Every grandparent likes to spoil their grandchildren a little; being able to dote on your children’s children is just another fantastic part of being a grandparent. However, while it’s nice to be able to treat your grandkids to the odd treat every now and then, what you don’t want to do is get into the habit of feeding them sweet treats day in, day out. Otherwise, they will come to expect them.
Children who eat a lot of sweet foods, such as cakes, biscuits, chewy sweets, and chocolate, are twice as likely to be overweight or obese as they grow up. They are also twice as likely to develop type two diabetes, and many other health problems, for that matter. It’s all well and good treating your grandkids to the odd treat, but for the most part, it’s important to stick to healthy snacks.
The good news is that healthy snacks can taste just as nice as unhealthy ones, it’s just a case of getting a little creative with what you serve your grandchildren, that’s all. For healthy snack ideas and inspiration that any child is sure to love, read on.
Change how you serve fruit
A lot of kids think that fruit is a boring snack, but that’s just because of how it’s often served. To make fruit more fun, and a snack that your grandchildren actually look forward to eating, get creative.
Consider grilling fruit and topping it with a spoonful of natural honey as a delicious snack. You can do this with sliced apple, banana (leave it in its skin), pineapple, mango, or pear. For cooking apples, remove the core, stuff with sultanas and a teaspoon of honey and bake in the oven until soft and golden.
Or, how about investing in an ice cream maker and making your own homemade sorbet? There are plenty of recipes for healthy sorbet, many of which use honey for sweetening instead of sugar, so it could be worth looking up some of these.
Another way to make fruit more fun is to blend it into a smoothie or milkshake; whether it’s a strawberry milkshake or a banana one, swap dairy milk for oat or nut milk and add a sprinkle of oats to it, to make a more filling snack or breakfast.
Get creative with drinks
Healthy snacking isn’t just about food; it’s also about drinks. A lot of kids navigate towards fizzy drinks, but the problem is that these are either packed with sugar or sweetener, neither of which is very good for them. So when it comes to drinks, you may need to get a little more creative.
Water should always be the go-to drink that you offer your grandkids, as it’s the healthiest option. However, a lot of kids aren’t keen on water; to make it a more interesting drink, flavoring it is often the answer. Whether that is by infusing fresh fruit into water at home or buying bottles of ready flavored water, such as watermelon flavoured water, for instance.
There are various brands of flavored water to choose from, many of which are sugar and sweetener free, so make sure to pick one of these as your go-to option.
Baking doesn’t have to be unhealthy; there are numerous ways that you can make baking that little bit healthier. There are many recipes for cakes such as lemon cake and chocolate cake that use yogurt instead of butter, for instance.
There are also plenty of recipes that use reduced amounts of sugar or no sugar at all, instead using honey or fruit to sweeten them. Baking healthily is possible; it’s just a case of finding recipes that have been adapted to be healthier, that's all.
It’s all well and good spoiling your grandchildren every so often, but you don’t want to overfeed them sweet treats, as this may end up having an impact on their health. Instead, take note of the ideas and inspiration above, and you can make healthy snacks more fun for your grandchildren.
As a painfully shy and introverted child, school was an ongoing nightmare on so many different levels. But I remember that, no matter what had happened at school, as soon as I reached our street everything seemed a bit more bearable. Home was a calm, non-threatening place and I could hardly wait to arrive there safely. Better yet, I could usually smell biscuits, or sometimes even cake, hot from the oven as soon as a walked through the front gate. What a welcome!
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ...
though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
Although everyone has their own ideas and perspective about what makes for a welcoming home, for me, it reflects a combination of elements. Yes, a sense of calm is important along with colour and character. And although lighting and comfort are important elements, it's more than just that. Some would include pleasant sounds or music.
But for me, a pleasant aroma is a big part of it, too.
Essential oils provide more than just a pleasant perfume
You may already know of numerous essential oils and even be vaguely aware of some claimed benefits of 'aromatherapy'. But, how much do you truly know about the properties of essential oils? Most people know they have a pleasant aroma. They may also be aware that they are pure and that they are natural essences extracted from plants.
However, many people do not understand how or why essential oils can go far beyond being merely perfumes or how they can also improve their health and wellbeing. I'm certainly no expert but I've been doing a lot or reading about essential oils. Here's some of what I have discovered:
Essential Oils for Improving Health
Four extremely popular essential oils are discussed in some detail below. Their different properties, benefits and uses will give an indication as to how useful essential oils can be, especially when it comes to improving your health.
Tea Tree oil is widely used as a primary ingredient in many beauty products. Tea tree oil extract has numerous positive properties as an essential oil. It has antifungal, antiseptic and astringent qualities, making it a popular additive for many soaps, lotions and shampoos.
Tea tree oil is perfect for fighting bacteria and germs. It is commonly used in oily skin and scalp preparations and helpful for treating skin problems such as dandruff and acne. It is perfect for dabbing on superficial cuts, scratches and sores to kill or prevent infection.
If you are working with the pure essential oil, be sure to dilute it first as it can cause burning and irritation to the skin if used undiluted. You can mix it with some carrier oil or water to make it gentler for your skin.
Ginger is considered to be a very versatile essential oil. Ginger essential oil is a popular remedy for increasing circulation and blood flow and calming the stomach. As it is a wonderful digestive aid, it is used frequently to combat nausea. It is a great help for those experiencing an upset tummy due to pregnancy or travel sickness.
It has also been found to be a helpful remedy for anyone experiencing vomiting due to the effects of chemotherapy.
It can also help combat a sore throat when taken at the first sign of a cold. Ginger root oil can also make a delicious hot drink, especially if you brew it with some lemon and honey.
Lemon oil is a deliciously fragrant essential oil that is useful for a variety of purposes. Lemon oil is a well-known anti-oxidant. It offers great antiseptic properties, making it an excellent aid for common colds, bronchitis, asthma, flu and other respiratory issues.
The high vitamin C content in lemon oil is beneficial for boosting the immune system of the body and fighting against different contagious infections and illnesses. Lemon is also popular for improving digestive processes.
It does however, have some photo-toxicity properties, therefore, some people may experience irritation if they are using lemon oil and are exposed to direct sunlight for a long time.
Rosemary is another common essential oil that has extremely diverse properties. It is commonly used for combating fatigue, combating stress and improving one's memory. Rosemary has stimulant, astringent and antiseptic properties.
These examples are only a few of the many readily available essential oils that are useful for improving your health. Once you have tried them and experienced their natural benefits you will be looking for more ways to use the power of essential oils in your life!
If you'd like to learn more about essential oils, you can find ithere.
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Even if you leave your baby with a relative or close friend whenever you go to work or head out on an evening, you will find that you always worry that your baby is in safe hands. This is perfectly natural, as all parents worry about leaving their baby with someone else, even if it someone who they completely trust!
Sometimes, though, even the most experienced babysitter or caring family member could do with a little guidance from you about your child. Sharing some simple information with them could really make a difference and could prevent a difficult situation from turning into an emergency.
So, before you leave, make sure you write a quick note with some of the following information.
You should always let the sitter know where you will be. Make sure that they have a contact number for both you and your partner even if the two of you will be together the entire time. If you are going out for dinner, it’s also a good idea to leave the number of the restaurant.
Just think, you might not hear your phone ring in a busy restaurant, but the staff will also be manning the restaurant’s main phone. If you are going into work, leave your office’s number.
It’s also a good idea to leave contact details for a trusted neighbor or relative just in case the sitter can’t get in touch with you or your partner.
Special Dietary Requirements
Any allergies or dietary requirements also need to be mentioned in your note. Even if you have told the babysitter in person, it’s always important to write this down as well so that they do not forget.
When it comes to baby and toddler food, keeping it organic is a priority for many parents. If it is for you, you might want to also mention this in your note and let your sitter know where they can find the organic snacks and food in your kitchen.
Don’t forget to mention any food that your child shouldn’t eat just before bed, such as sugary snacks.
Write down the location of your first-aid kit so that the babysitter doesn’t waste any time looking for it if they ever need it.
You should also make a note of any health conditions that your child has that might need attention. For instance, if your child has allergies you should let the sitter know where their EpiPen is.
You might also like to leave your family doctor’s phone number, just in case!
Your Baby’s Routine
Babies love routines and knowing what to expect next. I’m sure you will have established one for the run up to bedtime. This will ensure that things stay familiar for your tot even if someone else is bathing them and putting them to bed.
By sticking to a routine, your babysitter will be able to sidestep any potential tantrums!
When you leave a note for the babysitter, you will find that you have more peace of mind and won’t worry quite so much!
Imagine your life is perfect in every respect; what would it look like?- Brian Tracy
Research has reinforced what we already know- that images have the amazing capacity to help us learn and help us remember.... hence the expression, 'A picture is worth a thousand words.'
You only have to look at the family photos in your albums. As you look at each old and loved snapshot, I'm sure you'll remember both the occasion it was taken and where. The photo might even trigger memories of certain smells and sounds associated with that time and place.
Yes.. images can be very powerful. But, how does this help you and your motivation for an ongoing habit or the attainment of a particular goal?
