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Extension > Live Healthy, Live Well > 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Reflecting on Holistic Health

By Jamie Bain, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

It can be difficult to focus on health and wellness in December. It seems like everywhere we turn there are sweets and treats and parties to attend — all centered on large portions of yummy food. No one’s saying that you shouldn’t indulge a little here and there. Just remember to enjoy every bite and everything in moderation!

But healthy eating isn’t all what this post is about. It’s mostly about another aspect of health we often don’t think about — our emotional and social well-being. So go ahead and make a resolution to eat healthy and exercise more in the new year. But you can adopt a holistic vision of health right now, and start practicing two aspects of that vision that are often overlooked: mindfulness and reflection.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

By Kathleen A. Olson, Program Director, Partnering for School Success

A few times each school year, teachers and parents meet to discuss how to help students do their best in school.

Here are some tips for getting the most benefit from parent-teacher conferences:
  • If possible, plan for both parents to attend.
  • Arrive on time.
  • If needed, arrange for an interpreter ahead of time. Do not ask your child to interpret.
  • If you can't meet during regular conference hours, request another time.
  • The best conferences are those where teachers and parents work together for one purpose: to help your child do well. Parents can prepare for the conference ahead of time by thinking about ways to help their children learn and succeed in school. Consider the following ideas:
  • Ask each of your children: How is school going? What is your best subject? Why do you like it? What is your least favorite subject? Why? Is there anything you’d like me to discuss with your teachers?
  • Make sure your children don’t worry about the conference. Help them understand that you and their teacher(s) are meeting to help them.
  • Write notes about each of your children's life at home, including notes about personality, any problems, habits, and hobbies or interests you feel are important for teachers to know. Inform teachers of any situations that may affect your children’s learning, such as illness or family problems.
  • Write down questions about your children’s progress in school and any concerns you have about the school's programs or policies.
  • Ask teachers how you and the school can work together to help your children.
  • If language is a barrier for your children, ask what help is available, such as a cultural liaison, translated documents, website translations, and so on.
Set up additional times and ways to connect with the teachers, as needed, to discuss your children’s progress. Building strong parent-teacher partnerships helps your children get the best education possible.

Cómo aprovechar al máximo las reuniones de padres y maestros

Por Kathleen A. Olson, Directora del Programa Educación: Nuestra mejor herencia

Todos los años los maestros se reúnen con los padres unas cuantas veces para hablar sobre cómo ayudar a los estudiantes para que hagan lo que mejor puedan en la escuela. Aquí se dan unos consejitos sobre cómo beneficiarse al máximo de estas reuniones de padres y maestros:
  • Si se puede, ambos padres deberían asistir.
  • Sea puntual.
  • Si es necesario, solicite un intérprete con anticipación. No pida a su hijo/a que interprete.
  • Si usted no puede asistir a la reunión en el horario indicado, pida reunirse en otro momento.
  • Las mejores reuniones son aquellas en las que los maestros y padres trabajan juntos con un propósito: ayudar a que le vaya bien a su hijo/a.
Los padres pueden prepararse para la reunión con las siguientes sugerencias:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cómo elegir un seguro de salud que responda a sus necesidades y presupuesto

Por Jose Lamas, Asociado del Programa Comunitario

Ahora es el momento de apuntarse a la póliza de seguro médico. El periodo de inscripción abierta ha comenzado o va a comenzar, y esto quiere decir que usted tendrá que tomar algunas decisiones. Primero debe considerar el tipo de cobertura que usted quiere para usted y para su familia y comparar los costos. El precio de la prima es solo un factor. En caso de necesitar servicios médicos o medicamentos recetados, se deben sumar otros costos.

Luego, piense en los gastos de bolsillo. Si usted paga una prima baja, es posible que tenga altos gastos de bolsillo. Esta es solo una razón por la que es bueno tener un plan de ahorros y gastos basado en sus gastos de cuidado de salud incluyendo el gasto del seguro.

