Family |

Holiday Recipes to Cook With Your Kids

2 minute read

The holiday season can be a magical time. Fill these days with family, friends, and traditions, and you can make memories with these fun and simple holiday recipes. Chances are, you’ll be able to make a lot of memories in the kitchen.

Whether you’re carrying on age-old traditions or starting new ones, here are some tips that will help make your holiday baking as stress-free as possible:

Tips for Cooking with Your Kids

  • Set realistic expectations of your kiddos so that the process can be as enjoyable as possible for everyone.
  • Plan ahead. The more organized you can be, the less chaos will ensue. Set up as much as you can before any helpers join you.
  • Keep it simple and age appropriate. The younger your children, the simpler your recipes should be so that the child can really take ownership of what they’ve made. The sense of pride they’ll feel is priceless.
  • Allow plenty of time. Anything your kids help with will inevitably take longer, so consider working in stages/steps depending on the recipe so you’re not rushed.
  • Equip your kids with appropriate tools. Setting up a rimmed baking tray for each kid is a great way to keep the mess contained, allow each child to do their part, and keep fighting to a minimum.
  • Make it memorable! Remember to make your kids feel welcomed and included in the kitchen regardless of their ability to really “help” or not. It’s a special time to be treasured. Take pictures, tell jokes, have fun!

Holiday Recipes for Kids

When it’s time to whip something up, consider these healthy snack and cookie ideas to make with your kids, nieces, nephews, and whoever else wants to join in!

Toddlers

  • Snowman Popcorn Cups: Perfect for a toddler because they can do each step by themselves.
  • Christmas Tree Snack: Once you prep the ingredients for this snack, a toddler can use their imagination and creativity to make it their own.
  • Coconut Banana Cookie: Smashing things is a thrill for toddlers; let them smash the bananas and add in pre-measured dry ingredients.

Elementary/ Middle Schoolers

  • Popcorn Trail Mix: This is a healthy, festive snack that kids can make completely independently!
  • Healthy Sugar Cookies: Kids love decorating cookies. Think of how excited they’ll be to help make the cookies too.
  • Grinch Kabobs: This would be a fun holiday recipe to do with kids before or after watching the classic Christmas movie.

12 & Up

date, datenight, dating, date ideas

Environment | Family |

Need Date Night Ideas? Try Hiking and Stargazing!

2 minute read

If your traditional date night is becoming a little boring, try these date ideas that get you up and moving! Summer tends to fill up fast with family trips to water parks, sporting events, and even yard work. Before school is out and things get busy, don’t miss the chance for a romantic date night.

Is Date Night Dull?

However, if your date night has gotten a little stale or routine, try something a little more adventurous. In a world of smart phones and streaming TV, who wants to use date night to go stare at another screen? Here are some getaway ideas that take you out of your comfort zone for a night you won’t forget.

Hit the Dusty Trail: Whether on foot, bike, or even a horse, a trip into the woods for a day can help you escape the minutiae of daily life and rediscover your passion and romance! Chances are you’re not too far from a forest preserve or nature center that would be a great getaway. America’s State Parks website even has state-by-state search function!

Look Up: If your hike runs late (provided the park is open after dusk), don’t miss the chance to see the stars. While we have plenty to keep us entertained at ground level nowadays, for centuries, watching the sky was the only show in town. If you’re not sure what to look for, there are a number of mobile apps that can help point your eyes in the right direction – just stay off the work email and social media!

Be Young at Heart: Walk to the ice cream shop, go for a swing at the playground, even ding-dong-ditch the neighbors if you’re up to it! Well, maybe not the last one… but don’t be afraid to act like kids, even when you leave them at home. Studies show that health and relationships improve when we take on the positive, curious attitudes associated with youth.

Healthy Date Night

As the seasons change, the days lengthen and the air warms – revitalize your date night plans as well. Not only is it fun, but it may even reduce stress, improve health, and lead to some exciting adventures.

You can also improve your family’s health and comfort with whole-home air purification!

Healthy Air | Family |

Back-to-School: 5 Tips For Staying Healthy

2 minute read

Back to school means back to germs! It’s that time of year when the kids head back to the classroom, but are they as prepared as they should be to prevent colds, flu, and other illness?  The average American child has six to ten colds a year. That’s reason enough to send them back to the books with copious amounts of hand sanitizer. Germs don’t just live at school though. There are plenty of germs around the house too, but don’t panic. Here are a few tips to keep your family’s health on the right track this back to school season. 

