Outdoor Ideas To Get Kids Moving

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By Jessica Wilson

active familyThe most common notion surrounding kids is that they’re more prone to going outside and playing there for what could easily turn into hours. However, some kids find themselves spending less time outside mostly because of other leisure activities such as playing video games and checking their own social media accounts. Nowadays, indoor activities tend to take up most of their free time instead of engaging in outdoor play. For them to get moving, presented below are some fun ideas that kids can do outdoors instead of occupying themselves with sedentary hobbies that can negatively affect their health in the long run.

Why Should Kids Spend Some Time Outdoors?

In an ideal world, every kid should have the right to some outdoor play time. Unfortunately, some kids all over the world spend less time outside of their own homes which can be attributed to a couple of things. The first one is that pastimes that don’t require as much physical activity are increasingly becoming popular as they’re more convenient and can be done even while indoors, while the second one is that some parents worry that their kids might get injured after playing outside. Despite those two things that are forcing more and more kids to stay indoors, they should be given enough time to play outside for the following reasons:

● Spending some time outdoors gives kids a sense of adventure as they’re free to roam wherever they wish as long as there’s a parent or guardian to watch over them at random intervals.

● Making sure that kids have at least a few hours’ worth of outdoor play teaches kids essential social skills that they’ll need to use more often once they become full-fledged adults themselves.

● Outdoor play also makes kids healthier as exposure to early morning sunlight provides them with the right amount of Vitamin D that they need for their bones to grow strong.

What Are Some Outdoor Fun Ideas That Can Get Kids Moving?

While there might be times when the outside weather isn’t welcoming which can force kids to spend the rest of their day indoors instead, they should spend at least a few hours outdoors whenever the weather would allow them to do so. To make it more fun for them, here are some ideas that can get them moving in no time at all:

1. Go on a kid-friendly nature hike.

Some outdoor hiking trails might not be as safe for kids, but there are others that they can walk across with ease.

● Kids have to wear the right shoes though so that their feet won’t get hurt while they’re crossing uneven terrain.

● At least one adult should accompany the kids so that their safety is ensured, especially as some hiking trails may have slippery rocks and other hazards.

2. Finish an obstacle course.

Even with only a handful of tires, some rope, and a bunch of PVC pipes, an adult can build an obstacle course that kids can attempt to complete.

● A well-designed backyard obstacle course can make kids use both their physical and mental skills as they encounter various hurdles that are sure to challenge their idea of outdoor play.

● A game of running around an obstacle course can even be turned into a contest where the kid who finishes it in the least time gets a reward.

familywalk23. Turn a normal walk outside into a scavenger hunt.

Even something as seemingly simple as taking a walk outside can be turned into a scavenger hunt where kids can play detective as they tick things off of a checklist.

● All that’s needed for the kids to do a scavenger hunt is a sharp eye and the willingness to ask other people in case they’re having trouble finding an item.

● While some of the item descriptions can be made slightly more cryptic for the scavenger hunt to be a bit more challenging, they should remain easy enough for a kid to find.

4. Play a round of ball.

Part of the reason why ball games have grown to become some of the world’s most popular sports is that they can be played outdoors almost everywhere.

● A couple of makeshift goals can be built in an outdoor area so that the kids can play a simple game of soccer.

● A football game outside with the kids can also be played even without any goals by just kicking the ball and passing it around.

As fewer kids spend some time outdoors, their overall health can get compromised as they don’t move around as much. Thus, they would want to drop the video games and smartphones even for a short while and make sure that their parents would allow them at least a few hours of outside play so that they can grow up to become healthy adults themselves.

– Jessica is a professional health expert who works for some major health industry giants. She currently writes for Membersown and is dedicated to helping people learn more about health related topics along the journey. When she’s not a health advocate, she enjoys some down time traveling or talking with family.

50 Best Network Marketing Companies Of 2017

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thumbsupThe goal of a marketing company is to enhance the sales and profits of a company by providing more exposure as well as providing targeted exposure, which means reaching potential customers who are likely to be interested in the product or service being offered.

The folks at MLM Companies just listed their list of the 50 Best Network Marketing Companies Of 2017.

