World Pneumonia Day, November 2

“It surprises most people to learn that pneumonia kills more children than any other disease – taking more than 2 million young lives annually,” former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and Save the Children Board member Bill Frist, MD and co-author Dr. Richard Sezibera, Rwanda`s Minister of Health, said in this week’s edition of The Lancet.

Image courtesy of Save the Children
Image courtesy of Save the Children

Pneumonia takes the lives of more children under 5 than measles, malaria, and AIDS combined. The disease takes the life of one child every 15 seconds, and accounts for 20% of all deaths of children under 5 worldwide.

To be quite honest, I can be included in the ‘surprised’ contingent.

Wear-Blue-Jeans-Vertical-JPEGInstead of the usual posts focusing on material goods, today I will be focusing on a much more serious issue.  If I can help it, I’m hoping to challenge my naivety and help spread the word by taking part in the Global Pneumonia Summit on the First Annual World Pneumonia Day today, November 2. Nearly 100 leading global health organizations from around the world are convening in NYC to recognize World Pneumonia Day to urge policymakers to help prevent and treat pneumonia.

I was recently tapped as one of the 5 top tier bloggers to attend this  event on behalf of Vicks, and I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of this fight. Vicks is an official member of the Global Coalition Against Childhood Pneumonia and has partnered with Save the Children to help and deliver treatment to children stricken with pneumonia all over the world. As part of this effort, I hope to absorb and share as much as I can, as part of this incredibly important outreach.

Join me as I live tweet and blog from the event to help educate and change the way the world responds to childhood pneumonia.

In the meantime, please feel free to read more about World Pneumonia Day, follow World Pneumonia Day on Twitter and if you can, wear blue jeans.


Yup, jeans.

To spread awareness about the single largest cause of death in children worldwide, netizens are urging everyone to observe it by wearing a pair of blue jeans.

Please stay tuned or follow me on Twitter for the latest updates from the Summit.

Free Fun with Halloween Photocraft

351663_4There are tons of great Halloween-themed apps out there right now, but Halloween Photocraft is a great, fun free app. With this app, you can either take a photo or use an existing photo and add all sorts of fun Halloween graphics.

After finishing your creation, I love how you can just Tweet it, Email it or add it to the photo library directly from the app. Easy peasy! Halloween Photocraft is a perfect app to use while you’re out and about enjoying all the Halloween festivities. This app is ad-supported, but best of all, it’s fun and free! Check it out in the App Store.

NKT Halloween Safety Tips

halloween_pumpkinThe spookiest time of year has finally arrived! Happy Halloween, everyone! As you put the finishing touches on the kid’s costumes (or if you’re like me, haven’t even started your own) let’s not forget the importance of safety. According to a report I read, statistics show that pedestrians are twice as likely to be struck by a car on Halloween night as they are the rest of the year. Not only are cars a concern, but so is the potential of getting lost.

There are plenty of sites and articles that offer advice on how to keep safe this weekend, but I thought I’d add my own two cents as well!
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PBS Kids Go Launches Fizzy’s Lunch Lab

With all this talk about eating healthy and reforming the nutrition standard of school lunches, has impeccable timing with the upcoming launch of Fizzy’s Lunch Lab.

Fizzy’s Lunch Lab is a fun new website (and more) geared to early elementary school kids that addresses smart food choices and living healthy. Through the silly animated adventures of Professor Fizzy and pals, kids can learn about the good, bad and not so yummy foods.

PBS said that the site will feature animated and live-action shorts, interactive recipes, food facts and games that are all geared to engage kids to make smarter food choices.

From the event I sat in on the other day, I learned that some kids really have no idea how to eat healthy. They know what they’re taught; and just like most things, the kids learn from example. I love the idea behind Fizzy’s Lunch Lab and how PBS leverages the web, humor and the quirky Professor Fizzy to engage and motivate kids. The graphics and dialogue are pretty impressive. Well, then again, it is PBS, so there’s no surprise there!

The site doesn’t officially launch for a few more weeks, but you can check out the site and see the above preview and also to get a feel for Professor Fizzy’s antics.
If you’re on Twitter, you can follow Fizzy’s Lunch Lab here, and where I just learned that they will be making an iPhone app as well!

Yum-O! Lunch Program Launches

I had quite the interesting morning; it was actually a super yummy morning! I’m in the midst of catching up on posts and organizing photos, but I thought I’d share a few photos from my morning with Rachel Ray and Sen. Gillibrand at P.S. 89 / I.S. 289 in Tribeca.


