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  • Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene and vitamin C.
  • The nutrients in sweet potatoes are also anti-inflammatory, which means that besides being great tasting, sweet potatoes can help reduce the severity of conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6.

Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato Brownies 

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peeled and finely shredded sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in the shredded yam. Spread the batter evenly in the greased baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Mix the confectioners' sugar, butter and milk until smooth. Spread over the brownies while they are still warm

Recipe: Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries 

  • 6 sweet potatoes cut into French fries
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a plastic bag, combine the sweet potatoes, canola oil, taco seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Close and shake the bag until the fries are evenly coated. Spread the fries out in a single layer on two large baking sheets.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until crispy and brown on one side. Turn the fries overusing a spatula, and cook for another 30 minutes, or until they are all crispy on the outside and tender inside. Thinner fries may not take as long. 

Now that school is back in session and children are more susceptible to COVID, colds and the flu, many parents wonder whether it is safe to send their child to school or not.  While many schools have specific guidelines regarding sick children, the following points are a general rule of thumb that will help you determine whether it is safe or not for your child and others. 

 

Your child will need to stay home if:

  • They have a fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • They are vomiting.
  • They have diarrhea.
  • They are in the first 24 hours of pink eye or strep throat antibiotics.

Generally, children can return to school when they have no fever, they can eat and drink normally, they are well rested and alert enough to pay attention in class and once they have completed any doctor-recommended isolation due to pink eye or strep throat.

(Continued from Part I…)

 

  • Hepatitis B - Hepatitis B is spread through blood or other bodily fluids. It’s especially dangerous for babies, since the hepatitis B virus can spread from an infected mother to child during birth. About nine out of every 10 infants who contract it from their mothers become chronically infected, which is why babies should get the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine shortly after birth.
  • Hepatitis A - The Hepatitis A vaccine was developed in 1995 and since then has cut the number of cases dramatically in the United States. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease and is transmitted through person-to-person contact or through contaminated food and water. Vaccinating against hepatitis A is a good way to help your baby stay healthy and hepatitis-free.
  • Rubella - Rubella is spread by coughing and sneezing. It is especially dangerous for a pregnant woman and her developing baby. If an unvaccinated pregnant woman gets infected with rubella, she can have a miscarriage, or her baby could die just after birth.
  • While these are just a few, it’s important to keep your regular yearly appointments to ensure that you and your family are up-to-date on all of your vaccinations.
  • Hib - Hib (or its official name, Haemophilus influenzaetype b) isn’t as well-known as some of the other diseases, thanks to vaccines. Hib can do some serious damage to a child’s immune systems and cause brain damage, hearing loss, or even death. Hib mostly affects kids under five years old.
  • Measles - Measles is very contagious, and it can be serious, especially for young children. Because measles is common in other parts of the world, unvaccinated people can get measles while traveling and bring it into the United States. Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk, so make sure to stay up to date on your child’s vaccines.

 

Every August, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) observes the National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) to highlight the importance of routine vaccination for people of all ages.

This month, we highlight the diseases that have become obsolete (or nearly obsolete) due to vaccinations.

 

  • Polio - Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease that is caused by poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis. Polio was eliminated in the United States with vaccination, and continued use of polio vaccine has kept this country polio-free.
  • Tetanus – Tetanus causes painful muscle stiffness and and lockjaw. It can be fatal. Parents used to warn kids about tetanus every time we scratched, scraped, poked, or sliced ourselves on something metal. Nowadays, the tetanus vaccine is part of a disease-fighting vaccine called DTaP, which provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).
  • The Flu (Influenza) - Flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu can affect people differently based on their immune system, age, and health. Every year in the United States, otherwise healthy children are hospitalized or die from flu complications. The best way to protect babies against flu is for the mother to get a flu vaccine during pregnancy and for all caregivers and close contacts of the infant to be vaccinated. Everyone 6 months and older needs a flu vaccine every year.

(Continued in Part II…)

 

It is 2023 and nearly everyone has a smart phone nowadays. There are so many apps and programs that you can now download to your phone to help you reach your fitness and health goals. 

While this seems like an easy thing to do – just download an app – there is much more involved in getting the most out of your smart phone to become healthier. 

Here are five ways that your smart phone can make you healthier. 

 

  1. Set up healthy appointments on your phone. Use the remind or alarm function on your phone to help you set healthy reminders – like take your medication, get to spin class, go to bed early and take the stairs and not the elevator on your lunch break.
  2. Use your timer. We have learned since we were little that we should brush our teeth for 2 minutes, but do you? Use your timer to achieve these types of goals. You can use your timer to figure out how long tasks take so that you can also better prioritize your time, causing less stress.
  3. Track your progress. Sure, you downloaded that fitness tracker on your phone, but are you using it? Commit to a particular app and actually use it. Basic features include tracking your steps, counting your calories, and helping you to get a handle on your blood pressure.
  4. Eat Healthy. There are quite a few apps that you can download that can help you to be a better label reader and track your food intake.
  5. Motivate yourself. Customize your alarms to give you that gentle nudge that you need to motivate yourself. A “Get to the gym if you want to fit in that dress” message alarm is more motivating than a beeping alarm.