Their list of network marketing companies include Young Living, Motor Club of America, Nu Skin and Avon.

To access this list, please click here.

Best & Worst Exercise Equipment For People With Back Pain

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Thank you to PRWeb and Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS for supplying this article, please share your thoughts below…..

humanbodyMinimally invasive spine surgeon Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS has published a new article in which he lists the four kinds of exercise equipment that can help alleviate back pain and support recovery from a spine injury, and the three kinds of exercise equipment that people with back pain should definitely avoid.

Minimally invasive spine surgeon Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS has published a new article in which he lists the best and worst exercise equipment for people with back pain.

“Many people who suffer from back pain or have a spine injury believe that they must give up their gym membership,” commented Dr. Gleiber, who specializes in treating all spinal disorders including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, myelopathy, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, spinal trauma, and tumors and infections of the spine. “However, exercise can actually help alleviate their back pain and support their recovery — provided that they are using the right equipment in the right way, and steering well clear of the wrong equipment.”

According to Dr. Gleiber, the four kinds of exercise equipment he recommends for people suffering from back pain are:

1. Elliptical machines, which place minimal stress on the back and other joints.

2. Stationary bikes (both upright and recumbent), which provide an aerobic workout and strengthen the lower body, with little to no impact.

3. Treadmills, which are ideal for people who are out of shape, or resuming an exercise program after a lengthy break.

4. Weight machines, which can be particularly helpful for upper body exercises, and unlike free weights, do not require bending of the knee in order to lift the weight.

And on the other end of the spectrum, the three kinds of exercise equipment that people with back pain should definitely avoid are:

1. Lying leg press machines, which place enormous stress on the lower back.

2. Hip abductor machines, which strain the spine with each squeeze or pull.

3. Loaded standing calf raise machines, which place excessive weight on the shoulders and stress on the spine.

Added Dr. Gleiber: “Even when using this recommended equipment, people should immediately stop exercising if they experience additional back pain. And if they have any doubt about an exercise machine, they should check with their medical doctor – and not gym staff!”

The full version of Dr. Gleiber’s latest article entitled “The Best (and Worst) Exercise Equipment for Back Pain” is available on his practice’s website at http://michaelgleibermd.com/news/best-worst-exercise-equipment-back-pain/

Additional articles by Dr. Gleiber on spine health, pain relief, effective exercising and more are available at http://michaelgleibermd.com/news.

About Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD

– Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD is a trusted expert in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery. He currently serves as Spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, is a writer for The Huffington Post, and is frequently invited to provide his medical expertise in the media. Dr. Gleiber has been honored with multiple recognitions, including Castle Connolly Top Doctors for Spine Surgery, SuperDoctors of South Florida, Top 10 Spine Surgical Specialists Florida by Vitals.com, and is listed amongst Top 50 Spine Surgeon Leaders. Learn more at http://michaelgleibermd.com

Five Best Fruit Juices For Kids

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By Mauricio Prinzlau

fruitswhiteIt is certainly no child’s play persuading your children to finish their food, especially when it looks dull and unappealing. And as a parent you must be well aware of the trials and tribulations involved in getting your kid to eat his fruits and veggies. Fresh fruits are full of nutrients necessary for your child’s growth, and a smart way to persuade your kids to consume it is by juicing them! Yes a glass of organic fruit juice that looks vibrant enough to tempt the child but is high on nutrition as well. Mentioned below are some healthy and scrumptious juicing recipes for kids:

How are fruit juices beneficial?

A pretty convenient and quick breakfast fix, fruit juices keep your child energised all day long. It contains all the vitamins and minerals to fulfil the nutritional need of their developing bodies. But before we move on to the recipes, let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts of juicing.

• Babies should solely depend on the other’s milk for nutrition. Avoid giving them fruit juices

• For children aged 2 to 12 years, it is recommended that you dilute the juice (with water) and give it to them in limited quantities

• Start out slow and then gradually increase their nutrient intake, don’t worry though, fruits juices are absolutely safe

• It is best that you get a Juicer and prepare the juice yourself rather than get store bough juice boxes laden with artificial colours and preservatives,

• Incorporate green veggies such as spinach, kale, beets into the juice but in very small proportions. Such strong juices are better suited for adults

• Don’t stick to just one particular fruit introduce your child to a variety of fruit juices.

