The Benefits of a Healthy Diet for Children

Because of the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables, more and more people are unable to afford to feed their children a healthy diet. Low-income minority children have a greater risk of becoming overweight or obese. They eat fewer fruits and vegetables and engage in less physical activity than higher income children. 

Healthy fresh fruits and vegetables have huge benefits for children. Children who eat a healthy diet tend to perform better academically and exhibit less aggressive behavior than children who suffer from poor nutrition. Too many children are not getting proper nutrients and therefore lack strong growth, healthy development and a lifetime of well being.

The benefits of a healthy diet for children include the following.

Cardiovascular health

Children who eat a healthy diet are at a decreased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol later in life. Increased fiber content in a healthy diet can ensure a healthy heart for life. Whole grains and green leafy vegetables are a good source of fiber in the diet.

There is now evidence that atherosclerosis begins in childhood and progresses slowly during adulthood. Atherosclerosis often leads to heart disease. Heart disease is the largest cause of death in the United States. 

Mental well-being

Children who eat a healthy diet perform better academically in school, have higher self esteem, cope with stress better and avoid feelings of anxiety and depression. The brain needs healthy nutrients to perform at optimal levels. Children who eat a healthy breakfast before school are said to have higher test scores and participate more in the classroom than children who eat no breakfast before school.

Weight management

Obesity is on the rise in the United States, especially childhood obesity. Obesity is caused by poor nutrition and inactivity. If there is no intervention for an obese child, that child has an 80 percent chance of remaining obese into adulthood and developing at risk diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Obesity in children also leads to poor body image, low self esteem and depression. Eating a healthy diet can help decrease the risk of obesity and therefore increases the child’s chance of leading a healthier life free of mental problems.

Bone health

Rickets is a childhood disease that results from the lack of vitamin D in a child’s diet. Rickets can cause bowed legs, an abnormal curvature in the spine, thickened wrists and ankles and breastbone projection. Rickets can be treated by adding vitamin D to the child’s diet.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become porous and easily breakable. If children don’t get proper nutrition, especially vitamin D and calcium in their diet, they are at risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. 

A healthy diet for children is especially important because they are growing and moving all of the time. If a child isn’t getting the proper nutrition, this sets him/her up for many problems in childhood and at risk of health problems as an adult. A healthy diet consists of foods that follow My Pyramid food guide, which include complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and beans.

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Unusual Cocktail Names

If you want to have fun at your next party, print out a cocktail menu for your guests and include these drinks on the menu. You will get some strange looks, but you will also find you have a bunch of party guests who are anxious to try some of these crazy drinks! After all, who doesn’t want to try a Bloated Bag of Monkey Spunk or a Hop Skip and Go Naked? All the recipes below are for tall tropical drinks that are sure to be a big hit at any party!

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Bloated Bag of Monkey Spunk

1 ounce Bacardi rum
1 ounce peach schnapps
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier orange liqueur
1 ounce pineapple juice
1 ounce orange juice
Maraschino cherry for garnish

Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add all the ingredients and stir. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

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Big Bad Voodoo Kooler

2 ounces Malibu coconut rum
1 ounce RedRum rum
1 ounce Midori melon liqueur
2 ounces orange juice
2 ounces pineapple juice
1 splash soda water

Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add the Malibu coconut rum, the RedRum rum and the Midori melon liqueur. Top off with the orange juice and the pineapple juice. Add a splash of soda.

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Hop Skip and Go Naked

1/4 ounce cherry brandy
1/4 ounce vodka
1/4 ounce triple sec
1/2 ounce lime juice
Orange juice
Grenadine syrup

Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add the liqueurs. Add the lime juice. Fill to top with orange juice. Float the grenadine on top.

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Half-Man Half-Wit

1 1/2 ounce white rum
1/2 ounce peach schnapps
1/4 ounce Scotch whisky
2 ounces passion fruit juice
2 ounces orange juice
1/4 ounce grenadine syrup

Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add the ingredients in order and stir. Float the grenadine syrup on the top.

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Kermit The Frog Piss

1 ounce Midori melon liqueur
1/2 ounce Malibu coconut rum
2 ounces sweet and sour mix
7-Up soda

Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add the Midori melon liqueur, the Malibu coconut rum and the sour mix and stir. Top off with 7-Up.

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Mule’s Hind Leg

1/2 ounce gin
1/2 ounce apple brandy
1/3 ounce benedictine herbal liqueur
1/3 ounce apricot brandy
1/3 ounce maple syrup

Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add all ingredients and stir or shake.

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Please always drink responsibly. Do not drink and drive and do not let your party guests drink and drive. If you are the host, collect the keys when your guests arrive!

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Uses for a Store Bought Cooked Chicken

Who hasn’t been lured by the smell of delicious rotisserie chicken in the supermarket?  You don’t need to settle for store bought chicken, it is very easy and much more delicious to make your own rotisserie chicken at home. “Set it and forget it” we have all seen the infomercial. The Showtime Rotisserie is as far as my family is concern, the best invention since sliced bread. I have had my Showtime Rotisserie for at least 8 years and have made many very fine rotisserie chickens with it.

Making a rotisserie chicken at home is very simple. I use a flavor injector to add whatever seasoning I want directly into the chicken. Store bought marinades work very well. They come in a wide variety of flavors from teriyaki to lemon pepper, the sky is the limit. If you prefer, you can do a dry rub on the outside of the chicken or just pop an onion and some fresh rosemary into the cavity.

The chicken is then placed on the skewers and trussed. The Showtime came with stretchy bands to use to hold the legs and wings close to the bird but when mine ran out, I began using twine, which works just as well. You place the chicken in the rotisserie, turn the dial to the correct amount of time (there is a chart on the side of the unit that will tell you how long you need to cook it) then you just “set it and forget it”. Depending on the size of the bird in an hour or an hour and a half, you will have a delicious, moist, crispy bird that can be used in a variety of dishes.

We always start by just have the basic roasted chicken dinner with nice mashed potatoes and maybe some green beans. The beauty of the large show time grill is that you can cook two birds at once, which will leave a lot of leftovers.

One of our favorite left over meals is Chicken Waldorf Salad.

Two cup of chopped chicken preferably white meat
4 tablespoons of mayonnaise, light if you like
1 cup walnuts, chopped
One large granny smith apple chopped into chunky pieces
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and serve over greens. Serves 2

Never Waste a Thing Chicken Soup. I never waste a chicken carcass.

Reserve a cup of chopped dark meat
Bones of one chicken
One large onion
Four carrots
Two leaks
Two ribs celery
3 quarts of water
Four chicken bouillon cubes

Place all the ingredients (except chicken) in a 4-quart saucepan and boil for an hour and a half. Strain through a colander. Let cool. Remove onions, leaks, carrots and celery.Throw the bones out. Chop the vegetables fine and put back into the broth. Add the chopped chicken and 2 cups of flat noodles. Cook until noodles are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This is a nice lunch or dinner with some fresh bread. It also freezes well for up to three months. Is enough to feed two hearty appetites or four light eaters.

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