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Does your family regularly eat together?  December 3 (Dine-In Day) is a good time to start or make it a habit to share a meal together as a family.  Sharing a meal can
happen at any time during the day, breakfast, lunch orfamily meal
dinner.   Try to make it a healthy meal by following My Plate.   You don’t have to prepare all or any of the food for the meal, it could be take-out food or even eating at a restaurant. The most important part is sitting down together at the table. Turn off television, phones, screens or other distractions and talk together.

Eating together as a family has been shown to provide benefits to your child in recent research by Musick and Meier.  These benefits are just from eating healthy meals together:

  • 35% are less likely to develop eating disorders
  • 24% are more likely to eat healthy
  • 12% are less likely to become overweight
  • The family will feel the benefits of closeness and comfort which provides                         stability.
  • Other researchers found children are less likely to develop depression symptoms and have less delinquency.

Past research showed additional benefits but didn’t account for other family factors.  The following benefits will continue to develop in many children but can not be associatfamily-eating-at-the-table-619142_640ed due only to family meals:

  • Children are more likely to have better mental health and avoid substance use and delinquency.
  • Children have greater academic achievement.
  • Children show improved psychological well-being.
  • The family has more positive interactions.

Here are some recommendations of getting started having family meals or keeping it a priority:

  1. Choose a meal or different set of meals you will share together as a family.
  2. Set a goal of sharing a family meal at least three times a week.
  3. Realize your family will gain closeness and comfort as they eat meals together.  This can provide some stability for your children, especially during times of turmoil.
  4. Make sure the time is quality time by turning off television, phones, screens and other distractions. Ask your children questions and talk together.  Make it a happy time together, no criticism or complaining.

Commit to participating in “Dine In” Day by clAAFCS_Day_Logo_2015ouicking on this link http://www.aafcs.org/FCSday/index.html  and signing up. to participate. Take a picture of your family eating a healthy meal together and post on their Facebook page, Twitter, and/or Instagram using #FCSday and #healthyfamselfie.    Share your pictures with me on Twitter at #93brinkman and post on our Live  Healthy Live Well Facebook page.

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Fayette County

Reviewer:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County

References

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, (2016).  “ Dine-In” With Us!  Available at http://www.aafcs.org/FCSday/index.html

Cook, E. and Dunifon, R. (2016). Do Family Meals Really Make a Difference?  Cornell University.  Available at http://www.human.cornell.edu/pam/outreach/upload/Family-Mealtimes-2.pdf

USDA, Choose My Plate, (2016).  Start with Small Changes, Available at https://www.choosemyplate.gov/start-small-changes

 

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roasted-vegetablesWhen I was growing up, my mother served most of our vegetables hot and moist. That’s because we ate a lot of home-canned veggies. When you open up a Mason jar filled with garden produce, the vegetables are “pre-softened” from the liquid and the canning process.  So that was how we ate most vegetables.  As a consequence, I grew up disliking the taste of many of them.

As an adult, I have changed my status to vegetable “lover” by utilizing a different cooking method, which is roasting. Hallelujah! What a difference roasting makes to the taste and appearance of a vegetable (mothers out there—take note of this for your picky eaters).

Roasting is a little more time-consuming than boiling or microwaving a vegetable, but the extra minutes are worth the effort. Roasting vegetables in the oven caramelizes the outside of the veggie, giving it a sweet, but crispy, taste.

What Vegetables to Roast?

Root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots are the most common choices, with broccoli, cauliflower, squash, and brussels sprouts coming in a close second. But don’t be afraid to try other vegetables such as summer squash, peppers, green beans, asparagus, onions, or even tomatoes.

If you want, you can mix two or more veggies together. Just make sure they are compatible, time-wise.  For example, roast cauliflower with broccoli, or butternut squash with potatoes.

Roasting Pointers

First cut the vegetables down to bite-sized pieces, then toss with your favorite oil or seasoned oil mixture. Generally a tablespoon or two of oil will suffice, unless you have a large amount of veggies to roast. The oil helps the vegetables crisp up in the oven and adds a rich flavor.

I like to use olive oil when roasting vegetables, but any oil will work. Use a couple of large spoons to mix or just stick your (clean) hands into the bowl and combine until everything is evenly coated.

Spread the vegetables onto a baking sheet that’s been lightly coated with cooking spray. They need lots of space, so use two baking sheets if necessary. Crowding will make the vegetables steam instead of roast. Once the veggies are on the baking sheet, sprinkle with a little seasoning—salt, pepper, or other herbs. I like to use sea salt for extra crunch.

Roast Until You See Toast

Make sure the oven is good and hot before you put the vegetables in to roast. 425°F is ideal for roasting most vegetables–if the oven temperature is too low, the vegetables will overcook before they’ve had a chance to brown.

