share. The Brookshire's Blog

Family Matters: Grooming Your Cat


Grooming Your CatNot only does your dog need to be groomed, especially if he’s an outdoor sort, but your cat should get some pampering, too.
Cats are somewhat self-cleaning. Their tongue is designed to help keep them clean and neat, but if your cat gets smelly, you might need to step in.

Bathing a cat can be about as fun as wrestling an alligator, but here are some tips to make it an easier process.
Choose a time when your cat is most mellow, maybe after an afternoon nap in the sunshine. Don’t attempt this right after they eat, however, as it can upset their stomachs if they get stressed out during the process.
Trim their nails before you attempt a bath, for your safety.

Place a fluffy towel or rubber mat in the bottom of a sink or the tub, whichever you use. This will help with traction.
Place an oven rack or cookie cooling rack in the tub or sink. This gives kitty something to cling to, besides your arm, during the bath process.

Make sure water is warm but not too hot or too cold. Don’t suds their faces; they usually hate that. Using the water wand, gently and thoroughly wet the cat, and massage some specially formulated shampoo (made for cats, not for humans and definitely not dish soap) into his coat. Rinse thoroughly.

Immediately scoop your cat up with a towel wrapped snugly around him and dry thoroughly.



Family Matters: A New Sibling


A New SiblingIt seems that the time between 24 and 36 months is a prime time to introduce your toddler to a new sibling.

I know I agonized over this when my older son was 19 months old. I cried. I cried a lot. How would he feel? Would I love my younger son as much as my firstborn? (resoundingly yes!) How would the older son react?

Introducing a toddler, especially an older one, to a new baby isn’t always easy. At 19 months, my older son hardly noticed the new guy in town, but I watched some of my friends struggle with this.

Introduce the concept while Mommy is pregnant, not when you bring the baby home from the hospital. Talk to your toddler about pregnancy in terms he can understand. You don’t necessarily have to assign a time value to the experience; he likely won’t understand what “four more months” means. If you know the gender of your baby and have a name picked out, start using that with your toddler. Let him help pick out toys or clothes for the new baby.

Make a big deal about getting your toddler a new bed or a new room if he’s moving out of his nursery. Start this process well before the baby is born, so your toddler has time to settle in.

Have your toddler buy your little one a present for when he’s born. You might want to get your toddler something special that the baby can “give” him at the hospital.

Finally, when it’s time for delivery, make sure your toddler has someone loved and trusted to spend time with when you’re delivering his sibling. Bring him up to the hospital or birthing center as soon as possible after the baby is born to meet his new sibling.

After you bring the baby home, remember your older child might want extra cuddles and reassurance and might act out a little. Don’t scold him too harshly. You know what an adjustment this is for you; imagine what he feels like, too!



Family Matters: Baby Loves Buttons


Baby Loves ButtonsButtons, buttons and more buttons! Not the kind on your clothing (although your baby will probably love those, too) but the kind you push on toys, elevators or electronics. Your child ages 7 to 12 months will love buttons.

As baby’s fine motor skills develop, they become more adept at skills like pushing buttons, and they will want to push every button they see.

Choose toys for your baby that have buttons that will show them cause and effect. Push the yellow button, and a cute animal pops out of a window! Push the blue button, and a honking noise sounds from the toy. Baby will learn his actions have a result, and it’s a hugely rewarding feeling for your little one.

It also helps his fine motor skills as he learns to use one finger to produce a result.

Let your baby push buttons in an elevator, and watch the button as it lights up. As they get older, this helps with number recognition, too.



Family Matters: Never Shake a Baby


Never Shake a BabyPaul and I have a standing joke. “Don’t drop the baby,” he says, claiming this is the extent of his knowledge of newborns.

It’s pretty good advice.

Don’t shake the baby, either.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is another name for abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome. It’s a serious brain injury caused by forcefully shaking an infant or toddler. It can result in death or serious developmental injuries.

Basically, the injury deprives a baby’s brain of vital oxygen. The injury doesn’t usually happen by accident; an adult inflicts it upon a child. If a child survives the injury, it will cause serious brain damage.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is 100 percent preventable. If you find yourself losing patience with 3am feedings, colicky crying or the day-to-day rigors of taking care of an infant, please seek help. Your doctor, therapist or other health professional can get you help. Just don’t shake the baby.



