Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cook with Your Children to Instill Healthy Values

If you think you’ve tried everything you can to help your children choose healthy meals and snack foods rather than fried food, fast food, and other dishes that offer subpar nutrition, here’s one more trick to try: Invite them into the kitchen to cook with you. 

A study published in Public Health Nutrition found that learning to cook helps children eat healthier. Researchers from the University of Alberta who followed close to 4,000 fifth-graders found those who most frequently helped prepare and cook meals at home also had the highest consumption of fruits and vegetables. They also had a better ability to choose and eat healthy foods. 

Other benefits of cooking with your children include giving them a real-life opportunity to use their math skills and a chance to mutually discuss the link between a healthy diet and a healthy body. Cooking with your children is also a perfect opportunity to pass on family and ethnic traditions and customs. 

Although the mess and safety concerns that come to mind when you think about cooking with your children may give you pause, you can overcome these issues. Use the following tips and tricks to make the experience fun for you and your children.

1. Keep It Simple
Unless your son or daughter appears to be a budding Julia Child or Iron Chef, it’s best to keep the dishes you prepare together on the simple side at first. Let your child begin with easier jobs and work up to tasks and recipes that are more difficult or complex. 

Simple kid-friendly recipes include salads; yogurt sundaes; mini pizzas; healthy nachos; and decorated whole wheat bread made with prepared bread dough, chopped dried fruit and nuts, and sunflower seeds.

2. Keep It Safe
Any time knives, hot ovens, and cooktops are involved, safety concerns need to be considered, explained, and enacted.

Some to enforce include:
• Always have kids wash their hands with soap and water before preparing food and after touching raw meat, poultry, and fish.
• Closely supervise knife use and demonstrate proper cutting techniques before letting children cut anything on their own. Teach children to cut away, not toward, their fingers.
• Children should always use pot holders when removing hot pots, pans, and baking dishes from the oven.
• Use one cutting board for meat and poultry and another one for fresh produce.
• Defrost frozen meat in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave, not on the countertop.

3. Keep It Age Appropriate
The kitchen tasks your children can accomplish depend on their skill, experience, and ability to follow directions. Some tasks they may be able to perform at different grade levels include:

Retrieve ingredients from the fridge or cupboards
• Stir batter
• Sprinkle grated cheese or carrots

Grades K–2
Break eggs
• Cut soft foods with a table knife or scissors
• Mash and knead
• Measure
• Toss a salad
• Squeeze a lemon
• Tear lettuce leaves
• Use an apple peeler or egg separator

Grades 3–6
Carefully cut vegetables
• Double or cut recipes in half
• Grate
• Sauté

Grades 7–12
Depending on their previous experience, children in these grades are likely capable of performing most preparation and cooking tasks.
By Barbara Floria, senior writer for Vitality. For more information, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at www.eatright.org.

Kid-Friendly Meals

Pita Pizzas
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup grilled skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 cup broccoli, rinsed, chopped, and cooked
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
4 (6½-inch) whole wheat pitas

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees. For each pizza, spread ¼ cup tomato sauce on a pita and top with ¼ cup chicken, ¼ cup broccoli, ½ tablespoon Parmesan cheese, and ¼ tablespoon chopped basil. On a nonstick baking sheet, bake pizzas for about five to eight minutes until golden brown and chicken is heated through. Serves four.
     PER SERVING: Calories–275, fat–5 g, saturated fat–1 g, cholesterol–32 mg, sodium–486 mg, carbohydrates–41 g, fiber–7 g, protein–20 g

Crispy Chicken Fingers with Dipping Sauce


½ tsp. reduced-sodium crab seasoning (or substitute ¼ tsp. paprika and ¼ tsp. garlic powder for a sodium-free alternative)
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. whole wheat flour
12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 12 strips
2 tbsp. fat-free milk
1 egg white
3 cups cornflake cereal, crushed

¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup 100-percent orange juice
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. deli mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. First, blend crab seasoning, pepper, and flour in a bowl. Then add chicken strips and toss well to coat evenly. In a separate bowl, combine milk and egg white and mix. Pour over seasoned chicken and coat well.
     Place cornflakes in a ziplock bag. Use a rolling pin and roll it across the bag several times until the cornflakes are crushed. Dip each chicken strip into the cornflakes and coat well. Place strips on a nonstick baking sheet.
     Bake chicken strips for 10 to 12 minutes. To make the sauce, combine all sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
     Serve three chicken strips with ¼ cup dipping sauce. Serves four.
     PER SERVING: Calories–248, fat–2 g, saturated fat–1 g, cholesterol–47 mg, sodium–422 mg, carbohydrates–36 g, fiber–1 g, protein–20 g
Source: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lucille Samia Turns 104 at Fauquier Health Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

Lucille Samia stands in front of her favorite oil painting.
An artist, dressmaker and lifelong learner, she turned 104 on September 27.

