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Easter is quickly approaching, and families everywhere are looking for a feast for families and friends without the fuss to celebrate the arrival of spring.  As a family-owned company for more than 40 years, Soulman’s knows that keeping meals easy and delicious affords more time to create long-lasting memories and traditions with loved ones. 

Brett Randle, CEO of Soulman’s Bar-B-Que, says “Soulman’s Bar-B-Que is firmly rooted in Great BBQ, Great Service and Great God. This Easter, our 18 North Texas locations are here to provide hassle-free homestyle meals for families to enjoy at their own table.”

Soulman’s is offering a classic Easter feast including: 2 pounds of hickory smoked sliced ham, paired with Soulman’s signature sides including homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, dinner rolls, bar-b-que sauce and an entire pecan pie. A limited number of meals will be available for pick up by appointment only on Saturday, April 11 at all 18 locations. The Soulman’s Easter Dinner costs $39.99 and feeds 4-6 people and is available either hot or cold for heat and serve later. To order, email amber@soulmans.com or call 214-354-9921. All 18 Soulman’s locations will be closed on Sunday, April 12 in observance of Easter. 

For more than 40 years, Soulman’s Bar-B-Que has satisfied the hardest to please bar-b-que lovers….Texans! Founded in Pleasant Grove, Texas in 1974, Soulman’s had only a few simple goals—serve great Texas-style BBQ and offer friendly, sincere service.  Soulman’s original family recipes are still the foundation for the company’s success from their 8 different types of meat that are smoked “low & slow” over only hickory wood to their famous homemade sides, including Ranch house beans and Texas style cream corn! Throughout the years, this family-owned and operated company has remained true to its original strive for success and customer satisfaction and is honored to be considered one of the Top Bar-B-Que Chains in America (2018). 

Soulman’s currently owns and operates 18 North and East Texas locations in AllenCedar HillForneyGarlandGreenvilleHurstLancasterLewisville, Mansfield, MesquiteQuinlanRockwall I-30Rockwall GoliadRoyse City Sulphur Springs, TerrellVan and Wylie. To learn more about Soulman’s Bar-B-Que, visit them online at http://www.soulmans.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/soulmansbbq.

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Goodwill Dallas, a leading social enterprise, is stepping up to support the Dallas medical community. Goodwill has partnered with Dallas County Health & Human Services, Methodist Health System and Parkland Health & Hospital System to collect critically-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) – including homemade masks. The drive will run through Thursday, April 30.

“We are really good at collecting donated items. We normally do it to help provide jobs and job training for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. But today, we can use those same capabilities to support our community’s response to fighting COVID-19,” said Tim Heis, President & CEO of Goodwill Industries of Dallas.

North Texas residents who have new and unopened personal protective equipment, as well as homemade masks, are encouraged to donate at any of Goodwill’s 23 Donation Centers across Collin, Dallas and Denton counties.

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price expressed gratitude to the community for supporting our healthcare professionals. “We’re thankful to our friends at Goodwill and our generous community for coming together in this critical moment to deliver these much-needed items into the hands of our local hospitals,” Commissioner Price said.

Dallas County Health & Human Services, Methodist Health System and Parkland currently have an adequate supply of products as well as plans to handle any spike in patients who have COVID-19. This measure is meant to simply add even more safety stock to their supply and provide a channel for the public to help.

“We have a bird’s eye view of how COVID-19 is affecting our community and we are prepared to deploy resources quickly, including these donations, to where they are needed most in our community,” said James R. Pogue, Sr., Strategic National Stockpile Coordinator for Dallas County Health & Human Services.

Goodwill is collecting the following:

• Hand sanitizer (all sizes)

• Antibacterial soap

• N95 masks

• Surgical masks

• Surgical caps

• Foot/shoe covers

• Industrial masks

• Disinfectant wipes

• Medical latex-free gloves

• Eye protection goggles

• Medical face shields

• Powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR) and

PAPR hoods

• Medical protective gowns (water-resistant)

• Disposable food-grade gloves

• Thermometers (non-contact digital)

• Homemade fabric masks

All items can be donated daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at a Goodwill Donation Center. For a full list of Goodwill Donation Centers, refer to www.goodwilldallas.org. Donated items will be quarantined and cleaned according to current medical recommendations, and then distributed to Dallas County Health & Human Services, Methodist Health System and Parkland.

