Staying Active Amid Covid as a Mom

Between working at home, watching the kids full time, and tending to household chores — daily exercise can seem nearly impossible for some moms, while others feel like they’ve got plenty of movement from running after the kids all day. Sticking to a daily workout routine shouldn’t be stressful and doesn’t have to be time-consuming when you’ve got so much on your plate. Whether it’s a daily 30-minute power walk or a full hour body workout with your favorite virtual trainer, here are a few tips to keep you active for the sake of keeping you healthy and energized.

Power Walk 

The best workouts are the ones where you can multitask while doing them. Walking is the easiest way to exercise with kids because no matter their age, they can always tag along. Depending on your stride, you can burn anywhere from 100 to 300 calories in 30 minutes. If you’ve got a baby or toddler, investing in a durable stroller such as an ErgoBaby Stroller, can keep up with your fast-pace while keeping your little one comfortable and safe. 

For some added exercise, you can easily attach a bag with stroller straps and carry accessories such as a lightweight dumbbell to help tone your arms while you alternate to push the stroller with the other arm and get some jumps in before you head back inside. If you get tired, you can store the dumbbell back in the bag making it a convenient way to pack any other weights or accessories you can take with you.

Virtual workouts 

Due to Covid, trainers have evolved and have been using innovative ways to train clients from the privacy of their homes. If you can commit to a few days a week, these workouts can be done while your little one is down for their naps, early mornings before your day begins, or evenings after work hours when another parent is able to help with the kids for the length of your workout.

Ask your trainer if you’ll need resistance bands, dumbbells, medicine balls, or any other small workout equipment that you can purchase on Amazon. 

Enjoy the outdoors

The best thing about the outdoors is that you can still practice the six feet distancing rule. Outdoor activities such as hiking, allows you to take your little one with you. If you choose to take your little one with you, make sure to pick an easy hiking trail where you won’t slip and avoid anything narrow. By using a baby carrier, you can strap baby onto your back, turning it into your own DIY weight vest to work out your back and shoulders. You can also strap the baby onto your chest if you feel it be much safer. 

Make sure you and your little one stay hydrated during these warmer summer months, as well as, wear the proper clothing which is just as important as wearing sunblock. Jack Wolfskin womens outdoor clothing is specifically designed for any outdoor activities and weather conditions. They also have a selection of kids’ outdoor clothing so you can make sure you and your littles are covered. 

Another way to enjoy the outdoors is by taking outdoor classes. Classes such as Yoga in the park can be a great way to get a workout in while also relaxing. Since Yoga incorporates meditation and technique breathing, it can help you release some of the stress that comes from work and an active week with the kids. 

Of course, there are other convenient ways to enjoy a workout at home if you’re willing to invest in options like the popular Peloton bike, a treadmill, or the newest workout mirror. All of which are great investments for staying healthy and active when you’re a busy mom. 

A Glimpse Into Their World: 6 Common Problems Teenagers Face and the Solutions to Each

Ask virtually any group of adults about common teenager problems, and the chances are good that the list will come back with the standard litany: how to get your teen to clean their room, be more responsible, handling the rebellious, defiant, out of control behavior, aggressiveness, and more. Unfortunately, not much is said about problems from the teenager’s perspective.

Looked at from a teenager’s perspective, problems abound. You can help teens with relationships, help your teen lose weight, get better grades in school, and more. Here is a guide to six common problems teenagers face and the solutions to each.

Body Issues. Teenage bodies are rife with issues as they adjust to new shapes and sizes. What was once a cherubic child has morphed into a kid who is all at once, gangly, gawky, hairy, zitty, and uncoordinated.

Fixing this problem is a matter of making teenagers aware that many of the body problems they face can be fixed with diet and exercise and an acceptance of who they are.

Need for Acceptance and Community Involvement. The world can be a big and scary place. This is especially true for a teenager who is still trying to determine their place in it.

Teenagers who feel they don’t belong can end up having their whole lives being affected. Teens should be given guidance to find groups who provide them with love and acceptance for who they are.

