Monday, November 29, 2010


Here are some easy tips and goals to ensure a successful birthday party day for your Hip Hop Baby kids:

1. Planning is good.
Put it down on paper, enlist help, and have backup activities if you believe that you might run out of entertainment halfway through the party.
2. Theme the party.
Themes have fallen by the wayside, but if you enlist the help of a theme, you do not have to rack your brain to come up with decorations and games. Instead, many themes naturally lend themselves to games and activities already.
3. Do not give the invitations to your child to hand out at school, unless you are inviting the whole class.
If your child gives invitations only to a select few, there will be hurt feelings. If you are keeping the numbers small, mail the invites or call the parents of the other children directly.
4. Limit the number of kids that will attend the party.
Although a free for all ensures a good turnout, the idea of inviting one child for each year of your child’s age is a good way of limiting the expense and chaos you might experience.
5. Be honest with yourself about your comfort level.
If you don’t like the sound of this idea, consider enlisting an outdoor venue or visit one of the fast food locales that offer party packages with food, entertainment, and – best of all – cleanup!
6. Keep the party short and sweet.
Do not make it an all day affair but specify a starting an ending time. The younger the child, the shorter the duration of the party. This is a good rule of thumb to keep kids from acting out.
7. Goodie bags are a must and there be sufficient bags for each child present, including the siblings.
It should be a fun little item that says “thank you” to the kids for coming and helping your child celebrate.

Reference: Parent News, Birthday Party Ideas

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Want to hear some potty tales told by parents around the US? See how they were able to conquer potty training and become masters in creative ways to install good potty habits in their Hip Hop Baby:

A little bribery goes a long way
M&M's and stickers! Promise that each time your kid goes potty, he or she gets two or three, but if she wipes herself (a huge challenge for most) then she gets four or five!

Miniature man
Buy "manly-man" underwear, just like Dad's, and then have him spend the weekend in the big boy underwear and check-in every hour or so to see if he needs to use the restroom. This makes him feel grown-up and just like dad!

Trouble with the aim
Teaching boys to learn the standing-up style can be difficult. Put five Cheerios in the potty and have him aim at them when he uses the toilet. This makes going to the bathroom less intimidating.

Loving Mom
Kids need a lot of undivided attention, positive reinforcement, love, affection, and pride when learning unfamiliar things. Making a big deal about small steps in progress is key.

Timing is everything
Putting him or her on the toilet every 20 minutes is a good way to start. If your child attends daycare, seeing other kids learning the same thing makes them want to learn too. You can also purchase a “Potty Watch”, which many children love. The parent programs the watch to play songs and light up at 30, 60, or 90-minutess. Makes the big boy or girl feel in control.

Comfort in location
Purchasing a mini potty seat with characters on it can look less intimidating to children. Some parents even choose to keep the potty in the living room, since they spend the most time there. Then, you can gradually move it closer and closer to the bathroom.

Reference: Parents,


Everyone loves Chinese food in all of its greasy, fatty glory. But can you really have a healthy option for this craving? Check out the 5 star recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken with Brown Rice from the Food Network that has a 5 minute cook time, serves 4, and is a beginner meal option for all Hip Hop Baby moms! Make tonight a family dinner night!

2 cups instant brown rice
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons finely grated or minced ginger
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
6 cups bite-size pieces of vegetables, such as snow peas, broccoli and bell peppers
1 5-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained

Prepare rice according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch and apricot preserves in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink on the outside and just starting to brown in spots, about 2 minutes more.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add vegetables, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in water chestnuts and the chicken. Whisk the reserved sauce and add to the pan. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Serve with the rice.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Many Hip Hop Baby kids, especially those with older siblings, have longed for this rite of passage. But, others may be fearful of the change from the often small, loving, and comfortable preschool situation. How to make this an easier, more fun transition for your little one? Well, attention to a few issues and some major empathy on your part will do the trick. Usually your child’s concerns relate to simply getting through the day in one piece (schedules, how the day will proceed). As a mom or dad, answering a few simple questions will be very comforting to your kids. Here are 7 that you can start with:

1. Where’s the bathroom and when can I use it?
2. What if I don’t make it to the bathroom and have an accident?
3. What if I get hungry? Will they feed me?
4. Do I have to take a nap?
5. Will I have homework like my older brother has?
6. What happens first? Then what do we do?
7. What if you don’t pick me up on time?

