Friday, September 28, 2007

Games Kids Play

Here's a great link for a Friday!
Games Kids Play
There are rules and directions for over 250 indoor, outdoor, active, quiet - you name it! - games on this site. The web owners describe their site this way:

The purpose of this page is two-fold;

- One, to let you remember some of those odd games we used to play and bring a smile to your face.
- Two, to try to catalog a fascinating piece of oral tradition, and make sure none of these games are ever lost forever.

There are hundreds of these games, and no one person has played them all. Plus there are undoubtedly hundreds more variations depending on where you grew up.

It's a fabulous list - Remember this one?

Red Light/Green Light

In this game, one person plays the "stop light" and the rest try to touch him/her.

At the start, all the children form a line about 15 feet away from the stop light.

The stop light faces away from the line of kids and says "green light". At this point the kids are allowed to move towards the stoplight.

At any point, the stop light may say "red light!" and turn around. If any of the kids are caught moving after this has occurred, they are out.

Play resumes when the stop light turns back around and says "green light".

The stop light wins if all the kids are out before anyone is able to touch him/her.

Otherwise, the first player to touch the stop light wins the game and earns the right to be "stop light" for the next game.

I have one more link to share.
I moved my Grandmother blog to this site when fall began (and the title Summer With Grandmother Wren proved to be a bit short-sighted). I really haven't fully "moved in" here yet - one of the things I have left to do is a Link List of my favorite blogs.
I'm starting the list today.
Please visit mommysecrets.
The mommy there says "Moms, Don't you wish there was an instructions manual for becoming a mom? I use this forum as a way to collect tricks of the trade for moms. I'll share my secrets, spotlight secrets I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share what works for your family. I will focus on tips that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. Who knows - maybe one day we'll turn our collection into a real handbook to help moms do their job fantastically!"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Please Let Me Play!

The American Association of Pediatrics recommends that children under two years old should not watch any television and that older children should not be watching more one to two hours a day

Despite these recommendations, the average American child watches between 20 to 30 hours of television each week. This means that children spend more time watching television than any other single waking activity.

What happens when our children are watching television (or playing video games)?

Television reduces learning and discovery time

I'm not saying that a child can't learn to count by watching Sesame Street.
She will learn to count faster, however, if she counts the number of steps she needs to walk up to get to her house or the number of crayons she uses to draw a picture. There is no end to the number of facts a child will discover in his backyard or at the local park.

Young children also need free time to learn through imaginative play. Just dressing up, building a castle out of blocks or sitting around daydreaming is essential for helping a young child to develop his imagination. If every free moment is spent in front of the TV, imaginative play will not happen.

Television Teaches Children To Expect Instant Gratification

Watching television is always easy. The fun happens, it happens fast and you don't have to work to get it. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of real life. Instead, real life is a series of challenges that sometimes require slow and methodical work to get results.

Watching Television Violence Can Affect Your Child's Opinions And Behavior

According to the American Psychological Association, watching lots of television violence can have the following three negative effects:
Children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others.
Children may become more fearful of the world around them.
Children may be more likely to behave in aggressive ways towards others.

Television Watching Decreases Social Interaction Time

Watching television takes away time that children might otherwise spend interacting with other children and developing much needed social skills. Make sure your young child spends plenty of time with real people and not just looking at a machine

Television Watching Can Decrease Physical Activity

Young children are always on the move. Movement is part of what has traditionally kept most young children thin and trim. A recent study of pre-school children found that over the course of the previous two decades, more four and five-year-old children are overweight. One suggested reason for this finding is the number of hours that young children are spending watching television, instead of moving, running and exploring their environments.
Even if your child is not overweight, physical activity is essential for appropriate health, growth and development. Television is a passive activity and if your child spends too much time sitting and watching, it may affect his level of physical fitness. A child's physical coordination affects his learning ability, so children also need physical movement to help acquire age appropriate developmental skills.

The possible negative physical effects of watching television are not mitigated by the quality of the television show your child watches. No matter how "educational" the television show is, it is simply not healthy for your child to spend a significant part of his life sitting and watching a screen

A child learns through play – in all ways, a truth adults do not always understand.
David Elkind, psychologist and author (“The Hurried Child”), says of play:
“Young children learn best by playing and following their own curiosities, by solving real problems, such as how to balance a stack of blocks, or how to negotiate a zipper, put together a picture puzzle and most of all, by making mistakes and trying again. “

What does your child want you to know?
Simply this:

When I play – I learn!

I paint and scribble and color and draw – and I learn

To develop my imagination and creativity
To develop eye-hand coordination
To distinguish and purposely create shapes
To express my feelings and ideas
That my ideas have values
Relationships of space and size
Concepts of symmetry, balance, and design
About how colors mix to make new colors
To distinguish patterns from a background
An acceptable way to make a mess
To hold a pencil or other drawing implement and to control the pressure
To express myself with words when describing my drawing
The basic strokes of the printed language
To control the small muscles in my hands

I play with play-doh, sand, water - and I learn

About different textures
How to create patterns and designs
To exercise my Imagination and creativity
How to use tools
To solve problems
Concepts of size, shape, and volume
Concepts of warm and cool, wet, damp, dry, heavy, light
To observe changes

I look at books and listen to stories – and I learn

That books are important and enjoyable
That print is written word
To express my own thoughts, feelings, and ideas
To handle books with care
To follow the development of thoughts and ideas in the plot of a story
That I like books and someday I’d like to be able to read them too, when I’m ready
To recognize certain words when I see them in print
To use more complex patterns in my own speech
To use my imagination and make up my own stories

I play with blocks and cars and trucks – and I learn

Concepts of shape, size, length, and location
To create and repeat patterns
To exercise imagination
To express ideas and exercise imagination
About the properties of wood
To see myself from a different perspective

I play outdoors or at the playground – and I learn

Physical strength, coordination, and balance
To use my imagination
To cooperate with others when involved in group play
Self confidence as I develop new skills
To solve problems
To observe likeness and differences
Concepts of texture color, weight and size
Strength, balance, and large muscle coordination
To use my energy in a constructive way
Concepts of speed, direction, and location
To negotiate and take turns
To appreciate nature and develop a sense of wonder

