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3 Gadgets to Get You Through the Cold and Flu Season

3 Gadgets to Get You Through the Cold and Flu Season
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Cold and flu season can be tough, especially if you have kids. Tissues and runny noses everywhere, sick days home from school and work – it’s a time of year that’s not only inconvenient, but also downright miserable for the people involved. Here are three gadgets to help you get the whole family through the cold and flu season with minimal discomfort.

Digital Thermometer

When you have a sick child, a digital thermometer is a cold and flu season essential. Because high fevers can be dangerous for young children, you want to make sure to invest in a reliable thermometer, and know how to use it properly.

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There are many styles of digital thermometers on the market. Some even connect to apps to make it easy to keep track of temperature history. New temple and forehead thermometers are popular, easy to use on squirmy kids, and surprisingly accurate. Ear thermometers are also a great option. But, there is nothing wrong with using a traditional digital thermometer. When using a thermometer, make sure you know the age guidelines for taking a temperature and how to do it correctly.[1]

Humidifier

Keeping a humidifier running while your household suffers from the winter plague can help ease everyone’s symptoms. Cold and flu season occurs in the winter, when we usually have our heat turned up, and home heating can be very drying. When your nasal passages get too dry, the tiny hairs that protect them (cilia) aren’t able to effectively do their job. Adding moisture to the air can cut down on the likelihood of crusty nostrils and swollen sinuses, allowing cilia to do what they do best. Moisture from humidifiers can also ease cracked lips from excessive mouth-breathing, sore throats, and help with a dry, hacking cough.

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When looking for a humidifier, you have to consider your options, the first of which is, warm mist or cool mist? Cool mist humidifiers are recommended for use with children because warm mist humidifiers heat water to a boil and come with risk of burns. There are a number of different styles to suit your needs and taste, whether you want a chic humidifier for the living room, or a fun, hippo-shaped humidifier for the kids’ room.

Touchless Soap Dispenser

Hand washing is more necessary than ever during cold and flu season. While a hands-free soap dispenser can seem frivolous, it’s perfect for the winter months. Microorganisms, like bacteria and viruses, thrive in bathroom environments and automatic soap dispensers help to reduce the spread of germs from hands swiped across drippy noses to the soap pump. Using touchless soap dispensers may help other family members avoid those germs. They also control the amount of soap being dispensed, reducing soap wastage – although your kids may find the sensor too much of a novelty to resist at first.

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There are many models of hands-free soap dispensers available in different styles, including upright and wall-mount. Many of them are suitable for use with various types of liquid soap, so you’re not locked into a certain brand of soap. This is particularly handy during cold and flu season, because you may want to invest in a moisturizing soap, since everyone will be frequently washing their hands.

BONUS: Keep Your Electronics Germ-Free

Chances are your little sickies won’t feel like doing much besides laying on the couch, but if they are using the iPad or computer while they are sick, you are going to want to sanitize them. The same thing goes for your phone, because how often do you deep clean your phone?

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When it comes to cleaning a tablet or a phone, first turn the device off. Antibacterial wipes can be very abrasive and damaging to the surface of your phone, so you’ll want to use isopropyl alcohol diluted with water, half and half. Don’t spray it directly onto your phone, but instead onto a microfiber cloth, and then wipe down your device. Be sure not to overdo it with the disinfectant. Once a week should be fine.

When it comes to cleaning your keyboard and mouse, you can use the same technique (especially for a trackpad/touchpad on a laptop), or you can use an antibacterial wipe. Make sure the wipe you are using isn’t too saturated because you don’t want to get any moisture between the keys. While you’re at it, you might as well blow some compressed air in there and get all of the crumbs, etc. from between the keys.

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I hope you manage to avoid the brunt of the cold and flu season, but, let’s face it, that can be hard to do with kids. Having a digital thermometer on hand, using a humidifier, and a hands-free soap dispenser can help you feel more in control of the situation.

Reference

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Published on July 22, 2021

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week
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It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

    These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

    Get the recipe here.

    2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

      This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

      To try this recipe, go here.

      3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

        Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

        Check out the recipe here.

        4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

          Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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          Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

          5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

            This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

            Find the recipe here.

            6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

              The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

              Get the recipe for this dish here.

              7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                You can find the recipe here.

                8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                  Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                  Find the recipe here.

                  9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                    This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                    Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                    10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                      Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                      The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                      11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                        Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                        Find the recipe here.

                        12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                          This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                          Find the recipe here.

                          13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                            Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                            This easy recipe can be found here.

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                            14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                              Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                              Find out how to make it here.

                              15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                The recipe can be found here.

                                16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                  This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                  Find the recipe here.

                                  17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                    Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                    Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                    18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                      Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                      Find the recipe here.

                                      19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                        Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                        Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                        20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                          Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                          Get the recipe here.

                                          Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                          Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                          Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                          1. Lose the Sugar

                                          Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                          2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                          Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                          3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                          Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                          When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                          Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                          Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                          More Healthy Eating Tips

                                          Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

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