Protect your kids from the flu!

As we have all heard on the radio, tv, and from our doctors- the flu is in full force this year. It has officially been announced as an epidemic. Most concerning is the high risk children are at for catching this flu. They are constantly around germs and touch their faces more than adults. Here are some tips you can follow to prevent your little ones from getting sick:

1. Make sure your children get a seasonal flu vaccine and the 2009 H1N1 vaccine. Everyone 6 months of age or older should get the flu vaccine as soon as it is available in your area.

2. Encourage healthy hygiene in your home. Remind your kids to wash their hands and to cover their mouths with a tissue or shirt sleeve when they cough. Also, encourage them not to share drinks or eating utensils with their friends at school. Give them a purell bottle to use every now and then throughout the day (a good smelling one that they like will make them want to use it!)

3. Make an effort to keep your kids’ play areas and toys clean. Use sanitizing wipes to wipe down toys, video games, and the computer.

4. This is very important for the health of others- if your child has a fever or displays symptoms of the flu, including body aches, sore throat, headache or a cough, keep your child home from school.  Don’t put other kids at risk. Take them to the doctor and follow each and every instruction the doctor gives.

Going Organic

There have been many debates about whether there is a real nutritional difference between organic food and conventional food. Alan Greene, a pediatrician and author wrote an article about the pesticides that are found in a lot of the foods we eat.

Today’s children ages 0-5 in the US have lost more than 16 million IQ points from exposure to organophosphate pesticides, according to Greene. They’re exposed to these pesticides almost entirely through our food.

Organic foods are grown without the use of toxic synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, artificial hormones, or genetic engineering. They depend on cultivating healthy soil to grow healthy plants to produce healthy animals.

Choosing organic food can drop a child’s organophosphate pesticide exposure almost overnight. In another study, suburban Seattle children had their urine tested multiple times for evidence of organophosphate pesticides; it was present in all samples. Then the children were switched to mostly organic food. The pesticides disappeared. They were virtually undetectable in morning and evening urine samples for five days. Then the children were switched back to their typical suburban diet and the levels found in their urine shot back up.

This is why we have seen a lot of our personal chefs taking classes to get certifiications in organic cooking. A lot of families request healthy cooking for their kids to develop healthy habits, and chefs need  to know how to do this and what the benefits are.

Every bite of food we take contributes to our bodies. Bad food ends up being a  debt hat we will have to pay back. Creating a habit of organic cooking for your family will result in health benefits for everyone.

Organizing Your Life

We all know how a messy, unorganized home or office can cause immense stress and frustration. The growing pile of papers or items can become an unstoppable force. We have had clients in tears in a desperate attempt to get some help. In a couple of hours, an organizer can bring order and peace to your home, relieving that enormous amount of stress that once ruled your life.

There are several ways to have the best experience possible with your organizing project. First of all, it is helpful to have an initial consultation with the organizer. This can be a phone call where you vent about everything that needs work in your house. The home office, the closets, garage, etc. This is your opportunity to “let it all out” and the organizer’s time to listen fully and take notes. A lot of organizers also like to visit the home to asses the entire situation and see what the project entails. This allows them to put together a plan and time frame for you upfront.

Once your organizer has spoken to you and seen your home, she will put a detailed plan together and give you an estimated time frame to do what needs to be done.

From there, the best thing for you to do is TRUST! A professional organizer is experienced in what they do and very reliable. When they are done with the job, you will feel the relief and peace of a home in order. A professional organizer’s job is not just to complete the project, though. They will then teach you how to maintain the organization that they put in place. What could be more valuable than a lifelong solution?!

Giving Thanks

It is the time of the year to remember what we are thankful for. If you are looking for fun and creative ways to thank your nanny for her committment and dedication to your family, look no further!

A few kind words, a moment of your time, or a handmade gift will go a long way in showing your nanny that you genuinely care for and appreciate her. A great way to make this meaningful is to figure out how you can include the kids in the project.

One fun idea is a handmade scrapbook with photos of the nanny and children together. Kids participation can vary based on their age- whether its gluing some things, picking pictures out, or putting the format together. Older children can also make or decorate frames that can hold a favorite photo of them with the nanny, maybe doing their favorite activity. They can also write letters to their nanny to thank her for helping to care for them. The family can collectively cook a meal or bake some cookies for the nanny. The project can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.

If you don’t have time to tackle a huge project, consider doing what’s called  a “thank you jar.”  Take a clear jar and put a slit in the cover. Each time you think of something your nanny has done that you appreciate, write it on a slip of paper and put it in the jar.  Once the jar is filled up, give her your collection of thanks. Children can also add contributions and help to decorate the jar with paint or stickers.

When nannies feel like their work is appreciated, they become more vested in their position. Since nannies work independently most of the time, there’s typically noone to give daily feedback or to notice the level of care she puts into completing even the smallest tasks, like loading the dishwasher or folding the kids laundry.

Showing appreciation just because you are grateful for the important role she plays in your family will go a long way to boost confidence, morale, job commitment, and performance of your nanny.

We wish you and your family a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Helping Your Kids Eat Healthier

We all know how difficult it can be to get our children to eat foods that are good for their health. Children prefer to eat what they like. Usually, healthy food doesn’t appeal to them as much as “fun” junk food. So how do we make healthy choices appeal to them? It’s all about creating new habits, getting your children accostumed to choosing healthier foods.

The first step towards creating healthy habits is to set a good example. Children’s number one instinct is to imitate. This means that if you have unhealthy eating habits, your child will too. Similarly, if you make the conscious effort to make healthy choices, that will also influence them. You’re not going to have much luck telling your child to eat fruits and vegetables if you’re eating chips and soda!

Another way to improve eating choices is to cook regular family meals. Home cooking is much healthier than eating out or ordering takeout. Restaurant food tends to have more sugar, salt and fat. Involving your kids in preparing dinner is also a great way to show them the importance of a healthy meal.

Keeping a wide variety of healthy snacks at arms reach is a good way to avoid high calorie snacking. When kids get home from school, they search the cabinets for a snack. Instead of having chips and other unhealthy items readily available, have fruits and whole grain snacks.

The next item is something all parents have done: making the child sit at the table until they eat everything on their plate. Doctors say this is NOT good for them. A child will eat when they are hungry. Forcing them to eat more than their stomachs want at that moment is actually encouraging them to eat when they are not hungry- which creates an unhealthy habit.

These are all ways to improve our children’s health. If you have a nanny or housekeeper that feeds the children you should certainly pass this information onto them as well, since they are someone who is an influential part of your child’s life. Just as they can pick up on your habits, they will pick up on the nanny’s habits as well.

Calm after the Storm

Hurricane Sandy came fiercer than most people expected. Parts of New Jersey, Long Island, and New York City experienced devastating damages. People lost their family homes of 50 years, trademark places were torn down, and some even lost their lives. This is a time where “help at home” is more important than ever. It is so vital to help our neighbors, whether that means letting them stay at our houses or simply letting someone charge their phone and use some hot water. LifeWorx encourages everyone to lend a helping hand as New Jersey, Long Island, and NYC begins to rebuild. We have been sending housekeepers who are happy to clean and help with damages. The home is where a person is most comfortable, safe, and relaxed. After being devastated by a hurricane, so many people do not have this luxury anymore. We send out our best wishes to all those who have been effected by the hurricane and we want to help in any way we can. Together, these cities can rebuild and become stronger than ever.

Halloween Safety

Halloween is one of children’s favorite holidays. They get to dress up in a costume and walk from door to door receiving candy. What better day for a kid? Its all around fun. But, there are safety precautions that need to be taken. Metro NY police departments say that parents or nannies who are taking the kids trick or treating need to follow these tips to ensure child safety.

First, give the kids a healthy snack or light meal before going out so they aren’t tempted to eat their treats before you inspect them. Once you get back to the house, inspect each piece of candy before you give it to the child. Be sure to get rid of any treats that aren’t factory wrapped. Inspect factory-wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance of discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Homemade treats, unless you know who made them, should not be eaten. Throw away anything that you feel is suspicious- don’t take a chance!

Some healthy alternatives you can offer your trick or treaters are: microwavable popcorn, hot chocolate packets, inexpensive items such as stickers, glow in the dark necklaces, coloring books, or crayons.

As always with childcare, it is important that children enjoy fun occasions, but we need to always take saftey precautions to keep our kids safe!

Have a happy and healthy Halloween!

Cooking for the Elderly

If you are taking care of an elderly person, it is important to know that even though they tend to eat less, nutrition is most vital in their stage of life.

As people get older, they need fewer calories to sustain themselves. So, portion control is important to keep their weight under control. Remember to check all of their medications to see if there are any diet restrictions that come with them.

Some ingredients an elder care provider should lower when cooking for the elderly are sodium, sugar, and fat. Lower sodium intake lessens the risk for high blood pressure. Serving low sugar foods is helpful for someone who might be at risk for diabetes. Foods lower in fat are better for the heart, which an elderly person needs at its best! Lots of healthy whole grains and vegetables will do the trick.

Some ingredients that you do want a lot of? Fiber and Calcium! Fiber helps with digestion, while calcium prevents bone loss and osteoporosis in older people, especially women.

Taking care of an elderly person involves many important aspects, but what could be more important than what you are feeding them? Putting the right food in their body helps keep them healthy- and happy!

Finding Elder Care for a Loved One

It’s one of the most difficult decisions you will have to make- deciding how best to care for your aging parent. There are a world of elder care choices out there, so many that it could be overwhelming. You need to know that someone trustworthy is coming into your parent’s home when they are in their most vulnerable state.

Many of our clients in the Greater New York area experience the challenge in getting their parents to admit to needing elder care. If your loved one is resisting help, we recomend starting small, such as with some housekeeping or cooking services to get him/her accostomed to the idea of having someone help them.  You can build on to elder care from there.

When your parent needs immediate elder care and there is no time to stall with Housekeeping or Chef services first, we recommend you appeal to their paternal instincts. When they realize that this assistance helps their children and grandchildren continue in the comfort of their everyday lives as much as it does their own, they become more open to accepting it.

Another tip in finding an elder care professional for your loved one is to allow them to be actively involved in choosing the right person. They have to feel a connection with the care giver, since they will be spending more time with them than anyone else. Interview as many candidates as you have to to find the true match.

Once you do find that person, you will be so relieved to know that while you are at work or going about your busy day, mom or dad is taken care of with trustworthy care.

A Memorable Night

Manhattan, New York – October 4, 2012 –At its third annual “Celebrated Mom” Award Ceremony, LifeWorx honored Ali Wing at the Neue Galerie. An intimate and exclusive group of professionals, mothers, and entrepreneurs arrived and were treated to delicious hors d’oeuvres from Café Sabarsky.

 

After about an hour of mingling and enjoying the beautiful German art, the ceremony began. Bal Agrawal, founder of LifeWorx, spoke about the company’s mission and led into mothers and their “warrior” qualities. Mothers, whether rich or poor, successful or not, carry their family through struggle and challenge. Bal then went on to introduce Janette Shatinsky, Queens mom of 2 boys, one of whom has Leukemia. Bal presented her with a gift of $1000 towards LifeWorx services, to make life at home a little easier. Everyone was touched by Janette’s story and applause filled the room at the generous gift and the meaning behind it.

Bal then moved on to introduce Ali Wing, founder of giggle. He described her not only as a successful entrepreneur, but a loving mother and wife who has faced her own challenges in life. Ali spoke of her family, being one of 10 children, and how that has shaped her to this day. She gave an extremely heart-warming and down to earth speech that had everyone in awe.

The event not only was enjoyable, but was accompanied by a good cause. Fresh Direct donated $35000 worth of food to City Harvest. LifeWorx envisions a foundation in the upcoming year to prevent mothers from being on the street.

Guests of the Celebrated Mom Award Ceremony left with a giggle book filled with goodies, good memories, and the fulfillment of being part of a good cause.