In the News and Around the Web: Jan. 31

0411_sandwich_regEditor's note: With this post, we're trying out a new weekly digest of stories of interest we're following  -- trends and news you can use. Got a tip? Write

- School lunches get a makeover: has a good summary on this long-awaited change to USDA guidelines for school lunches that was announced by Michelle Obama last week. In short, we can expect more whole grains, fruits and veggies, low-fat or nonfat milk, and a limit on sodium and calories. Overall, this seems  like a big win for kids and families, though Time's Healthland columnist asks the age-old question -- does presenting more sides of broccoli equal eating more broccoli? -- and suggests that smart meal planning is critical to getting kids to actually eat the healthier food.

- According to numbers released by the CDC on Thursday, home births are on the rise since 2004. What probably won't surprise you is that the Northwest is a hot spot: Montana and Oregon have the highest percentage of home births, with Washington and Idaho also among the states with the highest rate.

- We're late on this, but this year's Caldecott and Newbery Award winners were announced last week: The title that won the Newbery Award was Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos, a story of an 11-year-old boy set in 1962. A Ball for Daisy, a wordless book by Chris Raschka, won the Caldecott Medal. Lots of other youth literature awards were also announced. Full list is available on the ALA site.

Quick takes:

- Is dadphobia a real phenomenon?

- An Aveeno baby lotion recalled for suspicious bacteria levels -- and a Britax infant car seat.

- Seattle Mama Doc on three excellent topics: new research on what TV does to kids brains; preschoolers and physical activity (or lack thereof); and how to help your baby sleep through the night.

- An argument for not restricting online access for teenagers.

- Why Gingrich's wish to scrutinize IVF clinics is not the worst idea, according to Seattle-based Healthland columnist Bonnie Rochman.

- Is car culture hurting our kids' independence?

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