Choosing Health Insurance that Meets Your Needs and Your Budget

By Jose Lamas, Community Program Associate

The time for signing up for health insurance has arrived. Open enrollment periods are under way or about to begin, meaning you will have some decisions to make. First, consider the level of coverage you want for you and your family, and compare prices. The amount of the premium is only one factor. If you’ll need medical services or prescription drugs there are other costs, too.

Next, think about out-of-pocket costs. If you pay a lower premium, it’s likely you will have higher out-of-pocket costs. This is just one reason why it’s a good idea to make a spending and savings plan centered on your health care costs, including the cost of your insurance.

Here are some examples of costs associated with your health plan:

Antes de cancelar una tarjeta de crédito

Por Gabriela Burk, Especialista del Programa Comunitario

Antes de cerrar cualquier cuenta de tarjeta de crédito, llame por teléfono al banco emisor (o a otra institución crediticia) para verificar que el saldo de su tarjeta esté en cero. La falta de pago del saldo antes de cerrar la cuenta de cualquier tarjeta de crédito puede tener un impacto negativo en su informe crediticio. Debe saber que la cancelación de una tarjeta no eliminará la información de su informe crediticio.

Algunas tarjetas de crédito permiten acumular algunos tipos de premios, tales como millas por viajero frecuente en aerolíneas o puntos que puede usar para comprar cosas en algunas tiendas. Recuerde cobrar usar cualquier premio de su tarjeta antes de cancelarla.

Llame por teléfono al banco por cualquier pregunta que tenga sobre el proceso de cancelación. Por último, solicite la cancelación de su tarjeta por carta, haga una copia y envíela por correo al banco emisor. Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre lo que se debe escribir en la carta, pregunte en el banco.

Para más detalles, visite la página web Creditcard.com How to cancel a credit card — en http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/help/cancel-credit-card-6000.php (sólo en inglés).

Some Things You Should Know Before Canceling a Credit Card

By Gabriela Burk, Community Program Specialist

Before closing any credit card account, call the issuing bank (or other lending institution) to verify that the balance on the card is zero. Not paying off the entire balance before canceling the card could negatively affect your credit report. Note that canceling a card will not eliminate the information from your credit report.

Some credit cards let you accumulate rewards of some kind, such as frequent flyer miles on airlines or points you can use to buy things at certain stores. Remember to collect (use) any rewards from your card before canceling it.

Call the bank to ask any questions you might have about the cancellation process. Finally, put your request to cancel your card in a letter, make a copy, and then mail the letter to the issuing bank. Ask the bank if you have any questions about what should go in the letter.

For more details on canceling credit cards, visit Creditcard.com’s website How to cancel a credit card.

Hacer compras inteligentes para las fiestas de fin de año

Por Maria Francisca Mendoza, Asistente del Programa Comunitario

Ya estamos cerca de la época de las fiestas. Tener un plan para saber manejar los gastos le ayudará a ahorrar dinero, mantenerse a salvo de las deudas y a disminuir su estrés. El poner un límite por persona ayudará a evitar el gasto elevado en regalos. Aquí se sugieren otras maneras de mantenerse dentro de su presupuesto para las fiestas:
  • Compre articulos en oferta y con antelación.
  • Regale cosas hechas en casa o promesas por escrito (en inglés IOUs) para hacer un favor personal o simplemente pasar el tiempo con alguien.
  • Haga las compras con una lista de tres a cinco opciones por persona y escoja un regalo por persona.
  • Aproveche los cupones de las tiendas para maximizar los ahorros.
  • Piense en regalar tarjetas regalo — siempre son bienvenidas.
  • Use el sentido común cuando vaya de compras para las fiestas; usted puede complacer a sus seres queridos sin salirse de su presupuesto.

Smart Shopping for the Holidays

By Maria Francisca Mendoza, Financial Capability Educator

The holiday season is almost here. Having a plan on how to manage your spending will help you save money, keep you out of debt, and reduce stress. Setting a limit per person will help prevent spending too much on gifts. Here are a few more ways to keep your holiday budget on track:
  • Purchase items early and on sale.
  • Give homemade gifts or written promises (IOUs) to do a personal favor or simply spend time with someone.
  • Shop with a list of three to five options per person and pick one gift for each person.
  • Take advantage of retail store coupons to maximize savings.
  • Consider giving gift cards – they are always welcome.
  • Use common sense when shopping for the holidays; you can please your loved ones without going over your budget.