I play and live with my family – and I learn

To listen and understand spoken words
That my ideas have value to the others
To express myself with words
To wait my turn when others are talking
To help plan what we will do and when we will do it
To cooperate and be considerate of the needs of others
To be flexible in my thinking
To express myself with my words
To try on different roles
To solve social problems through negotiation
To sort and organize play things
To make decisions

I listen to music, I sing, I dance – and I learn

Balance and coordination
To be conscious of moods and rhythms of music
To express myself physically in an appropriate way
About the space around me and the space of others
To be conscious of rhythms in music
Concepts of fast, slow, loud, soft, high, low
To express myself in new and different ways
Listening skills
To remember the words of songs and poems I have learned
and to put things in proper order
Various concepts emphasized in songs
Phonics or auditory discrimination
Awareness and identification with my culture and other cultures

I play – and I learn

That I am me – a small child who is valued, cherished, and loved.
I count in the world!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hey Kids! Join the Scrub Club!

Each year, more than 164 million school days are lost due to illness*, which could be greatly reduced with proper handwashing. That’s why NSF International created the Scrub Club™ – to raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing and ultimately improve the health of children and reduce school sick days. The Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) has partnered with NSF on this groundbreaking initiative.
Scrub Club™ to the Rescue
The Scrub Club™ program is the first of its kind – a fun, interactive and educational Web site ( that teaches children the proper way to wash their hands. The site consists of a Webisode interactive games, educational music, downloadable activities for kids, educational materials for teachers and program information for parents.

Lots of really good information presented in a way that will capture your child's attention. We loved it at our house!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Safe Handling of Fresh Produce

from the Partnership For Food Safety Education

The proportion of foodborne illness associated with fresh fruits and vegetables has increased over the last several years. As health and nutrition experts continue to recommend we add more fruits and vegetables to a healthy daily diet, it becomes increasingly important that consumers know how to handle them properly. Make food safety a priority!


1. Check

* Check to be sure that the fresh fruits and vegetables you buy are not bruised or damaged.
* Check that fresh cut fruits and vegetables like packaged salads and precut melons are refrigerated at the store before buying. Do not buy fresh cut items that are not refrigerated.

2. Clean

* Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling fresh fruits and vegetables.
* Clean all surfaces and utensils with hot water and soap, including cutting boards, counter tops, peelers and knives that will touch fresh fruits or vegetables before and after food preparation.
* Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Packaged fruits and vegetables labeled “ready-to-eat”, “washed” or “triple washed” need not be washed.
* Rub firm-skin fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water.
* Dry fruits and vegetables with a clean cloth towel or paper towel.
* Never use detergent or bleach to wash fresh fruits or vegetables. These products are not intended for consumption.

3. Separate

* When shopping, be sure fresh fruits and vegetables are separated from household chemicals and raw foods such as meat, poultry and seafood in your cart and in bags at checkout.
* Keep fresh fruits and vegetables separate from raw meat, poultry or seafood in your refrigerator.
* Separate fresh fruits and vegetables from raw meat, poultry and seafood. Do not use the same cutting board without cleaning with hot water and soap before and after preparing fresh fruits and vegetables.

4. Cook

* Cook or throw away fruits or vegetables that have touched raw meat, poultry, seafood or their juices.

5. Chill

* Refrigerate all cut, peeled or cooked fresh fruits and vegetables within two hours.

6. Throw Away

* Throw away fresh fruits and vegetables that have not been refrigerated within two hours of cutting, peeling or cooking.
* Remove and throw away bruised or damaged portions of fruits and vegetables when preparing to cook them or before eating them raw.
* Throw away any fruit or vegetable that will not be cooked if it has touched raw meat, poultry or seafood.

REMEMBER -- If in doubt, throw it out!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Autumn Is Here!

Please join us on our visit to the pumpkin patch. It was a beautiful Autumn Day!
See Our Photo Album Here

Friday, September 21, 2007

Calling All Schools - Join the United Nations in Celebrating The International Day of Peace - 21 September

International Day of
The United Nations General Assembly designated 21 September as the International Day of Peace, a day of cease-fire and peace-building activities to be celebrated around the world. On Peace Day each year, young people in countries all over the world take a Minute of Silence at 12 noon in their time zone to support the United Nations in its mission of world peace.

Visit The Website to find other ways for your family to participate in this Day of Peace.

PINWHEELS FOR PEACE More than 1350 schools and groups around the world participated last year in the Pinwheels For Peace program to celebrate Peace Day, creating and displaying 1/2 million pinwheels for peace to inspire their communities to imagine whirled peace - This year many more will participate. (

SERVICE FOR PEACE Volunteering for a service project in your community on the International Day of Peace is a tangible way to make a difference for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. (

TREES FOR PEACE Any school can join the more than 300 schools in 90 countries that participate in the ENO Schools program (Environment Online) to plant trees at 12 Noon for the International Day of Peace as a symbol for environmental protection and international co-operation in the field of environmental education, cultural diversity, tolerance and peace. (

PLANT ROCKS FOR PEACE Ellen Manko in Santa Cruz has created a lesson plan for an International Day of Peace school/family/church activity of decorating peace rocks and 'planting' them as a way to facilitate classroom discussions on peace, cultural diversity, global connection and social responsibility.
(RTF file - 4.1K)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Paint Recipes

A new friend of mine at Coach Creative Space (a wonderfully Creative Space - check it out!) was asking for non-toxic paint suggestions. I pulled out my trusty, dusty index card file and decided to share my collection of recipes here, too.

Almost-Oil Soap Paint

1 tablespoon powdered tempera
1 tablespoon dishwashing soap

This has the "feel" of an oil paint. The colors go on smoothly and can be blended together right on the paper.

Cornstarch Finger Paint

1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup water
Food coloring or powdered tempera dissolved in a little water

Combine cornstarch with a little of the water in a small pan.
Stir until they form a smooth paste. Now stir in the rest of the water

Simmer the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until clear and thick.

Divide into containers and blend in color. You can also blend in the colors as you're fingerpainting.

Egg Tempera
A fun experiment with a variation of a technique used centuries ago. A great opaque look for small detailed paintings.

