Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Edible Christmas Tree Centerpiece with Vegetables

OK, I just had to make this after talking about it!!! I have a dinner party to go to tonight and I put this together. It's pretty simple, a pot, veggies, skewers and a Styrofoam cone.

1. Place the cone in the pot.
2. Add veggies to the skewers and stick them in until the cone is covered!

Looking for more great craft and healthy recipe ideas?  Check out our store for the Make Healthy Fun! book which includes over 120 inexpensive craft projects and recipes.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How to Make a Bubble Wrap Stomp Shirt Video

Check out this cool video of How to Make a Bubble Wrap Stomp Shirt

Monday, December 14, 2009

Craft for Health

Creativity to the Obesity Rescue

I'm so excited!!!! An article I wrote entitled Creativity to the Obesity Rescue is featured on Their philosophy is that Crafting is the Secret Weapon. . .. . .in helping people improve their health, feel better and make something they feel good about. At Craft For Health, design & craft expert Kathy Peterson and Nurse Practitioner & RN Barb Dehn, The Craft Practitioners, join forces to share empowering anecdotes, inspiring stories and crafty tips about the therapeutic benefits of crafting.

Thank you Kathy and Barb for spreading the important words of how Crafting IS the Secret Weapon.

Want to make the Yummy Monster Roll-Up!? Check out the video below and make an Egg Alien, too!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How to Make a Yummy Monster & Egg Alien

Yummy Friendly Monster Roll-Up and Egg Alien Video

My six-year-old nephew, B Man and I made this video showing great ideas to get kids to eat eggs. The video features how to make a Friendly Monster Roll-Up made with eggs, a spinach tortilla, green olives and a mushroom. The Egg Alien is so cute! You just have see for yourself! Both projects are also great for parties.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Tree Fruit Topiary

Edible Christmas Tree Centerpiece

Here's a way to serve healthy food and have a beautiful centerpiece, all in one!!! Try it with veggies too!!!

What You'll Need
Fruit cut into small pieces
Foam cone
Kitchen Scissors to cut skewers in half

~ Cut skewers in half with kitchen scissors.
~ Place the fruit pieces on the skewers, leaving about 1" on each end - one will be for a handle to pull the fruit out of the cone and to hang on to when you're eating it and the other you'll stick into the cone.
~ Stick the skewer in the cone.

~ Repeat until the tree is full.
~ Place fruit on a toothpick and insert into the top.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Craft & Hobby Association Craft SuperShow

Disneyland and CRAFTING!!!!

What could be more fun??? The Craft and Hobby Association is holding a Craft SuperShow in Anaheim (just a block from Disneyland!) where everyone is invited to come experience crafting through fun workshops at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Make Healthy Fun! crew will be there to help you make creative projects to get your family to exercise, eat healthy, and unplug without them knowing it. Fun projects include a 'Purse'onal Garden where you learn to sponge paint and plant a garden in a purse. Make cool marbles from cornstarch and glue for hours of fun and raid your kitchen cupboards to create amazing bubble cards. Everything's included in the workshop, so you just show up, make fun projects and take them home!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crafting with Necco Wafers All Natural

Necco Wafers Get a Little Crafty!!!
Let's talk healthy turkey! I love Necco Wafers (even more so since they went all natural) and I love to craft - put those two together and what do you get? Fun, healthy, creative projects for the holidays!
There are two ways to 'glue' these projects together - one you just dip them in water or for a sturdier end result, try the Edible Glue Recipe.
Water Glue
All you do is dip the end of the wafer in water and place on another wafer. The wafers stay a little shiny after they dry.
Edible Glue Recipe
Grind up a few wafers in a food processor or mash in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Add a drop of warm water at a time and mix until you have a stiff mixture. To use, add a dab of the glue to a wafer and place on next wafer.
Necco Wafer Turkey
What You Need
Necco Wafers All Natural
Wax paper
How to Make It
1.Place child's hand on paper with fingers spread wide. Trace around child's hand.
2. Place wax paper over paper.
3. Using either the Water Glue or Edible Glue, slightly overlap wafers, following hand tracing. Continue overlapping the wafers until hand is completely covered. Place in warm, dry area to dry.

