At-home hacks: When cough or cold strikes, strike back

November 13, 2018 (472 words)

[Headline: At-home hacks: When cough or cold strikes, strike back]

The average American contracts two to four colds annually, according to WebMD. If you do catch a bug, consider the following care tips from health and wellness expert Cassie Sobelton:

* Stock up on tissues, hand sanitizers and disinfectants so you need not shop for supplies when ill.

* Refill your medicine cabinet with cough and cold medicines formulated for daytime and nighttime use. Offering both varieties is the new Robitussin Honey, the only cough medicine containing 19 percent natural, grade A honey — an antioxidant, antibacterial substance.

* Carry disinfectant wipes or sprays so you can clean up surfaces that may have been exposed to germs.

* Consume healthy food and drink. Maintain a balanced diet, eating a daily portion of a high-bacteria foods and drinking plenty of water.

For more information on effective over-the-counter medications for common colds and coughs, visit www.robitussinhoney.com.

Slippery season: Mayo Clinic offers 10 tips for avoiding falls

November 12, 2018 (464 words)

[Headline: Tips for avoiding falls]

If you’re getting older, consider whether you’re at risk of taking a fall once colder weather hits. Mayo Clinic notes that some 400,000 “fragility fractures” occur annually due to falls injuring osteoporosis-weakened bones.

Suggestions for minimizing such risk from Kim Lombard, Mayo Clinic's injury prevention coordinator:

* Walk like a penguin. Take short, careful steps, adopting a wide stance and pointing feet slightly outward to maintain balance. 

* Exercise your legs and core. Improve strength, balance, coordination and flexibility through low-impact yoga, tai chi, water workouts or dance.

* Choose good footwear. Wear close-fitting shoes and boots that provide good traction, perhaps investing in the handy removable ice cleats that strap right onto your shoes or boots for traversing slippery surfaces.

* Be prepared. Wear winter gear even on short walks so you’ll be protected if you take a spill. And always bring your phone so you can call for help.

Considering cataract surgery? Here's what you should know

November 09, 2018 (542 words)

[Headline: Are you eligible for eye exams with no out-of-pocket costs?]

EyeCare America serves U.S. citizens or legal residents who do not belong to an HMO.

To be eligible for the EyeCare America seniors program, an individual:

* Must be age 65 or older, and

* Have last had an eye exam by an ophthalmologist three or more years ago

To be eligible for the EyeCare America glaucoma program, an individual:

* Must not have had an eye exam within the last year, and must be at an increased glaucoma risk due to age, race, and/or family history.

For more information about EyeCare America or to see if you or others are eligible to be matched with one of its volunteer ophthalmologists, visit www.aao.org/eyecareamerica.

The dangers of ticks and how to remove one from your body safely

November 08, 2018 (622 words)

[Headline: Tips for tick removal]

To remove a tick, use a pair of tweezers and wrap them around the tick, as close to your skin as possible. Then, applying steady, even pressure, pull the tick up and away from your skin. Avoid twisting or jerking, as these movements can cause the tick’s mouth parts to break off and remain in the wound. You should also avoid trying to squish the tick, as this can cause the tick’s blood to seep into the wound.

Once the tick has been removed from your body successfully, clean the area with soap and water. You may also use an antiseptic. Then keep an eye on the area where you found the tick. If you notice a rash developing over the following days or you start to suffer from headaches or fever, see your doctor right away.

To learn more about protecting yourself, visit www.pestworld.org.

4 tips to keep pantry pests off your holiday invite list this year

November 08, 2018 (425 words)

[Headline: Tips to keep pests out of your home]

Keep your pantry pest-free with these tips from the National Pest Management Association.

* Store things properly. Plastic containers with secure lids are affordable and invaluable when it comes to protecting your pantry goods from pests. Look for plastic or glass solutions instead of other materials and always try the lid before you buy.

* Make it a total kitchen effort. Your work to protect the cleanliness of your pantry will be more successful if you are vigilant about your entire kitchen. This means routinely emptying trash receptacles, clearing crumbs from countertops, scrubbing the floors and running the dishwasher. 

* Inspect your packages closely. You can protect yourself from rolling out the red carpet for these pests by closely inspecting your food packages before tossing them in your cart. Avoid purchasing any package that shows a hint of damage.

Deck the halls with cherry preserves! Give your holidays a healthy twist

November 07, 2018 (718 words)

[Headline: Deck the Halls with Cherry Preserves]

Cherry-Cranberry Sauce

The rich fruitiness of sweet cherries helps blunt the sharp edge of fresh cranberries. Cooked together, these anthocyanin powerhouses make a great holiday staple that can be used as a base ingredient for cocktails, a glaze for meats, a spread for sandwiches, a topping for yogurt and more.

Ingredients

* Equal portions fresh cranberries and dried/frozen Northwest cherries

* 1/4 cup water or pomegranate juice

* Optional: 4 –2” peels fresh ginger, 3 tbsp citrus zest, black pepper, fresh herbs, raspberries 

Directions

In medium-sized sauce pot, add 1/4 cup water and cranberries. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally and more frequently as the sauce begins to form. Add sweet cherries, continue stirring. Once reduced, remove from heat, incorporate other flavorings if desired. 

Cool for 30 mins – 1 hour before transferring to wider, shallow pan to speed cooling. Once cooled, refrigerate in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Tips to protect your 'tail'gate

November 07, 2018 (451 words)

With these tailgating tips, you can keep the good times rolling and make sure you aren’t sidelined on game day. The only worry you’ll have is whether your team will score.

Eat in moderation: Enjoy yourself in moderation by remembering that you don’t need to eat and drink everything in sight.

Stay comfortable: Standing and sitting for long periods at tailgates and football games when dealing with backside discomforts is bothersome. One way to get quick relief from backside discomfort is to use Preparation H Totables Irritation Relief Wipes.

BYO … cushion: No one wants “bleacher back” or “stadium seat soreness.” Bring your own seat cushion to make the experience much more comfortable, even if your team is down.

With these tips in mind you’ll be on top of your game and ready to enjoy football season to the fullest. For more information, visit www.preparationh.com.

Where does your turkey come from? It does matter

November 02, 2018 (537 words)

[Headline: Where does your holiday turkey come from?]

Where does your holiday turkey come from? With sustainability and farm-to-table becoming the norm in the food industry, it's a question more and more people are asking. Whether it's grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken or organic produce, people are increasingly aware of the food they put on their family's dinner table. They want to know how and where the animals were raised and how the vegetables were grown, because knowing what goes into the food you eat — and what doesn't — brings peace of mind.

At Shady Brook Farms, turkeys are raised with care on family farms. The farmers, some of whom have been raising turkeys for generations, are the company's heart and soul. 

Family farmers from across the country talk turkeys

November 02, 2018 (604 words)

[Headline: Where does your holiday turkey come from?]

Where does your holiday turkey come from? With sustainability and farm-to-table becoming the norm in the food industry, it's a question more and more people are asking. Whether it's grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken or organic produce, people are increasingly aware of the food they put on their family's dinner table. 

At Honeysuckle White, turkeys are raised with care on family farms. Customers in some areas can actually trace where their turkey was raised by entering a code that's on the package into a field on the Honeysuckle White website. They can learn about the farmer who raised the turkey and see the farm where it was raised.

Time-saving tips and healthy tricks for holiday baking

November 02, 2018 (786 words)

[Headline: 3 key ingredients for healthier holiday baking]

Registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner shares three ingredients for better holiday baking:

High-quality eggs: Eggland’s Best eggs have double the Omega-3s compared to ordinary eggs, which are healthier for recipes and enhance emulsifying qualities during baking. Plus, they have 25 percent less saturated fat, six times more vitamin D, 10 times more vitamin E and more than double the vitamin B12, so you’ll improve the nutritional profile overall.

Dark chocolate: Skip milk or white chocolate and use dark chocolate, which is lower in sugar content and contains important antioxidants that are good for your heart.

Whole-wheat flour: Whole-wheat flour options boost fiber. For cookies with a more delicate texture, consider using a finely milled whole-wheat pastry flour.

Can too much potassium be harmful? What you need to know if you have a chronic condition

November 02, 2018 (543 words)

[Headline: Can too much potassium be harmful?]

For patients with hyperkalemia, controlling potassium levels is important. This might require replacing high-potassium foods such as bananas, melons and oranges with low-potassium foods such as apples, grapes and berries.

Here are other considerations to think about:

*Impact of salt substitutes. While salt substitutes have their appeal for many reasons, some carry very high levels of potassium. Before using such a substitute in meal preparation, it is important to thoroughly read the label.

*Various treatment options exist. Doctors can speak with you about potential treatments including water pills and potassium binders. Only your doctor will know the best choice for you.

*Supplements and remedies. Many herbal remedies or supplements could create more problems because of their high potassium content. Patients should consult their healthcare provider before taking any supplement or remedy to learn more about how the solution could impact their potassium levels.

How parents can encourage and support imaginative play

November 01, 2018 (678 words)

When kids are in the 3- to 5-year age range, toys and games take a more central and productive role in playtime, says Laurie Schacht, publisher of The Toy Insider.

Children reap six benefits from playtime, according to The Genius of Play, a website spotlighting the role of playtime in child development: physical, emotional, social, cognitive, creative and communication.

