Building Healthy Communities: Volume 6

Saundra Raines, Agan, Cathy B., Crawford, Terri L., Stephens, Cynthia, Langston, Marianna L., Seay, Brittney, Robinson, Carolyn, Lawrence, Alethia  |  4/28/2017 8:27:48 PM

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Attached is the April Issue of our "Building Healthy Communities" Newsletter. Feel free to print it and share it with a friend. We hope you enjoy it!

NUTRITION: Preserving the Bounty

If you have a garden or like to visit a farmers’ market for fresh fruits and vegetables, you can stock up on fresh produce when it is in season and at the lowest cost and freshest taste. Learning how to safely preserve those foods can give you great tasting produce to enjoy even when it’s not in season. Canning and freezing are both popular options for preserving food, but you can also dry or pickle foods or make jams and jellies.

If you want to safely preserve food and have a good quality product, you should only use tested recipes from reliable sources. The National Center for Home Food Preservation and the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning are good sources of research-based information on food preservation. Your local LSU AgCenter Extension Office can also provide you with great information. Food safety and quality are the most important concerns when preserving food, so it’s best to do it right and follow recommendations from the experts.

The choice of whether to freeze or to can depends upon the food you are preserving, how long you want to keep it, where you have storage space and what equipment you have on hand. If you have freezer space, freezing can be an easy and inexpensive way to preserve food. For canning, you will need to review recommendations for the foods you plan to preserve to see if they require canning with a pressure canner or if processing in a water bath will suffice. Low acid foods must be canned using a pressure canner for safety, so always follow the recommended guidelines. Use only tested recipes since any alterations may change the acidity of the product and make it unsafe.


FINANCIAL HEALTH: Time Management for Kids

At some point we have probably all wished we had more time to get things done. Hectic schedules often leave us feeling stressed and weary. We spend a lot of time trying to manage our time more effectively. However, the management of our children’s time is often overlooked. Helping our children learn to structure their days can make it easier for everyone to get things done and make our time together more enjoyable. Here are some time management tips for kids that may work for your family:

Establish a morning routine—Create a chart if needed to remind kids what needs to be done each morning.

Stick to a routine bed time—Children need a minimum of 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night.

Find a homework routine that works—Children may need to unwind before jumping right into homework. Help your child establish a pattern that lets them relax and then work on homework to finish in a timely manner. They may be better able to focus on homework if they have had a few minutes to transition from school to home.


PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Stretching Tips

Flexibility and balance are often overlooked as parts of fitness. However, tight muscles can contribute to back pain or cause difficulty in performing simple tasks such as bending over to tie your shoes. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, adults should do flexibility exercises at least two or three days each week to improve range of motion. If you have lost some joint motion or feel stiff, range of motion or stretching activities should be done daily. To stretch a muscle, it should be put in a position that produces a slight pull on the muscle but not to the point of pain. Each stretch should be held 15-30 seconds, and each stretch should be repeated 3-5 times on each side of the body. Stretching should not cause pain or take the joint past the normal range.

Flexibility exercise, such as stretching, is most effective when the muscle is warm. Try light aerobic activity or a hot bath to warm the muscles before stretching.

Here is an example of a hamstring stretch to try out: Sit on the ground with legs straight in front of you. Gently lean forward from the hips (try to keep the back fairly straight) until a stretch is felt on the back of the thighs.


HEALTHY HOMES: Mold Prevention

Humid air, damp things and wet ground under your home can lead to molds, dust mites and bacteria growing in your home. Mold spores in the air can cause asthma attacks and allergies. The key to controlling mold and mildew is to control moisture.

What You Can Do:

Use bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to get rid of wet air. Vent clothes dryers outdoors.

Make sure soil under your home stays dry. Rainwater should flow away from your home.

If you have a flood or leak, remove soaked carpets and materials right away.

Check and empty the drip pans of refrigerators. Make sure air conditioner drains are functioning properly.

Consider using a dehumidifier if humidity stays too high in your home.


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