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Family Matters: Table Manners


The holidays are stressful! All that last-minute cleaning, cooking, and preparing for guests, so take care of something now that doesn’t need to wait till the last minute – improving your children’s table manners. 

Holiday dinners can be stressful for kids too – all those adults at the table, all that fancy food. And, you can’t expect your children to have perfect manners overnight. You must work with your kids now to teach them good manners. As parents, you must lead by example. If your elbows are on the table and you’re talking with your mouth full, don’t expect your children not to do the same. 

Don’t make dinner a time of lectures and scolding. Praise your children for doing the right things instead of scolding them for doing the wrong. The key is to praise and reinforce. Here are a few table manners you and your family can work on now so they are ready for the holidays: 

  • Before and after meals, make sure to wash your hands.
  • No pet, toys or electronics should be brought to the table. This includes cell phones.
  • Remove any hats before coming to the dinner table.
  • Place your napkin in your lap.
  • Wait until everyone is seated at the table before eating.
  • Ask politely if you need anything passed at the table. Don’t forget to say please and thank you.
  • Remember eating is not a race. Take your time and chew your food.
  • Don’t stuff your mouth. Only eat what you can.
  • When eating your food, keep your mouth closed.
  • If someone asks a question while you have food in your mouth, wait until you have swallowed before answering.
  • Avoid eating with your hands, unless appropriate.
  • Bring your food to your mouth rather than leaning too far into your plate..
  • Leave a little liquid in your glass to prevent slurping.
  • Ask to be excused before leaving the table.


Healthy Living: A Happy Healthy Halloween!


Halloween was historically a celebration marking the end of summer and the harvest season. Over the centuries, many of the old traditions have endured, just in a slightly different form. 

When Halloween was first celebrated in America, the poor would go from door to door asking for “soul cakes” in exchange for prayers for the family’s lost loved ones. The old “soul cakes” tradition has transformed into what we know today as trick or treating. 

When I was younger, my family would go to the church fall carnival instead of trick or treating. My brother and I were not there for soul cakes, but candy; lots and lots of candy. As soon as we got home from the carnival, my brother and I would pour all our candy out on the dining room table and begin the great candy trade. (I was allergic to chocolate so Halloween was not as fun for me as it was for my brother.) 

If you want your children to experience the fun of Halloween, it does not mean you have to let them overdose on the sugar. Many children end up coming home with enough candy to last them a month! Instead, think of ways to limit the sugar shock, both for your own family and the neighborhood kids: 

Hand out healthier treats: Candy bars aren’t your only option.

  • Fruit makes a nice alternative. Consider Full Circle raisins that have a NuVal score of 8, apples with a NuVal score of 96, bananas with a NuVal score of a 91 or oranges with a NuVal score of 100.
  • Food is not the only thing that you can pass out. You can also give out pencils, stickers, glow sticks and crayons.
  • Many snack companies have gotten the message and sell small treat-size packages of better-for-kids snacks like pretzels, goldfish crackers, fruit wraps or granola bars. If you have leftovers after the trick-or-treaters are all gone, these foods are better suited to after-school snacks, sports team practices, or to pop into a lunch box, too. 

Donate some of the haul:  Instead of having candy left all over your house for a month, look into a local candy buy-back program. Many dentists have a program where they “buy back” candy from children and send the candy overseas to our armed forces. Double win: You get the candy out of your house, and you donate to the brave men and women who are protecting our country. If you can’t find a candy buy-back program near you, check online for programs that send candy to our brave soldiers.



Ham & Cheese Frittata


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6 

Ingredients:

12 large eggs
3 Tbs half-and-half
1/2 tsp Food Club Salt
1/4 tsp Food Club Ground
Black Pepper
1/4 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
1 cup asparagus, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 oz deli style baked ham (thick sliced), chopped small
1/4 cup chopped green onion 

Directions:

Set oven to broil and adjust rack about 5 inches from broiler. In a large bowl whisk eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper together. Stir in cheese. Add asparagus, chopped ham and green onions. Pour egg mixture into oven safe baking dishes. 

Bake ham and eggs 30 to 35 minutes, or until set. 

Nutritional Information:  Calories Per Serving: 207, Fat: 14 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 441 mg, Sodium: 593 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 18 g

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Posted in: Cooking, Kids


Healthy Living: Healthy Lunches


It’s that time of year again, summer is ending and school is just around the corner. Parents prepare their children for the start of the school year by purchasing new school uniforms, new school supplies, and helping to finish all the school summer projects. What parents may fail to adequately prepare is healthy school lunches. As you prepare your child for the school year, do not neglect their nutrition. A healthy mind stems from a healthy body and a healthy diet. 

A healthy diet includes all three nutrient classes: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. All three nutrients make the body healthy and strong. A proper diet is essential in children, as they need these nutrients in order to grow strong, both physically and mentally. A carbohydrate is the body’s energy source. Good carbohydrates to include in your child’s lunch are: fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread products, and low-fat dairy products. Try to avoid empty, unhealthy carbohydrates, such as: chips, cookies, crackers, and sweets. Protein is important in normal growth and development. It helps children develop strong muscles. Good protein sources include: beans, nuts, turkey, ham, and peanut butter. Lastly, healthy fats are important in your child’s development. Healthy fats include: salad dressings, such as Italian dressing and low-fat Ranch dressing as a nice side to dip their carrots or celery in. 