MSN Today,


Did you know that the American Heart Association recommends that children participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity every day at least 60 minutes?

Parents must realize that kid’s fitness is completely different than fitness for adults. Check out the top 5 Hip Hop Baby fitness tips every Hip Hop Baby parent must know.

1. Encourage and facilitate your kid’s participation in activities they enjoy. They may want to play a sport, join the boy scouts, practice ballet, rollerblade or simply play on the monkey bars for hours. Whatever makes them happy is what they should do.

2. Seek out fun fitness classes and fitness professionals when you're at a loss. A few fun classes or sessions with a youth fitness trainer can spark interest simply because the instruction is coming from someone other than mom and dad.

3. Provide healthy snack options, promote small frequent meals, and limit sugar. This prevents mood swings, strange energy surges that often lead to wild behavior, and controls fat storage.

4. Set a good example by participating in some type of activity on a daily basis. Walk, wash the car, do a set of pushups, garden, or play a quick game of tag. Children love to imitate so take advantage and ask them to join in every chance you get.

5. Limit the amount of time kids spend in front of the TV, and computer. A couple of hours a day is more than enough. Plan a certain number of hours a day when they are expected to be active to make it easier for them.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010



Chicago, IL- The award winning DVD series, It’s Hip Hop, Baby! is releasing its first fitness DVD for kids. Hip Hop Dance Class is a 60-minute work out video featuring the latest in hip hop dance moves. Children ages 5 & up learn three full-length routines with Chicago-based dance instructor Nikki Stanek who has performed and taught children’s hip hop dance classes for nearly a decade.

It’s Hip Hop, Baby! CEO and Founder, Candi Carter, says she got the idea after noticing how young children naturally start dancing when they hear an upbeat tune or popular music. “I thought it would be fun for kids to have real hip hop dance instruction at home, so I put it on a DVD. Hip hop dance is naturally exciting and high energy and that’s why kids love it so much,” said Carter who is also an Emmy-winning television producer for a nationally syndicated talk show.

Whether you have two left feet or loads of rhythm, mastering the hottest hip hop dance moves has never been easier! Hip Hop Dance Class features the best step-by-step instruction for every child at every level. The video teaches three different levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Plus, there’s cardio hip hop, freestyle dancing and kids even learn how to clap and step to the beat.

Hip Hop Dance Class is designed to get school-aged children out of their seats. Carter says, “All of our products encourage children to get up and move. When you create fun fitness activities for children, its a great first step to batting the childhood obesity epidemic in this country.”

Hip Hop Dance Class is the newest offering from the It’s Hip Hop, Baby! DVD series that features music and energizing dance numbers to help children stay active while they learn. Created especially for toddlers and preschoolers ages 2 to 6, the catchy music of It’s Hip Hop, Baby! can be enjoyed by the whole family and comes in four videos and CD:

- “All Your Child’s Favorites”
- “Get Healthy, Get Fit”
- “Things We Do Everyday”
- “Rockin’ Dance Party”
- “Fruit” music CD

“As a parent, one of my favorite things to do is sing and dance around the house with my children,” says Carter a mother of two. “This video is a perfect tool for parents to engage their children with an activity that is fun but also encourages fitness and movement, which we all know is so important right now.”

It’s Hip Hop, Baby! Hip Hop Dance Class is available now at

Thursday, April 15, 2010


It's Hip-Hop Baby is so excited to announce our first giveaway!

Curls, an organic hair product company is partnering with us to give away one of their baby products, It's a Curl!

