Parents July 2021

Parents brings you expert advice you can trust to help you raise happy, healthy kids at every age, every stage! Celebrate the joys of parenthood! Say yes to Parents now and get all the family-focused fun, down-to-earth tips, and advice from the heart you need to be the best mom you can be!

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editor’s note

We All Deserve More Ice Cream I NEVER thought I’d be the mom who walks into an ice-cream parlor and orders each of her kids a double scoop in a jumbo waffle cone—you know, the “fancy” one coated in chocolate and dipped in sprinkles. Reserved and cautious, I’ve always been the “single scoop in a small cup with a lid, please” parent. But sometime in the past year, I discovered there’s magic in taking this simple ritual over the top. I say no to a lot of things, but on a hot, warm, or even rainy day, my kids know they can count on ice cream. I’m an equal-opportunity ice-cream buff, and like my grandma Ann (whose freezer was always densely packed with fudge pops, frozen coconut bars, and pints of Häagen-Dazs),…

your guide to making the days easier and the journey sweeter

Top of the Food Chain These wearable crafts turned snacks put a healthier spin on the classic candy necklace. Kick things off by letting the kids rummage through the pantry for a kaleidoscopic mix of “beads.” They can use anything from Cheerios and pretzels to yogurt-covered raisins and other dried fruit (strawberries, apricots, and goji berries are all good). Even fresh fruit—blueberries and grapes earn points for being least sticky—will work. Your role: Thread a yarn needle (which is large and has a blunt point) with a length of food-safe kitchen twine or unflavored dental floss that’s long enough to slide over a child’s head easily. Then have them start stringing on their goodies. When they’re done, cut off the needle, knot the string around their neck, and let them eat…

guiding them through the big return | help them thrive in every way

OVER THE summer of 2020, when my son was about to turn 6, he easily became weepy and frustrated, which I mistook initially for a phase, some emotional milestone. Before his birthday, I told him I didn’t think I could afford an entire SpongeBob-themed party. He sobbed and said I had “betrayed” him. One night I went to change the TV channel and he began to cry, saying he thought I might make him watch the news. It wasn’t until he started in-person school at the end of September and went back to being the joyful, playful, fun-loving kid I knew that it clicked: The pandemic had stirred him up in ways I hadn’t understood at the time. When school went back to virtual after a winter-holiday spike and he…

head-to-toe pampering

Everyday Creams 1 / BEST CREAM Packed with greens—aloe, avocado, and cucumber—Tubby Todd Bath Co Dream Cream lives up to its name with a rich, nongreasy feel that absorbs easily. Said a mom of kids ages 4 and 7, “I noticed smoother skin almost immediately.” $16 for 4 oz.; 2 / BEST MULTIUSE BALM Dubbed a “holy grail product” by an expectant mom who used it on both her bump and her toddler, the plant-based Baby Bum Natural Monoi Coconut Balm smells like tropical coconut and works wonders as a belly cream, a hand balm, and, of course, a skin softener for kids. $10 for 8 oz.; 3 / BEST DAILY LOTION One parent rated Bella B Silk & Honey Daily Moisturizing Lotion a “15 out of 10” because it kept their kid’s skin…

water play all day!

GRAB THE HOSE Fill ’er up. Place two pails—one full of water, one empty—about 15 feet apart, says Lauren Love, a mother of two in Knoxville, Tennessee, who previously ran a sports camp. Have kids race back and forth trying to transport water from one container to the other using only plastic bowls, sponges, or recycled grocery bags. “The idea here is to get wet,” Love says. Treat them to a “car wash.” “My boys have me make different trajectories with the hose—a rainbow, a flat line, a shower—and they race through on scooters in our driveway,” says Meredith Shanley, a mom of two in Rockport, Massachusetts. “They squeal at the cold water, but it’s great for cooling off. It counts as a shower in my house!” (You could also have them,…

the easiest summer lunch

FOR MEAT LOVERS… Avo-Turkey Toast 1 toasted slice multigrain bread + 2 Tbs. avocado smash (see below) + 1 slice deli turkey + 5 half-moon slices tomato Avocado Smash: Place 1 avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add 1 tsp. grated orange zest, 2 tsp. fresh tarragon, ¼ tsp. crushed red-pepper flakes (optional), and ¼ tsp. kosher salt. Mix to combine. Makes 4 servings. NUTRITION PER SERVING 201 calories; 11g protein; 10g fat (1g sat. fat); 22g carbs; 7g fiber; 2g sugar; 1mg iron; 13mg calcium; 438mg sodium Salami Bagel 1 toasted bagel half + 2 Tbs. herbed cream cheese (see below) + 2 slices salami Herbed Cream Cheese: Add ⅓ cup mix of fresh basil and flat-leaf parsley (chopped in a food processor); pulse to combine. Add 4 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature); pulse…