Strike a Healthy Balance
Confused about what to eat?
Mom’s nutrition advice still applies.
• Eat your vegetables. There are no bad vegetables, but some are less caloric than others. So, fill your dish with low-cal, low-starch veggies such as green beans, cabbage, broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini, snap peas, tomatoes, bell peppers, and spinach. Take smaller portions of higher calorie, starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes, and peas. Choose sweet potatoes—they’re a great source of fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants.
• Choose your protein. Protein rich foods keep us satisfied longer, but many are high in saturated fat. Choose lean meats: pork loin, lean sirloin, any fish/shellfish, and skinless chicken/turkey. Dried beans are also a great source of protein and supply plenty of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. Nuts are a terrific choice, too, but at about 170 calories per ounce, you’ll want to stick to a single serving.
• Go for hardworking carbs. Highly processed starchy foods (snack crackers, bagels, muffins, and some instant cereals) are a breeze for your body to break down, so you may be snacking soon after you eat. Enjoy whole grain breads and cereals to help keep hunger pangs at bay.
• Fruit is still your friend. Your best bet for getting the most nutrients from fruit is to grab whole fresh fruit (eating the skin or peel, when possible) instead of juices, which are high in calories (about 120 per cup) and contain virtually no fiber. So, don’t count on them for staying with you through the morning or afternoon. Oranges, peaches, pears, cantaloupe, and apples are delicious, versatile, and help you feel full.
(Courtesy the All New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook)
Grilled Flank Steak with Molasses Barbecue
Flank steak provides an excellent source of iron in this sweet ’n’ tangy grilled dinner.
½ cup molasses, ¼ cup coarse-grained mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 (1½-pound), flank steak 6 (8-inch), flour tortillas, 1 cup shredded lettuce 1 large tomato, chopped ¾ cup (3 ounces), shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, ½ cup light sour cream.
Whisk together first 3 ingredients. Place steak in a shallow dish or large zip-top freezer bag. Pour molasses mixture over steak, reserving ¼ cup for basting.
Cover or seal, and chill 2 hours, turning occasionally. Remove meat from marinade, discarding marinade.
Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 6 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness, brushing often with reserved marinade.
Cut steak diagonally across the grain into very thin strips. Serve steak with tortillas and remaining ingredients.
Yield: 6 servings. Per serving: Calories 283 (30% from fat); Fat 9.4g (sat 3g, mono 3.9g, poly 1.3g); Protein 9.5g; Carb 40.7g; Fiber 1.4g; Chol 14mg; Iron 2.8mg; Sodium 376mg; Calc 181mg
(Courtesy Southern Living)
Grilled Snapper with Orange-Almond Sauce
Fresh thyme sprigs smoke and sizzle right on the hot coals, sending an herbal essence up into the fish.
6 (8-ounce) snapper or grouper fillets, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, 4 fresh thyme sprigs, Vegetable cooking spray, ½ cup butter, ½ cup sliced almonds, ½ to 1 tablespoon grated orange rind. Garnishes: orange wedges, fresh thyme sprigs Rub fish fillets with oil.
Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Arrange 4 thyme sprigs on hot charcoal or lava rocks on grill. Coat food rack with cooking spray; place on grill over high heat (400° to 500°).
Place fish on rack; grill 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes with a fork. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat; add almonds, and sauté 5 minutes or until butter is brown.
Remove from heat. Stir in orange rind. Pour sauce over fish. Garnish, if desired.
Yield: 6 servings. Per serving: Calories 439 (55% from fat); Fat 26.7g (sat 11.1g, mono 10.4g, poly 3g); Protein 46.6g; Carb 1.8g; Fiber 1g; Chol 120mg; Iron 3.9mg; Sodium 461mg; Calc 94mg
(Courtesy Southern Living)
6 Homemade Rubs to Take Your Roast Chicken to the Next Level
The sizzle and smell of a roast chicken in the oven is hard to beat. If you're in search for some flavor change-ups, this is the place for you. With our Test Kitchen's homemade rub recipes, you can make a citrus-herb chicken, tomato-basil chicken, spiced apricot chicken, and more.
By Katlyn Moncada
October 19, 2020
With so many delicious ways to enjoy chicken, a roast chicken might not sound like the most exciting dish. Well, I'm here to change your mind. Sure, salt, pepper, and a few herbs are great, but a rub can really infuse your baked chicken with tons of bold flavor. To prepare a homemade rub for chicken, all you have to do is process butter, spices, and herbs until smooth. Those flavors will leave you with a memorable chicken dinner the whole family will enjoy. So, grab your food processor and rubber spatula (for scraping the bowl) and let's get cooking!
