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Brood Awakenings: On parenting and health

Blowing bubbles

In This Series

  • Thoughts on surviving life after Brood Awakenings

    The perfect ending is a gorgeous thing, all the loose ends neatly knotted, all the confusion gone. It’s a motionless bird on a wire — calm, brightly plumed, contented, with no need to fly off or find a worm or do anything but sit in the sun and enjoy the day. Illustration: Keri Rosebraugh If […]

  • This family is sticking with eco-alternatives

    This summer, my family and I took an overnight trip to Chicago that started out pleasant enough. We were well packed and tidy. Just before boarding our train, my husband took a few pictures of us, joking that this would begin our slow descent into madness. Consider the alternatives. Photo: iStockphoto Descent into madness. That […]

  • Time to reinvest in the school-lunch program

    At private schools across the country, good cafeteria food is becoming as de rigueur as French classes taught by native speakers, Associated Press reports. Schoolyard vegetable gardens bloom, tended by future Ivy Leaguers under the watch of “sustainability coordinators.” In the kitchen, trained cooks transform that bounty into food worthy of enjoying, not merely enduring. […]

  • The road to disodium inosinate is paved with good intentions

    Mea culpa. That’s the only way I can honestly write anything about getting older kids to eat healthy foods. Because I’ve been a sucker for the look my 11-year-old gets on her face if I plop down a bowl of nuclear-orange SpongeBob mac-and-cheese in front of her. Sheer joy: that’s the only way to describe […]

  • Ecologist Sandra Steingraber explores the eco-causes of early puberty

    Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from “The Falling Age of Puberty in U.S. Girls: What We Know, What We Need to Know,” written by Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., and published by the Breast Cancer Fund. In the full report (downloadable here), Steingraber reviews several causes of and contributors to early puberty, including environmental factors. […]

  • Umbra on kids’ birthday parties

    Dear Umbra, I have a wonderful daughter who is just about to turn 5. She is currently the only grandchild and niece to our families, and therefore has everything she needs (still less than many kids we know, but plenty). Therein lies my dilemma: I don’t want the plastic detritus and clutter that come along […]

  • A chat about Congress’ effort to restore environmental education funds

    “Go outside and play!” It’s a simple enough command, but as a nation of teeth-gnashing parents and teachers will tell you, not enough kids want to unplug or log off long enough to heed it. Enter Congress. That’s right, Congress. The oyster is your classroom. Amid growing evidence that learning about nature and actually experiencing […]

  • An illustration and explanation of today’s tainted toys

    Seems you can’t turn around these days without hearing about some trusted toy being yanked from the shelves. (Dora, we hardly knew ya!) If you want to keep on top of the latest recalls, check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission database or BabyCenter’s product recall finder. Meanwhile, we offer a graphic cheat sheet below, […]

  • Where to turn when you’re sick of disposable doodads

    Block to basics. Photo: iStockphoto Keeping up with Ken and Barbie got you down? Check out these companies invested in making eco-friendlier playthings for your little ones. (And read about one mother’s no-crap crusade.) Dwelling These soft, handmade toys are created by a women’s knitting collective in Kenya, under the guidance of a nonprofit that […]