canals. Before you go, ask about age and height requirements and what activities are available for the younger set. Also, don’t forget to protect your family’s skin — apply sunscreen throughout the day if outside.

A Trip Downstream – Canoeing or kayaking is a fun-filled family adventure for all ages. If you don’t own one, check out places to rent them. Carry belongings such as your wallet, keys, and snacks in a waterproof bag that floats. Tipping over isn’t uncommon (although it can easily be avoided if caution is exercised) but can be half of the fun. Be sure to give the kids plenty of opportunities to paddle and steer. Backyard Water Blast – Plenty of cool fun can be had right in your own backyard. Make it a family tradition to have an annual water spree. Fill water balloons, and play a game of catch. Or hook up the sprinklers for a refreshing game of tag. Don’t forget to fill up the squirt guns and super soakers to ensure everyone stays drenched. Then take a refreshing break in a wading pool.

Putt Around the Lake – You don’t have to live on a lake or own a boat. Contact your nearby marinas, lakeside stores, and resorts to find out where you can rent a pontoon boat or motorboat for a lake cruise.


Under the Stars – Take full advantage of the peaceful summer nights and camp out in your backyard. Kickoff the evening by watching the sunset. Then build a bonfire (if it’s permitted in your area), roast marshmallows, and gaze at the stars. Bring along your guide to the stars, and see what you can spot — the Little Dipper, Hercules, or Sagittarius. Croquet Champs – Set up

this outdoor game the whole family can play. Be sure to hold a summer’s end family croquet match. Give handicaps to each family member based on their most recent scores for a game, so it’s fair to everyone.

Step Right Up – Organize a backyard carnival to raise funds for your favorite charity. The whole family will have a ball putting on this event. Hang posters in local businesses, submit a news release to your local radio station and newspaper, and post on your social media. Ask friends and neighbors to help staff the booths. Then set up games such as a beanbag toss or number wheel, a baked goods stand, fortune telling, face painting, and refreshments. Swiss Family, Who? – What’s a backyard without a hideout or special place to kick back? Younger kids will thrill at building a treehouse or fort. Older kids will look forward to a covered hangout, such as a gazebo, for visiting with friends. Whatever you make, have the whole family pitch in. Small children can feel a part of the project by carrying small materials, dispensing nails, and occasionally swinging the hammer with close supervision.


Dancin’ in the Street –

Green Thumbs – Make summer gardening a family affair. Ask each member to choose a favorite vegetable to plant. If you’re getting a late start, look for starter plants that have already sprouted. Work together to get the garden ready and plant it. Then give each person his or her own responsibility for keeping it up: watering, pulling weeds, picking ripe produce, cleaning it, and preparing it to eat or store. Up, Up & Away – Is the wind

hampering your fun? It won’t be for long. Make the most of that breeze, and get your kite up in the air.

Summer abounds with fairs and festivals along riverfronts and in the streets. Enjoy live music, new foods, arts and crafts, and so much more. Check out WNY Family’s “GO! Guide” special pull-out section in our June 2022 issue for a listing of dozens of these events. You can find a digital copy at https://issuu.com/ wnyfamilymagazine/docs/06-22_june_ issue.

Batter Up - Family fun centers

offer a variety of recreation for the whole family. Get ready to practice your batting swing, holler “fore,” speed around the race track, bump another boat, or have some wacky golfing fun.

Recycled Treasures – Join the craze, and spend the day rummaging for treasures. This is an excellent way for kids to get the most out of their limited

earnings, teach them the importance of recycling, and how to get the best value for their money.

Park Play – Take your kids for a picnic and an afternoon at the park. Scout your area for an updated park with a large, enclosed fortstyle playground. Bring along a playmate for your child, and they’ll be content for some time. Don’t forget to bring your reading to catch up on. Research local parks with playgrounds and visit a different one each week of the summer! Summer Sights – Places and things to see during the summer are abundant, from checking out the nearest big city — when’s the last time you were a tourist in your own town? — to viewing the wonders of nature from sand dunes and mountains to waterfalls and shorelines. Performing Arts in the Park – Unwind listening to a summer concert in the park or taking in a movie under the stars. These events aren’t always well-publicized, so contact area parks for a summer schedule.

Big Wheels & Small – Paved trails are popping up everywhere: in parks, along riverbanks, and even through many towns. Pull out your bikes and roller blades, and take advantage of these smooth paths. For a better work out and to keep everyone moving at an equal pace, have small children ride bikes while older ones and parents push off on their blades. Coasters, Cars & Ferris Wheels – A trip to a theme park can be the highlight of the season. If your kids are at different ride levels, invite another family or two with children similar in age to your own. Then divide up so everyone can get the most out of the day. Meet up for lunch and dinner to swap kids, so all adults get time with each age group.

July 2022 WNY Family 7

— by Jan Pierce

8) Metal Tray with Magnetic Letters and Shapes: Find

an old cookie sheet or other small metal tray and pack some magnetic letters and shapes. Encourage writing words that rhyme, words that are five letters long, color words, names, etc. Ask if the children can make a picture that looks like an animal, a building, or a toy.

9) Magnetic Animal Homes:

Twenty Ways to Keep the Kids Happy


his summer many families are opting for road trips rather than air travel vacations. Road trips are fun. Road trips are exciting, but…how to entertain the kids? It takes a bit of planning and some ingenuity to solve the problem of what to do during those long hours of driving. It helps to prepare some games and activities ahead of time because you know best what your kids love to do and we all know it’s hard to sit still for long hours. Here are twenty ways to entertain your young ones as you travel:

1) Gift a Day: One tried and true method is to purchase small gifts and toys ahead of time. Wrap them and number them — one for each day of driving time. They can either be distributed at the beginning of each driving day or at the end of one day to be used the next. It gives the children something to look forward to. 2) Car Ride Bingo: Make some bingo cards ahead of your trip. Make a five by five or six by six grid with a free space here and there. Write in objects kids can find while looking out the car window. Be creative and include things like animals, vehicles, certain shapes or colors, etc. Add at least one funny object. 3) Twenty-one Questions: The person who is “it” thinks of an object. It can be anything in the world. The rest of the players take turns asking ques8 WNY Family July 2022

tions to narrow down the categories, but be careful, twenty-one questions can go by very quickly.

4) Color the Map: Print off maps of the U.S. Kids will look for license plates from each state and color in that state when they find it. Find a printable map at Nationalatlas.gov. 5) Small Tins: Find small tin cans with tops such as breath mint cans. Use them to store small toys for the road trip. You might include 

Crayons and sticky notes for hours of driving fun.

Tiny Legos to build small structures

A Tic Tac Toe handwritten board with colored buttons to use as X’s and O’s.

6) I Went to Town and I Bought… Use the name of the city that will be your final destination of the day. The first player begins by saying I Went to (town) and I bought an apple. The next player has to say the same sentence but finish it with an object beginning with the letter B. Can you make it to Z?

7) And Then… Players tell a story. The first person begins “Once upon a time” and tells as much of the story as he or she likes. When it’s time to pass the story on to the next person, finish by saying, “And then….” The next player continues the story until time to pass it on. And then…

From Purple Cow, this magnetic matching puzzle is found on Amazon and challenges kids to match animals to their habitats. Purple Cow offers a wide variety of magnetic travel games to choose from.

10) Wikki Stix Travel Pak: Wikki Stix are fun to use and easy to take along on your road trip. These come in a handy plastic box and come with an activity book offering many ideas to spark creativity as kids bend the stix. (Amazon)

11) Tangrams: The travel version of tangram puzzles is called Tangoes and is perfect for hours of puzzlemaking in the car. (Amazon) 12) Wooden Toy Magnetic Puzzle Pieces: This toy is a com-

bination of a white board that is also magnetized to take puzzle pieces. It will entertain young children for hours at a time. The wooden box makes it easy to take along on your road trip. (Amazon)

13) Ed Emberley Drawing Books: Ed Emberley Drawing books

are a treasure trove for little ones. Take your pick of Animals, Trucks and Trains, things you can make from your own thumbprint, and several other choices. His step by step pictures make success just one line away. (Amazon)

14) Take N Play Hangman: This favorite word game is easy to pack and fun to play. Get Hangman before you go. Other varieties also available. (Amazon)

15) Busyboards: While these look like little portfolios with handles, rather than bags, so that they open on a child’s lap, you’ll find them on Amazon in a variety of brands with different

combinations of activities to keep the youngest kids happily occupied.

16) I Spy Travel Card Game: This seek-and-find card game is

perfect for keeping kids entertained and appreciating the scenery on the road. Whether on short rides near home or on cross-country road trips, children will enjoy the challenge of finding objects that match their cards outside their car. (Amazon)

17) Yellow/Pink Game: In this do-it-yourself I Spy game, everyone looks for either yellow or pink vehicles. Yellow are worth one point and pink are worth two. The first to spy the vehicles wins the points and you go to a decided number — maybe twenty-five or fifty. The winner gets to pick the restaurant for the evening meal, or perhaps gets a special dessert. 18) Read Aloud Chapter Books: Bring along several really good

family-friendly chapter books and read one chapter or more a day. Kids really look forward to hearing what happens next.


N.U.R.T. Leary Theatre, Elizabeth Ann Clune Center for Theatre, NU campus Thursdays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. July 7, 14, 21, 28, and Aug. 4, 11, and 18 Artpark | July 23 @ 1 and 3 p.m. Fast, furious fantastically funny children’s tales brought to life for family enjoyment!

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical) Book by Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart Music by Eric Rockwell | Lyrics by Joanne Bogart The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) is a musical about musicals! In this hilarious parody of musical theatre styles, one story becomes five delightful musicals, each written in the distinctive flair of a different master of the form, from Rodgers & Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim. Lots of fun for all ages, and a huge treat for those who love musical theatre!

Aug. 4 @ 7 p.m. Aug. 5 @ 7 p.m.

Aug. 6 @ 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Aug. 7 @ 2 p.m.

For more information, call the Niagara University Theatre box office: 716.286.8685


performances are free!

COVID SAFETY PROTOCOLS: At the present time, we require proof of vaccination for patrons 12 years of age or older. All patrons must wear masks while inside the theatre complex.

19) Would You Rather? This super-silly game can be a lifesaver when the kids get restless, but be prepared for a lot of giggles. Ask, “Would you rather kiss a pig or lick a snake? Or some other improbable activity. Give each person several chances to come up with their own “Would you rather” question. 20) Sticker Book Fun: Time for a bit of quiet? Bring along several sticker/activity books. Kids love them, especially if they are on the current topic of choice. Dinosaurs, superheroes, favorite movie themes — all of them have sticker books available and they’ll bring some quiet travel time when you need it.


Here’s hoping your summer road trip is a smashing success and that you have wonderful hours of travel time filled with fun! Jan Pierce, M.Ed., is a retired teacher and the author of Homegrown Readers and Homegrown Family Fun. Find Jan at www.janpierce.net.



aking the family on a summer vacation can easily end up being quite expensive. Thankfully, there are things you can do to save money on your trip. Based on my own experiences as well as conversations with other parents, I’ve pulled together a list of some great moneysaving tips.

— by Tanni Haas, Ph.D.

Some of the most fun things you can do on any vacation won’t cost you anything. Most vacation spots have special celebrations during the summer, like concerts, fairs and parades. The best way to find out about all the free activities at your destination is to go online or to pick up brochures at the local visitors bureau.

Save Up Money

My partner and I each put $5 in an empty coffee tin every evening all year round. By summertime, we’ve saved up more than $3,500. That helps cover our vacation expenses. If $5 a day is above your budget, putting aside some amount on a daily basis can quickly add up to a nice chunk of change.

Great Ways To Save Money on Your Summer Vacation

Create A Budget

Create a detailed budget for what you’re able and willing to spend on your vacation — and then stick to it. Overspending often occurs because people don’t have a budget and, instead, just pay for things without considering how much they’re actually spending in total. Divide your budget into transportation, accommodations, and food, and factor in money for things that’ll make the vacation extra memorable for your kids, like amusement entrance fees. You want to have fun but not go broke!

Know The Exchange Rate

When you pick your destination, decide — as a family — where you’d like to go. It’s hard to have a great vacation if there’s nothing about the destination that excites any of you. Also take into account the local cost of living, if you’re going to a foreign country. The foreign exchange rate is a good indicator. Exchange rates can fluctuate widely, so be sure to get the latest information. The more foreign currency you get for each dollar, the less expensive your vacation will be. And remember, when we think foreign in Western New York, we often forget that U.S. currency must be exchanged for Canadian, and the exchange rate is often favorable. 10 WNY Family July 2022

Look For Free Activities

Choose Your Accommodations Wisely

You can save lots of money by doing a house swap or by renting a home (think Airbnb). However, if you prefer a hotel, you can save money by staying at a distance from the city center, and making sure the place has a kitchenette or offers a complimentary breakfast. Staying outside the city center, and then driving in to see the local sites isn’t only cheaper: it’ll give you a chance to see where local residents live.

Invite Family Or Friends To Join You

If you plan to swap or rent a place, invite family or friends to join you. The perperson expense for accommodation will go down dramatically. If your kids bring some of their best friends from home with them, they’ll have someone to hang out with. Everything is much more fun when they can do it with a good friend.

Reserve Activities Online

Save money by creating a detailed itinerary of what you plan to do when you arrive, and then make reservations online before you go. Most tourist sites offer deep discounts if you reserve your tickets online and in advance. Also look for family passes for extra discounts and tourist passes that cover multiple attractions. By reserving everything online before you go, you also avoid standing in long lines, which leaves everyone tired and frustrated.

Plan Your Meals

When it comes to food, plan your meals in advance and limit the number of times you eat out. One option is to eat breakfasts in, pack your lunches to go, and only eat out for dinner. Another way to reduce expenses is to look for restaurants where kids eat free or at a discount. Many restaurants let kids age 12 or younger eat for free; other restaurants offer a kids’ menu with smaller portions at lower prices.

Use Debit Cards Or Cash

Pay for as much as you can with a debit card or cash. Avoid credit cards: the interest rates are sky-high. Only use credit cards if you’re absolutely sure you can pay them off as soon as you return, if they offer discounts on local attractions, if they don’t charge any foreign transaction fees, or if you can collect lots of points for your next vacation by using them.

Buy Postcards Instead Of Souvenirs

Many people spend a ton of money on souvenirs. They’re exciting when you first get them, but the kids quickly lose interest in them and they ultimately end up unused or in the garbage. As an alternative, encourage the kids buy one postcard from each destination, which they can use to write down their favorite memories, and then mail home. It’ll make for a great collection that they can keep in an album and look back on to reminisce about their vacation. Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences, and Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College.

