Traveling Abroad With Kids? It Can Be Done

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By Veselina Dzhingarova

momkidsrunSometimes we hear from parents that, with children, hopes for international travel are an impossibility, or are at least put on hold indefinitely. This doesn’t have to be the case. Kids can travel. In fact, it’s one of the most interesting and helpful things you can offer for their personal education and development. Kids who travel learn; you may not be teaching them a specific curriculum, but you will be pouring a lot of information into their young minds. For parents who want to teach their kids a second language, or who want to give them a hands-on appreciation of history or world culture, travel is the best possible means to the end. But to get it, you’ll have to understand some of the practicalities of this kind of travel, and make sure that your kids can work within those bounds. It’s doable, but it will take some planning.

Find Flights With Child Discounts. Not every airline offers child discounts, but some do. This is a bit of moving target, so it’s important to research current offers and policies, as these tend to change monthly or yearly. Some airlines will let small children sit on your lap for free (second carry-on?). Others won’t. Some will offer discounted seating to older children as a perk to traveling parents, others won’t. In all cases. It’s important to look for deals well in advance of your travel date, as this is the most important factor in locking in airline deals of any kind. If you book your flight well enough in advance, you may not have to worry about child-specific deals at all – you may find savings the old fashioned way.

Prepare For Communication. If your kids are old enough to do their own thing while you’re overseas, you want to make absolutely certain that they have multiple ways of contacting you. NobelCom is a company that makes phone communication easy, within nations all around the world. You’ll be able to phone home or just get in touch with Junior when you haven’t seen him in an hour or so. NobelCom calling cards are a great gift for other travelers, or just something to provide peace of mind when you’re on your excursion.

Make Sure Your Kids Understand Various Things. If you’re traveling abroad, getting around may not be at all like what you’re used to back home. Your kids likely won’t take this for granted, and will need specific direction for the place you are traveling. This could include social and cultural awareness training, safety conversations, behavior requirements for places as diverse as restaurants and airports. Help your kids prepare for their trip with these sorts of helpful rules, and they’ll be a lot more successful when you arrive.

There are tons of ways to make travel with kids possible – even travel overseas. Savings can be had, kids can be well behaved, and communication can make the whole things safe and smooth. Prepare well in advance, and you’ll have this trip well planned, and (mostly) stress free.

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!

Snoring Problem In Kids And Effective Steps To Overcome Them

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By Dan Reid

kidsIs your kid a noisy sleeper? Snoring is a pretty common problem that can happen to anyone- young or old, usually caused by blockages in the nasal passage. But oftentimes the seemingly harmless light snores can lead to some serious medical consequences. So if your child is suffering from any such sleeping disorder, it is time you consult a doctor.

Good food and a good night’s sleep is the secret to a happy and healthy life. And proper rest is all the more necessary for kids to regain their energy after a hectic day full of activity. Persistent snoring in children might be a symptom of sleep apnoea or worse. Mentioned below are some simple remedies you can try at home to curb your child’s snores:

Why do kids snore?

Listed below are some common reasons behind snoring in kids:

• Common cold, allergies and nose blockages

• Swollen tonsils or adenoids

• A crooked septum (i.e. the tissue and cartilage present in between the nostrils)

• Obesity (the throat muscles and tongue close down upon the air passage)

• Down Syndrome (i.e. the slopping chin might result in blockage)

The threats of sleep apnoea:

Occasional light snoring is pretty common among children but if the problem persists then it might be something serious. Some symptoms and threats presented by sleeping disorders are:

• Risk of strokes and heart attacks

• Morning crankiness and lack of concentration

• Swollen puffy eyes, headaches

• Restricted body growth

Snoring solutions:

Constant headaches, dark circles and daytime fatigue are among the most common symptoms of sleeping disorders. If your child shows any such signs such as irritable behaviour, hyperactivity or has trouble concentrating consult his paediatrician. You can even try out these simple solutions to help your child sleep better:

Nasal spray and strips:

A major cause behind those restless nights is troubled breathing, allergies, common cold or other infections often result in mucous accumulation in the inner linings of the nasal passage, leading to blockages. Nasal sprays and vaporizers are among the easiest options to overcome this problem. Available in almost every medical store, nasal sprays contain medicated liquid that clears the mucous linings in the nose. Spraying a cool misty vapour inside the nose opens up the air way helping your child rest better. Also nasal strips that look pretty much like a bandage enhance breathing as the miniscule plastic protruding clears the nose.

