1. Volunteer Activities that Better the Environment

    Volunteer GroupWe all know how important it is to do our part toward helping the environment. Recycling, buying locally produced foods, and watching energy use are all great actions that benefit the Earth. But there’s even more we can do. Environmental volunteerism provides ways for nature lovers of all ages to help keep our world healthy, meet others with similar interests, and reap the many physical and mental benefits that volunteering has to offer.

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    Categories: Living Green
  2. Springtime’s Colorful Arrival: The Gerber Life Family Times, Spring Edition

    Springtime QuizAre you hearing more birds chirping in the morning when you wake up? Have you noticed little green daffodil stems pushing up through the ground? If so, they can only mean one thing: it’s the start of spring!

    Mother Nature certainly knows how to make a great first impression. From blooms to bugs to baby animals, there are so many different things to see, smell, hear and touch in early spring.

    This issue of Gerber Life Family Times suggests some great ways to celebrate the first signs of springtime with your kids. To start things off, enjoy the seasonal quiz below. Do you know the special features that Mother Nature designed for each of the following?

    1. When a ladybug takes flight, how many times per second does it flap its wings?

    A. 20                      B. 35                      C. 60                      D. 85

     

    2. How many miles can a Monarch butterfly migrate each year?

    A. 100                    B. 1,500                C. 2,000                D. 5,000

     

    3. Which Springtime vegetable comes in green, white and purple varieties?

    A. Spinach           B. Asparagus      C. Broccoli           D. Corn

  3. A Date at the Movies – How Not to Become the Main Attraction

    Valetine’s Day Movie Date IdeasSome parents spend Valentine’s Day at the movies – without the kids – as a rare treat that may happen only once a year or less. It’s a good idea to brush up on your movie theater etiquette:

    • Turn off the ringer on your cell phone before the movie starts. If you have kids at home, it may not be feasible to turn off your phone. However, since every cell phone has a vibrate option or can be set to “meeting mode,” there’s no reason for a blaring ring tone after the movie preview ends. If a call arrives during the movie and you must respond, leave the theater to call the person back. If you absolutely need to answer the phone inside the theater, be sure to answer “hold on a moment” and then go to the lobby to continue the conversation. If you answer “hello,” you’re going to start a conversation inside the theater, which of course would not be considerate or respectful of the other movie goers.

    • Arrive on time. Don’t risk arriving late and then stumbling in the dark as you try to find two seats next to each other, which isn’t fun for you or anyone else in the theater. Best bet: Arrive at the theater at least 30 minutes before the movie’s start time.

    • No chit-chatting, please. No need to annoy your seat neighbors. If you absolutely must say something (such as how much you love going to the movies with your spouse), keep it no louder than a whisper – and in only a few words.

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    Categories: General Interest
  4. Let Your Little Ones Lend a Hand This Thanksgiving (Without Worrying They’ll Make a Big Mess)

    Thanksgiving Activities for ChildrenFor some parents, it’s difficult to hand over tasks to their young children, especially if it involves food and drinks.  It’s not that the parents are “control freaks”; they just know that kids aren’t always careful, which can lead to mistakes and messes, spills and stains.  And that means the parents spend less time fixing dinner and more time fixing problems.

    Thankfully, there are lots of ways to get children involved in Thanksgiving preparations without having to worry about big messes.  Here is a sampling of ideas:

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    Categories: General Interest
  5. Eat, Drink and Be Healthy This Thanksgiving

    Healthy Eating Tips for ThanksgivingThe center of attention on Thanksgiving Day is always the food. Sure, there are some families where a crazy uncle tries to steal the spotlight, but the real star of this holiday is the seemingly endless supply of turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pies and other goodies.

    With so much great food, many of us think it’s impossible to stay healthy on this special day, but it’s not. Here are five tips to help you enjoy a healthier Thanksgiving and still eat plenty of delicious food. Now, that’s something to be thankful for!

    1. Lay off the skin – Even though turkey skin is tasty and hard to resist, eating even two ounces will tack an additional 220 calories onto your meal. By comparison, two ounces of mashed potatoes made with whole milk and butter total 70 calories. Two ounces of turkey breast are just 29 calories. So, before adding that turkey skin to your plate, ask yourself if it’s really worth the extra calories. If you’re still tempted, think about this. It takes roughly 50 minutes of raking leaves to burn off 220 calories.
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    Categories: Health & Safety