Eat Right: Stay Cool with Healthy Summer Treats

When the summer heat is on, New Jammies kids need to stay hydrated and cool. Moms and dads agree that as summer heats up, it helps if those cool treats are light and healthy, too.

Water is the first priority for hydrating kids. According to an article in Parenting magazine on keeping kids hydrated, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children drink six glasses of water on an average day.

“During activity, however, your child can lose up to a half-liter of fluid per hour,” says the article. “The AAP suggests about 5 ounces (or two kid-size gulps) of water or a sports drink every 20 minutes for an 88-pound child.”

Popsicle Dreams Forever
One way kids love to stay hydrated and cool in the summer is with popsicles. Many brands on the market that most of us would still recognize from our childhoods are often produced using sugary flavored water, colorful dyes, and preservatives.

Today, we’re lucky in that we can find low-sugar organic juices and hydrating ingredients, such as coconut water and fresh fruit-infused water, to help us get creative with ingredients while controlling what our kids consume. There are so many options for making your own ice pops using BPA-free molds and easy, healthy recipes. Why not treat the kids and save money with a healthier  homemade option? Yes, please!

The Coconut Mama food blogger, an Oregon mom named Tiffany, offers this recipe for Coconut Water Ice Pops that yields 6. She’s a self-described “true believer in the health benefits of coconut,” using coconut products in most cooking.

“These unconventional ice pops are healthy, super easy to make and can be very versatile,” reads the recipe description. “Coconut water is extremely healthy and restores electrolytes. You can use any mix of frozen or fresh fruit to make them. We used mango, pineapple and blueberry on this batch.”

Ingredients

Fresh or frozen fruit
Coconut water

Instructions

1. Fill popsicle molds (or cups if using) 3/4 way full of fruit of choice.
2. Pour coconut water into molds and fill the rest of the way.
3. Place molds in freezer. Allow popsicles to freeze completely before serving, about 5-8 hours.
4. Once your popsicles are ready to serve, run the bottom of the popsicle molds under warm water to help release them from the molds.

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Freezing ice pops this summer is made easy with the Lekue 4 Unit Stackable Ice Lollipop Mold, which can be ordered online on Amazon. According to the product description, making homemade popsicles in these stackable molds helps save room in the freezer, and they have an easy-to-fill design that comes with a lid to protect from unwanted flavors and smells in the freezer.

Included in the price are easy recipes that feature lactose and gluten-free options. “You can have healthier and more natural ice pops with no preservatives or dyes,” says Lekue. “Each mold comes with one stick and is dishwasher-friendly and BPA-free.”

Juice Up

We love this recipe for All-natural, Sugar-free Soda from The View from Great Island blogger Sue Moran, not only because it’s “refreshing, fun, and fizzy,” according to the foodie site Super Healthy Kids. But it also skips the artificial flavors, colors, high-fructose corn syrup, and chemicals found in many sodas, says superhealthykids.com.  “All you need is fresh fruit, and carbonated water.”

Ingredients

1 pound fresh ripe strawberries
Carbonated water

Instructions

1. Wash and trim the strawberries.

2. Place them in a food processor and pulse until they are rough chopped, then scrape down the sides of the machine. Purée until completely smooth. Let the machine run for a minute or longer to insure a nice smooth purée.

3. Push the mixture through a mesh strainer, using the back of a large spoon to make sure as much of it gets through as possible. Most all of it should go through, leaving just the small seeds behind. You should have approximately a cup and a half of purée.

4. To make soda, use 2 tablespoons of the purée for each 8 ounces of carbonated water. Mix and then serve immediately. You can adjust the amount of purée for a lighter or stronger flavor.

5. The fruit purée will keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for a week.

6. If you like you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to perk up the flavor of any fruit soda, and conversely, if you find your soda is too tart, add a touch of honey.

Other fresh fruit-flavor ideas Moran suggests for this super-easy recipe include:

• Grape (choose the dark or red varieties for best flavor)
• Blueberry (be sure to strain this one)
• Guava
• Papaya
• Mango
• Peach
• Pineapple
• Kiwi
• Orange (try blood orange, if you can find them)
• Red or pink grapefruit

Enjoy these refreshing ideas all summer long, and year, if you decide to freeze the purée. Or add spring water to the mix, instead of carbonated, and freeze for a delicious ice pop.

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New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Play Right: “Up & Active” Toy Trends Perfect for Summer

New Jammies Trains Collection

Early this year, the Toy Industry Association announced its top trends at the New York Toy Fair, and New Jammies was happy to see popularity of the “Up & Active” theme.

