Helping Your Picky Eater Stay Healthy

Kid’s Lunch Ideas

As parents, we are acutely aware of the need for our children to have healthful diets. Other than deciding whether to breastfeed or formula feed, it’s generally pretty simple to feed babies. Once they’re old enough for solids, however, things get a little trickier. Some toddlers eat a reasonably varied diet, but many children seem to live on air. It can be incredibly frustrating to try keeping up with constantly changing likes and dislikes. Still, there’s a certain level of comforting control over what they eat while they are at home.

Once children enter preschool, everything changes. Favorite foods may be snubbed at the same time that the kids start demanding previously disliked choices. There’s really no guarantee that your lovingly prepared meals will be eaten, but there ARE things you can do to tip the balance in your favor.

Peer Pressure

Peer influence can be a major factor in your child’s eating habits. Most children will conform to one degree or another, so serving extremely unusual foods may not be successful. Foods that seem
familiar to the other preschool students may be eaten more readily than something perceived as “weird”. For example, very few of the kids will notice if students from religious Jewish or Muslim families can bring sliced up beef or chicken hot dogs instead of pork. Likewise, a child raised in a vegetarian household can bring a tofu or gluten based hot dog.

Easy and Fast to Eat

Preschool snack and lunch breaks are relatively short, so send food that can be eaten quickly. Many kids find it easier to drink when feeling rushed, so consider making a homemade smoothie with powdered milk or nut butter (if permitted) to add an extra hit of protein. You can find reusable pouch style containers or straw style sippy cups to safely pack them. If you plan to freeze them, make sure to leave headspace for the smoothie to safely expand.

If your preschool aged child prefers food that he can chew, consider the texture of what you send. Pack unsweetened applesauce, 100% fruit leather or sliced apples instead of whole apples to make it easier for your kids to finish eating before they run out of time. Other foods that are difficult to eat in a hurry include raw carrots, chewy bagels and foods that require assembly, such as mini pizzas.

A food that is irresistible when served piping hot at the dinner table may not appeal if leftovers are served at room temperature. Likewise, sliced cheese and puddings will not be appetizing if they get warm and mushy through the day. Spending money on durable insulated containers and ice packs permit you to pack homemade food safely and will last your children through preschool until college, if they’re not lost.


As childhood allergies become more serious, banning peanuts and tree nuts in the preschool setting is becoming more common. For children with limited diets, losing staple foods can be distressing to both the child and his parents. Fortunately, there are now many options that may be acceptable substitutes. Sunflower seed butter and soy “nut” butter are two of the more easily located choices. Refried beans and hummus are two other protein rich spreads that many children enjoy.

Pack a Treat

Including treats in your children’s preschool lunchbox is another way to keep their attention. You may find that he eats the package of fruit “snacks” or chocolate kiss first, but if the portion is limited, he will then move on to the rest of the meal. Homemade popcorn, soft pretzels or muffins are always fun, too. Preparing the food at home lets you control what goes into them.

There is no reason that you can’t send food to preschool and be confident that he actually eats it. Choosing the right foods and appropriate storage makes all the difference in the world!


Benefits of Assisted Living and In-Home Care

For many people, the term “assisted living” brings to mind a sort of dormitory for elderly people. In a hospital-like setting, nurses tend to seniors’ needs – feeding them, dressing them, and reading to them. Maybe there’s a weekly bingo night, or a monthly chess tournament for entertainment. Equating assisted living with care for people entirely incapable of taking care of themselves seems to be a common misconception, and this sort of stigma deters seniors from getting the help they want and need.

It goes without saying that not all people above the age of 65 are unable to take care of themselves. Many seniors continue to work beyond the age of retirement, and many of those who are retired continue to participate in a variety of hobbies and activities. But senior caregiving and assistance aren’t only for the ill and disabled. For example, many organizations that provide in-home care offer services for seniors who don’t require help all of the time. They may only need assistance with certain activities such as driving or home maintenance. Seniors Helping Seniors provides home care in Charlotte, NC and connects seniors with other seniors who just need a helping hand.

The most important benefit of assisted living and in-home care is how they provide independent seniors with a sense of security. These people may experience little trouble living alone, but like knowing that there is someone nearby they can call if they ever need help driving somewhere or preparing meals. An assisted living facility or a retirement community offers similar benefits, providing a safe communal space for individuals who are in the same stage of life and are able to live on their own despite occasionally needing some help. Other benefits of assisted living and in-home care include companionship. Many seniors begin to feel isolated as children and grandchildren grow up and move on, and as their friends pass away. With living assistance, seniors can look forward not only to receiving help with activities, but also to seeing a friendly face with whom they can chat and spend time. Home care and assisted living are beneficial to seniors of all levels of capability and need.

