Author: UConn Extension

Power Up with Breakfast! Go-Grow-Glow!

Written by UConn Dietetics Student Alyson Gaylord

You have probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why? The term breakfast means “break- the- fast.” After 8-10 hours of fasting as you sleep, your body is looking for calories and energy. Scientists tell us that kids who eat breakfast tend to focus better on their schoolwork and do better on tests. Let’s do it in the healthiest way possible!

mom and boy at a table with food

 

 

Breakfast is the perfect time to teach your kids some fun nutrition tips! It is always good to include foods in your breakfast that make you Go, Grow and Glow!

 

 

*GO with energy using foods like whole grain breads and oatmeal! 

*GROW with protein-rich foods like low-fat milk, yogurt, eggs, lean meats, fish and nut butters!

*GLOW foods include fruits, vegetables and beans!

Get creative at breakfast! Include foods that help your child (and you!) to Go, Grow and Glow! 

Check out these simple and yummy examples! 

  • Starting your day with a boxed cereal made from whole grains paired with cold skim or 1% milk gives your body a ton of nutrition through vitamins, minerals and fiber!
  • A low-fat plain or vanilla yogurt with your own added fruit and topped with low-sugar granola or your favorite dry cereal is a bang up, crunchy way to start your day!
  • Guess what? An egg scrambles in less than 5 minutes on the stove and is an excellent source of protein! Add veggies such as spinach and tomatoes to ramp up the nutrition. 
  • Love peanut butter? Add it to your breakfast by putting some on your toast! Allergic to peanuts? Try sunflower butter for a great substitute.

All of the above will fuel your body in great ways to tackle whatever the day throws your way!

Do you think all breakfast choices are equal? They are not! There are breakfast choices that might make your body grumble at you a bit.  

  • A lot of breakfast-type foods are high in sugar, such as certain cereals, pancakes, donuts and bakery-type items. These foods digest in your tummy pretty quickly and could lead to a quick burst of energy, followed by a really empty feeling, which defeats the purpose of the meal.
  • While smoothies can be great, you should be careful about how many ingredients you add! You could find yourself drinking too many calories and lots of sugar for breakfast. 

If you know your tummy has a hard time eating soon after awakening, try out these grab-and-go food combinations that can easily be made the night before and taken in a lunch box or bag to work or school for a “later morning breakfast”:

  • Apple slices and nut butter
  • Rice cakes and nut butter
  • Fruit cups
  • Peanut butter sandwich with sliced banana
  • Vanilla yogurt with low-sugar dry cereal 
  • Overnight oats (easy recipe below!)

EASY OVERNIGHT OATS

Ingredients:

½ cup raw oats

1 cup milk (preferably low-fat)

1 tsp sweetener of choice (maple syrup or honey) 

Optional toppings: fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, nut butters 

Directions:

Place the oats, milk and sweetener in a mason jar or to-go container. Stir until combined. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight, about 8 hours. In the morning, top with desired toppings and enjoy!

Good luck! Go get your GO, GLOW, GROW on! 

For more breakfast recipes for kids, visit the following link:

https://communitynutrition.cahnr.uconn.edu/recipes/#breakfast

This material is funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

 

 

 

American Lobster Research & Extension Initiative newsletter

American Red Lobster

The first issue of the Connecticut newsletter for the American Lobster Research and Extension Initiative, a project of seven Northeast Sea Grant programs including Connecticut Sea Grant, is now available. The newsletter is part of the regional Lobster Extension Program to complement and enhance the research component of NOAA Sea Grant’s American Lobster Initiative.

Read More: https://seagrant.uconn.edu/?p=6723

Job Opening: Assistant Cooperative Extension Educator – UConn Plant Diagnostic Lab

plant in hand and soilSearch #: 494755
Work type: Full-time
Location: Storrs Campus
Categories: Faculty Non Tenure Track

The University of Connecticut, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA) is seeking a full-time Assistant Extension Educator to fulfill the mission of the UConn Plant Diagnostic Lab. This is an 11-month, non-tenure track position renewed annually with the expectation of long-term employment. Collaboration with staff and faculty in the PSLA and Extension departments is a key component of this position, and the incumbent will provide support for extension programs at the UConn Home & Garden Education Center, the Commercial Turf Diagnostic Laboratory, the Integrated Pest Management team, and the UConn Master Gardener program.