Correct sleeping position:

How your child is sleeping also determines the quality of sleep he gets. Sleeping in uncomfortable positions not only results in painful sprains but might also cause a stuffy nose. Sleeping on the back can trigger snoring as the throat muscles close down restricting the air flow. Try rolling your kid gently to his side at night, if that doesn’t work you can even add extra pillows under his head, elevating his head a bit higher assists in breathing. A bit of an inclination opens up the nasal passage thus reducing snoring.

groupkidswbgAir purifiers and dehumidifiers:

Oftentimes allergies are triggered by the invisible dust particles hovering about the house that stick in the air and tickle the nostrils. But no matter how vigorously you clean, these miniscule particles remain. Installing air purifiers in the central air conditioning system is a smart way to overcome this issue. Air purifiers and filters suck out the microscopic bacteria and dust particles leaving the air pure and fresh. Also consider installing dehumidifiers in your house if you are living in a hot and dry climatic zone. It balances the moisture content in the air helping you sleep better at night.

Some lifestyle changes:

A major cause behind sleeping disorders can be the irregular lifestyle and obesity. As a parent ensure that your kid goes to bed early and lives a routine life. Fixed sleeping hours help mould the body clock accordingly leaving you refreshed the next morning. Also monitor your child’s diet and daily activity. Obesity is a major problem among kids that if ignores can grow into something even serious. Add fresh fruits and veggies to his meals and try limiting the junk food intake. The fat accumulation in the throat restricts the breathing passage and

Comfortable and peaceful surroundings:

Some other small but significant changes that can be made are:

• Paint the kid’s bedroom in light soothing colours
• Keep the windows open at night to allow fresh air
• Ensure that the mattress and pillows are soft and comfortable
• Dust the bedroom regularly
• Regular clinical check-ups and visits to the doctor

The bottom line

Watching your child suffer is perhaps the worst thing you’d have to endure as a parent. Spare your children from the discomfort of restless nights follow these above mentioned tips to curb snoring problems in your kid.

How To Teach Kids To Exercise

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By Dhmhtrhs Papadopoulos

kidsjumpingIt’s one thing to keep yourself fit – but keeping others in good shape is an entirely different kettle of fish. You already know the ins and outs of your body quite literally like the back of your hand. You know what you like to eat, what quantity of food will lead you to put on weight, and how much exercise you need to keep yourself energised.

But everybody and everybody is different. Some are fat and need to control their diets, others are too thin and need to bulk up if they want to reach their fullest fitness potential. And the vast majority of us barely know how to look after our own bodies.

Evidence of this is the sheer number of people who shovel food down their gullets without consideration for the long-term damage they’re doing to their body. And training kids to stay fit is an even more mammoth task.

Think of the number or kids who’ll avoid broccoli and love nothing more than sitting in front of the telly all day.

And trying to motivate a lazy child is like getting blood from a stone. Give them too much leeway and they’ll plop back down on the settee and gain more weight than Johnny Vegas on a burger binge.

So you’ll have to come up with a few tricks to keep your kids feeling fit and healthy. That’s why we’ve come up with a few tips to help you out. Take a look.

Get a course

Training your kids up doesn’t require military style strictness, but it does require communication skills and applied knowledge to get the most from your little sprogs.

Personal training courses are available online and can give you the information you need to train kids and adults alike, and make sure they stay healthy. Choose the right one and you’ll enjoy nutritional information, in-depth exercise regimes and motivation techniques to get your kids off the sofa and fighting fit.

Study for long enough and you could even graduate to a professional level.

Use the carrot

Kids are, let’s face it, selfish little blighters. They need to know that they’ll receive some kind of benefit from their actions, some kind of reward. It’s the reason why you struggle to get your child to eat their greens without coercion. They don’t see the benefit.

So put a carrot on that exercising stick to keep your kids healthy. Promise them something they’ll enjoy if they do some exercise, like getting an hour of iPad time after going running.

Above all, make exercising fun. Without a sense of joy in your routines, your kids will become the type of person who doesn’t understand what goodness their body needs.

Surprise Your Kids Or Grand Kids With This Perfect Gift

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By Joel Zimmerman

grandparentchildWhile not many people think of life insurance as fundamental, it is necessary if you want to protect your family, business, legacy, and other valuable assets. With the increased uncertainty of life, think about the future of your family when you exit the stage. After all, it lasts forever, as long as you pay the regular premiums promptly. Consider it as a gift to your dependants. They will forever be grateful to you for minding their financial security.