The recipes

Juicing is a great way to get your child to eat his fruits and veggies. Given below are some juicing recipes especially designed for kids and approved by kids.

Apple and orange juice

When it comes to kids, apples and oranges are among the traditional favourites. The naturally sweet tastes of the apples combined with the slightly tangy oranges are a hit among children! Apples are rich in antioxidants that flush out the toxic wastes, while oranges are replete with vitamin C that boosts immunity and strengthens the body. You would need:

• 2 apples (or carrots)

• 2 oranges

Juice the apples in an electric juicer then mix some hand squeezed orange juice with it. You can even add 2 carrots in place of the apples to add a little variety.

Carrot pear and orange juice

Naturally vibrant and slightly sweet, carrots are among the best loved vegetables among kids. And the fact that it is packed with nutrients makes it a hit among parents as well! Rich in vitamin A and other minerals, carrots are good for the eyes and immunity. Also pears and oranges contain many minerals necessary for growth. You would need:

• 2 carrots

• 1 pear

• 1 orange

Juice the carrots and pear in an electric juicer and orange in a hand one, as most conventional juicers don’t support citrus fruits. Mix the two and serve it fresh.

Mango pineapple and kale juice

Mango is one fruit that every kid loves! Rich in glucose and carbohydrates, mango pulp is a great ingredient for smoothies and fruit juices. Also pineapple only enhances the nutritional value and taste of the juice. Balance this sweetness by adding a bit of kale into the mixture. Full of vitamins A, C and K, kale takes care of the health factor. You would need:

• 1 mango

• A cup of fresh chopped pineapple

• A cup of freshly chopped kale leaves (approx. 3 to 4)

Juice the pineapple pieces and chopped kale leaves in a juicer then add mango pulp to it, ensure that you juice the kale first.

fruitcupTomato carrot and apple juice

Once your child is accustomed to juices, gradually start increasing the health quotient of the juice. The trick is to add some vegetables and balance it with the sweetness of the fruit. Tomato and carrot are well loved veggies among kids; add to that some apples and you’ve got yourself a winner! But to keep things healthy, you can also mix a bit of spinach to the mixture. Rich in vitamins and minerals, spinach purifies the blood and strengthens muscles. You would need:

• 2 carrots

• 1 apple

• 1 tomato

• A cup of freshly chopped spinach leaves

Juice all the ingredients, starting with the spinach, mix it all up and serve fresh. Your kid will love it!

Beet apple spinach juice

Easy on the eyes, the vibrant red of the beet combined with the sweetness of the apple and health of spinach gives you a wholesome energy drink. You would need:

• 1 apple

• 1 medium size peeled

• A cup of chopped spinach

Juice all the ingredients, mix it and serve fresh!

SML Shares Its Top Ten Best Places To Move In 2015

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and SML, please share your thoughts about it below in the comments section…..

familywalk2Simple Moving Labor’s (SML’s) annual Top Ten Best Places to Move in 2015 includes newcomer Provo, Utah, in the number one spot and four Texas hubs make the list as well. If a move is on your to-do list for 2015, here are the hot spots drawing attention.

Provo, Utah captures the number one spot on the “Top Ten Best Places to Move in 2015” list, bumping Boise, Idaho to number two since last year. Simple Moving Labor, the national leader in moving labor, compiles and publishes the list annually.

West Palm Beach, Florida, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Austin, Texas – all new to the list, compared to 2014 – round out the Top Five. Texas is the most represented state with Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio joining Austin as one of the hottest places to move to in 2015. Dallas just barely missed out on joining, too. Florida and Utah both had two cities on the list.

“As a nation, we tend to relocate very cyclically, migrating naturally to the places where we can work, raise a family, and enjoy a certain quality of life,” said SML President Matt McCollum. “Some of these places might not be the first to spring to mind when you think of where people love to live, but these residents would tell you otherwise – and people looking to move are listening.”

