summer eating and travel

How to Stay Healthy on Summer Vacation

Are you all ready for that summer adventure? Katie, one of our amazing presenters, is here today with tips on how to eat better while out and about enjoying your summer vacation!

originally published on Health, Wellness, and Chocolate!

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have a healthy and delicous summer

Summer is here! Finally! Now that our schedules are more relaxed, many of us take time to travel or visit with friends. This often translates into opportunities to eat and eat and eat! Eating and breaking bread and exploring the cuisine of a new region or culture is a wonderful part of living. It is possible to partake in the local cuisine and continue to support your personal health and wellness goals while eating away from home.

Eat well even on the road

Here are five tips to help you eat well away from home:

  1. While traveling, consider your overall well being. Choose food that supports your health goals. Pay attention to how you feel after you eat. Were you energized and nourished or do you feel uncomfortable and sluggish? Make a mental note and learn from that for next time.
  2. There are so many fresh, local, whole foods. If you travel to a different region, sample the local fresh flavors. Visit a local farmers market that will highlight the local cuisine. Fresh, whole foods taste amazing. Whatever you decide to eat, remember to focus on your food. Really taste and savor it. Remind yourself that you don’t need to eat past the point of fullness just because it is a special occasion.
  3. Before you leave home, research the food scene at your vacation spot. Take time to find the highest quality restaurants within your price range. Visit the restaurant’s website and check out the menu. Then consider your health and wellness goals, your likes and dislikes, and then decide what to eat before you go.
  4. While traveling, expect delays, traffic jams etc… You might not be able to eat when you get hungry, which could lead to overeating when you finally do eat. Instead, stave off hunger by packing high quality snack foods so that you don’t get too hungry and sabotage your health and wellness efforts.
  5. If you are at a BBQ or picnic and do not have much control over the food choices, ask yourself “what looks good?” “what would I like to try?”. Take time to be selective, don’t just pile food on your plate. Choose a couple of foods that look amazing (you can always go back for more). Then taste, savor and chew the food and really enjoy it. Remember to check in with yourself and decide when you are comfortably full and then stop eating.

If you are attuned to your hunger, fullness and satisfaction, it won’t matter what you choose to eat. That’s because you would stop eating when you are comfortably satisfied. You do not need to feel out of control around food. It is possible to have freedom and taste the amazing bounty that summer has to offer.

If that sounds impossible to you, subscribe to Health Wellness and Chocolate. I offer the first two videos in the Health and Wellness Blueprint Online Course for free. You can begin today to make peace with food and set health and wellness goals.

Do you want to jump right in? I would love to give you more tools to help you set health and wellness goals. Consider joining the Health Wellness and Chocolate membership community where you have access to the entire Health and Wellness Blue Print as well as the E-book “Stop Dieting and Have Peace With Food”. 

Safe Travels! Enjoy your Summer!

Katie is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Certified Health Education Specialist, wife and homeschooling Mother of 7 on her own Health and Wellness Journey.

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How to start a business

How to Start a Business at Any Age: Business Education for Children

Summer Lovin’

School is out and summer is here in the northern hemisphere! What are your plans for these too few glorious weeks? Some children will relive the age old rite of passage by opening their own lemonade stand. All they need for this iconic business is water, a pitcher, some lemons, sugar, and a whole lot of hope. Or is there more to it?

The Business of Running a Business

Learning how to run a successful business will serve children when they grow into adulthood no matter what field of work they pursue. From lemonade to the latest invention, here are some steps to support your children’s entrepreneurial adventure. Here is a step by step guide to teach even the youngest entrepreneurs business lessons to last a lifetime!

business basics for kids

 

Brainstorm Ideas

When my oldest daughter wanted to take skating lessons on top of all her other activities, we really had to think about it. We weren’t opposed to her doing so, but the extra funds to finance it were a problem.

She decided she needed to start her own business.  I let her run with it, and we sat down to think about what kind of business she would like to have.  At seven, she started a horse treat and cookie business that paid for her lessons for four years.

When deciding what business to start, it is important to brainstorm ideas of what business your child would enjoy running, what they know a lot about, and where they will have opportunities to sell their products.

My daughter is horse crazy, has been since she was a toddler.  The choice to make horse treats was easy because her second favorite activity is baking.  She knows numerous horse loving people as well, and regularly visits barns. Hence her business, aptly named Horse Crazy Treats, was born.

 

Make A Business Plan

A business plan is essential. If you don’t have a blueprint, it is nearly impossible to build a house.  Same is true for a business. Take some time with your child to create a solid plan to give his business it’s best shot.

