Fuel Up to Play 60 Update

By Mary Nicholson

Approximately seventy-five Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisors and their guests braved the crazy Indiana spring storms to attend a training camp at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on Tuesday, April 19th.  Despite the unpredictable weather outside, a calmer atmosphere (for the most part) awaited guests inside the Pavilion.

While waiting for the program to start, many of our Program Advisors took guided tours of the facility, visited with two of the Colts’ Cheerleaders, and browsed a number of exhibits provided by both the Dairy Council and Fuel Up to Play 60 grant winning schools.  It was great to see the variety of ways that these schools have used their funding to help their students become more aware of the foods they eat and the importance of being physically active every day.

To start things off, Mike Prior, Colts Youth Football Commissioner and leader of the Colts Fitness Camps, introduced the group to his style of coaching by going taking us through the first part of one of his fitness camps.  Next up were the mischievous mascot of the Colts, Blue, and his voice of reason, Kat.  Always entertaining, Kat explained about a program available to middle schools – Fuel Up to Play 60 Presented by Blue.

The main event of the evening began after dinner with a panel presentation from five program advisors who each explained and showed how they had implemented the Fuel Up to Play 60 program in their schools.  Roberta Sipe, Physical Education teacher from Rosa Parks Edison Elementary (Indianapolis) was the first presenter and gave great advice and told of the many no-cost resources she has found and used.  Alicia Harris, Assistant Principal at Greenbriar Elementary (Indianapolis), has done some amazing things preparing her students for ISTEP via Fuel Up to Play 60. Caren Walker, Family and Consumer Science teacher at Klondike Middle School (West Lafayette) showed us a different angle of Fuel Up to Play 60.  Students in her cooking classes produced videos of a number of different recipes.  From the Nicholson Elementary (Crawfordsville) team, Angie Frost, RD, Nutrition Educator, spoke of some of the activities used to kick off the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, including a Dairy Bingo game and “Make Your Own Trail Mix” bar in the school’s cafeteria.  Angie also mentioned how they are tying in Fuel Up to Play 60 with other school wellness programs, such as USDA’s Healthier US School Challenge and the President’s Active Lifestyle Award.  Katie Louden, 5th grade teacher at Holy Cross (Indianapolis)  finished the presentations with an impressive use of both Fuel Up to Play 60 and Peyton Manning’s Project 18.  Both programs meshed well and really got kids and their families involved with leading healthy lifestyles.

Milk Monday at Purdue

Ideas are blooming at Purdue this spring!  On April 11, 2011 Milk Monday was born!  The College of Agriculture decided to get more campus folks aware of what is going on in Agriculture.  After some phone calls, supplies ordered and delivered great team work Milk Monday was up and running.  This inaugural event happened on a perfect day for grilled Colby Jack cheese sandwiches and ice cold milk.  Over 700 milks and 1,000 plus sandwiches were provided to the 90% non-Agriculture students!  This was a tasty introduction to how 2% of the world feeds us all!  Milk Promotion Services of Indiana wishes to thank the scholars at Purdue for this great opportunity and exposure and a bit of a primer for the State Fair!  Thanks to all who cooked, handed out, ate and cleaned up this event!

Tell a Story Day

Guest Post By Kristen Fuhs-Wells of Indiana Humanities Council

The practice of telling stories has been around since the beginning of time. For years, stories of agriculture and food traditions have been passed from generation to generation. Harvest stories and family recipes are a few ways these traditions have stayed alive. As the number of farmers declines, the need for storytelling and tradition-sharing becomes essential. On April 27, America celebrates Tell a Story Day, a day to recognize story-telling of all kinds, from tall tales to ghost stories and everywhere in between. We’ve come up with a few ideas for how you can celebrate Indiana’s food and agriculture stories on Tell a Story Day:

*  Read a story to residents in a nursing home

*  Bake a family recipe and learn the story behind it

*  Record family memoirs in a journal to be shared with future generations

*  Visit the Food for Thought’s traveling exhibit Story Silo and record your favorite food memories and recipes.

Current and upcoming locations:

Dubois County Museum, Jasper (April 12 – May 5)

Center on Aging and Community, Indiana University, Bloomington (May 6 – May 20)

Randolph County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Winchester (June 3 – 20)

Knox County Public Library, Vincennes (July 18 – Aug. 4)

Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis (Aug. 5 – 21)

West Lafayette Public Library, West Lafayette (Aug. 29 – Sept. 9)

Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library, Evansville (Sept. 9 – Oct. 3)

The History of the Pretzel for Free!

By Michelle Plummer

I have long been amazed by the shape, texture and taste of pretzels.  From soft oven baked to crispy twists that travel well as a nutritious snack, we are unsure of the exact origin of the pretzel.  Pretzels have a great folklore from some believing they are hugs from God, a child’s arms folded in prayer or a stand to set hard boiled eggs for an Easter egg hunt.