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July 2022 WNY Family 11

— by Jeanine DeHoney

And what about joy for our children, for that too is an important component to helping their hearts mend. Joy, though, is often difficult to embrace when senseless tragedies occur. At times our children may even feel guilty for feeling joyful about something after such a tragedy. As parents we must let them know that joy is their birthright. Yes, there will be times when they grieve because of a great loss but they don’t have to remain in a sad space indefinitely. We can let them know that changing their outlook will not diminish their empathy for the people who were lost but instead it will empower them to look at the positive side of life and do all of the wonderful things they were meant to do.

Helping Our Children Rediscover Joy in The Midst of Tragedy


he night of the shooting of the children and teachers of Texas, my heart, as most every person’s, was weighty with grief. It especially resonated with me because I taught preschoolers and kindergarteners for over twenty years. Each student I remember; beautiful, smart and creative children, like the children of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Children whose sweet smiles I can still see when they walked into class each morning or played with their peers, children who are now young adults. It’s unimaginable to think that they may have never grown up to leave a positive mark on this world. That same night I penned a letter to my two school-aged granddaughters. I knew they would need extra assurance, as so many other children and parents do in such a time as this, that they could go out into the world and feel safe and even joyful again. I knew they wondered if they should even feel joy when so many in the world were suffering at this time. 12 WNY Family July 2022

In part my letter read: “My prayers for you will always hover over you morning, noon, and night, wherever you are. Continue to be a vessel of love and peace and use your pen, your voice, your song, your dance, to heal. When it seems too overwhelming or you are confused or even angry, go to your parents for some extra TLC, and remember I am just a phone call away. Even though at times it doesn’t seem like it, remember, there is more good in this world than evil, and good will prevail. Claim it, live it, because you both are a bright light and your light will honor the beautiful lives that were lost.” As parents and grandparents, we are the anchors who can help our children and grandchildren rise above their fears and uncertainties in a world that can be scary for them. Our children deserve a better world and through our working with legislation to change laws, to get better mental health resources, our protests and support of hurting and disenfranchised communities, we can begin to mend and evoke change so our children and other children can live in a healthier and safer society.

You can remind them that even in loss there are great memories to share of a loved one or funny stories. And as in the tragedy of the 19 elementary children and two teachers lost; though you nor your child know them personally, you can share the stories their families share on the news about them and their love of family, their special gifts, the awards they received for excelling in school, etc., to let them know that their deaths didn’t define them, but their vibrant lives did. So, if you are struggling with finding joy for you and your child during this time, I hope these six tips can help you bring it back into your home again full circle.

1) Embrace each morning with gratitude. Remind your child and fam-

ily of all the worthy and true gifts in front of you, especially before they start their day. Encourage your child to start a gratitude journal and find something to add to it each day. Even a young child can draw pictures to show or dictate to you that for which they are grateful.

2) Get physical. When we’re feeling down or overwhelmed, it manifests in our physical being. This is a great time to go on long walks with your child, biking, hikes, learn a new Tik Tok dance that’s trending, or to even take a swimming class or dance lesson

together as a family at your neighborhood YMCA. Whatever physical activity you choose as a family, make sure it’s for fun and not for competitiveness. Laugh, talk, and be silly, along the way.

3) Create a vision board with your child. Let your

child cut out pictures from magazines of fun places he or she would like to visit or travel to. Add photos, scriptures, encouraging quotes, words, and place it somewhere where your child can have a visual reminder of something exciting and optimistic to look forward to doing in the future.




Laughter is like medicine. It releases feelgood endorphins and helps you remain optimistic even with life’s storms. Have a movie night with popcorn to watch a family comedy each week. Have joke night at the dinner table. Find humorous books for your child to read or to read as a family. Have a family comedy night and invite your neighbors. Laughter can have a heartening domino effect on other areas of your child’s life.

5) Make time to celebrate big and small milestones with your child, or celebrate just because. Decorate your

house with homemade decorations and have a party with a homemade cake or cupcakes. Celebrate not just for birthdays or graduations or because your child accomplished a goal, but because you want to show your love and appreciation for your child’s humor, kindness, uniqueness, or doing his or her chores for the month without being told. Celebrations always bring smiles, even from teenagers, and fill one with hope.

6) Lastly, create a playlist of inspiring songs to play in your house. Music is also healing for one’s soul. “Love-

ly Day,”’ by Bill Withers is one of my old favorites and so is “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” which was sung by multiple artists. Those two songs, songs my own parents played on our stereo, never fail in lifting my spirits and I played these songs for my own children growing up. So, find your favorite songs and create your cheerful anthem for you and your child to recapture joy. Jeanine DeHoney is an award-winning writer and former arts enrichment teacher and Family Services Coordinator at an early childhood center. Her work has been published in Essence, Emerge, GRAND, Your Teen For Parents Magazine, My Brown Baby, Mothering.com, Skipping Stones Multicultural Magazine, The Children’s Ark, Literary Mama, ScaryMommy. co, Parent Co., Brain Child Magazine, and many more.

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— by Rebecca Hastings

How I Survived Before the Internet


here’s a talk I’ve been meaning to have with my kids. It’s serious. Maybe the kind I should sit all three of them on the couch for, side by side, so I can look them each in the eyes. I think they’ve heard pieces of what I need to tell them, but never the whole thing. Here goes. There was this time, way back in the 1900s when we didn’t have cell phones, Internet, or even cordless phones. (I watch them try to process this, heads tilting slightly to the side.) Do you understand what I’m saying? When I wanted to know if a friend was wearing a certain thing to school I had to go in my kitchen, right there where my parents were making dinner and doing parent things. I had to reach over to the wall and pick up a phone that was attached to the box on the wall with a twisty cord. It was only ten feet, so I was stuck in the kitchen. Or just outside the doorway if I stretched the cord really tight. I had to dial seven numbers to call her. No, these were not saved as a contact in the phone. I had to remember the number of every person I wanted to call. As I waited for someone to answer I had to be ready for anything, even talking to her parents. If my friend answered it wasn’t so bad, but sometimes her parents or her brother would answer and I had to actually talk to them. “Hi, this is Becky. Is Sarah there?”

It was terrible. And then she would get on the phone and we would chat. We had to be careful though. At any point, someone could hear us, or worse, pick up another phone in the house and listen in. Siblings seemed to be great at that. (They elbow one another, imagining listening to each other’s calls. It’s funny to them because it’s like a fable. They never had their brother hear that they had a crush on a certain boy at school and then have him taunt you about it until you cleaned his room to keep him quiet. My youngest raises a hand, as if in school. Clearly, she is taking this seriously. “Why didn’t you just text her?” she says. And at that moment I want to hold her little face and say, “Oh, sweetie.”) Those phones didn’t have texting. Texting didn’t exist. (This settled like a rock in a lake, and I watched the ripples as they processed this.) There was no texting. No emojis. No private phone lines. No talking wherever you want — just that phone in the kitchen. Eventually, I got my own phone in my room, but that was still risky. Anyone could pick up another phone in the house and hear everything. (Their eyes were wide with disbelief. It was time to go all the way.) We also didn’t have Internet. Actually, we didn’t even have computers. In high school, I got my first computer, and

the Internet was not what it is today. (“How did you find stuff out?”asks my son.) Well, we had to use books. We had to look things up. Go to the library every time we needed a random fact about seahorses for a report. We had to wait and ask the teacher if we didn’t understand how to do our homework. (“What about the weather? I ask Alexa what the weather is every day. How would I know?” asks my oldest. I wanted to be snarky. But I resisted. This was a different world I was describing.) You looked outside or stepped outside to see how cold it was. You could even turn on the TV and wait for the weather to be reported on the morning news. It was usually every eight minutes or so. It wasn’t bad. (“Mom, this sounds crazy.”) That’s only because it’s not what you know. Do you know what was crazy? When I had a five-page report due and I had to write it on real paper — in cursive. (“No way!”) Yup. Or what about when I wanted to show my friend a picture — I had to take a picture, actually 24 pictures. Then wind up the film and drop it off or send it in the mail to be developed. After that, I would wait a few days or a week and get an envelope with all 24 pictures. And I had to hope one came out the way I wanted. Then I had to carry that picture with me to show my friend. (“How did you take a selfie? What did they do about filters?”) We didn’t and there were none. (“Woah.”) They all got quiet for a few moments and I just looked at them; they were so unaware. Finally, my oldest spoke, “I’m so grateful we have this stuff mom.” I smiled and nodded. Yes. Good talk kids, good talk. My work is done. Rebecca Hastings traded the classroom for writing when she stayed home with her three children. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, three teens, and two dogs. You can find her at RebeccaHastings.net and on Amazon. In real life, she can often be found typing words, driving her kids places, or wherever there is chocolate. July 2022 WNY Family 15

Making The Right Camp Choice


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hile camp may be a necessity for working parents who need to make sure their child is cared for when school is no longer in session, it’s actually a wonderful opportunity for children to learn life skills, expand their world, make new discoveries, and establish new friendships. It also helps kids develop a sense of independence and self-confidence, as well as the ability to work with others as a team. In today’s techno-oriented world, summer camp gets them away from the screen and outdoors to interact with the natural world. Sports and physical activities get kids moving — literally — toward increased fitness. First and foremost, when choosing a camp, take your child’s needs and interests into account. Just as no two children are alike, camp environments, activities, and personnel can differ widely, so be sure to ask plenty of questions when seeking the ideal camp situation for your child this summer. Some important questions to ask are: 1) How does the camp recruit its staff? What type of training do the counselors have? How old are they? Are background checks done? Do they have first aid training? 2) What is the ratio of counselors to campers? Day camp guidelines call for 1:8 for children ages 6-8; 1:10 for children ages 9-14; and 1:12 for ages 15-18. 3) Are campers grouped by age, activity, or both? 4) What does a typical daily schedule look like? 5) Is transportation available? What is the cost? 6) What about extended care before and after camp? What is the cost? 7) Does the camp provide lunch or must campers bring their lunch? 8) Does camp tuition include the full range of activities or are there extra fees for field trips? 8) Ask about return rates. How many staff members return each year? How many campers return? Ask for references — talk to some parents who have recently sent their children to the camp. Visit the American Camping Association’s website at www.acacamps.org for more complete parent checklists to help you determine if your child is ready for a summer camp experience.


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DEAR TEACHER – by Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts

Helping all parents make their children’s educational experience as successful as possible

Summer Learning Activities


arents: Hopefully, this past school year has gone well for your children. Since children should never stop learning in the summer, once more we are giving you some activities that they can do throughout the rest of the summer. We have selected activities in social studies. We realize that there has been considerable controversy in what should be taught in this area. Hopefully, our activities will extend and broaden children’s knowledge of our country as well as interject some fun into learning more about it.

Learning More about Immigration Almost everyone in the United States is an immigrant or a descendant of an immigrant. Today, immigrants need to take and pass the naturalization civics test to become a citizen. Your older children should take the practice 2008 test online. It is a multiple-choice test of 20 questions. (https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/civicspractice-test-2008) However, the actual test is not. It is an oral test consisting of ten of the hundred questions on the 2008 test. Part of becoming a citizen requires an immigrant to answer six of them correctly. Can your children pass the test without doing some studying? Older children and parents should know the answer to most of these questions. Unfortunately, a survey showed that only one in three citizens could pass this test. There are other requirements besides passing the naturalization civics test to becoming a citizen. A great topic of conversation this month is to talk to your children about where their relatives immigrated to the United States from. If you know, tell them where the relatives entered the United States, approximately what 18 WNY Family July 2022

year it was, and also why they came to the United States. If you are short on information about your ancestors, visit one of the genealogy sites for an absolute wealth of information. You might even make a family tree together. This is a good project because more than likely younger family members will have this assignment sometime during elementary school or even middle school.

Know the United States Gather the family together and have them look at a detailed map of the United States. Then ask the following questions. Let the younger family members answer the easier questions. If there is no agreement about an answer, it should be looked up. You can make this activity a game by having every family member circle their answers on individual maps. And it can be extended by having family members create new map questions for everyone to answer. 1.

What states form an area known as the Four Corners?


What state is the smallest in size?


What states were the original 13 colonies?


How many states border Canada?


How many states border Mexico?


How many National Parks can you find on the map?


Which states border Washington, D.C.?


What is the capital of your state?


What states border our state?

10. Which states border Lake Michigan?

Visiting Seats of Government Power Expand your children’s knowledge of how government works. You might begin on the local level by visiting your city hall or the county seat. Many are

in very historical buildings. And some may even offer tours or let you visit different meetings so the children can see government in action. Be sure to call ahead to get information on what you might be able to do and see on a visit. Once your children are acquainted with local government, explore the things that they might see and do at the state capitol. Of course, the best place where you can see government in action is in Washington, D.C. Your senators and representatives, as well as the Capitol Visitor Center, can arrange for tours of many government buildings. It is wise to arrange for reservations to be able to visit many sites in the summer. You could be able to see a session of the House of Representatives or Senate. There are tours of the White House, the Mint, the Supreme Court. And there are fun things to visit like the Spy Museum, the Smithsonian Museum, and the National Air and Space Museum. Washington, D.C. is such a great place to visit with an opportunity to see colonial Williamsburg and the homes of Washington and Jefferson close by. Such a visit is really a lesson in history.

Visiting the Past While students at all levels learn about past events in their social studies classes, they may not also have a picture of what life was like in earlier times in the United States. Summer is a great time to let them experience those days in the past. There are many great places like Connor Prairie Farm in Indiana and Williamsburg in Virginia that have homes and buildings like schools and blacksmith shops that give a great picture of colonial life and offer reenactments of colonial life. Most communities also have museums and historic homes that let children get a glimpse of what life was once like in the United States. If you live close to one, try to visit one of the 11 important Native American heritage sites or an Indian Reservation. Be aware that not all tribes wish to have tourists visit their reservations. You should call ahead to the tribal government office. Tours of reservations typically will have a fee. However, some offer a great look of the history of the Indian people. Parents should send questions and comments to dearteacher@dearteacher.com or to learn more about helping their children succeed in school visit the dearteacher website.


