Healthy Back to School Lunch and Snack Ideas



School Lunches have to appeal to the eye. I have found the most success with setting up a child’s lunch like an appetizer sampler in a Bento Box. A Bento Box is a container with multiple compartments.

 

Try to include protein, healthy fats and color: fruit/veggie in each meal.

 

Some lunch examples include:

1. Hummus, chopped veggies, rolled nitrate free cold cuts, and almond thin crackers or pita chips.
2. “make your own pizza” pita bread, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, spinach, turkey pepperoni, with a side of fruit.
3. Yogurt parfait- Greek yogurt with rolled oats or a low sugar granola, fresh fruit and chopped nuts.
4. Sliced apples, peanut or almond butter, hardboiled egg, 1-2 oz. cheese, and mini English muffin or bagel.
5. Corn Chips, guacamole, salsa, rolled chicken nitrate free deli meat, and ¼ c trail mix with dried fruit and nuts.
6. Black bean soup (or chili, or vegetable soup) in a thermos, wheat crackers and chopped fruit.
7. Cold cut sandwich on Ezekiel bread with veggies and hummus with a side of chopped fruit and 1-2 tbsp. nuts.
8. Chopped fruit, nut butter and a homemade protein muffin.
9. Chicken or tuna salad with wheat crackers, spinach, and a side of chopped fruit.

 

 

School lunches can make or break your child’s overall performance in the classroom and any after school activities that they participate in.  A school lunch that is loaded with processed ingredients and sugar will leave your child with a spike in blood sugars, providing a quick burst of energy followed by a drop in blood sugars, making them want to sleep in class and they will have minimal energy at after school activities.

 

The key to a perfect school lunch is balance and it also has to appeal to your child.  Children truly eat with their eyes and if it does not look good then they probably will not eat it.  Pack lunches in bento boxes and compartmentalize with cupcake silicone reusable “cups”.  For younger children who love to pick, pack finger foods like grapes, carrot sticks, cheese squares, trail mix, hummus and/or a sandwich. This is like a mini appetizer plate or a protein box that is sold at coffee shops. It can also work well for older teens and even adults at work, in the car or at their desk.

 Get them involved with the planning process.




 

Have them decide what kind of protein they would like, examples include:

• Nitrate free lunch meat
• Boiled eggs
• Greek yogurt
• Tuna/chicken salad

 

Then have them choose their favorite fruits, veggies:

• Apple slices
• Carrot sticks
• Cherry tomatoes
• Cucumbers
• Mandarin Oranges
• Celery

 

Last but certainly not least choose a healthy fats like:

• Hummus
• Guacamole
• Nuts
• Trail mix
• Nut Butter (almond, cashew or sunflower)

 

If your child is actually involved with the planning process they will feel like they “own” the lunch and will be less likely to throw away things that they do not want.  Teachers and cafeteria staff report that fruits and vegetables end up in the trash in most school cafeterias.

 

When you are packing the lunch, keep balance in mindand make sure to include protein, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats.  Limit processed grains and empty calories like cookies, crackers, and juice.  If they like dessert then pack a piece of dark chocolate.  Removing items that are high in sugar like juice and cookies will increase their ability to focus in classes after their lunch period.  It has been reported that over 12 million American children are medicated for Attention Deficient Disorder (ADD).  Sugar and excessive carbohydrates magnifies symptoms of ADD in children, healthy fats like nuts, and oils help reduce symptoms of ADD.

 

Always pack water over juice, all humans should aim to drink at least half their body weight in ounces of water per day, even more for those who are active.  It amazes me that student athletes will not drink any water at school all day long and then practice out in the sun sweating after school for 2 or more hours.  A dehydrated athlete will have a hard time focusing and more importantly could pass out from heat stroke or suffer from other dehydration symptoms.  Packing a large water bottle is the best thing you could send with your child EVERYDAY. All natural Hydroxide alkaline water is even better at reducing their chances of being fatigued and/or dehydrated. The best one I found is AQUA-OH!. It is all natural, comes as a concentrate and is the least expensive yet most efficient one out there. It actually eliminates acids (H+ ions) by the hydroxide (OH-) combining with it and forming water. This helps drastically reduce inflammation (much of which is caused by consuming sugar) which is a problem for all ages. It also helps clear the detoxification pathways which is very helpful for children and adults. Since it is a concentrate, let them help make it, you can add Stevia or fruit. This helps them take ownership of the water. 