Roast your vegetables until they are tender enough to pierce with a fork. Don’t worry if you see charred bits. Those crispy brown bits are the best part of the vegetable!

General Roasting Times for Vegetables

Cooking times are for roasting vegetables at 425°F.

  • Root vegetables (beets, potatoes, carrots): 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how small you cut them
  • Winter squash (butternut squash, acorn squash): 20 to 60 minutes, depending on how small you cut them
  • Crucifers (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts): 15 to 25 minutes
  • Soft vegetables (zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers): 10 to 20 minutes
  • Thin vegetables (asparagus, green beans): 10 to 20 minutes
  • Onions: 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them
  • Tomatoes: 15 to 20 minutes

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-roast-any-vegetable-101221

http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/how-to-roast-vegetables/

Written by: Donna Green, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

Reviewed by: Melissa Welker, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County

 

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Mcaregiverany women find that taking care of others – family, friends, and neighbors – becomes part of their normal day to day schedule.  While this can provide us with a great sense of fulfillment by helping others who need us, it often adds stress to our lives.  We find that we are not only cooking, cleaning, shopping, and care giving for our own family but many days doing these tasks for others.  This may include running errands and transporting them to doctor visits.

If you feel overwhelmed by all of the directions you are being pulled, I want you to know you are not alone and help is only a few paragraphs below.  There are many resources that can assist you with your tasks.

Be Prepared

  • All medicines should be locked up and out of the reach of children, teens and older adults who can be harmed by taking medications not prescribed to them.  This FDA video points out the dangers in having medicines accessible in a home.
  • A list of medications that can be accessible at any time. This list should include prescriptions, dietary supplements, vitamins and over-the-counter medicines.  You should take this list to all doctor visits and hospital visits.
  • Be sure you are giving the right amount of medicine. Follow the directions on the prescription and/or medicine.  You can also ask your physician about the dosage, especially when you are administering medicine to children.  Always use the measuring cup or device that is provided with the medicine.
  • Make a plan for how you will care for others in case of an emergency. This plan should include medical information and back up supplies.
  • Looking for guidance when it comes to eldercare? Try this Eldercare Locator link http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.NET/Public/Index.aspx which will help you connect to services in your area for older adults and their families.

The FDA is a great resource to help you manage the care of your loved ones.  These resources provide a wide range of information to assist with those working with young children, teens, older adults, and those with special needs.

As you are doing all of the things you do, it is easy to forget about your own needs.  It is important that you take care of your own health.  With so many others depending on you, don’t let your personal care go to the bottom of your list.

  • Take time to care for yourself
  • Schedule a yearly exam and mammogram
  • Talk to your physician if you are having feelings of anxiety or depression
  • Manage your stress

We are connected to others and being a caregiver affects us emotionally.  How to better handle these emotions can be found at Tips for Caregivershttps://livehealthyosu.com/2016/01/11/tips-for-caregivers/.  Read What Caregivers Need to Knowhttps://livesmartohio.osu.edu/family-and-relationships/holmes-86osu-edu/what-caregivers-need-to-know/ to learn more about recent data and respite care.  When it comes to caregiving there is so much to learn and know.  So remember information, support, and resources are out there…you are not alone.

Writer: Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County, jones.5640@osu.edu

Reviewer: Candace J. Heer, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Morrow County, heer.7@osu.edu

Sources:

Eldercare Locator, http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.NET/Public/Index.aspx

FDA, http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ByAudience/ForWomen/FreePublications/UCM246541.pdf

FDA, http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm272905.htm

FDA, http://www.fda.gov/EmergencyPreparedness/Counterterrorism/MedicalCountermeasures/MCMIssues/ucm464122.htm

FDA, http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/byaudience/forwomen/womenshealthtopics/ucm467701.htm?utm_campaign=%2B+Health&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=2&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_Y4J3BMiSD44Iv5Wf-OeFKCMm3G9IsHIHLfi_LU71U4gD95VBVlbkDV25j7yohcOjodImzviFnIA7LTl1-Bf1IHtUeTA&_hsmi=2#TipsForAllCaregivers

Office on Women’s Health, https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/caregiver-stress.html

References:

Tips for Caregivers

https://livehealthyosu.com/2016/01/11/tips-for-caregivers/.

What Caregivers Need to Know

https://livesmartohio.osu.edu/family-and-relationships/holmes-86osu-edu/what-caregivers-need-to-know/

 

 

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Did you know $1.8 billion dollars is spent on marketing foods to school-aged youth? Or that the average child sees 12-16 advertisements per day promoting food products high in children-403583_640saturated fat, sugar, or sodium?

These statistics have created public scrutiny on the food advertised to children. In 2006, the Better Business Bureau formed the Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), made of leading food companies in the U.S. and designed to address the poor nutritional content of food advertisements. As a result, The current $1.8 billion dollars spent on child food advertising is actually a decrease from the $2.1 billion dollars previously spent in 2006.

 Yet, the overall landscape of food commercials has shown little improvement since the CFBAI’s inception. Even in 2013, over 84% of all food commercials seen by children and 95% of ads aired specifically during children’s programming featured products high in saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and sodium.  These outcomes led researchers to call for increased scrutiny over CFBAI members’ efforts to market healthier products. In December 2014, the CFBAI responded by creating “Uniform Nutrition Criteria” for child food advertising: the results of this still remain to be seen.

 In the meantime, we are left knowing the majority of the food commercials U.S. children watch are for unhealthy foods. But does this really matter? Do food advertisements influence our children? The answer to this is ‘yes.’ Research has shown nyc-944407_640food advertisements directly influence children’s food preferences, nutrition knowledge, purchase behaviors (through parents), food consumption habits, and nutrition-related health. In other words, the food advertisements our children see influence their daily food choices.

Why does this matter to families? In order to promote healthy diets in youth, we must be able to help them overcome this constant marketing of unhealthy foods. One means to help address these unhealthy messages is to work as a family to promote our own healthy messages & themes about food.

Analyses of children’s food commercials have shown that their most common themes include the offer of premiums (toys or discounts), promotional characters (stars, TV characters, and company characters), health-claims, taste, and fun. All of these themes work well to gather children’s interest and to make their products familiar.

Obviously families can’t create their own advertisements on food. But families can harness the themes consistently used across food commercials to promote trying healthy food in their homes.

Consider the discussions you have with your children on consuming vegetables, fruits, or whole grains: How often do you describe the fruits and vegetables as ‘tasty’? Make them fun? Or associate them with a popular character?

If your experiences are like mine, these themes are rarely used to promote healthy food consumption.  But why not? Fruits are diptasty. Dunking vegetables in dips can be fun, and encouraging your toddler to consider what “Captain America” eats can always be used to make foods memorable. The most important step families can take is to talk with kids about healthy foods in a positive, fun light.

Our children are living in a world where they are constantly exposed to product messages—the majority being unhealthy. This is slowly changing. We can help encourage this change and make healthy food messaging more common by using the companies’ proven themes to encourage youth to desire and choose healthy foods when at home.

Reviewed by Michelle Treber, OSU Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences

Sources:

Powell, L. M., Harris, J. L., & Fox, T. (2013). Food marketing expenditures aimed at youth: putting the numbers in context. American journal of preventive medicine45(4), 453-461.

Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) (December 2014). A report on compliance and progress during 2013. Council of Better Business Bureau.

Powell, L. M., Schermbeck, R. M., & Chaloupka, F. J. (2013). Nutritional content of food and beverage products in television advertisements seen on children’s programming. Childhood Obesity9(6), 524-531.

Cairns, G., Angus, K., Hastings, G., & Caraher, M. (2013). Systematic reviews of the evidence on the nature, extent and effects of food marketing to children. A retrospective summary. Appetite, 62, 209-215.

Jenkin, G., Madhvani, N., Signal, L., & Bowers, S. (2014). A systematic review of persuasive marketing techniques to promote food to children on television. Obesity reviews, 15(4), 281-293.

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President Barack Obama has proclaimed November 2016 as National Diabetes Month. In his proclamation he states, “I call upon all Americans, school systems, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, health care providers, research institutions, and other interested groups to join in activities that raise diabetes awareness and help prevent, treat, and manage the disease.” Today’s blog is one effort to help in raise awareness and inform you about a free online educational opportunity to learn more about managing diabetes.

idf_infographics_en-2Additionally, November 14, 2016 is World Diabetes Day. It was created by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to rising concerns about the increasing health risks of diabetes. This year’s theme is EYES ON DIABETES. Its focus is on the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

One in two adults with diabetes is undiagnosed. Diabetes is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputations. Over one-third of all people currently living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes will develop some form of damage to their eyes that can lead to blindness. These complications can be prevented or delayed by maintaining proper blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Screenings can detect complications in their early stages and treatment plans can prevent vision loss.

Healthy eating also is an important part of managing all types of diabetes. Do you want to learn more about healthy eating and diabetes?  A team of Ohio State University Extension educators and researchers have developed a self-paced online course to help participants learn, share and chat with health professionals about managing diabetes.The course, Dining with Diabetes: Beyond the Kitchen focuses on carbohydrates, fats, sodium, vitamins, minerals and fiber. The easy to follow three-module course includes lessons, videos and activities to complete.

Participants can expect to learn:

  • How important blood sugar and carbohydrates are for managing diabetes.
  • How fats and sodium affect a healthy diet.
  • The role vitamins, minerals and fiber play in a healthy diet.
  • How to make healthy food choices when eating out and grocery shopping.

After completion of the course, participants receive a printable certificate. They are also automatically entered in a quarterly drawing for a $100 Amazon.com gift card.

Sign up is easy and free. Visit go.osu.edu/DWD_BTK and click “buy now.” The course will be added to cart for checkout at no cost. After completing the transaction, participant will be required to create an account with campus.extension.org to take advantage of all the materials.

Written by: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County

Reviewed by: Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness, Ohio State University Extension

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refrigerator

Did you know that November 15th is National Clean out Your Refrigerator Day?  Seems like there is a day for almost everything anymore, but this one does come at a good time! Many of us will soon be filling our refrigerators and freezers with more food than usual as the holidays approach so it is the perfect time to take a good look inside.

The first step may be to decide what is safe to keep or what you should toss.  Here is a quiz that might help you get started.  Also, Ohio State University Extension provides information on safe refrigerator and freezer storage on Ohioline.  Many people do not realize the dangers involved in eating food that has been kept too long or stored in a refrigerator or freezer that is not kept at a safe temperature – under 40⁰ for the refrigerator and under 0⁰ for the freezer.

strawberryRemember, when in doubt, throw it out!  Never taste food that looks or smells strange. There could be bacteria that are not visible to the human eye, but they could cause food poisoning.

Once you have decided what needs to be thrown out, you can start cleaning!

Follow the steps below to thoroughly clean the refrigerator:

  • Remove everything – place perishable food in a cooler while you are working
  • Any old or spoiled food should be discarded.
  • Take out shelves, drawers, etc. and wash with hot soapy water, rinse, and dry.
  • Wipe out the inside of the refrigerator – don’t forget the door seals. Some recommend using a mixture of 2 TBS. baking soda/1 qt. hot water.
  • Replace shelves and drawers.
  • Wipe off jars and containers as you return them to the refrigerator.
  • Check the interior temperature to be sure that it is below 40⁰.
  • Dust and wipe the exterior of the refrigerator.

Now that your refrigerator is sparkling clean, make it a habit to wipe up any spills as they occur to keep it fresh and clean. This might be a good time to invest in new refrigerator and freezer thermometers. Keep it in the body of the refrigerator – not on the door.

Get into the habit of storing your food and leftovers properly. Securely wrap foods or store in airtight containers. Check expiration dates on products – remember that once you open them, the expiration date on the item is no longer effective! In that case, follow the safe food storage charts mentioned above.

Author:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Franklin County

Reviewed by: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Perry County

References:

http://food.unl.edu/november-food-calendar#pb_love

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/clean-refrigerator

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/features/spring-clean-your-fridge-and-freezer#1

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Having a sandwich for lunch is so common that we tend to get in a rut when it comes to our choices. Ham and cheese, turkey, and/or peanut butter and jelly are staples for a reason—they taste good!  One of my personal favorites is unsalted peanut butter with sliced banana and a drizzle of honey on sprouted grain bread.  Sometimes I even skip the bread and just put my sandwich fillings like turkey and cheese in a large lettuce leaf for a lower carbohydrate “Turkey Wrap”.

sandwich

A sandwich can be a quick, portable, nutritious meal if thought out properly. The first suggestion I would make, however, is to check the nutrition facts label of your usual breads and wraps. Grains are the foundation of a healthy sandwich, and as the foundation, they should provide your body with the appropriate nutrients. Some may be high calorie and/or not the nutrient powerhouses we expect them to be.

In honor of National Sandwich Day on November 3rd, spend a little time this month to “up your game” when it comes to improving your sandwich choices.  This can be accomplished by incorporating some of the following suggestions:

  1. To add crunch and nutrition, try sliced red pepper, onions, snow peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, dill pickles, kimchi, apple or other fruit slices
  2. Instead of high calorie spreads, try hummus, salsa, light mayo, flavored mustards or a small avocado smashed
  3. For the protein source, use water packed tuna or chicken, nut butters (almond, peanut, cashew), diced or sliced hard boiled eggs, or leftovers like fried eggs, burgers, meatloaf, sliced chicken breast, and beans (whole or mashed)
  4. And for holding it all together, think outside the box with low calorie wraps, corn tortillas, flatbreads, whole grain or sprouted grain breads, pita, naan or large lettuce leaves

Feeling bold? Try this Chick Pea Sandwich or Pesto Grilled Cheese. Feeding a crowd? Easy BBQ Pork will be a snap!

Did you know you can freeze sandwiches? This makes prep time even easier. Just grab and go in the morning and enjoy!

Sources:

http://food.unl.edu/#sandwich

http://www.allrecipes.com

Written by:  Melissa Welker M.Ed., B.S., Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County, Maumee Valley EERA, welker.87@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Donna Green, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, Erie Basin EERA, green.308@osu.edu

 

 

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