Ideas for Healthy Snacks Your Kids Will Love

All year long, it’s important to think about what snacks your kids are eating. But on this day of all days, you might want to consider making healthy snacks for the whole family that will satisfy both humans and pets! We’ve compiled a list of ideas for healthy treats that are sure to make everybody happy.

Granola Bar

There are lots of different granola bars available at the store, and they taste great. You can also make your own by taking fresh nuts and munching on them. If you don’t want to take nuts, then you can just use walnuts or some other type of all natural nuts. The important thing to remember here is to keep them well filled, so that you can get through all of their mouths!

Yogurt-Covered Raisins

These are perfect because they’re easy enough for children to eat without trouble but also contain protein which is great for adults looking to maintain an active lifestyle. You can even use different flavors like chocolate or strawberry if you want something sweet with flavor variety.

Carrots & Celery Sticks Dipped in Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a great source of protein so pairing it with the vegetable sticks makes for an excellent snack choice. You can also try something more creative like almond butter which has similar benefits but tastes different!

Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates

This recipe takes things up another notch by adding some healthy fats into the mix that are sure to make your kids happy! This is a great option for those with nut allergies because it can be made with sunflower seed butter.

Frozen Grapes

ids love them, adults love them, and guess what? They’re good for both of you! Frozen grapes are perfect to eat when you want something sweet but don’t want to ruin your diet. Take note that if you’re looking to give your dog a snack after they run around in an invisible dog fence like those found on Good Pup Life, frozen graps are a bad idea. While dogs might love to play with the little ball-shaped fruits, grapes are known to be poisonous to them.

All of these snacks for kids are great, healthy options for their occasional meals.

How To Make Your Kids Eat More Vegetables

How can you get your kids to eat more vegetables? This is a question that many parents struggle with. There is a great deal of misinformation out there about what the best way is for children to eat more vegetables. In this article I will try and put some of that confusion to rest. After reading this article you will have the information you need to start thinking about feeding your children a healthier diet and even some healthy snacks when it comes to eating vegetables.

There are numerous studies done on how much vegetables our children need each day. We also now know that it makes good sense to make sure that they are eating vegetables before they reach the age that would normally make them stop eating them. It makes good sense to get your kids started with a vegetable soup during their introduction to solid foods.

How to make your kids eat more vegetables doesn’t have to be confusing. The first step in this direction is for you as a parent, to become familiar with the different colors of vegetables. You can do this by watching your children as they are eating them. I recommend watching television shows about children and families, because there is usually a character that is focused around a family life.

I also recommend doing research online on healthy colored vegetables. I found that watching television shows about healthy families in general helped me learn more about this topic. One of the most important things you need to remember is that you are not teaching your children to like vegetables. You are only imparting information on the best way to prepare and eat vegetables. Once you have talked to your kids about eating healthy vegetables you need to continue to communicate this information to them.

There is a lot of good information that can help you make better choices for your kids regarding their food intake. Just remember, you aren’t trying to convince them to start eating vegetables. Rather you are trying to get your kids to begin to understand how to make the most out of what they already know.

Learning how to make your kids eat more vegetables will require some patience on your part. However, if you stick with it you will see a major improvement in their eating habits. Your kids will enjoy having vegetables and you will enjoy being able to help them get more servings out of the foods that they like. I would suggest having this conversation before your kids start school. This will help you to make sure that they understand the importance of eating vegetables.

Keeping Your House Clean When Living With Pets

Nothing says “gross” when guests walk into your house more than a wad of dog hair next to the antipasto. If you have pets in your home, then you know how difficult it can be to keep their messes at bay. It’s nothing against our beloved pets – they aren’t trying to shed or anything like that, it’s just who they are. That said, as a responsible head of the household, you have to make sure that you’re both keeping them clean and keeping your house clean despite their natural shedding, drooling, and so forth.

So what can you do to count down on the amount of shedding that your shaggy pet has to bring to the table? There are a few things you can do to cut down on it, and we’ll get right to it.

Groom Them Often

One of the most effective things you can do to cut down on the amount of fur your long-haired pet sheds is to make sure that they are groomed often. If you are able to afford to bring them to a groomer on a regular basis then you are in luck, because this will help quite a bit. If you’re not one to keep up with this practice, then you should go ahead and purchase a nice pair of dog clippers so you can keep your pet’s shaggy ‘do in line at least once a month.

In between grooming sessions, you’ll also want to comb their fur with a brush specifically designed to pick up the extra hair and keep it collected – this is something you’ll want to do once a week minimum. If you can get in the habit of doing it every day, it’s going to work wonders for your floors, furniture, and countertops.

