Thursday, May 27, 2010

Messy Fun with Cement

by Kelly Miller

Summer is coming, and here is an outdoor project from the book "Do-It-Yourself Early Learning" by Jeff and Tasha Johnson.  The nanny next door lent it to me, and we are planning some fun projects to do together this summer.
Materials:  Ready-mix cement, sand or mortar mix.  Water.  Wet Rags.  Ice cream buckets.  Tarp or plastic sheeting.  Spray bottle full of water.  Craft sticks.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Picnics Part II: Tasty Treats

By Colleen O'Connor

Picnics can be about much more than hot dogs and potato salad! The following foods are fun for children to help make and easy to serve on the go:
  • Fruit or veggie kebabs
  • Pita pocket sandwiches
  • Make-your-own trail mix or granola (each person can design their own perfect mix)
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Dip Day: pack vegetables, fruit, chips, and pita wedges along with dips: guacamole, ranch dip, hummus, peanut butter, caramel, salsa, etc.
  • Jell-o mixed with fruit and refrigerated into individual cups
  • No-bake cookies or bars
  • Egg carton picnics
  • Taco in a bag

Friday, May 21, 2010

Picnics, Part I: Safety

By Colleen O'Connor

Picnics are definitely in season! To make sure everyone has a healthy and fun summer, review the tips below on food safety at picnics. Check back next week for picnic recipes and fun ideas!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Food Allergy Awareness Week

from . . .  

Food Allergies are becoming more commonly diagnosed everyday. The week of May 9-15, 2010 is Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW). This week was created in 1997 to educate the public about the severity of food allergies as well as potentially life threatening.
The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network ( has developed some wonderful brochures, fliers and posters for FAAW week. There are also many activities, presentations, and PAL Hero awards that you can use with your children and their friends to teach them about food allergies.
PAL Hero Awards are used to help encourage children to be safe with their friends who have food allergies. You can read more about this on the FAAN Kids site.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Tax Benefits of Health Insurance

from Breedlove & Associates -

When a household employer contributes to an employee's health insurance, it is considered a non-taxable form of compensation - meaning neither the employer nor the employee have to pay taxes on this portion of the compensation. As a result, it is an excellent way to save you and your nanny significant tax dollars.

For an illustration of the tax savings for families and employees, download the PDF Health Insurance  

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

40 Children's Pain, Cold, and Allergy Meds Recalled

A voluntary recall has been issued for more than 40 over-the-counter drugs for children, including Tylenol and Motrin, because they don't meet quality standards.

"This recall is not being undertaken on the basis of adverse medical events," McNeil Consumer Healthcare said in a statement Friday. "However, as a precautionary measure, parents and caregivers should not administer these products to their children."

FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg gave a similar recommendation in a statement Saturday, saying, "we want to be certain that consumers discontinue using these products," though she called the chance for serious health problems "remote."

"Some products in the recall may have a higher concentration of active ingredient than specified while others may have inactive ingredients that don't meet testing requirements, the company said.

The company said it issued the recall after consulting with the Food and Drug Administration. The affected brands include:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Save the Date: 20 Year Celebration and Community Service

TIME: 10 AM to Noon
WHO: Parents, Children and Nannies
             WHERE: Bryant Lake Park Pavilion, Eden Prairie
Nannies from the Heartland is celebrating 20 years of excellence!
• We are working with the nonprofit, Cheerful Givers, to decorate and fill birthday gift bags. Filled bags are then donated to food shelves and shelters so parents living in poverty can give their child a birthday gift.
• We are also partnering with Twin Cities Professional Nannies, a local nonprofit nanny organization, to provide children’s games and activities.
• Look for your invitation about this special opportunity to give to others while enjoying a fun event!
Plan now to join us!