Here's a description of the product:
As gentle as a baby’s bum. As pure as mother’s milk. “It’s A Curl” Organic Baby Curl Care is the first line created especially for baby’s curly tresses. Formulated with only the best in certified organic extracts, botanicals and natural oils proven to calm, soothe and promote healthy hair and skin.

Leave a comment on our blog this weekend and one lucky winner will be randomly selected on Monday!

Check out their website:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Monica & It's Hip-Hop Baby!

R&B star Monica is just as crazy about Hip Hop Baby as we are! Pictured above with her two sons and one of our DVD's, it's obvious that her children love it too. Monica's newest album, "Still Standing" debuted at #1 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop Album chart, and #2 on Billboard’s Top 200 and Digital Album Charts. Even with the huge success of her album and her reality show, "The Single", the young singer still finds quality time for her family.

Here's why Monica loves It's Hip Hop Baby:

"My children and I LOVE "Its Hip Hop Baby. As a young mother of two I look for things that are interesting to us as a family and these DVD's were just what we needed. They are interactive, yet educational and most of all FUN. These DVD's are in heavy rotation in our home and will be for years to come"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lunch Fun

Are your kids getting tired of the same 'ole PB&J in their lunchboxes? gave us some great tips on how to spice up the sandwich routine. Try these are let us know what you think!

The Laughing Cow light spreadable cheese with ham and grated carrot

Whipped cream cheese and fresh blueberries

Apple butter and fresh apple slices

Hummus and chopped peppers

Almond butter with slivered almonds and dried cranberries

Tuna salad and a sliced tomato

Veggie cream cheese and cucumber

Let us know which ones are a hit!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Best TV for Kids

With spring just around the corner, there's bound to be a few rainy days where you're going to need some indoor entertainment. Timeout New York compiled a list of the best TV shows for kids, helping us to feel a little less guilty about them watching.

Our first choice is It's Hip Hop Baby! Pop in one of our DVDs and get your kids moving, learning, AND entertained all in one.

Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends

Based on stories written by British clergyman Wilbert Awdry, about a group of talking engines who aspire to be “Really Useful” to the railway manager, Thomas & Friends (as it’s also known) shows kids what we mean when we talk about emotions like doubt, worry, excitement and caring.

Yo Gabba Gabba!

Now in its second season, this show has already cornered the market on cool guest stars (Elijah Wood, the Shins), offbeat lessons (it has taught viewers how to play the therein) and danceable music (Of Montreal has provided tunes). It’s a new-new classic for the post-post-punk generation.


Boob tube, meet the podcast. Resolved to ponder but never to pander, the series addresses such of-today concepts as instant celebrity, technoliteracy (teen Carly Shay produces her own Web show) and even the hardships of military families (her dad is stationed overseas). Look for Miranda Cosgrove to become a crossover star come adulthood.

Other Top Picks:

Barney & Friends

Let us know what your kid's favorite shows are!

Friday, March 5, 2010


For all the moms-to-be out there, Parents Magazine just posted a great little article about creative ways to let everyone know you're expecting!

Here's a few of our favorites:

Hot-Rod Grandma

We all ride motorcycles in my family, so I sent my mom a book entitled Grandma Rides a Harley when I found out I was pregnant. She called me the second she got it. I could tell she was very excited, but was trying to keep calm until she got clarification.
-Dawn S., Burlington, Connecticut

We were going to my parents' house for dinner and wanted to surprise them by telling them we were pregnant. We told them we would bring the dessert, so we picked up an ice cream cake and had "We're Pregnant" written on it. It was hard to keep quiet all through dinner, but boy were we excited for dessert. Seven months later we played hangman to revel the name we had chosen for our little Ella Rose.
-- Celine V., Phoenix, Arizona

We told our parents by taking each of them out to lunch and giving our mothers "just a little something we saw and thought they would like." The gift was a wrapped bib that said "I Love Grandma." It took a few seconds for them to realize what the bib meant and their reactions were shock then complete happiness and tears. An amazing moment!
-- Lisa D.A., Warwick, Rhode Island

Do you have a great story like one of these to share? We'd love to hear!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Out & About: Chicago

If you're going to venture out of your own kitchen this weekend, mix it up by going for brunch instead of dinner. Time Out Chicago has some great kid-friendly suggestions that we just had to share - dig in!

