New Ways To Celebrate Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a special occasion to celebrate the fathers and grandfathers in our lives. This year, why not make it extra special by planning a meaningful outing, creating a unique gift or enjoying quality time together?

From personalized photo albums to board game tournaments and special feasts, there are plenty of ways to show your appreciation and make this Father’s Day one to remember.

Plan a meaningful outing

Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show your dad how much you care. One way to do this is by planning a meaningful outing together. If your dad loves the outdoors, consider taking him for a hike or nature walk, or go fishing or boating. On the other hand, if your dad is more interested in culture, take him to a local museum or art gallery.

For the dad who is a fan of live events, consider attending a sports game or a live music performance. This is a great way to share in the excitement, whether the crack of the baseball bat or the thump of the amplifiers, and create lasting memories.

A unique gift: personalized photo albums

A personalized photo album is a sentimental and unique gift that your dad will cherish for years to come. It’s a great way to showcase your favorite memories together and show your appreciation for all that he’s done for you. It’s a more memorable gift than the striped tie or pen set — and there’s still time to place your order online and have it delivered in time for Dad’s big day.

Quality time: a board game tournament

If Dad’s competitive, one way to enjoy quality time is with a board game tournament. You can choose from a variety of board games that appeal to different interests and skill levels, whether he loves old-school games like Scrabble or Risk or modern games like Settlers of Catan. Why not make this Father’s Day a special one by planning a board game tournament? Just set aside space for everyone to play and enjoy, and don’t forget the most important aspect of game night: snacks and drinks.

Celebrate with a special feast

Another way to celebrate Father’s Day is by preparing a special feast. If your dad loves to grill, fire up the grill and cook his favorite barbecue recipes. You can also take him to his favorite restaurant or order takeout from his favorite place. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even bake a cake or pie together. If you don’t feel like cooking or going out, have a picnic in the park. Of course, if your dad lives at a Westminster community, he’ll be treated to a special Father’s Day feast prepared by our talented chefs — no parking nightmares or hassle necessary.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Father’s Day, make sure to take some time to appreciate your dad and all that he’s done for you. He deserves it!

Learn all about how we’re celebrating Father’s Day all around the state, and find the community that suits you and Dad best at

Norma Christie King Balances Full-Time Job and Graduates with Honors from California Baptist University

Alongside her full-time duties as Administrative Coordinator for Affordable Housing & Clinical Services at Westminster Communities of Florida, Norma Christie King has achieved a significant milestone by graduating from California Baptist University. Her pursuit of higher education over the last two years was supported by Westminster’s Tuition Reimbursement Program.

Current team members who enroll in courses at accredited institutions can take advantage of the program’s reimbursement benefit, which supports those seeking to advance their careers. After a rigorous two-year period, taking four classes each semester online alongside her full-time job, Norma has now obtained a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership.

“At Westminster, there are opportunities for growth whether it be on-the-job training, learning from our high cadre of leaders, or through professional development at universities or community colleges,” Norma said. “The tuition reimbursement program helps cushion those stressful moments as you further your education!”

Despite the challenges of managing her studies and full-time employment, Norma’s consistently high grades each semester motivated her to keep up her efforts. Her dedication was recognized with her induction into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, honoring her academic excellence and leadership among her peers.

“Norma did a beautiful job of balancing her professional workload and her studies simultaneously,” said Westminster Communities of Florida Human Resources Manager Donna Seide. “She is an integral part of our organization, and her performance did not budge while she was studying for her degree.”

Norma actively engaged in dialogues about different ideas and strategies with Donna and fellow team members.

“I received support not only from the Tuition Reimbursement Program, but also from various people that if I had an assignment I was doing, I would ask, ‘What do you think of this?’” Norma said. “I could share my ideas and I would learn something.”

Norma started a degree in business administration in Jamaica but switched to an associate degree when her husband fell ill. Following her husband’s passing, Norma sought the academic program that best aligned with her goals. After thoughtful consideration and prayer, she began her studies in organizational leadership in January 2022, leveraging credits from her associate degree while continuing her full-time job.