This position will manage the UConn Plant Diagnostic Laboratory in collaboration with the Home and Garden Education Center Coordinator and will include diagnosis of commercial and residential horticultural problems utilizing microscopy and culture and non-culture based diagnostic tests. The successful candidate will summarize results from diagnosis and identification of problems and provide recommendations for corrective actions to lab patrons in timely written reports. Participation in the National Plant Diagnostic Network and administration of the Northeast Plant Diagnostic Network (NEPDN) at UConn is expected and involves grant writing and reporting. The incumbent will oversee lab budgets, equipment, lab safety, and personnel. The incumbent will be a member of the UConn IPM Team and provide technical support to the Commercial Turf Diagnostic Laboratory. Occasional travel and work during weekends and evenings are required. Excellent oral and written communication skills are essential as this job requires the ability to write, or contribute to, a monthly newspaper column and blog posting, fact sheets, the annual UConn Plant Diagnostic Laboratory summary report, NEPDN grant proposal and progress reports, as well as other publications as needed. In addition, the individual will give educational presentations to diverse audiences on numerous horticultural topics. He or she will represent the UConn Home & Garden Education Center and the University at state, regional and national events and conferences. Contributions to undergraduate and graduate classes are also expected.

For more information click here.

What to Eat (and Drink) Before, During, and After Exercise

Article by Mackenzie Lane, UConn Dietetics Student

Do you ever stop to think about taking a bite of a granola bar before your morning jog? Or force yourself to skip a mid-hike snack so you can feast at the next meal? Or think post-workout meals will make you gain weight?

No need to look any further for fact-based nutrition and exercise information! Here are tips to keep you healthy and help you reach your exercise goals.

Before Exercise: Fuel up!

Just as you put fuel in your car before you drive, you need to put fuel in your body before you exercise.” – Internationally-recognized sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD

Not eating anything before exercise can result in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This can cause fatigue, blurred vision, and lightheadedness – all factors that can make exercise less enjoyable and can lead to injuries. Working out is a mental game just as much as it is physical, so your BRAIN needs fuel to stay focused on your goals, too!

Fuel up two hours before exercise with:

  1. Water – plain water is best!
  2. Healthy carbohydrates – complex carbs like whole grain bread or your morning oatmeal are great choices. Simple carbs, like toaster pastries and sugar-sweetened cereals, are not good choices. These sugary foods will not keep your energy levels up for very long.

If you can’t fuel up a couple hours before exercising and you only have 5-10 minutes, eat a piece of fruit. Bananas are a great choice for quick digestion and energy!

TIP: Avoid eating too much fat or protein foods before exercise. They take longer to digest than carbohydrates, take oxygen and blood away from your muscles, can cause an upset stomach, or speed up digestion too quickly.

During: Water, water, and more water!

family playing soccerStay hydrated with small, frequent sips of water throughout your workout. This is true for high intensity workouts that last for several hours, as well as for low to moderate intensity exercise sessions.

If you are exercising for 1 hour or less: No need to fuel with food during your workout.

If you are exercising for longer than 1 hour: Fuel up with 50-100 calories of carbohydrates every half hour. Try pretzels, bananas, sports drinks, energy bars (more for high intensity endurance exercise).

TIP: If you can’t tolerate food during exercise, try sipping on a sports drink.

After Exercise: Refuel time!

This is when your muscles take protein from your blood to repair and build your muscles. It is also when your muscles best absorb carbohydrates from your blood to make up for your lower stores from exercise.

