Mar 27, 2013

Eye Exams for Babies

Many optometrists do free vision exams for babies ages 6-12 months old through the InfantSEE program.

My baby is almost three months old and occasionally his eyes are crossed or are not aligned with each other.  A quick internet search tells me that this is not abnormal, yet if this continues after four months of age I should check into it.

A friend of mine works as a private educator with children who struggle with learning and behavior.  She told me that a vision exam by someone knowledgeable about visual development is a good idea for all children - not just those with crossed eyes. A lot of development depends on good vision – and the InfantSEE program makes such an exam free.  [My friend recently wrote a blog post about vision and learning.]

Many times developmental optometrists are able to identify problems that pediatricians are not trained to observe.  Dr. Franks in Bryant (phone: 501.847.9797) is one of the optometrists in central Arkansas who participates in the InfantSEE program.  He is good with kids and does regular eye exams for babies.  Because he is a developmental optometrist, he is trained to know exactly what visual skills are appropriate at what age.

As with most things, early intervention can make a big difference.  If you have a baby -or know someone with a baby- please tell them about the InfantSEE program.


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Mar 17, 2013

Granola Bar Cookies

Hello All! HB here with a yummy recipe that I came up with all by myself! I made these cookies about three weeks ago for the first time. Julie and my Ma both tried them and were instantly hooked. Most importantly, my hubby lurves them. I was going for a granola bar alternative that was simple and makes a lot at one time. Here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Granola Bar Cookies
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, muscavado, or sucanat
6 eggs
2 cups peanut butter (natural or regular)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups regular oats (not minute oats, gluten free oats work great too)
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup raisins
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup pecans, chopped

Cream butter or oil in mixer, gradually add sugar and honey beating well, add eggs till blended well, add peanut butter, vanilla , soda, and salt. Stir in oats, chips, raisins, coconut, pecans, mix well. Drop in 2 tablespoonfuls per cookie on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes till lightly golden. Cool for about 3 minutes on cookie sheets and then transfer to cooling racks. Makes 48 cookies. 
A few tips: these are even better if the dough has been chilled for an hour more. Julie used an ice cream scoop to dole out her cookies. These could definitely be made with quite a bit less sugar, but I would not skimp on the honey. These are also yummy with craisins. Coconut oil makes a thinner cookie if the dough is not chilled. 

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Mar 12, 2013

Freedom for Real Food

Joel Salatin has some witty quotes.  This is one of my favorites:

"We don't need a law against McDonald's or a law against slaughterhouse abuse -- we ask for too much salvation by legislation.  All we need to do is empower individuals with the right philosophy and the right information to opt out en masse."

On Friday, March 15, HB 1536 will be heard by the Arkansas House Agriculture Committee to allow unpasteurized milk and incidental sales from the farm.

Even if you do not drink unpasteurized milk or live in Arkansas, please take action for the sake of food freedom.

Go to the hearing (9am Room 138 Arkansas House) or simply email the committee members*.  Let your voice be heard for food freedom.  We don't need salvation by legislation.  Keep the government out of our food.


*Copy and paste the committee member email addresses into a new email.  My email said: As a drinker of raw milk, a supporter of food freedom, and mother of 3 small children, I ask that you support HB 1536.;;;;;; 

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