From the store: When shopping, buy cold food like meat and poultry last, right before checkout. To guard against cross-contamination — which can happen when raw meat or poultry juices drip on other food — separate raw meat and poultry from other food in your shopping cart and put packages of raw meat and poultry into separate plastic bags.
Plan to drive directly home from the grocery store and immediately put food into the refrigerator or freezer. If you’re going straight to your outdoor site, make sure to take coolers and plenty of ice or gel packs to the store with you so you can chill perishables right away.
Packing and transporting food: Cold food should be stored at 40 degrees F or below to prevent bacterial growth. If possible, try packing meat, poultry and seafood while still frozen so they stay colder longer.
Organizing cooler contents is a great way to maintain the desired temperature for your food container. Try putting cold food in one cooler and warm food in another tote, or separating perishables and non-perishables. That way, you’ll prevent warm air from reaching cold food by opening the cooler more often than needed.
If you’re transporting pre-made warm dishes, try preparing them in insulated casserole dishes at home so they stay heated on the way to your picnic site.
Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables before packing them in the cooler – including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Rub firm-skinned fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing. Dry fruits and vegetables with a clean cloth or paper towel. (Packaged fruits and vegetables that are labeled "ready-to-eat," "washed," or "triple washed" need not be washed.)
Site preparation: Before you begin setting out your picnic feast, make sure hands and surfaces are clean. If you don’t have access to running water, simply use a water jug, soap and paper towels. Or, consider using moist disposable towelettes to wipe your hands.
If you’re planning on using marinade, be sure to plan ahead and leave time for your meats to marinate in the refrigerator before you leave for your home. NEVER marinate outdoors! Also, if you plan to use some of the marinade during grilling or as a sauce for the cooked food, reserve a separate portion of marinate BEFORE adding any to your raw meat, poultry or seafood. Don’t reuse marinate! Using a re-sealable plastic bag is a good way to keep you from accidentally reusing marinades, and it makes for easy transport and disposal.
Partially cooked food is a leading cause of food poisoning, so when it comes to the actual cooking and grilling, be sure to cook food thoroughly. Steaks, roasts and fish should be cooked to at least 145 degrees F, ground beef to 160 degrees F, and poultry to 165 degrees F to ensure thorough cooking. Have your thermometer ready when you start and check it often. Also, if you partially cook food to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the hot grill.
To keep “ready” food hot until it’s ready to be served, try moving it to the side of the grill rack, just away from the fire.
If you don’t remember anything else, remember NOT to reuse platter or utensils! Using the same plate or utensil that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood is the number one way for bacteria to spread from the raw foods juices to cooked food. Instead, have a clean planter and utensils ready grill-side.
Serving and storing your food: So you’ve gone through all the steps of food safety and are finally ready to enjoy your meal! All you need to do now is keep cold food cold and hot food hot!
Cold perishable food should be kept in the cooler at 40 degrees F or below. To keep the temperature in your cooler down, open the lid as little as possible. That way, warmer air can’t get and the cold air can’t escape. (If you’ve organized your coolers into cold/perishable and warmer/non-perishable items during your packing and food transport, you already know that.) Foods like chicken salad or desserts can be placed directly on ice, or in a shallow container set in a deep pain filled with ice. Remember that ice melts faster outside, so keep an eye on it and replace ice frequently.
On the other hand, hot food should be kept at or above 140 degrees F. Use insulated containers and casserole dishes whenever possible, and keep each dish covered before and after serving.
Hot or cold, your food should not sit out longer than two hours, or one hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90 degrees F. Always follow the saying, “When in doubt, throw it out.”
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By Carolyn Guilford
Let’s start by eliminating all processed foods, old boxes of packaged foods, white flour, sugar, and the old dusty canned goods. Move canned veggies and fruits to the staging area for emergency/get-away/evacuation gear. You’ll want to take them when you go.
However, for day to day healthy eating you want the freshest and best foods for a quick stir-fry of veggies and salads. Or, make a cool smoothie made with with fresh fruit and kale in the blender.
Remove all traces of food stuffs with hydrogenated vegetable oils, imitation fats, brominated vegetable oils, BHT, and BHA, artificial sweeteners, Acesulfame-K, animal or vegetable shortening, trans fats, chemical dyes, MSG, nitrites, nitrates(found primarily in lunch meats, cured meats, deli meats), hydrolyzed vegetable protein, high fructose corn syrup and anything else your Grand Mom wouldn’t have recognized or used in her kitchen.
These modern-day food chemicals have caused the heartbreak of untold families in the form of reproductive disorders, developmental problems, brain damage, weakened immune systems, diabetes, cancer and heart disease, all leading to disability and premature death.
