Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and a fantastic 2015!
Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and a fantastic 2015!
An enterprising Gujarati entrepreneur has come up with a novel way to help people keep food cool without needing to plug in an expensive to run refrigerator. His Mitti Cool is a cooler made of clay, which uses the natural cooling effect of water evaporation to do the job.
His fridge has a water compartment on the top and bottom of the unit, which soaks water through the porous clay in order to cool down the contents of the box by up to 8 degrees C. This means that you can keep vegetables fresh for up to a week, and milk fresh for 3 days, which is not bad going really for no power.
Originally posted on RedFerret.com.
Between the computer, the TV, the DS, and the Wii, a lot of screens are vying for your kids' attention. Parents try lots of different things to limit screen time -- everything from outright bans to "only on weekends" to setting a timer. Being The Enforcer of Screen Time Limits may solve your "right now" goal of getting kids to turn off. But raising kids with an understanding of healthy screen limits and the ability to self-regulate takes a little more work.
Like everything in parenting, media management is a process -- one that requires balancing your long-range goals with the daily reality of the various devices in your kids' lives. Here's an age-by-age media-management plan with some practical tips to try along the way.
Preschool age. Creating consistent, healthy media habits starting when kids are just beginning to be exposed to screens is essential. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises no more than 1 to 2 hours per day of total screen time for children older than 2 (and zero screen time for children under 2). Use that as a maximum amount and work down from there to find the amount that feels appropriate in your family, factoring in all the things required for healthy preschool brain, body, and social development.
Elementary and Middle school. At this age, friends take on a much more significant role in kids' lives. Kids also begin to develop their own interests -- some of which they might want to research on the computer. Explaining the reasons why you're choosing to limit screen time will help your kid begin to understand the consequences of their choices. Help them understand that spending excessive amounts of time in front of a screen impacts their ability to develop a rich and full life -- and takes precious, non-retrievable time away from all the things they need to do (like eat, sleep, do homework, read, and play sports).
High school. Teenagers still haven't developed the judgment to always make great decisions, but they're smart enough to understand the influences of risky practices. For high schoolers, you'll have more success if you explain the reasons why too much screen time is harmful. For example, too much exposure to violent video games raises aggression and lowers empathy. Your kids may actually be able to see evidence of this in their peers who spend too much time playing games.
Every family will have different amounts of time that they think is "enough." What's important is giving it some thought, creating age-appropriate limits (with built-in flexibility for special circumstances), making media choices you're comfortable with, and modeling responsible screen limits for your kids.
Angela: This is a very popular name across the world, especially when you count its many variations (Angelica, Angeline, and about 40 others.) In its original form, Angela derives from Greek origins, and means "messenger" or "messenger of God". Of course she'll be your angel from heaven, and she'll share good company with a wide range of stars of screen including Angelina Jolie, Angie Harmon and Angie Dickinson.
Rosa: We'll give you one guess what beautiful flower this Latin-derived Italian baby girl name descends from. Yes, it's the rose! As with Angela, there are many variations of this Italian baby girl name available, Rose being the English version, and Charo, Rosabel, Rosalie and many others preferred in different cultures.
Maria: The most popular Italian baby girl name is another Latin name, this one meaning "star of the sea." This popular name has taken many forms across the world; with Mary proving the most popular English form and Marie ruling French culture. The ballad "Maria" from the popular musical "West Side Story" gave this name a huge boost a few generations back, and it continues to reveal new popular variations, such as pop singer Mariah Carey.
Parents seeking healthier restaurant meals for their kids can start to look beyond chicken nuggets and macaroni-and-cheese.
At least 19 large restaurant chains - including Burger King, Chili's, IHOP and Friendly's - plan to announce Wednesday that they will include healthier options on their children's menus. At least 15,000 restaurant locations will focus on increasing servings of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy. The items will have less fats, sugars and sodium.
Less healthy foods like burgers and fries will still be on the menu, but the restaurants say they will do more to promote healthier options. Chili's, for example, will highlight a chicken sandwich with a side of pineapple or mandarin oranges on their kids' menu. Burger King has recently reformulated children's chicken nuggets so they include less sodium, and employees taking orders will ask if customers want healthier apple fries instead of the standard "fries with that?"
The effort is part of a new National Restaurant Association initiative to give kids more healthy options at restaurants and to make it easier for parents to find those options. Some of the items are already on menus, but restaurants will advertise them more prominently and flag the healthier menu items to make ordering easier.
To be part of the program, restaurants must include at least one kids' menu item that is 600 calories or less and meets other nutritional requirements. A side dish worth less than 200 calories must also be included.
"This could provide a great push toward healthier offerings at restaurants," said Robert Post, the Agriculture Department official in charge of developing the department's dietary guidelines, which came out earlier this year. Those urged Americans to eat less salt.
"We hope this is a trend toward new items and voluntary reformulations," Post said.
The companies signing up for the initiative are Au Bon Pain, Bonefish Grill, Burger King, Burgerville, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Chevys, Chili's, Corner Bakery Cafe, Cracker Barrel, Denny's, El Pollo Loco, Friendly's, IHOP, Joe's Crab Shack, Outback Steakhouse, Silver Diner, Sizzler, T-Bones Great American Eatery and zpizza.
Joe Taylor of Chili's said the company has responded to consumer demands for healthier foods. While diners looking for a healthier meal used to have to ask for substitutions, they now have more options.
"We've seen our guests customize their meals to a greater degree when they are looking to hold the mayo or add the broccoli," Taylor said.
Patrick Lenow of IHOP said the restaurant will add two new children's menu items because of the effort, including pancakes with fruit and scrambled eggs with fruit. The company had already limited everything on their children's menu to under 600 calories and made fruit a default side, instead of fries - a change that has dramatically increased fruit consumption at the restaurants, Lenow said.
Several restaurant chains haven't committed yet to joining the effort. Maggiano's, owned with Chili's by Brinker International, is not part of the program. Neither is McDonald's, the world's largest burger chain.
Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, said the group is hoping to add additional restaurants to the effort in coming months.
First lady Michelle Obama last year attended a National Restaurant Association meeting in Washington and pleaded with them to take a little butter or cream out of their dishes, use low-fat milk and provide apple slices or carrots as a default side dish on the kids' menu. She said Americans eat a third of their meals in restaurants, which have long been seen by many as the worst offenders in terms of nutrition.
Many restaurant companies are starting to reformulate menu items and add new healthier sections to their menus, however, as consumers have shown a heightened interest in nutrition.
The federal government will also soon require restaurants to post calories on their menus. FDA guidelines will require chain restaurants with 20 or more locations, along with bakeries, grocery stores, convenience stores and coffee chains, to clearly post the calories.
John Dillon of Denny's said the company recently took photos of French fries off their menus.
"Where before we may have been concerned about not having French fries pictured on our menu, we're now finding that has actually helped our business," he said.
Original AP article appeared on CBSNews.com.