Blueberry Lemon Trifle



3 cups fresh blueberries, divided

2 cans (15-3/4 ounces each) lemon pie filling

2 cups (8 ounces) lemon yogurt

1 prepared angel food cake (8 to 10 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes

1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Lemon slices and fresh mint, optional



Set aside 1/4 cup blueberries for garnish. In a large bowl, combine pie filling and yogurt.

In a 3-1/2-qt. serving or trifle bowl, layer a third of the cake cubes, lemon mixture and blueberries. Repeat layers twice. Top with whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with reserved blueberries, and lemon and mint if desired.

Protecting children from bug bites

Itchy red bites might seem like an inevitable part of summer, but we’ve got expert tips on avoiding insects, buying new products to repel mosquitoes and soothing bug bites.

Don’t let mosquitoes, ticks and black flies eat into your family’s outdoor summer fun. Here’s the buzz on how to prevent and treat bug bites.

Evade insects
The first step to avoiding bites? Knowing when bugs are out and hungry. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, while black flies are most apt to be on the prowl during the late afternoon and early evening. If you can’t avoid those times, dress your kids in light-coloured clothing with long sleeves; tuck their pants into their socks; and have them wear closed-toed shoes, particularly if you’re going to be in wooded or swampy areas. Avoid dark or bright-coloured clothing, which may attract insects and make ticks harder to spot, and scented lotions, which can lure bees, wasps and flies.

Repel bugs
There are two main repellent ingredients recommended by the Canadian Paediatric Society for being effective at protecting kids against bugs like mosquitoes and ticks: DEET and icaridin. Though you’ve likely heard of DEET, icaridin is newer to the market. A synthetic version of a compound found in black pepper, icaridin was approved for use as an insect repellent in Canada in 2012. It may be less apt to irritate the skin than DEET, and it isn’t greasy or smelly.  Products that contain icaridin typically come in one of two concentrations—10 percent or 20 percent—both of which are considered safe for use in kids over six months of age. The 10 percent concentration protects against mosquitoes for five hours and deer ticks for seven, while the 20 percent keeps mosquitoes at bay for seven hours, and deer ticks for eight.

When using DEET, look for a concentration of no more than 10 percent for kids six months to 12 years. This strength offers between 2.5 and 4.5 hours of protection, and can be applied once daily up until age two, and three times a day in older kids.

Whichever repellent you choose, it should be sprayed lightly on clothing and exposed skin. For the face, spray a bit on your hands and gently rub it on, avoiding the eyes and mouth (or use a towelette). And be sure to wait 20 minutes after rubbing on sunscreen to layer on your repellent. In order to work properly, sunscreen has to be in contact with the skin, says Todd Prochnau, a pharmacist in Sylvan Lake, Alta., and a spokesperson for the Canadian Pharmacists Association. Plus, a sunscreen ingredient can increase absorption of DEET through the skin when it’s applied earlier.

It’s best not to expose kids to repellent any longer than necessary, so wash it off when you come indoors.

Protect babies wisely
No repellent is recommended in babies six months and younger, so “try to keep them under netting,” advises Janice Heard, a Calgary paediatrician and member of the Canadian Paediatric Society’s Public Education Advisory Committee. “There are stroller covers and little tents you can use if you’re outdoors.”

And don’t assume that just because a product is natural it’s better for young kids—lemon eucalyptus oil repellents aren’t recommended for children under three years of age. For kids over three, they’ll protect against mosquitoes, but only for about two hours.

Care for bites
If your kid does get bit, “a cold compress can decrease the itch or burning from a bite or sting, and reduce swelling,” Heard says. “A cool bath can also help.” Unfortunately, the more kids scratch a bite, the more it itches, so try to distract them. “When kids aren’t paying attention to the bites, they’ll often stop scratching,” says Heard. If your child just can’t take the itch, apply hydrocortisone cream. But don’t use it on large areas, broken skin, or near the eyes or mouth.

Antihistamines can also help in more severe cases. “If kids just get clobbered by mosquitoes, or they’re sensitive to the bites, Benadryl will help with the itching,” says Prochnau. “It’s safe in kids two years and older, and can be used under two years on the advice of a doctor.” Because older-generation antihistamines make most kids drowsy (beware: they have the opposite effect in some children!), they can sometimes be helpful when itching interferes with sleep.