Shaw’s Crab House (21 E Hubbard St, 312-527-2722)

You won’t be able to pull your kids away from the waffle bar and mounds of maple-smoked bacon at this Sunday buffet—where 12-and-unders eat free with a paying adult—until they get a load of the sweets table, stacked with housemade desserts, lollipops and poufs of cotton candy.

Angel Food Bakery (1636 W Montrose Ave, 773-728-1512)

Maybe dishes like smoked trout focaccia and creamed wild mushrooms sound a little adult for a kid-friendly brunch. But don’t worry—this retro café also makes awesome egg-in-a-hole entrees and housemade “airstreams” (its take on Twinkies) to balance it all out.

Nana (3267 S Halsted St, 312-929-2486)

The fact that much of the food here is organic is one good reason to visit. The spiced apple crêpes, corn-oat waffles and baked chilaquiles are three others.

If you try one, let us know what you think!

Get all the scoop.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Money-saving Tips

Money is tight for most now, and it can get even tighter with the extra expense of being a parent. This article from has great tips for the parents looking to get the most bang for their buck. Here's some of our favorites:

lose brand loyalty. You can save 40 percent with generic over-the-counter drugs. Active ingredients are usually the same (check to be sure).

Say hello to hand-me-downs.
Round up a couple of other moms with kids the same gender as yours but different ages, and host a twice-a-year clothes swap.

Read the fine print. To lower monthly bills, home in on cell and cable charges. Scrutinize both bills for services you don't use and cancel 'em.

Troll for discounts. Before you buy online, check to see if the website has discount codes posted. And if you receive a gift card that doesn't thrill you, swap it at or

Check it out. Take tots to the library to borrow books instead of buying them. (While you're there, ask about any free toddler programs.) Or check websites like Amazon .com or for new books at a discount.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


It's hard to find a child who doesn't love Mac-n-Cheese, but it's not hard to find one who doesn't want to eat their vegetables. This recipe for Veggie Mac-n-Cheese is a great way to sneak something healthy into something yummy. It's so delicious they won't even notice!


* 1 1/2 cups dried tubular pasta, such as elbow macaroni
* 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices
* 10 oz. of frozen or fresh broccoli, stems sliced, florets separated
* 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
* 1 cup low-fat plain cottage cheese
* 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard (country style)

* 1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 4 to 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded (depends on how cheesy you want it)
* 4 oz. part-skim mozzarella cheese, coarsely shredded
* 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese


1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray or margarine.
2. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Stir in the carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the broccoli and cook for 2 minutes more. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and return the pasta and vegetables to the saucepan. Stir in the peas.
3. In a food processor, combine the cottage cheese with the reserved liquid from the cooked pasta. Add the mustard, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Stir into the pasta and vegetables. Mix in the cheddar and mozzarella and pour into the baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
4. Bake uncovered until the top is golden brown (about 20 to 25 minutes), then let it set for 10 minutes to firm up. Serves 4. Note: This dish can be prepared a day before it is baked.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Too Sick for School?

Winter isn’t over yet, and that means cold and flu season isn’t either. Here’s some tips from on how to know if your child is too sick to go to school.

Good to go:
A sore throat accompanied by a runny nose is often just due to simple irritation from the draining mucus; send him off as long as he's fever-free.

Too sick:
If the achy throat is accompanied by swollen glands, a fever, headache, or stomachache, bring him to the doctor for a strep test, especially if he's 3 or older (the bacterial infection is unusual in younger kids). Children with strep should be on antibiotics for at least a full day before mixing in with the class.
Good to go:
If your child is fever-free and isn't hacking up a storm, he's a go. After all, if children with snotty noses were excluded, schools would be empty!

