Family Style Halloween in NYC

It’s the time of the year where you can dress as your favorite superhero, movie icon, or role model, and fit right in with everyone else. What can be even more fun than planning your own costume? Dressing up the little ones as their favorite character, too!

This Halloween, jazz up the kids, and take them to a special Halloween photoshoot offered by Classic Kids Photography. You know your child looks adorable in their costume, but nobody else does! Get great, high-quality photos to share with family and friends, and also for yourself. Make an appointment for the October 31st photoshoot by e-mailing (upperwest@classickids.com), or calling (212.799.3730) Classic Kids. Pets are also welcome!

Looking for another Halloween activity for the family around NYC? Mommy Nearest provides a great list of fun things to check out!

If you want to bust a move: head to the Broadway Dance Center on October 25th for a Halloween themed dance class and party (for children and teens).

If jack-o-lanterns are your favorite: go to Governors Island  to see more than 1,000 jack-o-lanterns lit along a windy night time trail.

If you’re feeling playful: take a stroll in your costume to Asphalt Green (in Battery Park or Upper East Side) on October 27th for fun games and prizes. The first 500 kids get a free goodie bag!

If you want to show off your costume: the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is the place to be! Take part in the afternoon costume parade, while enjoying giant stilt walkers and musicians.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Halloween

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Fuel Up with F.I.T. 4 All

F.I.T. 4 All is a nonprofit organization that works to create access to healthy living. They do this through free or low cost fitness classes and personal training, as well as, education for eating healthy food affordably. They don’t believe in counting calories and dieting but rather creating lifestyle changes that make you feel like the best you. For more information on fitness events, partnering with their organization, or affordable fuel recipes, visit their website.

As a treat, F.I.T. 4 All has included a recipe written by one of their team members, Isabel Miranda. But before we get to the actual recipe, let’s take a look at the benefits of meal prepping:

Why Bring Your Own Lunch?

• Cost – A delicious and satisfying homemade lunch can easily cost less than $5. Now think, on average how much do you spend eating lunch out? I know when I lived in New York City it was at least $10 a meal.
• Portion sizes This is a great way to work on weight change and lifestyle change goals.
• Ingredients You get to control what goes into the food, which means you can better track the calories and added sugar.

Three Ways to Meal Prep

  1. Making the food over the weekend and storing in the fridge or freezer
  2. Preparing the night before by making extra dinner, then either use the leftovers, or make a second meal while preparing dinner
  3. Making in the morning before you leave to work, possibly while making breakfast 

Ways to Motivate Yourself

Have Obtainable Goals – Ask yourself what you are already doing and make small changes to that. Bringing your lunch one more time a week is an amazing first step and you can always make a new goal when you complete the old one.
Make a Lunch Club – Have a day when everyone in the office brings in their lunch together. This is also a great time to share recipes and learn new cool things to pack for lunch.
Have Incentives – When you are successful in your goals treat yourself, with non edible items. Things like a new pretty lunchbox or kitchen gadgets are a great way to motivate yourself.

Recipe: Zucchini Rolls

Fit-for-all

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Zucchini
  • ½ Cup of Ground Turkey (or protein of your choice)
  • ½ Cup of Brown Rice
  • ¼ Cup Quinoa
  • 1 Cup of Sliced Carrots
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Black Pepper
  • *Onion powder or oregano if you want

For Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  1. Add the brown rice and 1 ¼ cups of water to a pan. Bring the water to boil on medium high heat then reduce to low heat and cook for 30-40 minutes
  2. Rinse the quinoa with water and in another pan, add the quinoa and 1 cup of water. Again, bring to a boil and then reduce to low heat and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Turn a third burner on to medium heat and in a large, flat pan, add ground turkey. Season with salt and pepper, as well as any other spices you want.
  4. While everything is cooking, prepare the zucchini by using a peeler and slicing down vertically to create ribbons. Peel until you start to see the seeds of the zucchini and then put in a tupperware to use another time.
  5. Add the carrots, cooked rice and quinoa to the pan with the ground turkey. Mix together.
  6. Lay out 3 to 4 of the zucchini ribbons on a cutting board and begin filling with the turkey and rice mixture.
  7. Only place enough in the middle that you can roll the zucchini around it
  8. Once you have filled all the ribbons move place in tupperware containers
  9. To make the sauce add Dijon mustard, olive oil and pepper flakes to a bowl and whisk together with a fork
  10. Put the sauce directly on the rolls or in a small container, so that you can add it to the rolls at work

 

It is also an option to freeze the rolls and heat them up when you bring them to work, so that you can make more servings and have less days of meal prep. If you decide to do this, blanch the zucchini by putting it in boiling water for a minute and then moving it straight to ice water. Also wait to add the sauce and keep it in a separate container in the fridge. 

Bell Family Teams Up with FDNY

To continue with CPR awareness from last week’s blog on CPR parties, we wanted to share Bell Family’s CPR training partnership with the FDNY team.

