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Spring Fruits & Vegetable Recipes to Help Your Child Eat Better

During the spring, certain fruits and vegetables blossom the most. There are several ways parents can introduce their children to eating better by incorporating these simple nutritious recipes into their daily meals.

Breakfast

Strawberry Waffles: Since children already love waffles, adding fresh strawberries to the batter will add a healthy and sweet taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup-flour, whole wheat
  • 1 ½ teaspoon-baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon- baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon-salt
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 4 medium egg
  • 2 tablespoon-honey

Directions

  • Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda salt.
  • In a blender, add strawberries (with stems removed), eggs and honey. Blend until smooth, then add to dry ingredients and whisk together.
  • Add the batter to preheated waffle iron. Cook for about 3 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Serve with fresh strawberries and added whip cream to your liking.

Did You Know: Peak season for strawberries is during April through June. These beautiful red fruits have benefits of Vitamin C. They can improve eye care, the immune system and relief from high blood pressure.

Lunch

Carrot Shaped Veggie Pizza: This easy recipe looks delicious and will be fun for your children to help make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (8 rolls)
  • 8 ounce tub Philadelphia veggie cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped carrot
  • ½ of head of broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • Whole milk or egg white

Directions:

  • Use a pizza wheel or knife to cut the crescent rolls into carrot shapes.
  • Bake crescent roll carrots for (7-10 minutes) until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
  • Divide the veggie cream cheese and spread it on top of each carrot.
  • Sprinkle finely chopped carrots over the triangle part of the carrot then add broccoli to the top.
  • For more information on how to do this recipe here are visual images to guide you.

Did You Know: Carrots have benefits in weight loss and can be linked to lowering cholesterol levels and improve eye sight.

Dinner

Broccoli Mac and Cheese:  Children love mac and cheese and adding broccoli will give it a healthy new taste. Introduce children to fresh veggies by add them to their favorite meals.

Ingredients:

  • Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner original 7.25 oz.
  • Fresh washed broccoli

Directions:

  • A large pot of salted water and boil macaroni.
  • Stir the macaroni; cook (7-8 min) or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain, do not rinse.
  • Return to the pan and add 2 tbsp. margarine or butter
  • ¼ cup fat-free milk
  • Wash broccoli and cut into small pieces
  • While macaroni is still warm stir it softly into the heated mac and cheese.

Did You Know: Broccoli is a good source of Vitamin A to make your eyes strong and Vitamin C to help your immune system fight to keep you healthy and Potassium to help your heart and muscles.

Dessert

Kiwi Popsicle:  This neat snack is easy for children to make and enjoy the sweetness of a frozen kiwi.

Ingredients:

  • 4 kiwis, peeled and cut
  • ½ cup apple juice or grape juice

Directions:

  • Puree kiwi in a blender until the green flesh is pureed and black seeds are intact.
  • Add apple juice to the mixture and mix well.
  • Fill the popsicle molds and place them in the freezer.

Did You Know: Kiwis contain Vitamin C which is a good source of protein and fiber. It helps with digestion and trouble sleeping.


Crystal MacielCFA Intern
Crystal is interning with the Children’s Foundation of America this spring as she completes her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Cal State San Bernardino. She has earned an associate’s degree in child development at Chaffey College and plans to continue her education with a mater’s degree in social work. Crystal’s career goals are to advocate for children, support families in need of assistance and to help children cope with problems in everyday life. Crystal’s work experience includes care of children toddler to 5 years of age and has worked for three years with children and adults with disabilities. In Crystal’s free time, she enjoys going to art galleries, sewing, gardening and painting.

how to talk to children about online safety

How to Talk to Children About Online Safety

how to talk to children about online safety

The progressively connected world we live in has increased the dangers that exist for youth online. According to a report by Common Sense Media, children spend an average 3 hours and 17 minutes online. By the time they are teenagers, the average almost doubles to 6 hours and 17 minutes.

Without awareness of how to interact on the Internet, children and teens can inadvertently expose themselves to dangerous situations.

What to Tell Children About Online Safety

Forbidding children to go online is an impossible task. Everything from homework to socialization is geared towards a plugged-in audience, especially as children mature into teens.

So how can children and teens be protected from unsafe situations? The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has several tips for how to talk to children about online safety.

