Back to Basics: 3 Simple Tips for Building Healthy Kids

Back to Basics: 3 Simple Tips for Building Healthy Kids

Do these promises sound familiar?

“When I have kids, I’ll never let them eat XYZ.”

“My kids will always eat whatever I put in front of them.”

“Our family will never eat out all the time.”

We’ve all said them at some point in our lives and, whether we’ve started a family or are still in the process of building one, we’ve probably all broken those same promises! We read the books. We talk to other parents. We watch all the educational programs. And, the truth we universally learn is that raising healthy kids is hard work! Between getting them to eat healthy foods and encouraging them to get enough exercise, it’s a full-time job.  So, what can we do to make it simpler? Let’s get back to basics and look at 3 tips that can get our kids on track to healthy living.


Perhaps the easiest way to help kids make better food choices is to control what food is stocked in your home. If your pantry is full of sugary (albeit delicious) foods, then guess what the little humans in your home are going to eat when they are hungry (or bored)? Sugar is addictive and so the habit of reaching for food filled with this ingredient a by-product of this addiction. Remove the sugar-filled food and like Ole Mother Hubbard, when they go to fetch a sugar snack, they’ll find the cupboard is bare. Replace the sugar-filled food with granola bars, low-fat chips, easily-accessible cut-up fruits and veggies, yogurt, etc. and they’ll learn to grab these healthier options when they are hungry!


The folks under your roof tend to watch what you do. They watch what you eat and why you eat it. Be a role model for your people and make smart food choices regarding the type of food you put on your plate and how much of it you consume. If you are always eating high-fat, high-calorie, fast food then guess what they assume is the right things to eat? Did you know those eyes are also watching WHY you eat? If you use food to help you de-stress or when you are sad, they will follow your example. Do you assign your feelings of happiness to food? You will have kids who will think food makes them happy. Make sure that how you behave around food points those who are closely watching you towards healthy actions.


Make kids a part of the decision-making process for meals during the week. Children will be more likely to eat the food you place in front of them if they get to help plan out some of the meals. Make a “Family Favorites” list that everyone gets to contribute a couple ideas towards whether it’s favorite breakfasts, dinners, or even snacks. Next, ask the idea-generator to assist in making that food choice for the family. Having a hand in creating the meal gets you buy-in from your assistant. Finally, get everyone up and moving whether it’s to visit a new park after school, take an after-dinner walk, or go exploring on some local trails over the weekend. Move together and you’ll make memories as you do it!

You can start building healthy kids by following these 3 simple tips. By stocking your home with healthy food choices, being a food-behavior model, and involving your family in planning, making, and moving, you will find yourself on the path to success!


Here are some useful links to help you take the first steps towards raising healthy kids.

Healthy Breakfasts

Healthy Lunches

MyPlate Kids

What the Switch to Remote Work Teaches Us About HR | CA Benefits Advisors

What the Switch to Remote Work Teaches Us About HR | CA Benefits Advisors

In the past year, many employers who would never have considered a remote work arrangement discovered that it was not only possible, but in some (or many) ways preferable to how they worked before. As a result, many employers plan on maintaining a remote workforce in some form once the pandemic is over. There’s a lesson here for all employers: the standard way of doing things is not necessarily the only or best way to do things.

As you begin the new year, it might be worth examining your HR practices and asking yourself whether the way you do things is really the best way, or just the comfortable, easy way. Look especially for areas where you’re setting unnecessary restrictions on yourself or your employees.

Job postings, for example, often have requirements that could be tossed with no loss, but a lot of gain. Does someone really need a four-year degree to do an entry level admin job? Or knowledge of how to use certain productivity tools, which can realistically be learned in a matter of hours? Restrictions such as these may be limiting your applicant pool. Other old habits may be losing you productivity and profit.

By Kyle Cupp

Originally posted on ThinkHR

COVID-19 Fraud Protection | California Benefits Firm

COVID-19 Fraud Protection | California Benefits Firm

The COVID-19 crisis has not only stolen the health and well-being of people all over the world, but now, it seems, it has opened the door to criminals who want to steal your money and your identity. Historically, when there are times of crisis, the crime rate increases. We see this with natural disasters when stores are looted or when the economy is tanking and theft increases.  Now, we are seeing this scenario play out in real time as thieves use the pandemic and fear to their benefit.


According to Forbes, Americans have lost more than $106 million to fraud related to COVID-19. These losses originate from all types of scams ranging from seeking donations for non-existent charities to price gauging for personal protective equipment. Dishonest individuals call victims and impersonate health organizations with a cure for COVID or products that can prevent infection if you just give them a credit card number. False bank accounts have been opened for the sole purpose of depositing unemployment benefit checks for non-existent persons.  With crime so rampant, how can you tell what’s true and what’s false pertaining to this crisis? Here’s some big scams that you can look out for:

  • Phishing/SMishing—Emails or text messages that appear to be from your bank or from an online retailer ask you to click a link or call a number so that you can verify personal information.
  • Work-from-home scams—Posing as a company or even one of your co-workers, criminals email about fake opportunities to work from home and ask you to apply for a job by giving out personal information.
  • Medical fraud—Fake websites are launched with virus testing kits or medical supplies for sale and collect credit card information.
  • COVID contact tracing—In an attempt to steal personal information such as social security numbers, fraudsters claim to be contact tracers and have identified you as a possible close contact of a COVID patient. Now they ask you for your info to verify and log your exposure to the virus.
  • Vaccine scheme—Calling individuals to sign them up to receive the COVID vaccine, the imposter asks for your personal information.