1 egg yolk
tempera powder

Stir the egg yolk in a bowl to blend it.
Measure 2 teaspoons full of the yolk and place in a small jar.

Add 1 teaspoon of water. Blend.

Add 1 teaspoon of powdered tempera. Stir with a small paintbrush until the mixture is smooth.

After your painting is dry, you can paint over it with the egg white and sprinkle with glitter. The egg white acts as a glue to hold the glitter in place.
(the Old Masters would use flecks of gold metal instead of the glitter...)

Water Color Cakes
similar to those you buy in paintsets at the store, but with these you can control the intensity and variety of colors.

1 tablespoon clear vinegar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon corn syrup
food coloring
three small plastic bottle lids
small paintbrushes

Mix vinegar and baking soda in a bowl.
When the mixture stops fizzing, add cornstarch and corn syrup.

Blend together. The mixture will have an odd, cakelike consistency.

Divide the mixture among the three lids. For each color, blend in a few drops of food coloring with a paintbrush.

Use immediately, or, after the colors have dried into cakes, swirl a wet brush into each color to start painting.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Fried mozzarella is a favorite of both Maya's and mine. I also know it's a food that we should limit - if not eliminate! - from our diet. (I don't care what McDonald's is promising about the absence of trans-fat)

I found this recipe in this evening's paper. A delicious solution!

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

1 12-ounce package reduced-fat mozzarella string cheese
1 egg
8 tablespoons Italian flavored bread crumbs
1/2 cup marinara sauce, warmed

Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Remove cheese from package and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk egg until foamy. Scoop breadcrumbs onto a large plate.

Dip one piece of string cheese in egg until coated and then in breadcrumbs, coating completely. Redip the string cheese in egg and then again in breadcrumbs, if desired. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining string cheese and place on baking sheet 1 1/2 inches apart. Spray string cheese lightly with cooking spray.

Bake 5 to 6 minutes or until heated through. Cheese may melt slightly and lose shape. Simply press it back into shape. Serve with warmed marinara for dipping.

Makes 6 servings of 2 pieces each.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's National Play-Doh Day! Great Dough Recipes!

Play-doh is fun, fast, and easy. But for a longer, more satisfying project, why not try making your own dough. There are lots of recipes to choose from - here are a few of my favorites.


1 cup fine, clean sand

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon Alum

3/4 cup hot water

food coloring if desired

Mix sand, cornstarch and Alum in bowl. Add hot water and stir vigorously. Add food coloring if desired. Cook over medium heat until thick. Let dough cool. Mold into desired shapes (it's fun to use the molds that come in sand play toys) and let dry in the sun for several days. Store any leftover dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator

This dough can be used to make small sandcastles as a memento of your trip to the beach.

This is my favorite recipe for making ornaments and beads. It's a smooth clay and dries very hard. It will absorb moisture from the air, so it's a good idea to coat the finished project with clear nail polish once the paint has dried.

1 cup baking soda

1/2 cup cornstarch

2/3 cup warm water

food coloring or poster paints

clear nail polish

Mix baking soda and cornstarch in saucepan. Add water and stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat, boil and stir until "mashed potato consistency". Pour onto board to cool. Knead when cool. For color, knead food coloring into clay (after cooled) until blended, or paint after finished molding.

This dough is perfect for making ice cream cones or snow men. Wonderful texture!

1 cup Ivory Snow laundry detergent

2 cups warm water

food coloring

electric hand mixer or egg beater

Add food coloring to warm water, then add to laundry detergent. Mix well with beater until fluffy. Use just like regular play doh.

We like to make simple shapes for snacks - ladybugs, small teddy bears from balls of dough

3 1/2 cups peanut butter

4 cups powdered sugar

3 1/2 cups corn syrup or honey

4 cups powdered milk

chocolate chips (optional)

Mix the ingredients. Divide into 15 to 20 portions and refrigerate in plastic bags. After washing their hands, have children mold and shape the dough on waxed paper. Provide chocolate chips to be used as decorations if desired.

definitely not edible
1 cup white glue (Elmer's)

1 cup liquid starch

food coloring

Put glue and food coloring into plastic container. Add starch a little at a time, stirring constantly. Keep stirring until mixture holds together like putty. Test with your fingers, if too sticky, add more starch in small amounts until mass is smooth and rubbery. Now, have fun playing with it...stretching, pulling, bouncing, making transfers of the Sunday comics. Store in airtight container.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Thomas The Toad

We have a new friend! After a long summer's wait, we found a toad in our garden toad house. We've brought him inside, named him Thomas the Toad - we've been watching him most of the afternoon.
We're learning all about frogs and toads at Frogland. What a fun place to visit!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Soaring Words

This week in September has been set aside as National Chronic Illness Awareness Week.
None of us likes to think of any child being ill, but the truth is each year it is estimated that 18% of all children in the U.S. suffer from chronic illnesses. (Source: American Academy of Pediatrics). This means that each year 22 million children and their families and friends, potentially 66 million people in all, face the challenges presented by these catastrophic illnesses.

Soaringwords' mission is to empower communities to embrace ill children and their families to inspire them to "Never give up!" Doctors and hospitals provide medical care, while Soaringwords provides in-person and online support to help boost the child's self-esteem and to reduce feelings of isolation. The fun, creative and educational healing activities provided by Soaringwords include story telling, poetry, art, songs, and photography.

Soaringwords Vision
Soaringwords' success is fueled by volunteers who want to do something fun and meaningful to make hospitalized children and their families feel loved and supported. Many Corporations, Boys & Girls Clubs, community groups, and schools have already embraced over 150,000 children and families through many programs across the Nation.

How Soaringwords Serves Your Community
Soaringwords enlists the help of schools, special-need schools, JCCs, YMCAs, churches, synagogues, after-school programs, community outreach centers, and businesses to create meaningful experiences for chronically ill children. These events bring children, families and seniors together to do something positive to inspire ill children. Our ability to inspire patients to boldly embrace their own healing and to actively help others has strong roots in the tradition embodying Hillel's adage "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?"

