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Cook with Your Kids

It's worth the mess. It's worth the extra patience that it can take to wait for your young child to scoop or stir at their own pace. It's worth it to cook with your kids. I just adore those moments when I step back and watch my kids stare into the oven door watching their pizza bake. I can just hear my daughter saying, "The crust is getting bigger, Mommy." She sees the science. She knows yeast makes gas bubbles that help the crust get bigger. She’s 3. No, everything doesn't have to be homemade, and I understand that sometimes it just isn't practical to involve the kids in every meal, but they can still contribute and take some responsibility.

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Categories: nutrition, parenting,


School Lunches - an Omaha Perspective!

If you have children in school or child care, chances are they eat at least one meal a day there. Maybe breakfast, lunch and a snack—possibly dinner too! Were you aware that there are federal regulations that specify the nutritional content of your children's meals?

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Categories: nutrition,


Gardening and Life Skills

I come from a long line of gardeners. My mom always had a huge garden every year. She would preserve it all and keep it on a set of shelves that covered one whole wall in our basement. In the spring, the shelf was filled with empty canning jars, and by fall, it was stocked with every sort of produce imaginable! My mom was the busiest person alive in the summer, and we always had wonderful meals!

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Categories: nutrition, parent-stories,


10 Ways to Take the Blah Out of Sack Lunches

This year I'll be sending both of my children off to elementary school, tear. My daughter will be entering kindergarten and my son third grade. Prior to each month our school provides a lunch menu for the following month. We go through this menu, and I mark on the calendar the days I’ll need to send sack lunches. I'll admit I'm excited when we can go an entire week with all school lunches, but there are some days that I know they won't eat enough of the foods that are being offered. On the days my children eat school lunches, I am pleased, because I know that the meals being offered are nutritious meal. On the days I do pack sack lunches I try to keep them less blah and more fun and nutritious by following these 10 tips.

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Categories: nutrition, lifestyle,


S-P-I-N for School Success

I tell parents to remember S-P-I-N to create success for their kids in school. This acronym makes it easy to remember the areas that really impact school performance.

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Become a ProducePro

Whether you purchase your produce at a grocery store, farmers market, or pick your own, everyone should follow a few simple steps to protect themselves and their family from a food-borne illness. Partnership for Food Safety Education and Fight BAC!® has developed six simple steps to follow as you enjoy the seasons fresh harvest.

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Categories: nutrition,


Staying Hydrated

Summer will be here and gone before we know it! In those hot summer months, hydration is a major priority, especially for children. Many children and adults don't recognize when their body feels thirsty and interprets it as hunger instead. In order to stay hydrated this summer, make sure everyone in your house is drinking when they are thirsty, getting enough to drink, and making the right drink choices.

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Categories: nutrition, health-notes,


The Value of Grocery Shopping with Kids

For my very first Mother's Day I asked my husband for one simple gift: To go to the grocery store by myself, and without my cute, but demanding, 3-month-old baby boy. Most mothers can relate to the simple treasure of a kid free shopping experiences.

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Categories: nutrition,


Feeding Babies and Toddlers

It is so important to also let your child explore new foods. To help you understand why this is important consider this scenario. Imagine you are blindfolded and told that you are going to be fed some food. No one tells you what it is. "You will like it. It is yummy," they tell you. What would you want to do before eating the food? Probably smell it. Maybe even touch it to see if you can learn any more about it. The same is true for your baby. Eating new foods is a whole experience for a baby just like it can be for us as adults.

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Introducing Solid Foods

I remember the day we first gave Bastian solid food. My husband and I were so excited! We had been putting Bastian in his highchair for a little over a month during meal-time to get him interested in what goes on at the table. We waited to try solids with Bastian until he was 6 months old. I decided that introducing vegetables first would be the best option for us. I made my own sweet potato puree and was sure he would just love it. We were so excited to see him gobble down his first bites of real human food…but after one bite he was done. We were so sad! I thought to myself, 'he will never eat!' 'I have a picky eater!'

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Family Meal Time Conversation - Part 3

In previous posts, I wrote about the benefits of eating together as a family and 5 tips for making family meal times possible.

Today, I have some suggestions for making the most of your time together at dinner time. It's easy to just eat and have "yes" and "no" type conversations, but getting to really know your family takes some more work

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Categories: nutrition, parenting,


5 Tips for Family Meal Times - Part 2

Yesterday, I discussed the benefits of eating together, but we all know how difficult that can be with everyone's busy schedules.

Here are 5 tips to help you reach a goal of eating together with your family at least 4 times a week.

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Categories: nutrition, parenting,


Sitting down to a meal with everyone's hectic schedules is one of the hardest things to do as a family, but eating together provides big benefits.

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Categories: nutrition, parenting,


Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Health Benefits for Mom and Baby

A couple weeks ago I attended a conference that brought together Extension professionals with UNL research faculty. One of the breakout sessions that I attended, Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Brain and Health, was quite informative.

Dr. Concetta DiRusso, professor in the Department of Biochemistry, introduced us to the different fatty acid classes, and their role in human health. As well as, other research being done in the FATTT LAB (Fatty Acid Transport, Trafficking and Transcriptional Regulation) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She touched on several different aspects of Fatty Acids in all age ranges, but the one that has resonated in me this past couple of weeks was the information that she shared about Omega-3 DHA in pregnancy and brain development of the fetus and baby.

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Categories: nutrition,


Healthy Snacking on the Go

As a child I remember not being able to eat in my parents' cars. We lived in a small town so it only took a few minutes to get around. Plus, I don't think we were as fully scheduled as kids and families are today, so our time in the car was minimal. Well times have changed, and I'm sure my mom cringes when she gets in my car and sees all the food debris. The older my kids get the more time we spend in the car eating snacks and meals in between activities.

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Categories: nutrition,