Get Them Outside

Pets can’t make a mess of the inside of your house if they are outside, right? In addition to keeping their fur nicely and neatly groomed, another thing you can do is make sure they spend as much time outside as possible. This won’t work with all pets, but if you have a dog, for example, it should be a great little trick. Not only will this mean that they are actually shedding outdoors, but you’ll also probably find that they run around, roll around, and generally move around a lot more.

A great way to make sure they have plenty of time to run around outside is to fence in a section of your yard where they can come and go as they please. This way you won’t have to worry about them running away while you’re busy cleaning, cooking, and going about the day’s household chores. Heck, you can even join them outside for an afternoon cocktail or mocktail if the mood strikes. If you don’t have a fence you can create an artificial barrier that keeps them inside for relatively short money, all you’ll have to do is make sure that they’re wearing the collar and that it’s not out of battery.

Dictate Where They Can and Cannot Go

Of course, your pets can’t spend the whole day outdoors, so even if you can go the route of a fence or an electric alternative, they are still going to have to come in at night. In the same spirit of keeping them outside, if you control where they do spend their time when they are inside the house you can in theory concentrate where they shed their fur. This can easily be done with a few of today’s great technological advancements for pets.

A good door-gate is an easy way to keep your pet out of a particular room or confined to a specified location. Of course, if you have a jumper you’ll need something particularly tall, and a cat might outsmart you no matter how hard you try. If you’re concerned with keeping your pet off the furniture or countertops, as many of us are, there is the option to get training mats that will buzz or gently shock your pet if they get up on the surface. You don’t keep it there all the time obviously, as it would be uncomfortable for you, but when you’re not there it will teach your pet where they can and cannot spend time in your home.

Organizational Tips To Make The Most Of Your Living Area

Clutter. It’s the silent demon that sneaks into just about every American household at some point during it’s existence. That’s a useful tool, you think to yourself as you grab a zoodler off the shelf at the grocery store and drop it into your shopping cart. Meanwhile your shopping cart is shaking with the stress of the weight of all the items you’ve dropped into it this this trip, wondering just how much more it can take before it lets loose entirely.

Back home you’re cooking your dinner on high heat. It’s time to add a healthy dose of paprika, so you start shuffling through what used to be your spice drawer. Buried somewhere under the egg beater, the whisk, the Peltex, you know it’s there. The dish you’ve been working on all evening is starting to smoke. Do really need the paprika that badly? Eventually your hand finds the paprika jar and you add it to the pan, but it’s too late. The once beautifully crafted dish is now past it’s prime with excessive browning and even blackening.

OK I’ll admit, perhaps this is a little extreme. However, we’ve all experienced the ways in which clutter can slowly creep in and cause extra stress our daily lives. If we aren’t proactive, it’s all too easy for clutter to build up in our homes. Here are some tips for keeping the clutter at bay so that we can all live in a more calm and organized home environment.

Less Is More

The single most impactful way to cut off clutter at the knees is to reduce the number of items we have in our living areas. There are so many reasons why it could have built up in the first place – you’ve added new members to your family (congratulations!), you’ve downsized to a smaller house, you’ve recently acquired new belongings from a lost loved one – but regardless of the cause, unfortunately the only way to eliminate the clutter is to keep the essentials and nothing else.

This is no easy task, to say the least. Many of the items we’ve accumulated over the have sentimental value. Perhaps they were hand made or purchased on a trip, or maybe they were given to you by someone special. Whatever the case it’s understandable, but unfortunately that doesn’t take away from the task at hand. If you’re having a hard time distinguishing which items in your home are truly essential, it can be quite helpful to call a professional organizing services to help you sort through your belongings. One such service is The Transitional Organizer, a professional organizing company in Alexandria. The beauty of services like this is that while they are focused on delivering results, they are also sensitive to the emotions and feelings of their clients. They’ll be able to guide you through the reduction process in a way that makes you feel comfortable and at peace.

Organize by Visual Characteristics

Once you’ve reduced your overall number of items in your living area it’s important that you organize them in a way that makes it very easy to recall their location once it’s time to use them. For reasons built into instinctual human psychology, the most effect way to organize items is by their visual characteristics. This means organizing by color, size, shape, or any other visual cue that is particularly striking about the items you are organizing.