“Norma is driven, dedicated, and motivated. She demonstrates a high level of professionalism and ensures that any project she is involved with is executed flawlessly,” Donna said. “Aside from being a wonderful professional and co-worker, Norma shines in her role as a mother to her adult son, Jaime.”

Thanks to the Tuition Reimbursement Program, both Norma and her son were able to attend her graduation ceremony in California. Embodying a spirit of relentless pursuit of knowledge, Norma shared her philosophy, “My head is always open – I want to know, I want to learn.”

Her advice to others? “Never stop learning. Upgrade yourself at all times. Your personal development is what you have,” Norma said. This mindset not only propelled her through her academic challenges but continues to inspire her professional growth and personal achievements.

If you are interested in joining the team at Westminster Communities of Florida, serving seniors throughout the state, and pursuing your professional development goals, explore the opportunities available at today!

6 Ways to Improve Your Overall Wellness This Summer

During the warm summer months, it’s essential to not only relish the outdoor activities but also to prioritize your health, especially for seniors who might be more susceptible to the effects of heat and humidity. At Westminster Communities of Florida, we believe that well-being is more than just physical wellness. It’s the belief that in order to be “well” you must consider the entire being: body, mind and spirit. We take this to heart, and offer residents and team members an active and engaging lifestyle inspired by our exclusive MyWLife well-being program. Continue reading for more advice on how seniors can enhance their health and overall wellness during these summer months.

Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is crucial for good health. It regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, and protects the spine. Aim for eight glasses of water daily and adjust based on your needs. Factors like activity level, climate, and health affect fluid requirements. Avoid sugary drinks as they dehydrate and contribute to weight gain and choose water, herbal tea, or black coffee instead.

Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise is crucial for seniors in summer. High temperatures can worsen health conditions and increase heat-related risks. Opt for low-impact exercises like brisk walking, swimming, cycling and yoga. These activities improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and enhance flexibility. Seniors with limited mobility can try seated tai chi, resistance band arm exercises, or marching in place while watching TV.

Protect Your Skin
Protect your skin from sun damage by applying SPF 30+ sunscreen to all exposed areas. Reapply every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating. Wear protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat, lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants made from breathable fabrics.

Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is vital for seniors in summer. Include fresh fruits and vegetables for essential nutrients, fiber and a strong immune system. Leafy greens, berries and citrus fruits are especially beneficial. Choose whole grains for fiber, vitamins and minerals to support digestion and satiety.

Get Enough Sleep
During sleep, the body repairs itself, releases hormones, and consolidates memories. Seniors should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night to maintain cognitive function, support immunity, and reduce inflammation. Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine can help seniors improve the quality of their sleep. This may include activities like taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing relaxation techniques.

Relieve Stress
Stress can harm physical and mental health. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga reduce stress. Pleasurable activities like reading, gardening, or spending time with loved ones distract from worries. Social activities foster community and purpose, reducing stress and promoting well-being.

Taking care of your health and well-being during the summer months is essential for seniors. By following these tips, you can optimize your overall well-being. Remember to listen to your body, adjust your habits based on your individual needs and prioritize self-care. By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you can enjoy a healthy and fulfilling summer season.

When you choose to live at a Westminster community, you’ll have access to a plethora of well-being opportunities to exercise your mind and body. Learn more about the lifestyle you can enjoy and find the community near you today!

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sallie Amato

Sallie Amato, a resident at Westminster Towers, holds the distinction of being one of the pioneering 18,000 women who served in the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve during World War II. Following her high school graduation, she worked as a telephone operator at an Army paratrooper camp. It was a poster that read, “Be a marine. Free a marine to fight,” that inspired her to enlist. At the age of 20, she enlisted and was stationed at Camp Lejune. After completing boot camp, she was assigned to the Field Music School, and became a bugler while taking on responsibilities at the headquarters company. Now 100 years old, Mrs. Amato takes a moment to reflect on her Marine Corps experience and shares some valuable insights for women aspiring to join the field, in honor of Women’s History Month.

