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Archive for August, 2010

Fall Asthma Triggers

August 27, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Healthy Living No Comments →

Don’t let fall asthma triggers foil your child’s fun!

(ARA) – Fall means back-to-school, cooler weather – and an increase in asthma attacks. In fact, childhood asthma statistics show that children with asthma are nearly twice as likely to visit the emergency department when school starts as at other times of the year. That’s largely because autumn allergens and viral infections can unleash childhood asthma symptoms.

A chronic inflammation of the lung airways that causes difficulty in breathing, asthma affects more than 23 million Americans, including 7 million children. It is the most common chronic illness in childhood, leading to 12.8 million missed school days each year. And most people don’t outgrow asthma – it accounts for 10.1 million lost work days.

“Many people end up in the emergency room because they are unaware they or their children suffer from asthma, or they know they have asthma but don’t have it under control,” says Dr. James Sublett, an allergist and chairman of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s (ACAAI) public relations committee. “Asthma can be life-threatening, and although it’s not curable, there are a number of asthma treatment options.”

Suspect you or your child might have asthma? The ACAAI suggests the following tips for breathing easy this fall:

* Get tested, get help – Allergists are specially trained to diagnose and treat asthma. In fact, research shows that asthma sufferers referred to an allergist experienced 76 percent fewer emergency room visits than those not treated by an asthma specialist. Visit www.AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org to take an asthma relief self-test, read about patients who have their asthma under control and find an allergist near you.

* Get treatment -You can treat asthma in a number of ways, including medication that may be taken daily for long-term control and inhalers that can be used to give quick relief when symptoms flare. Often, allergies trigger asthma. To help keep allergies in check, immunotherapy, also called allergy shots, may help. An allergist can help you determine what you’re allergic to and suggest treatments.

* Avoid sniffling, sneezing and wheezing – Kids share lockers, desks – and germs. Viral respiratory infections are widespread this time of year and are the leading cause of severe asthma attacks. If you or your child suffers from asthma, do everything you can to avoid colds and other illnesses, including washing your hands frequently and getting a flu shot.

* Prepare before working up a sweat – Whether during a game of tag at recess, a sprint down the sidelines in a soccer game or a fall fun run, exercise can trigger asthma symptoms. Be prepared with a quick relief inhaler.

* Beware the weather – Fall is known for fluctuating weather conditions. Changes, such as cold, extreme dryness, wetness or wind, can trigger or worsen asthma.

* Look out for new triggers – The start of the school year brings exposure to potential new asthma triggers. Chalk dust, moldy carpeting and the class pet hamster all can be triggers for an asthmatic child. Millions also suffer from hay fever caused by ragweed which is blooming and blowing around in the fall. If your child has asthma, tell the teacher what symptoms to look for and discuss what to do. Your allergist can help you develop an asthma action plan to share with teachers and coaches to make sure your child is safe.

To learn more about how to protect your child from allergies and asthma triggers, or to find an allergist visit www.allergyandasthmarelief.org.

10 Tools That Fight Disorganization

August 23, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

Chronic disorganization can affect every aspect of your life. The wasted time and money caused by disorganization can leave you stressed and unhappy. Disorganization is a very unpleasant way of life, but not a way you can’t work to change. Using the following tools faithfully will get you well on your way to a happier and more organized lifestyle.

1. Calendar/Planner

Find a calendar that works for your family. It can show a day, a week, or a month at a time. Just make sure there’s enough room to include everyone’s activities, as well as birthdays and anniversaries. Everyone’s activities should be placed on the calendar as soon as they are scheduled. To save space you can use small stickers or abbreviations for things like doctor’s appointments (dr.), meetings (mtg.), anniversaries (ann.), etc. Just be consistent with your abbreviations to everyone knows what they mean. Your calendar can also be color-coded with each person having their activities and appointment in one color. If your schedule is in red and your spouse’s is in black, it much easier to glance at the calendar to quickly find your activities. This system is especially helpful as you add busy children’s schedules to the mix. It is important to check your calendar at least twice a day: once before bed to plan for the next day and once first thing in the morning to see what’s going on that day.

