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Last-Minute Tax Filing Tips for Parents

If there’s anything that might make changing a dirty diaper seem like a better option, it’s sitting down to tackle taxes. But, like those dipes, it has to be done. And just so you know: really soon. The good news? There are plenty of tax benefits to be had from those adorable little deductions—ahem, kids—of yours. “It can easily be thousands of dollars’ worth,” notes Lisa Greene-Lewis, lead CPA, American Tax & Financial Center at TurboTax.

“My Daughter Wants to be a Boy!”

On the first day of school after winter break, all of the girls at my daughter’s preschool were sporting their new Christmas duds: Sarah with her pink cowboy boots; Jane in her sparkly cardigan; and my daughter, dressed in her white button-down shirt (“like Daddy’s”), draped over a Spiderman t-shirt, and her navy clip-on tie with a pattern of white reindeer. She had asked Santa for a solid black tie, but we couldn’t find a toddler tie quite so…adult.

What Not to Say to Friends Without Kids

Confession: Before I became a parent, parents annoyed me. A lot. All they did was complain about how tired they were, or how lucky I was to not have kids, followed—oddly—with incessant clucking about how “time was running out” for me to embark on the amazing journey of parenthood myself. I vowed that if I ever became a parent, I’d never subject my childless pals to these preachy speeches. Then, in 2010, I gave birth—and, on cue, all the laments and pious musings I once hated hearing from parents came gushing out. 

5 Surprising High-Sodium Foods

Most kids eat way too much salt, with overweight kids most at risk of developing pre-hypertension if they overdo it, says a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Buy foods with 150 mg of sodium or less per serving,” says registered dietitian Joy Bauer. “If you tame a child's taste for salt, you'll do her a lifelong favor.” Here, five sneakily salty foods, and go-to alternatives:

Cheerleading Safety Tips

Go, Fight, Win! If cheerleading brings back memories of cute uniforms and pep rallies, you may be envisioning the same fun future on the sidelines for your daughter. But cheerleading has evolved into an intense sport that rivals gymnastics when it comes to skills and football when it comes to serious injuries like concussions and spine injuries, prompting the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to release a new policy statement.

Would You Let Your Kid Try MMA Fighting?

Jeff Pineda’s eight-year-old daughter, Aalijah, spends every day after school in the gym.  Ten hours a week, the pink-loving third grader from Anaheim, California, steps into a cage to perfect her skills in jujitsu, wrestling, and kickboxing. Some parents might wince watching these sessions; after all, Aalijah gets repeatedly pummeled by fists and kicked hard in the ribs. But the level of physical contact isn’t unusual--it just comes with the territory of being ranked #1 in the country in youth mixed martial arts for her age and weight.

Hidden Sources of High-Fructose Corn Syrup

You can't sugarcoat this: The latest research on high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) affirms that consuming fructose can affect an area of the brain that controls appetite, causing you to not feel full and potentially eat too much. But the bad rap isn't just due to its chemical makeup. “The worst part about this substance is its ubiquity. It's cheap to make and ends up in nearly all processed foods, so kids' sugar consumption is off the charts,” explains Robert Lustig, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco.