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Posts Tagged ‘Fun Family Activites’

Many communities and families are considering their best options to celebrate Halloween this year. The CDC has ranked different activities and risks related to spreading viruses. The following suggestions are listed as lower risk Halloween activities:

  • Carve or decorate pumpkins with members of your household to display
  • Carve or decorate pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorate your apartment, house or living space
  • Have a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Have a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Have a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Whether you have little ones at home, are deciding about passing out candy or do not typically participate in trick-or-treating, why not use Halloween to plan a fun meal? Using the colors of orange, black and purple, mix up the fun and add some tasty treats to your menu.

Making orange (and red) vegetables a regular part of your diet will help reduce the risk of chronic disease, as well as improve overall wellness. The next time you are at the store or farm market, look for orange peppers, carrots, pumpkins and other winter squash. Many of those vegetables can be prepared in a variety of ways and one easy way is to roast them in the oven. Add a little olive oil and some herbs and roast them in the oven alongside your favorite choice of meat.  

Choosing Winter Squash at the Farm Market

Canned pumpkin is a healthy and convenient ingredient. Although these suggestions might sound unusual, my colleagues who teach nutrition education and my household can attest that these are adult and kid approved recipes:

Add some dark colors to complement the orange such as black olives alongside a vegetable tray or as a garnish for cooked dishes. Blackberries are a delicious fruit and can be served alongside orange slices.

For fall snacks, not only are pumpkin seeds easily available this time of year, sunflower seeds are also a crunchy treat. Enjoy a handful of seeds as a snack or toss some on top of a salad or winter squash soup. Chopped nuts (like peanuts, almonds, walnuts) are a nice garnish on top of salads or soups.

Bowl of soup with pumpkin seeds garnish

Sweet Treats: While candy (in moderation) can have a place in celebrations, it lacks nutrients like fiber and vitamins and minerals. Try some of these sweet treats:

  • Make popcorn, a whole grain, and toss it with cinnamon and sugar
  • Serve fresh fruit slices alongside the pumpkin dip
  • Bake apples or pears with cinnamon. For optional toppings, add chopped nuts or a drizzle of honey
  • Warm up some apple cider and garnish with a cinnamon stick

For a spooky presentation, fill clear, food grade gloves to “serve” up some snacks. Fill them with dry cereal, nuts, mini-pretzels, snack mix or popcorn for bony fingers. While this Halloween might look different than those in the recent past, consider using the day to create a healthy and memorable menu this year.

Written by: Patrice Powers-Barker, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Lucas County

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

Sources:

Ellis, E. (2019). Enjoy a Healthy and Happy Halloween. Eat Right, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Retrieved 10/20/20 from https://www.eatright.org/health/lifestyle/holidays/enjoy-a-healthy-and-happy-halloween 

Halloween. (2020). Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. Retrieved 10/20/20 from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween

Photo credit: farm market from CDC and squash soup from Pixabay

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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.

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

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