SML looked at cities with populations over 200,000 and then compares the median income, median price of a sold house, projected home value growth over the next three years, and the home affordability index. The unemployment rate is used as a tie breaker.

To even be considered for the list, the community had to beat the national average for median income ($53,046 annually) and have an unemployment rate under the national average of 5.7%. SML drew the statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Forbes.com, Zillow.com, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“The numbers make a compelling argument, but it is when you start looking a little deeper, seeing what the residents say about an area, that the true story comes out,” McCollum said. “The residents in these communities are the city’s strongest advocates. They love where they live and want people to realize it.

Salt Lake City, Utah and Orlando, Florida also made this year’s list. The full rankings include:

1. Provo, Utah
2. Boise, Idaho
3. West Palm Beach, Florida
4. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
5. Austin, Texas
6. Orlando, Florida
7. Salt Lake City, Utah
8. Houston, Texas
9. San Antonio, Texas
10. Fort Worth, Texas

ABOUT SML: Founded in 2007, SML is the nation’s leading provider of moving labor services – help loading or unloading your rental truck or storage unit – as well as door-to-door, full-service moves. No matter your moving needs, SML delivers the manpower, work ethic, customer service, and expertise to make your next move a simple move.

Family Fun And Fitness: Finding The Best Backyard Playset

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By Jereme Thomas

groupkidswbgFinding something that promises to deliver hours of family fun and helps to keep kids fit and active is not always that easy, but a backyard playset can often satisfy all of these requirements.

Children naturally enjoy playing outside and are always keen to have some fun through climbing, sliding and swinging, which are things you can do when you install a backyard playset for them.

Plenty of reasons

If you need a reason to buy a playset for your kids, there are plenty of them, and when you add them all together it makes the idea of investing in one for your backyard seem like a bit of a no-brainer.

Fresh air and exercise

In a digital age, it is great to see the kids enjoy some fresh air and exercise and soon forget about the iPad when they are having so much fun.

Outdoor play equipment offers the opportunity for physical exercise whilst they are playing. Climbing to the top of a slide before enjoying that quick descent helps children to develop their upper and lower body strength and also improves their cardiovascular health with all that running around.

Good for their health

There are definite benefits attached to being outside that go beyond the obvious advantage of keeping kids fit and healthy through the exercise that a playset offers.

Simply being outside and soaking up some sunlight will help boost their vitamin D intake and some studies also show that regular exposure to mud and dirt, which is part of the fun as far as they are concerned, actually boosts their immune system, which is obviously a positive aspect to consider.

Choosing the right equipment

Kid’s playsets offer a wide variety of different options, so you can have a slide, monkey bars and different combinations of ladders and other equipment to allow them to climb safely.

Although a good playset will have been manufactured with safety as an important consideration, you do have to ensure that you choose the right equipment that is appropriate to the age of your child.

Children develop quite quickly and you will certainly want to buy a playset that offers your kid’s the chance to enjoy at least several years of enjoyment, but it is always advisable to remember that equipment that is fun and safe for a 10-year old, will not be suitable for a toddler.

Look for a playset model that allows you to modify the equipment at a later date but if you are unsure, take advice from the supplier as to what combination of equipment is safe and appropriate for your child to use right now.

twokidsunSuitable and safe

If you have children who are under two, the tower railing needs to be as open as possible with slats in place rather than solid walls, so that they can learn to climb more easily.

A tower for a child of this age should ideally not be any more than five feet off the ground, but a six foot tower might be acceptable in order to keep the playset just as exciting as they grow a bit bigger. A two-child back-to-back glider is worth considering, as it children tend to get the hang of these more quickly than a traditional swing, and it encourages them to use their arm muscles which will help them get fitter as well.

A glider is suitable for ages two and up and you should get plenty of use out of it, as older kids also tend to enjoy riding them too.

Equipment options

Older kids will love using a rock-climbing wall and if you get one with colored grips or rocks, they can play games following the color patterns as they climb up and down. Tire swings are quite popular with kids, but they are quite heavy and can easily knock a child over if they get too close while someone else is on it, so it wouldn’t be advisable to get one fitted if you have kids aged under four.