We enlist healing resources from the "best of the best" leaders in mind-body wellness (Dr. Ron Taffel, Dr. Marc Siegel, Dr. Gerald Epstein, Rachel Naomi Remen) along with an extensive repertoire of fun and therapeutic activities which are enjoyed in hospital clinics, hospital rooms, pediatric and family lounges, and community settings. Soaringwords initiatives also embrace at-risk children in foster care, and children and families who have been affected by catastrophic events (such as 9/11) and natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Soaringwords initiatives can be layered onto your company's existing programs with local schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters programs.

Soaringwords Actvities
Soaringwords' signature event is decorating SoaringQuilts and SoaringPillows with colorful pictures and inspirational messages for hospitalized children. People come together to decorate the quilts and pillows and then bring them to the hospitals to give them directly to the children. People who have completed a Soaringwords project know how rewarding their efforts have been when they see these children receive the beautiful and thoughtful gifts. We also encourage the children in the hospitals to create personal messages and pictures for other children who are sick. This event creates an instant community where everyone involved feels a part of the healing process.

The Soaringwords Resource Center,, is a tremendous resource with the potential to reach millions of children nationwide and around the world with the kinds of interactive experiences that kids love. Some of the tangible healing activities include: Storytelling, Poetry, Art, Songs and Photography.

Please visit SoaringWords for a tour of their inspiring website today.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Grandmother Wren's Autumn Pages

Please visit the Autumn Pages on my website to find
Fall Festivals Around The World
Directions for making Corn Dolls and Apple Crafts
Find out Why Leaves Change Color in the Fall and read the Winter Forecast from The Old Farmer's Almanac
You'll also find puzzles, a calendar of Autumn holidays, quotes about Autumn...
Visit often because I'll be adding Halloween pages and Thanksgiving pages -
It's a Great Time of Year!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Surfing The Net With Kids - Fall Leaves

I look forward every week to the Surfing The Net With Kids newsletter and I'm never disappointed! This week's topic is Fall Leaves. Visit their site to find a collection of links such as:

>Chemistry of Autumn Colors
>Foliage Vermont
>Why Leaves Change Color

along with free Autumn coloring pages and some great games!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

How Much TV Should My Child Be Watching?

By: Susanne Myers

What did we ever do before the boob tube? Television has taken the “family” out of family time. Everyone’s eyes are glued to the television set and no one is talking. By setting a few guidelines, you can keep your kids from becoming strangers in their own home.

Set specific times for watching television. Some kids turn the television on as soon as they get in the house in the afternoons. On Saturday, they get out of bed and plop on the couch with the remote control. If left unregulated, television will take over your child’s life. During the week, television viewing should be kept to a maximum of two to two and a half hours. When kids get home, they have homework and chores that need to be done first.

Turn the television off during dinner. I have been guilty of this myself. We grab out plates and a TV (how funny!) tray and head for the living room to continue watching our favorite show. Dinner time is family time. Everyone should sit at the table without the television and discuss their day. Something exciting may have happened at school or your husband may have gotten a raise. We miss out on getting to know each other if we don’t spend time talking to one another. The one truly sacred time we have for that is at the dinner table.

We are a world that is getting fatter by the day. When I was a kid, we played outside until the street lights came on. Kids stay in the house and play video games or watch television. When do people tend to overeat? They don’t pay attention to how much they are putting in their mouths when they are doing something else, like watching TV. Kids are too young to be inactive. They are the largest growing segment of the population suffering from obesity. Children are becoming couch potatoes from watching too much television.

Rules need to be established for watching television in the bedroom. Most kids do have televisions in their bedrooms. Sitting up all night watching the late, late show is a no-no. If kids choose to use their television time right before bed, set the sleep timer on the set. This way, the television will automatically shut off at their bedtime hour so they can get a good night’s sleep.

What a child watches on television is as important as how much. There are all sorts of reality shows and nighttime television dramas that are not appropriate for children under the age of thirteen. Some are inappropriate for children under eighteen. Cable and satellite don’t make it any easier to monitor what they watch. On regular television, most programs with mature subject matter don’t air until eleven o’clock or later. On cable, they can air all evening. Those stations are not regulated like the local channels; therefore as a parent, actively paying attention to what your kids are watching is important.

If you can’t be home with your kids at all times, you can block certain channels on the television. Stations that air shows that you feel are inappropriate for your child’s age cannot be accessed by them if you block the channel. You can call your local cable or satellite company to find out how to go about doing this with their service. If your kids complain, sit them down and explain why they can’t watch the channel. Entering into a healthy discussion about TV programs is important. As your kids age, they can handle heavier subject matter, but that is the decision of the parent.

Television is meant to be entertaining, but not to take over your life. Children need to be active not sedentary. Parents need to regulate television time for their kids. Instead, go to the park or the zoo. Real life is much more interesting than anything on TV.

For more parenting information visit and then take a moment to sign up for, the new online parenting magazine and online community at

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Reading List Just For Grandmother

September is Read A New Book month. We've done what we can to encourage the kids to find the joy in reading - now they're back in school and there is time for Us to settle down with a good book. A grown-up book!
Here's a list of my favorites:

Beloved - Toni Morrison

Beloved is the word written on the tombstone of Sethe's baby daughter, and Beloved is the name of a young woman without a history who appears at Sethe's door in post-Civil War Ohio. Toni Morrison reveals the painful story of slavery and its aftereffects through the voices and memories of Sethe and others who fled the South for freedom. Her narrative style recreates memory in jagged, crystalline pieces that finally yield an intensely personal yet universal picture of abuse, cruelty, and survival. Morrison was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature, and Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Rainwater held on to pine needles for dear life and Beloved could not take her eyes off Sethe. Stooping to shake the damper, or snapping sticks for kindling, Sethe was licked, tasted, eaten by Beloved's eyes. Like a familiar, she hovered, never leaving the room Sethe was in unless required and told to. She rose early in the dark to be there, waiting, in the kitchen when Sethe came down to make fast bread before she left for work. In lamplight, and over the flames of the cooking stove, their two shadows clashed and crossed on the ceiling like black swords.

Sula by Toni Morrison is another one of my favorites - do yourself a favor and just read every book Toni Morrison wrote!

Floating in My Mother's Palm - Ursula Hegi

Even though this book calls itself a novel, each chapter can stand alone as a self-contained drama. Each story concerns one or another of the characters who populate the small town of Burgdorf, a small German town trying to regain normalcy after World War II. Hanna Molter, the curious and perceptive child narrator, relates the stories she has learned from Trudi Montag, a dwarf and the town gossip. In these stories we meet Hanna's father, whose "one reckless act" was to marry her unconventional mother; Rolf, the housekeeper's illegitimate son and the first boy Hanna ever kissed; and the townsman, consumed by fear, who was destroyed by his seven watchdogs. The presence of Hanna's mother in all these stories, provides the stability and security Hanna needs to freely explore her world. Observed with intense interest and compassion, the people of Burgdorf stir our interest and compassion as well.

The other painting shows the quarry hole during a storm, the somber sky highlighted by streaks of silver that make the water look as if it were bubbling. If I look closely, I can almost see myself floating in my mother's palm. Yet when I shut my eyes, I find a different image of my mother releasing me as we dance in the storm and twirl in separate circles that cause the water to ripple from us in widening rings which merge in one ebbing bracelet of waves where the borders of the quarry meet the water, far from the center where my mother and I continue to spin our bodies in the radiant sheen of lightning.

The Robber Bride - Margaret Atwood

The Robber Bride, inspired by the Grimm fairy tale "The Robber Bridegroom," explores female villainy and the way in which evil requires complicity from its victims. As the novel opens the three friends, Roz, Charis, and Tony, each having been ruthlessly exploited by the amoral Zenia, must come to grips with the fact that the presumed-dead Zenia is very much alive. The bulk of the novel consists of flashbacks in which author Margaret Atwood fleshes out these quirky and complicated characters and shows how Zenia insinuated herself into their lives and changed them forever. Part social satire, part gripping mystery, this modern story of women in relationship with each other and with men, is also a chilling account of wickedness. It is wonderfully entertaining as well.

The truth is that at certain times-early mornings, the middle of the night-she finds it hard to believe that Zenia is really dead. Despite herself, despite the rational part of herself, Tony keeps expecting her to turn up, stroll in through some unlocked door, climb through a window carelessly left open. It seems improbable that she would simply have evaporated, with nothing left over. There was too much of her: all that malign vitality must have gone somewhere.

Mama Day - Gloria Naylor

Like the island in Shakespeare's play The Tempest, Willow Springs is a mystical island. It differs, however, from Shakespeare's island in that a bridge connects it to the world of reality. Founded in 1823, it is sustained by the legend of Sapphira Wade, a slave woman who married and killed her master after obtaining from him the deed to the island. Miranda "Mama" Day is a descendant of Sapphirra Wade and matriarch of the island. She possesses the powers of a deep connection to place, nature and her own psyche. When her niece Cocoa crosses the bridge and marries George, a northerner shaped by reason and technology, the struggle between worlds begins.
Mama Day is a fascinating, sometimes frightening, exploration of two colliding views of the world. Can we reconcile technology with nature? Naylor is not optimistic about the possibility.

We're sitting here in Willow Springs, and you're God-knows-where. It's August 1999-ain't by a slim chance it's the same season where you are. Uh, huh, listen. Really listen this time: the only voice is your own. But you done just heard about the legend of Sapphira Wade, though nobody here breathes her name. You done heard it the way we know it, sitting on our porches and shelling June peas, quieting the midnight cough of a baby, taking apart the engine of a car-you done heard without a single living soul really saying a word. Pity, though, Reema's boy couldn't listen, like you, to Cocoa and George down by them oaks-or he woulda left here with quite a story.

Life on Earth - Sheila Ballantyne

At times provocatively irreverent, always honest and insightful, Sheila Ballantyne chronicles the ordinary absurdities of life while addressing the bigger questions. Is there a way to balance passion and obligation? How do we know we're living the lives we're meant to live? How do we know we're happy? In these stories we see: a son agonize over choosing a nursing home for his mother; a wife and mother grieve as she tries to adjust and make sense of her husband's seriously disabling kidney disease; a daughter finally decide what to do with the ashes of her dead father; the irony of racing from California to Florida for Disney World's Main Street U.S.A. Some of these stories will make you laugh out loud, others press the heart; if you are a middle class American woman you will recognize yourself on every page. This collection belongs on everyone's "must read" list.

The years keep passing, but you're absorbed, you hardly notice. You look back from time to time, comparing what you have with what you thought you'd have. You understand the split between dream and reality, the tension that split creates. In time, perhaps you say: You can't live more that one life well; and eventually, you decide. You aim for that one thing--call it happiness. It can come when you least expect it, although you worked for it; and when it comes, it's often not what you had thought of as being "it." It's usually something ordinary--a thing so simple, you look back afterward and think: That was it? and laugh.

A Thousand Acres - Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley's Pulitzer Prize winning novel of an Iowa farm family is a rich, multi-layered parable of the destructive power of patriarchy, as well as a modern, American version of King Lear. In Smiley's retelling the reader witnesses a family's demise through the eyes of eldest daughter Ginny. As in Lear, this daughter is still quite capable of treachery, but in Smiley's version, she and her sister Rose appear in a sympathetic light.
The fertile Iowa farmland and the family's thousand acres attain near-mythic proportions as Smiley explores the self-destructive nature of the urge to master the land and dominate women. As in Shakespeare's classic, this novel can only end in tragedy, but Smiley leaves the door open to the possibility of healing and forgiveness.

It was easy, sitting there and looking at him, to see it his way. What did we deserve, after all? I squirmed, remembering my ungrateful thoughts, the deliciousness I had felt putting him in his place. When he talked, he had this effect on me. Of course it was silly to talk about "my point of view." When my father asserted his point of view, mine vanished. Not even I could remember it.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Five for Friday - Creating A Language Rich Environment For Your Child

September 7th is International Literacy Day - yesterday, September 6th, was National Read A Book Day.
Reading a book is a great idea for Every day. But by creating a "literacy rich" environment in your home, you will be helping your child to absorb a love and appreciation of language even when you aren't "reading". How can you create this environment for your child?