North Texas residents who have new and unopened personal protective equipment, as well as homemade masks, are encouraged to donate beginning April 2 daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at any of Goodwill’s 23 Donation Centers across Collin, Dallas and Denton counties.

Goodwill Donation Center Locations by County:

Collin County

605 S. Custer Rd., Allen, 75013

3939 Ohio Dr., Frisco, 75035

6104 Alma Dr., Plano, 75023

1600 Independence Pkwy., Plano, 75075

2129 W. Parker Rd., Plano, 75023

2501 E. Plano Pkwy, Plano, 75074

Dallas County

2116 E. Belt Line Rd., Carrollton, 75006

3030 N. Josey Ln., Carrollton, 75007

1919 N. Haskell Ave., Dallas, 75204

18230 Midway Rd., Dallas, 75287

3020 N. Westmoreland Rd., Dallas, 75212

6464 E Mockingbird Ln., Dallas, 75214

5941 Forest Ln., Dallas, 75230

1661 E. NW Hwy., Garland, 75041

451 W. I-30, Ste. 100, Garland, 75043

3106 N. Shiloh Rd., Garland, 75044

2935 N. Belt Line Rd., Irving, 75062

4621 Gus Thomasson Rd., Mesquite, 75150

515 W. Campbell Rd., Richardson, 75080

 

Denton County

2440 S. I-35E, Denton, 76205

919 W. Main St., Lewisville, 75067

901 W. Round Grove Rd, Lewisville, 75067

3750 Main St. (FM 423), The Colony, 75056

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Soulman’s Bar-B-Que announced a month-long BBQuarantine Super Chuck Wagon giveaway at all North Texas locations.  Each Super Chuck Wagon has two pounds of meat, four sides, six slices of Texas toast and BBQ sauce.  

“For more than 40 years, North Texans have devoured our Super Chuck Wagon for special occasions and family gatherings. Now, they can bring a little soul home.  Every Soulman’s location, every week, will gift a Super Chuck Wagon to groups or families on our social media outlets,” says Baylea Trulove, Director of Marketing for Soulman’s Bar-B-Que.

To enter,  visit Soulman’s Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/soulmansbbq.

All 18 North Texas Soulman’s Bar-B-Que locations are offering “to-go” options. Here’s how you can still get Soulman’s low-and-slow cooked meats to you and your family: 

•          At all locations, you can order at the counter or call-in for takeout only: Guests can still come into the restaurant and pick up their orders to-go. 

•          Delivery through DoorDash and UberEats apps are available at both Rockwall locations, Greenville, Mesquite, Forney, Mansfield, Garland, Hurst, Terrell, Wylie, Allen and Lewisville. 

•          Drive-thru is available at the Soulman’s locations in Greenville, Allen and Terrell.

For more than 40 years, Soulman’s Bar-B-Que has satisfied the hardest to please bar-b-que lovers….Texans! Founded in Pleasant Grove, Texas in 1974, Soulman’s had only a few simple goals—serve great Texas-style BBQ and offer friendly, sincere service.  Soulman’s original family recipes are still the foundation for the company’s success from their 8 different types of meat that are smoked “low & slow” over only hickory wood to their famous homemade sides, including Ranch house beans and Texas style cream corn! Throughout the years, this family-owned and operated company has remained true to its original strive for success and customer satisfaction and is honored to be considered one of the Top Bar-B-Que Chains in America (2018). 

Soulman’s currently owns and operates 18 North and East Texas locations in AllenCedar HillForneyGarlandGreenvilleHurstLancasterLewisville, Mansfield, MesquiteQuinlanRockwall I-30Rockwall GoliadRoyse City Sulphur Springs, TerrellVan and Wylie. To learn more about Soulman’s Bar-B-Que, visit them online at http://www.soulmans.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/soulmansbbq.

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News about the coronavirus, the respiratory infection, also known as COVID-19 is prompting communities across the country to ask citizens to practice social distancing and employees in non-essential businesses to work from home. As news of the novel virus continues to develop, The American Pregnancy Association is here to help expecting mothers stay healthy during this pandemic with the following tips: 

  • Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and the differences between it, allergies, flu and a common cold. 
  • Practice good hygiene and social distancing 
    • Effective handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick and spreading germs. Remember to keep your hands away from your face. 
    • Avoid large crowds and stay away from sick people. 
    • Viruses spread through contact with other people and COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets – think sneezes and coughs.
    • If you must leave your home maintain a 6 ft distance from yourself and others. When leaving the house, use gloves and sanitizing wipes to clean before and after you touch a surface or come in contact with someone.
  • Keep in touch with your doctor
    • Your doctor knows your current condition, health risks and can provide the best recommendations for you. They may be able to take care of prescriptions and other needs by phone or video chat. 
  • Track your health & keep medical documents on hand
    • The myFetalLife app is recommended by the American Pregnancy Association. This app helps track your vitals, including blood pressure, weight changes, gestational diabetes, and your baby’s growth. You can transmit all this important information to your doctor and use it during your remote visit. You can also ask the app questions confident the answers are coming from the American Pregnancy Association. 
    • You can opt-in for myFetalLife premium nurse monitoring. Registered nurses will use doctor-approved care plans, monitor your health indicators and provide guidance as needed. This is ideal for first-time moms and moms who haven’t yet selected a doctor.  
    • Keep your medical records on hand just in case the outbreak disrupts your normal health care services.  
  • Clean & disinfect your home and commonly touched surfaces
    • You’re probably doing a great job cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects, but don’t forget the light switches, microwave and refrigerator handles. 
    • Even baseboards can harbor germs when you have small children. 
  • Pay close attention to your mental and physical health
    • Enjoy the benefits of exercise. Exercise will help your mood, improve your sleep and help generate more energy for all the cleaning you’re doing. Not sure how? Try an online yoga, dance or light weights exercise video. 
    • Enjoy nature. Fresh air and sunshine help your body metabolize key nutrients like Vitamin D. 
    • Read engaging stories and watch uplifting movies to brighten your mood. 
    • Treat yourself with Nightfoods’ Nighttime Ice Cream. This pregnancy-friendly ice cream can be delivered directly to your door with free shipping available with code PREGNANT. 
    • Cook new nutritious recipes. Safe Catch has delicious recipes featuring salmon and tuna. Check out their ahi tuna nachos and crispy pan-fried salmon tacos.

The American Pregnancy Association (APA) is a national health organization committed to promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness through education, support, advocacy and community awareness. Founded in 1995, APA currently serves more than five million women and families a month from over 70 countries through their website, online chat and toll-free education helpline.

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Balekian Hayes, PLLC is pleased to announce the promotion of Justin Whiddon to partner at the highly-regarded family law firm based in Dallas. In this role, Whiddon will continue to serve as a trustworthy and aggressive advocate for clients during a divorce. 

“Justin is a remarkable attorney, who is dedicated to fighting for his clients and their children,” says Kris Balekian Hayes, president of Balekian Hayes, PLLC. “His dedication to our clients and core values coupled with his unmatched expertise is evidence that he has what it takes to serve as a partner at the firm. As a team, we are firmly rooted in growth through advocacy and Justin is a key part of that commitment.”

Whiddon began his career at Balekian Hayes three years ago as an associate attorney. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and his Doctor of Law degree at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (Texas A&M University School of Law). Outside of the office, Justin enjoys playing golf, spending time with friends and family, and watching America’s team – the Dallas Cowboys. 