Managing Time. Teenagers today are under constant stress from numerous external sources. These include school demands, social pressures, media, and much more.

Teenagers need to be made aware that doing everything simply isn’t possible. Further, they probably need help prioritizing the things they want to do. This provides the added benefit of eliminating things that might be bad influences.

Appropriate Heroes. It’s often the biggest bullies, most spoiled brats, music icons, and sports celebrities who become a teen’s heroes. Unfortunately, many of these are inappropriate for a variety of reasons.

Teenagers need to be familiar with heroes of more character-building pursuits.

Drugs and Alcohol. More than a third of American teenagers report using alcohol in any given month. Further, more than 40 percent of American youth have reported using some sort of illicit drug in the past year.

Drugs and alcohol can severely damage a teenager’s brain. It’s essential for parents to make their teenagers aware of the dangers of drugs and alcohol and to find out what is happening in their children’s lives that might affect the chances that they will become involved in the use of these substances.

Screen Time. As beneficial as screen time can be, too much and that which is unhealthy by its content needs to be limited. Going online can expose teenagers to violence, porn, mean people, and harmful images.

As beneficial as technology can be, there is no way to protect a teen entirely from online influences. Parents must be aware of what their teenagers are doing online and how to interact safely with the internet. If nothing else, teach them to read more.

Teenagers today often find themselves living on a very superficial level. They find themselves on the edge of their society with virtually no acceptance and very little positive affirmation. With no place left to turn, they turn to negative influences on the internet, television, and elsewhere.

Parents can make up for this by teaching by example and living for personal excellence. This will teach a teenager more than anything for a lifetime.

Your complete guide to 1st communion invitations

There are a couple of rites of passages for children who follow the catholic faith. One of the them is the first holy communion.  It’s basically the first among the three sacraments of the Catholic Church. The other two are baptism and confirmation. I would also like to add that the believers in this church consider this occasion very special. This is because it’s a time when their children are officially initiated into the Catholic Church.

This event is usually more overwhelming mainly because it’s deeply religious. The first thing to check off your list is the holy communion invitation. The invitations have to be sent to the potential guests early enough so that they can clear their schedules and avail themselves on the day of the event.

Here is a guide to help you through the process:

People to invite to your child’s first communion

Unlike birthday parties, this particular event is an intimate one. This means that you cannot just invite everybody. Your guests should mainly include close relatives and friends. It may be difficult to create a guest list at this point. The best way to go about it is to invite the people you think have impacted in one way or the other to your child’s religious growth. That should inform your decisions.

Inviting non-Catholics

The truth is not every close family member or friend is a catholic. This might leave you wondering whether it’s wise to invite them to the first communion ceremony. There is nothing wrong with inviting non-Catholics to the ceremony.  The only thing you have to do is confer with them on mass etiquette and other rules applicable.

Choosing a first communion invitation design

This is a religious event and there is a lot that goes into designing the holy communion invitation. Determine whether you want to go with a religious theme or focus on other things such as the usual season when the ceremony takes place. In this case, first Holy Communion is normally held during the spring season.

You can opt to go for a design that reflects your child’s style. For daughters, check this out for girl baptism invitations.  When picking out a specific design make sure it’s a thoughtful one and heavily portrays the gravity of this occasion. Some of the motifs to choose include doves, crosses and watercolors among others.

Details to include in the invitation

The next step after picking a suitable holy communion invitation design is to ensure all the important information is included in it. The vital details that should not miss on the invitation cards include the name and address of that particular parish, the date of the ceremony, the time it starts and the time the after party will begin if you decide to have one.

Many people plan for a party after the first communion is over. It’s not a must but will definitely be the perfect way to celebrate your child’s transition. Furthermore, the memories you create will last forever. Don’t forget to include an RSVP as well as a date when you want confirmation for your guest attendance.

The best thing to do is send the Holy Communion invitations at least 4 weeks before the actual ceremony. Lastly, if you don’t require people to come with gifts, simply say so in the invites.

A New Family Dynamic: When Your Kids Don’t Leave Home in their 20’s

It used to be an almost automatic rite of passage that your kids either went to university and never came back home or they flew the nest anyway to start a life of independence.

That is not the case anymore and there are plenty of families where older children are still under the same roof as their parents beyond their 20’s.

This new family dynamic creates certain challenges and it could be argued that certain aspects of this arrangement such as understand the benefits of hearing aids rather than turning the TV volume up too loudly could help maintain a harmonious atmosphere.

Here is a look at how to deal with having your kids with you for longer in the family home to ensure the wellbeing of the entire family.

It pays to be honest and open

Suffering in silence while you fund the bulk of your adult child’s living expenses and not saying anything when you are tidying up after them will only create a level of tension over a period of time.

Tell your child how you feel about the arrangement and encourage them to bear some of the responsibility of keeping the house running and paying the bills where they can.

If you feel that your child is placing a burden on you, financially and socially, by living with you for an extended period of their young adult life it is always best to tell them how you feel and discuss a way of making the arrangement work for everyone.

Understand the challenges they face

It is always helpful to try and see things from a different perspective and while some children seem to steadfastly refuse to grow up and become a responsible adult the majority would love to gain their independence and fly the family nest.

Unfortunately, the economic reality for many young adults is that even when they have a job the cost of living and the price of housing and rents makes it almost impossible for some to move out because it is beyond their means.

Not all adult children live with their parents beyond their 20’s through choice or lack of motivation to do something about the situation. Understanding this dilemma can often make it easier to work together to find a way to make living under one roof work.

Avoiding the disconnect

Life for the current young generation is very different from the world you brought them into as parents and it is easy for your child to spend a good part of their day with their eyes on a screen.

This can lead to your child becoming disconnected from family life, which makes it difficult when you are a parent and don’t seem to have as much interaction with them as you would like.

The technological revolution is seemingly widening the gap between parents and children, but that is an opportunity to share each others knowledge and experience in order to ensure that this new family dynamic works as well as possible, until the time comes when they are able or willing to leave the family home.

8 Things Parents Need to Consider When House-Hunting

It’s sad how many people buy a house they think is perfect, but soon realize that it’s completely not suitable for their family. Well, you definitely don’t want to be a part of those statistics, so before you sign any documents, make sure your home fits all of these points. If you keep these things in mind, you will have a great, modern family home that will serve you for decades. 

Check out the streets

Before you even go see any houses, you can go on Google Earth and check out the address. Neglect all other things and focus on the street and sidewalks. Sidewalks are always super neglected, but they are crucial for your family. They provide some extra space between your kid and the cars rushing by and will come in very handy while your kid is in their stroller/trike phase. Also, sidewalks simply invite you to take your family out and go on a nice walk!

Consider the surrounding area

Another thing you can consider before actually looking at any properties is considering the surrounding area. If you have a house on a slope or, even worse, on a hill, you will not only lose a lot of baseballs but also prevent your kids from fun bike rides and skateboarding attempts. If you choose a house on a hill with the steep surrounding area, your little ones will be very mad once they figure out they can’t really enjoy those fun activities. 

Ensure there are amenities nearby

Everyone loves having coffee shops and stores near their homes, but this is especially important for families. So, make sure to ask yourself whether a certain neighborhood is walkable. When you have a stroller and diaper bags, packing up the car with your kids and all their necessities can be super annoying. However, having stores, playgrounds, restaurants and coffee shops within walking distance of your house will make a huge difference. 

Use display homes

If this is your first house and you don’t have a lot of experience when it comes to layouts and sizes, it’s best to visit a display home to get a good sense of everything sellers to have to offer. This is especially important if you have something lux in mind. For instance, you can go check out luxury display homes in Sydney and experience their street presence, entrances, entertaining areas, room layouts and other things first-hand. You can possibly snatch a fully-furnished display or get an idea of what kind of home you can get if you choose to build, so you have various options open. 

Think about an open floor plan

Open floor plan is not only a modern solution for your home, but it’s also very useful for families with younger kids who require supervision. When you have one great room that includes the kitchen, dining area, and living room, you can always have your eye on your kids while you prepare dinner or grab a snack. Just make sure the great room is big enough so you can go about your chores in one part while your kids play or do homework on the other part. 

