Life Times Newsletter

July/August 2003
Vol. 5, No. 4
A bimonthly publication to enhance
the quality of life of individuals,
families, and communities

  1. Save lives: Develop a family emergency plan

  2. Keeping active kids hydrated and well fed

  3. Teaching children how to treat others

1. Save lives: Develop a family emergency plan

Rebecca Blocker, MS
Housing and Environmental Design Specialist

Deadly tornadoes and Homeland Security Alerts remind us that every family needs to develop an emergency plan for dealing with both natural and man-made disaster situations. Your family emergency plan should include:

• Two places to meet: One right outside your home for an emergency such as a fire, and
   another outside your neighbor- hood in case you can’t return home.

• An out-of-state friend to be your "Family Contact." After a disaster, it is often easier
   to call long distance.

• A plan for pets. Pets are not permitted in emergency shelters.

• Emergency supply kits for home, work and vehicles. Store essentials in a backpack
   or duffle for easy carrying. Include: water, food, clothing, blanket or sleeping bag per
   person, first aid kit, prescription medicines, flashlight and extra batteries, extra set of
   keys, cash/ credit card, special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members,
   emergency tools and a portable radio.

• An "All-Hazard" NOAA Weather Radio.

What is a NOAA weather radio?
The National Weather Service broadcasts warnings, watches, forecasts and crucial hazard information 24 hours a day on NOAA weather radio. The goal of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is to have a Weather Radio (NWR) in every home, just like a smoke detector, and in all schools, hospitals and other public gathering places. NWR gives people the kind of information they need before, during and after a disaster.

What makes NOAA Weather Radio so special?
When a threat is determined, routine weather programming will be interrupted and a special tone transmitted that automatically activates your weather radio to provide emergency warnings and information in the danger areas. Hearing and visually impaired can receive warnings by connecting weather radios to other kinds of attention-getting devices, such as strobe lights, bed-shakers, personal computers and text printers.

What is "SAME" technology?
A new digital technology called Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) can target specific counties or areas to receive only broadcasts for a specific area. Warnings from other areas can be blocked if desired.

Where can I purchase a NOAA Weather Radio?
Check with local retail stores that sell consumer electronics or home entertainment equipment. Prices vary, but many portable weather warning radio receivers, including those with SAME technology, can be purchased for less than the cost of a new pair of shoes, $25 to $100, depending on features and number of receivers.

What kind is best?
The radio should be capable of receiving all seven frequencies used by NOAA broadcasts.
Radio receivers are battery-operated portables or AC powered desktop models with a battery backup. Some CB radios, scanners and AM/FM radios are capable of receiving NOAA Weather Radio transmissions.

For information on NOAA radio, visit:  Contact the American Red Cross for a free copy of "Your Family Disaster Plan," or visit: For emergency preparedness information, contact your Outreach and Extension office, or visit:

2. Keeping active kids hydrated and well fed
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Mary Schroepfer
Nutrition Specialist

When children are active, adults need to make sure kids drink enough fluids and make healthy food choices.

Children who become dehydrated increase their risk of heat injuries like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and potentially fatal heat stroke. Children are at greater risk of heat injuries because they have limited sweat capacity and do not have well developed thirst mechanisms to let them know they are thirsty.

Encourage kids to drink lots of fluids before, during and after exercise. Water is always safe before exercise, water and/or sports drinks are suggested during exercise, and sports drinks or juices are good afterwards.

For most young athletes, plain water will sufficiently meet their fluid replacement needs. Encourage children to take a chilled water bottle to practice, camp, or picnics. If children like sports drinks, encourage them to use them. The important thing is that the child drinks. Keep a cooler with chilled bottled water and sports drinks handy to encourage children to drink. 

Snacks and meals
Healthy food choices help children do their best whether learning at school, playing sports, or enjoying outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or jumping rope.

The purpose of a pre-game meal is to keep your child from getting hungry, lightheaded, or tired during a game. A pre-game meal will prevent low blood sugar, fuel your child’s muscles for a peak performance, and prevent dehydration. The pre-game meal should be eaten at least 2 hours before the game. This allows time for food to be digested.

• Choose foods your child likes.

