How to Create a Healthier Diet for You and Your Kids

Our health is the most important asset that we have and having a healthy and nutritious diet is the key to achieving lifelong good health. As parents, an effective diet is also important to give us the energy we need to keep pace with our children, but of course our first priority is always to our kids’ health, so it’s essential that we pay full attention to their diets as well. Cutting down on junk food and adopting healthier options can make a vast difference to how you feel and how your children feel, so let’s look at how easy it is to do.

 

Increase Your Fruit and Vegetable Intake

Fruit and vegetables are nature’s gift to us all, as they provide us with the essential vitamins and minerals that we need on a daily basis. Expert opinions vary on how much fruit and veg we should consume, but they all agree we should eat between five and ten portions per day. That can sound like a lot but reaching the target can bring huge benefits to your health, fitness and energy levels. If your children are reticent to eating vegetables, or anything healthy, try hiding root vegetables like swede and turnip in among other foodstuffs, or encourage them to find one or two vegetables or fruits that they really like.

 

Cut Down on Sugar

Many of us have a sweet tooth, and there’s no denying that cakes, chocolate and candy taste great, but they are far from great for our health. Sugar is an addictive substance, and it features heavily in almost all the readymade and processed food stuffs that you can buy. It’s also a leading cause of obesity and linked conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, so it makes sense to reduce your sugar intake as much as possible. One way to do this is to cook your meals yourself using fresh ingredients rather than turning to ready meals or take-aways. This may seem difficult at first, but your body will soon forget its sugar cravings and love its new healthier diet.

 

Reduce Weight Naturally

Being overweight has an adverse effect upon every aspect of your life, so if you want to lose weight you’ll have to exercise more and eat less. That’s a simplistic equation of course, and some people find that they have to turn to a diet plan to help them say goodbye to their excess pounds; in this case, they should opt for diets based upon purely natural ingredients, such as the HCG diet. You can find more information on this hormone-based diet through expert websites such as Hcgdietreview.Com and this also means that you’ll be able to find the best HCG drops and supplements at the best possible prices.

A healthy diet and lifestyle adopted in childhood is likely to remain in place throughout an adult life, and the best way to encourage your children to eat healthily is to eat healthily yourself. Wave goodbye to processed foods filled with sugar and excess fat and say hello to homemade meals full of natural ingredients such as fresh fruit and vegetables. You’ll be amazed at the transforming effect it can have on you and your family.

 

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Watch and Learn

A young Thai kid speaks English like he has been reared in a household of English speaking individuals. But the truth is far from this. This kid’s parents know not a thing about the English language. And yet this kid’s proficiency is certainly way above his peers. So how is this possible?

Some twenty years back, this may seem outrightly impossible. Nowadays however, with the advent of internet, learning any language is just a click away. True enough, this kid as I have found out spends hours watching English cartoons in the internet or cable TV where he learns English vocabulary and imitates the way the characters speak.

 

Some of his favorite cartoons include,

1. Dora the explorer
2. My Little Ponies
3. Barneys
4. Peppa Pig
5. Ben and Holly
6. Octonauts
7. Charlie and Lola
8. Peep and the Big Wide World

Of the four English skills, listening should be the first to be learnt, and the rest speaking, reading, and writing, with continuous supervision, will follow suit smoothly. Watching English cartoons is a fun and great way for toddlers and school-age kids to learn English pronunciation and vocabulary.

Word of caution though, first, children must not be left unmonitored and unsupervised. The internet is both a friend and an enemy, protect your child.  Second,  no matter how helpful it is, if it is done in excess, it is definitely not good. Strike a balance,  engage your child in physical and other extracurricular activities. And also,  not to be forgotten,  child’s play is just as important.

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Creative Minds

It is just so incredible how people can be so creative and ingenious. This, my friends,  is definitely one.  They turned a mini-truck into an awesome, moving restaurant.

A moving restaurant

As you can see the top is converted into a mini kitchen. A cute lift is attached at the side to serve the food down in the main part of the car which serves as the dining area.  Ingenious!

How amazing is this huh?!

Earlier that day my kids were on a Mr. and Miss Maker mood (inspired by The Mister Maker kiddie show).  They turn this tiny plastic medicine bottle into a prop plane, with a spinner toy for a propeller and pikachu as the pilot….hmmm.


Creative?  Imaginative?

How do we encourage creativity in children?

  1. Allow ample amount for play time – play pretend with others, or extracurricular and outdoor activities.
  2. Often children talk to themselves, assume a role and act like they are in a different world. Do not disrupt this or give a negative feedback.
  3. Appreciate their drawings, crafts, or creations.
  4. Let them do things on their own.  Do not provide easy answer let them find it.
  5. Buy toys that needed to be assembled or built like Lego or Plastic Model Gundam.

