5 classic pairings of holiday films and food

Looking for a fun family activity on a cold winter’s night? How about dinner and movie, holiday-style? If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the week before Christmas, may we suggest the following five food and film pairings? The movie: “White Christmas” The food: Vanilla Snow Ice Cream, Snow Angel Cupcakes […]

5 ways to make the North Pole Express the ride of your life

Mark Nelson, executive director of the Heber Valley Railroad, likes to joke that his favorite part of the North Pole Express is “when it’s over.” The themed holiday train ride is a massive, complicated — and quite impressive — undertaking for the historic railroad. More than 150 employees and community members work to transport guests […]

5 outrageous things moms aren’t supposed to do

Spend a little too much time on social media, and you’ll realize that Mom Shaming is both real and sad. Here are just a few of the ridiculous things moms have been getting in trouble for doing lately: 1. Brexting Yes, this really is a thing, as in a laughable term for texting while breastfeeding. […]

10 critical safety tips for Halloween night

Here’s a holiday fact that’s really scary: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year, according to the Washington, D.C.-based organization Safe Kids Worldwide. To keep your little ghosts and goblins safe this spooky season, follow this advice […]

10 family-friendly Halloween happenings in Utah County

Looking for a Halloween event that won’t scare the screams out of your little monsters? There are plenty of G-rated venues in Utah County. Here are just a few of the places where you can have a happy — and not so scary — Halloween: 1. Cornbelly’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Festival When: Daily except […]

10 traditions to help children love general conference

The semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the perfect time for faith, family — and food. Here are 10 traditions to help children and youth stay engaged as they hear talks from church leadership. 1. “Meet” the speakers Children and teens may be more likely to pay attention […]

10 ways to help picky eaters

Tired of mealtime drama? Sometimes picky eating is more than just frustrating behavior: Children who are intensely picky (or selective) eaters are more than twice as likely to develop depression and anxiety than those with normal eating habits, according to a study published in August in the journal Pediatrics. While only about 3 percent of […]

15 books (and series) for boys who hate to read

If your son hates to read, don’t despair, say local librarians. Maybe he just hasn’t found the right book (or series!) yet. Here, three Utah County librarians give their top picks for books that will spark literary love in reluctant readers. FOR GRADE-SCHOOLERS Picks by Joella Peterson, children’s services manager at the Provo City Library […]

12 ways to make the first day of school special

Most Utah County children are headed back to school this week. It doesn’t take much money or time to make your child’s first day special. Just a love note here or a school-bus-shaped Twinkie there is all it takes to score high marks in fun. “Twas the night before …” 1. Eat a final feast […]

8 ways to stretch your back-to-school dollar

The last few weeks before school starts can be a spendy time of year. But if you want to earn an “A” in savings, here are a few tricks you won’t find in a textbook. UtahValley360.com talked to three popular Utah bloggers to get their advice on back-to-school savings. Janica Ellsworth is a 29-year-old mother of […]

5 ways to help your children catch the pioneer spirit

It’s hard to say enough good things about the Latter-day Saint pioneers who crossed the plains to Utah. They were committed, spiritual, hardy, tough. Every year, Utah celebrates that unbreakable attitude July 24, but you don’t have to brave long parade lines in Salt Lake to honor the state’s forbearers. Here are a few easy […]

5 things I gave up to be a happier mom

Gluten, flour, sugar, Diet Coke, food I can actually taste. Just kidding. I love gluten. And sugar. I would never give those things up. In fact, a nighttime pint of Ben & Jerry’s is often my reward for surviving another summer day with four kids at home. But there are a few things as a […]

Utah Valley Magazine named best magazine in Utah; UV360 earns 8 awards from SPJ

Utah Valley Magazine was named the best magazine in the state for 2014 by the Utah chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at last night’s banquet. Bennett Communications, which publishes Utah Valley Magazine, also claimed second place in the best magazine category with Utah Valley BusinessQ. In total, Bennett Communications earned 14 awards at the annual event. “I […]

Making the cut: 7 dos and don’ts for parenting young athletes

There’s nothing like watching your kid play pee-wee sports. But are parents ruining their children’s athletic careers before they even begin? In the United States, three out of four kids quit youth sports by age 13, according to Luis Fernando Llosa. He is a co-founder of the website Whole Child Sports and co-author of the […]

15 ways to disguise summer learning as fun

Here’s a little parenting secret: Your kids don’t want to do math worksheets right now. Summer, in all its popsicle-and-pool-party glory, is calling. Good luck getting your kids to think about parallelograms and the periodic table. But the cruel thing about it is, children need to keep learning in the summer. Otherwise, they face a […]