Necco Wafer Christmas Tree
What You Need
Necco Wafers All Natural
Wax paper
How To Make It
1. Place wax paper on work surface.
2. Using either the Water Glue or Edible Glue, make a row using five wafers for the bottom layer.
3. Using photo as a guide, continue adding layers of wafers ending with one at the top and add one at the bottom for trunk. Let dry in a warm, dry place.

Necco Wafer Candy Cane

What You Need
Necco Wafers All Natural
Wax paper
How to Make It
1. Place wax paper on work surface.
2. Layer wafers in a candy cane shape, using the Water Glue or Edible Glue.
3. Let dry in a warm, dry place.
4. Carefully tie ribbon into bow around candy cane or attach with a dab of the edible glue.

Yum!!! We Sampled the New All Natural Necco Wafers

Necco Wafers All Natural
I was so excited to receive samples of the new Necco Wafers All Natural and they were fabulous!!! I handed them out at a party last weekend to adults and kids and got 100% thumbs up - they taste great - hard to believe they're all natural!!! Check them out at your local store and don't tell the kids they're healthy! Of course, I have to try creating something crafty with the Necco Wafers, so check back to see the projects!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I was at a Weight Watcher's meeting today where we were discussing the average calories in a Thanksgiving dinner - can you believe it's a whopping 5,000!!!!!? And, it would take a 30 mile walk to burn it off!!!! Check out this easy way to estimate the calories in your Thanksgiving meal and how long you'd have to walk to use up the calories.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Little Joan

This picture was taken many, many, many years ago, but, it brings to mind that exercise can be added in every day and it can be fun!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gen X, Gen Y and now Generation XL?
from The Fresno Bee - by Diane Stafford McClatchy Newspaper

Every generation gets a label: "The Greatest," "The Baby Boom," "Gen X," "Gen Y."

So the youngest Americans might want to hire a public relations expert. Or a personal trainer.
Generation XL - as in Extra Large - is in the running to become an appellation for those born since the the early 1990s.

In some communities, up to one-third of today's children and teens are overweight. That's double the percentage of fat kids in the early 1970s.

Health experts agree that today's youths sit in front of TV and computer screens too much and eat too much junk food.

In short, the generation is in danger of being branded with a derogatory label. Books, newspaper articles and TV shows have begun using it.

According to lexicographers, the earliest reference to "Generation XL" was a prescient comment from a sportswriter in 1995.

Writing about baseball, Bob Molinaro of The Virginian-Pilot made the waggish comment that "if researchers are correct that people in their 20s today - the so-called Generation X - are heavier and less physically active than people in that age group five to 10 years ago, that would make them Generation XL, wouldn't it?"

The term didn't gain traction until the dot-com explosion. In the Y2K frenzy, Silicon Valley denizens, then twentysomething computer whiz kids, started talking about the new version of the "freshman 15," the weight gain traditionally associated with dorm food.They started calling themselves Gen XL for the "programmer 20" pounds they added at their 24-7 desk jobs.

By 2003, Generation XL had migrated down to the younger set, spawning hand-wringing about the growing "obesity epidemic."

It wasn't unfounded concern. Fat children are more likely to become fat adults, and more likely to have health problems and drive up health care costs.

In 2007, Joseph Mercola and Ben Lerner, two doctors, teamed up to write "Generation XL: Raising Healthy, Intelligent Kids in a High-Tech, Junk-Food World." The title placed the fat blame where it belongs.

Paul Ehrmann, a physician and founder of the Children's Health Initiative Program, a nonprofit, community-based program to encourage healthy habits, followed this year with "Generation XL: The Childhood Obesity Pandemic."

Demographers haven't decided on a definitive end birth date for Generation Y. It's not exactly clear when the youngest generation began, and what to call it remains up in the air.

Some had expected the next population group to be dubbed Gen Z, a natural progression from X and Y. But the Xbox kids - whose most active body parts are their thumbs - have redirected that thought.

Now, pundits are suggesting the youngest generation is "a terrible thing to waist."

Others are prompting that Generation XL could become Generation Excel - if they'd just go outside and play.

