New clothes and a new backpack may be on your child’s back-to-school list. But, what about a back-to-school eye exam?
Lighthouse Guild, the leading vision and health organization, points out that vision is one of the keys to success in school and encourages parents to make sure their children get regular vision screenings. Dr. Laura Sperazza, Director of Low Vision Services at Lighthouse Guild, says, “The most important thing you can do to protect your child’s vision is to make sure they get an eye exam. An eye health professional can determine if your child needs eyeglasses or contact lenses, or if there is a vision problem that requires further intervention.”
August Is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
We’ve spent the last year in vision therapy with one of our children for convergence insufficiency treatment. We attended weekly sessions and completed daily homework. I have seen a world of difference in my daughter’s reading, comprehension, abstract thinking, and confidence. As homeschoolers, we didn’t know she was experiencing any vision issues and we didn’t have the proper screenings through specialist doctors, even though she had eyeglasses for reading. It’s important as parents to do research and pay attention to problems and symptoms. Learn more at COVD.
My husband and I both wear contacts and glasses and three of our four kids wear glasses.
Lots of eye care shops offer great back to school deals on glasses for kids under age 18.
Check out these five healthy vision tips to help safeguard your child’s eye health:
Eat Your Carrots
The old saying still applies. Encourage your child to eat a well-balanced diet loaded with different types of fruits and veggies, as well as fish and/or flax.
Ask your child to let you know if they notice any vision changes – if their vision is blurry, they are squinting a lot, or their eyes start bothering them in other ways.
Wear Your Glasses
Help your child understand the importance of wearing their eyeglasses. If they are resistant because they believe glasses are unattractive, try pointing out sports figures and other well-known people who wear glasses. Talk with them about how to clean and store their glasses properly.
Rest Your Eyes
Looking continuously at a computer, smartphone, tablet, or TV screen can tire eyes. Encourage your child to take regular breaks from staring at a screen.
Wear Safety Gear
Make sure your child wears goggles or other types of protective eye wear while playing sports, using chemicals or tools for school projects, or engaging in other activities. Many eye injuries can be prevented with better safety habits.
Order the Warby Parker Home Try-On program and walk through the process from start to finish: from selecting and ordering five frames, to finding the right pair for your face, all in the comfort of your own home!
Lighthouse Guild and ColumbiaDoctors Children’s Health will also host a back to school Twitter chat on Thursday, August 30, at 7 PM. Parents can learn and ask questions about preventing and managing childhood vision loss and preparing their kids for school from experts in the field. Lighthouse Guild’s Twitter handle is @lighthousegld.
About Lighthouse Guild
Lighthouse Guild is the leading organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss.
Kids are more vulnerable to damage from the sun than adults. A few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer.
These tips will help you keep kids of all ages safe in the sun.
Infants under 6 months should be kept out of direct sun as much as possible. Their skin is not yet protected by melanin.
When you take your baby outside:
· Cover them up with protective clothing that is tightly woven but loose-fitting, and a sun hat.
· Make shade. Use the stroller’s canopy or hood. If you can’t sit in a shady spot, use an umbrella.
· Avoid midday sun. Take walks in the early morning or late afternoon.
· Follow product warnings for sunscreens on infants younger than 6 months old. Most manufacturers advise against using sunscreens on infants, or advise parents and caregivers to consult a doctor first.
Toddlers and children
Sunscreens are an essential part of a day in the sun. But young children’s skin is especially sensitive to chemical allergens – as well as the sun’s UV rays.
· Test sunscreen by applying a small amount on the inside of your child’s wrist the day before you plan to use it. If an irritation or rash develops, try another product. Ask your child’s doctor to suggest a product less likely to irritate your child’s skin. Or make your own!
· Apply plenty of sunscreen and reapply it often, especially if your child is playing in the water or sweating a lot. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests about one ounce of sunscreen per application for a child.
Teenagers coveting bronzed skin are likely to sunbathe, patronize tanning salons, or buy self-tanning products – all of which are bad ideas. Researchers believe that increasing UV exposure may have caused the marked increase in melanoma incidence noted among women born after 1965. Tanning parlors expose the skin to as much as 15 times more UV radiation than the sun and likely contribute to the melanoma increase. Many chemicals in self-tanning products have not been tested for safety.
Parents of teens should be good role models – let your teen see that you protect yourself from the sun. Tan does not mean healthy.
Sun safety at school
Sometimes school and daycare policies interfere with children’s sun safety. Many schools treat sunscreen as a medicine and require written permission to use it on a child. Some insist that only the school nurse apply it. Some ban hats and sunglasses as distractions.
