Make Cooking Fun for the Whole Family

cookingkids

Getting your kids into the kitchen can be a great way to spend time together as a family. Involving them in the cooking process is also a wonderful opportunity to show them that a healthy lifestyle can be simple, tasty and fun! Here are three simple tips to make cooking with your child enjoyable:

Choose A New Fruit Or Vegetable

When you’re at the grocery store with your children, ask them to pick out a fruit or vegetable they would like to try. In the produce section, see how many fruits and vegetables they can identify and have them guess what their new vegetable or fruit may taste like. By including them in the process, children are more likely to be excited about trying something new, rather than fighting you about it. Look up recipes together and see how many different ways you can find to prepare your new item.

Give Your Kids A Simple Task In The Kitchen

Getting your kids to taste new foods is often a challenge, but it can be a lot easier if they get involved in the kitchen. Whether it’s peeling carrots or snapping green beans, give your child an age-appropriate task to help prepare the meal. When children play a role in creating what they eat, they’ll have more interest in the foods that they may have initially shunned. And who knows-you may inspire your child to embrace their inner chef!

Get Creative

Teaching your kids about eating healthy can be educational and fun. As long as you’re creative, you can get your kids excited about cooking. Try these tips:

  • Plant an herb or vegetable garden and use the results to prepare delicious meals for the family.
  • Select a country on the map and learn about its culture and food. Find a recipe native to that country and try it out as a family.
  • Pick your own fruit! Check out local farms and orchards for seasonal fruit picking that’s open to the public. This is a great way to learn about where produce comes from and how it grows.

Additional Resources:

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Sleep Well: Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

sleep

March is Sleep Awareness Month, and with the change to Daylight Saving Time, it’s a good chance to re-evaluate your sleep quality and sleep habits. Healthy sleep habits–known as “sleep hygiene”–can make a big difference in your quality of life.

Here are some tips from the National Sleep Foundation for getting a good night’s sleep:

  • Keep a consistent routine. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day–including weekends. This helps your body’s clock stay on schedule.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Dim the lights and do something that helps you relax and get ready for sleep. Activities that cause excitement, stress or anxiety too close to bedtime make it difficult to fall asleep and remain asleep.
  • Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon, if you have trouble falling asleep at night. Even short naps during the day can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Exercise. Even light exercise can improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Make your bedroom conducive to sleep. It should be a quiet place, free from light. Keep the temperature cool. If your room has noises or other distractions–such as a partner who snores–try using ear plugs, a humidifier or fan to help drown out the extra noise.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable. A supportive mattress and comfortable pillows make a big difference in your quality of sleep.
  • Avoid bright light in the evening, but expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. This helps regulate your circadian rhythms.
  • Avoid eating or drinking things in the evening that could disrupt your sleep. Alcohol, caffeine, heavy meals, and even cigarettes can disrupt your sleep.

If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, don’t ignore the problem, talk to your doctor to see what can be done to improve your sleep quality. You may find it helpful to keep a sleep diary that you can share with your doctor to identify common problems and possible solutions.

Source: National Sleep Foundation, http://www.sleepfoundation.org

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Serving Sizes and Colors

colors

With March being National Nutrition Month, it’s a great time to focus on eating more fruits and vegetables. An optimal goal is 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day—but what exactly is a serving? And why is it so important to get the recommended servings per day?

 A serving of fruit is…

  • 1 medium piece (whole fruit)
  • 1/2 cup of fruit (fresh, frozen or canned)
  • 1/2 cup of 100% juice
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit

A serving of vegetables is…

  • 1 cup raw
  • 1/2 cup cooked
  • 1/2 cup 100% juice
  • 1/4 cup dried vegetables

You probably know that fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and other awesome things! But did you know that the color of the fruit or vegetable can tell you what it has in it and what it can do for you?

White/Tan

Allicin – helps to lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol, has some antibacterial properties, may enhance cellular repair.

