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Make your Memorial Day healthy

Make your Memorial Day healthy

The sun is finally shining and the warm weather promises to put us all in a better mood. Just in time for Memorial Day and the celebrations that typically accompany this holiday. Many families will be celebrating Memorial Day with picnics, outdoor grilling and other gatherings with food. This Memorial Day, it is possible to enjoy your culinary creations and be healthy. Here are a few tips:

  • Kabobs. You can pre-assemble kabobs that have red peppers or cherry tomatoes; green pepper, yellow or orange peppers. You can also use big chunks of celery, onions, mushroom, squash and other vegetables. Spritz some olive oil before grilling and enjoy the wonders of grilled vegetables. You can grill zucchini, eggplant and even fennel bulbs.
  • Choose lean protein. You may choose to add some protein to your kabobs such as chicken, fish or extra firm tofu. Shrimp are an awesome addition to your kabobs, just be aware that they will cook much faster than your veggies or other lean protein.
  • Fun with fruit. Try adding fruit to your kabobs. Try watermelon (yes, watermelon), peaches or nectarines, mango or pineapple. They will add a little sweetness and lots of flavor to your kabobs. Strawberries can be grilled too, but they take just a few seconds at best to cook.
  • Be corny. Grilled corn is so good! According to Bobby Flay (a well known chef), the best way to grill corn is to pull down (but do not tear off) the outer husks of the corn. Strip away the silk and fold back the husks. Place ears of corn in a large bowl of cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt. Let soak for at least 10 minutes. Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place corn on the grill and close the cover. Grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Remove husks just prior to eating.
  • Fruity sauces. Puree apples, berries, peaches, mangos or pears in a blender for a thick, sweet sauce to use on grilled or broiled seafood or poultry. Try marinating your chicken kabob with a sweet fruit marinade. Pineapple contains a natural meat tenderizer so you can use pureed pineapple to marinate your meats.
  • Smoothies. Use fruit, yogurt and natural juices to create your own fruity concoctions. Add spinach, kale or carrots too for a super power smoothie, an alternative to sodas.

However you enjoy celebrating Memorial Day, keep in mind this holiday is about respect, honoring those that have served and spending time with family. Make it a safe one!

Submitted by Julia Salomon, nutrition educator and corporate dietitian.

Are you ready for camping injuries?

Are you ready for camping injuries?

Your family has waited all year for your annual camping trip. You’ve  had reservations at the campground for months. You’ve packed the tent, cooking supplies, sleeping bags, clothes and bikes. You arrive early and setup the tent. The kids ride their bikes around the park as you finish stocking the campsite. Things are going well. Then you hear the cry every parent dreads. There has been an injury and it sounds serious. As your children walk toward the campsite, you notice your daughter is cradling her arm.

Your first step is to assess the injury. Is it bruised, sprained or broken?

A quick assessment will help you determine what to do next. As you look at your daughter’s arm you notice it:

  • Is swollen and red
  • Hurts when it’s touched
  • Looks strange
  • Cannot be moved without causing severe pain

Your daughter has all the classic symptoms of a broken bone. Fortunately, the bone has not broken through the skin. Open fractures have a higher risk of infection.

Step Two: Administer first aid and immobilize the injury. Since you suspect a fracture, you will need to create a splint to prevent the injury from moving.

When you apply a splint, keep the injury in its current position. Don’t try to reposition or set the bone. Moving it could damage the connective tissues and muscles surrounding the wound. Your goal is to prevent movement, which may also provide relief of your child’s pain.

You can create a splint in three steps.

  • Find a rigid object. If you don’t have splint materials in your first-aid kit, find an object strong enough to provide stability and long enough to reach from the joint above the injury to the joint below the injury.
    Depending on the size of your child and the location of the break, a spatula or wooden spoon from your cooking supplies may work. You can also use a rolled up newspaper or towel. If these items are not available, look for a straight stick. Wrap the stick in material so it doesn’t cause splinters.
  • Place the stabilizing object under the injured area.
  • Wrap the injured area and the stabilizing material together. An ace bandage works best. In a pinch, you can also use a shirt or plastic wrap. If necessary, secure the material with a string, strips of cloth or dental floss. Be careful to avoid the area of the break.
  • Wrap the injury tight enough to stabilize it, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation and causes pain.
  • After you have the injury stabilized, drive to your nearest urgent care clinic or emergency room for medical treatment.