Five Ways to Improve Your Family’s Health

Tackle allergens before they hit

Kids head back to school during a time when ragweed allergies, hay fever, and asthma outbreaks are at high risk. It can be difficult, as parents, to determine if your child has an allergy or has caught an infection. A whole-home air purifier can trap pollen, reduce bacteria in the air, and prevent viruses, which means your child can feel relief and comfort at home…where it matters most.

Sleep easy

During the long summer months, alarm clocks get turned off and bedtimes get shifted. Make sure you get your kids back into the swing of things before the first day of school. Between cozy pillows and plush blankets, beds are attractive places for more than just your little ones. Germs, allergens, and dust mites are found in abundance in the bedroom. Wash your linens regularly and make sure your home doesn’t have high humidity, which is the perfect breeding ground for dust mites.

Sharing is caring

Give your child’s teacher a call and voice any concerns you may have about the upcoming school year. Also, let the teacher know about any health concerns (allergies, asthma, etc.) that your child may have.

Make time for family time

Take time every Sunday to plan out your family’s meals for the week. Having a plan means that you’re less likely to stray or buy fast food as a last ditch effort. This also makes time for family dinners. When it comes to cooking, however, understand the nature of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as potentially harmful gases by a wide array of common household products. Stovetop cooking, especially on older units, may release hundreds VOCs a day, putting you and your family at risk for short- and long-term health problems. Alleviate that risk with an air purifier or whole-home ventilation solution.

Your family’s health starts at home

Having a Healthy Home will help keep your child focused and prepared for the day-to-day occurrences in the classroom. It’s time to make sure the air that your family is breathing every day is clean—so your little ones stay healthy.

Environment |

Summer’s Most Common Bugs

2 minute read

When it comes to a love of humidity, humans and pests are on opposite ends of the spectrum. While we tend to despise air that is thick with heat and water vapor, most bugs actually thrive in it and need it to live.

Unfortunately, this means that the impending summer humidity in certain parts of the country is about to bring these summer pests out in a big way.

Summer’s Most Common Pests

Cockroaches

The German cockroach is the most common roach species infesting our homes in North America. They are attracted to warm and humid places, making your kitchen and the water heater in the basement their most frequented hideaways.

Silverfish

These small, wingless insects are nocturnal and need to keep their bodies moist at all times in order to survive. You are likely to find them beneath boxes or furniture in your basement, the shower, or hiding in your kitchen.

Centipedes

Carnivorous and nocturnal, with their 100 feet, these pests can move quickly and spend most of the day hiding in humid, secluded places. They are highly attracted to the moist, humid parts of the home because they need to rehydrate constantly in order to live.

Earwigs

Known to burrow into topsoil outside, these nocturnal bugs can also infiltrate dark and humid areas of your home. You are most likely to find them around floor drains, bathrooms, or under rugs or furniture.

Roly-Poly Bugs

Also known as pill bugs, sow bugs, potato bugs, or armadillo bugs, these bugs often infest damp basements.

Tips to Prevent/Eliminate Summer Pests:

Healthy Home |

Professionals Needed: Here Are The Home Projects You Should Never DIY

2 minute read

So you bought your first house and can’t wait to rip up that crummy carpet. Go for it! But if you hit dirt, you might need to call in backup. As more millennials take the plunge into home ownership, it’s becoming more and more common to see DIY projects big and small. Things like carpet removal are doable. But no matter how many tips and tricks you’ve picked up from HGTV, Pinterest, or YouTube, there are some projects that simply aren’t worth the money, time, or risk to do yourself.

Setting Limits on DIY Home Projects

Skill Level for DIY Home Projects:

For some people, DIY is a way of life. For the rest of us, we need to be honest about our skills and level of experience. Sometimes a “simple” job can actually be a lot more complex than it appears. Hire a professional for these projects before you try it yourself and make a mistake that costs way more to fix.

  • Paving your driveway
  • Custom kitchen and bathroom jobs – backsplashes, flooring, countertops
  • Pest removal
  • Window Installation

Time Commitment for DIY Home Projects:

Some home improvement jobs can take weeks to complete when you try to do them yourself. For big projects, hiring a professional will mean a quicker and more efficient job done well so you can get back to enjoying your home without interruptions.

  • Large landscaping projects
  • Flooring
  • Demolition

Permission for DIY Home Projects:

Some home improvement projects require permits due to building codes. Save yourself the headache, and possible code violation, by hiring a professional who’s familiar with the process when it comes to these types of jobs.

  • Additions and remodels
  • Deck or patio addition
  • Major electrical/plumbing work
  • Pool installation and repairs

Safety Risk for DIY Home Projects:

If there’s any question of your ability to do something without injury or structural damage to your home, it’s most definitely a job for a professional.

  • Mold, asbestos, lead removal
  • Tree removal
  • Roof and foundation repairs
  • HVAC system installation and repair

When you’ve decided you need a pro, try to keep the process simple to save you time and headaches. Start by reaching out to a few trusted contractors in your area to get estimates on the work, (recommendations from friends are a great place to start) and then consider price and professionalism before making your decision.

When it comes to HVAC work, we make it easy to find a pro. Along with plumbing and electrical work, HVAC is an area where it’s crucial to get the job done right the first time.

Sources:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/millennials-take-on-diy-projects-with-more-confidence-and-budgeting-discipline-than-previous-generations-300813538.html

https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/10-home-projects-you-should-always-hire-a-pro-for/

https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/quick-tips/8-household-projects-to-leave-to-professionals/

https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/diy-home-improvement-projects/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/projects-you-should-not-diy_n_3923456

https://www.hallerent.com/blog/when-to-call-professional-for-home-improvement-repairs/

Raise a Happy, Healthy Home
Breathe easy with the blueprints to a Healthy Home.

Learn More
office

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Air |

Back To Work? 5 Ways to Promote A Healthy Office Environment

3 minute read

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists in the United States, every area of the country is grappling with the decision to “reopen” parts of society. One area of consideration is office life. While some companies have announced prolonged work-from-home policies, (July 2021 for Google employees), others are already back to normal or are planning to resume in-office activity in the fall.

What does that mean for employees who are concerned about returning to that environment in the midst of a pandemic?

It is largely the responsibility of your employer to create and maintain a safe work environment. And if you feel uncomfortable being in the office, it’s worth talking with your boss or co-workers about continuing to work from home.

If you are set to return to the office soon, here are some ways you can find safety and peace of mind by focusing on your health and the health of your environment.

5 Tips For A Healthy Office

1. Stay Home When You Need To

The mentality of toughing it out when you aren’t feeling well needs to be rewired. If you are at all concerned that you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, the safest thing you can do is not go to work.

This is the compassionate and responsible thing to do for yourself, your co-workers, and your family.

2. Keep Your Distance

Avoid congregating in common areas, break rooms, cafeterias, etc. While it may be a hard habit to break, it’s necessary to maintain as much distance between you and your coworkers as possible to keep everyone healthy.

3. Wear A Mask

Social distancing doesn’t negate the need for masks in the same way masks don’t negate the need for social distancing. Unless you work in a private office with your own entrance, you should be wearing a mask while working in any kind of shared air space.

4. Sanitize

Keep hand sanitizer on your desk and use it often. Any time you have to touch something that someone else has used, you should be washing or sanitizing your hands.

5. Don’t Touch

Find ways to open doors, push buttons, flip switches, etc. that don’t involve using your hands. If your workplace doesn’t have automatic faucets for example, consider using a paper towel to turn the faucet on and off, limiting your direct exposure to the germs living there.

Office Air Purifier

For another safety measure, consider a portable room air purifier for your office. The included filter in this Aprilaire Air Purifier removes dust, pollen, mold spores, germs and other pollutants that are 0.3 microns and larger.

Of course, you’ll have to leave your office from time to time, so be aware of the condition of the hallways, meeting rooms, and lounge spaces. Consider bringing up the topic of air filtration at your office if there aren’t currently any measures in place to address air quality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have put together a safety checklist for employers who are welcoming employees back to the office.

As part of  Aprilaire’s Healthy Air System™, a whole-home air filtration unit can help you breathe a little easier when you come home from work, too.

This is an important piece of the multi-pronged approach that includes increased fresh air ventilation, humidity control, and air filtration to help reduce the proliferation of airborne viruses and other contaminants.

Let’s Clear the Air
Clean air is Healthy Air, pure and simple.

Learn More

Please note:
Aprilaire products are not intended to cure or treat any known airborne viruses but can help in the reduction of airborne viruses in your home and office.