About Balekian Hayes:

Led by Kris Balekian Hayes, the family law attorneys of Balekian Hayes PLLC are dedicated to fighting for their clients and their clients’ children. From contested divorces to child possession disputes, to out-of-court mediation and arbitration proceedings, the firm provides the knowledge and expertise needed to help people during what can be one of the most stressful times in their lives. To learn more about Balekian Hayes, visit https://www.bh-pllc.com/.

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The Warren Center, a nonprofit agency providing professional evaluations, therapy services and support to children and families impacted by developmental delays and disabilities, has announced two new board members to begin serving the organization in 2020: Kathaleen Bauer and Chris Holm.

Kathaleen Bauer 

“As a new board member, I am extremely impressed by the many services provided by The Warren Center and the caliber of staff and volunteers dedicated to this organization,” said Board Member Kathaleen Bauer. “The Warren Center serves our community in many ways and I am eager to support more programs like Bridge Group. This unique program facilitates the transition from the home to a structured, preschool setting, for children 32-36 months of age to help prepare children for their first day of school. During biweekly classes, therapists work with children to separate from parents more easily, transition smoothly between activities, participate in typical preschool activities (storytime, music, snack, and crafts), and increase expressive and receptive communication skills.”

 

Kathaleen Bauer is Senior Vice President of Murphy & Sylvest, LLC, a firm which assists individuals and closely-held business owners in the determination of and the accomplishment of their financial goals. She is a long-time member of the Altrusa of Downtown Dallas, Inc., where she has served at the club level as president, vice president as well as chair of multiple committees and projects. She has also served as District Director and Treasurer of Altrusa International Inc. of District Nine. She serves on the Board of Trustees of The Warren Center, is on the Executive Board of the Southern Methodist University Libraries. Kathaleen is a member of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®).

She is a past board member of the Arthritis Foundation, Dallas region, where she served on the executive committee, as secretary, as Planned Giving Chair and as chair of annual “Commitment to the Cure” breakfast two years in a row. She is a past board member and secretary of the Endowment Foundation for the Tejas Girl Scouts Council.  She is a past member of the eWomen Network. She is also a past member of Women in Film and the Dallas Producers Association. She was a Charter Member of the Women’s Museum. Kathaleen is a past board member of the Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Dallas and was the 2012 Chair of the PURSES WITH A PURPOSE third annual special event, sponsored by Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Dallas.  

Originally from California, Kathaleen is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®), is Certified in Long-Term Care Planning (CLTC®) and holds a 65 license and also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University.

Kathaleen and her husband, John Bauer, have one daughter and three grandchildren. They are members of Ferndale Club, the SMU Mustangs Club and the Highland Park United Methodist Church.

Chris Holm

Board Member Chris Holm said, “The Warren Center's mission is noble and very much needed in our community. The kind of support they provide is unlike any other organization in our area. My family and I were recipients of ECI services several years ago — and it was highly impactful to us at the beginning of our journey dealing with learning disabilities and other chronic conditions. We're grateful we found The Warren Center early in this process, it's already changing our own family’s outcomes. I hope I can help TWC continue making a positive difference for the thousands served each year.”

Chris Holm currently serves as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for The Perot Companies, a family-owned enterprise comprised of multiple private companies and business units, including Hillwood and other Perot family interests.  As CIO, Chris is accountable for delivery and evolution of all IT services and systems to the enterprise’s dynamic and entrepreneurial businesses. Chris was previously the Director of IT Risk, Security & Quality for TXU Energy, a Texas-based deregulated electricity retailer, where he was responsible for systems & service security, IT risk management and overall IT quality delivery to stakeholders and customers.  

Prior to TXU, Chris was an Associate Director at Protiviti, leading IT Process Improvement and Security services in the Southwest while supporting engagements globally. He focused on IT governance, IT service management, information security, and IT audit in nearly every industry. Chris started his business career at Arthur Anderson in 1999, after a military career in the U.S. Army culminating as a Captain in the Corps of Engineers, with leadership positions in combat and engineering units around the world.  He is the recipient of the Army’s Meritorious Service Medal and multiple peacetime awards.  

