Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Kim Taylor

July and August mark the heart of sunscreen and beach book season. Here’s a roundup of parent-tested sunscreens to slather on backs, faces and arms – and some family books to pack for the beach or the pool. First, the sunscreens, so parents can relax – knowing they have summer covered.

While your children frolic in fiery sun, you’ll want to keep them well-protected from harmful UV and UA rays. Banana Boat offers a line for kids that repels sand and is light and dry: Kids Dri-Blok, with SPF 30. Not only is it not greasy and water-resistant, it smells of fresh bananas and coconut. Banana Boat’s Sun Wear SPF 50 daily sun-block lotion is great for everyone in the family, especially a boating family, and features anti-aging extracts of bamboo and pea for skin elasticity.

Supergoop is an awesome new brand name in the kids’ sunscreen arena, developed by a physician and approved by both pediatricians and dermatologists. Hypoallergenic, paba-free, and with a SPF of 30, Supergoop containers fit in your palm, pocket or purse and are easy to tote. Lip balm is available as well at http://www.supergoop.com.

If you want to go” green”, try Australia’s Soleo Organics SE Formula, with no chemical UV absorbers, no titanium dioxide and no synthetic preservatives. Rife with botanical extracts, it’s great for children of all ages and adults, hypoallergenic, water-resistant and has an SPF of 30. Throw some shrimps on the “barbie” and stretch out in the sun, Cobber!

Desert Essence offers sunscreen towelettes with SPF 30, jojoba, vitamin E, waterproof protection, perspiration proof protection, and enough sunscreen for one towelette to cover an entire adult body. There are 25 towelettes to a package, and this is a viable alternative for those who prefer towelettes to cream.

Once everyone’s protected from the searing rays of the sun, here’s a roundup of books to enjoy when lounging around.

Anyone who is interested in nutrition will find The World’s Healthiest Foods -Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating by George Mateljan fascinating, and it’s ideal for parents who want to ensure that their kids aren’t part of America’s climbing obesity rate. (Check out at http://www.whfoods.com). It’s an enormous book, dense with information and recipes, and you won’t be able to put it down. Two other books on nutrition youa re sure to enjoy are The Best Natural Foods on the Market Today by Greg Hottinger and What Should I Feed My Kids? by Ronni Litz Julien. With this trio of great reads, you can ensure that your family is not only well-fed, but healthy as well.

On the medical front, if you want a glimpse into the astounding future of medicine and health, tuck David Jay Brown’s Mavericks of Medicine in your beach bag. This unpredictable collection of interviews with 22 physicians and researchers will astonish.

For the 8 years old and under crowd, there’s the inventive Unversaurus by Professor Potts, which tells the story of dinosaurs in a thoroughly unique and engaging manner. Scribble by Deborah Freedman is another charming hit with children who love princesses and to draw. Older children and tweens will find Eileen Spinelli’s Summerhouse Time to be captivating. This tale of a family in flux will resonate with many tweens, as will Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford. Any child who has had homework to complete over the summer will be able to relate to Moxy. Order all of these books from the comfort of your air-conditioned home at http://www.randomhouse.com/kids.

Random House.com also has a vast selection for toddlers. Books such as The Police Cloud by Christopher Niemann, One Naked Baby by Maggie Smith, and How to be a Baby by Me The Big Sister by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sue Heap, help kids hone counting and socializations skills.

May your summer skies be blue, all sun be safe, your food be tasty and delicious and your beach books entrancing.

Originally published July 2007
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