Top 5: Allergy-Friendly After-School Treat Stops
1. Shake off the day at Cully’s cozy whole-foods café Tiny Moreso and tuck into a Rawdacious mini-cake — GF, vegan, raw and available in a rainbow of flavors from pumpkin to blueberry coconut.
2.Over on Alberta Street, Back to Eden’s bakery-café serves up a mighty assortment of plant-based, vegan and gluten-free goodies (the cupcakes and soft-serve sundaes are standouts) and employees are trained in preventing cross-contamination.
3. Sweeten up the prospect of mall errands with a stop at Jamba Juice — you heard that right! Kids snack safely at this smoothie mega-chain, thanks to an established allergen protocol and nut-free blenders on request.
4. Rushing to the next thing? Bribe your kids into submission with a slice of Swiss roll or a peanut-butter power bar to go from the Lloyd District’s Gluten Free Gem.
5. And, yeah, we can’t stop talking about the Pearl’s Little Bean, whose chickpea-sourced ice cream and cones make for virtuous after-school snacking, sans dairy, gluten, soy or nuts. (The chickpea milk is also on point.) — Erin J. Bernard
Kids to Know: The Do-Gooders
Kids these days … they get a bad rap, but many of them are out serving their communities. Case in point: two of Oregon’s top youth volunteers, Milwaukie’s Shayla Montgomery and Beaverton’s Jasmine White, both of whom were honored at the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards in Washington, D.C., last spring. (In addition to the trip to D.C., both girls received $1,000.) Shayla, a senior at Clackamas Middle College, started a social-media campaign, #StandUp, motivated by her own experiences of being bullied. It supports other kids struggling with the same issue. She’s also working to address the problem by speaking to schools and community groups about the lasting effects of bullying. “I believe that as a society as a whole, we need to learn to love ourselves,” says Shayla. “Most people who bully are people who are facing their own hardships or insecurities.”
And 14-year-old Jasmine White, a ninth grader at The International School of Beaverton, got inspired by her Girl Scout troop’s volunteer session at a veterinary clinic that offered free care to the pets of people affected by homelessness. She started collecting used T-shirts and tennis balls, which she fashioned into pet toys to donate. She also set up 14 training sessions to teach how to help others make the toys. Then Jasmine produced kits with enough materials for 260 toys so that groups such as scout troops, classrooms and transitional-living facilities could create the toys together. Pet owners got to keep their finished product, with the rest going to the Cat Adoption Team and Portland Animal Welfare Team, which helps pets of people experiencing homelessness. If you’d like to get a kit for a group, you can contact Washington County 4-H at 503-821-1119 and ask for a Pet Toy Making Kit. — Denise Castañon
Good Deeds: Book Club
Read a book once to a kid, and you’ve shared a story. But give a book to a child? You’ve given them an escape, a window on a different world, a place to return to again and again. The Clackamas Bookshelf, a Gladstone-based nonprofit, aims to collect and clean donated children’s books and then redistribute them to kids in need. The books are made available to kids all over Clackamas County — in North Clackamas, Molalla, Oregon City and elsewhere. There are lots of ways to help with The Clackamas Bookshelf’s mission. You can donate books — even adult books, which are sold to help fund the nonprofit. You can host a book drive. You can buy books for grown-ups at their once-a-month sales, held on the second Saturday of the month from 10 am-2 pm at their headquarters, 17777 Webster Rd., behind Kraxberger Middle School. Or you can volunteer to attend a “cleaning” party. This is a perfect first volunteering experience for kids as young as 4, who love books and will be thrilled to recognize some favorites as they help wipe down board books, tape up torn covers on picture books and sort the donations. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about volunteering. — Julia Silverman
Brave New People Clothing Line
Who: Brianne Mees, co-founder and co-CEO of Tender Loving Empire, an emporium of Portland creativity with five store locations and a record label, and mom of 7-year-old July and 2-year-old Piper Mees.
What: Mees recently launched the kids’ clothing line Brave New People, which features playful designs and whimsical sayings on T-shirts and onesies. “July was solely responsible for pushing through our two shirts with glitter ink. She insisted that she and her friends would only like them if they were sparkly.”