WNY Family Magazine • July 2022


Child,Family 22nd Annual

July 2022 WNY Family 19

How to Build a Nature Habit for Your Family to Feel Happier and Calmer


ave you ever gone on a walk just to clear your mind or taken a “mental health day” to visit the beach, woods, mountains, or even a local park? What we all suspected intuitively, science has confirmed: spending time connecting to nature is a safe, effective tool to help minimize the effects of stress and boost mood. It also reduces our response to stress and allows us to recover from tense situations more quickly. Additionally, nature has been shown to improve focus and attention; lower the production of stress hormones like cortisol; and reduce stress-related physical symptoms like high blood pressure, increased heart rate and muscle tension. A growing number of studies over the past few decades from around the world have shown the importance of nature in improving our family’s health and happiness. Examples cover a broad scope, including recreation activities in the wilderness, community gardens, nature art, views of nature, outdoor exercise, nature-related mindfulness and meditation, as well as contact with animals. Nature offers a soothing sensory experience like none other. Listening to birds chirping, breathing in the moist air after a rainstorm, and walking barefoot on the warm sand are natural treasures that help improve our mood. Viewing natural scenery like flowers, green plants and woods, for example, leads to more relaxed feelings than looking 20 WNY Family July 2022

can set it up yourself or have your kids do it. Go through your house and garage and gather a variety of fitness equipment. Put together several stations for different activities, such as a jump rope, cones to weave around, a box to jump over and a basketball net to shoot a ball into. You can also have some stations that do not require equipment; for example, they can do jumping jacks, push-ups, or hop on one foot.

By Sandi Schwartz at images with no nature at all. Colors, patterns, textures, scents, and sounds are the primary ways we can experience nature through our senses. We can connect to nature in so many ways from mindfulness to outdoor exercise to visiting nature centers. A recent groundbreaking study published in Scientific Reports found that spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and well-being. That’s only about 20 minutes a day. Not sure how to build a nature habit for your family? The best approach is to start with what they already love and go from there to incorporate more nature into their daily lives. If they are artistic, consider nature-related art projects, since nature is filled with so much beauty to spark creativity in our kids. Ideas include nature photography, drawing and painting nature scenes, writing nature poetry, keeping a nature journal, and making up nature songs and dances. They can also engage in a variety of nature art projects using natural items, such as grass weaving, making shell necklaces, collages, mindful rock painting, and creating nature mandalas or sculptures. If they are athletic, sign them up for green exercise, which refers to any activity in which we interact with nature while moving our bodies and breaking a sweat. Some ideas include hiking, swimming, biking, running, and outdoor team sports. You can also get creative with an obstacle course in your backyard. You

If they are adventurous, carve out some time after school, on the weekends, and during school breaks to get away to places where your kids can go exploring outside and try new things. Some ideas for adventures include camping, boating, kayaking, river rafting, caving, mountain biking, rock climbing, ziplining, geocaching, skiing, surfing, and doing a ropes course. If they love math and science, get them involved in nature-related science projects. One example is citizen science, which involves volunteering to collect scientific data. It is a way for children to gain science experience and help the scientific community while spending time outdoors in nature. There are citizen science opportunities for kids of all ages and levels. Your family can get involved from your own backyard or through a more organized group like a school nature or science club. Check out CitizenScience.gov, SciStarter.org, and Zooniverse.org to find citizen science projects. The options are truly endless to build a nature habit that your family will love and benefit from. Just keep challenging yourselves to do more, go a little bit deeper, and experience something out of the ordinary. Try new nature activities, visit different places you have never explored, and experiment with what brings the most joy and calm to your family. Share your experiences and the tremendous benefits of nature with friends and family so they can benefit as well.

10 Activities to Start Building Your Family’s Nature Habit Mom and author Sandi Schwartz is passionate about nature and the environment. In her book, Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your

Kids Feel Happier and Calmer, she shares many fun, hands-on nature-loving activities for families to enjoy together. Filled with colorful images and activity checklists, the book offers a comprehensive toolkit of nature-based stress reduction tools for families with school-aged children. Topics addressed include awe and gratitude, mindfulness, creative arts, outdoor play, travel and adventure, volunteering, food, and animals. Here is a sampling of activities for you to try with your kids:

a flashlight, tweezers, bug cages, and nets. ✿ Go on a family nature walk; look for a StoryWalk program in your community. ✿ Try new types of green exercise as a family, such as orienteering, paddleboarding, and mountain biking.

✿ Go for a walk and ask your children to point out beautiful nature scenes. Take pictures during your adventure and then have your kids either draw or paint what they saw or put together a collage of the photos. ✿ Take art projects outdoors such as sidewalk chalk or bring an easel out in your backyard or on the balcony so they can paint. ✿ Take your children birdwatching or sign them up for a children’s birdwatching club near you. You can find birds at public gardens, nature centers, local parks, and zoos; near bodies of water like lakes, rivers, and oceans; and even in your own backyard.

✿ Visit nature-filled spots that will help your children be more mindful, such as forests, hiking trails, beaches, waterfalls, and botanical gardens. ✿ Test out a variety of natural scents by either purchasing essential oils, sprays, and other products or searching for the scents outside in your neighborhood or in a local park.

✿ Start a family garden in your backyard. If you do not have the space for a garden, consider starting slow by growing a few herbs on your windowsill or one vegetable at a time in a large flowerpot.

✿ Stock up on essential nature play tools like shovels, rakes, hoes, buckets, collection boxes, binoculars, a compass, a magnifying glass,

✿ Visit a u-pick farm or shop at a farmer’s market for fresh produce.

Feelings Rock


Helping Preschoolers Address Feelings is Part of Lifelong Health

Are you the Mom, Dad, grandparent, or caretaker of a preschooler? Do you know how important it is that every child can name and recognize feelings and learn strategies for dealing with them? Neuroscience tells us this, and as the founder of Feelings Rock, I see helping kids address feelings as essential for health in body and mind. Feelings Rock is a music and movement class designed to help preschoolers (ages one month and above) and their families learn, move, and grow while having fun. Our passionate instructors use diverse styles of music and interactive activities featuring Rocky, the upbeat dog, and Jazz, the

shy cat, to help children name and recognize their feelings. Strategies for dealing with feelings include breathing exercises, calming techniques, and activities for self-regulation. About Feelings Rock. More than a music class, our weekly 35-minute program offers preschool enrichment where you ensure your children have the educational tools to prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. Our family-friendly flex approach means you can bring the whole family for one affordable set price. All our music is available on streaming

platforms and in our online store to bring the learning home to your entire family. We are looking for new students and instructors nationwide and invite you to join an uplifting community that makes a difference in the lives of kids and families by teaching and providing tools for lifelong health in body and mind. Visit www.feelingsrock.com.

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PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Drazen Zigic / iStock via Getty Images Plus

telehealth options, which have greatly increased over the past two years.

Take These 6 Steps to Get Your Health Back on Track (StatePoint)


ince the start of the pandemic, Americans have been postponing routine care. With more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, medical experts are urging patients to return to routine health care and get caught up on delayed or foregone preventive health screenings.

3.8 million colorectal cancer, and 1.6 million prostate cancer diagnoses may have been missed due to pandemicrelated care disruptions. Check in with your health care provider. If you’re due for preventive care, tests, or screenings, make an appointment. These measures are designed to keep you healthy and help your doctor spot certain conditions before they become more serious.

According to the AMA, you and your family should take these six steps to get your health back on track:

2) Don’t wait: An estimated 41% of adults with one or more chronic health conditions reported delaying or forgoing health care since the pandemic started. Additionally, one in three of those adults reported that doing so worsened one or more of their health conditions or limited their abilities to work or perform other daily activities. Whether you have a chronic health condition or not, don’t wait until something is wrong before seeing a doctor. If something does feel off, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

1) Get screened: Estimates based on statistical models show that since April 2020, 3.9 million breast cancer,

3) Consider telehealth: If you’re uncomfortable or unable to go in person to your physician’s practice, check on

“While we know that prevention is the best medicine, the pandemic has caused many Americans to delay important routine health services vital to keeping themselves and their families healthy, particularly critical immunizations and preventive cancer screenings. We urge everyone to get up to date on their routine health care needs,” says Gerald E. Harmon, M.D., president of the American Medical Association (AMA).

22 WNY Family July 2022

4) Visit your pediatrician: During the pandemic, pediatric immunizations decreased. As public health measures are rolled back, people gather in groups, and traveling resumes, nonCOVID-19 infections that decreased during the pandemic are likely to increase again. Well-child visits and recommended vaccinations are essential to helping ensure children stay healthy and protected from serious diseases. If your child is due for a check-up, schedule one immediately. 5) Get vaccinated: Adolescents and adult immunizations also sharply declined during the pandemic and an estimated 26 million recommended vaccinations were missed in 2020 as compared to 2019. Get up to date on vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone who’s eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, including booster doses, should get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and their loved ones. If you have questions, speak with your physician and review trusted resources, including getvaccineanswers.org. 6) Don’t neglect mental health: While mental health screenings via digital health tools are up, routine care for mental health is down. Approximately 52% of adults with mental health conditions delayed or forewent care since the pandemic began. Given the adverse effects the events of the past two years have had on mental health, such as increasing anxiety, depression and loneliness, it’s especially important to prioritize this aspect of your health now. For more resources, visit ama-assn.org. “We encourage everyone to contact their trusted medical professional to schedule their annual physical and other vital care to help prevent serious health repercussions that could potentially last long past the pandemic,” says Dr. Harmon.

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6/6/22 2:35 PM

whatever the color. All are high in vitamin C, with red bell peppers containing 169% of the RDA. Also, bell peppers are high in vitamin A and carry a good dose of other nutrients as well.

— by Kimberly Blaker

Powerhouse Veggies

to Incorporate into Your Family’s Diet


e know how vital veggies are to our and our kids’ health, whether we like them or not. But not all vegetables are created equal. Each one has a unique combination of nutrients and benefits — some, in particular, though, are a powerhouse source of nutrition. If you or your kids aren’t vegetable fans, that’s all the more reason to try a wider variety. There’s bound to be a couple of veggies your family will dig if they’re prepared just right. If those vegetables happen to be some of these all-stars, it’s all the better.

Butternut squash.

This winter squash is loaded with vitamin A, in fact, four times the recommended daily allowance (RDA). It also contains double the RDA of vitamin C and packs more potassium than a banana. To turn your family into butternut squash fans, first, cut it in half, and remove all the seeds. Then fill a glass baking dish about 3/4” high with water, place the pieces of squash with the skin facing up, and bake at 400 degrees for one hour. Allow the squash to cool enough to handle it, then scoop all the squash out of the peel, and top it with butter. If that doesn’t suffice, try adding a touch of brown sugar. 24 WNY Family July 2022

Kale. This dark green leaf packs a whopping 684% of the RDA of vitamin K, and well over the RDA of both vitamins A and B6. If your family likes salad, add a mix of kale to the lettuce. If you’re not salad eaters, kale makes a great addition to smoothies.

Sweet potatoes. Vitamins

A, B5 and B6, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, and carotenoids are their nutritional makeup. The good news is, Thanksgiving isn’t the only time of year you can eat them. Sweet potatoes make yummy French fries, which can even be baked rather than fried. Just look for one of oodles of baked sweet potato fry recipes out there.

Peas. These contain a long list

of nutrients. Of particular note, peas are very high in vitamins B1, C, and K, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and folate.

Fortunately, peas are one vegetable most kids and adults will eat. Add peas to a variety of soups, stews, and casseroles. Another tasty option is to add them to macaroni and cheese.

Bell peppers. Red, orange, yellow, or green bell peppers are nutritious

Do your kids live by the motto, “everything tastes better with ranch?” If so, try bell pepper slices for dipping. Bell peppers are also great on pizza and sauteed to top hot sandwiches.

Brussels sprouts. This veggie is noted for its Vitamins K and C. But brussels sprouts provide numerous other nutrients in decent amounts as well. Still, you may be wondering how to get your kids to acquire a taste for Brussels sprouts. If they’re not big vegetable eaters, it may be a challenge. But try what one mom, Monica Kass Rogers, did as she revealed in, “How I Got My Kid to Eat Brussels Sprouts.” Cut them in half, then stir-fry them in sesame oil with other vegetables. Another trick she recommends is to roast them with olive oil and salt. If kids can learn to love them, so can you.

Asparagus. Folic acid is what

asparagus is especially noted for because it contains 60% of the RDA. But asparagus also includes a healthy amount of vitamins K and C, as well as several other essential nutrients. Grilled asparagus is a tasty side. Before grilling, brush the asparagus lightly with olive oil then add salt and pepper. Place the spears on the grill for 10 minutes, turn them, then give them a few more minutes until they’re lightly blackened.

Spinach. Now here’s an impressive number. Spinach contains 987% of the RDA of vitamin K. Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, and several other nutrients. You can add spinach to both smoothies and pizza. Spinach quiche and spinach pie are also dishes many kids love.

Broccoli. Here’s another vegetable that’s a rich source of vitamin K packing 245% of the RDA. Broccoli

also exceeds the RDA for vitamin C and is an excellent source of chromium, folate, and fiber. Mix broccoli into most any cheesy dish, and it’s easy to gobble up. Broccoli cheese soup, broccoli smothered in cheese, and other cheesy pasta dishes with broccoli added are good options.

Avocado. Although not a power-

house of any particular vitamin or mineral, avocado still carries an adequate amount. But particularly notable is that avocado is an excellent source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, which are the healthy fats. So it’s an excellent replacement for unhealthy fats.

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Guacamole, dip or spread made from mashed, ripe avocados, is an alltime favorite. Avocado is also yummy mixed with egg salad or a tossed salad.

Pumpkin (canned). This is an outstanding source of vitamin A, containing 2½ times the RDA, not to mention a fair amount of a host of other vitamins and minerals. Numerous desserts can be made from pumpkin. So the next time you’re in the mood to bake, make something with a little added nutritional value. Try making pumpkin pie, bread, cookies, or cheesecake.

Scallions. Also known as spring

onions, these pack 172% of the RDA of vitamin K. They’re also known for their antioxidants and are a good source of vitamin A. Scallions can be grilled just like asparagus. Brush them with oil, add salt and pepper, then toss them on the grill until they’re lightly browned. If that doesn’t work for your kids, try wrapping them in bacon. Farmers’ Markets are an excellent source of locally grown, healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. To find a farmers’ market near you, visit https://agriculture. ny.gov/farmersmarkets which will allow you to find Farmers’ Markets Nutrition Program authorized markets in your county and denotes whether customers enrolled in SNAP may use their benefits.

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Learn more at ehsny.org. Call us today at (716) 895-6701. July 2022 WNY Family 25


he calories that children and adolescents consumed from ultraprocessed foods jumped from 61% to 67% of total caloric intake from 1999 to 2018, according to a new study from researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University. Published August 10, 2021, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the study analyzed dietary intake from 33,795 children and adolescents nationwide.

