Monday, August 27, 2012

Healthy After School Snacks for Hoosier Kids

By DeDe Hausmann of Winners Drink Milk

It’s that time of year again --- kids are headed back to school.  You’ve been buying school supplies and clothes but you also need to think about healthy after-school treats.  Your kids will have had long days of reading, writing, etc. and hopefully they’ve had physical activity via recess and before/after school “play” time.  Be prepared for them to come home FAMISHED!!!  Have loads of healthy snacks for them.

Try to avoid non-nutritious goodies as in chips, sweets and sweetened beverages and stock up with healthy, fun foods from the FIVE food groups.  Here are some easy suggestions: DAIRY: go for lower-fat dairy treats, as in:
  • String cheese or small chunks of cheese
  • Top a small bowl of cottage cheese with applesauce or salsa.
  • Mix some herbs into fat-free plain yogurt and serve with carrot and celery sticks, or small broccoli or cauliflower bunches.
  • Have flavored yogurt on hand for them to gobble up.
  • Make smoothies with milk, yogurt and fruit.
GRAINS: look for WHOLE grains on nutrition labels when buying cereals, crackers, bread, etc.
  • Have them dish up a bowl of cereal and milk.
  • Top toasted waffles with peanut butter and reduced sugar jelly/jam OR with flavored yogurt.
  • Purchase mini rice cakes.  Top with thin cheese and/or veggie slices.
  • Popcorn is great if you don’t pile on the salt and butter---a little goes a long way!!!
FRUITS: whether fresh, canned or frozen, all are healthy.
  • Apple slices contain loads of healthy nutrients and can be dipped in peanut butter or flavored yogurt.
  • Berries are great to add to smoothies.
  • Fruit parfaits are easy to assemble: low-fat vanilla yogurt and fruit bits topped with low-fat granola.
VEGGIES: are packed with lots of vitamins and minerals.
  • Have small chunks or slices of carrots, cucs, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and cherry or grape tomatoes washed and ready to be enjoyed with herbs or seasoning mixes blended into low-fat PLAIN yogurt OR cottage cheese.
  • Quesadillas assembled and ready to be heated in the microwave are a great treat.  Use whole grain tortillas topped with thin slices/bits of veggies, shredded low-fat cheese, and salsa and then top with another tortilla.  Heat, cut in serving sizes and watch them be devoured!!
MEATS/FISH/BEANS: nutrient-packed, especially with protein.
  • Have tuna, chicken or egg salad chilled so your kids can enjoy with wheat crackers, tortillas or bread.
  • Kids can toast ½ bagel and top with peanut butter.
  • Thin slices of lunch meat rolled around a celery stick are great munchies.
  • Spread low-fat refried beans on a toasted English muffin and top with salsa and shredded cheese.  Pop in the microwave, melt the cheese and it’s ready.
Nutritious snacks can taste great. The key for healthy, after-school treats is to plan before you shop.  Then let your kids know what is on hand to enjoy.  Take the time to teach them how to prepare their own nutritious snacks and enjoy the finished products with them!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pack a Safe Lunch

Summer is drawing to a close and it's almost time for the first school session (if it hasn't started already). Take a quick refresher course in packing a safe school lunch for both kids and adults. 

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.  Make sure food preparation surfaces and utensils are clean.
  • Insulated, soft-sided lunch totes are best for keeping perishable foods chilled.  A cold source, such as a small frozen gel pack or frozen juice box, should be packed with perishable foods.   
  • Frozen gel packs will keep foods chilled until lunchtime, but are not recommended for all-day storage.  
  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.
For more detail, visit BAC to School. Class dismissed!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Meet the Kuehnerts

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

Kuehnert Dairy Farm is a fifth generation dairy located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  "There are currently four generations at the farm on a daily basis," according to Sarah Kuehnert.  Her husband, Nathan and his brother Andrew make up the fifth generation.  Their children, Allie, 4 and Bryar, 2 are the potential sixth generation to carry on the "dairying legacy." 

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Nathan's Grandfather Melvin is at the farm every day and is their "do anything man".  He performs daily tasks like driving tractors and repairing equipment.  However, his favorite job is giving is great-grandchildren a ride on his ATV.  Sarah states,   "My father-in-law Alan and Nathan's uncle, Stan manage all the daily functions on the dairy from feeding the cows to harvesting the crops.  My mother-in-law Cindy feeds all the baby calves every day, with the help of myself, sister-in-law Brittany, and Allie and Bryar, of course!  My husband's main duty is helping to keep the cows healthy and happy by providing the proper care and administering the right medications.  My brother-in-law, Andrew, is in charge of the nutrition, ensuring that the cows get a balanced diet every single day.  We are also very lucky to have some young men who work with us that are like family: Kyle Walters, Luke Hesterman, Colten Brown, and Austin Bridgewater."