Be smart with bedroom placement

Most new parents just want to make sure their nursery is big enough to fit a rocker, crib, changing table and other baby necessities. However, don’t forget about the placement of the nursery! If your master bedroom is on the main floor and your nursery is upstairs, you will not have a fun time. Make sure your kids’ bedrooms are close to your master suite but keep the possibility of adding some buffer space (closet, toilet) between your rooms so you can all enjoy some privacy. 

Ensure there’s plenty of storage

It’s truly unbelievable how much stuff kids have, so if you don’t see enough storage in your prospective home, make sure to continue your search. Every room needs to have good storage space, especially bedrooms. On the other hand, getting a house with plenty of space will allow you to even extend your space. For instance, if you don’t have any tools or cars, you can turn your shed into guest house and enjoy some extra living space. 

Check the neighbors

No one wants to live in a high-crime neighborhood, especially families with kids. Luckily, you can easily find out a few things about the crime rate of the area by contacting the local police department or checking their websites. Another thing you simply must do is check the neighborhood for sex offenders. Even though this is something you don’t even want to think about, make sure to visit The National Sex Offender Public Website and see whether there are any sex offenders in the area and where exactly are they located. 

If you plan your house hunting with these points in mind, you will not only have a smooth experience but also end up with a perfect house for you and your family. Plan well and take your time searching for a home that ticks off all of your boxes and you’ll be super satisfied with your choice. 

How Can You Tell If Your Child Will Have a Genetic Mutation?

It’s estimated that everyone carries between 5 and 10 genetic mutations in their DNA. While these mutations don’t always present obvious symptoms, it’s possible to pass them on to your children, even if you don’t have a family history of a particular disorder.

Whether or not your child is born with these genetic traits depends on inheritance factors, also known as genes. For each genetic trait, a child receives one gene from each parent. Although pregnancy is uncertain, learning about carrier genetics can help couples interested in starting a family determine their child’s risk of a genetic mutation.

Inheritance Factors That Cause Mutations

There are two different inheritance factors that can lead to the development of a genetic mutation: X-linked inheritance and autosomal recessive inheritance.

X-Linked Inheritance Disorders. X-linked inheritance disorders can be dominant or recessive. 

  • X-linked dominant disorders develop due to mutations of genes on the X chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes (XX), while males only have one (XY). For a female to develop an x-linked dominant disorder, a mutation in one of the two copies of the gene must occur. To affect a male, a mutation in the only copy of the gene is necessary. Because of this distinction, males are also more likely to experience severe symptoms associated with x-linked dominant disorders than their female counterparts.
  • X-linked recessive disorders are also caused by mutations to genes on the X chromosome. However, because males only have one X chromosome (XY), just one mutation can cause a disorder. For an x-linked recessive disorder to affect a female, a mutation must be present in both copies of the gene (XX). This means males are also more likely to suffer from x-linked recessive disorders than females. 

Autosomal Recessive Inheritance Disorders. Autosomal recessive inheritance disorders develop when a person inherits two separate genetic mutations, one from each parent. If both parents are carriers – meaning that their DNA has at least one genetic mutation – then their child has a 25% risk of having an autosomal recessive inheritance disorder. Unfortunately, many carriers don’t know they’re at risk. This is because autosomal recessive traits typically don’t present any obvious signs or symptoms. In addition, autosomal recessive disorders tend to skip generations.

Types of X-Linked Inheritance Disorders

There are a variety of X-linked inheritance disorders. Some of the most common are:

  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Hemophilia
  • Red-Green Colorblindness
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy

Types of Autosomal Recessive Inheritance Disorders

  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Cycle Cell Anemia (also known as sickle cell disease)
  • Tay-Sachs Disease

Testing and Learning More

If you’re thinking about starting a family, then you’re probably wondering whether or not your child is at risk of developing a genetic mutation. Genetic carrier testing provides a safe, effective means of answering this question. This screening procedure identifies between 3 and 110 hereditary disorders and involves a simple three-step process.