“With more room for innovation and a greater willingness to take risks, toymakers are pulling out all the stops to create highly ground-breaking products, reinvent play patterns, and refresh classic brands with cutting-edge technologies and exciting new licenses,” says Adrienne Appell, a trend expert at TIA. “Best of all, these toys build children’s developmental skills through collaborative, hands-on, and imaginative play.”

Collectible toys were also among the hot forecasted trends, which help children develop lifelong skills, including social skills (when negotiating and trading with friends), organization skills (as they maintain their collections), and perseverance (not giving up on the “hunt”), according to the Toy Industry Association.

The “Up & Active” category features toys to encourage kids to get up and move – both indoors and outdoors.

“The latest active toys not only motivate kids to burn off excess energy, they are also engaging for the whole family and are more seamlessly integrated into other types of play,” says the Toy Industry Association. “This trend includes tech toys that weave in active components, classic outdoor ride-ons, traditional games that incorporate physical activity, and digital toys that foster face-to-face play.”

The Toy Industry Association notes that toys which encourage kids to move are a part of a larger health-and-wellness trend that spans multiple industries.

“We see consumers making healthy lifestyle choices, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, athleisure, wearable devices, and natural-looking beauty options, so I believe the outdoor and sports toys trend will continue into the near future as well,” says Juli Lennett, NPD’s senior vice president and U.S. toys industry analyst.

Toy companies are launching toys and games designed to motivate kids to move – both indoors and outdoors – particularly as they respond to the demands of millennial parents seeking more engaging toys for their kids, such as offering educational or more active play, says the Association.

“Toys that encourage kids to get up and move are on both kids’ and parents’ wish lists,” says Adrienne Appell, TIA trend expert. “It’s not just classic outdoor toys that are popular; we are seeing toy companies innovate with tech toys that weave in active components, educational toys that incorporate physical activity, new exciting ride-ons, and traditional games that require kids to move around in order to play.”

One toy that help kids enjoy the Great Outdoors is the Regatta Swing. The nautical -themed swing is developed exclusively for Magic Cabin, which specializes in open-ended, nature-inspired toys and crafts to nurture children’s innate sense of wonder and curiosity. The swing, for ages 3–6 and older, holds up to 200 pounds and features an innovative design to sits two sailors on two heavy-duty mesh seats. The mesh bottom means water won’t get trapped inside while not in use. The simple concept of the bowline knot creates a secure hanging apparatus of adjustable height that’s easy to use.

New Jammies’ Pirates collection of PJs, which can double as comfy play wear to stay cool in the summer, would be a fun addition to this imagination-building play. Sailboat n’Waves would also be cute to rock in the Regatta Swing.

Antsy Pants’ line of Build and Play kits are designed to let kids’ imaginations run wild and get kids and families creating, imagining and building together. With each product purchased, sold exclusively at Target, Antsy Pants helps support KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring all kids get a childhood filled with the balanced and active play they need to thrive.

“Antsy Pants will make a donation to KaBOOM! for each product purchased, and is projected to give more than $150,000 in the first year to build playgrounds for kids across America,” says the product’s website.

The Antsy Pants Build and Play Obstacle Course  gets the whole family moving with toss rings, jump hurdles and a race to the finish for fun-and-friendly competition. The easy-to-build Obstacle Course Kit comes with an agility ring course, start and finish flags, adjustable height hurdles, and weave pole course. No tools necessary!

New Jammies’ Star Spangled collection would be a patriotic, America-themed way to celebrate the Fourth of July while running through the Obstacle Course this summer.

USA! USA! USA!

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New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Sleep Tight: From Daytime Jams to Sleep Jammies

One of the most versatile ways for kids to wear New Jammies in the warmer months is to don them during the day in the park, poolside or at neighborhood BBQs. Then mix and match at nighttime for a cool, comfortable sleep.

“New Jammies’ signature 100% organic cotton fabric is breathable and keeps kids cool in the summer heat and warm at night,” says New Jammies CEO and founder Nicole Ludlow.

“The fun part is to mix and match the short sets, pants and long-sleeved shirts for several different color and print combinations on vacation or out and about having a good time, day into night.”

A cute look for girls in the summer is to add brightly colored tutus and comfy sandals to our Lobsters collection. Or incorporate pastel tutus into an outfit with our pretty Ballerina Slippers or Mermaid Bubbles prints.

