Archives for May 2011

Dragonfly SportsGirl Gear Giveaway

Hey GirlMoguls and RichMamas we have an awesome giveaway for you! MaryAnne Gucciardi is a soccer mom who was inspired to  start Dragonfly Girl Gear (DGG)http://dragonflygirlgear.com/ a sportswear company that creates functional and fun apparel for girls who love sports!  Be sure to share her inspiring story with your favorite tween and teen at: http://girlmogul.com/4178/interview-with-dragonfly-girl-gear-founder/ To get the word out about their cool new apparel line, they’re hosting a giveaway with us.  We’re giving away one cami and one pair of shorts each to two lucky winners.  You can read more about it below, but for chance to win, tell us your favorite sport to play and why you love it in the comments below:

 

The Un-Tee TM Cami

For active girls playing a variety of sports including soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, horseback riding or triathlon sports, the Un-Tee TM Cami is designed specifically for performance and for girls.

 

The Un-DeeTM Light Compression Shorts

The Un-DeeTM Compression Short is designed specifically for under-uniforms.  Girls can play their best – run, jump, bat, kick, shoot and more, all while staying cool and comfortable without focusing on their under-gear

 

 

 

contest open until June 5th

How to Teach Kids About Money

How to Teach Kids About MoneyYou can help teach your kids about money – and usher them into a life of financial success.  Knowing the basics of money management will help your child to plan ahead and achieve their life goals. You don’t have to start when your kids are in kindergarten, necessarily, or wait until they head out into college.  Rather, finding the time to integrate lessons ab0ut money at any stage is a good idea.

Sometimes, our first problem as parents is that we feel awkward talking to our kids about money.   Use these tips to make it easy to explain budgeting, shopping, saving, and using credit wisely.

Budget Smart

  1. Learn the basics of budgeting. Explain budgeting in simple terms as a plan for income and expenses. Discuss examples of trade-offs and the concept of needing to earn more or spend less in order to remain financially secure.
  2. Get familiar with ordinary household expenses. Give your child an early start on knowing the cost of typical goods and services. Let them see the cable TV bill and your monthly car payment. Compare to the price of the new hot toy or game they want and they’ll understand not to take Nickelodeon for granted.
  3. Monitor your spending. Ask your teen to keep track of their spending for a month or more. This can be on things they pay for themselves, or items you give them money for, like lunch.  You can even do this with them, as you track all your expenses for incidentals (cups of coffee, quick runs to the grocery store…etc) Your kids may be surprised by how much they really spend on eating out or clothing.
  4. Help them Manage an Income. As long as school remains the top priority, encourage your teen to have some income of their own to manage. You can provide an allowance or support their efforts to find a summer job.

Shop Carefully

  1. Shop in tandem. Go shopping together to demonstrate how to get the best value. Compare prices for generic and brand name products at the grocery store. Look for special sales at the local mall. Go online to find coupons or free shipping deals. 
  2. Research major purchases. Assign your teen some research when they want to make a major purchase such as a cell phone. Let them compare plans and help decide what features they really need.
  3. Study consumerism and  materialism. Advertising bombards people with messages to consume more.  Talk about why you shop and how you feel afterwards – does retail therapy really work. Take time to go through closets together for a garage sale or donation pile to really understand how much stuff we accumulate that we wind up not using. Discuss the importance of moderation and basing your happiness on sources other than your possessions.

Save More

  1. Establish goals. Help your kid to set short and long term goals that will motivate them to build up some savings. They may want to buy a bike or put away money for college.
  2. Understand interest. Provide an introduction to the power of compound interest. Your child may want to save more if they realize how much money they can earn by starting a savings account when they’re young.
  3. Develop a savings strategy. Help your teen find a plan that works for them. They may want to set aside a small percentage of their allowance or half the money they get for their birthday or babysitting jobs. If possible, you can provide an extra incentive by offering to match whatever amount they save.

 

Use Credit Wisely

  1. Select the right instrument for you. If you are going to allow your teen to have a credit card – for emergencies or while at school, there are many kinds of cards to choose from now so you can find the level of parental control that’s comfortable for you. Debit cards give you the peace of mind of enforcing a pre-established spending limit, and many cards give you the option to review all statements.
  2. Pay your balance off monthly. Let your teen know that interest works against them when borrowing. Show them how paying off a credit card balance each month protects you from paying much more than the original price for the goods and services you charged. If you’re brave enough you might want to pull out your own bills or discuss your own issues with credit.
  3. Know the significance of good credit. Talk with your teens about the importance of good credit. Explain how being responsible about paying off bills helps people to qualify for financing when they need student loans or want to buy a house.

