Tag Archives: hot

Family Fun Month

Family Fun Month

It’s Family Fun Month, and in honor of it, we’re helping you make exercise fun so you can get moving with your whole family.

Go for pre- or post-dinner walks as a family. They’ll help with your digestion, and walks are the perfect time to explore your neighborhood.

Dinner Walks

 

Crank a record or a playlist, move the furniture, and have a dance party. Music can help cognitive development. You’ll get moving, and you can hand down your favorites.

Make a game out of household chores to improve imagination and get active. Put on capes and have your kids save their toys from the slimy pit of the rug by putting them away.

Clean-Up Made Fun

 

Have a weekly sports night. Go to your kid’s baseball game, play tag or catch in the backyard, or make or buy an exercise deck of cards.

A New Kind of Sports Night

 

Walk or run for charity. Teach your kids the value of helping others and about good causes, and meet people while working out.

Moving for a Good Cause

 

Put kids to work in the yard. Tell them they can only jump in the leaf pile if they help rake and bag them too.

Yard Work Made Fun

 

Garden together! Kids already love playing in the dirt, so have them help you plant a garden and learn about healthy fruits and veggies.

Learning Through Gardening

Healthy Frozen Pop Recipes

Healthy Frozen Pop Recipes

Summer’s winding down, but it’s never too late to stock your freezer with some refreshing and tasty treats with this week’s healthy frozen pop recipes.

First up is a colorful treat, Tropical Coconut Chia Pops.

Tropical coconut chia pops

 

Skip the iced latte with these Roasted Blueberries ‘n’ Cream Matcha Pops.

Roasted Blueberries n’ Cream Matcha Pops

 

Rehydrating Electrolyte Pops are the perfect treat after a day at the pool or working outside.

Rehydrating Eletrolyte Popsicles

 

 

Relive your childhood or excite your kids with these Healthy Fudge Pops.

Healthy Fudgesicles

Healthy Fudgesicles Recipe

 

Dress up your ice pop for adults with these easy Herb-Infused Fruit Pops.

Herb-Infused Fruit Popsicles

 

Have Coconut Lime Pops to feel like you spent the day at the beach.

Coconut Lime Popsicles

 

Ditch the ice cream pint with these Mint Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Pops.

Mint Chocolate Chip Greek Yoghurt Popsicles

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Your Favorite Summer Dairy Desserts

Healthy Dairy Desserts

This week, for Dairy Month, we featured some sweet dairy desserts for your 4th of July parties.

First up is a quick and easy snack for the kids, Strawberry Yogurt Freezer Cups.

Strawberry Yogurt Freezer Cups

 

These Skinny Raspberry Cheesecake Bars are the perfect treat for sharing.

Skinny Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking

 

Frozen Smoothie Bars are a wonderful breakfast on summer mornings.

Frozen Smoothie Bars
Image and Recipe via Bakers Royale

 

Whip up this Chocolate Frozen Yogurt for an icy treat on hot days.

{Breakfast} Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Chocolate Frozen Yogurt
Image and Recipe via Chelsea’s Messy Apron

 

These Lemon Pie Popsicles are light and refreshing when you’re by the pool.

Lemon Pie Popsicles

 

No one will guess this Chocolate Greek Yogurt Pie is healthy.

Chocolate Greek Yogurt Pie

 

Use in-season peaches to make refreshing Creamy Peach & Honey Popsicles.

Creamy Peach & Honey Popsicles

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Summer in the South

Long View: Beat the Heat in the Dog Days of Summer

As some of you may know, I am originally from Alabama. During a recent visit there in August, I was shocked it was so miserably hot and humid.

I asked my friend Brenda how we functioned in this kind of weather when we were teenagers. She reminded me we were not very sensitive to a lot of things when we were 15 or so. Her husband told me when it’s exceptionally hot nowadays, the schools don’t let the kids go outside for recess or lunch. Really? We never minded the heat as kids.

It seems as we age, we aren’t as tolerant of weather extremes as we were when we were younger. I figure I have a 40-degree window of optimum temperatures these days. Above or below, it’s a problem. Don’t get me started on the humidity. A number of factors can impact comfort levels for any given individual.

I asked Carle Wellness Program Coordinator Karen Stefaniak for a more technical explanation for this reduced tolerance.

“People over the age of 65 are more likely to experience elevated body temperature,” she said. “As we age, the body loses its ability to adjust to sudden temperature changes. In some people, this can be caused by a chronic condition and/or prescription medications. But in general, with the process of aging comes a reduced ability to sweat and shiver. Unfortunately, decreased thirst awareness can lead to dehydration. These factors limit the body’s ability to stay cool when it’s hot outside.”

But there is hope. She shared some tips for handling the heat.

“Prevent heat-related illness by wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, drinking plenty of cool (nonalcoholic) beverages, staying in the air conditioning, and remaining indoors during the heat of the day.”

As usual, Karen makes perfect sense. One thing Alabama taught me about heat is to slow down and enjoy the moment. We should all be mindful during any weather extreme.

Patrick Harness is a community liaison with a long history of experience in health insurance. If you ask him to pick a color, he always chooses orange, and he is known for his inability to parallel park.