In the case of multiple stings, bites near the eye, bites that are painful and look infected, or bites that are accompanied by a fever, get them checked out by your child’s doctor, suggests Heard. “Often, it’s just a matter of reassurance.”

British fashion brands you need to know

Get excited: now is the time of the fashion Brit-erati. From resurgent household names  to bright young things, these are the labels on everyone’s lips…


You can’t wear Bruta without being admired. It’s almost embarrassing. But it’s because Arthur Yates’s embroidered and printed cotton pieces are interesting without being OTT, stylish but not too trendy. Now, the label has added blankets and caps to its jersey tees and viscose shirts, which this season are inspired by all things Italian, from Botticelli to Serie A. Find it at Liberty, Harvey Nichols and at

Martine Rose

Starting as a menswear shirting brand, Martine Rose has turned to unisex dressing. And with more designers choosing to showcase men’s and women’s collections together, that timing is spot-on. Look out for extreme wide-leg trousers, classic shirts with a modern twist, moody colours and contrasting textures, from £158. We want the very cool reverse-logo sweatshirt.

Le Kilt

Founded in 2014 by Samantha McCoach, granddaughter of a traditional Scottish kilt maker, Le Kilt has developed a rep as the coolest place for skirting. This season it’s heading down  a refined route we approve of. Crisp white pleats are offset by silky wrap blouses, lilac knits and ponyskin. There’s still a nod to clannish rebellion throughout the collection,  but this is grown-up dressing.

Paul Smith

Smith’s signature suits have made him the godfather of tailoring. ‘They weren’t only for interviews or funerals  or weddings,’ he said. For spring/summer, the suiting comes oversized and masculine in shades of tan, pink, olive green and navy. Jet-setters should check out the non-crease Suit To Travel In. Made of high-twist wool, it springs back from scrunching and is available in turquoise, navy, damson and bottle green.


Central Saint Martins alumnus Han Chong’s mission is to provide womenswear that is as accessible as it is special. In other words: not too expensive.Cocktail dresses are where his label excels but the statement shirts, smart trousers and  lace skirts are welcome party alternatives. The bridal collection (for the ‘alternative bride’) offers ivory gowns adhering to Chong’s signature aesthetic of guipure lace and interesting cuts. Michelle Obama and the Duchess of Cambridge are fans.

Roland Mouret

The gruff, handsome Frenchman – adopted by Britain – celebrates 20 years since his first collection with a return to our catwalks this week. He’s dressed many a notable name, from Reese Witherspoon to Dita Von Teese; while the form-fitting Galaxy dress that became a sensation in 1995 can still be snapped up today (if you’ve about £1,500 to spare). This season, look out for tailored jumpsuits, classic pencil skirts and occasion wear.

John Smedley

Founded in 1784, the Derbyshire knitwear-maker is still the go-to for classic sweaters, but has now added fashion-led dresses and skirts into the bargain. It has collaborated with new London designers such as Ashley Williams and Claire Barrow, and there’s  a luxuriously slouchy collection coming from Joe Richards later this year. The array of colours in the main collection is astounding – there are 21 in some designs. For now, we’ll settle for a Daniella tee in Madin Yellow, please.

Margaret Howell

A stalwart of British fashion since the 1970s, Margaret Howell uses landscape-inspired fabrics such as tweed and linen, and her utilitarian garments stir something authentic in the soul. This season, colours are inspired by summer gardens – from shades of pink to deep camellia and rich, earthy browns. Diffusion line MHL also has a cult following, while an exhibition of photos for the brand by Alasdair McLellan (until 19 March) provides an extra excuse to pop into Howell’s London store.

Sophie Hulme

Satisfyingly boxy and endowed with metal hardware, Sophie Hulme’s love of menswear and military dress is evident from  even the briefest glance at her bags. Bright colours and charms make for a playful pay-off. Her relatively affordable pieces (bags from £250, charms from £45) have won Hulme numerous industry awards, and, in 2015, Samantha Cameron presented  a Hulme bag to China’s first lady, Peng Liyuan. Use one to inject fun into a corporate work wardrobe or for weekend gallivanting. In short: versatile. 