How do you feel that the landscape in your field has changed for women who are wanting to pursue a similar role/position?

In my limited knowledge of what I hear and what I see today, sometimes the females are not respected. I think the Commandant and other people who are responsible try, but they are fighting against a very large group of men who do not respect women. It does not make any difference that the woman is wearing a Marine Corps uniform and proud to be of service. They take advantage of her weaknesses and this is televised, published, and made it even more hurtful for the women in uniform. I don’t know what can be done about that if anything. I think women really need to learn to protect themselves. That’s my feeling but I want to say that I’m so grateful because my service was during war time and we were respected for doing our job.

What do you think your field needs to be doing now to continue to advance women wanting to pursue a similar career?

At this point, I can only be an observer. Please, be grateful for those women who give their heart. They didn’t do this lightly. They didn’t do this to go get married. Some people look at them and say, “Oh, she’s joining the service to find a husband.” It’s not true. In their hearts, they love this country and they have enlisted or volunteered and they should be respected for volunteering and giving their young life.
Also, they should take advantage of the education that is offered to them. When I was discharged, I had choices. I could go to college on the G.I. Bill and the airlines were looking for women who had served in the military because they had dealt with people. I went to Radford College. At that time, it was the women’s division of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, in Blacksburg, Virginia. I didn’t have a lot of time allotted to me on the G.I. Bill, so the school and the professors worked with me and in 16 months I earned my bachelor’s degree in science and education.

What advice would you offer to younger women who may be interested in pursuing a career in your given field?

If possible, talk to someone who is serving now. Think about where you may be living. Know what the conditions will be. Where will you be living? If you join the Navy, will you be aboard a ship? Do you get seasick? Know in your heart why you want to join a particular branch of the service. Why are you doing this? What do you want to do after you do this? What do you want to do with that career? Because this is a career the same as going to college and if you are young enough and have the ambition, go enlist in a branch of the service. Get enough time to have your education paid for by the government. You serve the government, the government will serve you. It doesn’t take long and then you can have a career for the rest of your life even if you hope to be, or maybe already may be married, you’ll also need to have a career. Whether you use it or not, it is a very wise thing.

Can you share a memory of yours were you felt that the women that you were working with, stood together to overcome the challenges that are associated with being a woman in your given field?

The thing that pops into my mind are the religious women. I made a friend with a devout Catholic. She didn’t push her faith on me, we talked. She seemed to want to share her faith and I wanted to listen. There were other women who were part of other denominations – they wanted to share. It may be surprising to know how many of the women who were in the Marine Corps were devout Christians. There were also Jewish women and other denominations and groups of people. For those of us who were Protestant, we talked. In fact, the chapel was next door, right beside the flagpole.

After sounding my bugle calls, I would go in and talk to the chaplain who was Catholic. I asked him a lot of questions about Catholicism. He was never too busy to answer my questions. One day he said to me, “Sallie, if you ever want to be baptized Catholic, even though you’ve been baptized before, the Catholics ask that you be baptized Catholic. If there is a time that you want to do that, tell me.” Well, over those months that we became friends, I asked him a lot of questions and then there was the time that I said, “Yes, I really would like to be baptized Catholic.” And so he made the arrangements to go to the cathedral in downtown Washington and I was baptized Catholic. That was something that happened while I was a Marine in service. I am still a Marine and I’m still Catholic!

Enhance Your Spirituality With These Tips from Blue Zones

In today’s rapidly changing, digital world, it’s easy to lose touch with our spiritual side. What if there was a means to reconnect with our inner selves and experience a more fulfilling life? The Blue Zones, renowned regions where people live longer, healthier lives, offer valuable insights into unlocking our spiritual potential. By incorporating their wisdom into our daily lives, we can cultivate a thriving body and mind, and embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

We’re spotlighting the world’s Blue Zones in this series, because we all want to live longer, happier and healthier lives. We can learn from the people who live in “Blue Zones,” places like Okinawa, Sardinia and Loma Linda, Calif. It’s more than just nutrition — it’s a way of life that anyone can participate in and gain the health benefits. Follow the Blue Zones philosophy on food, physical activity, socialization and spirituality and you may just find yourself living to 100.