Together with a few other bloggers, I was asked to attend a media event for the launch of Rachel Ray’s Yum-o! Organization’s new partnership with New York City’s Department of Education, Office of SchoolFood. The Senator and Rachel Ray are both advocates of keeping kids healthy and fighting childhood obesity, and I’ll be sure to share more about what they had to say.


As much as I love awesome kid products, I’m just as passionate about learning and sharing about healthy eating and wellness, in general. I’ve written about healthy eating and the reform of nutrition standards here on NKT, and so, participating in this very informative event and to be able provide exclusive coverage on NKT was such an honor.

There’s much more to come!

Healthier School Lunches Should be a Priority

The subject of school lunches remains a hot topic in the headlines, and of course, it’s a timely topic for Wellness Wednesday.

In fact, yesterday, a report released by the Institute of Medicine suggested that school-provided lunches and breakfasts need to be improved and updated. I read a number of reports on the topic, but The Checkup on summed things up nicely.


The IOM, an independent organization (one of the four National Academies) that advise the federal government on health and nutrition matters, issued a report today outlining its recommendations for improving standards for the national school nutrition program, in which virtually every public school and the vast majority of private schools take part. The report comes a few weeks after the Child Nutrition Act expired on September 30; Congress is due to reauthorize it this session.

The new rules would, for the first time, establish an upper limit for calories (650 per lunch for kids in grades K-5, 700 for kids in grades 6-8 and 850 for those in grades 9-12).

Students should be served more fruit, only half of it in juice form; more leafy and orange vegetables but fewer potatoes; only 2 ounces of meat at lunch and 1 ounce in school-provided breakfast; more whole grains, and 1 percent or skim milk instead of whole or 2 percent.

The school lunch program’s current nutrition standards are based on the 1995 Dietary Guidelines for America — which were revised in 2005 and are again under revision, with a new set due next year. The similarly outdated 1989 Recommended Dietary Guidelines have since been supplanted by the IOM’s Dietary Reference Intakes.

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1, 2, 3, 4…

Probably one of my coolest blogger events to date is today’s destination: Sesame Street. I have butterflies and am filled with so much excitement; it’s almost surreal that, together with several other bloggers, I’ll be touring Sesame Street and learning all about their latest advancements. Best of all, I can’t wait to share everything I learn during my day trip to everyone’s favorite street. The only thing that would make this trip even MORE awesome would be if I could bring my Sesame Street-loving kid along, too! Next time…

For now though, I thought I’d share one of my all-time favorite songs from Sesame Street, Feist singing the Counting Song! This one makes me smile every time!

I’ll be back with the word on the street. Enjoy!

Where the Wild Things Are Opens Today

Well, it’s here! It’s opening day for Where the Wild Things Are! The classic children’s book by Maurice Sendak, which was adapted for film by Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers features Max whose imagination leads him to wild places. Reviews so far have been positive, and I can’t wait to see for myself. I highly doubt my little guy will sit through the entirety of this movie, even though some reviews are saying it’s for “all ages.” Either way, I’m crossing my fingers that we get to check it out soon! Does anyone else plan on seeing this?
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Let’s Get Wild!

41nUsRyPaJL._SS500_As I’m sure you’ve seen, I’m pretty wild about the Where the Wild Things Are book and movie! As a kid and now adult with a wild imagination, I hold the premise of this beloved classic so close to my heart.

For years, there have been tons of shirts and paraphernalia paying homage to Max and his wild buddies, though I’ve had a hard time finding unique kiddie shirts. I did, however, find a cute shirt that would be great for tween girls. With its pink lettering that reference the book and movie spelling out, “Let’s Get Wild,” it’s still girly and innocent, but I particularly love the beasts running amok among the letters.

This t-shirt is by Junk Food, one of my faves for the kid, so I expect it would have that vintage-y look and feel, meaning that it’s thin and comfy. It comes in sizes S-XL for juniors and retails right around $20 on Amazon.

Where the Wild Things Are Video Game

There’s been so much hype for the opening day of one of my most awaited movies, and rightly so!  The movie, Where the Wild Things Are, which is set to release this Friday, is directed by Spike Jones and adapted by Dave Eggers–two of my favorite creative minds. I planned on talking more about this exciting movie later in the week, but in the meantime, I thought I’d mention that the video game is already out.

wildthingsvideogameIn The Where the Wild Things Are video game, players take on Max’s perspective and explore the island, dangerous terrain and battle fierce, er, lovable creatures. The video game follows the same premise as the beloved book, but with a modern twist. The graphics are mysterious, exciting and absolutely incredible. Based on the trailer below, this game looks like something big kids and parents will enjoy.

This video game is rated E10+ and is available for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS.