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Family Matters: Indoor Entertainment For Your Pets


In the winter months it is best to leave your animals indoors due to cold weather. Since your dogs and cats are not running around outside, they are not getting the proper exercise and can get bored. Making homemade toys for your pets from household products will help keep them occupied while not spending a lot of money. 

Cats love to chase objects; it can be feathers, balls, or small toys. You can take a ball or bell, tie it up with a string and then tie the string to a door handle, or something that the bell or ball can hang down from, for your cat to play with. You can even make a toy for your cat that is as simple as a piece of paper crumbled into a ball or an empty toilet paper roll for them to hit around the house. 

Dogs need toys that they can sink their teeth into, like a bone or chew toy. Buying a bone that is the appropriate size for your dog will entertain them for awhile. It is best to buy them a bone versus giving them left over bones from dinner. You can make your dog a chew toy from an old sock by tying it into a knot for something they can chew on. You may need to watch your dog and make sure they do not think all socks are toys. 



Family Matters: Introducing New Foods


When I was an infant, my mother told me that I was always sick and not gaining weight. After several test, my parents learned that I had many food allergies.

It can be scary when you start adding different foods into your baby’s diet because you do not know how they will react to them. When introducing different foods, pick a food, like a banana, and let them eat that for 2 to 3 days before introducing a new food. This way if they have an allergic reaction, you will be able to know which food made them sick.

Do not avoid a certain food, unless the doctor has told you otherwise.

The most common foods that small children are allergic to are cow’s milk, wheat, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, and tree nuts.

 



Family Matters: Maintaining a Healthy Family


That New Years resolution to get your family healthy may be in the back of your mind but don’t give up.

If you start your child out young with healthy food choices they will grow into loving fruits and vegetables.

Fruit is not normally hard to get into your child’s diet because they are sweet, but vegetables can be a little difficult.

There are many different ways you can add more vegetables into your child’s diet. 

  • You may need to hide the vegetables by adding them to sauces and pureeing them. You can add pureed vegetable into your child’s favorite foods, like chicken nuggets. Make your own batter for chicken nuggets by adding a little pureed vegetable.
  • If you add a side salad to lunch and dinner you will be adding more vegetables to your meal than you realize. You can add tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, avocados and your favorite vegetables.
  • Be creative with your foods. Make your vegetables into animals and flowers to get your kids excited about eating vegetables.
  • Kids love pizza, right? Start having a pizza night at home and make your own homemade pizza. When making the pizza, go easy on the cheese but stack it full of vegetables like corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
  • Think small. Kids are little so they like little foods. They will love baby carrots, baby corn and small cherry tomatoes that they can just pop in their mouths!
  • Find out how your children like their vegetables prepared. Maybe they do not like broccoli because it is cooked, see if they like it raw. Try cooking the vegetables different ways like roasting, baking or grilling.  


Family Matters: Christmas Eve Traditions


I am so excited for tomorrow to arrive!  Christmas Eve is a very special evening for my family, and we look forward to the special spirit of love and togetherness we feel each year on that special night.  In our home we celebrate our Savior’s birth by gathering together for a buffet style evening meal.  Everyone looks forward to the traditional recipes my wife Karen has prepared for years – many of which were enjoyed by her family when she was a child.  After eating, we sing Christmas carols and share our talents.  Then before the evening is over, it is always my privilege to read the traditional Christmas story out loud directly from the Bible.  Our family is much closer because of our long standing Christmas Eve traditions.  Everyone Merry Christmas!

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Healthy Living: Eating Fiber


In planning your diabetic menu it is important to not just look at sugars but also look at fiber. Foods that are high in fiber are whole-grain products, some cereals, nuts, beans, fruits, and vegetables.  Fiber will help you control your blood sugar, help you feel full longer, and help lower your risk of heart disease. 



Family Matters: Puzzle Past Time


Every since I was a child I have received a puzzle for Christmas.  We would sit up a card table in the house, pour out the puzzle and each day you would see someone from the family sit for a few minutes to find a few pieces and then someone else would pass by and sit and before you knew it several of us were sitting, visiting and laughing as we were trying to find just the right piece.  Depending on the size of the puzzle it might take us a week or maybe even a month to finish but it never seemed to matter and no one got in a rush, I think because we all enjoyed the time together.  What an accomplishment we felt when it was finally done and we knew we had worked together as a family.  

Now with children of my own it is a nice tradition to keep going with my family.  There are a lot of unique and fun puzzles today and as simple as it sounds, just the extra few minutes with your kids makes a difference.  It is also a time for your kids to bond and share with each other without parents. Puzzles are inexpensive, mind challenging and are great family entertainment.  Remember as you search for just the right piece…you are making the right choice in spending quality time with your family.  Throw in some snacks from Brookshire’s and make it a fun past time for everyone! 

Don’t forget to set aside time this week for your family.  Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you share with them.  



Shop the Sale: Philadelphia Cream Cheese


One of my favorite snacks my nana makes around the holidays is her jalapeño pepper jelly with cream cheese and a cracker. She makes her jalapeno jelly, pours it over soften cream cheese and then places a slice of cream cheese with jelly on a cracker. You can do it with your favorite jelly and use fat-free cream cheese for a little lighter snack. You can pick up some Philadelphia Cream Cheese on sale at your local Brookshire’s this week! 



Family Matters: Cat litter


We all know that cats are picky animals and if the litter box is not perfect they do not want to use it.

Here are some tips for keeping your litter box the way your cat wants it. 

Cats prefer litter that they used when they were kittens. If you’re happy and your cat is happy do not change litters.

Cats are picky about the smell and feel of the litter, so if they are not using their box try a different kind of litter.

When filling and maintaining the litter box, make sure that the litter is 2 inches deep.

Do not keep the litter box in a busy and loud location, cats like privacy too!  

(Source: ASPCA)

 



Family Matters: Hope’s Traditional Sugar Cookies


Tis the season for the holiday traditions to began. I love this time of the year – digging out all the ornaments that my kids have made over the years, baking my husband’s favorite pecan pie, going to the mall on Christmas Eve for pictures with Santa and decorating sugar cookies with my kids. Carrying out family traditions and creating new traditions for my family brings me so much joy. 

My oldest holiday traditions began around the age of 10 when I started doing the baking for my mom. To this day, if I do not bring the decorated sugar cookies to the family gatherings, everyone gets really upset with me! For a while, even turkey shaped sugar cookies made an appearance on Thanksgiving! Happily, I have now passed this tradition down to my nine-year-old daughter! 

Hope’s Traditional Sugar Cookies 

Ingredients:

1 cup Crisco

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking powder

2 Tbs milk

3 cups flour

Directions:

Cookies: Add Crisco, sugar, eggs, vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat with a mixer until creamy. Stir in baking powder then gradually add flour and stir until blended together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least up to three hours. 

Lightly sprinkle an inverted cookie sheet and rolling pin with flour. Roll dough out onto an inverted cookie sheet. Press cookie cutter into dough and remove excess dough around cutter. Work excess cookie dough back into a ball and repeat process. Bake cookies for 8 minutes (they should not turn brown). 

Icing: you can make your own Royal icing or use Betty Crocker Cookie Icing in a pouch. 

What ever your tradition is during the Christmas season, remember that time spent with family is by far the best tradition of all. Share Meals. Share Life. 



Family Matters: Crying Babies


Babies cry for various reasons, because they are hungry, tired, wet or just plain bored. One way to comfort your baby is to take them back to a familiar place, where they feel the safest; the womb. Your baby was with you for 9 months, it misses you. It misses your smell, your warmth, and even your voice. Holding your baby is one way to comfort it, another way is to swaddle your baby.  If your baby is a little fussy and you don’t know why, try to either swaddle or hold your baby.



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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