Chris is a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and received his MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1999.  He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for The Warren Center and his local Homeowners Association Board.

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Soulman’s Bar-B-Que is bringing back the dish that Men’s Journal called, “One of the most inventive french fries in America” – the awe-inspiring Frontier Fries. Priced at just $8.99, this layered hearty snack is available at all 18 North Texas Soulman’s locations for a limited time.

“We love our guests, and our guests love Frontier Fries. So, we keep them coming back for more! At Soulman’s, we take bar-b-que seriously, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun testing out new combinations. Frontier Fries is the result of successfully matching our time-tested low and slow smoked pork with heaps of cheddar cheese and the rich taste of our own signature bar-b-que ranch dressing.” said Soulman’s Bar-B-Que CEO Brett Randle.  “We are also giving Frontier Fries fans the ability to kick up the heat with our new Hickory Heat bar-b-que sauce, too.”

The return of Frontier Fries comes after the record-breaking success of the Soul Bowl, released five short years ago and now a permanent menu item at all North Texas locations. The ZAGAT-recognized Soul Bowl is made with a base of FRITOS® Corn Chips and topped with homemade pinto beans, cheddar cheese, pulled pork, smoked sausage and bar-b-que sauce. Guests can even add more Soul to their Bowl with jalapeno peppers, banana peppers or Soulman’s own pico de gallo.

“Year-round favorites like the SoulBowl, complimented with tasty innovations like Frontier Fries are part of the menu mix that makes Soulman’s one of the Top Bar-B-Que Chains in America (2018),” Randle said. 

See Soulman’s CEO describe Frontier Fries in this VIDEO.

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Nightfood, Inc. (publicly traded under the ticker OTCQB: NGTF), the better-for-you ice cream company addressing America’s $50 billion-dollar nighttime snacking market, has announced that Nightfood ice cream is now formally being recommended by the American Pregnancy Association as the ice cream expectant women should turn to when experiencing pregnancy-related cravings.

The American Pregnancy Association (APA) is a national health organization committed to promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness through education, support, advocacy and community awareness.  Founded in 1995, the APA currently serves over five million women and families a month through their website and toll-free education helpline.

“Over 130,000 visitors daily turn to the APA website for information about pregnancy health, nutrition, preparing for the birth experience, naming their baby, and more,” commented APA President Lynn Handley.  “We’re thrilled to be able to recommend Nightfood for those cravings that inevitably hit for most women.  With more protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and less sugar, fewer calories, and with ingredients to tackle nighttime heartburn, Nightfood is a more nutritionally appropriate ice cream for pregnant women than anything we’ve ever seen on the market, based on recommendations from The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Mayo Clinic, and general expert consensus on prenatal nutrition.” 

According to the APA, ice cream is the food most closely associated with pregnancy cravings.  In a 2017 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics and Mother Care titled ‘Food Cravings and Aversions during Pregnancy’, the authors reported, “the most popular items craved were ice cream and other sweets, watermelon, tropical fruits, and fruits/juices”.  The study also reinforced the importance of following a healthy diet during pregnancy, and how difficult that can be in the presence of these unhealthy cravings, which are “usually met with consumption of the craved food”.

“As consumers across the country have been learning about and embracing Nightfood, we noticed an increase in social media posts from pregnant women,” observed Nightfood CEO Sean Folkson.  “Consulting with our experts, we discovered that our unique formulation, among all other ice creams on the market, best aligns with the specific nutritional needs women have during pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association agrees, and now Nightfood is formally recommended as the single most appropriate ice cream for moms-to-be and their cravings.”

Expectant moms are in a period of great transition, highly motivated to make lifestyle changes to benefit themselves and their baby, while sharing and consuming massive amounts of information.  Cravings are an iconic hallmark of pregnancy, yet few available solutions are formulated to be healthy and tailored to the expecting mother. Ice cream is the food most powerfully connected to pregnancy cravings. Now pregnant women can feel better knowing there’s one ice cream recommended by the APA that can satisfy their cravings while also delivering key functional nutritional benefits for both mom and baby.