Pictures speak a thousand words and while this is so true you can also use it to your advantage when it comes to motivation.
If you have a goal such as weight loss, do you ever look in the mirror and feel disappointed by what you see? This often gives you enough motivation to start a new diet but it may not be enough to keep you on track for months at a time.
This is where using a picture or vision board becomes extremely handy. By having a visual story board you can track your progress by looking backwards.
When it comes to motivation you tend to always be focused on the end goal. While this is good it can also be a factor for losing your motivation. If your goal was to lose 100 pounds and you have only lost 30 you may feel as though things aren’t working any more. You start to feel like giving up.
Focus on your accomplishments and successes
When this happens you want to look backwards instead of forward. This way you can now focus on your accomplishments and successes. This is the perfect strategy for long term goals that could require a year or more of motivation and focus.
As your body changes you can’t always remember what you looked like 2 or 3 months ago. If you have images then you do have a reminder of this. This is why creating your own story board of your motivational journey is so important.
You can create your own visual story board in many different ways.
1. Create a physical picture board
You can actually have a physical story board in your home where you can add photos each week or monthBut if you're not a hands-on crafty person, ditch the scissors and glue and check out these other options.
2. Ditch the scissors and glue and create a digital vision board
Samantha Bell (Brand It Girl) says, 'A vision board is a tool that you can use to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on specific life goals.' She goes on to describe and show you how to create a digital vision board that can then be used for your computer wallpaper or printed framed and displayed on the wall.
PicMonkey is another option for creating a digital vision board. PicMonkey provides step by step instructions and inspiration... worth checking out. Remember, that there are no rules or formulas for creating your vision board. It's all about personal goals and personal style.
3. Create your picture board online
Uploading your photos, quotes and content to an online picture board is another way create your vision board. One of the best places to do this is on Pinterest. You can create a weight loss, exercise board or any board dedicated to your new goal. You can choose whether you'd like to keep your board 'secret', or 'public' if you'd like the incentive that others' encouragement would add.
Here's a quick overview of creating a Pinterest board
Add pictures on a regular basis to build motivation.
When you begin your vision board and particularly if you create a Pinterest vision board, you can add your starting photos and then add photos on a regular basis. Once you start doing this you will no doubt enjoy adding photos each week. Plus you can share them with your friends and family as well.
Include pictures of your healthy choice meals or meal plans that have worked for you. If your goal is a daily walking habit, take photos of your favourite walking track.If your goal is daily writing, include images of where you like to write and your journal or tablet. Add inspirational quotes.
As soon as you feel as though you are losing your motivation you can easily refer back to your board and take a good look at how far you have come. Even upload photos about how you are feeling at that moment so if it happens again you can see how you dealt with it.
Try it and see if it doesn’t help you stay on track.
And... I have no doubt that you'll also enjoy creating your ongoing vision board. Just as another suggestion... how about helping your teen create their own vision board to get motivated to fulfil their vision of their future?
Seriously.... it helps a lot with the growth of this blog.
I know most people don't share because they feel that we bloggers don't need their 'tiny' share. But believe me... you matter! Each and every reader is important and appreciated.
I've built this blog piece by piece, one small share at a time. So, thank you so much for your support.
Do you ever get to that point in the day where you simply don't have energy left?
Of course, you have! It's a fairly natural part of everyday life. There isn't a person alive who doesn't come to the end of a busy day feeling like they could do with a lie down and a good long sleep. But what happens if you feel like that all day?
There are far too many people who go through their entire day feeling as though they're running on empty and, not matter what they do; they simply can't seem to bring up their energy levels. If that sounds familiar to you then don't despair, this problem isn't one that you necessarily have to live with.
Here are just a few things might be leaving you lacking in energy, and what you can do about it.
Of course, we all understand that eating too much is going to leave you feeling bloated and lacking in energy. But far too many people tend to ignore the impact that other elements of your diet can have on your energy levels.
For one thing, eating to little can be just as bad, if not worse, than eating too much. If you're not eating, then your body simply won't have anything to use when trying to produce energy. Even something as simple as skipping breakfast can have some pretty serious consequences for your energy levels.
Make sure that you're eating a healthy, balanced diet. Keto recipes are a fantastic way to make sure that you're giving your body everything it needs without going overboard on unnecessary ingredients.
We all like to have a good time now and then, but there always has to be a limit. Let's face it; there are only so many late nights that you can have before it starts to take a serious toll on your energy levels. However important socializing might be for you, there comes a time where you simply need to spend some time alone, relax and get an early night. As with just about everything else in life, it's important to keep moderation in mind. There's absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying yourself, just remember not to go overboard with it.
