Put Your Christmas Tree to Good Use

by Sarah Browning, Extension Educator – Horticulture

Add fruit garland to your Christmas Tree

Add fruit garland to your Christmas Tree

Before taking your Christmas tree to the recycling center this year, consider using it to create backyard habitat for birds. To attract birds to your backyard, you must provide their three basic needs- food, water, and cover or shelter. Your old Christmas tree will provide excellent shelter for birds, providing protection from wind and predators. It can also serve as a feeding station, where you provide a buffet of food that our native birds love.

Before taking the tree outside, remove all decorations and lights, including tinsel. To provide the most shelter possible for the birds, place the tree on the south or east side of the house, sheltered from winter’s harsh north and west winds. Anchor the tree securely by setting the stump into the ground or a large bucket of damp sand, and securing the top of the tree with twine to nearby building, fence or trees.

There are several more ways to recycle your Christmas tree. Learn more, read the entire article “Recycling Ideas – Christmas Trees“.

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

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Chicken Noodle Soup – Recipe of the Month

This recipe accompanied an article by Kayla Colgrove, MS, RDN, ACSM-CPT, Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County. It appears in the January 2019 issue of the NEBLINE Newsletter


Chicken Noodle Soup

(Photo by Craig Chandler, UNL Communications)

January is national soup month. Try this recipe from Nebraska Extension’s Nutrition Education Program (nep.unl.edu) which includes whole wheat egg noodles. It is easily adaptable to beef noodle or chicken and rice soup.

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
(6 Servings)

1 whole chicken*
1 teaspoon salt
Water, to cover
1 onion, chopped
3 large carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, sliced
3/4 cup whole wheat egg noodles, uncooked**

  1. In a large saucepan, place chicken and salt. Add enough water so the chicken is covered. Heat to boiling. Cover, reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes or until chicken is tender.
  2. Remove chicken from broth and cool enough to handle. Remove skin and bones and chop the meat. Skim fat from broth.
  3. Add additional water, if needed, to make 6 cups. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add chicken, onion, carrots, celery and noodles to the broth. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

*Substitute 2 pounds roast or stew meat for chicken to make Beef Noodle Soup.
**Substitute 3/4 cup rice for noodles to make Chicken and Rice Soup.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 180, Total Fat 3.5 g (5% DV), 1 g Saturated Fat (5% DV), 80 mg Cholesterol (27% DV), 520 mg Sodium (22% DV), 11 g Total Carbohydrate (4% DV), 2 g Dietary Fiber (8% DV), 3 g Sugars, 25 g Protein, Vitamin A 100%, Vitamin C 15 %, Calcium 4%, Iron 8%.

Source: Nebraska Nutrition Education Program

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Finding time for fitness over the holidays

by Kayla Colgrove, MS, RDN, ACSM-CPT, Extension Educator, November/December 2018 NEBLINE


Fitness Photo

Finding time for fitness (photo by Pixabay)

The holiday season is here. Trying to balance holiday parties, shopping, baking, cleaning, entertaining and work may lead to some stressful times. What about eating healthy or physical activity? Finding time for fitness over the holidays may be hard because of the cooler weather and busy schedules.

Including physical activity during the holiday season can help you prevent weight gain and release stress. Here are three tips to help you fit in fitness over the holiday season.

TIP #1: SCHEDULE ACTIVITY INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE

Schedule your physical activity in advance by putting it on your calendar and treat it like an important appointment. Incorporate physical activity you enjoy doing at the most convenient time to accomplish your fitness goals during the busy holiday season.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Set a goal for 30 minutes of physical activity on most days. Do not worry about getting all 30 minutes of exercise done at one time. As long as the aerobic activity is performed at a moderate effort for at least 10 minutes at a time, it still counts towards your 30 minutes.

TIP #2: INCORPORATE EASY ACTIVITIES TO GET MOVING DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Including these activities will help achieve your physical activity goals:

  • Park at the far end of the parking lot.
  • Take extra laps around the store before checking out.
  • Use the stairs instead of escalators.
  • Include mall walking to enjoy the decorations while window shopping.
  • Dance to your favorite holiday music.
  • Work out at home to an exercise DVD.

TIP #3: CREATE HEALTHY HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

Adding seasonal activities to your holidays can be fun and also create healthier holiday traditions. Walk around your neighborhood instead of riding in your car to look at holiday lights and decorations. Incorporate winter activities such as sledding, ice skating, snow skiing, or taking a winter nature hike. After a holiday dinner, organize a walk, basketball or football game to catch up with family members while incorporating fun physical activities.

Reference: Clemson Cooperative Extension. (December, 2010). Let the Holiday Spirit Move You! Retrieved from http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/nutrition/nutrition/dietary_guide/hgic4034.html

You’ll find this helpful tip and more in the November/December 2018 issue of the NEBLINE Newsletter. Available free online.

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Pumpkin Pudding – Recipe of the Month

This recipe accompanied an article by Kayla Colgrove, MS, RDN, ACSM-CPT, Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County. It appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of the NEBLINE Newsletter


Pumpkin pudding (Photo by Craig Chandler, UNL Communications).

Pumpkin pudding (Photo by Craig Chandler, UNL Communications).

