Traveling with Kids – Top Safety Tips

When it comes to family travel, the mantra is: play it safe! Take some basic steps to ensure your little one’s safety, and you’ll enjoy your outings and vacations that much more.

What to Pack

One serious childhood sunburn can increase a child’s risk of developing skin cancer later, so sun protection is a must. Pack baby-safe sunscreen, sunhats, UV-blocking sunglasses, and UPF apparel. For more sun-smart tips, see “Baby and Kids’ Sun Protection Primer: What Every Parent Should Know. ”

Insect bites aren’t just itchy, they can cause serious illnesses. Adult insect repellents may be too harsh for young skin, so pack gentle, child-friendly bug repellent. If you’re traveling with baby gear, don’t forget mosquito netting for your play yard and stroller.

Bringing bottled formula? You’ll also need an insulated storage cooler. Unrefrigerated formula can become contaminated in just a few hours, especially in the heat.

Bring your child-friendly first aid kit, with pain reliever, bandages, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, thermometer, etc.

You can’t destroy all the germs in the universe, but you can minimize your child’s exposure to them. In addition to indispensable toy wipes, consider disposable placemats, toilet seat covers, and changing table covers. (Give Mother Earth a break: use earth-friendly disposables like ours!)

Visiting amusement parks or other crowded areas? Dress your child in bright clothing so he’ll stand out from the crowd. In addition, consider bringing a child tether or simple child locator to prevent you from getting separated.

Just in case, create a “if I get lost” plan and review it with your child.

Bring your child’s health history and ID information, including a recent photo. Better to have your child’s identification and not need it than need it and not have it!

Handling Hotel Rooms

If you are traveling with a toddler, experts suggest you childproof your hotel room. Some hotel and cruise lines actually provide childproofing kits upon request, so ask when you make your reservations. To childproof a hotel room:

Move dangerous items (including coffeepots, hair dryers, complimentary toiletries, drinking glasses, and dry cleaning bags) out of reach.

Pull furniture away from windows. Make sure the windows and doors have sturdy locks (balcony doors especially).

It the room includes a sharp-edged coffee table, either cover the edges with hand towels (you can tie or tape them on) or ask that the table be removed.

Tie up loose blind cords. (Pipe cleaners work great for this.)

Get down on your hands and knees and inspect for hazards such as pest poisons, peeling paint, or small items missed left behind by other guests.

Cover exposed electrical outlets.

If your hotel doesn’t provide a kit, bring your own, which can include inexpensive outlet covers, removable, non-marring cabinet locks, and a portable safety gate.

If you’re using a hotel crib, inspect it carefully. Several years ago, The National Safe Kids Campaign performed random safety checks on nearly 100 hotel cribs and discovered safety hazards in four out of every five cribs tested. Common dangers included loose hardware, insufficient mattress supports, and soft or loose bedding, a suffocation risk.

Since then, the Consumer Products Safety Commission and Safe Kids launched a hotel safety initiative. Some national chains, but not all of them, now participate in the program. The CPSC suggests that when booking a reservation, parents should ask if there’s a system in place to ensure crib safety.¹

Kids on Planes

Rule #1: pack all your child’s essentials —diapers, food, toys, any medication — in your carry-on. Pack enough to account for flight delays and misplaced luggage.

Rapid changes in cabin pressure can make little ears “pop,” so keep drinks or pacifiers available for takeoffs and landings (sucking helps reduce ear sensitivity). Or bring along ear filters, which buffers eardrums against air pressure changes.

Airplanes present unique challenges for parents with young children. Kids under age two are not required by law to be restrained on airplanes, so it’s up to every parent to decide how to travel.

If you decide to ride with baby on your lap, consider a flight vest that secures your child to your lap belt. These vests are not designed for use during takeoff and landing, but for cruising, when turbulence most often occurs. (One Step Ahead has sold such a flight vest for many years. We’ve posted more than 50 reviews from parents who’ve used it, which you may find informative if you’re considering this option.)

