Archive for April, 2013

Playing GamesDo you remember any these games? Red Rover, Simon Says, Hop Scotch, Four Square, Kick- the- Can, Hide-and-Seek, Tether Ball or Tag? I recently asked my sister about the games we played as kids. She quickly fired off the names of these games for me. We have many fond memories of playing outside, especially in the summer, from the time we got up to dusk or dark.
We had a TV of course but our main source of entertainment was being outside and playing with the kids in the neighborhood and our siblings. We created games, enjoyed friendly competition, and learned about teamwork by playing together.

Being physically active helps us feel better, burns calories and can contribute to a sense of well being. Now is a great time to explore ways that you and your family can be more physically active.
Here are a few suggestions you can try:
• Take family walks in the evening after dinner.
• Play tag, hop scotch or kick-the-can with your kids or grandchildren.
• Dance to your favorite music.
• Plant a family garden.

Play a Game
• Limit screen time to two hours or less each day. This includes TV, computers, cell phones, and video games.
• Exercise while watching TV. Challenge family members to stretch and move during commercials or during the program.
• Stand for meetings. Instead of sitting during the entire meeting, stand up and burn a few extra calories.
• Schedule a walking meeting at work – you can walk, talk, plan and be productive while getting some physical activity.
• Take a fitness ball to work and sit on it for brief periods during the day.
• Stretch and move with a fit band during webinars or conference calls.
Run, Jump and Play

• Walk, run, swing, bike or play at your local park or bike trail.
• Visit a state or national park. Check out the National Park Service website for informative videos, information, and details about National Parks located near you. http://www.nps.gov
Be creative and explore ways to increase your physical activity. Think about games you may have played as a child, plant a garden, take a bike ride or walk to the park. Make physical activity fun and enjoy the spring weather!

Writer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County/Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

Healthy Ohio Program http://www.healthyohioprogram.org/
National Park Service http://www.nps.gov


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Spring is in the air. Mornings are becoming brighter, the sound of birds returning, and the trees are beginning to bud. Returning with the (sometimes) pleasant weather in  Ohio are the local farmer’s markets. There are many different farmer’s market here in Ohio. To find one near you follow this link http://www.ohioproud.org/searchmarkets.php .   Purchasing from these locations is obviously a great way to support the local economy, but it also can improve your diet quality.

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An article published in the January issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics looked at the diets of college students and their views towards local, organic, sustainable, and non-processed foods (typically those you’d find at your local farmer’s market). Researchers found that those who held more positive views towards these types of foods and practices tended to have a better diet.

Of the 1201 students surveyed, about half placed a moderate to high importance on these types of foods and practices. These same students also ate more fruits, vegetables, and fiber. They also ate fewer calories from fat, less sugar, and fast food less frequently.

Because this study was limited to college students, it is unknown whether the same effects would be observed in other populations. Regardless of whether or not these findings apply to other groups, there are many benefits to supporting your local market.

If quality is of importance to you, the foods found at your local market are some of the highest quality you can find. If you prefer the freshest foods you can find, look no further than the farmer’s market. Travelling only a matter of several miles preserves freshness better than those which traversed the nation.

While you’ll save a great deal of money by shopping at farmer’s markets, you will also be supporting the local economy. But, most importantly, you may be doing yourself and you’re family a very large favor by improving everyone’s overall health. This spring and summer, peruse your local market for the best seasonal fruits and vegetables. Be sure to bring along your family and friends in order to spread the word about all the great qualities about local farmer’s markets!

Here is more information on finding local farmer’s markets.




Ohio proud facebook page:


Written by : Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences and Ryan Leone, dietetic intern with Wood County Extension FCS Program, currently pursuing these advanced degrees- Master Food and Nutrition Program, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Master of Education in Human Movement, Sports, and Leisure Studies, Focus in Kinesiology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Reviewed by Dan Remley, OSU Extension Field Specialist.

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Got your Sun Screen on?  Hopefully, you are enjoying the nicer, sunny weather and protecting yourself from skin cancer.  Although it may not seem to be very intense, the sun can be the same intensity as it is in late August or September.

Most weather reports now give the Sun Intensity value which is from 0-10+ with 5-6 moderate, 7-9 high and 10+ very high.  Anything above a 4 means we should be taking some precautions. This is a reminder that we need to protect ourselves so that we prevent skin cancer in the future.

Most of us get too much sun because we don’t take precautions.  That’s why we are seeing so much skin cancer.  Did you know that it is estimated that 90% of the new cases of skin cancer each year are preventable if we would just practice skin safety measures?

