Friday, December 30, 2011

Flame Retardants In Soda? | Healthy Child Healthy World

Why Are There Flame Retardants In Soda? | Healthy Child Healthy World

by Lori Alper

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty tired of hearing about all the toxic stuff that’s in our food. A while back I wrote about how artificial food dyes in are found in our food. A report, issued by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, showed food dyes—used in everything from M&Ms and Fruit Loops to Kraft Mac n Cheese—pose risks of cancer, hyperactivity in children, and allergies, and concluded that synthetic food dye should be banned. But it’s not.

The piece that I find very disturbing is that artificial dyes are used in the US, but not in other countries. Why? Because other countries seem to get it, while the US continues to place cost before the likely health dangers to a human being.

BVO in soda

The US continues to make headlines, this time for allowing another questionable synthetic chemical in soda. Mountain Dew, Fanta Orange and other citrus-flavored drinks have an added synthetic chemical called brominated vegetable oil, or BVO. BVO has been patented as a flame retardant and many of our children (and adults) are drinking it.

Which sodas contain BVO?

According to Environmental Health News the following drinks contain BVO:

  • Mountain Dew
  • Squirt
  • Fanta Orange
  • Sunkist Pineapple
  • Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange
  • Powerade Strawberry Lemonade
  • Fresca Original Citrus

Why is it in soda?

BVO is used in citrus flavored soda to keep the fruity flavors mixed in. It gives the soda a cloudy appearance. BVO isn’t a new addition to soda-it’s been added for decades.

What are the risks of BVO?

In the United States, 85 percent of kids drink a beverage containing sugar or artificial sweetener at least once per week.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Catalog Collage

Suffering from holiday excess? I love the catalog collage! It seems too perfect: the children practice scissor skills and pick out some of their favorite things and the pile of catalogs get a second life.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2012 Crowns

Ringing in the New Year with GLITTER, of course. Girlies colored in their numbers, covered in glue and her choice of glitter color.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Product Recommendation: Pattern Blocks

Santa sent some pattern blocks to the play room- how thoughtful! The children enjoy matching shapes to the boards or making up their own patterns.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Cookies

We took turns rolling out dough and cutting cookie shapes. We learned pretty quickly that the santa shape doesn't work. Sad, but true. We had plenty of candy canes, trees and stars to cover with our icings. Yum!

Christmas Tree Collage

Pom-poms, buttons, paints & cue-tips, and lots of glue.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winter Crafts

Paper snowflakes - they are too tricky for younger children to cut out, so I pre-folded papers and had them draw a design with pencil. I cut the shapes out but they felt like they personalized each one.

Paper mittens - the children always love having their hands and feet traced. This way they could decorate their own mittens - lots of pink, purple, and sparkles!

Michael's craft had these large 6 inch snowflakes. All of the kids loved painting them and picking glitter too (we did end up with one covered in purple glitter.)

Fluffy cotton ball snowmen. The children customized their own snow girls after we read "What Snowmen do at Night."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Softie Tree

Feeling badly that I ask the children not to touch or holiday tree, I was glad to find this idea: a large felt tree with ornaments the children can put up and remove whenever they want to.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tea for 3

Our newest three year olds celebrated with princess crowns

then laminated them and added an elastic band.

A tea party for the three-year-olds!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl:

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1-1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/2-3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 cup white sugar

Add wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated:

3 eggs
1/2 C oil
1.5 C of canned or fresh pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water

divide into paper lined muffin tins (makes about 2 dozen standard size muffins) and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until edges are brown and center is set.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


None of the children had ever (remembered) seeing or eating a pomegranate. Even with aprons on and towels every where I think I was cleaning up spots for days. But, they are so pretty and delicious (not to mention high in vitamins C, K and Folate).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Turkey Time

- Handprint turkey feathers with craft paint. Paper turkey faces with googlie eyes.-

-Letter tracing and feather coloring with crayons.-

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

I find that it is often difficult to teach young children about veterans and the military. But their brave service is too special to disregard. Typically it seems that those figures are most easily described something like fire fighters or police- people who are brave and help others.

After discussing the flag and looking at photos of service men and women, we played this counting game. Each player has a sheet of stars and takes a turn rolling a 6 sided die. The children counted the die and colored in the corresponding number of stars.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


-paper cut outs from story time at the library-

While our apple week crafts weren't able to correspond with our trip to apple hill, they were still a lot of fun. A simple coloring page is so much more fun with messy paint. It is a weekly must do. Our story time teacher Ms. Chris prepared the apple cutouts and they were a big hit. The children had a great time personalizing their apples. Glueing big and small shapes helps with thier fine motor skill development.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Q-Tip Tree Painting

We spent some time in the morning admiring the changing colors on the trees. 'Lots and lots of little dots' is what my art history teacher would say over and over whenever discussing pointillism. I might have mentioned it a few times during art time, today.

It was our first try at q-tip painting. And what a big hit. The girls loved it. While not exactly earth friendly (non of the q-tips can be washed and reused) they are much easier for little hands to control and quite a bit neater than the regular foam brushes. Also, super inexpensive- so little ones can use 10 or 20 on one project and it isn't a big deal.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Product Recommendation: Stacking Robots

These wooden robots are lots of fun for all of my 2+ children. They are pretty noisy once tipped over, but there are so many different combinations that they never seem to become boring. The children learn through play about colors, patterns, symmetry and physics. I recommend getting (at least) two sets.

(Order from