First, you visit your general practitioner or OB/GYN and have your blood drawn. Next, your sample is sent to a laboratory for further testing. A few weeks later, you visit your doctor for a follow-up appointment where your results are revealed. If it’s determined that you or your partner are a genetic carrier, then your doctor can answer any questions you have or refer you to a qualified genetic counselor.

How to Save Money Ahead of Having Kids

You’ve probably heard that it’s expensive to have kids. But do you know the true cost? Some estimates show that it costs the average family over $230,000 to raise a child to adulthood. That doesn’t even include the costs of sending them to college. Chances are, you don’t have that kind of money sitting around. While that number is certainly high, there are some things you can do to start budgeting for kids before you have them. 

Create a Budget

Budgeting is a good idea for anyone trying to save a bit of money. This is particularly true for individuals who are planning to be parents soon. There are two ways budgeting is going to be beneficial for soon-to-be parents. First, it’s going to save you some money before your baby arrives. But you’re also going to learn how to live a more frugal lifestyle, which will be essential to making things work once you have a kid.

Here are the steps you need to take in order to create a budget:

  • Get all your financial statements in one place. This includes anything that shows an account balance, or any kind of income or expense. Make sure you get everything, or else you won’t be able to create an accurate budget.
  • Total up your monthly income and costs. This will show you exactly where your money’s going and will give you an idea of how you can save more.
  • Distinguish between your constant and changing expenses. Constants are going to be things like rent or a mortgage payment, or when the baby comese – baby food for example. Changing expenses are spending money going out to eat—or even things like utilities if you use significantly more energy during certain months.
  • Find ways to cut out expenses to save more money. You’ll want to look at both your constant and changing expenses to find ways to save more. Try to limit the amount you dine out or consider cutting back on some of your subscriptions and memberships. You can also save by reevaluating your constant expenses. Consider downsizing to a smaller living space or getting a less expensive vehicle. 

No matter how much you decide to cut out of your monthly expenses, it’s important that you come up with a plan. Determine how much you’re going to need when the baby arrives and figure out the best ways to reach that goal. 

Try to Eliminate Your Debts 

You’re going to be hit with a lot of new expenses when you have a child. You can prepare for a lot of these, but many will also be entirely out of your control. Eliminating or lowering your current debts is one of the best ways to prepare for this increase in new costs. It’s a good idea to increase your debt payments when you figure out your budget.

If you have debt in the thousands or tens of thousands and are worried about how this will affect your future family, now is the time to start chipping away at it. Some consumers with extreme debt have found success through settlement. Debt relief programs like the one offered by Freedom Financial Network require enrollees to make monthly deposits into a designated account for months or years until they’ve saved enough. Then professional negotiators contact creditors, aiming to settle existing debts for less. Since these programs require some time to complete, it’s smart to start now so you’re squared away when your bundle of joy arrives.

Use Saving and Investing Apps

If you have a baby on the way, you need all the help you can get to put more money into your savings. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of investing because it comes with a risk that you might lose money. However, when done correctly, it’s one of the most effective ways to save for the long term. There are now a ton of apps out there that help people invest their money for a very low cost. Stash is one of the most popular, as it comes with an extremely low cost—only one dollar per month if your account is under $5,000, and unlimited free trades. Wealthfront is another good app for people who want to start a college savings plan early. It offers a low-cost solution to helping people prepare for that big expense later in life.

Sell Your Unused Items

It’s a good idea to sell things you’re not using at a garage sale or online. This will instantly give you some extra cash that can either go to savings, paying down debts, or purchasing necessary items you’ll need for your baby. You’ll also be doing yourself a favor by making some extra room in your home. 

There’s a lot you need to think about when preparing for a child. While having kids is an expensive endeavor, starting to save now can help you pay for all those added expenses down the line.

Wonderful Ways of Bonding With Your Newborn

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The bond a parent has with their child is something special. You’re going to cherish this connection for as long as you live, so why not have it start off well? Your newborn might not be able to communicate with you directly, but your baby still appreciates everything you decide to do with it. You will want to strengthen that bond and show your baby that you love it. Here are some activities that have been shown to further improve the wonderful bond between parent and child.

