October 2010: Parental Guidance

Local news, tips and products for families
Hsia-Ching Chou brings cooking to kids

Ahead of the class

In the latest revolution to hit Seattle, the insurgents are kids armed with knives—and a desire to learn to cook. Called Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Seattle (JOFRS), it’s the brainchild of Suzuki+Chou PR maven Hsiao-Ching Chou, former Seattle Post-Intelligencer food editor and a regular contributor to the Balancing Act blog at Seattlemag.com. Chou started the grass-roots movement after watching the British chef’s TV series, which helped transform a West Virginia community’s eating habits. JOFRS’s goal is to get more wholesome food into homes by teaching kids basic cooking skills. To that end, Chou has organized free cooking classes for kids at local farmers’ markets (the next one is at the Queen Anne Farmers’ Market on Thursday, October 7, at 5 p.m.). She’s also offering private classes for families in their homes or classes for schools (details at jofrsea.com). “I hope to open a storefront kitchen,” says Chou, “where I can offer a series of kids’ and adult basic classes that will always be free, especially for those in need.”

/Ghouls in tulle
You want her to wear a Halloween costume, but your little prima donna won’t budge out of her 24/7 ballet tutu. May we present a compromise? A handful of local companies and mompreneurs are creating custom tutus that ooze girliness. At Seattle-based online retailer Chasing Fireflies (chasing-fireflies.com), tutus become ladybugs and bumblebees (each $40) and the utterly adorable Personalized Pumpkin (pictured above, $54). Queen Anne mom Dana O’Leary’s Baby Raindrops line (babyraindrops.etsy.com) features a darling, pixie-style Black Cat Double Layer Tutu ($40) made of loads of supersoft tulle. And sisters Colleen Kramp of Lynnwood and Meghan Fortier of Everett are the creators of Tiptoeing Tutus (tiptoeingtutus.com), where the Harvest Princess tutu ($17–$30) is the ultimate seasonal accessory.

src="http://www.seattlemag.com/files/image/main/LARGE/1010_pg_bike.jpg"Get a load of this
Eco-savvy Seattleites know the slickest way to tool around town with the family is on an SUB, or sport utility bike. Better known as longtails, these specialized bikes feature an extended, plank-like tail that creates space for all kinds of loads—including kids, if you add handlebars and foot rests. Ballard parents George and Kathleen Durham got an Xtracycle—a popular longtail brand—a few months ago and use it to cart their three children everywhere: to school, to the park, to the store. The Durhams have drastically reduced their car use and love not having to deal with parking issues. Another bonus: no more car-seat drama. The bikes, starting at $1,000, are available at Aaron’s Bicycle Repair (West Seattle, 6527 California Ave. SW; 206.938.9795).