Archives for July 2017

Robotics Startup Creates Companion Helpers for Kids

In a bright co-working space in a building in Old Pasadena are the offices of a startup robotics and AI company. The scientists, engineers, artists and designers there have added a unique feature to their product-development lab: a playroom. But they aren’t just playing. They are working to change the lives of children – including those with developmental disabilities –and they’re looking for families to help them. The team developing this robot combines 14 years of research in socially assistive robotics from USC with 15 years of experience with consumer robotics from iRobot, and decades of animation and storytelling. And their...

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Doc Talk: Screening for Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity rates, which climbed for decades, seem finally to have leveled off among most groups of kids. Still, about a third of kids are overweight and nearly 20 percent are obese, leading a government panel of experts to recommend in June that all children ages 6 and up be screened for obesity by their pediatrician. Steven Jensen, M.D., medical director of general pediatrics at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, agrees. He shares information about screening, the consequences of obesity and how to prevent them. Do you agree with the new recommendation that all children ages 6 and...

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Four Spots to See Free Family Music

For family music fans, August comes packed with wonderful free concerts. The Levitt Pavilions in Pasadena and Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park ( are offering an impressive lineup of performers. Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band will play L.A. Aug. 6 and Pasadena Aug. 10. Jazzy Ash celebrates her new album “Swing Set” on Aug. 13 in MacArthur Park, which will also welcome Birdie’s Playhouse Aug. 27. Pasadena’s Levitt Pavilion, meanwhile, hosts the great Justin Roberts, out supporting his latest CD “Lemonade,” on Aug. 3. The Getty ( again presents its Garden Concerts For Kids series. This year’s all-star roster...

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7 Things You Should Do In August

This month, venture out to the Ventura County Fair, support TreePeople with animals and magic, celebrate Elephants and LEGOs, enjoy a uniquely local Wonderland, and say hello to Taiko drummers and good-bye to summer.

Building a Social Network For the Non-sporty Kid

There is no question that team sports are amazing for the mind and body. So many important social skills are taught through working as a team and exercising the body. Additionally, friendships typically grow stronger by participating in sports outside of school. Because of this, young kids (especially boys) are traditionally signed up for the usual round of team sports – soccer, basketball and baseball. These are great, but let’s face it, these activities are just not for everyone. Some kids are not coordinated, interested or secure enough to feel comfortable and successful playing team sports. So what can these...

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Dance/Movement Therapy Helps Kids With Autism Connect

The 5-year-old girl, diagnosed with autism, wasn’t used to connecting with people. She didn’t speak, made little eye contact and showed little physical awareness of others. She would sit near, even very close, to people without acknowledging them. Then Lori Baudino took her on a journey. Baudino, a Westchester-based clinical psychologist and dance/movement therapist, says the girl was very physical – but inappropriately so. “She would often hit her body into the walls or bang her hands on the floor,” Baudino explains. She mirrored the girl’s movements and initiated a “castle building” activity where they worked parallel to each other,...

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children's health

A Back-to-School Checklist For Healthier Kids

It seems like only yesterday that our children were wrapping up their last day of school and heading off to the pool, summer camp and family vacation. But the new academic year will soon be here, and it’s time to think about what’s needed to prepare them for a safe and healthy start in the classroom. From obtaining required vaccinations to teaching kids basic hygiene habits and helping teenagers cope with acne, taking care of our children's health is always challenging. Here are some tips to make your job a little easier. Sports and School Physicals Increasingly, students are required...

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kid friendly recipes

Light, Healthy, Family-Friendly Meals Made Easy

It can be tough to find healthy, kid-friendly recipes everyone in the family will actually like. Food writer Victoria Dwek knows firsthand how challenging this can be. In Dwek’s new book, “Secrets of Skinny Cooking,” co-created with nutritionist and dietitian Shani Taub, you’ll find more than 135 delicious recipes with tips and suggestions for cooking with even the pickiest of eaters in mind. The book is a visual delight. With each recipe accompanied by a stunning photograph, just flipping through the pages is sure to get your mouth watering. To top it off, all of the recipes are low-calorie, adaptable to...

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Family Fun at the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach

During the summer 2016 Olympics, my daughters became huge fans of the Beach Volleyball games. The sport is fast paced and exciting, and we found ourselves following the U.S. women’s team closely, which made a recent weekend in July super-exciting for us. The Beach Volleyball World Series was in Long Beach and we got an up-close view of the games and some of the best players in the world. This was our first time at this event, held at Alamitos Beach, and we had a blast. There were multiple tournaments featuring U.S. teams competing against top international teams. The four-day...

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We Want to Include You!

L.A. Parent’s Inclusive Day is coming to Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Recreation Center (14201 Huston St., Sherman Oaks) from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 16. This celebration of children of all abilities and their families will include adaptive activities and workshops, fun prize giveaways and a chance for kids to enjoy an adaptive playground with equipment that is accessible to wheelchairs and all others. Parents of kids with disabilities can attend the resource fair and connect with dozens camps, schools, therapists and occupational programs designed to serve these special children and their families. Participants include The Help Group, Pediatric Minds and...

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