Pretend play is where kids’ creativity can really shine, when they go deep into new worlds, ideas and characters. Toys that mimic the world and let them imagine and control the happenings, like Calico Critters, are optimal for facilitating this kind of play. These toys have a complete setting, like a house or a town, with a cast of characters who each have a role to play. Kids can get inspired by tuning in to 12 new Calico Critters episodes and two mini-movies being released Nov. 1 on Netflix.

5 tips for navigating Medicare Open Enrollment

October 31, 2018 (630 words)

[Headline: Medicare Open Enrollment tips]

For most people enrolled in Medicare, the annual Open Enrollment period (Oct. 15 through Dec. 7) is the only opportunity to make changes to your existing coverage.

Dan Klein, president and CEO of the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation, a charitable organization that helps people afford the out-of-pocket costs for their treatments, offers the following tips:

Do your homework. There may be a plan better for your needs that could save you hundreds of dollars in the upcoming year.

Make sure your doctors are in-network. If you visit a provider outside of the network, you will likely have to pay more.

Make sure your medications are covered. It’s important to ensure that your plan covers the medications you need.

Determine how you will pay for your out-of-pocket costs. You may be eligible for a co-payment assistance program like PAN. To learn more, visit: PANFoundation.org.

5 Medicare mistakes that could cost you

October 31, 2018 (519 words)

You have a lot of choices when it comes to Medicare. And the most important might be choosing to take charge of your Medicare decisions in the first place. 

Medicare Annual Enrollment, which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, is your chance to take charge. Here are five common mistakes that you don’t want to make during this time. 

1. Allowing automatic plan renewal to make your choice for you 

2. Ignoring your plan’s Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) 

3. Basing your plan choice on the premium alone 

4. Picking a plan because your spouse or friend has it 

5. Assuming you don’t qualify for help with Medicare costs 

Medicare Annual Enrollment offers a chance to change your Medicare coverage if you decide to. Review your current coverage and health needs so you can make an informed decision. For more information on Medicare Annual Enrollment, visit UHCOpenEnrollment.com.

Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers: What you need to know

October 31, 2018 (630 words)

[Headline: 4 health tips for caregivers]

Take care of yourself: Try to eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest. Carving out just 30 minutes a day for yourself to do something you enjoy can help reduce caregiver stress.

Maintain good communication: Help other family members understand the demands you’re facing and enlist their help and support.

Seek support: Organize friends and family who want to help provide care and support. Access local support groups or online communities to connect with other caregivers. If stress becomes overwhelming, seek professional help.

Know you’re doing your best: It's normal to lose patience or feel like your care may fall short sometimes. For support and encouragement, consider joining an online or in-person support group.

To learn more about Alzheimer's disease and to find resources for caregivers, families and people living with the disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association website at www.alz.org.

How to save on your healthcare costs in 2019

October 30, 2018 (690 words)

Is an HSA or FSA for you? If you choose an FSA, you can contribute a portion of your salary pre-tax to pay for qualified medical or dependent care expenses. Meanwhile an HSA helps those with qualifying high-deductible health plans pay for current and future medical expenses.

HSA plans remain a popular choice with users as 86 percent of HSA debit card users said they would recommend others get an HSA, according to the 2018 Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account Consumer Research study commissioned by Visa and conducted by C+R Research. The study also indicates that 89 percent of FSA users agree that saving money, since contributions are pre-tax, tops their list of reasons for having an FSA. In fact, 79 percent of FSA users said having an FSA helped them take control of their medical expenses.

The open enrollment period is happening so don't delay.

Hepatitis C testing important for veterans

October 30, 2018 (579 words)

[Headline: Veterans at higher risk for hepatitis C]

Data suggest that veterans are at a higher risk for hepatitis C (hep C) exposure. In fact, one out of every 20 veterans enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration has hep C — more than three times the infection rate of the general U.S. population, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The VA has treated more patients for hep C than any major health care system in the U.S. Approximately 357 veterans are started on treatment every week.

The American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, has joined forces with AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, to increase awareness of hep C and provide free antibody testing for veterans and their communities. Visit legion.org/hepC to learn about the disease and get information about free testing.

Know your enemy: Bed bugs

October 29, 2018 (454 words)

[Headline: Dealing with bed bugs]

How can you avoid getting bed bugs?

The best approach is to take steps that will minimize the risk of bringing the critters home with you. When traveling, be aware of your clothes and any personal belongings that could act as a free ride for a bed bug. Inspect hotel rooms and your own home for signs of bed bugs such as blood spots and shed skin. And check any clothing or furniture you bring into your home, whether new or used. 

How do you get rid of them?

Even the cleanest person can end up with a bed bug infestation. The pests can be extremely difficult to remove, so it’s best to forgo do-it-yourself methods and let professionals handle the issue. Terminix’s trained technicians can help evaluate the infestation and create a treatment plan that will have you sleeping tight — without bed bug bites.

Wheelchair damage is a frequent risk for disabled travelers

October 24, 2018 (419 words)

[Headline: Holiday travel headaches]

Travel can be difficult for anyone, but if you have a disability, the trouble can multiply. Stories of wheelchair and scooter damage, long waits for assistance and even traveler injuries, are common, according to Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).

But things may be getting better thanks to the recent signing of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 302). The new law includes a ‘bill of rights’ and better TSA screenings for people with disabilities.

In the meantime, travelers with disabilities can reduce their risks with a little preparation. PVA — a vocal advocate for accessibility in travel — recommends not only giving verbal instructions for folding and storing wheelchairs, but also attaching written directions to the equipment. The group says to arrive at least two hours early for a flight, and call your airline a few days before your flight to arrange for assistance. For more information, visit www.pva.org.

Three workouts everyone over 60 needs

October 24, 2018 (828 words)

[Headline: 3 workouts everyone over 60 needs]

Find peace with your yoga routine

For older adults, practicing yoga can improve balance, flexibility, mental focus and core strength. Taking a class through SilverSneakers is a great way to bond during your workout and get expert guidance from a trained instructor.

Step up your strength

Building muscle mass is a key benefit of strength training, but for older adults there are additional benefits. Strength training, sometimes called resistance training, supports bone health and aids in the prevention of osteoporosis, improves your balance and supports a healthy weight.

Keep the cardio

Walking, cycling and water exercise are all efficient ways to get a great workout while being gentle on your joints. And, with social isolation affecting as many as 43 percent of older adults, asking a friend to join you is a great way to stay motivated, connect with others and enjoy life.

4 things you should do to boost your fat IQ

October 18, 2018 (545 words)

[Headline: Boost your fat IQ with these tips]

Here are two things that can help you boost your fat IQ and live a healthier life.

* Recognize your hang-ups. Recognize where your weak spots are and take steps to correct them. Consider a meal delivery service that's both healthy and convenient, pack nutritious snacks in your carry-on or go for a walk when the urge to eat a cookie strikes. Change up your routine once or twice a week.

* Be open and honest with your doctor. If you're serious about managing your weight, you want a primary care doctor who will help uncover your personal obstacles and work with you on a plan to reach your goals. Physicians like those in the MDVIP network have more time to consult patients on diet and exercise and provide the coaching and follow-up they need to be successful.

Respite care: What it is and how it can change your life

October 17, 2018 (743 words)

Here are two things you should know about respite care.

1. What is respite care?

Respite care is a short-term stay for patients at a senior living or skilled nursing community. Respite care stays in a senior living community can be for a week or longer. These stays can also be a great way for caregivers and their loved ones to test out a senior living community and see if it is a place they would ever consider moving permanently.

2. Where can you find respite care resources?

Many senior living communities, including Brookdale Senior Living, offer respite care services, so they should be your first point of search. Look for communities close to you, as this will allow for easier transportation and visiting opportunities. You can also ask your loved one's doctor for respite care options in your area.

5 tips for staying calm, cool and collected when you're always on the go

October 16, 2018 (554 words)

Here are some tips for keeping your sanity while managing your busy lifestyle:

Sneak in a workout: Short bursts of high-intensity exercise, like interval training, can be more effective.

Plan ahead for meals and snacks: Shop for all your weekday meals at the beginning of the week and prep them in bulk ahead of time. Keep ready-made, protein-packed snacks like SeaPak’s On-the-Go Shrimp Cocktail on hand.

Make music part of your routine: If you’re feeling mentally tense or worn out, music’s always a great way to collect yourself or reinvigorate your state of mind.

Schedule some me time: In the middle of your busy schedule, don’t forget to prioritize some time for yourself.

Don't push yourself too hard: If you’re feeling stressed, take some time to evaluate the situation. You might need to ask for help. Be sure to make time for what matters most to you.

Forget 'wine rules': 4 unconventional wine pairings for guys

October 15, 2018 (600 words)

[Headline: Forget 'wine rules': 3 unconventional pairings for guys]

The Federalist wines and Dan Dunn, author of American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites and One Man's Blues, are on a mission to take the stuffiness out of wine. Some of Dunn's unconventional wine pairings:

* With Elvis’ Christmas Album

“Here Comes Santa Claus” with a red wine blend. Like Jolly Ol’ St. Nick, this North Coast California wine is timeless, big, red and revered.