How to Maintain Your Dog’s Health

Owning a dog is a very big responsibility. You must treat them as though they were your own child. If you can’t do this then you probably shouldn’t have one. If you do have the time and loving attitude that it takes to uphold this responsibility then there are a few things you need to know about taking care of your precious canine.

wellesley puppyThe first thing you should do is find a reliable animal hospital that can assist you with all of your pet care needs and problems. It shouldn’t be hard being that there are plenty of certified veterinarians all around the Richmond, VA area. It’s very important to regularly set checkups bi-annually to ensure that your loved one is at its optimal health. Here they can re-enforce what I am about to share with you. Your vet should be able to run all the testing necessary to make sure that your pet is living well. He or she can also supply you with heart worm medicine and proper flea medications. Heart worms can be very detrimental to your dog’s life to the point where they can fall ill and die which is why you must keep up with this medication. If you miss a monthly dose you must take your four-legged friend to be check out again. If you medicate for heart worms while your pup is infected this could cause serious problems. The dying worms can cause blockages that could also kill your dog so make sure not to miss their monthly dose. Flea medication is also important not only because fleas can seriously irritate a dogs skin but because the flea larvae can actually turn into tape worms, another parasite that can take over their digestive tract.

You should also keep good track of your little guy’s diet and nutrition. Make sure that your canine friend gets all the proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water that he or she requires. Your local animal hospital can help your create a diet that is right for your dog’s size and age. Generally, a puppy up to three months should have four meals a day. When he is between three to six months you can than break it down to three meals a day. After that he can move to two meals a day. The specific calorie intake should be decided by your veterinarian.

A new trend that has been sweeping over the nation is making your own naturally healthy dog treats. With the dog food industry’s unknown ingredient history, many are taking their dog feeding into their own hands by using fresh ingredients. One really great recipe that my dog loves is one that I found on Cesar Milan’s website under the title “Recipe ideas for quick and healthy homemade dog treats” called basic dog biscuits.

I hope you found this helpful and I just want to remind everyone to “LOVE YOUR DOG!!!”

Eating Well as a Senior

If you are a senior living on your own, it can be especially difficult to get the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy. Cooking for one might seem like a waste of time if you don’t have the opportunity to share a delicious home-cooked meal with friends and family gathered around the dining room table. Or maybe you just no longer have the energy you once did to gather all the necessary ingredients at the grocery store, cook a main dish and side dish, and then wash up all the dirty dishes. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to skip a meal, or heat up a frozen dinner in the microwave. However, the ease of inconsistent meals and packaged junk food is not worth sacrificing your health and well-being! Regularly practicing a well-balanced, nutritious diet as a senior doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are some tips to make eating nutritiously an easy part of your lifestyle:

Vegetables Nutrition1. Get Your Meals Delivered to Your Door:

There are many companies out there that offer meal delivery services. Some will provide you with individual ingredients along with a simple recipe to follow, to make a wholesome meal with these ingredients. New recipes might get you excited and motivated about cooking a healthy dish – even if just for yourself!

Having your groceries shipped to you is also an option, so you don’t have to drive out to the grocery store and spend so much time wandering through the aisles and being tempted by less than healthy foods. Many communities also offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, which can deliver locally grown, nutritious foods such as produce, dairy, meat, and eggs. If healthy food is delivered right to your doorstep – you won’t have an excuse!

2. Plan Out Your Meals in Advance

Sticking to a weekly meal plan will help ensure that you’re getting a healthy, well-balanced diet, and might help stop you from picking up junk food for a snack. You might also notice that keeping up with a well-organized meal plan will save you money in the long run – fewer impulse buys!

3. Get Some Assistance

If you’re unable to drive or generally lack mobility, many senior services provide assistance with grocery shopping. Some services will even provide you with help cooking and cleaning up around the house. For more information about senior assistance and caregiving, click here!


There are many reasons to make sure you are eating well, especially if you are a senior. A nutritious diet will provide you with increased bone health, and protect against common ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Some vegetables such as leafy greens even help to ward off Alzheimer’s and keep your mind sharp. Not to mention that eating well will simply make you feel better and give you a higher sense of self-esteem. What are you doing to stay a healthy senior?