Make snacking fun this summer

by Ashlee Lamar

Summer is right around the corner and most kids are finally out of school and at home. More time around the house often leads to increased snacking. Prepare for the next snack attack with these nutritious tips:
Make snacking fun: let kids help prepare their snacks
– Fruit kabobs: cut favorite fruit into bite sized pieces and line up on a skewer (bananas, grapes, strawberries, raspberries)
– Fruit pizzas: spread peanut butter evenly on a tortilla. Place slices of banana on top
– Top yogurt with frozen blueberries or strawberries
– Make a banana split: top a banana with strawberry frozen yogurt and whole grain cereal
– Spread peanut butter on top of celery sticks. Top with raisins
– Toast a whole wheat waffle. Top with low fat yogurt and bananas
Choose the healthier option
– Look for ‘baked’ chips instead regular chips
– Look for the low fat version of dip, encourage kids to dip with carrots or cherry tomatoes
– Choose frozen yogurt over ice cream
– Encourage 1 serving of fruits or vegetables before eating a sweet treat
Sip smarter
– Encourage water as much as possible. Drinking soda loaded with caffeine can have a dehydrating effect
– Purchase juices labeled as “100 percent fruit juice” and watch the serving sizes. Avoid juiced titled “juice cocktail” “fruit drink” or “fruit punch” as these will usually have added sugars.
– Encourage skim milk in place of soda. Skim milk is packed with protein, low in fat and a great alternative to most high sugar drinks.
Ashlee Lamar is a registered dietitian at Providence Medical Center.

Fruit and Yogurt Popsicles

– 1 cup plain yogurt
– 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit (bananas, strawberries, pineapple, blueberries)
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 4 wooden popsicle sticks/plastic spoons
– 4 paper cups

1. Place yogurt, fruit and honey in blender.
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour into paper cups, dividing mixture evenly amongst the 4 cups.
4. Cover cups with foil. Make slits in center of foil and insert popsicle sticks.
5. Freeze 5 hours or until solid.
6. Peel off the paper cup and serve.
*popsicles can also be made using plastic popsicle molds

Serving Size: 1 popsicles
Makes 4 popsicles

Governor to speak at Fairfax meeting

Gov. Sam Brownback will be the guest speaker at the June 12 meeting of the Fairfax Industrial Association.

The governor may speak between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. June 12 at the Hilton
Garden Inn, 520 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan.

Doors will open for the lunch event at 11 a.m. Serving will begin at 11:15 a.m.

Those interested in attending may make reservations by 3 p.m. June 10 to Chuck Schlittler, executive director, at

Expert: Be extra careful when grilling to avoid E. coli

The recall of 1.8 million pounds of beef for possible E. coli contamination may now be extended to grocery stores. A Kansas State University food safety specialist warns consumers to be extra careful when grilling out this holiday weekend.

Bryan Severns, director of food programming and services for Kansas State University Olathe, said all food, especially raw meat, has pathogens in it.

“You want to make sure that you’re not ingesting live bacteria when you eat your hamburger because it has a tendency to have E. coli, salmonella and listeria in it,” Severns said.

The way to kill those bacteria is to cook hamburgers to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, while hot dogs should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. And Severns says to be sure you are using the right type of thermometer. A dial thermometer has a dimple about three quarters from the tip and is used to measure thick cuts of meat. An ideal thermometer for hamburgers and chicken breast is a digital thermometer, which picks up temperature at the tip of the device.

“It is vital to check the temperature of the meat because the color of the meat does not tell you if it’s done,” Severns said. “If you happen to have some old hamburger in the refrigerator for awhile, it might be oxidized and start off raw but brown all the way through.”

Also be sure you are using separate utensil for raw meat and cooked meat and don’t leave food sitting out for more than two hours. Check this chart,, for other important cooking temperatures.