2. Notebook and Pen

Don’t try to keep all your thought in your head. You’re bound to forget them. Writing things down makes them more concrete and much harder to forget. A small notebook is a great place to write down your To Do List, Grocery and Errand Lists, or even just short notes about things you don’t want to forget. If you don’t like the idea of carrying a notebook around with you when you’re out and about, check your cell phone. Most cell phones have a program (often called Notepad) that allows you to type and save notes on the phone. The only downfall to this method is that it may not be as easy to you’re your shopping list off to someone else in the family. Whichever method you choose to use will give you the benefit of having all of your notes in one place which makes it much less likely for you to misplace important notes.

3. Laundry Basket

A laundry basket can be used for more than just carrying laundry. Take a laundry basket around to each room with you as you straighten up the house. Any items that do not belong in the room are placed in the basket to be removed. As you enter rooms for which your basket contains items, put them away. More decorative baskets can serve a similar function when placed at the top and bottom of a staircase. Items that are upstairs but belong downstairs (and vice versa) can be placed in the basket by the stairs. As you or another family member passes the basket on their way to the stairs, they can grab the items and return them to their proper places.

4. Box for Receipts

Your box can really be anything from a shoebox to an attractive photo box. Every time you buy something from the grocery store, department store, or small retail shop, put your receipt in the box (except for high-ticket items, which should be filed in your filing cabinet). By keeping all of your receipts in one place, it will be easy to find the one you need when something needs to be returned. Just remember to weed out the box periodically so it doesn’t get too full.

5. Timer

Keep everyone on schedule when getting ready in the morning. If bathroom time seems to be an issue, allot a certain amount of time per person. When the timer goes off, it’s time to switch. Young children (and some older ones) benefit from “racing the clock” for each morning task. Be sure the timer is set for an age-appropriate amount of time for each activity. They should then try to get dressed, etc. before the timer goes off. You can also benefit from using a timer while you work. Set the timer to go off every 15 minutes. If you’re still on task when the timer goes off, great! Reset the timer and keep working. If you’re off task, reset the timer and refocus yourself on the original task. A timer will also help you keep your breaks in check so your 10-minute break doesn’t inadvertently turn into a 20-minute break.

6. Garbage Can and Donation Box

Clutter often causes disorganization. Too much of anything can slow down your morning routine and cause things to be lost. Go through your items and get rid of unnecessary things by either throwing them away or placing them in a box to be donated to a local charity. As you come across things in your daily activities that you do not need immediately place them in either the trash or your donation box. A donation box can be stored under the bed or in the closet so you can add to it whenever you find something you don’t need. The items in the box should be donated on a monthly basis to ensure the box doesn’t get too full.

7. Label Maker

As you organize your house, label each box, shelf, and drawer. You and your family will be able to quickly find items that are needed. The labels will also rid your house of excuses like, ‘I don’t know where it goes.’

8. Bill Paying System

You can create your own system or use one like the Easy Bill Paying System. It should consist of some sort of filing system for unpaid bills and paid bill categories (utilities, auto payments, credit cards, etc.). You should also keep all of your necessary items for paying your bills (pen, envelopes, stamps, etc.) with this system. As soon as you receive a bill in the mail, place it in your bill paying system. Then on the same day each week (or every 2 weeks) sit down and pay all of your pending bills. After the bills are paid, place the bill summaries in the proper categories of your system so it’s simple to look up information when necessary.

9. Filing Cabinet

Your filing cabinet should contain both hanging file folders and manila file folders. Each hanging folder should be labeled with a general category such as Insurance, Bank Statement, Warranties, etc. Within those folders you may want sub-categories like health insurance, auto insurance, etc. These sub-categories should be labeled on manila folders that are placed within the hanging folders. File papers into the proper folder as you receive them and it will be easy to find them as needed.

10. Commitment

I know this isn’t a physical tool like the rest, but without a commitment you’re likely to fall back into your old disorganized ways. You have to commit to being less disorganized. Commit to using the tools daily. Commit to getting a system in place and giving it a try before making modifications so it works for your entire family. Finally get your family committed to the system as well. Without their support, even your best efforts to have an organized household will fail.

