20. Minerals Make the Difference

Minerals are needed for a healthy body. They are needed to help our bodies grow. The most plentiful mineral in the body is calcium. Yet, it may not be found in many diets. Studies show that a lack of calcium may be found in all age groups. For instance, from the age of nine, the diets of girls and women may not have enough calcium. their diets may lack as much as 25 to 30 percent of the calcium they need.

Almost all calcium is in bones and teeth. The rest is found in the tissue and body fluids. Calcium is needed for blood to clot. It is also needed for the heart to work properly. The nervous system does not work well when calcium levels in the blood are low. Even muscles work better when the body gets enough calcium.

Most people who buy from the milk counter are stocking up on calcium supplies. In the U.S. we depend on milk as a big source of calcium. Two cups of milk, or an equal amount of cheese or other dairy products, gives us a lot of calcium. They go a long way toward giving us all the calcium needed for the day.

But milk is not the only source of calcium. Dark green leafy vegetables like collards, mustard greens or turnip greens have some calcium. Salmon and sardines give use useful amounts of it if the very tiny bones are eaten.

Calcium is not the only important mineral in the body. Iron is important, too. Women of child-bearing age need more iron than men. The diets of infants and pregnant women may need to be watched closely to see that they have the iron they should.

Only a few foods have iron in large amounts. Liver, heart, kidney and lean meats have a good deal of it. Shellfish, especially oysters, have a lot of iron. Whole grain and enriched breads and cereals are rich in iron. They give us up to one quarter of the daily iron we need. Dark green leafy vegetables are also sources of iron.

Calcium and iron are not the only minerals you need. Most of the other minerals your body needs are found in so many foods that a little variety in making your choice at the market can easily take care of them. Make a healthy, happy body your goal next time you food shop.

19. A pressing Choice

Modern electric irons have made ironing and pressing clothes an easy job. But there are a few things you should know about different kinds of irons. Then you can choose the iron that best suits your needs.

The dry iron is simple. It is cheap. Its only working parts are a heating element, a thermostat and a temperature setting. It is mainly used on heavy, dampened cloth. On the other hand, steam and steam spray irons are used for many different jobs.

The steam spray iron has a nozzle that sprays water to help remove wrinkles. With the steam on, it can touch up permanent press clothes. It can raise the nap on velvets and corduroys. And it can block knits or press wools. With the steam off, it can be used as dry irons.

The dry iron and the steam and steam spray irons are rather bulky. However, the travel iron is small and light. It has a handle that folds. It can be easily packed into a suitcase. Some travel irons also have steam or steam spray features.

After you decide upon the type of iron you want, there are other things you should check. The controls on an iron should be well marked and easy to work. Grasp the handle of the iron you like. Hold it in the ironing position. If you must shift your grasp to see or use the controls, the iron will be difficult to use. Try another brand or style.

The heel rest, which may be the broad back of the handle or a handle with crosspieces, should be strong. The iron should not tip easily when in the rest, or upright, position. As a test, place the iron upright. Next, push gently against the top. If the iron falls easily then you might want to choose another.

One more thing to look at is the electrical cord on the iron. Check to make sure that the cord is well placed. The cord should be placed so you can iron with either hand on either side of the ironing board. Some irons have cords that can be moved from one side of the handle to the other. On other irons the cords cannot be moved. You must decide which is best for you. Choose your iron with care, and you will be well satisfied with your choice.

18. For Today, Tomorrow and Always

Almost all foods give us energy. Some give us more energy than others. Energy is measured in calories. Foods rich in fats, starches or sugars have a lot of calories. Fat is a big source of energy.

At times you eat foods that have more energy, or calories, than you need. The extra energy is then stored in the body as fat. If you eat too much, you become overweight. When you eat fewer calories than the body uses, you lose weight.

The body can pick and choose what it needs from the nutrients in the diet. Your body sees to it that each organ gets exactly the right amount of nutrients it needs. However, if the diet lacks some of the needed nutrients, the body has no way of getting them.

Your body keeps busy. It works twenty-four hours a day. It is always building itself up, repairing itself, and getting rid of waste products. It needs a constant supply of nutrients to do its job. When it receives the nutrients, it sends them where they are needed.

