Hi, I am Rebecca Harrop, Mifflin County Dairy Princess.
That sure was some snowstorm over the weekend. We had 2.2 inches of rain and then we got around 8 inches of snow. You should have seen my mom and dad Sunday evening. They decided to fry a turkey breast in the turkey fryer for supper. Well, it was snowing like crazy and every time they went on the back porch to check on the turkey they came back in looking like a snowman. It was really funny.
March is National Nutrition month. Did you know that? I didn't until I was checking the Internet for information for today's column. Several different websites offer suggestions for ways we can all improve our nutritional habits. One site recommended the following:
1. Keep from overeating by eating more fiber. Eat whole grain breads and rolls, leave the skins on your potatoes, try different grains such as barley or farro instead of everyday pastas and rice.
2. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet by snacking on fruit instead of crackers and chips. Keep fresh fruit such as grapes and apples available. Start meals with a green salad and add fruit to kid's jello.
3. Do not skip breakfast. This early meal wakes up your metabolism, which will burn more calories during the day.
4. Bake, grill or saute instead of frying foods.
It can be pretty hard to ensure kids get proper nutrition sometimes. They usually come home from school starving and looking for a snack. Rachel and I always were anyway.
One statistic I read stated kids get one third of their calories from snacks. According to the National Institute of Health, 90 percent of girls and 75 percent of boys ages 9-13 don't get enough calcium and childhood obesity continues to rise. If kids are going to snack and, they obviously are, why not make those calories from snacks healthy ones. Fruits, vegetables and dairy products are examples of key foods that provide children with the calcium and nutrients they need. By keeping foods such as cheese, yogurt and fresh fruits available and in easy reach, kids are more likely to grab them instead of chips and soda after school. For older school age kids, have ingredients for easy milkshakes and smoothies.
Remember, good nutrition is just as important for adults as kids.
So celebrate March Nutrition Month by choosing healthy snacks instead of chips and soda.
Last Wednesday night I was at the Mifflin Juniata Career and Technology Center's Open House. I was in the Ag room serving cheese and crackers. I saw several of you there. I took a few minutes to walk around and visit some of the teachers I knew when I went there. It was nice talking with them.
This week I don't have any promotions, so I get a whole week off. I can't remember the last time that happened.
This week I have two recipes for after school snacks for kids. The first recipe is for Quick Snack Pizzas. The second recipe is for Strawberry Dream, a smoothie, that is easy to make. I hope you enjoy them.
10 minutes preparation time
12 baked whole wheat crackers
1/4 cup pizza sauce
6 (3/4-oz. each) slices deli American cheese, quartered
12 thin slices deli pepperoni
Place crackers on microwave-safe plate. Top each cracker with 1 teaspoonful pizza sauce, 2 quarters cheese and 1 slice pepperoni.
Microwave on high just until cheese begins to melt (30 to 45 seconds).
Oven directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare snacks as directed above. Place onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or just until cheese begins to melt.
5 minutes preparation time
5 minutes total time
4 (3/4-cup) servings
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup milk
1 (1 1/4-oz.) packet cocoa mix
Place all ingredients in 5-cup blender container. Cover; blend until smooth (50 to 60 seconds).