The Lobsters and Whales collections come with 100% organic cotton summer roll hats, too. The fun summertime New Jammies headwear designs provide a coordinated look at the beach or in town, especially with our Classic Stripes and nautical-themed collections, to help protect babies’ sensitive skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Boys are typically fairly easy to dress, especially in the summer, so our shorts sets with bold stripes and colorful prints really come in handy when packing for the day, weekend, or a week of well-derserved vacation.

“So many of our collections offer options for mixing and matching, and for going from day to night, if the boys manage to stay clear of mud!” says Nicole, who has two young boys of her own.

The organic Classic Stripe in blue and white is a great option for bold and colorful day-to-night wear for boys or girls, and the Pirate Skull Stripes and Sailboats n’Waves pajamas and short sets are perfect to switch up from afternoon into evening. Especially for hanging around the water at the lake or ocean, and for summer vacations involving pirate ships, sunset cruises or floating on the river.

In celebration of summer, New Jammies has a few of these versatile outdoor and sleep time looks in our sale section of our online store.

Enjoy great sale prices on our Sharks PJ Shorts Set and Ottoman Flowers PJ Shorts Set, as well as the Pirate Skull Stripes and Sly Fox PJ Shorts Set, for a wonderful summer playing in the sun and sleeping under the stars.

Here’s to a summer to remember!

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Join our e-newsletter list and receive discounts on select New Jammies every month.

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New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Eat Right: Snack Right with Healthy Summer Recipes

New JammiesPlaying in the sprinkler. Watching fireworks. Eating popsicles. New Jammies kids love everything about summer, especially the fun stuff.

Our 100% organic cotton pajamas and boys and girls short sets make sleeping through those summer nights a blast. And New Jammies kids stay healthy and active with summer snacks that keep kids energized with vitamins and protein while they play away the summer.

Peach Strawberry Popsicles

This fruity and fun recipe from angiesrecipes.blogspot.com helps you create naturally sweetened, refreshing and healthy popsicles right in your own kitchen. Additional sweetener other than a very ripe banana is not necessary, but sugar, syrup or honey can be used per individual tastes. She also notes that peaches can be replaced with mango, apricot, or pineapple or a mix of all.

Ingredients:
4 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 tsp lime juice
1 very ripe banana
3 strawberries, diced

Directions:
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Gently lower the ripe peaches into the boiling water. Leave it there for 30 seconds or until the skin splits. Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon and plunge them into an ice water bath. After 10 seconds or so, remove them and peel. Roughly chop the peaches and place them in a blender together with lime juice, and banana. Process until smooth. Pour half portion into the 8 ice moulds, add in diced strawberries and top with the remaining. Insert sticks, then freeze at least 4 hours or until firm.

New JammiesTovolo Ice Cream Pop Molds
This novel set of four popsicle molds is a clever way to make healthy and homemade frozen treats at home using the recipe above or fresh juices and low-fat yogurt. Create your own healthy ice cream-shaped pops with easy-to-use, custom molds. Fill top of the mold with favorite ice creams, juices, yogurts, mixes or beverages, twist on the cone-shaped handles and freeze. The cone handles catch drips to keep hands and clothes clean and stain-free. And better yet, these dishwasher-safe molds are made from durable BPA-free plastic.

New JammiesTropical Coconut Green Ice Cream

The super food kale is once again the super veggie of the summer, and this easy and healthy recipe for homemade green ice cream features both fruits and vegetables kids will love. One cup of chopped kale and other leafy greens contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and 684% of vitamin K as well as minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

This ice cream recipe from superhealthykids.com includes coconut milk, kale (or spinach), hony pineapple and banana. Summertime perfection!

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup frozen spinach or kale
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 frozen banana
Flaked coconut for garnish

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender. Pour into a container and freeze at least 4 hours. After frozen, remove from freezer and wait about 10 minutes to make scooping easier.

 

Image courtesy pbs.org

Image courtesy pbs.org

Kid-Friendly Hummus
Recipe courtesy of Arthur: Postcards From Buster

Arthur is not only a beloved cartoon character on PBS, but he also likes to eat healthy. This kid-friendly Middle Eastern hummus recipe from pbs.org can teach kids to cook at home and eat healthy. PBS says: Try it with pita bread strips, or with fresh carrots, peppers and cucumbers. It’s great on a sandwich, too!