M.i.h Jeans

Ever wondered how to be one of those people who seems casually nonchalant yet stylish at all times? You need M.i.h in your wardrobe. Founded by Chloe Lonsdale in 2006 (yes, she is effortlessly cool), the label is rooted in the relaxed denim culture of the ’70s, but there’s also a carefully edited ready-to-wear to complement the breadth of jeans styles. This season’s collection is inspired by summer in Scandinavia; think slouchy knits, simple cotton dresses and striped jumpsuits.

Christopher Kane

North Lanarkshire-born Christopher Kane, who celebrated a decade in the business last year, has been a roaring success from his first collection to his most recent. Kane works closely with his sister Tammy and says that it’s strong women, like her and his late mother, who inspire him. After a spring collection that reinvented the Croc for fashion fans, he shows his a/w 2017 line this week. A revival of Kane’s iconic Devine bag, in blue, red, pink and yellow, will be available straight after the show.

Emilia Wickstead

Sophisticated, elegant and charming are words we’d use to sum up New Zealand-born, British-based Emilia Wickstead and her label. The designs spin old-school glamour in a modern yet understated way, and her fans include Gwyneth Paltrow, SJP and the Duchess of Cambridge. Her latest collection is true to ladylike form, with delicate floral prints, pastel hues and lovely dresses among the highlights.

Olivia von Halle

A former trend forecaster who couldn’t find sufficiently elegant silk pyjamas in Britain, Olivia von Halle decided to make her own (from £310) and has proceeded to create a successful brand that’s going beyond its original remit. This season sees her extend into non-nightwear, with luxurious tracksuits given the OvH treatment in plush silk-cashmere. They’ve already been spotted on the likes of Gigi Hadid and Rihanna. Von Halle recently opened a stand-alone store in London’s Chelsea, where you can try on the whole collection.

Rejina Pyo

With her bold silhouettes, graphic colourways and trend-setting accessories, Korea-born, London-based Rejina Pyo is a self-made phenomenon. If you don’t know her, you need to. With more than 60 stockists and counting, her coats are outstanding and her wide-skirted dresses on the money. She’s multitalented to boot:  she photographs her own collection and is the co-author with her chef husband of the award-winning cookery book, Our Korean Kitchen. But it’s the clothes we love most. Look out for her silver tinsel skirt and marigold slipper.


Cefinn may be the most anticipated launch of the year so far.  Why? Because it’s the label that Samantha Cameron has been working on for years, taking sewing lessons while she lived at No.10. Since Dave resigned last summer, she has created a 40-piece collection, priced from £100, that echoes the smart-but-not-too- serious style that she presented to the public eye. Anyone with desk-to-dinner needs will be grateful for co-ords comprised  of sleeveless tops and kick-hem midi skirts, polished but easy dresses and lots of tailored separates.

Simone Rocha

The Dublin-born designer who’s made London her home scooped the Womenswear Designer of the Year trophy at 2016’s British Fashion Awards. Having opened her London 18 months ago, she now has bricks and mortar in New York, too. Her spring collection was one of the highlights of last season’s Fashion Week, featuring puff-sleeved broderie-anglaise trenches and her version of a down-home welly. Maybe we can’t quite afford her dreamy tulle skirts (from £695), but we’ve got her canvas trainers and flower earrings on our wish list.

Best Inspirational Movies of All Time

Forrest Gump

The Shawshank Redemption

The Pursuit of Happyness


3 Idiots

The Blind Side


Remember the Titans

127 Hours

It’s A Wonderful Life

Beaded Handbags Are The Accessory Of The Hour

If you’re an avid follower of Instagram thrift shops, you’ll have noticed an uptick in little beaded bags being sold at neck-breaking speeds. Whether it’s a white beaded top-handle clutch from the 1950s or a neon pink plastic “grandma” tote that saw life in the ’70s, vintage curators can hardly keep one of these embellished bags for longer than it takes a use to DM their credit card info. But while these pretty vintage pieces clearly have their own trend history, they’re sudden re-popularity is a small reflection of a bigger trend.
Beaded and pearl encrusted mini bagshave quickly become the bag of the hour, riding off a year of success from the likes of Susan Alexandra and Shrimps. Alexandra’s hand-crafted, often fruity and rainbow colored assortment of beaded bags have been spotted on almost any Instagram influencer’s grid worth noting. And the sheer popularity of Shrimps’ now iconic faux-pearl boxy totes, which retail for upwards of $600, have sold out more than once.
Naturally, in the wake of popularity, others will follow, putting a slight ease on our wallets. Shop the bags that are adding a little extra oomph to our lazy summer looks.

Worried About Your Picky Eater? Some Tips to Help you Cope

“My kid only eats three things!” Many parents say. A while back an article in the New York Times spoke of a company that now can analyze your DNA and find out such specific information as to why in fact, you might have never wanted to drink milk when you were a kid. (Lactose intolerance tells your body to stay away!)

Parents can pull their hair out worrying about their kids who refuse to try any new foods. Even formerly adventurous babies can turn into toddlers and preschoolers who get so picky with their eating, that parents go bananas.

Aside from the beige food eaters, picky eaters are the most typical of early childhood. This is important to understand, because like with any parenting issue, the less personally you take it, and the less you need to truly worry about it becoming a problem, the more relaxed you can be which is always best for your kids!  Most kids who are picky eaters are and will be perfectly healthy and develop normally, frequently by around age 13, developing more of an adventurous palate.  (Particularly with growth spurts and the biological push to eat more!)  However, there are two things to rule out that picky eating may be a symptom of: 1) a sensory integration disorder which impacts chewing, swallowing and a sensitivity to certain textures and tastes, or ARFID which is more of a phobic response to certain foods which ends up severely limiting a child’s intake and contributes to a highly restrictive diet.  This does not necessarily resolve itself and can require professional help to resolve the issue.  These conditions however do not constitute the bulk of the many many children who are picky eaters during childhood and go on in life to either develop a wider ranging palate, and are perfectly healthy.

Some things to consider: Every kid’s palate develops on their own timetable, just like their motor, speech and cognitive development. Think about it; eating involves the three senses of taste, smell and touch. Similarly to how one child reads earlier because the muscles of the eye steady the letter on the page sooner, your child’s senses are developing on their own timeline. Don’t worry if you and your husband enjoy more subtle flavors; your child might need more time to develop that part their palate.

Many allergists believe that children who are picky eaters are instinctively tuned into their bodies’ signals that are telling them to stay away from a particular food until their bodies have developed enough immunity to said food.

Children are often just less interested in variety and love the same things. Think of how many times they insist on wearing the same outfit to preschool. Their world is expanding and they are also asserting their own individuality and taste. Taste, remember! Again, try not to take it personally.

Here are some tips to help you live through the years:

1) If you are worried that they aren’t getting their nutritional needs met, look at your kids’ food over the course of one to two weeks, not just each day. (What nutritionists advocate.) There is more room for those days your kid barely eats anything, or it seems like they really do only exist on mac and cheese.

2) Teach them about the major food groups and what they do for their body. Get them to go grocery shopping with you and pick out the ways they want to eat their protein. Let them pick the fruit, if they won’t eat veggies, If they won’t even do that, challenge them to find another way to get their vitamins. Make it into a game. They are the expert on their body, but they do have the job of taking the best care of it that they possibly can, you say to them. Empower them to take more responsibility. Get them to do some of the work.

3) Let them pick one or two back up meals if they never eat what you prepare for dinner. If they are too young to prepare it themselves, try to keep it simple and something they can reach in the fridge themselves. Don’t worry if it is something like a yogurt, or cereal. Let them portion out their own food.

4) Leverage the siblings if you have more than one child! As they won’t eat the carrots on their plate, ask them if you or if their sister or brother can eat them? Model a “Good, more for me!” attitude, and your own enthusiasm about eating.

5) You can use the ‘try each thing once’ rule, but don’t worry if it doesn’t work or they start to fight you on it. I find that the more pressure you put on them, the less likely they are to find it and appreciate it for themselves when they are ready. It can also set up a power struggle as they begin to individuate themselves.

6) You can try to hide veggies in their food, (Deceptively Delicious advocates might swear by this), but it often doesn’t last long. If you do this, don’t expect it to last and be prepared to deal with the issue square on.

Most of all, remember that there is a lot of evidence to help you, as a parent, not to take this issue personally. Think of your own and your husband’s background. Were you a picky eater? Are there any food allergies in your family? After all, it could just be in their DNA, not that you are doing a bad job. Or, your child simply needs time to ‘grow into’ their palate. Who knows, they may even become the next ‘Top Chef’!

Your Words Are Powerful: 8 Positive Speaking Habits to Build Yourself Up

Have you ever heard yourself saying:

“This situation (or person) is just impossible.”
“I’m a total failure at…” or “I’m hopeless at…”
“I’ll never be able to figure this out.”
“I’ll try, but…”
“It’s just such a nightmare.”

If you answered “yes” to any of those, then it’s likely you’ve unconsciously been sabotaging your success simply by how you speak. Psychological research has found that your subconscious interprets what it hears very literally. Your mind and body will follow the direction your words lead. So if you want more influence, confidence, connection or opportunities to come your way, begin with what you’re projecting into the world each time you open your mouth.

The words you use hold immense power. Power to fuel your confidence and ambition and power to make you feel anxious and inadequate. Power to make a strong first impression and power to be quickly forgotten. Power to create opportunities and power to shut them down.

As someone who speaks at conferences around the world, I’ve had hundreds of people say to me, “I could never do you what you do,” or, “Public speaking scares me to death.” Of course, not everyone feels called to be on a stage on a regular basis, but using language like “never” and “scared to death” can keep people who would benefit from building their presentation skills from even trying.

The saying, “The words you speak become the house you live in,” holds great truth. The world mirrors yourself back to you. If you use positive language about yourself and your ability to meet challenges and achieve your goals, then that is what will show up for you externally. Likewise, if you continually make declarations about yourself or your circumstances that echo hopelessness, incite fear, nurture anxiety and breed pessimism, then those words will shape your reality, too. And not in good ways!

Your language also impacts how others perceive and relate to you. If you often feel overlooked or undervalued, consider how your speech patterns are contributing to how others engage with you. Using “out of power language”—like talking yourself down, making excuses or second-guessing your opinion before you’ve even shared it—can completely undermine your authority, presence and power. Listen to any successful person and you will notice they use language that is positive, precise, action-focused and continually puts deposits of trust into their relationships.

As I wrote in Stop Playing Safeneuroscience has proven that every one of us has the ability to rewire our brains with ongoing practice and to replace destructive habits of thought, speech and behavior with more positive ones. Turning negative speech habits into positive ones begins with transparency (since we often aren’t even aware of how we’re sabotaging our own success, it’s so habitual!). I recommend two things. First, begin by monitoring your language over the next 24 hours. Second, ask someone else to monitor you as well, as our habits are often invisible to us! Then make the decision to replace language that is qualifying, passive and imprecise with language that is positive, specific and declarative—the kind that puts you firmly in command, shifts your energy and, in doing so, makes you someone others want to listen to.

1. Hold yourself powerfully.

How you hold yourself physically—your posture, your facial expression, the space you take up—profoundly, yet subtly, shapes how you feel emotionally and how the words come out of your mouth. So first up, stand (or sit) tall, shoulders back, a light smile on your face and plenty of eye contact with people around you. That will amplify your presence, and it will ensure that the words you say come out in a way that will have optimal impact on who hears them.

2. Reframe forward.

Instead of expressing yourself in terms of what you cannot do, reframe your language in ways that express forward movement. In other words, instead of “I can’t, I don’t, I won’t, I want, I need,” say, “I can, I am, I will, I choose, I have, I love, I create, I enjoy.”

3. Avoid absolutes.

Instead of “They are complete idiots,” say, “They see things differently from me. I wonder what they see that I don’t.” Instead of “No one around here ever listens to a word I say,” try, “Some people don’t seem to listen to me. I wonder how I can speak in ways that make others want to pay more attention.”

4. Don’t apologize for your opinion.

Many people, particularly women, will preface their opinion with an apology or something else that minimizes the chances of ruffling feathers. If that’s you, stop. You don’t have to apologize for having an opinion. Just express it respectfully.

5. Shelve the “shoulds.”

The word “should” sounds harmless enough. However, as I wrote in my most recent book Make Your Mark, what often lies beneath it are unconscious and unhelpful social expectations, biases and rules. So rather than use the word “should,” which carries a judgment of better/worse, use the word “could” and insert an alternative option that aligns with your personal desires. For instance, instead of saying “I should have everyone over for 4th of July,” say, “I could invite everyone here, or we could go out instead.”

6. Express commitment. (Stop “trying”!)

I recently called my daughter Maddy to get her new voicemail message: “Please leave a message, and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can.” I left her a message: “Update your recording, honey, and remove the word ‘try.’” Saying you’ll try to do something provides an excuse for not doing it. So don’t try. Do.

7. Limit the labels.

Labels create a subconscious mental boundary that confines you. Labeling yourself as “lazy” or “disorganized” or “pathetic with money” or a “terrible networker” keeps you from being anything but that and only reinforces an undesired state. Just because you’ve been lazy and disorganized doesn’t mean you can’t choose to be different. Far better to say, “I’ve not been very proactive about this, but I will be,” or “I’ve never prioritized getting organized, but I’ve now decided to start managing my time better.”

8. Rephrase problems as opportunities.

We all have “problems”—what differentiates the most successful people is how they approach them. Got a bad boss? What a wonderful opportunity to develop your ability to manage up. Got a lot on your plate? What a great opportunity to improve your ability to delegate, prioritize and develop efficiency.  When you change the way you describe your “problems,”  it opens up whole new avenues for dealing with them.  Instead of “This is a nightmare,” say, “This is an interesting challenge,” and you will more easily approach it as such.

We live in language. Choose to speak in ways that bring out your best and make you feel more positive about your ability to do what inspires you and to change what doesn’t. If there’s one thing I know for sure, it is this:

You are capable of far more than you think. 

Realizing just how capable you truly are begins the moment you decide to use words that embolden you.

Picnic Basket Food Swaps That Will Help You Save Calories This Summer

No time? No problem. We’ve got the easiest eating strategies for any time crunch, from portable snacks to meals you can make in minutes. Plus, the scoop on the healthiest fast-food options (surprise! the drive-thru is safe for dieters again) and your best bets when ordering out.

Grab your friends and family and head out of the house with these healthy options in tow.

Change Your Picnic Spread for the Better

Summer marks the beginning of picnic season, so it’s time to rethink our traditional spread. These are the latest snacks approved by registered dietitians: wraps and sweet treats that are chock-full of fruits and veggies. No, they’re not your classic veggie tray and fresh cut fruit—though those are always a win, too! I’ve got cheesy crackers, cookies, and naturally infused “soda,” plus a unique twist on your traditional sandwich. Who’s ready to picnic?

Sip Smarter “Soda” with Sparkling Water

No need to pack the cans of soda. If you’re looking for that fizzy refreshing flavor, enjoy POM 100% Pomegranate Juice mixed with a crisp sparkling water. Not only will kids and adults both enjoy the fun color from the whole-pressed ruby red pomegranate, but you’ll also rest easy knowing it boasts antioxidants and has no added sugar, artificial flavoring, or colors. Mix 2 ounces of juice into 8 ounces of sparkling water for a light, flavorful taste!

Choose Crackers Over Chips

For those true chip enthusiasts in the group, I’m not going to hand you a kale chip. My latest find comes from Bitsy’s Brainfood, a small but mighty new organic brand on the shelves today. Started by two moms on a mission to make healthy food fun for their kids, Bitsy’s makes veggie-filled smart crackers, cookies, and cereals. They’re marketed toward kids, but I keep these on hand in my pantry year-round—and I’m not even a mom! They’re the perfect swap for your cheese puff craving, made with real carrots and cheddar cheese.

Take Your Popcorn Up a Notch

If you’re still craving chips, I’ve got one more swap for you: popcorn! Katie Cavuto, R.D., has you covered with the perfect DIY recipe for punching up your popcorn. I’ve perfected a mix using Wonderful pistachios, dried apricots, and a little crystallized ginger. Unlike potato chips, pistachios offer a good source of protein and fiber, with over three times as many pieces per serving. Pistachios give you 49 nuts per serving; compare that to just 15 potato chips per serving (and who eats just 15 potato chips?). The whole grain from the popcorn paired with the protein-fat combo from the nuts plus fiber from the dried fruit really makes this combo a “whole in one.”

Get the recipe: Creative Popcorn Combos

Indulge in Something Sweet (and Vegan)

Everybody wants something chocolaty at a picnic, right? Rather than spend money on those mini plastic pudding cups filled with who knows what, I suggest you try the latest dessert recipe from Emily Kyle, R.D. Combining heart-healthy avocados with pure cocoa and raspberries, this chocolate pudding packs a nutritional punch. Make it ahead of time and fill up a container to it enjoy alfresco. Or use it as a dip for apple slices. The possibilities are endless!

Get the recipe: Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Get Wrapped Up in New Produce

Did someone say cactus wrap? Yep! A cactus is considered both a fruit and vegetable, so mark both on your MyPlate requirements when you dive into this tasty meal. Cactus is filled with antioxidants, vitamins C and E, and selenium, while the wrap delivers a hearty dose of protein and fiber. The combo here will keep your entire picnic group full and focused until your next adventure.

Get the recipe: Flatout Cactus Salad Wrap

Level Up (and Slim Down) Your Burrito Bowl

Nix the urge to buy that stale packaged salad that’s been sitting on the shelves for days! Instead, whip up this super-simple but totally delicious Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salad. Not only does it deliver a hefty dose of vegetables from the lettuce, sweet potatoes, and salsa, but it also packs a protein punch from the black beans and quinoa mixture. Tell everyone it’s a Chipotle Burrito Bowl—they’ll never taste the difference!

Get the recipe: Burrito Bowl Mason Jars




How to Teach Kids to Swim

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 to 19, according to the American Association of Pediatrics. Teaching your child to swim can help her know what to do if she accidentally falls into a pool or other body of water, and can help her develop a lifelong love of aquatics.

The Right Time

No parent wants to think about their child drowning, and it’s natural to want to protect babies and toddlers by teaching them to swim. However, the American Association of Pediatrics recommends waiting until your child is about 4 years old to begin swim lessons. At this age, motor skills are more developed and a child can voluntarily hold her breath for several seconds. While you can teach a younger child to propel herself through the water, flip over and float on her back, she should be within arm’s reach of an adult at all times in the water to prevent drowning.

Feeling Comfortable in the Water

A critical step in teaching your child to swim is letting your child get a feel for the water. Pool water is colder than bath or shower water, and pool chemicals can burn the eyes and nostrils. Begin your first lesson by teaching your child how to enter and exit the water safely using the pool steps. Staying within arm’s reach, make a game of going hand-over-hand around the pool and climbing out at the ladders. Let her get a feel for the strange sensation of moving through chest-deep and waist-deep water while walking, trying to run or playing games such as tossing a ball back and forth. Progressing beyond this step before your child is comfortable in the water can make her fearful during the rest of the learn-to-swim process.

Holding Your Breath

Keep swimming lessons fun with age-appropriate games and activities. Babies and toddlers enjoy rhymes and songs such as “Ring Around the Rosy” where everyone takes a dip under the water at the end of the song to get accustomed to not breathing underwater. Kids aged 4 to 9 enjoy retrieving underwater objects to develop their breath-holding skills. By age 6, kids are ready to practice the skill for its own merit, especially in pairs or groups. Holding hands and alternating bobbing is one fun way kids this age can learn rhythmic breathing. Diving to retrieve diving rings or other objects on the pool’s bottom is another.

Kicking and Stroking

A child younger than 4 or 5 doesn’t have the developmental skills to do specific kicks associated with swimming strokes, but she can undulate her body with a modified frog kick to propel herself through the water while you are holding on to her. When your child develops the ability to alternately kick her legs for a flutter kick, you can develop both body position and kicking skills with the Superman game. Have her extend her arms in front of her, kicking her legs behind while pretending to be Superman flying over the city. You can place toys on the bottom for her to dive down and “rescue” as well. Kids older than 6 respond well to flutter kick races or contests to see who can make the biggest kick. Once the kids have the hang of the Superman exercise, its just a matter of teaching them to pull alternately with their arms and turn slightly on their side to grab a breath. The thrill of actually swimming usually precludes the need for games at this stage.

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