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What precautions are you taking?

Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are our pride and joy, and I am sure you have heard the expression, “Had I known grandchildren would be so much fun – I would have had them first,” that sounds funny, but it is very true.

Children are blessing to us from above and are sent to us to love them, take good care of them and advise them to the best of our abilities to what is good and what is bad.

In these present days, kids are facing a type of life that is foreign to all of us and never thought they would be experiencing. It breaks my heart to see a little one with a mask, on and even feel worse, when they run to hug you and you kiss you, and you ask them not to come close. I wonder what effect this has on the child and what is running through their mind and if they understand as to why you must maintain a distance etc.

However, with the situation today, it is necessary for all of us to take major precautions to protect them, but also their grandmothers and grandfathers who are older and more likely to be affected.

We, as older people, understand and fear the danger of this virus going around, but most younger children do not. Just what and how do you answer or reply to a child that wants to go outside and play with their friends, but you recommend that they instead FaceTime with their friends.

Kids love to be with their friends and play and they have no worries, but we parents and grandparents must worry for them. Keep insisting that they always wear their mask, keep distances for others and wash your hands often and not to share drinks or cookies with others. (Face it: It is very hard to play and keep distances).

We do not want our children to miss their childhood years, for those years pass quickly and never to return, but also we are responsible for their safety.

We need to encourage them and be positive with them that all this will eventually pass and be back to normal.

A lot is lost by not attending classes at school, but thank goodness for the home instruction on the computer. It is different, but can you imagine a whole year of no schooling or instructions what so ever.

The recommendations coming out these days are for people to stay home and not travel for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and just have your Thanksgiving dinner for the immediate family. This excludes many times grandparents and their friends, for hopefully this is only for one year and we do not want anyone to get sick with COVID-19.

I am not exactly sure how Santa will work it out to listen to your child’s list of items they want him to bring, but I know he will come up with something.Plus, this year it is an excellent time to be sure to have you child send Santa a list by mail or even email.

Here are a few suggestions for your children.

∫ Always listen and don’t ignore any questions.

∫ Tell them that no matter what that you love them and will always be here for them.

∫ Their safety and well being is important.

∫ Make them confident and give them a feeling of security.

∫ Do family projects such as renting movies to watch at home and creating family events.

Keep in mind that as hard as it is for you grandparents not to see and hug your grandchildren, that you are doing it for everyone’s safety.

I know we feel like we are on a big roller coaster that we are in and have no control and going so fast with no one knowing for sure when it will stop but for SURE IT WILL STOP!

Below are some recipes to make with your children:

Till next month.

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Slinky The Snake

2 10-inch bundt cakes

1 40×20-inch cake board, covered

2 16-ounce containers white frosting

green food coloring

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

red fruit roll-up

assorted candies

Cut each Bundt cake crosswise in half. Position each half end to end to form one long snake shape. Place on prepared cake board, attaching pieces with small amount of frosting. Tint frosting lime green. Frost entire length of cake with green frosting, spreading frosting about halfway down sides of ake. Place chocolate chips in small resealable food storage bag. Microwave on 50 percent 20 seconds. Knead bag several times, then microwave 20 seconds more until chocolate is melted. Cut tip off one corner of bag; pipe diamond pattern on back of snake. Cut out tongue and other decorations from fruit roll-up. Decorate face and back of snake with assorted candies.

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Warm Peanut Caramel Dip

1/4 cup reduced-fat peanut butter

2 tablespoons fat-free caramel ice cream topping

2 tablespoons fat-free milk

1 large apple, thinly sliced

4 large pretzel rods, broken in half

Combine peanut butter, caramel topping and milk in small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is melted and warm. Serve dip with apple slices and pretzel rods.

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Cincinnati 5-Way Chili

3/4 pound ground turkey

1 cup chopped onion, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 8-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce

3/4 cup water

1-2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1-2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 bay leaf

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

salt and pepper

8 ounces hot cooked spaghetti

1/2 cup shredded fat-free Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Brown turkey in medium saucepan over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring to break up meat. Drain fat. Add 1/2 cup onion and garlic/ cook and stir for 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add tomato sauce, water, chili powder, cocoa, vinegar, cinnamon, allspice, paprika, bay leaf and cloves if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If thicker consistency is desired, simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes more. Discard bay leaf; season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon spaghetti into bowls; spoon sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup onion, cheese and beans.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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