Follow these few simple practices to make a difference.

v  Wear sunscreen.  Sunscreen protects the skin from burning as quickly.  Select a waterproof or water resistant sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or above.  Remember to apply it 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two to three hours or sooner if swimming or perspiring on a hot day.  Be sure to apply sunscreen on your children over the age of 6 months.  It is best to keep infants and young children out of the sun as much as possible.  Image

v  Also protect your lips with lip balm that contains sunscreen.   Some medications increase sun sensitivity so be careful if you are on medication.

v  If possible stay out of the sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM when the Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the highest. Remember that even on cloudy days you can get sunburn so protect yourself.  Avoid sunlamps and tanning salons as these also damage the skin.  Just four visits to the tanning salon a year increase your risk of non-melanoma skin cancer by 15% and melanoma by 11%.

v  Wear a broad brim hat.  A three-inch brim is recommended to provide the best protection.  Forget the baseball caps!  They do not provide protection for the ears and back of the neck.  A sun safe hat is dense enough to block UV rays from the sun.

v  Wear sunglasses that filter out the UV radiation.  They should provide 99 to 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.  Not all sunglasses do so check carefully.  UVA and UVB protection is clear and not determined by the color of the sunglasses.

v  Consider clothing choices.  Long sleeve shirts and pants provide additional protection but can be hot on warm days.  Looser styles and woven rather than knits are usually cooler to wear.  Light colors provide the least UV protection.  A wet white T-shirt is no protection against UV rays.  Darker colors provide a high UV protection but are hot to wear, so find a medium color, which will provide some protection with comfort.  Detergents with optical brighteners can increase the UV resistance of fabrics.  This can help provide some extra protection, but you still need to wear sunscreen.

Making some changes can help reduce your risk of skin cancer and damaged skin, which gives the wrinkled leathery look as you age.  You can enjoy the warmer, sunny weather and still protect yourself if you follow these precautions.

Writer:  Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Fayette County, Miami Valley EERA

Reviewer: Elizabeth Smith, Family Nutrition Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension


Brinkman, P.  (2007). Sun Exposure:  Precautions and Protection” Ohio State University Extension, available at http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5550.html

Sun Protection Guidelines, available at http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/prevention-guidelines

Sunscreen FAQs available at http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens/sunscreen-faqs#.UXAZxcruyIA

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I’m sure you have noticed how large the meals are that we are served when we eat out. Often the amounts we serve ourselves or our families at home are just as oversized as the restaurant portions. How can we control the calories we are eating each day to help us maintain a healthy weight?

One simple helpful tool is to recognize the difference between a “serving” and a “portion”.

A “portion” is the amount of food or beverage a person chooses to eat or drink. A “serving” is a standard amount established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. People commonly portion out more than one serving to eat or drink at a time.

For example, a serving of soda is 8 fluid ounces. Sixteen fluid-ounce bottles of soda are common, and many people choose to drink 16 fluid ounces in one sitting. Even though a 16-fluid ounce bottle is commonly viewed as one “portion,” it is actually two servings! Many cups at fast food restaurants are 32 ounces or even 44 ounces. Think how many servings you are having if you refill the cup before you leave?deck of cards

A serving of meat or fish is 3 ounces – about the size of a deck of cards. But the portion that you have on your plate may be 6 – 9 ounces or more!  Now, think of the calories that you are consuming if you eat the “portion” instead of a “serving.”

One 3-4 ounce hamburger has about 330 calories; a 6 – 8 ounce hamburger comes in at about 600 calories!

We know that just 100 extra calories per day could lead to a 10 pound weight gain in one year. It would take about 1 hour and 30 minutes of exercise to burn off the extra calories from the double burger!

Research has shown that if people are given food in larger serving size packages, they are likely to eat the entire package. For example, a 10.5 ounce bag of potato chips contains about 11 one ounce servings (about 13 chips). Each 1 ounce serving gives you 140 calories, 8 grams of fat and 180 mg of sodium. If you multiply those by 11, you are eating 1,540 calories, 88 grams of fat and 1,980 mg of sodium!

It might be helpful it you divided a larger package into individual serving sizes. When you first open the bag, divide the chips into 11 separate baggies and you will be less likely to mindlessly eat the whole bag while watching TV!

To help you visualize how big (or small!) a serving actually is here are some helpful hints using everyday items to determine the size of a serving.

  • A 3 oz. serving of meat, fish and poultry = a deck of cards or the size of a computer mouse
  • 2 Tbsp. of peanut butter =      a ping pong ball
  • 1 ½ oz. cheese = 4 stacked dice
  • ½ cup of ice cream = ½ of  a baseball
  • 1 baked potato = a fist
  • ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta or potato = ½ of a baseball

As you can see, a serving is much smaller than the portions we typically put on our plate!  You can download a portion card at: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/portion/servingcard7.pdf

Choosemyplate.gov has the following suggestions to help you:

Measure out foods you regularly eat (such as a bowl of cereal) once or twice, to get a sense of how big your typical portion is. Also measure out what 1/2 or 1 cup portion size looks like to help you estimate how much you eat. Don’t forget to check the serving size information on the Nutrition Facts label of packaged foods. It describes what the “standard” serving size is, and how many are in the package.

How much we eat each day is just as important as what we are eating.  Be sure to eat nutrient rich foods to supply the calories as part of your daily health plan.  Don’t forget to include some physical activity that you enjoy each day to balance the calories in the foods you are eating.

Written by:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, rabe.9@osu.edu.

Reviewed by:  Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ross County, Ohio Valley EERA, barlage.7@osu.edu.


North Carolina School Nutrition Action Committee, http://www.eatsmartmovemorenc.com/TrendsEffectsSolutions/Texts/RightSizeYourPortions.pdf

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/portion/servingcard7.pdf

USDA, Choose My Plate, http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/weight-management/current-consumption.html

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Lazy Daisy Cake RecipeI have things about my family that I wonder about . . . . How did my grandparents meet? What was life like for them years ago? What were their family traditions? According to the Search Institute, family assets are the everyday things that families do to be strong, even in challenging times.

Take time this year to learn about your family traditions. What are your family recipes? When I was a young adult my grandma wrote out her recipes for me in a recipe book and gave it to me one Christmas holiday. Those recipes in her handwriting are precious to me. I recently found a similar recipe book and vow to copy or write the recipes for the second book. Why? I would like for both of my daughters to have a recipe book with their great grandma’s recipes. I hope to continue the tradition of the Lazy Daisy Cake that my grandma often made. Informing the younger generations about our family traditions helps them know about their family history and traditions and can strengthen their sense of family support.


My Grandma Treber loved to quilt and when I was a teen she taught me to hand stitch. I picked my purple (my favorite color) and white and we started piecing the quilt. She cut out the pieces of the quilt and I made a few squares. She taught me the importance of tiny stitches and how you have to be precise if you want the quilt squares to fit correctly. We both worked on the quilt but she did the majority since she had more time to work on it than I did. One day when I stopped by for a visit, the quilt top was finished. She’d been working on it while she watched her stories (afternoon TV shows). That quilt and the time I spent with my grandma hold precious memories for me.

The Search Institute identifies Family Assets that help families be strong. When families have more of these research-based assets, the teens and adults in the family do better in life.

Establishing Routines
• Family meals – Family members eat meals together most days in a typical week.
• Shared activities – Family members regularly spend time doing everyday activities together.
• Meaningful traditions – Holidays, rituals, and celebrations are part of family life.
• Dependability – Family members know what to expect from one another day-to-day.

Each of these qualities is important and strengthens your family. For additional information about Family Assets, visit the Search Institute website. Everyone can play a role in developing and strengthening these assets. All members of the family including children, teens and the adults contribute to these family assets.

Recipe Book

Perhaps this is the year that you will talk to your parent or grandparent about their family stories. Collect those recipes and make them into a family recipe book. You might enjoy interviewing a family member and recording their responses. Use your phone, flip camera or other recording device to capture those family memories. You will be rewarded by spending time with a family member and offering them a family book or recording to treasure. There are many options for you – online recipe cards, recipe boxes, and recipe or cook books. Have copies made for family members – what a wonderful Mother’s Day gift you can create.

Writer:  Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Dana Brown, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Morrow County, brown.4642@osu.edu

Sources:  The Family Assets Framework retrieved from http://www.search-institute.org/familyassets/framework

Hosier, A., Jenkins-Howard, B. & Mineer, S., Creating and Maintaining Family Traditions, University of Kentucky, Cooperative Extension Service, College of Agriculture, retrieved March 2013 from http://johnson.ca.uky.edu/sites/johnson.ca.uky.edu/files/FCS/Creating_and_maintaing_family_traditions_pub.pdf



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You know that you shed skin cells every day. About 30,000-40,000 of them fall off every hour. Over the course of a day, you shed over a million skin cells. Actually, most of the dust you see in your house is former parts of yourself. Eeuwww!! But what you might not realize because (a) no one ever told you, and (b) you can’t see through your skin, is that bone cells also die every day. Bone cells are living cells just like your skin cells; they eventually grow old and die. But unlike skin cells that fall off and land on the coffee table, old bone cells are reabsorbed and used to create new bone tissue.osteoporosis1

Inside your bones you have two “teams” of cells; one team’s cells (osteoblasts) lay down new bone. The other team’s cells (osteoclasts) chew up old bone. Ideally, you want the team that makes new bone to outweigh the team that takes away old bone, and for most of our childhood and young adulthood, that is exactly what happens. But as we age, the bone cell destroyers start to outnumber the bone builders. That’s when we begin to develop osteoporosis.This makes bones weak and porous, which raises the risk for fractures. Fortunately, there are many strategies you can employ to keep your bones hard and strong. Getting enough calcium and Vitamin D in your diet is one method, but being physically active is another.

So how does exercise help prevent osteoporosis? Moving your body enables you to build and maintain the amount (bone mass) and thickness (density) of your bones. When your body is moving, muscles pull against the bone. The stress causes minerals (mainly calcium) to be deposited in the bone. This makes the bone stronger and denser.

You need three different types of exercise to help lower your risk for getting osteoporosis: weight-bearing, resistance, and flexibility.

The first (and best) type of exercise to protect against osteoporosis is weight-bearing exercise. Weight-bearing means your feet and legs are supporting your body’s weight. Examples of weight-bearing exercise include walking, going up and down the stairs, and housework. However, weight-bearing exercise primarily affects bones below the waist, so you need other sources of activity to challenge the upper half of your body. Playing tennis and mowing the lawn are examples of activities that benefit the whole body.

Resistance exercise uses an object to create challenge or “friction.” When you’re working against the weight of an item such as free weights, weight machines, or resistance bands and tubing, you strengthen the muscles surrounding your bones and increase bone density.

And lastly, flexibility is important because your body needs to be able to bend and flow. Stretching, Tai chi, and yoga all promote balance and strength. These types of exercise will not slow down the loss of bone, but may decrease the risk of falls and fractures. When you twist, bend, and stretch, you strengthen the sites most at risk; primarily where your upper arm meets your shoulder, where your forearm meets your wrist, where your thigh bone meets your hip, and your spine.


Written by:

Donna Green
Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences
Ohio State University Extension

Reviewed by:

Elizabeth Smith, MS, RD, LD
Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences
Ohio State University Extension

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How much physical activity should we have?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents need 60 minutes of physical activity each day. The bulk of the activity should be aerobic (walking, running or other vigorous activity), with some of the 60 minutes spent on muscle strengthening (pushups or gymnastics) and bone strengthening (jumping rope or running – for 3 days a week). Adults need about 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week.

Barriers to becoming fit

You may be able to identify several barriers to getting in the recommended amount of physical activity in each week for yourself and your children. Time – it’s difficult to find consistent times every day when family schedules are already full. Sometimes it can be a challenge to find an activity that the whole family can become involved in when there are varying ages and ability levels. Or maybe you feel like fitness centers and exercise equipment is too expensive. There are ways around each of these barriers….

What can families do together to become fit?

Here are some ways to build physical activity into your family’s daily activities, and some suggestions for new activities together.

Small bits of time are OK. Try 10 minutes of activity at a time. If you cannot find an hour in the schedule, can you squeeze in 10 minutes here and there? Turning off the TV and other electronics might free up enough time to get moving. Can you walk or bike somewhere close by instead of driving?

Play together – have a family game of ball, chase each other around the yard. Even just putting on some music and dancing around the house can be a fun way to incorporate exercise. Plan a family activity each weekend – like going to the playground or taking a nature hike. Explore different types of activities to help kids find something they (and you) enjoy. If family members want to play video games – make it an active one and have a tournament taking turns.

Work together – You can make housework fun and active by putting on some of your family’s favorite tunes and dance while you clean. Yard work can be a great way to be active as a family.

Set family fitness goals – Track your progress with a family log. Get pedometers and county your steps. You can even increase your levels and set higher goals.  Celebrate with a fun activity when you reach a goal.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/children.html

WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/move/family-fitness-ideas

Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, carter.413@osu.edu.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu

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