Examples: Cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, garlic, leeks

Allyl sulfides – may help destroy cancer cells

Examples: Garlic, onions, chives, asparagus

Yellow/Orange

Beta-carotine (dark orange) – antioxidant, reduces risk of heart disease and cancer, helps repair DNA damage

Examples: Carrots, pumpkins, mangos, apricots, peaches, sweet potatoes

Bioflavonoids (yellow-orange) - helps maintain good vision, teeth/bones and health skin

Examples: Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, pears, papayas

Red

Lycopene - helps control high blood pressure, reduces risk of cancers and heart attacks

Examples: Tomatoes, watermelon, guava

Anthocyanins - antioxidant, reduces risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and amnesia

Examples: Strawberries, raspberries, red apples, red cabbage

Blue/Purple

Anthocyanins - antioxidant, reduces risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and amnesia

Examples: Blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, black currents

Phenolic - antioxidant, may slow effects of aging

Examples: Eggplant, raisins, plums

Green

Lutein (yellow-green, leafy greens) - helps maintain good vision, reduces risk of cataracts

Examples: Kale, spinach, leafy greens, lettuce, peas, kiwi

Indoles/Glucosinolates (cruciferous vegetables) - reduces risk of cancers (like breast and prostate)

Examples: Broccoli, cabbage, turnips, cauliflower, kale

Folate (green) - helps build healthy cells

Examples: Spinach, kale, collards

Busch, S. (2014, February 8). Nutrition: Fruit and Vegetable Colors. Retrieved January 15, 2015, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/262977-nutrition-fruit-and-vegetable-colors/

Crome, G. (2014, October 9). Cancer-fighting Foods. Retrieved January 15, 2015, from http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/60/5110/cancer-fighting-foods/

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Choose More (Fruits and Vegetables)

fruitsandveggies

In honor of National Nutrition Month, Cameron Memorial Community Hospital is proposing a goal for its staff and the community at-large: Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables for 20 of the 31 days this month. Think that sounds like a daunting task? Read on, to learn some tips that can help make it manageable.

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk. These foods contain important vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants and they’re usually low in calories. In general, those with the most color – dark green, red, yellow, and orange – have the most nutrients. Try to work in a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. A half cup of vegetables or fruit is about half the size of a baseball. Of course, the best way to know for sure is to use a measuring cup. Eating at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day may not be that hard to do when you add these up during your day:

Breakfast

If you usually have cereal, slice a medium or half a large banana on top. Your morning juice counts, too. Try low-sodium, unsweetened 100% fruit juice or vegetable juice. Remember 4 ounces is ½ cup. For an alternative to cereal, pour half a cup of frozen berries into a cup of plain low-fat yogurt. Slice a banana on top or eat it on the run.

Mid-morning snack

Snack time is a great time to work in more fruits or vegetables. A single-serving container of applesauce, 5 or 6 baby carrots, or a small orange will add another ½ cup.

Lunch

When you need a quick lunch, try a pita sandwich or wrap loaded with vegetables, or a cup of hearty vegetable soup. Either of these gives you at least half a cup – some will give you a whole cup. Add a small side salad with low-fat dressing, and your count just jumped to more than 2 cups for the day so far.

Dinner

Even if you only have a few minutes, dinner veggies are easy. Heat canned or frozen veggies (without added salt or sauces) in the microwave for a quick side dish. Microwave a sweet potato and add a teaspoon of butter, a splash of apple juice or squeeze of lemon, and a light sprinkling of cinnamon and brown sugar. Any one of these will add another cup-size vegetable serving to your day.

Dessert

Savor a frozen treat made from 100% juice or put ½ cup of melon slices, peaches, or other favorite fruit on a toasted whole-grain waffle and you’ve added even more healthy fruits to your day. A splash of maple syrup can add extra flavor.

