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Prairie Fare: Sing the '12 Ways to Health' song

"Mom, they just played that song!" my 12-year-old said. I think she wanted us to change the radio station.

"That was a different singer, though. I think everyone likes it, so they play it a lot," I said as we listened to the radio station that plays all holiday music.

Soon one of her favorites began playing. We sang along to "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" before we dropped her off at school.

During December, our vehicle's radio is tuned to Christmas music. Our holiday CDs and music books, along with red and green storage bins filled with all of our decorations, get pulled out of storage. Music puts us in the spirit of the season.

Music can be a learning tool. When we sing the words, we tend to remember them. Do you remember learning the ABCs set to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"?

As we enjoy the last weeks of December, here are some health-related reminders set to music by some clever writers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You might find some ideas for New Year's resolutions in the

mix.

The words are set to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Visit the CDC website to listen to or sing along with the song and learn more about these tips.

The 12 Ways to Health

The first way to health, said the CDC to me

Wash hands to be safe and healthy.

The second way to health, said the CDC to me

Bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.

The third way to health, said the CDC to me

Manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.

The fourth way to health, said the CDC to me

Don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be

safe and healthy.

The fifth way to health, said the CDC to me

Be smoke-free, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and

wash hands to be safe and healthy.

The sixth way to health, said the CDC to me

Fasten belts while driving, be smoke-free, don't drink and drive, manage stress,

bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.

The seventh way to health, said the CDC to me

Get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, be smoke-free, don't drink

and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and

healthy.

The eighth way to health, said the CDC to me

Get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, be

smoke-free, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash

hands to be safe and healthy.

The ninth way to health, said the CDC to me

Monitor the children, get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten

belts while driving, be smoke-free, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle

up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.

The tenth way to health, said the CDC to me

Practice fire safety, monitor the children, get your vaccinations, get exams and

screenings, fasten belts while driving, be smoke-free, don't drink and drive,

manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.

The eleventh way to health, said the CDC to me

Prepare dinner safely, practice fire safety, monitor the children, get your

vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, be smoke-

free, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands

to be safe and healthy.

The twelfth way to health, said the CDC to me

Eat well and get moving, prepare dinner safely, practice fire safety, monitor the children, get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, be smoke-free, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.

Which ones of the 12 ways do you do on a regular basis? Do you have any goals to set?

Let's work on the "eat well" part with this tasty snack to enjoy before stepping out to a holiday party. While at the party, remember to stand away from the buffet table and spend most of your time talking. When you need a snack, fill your plate first with vegetables and fruits.

Apple Smiles

  • 2 Tbsp. smooth peanut butter, SunButter or other nut butter
  • 1 red apple, cored and sliced into eighths
  • 1 green apple, cored and sliced into eighths
  • 1 lemon, squeezed (or bottled lemon juice

Miniature marshmallows

Rinse apples and cut as directed. Note: If you will not be serving the apples immediately, dip the apple slices in lemon juice. Spread peanut butter or nut butter on one side of each apple slice. Place four to eight miniature marshmallows on the apple slice (for the "teeth"), then top with another apple slice, peanut butter side down. Secure with a toothpick.

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 60 calories, 2 grams (g) fat, 1 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 20 milligrams sodium.

Editor's note: Garden-Robinson is a North Dakota State University Extension Service food and nutrition specialist and professor in the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences.

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