Lucille Samia smiles easily and listens intently. Her laughter is infectious. The three-year resident of Fauquier Health Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (FHRNC) celebrated her 104th birthday on August 27; she says she owes her long life to exercise, strong relationships, and a diet that includes lots of vegetables. She is the poster child for clean living.

Mrs. Samia uses a walker to hustle to the different activities she engages in at FHRNC, but she moves well without it. “It gives me a sense of security. I don’t want to fall,” she said. But Mrs. Samia can get around pretty well if she wants to. When she heard that there was going to be luau at FHRNC last Friday, she even obliged with a convincing hula dance (sans walker) just to get in the spirit.

Her favorite activities at FHRNC involve exercise. “They have classes for stretching and bending. They keep me moving.” She also spends time reading. “I am so lucky that my eyes are good. They have a good library here, and I am never without a book.” In the basket of her walker is her current choice, Nicole Jordon’s romance, “Master of Temptation.”

Mrs. Samia also has enjoyed painting activities while at FHRNC. She explained, “One day my husband and I were walking down a street in Florida. We passed a shop with paintings. I told him I’d love to paint, and he said, ‘If you want to do it, then do it!’ ” She painted hundreds of oil paintings since that day, decades ago. Her son, Frederick Samia, and daughter, Joyce Najjar, have most of her creations, but she keeps a couple in her room at FHRNC. “This one is my favorite,” she said, pointing to an oil painting of a sunset on the beach. “It just pulls you in. I love it.”

Although her husband, Fred, passed away years ago, Mrs. Samia still talks of him as the most important person in her life. “He was a wonderful man, a wonderful husband, so romantic. Even after we were married, he would leave notes around the house for me to find. I remember he used to tell our children, ‘I love you both very much, but your mother comes first with me.’ ”

The couple met when Fred Samia’s date needed a dress for a big dance. He sent her to Lucille, who was a talented dressmaker. Later, he came into the dress shop and asked her on a date. They were married in 1940.

Mrs. Samia’s daughter comes to see her almost every day, often with her three grandchildren. “She takes me shopping, because I don’t drive now.”

Mrs. Samia offers a few words of advice: “Make the best of life and try not to hold grudges. It makes life so unhappy.”

Fauquier Hospital Calendar of Events for September

Thursday, September 3
Breastfeeding Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (This support group meets every Thursday.)

Saturday, September 12
Sitter Babysitter Training
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room

When: Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $60
Register: 540-316-3588

Junior Chef Program
Where: Fauquier Hospital Bistro on the Hill restaurant
When: 9 a.m. to noon
Cost: $45
Register: 540-316-3588

MS Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut Room
When: 10:30 a.m.
Contact: 540-349-2826 for more information

Monday, September 14
Look Good…Feel Better
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut Room
When: 10 a.m.
Register: Christina Ballard at 240-994-2863

Cancer Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Contact: Richard Shrout at 540-316-CARE (2273)

Thursday, September 17
Baby Care Essentials
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $25
Register: 540-316-3588

Friday and Saturday, September 18 and 19
Childbirth Experience
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: Friday, 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Details: Weekend class
Cost: $120
Register: 540-316-3588

Saturday, September 19
First Aid/CPR/AED (Adult/ Infant and Child)
through the American Heart Association
Where: Fauquier Hospital Medical Office Building
When: 9 a.m.to 5 p.m.
Cost: $85
Register: 540-316-3588

Monday, September 21
Bereavement Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut Room
When: 1 p.m.
Register: Call Roxanne Woodward at 703-957-1800

Tuesday, September 22
Epilepsy Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Contact: Carina Richard-Wheat at 540-222-9024 or by email at

Wednesday, September 23
Alzheimer’s and Dementia-Related Illness Support Group
Where: The Villa at Suffield Meadows
When: 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Register: 540-316-3800

Fauquier Hospital’s New Open MRI Will Begin Serving Patients in October

Workmen maneuver Fauquier Health’s new open MRI into its new home in the
Medical Imaging Department, on Monday morning.
Fauquier Health has added a high-field open Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI) system to its list of diagnostic offerings. The new unit provides a 270-degree unobstructed view, which minimizes anxiety and claustrophobia and provides a more pleasant environment for the patient during the MRI exam. Its open design accommodates obese patients as well.

Because there is space all around the MRI, it allows the patient to have a loved one or friend nearby during the exam for further reassurance. This is especially valuable for pediatric patients, because patients and care providers can have access to and visual communication with the child during the scan.

The equipment offers an ultra-fast workstation to make patient exams as quick and smooth as possible. The new technology will also allow for anatomically specific advanced imaging applications, including neurological, vascular and abdomen/pelvis imaging. 

The installation of the open MRI will take three weeks; Fauquier Hospital technologists will be ready to accommodate patients in October, after staff training is complete.
To see a short video of the arrival of the new open MRI, click here.