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Most of us are aware of the benefits of healthy eating – plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grain products and low fat dairy and lean protein. However it is easy to forget the “rules” as we hurry through the grocery store to purchase food for our family.

The Food Marketing Institute estimates that a large grocery store may carry over 79,000 different items.  That is a lot of choice! Fortunately there are some guidelines that we can follow to help us navigate through the bountiful offerings in today’s grocery stores.

Let’s start in the produce section. The US Dietary Guidelines recommend that ½ of our plate should be fruits and vegetables.  Look for a variety of colors and textures as you make your choices. Bright yellow peppers, red tomatoes and dark leafy greens provide valuable nutrients.  A dessert of ripe red strawberries and bright blueberries with just a dollop of whipping cream should satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.  Purchasing fruits and vegetables that are canned or frozen can also provide healthy meals for your family – just remember to watch for added salt or sugar.

Now, let’s move on to the grain aisle.  Remember to aim for at least 50% of your grains being whole grain.  When making your choices, don’t be fooled by items that are brown in color but do not have a whole grain as the first item on the ingredient list.  This can apply also to bread, rice, pasta and other grain products. Examples of whole grains include whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, and brown rice. Since cereal is a staple in many households, look for those that are higher in fiber and lower in added sugars.

As you shop in the dairy aisle, think about the guidance of choosing low fat dairy. Fat free or 1% milk should be the staple for most adults and children over the age of 2.  Don’t forget that fat free milk provides the same amount of calcium and other important nutrients for our bodies as whole milk but without the fat! The same rules apply to cheeses and yogurt – the lower in fat the better.

As you make that final stop for protein foods, many think only of meat as the source of protein.  While lean cuts of meat can provide the protein that our bodies need, there are other sources that eliminate the fat that is associated with meats. ChooseMyPlate.gov recommends that we vary our choices for protein. Some good sources are eggs, dried beans and peas, fish, nuts, cheese, tofu, peanut butter, milk, and yogurt.

If you have noticed, we have shopped the perimeter of the grocery store, avoiding many of the processed products that we encounter up and down some of the center aisles.  By choosing mostly fresh, whole foods, we are providing our bodies with the healthy foods we need for a healthy lifestyle.

 

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

Reviewer: Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, lobb.3@osu.edu

Sources:

Food Marketing Institute (2017). Supermarket Facts. https://www.fmi.org/our-research/supermarket-facts

US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (2017). Dietary Guidelines. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/

USDA ChooseMyPlate.gov (2016). All About the Grains Group. https://www.choosemyplate.gov/grains?source=Patrick.net

USDA ChooseMyPlate.gov (2017). 10 Tips: Vary Your Protein Routine.  https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ten-tips-with-protein-foods-variety-is-key

 

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all-is-wellWhat comes to mind when you hear the terms well or wellness? For most people, these words bring thoughts of physical health. Some of you will think about mental health. Most people, when given time, realize that there is more to being well than just physical and mental health. Some may even be able to name several areas of wellness. Many people may not realize that there are actually eight dimensions of wellness, though.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the eight dimensions of wellness are:

  1. Emotional—Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships
  2. Environmental—Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being
  3. Financial—Satisfaction with current and future financial situations
  4. Intellectual—Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
  5. Occupational—Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work
  6. Physical—Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep
  7. Social—Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system
  8. Spiritual—Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life

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For about a month, I have been participating in a program offered through my employer/health insurance to help increase my emotional well-being. There are up to five areas that anyone who participates can choose to complete. Each area has suggestions for things you can do. For example, one challenge is to find. Some things listed include: going to the library to check out a book or DVD, attending a live event or stopping by a new coffee shop. It is fun trying to complete each challenge. It also helps remind me that even on those hectic days, I need to take some time to take care of myself.

There are small and simple things you can do to help become more well in each area. Here are some examples:

  • Emotional—unplug from phone, social media and your computer for 10 minutes each day, light your favorite candle and make time for friends and family
  • Environmental—keep your office and home clean and organized, find a favorite place or spot to visit and get involved in cleaning up your community or neighborhood
  • Financial—shop at thrift stores, limit unnecessary spending and develop a budget
  • Intellectual—read for pleasure, choose creative hobbies and participate in local/community events
  • Occupational—attend conferences to stay current in your profession and explore opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Physical—participate in regular exercise/physical activity that you enjoy, eat balanced, nutritious meals and snacks and get adequate sleep
  • Social—be genuine with others, join a club or organization and use good communication skills
  • Spiritual—volunteer, pray, meditate or find a quiet place for self-reflection

You may be wondering how well you really are. Take this assessment to get a better idea. After completing it, you can figure out which areas you need to work on and in which ones you are already strong. Click here for additional information and resources on how to strengthen your dimensions of wellness.