* With a big juicy burger

Think of a great hamburger like Paul Simon. Both are special on their own, but when paired with the right partner — be it a robust cabernet sauvignon or a spindly, curly-haired tenor from Queens — magic happens.

* With pork

For smoky roasted pork, you can go with a richer, heavier red — say The Federalist Cabernet Sauvignon.

3 Steps to Help Manage Depression

October 12, 2018 (539 words)

[Headline: Depression management is possible]

People experiencing symptoms of depression can take these three steps:

Step 1: Get screened by a qualified mental health expert. Screening is an important first step to determine an appropriate treatment plan.

Step 2: Discuss any concerns about the recommended treatment plan with your provider. Depression can be managed with the right treatment options, which may include psychotherapy and medication.

Step 3: Take medications as prescribed. Using a free prescription savings program such as the Inside Rx card could help if you are uninsured, or if your health insurance plan doesn’t cover your prescribed medication. The program can save an average of 40 percent on select brand-name and 80 percent retail generic medications. Learn more about the program, and terms and restrictions, at InsideRx.com.

Take steps to help manage symptoms and be aware of resources like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

3 alarming places where germs are hiding in your kitchen

October 11, 2018 (562 words)

Check out three places germs like to hide, and things you can do to clean up your act.

1. Your dishwashing station: Researchers from the University of Mauritius discovered towels can develop nasty bacteria when used for a month. Grab a clean towel every few days, a new sponge every few weeks.

2. Your food prep surfaces: According to the NSF study, fecal coliform was present on 45 percent of kitchen sinks, 32 percent of countertops and 18 percent of cutting boards. Wash these areas with hot, soapy water before use.

3. Your refrigerator: These tested positive for E.coli, salmonella or listeria 36 percent of the time. Discard food that’s past its prime, and maintain a consistent temperature between 40 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s time to replace your fridge, consider the LG InstaView Door-in-Door, designed to maintain the ideal humidity and temperature levels.

Simple health tips for busy moms

October 10, 2018 (424 words)

Stay healthy while you take care of your family.

Sleep consistency: Prioritize getting 7 or 8 hours of quality rest each night. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, cool, dark and free from distractions that can affect your rest.

Annual physicals: Just like with your kids, proactively seeing a doctor every year can help you tackle issues early before they become a bigger health concern.

Fill prescriptions: Fill your prescriptions and use as directed by your doctor. If you are uninsured or your insurance doesn’t cover the medication, a free prescription savings program like Inside Rx may help. Eligibility requirements and a list of drugs available through the program can be found at InsideRx.com.

Boost nutrition: Stock up on healthy foods that are easy to eat on-the-go and nutrient-packed snacks. Meal planning for the week can help the family enjoy homemade nutritious foods every day.

Chew on this: New eye vitamin tablets may help those with difficulty swallowing pills

October 09, 2018 (385 words)

[Headline: Chew on this: New pills can help reduce the risk of vision loss from AMD]

Many Americans find pills difficult to swallow. Fortunately, the makers of PreserVision have responded with a chewable version of their AREDS 2 Formula vitamin that can be conveniently taken without water, and contain the exact nutrient formula recommended by the National Eye Institute (NEI) to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in adults 50 and older.

Facts to know:

* Work with your eye doctor to create an eye care plan that’s right for you.

* Eat right, don’t smoke, exercise regularly and talk to your eye doctor about taking a daily vitamin containing the nutrients recommended by the NEI that could help reduce the risk of disease progression.

* Left untreated, AMD could lead to blindness.

For more information about AMD, visit www.PreserVision.com.

Opioids: How physician anesthesiologists are treating pain responsibly

October 03, 2018 (554 words)

The opioid crisis is changing the way physicians treat pain responsibly. The American Society of Anesthesiologists offers the following reasons your physician may limit or avoid prescribing opioids:

Other options: While opioids can provide general pain relief for a short while, there are more effective methods for treating pain in a specific site, including nerve blocks or stimulation therapy; and people can begin tolerating the dose, and may need higher doses for the same relief.

Side effects and risks: Addiction and dependence are major worries. Other side effects include: sleepiness; constipation; depression; life-threatening shallow breathing; and slowed heart rate, a possible sign of an overdose.

It’s the law: Legislators have enacted rules and regulations in an attempt to stem the opioid crisis. There are many options for managing pain, like targeted therapies, non-addictive medications, high-tech methods and alternative treatments. Learn more about non-opioid options for managing pain at http://www.asahq.org.

Dual Special Needs Plans help people enrolled in Medicare get additional benefits

October 02, 2018 (626 words)

Fall brings Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare and Medicaid. But another lesser-known option could benefit thousands of Americans who qualify: Dual Special Needs Plans.

In addition to simplifying health care plans for those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, DSNPs offer benefits that might include:

* dental care, such as exams, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, crowns and extractions;

* access to a health products catalog to order discounted over-the-counter products such as vitamins and first-aid supplies;

* hearing exams and access to hearing aids at a reduced cost;

* an annual eye exam and a credit for eye wear; and

* transportation to health care visits and the pharmacy.

If you are eligible, you can usually enroll for no monthly premium and you can enroll or switch to a new plan at certain times throughout the year. To learn more about UnitedHealthcare’s dual plans, call 1-855-799-3199, TTY 711, or visit www.getdual.com.

Simple steps to stay healthy during cold and flu season

October 02, 2018 (483 words)

[Headline: 3 ways to stay healthy during cold and flu season]

Follow these three steps to help keep your family healthy all season long.

Wash hands: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing hands for 20 seconds. Try singing "happy birthday" twice and you'll be good.

Tidy toilet bowls: ContinuousClean from Kohler is a factory-installed system housed in the toilet tank that dispenses a consistent dose of cleaner during each flush.

Launder towels and linens: For frequently used items like bed sheets and bath towels, wash in hot water or use the sanitize setting. Follow this by drying at the high-heat setting in order to kill any microorganisms.

What parents need to know about bullying

October 01, 2018 (676 words)

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, which is a reminder to think about how to help stop this behavior in schools. Carol Heavin, a school counselor for Arkansas Virtual Academy, offers the following tips if you suspect your child is a victim of bullying:

* Take a deep breath and stay as calm as possible.

* Document as many details as you can from your child, including what is being said or done to them, who may have witnessed the repeated behavior, etc.

* Speak to the school administration, sharing as many documented details as you can.

* Ensure your child is a part of an environment that uplifts them (i.e., church events, sports, other clubs).

* If possible, remove them from the bullying situation and consider other academic opportunities, such as a tuition-free online public school.

For more information, visit www.stopbullying.gov. For more on tuition-free online public schools, visit: www.k12.com.

Safe and effective: Choose physical therapy for your back pain

October 01, 2018 (615 words)

[Headline: Choose physical therapy for your back pain]

Low back pain (LBP) has become so pervasive it’s considered the leading cause of disability worldwide.

An active treatment plan from a physical therapist can help you improve your mobility while managing your pain.

Three reasons to choose physical therapy for your back pain:

Physical therapists help you help yourself. They empower you be an active participant in your own treatment.

Physical therapy is a safe and effective alternative to opioids. While doctor­-prescribed opioids are appropriate in some cases, choosing a safer alternative, like physical therapy, eliminates the risk of misuse and avoids the potential negative side effects. Your physical therapist will set realistic expectations for recovery, with or without opioids.

Physical therapy is cost effective. Research shows patients with LBP who consult physical therapists early in their treatment processes incur lower out­-of-­pocket medical costs.

For more information, visit MoveForwardPT.com.

5 Tips to Savvy Shopping for Next Year's Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

September 27, 2018 (480 words)

[Headline: 3 tips to save money when choosing a Medicare prescription drug plan]

As many as 80 percent of seniors choose to stay in a Medicare prescription drug plan that doesn’t match their needs. Follow these tips to make sure you are not one of them.

* Don’t delay the research to find the plan that’s best for you. Doing this research close to the end of Medicare Open Enrollment (Dec. 7) can make this task seem overwhelming and stressful, so start early!

* Find a plan that offers lower copays at preferred pharmacies. If you’re on chronic medications, ordering a 90-day supply through the mail may provide even deeper discounts.

* Make sure your drugs are covered by your plan next year. Be sure to review the list of covered medications to see if they are included. You’ll pay more if they aren't.

Visit www.RoadmapForMedicare.com to learn more about how to look for the plan that’s best for you.

Low-salt diets may cause serious problems for seniors

September 27, 2018 (437 words)

Loss of balance, along with dehydration, attention deficits and loss of cognition are symptoms of a condition known as hyponatremia, low salt levels in the blood. The symptoms can occur even with just slight hyponatremia and can have particularly harmful effects for the elderly as the condition is difficult to diagnose. A study presented at an American Society of Nephrology meeting suggests that low-salt diets may be a contributing factor.

According to Dr. Ewout J. Hoorn, PhD, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, "Although the complications of hyponatremia are well-recognized in hospitalized patients, this is one of the first studies to show that mild hyponatremia also has important complications in the general population." He added, "Screening for a low sodium concentration in the blood, and treating it when present, may be a new strategy to prevent fractures."

Beyond Calcium: 5 Proven Supplements for Women over 40

September 27, 2018 (583 words)

Here are five supplements, all made from natural plant sources, that can enhance and improve women's health at age 40 and beyond.

