February 2012

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live with family Gear up for Spring Grow your child's green thumb with pint-sized gardening tools Lend a hand: Keep little hands safe with durable gloves that protect from 97 percent of UV rays, dirt, scrapes and more. By Angela's Garden Kids, $9; The Bruce Company, 2830 Parmenter St., Middleton; (608) 836-7041. Start learning indoors: A mini-greenhouse comes with everything you need to get three tomato plants growing indoors. By Dune Craft. $10; The Bruce Company, 2830 Parmenter St., Middleton; (608) 836-7041. Timeless tools: No matter what the project, having the right tools is essential. Toss the plastic toys aside, this sturdy trowel, rake and shovel set is sure to last. By Our Gar- den, $7; Whoops and Co., 555 S. Midvale Blvd., Madison; (608) 236-4555. Ask Doctor Mom Keeping little hearts healthy By Dr. Sumita Ram February is American Heart Month. As many of us work to boost our own heart health, it's important to remember that for our children, we can lay the groundwork for a lifetime of healthy habits today. While healthy eating and annual doctor's visits are key, one of the most important lessons we can impart is the fun in being active. The American Heart Association recommends all children age 2 and older should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day to improve life expectancy and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Even more importantly, active children are likely to stay that way as adults. So what to do when your kids are cooped up indoors all winter? Don't be afraid to get out and about. Though the temperatures may be frosty, fresh air is good. Contrary to the belief that chilly temperatures cause the common cold, it's actually small, overheated and poorly ventilated spaces that help germs and illnesses spread. In fresh outdoor air, the chance for spreading infection is reduced. So even though it's nippy, bundling up the family for some sledding, a snowball fight, or any outdoor activity is a great way to keep everyone active! When it really is too cold to go outside, visit an indoor pool, ice skating rink or basketball court. You can also explore local open gyms, enroll in team sports or find individual activities such dance, karate or gymnastics classes. You can even consider heading to a bowling alley or taking a hike around the mall for a chance to have fun and get moving. No matter what you choose, to » promote physical activity in children, remember to keep activities enjoyable and of moderate intensity. And, of course, there's no better teacher than being a good role model yourself; do your own heart good by staying healthy and active, too. The perfect pail: A colorful bucket makes a perfect com- panion for days in the garden, at the beach or any adventure in between. By Melissa and Doug, $10; Whoops and Co., 555 S. Midvale Blvd., Madi- son; (608) 236-4555. 24 BRAVA Magazine February 2012 Dr. Sumita Ram is a pediatrician at Meriter Middleton Pediatrics and mother of two. » » »

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