Archive for the 'Health' Category

Mmm…Tasty!

Oh, so sweet!

I promised some yummy desserts to pop into those lunchboxes! I found one recipe and I’ve ‘designed’ the other. Before I get to them, I want to talk about creativity and your child’s lunch. If you want your child to eat the lunch you’ve so carefully prepared you should be creative in the presentation. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like the gourmet plating you see on cooking programs.

Kids love interesting foods, the texture, taste, and look all factor in. Knowing they have a delicious dessert to follow the interesting wrap or sandwich you packed will only make the whole meal more fun and interesting for them. Don’t go overboard, though. Frilly ribbons to tie baggies shut might turn off your son. And his friends. Bright fruits, dips, and interesting containers will do the trick.

For really young kids, instead of a written note, try just drawing a happy one. A smiley face, a heart, a flower, or your best drawing of their favorite cartoon character can brighten up their day. A simple ‘I love you’ is the very best note to slip in. Try writing it on their juice box, the inside of their lunchbox lid, or in another unexpected place they’ll be sure to see.

Now, on to dessert…

Want healthy and sweet? Try out a Banana Dog! Just pop a hot dog bun into a baggie that has been spread with peanut butter on one side and jam on the other and a small baggie of raisins, cocunut, or peanuts inside. When your child gets to the cafeteria all she has to do is peel the banana and place into the bun, then sprinkle with the extras. Neat, huh?

If you want seriously sweet…rather your child does, try candy bar brownies. This is so easy! Just whip up a bowl of pre-packaged brownie mix, line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, pour the cups 1/3 full. Place half of a snack sized candy bar in the middle, then cover with more brownie mix. Bake according to directions. You can use any snack size candy bar.

These are just two idea. How many can you come up with? Share!

Posted in Uncategorized, Cooking, Healthy Eating | No Comments »

Lunches Kids Will Love

Big Burger

I’ve decided to pack lunches for my daughter this year. I know tons of parents have made their child’s lunch for years upon end and I figure it’s my turn to join the ranks. School lunches, while supposedly balanced and nutritious, look about as appetizing to me as those cellophane wrapped sandwiches sitting on the counter at the local gas station.

Yeah. Mm, mm good.

My husband and I are pretty health conscious and luckily, our children love their veggies. If you’re wondering how we got so lucky, it’s a matter of introducing the kids to vegetables as if they were treats when they’re still very small. Black olives are great fun to pop on the end of tiny fingers and nearly every child loves to pop sticks of carrots or celery into any type of dip. It’s like a requirement of being a kid to dip everything that’s remotely dippable.

So, in search of the perfect lunch, I married some ideas. Kids like to have something they can just pick up easily. Wraps are a great way to go if your child is like that. But, you can run out of tortillas at the wrong time. Then you’re stuck with a soggy old sandwich. Or are you? Nope! Just trim the crust off of a piece of bread and roll flat. Voila! Instant wrap. You may have to use a toothpick to hold it shut, but this does work really well. For smaller kids, don’t worry about the toothpick, just add smaller amounts of filling.

Sometimes it seems like a nice idea to make a hot sandwich or wrap, but don’t fall to that temptation. By the time lunch rolls around, the melted cheese on a hot sandwich or wrap will be gummy, the bread soggy, and the mayo…I don’t even want to go there. Try cold versions of hot foods. Chop chicken, season with taco seasoning, mix with a bit of sour cream and salsa, spread on top of a lettuce leaf that lines a tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, then roll tightly. A cold chicken fajita!

You don’t have to stick to normal sandwich fillings or breads. You can also use bagels, pita bread, crackers or rolls. Ever try strawberry preserves with cream cheese? Uh huh, kids love that, too. Leftover stew? Wrap it! Just drain the excess liquid, squish the vegetables and meat together a bit, then wrap. Let your imagination run wild.

Next time, we’ll talk about easy desserts for packed lunches!

Posted in Parenting, Nutrition, Cooking, Daily Living, Healthy Eating | 1 Comment »

Healthy Herbs:Rosemary

When my little girl began pre-school, I found out first hand how germs travel from child to child. Then they invade your home. I had no idea what to do to prevent this spread of germs once she was away from home and mixing with other children. Face it, most pre-school kids aren’t very fastidious about their cleanliness while playing. I know some older kids who aren’t either!

About a month after my daughter had been in school, I read an article on how rosemary can help prevent colds. Just plain old rosemary for cooking. Some people drank tea of the herb, but I preferred adding it to food my girl already ate. Rosemary tea just isn’t very appetizing, though it makes a wonderful addition to a bath for someone suffering from a cold or the flu.

 

I just sprinkled a pinch or two of rosemary into her eggs, along with different cheeses before heading off to school. Adding in some chopped tomato is also tasty and healthy. Just don’t tell the kids about the healthy part.