Invest in it as a gift

The next time you think of gifting your children and grandchildren, consider giving them a life insurance policy. Perhaps the biggest advantage is the fact that you can choose the method of paying premiums to your insurance company.

In fact, you can also invest in a policy where your children are the life assured. The following are the most common advantages that you will enjoy. Make the most use of them while they last.

• It can last a lifetime – take advantage of protection that lasts as long as you live. Should you suffer a disability or pass on, your child gains a head start on his financial life.

• It won’t wear out or fall apart – as you cannot be sure of the shelf life of material wealth, purchasing a policy assures you that the asset will live for years to come.

• It has accumulation potential – while most material assets lose value as the years go, the value of a life insurance policy actually accumulates as long as you pay premiums.

• There are tax advantages – most cash values from these policies are tax deferred under the current law. This also applies to borrowed cash values.

• Premium rates may never be lower – as your age increases, so do the regular insurance premiums. Therefore, lock the amount of your premiums at your current age.

• Future insurability – when you grow older, the possibility of companies to insure you goes lower as companies deem older people and those with diseases as risky to insure.

Factors that can affect your life insurance

Even from the life insurance definition, a number of factors determine your quote. While some of these are beyond your control, your lifestyle can influence others. Most companies that provide insurance are very thorough and meticulous when examining these factors. This is because they do not want to take risks that will cost them money.

1. Age – the earlier you obtain an insurance policy, the better for you and your dependants. Companies will underwrite you faster if you are young unlike when you grow older.

2. Gender – statistics show that women generally live longer than men. This means they are more insurable than their male counterparts.

3. Smoking – people who smoke are a red flag for most insurance companies. This is because smoking increases your chances to suffer diseases such as lung cancer.

grandparents4. Health – keep good health to purchase a favorable policy. Companies usually examine your cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, height and other metrics.

5. Lifestyle – if you actively engage in risky activity such as extreme sports, companies deem you more risky to insure. Therefore, make your choices wisely.

6. Family Medical History – the quality of your genes is one factor that you cannot control. If your parents suffered a certain serious condition, you may obtain insurance at a high cost.

7. Driving Record – insurance companies will access your driving records from the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you have had many accidents, they deem you risky to insure.

8. The Bottom Line – before applying for a life insurance, examine these factors and try to correct them if possible. This can guarantee you a more favourable policy.

Evidently, investing in one or more life insurance types is a sure way of protecting your family against the uncertainties of this life. Additionally, it is a great way for you to invest and do retirement planning. Instead of procrastinating, purchase a policy today and take advantage of the tax benefits of life insurance.

– Joel Zimmerman is an experienced financial advisor and his areas of specialization include retirement planning and risk management. When Joel is not working with clients, he is busy creating informative blogs and whitepapers. Follow this financial whiz @life_centra. You can also check out his fiscal blogs and videos on LifeCentra.

Get Your Kids Hooked On Cycling

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By Haley Hobart

momdaugtherbikeCycling is great way to encourage your kids to become more active and live a healthier lifestyle. Tearing them away from their smart phone or the latest video game can often be challenging but cycling is great fun with endless health benefits. We’ve put together this guide explaining the advantages of cycling with some simple tips to get started.

Why cycle

Cycling is a popular form of cardiovascular exercise which can prevent heart complications in the future and reduce the likelihood of obesity. This low impact workout is gentle on the joints with a low chance of injury compared to other, more intense sports. It also increases the metabolism and burns calories, long after the ride is over.

Motor skills are improved as the body carries out the task of peddling and steering simultaneously whilst using body weight. This can improve co-ordination, a transferable skill which can improve sporting ability and day-to-day tasks. Studies have also linked cycling with improved mental health which may be a result of a healthier lifestyle combined with the fun that comes from exploring nature on two wheels. Still not convinced? It’s also great for the immune system which means less chance of picking up those nasty flu bugs and less time off school.

How to get started

Always do plenty of research before buying your kids bikes. There’s plenty of options to choose from but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Be sure to choose a bike which is appropriate for the terrain. One which includes off-road suspension and a titanium frame won’t be necessary for everyday use and will cost a hefty amount. Instead, choose a mid-way option which includes front suspension. Don’t be tempted by the cheap options which are often unreliable and can be more costly in the long term.

Once they’ve got their bike, you can encourage your kids to plan routes or little adventures. You can also find cycling routes online and there’s many dedicated groups catering for families and children which meet weekly. Here they can make new friends and enjoy the safety of a larger group.

Bike safety

Keeping your children safe on a bike is simple and only requires a few precautions. Firstly, be sure to choose an appropriate size bike which your child feels fully in control of. If they’re still in the learning stage, they must be able to place both feet on the floor which should avoid any nasty falls.

familybikeridetogetherHelmets are essential, whilst knee and elbow pads are an optional extra. These can provide added peace of mind for off road cycling. Purchasing hi-visibility clothing, lights and reflectors for evening bike rides is also a must. Finally, there’s plenty of certified training courses testing cycling proficiency, highlighting the dangers of traffic and the importance of safe riding on the road. This can be a great introduction for your children, developing a skill which will keep them safe for years to come.

Cycling is an exercise that your children will love and if you’re lucky they’ll spend less time on social media and slouched in front of the TV.

– Haley Hobart has been a mom and a writer for 10 years and frequently contributes to mommy sites and DIY sites with her expertise. She lives in London with her partner and kids of three.

Shaming Your Kids Online Can Permanently Damage Their Self-Esteem

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

twokidsunWhen you reflect back on your childhood, it’s likely you remember hearing these words at least once during your childhood. “You should be ashamed of yourself.” These words probably made you feel bad because you knew your parent was upset, embarrassed or hurt by something you said or did.

That was discipline and discipline is an important part of parenting. However, telling your child they should be ashamed of themselves is very different from shaming your child on social media. For one thing, anyone can see your display of shaming and it’s permanent, making it impossible for your child to be fully forgiven.

Parents who shame their children online can’t possibly understand the repercussions of their actions. Discipline is one thing, and kids do need discipline, but discipline with public shaming and humiliation is not healthy punishment or parenting. It causes all sorts of other problems as the parent/child relationship continues.

For example, kids who are shamed using social media become better at hiding and lying about what they are doing.

* They stop trusting their parent and will no longer be comfortable going to them when they are hurt or scared.

* They may become more narcissistic as a way of over-compensating for feelings of shame and humiliation.

* They may develop increased anger, leading to severe depression and anxiety.

* A child whose private life becomes public is also less secure with boundaries. After all, if their parent can’t be trusted to protect them, who can they trust?

Parents need to discipline their kids, but discipline should be done within the home. Taking access to social media away from the child and allowing them to earn the parent’s trust back is most effective when rules have been broken.

groupkidsIf you feel at your wits end–and you want to make a point with your child–I would advise you to remember these simple rules regarding social media shaming.

* Remember, you’re the adult. Never post something permanent when you’re angry, tired or in a bad mood. Think it over for at least 24 hours.

* Keep family business within the family. Shaming your kids, your spouse or your friends says more about you than it does them.

* Children are vulnerable in regard to their self-esteem because they’re still in the process of learning who they are. A public humiliation could permanently damage their sense of self.

* If you have any apprehensions about posting anything, don’t post it.

* If you want to stop the behavior, begin with talking to your child. It’s common courtesy. Since you are modeling for your child, reflect on what you are modeling when you post something that is going to humiliate them.

Parenting a child is difficult, and your job is to protect your child and help them become successful, well-adjusted adults. Social media outlets can be helpful to parents and children, but using a social media outlet to shame or punish your child is not wise. What you post never goes away, nor do the scars they cause.

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at maryjorapini.com.

Sports America Kids Month

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

boyssportsIn conjunction with June’s “Sports America Kids Month,” the Austin sports medicine team at Medicine in Motion presents compelling reasons for parents to encourage children to participate in summertime sports activities.

Held every year during the month of June, Sports America Kids Month encourages children to engage in a healthy lifestyle, including sports activities, during the summer months. To help encourage kids to become active, Austin sports medicine doctor and owner of Medicine in Motion Dr. Martha Pyron has established a free Saturday morning summer training camp for all ages and all athletic abilities.

“Physical activity is one component that is crucial to a healthy and happy body,” said Dr. Pyron. “Children should be encouraged to find a sport or physical activity that interests them. Not only will it make for healthier bodies, but the emotional and mental benefits are enormous too. Everyone who plays a sport can be a physical fitness winner!”

Playing one or more sports can help kids develop confidence, self-discipline, coordination, teamwork skills, and sportsmanship behavior. Perhaps most importantly, however, are the health and wellness benefits that come from the physical activity involved with playing sports. Recent data from organizations such as the National Association for Sport and Physical Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show the need for a stronger focus on health and wellness among American youth:

* One in three children are physically active on a daily basis.

* Over 80% of children do not participate in enough aerobic physical activity to meet standard youth guidelines.

* Children spend upwards of seven and a half hours a day watching TV, playing video games or on a computer.

* Reports from 2009-2010 shows approximately 12.5 million (16.9%) children are obese.

* Overweight children have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.

Childhood obesity is a serious issue with both short-term and long-term effects on health and wellness. Obese youth are more likely to have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. Children who are obese are more likely to suffer from bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and psychological issues like poor self-esteem. Obese youth are likely to be obese as adult, which will put them at risk for adult health complications like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, various types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.

For more information on Medicine in Motion’s Saturday training camps, contact them at 512-257-2500 or officemanager(at)medinmotion(dot)com.

Medicine in Motion (MIM) specializes in providing top quality sports medicine in Austin, Texas, for athletic individuals of all ages and levels. The staff at MIM believes active bodies are healthy bodies, therefore it is the office’s goal to keep patients energetic and fit. To that end, MIM provides treatment of injuries and illnesses, including the use of physical rehabilitation; promotes healthy living with personal training and nutrition coaching; and offers comprehensive sports medicine evaluations to optimize health, activity level and sports performance. For more information or for questions regarding sports medicine in Austin, contact Medicine in Motion at 512-257-2500 or visit the website at http://www.medinmotion.com.

5 Foods You Should Stop Feeding Your Kids Now

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By Leanne Thompson

healthychoiceIf you’re reading this then you must be a responsible parent—or at least, trying to be one.
You deserve a pat on the back.

But you’ve got to admit, you’re a much better parent before you had kids. Back then, you were pretty sure of what you will and will not become. You’ll be a “cool” parent. You promised yourself you will not become the kind of parent who forces her kids to eat their broccoli or drink their milk.

They want fries? They get fries.

While fulfilling your dream of becoming a cool parent sounds fun, you may want to play the “responsible parent” while you’re at it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of childhood obesity has increased at an alarming rate. Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and are more likely to develop serious health problems such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes at a younger age.

Bottom line: playing the “cool” parent all the time may cause your kids to fall into the trap of a high calorie diet with low nutritional value—one of the factors that contribute to childhood obesity.

If you’re guilty of helping yourself to some of your kid’s favorite “bad” foods then it’s time for your diet to grow up!

Here is a list of foods you should never let your kids eat:

1. Breakfast cereals

Put down that box!

No matter how adorable their colors and shapes are, breakfast cereals are no-nos. They may be “breakfast champions” for people who are always on the run, but not for your kids. Breakfast cereals are often laden with sugar—hello, calories and tooth decay! You may see some cereal boxes that boast whole grain goodness but the amount of added sugar that comes with the package is a serious deal breaker.

2. Fruit Juice Drinks (In a Box)

Fresh fruit juice—the liquid that comes from a real fruit, can be healthy when consumed in moderation. Fruits are chock-full of nutrients and as an added bonus they are “naturally” sweet. Fruit juice drinks, on the other hand, contain juice, water, sweeteners and perhaps other flavorings to make it taste natural. Here’s the thing: they are not natural.

But it says “No added sugar”

Did you check the list of ingredients? Most bottled beverages that promise calorie-free sweetness contain artificial sweeteners—some of the FDA-approved ones include aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), sucralose (Splenda), and saccharin. According to The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, while these artificial sweeteners got FDA’s thumbs up, they might still be a problem because they may encourage bad eating habits (especially among children) by promoting a craving for sweetness.

pizza3. Pizza

Why is pizza not good for you again?

Oh, right! Because it’s high in saturated fat and sodium.

However, the love for this food is so intense that the Department of Agriculture released a report on its consumption. According to the report, pizza contributes about 6% of the total energy intake of children, 2 to 19 years old, and 4% for adults.

Experts would argue that pizza is not as bad for your health as you think it is. If fact, according to the report, it represents more than half of the total daily intake of lycopene, a potent antioxidant. The problem lies on when and how you eat it—hello, pizza abuse. According to Guiseppe Russolillo, president of the Spanish Association of Nutritionists, pizza is an artisanal product in majority of Italy. In US it’s more related to ‘junk food’ as it is often bought from a fast food chain or frozen at supermarkets.

