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MissouriFamilies eNewsletter

May 1, 2017



“Read in order to live.”

~Gustave Flaubert



Illustration of boy unchaining himself from TVMay 1-7 is National Screen-Free Week

Play More, Watch Less

Sara Gable, Ph.D., State Specialist & Associate Professor, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri Extension

National Screen-Free Week is an annual celebration of the magic of being unplugged. During this week, parents, children, teachers and others across the country turn off screen media — including TVs, video games, computers, tablets, e-readers and smartphones — and get in touch with being unplugged.

Use this time to take a look at your family’s screen-use habits. How many hours are spent using a screen compared to doing other activities? Here are some ways to change these habits...

For helpful tips on limiting screen time, and fun activities to focus on instead, see the full version of this article at

May 1-7 is Children's Book Week, which coincides perfectly with Screen-Free Week

Young boy reading with icons surrounding him indicating knowledgePromoting young children’s early literacy

Sara Gable, Ph.D., State Specialist & Associate Professor, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri Extension

To promote young children’s delight in talking, listening, reading and writing, adults need to provide a variety of interesting language experiences. Children who have reading difficulties in the primary grades often had limited early literacy learning experiences...

Activities that prepare young children for learning to read emphasize counting, number concepts, letter names, shapes, sounds, phonological and phonemic awareness, models of adult interest in literacy, and independent and cooperative literacy activities...

To learn more about concepts in early literacy and how to encourage it, see the full version of this article at

X-Ray showing ribs and armMay is National Osteoporosis Prevention Month

Christeena Haynes, MS, RD, LD, former Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Dallas County, University of Missouri Extension

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes your bones to become weak and brittle and break more easily. According to the surgeon general, half of all Americans over age 50 will have weak bones by 2020, unless we take preventative measures. Osteoporosis is serious — especially for the elderly — and costly. May is National Osteoporosis Prevention Month, so it’s as good a time as any to make the following changes to your diet and lifestyle in order to help keep your bones healthy.

  • Get adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Adults under age 50 and men up until age 70 need 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day. Women age 51 to 70 and all adults over 70 need 1,200 mg per day...

For the best sources of calcium and vitamin D, plus additional tips for keeping your bones healthy, see the full version of this article at

May 1-7 is National Herbs Week

Herbs for saleUsing herbs

Janet Hackert, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Harrison County, University of Missouri Extension

When it comes to seasonings, the first ones that often come to mind are salt and pepper, but there are many others, including herbs, that can be homegrown. Peppers and onions are not uncommon in home gardens. Herbs and other seasonings like horseradish are also options...

The benefits of using herbs to season food is that you will find new and enjoyable flavors, and you can avoid or reduce the use of unhealthy flavoring options like salt or salad dressings.

To learn more about herbs, including how to use & store them effectively, see the full version of this article at

To learn more about preserving herbs, see

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