     

    With a little information and guidance, you can teach your kids about money – and set them up for a lifetime free from financial stress and worry. Really – what better legacy is there than that?

    Feeding Your Family on A Budget

    Can You Feed Your Family on A Budget – Healthily?

    Discovering healthy ways to feed your family on a budget can often be a challenge. However, with just a little creativity, it’s very possible to find healthy, family budgeting friendly food choices so your family and your pocket can rest easy.

    Healthy Eating Tips That Can Instantly Save You Money!

    Use the following tips that are sure to cater to your wallet and your palate:

     

    1. Eat out less often. Eating out less often has two wonderful benefits:

    Guess what.  What you spend on food will be significantly less because eating at a restuarant is much pricer than you think – and a lot  less healthy.  Most of the restaurants families favor tend to have menus loaded with unhealthy options – even the salads.  You have to be on your guard to order a healthy meal.

    2. Grow your own veggies and herbs. Seriously – even a small herb garden or veggie patch will save you some serious bucks.  If you’re not too into gardening – or all the work – focus on fresh herbs and a few staple vegetables to help feed your family on a budget.  Stick with lettuce, tomatoes and some peas or beans, and you’ll have most of your veggie needs covered.  Most home gardens are easily organic too – since you’re controlling what goes on them, so they make a naturally healthy choice for the family.

    Cooking Techniques That Are Affordable and Healthy

     

    Try these healthy cooking ideas for a change of pace and more change in your pocket:

     

    1. Go grilled, not fried. If you have children in your family, then there’s a great chance that they will want kid friendly meals like fish fingers or chicken nuggets. While those items may not necessarily be very expensive in the supermarket, they’re not as nutritious as their grilled counterparts. Buy chicken tenderloins – which are shaped like chicken fingers and grill or saute them.  Marinate them in a mild flavoring like Italian or honey mustard dressing and your kids will never miss the breading.

    3. Use homemade condiments. A great alternative to unhealthy store-bought condiments is to make your own relishes and sauces at home. The added benefit is that they’ll be much less expensive than the grocery store variety. Even ketchup (which gets used by the gallon in our household) is simple to make.

    4. Make your own juices. Most juices available at the supermarket are overpriced and filled with sugar.  You can better feed your family on a budget by making the juices yourself.   Fruits are relatively affordable – especially if you buy them locally and in season – so buying your own and making your own juices is a healthier and more affordable option.

    Don’t make the mistake the healthy eating is more expensive.  You can go about feeding your family on a budget- and still eat healthily. Just use these simple tricks.

    Is Diet a Dirty Word

    Ok, as the mother of girls, I struggle with this…the sad truth is that childhood obesity is a serious problem for Americans today. Being overweight in childhood sets you up for a host of adult diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, just to name two of the deadliest. Not to mention self esteem issues and a general inability to enjoy life to the fullest. On the other hand, the “mainstream” media bombards us with pictures of airbrushed, impossible to live up, super thin girls and women. While I enjoy my vegetables and exercise, I don’t want to spend all of my time running to the gym, or worrying about what I eat (which means I want my Trader Joe’s vanilla sandwich cookie without feeling guilty). So what’s a mother to do – just when should be worried about our kid’s weight? So we called in an expert: Sass Moulavi M.D. Medical Director of Smart for Life – aka Dr. Sass and asked him – is it ever okay to put a tween on a diet?

    And here are his answers:

    Q. Is it ever ok to put your kids on a diet – especially with girls – what has to do with the body naturally maturing vs. really gaining too much weight?

    A. If the kids are overweight, and all parents should find out the child’s BMI, then yes, it’s okay to put them on a diet. The diet must be rich in nutrients and protein in order not to stunt growth. But the risks of staying overweight are much greater than going on a weight loss program.

    Q.How do you know when to be concerned about their weight and/or eating habits? Who or what guidelines should you trust?

    A. You must use the BMI scale adjusted for kids. Visit your family doctor or pediatrician. The USDA has a great BMI tool for kids or visit www.smartforlife.com/ChildrensProgram.