Summer Fresh Corn

Healthy Fresh Corn Recipes

July is the perfect time of year to eat sweet fresh corn with dinner, so we had great recipes to use it every day this week.

First up was a list from Buzzfeed of 15 different dips or toppings for your ear.

Roasted Corn with Chili Powder, Cotija Cheese, and Cilantro

 

These Chicken, Zucchini, and Fresh Corn Burgers are a healthy way to work corn into your meal.

Chicken, Zucchini and Fresh Corn Burgers

 

This Mexican Street Corn Salad with Avocado is the perfect addition to your taco night.

Mexican Street Corn Salad
Image and Recipe via Cooking Classy

 

Summer Corn Soup is a great light lunch or dinner to use up your fresh ears.

Simple Summer Corn Soup

 

This Summer Corn, Avocado, and Black Bean Salad also makes a great chunky salsa to share before dinner.

Summer Corn, Avocado, and Black Bean Salad
Image and Recipe via Produce on Parade

 

This Southwest Quinoa and Grilled Corn Salad will be delicious hot or cold for barbeques or picnics.

Southwest Quinoa and Grilled Corn Salad

 

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Food Expiration Dates and Safety

Decoding Expiration Dates

Did you know the government doesn’t make food companies put expiration dates on most things? They choose to put those dates on their products so that you get the best quality as a customer, which is why there are so many different kinds of labels.

According to the Boston Globe, 3/4 of Americans think eating things after their printed dates is unsafe. That’s not always true.

What Do the Expiration Dates Mean?

“Sell by” Date

This tells the store how long it can sell the product. You should buy it before this day, but it doesn’t mean that it’s bad after that date. It really just means that it’s freshest before that date.

“Best if used by (or before)” Date

You should use a product before this date for the best quality and flavor, but it has nothing to do with safety.

“Guaranteed fresh” Date

This is usually used for bakery items. You can still eat them after this date, but they won’t be at their freshest.

“Use by” Date

This is the last date a product’s maker recommends you use it for the best quality, much like “best if used by or before” dates.

“Pack” Date

These are dates that are on many canned or packaged goods. They’re used by the manufacturer and do not tell you if the food is safe. They may also be in a code, usually month-day-year, like MMDDYY. So September 29, 2015, would be 092915.

Other Dates

Federal law says that all baby formula must be dated. It is usually marked with a “use by” or “expiration date,” and after that date, the nutrition of the formula begins to decline from what’s shown on the label.

Some states also make stores pull dairy items off the shelves after their expiration dates.

How Long Are Things Good For?

While these dates will help you eat things while they taste the best, you won’t need to rush to throw most things away by those dates.

You should always try to buy your food before these dates expire, but as long as it’s stored at the right temperature and hasn’t been contaminated during cleaning or prep, it can be good after the dates.

Product Dates and Expiration

And of course, it is important to smell and look at your food before you eat it if it’s past those dates (and before them, too). If something smells bad, tastes weird, has rotten spots, or is moldy, don’t eat it! It’s definitely time to throw it away.

You can see more info about dates and food safety from WebMD and the USDA.

Up Next:

Make sure you’re storing your food safely to keep it good for longer.

Are you always cooking things to a safe temperature to avoid foodborne illness? Our guide can help!

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Flaming Hot

Hot Enough

There’s a good reason to make sure you’re always cooking your meat to the right temps: foodborne illness.

Foodborne illness, or food poisoning, is when you eat or drink foods that are contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or even poisonous chemicals. There are more than 250 different foodborne illnesses. The top 5 are the most dangerous.

Myths vs. Facts

Myth: Food poisoning is rare and not that serious.

Facts:

Foodborne Illness Stats
Statistics via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Myth: I will know if I have food poisoning.

Facts: Food poisoning is often blamed on things like “a stomach bug,” but it can have many symptoms.

The most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. You could experience all of these or just one. It really depends on what caused it.

Myth: This happened because my food was dirty.

Facts: There are lots of reasons this can happen.

Fresh fruit and veggies can be contaminated if they’re washed in tainted water or touched by unwashed hands or sick people who help process the food.

Some healthy animals have certain kinds of bacteria to help their digestion. These can come in contact with the meat you eat during processing. Salmonella, one of the most dangerous foodborne illnesses, can infect a hen so that its eggs are infected from the start.

Leaving raw food to thaw out of the fridge or leaving cooked food out for too long, like at a potluck or BBQ, can let bacteria grow.

Food coming into contact during cooking with raw meats or dirty cutting boards and knives can spread the bacteria to things that were clean!

What Should I Do?

First, make sure you’re washing your fruits and veggies after you buy them and storing things safely.

Heat can kill bacteria, so always make sure you cook your food to the right temperature. You can do this by using a food thermometer.

Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the food, but it shouldn’t be touching bone or fat. Check the temp toward the end of cooking but before you think it will be done. And make sure to clean it well with hot, soapy water between each use.

Use these handy guides to cook and grill your food to safe temperatures:

Meat & Poultry Temperature Guide
Image via Food Network

 

Grill Master Guide
Image via Visual News

Up Next:

Wondering how long your food is actually good for? We can help make sense of all those dates!

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