Healthy Back to School Tips for Families

It’s Back to School for many families this week.  The summer is coming to a close and many people are experiencing more stress and chaos.  There is often a challenging transition from the slower summer pace to busy schedules, sports and after school activities.  To help with the transition, I am sharing some tips that may help your family.  I recommend discovering what works for your own family and schedule.

1.  establish a healthy routine

Creating a healthy schedule and routine will help a great deal.  Establishing homework hours, a consistent sleep schedule and supper time will help parents and kids become more organized and less stressed.  Organization apps like myHomework and iHomework are a great resource for children and families.  Preparing the evening before will help too.  Packing lunches and backpacks, reviewing schedules for the next day and setting out clothes will alleviate the additional morning “runaround.”

Whether you use a family app or schedule that can be written out, a family calendar could be a great resource.  Especially when it comes to work, homework, after school activities and supper.  For a fun DIY family project, check out this homemade Family Calendar.  Discovering what system works best for your own family is important for success and less stress.

2. get organized around the house

As the school year begins, there is often shopping for clothes and supplies.  As new items come into your home, it’s a great idea to de-clutter and get rid of old items that aren’t being used.  It may be beneficial to set up a homework area or center in your home.  A place where you can store additional supplies and offer a space for kids to complete their homework.   The fall (and school) season is a great time for “cleaning house.”

3.  Schedule family time

With the business of the school year, it’s easy to let the day fly.  The next thing you know, it’s bed time and you’re wondering where the hours in the day went.  Scheduling a set family time allows for quality time together and communication.  This could be at supper time or during an evening walk around the neighborhood.  Not only is it beneficial for stress management but it’s a good time to ask your kiddos how their day went.  It’s also a good time to discuss things such as bullying, back to school worries, accomplishments, goals and so forth.  This is also a good time to disconnect from technology and slow down as you approach bedtime.

Some families use a “technology basket” where they store their most tempting devices.  

Creating this habit and incorporating it into your schedule helps with stress management, educating your children, opening communication among the family and aids in healthy family structure.

4.  healthy habits

The start of the school year can bring several unhealthy habits.  From grabbing unhealthy meals to lack of sleep, it’s easy to run down your immune system.  There are several tips that I recommend for creating healthy habits.  When it comes to communicating with and educating your children, it may be beneficial to to discuss nutrition and the difference between buying versus bringing meals to school.  Creating a healthy menu and prepping meals on the weekend may benefit your family as well.

Organization and prep can help when the schedules are busy and you’re trying to save money.  You can also have more control over what the kiddos are eating during the day.  Some schools have cafeteria menus that can be viewed ahead of time.  Knowing this schedule can help you prepare what you want your kids to eat at school.  For some healthy meal options, I welcome you to check out this link: Healthy Lunch Ideas

When it comes to relationships, cultivating healthy ones is important.  It’s a great idea to get to know parents of kids in the neighborhood, parents of your kid’s friends from school and building a relationship with teachers and staff members.  Especially if your children are involved with after-school activities and events.

Encourage exercise and movement.  With the amount of time children are on technology these days and sitting at school, it’s beneficial to stress the importance of exercise and movement.  This can be anything from after school sports, outdoor activities with friends to the evening walks I mentioned before.

School safety and hygiene are a great topic to discuss with children.  A lot of germs are spread around in schools.  Especially as we move into the colder months.  Educating children about washing hands, not sharing hats and brushes and not sharing food and drinks are important.

5.  set goals (other than grades)

With a new school year ahead, it’s a great time to set new goals.  Academic excellence can be one but there are other goals that may be considered.  These could be sports that your child wants to play throughout different seasons.  It could also be household responsibilities and chores.  Incorporating your children and working on a new structure will help all involved.  If it works for your family, you can implement a reward option or ways to inspire and motive.

Last but not least, make it a great year!

The start of a new year can be overwhelming for not just the kiddos but also the parents.  As you begin a new year, find what system and tips work best for your family.  Have you discovered some additional tips that work in your home and lifestyle?  I welcome you to share below.

Here are some additional resources for your family:

Back to School Printables

Menu Planning- Save Time In The Kitchen

Additional Back to School Tips

wishing everyone a wonderful and safe year ahead!

XOXO,

kim

 

Healthy and Delicious Peach Berry Smoothie Bowl

This time of year, we see an abundance of healthy and delicious local produce at the farmers market and road-side stands.  When I was at the farmers market yesterday, I picked up a basket of fresh, juicy peaches.  They are one of my favorite summer fruits!

During the hot summer seasons, many people enjoy lighter meals and snacks.  

When you’re looking for a delicious light and healthy meal or snack, there are a number of things to choose from.  For me, I enjoy the powerful and nutritional simplicity of a smoothie bowl. A tightly arranged grouping of carbs, proteins and antioxidants can help you fuel your day properly.  Smoothie bowls are a great option to help you feel energized throughout the entire day.

Not only is this bowl packed with delicious flavors, but it delivers a healthy dose of all sorts of nutrients that your body needs. The proper nutrition and fuel to help you power through your day.

Peaches are high in a variety of trace minerals.  this tasty fruit aids several different systems in the body, such as eye sight and the nervous system.