Trapezes are also best avoided for younger children, as the young ones find them difficult to get the hang of and this can present a dislocation hazard. Monkey bars are another item that are more suited to older children, as they need a reasonable amount of upper body strength and can become dangerous if a young child manages to climb to the top, but can’t then get down safely.

A playset in your backyard offers a great chance to enjoy some family fun and improve fitness, just take the time to choose the right combination of equipment so that they can play as safely as possible.

– Jereme Thomas is the owner and founder of Totally Swing Sets, an online swing set store that specializes in quality wooden swing sets and outdoor accessories. His wife, Nikki, assists in running Totally Swing Sets as the Director of Sales and Service.

Is Your Baby Dehydrated? Here Are The Best Remedies To Your Rescue

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By Aradhana Pandey

mombabyAs a new mom, there different things you will discover about your child’s body that are very different from yours. Apart from requiring good amount of sleep and rest, you will also notice that your baby needs to eat and drink regularly and his bowel movements are more frequent as compared to yours. This is mainly due to the fact that infants have small bodies (and stomachs) which store less fluid and their metabolic rates are much higher. This makes them require foods and fluids more frequently. If your infant falls short of essential fluids and electrolytes, he can fall prey to dehydration which may lead to serious consequences if left untreated.

If your baby if displaying the following symptoms, chances are that he might be dehydrated:

• Reduced frequency of urine or less than 6 wet diapers in a day;

• Dark yellow urine;

• Dry mouth and increased thirst;

• Few or no tears while crying;

• Increased fatigue;

• Sunken eyes,

• Blotchy hands and feet;

• Sunken fontanelle/soft spot;

• Rapid breathing and elevated heart rate

There could be many reasons why your baby is dehydrated such as diarrhea, vomiting, environmental conditions (too much heat), fever and lack of food intake. Following remedies can help better your infant’s condition if he is dehydrated:

1. Offer Plenty Of Fluids For Mild Dehydration – It’s not uncommon for babies to succumb to mild bouts of dehydration if the weather gets too hot. In a case like such, ensure you increase your baby’s fluid intake and offer him plenty of liquids like water, breast milk or formula, if you formula-feed your infant. According to an article by American Family Physician, offering liquids like fruit juices or soft drinks during dehydration should be avoided as their mix of salt, sugar and minerals is not consistent and they can aggravate diarrhea resulting in further dehydration. It is also important that you let your baby rest in a cool place to avoid further loss of fluids due to sweating.

baby2. Offer Oral Rehydration Solution For Mild – Medium Dehydration – If your baby is experiencing moderate dehydration caused due to diarrhea or vomiting, you can replace his body’s lost fluids, sugar and salt by offering him oral hydration solution along with his regular feed. Formula should stop being given to formula-fed babies during the process of rehydration and resumed only once dehydration is under control.

3. Other Treatments To Ease The Symptoms Of Dehydration – If your baby develops a mild fever or is facing trouble drinking or swallowing, you can give him infant paracetamol or infant ibuprofen to reduce his uneasiness. Make sure that he continues to drink plenty of fluids, frequently along with the dose of these medicines. These drugs are not recommended for infants who are under 3 months of age. Consult your doctor before giving your child a dose of these medicines.

4. Dietary Recommendations After Dehydration Is In Control – While the age old maxim suggests that withholding food for 24 hours can improve the condition of dehydration in infants, it is not recommended and is extremely unsafe. On the contrary, early feeding can offset changes in intestinal permeability caused by infection, decrease the duration of illness and even improve nutritional outcome. You can offer your infant the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) which is recommended for babies who are over 7 months of age.

If despite following the aforementioned remedies at home, your baby’s condition still doesn’t improve, rush him to your doctor without further delay. His diarrhea could be the result of a serious underlying health condition. Look out for warning signs like black or bloody stools, no improvement in situation even after 24 hours, continued irritability and fatigue, high fever, bloody vomiting and persistent vomiting even after 4-6 hours. Always remember to keep an eye on altered patterns in your baby’s behavior and eating habits for his good health and safety.

– Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like natural news, elephant journal, thehealthsite, naturally savvy, curejoy and MomJunction. Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.