As early as 610AD at a monastery somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy, where monks used scraps of dough and formed them into strips to represent a child’s arms folded in prayer. The three empty holes represented the Christian Trinity.

The monks offered the warm, doughy bribe to children who had memorized their Bible verses and prayers. The monks called it a Pretiola, Latin for little reward. From there, the pretzel transformed into the Italian word, Brachiola, which means little arms.

The Pretiola journeyed beyond the French and Italian wine regions, hiked the Alps, wandered through Austria, and crossed into Germany, where it became known as the Bretzel or Pretzel.

In medieval times merchants traveling to the Frankfurt Fair risked being robbed by bandits. In order to guard the tradesmen, the towns’ people would ride out, greet the vendors and offer them pewter pitchers of wine and loads of crisp dough on their spears, called Geleit-pretzels.

One of my very favorite pretzels to make is a Chocolate Dough. It has the flavor of chocolate, the twists and turns of pretzels, topped with sanding sugar for a bit of sweet and still is a great nutritious snack without the hesitation of being fried or too sugary!

I know that many of you are traditionalist and like the sourdough or crisp baked pretzels that are salty and tasty to a point.  But just like chips, pretzels are delicious with a dollop of dip or smear of cheese.  Grab a bag, a couple of ingredients listed here and enjoy your favorite sport or activity! Remember, pretzels are still a healthful snack even with the extra dip!

If making pretzels aren’t your deal, find your favorite location of Pretzelmaker®/Pretzel Time® for  Free Pretzel on April 26! Again this year Pretzelmaker®/Pretzel Time®  will host a day-long National Pretzel Day celebration on April 26 at participating stores across the country. This year the company is putting a new “twist” on the holiday by asking customers to “Sing for Your Snack.”

To mark this festive day, customers are encouraged to visit their local Pretzelmaker on National Pretzel Day, sing a snippet from a song of their choice and receive a FREE pretzel(with or without salt). Patrons who prefer not to sing won’t go hungry – they can simply mention “National Pretzel Day” and receive their free snack.

Read more: Free Pretzel April 26

Indiana’s Family of Farmers Celebrate Being Everyday Environmentalist at Earth Day Indiana 2011


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 18, 2011) – Indiana’s Family of Farmers are exhibiting at Earth Day Indiana 2011 on Saturday, April 23, 2011, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at White River State Park at 801 W. Washington St., Indianapolis.

Indiana’s Family of Farmers, a coalition of more than a dozen ag-related organizations, will be among the more than 140 exhibitors at this year’s celebration.

Among the many exhibits on display on behalf of Indiana’s Family of Farmers is an activity your youngsters will not want to miss! Children stopping by the booth will learn how to grow soybeans in CowPots – manure-fiber based seed starter pots that allow for unrestricted root growth – resulting in stronger, healthier plants. You sow the seeds, plant the pots and harvest the crop.

In addition to the kids’ activities, Indiana farmers will sponsor informational booths about the sustainability of Indiana agriculture as well as offer information about Indiana agricultural products. Indiana pork farmers will also be represented in the food booths where Indiana-raised pork will be offered.

For more information about the free Earth Day Indiana 2011event on April 23, visit www.earthdayindiana.org.

For more information about the organizations represented by Indiana’s Family of Farmers, visit www.indianafamilyoffarmers.com.


 The following are some Fun Facts from Indiana’s Family of Farmers about sustainability and environmental stewardship practices accomplished right here in Indiana:

  • Pork farmers have worked with state and federal regulatory agencies to develop and present environmental workshops for more than 5,000 producers throughout the nation. These cooperative and educational efforts have improved operational efficiency while protecting the environment for future generations.
  • Cattlemen also are recyclers, raising their animals on the abundant source of grains available in this country and then turning the manure into natural fertilizers.
  •  Between 1987 and 2007, corn farmers have reduced soil loss per bushel of corn by 69 percent and land use per bushel of corn by 37 percent.
  •  Soybean farmers are planting crops that are resistant to herbicides. This allows farmers to come close to eliminating plowing on their fields. The resulting environmental benefits include better soil health and conservation, improved water retention, decreased soil erosion and decreased herbicide runoff.
  • Indiana farmers using biotech crops have contributed to the elimination of 379 million pounds of pesticide applications globally.
  • Of the 65,000 dairy farms in America today, most are smaller farms with less than 200 cows. The vast majority of U.S. farms – big and small – are family owned and operated.
  • One benefit of fertilizing the soil with cow manure is to help conserve water. When manure is used as a soil treatment, the water-holding capacity of soil is increased by 20 percent, resulting in reduced groundwater needed to grow crops.