Prepare su hogar para el invierno

Por Antonio Alba Meraz, Educador de Extensión

El mantenimiento adecuado de su hogar ayuda a evitar daños costosos, reducir los gastos del seguro y eliminar los riesgos para la salud. El mantenimiento del hogar es necesario año redondo pero en especial es importante en el otoño para que su hogar esté listo para los duros inviernos minesotanos. Aquí tiene algunos consejos para asegurarse de que su hogar aguante el frío en el invierno:
  • Ponga el termostato por lo menos a 55 a 60 grados; esto es suficiente para evitar que se congelen las tuberías a la vez que ahorra dinero en la cuenta de la calefacción.
  • Reemplace el filtro de la caldera siguiendo las instrucciones del fabricante.
  • Ponga a prueba los detectores de humo y de monóxido de carbono todos los meses. Si no tiene detectores, instálelos de inmediato. Sobre todo en el invierno los incendios son particularmente peligrosos.
  • Busque tubería congelada por monitoreo de presión de agua y drenaje. Recuerde, tubos no se congelarán si se utilizan regularmente.
  • Mantenga las veredas y las entradas de acceso al garage sin hielo y nieve. Tire sal en las áreas cubiertas con hielo.
  • Reparación vidrios rotos en ventanas y puertas. Immediatamente para evitar que entre el aire frio a su hogar.
Para mayor información sobre el mantenimiento de su hogar durante el invierno y año redondo, visite la página web de Extensión Mantenga su hogar caliente y seguro en el invierno en http://z.umn.edu/ywr.

Get Your Home Ready for Winter

By Antonio Alba Meraz, Extension Educator

Properly maintaining your home helps you prevent costly damage, reduce insurance costs, and eliminate health risks. Home maintenance is necessary all year round, but it’s especially important in the fall so your home is ready for tough Minnesota winters. Here are some tips for ensuring your home withstands cold during winter:
  • Set the thermostat to at least 55-60 degrees; this is warm enough to prevent pipes freezing, while also saving money on heating bills.
  • Replace your furnace air filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly. If you don’t have detectors, install them immediately. Fires are especially dangerous in the winter.
  • Check for frozen pipes by monitoring water pressure and drainage. Remember, pipes will not freeze if they are regularly used.
  • Keep sidewalks and driveways free of ice and snow. Pour salt on icy patches.
  • You should always repair broken glass in windows and doors promptly, but this is especially important in winter to keep cold winds from blowing into your home.
For more information on home maintenance during winter and year-round, visit our Extension web page Keep Your Home Warm and Safe During the Winter at http://z.umn.edu/ymb.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Top 5 Ways to Celebrate National Farm to School Month


By Anne Dybsetter, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

In honor of National Farm to School Month in October, I’d like to suggest five ways to celebrate. Let’s count down, starting with #5!

5. “Like” the National Farm to School Network on Facebook to follow stories about local foods for healthy kids. Did you hear the one about the ugly fish tacos?

4. Join kids and farm to school supporters by crunching into a juicy local apple at noon on October 22. Post your experience on the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #GreatAppleCrunch.

3. Keep an eye on the media for facts about national support for school nutrition and farm to school programs. You can start with this New York Times article, “Poll Finds Most Back Healthy School Meals,” which notes that 90 percent of respondents support more farm to school investments.

2. Use Extension’s Farm to School Toolkit to answer your burning questions about cooking with locally sourced foods. For example, “How can I make something tasty from squash?” Note: The toolkit is aimed at school foodservice staff, but anyone can use it. Just click on the photo of a favorite food for more information, including recipes and menu examples.

And my #1 suggestion for celebrating Farm to School Month (drum roll, please):

1. Visit a local school to have lunch with your favorite student, and enjoy the October bounty. Work up an appetite by checking out the farm to school websites of Dover-Eyota Public Schools and Minneapolis Public Schools.