How To Best Address The Behavior Of Someone With Dementia

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By Laura N. Gitlin, Ph.D.

informationAnyone caring for someone with dementia should carefully observe what is taking place before, during, and after a common “behavior.” Then is the time to think about ways for preventing, reducing or addressing the behavior.

“Brainstorming” is a method of solving specific problems by spontaneously thinking of new and creative ideas without immediately judging whether they will work or not. After you have brainstormed for 10 minutes or so, go back and critically look at your ideas and whether they are doable. You can brainstorm with a health-care professional or someone else you know who has experience with these problems.

Here are some general guidelines for brainstorming:

1. Always work on one behavior at a time.

2. Consider what your personal goal is (e.g., prevent the behavior, minimize its occurrences, make it safer for the person if the behavior occurs).

3. Consider which triggers can be changed. Strategies are designed to help minimize the occurrence of the behavior or address the behavior when it occurs. The strategies may also help keep the person with dementia safe, comfortable and content, as well as preserve your own energy, time, patience and financial resources.

After brainstorming, try to implement one or more strategies:

1. Try out the one(s) you have chosen.

2. Try just one strategy at a time or try several, depending on the behavior.

3. You may have to try a strategy for 1 to 2 weeks before you are able to notice a difference in the person with dementia’s behavior.

4. If you find that a strategy makes the behavior worse, discontinue it.

5. You may benefit from working with a health professional to review your situation.

6. Communication strategies are highly effective, so try these first.

Finally, evaluate whether the strategy is effective: Does it work?

1. Record or monitor which strategies seem to reduce or help address the problem behavior.

2. If the strategies do not work, then try others from your brainstorming list. You may also want to then talk to family members, health professionals and the doctor of the person you are caring for about the behavior to identify other strategies for addressing the behavior.

– Laura N. Gitlin, Ph.D., is Director of the Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health at John Hopkins University. In addition to directing the Center, Dr. Gitlin is a professor at the Schools of Nursing and Medicine. She is a nationally and internationally recognized researcher with more than 24 years experience in dementia and caregiving research. Dr. Gitlin’s research is supported by grants from both federal agencies and private foundations, including the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institutes of Health. Founded by Dr. Gitlin, the Center seeks to improve the lives of older adults and their family members through research, training of health professionals, and implementation of evidence-based clinical services. the Center is committed to enhancing the quality of life for older adults and family caregivers by developing, testing, and disseminating innovative community and home-based health and human services. Learn more about the Center’s research at jefferson.edu/jchp/carah.

Getting Healthy Together: The Best Sports Activities For Family Fitness

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boygirlplayvectorIt is amazing how many sports fans enjoy their favorite pastime from a distance. Their only contact with sports is to watch it on TV from the comfort of a couch or recliner, while eating snacks with no nutritional value. In other words, an activity that requires the epitome of health and fitness is enjoyed by people doing everything to decrease their own health and fitness.

Don’t let this happen to you, or any other member of your family. There are other ways to enjoy your favorite sports:


Weekend golfing doesn’t really meet that criteria. It pushes the definition of doing something together. One person swings while everyone else watches. It is also slow and expensive. It is a hobby usually suited to a single person.

Chess is another excellent sport. And yes, it is a sport. Unfortunately, only two can play. It is turn-based, slow, and let’s face it, no one ever lost weight or became more fit playing chess. But don’t worry; there are plenty of sports that are both fun to watch and to do. Here are my top three:


The only thing better than watching Wimbledon on Independence Day is getting out there and playing it… and the barbecue. Tennis is a fast-paced game with plenty of built-in breaks for catching one’s breath. It can be played and enjoyed at all skill levels. You need at least two players. But you can have up to four on the court at one time. Because balls have to constantly be retrieved, there is plenty of activity for those not playing at the time.

