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9 Worst Things You Can Pack for Your Kid's Lunch

Wednesday, Aug, 19 2015

Back to school not only means back to the books, it means back to the bad lunches. Eating patterns that begin in elementary and middle school may encourage poor eating habits into adulthood. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that childhood obesity starts in the home, and introducing healthy foods should be a top priority for parents.

Artificial Dyes
Start reading exactly what is in the packaged food you serve your children. Studies suggest that the increasing use of dyes in our food supply leads to hyperactivity, chromosomal issues, lymphoma, and tumors.

Candy has absolutely zero nutritional value and is high in sugar. Instead, give your children sweet but nutrient-dense alternatives. Something like watermelon or berries will give them the bright colors they see in candy and a sweetness that is good for them.

Children need snacks that will fill them up, not leave them hungry. Chips are a common processed food that children reach for when they want an easy and tasty snack, but they will only leave them wanting more. If you grow up eating junk, it is much harder later on to get away from it. Our bodies become addicted to the sugar and chemicals we eat. If you learn proper eating habits at a young age, this addiction will not occur!

High Fructose Corn Syrup
Foods containing HFCS are a major contributor to digestive problems. This highly processed sweetener doesn’t require normal digestion.  Instead, it is more rapidly absorbed into the blood stream and goes directly to your liver. It is thought to contribute to the growing cases of fatty liver, diabetes, and obesity.

Juice Boxes
Although many juice companies claim to make juice boxes with real fruit juice, the drinks are high in sugar and calories. Steer clear from giving your child a drink that will have them bouncing off the walls at school.

Preventing soda consumption sets your kid off on the path to a healthy lifestyle. According to Harvard School of Public Health, people who consume one or more cans of soda a day have a 26 percent greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks.

Spray Cheese
Although it may be convenient, spray cheese has no place in your kid’s lunchbox. It contains twice the amount of salt that normal cheese does and chemicals that should not be consumed by any living person.

Sugary Fruit Snacks
Products like fruit snacks and Fruit Roll-Ups may seem healthy, but when you take a look at the nutrient breakdown, you may think otherwise. The first ingredient is typically fruit concentrate and is void of the nutritional benefits and fibers of fruit.  It is essentially concentrated sugar.

Sweetened Sports Drinks
Instead of quenching your thirst, these drinks tend to make you thirstier. Sweetened sports drinks claim to help rehydrate. Instead, you receive empty calories, high sugar content, high sodium content, harmful dyes, and over nine teaspoons of sugar in a 12-ounce bottle.

White Bread and Crackers
Giving your child simple carbohydrates will only give them more sugar. Highly processed white flour-based food, also known as starch, white pasta, and white bread, are just empty calories.  Your body metabolizes this as sugar and it can become toxic.  Opt for whole-wheat bread and crackers for a healthy and delicious alternative.

posted by: Kathy Keene 9 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

Crock Pot Egg and Broccoli Casserole

Tuesday, Aug, 18 2015

3 cups cottage cheese
3 cups frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 T. finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
Additional shredded Cheddar cheese, opt.

Combine first eight ingredinets in large bowl.  Pour into a greased 3-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.  Stir.  Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 2-1/2 to 3 hours longer or until a thermometer reds 160 degrees.  Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired.

posted by: Kathy Keene 9 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Friday, Aug, 14 2015

If you're taking Fido or Fluffy with you on vacation, advanced planning is the key to making sure you all have a good trip. Kansas State University veterinarian Dr. Susan Nelson offers the following tips:
1. Do restrain your pet in some way while traveling in a vehicle. Cats and small dogs tend to travel best in secured crates, while specialized harnesses for larger dogs help keep them strapped in the vehicle. Letting pets run loose in vehicles can be extremely dangerous because the animal can get between the driver's feet and the pedals.
2. If your pet gets nervous or nauseated during car rides, talk to your veterinarian about medications that can ease anxiety and motion sickness.
3. If you're traveling with a dog, do stop every two to three hours so he can relieve himself and get some exercise.
4. If you're traveling with a cat, leave her in her crate even when you stop at rest areas. Bring a litter box so the cat can use it inside the car during extended trips.
5. Line your pet's crate with absorbent material or newspapers in case the pet doesn't make it to the rest area or the litter box. Do pack cleaning supplies--just in case.
6. Bring a supply of tap water from your home. This is water your pet is accustomed to drinking so it can help minimize gastrointestinal issues that may result from consuming water the pet isn't used to drinking.
7. Never leave a pet in a car unattended, especially in warm or hot climates where heat stress and heat exhaustion can develop.
8. If you will be crossing state lines with your pet, do bring a health certificate issued by your veterinarian. Such certificates are required by every state. The certificates are valid for 30 days.
9. Do have identification for your pet, which should include tags and a microchip. Also, be sure to label the crates or carriers.
10. Carry a photo of your pet in case it gets lost and you need proof of ownership.

posted by: Kathy Keene 9 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Thursday, Aug, 13 2015

The Magic Bank Account, Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use.  However, this prize has rules.

The set of rules:
1. Everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you.
2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
3. You may only spend it.
4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say,“Game Over!". It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.
What would you personally do?
You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself, right? You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?
Shocked ??? YES.
Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can't seem to see it.
1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life.
2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is Not credited to us.
3. What we haven't used up that day is forever lost.
4. Yesterday is forever gone.
5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING...

SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds? Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars.  Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.
So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life!
Here's wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day. Start “spending”....


posted by: Kathy Keene 9 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

Kathy Keene's Aloha Chicken Salad

Wednesday, Aug, 12 2015

6 boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup cut up celery
1 to 1-1/2 cups Miracle Whip
1 cup chopped pecans
2 (15 oz.) cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 (20 oz.) can chunk pineapple, drained
1 to 1-1/2 lbs. seedless grapes, green and red

Place chicken in large saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until tender.  Drain, cool and place chicken in refrigerator overnight.
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces (the size of pineapple chunks works great).  Mix all ingredients together in large glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate a few hours to blend flavors.

posted by: Kathy Keene 9 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

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