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Portion Sizes for Kids: How Much Food Is Healthy for My Child’s Age?

Portion Sizes for Kids: How Much Food Is Healthy for My Child’s Age?

Do you struggle with meal planning (and creative lunch packing!) as much as we do? Some days, figuring out WHAT to feed your child is hard enough. Figuring out HOW MUCH can seem downright impossible. The recommended portions for a child depend on their age and even gender – and unfortunately, the serving size listed on grocery store labels doesn’t have much to do with It. Connecticut Children’s is here to help. Here’s a guide to understanding healthy food portions for kids, including some time-saving tips.

9 Things to Say No to this Month

9 Things to Say No to this Month

No-vember: This new term is all over social media, and moms everywhere are embracing it in real life, with good reason. It describes the act of saying no to protect your physical, emotional and spiritual energy this month—a reserve all parents will need once the holidays hit. Saying no to things that don’t serve you, or your family, can be the most powerful thing in the world, because it frees you to say yes to things that do. From 7 meetings with Santa for the kids, to helming every event at school, not everything has to get the go-ahead. Here are 20 things to consider turning down—but you’ll know your own No-vember boundaries best.

3 Sheet Pan Dinners for Busy Weeknights

3 Sheet Pan Dinners for Busy Weeknights

Sheet pan dinners are one of the easiest ways to get dinner on the table, fast. Plus, if you line your baking pans with foil or parchment paper, there’s virtually no clean-up! We love the collection of Sheet Pan Dinners Maegan Brown of The BakerMama shard, which include recipes for pizza, shrimp pad thai and even chicken fried rice. Indeed, you might think these fuss-free meals are limited to a protein and vegetable, but you can easily incorporate carbs like pasta and rice, making sheet pan dinners as versatile as other easy cooking techniques. See some family faves!

Mom Spotlight – Meet Ailsa Emmel, Certified Nurse Midwife

Mom Spotlight – Meet Ailsa Emmel, Certified Nurse Midwife

Ailsa Emmel is a mom to 25-year-old twins who currently lives in eastern North Carolina with her husband, a U.S. Marine on active duty. Born in NYC, she moved to FL as a teenager, and she herself is also a Veteran, who served in the U.S. Navy. She has built a career as a nurse practitioner with a specialty in Midwifery, but her side gig—as a “lifestyle influencer who loves clothes”—is how she’s quickly gaining a following on social media. “I love to share what I am wearing and what I am loving. I use fashion to express and represent myself. I believe getting dressed even in a baggy pair of sweats makes the biggest difference in my overall mental state,” says Ailsa. We asked Ailsa about growing her social media presence through her Instagram handle @_happygocurly, how her military background has contributed to her career and motherhood, and more.

Meet Diana

Meet Diana

If you are looking for a fresh start health wise, some help recovering from childbirth or a surgery, or just looking for some lifestyle changes, Diana may be just who you are looking for! A family nurse practitioner at many leading hospitals (including NYU, Columbia and Mt. Sinai) before kids and COVID, Diana decided to enroll in a Nurse Health Coaching program, and is excited to assist clients recovering from surgery, guiding them through post-partum recovery, medication management or a broad-based program to achieve a healthier lifestyle. As a mom to a little boy, 3 dogs and 7 chickens, she is busy, but loves family time eating Mexican food, playing tennis, and swears by putting lemon on all things, including chips and popcorn! Her Columbian grandparents have always been her inspiration and she believes she was always destined to help others, and is so grateful to be in this community doing what she loves!

Meet Jessie Shaw, Co-Founder of FETCH!

Meet Jessie Shaw, Co-Founder of FETCH!

If you are a dog lover like many of us, Jessie Shaw is a local mom of four you will want to know! After moving to Westport just before Covid in March 2020, she got involved with Little Black Dog Rescue, which ultimately led to Jessie and three colleagues co-founding Fetch Dog Rescue, a foster-based dog rescue company, earlier this year. Fetch is dedicated to helping to save shelter and stray dogs from the southern states and finding loving forever homes for them in the CT area. Jessie has always been passionate about dogs and loves what she is doing! In her spare time, she loves watching Ted Lasso, listening to Smartless and spending time with her kids and rescue pup. Fetch is looking for Fosters, so if you are interested, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Molly Sims’ 5 Minute Beauty Routine!

Molly Sims’ 5 Minute Beauty Routine!

Moms don’t have time for elaborate skincare routines – whether they’re mere mortals like us, or iconic model and entrepreneur Molly Sims. Recently, she shared her 5-minute skincare routine with The Local Moms Network CEO Layla Lisiewski. “We were in the sun for the last three months, so now it’s time to bring your retinols back, and incorporate brightening essentials to target any dark spots, hyperpigmentation and sun damage to the skin, while also continuing to protect your skin from the sun with SPF,” says Molly.

Meet Jill Dillon – Board of Education Nominee

Meet Jill Dillon – Board of Education Nominee

With the November elections just days away now, we wanted to introduce the newest candidate running for the Board of Education Jill Dillon. Mom to two teenagers, and an 11 year Westport resident, Jill decided to run as an unaffiliated, write-in candidate, somewhat recently as conversations around big Education-related decisions started hearting up, and she felt there was a voice still needing to be heard. Jill loves Westport, French Fries, and a good message as a splurge. In another life she’d be a teacher, have an amazing singing voice, and spend a lot of time near turquoise water! Jill is passionate about our town, and it’s future, and is excited to share all she thinks she can help Westport become in the years ahead.

