The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

What parents want to know

With work, family and finances, modern parenting can sometimes feel like a juggling act. The Gerber Life parenting blog gives parents advice and tips to help you take on today-and plan for tomorrow. Our parenting blog offers articles on saving money, college planning, family insurance, parenting tips, living green, and health and safety. Although we may not be able to manage your retirement account, drive your all-star athlete to practice, or cook your family's favorite three-cheese lasagna, our parenting blog can provide you with ideas, advice and tips so that you can focus on what matters most: raising healthy, happy kids. We invite you to join the conversation and enjoy our parenting blog.

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Quiz!

    Thanksgiving Family Holiday

    Before you begin reading the articles in our Blog about Thanksgiving, take a moment to see how much you know about  the holiday. Here are 5 questions to test your knowledge:

     

    1. Which U.S. President officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving?
    2. The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in what year – 1911, 1920 or 1939?
    3. The average weight of a turkey purchased for Thanksgiving is how many pounds – 15, 17 or 19?
    4. The holiday shopping season traditionally begins on the day after Thanksgiving. What is the name of that day?
    5. What percentage of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day – 71, 81 or 91 percent?

    And let’s ask one more question: Who can have a happier, healthier and truly thankful Thanksgiving by reading the articles in our Blog?

    Answers:

    1. Abraham Lincoln
    2. 1920
    3. 15
    4. Black Friday
    5. 91
    6. You
  2. A Great Thanksgiving Doesn’t Have to Break Your Bank

    Thanksgiving Spending TipsFor many families, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season and the spending spree that comes along with it. It’s not uncommon for some moms, dads and kids to head out bright and early on “Black Friday” – the day after Thanksgiving – with the hope of finding the best deals on those wish-list items. 

    No matter if you’re a Black Friday early-riser or wake-up-at-noon super sleeper wouldn’t it be nice to have a fatter wallet (not just a fatter stomach) once Thanksgiving is over? You can, with the help of these money-saving tips:

    • Plan your menu early – Know what you’re going to serve for Thanksgiving about five weeks ahead of the big day. Many supermarkets have lower prices on traditional Thanksgiving items in the month leading up to the holiday, so check the store circulars for the lowest prices – and make sure to look for matching coupons. For a small weekly fee, websites such as www.thegrocerygame.com will help you find deals and let you know if there’s a coupon to lower the cost even further.
    • Don’t overbuy – The tendency for many Thanksgiving cooks is to prepare more food than needed. Often, however, the extra food (and the extra money spent) may be wasted. To make sure you don’t overspend and over-prepare, go online and search for terms such as, “How much food do I need for Thanksgiving” or “How much turkey do I need for 10 people.” You’ll find lots of sites that can help you to determine an appropriate amount of food.
    • Use leftovers – A meal with leftovers can be just as satisfying as the original feast. Be sure to save more than just the turkey. Cranberry sauce can be used again, vegetables can be used to create soups and dips, and mashed potatoes can be shaped into patties for frying.
  3. Let Your Little Ones Lend a Hand This Thanksgiving (Without Worrying They’ll Make a Big Mess)

    Thanksgiving Activities for ChildrenFor some parents, it’s difficult to hand over tasks to their young children, especially if it involves food and drinks.  It’s not that the parents are “control freaks”; they just know that kids aren’t always careful, which can lead to mistakes and messes, spills and stains.  And that means the parents spend less time fixing dinner and more time fixing problems.

    Thankfully, there are lots of ways to get children involved in Thanksgiving preparations without having to worry about big messes.  Here is a sampling of ideas:

  4. Eat, Drink and Be Healthy This Thanksgiving

    Healthy Eating Tips for ThanksgivingThe center of attention on Thanksgiving Day is always the food. Sure, there are some families where a crazy uncle tries to steal the spotlight, but the real star of this holiday is the seemingly endless supply of turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pies and other goodies.

    With so much great food, many of us think it’s impossible to stay healthy on this special day, but it’s not. Here are five tips to help you enjoy a healthier Thanksgiving and still eat plenty of delicious food. Now, that’s something to be thankful for!

    1. Lay off the skin – Even though turkey skin is tasty and hard to resist, eating even two ounces will tack an additional 220 calories onto your meal. By comparison, two ounces of mashed potatoes made with whole milk and butter total 70 calories. Two ounces of turkey breast are just 29 calories. So, before adding that turkey skin to your plate, ask yourself if it’s really worth the extra calories. If you’re still tempted, think about this. It takes roughly 50 minutes of raking leaves to burn off 220 calories.
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  5. Parents Receive A+ for Getting Involved in Their Children’s Education

    Help Educate your ChildWhen parents are asked about their child’s education, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the school that their son or daughter attends. The reality is that while school plays an important role in what children learn, parents are the driving force behind how much their children achieve.

    Research shows that when parents are involved, students have higher grades, better test scores and increased graduation rates.

    As the school year begins, think about ways you can make this school year a family affair. Here are some suggestions that have worked for other parents::

    1. Hello, my name is… An important way to support your son or daughter is to get to know his or her teacher. Be sure to attend parent-teacher conferences so that you understand the teacher’s expectations. This will also give you a chance to hear what the teacher thinks are your child’s strengths and areas that need improvement. You’ll have an opportunity, too, to help the teacher learn more about your child’s personality.

    2. It’s time for homework. For many parents, helping a child with homework can be one of the most frustrating times of the day, especially if the child is disinterested or distracted. However, homework is an extremely important task that not only helps children practice what they are learning in the classroom but also builds discipline and responsibility.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these tips to create an environment that is good for doing homework:

    • Give children a work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that offers privacy. Ideally, this should be a relatively quiet place with plenty of light. In addition, help your children to gather the necessary tools to complete their homework before they begin it.

    • Establish a household rule that the TV stays off during homework time.

    • Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but don’t do children’s homework for them.

    • Take steps to help alleviate eye fatigue, neck fatigue and brain fatigue while studying. Close the books for a few minutes, stretch, and take a break periodically.

    3. May I help? Volunteering at your children’s school is a wonderful way to show them that you care about them and their education. Here are several ways that a parent can volunteer assistance: become a classroom helper, help plan or chaperone a field trip, attend school board meetings, or volunteer to speak in the classroom or at a career day.

    4. Get excited about what they’re learning. A great way to show you’re excited about what your children are learning is to ask them questions and listen to their answers. Help with a project by pitching in to gather the materials. Study with your children. Create games to help them learn. Put notes of encouragement in their backpack. Many schools and teachers also use the Internet to show what the students are learning. Visiting the designated websites may even let you know what the kids are learning before they tell you.