6 ideas for thoughtful teacher presents

School is almost out, but there’s still time to earn an “A” in one elective: gift giving. When thinking about what to give that special teacher in your child’s life, think useful and thoughtful. Although it’s easy to run out a scented lotion or a mug filled with candy, try to focus on personal gifts that won’t clutter […]

Talking to your tween: 7 surefire ways to connect

Ah, the tween years. Even the name is angst-y. If you’ve got a daughter who is, as Britney Spears put it, not a girl, not yet a woman, you may be wondering what on earth to do with that lovely (strange!) creature. Utah County residents Rachelle J. Christensen and Connie Sokol know a thing or […]

3 common (scary!) childhood illnesses that can often be treated at home

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series about children and the emergency room. Fever, vomiting and diarrhea, a snotty cold: There are a few common illnesses that sometimes make parents panic unnecessarily, according to emergency room doctor Randle Likes. He’s been in practice for 13 years and has worked at Timpanogos Regional […]

Doctor’s orders: 5 ways to keep your kids out of the ER

Kids. They’re into everything, ready to grab a stool and dump all the flour the minute you turn your back. But while some kinds of mischief are merely annoying, others are dangerous. Utah Valley 360 talked to Dr. Randle Likes about common childhood injuries he sees in the emergency room, and what you can do […]

You’re doing it wrong: 6 reasons you aren’t losing weight

We Americans like to diet. An estimated 45 million Americans diet each year, spending $33 billion annually on weight loss products, according to Boston Medical Center’s Nutrition and Weight Management Center. Still, nearly two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. So what’s the problem? Actually, there could be several, says Mindy Probst, […]

5 Utah County daytime activities for parents and tots

No park? No problem! When it’s too cold to comfortably play outside, Utah County offers a number of toddler-centered classes and activities perfect for whiling away the winter hours. Whether you and your child like to read, roll, jump or kick, there are plenty of local activities to keep you both occupied for a morning. 1. Jump on It Mom […]

5 amazing Utah spring break destinations for families

Move over, California. If you’re looking for the perfect vacation spot for this spring break, it may be closer to home than you think. Check out these beautiful, family-friendly destinations in the Beehive State. 1. Moab   If you like beautiful red rock scenery — and who doesn’t? — Moab is a hiker’s paradise. About 190 […]

Dirty secrets: UV360 survey shows how often readers clean

If you’ve ever wondered whether the amount of laundry you do is excessive, or how often other people really change their sheets, the answers may surprise you. Utah Valley 360 conducted an online poll of readers’ cleaning habits, asking how frequently people did things like vacuum, mop, clean toilets and fold laundry. The survey found […]

10 simple ways to help your kids eat more fruits and veggies

What if getting kids to eat more produce was as easy as switching up their schedules? A new study published in the journal Preventive Medicine studied 2,500 Orem elementary school children and found that those who had recess before lunch consumed 54 percent more fruits and vegetables than those who had it after. Sometimes it’s […]

12 ways to save big on groceries (without coupons!)

Want to save money on groceries but don’t have the time or ambition for extreme couponing? There are still simple, easy changes you can make to your shopping habits that will pay off big at the checkout counter. 1. Never, ever shop without a list Write out a detailed list with all the ingredients you’ll […]

A two-letter word that means ‘yes’ for your kids

Like maybe all women ever, I have a hard time saying no. Want me to sell 400 pounds of cookie dough for a football fundraiser? Hand paint 29 bunnies for the class Easter party? Perform that clogging solo when the actual dancer caught the flu? Call me, send an email, pass around a clipboard and […]

Mom’s secret Christmas wish list

As a mom, you get some great gifts for Christmas: Crock-pots, Popsicle-stick Christmas tree ornaments, aloe-infused socks. But some of the most precious, meaningful presents are things that can’t be placed in a stocking or wrapped up with a bow. Family, if you are stumped by what to get me this year, I’ve got a […]

10 easy ways to be the best holiday host ever

During the holidays, you might feel as though you’re playing host more often than David Letterman. Whether you are organizing a party or having weekend visitors, the key to being a great emcee/entertainer/inn keeper is putting others at ease. Here are a few suggestions from local experts to make you the host (or hostess) with the most […]

Sticking it to Santa: When a child stops believing

My 9-year-old doesn’t believe in Santa anymore. I know this because he told me, and I think it might be partly my fault. Or all my fault. The problem is that in my house Santa and I communicate directly. And Santa has a hard time keeping his mouth shut. For example, when my 9-year-old said […]

Santa’s ride: North Pole Express brings Christmas magic to rails

Wondering if you’re on the right track this Christmas? Why not hop a train to Santa’s village and ask the big man himself? Heber Valley Railroad’s North Pole Express is a yearly holiday tradition beloved by many. This year, more than 18,000 people are expected to take a 90-minute train ride through Heber Valley to […]