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Find out why a manny may serve your needs.
By Daniel Butcher

“A manny? As in, a male nanny? Oh! That’s great!”

I’ve been met with this response almost 100% of the time when parents ask (erroneously I should add), how old my kids are. It’s truthfully a testament to my abilities I’d like to think, that the children I care for show a level of comfort with me that would lead someone to assume I was their father, instead of their hired caregiver.

But as it turns out, I was the manny, and it was due to an extensive childcare background that it has become a very natural role for me to grow into.  It really took off when I moved from a small town in the UK to Los Angeles. After establishing myself in this city, I became sought after by some pretty high profile parents for my services. When I would look around during gymnastics, playgroups, or birthday parties, I couldn’t help but feel outnumbered by my female counterparts. As colleagues go, I have worked alongside female nannies almost exclusively – all of whom have always warmly welcomed me into “their” world, and appreciated the shift in dynamic that I (as a man) bring to the table. Their charges as well were consistently thrilled that a man was there to look after them who could ALSO be engaging, nurturing, and disciplinary if needed.

So the question is this: In Los Angeles, a city populated by nearly 4 million diverse, and open minded residents, where kids can take trapeze classes, followed by courses in minecraft, coding, parkour exercise, and even meditation – why has Los Angeles yet to fully embrace the manny?

Traditional gender roles have become outdated. A rise in technology and the overall pace we are living at, has pulled the rug out from the typical family life that once consisted of two kids, one dog, working father, and stay at home mom.

Moms are breadwinners. Dad’s stay at home.  Maybe both parents work from home. Perhaps one parent travels extensively, and one works remotely. The different dynamics not only run the gamut, but they’re unlike they’ve ever been before.  This crushing of gender stereotypes has trickled down to childcare as parents have more of an open mind, and want to pass that sort of free thinking onto their children, as if to say (without saying), “Your gender does not dictate who you are, what you do, nor where you belong.”  It’s quite amazing to witness really.

As a male nanny, I’ve been discounted for a number of jobs based on my sex – but I expect that to change in a short amount of time based on trends around the world. In London, a new mobile babysitting app Bubble say the number of men signing up to look after children has almost doubled since the service launched in the summer.

So what’s the advantage to a manny? The aspects that a man brings to this role are only “unique” because they are not the norm. If a family feels that their children are lacking a strong, stable male influence in their lives, then a male nanny is a great addition to the home! It’s all about achieving that balance. A manny is also fantastic if the parents feel a male may bring a higher degree of physical engagement.

Who better to entertain and engage boys than another guy! What’s most special about a lot of mannies out there is that the domestic aspect of the position is also covered as well: the cooking, cleaning, washing and folding; it’s the full package.

Daniel Butcher, known as Danny the Manny, decided to take his philosophy, along with a crew of likeminded and highly experienced guys, to start Angeles Mannies.  His staffing agency places mannies, nannies, personal assistants, housekeepers and more.  Daniel lives in LA with his partner, and one eyed rescue pup from Ecuador.
www.angelesmannies.com




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By Catherine McCord
Pumpkin Pie ParfaitsPumpkin Pie Parfaits
(makes 10 parfaits)
Prep Time: 10 min.

I’ve got two little whipped cream addicts on my hands. It’s no mystery why to me because the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Whenever my mom served pie during the holidays (usually pumpkin, chess and/or pecan) she would hand out each slice…

Ingredients
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup whipped cream cheese, or non-whipped at room temperature
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 sleeves graham crackers, crushed (about 2 1/2 cups)
10 8-ounce mason jars (more…)



By Catherine McCord
Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts: The Easiest Halloween Recipe

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By Shirin Yadegar
Shirin YadegarLet’s kick off the school year with healthy snacks and lunches. As parents, we have complete control over what our kids eat throughout the day unless they are trading with their friends. We pack their lunches and snacks and if they are independently packing their lunches then make sure their options are healthy.

Use fruits and vegetables as snacks. Kids love fruit. Make a fruit salad for snack or send their favorite whole fruit if you don’t have time to prepare a fruit salad. Include one vitamin C–rich fruit, like orange, grapefruit, strawberries, melon, tomato, and broccoli. (more…)



By Shani Mara Breiter, RDN
Shani Mara BreiterSummer is almost over and it’s time to get organized for the school year. Sending school lunch from home gives your child the best chance to be well nourished with fresh, whole foods. Kids enjoy school lunches that have balance, variety and include a little surprise treat that hits the spot. This allows the child not to feel deprived when friends bring less nutritious food in their lunch. Here are 6 tips to help you build a balanced school lunch box.

Tip 1: Add a healthy fat. Healthy fats provide energy, build brains, helps the body use vitamins and provide energy. Do your kids like nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, walnuts or pecans? What about avocado or guacamole? If you have a teen who likes a salad, provide a quality vinaigrette dressing with avocado or nuts. (more…)



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Moderpop co-founder Julie Podolec is optimistic about better labeling of our food.

By Julie Podolec
Julie PodolecI think we’re fortunate to be raising little ones in this age of awareness as it relates to foods. We have so many more reliable resources at our fingertips to help us become more educated about labels, the nutritional benefits of certain foods, and what to watch out for.

It seems as though the widespread accessibility of these resources has put the power back in the hands of the food consumers. Our collective demands for more transparency, easy to understand labels and real food are leading to big changes in grocery aisles and across food categories.

Changes are even happening at the FDA level, where revisions to nutritional labels were announced last week. The new labels will put more emphasis on calories (bolder type), and will help us delineate between natural and added sugars, as brands will be required to add an added sugars line. (more…)



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