We know that it’s important for all of us – including our kids – to drink plenty of water every day. It’s even more important during these hot summer months! (more…)
Halloween is fast approaching and let’s face it … this day can be a nightmare for any family trying to make healthy choices! The good news is, a little planning and foresight can take the fright out of the night. So try on these Halloween hints for size!
Here are a few Halloween hints to make your day safe and healthy!
- Decide in advance what to do with the loot! A piece of candy isn’t a bad thing but a sugar coma from eating half a bag of candy is! How will you divvy up the goods? The danger isn’t just for the kids; it’s really easy for us adults to help ourselves to those treats as well.
- Go Trick or Treating. Sure, you’re filling your bag with candy but you’re also out walking the neighborhood. Map out your streets and take the whole family out for an hour or so. Challenge yourselves to walk a certain number of miles while you’re out!
- Make sure you wear reflective clothing or have flashlights on your family. Kids are excited and drivers are distracted, so do you best to make yourself visible.
- Remember it’s a school night! Start early enough that your kids still get a good night’s sleep and limit their sugar intake. Your child’s teacher will thank you!
- Lead by example. Find fun and healthy treats to give away at your house. We got some great ideas via facebook; from small bags of microwave popcorn, small boxes of whole grain cereal, fruit snacks, stickers and more! You’ll be glad when you don’t have left over candy lying around to tempt you too!
If you have any other Halloween hints, we’d love to hear them! Feel free to share on our facebook page!
Let’s do an Apple Taste Test for National Apple Month! Apples are also an OrganWise Guys Foods of the Month for October, and the perfect food for the fall season. Apples are such a versatile food that can be used in anything from salads to desserts and they come in so many delicious varieties!
Chew on this interesting apple trivia:
- Americans eat approximately 120 apples apiece each year!
- Apples are nutritious because they contain lots of fiber, vitamins C, B6, and A, and potassium, as well as antioxidants.
- 2500 known varieties are grown in the United States.
- 36 states grow them with Washington, New York, Michigan, California, Pennsylvania, and Virginia being the top production states.
- Apples are available all year round and are a perfect take-along snack anytime!
- Apples don’t require peeling so eat the skin because it contains healthy nutrients.
A taste test is a really fun way to encourage kids to try a small sample of a new food where they may typically be more close-minded about trying new things. This interactive apple taste testing worksheet will help you introduce several different apple varieties and let’s them provide feedback.
We would love to hear about your at-home taste tests! Share with us how it went and include any pictures of the finished worksheets on our Facebook page!
Did you know that you can substitute whole wheat flour for white flour when baking? What better time that September, when whole grains are a Foods of the Month, to try this out?!
ICYMI, whole wheat is a subset of whole grain that strictly applies to wheat products. So when a product is labeled whole grain, it means that it includes the entire kernel of the grain – including the outer bran layer, the germ (the part that can sprout into a new plant), and the inner, starchy endosperm. Refined grains, on the other hand, only include the endosperm; that’s why whole grains generally take longer to cook.
One of our favorite ways to get more whole grains (organic is best) is by swapping out white flour for whole wheat flour in pizza dough. The great thing about making your own pizza dough is that you can make a big batch and store it in the fridge, to create various healthy dinners throughout the week. To make whole wheat pizza dough, we recommend using half whole wheat flour and half white flour in your favorite pizza dough recipe. By leaving some white flour, the dough is not too dense, but you still get the fiber benefits of whole wheat flour. Combine your flour with yeast, hot water, a little salt and sugar, some extra virgin olive oil and mix thoroughly.
Now, what to do with your healthy homemade pizza dough? Get a little more creative than a regular pizza and try making a calzone or Stromboli! To make these traditionally fatty dishes healthier, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the dough, add organic cheese, and then top with tons of veggies like tomatoes, peppers, onions and spinach. Carefully roll it up, and put in the oven at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Enjoy!
Thanks to the tireless effort of our amazing partners, our influence is expanding! Our evidence-base from schools, communities and head starts, has led to a new sector, corporate health and wellness.
How do kids fit into corporate wellness and obesity prevention? To begin, employees are also parents. Many parents wish to instill healthy living habits in their children. Working parents are more likely short on time and not sure of the best approach. Secondly, children are dependents on company health care policies. So, their wellbeing has an impact on the bottom line. As childhood obesity continues to affect youth, corporations recognize the potential impact they can make by investing in obesity prevention for children in schools and communities.
Sponsoring turnkey, evidence-based school and community-wide programs and events, as part of a year round initiative where children and families spend their time, are steps in the right direction, not to mention great opportunities for public relations. Coupling this outreach with consistent messaging in the workplace provides further opportunity for family engagement.
In terms of corporate wellness and obesity prevention, this topic is important because children are the future pool of employees. Empowering children with skills to live healthy and giving them tools to build a foundation of healthy habits makes for a promising future workforce. A workforce that is more productive, vibrant and robust is much better than one filled with missed days, working while sick, and other issues that contribute to enormous, and growing, health care costs.
Extending the impact of corporate wellness programs into the home and community may help achieve the two-fold goal of healthier, happier employees and dependents and the impetus to turn the tide on the obesity trajectory.
We are so appreciative of the tireless efforts of health educators ‘in the field’ – from teachers, county Extension Agents, nutritionists, nurses, etc. As parents take initiative and more resources are available through corporate channels, it follows that the positive impact could be exponential! Click here to continue reading about this issue and to see how promoting family and community engagement is an investment toward a healthier bottom line and happier, more productive employees and families.