Another wonderful thing about rosemary is that it’s easy to grow. You can find rosemary trees at your local grocery close to Christmas in the floral department, though some carry them all year. Follow the instructions on the care tags and you’ll have a natural air cleaner that kills airborne germs. The scent of rosemary has been valued since before the Roman Empire!

Why not try some Rosemary Potatoes to get your taste buds clamoring for more?

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
2 large sprigs rosemary (about 1/4 cup of stripped leaves)
2 pounds unpeeled potatoes cut into 1 1/2″ chunks
3 cloves garlic, smashed and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt.
Toss the potatoes with the rosemary, olive oil, garlic, and salt, then put them in a single layer in a shallow baking dish and roast uncovered for 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees, until they are browned lightly on the outside and tender inside. Serve immediately. These potatoes are terrific with chicken, pork or even hamburgers.
Recipe credit-http://www.gardenguides.com/how-to/tipstechniques/herbs/rosemary.asp

Posted in Health, Cooking, Cold and Flu Remedies, Healthy Living, Herbs and Natural Remedies | 4 Comments »

Kindle Some Passion.

Holding It Together

With the overextended schedule many couples have these days, is it any wonder that no one has time for sex? Shuttling the kids to school, after school activities, working differing schedules, all of this leaves little to no time for couples to be as intimate as they were dating. Sex is the first thing to go, it seems, when everyone is tired. And sex is the superglue of marriages; when the intimacy deteriorates, everything else will as well.

You may feel too tired to put any effort into reviving a seemingly lifeless love life. But the end result will surprise you. A little extra effort on the part of one partner can go a long way. Instead of the functional goodbye kiss, why not slip a little passion into it? Surprise your partner by letting them know you really /will/ miss them. A sexy wink afterwards can only ignite wonder and a reciprocating spark.

Sneak a sexy note into their briefcase or lunch. If this is a bad idea, in case of it falling out in front of a boss, then write a sexy email and send it to your partner’s personal inbox. If they enjoy television after all the kids are in bed, grab a snack and cuddle up to them. Feed your partner little bites of the snack, because food, like sex, is a basic need and can be very sensual.

If you live in an area where you can sit and watch the heavens, try it. Spending time with your loved one under the stars can help you connect. You can find a lovely photo of a meteor and a link to information about the Persids, here. A meteor shower is something wonderful to share together. How many wishes can you both make?

You will find that if you take just a little time to do these little things, your own passion will grow.

For more ideas, take a peek at what I’ve found!

The Impact Of Intimacy

6 Tips For Keeping Spark Alive In Your Marriage, After Children

Relationship Glue

Posted in Parenting, Dating, Marriage, Sex, Divorce and Separation, Stress Management | No Comments »

Vacation’s Over, Mom!

You knew it was bound to happen. Summer days dwindle to an end, autumn sneaks up and gives you the reality whammy. School! Clothes shopping! Supplies! More, more, more!

Vacation's Over

Getting ready for the kids to head back to school is stressful, but for moms who work at home, it can be a nightmare. The misconception that work at home moms walk around in pajamas, eat bon bons, and then click a mouse a few times while checks pour through the mail slot like Niagara Falls is still pretty common. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble…but the only time any of the moms I know who work at home are still in their P.J.’s at noon, it’s because they haven’t had time to change yet.

No matter the field of work the mom is in, it seems that dad and kids know the perfect time to need things. A grown man can suddenly forget where the fridge is located, while a normally capable thirteen year old is unable to assemble a cheese sandwich. Mom to the rescue!

Seriously, now is the perfect opportunity to get some balance into your life, mom. Everyone forgets how much you do. Cooking, (yes, sandwiches and microwaves count), cleaning, salving the minor wounds that occur daily, and wrestling with internal issues of your own are just a few examples. Working at home increases your stress, for some reason others in the household think that the work performed from home just isn’t that important. Landing a new client doesn’t seem as special to people if there was not a new title gained from a promotion to many.

Take some time for yourself, even in the midst of summer to fall upheaval. Spend some time alone at your favorite time of the day to just enjoy being with yourself. Take a walk in the morning or evening air. Watch how the light changes even the most ordinary scenery. Lock the bathroom door, play your music, and light the incense or candles. Go out to lunch by yourself, or catch a movie. Taking even a few minutes a day will improve your mental health and balance.

Your partner and children will appreciate having a more calm and relaxed you. You’ll appreciate it, too. Especially when you have to leave your file sorting behind to find the fridge for hubby. Again.

Want some more info? Of course you do, because I don’t have all the answers. Not yet, anyway.

Working Mom Guilt

Nurturing the Working Mom

Put The Spice Back Into Your Life, Take a Spice Bath!