There was good news: Calories from sugar sweetened beverages dropped from 10.8% to 5.3% of overall calories, a 51% drop.

Ultraprocessed Foods Now Comprise 2/3 of Calories in Children’s and Teens’s Diets

“Some whole grain breads and dairy foods are ultraprocessed, and they’re healthier than other ultraprocessed foods. Processing can keep food fresher longer, allows for food fortification and enrichment, and enhances consumer convenience,” said senior and corresponding author Fang Fang Zhang, nutrition epidemiologist at the Friedman School. “But many ultraprocessed foods are less healthy, with more sugar and salt, and less fiber, than unprocessed and minimally processed foods, and the increase in their consumption by children and teenagers is concerning.” The largest spike in calories came from such ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat dishes as takeout and frozen pizza and burgers: from 2.2% to 11.2% of calories. The second largest spike in calories came from packaged sweet snacks and desserts, the consumption of which grew from 10.6% to 12.9%.

There was a larger increase in the consumption of ultraprocessed foods among non-Hispanic Blacks (10.3%) and Mexican Americans (7.6%) than non-Hispanic Whites (5.2%). Trends in other racial/ethnic groups were not assessed due to lack of sufficient data that allow for nationally representative estimates across survey cycles. 26 WNY Family July 2022

Source: Tufts University There were no statistically significant differences in the overall findings by parental education and family income. “The lack of disparities based on parental education and family income indicates that ultraprocessed foods are pervasive in children’s diets,” said Zhang. “This finding supports the need for researchers to track trends in food consumption more fully, taking into account consumption of ultraprocessed foods.” Over the study period, calories from often healthier unprocessed or minimally processed foods decreased from 28.8% to 23.5%. The remaining percentage of calories came from moderately processed foods such as cheese and canned fruits and vegetables, and consumeradded flavor enhancers such as sugar, honey, maple syrup, and butter.

“This finding shows the benefits of the concerted campaign over the past few years to reduce overall consumption of sugary drinks,” said Zhang. “We need to mobilize the same energy and level of commitment when it comes to other unhealthy ultraprocessed foods such as cakes, cookies, doughnuts and brownies.”

“In additional analyses, we compared the composition of ultraprocessed foods to non-ultra processed foods using data from the 20172018 period. We found that ultraprocessed foods contain a substantially higher percent of calories from carbohydrates and added sugars, and higher levels of sodium, but also had less fiber and a lower percentage of calories from protein,” said the study’s first author, Lu Wang, a postdoctoral fellow at the Friedman School. “Food processing is an often overlooked dimension in nutrition research. We may need to consider that ultraprocessing of some foods may be associated with health risks, independent of the poor nutrient profile of ultraprocessed foods generally,”concluded Zhang.

Ultraprocessed Foods Ultraprocessed foods are ready-toeat or ready-to-heat items often high in added sugar, sodium, and carbohydrates, and low in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They typically contain added sugars, hydrogenated oils, and flavor enhancers. Examples include packaged sweet snacks and desserts, sugary breakfast cereals, French fries, fast food burgers, and some lunchmeats such as bologna and salami. When consumed in excess, these foods are linked with diabetes, obesity, and other serious medical conditions, such as certain cancers.

How The Study Was Conducted This study is part of a series led by Friedman School researchers investigating patterns and trends in diet quality among U.S. adults and children. The study characterized trends in ultraprocessed food consumption among U.S. children aged 2-19 years from 1999 to 2018, overall and among population sub-

groups, using data from 10 consecutive cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). It further assessed major ultraprocessed food subgroups consumed by U.S. children in the latest cycle of NHANES (2017-2018) and associated nutrient profiles. The average age of participants was 10.7 years and was roughly equally divided between boys and girls. It re-

lied on 24-hour dietary recall interviews conducted by trained personnel; older children and teens directly reported on the foods they ate while parents and caregivers did so for younger children. The percentage of calories consumed by participants was determined using the NOVA food classification system developed by researchers at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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We know having the right people by your side makes all the difference. And when it comes to your health, it’s essential. At UBMD Family Medicine, our providers and staff care for patients of all ages, so no matter where you are on your health journey, we’re with you. Comprehensive Care for All Ages. We’re with you through every life stage and milestone. Our practice cares for all ages – from newborns to grandmothers. The entire household can be cared for by the same provider. We see patients for wellness, sick visits and physicals, but also for other concerns that may come up, such as behavioral health and addictions. Our physicians are uniquely equipped to provide continuity of care for many health concerns, ensuring your family’s needs are always met and tailored to you. Quality Care. As professors at the University at Buffalo, our doctors are teaching the future generation of physicians and researching to find answers

to today’s top medical concerns. This means your physician is always up-to-date on the latest medical innovations and advancements that may affect your wellness. Patient-Centered Care. With us, you and your family come first. We are committed to a team approach centered around you, including coordinating with any other providers or specialists you may see. For new concerns that may come up, we have trusted partners in care throughout the Western New York community, including the UBMD Physicians’ Group network of over 550 physicians providing specialty and surgical care.

Accessibility. Our offices are accepting new patients! With locations in Amherst, Buffalo and Tonawanda, we care for you where it best fits your life. For when the unexpected comes up, we offer same-day sick visits for existing patients. Visit ubfammed.com for more information, or call the location nearest to you.

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sponsibilities. Practicing self-care puts one in a better position to help care for others because your own well-being is in check.

2) Make time to cultivate relationships: Connecting with people

who are important to you is essential to mental health. Make it a priority to spend time with partners, family, friends, colleagues, or anyone else who may be important to you, away from the house and kids, even if it’s just for a short period of time.

3) Seek help when struggling to manage stress and anxiety: If

The Mental Health Crisis of Moms: What You Need to Know



new survey reveals that the mental health of American moms is going largely unattended, with many living under a nearconstant state of stress and few seeking support to ease the burden. The research, commissioned by MDLIVE, an Evernorth company and leading provider of virtual care services in the United States, finds that 33% of mothers feel stressed or overwhelmed by their responsibilities as a mom at least five days a week. Drivers of their stress and anxiety may include financial concerns, ripple effects of the pandemic, including the mental health crisis among teens, work responsibilities and being a caregiver simultaneously to both children and aging parents. Yet, for many moms, the prospect of managing their mental health has become a source of stress in and of itself. For 37% of moms, concerns about their own mental health are among their biggest stressors, second only to finances (40%). Possibly even more concerning is that 70% of moms admit to holding back their feelings and not telling their partner or family when they’re stressed, and 61% feel that they have no one to turn to 28 WNY Family July 2022

or confide in for help. “Our research shows that many moms are suffering in silence and not getting the support they need,” says Dr. Shakira Espada-Campos, who brings more than two decades of direct practice experience to her role as behavioral health medical director at MDLIVE. “I cannot stress enough how important it is for them to prioritize their own wellbeing.” To help moms manage their mental health, MDLIVE offers the following tips:

1) Prioritize selfcare: Recognize that

practicing self-care is not selfish. In addition to things like eating well, exercising, practicing good hygiene, getting enough sleep, and seeing a health care professional routinely for preventive screenings and other care, self-care also means taking time to pursue hobbies or personal interests that bring you pleasure or fulfillment or offer you a way to relax and unwind — activities you may have abandoned after having kids because it would mean time away from family re-

your emotional state is interfering with your daily life — if you’re having difficulty controlling your mood, withdrawing from loved ones, feeling fatigued, having trouble sleeping, lacking motivation, or frequently “zoning out” — it’s definitely time to seek professional help.

Acknowledging the importance of mental healthcare, many health plans and employers have expanded the resources available to their members and employers in recent years. New options include digital tools that can help with tracking mood, support meditation, help build life skills, and provide self-care advice. Additionally, telehealth visits with behavioral health professionals offer private, convenient, quality care quickly. For example, MDLIVE’s platform makes it easy to search for providers and schedule appointments with one of their psychiatrists or licensed therapists. MDLIVE is a covered benefit for more than 60 million Americans through health insurers such as Cigna, Aetna, certain Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, and many regional and local plans. To learn more or to register, visit www.mdlive.com. “Although it’s natural to feel like you need to be a superhero, it takes a toll. You should never feel like you’re alone in your mental health journey or that you need to suffer in silence,” says Dr. Espada-Campos.

July 2022 WNY Family 29

“Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it.”— Lily Tomlin


e’ve all been there. You are running late for a meeting and stuck in traffic with no hope of moving anytime soon. Your head begins to throb, and your stomach feels like you did a thousand sit-ups (I wish!).

— by Cheryl Maguire

Or for all those parents out there, your kid decides to have a full-blown meltdown in the middle of aisle 3 because you didn’t want to buy that bag of candy, and now your heart is beating so fast you feel like it might explode. The good news is that once you get out of this stressful situation your body recovers quickly saying so long to that head and stomach pain. But long-term stress is another story that can take a toll on your body. I’m going to get a little technical here so bear with me. I promise to clarify how stress impacts your physical health without causing your eyes to glaze over

Your Body Will Thank You When You Stress Less too much, or at least not as much as your eight-grade science teacher did. Okay, here goes — your nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and a whole bunch of other nerves

throughout your body. Then you have the autonomic nervous system like your heart, smooth muscles, and the glands within the endocrine system. Now I’m sure you’ve heard this term before — the “fight or flight response” — probably a million times, right? Well, that is thanks to your autonomic nervous system responding to stress. So the next time your boss is yelling at you to hurry up with handing in that assignment, you can thank your autonomic nervous system for either wanting to punch him in the face or wanting to scream “I quit.” So, how does all this constant stress affect your body? The list is really, really, really long which will hopefully make you want to figure out how to remove all that stress, because who wants to have any of these awful conditions — definitely not me. Here goes — I warned you:

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Helping Children Cope with Unsettling News

Children are resilient little humans but that doesn’t mean that their fears aren’t scary or can be downplayed. Here are some things you can do to help the little ones in your home cope when they hear unsettling news: Talk to them, answer their questions in an age- appropriate way, and give them the space to express their concerns and feelings; Make time for these big conversations, at the dinner table or in a quiet time. Avoid doing this at bedtime, when they should be winding down and thinking about rest and peaceful things; Encourage self-care, including healthy eating, enough hydration, and exercise; Help them feel safe in their home, their neighborhood, their school and other spaces. Mention things that are being done that help promote safety;

30 WNY Family July 2022

Mention the heroes, the police officers, the doctors, the every day citizens who step up to help people in need. Remind kids that these people are always around us; Stick to your routines and house rules, Kids do thrive in structure because familiar things are secure; and Limit their media exposure so they aren’t bombarded with nonstop negative messaging.

And don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. Practice mindfulness (even if it’s a lot of deep breaths) to stay in the moment, keep your routines for being healthy, hydrated, and focused. Spectrum Health can help, too. If your youth is in crisis, our Spectrum C.A.R.E.S. is available 24/7 at 716 882 HELP. Our NY Project Hope team can offer emotional support, Monday through Friday at 716 566 6506. Talking helps.

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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Increased heart rate Hypertension Heart attack Stroke Chronic fatigue Metabolic disorder Depression Immune disorders Headaches Migraines Memory loss Irritability Sleep disorders Difficulty concentrating Pain conditions Mood disorders Neurological disorders

So what can you do to avoid delving into this long list of disorders? This list is pretty short, easy, and a whole lot less horrific sounding. You can try: • • • • • • • •

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Eat healthy foods Sleep 7-8 hours per night Massage Exercise Meditating Yoga Reading Connecting with friends and family

That wasn’t so bad was it? Now stop stressing and go book yourself a massage at the spa. Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree. She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, AARP, Healthline, Grown and Flown, Your Teen Magazine, and many other publications.


July 2022 WNY Family 31

One Parent’s Experience:

The Well Visit

— by Cheryl Maguire


t’s going to be easier, right? I try to convince myself of this as Nemo darts by a cave in the fish tank. Even though we are seated in the non-sick section of the waiting area, I feel germs crawling all over me. My twins’ well visit has always been challenging. As babies, they cried the entire time. As toddlers, they sprinted in opposite directions while I attempted to corral them back into the office. As school-aged children, they still dashed out of the room but their longer legs enabled them to outrun me. Now that they’re older and capable of following directions (most of the time), I’m really hoping for a more mundane experience. Thirty minutes tick by. My positive outlook diminishes.

“I’m bored.” “So am I.” “When are we going home?” “Yeah, I wanna leave.” Before I can conjure up a reply, the nurse calls their names and leads us to a 10x12 windowless room. At least they can’t escape this space. “Now remember, today you have a new doctor,” I state sternly. “I don’t want another doctor.” “I wanna go home.” “Are we getting shots?” My son eyes the door, definitely construing an escape plan. He is infamous for exiting unexpectedly when the nurse with the needle enters the room.

We hear a knock on the door. I feel like saying, “Finally,” but instead I answer, “Come in.” The doctor’s questions begin routinely, but then take an uneasy turn towards my parenting techniques (or lack thereof). He vigorously records his observations. “Do they play video games?” “Yes, Minecraft.” “Do you know they kill each other in that game?” asks the doctor. “Yeah, but there isn’t any blood,” my son interjects. We soon become well-versed in the evils of Minecraft. That 30-minute wait is starting to make sense. “Do they watch TV?”

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“Not really.” Because they’re too busy playing video games to have time to watch TV. “Do they watch TV before bedtime?” “No. We read books.” “We watch TV,” my daughter objects. Great, now the doctor thinks I’m lying and letting them watch TV. The doctor glances at all of us and then probably scribbles, “Mother allows violent video games, TV before bed, and is unaware of the dangers of both; felt the need to lie, schedule follow up.” “Do they eat all meals at the kitchen table?” As my daughter would say, “I got this.” I’m fanatical about eating only in the kitchen since I despise cleaning crumbs from the couch. But I’m guessing he’s asking due to some “health” benefit from eating at a table instead of an ottoman. “Yes,” I respond cautiously, staring at my children. “She won’t let us eat in the family room,” my daughter offers with a tattling tone, without realizing she is finally making me sound like a competent parent.