Ingredients:
3 cups canned chickpeas (1 28 oz. can) drained and rinsed
2 large cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water
Pinch of chili pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon paprika

Directions:
Check with a grownup and wash your hands before you begin.
Put all the ingredients in a blender (except the water and paprika.)
Use the puree setting on the blender to mix everything until it is smooth and creamy. If it’s too thick, turn off the blender, and drizzle in a little water (up to 1/2 cup) and puree again until it’s the right texture for dipping.
Turn off the blender and wait until it has completely stopped. Use a spatula to scrape all the hummus into a shallow bowl.
Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the top, and sprinkle it with paprika.
Clean up the kitchen before you dig into your yummy hummus dip — or as I call it, yummus!

Tips/Techniques
Utensils: Blender, spatula, and a shallow bowl

Easy Snacks for Kids

Every mom loves s simple snack when kids are on the go or busy with summer activities. realsimple.com is to the rescue with these 12 Easy Snacks for Kids by Liz Welch.

Sliced TurkeyBest of all, she says these after-school snacks are easy enough for kids to make for themselves, but healthy enough to be Mom-approved. Try the first on the list, sliced turkey:

Option 1: Top celery with vegetable cream cheese and turkey.
Option 2: Wrap pretzel rods with turkey and serve with mustard for dipping.
Option 3: Top multigrain crackers with turkey and dollop with ranch dressing.

Sliced CheeseOr why not sliced cheese:

Option 1: Top multigrain crackers with sliced cheese and dill pickles.
Option 2: Top a slice of whole-wheat bread with cheese and sliced avocado.
Option 3: Wrap apple wedges with sliced cheese and ham.

Play Right: Summertime activities for kids

Back to school may be just around the corner, but there are still enough active summer days for New Jammies kids to enjoy fun activities, learn, and play – indoors and out.

Airplane-Pajamas-Boys-Organic-Cotton-PJ-Short

New Jammies airplane pajamas

From airplanes and history to art and Native American culture, the topics museums showcase across the U.S. could keep a family busy, while learning, all summer long. Kids are like sponges, taking in knowledge as fast as they can, and the nation’s museums and interactive learning centers are perfect ways to teach our youth and have fun.

According to the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), approximately 850 million visits are made annually to American museums. That’s more than the attendance for all major league sporting events and theme parks combined (483 million in 2011).

“Museums tell important stories by collecting, preserving, researching and interpreting objects, living specimens and historical records,” says the AAM’s website. “Museums help communities better understand and appreciate cultural diversity.”

For kids who love animals, zoos and aquariums are ideal options for boys and girls to learn about different species and ecosystems, and enjoy a fun, up-close look at the Animal Kingdom. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums website is a great resource for parents and caregivers to learn what zoos are doing around the country to help teach kids in a family-friendly environment.

Just this summer, Tiki the Giraffe turned 25 at the Oakland Zoo in California, the Indianapolis Zoo opened a new, state-of the-art orangutan center in Indiana, and tiny red panda cubs were born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Get out and see what the country’s zoos have to offer in 2014.

Mermaid-Pajamas-Girls-Cotton-PJ-Short-Set

New Jammies mermaid pajamas

From outdoor water parks to a sprinkler in the backyard, getting wet in the summer sun guarantees a refreshing activity option for kids in the summertime. Going back to the idea that children are sponges, they can learn to swim with lessons at public pools and through youth swim clubs. They can perfect their back strokes in the country’s host of lakes, swimming holes, and rivers. Just remember, safety first, so wear a portable flotation device (PFD), also known as a life jacket, or water wings and flotation devices as needed.

Of course being outdoors in the sun, no matter what the activity, requires proper sun shading and protection to prevent sun damage and melanoma. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a significant part of a person’s lifetime sun exposure occurs before the age of 18.

WHO suggests these sun protection tips:

  • Limit time in the midday sun. The sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If possible, limit sun exposure during these hours.
  • Watch for the UV index. This helps in planning outdoor activities to prevent overexposure to the sun’s rays when the UV Index predicts exposure levels of moderate or above.
  • Use shade wisely. Seek shade when UV rays are the most intense. Shade structures such as trees, umbrellas or canopies don’t always offer complete sun protection. Remember the shadow rule: “Watch your shadow – Short shadow, seek shade!”
  • Wear protective clothing. A hat with a wide brim offers good sun protection for eyes, ears, face, and back of the neck. Sunglasses with 99 to 100 percent UV-A and UV-B protection greatly reduce eye damage from sun exposure. Tightly woven, loose-fitting clothes provide additional protection from the sun.
  • Use sunscreen. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15+ liberally and re-apply every two hours, or after working, swimming, playing or exercising outdoors.

Venture out there with the kids this summer and play right, so they sleep tight, in their 100% pure, natural organic cotton New Jammies pajamas. Have fun!