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Up Front

Time out for parents

All of us need to take time for ourselves every once in a while:

  • Sip on a smoothie or cup of tea.
  • Find a quiet place and curl up with a book.
  • Run a warm bubble bath and soak for 15 minutes.
  • Brush your hair and teeth slowly.
  • Put on comfy clothes or pj’s for 30 minutes.
  • Take a short nap.
  • Stretch upon waking to get more oxygen to your brain.

Hidden chemicals

It seems that we can’t be too careful when it comes to checking out what’s in the products we’re purchasing and using. Believe it or not, some of these nasties are still making their way into our homes:

• Formaldehyde: Found in laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid and bleach as a preservative or anti-bacteria agent. May be cancerous.

• Fragrances: Synthetic fragrances in cleaning products and air fresheners commonly contain harmful plasticizers called phthalates.

• Quaternary ammonia compounds (QUATS): Used as disinfectants and fabric softeners and may cause skin, respiratory and gastro issues.

• Ammonium hydroxide: Widely used in cleaning products, it can harm the eyes, nose and throat.

• Methylisothiazolinone: Put in consumer cleaning products as an antimicrobial, but despite being offered as a ‘healthier’ alternative, it can cause allergic reactions and lung toxicity.

Ready, set go

When you’ve got little ones, it’s often hard to get everyone packed up and out of the house. These ideas will go a long way to keeping you cool, calm and collected:

  1. Stock the car: Always keep a set of ‘essentials’ in the trunk.
  1. Narrow it down: Don’t take too much. Leave the extras behind.
  2. Organize: Designate a special spot in the house and car.
  3. Be an ‘attachment’ parent: Small must-haves can be clipped or tied on your stroller or diaper bag.
  4. Re-pack: Clean up and replenish supplies as soon as you get home.
  5. Just go: Don’t sweat the small stuff. As long as you have meds/and other basics, you can improvise.

How do I look?

Many girls develop unhealthy body images based on societal or peer pressure. Experts suggest that you lead by example.

  • Foster thoughtful conversations about the “doctored” images on social media.
  • Teach her to take care of and value her body.
  • Be sure to encourage healthy relationships with food and friendships that value personal attributes.

Loving Avo

A super food to offer babies and toddlers, avocados are smooth and easy to eat as well as a good source of energy and polyunsaturated fats for brain development and eye health. Avocados add fibre to a kids diet and contain lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids. When eaten along with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, they’ll help kids absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K, and E. An avocado in a salad with carrots and tomatoes or in green smoothie is a great nutritional boost.

What’s a visual schedule?

Often recommended as a system to help kids with autism learning new things, a picture calendar plays to their visual strengths and develops independence. Research proves their use increases understanding and flexibility, broadens interests and even boosts self-esteem.

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