Other tips to help you reach your goal:

  • At each meal, fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables
  • Enjoy ½ cup (4 ounces) of 100% fruit or vegetable juice once or twice a day in place of soda. Mix with club soda or unsweetened seltzer water if you like fizz
  • Layer lettuce, tomatoes, beans, onions, and other vegetables on sandwiches and wraps
  • Add tomato sauce and extra vegetables to pastas and vegetable soups
  • Challenge yourself to try new vegetables from the produce aisle, frozen foods section, or your local farmer’s market
  • Keep dried fruits and vegetable juice boxes in your desk drawer and glove compartment (but watch the sugar content!)
  • Keep a bowl full of fresh veggies and fruits on your kitchen counter for quick snacking
  • If you’re short on time, look for pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables, such as baby carrots and broccoli florets, at the grocery store

More menu ideas and recipes are available on the American Cancer Society website at www.cancer.org. You can also find lots of helpful tips at the Fruits and Veggies More Matters website, www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org.

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Be Part of the “I Got My Start” Campaign

Pictured:  2014 Kindergarteners being photographed for the “I Got My Start” billboard.

Pictured: 2014 Kindergarteners being photographed for the “I Got My Start” billboard.

Calling all Steuben County kindergarteners and high school seniors who were born at Cameron Memorial Community Hospital. Don’t miss your opportunity to be recognized in the “I Got My Start” campaign to be published in June. To participate, students need to complete and provide the participation/photo release form along with a baby photo and current photo. Participants will also have a chance to be featured on a billboard display.

The deadline to participate is April 10, 2015. Forms are available at each of the Steuben County elementary and high schools. For more information or to obtain a participation and photo release form, call (260) 665-2141 ext. 5336 or go to www.CameronMCH.com.

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Cameron Hospital Awards Quiz Winners

Pictured: (back row left to right) Jeff Lutterbeck, Kasey Jones, Michelle Bruns, Norma Hammel, (front row left to right) Cheryl Westenkirchner, Allison Herman, Saundra Walker and Isabella Budak. Not pictured: Gene Tierney

Pictured: (back row left to right) Jeff Lutterbeck, Kasey Jones, Michelle Bruns, Norma Hammel, (front row left to right) Cheryl Westenkirchner, Allison Herman, Saundra Walker and Isabella Budak. Not pictured: Gene Tierney

Cameron Hospital is very pleased to announce its “Well Into the FUTURE” quiz contest winners. Each of the following winners answered all fifteen questions posted both in the Herald Republican and at www.cameronmch.com correctly. The winners are: Michelle Bruns, Isabella Budak, Norma Hammel, Allison Herman, Kasey Jones, Jeff Lutterbeck, Gene Tierney, Cheryl Westenkirchner, Saundra Walker.

Each winner received a one-hundred dollar gift card. For more information on the new Cameron Hospital, call 665-2141 or go to http://www.cameronmch.com.

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Winter Storm Preparedness

SnowDriving1Northern Indiana is facing potentially significant winter weather as we type this. We’ve written several posts regarding winter safety over the years, but for simplicity’s sake, here’s a quick cheat sheet covering ways to prepare for a winter storm.

1) Make sure your vehicles have plenty of gas in them–especially if temperatures are projected to get extremely cold. If you have other gas-powered winter equipment like a snow blowers or generator, consider keeping a few extra containers safely on hand. (Bonus: make sure your equipment works before you need it.)

2) Stock up on supplies at the store. This includes usual staples like food, water, toilet paper, etc. as well as any applicable medications.

3) Make sure any pets or farm animals have dry shelter from the storm. If necessary, include pet supplies in your store run from point #2 above.

4) Check your emergency kit for any defunct equipment, expired products, or missing items. Make the kit easily accessible to family members who might need it.

5) Have a plan. What will you/your family do if there’s a travel restriction? What if the power goes out? If you have an alternate heat source, is it functioning and accessible? Do you have plenty of clean, heavy blankets? Even beyond the basic necessities, it doesn’t hurt to plan for entertainment, too. Board games, books, arts and crafts projects, puzzles–whatever your family is interested in that can help pass the time until the storm subsides. Check on elderly neighbors and family members to make sure they are alright. Write down any phone numbers you might need in case your cell phone dies.

6) Don’t panic. Winter storms can make people anxious or even frightened. With the proper preparation, you’ll be able to ride it out with grace. No storm lasts forever, and this too shall pass.

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