Eat Right: Healthy Snacks and Dental Care Tips for Kids

New JammiesAt New Jammies, we’ve been celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month in February by eating healthy snacks, avoiding sugary drinks, and making sure to floss, brush and rinse regularly before slipping into our 100% percent organic pajamas at bedtime.

Just as the dentist ordered.

Healthy eating habits and proper oral hygiene are vital to our kids’ overall health. On its website at www.ada.org, the American Dental Association reports that nearly in 1 in 4 children under the age of 5 already have cavities. The solution is to teach kids to eat right and take care of teeth and gums early on in childhood. The ADA recommends parents take their kids to the dentist no later than their first year, followed by intervals as recommended by their dental care professionals.

MyPlate, a website from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, an agency of U.S. Department of Agriculture, suggests a healthy, balanced diet for kids that should include:

• Fruits and vegetables. Combined these should be half of what your child eats every day.
• Grains. Make sure at least half of their grains are whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice.
• Dairy. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.
• Lean proteins. Make lean protein choices, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish. Try to vary protein choices to include eggs, beans, peas and legumes, too. Eat at least 8 oz. of seafood a week.

National Nutrition MonthMarch is National Nutrition Month, and the theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests this reading list for child and teen nutrition.

Along with a nutritious diet, snacking habits, bottles and pacifiers also impact a child’s oral health. These tips to keep your child’s mouth healthy:

• Place only formula, milk or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice or soft drinks.
• Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottles before going to bed.
• If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean—don’t dip it in sugar or honey, or put it in your mouth before giving it to the child.
• Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday and discourage frequent or prolonged use of sippy cups.
• Serve nutritious snacks and limit sweets to mealtimes.

More information on the use of sippy cups, and their affect on oral health, including when to start and stop, can be found here.

When it comes to choosing a toothpaste, 3 out of 4 dentists recommend products with the ADA seal, meaning they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness. Fluoride toothpaste helps remove plaque, a film of bacteria that forms on teeth and gums, and strengthens tooth enamel. Plaque can cause gum disease and tooth decay. Some parents prefer organic, fluoride-free natural toothpastes, and there is a debate that surrounds fluoride, as documented in this mom’s personal account.

In choosing the right toothbrush – soft, medium or hard for kids? – look for the ADA seal and ask your dentist for a recommendation. The ADA says both manual and powered toothbrushes effectively and thoroughly clean teeth, but children may find brushing with a powered toothbrush fun. Making brush time enjoyable, rather than a chore, is often key to establishing healthy oral hygiene habits from the start.

This song from a New York dentist and mom is a fun way to encourage brushing amongst kids:

Brushing Teeth Song (Sung to the tune of ‘Frere Jacques’)

(Starting on the upper right (or left) outside teeth and gums)
Brush the outside, brush the outside
Now the front, now the front
Now go to the other side, now go to the other side
Then move on, then move on.

(Moving to the upper right (or left) inside teeth and gums)
Brush the inside, brush the inside.
Now the front, now the front
Now go the other side, now go to the other side
Then move down, then move down.

(Moving the bottom right (or left) outside teeth and gums)
Brush the outside, brush the outside
Now the front, now the front
Now move to the other side, now move to the other side
Then move on, then move on.

(Moving to the bottom right (or left) inside teeth and gums)
Brush the inside, brush the inside
Now the front, now the front
Now move to the other side, now move to the other side
Now you’re done, now you’re done!

Sleep Tight: Valentine’s Day Gifts for Bedtime

At New Jammies, we believe Valentine’s Day is always a great way to show loved ones how much they mean to you. Gift-giving can range from homemade treasures made from the heart to a pair of warm New Jammies in red or pink to celebrate one of the most beloved holidays of the year.

New Jammies Pear Tree Love

New Jammies Pear Tree Love

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re helping kids sleep tight with $10 off any order, through Feb. 21. Shop from our wide selection of styles — boys and girls pajamas, PJ short sets, and toddler footies. Our Classic Stripes in red or pink, Pear Tree Love, Encircled Peace Love or Lobster collections are colorful ideas for kids’ Valentine’s Day gifts. Just use the code HEART2015 when ordering online as we spread the love with $10 off through Feb. 21.

Tuck kids into bed this Valentine’s with homemade stuffed animals made from their drawings, thanks to help from craft queen Martha Stewart. Her easy-to-make instructions include these basic materials found at home: A child’s cut-out drawings, fabric, a pencil, accessories (for eyes, nose, mouth, etc.), batting, and a sewing kit. Maybe even make the stuffed animals with older kids as a fun way to show how much you care while having fun with arts and crafts. Easy-to-follow instructions are found here.

Instead of showering kids with sugar and candy this Valentine’s Day, create goody bags of treats filled with coloring books, crayons, stickers, games, bubbles, heart-shaped toys and trinkets, and more. Dollar stores can be a source of such small treasures that kids can enjoy well past Valentine’s Day.

Happy parents make for happy kids, so gifts for Mom and Dad are important to exchange on this lover’s holiday. Especially when the gifts help induce much-needed rest, relaxation and improved sleep habits.

Rodale's Open Heart Pajamas

Rodale’s Open Heart Pajamas

Pamper Mom with cozy organic pajamas of their own. We love Rodale’s whimsical two-piece pajama set called Only Hearts. These pajamas are comfortable and lightweight with relaxed-waist pants and a roomy button-up top made from 100% organic supima cotton.

For a relaxing homemade gift for her that’s easy to create and a treat to give, try Herbalism Roots’ DIY Lavender Pillow Mist Spray. According to the therapeutic division of Denver Integrative Massage School, studies show the scent of lavender can help cure insomnia, anxiety, and overall restlessness that hinder sleep patterns. Their home recipe for pillow mist can be found on the shelves that contain lavender oil and promote a sound, deep sleep. Find the recipe here.

Dads can put their feet up and relax with Toad&Co.’s M’s Shuteye Pants. These yarn-dyed, draw-string pajama pants are made from mid-weight heathered organic cotton flannel. The man in your life will love these for their distinctive character and buttery softness as he heads to bed or the recliner.

Homemade gifts for him include coupons for 12 months of special pre-planned, relaxing stay-at-home date nights in pajamas. You can hand-draw them or print them out on the computer. Ideas include breakfast in bed, romantic massages, snuggling on the couch, and more. Search design ideas on Pinterest or go to this Better Homes & Gardens link that has free Valentine’s Day Coupon Downloads. These coupons for adults and offer blank options that can be specially customized for Valentine’s Day.

Cheers to love!