In addition, they have many positive effects on blood health due to their iron content and its role in blood cell formation. Furthermore, the black and blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants.  They have a strong effect on the skin and general health. Overall, this smoothie is a heavy promoter of cardiovascular health because it also lowers blood pressure and helps to lower cholesterol.

What Goes in It

  • ¼ cup of water or fresh pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peaches
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup blackberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • Local Raw Honey

directions

Blend the juices, banana and peaches. Pour the liquid into a bowl and top it with the berries, walnuts and hems seeds. Once it is arranged the way that is pleasing to you, drizzle the bowl with a thin line of honey zig zagging in a pattern that creates a grid. ENJOY! 🤗

Do you have a favorite smoothie bowl or peach recipe?  I welcome you to comment below.

Have a great holiday weekend! 

XOXO,

Kim

travel

10 Tips for Healthy Travel

Traveling with friends and family is one of my favorite things to do!  This summer has already been filled with a lot of travel and creating wonderful memories.

When I was in Ireland last month, I was overjoyed with the food options.  Every meal consisted of fresh meats, fruits and veggies.  There was fresh fish, farmers market goodies and so many options for those with food sensitivities.  We walked a lot and I felt very healthy being there.

I know that’s not always the case, but there are many ways to modify or make healthy adjustments when traveling.  Below are some of my top tips that I always incorporate when traveling and also share with my clients.

 

10 Tips for Healthy Travel

1.  Get plenty of sleep

With the different places I’ve traveled to so far this summer, sleep has been a challenge at times with different time changes.  Due to that and the health benefits, I’ve made it a point to get tons of rest when I can.  Depending on where you are traveling, things can be stressful.  Running around the airport, long drive times and lack of sleep can all take a toll on the body.  Make sure you get enough rest, especially around the days you will be traveling.  I recommend shutting down electronics an hour before you plan to sleep.  Breathing exercises can be beneficial too!  For me, I find reading to be helpful.  Find what works for you but make sure you make sleep a priority.

2.  Move and Stretch

When I am on vacation or away on a trip, I like to move!  This includes walking a lot, doing body weight exercises and traveling with portable exercise equipment like bands.  You can also rent bikes, paddle boards (when on the water) and other outdoor equipment.  When flying or driving long distances, take time for stretching.  Whether it’s on the plane or at a gas station when stopping.  Many places have daily passes at the gym or equipment in the hotel.  Again, find what works for you but make sure you incorporate movement and stretching.

3.  Hydrate

Hydration is very important!  Especially when traveling.  I usually carry an empty water bottle with me on the plane or bring water when traveling by vehicle.  Staying hydrated is very important.  Not only does it hydrate the body, but it helps with cooling the body down and detoxification.

4.  Keep It Clean

Nutrition is usually something that I have down when it comes to travel.  Over the years, I have learned what works for me, my own bio-individuality and my lifestyle.  That’s not to say that I never indulge or enjoy things.  Especially when traveling to new places or trying new things, but I usually “keep it clean” because I feel better and have more energy when I eat well.

While vacationing or traveling, be mindful of things like alcohol, caffeine, sugar and processed foods.  Traveling with a cooler and loading up at the farmers markets are great tips when traveling by vehicle.  Preparing meals where you are staying helps to save money and provides healthier options.   When eating out, opt for a clean, lean protein source and lots of veggies.  Most restaurants are accommodating to substitutions and mindful of dietary restrictions.  Many meals have large portion sizes, so I like to take leftovers home for another meal.  You can always add some extra veggies from the market.  Stocking up on fresh produce provides for snacking options too.

When traveling by plane, you are able to take snacks.  For more information, here is a link to the TSA site. TSA – What you can take on a plane

5.  Research Restaurants

I love trying new restaurants and tasting new foods and dishes.  Before visiting a restaurant that I’ve never been to before, I always look up the restaurant and menu.  Most restaurants provide this online resource.  I like to try places that have a variety of menu options.  When it comes to food, I always keep it simple.  Don’t overcomplicate things!

Stick to the 80/20 or 90/10 rule.  I am pretty good about sticking to clean eating, but if I want to try a new kind of wine or enjoy some cheese, I do so.  I know that some foods may deliver different symptoms hours or days later, but I am mindful of these things.  Instead of making excuses, I go right back to my clean eating and drink a lot of water.

6.  Choose activities that bring you joy

Whether you’re vacationing with friends, family or on a business trip, pick activities and adventures that you enjoy.  If time allows, check out something new that you have never done before.  Being out of town provides a great opportunity to experience new things.

7.  Drop the Guilt

As mentioned, traveling provides a great opportunity to try new things and experience different cultures.  If you decide that you want to try an exciting new food or beverage, don’t carry guilt afterwards.  The same goes if you decide to lounge on the beach all day.  Vacations are a time to relax, enjoy and experience.  Balance is key!

8.  Take a healthy travel bag

When packing, consider a healthy travel bag.  Check the TSA website and see if your items meet regulations.  You can pack healthy snacks, breakfast options, water and clean products.  Opt for chemical free products, especially when it comes to sunscreen.