Your exercise routine
Staying active is incredibly important to keeping your energy levels. up.
The problem that many of us face is that we often lead pretty sedentary lifestyles. Spending each and every day stuck behind a desk is a surprisingly taxing experience.
It's important that you spend at least a little bit of time each day doing something physical.
Of course, going too far in the other direction can actually be pretty dangerous. Too much exercise all at once can cause your body to release too much cortisol, the stress hormone, which is a surefire way to burn yourself out.
If you want to increase your energy levels then it's important to start slowly and build up your levels of exercise gradually.
I watched him saunter down the street. He jumped a puddle, kicked at a stone, and swatted at what seemed to be a bumblebee before balancing and walking tight-rope-style along the length of the fallen tree trunk. Then he leaped for the flat sandstone paver and the front gate, swinging the gate open with his impetus. (Mmmm.... I really need to fix that gate latch.)
He landed successfully and then paused for a moment before kneeling to remove the lunchbox from his backpack.
I sighed, and watched him race to the woodpile and shove the contents of his lunchbox deep within the pile.
"You're home, Ben!" I called. "How was your day?"
"Yep.. okay," he replied.
"Did you eat your lunch?"
Immediately, the lunchbox came out again, opened for inspection. I sighed again, thinking of the time I'd spent planning and preparing a tasty lunchbox for my kids, Ben included.
Like so many mothers, I struggled with preparing interesting, healthy and varied lunches that my kids would actually consume. And, as a teacher I know that, given the chance, kids will compare lunches, trade the contents, pass them over to someone else or just toss the contents in the rubbish bin. Aghh!!
Not only is that frustrating, it's a real struggle to find the time to plan and prepare these meals for growing bodies in the first place.
There is nothing worse than running late in the morning and then desperately trying to figure out something you can put in your children’s lunch boxes. If you find yourself flustered, or end up buying school lunch because packing it seems like too much of a hassle, take a look at the tips below.
They will help you get organized so fixing lunches becomes quick and easy.
And... there's a helpful bonus included.
1. Start With A List And Go Shopping
Start by sitting down with your kids and come up with a list of lunches they like. This could include sandwiches and wraps, or even homemade pizza slices or pockets, but it doesn’t have to stop there. If you add a thermos to the mix, you can suddenly pack reheated leftovers, homemade soup and the likes. The key is to find lunch foods and snacks that your kids will eat that are also easy to pack.
Make sure you have appropriate containers, and then head to the grocery store to pick up everything you need for the week. Don’t forget about snacks and drinks as needed. The list should make this much easier.
Once you have several different lunch ideas your kids like and will actually eat, you can simply rotate through them and make the ingredients part of your weekly shopping trips.
2. Prep What You Can As Soon As You Get Home
When you get home from the store, keep lunch foods out and see what you can do to prep things ahead of time. Instead of putting that bag of grapes away, go ahead and wash and store them in little bags you can grab and toss in the lunch box. The same goes for things like carrots and even salads. Slice cheese as needed and just thing about what you can prep as soon as you get home.
3. Pack Lunches The Night Before
Mornings are busy and not always the perfect time to have to worry about packing lunches. Try making them the night before. Try packing them after dinner at night. Get the kids involved and have them help with lunch prep and clean-up after. You can store cold items in the fridge and have everything else sitting in the lunch box ready to go.
It won’t take you long to get into a rhythm of preparing lunches while you’re cleaning up after dinner. You’ll appreciate this new habit in the mornings when all you need to do is grab a couple of things from the fridge and toss them in the lunch boxes.
4. Get In The Habit Of Cleaning Lunch Boxes As Soon As The Kids Get Home
To make lunch prep even easier, get the kids into the habit of cleaning out their lunch box as soon as they get back from school. Even the youngest can help with this.
Have them toss any uneaten food and bring the containers to the sink to be washed.
Older children can easily clean their own containers, while you’ll probably have to do the washing for your youngest.
Having everything clean and ready to go will make it easier to pack the new lunches later on in the day.
Stick to these tips and it won’t take you long to get into an efficient lunch packing routine that will make it a snap.
5. Involve the kids
Don’t forget to get the kids involved and put them in charge of much of the preparations. Not only will this make your live easier in the long run, it will give them a sense of ownership over their lunch.... and they'll be more likely to eat their lunch.
Having said that, don't forget to include the occasional surprise for them. It could be as simple as a little note or encouragement card. It could be something special like a container of cherries or home grown mulberries. It could be a really special lunch creation like these inspirational ideas. Or, it could be a voucher to the local Bounce trampoline centre after school.
Hopefully, your kids will grow to enjoy their lunches and look forward to opening their lunchboxes.
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Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.