• Choose foods easily digested. The meal should contain several servings of starchy foods like bread, cereal, and pasta; a protein-rich food like low-fat milk, yogurt, or lean meat; and a fruit or juice.

• Encourage your child to eat to a point that he or she is comfortable, not stuffed.

• Avoid oily, greasy or fried foods. (Avoid mayonnaise, margarine, or fried foods since fatty foods take longer to empty from the stomach.)

• Serve lowfat or skim milk whenever possible.

• Encourage your child to drink a glass of water or juice with the meal.

• Don’t serve drinks with caffeine like cola or coffee. They can dehydrate your child.

• Experiment with meals during practice to see which combinations work best for your

For events in the morning, serve breakfast. Try one of these with a glass of juice or water:

• Bagel with jelly

• Pancakes with syrup or applesauce

• Egg with toast and jelly

• Hot or cold cereal with low-fat milk, banana, toast and jelly

• Muffin or English muffin with low-fat yogurt and fruit slices.

For events in early to mid-afternoon, eat breakfast and lunch. For lunch ideas, try one of these (include a glass of low-fat milk and plenty of water):

• Turkey sandwich with lettuce, and a banana

• Spaghetti with tomato sauce, salad with low-cal dressing, bread or roll, fruit cup

• Tuna sub with lettuce and tomato, orange juice

• Soup made with pasta or rice, crackers, lowfat yogurt with fruit slices.

For events in late afternoon, eat breakfast, lunch and a snack. Eat a snack two hours before the event. Try one of these: string cheese, low-fat yogurt, pudding pack, peanut butter (1 tablespoon) and jelly sandwich, oatmeal raisin cookie, vanilla wafers, breadsticks, graham crackers, crackers, animal crackers, pretzels, fruit slices (orange, apple, pear, peach), grapes, or banana.

Food eaten out
Sometimes parents drive through fast-food restaurants to provide meals for young athletes and busy households. Unfortunately, many popular meals at fast-food restaurants are high in fat and sodium. For example, a double bacon cheese burger contains 50 grams of fat and 1 teaspoon salt. Foods that sound healthy like fish and chicken are often breaded or fried and high in fat.

Better choices are: plain, simple burgers (2-ounce size); tuna and turkey subs (skip the mayo and salad dressing); small vegetable or Canadian bacon topped pizza (skip sausage and pepperoni); baked potato with low-fat topping; grilled chicken sandwich; soft chicken taco, small roast beef.

Substitute a small salad with low-fat dressing for high-fat fries. Add low-fat milk, low-fat milkshake, or light yogurt.

Source: Building Fitness Together: Fast Foods, Kids, and Sports, Cornell Cooperative Extension.


3. Teaching children how to treat others
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Maudie Kelly, MS
Human Development Specialist

One true fact about parenting is that children learn best by example. Since children learn constantly from the words and actions of adults around them, there are many actions that we, as parents, can do to promote kindness and empathy in children.

The following are a few of the many ways we can set good examples for children to learn how to treat others:

• Help an elderly neighbor with chores

• Give canned goods to a food bank

• Let someone else go in front of you at the checkout line

• Arrive on time to work, worship services or meetings

• Say "please" and "thank you"

• Obey speed limits

• Hang up your coat

• Return the shopping cart to the cart corral

• Make your bed in the morning

• Open the door for others

• Be courteous to everyone

• Vote

• Put away your toys—whatever they are

• Smile

• Give someone else your chair in a crowded room

• Choose healthy snacks

• Express appreciation for kind behavior

Albert Schweitzer, the great humanitarian, suggests that adults teach children in three important ways: The first is by example. The second is by example. The third is by example.

Children are born with the capacity to act kindly toward others. Those who experience respect and appreciation from adults are more likely to demonstrate caring toward others and to recognize the positive impact of their kindness. Thus, adults play an important role in whether or not children continue to act in kind and caring ways.

The bottom line is that if parents act warm and supportive, set reasonable standards of behavior and consistently enforce them, they are more likely to encourage kind and compassionate behavior in children.

Source: University of Missouri Outreach and Extension guidesheet #GH6126, Raising Kind Children. 
For more information, request this guidesheet from your local
Extension office, or 

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University of Missouri Extension Editor: Roxanne T. Miller