Summer; the sun and the children

Summer is here!

PhotoCredits: Lina Pantazoglou

(well this year summer in Greece is very strange,with rains,fires,heat and cold all in one week), but it is here!

All I can think through the workweek is the weekend and the  scent of salt water in the air and sand between my toes and the children playing around,building sand castles and swimming. However, a parent’s job never ends. From choosing the right sunscreen to choosing the right beach,here are some tips I gathered to help us.

UV rays are what cause the damage and are the ones you need to protect your skin from, with both types being linked to skin cancer. Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays are responsible for skin reddening and sunburn. It’s also the main culprit for skin cancer but also causes tanning and premature ageing. UVB rays vary in strength depending on location, the time of day and the time of year.Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays penetrate deeper into your skin and are responsible for tanning. They also cause premature ageing such as wrinkles. UVA rays are normally fairly consistent all year round and at any time of the day

Sun protection factor (SPF) measures the amount of protection you’ll receive from the sun’s UVB rays. Rated on a scale from 2 to 50+ (the higher the number, the stronger the protection), it tells you how much longer your skin will take to turn red in response to UVB compared to if you weren’t using any protection.

It’s a pain to apply and reapply sunscreen but it’s vital if you’re planning on sitting out in the sun. A good rule to follow is one teaspoon per body part that’s exposed to the sun. For example, one teaspoon for the face, one for each arm and leg and so on. Remember, if you don’t apply enough sun cream, your level of protection is reduced.Always apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you’re out in the sun and top up just before. Once in the sun reapply every couple of hours or immediately if you’ve been swimming or sweating – even if your sun cream claims to be water resistant.

Sunscreen for babies and kids

Children under six-months-old should be kept out of direct, strong sunlight altogether by staying in the shade and using a hat and long-sleeved clothing to help keep skin covered.

If your little ones are older than six months, make sure they cover up with suitable clothing, stay out of the sun from 11am to 3pm and wear SPF 30 or higher on exposed skin such as the face, shoulders and neck. There are a whole range of sunscreen for kids for you to consider.

What should I do if my child gets sunburned?

Call the pediatrician if your child is under age 1 or if she’s older than 1 and has blisters, severe pain, lethargy, or a fever higher than 38 degrees. Ibuprofen and cool baths or moist compresses can lessen pain, swelling, and itching. (Never give aspirin to children, as it can cause a rare but serious metabolic disease called Reye’s syndrome.) Keep your child out of the sun until the burn is healed.


  • When the weather is hot, make sure you and your child drink plenty of cool drinks.
  • Keep an eye on your children’s clothing, hats & sunglasses throughout the day – make sure they continue to wear each item!
  • Watch the shade – remember the moving sun means that you may have to move to keep in the shade.
  • Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion and take immediate action to cool down.
  • Never leave your child alone in a car – at any time.

What else do you think when heading to the sun with your kids?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!


All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only.


Summer time: it’s “book time”! or 7 tips to convince your children to read books!

Time to read books!

Summer vacation gives an excellent opportunity for everyone to read a book. How can we persuade kids who just finished school to pick up a book and read?

There are,of course,kids who love to read. They are easy to convince and will happily join the neighborhood library. On the other side, there are also many kids who do not like to read. They use the excuse of having studied all year long;now is the time to play.Usually play means watching tv and playing games at the PC or tablet. What can a parent do?

1.Do Audiobooks count for book reading? It is not the same, but it is a solution for children who resist the idea of actually reading themselves. There are many audiobooks, which you can download and carry with you all the time and choosing together with the child makes it easier to accept

2.Another idea is to read books that later on transformed into movies.I am not sure though if it is better to watch the movie first or read the book, because transition could leave a bittersweet taste.”Harry Potter” is a very famous example and I can assure you that both of my children have seen the movie and try to read the book.

3. A visit at the local library can give the trigger for a child to explore the bookshelves, touch the books and feel free to choose from the variety of books.

4.Make book inspired activities;draw what the story is about, print out printables of the characters of the book and play with them, or even dress-up

5.One good way to make the children want to read the books is to go together at the bookshop and  buy books together. Unfortunately, the child will not want to buy the books you may prefer. I remember once my 10 years old daughter chose a book of 20 pages written for 5-year-old children,and another time chose a book for teeanagers. At least, she has read them many times!

6.Bring a book in the waiting line. Whether it is waiting for the train, airplane or even waiting at the doctor’s queue, it is nice to set the example by NOT texting and scrolling your mobile, but having a book to read, even if it is not your favourite.

7.No matter what book you pick up, reading together can help you raise kids with resilient minds and connected brains. Just the act of physical closeness that occurs when we pull our children close and join together to share the moments that unfold as we read together — laughing, looking at the same pictures, talking about what we wonder about, and sharing the joy that comes from wonderful books

As you read stories together, ask your child  questions to explore and develop their emotional intelligence,such as:

-How well do you think the character handled his feelings?

-What could the character have done differently?

-What do you do when you have  feelings like that?

-What calms you down the most when you have that  feelings?

-Did you see how even though things were difficult/sad, it didn’t stay that way and things got better?

They are given language that helps express what they, themselves, experience and they gain insight into their own behaviors and emotions

There are many more ideas as long as we are open to think and talk with the children, because they may also have suggestions to make for themselves.

How do you convnce your kids to read? Share your experience and ideas in the comment section!



Easter is here!

greek orthodox easter
Greek orthodox easter

Easter is here and we are celebrating for 15 days (if you have children who don’t go to school because it is closed)

This year it is somehow different, because there are a lot going on in my life . I will tell you all about it in my next post,as soon as things settle a bit down.

There are many things to do in order to have a good and creative time with your children.The Greek Orthodox Church has many services which you can attend with your children;this way you can explain to them what we are really celebrating.

For the days you will be staying home check out my previous post about Easter  and try to have some fun and as rest as you can afford in order to charge up your batteries!

And don’t forget; summer is near!

How will you spend your Easter vacations? Share your ideas and motivate us!


Which food do your kids eat?10 tips to help picky eaters

“Mary what is your favorite meal?” “Noodles and chicken nuggets,mommy”. “Johnny,what is your favorite meal?” “Macaroni and cheesse!“said little Johnny.

Sweets and more…

Sometimes a child isn’t hungry, should we  force a meal or snack? Likewise, should we  bribe or force our child to eat certain foods or clean his or her plate? This might only ignite — or reinforce — a power struggle over food. In addition, our child might come to associate mealtime with anxiety and frustration or become less sensitive to his or her own hunger and fullness cues. What can we do?

Here are some tips :

1.Serve small portions to avoid overwhelming your child and give him or her the opportunity to independently ask for more

2. Stick to the routine. Serve meals and snacks at about the same times every day. You can provide milk or 100 percent juice with the food, but offer water between meals and snacks. Allowing your child to fill up on juice, milk or snacks throughout the day might decrease his or her appetite for meals.

3.Don’t prepare individual meal for each child.Preparing a separate meal for your child after he or she rejects the original meal might promote picky eating. Encourage your child to stay at the table for the designated mealtime — even if he or she doesn’t eat

4.Promote co-operation.At the grocery store, ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. Don’t buy anything that you don’t want your child to eat. At home, encourage your child to help you rinse veggies, stir batter or set the table. Little Johnny is my big helper in the kitchen, and of course I let him experiment with the ingredients. The other day he told me to put ketchup in the fish, and in the beginning I told him that it is not usual to do so, but then I thought “how bad can it be?maybe I should try it!” And it was just fine.

5. Set a good example. If you eat a variety of healthy foods, your child is more likely to follow suit. I can’t convince Mary to eat fruits when I am having a big chocolate for afternoon snack

6.Cut back on junk. Remember, you—not your kids—are in charge of the foods that enter the house. By having fewer junk foods around, you’ll force your children to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products. If you don’t have a nutella jar in the house, they will not be able to eat some!

7.Forget the food fights. “It’s a parent’s job to regularly offer nutritious meals and snacks. It’s up to the child to decide whether to eat,” says Angela Lemond, R.D.N., a registered dietitian in Plano, Texas. Some kids have a tedency to overeat, while other don’t ever want to  eat.

8.Don’t ban sweets entirely. Having a no sweets rule is an invitation for cravings and overindulging when given the chance.The American Heart Association recommends that sugar intake for children is limited to 3 teaspoons (12 grams) a day. A  soda like cola contains up to 10 teaspoons or 40g of added sugar, shakes and sweetened coffee drinks even more. Large amounts of added sugar can also be hidden in foods such as bread, canned soups and vegetables, frozen dinners, and fast food. Instead, try adding a splash of fruit juice to sparkling water or blending whole milk with a banana or berries for a delicious smoothie. Another idea is to freeze 100% fruit juice in an ice-cube tray with plastic spoons as popsicle handles. Or make frozen fruit kabobs using bananas, grapes, and berries.

9.Check your child’s BMI. There are many sites who help you calculate your child’s Body Mass Index (BMI) according to his/hers age. Here is one I found very easy and useful:

Also another link for calculator from NHS(UK)

10.Consult your pediatrician or a dietician, if you think you have more questions or dilemmas about your child’s growth. It’s not necessarily “good” to be thin or “bad” to weigh more, just like it’s not “good” to be taller or “bad” to be shorter.Instead, work on the right weight for your child.

How do you cope with your kids’ needs to eat? Share your stories in the comment section!



content provided by NHS Choices

Have a merry jolly 2018!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I want to you wish you all the best for you and your families for this new year!

I hope this year will bring to all of us everything that the previous years couldn’t give!

Have you made your resolutions for 2018? The beginning of each year gives us the chance to reflect upon all the things that we did. What did go well? What did we do wrong ? Whom have we misjudged and what should we do about it?

Moreover, the holidays means time with the family. It’s time to talk with our children and help them also realize what does it mean to turn over a new leaf, a new year

It is a time to reconcile and make peace with what bothered us this past year and try to make it right.

How easy can it be? Do you have a method to plan and organize the new year? I would like to hear all about it!