The Federal Aviation Administration recommends that small children be seated in a Child Restraint System, or CRS—i.e., a car seat. According to FAA guidelines:

For babies less than 20 lbs., use a rear-facing car seat
For children 20 – 40 lbs., use a forward-facing car seat
For kids weighing more than 40 lbs., use the airplane seat belt

Every restraint must bear a label indicating that it’s FAA approved, something to check in advance of your flight.

In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers these tips:

The only way to guarantee that your child can use a CRS is to purchase a ticket. Some airlines offer discounted fares for kids under two, so ask. If that isn’t a possibility, select a non-peak flight time that’s more likely to have empty seats.

Measure the width of your car seat; if it’s less than 16″ wide, it will most likely fit in an airplane seat.

Always place your CRS in a window seat, so it won’t block the aisle or get jostled by people passing by.³

Bringing your car seat on board is an excellent idea, but carrying it through the airport can be challenging. We carry a number of air travel accessories designed specifically to make flying with children easier.

And for more detailed information regarding child safety seats on planes, visit: and

Bon voyage!

¹Consumer Product Safety Commission –
²FAA –
³American Academy of Pediatrics –

*Article & image courtesy of*

The smell of warm bananas and spices in your kitchen as you cook this Banana Crumble will make the wait worth every second!

Banana Crumble


1-1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

4 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 Tbsp. Angostura® aromatic bitters

6 large bananas, peeled and sliced into1/2” thick slices

Angostura Butter Sauce:

4 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1-2 Tbsp. milk, room temperature

1 tsp. ANGOSTURA Aromatic Bitters


Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9” deep-dish pie plate.

For crumble:

In a medium bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, 4 tablespoons melted butter and 1 tablespoon Angostura bitters. Slice half the bananas and arrange in the buttered pie plate. Sprinkle bananas with 1/2 crumb mixture. Repeat, making another layer. Bake 40 minutes or until crumbs get slightly more brown.

For sauce:

In a 1-cup measuring cup, microwave 4 tablespoons butter on low for 10 seconds or until soft; whisk until smooth. Whisk in powdered sugar and cinnamon until smooth. Stir in Angostura bitters. Add 1 tablespoon room temperature milk and whisk until well blended. If sauce is too thick to pour, whisk in another tablespoon milk.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon sauce over each serving of warm banana crumble just before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Mizkan.*

The holidays are upon us, and from entertining to whipping up creations in the kitchen, Fischer & Weiser offers a multitude of delicious gift ideas and gourmet foods to help you celebrate with ease!

Want to make an apple pie for Thanksgiving but pressed for time? “Mom” discovered the Harvest Apple & Brandy Pie Filling to bake a “from scratch” pie that everyone will devour, made from all-natural ingredients! The only item you need to purchase or make is a pie crust – simply follow the instructions and pour the Harvest Apple & Brandy Pie Filling into the crust to bake. Your kitchen will smell like freshly baked apple pie in no time!

Brunch, anyone? Scones, croissants, and freshy baked breads will be all dressed up for a seasonal breakfast with Pumpkin Pie Butter or Almond & Cherry Jubilee Jam! “Mom” especially enjoys the Almond & Cherry Jubilee Jam spread on a fresh, warm croissant – no butter needed! Fischer & Weiser recommends spreading some on pancakes, which we have yet to try but sounds delicious!

To view the entire collection of Fischer & Weiser Jellies, Jams, Cooking Sauces, Mustards, Salsas, Pie Fillings, and gift ideas for the holidays, visit We know you will find something to tempt your taste buds!

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Eat The Turkey While Not Turning Into One: 6 Thanksgiving Dieting Tips

  1. Eat a light, healthy meal before Thanksgiving so you won’t be urged to gorge yourself in foods that have an abundance of calories.
  2. Instead of eating everything on the Thanksgiving table, only pick your favorite foods and have them in moderate amounts.
  3. If picking the lesser of two evils, go with Thanksgiving foods high in fat rather than carbohydrates. Your body always burns the fat first but, carbohydrates get churned into stored energy and later become fat.
  4. Drink lots of water as it fills you up and suppresses hunger.
  5. Hit the gym before Thanksgiving as it will turn your body into fat burning furnace and briefly enhance your metabolism.
  6. Instead of watching football on Thanksgiving, actually play with your family. It’s a fun way to burn off the calories.

