How To Make Healthy School Lunches

September 11, 2014 in Parenting

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healthy-school-lunch1It really can’t be said enough times – what your child eats at school directly affects his or her level of energy and the ability to learn. Getting together healthy lunch day after day can be quite a task and even though my children are way past the school years, I do remember dealing with this issue and learning as I went along. And if your child is an active participant in sports, you have even more to consider. I am going to keep adding to the school lunch topic on this website – hopefully it will give you the assistance you need and it will make your daily tasks easier!

Think Salads!


Maybe you are one of the lucky parents whose children attend a school with cafeteria that serves fresh salads daily. In that case your job is to encourage your child to try it. It may be as good idea to start packing salads regularly. And in that case, you will need to make sure that the salad includes foods your child likes. That means suggesting items that can make a salad and listening to your child’s ideas as well. Try things like cheese, cucumbers or even bacon bits – you may be surprised at what kids can come up with!

Make Clean Sandwiches


Here is what the word “clean” means: start with whole grain bread, use natural nut butter with strawberries instead of the traditional peanut butter and jelly (if you school allows peanut butter sandwiches at all – you will need to check for that as many schools now ask for parents not to send anything with nuts for their children’s lunches) Another clean lunch you can try is making wraps with chicken strips and greens and add yogurt for an after lunch snack. AS you start thinking “clean” the ideas will just keep coming!

Get Rid of the Juice


Yes – juices are definitely better than sodas, but lot of them are still very high in sugar and calories. Try skipping the juice boxes and replace them with water. If there is a problem with that, try filling a bottle with one part juice and two parts water.

Get Smart with Snacks


No chips please – you can give your child healthier snacks! Try servings of crunchy whole-grain cereals or granola with dried fruit. And if chips are demanded, make your own. It is not difficult – just get some corn or flour tortillas, bake them and season them yourself. And if chips are an absolute must, at least get the low-fat ones!

Fake a Cool Lunch


Let’s think that your child sees another eating pizza for lunch and now wants that as well. Yes, you can create a pizza for lunch – get a whole-grain bagel, spread some vegetable marina sauce on sprinkle with low-fat cheese. And think about adding a low-fat brownie as a treat – that will make the pizza eating child watch in envy!

Think Leftovers

So you go to the trouble of making healthy dinners each day – why not make a little extra and use it for next day’s lunch? For example: if you had chicken, brown rice and asparagus for dinner, pack it into a wrap – your child will love it!

Satisfy the Sweet Tooth


All kids have it so you need to address it. Instead of cookies that can be full of sugar (unless you made them yourself and know what’s in them), think about filling a little container with strawberries. You can even sprinkle a little sugar on them for the extra sweet treat. And since I mentioned making your own – there are thousands of recipes for homemade fruit squares or little muffins you can make in no time!

For more help with your children’s school lunches, check out:

Guide to Healthy School Lunches

Hope this information was helpful to you – please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!


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Top 10 Helpful Kitchen Tips

August 30, 2013 in Household Hints

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kitchen tips 2It always amazes me how many simple things can make life simpler – especially when it comes to housework and cleaning. Here are 10 great tips for you – hope you will enjoy using them!

1. To remove food odors from plastic containers, fill with warm water and add a little dry mustard – 1/2 teaspoon is plenty for average size container. Let soak for an hour and then wash.

2. Clean porcelain pieces and the sink by filling the sink with warm water and adding several denture-cleaning tablets.

3. Remove stains from the counter top by massaging a paste of tartar and lemon juice into the stain, let it soak and then rinse.

4. To remove grease from wooden cupboards, apply a very thin coat of car wax, let it dry and buff.

5. Store your steel wool pad in the freezer each time you finish with it and it will never rust. Just tuck it into a sandwich bag.

6. To clean a scorched pan, fill with warm water and add several tablespoons of baking soda. Boil until the scorched parts loosen and float to the surface.

7. Remove rust from baking pans by rubbing with cleanser and cut raw potato.

8. Spray a grater with non stick cooking spray before using and clean up will be a breeze.

9. Preserve wooden salad bowls by wiping them with a paper towel soaked in cooking oil., This prevents drying and cracking. Do not immerse in water for more than just a few seconds to clean and always dry thoroughly.

10. Remove rust from a knife or other kitchen utensils by sticking it in an onion for about an hour. Move the piece back and forth to help the onion juice do its work.

 

Hope these tips will be helpful to you – please send me your comments and suggestions, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

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Top Money Saving Tips for College Freshmen

August 13, 2010 in Featured Articles

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Moving from high school to college or university can be a very stressful time for all involved. There are a lot of changes and lot of new responsibilities – one of which is handling money.

Living at Home Is Easy

When teenagers live at home, there aren’t very many financial decision they need to make – parents make them. Once they move to the college life, they suddenly have to learn to handle the financial matters on their own. Helping them with tips on how to handle the situation will make the financial transition easier.

Knowing How Much Things Cost

Help your teenager make a list of mandatory monthly expenses so they understand where money has to go. That includes things like, rent, utilities, transportation, groceries, parking, school supplies, debt repayment, and student or activity fees. Once you know establish where money has to go each month you’ll be able to set up a discretionary fund and a savings plan along with your teenage student.

Create an Allowance Fund

Creating an allowance fund will help with setting limits for things like entertainment, eating out, clothing, and special purchases. It will be important for your teenage student to stay on budget no matter how tight things get.

Keep Receipts Organized

Set up a system that will make it easy to keep receipts in one place. Organizing them by month and by category and keeping them in a safe place will help in controlling the pre-determined budget.

Being Frugal is Not being Cheap

Help your teenage student look for creative ways to save money. Consider carpooling, public transit or biking as a means of getting around. Figure out how to plan to bring lunches and snacks instead of buying it . Check out on buying  text books and lab supplies second hand if possible.

Hope you have enjoyed these tips – please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated


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How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

July 21, 2010 in Household Hints

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Hand sanitizers have become a regular item in many households – putting precautionary measures into place to avoid germs and bacteria. You can purchase them from a selection of hand sanitizers just about anywhere, but like with lots of other items, there is an easy way to make your own. The advantage is that you know what you are putting in and you can adjust strength and effectiveness as you need to.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup Isopropyl alcohol 91%
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
  • Essential oil in your choice of fragrance (optional)
  • A bowl and spoon
  • An empty container

What To do:

  • Mix the aloe vera and Isopropyl alcohol together until well blended.
  • Add 8-10 drops of essential oil to the mixture for fragrance (if desired), and stir well.
  • Pour the finished hand sanitizer into an empty container and seal.

Contains 65% Alcohol

Tips:

  1. Many essential oils like tea tree oil and lavender have antibacterial properties. Use one of these to boost the germ-zapping power of your hand sanitizer.
  2. Save the bottles from store-bought hand sanitizer, and refill them again and again.
  3. A little goes a long way with this recipe. Once applied, just rub your hands together until the moisture evaporates and the stickiness vanishes.

Hope you have enjoyed this information – please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences – your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated.

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