Get Organized Now – An amazing collection of 1,300 organizing tips, ideas and techniques to help you organize your home, your office and your life

Herbs For Anxiety

August 23, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

Whether you suffer from chronic stress and anxiety or you experience it only occasionally, you’ve probably already used herbs for anxiety without even realizing it. Chamomile tea for example, is an herb that creates a calming effect. Peppermint soothes an upset stomach, however, it’s also often used to ease tension.

Let’s take a look at some other herbs for anxiety that are commonly used:

Ginseng. Ginseng is often added to energy beverages and is thought to enhance a person’s overall health. However, it is most notably used to reduce stress, maintain emotional balance and help induce a state of relaxation. Ginseng can be taken in capsule form or as a tea.

Valerian. Valerian is often used as a natural sleep aid. It is now often used as an anti-anxiety medication. It can also be used as a sedative or tranquilizer. It’s most often consumed in capsule form.

Passionflower. According to several studies passionflower was as effective as some of the benzodiazepines in relieving anxiety. Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed to patients suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Kava Kava. Kava Kava can be used to treat mild-to-moderate anxiety. However, Kava Kava can have some serious side effects. Most notably, it can cause severe liver damage.

St John’s Wort. St. John’s Wort is often used to treat depression and mild anxiety. Studies have shown it to be effective for mild cases. If someone is severely depressed or suffering an anxiety disorder, St John’s Wort has not shown to be of any help. It can be taken as a capsule or in tea form.

It should be noted with all of the herbs discussed thus far, they can have interactions with other medications. It is extremely important to check with your physician before taking any herb for anxiety to ensure that is is safe to use with other medication.

In addition to the herbs for anxiety that we discussed above, lavender is commonly used as an essential oil aromatherapy to soothe weary nerves and create a state of calm. It can be inhaled, placed on pressure points on your body – like the inside of your wrists. Lavender can also be added to a bath.

Chamomile tea has been shown to induce a state of relaxation as does peppermint tea or peppermint essential oil. Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Sandalwood and Cedarwood are also great essential oils for relaxation aromatherapy.

If you suffer from mild anxiety or stress, consider talking to your doctor about herbal treatments. They’re generally much safer than prescription medications which can have health side effects and be addictive. Herbal remedies offer significantly fewer side effects. However, it’s still important to be safe.

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Home Cleaning Tips

August 18, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living, Organization 1 Comment →

One of the biggest problem with keeping a clean house is that cleaning the entire home can seem overwhelming. If you save all of your cleaning until Saturday or Sunday, you’ll have a six-hour job ahead of you, and nothing will get done because you’ll want to put it off. Instead, try these ten quick cleaning tips for a more organized home. These tips will keep you from dreading the cleaning binge on the weekends when you finally have time, and will leave you less stressed out during the week.

Use one or more of these home cleaning tips to keep your home clean and free from clutter.

Disinfecting Wipes Clorox, Lysol and even some of the major grocery stories manufacture disinfecting wipes (sometimes called Sani-Wipes) that can work wonders for cleaning sinks, bathtubs, toilet seats and even small messes on the floors. Purchase one container (usually thirty wipes) for each of the bathrooms in your home and one for the kitchen. Every time you go to the bathroom or use the kitchen, take a minute to run a disinfecting wipe over all of the surfaces. You won’t have to worry about wringing out or cleaning a sponge or rag, and it takes just a minute or so. This is one of my favorite home cleaning tips.

Squeegee Keep a squeegee (less than $4.00 from Walmart) in each of your bathrooms. Whenever you take a shower, squeegee the shower walls to avoid build-up of mildew. You should also teach your spouse and children to use their own squeegees. This will make cleaning the shower a much easier chore when you finally get down to using tile cleaner and a sponge. You can also keep a spray bottle of a bathroom cleaner in the shower. Spray the walls before you start the water and let it sit while you’re getting undressed and preparing for your shower. You can rinse the walls while you’re taking a shower, then squeegee when you’re done (works great with a detachable shower head).

Cleaning Bucket Rather than running around your house, trying to find the type of cleaner you need, store each set of cleaning supplies in its own separate bucket. That way everything is there when you need it, and you can transport it all easily with an easy-to-carry bucket. You can also use a caddy, if you prefer. Later, if you need the bucket to fill with soapy water, you can simply rinse it out in the sink or at the garden hose and refill it with your cleaning supplies.

