Snack Your Way to Game Day

(Family Features) As football season kicks off, game day is a perfect time to show off your best spread while cheering your team to victory. From tailgating outside of the stadium to gearing up in front of the big screen at home, all fans alike can indulge in great game day snacks. Look for options that do double-duty on flavor and texture as these will save time and let you enjoy your favorite treats to the fullest.

Answer appetites with apps. Even for a large crowd, an array of smaller dishes and appetizers can go a long way. A selection of finger foods lets everyone fill up on snacks of their choice without the fuss of a main dish that requires more prep. Be sure to keep in mind who you are serving. For instance, if a guest has dietary restrictions such as gluten intolerance or is vegetarian, several options or additional offerings to meet their needs will be much appreciated. Read more

Why are the Holidays So Hazardous to Our Health?

Physician Shares Tips for Giving Your Body What It Needs to Fight Illness

It’s a sad statistical fact: The holidays, from Christmas to New Year’s, are a treacherous time when it comes to our health.

“There’s a spike in heart attacks and other cardiac issues,” says Dr. John Young, a physician specializing in the treatment of chronic illnesses through biochemical, physiological and nutraceutical technologies, and the author of “Beyond Treatment: Discover how to build a cellular foundation to achieve optimal health,”

“The incidence of pneumonia cases spikes – in both cold and warm climates. And deaths from natural causes spike. In fact, more people die of natural causes on Christmas Day than any other day of the year!”

While those numbers are well-documented, the cause(s) are not.

“Stress plays a role, particularly if your immune system is weakened,” Dr. Young says. “If you look at how most of us eat from Halloween through New Year’s, it’s easy to see how the immune system takes a beating and otherwise healthy people become more susceptible to illness during the holidays.” Read more

Encourage Kids to Give Back This Halloween

(Family Features) As they gear up for Halloween this year, kids across the United States can make a difference in the lives of kids around the world by raising funds for those in need.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, a 64-year-old American tradition, is a program that provides donations of medicine, nutrition, clean water, emergency relief and education to children around the world. Below are some of the ways families can get involved.

Donations go digital
In addition to going door-to-door with traditional orange boxes to collect coins for UNICEF, for the first time kids and parents can now set up individual fundraising pages on Crowdrise for their friends and family members to donate. Participants also can turn their Halloween parties into Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF fundraisers by creating a donation page and including a link to it in their party invitation. To get started, visit Read more

Six Ways to Raise and Nurture a Young Entrepreneur

Children are natural-born entrepreneurs. When they’re toddlers, they make homemade mud pies and “sell” them to Mom or Dad. As they get older, they start to understand that adults will pay them small amounts of real money in exchange for goods or services, such as a cup of iced lemonade or walking their dog after school.

In 2013, Operation HOPE launched a pilot program in four cities–Atlanta, Denver, LA, and Oakland–to help schoolchildren in underprivileged communities learn the basics of financial literacy and entrepreneurship. In a competition, kids pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to a committee of business leaders, and the winners are given a $500 grant and help in launching their startup businesses.

As a result of this “Shark Tank for Kids,” Princess, a 6th grader from Oakland, created Sweet Tooth Bakery, which sells homemade cakes and cookies to local shops. Froylan, a senior at Montbello High School in Denver, got funding for Froy’s PCs, a computer repair business he runs out of his home. Read more

Is Your Family Protected?

(Family Features) Savings account? Check. Retirement account? Check. Debt managed responsibly? Check. Life insurance? Wait a minute …

Protecting your financial security is about more than having money in the bank now and in the near future. It’s also about long-term financial protection for your family. However, a significant share of Americans, especially women, are putting their financial security at risk.

It’s estimated that one in three U.S. households have no life insurance at all, and for those that do, on average they only own enough to replace their household income for three and a half years, according to 2013 “Facts About Life Insurance” from LIMRA, a leading life insurance research organization. What happens to your loved ones after that? Read more

Safe Halloween Fun with Pets

(Family Features) Including pets in your family’s Halloween festivities can be a fun addition to your celebration. However, with all the excitement comes the chance for pets to get into danger or trouble. You can head off potential problems and enjoy an evening of fun with some safety tips and smart planning.

Keeping your pet away from candy and other Halloween treats is especially important because so many favorites include chocolate, which is potentially toxic for dogs. It’s also an ideal time to practice obedience commands with your four-legged friends, as crowds of unfamiliar people, costumes and lots of open doors can create temptations too hard to resist.

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Tips for a Healthier Home

Follow the Four C’s from Trusted HGTV Contractor Mike Holmes

(Family Features) Every household has its honey-do list, but inevitably you’re not always going to have time to cross off every project on the list. Rather than setting lofty goals that make it easy to procrastinate, the key to a productive and effective list is to be realistic. Start with the projects that will have an immediate effect on creating and maintaining a safer and healthier home.

“Keep your ‘honey-do’ list manageable. Move long-term projects to the end and bump up the jobs that will help make your home healthier,” said Mike Holmes, renowned and trusted contractor on HGTV and healthy home expert. “When you know you’re making a positive impact on your family’s health and safety, doing those jobs is easy.”

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