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The Kuehnerts currently milk 270 registered Holsteins with 330 heifers under two years of age.  They are bottle feeding 30 heifer calves less than two months of age.  A heifer is a young cow that has not yet given birth.  They also farm a total of 850 acres of corn, alfalfa, soybeans, and rye.  The majority of the crops they produce go to feeding the cows.  An adult cow will consume up to 90 pounds of feed per day and drink up to 30-50 gallons of water a day.

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As a dairy farmer, Registered Dietitian, and a mother, Sarah knows how important it is to get at least three servings of dairy every day.  "It all starts with milk," she explains.  "We drink it.  We use it as an ingredient and we make a lot of other products from it.  I believe it is important for people of all ages to know the importance of milk in their daily lives.  One eight ounce glass of milk provides these minimum daily allowances: 30% calcium, 25% vitamin D, 24% Riboflavin, 16% protein, 13% vitamin B12, 11% Potassium, 10% vitamin A, and 10% Niacin.  That's just one 8-ounce glass!  Milk is not just a cool, nutritious, thirst-quenching drink; it is truly one of nature's purest gifts."

When asked to share a story about her kids on the farm Sarah explained, "Dairy farming is a full seven day, 100 hour work week.  The cows must always have fresh feed in front of them, clean and dry bedding, and be milked three times a day here at Kuehnert Dairy.  With this in mind, it is hard to take a vacation.  Like most families, we enjoy time at the lake, but find it difficult to make it to the lake, so we brought the lake to us.  We built a two and a half acre pond that we call Lake Kuehnert!  During the summer days, we make time to spend a couple hours together with the entire family fishing, boating or swimming in our pond.  Lake Kuehnert has helped to make some of our most enjoyable times for my children and creates wonderful memories for generations to cherish."

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"Dairy farmers know the future depends on what we do today, so we are devoted to producing wholesome, nutritious milk as well as compassionate animal care and sound environmental stewardship.   With the current drought conditions in Indiana, we are facing a huge challenge to produce enough feed for our cows.  The dry conditions are not only affecting the beauty of your lawns, flowers, and landscaping, but it is affecting our ability to operate our family's dairy operation. We work diligently every day to make wise business decisions so that we can continue to produce our world with food however; this occupation of farming depends highly on the weather.  We keep our faith in God and know that he will provide. Here at Kuehnert Dairy we are very privileged to have four generations working together daily to produce you with nature's most perfect food, milk!  We take great pride in the work we do to provide you with the purest, most high quality, and nutritious milk that we can. This is all possible by maintaining a healthy, happy cow."

Friday, August 17, 2012

Year of Dairy Cows: Milking it for all it’s Worth

By Sarah the Intern

It’s the Year of Dairy Cows at the Indiana State Fair, and you will not want to miss any of the special events taking place every day this year!

Buttercup’s Big Day Book Readings.  Buttercup (the American Dairy Association of Indiana Mascot- go here to meet her!) will be reading her book Buttercup’s Big Day every day at 6:00 in front of the Dairy Bar. After she reads her story she will be giving away and signing copies of the book.

The Dairy Bar.  Be sure to try the special Year of Dairy Cows treats- Moo Chews and lemon chiller shakes.  The lemon milkshakes and double grilled cheese sandwiches are in addition to their regular menu of mozzarella sticks, milkshakes, hand-dipped ice cream, milk, and grilled cheese sandwiches, are reasonably priced, and will be served by celebrity servers at certain times throughout the fair.

The LegenDairy Marketplace.  Check out the dairy facts presented, enter to win a year of free dairy products, and pick up some great handouts at this booth in the DuPont Food Pavilion.
Pioneer Dairying.  Check out the homemade ice cream and pioneer dairy demonstrations in the Pioneer Village!
Cowtown USA.  The Family Fun Park will give visitors an opportunity to milk a cow, pasteurize milk, and make butter, cheese, and ice cream.  The best part?  You can sample the homemade treats when they’re done!

Farm Families Feeding Families

By Sarah the Intern

Indiana’s Family of Farmers has set a goal to donate over 3,000 pounds of food to Feeding Indiana’s Hungry this year, and we can’t do it without your help!  We will donate one pound for every person who completes the Recipe Trail at the State Fair.  This is how it works:  Eight recipes (including one for Layered Turtle Cheesecake that looks amazing) are spread around the fairgrounds- 3 in the DuPont Food Pavilion,
1 in the Farm Bureau Building,

1 at the Pathway to Water Quality,

1 at the Habitat for Humanity build site,

1 at BeanGo Land,

 and 1 at the Normandy Barn.

After you have collected all eight, bring them back to the Indiana Family of Farmers booth.

There we will give you a heat-resistant silicone basting brush AND you get to keep the recipes!  The recipe cards are recipes from real Indiana farmers and include wine pairings!  You also have the opportunity to sign up to win free cheese or a new freezer at the booth.  We hope to see you soon with a stack of recipe cards in your hand!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Name and New Direction

By Sarah the Intern
Professional chefs, farmers, and fairgoers are all flocking to the DuPont Food Pavilion this year.  Formerly the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion, the building traded out the cockroach races and neuter demonstrations for a kitchen stage perfect for professional cooking demonstrations and a market featuring Indiana Grown and Indiana Artisan products this year.
Every day from nine to nine the building is open for business and open for sampling.  The creators of the products included in the market (including Just Pop In gourmet popcorn, brandy infused maple syrup, flavored marshmallows, and many more!) as well as the Indiana Family of Farmers offer samples throughout the day.  The Family of Farmers booth is staffed by a different group each day and changes all the time. 

Purdue Extension is also having a ton of fun with To My Plate and Beyond- a totally free interactive exhibit that teaches nutrition lessons to all ages, and the cheese sculpture at the dairy booth is looking good so far!

The renovated pavilion offers food, fun, and a lot of information about our food from farm gate to plate.  Be sure to try the great food and visit us in the newest addition to the state fair!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Family Fun at the Fair

By Sarah the Intern

The Indiana State Fair is fun for all ages!  The following are events, exhibits, and other excitement that you will not want to miss with your children at the fair.
The Wonder Trail.  Kids can earn prizes as they learn about agriculture on their Wonder Trail journey around the fair.  Visitors can pick up the information and the map in the Indiana Farm Bureau building to begin the adventure!
Book Readings with Buttercup.  Buttercup the cow has an exciting story to share every day at 6:00 in front of the Dairy Bar.  She will even be giving away and signing books!
Little Hands on the Farm.  Kids up to age twelve are welcome to try their hand at farming as they make their way through this exhibit in the Family Fun Park.

FREE Baby Bottle Fill-Ups!  Yep, you read that correctly!  The Dairy Bar fills up baby bottles with milk absolutely free of charge.
Cowtown USA.  This exhibit in the Family Fun Park lets visitors milk cows and participate in every step from cow to tasting of cheese, butter, and milk.  It’s open from 9-8 every day!
BeanGo.  Stop by BeanGo Land to learn about some of Indiana’s most important crops and to win great prizes (including free ice cream)!

Fuel Up to Play 60.  Let them burn some energy in this tent as they learn the importance of exercise.  They can take away some giveaways along with their new knowledge!
The Pioneer Village.  Watch demonstrations of pioneer life that vary from music to quilting to dairy farming, and maybe pick up some penny candy on your way out!

The state fair facilitates learning and a whole lot of fun!  From our Family to yours, have a great day at the fair!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Table Talk: Cool Treats and Grilled Meats

Summer is sizzling on. The temperatures are high and the days are long. We are all looking for ways to keep cool. What are two ways to beat the heat in the kitchen? The grill and frosty treats!

The Indiana Table Talk Contributors have been freezing and grilling up a storm and are kind enough to share all the recipes with you!

Michelle at Gotchya Baby gives us the 5 step recipe for Tin Foil Potatoes that she uses while her kitchen is closed for the summer.

Krista over at Everyday Mom's Meals includes her son on the fun of making homemade popsicles that are sure to be a treat for everyone in the family!

Angie at Just Like The Number shares with us the magic meal appeal of summer in her Grilled Marinated Flank Steaks.

Sarah at Redefining Perfect is enticing all her neighbors over to her backyard with her Quick Pop Bar.

Beth at In Good Cents lets us in on the recipes for her Garlic Butter Vegetable Rub and Ragin Cajun Rub . Be careful how much Cayenne Pepper goes into the Cajun Rub, or you might be playing the same game as Beth's family!

Beth also shares with us her adventures with her Zoku as she makes her Chocolate Chip Malted Milk Ice Pops.