About the Author

Daniel Radinsky is the CEO of the The Sadkhin Complex®, which has over 20 years of experience in the management of outpatient weight loss, and boasts an 87% success rate with over 60,000 clients to date. TSC specializes in the use of self-directed acupressure which stimulates the hypothalamus through 16 biologically-active points to control hunger and cleanse our organs. TSC also practices Chrono-Medicine, combining ancient Greek, Chinese, Tibetan, Vietnamese, Japanese and Egyptian philosophy with modern medicine to help the body function properly. Founded in 1989 by Dr. Grigory Sadkhin, Ph.D., TSC is headquartered in Brooklyn and has offices in Manhattan and Queens, Englewood and East Brunswick , NJ , and White Plains , NY.

*Image: digitalart /*

This pasta, somewhat of a hybrid between a pesto and a Spanish romesco sauce, stands on its own as a meal. But it would also make a beautiful side dish for a summer grill.

Whole Grain Einkorn Linguine with Roasted Pepper and Almond Pesto


2 large red bell peppers
8 ounces Whole Grain Einkorn Linguine
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Heat a grill or gas burner to high. Char the peppers on all sides, about 10 minutes total, and transfer to a paper bag until cool enough to handle.
3. While peppers are cooling, cook linguine for 11 minutes and drain. Return pasta to the pot off the heat.
4. While pasta is cooking, pulse together garlic, almonds and salt in the bowl of a food processor (or pound them to a paste in a mortar and pestle) until finely chopped. Then add the basil leaves and pulse again.
5. Remove peppers from the bag and peel the skins off. Transfer to a cutting board, cut in half lengthwise, and scrape out seeds and stems. Add peppers to the food processor and pulse until a paste forms. Drizzle in olive oil and lemon juice, and pulse until incorporated. Add cheese and pulse again. Season to taste with additional salt if desired.
6. Serve warm or cool.
7. Serves 4-6

*Recipe and image courtesy of Jovial Foods.*

Host a Greener and More Meaningful Thanksgiving

It is no myth that the holiday season, especially Thanksgiving, is a time of family and togetherness, but most eco-conscious attempts seem to get lost in the shuffle.

Mother and green innovator, Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, Vice President of Earth Friendly Products and Dr. Nadereh Afsharmanesh, the green company’s Director of Sustainability, collaborated to form a list of simple ways moms across the country can host a greener, meaningful Thanksgiving.

Travel Smarter!

· Absolutely carpool – Yes, you are going to see your family a lot over the holidays, but carpooling really makes a difference, and what’s another 30 minutes!

· Get your Car Inspected! – Did you know that if your tires aren’t completely inflated or your oil isn’t changed, your car will use more fuel?

Veg Out!

· Try a tofu turkey or a ToFurkey! For many, it sounds like degradation to the tradition, but it’s an excellent meat substitute that takes on the flavors of the ingredients it’s cooked in! Plus, it’s jam packed with protein and has no tryptophan!

· Try to buy locally grown food that is organic. Not only does it better taste, but it’s eco-friendly, boosts your local economy and is free of harmful pesticides.

DIY Decor

· It’s no secret that the simplest decorations can be the most beautiful. Make it fun and engage your children by making it a DIY project. Try something like filling large hurricane glasses with dry leaves to decorate your table.

Show Your Thanks!

· Be grateful for all that nature provides and make a significant donation back.

· Plant a baby tree and make it a tradition each year! That tree, one day, will provide enough oxygen for a family of four.

· Invite your neighbors, friends and family and host a big, thankful celebration. The more people in one place, the merrier, plus you lower so many emissions by using one home!


· Use your dishwasher! I bet you didn’t know that using your dishwasher uses much less energy and water than hand washing and most importantly, use eco-friendly detergent that is safe and 100% free of toxins.