 

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Explore and Experience

It was Visakha Bucha,  a Buddhist holiday where Thais visit temples to pray, when we decided to drive and visit Nakhon Sri Thammarat, the largest city in the South of Thailand. This one day road trip had been educational since our kids hadn’t only gotten to experience a Buddhist religious practice. We did not stay in some fancy hotel with kids pool which by the way is their most favorite activity. Instead they explored some ancient artifacts in the temple’s museum dating back to Bangkok period. This may not as outdoorsy as spelunking Phu Pha Phet or swimming at Wang Sai Thong Falls but it certainly is informative and insightful in terms of Thai culture and religious belief.

This is Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, the main and oldest buddhist temple in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.  Directly in front of the temple’s right wing entrance is the museum.  Inside, you’ll find three large chambers where ancient artifacts that date back to Bangkok period were exhibited. There were hand painted metal cabinets of varying sizes, brasswares,  copperwares, glasswares, and chinas.  Aside from these, there were weapons,  textiles, a few preserved sea creatures, and numerous sea shells.  It is a great place to explore and a good reinforcement for kids studying history and marine life. Taking of photos are not allowed here.

This was taken just outside the museum.  A row of seating,  golden Buddhas outlined the entire length of this side of the temple. On the same chamber,  were displays of huge whale remains and other marine life.

Summer and Derick offered incense and flowers, and said their prayers.

 

Despite the scorching heat of the sun, exploring Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawin was a great experience.

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Spelunking Phu Pha Phet
Freedom and Control is Possible with KidsEmail

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Freedom and Control is Possible with Kidsemail

Responsible freedom is what kidsemail is.

Today, it is just nearly impossible to not let kids get their hands on technology. The more they are prohibited the more curious they become. If this brings them positive results well and good, but if it swings them on the flip side of the coin, well it spells trouble. And we all have seen unimaginable things happen and are still happening if we let down our guards. Of course, this is something we all don’t want. So be on the guard all the time.
Yet you don’t want to tighten your grip that much, as sand trickles through your fingers as you squeeze on it too tightly.

Kidsemail is just the right mixture of freedom and control. It is a great way to let children have a taste of freedom in using technology and interact with friends through email, while parents gradually instill in them necessary values and attitude to keep them safe in this time of the internet.

Kidsemail safeguards children and teens from unwanted elements that parents dread so much. It is the most kid-friendly website in the entire internetland. One of the features which I love immensely is the parental control, with it parents are able to manage contacts, filter offensive words, and approve or deny emails sent to your children. Emails notifying parents of incoming and outgoing emails are sent directly to parent’s email. It can be used on relatively all devices as it’s supported by iOS, Android, and Web platforms.

For more details about its amazing features read HERE, and HERE on how to register for FREE on your first month.

Now, here’s a time lapse of Summer sending an email to her Aunt in Dubai. She had previously written the letter on her diary.

I encourage parents and schools to avail of kidsemail. It is parents’ greatest partner in keeping children from harms way, and an excellent tool for schools especially that some teachers give homework, other activities, and communication online.

 

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Spelunking Phu Pha Phet Cave

Derick and Summer were the youngest in the group of tourists in Phu Pha Phet cave. I thought they won’t survive the two hour walk inside the cave, well I thought wrong. As a matter of fact they enjoyed it, Summer got so fascinated by the things she saw and Derick, oh well, because it’s so dark and he gets to use a flashlight.

We came as a side trip since the cave is within the vicinity of the waterfalls we went to earlier that day. Although unprepared it turned out successful. They love it and are looking forward to spelunk again.

This time though we have to prepare some things before-hand like.

  • Face mask especially if your kids are asthmatics. It might be dusty inside from loose soil or bat droppings.
  • Tiny backpacks for water bottles, face towel, and the likes
  • Comfortable rubber shoes are definitely better than open loose slippers
  • Long stretchy pants would be comfortable and it would be easy to crawl or duck if there is a need to.
  • Wear mosquito repellent lotion for protection.

For more details about Phu Pha Phet Cave Satun Thailand.

Here’s a slideshow of them in the cave

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Summer’s World Reading Corner: The Shopping List

If you can read, you can learn EVERYTHING! Reading is knowledge itself. If you read, there is no limit to the knowledge you gain. There is no limit to the places you can go.

For children, it fuels the imagination. It enriches their world and view of the world. Although the time they start to show interest in reading and the rate of progress they make vary, it is important to encourage them. Reading is such an important skill every child must achieve.

 

What was odd about their shopping?

 

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Make Your Olympic 2016 A 10

The 2016 Summer Olympics are Here!

Sports, more than the winning, is more of the pride of representing ones country, of proving oneself, of improving ones mettle.  It brings not only physical well-being, but it also promotes mental, emotional, and psychological fortitude.