For more ideas, visit Farm to School Month on the Extension website. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

El programa de aligmentación escolar ofrece comidas a bajo costo para los niños que son elegibles

Por Gabriela Burk, Especialista de Programa Comunitario

A medida que sus hijos regresan a la escuela, verifique si ellos cumplen con los requisitos para recibir alimento gratuito o a costo reducido por medio de los programas National School Lunch y School Breakfast — llamados simplemente “School Meal Program” en Minnesota.

Este programa, financiado por el gobierno federal, administrado por el Departamento de Educación de Minnesota paga por todo o parte del costo del almuerzo y desayuno en las escuelas primarias y secundarias públicas y privadas sin fines de lucro. Es posible que también participen en este programa School Meal Program las instituciones de cuidado infantil públicas y privadas residenciales sin fines de lucro.

Todos los estudiantes de la primaria y secundaria (en inglés K-12) pueden comer las comidas por medio del School Meal Program, pero sus familias deben cumplir con cierto criterio de ingreso para calificar para las comidas gratuitas o a precio reducido. Puede recoger una solicitud para recibir comidas gratuitas o a precio reducido de la oficina de la escuela de su hijo/a. Aún si su hijo/a estuvo inscrito/a antes en este programa, usted debe completar una nueva solicitud todos los aňos.

Para mayor información sobre el programa School Meal Program en Minnesota, visite la página web de Bridge to Benefits (sólo en inglés).

School Meal Program Offers Free, Low-Cost Meals to Eligible Children

By Gabriela Burk, Community Program Specialist

As your children head back to school, check into whether they’re eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs — simply called the “School Meal Program” in Minnesota.

This federally funded program, which is administered by the Minnesota Department of Education, pays for all or part of the cost of lunch and breakfast at public and private non-profit schools for children in grades K-12. Public and private non-profit residential childcare institutions also may participate in the School Meal Program. By offering healthy and nutritious meals, this program helps children learn and grow.

All K-12 students may eat meals offered through the School Meal Program, but their families must meet certain income criteria to qualify for free or reduced-price meals. You may pick up an application for receiving free or reduced-price meals at your child’s school office. Even if your child was enrolled in the program before, you must fill out a new application each school year.

For more information about the School Meal Program in Minnesota, visit the Bridge to Benefits website.

Busque ayuda para pagar su cuenta de energía

Por Jose Lamas, Asociado de Programa Comunitario

¿Se le está haciendo difícil pagar la cuenta de energía? Si es así, hay una oficina en Minnesota que lo puede ayudar.
Se llama Programa de asistencia para energía (en inglés Energy Assistance Program , y por su sigla en inglés EAP). La elegibilidad depende del ingreso del hogar. Se reciben las solicitudes entre el 1ro de octubre y el 31 de mayo con una nueva solicitud en septiembre. Es mejor presentar la solicitud temprano ya que los fondos pueden ser limitados y debería solicitar ayuda antes del vencimiento de la factura o antes de quedarse sin energía.

Siga los siguientes pasos para solicitar la ayuda de EAP para el periodo invernal 2015-2016:
  • Mire el sitio web de EAP pon las directrices sobre la elegibilidad de EAP para ver si su hogar reúne los requisitos para recibir ayuda https://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/consumer-assistance/energy-assistance/#guidelines (soló en inglés).
  • Llame al 1-800-657-3710 para solicitar a su proveedor local una solicitud o descargue la aplicación del sitio web de EAP.
  • Complete el formulario de solicitud y envíelo a su proveedor de EAP local. Se mantiene toda su información privada. Puede encontrar la dirección y el número de teléfono de su proveedor de EAP local (por condado o gobierno tribual) en el sitio web de EAP.
Para mayor información sobre la oficina de Energy Assistance Program en Minnesota, visite la página web de Bridge to BenefitsEnergy Assistance Program.