· Don’t wrap leftovers in foil or plastic wrap, but in reusable, safe containers.

*Image: Carlos Porto /*

Seitan is a protein made from gluten. When cooked, its texture is chewy and somewhat similar to meat, hence its nickname, “wheat meat.” There’s something elegant and comforting about this harvest combination scented with warming, earthy herbs. Courtesy of Food Editor Vidya Rao, this stewy dish makes its own gravy, perfect for serving with sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes or alongside any grain.

Seitan with Apples, Quince and Onion

(From Celebrate Vegan)


• 2 T olive oil
• 1 medium onion, sliced
• 2 cups of seitan chunks (Store bought, use your own recipe, or use my recipe from my first cookbook, The Urban Vegan)
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 small quinces, peeled and chopped (1/2-inch dice)
• 1 small apple, peeled and chopped (1/2-inch dice)
• 1 cup vegetable broth
• ½ tsp cumin
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp ground sage
• 1 T cornstarch
• 1 T brandy (optional)


1. Heat oil over medium in a large casserole. Add onions. Saaute until soft, about 5 mins.
2. Add seitan. Saute, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Seitan should begin to brown a bit. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add quince, apple, veggie broth, spices and sage. Bring to a boil, then add brandy. Cook for a minute or two to allow alcohol to steam off. Turn heat to low.
4. With a ladle, transfer about ¼ cup of broth to a separate bowl. Whisk in the cornstarch to make a slurry, then stir it into the seitan mixture.
5. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Remove from heat and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving

Looking for a rich, hearty soup to ward off the chilly air this winter? Look no further than a delicious bowl of Mom’s Limited Edition Tomato Basil Soup from Fischer & Weiser! Only available at the holidays each year, it is definitely worth the wait!

Mom’s Limited Edition Tomato Basil Soup is made with all-natural, fresh ingredients, including fresh basil, vine-ripened tomatoes, butter, cream, salt & pepper. It is deeply satisfying and pairs well with a side salad or sandwich of your choice. “Mom” prefers to pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread for dunking! A little goes a long way – one jar contains eight servings. When you visit the rave reviews of the soup, others have suggested tossing it with pasta and grilled chicken or giving a jar of it as a gift – it is that versatile!

To learn more about Mom’s Limited Edition Tomato Basil Soup, or other delightful foodie finds that Fischer & Weiser offers, visit

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Thanksgiving Decorations – Stylize Your Home With Fall Accents

Aѕ thе mоnth оf Novеmbеr аrrіvеѕ, еverуone’s thоughtѕ turn tоwards Thankѕgіvіng and everythіng thаt thіs marvеlоus hоlidау hаs to offer. Vаrіous ѕtores ѕеt uр theіr shеlveѕ wіth fаѕсinatіng dinnerwаrе ѕetѕ, tаble cеntеrріесеѕ, gіftѕ аnd dесor items. It is а time for fаmily tо cоmе tоgеthеr ovеr a dеliсiоus Thankѕgivіng meal with lіp ѕmасkіng turkey tо thank God for everythіng іn thеіr lіfe. Peорle like to dеcorаte on all specіаl daуѕ & оссaѕіоns, and Thanksgivіng іѕ not аn еxсeрtіon. Herе аrе ѕome grеat іdеaѕ fоr Thаnkѕgіvіng Decоrаtіons!

Tаblе Deсor:

Thаnksgіvіng is аll аbout having a thаnkful heart аnd аlѕо a grаnd dіnnеr, and whаt more соuld the hеart deѕіre, іf рresentation іs as equаlly рleaѕаnt aѕ thе ѕoul of thіѕ fеstivаl. Enhаncе the lооk оf dіnner tаble wіth easу Thankѕgiving tablе cеntеrріеcеѕ thаt wіll аct аs vіеwаble саtаlyѕtѕ tо wоrk up the арреtіtеs of the famіly! Thankѕgivіng соlleсtіbles bу Lеnоx аnd Prесіоuѕ Mоmеnts arе рerfесt to decorate dіnner tableѕ & homе соrnеrѕ. Pumpkіnѕ hollоwed and fіlled wіth flоwerѕ and fоod mаtеriаls lіke fruits аnd drу fruitѕ сan aсt аѕ wondеrful сеnterріесeѕ.

