5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy For the School Year


Back to School

The kids are back to school, and while parents are adjusting to new schedules, homework demands, and more, they also need to ensure their children stay as healthy as possible, despite being exposed to classmates’ sniffling, sneezing, and germ-sharing habits.

Here are 5 tips to keep kids healthy and happy as the school year begins:

  • Bank those sleep hours –Late night TV watching, video gaming and texting disrupt sleep patterns, so set limits on computer and smartphone use, and reinforce reasonable bedtimes in the first weeks of school. Not only are good sleep habits part of a healthy lifestyle, some studies show that even one less hour of sleep a night can hurt a child’s ability to learn. Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D., Chief Director of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas notes that our brain needs approximately 8 hours to rest and consolidate learning of new information.
  • Quickly treat aches and pains – Children, like adults, can overdo it: not getting enough rest or eating a healthy diet, especially during the first hectic weeks of school. That leaves them more susceptible to a range of ailments, including scratchy throats. Keep an eye on signs of a cold and act quickly before they progress. For a sore, scratchy throat, parents should choose over-the-counter medicines made for children, not adults, like all-natural Nature’s Jeannie™ Throat Care Spray for Kids, that not only soothes and coats irritated throats, but reduces bacteria significantly, loosens mucus, decreases inflammation and helps restore the throat’s natural pH balance. The spray also minimizes the risk of overmedicating: a new study found that 1 in 5 parents give their child overdoses of common medicines, due to confusing instructions and dosage information.
  • Reinforce healthy eating habits – It’s hard to get kids to eat healthy when fries, pizza and other fast food are on the school menu. Parents might consider making sure that at least a healthy breakfast starts the day, and here is good reason why. Scientists from the University of Alberta-Canada, in a study of more than 4,500 fifth-graders, found that children who ate more whole fruits and vegetables, and consumed fewer calories from fat performed better in school. “This study demonstrates the independent importance of overall diet quality to academic performance,” concluded lead author Dr. Paul J. Veugelers and colleagues.
  • Reinforce smart hygiene habits – How do kids contract germs in and out of the classroom? Not washing their hands! Kids frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make them sick. Empower your child with their own sanitizer keychain (fun, yet functional), remind them about the importance of washing their hands and explain how germs spread.
  • Encourage physical activity over digital activity – Although the school year does incorporate some play time or recess, not all schools put the same emphasis on the importance of physical activity. Especially in this highly digital age of iPads, smart phones, digital games, apps, media galore – go out of your way to carve some time for physical fitness. Consider a walk with the family after dinner, or a marathon jump rope contest. Researchers have found that regular aerobic exercise (three times a week for 50 minutes) improves memory function, so exercise is a good way to engage in quality time with your child and build their mental muscle.

Parents can start the school year off right with a child who is rested, healthy, eating well, feeling positive and focused on being healthy – it provides the best opportunity for an enjoyable school year for both you and your student!

Back to School

About the author:

Nature’s Jeannie™ was born out of frustration: plagued by painful sore throats, Juliet Boghossian concocted a throat gargle she could rely on to relieve and remedy her sore throat quickly and naturally, and eventually teamed with her husband, Michael Tatosian, to further develop the product that became Gargle Away® Advanced Throat Care. Combining ancient wisdom with modern science, Gargle Away’s proprietary blend of all-natural germ fighting, pain relieving and highly soothing ingredients provides the most comprehensive and effective throat care without a prescription. 

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Dr Pepper Snapple Group – with so many varieties there is something for everyone


Family grocery shopping

Brands. We’re all familiar with them. There are literally thousands in every grocery store across the country. People might be surprised to find out that some of their favorite brands are actually under the “umbrella” of a larger brand. It’s not uncommon for one brand to be the parent company of other brands.

I recently learned that the Dr Pepper Snapple Group was the parent brand of popular brands that my family enjoys on a regular basis.

The Dr Pepper Snapple Group is the parent company to the brands Mott’s, Yoo-hoo and Hawaiian Punch. They also make Snapple and Dr Pepper products too.

Visit my kitchen and you’ll almost always find Yoo-hoo and Hawaiian Punch in my fridge or pantry. It’s not so much for my kids – but my husband! I always refer to him as my third child. LOL!

My husband grew up drinking Yoo-hoo and Hawaiian Punch. He loves those brands and enjoys them as much today as he did when he was a kid. They are a staple in our home. Who knew they were made by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group and were “related” to each other.