    Q. What are some tips that any tween girl and her family can use for healthy weight management?

    The key is for them to have a high protein, low sugar breakfast. Excellent examples are egg white omelets and Smart for Life cookies, cereals and granola squares. Cut out all sugary drinks and junk food. Increase the amount of green leafy vegetables. Eat small, multiple meals throughout the day. Never eat anything fried. Do one hour of exercise per day – anything counts (walking, dancing, skating, exercise).

    Q. Overall, tweens get conflicting messages – on the one hand, the media shows us too skinny, but on the other hand, many Americans are overweight – how can parents reconcile this conflicting information and help girls have healthy body images?

    A. Tweens often get conflicting messages. We want them to be a healthy weight. Once a tween knows what a healthy weight is for her height and age, it is very easy to get to that range. Many tweens will unfortunately think of themselves as too fat even when they are at a healthy weight. Parents, doctors, teachers should get involved in explaining to these young girls what a healthy weight is and that a certain amount of fat is necessary for a healthy body and a long life.

    Q. What else should parents be concerned about?

    A. Obesity is a big problem in America and children are not excluded. The main causes of childhood obesity are the following:
    • Huge increase in portion sizes in restaurants, schools, fast food and at home
    • An increase in sedentary kids sitting in front of the computer, television, electronic hand-held games, etc.
    • Very powerful advertising from the food industry showing high-calorie, sugary foods that are supposedly “good for you”
    • High fructose corn syrup being added to sodas, juices and many other foods that provide lots of calories, no nutrition, and actually make kids hungrier than they truly are, so they eat more
    • Finally, overweight kids are now almost the norm. It is not unusual to see a group of kids where 50% of them are overweight. When such a big number of kids are overweight, there is very little incentive to lose weight because kids and their parents feel fine because “everyone else is like that.”

    Parents are the key to prevent obesity in their children. Parents must vote with their wallets and not buy poor quality, sugary food. Parents must lobby the food industry and government agencies for better quality food, labeling and healthier choices. Parents must educate their children on nutrition and its link to health just like they educate about “Stranger Danger”, Smoking, Drug and Alcohol abuse, even car seat safety. Parents need to set an example and share how some foods are bad for children. Schools should offer healthier food choices including white milk without sugar added! The medical community and insurance companies have to get serious about this issue as well and work with families, schools, and children’s organization to educate, inform and monitor children.

    So what can you do to help an overweight/obese child? Consider Smart for Life’s THIN ADVENTURE or another healthy, balanced diet alone and incorporate exercise with it. If your child does not lose weight, seek the help of a medical professional. Overweight children get adult diseases much earlier including diabetes, heart disease and elevated cholesterol. These children should be screened to identify any of these symptoms and work with a medical professional to control the disease now rather than later. Keep in mind that overweight children also suffer from self-esteem issues and may need help with that as well. An overweight child becomes an obese adult.

    The worst misconception about overweight/obese children is that a lot of parents think that their child is not suffering from being overweight. Many children tell their parents that they are okay with their weight and it does not bother them. Absolutely not true. Studies show that overweight kids do suffer socially and psychologically from their weight. Think about the rise in bullying in the schools; kids can be cruel and this will most certainly impact a child’s development, physically and emotionally. It is imperative that parents do not accept this type of answer from their kids, but instead learn how to talk to their kids about their weight in a gentle and supportive manner. Acting as a role model, providing encouragement and motivation, and becoming an advocate for better nutrition will ultimately be one of the best contributions a parent can make towards their overweight child’s fight to lose the weight.

     

    Dr. Sasson E. Moulavi (Dr. Sass), M.D. is the Medical Director of Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers (www.smartforlife.com) headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida and is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He completed post graduate training at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Moulavi holds Board Certification in Bariatric Medicine and is a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. He has completed the Annual Practical Approaches to the Treatment of Obesity at Harvard University and is a member of the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine as well as the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. For more than 13 years he has specialized in the study and treatment of Bariatric Medicine. Dr. Moulavi has directed the operation of multiple Weight Loss Centers in both the United States and Canada. Prior to 1995, he practiced as a family doctor in Canada. His passion is also to protect our planet by keeping our food supply clean of toxins and providing healthy choices for generations to come.

    You can visit his Blog here:  http://www.smartforlife.com/DrSassBlog. or at sit me at the Smart for Life Clinic in Boca Raton Florida