Rооm Dесоr:

Cаndlе deсorаtіоn іѕ реrfеct fоr any rоom. Thiѕ will gіve а nice tоuch tо the whоlе deсоratiоn. Sсentеd саndlеѕ or dесorativе сandlеs plасеd within beаutіful саndle holderѕ givе а pleаѕаnt touch tо the еnvіrоnment. Spreаd bеd sheеtѕ featuring рrіnts оf fall sеaѕon. Rugѕ fеaturіng the соrnucoріа or аutumn leаvеѕ аdd to the Thankѕgіvіng aura.

Doorѕ & Windоwѕ:

Thanksgiving wrеathѕ саn bе uѕed tо dесоratе doоrѕ аnd wіndоwѕ оf thе hоusе. Flowerѕ arе оne оf thе bеst dесоrаtіng items for every ocсаѕіоn. Flоwеr deсorаtіоn hаѕ the quality to gіvе a sрeсіаl tоuch tо аnуthing. Do ѕomе deсоr with flоwеrѕ оn taрestrу аnd upholѕtеrу. Lеаf garlаndѕ cаn wоrk wеll wіth wrеaths аs wеll aѕ the homе deсor. Stitch autumn lеаvеѕ аnd оthеr fall аccеntѕ togеther wіth thrеad or tіe bunсhеѕ and wirе them іntо gаrlаnd. It lоokѕ vеrу fаѕсіnаting!

Thаnkѕgіvіng іs lіkе dоorwау to the holidaу ѕеаsоn. Chаnging соlorѕ of leavеѕ сan bе an іnspiratіon for thе dеcorаtіng themе. Brіght оrаngеѕ, ruѕt colоrѕ and уеllow gоld ѕhаdеs саn be used аѕ fаll соlоrѕ wіth ѕоme rеds & brownѕ. Indіаn соrn, gоurdѕ, rоаѕtеd nutѕ & drіеd flowerѕ, Hаllowеen рumрkіns and рlentу оf othеr fоod іtеms cаn be usеd as nоminal Thаnkѕgіvіng dесorаtіоnѕ. One can аdd dесоrаtіvе itemѕ made frоm nаturе’ѕ fаll ассеntѕ aѕ well. Sо, get сreаtivе аnd uѕе yоur imаgіnatіоnѕ tо creаte wоndеrs. Anything mаkeѕ gооd Thankѕgivіng deсоratiоn if donе wіth ѕоme сrеatіvіtу.

Stоrеs likе Lеnоx аnd Potterу Bаrn саrrу an amаzіng rаngе оf Thаnksgіving dеcоrative itеms. Yоu саn shор оnlіne tо get these itеmѕ at diѕcounted priсeѕ.

About the Author

Ron Murphу is а Frеelаnсе wrіter аnd аn Intеrnеt Mаrkеtеr whо рrеѕеntlу wrіtеѕ аbout thе Latest Verizon Phones. He even blogs at a Green Energy niche site which talks about Home Made Energy.

Courtesy of Food Editor Vidya Rao, this elegant dish looks as good as it tastes. The deeply autumnal figs and toasty pecans contrast nicely against the inherent sweetness of the squash and agave nectar.

Fig-Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

(From Celebrate Vegan)


• 2 acorn squash halved lengthwise, seeded
• 1 T olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• 3 T vegetable margarine, such Earth Balance, melted
• 1/3 c agave nectar
• 3/4 c dried, de-stemmed Calimyra figs, chopped
• 1/3 c pecans, chopped
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp nutmeg


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Rub insides of acorn squash halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn upside down onto a foil-lined cookie sheet (For easy clean-up later). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until soft.
3. Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl
4. Remove squash from the oven and turn right side up. Fill halves with the fig mixture.
5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until filling is soft and bubbly.
6. Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.