* Optimized Resveratrol: Resveratrol is a plant compound associated with slowing down the aging process. It can also contribute to cardiovascular health.

* Menopause 731: This new supplement by Life Extension has been shown to relieve 11 menopausal discomforts, including hot flashes, depression, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and vaginal dryness.

* Curcumin: This extract from turmeric can help promote a healthy heart, brain, joints, and more.

* Pomegranate: Pomegranates contain powerful antioxidants and support whole body health, including breast, heart, kidney, and liver health.

* Milk Thistle: Used medicinally for more than 2,000 years, milk thistle supports liver health and the body's detoxification pathways.

Balancing 2 (or more) generations under one roof

September 26, 2018 (723 words)

[Headline: Tips for seniors who opt to live with family]

As seniors consider how they will adapt their homes to their changing needs, some will opt for combining households with their grown children.

* Consider ways to adapt or even renovate the home so you can strike a balance between privacy and communal space.

* Combining households can be hard, especially with varying tolerance levels for noise and clutter. Commit to communicate, while doing your share to keep the peace.

* Family finances can be fraught with a lifetime of bad habits. From the start, be clear on who pays for what, from utilities, to child care to dinners out.

* Be aware of community resources. For example, SCAN Health Plan is a Medicare Advantage Plan that also offers a number of no-cost services and programs to seniors and their caregivers in many California counties, regardless of plan membership. Visit scanhealthplan.com.

Me, myself and eye: 5 common behaviors that could be hurting your eyes

September 25, 2018 (501 words)

[Headline: 5 common behaviors that could hurt your eyes]

To prevent strain or damage to your eyes, avoid these behaviors:

* Not wearing sunglasses. Wear sunglasses outside, seeking lenses that block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVC rays.

* Failing to visit your eye doctor annually. Seeing an eye doctor once a year ensures you have no serious eye issues and that your vision needs no further correction.

* Staring at your smartphone. Enlarge your font, always keep your phone at least 16 inches away and take screen breaks every 20 minutes.

* Overusing eye drops. Non-prescription eye drops should not be a long-term solution to any eye issue.

* Using old or borrowed eye makeup. Replace makeup every three months and avoid using other people's makeup to keep from introducing new and potentially harmful bacteria.

For more information on vision care insurance, visit VSPDirect.com or call 800-785-0699.

Hurricane Florence: What to watch out for during recovery

September 25, 2018 (505 words)

Hurricane Florence has come and gone, but its aftermath remains. These steps can give homeowners a better idea of what they can do next to recover.

1. If you need to relocate, keep the receipts of your expenses. Homeowners insurance will generally provide coverage, but review your policy and contact information.

2. Report your claim. You can file a claim online or by calling.

3. Secure your home and make temporary repairs. Protect property from further damage. Photograph debris or damaged items. Save receipts.

4. Prepare for the adjuster's visit. Provide complete information about the damage to your property.

5. Hire a contractor — with care. Check the contractor’s license or identification, do not pay upfront, take photos of the contractors and their license plates, and call your insurance provider if you suspect fraud.

For more information on insurance coverage, visit USAA.com/help.

Debunking myths about grocery store staples

September 25, 2018 (679 words)

[Headline: Recipe: Zesty Egg Fried Rice Lettuce Wraps]

Ingredients:

4 Eggland's Best Eggs (large)

2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

6 strips lean smoked bacon, chopped

2 cups cooked jasmine rice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup sliced scallion greens

12 leaves Boston/Bibb lettuce

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and Sriracha together until well combined. In large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Transfer bacon to plate, leaving drippings in the skillet. When cooled, chop bacon into small pieces. Drizzle the egg mixture into the skillet, stirring as you drizzle. Add bacon, black pepper, rice and soy sauce to skillet and stir-fry 3-4 minutes, or until eggs are set. Stir in scallion tops. Remove from heat. Divide the mixture among the lettuce leaves and serve immediately.

Helpful advice for couples in search of intimacy after prostate cancer

September 25, 2018 (586 words)

The Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network offers this guide to help couples living with a prostate cancer diagnosis navigate tricky issues around intimacy.

Find common ground: Discuss ways to support each other and find common ground. Hold the conversation in a neutral area, listen and empathize.

Know that options are out there: Learn more about non-surgical options that can make it easier to get intimate, such as prescription medicines or penile injection.

Seek counsel from a professional: Don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Even if you feel uncomfortable with the idea of talking about these private matters, they know how to put you at ease.

You’re not alone: There’s no need to suffer in silence, because many couple are navigating through similar issues. For more information, visit ustoo.org.

Rats! How these rodents can ruin your day

September 25, 2018 (503 words)

[Headline: What dangers does a rat infestation present?]

The rat that winds up in your house isn’t the cute-but-cunning character of cartoons. Rodents present dangers to your health and home. Rats can damage electrical wiring, wooden beams, insulation and food stores, and they can carry pathogens that may transmit diseases to humans, such as hantavirus. These pathogens can be transmitted and even become airborne through urine and droppings, meaning that you could be exposed to disease without ever seeing the rat. Because of this, you should never disturb a rodent nest, and instead allow a rodent control professional to handle it.

Ideally, you’ll prevent rats from entering your home in the first place through methods such as inspecting possible entry points and trimming back trees and shrubbery. But if rats make it into your home, contact a pest control provider such as Terminix to come up with a treatment plan.

National Seafood Month: 5 reasons to choose sustainable seafood

September 24, 2018 (712 words)

October is National Seafood Month. One of the best ways to keep the world’s waters full of life is to choose certified wild, sustainable seafood.

The Marine Stewardship Council’s blue fish label indicates the product meets sustainability standards. So why pick seafood with this label?

1. It’s better for the oceans. Certified sustainable seafood ensures whole ecosystems remain healthy and thriving with marine life.

2. It’s good for the whole family. Seafood provides nutrients, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

3. It’s a way to drive change with your shopping habits. You’re protecting jobs and preserving coastal communities.

4. It’s available at every price point. Whether you’re looking for healthy, affordable lunch options or celebrating a special occasion, sustainable seafood is a viable option.

5. It’s a way to ensure seafood for generations to come. Consumers have the power to support individuals and organizations committed to protecting our wild oceans.

One woman's struggle with sickle cell disease and 3 things she wishes you knew

September 24, 2018 (812 words)

Tosin Ola never passes up the opportunity to share information about the sickle cell disease she faces, including these facts.

1. The disease can be eradicated just by knowing your trait. An SCD test is not run on adults unless you ask for it, so do so as part of your annual blood work. If you have the trait, educate yourself on how you can pass it on.

2. SCD patients are not pain medication seekers. As an “invisible” disease, the lack of objective methods to measure pain means emergency room staff are often skeptical and assume SCD patients are addicts. Facing disbelief and judgment, Ola sometimes even avoids the emergency room.

3. SCD is more than just pain. Patients may also suffer the destruction of red blood cells, fatigue and, in cases of chronic hemolytic anemia, hypoxia, vascular injury, progressive end-organ damage and premature mortality.

For information, visit www.sicklecellwarriors.com.

From deductibles to donuts, key terms to know about Medicare Part D

September 21, 2018 (530 words)

[Headline: Info on Medicare Part D’s donut hole]

Medicare Part D, which helps cover prescription drugs, has its own terminology.

Most Part D plans have a coverage gap known as a “donut hole.” In 2019, you enter this donut hole once out-of-pocket costs (including deductibles, copays and coinsurance) for prescription drugs reach $3,820. While in the donut hole, you will pay a percentage of drugs’ cost.

In 2019, once out-of-pocket costs reach $5,100, you exit the donut hole and pay a smaller coinsurance. The donut hole’s days are numbered. Under a 2010 Affordable Care Act provision, the coverage gap has been shrinking. Beginning in 2019, the maximum you will pay in the gap for a branded drug is 25 percent of its cost. For generics, it is 37 percent, but in 2020, that will be reduced to 25 percent.

Medicare Annual Enrollment runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. To learn more, visit UHCOpenEnrollment.com.

This Season the Hygge Design Trend is Back and Bold

September 20, 2018 (651 words)

[Headline: 3 tips for achieving the Danish concept of hygge]

Hygge is a Danish word for the feelings of coziness and contentment often associated with cooler weather. Noa Santos of Homepolish provides three tips so you can master this trend at home.

Declutter

"There’s nothing more satisfying than coming home to a streamlined space," says Santos, who stresses decluttering doesn't mean de-styling. He recommends LG’s line of matte black stainless-steel appliances for a sleek yet cozy vibe.

Invite the outdoors inside

"Artfully arranged flowers and perfectly placed plants help cement your space as an indoor Eden," says Santos. "The positive psychological benefits aren’t too shabby either. Organic materials like wood and leather work like a charm as well."

Gather

It could be a cozy night in for two or a bountiful feast for a crew — togetherness is at the heart of hygge and allows you to show off your home design.

Chemical conundrum: 5 ways to keep pesticides away from your kids

September 19, 2018 (602 words)

As toxic persistent pesticides continue to be used on crops, in landscaping and in consumer products, many Americans are becoming more concerned about the effect of such chemicals on our children. If you’re seeking to minimize such contact, consider the following suggestions:

* Eat organically. Serve your kids certified organic foods produced without the use of toxic persistent pesticides, antibiotics or chemical fertilizers and preservatives.

* Monitor pesticide use where your children play like sports fields and parks. Most of those areas are treated with chemical cocktails of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. That’s why organic yogurt maker Stonyfield has launched a three-year, half-million-dollar initiative to work with 35 communities across the country in converting outdoor playing fields and parks to organic.

* Seek organic health and beauty products. Conventional beauty products often include petroleum-based ingredients and rely on chemicals for their production. Upon application, those chemicals can be absorbed into your children’s bloodstream.

8 home security hacks recommended by police

September 18, 2018 (427 words)

These tips come from a police home safety evaluation:

1. Change the locks. You never know who has a key.

2. Replace outdoor lightbulbs: Get outdoor flood lights. Make sure the bulbs are working.

3. Place an alarm sign in your yard: Many would-be thieves won't approach a house if they think it has an alarm.

4. Buy an indoor camera: Cameras can capture a suspect in the act.

5. Get out the garden shears: Bushes outside of windows should be below the window line.

6. Bake some cookies: A great way to stay safe is to work together as a neighborhood. Why not start that relationship with a plate of cookies?

7. Protect your neighborhood: Outdoor security cameras, like Flock Safety, can prevent would-be criminals from entering the neighborhood.

8. Ask for a security survey: Officers can assess your home's safety.

For more information, visit www.flocksafety.com/securityhacks.

Making it count: 5 tips for choosing a health plan

September 17, 2018 (648 words)

[Headline: Health insurance enrollment dates vary]

This fall people will have the opportunity to select or switch their health insurance plans for 2019 during “open” or “annual” enrollment.

The dates to keep in mind aren’t the same for everyone and vary depending on your situation:

* For the more than 175 million Americans with employer-provided coverage, many companies set aside a two-week period between September and December when employees can select health benefits for the following year.

* For the more than 60 million people enrolled in Medicare, Medicare Annual Enrollment runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year.

* Health insurance marketplace or individual state exchange open enrollment runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.

For most people, changes made during this time will take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

For help navigating open enrollment, visit UHCOpenEnrollment.com for more tips, articles and videos about health insurance and health care topics.

What does the shortfall of truck drivers mean for the economy?

September 13, 2018 (758 words)

There's a shortage of truck drivers in this country, and without them, the economy would grind to a halt. It's ironic, because professional drivers love their jobs. Here's why:

* Independence. It's like being your own boss.

* Freedom. You're out on the open road.

* Flexibility. There isn't just one kind of driving. Want to be seeing the country driving from coast to coast? You can do that. Want to come home to your family every night? You can do that, too.

* Pay. The average salary for a truck driver in the United States ranges from $53,000-$86,000, according to the ATA’s recent Driver Compensation Study. No student debt, either.

* Opportunities. Since the industry is hurting for drivers, it's a job seeker's market out there. Recent grads from driving schools are in high demand, and can pick and choose the job that's right for them.

To learn more, visit www.trucking.org.

Recipes to make your school year lunches fast and delicious

September 13, 2018 (350 words)

[Headline: Recipe: Caprese Pizza Sandwich]

Here's a delicious sandwich idea your children are sure to love.

Ingredients:

1 Arnold Honey Wheat Sandwich Thins Roll

2 tablespoons pizza sauce

4 slices fresh mozzarella

8-10 pepperoni slices

5 basil leaves

Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Open Arnold Sandwich Thins Roll and smear the pizza sauce onto the bottom half.

2. Top with fresh mozzarella and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

3. Add pepperoni and basil and place the top on the sandwich. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

30-minute Mediterranean meals with grapes

September 12, 2018 (669 words)

[Headline: Fabulous fall food ideas]

With the onset of fall, new schedules and an invigorating pace, eating nourishing meals is an important way to keep up energy levels. With few having the time to devote to cooking an elaborate meal, a collection of delicious and dependable 30-minute recipes for a quick but satisfying meal can be handy. What else keeps things simple? Having fresh staples such as California table grapes on hand helps brighten up any recipe and fuel up after activities. Try Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Grapes, which replaces traditional bulgur with quinoa, or a Mediterranean Pizza using whole-wheat naan instead of a traditional crust. For these recipes and more recipe ideas, visit grapesfromcalifornia.com.

And when it’s time to decorate the table, create a simple but stunning centerpiece with gorgeous black, red and green California grapes. Add fall leaves, mini pumpkins and gourds if desired.

The truth behind food labels

September 12, 2018 (766 words)

[Headline: What food labels really mean]

Everyone has a right to know what is in their food and where it comes from. Look to these certifications to guide your next shopping trip:

* The Fairtrade certification ensures safe and fair working conditions, prohibits child labor and provides farmers and workers with a fairer price or better wages. Fairtrade products originate in developing and least developed countries.

* By choosing MSC Certified seafood with the MSC blue fish label you are supporting independently certified sustainable fisheries.

* The Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured label indicates that the workers who harvested your food are treated with respect, compensated fairly and engaged to identify problems that impact the safety of your food.

* The Non-GMO Project Verified standard is North America’s most rigorous and most reliable standard for GMO avoidance. The best way to avoid consuming GMOs is to look for the butterfly.

For information, visit www.fairtr.de/TruthBehindLabels.

How to properly store summer clothes to avoid a pest infestation

September 12, 2018 (432 words)

Try the following tips from Terminix to best protect your clothing in storage:

1) Keep a close eye on the places where fabric-eating bugs like to hide like carpets, rugs, wall hangings and upholstered furniture. Vacuuming these areas can remove larvae and help prevent an infestation. Be sure to repair torn screens and block cracks under doors to prevent clothes moths from entering.

2) Another key to keeping stored clothes bug-free is to clean them before packing them. Stains can attract hungry pests, so remove any obvious ones such as food or oil before boxing things up. Keep the area where you’re storing your clothing as clean as possible. Vacuum the area and wipe down any shelves and walls.

3) If you find yourself with damaged clothes and an infestation too big to tackle alone, it’s time to contact a specialist. Trained pest control professionals can help remove destructive pests.

Choose wisely: Complete vs. incomplete proteins

September 12, 2018 (556 words)

[Understanding complete vs. incomplete proteins]

Not all proteins are created equal; “incomplete” proteins must be combined with other foods to build the nine essential amino acids your body can’t produce on its own. Three other facts to know about the differences:

* Animal-derived products such as cottage cheese, meat and eggs are complete proteins in and of themselves and need not be eaten with other foods to release their full nutritional potential.

* In comparison to animal proteins, plant proteins are not always complete and must be combined with other foods to achieve their full nutritional value (the exceptions are edamame, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, chia and hemp).

* Unlike meat, eggs and fish, cottage cheese is a ready-to-eat complete protein that requires no cooking. When you choose ultra-creamy Muuna Cottage Cheese, for example, you get calcium, potassium, Vitamin A probiotics and — in Muuna’s real fruit-filled varieties — Vitamin C.

Regular eye checkups key to cognitive health

September 10, 2018 (478 words)

Headline: Seize the day: 3 ways baby boomers can kick up their social lives

If you’re an aging baby boomer and sometimes feel a bit left out from the social scene, you’re far from alone.

Consider how these steps could help you expand your social circle, ward off loneliness and embrace everything life has to offer during your golden years.

* Embrace a new hobby. Get online and search for classes, clubs or other group settings in which you can learn and share your interests.

* Optimize transportation options. An inability to drive need not stop you from getting where you want to go. A program called Rides in Sight offered by ITNAmerica offers a free national database of some 15,000 senior transportation providers that can be easily accessed through either internet or phone.

* Volunteer. Generously sharing your time, skills, experience and caring heart with others can be a win-win, making you feel good about yourself and expanding your interactions with others.

Uncommon - but important - baby safety steps

September 05, 2018 (572 words)
[Headline: Car safety and air quality for little ones]
 
You know it's important to install and use the right car seat, buckling your child in properly every time you hit the road. But there’s another car safety step that parents should consider — improving your vehicle’s air quality.
 
The California Air Resources Board reports that the air inside a car, truck or SUV can be up to six times dirtier than air outside, because cars are constantly surrounded by emissions from other vehicles. What's more, studies show that babies exposed to pollution in the first year of life are more likely to develop allergies.
 
The FRAM Fresh Breeze cabin air filter, which removes up to 98 percent of dirt, dust and allergens from the air passing through a car’s A/C and heating system, is quick and easy to install. It’s an easy way to help everyone breathe easier — babies and the parents who want to keep them safe.

Your eyes as you age: Tips to help reduce the risk of Age-related Macular Degeneration

September 05, 2018 (428 words)

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people age 50 and older. While there is no cure, take these steps to help reduce the risk of AMD progression:

* Lead a healthy lifestyle. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible. Adopt a diet rich in green vegetables and healthy fats. Regular exercise can also help maintain eye health.

* See your eye doctor. Your doctor may be able to identify early symptoms of AMD and determine a path forward to help you reduce the risk of progression. If you have AMD, regularly check your eyes with an Amsler grid tool that helps track incremental vision changes.

* Address symptoms immediately. Early detection is important — as AMD progresses, straight lines may appear distorted, central vision may look dark, blurry or white, or changes in color perception may become noticeable.

Visit www.WhyEyeFight.com to learn more.

PVN.0053.USA.18

Do you really need less salt?

August 29, 2018 (296 words)

More research seems to contradict the notion that we eat too much salt. The latest study appeared in The Lancet medical journal. It found that for the vast majority of people there is no health benefit from a low-salt diet and no harm from the average salt consumption of most people.

The lead scientist working on this study, Dr. Andrew Mente of McMaster University, worked with researchers to monitor the salt intake and health of over 95,000 individuals in 18 countries for an average of eight years. They also monitored associations between sodium and potassium intake and blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and mortality.

They found most people around the world already eat in the healthy range of sodium consumption — between 3,000 and 5,000 mg per day — and that people who consumed salt at the higher end of that range had better health outcomes and fewer incidences of heart attacks.

Life-saving dialysis at 19 leads to career in nursing

August 29, 2018 (418 words)

[Headline: A nurse's path from patient to provider]

Fallon Bell was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) at 19. CKD is when a person’s kidneys no longer provide the function of filtering toxins from the blood. Shortly after her diagnosis, Bell began dialysis, which performed the function of her kidneys.

Bell continued to dialyze at a DaVita dialysis center for six years, also working full-time and finishing her bachelor’s degree in business. After her first kidney transplant, she started nursing school. Just months before she was to graduate, her body rejected her transplant and she went back on dialysis. She graduated and continued dialysis until she received her second transplant.

She understood the triumphs and tribulations of requiring dialysis treatment multiple times a week. She said providing high-quality care for her patients is her vocation and she now works as a peritoneal dialysis nurse at the same center where she received care.

To learn more, visit Careers.DaVita.com\Nursing.

New home? 6 steps for preventing pests from moving in

August 29, 2018 (390 words)

Moving into a new home is chaotic. With a few tips from Terminix, you can ensure no unexpected pests move in with you.

* Reduce standing water in sources like pots and tires, and empty your bird bath once a week.

* Check the exterior for openings around doors, windows and utility penetrations. Seal improper openings.

* Note tree limbs overhanging your roof and shrubbery or mulch close to the foundation. Having them touch your house makes it easier for pests to enter.

* Check for moisture issues. Leaky roofs, plumbing and seals should be fixed.

* Look for insufficient screening around plumbing or drains in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room to ensure openings are properly covered to keep out silverfish, spiders, ants or cockroaches.

* For any pest problem too big to tackle alone, call in a pest control professional to help.

7 healthy, kid-approved lunchbox ideas

August 29, 2018 (694 words)

[Headline: 5 healthy kid-approved lunchbox ideas]

You are what you eat, so it's important to choose your children's lunch foods wisely. These five ideas are wholesome and fun for kids of all ages.

Breakfast for lunch: Pack whole grain cereal with a side of milk, or muffins with secret healthy ingredients like fruit or shredded veggies.

Protein: Try hard-boiling eggs or scrambling and packing in an insulated container. Other foods high in protein include cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, beans and many nuts.

Freeze-dried fruit: Crispy Fruit freeze-dried fruit comes in many single-serving varieties to keep lunchboxes interesting, including banana, apple, pineapple and pear.

Bread alternatives: Instead of bread, use whole-grain tortillas to create wraps, or, whole-wheat waffles as the sandwich ends and fill with peanut butter and banana.

Dip: A little yogurt will encourage kids to gobble up fruits, and low-fat salad dressing or hummus is the perfect pairing for veggie straws.

Don't have time to walk and meditate? Try them together

August 28, 2018 (398 words)

[Headline: Walking meditation – Why you should give it a try]

Walking meditation can offer multiple benefits without much of an investment in time or money.

To get started, consider these steps from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center:

* Find a place that’s relatively free of distractions and where other people won’t make you self-conscious. Your path — whether it’s a hiking trail or a little-used hallway — doesn’t have to be long; the whole point is to go nowhere, slowly — and safely.

* Relax your hands and arms, stand up straight and take a few deep breaths. Take 10 to 15 small, deliberate steps, counting them in your head. Be mindful of the way your feet feel as they rise and land on the ground, weight shifting from heel to toes.

* If your mind wanders, try to push out extraneous thoughts and focus on your breathing or the sights and sounds of your surroundings.

Pause for a breath, turn around and start again.

A vacation deprivation crisis: Americans are not using their PTO

August 28, 2018 (626 words)

Here are some ways you can get around your objections to taking PTO and relax, refresh and revive.

* Just take one day. You don't have to take an entire week off. Starting small and giving yourself a long weekend can do a lot to recharge your batteries.

* Start a PTO savings account. If money is the reason you haven't been using your PTO, sock $25 away each week. In a year, you'll have a PTO stash that you can use to take a vacation.

* Plan ahead. Give your manager ample notice by scheduling PTO well ahead of time, especially if you're angling for days off around a popular holiday. You'll beat your co-workers to the punch.

Landshark Lager partnered with Project: Time Off to raise awareness about the fact that Americans aren't using the PTO days they've earned. For more information, visit the Landshark Lager Facebook page or Instagram.

Why kids have a shortage of free time and what parents can do about it

August 28, 2018 (632 words)

[Headline: The importance of unstructured play time]

Seventy-two percent of parents feel that their kids have less unstructured time when compared to their own childhoods, according to a recent survey commissioned by GoGo squeeZ.

What people often don’t realize is play has a purpose,” says Dr. Robert Murray, pediatrician, author and child health expert, “and parents aren’t always aware of its full benefits.”

Why so little free time? Eighty-five percent of parents believe sports and activities lead to success, according to the survey.

"It’s the social and emotional interactions that are the important benefit, not the sport itself,” says Murray.

Try these strategies: Make errands interactive; keep toys that inspire creative play; let kids explore; grant kids control of their free time and set an example by making your own free time!

To learn how you can give your children 30 more minutes of #BEtime, visit BEtime.org.

Remake your bathroom with these luxurious hotel-inspired trends

August 28, 2018 (553 words)

[Headline: 5 luxury hotel trends to incorporate in your bathroom]

Adding luxury features to your bathroom will inspire a transformative self-care routine.

Color: To induce relaxation, choose colors that call back to your favorite natural scenes, like seafoam green, pale blue or warm sandstone.

Lighting: A sparkly chandelier or bold pendant light can give the bath a luxurious feel.

Products: Don’t be afraid to upgrade by choosing pieces that appeal to the eye and take pampering to the next level. TOTO’s line of NEOREST NX Intelligent Toilets offer an integrated personal cleaning system and have technologies that automatically keep the bowl fresh and clean without harsh chemicals. Visit totousa.com.

Warmth: Install a bathroom fireplace so you can sit back and bask in the warmth and flickering light.

Greenery: Choose plants that thrive on humidity and filtered light. Orchids and aloe vera are good options to try.

3 tips to make meal prep into an enjoyable family activity

August 27, 2018 (676 words)

[Headline: Recipe: Chicken Veggie Skewers]

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 and 1/2 peppers (yellow, red and green), chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic powder and Italian seasoning, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add bell peppers and chicken and, using tongs, toss until coated. Thread chicken and bell peppers onto skewers. Heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Add skewers to grill pan and cook until chicken is cooked through and peppers are tender, 4 minutes per side. Remove from pan.

Plate skewers and serve with Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese. For additional ideas and inspiration for cooking with kids, visit Nestle's Balance Your Plate.

What does the color of your home reveal about you?

August 22, 2018 (559 words)

Your home’s exterior gives off a powerful first impression. A recent poll conducted by vinyl siding brand Mastic by Ply Gem showed that only half of homeowners say their home’s exterior reflects their personality. This is surprising since 81 percent say a home’s exterior shapes their impression of the homeowner.

The following personality profiles can help homeowners select the perfect color:

* Blue = Calm, cool, collected: Fifty-five percent believe that blue has the most positive impact on their mood.

* Neutral = Safe, certain, dependable: Neutrals are the norm when it comes to exterior color preferences. Fifty-three percent of Americans would choose neutral colors such as beige, white, or gray for the exterior of their dream home.

* Bold = Brave, confident: Fifty-five percent of Americans say homes with bold colors probably belong to people with bold personalities.

7 surprising benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles

August 21, 2018 (651 words)

[Headline: 7 surprising benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles]

Jigsaw puzzles ...

Exercise the left and right sides of your brain at once

It's a mental workout that improves problem-solving skills.

Improve your short-term memory

It reinforces connections between brain cells.

Improve your visual-spatial reasoning

This helps with driving a car, packing, using a map.

Are great meditation tools and stress relievers

Focusing on one image for a long period is meditation.

Are a great way to connect with family

A jigsaw puzzle on a table invites the whole family to participate.

Are great for some needed alone time

Perfect for people seeking a quiet break.

Help you live longer, better

Puzzling wards off the plaque that is the marker of Alzheimer's.

Ravensburger recently partnered with Target to offer a new line of 500- and 1,000-piece puzzles because anyone and everyone can benefit from puzzling.

Home sweet home? 6 safety tips when moving with kids

August 20, 2018 (547 words)

[Headline: Home sweet home? 3 safety tips when moving with kids]

For parents of young children, the process of moving to a new home calls for a plan to ensure potential safety hazards are remediated. Consider these tips as such.

* Be proactive about precautions. Evaluate potential safety hazards before the move even begins, buying important tools and fixtures so you can make adjustments early rather than retrofitting.