It’s always a good idea to have a first-aid kit handy. You never know what medical emergency you may face when you are outside with children.

Whether you go camping, spend the day at a park or play in the backyard, having a fully stocked first-aid kit can provide the medical supplies you need to treat minor cuts, bruises, insect bites, stings and broken bones.

You can buy one at a department or sporting goods store, or you can make a first-aid kit yourself.

If you take a first-aid kit that you will take with you on camping and day trips, include the following information.

  • Copies of your insurance cards and telephone numbers
  • The name and number of your child’s pediatrician
  • The name and number of your primary care clinician
  • A list of medications for each person
  • A list of allergies for each person

With this information, you are prepared to relate the information to any medical professional that may treat you for accidental injuries or illness.

If you don’t have a primary care clinician, visit www.ministryhealth.org/findadoctor in northern and central Wisconsin and www.affinityhealth.org/findadoctor in the Appleton and Oshkosh area.

Should you have your eyes examined

Should you have your eyes examined
  • You’ve noticed that you have to hold the menu further away from your face as you read.
  • You have a headache every evening.
  • You find it harder to drive at night.
  • You can’t seem to see clearly no matter how hard you concentrate on focusing.
  • You’ve been buying “cheater glasses” for reading, but they don’t work as well as they used to.

If you have had any of these visual experiences, you may need to see an eye doctor.

Your vision naturally changes as you age. However, only a trained professional can detect some of the serious eye conditions that can rob you of your sight.

Fifteen reasons you should schedule an eye exam.
1.    Things in the distance appear unrecognizable.
2.    It’s hard to read.
3.    You see spots or flashes of light in your vision.
4.    Objects appear blurry, have wavy edges or halos.
5.    You see double.
6.    Your peripheral or side vision has changed.
7.    You don’t like to drive or walk at night because you can’t see clearly.
8.    You see shadows or experience curtain-like dark spots.
9.    Your eyes have physically changed.
10.    You can’t see colors correctly.
11.    Your eyes hurt.
12.    Your eyes feel dry.
13.    Your eyes water for no reason.
14.    You have headaches.
15.    Your eyes feel tired.

The eye doctor will see you now.

Optometrists and ophthalmologists are eye doctors who have gone to medical school to learn about the function and treatment of the eyes.

Optometrists are doctors of optometry and are licensed to examine your eyes for vision and health problems. They can write prescriptions for glasses, contact lenses and medications. Some may offer vision therapy and low-vision eye care.

Ophthalmologists are doctors who specialize in the disease, conditions and vision of the eye. They can provide the same treatments as an optometrist and are licensed to perform eye surgery.

Ophthalmologists usually complete an internship and three years of residency at a hospital. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration, you may want to be under the care of an ophthalmologist who specializes in the treatment of your condition.

When you need glasses, you have options.

After your exam, the optometrist or ophthalmologist will give your prescription to an optician, who is trained to fit glasses.

He or she will help you find a pair of glasses that fits the shape of your face and works with your prescription.

During your fitting, you will be able to choose from many frame styles and colors.

When you’re choosing glasses, consider how to protect your eyes from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Currently, you have three options.

1)    Use clip-on sun lenses, which are worn over prescription glasses.
2)    Order prescription sunglasses to be used outdoors.
3)    Order transition lenses. These photochromic lenses darken when exposed to UV light. They eliminate the need for two pairs of glasses.

Depending on your prescription and your eye care needs, you may be able to wear contacts. These thin plastic lenses fit over the pupil of your eye. Today’s soft single-vision and bi-focal contacts are comfortable and can be worn by most people.

A person who wears contacts can simply purchase a pair of UVA and UVB blocking sunglasses.

No matter which type of corrective lens you choose, your world will be brighter and more vibrant as you see everything in clear definition.

If you need an eye appointment, contact an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

Recipe – Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

Recipe – Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

May through July is asparagus season in Wisconsin. This recipe is simple but delicious. The first thing to do is peel, not cut, the bottom half of each stalk. So much is wasted when the bottoms are cut! A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese will give you a little bit of that bite for your finished product.


  • 2 ½ pounds fresh asparagus (about 30)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 lemons cut in wedges


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Lay asparagus spears in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast* for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven for another minute.
  6. Serve with lemon wedges.

*If grilling, grill for about five minutes.

Recipe found here.

Submitted by Julia Salomon, nutrition educator and corporate dietician.

Text me when you get there

Text me when you get there

Gone are the days of carrying a dime in your pocket in case you need to call home. Today, texting can keep parents and children in touch and allow communication in ways our grandparents never imagined.

Parental concerns about texting have led to the development of apps such as Marimba Chat and Kid’s in Touch.

These child-friendly texting platforms were designed for parents whose children are between the ages of 7 and 12. They provide a safe, parental-controlled texting environment for young children.

Parents can access several monitoring sites to spot check a child’s online activity. While some parents believe this constitutes an infringement of a child’s privacy, others believe spot checking is a wise way to guide a child’s behavior. No matter which view you hold, it’s important to talk to your child about the dangers of texting strangers.

Before you purchase a cell phone for your child, provide him or her with clear rules for usage, texting, apps and accountability.

Teens prefer texting to phone calls.
During their budding independence, teens have always found ways to communicate. Today, it’s easier than ever through texting.

Texting has a language all its own.
Parents should be aware that texts, which seem to be typos, may have a significant meaning.

Sites such as more4kids.info define the meanings of slang texting terms or terms that combine numbers and letters. Knowing these terms can help you keep your children safer.

No data plan. No problem?
That may have been true in the past. But, according to a June 2015 Forbes article, mesh networks now provide a texting connection to half a million teens. Mesh networks don’t require a data plan or a mobile network but turn each cell phone into a mini transmission tower using the phone’s built-in Bluetooth technology. Mesh networks can reach your child at school.

Instagram and Snapchat are messaging favorites.
Teens are moving away from traditional texting and are moving toward Instagram and Snapchat applications.

If these are your child’s messaging apps of choice, you should turn off the geo-tracking locators and set the accounts to private. These settings require anyone following them to ask for permission.

You can find more information about the latest apps and features at sites like Family Online Safety Institute at FOSI.org or CommonSenseMedia.org.

Parents need to know about secret apps.
A recent ABC News story exposed several apps that allow teens to communicate under a veil of secrecy. Concealed on the phone’s screen as calculator or setting icons, these apps allow kids to text with strangers or share obscene messages.

The advanced technology running some of these applications will delete messages, self-destruct or snap a picture if someone other than the other than the user tries to open the application. In these instances, the only way to determine if secret apps are being used is to check the download history on the phone.

You can find descriptions and threat ratings of secret apps at The Social Sheriff website.

Don’t accidentally encourage texting while driving.
According to a Liberty Mutual survey conducted with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), 19 percent of the 1,622 high school juniors and seniors surveyed said they answered a text from an impatient parent while driving.

When asked why, students said their parents often wanted an immediate answer to their text messages. Some parents texted multiple times until they received a response.

If you know your teen is driving, ask him or her to text you when they begin traveling and again when they reach their destination.

You don’t want to distract your teen while he or she is driving.

There’s no denying that texting technology makes it convenient to stay in touch with your children. Setting up rules and expectations for responsible cell phone use can help you keep your child safe.

Ministry Health Care is dedicated to helping families stay healthy. If you have health concerns, visit ministryhealth.org or affinityhealth.org for information you can use to improve your health or find a healthcare clinician.

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.