Neccos go all-natural

Iconic Necco wafers go all-natural

Published online on Monday, Oct. 26, 2009
By BOB SALSBERG - Associated Press Writer

BOSTON -- All-natural may be all the rage in the food world, but will candy lovers have a sweet tooth for beet juice and purple cabbage?

Necco sure hopes so. The 162-year-old Massachusetts company is taking its venerable Necco Wafers all-natural, making them the largest mass-produced candy line in the U.S. to shed artificial flavoring and colors.

Necco, short for New England Confectionary Co., cranks out about 4 billion of the roughly quarter-sized wafers each year, packaging them in large rolls (36 wafers) and junior rolls (nine wafers). Beet juice, purple cabbage, cocoa powder and turmeric - a spice often used in curries - are some of the natural ingredients in the new wafers, which will be phased in at retail stores before and after Halloween.

"Kids aren't going to go 'Yippee! It's all natural!' but they might say to their parents ... 'Look, it's all natural, it's right on the package!"' said Steve Almond, author of "Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America," and a self-professed fan of Necco wafers.
The change, a big one for an iconic sweet that has changed little since its creation in 1847, was driven by the trend toward all-natural products, said Jackie Hague, the company's vice president for marketing. She said prices will stay the same and consumers will notice little difference in taste, while the natural colors will give the candy a more muted, pastel appearance.

One thing will be missing, however. "We lost green," she said. Green, one of eight original wafer colors, was too hard to duplicate in the all-natural process. It seems the lime flavor could be reproduced naturally, but the color lacked consistency so it was scrapped. That leaves seven flavors/colors: orange; lemon (yellow); clove (pink); cinnamon (white); wintergreen (purple); licorice (gray); and chocolate, which now will come in variations of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and mocha.

Biting into the new treats reveals no obvious taste of the purple cabbage, beet juice or other natural flavorings. As always, the hard, sugary discs are smooth with a slightly chalky texture, and very sweet.

All-natural products mostly have been the domain of smaller, more specialized candy makers, though Fairfield, Calif.-based Jelly Belly Candy Co. has introduced an all-natural line of jelly beans, including grape, peach, lemon and plum flavors.

Bernard Pacyniak, editor of "Candy Industry," a trade publication that covers the confectionary industry, called the all-natural wafer "a smart move by Necco." "It's taking advantage of consumer needs and demands," he said.

The move to all-natural also could help the company "reinvigorate" the brand at a time when there's a slight resurgence in demand for nostalgic products, he said.

Necco said the switch is not in response to any dropoff in sales. The company reported wafer sales of more than $9.2 million in 2008, an 8 percent increase from the prior year, though sales have been relatively flat in convenience stores and supermarkets, Hague said.

The changeover will result in slightly higher costs for raw materials for Necco, but no additional manufacturing costs, she said, and it will not affect the shelf life of the candy.

The company won't say if the move to all-natural might eventually extend to other product lines, including Valentine's Day favorite Sweethearts and Clark bars.

What to do with all the leftover Halloween candy...

Halloween Candy Fairy

I heard on the radio recently how a local radio personality deals with Halloween candy in his home.

After his son goes trick or treating, he gets to pick a certain number of pieces of candy. The remaining candy goes out on the porch for the Halloween Fairy. The Halloween Fairy takes the candy, leaving a gift for the child. The Halloween Fairy takes the candy to work and leaves it for his / her co-workers to enjoy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Healthy Halloween Ideas That Work for All Parties too!

Check out these great ideas from Clemson University for a healthy Halloween but are great for parties of all kinds.

Halloween is a festive day that kids enjoy, because they get dressed up and get treats.

Enjoy the holiday with your kids, but carefully plan what you will do at your house to assure that healthy eating habits are practiced. This can be challenging, since the goal of most children is to get as much Halloween candy as possible for their own private stash.

Help kids enjoy Halloween without overindulging. If you and your family eat sensibly all year, then kids know how to make wise decisions when they are tempted to overindulge with unhealthy foods.

Don't send your children trick-or-treating on an empty stomach. Make sure they eat a good healthy meal beforehand to reduce the urge to snack.

Trick-or-treat bags that children carry should be appropriate to their size. Older kids can carry larger bags, but not as large as a shopping bag or plastic garbage bag.

