holiday-recipes-for-kids-of-all-ages

Family |

Cooking with Kids: Holiday Recipes to Make with Kids of All Ages

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 to make with kids. 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

back to school indoor air quality

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Back to School Refresher on Indoor Air Quality

2 minute read

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“How was school today?”

It’s a question you’ve most likely asked your kids. (Is the answer ever different?)

Another question you may want to start asking is, “How was the air quality at school today?”

And for that question, you’ll want real answers.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is added awareness around the air quality in schools and how it impacts students’ health and performance. And in mid-2022, the federal government directed funds of up to $122 billion to schools, some of which will go toward improving Indoor Air Quality.

These improvements will include things like maximizing ventilation, enhancing filtration, and using air quality monitors for things like CO2 and radon.

Healthy Air for Your Student

How is your kid’s school doing when it comes to air quality?

Some evidence suggests that an increasing number of schools across the country are applying for and receiving funding to improve their air systems. But progress has been slow, and some schools aren’t taking full advantage of the opportunity to help students and staff for the long term.

Healthy indoor air has a range of benefits, especially in schools. With increased ventilation in classrooms, fewer children suffer from the flu, asthma attacks, and other illnesses that keep them out of school. Plus, research has shown that reading and math test scores improve when less carbon dioxide is built up in the classroom because students can think more clearly. (See the top of page 14 here.)

What Impacts Indoor Air Quality

For more information on the different factors that make up Indoor Air Quality, check out the AprilAire Healthy Air System®. These are takeaways you could share with school administrators if you’re concerned about the air quality your children are experiencing in the classroom.

Here are the main components:

  • Fresh air ventilation removes stale, stagnant air and replaces it with fresh air from the outdoors.
  • Air filtration works with HVAC systems to remove harmful particles like dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores from the air.
  • Humidity control keeps the humidity level between 40% and 60% for optimal health and comfort, and makes it harder for things like viruses to survive.

Plus, the AprilAire Healthy Air System® delivers monitoring for harmful radon gas, and gives you easy controls to manage your entire IAQ system.

Overall, these measures can help achieve greater comfort and wellness in indoor spaces with virus protection, fewer allergens, and better ventilation.

get-kids-active-this-summer

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

How to Get Kids Active This Summer

2 minute read

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School is out for many children across the United States, leaving families with more quality time together and a lot more energy to expend. Travel plans will make for great experiences and memories. But don’t leave all the fun for the road! Let’s see some great ways you can keep the whole family engaged and entertained at home and in nearby areas.

Parks and Beaches

Can you name all the public parks and beaches near your hometown? Use the summertime to explore everything in your area, and keep a checklist to make sure you hit every one you’re interested in. Then you can narrow them down to your favorites, and visit those again and again! Use this handy park finder tool to get started.

Indoor Adventures

On days that are too hot and humid or when allergen levels are high, find indoor spaces with air conditioning and activities for everyone in the family. Museums and aquariums offer great learning opportunities, or you can visit a movie theater to check out the latest family-friendly summer blockbuster.

Staycation

Many families made upgrades to their home during the pandemic, making them more comfortable and full of entertainment options. So if you’ve got a new home theater setup or enough space for a blanket fort, don’t be afraid to spend some quality time right at home.

Plus, simple activities like a board game or putting together a puzzle offer great, low-cost opportunities to slow down and enjoy each other’s company.

To make sure you stay comfortable for at-home activities all summer long, make sure your air conditioner is cleaned up and properly maintained.

Home Cooking

The best way to wrap up a day of activities is with a nourishing homemade meal. If you want to avoid turning on the stove or oven on hot days, try cooking with an air fryer or slow cooker. To get fresh ingredients, take your family to a local farmers market and pick out local items to take back home and prepare.

And of course, the grill master in the family will take any excuse to fire up some outdoor cooking. In addition to proteins, add some fresh, seasonal veggies to the grill for an all-around satisfying meal.

Indoor Exercise

With all the different activities at your fingertips during the summer, it’s easy to forget about fitness and exercise. But on days with summer storms or extreme heat, getting the whole family moving indoors is a great way to burn off some energy and to create stronger bonds.

Start with creating a healthy exercise space, then let each member of the family choose simple indoor exercises that everyone can take part in. Even if the workout lasts for only 10 minutes, it’s worthwhile and you’ll be glad you did it.