1. Reading books

Newborns aren’t the most avid readers. You can’t expect them to understand the depth and nuances of a good Dostoevsky book before their first birthday. However, they love it when their parents read books to them aloud.

A lot of parents don’t see the point in reading to their newborns, considering the fact that their brains haven’t yet developed enough to comprehend the words that are written. However, this completely misses the point of reading with your kids. Their minds are very malleable and any kind of exposure to new stimuli and information is going to leave a positive lasting impact. The sooner you start exposing them to the joys of reading, the sooner they’ll want to do it on their own when they learn how to.

Let’s not forget, it’s a great way to build a good connection with your child. If you read fun and interesting stories to them, they’ll always think of you when they start reading on their own.

2. Listening to music

Music is something people can appreciate at all ages. Yes, that includes newborns to an extent. You can play all of your favourite music to your child and have them listen along with you. They might not be able to sing along or understand the lyrics, but even newborns can enjoy rich melodies and chord progressions. They might not know what it is, but the smile on their face will tell you that they enjoy it.

Without even knowing it, music is helping your child practice a degree of mindfulness. There’s some element of music that gets us closer to independent thought and emotional development. This makes it ideal for playing with your children.

If you play an instrument, practicing with your child would be a great way to make the activity fun for both of you. The guitar you have laying around and collecting dust could be better utilized during playtime with the kids. However, keep in mind that your child might not be as forgiving as other people are when you miss a note or two.


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3. Cooking

Making food for your family is one of those activities that are both fun and tiresome. It’s an art that is masquerading as an everyday chore, which is why your opinion of it may vary from day to day, depending on what kind of mood you’re in.

Your child might be right at your heels any time you’re preparing food in the kitchen, which poses an additional problem. You can’t exactly let your kid help you make food, so how do you include them in this activity? As with any other thing their parents do, children will develop an innate fascination with what you’re doing in the kitchen. You should humor this interest and give them some hints that they’re helping

Obviously, you’re not going to let your child near the cutting knife or any kind of raw meat, but small details will make their day and further their fascination with the kitchen and cooking. Let them touch vegetables and feel their texture before you put them in the pot. Children have a very tactile way of interacting with their environment. If you’re making something particularly aromatic, see if they’re fascinated by the individual smells during the cooking process.

They can’t help you in the cooking department, but you can help them experience a whole world of new sensations just by letting them stay near you. Eventually, they’ll figure out that the individual ingredients make for something that is even more delicious than the sum of its parts. It’s a valuable learning experience.

4. Enjoying nature

There’s no better way to spend time with your child than the great outdoors. Keep in mind, your baby has been spending nine months cooped up in a tight space, so it’s perfectly reasonable to expect that they might want to see some of the outside worlds.

Walking around parks would be great if your baby could walk on its own. For the time being, you should consider carrying it, at least until your baby grows old enough to be able to walk alongside you. Don’t hesitate to take your baby on a remote country destination as this is where they would be able to experience the clean air and have fun with the local farm animals. Feel free to pack all the essentials for a longer trip and tuck your baby in a comfortable Maxi Cosi car seat. While in nature, new parents can find it a bit difficult to walk for long periods of time with a baby in their arms, especially once it gains some weight. This is why chest carriers make for a great solution in that period right before the child starts trying to walk.


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5. Playing with toys

They say that play is the language of children and there’s quite a lot of research to back that up. Children have a pretty limited set of ways they can communicate with you. Crying and laughing are just about the only types of input you can expect from your newborn. On the other hand, they might try their best to express themselves using toys and playthings.

By playing with them, you enter their own personal world of imagination and wonder. Their toys aren’t just pieces of plastic and cloth, to them they’re parts of an entire imaginary world. Keep that in mind if you start playing with them, you might not have the same view and you could be ruining their vision of playtime. On the other hand, your baby will certainly love playing with you no matter how you contribute to playtime!