Just because your child needs a healthy lunch, does not mean it needs to be boring. A few tips to encourage your child to eat their healthy lunch include:

  1. Include a low-fat dip, such as peanut butter or low-fat ranch with the vegetables (carrots, celery) so that your kids enjoy the taste more.
  2. Instead of a sweet dessert, include a low-fat yogurt, Jell-O, or fruit choice, as these are sweet and healthy substitutes.
  3. Instead of including regular potato chips, use baked chips or pretzels as a healthier alternative.
  4. When preparing sandwiches, use whole-grain bread instead of white bread. Go easy on the mayonnaise.
  5. As for drinks, include low-fat milk or water frequently. Use juice or soda sparingly. These are full of sugar and empty calories.           


America’s Dessert with a Cherry on top


No dessert could be simpler than the
ice cream sundae–a scoop of ice cream,
a sweet topping, and the ubiquitous whipped cream and cherry at the top.

However, icons are never really that simple,
and, perhaps more than any other dish,
the sundae is an American icon. 

Like people, nations are what they eat. More than any other native dish, the ice cream sundae is an essential reminder of the American genius for invention, passion for indulgence, and reputation for wackiness…it’s as messy and irresistible as democracy itself.     

Source: icecreamsundae.com



Want s’more ideas


Make different varieties of s’mores?  

• Add peanut butter to your graham cracker
• Use a chocolate graham cracker
• Add toasted coconut to your s’mores
• Use cookies in place of graham cracker
• Add different fruits to your s’mores: banana, strawberry, etc.
• Add pretzels to your s’mores



M&M’s + Chex = happy trails


Caramel Crunch Trail Mix

Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Serves: 12 

Directions:
1 cup caramel bits
2 Tbs heavy cream
1 cup peanuts
3 cups air-popped popcorn
1 cup Chocolate Chex
3/4 cup Peanut or Milk Chocolate M&M’s 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 225° F. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine caramel and heavy cream; stir until caramel is melted. Spread peanuts, popcorn and Chex cereal over baking sheet; mix well. Pour caramel sauce over popcorn mixture. Place popcorn in the oven and bake for 1 hour stirring occasionally. In a large bowl combine popcorn mixture and candies. 

Zoo Trail Mix
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 12 

Ingredients:
1 cup animal crackers
1 cup Wheat Chex
1/2 cup Pretzel M&M’s
1 cup pretzels
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup dried bananas
1/2 cup almonds 

Directions:
In a large bowl combine all ingredients. 

S’mores Trail Mix
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Serves: 8 

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Milk Chocolate M&M’s
1 cup mini marshmallows
2 cups Golden Graham Cereal
1 cup Cinnamon Chex 

Directions:
In a medium bowl combine all ingredients.



Family Matters: 25 Things For Kids To Do This Summer


As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for summer, the words “I’m bored,” inevitably cross their lips! While kids do enjoy having some freedom during the summer, a few structured activities are always a good idea.

The following is a quick list of ideas to get your creativity flowing and to fill some down time during the summer months. You can let your kids pick from the list of what they would like to do or simply surprise them with a special activity each day. Doing activities with your kids not only provides a structured environment, but also allows for quality family time. This simple investment of time will be remembered for years to come.

So review the list below, visit websites, and see which activities are best for your family. With these 25 things to do, you may just escape the “I’m bored” this summer! 

Make home made ice cream

Have a picnic

Help make dinner

Bake some cookies

Set up a lemonade stand

Make a bird feeder with peanut butter and birdseeds

Make crafts from recyclables

Roast marshmallows

Eat watermelon and count the seeds

Make juice ice pops

Make smoothies

Pick flowers to decorate the table

Cool off with fruit ice cubes

Make placemats for the table

Paint with pudding

Pop some popcorn & enjoy a movie

Make fresh squeezed orange juice

Eat dinner on the patio

Make homemade play dough

Make treats for your pet

Write a grocery list and let kids do the shopping

Visit an orchard and pick fruits

Bake your own mini pizzas

Make homemade peanut butter



Family Matters: Grape Popsicles


Popsicles are a cold, icy treat to help cool down after playing outside or working in the yard. Here’s a way to make your own personal popsicles with your favorite fruit juices. 

When at the store pick up a jug of your favorite 100% fruit juice or you can juice the fruit yourself. Adding chopped fruit to the fruit juice will add flair to a plain popsicle. Mix and matching fruit flavors is always fun for the whole family! You can make strawberry banana, blueberry pomegranate or strawberry kiwi popsicles. Pour your fruit mixture into small paper cups and place a stick in the middle. Place popsicles in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours or until solid. 

Pick up some 100% grape juice and enjoy your very own grape popsicle! 



Shop the Sale: Buy One Get One For A Penny Sale!


It’s time to make your pennies count with our Buy One Get One For A Penny Sale! Take advantage of this sale with Buy One Get One For A Penny products such as: Boneless Pork Chops, Bagged Russet Potatoes, Grape Tomatoes, Doritos, Cheez-It Snack Crackers, Lean Cuisine Entrees, Mrs. Baird’s Bread and Scott Tissue. So start counting your pennies and save!



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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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