Clean in Sections There is nothing worse than cleaning an entire room and then discovering that you missed spots. Instead, clean in sections from left-to-right or top-to-bottom. Not only will this prevent you from missing areas of the room, but it will also help your mindset when you realized that you’ve cleaned half the room.

Trash Bags Take a tip from restaurants and stores, and keep several trash bags stored underneath the in-use liner in your trash cans. This way, you won’t have to go looking for a new trash bag; you can just pull one of the spares from the bottom of the can.

Extension Cord Rather than switching outlets every few minutes, use an extension cord on your vacuum cleaner so that one outlet will allow you to clean the entire story. For example, if your living room is the center of your home, plug the cord into an outlet in your living room and then vacuum the whole house (or story).

Toothbrushes Recycle old and worn-out toothbrushes and keep one in your kitchen and in all of your bathrooms. When you’re cleaning and can’t get a hard-to-reach spot, the toothbrush will come to the rescue. Just be sure to rinse out the bristles when you’re done.

Empty the Sink Before going to bed every night, be sure that all of the dirty dishes have either been stored in the dishwasher or cleaned at the sink and put out to dry. It can be disheartening to wake up to a sink of dirty dishes, especially when you’re looking forward to a cup of coffee and some time to relax.

Hand-Held Vaccum A hand-held vacuum that works off of batteries is a wonderful little gadget that you can use when a job is too small to warrant pulling the big vacuum out of the closet. You can use it to clean up spilled cereal, dog hair, little clumps of dirt and any other mess that tries to ruin your day.

CD’s Even if you’re only cleaning for ten or fifteen minutes, it always helps to have a little music in the background to keep you going. Press “play” on the stereo every time you start a cleaning chore and the minutes will tick by much faster.

 Steve Thompson is a full-time freelance writer. In addition to the more than 3,000 articles he’s written for AC, he has also written articles and other materials for more than 100 happy clients

Get Organized Now – An amazing collection of 1,300 organizing tips, ideas and techniques to help you organize your home, your office and your life

Packing Healthy School Lunches

August 16, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Healthy Living No Comments →

Five creative tips for packing healthy school lunches

(ARA) – It’s that time of year again: back-to-school season. Amidst the jam-packed schedule of a child’s school day, it’s nice to know there is one area where parents make a difference – lunchtime.

The mission is to create a healthy school lunch that your hungry kids will look forward to eating. To help, here are five creative tips to selecting healthier options.

1. Color, color, color: Kids love color so make it a point to pick a different color for each day/week (or better yet, let them pick) and add it to your child’s lunch in fun ways. For example, on a purple day pack a small plum or handful of grapes. Red is fun if you pair raspberries and strawberry yogurt for dipping, and peaches or baby carrots make delicious orange options. It’s not only a fun way to get them excited about lunch, it helps introduce new fruits and vegetables they might have been uninterested in trying before.

2. Portion control: Finding pre-portioned snacks can help save both time and calories. Instead of reaching for bags of chips that can be higher in fat, try low-fat pretzels or 100-calorie snacks instead. For example, Snyder’s of Hanover offers a wide variety of items in its 100-Calorie Lunch Pack line, including Minis, Sticks and Snaps Pretzels as well as Eatsmart Naturals Veggie Crisps. Snyder’s also offers a variety pack of Peanut Butter and Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Sandwiches available in compostable outer packaging. Single serving snacks are perfect for on-the-go parents who appreciate the simplicity of putting a bag in a lunch box. For more information and snack ideas, visit www.snydersofhanover.com.

3. Fun surprises: Yes, some kids are content with the same lunch day after day after day, but for the ones who need variety, make it fun. Change it up and do something unexpected. For example, ever thought of making breakfast for lunch? Why not? Pack two or three small whole-grain pancakes with fruit and yogurt for toppings. To replace sugary juice, pack homemade fruit-flavored water in a reusable bottle. Jazz up a typical sandwich by cutting it with a cookie cutter, and wrapping it in wax paper tied with a bow. A knock-knock joke or little stickers can add even more fun.

4. Choose a theme: For example, create a picnic theme with turkey tortilla roll-ups and fruit kabobs. For a tea party theme, make miniature sandwiches and include sliced cucumbers with fruity-tea. The possibilities are endless, so get your kids involved and asked them what fun lunch themes they would enjoy.

