Children’s bones and joints are developing growing rapidly, and they have a lot of energy to burn. Parents can encourage their children to be active, while helping to protect their busy, growing bodies, by selecting the right shoes for their youngsters.

The right shoes will be sized correctly, have low heels and good traction, be appropriate for the weather conditions, and be attractive to your child.

Adults make sure their own shoes fit properly, but tend to buy too big for their children, so they do not have to buy new shoes often. However, a better approach is to allow a little room to grow, but not too much, and to plan to buy new shoes two to three times a year during rapid growth stages. An active child can wear out a pair of shoes in that amount of time, anyway. A good rule is to allow one-half size to grow into, and check the child’s feet every two to three months. The child may not tell you his or feet are pinched, especially if he really likes the shoes or considers them stylish.

Secondly, avoid shoes with high heels and pointed toes, such as cowboy boots, for your child’s regular, active wear. Cowboy boots are designed to keep from getting caught in the stirrups in case the cowboy falls from his horse. However, any shoes with high heels are unnatural for walking, and can keep children’s feet and ankles from developing properly. Pointed shoes can squeeze and inhibit proper toe development, as well.

Another problem with cowboy boots is lack of traction, due to smooth soles (to facilitate getting out of the stirrup in an emergency). Dress shoes are also notorious for slick soles, so be careful to choose those with some grip. Falls hurt, and sometimes result in lasting injury, especially to knees, elbows, hips and ankles. A good sole will help your child keep his footing on dry or wet pavement, slick floors, and grass.

Fourth, insist that your child wear shoes appropriate for the weather conditions, with traction, water protection and ankle support in mind. Winter ice on sidewalks presents a safety hazard, making traction especially important. Along with that, comes the added need for ankle support in snowy conditions. Children love to play in the snow, but it slows a youngster down. The child may react by trying harder to keep up with her normal pace, jerking and falling in the snow, and getting up again. Boots with excellent ankle support will help prevent sprains and other injuries.

Finally, buy shoes that the child likes, but do a little research before taking her shopping with you. She may be thrilled with shoes that have her favorite cartoon character on them, but other characteristics may make the same shoes a poor choice for developing bones and joints. See what is available at your local shoe store, then go online and check product reviews. Select three or four that have excellent ratings, then take your child with you to select his or her favorite from your list.

Following these tips, select good, comfortable shoes to help keep your child safe and promote long-term joint health.

best snow bootsAll it takes is one tough winter, and most parents become aware of a reality. Snow boots for kids, will in the long run save money. After the loss of several pair of normal shoes or boots that can’t make it the car, much less through the day finding a pair of the best snow boots for youngsters becomes a passion for many parents determined to see their children’s feet stay warm.

The Importance of Winter Safety

In fact, winter trips, even short ones can be a disaster when children are complaining of icy, cold feet. They have a right to complain, and such protests should be taken seriously, because while frostbite is rare, frostnip isn’t. Frostnip and even chilblains can occur very quickly for the very young, even there’s prolonged exposure to moisture and extreme cold.

In Winter Moisture is the Enemy

Kids love to play in the snow, and when they are engaged in an activity with other children they often won’t complain until a problem because painful. Making sure their feet stay dry gives parents the greatest assures nothing will go wrong. Boots and, if possible, socks should be waterproof.

Socks are Important

Some children always prefer to go sockless even in cold weather, but this isn’t a good plan for foot safety in the snow. Especially if the child will be engaged in play or activity soft fleece or IsoWool will help protect their precious toes, and cushion the foot inside the boot. A sock liner in a snow boot might appear as overkill, but this is another important layer of protection to keep the child’s foot dry and warm.

Breathable Boots

Even the feet of small children when cut off from air as they are in some boots will sweat. This means despite all the efforts to keep it out there’s now a layer of moisture between the foot and the sock allowing the foot’s temperature to drop. The best snow boots for children are made of a breathable material that allows perspiration to escape.

Keeping Snow Out

Snow boots, especially those for a child will usually have either a cuff or drawstring to keep the snow from entering the boot. Another solution is called a snow gator. This is a waterproof cloth that wraps around the top of the boot, and the lower leg to keep snow from entering the boot. Because this doesn’t allow the lower leg to “swim” in the upper part of the boot drawstrings or a snow gator are the best snow boot solutions for easy stability when walking.

Winter Boots Versus Snow Boots

Boots that are simply winterized and not actually boots aren’t recommended for trampling through snowy pathways or playing snow. The winter boot is great for other types of cold weather, but these aren’t usually waterproofed or made of material designed to keep water out. Winterized boots are often more stylish, cute or popular, but they won’t hold to snow days the way snow boots will.

This is hardly a rare roadblock in the continuing growth of your child. Teaching your child responsibility for their own body can be very tedious to accomplish, however, persistence is key. Your toddler is still learning every minute of every day, and they are fueled by fun activities and positive stimulation. There are lots of ways to help your tot begin to enjoy brushing their teeth and turn it into a healthy habit. Not every method will work for every child, but it sure doesn’t hurt to try a few methods. Here’s a few tricks to help make their nightly routine a little more fun:

1) Monkey see, monkey do.

Brush your teeth with your toddler every morning and every night. They look up to you, and when they see you do it regularly, they will be more inclined to follow in your foot steps. A great way to enforce this is to start young, and once they’re old enough to brush their own teeth, they will look up to you to learn how it’s done.

2) Make it fun!

There are tons of toothbrushes out there with fun characters and songs. Use this to your advantage by singing along to the songs, asking your little one if they want to go “hang out with” which ever character they have chosen on their toothbrush. Impersonating characters can be great stimulation for kids, making them giggle and enjoy brushing daily.

3) Let them know how important it is to take care of their teeth in terms they can understand.

Don’t try to get your child to understand the specifics behind why oral health is important. Explain it to them in simple, concise terms in which they will be able to grasp. Kid’s don’t like things that are “icky”, so using words like this will help make not taking care of their teeth sound unfavorable to them. Using phrases like “to make sure to keep your teeth strong and white, you have to brush away all those icky sugar monsters”. Remember, kids are impressionable. Reinforce the terms you tell them from the start, and try not to go into too much detail they wont understand.

4) Stress the importance of flossing.

Getting them to brush will be hard enough if they’re opposed to it from the start. If you introduce flossing at the same time you teach them to brush, it will be much less of a hassle down the road. Preventative oral health is much cheaper and easier than fixing cavities or worse.

Now, we all know how painful flossing can be. The gum pain, the tedious threading between every tooth. The best and funnest way to introduce a child to flossing is a water flosser. There little contraptions are painless, fun, and no bigger than a tooth brush. You won’t have to stick your hands in their (or your own) mouth to get the job done. Waterpik makes a child specific water flosser to help make the job way easier for smaller mouths. It comes in bright colours with fun shapes and stickers, and is smaller and very precise so you can help teach them where exactly to floss. You’ll never have to cut yours or your childs gums again on annoying thread floss with an oral irrigator.

Again, trial and error is your best bet. Only you know your child best and you will know what works for them. Oral hygiene can’t be overlooked, and should be enforced from a very young age to ensure maximum dental protection.

It is never too early to introduce your children to meal planning. I grew up in a very traditional household. My father worked a 9-5 job and my mom stayed home and took care of the house and children. She probably didn’t have any idea what the power bill cost, and my dad couldn’t have said what the S shaped blade on a food processor was for if his life depended on it. Vacations involved driving to either grandmas or the beach in the family station wagon. We played 20 questions in the car, or the alphabet game (finding different letters on license plates). My mother and father gave us the traditional chores – make your bed, clean your room, vacuum, dust, unload the dishes, set the table, clear the table. With all those chores, one of those was not meal planning, and I wonder why not?

Meal Planning for Children

When we were young (3 children under 6), I can only imagine that it was a daily miracle for my mother and father to keep their heads above water. I remember very well learning how to test the limits – sometimes it was easier for my mother to do the chores herself rather than nag us about it. I’m sure I’m looking at this through rose tinted glasses, but once we got older wouldn’t it have been a help to involve us (and my father) in meal planning? Maybe we would have learned to appreciate her daily efforts to put not only breakfast, lunch and dinner on the table.

A Few Ideas to Get Started

Including your children – even young children – is easier in meal planning than you think! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Young children – allow them to pick the vegetable for the dinner a few times a week. An added bonus – how can they refuse to eat the vegetable when they picked it? Make a rule that you can’t repeat a vegetable for a month.
  • Elementary to middle school children – start to teach them how to use kitchen appliances safely, like the stove, blender and toaster oven. Make meal preparation fun by putting on music. An added bonus – give these kids a bigger role in clean-up. Meal planning sometimes should take into account how much time you have to clean up!
  • High school children – These kids should be able to plan and cook a healthy nutritious meal all on their own. If he or she is over 16, they can even go to the grocery store and get ingredients. An added bonus – free night for you – you could even have them serve you dinner as if you were in a restaurant!

What is fried food

Deep frying is the method of submerging food in hot fat (oil). This is classified as a dry cooking method since no water is used because of the high temperature involved – it actually steams the water inside the food, which is how it cooks. Deep frying food has been a very common method for cooking for some time, especially in restaurants. People have always associated fried food to fast food restaurants and they usually classify this food as junk. Many people have classified fried food as a “fat bomb” and have discouraged dieters from eating the food, so there’s a lot of readers out there who wonder if kids can safely eat fried food occasionally.

How to make fried food healthy

Many people have come out to say that fried food is not healthy, especially for children. However, using the right type of oil and knowing how to properly fry will ensure a healthy fried meal. As much as you can make fried food healthy, its still advisable for kids to eat it in moderation.

When frying food, you should make sure that pan does not have debris on it, or if you’re using a fryer, make sure it’s very clean and the oil isn’t too dirty to use. The oil usually burns up the debris and forms a black coating that is not good for your health.

All purpose flour contains gluten that usually absorbs a lot of oil so its advisable to use flour with no gluten, like rice flour. Try to combine fried food with salads to help you with digestion to break down the fat. Always use the right amount of temperature to fry the food – low temps won’t cook the food properly, but over heating or cooking for too long will allow oil to saturate the food (this is because the water inside the food will eventually all evaporate. Evaporation actually is a strong enough force to keep oil from entering the food. Once the water’s gone, there’s nothing keeping oil from seeping in). It’s very important that you know how to properly use your deep fryer, so if you’re in need of a quick lesson, head on over to to learn all about frying properly and with the right tools.

The low fat oils to choose include peanut oil, soybean oil and canola oil. While the argument is far from over, many people recommend using peanut to get the best results.

There is one extra thing you might want to know about for getting healthy results when frying foods. Ever heard of no oil deep fryers? They are a substitute to fryers and are supposed to give you the same results, just with zero to two table spoons of oil, rather than a few liters. If that is your kind of thing, maybe there is the solution right there!

Did you know that many have argued that fat is good for your health? You can eat fat as long as its high quality and you do not eat it the exclusion of plants. This means no processed foods, but when fat occurs naturally like in vegetable oils, it is actually beneficial to you – just remember moderation in all that you consume.

Health risks associated with fried food

Eating a lot of food rich in fat can lead to high blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease – especially food that is deep fried and breaded. Saturated fat raises the cholesterol levels and could weaken your heart. Food rich in fat has been known to also cause prostate cancer (among other cancers).

Generally fat is not good for anyone’s health whether children or adults. Food rich in fat is also not advisable depending on your blood group. Certain blood groups do not work well with fat so before you decide to take food rich in fat, check if it works for your blood group as a general guideline.

Deep frying food is still known to be popular because it is tasty and most young children like it. This is why restaurants like McDonald’s and KFC are popular. Despite the dangers involved, a majority of people still eat deep fried food. The high end restaurants are starting to reduce the amount of oil they use, and are now concentrating on shallow frying or boiled food. However this food is more expensive to prepare and thus the class of people that are attracted to such places are those who can afford it.

The bottom line is, yes it is OK for your kids to eat deep fried foods once in awhile. Just remember some of our tips to make this a healthier experience, and make sure it’s on occasion, not regularly.

I am a physical education teacher at an elementary school and I often have students that are not prepared for class due to the type of shoes they are wearing. Many are wearing sandals or shoes that are not conducive to getting the most out of their physical education class. Having the proper athletic shoes is very important to avoid injury to their young bodies as well as get the most out of the physical activity they are engaging in. I also feel that if we equip children with the proper tools, even something as simple as the correct type of shoe, we are encouraging them to enjoy physical activity and a desire to get off the couch and get active. There are a few things to consider when selecting a shoe for your child to ensure maximum comfort and function.

  • Know your child’s foot: By this I mean know if he/she has a high or low arch, pronation or supination and how wide or narrow their foot is. Knowing all of these things will help you find a supportive and comfortable athletic shoe that will allow your child to get the most out of his/her physical education class.
  • Know your child’s foot size and measure frequently: Children’s feet grow rapidly during their elementary years. It is possible for their shoe size to change nearly each month, so it is especially important to be aware of their shoe size and to continually measure their feet. This will ensure that their shoes are comfortable, not too small or two large.
  • Don’t make an athletic shoe multitask: This is something that is particularly difficult when purchasing a child’s athletic shoe as shoes can be rather expensive and most often are thought of as being sufficient for everyday wear. In all honesty, I advise against this as they will lose some of their effectiveness as an athletic shoe for fitness purposes. The sole and heels of the shoes will wear quickly from daily use, which will in turn make them less comfortable when the child goes for a run, jumps and walks during their physical education class. I fully understand the need most parents have to get a multi-functional shoe for their child due to the cost and if possible I suggest spending less on a daily shoe that is worn at all times with the exception of during class rather than using the athletic shoe as an all the time shoe.
  • Shop towards the end of the day: It is best to shop for any shoes at the end of the day, but even more important to shop for athletic shoes at this time. Your child’s foot with be a bit swollen from a day of walking, running and playing and this will aid you in properly sizing the shoe for the most comfort. It may be necessary to buy the shoe a half size up for maximum comfort
  • Bring your child’s socks: It is so important to bring the socks your child will wear with their athletic shoes to ensure that they are comfortable with the new shoes as well as to ensure a proper fit. Socks vary in thickness and texture, which may change the way the shoes fit and feel on the foot.

Teaching children good nutritional habits at a young age is a valuable lesson they will carry with them as they grow into adults. Just teaching a child to cut up an apple with a small, sharp paring knife can form a lasting habit.

Slicing up an Apple is a valuable skill

Slicing up an Apple is a valuable skill

A healthy and active lifestyle that includes a balanced and nutritious diet will help children to grow, develop, feel good about themselves, and even improve how well they do academically. As your children grow into teenagers and adults, eating properly is extremely important to avoid certain health hazards such as childhood obesity, delayed puberty, nutrient deficiencies and dehydration, menstrual irregularities, and an increased risk for injuries.

Creating an environment with a healthy attitude towards food is one of the most important steps you can take as a parent to ensure the health of your growing child. Following are some simple tips to encourage your children to make healthy choices and form good nutritional habits.

cut up appleKeep healthy snacks available. Children love to snack and they love convenience. They will eat whatever is available to them. If you stock your house with junk food and unhealthy choices, this is what your kids will snack on. If you place a bowl of fruit out on the table within reach, chances are your child will grab from this to munch on. Remember, whatever you buy and stock your house with; your children are going to eat. Keep simple snacks on hand that are healthy such as apple slices, yogurt, and vegetable sticks like carrots or celery. Also keep in mind that your actions set the example. If your kids see you eating potato chips, they will want chips. If you eat healthy and choose an apple for a snack, you’re setting the example for your children.

Don’t place restrictions on food. Instead, choose to only shop for and stock up on healthier options. Children will always want to do what is considered taboo, and given the chance to have cookies or cakes at someone else’s house when they’re not allowed to at home, they’ll binge. This could cause more serious eating issues later in life. Instead of banning food, have a conversation with your children about making wise choices. Have a special day once a week, or once a month, where treats are allowed. Talk to your kids about moderation. It’s not about denying yourself; it’s about eating healthy and having treats on rare occasions.

Refrain from using food as a reward. This can cause an association to certain foods that can potentially cause eating disorders later in life. Try not to associate certain foods with good behavior or with bad feelings. You definitely don’t want to teach your children that eating something unhealthy is a good way of dealing with disappointments or sad emotions.

Above all else, praise every single healthy choice you witness your child making. Children love to receive praise. If snacking on an apple will win a smile from Mom, chances are they’ll choose the apple for a snack.

By following these simple tips, you and your children are well on the way to a healthier lifestyle.

Getting your child to eat healthy can be incredibly difficult. The worst thing you can do for your child is fail them by not teaching them about nutrition at an early age. Once they leave the roost if they don’t know anything about nutrition it’s highly probable that pizza pops, KD and coca cola will become the norm for them.

green smoothy ingredients

Here are 5 things you can do to help your child get an informal education in nutrition.

  1. Lead by example. This is the MOST important thing you can do for your child. Leading by example is the only way you’ll ever win this battle. If you’re not eating vegetables, they don’t stand a chance. If you complain about certain foods being “gross’ you’re setting yourself up. Down the road they’ll use the exact same excuses.
  2. Pack their lunches or teach them to pack their own lunches. Do not give them money to eat out  every day.  Sending your child to school with a twenty dollar bill is the equivalent of ordering them pizza every day for dinner. What do you expect to do with that $20 bill? Best case scenario they buy a sandwich, worst case scenario they buy two pieces of pizza and a coke for $6 and pocket the change.
  3. Introduce them to basic culinary skills at an early age. This is a biggie. Don’t let your child move out of the house without any basic culinary skills. It happens far too often – if you’ve never took the time (or forced them to help you in the kitchen) to teach them they’re going to go to college and immediately find a solid diet of chicken wings and beer. You can’t force them to eat healthy when they leave the nest, but you can give them the proper skills prior to them departing.
  4. Let your children pick the vegetables. Take them to the grocery store and explain that they have to eat vegetables but they can pick which ones they want. If they hate squash, cooking squash three nights a week just isn’t worth it. It doesn’t help you and it certainly doesn’t help them either. My kids have agreed to drink green smoothies as two of there servings of vegetables. Find something they like, it’ll make your life easier.
  5. Encourage them to be active. Okay this isn’t an eating habit but it’s just as important. Good habits breed good habits. By encouraging them and signing them up for sports (of their choosing) you’ll find they tend to make healthier choices on their own.

It often takes children until they are in their mid twenties before they begin to make healthier choices. There isn’t much you can do about that, but if you give them the tools it’ll go a long ways in helping to ensure they live a healthy and full life.

Today, with so many schools offering virtual, online classes it can be easier than ever to find a Health Education program. However, doing the research required to find which of these schools has the program that will meet your specific needs can be overwhelming.

cap and mouse

To help narrow down the choices from the hundreds of programs available here is a list of the top five virtual programs offered. In order to decide upon which of the many online schools to choose for the Top Five, they had to meet a certain criteria. First they had to be accredited, second the tuition cost needed to be reasonable, third the website had to be easy to navigate and finally convenient access to a counselor and/or educator. With these four things in mind these are the Top 5 Virtual Programs that offer Health Education Programs. These programs help students learn a wealth of knowledge in the fields of health, medicine and nutrition for anyone looking to get into the medical field or even kinseology to explore the field of personal training.

1. Devry University

Devry is fully accredited by the Higher Learning commission which is recognized by Higher Learning Council as an accredited body. It also has the incredible track record of 90% of their graduates have careers in their chosen field within 6 months of graduation. They offer year round classes so that students who wish may earn their bachelor’s in as little as 3 years instead of the traditional 4 years. Devry has an excellent nutrition program for nutritionists that wish to get into the field of personal training and/or nutrition advice. They educate students on the benefits of a balanced diet and taking supplements to fill in nutritional gaps.

2. Kaplan University

Kaplan is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. They have a family feel to their school and with just 15 to 21 students per educator, the ability to have more one- on- one connection with an educator is a great asset for those who learn more through personal help than just studying texts. They award over 2,000 scholarships and the cost is about $400.00 a credit.


A part of the University System of Maryland and the Nation’s Largest Public University; UMUC is fully accredited by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation. The ability to contact and discuss courses is fairly easy and the tuition cost is right about in line with most of the other schools available on line.

4. Ashford

Ashford is fully accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation and by the U.S. Dept. of Education. It is easy to transfer credits from another school, and they even offer “Prior Learning credit” to those with life experience simply by taking the Prior Learning Assessment. Their tuition rates are about $400.00 a credit.

5. University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. They have an average class size of about 15 students per instructor. You are connected with a team of advisors to help you learn the ropes of online virtual schools and they even offer learning tools like mobile apps for those who are constantly on the go. This school also has an excellent personal training and nutrition course that covers healthy eating, eating disorders and the benefits of calorie dense supplements where appropriate in underweight individuals.

With so many options available getting a degree online through virtual programs can make life easier for those who are already working full time jobs but you must remember to be disciplined enough to log on to your classes.

home health aide trainingYou’ll realize shortly after you start home health aide training that HHAs may be expected to perform various physical tasks such as helping a client into and out of bed, doing the household chores and cleaning, and carrying groceries in to the house.

Many people do not realize it, but back injuries are common in this profession. Without the proper strength and technique, people get injured and are then unable to help themselves, nevermind caring for another person in need. This is a dreadful outcome for all parties involved, and should serve as a real wake up call for men and women wishing to become a certified nursing aide or home health aide.

While not absolutely necessary, you will be better at your job and minimize the risk of injury if you are physically fit and if you always remember to perform lifting and bending tasks with the proper form. This means lifting with your legs, not your back, trying to stay out of awkward positions, and taking your time when doing these things. There is no point trying to save a minute or two now if it means you will be out of commission for days or weeks later on.

You don’t have to go out and start going to the gym for hours every day, but adding a fitness routine to your day, even 30 minutes, 4 times a week, will do you wonders when it comes to doing your duties!

You can always find more information on training and tips on your new career choice at, then hop on over to the job section to see what kind of jobs are available, should you complete the requisite training.