food allergies, diet, paleo, gluten free

Family | Wellness |

Allergy-Friendly Alternatives for Popular School Lunches

2 minute read

Popular School Lunch Alternatives for Children with Food Allergies

Dealing with food allergies? We know it can be stressful to deal with allergies of any kind. And when it comes to snack time, it’s tough enough to pack a school lunch that your kid actually wants to eat, which makes it even more difficult when your child has food allergies.

Even if you don’t have allergies in your family, your kids’ school may limit certain types of food to help protect other kids. If diet do’s and don’ts have you scratching your head for snack ideas, don’t give up hope! There are so many options available that make it easy to work around food restrictions.

Our favorite is the bento box-style lunch. This makes it easy to deconstruct popular lunches into individual components, so you can be sure they’re safe for your child! Try out these options for different food restrictions to find meals any child will enjoy.

Dairy-Free

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

From Just Take A Bite: Using healthy cheese substitutes is a great way to give kids that gooey texture they love without the dairy. This recipe uses pureed squash, and it’s a perfect match for classic tomato soup.

Nut-Free

PB&J

From Minimalist Baker: This recipe for sunflower butter lets you make a classic PB&J without the nuts! Top off the bento with carrots, chips, and other crunchy options to pair with the creamy, delicious sandwich!

Gluten-Free

Spaghetti

From Momables: This spaghetti and tomato sauce alternative uses spiralized zucchini for gluten-free perfection. Try pairing the main course with fruit slices and Parmesan cheese.

Paleo

Cold Cuts

From Our Paleo Life: The classic lunch sandwich gets a paleo upgrade. Ditch the bread and focus on proteins and seasonal vegetables. And don’t forget a sweet treat to top off this tasty meal.

Grain-Free

Pizza

From Following In My Shoes: This deconstructed pizza option is what every kid wants! Almond and coconut flours make it grain-free without sacrificing on texture or taste, and a simple side of fruit makes this a full, satisfying lunch.

new year's resolutions

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for the Whole Family

3 minute read

Making personal new year’s resolutions for the new year can be a great way to focus on what’s important to you. But sometimes those individual goals quickly fall away as the year goes on.

This year, how about you make goals for both you and your family? When your new year’s resolutions align with the rest of your family, the chances of seeing them through greatly improve because you’re working as a team and holding each other accountable.

Family New Year’s Resolutions

Start a Weekly Tradition

This could be a family movie night, a game night, or a repeated weekly meal like taco Tuesdays or homemade pizza every Friday. The point is having something to look forward to and rely on since family life can get pretty chaotic at times.

Get Outside More

We all need more fresh air. Whether it’s a family walk after dinner or bundling up to see who can make the biggest snowman, try to get outside as a family for at least thirty minutes every day when the weather allows.

Read Together

Read to, with, and around your kids. Help them become lovers of reading by incorporating it into your daily life. It could be an audiobook while getting dinner ready, bedtime stories with young kids, or shared reading time where the noise is kept to a minimum and everyone reads their own books.

Practice an Attitude of Gratitude

Gratefulness is an important practice, especially when it can be easy to forget after almost a year of mostly being stuck inside with the same group of people. Because 2020 was ripe for complaining and focusing on the bad, it’s time for a reset on gratitude.

This could be a daily practice of sharing or writing down something everyone is thankful for, or even thank you cards at the end of each month for family, neighbors, teachers, or anyone you want to appreciate.

Volunteer Together

Serving others is an amazing opportunity to strengthen your family and your community. There are so many ways to get involved, and it’s never too early to teach your kids a sense of responsibility, the benefit of sacrifice, and that they have the power to make a difference.

Cook and Eat Healthier Meals

We all want our kids to have healthy eating habits. The question is how do we do that?

One of the most common tips is to get kids involved in the shopping and preparing of the healthy foods we want them to eat. The more involvement they have, the more ownership they feel over making those choices for themselves. Here are some healthy family meals to try together.

Refresh your Emergency Plan

If your family doesn’t already have one, take some time in 2021 to create a family emergency plan. Restock your supplies and go over your evacuation and shelter drills to make sure you’ll be prepared and safe in case of the unexpected.

Plan a Monthly Adventure

We have lots of ideas of things we want to do as a family, but often those ideas get lost in the hustle and bustle of life. This year, sit down as a family and plan one trip, activity, or adventure for each month and put it on your calendar right away to up the chances of turning those ideas into fun experiences and treasured memories.

Commit to Less Screen Time

This goal is becoming increasingly important, and both parents and kids can benefit from screen time limits. The less time your family spends glued to a screen, the more time you have for face-to-face interactions and quality time together.

Breathe Healthy Air

When it comes to healthy living, diet, and exercise immediately come to mind. But don’t forget about the air you’re breathing in your home each and every day. The Aprilaire Healthy Air System™ can help your family reduce illness, eliminate pests, alleviate allergies, sleep better, lower stress levels, and even increase the value of your home and make it more energy-efficient. If that sounds like a goal worth investing in, contact an Aprilaire Pro today to get started on your Healthy Home journey for 2021.