 

Lastly make sure you keep the lunch at a safe temperature, this is often overlooked. Always pack the lunch in an insulated lunch bag or box with 1-2 ice packs depending on how big the lunch is. Sometimes kids have 4 or more hours before lunchtime, and they store their lunch in a locker that is outside in the heat.  If perishable items reach a dangerous temperature they will be exposed to harmful bacteria and could get your child sick.

 

As a parent one of the simple things we can do to keep our child healthy is nourish them with fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, proteins and optimal hydration.  Developing a healthy nutrition routine will carry over into their adult life decreasing their risk for developing chronic diseases that are related to weight gain such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and thyroid complications.

 

Always focus on color (both fruit and vegetables), high quality protein, and heart healthy fats. See the options listed below.

• Twist on PB&J (2 slices Whole grain bread, 1-2 Tbs. all natural almond or cashew butter and all natural fruit spread or better yet real berries + 1 apple + 1 serving carrot sticks with 2 Tbs. hummus for dipping.
• Lettuce Wraps with nitrate free deli chicken or turkey, tomatoes, spinach, 1 oz cheese and mustard + 1 c chopped melon + and ¼ c nuts or homemade trail mix
• 1 serving almond crackers + ½ c chicken or tuna salad + 1 banana + 1 c cucumber slices with salsa or hummus for dipping
• 6-8oz Greek yogurt + ½ c all natural granola + ½ c berries and 5 celery sticks with all natural peanut/almond or cashew butter and raisins (ants on a log)

 

 

A great resource for children’s lunches and recipes is 100daysofrealfood.com and The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice.

 

Snack options can be one or two of the items listed in the lunches above.

 

• Yogurt and fruit
• Hummus and chopped veggies
• Berries and nuts
• Sliced apple and cheese
• Trail mix with dried or fresh fruit
• Rolled deli meat with cheese and veggies
• Protein muffin

Written by:

Dr. Keith Kantor, a leading nutritionist and CEO of the Nutritional Addiction Mitigation Eating and Drinking (NAMED) program.

DIY Kids Kite Craft + Printables





It can be a struggle to get the kids out of the house, especially in the summer. We’ve all tried weird and creative ways to get them outside and moving around, but usually within 20 minutes it's back to the couch and electronics. Fine! Challenge accepted.

One thing I’ve found to work getting the kids involved is making some crafts. Better yet, crafts that can be used outside. I’m talking about DIY kites! Let your big kids help craft them (there is some minor sawing necessary), and the little ones decorate. Getting children involved in the creation process of their very own craft will help them feel a sense of pride and ownership of the final product! They’ll be excited to go play.

To get started with some inspiration, begin with these printable kite decorations from Personal Creations. Have your kids choose from the goofy faces, ocean critters like stingrays and octopuses, or funny sayings.

If your kids like painting like mine do, let them add their own designs! Use crayons, glitter, stickers, whatever else they like. Have them decorate the paper before making the kite so they have a flat surface to create.

Alright, here are the steps to making the rest of the kite.

You will need:
  • Two ¼ inch wooden dowels 
  • 36 inch wide sheet of paper 
  • Masking tape
  • Roll of twine (at least 65 ft long)
  • Ruler 
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil 
  • Hand saw 
  • Kite printables + other decorations


Step 1: Cut your wooden dowels with the saw, one to 24 inches long and the other to 33 inches.

Step 2: With the saw, make divots in the end of your dowels. Later on, the string that holds the outside of the kite together will rest in these divots.

Step 3: Make a mark 11 inches from the top of your long (33”) dowel. Place the shorter (24”) dowel across the mark to make the “t” shape.

Step 4: Use the twine to wrap the dowels where they meet. You can reinforce this with hot glue if needed.

