It’s Cold Out There!

Many of us are waking up this morning to ice, snow and dangerous wind chills. Taking preventative steps is your best defense when dealing with extreme cold weather. Prepare your home and vehicles in advance of weather emergencies. Keep abreast of changing weather and road conditions. Practice safety during these times of bitter cold and you’ll reduce your risk for weather-related health problems or injury.

If you absolutely have to venture outdoors, make sure you are dressed for extreme cold weather conditions.

How to dress in the cold

Learn to recognize the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires immediate emergency medical assistance. Check on neighbors, family and friends who may be susceptible to the cold. Learn more: Continue reading

Grilling Fruits and Vegetables

I love using my grill especially in the fall! Enjoy these tips on grilling fruits and vegetables from the Nebraska Extension Cook it Quick blog!

Have a great day!!

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Cook It Quick!

Want to get your family to eat more fruits and vegetables? Try grilling them!

The heat from the grill caramelizes the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables, giving them a tasty and sweeter flavor.

I had the opportunity to visit with a representative from Weber grills who is coming to my hometown — Lincoln, Nebraska — to show their new Husker-themed grills at the Nebraska-Oregon football game. Their Chef and Grill Specialist Tyler Selhorst will be on hand to talk about grilling and tailgating tips.

Grilled meat is the first food that usually comes to mind for tailgating and grilling. To round out the meal with more foods from the grill, I asked Weber for some tips for grilling fruits and vegetables.

Grilling Fruit

grilling fruit Grilling fruit (Image courtesy of Weber grills)

Here are some general tips for grilling fruits from Weber.

  1. First preheat your grill for 10-15 minutes and then brush…

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Happy Wife, Happy Life? UNL Study Findings

Senior Couple at ComputerAccording to a recent study, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) sociologists found older married men with disabilities may do better when their wives become more demanding. Researchers found married men faced with long-term physical limitations feel less lonely if their wives engage in more demanding and critical behavior. If wives were more supportive to their husbands, the study showed it did not matter at all.

“Among current cohorts of older married men, there is an expectation that their wives are going to manage their health, that she’s going to be the one who makes sure he’s going to the doctor, eating correctly, doing his physical therapy,” Warner said. “For men, this ‘nagging,’ in a long-running marriage, is a signal that your spouse is invested in you, in your health, in maintaining your independence.”

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Your vehicle gets HOT! Leave them at home, not in the car!

Never leave children, the elderly, persons with disabilities or pets in a parked vehicle on hot days! What’s hot? …

Did you know that even on an 80 deg F day, temperatures in a vehicle can raise to unsafe levels in just a couple of minutes. In studies, cracking the windows makes very little difference.

From the National Weather Service:

A vehicle heats up quicker than you might imagine. A dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to over 200°F. These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, child seat) heat the adjacent air adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off longwave radiation (red in the images below) which is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle.

Shown below are time lapse photos of thermometer readings in a car over a period of less than an hour. These photos demonstrate just how quickly a vehicle can become a death trap.


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Chilly Banana Pops – Summertime Snack!

MomKidsx680From Nebraska Extension: Make a cool and refreshing snack this summer with bananas and your favorite toppings. These pops are a great way to use extra bananas and get children helping in the kitchen. print-friendly version:

Ingredients (makes 12 servings):

  • 3 large bananas
  • 1 carton low-fat Greek or regular-flavored yogurt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Garnishes (optional):
    • dry cereal or granola
    • crushed graham crackers
    • toasted shredded coconut
    • chopped nuts
    • colored sprinkles
    • chopped dried or fresh fruit

Directions:

Peel and cut each banana into four chunks. Insert a popsicle stick into each banana chunk. Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper and freeze for about 30 to 60 minutes.

Remove the bananas from the freezer and dip, one banana at a time, into either the yogurt or melted chocolate, making sure the banana is completely covered. Roll or sprinkle the coated banana in a garnish, if desired. The finished bananas can be eaten immediately or placed back on the baking sheet and frozen.

Once completely frozen, the bananas can be stored in a covered container, for about one week.

Author: Carol Schwarz, MS, RD, Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension in Buffalo County.

For more information on cooking with children, visit Food Fun for Young Children at: http://food.unl.edu/web/fnh/food-fun-for-young-children

Collect! Share! Practice! Family Communication Plans

In May 2004, the “Hallam Tornado” (video) took a devastating path through southeast Nebraska. The tornado was on the ground for more than 100 minutes, covered 52 miles and was at points 2.5 miles wide. During the storm, we hunkered down in the basement heeding the tornado sirens going off in Wilber. My kids weren’t home at the time so of course I worried … “what if” moments. Is everyone safe? How do we let family know we are OK? 

Don’t wait for an emergency to think about the “What if’s”. The time to prepare is before something happens. Whether you are a work, school or home, it’s important to have a Family Communication Plan in place in the event of any emergency! Every member of your household should know how to reach each other and where to meet in the event of an emergency.

Once you have your plan, practice – practice – practice!

America’s PrepareAthon! highlights ten actions you can take to help keep your family safe in the event of an emergency. The Family Communication Plan has a checklist and a form where you can input your important contacts, print and share with family.

“TEXT IS BEST! If you are using a mobile phone, a text message may get through when a phone call will not. This is because a text message requires far less bandwidth than a phone call. Text messages may also save and then send automatically as soon as capacity becomes available.”

If there is an emergency, your mobile phone can be an important asset: Continue reading

Fireworks Clean-up. Photo by A. Rhodes, LLCH

Start with a Boom, End with a Broom

“Fireworks in particular, are made from several potentially harmful substances, including gunpowder and various metallic compounds. These substances can pollute air, water and soil.”

Guest Contributor: Adam Rhoads, Lincoln–Lancaster County Health Department Environmental Health Educator

The 4th of July — a time for parades, backyard barbecues and, of course, fireworks. With the focus on fun, an important part of the celebration often gets forgotten. Every year following Independence Day, Lincoln and other Lancaster County communities are littered with fireworks debris. This summer Keep Lincoln & Lancaster County Beautiful (KLLCB) encourages residents to be responsible community members with one simple request: Start with a boom, end with a broom.

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