Before I close, I’d like to take a second to send warm wishes to Jennifer who has been taking care of this blog so well for a long time. Thank you for trusting me to try to fill in your spot and I hope you get some much needed relaxation yourself! Good luck with all you’re doing. -Julie

Posted in Parenting, Career Minded, Daily Living, Stress Management | 5 Comments »

Important Recall Information!

One of my favorite home bloggers, Maricar at Keeping the Castle, alerted her readers to this important recall for Castleberry’s canned food items. This is a very serious recall if you’re a Canadian reader. So look over the list here and check Castleberry’s site for updates.

Chili recallMaricar has the scoop from MSNBC:

FDA investigators believe Castleberry Food failed to properly cook some or all the products, allowing the Clostridium botulinum bacteria to survive the canning process.

The bacteria produce a toxin that causes botulism, a muscle-paralyzing disease.

“We’re not talking here about a bug that lands you in the bathroom for a few days with diarrhea. We’re talking about a toxin that puts you in the intensive care unit,? said Dr. David Acheson, the FDA’s lead food safety expert. “This is foodborne illness with an extra kick in it, big time.?

From the Castleberry’s site:

“The Great Value Chili products included in this recall are distributed and sold in Canada ONLY. The Great Value brand in the United States is not associated with Castleberry’s or this recall.”

Check your cupboards as some cans have been reported to burst open. You can learn safe disposal methods and how to get a refund here.

Here’s the entire list of recalled items: (more…)

Posted in Uncategorized, Health, Healthy Eating, Recall Information | 1 Comment »

How Fat Can We Get?

human jawsThe race to get fat is on!

And, according to research released by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, most Americans are going to place in this race with a big fat blue ribbon.

The research points out that if Americans keep gaining weight at the current rate they’re gaining; in just eight years 75% of Americans will be overweight and 40% will be obese.

Raise you hand if you’d like to come in last in this race.

Our kids are affected as well. It’s not fair to train them for a contest that will kill them.

Sorry if I sound agitated, I do tend to be chipper and positive — look on the bright side.
But when my son and I go to the city park I count far more chubby kids than slim kids. More parents sitting on the bench then playing Frisbee or swinging with their children. It’s sad. Many of the people my age aren’t going to live to see their grandkids. Fat will do them in early — if they even have grandkids. Studies show that overweight individuals have a much harder time conceiving.

Right off the top of my head I can think of two revolutionary ways to stop this…

Eat better and exercise.

Cutting out soda and fruity sugary drinks will help too. As will trimming down food portion sizes and actually hanging out with our kids; setting a good example by playing with them, outside in the fresh air.

Other key points found by Johns Hopkins:

But no one is entirely off the hook. The overall fact remains that 75% of ALL Americans will likely be overweight by 2015. Imagine what this will do to the already escalating health care costs.

This is serious. I hear peppy talks by fitness trainers. I see nicely worded articles about slimming down youth. I feel all warm and fuzzy when I learn that yet another overweight pregnant woman thankfully gave birth to a healthy baby.

But honestly, I think we’ve reached the point where happy pep talks and saying “robust” when we mean “grossly overweight” has got to stop. It’s not working. Maybe knowing that we’re willfully harming our children will work. Maybe considering that there soon won’t be enough healthy people to care for the unhealthy people will work. Is death a motivator to get in shape?

Maybe…

If you’d like to see your children grow up healthy and happy you can visit:

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Youth Becoming Healthy

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences kids page

Healthier US.gov

Why not make a choice right now that you and your children will lose this race. All you have to do to get started is click on a link above. It’s that simple.

Posted in Child Abuse, Exercise, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Nutrition for Adults, Weight Management | 3 Comments »

Green Ideas for Kids!

images.jpgKids can make a difference for our planet as well as any adult.

Kids today, have a distinct advantage over us adults — they’re being raised in an environment and communities that are already aware of the consequences of not being green.With a little help from parents who care, kids today are going to change the world we live in for the better.

Read and discuss this list with your kids! Your kids (and you) can try these easy ideas for going green and saving the planet.

Recycle: Okay, that’s a given in most places today — but not all. In my neighborhood in Albuquerque there were barely any recycling resources. If this is the case where you live write a letter, or have your parents help you write a letter to public officials in your area. Make your voice heard. You can even draw a picture to show how you feel. Don’t know where to write try starting here.

Don’t let go: Of that cool balloon. Each time a helium balloon floats away they may end up hurting animals and fish. Helium balloons fall (eventually) back down to the earth and strong winds can blow them to our oceans. A sea animal may try to eat the balloon and that could kill the animal. Balloons can also wrap around small animals and hurt them. No matter how much fun it is to let your balloon fly — don’t. If you want to fly something fun that won’t hurt animals try building a kite with your parents.

Brush your teeth: Now, simply brushing your teeth won’t save the planet– you will have a beautiful smile though. However, you can help to save lots of water by turning off the sink faucet each and every time you brush. Also stay away from pump dispenser toothpastes; they add much more waste to our landfills than a normal tube. Some companies are even making toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes that you can recycle. Take a look at your local co-op and see what’s available.