My husband buys Yoo-hoo in bulk from the warehouse club and often takes it to work with him.

My family also enjoys Hawaiian Punch. My husband prefers the classic red fruit punch. I used to pack my kids the juice pouches in with their lunch back when I made their school lunches (our daughter is in college now and our son in a senior who eats lunch when he gets home from school).

They still enjoy the pouches along with an afternoon snack.


I was surprised to learn that our family favorites are also “related” to another Dr Pepper Snapple Group product – Mott’s.

I buy Mott’s apple juice from time to time. Last year the site director I worked with served the children Mott’s apple juice with their snacks. Sometimes I would pour myself a cup. I would even pick up a contain here and there when I went shopping but it never lasted too long. My kids normally drank it before I had a chance to.

Mott’s apple juice is also a nice snack time option.

I especially like the individual bottle option. Not only are they great to toss into your child’s lunch box, but I can also take them to work with me in my lunch tote.


Now, whenever I go to the grocery store I see Dr Pepper Snapple Group products every where. I’m surprised by how many brands they represent. I had no idea they offered consumers such a great variety of products and flavors. They have something for everyone.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group is also all about fun and games. They have a health and wellness initiative called Let’s Play that encourages children (and families) to get out and play.

Playtime has changed A LOT since I was a kid. I would be outside from sun up to sundown. I grew up in a time where kids played until the street lights came on. Then we’d go home and read, color or play some more.

These days children are overwhelmed with homework and after school activities. Even parents find themselves working more hours in order to afford the cost of living. Something like playtime seems to get pushed to the side.

Sadly, a new survey from Let’s Play, found that only 33 percent of children participate in daily active play – a decrease from 41 percent in 2015. I find this statistic rather shocking. Nearly half of the children in the survey don’t have time to play.


My husband and our kids playing at the playground when they were little. My husband accidentally hit his head on the yellow bar.

I always gave my kids time to play and unwind after school. I know that doing their homework was important, but I found that playtime was equally as important. Kids need time to unwind and decompress after school. They need time to simply be a kid.

Playtime is not only a great way to de-stress after a long day but it’s a great way for kids to get much needed exercise and to develop, encourage and promote creativity and imagination.

We don’t have a yard so my kids had their outside playtime on the weekends at the local parks. At home my son would always go straight to his vehicles and building blocks/bricks. My daughter loved to color and draw. What ever a child considers fun is playtime.

I work as a teacher’s assistant in a Kindergarten classroom. The teacher makes sure that the kids get ample playtime in between learning. Every day the kids get outside to play for 15-30 minutes and inside they get 30 minutes of play before the learning begins and another 15 minute playtime later on in the day.


If you would like to learn more about the Let’s Play initiative, or to find some great playtime activities you and your family can enjoy, visit LetsPlay.com.

f you would like to learn more about Dr Pepper Snapple Group and all their brands, please visit their website at www.DrPepperSnapple.com.

In addition, you can also follow Dr Pepper Snapple Group on social media at www.Facebook.com/DrPepperSnapple or www.Twitter.com/DrPepperSnapple. They can also be found on Instagram (@DrPepperSnapple). You can also find all of the individual brands on social media too.

Are you a fan of any of the Dr Pepper Snapple Group products?

Do you make sure that your child/children have ample play time on a daily basis? What is your child’s favorite playtime activity?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.



*Compensation was provided by Dr Pepper Snapple Group via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Dr Pepper Snapple Group or Mom Trends.

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Happy Birthday Curious George!



I’d love to give a special birthday “shout out” to Curious George. He’s 75 years old TODAY! He doesn’t look that old, that is for sure.

I cannot believe that Curious George has been around for that long. I grew up reading his books. I also read his books to my own children, who are now teenagers.

I remember when I was a very young girl the time my mom gave me a book she picked up from a garage sale. It was a book about a monkey. For the life of me I can’t remember the title. I can visualize it, and I have tried to Google it over the years, but I simply cannot find it.

I loved that book. It was one of my favorite books. Sadly, I lost the book at school and it was never found. No one brought it to the lost and found either. I was crushed. I loved that book.

My mom didn’t know what to do. She thought if she bought me another book about a monkey that maybe I’d forget about that other book. The book she bought me to replace my lost book was a Curious George book. It looked like the one (pictured below).

Curious George

I THINK this was the first Curious George book published.

From the first time I read this book I became an instant fan of the adorable, mischievous monkey.

I’ve always been an animal lover, so it made sense that I would enjoy stories about an adorable monkey. Back then I even wished I owned a stuffed Curious George (I don’t think a plush was available way back then). I did have some plush monkeys that I pretended to be Curious George, including a classic sock monkey.

I had several Curious George books growing up. I don’t know what happened to them. I guess my mom donated them when I got older. Sigh…

When my daughter was a toddler I picked up a few Curious George books to read to her.

I LOVE this book! It's filled with great word of wisdom.

I LOVE this book! It’s filled with great word of wisdom.

What I love about Curious George is that he hasn’t changed much over the years. His looks only changed a little bit. He still looks a lot like the original Curious George from the books I grew up with. The stories are still just as wonderful and entertaining as they were when I was little.

When my son was born I read the books to him as well. I even kept them, but currently they are buried in my father’s basement along with other things from my kid’s childhoods.

I am hoping that one day my children read the Curious George books to their children someday (my future grandchildren). Curious George is a timeless classic that can be enjoyed today or even 100 years from now.

To this day I still enjoy reading Curious George books – even ones I have read over and over again.

I love that there is a Curious George series on television (PBS). It’s great that Curious George is being appreciated and loved by a whole new generation.


I even FINALLY have my very own Curious George plush toy – just like what I wanted when I was a child. Better late than never. LOL!

I even have a wonderful set of Curious George books that I keep on our family bookcase that I hope to read to the kids I work with (I’m a teacher’s assistant for a Kindergarten class) as well as my future grandchildren.

These days there are so many fun Curious books and toys readily available. That is because everyone loves this sweet little monkey and friends.

Do you have a favorite Curious George memory? What about a favorite Curious George book? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

In addition, feel free to wish Curious George a “Happy Birthday” on social media. Please use the hashtag #GetCurious.



*I received some free goodies in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Young Chefs Academy – Teaching kids 3-18 how to cook (giveaway ends 9/30/16)



Do you remember the first thing you made in the kitchen when you were a child? For me, it was boxed macaroni and cheese. It didn’t take me long to get familiar with the kitchen and cook things. I even liked to get creative and make up my own recipes using left overs and whatever I could find in the cabinets.

I’m fortunate that my husband knows how to cook too.

My teenagers can fend for themselves. Our almost 17 year old son cooks more than our 19 year old daughter. She either uses foods she can warm in the microwave, buys something to eat (if she’s too lazy to cook) or eats cereal.

I think its important that children and teenagers be comfortable in the kitchen and be able to make simple meals. Sadly, a lot of parents are simply too busy to teach their kids how to cook in the kitchen. Thank goodness for places like the Young Chefs Academy.

Young Chefs Academy is the country’s leading kids cooking school with more than 20 locations open or in development throughout ten states. Young Chefs Academy has captivated the creativity of children across U.S. communities for more than a decade.

Children enrolled in Young Chefs Academy will have the opportunity to participate in educational classes in a state-of-the-art kitchen. The curriculum at Young Chefs Academy is updated regularly with fresh monthly themes and exciting new programs with a strong focus on building culinary skills. Events and classes are fueled by the mantra, “mise en place,” which translates to “everything in its place.”

Tailored for young children discovering the kitchen in a KinderCooks® class, children in the Junior Chefs program and older students mastering concepts in the Senior Chefs group, there is a place and a lesson for every student to explore and grow through cooking. Each location also hosts birthdays and events for groups just looking for a taste of the Young Chefs experience.


Young Chefs Academy students can also benefit from opportunities connected to influential media partners, such as Food Network Magazine. Young Chefs Academy has hosted nationally recognized programs in conjunction with these and other partners, reaching both kids and adults across the nation with cooking tips and events to bring families together in the kitchen.

Founded in 2003, Young Chefs Academy is one part culinary adventure, one part culinary education, and it’s all for children. Here, learning invaluable life lessons (shhh… they don’t even know it’s happening) occurs through a cooking curriculum that evokes curiosity, which provides children a pathway to personal discovery and creativity, all in a warm, welcoming and inspiring movement.

Young Chefs Academy has classes for children from ages 3 – 18 years old.