Here are a few questions to ask your school, daycare, or camp:
· What is the policy on sun safety?
· Is there shade on the playground?
· Are outdoor activities scheduled to avoid midday sun?
5 Natural Ways to Prevent Sunburns
While the sun helps us to manufacture vitamin D, consuming vitamin D rich foods like cod liver oil and/or supplementing with quality source of oral vitamin D3 can in turn help to protect us from the UV radiation of the sun. What a brilliant cycle nature created! Learn how to best absorb vitamin D from your foods and you may very well find that your tolerance to sun exposure increases significantly.
It’s true, healthy fats do truly relate to everything. Including stable, robust fats in the diet is crucial to resilient skin. Dietary fats and oils provide building blocks for skin tissues. Logically, if your skin is enriched with fragile oils, it will be much more sensitive to damage by the sun.
Deficiencies in certain minerals such as zinc and magnesium can cause photosensitivity and sun rashes. Be sure to have your mineral status checked and consume mineral rich foods from both plant and animal sources. Bone broths and organ meats like liver are particularly balanced in trace minerals.
It may be delicious to eat, but coconut oil is also a powerful healing agent when applied to the skin. There is anecdotal evidence showing that Polynesians frequently rubbed this precious oil on before spending long periods of time in the sun. Although it has been tested to block only about 20% of the sun’s rays, its value lies more in the powerful antioxidants it releases into the skin, which bolster natural defenses and prevents damage from long term sun exposure. Try making your own whipped coconut oil lotion.
This unique compound is a super-antioxidant found in algae and the organisms that consume it such as salmon, shrimp, krill and flamingos. Pink-red in color (hint: think about the animals that eat it), this substance has been growing in popularity as an “internal sunscreen.” Several trials using human cells have shown it to have protective effects on the skin. Although it may not turn our skin quite as romantic a hue as a flamingo, many people experience skin benefits and an enhanced ability to tan from consuming astaxanthin or krill oil.
A person who specializes in the medical fields of obstetrics and gynecology is often referred to as an OB/GYN. Are you a woman who is planning on giving birth to children at some point in your life?
If this is the case, it will be very important for you to seek out the services of a skilled OB/GYN to assist you during your pregnancy. There is a common misconception that all doctors who work in this profession are basically the same. After all, these people are taught the same things when they are attending medical school. You need to realize that some medical schools are much better than others. Some people have been a practicing OB/GYN for a longer period of time. Look around and explore the backgrounds of the various people who work in this profession in your area. The health of your baby will be better off because of the time you spend searching for the best OB/GYN for your needs.
Here are some examples of a few of the areas that an OB/GYN can specialize in.
1. Maternal-fetal medicine
This person will be able to help you if you have a pregnancy that is very high-risk. For example, you will go to see a maternal-fetal medicine specialist if you go into premature labor, you have a problem that prevents your blood from clotting properly, you have gestational diabetes or you have gestational or chronically high blood pressure. All of these problems require the treatment from a specialist. An OB/GYN who does not have extensive training in these areas will not be able to provide you with the help you need. Therefore, you should always make sure that the OB/GYN you make an appointment with has a background in the area you need help with. Dr. Max Izbicki became an OB/GYN because he loves to help people. Max Izbicki loves his job and is respected by his many patients and colleagues in the medical profession.
2. Reproductive endocrinology and infertility
In this case, the OB/GYN will be able to treat problems that involve a woman’s infertility. This person also has extensive knowledge of the hormones and glands that are in a woman’s endocrine system. A reproductive endocrinologist is a person you would make an appointment with if you and your partner have not been able to conceive a child. This person will have the necessary training to perform an embryo transfer, zygote intrafallopian transfer, gamete intrafallopian transfer or in vitro fertilization.
3. Gynecologic oncology
This doctor has chosen to focus on finding and eliminating various forms of cancer that are able to develop and grow inside a woman’s reproductive system. The vulva, ovaries, cervix and uterus are all areas where cancer can form.
4. Reproductive surgery and pelvic medicine
This type of OB/GYN has a surgical background. They can help women by repairing problems they are experiencing with their urinary tract. They also perform surgery on the connective tissue and muscle that is found below the pelvis. A number of things like getting older and pregnancy can cause a weakening of the pelvic floor. This person has the training to correct problems related to pelvic organ prolapse, overactive bladder, fecal or urinary incontinence, discomfort in the bladder and infections of the urinary tract.
The Lyons Lifestyle: The Seven Hardest (and Easiest) Steps to a Healthy Body by M. Frank Lyons II, M.D., published by WestBow Press, is a comprehensive book on how to change our lifestyles for better health.
Everything in this book confirms what I’ve been diligently working for with my family. We strive to eat healthy and live without medication. I read and research and learn about the best methods. I have worried about the discrepancy that the American government and organizations teach about diet and health for many years. Living in Europe the past three years has been a delightful break from the poor quality foodstuffs of America.
Almost everyone I know has a medical problem and I’ve often wondered why. Most don’t have any desire to change their lifestyle. They don’t realize that their poor health is a direct result of the poor foods and combinations they eat. They’d rather have a quick fix of pills and it’s a vicious cycle. I even question doctors if they have anything to say about thyroid disorders and other issues that seem to prevalent in our society but were not so common in previous generations. They are bland and say they don’t know.
Supplements and prescription medicines are not the answer. All these bloggers recommend their MLM dietary products and essential oils as a miracle for any ailment. But it often makes problems worse.
Some of the articles and books I’ve read have very conflicting information.
If it ain’t broke…
There’s no reason to take pills if you eat right. The American diet is a lie.
Multivitamins are not necessary.
The body usually cannot absorb so many vitamins and minerals and many contradict each other and cancel out or they aren’t in the right form. Overdosing on some vitamins can cause problems. Others are just eliminated as body waste. They’re mostly just a waste of money.
Supplements are not usually necessary.
Playing with hormones should be left to the professionals.
Excess DHEA can cause acne.
A recommended supplement for women has all sorts of herbs and minerals, enzymes and oils. My periods got heavier after I experimented with it. There’s no way of knowing if I had a reaction to one or all of them.
My thyroid is fine. I don’t have any history of thyroid problems in my family. We eat pretty healthy. I’ve read that I should eat Brazil nuts every day and take a thyroid supplement to stave off metabolism slowdown. It just causes severe stomach cramps if nothing is wrong!
I stopped taking all the supplements and my period is lighter, my acne cleared up, and I feel fine.
Probiotics are not for everyone.
So many bloggers and authors are huge into gut health. They spout special diets, cleanses, and probiotics consumption. They say the gut is connected to mental health and everything stems from the gut bacteria. But there aren’t really any definitive studies about this.
But I think my gut is pretty ok.
Probiotics (probably) made me break out in severe acne that would not go away with anything topical or dietary. And now my digestion is back to being regular.
What I do for my health:
I’ve been lazy and much too sedentary this past year. I’m only maybe 15 pounds overweight, but it’s very obvious on my small frame. It’s all settled on my middle, butt, and thighs – so I look pregnant. To slim down, I’m walking and getting outside more and watching my sugar intake.
We take cod liver oil. We eat a pretty balanced diet. We’re researching different grains that are healthier options than traditional American wheat.
This is a great book to learn about why we have health problems when we think we’re doing everything right.
We have seen an explosive deterioration of America’s health in the past 50 years. 70 million people suffer from metabolic syndrome, 700,000 individuals die annually from heart disease, untold numbers are affected by cancers. We have seen an epidemic of esophageal reflux, fatty liver disease, gout, kidney failure, autoimmune disorders, inflammatory diseases and vitamin D deficiency. Why? One of the primary reasons for our failing health is our nutrition. We have been following guidelines that are deeply flawed and now nearly all of us is affected by one or several of these maladies. This book enlightens you about those flaws and the remedies for you to correct them. True health care reform starts with your own nutritional health and this book guides you through the steps needed to improve your nutritional health and perhaps even reverse some disease processes presently affecting you.
About the Author:
M. Frank Lyons II, M.D., a practicing gastroenterologist in Tacoma, Washington, has been a clinical researcher, writer, and teacher for over a quarter of a century. A Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and the American College of Physicians, he has answered many clinical questions through his scientific investigations. His medical research has included hepatitis C, esophageal diseases, Helicobacter pylori infections, and intestinal cancer prevention. He has received several teaching, research and clinical awards, and has authored chapters of textbooks, scientific papers and abstracts.
Dr. Lyons obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in microbiology from the University of Idaho. He then received his Doctorate in Medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington and Gastroenterology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.
His desire to teach his patients about their medical conditions led to the research and writing of two recent books: 42 Days to a New Life—a book that describes the importance of a balanced fat diet and the elimination of trans fats to prevent numerous diseases; and Fructose Exposed—the book that explores and clarifies the misunderstanding surrounding fructose, high fructose corn syrup and the metabolic disaster that occurs in our body from chronic, excess fructose consumption.
Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotic Powder Packets are a great way to start the morning right!
The kids and I love the raspberry flavor. It’s like a raspberry lemonade. Light and just the right amount of sweet and sour, with little aftertaste.
It’s super easy to mix the powder packets in water or juice. Perfect for anywhere, anytime, on the go or at home.
I love the Dr. Mercola mixing bottle with included whisk. I’ll be using that for so many things.
The kids enjoyed shaking the mixing bottle.
Two of my kids absolutely love Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotic Powder Packets in water. My other two kids didn’t care for it in water, but thought it was ok mixed with 100% cranberry juice. I love it either way.
We don’t often eat junk. We know that processed foods aren’t good for us. I know that chemicals and dyes in food can affect physical and mental processes and even behavior. I do my research.
I love that these contain no added sugar and use natural flavorings and colors.
Dr. Mercola products are a brand that I can trust!
These probiotics came at the perfect time! With holiday treats everywhere, I feel bloated and lethargic after indulging.
I anticipate feeling more energetic with these probiotics as part of our health routine.
About Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotic Powder Packets
• Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotic Powder Packets for Adults pack 70 billion beneficial bacteria in every one packet serving, while Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotic Powder Packets for Kids pack 10 billion beneficial bacteria in every one packet serving—what Dr. Mercola believes to be the optimal dose for most children.
• Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotic Powder Packets contain 10 strains of bacteria, including super-strain lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, and promote an optimal environment for the growth of “gut-friendly” bacteria.
Probiotic Packets for Kids and Complete Probiotic Packets contain:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus brevis
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Lactobacillus salivarius
- Lactobacillus thermophiles
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
• Available in a great organic raspberry flavor, Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotic Powder Packets provide critical support for your immune system health*, aid in the breakdown and removal of harmful toxins*, and help support blood pressure levels that are already in the normal range.*
• Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotic Powder Packets are great for adults who have difficulty swallowing pills and are convenient for everyday living and travel—no refrigeration required.
• One box of Complete Probiotics Packets for Adults (30 per box) retails for $41.97, and one box of Complete Probiotics Packets for Kids retails for $29.97.
Not convinced yet?
11 Powerful Reasons Why Probiotics Should Be Your Priority:
- Helps maintain the ideal “good” to “other” bacteria ratio by promoting an optimal environment for the survival and growth of beneficial bacteria*
- Supports your immune function*
- Supports the production of vitamin K and B vitamins, especially folic acid and biotin
- Promotes the absorption of minerals*
- Supports protein and carbohydrate digestion*
- Supports healthy metabolism and the breakdown of toxins*
- Supports healthy weight management*
- Helps maintain appropriate bowel transit time*
- Produces lactic acid for support of your digestive processes and colon pH balance*
- Helps maintain serum lipid and blood pressure levels already in the healthy range*
- Helps support your oral health*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Connect with Dr. Mercola’s online to see their latest products and get exclusive access to discounts and special offers!
I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.
I grew up in a time when it was normal and even expected for meals to come from a box, can, bag, or package.
Margarine, Crisco, and canola oil were the go-to fats in our pantry. We didn’t read labels. We ate soft white Sunbeam bread and liberally sprinkled table salt on our food. We didn’t have a garden. We bought the cheapest meats we could and stretched everything as far as it could go.
Breakfasts were colorful, sugary cereals swimming in 2% milk or Pop-Tarts with a glass of frozen concentrated orange juice, thawed and mixed with water. Weekends were for quick-mix Bisquick biscuits or pancakes or muffins from the pouch with on-sale Oscar Meyer bacon or Tennessee Pride sausage patties.
Lunches eaten at public school: congealed soggy pizza rectangles, unidentifiable soy-based meat patties and gray gravy, corn, white rolls, hot dogs, hamburgers, overcooked peas or green beans, occasional iceberg lettuce and carrot strips, and little cartons of Mayfield chocolate milk.
Lunches eaten at home: fish sticks, frozen pizzas, Oscar Meyer Bologna and American cheese slices or Jif peanut butter on white Sunbeam bread with Doritos. I drank Coke and red tropical punch Kool-Aid all the time.
Dinners were often canned Green Giant Frenched green beans or LeSeur peas, scalloped potatoes from a box, and Spam or Oscar Meyer hot dogs or fried cube steak with a jar of gravy.
Special occasions called for Duncan Hines yellow cake mix and canned double chocolate frosting.
No one I knew lived much differently.
We didn’t know any better.
I learned how to cook some basic meals and treats from early PBS cooking shows, my grandmother, my aunt, and friends’ moms. I enjoyed learning new styles and recipes from cookbooks from the bargain bin at the bookstore or library.
I practiced cooking meals and baking at home from the time I was 12 or so, but my dad would seldom enjoy the meals I prepared. It was very discouraging. He doesn’t like new foods, textures, styles, or flavors. When I learned a way to improve upon meals we’d always eaten, it was too often met with disdain.
My parents take pills by the handful every day now. My dad has suffered from obesity all my life, now complicated with high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. My mother has very high cholesterol. They both have arthritis and live with pain every day. I feel many of these aging disorders can be prevented or slowed with a better diet and lifestyle.
In the early years of my marriage, it was frustrating, expensive, and exhausting for me to plan, prepare, and cook all the time after working all day teaching school, then later, homeschooling one, two, then three young children. I often got lazy, relying on easier, quicker, cheaper, and processed “foods.”
When I got sick in 2008, we knew we needed a big lifestyle change. I was tired all the time. I just couldn’t do all the things I was used to doing. I was drained. The doctor put me on a Paleo diet and prescribed a lot of vitamin and mineral supplements. In a few months, I was feeling more like myself. We decided to continue that regimen with our whole family.
Thankfully, we have no food allergies. We noticed some sensitivities that don’t show up in lab tests, but we’ve done elimination diets that reveal sensitivity to modern wheat products and low-quality dairy in a couple of our family members.
We started to research eating better, more natural whole foods for our whole family.
For the past few years, we seldom eat out, almost never get fast food, and prepare almost all our foods from scratch at home.
My goals for cooking real food are simplicity, ease, and quality.
Simple means that I want foods as close to their natural state as possible.
Fruits and vegetables have no “ingredients” or labels. They’re simple.
Preparation can be as simple as consuming them raw in a salad or blended into a smoothie.
We often steam or roast or grill veggies. We eat a lot of fun colorful salads with interesting flavor combos.
I like simple, fewer-ingredient recipes with lots of flavor, but nothing too complicated or time-consuming.
We occasionally try new recipes that require some advanced preparation or complicated steps, but they are special and rare. Even our holiday meals have simplified.
Ease requires a bit of preparation ahead of time.
When I do my big grocery shopping trips (twice a month), we prep the food to make it easier to consume during the week.
We clean and chop fruits and veggies into manageable portions so snacktime and meal prep aren’t so stressful.
We marinate and grill a bag of chicken strips for salads and snacks.
We thaw a bag of mini shrimp and place in a glass storage container to be ready.
We freeze bone broth for soups and sauces. I miss my deep freezer (it’s in storage) – we don’t have the quantity of ready-made homemade items we used to have around.
Quality doesn’t have to be super expensive.
I buy the best we can afford.
We buy fresh food in season and we shop at local stores, farmers markets, and the military commissary as needed.
While it is ideal to consume organic food and grass-fed meats and dairy, it’s just not readily available in our area.
The local military commissary has a small frozen section of organic, free-range, grass-fed meats, but they’re 3-4 times as expensive as the regular local meats – and they’re often freezer-burned from sitting in the freezer for so long.
That’s not quality to me.
I have four kids and a very carnivorous husband. We don’t often eat a plant-based diet, although I totally could most days. We like meat and we like animal protein at every meal. We’re trying to eat more fish, but it’s so expensive here.
We consume dairy and wheat. My girls and I like yogurt and kefir and kombucha, but my son and husband just do not. We’re learning to make sourdough and we often make our own yeast breads. I’m experimenting with spelt, buckwheat, and sprouted grains. I buy German honey O’s cereal for my son (they’re more natural than the American Honey Nut Cheerios).
I don’t sneak in fruits or vegetables without my family knowing.
I don’t make my kids or husband eat foie gras or pâté, but I sometimes sprinkle liver powder into ground beef dishes to boost nutrition.
We love to try new foods when we travel and come home to recreate it.
I respect that everyone has dislikes. I try to make meals with variety so everyone has choices they love.
I prepare many different foods with fun flavor combos and textures. I encourage everyone to try new foods frequently. Often, my family is pleasantly surprised. My girls and I love Brussels sprouts. Everyone loves broccoli and asparagus. My son loves steamed cauliflower. The middle girls and I love cabbage.
We buy German Oreos and frozen potatoes and 100% juice Capri Suns. We’re not terrified of sugar, but we do limit the chemicals we ingest when we can.
We have a Soda Stream and buy the natural syrups for ginger ale, lemon-lime, and root beer. We also make homemade fizzy juices. These products have fewer harmful ingredients than the American ones.
I never tell my kids what they can or cannot eat. I encourage them to make better food choices and eat meals before treats – like most parents, I assume.
The kids love to be in the kitchen, learning and helping and creating. They’re getting more and more independent with baking and preparing meals and I couldn’t be more proud.
I know we’re on the right track when my kids make good choices on their own at events, parties, or church pot lucks without my supervision – when peer pressure is at its finest from even the other adults.
I want our family to be healthy and live long prosperous lives and we feel that a healthy balanced real food diet can help us achieve that.
Food can heal or hurt. We are what we eat.
Linking up: Darling Downs Diaries, Missional Women, Modest Mom, Moms the Word, Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, Curly Crafty Mom, Marilyns Treats, Sarah Celebrates, VMG206, Southern Beauty Guide, Crystal Storms, Sweet Little Ones, Practical Mom, Simple Life of a Fire Wife, Purposeful Faith, Holly Barrett, Lori Schumaker, Mary Andering Creatively, Mrs AOK, A Fresh Start, Written Reality, Life of Faith, Inspiration for Moms, Denise Designed, Juggling Real Food and Real Life, Jaime Wiebel,Christian Blogger Community, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Cornerstone Confessions, Women with Intention, Oh My Heartsie Girl, Hip Homeschool Moms, Al Things Beautiful, A Bountiful Love, Giving Up on Perfect, Wondermom Wannabe, Milk and Cuddles, Saving 4 Six, Yearround Homeschooling, Katherine’s Corner, Live Laugh Rowe, I Choose Joy, Pat and Candy, A Kreative Whim, The Natural Homeschool, Happy and Blessed Home, Susan B Mead, xoxo Rebecca, Sincerely Paula, Create with Joy, What About, RCH Reviews, Missional Women, Life with Lorelai, Juggling Real Food and Real Life, Being a Wordsmith
When I was younger, I didn’t have much guidance for my future beyond doing well in school and getting a decent job.
And I wasn’t even really sure what that entailed. Good grades and lots of money was what I assumed.
I wasn’t actively taught much at home or in school about relationships, finances, stress, or anything actually important that currently seeps its way into my subconscious and lurks with criticisms and less-than reminders every single waking moment.
My parents wobbled between totally hands-off and stifling authoritarianism, depending on the situation.
I ran absolutely wild through the neighborhood from about 4 years old on up after school and summers, but I seldom had any friends over to my house for a meal or sleepover or playtime, and not ever if my dad was home. I’ve never had many friends, but I’ve had lots of acquaintances over the years who came and went.
My parents only ever intervened at school maybe three times in 13 years. The rest of the time I was on my own to work out any issues with bullies, inept teachers, politicized and uncaring administrators, groping boys, and weird parents.
While I realize that having been left to myself, I developed character and learned a lot about how to solve problems, but I think I’d like to be a little more involved and proactive with my family.
While there are gazillions of articles, blog posts, books, and videos dictating rules and regulations, and shoulds and shouldn’ts, I think we all have to set our own values and goals. We’re bombarded with so much information that sounds like authority, but if we don’t hold any of it to any standard, we will fail and collapse with information overload.
What’s your standard?
My standard is the Bible.
As a Christian wife and mom, I hold up everything to the standard of Scripture. If it doesn’t fit with my worldview, then it’s not for my family.
This is true for books and TV shows and movies.
This is true for friends.
This is true for activities.
If anything takes away from or somehow doesn’t align with my values and goals, then it’s not for us.
How do we find our focus?
Discovering our personal values and setting goals for our families should be accompanied with much prayer and discussion with our spouse.
If you’re not pleased with your home life, then take a good look at where your priorities lie. Maybe it’s time for an evaluation and some changes.
Focus in Faith
We spent many years trying to determine our beliefs. My husband grew up Presbyterian, which meant he attended Sunday school as a child and that was about it. I never attended church except with my grandma 2-3 times a year or with friends who occasionally invited me.
I knew I wanted to raise my children with a strong faith foundation.
We teetered from Presbyterian to Baptist and tottered back to Presbyterian and then to Lutheran.
It’s often difficult to find a temporary church home when we move around so frequently.
Focus in Family
My children are my priority.
This means that I limit my social engagements. I don’t work or volunteer outside the home.
I don’t overschedule our family, so we’re seldom stressed. We like a peaceful home atmosphere.
I enjoy being with my kids. I enjoy teaching them and working with them and everything in between.
I seldom go anywhere without my kids.
Focus in Education
Homeschooling is my calling.
I don’t rely on videos, DVDs, games, other people, or the government to educate my children.
We read books together. We learn together.
I delight in my children learning new concepts.
I make time for art, nature study, music, and each of my children’s interests in addition to the math, Latin, history, and science we learn. Academics aren’t everything. Life is our education.
Focus in Friends
We’re very choosy about who we spend time around.
This is probably our prickliest topic.
While I don’t need a lot of social interation and rarely trust people, I know my husband and at least two of my children crave social stuff.
So, I make sure to provide opportunities to feed their social butterflies.
Focus for the Future
We are active planners for the future.
This includes financial planning and also teaching concepts my children will need in certain situations, like what to do regarding:
rude questions, requests, or touches from adults,
advances from peers of the opposite (or same) sex,
fire safety, and more.
I want my kids to have open conversations with me. I want them to feel safe discussing anything with me. And I want them prepared for social interations or life situations that might become unsafe.
It’s my job to create a healthy environment for my children to grow emotionally, psychologically, academically, and physically.
Linking up: Marilyn’s Treats, What Joy is Mine, Ask Latisha, A Fresh Start, Smart Moms Smart Ideas, Curly Crafty Mom, The Mrs. Tee, Practical Mom, Written Reality, Bloghetti, Life of Faith, Darling Downs Diaries, Mary Andering Creatively, Moms the Word, Lori Schumaker, Janis Cox, Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, Spiritual Sundays, Holly Barrett, Holley Gerth, Jamie Wiebel, Christian Blogger Community, Messy Marriage, Pat and Candy, Cornerstone Confessions, Sarah Celebrates, VMG206, Pocketful of Posies, RCH Reviews, Southern Beauty Guide, Sweet Little Ones, Cookin and Craftin, Katherine’s Corner, Simple Life of a Fire Wife, Year Round Homeschooling, Adventures of Mel, The Natural Homeschool, Hip Homeschool Moms, Crystal and Comp, Lamberts Lately, A Bountiful Love, A Wise Women Builds Her Home, W2W Ministries, Women with Intention, Frog’s Lilypad, Raising Homemakers, Al Things Beautiful, Organized 31, A Kreative Whim, What About, Fab Working Mom Life, Sincerely Paula, Create with Joy, Missional Women, Giving Up on Perfect, Saving 4 Six, The Diary of a Real Housewife, The Deliberate Mom, Life with Lorelai, Juggling Real Food and Real Life, Oh My Heartsie Girl, 3D Lessons 4Life, Crafty Moms Share, Being a Wordsmith,
What are Some Ways to Eat and Stay Healthy While Living Abroad?
At first, the idea of living abroad sounds like an extended vacation—you look forward to having so much time to visit famous landmarks, soak in the culture, or eat exotic foods. What could possibly go wrong? Then the reality sets in, or in other words, the honeymoon is over. You realize that you’re not really on a vacation. You have to learn a new way of life in a country that’s going to be your home for several months or years.
Challenges of Staying Fit in a New Country
If you struggled with eating healthy when you lived in your home country, that issue is going to be magnified living abroad. While overseas, you may not have access to familiar foods and product brands. You’re also learning a new food culture as well as a new language. But maybe you had an established healthy routine before you moved abroad. It should be simple to transfer that to another country, right? However, it’s not that easy. It may be difficult to join a gym in a foreign country because of the language barrier, or you may not have the extra funds.
Overcoming Obstacles to Healthy Living Abroad
It’s easy to let your health fall to the wayside when you’re not in your element. You’re already dealing with a lot of change, so you may feel that you don’t want to add healthy eating as one more thing on your checklist. However, a healthy eating and exercise routine may be the medicine you need to manage the stress of adjusting to a new environment. You’re dealing with so much change, and keeping up your health is one of the best ways to cope. Here are some ideas of ways you can eat healthily and exercise while living abroad.
Set Up a Routine to Get Your Body Moving
When living abroad, you may think you could replicate the same exercise routine you had in your home country. However, you may not have access to the same resources you once had. So let’s say that when living in the United States, you usually went to the gym in the evenings. But when you live abroad, you may not be able to get a gym membership or have as much time to exercise in the evenings as you did before. You’ll have to accept you’re going to have to develop new routines while living abroad.
To get yourself back (or get started) on a healthy exercise routine, try working out in the mornings. Your exercise gets done even before anything else comes up. Also, try to look for ways to get more exercise throughout the day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. While living abroad, you could join meetup groups with similar exercise goals—you meet other foreigners who are in the same position as you: feeling their way in a new country and culture.
Get to Know Local Health Trends
Shopping in a grocery store in a foreign country will be a culture shock itself. You’re more than dealing with a language barrier; you’re also dealing with a selection of foods that you’re not familiar with. Diet staples in the United States are not the same everywhere else, so your favorite foods may not even be stocked in stores. In some counties, your favorite fresh fruits and vegetables cost way more than expect, which prevents you from eating the same amount of raw foods that you had once before.
So when in Rome, do what Romans do. Try to get to know the local health trends. Just like how plant-based hamptoncreek products are gaining traction in the United States, other countries also have up-and-coming food products that promote a healthy lifestyle. Observe the whole foods are often part of a meal. For example, a typical breakfast in Japan includes a lean protein like grilled fish. That item isn’t part of a typical American breakfast. So, you could start a healthy routine by including grilled fish in your morning meals, and you get to experience local cuisine.
Here’s one more thing to note: food labels on foreign foods may list kilocalories per serving rather than listing calories per serving like in the United States. The two measurements mean the same thing; in the United States, the “kilo” is dropped.
Living abroad comes with many benefits, but don’t let it be at the expense of your health. These healthy eating and wellness tips can help you adjust to your new surroundings.
I don’t know about you, but I took PE/Health in 9th grade public school and it was a less than stellar experience.
It was taught by the football coach, co-ed, and it was pretty embarrassing for all involved.
How do homeschoolers meet the requirements for high school health credit?
What are the requirements for a health class?
Check for state requirements for health education.
What should be included in a health course?
A 0.5 credit health course shoule cover: developing a healthy self, substance-abuse prevention, human development, relationships, disease prevention, HIV/AIDS education, CPR and safety, consumer health, injury/violence prevention, nutrition, fitness, and community health.
A 1.0 credit health course includes everything in the course above and should cover: developing healthy sun exposure habits, acquiring knowledge and skills to practice healthy habits that prevent and/or control disease, learning positive tactics to avoid drug use, and learning healthy eating strategies.
Since we maintain a lifestyle of learning, most of these concepts are review for my teens in high school.
How do I teach health?
Sure, you can buy a traditional textbook health curriculum. Lots of those all-in-one companies include health in their package. If that’s the route you’re going, move along. I refuse to buy a textbook or workbook for something that should be a basic life skill. The library has lots of great resources!
Collect current events articles from newspapers, magazines, online and discuss or research to learn more.
Personal Health: to include human anatomy and physiology, physical fitness, nutrition. We review our chemical-free lifestyle and recipes for personal care products. My daughter took a separate psychology course, so many coinciding health and development topics are covered in that.
Drug awareness: to include information and avoidance of illicit drugs, smoking, and alcohol. This offers a great time to discuss peer pressure and self-control. The Bible offers instruction on excessive alcohol consumption. This is a great ministry opportunity for pray or participation.
Fire safety: learn about what to do in the event of household fires, review a fire evacuation plan, learn how to use a fire extinguisher. I like these safety tip sheets.
Household safety: how should cleaning supplies, food items, and toxic items be handled and stored? How do we handle accidents or emergencies?
Basic First Aid: to include burns, bleeding, choking, poison, injury, shock. My daughter completed certification courses through the Red Cross. They offer great babysitting and CPR courses.
Consumer Health: Learn about health care programs around the world. Visit and/or volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center. Learn about propaganda, marketing, drug company lobbying. Really find out where our food comes from. There are great videos available like Food, Inc., Super Size Me, Captivated, Fed Up, and more.
Relationships: We discuss courtesy, manners, etiquette, friendship, peer pressure, gossip, bullying, dating. We do role playing and review social situations that are successful or unpleasant. We base our relationships studies on our Biblical worldview. The book How Rude! is a great resource for etiquette.
See my favorite books for life skills.
I like the links and resources at All in One High School Health for guidance.
Civil Air Patrol has monthly safety briefings that cover many of the topics in health courses. We discuss the presentations at home afterwards.
My daughter volunteers two days per week at our local hospital.
She’s volunteered every Monday in the medical laboratory for over a year. She likes microbiology and virology.
Recently, she’s been volunteering in the maternity ward and has assisted nurses, doctors, and technicians with hearing screenings, taking vitals, circumcisions, and more.