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4 Surprising Picnic Essentials

Michigan was the first state to have a roadside picnic table in the U.S. This hidden gem, located in West Michigan’s Ionia County, appeared in 1929. But the term ‘picnic’ dates back much further. The French-derived word originally stems back to 1794, 100 years after ‘pique-nique’ first appeared in the French language. Whether you’re visiting a roadside table for a road trip… 

Intergenerational Impact of Suicide on Children and Families (National Suicide Prevention Month)

Suicide is a complex topic and often results from multiple coinciding factors in a person’s life. When a parent takes their own life, the impact can reach across generations of their family. As September is National Suicide Prevention Month, it offers an opportunity to examine why seeking help for mental health concerns is so important and to understand the lasting… 

A Week of Healthy, Easy School Lunches

In the US, two-thirds of children’s calories come from ultra-processed foods. Too many cookies, crackers, snack cakes, pizzas, and ice cream are just a few items on the list of ultra-processed foods that can increase the risk for childhood obesity and health problems down the road. Starting healthy habits early in the year such as packing a healthy lunch and… 

Benefits of Family Meals

It’s no secret the pandemic has shifted family schedules – many parents are working from home, some children are attending virtual school and participating in fewer evening-time extracurricular activities and sports. A silver lining of the pandemic for some are family meals. In fact, research demonstrates a plethora of health benefits associated with consuming meals as a family. Along with… 

How to Get Your Kids Excited About Produce

Most parents have seen television commercials that seem to poke fun at the fact that children don’t want to eat their vegetables. Picky eaters push peas around their plates – but don’t try them. Cooked spinach brings a grimace. Roasted beets are strange enough to make them raise their little eyebrows. These attitudes may seem funny, but when some parents… 

Planning a Road Trip? Take Along Healthy Habits and Recipes

After a year of lockdowns and restrictions, more Americans are looking to travel in 2021. In a recent poll, more than two-thirds of respondents indicated they did not yet feel comfortable traveling by plane, making road trips an increasingly popular option. With summer almost here and kids approaching the end of the school year, it’s the perfect time to explore this… 

Fun Family Activities

Trees leafing out and early flowers pushing their showy blooms out of the ground are true signs of spring in Michigan, and that’s all the invitation we need to gather our children or grandchildren and head outside to embrace some warmer weather.   Getting some fresh air is great. But with a little planning, you can turn your family time into… 

Tips for Discussing Mental Health with Children and Teens

April is Stress Awareness Month. Stress can directly affect children’s mental health. Here are some great insights and tips for parents to talk to their children about mental health. Mental health-related emergency room visits increased substantially for children and teens during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the proportion of related visits were up… 

Halloween Costumes: Dress Up For Spooky-Yet-Safe Fun

Halloween is a chance for kids to put on creative costumes and pretend to be something else for the night. But whether your little one is dressing up as a pretty princess or frightening ghost, you’ll want to make sure they stay safe. And that’s where these tips come in. They’ll ensure your kids trick-or-treat without putting themselves at risk.… 

What to Expect During Back-to-School Check-Ups

A yearly physical exam by your family physician or pediatrician is an important part of your child’s health care. As children get older, back to school check-ups are sometimes the only visit kids and teenagers have with their doctor every year. An annual check-up gives the physician a chance to give the child a thorough physical examination. It also presents… 

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