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.

Obtaining an education in a health care related field is one of the best things you can do – for yourself, for your future, for your family, and for others.

On a fundamental level, it is imperative that you know your body so that you can treat it right, giving yourself the best chance at a long and healthy life.

On other levels, health care education will almost guarantee you a job for years to come, as people will always need help and cures when it comes to their physical (and sometimes mental) well being. There are some fields that are booming right now, thanks to the aging of baby boomers. These people want to be comfortable and healthy as they age, so the need for medical professionals is increasing every year, and is going to continue to do so for at least the next decade. Your career possibilities are vast in the health care field.

It is good for the community, too, because as a health care worker, you will be there to care for others if they need it. It can be a very rewarding and selfless profession, no matter what area of care you get into.

All of this starts with a good training foundation, though. Luckily, there are dozens of options for you to explore when it comes to figuring out what is right for you as you move forward. Nutritionist training, counseling, nurse training, medical school…the list goes on and on!

Start by thinking about whether you’re willing to put in the work (and the time) to get involved in this massive industry, and then figure out if your temperament is right for it. Remember, you’ll likely be working with people a lot! Then, check out an appropriate training program and get started on the path to helping people!