How to keep your Little Ones Open Minded About New Food

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Many parents fear the prospect of a fussy-eater. After all, having to tailor mealtimes and take up the enduring war of trying new foods can be frustrating. However, all is not lost. If you have a toddler or an infant on your hands, now is a great time to get them to experiment with new food. Encouraging them to try out fresh vegetables and fruit, before moving onto more complex flavors could save you a lot of trouble later in life.

Start with fruit

If your toddler has already developed a bit of a limited palate for new foods, a good gateway health food is fruit. Slightly more sugary and full of bright colors, you may find it easier to convince them that healthy food can be fun and enjoyable.

Let them try food during prep

While you’re chopping vegetables and getting food ready for their dinner, why not let them try out new flavors as you cook? For example, if you were preparing countless amounts of vegetables for a stir-fry or stew, then try putting them on their highchair table. This puts more of an aspect of free will into the process of trying new vegetables. Watching you get dinner ready should also spark some curiosity into how their meals are put together and what really goes into them. If you’re worried about mess, then try a smock that covers both them and the highchair. Buying a stylish pink weaning bib will not only keep their highchair clean but also be easy to throw in the wash once you’re done.

Don’t be too stern

Many of us still recoil at the phrase ‘eat your broccoli’ and for a good reason. If you tell your children that they must do something or suffer the consequences, then they will associate it with punishment. Try and use more positive language, such as ‘be sure to try your broccoli, it tastes great with the stir fry I made you.’ A simple change in language could help you enormously.

Keep the sample sizes small

You might be gutted to discover your child doesn’t like spinach if you’ve made an entire cheese and spinach omelet. If you are trying new foods, you will want to keep the portion sizes small until they become accustomed to the taste.

Plan ahead when possible

It’s important that you don’t scold yourself for occasionally serving your child the odd TV dinner or oven-ready meal. Sometimes there is no replacement for chicken nuggets or fish fingers if you’ve gotten home from work late, or are pressed for time. If you find yourself doing this regularly and want to break out of it, you may find that planning helps you to make quick and balanced meals. Scheduling in a grocery trip and buying produce that’s for specific recipes will ensure that you can try out a new meal at some point during the week.

Fussy eaters can be a real challenge, particularly if your little one has a tendency to dig their heels in when confronted with food they dislike. By taking a measured approach, you can help to widen their palate subtly, and perhaps without them even knowing.

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Looking After Your Body: How To Protect Yourself

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Looking after your mental and physical health is important. We’re only on earth for a short space of time, so doing all that you can to stay fit and active can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and heart attacks to name just a few. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself, enabling you to have a good quality of life.

Follow a Balanced Diet

If you’re prone to gorging on sweet treats and junk food, you may not realise the negative impact it can be having on your health. Processed foods full of salt and fat can increase your chances of getting heart disease, so steering clear of unhealthy foods and swapping them for plenty of fruits, vegetables, and foods full of protein, vitamins, and nutrients can help you take good care of your body.

Regular Exercise

Regular exercise is another great way to look after your body. Keeping active can not only improve your stamina and build muscle, but reduce the risk of you developing diseases like type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. If you aren’t keen on the idea of going to the gym, there are plenty of exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home. You should aim to do at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, which can help protect your health, give you energy, and improve your memory.

Good Night’s Sleep

If you aren’t getting a good night’s sleep, you won’t be able to function at your best. Running on fumes can take its toll, especially if you work long hours. There are lots of tips available that can help you get some much-needed rest, enabling you to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead. Sticking to a routine, switching off your smartphone an hour before bed, as well as avoiding caffeine are just a few things that you can do to help improve your sleep.

Reduce Stress Levels

High stress levels can lead to many serious health problems, such as anxiety, depression, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. With many of us leading busy schedules, it’s inevitable that you will have to deal with some level of stress, however, there are things that you can do to help you feel more relaxed, such as meditation, and yoga. Shutting yourself off from the outside world and having some time for yourself is important.