Conclusion

As a parent, you’re going to want to spend as much of your free time with your child. They mean everything to you and you want to show them the love and care they deserve. Finding the most interesting ways to spend that time should be your next step. Making the most of your fun and bonding is a great way to further your connection with your child.

Smarter Ways To Stock Snacks And Make Kids Eat

Most people find it difficult to make kids have their snacks, on time that it. They often wonder when their kids should snack. Well, there are smarter ways to stock snacks at home to make it exciting enough so that kids love to snack whenever you want to. To start with, it is wrong with things that every time is snacking time. The best way to go about it is to think of snacks as their mini meals.

There are several children who graze all through the day enjoying their snacking time that seems to be neverending. Yes, snacks are good in several ways such as:

  • It is good for health as it gives their body the desired nutrients
  • It helps to keep their hunger at bay and
  • It also helps them to stay focused on their studies at school and also at home while doing their homework.

True as it is, most of the times the bags of these kids are full of chips, cookies and all other food items that are low on calorie and nutritional value.

It is here where the problem lies. Such snacking is unplanned and random snacking will surely lead to several health issues and other problems. If your kid’s snack nonstop there are two basic problems that your kids will experience. These are:

  • It will interfere with their appetites and
  • It will also upset their natural instinct to feel full or to experience hunger.

Therefore, you should time your kid’s snacking correctly so that it actually helps them to get the energy as well as the nutrients they require.

The perfect timing

According to research, children and teens need to snack every three to four hours all through the day. This will help fuel their growth, keep their body active and energized and meet their daily nutrient requirement and food plan. This deciphers into these basic things:

  • Young kids should have two snacks a day at least and they also need to eat at least three meals a day
  • Older kids can do with one snack a day but should have at least three meals to fulfill their body requirements.

However, if an older kid is very physically active or is experiencing a growth spurt, the number of snacks per day should be increased to two.

Therefore, if you want to offer planned meals and snacks on time consistently through the day, you will need to stock your home snacks accordingly. You may follow a good rule of thumb which is:

  • Offering them snacks just a couple of hours after a meal ends and
  • About a couple of before it is time to start the next meal.

If you postpone snacks a few hours after each meal will have two significant positive effects in their food habits which will surely help them grow and keep health issues at bay.

  • One, it will prevent your kids from refusing to eat a meal and
  • Two, it will prevent them from craving for food as a snack just after the mealtime ends.

In other words, it will encourage a healthy appetite in them if you put stops to snacking straightaway before meals.

Smart snacking habits

If you want to install smart and good snacking habits in your kid you must know these few facts:

  • It all starts with the place. If they are snacking at home, they should have a designated area for it. Mark an area as the “eating zone” and make sure that all snacking is limited to that location.
  • You can mark the kitchen table or even the countertop for it. This will help you to monitor their snacking.
  • If your kid’s snack all over the house you will hardly know what they eat and how much they eat. In addition to that, you will also have to deal with the spills, crumbs and other mess.
  • It is also required to make sure that your kids are not allowed to watch TV while snacking. There are different studies that show that it results in mindless munching and in turn, leads to overeating.
  • Do not force smaller children to eat larger portions but make sure that they get into the habit of more frequent snacking as compared to the older kids. This is because little kids have smaller stomachs and therefore can hold less.
  • Make a more predictable routine for snacking and offering meals. This will help them to be ready and expect something to eat and help you to be prepared with the right food to fill the hungry tummies.
  • Your kids may be very hungry right after coming home from school but make sure that they eat at the right meal times and do not offer any snacks too close to their mealtime.
  • Always offer nutrient-dense foods that may be lacking in their diet otherwise so that it improves and fulfills the nutrient intake of your child.
  • Always place food items that are healthy in plain sight of your kids such as a bowl of fresh and ripe whole fruit at the center of the dining table or your kitchen or small containers containing fresh veggie snacks such as carrots, broccoli florets and celery sticks in the fridge at the eye level of your kids.
  • Lastly, you should stock your fridge and kitchen with lots of canned snacks. This may include canned fruits in a juice, natural applesauce, and others but make sure you check the label to find out whether or not it contains any added sugar.