Aim to refuel 20-60 minutes after exercise with:

  1. Fluids – plain water, 100% fruit juice, and low-fat or skim milk are great options
    • Sports drinks are NOT recommended after exercise. Drink them during exercise lasting more than one hour.
  2. Carbohydrates – whole grain bread, crackers, cereals, pasta; brown rice; fruits and veggies
  3. Protein – combine protein foods with carbs such as peanut butter and whole grain toast, or low-fat cheese and turkey sandwich!

Keep in mind, each type of physical activity is different for each person’s body. These are general recommendations. Follow what works best for you and your exercise goals! Keep up the hard work and remember to fuel your body with nutritious foods!

This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

 

Part-Time Agriculture Program Coordinator In-Training Position Open

making the three sisters recipe with members of the Mashantucket tribe
Extension educators make the Three Sisters recipe with members of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

We are seeking a part-time (20 hours/week) Agriculture Program Coordinator-in-Training to work on our Mashantucket Pequot Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP). The incumbent will work collaboratively with a team of Extension professionals, tribal members, and leaders to empower members of Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (MPTN) and communities through nutrition education and youth engagement. This includes a mix of responsibilities related to youth engagement, nutrition education and agriculture programming. The position is based in the MPTN reservation, which is located in Mashantucket, CT though the individual hired will be an employee of the University of Connecticut.

Read the full position description, including details on how to apply.

Fairfield County 4-H Grows True Leaders: Youth Garden Club Serves the Community

4-h youth at food pantryThroughout the summer, 20 youth in the 4-H Community Garden Club have managed a one-acre garden in New Milford. They were led by leaders Anna Loor and her daughter Amira. Each youth worked eight hours every week at the garden and during 4-H time, learned the principles of seeding, planting, weeding, harvesting and garden pests. Critical thinking skills were used as they solved various gardening problems such as: 

  • Is this a good garden bug or a bad one?
  • How much water do these plants really need?
  • Why isn’t this one growing as well as the others? 
  • How big does this vegetable need to be before I can harvest them?

 As a 4-H club, they had a monthly business meeting lead by youth officers. Youth met with the 4-H Educator weekly to learn how to develop an agenda, lead a meeting, use Robert’s Rules of Order, and meet the criteria for being a club in good standing. After much discussion during the business meeting, it was determined that for their community service project, they would donate one day’s harvest to a local food pantry.

 August 27th was the day they choose to donate the harvest. At 7:30 am, in the misty rain, all 20 youth and their parents started harvesting and cleaning the vegetables. By 11:30, over 300 pounds of produce was cleaned and packed into a truck and the trip to the Danbury food pantry began. At the food pantry, the volunteers were so delighted to receive the fresh vegetables. The pantry opened for the day a few hours after the delivery, with people getting the fresh vegetables that just that morning were still in the ground! 4-H Does Grow True Leaders! The 4-H Community Garden club will continue serving their community in Bethel and Danbury through their civic engagement initiatives.

 

Article by Edith Valiquette

UConn 4-H Announces Winners of Calendar Photography Contest

The winners of the 2020 UConn 4-H Calendar Photography Contest have been selected! Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the participants. We enjoyed viewing your favorite 4-H project pictures and are glad a wide range of 4-H activities will be represented in the calendar. 

eggs in basket
“Teamwork” by Marjorie S. of Litchfield County was selected as the best in show.

The 2020 UConn 4-H Calendar Photo Contest results are as follows:

  • Mia B.                 “Dumpy Tree Frog”                        Windham
  • Derrick B.           “Antique Tractor”                           Hartford
  • Angela B.           “Robin Eggs”                                     New London
  • Alexis B.             “Nose licks”                                       Hartford
  • Sofie C.               “Iris in the Rain”                              Fairfield
  • Abby C.              “Dew in the morning”                     Windham
  • Caroline H.        “Howl”                                               Hartford
  • Emily K.             “Levi with her tongue out”            Litchfield
  • Kaylie M.            “Wander”                                          New London
  • Laura M.            “Listen to your Heart”                    New London
  • Kendall R.          “Snow Storm”                                  Windham
  • Peyton R.           “Princess Leia”                                 Windham
  • Marjorie S.        “Teamwork” – Best of Show          Litchfield
  • Delaney T.         “Sleeping Beauty”                            Hartford
  • Harper T.           “Tenderness”                                   Fairfield
  • Cassie W.           “Bee Hive”                                       New London

 

Congratulations to Marjorie from Litchfield County. Her photo was selected as best of show from among all applicants and will appear on the cover. Calendars will be available from each of the county 4-H programs and distributed in late September. The calendar follows the 4-H year and runs from October 2020 through December 2021. 