Homemade Rubs for Chicken
These chicken rub recipes make enough to cover a whole roast chicken. You can add or reduce the amount of each ingredient depending on the size or portion of the chicken you make.
Dilled Honey Mustard
In a food processor ($50, Target) combine ½ cup snipped fresh dill; ½ cup sliced shallots; ¼ cup snipped flat-leaf parsley; 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard; 2 Tbsp. softened butter; 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed; 1½ tsp. salt; and ½ tsp. black pepper.
Barbecue Bacon Rub
In a food processor combine 4 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled; 4 chopped green onions (white and green parts); ¼ cup ketchup; ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley; 1 to 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; 1 Tbsp. molasses; 2 tsp. chili powder; and 1 tsp. salt.
In a food processor combine ½ cup chopped fresh basil; ¼ cup each of flat-leaf parsley and coarsely chopped onion; 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint; 2 tsp. chopped fresh sage; ½ tsp. cracked black pepper; 1½ tsp. salt; finely grated zest of ½ a lemon; and finely grated zest of ¼ of an orange. Pulse to finely chop. With processor running, add 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in a slow, steady stream.
Moroccan-Inspired Spice Rub
In a food processor combine ½ of a yellow onion, coarsely chopped; ¼ cup toasted slivered almonds; ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley; 3 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed orange juice; 2 Tbsp. brown sugar; 2 tsp. orange zest; 2 tsp. ground cumin; 1½ tsp. salt; 1½ tsp. ground turmeric; 1 tsp. ground coriander; ½ tsp. ground cinnamon; ¼ tsp. ground cloves; and ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper.
Spiced Apricot Rub
In a small bowl, soak ½ cup chopped dried apricots in 2 Tbsp. bourbon, brandy, or orange juice for 15 minutes. In a food processor combine soaked apricots and bourbon (or other soaking liquid), ¼ cup chopped red onion, 2 Tbsp. softened butter, 1 Tbsp. lemon zest, 1½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, and ½ tsp. ground allspice.
In a food processor combine ½ cup each fresh basil leaves and chopped oil-packed dried tomatoes; ¼ cup cut-up fresh chives; 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar; 2 tsp. dried oregano; 1 tsp. salt; and ½ tsp. black pepper. Cover and pulse until finely chopped. With processor running, slowly add 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a steady stream until nearly smooth.
How to Use Chicken Rub
To apply these rub recipes to chicken, loosen skin on the whole chicken (or pieces) then carefully lift and spread paste under the skin, smoothing as evenly as possible. Our Test Kitchen recommends covering chicken tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerating overnight before roasting in the oven. Cook chicken according to your recipe's instructions or use our classic roast chicken recipe as a guide.
Your juicy chicken dinner wouldn't be complete without sides! Keep your holiday stress-free with some delicious make-ahead sides. Or work on maintaining your calorie goals with a healthy side dish or salad. Have leftovers? Turn your roasted chicken into an entirely new dish such as pulled chicken sandwiches or chicken salad.
Pandemic Planking Group Bolsters Friendships and Abs
This long-time group of friends found a healthy way to connect during COVID-19
by David Hoff, AARP, October 30, 2020
At 7:29 a.m., six days a week, I log on to a Zoom meeting.
It's not for business. And it's not necessarily fun. But it has been an essential part of my life during social distancing. It connects me to friends, creates structure in my day and keeps me fit.
Six days a week, my wife Sally and I gather with friends for a brief session where we all plank — a full body exercise where you hold yourself in a push-up for several minutes. Our sessions do more than strengthen our muscles; they strengthen bonds of friendships that started in college almost 40 years ago and connect us to people who are outside our pandemic bubbles.
By 7:30, Marta joins from Florida and Todd and Laura, from either their Brooklyn apartment or home in Maine. As we prepare, we chat about the weather, the news or whatever is on our minds.
Then Marta says, “Ready?”
We mumble our assent, knowing how difficult the next few minutes will be.
"3. 2. 1. Go."
And we start planking. Some of us get into the traditional position, putting our forearms on our yoga mats and straightening our bodies from head to toe. Others modify their position to accommodate injuries, aches or pains.