“Do they eat green vegetables?” “They like corn.” “I don’t eat corn,” my son protests. Fortunately, the doctor focuses on my inability to answer his question instead of my erroneous response. “No, green vegetables. Do they eat green vegetables?” “Not really.” They aren’t even offered green vegetables since I gave up trying to get them to eat green vegetables years ago. The questions end and he begins the actual physical examination. Being a stickler for taking showers and general cleanliness, I relax a little bit thinking it will all be over soon. This state of being is interrupted when I notice that the doctor is scrutinizing my daughter’s lower appendage. My pulse quickens when he bends closer to study it, clearly concerned about something. Then things take a turn for the worse. “Can you take a look at this?” the doctor asks. I almost utter, “Gross!” There’s a hor-

rible, angry rash all over my daughter’s leg. “It looks infected. I am going to prescribe an antibiotic.” He furiously transcribes for at least five minutes without looking at us. I can only imagine what is going on over there. By the time he’s done with this “well visit,” he will have an entire book written, possibly a best seller. I’m guessing his note states something along the lines of, “Mother doesn’t understand yellow corn is not a green vegetable and she is oblivious about proper bathing procedures. Recommend parenting classes, stat.” In the next room, a baby is crying, most likely getting shots, and I can’t help but feel envious. Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree. She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, National Geographic, Washington Post, Parents Magazine, AARP, Healthline, Your Teen Magazine, and many other publications.

July 2022 WNY Family 33

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s s e n l l We Choices Informed wellness decisions lead to healthy, fulfilling lives.

This section, a monthly complement to our annual “Healthy Child, Healthy Family” pullout, focuses on topics of utmost importance to today’s families in the areas of Wellness, Physical & Mental Health, Nutrition and much more.

For more information, call our Advertising Department at 836-3486 ext. 104. 34 WNY Family July 2022


eens need to regularly switch screen time for physical activity for the sake of their health and mental wellbeing, according to a University of Queensland-led study.

Researchers have linked harmful effects on adolescents’ mental health to screen time exceeding two hours a day for girls and four hours a day for boys. University of Queensland (UQ) School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences researcher Associate Professor Asad Khan said the global study investigated data from more than 577,000 adolescents aged 13 to 15 years across 42 high-income countries. “We found there were some benefits during the first hour of daily screen use, but detrimental effects of recreational screen use on mental wellbeing kick in after 75 minutes in girls and 105 minutes in boys,” Dr. Khan said. “Excess screen time effects can include depression, obesity, poor quality of life, unhealthy diet and decreased physical and cognitive abilities. “Whereas regular physical activity can improve physical fitness, cardiometabolic health, bone health, academic performance, executive function, mental health and can reduce weight gain. “Combining increased physical activity with reduced screen time showed a gradual beneficial effect on mental wellbeing across genders. “One hour of physical activity and no more than two hours of screen time a day provided optimal mental wellbeing.”

The study findings support current recommendations in Australia of limiting electronic screen use to a maximum of two hours a day and physical activity of at least an hour a day for both boys and girls. Screen time limits and guidelines refer to screen time for entertainment purposes and does not incorporate screen time in schools for education purposes. “Screen use in teens has increased significantly over recent years and insufficient physical activity is highly prevalent among teens,” Dr. Khan said. “We hope the strong association between levels of screen use and physical activity colinked with mental wellbeing can be used to reduce global mental health burden. “This work contributes towards global debate on ‘how much is too much’ for teen screen use and builds pressure to reduce recreational screen time and increase movement for the health and wellbeing of this pediatric population. “More opportunities for families, communities and schools need to be created to encourage adolescents to alternate screen time with physical and outdoor activities, which also provides additional benefits such as social connections and skills.” The study was conducted in collaboration with Queen’s University and University of Ottawa, Canada; University of New South Wales and Queensland University of Technology. The study is published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

July 2022 WNY Family 35

While diabetes may be considered a common disease, individualized care is needed as each person’s body may respond differently and have a different level of medical intervention needed. This is especially the case for children diagnosed with diabetes, as their bodies will continue changing rapidly during this time period, which will affect their blood sugar control needs.

Signs of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have overlapping signs and symptoms. A health assessment by your pediatrician will be able to determine which type the child may have.

Diabetes in WNY’s Children:

Diagnosis Rates are Rising Each Year


iabetes, or diabetes mellitus, can affect children at any age. In Western New York, thousands of children are being treated for type 1 or type 2 diabetes, with diagnosis rates rising each year. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes stem from issues with the pancreas, an organ that aids in digestion and the regulation of blood sugar. When functioning properly, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that allows the body to use glucose for energy. Glucose is a type of sugar found in many carbohydrates. Once glucose is in the bloodstream, insulin unlocks a door within cells throughout the body and allows glucose into the cells to be used for energy. When there’s plenty of energy in the body, insulin tells your body to store the extra glucose in your liver. The stored glucose is released when not eating, especially during sleep, to keep blood glucose levels in the normal range. The stored glucose will also be released when the body is stressed or needs an extra boost of energy, such as during exercise. There are two different forms of diabetes that can affect children. 36 WNY Family July 2022

Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin because the immune system mistakenly attacked the body’s insulin-producing cells. While type 1 diabetes can begin at any age, there are peak periods at about ages 5 to 6 and then again at ages 11 to 13 in which type 1 diabetes can become present.

Type 2 Diabetes With type 2 diabetes, the body does not respond well to insulin or insulin no longer can unlock the door on the cells. At first, the body makes extra insulin forcing the door to unlock and allow glucose into the cells. However, eventually the body cannot keep producing the extra insulin and blood glucose cannot get into the cells and there is not enough energy. Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age, including childhood, due to genetic factors, diet, and lifestyle. However, it is much more common in adulthood.

While each child may not experience each of these signs or symptoms, here are the most common signs of diabetes: 

     

  

Increased urination, especially at night (may cause a child who is potty trained to start bedwetting again) Increased thirst Increased feelings of tiredness; extreme fatigue Increased appetite Slow healing cuts/bruises Blurry vision Darkening skin color, especially around the neck or in the armpits (mainly type 2) Weight loss (Mainly for type 1) Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (mainly for type 2) Yeast infections

Living with Diabetes Pharmaceutical-made insulin is the only medical intervention used for type 1 diabetes and is often the initial intervention in children with type 2 diabetes. Outside of medication, there are many ways children can help their bodies be as healthy as possible. 

Regular blood glucose testing

Balanced eating: fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, ¼ with a lean protein and the last ¼ with carbohydrate containing foods

Focus on carbohydrates that are rich in fiber as they digest more slowly and can help avoid blood glucose spikes.

Don’t vape or smoke cigarettes

Increase movement! It doesn’t need to be a high-intensity, highsweat workout. Any movement can help the body use blood glucose more effectively.

An important aspect of managing diabetes is the relationship with your child’s medical team. The care team usually consists of the pediatrician/primary care provider, diabetes specialist, certified diabetes educator, dietitian, school nurse, family and patient. The medical professionals assess the individual’s needs and challenges they may be facing in managing their diabetes. They work with the child and family members by providing education, support, and recommendations that are best suited to the child’s lifestyle and needs. Keeping blood glucoses as close to normal as possible helps to improve health outcomes and reduce the risk of complications as the child gets older. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels that are not managed properly can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, eye damage and much more. If your child has diabetes, it’s important to continue routine care, including annual physicals and eye exams to monitor and detect any changes early on. Source: UBMD Pediatrics. Reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Kathleen Bethin.

Improving Outcomes for Children & Adolescents Living with Type 1 Diabetes Goal of a collaboration between UBMD Pediatrics and Cecelia Health


he majority of children living with Type 1 diabetes in the United States are not meeting their hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) goals, a measure of how much sugar is in the blood and a leading indicator of both short- and long-term disease state complications. Current research indicates that this trend is particularly prevalent in underserved communities lacking access to appropriate health resources. UBMD Pediatrics provides diabetes care for more than 1,000 children and adolescents in the Western New York area. Now, pediatric endocrinologists at UBMD Pediatrics and the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo have launched a collaboration to provide remote care management and physiological monitoring for children living with Type 1 diabetes. The team will be evaluating the financial viability of providing these services as well as their impact on diabetesrelated outcomes. A $1.43 million grant awarded to UBMD Pediatrics from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is making this program possible. The grant will support this collaboration for three years. Despite recognition of the benefits of remote care programs that deliver support in-between physician visits, most primary care and specialty providers lack the financial resources to deploy them effectively. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated outcome gaps among underserved communities primarily due to limited access to remote care services and communitybased resources. By working with Cecelia Health, a “virtual-first health care provider,” UBMD Pediatrics will be supplementing the in-person patient care it provides with care from an experienced remote diabetes and chronic care management

team. Cecelia Health provides patients with a spectrum of support in managing their diabetes to ease the daily burden, help improve health outcomes, and free up care resources for providers. A key goal of the program is to explore how improving access to remote support and the internet to better manage chronic conditions will improve outcomes. In particular, the program will examine whether access to fully supported cellular-enabled tablets and remote support enables patients to take full advantage of their existing diabetes technologies, such as continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps. In return, this should improve HbA1c levels and reduce hospital admissions for diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition that develops when the body doesn’t have enough insulin to allow blood sugar into cells for use as energy. The Helmsley Charitable Trust, the funder of this project, is one of the largest private foundation funders of Type 1 diabetes in the nation. To learn more about how to support children with Type 1 diabetes through medical discovery and advances at the Jacobs School visit http://www.buffalo. edu/campaign.html or contact Kathy M. Swenson, Senior Director of Advancement at kswenson@buffalo.edu or by calling 716.829.5052. UBMD Pediatrics is one of 18 practice plans within UBMD Physicians’ Group, the single largest medical group in Western New York. They provide premier primary and specialty health care to infants, children, adolescents, and young adults throughout Western New York and beyond. Their doctors make up the academic teaching faculty within the Department of Pediatrics at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo and are also the physicians at Oishei Children’s Hospital. For more information, please visit UBMDPediatrics.com. July 2022 WNY Family 37


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Jurassic World Dominion


Rating PG-13

Overall D-

Violence C

Sex A

Profanity C+

Alcohol/Drugs A

The casts of the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World franchises unite in this film to investigate the suspicious dealings of Biosyn, a biotech company that appears to be behind a potential global famine as well as the kidnapping of a teenager and a baby dinosaur. The movie is unremittingly bad, with lazy writing, unbelievable characters, and a flat soundtrack. Even the animatronic dinosaurs are jerky and Family Movieunconvincing Options: In Theaters and – the unforgivable sinStreaming in a dino flick.Online Photo ©Universal Pictures

Jurassic World Dominion The Bob’s Burgers Movie

Theaters Theaters

Rating Rating PG-13 PG-13

Overall Overall DB-

Violence Violence C B

Sex Sex A B

Profanity Profanity C+ B

Alcohol/Drugs Alcohol/Drugs A B

The of the Jurassic Park andas Jurassic World franchises unite this film to The casts Belcher family are panicking the everyday problems of loaninrepayments investigate the suspicious dealings of Biosyn, a biotech company that appears are overshadowed by a sinkhole (containing a dead body) that has opened up to in be behind a potential global famine as well as the kidnapping of teenager a front of their restaurant. Determined to end the police investigation that is and a movie is unremittingly lazyto writing, unbelievable baby dinosaur. bad, blocking accessThe to the business, the Belcher kidswith decide solve the mystery flat soundtrack. Evenand thethe animatronic jerky characters, themselves.and Theaplot is more detailed animationdinosaurs superior are to the TV and – the unforgivable sin in a dino flick. Photo ©Universal Pictures Family Movieunconvincing Options: In Theaters and Streaming Online series, but the jokes start to falter in the final stretch of the film. Photo ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rating Rating PG-13 PG

Overall Overall BDA

Violence Violence B C A

Sex Sex B A A

Profanity Profanity B C+ B

Alcohol/Drugs Alcohol/Drugs B A A

Rating Rating PG-13 PG

Overall Overall BA A-

Violence Violence B A B

Sex Sex B A

Profanity Profanity B B A-

Alcohol/Drugs Alcohol/Drugs B A A-

Rating Rating Rating PG PG TV-Y7

Overall Overall Overall AA B+

Violence Violence Violence B A B

Sex Sex Sex A A A

Profanity Profanity Profanity AB A

Alcohol/Drugs Alcohol/Drugs Alcohol/Drugs AA A

Rating Overall Violence Sex Chip ‘n Dale and Rescue Disney+ Chickenhare the Rangers Hamster Netflix PG AB A Detailed reviews available at www.parentpreviews.com of Darkness TV-Y7 B+ B A

Profanity AA

Alcohol/Drugs AA

Rating Overall Violence Sex Chickenhare and the Hamster Netflix Detailed reviews available at www.parentpreviews.com of Darkness TV-Y7 B+ B A





Jurassic World Dominion The Bob’s Burgers Movie Hollywood Stargirl

Theaters Disney+

Belcher family are panicking the everyday problems of loaninrepayments The casts of the Jurassic Park andas Jurassic World franchises unite this film to With her mother working on a movie set, Stargirl now lives in Los Angeles, which are overshadowed by a sinkhole (containing a dead body) that has opened up to in investigate the suspicious dealings of Biosyn, a biotech company that appears introduces her to some new neighbors while also making it easier for her to front of their restaurant. Determined to end the police investigation that is be behind a potential global famine as well as the kidnapping of a teenager and a achieve her dreams. This sequel is a big improvement over the original, with blocking access to the business, the Belcher kidswith decide to solve the mystery baby dinosaur. The movie is unremittingly bad, lazy writing, unbelievable Stargirl having a richer inner life and a stronger sense of self. The story is stilland themselves.and Theaplot more detailed animationdinosaurs superior are to the TV characters, flat is soundtrack. Evenand thethe animatronic jerky idealized and unrealistic, but content issues are minor and the strong positive ©Walt series, but the–jokes start to falter finalflick. stretch of ©Universal the film. Photo unconvincing the unforgivable sinininthe a dino Photo Pictures messages make this Pictures a good choice for tweens. Photo ©Disney+ Disney Studios Motion

The Bob’s Burgers Movie Stargirl Chip Hollywood ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers

Theaters Disney+

The Belcher family are panicking as the everyday problems of Los loanAngeles, repayments With herhas mother working on now a movie set, Stargirl now livesand in Monty disappeared and his two old friends, Chip Dale, must which are overshadowed by a new sinkhole (containing aalso dead body)itthat hasfor opened in introduces her to some neighbors while making easier her toup reconcile theirrestaurant. old career-related differences andpolice find him. Ostensiblythat made for front of their Determined to end the investigation is achieve her This sequel is a is bignostalgic improvement over the with children, thisdreams. movie’s audience whooriginal, will a kick blocking access to thereal business, the Belcher kidsMillennials decide to solve the get mystery Stargirl having a richer inner life and a stronger sense of self. The story is still out of the many pop culture references. As for youngsters, they will enjoy themselves. The plot is more detailed and the animation superior to the TVthe idealized and unrealistic, butcharacters. content issues are minor and the strong positive action sequences and goofy Very frightened series, butmake the jokes tochoice falter in the finalsensitive stretch ofkids themight film. be Photo ©Walt messages this astart good forno tweens. Photo ©Disney+ Photo ©Disney+ by dangerous situations, but there’s other worrying material. Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Chip Hollywood ‘n Dale and Rescue Stargirl Chickenhare the Rangers Hamster of Darkness