Seek Help

If you need medical assistance, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your GP. If you believe you have received insufficient care from an NHS hospital and are suffering as a result, you may wish to consider making a medical negligence claim. There are many reasons why people make medical negligence claims, such as from poorly led surgery, or childbirth that has resulted in the baby getting cerebral palsy. If you want to find out more about the latter, you may want to look at contacting the-medical-negligence-experts.co.uk.

Following a balanced diet, incorporating regular exercise into your day, practicing relaxation techniques like yoga to reduce stress levels, as well as avoiding caffeine to help you sleep better at night are just a few ways on how to look after your body.

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Why You Should Consider External Help for Your Struggling Teen

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As a parent, you may feel like you are – or should be – equipped with the solution to every one of your child’s problems. To be unable to help your child can make you feel like a failure as a parent. However, it’s essential to understand that when it comes to mental health, there isn’t much you can do beyond the active steps to help and support, and this is why it’s crucial to hand it over to professionals educated in how to help, support and encourage your child through their difficulties.

The Success of Residential Treatment

A teenager’s everyday life, such as attending school, suffering the pressures of society and being cooped up at home, will not have any positive effects on their recovery process. Seeking the help of a tailored residential center, such as igniteteentreatment.com, can be the most crucial step in your teen’s recovery. You can rest easy knowing that your teen has the help of skilled professionals, mentors, and therapists every hour of the day.

Your Teen Needs Expert Help

Your offering of love, support, and communication are valuable in your teen’s struggle, but they are not all that is required. In order to fully recover, your teen needs the help of professionals who are educated on how to treat mental health issues. Medical professionals are equipped to analyze signs and symptoms better and tailor the best treatment plan for your teen. Mental health should be treated as seriously as any physical issue. If you would take your teen to the hospital for a broken bone, the same logic should be applied to mental health.

Neutral Ground

You may have a very close and open relationship with your teen, but there are still things young people are unwilling to discuss with their parents, or perhaps feel uncomfortable discussing. Seeking external help, such as a therapist, offers a neutral and objective person to listen to the teen admit their deepest feelings, without the teen having to worry that they are saying something compromising in front of a parent.

It is still important to have an open communication line with your teen and let them know that you are ready to listen to anything they may wish to discuss. Unfortunately, however, young people aren’t always forthcoming with feelings they deem as shameful or strange, particularly with their own parents.

Because You Need Support, Too

Whether you’re a single parent dealing with your struggling teen alone, or as part of a couple or large family, the process will take its toll. It will be heartbreaking to watch your teen suffer and not be able to offer a definitive solution to their problem. This is why you should seek external help: because not only does your teen need all the support they can get, but so do you, in order to be better equipped to deal with the situation. You don’t want to spiral into negativity and hopelessness yourself, as you need to be stable for your teen.

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Health and Wellness This Summer

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Staying healthy in summer is much like staying healthy throughout the other three seasons. However, there are some adjustments that can help you to stay cool and collected, eating fresh and naturally colorful produce, hydrated, and out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. Summer is many people’s favorite season, and it isn’t hard to see why when the light of the day stretches long into the evening, there’s new life and vibrancy spilling from flowerbeds and hedgerows, and the awakening moment that follows sipping a fresh and chilled lemonade after a long day at work.

Many people seem to adopt a more relaxed way of living in the summertime, so find out how you can join them, stay well, feeling happy, and looking radiant.

Work Out In The Morning

It can be exceedingly dangerous to work-out in the midday sun, so simply do not. You can quickly become hydrated and disoriented, and doing so can be dangerous, especially if you enjoy to go out running and walking in remote areas. Instead, try and get your work-out completed during the cooler hours in the morning. Aim to have it wrapped up by 8 am, as the day will only start to climb higher in temperate as the hours pass from here on in.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is paramount to nurturing your health in the warmer months, as dehydration can have some very serious effects on your body, and such include a loss in brain functionality – you can experience slower reaction times, tiredness, irritability, headaches, and dizziness.

You may also suffer from blackouts, constipation, and general malaise if you’re not drinking a sufficient amount of water throughout the day. If you’re out and about and keeping busy in the summer months, then it’s even more crucial to stay hydrated. You should also be looking to drink at least two liters of water each day, but if you’re sweating and losing fluids, then go ahead and be sure to drink more.

Dehydration is most common during the summer when you’re hungover, jet-lagged, and physically exhausted after a tough work-out. It’s not beyond the realms of human ingenuity to be hooked up to an iv to receive the vital hydration you so desperately need. Look for a mobile iv in Miami if you know for a fact that you could certainly benefit from receiving a quick infusion of vitamins and fluids to help you on our way.

Eat Fresh

Summertime provides you with the perfect opportunity and conditions to eat fresh food grown locally that is bursting with flavor. Search for fresh tomatoes, peppers, and greens to make salads for both your lunches and dinners. It can be a challenge to motivate yourself to cook when it’s warm outside, and the last place you will want to be is in standing over a hot stove in a stuffy and swelteringly humid kitchen. Keep recipes simple and eat plenty of the fresh summer produce available to you. Don’t forget you can freeze vegetables so that you can enjoy them and all of their healthy minerals some weeks, and even months later.

 

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Tackling Your Anxiety Head On: 6 Ways That Can Help

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If you’ve ever experienced the symptoms of anxiety, you’ll know that the first month or so can be upsetting and scary in equal measure. After this initial phase, it’s a case of getting support and learning to manage the condition.

If you’re looking at ways to tackle your anxiety, then below are a few suggestions in how to cope and improve your symptoms.

Graded exposure

Graded exposure is a technique that is commonly used to treat anxiety by therapists, and the concept is very simple. This practice gradually introduces you to fears, so you become accustomed to them over time, without overwhelming yourself. For example, if you’ve been experiencing anxiety about walking into town, your approach would be something like:

  • Walk to the top of your street and back
  • Take a lift into town and walk around with a friend
  • Walk as far as you can get into town, and spend as much time there as possible
  • Prepare a system where someone can give you a lift home if needed
  • Keep trying to walk into town

Talk

Anxiety is bad enough as it is without sitting in secret silence. Talking with loved ones can help you talk about your fears and symptoms, and help to get them off your chest. It can also be a good way of planning your therapy strategy and how to move forward.

Exercise

Taking up exercise in order to help with anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean taking up a gym-membership or working out five days a week. Instead, taking up bursts of exercise such as running or swimming that produce endorphins will help to counteract the symptoms of an anxiety condition.

Meditation

With an anxiety condition, the mind tends to wander away to unhelpful and frightening places. Meditation uses mindfulness to train the brain to return to a place of peace and concentration. It can be challenging at first, but ultimately worth it.

Interests

Anxiety can truly knock your confidence, and so it can be intimidating to re-visit old hobbies you previously loved. Re-discovering hobbies and sport you enjoyed as a kid can help you to find your confidence again, and importantly, keep your mind occupied.

Stay healthy

Consuming foods and products that will leave you feeling drained or bloated will be incredibly unhelpful if you’re doing all you can to feel your best during a difficult time. Eating well and kicking bad habits will help you to stay mindful, and keep you feeling as balanced as possible. If you’d prefer to not rely on taking drags off a cigarette during an anxious period, then replacing the habit with vaping could help stem your addiction. Brands such as Ultimate Juice have starter kits and e-liquid cartridges for those who want to adopt a healthier habit, but not lose the security of puffing on an e-cigarette.

As you may have found from experience, anxiety is not something that is cured overnight. Instead, a combination of methods will need to be used to alleviate symptoms and repair the mind.

 

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Is Balloon Sinuplasty a Last-Resort Treatment?

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According to the 2017 Summary of Health Statistics published by the Center for Disease Control, over 30,000,000 adults in the United States are diagnosed with sinusitis, second only to those who with asthma. Sinusitis has far-reaching implications, from chronic infections to poor sleep and depression.

Treatment options for sinusitis aim to improve breathing passages by reducing inflammation, clearing mucus and easing triggers that worsen symptoms. Sinuplasty is one such treatment option that benefits many people, and it is part of a comprehensive and progressive approach to the condition.

What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis describes a medical condition in which a person has inflammation in the sinus cavities. It does not necessarily describe the reason that someone experiences inflammation. According to Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein, sinus expert from Hudson Valley, NY, during diagnosis, a specialist will categorize the inflammation as either:

  • Acute: considered being short term and lasting one month or less
  • Subacute: lasts one or two months
  • Chronic: symptoms have lasted over two months
  • Recurring acute: short but frequent bouts of sinus inflammation

Triggers for Sinusitis

The most common reason that people experience sinusitis is allergies, so the condition is most often seasonal. Anatomical abnormalities may also cause sinusitis, such as a deviated septum or polyp inside the sinuses. These irregularities do not allow mucus to flow freely and create small pockets where mucous, bacteria and irritants collect. Other medical conditions that increase the risk for sinusitis are:

  • Hormone imbalances
  • Some treatments for cancer
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Immune disorders

Initial Treatments for Sinusitis

Dr. Rubinstein recommends sinus treatments when the symptoms interfere with the quality of life, such as fatigue, low energy, persistent or frequent infections, runny nose and trouble sleeping. Based on the sinusitis severity, he recommends the most conservative option first based on the severity and nature of the symptoms. Specialists may treat acute sinusitis with medications to reduce mucus, control the immune response to allergens and reduce any infections. For chronic and recurring sinusitis, he may recommend diagnostic testing to determine if the sinus cavity is blocked by an anatomical irregularity or collection of mucus.

Advanced Treatments for Chronic and Recurring Sinusitis

If medications do not work to reduce symptoms to the desired degree, other interventions may be necessary. Dr. Rubinstein typically recommends balloon sinuplasty, a procedure that opens the sinuses without removing or changing any tissues. He prefers to use this approach when appropriate to prevent any unnecessary complications or recovery that is associated with surgery.

The Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure

Balloon sinuplasty is performed in our office and only requires local anesthesia, so it is beneficial for patients who may not be good candidates for sinus surgery because of the use of general anesthesia. For the procedure, Dr. Rubinstein uses an endoscope that is equipped with a balloon mechanism. The endoscope is fed into the sinus cavity to locate the problem area, and the balloon is slowly inflated. Opening the sinuses allows for drainage and eases inflammation.

Outcomes of Sinuplasty

Most patients who have balloon sinuplasty see a significant reduction in symptoms, and some require no additional procedures to maintain healthy sinuses. A small percentage need sinus surgery after balloon sinuplasty, but these follow-up procedures are typically less extensive compared to treatment without balloon sinuplasty.

Considerations for Balloon Sinuplasty

All surgical procedures carry risks, and patients with chronic and recurring sinusitis who are candidates for balloon sinuplasty should consider the risks associated with the procedure, such as:

  • Downtime and healing
  • Post-procedure symptoms, such as discomfort and bleeding
  • Risk of infections
  • Trauma to tissues in and around the nasal and sinus cavity

Dr. Rubinstein’s experience with balloon sinuplasty reduces the likelihood of potential complications, but patients should understand that no surgical procedure is free of risks.

Post-Sinuplasty Treatments

You may need to continue using some medications to keep the sinus airways clean and free of bacteria and irritants, but see a good reduction in your overall symptoms. Patients who have balloon sinuplasty typically notice these improvements right away, even with a small amount of swelling brought on by the sinuplasty.

Prognosis After Balloon Sinuplasty

After the initial balloon sinuplasty, you may need to have additional sinuplasty procedures. This varies by patient and is typically needed for patients with severe sinusitis.

About Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein

Dr. Rubinstein is dual board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy and a member of the American Academy of Rhinology and American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Rubinstein was the first ENT to bring balloon sinuplasty to residents of the Hudson Valley, and he is considered by his peers as an expert in the procedure.

 

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Exploring Las Vegas While Coping with Arthritis Pain – Tips and Tricks to Ensure You Have an Enjoyable Holiday

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If you have traveled to Las Vegas before, you know better than anyone just how much there is to explore, and how large the various casinos are. It can take you a full day just to explore the hotel you are staying at, never mind explore the strip and all the other properties, casinos, restaurants, shopping, and attractions available. What this means is a whole lot of time spent on your feet and walking around. This is exhausting on the best of days, let alone if you have any sort of health issues that cause pain and inflammation.

If you happen to suffer from arthritis and you’re thinking of booking a trip to Las Vegas, the thing you want to keep in mind is that it is possible to visit and have a good time. It comes down to managing and coping with your pain and inflammation in a way that doesn’t interfere with your trip or keep you sidelined. Here’s a look at various tips and tricks you can use while in Las Vegas on holidays.

Talk to Your Doctor Before You Leave

A great place to start is with speaking to your doctor or physical therapist before you leave. As soon as you book your holiday, go ahead and book an appointment with your medical provider. Talk to them about what your plans and expectations are while on holidays and ask for any tips or advice. They may prescribe medication or speak to you about over-the-counter remedies. They can also provide you with exercises that can help, and other pain management techniques.

Because they know you and your medical background best, they can tailor their tips and advice to your specific case.

Be sure that whatever medication you are bringing with you is packed in your carry-on luggage. You don’t want to run the risk of your checked luggage being lost in transit, along with your medications.

Learn Where the Nearest Pharmacy Is

Another way to prepare yourself before you arrive is to research where the nearest pharmacy is to your accommodations. You never know when you may need more or different medication or even advice from the pharmacist.

Las Vegas is also home to marijuana dispensaries. Marijuana has been shown to offer relief from the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. Again, you may want to find out where the nearest and cheapest dispensary is in relation to your hotel. You can learn more here about the cheapest dispensaries in Las Vegas.

Be Smart with Your Travel Dates

Another tip is to book your trip for non-peak travel times and days of the week. What this means is that the airport will be much less busy, giving you plenty of areas to sit and relax. It also means less time spent standing in long line-ups. You can also check with your airline about booking an aisle seat, which will provide you with more room for stretching your legs.

If your arthritis is particularly bad or you’re having a flare-up, you can also call the airline in advance and arrange for wheelchair assistance or help boarding the flight early. While you are actually on the plane flying to your destination, be sure to do regular leg exercises in your seat. You can do leg lifts, raising and lowering your toes and your feet.

Stick to a Healthy Diet

One of the things Las Vegas is known for is the rather vast amount of food options. Not just a lot of options, but also huge portion sizes. All-you-can-eat buffets are the norm in this vacation destination, and they can tempt you to veer away from your normally healthy diet.

Rather than be tempted by all the goodies, sweets, and salty foods, be sure that you drink lots of water, keep the caffeine and alcohol consumption at a minimum, skip the sugar-filled snacks and desserts, and avoid processed foods. All of these can increase inflammation, which will result in even more pain.

Cut Down on the Walking in Las Vegas

Another tip is to cut down on the walking all together and use other transportation whenever necessary. Las Vegas offers plenty of car rental providers, cabs, and even public transportation to get you around. There is no need to walk more than is necessary. You can save the walking for the actual casinos and hotels as you explore them on foot.

Use Heat and Ice When Needed

When packing your suitcase, you may want to throw an electric heating pad and cold compress in the suitcase as well. Both of these can help soothe affected areas at the end of the day. You may even want to use these techniques to start your day if you wake up sore and stiff. Topical pain creams are great to apply immediately following the use of a heat or cold pack. These topical creams are also very portable, making them easy to throw in your toiletries bag.

Make Sure You Keep Moving

This tip may seem counter-intuitive after telling you to slow down and avoid walking too much, but in reality, there is a fine balance you need to achieve. You don’t want to push yourself too much and exhaust your body by over-exerting it, but at the same time, staying still and doing nothing can make arthritis much worse. When you are inactive for long periods your muscles tend to tighten up, which will cause additional pain. This is why gentle stretches can also be useful, as they will prevent your muscles from tightening up.

Enjoy Your Vacation by Nipping Arthritis Pain in the Bud

While it may seem like a big destination like Las Vegas will be impossible to explore and enjoy if you suffer from arthritis, the fact is that there is plenty you can do to help manage and cope with the pain and inflammation. In fact, if you’re on top of things and make sure to follow all of your doctor’s advice, and these tips, you may be able to keep the pain at bay for your entire trip.

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Tips On Writing A Great Birth Plan

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In the distant past, laboring mothers were expected to give birth without any particular preparation and with little help. As time has gone on, the medical world has come to realize that the more preparation a mother does before the birth, the easier it can be. This is why birth plans are such a good idea – they offer mothers (and their partners and friends and family) the chance to really think about the birth itself, and come up with their own ideas of how they will feel happiest when it comes time to go into labor.

Here are some useful tips for you to help you write a great birth plan; you don’t need to follow them all, as each plan is unique, but they should help you have an idea of what to include.

  1. Don’t Use A Pre-Printed Form

You can download a variety of different pre-printed birthing plans from the internet, but these aren’t always such a good idea. They won’t include everything that you want, or there might be sections that are included that simply aren’t necessary, and only go onto confuse rather than assist.

Writing your own plan means that you have a lot more control from the start, and it also means that you won’t be including information or details that aren’t really relevant.

  1. Pain Management Research

You might have an idea in your head that you definitely do or do not want to be given certain types of pain relief. Do these ideas come from proper research? If not, they should do – you might be mistaken in your ideas about what the pain relief does, and how it affects you.

Before making a final decision about the pain relief that may be offered and including your instructions in your birth plan, make sure you look into all the options so that you are completely informed and are making the right choice for you.

  1. Key Names And Numbers

Your birth plan can be a truly useful document for not only you, but the medical team delivering your baby as well. By including all the important names and phone numbers in your plan, they will know who to contact without having to disturb you when you’re resting or in labor. These names could include:

  • Your birthing partner
  • The baby’s father (if different)
  • The baby’s name (if known)
  • Your obstetrician
  • Anyone you don’t want to be informed of the labor or birth

This will help you to stay in control and will allow your midwife to do their job efficiently.

  1. Contingency Plans

It’s important to remember that while many births are absolutely uneventful, some won’t go according to plan, and this is why contingencies are a good idea. You might, for example, need to have a c-section, so it’s important to note down what your wishes are should this be the case. Or perhaps you will require an episiotomy, and you should know whether you want to decline this or not. Speak to your doctor about all the different outcomes and try to have a plan for each one. If you find that you suffer complications during the birth, you may find you need to reach out to a leading solicitor for birth injuries, who can help you claim the compensation you deserve.

A birth plan can help you prepare for what is bound to be an exhilarating, emotional time, that may bring you stress but will inevitably bring you plenty of joy as well. A little preparation is all that is needed to make your birth experience as relaxed and stress-free as possible.

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Health and Happiness: Practical Ways to Improve Your Family’s Wellbeing

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When you become a parent, your child’s health and happiness becomes your number one priority. It’s our life’s mission to keep them safe, and ensure they have the best start so they’re able to go off into the world and become productive members of society. However, raising kids is never easy, we all make mistakes and with often conflicting information it can be difficult to put advice into practice. This post aims to give you tips that are achievable in the real world, and will all contribute to a healthier family. Read on to find out more!source

Eat together as a family

One of the most beneficial things you can do for your family’s health is to eat together most nights a week. There are lots of reasons for this, the first being that home cooked food tends to be healthier than anything you can order in or convenience food. You can sneak in extra vegetables, you can limit salt and sugar and you know exactly what’s gone into it. When your children see you filling up on delicious, healthy meals they’re likely to mirror your habits in time, and dinner time is a great chance to set an example to them. Another reason that eating together is good for your family is that it’s a chance to spend quality time together. When you and your partner are off at work all day, your youngest is in nursery and older kids are at school it means you’re all going your separate ways for most of the day. Eating dinner together is a chance to catch up, to keep bonds strong. It’s so beneficial that studies have shown that families that eat together regularly tend to have less instances of teenage pregnancies and substance abuse. It’s all down to the fact that this time together means you’re likely to be closer and have a better relationship with your kids. This can mean there’s more of a chance they’ll open up and speak to you about any issues instead of giving straight into peer pressure. We all know that kids and teens can be fussy with food, so it’s worth coming up with a repertoire of meals that you all like. Big, one pot meals like stews, bolognese and chilli are family favourites and can save you on the washing up! Utilise your slow cooker, this can save you both time and money as you can use cheaper cuts of meat which become tender when cooked low and slow. Add some potatoes, veggies and meat to the pot in the morning, and by the evening you have a tasty and healthy home cooked meal that you’ve not had to slave over.

Find ways you can all get active

This day in age, it can be more difficult to encourage kids to be active. Before, pure boredom would have meant they’d be up playing in the garden or out on their bikes, skateboards or roller skates and burning calories. However, these days, kids have access to the world at their fingertips and getting them away from their screens can be a struggle. The best thing you can do is find exercise that’s genuinely fun. If your kids are younger, take them to a trampoline park or take them to events that have bouncy castles- this kind of activity can be incredibly tiring but lots of fun! Parks, games such as frisbee and sports you can play as a family can also be a fun way to get you all active. Even days out where you’re doing a lot of walking counts. You could go on family bike rides or hikes with your dog, have water fights in the summer, make up fun games and combine family bonding time and activity into one. If kids see exercise as boring or a slog they’re not going to want to do it. So find ideas that are genuinely enjoyable and get them up and moving.

Utilize health monitoring technology

There are so many health tracking apps and types of technology these days. Things like fitness trackers are good, they can keep you motivated and give an accurate insight as to just how much you’re doing. Best of all, there are trackers that are designed specifically for kids. As you can all add each other and see your activity, a bit of healthy competition can push you all to do even more. Using gadgets like smart scales that can sync your weight to an app is another way you can keep track of the health of your family. Your aim should be to ensure you’re all within your correct BMI range, and if you’re not, take steps to get there in a healthy way. While health checkups at the doctor are always going to be essential for your young family, there’s plenty you can do at home in between visits to make sure you’re all on track.

Work on a good sleep routine

As parents you’ll be well aware of how tricky bedtime can be when you have kids and teens. We know the importance of a good night’s sleep and how crucial it is for their growing bodies, but getting them to sleep when they should can be an ongoing issue. However, it’s something that you’ll need to continue working on and being firm with. Come up with a regime that works for you as a family, with young children this can involve a bath and story routine before bed. With teens, it can involve cutting off the wifi an hour before bed and encouraging reading instead. Research has well established that looking at screens prior to going to bed can affect the body’s ability to wind down, this is because light is a powerful ‘wake up’ cue to the brain. The light emitted from screens in particular can prevent melatonin (the sleep hormone) from being released properly. Set a time each day to go to bed and stick to it, letting them stay up for the occasional extra half hour means they’ll always try their luck and ask you! If they know it’s simply not an option and bedtime means bedtime, they should eventually get into the habit of going to bed when they’re asked.

Focus on relaxation

It’s easy to think that children don’t have a care in the world, and so relaxation exercises are pointless. But it’s simply not true, the world can actually be very stressful and scary for kids and teens. From pressures at school to friends and budding relationships, undergoing physical changes and much more it can leave them feeling stressed and anxious. Think about it, as adults we’ve settled into a routine, but when you’re young you’re forever learning new things, going to new groups, trying new hobbies, meeting new people and generally undergoing change all the time. As adults we know when we’re getting stressed and have coping techniques to remedy this, but children and teens won’t be aware of this. Teach them relaxation techniques, from breathing and meditation to taking a relaxing bath. Journalling can be useful as well as exercise, and also letting them know they can speak to you and open up about anything bothering them. Recognise the signs of stress, it could be nail biting, going quiet or being over emotional. Help them to understand these signs in themselves and show them ways to deal with these feelings of stress or anxiety.

Take some training or a qualification

Would you know what to do in a medical emergency if one of your family members was hurt, collapsed or was suffering with a serious illness? We’re lucky to live in a part of the world where the emergency services and healthcare is excellent, but in some scenarios it’s worth knowing how to respond instantly until they arrive. In the case of choking or extreme bleeding for example, every second counts. Sign up for a first aid course, these are courses you can take which specify in first aid for children. There are also courses aimed at children and young people which they can undertake themselves, and can give you peace of mind knowing they have some basic knowledge in this area. If you wanted to go a step further you could even study for a formal qualification. Things like online fnp programs can be studied in a flexible way- part time and from home so are ideal for parents. Many people take online courses as a way to improve of change career, but it could be something you do just because you’re interested in it- and because it benefits your family. Studying can also be good for your own mental health, as parents are own goals are often overlooked and we can feel like we’re stagnating. Study helps to build our skills and keep us sharp.

What kind of things do you do to ensure your family is kept happy and healthy?

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Coping With A Parent Who Has Dementia

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Dementia is a cruel disease that leaves many thousands of families in turmoil each year. Not only does it affect the person with the diagnosis, but it also turns their loved one’s lives upside down too. Watching your loved ones change gradually is sad – when the loved one is your parent, it’s devastating. All of a sudden you find yourself in the position of being a parent to your mother or father. Learning to cope with this transition is paramount to your wellbeing and sanity, there are several steps that you can take to make looking after your mom or dad with dementia a little easier for all involved.

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Be patient

Although it may be frustrating at times, hearing the same sentence multiple times, you must be patient. Taking yourself away from the situation by having a step outside or going to make some hot cocoa, refresh and reset you. Remember that your loved one doesn’t understand that they are repeating themselves, and try to redirect conversation rather than shut it down. Use what your loved one is saying and stem off from this to a new subject.  As your loved one’s brain becomes more affected, they will lose abilities and inhibitions. This often leads to complicated, and previously unseen, behavior. This can also be hard to manage, so it’s essential that you seek help from the correct places to prevent letting off steam in a way in which may cause distress for your loved one.

Accept help

Many adult children do not like the thought of their parent being looked after by someone else and take on the sole responsibility themselves. If you are living with your mom or dad with dementia, it would be extremely beneficial to you both to consider contacting aged care facilities to see if they offer a respite service. Even once or twice per month can make a huge difference, so you can take some much needed time for yourself. If you do not live with your loved one, you can still often find yourself in despair and guilt, and it is vital to talk to someone you trust about this. For you to be most helpful to your mom or dad, you have to be mentally, physically and emotionally ‘well’ too. If somebody offers you help to sit with your loved one for an hour while you go to the store, accept graciously, and do it!

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Safety

Roles have reversed; instead of your mom or dad worrying about your safety, you are worrying about their safety. Dementia often causes people to get confused and wander, leading to people getting lost. This terrifying situation could be made a little better by attaching a GPS tracker to your loved one, so you can locate them and find them if needed. Alarming the doors is also a good idea, to alert you before they even get to the street. If your mom or dad are at an increased risk of getting lost, it’s also an excellent idea for them to have alert bracelets on with all of their details on, as well as yours.

Caring for a parent with dementia can be extremely demanding. You love them dearly and want to do what is best for them, but you must also take care of yourself. Following these steps can help, but if in doubt – ask for help. You absolutely deserve it.

 

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