About Indiana’s Family of Farmers
Indiana’s Family of Farmers grows the grains, produce and meat you eat every day.
We believe that quality farming means quality food that is good for you,your family and the environment.

Learn more at www.indianafamilyoffarmers.com

Food for your family, from our family.

Contact information:
Jeannie Keating, Manager of Media Relations
Indiana State Department of Agriculture

What Delectables are YOU Preparing for Easter?

By DeDe Hausmann

What are you doing for your Easter meals?  I’ve posed that question to many friends and have found an array of different agendas for the day.  Some do a brunch at home before or after church and then go to a restaurant for dinner, while others enjoy a quick breakfast after the young ones have had their Easter egg hunt, gather everyone in their Easter finery and head to church and then later in the day they enjoy a scrumptious Easter afternoon or eve meal at home.

No matter your plans, I bet you could use some appetizer and/or salad recipes made with delicious and nutritious dairy products.

  • You can’t beat a Breakfast Casserole (or Strata) that you’ve prepared the day before, refrigerated overnight and bake in the AM.   Strata’s are great for they usually call for dairy, grains, meats and veggies and then add a fruit salad and OJ, milk and coffee to go with it and you’ve got all FIVE food groups covered!!  Talk about an easy, nutritious meal and if you don’t have a recipe, google STRATA RECIPES on the internet!!!
  • Need scrumptious but healthy appetizers to snack on during the day?  Prepare a Vanilla Yogurt Dip (mix fat-free Vanilla yogurt with a little nutmeg and cinnamon) to serve with fresh fruits, such as strawberries, banana and pineapple chunks, and grapes.  For an easy veggie appetizer, mix fat-free PLAIN yogurt with dry vegetable soup mix.  Have a bounty of broccoli and/or cauliflower bits, mini carrots, grape or cherry tomatoes, or whatever you have in your veggie crisper as dippers. And don’t forget to provide chunks or slices of your favorite dairy cheeses to serve with wheat crackers.  NOTE: read CRACKER labels carefully re: dietary fiber.  Choose crackers with at least 1 or more grams of dietary fiber per serving and choose reduced fat crackers whenever possible.
  • Here’s a great recipe for a Cole Slaw Dressing.  Whisk together ½ C. reduced fat mayo, ¾ C. PLAIN non-fat yogurt, ¼ C.sugar, ¼ C. cider vinegar, ¼ t. celery seed, ½ t. dill weed, ¼ t. black pepper, and salt to taste.  For a Fruit Slaw (found recipe at Marzetti.com and altered it a little), add the dressing to 5 C. shredded red or green cabbage, 1 C. shredded carrots, 1 small can mandarin oranges (drained), 1 C. seed-less red grapes, 1 C. sliced strawberries, 2 peeled/chopped kiwi’s, and 1 T. poppy seed.   Toss and chill before serving.  For a Veggie Slaw, add the dressing to 5 C. shredded red or green cabbage, 1 C. shredded carrots, ¼ C. onion bits, ¼ C. diced radishes, ¼ C. celery bits, and/or whatever vegetables you want to use.  I like to add ½ cup of raisins to perk up the flavor and texture.  Chill well before serving. Both recipes serve 10 easily. 

Nutrition is Vital for Young Children

The Week of the Young Child, now in its 40th year, is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. Today we know more than ever before about the importance of children’s earliest years in shaping their learning and development. Yet, never before have the needs of young children and their families been more pressing.

Too many children in the United States live in poverty, without good nutrition and health care.

•In the United States 18% of children under age 18 and 24% of children under age 6 live in poverty. It is estimated that 12 million children do not have enough food to meet their basic needs and approximately 3.2 million are suffering from hunger.

•In the United States 15% of children under age 18 and 24% of those living in poverty are not covered by health insurance.

•Approximately one-third of children and nearly one-half of black children born in the United States have at least one health risk at birth.

The Week of the Young Child is a time to recognize that children’s opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of early environment – at home, at child care, at school, and in the community – that will promote their early learning. Roughly 4 million children under age twelve go hungry each day.

Research demonstrates that children who lack adequate nutrition are more likely to have health problems and to have difficulty in school. There are several programs that help child care providers pay for meals and snacks. One of these is the Special Milk Program. The Special Milk Program provides milk to children in child care and schools that do not participate in other Federal child nutrition programs. Schools that participate in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs also may participate in the milk program in order to provide milk to children enrolled in half-day pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs that do not have a meal program. Children either purchase the milk or receive it for free. Families must meet income guidelines for their children to receive free milk.

Forty years later, the goal of the Week of the Young Child remains the same, but the scale of the event has grown. Communities nationwide buzz with festivals, parades, free museum visits, artwork exhibits, banquets for teachers, festivals for families, and crafts for children.