Guest Post, Healthy Living, Parenting

What To Do After Your Child Has Surgery

The worst part is over! The surgery is done, the worrying is over! Now you’ve just got to help the little one through the recovery period. If your child had to be under full anesthesia, they will probably be feeling a bit woozy for a little while, but after that, the biggest problem will be that they are bored and don’t want to hold still and take it easy! Check out these activity ideas to help keep your child entertained while they have to stay in bed recovering.
The First Few Days
Your child is probably feeling groggy and a bit out of it. Set up some low key activities to help them slowly start to feel better.
  • Bring get well gifts. Be ready the minute your child wakes up with things to help them feel better. Have their bedroom or hospital room decorated with balloons and get well signs and drawings from their siblings or classmates. Buy small toys, especially if there’s something special they’ve been wanting. For example, spoil them with a video game they didn’t think they’d get until their birthday. Also be sure to buy games and interactive activities that will help them stay entertained while they are stuck in bed. 
  • Have lots of things on hand that are easy to eat and drink. They may not feel like eating much so stock up on things like juice, popsicles, soups, and Gatorade.
  • Set up their bedroom at home. Make it extra comfortable as they might be spending some extra time there over the next few days or weeks. Make sure it is neat and tidy and that there are lots of pillows and blankets on the bed. Bring in the TV and their video game consoles. Before they get home, gather all of their favorite toys and stuffed animals on the bed or bedside table so they are within close reach.
The First Weeks of Recovery
As your child starts to feel better, they may start to get bored and restless as they are stuck in bed. Even if they aren’t confined to bed, they will get restless if they can’t go to school or if they have to curtail their normal activities to allow time to heal. Plan lots of activities in advance that are appropriate to your child’s level of ability following surgery.
In advance, purchase a lap desk or tray, the kind you might use for breakfast in bed. This will allow your child to draw and color while stuck in bed. Other activities to try include:
  • Bring in old photo albums. Your child will have fun seeing these unfamiliar sides of familiar relatives and in seeing a history they didn’t know about.
  • Go to the library and stock up on lots and lots of new books and magazines to read.
  • Try new arts and craft activities like finger painting, playing with clay, knitting, crocheting, shrinky dinks, beaded jewelry and keychains, etc. You can buy all kinds of activity kits from craft stores. You can also buy materials to come up with your own craft. For example, buy sheets of felt and some pillow stuffing and learn how to sew little dolls.
  • Wait until dark and do shadow puppets on the wall. Or set up a little stage with a table and some blankets and put on a puppet show with sock puppets or paper dolls.
  • Play board games in bed, especially games your child has never played before. This could be especially fun if you can track down some of your own favorite childhood games. Your child will enjoy seeing the kinds of games you enjoyed when you were a child.
A Few Weeks After Surgery
Once your child is starting to be able to do more things, they will probably be feeling ready to go outside and play with friends. With some careful advanced planning, you should be able to plan some activities that will give your child that normalcy without hindering their recovery.
  • Plan a day in the park. Choose a park that will be most conducive to getting around on crutches or dealing with other mobility limitations. Plan activities that are fun for the outdoors but don’t require as much activity like sidewalk paint, “I spy,” or swinging on the swings if that will be safe. 
  • Set up play dates with friends, but plan activities to do so that your child’s friends will not be pressuring them to do active things that they can’t handle.
Dealing with the Blues

During the time of recovery, your child will probably be feeling blue at some points that they aren’t getting to have as much fun and playtime as usual. Combat that in advance by being prepared with lots of games and activities. Invite classmates to come over and sign their cast or bring over get well cards. Keeping your child entertained and upbeat is one of the most important parts of getting through recovery time.
Guest Post, Healthy Living, Parenting, Tips and Tricks

A fun guest post: Top 5 School Lunch Nutrition Hacks

Guest Blogger: Shane Griffin. No affiliate links are contained within this post
Do you let your kids buy school lunches? Controlling your kids food choices is tedious as there are many deceiving food labels and school lunches offer very little nutrition compared to the ways you can pack a lunch from home. Many healthier options just are not as cost-effective as other brands that may not be a better choice. This post will give you tips that could save you money at time as well as sneak a little bit of healthy in lunches we want to keep fun and attractive enough for our kids to eat. There is nothing worse then emptying out the days lunchbox to see they hardly ate a bite all day!

Top 5 School Lunch Nutritional Hacks
1.       Utilize Powdered foods: Powdered whole foods have recently made their way into the market, and they are an excellent tool for parents whose kids are picky eaters. Say your kid craves Mac n’ Cheese every week – the boxed versions have little nutrition on their own. By adding Activz’s powdered carrots and pumpkin into your own creation, you’re giving your kid a tasty treat while greatly boosting the nutritional value of an otherwise unhealthy meal. Check out this delicious recipe here.  

2.       Embrace the superfruit fad: “Superfruit” is an overused term these days, but it came to light for a good reason:  Some fruits just pack a bigger nutritional punch than others. One of my favorite newcomers is camu camu, a fruit straight out the Amazon Rainforest with 30X the Vitamin C of an orange and 10X the antioxidant capacity of acai. Immune-boosting Vitamin C is especially important with kids headed back into the classroom, as research shows that 164 million school days are missed yearly due to infectious diseases. So parents, try sneaking vitamin C into this tasty salad with some Amaçari – a 100% whole food camu camu supplement – to support their good health.

3.       Go lean or go home: Not all meats are created equal, but they are a great source of protein that every growing body craves. A great way to boost the nutritional value of any school lunch is to substitute leaner meats into the mix. Try using ground turkey instead of beef in your meatloaf or meatballs, or if you’re making tacos try substituting pork ribs for the ground beef you’re accustomed to. If your kid loves chicken, skip the fried version for a nice organic boneless, skinless alternative. Remember, proper seasoning is important to keep the flavor consistent!

4.       Bake in the goodness: Most kids are fans of baked treats, but they don’t have to know how the cookie is made – they just care how it tastes! If you’re cooking muffins or cookies, try using organic applesauce as the base. Then, toss in some ground flaxseed or wheat germ into the batter to boost the nutritional content. If you’re feeling extra bold, adding in pureed squash, zucchini or banana to really give it a healthy lift. Substituting healthy alternatives like these will teach your kids that tasty doesn’t have to mean unhealthy!

5.       Blend in a nutritional boost: Smoothies can be your best friend, and give you a chance to really provide whole food nutrients in the tastiest way possible. As a base, use organic milk or a dairy alternative like rice or almond milk. Load up the smoothie with spinach, berries, and a banana for sweetness. Remember, Omega-3’s are a vital part of your kid’s brain development, so add in some of Karlene Karst’s Sea-liocous Omega-3’s to create the ultimate powerhouse smoothie!

Shane Griffin, the CEO of Whole Life Balance – an international nutritional coaching company – has worked with many parents who have faced this same struggle. Shane’s solution? Try sneaking nutrients into your kids’ food with these 5 school lunch nutritional hacks!
(Shane has no financial affiliation with any brands mentioned below – they are just healthy recommended options)
Guest Post, Kids, Parenting, Tips and Tricks

Parenting Thursday: Getting Kids To Keep Their Room Clean And Tidy

Photo by Mathilde Merlin on Unsplash

It is sad that so many children go for video-games and TV shows instead of keeping their own room clean. As a mother I know how difficult kids are when you mention the word “cleaning”, especially when cartoon hour is on. But people learn how to cope with kids – it is just not that hard.

All you need is a little bit of patience, a little bit of discipline and a whole lot of love. Remember, being a good parent means that you and you alone are responsible for teaching your kids proper hygiene; both at home and in school. If a child grows up without healthy cleaning habits you can expect that their adult behavior wont be any different.

 Tip #1 Lead By Example

If I can name just one reason I believe that humans are superior to all other living things, it would be our ability to learn new information. When we are young our brains soak up information like sponges, and the way we do that is by mimicking the behavior we around us. Impressionable young, like they say. So if you want your kid to be neat and tidy, there has to be at least one positive role model in the child’s life. And if you are not the tidiest person in the world, this is okay – no one is perfect. The idea is showing your children exactly what they are suppose to do: making the beds; keeping their toys organized; folding their clothes etc. You must make sure, that your children are well aware of their responsibilities and the correct way to perform each and every one of them.

Tip #2 Add An Incentive 

As adults, we can understand the importance of cleanliness in our daily lives. After all, we overcame sicknesses, such as the black plague, by implementing sanitation in our homes. Children don’t know why cleanliness is so important, all they care about is that they have a roof over their heads. But if you add a little incentive (a new PS5 game for example), you know they will do everything in their power to please you. Whether or not this is real learning I let you decide, but the results will more than speak for themselves. You don’t have to do this every time of course; just for children you are young and don’t know much about the world yet. Older children you reward with positive re-enforcement and and a hearty “Job well done”.

 Tip #3 Make it a routine

It is not enough if your kids made their beds once, twice or even for a whole month straight. If you want your kids to learn important life lessons, you must make sure that they perform their cleaning responsibilities each and every single day. But this doesn’t only relate to young children. Messy
teenagers too must be taught a proper lesson in hygiene; before they are all grown-up and it is too late. If you want your kids to stay with the lessons you are teaching them, you will have to watch over everything for at least the first couple of years. Once you see everything is under control, and
your kids are doing what they are suppose to be doing, you know you have done your job.

Author Bio: July Minor is passionate about home improvement and cleaning tips. She currently runs and loves to write for different blogs.