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A taste for giving

Make helping those in need a family tradition.

By Shelby BaronePublished: November, 2011

Thanksgiving is a time for giving and is a perfect opportunity to give back to your community. It’s also a great time of the year to introduce your children to community service. Since our kids were young, we have gone to our local church and help prepare and serve a Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless in our area.
Volunteering during the holiday season with your children can be as simple as baking cookies. You can easily whip up a batch and bring them to a local soup kitchen. For families with older children, you can also volunteer to prepare and serve food at a local kitchen. This is also something that you and your children can do year round.
All food banks in Orange County are currently at critically low levels. Any help that they can get with food donations will help them to serve more adults and families during the holiday season. More than 16 million children in America are starving and go to bed hungry every day.
Since we’re fortunate enough to be able to shop for groceries and stock our kitchen shelves, we can be positive role models 
for our children by donating our time and non-perishable goods to food banks and soup kitchens.
Helping to feed the hungry is a great way to encourage your children to get involved in your community. Encourage them to host a neighborhood canned-food drive. They can leave brown paper or recyclable bags on your neighbors’ porches with a note stating when they will be picking up the groceries. All collected items are then taken to a food bank.
Another great way to help give back is to adopt a family. This can also be fun for your children to do with a group of their friends. Adopt-a-family programs will provide you with a list of food and other essentials that a selected family needs.
Teaching your children the importance of community service at a young age will benefit them throughout their lives. With more people helping others, fewer will continue to suffer during hard times.
You can easily find adopt-a-family programs and food banks by going online or contacting local churches, community centers and various shelters.

Shelby Barone is a blogger who writes all about food and family in her blog, “Eat Up!”


Q: Are their downsides to girls having their first period at an early age?
A: Likely, yes. Early menstruation is a risk factor for short stature, cancer, and heart and metabolic disease. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (October 2011) found an interesting link between vitamin D deficiency and early periods.
The study found that girls with the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood were twice as likely to have earlier periods than girls do with adequate levels of the nutrient.
Other studies have shown that having a higher body weight is also correlated with earlier periods, because excess fat may secret hormones that promote maturity. However, physical activity is known to delay the onset of periods.

Erin Kelley, MS, RD


Homemade caramel popcorn

Recipe submitted by Nancy Randle, of Anaheim

This is a favorite Randle family recipe that our friends shared with us a few years ago. We’ve taken batches of it to tailgate parties, given it as neighborhood gifts and saved half for a weekend snack. Derek, our 4-year-old, loves to watch the popcorn pop, and the rest is really easy. Enjoy!

Air pop 5 quarts of popcorn

Mix together in a medium saucepan:
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 cups butter
A pinch of cream of tarter

Bring to a boil on low, then remove from heat and add 1 tsp. baking soda
Put the popcorn on a cookie sheet and pour the mixture on top. Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes and stir every 15 minutes. (Be sure and snack on a few each time you stir!) Remove from the oven and place on two cookie sheets to cool.



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