1. Be A Role Model Make reading and writing a natural part of your daily routine. When your child observes you reading - the newspaper, a magazine, a book -
or writing - shopping lists, letters, a journal, work from your office - she learns that these things are important to you.

2. Have Conversations With Your Child and with your family as a group. Give everyone the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings using words. Be sure that each person knows that their words and their meaning have been listened to and understood.

3. Keep A Variety Of Reading And Writing Materials Available - picture books, chapter books, atlases, dictionaries, magazines and newspapers. Make sure every family member has a library card (and uses it!). Have plenty of paper, pencils, pens , markers and crayons where children can reach them.

4. Play Games With Your Children that help develop language skills - Lotto, Candyland, Old Maid, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit are all good examples.

5. Set Aside Plenty Of Time For Reading Together by balancing time spent on other activities. Limit the time spent watching television or playing computer games (no matter how "educational" they appear to be). Show your child the exciting world waiting to be discovered in the pages of a book!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Healthy Snacks for Kids on the Go - Not only is it OK to eat between meals, snacking can actually be good for your child.

"Don't eat between meals." "Don't touch that cookie -- you'll spoil your dinner!" "Snacking will make you gain weight."

Chances are, you've said something similar to your children – or maybe heard it from your own mom.

But experts say that snacking on the right foods is not harmful. In fact, it can have health benefits for kids of all ages.

"Snacking is not a bad thing -- in fact, it's a good thing -- and it can actually help keep kids from overeating at mealtime," says Netty Levine, RD, CDE, a dietitian and diabetes educator at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Studies show that snacking during the school day improves both mood and motivation, and may impact concentration. Snacks may help children maintain performance during times of high mental demand, like when taking an exam or making a class presentation.

But even while we're bombarded with choices by the snack food industry, it's not always easy to find healthy snacks -- much less get your kids to eat them. To help parents make snack time both healthy and happy for children, experts who spoke to WebMD offered six simple guidelines.

1. Relax the Food Ties That Bind
While you may have strict nutritional guidelines for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, experts say snacks are the place to give children some wiggle room.

"I'm a firm believer that you can't be ultra strict when choosing snack foods, or your child will just go out and eat the really bad stuff on their own -- and probably a lot more of it," says Levine.

Give them a little of what they like (be it potato chips or candy bars) a couple of days a week, and you'll have better luck getting them to eat healthy snacks the rest of the time, she says.

2. Choose the Lesser of the Evils
When it comes to ingredients like sugar and saturated fat, you might think most commercial snack foods are pretty similar, give or take a gram. But look a little harder at the label and you may find important differences.

"If, for example, you have two items that are equal in sugar, fat, and calories, sometimes you'll find that one contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber while the other doesn't," says Marjorie Livingston, a professor of nutrition at the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

Opting for the more nutrient-dense snack will help ensure it has some redeeming value, even if some of the other ingredients are not top nutritional choices.

In addition, Livingston says, keep an eye on the sugar content. Some snacks, even seemingly healthy ones like flavored yogurt, are way over the top when it comes to added sweeteners.

"The American Medical Association says that when our sugar intake exceeds 25% of our total caloric intake, it impacts us nutritionally," says Livingston. "But the World Health Organization sets the threshold at 10% -- so sugar is an issue to consider."

A quick way to tell if a snack has gone over the line: It's over 250 calories a serving, it's probably got too many empty calories, Livingston says.

3. Portion, Portion, Portion
While it's OK to give kids some leeway on choosing what snacks to have, experts say it's still vital to pay attention to portion size.

"Parents should not ignore portion control boundaries just because it's a snack," says New York nutritionist Joy Bauer, MS, RD, CDN, director of "Yes, you can relax a little in terms of allowing certain foods, but you should pay attention to how much of these foods your child is eating,"

It's also important to look for snacks with low levels of fat, saturated fat, and trans fat. Even if the package says a snack has no trans fats, read the ingredient list to be sure.

"If you see the word 'hydrogenated,' it means it has some trans fat, so avoid that snack," Bauer tells WebMD.

If your child is battling a weight problem, paying attention to portion size and total calories is vital, Bauer says. But, she says, don't deny the child the opportunity to snack.

"You don't want to exclude an overweight child from having snacks, but you must remember to include their snack calories as part of their daily caloric intake -- and teach your child how to do that as well," says Bauer.

To control portions and help kids learn the value of doing so, Levine suggests keeping some zip-top bags on hand, and letting kids prepare their own portion-controlled servings.

"You can use their age as a guideline – for example, a 7-year-old child can be allowed seven M&M candies, or seven potato chips, seven animal crackers," says Levine. "It teaches them counting skills as well as portion control."

4. Make It Easy to Eat Well
Having trouble getting your kids to eat healthy snacks -- like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain items? Make these foods easy to munch, and they will eat more of them, Livingston says.

"No matter what food it is you're trying to get your child to eat, if you make it accessible, if it's easy to eat, if it's there waiting for them in the fridge or on the counter, you will increase the likelihood that they will eat it," says Livingston.

But cutting up fruits and veggies into bite-sized pieces isn't quite enough. Snacks should also be packaged in a way that makes it easy for kids to "grab and go," Livingston says.

"The key is not only making snacks easy to eat, but also easy to share," Levine adds. "Kids love to share their snacks at school and if you help them do that, they are more likely to eat what you prepare, rather then trade up for something from a vending machine."

Snacks that are easy to portion out into plastic bags and take along include fruit and veggie chunks; a mixture of dry cereal and nuts, raisins, and a few chocolate chips; "sandwiches" of whole-wheat crackers with peanut or almond butter; fruit roll-ups cut into bite-sized portions; half an energy bar cut into bite-sized pieces; popcorn or cookies measured out into 100-calorie portions.

5. Make It Yourself
Some pre-packaged snacks are quite healthy. But when you make a healthy snack from scratch, it's easy to "hide" the healthy ingredients, and give your kids the taste they want along with the nutrition you want them to have, Livingston says.

"For example, you can substitute 1/4 of the flour in any cookie or cake recipe with that same amount in ground flaxseed," Livingston says. "Your kids won't taste the difference, and you'll be giving them added fiber and important omega-3s."