Let’s take calcium as an example. The body needs calcium. Calcium helps to clot blood. It also helps build bones. Calcium helps make the nerves and muscles work well. If your body does not get enough calcium from the food you eat, it steals some from your bones. If the stolen calcium is not replaced, the body is in trouble. You may not realize this fact for some years. As much as one-third of the normal amount of calcium may be taken from an adult’s bones before the loss shows up on an X-ray film.

Nutrients working with other nutrients make the difference in our health and well-being. No single nutrient can work properly alone. For example, it takes calcium to build strong bones, but that is only the beginning. Without vitamin D, the calcium cannot be taken into the body. The use of protein is another example. Protein forms part of every cell and all the fluids that travel in and around the cells. However, it takes vitamin C to help make the fluids between the cells. Without vitamin C, the protein could not do its job.

The foods you eat keep you healthy for today, but they also build your body for a lifetime. They keep you well today, tomorrow and always.

17. A Good Start

A child grows faster during the first few years of his life than at any other time. Thus, good nutrition is very important.

Milk is the child’s first food. It has a large amount of the nutrients needed during the first two years of life. The kind of milk or formula must be chosen with care.

Human milk is custom-made for the baby. It is clean and pure. It saves a lot of work. Nursing can also be a satisfying experience for both mother and baby. Human milk will usually supply enough of all the important nutrients during the first few months of life, except for vitamin D, fluoride and iron.

If a prepared formula, evaporated milk or homogenized whole milk is used, it will usually have vitamin D added to it. If not, the baby will need to be given vitamin D in addition to its regular milk.

The baby needs vitamin C early in life. Human milk and prepared formulas usually have good amounts of vitamin C. If the baby is being fed evaporated milk or cow’s milk formula, then vitamin C should be given in the form of drops. Otherwise a fresh, frozen or canned fruit juice that is naturally rich in vitamin C can be used.

A source of iron should also be added to the child’s diet. Some formulas already have iron added. If the baby is getting a formula that does not have iron, then the doctor may start the baby on iron drops. This is mostly done when the child is about one or two months old.

Solid foods may be added when the child is one to three months old. Slowly, other foods, such as egg yolk, strained meat and fish, are added. Be careful when choosing baby’s food. Store-bought strained foods vary widely. They vary in the amount of calories and other nutrients they contain. This is why many mothers decided to prepare their own baby food at home. At least they know what their babies are getting.

By the time baby is six months old, he or she will be taking some “table food.” When seven to nine months old, a baby is usually ready for foods that are chopped. By then, he or she will likely be on three meals a day.

Choose the foods for year baby carefully. Your baby will be happier and healthier if you do.

16. Moving Along with the Times

Moving from one home to another can be a problem. If your new house is empty, it may seem as cold and as lifeless as a tomb. However, little by little you get settled. Your furniture arrives. Your clothes fill the closets. Before you know it, you look around and realize that all is in order. Moving wasn’t so bad after all.

As a matter of fact, most people seem to enjoy it. Moving is one of the most widely shared adventures of our way of life. Long before the pioneers headed for the West, restlessness had been part of our nature. Today, it shows itself up and down and across the land as 40 million Americans change their homes every year.

Today, those who make long distance moves fall into one of three classes. Some are skilled workers who are seeking better jobs. Others are in military or government service and have been assigned to new posts.

The third class of mover shows the changing pattern of business life. About four out of ten long-distance moves are the result of job transfers. These are usually young businessmen who are often moved from one office to another. Some businessmen move as often as every two years.

Today, a long distance move need not be unpleasant. Just be sure you plan well. In fact, it could be nothing more than a short break in the daily routine. Moving companies now have trained people with years of experience. They know how to ship all kind of things. They can even handle fine art and antiques. Valuable instruments can be shipped without a scratch.

Damage to household goods in packing or on route is no longer a real problem. New ways for crating, packing and shipping have been found. For instance, some movers now use self-adjusting cartons for things like china and glasses. These cartons keep your glassware safe. Also, some companies use stuffing and plastic wrapping materials to protect delicate items.

On the way, the shipment is in the hands of drivers who are considered the best in the world today. The drivers of household moving vans are selected as the cream of the crop. They travel an average of 60,000 to 100,000 miles a year. That’s a lot of miles. and it’s a lot of experience. Moving is not so bad when you know you have skilled movers to help you.

15. Mix It Up.

A mixer in the kitchen can speed up your work. It can make your work easier. This wonderful invention can stir saucers and gravies. A mixer can mash potatoes. It can cream sugar and shortening. And, of course, a mixer can mix batters. Mixers come in three styles: portable, stand and convertible.

