Specialty Summer Camps

By Devin Miller
DevinWith more than 6 million kids in the U.S attending camp every summer, camp remains one of America’s favorite pastimes. Yet there is a new camp experience that has dramatically increased in popularity over the last decade – and that is the “specialty” camp. Never before have kids and teens had so many one-of-a-kind camp options to choose from. (more…)

The Benefits of Menu Planning

By Lindsay Harris
LindsayI have been grocery shopping for over 15 years. It’s a weekly chore and for some it is not a favorite task. I, however, love grocery shopping. It’s partly because it is a form of shopping (I’m a bit of a shopaholic), but mainly because the little organizer in me loves the whole process that leads up to the weekly shop. (more…)

Valentine’s Day Treats

By Catherine McCord
blood orange granitaI’m a total sucker for holidays. I love decorating, baking, and doing things as a family that reflect the happy spirit of whatever the holiday is for. Valentine’s Day always was THE Hallmark holiday to me, but now that I have kids, I have a whole new perspective on it and it’s even more fun celebrating love. (more…)

Cardio Tennis is the Workout of 2011

By Chris Ojakian
cardioThere comes a time in every gym-goer’s life when she feels the need to shake up her routine. Shuffle the deck. Take a break from the hamster wheel-like doldrums of the treadmill and elliptical machines. The answer to the workout blahs just may lie in a round of cardio tennis — a brilliant blend of cardio class, tennis camp, and the most enjoyable PE class you ever had. Cardio tennis gives you all the heart-pumping workout and the wacky satisfaction of a real tennis game — except that it’s OK if you’re truly terrible and have more chance of hitting the lottery jackpot than hitting the ball. (more…)

Gingerbread Cookies

By Catherine McCord
gingerbreadIt was always a tradition when I was growing up to make holiday cookies come this time of year. I used to love rolling out the sugar cookie and gingerbread dough with my mother, cutting the cookies into fun shapes and then decorating them. I wanted to continue that tradition with Kenya, but the thought of making cookies with tons of sugar didn’t seem like such a good idea (Kenya jumping off the walls at bed time never appeals to me), so we stuck with gingerbread. This recipe does have some sugar, but not a lot. It also contains molasses, which is full or iron, a bonus for kids. Kenya and I didn’t use any icing on these because, in my opinion, they don’t need it, but if you want to put a little piping on them, I included a simple icing recipe. This recipe makes dozens of cookies (more or less, depending on the size of the cookie cutters you use), so you’ll have plenty for friends and your family during the holidays. (more…)

L.A .Chef Shares Her Secrets of Making a Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

By Cari Levin
photoFall is in the air. Kids are settled into the rhythm of school and homework. You are once again enjoying the freedom of owning your life from 8 to 3 Monday thru Friday. All is good. And then it hits you, it is “YOUR year” to cook Thanksgiving Dinner.

Visions of cookbooks strewn across the kitchen counter race through your head. What is THIS year’s turkey trend? You escaped the deep fryer, the brine and the infamous ButterBall “pop-up” turkey. Friends swear by cooking it in a brown bag while you continue to wonder why that bag doesn’t catch on fire in a grease filled 350 oven. You’re mother-in-law constantly explains the importance of, “starting the turkey breast side up and FLIPPING it over midway through cooking” and again you can’t help but wonder how safe that is.

Healthy Halloween Treats On A Stick

By Annie Daulter
halloweenpopsFall is my favorite time of year, but my kids miss the warm summer days. I want to share a festive Fall treat that will trick your little ones into thinking it’s summer time all over again.

Harvest Pops
My 3 year old Bodhi, is a picky eater. I mean really picky, and for a mom like me who is obsessed with good foods, it often makes me crazy that he won’t eat. However, one thing he does like are popsicles! This inspired to me to start making all kinds of healthy pops and so, I did what I do…I wrote a book about it!
These Harvest Pops and many others will be featured in my newest book, Ice Pop Joy next March (Sellers, Spring 2011). So this Halloween, instead of putting candied apples on a stick, puree your apples and some butternut squash and make a fun new ice pop treat! They might sound scary, but the real trick is, they are actually a delicious treat!
Harvest Pops

Cooking Healthy with Your Kids

Easy, fun recipes to make with your children.

By Catherine McCord
catherine I get countless emails every day from parents and readers of my website,, looking for advice because they can’t get their kids to eat anything healthy. As a mother of two kids under four, I understand all too well what a stress it can be trying to prepare three meals (and snacks) for your family 7 days a week.

So, how do we get kids to fall in love with fruits and vegetables and actually WANT to eat them? It’s important to realize that kids are told what to do and when to do it almost all day long, so when they have the ability to control something — like the food that goes in their body — they won’t hesitate to do it. And that can make life tough for concerned parents.

Easy Ways To Help You Cope With The BP Oil Spill

By Jen Pleasants
emma Do you get a pit in your stomach when anyone mentions the oil spill in the Gulf? That’s eco-anxiety and it isn’t good for you or the planet.

If I let myself, I would ball up in a fetal position just thinking about those sea turtles on fire as BP tries to burn off the oil. I am angry at BP for their carelessness, angry at myself for our dependence on oil, worried about the sea life, concerned for the livelihoods of the gulf residents and frustrated with how to change the situation. What is a girl to do with these toxic emotions? As the author of a book on how to turn eco-anxiety into constructive energy, I can share with you what I am doing to feel better to keep my own anxiety from increasing as oil gushes, glaciers melt and plastic soups swirl.

Cultivating Physical Strength and Mental Toughness

By Joe Praino
prainoWhile physical fitness for children is imperative, a good balance of mental and physical exertion is of the utmost importance.
Just as a child who would prefer to spend entire days camped out in front of the TV playing video games is ignoring their physical health, an athletic child who spends all of his/her time running around mindlessly on the playing field is ignoring their mental development.