* Switch all your blinds to the cordless variety. The string-like attachments that adjust old-style blinds are proven strangulation hazards. Replace them immediately with the cordless varieties available at major U.S. retailers. Seek the Best for Kids(TM) label that certifies products best suited for young children, finding more info at Windowcoverings.org.

* Separate and secure household chemicals. Deliberately pack anything that could hurt your kids into marked boxes that travel with you in your car instead of your moving van. Upon arrival, keep them sealed until you’re ready to unpack them into locked cabinets.

Good gut gone bad: The C. diff Invasion

August 16, 2018 (467 words)

[Headline: Good gut gone bad: The C. diff invasion]

Americans may be unaware of a serious infection known as C. diff that can lead to a life-threatening form of diarrhea. Half a million infections occur in the U.S. each year, causing the deaths of at least 20,000 people annually. The infection can become recurrent for some patients, which requires constant use of antibiotics to control the symptoms. What you need to know:

* The infection can occur when antibiotics cause an intestinal imbalance of “good” and “bad” microbes that leads to an overgrowth of the bacteria.

* C. diff is most common among people 65 and older and those with conditions requiring prolonged use of antibiotics.

* C. diff infection can become recurrent, preventing patients from living normal, healthy lives.

Those diagnosed with C. diff may consider participating in a clinical trial (https://rebiotix.com/punchcd3/clinical-trial-page/) furthering development of the RBX2660 drug, which is under investigation for prevention of recurrent C. diff infection.

A child's wish to help save lives

August 15, 2018 (410 words)

A year ago, 15-year-old Jack was unable to go outside because of his blood disorder. A bone marrow donation was his only hope, but matches sometimes aren’t easy to find. So, Jack waited patiently — nine months — until a match was found.

Now Jack wants to help others who are waiting — to pay it forward. When volunteers from Make-A-Wish, which grants life-changing wishes for children battling critical illnesses, met with Jack to identify his wish, he wanted to help others like him. He used his wish to be a bone marrow donation spokesperson and record a PSA encouraging others to sign up to Be The Match.

Jack’s goal is to secure 430 new registrants to help save a life just like his was saved. For every 430 people who sign up through Be The Match (join.bethematch.org/jack), one goes on to be a donor. Visit wish.org to learn more.

6 simple tips to prevent a fall

August 15, 2018 (459 words)

[Headline: 6 steps to fall prevention]

Every 11 seconds an older adult is seen in an emergency room for a fall-related injury, reports National Council On Aging. To prevent falls, follow these six simple steps.

Step 1: Find a good balance and exercise program. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging for program information.

Step 2: Talk to your health care provider. Ask for an assessment of your risk of falling.

Step 3: Review medications with the pharmacist. Take medications as prescribed and know the risks.

Step 4: Get vision and hearing checked annually. Update vision prescriptions and take measures to correct hearing loss.

Step 5: Secure your home: Remove tripping hazards like loose rugs or free cords and keep areas well lit.

Step 6: Talk with family members. Enlist their help as needed to secure your home and keep you safe.

New technology promotes healthy aging in place

August 15, 2018 (578 words)

From simple wearable devices to high-tech monitoring systems, gadgets are helping aging boomers stay independent. Here’s a few of the innovative technologies that are revolutionizing aging.

Digital solutions for staying in touch: Seniors can be left out of the family communications loop. Filling that gap are products like GrandPad, powered by Consumer Cellular, a touchscreen-based tablet with simplified apps.

Fall alerts can be lifesavers: For seniors, wearable devices that monitor and track health can summon help in a range of emergency situations.

Smarter access to healthcare and medications: Video consultations offered by many providers can help seniors who can’t come in for an appointment. In addition, automated pill counters can help with following medication regimens.

In-home tracking for safety: Sensors can be placed in multiple discreet locations, like doors, cabinets, windows or beds, to track movement around the house and report back to a caretaker or family member.

Cancer care costs on the rise: How to get help

August 13, 2018 (467 words)

[Headline: Cancer care costs on the rise: How to get help]

Cancer patients face increasing out-of-pocket costs for their treatment, which adds to the stress of a cancer diagnosis and living with a disease.

There are a number of ways to find financial assistance for expenses related to treatment, such as:

* Negotiate with healthcare providers to reduce medical fees or adjust the payment schedule in cases of financial hardship.

* Apply for grants and financial aid from employers, labor unions, community service agencies, religious and fraternal groups or organizations such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

* Form a committee of volunteers to conduct fundraising events, sales, raffles, canister collections or letter-writing and publicity campaigns.

* Cash in benefits from life insurance policies through life insurance loans or accelerated benefits, which can provide cash payouts to seriously ill policyholders.

5 reasons to snack on strawberries

August 10, 2018 (400 words)

Naturally sweet, yet low in sugar

One serving of eight strawberries has only 50 calories and eight grams of sugar.

Bursting with nutrients

Filled with antioxidants, potassium and fiber, strawberries don’t stop there: A single serving has more vitamin C than an orange.

Helps with cognitive function

According to a study in the Annals of Neurology, eating strawberries at least twice per week may delay cognitive aging by two and a half years, which includes improvement in memory and motor function.

Snacks anyone will love

Both kids and adults love a good strawberry snack. From quick and kid-friendly to show-stopping hors d'oeuvres, visit CaliforniaStrawberries.com for snacks perfect for all ages and occasions.

Great for diabetes management

The nutrient-packed berries are a great option for those with diabetes. In fact, the American Diabetes Association lists strawberries as a top superfood for diabetic meal plans.

Easy entertaining and recipe tips from celebrity chef Katie Lee

August 10, 2018 (743 words)

[Headline: Easy entertaining and recipe tips from celebrity chef Katie Lee]

TV chef and cookbook author Katie Lee offers these tips for easy entertaining.

Consider a buffet or family-style menu

Try veggie burgers or shrimp rolls with new Sara Lee Artesano Bakery Buns and Rolls to kick the flavor up a notch. Have people "Create Your Own" (CYO) with a buffet of toppings.

Prepare your side dishes ahead of time

Any kind of grain salad, such as a quinoa or farro, is an easy, go-to choice.

Hors d’oeuvres are a must

Easy options are cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto, a cheese plate or a tasty dip.

Cool off with cocktails

Set up a bar area where guests can make their own drinks. Be sure to include non-alcoholic choices.

Smart grilling options

Fresh fish or veggie burgers lighten up the grill.

For recipe tips, visit saraleebread.com.

Do you know how that new supplement will affect your existing medication regimen?

August 06, 2018 (582 words)

Did you know if you are taking medications for an existing condition, the supplements you mix with these medications could actually be hindering your overall health instead of helping it? It's an all-too-common occurrence and one many people are never aware of doing.

"Nutrient deficiencies and diagnosed health conditions often require the use of vitamins and prescription medications, but they can interact. It is critical that users understand potential interactions," said Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer, Cleveland Clinic and Persona medical advisory board chair.

Research shows that 38 percent of survey participants did not know vitamins and supplements can impact the effectiveness of their medications. Forty-five percent assumed they didn’t need to tell their doctor before they started taking a new vitamin or supplement.

Before taking any supplement, be sure to seek professional advice on how it will affect you and the medications you may be taking.

CDC: How to navigate vaccinations for your family

August 02, 2018 (641 words)

Today’s technology provides so much information that learning the essentials about an important topic like vaccination can be overwhelming.

Vaccines play a vital role in keeping you and your family members healthy, and when you make sure everyone receives the recommended vaccines at the right ages, you will be helping to protect them before they are exposed to serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new interactive guide (cdc.gov/vaccines/growing) to help navigate the vaccines recommended at each stage of life. This resource teaches families about vaccine-preventable diseases — like flu, whooping cough and HPV cancers — and highlights the recommended timing for key immunizations.

Why leftover opioids are dangerous and what you can do

August 01, 2018 (439 words)

Want to help keep your family and community safe? Get rid of any unused prescription opioids that may be in cabinets, drawers, or anywhere else you store medicine.

Prescription opioids are powerful, pain-reducing medicines. You can find them in pill forms, syrups or even prescription patches. Commonly prescribed opioids include hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone.

But they also can cause overdose deaths. Every day, more than 100 Americans die from opioid overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Make sure your medicines do not get into the wrong hands. According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, half of people who misused prescription opioids got them from a friend or family member.

Disposing of unused medicines can help turn the tide on the devastating opioid crisis affecting so many American families. Proper disposal of unused prescription opioids saves lives. Learn more at www.fda.gov/DrugDisposal.

5 hazards on the road to the Medicare Part D plan that's best for you

August 01, 2018 (468 words)

[Headline: 3 hazards on the road to the Medicare Part D Plan that’s best for you]

When evaluating your Medicare prescription drug plan (“Part D plan”) coverage, avoid these common hazards.

Hazard 1: Failing to check if or how your drugs are covered

Your Medicare Part D plan will include a list of covered drugs. Check if each of your prescribed drugs is on the list and how it is being covered by the plan you’re considering. Remember to check the copay.

Hazard 2: Selecting a plan without checking the stars

Remember to check each plan’s Star Ratings. Plans are ranked from one to five stars based on criteria set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Hazard 3: Detouring from your roadmap

By staying informed and doing your research early, you can prepare and follow a roadmap to help you reach the Medicare Part D plan that’s right for you!