The only thing you need to get started is a tennis racket for each player, lots of tennis balls, and a tennis court on which to play. There are always tennis courts to be found, usually for free use. You can pay for time on the nicer ones for a small fee. Unlike golf, tennis can be played without cashing out an IRA. If you are an enthusiast wanting to outfit your own backyard with the latest tennis court equipment, check out the latest accessories online. Otherwise, if all you need are some rackets and a cool headband, any department store will do.


basketballvectorThere is no category of people who do not enjoy basketball on some level. There is even a National Wheelchair Basketball Association. Yes, there are people who play basketball with no legs. Being shorter than 6’7” is not a barrier to entry. Men, women, girls, and boys of all ages, sizes, and skill level can find some variation of basketball that works for them.

It is usually played at a frenetic pace that challenges even the most fit among us. Even those little ones you can hardly keep up with during the day will be huffing and puffing after a few minutes of round ball. Once you play for a while, you will come to appreciate the mad skills of the ones who make it look easy on TV.


If you have had enough of chasing balls on courts, put on the grippy shoes and go for a long walk. Hiking is a legitimate sport, though it doesn’t feature prominently on TV. That is because it is a sport that is only worth doing, not watching. There is no special equipment to buy or maintain. There is no particular place you have to do it. There is no wrong way to do it. The only advice I have to offer is don’t walk through a briar patch in short pants. Otherwise, just go for it. You can fly solo or bring the whole family, even the dog.

The great thing about all of these activities is that they are enjoyable when done together with people you love. They are very active and beneficial for health and fitness. And of course, their cheap. No investments in expensive equipment are required. No matter what sport you choose, it will help you appreciate it all the more when it is time to kick back and watch your favorite athlete.

Puree Baby Food Versus Baby Led Weaning: How To Get The Best Of Both

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By Kristen Yarker, MSc, RD

mombabyThere are two popular schools of thought when it comes to introducing babies to solid foods. On the one hand, there are cookbooks and recipes galore for all sorts of gourmet baby purees. On the other hand, the Baby Led Weaning movement promotes baby and toddler meals consisting of only finger foods.

Both puree and Baby Led Weaning can be healthy strategies. Both also have pitfalls.

Here’s how to take the best from each school of thought to safely meet your baby’s rapidly changing nutrition needs, provide the opportunity to learn eating skills, and establish life-long healthy eating habits.

Allow your baby to control how much they eat and what they eat from what’s provided. Be sure that your baby is an active participant in eating (i.e. no sneaking in mouthfuls when they’re distracted). It’s easy to inadvertently over feed your baby because you worry that he/she isn’t eating enough. However, the vast majority of babies know when they’re hungry and when they’re satisfied. By noticing and respecting your baby’s signals of “all done”, you’re supporting them to grow a healthy body and get the nutrition that they need. You also won’t be teaching your baby the poor habits of overeating or mindless eating.

Provide lots of opportunity to learn eating skills with a wide variety of textures. Puree is a texture that adults eat too (e.g. mashed potatoes, oatmeal). So there’s value in giving your little one the opportunity to eat them. Purees also offer the opportunity for your baby to learn to use utensils. Finger foods teach babies to chew before swallowing. To minimize picky eating, provide your baby with a wide variety of textures before the picky eating stage begins. The picky eater stage often starts between 12 – 24 months but I’ve seen it start as early as 9 months. If your child has only tried pureed foods when they reach the picky eating stage, it can contribute to picky eating.

babyProvide lots of iron-rich foods. Little bodies use iron for growth and development. It’s particularly important in brain development. There are a number of iron-rich foods that can be provided as purees and finger foods. Iron-rich foods include:

• Meats
• Poultry
• Fish and shellfish
• Egg yolk
• Beans and lentils
• Tofu
• Nut and seed butters
• Iron-enriched infant cereal

In summary, both purees and finger foods can play a role in meeting babies’ nutrition needs and teaching babies eating skills and establishing life-long healthy eating habits. Provide a variety of textures, iron rich foods, and be sure to follow your baby’s lead in how much to eat.

– Kristen Yarker, MSc, RD is known as The Dietitian Who Transforms Picky Eaters into Food Confident Kids. From introducing solids through the picky eating years, she helps Moms and Dads be confident that they’re giving their kids good nutrition today… and instilling a life-long LOVE of healthy eating. Get scientific evidence-based answers to real questions from real parents (recipes too!) by signing up for her 101 Healthy Snack Ideas at: www.vitaminkconsulting.com