5. Plan ahead and save: While packing lunches might seem too time-consuming, it doesn’t have to be. Make Sunday a preparation day for the week ahead and get the whole family involved to help out. Pick colors (see tip No. 1) you might include or prepare little note cards with jokes. By planning ahead, you’re less tempted to give in to packing more expensive, quicker options and instead you can save money by looking for deals and using coupons. Snyder’s of Hanover, for its part, is placing a special coupon book in 1 million Lunch Packs. The coupon book includes $6 in coupons from a variety of brands, as well as its own Snyder’s of Hanover products, along with a $10 subscription offer for one year of Sports Illustrated Kids magazine. For more details visit Snyderofhanover.com.

Do you need Kid-Friendly Recipes? We invite you to visit Kid Approved Meals  to pick up your personal 13 week breakfast and lunch menu designed just for children.

Small Living Space

August 13, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

Keeping a small living space organized poses some challenges but there are many ways to organize your small living space.

My husband and I have lived in our small one bedroom apartment for six years now and we are bursting at the seams. We both have a lot of hobbies that require a lot of gear such as skiing, hiking, golfing etc. We are planning on buying a larger place in the next year but until then we have to keep our home comfortable and organized.

Here are some tips on how to organize your home when you are in a small living space:

1. Make sure everything has their own home. This is key to making sure that your home remains organized. If you don’t know where to put things back, they will remain out and in your way.

2. Use offsite storage. Storing seasonal items can clear up space in your pantry and storage areas. This can be pricy, so make sure to do your homework when comparing prices.

3. Use space wisely. We have high ceiling but areas where the wall space is limited. As we have so many books we bought very high and skinny shelves. It took a little while to find them. Furniture stores are catching on that if you live in a large city, chances are you live in a small space.

4. Go through your things regularly. If you have not used that tennis racket in the last ten years, the odds of you using it in the next ten are slim. Pass it on to friends or charities that take in household items.

5. If you have lots of DVD’s and CD’s – store these in a CD book rather than in there cases. This will free up a lot of space in your living room.

6. Purchase furniture that is also storage. We have a leather bench that can store extra blankets and books inside of it and out of site. Underneath a bed is a great place for storage boxes for extra bedding and pillows.

7. And last but not least – try to reduce the amount of things that you bring into your home. This will not only keep your home uncluttered but also help the environment. My husband and I have a rule now – if you bring something new in, something has to go out. This ensures that when we purchase things, we really think about whether we need it or not.

Get Organized Now – An amazing collection of 1,300 organizing tips, ideas and techniques to help you organize your home, your office and your life.

Avoid Bank Fees

August 11, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

Five bank fees you should stop paying

(ARA) – If you’re tired of getting nickeled and dimed by your bank, it’s time to switch. Irritation with unnecessary bank fees is the No. 1 reason consumers switch banks, according to a recent survey by Javelin Strategy and Research.

“Stopping useless fees forever is a smart way to make your money go further,” says J.J. Montanaro, a certified financial planner with USAA. “The savings can add up to hundreds of dollars a year, which can be used to pay your bills instead of your bank.”

If you’re paying these five fees, it’s time to look for a bank that doesn’t charge them.

1. Overdraft fees – While the new overdraft rules that went into effect on July 1 requires financial institutions to notify customers of their options to opt-in to overdraft fees, finding a bank that chooses to opt-out of the “opt-in” legislation can save you cash. Some banks – like USAA Federal Savings Bank – have eliminated overdraft fees on ATM and debit transactions entirely.

However, if you’ve decided to opt-in to overdraft fees, you’re not out of luck. Many banks provide overdraft protection – allowing purchases exceeding your account balance to be pulled from your savings account or put on your credit card. Check with your bank to see if this service is free. If so you’ll avoid overdrafts and avoid having your purchase declined.

If you choose a credit card as your back-up payment option, be sure to pay off your balance immediately to avoid paying interest, Montanaro adds.

2. ATM fees — If the ATM you use is not affiliated with your bank, that ATM’s bank may charge you for ATM/debit card withdrawals or other transactions. While a $1.50 to $3 ATM fees may seem nominal when you really need to access your cash, they can add up quickly.