Now until August 21st the whole world will be abuzz with Summer Olympics, and there is so much opportunity for learning and getting active! Here are (a perfect) 10 tools to foster olympic-worthy learning and help you host your own olympics at home!

Tip: Use code GETREADY at Educents for free shipping on any order.

Learn About the Olympics

1. Summer Olympics Fun Pack – Printable!

SO fun pack

This pack has crosswords, medal tally sheets, coloring pages, and my favorite – a venn diagram comparing modern and ancient Olympics! A lot of punch in one downloadable package, making it a great start to learning fun with Olympics. Suitable for Pre-K – 5th grade levels. $4.75.

2. 2016 Summer Olympics Lapbook with Study Guide – Printable!

study guide

Get the details on all of the summer games, the history of the olympics, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Created by one of my favorite resources, Knowledge Box Central. Tip: You can print as many of these lapbooks for your family and friends to build knowledge and community while you watch the games. $5.

3. Sporting Events Interactive Foldable Booklet- Printable!

foldable booklet

For the avid sports – watching kiddos, this foldable game tracker allows them to track scores in each game for the summer 2016 Olympics. Use this as an opportunity to practice math based on their skill level – whose in first, second and third place? What percent is 4.8 out of 10? I love this handheld, interactive, printable tool! Just $1.

4. 2016 Summer Olympics Interactive Bundle – Printable!

SO BUNDLE

There’s a little something in this bundle for everyone, from writing prompts, to coloring – great for the littles who need an activity while the group watches swimming. Suitable for 6-10 year olds. $4.99, down from $7.99.

5. Summer Olympics Bingo!

bingo

Whether you’re planning a viewing party with other families, or you have a class full of excited viewers, this is a fun group activity for all ages. Bone up on olympic vocabulary with this classic game with a timely theme. Speaking of which, let the games begin! $2.

6. Olympics Online Unit Studies

online unit

For homeschoolers looking to mix things up this summer, this online course by 5-star reviewed Online Course features self-directed research projects, unit studies, and a deeper dive into the history and global meaning of the Olympic games. Great for elementary and middles school level kiddos comfortable with the internet. $15.

 

Host your Own Olympics at Home!

7. Scoop and Toss Game

scoop game

Scoop and Toss Game features 2-15″ scoops and a softball-sized plastic ball can be used for a number of outdoor games including baseball, jai alai or catch. This would be a great game for field day!

8. Playground Balls

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 2.17.36 PM

These classic rubber playground balls come in a set of three assorted designs. Inflate with standard pump and needle.

9. Play Ring Set

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 2.18.36 PM

These fun play ring sets can be used in the yard, park, in the pool or at the beach! The big foam-ring paddles have a stretchy nylon center that make toss and catch games tons of fun.

10. Resistance Tunnel

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 2.18.42 PM

Many children love the feel of climbing through the tunnel. Some of the benefits that can be realized are deep pressure input/touch, increased sense of body awareness, motor skills, balance, coordination, prone extension, and self regulation.

May the best olympians win!

 

Old Calendars for Something Educational

Mom on a budget
Don’t throw old calendars, re-use them for something educational.
Alphabet flashcards may not be that expensive, but then why buy when you can do it yourself, right? Coloring them is fun and relaxing. I enjoyed it. Besides I get to showoff my coloring skills to my daughter who is into drawing. She likes the way I do it and so she’s trying to imitate it.  Now, she’s good at it.
So what I did here was printed out free printable alphabet from the internet (What2Learn.com). Although you can print them out in colored ink, I chose black and white. It’s no fun if all you need to do is print, cut, and paste. Go the extra miles, color them yourselves and bring out the artist in you. Your kids can help out too. It’s a good way to teach coloring techniques and color combination and mixture. Anyway, after that I glued them onto old, hard paper calendars like these.
FotorCreated
And voila!
 DSC04400
As I was looking at the finish product, I thought, it would have been better if I colored the letters with a similar color. That way, they would have aesthetically “jot” out instead of getting lost in the riot of colors in the background.
What do you think?

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DIY Gift Wrapping

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My daughter loves to draw. She started to show interest at a very young age.  I saw how her drawings improve through the years.  She is very proud of her drawings, and we have always made sure she gets all the encouragement and praises she needs to go on.  She draws anytime and every time an idea sparks and she does this wherever she is at that moment.

One instance, we have to attend a birthday party of one of her friends. Although we were informed days before, I was too busy that I forgot to prepare for it.  So on the said day, I hurriedly bought a gift for the little girl but forgot to buy a gift wrap.  I was a bit panicking since there were still other things to do. Good thing, my daughter had a great idea, DIY gift wrapping.

On a paper she drew a family, wrote a greeting, and added some designs. She used this to wrap the gift. She recycled a ribbon, and voila.

DIY Gift Wrapping
DIY Gift Wrapping

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