On September 6th, Bell Family hosted the FDNY to conduct their quarterly CPR training seminar to our sitters and nannies. The FDNY has been working with Bell Family for over six years, and we always appreciate them taking time out to help us be the best caregivers we can be.

FDNY went over Adult CPR, and had the caregivers practice on dummies. They learned all steps to performing CPR, and practiced chest compressions while humming along to “stayin alive”.

Our Nanny Services Manager, Lauren, then taught Infant and Child CPR, also while reviewing what to do if a child is ever choking, and basic first aid care.

It was a great night for all, and always a great refresher to know what to do in all situations while caring for infants and children.

Bell Family thanks everyone for coming, and we look forward to the next training! For any further information on what was learned, please contact us directly!

CPR-training

Written by  our Nanny Services Manager, Lauren Kruk

A Party with a Purpose

Drownings are the leading cause of death for children under four. What can help reduce this stat? Learning CPR.

Learning CPR is an easy activity that moms everywhere should partake in. There are a number of ways and locations where you can sign-up to learn CPR. Here are a few:

1. Online: if there is no location near you, become CPR certified through an online class.

2. American Red Cross: choose a location, select a class category, and then search for classes near you. They even have a class called Babysitting and Childcare.

3. Local Fire Department: for those living in NYC, FDNY offers free compressions-only CPR classes as part of its ongoing Free CPR Initiative.

What if there was one more way to learn CPR, and it was by having a party. Would you sign-up to learn?

CPR parties have been growing in apartments and homes everywhere. Imagine inviting other moms and friends to your home, along with a certified CPR trainer, and learning CPR right in your living room. That’s the exact idea of CPR parties – learning the life-saving skills of CPR and water safety education in a fast, fun and free environment.

To learn more about CPRParty™, visit their website and checkout their feature from Good Morning America!

CPR Party

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Making Your Back-to-Work Plan, The Pumping Edition

We recently teamed up with Jennifer Mayer, founder of Baby Caravan, and Birth Doula for over 12 years, to get her advice about mothers who are going back to work and are committed to breastfeeding and maintaining their pumping schedule. Read below for her thoughts and suggestions, and to start your back-to-work plan.

For many mothers, the return to work is filled with lots of stress, concern and worry. Leaving your new baby in the arms of an entrusted caregiver and returning to work is never easy. For moms who are committed to breastfeeding, creating a good pumping
plan is a huge asset.

Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. In order to produce enough milk for your child’s feedings, it’s essential that you pump on a regular and consistent basis. Many moms are concerned about their supply when they return to work, since they will be away from their baby. It’s true that the pump is not quite as efficient to remove milk as compared to your baby, and your supply may decrease. However, there are a few things you can do to keep your supply up while pumping at work.

1) Make A Schedule: The most important thing when pumping at work, is making sure you pump on a consistent basis. Usually pumping at least twice while you’re away (every 4 hours), and ideally three times while you’re away (every 3 hours) will be often enough. To ensure your pump sessions occur, schedule them into your daily schedule if possible.

2) Have a Dedicated Pump Spot: Some offices have lactation rooms already available, and other places of employment do not. If possible, speak with HR prior to returning to work to sort out where you can pump when you return to work. Make sure it’s not a bathroom!

3) Grab Your Gear: You’ll likely want to have one pump at the office, and another at home. Prepare for your first day by bringing an extra set up pump parts as back-up, and extra shirt (just in case!) and extra storage bottles. You’ll also want to bring a cooler bag to transport your milk home in. We love the Pack-It coolers.

4) Breastfeed When You’re Home: One way moms ensure to keep up their supply is to nurse often when they are home with their baby. Depending on how well your little one is sleeping at night, you may want to feed more often in the evening and in the morning hours. On the weekends you can spend time nursing to boost
your supply and have lots of bonding time with your baby.

Some workplaces are more supportive than others when it comes to pumping at work. Hopefully your employer respects how important and beneficial breastfeeding is.

However if you’re the first employee to pump at work, or your employer isn’t very supportive, here are some ways to create a pump friendly environment.

1) The Law is Your Friend: At the federal level, mothers are also protected but for just one year: “Section 7 of the FLSA requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.”

2) Design a Lactation Room: If you’re able to, design a lactation room for your company. You’ll want to include essentials like access to a sink, fridge for storage, cubbies to hold gear, a desk or table to hold laptops and pumps, comfortable chairs, wipes, and a community board. If you need a temporary space check out companies like Melk and Mamava.

3) Educate: If you’re one of the first moms who’s pumping, your boss and colleagues might just be unaware of all the benefits. Gently educating them on the health benefits of breastfeeding for babies and moms could go a long way toward acceptance.

I hope these tips help you as your prepare for your transition back to work. Pumping is certainly a commitment that takes time and dedication. Yet for many moms the satisfaction of providing breast milk for their babies while they are away at work is worth all the effort.

Baby-Caravan-D3S_6742

For more information about Jennifer and Baby Caravan, click here.