The Fuyu Persimmon: A Fruit Worth Trying this Fall

PersimmonHave you ever tasted a Fuyu persimmon? If not, try this delicious and healthy little treat now while it’s in season (September – December). This fruit is so delicious that the Greeks actually named it “fruit from the gods.” And yes, it is THAT good! Not only is this exotic fruit delicious, it’s packed with nutrition and low in calories, too. The Fuyu persimmon is a great snack for growing children, dieting adults, and well, everyone!

Preparing and Eating the Fuyu Persimmon
Fuyu persimmons are easy to prepare and to eat. Just wash the outside, remove the leaves, slice, and enjoy! Eating the fruit raw is the best way to get all of the nutrition, the easiest and fastest way to prepare them, and arguably the most delicious way to eat a Fuyu persimmon! I prefer it raw served with a slice of cheese. As an added bonus, the Fuyu persimmon just so happens to be a creditable snack on the food program!  Click here to see a video called “How to eat a Fuyu Persimmon – Tips and Preparation.”

More Fuyu Fun!
Fuyu persimmons can also be used in baking breads, cakes, puddings, jams, and more. Click here to see some of the ways Martha Stewart uses persimmons.

Fun Fact: Persimmons are more common in some parts of the country than in others. Did you know that Indiana has an entire Persimmon Festival every year!?

Happy eating!

Children Not Seen At Review Report

Increase your program integrity by using the Children Not Seen at Review Report to detect claimed children that are consistently missed during a home visit. Then, conduct parent contacts on any children who have been consistently missed.

In Minute Menu HX, navigate to Reports >> Reviews >> Children Not Seen At Review Report. A Provider Filter will appear. To include ALL providers, just click Continue. Or to filter by a specific monitor caseload, click the Monitor box, select a name, and then click Continue. Select any other filters you want. To select specific providers from a list, click the Choose Providers from List box at the bottom.

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Operation Lychee

Lychee FruitHave you ever had a lychee fruit? These delicious little fruits are packed full of vitamin C and many other important vitamins and nutrients. But most importantly, they are delicious! Click here to read more about the lychee fruit and to see a picture of it on the USDA website.

Serve More Fruit, Less Juice. Fruit can be a fun and delicious way to improve nutrition in children’s diets, and you have the chance to change the lives of children in your very own community by serving more fruit. We challenge you to pick a fruit to serve at snack, and to serve fruit instead of juice at meals. Eating the actual fruit, instead of just drinking the juice, ensures that children get ALL of the nutrition of the fruit, and less sugar! Click here to read “Tips to Help You Eat Fruits” on the ChooseMyPlate.gov USDA website.

Start Your “More Fruit” Campaign. Find and share some fun recipes that the kids will go bananas over! Start by searching for recipes submitted by providers on the ChildCareInfo.com website. Recipes created by kids themselves can be found using the Healthy Snack Finder on the Kids Teaching Kids website.

Print a cute flyer that you can display on the wall. Get some inspiration from this kid-friendly flyer on fruits and veggies from ChooseMyPlate.gov. You can see a list of flyers available for download here.

Start a vegetable garden with the children! Children love to be involved, and studies have shown that children are more likely to try new fruits and vegetables when they participate in planting and growing them! Start a small garden with easy-to-grow vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, and lettuce. The KidsGardening.org website is a great resource for planning and maintaining gardens for kids.

Share Your Results and Inspire Others. Start a social media account for your day care home (if you haven’t already) and post your pictures of healthy eating on your social media page(s). You will inspire others and potential parent customers will be impressed when they see your page!

Join the Campaign for Whole Grain

Natural Healthy  FoodYou have the power to improve the health of children in your very own community by launching a campaign to serve more whole grains in day care homes and centers!  And what better time than now since September is National Whole Grains month!  Eating at least one serving of whole grains daily can help lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, and can help maintain a healthy body weight.  Barley, wheat, bulgur, rye and oats are all whole grains that can be incorporated into a healthy diet. Some whole grains are even gluten-free , such as buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa, and rice. Start training providers now to ditch processed foods and start serving more whole grains!