The reason that this is so effective is that your memory tends to associate facts with visual memories. When learning languages, for example, it can be much easier to remember a new vocabulary term if you pair it with a distinctive picture. This is why mnemonic techniques work so incredibly well. The same concept applies to organizing. Rather than thinking “I need paprika”, what really happens is that your mind envisions the spice jar that you’ve seen in the past. If you’ve already gone and put all of your spice jars in one central locations, you’ll instinctively know where to look.

Prioritize By Frequency of Use

With all of your essential items organized by their distinctive visual appearances in a way that makes the nearly instinctual to recall, it’s time to put the finishing touch on your organizational efforts. What you’ll want to do is consider which of your essential items are used most frequently and bring them to the forefront of your storage space. For example, if you cook often and you’re always reaching for the salt, the salt should be closest in reach to your dominant hand (or whichever hand you’re using to add salt), and right at the edge of the shelf.

If you’re one for the extreme, you can even take notes as to which items you use every day and monitor it over the course of a week or so. In many cases your instincts will be enough here, but if you want to take it to the next level that’s the best way to go about it. Keep in mind that your behavior will change over time, so this part is an iterative process.

If you’ve implemented all of these steps then the impact it should have on reducing the clutter in your home will be remarkable. You should be on your way to living a well organized and efficient lifestyle. How has your organizing gone? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

How To Pick The Right Oven For Your Kitchen

When choosing an oven or any kitchen appliances, you have to make sure that you get the best, as it changes your kitchen appearance. There are limitations when it comes to buying something new for your homes such as price, space, and many others. Therefore for you to get the best quality for your oven at the best price, you have a look at some of this factors before going to purchase the oven for your kitchen.

1. Budget

You have to buy an oven that fits within your financial budget. Besides, buying an expensive or cheap kitchen oven does not guarantee you that the oven will last longer. Having a budget will help you choose an oven that is not out of your price range. When creating a budget, it’s important that you include the delivery and installation costs.

2. Type Of Oven

You have to buy the type of oven that suits your kitchen status. There so many types of kitchen oven hence the need to choose one that goes with your preferences. For example, if you don’t have enough power supply in your kitchen, a gas oven will be the best to choose. The different types of oven include conventional, microwave ovens, steam ovens, convection, and wood ovens. Each type of oven has its heating element, for example, microwave ovens use radiations to prepare food.

3. Color And Cleaning

When choosing the color of your oven, it’s very important that you consider the finishes of the kitchen cabinet as well as the backsplash, countertop and floor colors. It’s always good to move with the trend when it comes to choosing colors. Gold and copper metallic finishes are the most popular for ovens. When it comes to cleaning, it’s good that you choose a self-cleaning oven. A self-cleaning oven is much better as it will help you save on energy costs as it has more insulation.

4. The Space Of Your Kitchen

Depending on how big or small your kitchen is, you have to choose the right size of the oven. Everyone prefers getting an oven that fits the space that they have in their kitchen to avoid remodeling. For example, a range oven is much convenient if the space in your kitchen is limited. Kitchen oven sizes range between 26 to 30 inches, Look for an oven size that fits the design of your kitchen.

5. Features Of The Oven

You have to choose an oven that has the features that you require. For example, if you purchase a convection oven, you will have the advantage of cooking food more evenly. The convection oven has a fan that ensures circulation of hot air leading to even distribution of heat when cooking. Another example is the double oven that allows you to cook different dishes at different temperatures. A double oven gives you the benefit of having a large cooking space especially when you are cooking for a large group of people. When you understand the features of the oven that you require choosing one becomes easier.

6. Warranty And Reviews

It’s very necessary that when purchasing any oven, you check the reviews from people who have used the same oven. Checking customer reviews helps to choose an oven with the best qualities. The reviews should consist of the information on how well or bad is the oven. The reviews should answer questions like how often the oven needs repair and the quality of customer service offered by the brand. Getting an oven with a warranty works to your advantage because it guarantees you another new oven if the oven develops problems before the warranty time ends. Regardless of the type, size or price of the oven it’s always important that you read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. By following this tips and the manufacturer’s instructions, your kitchen oven will serve both you and your family for many years.

How To Build The Perfect Pantry

The most important aspect of a perfect pantry is that it is organized. If your pantry is a mess, you will not be able to find anything, and it will add stress to your life. You need to have an organized pantry not only so that you can find ingredients and food items when you need them but so that you will know what you need to add to your grocery list when it’s time to go shopping.

You also want to be able to get to your pantry easily. In other words, it needs to be handy because you will need to get items out of it frequently when you are baking and cooking. An ideal pantry set up will allow you to see everything in it at a glance. A pantry is typically located right next to or even in your kitchen and can be a walk-in type or a closet. You may just have cupboards as well. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s organized and easy to access.

