Tasty Tropical Fruit Popsicles

Tasty Tropical Fruit Popsicles

 

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Tasty, refreshing and, and oh so tropical!

Cool off this summer with refreshing, 100% tropical fruit Popsicles! The fruits found in this recipe provide replenishing vitamins (like Vitamin A, C and K) and minerals (like potassium) for all your outdoor activities … and that’s why tropical fruits are a July Foods of the Month! Enjoy the tropics in your own backyard with this guilt-free hot weather treat!

Ingredients

2 cups coconut water

1 medium banana, sliced thin

1 kiwi, chopped into little pieces

1/2 pineapple, chopped into small chunks

(Optional – Squeeze a little grapefruit or orange into each mold.)

Directions

  1. Fill your Popsicle molds* with coconut water to about 3/4 of the mold, leaving extra space for the fruit. If you do not have molds, use a small paper cup and Popsicle sticks. 
  2. Carefully drop the fruits into the molds so the coconut water doesn’t spill. Fill the molds with more coconut water, if needed.
  3. Freeze overnight, or at least 4 hours.
  4. Remove Popsicles from their molds (you may need to run them under hot water to loosen them) and enjoy!

*To make these Popsicles as fancy as they are tasty, check out this fun list of molds from realsimple.com!

6 Smart Tips for UV Safety Month

UV Safety Month

We are in the dead heat of summer, in some places extremely sunny and hot outside. Whether the sun is beaming down strong or hidden behind a sheet of clouds, it is important to make sure and take the proper precautions to preserve your precious skin and avoid overexposure.

According to The American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, but also one of the most treatable. Of course they recommend taking the right measures to prevent skin cancer from developing.

Here are some tips that can help keep your skin safe during UV Safety Month and throughout the year:

  1. Wear SPF30 or higher with broad spectrum protection on all uncovered parts of skin and make sure to reapply if out in the sun for long periods of time.
  2. Cover up with protective clothing such as long sleeves, swim shirts for the kids, big floppy hats and sunglasses.
  3. Avoid spending too much time in the direct sun, usually between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, when the sun’s rays are most intense.
  4. Even if it’s cloudy, make sure to follow the same rules, it doesn’t mean the sun’s rays aren’t getting through!
  5. Do your best to never let yourself get burned.
  6. Make sure and use a good moisturizer following a day in the sun to rehydrate your skin.

Take this sun safety IQ quiz from The American Cancer Society to make sure you are savvy when it comes to protecting yourself from those harmful rays!

Enjoy that time in the sun, but be careful!

6 Ways to Fight Childhood Obesity Spike in Summer

Childhood Obesity Spike

Recently, articles have been circulating discussing the spike in childhood obesity during the summer months. Summertime doesn’t have to be an unhealthy time for kids. It’s important for parents and caregivers to be proactive and accountable for making sure kids are being offered healthy food options and providing times for exercise and physical activity fun.

Here are 6 ways to ensure healthier kids during the summer months:

  • Enroll kids in daily activities – If this is a realistic option financially, get kids signed up for summer day camps or sports teams to provide them with plenty of physical activity opportunities.
  • Engage in family exercise – To avoid the heat, schedule morning or evening physical activities together as a family – try a walk, a bike ride, or even enjoy the neighborhood swimming pool.
  • Monitor amount of snacking – During the school day, it’s difficult to snack out of boredom, so try and determine if kids are snacking just because, or if they are genuinely hungry.
  • Encourage healthy snacking – Eliminate or make junk food hard to find! Create a healthy snack drawer that is easily accessible to kids and cut up fresh fruits and veggies and store in the fridge in single serving containers. 
  • Limit screen time – This one is huge! Long summer days allow for more time spent on video games, watching television and of course using handheld devices. Set a daily time limit to make sure technology doesn’t take over your day (and your kids!).
  • Promote good sleep habits – Getting enough sleep is so important for good health. This can prevent sickness and when refreshed and rested, one is more likely to make healthier choices when it comes to food and exercise.

Let’s all commit to focusing on these healthy ideas for the rest of the summer to get the kids off on the right foot once school starts!

 

6 Fun Ways to Cure Summer Boredom

Summer Boredom

If your family is at all like mine, the first two weeks of summer were fantastic. You rocked it as a parent and had an almost unlimited list of activities to keep your children entertained, engaged, and learning all summer long.

Now here we are, a good month into the summer break for most of us and wondering what happened to that list. How is it possible that every single item on your list of well-intentioned activities has either been completed or vetoed by your children? How is it that you spent hours putting that list together but it seems as though it took your lovely children only minutes to move through it?

Sigh, what’s a mom to do? I say we do what we tell our children to do, get back up on our horses and ride once again (hey, I’m giving myself the pep talk here as well).

Here are some suggestions to help beat summer boredom and keep your kids (and you) sane (and learning, and all that other good stuff).

  • Macaroni Kid – This website is my go to site for everything local. Macaroni Kids has even created a free summer events Facebook Page specifically for my town. There is a good chance your town has one as well. We’ve found free movies, races, dances, and more through this website and FaceBook page.
  • Library – Check out your local library for free and low cost summer events. Our local library has kids cooking classes, story time, and movie check out (and of course, there’s always the ability to check out books). Bonus, activities in the library usually involve some sort of learning.
  • Local Parks and Recreation – Check out your town and/or county’s local park and recreation department. Similar to the library, they tend to have free or low cost events. Our town has a free monthly “swim in” movie, low cost athletic teams and skill clinics, and open swim time.
  • Camping – Go camping in your backyard or even in your house. Have the kids make a fort out of blankets or have them create a tent like structure in the backyard. Cook outside or have a picnic on the family room floor. Anything different from the norm will have them excited.
  • Go geocachingFind a geocaching site online, and look up locations near you to see if anyone has hidden secret rewards.
  • Be a Tourist – Play tourist in your own town. Go do things that a typical tourist would do but you haven’t yet because there’s not enough time. Walk the trails, go to the local parks, visit the children’s museum, etc. Explore what is closest to you and fall in love with your town a little more.

When these ideas are exhausted, encourage your children to pick up a cook book and experiment in the kitchen or to research a sport or physical activity. Family Olympics anyone?

Good luck to all of you!

small MGriffin headshot copyToday we feature OWG guest blogger and childhood obesity consultant, Melodie Griffin. Melodie’s passion lies in the prevention of childhood obesity through the school and early learning settings. All programs Melodie promotes are fully approved by her home based lab rats, five year old son, Howie, and two year old daughter, Hope. You can connect with Melodie on her Facebook page, WellConnect LLC.

Texas Healthy Choices Grant Recipients Make Impact on Kids

We always love when we can showcase a long time partner organization such as The Oliver Foundation, a Houston-based 501(c)(3) non-profit operating foundation dedicated to the prevention of childhood obesity. In fact, they were integral players in the creation and development of our OWG Shorts!

In this case, we are sharing how the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) implemented nutrition and healthy lifestyle programming in Deer Park ISD and McAllen ISD park and recreation agencies via Healthy Choices grants from The Oliver Foundation. The program started in the after school programs but then transitioned into the summer day camps. Deer Park ISD shared that they have been quite impressed with how much the kids are eager to participate in WISERCISE on a daily basis and how creative they are with the different activities. They are also incorporating food tastings into their lessons, which is always a favorite! Congrats to the grant recipients and a huge shout out to the staff who is helping to create healthier kids!

Look how much the kids at in both locations are enjoying the program below:

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