Re-stock your cupboards with whole grain pastas, glass packed tomatoes and other favorite veggies, and small quantities of canned wild caught salmon and tuna for a quick turn over, as well as clean organic cereals. These are lower in sugar, and absent unhealthy chemicals.
Pair the cereals with something new. Instead of cows’ milk opt for Rice Milk, oat milk, or almond milk – try each over time to determine your families favorite. Use other dairy products sparingly. But when you do buy dairy products, choose ones that are all natural, organic and only consume in small amounts.
On your shopping list, buy eggs from cage-free chickens, then add fresh wild caught fish, kosher and organic meats. The goal is to really pay attention to what you eat, and where it came from.
To do this, read all food labels; you don’t want to start bringing food chemicals back into your home.
Remember that the best produce is organically grown, in-season and close to home . It’s easy to start a pot of something you love, growing vegetables in your own yard.
A really great trick for snackers in your family is to keep a large bowl of cut-up fruit in the front of the refrigerator so that anyone who opens it will see the fruit bowl first. Also, keep easy salad fixings in the front of the fridge, with eggs already boiled and peeled, tomatoes and other favorites cut-up, and spice it up with grapes, raisons, or other dried fruit, nuts and home-made dressing. These are the best snacks of all.
The next step in this lifestyle spring and summer cleaning is to start clipping and trading recipes with friends and neighbors, or go online to find coupons for healthy products.
Of course, making food from scratch is the best way to feed your family in a healthy manner versus processed foods, so look for recipes of quick, easy, foods made with wholesome, healthful ingredients.
Take lunch to work and school to minimize unhealthy choices. The result is you will see your family grow and flourish in health.
Remember, Health is a Choice! This is the perfect time of year to bring a new sense of wellbeing and health to the home, by creating new lifestyle habits. Out with the old, and in with a brand new way of life.
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By John Rosemond
Every time, a smile breaks out on the person’s face, then he or she chuckles and answers, “I don’t think so.”
Today’s parents, by contrast, talk about their children’s “needs” a good amount. They aren’t referring, however, to actual needs like air, food, clean water, protection from the elements, and good medical care in the event of illness. They’re actually referring to entitlements like a child’s “need” to have teachers who recognize and respond properly (according to the child’s parents’ definition of the term) to the child’s unique learning style and the “need” for the child to experience life without ever experiencing failure or emotional distress of any sort (if that can be accurately called life).
Parents with this sort of orientation were once called overprotective. It was recognized that despite their intentions, they were doing slow but sure harm to their children. Today, what was once anomalous has become the norm. And the harm is apparent. Compared with my generation, today’s children perform less well in school at every grade and are considerably more likely to experience serious emotional problems before adulthood. They are also having great difficulty uncoupling themselves from their parents’ protections and successfully emancipating.
The difference is that today’s parents believe their responsibility is to their children whereas the parents of two generations past believed their responsibility was to the culture. Today’s parents are trying to insure their children’s success and happiness. Yesterday’s parents were trying to produce good citizens, which is why they said things like “good citizenship begins at home.” The fact that parents no longer talk like that means something.
Yesterday’s parents saw the raising of children through wide-angle lenses while today’s parents have tunnel vision, and the entire visual field at the end of any given tunnel is occupied by a child. Today’s parents have great difficulty placing their children in a broad socio-cultural context.
They’re also near-sighted. When I ask one of them, “What is your mission statement?” they look at me like I’m speaking a dead language, which I suppose I am. Do they not know what they’re trying to accomplish?
I propose that yesterday’s parents had it right. The only proper end goal of child rearing in America is to strengthen America. It is not all about the child. It is about one’s responsibility to this country. It’s not about raising a child who makes straight A’s, earns a scholarship to a top-tier college, is the best center-forward in the NCAA, etcetera. It’s about raising an adult who will be a good neighbor, someone who will be helpful and courteous and respectful and compassionate and charitable and responsible and so on. Most of all, it’s about raising a child who will pass the baton of good citizenship properly to his or her kids.
When that’s the goal, everything else will fall into its proper place.
The child may not make the best grades, but he will will respect adults and do his best. As an adult, he may not wear an Italian silk tie to work or make a lot of money, but he will be a good neighbor.
In short, it’s not about the child’s supposed needs; it’s about what America needs.
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By Lou Phelps
No matter your view on the facts of the case and the verdict, I think the case resonated with many parents who found themselves wondering if their own parenting skills in any way resembled the enabling behavior that seemed to have existed in the George and Cindy Anthony household.
They loved their daughter so much that they failed to address her emotional and mental illness issues. Casey failed to mature, appears to have been a sociopath and was not able to responsibly raise a child.
The Anthony family is not alone. Many parents – both rich and poor in Savannah – are dealing with a troubled teen or 20-something that they love.
