Keeping Kids Healthy and Active During the School Year

School is starting for most families around the country and kids, who may have spent the entire summer playing, swimming, climbing trees, and generally being active will now sit in classrooms for several hours every day.

Not only will they be sitting in classrooms, they will come home with backpacks full of homework. When I was a teenager all I wanted to do when I got home from school was sleep! My brother played video games and my sister loved to watch television. The business-ness of our lives seemed to take over and our main goal in life was to eat chips and hangout on the couch!

Today’s kids are no different. With school demands on children increasing it is sometimes hard to keep kids active and healthy during the school year. Or parents compensate by over scheduling their children to keep them active and the kids can become run down and exhausted!

It can be hard to find a balance but it is possible!

Here are some tips to help keep your children active and healthy without stressing yourself or your kids out!

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Make extra curricular activities – active

Our children have always enjoyed organized activities like soccer, basketball, or dance. When choosing what our children are going to participate in each year, we try to focus on things that will help them burn off energy (they have a lot of it!) and build character at the same time. We also try to find activities that includes all family members in some way.

For our family we found soccer worked best. Most of my kids played on a team and Cora was always a helper at practice when she was too little to play. My older children also were involved in coaching some of the younger teams which kept them very active.

Schedule family fun time

Not every family is a sports family, and if your family prefers activities that are a little less active remember to schedule in some active time on the weekends. Hiking, swimming, walking, bike riding and bowling are fun activities for the entire family which can be done on a budget!

Schedule buffer time before bed

It can be hard for kids to go from activity to activity and then fall asleep. Unless of course they fall asleep from exhaustion in the car on the way home! Schedule thirty minutes of down time before bed for children to unwind and decompress from the day. My kids love to read or listen to audio books in their room.

This is a great way for them to relax and hopefully get a good night’s sleep!

Start the day with a healthy breakfast

Kids need a well balanced, low sugar breakfast in the morning to help them concentrate on their studies.

We have a tradition of making/ getting donuts for someone’s birthday in our house. While I love this tradition, my kids can be crazy sugar monsters after a breakfast of like that! Donuts are perfect for a special day, but for every day help your child succeed in school by providing him healthier, high protein options for breakfast.

Make healthy choices easier

My kids love convenience so whatever food is easiest for them to eat they will grab. I’m convinced that if peas came in a plastic pouch my kids would be eating them like crazy!

To help my kids make smart choices at snack time I cut fruit and veggies and keep them in small containers in the fridge. I also try to keep cheese sticks/ slices, and yogurt in the fridge for a quick snack. My kids know that they can always have fruits, vegetables, nuts, yogurt, milk, and cheese whenever they are hungry.

They don’t need permission, they can just grab it for themselves. Of course if it is 5 minutes before dinner that’s a different story, but I’ve found that if I make healthy snacks available to my kids they are more likely to choose them over chips or candy.

Make snack time fun

Make snack time fun by offering your kids cheese sticks, grapes on a toothpick, apple slices with peanut butter, celery with cream cheese, frozen banana slices, or yogurt Tuberz™.

My kids are more willing to try new things or make healthy choices if those choices are presented to them in a fun way.

Remember kids are more likely to succeed when they get plenty of exercise, rest, and healthy food (and so do adults). Jump start your school year by getting a plan together now for how you can make it happen in your family.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

ALS #IceBucketChallenge Accepted

als icebucketchallenge ALS #IceBucketChallenge Accepted

Today I took the #IceBucketChallenge to raise awareness and money for ALS.   I was challenged by my friend, Tabitha from  I encourage everyone to take a minute and learn more about this deadly disease for which there is no cure.  You can help by spreading the word about this challenge and donating money to the ALS Association:

According to this article on The New York Times,

As of Sunday, the association said it had received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year.

That shows you the amazing power and reach of social media! I’m in awe!  And, I’m honored to join in with the millions who have already donated and posted a video:

And, I challenge my amazing tech guy, Chris K from, my son-in-law, Shane, and his buddy, Christian, as well as my fantastic husband who called me a wimp for not wanting to do this.  icon wink ALS #IceBucketChallenge Accepted

Please consider making a donation to ALS today!

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Infographic: The Military Home

Having been in a military family for 21 years, I know firsthand how tricky (and sometimes complicated it can be) purchasing a home. We’ve done a VA loan for our last two houses and will probably continue to do so if/when we move again.

Navy Federal Credit Union specializes in helping military families with financial services, loans, mortgages, etc. If you are a military family that is looking to purchase a home, be sure to check out their latest infographic on, “The Military Home: A Household Unlike Any Other.”

nfcu mortgageinfo final Infographic: The Military Home

The Military Home: A Household Unlike Any Other – An infographic by the team at Navy Federal.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

HTH Makes Summertime Fun

It’s no secret we LOVE our pool. I’ve always said I would never buy a house with a pool, especially in Maryland, but now I don’t know if I would ever buy a house without one.

We are in the pool every day. Most days it is the first thing we do after breakfast. There are many days where the kids spend the entire day in their bathing suits and they are swimming from morning until bedtime.

When HTH® Pool Care was interested in partnering with me, it was an easy fit because we’ve been using their products for the past two summers!

While we love to spend time in the pool, we don’t like to spend a ton of time cleaning the pool! We prefer for our time to be spent hosting parties so people can cool off in this crazy summer weather.

Or sometimes just cool off. No party or bathing suit needed.

With HTH® Pool Care products we can focus on the kids, not taking care of the pool. We use the HTH® test kit to check the pH levels and make sure we don’t need to add anything to the pool.

Since we have a saltwater pool, we are very careful about what products we use because replacing the chlorine generator is not cheap. All HTH® products are compatible with saltwater pools so we use them to keep our pool beautiful and blue.

Our pool isn’t normally “that” blue, that’s a fun HTH® Party Potion. My kids absolutely loved it and the girls asked if it came in pink, of course!

It is this blue though.

Since summer only lasts about four months in Maryland, we try to spend as much time having fun and enjoying our backyard before it turns into a snowy playground again.

If you have a pool and are not using HTH® Pool Care products it’s time to start. Our time this summer has been spent enjoying our pool (as those of you who follow me on Instagram have noticed) not taking care of it thanks to HTH®.

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For more information about HTH® Pool Care products visit them on the web.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of HTH Pool Care via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.