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The Healthy Family Meals Newsletter, Issue #85 Mexican Madness Before The Holidays
November 30, 2007
Welcome! Learn How to Combine Healthy Recipes with Family Adventure!
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Now every week, as your family dietitian, I will be scoping out the most relevant research and news that you can use to help your family make healthy nutrition and wellness choices.
NEWS & ARTICLE CLIPS
...about the food industry we shop in as parents and educators...and family nutrition and health issues today.
Sure, we talk a lot about organic foods in this family newsletter, but perhaps this Christmas you may want to consider purchasing some family-friendly organic toys!
After millions of toys imported from China were recalled over the past several months, domestic toy manufacturers have seen their sales increase. One such company, A Natural Home, in Fredericktown, Ohio has seen a 35 to 40 percent increase in their sales of toys made in the USA from sustainable, organic materials according to founder and Chief Executive Officer Susie Little.
Little works with a collective of 30 families in the Fredericktown area who create the toys and other goods that are sold by A Natural Home. Almost all of the families are Amish. The toys are made from poplar, pine and other woods, and are finished using only beeswax and tung oil, both nontoxic ingredients.
The toys range in retail price from $10 for a small sailboat with a cloth sail, to over $200 for a child-sized kitchen with a sink, refrigerator and stove. Little said that wooden puzzles, baby rattles, and sets of circus, zoo and farm animals are all popular with the 35 dealers who sell their products nationwide. The company’s products are also carried by some Canadian dealers.
Little said that when she began the business almost seven years ago, she knew what she didn’t want for the company. “I didn’t want a factory with cement floors and buzzing overhead lights.” Instead she found families of craftspeople who created cottage industry products in the area.
With a background in organic clothing and textiles, creating mattresses and bedding out of organic materials was natural for Little. “I used to manufacture organic clothing, but couldn’t compete with foreign production,” she said. “Rather than move manufacturing out of the country, we changed what we were making.”
She said that creating toys out of wood using only nontoxic natural finishes was a logical addition to her business, considering the large pool of local craftspeople that she has access to in Fredericktown.
The Amish families with which she deals on a regular basis create the toys out of wood that is often left over from furniture making. Little, who is expecting her sixth child, designs many of the toys herself based on toys she played with as a child.
According to Little, the natural, earth-friendly, child-friendly toys her company sells have become increasingly in demand as parents become more and more concerned about the safety hazards posed by toys made in China. She said that the baby cribs she sells are also growing in popularity, she believes due to the recent recall of several models of crib that also were imported from China.
Besides Little, the business keeps two full-time and one part-time employee very busy. Susie and her husband, Lyn, live on a 23-acre farm where they grow organic wheat and garlic.
She said that she is passionate about the cottage industry work force that she employs, and enjoys the recent national media coverage her company has received. “I like to educate people about how important it is to support your neighbors,” she said. “Because if you don’t, then those jobs are not going to be there.”
If an item that she would like to carry in her store or online is not made by one of the artists she already deals with, then Little said she will find someone else local to do it. “If you have an item that you would like, but none of my families makes it, then let’s find someone in the area who will make that item, rather than sending the work out of the area.”
She said that this local work force has been successful for her. “Keeping it local is important in building a solid community. We certainly have a fantastic work force here.”
Little said that while her company carries items that some might consider more expensive than items carried at larger stores, the quality of the materials and the craftsmanship make them worth the price. “Everyone takes pride in what they do,” she said of her craftspeople. “And everyone wants a good living wage.”
While A Natural Home has occupied its storefront on North Main Street in Fredericktown for about four years, Little said that the warehouse in back of her store holds furniture and goods that are mostly sold wholesale through dealers, and through A Natural Home’s Web site. The store is open on Fridays, and by appointment.
Read the latest food trends and happenings with the links below:
CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
Start to finish: 25 minutes
1 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 small onion or 1 tsp. onion powder
2 gloves or more of garlic or 2 tsp garlic powder
2 med. Jalapeno chilie (poblano or Anaheim chiles can be used) seeded and chopped
1 carton reduced sodium broth or make your own from 2 chix legs(with skins) and add 2 tsp. salt
(Can add diced tomatoes or add red pepper and carrots instead for added nutrition)
1 ˝ cup chix breast or use chix from legs minus the skins (this would be less chix but ok)
Consider adding: chopped Cilantro, avocado slices, tortilla chips* to crumble over soup and/or shredded Monterey Jack cheese, if desired (*can use 1 tbsp oil and corn/flour tortillas and bake 10 min. to crisp and use instead of chips. Cut into strips to add to bowl. )
1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish and added vitamin C
Directions: Add 1 tbsp oil in saucepan over med. Heat and cook onion, garlic and chile pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes until crisp tender. Stir in broth, tomatoes, salt (if desired). Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and cook on simmer 15 minutes. Add chix heat until hot.
To serve: divide tortilla strips/chips among 6 bowls, ladle in soup. Garnish with ideas above. Serve with lime wedges and a Corona lite beer if desired.
Submitted and created by: Mary Ann Colegrove, RD
Check out a new water drink company that was founded by Kara Goldin, a mother of four who cares about providing healthy beverages to families....she talks more below about Hint..
The idea behind Hint is simple: pure water, nature's original refreshment, accented with a hint of natural flavor.
No sugar, no artificial sweeteners: Hint is a refreshing alternative to sodas, juice and other sweetened drinks and it tastes great.
Sound good? It tastes even better.
We thank you for trying Hint, hope that you and your family enjoy it, and wish you excellent health.
Hint is available in many specialty markets and is also sold in fine spas and hotels. If Hint is not yet available in your favorite store, please ask for it.
Hint is adding new stores, spas and hotels every week and are also interested in school and corporate lunch programs.
What will your family do for healthier MEALTIMES?
Celebrating Healthy Families 2007
I want to continue to offer an excellent resource into 2007 that will help you save thousands of dollars on GROCERY SHOPPING!
Meet Lana Dorazio whom I consider an "expert" grocery shopper. She has developed a grocery shopping system that you can learn too.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!
Kindy --Your Family Dietitian
Copyright (c) 2006, http://www.healthy-kid-recipes.com
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