Back to School Lunch Ideas

Transitioning to being back-to-school can be tough for kids of any age. Try to ease them into their new routine, try planning for a few super special school lunch ideas that can lighten the stress load or ease the occasional homesick kid. After all the summer season is one that’s hard to follow! 

lunchJSPinsFollow us on Pinterest to check out some of Frankie and friends favorite lunchtime treats and ideas for improving your brown bag or lunch box game. You will be surprised by how delicious and creative these healthy meals can be!

Popular lunch snacks:
Cheese sticks or slices
Sliced fresh fruit or veggies
Hummus and Pita
Yogurt and granola

Entrees:
Sandwiches and wraps
Soups
Bite Sized entrees – pizza, quiche, and more!

Share your suggestions in the comments below or head to our back to school lunch board on Pinterest for more exciting ideas!

National Fresh Veggies Day

Introducing kids to healthy eating habits early can define some of their more long term perspective on health and fitness. That is why it is especially important to make sure they develop a taste for delicious and nutritious snacks like fresh veggies from a young age! After all, June is the month in which some observe the practice of celebrating ‘National Fresh Veggies Days.’  To get your family to join in this annual tradition and to start keeping healthier food options in mind, here are a few of our favorite snack ideas for kids and adults.

NatFreshVeg

If your kids do not naturally like to eat their veggies consider paring some of the ones that they do prefer with a moderately sized dip of a condiment, sauce or topping of their choosing. Visit our official Pinterest board for National Fresh Veggies Day fora number of fun ways to plate some of these popular veggie based snack ideas! Carrots and hummus, celery and peanut butter, cheese sticks and tomatoes, veggie platters and ranch dressing, and bell peppers with guacamole are only a few of the combinations that you can work up.

Get creative and start serving up some of these top treat or let us know more about some of your favorite easy of eating fresh veggies!

Family Resolutions for the New Year

New Year’s resolutions take many different forms, depending on the person making them. They are a annual tradition that involves committing to a  task or act through the duration of the year with the ultimate goal of self improvement. However, the idea of making changes for the better might fall short to some of the younger members of your family. Help explain this annual tradition by forming a few fun and easy resolutions for the whole family to share. Getting everyone in your household involved and committed to a single goal is a great way to keep everyone in check and on track for the New Year.

Photo by: Natalie Maynor

If you’re not sure where to start forming some of your family’s resolutions for the year, here are a few basic goals to share with your loved ones.

Eat Healthy – Eating healthy does not mean that meals have to be boring. Start taking some extra time to plan out your family’s meals before the start of each week to create delicious yet nutritious treats for snacks and meals. A little planning can go a long way when it comes to making the right decisions for you family in the kitchen. Do some research and learn how you can better incorporate a balanced meal of lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, grains, and fiber. Cutting down on unnecessary sugars and fats can improve your children’s health and overall alertness.

Stay Active – Eating healthy goes hand in hand with staying active when it comes to promotion a healthy lifestyle within your household. Parents might consider enrolling their kids in local sports leagues and other extracurricular activities or they can also plan a few activities of their own before or after dinner. From family walks and bike rides to weekend hikes, staying active is just one way of helping your kids build strong bodies and stay healthy. You might even consider creating games or events like family sports days to disguise fitness for fun!

Make Time for Family – When the year begins and schedules, school, and work seems to become a bit of a whirlwind to handle, quality time spent together can often take the backseat to more immediate or pressing tasks. Commit to regular family dinners or activity nights like game night or movie night to assure that you stay connected with your kids. Strengthening bonds like these when your kids re young can ultimately help keep the lines of communication open as they grow and begin seeking a bit more independence.

Summer Safety Tips for Parents

Summer is finally in full swing! From simple outdoor happenings to traditional barbeques and the like, there are a number of exciting seasonal activities that might be filling up your family’s summertime schedule. However, before focusing purely on the fun of it all, parents might still have a number of growing concerns on their minds when it comes to their kids’ safety. As we head into the peak of the summer season, here are a few of our top tips for keeping common summertime hazards at bay.

Photo by A Jacona

Photo by A Jacona

Avoid the burn – Make sure that your kids’ skin is protected; especially when they are spending increased time outdoors. No matter the activity, try to have your little ones apply moisturizers or lotions with SPF to make sure that they do not suffer from simple sunburns or endure any permanent sun damage to their skin.

Stay hydrated – Dehydration in the increased summer heat is more common than some might think. This is an essential component, not only for overall health, but also for keeping kids and adults active and alert on warm summer days. Encourage regular water consumption by making water and fruits are readily available. This is a major step toward avoiding heat exhaustion as well.

Repel the bugs – Summer heat brings out a number of pesky pests, including ticks and mosquitos. Keep your kids protected by installing screens on open windows or doors that might remain ajar in the summer season. This will help keep pests out of the house. Additionally citronella candles and topical creams can be used to keep bugs at bay and avoid any skin irritations caused by bug bites.

Watch what they eat – Summer is a time often marked by a series of seasonal barbeques or outdoor picnics. Often times food that is left out for extended periods of time or not properly prepared can increase kids exposure to bacteria that can lead to sickness and food poisoning related symptoms.

Carry around the essentials – the best tip for keeping kids safe, no matter the season, is to be prepared for anything. Keep a premade first aid kit in your car while you’re out running errands or simply driving the kids around.  For quick summer fixes or slightly bigger bang ups, it can be helpful to have Band-Aids, antibacterial gel or foam, antibiotic ointments, Hydrocortisone cream, etc. Thinking ahead can be more helpful than you might have guessed.

Preparing Your Family for Summer

Summer is coming and with the weather warming many parents with young kids will be finding themselves heading out to the beach or local swimming pool to keep cool. Is your family equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to make your next swimming adventure a fun and safe trip for everyone involved? Water safety should be a top priority for kids at any age.

When summer finally arrives, it will become quite common for kids to frequent the pool during summer pool parties and holiday BBQs. Before they dive in, here is a quick list of our top tips for making sure that your family has a plan for water safety, this season:

1. Whenever kids are in the water, make sure that there is a designated lifeguard nearby in case their assistance is needed.

2. Encourage kids to always swim in groups like with friends or siblings. That way, they can be accountable for one another if anyone needs help while in the water.

3. If you have a pool in your home, be sure that it is protected by a gate or net to keep young kids that are not ready for independent fool sessions out when the pool is not in use.

4. Teach your kids to swim early on so that they are comfortable in the water. For regular practice, you might enroll them into a swim school or class.

5. Kids that are not strong swimmers should always be equipped with a floatation device for added safety even if they are being supervised.

6. Make sure adults, sitters, and any older children that might be supervising young swimmers are trained in CPR and are made aware of the usual protocol in case of emergencies.

What are some of your preferred summer safety tips? Let us know in the comments below, and when kids are out of the water, you might help keep them excited for summer and all the fun activities ahead by treating them to a few of our engaging summer worksheets at http://www.JumpStart.com!

Nutrition Essentials for Kids

Starting in their first years and up through their early adulthood, kids need an ample amount of nutrients to properly grow and develop. To promote healthy and balanced eating habits early on, teach your kids about choosing “super foods” that not only keep their energy up during the day but also contribute to their development during these important stages in their lives.

Kick the day off with a nutrient rich breakfasts that will keep your kids satisfied up through lunch and awake and alert throughout the morning. With the rest of the day ahead, try incorporating foods that contain heavy amounts of Iron, Vitamin D, Calcium, Protein and Fiber into your children’s meals. These types of foods are the key to jumpstarting their metabolism and keeping at their healthiest, this spring. Get ready and start revamping their meal plans by implementing some of these top super foods for kids.

Eggs –
a great source of protein and vitamin D. Eggs can me prepared in a number of ways to fit any kids taste.

Oatmeal –
fiber filled whole grains help keep kids fuller, longer. Having a small serving of oatmeal can provide kids with the energy they need to stay alert and keep going in school or at play.

Fruits –
nutrient rich and full of fiber, fruit contains the natural sugar that kids crave from time to time without having to turn to more fattening alternatives like candy or sweets.

Healthy fats –
small servings of nuts, avocados and fish like salmon provide kids not only with added energy but are also considered healthy fats that aid in growth and development.

Milk –
regular milk consumption provides kids with the calcium necessary to fortify bones and teeth, while the protein available helps in the development of brain tissue.

Beans –
beans contain three major essentials that play into kids’ development. They provide kids with ample amounts of protein, fiber, and calcium.

This spring, while preparing meal ideas for your kids, do your best involve a balance of all of these essential areas. You will  can do wonders for your kids in a variety of ways. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your recipes to involve seasonal foods and remember that instilling these healthy eating habits while your kids are still young is a great way to promote their growth and development.