Get Help Paying Your Heating Bills

By Jose Lamas, Community Program Associate

Are you having trouble paying your heating bills? If so, there is a program in Minnesota that can help. It is called the Energy Assistance Program (EAP). Eligibility is based on household income.

Applications are accepted between October 1 and May 31, with a new application issued each September. It is best to apply early because funds may be limited, and you should apply for help before you get a past-due bill or run out of fuel.

Local groups, called community action councils or similar names, as well as American Indian tribal governments, act as EAP providers in Minnesota.

Take the following steps to apply for EAP assistance for the 2015-2016 heating season:
  1. View the EAP website’s eligibility guidelines to see if your household qualifies for help.
  2. Call 1-800-657-3710 to ask your local EAP provider to send you an application, or download an application from the EAP website. Application forms in English and Spanish will be available for the 2015-2016 heating season starting in September.
  3. Complete the application form and mail it to your local EAP provider. All information you give is kept private. You can find the address and phone number of your local EAP provider (by county or tribal government) on the EAP website.
For more information about the Energy Assistance Program in Minnesota, visit the Bridge to Benefits website.

Manténgase seguro y abrigado — y ahorre dinero también

Por Lori Hendrickson, Educadora de Extensión

A medida que se acerca el invierno, necesitamos pensar en las cosas que debemos hacer para mantenernos seguros y abrigados en el hogar, como también necesitamos ahorrar dinero en la cuenta de energἱa por la calefacción. Siga los siguientes consejos:
  • Ponga su termostato a 68 grados mientras está despierto y más bajo cuando esté dormido o fuera de la casa. Según la página web energy.gov, usted puede ahorrar entre un 5 y un 15 por ciento al aňo en la cuenta de energἱa al bajar su termostato entre 10 a 15 grados durante 8 horas. También puede ahorrar energἱa cerrando las habitaciones que no utiliza.
  • Tenga a mano mantas, bolsas de dormir y abrigos gruesos de invierno en caso que se corte la electricidad.
  • Use calzoncillos largos debajo de su ropa. Tἱrese una manta sobre sus piernas. Use calcetines y pantuflas.
  • No utilice la estufa o el horno para calentar el ambiente. Esto no es seguro. Además de correr riesgo de incendio, el encender la hornalla de la estufa para calentar su casa puede producir envenenamiento por monóxido de carbono.
  • Los calefactores portátiles para habitación son una buena opción como fuente de calor adicional pero se los debe usar con cuidado. Asegúrese que su calefactor tenga un botón de encendido y apagado y que no tenga ningún elemento antideslumbrante. Nunca se debe poner el calefactor para habitación sobre un mueble o cerca del agua y se lo debe mantener por lo menos a tres pies de los muebles y cortinas. De la misma manera, nunca deje a los niňos ni a las mascotas sin supervisión cerca del calefactor para habitación.
Para mayor información, mire las siguientes páginas web:

Stay Safe and Warm, and Save Money

By Lori Hendrickson, Extension Educator

As winter approaches, we need to think about things we should do to stay safe and warm at home, as well as save money on heating bills. Follow these tips:
  • Set your thermostat to 68 degrees while you’re awake and lower when you’re asleep or away from home. According to the energy.gov website, you can save 5–15 percent a year on your heating bill by turning your thermostat back 10–15 degrees for eight hours. You also can save on heating bills by closing off rooms you are not using.
  • Keep extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats available if the power goes out.
  • Wear long johns under your clothes. Throw a blanket over your legs. Wear socks and slippers.
  • Do not use your stovetop or oven for heat. This is not safe. Besides posing a fire hazard, turning on stove burners or your oven to provide additional heat in your home can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Portable space heaters are a good choice as an additional heat source, but use them safely. Make sure your space heater has an automatic shut-off switch and non-glowing element. Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water and keep it at least three feet away from furniture and drapes. Likewise, never leave children or pets unattended near a space heater.
For more information, visit the following websites:

Cómo prepararse para la universidad

Por Antonio Alba Meraz, Educador de Extensión

¿Es usted padre/madre de un estudiante en el grado 11 (en inglés junior year) o en el 12 (en inglés senior year) que quiere asistir a la universidad? Se deben tener en cuenta muchas cosas, pero antes que nada— hable con su hijo/a. Hágale preguntas como por ejemplo: “¿Por qué quieres ir a la universidad?”; “¿En qué manera asistir a la universidad te ayudará a lograr lo que quieres en la vida?”