Family Matters: Slow Cooker Pulled Beef Barbecue


Slow Cooker Pulled Beef BarbecueWhat’s for dinner is always the question of the day. I ask myself this question every day because I’m the one doing all the cooking for my family. Next to grilling, my second favorite way to cook is using my slow cooker. Dump everything in the slower cooker, turn it on and walk away – it’s that easy!

One of my family’s favorite slower cooker meals is Pulled Beef Barbecue. This beef is so yummy; I can just eat it straight from the slow cooker. However, it’s best piled on buns. This recipe makes so much that you can use this beef in many other recipes like soups, burritos, tacos, pastas or even to top off a pizza.

Slow Cooker Pulled Beef Barbecue
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Serves: 10

Ingredients:
3 1/2 lbs boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into pieces
1 pkg McCormick® Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water

Directions:
Place beef in slow cooker. Mix seasoning, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar and water until blended. Pour over beef. Cover.

Cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Remove beef from slow cooker. Shred beef using two forks. Return beef to slow cooker; mix and heat with sauce. Serve on sandwich rolls, if desired.

Slow Cooker Tip: For best results, do not remove cover during cooking.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 556, Fat: 37 g, Cholesterol: 157 mg, Sodium: 98 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Protein: 44 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Family Matters: Easter Eggs


Homemade Easter Peanut Butter EggsAbout three years ago, I decided to stop putting candy in my kids’ Easter baskets. It almost never got eaten, and they were more about the iTunes gift card anyway. It was kind of a letdown, but it was really just not something they were interested in.

However, we started making our own Easter treats! Now, not only do they eat what we make and love it, but we also get to spend some quality time together in the kitchen, which is our favorite place to be.

These are so much fun to make! There is no baking required (so you can eat them more quickly!), and there are a lot of hands-on steps. You can really make these any size. We’ve done lots of bite-sized versions, and then my son, of course, had to try a super-sized egg, which he kept all for himself.

The spring-colored sprinkles make these pretty and festive, or you can use drizzles of colored decorative icing.

TIP: Some kids don’t like getting their hands dirty and that’s fine. Slip their hands into a plastic baggie sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to keep their hands clean, but still let them participate in the egg-shaping.

Homemade Easter Peanut Butter Eggs
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Brookshire’s Unsalted Butter, softened
2 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup Food Club Graham Cracker Crumbs, finely crushed
1/2 cup Food Club Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Food Club Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 Tbs shortening
Food Club Sprinkles, for decoration

Directions:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip butter for 1 minute. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add crushed crumbs, peanut butter and vanilla. Combine well.

Using your hands, shape the peanut butter mixture into 16 egg-shaped ovals. Place on baking sheets that have been lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.

When eggs are firm, melt your chocolate chips and shortening together in the microwave on medium-low power until smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Dip each egg in the melted chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off before placing on the waxed paper or wire rack. Decorate with sprinkles and chill again until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Serves 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 309, Fat: 18 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 125 mg, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 2 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Family Matters: Making Your Home Safe for Your Dog


Making Your Home Safe for Your DogGetting a dog is sort of like having a toddler – they can get into things you never saw coming!

To prepare a safe haven for your pooch, consider pet-proofing very much the same way you’d child-proof.

Use child-proof locks on cabinets that contain cleaning agents, chemicals or even food that your dog could get into and could be potentially harmful. Make sure all medications are on high shelves or in other places your dog can’t reach.

Consider putting a latch or at least a lid on your trash can, or secure it in a cabinet with a latch. That way, your dog can’t get into it and eat something he shouldn’t!

Keep the toilet lids closed. Do you really want your pet drinking toilet water?

Secure cords that your pet could trip over, so he doesn’t knock lamps or other appliances over on top of him.

Keep children’s toys with small parts out of reach of your dog, too.

Some house plants are poisonous. Research them before bringing them into your home and around your pet.

In your garage, make sure that your car isn’t leaking antifreeze, which can cause kidney failure in your pet, or that you don’t have paint, oil, gas, fertilizer or any other chemical agent accessible to your pet.