  • The number one way to protect yourself from possible fraud related to the COVID-19 crisis is to never give out your personal information in response to an unsolicited email or phone call. If you haven’t called the company/bank/organization directly, and someone contacts you asking for your birthdate, maiden name, social security number, etc, don’t give it out. You have the right to decline their request so that you can feel secure in releasing your information. Simply tell the solicitor that you want to call them back and then look on your bill/website/known contact information and call that number to affirm that the person who contacted you is indeed who they say they are.
  • If you suspect that your identity has been stolen, contact one of the three big credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. When you contact one of these agencies, you can request a freeze be put on your credit so that scammers cannot open any new accounts in your name.
  • “Report financial identity theft fraud attempts to the FBI. The toll-free number is easy to remember: 1-800-CALL-FBI. Or you can go online to” reports Terry Savage, Next Avenue podcast co-host. Forbes has a great transcript of a recent episode online with lots of fantastic tips for protecting yourself against fraud and you can access it HERE.

In the midst of this pandemic crisis, the most important thing to focus on is the health and welfare of yourself and those you care most about. You shouldn’t have to waste time and effort chasing down scammers who have preyed on you when you are the most vulnerable. By following these easy (and always applicable) tips for protecting your identity and your finances, you can keep your focus on what really matters.


Exploring EAPs | California Employee Benefits Group

Exploring EAPs | California Employee Benefits Group

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are company-sponsored programs that provide assistance to employees for a variety of personal issues that may be hindering or adversely affecting their work performance. Typically offered through third-party administrators, EAPs can provide their services online or via telephone and can sometimes be a part of the employee’s healthcare plan, however it is not a replacement to the healthcare plan.

Examples of EAP Services

There is an assortment of services that EAPs offer to employees. All these services have a central purpose: aid the employee so that their personal problems are resolved, and their work performance is unaffected. For example, Karen has been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic with depression. To sooth her anxiety, she has begun drinking every day. It’s gradually escalated to the point where she is late to work, has frequent absences, and is missing deadlines. She knows she needs to talk with someone who can offer her alcohol abuse resources. She accesses her company sponsored EAP.

Here are some other common services included in EAPs:

  • Alcohol and substance abuse counseling
  • Health and wellness counseling
  • Child or elder care resources
  • Legal aid
  • Marital and family counseling
  • Financial counseling

Benefits of EAP Services

There are a number of benefits to the employee and the employer when the EAP is utilized in the workplace. First, utilizing the EAP service is completely voluntary. Second, the services are provided free of charge to the employee. Third, the counselor that speaks with the employee is entirely confidential. This allows the employee to be completely honest without feeling a threat that the employer would retaliate on anything said in a session.

Utilizing your company’s EAP not only provides services and care to you and your family, but it also benefits your company. No longer carrying the burden of your personal problems solo, an EAP counselor can give you sound advice and steps to follow to achieve success when tackling a problem.  Employers will benefit by there being no disruption in the workflow of their employee due to overwhelming personal issues. Access your EAP and attack those personal problems today!

Be Alert: Employers Are Seeing a Spike in Phishing Scams | CA Benefits Consultants

Be Alert: Employers Are Seeing a Spike in Phishing Scams | CA Benefits Consultants

Phishing emails are a type of scam designed to obtain information or prompt certain behavior from their targets. To that end, they typically appear to come from a person or entity we trust.

In most cases, careful inspection will reveal cracks in the façade, little signs that the message is not what it purports to be. But, of course, most of us don’t thoroughly analyze every email we receive from a colleague or supervisor. When we get an email from our CEO, Lizzy Beth, we don’t hover the mouse over her contact card to verify that the message came from her actual company email and not brice@sneaky.scam. We see the email, assume Lizzy Beth wants us to send her the requested information, and send it.

A successful scam can be a costly data breach with legal consequences. Businesses are generally required to take reasonable precautions to protect personal information in their possession. In the event of a breach, many states require that notice be given to those whose information was compromised. This notice might need to include the cause and nature of the data breach as well as what protections are afforded to those affected.

One of the best ways to protect your company from these sorts of scams is to have a policy and practice of never emailing sensitive employee information. The language below may serve as an effective reminder:

“Employees should not under any circumstance email sensitive employee information such as W-2s, benefit enrollment forms, completed census forms, or anything with social security or credit card numbers. Email is inherently insecure, and scammers may pose as company executives or employees to steal information. If you receive a request to email any such sensitive information, do not respond to it. Instead, inform your manager immediately.”

You can help protect your organization by giving employees examples of the kinds of emails and other communications (texts, calls, etc.) that are likely suspicious. Here are a few:

  • A notice from your email provider suggesting you change your password.
  • A message from the IRS asking you to click a link, open an attachment, or provide information.
  • A message asking you to click a link to pay fines or penalties.
  • A request for W-2s or payroll records.
  • A request for names, birth dates, home addresses, salaries, and social security numbers.
  • A request for contact information.
  • A request to purchase gift cards and email the sender the card numbers.
  • A request for login information.
  • A communication with glaring typos.
  • A communication that says “EMERGENCY” in the subject.
  • A LinkedIn connection from someone you don’t recognize even though they purport to work at your company and have connected with some of your colleagues.

By Kyle Cupp

Originally posted on