Raising Healthy Children

One of the greatest legacies any parent can give a child is a framework for living an enduring, healthy lifestyle.

It is hard to underestimate the power that parents have on their children’s development, which is why parenting is such a profound responsibility.

The attitudes and habits formed in childhood can determine your child’s health in their adult years. Here are some ideas for parents who are looking to raise healthy children who grow up to be healthy adults.

Start Early. Good eating, sleeping, and exercise habits should begin early in childhood. It’ll save you (and your adult child) from the difficulties of breaking bad habits later on.

Be Family Centric. Make healthy living a family affair. Consider the impact even small actions can have. Talking with children about nutritional benefits often encourages them to eat healthier.[1]

Plan for Healthy Meals and Snacks. Modern lives are busy, but try to plan ahead by stocking healthy foods and snacks in the house. You may even want to cook a few meals during the weekend for the week ahead. If you’re looking to improve dieting behaviors, be sure to move slowly with these changes. The less the kids notice, the more effective the transition will likely be. Expose your child to different foods by pairing them with foods they already like.

Be Active. It may be harder than ever to tear children away from the phone, computer, and TV, but it’s crucial that children engage in active play. It doesn’t have to be an organized event. Challenge your child to a push-up contest, or offer to play goalie, so they can practice soccer kicks. Connect physical activity to a positive experience.

Be a Role Model. Lessons are difficult to teach if the teacher is not practicing what they preach. Be sure to lead by example.

 

“Singing in the shower is all fun and games until you get shampoo in your mouth. Then, it’s a soap opera.”

– Unknown


Recipe of the Week

Slow Cooker Ziti

Usually, this classic comfort meal is baked, but you can make a more-delicious ziti in the slow cooker, while you set it and forget it. This warm recipe makes the perfect family dinner and can be portioned out for leftovers throughout the week.

[8 servings]

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1½ tsp. garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 28-oz. can tomatoes, diced
  • 2½ cups pasta sauce
  • 2½ cups water or chicken broth
  • 4 cups ziti pasta
  • 1¼ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

 

  1. Cook the meat in a skillet with the garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the cooked meat, basil, parsley, oregano, tomatoes, and pasta sauce to a 4-quart or larger slow cooker and stir.
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
  4. At the end of the cook, turn the slow cooker to high and add the pasta. Stir to combine, and continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the pasta is soft.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese and cook for another 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Recipe adapted from The Recipe Rebel[2]

 


Tax Tips

Be on the Lookout for Tax Deduction Carryovers

There are many tax deductions and credits that taxpayers should be aware of, but what if you can’t reap the full benefits of a deduction in the given filing year? Some deductions and credits may be eligible to roll over into future years. These tax carryovers could save you money on your tax return.

Some deductions or credits may not be fully used in one tax year and are eligible to be carried over into future years, including:

  • When you have a net operating loss
  • When your total expense for a permitted deduction exceeds the amount you’re allowed to deduct in a given year
  • When a credit you qualify for exceeds the amount of tax you owe in a year
  • Adoption tax credits
  • Foreign tax credits
  • Credits for energy efficiency

Track these (or have your software do it), so you don’t forget them from one year to the next.

* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from Credit Karma[3]

Golf Tip

Backyard Chipping Drills

Take advantage of the last few weeks of great weather outside before winter comes, and practice your chipping right in the backyard. You don’t need to go to the country club to practice this important shot.

One of our favorite drills helps you eliminate the “flick” many golfers do when chipping. All you need to set up is about 10 balls and a chipping mat, if you have one (if not, doing the drill on the grass works as well). Simply set up your shot as you normally would, with your front grip (left arm for right-handed golfers, right arm for left-handed golfers) nice and low on the club. Then, you are going to use a pendulum motion to hit the ball and keep your arm completely straight throughout the whole swing, including the follow through. This “tick-tock” motion will teach you not to keep your wrist completely straight. Don’t focus on getting rid of the ball; just focus on that motion.

Tip adapted from The Lady Golf Teacher[4]


Healthy Lifestyle

Know Your Numbers

According to The American Heart Association, adults should know their key health numbers, including total cholesterol, HDL (good cholesterol), blood pressure, blood sugar, and body mass index. These core data points can help health care providers determine whether an individual is at risk for cardiovascular disease, a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other concerns.

If you’re not sure what your “numbers” are, schedule a visit with your doctor to monitor them and understand why each is important. Here’s a quick definition of each metric:

  • Cholesterol – Cholesterol is a lipoprotein found in our body’s tissues and plays a role in forming and maintaining cell membranes. There is “good” cholesterol, which our body needs, and “bad” cholesterol, which puts us at a higher risk for heart disease.
  • Body Mass Index – Your BMI is calculated by your height and weight and can help measure if you are underweight, a healthy weight, or overweight.
  • Blood pressure – Blood pressure refers to the amount of force the heart must use to pump blood throughout the body. It is measured by the resulting pressure exerted onto blood vessel walls, during work and at rest.
  • Blood sugar – Blood sugar measures the concentration of glucose in the blood.
Tips adapted from The American Heart Association[5]

Green Living

Repurpose Your Furniture to Save Money and Natural Resources

The change of season is the perfect time to spruce up your home. Whip out all the fall decorations, and get ready for a new look! These tips will help you repurpose your furniture for a refreshed style. Instead of buying new pieces, take full advantage of the ones you already own!

The first go-to when repurposing furniture is to add a fresh coat of paint. Merely painting a piece can do wonders to make it look clean, modern, and frankly, give it a whole new life. In addition to painting, you can also change out the hardware on dressers and drawers to really make a piece stand out.

Another great tip when repurposing furniture is to add some contact paper or texture to a piece. You can buy contact paper at your local craft store and use it to spruce up cabinets, as an accent to a bookcase or dresser, or just to give a colorful, new look to anything in your home. Similarly, wallpaper is really easy to install and can completely transform a room for fall.

Tip adapted from My Repurposed Life[6]


[1] www.kxly.com/news/wsu-researchers-release-study-on-healthy-eating-habits-in-children/1076453914
[2] www.thereciperebel.com/slow-cooker-baked-ziti/
[3] www.creditkarma.com/tax/i/tax-carry-forward/
[4] www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0XpUKBf35w
[5] www.heart.org/en/know-your-risk/know-your-numbers
[6] www.myrepurposedlife.com/250-repurposed-projects/