Some banks allow you to use any ATM without charging fees. If your bank doesn’t, plan ahead and only withdraw money from ATMs affiliated with your bank. Or you could take advantage of fee-free, cash-back options now offered at some local grocery or convenience store chains when making a purchase.

Better yet, switch to a bank that reimburses you those fees. For example, USAA rebates up to $15 a month in ATM fees – a perk that could add up to $180 a year in savings.

3. Check fees – Cut fees by quitting checks, or at least using less of them. Unless your bank offers free checks, switch to paying bills electronically. This usually fee-free service allows you to pay bills anytime and anywhere you have access to a secure Internet connection.

4. Minimum balance fees — Your bank may expect you to keep a minimum balance in your account and charge you a fee if you slip below. You can side-step these fees by carefully matching your situation with the account requirements. For instance, look for an account that waives the fee for direct deposit of your paycheck, or find an account with no minimum balance requirement.

“In addition, take advantage of helpful tools such as free online financial management tools, account alerts sent via e-mail or text messages that are triggered when your account runs low,” Montanaro says.

5. Fine print fees — Are you charged a fee for monthly account maintenance, or does that bill you receive in the mail each month cost extra? “It pays to sweat the small stuff and fully understand what your bank is charging you,” Montanaro says. “Instead of paying your bank to send you a paper bill each month, see if you can sign up to receive it electronically for free. This option will save you money and can make it easier to keep track of your statements.”

Montanaro adds that investing time to manage banking needs and find a bank that doesn’t overwhelm you with fees can add up to real savings of potentially hundreds of dollars each year. “In times like these, it’s important to make every dollar count and ensure it’s working for you – not your bank.”

Living Within Your Means To get a grip on what fees your bank is charging, Montanaro suggests carefully reviewing your most recent checking and savings account statement.

Back-to-School Physical: 3 Questions to Ask Your Child’s Doctor

August 10, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

(NEW YORK) August 10, 2010 – You help your child stay physically active. You set a good example by serving and eating nutritious foods. And you make sure there are healthy lifestyle choices at home and at school. But even as the quarterback for your child’s health, you still need some coaching. By talking with your child’s doctor, you can make an age-appropriate plan that’s a perfect fit for your child.

As the school year begins and you make the annual visit to the pediatrician, here are three simple questions to ask from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is focused on reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015.

How is My Child’s Weight? Does your child need to lose weight, gain weight or maintain his or her current weight? Some kids will grow into their weight, and others may need to shed a few pounds.

What is My Child’s BMI? Body Mass Index is a number that predicts risk of disease by comparing a child’s weight to his or her height. Ask your child’s healthcare provider to measure BMI and educate
yourself on what the number means.

How Often Should We Visit? Ask about follow-up appointments and more tests, as necessary. And find out how often your healthcare provider wants to measure your child’s BMI.

By asking these three questions, you can be sure to keep them on a consistent path to a healthy lifestyle. A doctor knows how to measure your child’s total health—and can evaluate your child compared to other kids in his or her age group.

Interested in learning more tips for working with your child’s doctor? Visit www.HealthierGeneration.org and find out how the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is teaming with national medical associations, leading insurers and employers to offer comprehensive health benefits to children and families for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation works to address one of the nation’s leading public health threats – childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. Founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation, the Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, doctor’s offices and communities.

Back to School Nutrition

August 09, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children No Comments →

Nutrition is one of the single most important factors when it comes to a child’s development. Proper nutrition is essential for children to succeed in school. By feeding your children a proper diet, you are helping them to be able to function properly in school in addition to fostering their growing mind and bodies.

A proper diet is especially important for growing children. At this level, the children’s minds are still developing and their bodies are growing fast. Without proper nutrition, a child will lack the vitamins and minerals necessary to facilitate a normal growth.

It is important to feed your children a variety of healthy meals and snacks. Avoid feeding children junk food which will only contribute to obesity and malnutrition. The occasional treat will not hurt your child, but it is not healthy to make it a regular habit.

One way to ensure that your child eats healthy at school is to make a bag lunch for your child each day. Include healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables or a variety of nuts. Each of these snacks is high in vitamins and low in fat. They also provide your child with energy to keep their attention on school matters rather than drifting off to sleep.