Let someone else play with your stuff: Before throwing that old toy away see if a friend of yours might want to trade one of their toys for your old toy (always ask an adult before doing this). If no one wants your toy donate it to a thrift store or charity that gives toys to other children who may not have as many cool toys as you do.

If you want to learn more about how to save your planet visit The Environmental Kids Club. At this website you can even become an official planet protector and get free coloring books and games.

Or read this book: Good Earth Art: Environmental Art For Kids, for more ideas

Have fun and always stay green!

Posted in Healthy Living | No Comments »

Have a Wonderful and Safe 4th of July!

0616769-R1-036-16A_a 250x203.jpgThe 4th of July is a great time for families to get together. A nice warm day, picnics in the grass, icy watermelon, slip & slide fun (hey, do they still have slip & slides?), and the amazing firework displays.

It’s a fun and family focused day of the year.

But sadly, many accidents can and do occur on the 4th each year. Not to put a damper on the day’s festivities but there are some simple facts you need to know to keep your family safe and healthy this 4th.

Facts & figures

I could give millions of accident stats for the 4th — there’s no shortage. However, let’s just look a few biggies offered by The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

On July 4th there are more U.S. fires reported that on any other day of the year — and fireworks account for half of these fires. The figure that surprised me was the sparklers — which are seemingly harmless. I always have let my son use them in the past but I’m re-thinking that this year. Each year the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) promotes a list of safety tips for 4th of July firework safety.

This year however, the AAP is doing something new. The NFPA has come forward with, instead of safety tips, a new recommendation that tips aren’t needed. What’s needed is a call for everyone to leave the fireworks to the professionals. The AAP agrees with the NFPA and so this year’s tips are a little less bulky and a lot safer…

Legal or not for consumers, fireworks are too risky for amateurs leave the fireworks to the professionals.”

Besides saving you some reading this tip could save your family money, stress, and more importantly maybe your health or life. So follow this year’s one tip. Gather the family, pack a picnic, and head to the nearest community fireworks festivities for a fun and safe 4th.

Safe & happy July 4th wishes from Family Resource!

Posted in Child Safety, Holidays, Personal Safety, Healthy Living | 1 Comment »

Candy Cigarettes: Simple Fun or Simply Dangerous?

Raise your hand if you rode the bus to elementary school. Me pick me! So, yes I rode the bus. I remember standing miserable in the cold and rain. I remember how one bus driver hated kids and was constantly threatening to, “Turn this bus around.? I remember the fights between growing boys. And I remember the smoking.

316897_cigarettes.jpg'' /hspace= The smoking! Yup smoking… In the fifth or sixth grade the “cool? boys started bringing candy cigarettes to the bus stop.

It seemed innocent enough; however, to morning commuters we probably looked anything but. A bunch of kids aged six through twelve standing around in a circle while bubble gum smoke swirled around our heads. Finally a parent commuter drove by and ended our smoking fun.

Good thing too because a recent study featured in the July issue of the journal Preventive Medicine reports that kids who ‘light up’ candy cigarettes are more likely to light up the real thing when they’re older.

Dr. Jonathan Klein, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester, and lead researcher on the candy cigarettes and his team studied around 26,000 adults and found that 12% of adults who had never had a candy cigarette when they were young report adult smoking habits while 22% of adults who did have candy cigarettes as a youngster report adult smoking. Also the study showed that there was a correlation with the amounts of candy cigarettes people chewed down as a kid. As kids chew more their rates of adult smoking increase.

But why?
Klein says, “It allows the marketing that goes into tobacco advertising to operate on children long before they have access to cigarettes… these candy products promote smoking as a socially acceptable activity.”

Danny McGoldrick, research director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, brings up another point to consider. McGoldrick compares candy cigarettes with a kids learning curve. For instance first comes candy cigarettes, than with the cigarette companies coming out with flavored smokes, why not move on to that, and than on to the full blown real thing. It makes sense. I’ve heard many a teenagers state that cherry flavored or licorice flavored cigarettes must be safe because they don’t taste bad.

But are candy cigarettes even around anymore?
Well, I thought about that too. Personally, I thought that they’d been outlawed long ago. But they haven’t. They’re just a bit more underground. Now, with kids being so internet savvy, all it takes is a few clicks of a mouse and you can find oodles of chewy smokes on the web. I just did a few minutes ago. It was simple. Your kids will find them too.

So, make candy cigarettes just as off limits in your home as the real thing. But obviously that won’t stop the bus stop kid smoking parties. The best defense is to talk to your kids early about the dangers of tobacco and then practice what you preach.

To learn more about how to talk to your kids about tobacco visit Kids Health.

Posted in Uncategorized, Parenting, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Smoking | 2 Comments »

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