Too sick:
Junior is staying home if he has a persistent, phlegmy cough and seems cranky or lethargic. He's also couch-bound if his cold symptoms are accompanied by a fever or wheezing.
Good to go:
Your child is good to go if he's over 4 months old, has a temperature below 100.4°F, is receptive to drinking fluids, and doesn't appear to have had a personality transplant.

Too sick:
If your baby is 4 months old or younger, call the doctor at the slightest indication of fever (anything above 98.6°F) or a sudden change in behavior; daycare is out. Older children should stay home if their temps rise above 100.4°F. A feverish child is not only considered contagious, but he's also probably not feeling well enough to learn or participate. Keep him home until he's been fever-free for 24 hours and is feeling like his usual self.

Read the full article here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hip-Hop New York!

For all of our Hip Hip Babies and Parents located in New York, Timeout New York recently featured a list of local kid-friendly restaurants for your next night out on the town!

Here are a few stand-out places.


All-day craft time means kids and parents can tackle a “do-it-together” project without messing up their own kitchen table. Trained artists are on hand to help—another perk you probably don’t enjoy at home. The eclectic menu offers plenty to please finicky eaters: Steer the most indecisive toward the “super tryers” menu, where they can choose a sampling of six simple foods from a seasonal list.
161 Hudson St between Hubert and Laight Sts (212-226-0345, DIT table Mon–Sat 9am–5pm.

The Perch Café
Entertainment every day of the week, much of it aimed squarely at kids, makes this eatery as family-welcoming as can be.
365 Fifth Ave between 5th and 6th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-788-2830, Sing-alongs and drum-alongs $5 per family. See the website for schedule and additional special programming.

Espresso 77
Monthly storytime at the beloved coffeeshop is a boon to the burgeoning Jackson Heights stroller set. Enjoy an expertly pulled latte and let Sue the Story Queen work her magic.
35-57 77th St between 35th and 37th Aves, Jackson Heights, Queens (718-424-1077, Next storytime: Tue Feb 2 at 11am. See the website for future dates.

Read more here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fun Food: Crepes

Crepes are and fun and easy way to let children get hands-on in the kitchen, and make their food their own creation! Perfect for a weekend morning breakfast or a quick dinner, here is a simple recipe for this classic French dish.

Batter Recipe:


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


1. Whisk together flour and eggs. Gradually add the rest of the ingredients and beat until smooth.

2. Heat a greased medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Pour about ¼ cup of batter into the pan, move pan in a circular motion until the whole surface is covered evenly.

3. Let cook for about 1-2 minutes, until golden brown, then flip with spatula and cook the other side.

Fillings for crepes can be sweet or savory. Here are some great filling suggestions, but let your kids experiment and see what else might taste good!

Peanut Butter & Jelly

Fresh Fruit & Cream Cheese

Melted Cheese

Sautéed spinach and mushrooms


Lunch Meat & Cheese

Scrambled Eggs and Bacon pieces

Maple Syrup

And for Dessert Crepes fill with:

Cool Whip and Chocolate Syrup

Ice cream and Sprinkles

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Healthy Snacks for Hip Hop Baby Kids!

A lot of New Year's resolutions have been broken by now, but what about the one to continue to keep your family eating healthy? That resolution should be year round. Parents magazine recently posted a few great snack ideas that we thought we should share with you!

1- Veggie Dip- cut up vegetables into slices and serve with hummus.

2-Turkey Tortilla- Place deli turkey, low-fat mozzarella, and lettuce on a whole wheat tortilla. Roll tightly, seal, and refrigerate. Cut into 1-inch slices.

3-Delicious Smoothies- Blend a banana with one cup nonfat milk and two tablespoons Ovaltine. You can add variety by mixing in other fruits, yogurt, and peanut butter.

4-New Take on Yogurt- Mix low-fat vanilla yogurt with low-fat granola and dried cranberries.

Our favorite is the turkey tortilla- let us know if you try any of them, we'd love to hear from you!!