Does it feel a costly affair for you? To cut cost, you can:

  • Divide larger cans into smaller reusable containers with smaller portions.
  • You may even buy single-serve containers that are more convenient as well.
  • Use more frozen fruits as these are often are less expensive such as frozen strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

Well, if you are well organized then you will not have problems in stacking your kitchen or even making your kids eat their meal and snacks on time and on a regular basis.

Front Facing vs Rear Facing Car Seats-Good or Bad?

As a parent, you immediately have the urge to protect your little bundle of joy. It’s nature-it’s natural instinct. While you can’t cling to them as you drive, you can put your trust in a car seat that not only comfortably cradles your baby, but keeps them safe and secure.

With so many car seats on the market, choosing the right one can be a daunting and stressful task for a new mommy. Front facing? Rear facing? Which one should you choose, and how many car seats will your child need as they grow? How long should your child remain rear facing? Which ones will support a

Each kind of seat has its own set of pros and cons, and based on my experience, I can share how I successfully made my selection and gained total peace of mind while I drove my baby around.

Rear Facing Car Seat

A rear facing car seat is designed specifically for infants. Most seats will grow with your baby, allowing them to stay rear facing in the seat until they reach the seat’s specific weight or height limit. Each seat is designed differently, so it’s hard to say when the measurement limits will expire.

The “old” way of thinking has children rear facing in their seat until one year of age, or 20 pounds-whatever comes first. Recently, it has been suggested that parents keep their child rear facing as long as possible. The “new” way of thinking is keep kids rear facing until they are at least 2 years old and/or 60 pounds. Why?

The benefits of keeping a child rear facing include:

  • Added head and neck support in case of a crash.
  • A rear facing seat spreads out impact more evenly.
  • The belts don’t become a hazard because they are worn across the body properly.
  • Necks are supported when children doze off. Their body placement also remains cradled.

The cons of keeping a child rear facing include:

  • Hassel once the child is heavier/taller. Creates a hard to reach/hook space for parents.
  • Can’t see the child or address their needs once they hit toddlerhood.

The good news is that car seat systems can be used rear facing and turned front facing without having to purchase an additional seat. Some even turn into booster seats when the child is much older and ready to sit on their own.

Front Facing Seats

Front facing seats are solely purchased when a child has hit a height, weight, or age requirement. This usually happens at around the age of 18 months (depending on the size of the child) and all the way up to 3 or 4 years old. Front facing seats are never to be used rear facing. However, if you have purchased a convertible car seat, yours has been specially designed to convert back and forth, making it ok to do so.

Front facing seats are great transition seats that teach your child how to sit in a car properly, buckle up, and enjoy the views and privileges of being an older child in a car. It also helps transition them to a booster seat, which can be used around 40 pounds and up to 100 pounds.

The benefits of putting your child in a front facing seat include:

  • Easy access. Your child can literally climb in and out of their seat.
  • Easy to see, talk to, and help your child.
  • Easy for parents to set up the seat and hook the belt.
  • Most children find sitting front facing makes them less dizzy and they enjoy being in a car and going on longer rides more.

Cons of a front facing seat:

  • Belt must be worn properly or the seat won’t do its job.
  • Children can easily unhook their own belts.
  • If a child falls asleep and hunches over, they are without support and could be injured easily in case of an accident.
  • If there is an impact, your child’s head and neck are less protected.
  • Most front facing seats (especially booster seats) aren’t anchored like a rear facing seat is, so the seat solely relies on the use of the seat belt.

All children are going to face front eventually. I learned that really isn’t a rush and if a rear facing seat offers more support and protection, then I put my child’s safety over everything else.

When shopping for a car seat, it’s important to consider these pros and cons. Variations of different car seats can be purchased from both big-box retailers or specialty baby boutiques online. Based on my experience, your best bet is to purchase a convertible car seat so that it can be used rear facing first, and then front facing once your child shows signs of growth and readiness. This cuts down on costs and keeps your baby in a cradled, secure seat longer!