The portable mixer is held in your hand. You direct the pair of beaters around a pan or bowl. This type of mixer has a light-duty electric motor. It uses from 100 to 150 watts of current. It is mainly used to stir thin batters. Models with higher wattage can stir thicker mixtures. A portable mixer can be used to make packaged cakes, puddings and gelatin. It is useful for whipping cream and beating eggs. And, it is easy to store. It can be kept in a drawer or hung on a wall.

Unlike the portable mixer, the stand mixer haas a rather heavy frame with the mixer head at the top. There is a wide base big enough for large bowls or a bowl turntable. To make sure that things get mixed properly, the beaters usually turn the bowl and turntable as they mix. Some stand mixers use from 200 to 400 watts of electricity. Those with high ratings can mix thick batters and mix bread dough. Because of their size and weight, stand mixers are usually left in place on a kitchen counter.

The convertible mixer is similar to the stand type mixer except than the head can be removed for portable use or storage. Heads of heavy-duty models, however, may be tiring to hold.

On all mixers, speed control switches or dials should be well located. They should be easy to read. They should have an “off” setting for safety. Some mixer controls only have settings for high, medium or low speeds. Other mixers have speed controls that have a better range.

Some mixers have extra attachments or parts you can buy. For instance, bowl sets, plastic beaters for non-stick pans and hooks for mixing dough are all extras. You can get wire whisk beaters for whipping and flat beaters for creaming. Some of these things may be added at no extra cost when you buy your mixer. Other attachments may have to be bought separately.

Almost all attachments have one thing in common – they make kitchen work a little easier.

14. A Major Concern

There is good reason to be concerned with the eating habits of teenagers. During the teen years, good food habits may be lost. The teenage appetite is often big. But a large appetite doesn’t always mean much. Even with a big appetite, teenagers may not get the good foods they need. Teenage boys and girls grow at a fast rate. Except for infancy, the growth is faster than at any other time. A boy has great nutritional needs during the teen years. His needs are greater than at any other time in his life. The needs of a girl becoming a woman are great. Only during pregnancy and the period following the birth are they greater.

A teenage boy may suddenly shoot up as much as four inches in height. He may gain fifteen pounds a year. A teenage girl’s total gain is not quite as large, but it is considerable. Growth means more than adding inches and weight. It means that body fat is lost while bones increase in density. Muscles develop in size and strength.

Teenage eating habits are often bad. The reasons are not hard to find. School, clubs and part-time jobs keep teenagers away from home at mealtime. Their eating habits are influenced more by friends than by parents. Some skip breakfast because they don’t have enough time for it. Some choose snacks that are too rich in fats and sugar. Teenage girls sometimes eat too little because they do not want to get fat. Diets have to be well planned for both boys and girls. Each has a great need for protein and vitamins. The need is so great that they cannot afford to fill up on foods that have empty calories. Most of the time a teenage boy winds up with a better diet than a girl. This happens simply because the boy has a bigger appetite and eats more. But some boys may shy away from foods that have important nutrients. Instead, they may eat great amounts of junk food. Sometimes this creates a weight problem.

The overweight teenager may eat the same kinds of food as his average friend, but too much of them. Rich desserts and snack foods should be replaced with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Instead of a crash diet to take off pounds, overweight teenagers should develop the well-balanced eating habits they need for the rest of their lives.

13. Busy Blenders

The blender is one of the most useful kitchen tools. Its blades are sharp, small and turn at top speeds. Because of this, it can do many jobs. Blenders chop nuts, cheese, and pieces of vegetables. They crumble bread and crackers. They can puree cooked foods. They can even puree some fresh fruits and vegetables. Of course, they are used for blending spreads, dips, dressings and beverages. A blender with strong enough blades and container and a high wattage can even crush ice.

Most blenders use from 350 to 1,200 watts. If you buy a blender with a high wattage, be sure not to use it on the same circuit with other appliances. You could easily blow a fuse.

The speed controls on most blenders are push buttons. Most have an “off” setting for safety. Some models have as many as 20 speed buttons. Others have only high and low settings. The motor parts on blenders should already be oiled when you buy them. They are oiled in such a way that you never need to oil them again. Outside of soap-and-water cleaning, the blender needs very little home care.

The blades of your blender should be made of stainless steel. If they are not stainless steel, the blades might rust. The blades plus the base cap should come apart to make apart to make it easier for you to remove thick foods. This feature lets you wash and dry both the blades and the container thoroughly.