If you have limited space or cupboards, there are many gadgets on the market that you can add to make everything more convenient and easier to stay organized such as slide out drawers and cupboards. You can also add small shelves to bigger cupboards to help you make the most of your space and to keep similar items grouped together. There are also many containers and bins that you can use to store ingredients. Go for clear canisters and packaging whenever possible to help you see what you have with a glance. Or, you could also use labels to label everything.

If you are not very tall, you should keep a step stool handy so you can utilize your tall cupboards and so you can reach items without much effort at all.

Group items together so that they are easy to find. Keep your spices and cans of soup together. You can even designate certain cupboards for certain things. For example, you may want to have a “baking” cupboard where you keep all of your cake mixes and pie fillings.

You can even have a running shopping list inside one of your cupboards where you can add items that are getting low. When it is time to head to the store, you won’t have to go through everything to see what you are running low on. This will save you time and your sanity.

You always want to keep things that you often use within reach and at eye level. Keep the bulk items and seasonal items on the lower or top shelves. You can also store rarely used appliances there as well.

If you are very organized and want to show off your pantry you can add a fun backsplash to your shelves. There are plenty of pretty wallpapers or sticky papers that you can use to express your fun personality and to compliments the colors of your kitchen.

If you have a pantry with a door, you can always use that as extra space to get organized as well. Hang up a clear over-the-door organizer to store items such as snacks, plastic cutlery, or other items. You can use hooks to hang up aprons, pits, and pans.

If you have the room, you can even add an island on wheels that you can use to store additional pantry items. If oyu have far too many spices and not enough room to store them all you can always think outside the box and store them in a vertical organizer using a curtain rod and some clips. Simply store your spices in clear bags an clip onto your spice rack organizer system and voila! There are seemingly limitless ways to get organized, and you can utilize a few or many to make your life stress-free and pretty. Try out some new ideas to see what works for you.

Top Healthy Snacks For Mothers On The Go

If you have ever tried to eat healthy you know for sure that it is a ton of work. We are talking meal planning, meal prep, finding new recipes so you never get bored, intensive grocery shopping, and so on. Not to mention that on top of all that you most likely have a family to care for, a house to clean, a job to attend, possibly school, AND children to drive back and forth. Let’s face the facts here, we are all jealous of the women that seem to accomplish it all, the “super moms”. How do they manage to eat healthy while constantly on the go? What kind of healthy snacks are they even able to haul around like that? No need to be embarrassed, we all have the same questions, and you have come to the right place for answers. 

Here you will be able to find genuinely healthy snacks that are super quick and easy to fix, store, and take with you no matter where you are going. We know how boring boiled eggs, bland sticks of celery, and baggies of mixed and unsalted nuts can be, so let’s get this started. 

1. Oatmeal Energy Bites 

These oatmeal energy bites will not only fill you up but they will give you the fuel that you need to get through your day. With 1 cup of rolled oats, 1/2 cup of almond butter or peanut butter, 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, 1/3 cup of raw honey, and 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed, you will not be disappointed. After mixing all of these ingredients, roll them into balls and freeze them for an hour. After the hour is up, take the bites out of the freezer, portion them out, and keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to take them along with you! 

2. Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries 

Fresh blueberries
Nothing beats fresh blueberries!

This one is pretty self explanatory. All it takes is a few minutes to toss blueberries in your favorite yogurt and freeze them until you want a sweet treat in a hurry! 

3. Sandwich or Wrap Bites 

Find your healthiest bread choice or tortilla, grab some freshly sliced meat from the deli, throw on some romaine lettuce or spinach, then use a cookie cutter or a knife to make bite size pieces. Throw your bites in a snack baggie to portion them out and carry those with you when you need a more filling snack. Go the extra step and use cucumber slices to wrap your meat and take with you. 

4. On the Go Celery and Peanut Butter 

If normal celery is boring for you but you LOVE celery and peanut butter, this one is for you. Save an old peanut butter jar and fill it about 1/4 of the way with peanut butter and cut your celery into sticks to fit inside the jar with the peanut butter. This way it has a lid and will be mess free while you are driving around town or shopping. 

5. Baked Apple Chips 

These are easy to make especially if you are making a bunch at once. All you need to do is slice your apples into small chips, add a little bit of ground cinnamon, and bake them in the oven for two hours on 225 degrees. 

Eating healthy on the go does not have to be such a hassle, and trying new things is always fun!