“With ice cream being pretty much synonymous with pregnancy cravings, I think it’s great that there’s finally an ice cream brand that I can confidently recommend to my patients,” remarked Dr. Jill Hechtman, MD, FACOG OB/GYN.  “Nutrition and sleep play an important role in every pregnancy.”

Nightfood ice cream is currently available at Harris Teeter (a division of Kroger), Lowe’s Foods, and online at BuyNightfood.com.  Additional supermarket chains are expected to add Nightfood in 2020, including divisions of Albertsons, and other regional and national chains.

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For parents with special needs children, a vacation is an excellent opportunity for their family to experience joy together while creating positive associations and fun family memories, which can help them get through stressful times. Traveling also offers opportunities for special needs children to practice and improve social and communication skills while simultaneously promoting their cognitive growth. 

However, families with special needs children may avoid traveling due to the many challenges that could arise along their journey. Navigating provisions and accessibility for hotel accommodations, attractions, and modes of transportation can be a daunting task for special needs parents. The following tips provided by the experts at The Warren Center can help special needs parents overcome challenges associated with traveling: 

Create a travel kit  

  • Pack a lunchbox with a few of your child’s favorite foods, so hunger doesn’t add to the stress of traveling. Also, pack your child’s favorite toy, book, or tablet to help keep your child entertained. 

Air travel tips

  • Let the airline know you are traveling with a special needs child and try to book a seat together near the front of the plane or near the bathroom. 
  • Introduce your child to flying by reading books about airports and airplanes, watching videos, or planning a visit to an airport to get them more familiar with the process. Some airports have created mock flights or may allow families to do a walkthrough or practice airport situation before the big travel day. 
  • The TSA has a helpline for individuals with special needs called TSA Cares. Travelers may call 1-855-787-2227 before traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.  When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide information about screening that is relevant to the passenger’s specific disability or medical condition, or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA. TSA recommends that passengers call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel so that TSA Cares has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager located at the airport when necessary.

Traveling by car

  • Sit in the backseat with your child to limit distractions to the driver and create closer access to your child if they need assistance or want to be entertained. 
  • Plan for frequent stops to restock snacks, take bathroom breaks, and reduce crankiness from lack of exercise. 
  • Try shorter road trips first to help your child get acclimated to road trips. Practice by taking short 3-hour road trips before driving across the country. 
  • To keep your child safe and secure in the car, consider putting covers on the buckles in the backseat, and keep the child lock on so that the rear doors cannot be opened from the inside. Also, make sure your child is safely secured in their car seat and that it is installed correctly. You can make the car seat more comfortable by adding a layer of quilt batting underneath the seat cover.

 

Hotel 

  • Some hotels may provide equipment such as shower chairs or hospital beds, but you must call and speak to the hotel manager in advance of your trip. You can also rent equipment locally during your stay.
  • Most major hotel chains offer wheelchair-accessible rooms with accessible bathrooms, but they must be reserved in advance. Families who enjoy camping may buy or rent an extra-large tent for wheelchair accessibility.

 

For families that are unable to travel over spring break. The experts at The Warren Center rounded up their favorite sensory-friendly activities across the DFW Metroplex to create a fun staycation.

Dallas Zoo

  • Each quarter, the Dallas Zoo welcomes those with sensory-friendly needs and their families for a “Sensory-Friendly Day.” Sound adjustments, sensory activities, and quiet zones are provided throughout the zoo. Check their events page for the next Sensory-Friendly Day. Additionally, the Dallas Zoo offers sensory bags, equipped with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads will also be available to those who may feel overwhelmed by the environment. Dallas Zoo guests will also have exclusive access to a dedicated sensory room designed by medical professionals during designated Sensory Friendly events for those who may need a quieter space. Guests can pick up a sensory bag at the Information Booth across from the Endangered Species Carousel.

