Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Family Christmas

hoFamily Holidays: Tips for Peace and Harmony

What do you like to do on family holidays? Go to the beach or spend a week in the country? Maybe you like camping or visiting relatives. Whatever you enjoy, family holidays are a chance for everyone in the family to get reacquainted and spend quality time together. It's a chance for parents to really talk with their teens and find out what's going on in their lives. It's important to keep the communication lines open, and a family holiday is a good time to do that. Having a good relationship with their parents is one of the most important factors in keeping teens out of trouble.

Studies have shown that when families take holidays together, they are more likely , holidays, teens eat together and are less likely to argue. They do not watch as much television because they are involved in doing things together. Kids even report that their parents seem to act differently while on holiday.

While family holidays are a good time to connect with your kids, communication problems that are already there will not automatically disappear. Especially with teenagers it is important to listen and be flexible. Find out what the kids would like to do and eat and plan accordingly. While even teenagers need boundaries, it is important for parents to try to avoid needless confrontation. Explain why you make the decisions you do and show them positive attention.

Kids will appreciate being included in travel plans. There's a good chance they will choose a theme park or the beach if those are among the options. Sometimes it works well for a teenager to take a special friend along on family holidays. While this might increase the parents' load, the teen is likely to really appreciate it. Also, sometimes it works well for kids to go on holidays with their grandparents instead of their parents. Sometimes there is a special relationship here that can help kids open up and communicate about their concerns.

While on family holidays, if teens are uncooperative or behave improperly, try to deal with the problem in private. Teens are very aware of embarrassmant and it is needlessly mean to exploit this sensitivity. In fact, you might explain to the kids how their behavior embarrasses you, and they in turn might work harder at getting along and acting appropriately.

Kids will be happier on family vacations if they have snacks, drinks, and entertainment. Few kids enjoy a long ride in the car! Try to provide individual CD players or hand-held video games, and don't forget to take plenty of bathroom stops. Sometimes kids enjoy the ride more if they can help you follow the map. This is an educational activity for them as well. By following these suggestions, your family holidays can make a happy memory.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Turkey Day is Coming!

Why do the big fuss  this year? Turkey and dressing, pie... all the work, all the clean up. Uhg. Why not do something  different and have an appetizer party. 
Here are a few recipes to try. 

Easy Appetizer Bites  Prep Time: 10 min Total Time: 1 hr 10 min Makes: 12 servings, 3 pieces each  1 pkg. (9 oz.) OSCAR MAYER VARIETY-PAK Ham and Turkey   5 CLAUSSEN Bread 'N Butter or Kosher Dill Sandwich Slices, cut in half lengthwise   1 tub (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread    PAT meat and pickle slices dry with paper towels.  SPREAD each meat slice with about 1 Tbsp. cream cheese spread. 
Top each with 1 pickle slice; roll up. (Note: You will have 1 pickle slice left over.
Enjoy it as an extra snack.) Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour or overnight. Cut each roll-up into 4 pieces to serve;
secure each with toothpick.  Nutrition (per serving) Calories 80  Total fat 6g  Saturated fat 3g  Cholesterol 30mg  Sodium 390mg
Carbohydrate 2g  Dietary fiber 0g  Sugars 2g  Protein 4g  Vitamin A 4%DV 
Vitamin C 0%DV  Calcium 0%DV  Iron 0%DV

Bacon Cheddar Appetizers  Prep Time: 15 min Total Time: 17 min Makes: 16 servings, 4 topped crackers each  1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese   1/2 cup KRAFT Mayo Real Mayonnaise   3 Tbsp. finely chopped onion   1/2 cup OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits   64 TRISCUIT Thin Crisps    PREHEAT broiler. Mix all ingredients except crackers until well blended.  PLACE crackers on baking sheet. 
Top each cracker with about 1 tsp. of the cheese mixture.  BROIL 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
Garnish with chopped red and green pepper, if desired.  Nutrition (per serving) Calories 160  Total fat 12g  Saturated fat 4.5g  Cholesterol 20mg  
Sodium 280mg  Carbohydrate 6g  Dietary fiber 1g  Sugars 0g  Protein 5g 
 Vitamin A 4%DV 
 Vitamin C 0%DV  Calcium 10%DV  Iron 4%DV

Stuffed Mushrooms  Prep Time: 20 min Total Time: 35 min Makes: 20 servings, 1 mushroom each  20 medium mushrooms   3 Tbsp. margarine or butter   2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion   2 Tbsp. finely chopped red bell pepper   14 RITZ Crackers, finely crushed (about 1/2 cup crumbs)   1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves    PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Remove stems from mushrooms; finely chop 1/4 cup of the stems. 
Discard remaining stems or cover and refrigerate for another use. 
Melt margarine in large skillet on medium heat. 
Add chopped stems, onions and peppers; cook and stir until tender. 
Stir in crumbs and basil.  SPOON crumb mixture evenly into mushroom caps; place on baking sheet.  BAKE 15 minutes or until heated through.  Nutrition (per serving) Calories 30  Total fat 2.5g  Saturated fat 0g  Cholesterol 0mg  Sodium 40mg 
 Carbohydrate 2g  Dietary fiber 0g  Sugars 1g  Protein 1g  Vitamin A 2%DV 
 Vitamin C 0%DV  Calcium 0%DV  Iron 0%DV