Health February 2012

The latest healthcare options for your clan's well-being.

Alanna Weissman

Fizzy Fun

Create your own soda with fewer chemicals and sugars than are in store-bought soda with SodaStream’s Home Soda Makers and line of more than 30 syrups. The brand has an extensive array of products, each packaged in reusable, high-resistance bottles, that allow you to concoct multiple flavors, both diet and regular, of soda, tea, seltzer and flavored water. You can even mix syrups to invent a custom flavor and add just the right amount of fizz, creating the perfect beverage in less than half a minute. Learn more at

Fewer Fights

Helping couples not only parent efficiently but also get along are two books by licensed marriage and family therapist Hal Edward Runkel. In ScreamFree Marriage and ScreamFree Parenting (Crown  Archetype), Runkel teaches readers how to communicate sans screaming in order to foster positive relationships. Read up on the
titles at

Sleep Tight

For children who suffer from eczema, ComfortLuxe Advanced Sleepwear from Halo Innovations could make bedtime a bit less itchy. The pajamas regulate body temperature and wick moisture away from the skin far quicker and more effectively than cotton sleepwear. ComfortLuxe is available in sizes newborn through 4T and, though it earned a Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association, is a comfortable and skin-healthy option for children without the condition, as well. Allow your kids to get itch-free Zs at

A Spoonful of Sugar

Parents no longer have to struggle to get their kids to take liquid medication thanks to FLAVORx Pediatric Flavoring. Carried by nearly every pharmacy chain, FLAVORx comes in 18 kid-adored flavors, such as bubblegum, chocolate-cherry and sour apple, and can be added to your child’s prescription or OTC medication by request. All FLAVORx Pediatric products are free of sugar, sodium and dyes and are non-allergenic. Learn more at and ask your pharmacist to add FLAVORx to your child’s next dose of medicine.

Non-Animal Crackers

For your child’s upcoming bake sale or birthday party, try some of the recipes from Carla Kelly’s Quick and Easy Vegan Bake Sale: More than 150 Delicious Sweet and Savory Vegan Treats Perfect for Sharing (The Experiment). Dishes in the cookbook include cookies, brownies and muffins, plus there’s an egg-, dairy- and honey-free option every child (and adult) will love. Log onto to purchase.

Skin Soother

Is itchiness driving your family mad? Dr. Mineral/Mineral Skin Solution may help mollify your child’s eczema, Molluscum contagiosum, dry or atopic skin. The steroid-free solution uses all-natural minerals and botanical extracts to strengthen skin cells and protect the largest organ of the body. Natural minerals may also shield against skin dehydration. Learn more at

A Better Break

Recovering from a broken bone is a bummer. Make it a little better with CastCoverz. The covers add whimsy to slings, splints, boots and other limb fixers thanks to a variety of cool designs and fabrics. CastCoverz aren’t just for show, though. They’re also functional, protecting casts from unintentional scratches and snags. Washable and easily removable, the covers are available at

The A-List

Michelle LaRowe’s A Mom’s Ultimate Book of Lists (Revell) provides parents with age-specific sections on everything from pregnancy to preschool. The lists in the book number more than 100 and leave no stone unturned when it comes to child-rearing. The tome addresses issues such as when to call the doctor, questions to ask before choosing a pediatrician and how to sleep train your baby.  Buy the book at

Simple Swaps

Help your whole family maintain a healthy body weight with Shape Up America! and the National Turkey Federation. In a partnership to combat childhood obesity, these two organizations have developed the Meal Upgrade Calculator, which gives simple tips for nutritious eating and increased physical activity. Utilize the calculator and other innovative resources at

Five a Day

Even picky eaters can get the recommended amount of daily produce thanks to Pure Fruit Bites snacks from Buddy Fruits. Each conveniently packaged serving of Pure Fruit Bites is made with 100-percent fruit, provides a full serving of fruit, contains fewer than 100 calories, and is free of artificial flavorings, colors and preservatives. Products include Pure Blended Fruit To Go and Pure Fruit Bites. The healthy-yet-delicious treats will quickly become a favorite snack among your children. For the full scoop on the fruit-filled products, visit

This column appeared in the February 2012 issue.