On May 1, 1929 the very first Child Health Day was celebrated. Do most people know that every year since then (it switched from May 1st to the first Monday in October 1960) the US presidents have been inviting all the organizations or agencies who advocate for the health of American children to come together? I'm not sure if "coming together" is literally or figuratively but the purpose of getting these groups together is to create awareness of the importance of having year-round programs that protect and develop health for children. Well I must live under a rock because I had never heard of Child Health Day until this past January when I was researching special holidays for my 2016 posts. Monday, October 3rd is Child Health Day and it is also, for those who celebrate, Rosh Hashanah.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) was mentioned on the Ducksters website as a resource for parents to access information in maintaining the health of children. The website also lists the following suggestions for ways to celebrate Child Health Day: Get some exercise. Eat healthy. Make the annual doctor appointments for your child(ren) including the dentist and eye doctors. Post an emergency contact info list somewhere it can easily be seen by all - include poison control, local police, fire department, doctor, hospital and E.R. If your child has allergies or medical conditions consider having one of those rubber bracelets made with instructions imprinted so that your child can wear it daily. If something should happen and they are not able to speak for themselves, the bracelet can be helpful.
I am not an agency or an organization who advocates on behalf of children's health but health issues are always a concern because I am a mother. I can't help but reminisce over the old saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” I wish so badly that this was true in this day and age. Nowadays it’s all about flu shots and antibiotics and you’re considered lucky to get in to see your doctor during the flu season. Why was preventing illness so much easier back then? There was less technology and we knew less. Yet it seems like there's more illness now than ever before. Can't we please just go back to eating an apple a day?
In honor of this Child Health Day, I think my son and daughter would get a kick out of making something healthy to eat - made with organic apples - scooping it into jars and giving it out as thoughtful pinches. I will admit that I am a total control freak when it comes to my kitchen. I always feel like an ass because of all the research that supports the theory that picky eaters and eating disorders are less likely to happen if kids participate in the meal prep and cooking. Blah, blah, blah... my mind immediately thinks of messes and frustration. Of course I want to have that kitchen where everyone is laughing and getting along as we prepare organic meals and gluten-free baked goods. For the sake of pushing healthy treats and spreading thoughtfulness I am going to let go and make this recipe with the kids.
Slow-Cooker Chai Apple Butter
Yields: 28 servings
5 pounds of apples such as McIntosh or Paula Reds (peeled & cut into 1/2 inch slices - about 16 cups)
2/3 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine ingredients in a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, for 5 hours on High. Set the lid ajar and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the apples are almost broken down, about 2 hours. If desired, puree in a food processor until smooth.
To me, apples represent health (as well as ipads, cellphones etc. - I digress). But sooner or later, eating apples can get boring. OOOh, I just had an "aha" moment. Perhaps an apple a day doesn't work anymore because we get sick of eating them! There are too many other things out there to eat these days. So here's pinch - it's a recipe that spices it up for apples. I ripped this recipe out of a magazine (I'm sure you couldn't tell by the picture) but I can’t remember which issue or even which magazine. However, I do remember that the feature was on Drew Barrymore. This is her recipe for Apple, Brie & Arugula Grilled Cheese. If you omit the arugula and Sriracha, younger kids (without nut allergies) can enjoy this grilled cheese sandwich as well. Yay, a grilled cheese meal for everybody. My plan was to make this adult version so I could serve it for lunch today with my friend, Natalie, who is helping me with social media but she called in sick. Oh no! An apple a day…