Hibiscus Flowers

We bought some hibiscus seeds a while ago and planted them in the garden. I thought they were just hibiscus bushes like I’ve always had. But these are much different. The plants took off and grew quite large but no blooms. Then about a month ago we received hibiscus seed pods in our Local Fare Jax food bag. I wasn’t sure what there were. We looked it up and then went in our back yard to see our hibiscus bushes were full of pods!

 

We tasted them straight off the bush and found them to be tart, a bit like rhubarb.  We chopped some up and put into a salad. We dried some out to see what the pods and seeds looked like.

 

 

Last weekend I decided to make a pie. I used Granny Smith and Fuji apples and diced up hibiscus petals.

We also boiled the petals down into a simple syrup to use in mixed drinks.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Cooking Healthier Meals For The Family

If you are the person, or one of the people, who cooks for the family in your household, there are a number of main concerns that you are generally going to need to focus on. An important one is always going to be ensuring that you are cooking meals which are as healthy as possible for your family, so that everyone is going to be in good shape, but that in itself can be surprisingly hard to stick to at times. It is, however, entirely necessary to make sure of. In this post, we’ll take a look at how you can make sure of cooking healthier meals for your family starting today.

 

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Reduce Fat & Sugar

One of the main things that most of us need to try and do is to reduce the amount of fat and sugar we eat. There is far too much of both of these in our diets, and it essentially just means that we are often eating empty calories. In order to try and avoid that, you should think about what you can do to reduce the amount that you have in the meals you cook – which is much easier to control than the meals you don’t cook yourself, and so they are a great opportunity. This could be as simple as seeking out recipes for cornbread with less fat and sugar that can still be delicious, or even changing the entire way you approach cooking at home. As long as you are keeping these down, you are doing everyone in the household a favor.

Keep Portion Sizes Down

One way in which most of us don’t do ourselves many favors is by dishing out huge portions to the entire family every time we cook. By doing this, you are essentially just ensuring that your family are going to put on weight, and keep putting it on until you do something about it – or unless they are actively working off a lot of calories every day. Even then, however, it is much easier to simply make sure that you are not feeding them too much in the first place. Keeping the portion sizes as low as possible is going to be one of the very best things you can do for your family, and it is likely that you are going to find it easy to keep on doing it once you have started. So start today, and see how much of a difference it really does make to everyone’s diet.

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Careful With The Salt

Too much sodium is not good for anyone – in the long-term, it can cause a lot of dehydration, and that in turn is related to many problems with one’s overall health. It is wise to try and keep the usage of salt to a minimum too, as this is something that can have a profoundly negative effect in the long run. As long as you are careful with the amount of salt you use, you should find that you and your family are going to be in much better shape overall, so this is a hugely important thing to do. At first, you might feel that your meals don’t taste quite right, but the taste buds actually get used to less salt after a while, and then you will realize that you have been using far too much for far too long.

Dish Up A Rainbow

So far, we have only been looking at what you should avoid – but it’s just as important to think about what you should actively be serving up for your family. There are so many things that you need to make sure your family are eating, and one thing you might want to focus on in particular is that you are ‘eating a rainbow’ as they say. This simply means that you should be trying to incorporate as many vegetables of different colors into your food. If you do that, it means that you are getting many of the nutrients and minerals that you need in your diet, and that is most of the battle here. Dish up your family a rainbow every day, and you will really be doing a lot for them indeed.

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As you can see, there is plenty that you might want to try and improve upon if you are keen to make your meals healthier, and so improve the health of your family on the whole. If you focus on these things, you should find that you are going to be able to make that a reality in no time.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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5 Reasons Why All Kids Should Learn To Play An Instrument

Learning a musical instrument is great for your kids. It’s good fun and it gives them a creative outlet that they can use to express themselves. You might need some earplugs to get through the first few months of practice because they won’t sound great but it’s worth making that sacrifice because it benefits them in so many ways. These are just some of the reasons that learning to play an instrument is good for your kids.

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It Teaches Patience 

Patience is an important skill for all children to learn and, playing a musical instrument is a great way to do it. They won’t be able to sit down at a piano and play right away, they’ll have to start off with the basics and work through a beginner’s guide to piano before they can create anything that sounds remotely like music. But if you encourage them to persevere until they get better and better, it shows them the value of patience. They will get a real sense of achievement and understand that hard work and perseverance pays off. This is a mentality that they will take into all areas of their life, so it will be a huge help to them in the future.

It Improves Coordination 

Parents are often told that they should get their kids into sports because, aside from keeping them active, it’s a good way to improve their coordination. But not all children are interested in sports, so playing a musical instrument is a good alternative. When playing an instrument, they need to concentrate on reading the music whilst also using their hands to play at the same time, so it improves coordination a lot.

It Helps With Math 

This is one that people don’t often think about, but music is built around mathematical patterns. The scales and chords are all based on numbered patterns, so learning to play music can also help to improve math skills. This is especially useful for kids that are more creatively minded and get bored by math lessons at school.

It Gets Them Away From Screens 

Parents often feel like they’re fighting an uphill battle against screens. Tech addiction is a big problem, especially in teens, so it’s important that you find ways to limit their time using screens. There are some great parental control apps that you can use but you’ll find it a lot easier to convince them to cut down on screen time if you give them alternative activities. Music is a great hobby for kids that helps to convince them to put the screens down for a while.

It Encourages Self Expression

Managing mental health in children is so important, but some kids find it hard to express themselves, especially if they are working through difficult emotions. But music gives them a creative outlet for those emotions and helps them learn to express themselves more.

These are just some of the great benefits of learning a musical instrument, so you should consider encouraging your children to pick up this great hobby.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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