10 Ways to Simplify Back-to-School Shopping

(Family Features) While kids and parents alike eagerly await the fresh start of a new school year, the back-to-school season is not without its share of stressors for busy families. The start of school means new schedules, teachers, shoes, backpacks and friends; as well as new academic challenges.

Adding some fun and excitement to the newness can help smooth the way. For example, allowing kids to help choose their outfits for the first day of school can help diffuse that nervous anticipation. Similarly, the chance to put a fresh set of pens to use or show off a cool new notebook can provide a distraction from those first-day jitters.

If the shopping itself is adding stress to your household, ease the back-to-school burden on your family with these helpful tips to simplify shopping for the school year ahead. Read more

Better Bets for Back to School

Food choices the whole family can feel good about

(Family Features) As you gear up for a new school year, it’s important to put your kids’ nutrition on the school checklist. Countless studies link school performance and healthy eating habits. Treat this season of “academic beginnings” as a chance for the whole family to take a fresh approach to better-for-you eating.

From on-the-go breakfasts and brag-worthy brown bag lunches to after-school snacks and family-friendly dinners, there are plenty of ways to pack nutrition and flavor into every meal. Often, creating healthier meals can be as easy as simply trading-up or swapping one food ingredient for a more nutritious choice.

Selecting menu options that help your family eat better begins at the grocery store with your shopping decisions. If the A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s of food labels make your head spin, you can rely on tools such as the NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System, which provides scores near the price on the shelf tag to identify better-for-you foods. Based on a scale of 1 to 100, the scores rank foods and beverages on their nutritional content with the most nutritious choices scoring highest. Read more

Sensational Summer Entertaining

(Family Features) From backyard grilling to days spent lounging by the pool, summer is a beloved time of year for many. Summer entertaining doesn’t have to be a challenge, and with these tips from Sunsweet you can enjoy quality time with family and friends while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  1. Grilling Tip: Marinating before grilling helps to tenderize and flavor the meat. Get creative; experimenting with different seasonings and combinations is fun. In fact, prunes and prune juice are great flavor-enhancing additions to marinades that also provide lots of great moisture retention in meats. Marinate meat for at least three hours in a sealed container in the refrigerator prior to grilling. Check out this recipe using prunes as part of a tangy BBQ sauce, providing both moisture and flavor. Read more

Good Vision Helps Children Excel in School

(Family Features) With children heading back to school soon, parents’ to-do lists keep getting longer – shopping for clothes, shoes and supplies, going to the doctor for yearly physicals or checkups, and making appointments at the dentist, among other things. What is easily forgotten or put off is a yearly eye exam.

According to a survey conducted by KRC Research on behalf ofThink About Your Eyes, about 60 percent of parents do not consider eye exams as a necessary part of children’s health checkup schedule. However, skipping these exams means children run the risk of being unprepared for school with an undiagnosed vision problem or eye disease. Read more

Fire Up the Grill with Barbecue Meatball Skewers

Barbecue Meatball Skewers with Mozzarella

(Family Features) There’s nothing better than firing up the grill and gathering in the backyard with family and friends. While everyone expects to see burgers, dogs and steaks, you can show your guests you’re a true barbecue master by serving up smoky, grilled appetizers fresh off the grill.

Try a new fan favorite of the season – Barbecue Meatball Skewers with Mozzarella— courtesy of Chris Lilly, world champion pitmaster. This recipe for deliciously gooey grilled meatball skewers is a tasty way to kick the party off right.

The key is a little trick all pitmasters know: the two-zone fire. Simply put, the two-zone fire splits the grill in half. Pile hot charcoal on one half for direct, high-heat cooking and searing, while leaving the other side free of charcoal for lower-temperature cooking of dishes, such as appetizers and sides. Read more

Must-Have School Essentials

(Family Features) Class is almost in session, and many busy parents have a few more items to check off their shopping lists. Help your kids get the grades this school year with a little helpful advice on top picks. From savory snacks to fuel their days to water bottles to keep them hydrated, savvy parents know stocking up now is the best way to get their little learners ready for the academics ahead.

Favorite Flavors in a Classic Snack


Want to pack a snack you can feel good about? Sabra’s smooth Classic Hummus has been blended with the fresh pizza inspired flavor kids love, including herbs and spices such as fresh basil and oregano. The single serving 2-ounce containers pair well with pita chips and vegetables, and are easy to slip in a lunch box for mini meals and snacks. Find them in the deli near other Sabra products, and visit Sabra.com to learn more. Read more