Author:  Misty Harmon, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Perry County

Reviewer:  Michelle Treber, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County

References:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2016). The Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Available at https://www.samhsa.gov/wellness-initiative/eight-dimensions-wellness

http://umatter.princeton.edu/sites/umatter/files/media/wellness-self-assessment.pdf

Roddick, M. (2016). The 8 Dimensions of Wellness:  Where Do You Fit In? Available at https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/8-dimensions-of-wellness-where-do-you-fit-in-0527164

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It’s hard to believe that summer is coming to an end.  The family day trips to the amusement park or zoo, and our time lazing around the pool will soon be over until next year. Do you find the transition from summer into the routines of the school year school-1549880_1920difficult? I find that I sometimes struggle with the back-to-school schedule more than my two children (who are now a freshman and a sophomore in high school). Because of my struggles, I want to share some tips from Kids.gov  and USA.gov. Both sites create and organize timely, needed government information and services that is accessible anytime, anywhere, via your channel of choice.

  • Ease into the School Routine
    • Start going to bed and waking up on a schedule similar to the school year. Remember that teens need 9-10 hours of sleep per night, school age children need 10 hours and preschoolers need 11-12 hours.
    • Make a family docking station in the living room or kitchen for mobile phones and electronics.  By not allowing these in the bedrooms, teens and pre-teens will get a better night’s sleep.  You can also set a house rule that phones may not be checked until the morning routine is complete. Purchase a cheap alarm clock if you hear,  “I need to have my phone/tablet/etc. in my room because it has my alarm on it.”
  • Teach Time Management
    • Routine is very important. Talk to your children and set a daily schedule together and follow it.  Don’t forget to include wake-up, showering, teeth brushing, homework, (outdoor) play time/physical activity, screen-time, reading together, family meals, and bed time. If something unscheduled comes up, see if other things can be adjusted to accommodate it.
    • Use pictures for your preschoolers and early readers and a checklist for the pre-teens and teens. Don’t forget to agree upon the outcomes if the schedule is followed (a special privilege) or if it is not (a consequence). Your weekend schedule will most likely be different so map that out too.
  • Pack a Nutritious Lunch
    • A well-balanced meal will help provide the nutrients to get through the long days.
    • It helps to allow your children choices when packing their lunch.  Allow them to pack their lunch (and even yours), so that together your family is making the choice to eat healthier.
  • Listen
    • Talk to your children about what’s coming up in the next few weeks.  Talk through the schedule and the changes that will be happening as school starts. Listen to their excitement and their fears. Make a plan together for having the best school year yet.
    • Don’t forget to check in with them each day and listen for what they say (and what they don’t say, especially with the pre-teens and teens).
  • Shop Smart
    • Pick up the school supply list now and take advantage of the many sales and coupons that are available.  Use your mobile device to download coupons and always ask if a store has any coupons available.  Check the closets before you head out shopping and only purchase what you need.  
    • Take advantage of  Ohio’s tax free weekend for more savings: August 4-6.

Good luck getting back into the swing of the school year. May your school year be blessed with many wonderful memories! Enjoy every teachable moment and find something fabulous in each day!

Written By: Jami Dellifield, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Hardin County

Reviewed By: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County

Sources:

https://kids.usa.gov/parents/health-and-safety/back-to-school/index.shtml

https://www.usa.gov/features/get-ready-for-school-8-tips-for-parents-from-kid

s-gov

https://www.freetaxweekend.com/ohio-tax-free-weekend/

http://health.uncc.edu/news/electronic-devices-may-hamper-teens%E2%80%99-sleep

https://www.cps-k12.org/families-students/health-wellness/healthy-lunches/teens/lunches

Photo:

https://pixabay.com/en/school-holidays-recovery-leisure-1549880/

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friends

There are many different facets of health. We think of health as eating well and exercising, yet health also includes our social interactions and connections.

We all tend to get busy in our lives and lose contact with our friends and family. July is a perfect time to build stronger social ties with family and friends and reach out to others.  Social Wellness encourages us to develop better communications with our friends and family and to spend time nurturing our relationships and ourselves.  Respect yourself and others and develop a solid social support system.  Check in with your family and friends.

On-line social networking has grown because of our need to be connected. It allows us to read status updates and get a glimpse of what is going on with our friends and family.  Yet, it is important to have a full conversation to maintain social wellness.

Grow your social network. Consider your interests and hobbies and you are bound to meet new people that share the same interest.

Social Wellness is important including:

  • People who have strong social networks live longer
  • People with healthy relationships respond better to stress and have healthier cardiovascular systems
  • Healthy social networks improve the immunes system’s ability to fight off infectious disease

Reconnect this month with your friends and family to strengthen your bonds and improve your social wellness. Be Well!

References: https://www.butler.edu/health-wellness/social                                                    http://www.fsap.emory.edu › Workplace Resources › Wellness

 

Author: Beth Stefura, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Mahoning County

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

 

 

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heart

 

Now is the time to review what you know about women and heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. One out of four women in the United States will die from heart disease, while one woman out of thirty dies of cancer. Four out of five women who are 40-60 years of age have at least one risk factor for heart disease.