Also pack a nutritious meal along with a juice box or milk box. Nutritious meals can include sandwiches along with soups. Be sure to pack your children’s meals in small portions as children tend to snack on several items at once. While there is no way to ensure that your child is not trading away their food, you are preventing them from buying school lunches which consist of mostly processed food.

Getting involved with the school can be beneficial. PTA meetings are held regularly for parents to voice their concerns with issues. This would be a good venue for bringing up the subject of healthier school lunches. More than likely, you are not the only parent who has concerns about the food being served in the cafeteria.

As children get older and graduate to junior high and high school, more unhealthy options are available in the lunch room such as ice cream machines and soda machines. Gather a bunch of nutrition-minded parents and create a plan to implement new options into the school cafeterias. While you may not see immediate results, if you keep up your campaigning and your research, eventually someone else’s kids will benefit from your hard work.

There are several ways to implement a healthy, nutritious diet in school-age children. Children need lots of minerals and vitamins in order to develop the tools necessary to facilitate healthy growth in both body and mind. Packing a bag lunch for your children is a great way to monitor what your child eats while at school. Another great solution is to get involved with the PTA and campaign for healthier school lunches. Results may not be immediate, but they will be beneficial.

Build up your ‘momfidence’

August 04, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Mommy Rambles, Parenting No Comments →

Five ways to boost your parenting confidence before the baby arrives

(ARA) – Becoming a new parent can be a scary process. There is so much to learn and no easy way to practice until your new bundle of joy arrives. Luckily, there are easy ways that you can prepare yourself – and your home – to give you peace of mind and be able to enjoy the time with your new baby.

Become well read
Whether you choose lighthearted, comical selections, such as Jenny McCarthy’s “Belly Laughs,” or more informative choices, such as “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” there is a wealth of books to get you educated, ready and even entertained. So, kick up your (swollen) feet and start reading.

Seek out similar situations
Whether you are having your first child, or wondering what life will be like having your second, third or more, seek out other parents who share a similar lifestyle. Talking with others to get their opinions on how to cope with siblings, working and other common life situations will help give you insight and better prepare you for life’s new addition.

Create a “home safe home”
All parents want to keep their kids safe from any potential dangers, so updating your home with a variety of home safety products – for both your new arrival and yourself – is a good idea. While the standard items such as socket plugs and baby gates are must-haves, many parents don’t think of bath safety. And, according to the Home Safety Council, falls are the leading cause (66 percent) of all nonfatal home injuries – with the bathroom being a main culprit due to water and slick surfaces.

Getting into and out of the tub and shower can be difficult for little ones. And, as your “baby bump” continues to grow, the shift in your center of gravity can make you more susceptible to slips and falls. Permanent grab bars, such as SecureMount Grab Bars from Home Care by Moen, are an ideal solution, offering an easy, secure install in a variety of styles and finishes to beautifully coordinate with the rest of the bathroom. Or, for an even easier (and more temporary) installation, try Home Care’s Premium SecureLock Tub Grip, which easily locks tightly to most tubs for an extra hand getting in and out. And, once you are in safely, consider adding a tub and shower seat to ensure that your bath time is accident free.

Stock up on essentials
Believe it or not, you’ll probably go through more than 70 diapers and 200 wipes per week. And, once your bundle of joy arrives, you’ll want to focus your attention on her (or sleep) – not on shopping – so stock up now. In addition to diapering essentials, be sure to supply your medicine cabinet with infant acetaminophen, gas drops, diaper rash cream and a thermometer. And, it’s not a bad idea to fill your freezer full of pre-made dinners so you don’t have to worry about cooking in those first few hectic weeks when you’re still recuperating.

Take a class
Ask your doctor about classes or support groups in your area. Most hospitals offer a variety of classes to help you with everything from childbirth and infant care to even more specific topics, like introducing the baby to siblings or pets. These classes will not only provide you with a wealth of information – but can be a great way to meet others going through the same life experiences.

With a bit of preparation, you’ll soon be breathing easier and feel much more prepared when your bundle of joy arrives. For more information on shower safety products from Home Care by Moen, visit www.moen.com/homecare.