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School Messages Made Easier Helpful Checklists

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Sniffle DuffleHelp stop the spread of germs with a Sniffle Duffle.

A comfort kit to help keep germs from spreading! It can hang on a belt loop, backpack, in the car, your purse or baby's diaper bag. Their Cozy Face and Lip Balm and Natural Moisturizing Hand Cleanser are Organic and Non-toxic too!

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Thanksgiving Card

Are you thinking about consuming too much of all the delicious food on Thanksgiving? Are you trying to watch your calorie intake or just trying to be healthy? Can you stay on track with your health goals this Thanksgiving?

Yes, by following s few simple tips you can enjoy all the wonderful foods and still be good to your health.

Healthy Tips:

Try some of these suggestions:

  1. Don't arrive hungry: We are more likely to overeat and indulge at our Thanksgiving meal if we arrive hungry.  Have a healthy snack before you leave and start your morning off right with a nutritious breakfast.
  2. Smart appetizers: Use a fruit platter or a veggie platter with a low-calorie dip.  How about a shrimp platter with a low-calorie cocktail sauce?   Offer to bring a healthy appetizer dish that you can enjoy.
  3. Good sides: Breads and other biscuits are plentiful on Thanksgiving, but try picking up a whole grain alternative.   Whole grain bread products contain fiber that helps lower bad cholesterol and helps prevent gastrointestinal diseases.   Pick vegetables that are deep in color and high in nutrients, like broccoli or green beans instead of mashed potatoes or creamed corn.  You can sample all the different foods, just remember to go for smaller portions.  Limit those sides that are high in fat too.  While it's not super important to count the calories, just remember that moderation is key.
  4. Red wine versus white wine? The darker the color, the more antioxidants.
  5. Check out your plate: Follow the power plate rule:  1/2 of your plate should be fruits or veggies, 1/4 should be whole grains or starch and 1/4 should be your lean protein - gotta love that good for you turkey! Eat slowly too.
  6. Drink lots of water! Alcohol and coffee can dehydrate you, so drink lots of water to stay hydrated and full.
  7. And let’s not forget dessert! Make a dessert that includes lots of fruit.  Check out our delicious suggestions.   We love the Very Berry Parfait and Kristine Lopez's Great Pumpkin Cookies. If you are going for pie, stick to your lower calorie options like pumpkin or fruit pie and skip pecan and chocolate pies.
  8. Leftovers!  Try making turkey soup with leftovers instead of high calorie sandwiches.

Host tips:

If you are hosting this wonderful get together, follow some of these tips to give your guests some healthy options at your meal.

    • Have lots of veggies and fruit as part of your appetizers.
    • Make healthy substitutions in your meals.   Try adding chicken broth, garlic and herbs into your mashed potatoes instead of butter.  For dips use greek yogurt instead of sour cream because it has less fat and has a very similar consistency.
    • Use low fat ingredients.
    • Start with a large salad as your entree.
    • Serve whole grain breads.
    • Serve a fruit based dessert.

Last Minute Recipes - healthy and tasty!

Still planning out your meal?  No problem, we've done the leg work for you!  The following websites have posted a wide selection of recipes that are waist friendly and good too.

Whether you are hosting the big meal at your home or traveling across town or across the country, we hope that you have a wonderful time with your family & friends!

How do you pack your child's lunch? One of my favorite back to school must haves are containers from Kids Konserve.  Check back soon for a full review on this awesome line and how you can win in our giveaway! In the meantime, consider how our daily food intake in this country impacts our environment! Kids Konserve is helping my family produce less waste when we eat and my kids are encouraged to pack their own healthy lunches too!

Lunch Waste

 

FACTS

On average, a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of lunch waste per school year (18,760 pounds of lunch waste per elementary school).

A waste-free lunch saves on average $216 per child per year (versus a disposable lunch).

The North Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest of the five gyres, is twice the size of Texas and contains about 3.5 million tons of trash

Packaging accounts for nearly 32 percent of all household waste in the U.S. Americans discard 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.

40 billion plastic utensils are used every year in the U.S. Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day. Placed end to end, the number of disposable straws used in the U.S. in the past 4 days could reach the moon.

About 23 billion coated paper or Styrofoam coffee cups end up in landfills every year. Placed end to end, they could circle the earth 68 times.

Every year Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags. The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year, that's more than 4 bags a day.


Think about this for a minute...consider using a great alternative like Kids Konserve! Stay tuned for a review and giveaway!

 

Kids Conserve

This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, all opinions expressed are my own

I am so happy to be tell you about "¡Piensa seguro, viaja seguro, mantente seguro!", a Spanish-language public service program with an interactive website at www.chuggington.com/seguridad.   It is an awesome program that is brought to you by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and Ludorum, the producers of the Chuggington™ television series. The link is for the Spanish website, but there is an English version here. ¡Piensa seguro, viaja seguro, mantente seguro!” or 'Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe!' in English provides families with young children tools they need to help their child walk and ride more safely.