UConn 4-H is the youth development program of UConn CAHNR Extension. 4-H is a community of over 6 million young people across America who are learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), leadership, citizenship and life skills through their 4-H project work. 4-H provides youth with the opportunity to develop lifelong skills including civic engagement and healthy living. Learn more and enroll your child in the UConn 4-H program at http://4-H.uconn.edu/.

UConn CAHNR Extension has more than 100 years’ experience strengthening communities in Connecticut and beyond. Extension programs address the full range of issues set forth in CAHNR’s strategic initiatives:

  • Ensuring a vibrant and sustainable agricultural industry and food supply
  • Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
  • Designing sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
  • Advancing adaptation and resilience in a changing climate.

Programs delivered by Extension reach individuals, communities, and businesses in each of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities.

Ornamentals and Turf Short Course Offered Online by UConn Extension

Man applying pesticidesThis year has been unique for everyone. All of us have been impacted in one way or another. We at UConn Extension have been striving to put this course online for your convenience. While we understand that an online course is simply not the same as in person this is where we are in the world today. 

There are some advantages to having an online course, first you can work when it’s most convenient for you. You can also take the course in small chunks rather than sitting through a three-hour lecture. You don’t have to leave your job or business to take the course either.

This Short Course is an in depth review of the information necessary for studying and fulfilling the requirements of the Ornamental and Turf/Golf Course Superintendents State of Connecticut Supervisory Pesticide Applicator Certification exam. A student completing all the modules and working through the “Knowledge Checks” and studying resources materials independently should be able to successfully pass the examination, both written and oral state exam. 

Class topics are:  Pesticide Laws and Regulations, Pesticide Safety, Botany and Ornamental Identification, Plant Pathology and Ornamental Plant Diseases, Entomology and Insect Pests of Woody Ornamentals, Area and Dosage Calculations, Turf Management and Weed Management. Each class begins with a basic overview of the science then takes an in-depth look at specific pests, their biology and control.

We have developed the course into eight modules. Each module is broken down into parts. Each part begins with learning objectives followed by slides with a narrative. Each part will close with a summary and knowledge check. Please take the knowledge check seriously and take the time to write out your answers as this will help you retain the important points from each part. There is the option to printing the slides and narrative to serve as study materials as well.  

Each week on Mondays we plan to introduce two modules for you to work through during the week. The following Monday we will do a short debrief of the modules you just completed and introduce the next two modules, again followed with a debrief the next Monday and so on for four weeks.

If you were enrolled in the winter 2020 classes at the Farmington Extension Office or at SiteOne you may register for the course for free. All others will be charged a $300 registration fee for the course. You can register online for the class at  https://bit.ly/OT_ShortCourse 

This does not include the required Pesticide Applicator Training Manual, (aka “The Core Manual”) can be found and downloaded for free from the “National Association of State Departments of Agriculture” at the following link:

https://www.nasda.org/foundation/pesticide-applicator-certification-and-training.

There is also an optional manual called the “Ornamental and Turf, Category 3 manual” available from Cornell, 

https://www.cornellstore.com/25.-Nursery-Ornamentals-And-Turf

Check for used copies of these books with your colleagues or online, yes, even check Amazon.

You will also need a copy of the “Nutrient and Integrated Pest Management Manual”, Online at the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources bookstore free: 

http://cag.uconn.edu/documents/Turfgrass-IPM-manual-s.pdf

To be placed on the email list for class announcements please call (860) 409-9050 and ask to be placed on the Ornamental and Turf Short Course email list, or email:  Diane.Labonia@UConn.edu