Preparing for College

By Antonio Alba Meraz, Extension Educator

Are you the parent of a high school junior or senior who wants to go to college? There are many issues to consider, but before you do — talk to your child.

Ask your child questions such as: “Why do you want to go to college?” “How will going to college help you achieve what you want in life?”

Monday, September 7, 2015

Cultural Adaptation of Diabetes Prevention Program Continues

SNAP-Ed Educator Nimo Yusuf.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education
(SNAP-Ed) makes the healthy choice the easy choice
for Minnesotans with limited financial resources.
Southwest Minnesota is home to diverse food cultures, lifestyles, and family traditions. This year, two Southwest Minnesota communities and University of Minnesota Extension Health and Nutrition staff are working together to ensure that a promising program is adapted for the food and lifestyle of Somali populations.

Eighteen members of the Somali community gathered at Jefferson Learning Center in Willmar on August 30, 2015 to talk with Health and Nutrition staff about ways to prevent diabetes in their community. Nutrition educators Abdulahi Dohe and Nimo Yusuf, along with cultural guides hired from the Willmar community, led two focus groups in the first phase of culturally adapting the I CAN Prevent Diabetes (ICANPD) program.

Somali community members shared ideas that were incorporated into a culturally-adapted ICANPD program, which is being offered in Willmar starting February 2016. ICANPD is a national program designed for people with prediabetes to help them make lifestyle changes to prevent the disease.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

With a Little Planning, You Can Save Time and Money in the Kitchen

By Mary Schroeder, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

School is back in session! For many families, this means school activities, homework, and more evening commitments. Some families eat more meals away from home or order takeout to save time, but that gets expensive. With a little bit of planning, families can enjoy home-cooked meals that take only a little time to prepare and cost less than restaurant food.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Heading Off to College with Health in Mind

By Mary Schroeder, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

During the month of August, many young adults venture off to tech school or college for the first time. It is a time filled with a lot of excitement and a lot of “firsts.” For many young adults, this is the first time they are completely in charge of their health. Making wise food choices and staying physically active is important to help young adults do well in their studies and be at their best physically, socially, and emotionally.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Stay Hydrated with Healthy Beverages in Summer

By Betsy Johnson, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

Summer is a great time for outdoor physical activity. But whether you’re working or playing outside, it’s important to remember to drink enough fluids, especially water, to keep your body hydrated. To be hydrated literally means to provide water in order to supply or maintain fluid balance. To be dehydrated means your body needs more water to get back in balance.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer Family Fun on a Budget

By Laura Perdue, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

As the school year comes to an end, you’re probably thinking about ways to keep your kids busy and active this summer. According to a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study, youth ages 8–18 spend an average of more than 7½ hours a day, seven days a week, engaging with media, including television, cell phones, computers, and video games. This far exceeds the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics to limit media use to no more than one to two hours per day. Instead of using media, kids should be encouraged to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imagination in free play.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Es primavera...y en casa tiempo de ponernos en acción

Por Francisca Mendoza, Asistente de Programa Comunitario 

La primavera llegó y eso significa que es tiempo para entrar en acción y hacer alguna limpieza en la casa o el apartamento. Limpiar y deshacerse de cosas que se podrían haber acumulado en el invierno despeja el espacio y le mejora su humor. Pero para eso necesita estar organizado(a).
  • Primero: programe sus días para limpiar. 
  • Enseguida, consiga todos los materiales de limpieza. Las tiendas del dólar le ofrecen estos materiales a un precio bajo. 
  • Finalmente empiece a limpiar y aparte lo que ya no necesita. Venda cosas en una venta de garaje para que gane un dinero extra o dónelas a una iglesia o tienda de segunda. 

