Guy Stuff The Body Book for Boys, by Dr. Cara Natterson

Guy Stuff-HR

What inspired you to write Guy Stuff the Body Book for Boys?

When I was a pediatrician in full-time practice, the imbalance in resources between boys and girls was obvious. Girls have so many different options – books, videos, magazines – that focused on what was happening to their bodies as they grew up. Society as a whole helps them process all of it. Boys have almost nothing. Not to mention that I was raising a boy and a girl, which threw the contrast into even more focus. Once I left practice and started writing The Care and Keeping of You series for American Girl, I saw an amazing opportunity to level the playing field and to give boys a version of their own.

In terms of body basics, what are some tips moms can share with their boys for handling expectations, habits, and attitude?

I like to remind kids that most body basics have nothing to do with your gender. Take hygiene, like using soap in the shower, tooth brushing, flossing, and using deodorant: boys and girls have the same “rules.” Ditto nutrition, exercise, sleep… so many healthy living strategies apply to both girls and boys, both kids and adults.

But that said, there is (obviously) some boy-specific stuff. Parents can read Guy Stuff to get a better understanding of why the average boy appears to enter puberty later than the average girl, and what changes come in what order (spoiler alert: there’s no set order of body changes!). It also helps to learn about the effects of testosterone – that’s the hormone that governs the majority of boy pubertal changes. Understanding what testosterone does to both the body and the brain (yes, boys have mood swings, too) helps tremendously.

Let’s talk about nutrition. What are some must-haves for prepubescent boys?

They are the same as the must-have’s for girls! The best nutrition plan involves lots of whole foods (fruits, veggies, proteins and grains that aren’t heavily processed by machines) and water for hydration. Keeping sugar to a minimum makes everyone feel better. Knowing where sugar is hiding in your diet can be quite eye-opening. Portion size is also important. It’s not enough just to be mindful of what you are eating, but how much as well. And it often helps kids to know that all of the guidelines that apply to kids are equally relevant for adults.

How much exercise and sleep do growing boys need? And what are some tips for getting them on track?

Exercising 60 minutes per day is what we all need at minimum, and lots of people get more than that. Exercise means that you are working hard at a physical activity, huffing and puffing a little bit (or a lot). You cannot casually whistle a tune while you are exercising. It helps to know that you don’t have to do the entire hour at once – you can break it up into smaller increments throughout the day or do one, long workout session. Sleep is as important as exercise… and some people say it’s even more important. A growing tween or teen body wants 9 – 10 hours of sleep per night, every night. An adult needs about 8 hours. Just because many of us don’t get the amount of sleep our bodies want/need, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying to reach the goal. If you are able to get into bed a little earlier, studies show that you will be a little healthier.

CaraNattersonAuthorPhoto3

What’s your best kept secret for managing the ups and downs of raising boys between the ages of 9 and 14?

TALK. It seems so obvious, but between the typical tween boy urge to go quiet at times (thank you, testosterone) and electronic devices that make it easy for family members to not interact with one another, oftentimes talking goes by the wayside. Ask your son questions. Tell him stories about when you were his age. Point out billboards or shows or articles that have a message – good or bad – and start a dialogue. The things you say to your kids really do resonate. Even if they don’t always seem to be listening, your kids do hear you and your words sink in. So take advantage of time when you can get it, and start conversations with your son.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given samples for review. This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking and shopping, you help support Momtrends and allow us to keep reporting on trends.

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A Back-to-School Plan for Head Lice

Binders. Backpacks. Pencils. Glue. The kids are ready for that first day of school! Woohoo! But between the lunch snacks and school supplies, there’s one more important item to make sure to throw into your back-to-school shopping basket: lice prevention.

Every year more than 12 million kids get lice with preschool and school-aged children the most at risk. Luckily, parents don’t have to sit around, waiting and worrying about that lice letter coming home. There are easy steps parents can take to both decrease a child’s risk of lice AND a simple, one-step solution if lice does make its way into your house. Here’s how…

Here’s my back-to-school plan for preventing and dealing with head lice this school year.