Young Chefs Academy currently has schools in 10 states – California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. Locations in Idaho and Arkansas coming soon. You can see all the current locations here.

For more information visit YoungChefsAcademy.com. You can also check them out on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Young Chefs Academy would like to give a lucky reader a FREE class. Please check out the current locations (here) to make sure there is a location near you before entering. 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on September 30, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t quality.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of site readers. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Ghoulishly Halloween reads from HarperCollins Children’s Books



I know it’s hard to believe that Halloween is around the corner, after all, most people are just settling back into the “back to school” routine.

My kids haven’t even returned to school yet (just a few more days left of summer vacation).

We’ve been seeing Halloween (and Thanksgiving!) things since July. I hate that people need to rush the holidays to much. Can’t we just enjoy each holiday and season without rushing them?

This Halloween season, Harper Collins has some ghostly good reads for young children and older children. Check out some of these spootacular books your child/grandchild might want to read.


Frankencrayon written & illustrated by Michael Hall

Frankencrayon written & illustrated by Michael Hall

9780062252111– $17.99 – Ages 4 to 8 

The crayons are all set to put on their production of Frankencrayon. All the roles are filled, the costumes are made, and the curtain is about to go up, when disaster strikes and a scribble is found on the set. The crayons try their best to erase the scribble, but it just keeps getting bigger and bigger until it becomes a scribble monster! The crayons flee from the set and cancel the picture book . . . at least, until the crayons playing Frankencrayon himself think up a solution. 

Go to Sleep, Monster! written & illustrated by Kevin Cornell

Go to Sleep, Monster! written & illustrated by Kevin Cornell

9780062349156– $17.99 – Ages 4 to 8

Getting George to sleep is a nightmare. But getting a monster to sleep? That’s an adventure. Go to Sleep, Monster! is a funny and surprising twist on the typical monster-under-your-bed story. 

Monster Trucks written by Anika Denise, illustrated by Nate Wragg

Monster Trucks written by Anika Denise, illustrated by Nate Wragg

9780062345226– $17.99 – Ages 4 to 8

On a spooky speedway, Monster Trucks moan! Monster Trucks grumble! Monster Trucks groan! Join Frankentruck, Zombie Truck, Ghost Truck, and more as they race to the finish line. But one of these trucks isn’t quite who you think. 

Grimelda The Very Messy Witch written by Diana Murray illustrated by Heather Ross

Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch written by Diana Murray, illustrated by Heather Ross

9780062264480– $16.99 – Ages 4 to 8 

Grimelda’s house may not be tidy, but it’s cozy, and that’s just the way she likes it. She also likes pickle pie. There’s only one problem—she can’t find the main ingredient! Grimelda could use a spell to summon the jar of pickle root, but she can’t find her spell book either. With no other choice, she grabs her broom and soon finds what she needs, but can Grimelda use her magic to make her house feel like home again?

Enzo’s Very Scary Halloween written by Garth Stein & illustrated by R.W. Alley

Enzo’s Very Scary Halloween written by Garth Stein & illustrated by R.W. Alley

9780062380616— $17.99 — Ages 4 to 8

Halloween is here! But Enzo doesn’t know what to expect. Enzo is determined to protect fairy princess Zoe from the monsters and goblins that have filled their neighborhood, but when things get a little too scary, his family is there to reassure him that everything is make believe and meant only to be fun. And the evening ends with a wonderful trick or treat parade!


The School for Good and Evil The Ever Never Handbook written by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil: The Ever Never Handbook written by Soman Chainani

9780062423054– $17.99 – Ages 8 to 12 

This handbook contains the scoop students need in order to get to the top of their class—the fairy tales you need to know, the myths it’s dangerous not to know, spells you won’t live without, Who’s Who and What’s What, and much more. And of course, it’s all in glorious color because in the School for Good and Evil, nothing is black and white.

Gris Grimly’s Tales from a Brother’s Grimm written by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm & illustrated by Gris Grimly

Gris Grimly’s Tales from a Brother’s Grimm written by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm & illustrated by Gris Grimly

9780062352330– $17.99 – Ages 8 to 12 

The Brothers Grimm’s famed and enduring fairy tales are brought to life for a new generation of readers in their original, uncut, uncensored form by the master of gothic macabre, bestselling illustrator Gris Grimly. 

