Family Time: How to keep your pet healthy

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Pet Tip: Keep those vet bills down

Dr. Susan Lauten, a pet expert and nutrition consultant, offers five ways to help keep your pet healthy:

- Good nutrition is the key to good health. Instead of skimping on your pet food budget, select high-quality foods with high levels of meat proteins and whole grains.

- Feeding your pet a variety of foods can minimize the development of food allergies.

- Keep your pet clean and parasite-free. Paying extra attention to grooming during the summer months can help avoid skin disease, parasite-related diseases from ticks and fleas, and hot spots.

- Make sure your pet visits the veterinarian for regular checkups.. 

- If your pet shows signs of illness, be sure to visit your veterinarian right away. Early detection can reduce the overall cost of treatment. (ARA)

Family Screening Room

“Fly Me to the Moon”

Rated: G

Length: 84 minutes

Synopsis: In this 3-D animated adventure, three young flies set off on a courageous mission to become the first insects on the moon by hitching a ride on the historic Apollo 11 space flight. Based on the actual transcripts and the original blueprints from NASA, the film's stunning visuals and meticulous attention to detail introduce a whole new generation to the awe-inspiring achievements of the space program's most momentous mission.

Violence/gore rating: 1.5

Sexual-content rating: 1

Profanity rating: 1

Scary/tense-moments rating: 1.5

Drugs/alcohol rating: 1

Family Time rating: 1. A movie anyone in your family can enjoy, and the fact that it’s in 3-D adds to the thrill.

(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)

Tip of the Week: Avoiding lunch-box battles

Here are some tips for ensuring that your kids' stomachs stay full and their lunch boxes come home empty.

- Avoid bread boredom. Think variety when "sandwiching" your school lunches. Instead of plain white bread, try whole-grain raisin bread, pita bread, whole-wheat tortillas for wraps, whole grain rolls, mini-bagels or flavored bagels.

- Remember, eating is visual too. A soggy peanut butter sandwich with grape jelly soaking through is not very visually appealing. Kids often find pre-packaged items - that travel well and maintain their good looks - more enticing.

- Talk frankly with your kids about the variety of healthful foods they have to choose from, and on the first try, serve small portions. For example, introduce hummus with pretzels or celery sticks to dip.

- Encourage kids to be involved in preparation and selection of new, healthful foods. For younger kids, it is fun to create a fruit and vegetable bingo board.

- Keep current. Periodically reassess what your kids are eating because tastes and interests change.

- Don't underestimate the role snacks play in your child's day-to-day success. Healthful snacks can provide kids with the fuel and nutrition they need to get through their busy days. (ARA)

Kids Kitchen: Pumpkin Pie Popcorn Mix with Raisins

1 bag low-fat microwave popcorn

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 cup raisins

1 package (5 ounces) glazed pecans

Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray

Microwave popcorn according to package directions and empty into a large bowl. Remove all unpopped kernels. Stir sugar and pumpkin pie spice together in a small bowl. Spray popcorn liberally with cooking spray and toss to coat evenly. Add raisins and pecans. Sprinkle with sugar and spice mixture and toss until popcorn is well coated. Yields 12 one-cup servings. (

Book Report

“Born to Read,” by Judy Sierra (author) and Marc Brown (illustrator)

Pages: 40 pages

Ages: 4 to 8

The award-winning collaborators of the New York Times No. 1 picture book bestseller “Wild About Books” are back with a new story that promotes books and reading. Told in Judy Sierra’s inimitable read-aloud rhyme, the narrative chronicles the amazing successes of Sam — thanks to his early love of books. The story ranges from Sam’s infancy, when his mother reads him a picture book (“then another, then another, then another … such a perfect, patient mother”), to school age, when he cleverly uses some of his favorite books to rid his town of the rampaging baby giant, Grundaloon. “‘Here’s my secret,’ Sam decreed. ‘Readers win and winners read.’” Marc Brown’s playful pictures joyously complement this fun-to-read, upbeat story.

Play Inside: “Bananagrams”

Ages: 4 and older

“Bananagrams” is a fast and fun word game that requires no pencil, paper or board. All you need is a table. One hand can be played in as little as five minutes. It is a great for family fun as well as being educational, and it makes for a perfect travel game. The goal of the game is to create your own crossword puzzle before your opponents do. It’s “Scrabble”-like, but without the board and letters with points.

GateHouse News Service