Building up muscles little by little
Planking requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. You start by lying down and push your body up, resting on your forearms or hands with your arms straight.
By keeping your toes firmly grounded, your back straight and your abdominal muscles engaged, you strengthen muscles in your arms, abs, back and legs. Compared to sit-ups or push-ups, you burn more calories, strengthen more muscles and build more endurance. There are several variations of planks, some of which are easier to hold over a longer period.
Our planking group started shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted everyone's lives. Having previously failed to complete the 30-day plank challenge after several attempts, Marta asked Todd and Laura to join her to plank six days a week (Saturday is a rest day). When they started, they planked for 30 seconds and gradually increased as they went along.
Laura invited Sally to join during one of their “how are you making it through this pandemic” calls. A few days later, I invited myself.
Another group member, Julie Mae, lives on the West Coast. With the rest of us on Eastern time, she and Marta have a separate video call at 10 a.m. Eastern on weekdays. Julie Mae planks while Marta keeps time and cheers her on. On days Marta is busy, someone else is Julie Mae's partner.
Strengthening friendships and abs
On Sundays, we meet at 10 a.m. Eastern. With no workday looming, the sessions have become times for extended conversations. One Sunday, Sally and Julie Mae each gave tours of their gardens. On another, Julie Mae told us about the ongoing protests in her hometown of Portland, Oregon.
Even on the weekdays, we'll sometimes extend the call for a few minutes, like after my uncle died and after Marta's cousin's ranch burned in the California wildfires.
Over the months, we have gradually increased the length of the planks. At times, some of us modify our position by pressing against the wall.
While the accommodation releases pressure on the hands and back, it still engages muscles in the core, legs and arms.
We arrange our lives to attend every day. But sometimes schedules interfere (Todd often has early morning conference calls for his work in international development) or someone oversleeps (who, me?).
But over the months, we've kept at it and built our endurance.
As timekeeper, Marta will add five seconds every couple days without telling us. At the end of one day's session, she'll say: “Congratulations, we've added 15 seconds this week."
Secretly, we're happy to hit a new milestone. Outwardly, we all complain that she tricked us into getting there.
As of now, we're at four minutes a day. No one is clamoring for more.
Our 30-day plank challenge has been going on for 100 days. Just like everything else in 2020, it's not going according to schedule. We have yet to reach the goal of five-minute planks. But we don't care.
Our success is defined by deepening our friendships and supporting each other through difficult times. Improved fitness is a bonus.
How to Host a Virtual Thanksgiving
Planning ahead is crucial to a successful holiday gathering online
by Whitney Matheso, AARP, October 20, 2020
Yes, we've been Zooming, Skyping, Teaming, Webexing and/or Google Meeting since early spring, because of the coronavirus. But as Thanksgiving approaches, this might be the first major holiday in which families hold a beloved traditional meal together via an online teleconference, rather than around the same table, which ups the stakes for hosts.
Can't get the whole familiy together for Thanksgiving this year? One solution is to stage a virtual gathering for would-be attendees. But to make it engaging for those watching on-screen, you need to think like a producer. Here's some pro advice to make this as easy as pumpkin pie.
1. Take hosting seriously
“It sounds ridiculous, but Zoom calls aren't all that different from late-night talk-show segments,” says TV producer Marc Liepis, who has overseen specials for John Legend and Questlove. “They're conversations, but they also have a degree of preparation to them."
2. Share a detailed plan
What's the start time? When should everyone have their turkey ready? Who should speak, and in what order? Keep in mind that attention spans are shorter online. “At our first Zoom comedy show, we gave each performer 10 minutes,” says producer Marianne Ways, who has worked with Jim Gaffigan and Janeane Garofalo. “We wound up cutting it to five."
3. Stay steady
“It's jarring to see people walking around on-screen,” Ways says. Her stand-up shows became sit-downs.
4. Stage a run-through
Hold a sort-of rehearsal, especially with participants who are less tech savvy, so they feel comfortable on Thanksgiving. “When you're producing a talk-show interview, the unexpected stuff is also the best stuff,” Liepis says. “Preparation and a host who is quick on their feet allows for that to happen.”
What You Should Have in Your Freezer This Winter
A stocked icebox can make life easier in unpredictable COVID-19 times
by Samantha Lande, AARP, October 26, 2020
When COVID-19 hit, many people realized that freezers could do much more than hold a few frozen pizzas and ice cream. It became an essential part of food storage in the kitchen and a way to prepare in an increasingly erratic time.
When it comes to shortages of certain food items, limiting trips to the grocery store to prevent virus exposure, and stocking up on prepared meals in case of illness or to deliver to a struggling friend, the freezer plays an essential role.
But keep a few things in mind so you end up with the ingredients you need or a delicious meal, while avoiding dreaded freezer burn. Here's how to get the most out of your cold food storage.
Avoid freezer burn
To stave off the icicles that can make their way into frozen foods, make sure you are freezing items properly. For starters, always freeze food once it has cooled down, not while it's still hot. Make sure you get as much air out of your storage container as possible and seal tightly to prevent air from getting in and causing freezer burn.
You don't need fancy packaging to freeze things. Plastic “freezer bags can work great for things like soup, plus they can freeze flat so they take up less room,” says executive chef Jeff Stamp of Hampton + Hudson in Atlanta.
If you are freezing leftovers, wrap them in foil first for extra protection before putting them into a zip-top plastic bag. A vacuum sealer to suck all the air out helps food last just a little bit longer.
You'll also want to make sure to freeze what private chef Ian Martin calls “mono meals,” or each type of food separately, since you'd typically reheat at the same temperature and time. If, for example, you've frozen a meal of pork chops, green beans and potatoes all in the same container, reheating can get tricky. “It's the worst when you have a perfect burger, but your broccoli is overheated and gummy,” Martin says.
Organize your freezer space
You should have a variety of foods in your freezer. To save trips to the grocery store this winter, make sure to have a selection of healthy staple items — chicken, fish, frozen vegetables and fruits, and maybe even a few healthy frozen meals in a pinch. We won't tell if you stash your favorite ice cream or chocolate in the freezer, too.
Most importantly, don't let your freezer become a bottomless pit where you can't find anything. Create an organizational system for your freezer — just like you would for the fridge or pantry.
"The number one thing I'm going to recommend that you do is to label the foods that you freeze,” says Amy Gorin, a registered dietitian in the New York City area who specializes in plant-based foods. “Add the dates and use the first-in, first-out system so that you place older items toward the front of the freezer, so they get used up first.”
Extend the life of ingredients
Overripe bananas, spinach that's just starting to wilt and a garden surplus are all great ingredients to put in the freezer. Chef Andrew Iwansky from restaurant Datz in Tampa loads up berries at the end of each summer to use throughout the year. He throws them in yogurt and smoothies, cooks them into oatmeal or adds them to pancakes.
Martin consumes lots of fruits and vegetables to help stay healthy and combat stress, but he cautions, “Keep in mind that high-water-content foods will be best for juicing/blending, not great for thawing and eating.” So, throw those extra vegetables into a smoothie or soup.
You can even freeze fresh herbs in an ice cube tray. You can either place chopped herbs in the tray and pour boiling water over them (to blanch them and retain color) before you freeze them, or you can freeze them in olive oil to create an infused oil great for pastas. Just pop out a cube to add to sauces, dressings or pastas. It doesn't hurt to just have a few bags of store-bought frozen vegetables on hand, too, for a quick side or addition to fried rice or pastas.
Making and freezing extra meals
The freezer is a great place to store extra meals for a friend in need, a guest over for a last-minute dinner or on a night where you just don't feel like cooking.
1. Freeze in appropriate portions. Consider what one serving would be like and freeze in portions that make sense for your use. If you are cooking for a family or a friend's family, adjust sizes accordingly.
2. Make an extra batch of whatever you cook for a freezer meal. If you are making meatballs or lasagna, it's much easier to double the recipe than to have to make it again just to freeze. Eat one now and freeze one for later.
3. Soups and chilis freeze very well and heat up quickly. Freeze a portion or two each time you make soup and you'll have a great variety later on.
4. Don't discount breakfast. Muffins, breakfast burritos, even banana bread (just slice before freezing) make great additions to the freezer.
5. A little treat. Cookie dough can often be frozen, and you'll be able to throw a fresh batch of cookies into the oven quickly.
6 Things You Should Never Do on Facebook (and 6 to Always Do)
Editors of Best Health (Updated: Sep. 17, 2019)
Do you know the unspoken rules of social media interaction?
We asked the expert for their best strategies for managing attention seekers and awkward over sharers on Facebook.
Facebook is an easy way to stay in touch with the old high school gang, share funny photos from your family vacation and wish your wide circle of friends a happy birthday without springing for a stamp. But there’s a downside, too: When you’re sitting behind a computer screen, it’s easy to mishandle conversations on social media and forget that you’re talking to a huge audience.
“People are a lot bolder on Facebook than they are in real life,” says Wendy Mencel, director of the Canadian School of Protocol and Etiquette. “There is a disconnect between what they’re writing and how they’re coming across, and they forget that their words can offend people. Social media opens us up to more scrutiny, and we have to be conscious of what message we’re projecting to the world.”
Follow our expert tips to avert your own Facebook faux pas and improve your social media encounters.
Never use it as a soapbox
Social media may not be the best forum for controversial subjects, says Toronto etiquette expert Louise Fox.
“Political subjects are touchy, and things tend to look black or white on social media when there are no facial or vocal cues to assist people in interpreting your message.” If you are keen to share your religious or political views, tread lightly or you could find yourself “unfriended.”
That’s how Cathy*, a 50-year-old Halifax university instructor, plans to deal with a high school classmate who recently sent her a friend request. “He posts political rants two or three times a day, and it has rapidly become clear that I don’t share his views,” she says. “When I posted a link to a news story, he weighed in with a 500-word reply on my page. It was like he knocked on my door, and five minutes after I let him in, he was lecturing me.”.
Never get too personal
Posting the gory details of a medical condition or photos from a drunken girls’ night could have lasting consequences, especially since our Facebook networks often include business contacts. That’s what happened when Simone*, a 44-year-old marketing executive in Oakville, Ontario, accepted a Facebook friend request from a vendor she regularly worked with.
“He made gross comments and posted links to porn images,” she recalls. “I not only unfriended him, but his careless posts lost him my business.”
Younger generations, who have grown up with social media, may be more inclined to overshare and underestimate the downside: that future employers will search the Internet for background information on them. “Even if your privacy settings limit your posts to your friends, one of them might have a public page, so all the world can see them,” says Mencel. In some cases, this could affect a person being hired.
Never publicly criticize a ‘friend’
Posting your critique of a friend’s parenting style or sniping at a sibling on Facebook is a big no-no. “Some light teasing can be OK between people who know and understand each other fairly well,” says Fox, “but meanness or nitpicking with an audience is never appropriate. Someone could get very offended, and there are more productive ways to communicate in private.”
Never fish for customers
Sophie,* a 30-year-old concierge in Calgary, “unfollowed” a friend who bombarded her with posts about the health products she’s selling. “She cluttered up my feed, and I’d get notification messages and click to find ads from her company. It was super-frustrating.”
It can also get you banished to the no-friend zone, according to a survey by NM Incite, a social analytics venture. “Trying to sell me something” was the third most-cited reason for unfriending someone (behind “offensive comments” and “don’t know them well”). “Tapping your Facebook network for sales is an abuse of the friendship,” says Mencel. “If you want to promote your business, it’s better to create a Facebook page for it so people can opt-in or out.
Never try to keep up with the ‘Joneses’
Most people present themselves in a favorable light on Facebook, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Like a 21st-century scrapbook, “Facebook is a forum for highlighting your strengths and the good things that are happening in your life,” says Phoenix Deerhawke, a registered psychologist in Calgary.
But when all you see on a friend’s page are upbeat posts and happy photos, it can make you feel like your life doesn’t measure up. The practice has been dubbed “fakebooking,” and it can affect you negatively. Indeed, in a 2012 study in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, sociologists found that students who used Facebook the most agreed that their friends “even the ones they don’t know personally” were happier and had better lives.
If your time on Facebook brings you down, you may need to change your perspective: “Facebook is sort of like a movie trailer,” says Deerhawke. “You only see the best parts; you don’t see the whole story, the ending or the bloopers. If your mood is negatively affected by looking at friends’ pages on Facebook, be mindful that they’re likely not posting unpleasant stuff that is happening to them,” says Deerhawke. After all, who wants to keep souvenirs of or take selfies on their worst days?
Never beg for attention
We’ve all seen those mysterious posts meant to elicit concern or drum up sympathy, such as “This is the worst day of my life” or “I can’t believe that happened.” They may get the hoped-for response from some friends, but others see them as pathetic attempts to garner attention. “Use your social intelligence when you’re posting and ask yourself what your motivation is,” says Fox. “Are you posting something that you really want other people to know about you or is it just self-serving, like seeking compliments for your latest selfie?” If it’s the latter, you may want to reconsider.
Always use your face-to-face filter
People say and do things on Facebook that they’d never do in real life, such as pestering friends about prayer chains, forwarding obnoxious links or posting inflammatory political opinions. “When you’re alone with your computer, it’s easy to forget you’re basically talking to a roomful of people,” says Deerhawke. “Because you’re a step removed and not face to face, that physical distance gives you the courage to say things you wouldn’t in the real world.” Before you post, ask yourself if you’d say the same thing to a friend over coffee at Starbucks, says Mencel. “If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t post it.”
Always use tools to manage relationships
Canadian Facebook users average 190 friends, so chances are you’ve got people on your friends’ list that you barely know or don’t care about. But it can be tricky to turn down a friend request from your boss or hurtful if someone realizes you’ve unfriended them. “Those friends belong on your Facebook Restricted List,” says Vancouver social media expert Alexandra Samuel. “That way, they only see content you post to the public, not your friends, and they won’t be aware they are missing out on stuff.”
To create your Restricted List, click on the downward arrow in the right-hand upper corner of the blue Facebook bar. Click on Settings, then Blocking. You’ll find the Restricted List under Manage Blocking. Click on Edit List on the right to add names.
If you’re just not interested in a friend’s posts or they consistently annoy you but you don’t want to unfriend them and you’re okay with them seeing your posts, unfollowing them is another option. Right-click on one of their posts and then click on the Unfollow option.
Always keep your bragging in check
Overdoing it with “me, me, me” posts about your endless accomplishments may be a turnoff for your friends. “My cousin posts about every ‘A’ her kids get at school and never stops talking about the cool designer clothes she buys or the amazing trips she takes,” says Jane*, a 43-year-old Toronto-based mother of two. “Only the best stuff gets posted, which makes her life look too perfect and I know it isn’t! She’s my cousin so I can’t unfriend her, but I have unfollowed her.”
With all of the bragging and posed selfies, you may wonder if some of your Facebook friends are narcissists, and some research suggests that may be a possibility. However, Deerhawke thinks friends who appear self-involved may just be lonely. “When you’re moving through the world alone, it’s easy to take a quick picture of your food or a selfie on your smartphone,” she says. “When you post it and people ‘like’ it, you feel like they’re with you, so Facebook creates a sense of community.”
Always group friends by shared interests
If you don’t want to bore friends with weekly posts about your son’s soccer wins or, worse yet, be bored yourself by a friend’s daily posts of silly cat videos, create custom lists of your friends. For example, you could have an A-list of the friends you interact with most and lists for friends with shared interests, such as dog lovers or foodies.
“I recommend parents have a ‘kid-sharing’ list of friends you trust whom you’re comfortable sharing identifiable info about your children with and who might be interested in what you post about your kids,” says Samuel. Lists will also make your time on Facebook more enjoyable: Rather than scrolling through posts from everyone on your newsfeed, you can scroll your custom lists so you don’t miss the posts of the people you’re most interested in. To create custom lists, click Friends on your home page, then Create List.
Always consider friend requests carefully
If you’re an employer, it’s not fair to send friend requests to your employees on Facebook. “It’s inappropriate because there’s a power imbalance,” says Mencel. “If you want to know more about them, connect with them on LinkedIn, which is a professional network.”
As your kids reach young adulthood, you may want to consider declining their friend requests or cutting them out of your network, for your sake as much as theirs. It was the right move for Karen*, a 55-year-old registered nurse in Moncton, NB. “My 23-year-old daughter friended me and looking at her partying photos and profane posts upset me and made me worry about what she was up to,” she says. “Since I unfriended her, it’s been much better for our relationship.” And it was the perfect way to handle the situation, according to Deerhawke. “Developmentally, the job of a child at 18 or 19 is to form independence, and they’re going to be doing really silly stuff,” she says. “It’s not appropriate to share that with your parents.
Always be careful about sensitive information
“People now use social media like personal press releases,” says Fox. It’s one thing to announce a celebrity death on Facebook, but it’s not an appropriate way to break up with someone or inform your relatives that a loved one has died. “It’s too personal,” says Fox. “In emotional situations, a face-to-face conversation or a phone call is more suitable.” Plus, find out 12 Facebook “facts” that aren’t true.
*Names have been changed
(Courtesy Reader’s Digest)