Laugh-Out-Loud Spooky Jokes for Kids written by Rob Elliott

Laugh-Out-Loud Spooky Jokes for Kids written by Rob Elliott

9780062497888– $4.99 – Ages 6 to 10

This autumn-and-Halloween-themed joke collection is the first of HarperCollins’s four new paperback titles continuing Rob Elliott’s #1 bestselling Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids series. 

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel Single Volume written by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by Craig P. Russell

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel Single Volume written by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by Craig P. Russell

9780062421883– $35.00 – Ages 8 to 12 

The two volumes of the graphic novel adaptation of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK are now bound into one stunning edition. Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except he lives in a sprawling graveyard and has been raised since infancy by ghosts and a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in a graveyard for a boy, but there are dangers too, and if Bod leaves the graveyard, he may fall prey to the man Jack, who has already murdered Bod’s entire family. 


Harmony House written by Nic Sheff

Harmony House written by Nic Sheff

9780062337092– $17.99 – Ages 14 and up 

Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation. But to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror. But Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and her father is at the center of one of its most disturbing secrets. 

The Blood Between Us written by Zac Brewer

The Blood Between Us written by Zac Brewer

9780062307910– $17.99 – Ages 13 and up 

When his adoptive parents die in a mysterious fire, Adrien suspects their biological daughter, Grace, may have had something to do with it. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series and The Cemetery Boys. 

Escape from Asylum written by Madeline Roux

Escape from Asylum written by Madeline Roux

9780062424426– $17.99 – Ages 14 and up 

In this prequel to the New York Times bestselling ASYLUM series, a young teen is wrongfully committed to the Brookline asylum and must escape before becoming one of the evil Warden’s experiments.

As I Descended written by Robin Talley

As I Descended written by Robin Talley

9780062409232– $17.99 – Ages 14 and up – On Sale 9/6/2016

Maria and Lily, Acheron Academy’s power couple, will stop at nothing to ensure their victory over campus superstar Delilah Dufrey, including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school. But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line. From acclaimed author Robin Talley comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption. 

Spare and Found Parts written by Sarah Maria Griffin

Spare and Found Parts written by Sarah Maria Griffin

9780062408884– $17.99 – Ages 14 and up– On Sale 10/4/2016

As a child, Nell Crane, daughter of the great inventor Julian Crane, nearly died from the last wave of an epidemic that wiped out most of the population and all technology in her country. Saved by her father’s ticking mechanical heart invention, Nell lived while thousands of others died. With the last of the epidemic behind them, the city is finally starting to rebuild, and Nell is struggling to find a place among her peers.

For more information about these and other children’s books published by HarperCollins visit HarperCollins.com/Childrens. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter too (links found on the top right of their website).



*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of site readers.

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Head back to school with great deals from Staples


Back to School

It’s that time of year again – back to school!

Many students have already returned back to school. Our daughter heads back to college this week and our son returns to high school (he’s a senior this year!) next week.

Heading back to school can be a source of excitement for some students and parents, and a stressful time for others.

Back to school shopping isn’t like it used to be when I was little. Our shopping lists were much easier back then. These days you need specific colored notebooks or folders, pricey calculators, flash drives and other supplies you wouldn’t expect to find on your back to school shopping list (for example, Ziploc bags).

Thank goodness for Staples. Staples is your “one stop shop” for all your back to school supplies. They carry a large assortment of colors and styles to suit everyone’s needs and tastes too.

Check out what happened Staples CEO, Shira Goodman, recently visited a Staples store in Westborough, Massachusetts. She met with over two dozen mothers, fathers and children regarding the upcoming school year. She gave them an extra special surprise to help them out during the school year.


Here is another video I think you might enjoy.

Staples brought in a group of students to find out what they thought about the back to school supplies available at Staples.

As a parent I fee like your child should have a say in what they want when it comes to back to school items like notebooks, folders and backpacks. After all, they are going to be looking at – and using – these products almost every day for the next 10 months. They should enjoy these things.


What do you think of the videos?

Do you do all your back to school shopping at Staples?

Staples offers convenient ways to shop in more than 1,300 stores, online at Staples.com or through their mobile app. Staples has also expanded their back-to-school selection on staples.com/backtoschool by hundreds of retail-only items to make back-to-school shopping easier than ever to buy online and pick-up in store.

Don’t forget to check them out on social media too.

Staples Logo


*I have partnered with Staples to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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