Parent Talk

Dragon's Breath: Liquid Nitrogen Is Cool, But Is It OK To Eat?

What started out an obscure and edgy treat in Koreatown a year or so ago has recently become a trendy dessert sweeping many corners of LA: Dragon's Breath. That's the name given to a frozen snack made by dipping some small, sweet bite (usually a cereal-like puff) into liquid nitrogen. If it sounds more like a science experiment than a dessert, it kind of is. But K-town's Chocolate Chair turned Dragon's Breath into a must-try confection on every tween and teen's to do list (not to mention their Snapchat and Instagram feeds). As the trend works its way down from big kids to little ones, and from obscure to mainstream, parents need to be in the know—and ready to answer the question, "Is it OK for my kid to eat liquid nitrogen?"

Where Nursing Moms Can Find Private Lactation Rooms in NYC

Raising kids in New York City isn't for the faint of heart. City parents have plenty of worries to contend with that our suburban counterparts don't, from car seats in cabs to finding the right stroller for your lifestyle, and how, exactly, to navigate the subway with a baby in tow.

But one thing city mamas shouldn't have to worry about is where to feed their babies, specifically where to breastfeed or pump when you're on the go. While state law protects a mother's right to breastfeed in public, saying "a mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be," not all mothers are particularly comfortable baring it all, and certainly pumping isn't easy on a city bench. When mama's not comfortable, neither is baby.

To help ease the stress of breastfeeding or pumping on-the-go, we've rounded up some private or semi-private spots for you to feed your wee one while you're out-and-about checking things off our NYC baby bucket list.

Empowering Kids and Parents After a School Shooting

By Susan Jara

It’s a terrifying scenario that has become all too familiar: A gunman walks into a school and starts shooting. Parents rush to the scene and wait in desperation to find out whether their child survived. Some of them do not.

The shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is one of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. Since the tragic 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, more than 400 people have been shot at schools, according to the New York Times.

As a parent watching these tragedies unfold over and over again, I felt powerless, frightened, and bewildered as to how to discuss these events with my children—and really, how to keep them safe going forward. Many parent friends say they’re afraid to send their kids through the school doors every day in light of these mass shootings. We wonder: Are the active shooter drills they’re participating in even helping?

“Every day I leave the house, thinking, ‘What if something happens at my school or at my child’s school,’ says Jill Murray, a mom and social worker in a high school near Newtown, Connecticut. “What if this is the last time I see my son?”

So I sought the advice of experts to help guide myself and other parents through this. What can we do to keep them safe, and what can we do to prevent anxiety from taking over?

14 Best Indoor Birthday Party Ideas for LA Kids

There is a special kind of stress—both emotional and financial—that planning a birthday party can cause if you have kids born between the months of November and March. Oh sure, everyone struggles with the great birthday party question, but those moms who gave birth in LA in August are pretty safe claiming a corner of a public park or throwing down some blankets on the beach. If you have a December baby, you may have tried that, but at some point probably cried "Never again!" LA might not have a proper winter, but it has a proper Indoor Birthday Party season, if only for the sanity of the parents. Allow us to share some of our favorite options for entertaining the masses without stressing about the weather.

Glen Ivy Hot Springs: Where Playing in the Mud Is a Treat for Mama

Kids love getting into mud about as much as moms usually dread the sight of it. But don't make the mistake of reducing mud to a simple laundry nightmare. LA mamas have long found the mud baths at Glen Ivy Hot Springs to be rejuvenating, good for their skin and, yes, even fun to play in. You could invite your so-grown-up teen to take a spa day with you (no one under 16 allowed!), or you could just leave the posse with Papa and run for the hills on your own. Either way, a day escape to Glen Ivy Spa is an Angeleno secret worth knowing.

Ways to Meet Other Parents on Long Island

New to parenthood or to your neighborhood? Seeking to meet other parents like yourself? The winter months make it tough to get out and socialize. But don't worry, you don't need to take out a personal ad. Try these ideas to get up and out and meet new folks (and kids).

Remember, this list is a sampling of some of the largest groups, but certainly not exhaustive. If you don’t see your neighborhood on the list, search a Yahoo Groups directory for your area (or interest), adding “parents"  to the search. Also visit Meetup’s Parents and Family page.

For more creative play ideas ideas, check out our guide to indoors activities on Long Island.  

Changes Ahead: NYC Law Requires Diaper Changing Stations in Public Restrooms

It looks like New York City dads can no longer get out of diaper duty! Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a law Tuesday, January 9, requiring that new public buildings make diaper changing stations available to all New York City parents regardless of gender identification. That's right, baby changing stations will be coming to a men's room (or gender-neutral restroom) near you—and soon. As early as July, all new or recently-renovated public buildings in the five boroughs will need to provide this amenity to all parents or face fines of up to $1,600.

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