Heather at Inexpensively continues to celebrate National Dairy Month all summer long as she teaches her teen life skills and whips up quick and easy pizzas on the grill.

Whether it is meat, veggies or pizzas on the grill or a tasty frozen treat for dessert, our Table Talk Contributors prove that enjoying summer time foods is fun!

Monday, August 6, 2012

State Fairgoers: Feed The Hungry and Your Family

Indiana’s Family of Farmers Recipe Trail offers daily giveaways and a chance to give back. 
If you follow the Indiana’s Family of Farmers (IFOF) Recipe Trail at the State Fair this year you will help feed the hungry and win a prize.

For each person who collects all nine recipe cards along the trail, IFOF will work with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH) to donate one pound of food to food banks across Indiana. A total of 2,000 pounds of food was donated last year. This year’s goal is 3,000 pounds.
“The members of Indiana’s Family of Farmers are invaluable partners in the mission of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry and its 11 regional food banks to feed those in need,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, Executive Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.  “At a time when one is six Hoosiers is at risk of hunger, and the number of Indiana children is as high as one in four, the assistance of the agricultural community is crucial in getting food from the farm to the tables of those in our community most in need of assistance.”
To help, participants just need to collect recipe cards from 8 locations around the Fairgrounds and bring them to the Family of Farmers booth at the DuPont Food Pavilion. There, they will collect their 9th card and win a special prize for completing the trail and have a chance to register for the daily dairy giveaway and the grand prize of a Frigidaire® chest freezer.
Recipe card locations
  • Pathways to Water Quality
  • Indiana Farm Bureau Building
  • Soybean Statue Garden in BeanGoLand
  • Habitat Ag Home
  • Normandy Barn
  • DuPont Food Pavilion (3 locations; Indiana Wine and Grape Council, Indiana Dairy booth, Purdue)
  • Final Stop: Indiana Family of Farmers Booth at the DuPont Food Pavilion
(Maps available on the IFoF website and on the Fairgrounds)

  • Start at any location and travel to the nine destinations to collect recipe cards.
  • Redeem your recipes and sign up for prizes at the IFOF booth in the DuPont Food Pavilion.
  • Winners of the daily giveaway are selected by a random drawing at the close of each day of the Fair.
  • One winner of the Frigidaire® chest freezer will be selected by a random drawing on the last day of the fair.
  • Winners will be notified by email or phone.
The IFOF’s recipe cards will feature recipes from real Hoosier farmers and highlight Indiana food products such as pork, beef, poultry, soybeans, corn, lamb, fish and dairy.  Each recipe includes an Indiana wine pairing. On the flip side of the cards, State Fairgoers will meet the farmer and read a personal food story from his or her family.
More information about the 2012 Recipe Trail is on the IFOF’s website. Indiana farmers grow the grains, produce and meat you eat every day. We believe that quality farming means quality food that is good for you, your family and the environment. Food for your family, from our family.

Friday, August 3, 2012

It’s the Year of Dairy …Cow can you miss it?!?

Yummy grilled cheese sandwiches and creamy milkshakes at the Dairy Bar are always one of the Indiana State fairgoers must stops! This year, the Indiana State Fair celebrates the value of the dairy industry to Hoosiers with the “Year of Dairy Cows.” Each year, since 2007, the Indiana State Fair has highlighted a certain commodity group, like corn, tomatoes and soybeans. This year the feature is dairy cows. Of course this brings many opportunities of cow puns and d├ęcor with cow spots.  

For example:
This year’s State Fair will be Moovelous! ... Or how about…You have to try our new milkshake, the lemon chiller, it is Udderly delicious!
But what people might not be aware of is that dairy brings a great economic benefit to Indiana. There are more than 1,500 dairy farms in Indiana housing 176,000 cows.  These dairy farms produce about 3.5 billion pounds of milk, accounting for nearly $500 million in milk production each year. Hoosiers with a sweet tooth will be proud that Indiana ranks second nationally in ice cream production.
It’s Indiana dairy farmers’ time to shine and talk about their nutritious, wholesome product they work so hard to produce – milk. They are dedicated to and passionate about taking care of their animals and the land. 
This year’s fair will be one of the most “action packed” fairs in the event’s 156 year history with more to see and do around the grounds than ever before.  You can go to the fair's website to check out the list of daily events.
Also make sure you take a peek at this State Fair map that shows all the places dairy will be throughout the fairgrounds. The Fair runs from August 3-19 – you Butter not miss it!