Russolillo pointed that pizza shouldn’t be consumed more than 2 or 3 times a month and shouldn’t be part of your daily diet, even less for children. A healthy diet, one that contains a variety of fruits and vegetables, is needed to support the nutrient demands during the period of growing development in children. No, adding extra vegetable toppings won’t do. Stop drooling over that pizza and set a good example!

4. French Fries

You knew this was coming.

Stop feeding your kids French fries, now.

Forget the “cool” parent act and know this: the deep-fried potato strips we all love are by nature high in calories and fat. Of course you already know that! But you’re still in a state of denial. Well, it has to stop. We all know that nutritionists and other health experts are not exactly fond of fries because they are high in sodium and oozing with artery-clogging fat. Here’s another shocker: it can cause cancer.

When a starchy food such as potato is cooked at a temperature above 248 degrees, it produces a chemical called acrylamide. According to National Cancer Institute, studies in rodent models have found that exposure to this chemical poses a risk for several types of cancer. Although evidence from human studies is incomplete, the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, considers acrylamide to be a “probable human carcinogen”.

girldonut5. Doughnuts

Fluffy doughnuts that taste a little like heaven have to go too—yep, even the ones that come in fun size.

It’s hardly news that doughnuts are not really the best candidates for a healthy breakfast. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eating a healthy breakfast versus one that includes soda or doughnuts can help your child get more nutrients and perform better at school.

Doughnuts are most often than not laden with sugar and trans fat. We all know that sugar is not really BFFs with your kid’s teeth or weight. And sugar combined with trans fat? The worst!

Trans fats raise levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of the heart-healthy one (HDL). High-fat intake has been linked to coronary heart disease, in which plaques build up in the arteries, sometimes leading to a heart attack. Store-bought doughnuts contain up to 40% trans fat and about 200 to 300 calories mostly coming from sugar—yikes!

Sources:

Childhood overweight and obesity
http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood/en/

Added sweeteners
http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Added-sweeteners.shtml

The people who eat pizza every day
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-26255931

Acrylamide in Food and Cancer Risk
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/acrylamide-in-food

5 reasons for your teen to eat breakfast
http://www.eatright.org/kids/article.aspx?id=6442477998

– Leanne Thompson is a writer and a blogger who has contributed to some of the most well-known Health, Fitness and Nutrition blogs. After struggling with her weight in her teenage years, Leanna was driven to undertake a Bachelors of Nutrition degree with the renowned Iowa State University to study the needs of a human body. Ever since, she has made it her life goal to spread awareness about the importance of healthy weight loss and the wellbeing of the people she meets – Find out more at: leanneknows.com

Reading Curriculums Have Been Released On Kids Activities Blog

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booksReading curriculums and birthday party ideas have been published on Kids Activities Blog. Teach the kids reading with Mom recommended curriculums that work.

Learning to read can be fun. Reading curriculums and cool birthday party ideas have been released on Kids Activities Blog. Teach the kids reading with Mom and kid tested supplies.

The reading programs are categorized by Moms who want to teach with a more hands off approach or hands on approach. The hands on approach includes programs from Siegfried Engelmann, from IEW’s PAL reading and writing, and from the Learning Pallet.

The hands off reading curriculum list includes the Starfall Reader program, the Time 4 Learning curriculum, and the Reading Egg. The list is endless and includes recommendations if for example multiple siblings are taught at the same time.

If all one needs is a little inspiration to throw an awesome birthday bash, look no further. Seasoned Moms are sharing their favorite ideas that do not require to spend a lot of money.

The best party ideas for boys include throwing an Angry Birds party by making the decor, food, treats, and games with items found around the house. Other party themes include a nautical birthday, a train party, a DIY Super Mario party, and of course a firefighter party.

An M&M basketball cake is easy to make and will be remembered for years to come by the sport loving child. An Olympic celebration, a Winnie the Poo themed party, and a dinosaur party are among the kids favorite themes. The list is endless and for kids of all ages.

For detailed instructions and to get additional fun ideas, check out Kids Activities Blog this week. Come get inspired to teach the kids how to read.

About Kids Activities Blog

Kids Activities Blog is a website created by two moms (who collectively have 9 children), Holly Homer and Rachel Miller. Their new book was published this spring by Page Street, 101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! Kids Activities Blog is an interactive website that publishes fun things to do with kids twice a day. It is an amazing resource for moms, dads, grandparents, caregivers and teachers to find kid-friendly activities that create memories and sneak learning into the fun.

– Courtesy of PRWeb