Another of Livingston's tricks: Substitute fruit puree for one-half to three-quarters of the fat in any cake, cookie, or muffin recipe. You can also cut sugar by 1/3 to 1/2 without stirring up much of a fuss.

To make frozen fruit bars with more nutrients and less sugar, she says, puree berries, melon, or even bananas, and blend with a few tablespoons of fruit juice. Freeze the mixture in a paper cup or a plastic pop mold.

"By using the whole fruit puree instead of fruit juice, you get all the nutrients in a piece of fruit, and not all the sugar found in a juice," says Livingston.

6. Think Outside the Cookie Jar!

If you hear the word "snack" and automatically think cookies, chips, or pie, says nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD, think again.

"A snack food doesn't have to be a sweet," says Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Medical Center. "It doesn't even have to be a traditional snack food. Almost anything a kid likes to eat can be turned into a snack if you watch portion sizes."

Her suggestions include cold pizza (made with veggies and low-fat cheese); whole-wheat tortillas with spinach or other vegetable; hummus on pita bread; salsa & baked chips; dill/garlic low-fat yogurt dip and vegetables; mini oatmeal muffins with raisins; a whole-grain waffle with jam or fresh fruit.

"It's important to get kids away from the taste of sugar, and incorporating other types of snacks into their diet is one way to do that," says Heller.

Levine reminds us not to forget low-fat and no-fat dairy foods as a great snack alternative.

She suggests "low-fat yogurt with your own fruit puree to reduce sugar, string cheese, low-fat milk with cocoa, even low-fat frozen yogurt or ice cream is OK if you watch the portion size."

Snack Recipes
Whether you're preparing snacks for your kids to take to school, or treats to keep them satisfied in the afternoon or evening, Bauer offers these fun, kid-loving healthy snack recipes. WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members -- journal one serving of snacks as 'light dessert.'

Twist and Shout Trail Mix

This is a great project for younger kids (aged 2-6). Not only do they feel proud about preparing their own snack, they also get the chance to practice their math skills

1/2 to 1 cup Multi-Grain Cheerios
1/2 to 1 Cup mini pretzels (preferable oat bran)
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 to 1 cup Goldfish crackers
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 to 1 cup of peanuts

Lay out a snack-sized plastic bag for each child.
Have each child count out 10 Cheerios and place into a bag
Next, have each child count out 9 pretzels and place into the bag
Next, have each child count out 8 raisins and place into the bag
Next, have each child count out 7 raisins and place into the bag
Next, have each child count out 6 chocolate chips and place into their bag
Next, have each child count out 5 peanuts and place into their bag
Tightly close the plastic bags, and have all children stand up and do the twist. The kids will have fun shaking up the contents of their trail mix. (You might even want to play the song Twist and Shout).
1 serving = 10 Cheerios, 9 mini pretzels, 8 raisins, 7 Goldfish, 6 chocolate chips

Per serving: 105 calories, 3 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 4.6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

Chocolate Pudding Sprinkle Cones

Instead of ice cream, these colorful cones hold creamy pudding that's topped with rainbow sprinkles for a festive touch. They also make a good party treat. They're best made ahead of time and refrigerated for about four hours before serving.

6 ice cream wafer cones, flat bottom, multi-color pack (green, pink, and beige)
1 3.9 ounce package Jell-O brand instant chocolate pudding mix (you can also use the sugar-free variety)
2 cups skim milk, cold
Colored sprinkles

In a large bowl, prepare chocolate pudding mix according to package directions (adding cold skim milk, whip approximately 5-10 minutes until pudding becomes thick).
Pour chocolate pudding evenly into six flat-bottom cones.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon multi-colored sprinkles on top of each pudding cone.
Place in refrigerator for at least one hour. Be sure to set the cones on a stable tray or tight-fitting container to keep them from falling over.
Yield: 6 cones

Per cone: 105 calories, 4 g protein, 18g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 126 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 107.3 mg calcium.

Frozen Pudding Lollipops

Make these at least four hours before you plan to serve them so they have time to freeze. You can even assemble them a day or two ahead and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer.

1 package fat-free, sugar-free chocolate instant pudding mix
2 1/2 cups skim milk
2 tablespoons light chocolate syrup
1/2 cup colored sprinkles or small candies
10 wooden Popsicle sticks
10 small paper cups

In a large bowl, blend pudding packet, milk, and chocolate syrup until thickened and thoroughly mixed.
Place 10 paper cups on a baking sheet and spoon 1 teaspoon of sprinkles or candies into the bottom of each. Pour pudding mixture evenly into each cup. Cover with aluminum foil.
Make a small hole in foil and insert a wooden stick into each pudding-filled cup.
Place baking sheet in freezer for at least 4 hours (or until pudding pops are frozen). Remove foil and tear away paper cups to serve.
Yield: 10 pops

Per pop: 90 calories, 3 g protein: 14 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 72 mg sodium, 0g fiber, 85 g calcium.

A WebMD Feature Article

Source Here

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Quick, Easy, Fun! – School Lunch Ideas

Now that breakfast is done, it’s time to send them on their way to school.
Here are some tips to help you pack a healthy lunch that your kids will look forward to eating…

The Lunch Box: Easy and Healthy School Lunch Ideas for Parents

Actual time for eating lunch at most schools only lasts for 15 to 20 minutes and is filled with distractions. Make sure the lunch foods you pack are easy to eat, packed in easily opened packages, and don't require peeling or special tools. Small children may not eat very much at one sitting. Think about packing appetizers instead of a large sandwich and whole banana. You can also include more choices if the quantity of each is smaller. Fill a mini muffin tin with small amounts of foods, wrap with foil, and pack into t Small foods are not only easier for children to handle, but they are more fun to eat. Cut sandwiches into smaller pieces, use tiny tortillas for wraps and small sandwich buns, serve baby carrots and peel and cut fruit into smaller pieces to interest your child in the foods you pack.

Think about different types of bread for sandwiches and dippers. Try crackers, mini waffles, rice cakes, mini croissants, pita bread, mini muffins, small bagels, tortillas, raisin or cinnamon bread. If your child wants the same thing day after day, go ahead and pack it, as long as the overall meal is nutritious and you are sure your child eats it. Kids don't like a lot of change in what they eat. Did you know that it takes 10 to 12 introductions to a new food before a child is usually willing to even taste it?

