Kids

The Back-to-School Style Primer

From smocked dresses to seersucker backpacks, shop these local resources for all the best in clothing and supplies.

For the MDO Babes

Baby Bliss

Mother’s Day Out may be the first time you’re dropping off your baby. (Tears of joy or panic?) The ladies at Baby Bliss know exactly what you need. Bottles and pacifiers galore, Little Giraffe lovies, Kanken backpacks, and nap mats in every color. Their clothing selection for littles includes Egg Baby bubbles, Splendid separates, and feather prints for boys. Don’t forget to grab a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins for your toddler.
Also check out: JoJo Mommy for The Nursie nap mats, Mint seersucker lunchboxes, and classic smock bubbles and dresses.

For the Preschool Tots

Hip Hip Hooray

This Snider Plaza mainstay has classic style down with its selection of smocks, seersucker, bubbles, and dresses from well-known brands like Anavini, Florence Eiseman, and Feltman Brothers. The pros here help you decide on the perfect accessories, from bow to saddle shoes. They’ve also mastered the art of the monogram. Have them help you select a backpack and lunchbox with a custom design that suits your little one.

Get the Look

Princess Charlotte single-handedly brought the smocked dress back. You’ll see the likes of Elizabeth Chambers Hammer’s daughter, Harper, sporting them around Highland Park.

For the Big Kids

Mini Me

Baby Bliss’ sister store offers the cutest looks for your elementary student and tween. The racks are full of playful prints for girls from Tea, Splendid, and Roller Rabbit, as well as coveted accessories, including pompom headbands, sparkly emoji clips, and bows upon bows. For boys, find Chaser printed tees, preppy Mayoral plaids and khakis, and the ever-popular Native shoes. You can also stock up on gear. We love the State backpacks, Yumbox bento boxes, and Petit Collage water bottles.
Also check out: The Little Things in Lakewood for Swig water bottles and Elliott pencils and cases.

The Lunch Bunch

children school lunches

Pediatrician Hillary Lewis is on a mission to help parents reframe the way they think about feeding their children, including the oft-dreaded chore of packing school lunches. “I want you to enthusiastically anticipate the opportunity to nourish the mind and body of your school-age child,” Lewis says. Before you stock up on Lunchables, read on for her favorite products and tips or follow @hillarylewismd on Instagram.

Encourage your child
“Remember that your attitudes toward food and lunches will translate to all those around you, especially your children,” Lewis says. When talking with your children, impart the message that food is fuel and encourage them to take good care of their bodies. She gives this example: “Mom and Dad know you are so capable. We want your lunch to nourish your mind and body so you are equipped to be your best self at school.”

Simplify the process
It shouldn’t take you all night to pack a lunch. “A great lunch goal would be to include one thing from these five categories: a vegetable, a fruit, a protein, a complex carbohydrate, and a calcium source.” Here are some of her favorites from each category:

Vegetable: carrots, edamame, celery
Fruit: apples, bananas, blueberries
Protein: hummus, nut butters, meat
Complex carb: Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins, Dave’s Killer Bread
Calcium source: Babybel cheese, Stonyfield smoothie yogurt

Make some simple smart swaps
“Blue Diamond Nut-Thin crackers, for example, are an easy swap for plain crackers,” Lewis says. “They offer protein and fiber. RW Garcia sweet potato crackers are also a smart swap because kids can enjoy the crunchy saltiness of a cracker while also getting the benefits of great ingredients like chia seeds and sweet potatoes.”

Take it slow
If this all feels overwhelming (or perhaps you’re used to throwing Doritos and Oreos in the lunchbox), Lewis encourages you to start with a single substitution. “Small changes over time will be meaningful for you and your family. It is never too late to begin fostering healthy habits with your children.”

Get Personal

Kris Ammon has always loved tapping into her creative side. While she worked in marketing for Neiman Marcus, the artist took on projects such as calligraphy and illustrating. But when a friend asked her to paint on one of her handbags, a new business idea emerged. “I ended up loving it, and that really took off as my main service,” Ammon says. She launched KCA Design in 2017.

Ammon works primarily with leather and exotics (think designer handbags), but she will whip up a custom design or three-letter monogram on school staples—backpacks, totes, lunchboxes, and glass water bottles. She can also paint on a denim jacket, creating a truly unique piece for your little one’s fall wardrobe. (Prices start at $150 // kcadesignco.com)

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