Learn more before Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7) at roadmapformedicare.com.

5 ways to beat the heat this summer

July 31, 2018 (640 words)

[Headline: Tips to stay cool this summer]

Here are three ways to beat the heat now before the heat beats you.

* Make your bed the cool place to be. Apply ice packs — preferably soft gels — on top of your mattress and beneath the sheets, placing them in the areas where your neck, lower back and legs are located when you sleep.

* Invest in the right air conditioner. The LG DUAL Inverter Compressor Window Air Conditioner constantly adjusts its speed — rather than turning on and off — to maintain the desired air temperature all at a reduced energy usage.

* Cool yourself down effectively. When you’re feeling hot, the first thing you want to do is apply a cool towel to your forehead. It feels good, of course, but for maximum impact, applying this cooling agent to pulse points like your wrist or neck is actually a far better alternative.

Age-related macular degeneration: What you should know

July 31, 2018 (471 words)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people over age 65, according to the CDC.

AMD causes damage to the macula, the small spot on the retina that allows people to see clearly and to see things straight ahead of them.

While AMD cannot be prevented, you can take steps that may slow the progression of the condition, says Dr. Efrem Castillo, UnitedHealthcare chief medical officer. Incorporating healthy lifestyle choices like quitting smoking; eating leafy, green vegetables and maintaining a good blood pressure and cholesterol level can help.

Another crucial step is to get dilated eye exams and vision tests from your eye health professional to diagnose the condition and track any progression.

Pollution protection: 5 easy tips for combating the environment's effects on skin

July 30, 2018 (589 words)

[Headline: Easy tips to care for your skin]

Properly caring for your skin each day — and countering the possible effects of pollution — is quick, affordable and easy. So why do so many Americans forgo that step?

Consider these tips for a daily skincare routine to nourish and protect your skin.

1) Use an effective sunscreen. Choose products with an SPF of 30 or higher, that are water resistant and provide broad-spectrum coverage.

2) Wash twice daily with quality cleanser. Choosing the right product is key. Fortunately, dermatologists have developed an expansive cleanser line for CeraVe that thoroughly removes pollutants, dirt and oil, leaving your face hydrated and protected from daily toxins and pollutants without irritation or drying.

3) Eat an optimal diet. Dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry advises a diet rich in antioxidants to protect your skin. Diets high in processed or refined sugars, carbohydrates and unhealthy fats may promote skin aging.

The proactive parent's checklist for back-to-school success

July 30, 2018 (628 words)

[Headline: 4 steps to a healthy school year]

The new school year is quickly approaching. Get a head start by tackling these important steps as recommended by the experts from the Mayo Clinic Children's Center.

Anxiety: Talk to kids about their worries with empathy and understanding. Prepare them by visiting the school and meeting teachers.

Bullying: Learn about what happened and discuss how to respond if it happens again in the new school year (for example, walk away or get help from a trusted adult or peer).

Vaccinations: Contact your family physician or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's online registry to stay informed of the recommended school admission vaccine requirements.

Routines: Build a routine so children can adjust properly. This means structuring activities so kids know what to expect, including healthy meals at the same time each day and a regular bedtime.

The 4 greatest salt myths

July 27, 2018 (458 words)

[Headline: The greatest salt myths]

After more than a century of debate over the role of salt in human health, the overwhelming medical evidence makes it clear that reducing salt in the U.S. diet may pose a greater risk to many consumers. Consider these common myths about salt:

Myth 1: Americans eat more salt than ever

Military records from the early 1800s up to WWII show that the average soldier was consuming between 6,000 and 6,800 mg/day of sodium. We eat about half of that today, and that number has remained consistent since WWII.

Myth 2: Salt consumption leads to hypertension

According to Dr. Jan Staessen, head of the Research Unit on Hypertension at the University of Leuven in Belgium, “The evidence relating blood pressure to salt intake does not translate into an increased risk of incident hypertension in people consuming a usual salt diet.”

5 tips to amp up the natural benefits of your yard

July 26, 2018 (556 words)

[Headline: 5 tips that will enhance the benefits of having a lawn]

Your healthy yard is more than what meets the eyes. Healthy lawn and landscape filter the air of pollutants and prevent unwanted runoff. Simply looking at trees and plants can reduce stress. Inspired? Here are some tips to make your yard look even better.

* Raising the deck height of your lawn mower is one simple thing you can do right now to improve your green space.

* Professionals recommend to not mow right after it rains because mowing wet grass will cause clumping and ruts.

* Let the clippings fall back on the lawn to add a natural source of nitrogen back to the soil.

* Enhance your landscape with native flowers, shrubs and trees. These require less water than exotic species and are more resilient to your region’s weather patterns and insects.

* Work with a professional to get your lawn and landscape in top condition. To find one in your area, visit LoveYourLandscape.org.

Your summertime prescription: Sweet cherries

July 25, 2018 (699 words)

A new review of nearly 30 published studies confirms that sweet cherries can help tackle some big wellness issues. Sweet cherries can play a part in improving these five common concerns:

1. Studies have shown that eating sweet cherries can increase antioxidant capacity and reduce oxidative stress, bringing the body back into a healthy balance.

2. Research shows that the anti-inflammatory properties of cherries can have the same effect as ibuprofen.

3. When eating sweet cherries was combined with prescribed medicine, specifically allopurinol, the risk of a gout attack was 75 percent lower.

4. A good night’s sleep is essential to functioning at top form during the day. With sweet cherries, you have a reliable source of tryptophan, serotonin and melatonin.

5. Studies point to a link between the consumption of sweet cherries and a lowering of blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic measures.

4 ways gardening is good for you

July 24, 2018 (534 words)

[Headline: 4 ways gardening is good for you]

In this digital world, there's an app for just about everything. People are interacting with technology more than they do with the world. But there's a cure for tech overload: Gardening.

Here are four surprising ways gardening is good for you.

Locally grown food is healthy. What's more local than your own backyard? Locally grown veggies are picked at the peak of ripeness, full of flavor and freshness.

You'll have less anxiety. Research shows gardening creates compassion toward others, and less worry and depression. Wave Petunias and Cool Wave Pansies are perfect for beginners!

It counts as a workout. Whether you’re pulling weeds or lifting your Wave petunia planters, research shows you'll burn 200-400 calories per hour!

Gardening combats loneliness. Gardening gives us a sense of community. Start a weekly cooking group with friends using ingredients from your gardens! Get started with one of Burpee's favorite recipes at www.burpeehomegardens.com.

Plan, be positive, unplug: 5 ways to make family meals more enjoyable

July 19, 2018 (552 words)

[Headline: Ways to make family meals more enjoyable]

With our busy lifestyles, finding time to meet with our families to enjoy meals can be a major challenge. Some tips from actress, host, food lover and mom of two Courtney Lopez:

1. Focus on family. “No phones at the table. Mealtime should be a time to unplug and focus on loved ones.”

2. Make it a team effort. “Getting kids involved in the kitchen could help develop healthy habits for the future, plus it’s more fun when everyone is involved. Give them simple, safe tasks to keep them busy."

3. Try new things. “Comfort food can be a great thing, but so can the sense of adventure that comes from trying new dishes. Eggland’s Best eggs can be incorporated into an endless spectrum of family-friendly recipes, like a Southwestern Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl. EB eggs are the only eggs good enough for my family meals with superior nutrition like 25 percent less saturated fat and 6 times more vitamin D than ordinary eggs."

Give pets the ultimate mealtime experience

July 16, 2018 (313 words)

[Headline: 5 simple tips to make feeding your pet fun]

Try these pet mealtime tips:

1. Create a mealtime routine: Whether they get fed first thing in the morning or as small meals throughout the day, your pooch will quickly catch on.

2. Purchase a puzzle bowl or toy: Puzzle bowls and food dispensing toys stimulate your dog’s mind during mealtime.

3. Provide your dog with a meal that gives them variety: New varieties like Bacon & Steak Flavored dry dog food from Kibbles ‘n Bits offer its signature combination of crunchy kibble and tender bits.

4. Turn mealtime into a dance party: Play a song before each mealtime to signal when it’s time for your dog to eat.

5. Make it a training opportunity: Using commands like “sit” and “wait” before allowing your dog to eat helps them practice impulse control and good manners.

To learn more, visit www.kibblesnbits.com.

Back-to-school readiness contributes to your child's academic success

June 28, 2018 (466 words)

[Headline: Set your child up for success this school year]

On that hectic first day of school, it’s easy to overlook the most important meal of the day, especially if sleepy, grumpy kids wake up claiming they’re not hungry.

Don’t let kids opt out when you can opt for easy. Fuel them with a protein-packed breakfast, like a peanut butter and banana smoothie, which is delicious, nutritious and ready in minutes. Mooala’s Original Bananamilk makes a great smoothie base, since it’s organic, plant-based (made from real bananas), dairy-free and has no added sugar.

Kids and teens who eat breakfast are more focused, perform better in school and make healthier food choices.

Additional tips to make a smooth transition back to school:

* Start the bedtime schedule a week before school begins.

* Involve the whole family in meal planning for the week.

* Designate a quiet area as a homework station.

* Use an app to create a family calendar.

* Schedule annual medical exams.

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