Foster a Sense of Community and Connection

In the Blue Zones, people have strong communities and social support, which helps them feel a sense of belonging and purpose and is a key factor in their longevity and spiritual well-being. To emulate this, make time for social interaction and engage in activities that promote social bonding. By prioritizing community and social connection, you can enhance your spirituality and potentially increase your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

In Blue Zones, mindfulness and meditation are widely embraced as they cultivate a state of serenity, alleviate stress, and significantly contribute to overall well-being, which are pivotal factors in the long and healthy lives of individuals residing in these areas. Mindfulness is being present and aware without judgement, while meditation helps cultivate mindfulness. Regular mindfulness practice can help to improve your mood, enhance focus and concentration, and increase feelings of compassion and empathy. Try different meditation techniques from mantra meditation and breath meditation to walking meditation and find what works for you and make it part of your routine.

Engage in Meaningful Rituals and Traditions

Inspired by the Blue Zones, we can cultivate belonging and purpose through meaningful rituals and traditions. Join a spiritual community, attend religious services or practice daily prayer or meditation. These practices remind us of our interconnectedness with the world around us, promote a sense of reverence for life and offer moments of reflection and rejuvenation. Whether it is a daily practice of gratitude, a weekly gathering for spiritual teachings or an annual pilgrimage to a sacred site, these rituals and traditions can become anchors that guide us on our spiritual path.

Embrace Nature and the Outdoors

The Blue Zones emphasize the profound impact of embracing nature and the outdoors on both physical and spiritual health. Spending time in natural environments can induce a sense of awe and wonder, fostering a deeper appreciation for the beauty and interconnectedness of all living beings. Being in nature allows individuals to disconnect from the fast-paced world and reconnect with themselves. Nature also reminds us of interconnectedness and encourages gratitude, fostering contentment and appreciation. Embracing the outdoors aligns us with the earth’s rhythms, deepening our spiritual journey and understanding of life’s sacredness.

The Blue Zones offer us a roadmap to reconnect with our spiritual side and live a more fulfilling life. By incorporating their wisdom into our daily lives, we can cultivate a thriving body and mind, embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth, and potentially increase our chances of living longer, healthier lives.

Are you ready to embark on a journey towards a healthier, more grounded and spiritual future? Learn all about how you can enjoy living longer and healthier at a Westminster community — find the community nearest you on our website today.

Boost Your Heart Health: Tips and Strategies for a Happy Heart

This American Heart Health Month, we want to help you prioritize your physical well-being — so we asked one of our experts, Resident Experience Coordinator Wendy Tamarit, to share tips and fun facts to guide in boosting your heart health this month.

Did you know that the average adult heart weighs between 7 and 15 ounces? This powerful pump moves 2,000 gallons of blood approximately 12,000 miles throughout your body every single day!

Maintaining a healthy heart is of utmost importance. Regrettably, heart disease continues to escalate in the United States, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that approximately 805,000 Americans experience heart attacks each year.

Often referred to as the “silent killer,” the development of heart disease and the risk of heart attacks begin years, or even decades, before a major event occurs. Factors such as sedentary lifestyles, poor dietary choices, genetic predisposition, and other risk factors gradually elevate bad cholesterol levels, leading to arterial blockages and more. However, the encouraging news is that it is never too late to implement changes that can significantly improve heart health!

Engaging in regular physical activity is one of the most effective ways to enhance not only your heart health but also to prevent other lifestyle-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes. The current guidelines for adults recommend aiming for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week. Additionally, adopting a healthy diet can yield tremendous benefits for your overall well-being. A healthy diet is one that consists of:

  • ample fruits and vegetables
  • whole grains
  • lean protein (or healthy protein alternatives)
  • healthy fats
  • minimally processed foods
  • limited added sugar and salt

Implementing other strategies such as living tobacco-free, staying adequately hydrated, managing stress effectively and ensuring sufficient sleep each night further contribute to maintaining a healthy heart.

If you wish to take action to prevent heart disease, start by talking to your doctor. Begin exercising at a pace that is comfortable for you and gradually increase it to meet recommended guidelines. Make healthy food choices as often as possible, and if you smoke, take advantage of local resources and smoking cessation programs. By applying these principles, you can keep your heart happy and healthy!

Embrace the opportunity during American Heart Month to prioritize your heart health and make positive changes that will benefit you for years to come. To learn all about how you can enjoy a healthy, happy lifestyle by living or working at a Westminster community, visit our website and find a community near you today!

Boost Your Physical Well-being with Blue Zone Wisdom

If you are ready to take control of your health and physical well-being in the new year, look no further than the wisdom of the Blue Zones, renowned regions where people live longer, healthier lives. By incorporating simple adjustments to your physical activity, you can unlock the secrets to a thriving body and mind. From regular exercise and natural movement to quality sleep and stress reduction, use these tips to guide you towards optimal health.

We’re spotlighting the world’s Blue Zones in this series, because we all want to live longer, happier and healthier lives. We can learn from the people who live in “Blue Zones,” places like Okinawa, Sardinia and Loma Linda, Calif. It’s more than just nutrition — it’s a way of life that anyone can participate in and gain the health benefits. Follow the Blue Zones philosophy on food, physical activity, socialization and spirituality and you may just find yourself living to 100.


The Blue Zones emphasize exercise as a cornerstone for improving overall health, and it’s no wonder why. In these regions, incorporating at least 30 minutes of physical activity into their daily routine is a common practice. Whether it’s walking, running, swimming, or cycling, finding an exercise that you enjoy and can easily fit into your lifestyle is key. By following the wisdom of the Blue Zones and making exercise a source of joy rather than a chore, you can enhance your overall well-being and increase your chances of living a longer, healthier life.


Incorporating movement into your daily routine doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, and the Blue Zones provide us with inspiring evidence. In these regions, people naturally engage in physical activities as part of their daily lives, contributing to their longevity and well-being. For example, in Okinawa, Japan, where the Blue Zones concept originated, individuals practice low-intensity exercises like tai chi and gardening, which help them stay active and healthy well into their golden years. By following their lead and finding activities that align with your preferences and surroundings, such as walking, gardening, yoga, or swimming, you can make movement a natural part of your life and reap the benefits of improved health and vitality.


Adequate sleep is not only essential for restoring and rejuvenating your body but also a common practice in the Blue Zones. In these regions, people prioritize quality sleep as part of their overall health and well-being. For instance, in Sardinia, Italy, where one of the Blue Zones is located, individuals enjoy an average of 8 hours of sleep per night, contributing to their longevity and vitality. By following their lead and implementing strategies to optimize sleep quality, such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensuring a comfortable sleep environment, you can enhance your sleep and reap the benefits of improved physical and mental health.


The Blue Zones highlight stress management as crucial for overall health. To reduce stress and follow their example, try incorporating relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga, and meditation into your daily routine. Spending time in nature, limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption, and engaging in enjoyable activities can also help clear the mind, reduce blood pressure, and improve your mood. By prioritizing stress reduction and incorporating these activities into your life, you can take control of your well-being and increase your chances of living a happier, healthier life.

By embracing these principles, you can take control of your health and increase your chances of living a longer, happier life. So, why not start implementing these tips from the Blue Zones today and embark on a journey towards optimal health? Learn all about how you can enjoy a longer and healthier life at a Westminster community — find the community nearest you on our website today!

Hard Work Pays Off: Adriana Cevallos Earns Bachelor’s Degree While Working Full-Time

Adriana Cevallos, the Administrator at Magnolia Towers, a rental retirement community in Orlando, has recently achieved a significant milestone by earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Polk State College in Winter Haven. Balancing full-time work with higher education is no easy task, but Adriana’s determination and hard work have paid off.
Alex Mookerjee, Executive Director of Housing and Rental Retirement Services, describes Adriana as smart, hardworking, and mission-oriented. “She’s also always looking to learn and do better,” Alex said. “I just really am so proud of her for doing this.”

After joining the Westminster Communities of Florida family in 2022, Adriana, who had a background in hospitality, decided to take on the dual responsibility of working as Administrator full-time while simultaneously pursuing her degree.

“It has been tough, I cannot lie,” Adriana admitted. “But I feel that it is a blessing that it’s finally done and that I was able to do it.”

Alex acknowledges the difficulty of working full-time in a position that requires being on call constantly. “We certainly work more than the hours say we’re supposed to work so it was quite an accomplishment,” Alex said.

Adriana made a commitment to Westminster to finish her degree, and she credits her success to her dedication and the support she received from her team and peers. “I received a lot of encouragement and love,” Adriana shared. “The position itself and the opportunity that Westminster gave me has been a blessing.”

Adriana’s accomplishment not only represents a personal triumph but also serves as an inspiring example for others. Since graduating, Adriana has been a source of support for her team, encouraging them to pursue career advancement opportunities and take advantage of resources for career advancement opportunities that Westminster offers including the Tuition Reimbursement Program and Team Member Scholarship Fund.

“Westminster offers the opportunity to grow and learn and they are always open,” Adriana emphasized.

“If you invest in your people it pays down the road,” Alex said. “The more we can do to invest in our people the better off we all are. Happy employees means happy residents.”

If you are interested in joining the team at Westminster Communities of Florida, serving seniors throughout the state, and pursuing your personal passion, explore the opportunities available at today!

Eat the “Blue Zone” Diet to Live Longer, Healthier and Better

Are you looking for a way to improve your overall health and well-being in 2024? Look no further than the “Blue Zones” diet! This diet is primarily vegetarian and is rich in whole grains, legumes, fruit, vegetables and minimally processed protein sources.

We’re spotlighting the world’s Blue Zones in this series, because we all want to live longer, happier and healthier lives. We can learn from the people who live in “Blue Zones,” places like Okinawa, Sardinia and Loma Linda, Calif. It’s more than just nutrition — it’s a way of life that anyone can participate in and gain the health benefits. Follow the Blue Zones philosophy on food, physical activity, socialization and spirituality and you may just find yourself living to 100.

What is the “Blue Zone diet”?

The Blue Zone diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. It’s low in processed foods, red meat and added sugar. This way of eating has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and certain forms of cancer. The Blue Zone diet can also help you improve your overall health and well-being, giving you more energy, better sleep, and a healthier weight.

How do you eat the Blue Zone diet?

  • Eat a plant-based diet.
  • Choose whole grains over refined grains.
  • Limit your intake of red meat and processed foods.
  • Choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, nuts and seeds.
  • Limit your intake of added sugar.
  • Drink plenty of water.

The science behind the “Blue Zone” diet

One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that people who followed the Blue Zone diet for six years had a 23% lower risk of dying from heart disease. They also had a 13% lower risk of dying from cancer. Another study, published in the journal The Lancet, found that people who followed the Blue Zone diet had a 20% lower risk of dying from all causes.

Foods you should consider on the “Blue Zone” diet

Some of the foods that are recommended on the Blue Zone diet include:

  • Fruit: A great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. Consider eating more blueberries, strawberries and bananas.
  • Vegetables: Another important part of the Blue Zone diet. They are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Vegetables can also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. You can adopt leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and kale and alliums such as onions, garlic and shallots.
  • Whole grains: A good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. They can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. Focus on brown rice, quinoa, oats and farro (whole emmer wheat kernels).
  • Legumes: An excellent, plant-based source of protein for healthy meals. Whether it’s beans, lentils or pulses, you’ll find that these inexpensive and nutritious protein powerhouses help make your diet healthier.
  • Fish and lean meat: In the “Blue Zones,” not everyone is a vegetarian — but people primarily eat fish and lean meat, similar to the Mediterranean diet.
  • Plant-based fat sources: Consider using olive oil rather than butter, lard or other saturated fats in cooking and seasoning.

Foods you should avoid on the “Blue Zone” diet

In the Blue Zones, people avoid certain foods that are simply unhealthy. To reap the full benefits, consider avoiding:

  • Processed meat, such as bacon, sausage and hot dogs
  • Fatty meats, like highly marbled beef and pork
  • Highly refined grain products like white bread, white rice and pasta
  • Excessive amounts of unhealthy saturated fats, whether butter, lard or fatty meats
  • Artificial sources of trans fats like partially hydrogenated oils
  • Drinks with added sugar

Live longer and make dining a pleasure 

Are you interested in adapting the “Blue Zones” approach to living? Learn all about how you can enjoy living longer and healthier at a Westminster community — find the community nearest you on our website today.

How to Choose Safe Gifts for Kids This Holiday Season

Every year, millions of toys are sold to children around the world, bringing joy and laughter during the holiday season. However, it’s important to remember that not all toys are created equal. Some toys can pose serious risks to children’s health and safety. In this article, we will explore what makes toys safe to gift and provide some tips for choosing age-appropriate toys. By taking these considerations into account, we can help protect our little ones and create a safer environment for them to enjoy their childhood.

What makes toys safe to gift?

When shopping for toys, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind:

  • The materials used: Avoid toys made from toxic materials, like lead or phthalates, as these can be harmful if ingested or inhaled. Opt for toys made from natural materials like wood or cotton, or from high-quality plastic that is free from harmful chemicals.
  • The size of parts: Small parts can easily be swallowed or inhaled by young children, posing a choking hazard. Ensure that toys are age-appropriate and have parts that are too large to fit into a child’s mouth or nose.
  • The edges: Choose toys with smooth, rounded edges and surfaces that are gentle to the touch. Avoid toys with sharp edges or points, as these can cause cuts or punctures. Toys with rough or uneven surfaces can also be hazardous, as they can cause abrasions or splinters.
  • Safety regulations: Look to guidance provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and American Society for Testing and Materials that set safety standards designed to ensure that toys meet minimum safety requirements and are not likely to cause injury or harm to children.

By considering these factors when choosing toys, you can help ensure that the toys you give to children are safe and suitable for their age and development.

Age-appropriate suggestions

Choosing age-appropriate toys is crucial for ensuring children’s safety and fostering their development. Toys that are too advanced or complex can be frustrating and overwhelming for young children, while toys that are too simple may not provide enough challenge or stimulation for older children. Here are some guidelines for selecting age-appropriate toys:

For infants and toddlers (ages 0-3):

  • Look for toys that encourage sensory development, such as rattles, teething toys and soft books.
  • Toys that promote gross motor skills, such as balls, ride-on toys and walkers, are also appropriate.
  • Avoid toys with small parts that could be choking hazards.

For preschoolers (ages 3-5):

  • Encourage creativity and imagination by selecting blocks, dress-up clothes and art supplies.
  • Help develop fine motor skills with puzzles, Legos and Play-Doh.
  • Avoid toys with sharp edges or points that could cause injury.

For school-aged children (ages 6-12):

  • Promote intellectual development by gifting board games, science kits and educational software.
  • Get them up and moving with the gift of a bicycle, scooter or sports equipment.
  • Avoid toys that are violent or promote negative behaviors.

For teenagers (ages 13 and up):

  • Encourage creativity and self-expression with musical instruments, art supplies and writing journals.
  • Toys that promote social interaction and teamwork, such as sports equipment and board games, are also beneficial.
  • Avoid toys that are dangerous or could be used to harm others.

In following these guidelines, you can help ensure that the toys you give to children are safe and appropriate for their age and developmental stage. This will help to protect children from injury and harm, and will also help them to learn and develop in a healthy and positive way during the holiday season. By taking these precautions, we can create a safe and enjoyable environment for children to enjoy their toys and make lasting memories during the holidays.

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