14 Unforgettable Ways to Show Your Children Some Love

February 14 is the big love day. People will give cards, candy, flowers and other gifts but there are more opportunities to show some ‘healthy’ love for your children. Here are 14 ways that will enable you to do simple yet loving things your children will remember and maybe even share with their own children later. Dance with them. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams is the most infectious and happy song. His website 24 Hours of Happy provides dancing and clapping moments of happy to share with your little ones. Dance with them. Clap with them. It’s the greatest exercise. Sing with them. Do they have favorite children’s songs or hymns? Stage a good old-fashioned sing-along with them. Be loud too. Wake them up gently. If they are accustomed to the mom alarm (yelling), give them an alternative. Here are a few gentle wake-up calls. Create one of your own. Have them choose their favorite fruit and veggie in the produce section. Give them a say in making healthy food choices. It also gives them something for themselves that they are free to share. Go for a walk with them. Walking is a great form of exercise but it also is a great time to show them how to enjoy simple pleasures and to chat. Show them how make their own healthy snacks. Do an in-home cooking demo. Create a goodnight ritual. Turn off the devices, yours too, and anything that is distracting. Snuggle with them and maybe enjoy a glass of milk and a cookie before bedtime. Create a Valentine’s Day craft with them to give to someone like...

February is National Heart Month: Is From My Mother’s Heart to Yours: 5 Tips to Rethinking Wellness

Moms, it is too easy to desire healthy lifestyles for our children yet even harder to remain consistent in promoting those desires. Here are a few tips that I hope will help you in instilling healthy lifestyle choices in your children. Forget “Do what I say and not what I do” when trying to get children to eat well and live well. Home wellness begins with you and what you do. If you make eating well and exercising look like fun, then they will adapt the same good attitude. Children mimic what they see and hear. Treats are a privilege. Most of us growing up received sugary treats as a part of ritual like Sunday dinner desserts or the occasional candy bar. These days, treats are used as rewards and sometimes given to kids just because. In truth, treats are a privilege that children living in poverty or in third world countries with a lack of food resources will never know. Treats bear little to no nutritional value beyond fresh fruit. I am a nurse who has seen one too many child burdened by diseases exacerbated by horrible diets. Children with great diets and who have diseases like Sickle Cell or diabetes have great survival rates and even the habits they need to take into a healthy adulthood. Poor food choices affect the effectiveness of medications. Change those diets and tell your sick child “I want you to live and live well.” Exercise is not complicated activity. If you are not sports-oriented or interested in calisthenics, then it’s okay because there are activities that are simpler: Like walking. Don’t...

Introducing: The Coalition to Prevent Sports Eye Injuries

Are you the parent of a student-athlete? Or are you athletic? Protecting our eyes is important daily but sports eye injuries are more and more pervasive. Thank goodness for The Coalition to Prevent Sports Eye Injuries, an organization that seeks to educate and advocate eye health through their membership of physicians and other eye care professionals. Visit their site for the following resources: Fast Facts – Here’s a fact I found interesting. “The following sports are considered a high-to-moderate risk of eye injury: Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Lacrosse, Hockey, Tennis, Soccer, Volleyball, Water Polo, Football, Air Rifle, BB Gun, Paintball, Boxing, Martial Arts, Cricket, Squash, Racquetball, Fencing, Badminton, Fishing and Golf.” Sports Eye Prevention Center LOCATOR Check out the Coalition but in the meantime here are some tips to follow: Identify CERTIFIED safety eyewear for your sport of choice and make a purchase. HERE is a list. If your child’s team has not done so, work with the coaches to schedule an eye safety clinic. Find an eye safety specialist in your area that can give you helpful information on protecting your eyesight during sports activity. Read over The Coalition’s site and use that LOCATOR to find sports eye injury specialists in your area. Oh yes, please read over those facts in order to become better...

Encourage Kids to Exercise: Introducing the NBA/WNBA 2014 Fit Team

Recently, the NBA and WNBA partnered with the first lady’s Let’s Move! program to promote a week of healthy living. An extension of that partnership was the creation of a council of experts, players and coaches called the NBA/WNBA Fit Team. According to their site, “The NBA/WNBA FIT team is made up of NBA Family members including players, coaches, officials, trainers and health-related experts who serve as ambassadors and positive role models for kids and parents. As a FIT team member, they will attend grassroots fitness events, promote valuable fitness information and continue to make good healthy life choices.” Some of the cool resources offered by the Fit Team can be found: Youtube – Fit Videos Pick Your Workout contains workout resources for adults, kids and families. No Kid Hungry Power Breakfast Recipes The site is filled with resources and information. My hope is that the Fit Team provides you with something you need to encourage your kids to exercise and eat...

Books: Teaching Our Children about Careers

What did you want to be when you were four years old? How about when you were 10 years old? If you are like most adults, as children the career you said you wanted to do was guided by what you’d seen in books or on television. Maybe someone in the family or the neighborhood did something that fascinated you enough to say, “When I grow up I want to be a —!” It is never too early to expose children to careers, especially those careers that make our lives better like nursing, law or something like construction. Christianbook.com has a great catalog of books for both parents and children. Here are some I found that could help you begin a reading program that engages and inspires questions about career choices in young ones. For parents I found Achieving Your Dreams: Starting Early to Help African American Children Develop a Vision of Their Dream Careers by Cajetan Ngozika Ihewulezi (Tate Publishing, 2009). There is also a similar book for Latino American children. Want to read to your small one? Lyle at the Office is a book by Bernard Waber that follows the work adventures of the Lyle the crocodile as he takes a job at an advertising agency. Do you have a tween? Anastasia’s Chosen Career by Lois Lowry seems like a winner. This fiction book is about a 7th grader who has to do an assignment requiring research into careers. Here are a few more books I found interesting from other sources. Career Day by Anne Rockwell The Berenstain Bears: Jobs Around Town Richard Scarry’s What Do People...

New Year’s Eve Activities for Children

We have all sorts of grown-up traditions and activities to bring in the New Year, why not give your children something special to do to celebrate? Here are a few activities found all over the web. From Disney’s Spoonful.com Festive Simple to Do First Night Hats Paper Noisemaker Recipe: Confetti Cake From MarthaStewart.com Bubble Jump First Day Book Grapes at Midnight From me During the day of New Year’s Eve or on New Year’s Day, involve your children in a family discussion about things to do better in 2014. To extend this, ask them what they want to accomplish in the New Year, like take a trip. Pray with them and over them for the New Year. Happy New Year to you and yours from me and...

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