Step 5: Tie one long piece of twine from one end of every dowel to the next, making sure it lies in the divots at the end of each dowel. This will make the diamond shape. Again, reinforce these if necessary.


Step 6: Lie the kite frame over your children’s decorated paper and trim, leaving a 2 inch border on all sides.

Step 7: Fold in the corners and secure with tape. Then, fold the rest of the edges and tape those down too.

Step 8: Cut a piece of twine 24” long. Cut holes in the top and bottom angles of the kite, then tie each end of the string into the holes. This brindle string helps shape the kite to catch the wind.

Step 9: The flying string should be 5 times the size of your kite, so in our case 160 inches long. Tie this string to the middle of the brindle string.

Step 10: Add any additional ribbons or bows to the string and get flying!

For additional tips and helpful GIFs, visit Personal Creations to get the completed tutorial!

Can You Save Money by Painting Your Roof White?



White roofs, also called cool roofs, are not only good for the environment but they can also help you save some money. So, next time when your roof needs a new layer of paint, think about all the benefits that a white roof will bring you.

How does a white roof work?

The light from the sun hits the rooftops, but if your roof is dark, the light will instantly convert to heat, which causes both internal and external temperature of your home to rise. However, if your roof is white, the light reflects back up to 85% and doesn't heat up your home in contrast to a black roof, where only 20% of the sunlight will be reflected. Roofs like these are common in Greece, where steamy climate demanded a clever solution for long, sunny days.

1. Saving up on the electricity bill

A black roof can cause the temperature to rise almost double when compared to the temperature of the outside air, while a white roof will cause the temperature only to rise very slightly in comparison to the temperature outside. That means you will turn on the air conditioner much less frequent than you used to, which could save up to 30% on your electricity bill.
Some critics say that in colder climates white roofs will do more damage than good but the research has shown that, during winter, dark roof benefits are minor due to short days and cloudy sky. In other words, savings that you would make during winter thanks to a dark roof are lower than savings you will make with a white roof in the summertime.

2. Reducing smog

It's also important to note that white roofs can add to overall lower temperatures in big cities, not allowing the heat to stay trapped. The heat that builds up in cities leads to smog, making it difficult to breathe.

3. Keeping the rain cool

The rain that falls on dark rooftops cools down the roof, but it becomes warmer, going into the sewers and waterways like rivers and lakes, which is very bad for the fish living there as they are used to colder water. Not only that – raised temperature in rivers and lakes can have negative effect on reproduction of living beings in them and create “dead zones” where life isn’t supported. Ultimately, it affects people too.

How to switch to a white roof?

Another big advantage of a white roof is that its installation is really cost-effective and pretty simple to perform. If you have decided to get new roofing, go from the very beginning - choose white material all the way. It doesn't cost any more than dark roofing.
Still, if you are not completely for a white roof, you can use white roof coating that will still contribute to cooling your home. It will also cut your energy bills but also extend your roof's life.
The type of paint you choose will also affect the overall success and increase the level of economizing. Many companies like Rooflines take strong sun into consideration when choosing the right paint - it needs to be resistant to UV light, and it needs to be able to reflect the light and slow down the color-fading process.
It's also important to mention that you may have one more way to save some money here - check with your local bylaws and building suppliers if you have the right to get tax breaks on this type of roof. Sometimes the law stimulates building an energy-efficient home, which means you could spend much less on the material than you expected.

Final comment

This type of roof is gaining momentum in many countries. If you have been considering changing your roof, maybe this is the direction to go.

How Often Should You Clean These Household Items


Cleaning the house is something that not many people enjoy, but you may not realize how important it really is. Even though household fixtures like your sink and carpet may look clean, they could be teeming with bacteria.

The harsh reality is that most people don't clean often enough to keep bacteria at bay. For example, you are supposed to clean your carpet once a week and have it professionally cleaned once a year. Who does that?!

Even more shocking—you are supposed to clean your bathroom sinks and toilets every single day! Most people don't do this, but that's what you need to do for optimum sanitizing. Luckily, a simple wipe down with disinfecting wipes is enough to combat germs.

