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