What a Psychotherapist Learned from Parenting a Child with Anxiety

What a Psychotherapist Learned from Parenting a Child with Anxiety

I thought at 20 years in practice I had seen most of what there was to see when it came to anxiety. For the last two decades, I have treated adults and adolescents in private practice in Connecticut. When you work with young people, often you are also working with families to help support them and guide them in reinforcing treatment goals at home. There was a piece that I was missing, however, until I became a mom of a child with anxiety. Without sharing too many details, the past few months have been a struggle for our family. Having a child that developed a phobia that prevents them from attending school regularly impacts everyone in the family, including moms who are anxiety therapists…

Meet Allison…another Warrior!

Meet Allison…another Warrior!

If you know Allison Walmark, she has likely been making you laugh – and helping you keep perspective when the going gets tough for years! If you don’t know her, you’re welcome! Allison is a mom of two in Westport who truly is the definition of resilience and warrior. Just over 6 years ago, Allison was diagnosed with breast cancer, and given she had two kids, and was in her early 50s, she decided to do a double mastectomy without looking back (the day she refers to as “Jug Removal Day!”). Today she is sharing her story- and her journey with us – and It is unquestionably one that will make you laugh (because she’s hilarious), feel stronger, and remember that sharing with others is how we all heal, so thank you Allison!

Meet the Pink Aid Trio – Andi, Jill and Lindsey!

Meet the Pink Aid Trio – Andi, Jill and Lindsey!

If you live locally, you have likely heard about PinkAid, an amazing organization that provides support and financial assistance to families (and patients) battling breast cancer. Founded in Westport by four amazing individuals impacted by Breast Cancer in a meaningful way, the organization has exploded, and now has a national reach. This Thursday, October 12th, the 13th Annual Pink Aid Luncheon and Warrior Fashion Show will take place at Mitchell’s in Westport. We had the chance to speak with the three amazing women chairing this event about their role in the organization, their passion for the cause, and why PinkAid matters so much to those in need.

Meet Ali Heitz (Kerri Rosenthal’s Daughter)…A True Warrior

Meet Ali Heitz (Kerri Rosenthal’s Daughter)…A True Warrior

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, another amazing warrior – Ali Heitz (daughter of beloved artist and local mom, Kerri Rosenthal) – shares her story of battling – and surviving – breast cancer! At the young age of just 30, Ali learned she had breast cancer through a routine visit to her OBGYN, reminding us that this disease does not discriminate against age. With the support of her mom – and her community – she did all that was needed to fight, including 20 rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, plus freezing her eggs before treatment started given her young age and life stage. We are thrilled to share that Ali is doing remarkably well! She is very excited about she and her mom’s recent collaboration with Pink Aid – and Bloomingdales – where Kerri painted an incredible piece of art to help support Pink Aid, a locally started- and now national organization, providing Compassionate Support and Rapid Emergency Financial Assistance to patients in treatment who do not have the resources needed. Learn more about Ali’s story- and the journey she and her mom are on.

Molly Sims 5 Minute Skincare Routine!

Molly Sims 5 Minute Skincare Routine!

Moms don’t have time for elaborate skincare routines – whether they’re mere mortals like us, or iconic model and entrepreneur Molly Sims. Recently, she shared her 5-minute skincare routine with The Local Moms Network CEO Layla Lisiewski. “We were in the sun for the last three months, so now it’s time to bring your retinols back, and incorportate brightening essentials to target any dark spots, hyperpigmentation and sun damage to the skin, while also continuing to protect your skin from the sun with SPF,” says Molly. Below, she shares her daily routine, using her go-to Yse Beauty products, the skincare line she created.

Warrior Spotlight – Mammograms Save Lives…

Warrior Spotlight – Mammograms Save Lives…

Many in our community know Felicia Sale, mom of four, and co-founder of Restore Hyper Wellness in Westport! We are so grateful she was willing to share her story about how a recent mammogram led to detection of early stage breast cancer, and how proactive treatment and surgery likely saved her life. Through her experience, she was supported by friends and our amazing community, and has gotten involved (with her daughter Avery) in Pink Posse, an arm of Pink Aid where volunteers help those in dire need of resources going through breast cancer – and the treatment process. Felicia is a reminder to all of us to be proactive, to be positive, and to take care of ourselves, no matter how busy life gets!

Meet a Mom – Dr Corinna Franklin

Meet a Mom – Dr Corinna Franklin

Meet Dr. Corinna Franklin, MD, AB, FAOA, chief of pediatric orthopedics at Yale School of Medicine. She has been an orthopedic surgeon for almost 11 years, with a focus on female pediatric and adolescent athletes. She sees patients at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Specialty Centers in New Haven, North Haven, Trumbull and Old Saybrook, and lives in Hamden with her family, including a daughter, 6. We spoke to Dr. Franklin about her practice, tips for keeping kids healthy while playing sports, and more.

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