La primavera también es un buen momento para que revise su calentador de agua, los ductos, aires acondicionados, y asegúrese de que sus electrodomésticos estén en buen estado o si ellos ne cesitan reemplazarse o repararse. Previniendo fallas no previstas le hará a usted ahorrar dinero y le evitará estrés. Así es que haga su limpieza de primavera y revisiones pertinentes. Entonces vaya afuera y disfrute este ambiente ¡cálido! Para más ideas acerca de mantenimiento vaya a: http://z.umn.edu/w46.

Spring into Action on the Homefront

By Francisca Mendoza, Community Program Assistant

Spring is here, and that means it's time to spring into action and do some cleaning around the house or apartment. Cleaning and getting rid of "stuff" that might have accumulated over the winter brightens up your surroundings and your mood. But you need to get organized.
  • First, schedule your cleaning days.
  • Next, gather all your cleaning materials. Dollar stores offer cleaning supplies at an affordable price. 
  • Finally, start cleaning and sorting through things. Sell items at a garage sale to earn a little extra money, or give them to churches or thrift shops. 


Spring is also a good time to check your water heater, vents, air conditioner(s), and household appliances to make sure they are in good shape or if they need replacement or repair. Preventing unexpected break downs will save you money and help you avoid stress.

So, get your spring cleaning and checkups done — and then go out and enjoy the warm weather! For more home maintenance tips, visit http://z.umn.edu/vmj.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Ensuring Peaceful Family Mealtimes

By Kelly Kunkel, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

Have you ever fixed dinner only to hear your child say, “I don’t like this — I want a peanut butter sandwich!” This is frustrating for parents who have spent valuable time and energy preparing something else for dinner. These scenes are also disruptive to the harmony parents would like to see at mealtime.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Budget-Wise, Season-Wise: Farmers Markets

By Cassandra Silveira, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition
  
Spring weather is almost here and with that comes the beginning of farmers market season. In Minnesota, farmers market season starts in May and extends all the way to October. This gives you opportunities to try everything from radishes and garlic scapes in May to hard squashes and pumpkins in October.

Farmers markets provide a fantastic learning opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables — this can help broaden the variety of foods you get in your diet. If you see produce at the market you don't recognize, ask the farmers. Not only will they be able to tell you what the produce is, chances are they will have tips on how to prepare it. Many farmers provide samples of their produce for buyers to taste, so you can try a food before you buy it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Simple Snack Solutions for the Whole Family

By Julie Rohlfsen, dietetic intern
Reviewed by Mary Schroeder, registered dietitian — Health and Nutrition.

 
March is National Nutrition Month® — a perfect time to put together a healthful eating plan for the whole family. Snacks are an important part of any plan to eat more nutritious foods. Children need snacks for healthy growth and development, and adults need snacks for an energy boost between meals. Following are seven tips for smart snacking — snacking that involves satisfying options with less fat and sugar, and fewer empty calories.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Freezer Meals for Freezing Weather

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


On these cold winter days, hot, hearty meals are just the thing to warm you up! One-pot recipes are a great option any time of year, but they’re especially welcome during winter when you come in from the cold and dark and don’t want to spend a lot of time making the evening meal. What’s more, you can plan ahead and freeze one-pot meals for later use.

Friday, January 30, 2015

SNAP-Ed: Our Expanded Focus

By Jamie Bain, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

Previous blog posts have addressed the differences between the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and SNAP Education (SNAP-Ed). SNAP-Ed helps people with limited financial resources make healthy food choices and become more physically active.
This week I'd like to talk about SNAP-Ed's expanded focus to include activities that match levels of the entire Spectrum of Prevention. Extension's Health and Nutrition programs have been able to broaden their SNAP-Ed focus because of new funding guidelines from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which encourage programming along the entire spectrum.
The Spectrum of Prevention is a tool that provides a comprehensive framework for addressing major public health issues. Designed by the Prevention Institute (based in Oakland, CA), the spectrum looks at an issue, such as obesity or food access, in a holistic manner. The spectrum includes six levels of activity that, when used together, make a bigger impact than implementing only a single activity.

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