Family Matters: Keeping Kitty Safe At Home


Keeping Kitty Safe At HomeThey say cats have nine lives, but you don’t want them using up any of those in an unsafe living environment!

Keeping your cat safe in your home requires a few simple steps.

First, think like a cat! You’re going to have to examine your home for nooks, crannies and crevices that your cat can get into (look high, look low), and make sure they aren’t a safety hazard for your cat. Make sure nothing can fall on them and that they can’t get stuck anywhere. Patch any holes in walls or closets.

Keep an eye on your cat! Check the dryer before turning it on (cats like to climb into warm spaces). When outside in the winter, bang on your car hood before starting the car to make sure kitty hasn’t climbed up inside the warm engine.

Certain plants can be poisonous to pets. Research plants before bringing them into your home or remove ones you already have that might be dangerous.

Keep food put away; not all human food (or the packages it comes in) is good for cats.

Many bathroom essentials are toxic to cats, so be sure to keep makeup, cleaning agents and personal hygiene products behind closed doors.

Cats are notorious for playing with cords from electronics or strings dangling from blinds. Be sure to keep those out of reach so they don’t get tangled in them or chew through them, which can be fatal to your feline.



Family Matters: Feeding Do’s and Don’ts


Feeding Do’s and Don’tsSmall animals are just that…small! You don’t want to overfeed them or they will get fat, which will tax their hearts.

Hamsters and gerbils should eat one tablespoon or less of food per day. For a treat, they can have unshelled nuts with no salt added. Do not give your hamster or gerbil iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, chocolate, raw beans, potatoes, or sugary or salty foods. Too much green food will cause diarrhea. Never give sticky food to a hamster, as it will stick to their pouches.

Guinea pigs love grass hay and green foods, in addition to high-quality pellets. They need vitamin C, such as kale, dandelion greens, collard greens and peppers. They should be fed twice a day. Great treats for your guinea pig include apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, grapes, kiwi, melon, oranges, pears and strawberries.

Do not give them celery – they can’t digest the “strings.” Do not feed them raw beans or rhubarb, as those foods are poisonous to these animals.

Your bunny will love you for providing grass hay, and they can eat it without restraint. Pellets should be fed in the amount of no more than 1/8 cup per day. Avoid high-starch or fatty foods such as beans, breads, seeds, peas, corn, nuts, cereals, oats or other grains, but they can have kiwi, strawberries, pears, melons, apples, oranges and vegetables in limited quantities.



Family Matters: Do’s And Don’ts of Feeding Your Feathered Friend


Do’s And Don’ts of Feeding Your Feathered FriendFeeding your birds all seed?

Your feathered friend might call ‘fowl’!

Most birds kept as pets should eat very little seed, even though it’s intuitively what a lot of bird owners flock to. Seeds are fattening and not healthy in high quantities. There are conflicting reports on the benefits of seed for birds, but if you stick to natural seeds like sunflowers, your bird should be fine.

Instead, your bird should be ingesting organic pellets and a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. Of course, this comes with rules, too. Avocado can be toxic to parrots. Avoid it with other birds as well. The pit contains an oil toxin called persin that can seep into the fruit. Signs of avocado toxicity include lethargy, anorexia, breathing difficulty and sudden death. Onions can cause irritation to a bird’s mouth, esophagus and crop, and they can also cause ulcers. Fresh tomatoes can also cause ulcers because of high acidity, but dried tomatoes are fine in moderation. Mushrooms, a fungus, can cause digestive problems in your bird. It’s best to avoid them all together. The strings from celery are not good for your bird, but small, stringless morsels are fine.

Apples, pears, plums, grapes and other soft fruits are great for birds.

Hardened fat cut from unsalted meat is also a great treat. Bread is okay in small quantities, just remember that it doesn’t really have nutritional value for your bird; it’s basically a filler. Cooked brown or white rice and potatoes (no salt added) are fine foods for your bird.

Don’t give your bird anything with margarine or butter as it can bog down the bird’s feathers.

No salt. Salt is toxic to birds.

No milk. Birds cannot digest it.

Be very careful of peanuts. No large morsels, no salt, no molds.



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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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