Limit the houses your children can visit to a two or three block radius. That way the treats will most likely come from neighbors and friends, and the moderate amount of treats will be manageable.

Instruct children to wait until they get home to eat any of their goodies so that you can inspect them first. Let them keep only treats that are wrapped commercially. Inspect and throw away any commercially wrapped treats with signs of tampering- tears in wrappers, tiny pinholes, unusual appearance or discoloration.

You don't have to pass out high calorie candy to trick-or-treaters at your house this year. Give them a variety of fun, non-candy alternatives to promote health rather than encourage unhealthy choices.

Healthy Trick-or-Treat Alternatives
Childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate, doubling over the past 30 years. Eating in moderation and becoming more physically active could reduce obesity rates in children.

When trick or treaters ring your doorbell, what will you give them? Try nutritious, tasty foods and non-food options, including items that get children up and moving to use the extra calories they consume.

Make Halloween a healthier and more inclusive holiday for children and adolescents with diabetes and other health-related dietary restrictions by offering non-sugar treats.

Healthy Food Treats: Think outside the box when choosing treats for trick-or-treaters or party-goers. The calories in all those bite-size Halloween treats add up quickly. Four "bite size" chocolate bars contain approximately 320 calories, 25 jelly beans have 140 calories, and 20 pieces of candy corn add up to 100 calories.

There are other treats that are lower in fat and sugar but may provide vitamins, minerals and fiber. The possibilities for healthy food treats are endless. Set a good example for your own children and the neighborhood kids by passing out healthy treats like these instead of giving them candy.

cereal bars
snack packets of dried fruit, baked pretzels, nut and seeds (e.g. peanuts*, unsalted almonds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds)
trail mix
packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut* butter filling
animal crackers
gold fish crackers
graham crackers
Cracker jacks
100 calorie packs of various products
beef or turkey jerky
single serve boxes of ready-to-eat cereal
raisins and chocolate covered raisins
fig cookies
sugar-free gum or hard candy
gummy candies made with real juice
mini boxes of raisins
individual juice drinks (100% juice)
snack pack pudding
Jello with fruit
bean dip
single-serve packets of low-fat microwave popcorn
sugar-free hot chocolate or apple cider packets
*Be careful of peanut allergies.

Fresh fruits (e.g. apples, bananas and oranges) are very nutritious treats, but they are no longer safe options. Remember that individually wrapped items are best.

If you choose candy for treats, look for those that are lower in fat and sugar. Choose bite-size candy bars based on the least amount of fat and calories per serving. Better choices are: 3 Musketeers; 100 Grand Bar; Butterfinger; Milky Way; Raisinets; Starburst and York Peppermint Patties. In addition, consider healthier dark chocolate versions.

Non-food Treats: Children also will enjoy non-food treats** like the items typically given in birthday goodie bags.

small toys and pocket-sized games
glow sticks
costume jewelry (plastic rings, necklaces and bracelets)
funny Halloween glasses
false teeth
miniature magnifying glasses
tiny decks of cards
small stuffed animals
pencil toppers and fancy erasers
stickers, including reflective safety stickers
rub-on or stick-on temporary tattoos
coloring tablets
paint brushes
pages from coloring books
children's magazines or comic books
bottles of bubbles
coins (pennies, nickels, dimes)
fake money
used books
coupons from a yogurt store or juice bar
**Some treats fit all ages, but small items should be limited to kids over age three.

Treats to Promote Activity: Encourage kids to be more physically active by giving small, inexpensive toys to get them up and moving.

a bouncy ball
a jump rope
sidewalk chalk for drawing a hopscotch or foursquare game
a beanbag for hacky sack
a plastic or foam flier

Reviewed and adapted for use by Janis G. Hunter, HGIC Nutrition Specialist, and Katherine L. Cason, Professor, State Program Leader for Food Safety and Nutrition

Friday, October 23, 2009

Small Changes to Reduce Childhood Obesity

First Lady Calls for Small Changes to Reduce Childhood Obesity

In a recent address to employees at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), First Lady Michelle Obama urged parents to make small changes to improve their children’s health and reduce the risk of obesity, Chicago Breaking News reports. Obama was introduced by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who called her the “country’s leading advocate for health and wellness.” In her address, the first lady tackled practical, day-to-day challenges many Americans face when it comes to good nutrition “such as long work hours, dirty or unsafe neighborhood playgrounds, a lack of healthy food options [and] unhealthy take-out food.”

