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Karen Ridings

Karen Ridings Karen A. Ridings, M.S., R.D., is a family consumer sciences agent located in Frederick County. She joined the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Frederick County office, in January 2008. As a registered dietitian and elementary education teacher, families have always been the primary focus of her career!


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Karen Ridings

Health care costs: Everyone's responsibility

Since 2000, health care costs for a typical family of four has risen 114 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Karen Ridings

Tis' the season for local Virginia apples!

Apple season is here! Now is the time to pick or purchase crisp, juicy Virginia apples. Did you know that Virginia ranks sixth in apple production in the United States, with over 250 commercial growers? About half of Virginia's apples are grown in Frederick County!
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Karen Ridings

Sitting can become a bad habit

Have you heard of "sedentarism"? In the August issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Matthew Fox discusses "sedentarism" and the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle. "Sedentarism" can be thought of as the opposite of being physically active.
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Karen Ridings

Are you canning safely?

Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself before you start the canning process:
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Karen Ridings

Establish routines to get kids ready for school

Summer is coming to a close and soon children will be back in school. Over the summer, most children have very different routines than when they are in school. For example, in the summer children may go to bed later and rise later than they do during the school year. Some children may have different meal schedules during the summer. Once the school year begins, children must wake up earlier, eat breakfast earlier, and complete homework on a daily basis.
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Karen Ridings

Tomatoes, the wonder fruit!

Summer is the season for tomatoes! In the Shenandoah Valley, tomatoes will be abundant by the end of June, early July. Are you ready for a delicious fruit that is a wonderful source of vitamins A and C and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant?
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Karen Ridings

Food safety after a storm

Hurricanes and severe storms can cause power outages and food safety issues. Unfortunately, many people have recently lost power for extended periods resulting in loss of refrigeration. Frequently, people want to know how long their food will keep in the refrigerator and/or freezer after an outage.
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Karen Ridings

Help your kids to health by following 9-5-2-1-0

The ancient African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child" rings true today when thinking about the health of our children.
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Karen Ridings

Canning challenges!

Canning is fun, but it also has its challenges. Don't get discouraged or throw out your canner if you don't succeed the first time! Your local Family and Consumer Sciences Agent can help you become an expert canner. Here are some questions and answers about canning that might be helpful to you.
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Karen Ridings

Get ready for local strawberries - so easy to preserve!

Strawberry season is right around the corner. Not only can you buy them fresh from your local farmer's market, but many farms will allow you to pick your own! Did you know that the strawberry is a member of the rose family? It is a fruit with a delicate flavor and yet is bursting with Vitamin C, A, and potassium.

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