Crayola Experience Plano

  • Head to the Crayola Experience in Plano for Sensory Sundays. This fun, hands-on attraction is great for the entire family and is offered every month on Sundays from 9 to 11 a.m. They host special morning programming for kids and families looking to experience the attraction adapted just for sensory needs with accommodations including, dimmed lights, music will be turned off and quiet spaces.

Ann Eisemann Inclusive Playground

  • The Ann Eisemann Inclusive Playground is an 11,000-square-foot Parks & Recreation amenity located in Richardson’s Cottonwood Park. The park features: separate play areas for ages 2-5 and ages 5-12, a poured-in-place rubber safety surface, four types of swings, including traditional “belt” swings and “tot buckets” as well as high-backed, plastics seats that provide added support, and two-person swings, in which a child and an adult face each other, an adaptive merry-go-round, in which children can sit in molded plastic seats next to children who are standing,  double see-saw and a tire swing, two “roller slides,” which provide faster movement and more muscle/joint sensation, adjacent, accessible, family-style restroom with a drinking fountain and a sensory garden. The playground also includes concrete walkways and an extensive ramp system, which provides access to decks, climbing equipment and slides. It is open daily, sunrise to sunset.
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In honor of National Snack Food Month in February, The American Pregnancy Association wants to help expecting mothers make the healthiest choices possible when it comes to enjoying treats between meals. Healthy eating during pregnancy is critical to a baby’s growth and development. Women must eat from a variety of food groups, including fruits and vegetables, bread and grains, protein sources and dairy products to get the nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy. 

“Most days, we need a snack or two to make it through the day, and if we make nutritious choices, snacking can make a positive impact on our overall health,” says American Pregnancy Association President Lynn Handley. “Typically, mothers will need to consume an extra 300 calories a day to help with the development and growth of their child. To help expecting mothers make healthy choices, we made a list of our favorite snacks.” 

The American Pregnancy Association recommends these healthy and delicious snacks that mothers can enjoy anytime:

Snacks packed with calcium 

  • At least 1,000 mg of calcium is needed daily to support a pregnancy. Calcium is essential for building healthy teeth and bones, normal blood clotting, and muscle and nerve function. 
  • Consider trying Greek yogurt with granola, oats or mixed berries, cottage cheese (with any toppings, or as a salad dressing replacement), or cherry tomatoes with mozzarella and basil.

Fruits and veggies

  • Pregnant women need at least 70 mg of Vitamin C daily, which is available in fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and honeydew, and vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, and Brussel sprouts.
  • Consider trying apple slices, carrots, or celery dipped in peanut butter; cucumber (or any veggies) dipped in hummus or pepper slices to dip in guacamole.

Protein-packed snacks

  • Meat, poultry, fish, eggs and beans contain the protein, B vitamins and iron needed in pregnancy. A developing baby needs plenty of protein, especially in the second and third trimesters. Iron helps to carry oxygen to the growing baby, and also carries oxygen to the mother’s muscles to help avoid symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, irritability, and depression. The U.S. RDA recommends consuming about 27 mg per day.
  • Consider trying hard-boiled eggs, mixed nuts or Safe Catch Elite tuna that is made for pregnant women and children. Safe Catch invented a new technology to become the only brand that tests every fish to a strict mercury limit. 

 

Satisfy your sweet tooth 

  • A nutritious diet during pregnancy means avoiding fat and sugar, to help fight those sugar cravings the experts at Nightfood Ice Cream developed eight flavors of ice cream that are packed with protein plus prebiotic fiber, digestive enzymes, amino acids and a special mineral blend that includes magnesium and calcium. 
  • Each scoop provides glycine to help suppress acid reflux, prevent sugar spikes while being sleep-friendly. It has less sugar, fat and calories to satisfy your sweet tooth while maintaining a healthy diet.

“Pregnancy is the one time in your life when your eating habits directly affect another person. Your decision to incorporate delicious vegetables, whole grains and legumes, lean protein and other food choices into your eating plan before and during pregnancy will give your baby a strong start in life. Without a doubt, a nutritious, well-balanced diet can be one of the greatest gifts you give to your developing baby.”