Curious what other household appliances are deceptively dirty? Check out this infographic from HireAHelper below that explains how often you should clean 20 household items.




Planning The Perfect Frugal Family Road Trip

If you’re keen to embark on your annual family vacation, but your money situation isn’t looking as buoyant as it has done in previous years, don’t think that you have to skip the holiday this year. Instead, you may have to forget the flights to the Caribbean or the cruise to the Mediterranean and stick just a little closer to home. A road trip can be the ideal way of spending quality family time together while still seeing new sights, meeting new people and enjoying the cuisine of a region.

The best thing about a road trip is the freedom it affords you as a family. You can choose to venture off on a far flung multiple thousand mile trip, or you could simply head to the coast for a few days. Whatever sort of vacation you want for your brood, a road trip could be the answer.


Budget

Planning within your means is vital if you are to embark on a successful road trip. Make sure you know your budget before you start planning an itinerary. Consider how much you’ll be spending on fuel, food, and accommodation. These are your essentials and areas that you don’t want to scrimp on. For everything else, set up a fun fund or something similar to dip into to go on excursions or eat out.

Your Vehicle

If you are venturing out on the open road, your little hatchback may not be the ideal vehicle for your requirements. Instead, head to a local specialist car hire company and consider an RV for your trip. By utilizing the services of an insurance broker, you could find some highly competitive insurance deals before packing everything you need into your mobile home for the week. In a recreational vehicle, you can pitch up where you like (within reason), sleep and cook all in the same place. This helps cut accommodation costs as well as eating out expenses.

Alternatively, you could choose to hire a sportier number, an off road vehicle or a classic saloon. Just make sure it’ll transport the family comfortably, can take all of your luggage and has a decent fuel economy.


Activities

You don’t always have to venture to the most expensive attractions to have the best time together as a family. Disneyland is incredible, the Space Center is awe inspiring and Universal Studios could be the trip of a lifetime. However, the national parks, free museums and plentiful free summer festivals cost nothing and can help you create long lasting family memories.

When out on your road trip, why not consider venturing to the beach for a barbecue, having a picnic in the park or exploring forest nature trails? Take a look at your vacation budget and portion out your money for each day. On the days where you haven’t spent so much, you may have the chance to explore more paid attractions such as aquariums, zoos or theme parks.

Planning a perfect road trip for the whole family is a juggling act. You want to ensure everyone's interests are catered for, everyone remains safe and that your entire brood has a good time. Follow this advice, and you can maximize your chances of fun and frugal family road trip.



Teaching Your Teenager About Money


As a parent, one of the most important lessons you can give your child is about money. Managing our finances is something we are never taught about in school. We have to learn through experience. However, money mistakes can be costly - excuse the pun! They can stay with us for years and years to come. This is why it is important to make sure your children are financially savvy. With that being said, read on to discover more about teaching your teenager about money.

Explain credit cards and the dangers of them - Simply warning your child away from a credit card is not a good idea, especially as they are going to need one to improve their credit rating. Instead, you need to teach your child about how credit cards work. You can find a good starting point at https://www.moneysupermarket.com/credit-cards/credit-card-guide/. Once you have told your child about how cards work, make sure you explain the dangers. You can even point them in the direction of some case studies regarding people that have gotten into credit card debt.

Teach your child about the magic of compound interest - Again, simply telling your child that they should save from an early age is not good enough. You need to explain why this is the case, and this involves explaining the magic of compound interest. You need to show your child how their decisions today will impact their future too.

Teach them about student loans - A lot of students take out loans with little thought. Yes, going to university is an investment. However, there is no guaranteed career or money tree at the end of it. This is why you need to make sure that your teenager is fully aware of what a loan means for them and what they are agreeing too. You should also head to refinancestudent.loan and teach them about the options in terms of paying their loan back.

Give them the responsibility of a bank account - Last but not least, it is important to make sure your teenager has the responsibility of bank account. You can easily set up simple bank accounts for children today. This will help your child to take money management to the next level, as they will have a greater level of responsibility. However, there is not the risk that comes with accounts for adults, i.e. overdrafts and interest charges.

