Get Healthy Outdoors with the Family

Warmer weather means outdoor fun. Parents instill in their children a love and desire for outdoor activity and create positive memories and experiences by making family outings a priority. Take time planning activities that accommodate your family’s schedules, but also be prepared for the impromptu opportunity to enjoy a few moments tossing a ball or taking a walk.
Doing healthy family activities can improve the overall health of individual family members and help keep the family together. Children learn what they live. If children see their parents taking time to be with them, engaging in healthy activities and having a good time doing it, they are more likely to engage in similar activities themselves as they grow older. They in turn pass this on to their own children, and healthy group activity becomes a family tradition.
Children today do not get enough exercise. This has led to the rise in obesity and other diseases. Parents can change this pattern by encouraging family members to get together and ride bikes, walk in the park, go on hikes or spend the day swimming. Seeing parents and other family members enjoying healthy outdoor activities can motivate children to participate.
Adopt some new family fitness habits. Announce that you would like to spend a half hour daily (after dinner) having fun outside. Let the kids make a list of things they would like to do.
Some outdoor exercise ideas to get you started might include:
• Anytime Exercise
• Walking/jogging
• Bike riding/skating
• Backyard sports – softball/kickball/soccer/basketball/volleyball
Maybe you have let your children grow a garden before, but this time let them have the opportunity to learn even more. Make sure they plant things that they enjoy eating so that they can take part in the experience from beginning to end.
There is a whole world outdoors that your children can experience and learn about. Choose outdoor toys that are not only fun, but educational too. Find out what kinds of activities are offered in your community during the summer and sign up for something different from what you may have ever tried before. Encourage your children to learn new things and about their communities in the process!

Diary of a Dairy Farmer

March is Agriculture month and we need to thank the 1500 Indiana dairy farmers that work hard every single day to keep milk and dairy products in our fridges. When The Indiana Family of Farmers asked consumers what was the one thing they would always find in their grocery cart, most listed a dairy products! Below is a glimpse at a diary of a dairy farmer…

Written by Cynthia Adam, Dairy Farmer and Registered Dietitian

I’m looking for the Green.  March in Northern Indiana is well known for being the month of MUD.   The snow has finally melted off just a week ago, and the spring rains have arrived.  Along with the rain, our spring calving season started off with a bang, two weeks early. For a small dairy of 60 cows, we have been blessed with lots of babies and are experiencing some growing pains. This is the first year that we were successful with developing a spring calving season, and we weren’t quite prepared. Twelve calves in a week made me hustle.  I did the mental math and let the kids know we were right on track to be compared to a 600 head herd with year round calving.  They weren’t impressed. My youngest son’s only comment was “How many more bottle babies are there?   Where do I put the next baby- the hutches are full.”  But growth is a good problem.  So we got creative with our hutch housing, made up a few more group pens and John quickly built a few more hutches, and we survived.   Now we have quite a chorus when the babies are hungry.  It’s fun to listen and observe the difference in the calves pre and post feeding, just in noise level and friskiness.  The babies already identify my youngest son and me as the food source, and if I dare wander out close to the hutches, the decibel level rises fast. Continue reading

Getting to know Mary Nicholson


What do you do at Indiana Dairy?

My title is Program Coordinator. I work a lot with the Fuel Up to Play 60 program which means being involved with teachers and schools.  I’m also a “liaison” to the Indiana School Nutrition Association.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I get to work with some pretty incredible people.  Every day is different, and it’s certainly not boring!  I enjoy going into a variety of schools all across the state.  I especially enjoy our Great Grow Along program, which allows me an opportunity to talk directly to students.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I grew up in southern Illinois (Centralia), the youngest of 5, and graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Food and Nutrition.  I’ve worked in institutional food service (state mental health center, hospital, and nursing home) before starting a part-time job with the National Dairy Council in Rosemont, IL, in 1988.  That lasted until our family moved to Indianapolis in December of 1998. In 2000, I started working for Indiana Dairy on a part-time basis.  Now that my two children are in college (IUPUI and Purdue), I’ve been working full time. I’ve been married for nearly 29 years (where did the time go?) to J.T.

Tell us a little about someone who has influenced your life and why?

It’s difficult to narrow this down to one person!  Either there have been a number who have influenced me or I’m easily influenced – maybe some of each.  I was definitely influenced early on by a wonderful babysitter who made the best chicken and noodles and had the best lap.  My parents laid a firm foundation while growing up, and various friends and family have had an impact since then.

Do you have a favorite recipe or restaurant to share?

Again, something else that’s difficult to narrow down to one.  If we’re talking Italian, Iaria’s is one of my favorites.  Pat Flynn’s also has awesome soups and sandwiches, plus they always include a warm cookie!


Eating Right with Color: Vegetable Frittata

By Diane Ruyack

“Eat Right with Color” is the theme for National Nutrition month.  The best way to make your family’s plate colorful is through increasing the amount of vegetables  you serve. Think local! Think your backyard, your balcony, and/or patio.  It’s time to start thinking about planning a garden.  Start your plans by asking each person in your family to list at least 2 favorite vegetables and then decide which ones you can successfully grow.  You can dig up a small or large plot in your yard or you can plant vegetables in with your flowers.

