Is There a Rumble In Your Tummy?

Between the rush of our everyday lives and financial restrictions, it is not always easy to pack lunch let alone a healthy one. However, it is very important to have a nutritious lunch in order to keep our mind alert and body going while we are at school and work.

back to school

Here are a few quick tips on how to pack a healthy, easy, and cheap lunch this school year:

  1. Look at ads to see what is on sale.

  2. Choose foods that are safe to keep at room temperature.

  3. Plan out your lunches ahead of time (try to plan a full week).

  4. Pack food from at least three different food groups.

Below is a list of foods that are healthy and safe to keep at room temperature:

  • Fruits (whole): clementine, orange, grapefruit, peach, nectarine, plum, banana, pear, apple, cherries, vacuum sealed fruit cup, dried fruit, 100% fruit juice in a box
  • Vegetables (whole): baby carrots, baby cucumbers, small peppers, grape tomato, celery, broccoli
  • Grains: whole wheat bread, whole wheat crackers, popcorn, whole grain chips, whole grain tortillas, whole grain bagel, whole grain English muffin
  • Protein: peanut butter, sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews
  • Dairy: string cheese, hard cheeses like cheddar, pudding pack, swiss cheese

By: Michelle Ernst Voegele, EFNEP Nutrition Assistant

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The Perfect Picnic

Be a Picnic ProAugust is a great month to head to the park with a few friends and a basket full of fresh goodies. Here are some easy tips and tricks to crafting the best personal outdoor lunch lounge.

  • The venue. Bring a comfortable yet thin blanket to the park or beach incase there are no picnic tables. The thinness allows you to still feel and appreciate the natural earth beneath you but the comfort brings relaxation and a more chill atmosphere to your meal. Our Healthy Living Coordinator says bringing a tapestry with you can add a fun design to the atmosphere and is often a good size for groups because you want to make sure it’s large enough so everyone can fit and feel included! Pick a spot under a tree or umbrella if it’s a really sunny day and bring along a few items from a first aid kit for safety. A trash bag is a good idea to bring to stay environmentally friendly. basket
  • The snacks. Picnics are all about fresh finger foods and delicious snacks. Pack your treats in a basket or tote bag just before leaving so that temperature sensitive foods don’t spoil (2 hours is the magic time before food starts to go bad!). If you pack foods that aren’t going to spoil you can maintain your relaxed attitude by not having to worry about food safety. Remember to bring drinks to stay hydrated and refreshed. Don’t forget your essentials like napkins, plates and silverware. Here are some fun, healthy and safe picnic friendly foods: hard artisan cheeses and crackers, bread rolls, whole fruits and vegetables, dried fruit and dried meat like jerky, jams and jellies, peanut butter and recipes…yum.cucumbersandwiches
      • Tomato, Peach and Red Onion Salad (Serves 4)
        • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
        • 1 ripe peach, diced
        • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
        • 2 tablespoons olive oil
        • juice from half a lemon
        • salt and pepper
        • Combine everything in a large jar or plastic container. Seal the container and shake to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Best made the day of.
      • Watermelon and Strawberry Lemonade (Serves 8)
        • 8 cups cubed seeded watermelon
        • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
        • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
        • 5 tablespoons honey
        • 2 cups water
        • Combine ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
      • Cucumber Sandwiches (Serves 2)
        • 9 tablespoons cream cheese (can substitute goat cheese)
        • 5 tablespoons sour cream
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
        • 3 tablespoons dried dill weed
        • Lettuce Leaves, romaine or iceberg recommended
        • 1 Cucumber, thinly sliced about 6 inches long
        • 2 thinned whole wheat bread slices
        • Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and garlic. Spread over slices of bread. Lay lettuce leaf on top of spread.  Lay 3 to 4 cucumber slices onto lettuce. Sprinkle with dried dill. 
  • The entertainment. Plan a few fun outdoor friendly games for the day. Have some activities prepared that can be played in a group either lounging on the blanket or more active games to move around. Games like Heads up!, Apples to Apples or Uno can be fun for the whole family on the blanket or bring a book to relax and read. A volleyball or frisbee is an easy activity to toss around with a group by playing keep it up or just take a walk and enjoy the scenery. marbles.png

Fire Safety and Prevention

As we all know, summer is a time to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather. Although I know everyone deserves a break from responsibility, it is important for the whole family to remember to keep up with easy actions to keep summertime fun safe. 4-H is here to remind you of a few key steps to make sure your home and family are prepared for the dangers of a possible house fire. The most frequent cause of house fires are cooking fires. Remember to be attentive to food, and remember to put a lid on grease fires, never water. Another common cause of house fires are dryer fires. Do not forget to clean the lint trap after every use, and frequently check the dryer vent area for buildup.