Are You At Risk?                                         heart-rate

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Over the age of 55
  • Smoking
  • Overweight or obese
  • no regular exercise
  • Diet high in saturated fat

 

Some risk factors like age and family history cannot be changed, but all women have the power to make diet and lifestyle choices that can reduce these risks.

Take Care of Your Heart

  • Reduce the sources of saturated fat in your diet
  • Limit or reduce eating fried foods. You can do this by choosing cooking methods that do not submerge food in oil. Use cooking methods like baking, broiling, and steaming instead.
  • Choose low fat or fat free dairy products
  • Remove and discard the skin from turkey or chicken to reduce the saturated fat in your diet
  • Avoid fats that are solid at room temperature. Change to poly or unsaturated oils like olive oil or canola oil
  • Reduce sodium intake by limiting processed foods

 

Smoking cessation is good for your lungs and your cardiovascular system. The chemicals in tobacco smoke damage cells and the vessels that carry blood throughout the body.A lifestyle that includes many risk factors like smoking,making unhealthful food choices, remaining overweight or obese,and not getting regular exercise all add to your risk of developing heart disease.  Make a great choice for your health and stop smoking, or reduce the number of times that you smoke, starting today!

Signs and Symptoms

Heart attack symptoms for women can easily be dismissed as stress or the flu. Do not brush off symptoms that may be signs or symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. Common signs of heart attack in women include:

  • Sweating, nausea, or feeling faint or lightheaded. Feeling pressure or a feeling of fullness in the chest. This may be consistent, or brief and then returning.
  • Feeling uncomfortable, achy or sore in either or both arms, neck or jaw pain, back pain, or even stomach discomfort.
  • Feeling short of breath, with or without chest pains

Sources:

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: The Heart Truth: A Campaign for Women About Heart Disease, HHS, NIH, NHLBI

American Heart Association: Know Your Numbers? | Go Red For Women®

Authors: Laura Brubaker, Dietetic Intern with OSU Extension, Wood County. Graduate Student studying Food and Nutrition at Bowling Green State Universtiy and Susan Zies,  Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Wood County.

 

Reviewer:Dan Remley, Assistant Professor, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness, OSU Extension

 

 

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veggiegirl2

According to MyPlate.gov, snacks can help kids get nutrients needed to grow.  This blog will show some ideas to help you make creative snacks with veggies & fruits. By making food fun, you may encourage your child to try something new. If possible, involve your child in food preparation or cooking. Kids like to try their creations!

Concerned about the cost of fresh vegetables and fruits? Select vegetables & fruits when they are “in season” or on sale. Make sure to buy enough, but not too much where you end up throwing it away.

  • Winter “In Season” vegetables & fruits include kiwi and citrus fruits like tangerines, clementines, oranges and grapefruit.
  • Spring “In Season” vegetables & fruits include snow peas, broccoli, greens, asparagus, strawberries and spinach.
  • Veggies & fruits that are readily available “year round” include bananas, celery, carrots, apples, potatoes & onions.

Here are some recipe ideas to try:

    • Veggie Kid. Add light ranch dip for the face of the kid and make the body out of vegetables & fruits you may have on hand.
    • Cheese and Crackers. Try the convenience of single serving string cheese and pair it with whole wheat crackers. To ramp up the veggies, add a few carrot sticks or apple wedges.
    • Make a fun “character” fruit tray. Easy and fun! The eyes in this fruit tray are hardboiled eggs. Watch the children “gobble” up the fruit.

Need more inspiration? Try these:

elmofruit

  • Apple Smiles made with peanut butter and raisins.
  • Fruit Kabobs. Use your favorite fruits for this fun snack!
  • Crunchy Berry Parfait. Use your favorite fruits in this easy favorite.
  • Cowboy Caviar. A favorite of adults and kids alike! Serve with whole grain chips, fill celery sticks or top a salad with this tasty salsa.

Remember that some children don’t like foods that are mixed up. If this is the case, serve them individually.

Final Tips:

  • Make it easy to choose add-ins. Try hummus, creamy vegetable dip made with yogurt, or applesauce with a little “crunch” (granola or cereal) and cinnamon.
  • Let them pick a new vegetable or fruit to try if you take them grocery shopping.

What ideas do you have to add more veggies & fruits to your day? Post your ideas in the comment section.

Sources:

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (2017). Spend Smart. Eat Smart. http://extension.iastate.edu

USDA (2016). MyPlate snack tips for parents. MyPlate, MyWins. www.choosemyplate.gov

USDA What’s Cooking? Recipe Finder available from https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/

Photo credits:

Jennifer Driesbach, driesbach.2@osu.edu

Michelle Treber, treber.1@osu.edu

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

Reviewer: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin county, lobb.3@osu.edu

 

 

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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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