PUMPKIN PUDDING
(6 Servings)

1 package (5.1 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix, regular or sugar-free
2 cups low-fat milk
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
1-1/2 cups whipped topping
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. In a medium bowl, mix pudding and milk with
    an electric mixer for 1–2 minutes.
  2. Add pumpkin to pudding mixture. Stir in whipped topping with whisk or spoon. Mix well.
  3. Add cinnamon and mix well.
  4. Chill until served

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 190, Total Fat 3.5 g (6%
DV), Saturated Fat 3 g (14% DV), Cholesterol 5 mg (1% DV),
Sodium 410 mg (17% DV), Total Carbohydrate 38 g (13% DV),
Dietary Fiber 2 g (9% DV), Sugars 34 g, Protein 4 g, Vitamin A
220%, Vitamin C 4%, Calcium 15%, Iron 6%.

Source: Nebraska Nutrition Education Program

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Cockroaches: Unwanted home invaders

Cockroaches (left–right): American, Oriental, German and brownbanded (Photo by Jim Kalisch, UNL Dept. of Entomology).

Cockroaches are one of the most recognized and unwanted home invaders. They are oval shaped with long, thread-like antennae and running legs. Speaking of running? Why do cockroaches run when you turn on the lights? Here’s what Extension Educator Jody Green tells us: Cockroaches are thigmotatic, meaning they prefer to hide in tight places. They prefer darkness, hiding and breeding in cracks and crevices.

Cockroaches are omnivorous and feed on organic waste such as food scraps, starches, pet food and garbage. Cockroaches transfer bacteria that cause infections including salmonellosis and gastroenteritis. Their saliva, exoskeleton and feces are responsible for childhood allergies and can trigger asthma.

There are plenty of reasons to learn as much as you can about cockroaches! You can access the entire article which includes information about the most common cockroaches you may encounter and their management at https://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/cockroachmanagement.shtml

This article also appeared in the 2018 November/December issue of the free NEBLINE newsletter for much more from Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County. Visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline.

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Something for Everyone! Nov/Dec 2018 Issue of the NEBLINE

The NEBLINE Newsletter

The November/December issue of the free NEBLINE newsletter is now on-line. Visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline and click on the link to the November/December 2018 NEBLINE!

We now have a web-friendly and mobile-friendly edition – Easy to Read & Browse!!

Here are some of the articles featured in this issue – – – – https://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/lancasterextension

Fitness Photo

Finding time for fitness (photo by Pixabay)

  • “Youth voice” benefits youth, communities: 4-H provides multiple opportunities for Youth Voice
  • Finding time for fitness over the holidays
  • Pumpkin pudding recipe
  • Successful Farmer Series starts January 4
  • Plan now for pesticide applicator training
  • Tree seedlings available for spring planting
  • Cockroaches: Unwanted home invaders
  • Fresh water for wildlife important in winter
  • Ice suncatcher activity
  • Garden guide: Things to do in November and December
  • Stay connected with the family during the holidays – and all year round
  • Upcoming early childhood trainings
  • Upcoming Green Industry Conferences (Nebraska Turfgrass Conference, Great Plains Growers Conference, Nebraska Great Plains Conference)
  • Be a Master Gardener
  • Heart of 4-H Award Winners (November: Erica Peterson) (December: Kristyn Jones)
  • AKSARBEN 4-H Results, 4-H Awards & Scholarships, Re-enrollment Time, 2018 Horse Awards, Upcoming Workshops for 4-H Members
  • Meet new nutrition staff member Tala Farouki, Extension Assistant
  • 2018 UNL Service Awards: Soni Cochran (25 yrs) & Alyssa Havlovic (5 yrs)

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Make an Ice Suncatcher

This article appears in the November/December 2018 Newsletter:

Make an ice suncatcher

by Mary Jane Frogge, Extension Associate – Horticulture

This winter-themed ice suncatcher (left) has raspberries and spruce branches. This fall-themed ice suncatcher (right) has orange slices, vinca stems and yellow food coloring. (Photo by Mary Jane Frogge, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County)

This winter-themed ice suncatcher (left) has raspberries and spruce branches. This fall-themed ice suncatcher (right) has orange slices, vinca stems and yellow food coloring. (Photo by Mary Jane Frogge)

Making an ice suncatcher with natural materials is a fun winter activity for all ages. Using water, natural materials, freezing temperatures and a little time, you can create an outdoor decoration to place in the yard during the cold winter months.

1. Collect twigs, leaves, pinecones, cranberries, seeds, orange and apple slices, or other small natural materials to use as decoration for your suncatcher. The suncatcher needs a hanger, use a small loop of twine or ribbon.

2. Fill a pie or cake pan half full with water. Add a bit of food coloring to add color to your suncatcher. Arrange your decorations in the water. By adding fruit or bird seed you can make your suncatcher a bird feeder too. Position the hanger in the water leaving the loop out for hanging later. Place the pan outside if you have freezing temperatures or in the freezer to freeze overnight. After you have the pan in place to freeze, add more water to fill the pan. If you are doing this activity with kids, it can be a bit messy. It might be a good idea to make them outside.

3. When frozen, pop it out of the mold or run the underside of the cake pan through warm water for a few seconds until it loosens. Hang your ice suncatcher on a fence or a tree in the yard. Remove the ribbon or twine once the ice suncatcher has melted.

Check out the entire November/December issue of the free NEBLINE newsletter for much more from Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County. Visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline and click on the link to the March 2018 NEBLINE!

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –