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MissouriFamilies eNewsletter

June 19, 2017



“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”

~Frank Lloyd Wright



Brother and sister riding bikesChildren benefit from unstructured time in the summer

Leanne Spengler, former Human Development Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

Remember when you were a child and summer was the time to play?... Today, children have more structured time during the summer because of camps, swim lessons and summer school. This could negatively impact a variety of developing skill areas including independence, creativity and critical thinking...

Summer is also typically the time for a vacation and unstructured family time together, but not all family budgets allow for one... Here are some activities the whole family can engage in during a staycation...

To learn more about how and why your children can benefit from unstructured time, see the full article at

Grilled vegetablesMake room for fruits and vegetables during grilling season

Kelli Wilmes, MS, RD, LD, former Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Nodaway County, University of Missouri Extension

Grilling season is upon us with the arrival of warmer temperatures and longer days. People tend to think of hamburgers, steaks, brats and hot dogs for grill entrees. Instead, move the meat over and make room for fruits and vegetables...

Grilling provides us with an opportunity to prepare healthy fruits and vegetables, which we need more of in our diets, in a quick and different way. Many people think everything tastes better on the grill, which can also hold true for fruits and vegetables. Plus, vegetables and fruit cook so quickly on the grill that they retain much of their vitamin and nutrient content...

For more reasons to get fruits and veggies on the grill, and for great grilling tips, see the full article at

Washing hands with soap and waterKeeping hands clean for summer eating

Susan Mills-Gray, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

Its summer and you’re busy with picnics, camping and outside fun. If hand washing is not possible (no running water, soap, etc.), what is the next best option for cleaning hands before eating or handling food?

Washing hands with running water and soap and drying with a single-use towel is by far the best option. If your hands are visibly dirty, the next best option would be moist towelettes rather than hand sanitizers...

For the best methods to clean hands based on what is available, see the full article at

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberriesBerries pack a healthful punch

Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Bates County, University of Missouri Extension

It’s no secret that berries are a healthy choice. They may become even more appealing as new research indicates that eating berries may help stave off the cognitive decline and memory loss that comes with aging.

Data from the long-running Nurses’ Health Study shows that the women who ate blueberries and/or strawberries delayed memory decline (from aging) up to 2½ years compared to those who did not eat berries. The participants gained this benefit from consuming just two or more servings of blueberries and strawberries per week...

For more about the health benefits of berries, and tips on freezing them for year-round enjoyment, see the full article at

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