Defense is the best offense

I cringe whenever I find that dreaded half-sheet note from the nurse’s office in my son’s backpack revealing that someone in the class has lice. This year, instead of waiting for the bad news to arrive, I’m starting my defense early by having my boys use Vamousse Lice Repellent and Nit Defense. While the boys brush their teeth in the morning, I’ll give their hair a quick couple of spritzes. The spray dries quickly, doesn’t smell gross, and is made with essential oils that work to repel lice for up to 8 hours (!) without any synthetic pesticides. To my kids, it’s just one more step in the morning routine. To me, it’s a superpower lice defense system that keeps my kids protected all day long and helps me rest easy – even when that lice letter does come home.

Be on the lookout

I admit that the only time I check my kids’ heads for lice is a) when I hear someone at school has it and b) when one of my boys says his head is itchy. But the “itchy head” test is not an effective method. First, not all kids get an itchy head from lice, and second, the itching can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to show up – which gives lice lots of time to spread to other family members. So this school year, once or twice a week when I’m cuddling with my boys in the morning, or watching a movie with them Friday night, I’m just going to take a quick little peek at their scalp and look for lice. About the size of a poppy seed, lice eggs are often located on the hair shaft next to the scalp and can look like dandruff that doesn’t brush away. Be sure to pay particular attention to the nape of the neck, behind the ears, and on bangs – places lice love to hide.

And – sigh – if lice do arrive….

A one-and-done solution

I’m keeping my fingers crossed my boys don’t get lice this school year, but if they do, I’m reaching for a clinically proven treatment solution like Vamousse Lice Treatment. Pesticide-free and made with safe, non-toxic ingredients, I’ll rest easy knowing that with just one 15-minute treatment, the lice and their eggs will be history and my boys and I can get back to daily life. Make sure you grab a bottle of Vamousse’s Lice Elimination Powder too. While lice can only live one or two days without a host, those few days are still enough time for lice to spread to friends, siblings, and, gulp, even parents. After you use the Lice Treatment on your child’s hair, get rid of lice on bedding, clothes, and stuffed animals by washing, soaking, or drying on high heat (at least 130°F). For non-washable household items like couches, carpet, or car headrests, sprinkle on Lice Elimination Powder, let it sit for 60 minutes, and then vacuum it up. A simple, fast, and easy way to prevent lice from spreading. Click here for even more household cleaning tips to prevent lice reinfestation.

Now if only there was a product to prevent homework complaining….

Find Vamousse products without a prescription nationwide at Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and online at  Amazon.com.

This is a sponsored post.

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Detox Your Body With Fruit-Infused Water

Can I tell you one of my favorite things about walking into a tropical resort, destination hotel, or spa center? … It’s the abundance and availability of fruit-infused water. I know, I know… I’m easy to please; it’s just one of the simple pleasures and little luxuries I can rarely resist.

Gimme some strawberries or citrus slices in plain ole tap water, and I feel like I’m somewhere exotic and foreign. Hydration with fresh fruity flavor… it really doesn’t get easier or more refreshing. I love it, and, better yet, so do my kids! They generally want juice, so it makes me so happy that I can get them drinking H20 with a few fruit chunks!

Beyond the benefits of hydration and flavor, I never really gave fruit-infused water too much consideration. But then I was introduced to Simply Fae, a beautiful lifestyle site launched by NYC wellness enthusiast, _. She believes in the detoxifying powers of fruit-infused water, and is sharing her wealth of knowledge with Momtrends. “Detoxing is what your body does naturally each and every day to neutralize, transform, or get rid of unwanted materials or toxins.  You can improve & optimize your own body’s detoxification by supplementing meals with detox drinks,” Fae says. (P.S. you didn’t see our Facebook Live, head on over and watch Fae in action.)

Fae doesn’t encourage using detox water as a cleanse (and we love that, because we like to eat around here!), but she does promote drinking one bottle a day. I can do that… You can do that! Heck, even my littles can handle that!

Each ingredient has its own benefits for detox water. For example, strawberries are rich in antioxidants, which can help to flush toxins, fight inflammation, and boost the immune system. Citrus aids in digestion, bolsters the immune system, rejuvenates skin, supports weight loss, and can help prevent kidney stones.