If you want to get more creative, create a game or contest out of household chores. This gets the entire family involved in home responsibilities and creates a tidier, more peaceful space to enjoy.

Interview with the American Lung Association

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Breathing Healthy Air: Interview with the American Lung Association

4 minute read

At AprilAire, we encourage breathing Healthy Air because we know it benefits your overall health. The American Lung Association knows it too. That’s why AprilAire air filters are the National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association*, playing a key role in the fight to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.

We got to interview National Senior Vice President of Development Sally Draper about the importance of Healthy Air and how both AprilAire and the American Lung Association are working together to help you Breathe the Fullness of Life.

Could you introduce yourself for the readers and tell us about why you chose a career with the American Lung Association?

“I joined the Lung Association in 2014 because I was attracted to its comprehensive mission—to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Every day we help Americans breathe easier through our efforts to fund innovative research, advocate for policies that protect our lungs, and educate patients, caregivers, providers, and the public with science-backed information. We were founded more than 115 years ago, and the needs are greater today than ever before, including the youth vaping epidemic, climate change, and COVID-19!”

Can you tell us about the American Lung Association’s mission?

“The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Our work is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; champion clean air for all; improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and create a tobacco-free future. Whether it’s searching for cures to lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, or advocating for laws that protect the air we breathe, the work of the American Lung Association helps to save lives every day.”

How did AprilAire and the American Lung Association come to work together in the first place? What does that relationship look like presently?

“AprilAire and the American Lung Association forged a new relationship in 2018. We quickly realized how much we had in common. Our partnership was developed as we saw an opportunity to educate and help more consumers improve the air in their homes to create a healthier environment.

Since 2020, AprilAire has been a Proud Partner of the Lung Association with its 4” residential air filters. Additionally, AprilAire joined the Lung Association as our FY20 National Fight For Air Climb Partner For Healthy Air. The company has also supported the Lung Association’s “Stand Up For Clean Air” campaign. As part of this initiative, we are driving conversations around air quality, climate, and health. The Lung Association invited people to share their #MyCleanAirStory—knowing that when people realize climate and air quality are impacting the health of their neighbors, friends, and loved ones—they are more willing to act. AprilAire provided prizes for the #MyCleanAirStory contest, including one grand prize of a whole-home Indoor Air Quality upgrade (the AprilAire Healthy Air System®) and nine AprilAire Room Air Purifiers. This year, the company stepped up once again to sponsor the Wisconsin Fight For Air Climb in Milwaukee. Also in 2021, the Lung Association welcomed Dale Philippi, President and CEO of Research Products Corporation, AprilAire’s parent company, to the Lung Association’s Wisconsin Leadership Board of Directors.”

Tell us about the Fight For Air Climb.

“The American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb is the nation’s premier stair climbing challenge. At 38 events nationwide, children and adults of all ages participate in this celebratory stair-climbing adventure. Pre-pandemic, the Fight For Air Climb was held in several of our country’s most iconic skyscrapers. This year, the Lung Association invited participants outdoors for a one-of-a-kind adventure to support healthy lungs and clean air. In fact, Dale was among the company’s team of more than 50 employees that climbed the stairs at Milwaukee’s American Family Field on May 22nd, proving he puts his feet, time, and talent behind causes he supports.

AprilAire has been a stalwart partner in the Fight For Air Climb, promoting the event to employees, customers, trade partners, family, and friends. Through this unique vehicle, the company is engaging individuals of all ages to understand and celebrate the importance of Healthy Air.”

AprilAire’s air filters are a National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association. How do you feel our mission aligns with yours?

“Our CEO, Harold Wimmer, has said, ‘Breathing should not be an uphill battle, but for many it is… no one should have to fight for air on a daily basis.’ Similarly, Dale has declared, ‘We believe everyone deserves to breathe Healthy Air.’ As a National Proud Partner, AprilAire’s mission to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes aligns very closely with that of the American Lung Association, champion of clean air for all.”

What are the benefits of breathing Healthy Air and what are everyday things that people can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life?

“Clean air is essential for healthy lungs. The American Lung Association works to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and safe from harmful pollution. In fact, every year we publish our State of the Air Report, which looks at two of the most widespread and dangerous air pollutants, ozone and fine particulate matter. Our 2021 State of the Air Report found that more than 4 in 10 Americans—over 135 million people—are living in places with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.