Educate Your Kids on How to Go Online

One of the main reasons that children engage in risky online behaviors is that they do not know it is wrong. To prevent situations from escalating to an unsafe point, have a conversation with children to find out:

  • What they would do if contacted by a stranger.
  • If they would send photos of themselves in compromising situations.
  • When they would come to you or another trusted adult.

A conversation that covers these topics will help children become aware of when to end a conversation and that they can approach an adult if they don’t know what to do.

Help Children Recognize Inappropriate Information

Children develop their sense of right and wrong by talking with parents and testing limits. Although this is a natural part of development, it’s also important to set appropriate boundaries with children. Sharing personal information about themselves or others, hate speech, illegal behavior, pranks or revealing pictures can all lead to dangerous situations.

Teach Children Responsible Posting and Sharing

Sharing personal information or photos online is something that children and teens gravitate towards naturally. They might not realize that a photo is seen by an adult, or might be shared even though sent in a private message. Make sure that they are aware of the consequences of posting something themselves or that other people may post private conversations or photos sent in a direct message.

Children Have the Right to Say “No”

It can be hard for children to say “no” to an adult or an online “friend” they believe is their age. Helping children set appropriate boundaries is an excellent start, but it is also important for them to practice saying “no.” One way to do this is to review scenarios that are inappropriate to ensure that children do not get involved in dangerous situations. NCMEC has child-friendly online tools for children and teens to help them understand when to say “no” and what to do.


Children's Foundation Kelly BaumannKelly BaumannAmeriCorps VIP Fellow
Kelly specializes in creating and optimizing digital content for the Children’s Foundation of America blog. She has ten years of experience as a marketer and has held a variety of positions including content writer, social media coordinator, public relations executive and content strategist. At Children’s Foundation of America, Kelly focuses on sharing stories and information to educate the public about the issues faced by children that Children’s Foundation of America serves.
Tel: (909)426-0773 | Email: kbaumann@trinityys.org

Summer Safety: How to Stay Safe on the Playground

Summer is an excellent time to dust off the sports equipment and head to the park for a game of soccer, softball, or basketball. Whether your playground features a pool, a nifty playground, or a newly renovated softball field, the following tips will keep you in tip-top shape.

Playing It Safe

The National Program for Playground Safety reports that over 200,000 children are injured on playgrounds each year. Luckily, most injuries could be prevented with supervision and assessment by an adult who knows what they’re looking for. Here are some things to lookout for when assessing your local playgrounds for safety hazards:

  • Surfaces where children may fall should be made of wood chips, mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires, or rubber mats.
  • Check the slides and edges of your playground for any sharp edges that may cut children or catch on their clothes.
  • Remember that children shouldn’t wear clothing with drawstrings on the playground.
  • Open platforms should have guardrails to prevent falls.

Water Wise

Whether you’re chilling lakeside or poolside this summer, be sure to take the proper precautions to avoid any accidents. The National Safety Council reported that 737 people aged 5 to 24 drowned in 2014. Here are some simple tips to keep everyone safe this summer:

  • Never swim alone.
  • Swim in an environment that matches your skills. Swimming in the ocean or in a lake is far more challenging that swimming in a pool.
  • If you get caught in a current, stay calm and swim parallel to the shore until you can swim free.
  • Be aware of your surroundings; don’t jump on or push others.

Stay Cool

With the temperature steadily rising, we all need to be aware of heat related illnesses and how to treat them in case of an emergency. The Centers for Disease Control notes that the best way to avoid heat-related illness is to limit exposure outdoors on hot days. They also recommend drinking more water, wearing loose, lightweight clothing and cut back on your sodium intake. However, if you happen to be in a situation where someone collapses due to heat, here are some steps you can take to help:

  • Move the person into a shaded area.
  • Call for emergency medical help immediately.
  • Do not give them any type of medication; wait for medical responders.
  • Place a cold washcloth on the back of their neck, or spray them with cold water and fan them vigorously.
  • Drink cold water or a sports drink.

And that’s a wrap folks! Be sure to keep cool this summer and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while out and about. Remember, if you see someone suffering from heat related illness, call for help immediately and get them to a cool or shady spot nearby. But most importantly, remember to have fun this summer.