2020 Holiday Season

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

2020 Holiday Season: How to Be Happy and Healthy and Stay Safe

3 minute read

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned 2020 into a uniquely tough year. With the stress and isolation many of us are experiencing, the 2020 holiday season might seem like the perfect remedy to boost our spirits. However, as cases continue to rise across the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a set of recommendations to keep in mind when planning your seasonal gatherings.

These recommendations continue to emphasize the importance of handwashing, mask-wearing, and keeping at least six feet apart from those you don’t share a living space with. Some added safety measures include: evaluating community transmissions, considering guests’ recent behavior/exposure, as well as limiting the location, duration, and size of your gatherings.

Whether you’ll be celebrating with just your household or completely alone, following these guidelines and modifying your traditional holiday plans to reduce the spread of COVID-19 can help keep your friends, family, and communities happy and healthy.

Here are some festive ways to still celebrate and make memories together.

Recommendations for the 2020 Holiday Season

Virtual Togetherness

By this point, we’re all pretty familiar with the group video platforms that we prefer. Here are some ideas for what you can virtually share with family and friends:

  • Schedule a video dinner party with friends or family
  • Share recipes of everyone’s favorite dish from the meal for the ultimate menu for future holidays
  • Say something you’re thankful for or reminisce about some of your favorite holiday traditions that you’re looking forward to doing again next year
  • Play a game to keep the party going

Household Fun

If the thought of spending your holiday with the same people you’ve spent the last nine months with doesn’t sound like much of a celebration, try some of these ideas to change things up:

  • Let kids help in the kitchen
  • Get out all your seasonal decorations and let the whole family help. You can even get creative by turning household items into decorations to avoid going out to buy more.
  • Weather permitting, do something fun outside or active together: scavenger hunt, bike ride, lawn games. Maybe you can even make shoveling snow a “fun family activity”

Party of One

If you find yourself alone for the 2020 holiday season, it doesn’t mean you don’t have reasons to celebrate.

  • Choosing to spend the holidays alone is probably for a loved one’s sake and that is important to keep in mind if you start to feel lonely
  • Make good use of technology so you don’t have to miss out on all the love that’s spread on holidays
  • Acknowledge the uniqueness of this year. It is not forever, it is just for right now
  • Embrace your freedom to have a day to yourself and make it your own. Get back into a passion project, play your favorite video games, or schedule your own movie marathon
  • Don’t be afraid to cook yourself a delicious meal with all your traditional favorites. You can always freeze the leftovers

Shopping

Thankfully, we live in a time when shopping from home has never been easier and there will be lots of chances to cross off that gift-giving list.

  • Shop all the sales and price drops online
  • Utilize in-store or curbside pick-up for items that are unable to ship
  • Hold a Zoom shopping party with friends or family so you can all do your sale-hunting “together” in the comfort and safety of your own homes

Gift Giving

The 2020 holiday season will most likely look different when it comes to the amount and the type of gifts being given due to so many families struggling financially and people’s priorities shifting.

  • Don’t try to prove your love with gifts; stick within your budget no matter how tight that is this year
  • Try virtual gift exchanges after mailing gifts to your loved ones or send IOUs/rain checks for when you can finally spend time together
  • Give a gift that will keep on giving: Healthy Air. The Aprilaire Healthy Air System™, and Aprilaire air filters or room air purifiers are gifts that can help you and your family stay healthy at home during this holiday season and into the new year.

AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experiencing the Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

Before the Fight For Air Climb

Entering the US Bank Center for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb was a rush of energy.

This seemed less like an arduous trek up 1,000 stairs and more of an indoor festival. There were volunteers ready to greet you and pump you up for the ensuing climb and people from different companies sitting at tables ready to hand out souvenirs.

They were probably also there to distract you after you just got done instinctively looking up toward the top of the 47-story US Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee becoming a little uneasy at the prospect of your journey upward.

Before you made your climb, you gathered as a team and took several escalators down to the basement level before getting warmed up with a quick aerobic routine. Then you took a long and winding tunnel where you greeted by more volunteers who were cheering you on. It was hard not to feel inspired and excited.

During the Fight For Air Climb

One-by-one people took off up toward the top of the US Bank Center to begin their Fight For Air Climb. I, like most, started off confidently and quickly. I took the first six flights easily, but then by flight eight, I began to fight for air. I now understand why they title this climb just that. My mind and my body were at odds. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to continue at the same pace to get it over with as quickly as possible or to slow down and feel better. I went with the former.

Everyone in the stairwell was trudging onward with the same dilemma. We all were gasping for air as we kept pushing up each step and each flight toward the top of the Fight For Air Climb. At several points, I wondered if I was actually making any progress.

Every 10 flights there was a group of volunteers handing out cups of water and words of encouragement. Both were sorely needed to help push me along.

With each passing flight, I kept a tally of how many flights I had left. Twenty flights down, 27 more flights to go; 30 flights down, 17 flights to go; Ok, 40 flights down, 7 to go. By the time I got to the 40th floor, I knew I could make the last push to make it to the top of my Fight For Air Climb journey.

