Five Simple Ways to Keep Cavities Away!

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With seven children, trips to the dentist can be quite the adventure. Since my children were young we’ve always emphasized good dental habits because frankly, I didn’t want to pay for fillings x 7!

When they were very small, the dentist would line them up against the back wall and do their exams standing up since there wasn’t enough room in the chairs for all of them.

We’d usually have high fives all around when all seven would be declared cavity free, once again. Over the past 22 years we’ve only had three cavities! I’d consider that a success.

With the largest candy holiday of the year only a few weeks away, now is a great time to teach your kids how to scare those cavities away. So what are my tips for keeping the cavities at bay?

Drink Lots of Water

While my children love fruit juice, sodas and other beverages, we’ve always encouraged our children to drink water throughout the day and with their meals. This is especially important in the evening hours. I’ve known families who put their children to bed with a sippy cup full of juice, which is basically like giving them a cup of sugar!

I purposefully didn’t buy soda or juice when my kids were little, because I wanted them to drink as much water as possible.

Limit Sticky Sweets

When your child comes home with a bag full of candy, it’s okay to remove many of the biggest cavity causing candies, like sticky sweets, gummies, and lollipops. Your child will probably have so much candy they won’t even notice if you take these cavity causing candies.

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In addition to removing some of the worst offenders, limit the amount of candy your child is allowed to have each day. Don’t let them store their candy in their bedroom or a place where they have easy access to it. I remember one year, I found about fifty candy wrappers under one unnamed child’s bed after Christmas.  That was the last time we let them keep candy in their room when they were little!

Set Them up for Success

We make sure each child has their favorite color toothbrush, toothpaste they like, and we helped them brush and floss when they were little. We sing brushing songs, use timers (and timer toothbrushes), and even got them little cups so they could swish and spit like the big kids.

Once they were older, our orthodontist recommended ACT Kids Anticavity Rinse* (recommended for children 6 years of age and older) which can deliver the power of fluoride to all of the surfaces of your children’s teeth to help prevent cavities, strengthen tooth enamel and protect their teeth.

My kids LOVE using ACT Kids Anticavity rinse and beg to use it regularly. It’s an easy way to prevent cavities that they never forget to do.

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When my children were very young, we brushed their teeth in the bathtub. Instead of getting the bathroom counters covered in toothpaste and mess, everything washed down the shower drain when they were done. (I have some adult friends who still do this!)

At Christmas time, when cookies, candies, and sweets seem to be everywhere, my kids get a toothbrush in their stocking every year. Hopefully it helps remind them to brush after they eat all their chocolate!

Reward Cavity Free Trips to the Dentist

Years ago I met someone who paid their children $10 each time they went to the dentist and they were cavity free. Considering the cost of a filling was about $75, $10 was a bargain!

I loved this idea and decided to try it with my own kids. My kids look forward to going to the dentist because of the free goody bag and new toothbrush, but also because they know they are going to earn $10 if they keep up the good dental habits between visits. Even though it hurts the pocketbook a bit when I’m paying out $10 per kid, it’s still cheaper than filling one cavity.

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Trade the Candy for Cash!

Once after my nephews had an exceptionally large trick-or-treating candy haul, my brother had an excellent idea. He allowed his boys to sample some of their favorite candies and then offered to buy their entire bag from them. Since the boys were saving up for some electronics, they quickly decided to trade in their bags of sugary sweets for some cash.

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If you don’t want to trade candy for cash, you can trade candy for a special event (trip to the zoo or museum), a toy, or something else your child really wants.

This year, don’t let the upcoming candy filled holidays scare away all the good dental habits in your kids. Start these habits now, before the candy comes through the door and help prevent your kids from dealing with cavities down the road.

Do you have a great tip for keeping the cavities at bay?

Leave a comment sharing your tip and be entered to win an awesome anticavity prize package, which includes better-for-you snacks, ACT Kids Anticavity Rinse, fun certificates for the kids and much more. ACT provided me with one of these “Anticavity Goody Bags” and is offering one to a lucky winner, as well.

Giveaway is open only to US residents ages 18 years of age or older. A winner will be selected using Random.org on October 24, 2016 and will be notified via email or message on social media.

*ACT Kids Anticavity Rinse was ranked as the #1 recommended children’s mouthwash by pharmacists in the 2016 OTC Guide from Pharmacy Times.

Five simple ways to keep cavities away in kids. How I've managed to raise 7 kids with only 2 cavities in 22 years.

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

Learn How to Adore Your Wardrobe!

A few years ago I decided to stop being exhausted and start exercising and eating better. The lifestyle changes I made allowed me to lose 25 pounds, but more importantly I felt amazing!

While no one would have called me overweight to begin with, my weight loss meant that nothing in my closet fit me. NOTHING. Not even my underwear. (Just being real y’all!) I literally had to get rid of almost every thing I owned and start over.

Over the past few years I’ve built back up my wardrobe, but I’ve always struggled with finding clothes that look great, fit great, and don’t break the bank! I realized that before I lost weight I had a closet full of clothes but always felt like I had NOTHING to wear.

My friend Kelly Snyder from Redefined Mom was in the same predicament. But one revelation changed that forever… Fashion isn’t art. Fashion is:

  • science
  • math
  • proportion
  • balance

And now, she is on a mission to demystify fashion for women, transforming the way they think about, buy and put-together outfits…forever!

I wish she would have done this four years ago when I was replacing everything I owned! I probably would have kept me from making some shopping mistakes!

This month you can join her (and me- more on that later) on an amazing journey to allow you to finally Adore Your Wardrobe!

The Adore Your Wardrobe eCourse is a 30-day course that will change the way you think about fashion and your wardrobe. This nine module (and one master class) course contains videos, written overviews, and worksheets to help give you the skills to become a killer fashionista.

You’ll receive instant access to the entire course to enjoy the lessons when it’s convenient for your schedule.

Aren’t sure if the course is right for you? Check out this free lesson on the Rule of 4.

Every few days, you will receive an email from Kelly with an overview of the day’s lesson, as well as a mini-challenges to help build your confidence and feel successful in your ability to create a great-looking outfit.

Here’s what’s included:

  • Lesson #1: Getting Personal With Measurements
  • Lesson #2: Determining Your Unique Body Type & How To Create Balance and Proportion 
  • Lesson #3: Laying The Right Foundation Lesson
  • Lesson #4: Jeans – How To Find a Pair You Love 
  • Lesson #5: Anatomy of a Shirt – Necklines & Length Matter 
  • Lesson #6: 11 Items to Splurge On (And Four To Save On) 
  • Lesson #7: Create A Closet You Adore 
  • Lesson #8: Rule of Four 
  • Lesson #9: Putting It All Together
  • Masterclass: Discovering The Right Colors For You
  • PLUS: Exclusive access to our private Facebook group to connect with and encourage each other as we walk this path together!

Here’s the deal. The course costs $79. I know that’s A LOT of money! However, what if investing $79 now, meant that you wouldn’t waste any more money on clothes that don’t look AMAZING on you? I know that personally I’ve spent much more than $79 over the past ten years on clothing that I end up passing along to a friend because I see a picture of myself in it and think – UGH! THAT IS NOT FLATTERING AT ALL!!! 

Not only will you save money by learning how to buy (or shop your own closet for) amazing outfits but you’ll save time! Have you ever been late to church or a meeting because you tried on sixteen outfits trying to find the one that makes you look your best? (Guilty!)

This course is only open for a limited town, so don’t delay in signing up if you are interested. Kelly offers a 7-day money back guarantee, so you can purchase with confidence.

So, would you join me over the next several weeks? I’m going through the course too and I’d love to see you in the Facebook group or hear from you via email with updates on how you are doing!

Learn more and sign up today! 

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

Growing True Leaders

Since our first child was born twenty-one years ago, my husband and I have tried to instill leadership skills in our children. I want my children to be impacting the world around them in a positive way for many years after I’m gone.

This starts when your children are young, if you wait until they are “old enough” you don’t allow them to develop skills and habits that will help them become great leaders.

In our family this begins in the home by giving our kids responsibilities (aka chores) at a young age. As they grow older we look for opportunities for them to serve their community by volunteering. We try to find opportunities that allow us to work together as a family, so we can help shape positive attitudes and instill a good work ethic.

This could be something as simple as working around the house, helping a friend move, or mowing a neighbor’s grass when they are out of town.

We also participate in community events that allow our family to serve in a greater capacity and help our children develop the leadership skills that they will need as they grow older.

You may wonder, how do chores and volunteering help develop leadership skills? When our children have responsibilities around the house they are given ownership of those responsibilities. After they are able to complete their chores they are in charge of certain areas of the house (room, bathroom, kitchen counters, etc). They take responsibility for keeping those areas clean and organized.

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Last year we purchased a fixer upper house. All our kids worked on the home renovation. Even Cora could help by peeling wallpaper and doing other small jobs. The level of ownership our children have in the house they helped renovate is something that can only be achieved by doing.

They learned how to manage their time, get jobs done, ask for help, teach others, and work together. They developed leadership skills by working together and finding ways to help out even when they weren’t asked.

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We also try to get involved in community projects. My boys have coached soccer teams, helped the elderly in our community with home repairs, and volunteered at the local food bank.

Today’s youth want to make a difference. According to a National 4-H Council and Harris Poll, when it comes to their personal role in addressing key issues, most youth (88%) say they believe they can make a difference, they see themselves as leaders (74%) and they feel a responsibility to lead (73%).

However, only one in three young people says they have the skills they need to be prepared to lead. Half of all high school students report they are not prepared to lead in their life after high school – for college or career.

Here are some practical ways our children have learned how to be leaders in our home and community.

  • Coaching sports teams
  • Helping out at the local food bank
  • Volunteering at local events, such as Easter egg hunts, Trunk or Treat, and Vacation Bible School
  • Helping friends/ family move
  • Having responsibilities around the house
  • Doing odd jobs for the elderly in our community

This year my son had a unique opportunity to give a presentation at his younger sibling’s school. They were studying reptiles, and since my son has several reptiles as pets he was asked to talk to the kids about snakes and lizards.

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My son was able to give a unique and informative presentation to almost fifty children, answer questions, and teach them about animals in a creative way. He did a great job and the kids were excited and interested in his talk.

I have no doubt that all his leadership opportunities in the past helped my son give an hour and half presentation on animals without even breaking a sweat.

As my kids are growing up, I try hard to notice their leadership efforts and motivate them by giving positive feedback.

4-H wants to help you recognize and encourage our youth. You can join with 4-H to help more kids get the opportunities they deserve by publicly honoring youth who are making an impact (big or small) in their lives and the lives of others. You can recognize the youth in your family and local community by sharing their leadership efforts on social media with the hashtag #TrueLeaders.

You can also take a moment to join their ThunderClap to share one unified message about how great kids are today.

Help the next generation become leaders by offering them opportunities, encouragement and recognition.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 4-H. The opinions and text are all mine.

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

Staying Fit as a Family

It’s hard to believe that our littlest child no longer needs to ride in a bike trailer or use training wheels.

Everyone in our family is a two-wheeled bike rider!!! After teaching SEVEN kids how to ride a bike I seriously never thought this day would come.

While our quiet neighborhood is great for bike rides, we don’t have sidewalks so I get a little nervous with Cora still being a beginning rider.

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Thankfully we live near several awesome bike trails that are perfect for our whole family to ride together.

One thing I realized when our kids were younger is that exercise isn’t just for mom and dad. Finding fun activities the whole family can do together is a great way to keep everyone healthy and fit.

Here are a few of our favorite ways we are active together.

Team Sports

All of our kids play soccer. Every single one of them. We decided years ago that soccer was the easiest sport for our whole family to play.

Not all of my kids are amazing soccer players, but they’ve all enjoyed being on a team and making new friends. My husband and I also coach teams to make it a total family affair. While soccer may not be your thing, I’ve known other folks who participate in swimming, lacrosse, and tennis as a family.

Water activities

Most of our family vacations involve water. We love the beach, rivers, springs, and lakes.

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All of my kids love to swim, canoe, kayak, and recently have started tubing. A few years ago we lived in a neighborhood that had a community pool. Most of the parents would sit on the side and watch their kids’ swim.

Be a fit family by getting off the side of the pool and swimming with your kids.

Outside play

I know many kids, who given the opportunity, will pick playing a video game or watching a movie over being outside, but we encourage outside play whenever we can.

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We meet up with friends at parks and playgrounds and always keep a bin of soccer, basketballs, and other outside toys easily accessible for our kids to use when friends come over.

Be purposeful with family time

If your schedule is anything like ours, your family is always on the go! We have to plan our family time or it doesn’t happen.

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Whether it is taking a walk around the neighborhood, going to garage sales on a Saturday morning, or hitting the trails on our bikes we try to make our time together active and fun.

Work out together

If your children are old enough, they can even workout with you! All of my kids love to exercise with mom and dad even if it just means jumping jacks or toe touches while we do something more rigorous.

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My older kids enjoy participating in fun runs with their dad. If you like being chased by zombies, sprayed with colorful powder or crawling through mud, these races are tons of fun for anyone who is old enough to participate.

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Because our family spends so much time on the go, I’m always looking for snacks I can quickly throw in my bag that the whole family will enjoy.

This week I tried Fisher Nut Exactly snack bites. Since our family LOVES popcorn I knew my kids would love these 15 calorie snacks that are a combination of roasted nuts and whole grain popcorn, rolled into a bite-sized snack that’s dipped in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut butter or salted caramel.IMG_4366

One bite and I was hooked! These snack bites were so good I had to stop myself from eating the entire bag! My favorite is Peanut Popcorn Dipped in Peanut Butter although my daughter loved the Almond Popcorn Dipped in Milk Chocolate.

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There are several varieties available, including Almond Popcorn Dipped in Milk Chocolate, Almond Popcorn Dipped in Dark Chocolate, Pecan Popcorn Dipped in Salted Caramel and Peanut Popcorn Dipped in Peanut Butter so you’re sure to find something for everyone’s tastes.

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They come in a resealable bag, so they are perfect to take with you on a bike ride or to the field for an after game snack.

Find out which of your local stores carries Fisher Nut Exactly.

If you would like to try some of these absolutely delicious (can’t eat just one!) snack bites leave a comment below sharing how your family stays active. One winner will receive a Fisher Nut Exactly prize pack plus a $50 gift card! 

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Giveaway ends February 9, 2016!

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

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