Sasha Chavez, AmeriCorps VIP Intern
Sasha is volunteering with the Children’s Foundation of America as our AmeriCorps VIP (Volunteer Infrastructure Program) Intern. This mutually beneficial partnership allows Sasha to work hand-in-hand with the Children’s Foundation of America to develop and expand the quality of the volunteer opportunities to address the unmet needs of our local community. Sasha has been a wonderful asset to our team. She creates content for our social media, assists with our community outreach and has even helped by coordinating fundraisers and volunteer opportunities. She lives locally to our headquarters in Claremont and studies public relations and marketing at the University of La Verne. When she isn’t volunteering with the Foundation, she enjoys reading, being outdoors and spending time with my friends and family.

Summer Safety: How to Stay Safe Enjoying Outdoor Festivities

Summer nights are our personal favorite: concerts in the park, bonfires, and movie screenings on the beach. What’s not to love? With everyone out and about for the festivities, there is a greater risk for accidents to occur. But don’t let that stop you from joining in on the fun because we have summer safety tips to keep everyone safe. Our first topic of discussion: how to stay safe while enjoying outdoor festivities, like a concert or fireworks show.

Bugging Out

We’re not the only ones who love the warm weather. Mosquitoes love warm, dark and damp places and carry the threat of Zika, West Nile and Dengue Fever. Here are some easy things you can do to protect your family:

  • Apply insect repellent that is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Use EPA -approved indoor and outdoor flying insect spray or foggers.
  • Try to keep windows and doors closed as often as possible.
  • Scrub or empty planters, birdbaths, vases and flowerpot saucers once a week. Mosquitoes lay their eggs inn standing water.

Street Smarts

Bicyclist, pedestrians and cars will all be sharing the road this summer. The National Safety Council reported that 488,123 people were treated in an emergency room after being injured while riding a bicycle in 2015. That means that more people are injured on bikes than skateboards, trampolines, swimming pools and playground equipment combined. Protect yourself this summer and follow these guidelines:

  • Always wear a helmet. Your chance of injury drops 60% with this step alone!
  • Be familiar with traffic laws and hand signals.
  • Ride single-file in the direction of traffic.
  • Wear bright clothing and ride during the day as often as possible. If you are riding at night, make sure to wear reflective clothing and perhaps purchase a light for your bike. Make sure your bike is equipped with reflectors on the rear, front, pedals, and spokes along with a horn or bell.

Fireworks Safety

Fireworks are an awe-inspiring summer staple of the 4th of July. They’re also responsible for countless injuries and house fires each year. The safest way to interact with fireworks is to leave it to the professionals. Here are some great local shows you can attend with your family:

  • Ontario July 4th Parade- Parade starts at 9 a.m., fireworks start at 9 p.m. at Westwind park.
  • Fairplex Kaboom- Pomona: Fireworks and monster trucks. Show begins at 8 p.m., gates open at 5 p.m. Tickets sold online.
  • Bonita High School Stadium: Pancake Breakfast at 6 a.m., Parade at 10 a.m., BBQ at 5 p.m., Fireworks at 6 p.m.! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • City of Rancho Cucamonga Fireworks Spectacular: Rancho Cucamonga Epicenter from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the Lewis Family Playhouse. Phone: (909) 477-2752, Address: 12505 Cultural Center Drive (Victoria Gardens Cultural Center).

There you have it. Whether you are having an outdoor BBQ, riding bikes around the block with your children, or riding your bikes to a firework show, make sure to pack your essentials: EPA approved repellent, helmet, and tickets to the show!


Sasha Chavez, AmeriCorps VIP Intern
Sasha is volunteering with the Children’s Foundation of America as our AmeriCorps VIP (Volunteer Infrastructure Program) Intern. This mutually beneficial partnership allows Sasha to work hand-in-hand with the Children’s Foundation of America to develop and expand the quality of the volunteer opportunities to address the unmet needs of our local community. Sasha has been a wonderful asset to our team. She creates content for our social media, assists with our community outreach and has even helped by coordinating fundraisers and volunteer opportunities. She lives locally to our headquarters in Claremont and studies public relations and marketing at the University of La Verne. When she isn’t volunteering with the Foundation, she enjoys reading, being outdoors and spending time with my friends and family.