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Monday, December 1, 2014

Nine Tips for a Healthier Holiday

By Sara Torrence, dietetic intern — University of Minnesota – The Emily Program

The holidays are often filled with time-honored traditions that include some of our favorite foods and desserts. Unfortunately, these traditions can challenge your commitment to healthful eating. By choosing and preparing healthier meals and staying active, you can prevent overeating and weight gain. Take a few simple steps to prevent unnecessary weight gain throughout the holiday season.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Four Salads We'd Rather Eat

By Hannah Jastram, Communications Associate

While the New York Times seems to think grape salad evokes Minnesota at Thanksgiving, we — and many other folks — beg to differ. Here are four salads that speak more directly to our heritage, our wallets, and our taste buds:
  1. Apple Spinach Salad (321 K PDF) — Use the sweet and tart, made-in-Minnesota Zestar!® apple with a hint of brown sugar flavoring for this zingy salad.
  2. Apple Waldorf Salad  — A classic. Use Honeycrisp or SweeTango® apples.
  3. Broccoli Mandarin Orange Salad — 'Tis the season for citrus fruits, and you can get a can of mandarin oranges even cheaper!
  4. Sunshine Salad (302 K PDF) — Let's be honest, we need all the sunshine we can get this time of year.
What's your favorite fall salad?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Eating Veggies All Year Round

Stored sunshine

​By Alison Swenson, Dietetic Intern and Hannah Jastram, Communications Associate — Health and Nutrition

Fall is here, but we can still eat lots of vegetables!
The fall season means the fresh, local produce that greeted us at farmers markets and in grocery stores is a distant memory. It's still important to add vegetables to your dinner meals whenever possible. Take a look in your cupboard to add vitamins, fiber, and added flavor to your favorite dinners.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Is Prime Season for Car-Deer Crashes

By Hannah Jastram, Communications Associate 

Do you know when nearly a third of all car-deer crashes in Minnesota occur? Yup, it's in October and November, with another 11 percent happening in December. Please keep your guard up while you traverse our beautiful Minnesota landscape.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Staying Active in the Fall

By Lisa Knapek, dietetic intern — University of Minnesota-The Emily Program. 

When I was a kid, I loved to play outside in the fall. It wasn't so hot and the landscape was beautiful with the changing colors. However, it was sometimes hard to stay active because of a busy school schedule, cooler temperatures, and shorter days.

It's worth it to stay active: adequate amounts of activity keep you energized throughout the day, help you sleep better at night, and lift your mood. Here are seven tips that will help you keep you and your child active:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to School: Meals that Support

By Jacquie Donohue, dietetic intern — University of Minnesota – The Emily Program.
Reviewed by Hannah Jastram, registered dietitian — Center for Family Development. 

As a teenager, I thought lunch was about laughing with my friends and taking a break from school. I really didn't know how important the food in my lunch was for my body and how it could help me do well in school. Had I known this, I may have made smarter choices when it came to what I packed or which hot lunch line I chose. This information from can help you be sure your children are starting their school year off right.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's Your Turn: Be a Good Role Model for Eating and Activity

Whether you are a parent, grandparent, neighbor or teacher, you can be a role model for eating good foods and being active. Children of all ages see what adults are doing and it does make a difference in what they choose. Here are some tips from on how to be a positive role model for eating good foods and being active.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cooking: A Fun Way to Keep Children Reading this Summer!

By Mary Schroeder, Extension educator and registered dietitian

It's important that children keep reading and doing math during the summer so they do not forget what they learned in school. Cooking with children is a fun way for children to practice reading and math. Give these a try.
  • Letter recognition: Have children look at the foods in the cupboard and find a food that starts
    with a certain letter. For example, show children three varieties of soup and have them find one that starts with a "t" (like tomato soup)
  • Counting: Children can count the number of cups of flour that go
    into a pancake batter or count the number of times they stir something.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Shopping on a Budget at Farmers Markets

Farmers markets are popping up everywhere, and for good reason! It's fun to buy local produce in a festive market on a bright sunny day.

Talk with farmers and fellow
shoppers for more tips.
But what if you're on a budget? Here are some money saving tips to take along with you to the market.
  • Avoid going to the market on an empty stomach. You're less likely to buy more than you bargained for!
  • Bring along a 'flexible' shopping list that gives you an idea of what you need and leaves room for what's available. "Fruit for five meals" leaves it open to whatever fruit is a bargain this week.
  • Walk the market first. Browse the selections, take note of bargains while you walk, and return to the vendor who has the best price.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gardening: Get Your Kids Involved!

The kids that grow veggies,
eat veggies!
It's time to think about gardening!

Did you know? One of the best ways to get your children interested in eating veggies is to include them in growing veggies. Here are six ideas to help you get your children interested in gardening this year.

1. Read Up on Gardening

Find books at the library that talk about the different veggies you might want to plant. Have your kids read them and help decide what to plant.

2. A Special Spot in the Garden or on the Deck

Consider having special areas of the garden for each person in your family. Even if you don't have room for a big garden, you can start small by having a couple of pots on the porch or deck for your garden plants. Then let your kids be responsible for their own little plant. This will give them a sense of ownership. Make sure your garden is easy to access for small children so they can help plant, water, weed, and harvest.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Adventures in Eating

Do you want to add variety
to your child's diet?
Feeding young children is an adventure. Sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's... more challenging. Between the ages of 2 and 6, many children do not like to try new foods. This is normal and children become more willing to try foods as they get older. Keep these short messages in mind:

Let go a little to gain a lot.
It's natural to worry about a preschooler's eating habits. Offer healthy foods and allow kids to choose from them. They'll be more likely to enjoy meal time and eat enough, so everyone's happier.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Let's Move: Ideas for Winter Activity

Brrrrrr, it has been a cold winter! It is hard to get children outside to play when it is so cold. Children can still be active, even if they are inside. Here are a few easy ideas to help children stay active during the cold weather.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Understanding How Foods Are Marketed to Children

Be aware of the food marketing targeted at your child.
But Daddy, I need to have this sparkling star cereal. The princess on the box is soooo pretty! I saw on it television, and it comes with a glow-in-the-dark ring, too. Please, Daddy, please!

If you go grocery shopping with children, something like this has probably happened to you. Children often beg to buy a food product, like cereal, because of the influence of marketing and advertising targeted to them. Add peer pressure from friends who have seen the same commercials to the mix, and you have scenes like the one just described.

How Are Food Products Marketed to Children?

Food marketing occurs across a wide variety of media and formats, such as TV and the product packaging itself. Food ads feature a variety of tactics to get children's attention, including catchy jingles; colorful still images and fast-paced moving images; and use of celebrities or cartoon characters to endorse or represent the product. Cartoon characters may be from popular media, such as Disney characters, or characters created by the manufacturer, such as the Trix Rabbit or Captain Crunch.
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