Image courtesy of SimpleFae.com

When Fae stopped by our Dumbo offices, she made us a batch of strawberry, lemon, and mint water which couldn’t have been light and brighter and more rejuvenating for summer–and now we can wait to try a few more recommended varietals, like strawberry, kiwi, mint water–yum!

To see all of Fae’s favorite recipes, visit her site Simply Fae. Cheers to good health and beautiful Instagram accounts.

DIY easy detox water recipes to make at home

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

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3 Fitness Trackers for 3 Different Moms

Do you own a fitness tracker? These wearables have become all the rage lately and are more than just a fad. If you don’t yet have one, you may be surprised how motivated you become when you see you have climbed fewer stairs than yesterday or managed more steps than a friend you’re competing with. Today, we’re sharing three fitness trackers for three different kinds of moms. Find your perfect fit and watch your fitness accomplishments grow!

Summer is here and mentally I often think that this will allow me more time to workout. Instead, the lack of school schedule and the addition of family vacations often means that I’m less likely to fit in fitness during the week. Sound familiar? Finding the right fitness tracker isn’t always easy – you need to find one with the features you like and a style that matches with your own. Whether you are a sporty mom, a minimalist mom, or a mom that thinks the more bling the better, we’ve got a fitness tracker for you.

Fitness Tracker for Minimalist Moms: Ringly

Ringly’s tagline is “Smart jewelry that keeps you active, mindful, and in the moment.” Their simple and low-profile fitness trackers don’t have a screen, but pair with an app and it can blend in easily with either day-at-the-office or park-play-date attire. I tried out Ringly’s GoSmart Bracelet that offers Activity Tracking + Mobile Alerts + Guided Meditation in a compact and stylish bracelet. It looks like any other bracelet you might wear, but this one is tracking my number of steps, miles covered, and calories burned as well as providing smart phone alerts through light and vibration that I can customize to know when the people I care about most are trying to get in touch. I love that both the band and tracker are thin and small yet stylish and still provide the basic fitness information I need to keep me motivated. Ringly also offers their Luxe Bracelets (bottom row) which offer a bit more style and their Smart Rings if you prefer not to have something on your wrist.

Fitness Tracker for On-The Go Mom: Fitbit Blaze

I know there are benefits of slowing down, but motherhood often has me playing the role of a multitasking master. I’m schlepping kids to sports practice while trying to fit in a workout while taking a work call on my headphones during said workout while still needing to make sure I’m home in 25 minutes to take the chicken out of the oven. Sound familiar? In situations like this, you need the Fitbit Blaze which is part watch, part fitness tracker, part smart phone. While the original Blaze comes with a sporty black band, I opted for the thin-version leather band to make it a little less obtrusive and suitable for work. While it’s still much bigger than the Ringly, I love that with the Blaze I can answer a call or play my music through Bluetooth headphones, track my steps, stairs climbed or workouts completed PLUS get texts and the most basic of all, figure out what time it is – which I was constantly having to ask my kids for. The battery life is crazy long (4-5 days between charges) and it has a built-in guided mediation feature which yeah, I may have used too many times during these last few weeks of school before summer. Fitbits also allow you to challenge other Fitbit wearers in your family, friend circle or office if you like competition. If the Blaze seems too big for your style, you can also try out Fitbit’s new Alta HR which offers all the same features in a more streamlined design.

Fitness Tracker for the Mom With Style: Wisewear

Wisewear fitness trackers are not for those who want to be discrete. True, while the tracker doesn’t have a screen like the Fitbit, the jewelry that houses it takes a certain kind of woman who doesn’t mind wearing attention-getting jewelry. I tried out the Calder bracelet in rose gold which was gorgeous and also way above my style ability. 😜 Wisewear also offers the Duchess which has a slight splash of color and the more subdued Kingston in gold, palladium and rose gold. These trackers are high on style, but also high on function. The Wisewear trackers will keep track of your step count, distance, and calories burned, will give a gentle vibration to notify you to check your phone for important calls, texts, emails, calendar events and even has a built-in panic button that will alert pre-set emergency contacts with a text message and GPS drop pin location with three taps of the bracelet. All in a seriously stylish tracker that no one will believe is tracking your daily miles.

So what’s YOUR perfect fitness tracker?

Momtrends was not paid for this post. Some samples were provided.