Can I share a secret with you? I was terrified to learn to drive. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until I was in college that I took and passed my driving exam. Why did I wait so long? Well, when I was young I lost one a close family member in a car accident. I slowly overcame my fear of the open road, but then I became a parent and my fear of being in a car accident with my children was very real. Car crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for children ages two through six.

Kids eating ice creamThese 5 often very people are my loves. I worry about them in so many ways, but especially when I drive. I have never been a wreckless driver, but I certainly feel like I drive more cautiously when they are in my vehicle. I think all of us want to keep our children safe from car crashes. And, of course, I worry about them when they ride their bikes and go for walks. With so many small children, it’s nearly impossible for me to hover over them and protect them every moment. The best thing that I can do for them acknowledge that accidents happen and expose them to teaching them practical tips could save them from serious injury or death.

That’s why I love the new "¡Piensa seguro, viaja seguro, mantente seguro!” It’s a great resource fo bike, school bus, car and walking tips for the whole family.  My kids enjoyed it the interactive destination allows kids to learn while playing with their favorite Chuggington characters.

The traffic safety campaign is geared to kids preschool-aged to 1st grade and focus on four main areas: pedestrian, bus, bike and car seat safety. The interactive format is great because my kids learn best when they are engaged…and they rather learn about safety from interactive lessons are hosted by the ‘trainees’ of Chuggington, Wilson, Koko and Brewster.

Here are my kiddos working on a few of the print outs from the website...


On a final note, I am so pleased that this joint initiative between The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the producers of the Chuggington™ is in Spanish. It has been my experience that there are alack of resources geared towards the Spanish speaking community.   The website is a great resource the community and for all families with young children!


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Yes, you can enjoy your big July 4th bash and stay healthy!

By Coco Peate

I love celebrating the 4th of July. The gathering of family and friends, the fireworks – and yes, the food!  There are just so many delicious all-American foods that are enjoyed on this day. And of course some of us add our own spin to this American holiday with our favorite dishes that aren't American at all!  As a kid (and today!) my father would BBQ on the 4th - but we had Mexican sides, salsa, tortillas, and all sorts of other Mexican goodies - along with our hotdogs and potato salad.

In fact, I love the whole summer because I can catch up with friends and a great deal of our catching up happens over BBQs. However, if you are not careful, all the BBQs can wreak havoc on your health goals. Try following our simple rules to help survive the BBQ season while keeping your health goals on track and still having a great time.

Try some of these suggestions:

  • Use small plates: Did you know that research shows that people who use smaller plates eat less, without really noticing it?   So grab a plate from the kids table or from the dessert/appetizer area.
  • Smart appetizers: Use a fruit platter or a veggie platter with a low-calorie dip.  How about a shrimp platter with a low-calorie cocktail sauce?
  • Good sides: High carb goodies are plentiful at BBQs, but try picking up a whole grain alternative.   Whole grain bread products contain fiber that helps lower bad cholesterol and helps prevent gastrointestinal diseases.   Pick vegetables that are deep in color and high in nutrients, like broccoli or green beans.  Skip the foods that are high in refined carbs, like potato chips.   They are high in fat and low in nutrition.
  • Smart drinks: Remember that with wine, the darker the color, the more antioxidants.  Also remember that some alcoholic drinks can just be skipped all together.  A margarita can have about 600-800 calories, while a glass of wine or beer can have much less.  Your guests, especially the younger ones, may really enjoy fruit smoothies.
  • Check out your plate: Follow the power plate rule:  1/2 of your plate should be fruits or veggies, 1/4 should be whole grains and 1/4 should be your lean protein.  Remember to fill your plate with the healthiest options first too, to help you feel fuller faster and leave less room for dessert and drinks.
  • Share: Bring one healthy side or dessert to share, at least you know you will have one good and healthy thing on your plate!
  • Don't forget dessert! You don’t have to skip dessert all together, but watch out for your portion.  The difference between a small and large piece of cake/pie can be hundreds of calories.  Make a dessert that includes lots of fruit, like this delicious, low-calorie and easy to make parfait.

Very Berry Parfait Recipe

Makes 6 servings

What you will need:

  • 4 cups of fresh sliced berries:  strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  You can try adding mandarins, bananas, pomegranate kernels, kiwi - be creative!
  • 4 cups of fat free vanilla pudding cups
  • 2 cups of lite whipped toping like fat-free Cool Whip
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Amaretto liquor (or anything similar will be ok, we sometimes use Disaronno Amaretto liquor).  You may want to make a small batch for the young guests without the liquor and use 1 tablespoon of almond extract instead of the liquor.
  • 6 parfait glasses.  You can also use wine glasses, small clear glasses or dessert cups.fruit partfait

What to do:

  1. In one bowl, mix all your berries.
  2. In a second bowl, make your filling by mixing your liquor, pudding and Cool Whip together.
  3. Take ½ the filling and add it evenly to your 6 glasses.
  4. Add your fruit mixture to the glasses, evenly and generously!
  5. Add a final layer of the filling to each if your glasses.
  6. Top with a small mint leap, a little shaved chocolate, or extra berry mixture.
  7. Refrigerate until ready to serve. For a festive 4th of July touch add a little American flag to the top (you can find these at craft stores) - Viola!

 

 

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