Family F.Y.I. (March 2011)

Dosage Split Recommended for MMR and Chickenpox Vaccines

On the heels of two studies suggesting that a combination vaccine against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox doubles a child’s risk for febrile seizure, the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that kids have their first dose of these vaccines as two separate shots.

One vaccine would cover measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and the other would cover varicella (chickenpox).

The original vaccine combining MMR with varicella, brand name ProQuad, was first licensed in 2005 but didn’t become widely available in the United States until 2009. Studies have since found that the incidence of febrile seizures with the combo vaccine is small but significant enough to warrant the CDC recommendation to separate the shots. About two of every 2,500 children who receive the MMRV vaccine have febrile seizures, according to the studies, compared with one of every 2,500 who have MMR and a separate shot for varicella.

Febrile seizures – convulsions brought on by fever – usually occur in children 6 months to 5 years old. About one in every 25 children will have a febrile seizure, and while they can be terrifying for parents, the majority of these are harmless.

Most kids receive their first doses of MMR and varicella vaccines when they are 12-15 months old, with a booster shot at age 5 or 6. The CDC continues to recommend the combination vaccine (MMRV) for the booster as long as the child has no family or personal history of seizures.

Learn more about the CDC recommendation in this online report at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/ mmwrhtml/rr5903a1.htm.

– Christina Elston

Check it Out Inspire Me! Make Women’s History Month Real

Elinor Smith knew she wanted to be a pilot when she first soared through the skies in a wooden flying machine at the age of 6. At 17, she realized her goal and took an incredible flight under all four bridges of New York’s East River in 1928, something that had never been done before.

Soar, Elinor! by Tami Lewis Brown (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010) is the exciting story of the youngest licensed pilot in the United States and a girl who refused to give up. Not everyone thought that girls should fly planes, but Elinor overcame criticism from pilots and newspapermen with strength and hard work, and is an inspiration to all young women.

You can download the Soar, Elinor! online activity kit at www.tamilewisbrown.com. The kit, which includes a board game, word search and crossword puzzle, is designed to introduce children to important women in American history. Timely activities since March is Women’s History Month. The book itself is also packed with historical information on the history of aviation and women’s rights. Reading it may even inspire your little girl to climb to new heights!

– Sarah Niss

Who Was Anne Hutchinson? Local Woman’s History Month Model

No doubt you’ve driven on the Hutchinson River Parkway. But did you know the parkway is named after Anne Hutchinson? Anne Hutchinson was a pioneer of religious freedom in colonial times whose conviction and intelligence make her an inspiration, even today. Hutchinson and her husband emigrated from England in 1634 with the promise of freedom and opportunity in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, or modern day Boston. Hutchinson was a nurse and a leader of regular intellectual women’s meetings. It was in these meetings that Hutchinson developed a religious philosophy that contradicted the ideals of the Massachusetts Bay clergy. While the church argued that the clergy is necessary for communicating with God, Hutchinson stressed the importance of having a personal relationship with God, free of outside influence. In 1637, Governor John Winthrop found Hutchinson guilty of “traducing moral law” for spreading her heretical views. When Hutchinson refused to recant after living in exile for two years, she was formally banished from the Colony and fled to modern-day Rhode Island. Because controversy followed her to Rhode Island, it was not until she moved to Pelham Bay, N.Y. that Anne Hutchinson found a home.

Anne Hutchinson faced a trial, exile and the unknown, holding fast for what she believed was right. So the next time your family is stuck in traffic on the Hutch, take a minute to talk about Anne Hutchinson and the strength it takes to fight for what you believe in.

– Sarah Niss


Corned Beef and Cabbage From Whole Foods Market

Corned beef doesn’t get its name from the grain corn, but instead from its being preserved in brine. The brine was made using “grains”, or corns, of salt, thus corned beef. And it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without corned beef and cabbage!

Serves 6, with leftovers


5 pounds corned brisket or beef

6 whole black peppercorns

3 carrots, halved or quartered

3 onions, halved or quartered

1 medium-sized green cabbage, quartered


1. Place corned beef and peppercorns in enough water to cover meat. Cover the pot or kettle, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 hours or until tender, skimming occasionally.

2. During the last hour, add carrots and onions and cover again.

3. During the last 15 minutes, add cabbage.

4. Transfer meat and vegetables to a platter. Some folks like to brush a tad of melted butter over the vegetables, but we’ll leave that up to you. Serve with boiled potatoes, cooked separately.


Per serving (about 22oz/639g-wt.): 840 calories (510 from fat), 56g total fat, 18g saturated fat, 58g protein, 19g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 10g sugar), 205mg cholesterol, 4670mg sodium.

Whole Foods Markets are located in White Plains at 100 Bloomingdale Road and in Connecticut at 150 Ledge Road in Darien and 90 E. Putnam Ave. in Greenwich.