Disney+ Disney+ Netflix

Monty disappeared his two friends, Dale, must which With herhas mother workingand on now a movie set, old Stargirl nowChip livesand in Los Angeles, reconcile oldsome career-related differences and find him. Ostensibly made Half hare, their half the namedalso Chickenhare yearnsfor to her be an introduces herchicken, to newunoriginally neighbors while making it easier to for children, this movie’s real audience is nostalgic Millennials who will get a kick adventurer his father. When is hisa Uncle Lapin goes in search of the mythical achieve herlike dreams. This sequel big improvement over the original, with out of the many pop culture references. As for youngsters, they will enjoy thehim and destructive of Darkness, knows thatThe he story has toisstop Stargirl having aHamster richer inner life and aChickenhare stronger sense of self. still action he sequences and Very sensitive kids the might be frightened before destroys thegoofy kingdom. This film is highly derivative and predictable, idealized and unrealistic, butcharacters. content issues are minor and strong positive but byalso dangerous situations, butchoice there’s otherviewers, worrying material. Photoplot©Disney+ itmessages manages to beaentertaining for young with only minor Photo ©Disney+ make this good forno tweens. related peril. Parents even have a bit of fun with Profanity it. Photo ©Netflix RatingmightOverall Violence Sex Alcohol/Drugs

Monty has disappeared and now his two old friends, Chip and Dale, must Half hare, their half chicken, the unoriginally namedand Chickenhare yearns to be an for reconcile old career-related differences find him. Ostensibly made adventurer of the mythical like his father. When his Uncle Lapin goes in search children, this movie’s real audience is nostalgic Millennials who will get a kick and of Darkness, Chickenhare knows that hewill hasenjoy to stop out destructive of the manyHamster pop culture references. As for youngsters, they thehim film is highly derivative and predictable, but before he destroys the kingdom. This action sequences and goofy characters. Very sensitive kids might be frightened itbyalso manages to be entertaining for young viewers, with only minor plotdangerous situations, but there’s no other worrying material. Photo ©Disney+ related peril. Parents might even have a bit of fun with it. Photo ©Netflix

July 2022 WNY Family 39

Half hare, half chicken, the unoriginally named Chickenhare yearns to be an adventurer like his father. When his Uncle Lapin goes in search of the mythical


apturing the moments in our children’s lives is much different than it was for our parents. If you’re like me, you take pictures of your family almost exclusively with your smartphone. Previous generations did not have the luxury of a portable, high definition, always in your pocket camera. Someone had to remember to bring a camera, load the film, and ensure they took the best picture possible on the first try. Now, parents snap ten photos in a row without thinking twice about it. Smartphones burst onto the scene almost two decades ago, and the number of digital images captured each year has increased at a staggering pace. It is estimated that 1.5 trillion photos were taken in 2021. By comparison, 3.5 trillion photos were taken between 1826 when photography was invented through the year 2012. Saving and storing those 1.5 trillion photos presents a problem for modern parents. How do you save these memories for future generations to see? Growing up, my mom would keep photo albums that she could bring out when the time called for it. That’s a bit more difficult when the average family takes over 4,000 photos each year. Let’s look at what parents can do to ensure life’s most memorable moments end up safely stored away in the Internet’s version of a shoebox under your bed.

Facebook Isn’t the Answer

Merely saving your photos on your home computer or leaving them on your smartphone is not a smart idea. This creates a single point of failure for a lifetime of memories. If your home computer gets infected or your smartphone breaks or gets stolen, you can lose years of your digital memories in mere minutes. I’ve talked with parents who believe uploading their photos to Facebook is the answer. Unfortunately, this is not a reliable option, either. Facebook is fantastic for sharing pictures, but the site reduces the quality of your photos substantially during the upload process. The original image is reduced to a web-friendly ver40 WNY Family July 2022

RAISING DIGITAL KIDS — by Mike Daugherty

Digital Memories Management

sion that cannot be resized, enhanced, or printed. There are settings on the site that can help with this, but there are other factors to consider. Social media sites were not developed with long term storage in mind. Any of these sites could decide to remove posts before a set date without much warning. Lastly, Facebook, Instagram, and similar sites are designed to showcase a few photos. You don’t upload ALL of your pictures to these services.

Look to the Cloud Parents need a solution that allows easy access to every photo while keeping them backed up in their original, high definition quality. I tend to err on the side of caution, so I use a few different tools to ensure my images are safe. Much of the process is automated and doesn’t require any interaction on your part. Step one in this process is choosing a cloud storage option that works best for your needs. Cloud storage is similar to a giant flash drive that resides on the Internet. The benefit of storing your photos in the cloud is that it’s not your home computer or smartphone. You can’t accidentally drop the cloud into the pool while you’re swimming.

Clicking an email that releases a virus onto your home computer has little to no impact on your data in the cloud. Cloud services are designed in a way that prevents accidents, malfunctions, or malicious software from ruining your files. Additionally, most services use sophisticated backup technology to avoid possible data loss. There are quite a few options out there, such as Flickr, iCloud, and Amazon Prime Photos. The two standouts, in my opinion, are Dropbox and Google Photos. Google Photos offers 100GB of storage for $1.99 per month. This is a similar pricing model to the services mentioned above. Google Photos includes technology to help you organize and even edit your photos. Google does reduce the quality of your photos by approximately 30% when using their service. The research I’ve done online suggests that the photo resizing will not be noticeable to most people. The quality reduction is noticeable when uploading videos though. Amazon Prime does not adjust the quality of your photos or videos; however, Amazon does not offer as many tools for organizing images as Google. For the price, Google gets my recommendation. For those of you willing to spend a bit more money, Dropbox is the best option. Dropbox provides two terabytes in their Pro plan for $129 per year. The two terabytes should be plenty of storage for most families. Images and photos are not compressed, so they are kept in their original quality. The best feature of Dropbox is the apps that come with it. There’s a smartphone app and a desktop app. You’ll want to download them both. The smartphone app includes an option to upload your photos to their site automatically. The app will wait until you’ve connected to wifi and send your photos to the cloud in the background. I’ve installed this on both our phones, and it works like a charm. Whenever we snap a pic, I have full confidence it will be saved to the cloud in a few moments. The desktop app sits on your desktop and pulls down a copy of everything to send to the

cloud. This feature provides a backup copy of all of your memories that you can easily access in the event something were to happen to the Dropbox cloud. The same is true if something happens to your home computer. There’s no need to worry because there is a copy in the cloud. It is an extra layer of protection.

One Additional Safety Step Can you imagine telling your spouse that all the photos you both have taken over the last few years were lost forever? As I stated earlier, I err on the side of caution. There is one additional safety measure you can do every six months or so for maximum protection. Dropbox creates a folder on your home computer where your photos and videos are housed. Purchase an external hard drive on Amazon for $60. Connect the drive to your home computer and copy the Dropbox folder to the external drive. This process will take hours, so be prepared to walk away and let it run. Store the external hard drive in a safe place once the process eventually completes. Copying to an external hard drive provides you with another backup in the unlikely event that both the cloud and your home computer are compromised. It may be overkill, but for a low cost, you can sleep well at night knowing your digital memories are safe.

Get Organized! This column focused primarily on saving those thousands of photos your family takes every year. Once you’ve got the storage aspect taken care of, you’ll probably want to begin organizing those photos in a way that makes sense. Much like the cloud storage options, there are a variety of choices available to clean up your clutter. Adobe Photoshop Elements provides an easy to use interface for arranging, tagging, and organizing those memories. Additionally, the software offers features to help you create stunning slideshows, collages, and videos with minimal effort.

Time Capsule We created email accounts for all of our children when they were born. From time to time, we send the kids an email with photos attached. For example, I sent my oldest son a picture of when he hit his first home run in baseball. The kids do not have access to these emails so think of it like a time capsule they will get to open when they are older. This is another fun way to preserve these memories! Creating a plan to organize and save your digital memories may not be at the top of your priority list. It may even seem daunting. Start small and take it one step at a time. Within a few months, you’ll have a gallery that puts your mother’s old photo albums to shame! Mike Daugherty is a husband, father of three young children, author, speaker, Google Innovator, and possible Starbucks addict. He is a certified educational technology leader who has served in a variety of roles through his twenty-year career in public education. Currently, Mike is the Director of Technology for the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School district in Northeast Ohio. As an IT director he has developed creative, well thought out solutions that positively impact teaching and learning.

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Clayton is Ready To Welcome Families to the Thousand Islands


ut on the nice riverfront beach on FAMILY TRAVEL magnifinearby Wellesley Island cent St. State Park. — by Deborah Williams Lawrence River, famiThe Antique Boat lies row iconic river skiffs; a massive Museum, the town’s biggest attraction, Canadian Steamship Line freighter boasts the largest and most impressive cruises by; children sail in the bay on a collection of fresh water recreational traditional river dingy; a gleaming anboats in North America. The museum is tique powerboat whizzes especially noted for its St. by, and fishing enthusiasts Lawrence River Skiff and return to port after a succlassic powerboat colleccessful day of catching tion. bass. “We are thrilled The Thousand Isto welcome our visitors lands has long been a back from both sides of mecca for water lovers the border and elsewhere and Clayton, on the New in the world to our fully York side of the river, has operational museum,” it all for families. The area said Rebecca Hopfinger, first became famous as the the museum’s executive summer playground of director. “We believe the country’s wealthiest very much in offering families in the late 1800s opportunities for our visiand early 1900s, an era tors to feel what it is like known as the Gilded Age. to be on the river.” There are also many opportuniRowing a skiff is FREE with all ties for anyone who wants to get ON museum admissions. On Tuesdays durthe water. One is even free. The area ing July and August, starting at 5:30pm, is not known for beaches but there is a visitors can go sailing for FREE with a museum instructor or row a skiff with no museum charge. It is first come, first serve, weather permitting, with a rain/wind day on Wednesdays. There are also thrilling rides in gleaming antique boats for an additional charge. Don’t miss a tour of the museum’s largest exhibit — La Duchesse, a Gilded Age 42 WNY Family July 2022

two-story historic 104-foot houseboat, commissioned by George Boldt. After his death in 1916, Edward Noble, “the Candy King,” who made his fortune with the Life Saver Candy Co. bought most of his estate in 1922. After sinking in her slip in 1943, Andrew McNally III of the map company fame purchased the once grand vessel for $100. She was fully restored including construction of a new steel hull. His family had been summering in the 1000 Islands since the late 1890s and they used the houseboat as their summer residence until McNally’s death at 92 in 2001. For the next couple years, the museum prepared the boat to become a museum exhibit and opened it for public tours in July 2005. This is a boat built with every creature comfort including a Steinway piano. One of the highlights is the master stateroom with expansive windows on three sides and a private balcony off the stern. There are three bathrooms and six staterooms with the finest mahogany and dressed in the family’s nautical themed

linens. The water is never far away. A large salon with a marble fireplace is highlighted by a stained-glass skylight. The museum has dozens of educational offerings for adults and children and for all skill levels. There are land activities for young visitors including knot tying – still important in the nautical world. Soon after it was settled in 1822, Clayton became a major shipbuilding and lumbering port and many of the historic buildings from that era remain today. It was incorporated in 1872 and is celebrating its bicentennial this year. The riverfront community underwent a massive facelift while border crossings were restricted. Utility poles are gone and there are new trees, orna-

mental lighting, redesigned sidewalks and a pedestrian walkway now lines the river, allowing close water access to all. The Thousand Islands Museum, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, houses exhibits of worldclass muskies (otherwise known as the muskellunge) and hunting decoys from the past and present. It is also home to the Muskie Hall of Fame. Expert fishing guides are ready to help assure a successful day of fishing. A highlight of many fishing excursions is the famous St. Lawrence River shore lunch with your fresh caught fish as the main dish. But there is more: fatback sandwiches with salad and Thousand Island dressing, salted potatoes, corn on the cob, French toast and fruit pie for dessert. This is truly a world-class fishing haven, attracting fishing enthusiasts from around the country and the world. River tours are a popular adventure. They include stops at area signature attractions. My recent visit included a new cruise with Clayton Island Tours — billed as the ultimate sightseeing tour for those who want to see the most attractions in an afternoon on the river. This five-hour cruise travels through 25 miles of U.S. and Canadian waters with stops at the fabled Boldt Castle on Heart Island and Rock Island Lighthouse on Rock Island. A tasty picnic lunch and all admissions are included. Our stop at the lighthouse state park was impossible since winter dock damage was still being repaired. (Visits are now resumed and a walk up the lighthouse steps offers grand views.) Instead, our cruise stopped at the Boldt Yacht House on Wellesley Island. As we cruise along under

the capable river faring hands of Capt. Buck Peterson, our guide Brad Minnick entertained our group with fascinating stories of the river and its history. The river, which begins in nearby Cape Vincent, is 744 miles long and ends in the Atlantic Ocean. An amazing 20% of all fresh water in the world and 80% of all fresh water in North America flows through this river. It is also part of the 2300-mile-long inland waterway that includes the Great Lakes and ends in Duluth, Minnesota. What exactly defines an island in this area? It must be above water 365 days a year and it must support a living tree or have once supported a tree. The smallest is Tom Thumb Island, located just upriver of the Canadian span of the Thousand Islands Bridge. With just one tree and only a few square feet staying above water all year Tom Thumb just makes the cut. The international border does not divide any of the 1,864 islands. Every island is either wholly within the United States or Canada causing the border to zigzag across the water. However, some people own two islands — connected by a small bridge and sometimes each is in a different country. These were ideal waters for rum running during Prohibition days, our guide tells us. “During the Gilded Age many of the wealthiest in the country arrived here for the grand fishing, the river, and scenic beauty,” Minnick said. “In 1872 U.S. President Grant was invited to visit by George Pullman setting off the White House press rush and the reporters wrote

stories describing the beauty and lure of the Thousand Islands which attracted more visitors.” Our guide was also full of fun facts such as the food tastes of our northern neighbors. Who knew that Canadians reportedly eat more macaroni and cheese and doughnuts per capita than any other country in the world? The signature attraction of the entire region is Boldt Castle, which has been owned and operated by the Thousand Islands International Bridge Authority since 1978. In 1900 George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the worldfamous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, set out to build a full-size Rhineland castle on an island off Alexandria Bay. His family had fallen in love with the region after spending holidays here. The grandiose six-story, 120-room structure was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise. Tragically, just as the exterior of the massive stone castle was nearing completion Louise died suddenly at age 42 in January 1904. Boldt telegraphed the island and commanded the hundreds of workers to immediately stop all construction, leaving the interior unfinished. A broken-hearted Boldt never returned to the island. For nearly 73 years the castle and various stone structures were left to the mercy of the wind, rain, ice, snow, and vandals. After the bridge authority acquired the property the transformation began. Thanks to more than $60 million and the impressive skills of workers, the castle, other buildings and the grounds have been gradually turned into what they were meant to be. New rooms are continually being restored to their intended grandeur as the work and maintenance goes on. Since my last visit, the kitchen and servants’ dining room have been meticucontinued on page 44 July 2022 WNY Family 43

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lously transformed. The grounds and gardens are beautifully maintained. While touring the castle, be sure to stop in the media room for the short film on Boldt’s life. He arrived in New York at age 13 as a penniless immigrant from Prussia. He started working as a dishwasher and went on to become one of the richest people in the country. According to the film, Boldt is credited with inventing room service and coined the term the “customer is always right.” Staff will transport visitors with mobility issues up the hill in a golf cart and there is an elevator in the castle. Across the water on Wellesley Island is Boldt’s impressive Yacht House that once housed his collection of 60 boats. A shuttle boat operates from Boldt Castle to the Yacht House. It is also possible to drive to the boathouse since the first span of the Thousand Islands International Bridge crosses between the mainland and Wellesley Island. There is a collection of antique wooden boats, some from the original Boldt fleet, on display, courtesy of Clayton’s Antique Boat Museum. The site of the town’s grand hotel — 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel — was originally the site of the train station. “There were as many as 13 trains a day coming from New York City and elsewhere and a 100-foot motor yacht or speedboat would be waiting to take the travelers to their island homes or to the famous Frontenac Hotel (which sadly burned to the ground),” Minnick said. The lovely Harbor Hotel is part of the Harbor Hotel group owned by Buffalo based Hart Hotels and David Hart is President and CEO. It opened in 2014 and commands a sweeping view of the river. The 105-room hotel boasts dining rooms, bar, outdoor patio, fitness center, meeting rooms and indoor swimming pool. Best of all, it is hard to find a spot without a waterfront view. The outdoor fire pits are popular gathering spots for drinks and sunset watching. Staff is friendly, welcoming and helpful and quickly re-established the Clayton tradition of warm hospitality. Travel Tip of the Month: For information on Clayton and the Thousand Islands go to visit1000islands.com or call 800847-5263 or 315-482-2520. For the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel call 315-686-1100 or visit 1000islandsharborhotel.com. There are special road trip packages that include the other New York State Harbor Hotels in Watkins Glen and Chautauqua. Deborah Williams lives in Holland, NY and is a veteran travel writer whose work has appeared in national and international publications. She is the recipient of the Society of American Travel Writers’ Lowell Thomas Gold Travel Writing Award.

44 WNY Family July 2022

ally starts around 6pm. The biting that is. Well, it’s around that same time when Violet turns into Super Violet and none of us are safe; me, Andrea, both cats, and the dog. We all hide from her as soon as the evening breaks.

The Beginning of the Terrible Phase


have heard many debates among friends, parents and grandparents alike, about which is worse, the terrible twos or the terrible threes. Are the kids worse when they’re twenty-four months or thirty-six? Are they more of a menace before they can speak? Or is it worse when they back up the menacing behavior with actual words? Does the year in between really make a difference? And why are these babies so bad anyway? According to the experts, whether they be actual childhood professionals, my co-workers, or social media parents, I should be in the clear until Violet turns two. But that hasn’t been quite the case here. The once quiet afternoons in our house that were occupied by nursery rhymes and cuddles have since turned disorderly. It’s like she went to sleep one night and woke up with an attitude. She suddenly has an opinion now, which I love, but am slightly afraid of, because I don’t always know how to interpret her demands. When she points and screams, I usually have no idea what she wants, and it always makes for an awkward staring contest between the two of us. She’s like a real person now, no longer just a baby who is seemingly pleased by anything I do. If she doesn’t like it, she throws it — food, toys, clothing. If she likes it, she

also throws it — pasta, books, sneakers. I’ve had a few people say to me, “How old is she now? Well, you just wait!” Or “You’ll see. As soon as she turns 3, forget about it. Your life is going to get turned upside down!” And they’re always so adamant about their predictions, too. Not to mention the pictures of destruction they paint so vividly for me; the streaks of red crayon on the hallway wall, the purple stains from juice boxes on the couch, and toys being thrown at the cat. I think I’ve heard it all at this point. And it seems like everyone’s experience about when the chaos begins slightly varies, but the story remains the same: The older they get, the wilder they get. Now, seeing how Violet is neither two nor three years old, currently twenty-two months, I would say, from my personal perspective, the terrible phase starts before two years old, somewhere around eighteen months. And I feel confident enough to propose this hypothesis, because for the past 3 months, Violet has transformed from my sweet, innocent little girl, into a book throwing, face slapping, hair pulling terror. To be honest, I’m more interested in when this phase ends as opposed to when it begins. Also, how do we manage it? Did I mention the biting? This usu-

I started to do some research on toddler behavior, just to have the upper hand on the situation, especially for when it gets worse, and I kept running into the same answer. They act out in these forms of mini-tantrums, basically because they’re trying to communicate with us, and for the most part, they cannot. Aside from whatever words Violet has picked up from us that we’re able to decipher, like “uppie” for up and hand to mouth motions for “I’m hungry,” it’s pretty much left up to us to try and figure out what she wants, and I can see how that can be frustrating. But it’s also hard for me not to get frustrated when Violet starts throwing all the food I just prepared for dinner on the floor and begins screaming for something else that she wants, and I have no idea what that something else is. I’m sure there are other reasons why our toddlers get upset, but a lot of it seems to be communication breakdown. Trying to manage all this can feel a little overwhelming sometimes, and in the process of tantrum-recovery, I’ve discovered that composure is key, deep breaths are necessary and communication with my wife is a must. And sometimes, I just need to walk away, of course only if it’s safe to do so. It’s okay to take a break occasionally. We’re only human, after all. It’s better to ask for help, rather than getting burned out. I know this is only the beginning of it. I’ll check back in later. Richard De Fino, a freelance writer by night, first became a father at age 34. After losing his first-born son Louis, at birth, he was determined to keep his memory alive the best way he knew how; through words. Now, with the birth of his daughter Violet, he plans on continuing to share his fatherhood journey each month with WNY Family readers. July 2022 WNY Family 45

PICK OF THE LITERATURE — by Dr. Donna Phillips


or the past few Julys, we have been exposed to the Good and the Bad of our country and its history, but perhaps it is time to take a look at the big picture. In spite of all of this, we are still America the Beautiful in our heart, intent, and in the actions we need to address about who we were and who we want to be. While this is complex, and there is much for us to do in order to explore the “truth” in our history, there is also much to celebrate in the things we have accomplished. There are some wonderful books to get children and adults started on this journey together.

Fauna, Habitat, Jungles, Mountains, Oxygen, Planet, Trees, and more! This is a perfect way to begin to explore and celebrate our country and our history. History is Rich (Honest History, Los Angeles, 2022, $19.99), written by Shaun S. Nichols and illustrated by

46 WNY Family July 2022

Born on the Water (Kokila/ Penguin Random House, New York, 2022, $18.99), written by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renee Watson and illustrated by Nikkolas Smith, is the beautifully written exploration of the history of slavery in this country. As a young girl tries to retrace her family lineage for a school assignment, she begins to learn of the rich history of her family that goes back to their roots in Africa. In the process, she begins to understand the history of not just her family, but that of her people who were brought here as slaves. Through this book, we get a better understanding of the humanity and the details of the lives of those who had a long history before being uprooted and unwillingly brought to this country. We learn about sacrifice and the contributions they made. For anyone reading this book, it is a beautiful look into the ugly side of our nation that will hopefully lead to a better understanding and make us more compassionate and enlightened.

If you are starting a journey of exploration, it is not always a history book that should be your first and primary source. History is best told through the voices and stories of those who have lived it and those books are plentiful. Here are some to get you started. How we treat each other as well as the flora and fauna of the Earth itself tells a great deal about our history. A great place to start exploring this with young children is with E is for Earth (Gibbs Smith, Layton, 2022, $9.99) by Greg Paprocki. This ABC board book is a wonderful way to talk to your children about our world and how we treat it. Each letter of the alphabet takes us to another adventure in exploring our earth. From A – Activist to Z for Zero Waste, we can explore Compost, Flora and

(and adults) begin to understand how our economy was established and how it works. This is a foundation for understanding our history, how we got here, where we are headed, and is exactly what our children need to know.

Sophy Smith, is a book for children that briefly covers the economy of who we are as a nation and the history of how we got here. It covers such topics as the American economy, capitalism, slavery, big business, the Great Depression, technology, and more topics that will enlighten and inform. It helps children

How we treat our land is an important historical marker of how we treat our people. Parks for the People: How Frederick Law Olmsted Designed America (Viking, New York, 2022, $17.99), written by Elizabeth Partridge and illustrated by Becca Stadtlander, is the story of how he did just that. As written in the introduction, Frederick Law Olmsted longed to make the United States a better, more peaceful place for all, but he didn’t know how. In a new country plagued by bitter political divisions, inequality, and greed, how could one person make a difference?

Olmsted found a way. He designed and built parks across our nation, including the park system in Buffalo. This beautifully written and illustrated book gives the details and the context of the struggles that were faced by those who lived and worked in the country at the time. It chronicles the need to create space that would instill respect for nature, each other, and for self. Through this book we learn about the history of the era and the struggles Olmsted faced to create such spaces. In the process we also learn that the efforts of a few can create opportunities for many. Such is the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted. The United States of America is still part of the “Great Experiment” (attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville) and we continue to evolve. Actions by one or many always have consequences. Through the study of our history, we can see that while some things change, other things still remain the same. The need for us to earn to live together in harmony with each other and nature is truly exemplified by the history of our country. Our Good and our Bad make up our Beautiful… and we still keep trying to improve. Dr. Donna Phillips is an associate professor in the College of Education at Niagara University where her specialty is literacy and children’s literature. She lives on Grand Island, NY and is the mother of two adult children and the grandmother of one.

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Your Guide to

Choosing Childcare A Special Section Dedicated To Helping Parents Find Quality Care To Fit Their Family’s Unique Needs

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What To Look For When Choosing A Program For Your Infant or Toddler


hoosing a high-quality program for your infant or toddler is an important task. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) offers the following insights into what elements are found in such programs. Working with infants (babies from birth to 18 months) is so much more than caring for their physical needs. Caregivers interact with children and offer enjoyable experiences that lay the foundation for learning by: • Noticing your child’s signals to learn what he’s saying through his sounds and actions • Building trust by responding quickly to babies’ needs • Setting up schedules and following familiar routines (for example, lunch or bottle time is usually followed by naptime). Babies learn better when they feel secure and know what to expect.

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• Talking to your child during caregiving times, like feeding and diaper changing. This makes your child feel valued and helps her build a strong bond with her caregiver. • Describing to your infant what’s happening throughout the day. Regular communication helps him build lifelong language skills. • Creating safe spaces for your baby to move comfortably and freely, with interesting materials for her to explore. • Asking about routines you do at home with your child so the caregivers can do some of the same things at the program. • Keeping you up to date on what your child knows and is learning so you don’t miss a thing. • Offering lots of active playtime. Caregivers give babies plenty of space to play and build their muscles and coordination. • Giving infants the chance to explore outdoors every day if possible. Spending time outside helps children’s health and

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brain development. Toddlers (age 16 months to 36 months) learn through interaction with caring adults; through active, hands-on play, by connecting new ideas and skills, and by exploring and making sense of their world. Teachers help toddlers develop and learn by: • Asking questions to help children think more deeply about what they’re doing. • Encouraging children so they’ll keep trying when they face a challenge. • Acknowledging children’s efforts: “You tried many times to stack three blocks, Anya!” • Providing information so toddlers learn new skills, how things work, and about the world around them. • Offering suggestions that help children try new things: “Edikan, using both hands to carry that basket might be easier than using just one hand.” • Adding small challenges to activities so that children’s skills keep growing. • Observing children to discover how they learn and what they know and enjoy. Teachers use this information to extend children’s learning: “Finn, I remember you telling me all about the fun you had at the beach with Grandma. I brought in some picture books about seashells and fish you might like.” The NAEYC offers a variety of informative articles for parents on their website at https://www.naeyc.org/ourwork/families/browse-by-topic July 2022 WNY Family 49


look to you for their sustenance. Then, all will be right with the world again. Therefore, confidently let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no.” Kids will figure out the rules and, in the long run, will respect you more for setting appropriate and healthy boundaries. 3) DO stay in communication with the other parent. DON’T accept everything your child tells you as the truth. Because kids are naturally prone to manipulating to get what they want, a divorce or separation is fertile ground for their success. When kids know that their parents are not talking to one another very often, they will sometimes try to stir things up or embellish the truth in order to get what they want.