FireSafetyPic2It is best to have an up to date plan if the worst happens, and there is a fire in your home. Have all family members practice a fire drill twice a year. Everyone should be comfortable executing the plan at night and during the day. During the drill, make sure everyone has two different exit paths out of the home, and that all doors are shut behind them in order to stop the spread of fire. Lastly, remember to never go back into a burning building. We hope you use these tips to have a safe and fun-filled end to the summer.

Written by Health Rocks Program Coordinator, Mariah Gillespie

 

Taking a Mindful Minute, or Two

Try this quick mindfulness exercise to help you stay aware and present! The technique will take you less than two minutes to complete but the relaxing effects will last all day.

Begin by sitting on the floor or in a chair, finding a comfortable position where the spine is tall and straight and all the muscles of the body are relaxed. If in a chair, place both feet flat on the ground and if on the floor, sit on the shins or with legs crossed. Place the hands palms down on the tops of the thighs. Close the eyes if you are comfortable doing so.

Take a deep breath in through your nose, imagining a glass being filled with water. Fill your body with air just like the glass fills with water, from the bottom up. First filling the belly, than the ribs, the chest and then the collar bone. Exhale and imagine the glass of water being poured out, emptying from the top down. Exhaling air through your nose from the collarbone, then chest, then ribs and finally the belly. Breathe in this way for about 10 breaths and return to your normal breath.be calm (1)

 

 

Taste the Rainbow

With all the recent rain pouring down, you may have seen a rainbow shining bright colors through the summer sky. There is no doubt that everyone loves seeing a rainbow, but did you know that you can eat one too?

Including fruits and vegetables from the 5 different nutrient groups can help add a fun and appealing variety of color, taste and textures to your meals. Not to mention, different colors in produce contain different healthy nutrients like vitamins, minerals, water and phytonutrients that help us fight off diseases.

Did you know that most Americans eat less than half the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day? Here are some helpful tips about the five groups to add more colorful crops to your dishes!

Dark GreenUntitled design

Some may argue that dark green leafy vegetables contain the highest amount of nutrients compared to other produce. They include leafy lettuce like Romaine, broccoli, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens and spinach.

Orange to RedUntitled design (1)

These fruits and vegetables add bright and exciting tones to meals and also pack a powerful punch of phytonutrients! They include carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers, pumpkins and butternut squash.

Legumes Untitled design (2)

Cooked beans and peas like kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans and refried beans can be a tasty and smooth addition to your diet. Legumes contain high amounts of protein that helps rebuild the body and helps to keep our muscles strong.

StarchyUntitled design (3)

Potatoes, corn and peas can help add some energy boosting carbohydrates to meals and are also very tasty!

OtherUntitled design (4)

This group includes all other produce items like cucumbers, celery, onions and mushrooms.

Try making a dish or recipe using vegetables from all the five groups and show us by posting it to social media using the hashtag #DE4HealthyLiving

Delaware State Fair Fun

If you are looking for some fun and a great cause, join us at the DE State Fair on Thursday July 27, 2017 at 3:00 to cheer on 4-H staff person, Karen Johnston at the Pig Kissing Contest!

You can donate by my making checks payable to Harrington Business Association, drop some bills in the pig kissing buckets, or visit Karen’s Go Fund Me Page at DE State Fair: Karen’s Pig Kissing.

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All proceeds go to the Delaware State Fair livestock exhibitors Scholarships.

The Power of Blue…Blueberries that is!

Blueberries are a great addition to everyone’s diet. They are super nutritious and prevent or minimize health issues. Take a look at the benefits below to see how these tiny but mighty berries can work wonders in your life.

bluberries

Cluster of wild berries Nutrition Assistant, Michelle Ernst Voegele’s family picked in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Nutritional Benefits: Vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and antioxidants

Health Benefits: Cuts the risk of Diabetes, lowers blood pressure, and prevents heart disease

Blueberries can be bought either fresh or frozen and can even be found in the wild, especially in the northern states. 

This powerhouse fruit can be included in many scrumptiously delicious recipes. Some of Michelle’s favorite ways to indulge in blueberries is in a dreamy yogurt parfait or freezing them to use in a perfect summer smoothie. Here is one recipe that is sure to please the crowd during these hot summer months:

Banana and Blueberry “Ice Cream”

Thanks for the tips Michelle!