What should a parent do? Where do you go for help? Do you throw them out of your home to let them potentially live on the street, or if you’re a ‘Mom who LOVES her child’ do you make sure they have a roof over their head and food to eat…because you love them?
Do you allow them in your home and around their siblings even if you are afraid of them, or afraid of the people ‘around’ them?
Her death was particularly devastating for me because she had talked openly about her son’s problems and the friends he associated with. She had told me that she was afraid of exactly the kind of scenario that took place.
Cindy Pingel was a business woman, working on a masters in human resources evenings at the University of Phoenix campus in Savannah while holding onto two jobs to pay the bills, and managing a home she owned in Windsor Forest. She was white, middle class and from a respected Savannah family. But she had a troubled son she loved dearly.
Certainly, most of us who have raised teenaged girls have heard Casey talking back to her mother in those infamous jailhouse videos, repeatedy saying…”Mom!” in indignation…and then going on and on with their views of event, with lots of drama and with disgust at ‘Mom.”
Her voice and manner of speaking to her mom, Cindy Anthony, at moments sent chills down my spine, I’ll assure you. I’ve heard that voice.
Was I too indulgent with the two daughters I raised? Did I look past faults that I should have put on the dinner table and insist we discuss? Even today, do I stand up for myself when a beloved daughter of mine speaks to me with less than complete respect? A mother’s work is never done, they say.
The question is, where do we draw the line in raising our children between acceptance of their faults and insistence on confronting them? How do we best “love” them?
There are terms in vogue today such as ‘helicopter parents’ – Moms and Dads who smother their children with love and never allow them to stumble and fall – thereby stealing from them the experience of failure and the ability to learn to succeed on their own. Those life skills are critical.
Are we raising children who feel entitled, who may function well through high school to please us and others in authority, but when they hit college…and are on their own…they don’t function well at all. They are not learning for themselves…don’t understand what it takes to create an adult life and function on their own.
It appears clear that Cindy and George Anthony had a daughter that was troubled for many years, but they didn’t get her help, they allowed her to live in their home despite her constant lying and theft of their credit cards - and they looked the other way. What parent would be fooled for years that there was NO nanny; that she didn’t have a job at Universal Studios; that she had NO source of money?
Their breed of love may have led to behavior and a mindset that ended in the loss of the life an innocent toddler.
What can we all learn from this case?
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By Laura Gray
You try reassuring her that the experience is worth the effort. You even role play the entire audition. Finally, she agrees to take that first step. It’s a nerve-racking few days as she awaits the big announcement of the cast. Happily, she made it, and her participation is a huge success. Now she’s glad she didn’t let fear keep her from pursuing her dream.
Your daughter realizes that overcoming the fear that holds us back can open the door to adventure. It’s what Rapunzel learns as well in Disney Pictures’ Tangled, available this month on DVD and Blu-ray. Have a family movie night with Tangled and then use our Talking Together ideas to discuss it. Later, you can play “Welcome to Adventure” in our Play Together activity.
In Tangled, 18-year-old Rapunzel lives high up in a tower with her “mother,” Gothel – who is really the woman who kidnapped her at birth from her parents, the king and queen. Rapunzel’s long hair has magic powers that keep Gothel youthful. Rapunzel longs to leave the tower and visit the nearby town, but Gothel warns her that danger is everywhere and she is safest at home. That fear keeps Rapunzel trapped in the tower.
One day, the dashing Flynn Rider climbs up the tower and surprises Rapunzel. She begs him to take her to town so she can see the floating lanterns. Every year, the king and queen release hundreds of them in the hopes that their daughter will be returned to them. Flynn agrees and they set out, falling in love along the way.
Meanwhile, Gothel tracks down Rapunzel and convinces her that Flynn’s motives are evil. Heartbroken, she returns to the tower. Soon, she realizes that she is the long-lost princess and she vows never to let Gothel use her hair again. Flynn arrives to rescue Rapunzel but Gothel stabs him. Rapunzel tries to save him with her magic hair, but he cuts off her hair so Gothel can no longer use her. A single tear from Rapunzel’s eye falls on Flynn and he is healed! They go to the castle where Rapunzel is reunited with her parents and she and Flynn are married.
Rapunzel has one wish: to visit the town and see the floating lanterns. Why do the king and queen launch them every year? Why is Rapunzel curious about the lanterns?
Why do you think she never tries to escape from the tower before Flynn arrives? Taking that first step – even when it’s something we want to do – can be scary. Why does Rapunzel decide to leave with Flynn? Does she trust him? Why or why not?
What are you afraid of trying? Talk about what might happen – good and bad – if you try it. What would be your first step
PLAY TOGETHER: WELCOME TO ADVENTURE!
You will need:
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