Click here to check out some whole grain recipes with demonstration videos with cooking tips for making whole grains easy to prepare AND taste great!

Click here for a quick refresher on whole grains on the Whole Grains Council website. Read more of this post

The Quinoa Project

Want to serve a food that kids love, and that is healthy? Looking for an easy-to-make food that is packed with protein so that you stay full for longer?  Try quinoa!

Organic Quinoa.

Quinoa, pronounced “KEEN-wah,” is a small, grain-like seed that can be used as a substitute for rice or pasta, mixed into salads, and eaten plain or with a little cheese on top. Quinoa is a WHOLE GRAIN, naturally gluten free, and is a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids.

The best part? Quinoa is easy to make…and delicious! You can cook quinoa in advance, and use it throughout the week. Just store it in the fridge and serve it at multiple meals or mixed into other foods. Quinoa can be cooked in a pot on the stove or in a rice cooker. (See the package for exact instructions.) Read more of this post

6 Steps to Getting Started on hx2go

Are you are interested in using hx2go, but are not sure where to start? Here’s some help.

1. Give yourself access to the hx2go Administrative Website. To get access to the Admin Site, you will need to edit your user permissions in the Manage Users screen. Please click here to watch a training video on how to Manage Users for hx2go. There is no charge for accessing the ‘Admin Site’ (as we like to call it), but using the hx2go app does incur a small fee.

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Internet Essentials – Low Cost Internet and Free Training

If you are a Sponsor who would like to have more providers claim online using Minute Menu Kids, or a child care provider who wants to claim online, but access to a computer or Internet isn’t available, we have a solution. Internet Essentials from Comcast is a way to bring the power of low cost Internet to child care providers and children across the country.

Four ways Internet Essentials gets you or your providers connected — for less. Read more of this post

How to include a professional-looking hyperlink in an email

Would you like to send your centers professional emails with links to training materials and videos, documents, and more!? If you simply copy the URL (www.blah.com/blahdiblah/blah) and paste it into your email, your reader will see the entire URL, forward slashes and all.  Instead, you can make your words the hyperlink. For example, you can type “click here to view the website” and make the word “here” the hyperlink. Read more of this post

Exciting New Features on the Way!

The Minute Menu CX Team is happy to share some exciting news! We will soon launch a brand new set of features to help sponsors manage their support staff’s access to Minute Menu CX. These features allow centers to have more than one set of login credentials. Centers can now have a center administrator with a higher level of permissions than other users. Centers can also assign users to other roles, each of which has its own set of permissions.

Minute Menu CX customers have asked for features like these, and we have listened! We are actively building the solution right now.

Our development team expects to roll out these new features during the Summer of 2014. Keep your eye on this blog for more information. We will post screen captures and notes to help prepare you to hit the ground running once these exciting new features arrive.

No Risk from Using WebKids in Internet Explorer

Our support team has received calls about a reported “flaw” in Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11 that might make users vulnerable to attack by hackers. There is no risk from this flaw in using our WebKids application or from visiting any of our websites–www.minutemenu.com, training.minutemenu.com, or childcareinfo.com.  We have no feedback on your risk when visiting other sites using Internet Explorer, and encourage you to make any adjustments you feel necessary to protect your personal and business information.

According to an article posted online by The Washington Post, a user must visit a website that uses Flash technology and is controlled by a hacker or other entity that desires to gain unauthorized access to your computer. WebKids does not link to outside pages and does not use Flash technology, which limits your risk when using our products. More details about the security risk issue, and Microsoft’s response, can be found in the Washington Post article.

If you have questions, please contact our support team – we are happy to help!

UPDATE: The Washington Post is now reporting that Microsoft has released a security update for Internet Explorer that fixes this bug.  It will also be releasing an update for Windows XP users, but the article does not provide information on when that will occur.  Per the article, users who have Automatic Updates turned on will automatically receive the fix.  Otherwise, users will remain vulnerable until they update Internet Explorer.