So there you have it: some of the important lessons you need to teach your teenager regarding money, as well as some tips on how to teach them. The last thing we want for our children is for them to end up in debt because they made a mistake out of naivety. If you teach them the lessons mentioned above, you can go a long way in making sure that this will not happen.

The Top 3 Games To Combat The Summer With Kids - Giveaway!


Summer is sometimes one of the most difficult times for parents. Not only do we have to plan for where our kids are going to go but what they will do, how much it will cost, and what all can we afford. As a care provider I know how stressful it can be and I know how crazy your kids can drive you through summer break, trust me when there is 7 of them running around saying "I'm bored" you want to rip your hair out. But there is a solution, keep them stocked with things to do and you can at least attempt to save your sanity.

Board games are huge around my place and these 3 are some of the funnest we have had yet:

 

Ages 4 and up, 2-4 players

Get ready to have a Reel-y good time when you play Shark Bite! Snag the fish and be the winner, but if the shark jumps, you’ll be his dinner! Place the fun and colorful sea creatures into the game unit with a snap, and grab your friends to start playing. Players take turns rolling the die and fishing for the sea creatures using the fishing rods. But watch out – you never know when the shark is going to bite! 


Uh oh -the Fox is in the hen house! This greedy fox is snapping up the chickens and stuffing them into his pockets. But when there are too many chickens, his pants will fall down and the chickens will escape! Roll the die to see how many chickens to add into the fox’s pockets, and push his head one time. Before you know it, the fox will lose his pants and the chickens will roll everywhere! Rescue the chickens and return them to your chicken coop. Be the first player to fill up your coop to win! Can you Catch the Fox? For 2 to 4 players. Ages 4 and up.

Googly Eyes is the hilarious family game that challenges your vision and leaves you googling for more! Put on the zany, vision-altering google eye glasses and start to draw while your team tries to guess what you’re drawing. Is that an igloo or a turtle? A birthday cake or a fortress? Players take turns drawing and guessing, so everyone gets a chance to wear the glasses. The glasses come with three sets of lenses that range from mild changes to mind-blowing fun, so no one can see (or draw) straight–your vision will bounce off of the lenses. Googly Eyes is a fun twist on classic drawing games that lets players of different ages and skill levels compete on equal terms, since the goggles make it fun and challenging for everyone. Unlike any other drawing game you don’t need to be an artist, and the rules are simple. Just roll the die and move–the space you land on tells you which color lenses to use (easy, medium, or hard). Then pick a card, set the timer, and start drawing. If your team guesses correctly you get to roll and move again; if not, then you stay where you are on the board. The first team to reach Finish wins. For 4-16 players, ages 7 and up.


Would you like to win your own Shark Bite Game? Visit our Facebook Page to enter! Winner chosen July 30, 2018.

Babies with Diaper Rashes More Susceptible to Staph Infections




Each year, about 5,000 babies develop severe Staph infections, with about one-tenth of those cases being fatal. (1) And it gets worse:

  • 33% of people carry Staph in their noses, and generally do not show any signs of illness or infection.
    • Meanwhile, one in every 50 people are carrying methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an antibiotic-resistant bacterium which causes Staph infection. (2)

Per Carman Campbell, creator of Swabbies Technologies, an organic and sanitary diaper rash application, the fact that staph is so rampant makes it even more likely for babies to come in contact with the infection – potentially leading to severe illness or in some cases, death.

MRSA typically spreads by way of contaminated hands or direct contact with infected wounds. Carman says that for babies, it’s imperative that caregivers keep them safer from Staph infections by ensuring a sanitary environment – particularly when changing their diapers.

SOLUTION? Mess-free diaper rash applications help prevent diaper rashes from occurring while making the process easier and cleaner for adults.

While historically, staph was predominantly seen in hospitalized patients and those who were chronically ill, nowadays healthy adults and children are more susceptible. Over a 5-year period, cases of head and neck MRSA infections more than doubled in children (3). But Campbell asserts the good news: Staph infections are avoidable and can be prevented.