Discipline Do’s and Don’ts for Single Parents


ood parenting involves the same basic principles whether one is married or single. However, single parents often find themselves in positions where they risk losing their integrity with their children if they’re not careful. Once parental integrity is lost, loss of respect then follows, which usually results in defiant behavior. Here are a few helpful do’s and don’ts to guide single parents in disciplining their children effectively: 1) DO honor the relationship your children have with their other parent. DON’T ever use their time or contact with the other parent as punishment. It may be tempting to say, “If you don’t stop that, you won’t get to go to your dad’s this weekend,” which means dad’s love and your support of that relationship is dependent on the child’s behavior. Since all children need to know their parents’ love is unconditional, punishing a child by withholding the care and love of a parent is dangerous ground. Some parents may also punish kids by removing communication tools, which on the surface is not a bad discipline strategy. However, it could interfere with their ability to be in contact with the other parent. If you know that the only way your teenager has to communicate with her mom is by cell phone, then taking the cell phone away as a means of punishment also punishes the other parent. Instead, if you must take away a cell phone as a discipline move, you might opt for limiting your child’s cell phone use to communicating with the other parent only, 50 WNY Family July 2022

shutting down communication with friends. Better yet, take away video or TV time, or time with friends, instead of your child’s time with your ex. 2) DO provide a positive role model for your children about how to manage their emotions. DON’T expect your kids to take care of your feelings. Parenting alone is frustrating work and single parents can sometimes succumb to acting more like the children than the adults in the house. In other words, it is easy to resort to yelling, name-calling, or physical means of discipline rather than being a nonanxious adult who can model firmness and loving emotional control. Kids of divorce or single parents are not unlike any other children who are selfcentered and want what they want when they want it. Therefore, they will push their parents’ buttons and pull out all of the stops — like resorting to the proverbial “I’m going to go live with my dad if you don’t give me what I want!” Although that hurts immensely (making you want to ring their sweet little necks!), you have to remember that kids are emotionally immature and will love you one minute and hate you the next. It is not their job to make sure your feelings don’t get hurt. They will learn that more by how you treat them than by you lecturing about it. So, let them stomp off to their room kicking and screaming because you refuse to give them what they want. If you let it be for a couple of hours, they will come out of their room when they get hungry and will

For example, your child may come home from the other parent’s house and tell you that. “Mom said I could play basketball this year, if you’ll buy me new basketball shoes.” That might light a fire under you if you and mom have a strained relationship. If you simply accept that statement as the truth, you are likely to fly off the handle and say something like, “What? That’s ridiculous. I pay your mom a ton of child support, so she has plenty of money to buy those shoes.” Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing whether mom really said that or not, so overreacting will only put your child in the middle of the adult tension and allow him to have the upper hand. Instead, say, “Well that’s interesting. I’ll have to talk to mom about that.” And then drop the subject until you have had a chance to discuss it with the other parent. Once you’ve talked to mom, you can go back to your child and inform him or her of what the two of you have decided about the sport and the shoes. This teaches your child that playing both ends against the middle will be unproductive, and that manipulation doesn’t work when mom and dad talk to each other privately, rather than rely on the child’s reports. Diane C. Dierks is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Atlanta, Georgia. She is co-host of the new podcast, Co-Parent Dilemmas (www.CPDilemmas.com, or wherever you get your podcasts). She is also author of The Co-Parent Toolbox (2014 Aha! Publishing) and Solo Parenting: Raising Strong & Happy Families (1997 Fairview Press).

TWEENS & TEENS — by Mary Helen Berg


or Parent? Should You Monitor Your Teen’s Life Online?


t’s not an invasion of privacy when you check your teen’s online activity — it’s an act of love, says Esther Reich, a stay-at-home mom in Jericho, New York. When Reich’s 14 year-old son received a smartphone several years ago, he agreed to allow his parents to periodically review his web history, texts, emails, and contacts on social media. They still check in on his digital life, although less frequently than when he was younger. “We’re not necessarily there to monitor everything he’s doing and look over his shoulder,” Reich explains. “We’re there to make sure he’s not getting in trouble.” Teens don’t always understand the consequences of their online choices, she points out. For example, they may not realize that offensive posts or emails can be recovered even after you delete them; or that if you send or receive an inappropriate photo of a minor, it may be a crime. “As parents we’re here to guide our children and to make as sure as possible that they make educated choices,” Reich says. “And at different ages, they may not be capable of understanding the ramifications of certain actions.” Reich is like most parents, according to a Pew Research Center study that found parents commonly review teens’ digital history. That’s a lot of screens to check: ninety-five percent of teens now have access to smart phones, according to

a 2018 Pew Research Center report, an increase from seventy-three percent of teens in 2015. Eighty-eighty percent have access to laptop or desktop computers. Reich manually spot checks her son’s devices but you can also install programs that keep tabs for you. Products such as mSpy, TeenSafe and Qustodio remotely track calls, texts, photos, social media messaging and website visits, making it easy to monitor your teen’s screen time at all times. But is all this oversight a good thing? Not everyone agrees. Online monitoring can undermine a teen’s trust, especially if a parent does it covertly, says Devorah Heitner, founder of Raising Digital Natives and author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World. Instead, parents should guide their teens, openly discuss concerns and then allow them to make mistakes. “Mentoring is more important than

monitoring because ultimately, we want our kids to be independent communicators,” Heitner says. “The most helpful you can be is letting your child figure some things out.” But parents have the right as well as the duty to monitor what their teens are doing online, argues Jayne Hitchcock, president of Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA), an organization that educates the public about how to prevent online harassment. Digital monitoring can protect teens from online dangers and prevent bullying, suicide or even abduction, says Hitchcock, author of Cyberbullying and the Wild, Wild Web: What Everyone Needs to Know. While such threats exist, Heitner says parents tend to be overly anxious about them, and fear shouldn’t serve as an excuse to monitor their teens. “It’s not clear to me why anyone would want to digitally spy on anyone else except in the most dire of circumstances, like you’re worried that your kid is doing criminal activity or contemplating suicide or harming others,” Heitner says. “In that case, of course, do everything you can, including using their passwords to get into their social media.” If you do decide to monitor your teen’s screens, be up front about it, experts agree. Create a contract for responsible Internet use. Discuss whether to monitor manually or remotely. Research and select a monitoring program and agree on ground rules together. When Reich established a digital monitoring routine with her son, he had one request: his parents could look through his texts and emails as long as they didn’t do it in front of him. He didn’t want to see the looks on their faces as they scrolled through his phone. Mary Helen Berg is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Your Teen Magazine, Scary Mommy, Today’s Parent, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times and parenting magazines across the country.

To Check or Not to Check:

The pros and cons of digital monitoring

Pros Parents feel more confident that their teen is safe, says Reich. Monitoring opens opportunities for discussion about everything from online bullying to predators, according to Hitchcock.

Cons Teens may think monitoring invades privacy or restricts independence, says Reich. Teens don’t learn to handle online conflicts and communication on their own, cautions Heitman.

If you and your teen have conflicts over risky online behavior, consult a therapist. July 2022 WNY Family 51


Supported Work Program Results in a Sense of Pride and Accomplishment


asi believes in a future where all persons, regardless of their ability, can reach their full potential as responsible, valued, and contributing members of the community. It’s our vision. It is the guiding principle in our mission to transform the lives of people with developmental disabilities and special needs.

“I saw so much growth from her,” Casillo said. “I just felt a connection with her and felt that she would do well for the company and with the girls she works with.”

When our individuals succeed, we succeed.

“I am very proud of Laura’s work ethic,” said Mark Cordz, the team leader at East Aurora Day Hab. “She attends CPV four days per week and works every Saturday and Sunday at Berner Farms. When she accepted the weekend job, I asked her if she planned to take one or two days off from CPV every week. Laura said, ‘Why would I? I like volunteering at CPV, and now I’m making money, too!’ In this day and age, with so many of us working additional hours at sasi, it was refreshing to hear that Laura so values the contributions she makes as a volunteer that she chose to continue her full CPV schedule.”

One such success story happened at the end of last summer and is continuing into this summer. Laura Hoeh has spent many hours inside Berner Farms’ market, nursery, and greenhouses as a customer and a volunteer. But last summer, she added the title of employee. Laura, a special needs individual who attends sasi’s East Aurora Day Habilitation program, impressed the staff so much at Berner Farms with her work ethic during her internship hours that they hired her to work part-time on the weekends. She earned her first-ever paycheck, which brought out the bright, infectious smile Laura is known for. She even brought it to the day hab to show all of her friends the wonderful accomplishment. Laura has worked in sasi’s Community Prevocational Program (CPV) for several years. It was through that program that she started interning at Berner Farms. When manager Patty Casillo saw how well Laura interacted with the customers, she offered her the job. 52 WNY Family July 2022

In her new role, Laura sorts and stocks produce, helps customers, weeds and waters the plants, and does general cleaning in the store.

When asked about how she likes her new job, Laura said, “I feel proud. It gets pretty busy in the store on weekends, but I like working there.” The CPV program provides vocational experiences for future employment


Ability Inspire Advocate

Special Needs Potential Thri

Growth Strategies

opportunities based on interest and skills. It helps them learn soft skills for employment and a way to contribute to society. It offers both volunteer hours and internships. Volunteers work at nonprofit agencies, like FeedMore WNY. Internships, like the one Laura did at Berner Farms, are available for work at for-profit businesses. “It’s more about skill building,” said Camille Putnam, vice president of Program Services at sasi. “When the individuals are done with this program, they move onto supported employment. The idea is that they will be ready for supported employment after three years of CPV. But some choose to stay.” Laura is one of more than 90 individuals working in the CPV program. The Supported Work Program is for individuals who work an integrated job, making a straight wage. Sasi has seen many individuals find success through that program, such as David Gray, who recently celebrated 20 years of working at the Springville Wal-Mart.

Then there is Jason Keem, who got a job at the Advance Auto Parts store in Arcade and has moved up to assistant manager. “He really is the personification of what the supported work program is supposed to be,” Putnam said. “He started with us when we were doing sheltered workshops, and he struggled at the beginning. But he found the right fit at Advance Auto Parts. He loves it there, and they all love him. He has a key to the store and has been recognized for his outstanding work ethic. We’re so proud of him.” Sasi has about 150 individuals in the Supported Work Program. The work is a wide variety of options from restaurants to factories to our own SAGE program, which offers cleaning services. “I think the feeling of pride and accomplishment they have in these integrated activities and the community getting to know our individuals is the most rewarding part for me,” Putnam said. “They make friendships in these activities, and the community gets to see their abilities. Eventually, people will stop seeing them as people with disabilities and just as people. The individuals feel like part of the community, and the community accepts them. That’s what we all want.” Headquartered in Elma, sasi is a leading non-profit that provides support and services to more than 2,000 individuals with developmental disabilities throughout Western New York.

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ooking for some fresh ideas for what to bring to the beach, picnic, or backyard barbecue? Here are two fresh salsa (actually more like Pico de Gallo) recipes that check all the boxes: easy, no cooking, no refrigeration needed, allergy reduced, and kid friendly! A few tips: 

Make all pieces small; think salsa-sized chunks.

Vary the ingredients to your taste. 

Don’t like cilantro? Use parsley or omit.

Not a fan of melon? Use berries, peaches, apples, pears, or mango.

Out of limes? Replace with oranges, lemons or gluten free vinegar.

Make ahead but not too far ahead – day before or hours before is best. These have no animal ingredients and should last at least a week in the refrigerator. Ingredients like avocado (which can start to brown) or watermelon (which can get watery) are generally best served same day but perfectly fine to eat days later.

These recipes can be easily doubled or tripled.

If you have any questions about our column, e-mail Kathy at allergy@roadrunner.com. For further information about food allergies, contact FARE www.foodallergy.org, or call 1-800-929-4040. Kathy Lundquist is a Western New York parent whose son, now an adult, was born with severe food allergies. Over the last two decades, she has worked tirelessly, in a variety of capacities, to increase community awareness about food allergies.


Free of: DAIRY, EGGS, SOY, PEANUTS, TREE NUTS, FISH, SHELLFISH, WHEAT, GLUTEN, VEGAN Yield: 12 Servings Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes 1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 15oz can black eyed peas or pink beans, drained and rinsed 2 cups frozen corn, thawed 1 15oz can diced tomatoes, or Ro-Tel (or 2-3 diced fresh tomatoes) 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced 1/2 cup diced onion or scallions 1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley (or omit) 1/3 cup oil (olive, canola, other mild) 1/4 cup lime juice (approximately 2 limes) Optional: for heat, 1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced Salt, pepper to taste Toss together all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve with tortilla chips (scoops work great). 54 WNY Family July 2022

FRUIT SALSA Free of: DAIRY, EGGS, SOY, PEANUTS, TREE NUTS, FISH, SHELLFISH, WHEAT, GLUTEN, VEGAN Yield: 12 Servings Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes 4 cups diced ripe fruit (watermelon, honeydew, peaches, mangos, apples) 2 cups diced berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries) 2 cucumbers, peeled and diced 1/2 cup diced onion or scallions 1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley (or omit) 1/2 cup chopped mint 1/4 cup lime juice (approximately 2 limes) Optional: for heat, 1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced Toss together all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips.



— by Barbara Blackburn

lmaza, termed “the hidden gem,” sparkles with Lebanese cuisine, and offers a kids’ menu (under 12 years). Recently they raised the price of kids’ meals from $9.00 to $13.00, a little pricey considering no drink is provided. But, the choices are as good if not better than other kids’ menus. They are #1 Grilled Chicken Tenders with Fresh Fruit, #2 Grilled Chicken Tenders with Basmati rice or French fries, #3 Beef Kafta with Basmati rice, and # 4 Kids’ Almaza Combo: 1/4 chicken served with rice or fries and choice of corn or beans. Kids’ seating is available. Bring your own fun and games, or just chat and savor the flavors.

Almaza Grill

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716-276-8080 almazagrill.com


I ordered the Loubie Plate, a specialty because it’s a dish my mother remembers that her family served, with a father born in Beirut, from childhood. Beans are sautéed with onions, whole cloves of garlic, fresh tomatoes, and olive oil. It was served with Basmati rice with vermicelli, fried almonds, and a touch of cinnamon. This was as good as it sounded. You can, if you wish, order a smaller portion, a.k.a. mezza or appetizer. The Lebanese flatbread added fun and flavor. Since no spirited beverages were available, I satisfied myself with Lebanese Coffee Pot ($6.00). The Espresso Cup delivered three cups of bold brew. Dad sipped his refreshing Mint Lemonade, just what summer orders ($7.00). Although he is a lamb lover, Dad remembered that this restaurant specializes in chicken and ordered the 1/4 bird served with Pita and Garlic Sauce, with two sides


($16.00). The two sides were rice — same as mine — and Hummus. The creamy blend of chickpeas pureed with tahini and lemon juice and drizzled with olive oil lifted up the other flavors. Almaza boasts its Family Dinners. Dinner #1 includes 1 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken (6 pieces) served with large sides ($67.00). To serve eight people, it’s two chickens ($77.00). Another dish I would order next time Is the Mediterranean Beef Kafta Plate ($25.00). Links of ground beef are mixed with onions, parsley, and herbs, grilled and served over that yummy rice, which originates in the foothills of the Himalayas. An adventurous kid might enjoy these

Lamb Salad is yet another appealing choice ($24.00). That is fire-grilled lamb cubes over greens, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, calamata olives, and feta cheese. We inquired about dessert and were intrigued by the Cheese Ricotta Baklava ($8.00), but not available at that time. Consequently, we settled for “tried and true” Rice Pudding ($4.00). I must not forget to mention the irresistible French fries with Zaatar, a ruling spice in the cuisine, usually tasting of sumac, thyme, sesame, and marjoram. In reviewing the situation, let us say that we enjoyed our “Arabian Night,” filled with “Persian Pleasures.” Check out Barbara Blackburns blogs at frontierfare.wordpress.com and culinarrations.wordpress.com.


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