The container should have a pouring lip and a comfortable handle. It should fit firmly onto the blender base. Sometimes clear cup containers have measure markings on them. These markings are helpful. They cut out extra measuring steps as you follow a recipe. This saves you time.

The container lid should fit tightly. It should have a small removable cap. This little cap lets you add things to the container while the blender is running.

The base of the blender should be heavy. It should also be firm. The base should have rubber feet to stop the blender from sliding while it is on. The blades of a blender can be dangerous. Therefore, it’s a good idea to learn a few safety rules.

Keep fingers and utensils away from blades. If anything drops into the blender, turn off the power at once. Before you remove the blender container, be sure that the blades have stopped completely.

12. The Right Choice

Fresh or frozen, canned or dried, instant or fro scratch? Which foods have the nutrients? Which do not? The fact is they all do. All foods have their place. And almost all food in its place is good food. Some foods are safer to use when they are processed. Some are more appealing when they are fresh. It’s a good idea to know your foods.

Packaged, pasteurized, fortified milk has been around for so long that no one thinks of it any more as a processed food, but it is. Because milk is pasteurized, or processed, it is now safe to drink. Unpasteurized milk may carry many germs that can make us sick.

Buy the mix or do it yourself? It is all the same nutritionally if the ingredients listed on the label are used in the same amounts and are the same ones as you would use doing it yourself.

Which bread is the best? Whole grain breads and cereals retain the germ and outer layers of grain where the B vitamins are. When wheat is milled into white flour, however, t loses these precious vitamins. Therefore, when you buy white bread, it is wise to choose the enriched kind because of added nutrients.

Fresh or frozen? Foods in the frozen food case offer as much food value as those in the produce section of the store. The choice you make depends on which foods you prefer and the amount of money you want to spend. Any loss of vitamin C in frozen fruits is minimal. Well-packaged frozen meat, poultry and fish are nutritious. They have the same food value as those that are bought right from the butcher or the fish store.

Surprisingly, fresh or raw foods are not always better than canned or frozen ones. It depends on how they are handled. For instance, leafy, dark green vegetables packed in crushed ice keep a lot of their vitamin C on the way to the store. But if they are left to sit for five days or so, they lose about half of it. Cooking will also cause some vitamin loss. Although the loss may be great, these vegetables contain large amounts of vitamins. They still provided good amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A when they are eaten.

Choosing the proper food is no game. It is a serious matter and one that we should pay much attention to.

11. A Toast to the Toaster

Electric toasters have come a long way since the 1920s. Today, you can even choose the color of your toast. Modern toasters even shut off by themselves. Some models can also warm and bake. Toasters come in tow styles. They are either upright or horizontal types. The upright toasters hold the bread in an up-and-down position. In the horizontal type, the slices lie flat.

There are two kinds of upright toasters. The first type holds two or four slices of bread. Other upright models have ovens. These ovens can toast, warm or bake.

The first kind of upright toaster has often been called an automatic pop-up toaster. Some people even call them wall toasters. They toast bread, frozen waffles, and thin pastries without toppings or fillings. They are simple machines and are easy to work. The bread carriage has an outside control knob. When the knob is worked, the carriage moves up and down inside the toast wells. The carriage works an on-off switch. The heating elements in an upright toaster are made of fine wires. These are placed on both sides of each toast well. When electricity flows through the wires, they give off heat for toasting. A thermostat inside the toaster is hooked up to an outside toast-color control. The control lets you choose the toasting time.

The second upright model is both a toaster and a small oven. These models have toast wells, bread carriages, and toast-color controls. Plus, they have special doors and controls for baking and warming.

Horizontal toasters are either reflector models or toaster ovens. Reflector models toast and warm. Toaster ovens toast, warm and bake. Both have built-in two and four slice sizes and have a front door or opening. Both can handle most bread sizes.

Choose your toaster carefully. Look for a seal of approval from an independent testing laboratory. This seal is important. It lets you know that this toaster is as safe as possible. The seal might be on the toaster. It may also be on the packing carton. Such a seal shows, among other things, that the toaster has a two-pole switch. This switch is a safety point. It stops a child from getting a shock. Even if a child puts his hand inside the toasting chamber while the toaster is plugged in, he should not get a shock.

The next time you’re in the market for a toaster, look for the seal of safety.