What to do with all that CANDY??

If you are like many families, you have way too much candy and don’t really want to pay the dentist bills to have your kids eat it all. Or, if you are like me, you also just don’t want your kids eating that much junk (or have that much temptation around the house either. Luckily, I’ve been chatting with other moms and surfing the web for some ideas about what we can do to minimize the amount of candy we want to have around the house. Here are some great ideas:

1What to do with all that CANDYOk, Halloween is over, now what? If you are like many families, you have way too much candy and don’t really want to pay the dentist bills to have your kids eat it all. Or, if you are like me, you also just don’t want your kids eating that much junk (or have that much temptation around the house either. Luckily, I’ve been chatting with other moms and surfing the web for some ideas about what we can do to minimize the amount of candy we want to have around the house. Here are some great ideas:

The Candy Fairy
Have the Candy Fairy visit your house. Some moms suggest that either a Candy or Halloween Fairy come visit your house and leave a small toy or some money in place of a bag of candy that your child chooses to give away.

2What to do with all that CANDYCash for Candy
Many Dentists nationwide are participating in the Cash for Candy campaign. Participating offices that I’ve found are giving between one to five dollars for each pound of candy donated. The candy is then sent to our troops for holiday treat bags. Check with your local dentist to see if they are participating.

Give to Church
Many churches are also participating in a candy collection campaign. Some are sending the candy to the troops and some are saving the goodies to give out for other holidays throughout the year to families in need.

3What to do with all that CANDYBake and share
A lot of Halloween candy makes for good additions to baked goods like cookies, cakes, brownies, and more. Make batches for upcoming bake sales, holiday parties, etc.

What other ideas do you have, we’d love to hear them.

Eating Healthy is Boring!

Eating healthy does not have to be boring. It also does not mean that you have to give up all of your favorite foods and start eating like a rabbit. Most people seem to think that way with the mention of “healthy foods.” But, if you change the way you prepare your foods, you can make a big difference.

bigstock-Child-looks-with-disgust-for-f-83154188-e1432822309433Did that headline catch your eye? Luckily, eating healthy does not have to be boring. It also does not mean that you have to give up all of your favorite foods and start eating like a rabbit. Most people seem to think that way with the mention of “healthy foods.” But, if you change the way you prepare your foods, you can make a big difference. Here is a link to some great healthy food videos at NutritionbyNatalie.com.

Some folks seem to think that the only way to start eating healthy is to overhaul their diet in one night. There is some merit to “cleaning out the kitchen” of all the bad stuff like cookies, cakes, etc. But, you can make some gradual changes to many other foods on the way toward a healthier you. Gradual changes tend to be easier to make as well as longer lasting toward a lifestyle change.

The easiest way to get used to a healthier diet is to gradually add healthier items to your meals. For example, try 1% milk instead of stepping down to skim at first. Similarly, instead of butter, try low-fat cream cheese.

Another complaint I often here is that healthy food must be too bland since you should not use butter or sugar. Remember that there are a lot of choices beyond butter and sugar to help add flavor your food. Spices can make a big difference. Consider garlic salt, cinnamon, oregano, just to name a few.

So, give it a try. Start slow and before you know it, you will be eating healthier and feeling better. How will you know? You will begin to see signs of improvement in your body like increased energy, improved sleep, improved digestion and more. Here is a great video about fitting in healthy foods on a budget.

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Go Green For Halloween

fter the holiday is over, we are often left with a lot of waste like party favors, candy wrappers, etc. What can you do to make this Halloween a little better for the environment? Here are some great time from around the web.

halloweenYes, it is nearly time again for trick-or-treating, candy, parties and more. After the holiday is over, we are often left with a lot of waste like party favors, candy wrappers, etc. What can you do to make this Halloween a little better for the environment? Here are some great time from around the web.

Look for eco-friendly Halloween Candy
(yes, it really does exist)
According to PlanetGreen.com, “Look out for naturally flavored and colored treats made from organic ingredients. Pass up the artificial sweeteners in favor of concentrated juices or pure cane sugar, and buy from companies that support ecological foundations—when the kids start comparing their loot, your handouts will standout in more ways than one.” They have some excellent candy recommendations at there website HERE.

Serve healthy and seasonal foods
There are so many wonderful options to choose from this time of year. Pumpkins make for wonderful soups, breads, pies and curries. Apples are also readily available for lovely appetizers to desserts. Excellent recipes for pumpkin can be found on Vegweb.com.

Use Email for party invitations instead of paper
Chances are, you have probably received at least one electronic invitation so far. There are so many to choose from. Kids can help you select themes and charaters. Castlemountains.com has a great has a great selection of e-cards this year.

farmers market
Shop locally for your seasonal produce
Buy your pumpkins, apples and other seasonal items from local farms and markets. Buying local saves a ton on energy since nothing needed to be packaged or shipped to a larger retail venue.

Reusable party supplies
As much as possible, aim for reusable plates, cups, tablecloths, etc. I read a report of orange utensils at crateandbarrel.com for only 75 cents. Pottery Barn kids also has some great selections. Also consider a reusable bag or container for your children to collect their candy. My kids have been using the same plastic pumpkin pails for 3 years now. They probably cost $1 at a local drug store.

Don’t forget to experience the world you are helping
Experience nature. Visit a pumpkin farm. Pick fresh apples. Talk a long walk outside. Look up at the sky. Notice the moon. Remember, it’s Halloween.