Gender neutral

Chatter about gender neutral toys peaks as the gift-giving season gets into gear, and shoppers comment on the “pink princess” takeover of store aisles.

But gender neutral thinking has moved into the nursery. Have you noticed how, instead of blue or pink decor, expectant parents have become more fashion-forward?

Nursery decor now blends in with the rest of the house, driven by neutral and sophisticated color and design.

Simpler sex talk?

Transparent media coverage of teen moms and sexting should make it easier for parents to talk with tweens and teens about sex.

But is that happening IRL (in real life)?

I wonder how many parent-child conversations include discussions of body image, respect and healthy relationships.

Timeless Thanksgiving

A digital lifestyle has changed some aspects of shopping, but whether buying groceries for a casual meal with friends on Thursday or a traditional family Thanksgiving, the two elements that most limit food purchases are still time and money.

Some things never change.

Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving?

Are you celebrating two holidays next week?

An increasing number of Millennial parents will attend or host one traditional meal and a second event with “friends who are the family we choose.”

Is the definition of family more fluid than in the past or is the dual-holiday a sign that “family” is actually changing?

Under the cover

Have you ever purchased a book for your child, then discovered it’s a book you already have, but with a different cover?

In an effort to save development costs, an increasing number of children’s publishers are pulling “oldies but goodies” out of the files. If you look closely, you might see that the front cover has been redesigned or the color palette has been refreshed, but the content hasn’t changed.

Because it’s true that “you can’t tell a book by the cover,” be sure to open the book before buying.

Sneak a snack

Have you noticed the increasing number of snack size options at fast food?

Many of the minis are perfectly sized for kids and offer nice alternatives to the ever-present chicken nuggets.

Arby’s has sliders, Taco Bell has baby burritos and Sonic has little hot dogs and chicken sandwiches. Popeyes “RipnChick’n” is even fun for kids to tear apart!

Lunch box chatter

Is your child tired of lunch box fixings already?

Ask your student, “What did someone have in his lunch today that you would have liked to eat?”

That word of mouth recommendation might be just what the lunch box needed.

Researchers say that this fall, moms are prioritizing nutrition, so hopefully your child will answer the question above by saying, “Yogurt, string cheese and almonds!”