Container gardening works well for several different types of plants.  Tomato, pepper and lettuce can fit in anywhere.  If space is a problem, think about the hanging tomato plants.  You can even plant peppers or cucumbers that way successfully.  These usually need more water since they dry out more quickly. Once you have grown and are cooking your vegetables, try adding cheese which  provides protein and calcium and great flavor.  An excellent recipe that has several of the food groups represented is a vegetable frittata.

Vegetable Frittata

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 med. red potatoes, sliced and cooked
2 sm. zucchini, sliced
1 pepper, cut into strips
1 (8 oz.) can black olives, drained and sliced
8 eggs
1/2 2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1-2 tomatoes sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute the onions, potatoes, zucchini, pepper and olives in oil. Spread vegetables across the bottom of a greased 9 inch square baking pan.

Meanwhile, beat together the eggs, milk, cheese and spices. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables.Top with tomatoes and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cut into squares after frittata has cooled slightly. Serves 8.


March is Women’s History Month- Let’s SHOUT OUT to the Ladies

By DeDe Hausman

The 2011 theme for WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH is: OUR HISTORY IS OUR STRENGTH.   Women unite families, communities, and nations and have for centuries.  That’s why this celebration was designated in 1980 by joint resolutions of the House and Senate and by proclamations by FIVE American Presidents.  It’s an opportunity to celebrate women’s unique historical achievements.

Usually honorees are recognized for national achievements but this year local organizations and institutions have been asked to recognize and honor women within their own communities who have shown courage, strength and creativity during challenging times.  And considering the economic climate of our country we should recognize women who are making a difference.

In the past, women’s achievements weren’t recognized.  Many female endeavors were undervalued or even dismissed entirely.  Thank heavens many people now place men and women’s successes on equal footing.  It doesn’t make a difference what gender a person is; what makes a difference is what a person has accomplished especially during challenging times.

In my 16 years working for the dairy industry I can think of many female dairy farmers who have made or are making a difference in their communities and in our state.  One in particular that comes to mind is LuAnn Troxel, of Hanna, Indiana.  She became a dairy farmer 27 years ago when she married her husband, Tom, who had been a dairyman for 13 prior years.  For years she has been an advocate for our industry.  Many a time she has welcomed “city folk” to their farm and makes sure they leave knowing all about the dairy industry.  She loves dairy farmers and feels they are practical, hard-working people who care about their animals while protecting the environment.  And she’s always touting the healthful benefits of dairy products.  On top of that she is currently the president of Indiana Professional Dairy Producers (IPDP), which is an organization that promotes a profitable, positive and professional image of Indiana Dairy Producers.  In years to come LuAnn’s achievements in and for our industry will be well-documented.

I’m sure you can think of many women in your communities who have made or are making a difference.  Go to (National Women’s History Project) for more info and let’s recognize what women have done or are doing to benefit our communities, our country and possibly our world.


Links We Hope You’ll Love

By DeDe Hausman

We want you to know what dairy farmers do and there’s no easier way than via many website links (including Dairy Farming Today, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and many of these you can get to via our website, WINNERSDRINKMILK.COM.   Check out the following links and you’ll be surprised about all the interesting info that you can learn about the dairy industry.

On the header towards the top of our home page, click on DAIRY FARMING.  Here you can view and listen to videos produced on 5 Indiana dairy farms.  These are meant to give you a “birds’ eye view” of dairy farming.  You can listen to radio spots, too.  This link can also take you to DAIRY FARMING TODAY.ORG, a website produced by American’s dairy farmers.  You can see up close and personal what dairy farmers from Maine to California are doing to provide all of us with wholesome, delicious and nutritious dairy products. Continue reading

Fuel Up To Play 60 Builds Awareness

By Mary Nicholson

“We’ve had such wonderful experiences using the funds from the FUTP 60 grant.  Our chocolate milk booth was a huge success, our walking/jogging club is moving right along and so much more” says Roberta Sipe, P. E. teacher at Rosa Parks Edison Elementary in Perry Township and advisor for the National Dairy Council and NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 program. This is just one success story we have heard this past year.  Fuel Up to Play 60 helps students learn about nutrition through school-wide Healthy Eating plays as well as the importance of 60 minutes of physical activity every day.  At Rosa Parks Edison Elementary, for every mile increment, the students at Rosa Parks receive a shoe charm.  Another school that has a walking club is Ligonier Elementary.  Their staff and students have walked 62,062 miles since the fall!  For the first 50 miles, the students and staff receive a t-shirt.  After 100 miles, a sweatshirt is awarded. Once they hit 150 miles, the students are fitted with new athletic shoes.

Another continuing success story continues in Crawfordsville at Meredith Nicholson Elementary with Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor Laura Newman at the helm. With lots of fun activities going on throughout the year, Laura says the biggest change she has noticed is awareness: students are making more nutritious choices in the cafeteria line, and in P.E. class, they are discussing how they are Fueling Up.  The students are excited and highly engaged – and they want to do even more.  Laura and her students have clearly made great strides and a big difference in 2010.  Look out for more from Meredith Nicholson Elementary students in 2011! Continue reading