One of the most important things you can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life is to keep sources of pollution out of your home. Check out these commonsense tips on Lung.org. Additionally, ventilation helps reduce indoor air pollution, but it works best if paired with keeping known sources of air pollution out of the building. For tips on how to use ventilation to protect your lung health, check out our section on Ventilation: How Buildings Breathe.”

Fight for Healthy Air

At AprilAire, we believe everyone deserves to Breathe the Fullness of Life, and we’re not the only ones that feel this way. Through our Proud Partnership with the American Lung Association, we aim to fill every home with Healthy Air. Both AprilAire and the Lung Association believe that breathing Healthy Air should be available to everyone, and maintaining healthy Indoor Air Quality is an important step for your lung health. Read more about our partnership and the efforts of the American Lung Association on their website.

*Disclaimer: The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.

2021 Good Neighbor Values

AA Homepage Articles |

2021: AprilAire’s Good Neighbor Values

2 minute read

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We take the importance of caring for others to heart at AprilAire. We believe we have a purpose beyond the individual work we do and that being a successful company also means “Being a Good Neighbor.” It’s one of our core values, and something we put into action each year.

We remain committed to helping our local communities in a number of ways, including financial contributions and volunteering. In the past, we’ve raised funds to provide pack-n-plays to mothers in need, volunteered at local blood drives, and held various donation drives throughout the year.

While our partnership opportunities may look different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re excited to continue our work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, whose mission statement reads:

“A membership organization, the Society began working in Madison in 1925 with two parish-based groups of members serving their neighbors in need. Today, programs the Society operates in Dane County include a large customer-choice food pantry, a charitable pharmacy, storage for the goods of persons who are homeless, seven thrift stores offering direct charity, housing at Port St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, and several other forms of assistance for people struggling with poverty.”

We’ve been working with St. Vincent de Paul – Madison since 2014, giving us a number of incredible opportunities to give back and live out our mission of being Good Neighbors.

We believe the work they’re doing to provide assistance for our community is more important than ever right now, which is why it’s our honor to be a 2021 Platinum Sponsor for St. Vincent de Paul’s 6th Annual Care Café fundraising breakfast on May, 5th 2021. The theme is “Love Made Visible.”

They’re going virtual this year, which means they have unlimited capacity to reach their goal of $140,000. If you live in Dane County, we encourage you to attend the virtual event and support our neighbors in need through your contributions to the food pantry, free pharmacy, and housing programs.

 Click here for more information on St. Vincent de Paul – Madison to see how you can get involved.

Or find a charity in your area that you may be able to connect with to make an impact.

AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages | Healthy Home |

What Causes Static Shocks in the Winter?

2 minute read

 

As soon as the temperatures drop, the snow starts falling, and the furnace kicks in, you may start noticing a lot more static shocks as you move around your home. Why are static shocks so common in the wintertime?

Let’s review some common sources of static shocks this time of year, and find out how to avoid them.

Dry Air

Humidity level is the biggest factor when it comes to static shocks. Dry air is a conduit for those painful zaps because it doesn’t allow electric charges to dissipate and find balance in the same way moist air does. This causes some items to gain a positive charge, leading to a sudden transfer when they come into contact with negatively charged items.

To offset the prevalence of static shocks during dry, cold weather, you can maintain a balanced humidity level in your home between 40–60%. This will allow electrons to harmlessly move to the moisture in the air, rather than sit on surfaces, waiting to shock you when they transfer rapidly.

As a bonus, balanced humidity can also reduce your energy costs in the winter by making your home feel warmer at lower temperatures.

Clothing Materials

Certain fabrics are more likely to have a negative charge and lead to static shocks. Wool, nylon, and polyester clothing are the most susceptible. For instance, you may notice a static shock when putting on a wool winter hat.

Additionally, rubber-soled shoes will contribute to the buildup of electricity as you move across things like carpeting. This is less of a problem with leather-soled shoes.

Clothes Dryer

Dryer sheets have anti-static properties that reduce the likelihood of clothes sticking together in the dryer, and of clothes creating a static shock when you touch and wear them. You can also rub dryer sheets on areas where you often feel a static shock, like door handles or the metal parts of your vehicle.

Around Gas Pumps

In general, static shocks aren’t dangerous even though they’re uncomfortable. The only sites where they could pose a serious problem are at the gas pump or near other flammable areas. Because of this, the American Petroleum Institute recommends touching your metal door to release any static charge before touching the gas nozzle.