Take some time to look at the prepackaged lunches in your grocer's refrigerated section. These appeal to kids, but aren't very nutritious. You can pack the same types of snack foods, but use healthier choices for more kid appeal.
A healthy lunch should include choices from each food group - protein, grains, fruit, vegetables, and dairy products. Using the New "My Pyramid" let your child help to make choices and plan lunch menus in advance.

The Main Course....
A sandwich is by far the most common main attraction inside a lunch box. In a kid's lunchbox, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread is the perennial favorite. According to "The Great Food Almanac", the average American student will have consumed approximately 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by graduation from high school. The pleasing combination helps provide the nutrition a child needs for a school day afternoon. Bread fills them up and supplies carbohydrates for energy. Peanut butter supplies protein for brain power, while the jelly makes it taste good. For a change from the usual peanut butter and jelly sandwich, try peanut butter and sliced bananas on raisin bread or peanut butter with apple slices on wheat bread.

Try a variety of fillings and bread alternatives. Fill a pita pocket with egg salad, chicken salad or tuna salad. Make mini-subs on a ranch roll or on a hot dog roll. Make tortilla roll-ups with tortillas and cheese spread or with sliced cheese and deli ham or turkey. Use left-over chicken or ham to make sandwich spread these tasty spreads are great on thin party bread slices. When you make dinner, think leftovers. Make sandwiches from sliced home-baked ham, roast beef or turkey breast instead of processed luncheon meats. Make an extra large roaster and slice half of the breast for chicken sandwiches. Make two meatloaves and save one to slice for cold meatloaf sandwiches. Cut sandwiches in quarters, in strips, or use cookie cutters to make them more appealing and easier for little ones to handle.

For Sandwich boredom....
Lunch doesn't have to include a sandwich every day. Fruit and yogurt, cottage cheese with fruit, simple meat & cheese roll-ups, are just a few alternatives. Make pasta salads using colorful pasta in fun shapes. Make a cold Veggie Pizza When lunch doesn't include a sandwich, add a slice of homemade quick bread, a muffin or mini muffins, breadsticks, mini bagels with jam or low-fat cream cheese, breadsticks, peanut butter or cheese on whole wheat crackers, nachos and salsa, or graham crackers.

For finicky eaters who need daily encouragement to eat enough to get the nutrition they need from meals at home, getting them to eat enough at school can be a real challenge. Picky eaters need a variety of foods in sizes they'll be comfortable with. A whole sandwich might look like too much food to a little girl without a big appetite, so pack only half a sandwich. To help make sure she's getting the nourishment she needs, include a thermos of milk each day. Make it strawberry or chocolate if that means she'll be sure to drink it. Add healthy extras like string cheese, peanut butter-stuffed celery, a hard-boiled egg or pudding.

Add Fruit or Veggies....
Put fruit or veggies such as grapes, cherries, strawberries, tangerine slices, orange slices, fresh pineapple wedges, and chunks of melon, grape tomatoes, and baby carrots in a zipper sandwich bag or a small plastic container. Plums, peaches, nectarines, apples, pears, and other whole fruit should be washed thoroughly and wrapped in a paper towel. To minimize waste, look for fresh fruit that's kid-sized. When fresh fruit isn't available, pack dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, apricots and peaches or canned fruit.

What's for Dessert?
Unless a child must stick to a low-fat or sugar-restricted diet for weight control or other health reasons, adding a sweet treat shouldn't be a problem as long as the rest of the lunch is well-balanced. For little cookie monsters who really look forward to their favorite goodies, add a few small cookies occasionally, store-bought or homemade.

And finally-Keep it cold....Keep it safe...
Start with a clean lunch box and cold food. Place sandwiches and any other foods that would normally be refrigerated, next to a small blue ice pack or a frozen water bottle. You can also freeze a juice drink box and use it instead of an ice pack, but I think most kids should be encouraged to drink milk with their lunch. Small cartons make sure your child understands that any leftover parts of sandwiches, chicken, dairy products, and other perishables not eaten at lunchtime, must be placed in a trash can in the lunch room, not saved for after school milk can be purchased at school or include a thermos of milk.

Sweet & Spicy Tuna Wraps
1 pouch Star-Kist Sweet & Spicy Tuna
3 Fresh Basil leaves, cut into strips (optional)
2 Flour tortillas
1/2 cup Tomato, small, diced
1/2 cup Carrots, shredded
3 Tbsp. Creamy Italian dressing
1 cup Lettuce, shredded
4 ounces Mozzarella cheese, shredded
In a small bowl, mix together tuna, carrots, basil, and 2 Tbsp. Italian dressing. On the center of each tortilla, place: 1/2 cup lettuce, 1/4 cup tomatoes, 1/2 Tbsp. Italian dressing, 1/2 tuna mixture and 2-oz. Mozzarella cheese. Fold end of tortilla over the above ingredients and roll tightly. Cut in half, diagonally, and serve.

Lunch on a stick:
For a Meat Kabob:
For the turkey and cheese kebab:
cooked turkey, chopped
sliced cheese
cucumber, chopped
cherry tomatoes

For the fruit kebab:
strawberries, halved
peach or nectarine, chopped
kiwi, chopped
apple, chopped
dried apricot, chopped
Thread your chosen foods onto a skewer until full, leaving just enough room at each end to hold it

Posted by Joyce Tompkins at – your news, words and photos
For more Nutrition Information contact Joyce Tompkins @ Polk County Extension Service (863)519-8677 x114 or

A couple more resources to keep those delicious lunch ideas coming!

School Lunch Tips
and Tricks from Amazing Moms

Family Fun A+ Lunches and Snacks including backpack snacks
fuel for the entire day

Monday, September 3, 2007

It's September! Reasons To Celebrate - It's Better Breakfast Month!

Here are a few links to help you get every day in September off to a great start!

Breakfast Recipes From Around The World

Back-To-School Breakfast Recipes and Ideas


Mr. Breakfast!
including a Breakfast Club with with contests, a message board,and a breakfast lover’s photo gallery!