After the Fight For Air Climb

Eventually, I reached the top after 9 minutes and 31 seconds. At the top of the stairwell, I was met by volunteers who were cheering me on and by other climbers who were also catching their breath and taking in the picturesque views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan afforded to us by the tallest building in Wisconsin.

As I grabbed a water and walked around soaking in both the views of the city and my accomplishment, it was really cool to watch teams taking pictures together or greeting other climbers with high-fives and smiles. There was a certain camaraderie found in a common struggle.

Despite the lingering soreness, I cannot wait for next year’s climb. No matter if I beat my time from this year or not, it’s about fighting for air together and helping those impacted with lung disease.

To join an upcoming climb in a city near you, visit www.lung.org/aprilaire.

Healthy Air | News |

Aprilaire Partner Contractor Joins Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

“What can you do or say when your family is suffering such losses? It’s devastating,” said Christopher Ciongoli, HVAC salesman/estimator with Aprilaire partner Whalen & Ives.

Chris is participating in the NYC American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb on April 4, 2020. When he heard that Aprilaire was the national Healthy Air sponsor of the event he signed on to the Aprilaire team.

“An opportunity to make difference just appeared to me on Jan 10th in an email from Aprilaire informing me about the Fight for Air Climb. This was it. This is how I would help make a difference and support my wife as well as so many others that are impacted by lung disease”.

Lung disease became an all too familiar fixture in Chris’s life last year when his brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and father-in-law all died from lung disease.

As of February 7, he’s raised 90 percent of his fundraising goal. Not only is Chris excited to help raise funds and awareness, he told us he’s already reaping the benefits of training for the 849-step climb.

“My blood pressure has dropped, my pants are getting loose, and my dog Crosby is getting back in shape too!”

Every morning he goes out with dog Crosby and strengthens his legs and increases his stamina to make sure he can make it to the 44th floor of the 1290 Avenue of Americas building in New York City.

Read more of Chris’s incredible journey by going to his page. Thank you for your efforts, Chris and we cannot wait to hear more.

For more information about the Fight For Air Climb and to find an event in your area, go to https://www.lung.org/aprilaire. To learn how to train for your own climb, head to our page where we share training tips to help you prepare for your own Fight For Air Climb.

It’s Time to Care About Healthy Air
Breathe a sigh of relief.

Learn More

News |

Aprilaire Partners with Wellness Within Your Walls

2 minute read

Aprilaire is the exclusive Presenting Sponsor for 2020 for Wellness Within Your Walls.

Wellness Within Your Walls (WWYW) is an award-winning education and certification organization which supports reducing and eliminating toxins in living environments to improve overall health and wellness.

The organization’s one-of-a-kind education and certification process enables consumers and professionals to increase awareness about toxins in building materials and furnishings and guide them toward making homes healthier.

Wellness Within Your Walls partnership for national campaign

WWYW will partner with Aprilaire to launch a national “Breathe Healthy” awareness campaign in 2020 to educate consumers, homeowners and the build/design community about the latest products and services that help improve air quality in homes.

“We believe everyone deserves to breathe healthy air, and we believe in the power of education,” said Dale Philippi, president of Aprilaire. “Our mission is to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes. We are proud to partner with WWYW– an organization building awareness with consumers and professionals about the importance of healthy air.”

“We are excited by our new partnership with Aprilaire. They offer products that solve multiple issues relating to affordable ventilation and humidity control for homes and we’re proud to work with Aprilaire to further elevate the dialog about health and wellness in living environments,” said Jillian Pritchard Cooke, founder of WWYW.

In addition to the “Breathe Healthy” campaign with WWYW, Aprilaire is the FY20 National Healthy Air Sponsor for the American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb events which support raising awareness of the importance of indoor air quality. The two initiatives will dovetail to further educate consumers and professionals alike about why healthy air – especially in the home, is vital for good health. Good air quality improves overall wellness, helps prevent irritating allergens and pests, and helps shield homes from costly damages.

About Wellness Within Your Walls

Wellness Within Your Walls® is an award-winning informational resource group created to provide education and guidance on chemicals commonly found in living and working spaces. With a goal to empower and guide consumers and professionals toward healthier living environments, WWYW certifies people, places, products and programs globally through education and health and wellness protocols. WWYW’s 10-step holistic approach, known as the Healthy Living System™, results in a legacy of health, harmony and sustainability in living environments. WWYW was founded by Jillian Pritchard Cooke, a 30-year industry veteran with experience as president of interior design firm DES-SYN and owner of the eco-living lifestyle boutique BEE. While designing Atlanta’s EcoManor in 2006, the first Gold LEED-certified single-family residence in the U.S., a cancer diagnosis became the catalyst for turning Jillian’s expertise into a passionate commitment to create healthier living environments by reducing toxins. Wellness Within Your Walls was born. The organization provides frequent and sought-after speakers at trade shows, educational opportunities, workshops, seminars and other industry events. For more information, visit: http://www.wellnesswithinyourwalls.com.