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Why Fit Matters

Why Fit Matters: finding the right size for your body

They say, if the shoe fits wear it. One thing I’ve learned in my 40+ years on this earth is that not all shoes are made alike. I swoon over high heels as much as the next girl, but I know what works for my size and my lifestyle. I’ve learned to be picky about what comes into my life. As much as I travel and explore NYC, I need to feel confident about fit and function. This is why fit matters—not only in shoes but also in feminine care products.

Stick with me here friends. We all think we know our shoe sizes, right? So why is it so many of us end up with blisters on our feet or “that pair” of shoes that look great but sit in our shoe closets unworn? Because we didn’t get the fit right. Poor shoe choices leave us out of the fun, off the dance floor and on the sidelines of life.

Well the same goes for your pads, ladies. Turns out many of us are using the wrong size pad. The Always My Fit movement is about helping girls and women feel confident that they can power through their period without the fear of leaks. Thanks to an updated sizing chart and a range of pad sizes from 1 to 5, I can educate myself and get back to going about my day-to-day life (and spend more time looking for great shoes!).

great fitting shoes

Why Fit Matters

When it comes to shoes, one size definitely doesn’t fit all. The same holds true for pads. On my trip to the P&G headquarters in Cincinnati I spent time with the researchers and marketing team for Always. They are full of statistics and information. Did you know that 60% of women wear the wrong size pad?

Staggering, that’s like wearing “those” ill-fitting shoes 5-7 days a month and dealing with the pain

Always’ research shows, when you wear the right size the number of leaks are cut in almost in half. This is where Always My Fit comes in. This is huge – they are the first feminine care brand offering a fit system to women.

Here’s what else they found: 80% of women experience leaks each month! That’s just unacceptable. And it’s (for the most part) fixable—because 60% of us are wearing the wrong size pad—this causes of all those leaks. The good news is that 100% of us can change this!

Always scientists have spent years researching the most common reasons for pad leaks, they discovered many women were wearing pads that were just too short. The “My Fit” system was developed and designed to help girls and women find the right front to back coverage to avoid leaks during the day and at night.

Always my fit

Think about this ladies, if reading a shoe review could save you agony and blisters, wouldn’t you do it? Well, all you need to do to help avoid leaks is to read the top of your new Always pack. Size yourself up and then find your perfect fit based on your panty size and flow.

Fashions often change for the better–like all the stylish shoes that also can make my feet happy. Always pads change for the better too. When Always first introduced pads in 1983 there were only two pad sizes available at the store. Here’s a little history lesson for you. Back then the average woman was a size 8. Fast forward thirty years and now the average woman is a size 16. One size definitely does not fit all. That’s why Always now has 5 sizes—they are the only brand to offer this system!

NEWSFLASH: Always pads are now numerically sized 1 through 5 so you can find your best coverage for both day and night protection.

Why fit matters: guide to spring shoes

Now that you know you can find your perfect pad size, let’s talk about your perfect shoe!

Floral Slip Ons: A floral (or fruity) print slip on is right on trend. It can go to the beach or the local market. No socks required.

Euro Tennie: Thank goodness sneakers aren’t purely for the gym or walking to work ala Melanie Griffith in Working Girl. Now we see them paired with sundresses and suits. This sleek pair with metallic trip is ideal for your next trip.

Skater Sneaks: Skater shoes are all the rage right now. Even if you’ve never set foot on a board, you can still steal the style and feel great doing it. If you ever suffered through a work day in shoes that pinch your toes you will relish wearing these!

Good shoes, no leaks, it’s going to be a great spring ladies. Nothing can stop us now!

This is a sponsored post. I’m proud to team up with Always to spread the word about not letting your period slow you down.

 

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4 Ways to Avoid Lice at Summer Camp

Do you remember the first time you went away to summer sleepaway camp? I can still picture it. I was 10, maybe 11 and it was one of the first times – and definitely the longest time! – I’d be sleeping away from my parents – a whole week. According to the American Camp Association, there are more than 14,000 camps in the U.S. with an estimated 8,400 overnight camps. These summer camps offer kids a host of amazing opportunities from making new friends to travel, trying new sports and activities to gaining self-confidence doing things on their own. But summer camps can also come with their own challenges like homesickness and of course, everyone’s favorite school-year friend, LICE. Ugh.

I hesitate to even say this aloud lest I jinx myself, but….my three boys have never had lice. I don’t know how we’ve managed to make it through a majority of elementary school without dealing with those little buggers, but somehow – knock on wood – we have. But here’s the rub – merely surviving the school year without lice doesn’t make it time to celebrate. Each year more than 12 million kids, age 3 to 11, get lice – and no, unlike your carpool and lunch-making duties, lice don’t take the summers off. So as the kids are heading off to your city’s local day camp, an adventurous sleep-away camp, or even a week away camping out in the great outdoors, how can a parent keep their child lice-free all summer long?

lice prevention

With camp season just around the corner, we’re sharing four important tips for avoiding lice this summer. But first, let’s start off with a few head lice facts:

  1. Head lice cannot hop or fly. They are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person.
  2. Head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice is the biggest risk. Spreading lice via infected items such as hats, brushes or sweatshirts is actually relatively uncommon.
  3. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.

Summer camp is one of the most important times to be vigilant about head lice and take measures to protect kids. While many camps now perform head checks at registration to help prevent lice transmission at camp, the goal is to avoid lice infestation altogether! Here are four tips to try to keep your kids lice-free at camp this summer.

Tip #1: Make weekly head checks a part of your summer schedule. 

Here’s a no-so-fun fact: Lice can be present before there are any symptoms such as itching. In fact the itching is usually a reaction to the lice biting the scalp and can show up 2 to 4 weeks after you’re infested. Yes, weeks. So merely waiting until your child complains about itching means you’re too late to prevent the buggers. While many camps are now performing head checks on registration day to help prevent lice from spreading among campers, you can get ahead of the pack (ha ha – get it?) by making weekly head checks part of your summer schedule. The experts at Vamousse share how to do a lice head check:

  1. Work under a bright light and use a nit comb to help remove anything you find. Part your child’s hair and watch for movement as lice will quickly travel away from the light.
  2. Look for eggs stuck to the hair shaft near the scalp. About the size of a poppy seed, they often look like dandruff that can’t be easily removed
  3. Pay particular attention to the nape of the neck, behind the ears and on your child’s bangs to the crown of their head. Recently laid eggs are nearly transparent so it’s helpful to examine hair from different angles.
  4. If you find signs of lice, treat immediately with single-treatment solution like Vamousse’s Lice Treatment that even is effective on super lice.

 

Tip #2: Use a daily defense shampoo.

You don’t have to cross your fingers and hope your child doesn’t pick up lice at summer camp. Two weeks before camp and during camp, have your child switch to a daily defense shampoo such as non-toxic Vamousse Lice Defense, which has been shown to kill lice during routine hair washing. It’s designed to kill lice with repeated, routine use for 10-14 days. Plus, it’s non-toxic, pesticide-free, and safe for kids 2 and older. To avoid any raised eyebrows at camp, squeeze some of the shampoo into a clear travel bottle.

Tip #3: Promote braids and up-dos.

Warm summer weather is a great time to learn a few new techniques for getting long hair up – as an added benefit, hair that isn’t long and loose is often less susceptible to lice. If you normally do your daughter’s hair each morning, take some time in the weeks before summer camp to help her learn some braids or up-dos that she can do on her own. Try this Elsa braid tutorial or this braid within a braid hairstyle to keep hair looking good and less likely to get lice.

Tip #4: Try a repellent spray.

Since I have three boys, braids aren’t an option in my house. And – truth be told – my boys don’t shower every single day so the daily defense shampoo won’t protect my kids during the summer. Instead, I’ll be turning to a simple lice repellent spray like Vamousse Lice Repellent & Nit Defense. After they are dressed and ready for the day, you can simply spray it onto dry hair. The spray smells mildly herby (because it’s made with essential oils, not the smell you probably think of when lice products come to mind) which dissipates in a few minutes as soon as the spray dries. And get this – the spray provides eight hours of lice repellency! Plus it’s been proven to deter any lice already present from laying eggs to stop the lice cycle cold. For sleepaway camp, pack your child a mini spray bottle of the stuff and start building the habit now of putting it on each morning. It’s a simple, fast and effective way to protect my boys from lice all summer long. Now if only it could protect me from hearing, “Moooooom, I’m boooored!”

Get your family ready for summer camp lice protection with Vamousse’s entire line of lice treatment and daily use options. Here’s to kids (and adults!) enjoying summer camp, and not letting lice ruin your family’s summer fun!

Prevent summer camp lice

Find Vamousse products without a prescription nationwide at Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and online at  Amazon.com.

 This is a sponsored post.

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Subscription Workout Gear

Subscription box fitness gear

You know this mama is fueled by her workouts. I rely on them to keep me sane. I don’t feel remorse or guilt about how much I spend on workout gear, but I often don’t have the time to shop. I was intrigued by the idea of subscription workout gear, so I tried out Wantable.

Wantable is a personal styling service that is delivered right to your door (and it’s not just workout gear, they also offer apparel, as well as intimates and makeup). But I was most interested in the fitness gear, so that’s what I tested.

I know I’m not alone in the need for this. A bunch of my girlfriends complain about old leggings and not having cute tops to wear. These gals have the money to shop, they just don’t have the time to hunt things down.

Subscription Workout Gear

That’s how this subscription box craze took off. Brands like GlossyBox and Ipsy saw a need and started curating goodies. Fitness is no different.

Subscription Workout Gear from Wantable

How Wantable Works:

  1. Choose a category (fitness, beauty, apparel) and take a short style quiz
  2. Receive an assortment of items handpicked just for you. The fee is just $20. For this fee you get free shipping and  5-7 curated items, shipped directly to your door.
  3. You can cancel or skip a month at any time. It’s pretty easy to update your profile.
  4. Get your box and dig in right away. You only get 5 days to make your picks.
  5. Keep what you love, return what you don’t need. Wantable will bill you for what you keep. Your styling fee is applied to your final purchase.
  6. Shipping is free both ways.
  7. Pack up what you don’t love in and pop it into the prepaid Wantable.

DONE!

Subscription Workout Gear

What I liked: The quality was EXCELLENT. Better than Stitchfix for sure. The gear was high-end and trendy. I loved these “mermaid leggings” and the matching top. I also kept a tank top and this hoodie. My total bill was $200 for the 4 pieces.

Subscription Workout Gear from Wantable

What I did’t love: The prices were a little higher than what I expected. They say, “individual fitness items typically fall into the $30-$70 range.” The leggings I loved and kept were $82 and the hoodie for $82. The sports bra I liked was $45 and the tank was $32. This is a bit more than I usually spend for workout gear. But, hey, I didn’t have to battle for a dressing room or travel anywhere. I’m sold on the convenience!

Sign up for your first edit here. And let me know if you try this service. 

Subscription Workout Gear from Wantable Boxes

This is not a sponsored post, I did receive a credit to facilitate this review

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3 Ways to Help Kids Drink Less Sugar

By now, this should be old news: sodas, fruit drinks, and other sugary beverages add empty calories to our kids’ diets and can increase their risk for a number of health problems, from cavities and type 2 diabetes to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease which only recently has been found in children. Still, a recent report put out by the National Center for Health Statistics found nearly two-thirds of kids aged 2-19 in the United States consume at least one sugary beverage on any given day—and close to 30% have two or more.

While soda consumption has decreased over the last decade, thanks to a push to educate consumers more about the health risks, consumption of sugary beverages like energy drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened coffees and teas are on the rise. And those habits and taste preferences start early. Here are 3 ways to help your kids cut down on sugary beverages.

1. Get the facts as a family.

It’s easy for sugar consumption to be abstract. So help kids realize how much sugar the things they eat actually have and the reality of the health dangers. The website Sugar Stacks shows how many cubes of sugar are in a variety of popular beverages or this CNN slideshow compares sugary beverages to candy and sugar cereals. I also highly recommend the documentary Fed Up that shows firsthand the health dangers to kids and families who regularly consume high sugar diets. We watched it together as a family and it brought about many great discussions and my kids being more interested on their own about finding out how much sugar was in the things they were eating.

2. Make drink alternatives fun and available.

To help kids make better beverage choices, do more than just recommending a glass of water. There are lots of ways to make healthier drink options look fun and taste appealing for kids. Drink in a Box looks similar to a traditional juice box, but the reusable plastic container lets you dilute traditional juice with water or even better, make your own flavored water by adding cup up fruits or veggies. Try frozen raspberries, cut up “cukes,” or fresh melon balls. No one likes lukewarm water so get your kids excited about agua with an insulated water bottled designed for kids like this Contigo Insulated Stainless Steel one, an insulated Bubba Hero Sports bottle, or one of the cute designs on the insulated S’well bottles that will keep water ice cold. You can also try out some soda alternative that offer fizz and flavor without all the sugar like the popular LaCroix sparkling waters, calorie-free Honest Fizz, or Tickle Water, a no-sugar sparkling water designed specifically for kids.

3. Make it a family affair. 

You know the adage: Do what I say, not what I do. Kids are watching us. Watching us sip sweetened iced tea all day long. Ordering that soda every time the family goes out to eat. Watching us pick up that venti S’bux creation piled high with whipped cream and sprinkles and calling it our “coffee”. So get the whole family on board with cutting back on sugar. Make a 7-day pledge to go soda free. Have a family competition on who can have the least amount of sugar in a day. Put a different family member in charge of creating a fruit, herb or veggie flavored water each night for dinner and vote on the best flavor combination. Banana-kiwi, anyone? Make it fun and make it a family affair.

How have you helped your kids – or yourself! – cut back on sugary drinks?

Momtrends was not paid for this post. The post contains affiliate links.

Sources

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6604a5.htm?s_cid=mm6604a5_x
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db271.pdf
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How to Keep Your Produce From Spoiling

I want my family to eat healthy, but throwing away squishy bags of questionable raw spinach or apples gone mushy really irritates me—can I get an amen? And I’m not forgetting about them in the deep, dark corners of my fridge. I’m talking within the week! There’s nothing I hate more than buying fruits and veggies on Saturday, only to have them wilted, moldy, and ruined by Tuesday or Wednesday. Argh! So I’ve been looking for some solutions—and found a few to love.

Here are a few tips I’ve been trying out this last month to keep my fruits and vegetables from spoiling quite so fast.

Start fresh.
For Christmas, my three boys helped my husband build me a raised garden bed on our side yard. Now, I am not exactly known for having a green thumb, but to honor their present to me, I decided to give it a go and went to a local garden store in January, picked up a handful of plants that they actually had available in January and plopped them in the garden bed. And lo and behold, they grew! Thanks to Mother Nature, I didn’t even have to water them much that first month or two. Now, I joyfully get to go out and pick fresh leaves of lettuce for a lunch salad, pull up crisp green onions to sprinkle on that teriyaki chicken, the kids swore that backyard broccoli tasted so much better, and holy moly, those first two strawberries we got were a family affair! We careful cut them into pieces so everyone could get a taste.

Despite the convenience of store bough fruits and veggies, when possible, if possible, hit up your local farmer’s market or your own garden bed for produce that tastes better, is fresher, and lasts longer. Plus, having your kids help plant, tend, and harvest homegrown produce makes it much more likely they’ll give it a try on their plate.

Store right.

Once you have your produce, it’s important to store it right. As I mentioned, it irked me to buy produce at my local store only to have it barely last the week. So for the last few weeks, I’ve been trying out OXO GreenSaver bins. According to some sources, we throw away an average of 25% of the produce we buy because it goes bad! These GreenSaver bins are specially designed to help fruits and veggies last longer with three key features. First, they have a raised basket which keeps the product off any residual moisture. Air can circulate and water droplets can fall off without turning your strawberries/lettuce/green beans into a mushy mess.

Second, they have a carbon filter in the lid which absorbs ethylene, a gas that many fruits and vegetables give off. Exposing produce to ethylene gas speeds up the ripening process, which is good if you’re trying to get that tomato or banana to ripen faster, but, more often than not, can cause a fruit or veggies to over-ripen and go bad. The filter traps the gas, allowing the produce to last longer.

Third, the containers have two options for ventilation which helps control humidity levels. Different fruits and vegetables have different humidity requirements. I love that the GreenSaver bins have a little cheat sheet right on the filter cover to help you know whether to cover the ventilation holes or leave them open. I’ve tried the bins with lettuce from my garden, strawberries from the store, apples, herbs, and green beans. ALL the produce made it through the week—and might have gone even longer if we didn’t eat it! I was especially impressed that, even after I had washed the lettuce and stored it in the bin, it had zero signs of spoilage or wilting, five days later.

Store it tight.

Extra half of an apple? Leftover cucumber? Many of us probably wrap a plastic bag around it and stick it back in the fridge. But this has two problems. One: you can end up going through a whole lot of bags, and two: the loose bag around the produce allows air to oxidize the cut part of the fruit or veggie leading to discoloration and faster spoilage.

With Food Huggers though, you can pop a silicone seal on your fruit, veggie or avocado to crate a much tighter seal, allowing less air to come into contact with the cut portion, no baggies to be used, and a cute re-usable reminder to finish up that banana half or zucchini bottom. How fun are these?! Plus, they work on cans, jars, and other small containers.

Want more healthy eating content? Check out our 10 tips to get kids to eat more veggies or favorite green smoothie recipes.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive a sample of the OXO bins.

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A Vodka That Protects Your Liver? Really.

A nice cocktail like a cranberry martini or a mellow mule can be a fun way to kick off a dinner party, welcome the weekend, or celebrate a victory at home (kids all in bed before 8!) or the office (nailed that presentation-woot!). While moderate alcohol does have its benefits (looking at you, nightly red wine!), any alcohol in excess can do a number on your liver. But now there is a way to enjoy your cocktail AND protect your liver from unwanted harm.

Bellion Specialty Vodka is a partnership of Bellion Spirits and NTX Technology which has created a new category of liver and DNA-friendly spirits. Termed “functional spirits”, NTX Technology is a proprietary, patented blend of natural, FDA-approved ingredients: Glycyrrhizin (Licorice Root Extract), Manna Sugar (Low Calorie Sugar Crystals found in fruits and plants) and Potassium Sorbate (White Salt). When NTX Technology is infused into alcohol, it renders the spirit liver and DNA-friendly… helping to protect the liver and your DNA without affecting the taste or experience! A win for your dry martini and your internal organs.

NTX Technology vodka

Let’s back up for a little biology lesson: your liver is the largest organ of the body, weighing 3.3 pounds, and participating in hundreds of vital functions for your body. From filtering your blood, to removing toxins, aiding the small intestine with digestion to metabolizing sugars and fats, your liver is important. Your liver is also where your body metabolizes alcohol. Make your liver do this too often or with too much alcohol and two things can happen:

  • When our liver tries to break down alcohol, the resulting chemical reaction creates by-products that damage the liver cells and lead to inflammation and scarring.
  • Alcohol can also damage your intestines allowing bacteria from the gut to leak out and get into the liver causing inflammation and scarring.

So what do you get in this NTX Technology-infused Bellion vodka? First and foremost, you get a great tasting, smooth, slightly sweet vodka – perfect for mixed drinks or on its own. But it’s what you don’t taste in the vodka that is really unique – the NTX Technology. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • NTX provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support which can even help in reducing hangovers.
  • NTX helps protect against and reduce alcohol-induced oxidative damage to the liver.
  • NTX helps maintain normal liver enzyme production and function.
  • NTX supports normal liver defenses and regenerative mechanisms. While it does not repair previous damage, it does reduce and protect while consuming a spirit created with NTX – over 90% protection.
  • Because of these properties, NTX reduces the risk of alcohol-induced liver diseases, including fibrosis and cirrhosis, and helps maintain normal liver functions.
  • NTX helps protect DNA from alcohol-induced damage – which is a remarkable discovery!

While it’s important to only drink moderately (if at all) – especially for women – when you DO enjoy a cocktail, why not make it with a liquor that tastes good AND is safer for your body? Swap out your regular vodka for Bellion Speciality Vodka in your next cocktail and your liver will thank you.

Love the idea of a “functional spirit” but not a vodka fan? Stay tuned because Bellion is set to launch both a tequila and a bourbon with the NTX Technology later this year.

Cheers!

Please drink responsibly. Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were provided with a sample.

 

 

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