Swabbies Technologies has developed a diaper rash cream and applicator that simplifies sanitary diaper changing for parents and caregivers. The idea of Swabbies originated with creator, Carman Campbell’s own motherhood woes. Swabbies allows parents to apply diaper rash cream with one hand, without spreading cream on hands which makes multitasking achievable.

The applicator’s patented design allows the cream to easily be dispensed with one hand, while the other hand remains free to tend to the wiggly baby. Unlike other diaper rash cream solutions, there’s no need for the person changing the baby’s diaper to put the cream on their hands to administer the treatment.

Dozens of clever doodling exercises & ideas for cat people




Doodled Cats is packed with creative prompts, fun feline facts, and step-by-step doodling projects for the feline fanatic in youthe perfect book for on-the-go artists.

In Doodled Cats, beloved artist and illustrator Gemma Correll provides inspiration and ideas for doodling a variety of different cat breeds in a fun, quirky style. From a Persian and a Sphynx to a Scottish Fold and Siamese, doodle enthusiasts will learn to draw and doodle all their favorite feline friends, in addition to anthropomorphic cats, fashionable furballs, and even cats in hats! A bonus project demonstrates how to create your own cat-doodled mug.

This compact, hardcover book makes the perfect gift for on-the-go creative types and cat lovers alike.

What Are The Various Benefits Of Installing Energy Efficient Double-Glazed Window?



Energy efficient double glazed windows specially designed to offer heat insulation such that homes and buildings can save energy of air conditioner.

The best part that you get with double glazed window is that, you can easily get warm air during winter and cool air during summer. You can install the windows with the help of professionals, and also reduce the overall costing of your electricity bills. These windows also block the heavy monsoon winds, dust and rain and keep your furniture safe and secure.




Here is a list of various benefits of installing energy efficient double glazed window.

· Control Inside Temperature of the Home

Energy efficient double glazed windows offer temperature insulation to homes and buildings. These offer heat insulation and do not let heat transfer from one place to another. Thus, you will get advantage of lower temperature when there is rise in temperature in outer area and rise in temperature in winters when there is a fall of temperature inside the home.


· Energy Efficiency Windows

If you install energy efficient double glazed windows at your home then you will be able to save bills and you can have great environment at your home. You will love to see a great decline in your electricity bills and will able to save huge amount of money as well.

· Reduced Noise

If your home is near roads or in an area, where there is higher noise level all around and you want to have a soothing and peaceful environment at your home then installing energy efficient double glazed windows is an intelligent decision for you. This is especially helpful if your house is situated just adjacent to the road, or if you have patients or aged people in your home.

These types of windows are perfect especially in offices where employees need noise free peaceful environment such that they can concentrate on their work.  In such cases, installing energy efficient double glazed windows is perfect option to opt.

No matter whether you install double glazed window at your home or at your office or any other building, these offers noise insulation such that you can concentrate on the task, which you want to do.

· Increase Safety

These windows will increase you and your family’s safety. Intruders cannot break it easily thus, you will get higher safety. Because of the double-glazing these windows offer you higher safety. You can install the basic window frame and then go for the double glass layers, which provide an additional benefit to the homeowner. You can also use these glasses for your commercial area or warehouse.




Thus, offers you peace of mind as well as you can go outside from your home without worries.

· Stop UV Damage
Do you know the powerful rays of sunlight can damage the home interior as well? While we all love to have little sun rays to come inside but when these enter powerful rays into your home then this can affect your home interior as well.

But if you install energy efficient double glazed window at your home then you will be able to stop the UV damage easily and you can save all your home interior from the powerful UV sun rays.

· Draught Proofing
When you lock your windows then it will become drought proofing even when the frequency of the wind is higher. This makes you enjoy the interior weather.

· Long Lasting

These energy efficient double-glazed windows are long lasting, and these can withstand unfavorable weather conditions as well.

These are the various benefits of installing energy efficient double glazed window. If you want to install windows at your home, then look the above benefits at once and then take a decision which type of windows you want to install at your home.

Children And Screens Encourages Children To “LOOK UP” As They Enter The New School Year

Summer break is almost over, and children around the country are getting ready to go back to school. It’s an exciting time, but it can also ...