Crib notes

Crib notes: Selfish reasons to have more kids

April 18, 2011 at 3:15 PM ET

Are kids really cheaper by the dozen? In his new book, "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids," Bryan Caplan advocates kicking back, spending less, and procreating more. He cites studies that show the effects of parenting efforts are minimal. Thus, he argues, you can save money by skipping those Mommy & Me classes and ditching the language tutor; and use the money instead on a nice, big TV for you all to watch together.

"Elmo knows what Elmo's going to be when he grows up. Yeah, yeah, Elmo's going to be a -- financial planner or, or maybe a philanthropist." Everyone's favorite red monster is now giving kids lessons in financial literacy, teaching them to use money to save, spend, and share with those in need. In response to the Great Recession, Sesame Street has decided to create a series of educational videos for preschoolers, teaching them about the value of a dollar.

A new lunchroom in Colorado is serving students an incredibly green lunch - we're not just talking about vegetables. A private school in Colorado recently built a new cafeteria for its student body that not only received the highest certification for environmentally friendly building practices (LEED Platinum) but also encourages students to practice green consumption. Outside of the cafeteria, students will plant and care for fruit trees, which they will fertilize with compost created from the cafeteria's food waste. Later, the fruit from the trees will be used in meals served to the kids. Inside the cafeteria, students can see the herbs the cooks use, growing on a vertical wall.

Even if your child isn't going to be eating lunch in the country's greenest cafeteria, you can still make their midday meal a special one. Finding a note or an unexpected treat can brighten anyone's day. Here are some fun ideas for things to tuck into your child's lunch bag that are sure to make them smile.

It's fairly likely that every server at every family-friendly chain restaurant in America has gotten the memo to be extra careful not to serve alcohol to toddlers. However, kids, like adults, sometimes want something a little special in their glass when dining out. While the "Shirley Temple" long reigned as the go-to mocktail for kids, there's some new competition on the block. These drinks not only make a dinner out feel more festive but they're a nice alternative to soda, which makes everybody happy.

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