There is nothing like opening the front door on a cold winter evening and being greeted by the inviting smells of beef stew or chicken noodle soup wafting from a slow cooker. Besides the good aromas there is the satisfaction of knowing that your meal is ready to serve. Winter is not the only time a slow cooker is useful. In the summer, using this small appliance can avoid introducing heat from a hot oven. At any time of year, a slow cooker can make life a little more convenient and it takes less electricity to use a slow cooker rather than an oven.
It has been quite a few years now, but I remember pulling a chair up to the kitchen counter when my children were small so they could stand beside me while I was cooking. They wanted to see what I was doing and be part of the action! Allowing the kids to help was usually messy and took a lot longer, but we had fun and made some great memories. I am happy to say that both my children are pretty good cooks today and my son even uses his culinary skills to impress the young ladies!!
Blueberries were on my mind as we bicycled through coastal Maine in October. Today I found a new study that shows the continuing promise of better health offered by eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and (coincidentally) berries! The study showed that the risk of heart attack was reduced by one half in people who ate this way over a four year period. The study participants were people with a higher risk of heart disease due to a specific gene.1
The kitchen is considered by many to be one of the most important rooms in the house because of its role in independent living. The ability to cook is a daily activity that helps a person remain independent. Kitchen designs and modifications that foster home safety are essential. There are many products and practices that can help increase accessibility while maintaining a safe working environment.
Since I acquired a “super blender” with a dynamite motor, I have begun drinking summer fruits and vegetables on occasion! When time is short, I can down several servings while working on a project or traveling in the car. For the fruity version, a little known dairy product called kefir is a wonderful base for my fruit smoothie.
Can’t stand Broccoli? Research into the evolution of taste yields interesting food for thought. Our five taste senses– sweet, salty, umami (savory), bitter and sour – equip us for consuming the essentials for survival – energy, salt, and protein – as well as avoidance of poisonous or rotten food.
This is the time of year in Pennsylvania the tree nuts are harvested. Few foods are as nutritiously complete and good for the human body as tree nuts. Tree nuts are unique as one of the most nutrient-dense whole food sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid in plant foods. Studies have shown that the omega-3 fatty acid in plant foods may help reduce the risk for heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and clinical depression.
A recent study in the September 2011 Pediatrics journal revealed some interesting findings – more than 90% of home-packed lunches for 700 children in a Texas daycare had reached unsafe temperatures by the time the they were eaten.
To keep bones strong, we need to eat and drink calcium-rich foods daily
to replace calcium used in our bodies. Calcium is also needed for other
important body functions. It helps blood to clot and is needed to release insulin that maintains blood sugar levels. Calcium also is necessary for vitamin B12 to be absorbed.
By 2020 half of all Americans over 50 will have weak bones, making us at a higher risk for fractures. One in every five people with a hip fracture ends up in a nursing home. But, increasing age does not necessarily mean a decline in physical fitness thanks to programs like the StrongWomen™ Program. Developed by Dr. Miriam Nelson at Tufts University and delivered by Penn State Extension, this community based strength training program puts scientific research into practical application. Dramatic improvements in age associated conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis and weight gain are being reported as a result of the program.
Healthy snacking is a great way for kids and adults to keep up energy levels, avoid overeating at main meals and ensure that they are consuming enough essential nutrients, according to a registered dietician in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today unveiled the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times. The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups.
Cultivating a good marriage is like two people growing a healthy garden. To achieve a full and satisfying harvest, the gardeners must work in harmony with one another, using the right tools, gardening wisdom, and a willing spirit. The gardening process teaches us vital – and sometimes painful – lessons about life. The struggle is worth it: both good marriages and healthy gardens can enrich and delight us. But neither happens by chance. Let’s break ground!
If your goal is to save money, then tracking your spending is the first essential step. Writing down what is spent on groceries, utilities, gasoline, mortgage, insurance, newspapers is fairly easy to do, and the foundation of a Spending Plan.
Penn State Nutrition Links is an
umbrella administration for two
federally funded nutrition education
programs for limited resource
audiences in Pennsylvania. EFNEP –
Expanded Food and Nutrition
Education Program was initially part
of the Smith Lever Act of 1969. The
program focuses on helping families
with children improve behaviors in:
dietary intake as recommended by the Dietary
Guidelines and MyPyramid, food resource
management skills and practices, nutrition practices
and food safety practices.