Why: “We had been making children’s apparel and accessory items ourselves to sell at Tender Loving Empire since we had our first daughter 7 years ago, but we recently realized that our childrens’-product line had taken on a voice and a point of view of its own,” says Mees. “To do the products justice, they needed their own identity. At TLE, we’re always looking for ways to support our community and use our creativity and resources for good. We loved the way a children’s line ties directly to donating to child-centered nonprofits.”
10 percent of all Brave New People profits through December will go to Make-A-Wish Foundation. Then they will pick another nonprofit to donate to. Find Brave New People at all Tender Loving Empire locations and online at tenderlovingempire.com/collections /bravenewpeople. — D.C.
In the Know: Swipe Up
While PDX mamas have been using the Peanut app to make geographically desirable, like-minded mom friends for some time, the app has just officially launched in Portland. That means Peanut will offer additional services for moms in PDX and more chances for them to meet their new besties. Find out more at peanut-app.io. — D.C.
Getaway: Silver Falls
Battling back-to-school blahs? Get on forest time at Silver Falls Lodge & Conference Center, tucked inside sprawling Silver Falls State Park, 24 miles east of Salem. Sleeping options include camping, basic/luxe cabins or suite-style lodges, whose individual guest rooms open onto cozy communal spaces. (Pro tip: request a meal plan package; a full culinary staff on site equals options galore, from packed lunches to buffets — no subpar mess-hall fare here.)
Even if your crew’s not up for hard-core hiking, it’s easy to fill a fall weekend at this 9,000-acre park, whose temperate rainforest stays green well into October. Free bike rentals are available for overnight guests, and the lodge offers guided horseback riding, no experience necessary. Clamber into crow’s nests, explore anthill tunnels and pound a vibration drum at the park’s Nature Play Area, a kid-calibrated interpretive adventure. Or sample the Trail of 10 Falls by parking at the South Falls Trailhead and walking the mile-long, stroller-friendly loop, which meanders right under the shimmering South Falls. On your way out, peep the South Falls Café’s menu of locally sourced food and drink. And save some energy for after sunset, when campfires and marvelous starscapes blink on. — E.J.B.
Ask Dr. Doug
Q: School is starting soon, and my younger daughter seems really anxious about going back. She’s going into third grade. What should I be looking out for? Any other tips for back to school?
Fall is here, and that means crisp mornings, rain and back to school. While the first day of school usually fills parents with a sense of pride (and relief!), for some kids the transition can be tough.
A degree of nervousness is completely normal. If your daughter’s worry seems to bother her or you, I’d reach out to your pediatrician. Remember: Anxiety is one of the most common behavioral health issues kids face, and it often pops up around 6 to 12 years old.
If there is a new school involved, making a dry run to the classroom is often helpful. Call the school and discuss any concerns if you’re worried there might be an issue in the first few weeks — many elementary schools have counselors who are incredibly helpful for our little ones.
Usually bedtimes are lax in the summer, so try to get sleep back on track. Many kids are very sensitive to sleep deprivation — and rather than yawn and ask for more coffee, they usually get irritable and moody. Start by getting to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you hit your target bedtime. Most third graders should be getting 10 to 11 hours of sleep at night in order to not feel tired during the day.
Stock up on tissues and Tylenol, because school also means germs. Teach the elbow cough early and often. School schedules are usually tight, so sometimes a hand-sanitizing wipe in the lunchbox is the best we can do before eating. Back to school is also a great time to make sure kids are up to date on their immunizations. Vaccines are safe and they work.
And don’t forget getting to school safely. I see far too many kids riding in the front seat or without a booster. Remember that children under 13 should ride in the back seat, and should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the seat belt fits properly. That’s usually when kids are 4 feet 9 inches tall and around 8 to 12 years old.
One last tip: Now is a wonderful time to start a nightly gratitude practice with your daughter. One of my favorites is “rose, thorn, bud,” in which each night at bedtime, we reflect on what made us feel good or thankful that day (rose), what we wish went better (thorn), and what we’re looking forward to tomorrow (bud). Try not to fix anything — just reflect, empathize and snuggle. If your daughter has a rough first few days, use this time to point out what she just did — that she is brave, and that she can do hard things. This is the way we build resilient and connected kids.