I recently did this with my son.  He had started making crafts to sell and had done quite well, but was not very focused.  Now that he was eight and had experience selling a few crafts, I wanted him to really think about what he was doing and how he planned to succeed at the annual craft fair.   So, we took out a notebook and answered the following questions:

  • What products do you hope to sell?
  • Why do you think these products would appeal to your customers?
  • What supplies do you need to make each product?
  • What kind of packaging is needed?
  • Does your product have a shelf life?
  • Do you need any special equipment or skills to produce this product?
  • If you do, do you have these already?  If not, how will you get them?

lemonade stand

 

Find Your Market Share

Now that you have a great product and a plan of how to create it, you need a place to sell it.  If you have carefully thought out step one and two, it should be easy to find a venue.

Does a local store carry consignment items?  Could dad or mom get orders through work? Is your product something that friends in your activities would be interested to buy?  Is there a local craft fair or flea market where you could rent a table? Do you have a friend or family member with a business that could sell your product?

My children have found markets at craft fairs, their old preschool, their co-op, and through email and Facebook.  Just remember to add any of the costs or commissions to your budget.

 

Get Your Pitch Ready

If you think of any product that you buy, there is probably a tag line, packaging feature, commercial, or publicized benefit that leads you to purchase it.  Help your child come up with their own jingle and packaging. Make sure that the she can answer questions about the product and state why a customer should want to purchase it.

My son is a born salesman, he can engage anyone and get them on board with whatever he is selling.  He is convincing, personable, and savvy about what people want to know before they buy. My daughter is more timid and prefers to have the product speak for her.  Both of them have been successful because they have used their talents to market their product.

My daughter is very visual and can design beautiful displays that catch customers’ eyes and entice them to buy.  My son uses his wit, interpersonal skills, and engaging personality to draw in his customers. Together they would make quite a team!  However, we have been really working on honing their gifts, while striving to improve the side of marketing that is more of a struggle for each.

Marketing is important.  Don’t short change this step!  No matter what field your child moves into as an adult, being able to sell their ideas will serve them well.

 

Build a Financial Plan

Before jumping full on into a business venture, it is crucial to make sure it is financially sound. Learning to “pencil out” ideas and judge their financial merit is something that will serve every person for the rest of their lives!

This is where the cold, hard truth comes into play.  Even the best product will fail if the company can’t afford to produce it.  Also, most businesses flounder not for lack of customers, but because of poor financial decisions.  Know your limitations and your potential before spending any money.

 

  • How much money do you have to invest in your business?
  • How much will the supplies for each product cost?
  • For how much could you reasonably sell the product?
  • How many do you need to sell of each product to break even?
  • How much profit do you hope to make?
  • What will you do with your profit?
  • What percentage of the profits will I donate/tithe?
  • What percentage of profit will you reinvest into the business?

 

Assess Your Assets And Make Adjustments

Once your child’s business begins, remember to regularly take a step back and see how it is doing?  Are costs being met? Is a profit being made? Which products are selling best? Is there anything that could be done to improve the product, sales venue, or marketing?  What goals does your child have for the future of the business? Is your child still enjoying the business she created?

My daughter’s horse treat business served her well for a few years, but then her sales started to drop.  Since the treats were perishable, there was a sharp increase in loss due to spoilage because of the slow down.  Also, her time commitments changed and she found it challenging to fit in the baking time the business required.

She still wanted to have a business and enjoyed making her own money.  After a bit more brainstorming, she decided to create hair clips instead.  This business has been going well for three years. After each major sales campaign, she calculates which styles sold best and which weren’t very popular.  In this way, she has grown her little business and manages to stay afloat instead of continuing to produce items that aren’t likely to sell. Monitoring progress and trends is an important business habit to develop.

 

Has your child started a business?  What has he learned from the experience?

 

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How To Host Your Own Family Summer Book Club in 5 Easy Steps

Does your library sponsor a summer reading club? Some do and some don’t. At some libraries the book clubs are restricted to a certain age group or a short period of time.

Either way, summer is the perfect time to get in extra reading and keep the learning going. So, here is a guide to establish your own summer reading club within your family (or even your neighborhood) in five easy steps!

1. Choose a Time Frame

A family reading club can last just a week or the entire summer. Be sure to set a start and finish date, though, from the beginning. This gives everyone a fair chance to plan their reading out.

Pick a reasonable amount of time. A few weeks is ideal. If the club goes too long, it loses momentum. If it is too short, there’s not enough time to really get immersed in the world of reading.

In my family, we are having our reading club from July 1st-29th. We have done as short as ten days, though, and it was still worth the while. A short term reading club is a great change of pace, especially for homeschoolers, in the winter months, or if life gets busy with a new baby or move. (The kids will still be learning, but you don’t have to be teaching.) It’s like a mini getaway without having to pack!

2. Set Up a Point System

Determine how you will award points. With a large age span, it is difficult to just award a point per book. So, give points based on one short book or twenty pages of a longer book, for example. This allows the older children and adults to delve into great literature without feeling like they have short changed themselves as younger siblings zoom ahead.

It is also a good idea to assign different point values for different types of reading.

Here is a sample points plan:

  • Two points per book or twenty pages read independently
  • Two points per picture book read to a younger sibling
  • Three points per audiobook completed
  • One point per chapter of family read-alouds

3. Make a List of Rewards

Rewards do not have to be expensive to be meaningful and enticing.

One of our family’s favorite rewards is a living room camp-out. We set up air mattresses in the living room, read stories by flashlight, and watch a movie. It costs nothing, but it is always at the top of the request list, so I make that worth forty-five points.

Here are some other ideas:

  • Get to watch an extra thirty minutes of educational television
  • Have a picnic at the beach
  • Invite a friend over to play
  • Take a friend ice skating
  • Pick what’s for dinner
  • Have a family movie night including popcorn
  • Earn a new book worth $10 or less
  • Get a day off of chores
  • Spend the afternoon at the park
  • Have a make your own pizza party
  • Go out for an ice cream cone
  • Get a $5 gift card to the Dollar Tree
  • Eat whatever you want for breakfast–yes, cookies count!

As you can see, most of these rewards cost very little, if anything. The children are working more for experiences than physical prizes. This makes running the reading club easy on the pocket book and prevents extra clutter. Both are wins for any family.

4. Remember Family Reading

Pick a book or two to use as a family read aloud. It will be fun to all experience the same book, and it also levels the playing field since everyone is reading together. Knowing that everyone is reading will encourage the reluctant readers, as well.

Note that this is a FAMILY reading club. So, mom, dad, even grandma and grandpa, need to pull out their books and start saving up the points! Add a few prizes for parents to the list!

Experiencing this as a family emphasizes the importance and joy of reading. It’s also a good excuse to catch up on that novel you have been wanting to pick up, but couldn’t because of work, school, or housework.

5. Tally the Points

At the end of the reading club, have everyone submit their tally sheets. Give each participant his grand total and see who earned the most points.

As a family, celebrate completing the club together. Again, pick something simple but meaningful. The best part is spending time together and relishing your accomplishments.

Just as for the actual reading, set a time frame for redemption of prizes. This may seem legalistic, but it prevents mom or dad from losing track of which prizes have been awarded.

Nothing is worse than a child claiming a year later that he never got his prize, and you can’t remember if he did or not. A time frame keeps up the excitement and allows for a completion of the project, which makes for a better transition back to everyday life.

How are you getting your family reading this summer?

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The Summer Slide

Recently, I attended a meeting that spoke about “The Summer Slide”. This is a situation where students lose skills as a result of having the summer off.  After eight or nine months in school, students take a few months off and typically go to summer camps, on vacations or just spend time in their community. It’s a well-deserved break, right? After all, we would not want to push kids too much, would we? What if kids could enjoy their summer and not lose skills? In the US, programs are being created to help.

It was while learning morning about the Summer Slide that I found this article. In it, we can read about year round learning (an interesting idea) AND “National Summer Learning Day”. This is a great program that brings awareness to the Summer Slide and encourages communities, families and elected officials to engage students during the summer months. This year it is July 13th and you can learn about it here.

In addition to checking out the National Summer Learning Association, there are additional options for families to encourage their kids during the summer and avoid the Summer Slide. Parents can enroll their children in the Kahn Academy a nonprofit that has a wealth of information available to students. Parents are able to monitor student’s progress through subjects by grade level. Videos and exercises are both available and at no cost. This is definitely a program that is building a better future!

At home, with my children, we set reading goals at the beginning of the summer. We also work to brush up and get stronger on subjects that the kids had a tough time with the previous school year. This year, it is Math. We will buy books, definitely use the Kahn Academy and drill. Usborne Books have amazing keys that kids can use on the go (a low tech solution that is fun)! As a parent, it is my responsibility to help my kids fight the Summer Slide.

 

BUT…

 

What happens when we finish our school days? What is the equivalent to the Summer Slide for adults? And… if there is one, how do we fight it? The answer should be that we never stop learning, we never stop picking up new skills.

Global Learn Day celebrates mankind’s learning. We appreciate and respect those who innovate education and help spread it to all corners of our planet. In order to truly be, One Planet, One People, we must educate. We must spread our knowledge to all corners of the planet. As a people, as mankind, we can all fall into the Summer Slide when we stop learning and growing our knowledge base.

So now, we can choose to fight that slide. Let’s join together in Building a Better Future by spreading our knowledge around the globe. Celebrate Global Learn Day with us!

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