During her speech, the first lady admitted that as recently as two years ago, she had “too often” relied on drive-thru restaurants to feed her daughters until receiving a wake-up call from her children’s pediatrician. The first lady recommended small changes, such as adding more fruits and vegetables to meals and reducing consumption of sugary drinks by switching to water.

Obama, who called childhood obesity a “major public health threat right now,” also encouraged parents to urge their kids to be more active, even in front of the television, and to do more cooking at home. The first lady also urged the crowd to consider medical experts’ warnings that “for the first time in the history of our nation, the next generation may be on track to having a shorter lifespan than this generation, and their parents” (Skiba, Chicago Breaking News, 10/13/09; CBS News, 10/13/09).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

HANDS on Health

I am very excited about an upcoming event at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. I have been there for the planning from the beginning and it's so great to see how it's all come together. Come enjoy music, food, receive free health screenings and so much more!
On October 30 and 31, 2009, the First Annual HANDS on Health event invites the entire community to join together for two days of festivities featuring health in an interactive, fun and entertaining atmosphere.

This regional event is expected to bring together more than 5,000 participants over the course of the symposium's two days.

Friday’s events will showcase national and local research that expands our understanding of health for an audience of educators, medical professionals, students and scientists.

Saturday's events will focus on individual, family, and community health featuring games, workshops, educational booths, music, food and activities.

Participants can expect to taste new recipes, watch cooking demonstrations, check their blood pressure, get screened for risk factors and more.

Healthy Halloween Treat Bags

Healthy Treat Bags

Fill these cute bags with healthy popcorn and add a couple low-cal items for a special treat.

What You'll Need

Quick Drying White Glue
12" x 9" Felt Pieces: green, purple, black, brown, orange
Paper to trace patterns
3D Paint - brown, green, black, lavender, gold glitter
Straight pins
Paper clips
How to Make It

1. For front and back of bag, cut a piece of felt in half lengthwise. For sides of bag, cut a 1-1/2" x 12" piece. Cut piece into two 1-1/2" x 6" pieces. For handle, cut a 3/4" x 12" piece.
2. Squeeze glue along long edges and along one short edge of one side piece. Place side piece to inside edge of one side of front and back piece, working excess around corners. Trim excess at corners. Repeat for opposite side of bag. Use paper clips to hold in place until dry.
3. For handle, glue ends of 3/4" x 12" piece inside sides of bag. Let dry.
4. Print patterns below. Cut out. Pin to desired color felt. Cut around edges. Glue shape to bag.
5. For cat, paint dots for eyes using gold glitter, triangle nose using black and whiskers using lavender 3D paints. Let dry.
6. For bat, paint dots for eyes using green 3D paint. Paint a row of four large dots along upper edge of bag for pumpkins, using orange 3D paint. Let dry. Paint pumpkin faces and stems, using brown. Let dry.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Want More Fruit? Get Out the Blender.
Check out smoothie recipes from the New York Times. Yummy!

I love there suggestion about bananas - you know those bananas that have gotten a little too ripe and the kids won't eat? Try this idea...When your bananas begin to ripen and soften too much, peel, cut in chunks, and freeze in small resealable bags. Use in smoothies, and you won't need ice.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

First Post of Make Healthy Fun!

Make Healthy Fun!

Hi there,

This is my first blog post for Make Healthy Fun! and I am very excited!!!

My goal is to help families to have healthy lives by moving, eating healthy and unplugging with simple creative projects. My background is in the craft industry, I love kids, I've had a weight problem since I was a child so I know how those feelings can negatively effect someone and follow them throughout their lives.

I want to make healthy changes in the World and I invite you and your family to join me on the journey to healthier lives.

Please sign up for our newsletter and / or our blog for fun and creative ideas for the entire family! I welcome your comments and questions, we're all in this together!

Joan Martin Fee