9.  Supplements and Probiotics

Depending on your lifestyle, don’t forget to pack your supplements if you take them.  Probiotics are especially beneficial when it comes to gut and overall health.  If I know I am going to be indulging in some extra goodies, I bump up my water intake and probiotics.  A lot of airports sell kombucha and many markets sell fermented foods.

10.  Pack a variety of clothing  and shoe options

When traveling, make sure to pack comfortable and ventilated clothing.  Especially if you will be on a plane or in a car for many hours.  Taking comfortable or workout clothes will provide additional comfort and support when you’re on the move or working out.

 

I hope you found some of these tips to be helpful. Do  you have any tips of your own that you have found work?  I welcome you to comment below.

Wishing you safe and happy travels!

XOXO,

Kim

FARM FRESH TOMATO, BASIL AND FETA SALAD

Growing up as a child, I loved picking farm fresh, ripe tomatoes right off of the vine.  I didn’t care if they were washed or not.  I would bite into them and enjoy the sweet, juicy and oh-so-fresh taste!  I wouldn’t need any salt or pepper.  Just a sweet, juicy and ripe tomato.

Even as an adult, I still enjoy those simple pleasures and load up every time I see them at the farmers market.  I love checking out and learning about the different kinds.  If you see one that looks unfamiliar to you, I encourage you to check it out.  There are so many wonderful varieties.

Even though I love all kinds, I use roma tomatoes with a lot of my dishes.  This one in particular pairs well with roma tomatoes.  They have less seeds and are not as soft, so they prepare well and combine the flavors and textures nicely.  Throw in a little olive oil, seasoning, some feta, fresh basil, and you have a spectacular dish.

I love taking this dish to events, picnics, parties and get together’s.  I love making it at home as well.  It’s delicious with some healthy pita chips or veggies while relaxing on the deck with a chilled glass of vino.  With the holiday approaching, this dish would make a lovely appetizer at your event or picnic.  I also add it to my chicken dishes and zoodle recipes.  It’s always a crowd pleaser.

 

FARM FRESH TOMATO, BASIL AND FETA SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

10 Fresh Roma Tomatoes (chopped)

1 container of feta (I love the Mediterranean feta from Wegmans)

Small handfull of fresh basil

3 Tablespoons of dry Italian Seasoning (or half of a seasoning pack if desired)

Organic extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Wash and dice all of your tomatoes.  Mix them in a bowl with the feta cheese.  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over your ingredients.  Combine and mix in the seasoning.  Lay your ingredients out on your serving tray.  Sprinkle a small amount of seasoning on top.  This may be more than the three tablespoons.

*I recommend you taste as you go and adjust accordingly.  This is a very simple dish, but some prefer more of less of the seasoning, oil and feta.

*The same goes for your fresh basil.  I love basil, so I chop up a small amount and sprinkle the dish with this fresh herb.  It’s just as delicious without, so don’t worry if you don’t have it or don’t love it.  I do love to garnish the ends of my dish and create a farm fresh display (as shown above).

Chill to combine flavors before serving.  I recommend a chill time of one to two hours, but it’s not necessary.

Serve alone, with veggies or organic pita chips.  ENJOY!

IF YOU MAKE THIS YUMMY DISH, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS OR ALTERATIONS.  PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE in the comments section BELOW.

Wishing you a wonderful and safe holiday week!

XO,

KIM

 

 

FARM FRESH WATERMELON POPSICLES

Summer is the perfect time for farm fresh watermelon popsicles!

Summer is officially here and the weather forecast is calling for a HOT weekend here in Maryland.  When I think of summer and hot days, it reminds me of the pool, summer foods and fun with family and friends.  I love fresh watermelon on hot summer days.  Even better…cool popsicles made with fresh melon.

I love to make popsicles because they are fun, easy and a great way to enjoy your fresh fruits.  If you have kiddos, I recommend getting  them involved in the fun.

There are so many options for this tasty, healthy treat.  You can turn so many drinks and fruity concoctions into a frozen popsicle.  Experiment with it and have fun!

Popsicles take about 5 to 6 hours to fully freeze, so you want to allow time for the freezing process.  We make ours the night before or early the next day.  I love a cold, juicy popsicle in the middle of the day when it’s nice and hot!  If you’re like me, I recommend that you prepare yours the night before.

You can find popsicle molds in many home stores, the dollar store, online and where kitchen items are sold.  When shopping for your molds, I recommend looking for BPA-Free molds.  Dishwasher safe options would be great for quick and easy cleanup.

As I mentioned before, you can create a ton of options for your popsicles.  The popsicle will taste just like the drink or mix, so make sure it’s oh-so-delicious before your start pouring.  I suggest sticking to natural sugars like fruits, instead of adding sugar filled ingredients and junk.

Do you have a favorite mix for your summer popsicles?  I would love to hear what you think about this recipe.

 

Watermelon Popsicles

Serves 6 to 8
4 cups seedless watermelon (no rind)
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon honey
BLEND THE INGREDIENTS: Blend the watermelon, lime juice, and honey in a blender. Pour the mixture into Popsicle molds and place in the freezer until solid.
Enjoy!

 

XOXO~

Kim